This site is an online accumulation of the Post Reports for my current ongoing D&D Campaign - for anyone who might be interested in reading them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Addon, Adv 4, Perton

The last book they found was called Perton's Cannon on Thanatelix - the Scourge of the Vermillion Guard. It told of the last of the Marron line during the waning days of the Ogrewars and was found with the other two books as well as the strange damascus bladed sword the party found called "Wyrmsteel Discordia".

Book follows:

Perton’s Cannon on Thanatelix – The Scourge of The Vermillion Guard

Bragi strike me dead and never to sing or drink again if a single word of this tale is proven to be false or misleading as these eyes did so witness first hand the death and eradication of the House of Marron to the last surviving person and the destruction of the Vermillion Guard bound to serve and protect the Steward and his people. I am Perton Fingersong and I served the House Marron as skald and troubadour and was there to see this accounting first hand and without influence.

* * *

The bog has grabbed the last wagon wheel and from the storm choked sky above we can hear the shrill roar and scream of the winging dragon as it draws closer. There is a ship awaiting us at the port in Eider if can but get there, but harried for three days by the Wyrm Thanatelix has sapped the strength and heart of the Steward Thandar Marron and his family and warriors.

* * *

The teamsters are not aiding the situation, their voices raised in shouts and angry cries of accusations that there should be another solution that what has befallen us – but it matters not. We are held good and fast in the clinging mud of the Eider Downs and now we must attempt to flee on foot.

* * *

Grimfest wants us to stand and fight. There is wisdom in his words, but the women and children in tow make any attempt at aggression against the Wyrm dangerous.

As the Steward said though, what choice do we really have?

* * *

I have never fired a bow, to say nothing of this crossbow they have given me, but they assure me that all I have to do is point it overhead and pull the trigger when the dragon wings closer.

I count seventy-three of us armed and ready – roughly half of them members of the Vermillion Guard – the elite warriors and bodyguards tasked to defending the Earl’s line and those of his family.

The other ninety-two who make up the non-fighting assortment of our retinue have sought shelter in the nearby thick cypress and swamp trees. The horses and oxen have been cut from their traces and are making their way to better land.

As for the treasures and belongings we thought we needed to take with us to the sea and ship and safety – it no longer seems to matter and sinks slowly in the foul waters of this stretch of Gehenna.

* * *

Sweet Bragi I’ve never felt such terror in me life. The Wyrm dove out of the clouds perhaps a hundred yards over our heads. Its shadow caressed me like a sheaf of ice, freezing my blood and terrorizing my mind. The beast was huge, larger than anything had a right to be. It’s scales were the color of storm tinged twilight and the rustling creak of its leather wings as it soared above assaulted my ears like heated pins.

A few of the men fired the weapons uselessly overhead but not a single shaft came close to striking the mark due to the extreme range and the dragon’s passing.

As for Thanatelix, he merely looked down on us as he winged over as if taking stock before rising back into the clouds with a shrieking roar.

* * *

The Wyrm dove at us and someone yelled to fire and I in my terror did so but knew that my own pitiful shaft wasn’t even pointing at the ferocious beast striking down like Mjolnir. Clothyard arrows and stout quarrels did rise like a cloud of hornets and hit against the Wyrm, bouncing away like toothpicks and pine needles for all the good they did.

The Wyrm arched his wings and arrested his fall just before striking the earth, his two rear claws slamming two different men into the mud, the talons piercing armor and flesh. And then he soared off again, leaving the broken men to fall back into the swamp a spear throw away – dead.

* * *

The Steward railed at the dragon but his cries had as much impact as if he hurled them at the sky.

* * *

Thanatelix struck again and this time his great jaw snatched up the upper half of a man and swallowed it in a single gulp. His wings snapped out and buffeted a half dozen others too close to his prodigious bulk.

Swords were drawn and the Vermillion Guard for all their credit and bravery did attack.

* * *

The clang of blade and axe and mace against the horny scales of the dragon will stay with me till the day I die, punctuated under the squelch of mud, the fall of rain, and the deafening roar of the incensed dragon. I do not know if the blows being done truly injured the great beast or annoyed him, but I too found some measure of courage and hoisted my own rapier over head and tried to ply it against the great lizard.

* * *

Thanatelix has the storm within him. He opened his jaws wide and belched forth a stream of fire tinged lightning that scoured across the marsh slaying a dozen fighters arrayed against him. The reek of burning bodies was horrific and the dragon ate another one of them that wandered too close to his fanged maw.

* * *

The Steward is dead. Thanatelix’s tail smashed the Earl’s brother against the bole of a tree, shattering his chest and crushing his internal organs. The Vermillion Guard tried to redouble their efforts and pierced the dragon flesh deep enough the draw forth some of the great beasts hissing blood.

But no blow could revive the fallen Steward who stared sightlessly up at the raining sky.

* * *

Thanatelix then turned his anger and fury on those still standing with claw and tooth and tail and breath of flaming storm powered lightning. The cries and shouts of men grew fewer and fewer. In my shame I remained crumpled in the mud where the Wyrm’s backhanded sweep had tossed me aside like a kitten to land with a broken arm and dazed senses.

* * *

From the hidden copse where the women and children and infirm were hiding, Yersibal, the Steward’s Arcanix hurled a globe of fire at the Wyrm. The fireball engulfed the dragon’s head and neck and made the beast howl. But the fire died against the thick scales and the dragon then launched itself skyward again only a short distance till it landed now amidst those who were unable to defend themselves.

* * *

The screaming was terrible. Women and children and the elderly all crying for succor. The Vermillion Guard, or at least the dozen and half remnants of it, ran to offer what aid they could but I could see it was going to be too little, too late.

The Steward’s own son was crushed under the dragon’s tail. The Earl’s younger sister was bitten in half. His half son was ground under the wyrm’s settling midsection.

* * *

The carnage was terrible and I cannot say how long it went on. I did spy Grimfest ramming his watery steel blade into the side of Thanatelix’s side just under the wing joint. The blade went deep, the magics on it still holding strong even against the Wyrm’s thick and resilient hide. For his own, I can say that Grimfest fought like a man possessed, not stopping his strikes on the dragon even after he took wounds that would have slain a lesser man.

But human flesh cannot withstand the same assault as dragonflesh and Thanatelix was able to bite Grimfest’s sword arm and weapon clean off at the elbow, spitting the offending appendage and weapon aside.

Grimfest fell at last and to my poor senses, I passed out unable to see anymore.

* * *

I awoke some time later to the wreckage caused by the Wyrm. It’s parting cry is what roused me from my slumber and I saw it winging back westward which I note now as odd, because it had come from the north originally.

I picked though the bodies and besides myself, there were three other survivors. None of the guard survived and the entirely of the Marron line has now been destroyed. Not that there is much of the duchy left. Ashes, mud, and dust.

We gathered what we could and scaring up a few of the still unslain horses we took what we were able to.

I took Grimfest’s blade and was filled with a resolve to give chase to the wyrm but I knew it was only to go to my death. His Discordia would need to be wielded by hands braver and more capable than my own before it could be plied in vengeance against dragonflesh again.

* * *

When we arrived at Eider it was to see the wharf ablaze and the ships that were to carry us to safety burned to the waterline.

Death came here. Death came from above.

* * *

And so passed the last of the Marron line and the Vermillion Guard who swore and oath to defend the House of Marron to the death. And that they did.

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