The Big Hunt

A place for the stories that take place within Rhy'Din
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Crunchem
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The Big Hunt

Post by Crunchem » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:31 pm

"CRUNCHEM GO HUNTING!"

The small attendant, now cowering behind the ticketing window, stared up at the face now pressed much too close to the thin grill that separated him from the ogre.

"CRUNCHEM GO HUNTING!" the ogre repeated again, displaying a massive row of huge pointy teeth. The ogre's breath threatened to catch the wood on fire.

"I don't...don't know what you...you want" the attendant pleaded, hoping the ogre was not about to eat him.

Out of the corner of his eye, the attendant could almost see a figure approaching that rivaled the ogre in size.

“RUNT AND CRUNCH NEED TRAIN TICKETS. WE GO TO HOT DESERT. ‘UNT DE GREAT BEASTS!” The giant's massive hand clutched the ogre's shoulder and pulled him away from the booth. An assortment of birds flocked around the frost giant, while a couple of stray dogs wove between his feet. “RUNT AND CRUNCH LEAVE NOW. NEXT TRAIN.” The attendant quickly printed off two tickets, while Runt paid using an assortment of gold, nobles, and dollary-doo’s he’d won from a few delinquents.

A train whistle blew, alerting the crowd to its impending departure. "ALL ABOOOOOARD!" called the conductor over the noise of the train and the crowd. Figures were still boarding as the giant and the ogre made their way through the crowd.

The conductor paled and began waving at the pair to stop. "You can't come on board." Runt was oblivious and planted a foot on the step, which promptly gave way. Undaunted, the giant tried again, stepping a little higher, and reaching out to pull himself up into the car. The handrail gave way, pulling free from the train as yet another step groaned and snapped. "You're too big!" the conductor shrieked.

Security had taken notice by this time, and ushered the crowd aside as they moved in. "What's all this now?"

The ogre turned back the man in the blue uniform. "CRUNCHEM GO HUNTING!" It's possible the ogre was yelling because of the surrounding noise of the trains, but the effect was still the same. The security officer fell back into the men behind him.

"You can't come on board! You don't fit! You don't fit! Please! You don't fit!"

“RUNT ‘AVE TICKETS,” the giant waved them in the air at the conductor.

The stationmaster had been alerted by the commotion and hurried to intercede.

After a few moments, and another attempt to board the train, the conductor convinced Runt and Crunchem they had special accommodations for them. After leading them back past the regular passenger cars, the conductor pulled open the door to an empty container car and gestured for them to enter.

Crunchem bounded up and into the freight car, puzzled by the lack of people, but too excited to focus on anything except going hunting. Runt clambered up, “DIS BETTER SIZE FER RUNT AND CRUNCH.” Eight barn swallows found nooks and crannies to nest in, while the two hairy dogs nestled around the frost giant’s feet. Looking somewhat like a travelling circus, the conductor pulled the door closed after them, leaving them in partial darkness.

After a brief delay, the train got under way, and was soon zooming its way southward towards Cadentia.

An unexpected side effect of riding in the enclosed car in the dark, with the motion of the train, the ogre turned more green than was his norm. Runt wisely moved to the other side of the car. Crunchem rose up, and stood unsteadily for a moment. "Crunchem no feel good."

The frost giant thought this would be a good time to exit the car. He stepped over to the door and dragged it open. The lock and handle mechanism offered little resistance. Runt leaned out and glanced down the row of cars ahead. The land was whipping by as the train traveled at high speed down the rail. Runt swung himself out and hauled his massive frame up to the top of the car. The dogs whimpered. Balancing on the train as the air wooshed by, the giant yelled down to the ogre. “CRUNCH! SPEW OUT DOOR!”

The ogre staggered to the open door and shoved his head out. The fresh wind roared over him. The ogre arched backwards, made a horrific hacking noise, then leaned out and began vomiting. The contents of his breakfast, bones and all, spilled out into the air, some of which tagged the sides of the freight car, and the car behind (fortunately, the passenger cars were in front of the freight cars). Crunchem had consumed a very large breakfast. Possibly more than one. Ogres are always eating.

“Crunchem feel better….”

The dogs whined and kept as far back as possible. Just in case the ogre got hungry again.

---

The hours passed as the train continued on its trek to Cadentia station. As the train zoomed past Riad water station, onlookers reported seeing an ogre and a frost giant riding atop a freight car.
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Deathlord
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Deathlord's Summer Vacation

Post by Deathlord » Wed Jul 01, 2020 2:41 pm

Deathlord crested a large dune and surveyed the land surrounding his new villa. The sun burned overhead, revealing the empty land in sharp detail. Miles upon miles of barren hills and sand, with the occasional dot of green to hint at life. The air was hot and dry, and largely still, with only an occasional drift of wind to bring a moment of respite from the oven-like character of the sands. Nothing living chose to move in the midday sun that had a choice otherwise. Conservation was the key to survival.

Such concerns were of little import to the deathknight. The dead did not require water, or shade. Neither deep shadow, nor blazing sun were impediment to the fires that burned in the eye sockets of the undead knight. Sand might scour the armor he wore, but it could do no harm to the dead flesh beneath empowered by infernal will.

Behind him, a contingent of minions bustled and stumbled about as their decaying remains allowed to prepare the new villa for his occupancy. A large structure that sprawled about the valley, with vast open archways and breeze-ways intended to maximize the livability of the villa. One of the minions had found the place in the listings available to Minion & Minion Realty. The deathknight had no specific need for a new home, being largely content with his abode at Wightstone Manor, however he had heard rumor of an archaeological dig happening in Cadentia that promised secrets that could be of some value to him.

As the deathknight mused about the dig, and what might be found...once he cleared away the naga infestation that plagued it...a commotion attracted his attention near the villa.

Turning back towards the sounds of conflict, Deathlord gazed open the sight of a chimera ripping through his minions in the south courtyard. The minions were unrelenting. With no thought of preservation for themselves, they charged out of the villa and swarmed over the chimera, biting and clawing. The chimera screamed and shook off three zombies and a skeleton. Its dragon-like head snapped forward, biting a zombie in two. The scorpion tail lashed out, piercing another through the chest in what would surely have been a killing blow, were it not already dead.

The zombie torn apart by the chimera's bite dragged itself back towards the fray. Hands clutched at the chimera's furry legs. Rotten teeth bit into chimera flesh maddening it beyond all reason.

Deathlord watched for a moment, then became irritated by the spectacle. "This will delay preparations of the villa."

The deathknight swept a gauntleted hand violently upward. In mirror to his movement, ice poured forth from the ground, swallowing up the chimera, the skeletons, and the zombies still within range. The chimera reared up, seeking to escape its death, but the ice consumed it, freezing it into a sculpture of battle.

Silence returned to the villa. A dust devil swirled and danced about the sculpture and then flitted away.

"Awwwwa reaieeee oo re-urrrrn?" a minion standing near the deathknight inquired with respectful adoration.

Deathlord did not respond for a moment. Perhaps longer. Finally, the deathknight began marching down the dune, back towards the villa. Where he trod, frost formed briefly on the sand marking his steps. The minion zombie scurried after him, stumbling down the same dune with less sure steps but eager zeal to keep pace.

"Have the new sculpture moved into the gardens. It can join the rest of its fellows there. Perhaps if I kill enough of them, they will stop intruding upon my peace."

As the deathknight strode into the courtyard, if he had been human, he might have made an expression of disgust. Instead, the lord of the villa merely commented. "I will need more minions to replace those that have been damaged. I will need to visit Cadentia. I will return." He gave no instructions to the zombie minion. It knew its task.

A darkness separated itself from the shadows under an archway. A magnificent beast, with a flaming mane and tail and a fire in its eyes to match those of its master approached. It snorted fire in greeting and acknowledgement. The deathknight mounted the nightmare in a swift practiced motion. The nightmare reared once and then launched itself across the sands, fiery hooves scarcely seemed to touch the ground.
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Runt
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Teaser: Hungry in the Desert

Post by Runt » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:45 am

“Crunchem hungry.”

"RUNT ALSO 'AS DE 'UNGER."

The ogre and the giant looked out across miles of open sand. Sand that looked very much like the miles and miles of sand they had already crossed.

The sun burned high overhead, and heatwaves flickered at the edges of sight. The only sound was the ogre chewing a bone.
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Skurj
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Goblinz R da B3st!

Post by Skurj » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:10 am

“Alright, so here’s the plan.” The goblin peeked out from behind a stack of suitcases and trunks waiting to be loaded and pointed towards the train. “When the train starts heading out of the station, we jump on that last car there. There’s a little platform on the back, and we can ride there for free.”

“I dunno, Skurj, I t’ink dey gots people ridin’ in dat car.” The bugbear was making no effort to conceal himself as he stared at the caboose.

“So what if they do? If they poke their heads out the door, we’ll just beat ‘em up.” The goblin looked back and yelped, and then dragged the bugbear down out of sight. “What??? You wanna get seen?”



Some minutes later, a whistle blew and the train began pulling forward. Slowly at first, barely a crawl. It takes a lot of energy to get a multi-car train moving. “Get ready! It’s time to go!” The cars were pulling past with greater speed as they cleared the depot’s loading platform. “GO! GO! GO!” the goblin shouted as he bolted out of hiding and ran for the caboose. The bugbear lumbered after, huffing and puffing.

The goblin sprinted forward and leaped high into the air, catching a hand on the railing and vaulted over to alight on the caboose’s rear platform. “Hurry up you big lummox!” Skurj gestured frantically at Kronk. The bugbear made a leap and grasped the railing, tripping as he caught hold, but then scrabbled up, clawing his way over the railing as well to join the goblin.

“Alright! We’re on our wayyeee…” Skurj trailed off as he looked to the other side of the train, where another goblin and another bugbear had ALSO just clambered aboard. “Who in Magubliyet’s name are you???”

“What are you doing on our train?” the other goblin shot back.

“Your train??? We saw it first! This is our train!”

The two goblins pulled their daggers out at the same time, a foray by the first, a riposte by the second, a bite from the first, grabby fingers from the second —until it was a cat-ball of green skin and sharp teeth.

“STOP STABBING ME!”

“GET YOUR HANDS OUT OF MY POCKETS!”
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Runt
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The Big Hunt Begins

Post by Runt » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:25 am

Image

Cadentia was a much different place from Rhydin. The Marketplace in Rhydin was tiny in comparison to the sprawling open-air bazaar that dominated the desert town. The smells of livestock of every sort and exotic spices permeated the air. Everywhere was the sound of people haggling in alien tongues, protesting animals, and music, all vying for ascendancy and attention. The bazaar was filled with people, crushing against one another to do business over colourful fabrics, found artifacts, and rich-smelling food items. The ogre openly drooled as he wandered into the mass of the crowd. “Crunchem hungry…”

The crowd was so dense that it only gave way begrudgingly before the two massive figures. Merchants, after an initial hesitation were calling to them, offering to sell their wares at “fair” prices. Rich silks and meat skewers were thrust up at them from merchants eager to take their gold. A goblin got too familiar and Runt grabbed him up, “MAUG GOBLIN!” he admonished before tossing the goblin high across the crowd. After that, the merchants were more careful about their distance. At least for a time.

Upon discovering the pair’s intention to go hunting, because Crunchem would not shut up about it, “CRUNCHEM GO HUNTING!”, the merchants focused their wiles upon selling “the proper equipment” for their excursion. The giant-sized hunters ended up with a pair of camels (who looked quite sour at the prospect of being employed), barrels of water, a large tent, an assortment of cooking supplies, oversized jerky, ten yards of linen, a monkey, and a box of trinkets.

Not all of the exchanges were entirely satisfactory to the merchants, as the ogre somewhat patiently explained to them that trades must be even. One thing for one thing. One gold noble for one camel was entirely a fair trade for Crunchem. “Crunchem give gold, Crunchem get camel.”

Before leaving Rhydin, the Hunters Guild had been kind enough to provide maps to Runt. Unfortunately, neither Runt nor Crunchem were very good at maps, on account of not being good readers and having lost the map upon their arrival. Being the trusting sort, Runt approached a burly looking crowd of hunters and asked for directions to the Stagnant Oasis.

"RUNT 'ERE FER GREAT 'UNT! AFTER DE DRAGON AND DESERT TREASURE. WHERE BE STILL OASIS?"

The ogre lumbered up beside the giant, dragging along two belligerent over-loaded camels. Both the ogre and the giant towered over the other hunters. The ogre grinned broadly, displaying many fine teeth. “CRUNCHEM GO HUNTING! WHERE FIND CHIM’RA?”

A bugbear holding a wicked bladed polearm over his shoulder, larger than most of his companions but still dwarfed by the pair, turned and was visibly surprised when he was forced to look up. “OH!” As he sized up the competition. “Wow. You big!” There were murmurs among the other hunters about the ogre and the giant. The bugbear started to point, but an old woman whose face was wrapped in a linen veil stepped in front and tugged on the trousers of the giant.

“Oasis is east! That way,” the helpful old women screeched and pointed a khopesh towards the rising sun. Another of the hunters looked to say something and started to gesture, but the old woman screeched again, “Oasis is EAST! Go that way!” The bugbear nudged the other hunter and then pointed east.

Trusting in their good hunting senses, and in the proffered directions, the newly equipped Runt and Crunchem lumbered out towards the east, protesting baggage camels in tow. The ogre waved back at the other hunters who were busy gearing up. “CRUNCHEM AND RUNT GO HUNTING! COME BACK SOON!”

The old woman cackled. “Good luck, don’t forget to write!”
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