From the Second Chronicles of Maliwan D’ahl – unlike the Lost Chronicles (OK …mislaid is probably closer…)
I’ve just started glowing! Bloody well glowing!! And I don’t mean in the effeminate ‘sweating slightly’ way either! I’m actually emitting light; quite a lot actually, which is hardly ideal in my line of work.
What the hell!! Oh bugger! The Doctor and the Tinker are glowing too!
I’ve just delivered the latest ‘package’ for their experiments into this plague – well they call them experiments anyway. There’s been a lot of cutting and poking and force-feeding of noxious potions. Accompanied by a lot of groaning and screaming….usually followed by dead bodies and much shaking of the heads! I’m not sure what’ll kill the Dragonblood army first; the plague or the Terrible Twins! Anyway….I’d dropped off the latest unmentionable ingredients for their unguents and salves, which they duly mixed up. They then get to work on their latest victim…I mean, willing test subject and give him a good dose of the ‘ointment’; I’m sure that stuff should be for external use only, but they do appear to be feeding it to him as well – oh well. So after administering the salve, which involved a lot of rubbing, or rather kneading, it into the poor chap, he suddenly stops moaning (could be that they stopped kneading!) and we all start glowing. As I said, glowing a lot; and brightly – did I mention brightly? As in, we’re lighting up the tent, through our clothes and armour! Hell, we’re chucking off enough light to light the whole damn camp. I have no idea what this is but I’m going to blame the Doctor and the Tinker – they seem to know what this is, so they must be to blame!
Unfortunately, the Dragonblood general who has been observing the ‘(mis)treatment’ of her troops also appears to know what has happened; but she seems less impressed. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that she’s not happy at all. Oooh no! She starts accusing us of being Anathema and has an evil gleam in her eye and makes some odd gestures with her hands too; looks to be rather rude! After all we’ve bloody well done for her and her damn army! The Doc tries to explain what has happened, but despite an unusual level of eloquence, this makes matters worse with the general blaming us for creating the plague in the first place. Hah – that’s gratitude for you! We decide that discretion is the better part of valour and do a runner…well, that was the plan.
What actually happened was this; Doc legs it like a greyhound with its bum on fire, I do a reasonable impression of someone running very fast and Tink….falls flat on his face and gets lost – a lot. Rather like Aujaq (henceforth to be known as Mr Sneaky) trying to be stealthy; you know “sneak, sneak, sneak, clump, stomp, bang, boom, CRASH, OH BOLLOCKS!”. So, Doc fades into the distance and the edge of the camp, I’m approaching the ‘outskirts’ and Tink just seems to be ambling about looking for someone who’d like to stick pointy things in him. That’d be the troops rousing themselves and picking up weapons to deal with the three brightly glowing running figures. So I do a U-turn and go back for Tink, only to find that four large soldiers complete with spears have him cornered. A quick ‘Excuse us chaps, must dash!’ seems to completely wrong-foot them and I drag away the slightly bewildered guy with the two left feet. But, where to now? Edge of camp seems a good idea, but Tink seems to have spotted something near the centre of the camp; that’s the CENTRE OF THE CAMP! Away from safety and towards the people TRYING TO KILL US!! Why me? Seriously, why me??
Anyway….I’m reliably informed (stop laughing at the back!) that there’s something in the centre that we can use to aid in our escape. So, we head in that direction and find, what I’m told are Warstriders. Or “massive-metal-and-jade-machines-of-death-with-bloody-great-swords”…suits me!
So, Tink jumps in one and I jump in another; only to find that he knows how to use a Warstrider and I don’t. I mean, what do all these levers and buttons do? There are lots of ‘mechanisms’ that look like they should glow and move, but how the hell does it work? I stick my arms and legs into where they seem to fit and just think ‘START’ – you never know, it might work! Of course, it doesn’t; I just sit there thinking ‘Move’ really hard with the thing shaking in an alarming fashion, while Tink’s one starts making humming noises. Still, I have a nice view through the tiny slit in the front of the hatch on this thing. A nice view of a mightily annoyed looking Dragonblood, standing right in front of my Warstrider waving his arms about with what looks like lightning come off him….this’ll end well! Then I see that he’s been joined by the general – great – who notices something out of the corner of her eye and then runs away – quickly. ‘Lightning boy’ doesn’t notice whatever-it-was and so seems very surprised when an 8 foot long sword bats him into the middle distance! Tink has got his Warstrider to work!! JOY!! Since I’m having sod all luck with mine, I jump out onto the back of his and it sets off at a rate of knots – without falling over!
Of course, with such a small slit in the front of the hatch, vision is rather limited, so I offer some sage advice and directions from my vantage point. You know the sort of thing…‘left a bit, right a bit, right a lot, left a lot….no…the other left!’ So we negotiate our way through the camp…actually that’s not exactly true. We create a swathe of destruction through the camp, thereby making our own path; leaving broken tents, spears, shields, horses, pickets, people…(did I mention horses?) in our wake. And the fires…scattered cooking fires and canvas tents do not go well together! So, we’re out thanks to my brilliant navigation (don’t ask about the bit where we ran in a complete circle due to the lack of navigation instructions from me…it was NOT my fault that half a tent landed on my head at exactly the wrong moment and we went left four times instead of right, left, straight, right!) and away into the woods. Still, no issue with low branches or saplings or trees – “20-foot tall killing machine – 17: trees – 0”. And then Tink runs out of whatever he used to make the thing go and it grinds to a halt, kind of dropping to its knees. Lucky it didn’t just fall down flat; moving this over to get the hatch open would be a real pain! Amazingly, we made it and are away from the furious Dragonbloods and the smoking ruin of the camp! Still…..that’s a LOT of magical metal and jade lying there; shame to leave it behind………