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Found 5 results

  1. Forum Challenge - The Fool

    The short story of a rookie looking to make the Fool's Guild. He has no name in the story, but I'm calling him Bilk for the sake of it. 1000 words exactly, enjoy! The Fool My mouth widened so much that it strained my lips painfully. That’s just how bored I had been. The game was nearly over and I hadn’t even sniffed the ball once. I was beginning to think no one here was going to give me the chance to show off my skills! I was contemplating napping when I saw the other team go for a pass near my position. No, wasn’t a pass! They were trying to catch me off guard and take me out! Kh-dnk! Tiny, white dots of light danced in my eyes when the ball smacked against my head and I stood there with a dumb look on my face as the ball dribbled to a stop right by me. The laughter that rolled through the other rookies in the scrimmage was not lost on me, even if my only response was a goofy, dazed grin, as though surviving the punt was a win all by itself. The angry voice that ripped through the guffaws pulled me to my senses. “GET THE BALL!” The call came from a tall, athletic man looking to impress the Fishermen. “LOOK OUT!” Another teammate cried. My head turned in slow motion as the other team was advancing to recover the ball. “No, wait!” I flailed and quickly hopped over the ball to protect it, just as a tough looking man stomped down on my foot. My shriek was, admittedly, rather high pitched and elicited another round of chortles from my compatriots. Even the dastardly toe crusher paused to grunt an approximation of a laugh. “Eheheh…” I laughed nervously myself and jutted forward. The man quickly went back to trying to retrieve the ball but now our legs were hopelessly tangled. We both dropped to the ground and rather hurtful epithets spilled from the man’s mouth. I unfurled our legs and as I hopped up, I may have accidentally put my foot down on the poor bastard’s- Ahem Let’s just say his shriek of pain matched my earlier yelp in pitch... I had far more important things to worry about as another opponent was advancing from behind to try and catch me! My legs pumped frantically and I put a hand on my head to keep my cap from flying off. I kept my eye on him, making sure he was losing ground. “Go! Away!” I tried to wave my pursuer off when I suddenly felt something under my foot. I was no longer touching the ground but instead I was trying hard not to topple end over end as I balanced on top of the rolling ball. "I can do this! I can do this!” I muttered to myself as my stumbling feet found their rhythm. I looked up and smiled proudly, as if I had just scored a goal. More laughter. More derisive calls. “Buffoon!” “Rube!” I’m doing my best! My embarrassing run came to a sudden and rather soft halt as I crashed into a tall, buxom woman on the other team who had positioned herself to intercept me as I flailed about. My hands came up to protest the incoming punishment, but found a rather cushiony brace to help prop myself up straight. Our eyes met and the fury that roiled in hers was matched only by the heat washing over her cheeks. She decided to forgo the slap for a powerful closed fist that knocked me for a loop! I twirled on my feet to the side, mocking a graceful pirouette. I was lucky to still be conscious, but she was not as fortunate. My previous pursuer had caught up with me and sold out for a punishing tackle! The woman’s mighty punch had knocked me clear of the charging bull and the two collided in a violent impact. Both were laid flat! I scrambled to my feet and corralled the ball, dribbling as I marched on. Somehow, I had ended up near the opposing goal with only one man in front of me. A hulking brute wearing a mask and snorting at me. He cracked his knuckles and took a rumbling step in my direction. His mass alone was enough to block the goal and I could feel my trembling knees knocking together. “Sir…” I squawked, a nervous frog in my throat. I dropped to my knees, cowering over the ball and throwing one arm over my head. “If you’re going to beat me up, at least don’t hurt my cap!” I chattered as I set my cap next to me. I got to me knees and shoved the ball towards him with my hand and then grabbed my own collar. “I’ll even save you the effort!” I punched myself in the cheek and once again another roar of laughter came over the field. “It’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone take themselves out of the game!” One of the other players barked. I spat out some blood and began to crawl to the pitch’s edge. The goaltender eyed me until he was satisfied, then turned and gave the ball a good punt. Splort! Chunks flew through the air and I laughed as I watched the gourd I replaced the ball with splatter! When he angrily turned toward me, I was back upright with the biggest grin on my bruised face. I raised my big, jangling cap and revealed the real ball. I tilted my head to the side and the ball dropped. It caught the curl of my boot, slid off and lightly touched the goal with a soft noise. Bop. That was the game and my grin turned into a cackle of laughter. I fell down, clutching my sides as I surveyed the others on the pitch. A man soon approached me. Somehow, he commanded respect despite wearing a motley similar to mine. “You’re a Fool.” “I hope to be, sir!” I grinned. “Though, I don’t think I could ever compete with the likes of them.” I said as I motioned to the pitch.
  2. Forum Challenge - The Tryouts

    **Spare hour, thought I'd add my two cents! By no means a writer, but had a fun daydream so thought I'd get it typed.** Ribs cracked and lungs heaved heavy, laboured breaths as they compressed from the force of the blow. Batton’s vision blurred as his dilated pupils struggled to realign the competing midday suns his swirling mind had concocted. Knees buckled, legs fell and the worn dirt granted its dry embrace. A wretching cough threatened to spill his tasteless lunch gruel over the painted lines of the grass, with only a hastily pressed fist keeping his lips shut. “Well…he saved it at least?” Tapper said, head cocked to one side as he stood underneath the shade cast from his team mate. “I guess. Doesn’t look like the lad’ll be blocking any more today though, shall I get the next one?” Stave asked. “He’s the last.” The captain sighed. “She’s doing this deliberately you know, she doesn’t see the point in one.” Batton’s eyes watered as his breathing struggled to settle, hot dust caking the side of his parched lips as he rose unsteadily back to his feet. Groggily he stepped back to his mark once more and beckoned over to the player opposite him. This time it hit him in the gut, and his tempestuous meal cascaded freely as he doubled over from the shot. “She’s going to kill the boy at this rate…” the hulking Stave sighed indifferently. “Then you’ll have to explain to the Valentian winemakers why you can’t fulfil your end of the pact.” Tapper stroked his beard absent-mindedly as he watched the boy again return to his mark and signal the striker to fire once more. The weighted leather ball fizzed across the courtyard and smashed into Barrow’s shoulder as he recoiled in agony, clutching his dulled limb loosely. The Valentians’ economic support was a critical piece in his defence against Esters’ political machinations, and they expected to have one of their own representing the Brewers, but their convoluted passing style did not sit well with the Brewers brawling game. The boy was different though…he had something a little more about him. Tapper’s musings were snapped back into reality as a howl ripped out of Batton’s crumpled form, his arm contorted in a grotesque parody of knotted treebranch as yet another virulent shot hit its mark. “Friday! That’s enough!” The captain bellowed. The blond striker smirked defiantly from across the pitch as she stared down at the broken rookie while physicians rushed to his aid with clanking tools and hip flasks of maldriven whisky. Her saunter tempered slightly as Tapper closed in on his wayward forward. “I suppose you think you’ve proven a point?” He asked. “We don’t need one, why waste time protecting the goal when we could get another forward? You think that boy the equal of the Ratcatcher or Butchers’ hulk? Look at him, pitiful like the rest. You’d do better to put the damned cat in goal instead.” Friday hissed as she retrod a familiar argument. “He saved all of your shots though…” Tapper stated coldly. “If I was aiming for the goal that might be the case.” Friday mocked arrogantly. “…but you were, and the boy stopped them…and I’d wager he’d do it again tomorrow.” Tapper challenged. Batton’s pain subsided as he watched Friday storm away from the captain in the centre circle, his view obscured as the towering Stave pushed a pint to his mouth. “Ere you go lad…best get that down you to dull the pain. You did good today…now catch your breath. You’re down in the pit with Pint Pot this afternoon.” The rookie choked on his beer as the physicians dragged him away to prepare…
  3. Forum Challenge - Bummer for Bill

    It was still early morning, Bill lay awake listening to the screeching call of the rooster, commanding the sun to come up and pushing away the darkness. But there was no pushing away the darkness in Bills head. The war had cost him everything, his parents, his sister, his home. Too young to take up arms and fight back he had wandered around, from meal to meal, from dirty alley to wet gaps under bridges. The only thing the war had not taken was his life, and he was spared on numerous occasions. The first time when soldiers set fire to the house: Mother took up his little sister and ran out, as soon as the sparks came dripping down from the roof, set alight by a few torches thrown up there. The door to safety and freedom was kicked open, only to find lust craving evil men on their front step, awaiting the inhabitants. One of them grabbed Bills sister, two others took his mother and hauled them both away, chased by his father who commanded him to flee and go towards the church. Bill was never a good boy, and so he chased after his father, witnessing how his dad was jumped on from the back he screamed in warning. Too late. His father got stabbed in the back by a shortsword and fell to his knees. Bill bellowed a war-cry, giving his victim ample warning of his arrival. The brigand turned about and butted Bill in the head with the back of the shortsword that took the life of his father. Bill went down, face first in the cobbled street and felt in the distance how a foot came crashing down on the back of his head. Several teeth cracked, as did his nose. The iron flavoured blood poored down the front of his face and filled his mouth. Trying to stay focused Bill could make out the shapes of men, holding down his mother and sister, through a haze he heard them scream. A shrill contrast to the low rumbling laughter and grinning sounds the men made, saliva dripping from the corners of their mouths as they forced themselves upon the women. Hours passed before Bill regained contiousness to find his dead parents and lifeless body of his sister, clothes of the women tattered and smeared with blood and dirt. Yet more hours passed before time started again in Bills life and he buried them under some rubble producing a cross from the debris. A second time his life was spared was when he stumbled upon soldiers fighting. One of them spotted him and raised an axe that missed his head by a hair. It would’ve split his head open if it was not for the arrow that pierced the soldiers neck and made him trip. A voice called out to him instructing him to flee the scene. A third time it was a member of the physicians guild that found him, curled up like a ball under a bridge. Boiling up inside with a fever, coughing his lungs out, he saw the world through the haze. He shrieked as he could make out a shadow closing in on him, not knowing it was his saviour this time and not one of the men assaulting his mother and sister during the flashback he experienced. A loud bang disturbed his musings and the sleep of his fellow rookies, he sprang out of bed as if launched by a catapult and grabbed his gear before the voice bellowed: “Rise and shine lads! It’s a new day and you have much to learn still! Out in the yard in 2 minutes for the morning drill!” The owner of the voice never showed his face. Marbeille next to him had clearly been awake too since she was getting dressed , slowing Bill down as he admired her curves. Aware of his watching eyes she hastened to cover herself up. What was he thinking, the lovely Marbeille was out of his league, as the daughter of a reknown beekeeper. Still when their eyes met… The dorm started living, as an ants-nest that was disturbed and soon he was in the yard doing push-ups and sprinting back and forth amongst his peers. Some of them there hoping to escape the life bestowed on them by birth, looking to do something else than what was expected, others because their parents wanted a superstar Guild Ball player in the family. And yet others, like him, not sure how they got there but with nothing else to do. All were equal amongst the rookies, until you showed skill. Skilled rookies were soon to be scouted by guilds on the lookout for players. Bill noticed from the corner of his eyes that Mallet was there, talking to some others and he did his utmost best to shine in the football game. He got teamed up to play against Marbeille but made sure to avoid having to go near her, lest he should have to tackle, or hurt her… At best Bill was an average football player, a descent distance to his kick, but no real accuracy to be amazed over, his fighting skills were lacklustre at best. He was strong, but had a good heart and held back so not to harm his peers. He received a pass and sprinted forward, hoping to impress the scouts, and Mallet in particular, but ran headfirst into the defence and got a blow to the head making him sway on his feet. The defending midfielder tackled the ball with ease and passed it to Marbeille, who skilfully received the pass and dodged forwards to make a counter attempt. Bill never knew what happened and when he shook his head he could notice a female sprinting past him, but it was all a blur still. Two men from his team moved in to stop Marbeille and they squashed her inbetween them knocking her down. One of them stumbled on top of her, the other laughed in an evil way bringing Bill back to where he lost his parents. A rage came over him and he shook off the haze, only to be blinded by his rage. Both men went down, each under an arm of Bills. His fists hammering down on their heads as if he was beating a drum with the rhythm of his heart. Shouts fell upon deaf ears as orders to stop were lost on him. It was Mallet who plucked him of the two and with a slap to the face brought him back to his senses. “What have I done?” Mumbled Bill “You beat up two of your own team, rookie.” Answered Mallet, and he continued: “And you made it into the Masons guild training programme” “I’m an apprentice to the masons after beating up my own team?” “Well, best not to do that again, …” a grin lurked around Mallets mouth as he pushed the boy in front of him towards the administrations office to get the paperwork out of the way. Mallet wasn’t going to let this beast get stolen from under his nose…
  4. "Rookies"

    As we were made aware during the Q&A at Vengeance, Rookies have been put on ice as they were introducing too many game changing factors for tournament play.. As discussed, there may be some similarities between one of the rookie concepts and the Master / Apprentice relationship which will be introduced with the Blacksmiths guild.. However.. Something I've thought about for a while and I'm sure some of you have too, and this is a big "what if", but... Rookies are players everyone has access to in a Big League format.. They are generic and unnamed with a basic stat line based on the guild you are playing in.. You are not obligated to play your rookie player in a game but every time they do they have a change of gaining an upgrade depending on what they do during the game, eg; Played in a match = generic upgrade Scored a goal = playmaking upgrade Got a take out = aggression upgrade These upgrades wouldn't be huge but over time they would be comparable to a pre existing player as you customise your rookie to fit your preffed playstyle.. My brain has a lot more unessesary detail about how upgrades may work but that's all boring stuff and I was just wanting to throw the idea out there to see what people thought.. #saveAmber
  5. Issue six of Tabletop Gaming magazine (UK) has artwork for a new farmers player, called Jack Straw. He looks like a sinister scarecrow armed with a large sickle. The magazine says season three will add rookie players for teams, and hints that the second team for season three could be blacksmiths. Anyone seen more on all this?