CAST OF PLAYERS:
Debora Silkotch…………..Casey Gavin…………………………Human Psionic
Jera Morrison……………….Alseyne Aulaudin…………………Sidhe Changeling
Jeremy Whitener…………Korin Alabaster………………………Were Mongoose
Aron Head……………….Story/Setting/Everything Else…….Game Master
“Much is written of the Assault on the Machine. Who was right? Who was
wrong? The outcome of that conflict has a direct bearing on our present
circumstance. Thus, in excruciating detail, particular attention has
been focused on the failures and missteps of the drama’s primary actors
and yet, so many of my peers fail to realize the fundamental truth
revealed on that dark day in 1995 (Old Calendar). You see, the true
test of a leader is whether his followers will adhere to his cause from
their own volition, enduring the most arduous hardships without being
forced to do so, and remaining steadfast in the moments of greatest peril.:
Eshu Historian, 237 N.E.
From the catwalk, Casey watched as the war dogs on the bottom level turned on their Redcap handlers with bloody rage. She saw a Rottweiller snap a Redcap’s arm off in one monstrous CHOMP! The dogs were vicious, scattering the squads. On the upper levels, too, the dogs were each attacking the Goblin King’s men. More than a few guardsmen tumbled from the railings to the floor below. All across the chamber attention was directed to the murderous canines.
At the control station above, Mardmor shouted out directives.
Below, Pana darted out from the concrete basin under The Machine and charged across the floor.
“This is it, bro!” Elijah hurled himself out into the fray.
Korin sprang out after Elijah with a guttural growl, sprinting and springing upwards toward Aleyne and the Fae.
Casey remained still just long enough to confirm that the maddened dogs were wreaking holy havoc, then launched herself from the railing.
And something went wrong — she found herself in more of a controlled fall than actual flight. Still, it got the job done without breaking her neck. With a loud FLANG she landed on the catwalk just a few feet from Alseyne. The sidhe jerked around at the sound and her eyes widened as she saw Casey.
The Redcaps saw Casey at once. “Kill her!”
Crud. She abandoned the failed invisibility ruse and channeled her power solely into her weapon.
Some small part of her couldn’t help but wonder at how quickly she’d come to terms with the idea of dealing out brutal death. She wondered if her newfound thirst for Redcap blood was actually a subconscious need to strike back for all the helplessness and terror she’d endured in the past day and a half.
Whatever worked — she was feeling neither helpless nor frightened at the moment. One of the guards rushed forth and Casey split him easily in half. She took a fierce pleasure in the strength and keenness of her blade. She should name it, she decided impulsively. A good sword should have a good name.
She tossed the elf sword to Alseyne just as another big Redcap came low, tackling Casey’s legs and sending her against the rail, completely knocking the wind out of her.
Alseyne lunged for the blade, grabbing it in her right hand. She was hampered by the chain around her neck but looked immediately to her foes.
None of the Redcaps were attacking the captives. Seeing her opportunity, Alseyne brought the sword down on the chain connecting her collar to the main chain.
SFLANG! Preternatural sparks flew, but the chain was undamaged.
Against the metal rail, Casey struggled to catch her breath. Her blade faltered, started to flow like molten glass back toward its hilt.
Korin and Elijah came boiling over the railing and onto the catwalk. The vampire waded in as Redcaps charged forward and dropped from above levels.
Korin saw the Redcap facing Casey and his eyes flashed red. Springing forward, a predator once again, the ManGoose landed on the Redcap’s back, jaws clamping down on his foe’s shoulder.
“YAAAAAARGH!” The Changeling cried out, stumbling away from Casey and slamming Korin into the wall behind. Korin held on, clawing as he gnawed through the meat of the Redcap.
Casey finally managed to drag some air back into her lungs. Her crystalline blade surged back out to its former solidity, and she hauled it up to strike savagely at
another Redcap charging from the left. His own sword came up in a blocking fashion, but Casey’s weapon was made of surer stuff. The Adamus blade sliced through the Redcap’s sword unfettered, sliced through the warrior’s raised forearm, and hacked deep into his shoulder. Blood sprayed across Casey. She yanked her sword free of the guard, grimacing at the alien taste of his blood. Pulling away from the rail, she regained her balance and aimed a hard return stroke for his neck. His head went one way while his body went the other.
Several feet away, Elijah hurled a Redcap over the edge — howling!
Casey attempted to work her way back toward the line of Fae captives. She pivoted and spotted … Wynne!? … working at the lock on Alseyne’s and the other captive’s chain. Two armed Redcaps were rushing toward the sluagh.
After a brief, startled pause at seeing Wynne here, Casey bounded through the crowd on an intercept course, her blade slashing viciously at any guards that attempted to slow her down. Her mind instinctively shied away from touching the sluagh’s again, but there was no help for it. ** Wynne — two Redcaps coming straight at you. **
:: Yeah… I see ’em. No time to worry about that, though. ::
The first Redcap reached Alseyne, who raised her sword in time to counter the ‘cap’s swinging axe. The weapons crossed just inches away from the sluagh’s cheek. Wynne didn’t even flinch.
Casey came rushing up from the rear and took a running leap up onto the rail, bouncing around the crowd of Alseyne, Wynne, and the first Redcap to intercept the second advancing guardsman. Her sword met the Redcap’s with sparks! The shock of impact jolted her arm with teeth-rattling force. Must be an enchanted weapon — what else could match the adamas blade?
This guard was huge, she realized as she dropped to her feet. At least seven feet tall. His mouth was a horror of teeth, and his reach was amazing.
Alright then, he had the advantage of size, physical strength and reach. With any luck she was quicker and smarter. She gestured sharply with her left hand, aiming for the Redcap’s head with a telekinetic bolt of power. His head snapped back, blood flowing from a suddenly crushed nose! “NUCK!”
In the instant that his gaze was pulled away from her, Casey stepped in and sliced through the arm holding his sword. His arm and weapon fell away as he howled, swinging wild with his other arm, forcing Casey a step back. She danced out of reach, light on the balls of her feet. The giant guard’s remaining hand flailed before her, keeping her out of range for a killing thrust.
Behind Casey and next to Alseyne: CLICK!
The lock popped open.
“I’ll send you a bill,” Wynne winked to the Sidhe.
Alseyne didn’t waste time bandying words as she continued to parry the Redcap’s blows, “See if you can get the other locks open and some of the prisoners free and out of danger, Wynne. Percyndi takes precedence.”
Wynne nodded, all business: “On it!”
Korin clutched his enemy by the waist and lifted him over his head, then tossed the Redcap head over heels off the catwalk and to the deck far below.
Elijah fell in beside him, “Clear!”
He was right. Their end of the rail was momentarily clear of enemies — though additional foes were on their way from the upper levels.
Korin nudged Elijah toward Alseyne and Casey. “Lets not cut the Mangoose ladies. He’s one of a kind!” he quipped as he entered the fray. He reached the Redcap battling Alseyne just as she stabbed him in the throat. Korin hit him under the chin, taking the guy’s head off. Alseyne nodded in satisfaction before she turned to her chain, attempting to free herself with one or two blows on the heavy links.
The chain didn’t budge.
Korin landed and sprang before the body of the decapitated Redcap could touch metal, targeting the upper back of the massive Redcap before Casey. “Excuse me miss … is this guy bothering you?!”
“Yeah…” Casey watched the flailing monster intently, waiting for an opening. “Some guys think good looks and charm will get them anything, you know?”
Time slowed as her focus narrowed to just the frenzied movements of her towering adversary. Her blade gleamed between them, slick with blood but still as keen and lovely and deadly as a shard of glass. Maybe Shard would be a fitting name, some detached part of her mind reflected.
His arm swung across, and back — and Casey struck. Like a hot knife through butter, the adamas blade sliced through the meat of his arm.
Casey clasped the hilt of her sword with both hands and buried its blade to the hilt in the Redcap’s heart with the return blow.
His mouth widened, lips peeling back to reveal the horrific shark-like teeth within… The expanse of his maw… it was enough to swallow her entire head!
Korin, firmly on the back of the dead Redcap, reached into the monster’s mouth and tore the jaw clean off — spraying gore wide.
And though he *must* be dead, his form was running on reflex!
“This one’s the persistent sort.” Casey shifted her power from the sword into another telekinetic bolt, shoving his corpse away from herself and the others. The gore arced away from Casey as the corpse reeled back, allowing Korin to leap away.
With her free hand Casey gripped the hilt of her weapon as the blade flowed out of the Redcap and back into itself.
Alseyne growled ominously and then looked at Wynne, “Dammit, Wynne. You’re going to have to get this off me it looks like. I can’t break it.”
“It just comes off,” Wynne saie, demonstrating by working the clasp and releasing Percyndi — who was immediately up and on her feet.
“Thanks, Wynne!” The Princess rushed to Alseyne, embracing her. “I’m *so* sorry…!”
Alseyne didn’t pull away but she didn’t return the hug. “It’s all right, Short Stuff. Now go with Wynne. We’ve got work to do and you need to help her protect the non-fighters while we take out the opposition.”
Percyndi nodded, all business — and royal.
The loud humming of some device filled the chamber, rattling the catwalk.
Elijah called out, pointing: “More!”
A dozen Redcaps and an ogre were charging their way.