A Hero's Return

The last time we saw our wildly whiskered heroes they had just landed on the mysterious island and were morning the loss of the Hero. With the Mystic Wave needing extensive repairs, Captain Crimson the fellowship is forced to split up. The Wizard leads Captain Crimson, the Marksman, the Gunslinger, and Dr. Wolf to the looming mountain and tower ahead. The Inventor, Distiller, Barkeep, and Scribe stay behind with the crew to repair the ship, much to the Scribe’s displeasure. A little more than a day has passed and the expeditious repair team is drawing closer to completion, but there has been no sign of the expedition party’s return. The sun is falling from the sky as panic begins to rise in the hearts of those who await the expeditionary group’s return…


……………………………………………………………………………………………


The Barkeep hammers away at the hull. He is securing one of the last slats to the outside of the hull. The Inventor, with his imaginative machine, uses an adhesive applying attachment to seal the newly repaired hull. The crew worked tirelessly through the night to repair the hull and the ship’s repair was nearing completion. The Scribe sits on the deck’s railing staring out over the jungle, wondering about the Heroes that ventured out the day before. Time is passing quickly, if the heroes don’t return, the fellowship would be in quite a pickle. Surely they would not leave their friends behind.


A flash catches the Scribe’s eyes but then vanishes. The Scribe perks up just as the Distiller walks by.


“What is it?” asks the Distiller.


“I… I don’t know, I think… I thought… ehhh nevermind,” concedes the Scribe.


The Distiller looks at the treeline and chuckles, “There’s all kinds of things crawling around that jungle. It’s good that those things are in there and we’re out here right?” The Distiller slaps the Scribe on the back and continues on his way.


“Right…” replies the Scribe unenthusiastically.


The Scribe had come on this quest for adventure, as had the Hero. They both knew the risks. He wasn’t happy with being held back, just because they didn’t trust him to handle himself. 


There it was, something glinting from behind the woodline.


“Hey, do any of you see that…” begins the Scribe.


The Scribe is cut short by a whistling sound, cut short by the sound of fletching cutting through air, followed by the heavy thud of an arrow sinking into the wood of the mainmast.


“Aghhhh,” cries the Scribe as he falls backwards off the railing.

Everyone turns around, hearing the commotion. From the treeline emerge several mechanical automatons. The upper torsos are bronze fashioned into the form of intimidating warriors. The lower portion is a gyroscopic sphere, textured to gain purchase on the variable surfaces found on the island. The intimidating machines roll across the sand toward them.


Steam hisses from the nostrils of the machine. More a high-pitched whisper escapes the jaws of the machines, “TRESPASSERS, INTRUDERS.” 


The Scribe draws his twin swords, the Barkeep slips on his pair of brass knuckles, the Distiller picks up a piece of wasted hull wood and brandishes it, the Inventor  The crew huddle together defensively with the Mystic Wave at their back. The robots (numbering somewhere between 20-25) circle the travelers, weapons drawn. The automatons wield various weapons attached as arms. Some have long swords with shields, others had cross-bows, spears, axes, daggers, maces, and chained javelins. Some of them even have two shorter swords.


“Leave now or meet your doom trespasser,” chant the robotic sentinels. 


“Sorry gentle… uhhh… things? We’re kind of stuck here, but we are making rapid advancements in rebuilding the hull we’ll be away post-haste,” reason the Inventor.


“Yeah, Inventor I don’t think they’re listening,” replies the Barkeep as the bronze eyes of the automatons continue to bore into the crew.


*PA-TOW*


The lead sentinel falls to the ground, a massive cavity appearing between its bronze eyes. The automatons are confused as they turn rapidly, scanning for the source of the lethal projectile. A figure emerges gliding across the waves on a make-shift wind board. The figure jumps off and draws his saber, pistol still raised.


“It can’t be,” says the Scribe in amazement.


The Hero charges the automatons as the skirmish breaks loose. The Hero looses a shot at one of the cross-bow sentinels, destroying it before it can fire on anyone else, before engaging with a sword-equipped guard.


The Inventor surveys the scene, impressed at the dwarven engineering that he witnesses before him. He is shaken from his admiration by the sound of a javelin striking his machine. He looks to see one of the javelin automatons has fired a javelin at his exoskeleton’s leg and is now in the process of trying to drag him across the beach. The Inventor laughs taking a big step back with the stricken leg, drawing the sentinel closer to him. The Inventor stretches the exoskeleton’s adhesive application arm forward, pushing the applicator tip into the chest of the robot. The Inventor then pulls the trigger, releasing adhesive into the chest cavity of the automaton. The adhesive begins to gum up the robot's inner workings, causing it to overheat. Soon the armor glows bright orange and then the sentinel explodes. The Inventor then launches an automaton back into the jungle using his pneumatic hammer attachment.


The Scribe charges a spear-equipped robot, brandishing his short swords. While the automaton has greater reach, the Scribe had paid attention during the Marksman’s lesson. The sentinel was a complex piece of machinery, but the fighting tactics it employs is less complex. The Scribe waits for his entry and, when he dodges the automaton’s first jab, the Scribe closes the distance quickly slashing like mad at the robot’s head. He makes contact several times, continuing to rain down blows as the machine falls. 


The Scribe stands up, surveying his work until he hears the whirring of a robot sneaking up behind him. This sentinel has twin daggers and is much more adept at close-quarters combat. The Scribe blocks several preliminary cuts and jabs, tactics the automaton uses to test his defenses. The attacks increase in speed and intensity. The Scribe parries hard, enough to gain some space. The Scribe stares the automaton down, trying to think of something that would allow him to walk away alive. As the machine advances, the Scribe says to himself, “I have nothing.”


Just then familiar clicking emanates from the ship. The Distiller has snuck around and commandeered a deck gun. The whirring sound crescendos then descend into gunfire. The remaining sentinels are defenseless against the overwhelming firepower. The Distiller cuts down the remaining automatons, littering the beach with the resulting carnage.

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