The Whisperer in Darkness

Grim Days

62nd of Winter 372 U.I. (Day 5): The rumbling of wooden cart wheels seem to turn over and over again in the dragonborn’s mind as he swims slowly into consciousness, shrugging off the last of the drow poison with the superior skills of dragon endurance. His eyes flicker open and he attempts to elevate himself into a sitting position but finds himself unable, his thick arms and legs tightly restrained. His warm breath, carrying with it it’s usual fetid stench seems to linger around his mouth, the lizard’s one good eye darts down to his snout seeing that a well built and tightly fitting muzzle has been strapped to the lower half of his face, restricting his deadly jaws to less than an inch worth of movement. A voice suddenly chimes up from somewhere near by, but the source remains a mystery to the warrior, the last of the poison lingering in his system, dulling the senses, “Shiiiit, he’s awake.” “How pissed does he look?” A voice sounding further away replies. “He always looks pissed.” “Is he moving much?” “Not yet…” the voice says, a hint of nervousness in it betraying the speaker’s true feelings, “Should be fine then.” The lizard feels pleased, just opening his eye can strike fear into the hearts of the enemies of Grimlock Skullfucker.

Suddenly a cry of pain rings out, the General’s ears (his inner lizard ones) prick up and he feels a surge of adrenaline inject itself violently into his system – someone has been hurt. The carriage stops abruptly and a shocked voice cries out, “What are those things?!” another voice, “Dear lord, they killed Alan!” Panicked cries can be heard from what sounds like a whole retinue of men, after several seconds someone climbs up onto the back of the carriage, “Did you say the beast was awake? He could be of use to us. Give him another shot of the stuff then we’ll hoist him out.” Grimlock feels something pierce his neck and as the adrenaline coursing around his body rapidly subsides, his eyes begin to flutter between open and closed. He is vaguely aware of being lifted out of the carriage then dropped roughly on the ground outside where he is then kicked several times in the chest and head by multiple assailants as someone kneels by his side and cuts his bonds. His rage builds as his captors scamper off quickly, seemingly fearful of an odd clicking noise which is growing louder and louder.

Climbing to his feet, Grimlock takes stock of the area around him, a line of carriages sit stationary nearby, behind which he can see a small army of men cowering, watching intently. He clenches his fists and stretches his shoulders and arms, preparing to launch a full assault on the troops, no matter how well armed they appear to be, when the strange clicking noise, a mechanical sound, much like the inner workings of a small time keeping device, distract his attention. Wheeling around he sees three large insect-like creatures, looking much like giant ticks with razor sharp appendages and hard shelled backs, are making their way towards him, gaining ground rapidly, one of them with blood dripping from its mandibles. He shifts his clawed feet into a more combat ready stance, aware of his lack of armour but positive his natural defences can stand up to anything these puny bugs could dish out, when his right foot knocks into something hard lying on the ground. The General looks to his feet and sees an old and battered-looking greatsword, a feeling of malicious joy spreads through his body and licks at his lips, curling them into a devious smile below his muzzle. The fools had left him a weapon, they would pay dearly for this mistake in a few minutes time.

Encounter: The only good bug is a dead bug

Grimlock takes a deep breath, admiring the carnage laid out in front of him; crushed, smashed and generally broken giant insects, their legs still twitching, oozed unpleasant smelling fluids over the ground. He considers getting to his knees and partaking in some of the no doubt interesting flavours the bugs produce, but a nervous coughing behind him reminds him of his other quarry, the fighting force of foolish humanoids. He spins on the spot, pulling the greatsword out of the earth and lifting it above his head as he does so, only to be confronted with no less than thirty bows, arrows nocked and strings pulled taught, ready to fire. He freezes as he calculates his next move and a voice calls out, “Drop the sword nitwit!”

NITWIT?! Grimlock could barely contain his rage, but he knew to charge forward would be to invite certain death, even if he was in his full suit of armour, thirty well placed arrows would make short work of him. Although a rash individual at the best of times, the General knows the value of biding one’s time; he clings onto the sword for a few seconds more before releasing it to drop to the ground, raising his head high and letting out a mighty roar, managing to open his jaws enough to even put a crack in the muzzle.

With a surprising amount of confidence considering what he has just witnessed, an ugly looking man with a crooked nose and milky eye steps out of the crowd and confronts Grimlock, “Now, shithead, we’ve got something else for you to do, and if you know what’s good for ya, you’ll do it.” Once more, the Dragonborn reminds himself of the value of biding your time, staring aggressively into the man’s one good eye, but offering no resistance when a group of ten troops surround him and begin to retie his bonds. They harness him to the front of one of the carriages, which had previously been driven by the unfortunate Alan, killed seconds after his horses had been carved into pieces by the large insects, clearly reasoning that Grimlock has ample enough horsepower in his thick legs to keep up with the rest of the convoy. The ugly man appears in front of the disgruntled warrior yet again and smiles as he makes one solitary command, “Pull.”

The journey takes several hours, by the end of which even the General’s superior ancient lizard endurance is wearing thin, so he is relieved to see the convoy’s destination come into view just as the sun sets over the western hills. Whipped and harassed by his captors, Grimlock pulls the carriage up to the gate of what appears to be a hastily constructed wooden fort, a palisade wall of mismatched hunks of woods surrounding an interior group of buildings, the rooftops of which he could see on the approach.

Standing on faltering feet, somewhere on the fringes of exhaustion, Grimlock doesn’t even react when he hears the air whistle behind him and feels several dull thuds against his back, a strange sensation, as if a small animal with many claws has suddenly leapt upon him. He collapses to his knees, the ropes strapping him to the carriage not allowing him to fall any further, too tired to even feel a hint of rage. The world turns black.

67th of Winter 372 U.I. (Day 10): What happens to those “about to attack”

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Wistark

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