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 The Oakfield Market

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Nocte
Chicken Chaser
Chicken Chaser
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Posts : 8
Renown : 12

PostSubject: The Oakfield Market   Sat May 22, 2010 2:57 pm

OOC: Let's call this my character's first adventure. I'll be playing this solo.

The Oakfield Market was a bi-annual event, a large gathering of various traders from throughout Albion (and often beyond). It was around mid-day when we arrived, a Caravan of Gypsies travelling for trade. The center of the town, of course, was draped in tapestries and ribbons. Traders set up stalls at every corner, children ran about the market - like a fair, to them - playing and laughing and stealing exotic fruits and pies.
The Market was a weeklong event, and it had only just begun to get into full swing. The Gypsies set up camp just outside of Oakfield and by night were either tending their stocks, or tending The Sandgoose.
I sat inside The Sandgoose, sipping a glass of Oakfield Moonshine (most flammable in all of Albion!) and joining the revelry. The place was bright with fire, packed with people and color, everyone singing and dancing and generally making fools of themselves - and me along with them - to the tune of a makeshift band of bards attempting a rendition of "The Hero of Albion," though it seemed none of them could agree on the words. It was only a matter of time, I thought, until they settled with a brawl. I found myself grinning wide in anticipation, the thought enough to make me almost laugh out loud.
I took a long drag off of an incense stick, bought from an Eastern Kingdom trader earlier. The smoke came out in spinning, purple and orange spirals and the lights seemed to almost flicker. One of the bards jumped on another and started swinging, the other two quickly changing to something like a power ballad, noticing an opportunity for entertainment. The crowd jeered and laughed, cheering on whoever they thought had the right lines, enjoying the comedy of the moment.
Suddenly, there was a scream - high pitched and deeply frightened. A pack of Hobbes burst through the windows and before anyone had the chance to comprehend the situation, one of the larger ones had already brought a rusty axe down upon a young lady's head, splattering gore across the wall and floor. They were grunting and laughing, delighting in the chaos - firing bullets into the crowd, hacking limbs with blades, and stealing all the ale.
“Bastards!” I had my sword out as quick as I could manage, hunching down and running through the crowd. The other patrons were already scrambling through windows and up the stairs, fleeing from the creatures. Two other Gypsies were right behind me, swords drawn, jumping into action.
There were five Hobbes inside, three with axes, one with a sword, and the final with a clockwork pistol. I lunged for the pistoleer, slicing deep into his arm at the elbow. He dropped his gun and grunted, frightened, his eyes widening in shock. I grabbed his face with my free hand and released a bolt of lightning. Smoke rose and the Hobbe fell limp.
Two of the Axe Wielders had dropped their weapons and were trying to drag barrels of ale outside. One of the Gypsies - a man with a purple headband - had jumped on one of the Hobbes, plunging his sword deep into the Hobbe's back, severing his spinal cord. He let out a gratifying curse, pulled his blade out, and went for the other Hobbe.
His friend wasn’t so lucky. The other Gypsy, a man in a green patchwork cloak, ran after the Sword-wielder, stumbled over a body, and found himself decapitated on the floor before he could ever get his bearings. The Hobbes snickered and sneered, grinning wide.
Retrieving my saber from the lobotomized Hobbe, I spun around to face the Sword and Axe wielders. They were slowly approaching me, looking for the right moment to pounce. I raised my sword, watching for an opening, hoping the other Gypsy was faring better than his friend.
I backed up, matching their speed, toward and up the stairs, trying to keep them at a distance. I thought about my pistol or throwing another bolt of lightning. I wasn’t sure I could evoke lightning again so soon, and I knew I wasn’t a quick enough draw to take them both. Fuck. The back of my boot knocked against something, and I grinned in realization – a bottle of liquor. Perfect.
I reached down, grabbed the bottle, and threw it at the torch hanging on the wall, lunging at the Hobbes as a rain of fire and glass clouded their vision.
Oakfield Moonshine. I grinned.
I slashed up wards on the first Hobbe, the Sword-wielder, and followed it up with a kick, knocking him back into the Axe-wielder. They tumbled down the stairs and I jumped, sinking my blade into the Axe-wielder’s chest as I landed.
The other Gypsy had dispatched the remaining Hobbe and was tending to the wounded in the bar. I took a few deep breathes, surveying the damage. People lay dead and wounded, windows and furniture destroyed, blood pooling on the floor. It was a grim sight.
Without warning, another scream followed by a horrible, rhythmic beating. War shouts, grunts, demented laugher – the chaos outside the bar steadily grew. I grabbed another bottle of the Moonshine, slipped it into my coat, and rushed out the door.
Straight into the backside of another Hobbe. Before he had time to turn and notice me, my saber had severed his spinal cord - dropping the creature to the ground with loud shrieks. With a quick swipe, I ended the remainder of its life.
I looked around. Hobbes were setting houses and stalls on fire, chasing women and children through the streets and throwing them in cages, stealing everything they could get their hands on and slaughtering everything in their way. The guards were already engaged with the horde, but they were drastically out numbered.
I didn’t think, I just moved. I drew my pistol and began firing; taking down a few Hobbes as I made for what seemed like a leader – a larger, red Hobbe. He saw me coming for him and readied himself, parrying my blade as I lunged at him and knocking me back. I threw a bolt of lightning at him, paralyzing him for a second, and tried again – this time my lunge connecting with his shoulder. A high pitched squeal came out of him, and he knocked me to my side. I landed hard on my back, wincing. The smaller Hobbes laughed and screeched, running up to kick me while I was down. I reached out and grabbed the first one, forcing his face into the ground as I stood.
The larger Hobbe had lost the use of his right arm and was wielding his axe with his left, awkwardly. Another grin crept over my face as I rushed him again, dodging his first chop, and slashing across his stomach.
He fell over with a whine, and the smaller Hobbes dispersed in fear.
I composed myself and looked around. Hobbes worked in packs, scavenging and occasionally raiding places, but nothing on this sort of scale. This was an assault. In the distance I could hear a megaphone blasting manic laughter across Oakfield. I decided to run towards it, taking out the Hobbes in my path.
It was quick, dirty work. I wasn’t about to fight an army. I didn’t have the constitution – that was a job for the Guards. I had to find their commander and demoralize them. Hobbes might fight on their own, but they weren’t well organized at the best of times, and they had the mentality of children – severely fucked up children, yeah, but children all the same.
There were guards fighting to get into the entrance of the Graveyard. In the distance, I could see a Hobbe sitting upon a wooden structure – gleefully laughing as it barked orders from a megaphone. Hobbes blanketed the area, making a gory mess out of everything.
I rushed the entrance, backing up the guards, and quickly dispersed several smaller Hobbes with a few swipes of my saber. The guards grunted in thanks, pushing onwards. “We’ve got to get that one on the structure,” I shouted, slashing at Hobbes as they came for us. “Good luck with that!” cried one of the guards, taking a slash across the chest – not deep enough to kill, but enough to weaken.
Ignoring him, I pushed forward. A slash caught my arm, and another my leg. They weren’t too bad. I dispatched a few Hobbes in front of me, firing my pistol wildly at others in the distance.
Finally, I came to the base of the structure – it was on wheels and it couldn’t have been more than 9 or 10 feet high. The Hobbe on top continued barking his orders, firing at both the guards and I with an old rifle.
I didn’t want to climb the structure – it didn’t look particularly stable, and I’d be defenseless against that rifle – or any other Hobbe with a gun. I remember what it felt like the first time I got shot. It burned. I still had the scar on my shoulder.
It burned. I grinned wide, an idea forming.
I threw the bottle of Oakfield Moonshine as high as I could and aimed my pistol. Time slowed. What was a couple seconds felt like minutes as I took aim.
Right at the apex of the toss, when the bottle was just over the Hobbe with the megaphone, the bullet struck. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting – a small explosion, a rain of fire? The bottle shattered and liquor poured down on the Hobbe and his structure.
My heart sank. Hobbes were closing in. In a second of frustration and anguish – how fucking stupid, to die by a pack of Hobbes - I threw a bolt of Lightning. It struck the structure, igniting the wood, starting a small fire, igniting the liquor, and igniting the Hobbe – starting a big fire. Hobbe laughter transformed into deranged, painful screaming. Everyone stopped and turned their heads – in the darkness of the night, the wooden structure lit up like a lighthouse. For a moment, the chaos was quiet and the only sound was the cries of the burning leader. He danced around in pain and fell off his platform, landing with a yellow and a thud.
All was quiet.
I turned around and fired three successive shots, dropping three more Hobbes while they were all still transfixed. They fell to the ground in cries of pain. Slow, horrible screams let out of every living Hobbe in the area, and they began to run. Harsh, loud cheers came from Oakfield as its residents began fighting off the remaining, retreating Hobbes.
I kicked the smoldering corpse in front of me and kneeled down. Upon the Hobbe’s head sat an old, purple hat – something of a cross between a wizard’s hat and a top hat. It was mostly intact, the fire hadn’t ruined it. Absent mindedly, I took the feather – a dark green and bright orange feather from a bird I couldn’t place - off the cap and stuck it in my headband.
Not far from the structure, just behind a crypt, the Hobbes had been busy excavating the Earth. Most of a steel door was revealed, the indents of a seal locking in the middle.
I sat down and took a breath, running my hands through my hair. It had been a long night.
I took out the incense stick and lit it with a match, admiring the swirling purple, orange, and green colored smoke.
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Nocte
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PostSubject: Re: The Oakfield Market   Sat May 22, 2010 2:58 pm

The next day was a feast, to say the least. Although many were involved in preparing the dead and fixing the damage, everyone seemed to be in relatively high spirits – happy they managed to push back the Hobbe horde. For all the tragedy of the night before, I had to admire the spirit of Oakfield.
I spent most of the day helping the gypsies fix the damage to the camp, though they seemed to fair pretty well. We weren’t strangers to a fight and centuries of travel had taught us how to defend and rebuild.
Around mid-day I wandered Oakfield, surveying the damage and taking part in the festivities. In passing, I managed to pick up a bit of conversation, “Did you hear? They pushed back the Hobbes to a cave! It seems like they’re all holding up in it!”
“I heard the guards sayin’ it was one of them Gypsies that set the leader alight!”
“I heard they were tryin’ to dig their way into an old ruin! Wonder what a Hobbe could want in there?”
Perhaps it was because I was exhausted from the fight, but I hadn’t thought much of it at the time. Why did the Hobbes want to get in the ruin? What could have made them band together like that? The thought worried me, somewhat. I had fought with Hobbes before and I had never seen anything like this. This was more the style of bandits.
I decided to take a stroll down to the graveyard and get another look at the door and the crypt. By the time I got there, the sun was starting to hang low. A couple guards nodded to me as I passed, one of them clasping my hand and thanking me for my efforts the night before. I recognized him as one of the guards in the graveyard when I came through, and nodded. “No problem. It was my pleasure to kill a few Hobbes,” I laughed. He did too, and then he moved on.
I got a good look at the crypt. “LANDAM ‘BLITZ’ ELLOWERE – HERO – GUILDMASTER” I recognized an engraving of a guild seal below the plaque bearing Blitz’s name. To say my father was into history and archaeology was an understatement. The Guild Seal was something I saw illustrated in his notebooks quite a lot. I walked around the crypt, looking at the dug-out hole. The indents of a Guild Seal were centered on the uncovered steel door. “What could Hobbes want with an old guild ruin?” I muttered, confused.
The Hobbes attacked once and they were after this, I thought. What are the chances they’ll come back? Pretty good, I decided. They weren’t acting like Hobbes. They seemed determined. If the gossip was to be believed, they were still held up relatively close by.
I shouldn’t get into this, I thought. Oakfield needs a hero, not a gypsy. I sighed. No heroes I recognized were here and if there were any, they would’ve done something last night. The Temple of Light wasn’t about to do anything – and the guards were busy enough taking care of the town. They were defensive measures.
I guess I need to go on the offense.
I went to the tavern for more information – it seemed appropriate, after all. I ordered a shot of moonshine, took it down, and looked around. Three guys with old swords and grim faces sat at a table, out of the way. They were laughing, softly, talking about the night before. I sat down at their table, garnering odd looks from the three of them and said, “You guys pursued the Hobbes last night, aye?”
“Aye, we did,” answered the one directly across from me – he recently stitched gash across the top of his for head. “And you – you fought ‘em at the graveyard, did ya?”
“I did,” I answered, looking the man in the eye.
“Good job there, thanks, gypsy. We don’t get much help from yer kind.”
“They threatened all of us,” I replied, nonchalantly. The gypsies kept to their own, for the most part. Albion didn’t exactly have a history of defending us.
“Aye, they did.” They all nodded, taking another swig of their liquor.
“I’m trying to find out where they’re held up. You know?”
“Eager to kill a few more, are ya?”
“They grabbed some of our children. I guess you can say I am,” I grinned. He nodded, understanding.
“Grabbed a few of ours, too! I hate to think it’s too late, but…” They all looked grimmer than before.
“Got a map?” He asked after a moment. I pilled mine out and he marked the cave, roughly, they had chased the horde back to. “You be careful, Hero.”
I smiled. “I’m just a pissed off gypsy.”
I cleaned my saber and pistol before I left. The saber had a few nicks and lost part of its edge the night before, but by nightfall I had the blade sharp once more. I had to switch out the barrel of my pistol, but otherwise it was in decent enough shape. I cursed the quality of my weapons, but I was thankful I had any at all.
The walk to the cave was uneventful. A small swarm of beetles crossed my path, giving me an opportunity to test the edge on my saber. Maybe I was quicker, maybe the blade was sharper, maybe they were a particularly weak swarm, but the beetles were dispatch within seconds. I thought about attacking beetles with a stick as a kid, playing in the stables. How far I’ve come, I laughed.
Not far from the cave a guard and a few citizens had set up a look out post. There were four of them in all, playing cards and drinking, their weapons all close by. They had a couple barrels of liquor – compliments of The Sandgoose, I thought. Or maybe the Hobbes? I had to smile.
The guard had a large, lightly wound bandage across his chest. He recognized me as I approached and called me over, “Ey! You there! Gypsy! Come on o’ver ‘ere!” I walked over and sat down on a log, beside the others. “Now now, this ‘here is who I been tellin’ ya about! The hero who started that fire!” He slapped me on the back and the other cheered. “Aye, what’s yer name?” He asked. I shrugged, “Nocte,” I said, “But I’m no her-“
“Nocte! Wha kinda name is tha’ for a hero?” He laughed, shaking his head. “Mm, no, won’t do.” He eyed me over, “Yer hair is dark like a raven… Ah, there we go! Raven!” He smiled, pleased with himself
“Yeah! I like it, Raven!” The man to his right said.
“So, ya came here to stand guard with us, Raven?” Someone else asked. I sighed, letting them go with it.
“The Hobbes were too well organized… I figured I’d slip down into their cave and see what they’re up to. Maybe kill a few more,” I said.
“Ah-ha! The heroic thing ta do!” The guard bellowed, whacking me on the back again. I coughed.
I pointed down a ways, towards the entrance to the cave. “That it, there?” I asked.
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The Oakfield Market
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