Scales of War

Musings of a Murderous Mind pt 3
To be in a blood slip n' slide.

The thoughts of monks seep into my skin, stuck on my hide in crusted bits. So many skulls spilled, many dreams to drink I hear all of them. On the floor, on the wall, on me. They ask me, they yell, they boil. I answer you. I will boil them too, I will chew on their ribs, like you ask, for I am all. I hold and eat all, I will gain your power, they took it from you, I will take it from them. I know you want your strength somewhere better. I will eat it for myself, you and I will be sated. Blood speaks, I hear with my teeth. We will laugh together.

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Madmartigan's Most Intimate Private Thoughts: Keep Out!
Pages 6 & 7

Damn. Might have been a little hasty with that “We’re gonna save all the dwarves!” stuff. Fucking green skins beat us there by hours and slaughtered them all. The Men & I made them pay dearly, with their lives. Plus, the Wolf Company dicks all got their asses killed, so guess we’re the better company after all. Now who looks like a smug asshole?

We did manage to save one dwarf, Kalad, from Og, the green skin leader, or something. I don’t know. Kalad explained it all, but I wasn’t really listening because I was too busy marvelling the fact that I had dragged one of those orc bastards into the fire and held him down while we burned together. That’s right, motherfuckes, I’m bad.

Next thing I know we’re faced with a hallway of nasty-looking golems and such. The rest of The Men just stood there, looking to me for leadership & inspiration (who can blame them) so what else could I do? I rushed headlong at the nearest death trap and smashed it to goddamned pieces! That got them rallied! Kage even managed to get some of the stuff turned off with some switch (the kid’s sharp), while I stood around getting shot, waiting for him & the Minnie to get their asses clear of the automated turrets. Leave no man behind, right? This leadership thing has it’s downsides, turns out.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the doors of that Gauntlet of Demise was the boiler room we had been heading for, full of green skins and other nasties already eating them. It was a tough fight, but we kicked all kinds of ass (of course). We scoured the area surrounding the boiler room and found a big smelly troll pissing on an altar to Moradin. I ran him through and pulled my blade out before his nasty skin could seal up around it, while the rest of the men laid into the trolls’ keepers. That’s where we found Wolf Company (or what remained of them).

We’re just catching our breath before we head on for the control room so we can fill these tunnels with boiling water and make some green skin soup.

I think Kage is talking to himself in the other room. Bright kid, but a little off…

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3rd Message to Glasrael

" Yeah, I’ll catch up in a minute!" Kage shouted as the rest of the party left the shrine. Kage quickly knelt down in front of the dismembered body of the dead mercenary. He wrote the name of Glasrael in the former competitions blood and it suddenly flared to life. In a blast of black fire the devil Glasrael appeared.
“Oh, it’s you.” Glasrael said with a note of disappointment in his voice.
“Hey boss!” said Kage, grinning like an idiot “I had a favor to ask.”
“Did you?” said Glasrael dryly as he glanced around. “Are we in a shrine to Moridan?” Kage nodded enthusiastically as Glasrael surveyed the carnage. His spirits seem to lift. “Oh Kage, you desecrated a shrine for me! How wonderful!”
“Hmmmm? All this? No I didn’t do this. Orcs did. See?” Kage said as he pointed at the sign of Grummsh drawn in blood on the wall.
“Orcs?” Glasrael asked
“Yeah see, orcs are invading Bordins Watch so they can take over the Vale.”
“And you’re helping them?” Glasrael sound very excited. " That’s genius Kage! It will be all out war. During times of mass conflict people become desperate and make deals that they would never make during a time of peace." Glasraels eyes became distant and his mouth perked up into a chilling smile.
“Yeah, it’s a good thing we’re helping and are gonna defeat the orcs!” said Kage, looking very proud of himself. Glasrael snapped out of his momentary day dream.
“Stop the….? But…?” Glasraels shoulders slumped. “Oh right, for a moment I forgot whom I was talking to.”
“Boss, how could you forget!? I’m the amazing hero Kage, the Black, musician extraordinaire. One of the Lord’s of Madmartigan’s Manse Victorious, and second-in-command of Madmartigan’s Men! Soon to be hero of the entire Elsir Vale!” Kage threw a fist into the air in triumph while Glasrael stared at him in dismay.
“Are you done?” Glasrael ask with a note of sadness in his voice.
“What? Oh, no, I had a favor to ask in exchange for this sacrifice of all these orcs.”
“What’s that?”
“I was hoping I could get some help with information. Like maybe a direct channel to you so whenever I need to know stuff I can just ask yo….”
“No, I’ll do one better.” Glasrael spoke quickly, cutting Kage off. “Give me your hand.”
Kage looked confused but held his hand out palm up. Glasrael grabbed his hand and cut the palm with one of his talons. Kage winced as blood welled up. Glasrael spoke a word of power and in a flash of hell fire a small imp appeared in Kages hand holding a golden chalice of flame and a iron bond book. " There, an imp servitor. He knows a lot, so you can ask him things. Also he’s sneaky. Oh, and he can communicate with me directly," the imp looked up at Glasrael with a very confused look on its face. “so you don’t need to contact me anymore.” Glasrael smiled “Happy?” Kages eyes grew wide and his jaw dropped. He looked up a Glasrael with pure excitement on his face.
“This.” he began. “Is. AWESOME!!!! I have my own IMP! No one else does! Thank you boss!”
“You’re welcome, I’m going to leave now. Have fun.” And like that, Glasrael vanished. Kage looked down at the imp whose face held a mix of confusion and apprehension.
" All right little guy! You’re with me now! And I’m gonna call you……Dio!"
The Imp let out a sigh of worry.

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Madmartigan's Most Intimate Private Thoughts: Keep Out!
Page 5

Hey there, baby.

So here’s what’s going on: Some bad shit is going down out at Bordrin’s Watch and the call went out for all crazy bad-ass heroes to come kill some orcs. Of course Madmartigan’s men responded instantly. On the way, we found a caravan that had been completely bashed. We picked over the bones (we’re heroes, not saints) and found a complex lock box. The dainty bent down in front of it to play with the lock, but I pushed him out of the way and said “Let daddy do his thing.” This may have not been the best choice of words.

Anyway, I popped out a dagger and popped that box open faster than a farmers daughter with a few pints in her. The box was full of gold, total score. Also there was a scroll with some sinister tidings on it. We saved that and finished our trip.

Once in the city we started making friends, deciding if we were going to go at the fellas who were trying to overthrough the city in public, it would be good to have some pals at our back. Me & Rocky went out and shook some information loose. The rest of the gang did some other things that were a lot more boring. Long story short, we got the info that we needed and setup a meeting with Ulysses Conrad. By setup a meeting, I mean we walked in, said who we were and insisted upon seeing him. He was nervous (understandable, considering our killer reputation) so I left my sword on his desk, took Kage with me as my “scribe” (that kid’s quick) and had a little chat, bro to bro. We hashed things out and he agreed to back us after the whole orc horde thing is cleared up, in exchange for the letter. Deal.

The big meeting at High Hall was the next day. One of the Elder’s said he needed a special company for a special task, so I stood right up, knowing he was talking about us. The Minnie told me later that some other fella was giving me the stink eye. Guess I was to busy being stone cold to notice.

We got assigned the big job, saving all the dwarvers in the monastery. We’re getting ready to leave in a few minutes. I’m completely confidant that we will rescue every last one of those beardy bastards. You heard it here firs

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Madmartigan's Most Intimate Private Thoughts: Keep Out!
Page 4

Hey good lookin’.
It’s been awhile, and I’m sorry for that. You know you’re the most important thing to me. Let me catch you up:
The “guys” and I cleaned out Rivenroar, or what used to be called Rivenroar. We found the ugly bastard trying to revive the Red Hand, cut him down with frightening efficiency. My little group of freaks really is coming together nicely as a fighting force. I’m sure it’s mostly because I’m leading, but they are all rather skilled.
We nixed the old undying king and his gaggle of skeletal fellows as well. Then we set about cleaning up the place. No easy feat, that. Luckily the townsfolk were so grateful to us from saving them from another Red Hand of Doom resurgence that Kage & I silver-tongued a bunch of them into pitching in (and I tongued a few of the ladies in a classical sense as well, if you catch my meaning).
Things aren’t done yet, but Madmartigan’s Manse Victorious is coming along nicely. I didn’t want to call it that, but the big dog squeezed some poor creatures guts and said that was the name. Who am I to argue my impressive glory?
It’s been a few weeks since then, and just as I started to feel tedium pulling me down we got the call: bad ass adventures needed in Overlook to help the Watch repel a whole field of ugly. Sounds like just the thing for Madmartigan’s Men!
If I were a smarter man, I might wonder what is motivating such an immense horde of orcs so shortly after an attempt to raise the Red Hand. Good thing I do all my thinking with swords.

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Musings of a Murderous Mind pt 2

There was a crowned man, he had bled long ago. I make him bleed his black now he is hollow. He took his face off, I was surprised, it was not good. Weird when I don’t do it to him. There were lots of bone things in the room, they don’t stay dead. They gave everyone a hard time, they hurt Tzolek bad. I took crowned man’s ribs and split them open, the musk of his centuries filled my lungs, his victories gave me whispers. I ate the thoughts and left the skin.

Madman think he has castle, hyehehehehaaheehee. He funny. Ithyk name castle instead but funny Madman talks and makes me think of more. I tired of listening. I read the guts tomorrow, they will tell me the name and it will leave my tongue and it will burn all thoughts. Heyeha ahyeheheh.

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A Barbarian's musings part 2

My time spent being untouched in battle has come to an end, and I am grateful for it. I have started taking the lead with Ithyk to give the crazed human a break. I’ve never seen a human endure such punishment, and he still puts himself willingly in harms way. His spirit is admirable and I am glad to have him along with us. The two humans are my favorite new additions to our group.

The musician’s ability to inspire has made me more effective in combat than I’ve ever been before. His offering of a soul to his master makes me uncomfortable, along with his ability to transform. He doesn’t make me nearly as uncomfortable as the walking suit of armor and watching him explode and reform.

The minotaur’s clumsiness almost got him killed when he couldn’t even hold onto rope to cross a gap we encountered. The crazed human crossed with some style, much to my amusement. We have had several fights with the monsters that live in the castle. All but one of them we won easily, that one almost killed us all. The undead were so cold that just being near them drained our strength. Several of our companions had fallen and one of the creatures and it’s leader were what remained. I barely had the strength to stand and knew I couldn’t make it to the leader, so I put all my remaining energy into a throw of my sword. My gamble paid off as it struck her in the head, killing her. The look of surprise on her face reinvigorated me and I was able to stay standing as the last was defeated.

We are all exhausted from our travels and are in dire need of a rest but the group wants to continue on to find the last surviving villager. I care little either way for the villagers fate but I look forward to the challenge of fighting our enemies while pushing ourselves to our limits.

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Madmartigan's Most Intimate Private Thoughts: Keep Out!
Pages 2-3

Hey sweet thing.
Been a tough day. We’re at this Castle Rivenroar joint, fighting ten days worth of bad in less than one. Rescued some of the villagers, at least. Should help my legend grow in town. Free booze & loose women is all the reward I desire.
This gang of freaks I’m with are zany, to say the least. The talking animal, Ithyk, is as much of a beast in a fight as he looks. Just between you & I he’s saved my precious rear a few times now.
Kage is a constant source of amusement and a damn impressive musician, not that I’d tell him that to his face.
The dainty has been shooting me some funny looks. I don’t understand why a man wouldn’t want to be with women, but I don’t mind. More women for me, after all. I just don’t know how to tell the poor little guy that I’m not funny like that.
The armored fellow is actually some kind of ghost armor. Yeah, I don’t get it either.
So, we found some dragony things and a once-living she-bitch. I put them all down without a problem, of course. She-bitch seemed like she might have been hot once upon a time.
Oh, I found this sweet new necklace under a loose stone I fell on when I, uh, tripped in the last fight.
OK, just need to lay down for a second before we charge upstairs for more ass-kickery. Sorry about the blood…

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2nd Message to Glasrael

The ashes of the Nine Hells parted and Glasrael looked around.
“You’re here!” whispered Kage.
“Unfortunately.” growled Glasrael as he glanced about. “And, by the way, where is here?” Kage began waving his hands erratically.
SHHHHHH! My friends will hear you!”
" What?! They’re here?!" Glasrael’s talons extended as he looked around.
" They’re in the other room. I told them I had to pee."Said Kage proudly.
" Oh, well then what is it. I already gave you an enormous amount of knowledge for that Goblin soul. What else could you want? And where are we?!"
" Oh." said Kage as if reality had finally caught up to his brain. " We’re in the castle of Rivenroar. We’ve come to save people." A comical grin spread across Kage’s face.
" Save people? why are you doing that?" Glasrael asked, truly perplexed. Kage looked at him blankly as if Glasrael had just asking him the meaning of life. After blinking three times he answered.
" Cause that’s what heroes do." Glasrael winced and began rubbing his temples.
" Is that why you called me?" He asked sounding rather defeated.
" No, I wanted to show you what I’ve found while we were saving people,, which, by the way me and my allies are very good at. You should have seen the heroics! That awesome guy, Madmartigan, he just keeps taking hit after hit. Then the weird armored guy flew apart! Turns out he’s dead. I guess he’s possessing the armor bits or something. It’s pretty wild, oh, and using my magnificent music I have turned that guy Tzolyk into a real weapon. But the most amazing thing was when we fought the old, dead, lady of the castle. I mean this bitch was really tough, and wicked crazy but, as the amazing Ithyk was struck down, he hurled his axe into the dead girls head! it was amazing! Also I’m glad I have that minotaur Eudelon back me up cause these guys keep getting really hurt. Him and his ghost bear have been helping out a lot, and the elf, Thanoril, is a monster in battle, but I think he keeps checking out Madmartigan. I mean I get it, he’s amazing, but I’m here too. maybe he’s prejudiced against tieflings, or maybe…"
KAGE!!!” Glasrael shouted " WHY DID YOU CALL ME!?!" Again Kage blink at Glasrael looking truly dumbfounded.
" Oh, right." He began. " I found this!!!" Kage held out a magnificent looking Bouzouki. “This is totally proof that coming here was my destiny. Look at the quality! I deserve a instrument like this! And I’m going to call it….” Glasrael began shaking he head knowing he was about to be underwhelmed. “…….Monster Mash!!!!”

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To the Temple of the Enduring Mountain, from Thanoril Elseweyr - Third Letter

Master Ardax,

As I write this, we are still within the walls of Castle Rivenroar. I think writing these letters while we are in here is comforting. It helps me find peace between the horrible battles we face. The last battle in particular was horrible. I believe the undead she-devil we just fought was once part of the noble family that lived here. It is hard to say of course, but the command she held over the other undead in her presence makes me suspect she might have once been the Lady of the house.

At this point we have rescued three of the missing townsfolk. Mirtala, Zerriksa, and Adronsius are all safe. Unfortunately, the two named Kartenix and Pete had already been violently slain by the vile, twisted souls occupying this dark place. We are resting for a few moments before heading upstairs to try and save a priestess named Jalissa and a boy named Thurann, who is the son of Kartenix.

Master, I do not know how much battle you have seen outside the walls of the temple, but I must say, I am bewildered by the fighting techniques of my compatriots. The one among us who remains quiet most of the time, and hides himself within his suit of armor, has the ability to burst apart into a vortex of chunks of light. He can move about like this freely and of his own will. And they tell me that while I was recovering from my wounds, Tzolek hurled his sword through the air and somehow managed to strike the undead mistress in the head.

They have little grace, Master, and yet they are effective. Madmartigan is perhaps most perplexing of them all. To look at him, you would suspect him nothing but a drunk lout with a quick temper. And while he IS a drunk lout with a quick temper, he is actually a very capable warrior as well.

I hope to be able to send this letter to you, Master. I must admit, the last battle has rattled me a bit. I will not forget my training, though: “Strength of the mountain, focus of the mind. My will is like stone.”

Thanoril Elseweyr

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