The early morning sun streaked through the windows of the Hopping Rat tavern gilding the damp taproom which still stunk of spilt ale and worse things with lazy gold. The only two figures amongst the tables and empty mugs were Kyr sitting on a bench by the door and the shaman Grom who was busy putting war-paint on her face.
Isis (Kyr’s Player): “I’m so pumped!”
A few minutes later with the full of the morning sun blazing down on the scene, Kyr entered the ring formed by members of the Coiled Serpent berserker coven in the middle of the muddy street. She faced off with Andracor, a young Coiled Serpent berserker with shaven head. Both were completely nude lacking all else save the war-paint on their faces. Her face was painted yellow with diagonal red streaks and black rimming the eyes and lips. His face was speckled green and blue with bright yellow around the eyes and black along the lips.
Andracor immediately charged, foam bursting from between his black lips, missing with a wild swing at Kyr’s head. Kyr instantly exploded into a screaming rage and snapped at his arm with her sharpened teeth but was easily slapped away. He followed with a vicious punch to her guts and she took the opportunity to bite a chunk from his shoulder barely missing his neck and the carotid artery. He snatched her up in his knotted arms and began to crush her, compressing her ribs; she in turn sank her teeth into his forearm to the bone. Blood and filthy mud flew and spattered onto the roaring crowd as the fighters grappled. Kyr broke free of Andracor’s rib-cracking bear-hug and tried to snatch him up in turn but was instead forced to parry a kick to the stomach. She managed to grab onto him and bite into his shoulder as hard as she could, him head-butting her to keep her from locking her teeth onto his flesh. She landed a tooth-crunching power-punch to his face and his counter went wild missing completely. She followed up with another power-punch but he parried, ducked under her blow and let loose a shot at her jaw. She knocked his fist aside just in time to parry another kick aimed at her stomach. Both were badly injured and bleeding and covered in mud. Andracor threw an overhand swing, was parried and then Kyr jumped forward for another hard bite at his throat. He threw a fist at her face in an attempt to stop her attack. Her nose splattered but her teeth still clamped onto the mark tearing his throat open. Torrents of hot blood gushed everywhere. The young berserk fell limply into the mud. Still in a blind rage Kyrahma leapt atop the corpse and rained fists into its skull peppering the dark mud with white teeth until her rage faded into exhaustion.
Jen (to Isis): “Oh No! You’re sweating! And your face is all RED!”
Isis (Kyr’s Player): “Yeah and I’m breathing hard too!”
Jen (to Isis): “Maybe you shouldn’t play this game!”
Isis: “No man no! I’m fine, she survived! I thought I was gonna die but whew! I did it!”
The Coiled Serpents left their be-shamed brother’s body in the street and dispersed with the crowd. Vorwulf was annoyed that he couldn’t find any ‘action’ during the fight and the shaman had remained in the Hopping Rat after painting Kyr’s face to converse with a young shaman apparently another vagabond of the Ogtra who had shown up late the previous night. The army of Lord Vorahd was preparing to move out by at least noontime so the slayers, after Kyr’s trial by combat, prepared their kits for travel.
The shaman introduced Og to the group a little while later telling them he was another errant shaman of his tribe, the Ogtra tribe from the far north. Og was going to wait for Grom to return and stay in the tavern with Drasknor, Vorwulf’s protégé. By early afternoon they marched out. The army marched along the South Road on their way to Marnez, a farming community on the banks of the Arz River a tributary of the more southerly and much larger Nirix River. From there Lord Vorahd planned on heading to the city of Asternor along the Low West Road which followed the northern banks of the Arz and then Nirix rivers. It was figured that it should take the force of forty-one men plus the slayers 2 days to reach the South Road/High-West Road Fork about 4 miles north-east of Marnez.
A few miles outside the palisades of Merdna just as the tree-line of the Aeoch woods came into view the slayers, as the army’s sole scouting force, was commanded east-north-east towards the farmsteads there to recruit all able-bodied men while the main force continued south on the road. Kyr would remain behind with the main force as she was still badly hurt not to mention she was also busy stringing the teeth she had picked out of the mud into a necklace. The remaining 3 slayers broke away, rushed into the bush and quickly disappeared into the high, green grass.
To Be Continued…