Serevance: Dust of Bones

Dwarven Savages

The lead dwarf closes the distance to Stec in a brutal charge, his axe held high and a feral scream on his lips. Stec hears the quiet thunk sound of Alur’s hand crossbow and watches the bolt fly high above the dwarf’s head. Alur notes the symbol on the lead’s chest saying, ‘The symbol of Fex… berserker war-tribes?’ Stec makes note and realizes the same symbol marks the wax stamp on the letter. He pulls the letter out displaying the symbol to the lead saying in Gnomish, ‘I bear a letter that is marked of Fex, you wouldn’t want his fury upon you should I fail to deliver it would you?!’ The dwarf behind yells back in Gnomish, ‘Treach… ery!,’ then a slew of Dwarven commands, possibly translations.

The lead dwarf continues his wanton gallop, shouting a phrase in Dwarven. The blow lands on Stec’s forearm bracer and he quickly maneuvers his wrist to let the smile of the axe glance towards the cave floor.

With the flick of his hand, Stec retrieves a hidden kunai knife and stabs at his assailant, neither warrior able to gain a foothold. Stec then steps to the cave wall, dipping and taunting the dwarf with a series of head fakes to gain space.

The burly dwarf who had spoken the flubbed Gnomish hustles his way into position along side his counterpart, struggling for position to get a look at the elf.

Erumillas rises from his hiding place and pulls his bow string to a trembling tautness, readying an arrow at Stec’s attacker. The thump of the string’s release is replaced by an awful shriek from the dwarf as the arrow digs through his patchy armor and into his rib-cage. He shouts another something in Dwarven and Stec believes he’s telling his comrades of multiple attackers, an ambush.

From behind, nearer to the fire, the third dwarf heaves a one-pound stone over the conflict. It connects with a loud crack and Stec and Alur both notice Erumillas gasp as though struck in the gut. He grabs at his collar-bone and pulls away a bloodied hand.

Alur drops the hand crossbow and pulls forth his rapier, stepping forward to meet the newcomer and even the odds. He strikes in quick, successive jabs but the dwarf before him is laughing hysterically, smashing the thin blade down and to the sides.

The lead dwarf coughs up blood and gurgles a laugh as he looks at the arrow wound. He readies a huge, heaving swipe at Stec, but he telegraphs the strike. Stec lowers his frame and lets the clumsy swing pass over him.

In a flash of steel, Stec palms the kunai knife and strikes at the dwarf before him. He feels the warm, wet rush of blood pour from the corroded artery on the dwarves neck, and sees horror and surprise in the dwarf’s eyes all at once. He pulls the blade free and the dwarf becomes twitching dead weight on the floor, dropping his axe to clutch his ruined throat, eyes wide in shock. Stec sidesteps again, putting the writhing body between himself and the other melee.

His counterpart then swings at Alur, but he is ready for the blow. He lets the dwarf’s massive weight falter and punches with the hilt of his rapier into the dwarf’s wrist, smashing it against the cave wall and forcing the dwarf to drop the weapon.

Erumillas, incensed at the stone striking him, looses an arrow bound for the dwarven rock-thrower. The arrow goes wide, landing against the cave wall. The stone-thrower grins and shouts a curse in Dwarven.

The stone-thrower loads another and flings it again over the melee at Erumillas, but the throw is much too strong, flying overhead and smacking against the cave wall behind the elf.

Alur meets his attacker again in melee, but again can’t manage to find purchase. The dwarf is strangely agile despite his bulk, dipping left and right, judging the correct opportunity to retrieve his fallen weapon.

Stec, seeing his kinsman in trouble vaults over the broken body of his first assailant to flank the current melee and stabs with the kunai. The knife digs deep into the dwarf’s kidney, nearly to Stec’s clenched fist. The dwarf issues a girlish scream as the blade pierces and is pulled free in an instant.

Still whining in pain from the kidney strike, he reaches down to retrieve his weapon, and the two Gray Elves butcher him in a graceful display. The elves nearly fall on the dwarf in their frenzy, precision strikes falling and landing in rapid succession. One of Alur’s strikes pierces through the dwarf’s screaming mouth and out the hat of his spine. The dwarf’s squirming defense becomes the twitching throws of a body succumbing to death.

Erumillas knocks another arrow and readies a precision strike on the remaining fool. He looses his arrow with a loud ‘Ha!’ escaping his lips, knowing it’s path will be true. The arrow lands just beneath the dwarf’s left cheekbone and the he crumples in a strange, almost comical position. The three elves look at each other and nod, grunting, giggling at the adrenaline still coursing through each of them.

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