An explosion engulfs my feet and sends me flying into the trees behind me. Another fireball flies from the brush ahead and explodes in the treetops. Fire melts the snow away in an instant and begins to leap from leaf to branch. Ash and powdered snow fill the air. Our adversaries still lurk in the shadows. Vahnikopa and Gailyn jump in different directions, avoiding the blast of flames. Jeth clumsily leaps forward to the avoid the explosion, but now he lays belly down in the cold snow, waiting for the enemy to attack. In the distance brush, a mage glows in the dark, readying another spell to toss. In the trees to my right, I see a half-elf with a bow eyeing Gailyn. Finally, from our flanks, two humans rush forward with swords. Jeth reacts first by filling the air with a boisterous song. Of all the time to blow a tune, he chooses the midst of the melee to do so. The melody of his tune dances around in the frozen night air. My fatigue fades, and my senses sharpen.
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“Dwinger!” Gailyn shakes me. “Are you okay? Dwinger, wake up!” “Aye, lass, I’m awake.” My eyes break open, and the bright sun shimmers off the snow, forcing me awake. As the snow covers me, I lay right outside of the little cabin, and the black lake silently waits nearby. I don’t know when I have fallen asleep, and the dream or hallucination or whatever last night may be something sinister or mere delirium. “How are ye two?” I stand up and look around. “We’re fine. You should’ve woken up Vahn for the second shift, but instead you pass out in the snow like a drunkard!” “Do either of ye felt something last night?” “What do you mean, Dwinger?” Vahnikopa reaches from behind and pats me on the shoulder. “Did something happen last night?” “Nothing. I must be cleaning cobwebs in me sleep.” “Well… Gailyn and I feel rested. Mayhap we can continue onward to find a town not crawling with cannibals.” “Right ye are, greenskin.” I g
In the exact moment of approaching danger, instinct tends to kick in, but a good leader knows calculated tactics to keep his dear companions alive. This is not the first nor will it be the last of any ambush while we’re sleeping, but something about this seems off. Normal rouges and rapscallions would at least try to be subtle with their approach like daggers in the dark, but these loud steps climb the stairs like a dinner bell at an orphanage. “Ambush!” I bellow with strong dwarven lungs; a shout that cracks the window. As no ordinary wake-up call, Vahnikopa and Gailyn know too well of my robust shouts. Vahnikopa jumps to his feet and readies himself to fight barehanded. Gailyn rolls awake, but her readiness lags. Her eyes refuse to open up as she crawls to her feet, nearly stumbling forward. Our adversaries dare not to wait for us to play dress up. The door violently flies open. Beyond the doorway, three pairs of eyes creep through the darkness, staring like
Frigid waters crash into the hull of the ship, sweeping across the deck and grazing the edge of my boots. Manlings scurry around in their furs and flames as they battle the waves of turbulent seas. The ever-circling twin moons pursue one another, leaving little room for the sun to rise in this black, northern brine. The cold air seeps through my blazing veins, not a sensation I like or know. The dense ocean and the icy air erase any form of noticeable life around us. After many months of scouring the lands for a good crew and ship, we end up in a seaworthy shit-house. We didn’t have many choices on the matter since we're all just catching moths in our purses; however, ill-fated poverty did not accompany us alone. A stout will, a strong arm, and dexterous digits counter any form of misplaced gold. Always on a never-ending quest of gold or fame; at least, that’s what I’m in this for and for which I created this group. Dwarven leadership and tactical knowledge make me the