Advanced Expert Poster
Joined: Aug 26, 2003
Location: Rocanis, Alastari
Sun Jan 24, 2016 11:02 am
New Recruits! Now that Lord Protector General Pol has been banished from Rocanis, new blood has been recruited into the Skull Squadron stable. Grimwood, the manager of the Skull Squadron stable, has returned to manage his gladiators and ensure there are no further puppets from the Merchant Guild running his stable.
Grimwood watched his three new Rirorni gladiators, but more accurately teenagers, playing on the plains just outside of Rocanis. Khel Rojida, the arena manager, had ask him to take a look in to the matter of some rabid gophers being reported by Kaspar of Men of Steel that he had to fight-off last turn. Grimwood thought it might be good to take them out of the city, burn some energy, and try to make them forget the recent past where they were part of General Pol’s army, which his adversaries crushed out on the Rirorni plains.
“Morning, Khel indicated you were out here with the gang,” Corg said joining his manager, stretching, which went into a tired yawn.
“Ah, Lord Protector Corg, it’s almost noon. Isn’t this a little early for you?” Grimwood remarked.
“There was less emphasis on drinking and more on sleeping last night,” Corg replied with a sheepish grin.
“Yes, I saw you were very sociable with a particularly new lady friend at Mylar’s. What’s her name?”
“Wasn’t that the other woman’s name you spent so much time with in Malcorn?” Grimwood asked.
“Yes, it’s a nickname I use. It makes things easier, and less awkward, if I meet them between cities. I’ve always been terrible with names.”
“You are aware that many fathers are not so forgiving if you make it a habit of picking their blossom flowers over and over, instead of settling down and planting your own garden.”
“Ah, but a Lord Protector has already made an oath to his duty. A Protector is always on the road on a never ending quest to protect Alastari from harm. As danger is his eternal companion and the good people of Alastri his children,” Corg said with great fanfare.
“I always wondered, if you or Rocanis was fuller of horse manure. I think you just confirmed the answer,” Grimwood commented.
“I’d be offended, if it wasn’t true,” Corg said smiling. “Besides, as far as the Blossoms are concerned, the ways of the Lord Protectors are shrouded mystery. It keeps the relationships simple.”
“Just giving you fair warning,” Grimwood commented.
Corg raised his hands as if saying, I know. “So, what are the kids up to?
“Looking for rabid gophers.”
“I heard Kespar had a spot of bother last turn,” Corg said stretching out some stiffness. “It looks like the Mytori Priest and Rirorni Mystic are getting along pretty well.”
Grimwood watched as the boy and girl giggled and laugh as they leapt for gophers popping their heads up from the ground and then quickly retreated as the youngsters approached. However, all the noise they generated gave the creatures enough warning to where the Rirorni were at all times. The third Rirorni teenager, Harbinger, sat off to the side picking at the dry grass and crushing dirt clods pushed up from the gopher holes. She occasionally looked at her comrades, and then went back to scratching at the earth.
“I see the newest addition hasn’t fit in with the group yet,” Grimwood said. “Has she said her name yet?”
“No, the others have tried, but she excludes herself and won’t give her name.”
Corg pointed. “Mystic said she was born under the sign of the Harbinger. It’s apparently a very bad omen in the Rirorni culture.”
“Harbinger? That’s nonsense. A harbinger could easily issue in a good era. Besides, it’s not like we have a choice when we are born.”
“True, but you know how superstitious the Rirorni are,” Corg said.
Grimwood nodded. “So, she continues to go by the name Harbinger?”
Grimwood noticed several puffs of dust rise from the gopher holes and the two Rirorni giving chase sighed and said at the same time. “Oh, they left.”
Corg called out. “Are you surprised? You two make more noise than a tribe of Shewish Giants moving through a forest.”
Grimwood saw a single, abnormally large gopher crawl up from the ground. The two Rirorni started to move towards it, but stopped. Something instinctual told Grimwood’s mind that something wasn’t right about the creature. A guttural growl came from the gopher and its head and front leg twitched in a spasm. Everyone froze.
“Back away…slowly,” Corg said drawing his epee.
The Mytori Priest and Mystic looked from the gopher, to their weapons a good thirty paces away, and back. The rabid gopher leapt at the two Rirorni.
“Run!” Corg yelled as he charged the feral creature.
Corg was too far away, the rabid animal was going to reach the Rirorni first. If bitten it would be an excruciating death sentence.
The Rirorni Mystic screamed as the creature lunged at her back leg.
Grimwood saw a flash of steel as a dagger embedded into the creature. It convulsed violently, mortally wounded. He followed the path of the missile weapon. Harbinger had another dagger in her hand, but lowered it realizing her throw had hit home.
The other two Rirorni had reached their weapons and turned to face the animal, then realized what happened.
They all approached the rabid gopher cautiously, as it lay struggling and impaled to the ground by Harbinger’s dagger.
Harbinger stared at the creature and said, “Put it out of its misery.” She then started walking back towards the gates of Rocanis.
Corg mercifully finished off the rabid gopher with his epee, as Grimwood commented, “Make sure she uses a dagger in her first arena fight.”