Anric

When The Time Comes

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Slipping past the patrons in the common room Eruviel slid out the open door before it could close. There he is. She saw the top of the man’s red hair disappear down the street heading towards the West Gate. Skipping the steps, Eruviel leapt off the porch and ran across the cobbled square after him. “Anric!

When she’d caught up to him, Anricwulf was murmuring angrily to himself as he prepared his mount’s saddlebags.

“What has gotten into you?” she demanded coming to a quick halt by the man and reaching a hand out to him.

Anricwulf knocked her hand away. “If you’ve come to lecture me I won’t hear it. I should be lecturing you — standing by as that creature makes a mockery of the natural order.”

Eruviel batted his hand back. “And what, you were just going to kill her because the damned spirit confused you with someone else?”

Anricwulf blinked a few times. “Her? Wait . . . You think I speak of the spirit inside of Anya?”

“Of course I think that . . . Anric . . . were you meaning to be rid of Anya, not Faethril?” she asked, her voice quickly lowering. That was all there was, right? Just Anya and Faethirl consumed her thoughts and worries. Who else

Anricwulf reared back some. “Kill Anya? She’s half the reason I intend to put that thrice-damned grave-keeper back in the ground where he should have stayed from the beginning!”

Letting out a heavy sigh Eruviel took a small step back as all the pieces she’d ignored fell into her tunneled vision. “Morty. You were meaning to kill Morty,” she muttered. Of course. “Anric, he’s the only one who succeeded in bringing Anya back,” she attempted to reason. This is the second time now you’ve stood up for that cursed man.

“So? It’s no better than Faethril. Their time has come and they need to move on, and by word or by blade I intend to see they do, as with all those who linger in this world past their time.”

Eruviel narrows her eyes at him. He would do it now, she knew, if Morty chanced to walk by . . . or even came into Anric’s sights. “I hold no love for the gravedigger,” she said sternly, “but he is not as bad as I once thought, and he cares for her.” She then stepped forward, her eyes narrowed in a glare. “He is useful, if nothing else, so you will keep your ambition to slay him till after this is all over and Fae is finally gone,” she growled.

Anricwulf narrowed his eyes back at her. “And I suppose if my sword does not stay I will meet a quick end by yours, mmm?”

“Only if your aim moves to Anya,” she said quietly, standing her ground as she rose to her full height. For some reason Morty never left Bree, so she doubted he would come on the trip, but a horrible vision of Anya jumping in between the gravedigger and the blow meant to end him played over and over in her mind. Her tightly wound nerves finally began to unravel and she knew it would take the worst of the worst for her to actually take Anric’s life . . . but if he lost his cool like he had back in The Pony and acted on it . . . the whole prospect made her feel sick. “We need Morty, Anric. He seems to be the only one able to suppress Fae. So, I am asking you to stay your blade.”

Anricwulf stared at her, taking a moment to ponder her words. “I will agree to stay my blade until after Fae is gone,” he responded finally, “but once that spirit is put to rest, you will not stand in my way as I do the same to the gravedigger.”

Eruviel gave him a curt nod. “That is all I ask. I do not know yet if I will see fit to defend him or not in the future,” she said quietly, “but as of right now know that I will not attempt to stop you when the time comes.”

Anricwulf gave a swift nod of his own, exchanging a look with her. Saying nothing more as he finished prepping his mount to leave,  the man swung into the saddle and took off out the gate.

Eruviel watched him depart, her jaw squared. Pivoting, she strode back up the street, hand gripping the hilt of her sword.

 

(All dialogue taken from in-game RP and edited for tense and exposition.)

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Dwarven Crates: A Casual Raid (part 2)

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Raigar tilted his head. “Shit,” he muttered as they come to a crossroads. His eyes flickered over his shoulder. “Now we pick a tunnel to follow.”

Anricwulf turned down to the right. “This one looks good.” Threz reloaded his crossbow, shouldered it and followed, dagger in hand.

Eruviel smirked and stepped around a bend in the wall. “Sure. Gotta start somewhere,” she muttered, stepping to follow.

Raigar looked to Eruviel and grinned. “Your friend has some spirit, I’ll give him that.” Drawing his knife once more he moved after them.

“That he does,” she responded with a quiet chuckle.

Threz glared at them. “You talkin about me behind my back?” he whispered.

“Never, Threz. Don’t you worry,” Eruviel quipped.

Raigar approached a line of weapon racks, but shook his head. “Not Dwarven.”

Threz looked around the cave. “Cozy.”

Anricwulf snuck up on a sleeping Brigand before bringing his sword through the robber’s chest. “What was that about Dwarves?”

“Not here either,” whispered Eruviel, quickly looking through a small, empty nook separated as sleeping quarters.

Raigar looked up to the others as the tunnel curved back around to make a loop. “We’ve reason to believe that these Orcs have a shipment of stolen weapons, crafted by the Dwarves of Othrikar.  That’s the last sort of weaponry that we need the Enemies of Bree to be wielding.”

Anric nodded. “Ah. Well that makes sense.” He looked around. “How many weapons are we talking?”

“Has Othrikar fallen then?” Threz scowled, “Or did the uh . . . Longbeards . . . do the selling?”

Hearing  the echo of steps emanating from the direction they had originally come, Eruviel stepped past the men as they talked, watching down the cavern, her bow knocked and pulled taunt.

Raigar shook his head. “We never did get a count.” He then turned to Threz. “Not sure. Though, I believe Eruviel found evidence that one of their trading routes had been hit — not by Orcs, but by men.’Which still begs the question of how they got into Orc hands to begin with.”

“Mounted men?” Threz ventured.

Raigar looked to Threz and shrugged, then glanced over his shoulder for Eruviel to answer. However, she had conveniently disappeared further down the tunnel.

“We could be dealing with Dourhand treachery,” said Anric. “Iwn a few to work alongside Orcs, and the northern lands are crawling with the filth.”

“It’s possible. I wouldn’t put anything past the treachery of the enemy.”

Threz gently unloaded his cocked crossbow and followed, loading a different bolt as he kept the weapon pointed in a safe direction. Moving up beside Eruviel he whispered, “Do you think the other mercenary is behind this? Estorn?”

Eruviel fit her arrow back into her quiver and bow back onto her back. Drawing her sword she nodded to the flickering of shadows back down the way they had came. “I don’t know. By Orome, I hope not,” she whispered back. “But we will have company if we don’t keep moving.”

Anricwulf walked up beside them, and Raigar by him. ‘Then by all means, let’s.”

Arriving once more at the crossroads Anric charged ahead, and Threz, glancing at Eru, followed. Eruviel and Raigar considered the third path, a few carts visible down the tunnel, but followed after the other two as the sound of a small skirmish drifted back. Jogging around the bend the man and elf arrived just as Anric pulled a javelin from a brigand’s chest. Threz wiped his dagger clean and turned to wait for the others. A dry smirk circulated through the group and they continued on down the passage down one bend then another till the tunnel opened up into a cavern, the facade of a forgotten ruin set against the far end.

“That’s interesting,” commented Raigar with an arched brow.

“Well, well. What is this?” Eruviel muttered curiously at the sight of the ancient stonework.

A brigand walked around the corner to walk out out of the ruins, but before any of them could react a javelin flew past to peg the man in the chest. The brigand could only manage a startled expression before he fell dead at the small flight of steps. “Hmm?” Anricwulf asked, approaching to collect his weapon.

Raigar pointed out the intricate engravings that decorated the structure. “The star of the North Kingdom. These ruins are Arnorian.” Raigar shoots a glance over his shoulder at Threz, obviously concerned for the man’s still healing wounds, but just then, the sound of voices up ahead seem to echo through the small tunnel.

Eruviel ‘s brow furrowed as she approached the arched doorway. “I’ve heard of this place, but it’s been a long time . . .” She stopped at the sound of voices, taking another silent step forward in attempt to hear better. Someone, or some thing, was in the midst of a heated discussion up ahead, and neither side seemed capable of coming to agreement. Yet their words were muffled from a distance.

Raigar hmmed softly. “Well then,” he whispered. “Lets go see who’s not so happy.” Drawing a second hidden dagger he proceeded up the steps, the others close behind. Responding the earlier sound of a body hitting the floor and orc rounded the corner only to have Raigar’s elbow smash into it’s face. The man’s hand clamped down on the beasts mouth as the other drove his knife into it’s throat. Pivoting around the man, Eruviel stooped to catch the orc’s crude sword before it could clatter to the floor. Threz moved past them to see if there were more and Anric padded towards a second flight of steps leading to a second level.

“Who is that? I don’t recognize the voice.”

Raigar looked to Anricwulf and shook his head. He didn’t recognize it either. “Might as well go ask ’em, eh?”

Anricwulf smiled. “Sounds good.” Drawing his sword he headed up the stairs.

Eruviel and Threz exchanged another look, the mercenary huffing a silent chuckle as he put his dagger away and once again took his crossbow from his back.

At the top of the stairs, a piece of rubble fell and clattered to the ground. The conversing parties haulted and looked towards the group, just in time for the man who had been bickering with an orc to take Anric’s javelin through the torso.

Fearful that they would loose a source of information, Eruviel flipped her dagger around in her hand, moving in as Anric attacked and cast the blade into the orc. The Orc had turned and made for the door at seeing himself outnumbered. It was nearly there when Eruviel’s dagger caught it square in the thigh, and he tumbled to the ground. But her efforts were in vain and Anric fell upon the wounded Orc, ending it’s life with a flourish of his sword.

Raigar watched Anric finish the Orc as he approached the impaled man with a dour expression. “Well then, he won’t be saying much,” he muttered, before kneeling to search the dead man’s pockets.

Eruviel had moved to the snarling, yet incapacitated Orc and frowned down at it. “Blast it all,” she muttered. Kneeling down she took the few pouches from the it’s belt and began to rifle through them.

Anricwulf raised an eyebrow. “I wouldn’t have expected him to say that much anyways. Besides, they’ll lie and weasel there way out of anything.”

Raigar nodded slowly. “Maybe so,” he whispered. He rose and pulled the javelin from the dead man’s body, and turned to toss it to Anricwulf. A boot kicked the corpse over onto it’s back. “He’s too rugged, and his clothing rough, to be from Bree. My coin’s on him being a brigand.”

Anricwulf caught his javelin mid-air. “My coin was on that from the start. I don’t know any Bree-lad who would willingly work with Orcs. Only Brigands and the like would deal with such brutes.”

Eruviel nodded. “That’s who I suspect had ambushed the Dwarves to get the weapons. Those we still have yet to find,” she added sullenly.

“Then it’s likely he wasn’t just working alone.” Leaving the corpse behind, Raigar strode towards the door. With an idle twirl of his sword he beheaded the wounded Orc before cracking the door open. “It leads to outside,” he whispered. Prying the door open, offering a shrug to the others before stepping outside back to the surface.

Eruviel slippped two of the Orc’s pouches into her pockets before she followed after Threz, closing the door behind them. Chaos reigned in the camp as mounted riders continue their onslaught of the remaining Orc forces.

“Well, that was fun,” Anric commented lightly as he stretched out his arm and took a breath of the relatively fresh air.

Raigar grunted. “No sign of the crates.”

Eruviel cleaned her dagger off on her black pants and slipped it back into it’s sheath as they watched the riders do their work. “Unfortunately. It seems we have more scouting to do.”

Raigar let a sigh escape. “The world is a far place to scout in search of just a few crates.”

Eruviel nodded slowly, glancing back to the hill behind them. “One down.”

 

(All dialogue taken from in-game RP and edited for tense and exposition.)

Dwarven Crates: A Casual Raid (part 1)

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From her vantage point on the hill, Eruviel watched as the battle ebbed and flowed below her. Well, if the raid could have been called that. The locking of Bree’s gates during the plague had been a major setback. The search for the crates of dwarven weapons had led her and Raigar here, and she offered a silent prayer that the stolen weapons were indeed still at the camp.

Anricwulf grinned wickedly. With a roar, he drew his spear and charged into the mass of Orc bodies. Plowing through the enemies ranks, Anric slammed Orcs aside with his shield before piercing necks and chests with sharp jabs of his spear. Kicking a wounded and raging monster aside, the man whirled his spear in his hand and brought the point down through the Orc’s eye.

Raigar seemed at ease in the chaos. The Horselord strolled in easily behind Anricwulf, slaying in his wake. He severed the throats of many Orcs that had been left wounded or stunned in his path, and his long sword gleamed in the firelight as it flashed back and forth, deadly yet elegant. Raigar plunged his hunting knife hilt-deep into the skull of one of the Orcs that had been kicked aside, and wrenched it free seconds later. A twisted smirk etched along his lips as black blood splattered across the grounds in the wake of their onslaught. All the while, his eyes remained moving, constantly searching the dark for sign of the missing Dwarven crates that had brought them there.

Threz, standing on the ridge not far from her, set his sights on a meaty looking Orc and dropped the beast with a bolt to the brain. He worked to recock the weapon, grunting as he put strain on his shoulder blade muscles. Eruviel felt a pang of gilt, knowing by all rights he should have been back in Bree, healing. But the guild needed rebuilt, and she figured he would prefer the payout to pity. Threz loaded a bolt and scanned the bloodied scene for enemy archers. He found one when the villain’s arrow bit the dirt near where he crouched. Cursing, he sighted and shot it down before the Orc could get another arrow in the air.

Glancing back to the mercenary, Eruviel pivoted and took out an Orc archer that had circled from the eastern side of camp. Shifting her stance back she loosed arrows in swift succession into the mob of beasts, avoiding the men who battled below, and taking out any potential threats to them she could perceive. A wounded Orc that had been missed attempted to rise to his feet behind her companions and Eruviel swiftly nailed it to the ground. Looking further into the camp she sighted a larger Orc sprinting down from the crude fort, and after striking it once, then twice, the monster finally dropped.

Raigar followed the path of dead bodies even deeper into the camp, pausing only to signal up to Eruviel and Threz to join them once the way had been secured enough. When he turned to them, another Orc tried to tackle him from behind, but he hurled it over his shoulder and gutted it with his blade.

Anricwulf slammed an Orc to the ground before bringing his metal heel down between the beast’s eyes. “So are we looking for something or just here to spill some blood?”

Threz stepped back out into the open, aimed and loosed, pausing to re-cock his weapon before marching down to join the others. Eruviel followed, drawing another arrow from her quiver as she slid down the incline. It had been a long time since she’d had a fight like this, and she easily dismissed her wondering if it was a good or bad thing.

Raigar drew his sword free of the Orc’s belly and called out to Anricwulf, “Didn’t want to deter you from your fun,” he practically laughed, his eyes glancing to Threz and Eruviel as they approached.

Anricwulf cracked his neck. “Was a good fight. Far better than Brigands or Tomb Robbers.”

Raigar rolled his eyes. He sheathed his knife and plucked the horn that dangled from his quiver, raising the mouthpiece to his lips. A mighty roar burst forth as he blew into the horn, and soon a new, large pack of Orcs came running down the hill from the back of the fort. Anricwulf grinned, hurling a javelin into the mass. He drew his sword and rushed the Orcs, shield held out in front of him. Eruviel took a step to the left and aimed high. Shooting in rapid succession, her fifth arrow left the string just as the first hit into the fast approaching mob.

Threz glared at Raigar, and Eruviel could have sworn that she heard the mercenary mutter, ‘horn man,’ rather spitefully. “I thought we were done!” Then he loaded a bolt in, sighting at an archer taking position on the hill, and fired.

As Raigar let his horn drop  the sound of thundering hooves echoed off the cliff walls. Raigar’s riders had arrived, and they swooped in from the far end of the camp, crashing into the Orc lines without mercy. “That cave up ahead,” Raigar shouted, gazing back over his shoulder in search of Eruviel’s attention, before turning to nod at it. “Looks like a good hiding spot, doesn’t it?”

“That it does!” she responded, moving forward as she shot another orc archer from the far ridge. Her eyes gleamed as they then darted ahead towards the cave. Threz parried an Orc’s blow easily, slashing the beast with a practiced arm as he fought through the quickly panicking mob.

Anricwulf slammed his shield hard into the chest of an Orc, his sword finding a sweet spot beneath the foul beast’s arm. His swing produced a spray of black blood that spattered his companions. “Is that where we are headed?”

Raigar nodded and the small company fought their way towards the cave. “There’s no telling how deep it goes. The riders can keep the rest of the camp busy while we explore it.”

Eruviel resisted the temptation to draw her sword, but with a dark, satisfied smile turned up her mouth as she decided there were enough blades about, and shot an arrow inches past Raigar’s head to kill the orc behind the one he’d just cut down. “I hope we are not too late,” she called in response, dodging falling bodies and horses. Threz blocked an Orc’s attack with his dagger and grabs the monster’s sword arm, holding it out of the way while he sliced the beast’s throat.

Raigar ‘s brow quirked as the arrow whistled past his head, and lips curled into another wicked grin. “Aye, to the caves!” he shouted before slamming his sword into the jaw of another Orc. Anricwulf kicked an Orc between the legs with the metal heel of his boot before following, Threz hot on their heels as he slammed his dagger up under an Orc’s chin and into it’s skull.

No enemies guarded the door into the hill, and the small group slid into the cave unhindered, the thick wooden door muffling the roar of the one-sided battle taking place outside. The air was dank and cool, the relative quiet more shocking and welcome than anything else.

Anricwulf looked between his fellows. “Alright, we’re here. What now?”

(All dialogue taken from in-game RP and edited for tense and exposition.)