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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > Storms and Sparks (Open)

It was as though the atmosphere had been torn open. Rain lashed the humble cottage homes of Dragofrid in sheets. Lightning cracked across black skies, shining harshly against the mail coats of strange men searching through the empty streets. They shouted over the howling wind and endless percussion of the downpour, some giving orders, all searching for something. These strangers knocked hard on the locals' doors, dragging the villagers out from their homes to storm them without interruption. Local men were thrown to the floor, interrogated by the foreigners while wives held wailing babes and feared for their husband's lives. Many of the villagers would have gladly stayed inside were it not for the commotion, but since some lives were threatened most of the others emerged to plead mercy and protect their loved ones from the fearsome men-at-arms. One of the elders in the village pulled the strangers' lieutenant aside, softly speaking to him under the din, gesticulating towards one of the cottages on the edge of town.

The lieutenant stared at it while the elder spoke to him, soon after ordering his underlings to search it as well. Several foreigners surrounded the cottage; some peered into its windows, while others gathered near the front and back entrances. All of them drew their weapons (largely consisting of swords and spears.) The special attention afforded to the cottage drew the locals' attention as well. They watched with silent fascination as one of the strangers raised a leg to kick in the front door. It broke from its hinges with a bang, falling inward. The soldiers in the back of the cottage followed suit, and once both entrances were open the foreigners carefully stepped into the black interior of the house.

Once inside, the foreigners hesitated. One of them struggled with a lantern, hoping to illuminate the humble abode before they continued. He fumbled with it clumsily, taking a good thirty seconds to light it. The instant he did, all hell broke loose.

Sharp, repetitive banging noises rang in the air. Two of them, followed by the clattering of firearms against the cottages wooden floor. Two men-at-arms fell to the ground; one screamed in alarm while the other simply lurched forward. The lantern fell as the soldier did, rolling across the floorboards and petering out. The others growled and yelled, rushing inward towards the source of the violence; the local gunsmith, clad in his long coat, already grabbing two new pistols from his belt to point towards them.

Smoke filled the air as the next two pistols were fired, sending another of the men-at-arms tumbling. One of them had missed their mark, however, and so that foreigner thrust his sword forward to strike the hostile gunsmith's torso. The blade dug into the coat but did not break it, though the force of impact sent the local man staggering backwards. The surviving man-at-arms pursued, seeking retribution for the surprise attack, but the gunsmith had stumbled back into his bedroom, shutting it in the foreigner's face before he could cross its doorway.

The commotion had not gone unheard; several soldiers ran towards the smoke-filled house to investigate the fight; in a matter of seconds almost all attention had left the rest of the village.

The surviving stranger kicked at the door, finding it more resistant to his entry than the others. He swore as he was joined by his brethren; they bickered over how to open it.

A flash came from within the bedroom, only apparent to the world through its single window, facing out towards the village street. Glass shattered around the wooden windowsill as the man fired from within his room. The projectile sent loose dirt flying from the central village path, failing to harm anyone but sending the village into a frenzy. The other villagers cried out in alarm, afraid for their lives, and ran back into their homes as the soldiers tried to regain control of the situation.

All the while, those already in the building struggled to bust open the bedroom door. Others crept around the house, bracing themselves beneath the window their enemy just fired from. A few more shots from within the room felled two more soldiers who were struggling to get the locals under control... then, nothing. Nobody dared stay out on the streets in front of the house. The soldiers braced themselves against the cottage walls, staying out of sight while those inside the main room struggled further to open the bedroom door.

And so a standoff had begun.

The lieutenant stepped into the cottage, holding a lantern of his own. One of his soldiers turned to face him while the others stayed close to the door. "Sir," The man-at-arms begun.

But the man addressed stayed quiet, looking over the cottage interior. Inside there was a small living space; a humble kitchen pushed into a corner, a few stools standing near a dormant fireplace with a massive pot inside. The rest of the room, however, was dedicated to use as a shop. A striking variety of firearms decorated the walls, glinting in the lantern's light. A table (accompanied by a chair) stood near the front entrance, stripped clean but worn with years of use. There were cabinets against the wall the fireplace shared; those towards the front were filled with parts, while those closest to the kitchen contained spices. All of them were locked.

The man-at-arms repeated himself, in question. "...Sir?"

The lieutenant simply spoke in return, "Search the room for gunpowder."

His soldiers obeyed, tearing the living space apart. Some of them broke through the cabinet doors to search the spices and parts while others pulled a rug from the floor, seeking trap doors. Some pulled the guns from their stands on the walls. And once they were done, the man reported back to his superior. "Food, spices, guns, and parts for guns, sir. Nothing more."

The lieutenant clicked his tongue. "No gunpowder?"

The men searched again, but found it fruitless. The superior officer scoffed and kicked over the table, pushing it against the wall. "He has to have gunpowder to use those weapons!" He snapped. Then, the angered lieutenant's eyes widened with realization. "...That cretin must have planned this. Its all probably in there with him."

"What shall we do, sir?"

"...Simple. We light the place, and bury the sod with his passion." The men-at-arms laughed and nodded, eager to bring the simple solution to light. The lieutenant had his men evacuated through the back door, toying with a piece of flint.

A massive figure clad in a motley assortment of armor stood among the soldiers, the pit-a-pat of rain summoning a fine mist around their shoulders. They wore a thick, short cloak, soaked through so thoroughly that it appeared almost black. From inside their helmet came a sharp sneeze and they lifted an arm to rub at their nose, the metal guard on their wrist grating unpleasantly against their helm.

The sound of the storm swallowed everything, as far as they were concerned. The loud plink-plonk of the droplets hitting their helm were just about all that they could hear, save for the occasional crack and boom of thunder - or gunfire, as was more than like - standing there, waiting for orders or any change in circumstance.

To be quite frank, they looked bored.

Not in the manner of a grown warrior, gruff and certain in their duty, no - this boredom was childish, almost petulant. The angle of their hips. The way they rested one arm on the back of their head, now stretched it, now on their hip, then the hilt of their sword.

"Wouldya stop moving so damn much?" The man next to them hissed, glowering up at the dark-clad warrior with undisguised irritation. He was nursing a fairly sizable gash in his left shoulder, all thanks to the generous donation of steel gifted by the man currently holing himself up within the cottage. His hands were shaking, one clapped over the injury as he scowled in the general direction of his compatriot. He had lost his weapon in the fray, dropping it when he felt the metal tear through his arm. Now, the mans spear lay among shattered glass - a lifetime out of reach, as far as he was concerned.

The large one didn't seem to hear them clearly, and tilted their head in his direction curiously. "Wot?" The armor figure called out, trying to shout out over the roaring in their ears. The shorter man scowled and snapped, louder this time, "Wouldya stop wriggling about so-" In the midst of his statement, the door opened, and he immediately quieted, looking nervous.

The other soldiers emerged from the home rather quickly, gathering in the humble back yard of the cottage if simply to turn and stare at the structure in expectation. All but the lieutenant and the fallen soon stood there, watching. One of them glanced in the direction of the two huddled out of the way, waving them over and calling over the din of the rain. "Come here!" They started, "Don't want to be near the hovel when the boss is done!" Some of the other soldiers also looked their way, but their eyes did not linger on the two very long. Though a barber was among them, this was no time to settle down and treat the injured man's wounds just yet.

The gunsmith heard their conversations from within his room, though there was little indication outwardly whether he did. He labored in the dark, soon struggling to light a lantern of his own as he struggled to reload. Once the light took, he sighed and drew the end of a cigar to its flame, drawing it up afterwards to place it between his teeth. If one listened very carefully, they might even be able to hear tapping the sounds of the man pushing the small shot into his pistols' barrels with a ramrod.

He didn't stop at one. The gunsmith proceeded to prepare several pistols on his person for use, almost losing himself in the routine of filling the flash pans and tapping lead shot down their muzzles. Every reloaded weapon found a place in a holster on his belt. Once all six of the holsters were filled the man pushed himself up and hobbled across the bedroom, soon straining to draw out a much larger weapon than his pistols from his closet.

The lieutenant struggled to light the curtains of the cottage aflame within the main room, cursing the rain. But with some extra effort they were soon lit, and the officer calmly walked outside and nodded to his men. "Step back, lads. This idiot's keeping all his gunpowder in one place; I expect quite the blast." With that, he started to walk through them, not bothering to alert the villagers to the new danger.

As the men-at-arms started following him however, something unexpected happened. A booming noise, similar to thunder, deafened the lot as something large, leaden and dark ripped through the walls of the cottage. In a split second the massive projectile slammed into the lieutenant's back, sending him flying so quickly into the ground that those around him could hardly even see the motion. Still, some screamed with alarm and scrambled away.

Once the dust settled, the cottage began to collapse inward. It was evident then that the madman of a gunsmith had possession of a bombard, using it to fire on the crowd of men-at-arms while they were departing. A few of the other foreigners were caught in the blast; the lieutenant and another lay dead while a third soldier cried out on the floor, clutching a bit of wooden shrapnel that had dug itself into his brigandine.

"Lieutenant!"

"That dog!"

Something moved within the rubble soon after. The gunsmith crept out from beneath his own bed, pushing aside wooden planks to emerge. On his knees, he stared through the ruins of his home at his enemies. Despite his risky attack, many of his assailants still stood. The man pushed himself up, drawing two of his pistols and scowling their way.

This wasn't the first standoff his eyes had seen and it wouldn't be the last but this one was proving to be memorable.

Saxon didn't live inside the village, he had taken to a decrepit old home slowly being swallowed by the river. The commotion of villagers being ripped from their homes roused him from the endless whispering of his mind and the sounds of gunfire drew out his curiosity.
The rain did not bother him, his boots and coat used to being caked in mud as he made his way up a path. He wove his way into the village, stepping into where crowds were gathered. He was usually given wide birth by the townsfolk due to his reputation as a madman but on this day the fear and panic of the populus made it easier to slip into the crowd.
His cold eyes watched the scene unfold, his stoic expression finally changing to a bit of surprise as the portion of the house burst outward by the projectile and bodies fell. He sucked his teeth, almost baring them as he pushed through those trying to flee. His right hand slipped into an inside pocket of his coat, fingers moving against the brass knuckle like handle of the knife he had concealed. The soldiers he had no care for but this gunsmith, he could have use of or this gunsmith could have a use for him.*

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Forums > Fantasy Roleplay Forum > Storms and Sparks (Open)