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OgrePadre

Extract (with Ogres) from my current campaign

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End of season 8 General Report (Winter 2402-3)

A Letter to my most noble Lord Lucca Vescucci of Verezzo, sent from the city of Pavona, recently delivered of the threat of destruction at the hands of Razger Boulderguts’ brutes, from your loyal servant Antonio Mugello. I pray this missive finds you blessed by all the gods, and that the realm of Verezzo lies both happy and secure, untouched by the misfortune suffered by so many other Tilean principalities.

It seems the brute horde has at last departed the realm of Pavona, having circumnavigated the city in a most murderous and destructive fashion, razing Montorio and Todi to the ground. This being so, and now that such communication is possible, I took the first available opportunity to dispatch unto you this missive. Duke Guidobaldo has proclaimed to his subjects a kind of victory, for although no battle was fought by his army, yet he has somehow seen off Boulderguts and Mangler’s double army of ogres.  I cannot claim to know the truth, but even Razger Boulderguts must a have baulked at the thought of attacking a mightily-walled city garrisoned by a very substantial and veteran army. The duke is not short of artillery, so that the walls bristle with muzzles. And more than these, there are novel engines of war the like of which I have never seen, including a collection of monstrosities bearing rank upon rank of fireworks, a kind of explosive rocchetto. Having witnessed one demonstration it seems to me that successful employment in battle would leave the field reeking of burnt ogre-flesh. 

The mood in the city is not one of celebration, however, for all joy has been tempered by the first pangs of real hunger, and all relief is soured by the knowledge that the fields of both Todi and Casoli are lain waste, the livestock stolen, and the city’s storehouses almost empty. The town of Scozzese avoided destruction at the ogres’ hands, for the duke ordered the demolition of the bridge at Casoli and the winter waters were too deep and fast flowing even for Razger’s brutes to cross. Yet word has come only today that Scozzese was nevertheless threatened by a greenskin force, perhaps the ogres’ gnoblar servants, and had to pay a high price in gold and all-too precious vittles to avoid a similar fate to those Pavonan settlements north of the river.

It is commonly said that the double army of brutes has moved away westwards, along the Via Aurelia, the very same road that brought them here. No-one knows if they plan to wreak further devastation in the vicinity of Remas or if they intend to return northwards, whence they came.

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Beni Mobili (Goods and Chattels)

“’Tain’t right,” complained Mags, catching his breath in the moment he and Brindill felt their burden lighten a little. The ground was levelling out after a long incline. “This ain’t fit work for the likes of us. This is for runts and burden beasts to do.”

“There’re no runts or beasts left,” said Brindill. “They’re all gobbled up.”

“I know that. Still don’t make it right.” Glancing to the side he growled under his breath. “Looks like Mangler’s boys have plenty to haul their wagons.”

“That’s ‘cos they’ve got nearly all the loot, gold and grub, which buys ‘em whatever they want,” said Brindill. “They can pay more than a runt’s weight in good fleshmeat, so they’re getting’ the irongut’s share.” Then he slammed his gut plate. “We gotta eat, which means they get all the runts we catch, an' all the ones they catch.”

“We’ve got loot. What’ya think we’re dragging?”

“We’re dragging the loot Razger’s got left after paying Mangler. Mangler’s service don’t come cheap, and for reasons he's keeping to himself, Razger’s willing to pay.”

“So why don’t Razger use this loot to buy us some burden beasts or runts?”

Brindill was shaking his head. “You ‘aven’t thought it through, Mags. If we use the loot to buy ‘em, then we ain’t got any loot for ‘em to pull, see?”

Mags panted through gritted teeth while he pondered the conundrum, a sound that joined in rhythmically with the creaking of the wagon wheels and the clattering of the chains.

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He and Brindill had been hauling the heavily laden wagon since daybreak, their only rest having been to swap places when Mags complained about his aching arm. Now they were passing Mangler’s equally burdened but much more numerous wagons, which had halted for some reason. Several companies of ogres flanked them, providing walls of muscle and steel to protect the precious convoy tucked between.

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Suddenly a shout came from the front of the flanking wagons.

“Proud of yerselves, boys? Doing gnoblar work?”

It was Gordok, one of Mangler’s bully boys. Brindil and Mags both chose not to acknowledge him, not even to look at him. This did not stop Gordok.

“Fair sweating, ain’t ya, ‘spite the cold? I almost feel sorry for ya. Then I remember how much loot we’re pullin’, an’ I feel ‘appy instead!”

endrep8c7_zpsbfjf9wdn.jpg

“Just ignore him, Mags” hissed Brindil.

“If you’re getting’ tired, you want me to whip you?” shouted Gordok. “Works wonders on this ‘ere pack o’ runts.”

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As he spoke Gordok handled his long whip, the cord so thick it could serve as an anchor cable, while the slaves he was tending made a point of not looking at him either. Some wore only the ragged remnant of clothes, but the blue and white livery of Pavona was still evident amongst them as most had been captured either at the fall of Astiano or in one of several skirmishes since.  Some even retained helmets - their cruel new masters being un-interested in armour of such a diminutive size. Gordok prided himself in knowing his runts well. He had worked out, for example, how to distinguish those recently captured from those who had served him longer, simply by looking at the length of their beards, and he had learned (after a number of very bloody incidents) that if he employed all his strength then merely one lash of his whip could almost cut a runt in two. 

“You think we should let the likes of him threaten us?” asked Mags.

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“I think we should do what Razger told us to do,” said Brindil, his voice lowered. “And not cause trouble with Mangler’s boys until the time is right. Like I said, Razger’s willing to pay all they ask just now, but that don’t mean he’s gonna let Mangler keep it all. Seems to me that once we’re done fighting there‘ll be a reckoning.”

“Can’t come soon enough,” said Mags. “I’m ready any time. An’ if Gordok lives through it, let’s see how he does harnessed like a burden beast.” He glanced back at the oxen pulling the wagon behind Gordok’s. 

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“It’ll be a tight fit,” he chuckled. “But I’ll get it on him, even if it kills him.” 

“You'll get your chance. Seems to me that there’ll be more fighting yet, otherwise we’d have turned north by now,” observed Brindill. “An’ it’s about time Mangler’s boys got stuck in and did something to earn what they’ve got. Don’t get me wrong, I like the fighting, and there's been good feasting of both ours and the enemy’s flesh after, but Mangler’s boys have yet to show us anything worth boasting about. They’ve got the numbers right now, no doubt, but only ‘cos they’ve avoided any real scrapping.”

endrep8c1_zpskdygs850.jpg

“Just like they’ve avoided any work too,” said Mags. “They’re good for nothing.”

“Once they've been properly bloodied in battle, then we'll see how good they are," said Brindill. "It’s not all bad, you know. If they’re letting us take the lead, then we can set the pace.”

“Aye, and save our strength for when Razger finally tells us to show them who’s boss.”

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This report, consisting of Mugello's letter (and the illustrating stories) will be continued in the forums I post the full story in. If there are more Ogre bits (like the battle I think will happen soon) I will try to remember to post here.

Edited by OgrePadre

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