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Bloody Glory


Kroh
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Kroh chuckled, their voice deep and husky. Currently in the body of a female half-giant, everything about them was deeper, huskier, and bigger. The half-giant shaman was Kroh’s favorite reincarnation and one they chose quite often. 

“Good attempt at the flex, Ryekir, but I think that furry belly of your’s might be getting in the way.”

Ryekir’s furry face grinned as he caught his breath from a sad attempt at flexing. Ryekir preferred the complete opposite in bodies to Kroh, usually running around in a Guineacean cleric. He barely reached Kroh’s knees but in a good fight, his short stature and ability to tunnel kept him often out of the enemies crosshairs. They were an odd sight together but together they were often in this broken universe of bloody battles and endless wars. Their chosen powers were that of healing, if in different forms, and they made quite the team when keeping up their clan mates, the Reavers. 

They were enjoying a rare moment of peace in Keep Tsunami, the keep the Sun faction had claimed as their own early in this current campaign. Being part of the Sun faction and a follower of Maeve, goddess of War and the sea, the Reavers were often locked blade to blade with Moon or Earth, if not both. A moment of laughter was few and far between. 

As if the gods wanted to prove a point, Kroh and Ryekir suddenly became alert as Xeath, a fellow Reaver called out to them telepathically, a gift from their goddess. Earth to the west. Xeath was often short and to the point. 

Calling forth their mounts from another plane, an auroch for Kroh and a hellcat for Ryekir, they immediately started heading in Xeath’s direction. 

Kroh grinned as they rode west, calling out to Ryekir, “I still think you should stay perched on my shoulder in battle, my friend. It would be a lot easier for us to stay close together.”

Ryekir rolled his eyes as he glanced over at Kroh, “You’re usually the first one they try to kill with that massive body flaying about and throwing healing spirit everywhere,” and then grinned, “Which I thank you for, by the way. I’m rarely noticed because of it.”

Kroh boomed a laugh before nodding at other Reavers who were now joining them on their way West. Senokay, a half-giant barbarian that enemies found frustratingly hard to take down, Gingy, a Nethari fanatic who found great enjoyment in setting anything and everything on fire, Veygon, a half elf cutthroat with a love for seeing the severed arteries of his victims, Vazhi, a half elf stormcaller with lightening that could bathe an entire battalion in an instant, Franken, a fae blackguard who would appear out of thin air into the thick of enemy frontlines, Merkaile, another Nethari fanatic who erred more on the side of caution while raining down fire while mostly unnoticed, Scribbs, a half elf cutthroat with an uncanny ability to find his target’s heart through their back, Civil, a plague warden whose arrows left lasting disease, Fieldstone, a half elf warden with an expertise in traps that often caught his targets unaware, and Smitty, a Nethari vandal who found more joy in stunning his enemies from the shadows to carve his initials into their flesh so they could feel each cut before their death. Reavers, one and all, and a thirst for all things violent. 

The clan soon found Xeath, a high elf frost guard who found great joy in encasing his enemies in ice on the frontlines. He had already dispatched of the enemy and Kroh had a moment of disappointment. It did not last long as a magical horn sounded in the distance. Fort Rufio in Bubbatadoo had lost the protection of the Earth gods and was up for grabs. Kroh gave an exuberant battle shout, Reavers echoing their bloodthirst and charged North. 

When they arrived at Fort Rufio, the Reavers quickly realized Earth was already entrenched around the fort to protect their claim. To make matters worse, the fort sat atop a small plateau with only three ways to scale up; each one was a bottleneck death trap. Never to be so easily deterred, the Reavers flocked to the North side, hoping the Earth archers raining down death from above would be preoccupied with other Sun that had gathered on the West side. Luck was not their friend today as one of their many archers soon spotted their advance. 

Kroh charged forward with Senokay, the other Reavers following close behind and yelled, “Keep to the plateau’s sides! Their archers can’t reach us there!” 

Reavers, always a single unit, glued themselves to the side of the plateau while pushing towards the North bottleneck, the enemy archers unable to target them due to the plateau’s cliffs. One archer made the mistake of dropping down in the hopes of sniping the Reavers from behind but his death soon followed his stupidity. There was nothing more fearsome than a horde of Reavers thirsting for blood.

They finally reached the North bottleneck and despite Earth now knowing of the Reavers’ intentions, the clan charged up the bottleneck, Senokay and Xeath leading the way, Kroh close on their heels. Senokay immediately jumped into the middle of the mass of Earth, Xeath only a second behind, and it was apparent the Reavers were outnumbered. Do or die, that was the Reaver way. 

“Heals on Senokay!” Kroh bellowed, throwing spirit healing in Senokay’s direction. His two handed mace slammed down on the enemies swarming his front, knocking several to the ground. Xeath’s black ice blasted to life in front of him, pinning the enemies behind Senokay in place. After countless decades of playing this dance together, Senokay knew to spin, swinging his great mace with his momentum to crush the frozen enemies behind him, their screams of pain and death the music they all moved to. 

Kroh’s hammer swung forward, calling down spirit to pin their enemies to the ground around Senokay and Xeath while healing the minor wounds the two front liners acquired while surrounded. Ryekir, using his small stature to literally find cover behind Kroh’s towering body, called forth his more powerful divine power to heal his companions’ deeper wounds. Franken suddenly appeared out of thin air in the middle of the fray, joining the front liners in their desperate dance. His axes swung far more quickly and elegantly than Senokay’s mace but no less deadly. His quick movements avoided most of Earth’s attacks and his plate helped to glance off even more. 

Preoccupied with the death blows of the front liners and the healers keeping them alive, Earth failed to notice the Reaver back liners and stealthers who now joined the bloody fray. Gingy, ever the arson psychopath, cackled as he rushed closer to throw fiery tornadoes into Earth’s own healers who were trying to stay out of the way of giant mace, axes and black ice. Merkaile, sighing at his fellow fanatic’s gleeful rampage for he preferred a more subtle approach, found a more strategic spot outside the fort entrance to snipe the Earth back liners with fireballs while completely unnoticed. Civil moved in close enough to start firing down diseased arrows at Earth’s own archers. Even if his arrows did not deal a killing blow, Civil’s enemy soon found boils and rot creeping  from their wounds followed by excruciating pain. Vazhi, despite being a master of storm and lightening, emanated calm as he stepped forward into the bloody mayhem. Holding his sickle high, he called down lighting from a cloudless sky, the lightening striking his upraised sickle with a blinding flash though no harm befell him. In the next movement, Vazhi pointed his sickle forward, commanding the captured lighting to spread to any enemy unlucky enough to be within his sight. The lightning crackled forward happily, hitting one or two enemies before skipping to the next victim. 

With chaos now reigning in battle, Reavers’ stealthers joined the fray. Veygon moved in on an injured Earth healer who had pulled away from the fight in an attempt to heal their injuries in a less chaotic space. Before the last divine word could leave the Earth cleric’s lips, Veygon appeared behind him, his dagger silently separating the flesh of the cleric’s throat, his artery cleanly sliced. Gurgling on his own blood, the cleric fell to his death never having seen Veygon’s face as he slid back into the shadows. Scribbs waited patiently like a spider in his web. He knew soon Earth’s back liners would begin to spread and lose formation. He did not have to wait long as a Earth confessor backed out of the fort’s East entrance. The confessor had only taken two steps out of the fort before Scribbs’ dagger found his prey, plunging into the confessor’s beating heart through his back. Scribbs was not one for relishing his kills and slid back into the darkness before teleporting through the shadows to find the heart of his next fleeing victim. Smitty, more of a sadist compared to his fellow assassins, let his victims know a brief sense of relief, thinking they were escaping the slaughter. An Earth wood elf druid blinked away from the battle, thinking to make her escape but her relief was short lived. Smitty stepped out of the shadows and slammed the hilt of his dagger into her temple, her body crumbling to the ground. A malicious smirk gracing his lips, Smitty knelt down to the fallen wood elf and began to carve the first letter deep into the flesh of her forehead. Still dazed and unable to move, the wood elf could only moan in pain, terror glazing her wide eyes as Smitty finished his work. Kissing the tips of his fingers on his free hand, he pressed them to his masterwork before slamming his dagger into the still widened eye of the Druid. Last but certainly not least, Fieldstone prowled around the fort. At each exit of the keep he laid down a trap while the battle preoccupied everyone inside. That done, he went back to each bottleneck of the plateau and laid more traps. Of his own creation and magic, the traps were only visible to those of the Sun faction and any Earth that managed to escape would find their freedom short lived. Once caught in Fieldstone’s trap, Earth would soon have their neck introduced to Fieldstone’s axe, a weapon he lovingly called Beheader. 

The battle raged for moments or hours, the Reavers did not know. They were now completely lost in their bloodlust as they battled Earth. For them, it was less about taking the fort and more about reveling in the glory of their fight. Death was not their enemy but their closest friend. They either brought death to their enemies or embraced it when their name was called. Battle was the Reavers’ lifeblood and they gloried in it. 

As the haze of bloodlust began to leave their vision, the Reavers’ suddenly realized they were the only ones standing in the middle of Fort Rufio, a handful of other Sun beside them who had joined the fray. All Earth fighters were either dead, dying, or fleeing. Breathing heavily, Kroh scanned the area around her. Ryekir was chanting behind her, bringing a couple of fallen companions’ bodies back from death. They had been outnumbered two to one after all. Kroh watched Merkaile saunter around while  checking bodies for anything valuable before burning their bodies to ash. Kroh grinned. Merkaile never liked a mess and the fort was now theirs. 

The Reavers gathered together, laughing and enjoying their victory. They waited for Maeve to lay her claim on Fort Rufio so kept alert while hoping Earth would make an attempt at taking back the fort. Earth did not make a return and Maeve’s power and presence filled Fort Rufio, the smell of blood and sea filling their noses, so strong as to make their eyes water. 

Kroh frowned thinking the battles for the night to already be over but paused as a magical horn from Keep Tsunami rang out a call to battle in Bubbatadoo. Earth’s spirit had not been broken at their defeat at Fort Rufio and instead laid their sights on Sun’s main keep. Kroh grinned down at Ryekir whose own grin reflected back.

“Looks like we have another party to go to, my friend,” Kroh laughed. 

Ryekir called his hellcat out from whatever plan it called home and mounted, “We better get going. You know I hate to be late.”

The Reavers all mounted, charging East toward Keep Tsumani, battle cries thrown into the night sky. Earth would know the Reavers were coming. 
 

 

 

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