“Every man dies. Not every man really lives”
Day 5 (continued)…
Truth and lies. The time has come for Victor and I to make a very important decision. Do we leave Pipes to its fate? Let the trolls attack and secretly head our own separate way? The answer is no. We must stay. Victor and I cannot turn away from our friends here in Pipes. We must, at all costs, protect our friends and our newly found home. I did not think that I would use that word “Home” for this little run-down town, but it has become our refuge in the wasteland and maybe our salvation.
Our path is leading us into danger once again. The sheriff made a deal with the trolls in order to save the town. We have been tasked with destroying the tooth and wing fortress somewhere in the north, a days walk from Pipes. The trolls claim that gargoyles are building a nest and killing everyone in the area. We must investigate and decide how best to deal with the menace, or Pipes will suffer if we fail.
Our journey starts this morning, and the plan has been laid out before us. It is our intent to travel north to the gargoyle fortress but first we must get past the Mythra Car park. We have heard stories that the car park is the home of a gang. For me Gangs are one of the worst evils that this world has spawned, they symbolize lawlessness and are run by only the worst kind of men. It will take every ounce of will to leave that evil alone.
The day has almost come to an end and I am taking a small rest to add to my previous entry. We ended up actually going into gang territory and survived. I really can’t believe that we actually made a profit by selling our extra equipment to the merchants located there. As I had figured it our corpses would have been stripped bare and laid to rest in a ditch. I must admit that even though gangs house many evils, I was actually surprised about how some good still lives in their midst. I think that we might have come back here one day and sell off any salvage we have. Good business, plus maybe a we might have a chance to influence evils grip on this place.
Day 6 (continued)…
Don’t mind the blood drops on this page, Victor and I are ok, the blood is not ours. I feel the need to explain the last several hours so that one day I might be able to make sense of them.
After leaving the car park the night was approaching, we came across a ruined house located in a row of other buildings. We decided to make camp on the upper story and set up a few defenses. While Setting up our gear a strange noise broke through the nighttime silence. Before we could place the sound a weird scene befell our eyes. A man and a woman riding a smoke spewing machine stopped in front our makeshift campsite.
“Dexter!” the man yelled. Before I knew what was happening the man and woman burst into the house opposite of ours. A gun fight broke out inside and we witnessed a man being shot and killed. A moment later the strange man and woman ran out of the house and down the street, still raging over the name Dexter.
Victor and I decided at that moment to run to the house opposite of ours. Once inside I was nearly shot by a one armed man. I’ll call him “Mel’s Friend”, since I can’t remember his name, “Mel’s Friend” explained to us what had happened in the few seconds that happened before we arrived. His friend Mel had been killed by the strange duo. We decided to stay upstairs with the man in hopes of having one more gun to throw bullets if the need arose.
We heard another commotion from a house to the south of us, and witnessed a horrible sight. The strange woman was throwing junk out of a window, after several objects flew from the window we recognized what came next, a woman and her infant.
I remember Victor and “Mel’s Friend” open fire on the woman. I sat stunned and could only watch as their gun fire tore though the woman. Justice served. A few moments passed, we all took aim at the building waiting for the man to emerge and we knew the fight was just about to begin. The man came at us with his crazy shouting for “Dexeter!” on his lips. He took several hits from our bullets but kept on coming. After that brief fight everything else is just a blur of motion in my mind. In the end “Mel’s friend” lay dead by the window with Victor and I standing victoriously over the unconscious body of the crazed man.
Little did I know at that point but the strangest thing was still yet to happen. We had searched the man and removed his belonging and then we tied him up so that we could actually get some rest. The night passed without further incident but when we awoke the crazed man was gone. I find it rather odd that anyone could escape one of Victor’s knots, that man could tie up a troll with its own nose hair.
Victor and I did what we could to lay to rest the many souls that died in the night, and said our farewells to Mel, his friend, (sorry to you that I never knew your name) the woman and her newborn, and lastly with regret we even buried that crazy woman.
Little else can be said, we must continue on.
“Get Busy living, the dead will only drag you down to them!” – Grand Father Bristle.
Several hours after leaving the ruined housing block we ran into a family heading south. The Andersons, let me take a moment and describe this motley group. Sara, the mother, sad and weary from her trials for caring for her children. Trish and Jenny, the eldest daughters, Billy and Pacwin, the boys, Billy being the current head of the family (as I suspect their father is no more). Finally the little ones, Melanie and Wind, the cutest and dirtiest girls you have ever seen.
Billy tells us of the family’s strife, they were formerly from the town Mayflower which has recently been destroyed. The family is fleeing with no known direction as to where they should head. Victor and I help them with what supplies we can spare and point them in the direction of Pipes. If we did not already have a desperate situation on our hands I would have chosen to escort this family back to Pipes, but we did as much and even more then most would do. I truly hope they make it.
Day 7 (continued)…
We traveled on, before long riders on horseback appeared on the horizon behind us. As it turns out it was a group of Ablemen heading toward the town of Mayflower to determine the cause of its destruction. We talked to them and told them of about our task to find the gargoyles and we learned from them that Mayflower was probably destroyed by the very same creatures. The Ablemen could not afford to waste time helping us to get to our destinations any faster so they continued on.
In the few short moments that we talked to these men I had learned that they knew of my Grand Father, which is not a surprise, most true Ablemen have come to know about my grand fathers legacy in one way or another. But I can’t help feeling strange that others are also trying to follow in his foot steps.
After the dust from the horses settled Victor and I continued on and eventually made it to Mayflower. The only thing we found there was death. We helped the Ablemen pile and burn the bodies of the dead. Evidence surely does point to a gargoyle attack. After laying the dead to rest, the Ablemen once again left without us, as we could only slow them down due our lack of a faster means of travel.
Traveling again at our slow pace we finally sighted what the trolls deemed as “the tooth and wing fortress”. A large rusted metal dish protruding out of a hole in the ground. We cautiously made our way to a better vantage point only to notice a large pile of dead horses at the center of the crater. Victor let out a gasp that conveyed my own thoughts and my heart sank, were the Ablemen dead?
As it turns out this had been their plan all along. The horses were just decoys, so that the Ablemen could hide under the sand and ambush the gargoyles. We hid under the sand with the Ablemen waiting for the gargoyles to return. The waiting was unbearable.
My breath was stolen from me as a shadowy apparition passed overhead, fear threatened to set my body into retreat. I glanced at Victor and saw his determination, that quick look gave me the will I needed to quench the rising fear. The apparition came into my sight and hell was unleashed upon the demon. The Ableman, Victor and I started shooting at the great beast. As the shots rang out we saw that the bullets seemed to have no effect on the creature. Fear was quickly growing inside us again, this time we could not wrestle ourselves from its grasp. The fight was short and unsuccessful and it was now time to retreat. We quickly decided that we could not head back south because we did not want to lead the evil gargoyles back towards Pipes.
Victor tells our group about a rumor of the Old Repeater way station to the north, and we quickly decide that it is our only choice. We ran faster then I remember running in my entire life, fear keeping us going long past our muscles were willing. As the fear slowly starts to fade we eventually realize that our group has shrank. Victor, Tod Sanderson, Heath Feather, Randy Sinlin, and I are the only ones remaining, fear turns to dread and heartache.
Heath yells at us to stop, “Tod is hurt and needs to rest”. I checked Tod’s wound and know that something needs to be done quickly or else Tod will die.
The Old repeater way station, A tall rusted metal tower rises out of the ground at an odd angle, that combined with disturbing buzzing sound that surrounds the area. What is this place? Why did someone build this crazy structure in the middle of nowhere? Too many questions come to mind. I see Victor eying the tower and know that he calculating the value of all that metal, I almost laugh at the thought but Tod’s health must come first.
We entered a run down structure at the base of the tower. Tod is in bad shape, we bandaged Tod up as best we can and decide that someone must go for help. Randy volunteers to head back south to find what ever help he can muster. As Tod rests we search the building for supplies.
I found Victor messing with a strange machine with the words “generator” inscribed on it, whatever he did to it only shows our ignorance of the past. No, maybe I am wrong Victor is a smart one, he might have actually fixed the device. Whatever it is remains a mystery to me.
Food and water is running low. What food we do have is rationed out equally. Heath saves his portion for Tod. Tod seems to be getting better, but he is still in need of proper medical treatment.
The day is long, and uneventful. To pass the time we share our stories of our time traveling from pipes and learn that the strange man in the ruins goes by the name “Masterson”. This Masterson fellow is known by the Ablemen. What little we learn about Masterson is that he is apparently hunting down Dexter who is an Ableman from Ithica. More then that Randy and Tod are not willing to tell.
As dawn arrives we hear the sound of horses being ridden fast. Randy returns to us with extra horses and supplies. None too soon. The ride back to Pipes was quick and uneventful.
Upon our return we are happy to find the Andersons alive and well in Pipes. They are thankful for our assistance and have decided to make Pipes their new home. Sara invited us to have dinner with her family. As our journey ends we learn that Tod is doing better and he will survive his injuries. The Ablemen leave Pipes and head toward their home in Ithica. The time has come for us to rest and renew ourselves. The journey was dangerous and unsuccessful, but we survived… I am sure grandfather would have something to say about that…
“those who never step, never stumble.”