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Rise of the Lizard Men: Chapter One

 
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LordLegion



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Rise of the Lizard Men: Chapter One Reply with quote

Rise of the Lizard Men
By LordLegion (aka Foot)


Tanoc stood in the middle of his field surveying the damages. Everything was either gone or a smoking husk. He cursed himself for not having seen this coming as so many other farmers would be doing this day. The crop had been almost ready for harvest and the lord of the land was waiting for his tribute.

He stood there, looking around, as if by some miracle all his crops would magically reappear. The old farmer knew they would not. Who had done this? Who could come in and devastate an entire township’s crops right before the harvest leaving the populace not only to starve, but to face the rather of his Lordship?

Sudden Tanoc’s neighbor, Demietre, called out, “I found something!”

All the farmers rushed to Demietre’s plot and crowded around the young man. Before them all on the ground was a lone foot print. It was too small to be that of a man or woman and yet to large to be that of a child.

“Goblins,” Tanoc spat, “Filthy stinking goblins. I should have known.”

It had been ten years since the last goblin uprising threatened to destroy the township. The confrontations had been brutal and the only thing that had kept the town from being completely over run was the arrival of his Lordships knights. They had charged into the goblin lines mounted on powerful warhorses and cut asunder the vile, despicable creatures.

This time, though, the knights were off fighting in distant lands. It would take weeks to bring them home if his Lordship even chose to do so. Lord Hammerhand had finally begun to live up to his name in his old age. He had become less forgiving, less understanding, and his patience was all but non-existent.

All the farmers were brought forth from their thoughts by the sounds of a horse riding up. It was young Duran Martak, nephew to one of the knights in his Lordship’s command. As soon as Duran was at the field he reigned in his horse and dismounted. His gait had a slight limp to it, the remnants of an injury sustained long ago.

“What did you find on your patrol Duran,” Tanoc queried.

“Goblin tracks. At least two score. Since only the outlying fields were hit I can only assume it was an advanced raiding party. We better prepare though, they found no resistance last night so they will definitely be back tonight.”

All the farmers nodded their consent. Each one looked to the distance were the forest began. The filthy creatures were probably watching them all now, laughing. Tonight, though, they would not achieve even the slightest victory against the township.

“Call a general meeting. I want everyone there, everyone. This matter must be dealt with today or we will all suffer from starvation and his Lordship’s ever growing cruelty.”

That was Tristan Maltoe. He had once been a knight in Lord Hammerhand’s army but was discharged when he lost his foot and horse to an orc's axe three years prior. Tristan had forgotten more about warfare than the rest of the township could ever hope to learn in ten lifetimes. He had been well on his way to an officer’s position before he was discharged. He had never lamented his luck though. The most level headed man in the town, he was always quick to take charge and everyone followed his orders without question.

The farmers dispersed to spread the news of the meeting. It would take place in one hour’s time and the entire town was required to be there.

The town hall was filled to capacity, standing room only. Tristan stood on a raised dais at the front of the hall, leaning heavily on his crutch. The noise of everyone talking at once was deafening. Tristan scanned the crowd taking mental note of everyone who was there. Once he was sure the entire township was at the meeting he banged the gavel on the podium, silence followed only a few seconds later.

“Ten years. That is how long it was been since this town endured the ravaging of goblins and their ilk. Ten years is not long enough. Aye, a thousand years would not be long enough. We all know that his Lordship’s knights are away fighting. We are on our own.”

“I am calling for the forming of a town militia. We may just be farmers with pitchforks and axes, but any one man is a match for three goblins. If we all band together and go to fight this plague as one then we will be unstoppable. What say you?”

Silence, everyone just looked at Tristan. After what seemed like an eternity Duran spoke up, “When and where shall we meet?”

“We shall meet in two hours time in the burned field of Elder
Rath. His farm is the most centralized. From there we shall move into the woods and slay any goblins we find.”

That statement effectively ended the meeting. Everyone began filing out of the town hall and towards their homes, hoping to spend a little time with their families before heading off into the forest.

Two hours later all the able bodied men had congregated in the middle of Elder Rath’s burnt field. From atop his mount Tristan counted heads, fifty three. This was definitely the largest turnout he had ever seen for a militia and he was proud that it was his side that now had the numbers. Since he had moved into the township he had been working with groups of farmers, teaching them formations and other necessities of combat in case a town militia was ever called up. Most of these men would not survive facing off against even the lightest armored soldier, but against goblins they would do amazingly.

Tristan formed the men into their groups and they began to move across the unplowed fields that separated the crop fields from the forest. The distance to the forest was only a few hundred yards but to the men in formation it seemed like they had traveled a league or more before reaching the first of the trees. Carefully they moved into the wooded area, taking everything in, marking every sound, analyzing every smell.

Twang, the telltale sound of an arrow being fired from a bow forced everyone to pause. An instant later a high pitched yelp gave away the goblin position. The lines charged forward.

The battle was nearing its end when Tristan’s mount let out a scream that shook man and goblin alike to the core. All turned to see the former knight’s horse speeding away without its rider. There was Tristan, on the ground, unable to stand. In front him was a creature that none of the farmers had ever seen. It looked like a giant lizard that had somehow gained the ability to walk upright. In one of its claws it clutched a wicked looking Morningstar and in the other it a shield of wood. It began to close the distance with the former knight hissing. Most who saw the creature would later tell that it appeared as if a malevolent grin parted the creature’s maw.

Tristan’s sword came up to block any attack the creature might make. It stopped in front of the prone knight and raised its weapon. Tristan knew he would not be able to fend of this blow, he was dead.

Suddenly the creature let out a roar that shook the trees, an arrow protruding from its neck. The Morningstar crashed to the as two more arrows buried themselves in the massive chest. The creature spun, lashing out at Tristan with its tail. The tail struck true just as another arrow pierced the creatures back. Tristan slammed into a tree head first. He saw the creature take off into the forest, then, everything went black.

Tristan awoke several minutes later on a stretcher as the militia headed back into town. Everyone was somber; there was no joy in the steps of these men who had just dispatched more than eighty goblins. Tristan noticed that young Duran was leading his horse by the reigns.

“Stop,” he commanded. “I will not be dragged into town like an old cripple. Duran, bring my horse over here and help me mount up.”

“Sire, do you think that is wise? You took a nasty blow to the head and . . .”

Tristan cut him off with a wave of his hand. “I have had worst from bigger than the likes of that creature.”

“What was that thing,” asked of the other men.

“That was a lizard man. A foul being that lives mostly in swampy areas. If there are lizard men this far inland, then we may have a problem on our hands.”

“What kind of problem?”

“The kind that requires me to mount up and ride to his Lordship Hammerhand’s as quickly as possible.”

Duran helped Tristan into the saddle and stepped back only after he was sure the former knight would not fall.

“Tristan, what should we do until you get back.”

“Pray young Duran. Pray that his Lordship will call back the knights before those creatures decide to obliterate this town.”

With that he dug his one heel into his horse’s flank and sped away. As Duran continued on with the group he began to do just what Tristan has told him to, pray. Tristan was praying so hard that he never heard the twang or felt the arrow pierce his side. All he knew was one second he was praying to his gods, and the next he was standing before them.
_________________
Dubbed FOOT by the awesome AsA!!!

I used to think everyday I didn't wake up and gargle a few rounds from a revolver was a victory, but little "golden" moments like this make me wonder, "A victory for who?"
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive, 9-12-2002
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LordLegion



Joined: 14 Apr 2008
Posts: 36
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, let me know what yall think.
_________________
Dubbed FOOT by the awesome AsA!!!

I used to think everyday I didn't wake up and gargle a few rounds from a revolver was a victory, but little "golden" moments like this make me wonder, "A victory for who?"
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive, 9-12-2002
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