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Author Topic: A Bit of the Amazing Life of Toki Bloodaxe  (Read 1957 times)

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Offline Toki Bloodaxe

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A Bit of the Amazing Life of Toki Bloodaxe
« on: January 03, 2009, 11:13:29 PM »
A hot time in old Freeport


     Toki’s axe blow took the bottom portion of the skull dancer’s face off. Blood and bone flew in a noxious spray that splattered the already gory floor of the tavern backroom with even more offal. It smelled like a slaughter house in there. Not that Toki bothered to rate the offensive qualities of the run-down tavern. He was too busy collecting on a debt of vengeance owed to some Paradigm badasses who thought they could waylay and kill an uncultered brute from the savage North Lands. Right now, they were finding out just how bitter that particular can of whup-weed puller was tasting. The skull dancer stumbled back from the terrific blow of the great-axe and crashed into a stack of old ale kegs, knocking  the Half-Goblin bounty hunter’s aim off-true. His stray crossbow bolt went wild and stuck into the right shoulder of the Panther Man just as Toki’s next swing took the beast’s head clean off. With a shout of pure fright, the Half Goblin tried frantically to reload before the berserk Northern Savage killed them all. Time was on his side, however, as Toki turned his attention to the hired wizard in the corner of the room, frantically working his spell.
     A bolt of purple lightning erupted from the wizard’s shrunken head totem and blasted the stone wall just to Toki’s right. But, its hard to aim those spells properly in the dim lamp light of a dirty back room, and even harder to hit a berserker with his blood lust full up. Before the wizard could work up the next spell, Toki hit him full-on with round house right from his mailed fist, knocking his frail body tumbling into the luckless Half-Goblin. All that the wizard got for his trouble was the shaft of the Half-Goblin’s next crossbow bolt stuck into his kidney as the two of them crashed around on the floor like two snakes with their tails tied together. The wizard hissed like a scalded cat and tried to untangle his robes from the Half-Goblin’s arms and legs. Neither of them were fast enough to escape the next swing of the great-axe that came around in a vicious undercut that cut the wizard in half from crotch to neck and ended his spell-casting days permanently. Blinded by blood, gore and offal, The Half-Goblin bounty killer struggled to free himself from he intestines of the suddenly-mortal wizard. When he managed to wipe the gore from his eyes, he saw his destiny in the glint of a rapidly descending great-axe blade.
    With kicks and curses, the Paradigm city watch squad finally managed to smash in the door of the Ghoul’s Gripe tavern backroom. They were just in time to see the rather broad back of a large man exiting out the alley door. Displaying professionalism and grace in the line of duty, the City Watch troopers proceeded to slip and trip on the tangles of carnage left behind in the darkened room. They took swings at each other with their swords and coshes, losing teeth and fingers in the process, as they were convinced that a whole gang of smugglers and cutthroats were holed up in the room. More shouts and curses from outside brought them to their senses and into the darkened back alley behind the tavern. There they joined another gang of City Watch hot on the trail of at least ten hardened smugglers (so they surmised by the trail of destruction left behind in the streets) making fast for a river getaway.
       The savage Northerner, though, was beatin’ feet for the river as if all the orcs in the cursed lands were after him. Toki got to the river just in time to grab a poor hapless ferryman and shove him back into his boat for a unscheduled return trip back across. One look at the burning eye of the berserker nailed the ferryman to the tiller as Toki took up both oars and managed to cut a deep wake heading south to Low Town.  The Paradigm Watch, undaunted heroes that they were, set up a firing line on the ferry jetty and proceeded to pepper the retreating ferry boat with crossbow bolts. With a curse of dismay, Toki watched as the luckless ferryman was prickled repeatedly by bolt after bolt and then sagged forward into the shallow bilge. Nothing to do but prop him up at the tiller and use his dead weight to keep the boat steady as Toki rowed hard for the southern shore. It was a tough get to cross the River Chas in the dead of night, cross current with a southern wind blowing hard and the lanes full of barge traffic. Only a maniac like a Northern Berserker would try it without a lantern and a dead man at the helm. But, the favor of the Gods turned to Toki as he reached the southern ferry jetty with a spine numbing smash of out-of-control ferry boat colliding with a stone tie-up. Not a bad way to land, really - in one piece, with a heart full of triumph and righteous blood on his axe. Toki almost felt like whistling a happy tune until he walked up against a shield wall of Low Town dock patrollers and militia “volunteers”. And, well-arrayed they were, too, with a score of cranked arbalests, lowered pikes, and raised swords. Sometimes the bones just don’t roll my way, thought Toki with a rueful grin on his face. This could get really bad here in a second or two.
     From behind the shields strolled the captain of the patrol, all swagger and stones bolstered by a whole platoon of heavily-armed troopers. “Now Boys”, he began, “I want you to look close at what we have here. We got a blood-crazed savage with a monster axe stepping onto our docks from a stolen ferry boat. He’s covered with blood, and I bet it ain’t his own. And, it looks to me like there’s a dead man at the tiller of that boat. This is the best example of an open and shut case I have ever seen. So, Mr. Badass axeswinger..(the captain propped his fists on his hips and tried to look like he was tougher than year-old Mulkey Jerky)…I can either take you in and have you swing on a rope at the King’s convenience. Or, maybe we can find some other use for a blood-crazed, murderin’ savage like yourself. What’s it gonna be, Northlander?”
     Toki tensed his shoulders as if readying his axe for one final triumphant death swing. Better to go out swinging, rather than hang from a rope…albeit, a rather thick rope, in Toki’s case…..and die a criminal’s death. The creaking of cranked and tensed arbalests and the sharp fear-sweat smell of the shiner bock-scared troopers brought him back to reality. He couldn’t get them all no matter what. And, there was that other mentioned second alternative. Toki lowered his axe and let it clang heavily onto the wet stones of the jetty.
     “Boy’s!” the Patrol Captain declared in triumph, “you all are looking at the Low Town Militia’s newest recruit!”     

 

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