[Taocow PBEM] Chapter XII - Through The Looking Glass Once

Troy Imlach troy_a_i at yahoo.ca
Fri Jun 15 09:34:46 BST 2007

--- Aaron Clausen <mightymartianca at gmail.com> wrote:

> >> [GM]
> >> "That town over there is Fort Peters." the boy
> said. "You're in the
> >> Kingdom of Poughkeepsie. My pa says that it used
> to be part of a
> >> country or state or somethin' called New York.
> It's so big it takes
> >> a day to ride from here to Fort Wansom. I've
> never been there, but 
> >> my friend Garth says you can see the ruins of Old
> New York. I think
> >> he's probably lying, 'cause I don't think he's
> been further than
> >> Miller's Pond. Here comes Pa! I hope that lady
> friend of yours
> >> doesn't start a fight."
> >> [/GM]
> > [Lady Frost]
> > "Kingdom of....." At that, Frost can't help but
> break into hysterical
> > laughter. In and among this, she manages to gasp
> "At least... 
> > it's...not Rochester..."
> > 
> > Most of the rest of the coversation is spent
> trying to get her self
> > under control.
> > [/Lady Frost]
> [Bongo]
> Bongo shakes his head.  Even with his great
> historical knowledge, he 
> doesn't understand the nature of Frost's sudden
> mirth.
> [/Bongo]
> [GM]
> The boy is a lot less polite.  "We've won THREE
> wars." he proclaims 
> loudly.  "We even have an ambassador from Lazlo
> here!"
> [/GM]
> [...]
> >> [GM]
> >> "Looks like you'll meet my pa first! He's the one
> in the armored 
> >> truck!" he says proudly. "You better call him
> Major Pournelle. He's
> >>  on 'official' business as he calls it."
> >> [/GM]
> > [Talas]
> > Talas puts Lady Frost down on her feet, "Lady
> Frost if this is a CS
> > friendly town, you my wish to change forms." He
> harnesses his
> > rail-gun. And then waits for the arrival of the
> vehicles.
> > [/Talas]
> [...]
> >> [GM]
> >> He walks up to Alex, his hands at his sides. "I
> am Major René 
> >> Pournelle, head of the Poughkeepsie Watch." he
> says in a slight 
> >> Quebecois accent. "We saw you enter through...
> that entrance. Who
> >> are you and what are you doing here, and how
> precisely did you get
> >> here? I see you have injured, so I suggest we get
> over these
> >> preliminaries quickly, so that we can get aid to
> them."
> >> [/GM]
> > [Ted]
> > "My name is Ted Smythe," the lizard man says next.
> He points to the 
> > wounded man over his shoulder. "This is Osiris the
> Cyber-knight. He 
> > is injured and requires immediate care beyond our
> abilities."
> > [/Ted]
> > [Lady Frost]
> > Holding her stomach with one hand, she starts
> moving closer to the
> > gathering crowd.
> > 
> > "We're about 800 miles or so east of Chicago. A
> little south too. Oh,
> > this is funny. I needed that. We should be just
> about next to the
> > Hudson."
> > [/Lady Frost]
> [Bongo]
> "The laughing lady is Lady Frost." Bongo says.  "The
> others are Carlos 
> and Talas.  I'm Bongo Jones."
> [/Bongo]
> > [Alex]
> > Alex goes ahead and takes off her helmet, cold air
> immediately 
> > blasting her wet red hair. While the armor
> maintains a constant 
> > temperature, the stress and adrenaline are
> different to deal with. 
> > She looks into the man's eyes for just a moment
> although not long 
> > enough to be a challenge. She is too tired to
> banter and decided to 
> > simply tell him the truth.
> > 
> > The scout states, "My name is Alex Hawk, I am a
> wilderness scout. I 
> > will let my companions introduce themselves. We
> were being chased by 
> > Coalition Borgs. That 'portal' seemed to be only
> way out so we took 
> > it. Otherwise, we don't really know how we got
> here or even where 
> > here is."
> > [/Alex]
> [GM]
> Major Pournelle's suspicious gaze turns to sympathy.
>  He looks upon 
> Phaeton sadly.  "Your words seem true to me, and
> your casualties tell 
> their sad tale.  I will be truthful with you, as I
> believe you have been 
> with me.  We get many visitors here, and not all are
> good.  It is only 
> by eternal vigilance that our little realm has stood
> against the threats 
> that come at us from the east, the west, and the
> South."  He speaks the 
> last direction with a hint of fear and hatred.
> With a snap of his finger, the other man in the
> armored vehicle hops out 
> with a battered med-kit and immediately begins
> looking Osiris over.  "A 
> Cyberknight!" the man says, with some awe in his
> voice.  After checking 
> him over, he pulls out a needle and gives him a
> quick jab.  "The poor 
> old fellow doesn't seem to have too many bad
> injuries; a broken rib and 
> a lot of bruises.  But there's something else there.
>  He'll need to see 
> the Doc.  Someone help me get him in the vehicle."
> Major Pournelle nods, and then looks to Lady Frost. 
> "Some of you 
> perhaps come from larger realms.  You m'lady, in
> particular, scoff at 
> our kingdom, but though it be small, we have kept
> our independence.  As 
> to Rochester, when I fled my old home far to north,
> I came through that 
> accursed city.  The blood slavers that live there
> among the ruins would 
> soon wipe the laughter from your face, as they did
> my brother and 
> nephew.  Still we must always make allowances for
> strangers.  You seem a 
> strange enough woman, and perhaps I would be glad to
> be at your side 
> when a blood slaver came at me.  May it be that we
> never have to, God 
> willing."
> He then turns to the others.  "Bongo, Ted, Talas and
> Carlos." he says 
> quietly.  "An odd company you make.  If it is the
> Coalition that you 
> flee, then I can well imagine you taking the first
> door you could find. 
>   You must have committed some high crime for them
> to send Borgs after 
> you.  I might not be some welcoming, but you guard a
> Cyberknight, and in 
> these lands, the Cyberknights are held in the
> highest regard.  A friend 
> of one of them is a friend of ours.  Besides," he
> says with a wink at 
> Lady Frost, "I would not miss a chance to dine with
> someone who has such 
> lighthearted feelings towards Rochester."
> "Come!" he says.  "The Mayor knows you are here now,
> and he would meet 
> people who appear out of nowhere on his doorstep.  I
> imagine all of you 
> could use a good scrub and a good meal.  I lived a
> long time on rations, 
> and what keeps a man (or woman) alive doesn't do
> much to keep him happy."
> One of the men helps Ted lift Osiris into the
> vehicle.  Osiris's eyes 
> flicker open for a second, but he is soon
> unconscious again.  The Major 
> orders one of the men off his horse to drive the
> armored vehicle.  The 
> Major leaps with great ease on to the horse, and the
> rest of the riders 
> surround the company.  Despite his kind words, Major
> Pournelle clearly 
> does not trust the company yet.
> He rides beside them, keeping the place slow,
> recognizing the company's 
> exhaustion and confusion.  It takes several minutes
> to reach the gate, 
> and Major Pournelle occupies the time regaling them
> with a description 
> of the land.  The Kingdom of Poughkeepsie stretches
> from Red Falls in 
> the north to Danbury Bay in the south, and from New
> Waterbury in the 
> east to the Mesak Junction (old Middletown) in the
> west.  An area nearly 
> twice that size recognizes the King of Poughkeepsie
> as overlord, though 
> they remain largely independent.  Fort Wansom is the
> actual southernmost 
> holding of the kingdom, and sits within site of the
> ruins of Old New 
> York, to guard against the infrequent invasions that
> come out of that 
> haunted place.
> Fort Peters, the town they are approaching, is one
> of the larger in the 
> kingdom, with nearly nine hundred inhabitants, with
> that many in the 
> surrounding farms and pastures.  The town was
> established about seventy 
> years ago near the ruins of Lagrangeville as an
> independent kingdom, but 
> kept its independence for little more than a decade.
>  The old king was 
> spared death by the king of Poughkeepsie, and
> declared the Mayor.  His 
> grandson, Ivar Peters, is the current mayor, and a
> close friend of Major 
> Pournelle's.
> The people of the kingdom are largely made up of
> descendants of the 
> locals, plus families who can trace their origins
> back to refugees 
> fleeing New York during the Apocalypse.  About a
> fifth of the population 
> is D-Bees, including a large number of Wolfen whose
> clan once lived 
> about two hundred miles to the north before being
> invited to relocate 
> here over a century ago.  They're leader, a Wolfen
> chieftain named 
> Akirax, defeated the so-called Reaver, a demon of
> some power who nearly 
> destroyed the kingdom.
> The history and geography lesson ends as they
> approach the gate.  It is 
> a crudely but soundly constructed solid megadamage
> steel gate.  It 
> appears to have survived a number of attacks, though
> a number of 
> patches, some bigger than a man, are visible.  The
> gate swings open 
> loudly to reveal Fort Peters.  It is a small town of
> a few hundred 
> houses, with muddy streets and small, two story
> houses.  There are a 
> number of shops; a general store, a blacksmith, a
> mechanic's shop, a 
> weapon store, an armorer, a couple of fishmongers,
> several fruit and 
> vegetable stands and a baker.  Towards the back is a
> rather disheveled 
> shop with a window covered in various runes and with
> a crescent 
> moon-shaped window in the door.
> A few bystanders stop what they're doing to watch
> the company.  The men 
> and women are dressed in bright colors.  The
> company's escort leads them 
> past this towards the middle of the town, where are
> large three story 
> house, constructed out of thick logs and with crude
> carvings of people, 
> animals and fantastical creatures decorating its
> outside walls.  An 
> enormous metal door, almost as large as the town's
> gate, is swung open 
> and a dozen men, all in full body armor and with
> Northern Gun and Triax 
> energy rifles in hand, stand at attention.
> A short, plump man in his early to mid 40s and
> wearing the same sorts of 
> colorful clothes as the other residents of the town,
> stands at the 
> doorway.  He looks over the company for a long
> moment before turning to 
> Major Pournelle.  "Well, Major, these are the
> magicians your men spotted?"
> The Major nods.  "Yes Mayor.  These people were
> fleeing Coalition Borgs 
> and apparently took the first exit they could find,
> which, oddly enough, 
> lead here.  They have some injured, and one
> deceased.  The injured one 
> is a Cyberknight."  The Major then turns and
> introduces each of the 
> company.  The Mayor seems particularly taken with
> Frost and Alex, bowing 
> several times to reveal a balding head that
> resembles that of a tonsured 
> monk.
> "You seem armed well enough, but it's clear you've
> seen some action." 
> the Mayor says.  "If you'll consent to leave your
> weapons with the 
> warden, I will provide you with rooms.  Dinner is a
> couple of hours off, 
> but I've asked the cook to prepare some more places.
>  In the meantime, 
> welcome to Fort Peters."
> A tall, thick-limbed Wolfen walks out of the door
> with a number of other 
> men.  They carry long baskets lined with hay.  The
> Wolfen walks up to 
> the company.  "I am the Warden.  If you could
> surrender your weapons, 
> then you can enter the Mayor's House.  As to your
> dead, do you wish for 
> us to make some preparations?"
> [/GM]

Talas steps forward and begins to deposit his weapons
into the baskets. When it comes time to remove the 300
pound ammo drum from his back Talas pretends to
struggle with its weight. He then removes his armour
as well. To reveal the bright red robe that he’s
wearing under it. Talas then turns toward the Mayor
bows and says "Your Grace, I am Talas Leaf-Blade a
Demon Queller. It is an honor to make your
acquaintance. You honor us with your hospitality."
Talas then straitens up and stands aside to make way
for the others.

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