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 Jud's Perspective

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Phlegm

Phlegm

Number of posts : 773
Registration date : 2007-04-26

Jud's Perspective Empty
PostSubject: Jud's Perspective   Jud's Perspective EmptyWed 27 Feb - 11:45:23

Jud’s Perspective
So we spent the rest of the evening on high alert, well the Reverend and I stayed on high alert along with our crack team of amazons. Vizral on the other hand remained firmly unconscious in the land of nod the useless git. The Rev got a bit excited with his holy gesturing and continual blessing of everyone, I just sat quietly fingering my shiny new weapon lovingly. I was not convinced that these peasant women would be much good if it came to a scrap, infact they were more of a danger to each other with the sharp toolery* we had equipped them with from the horticultural equipment stores.


*With so many armed civilians around we had to be strict with incidents of Tom foolery with sharp toolery

Vizral eventually surfaced in the morning looking somewhat the worse for wear and I gave him a piece of my mind and was rewarded with one of his trademark glowering scowls for my trouble. With daylight we were able to pick over our loot while we breakfasted; 50 credits, the odd metal plate, a small bag with a red, presumably warning cross on it.

We headed back by cart to Mudflatts and fortunately the lack of breathalyser equipment meant that Vizral got away with it. It was market day in town so traffic was heavy, we went to see Bracknell and presented him with the two corpses of our nocturnal visitors. Fortunately Lady Bracknell was out shopping for a new handbag, but he looked shocked enough for both of them.

He was familiar with the odd metal lensed boxes, a number had previously been found and removed around the town. We got the church architect* to do an accurate drawing of one and sent it by pigeon to the Baron in the hope that Chief Advisor Archibald or one of his staff could throw some light on it. We then dropped them off at the smithy for safe keeping.

*Or as Sam put it the Architeer who architected the church architeering

Bracknell had indicated that flocks of birds congregated around the sites where the devices had been found in town and escorted by the town guard we proceeded to search the town using bird concentrations as a guide, finding six more. I noticed Vizral, who still looked rough as hell, took the opportunity to unsuccessfully haggle for some medicine in the market square, but his skills in this direction proved negligible; I suspect his usual haggling technique was hampered by the presence of the town guard and many witnesses.

Then came more news of disappearances: Four men and two children. Six in all then, a coincidence that we found six devices? As usual no one saw anything, no clues of any sort. We decided that we would make a stand that evening, clearing the streets and using the guards to form a perimeter, whilst we remained in the tavern at the centre of things. We also sent a rider for help from the Baron. Don’t suppose we’ll ever see him again.

We explained to the local yokelry, sorry yeomanry the capabilities of our foes, by the simple expedient of me discharging my shotgun into a pig carcass. I’m not sure how motivated this made them as they all seemed pretty pale after seeing this, but we wanted to impress on them how dangerous the enemy’s weaponry was. As Vizral pithily put it, our chief weapons* were ‘Concealment, cover, surprise and ruthlessness’, and for once he was probably right.

*Spanish inquisition joke detector armed

We worked out a password in case of accidents, warned the guard that the hostiles would have foreign accents and settled down for the night. We were ready for anything… Well perhaps Vizral was less ready…I awoke soon after dawn, and was disturbed to find Vizral whom we had left on guard deeply asleep. Still no harm done, the night had passed without incident.

Except on investigation we discovered that all 20 plus guardsmen had vanished. Without a trace. With no alarm raised. With no sign of any struggle. We were all very upset and explained so to Vizral who seemed unabashed. Bracknell was frightened and needed some severe pull yourself together treatment from the good Reverend. It was agreed that the disappearance of the guard would not be made known, if asked they were ‘on manoeuvres.’

Vizral, less concerned than anyone wondered off to Solomon’s the druggist, where we subsequently learned he extorted some free medicine for his continuing headache. He certainly had perked up the next time we saw him, rosy cheeked and jogging round the square. We then visited the blacksmith to find his premises broken in to. He was hard at work fixing the broken door hinge.

His workshop had been smashed up and the devices left with him had disappeared. He was just relieved that the church spire he had been working on had been left undamaged. We quizzed him about the devices as Vizral had discovered that the smith had sold Solomon the one in Solomon’s shop, but he provided an innocent enough explanation, though Vizral never seems satisfied by any answer to his questioning.

We decided to return to the architect, now the possessor of the only device in town as he still had the one he used as a model for his sketch diagram. The good Reverend knocked and we entered his yurt without waiting for a response. Imagine our surprise to find that he was not alone. His guests were four armed dark skinned foreigners wearing the same odd garb as the corpses we had recently delivered to friend Bracknell.

One of the foreign gentlemen was standing behind the Architeer with a pistol none too subtly held against his head. There was only one response: Like lightning our leader acted. Decisively, unhesitatingly; taking immediate total command:

‘Hello?’

Well, faced with such a devastating attack the hostiles demonstrated why I am using that adjective and opened fire on our cleric. He returned fire with his shotgun but missed, Vizral, following our priest in promptly pulled his pistol and shot the guy who had fired through the left eye, spraying the architect with pieces of brain matter, blood and various ocular humours. Failing to see the humour of the situation, the architect fainted.

The three others who had been facing away from the door now turned and opened fire with a revolver and two shotguns, missing all three of us, I fired my fancy new shotgun, killing another. Embalis dived for cover and Vizral charged forward, grabbing one guy’s shotgun with his left hand, whilst pumping a round into his stomach at point blank range, as both fell to the floor.

A further exchange of fire saw misses from everyone except Vizral, but his shot bounced off the armour plate on the survivor’s chest with no result. Embalis now deployed his main weapon again, calling on the cornered man to surrender. An uneasy truce descended though weapons remained ready. The Rev quizzed the man, promising him safe passage for his co-operation, and he applied a strange looking mesh bandage to his fallen comrade whilst Vizral made his best glowering face.

Under questioning he said he was a slaver, and had come from a ship. Probably exaggerating, he said that he had many associates back on this ship. He was not exactly bright, he seemed to know that they had some way of hypnotising people but did not know how it was done. He said the devices were cameras,* devices that enabled him and his friends to watch people so they could take what he described as ‘surplus’ people. He offered to take us to the ship if we would get his friend on a cart but at this point the discussion deteriorated when he shot Vizral.

*Or Chimeras as Vizral took to calling them

To be fair Vizral had been standing there at his most menacing and clearly was mentally checking through methods of killing this guy, he really should not play poker. Embalis struck out with his staff and Vizral drew his sword. There was a brief struggle and with a couple of thrusts Vizral despatched our new friend. He then ripped the bandage off the unconscious wounded guy and used his sword to open the guts of the freshest corpse ’to check if they are human inside’ apparently. Finally he cut off their heads, although he didn’t explain why he did that.

For the record they did appear human inside, but some of their skin colouration was odd, one was almost purple in places. We shared out the spoils including the shotguns and some more coin though theoretically this is the Baron’s bounty. The Rev tied up badly wounded guy and Bracknell appeared, as ever deploying his shocked face.

We took the wounded man to Solomon’s but despite his ministrations the man died in short order after some healing herbs failed to do the trick. The priest cheered up Solomon by paying him for Vizral’s ‘donated’ potion. Vizral was liberally knocking back hot beverages with healing herbs but seemed highly erratic, at times very energetic and limber, at other times wincing in spasms of pain. He seemed to have a love hate relationship with Solomon, with an emphasis on hate to be honest.

We puzzled over the slaver’s story – no one knew of any bodies of water that could support a ship anywhere nearby. We concluded it may be some kind of giant land ship, but where would you hide it? I suggested perhaps it was invisible, Vizral was all for an underground ship burrowing unseen below us.

Solomon theorised that some sort of airborne smell might drug kidnap victims, we concluded that the slavers must be based nearby, perhaps taking their prisoners off to a more distant ship but with some sort of local hideout, perhaps where they used their spy equipment. We decide to take a look around the perimeter of the town to search for any concealed hideout and split up, taking the nervous Bracknell with us to make up two pairs.

We discovered a small secluded cave near town and waited until all four of us were back together before deciding to check it out. After nipping back to town for some torches we entered cautiously. Advancing with weapons ready a foreign accented voice suddenly challenged us, asking why we had been so long. The Rev bless him mumbled something back about having brought the priest, doing his best foreign accent and trying desperately to mimic the guy we had interrogated earlier.

The response puzzled our unseen quarry who comments that the priest was marked for cutting up, obviously their boss follows the same school of thought as our unpleasant accomplice in such matters. The unseen speaker did not sound worried or particularly alert, clearly these guys were very confident in their position here and with good reason based on events up to now.

A pair of lights snapped on illuminating the passage ahead of us and we could hear an odd rumbling hum. The Rev asked for a hand and at last a man emerged, he’s wearing a pair of the odd goggles we have seen before and the same odd mixture of clothing. He seemed to be having difficulty seeing despite having stepped right into the light, and this bought us some valuable seconds advantage.

I tried to drill him with my crossbow but the shot went wide and Embalis flailed wildly and unsuccessfully with his staff, he’s not really cut out for this sort of thing to be fair, only really at home in the pulpit I guess. Vizral smacked the guy over the head with his sword pommel, but he failed to go down so got a second smack for his trouble. This one was accompanied by a horrible cracking noise as his skull was caved in and he fell and lay very still. Vizral looked very sheepish claiming, possibly plausibly, that he was only trying to knock the guy out.

He then checked out the cavern for more slavers but the dead man turns out to have been alone. Another possible source of information snuffed out by our resident thug. The source of the noise is a huge floating metal machine, and when I say floating I mean in the air. Is this the ship? An air ship? Pulling on various handles, sections open up and out like some sort of fancy spring loaded doors revealing seating and storage compartments inside. The ship is also the source of the powerful spotlights.

A few minutes experimenting and I was able to establish the function of most of the controls inside, admittedly I managed to crash into the walls a couple of times, but soon I could switch the lights on and off and was master of the ventilation system. I flew the ship out of the cave somewhat shakily and we gathered up more loot including around a hundred coins. The odd goggles did indeed allow night vision, though it only shows black and white until you look at a person, who glows brightly like some sort of spectre.

We decided that this find should be taken to the baron himself and we flew at incredible speeds back to the Baron’s castle in just a few hours, I would say three times faster than an inexhaustible galloping horse. I was slightly disappointed to find we could not reach an altitude of more than about six feet but wow! The Rev sensibly goes ahead to rouse the Baron rather than just arrive in a magical flying chariot. The Baron is amazed and delighted at our find as is Archibald they are aware of other worlds and speak of many strange wonders that may be the source of the slavers and their ship. The Baron determines he must be taken immediately to the world port, as there is nothing he or his forces can do against foreign slavers.

So we are off on another adventure, the Baron himself sitting beside me as I grow in confidence in operating the ships controls. As a woman I expect I have more affinity for the multi-tasking required and a skill set that suits me for such a task.* Vizral is in his rightful place, the luggage compartment and Bracknell remains at the Baronial castle. We are off to meet no less than the Duke himself.

*We’ll soon learn differently if past form is anything to go by!


24.2.19
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