Kie-Pear Le Pomf
Class: Monk Alignment: Chaotic Good
The grassy plain was a quiet and serene place in the middle of what seemed like an endless war. Kie-Pear gave a sigh as he looked through his spyglass across the windswept plain. This peaceful hamlet would soon fall to the ravages of war as well, just as they all did. He spotted the enemy encampment far below him on the plain next to a small watering hole. He looked down and made several charcoal marks on a piece of parchment he had in front of him. The grass around him rippled as a gentle breeze blew over him and through his dark brown hair causing him to shiver lightly.
For the past ten years now this same scenario had played out in front of him time and time again. His company would send a scout to locate the enemy, observe their movements, and then report back with the information. Though the key to accomplishing all this was selecting the proper hiding spot and in this instance Kie-Pear had chosen perfectly. He lay prone atop a high bluff that over looked the plain. Additionally he had waited until further in the day to select his hiding spot, in doing so he eliminated the scout the enemy had sent out. Kie-Pear took a quick glance at the recently flattened portion of the plain that hid the scout’s body. It was a rushed job, but at least the body would not be food for the vultures.
He lowered his spyglass and shook his head as he heard a slight rustling in the grass behind him. “You better not have been spotted on your way up here.” He said as he looked down across the plain again.
“I never understand how you are able to hear me coming all the time.” A soft voice said next to him. Kie-Pear glanced over to see a red skinned tiefling crawling into position next to him.
“The answer is simple Zaigoria, It is because you are louder than an Orc in heat.” He said with a smirk. He winced in pain as she snapped her tail across his back.
She shook her head as she took the spyglass from him, “So what’s down there Corporal?” She said with an air of superiority.
Kie-Pear rolled his eyes, “You all ways pull rank when you have nothing to say Sergeant.” He said in a irritated tone, “They’ve chosen their spot fairly well the low portion of the plain hides the majority of their troops as well as a set of ballistae to the Northeast.” He paused as a moment as she nodded, “However to the South there is a raised portion of the plain, it can shield our archers while our cavalry sweeps behind the ballistae.” He said confidently.
Zaigoria smiled, “Good work Kie, this is why you are the company’s favorite scout.” She said before crawling away. Kie-Pear gathered his things and put them away in his pouch. He began crawling after Zaigoria on his belly so as to remain unseen. As he followed behind her she flicked his nose with her tail, “You shouldn’t stare Kie.”
Kie-Pear rubbed his nose, “Its difficult not to, its all I can see at the moment. By the way have you been gaining weight?” He asked.
Zaigoria gasped, “You are so lucky that I like you, no other woman would put up with you!” She hissed at him before standing up and hustling away.
The pair quickly returned to their camp where they were greeted by their fellow soldiers. It had been strange to Kie-Pear when he first joined the military ten years ago He had been a student at the monastery then, however it had been a far too quiet and dull life for Kie-Pear. He had been constantly scolded for his lack of focus as it kept him from advancing in his art as his fellow students had been able to. The day the army came and conscripted several of the younger members of the monastery had been a blessing for Kie-Pear. He was enthralled by the strengthening of the body he was able to do, but he was not able to steady his mind. With luck he would be able to accomplish this within the military.
The monastery had sent them off with a set of scrolls in order to advance their training in the arts of the monastery. The idea had seemed sound at first, except that gradually the other members of the monastery began to fall in combat. His very first mission had nearly ended in his death when the monk leading the scouting party walked them directly into an enemy patrol. It was then that Kie-Pear learned that hiding and waiting was often the best tactic, thus far it had kept him alive. In addition it had made him very good at making sure his company received the information they needed to stay alive as well. It had earned him a reputation for getting the job done where others had failed.
“Hey are you listening Kie? What kept you?” A deep voice said.
Kie-Pear snapped out of his reverie and flashed the copper colored Dragonborn in front of him a salute, “Sorry Lieutenant, I was just making sure that I had taken enough time to observe the enemy camp.” Kie-Pear said hastily.
“Ach! Leave the lad alone. I told ye Lieutenant. As long as the sun has nah set yet, yeh needn’t worry bout the Corporal. He’s more slippery than the bottom of a Halflin’s skillet after breakfast.” Said a Dwarf in heavy metal armor standing behind the Dragonborn Lieutenant.
The Dragonborn nodded as he faced the Dwarf, “Aye commander.”
The Commander waved Kie-Pear over, “Let’s see what yeh’ve got for us Laddie.” The Commander said as Kie-Pear handed him a piece of parchment. The Commander nodded, “Excellent yeh got an eye on evrythin’ din’t yeh? We can pincer the lot o’ them with nary a problem at all.” The Commander said before narrowing his eyes and rapidly turning the map over and over again.
He curled his finger motioning Kie-Pear forward. Once Kie-Pear was close enough the Dwarf grabbed a hold of the young Human’s ear, “Din’t I tell yeh over an over agin’? The lit’lest details matter?” The Commander said with mild irritation. Kie-Pear nodded quickly before the Commander took a deep breath, “Then where in the bloody ells’ is North on this ruddy map?!” The Commander said. Kie-Pear quickly pointed to a portion on the map and the Dwarf released him.
The Commander gave a sigh and turned to Zaigoria, “Yeh need tah’ keep im’ in check Lassie. He is yer man an’ all.” The Commander said as he stared down at the map. Zaigoria gave a slow nod as she turned an even deeper shade of red.
The Commander looked to Kie-Pear again, “Corporal, Why are yeh ere’ an’ wat is yeh sole purpose ere’ in this army?” The Commander asked.
“Ours is not to reason why, ours is not to let them die. Sir!” Kie-Pear said.
The Commander nodded, “Thas’ right Corporal, I give nary a thought bout’ any political reasons our rulers ave’. Our purpose is to fight for those who canneh’ fight fer emselves’.” The Commander nodded again, “Yer lucky yeh happen the be the best scout an’ apprentice brewer I’ve ever had. Git some rest Kie, opefully we needn’t call on yeh tomorrow.” The Commander said as he dismissed his scout.
Soldiers in the camp were close and cared about one another. Yet no one ever seemed completely invested in one another, mostly because they knew that at any point their friends might not come back. Though at times it wasn’t easy, particularly in the rather odd relationship he had with Zaigoria. It was a cool relationship to the casual observer, but in truth they were much closer to one another than either would care to admit. Even in the case of his interactions with the Commander whom had taken the liberty of teaching Kie-Pear a bit of the brewing trade over the past few years.
Kie-Pear awoke the next day to another soldier calling his name, “Kie! The Commander wants you on the battlefield. Now!” The soldier shouted.
Once Kie-Pear arrived on the battlefield he spotted the remains of what had once been the enemy camp. The Commander and Lieutenant waved him over as he rushed past the other soldiers.
“Front an’ center Laddie.” The Commander said as Kie-Pear saluted. The Commander shook his head, “We ave’ a problem. Only half the soldiers yeh spotted were ere’ today.” The Commander said.
Kie-Pear looked wide eyed as the Lieutenant spoke, “Which means they probably moved out last night, but we need to figure out if they are still in the area.” The Lieutenant said.
Kie-Pear nodded as he retrieved a map from his pack and unfurled it on the ground. As Kie-Pear examined the map he shook his head, “There is a port town nearby Dun’ Kir’ch if I remember correctly, they could have gone there.” Kie-Pear commented
The Lieutenant nodded as he pointed to another part of the map, “They could have also gone through this area to the North. Problem is we can’t know for sure.” The Lieutenant said.
Kie-Pear shook his head, “Through a swamp? Would that really be wise?” He asked.
“If they onleh’ planned on escapin’ it would make sense. Not a brilliant plan, but it works.” The Commander said. He turned to a soldier and pointed to the port on the map, “Immah take a small squad to investigate the swamp, if they did turn tail there should nah’ be any problems. Take the rest of the soldiers an’ defend that port. We will meet agin’ at sundown.” The Commander said.
The Commander turned to Kie-Pear, “Go with the rest of the soldiers Laddie if yeh spot the rest of the enemy, yeh come an’ fetch us from the swamp.” The Commander said as he began pointing to a few soldiers to take with him. The Lieutenant and Zaigoria nodded as they followed behind the Dwarf. Kie-Pear watched as Zaigoria passed him, he didn’t say anything he simply remained quiet. He jumped slightly when she looked back at him and smiled before hustling away with the troops under the Commander’s lead.
Kie-Pear rushed toward the swamp as his pulse beat loudly in his ears. Hours ago his portion of the company had spotted the remaining enemy troops that had left his company behind. They had taken up positions around the small port town and were preparing to lay siege. However they had also been joined by another three companies. That was nearly a thousand soldiers to the one hundred and fifty in his own company. He was immediately sent to recall the Commander to aid in the defense of the port.
His feet slid slightly as the ground beneath his feet shifted and gave way. He slowed his pace through the swamp in order to retain his footing. The mud squished and slurped with each of his steps. Kie-Pear cursed down at the mud as his movements were echoed through the swamp. He finally came across a portion of solid ground within the swamp and used it to mask the sound of his footsteps. He looked down at the flattened grass and spotted what appeared to be the tracks of his fellow soldiers.
He continued to follow them until he came to a muddier, but more open portion of the swamp. He paused as he heard several “ribbits” from frogs nearby. He shook his head and was about to continue forward when he heard the sound again. “Should it be that loud?” He thought to himself. He poked his head out from behind a bush in the direction of the frogs. He gasped and ducked back behind the bush. What he saw certainly looked like frogs, but their very appearance made his skin crawl and his hair stand on end.
Their skin was bright red and mottled with dark brown spots. They stood upright on a pair of muscular legs that ended with sharp taloned feet. Their hands were each tipped with a set of long sharp claws that at the moments were freshly stained with blood. The worst part about them in Kie-Pear’s mind was the motion of their eyes. The creatures themselves looked like feral and mindless creatures, but their eyes said otherwise. The eyes hinted at their savage intelligence and the ability of these creatures to successfully outwit even the most intelligent opponents.
Kie-Pear clasped his hand over his mouth as he looked down into the mud, there lay the mangled body of the Commander. His armor was spilt open like that of an eggshell and the contents of his corpse were being torn apart by what could only be described as a giant tadpole. The tadpole loosed a squeal of contentment as it tore a chunk of flesh from the Dwarf’s body, casting off freshly applied coats of blood that the gluttonous beast had covered itself in as it feasted.
“Kie?” A low voice said from somewhere nearby. Kie-Pear looked over to see the Lieutenant crawling close to his hiding spot. Kie-Pear shook his head as he looked down at the torn flesh that shown through the Lieutenant’s tattered leather armor. The Lieutenant began to breathe heavily as he crawled into cover, “They got the drop on us, we never stood a chance. They tore through us like we were hogs fit for the slaughter. Wiped us all out.”
Kie-Pear’s eyes widened, “All of you? Where’s Zai?” He said as he crept past the Lieutenant. He began to scanned the open portion of the swamp and spotted Zaigoria lying in the mud. She rolled over and winced in pain as she clutched at her chest. She opened her eyes for a moment and somehow her eyes met his. She lazily shook her head and blinked her eyes as she looked into his. Tears welled in her eyes as she silently mouthed, “I love you. Please, please don’t look.” She arched her back and closed her eyes as she let forth a blood curdling scream. Her scream quickly drowned out by the contented squeal from the giant tadpole that had burst forth from her chest. She began coughing as blood sprayed from her mouth and nose. Her body relaxed and her eyes glossed over as a single tear slowly streamed from her eyes gradually becoming lost in the rivulets of blood that streaked her face. Kie-Pear clasped his hands over his mouth to keep himself from screaming as he blinked tears away from his eyes.
He felt a hand on his arm, “She’s gone Kie, we all are.” The Lieutenant said. The Lieutenant said as he pressed a small glass vial into Kie-Pear’s hand, “It’s a vial of my mother’s blood, she hoped it would keep me safe.” The Lieutenant said as Kie-Pear began shaking his head at the Lieutenant’s words. ”If you ever meet her, be sure to give it back.” He said as his breath became shallow. The Lieutenant pointed to a Javelin strapped to his back, “I won’t die by letting that thing rip me apart from the inside,” The Lieutenant looked Kie-Pear square in the eye, “You take this Javelin and you send that little bastard to hell. I might follow behind, but at least he’ll get there first.” The Lieutenant said. Kie-Pear’s hands shook as the Javelin pressed into his hands, “That is an order soldier.” The Lieutenant said hushed tone. Kie-Pear shook his head violently against the order.
The Lieutenant smirked, “You and I are a lot alike you know, we both saw this company as family.” The Lieutenant said. Kie-Pear blinked away even more tears and leveled the javelin at the Lieutenant’s chest. Suddenly the Lieutenant said something that made all of Kie-Pear’s panicking pause for a moment, “Kie, its going to be alright.” The Lieutenant said softly. Kie-Pear closed his eyes and plunged the Javelin into the Lieutenant’s chest. The Lieutenant’s breathing became ragged and yet he smiled up at his human companion, “Run, run little brother. Grow old and die warm in the bed of your own choosing.” He said. Kie-Pear ran from the swamp with the javelin still in his hands. He ran through the brush and vegetation, the loose branches clawing at his face and body as he ran by.The giant frogs spotted him as he ran from his hiding spot, letting forth angry screeches similar to those of the giant tadpoles.
The Lieutenant rolled over onto his side and laughed, “You won’t get him, not while I still draw breath.” The Lieutenant laughed again, “Literally in this case.” He said before inhaling deeply and spraying forth a torrent of dark green acid at the giant frogs. The frogs screeched as they converged on him, tiny wisps of white smoke rising from their flesh. The Lieutenant closed his eyes and felt his body go limp as the creatures screeched once more.
“What do you mean they retreated?!” Kie-Pear said to a dying guard in the middle of the port city. Sneaking into the city had been easy for Kie-Pear. Since the moment he had arrived at the outskirts of the city, the enemy soldiers were already beginning to overrun the city’s defenses. The city streets ran with blood as the screams of the dying echoed over the sounds of battle.
“Its like I said, they turned and ran.“ The soldier coughed, “They saw the enemy army and fled, it was about eight hours ago.” The soldier shook his head, “Get to the docks, they’ll be evacuating everyone they can. Stay out of the streets though, it’s a bloodbath.” The soldier said as he leaned his head against the wall Kie-Pear had propped him up against.
Kie-pear shook his head and scaled the wall of the nearest building, “That doesn’t make any sense, that means they retreated an hour after I left?” He thought to himself.
He jumped from rooftop to rooftop avoiding the battle raging below him in the streets. Kie-Pear jumped across an alleyway and heard a woman scream. He peered over the edge and saw a Halfling woman sprawled on the floor, her children eagerly tugging at her arms to get up and run. An enemy soldier slowly approached them with his sword held high in one hand while he carried a banner in the other.
The woman tried to force her children to run, but they refused the leave her side. She gathered them up in her arms and covered their eyes, “Don’t look, mommy loves you don’t look.” She cried as she held them close.
Kie-Pear shook his head as he looked up and saw the port close by, “They’re done for” He thought to himself as he turned toward the port. He paused and looked back down into the alleyway, as he heard a familiar voice in his head.
“You shouldn’t stare Kie.”
Kie-Pear saw the soldier passed him below as another familiar voice came to him.
“Why are yeh ere’ an’ wat is yeh sole purpose ere’ in this army?”
Kie-Pear closed his eyes and took a deep breath as the soldier leaned the banner against the wall of the alleyway. He opened his eyes and jumped into the alleyway as a thought in his own words crossed his mind.
“Ours is not to reason why, ours is not to let them die.”
Kie-Pear landed quietly before snatching up the banner and quickly slinging it over the soldier’s head and across his neck. The soldier dropped his sword as he clutched at his neck. The banner quickly forcing his airway closed. Kie-Pear swiftly kicked the back of the soldier’s legs. A sickening crack sounded through the alleyway as the soldier went limp. The Halfling woman opened her eyes slowly and looked about in a mix of confusion and fear.
He offered her his hand.
“Our purpose is to fight for those who canneh’ fight fer emselves’.”
She shook her head, “I can’t walk, please take my children to the port!” She said in a panic. Kie-Pear quickly tore the banner he had in his hands and wrapped the woman’s leg. He nodded as he stuffed the rest into his bag. “I’ll get you all there, its my duty.” He said as he scooped her up and ran toward the pier.
The salty breeze swept across Kie-Pear’s face as he rushed toward the last remaining boat tied to the pier. The people aboard were eagerly waving to him as he rushed toward the gangplank. A pair of the city’s remaining defenders climbed down the gangplank and scooped up the two Halfling children. Kie-Pear set the woman down as a healer rushed over.
He turned to dash back down the gangplank when one of the passengers stopped him, “What are you doing? We have to leave!” The passenger said.
Kie-Pear shook his head, “There have to be more, I can still help!”
The passenger shook his head as he pointed to the Halfling family, “You already did more than any of those cowards were able to.” The passenger eyed him curiously, “Or is there something else that’s keeping you here?”
“Grow old and die warm in the bed of your own choosing.”
Kie-Pear shook his head as the crew hoisted the gangplank and cast off the moorings of the ship. He blinked away tears as he looked down at the badge that marked his rank as Corporal.