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Combat Chaos - Story 4
D&D - Combat Chaos, Fantasy Stories of Battle

Story 4



Tannin turned his head from the morbid scene displayed in front of him. His whole life had changed in these past few seconds since he had entered his home. In front of him lay his dead wife and daughter, brutally murdered and raped. A puddle of gore layered the floor on which he stood. The elf closed his eyes as he wept softly, there was nothing left anymore.

It had been that very morning that Tannin had last seen his beautiful daughter and wife, alive. He had left for the day to go hunting. Kissing his wife and daughter good-bye, he had set off, telling them he would return within a few short hours. The attack must have came sometime during the afternoon, but why? What sick men were capable of such a vile act of insanity?

Tannin felt his legs become weak as he turned his head to let his guts out. It was possible that had he arrived home on time, he would have been able to prevent this from happening. Tannin wept more as the pyre burned a bright red-orange. He held on tightly to the blonde lock of hair he had cut from his wife's head before he cremated her, his daughter and his unborn child. What kind of twisted menace had destroyed Tannin's second fatherhood and everything else he had spend his life aching. The elf clutched the lock of hair tightly as he brought it up to his tear streaked face. He could still smell the lilly's his wife decorated her hair with.

He unsheathed his knife from his boot as the fire continued to burn. Raising the knife, he wrapped his left hand tightly about the blade. In a fluid motion, he pulled the blade away with his right hand. Dark blood flowed from the open wound in his left palm. The elf crouched down, put his bloodied fist to his forehead and spoke for the first time in hours. "I swear, I will kill the man who did this..." He had gathered everything he needed. His longbow, twenty arrows, a long and short sword, two daggers and his dark green cloak he wore while hunting.

Tannin moved over to the house, searching the ground for something. After combing the area, he found what he was looking for. Dropping into a crouch, the elf studied the tracks. There appeared to be more than one person, but they had traveled in single file to hide their numbers. Jumping up, the elf darted off into the bushes after the tracks. It was dark and Tannin had been traveling for much of the day, in hot pursuit of his wife's killers. He pierced the thick blanket of night with his infravision, greatly increasing the pace he traveled through the forest.

Tannin was certain the men he pursued were not dwarves, the tracks were not the right size. Halflings were out of the question. The only other possibilities were elves, which he highly doubted, or humans. If it was humans like he suspected, he would be reaching them very soon, for they could not travel in the dark. Just then, the elf smelled the smoke from a camp fire, he was not far now. Within moments, the elf could see the light from the fire. He dropped into a low crouch, so as not to be seen. There were four of them, two sleeping by the fire and two on patrol... all humans. This would be easier than he thought. The guards weren't paying much attention to what was going on, and there was tall grass surrounding the area, so he could move about without being seen.

The first patrolman was moving a little closer to Tannin's position. The elf un-slung his longbow and notched an arrow. He brought his sites up to the humans head, taking careful aim. Making a quiet bird call, the elf prepared to unleash the arrow. The guard heard a bird call out, but knowing that such birds were not usually in the habit of calling out at night, he turned his head to the source of the noise. An arrow struck him right in the eye, tearing through his cranium and piercing through the back of his skull before stopping.

Before the man could fall, Tannin was beside him, cushioning the body to prevent it from falling too heavily. He gently lowered his victim to the ground. Crouching as low as he could, yet still moving swiftly, the elf darted among the grass, making his way to the other perimeter guard He was almost there when he stepped on a twig and snapped it. The guard spun around and saw a figure crouching in the grass. Quickly scanning the area, he didn't see his partner anywhere. Realizing this was not an ally, the man fumbled for his sword. Tannin quickly unsheathed his dagger from his boot and hurled it at his panicking opponent. The man managed to get a bit of a scream off before the dagger buried itself into his neck, right up to the hilt of the blade.

Again, Tannin was next to him easing his fall so he would not make anymore noise that he already did. Blood bubbled at the man's mouth as he struggled to make noise, his voicebox now completely destroyed. Tannin pulled his dagger from the guards neck, wiped it clean and sheathed it into his boot. Blood flowed freely and quickly from the open neck wound. The man tried to stanch the flow of blood with his hands, but his life was quickly fading.

Looking up, Tannin noticed the commotion had disturbed one of the sleeping men. He was up and had his sword ready. He kicked the other sleeping man in the ribs to rouse him. Tannin quickly brought his bow around and notched another arrow. Wasting no time, he fired as soon as he was ready. The arrow sped forth and sunk deep into the man's chest. He fell to the ground with a loud thud. The waking man quickly realized the danger, and fumbled for a nearby shield. He managed to get it up in front of him before the hailstorm of arrows came.

Arrow after arrow thudded into the shield. The man began to think there might be two or three attackers. One of the arrows went deep into the shield and came through the other side, stabbing into his arm. He flung the shield up in pain. Lucky for him, that was Tannin's last arrow. With the last arrow fired, Tannin ditched his longbow and empty quiver. Standing, he drew his long sword with his right hand, and his short sword with his left. He saw the human getting ready to make a pitiful defense, picking up two heavy maces. The elf continued moving forward, walking at a fast pace towards the man.

When he got decently close, he stopped. "What is your name human?" he asked. "Holton, the last man you'll ever see, elf." Sneered the human. "I will see to it, Holton, that you and your men are forever recognized in your death as murderers and rapists." Holton looked at Tannin, puzzled at first. Then he smiled, "I'll send you to meet them, elf." With that, they ran at each other. Holton swung to take Tannin's head off, but Tannin ducked and slashed his sword across Holtons leg. The man screamed, but still continued.

Tannin's blade flashed red in the firelight as he brought it in for another attack. Holton swung at Tannin at the same time, forcing the elf to give up his attack and move back. The elf feigned an attack with his long sword, then stabbed upward with his short. The small blade spliced open the tender skin on Holton's arm, forcing him to drop a mace. Tannin continued with the momentum of his previous attack, he twirled around and let his long sword run the length of Holton's belly, spilling the intestines.

With his empty hand, Holton tried to hold his guts inside at his own belly. At the same time, he hopelessly swung his mace at the agile elf, who dodged every attack with ease. Tannin moved in for small attacks, making a cut here, a slice there. His blade flashed again as he cut the tendons on the back of the humans knee, forcing him to the ground.

The elf moved around to the back of Holton, dropping his short sword. He took a moment to breath, then raised his blade into the air. "May your soul burn forever within the endless passages of the Abyss!" An arc of blood hit the rocks surrounding the fire, sizzling from the heat.

By: Calvin Cockell

* Coat of Arms 1.2a
* Promisance
* World of Phaos 0.9.2
Is Magic Armor Lighter Than Standard Armor of the Same Type?
Yes indeed
No, never!
In 1E yes, in 2E no
Only for encumbrance
Of course it is
Not in my world
* And-Mag.com

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