Benders

DDZ - Round 7

Ice looked at both drakes trying to decide who to help. Bex made up the warrior’s mind for him and Ice took off up the mudslide. Running down the mudslide was easier than climbing it and the dirt shifted under his foot as he swung his longsword. The blade missed the drake and crashed into dirt.

Linora smacked the drake with her staff again (-4 hp). The image of simple village healer was completely shattered as she continued to beat the snot out of the dragon with her three-sectioned staff.

John M actually looked like he knew what he was doing with the scimitar for a moment. He whipped the blade up and around and brought it down hard on the side of the drake, slicing through the scales in a masterful strike (-7 hp).

John E brought his fist up hard under the drake’s head, hoping that it was softer there, and really connected with the uppercut (-7 hp). “As promised,” John E said with a fair bit of satisfaction.

“CB! Over here!” Bex yelled as he ran by her. She took off in a sprint with him, fishing out a sling bullet as they ran. They ran up the eastern most ramp and then up the little cut off that the gnome had taken. They stopped at the body of the gnome and looked around for the halfling. CB whirled her sling slowly as she scanned, ready to speed it up, and bounce another bullet off the hobbit.

The drake on the mudslide bit Mark’s leg again (-4 hp) and the other drake bit John E in the thigh (-5 hp).

Mark slashed out with the tanto, hoping to kill the drake before it tore his leg off. It was like trying to carve a rock but the knife still cut through the scales (-3 hp).

“How about a dagger instead?” Devon said to John M, frustrated with his attempts to loosen the leather bindings on his hands.

;;; PPD – 7/1 @ 1530 mst.

Round 7 Map

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DDZ - Round 6

Ice took the longsword in a low sweep and scored another hit on the gnome (-6 hp) who was looking pretty beat up at this point.

Sister Linora whipped the other end of her 3-section staff around and smacked the drake hard on the back again (-10 hp – crit but the second roll was a miss). She was tenderizing the beast so the group could dine on filet drah-gohn for dinner.

The gnome clutched one hand against his shirt to hold the black octahedron in place and took off running. He disengaged from Ice and ran around the square pit and ran halfway up the eastern most ramp. “I should have taken the job from JB Wocky. Mome raths probably don’t go around swinging longswords about,” he mumbled as he ran. About halfway up the ramp, he cut to the left up a little embankment to get out of the pit.

John M continued to nickle and dime the drake toward death. He yelled to Devon that the boy could use the quarterstaff to defend himself if he stayed put.

John E swung at the drake and missed and thus had nothing witty to say this time.

“Don’t flee Devon! Those woods are filled with people who mean to kill you . . . If you value your life, stay close,” Bex yelled across the pit to Devon. It was obvious that the boy was looking to get away and the Benders may have provided him his chance.

“He’s right, You are safe with us,” CB whispered straight into Devon’s brain as she moved past him, getting her sling and a bullet out. She moved to the north side of the square pit, watching the gnome, and starting to circle her sling. She stopped, whirled the sling with intent, and let it fly. The bullet caught the gnome in the back of the head and he dropped.

Bex, in his usual fashion, whiffed the machete around like he was swatting at a fly on meth. He was dangerous with a machete but those in danger were the ones standing near him, not the enemy. His last machete was still laying in the muck somewhere in the lakes of Minnesota. For the well being of his friends, it might be best if he chucked his new machete in the square pit and buried it.

The drakes were the only enemies left and they didn’t look like they were contemplating fleeing. They looked like they still wanted to kill everyone, if given the chance. The one on the mudslide bit at Mark and missed. The other one seemed to have dialed in on John E and bit the Bender again (-8 hp). The drake had missed the first few times as the human danced out of the way but now it seemed to be tearing the human apart.

Mark tried stabbing the drake with the tanto but the creature’s natural armor saved it again. What Mark needed was a piano to drop on this thing (;;; Just watched Zombieland – “Zombie kill of the week”).

Devon saw that the halfling had fled. He watched as the gnome tried to flee and was dropped by the woman with the sling, possibly the same woman that had spoken to him in his mind. He didn’t run yet but busied himself on trying to free his hands instead.

;;; PPD – 6/30 @ 1530 mst.

Round 6 map is uploading but they have been taking quite a while lately.

I will award Posting Points tomorrow. Posting Points may be spent at any time. I also added a use to Posting Points on the wiki page. They may now also be used as Action Points if you find yourself in a dire situation and all your Action Points spent.

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DDZ - Round 5
Those That Run Away . . .

“Screw this,” the halfling said. He glanced down at the gnome, who seemed to have his hands full with the human, and then took off running to the east. He wasn’t going to stick around here getting pelted in the head by the wench on the other side of the pit.

Alan swung the longsword and missed again. At this point, he would be happy with 50/50.

Linora watched as the halfling disappeared from the ridge. She was sure that he would be back but for now, they were free from having the halfling zing bullets at them from the rim. She dropped her crossbow, pulled her 3-section staff free, turned around and attacked the drake that John E was fighting. The staff struck with a satisfying thwack on the creature’s back (-6 hp).

The gnome finally made it past the Bender’s shield and scored a hit with his pick (-4 hp).

John M swung the scimitar around and sliced into the drake (-5 hp). The drake was getting nicked and cut here and there but looked to have plenty of fight left in it.

John E tried to connect with that promised right hand but the drake weaved its head and the punch missed.

CB put her sling away and laid down on the ground. She swung her legs over the edge and inched herself back until she was hanging from her hands and then she dropped safely to the ground. She looked around trying to decide if she should help Ice or if it would be better to help Mark and John M with the drake. The drake sure looked nastier than the gnome.

Bex took a shot at the fleeing halfling, missed, and holstered the Glock as he moved down to give the drake even more to think about.

The drake on the mudslide snapped at Mark again and missed again. The other drake mangaged to get a good chomp on John E (-11 hp).

Mark tried stabbing the monster with the tanto again but the blade bounced off the scales.

Devon had the leather bindings off his legs and started working on the ones on his hands. They weren’t as important. At least he could run if he needed to.

;;; PPD – 6/29 @ 1530 mst.

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DDZ - Round 4

The halfling saw the little motion by the warder and the instant energy and color return to the mage that she had touched. If the gnome wasn’t busy ducking under the clumsy swinging of the longsword by the human, the halfling would have flipped Agrid off. “Concentrate on the mage,” he muttered. What good did that do when the warder just healed him. He should have taken her out like he had planned. Agrid was too busy to notice now so the halfling whipped the sling around and dinged a bullet off of Linora (-2 hp).

Ice aimed a little lower this time and was able to solidly slice the gnome (-10 hp). That’s what ahm talkin’ ‘bout.

Bex whispered his thank you and commented on moving back to cover. The warder had other plans. She moved down the ramp, seemingly dangerously close to the drake (but not close enough for an attack of opportunity). The woman was fearleass. She moved to where the cliff for the eastern most ramp would provide some cover for her and fired her crossbow up at the halfling. It missed but now she was positioned where she would be able to reach Ice or Mark more quickly if they needed her.

The gnome attacked, hoping to turn his gnome pick into an Ice pick, but he banged it off the Bender’s shield again.

John M rushed in to help Mark hold the drake inside the pit, waving his scimitar wildly as he ran. Maybe all the whirling about would scare the dragon because the Bender came nowhere close to hitting the dang thing.

John E had gone mad. That was the only explanation for fighting against a mini-dragon bare handed but he connected with the monster’s head again. “That was my left fist you scaly bastard, next time you’re getting my right!” he yelled at the drake, who just snarled at being hit.

CB loaded another magical bullet in the sling and zipped around and around and then off at the halfling where it hit him right in the same ear again (-8 hp). “Fuck me running!” he screamed, this time more in pain than in surprise. She obviously knew how to use a sling and had chucked the first one in the air to trick him into ignoring her.

Bex moved back to where he could take some cover behind some rocks, hoping to not get hit by the halfling again. The little guy was dead accurate with a sling. The halfling had attacked Linora instead but she looked like she had pretty much ignored it and was working her own plan. Bex shot with his Glock but missed. He did hit with his taunt about John E and the drake though. CB’s sling bullets were taking a toll on the halfling and there was doubt in his eyes.

The drake attacking Mark bit into his leg again (-8 hp) and was trying to drag the Bender down the mudslide.

John E wasn’t able to get out of the way this time as the pissed drake that kept getting hit in the face bit the human in the side (-7 hp).

Mark, a little freaked, jammed the dagger down into the drake’s neck near the crossbow bolt that was still sticking there (-5 hp).

Devon continued to work on the leather bindings of his feet. He was actually starting to think that he might be able to escape in the confusion if he could undo the knots.

;;; PPD – 6/28 @ 1530 mst.

New map is uploading as I type – DDZ Round 4

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DDZ- Round 3

The halfling was in serious mage-destruction mode now. Another mage was shooting magic missiles at one of the drakes. The halfling needed to put down the first mage so that he could deal with the guy zinging out magic missiles. A couple of quick loops and another bullet pelted Bex (-6 hp).

Ice swung the longsword and missed again. Gnomes were squirrelly.

Sister Linora reached out a hand and rested it gently on Bex’s outstretched arm. “You are a brave and wonderful man, thank you.” It didn’t sound like much as far as incantations went but Bex felt the cold water feeling rush through his body. It wasn’t as cold or startling as the first time that she had done it but the effect of the spell was absolutely amazing (+17 hp). It was as if Bex had never been hurt.

The gnome took a swing with the pick and bounced it off of Ice’s shield.

John M shot another energy bolt into the side of the drake. The creature seemed to be ignoring the magical zaps at the moment but they had to be hurting the thing a bit. John continued to circle around the pit so that he could get into a position where he could more directly help Mark.

John E made a wild swing, missed, but hoped to keep the drake focused on himself.

The human workers made their dash up the ramp and south into the trees. Once into the thick of the evergreens, it was impossible to see if they continued to run or if they stopped to peek through the limbs to see how the fight ended.

CB flipped another sling bullet at the halfling. It looked like a respectable attempt even though it missed.

Bex took another shot at the halfling with the glock, nicking the little guy (-3 hp). It was a bizarre scene, to be sure. A halfling with a sling versus a human with Glock 17. Hardly seemed fair.

The drake attacking Mark bit low this time, into the Bender’s shin and calf (-4 hp).

The other drake snapped on air again as John E continued to dodge out of the way.

Mark’s tanto glanced off the dragon’s scales again.

Devon started working on the leather bindings that held his feet together.

;;; PPD – 6/28 at 1530 mst.

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DDZ- Round 2
We Were Slingin'

The halfling had his sling whipping around already when Agrid told him to stop being such an idiot and attack the mage. The warder was famous in these parts and it would be such a thrill to take her down a notch or two, a bullet a time. He still couldn’t believe that he had missed when he had such a beautiful opportunity. The kobold killers expected this wall to be contained by the elf bitch. Then he had to go and blow the opportunity and miss. He was so tempted to take another shot at the warder but Agrid was right. The mage with the booming wand was probably more of a threat than the warder. Although a new mage had appeared shooting energy missiles into the drake. Oh well. One mage at a time. The halfling let the bullet zip away, whizzing straight into Bex’s head (-11 hp, that’s going to leave mark).

Ice swung with his longsword, less theatrically this time, and the gnome ducked under the swing. Ice liked the feel of the longsword in his hand, even if he had missed. It felt right to him. He just needed more practice with it. Since they hadn’t found the kobold tribe, he was sure that there was going to be plenty of practice in his future. First, he had to take care of this gnome and get back up to help Mark with the mini-dragon.

Linora turned her attention to the halfling and let a crossbow bolt fly. It missed the little guy. She was disappointed. She was disappointed that she had missed. She was disappointed that she even had to fire the crossbow. She was disappointed that there were so many people willing to help Kalarel destroy the small keep and the loggers that lived around it. Most everyone in Winterhaven just wanted to live their life, feed their families, and drink and dance at the festivals. There was nothing to be gained by destroying Winterhaven. She supposed that was the true test of evil. The destruction of life for no other reason than the destruction of life. She started to reload.

Agrid the Seeker dropped his crossbow on the ground and unslung his gnome hooked hammer from his belt. It was a weapon that looked like a pick at one end and a hammer at the other end. It just depended on what kind of job you were trying to accomplish as to which side you would hold. Agrid held the hammer end so that the pick was the business end that Ice would have to deal with. Time to deal with the pesky human up close and personal. They might be famed kobold killers but he was a gnome dammit! and would deal with them appropriately – he missed.

John M had a good view of the action, like being at a basketball arena. There should be a concessions stand close by so that he could get a hot dog and a beer. The halfling was in a firefight with two Benders and Linora and was probably going to get his ass kicked (but maybe it just looked that way because halflings were small). Ice was probably going to be able to hold his own, at least for a while, against the gnome. It didn’t look right that John E was punching a monster with scales and big teeth but John E was a tough sumbitch. Mark was at the top of the mudslide trying to battle a drake with a knife. If Mark lost to the drake, the drake would be free to attack around the rim of the pit and the whole plan would completely fall apart. Because of the world that they came from, the Benders were a ranged weapon group and they had to use that to their advantage. Oh yeah, and Mark might get hurt too. John M fired another burst of energy from the wand into the ass end of the drake and then started moving around the rim of the pit so that he could help keep the drake from getting all the way out.

John E shifted his position and whipped out with his fist. It may have seemed counterintuitive to switch from a morningstar to trying to pummel a dragon to death with his bare hands but he hit the dang thing and that’s better than he had ever done with the morningstar. Ever since chucking his morningstar and armor against Lord Pedraig’s wall, John E had felt a weight lifted from him, figuratively and literally. Walking through the portal and ending up in a place where kobolds, gnomes, and mini-dragons were real was still a crazy thought but he saw a path for himself opening up just ahead. The portal had not only shifted his body but also his mind.

The human that had made the leap over the corner of the square pit sprinted up the hill and out into the woods. He didn’t even look back to see where the other humans were. He just ran up the path and south into the trees. The other three climbed up out of the pit, picked up a couple dragon bones each, and started running up the eastern most ramp. 15 gold pieces wasn’t enough to deal with all the magical energy and booming that was going on. Screw that! Maybe if one side was weakened enough during the battle, the humans could come back to finish off the scraps. For now, they just wanted to get clear of the pit.

CB took a deep breath, loaded another magical bullet in her sling, whipped it around a couple of times, and let it fly toward the halfling. The crossbow felt more natural since it was like holding a rifle but Valthrun had made it sound like she would be better off with the sling. She wasn’t so sure about that but she also believed in following hunches, hers especially but in this case, a guy who seemed to know a lot about the world that they were in. Valthrun seemed like the kind of guy that should be listened to so she whirled the sling and let it go. It whacked him right in the ear (-8 hp) and made him yelp, probably more in surprise than pain after seeing the first shot she lobbed just about straight into the air.

John E had stopped the drake far enough away that Bex was clear to keep firing the Glock. He switched targets from the gnome to the halfling, scoring a hit across the pit. With Ice engaged in swordplay with the gnome, it was safer. Besides Bex owed the halfling after the goosehead he was going to have from the sling bullet to the head.

The drake that had chomped on Mark’s leg, let go and tried to chomp higher (Yikes!). Luckily Mark moved his stuff out of the way and the teeth snapped shut on nothing (okay, that opens the door for people to say there was nothing there in the first place – hush). Mark had the high ground and while it didn’t seem to give him much of an advantage, it did mean that the drake couldn’t just rip his throat out. You have to be grateful for the small things (again – hush).

The other drake whipped his head sideways after John E but the Bender had a new found freedom without all the heavy armor and the drake’s mouth closed on air. Claws dug in to the dirt as the drake prepared to shift its stocky body around to follow the human that fought with no weapons. Drakes weren’t necessarily intelligent but it seemed that a human without any weapons wasn’t much of a threat. The drake meant to tear the Bender into little bits.

Mark dropped his crossbow and pulled out the tanto that Ice had loaned him. The knife felt good in his hand and he knew why Ice liked to fight with it. He tried to stab the drake in the neck near where the bolt had entered, hoping to carve through to the spine, but the blade skipped on the scales. Stupid knife. Why did Ice use this damn thing anyway?

Devon stayed put, huddled, and thinking small.

;;; PPD – 6/28 @ 1530 MST. Although, like last time, I’m going to immediately start typing up the next round becuase I have time right now and I will add in actions from Benders as I receive them.

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DDZ- Round 1
Did Someone Say "Loot!"?

Everyone heard the word “loot” and the pleasant conversation over mulled wine ended with an explosion of action and chaos. They (the infamous “they”) say that no plan withstands first contact with the enemy and this certainly held true for the Benders today. The plan that they had come up with, that they had counted on to give them the initial advantage, changed with the very first shot. The Benders figured the first shot would come from the bow of the elf because in their minds, elves were quick, right? Or maybe, the first move would come from Ice who never seemed to hesitate when it came time to jumping into battle. Instead, the shot came from a halfling. A halfling? They were being attacked by a freaking hobbit? The halfling appeared at the east side of the pit where Leisha was supposed to be holding that part of the box. She was nowhere to be seen. Probably laying in the woods with a dagger still sticking out of her back. Okay, lower back, halflings are short after all.

The hobbit was grinning as his sling made a couple of quick circles and he whipped a bullet at Linora. Tactically, it didn’t seem to make much sense but his eyes seemed to sparkle at getting the chance to attack the person that the gnome had been calling “warder”. The mischief and joy died in his eyes as the bullet zipped right past the healer. “You have got to be kidding me,” he said to himself.

Ice started his move. He had planned on covering a lot of distance to engage the gnome as quickly as possible but paused for a second because he was sure his friends were going to be taking shots from the rim of the pit and he didn’t want to be in the middle of all that. His theory? Cut off the head and the body dies. Kill the gnome and maybe the drakes will stop guarding. Probably not but it was worth a try.

Linora surprised everyone with how quickly she had her crossbow up, on target, and the bolt loosed, and all with fair enough aim (-3 hp). The drake snarled in rage and there was a look of bloodlust in its eyes. Linora was about to be come Lunch-ora.

The gnome was almost as quick as Linora in getting his crossbow in play and took a hasty and shaky aim at Bex. Still bothered by the sudden change in countenance from the Intimidator, Agrid the Seeker zipped his crossbow bolt close to Bex’s left shoulder but out into the trees. “15 gold as a reward for every dead kobold killer!” he yelled to the humans that had been digging for him. They seriously looked like they were going to rabbit.

John M moved from the safety of his rock hiding place to the lip of the pit. He was looking right over the top of the second drake, which was a bit unnerving but that drake seemed to have Linora in its sights and didn’t see, or at least, didn’t acknowledge the mage on on the ridge. John M pointed the wand across the pit at the drake biting Mark’s leg and shazammed a bolt of energy right into the ass of the creature. It growled but didn’t let go of Mark’s leg.

John E moved down to where he could provide cover for Bex and Linora. He fired a wild shot from his MP5 and then tried to cover his ineptitude by saying, “Take that as a warning shot! Stand down and no one gets hurt.” The noise attracted some attention but little more. Sometimes magic was loud but the drakes, in particular, seemed completely unfazed.

The humans closest to Bex took off running and didn’t bother to grab any of the loot. They just wanted to be away from the guy in the cloak and didn’t want to be in the middle of the crossbow firefight that had erupted or have the drake kill them as it went charging up the hill. They both broke toward the far east ramp, where they would have to jump the corner of the square pit and up a bit to make it to the root covered east ramp. The first guy made the jump, landed, turned, and started up the ramp. The second guy jumped but didn’t get the height he needed to clear the roots. His feet snagged and his body thumped into the wall (-1 hp) and he slid down into the pit. If the hit hadn’t knocked the air out of him, he would have picked an appropriate curse word to utter. A trickle of dirt followed him to the pit floor where it landed on his head to add insult to injury.

The other two humans that were almost out of the pit, grabbed a couple handfulls of dragon bones and slid back into the square pit where it was actually safer with all the crossbow bolts and sling bullets flying around. They ran to the other side with the same idea as the other two humans: go up the far east ramp and get the hell out of Dodge. Except that they were taking some of the bones with them. Severance pay. They chucked the dragon bones up on the side of the eastern most ramp and started climbing out of the pit again, this time on the safer side.

CB had practiced as much as she could with the kobold sling during the couple of days everyone was healing at the keep but it wasn’t enough. She released late and the magic bullet made a high, lazy arc. Her frustration was clearly visible. The bullet landed in front of one of the humans that was trying to climb out of the pit. He furrowed his brow in confusion and looked up at the sky for a second before he started clawing his way out of the pit again.

Bex pulled his Glock and fired a round right into the gnome. What kind of concussive magic wand was that? It packed a punch, that was for sure. “Forget the warder! Aim for the mage!” Agrid yelled at the halfling that had joined the fight.

“If we’re the “lesser threat”, you must be wondering what’s behind you,” Bex said when the gnome was done yelling, outraged at being hit so hard. The gnome turned around to watch as some crazy human made the final dash in a steeplechase where he, the gnome, was the finish line.

Ice made his run down the mudslide, picked up speed and made the leap over the corner of the pit, bringing his longsword up over his head as he was in the air (in true Hollywood fashion), and sliced into the Agrid the Seeker when he landed (-9 hp).

The gnome’s personal guard drake turned away from Devon and charged up the mudslide toward Mark. The drake saw Ice off to its right running at full speed but it had made up its mind and continued for the steep ramp. Mark was trying to get a bead on the beast as the drake used its four claws to quickly scramble up the dirt and rocks. At the top, the big snarling teeth bit deep into Mark’s leg (-8 hp).

Mark was better with his crossbow at point blank range and having a drake biting on your leg sure counted as point blank range. He pointed the crossbow down and fired a bolt right into the back of the monster’s thick, thick neck (-11 hp).

Devon looked at all the chaos going on around him and pushed himself tighter against the pit wall, trying to stay out of everyone’s way and out of the way of all the other stuff flying through the air. Crossbow bolts, 9mm rounds, sling bullets, and magical energy were all flying criss-cross over the pit.

;;; PPD – 6/26/10 @ 1400 mst. Fridays and Saturdays will usually have this earlier deadline.

Gnome Team’s Defense:
Agrid (G1): 16
Halfling (G2): 15
Drakes (O1 & O2): 15

My wife took my camera with her to Yellowstone. I took a couple pics with my Droid but I’m too clueless about getting gadgets to talk with one another to move the pics to here. What I have done as a poor substitute is put some markers on the last pic to show the few people that moved. I didn’t mark the position of the humans because at this point they aren’t in the battle.

Round 1 Map

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Clever is as Clever Does

“My my… What have we here? I guess the old legends of the dragon are correct! Most adventurers gave up hope of finding this site years ago… You must have done something quite clever to find it…” Bex said.

Everyone stopped what they were doing. The drake that had taken a couple of steps toward the human prisoner, stopped and swiveled its head up toward Bex and Linora. The two humans with the wheelbarrows dropped them and turned around to see who was talking. The drake that was accompanying them stopped and half turned, enough so that it could turn its neck back to see the speaker. Mark had started forward when he heard the gnome give the order to kill the prisoner but Alan put a hand on his shoulder urging him to stay put to see how it all played out (;;; and he was really hoping that John M would roll better on the Plan talent check). The two humans that had been shoveling in the pit had started to climb out since the gnome had found what he was looking for.

As for the gnome, he took a couple of steps to his right so that he could see between the drake and the wheelbarrow humans. He looked up and saw Bex and Linora, and with an arm across his waist, he took a deep bow.

Agrid the Seeker, at your service,” the gnome said as he rose from his bow. “Yes clever am I, that is true, although I will let you in on a little secret.” Agrid looked around as if he were checking to see if anyone was listening then looked back at Bex.

“The cleverest people are those that see an opportunity and take it. My good friend and partner Devon there,” he waved over toward the corner where the human prisoner was sitting, watching the conversation, “has this uncanny ability to find things. Born with a gift. Ask him where something is and he can tell you where it is. Allow me to demonstrate. Devon, dear boy,” the gnome said and boy the prisoner may have been. The boy had his head down when the Benders first arrived but now with his head up and the sun coming from the east, he did look like he was probably in his teens. Devon looked at the gnome when the gnome called him.

“Devon, laddie,” the gnome said. “Where is the greatest threat to my immediate safety?”

The boy looked up toward his left, toward the top of the mudslide. The action seemed done out of habit. Did he really know or was he trying to get the gnome to look away from Bex? If his power was real, was he feeling Mark’s intention to attack or did he feel Ice’s longsword? Plenty of questions, and as intriguing as they were, this was not the time to delve into the answer. One thing was certain. The boy realized what he had done. He looked up toward Bex apologetically and gave a half shrug to say “woops”.

“Interesting,” Agrid said and he waved his personal guard drake toward the mudslide so that it was between that potential entrance and the gnome. Agrid turned his attention back to Bex and Linora and continued as if they were all meeting at Lord Pedraig’s mixer over some mulled wine.

“When I came across the lad, I saw an untapped opportunity. The boy and I have put our services on the market and we have done very well. This job,” he waved both hands around the pit, “is going to pay handsomely. Yes, yes, clever, for certain.”

“The warder I am familiar with,” he said indicating Linora, “although we have never had the pleasure of actually meeting. Will you do the honors of introductions?” he asked Bex.

;;; No posting points for this response. Hoping to hear from Bex when he has a chance so I can move things forward. Maybe even today.

Created a new map to show the minor movements.

I put a miniature on the board for Devon, Yellow 3.

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DDZ - First Impressions

The Benders made a final plan over the map that Leisha had etched into the ground with her dagger. They were going to surround the hole in the ground and then Bex was going to see what kind of information he could get from the gnome before the drakes tried to eat the friends. John E was responsible for keeping Bex and Linora from being killed by the drakes. No small order from the way that Leisha had described them. She assured everyone that she had never heard of flying drakes but for everyone from the home plane, her words were less than reassuring. Who knew, really, what was possible and impossible? After all, they had taken one step and been transported not only from one of Minnesota’s thousand lakes all the way to Oregon but across a plane or two as well. To them, it seemed perfectly possible that mini-dragons had the ability to fly and breathe fire.

The group moved toward the pit and then on Leisha’s signal, they all split apart so that they could box the gnome and his drakes in. The gnome would be trapped because of the box but the downside was that any attack against one side had the chance of overpowering that side, especially where the mudslide was and even more especially where the ramps were. Bex and Sister Linora were taking point there with John E not very far behind them to come to their rescure if (when?) things went bad.

Mark decided to team up with Ice on the north side to block off the mudslide, where they could control that ramp out or rush down if the drakes attacked Bex and Linora. No one was excited about the drakes. Maybe the gnome could be reasoned with. Maybe the humans would take some of their treasure and run. But the drakes. What would they do? Were they under the control of the gnome or were they sentient beings, much like the Benders thought dragons were. After all, dragons controlled their own destiny. Did the drakes truly act like the gnome’s watch dogs or were they something more?

Lynette headed straight east, slowly and as quietly as possible. Mark and Ice circled north with Leisha until she signalled for them to break to the south. Bex, Linora, John M, and John E circled to the south with John M breaking off from the group to search for the corner of the pit. John E held back behind a mound of fresh earth as Bex and Linora made their way forward into an opening. In the center of the opening was the pit.

It appeared that the digging of the pit had been done in three stages. The first, the eastern most ramp had grass growing on it and lead down into the pit but didn’t look to be used much. The second was the ramp that Bex and Linora found themselves looking down. It was dirt and rock and, if not recently dug, was at least the most used. Grass hadn’t grown as this now seemed the main entrance in and out of the pit. In fact, two humans were each pushing empty wheelbarrows down the hill as Bex and Linora got to the top of the ramp. They had a drake walking a little bit in front of them, leading them back into the pit.

The third section of digging was the smaller square in the middle and didn’t have a ramp into or out of it. Dirt, by the shovelfulls, was being tossed out of this pit where the digging seemed to have concentrated. Next to the square pit was a gnome and another drake, looking down into the hole.

Tucked up in the very northwest corner of the larger pit was a human, seated and it looked like his hands and ankles were bound. Leisha hadn’t mentioned him but unless you had a good view of the pit from the south or east, the prisoner would be easy to miss. He had his knees tucked up and his arms were stretched out over them with his head resting on his biceps. He could be sleeping.

“Wait a tick,” the gnome said as his eyes followed something that had rolled out of a shovelfull of tossed dirt. Everyone stopped moving and the prisoner lifted his head. The dirt stopped being tossed out of square hole. The gnome picked something up off the ground and brushed some dirt from it. He rubbed the object on his trousers and lifted it up where he could view it in the sunlight, and coincidentally so could everyone else.

It was a black octahedron, about 8 inches high. The gnome brought the object back down and looked over at the prisoner.

“Fancy that,” the gnome said. “You were right. Guess we don’t need yer help anymore. Kill him.”

The last command was issued to the drake closest to the gnome.

;;; DDZ Overview Map.

A better view of what Bex sees.

I forgot to put a miniature in for the prisoner so I used a marker for him in these maps.

Legend: Green 1 – Gnome
Orange 1 and 2 – Guard Drakes
Pink 1-4 – Humans
Yellow 1 – Sister Linora
Yellow 2 – Leisha (the OP software cut off the very right of the pic for some reason)

PPD – 6/23/10 @ 1530 mst (an extra day than planned because I don’t know if I’ll be able to post tomorrow). If everyone responds and I find myself with time, I’ll move the game ahead before the deadline.

I know that Bex may be the most active participant at the moment but you can still earn a Posting Point by stating anything about your character in character (movement or thoughts even) or you can throw in an out of character comment. Anything that shows you are still participating in the game will be accepted.

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Who's On First?

The Benders had managed to get the upper hand again. They knew what they were stepping into and the gnome and his crew were clueless of the death that was about to rain down on them. The mini-dragons had the Benders a tad nervous, even if Leisha seemed to take them in stride. Fighting little lizard guys had been tough enough. Baby dragons, or whatever they were, seemed out of the Benders’ league. They just wanted to get back to their world where the worst thing that could happen to them was a bit of office drama, all of which seemed completely laughable at this point.

“You think a two day deadline by our hitler boss is tough, you should have seen the time where I was attacked by a dragon with 6 inch razor sharp teeth. Now, that was a situation.”

Life will definitely have a different perspective when they get back to their home plane.

All that was left was to finalize a plan.

“I’ll take the north mudslide. It blocks that path and might be the shortest path to the gnome,” Alan said (who has the Climb Skill).

“If everyone is okay with it, I’ll use my sling from the west,” Lynette said. “I should be able to hit them but maybe they won’t be able to hit me.”

“I will cover the eastern most south ramp,” Leisha said. “I’ll still be able hit everyone in the pit and maybe I can force them to use the middle ramp like they are doing now. Or buy some time while you switch ramps to meet them.” She tapped the hilt of the sword over her shoulder with her hand. “This works but it’s more for decoration.”

“We can all be back from the edge listening for ‘Loot’ where we come forward and show them what happens when reasoning breaks down,” Leisha said, stroking her bow in a too sensuous manner.

;;; PPD – 6/21 @ 1530 hours.

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