Sir Dereck reclined against the gallows, munching a stem of grass, looking out over his gang's camp. Smalls polished his shinty stick, muttering to himself under his breath, "That bite mark is never coming out, blooming dog!"
Sir Dereck looked at his blood soaked axe on the grass beside him, and smiled. Today had been a good day, in many unexpected ways, however, Matilda the Ferret had taken a bad hit, and she was only just coming round.
She clutched her arm, and groaned, looking up from her pillow in her tent, she caught Sir Dereck's eye and muttrered in pain "What happened?"
Sir Dereck got up, poured a flaggon of wine, and wandered over, handing over the wine, a decent red, and propping the injured warrior up wih his own pillow and blanket behind her back.
"Well, how much do you remember?"
"I was guarding that mole, Sir Bore-a-Lot, boy did he ever live up to thant name, he could go on about structural engineering for hours, after that, nothing really!" She knew that after the Freeferrets had failed to defend their haul, and with only just enough food to sustain the gang, the only plus side of their last job had been capturing Sir Bore-a-Lot the Mole. They had negotiated with his Royalist gang, hoping to raise a decent ransom, but that had broken down. As they woke and stretched the bright sun burning down on their snouts, both the other gangs were approaching fast up the road, and that was about all she recalled.
Smalls wandered in with a pair of foldable camp chairs, plonking them down and then plonking himself on them and his feet on Matilda's bed, Sir Dereck quickly dashed them away, causing a 'HUMPH!' from Smalls and the first glimmer of a smile from Matilda.
"One came in from the North, that was those Royalists, trying to free their mole mate, looking for vengance. The others, Freebeasts from the South, looked real tired and hungry, as they did not have enough to feed themselves, they were looking to steal the mole for themselves to raise much needed funds." Smalls chipped in. "Trying to get into our camp they was, good thing we 'ad that mole on the gallows. We wouldn't have done nuffink, but it was enough of a threat."
Sir Dereck took a sip of the wine, really good, it had cost him a few pennies, but worth it, he twirled his flaggon between his paws. "The first threat we had had to deal with was Captain Buck Hare, who had moved up the road and been shot in the leg with a crossbow bolt from Neddy, who pulled off a pretty perfect shot."
"That hare ain't jumping much now," Smalls smiled.
"While all that was going on, Black Jack Dog had snuck past from the South up the other side of the road wall, Smalls here leapt the wall..."
"Oh you should have seen me Matilda, one swing and me mighty shinty stick, and he was floored, it was the perfect strike!"
"Anyway, he was joined by Eddy and Neddy, who both stood against the wall and went into hiding, they say they were defending the camp, but with those two, who knows. Coming up in support of the downed Bucky was Harvey Boots, who was shouting and yowling about making stoat heads roll for taking down the his mate, the mighty hare."
"Where you were, in the North of the camp, you and I were taking the fight too them," Sir Dereck intoned, "the Royalists was more circumspect, their rabbit sniper, Hopalong Cassidy, who had caused so much trouble for Teddy last fight was out wide on the left hill, waiting, while their leader, skulking at the back like she did last time, sniping away with the blunderbus of her's, was trying to shoot us. Her Ladyship, the fox, came through the cover of the tall crops, assisted by Catman who scampered up the road."
Matilda the Ferret sat up, clutching her arm, "I think I remember this bit, I took shelter, waitimg to see how this would develop. That snake, Hissing Sid, the adder, had been stopped by the tall crops, they tickled his tummy. I was just waited.
I couldn't believe you just jumped that fence Sir Dereck and piled into Lady Meowshchewwer from the Royalists, that was brave."
Smalls took a sip of wine and a lump of breathing, "Yeah, while you lot were off being heroes, you missed Sixpence the sparrow diving into the camp from the South to try and steal that mole from under the very noses of us Stoats and Ferrets! Thankfully, Teddy had had the sense to stay on gaurd at the gallows, and quicky jumped up to try and deal with the winged menace. Good bread Dereck!"
Dereck looked as his band and grinned, "Small's blood was up, and he continued his furious charge into Harvey Boots the Southern gang's cat, landing a mighty thwack with his shinty stick."
"Did you hear him, claiming that he was gonna make heads roll, then he completely missed." Sir Dereck giggled.
Smalls grinned, there were a lot of teeth in that grin, "Before I knew it, Eddy had jumped the wall to join in, he didn't want me having all the fun!"
"Yes, but while you two were chasing off, having 'fun', Teddy was left on his ownat the gallows, trying to stop Sixpence stealing our prize! Lucky I let him keep his glasses so he could avoid the blows that came in his direction." Sir Dereck pulled a daisy from the grass.
He twiddle it between his paws, "I continued to hack at Her Ladyship, she was a bit tougher than last time."
Matilda scratched her nose with her good paw, "i noticed that Royalist mouse, was it Sneaky, no, Squeaky trying to get past me, I ambush him, but the wily mouse was too quick for me and spotted her on the way in, parrying my blows".
Smalls interjected "Over your shoulder, Black Jack Dog from the South was caught behind the fence line by Catman from the Royalists, and soon they were fighting like...
"No you're not!" Came a cry from Matilda and a lump of bread caught the stoat square on the nose.
"Well, back at my end, Berty the Dog charged in to help Harvey, but Neddy caused the hound a lot of hurt as he rolled another perfect shot. Can't believe the distraction of me waving stick got the better of his animal instincts, and he sunk his teeth me shinty stick! That's been in my family generations!"
"Dogs, sticks, suppose I shouldn't have been surprised!"
"Guess you owe Neddy one for that Smalls!" Sir Dereck slapped him on the shoulder. "Sid finally managed to cross the crops without giggling, but Her Ladyship, for the second time running, was floored by trusty axe."
"You need to clean that, or it will be a rusty axe!"
"It was all Hack, thawk, all over! Overall, the Southern gang were not seeing the best of it! Catman put some serious hurt onto Black Jack, while Eddy and I paired against Bertie and Harvey. It was definitely going our way!" Smalls gloated.
"Yeah, Neddy snuck away to help Teddy on the gallows, as Eddy and I had it all under control down there. Harvey was the next to go down, battered by Eddy, not so much taking heads and keeping his head down!"
"We watched Black Jack and Catman continued to tear lumps out of each other to the North. They were pretty evenly matched, but the cat was getting the worse of it." Sir Dereck muttered.
"That was when it went wrong for you. Sid slithered up to you, and bit you hard on the ar. His venom coursed through you body, and then Squeaky mouse thrust his blade in, causing you to collapse." Sir Dereck shook his head sadly. "Meanwhile, the Northern gang's mage, that Cawlock the Crow, flew onto the gallows while Neddy and Sixpence fought, and tried to gnaw the rope with his beak (should have brought a knife, mages are meant to be intelligent), only to find us sneaky stoats had greased the rope, making it hard to bite through!" Sir Dereck smirked.
"While back in the South, I put the hurt on the wounded Berty, putting that hound out of the fight too, three fights, three down!" Smalls gloated.
"You had it easy Smalls, in the far North, despite being outnumbered and shot at shot at by the Royalist gang leader Lady Meowshchewwer's cavilier (that thing hurts) and hit by arrows from Hopalong Cassidy, I burst through the hedge and landed a crushing blow with the axe. I really flattened that Royalist boss, but had to turn to see how the rest of the fights turned out." Sir Dereck twiddled his whiskers.
"Best sight yet, midwway along the road, and on his last gasp, Black Jack Dog summoned the last of energy and threw himself into one final attack on the Royalist Catman, both went down, Jack I've got to say did it heroically!" Sir Dereck paused to raise his glass in the direction the Southerners had come from.
"Then the battle at the Gallows intensified, Neddy, spying the Cawlock trying to free the Mole had rushed up the gallows to deal with him, but Sid and Squeaky the Mouse had come to his aid. Sid uncoiled and struck upwards, he must have left his false teeth attached to your arm Matilda, as his strike did nothing to Neddy, only for Squeaky the Mouse to thrust up from below, and with a shocked whimper, our crossbowman fell off the gallows too.
"You know what we also missed?? Off in the far distance (top left), on the Royalist side, Lady Sarah the
Fox and Stacey the Mouse from the Southern gang, quitely, unobtrusively, had made it all the way across the board, and casually wandered off the table. In the centre the Royalists realised both their leader and second was down, and legged it off table, or in one case, slithered, stopping to loot your pockets on the way." Sir Dereck added.
Matilda looked aghast, "I knew I was six pence poorer, I just assumed Eddy did it!"
"That Southern gang had also lost four out of its seen fighters, and despite having the Holy Toenail of St Anthony, their morale dipped and they broke away to safety. Well, not so much 'they', as Sixpence, who was thier only character left fighting." Sir Dereck took another sip of wine, 'must get hold of more of this' he thought, 'it's not bad stuff!'.
"With both enemy bands broken, I was pleased to say our Freeferrets had fought hard. Out numbered at least two to one all the way through, only taking two losses was quite incredible. We kept hold of our captive and made a bucket load of coins from that too, as we also had orders to 'Assassinate' the Royalist leader. Then we sold the Mole back to them, for more than they had offered before! Neddy recovered without damage, so all good really."
"Worse thing, I was looking forwards to having a nice velvet jacket!" quipped Smalls!
"Why is my arm still hurting?" asked Matilda plaintively.
"Yeah, we could not get the poison out your arm in time, so until we can find a mystic, you're down to one arm, but on the plus side, we got you a cool new sword!"
A fantastic game round at David's on Tuesday, against both he and Chezzy's gangs. The three of us again burned through a LOT of reroll, but I had an incredible run of perfect hits that really tore through Chezzy's band early on. The post game was even more fun! My stoats and Matilda all gained new stats and skills (apart from Eddy) and we picked up enough cheap equipment on the black market to buy Eddy and Teddy light armour, and Matilda her own throwing daggers, while we also got a load of pain poison and a mastercrafted sword on the real cheap!
David's gang was really taken down, but he got his mole back. Also all those that got to the gallows
walked off with loot, as did Sid, who is now a d12 strike, but is still looking for his false teeth!
Chezzy sent me her own summary of the game, which was brilliant and I've included it here.
Lady Sarah - Fox, she was still feeling the after effects of not eating after the last round so decided to take her Lady in waiting Stacey the mouse and just try to get to the enemy camp by going along the
outside keeping her head down.
Captain Buck Hair - what a let down, all the gear and no idea, first man down.
Black Jack Dog - went out in a blaze of glory.
Berty the dog didn't bring his A game at all.
Harvey Boots - He wanted to make heads roll but didn't
Sixpence - Bird He was meant to fly to the enemy camp but got chatting to the tied up mole. Very distracted, however redeemed himself by finding a gambling den and bringing home 95pennies 2nd initiative failed an inquiry found Six pence was at fault. He will be given training on how to remain focused.
Brilliant! I'm stealing that word for word for the blog!! You failed to mention that Little Stacy Mouse, who everyone assumed was quiet and shy has now revealed her true colours and is now a spellcaster!!! Those 95 pennies means you can buy alot of equipment and not go hungry for a looong time!
Oh yes of course, it's always the quiet ones.