He gasped and stepped back.
Darkion Dane was disappointed. His red sword of
Duma was barely wetted with the blood of three hellspawn and a snow beast.
He had hoped to come across a winge of Nibliks or at least a Tolas by
"Pathetic" he muttered despondently as he wiped his blade with an oiled
cloth. He shifted in the saddle of his etucheon steed, looking back at his
hunting party as they made their slow progress up the snow covered incline
of the trail.
-Why in the name of Borc did I have to bring them along?- He thought to
himself, as he glowered at the courtiers.
Upon returning from Fenriersbad, (the land west of Spoon Isle) from a three
puttock sojourn he had found Belltown had been swamped with diplomats and
courtiers trying to gain trading rights, treaties and so on. His advisor
Flavus, who in a fit of madness he had left in sole charge of his duchy,
had invited them. As it was bad form to kill or even mistreat guests, even
unwanted ones he was forced to endure them. Dane had to content himself
with killing his advisor, to vent his annoyance.
Upon meeting them ten days ago he had discovered that the half that weren't
bloodthirsty imbeciles turned out to be a bunch of fops and toadies who
needed a manservant to instruct them on how to use the garderobe each
Frankly he had had as much as he could take, if anyone said "hey nonny
nonny!" to him once more… well he wouldn't be responsible for his actions.
Dane watched disapprovingly as they drove their weary etucheons up the
slope with curses and lashes from cronewhips.
-Ah well, it isn't a proper hunt without fatalities, hopefully a couple of
them will fall foal of a snow beast 'fore the day is through- Cheered by
this thought Dane urged his etucheon up the snow covered pass towards his
manservant Grimpin, who had dismounted next to the latest kill. The
machina-beast's wide splayed feet prevented it from sinking into the snow.
Dane congratulated himself on the fine breeding of this specimen as it tore
up the icy slope, its two well-muscled legs pumping rhythmically and steam
venting from it's backside. -Just the right mix of construct and animal for
top efficiency.- As he closed the gap Dane hurled back on the rains,
pulling the etucheon's wedge shaped head back and bringing it to a halt in
a flurry of snow beside his servant. Grimpin looked up from were he was
collecting the meat from the unfortunate snowbeast's corpse.
"How goes it Grimpin?"
"Of the goodings, sir… " Grimpin started to sling sacks of meat onto the
shrebberidder carrying the servants and the minstrels. The flung sacks
landed neatly onto the cargo slot behind the crubbin.
"But, lo! Look yonder, sir. Smoke!"
"Sooth!" Dane exclaimed as he spotted wisps of grey coming from further up
"Poachers perchance! Damn their eyes!"
"Mayhap, sir" Grimpin responded, climbing onto the crubbin on the kneeling
"Well I'll learn them!" Dane kicked his steed into action. "ride back and
tell the others to follow." He shouted over his shoulder. He did not have
to travel far. A wheel further on and the pass opened out into a wide
plateau covered in sparse firtrees. The smoke was emanating from a small
cave set in the shear wall of the mountainside. Close by two shrebberidders
steamed in the frigid air. Dane leapt vigorously of his etucheon with a
wild yell, brandishing his red blade and trailing blue lighting, then
promptly sank to his armpits in a drift. Muttering curses he tried to force
his way through the tight packed snow. After realising that he was making
little or no headway, he raised his arms and focused. As he brought his
arms down a crackling nimbus of red lightning enveloped him. The snow
hissed and steamed as he strode through it. Pausing at the cave entrance to
dismiss his summoning, Dane smelled the distinct sickly stench of
"What goes on here?" he wondered stepping past the cloth entrance and into
the cave. The crimson irises of Danes eyes seemed to piece the fog inside
the cave. Through the fumes he could make out four dead men-imperial
assassins by the look of them- and three men and a woman who were overcome
with Favros poisoning. Working quickly he dragged them from the cave two at
a time and set about reviving them. He grabbed a handful of snow and begun
to thrust it vigorously up the nostril of the most sickly looking of the
men. The man's nose suddenly gave with an unpleasant crunch. "Bloody
Satus!" Dane exclaimed recoiling in horror. What are these people!
The hunting party arrived just as he was trying to mould the nose back into
shape. He stood up guiltily and gestured at the recumbent people.
"They've been drugged!" he stated. His troop dismounted and crowded round.
"Best get them to the lodge soonest" said Grimpin, peeling back Twado's
eyelid and peering at his eyes.
" I say leave 'em" brayed lord Crayfondle, diplomat from Blaneka, as he
stroked his chin. Or rather the general area on his face where