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  #46  
Old May 31st, 2022, 01:13 AM
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Bear Hunt
It takes time to break the winter camp in the snow and many of the performers are slow to act due to drink and merriment for a third night in a row. But they all get up and mill about shaking snow off of sleeping hides and tents. During this time conversations are held about more serious matters than wet blankets and hangovers.

Boromil, Borkul, Dragan, and Tarbjorn lay out a plan.
Tarbjorn, Małušk, Boromil, Drosuk and Dytryk will leave the camp, announcing they are going on a bear hunt in honor of the Burgrave. The others will enter the castle and put on a mid-day performance, if for no other reason than to clear their heads and practice.

Once away Tarbjorn, Małušk, Boromil, Drosuk and Dytryk will start their ruse. Tarbjorn and Małušk offer a little blood, hair and clothing, before starting down the stream secretly to deliver their message to the Wends in Koepenick. Then the real ruse begins.

An hour and a half later, when the circus has nearly loaded their camp on wagons the roar of a bear is heard, soon after Drosuk and Dytryk return to the wagons and tell the tale of Tarbjorn and Małušk being killed, while Boromil is tracking the wounded beast. Then Drosuk and Dytryk grab extra spears when the bear is seen on the horizon by the troupe. Others offer to help, but Drosuk and Dytryk demand the honor be theirs and jog off after the bear.



Circus
The remainder of the troupe start the circus, with Dragan spreading the word of the bear hunt happening outside the walls with a dramatic speech to the crowd.
OUT THERE! Beyond the protection of these great stone walls, 5 men have gone to hunt a horrible bear.
They do this to honor your people, you generosity and your Burgrave.
They will not simply kill the bear and bring it back in hunks of meat. NO! Their task is greater. They shall capture the monster, and bring it here.
A gasp is heard by the crowd.
Then, after the bear we brought wrestling Borkul, the two Bears will fight to the DEATH! The crowd cheers.
The Winner of the match will be the bear we keep in the circus, the loser you shall Feast on. More loud cheering.

EVEN NOW, two of the five men hunting the horrible bear have been wounded or killed, we do not know. Faces in the crowd appear saddened and voices are quiet. We have full faith, that at least one man will return with a bear in your honor.
Dragan has them enthralled.

One voice from the crowd says, I have heard this bear is over 1000 lbs, and hides in the Huldra's Höhle. Many other rumors are being traded amongst the crowd. The talk of the bear has become the main show, the circus plays out in the background. While all await a look at the bear in the cage and Borkul wrestling the beast.


Bear or Man
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Boromil's mind is awash in mixed feelings as he again turns into a bear, this time bound by rope and fiber. He feels trapped, which enrages him. He lunges at Drosuk in a wild response. The Wend attempt to move, but stumbles in snow, before Boromil knows what is happening he has ahold of the mans forearm, snapping the bones and shaking head. Drosuk cries out in pain. The cries brings forth Boromils human side and he sits, then lays next to the wounded man, resting his ursiline head on his bound paws.

Dytryk drags Drosuk away from the bear, watching him cautiously and holding a wooden spear in defense. After a time, Dytryk fashions a sled out of birch bark and saplings. He pulls it up next to Boromil the bear cautiously. The bear is loaded, muzzled and drug by Dytryk and Drosuk back towards the castle.
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Old May 31st, 2022, 02:55 PM
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Double-Take
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Borkul sat idly watching Ctana warm up the crowd with some juggling. Urhtaz was fine for the present, though a little needled by the oppressive sounds and smells of this strange place. He was not to wrestle her until later that evening, when the Burgrave himself came to watch the show, and a handful of their troupe followers had taken care that none of the castle's inhabitants got close enough to the wagon to peek under the tarp. Their performing bear was made all the more menacing by the mystery.

There is a pause in the festivities as Dragan gives an announcement. For all his... personality, Borkul had to admit the young Wend could whip a crowd into a fervor. He set aside his admiration for the man's oratory skills just in time to hear, "Then, after the bear we have brought wrestles Borkul, the two bears will fight to the DEATH! The winner of the match will be the bear we keep in the circus, the loser you shall feast on!" The cheers that Dragan's promises of spectacle elicited from the crowd faded to ringing in Borkul's ears. He stood there stunned, as if a bolt of lightning had struck the ground just before him. This hadn't been the plan! No one had told him of this!

He worked through the crowd around the circle to the spot where Dragan exited to let the rest of the troupe get on with their show. Once the audience was again focused on the circus, he tugged at Dragan's shirt to pull him away from eavesdroppers and hissed, "what is the meaning of this, Dragan? Is there some trickery you and Boromil have planned for tonight? If so I was not told of it. Surely you do not intend to have Urhtaz and Boromil fight for an audience? The Nahanvaihtaja may be killed! And even if he is victorious, I swore an oath to our guest that she would face no undue danger for helping us, and that I would do everything in my power to see her leave this place alive! But maybe I have misunderstood your game; tell me now what you intend to do tonight."

 
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  #48  
Old Jun 1st, 2022, 02:14 AM
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Dragan's mouth
Dragan is smiling and looking at girls in the crowd when Borkul pulls him away. As Borkul explains the problem Dragan's expression just freezes on his face and his eyes shift, thinking about what Borkul is saying. Then he turns to Borkul and says. Uh, I get carried away sometimes. The girls like dramatic stories. It always works for me. But I can see how this could be a problem.

I guess I got a little carried away.




Last edited by Horseman; Jun 1st, 2022 at 02:16 AM.
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  #49  
Old Jun 1st, 2022, 04:06 AM
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Face Palm
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Borkul closed his eyes and shook his head in exasperation. "Carried away is right, but mistakes get made sometimes. We'll need to think of some way around this. Perhaps... Do you think it would be as good a spectacle if I fought both bears at once? The Nahanvaihtaja seemed... unsure of whether or not he could master himself when in his other shape, but he is as strong-willed a man as I have yet met. Surely he could put on a show with us?"

 


 
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  #50  
Old Jun 1st, 2022, 04:11 AM
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Agreeable

Dragan thinks for a moment. I can make that work, I can sell it.
The circus continues in the background

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  #51  
Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 12:35 AM
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Chimney & Cave, Plan & Rage

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There was a plan. There is a plan. It was, it is, to ...

cords! bind and bite! release! claw!

Dragan had confused the plan. Now the

smells! the people! the noise! rush! aside!

This wasn't it! Yes, the cords were to break, but then I was

free! binds broken! captors scatter! halfing cries!

I was to stay, then turn ... but now I'm

wall! not cave wall! climb! screams! darts and pain!

Here? The keep ... the chimney ...

Voice! Entrance! Cave! They yell! The noise.

To climb with such ease, but with such

rage! I will claw them down if they approach! And down into this...

A thud. Pain. Pressed into a narrow space with a searing hot delivery. I recognize this it is ...

Not cave! Human smells! Stench! Find forest! Aside!



 


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  #52  
Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 03:54 AM
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Fresh out of the Oven
The dark brown bear with silver tipped hair scurries up the walls climbing the shear rock easily, then atop a roof, he's is panicked, he is lookign for safety. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he remember a low wide cave. He runs across the roof to it, finds it and climbs in. This cave is warm, is comforting smells, he goes further down the slanted cave shaft, and drops onto a wide hot stone, he smells humans, the heat is searing his feat, pain, he must get out, get out now, he sees a crack of light and lunges at it.

Back in the outerward the circus is disturbed by the bear attempting and then breaking its bonds. Villagers and soldiers alike scatter to get clear of the beast. Borkul see Boromil in bear form go seemingly mad. This was not part of the plan. Everyone is so shocked seeing a grizzly bear climb a stone wall and continue to run across rooftops that no one has even raised the alarm. Borkul sees the bear dissapear behind the main hall in the innerward.

It was midday in the bakery of Brandenbourg Castle, the spitboy had just stoked the oven for dinner meat pies that would cook the rest of the afternoon. The Matron of the kitchen watched him carefully, that the spitboy did not overload the firebox. The spitboy could feel the Matron watching him, as she always did, the boy was annoyed, he'd been doing this for two years, he had risen to the rank of First Spitboy. The boy grimaced his face and silently uttered the curse words the squires had taught he. He finished stoking the oven, then went to the adjoining fireplace where a hindquarter of beef was being rotated by the 2nd spitboy, a lad of maybe 5 years old. The Spitboy raked the coals to ensure even cooking and after assessing the situation added two small logs about the diameter of a fist, satisfied he stood and turned to see the Matron craning her neck to observe how many pieces of wood were added. Nothing was said, the work was approved and the Spitboy bent to the pot simmering next to the beef, using a ladle he slowly basted the beef. One small scoop after the other. The Matron finally satisfied checked on the final assembly of the meat pies, she tasted the filling from one of the teenage girls there, reached for a bowl of salt and added two pinches, then tasted again. The Matron instructed, They are ready for the lid, this time keep your hand steady when you cut the design in the pastry, we need no crooked lines. Two other girls went about rolling out a pastry cap for the pies and started laying them over the dishes and crimping the corners. The matron set a bowl down, cracked two eggs and began mixing, adding a little water and a little milk. The Matron finally seemed to relax as she mixed and fussed with her egg wash for the pies.

There was a thump that came from the oven, did a log fall over in the hot box? Then a roar, and the oven doors burst open, jumping out of the large clay oven was a huge bear bellowing and roaring. The spitboy froze in fear, the bear was not more than a half a rod away, the Second Spitboy fell over trying to get away, then clammered and clawed on the stone floor to get distance, he finally got purchase and climbed into the back of the firewood box and curled up. The two girls making pies shrieked at the horrible beast and went running out of the kitchen, one overturning a large pot of fish soup with a clatter. The Matron's eyes went wide, she backed away, her hands reaching blindly for something, then the fear went out of her eyes when she saw the pot of soup ruined, she turned and grabbed a huge cleaver used for splitting hogs off it's spot on the wall, then the rotund matron with ruddy cheeks raises the weapon, her back firmly against the wall.

Back near the stable the circus has stopped performing, villagers are clearing out, moving inside buildings. The troupe is stunned, not knowing what to do. Borkul looks back at the group, even Ctana dropped is juggling stones in surprise.

Hevroth the Dwarf looks at the others and says deadpan, I guess this means we're not getting invited to dinner.

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Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 05:54 PM
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Alright, New Plan
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Borkul's heart sank somewhat as Dytryk and Drosuk came through the gates of the outer ward dragging Boromil the bear between them. He supposed the Nahanvaihtaja might have just been a very convincing actor, but the way he was thrashing against his restraints seemed to portend the worst.

And then the worst came to pass.

The man-bear snapped the cords and sent his handlers reeling, and before anyone could think to react he was on top of the walls and running for the inner ward. This was not what they had planned. The stunned silence was broken by Hevroth's sardonic grumble, and with it passed Borkul's stupor. "Our plan is entirely forfeit," he said quickly to the other warriors and performers, "but that does not mean our victory is. Grab the spears you concealed in the bear cage; we're doing the raid now!"

Tarbjorn and Małušk had gone to carry warning to the Wends, which left them with eight warriors left. Amidst the screaming and flailing of the castle-folk who had up until now been watching the circus, a hasty plan came to him. "Vojta, Jara, run to the farrier's stall across the yard and grab coals from the forge there. Scatter them around the stables and the shops and see if you can't get a fire to catch. We need to divide the guards between the wards if we're going to get Boromil out of the castle in one piece. Use the crowd's confusion to conceal yourselves if you can. Drosuk, Dytryk, try to get into the gatehouse and keep the doors open so our people can flee. The performers have done their part, no sense in letting them get slaughtered here on our behalf. The rest of you, come with me!"

Borkul led the conspirators to Urhtaz's wagon, and those who were not already armed grabbed at the concealed spears. He threw open the door to the bear's cage and grunted to her, <I'm sorry venerable mother, but things have gone very wrong. We must rescue the Nahanvaihtaja before he is lost, but you have done your part. I leave it to you, free one: you may come with us into danger, or you may flee through the gates and return to your cubs. This fight is more than I ever dared ask of you.>

 
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Last edited by 10Doc; Jun 6th, 2022 at 10:31 PM. Reason: Typo
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  #54  
Old Jun 3rd, 2022, 07:11 PM
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Chimney & Cave, Plan & Rage
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Food! Warm! Smells! Prey!

Boromil was struggling, seeming to come out of a fog and establish where he ..

Stand! Can stand! Roar! Wait, no slurp! Then roar! Slurp! Roar! Slurp more!

His body felt strong, but his eyes, as if in a steamy haze and his thoughts as if shaken and scattered before him, lying ...

Break! Bother and hinder, so break! Claw! More smells!




 


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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 02:00 AM
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Circus, Circus
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The warriors rush to the wagons and retrieve their spears. As they are pulling the bear cage apart Gouti Hostison comes over presenting 4 throwing axes. I only need two, these four are extra. They will cleave a skull in melee as well as being accurate to throw. Then Zora rides over on his horse. Borkul, we are Wends, we will not leave leave the Nahanvaihtaja. We will fight. Let us performers start the fires, take the warriors with you, Mira and I will attempt to keep the gate open. Dragan rides over to the wagon, dismounts and removes his two bows hidden in the wagon. Dragan mounts back up stating, There's an extra bow here, we have two wood axes in the wagon too.... I'm riding for the castle and my brother. Jara steps forward and takes the extra bow announcing, I will ride with you, but I need a horse. Mira gallops her horse to a sliding stop, hopping off,
Take Hadica.
Then she runs and vaults onto Zora's horse. Dragan nods to Jara, kick their horses in the flank and rush the gate between the castle wards.

It's then that Borkul realizes that it's not 8 warriors against the garrison, it is 19 Barbarians against this castle.

Urhtaz ambles out of the wagon saying to Borkul, May the winds blow in your favor. Then heads for the main gate.

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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 02:10 AM
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Natural InstinctsThe great Bear smells the fish soup, he's hungry, he walks over to the soup keeping an eye on the rotund woman with the cleaver, he licks the sumptuous liquid and chunks off the floor. The woman just looks at him for a long time while the Bear slurps up the soup. She comments, That's it big boy, just enjoy the soup. She slides to the side and makes sure the door to the kitchen is open, then slides back around the other side, working her way behind the bear. The bear raises his head, looks, and goes back to eating. The Matron, grabs the First Spitboy by the shoulder and jerks him out of his coma. He shakes his head coming back to reality. The Matron motions, and he backs out another door. Then the Matron grabs a switch from the wood pile. Seeing the second spit boy, she admonishing the little boy, Get your scrawny hide out of that wood pile and run out of the kitchen. The Second Spitboy clambered out of teh kitchen.

Then the Matron slowly approached the great bear, the cleaver in her meaty right hand, the switch in her left. As she approached she slapped the switch on the floor and nearby table encouraging the bear, Here we go big boy, time to move on. Let's go. She approached the bear making a commotion, it made the bear uneasy.

Last edited by Horseman; Jun 6th, 2022 at 02:11 AM.
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 02:16 AM
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Pop 'n' Eat
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Meat! But old ... not best meat ... Maybe mate? No, old ... not best mate.

Boromil could feel his thoughts rising back to him as the bear in him hesitated in its action, baffled by its choices.

Roar! Snarl!

That was much better ... and the bear's release allowed Boromil to clearly regain his thoughts. What was he doing here? In a ... kitchen? Surrounded by ... is that Aunt Dragomira?

Too still! Too small! Air terrible!

Boromil realized his will and the bear's will were in unison ... he had to get out of this area, up to the chambers. Not fight or maim kitchen maids, but damage the lords, whether or not they would have time to stand against him in their armor ...

Meat! Inside shell! Best! Pop and eat!

Boromil allowed the bear to hurl them past the kitchen door and into the keep, looking for a way to the lord's chamber.

To meat! Enemy! Protect land!





 


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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 07:52 PM
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Charge, I Guess?
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The dedication of the performers and the rest of the Wends strengthened Borkul's own resolve. Part of him wished Urhtaz would aid him, but he knew that such struggle was not the way of beasts, and in any case the garrison were either very old or very young, and his comrades were fierce and desperate. He drew his bone-handled Verangian knife from inside his cloak, and gripped his staff of black ash tightly.

"Through the inner gate then! We shall make as if to help them subdue the bear until we are inside. Don't cut down any guards unless they try to stop you, but once the first foe has fallen they shall know the truth of us, so show them the ferocity of the wilderness! Warriors, with me!" Leaving the remaining troupe members to set fire to the outer ward, Borkul and the armed Wends surged forward through the inner gates past the dumbfounded guard. On the way he Innately casting Mage Armor on himself.muttered the charm he had used last night to protect himself; he would need it now more than ever. Once inside Borkul took a moment to 5 Perception :/take in the scene.

 
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Last edited by 10Doc; Jun 6th, 2022 at 10:31 PM. Reason: Forgot to cast Mage Armor
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Old Jun 6th, 2022, 11:34 PM
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Service Hall
Borkul and the Wends sprint the gate, the guard shouts You can't come in here. Dragan starts late, but speeds past everyone hollaring at the guard. We're going to kill the Bear. The guard says nothing more. Dragan dismounts on the run readying his bow and entering the service wing of the Castle. Borkul and the others follow.
right-aligned image

When Borkul get's there he is almost knocked over by two scullery maids running out of the castle. The butchers are not here right now, Borkul thinks he remembers them in the crowd at the show. As Borkul advances, he sees the Spitboys run out of the Kitchen area. Everything is quiet for a while.


Outside somewhere on the Fall air a clear crisp tone can be heard, it's rhythmic. Boromil has heard the sound before. Then he snaps out of his animal brain and understands what it is, it's a bell ringing loudly somewhere above in this stone cavern. Boromil knows he must protect his land by attacking. He roars and lumbers out of the kitchen door.

Borkul sees Boromil leaving the kitchen door, and turning for the Great Hall. Then coming up the service passage from the Great Hall to the Kitchens Borkul sees Dientsmann, his spear ready, approaching the horrible bear he faces.

 

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Old Jun 7th, 2022, 02:52 PM
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It Just Had To Be You...
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Of all the guards who could have blocked the way, it just had to be Dienstmann. Borkul knew he was being stupid, the night he spent in the castle he knew that these people would be his enemies and he was here to destroy their home, but out of all the castle occupants Dienstmann was one of the only people who had been friendly to him. But here he stood with barbed spear pointed at his true friend, his host and commander. There was nothing to be done. Even if he called out to Deintsmann and told him to drop his spear and stand aside, even if Dienstmann listened, Boromil was barely in command of himself and would probably maul the man, and if he didn't one of the other Wends almost certainly would.

No, he couldn't let him wound the Nahanvaihtaja. With the hand that was holding his knife, Borkul pulled the small aventurine talisman Khut had given him from inside his shirt and then pointed two fingers at Dienstmann. He spoke the spirit-word of Initiative 13. Casting Eldritch Blast at Dienstmann, 11 without advantage, 23 with. 8 Force damage if it hits.wounding and a bolt of green light shot from his amulet and careened towards the guard.

 
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Last edited by 10Doc; Jun 7th, 2022 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Forgot initiative.
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