The last time we saw our handsomely facially-haired heroes, the Hero, Scribe, and Distiller had made their way to the town of Dey to fetch the Inventor, a mechanically-minded dwarf who can help the fellowship complete their quest for the Time-Changer. When our heroes made it to Dey, the found a desolate town burning to the ground. The Hero, Scribe, and Distiller searched the town for survivors and had given up until the trio stumbled upon a group of survivors in the cellar of a church. The survivors explained that marauders had burned down the city of Dey and captured the Inventor. Now, our heroes head off into the hills in search of the marauders and the Inventor.
The Distiller and Scribe lay belly-down under an outcropping on a hill watching the entrance of a cave in the hollow. They tracked the marauders to their hideout and were now scheming how they would get inside and rescue the Inventor. Several marauders had gone in and out as well as supply wagons and horses. The mouth of the cave was huge and the number of thugs and wagons filing in and out spoke to the size of the cave. The pair noticed that all the marauders wore black tunics with a crimson sash. The Hero has gone off scouting the area and promised to return soon.
After a while the Scribe and Distiller heard the rustling of leaves above them. They stay still, listening to the approaching foot-steps moving their way. Suddenly, the Hero swings his head down from the top of the outcropping.
“Come look what I’ve found us,” whispers the Hero, before swinging back up from view. The Scribe and Distiller quickly rise and come out to meet him. When they reach the top of the outcropping, they find a covered wagon and a pair of horses. The Hero is perched on the wagon ladder when they walk over.
“I believe I found us a ticket in boys. I took this supply wagon from two newly naked marauders passed out in a thicket down the road,” laughs the Hero.
The Scribe walks around the back of the wagon checking, checking out the contents.
“This wagon is full of explosives,” cries the Scribe as the Distiller quickly muffles his mouth.
“Yes! And what luck too!” whispers the Hero excitedly as he tosses the marauder uniforms to the Scribe and Distiller.
The two look at the outfits with disdain but a stern look from the Hero cajoles the pair into putting on the outfits.
The wagon rumbles down the dirt road toward the mouth of the cavern. The Scribe is quietly whispering prayers in hopes that the guards wouldn’t notice that something was amiss. The Distiller is pulling around on the ill-fitting uniform.
“Settle down and act natural,” hisses the Hero from under a blanket on the floor of the wagon.
The Scribe and Distiller lead the wagon to and then through the entrance of the cave. The deception had gone off without a hitch. The wagon travels deep into the mountain, the air grows cold and dank. The cavern grew dark, the only illumination was the intermittent torches dotting the walls on the descent to the marauder’s hideout.
After a while, the long tunnel opened up into a large cavern with several wooden structures. This was the base that the vicious marauders were operating from.
The Scribe and Distiller follow a wagon that had entered the cave ahead of them while they took in the operation. The place was crawling with marauders, most of them were in a giant wooden building built onto the wall of the cavern.
“There he is,” hisses the Hero. The Distiller inconspicuously looks into the wagon and sees that the Hero is pointing to a shack set apart from the main building. Inside was a dwarf hammering on a piece of metal.
“Crash into the building,” says the Hero, now standing with the Distiller and Scribe on the driver’s platform.
The Scribe gives the Hero an incredulous look, but the Distiller slaps the reins and the horses take off in a bee-line towards the building. About thirty yards ahead of the building, the Hero cuts the horses’ tack and the horses veer off course. The Distiller and Scribe bail off the platform. The Hero lights a handkerchief stuffed into the neck of a bottle of whisky he took off of the previous drivers and throws it back into the wagon before rolling off the side. The flaming wagon crashes into through the doors and into the barroom before the explosives ignite, resulting in a bright deafening explosion. Chaos reigns as marauders scatter, and the fires spread.
The trio rushes over to shack where the Inventor is watching the pandemonium.
“Inventor, please come with us, we don’t have much time,” pleads the Scribe.
“Stop right there,” commands a voice from behind them.
The four turn to face the voice behind them. A vicious looking marauder stands between the heroes and the exit tunnel. This was obviously the leader, as he is adorned in an ornamental black jacket and vest. His hat was very flamboyant and decorative. A large contraption hangs on his hip, supported by a strap slung around his shoulders. The machine spewed steam as a piston pushes in and out rapidly. The machine has eight gun barrels arranged around a spinning column.
The Marauder begins to turn the crank and the Inventor screams, “TAKE COVER!” The four scatter as the machine begins to spray bullets in all directions. The gun, while impressive due to the rate of fire, left much to be desired in the accuracy department as bullets flew everywhere.
The Scribe and Distiller are hunkered behind a stack of iron bars and the Hero and Inventor are hunkered behind a steel work table.
“We’re gonna be down here a while. That thing has quite the capacity. A pretty great machine if I do say so myself,” brags the Inventor.
The Scribe is shaking while the bullets pass over his head. They’re in a tight spot, overwhelmed by the incredible rate of fire.
The Scribe’s hand passes over his habit and brushes a book he has tucked away in his cloak. The Scribe has an idea. He grabs the hardback book and tosses it at the bandit king’s head. The book strikes him in the temple, but the unathletic Scribe’s toss doesn’t phase the hardened criminal. The head marauder glares in his distraction. As ineffective as the impact of the book was, it did provide a distraction.
The Hero takes advantage of the disturbance to leave his cover. The marauder pulls the gun up to fire on the Hero. The Hero dodges right, bullets passing to his left. He jumps and kicks the gun, knocking the bandit down (as he was wearing a sling tying him to it).
The Marauder King throws the sling off, leaving the gun on the ground, and draws a long scimitar. The Hero draws a single saber (to be fair of course), and the duo launch into a dance of death. The pair are a flurry parries, slashes, stabs, and blocks. The bandit swings and the Hero catches it with a parry, drawing the two close together blades locked. The Hero looks into the angry eyes of the bandit, as the two push together, unwilling to allow the other to free their blade first. The Hero, slides his leg behind the bandit's and then sidesteps him, causing the bandit to trip. The Bandit falls, but recovers quickly, over with his guard up.
The two clash again, trading blows. The Hero catches an outside slash employed by the marauder, and uses his leverage to try and wrench the scimitar from his grasp. The marauder, noticing the Hero's focus is on the blades, pulls back and punches the Hero square in the chin. The Hero staggers away, rocked by the vicious strike.
"That wasn't very sporting," calls out the Hero as he rubs his chin. He twists his head and regains his composure and the bandit motions for him to re-engage. The pair once again cross blades, furiously clashing them together. The dual has attracted an audience of bandits, but none dare interfere. The bandit goes for an overhead arcing slice, but the Hero is ready. He parries hard, knocking the blade back, then following that by quickly slapping the bandit with the flat of his saber.
The marauder stumbles back, rubbing his cheek. There's already a welt swelling up where the blade struck his skin. The marauder screams in fury and renews his assault. The Hero easily defends the savage strokes executed by the bandit. His attacks were easy to anticipate, but the ferocity with which he executed them made a counter-attack difficult.
The marauder king once again tries a sweeping slice from outside the Hero's guard. The Hero blocks and exerts pressure again. This time, when the marauder swings his off-hand at the Hero, the Hero sees it coming. The Hero steps into the marauder's guard, allowing the wild haymaker to pass around his head, and turns his back to the marauder. In the meantime, his saber slides up the marauder scimitar's spine to turn the blade away, then leaps out of contact. The Hero, with a flip of his blade, drives the saber through the Marauder King's sternum plate and out his back. The Hero quickly withdraws his blade. All the air leaves the King Marauder’s lungs as he falls to his knees. With a sweeping turn, the Hero strikes a final blow, severing the Marauder's head from his torso.
The bandits, cheering for their leader, now are silent. There is growing anger on their faces. The Hero draws his second saber and the Distiller rolls up his sleeves. The Scribe, looking out of place though his heart was true, picks up his heavy book, looking to swing at the first bandit in reach.
"Useless lump," snarls the Inventor as he walks back into his shop, returning with a new strange box, similar to one that was attached to his machine. The dwarf hits a button that jettisons the old box, and he attaches the new box, "This is how you use my masterpiece."
The dwarf turns, and instead of firing a long blast, like the bandit king, fires several bursts. The bullets now were more concentrated, cutting down bandits who had begun to charge our adventurers.
The dwarf then turns and fires several bursts into the burning building, strategically targeting supports, until the whole building comes crashing down. The barrels spun rapidly, even when not firing, allowing the Inventor to spew a stream of hot lead on demand.
At this point the bandits that stayed behind to oppose our band, turn tail and retreat towards the entrance. Our heroes follow behind the Inventor as he clears a path to the exit using his fantastical firestorm machine.