To A Thief - Chapter 8: Warchief Wreckers, Part 1A Chapter by Jobyn
Stiff and Draven have reached the second floor of Ghelsba Outpost, faced with an entirely new enemy known as an Orcish Warmachine! Warchief Vatgit's demise is nearly at hand..
The Warmachine was fricken' huge!
I had never seen such an enemy before; it was entirely new to me.
All I knew is that it was much bigger than us, much too sturdy to damage with our low-quality weapons, and lethal as all hell.
The sound of the buzz-saws alone was enough to cause me to panic..
"Move!!" Draven shouted, shoving Stiff out of the way and diving in the separate direction himself.
The Warmachine spit fire at them; burning flames roaring out of its mouth as the two jumped away. The fire just barely made it in time to reach the sole of Stiff's boot.
"Damn! Hot!" He exclaimed as he jumped to his feet and stomped the flames away.
Just as he extinguished them, the Warmachine revved up its saws and rode after the hume at full speed.
With wide eyes, Stiff ran away in huge strides as if he was running some sort of marathon, almost making him look silly were it not for the fact that he was in serious trouble. All the while he was screaming in a panic. The sound of the buzzsaws just kept getting closer; he figured for sure he was a goner.
Running from such a thing was futile. It was quite quick on its wheels, and with its large size it didn't take much effort for it to catch up to Stiff. It followed inches behind the young thief, and swung its massive wooden "arms" at him, revving up the buzzsaws at full speed.
It struck something hard.
Stiff had just barely rolled out of the way, feeling the air from the saws brush at the back of the doublet he was wearing. He landed just under the tower and quickly turned to face the machine, noticing it had struck one of the four pillars holding up the center tower, breaking it.
This seemed to open up a new opportunity..
"That's it, Stiff!" Draven called out from a distance as he ran towards him. "The tower!"
"What!?" Stiff quickly sat up and looked to Draven in confusion and anxiety, then at the tower and its pillars. Seeing now what he meant, he quickly pushed himself off the ground. "I get it now!"
The plan was to try and get the Warmachine to break enough of the tower's pillars and make sure it was under it just as it would fall.
That's exactly what they did.
Upon getting the Warmachine in a proper enough position under the tower, the two thieves began to catch its attention as per each pillar, waiting for it to strike to roll out of the way so that it may strike the pillar in their stead. It was a clumsy tactic, but it worked.
The Warmachine tried desperately to land a successful hit, spitting fire all around and lighting the tower in doing so. It failed to get either of them because of how quick the two were on their feet. Being so close to the massive contraption, it made it clumsy and easier for them to avoid it.
One by one, each pillar was demolished by the Warmachine's swings and saws. Upon destroying the last pillar keeping it up, the two thieves dashed out of the way at the last second and watched as the Orcish Warmachine was crushed under the tower's massive weight and size.
All that stood now was a heap of burning wreckage, both from the tower and the Warmachine.
"We did it!" Stiff cheered, throwing his fist into the air and howling in excitement. "I can't believe we took out a fricken' machine! Did you see that, Moku!?" He called out to wherever it was Moku had been watching.
Draven stood straight and gave a sigh, crossing his arms. "Don't get so excited.. it was just one enemy. Besides, this thing was simply another one of the Warchief's pets." He gave a light smirk. "He's our real target.."
Stiff just chuckled and rubbed the back of his neck with a helpless grin. "Oh, come on.. quit trying to act so cool, you know you're just as psyched as I am."
"Heh, whatever." Draven simply replied.
"Yep! I saw everything. You two performed just as I had planned.. but Draven is right. Don't get in over your head, Stiff. That was just the appetizer.. the main course lies still in the fourth floor of Ghelsba Outpost." Moku retorted as he appeared between the two, having removed his invisibility spell.
"Warchief Vatgit.. right." Stiff said, still unable to hide his smile. "He won't know what hit him."
Draven looked off to the slope heading upward in the distance. "But before we worry about him, there's still the third floor.."
Moku nodded, "That's right. The third floor shouldn't be much of a problem for you two, not if you've gotten this far. I've scouted ahead myself, nothing but some fodder and caster-types. I counted at least twenty-three, so you'd better get started now. Tomorrow, we go for Vatgit." He ordered.
"Alright!" Stiff cracked his fingers.
"Understood." Draven nodded.
Later that evening..The sky was beginning to darken by the time Draven and Stiff had completely cleared the third floor of the Ghelsba Outpost.
At the end of the day as they made their way down the mountain slope of Ghelsba, they stopped at the small creek running through the mountain and washed themselves off there as Moku attended to some other business with some outpost guards that had arrived.
"How do you do that?" Draven asked glancing at Stiff.
Stiff tilted his head curiously after splashing his own face with cold water, turning to his training companion. "Huh? Do what?"
Draven turned away for a moment, sheathing his blade that he had cleaned of blood and continuing.
"From what I've seen, you seem to have high spirits nearly most of the time.. I don't get it. It's as if you don't care about what happened in your past.." He muttered, looking down at the water in thought.
Stiff blinked, repeating what Draven had just said in his mind before replying with a light grin and looking up towards the twilight sky.
"Well, the way I see it: There's no point in sulking around all the time. You're supposed to enjoy life as it comes at you, even the little things. I'm aware that this world is full of scars from those that have been lost, and because of the wars.. but why bother living if you're not going to march tall and proud through the path of life? There's way too many experiences to be had to sulk through it all." He said, taking a big long gulp of his water-filled canteen and letting out a satisfied sigh, proceeding with a somewhat-distant smile.
"Also, you have to live your life not only for yourself, but for the people who aren't here anymore. For my parents and for Sister Eri.. I'm going to live life extra strong." He stated; his light brown eyes showing a bit of longing, though at the same time what appeared to be happiness. "I guess it's also part of my promise.. you can't become a great adventurer if you won't greet the road ahead with enthusiasm."
Draven listened intently at his words. In more ways than one, they made perfect sense to him but he didn't exactly know why. Looking over at Stiff who seemed lost in the sky now, he forced a grin on his face.
"How's this? My first attempt at a Stupid Stiff face." He spoke through grinning teeth.
Stiff staggered back a little at the sudden grin from Draven, then burst into laughter pointing at his face as his own back hit the floor. "Oh, man! No wonder you don't smile often!" He laughed, knowing Draven was just poking fun at his facial expressions.
Draven lost the grin and brought a smirk on his face; a real one. Looking out across the sky, he narrowed his eyes in thought.
"The little things, huh? I envy you, Stiff.. if only you knew."
Days 4 & 5 - Time for a Rest
We were rather disappointed the next two days after clearing out the third floor.
Apparently, some of San d'Oria's knights had heard of our little conquering of the Ghelsba Outpost and decided to relay it to their commanders. The result was them moving some camps into the orc base and claiming the floors we had cleared.
I bet they sure are happy for having adventurers like us around to clean up their messes..
Anyway, until they were done with the move, they asked we hold off on the Warchief until they have their posts set. They didn't want to take any chances of the orcs reclaiming Ghelsba. At least they were still leaving us our main objective..
So we decided to head back to San d'Oria for now and get me acquainted with the city, as we had nothing else to do. Truth be told, a soft bed and some real food the next two days didn't sound too bad.
Plus, they have mithkabobs at the Lion Spring's tavern! Wild roasted rarab tasted so bland compared to those pieces of heaven on a stick..
"First things first, you'd better run off into your mog houses and have a nice shower, lest you continue reeking of orc blood." Moku ordered the two, waving his hand in front of his nose as if he could smell it on them.
Their armor had been quite stained with the blood of the last few days' training.
"I could use a nice, hot shower.." Stiff mumbled, making his way out towards the eastern side of South San d'Oria where the residential area was.
He had been aching for a proper shower the last few days, as bathing in the freezing cold river in Ronfaure with all the large fish brushing past his legs wasn't pleasant at all. Also, he had to keep on the look out of anyone passing by since it was out in the clear open. Imagine being caught butt naked in the wild..
The dried stains of beastman blood on Draven's armor didn't seem to bother the girls that had found their way to him wanting to hear of his extreme training. If anything, they thought it made him look cooler, as if he had just come back from some heroic battle.
He just walked off into his own mog house to shower without saying much of anything.
Stiff decided he would clean his own armor tomorrow morning, throwing on a clean set of casual elvaan clothes. If he had the time, he would have asked for a custom hume fit, as these were a little too long for his size and forced him to roll up the sleeves on both the top and the bottoms.
"Couldn't you have gotten me something that was more fit for a hume..?" He grunted at his mog house moogle who flew around the room daintily flapping its wings.
"Kupo is sorry..! Kupo-po mixed up clothes with neighbor-kupo!" It squeaked, spinning around in circles for some reason.
Stiff just sighed and threw on some shoes. At least the shoes fit.
"Well, whatever.. Not like I'll be here long. I'm heading out now. Be back later."
Upon walking out and heading down the hallway, a door opened and out walked his elvaan neighbor from his own mog house. The two stopped for a moment and stared at each other in defeat before walking off.
I could of had it worse.. that moogle could have brought me a taru-sized fit.
Those hume clothes looked mighty tight and uncomfortable on a tall, broad elvaan guy like my neighbor..
Day 6 - Warchief Wreckers
Word had spread among some of the gate guards that the orcish forces in the Ghelsba Outpost had been thinning under the eye of Moku. Rumors also spread that today, Warchief Vatgit would fall; a feat that would most likely ease the little outskirts of Ronfaure from the orcish menace, if only at least until the orcs rebuild their ranks.
It was because of these rumors that Avondale; a good elvaan friend of Moku's and one of San d'Oria's Temple Knights, made his way into the outpost with Moku. He wanted to see Stiff and Draven's progress himself, as Moku had been telling him about it during their two days of rest in San d'Oria.
"They look a lot more focused than when they first set out.." Avondale said to Moku as he walked beside him, watching the two thieves walking ahead of them. "There is no more hesitation in them."
Moku gave a smirk. "Indeed. They don't just look it, either. Their progress is astounding. After the first two days, I thought it would take much longer than this for them to cooperate and actually work together."
Avondale pursed his lips with a smile and nodded. "Hmm.. almost makes me wish I had gone towards the path of the adventurer rather than the knight. I see less action than they do.. sigh."
Moku just chuckled at his friend's words. "Nonsense. Your job is an important one. I can't imagine San d'Oria being the lively place it is now were it not for the temple knights."
"Ah, nothing but pretty words." Avondale grinned, waving his hand in front of him. "So, how's Sukiya doing?" He asked.
Moku suddenly began to blush. "S-Sukiya? Well, she's.. she's doing alright, hehe. I went to see her again last week at the Shephard's Muster.. had a bit of a talk and whatnot, hehe." He said, clearing his throat as he stumbled over his own words.
"... You didn't say a word to her, did you?" Avondale sighed. "I bet you left her a nice, fancy tip in hopes of nabbing her attention as well, didn't you?" He asked, raising his brow. "I think when you're finished training these two, I'm going to train YOU into the ways of the woman."
"Aw, come on.. she's not going to like me, by Altana, I'm a taru! What hume woman wants to date someone who looks like a child." He whined.
"You'd be surprised!" Avondale exclaimed.
"Them's some risky words, partner." Moku replied, crossing his arms. "Well, I'd best get started here."
Moku and Avondale stopped following us after we reached the third floor without even so much as a word of advice. We truly were on our very own for this last objective. There was absolutely no room for failure.
Turning towards the slope heading up into the fourth floor, Draven and I braced ourselves. This next fight would mark us adventurers worthy enough to venture out on our own in the open world.
I'm not gonna lie.. I'm pretty damn nervous.
Continued in Chapter 8: Warchief Wreckers, Part 2
© 2011 Jobyn
Added on March 14, 2011
Last Updated on October 31, 2011
Tags: adventure drama comedy brotherly
To A Thief