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Viktoria vs Lady Justice, 50 ss

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We played a game over vassal a few days ago. This is a narrative breakdown of the battle, and pretty accurate as to how things went. It was a lot of fun!

Deployment: Corners

Strategy: Reckoning

Available Schemes: Line in the Sand, Assassinate, Make Them Suffer, Murder Protege, Protect Territory.

Viktoria of Ashes (Cache: 4)

- Howling Wolf Tattoo - 1

- Synchronized Slaying - 2

Viktoria of Blood - 0

Hans - 8

Student of Conflict - 4

Ronin - 6

Ronin - 6

Ronin - 6

Convict Gunslinger - 7

Convict Gunslinger - 7

Schemes: Murder Protege (Judge), Make Them Suffer

Lady Justice (Cache: 5)

Scales of Justice - 3

Judge - 9

- Vengeance Bullet - 1

Lone Marshal - 8

- Plant Evidence - 1

Executioner - 9

Death Marshal - 6

Death Marshal - 6

Death Marshal - 6

Schemes: Assassinate (Viktoria of Ashes), Make them Suffer

The ronin carefully touched her face and scowled as she saw the smears of green face paint that came off on her fingers. "This is a stupid job."

At her side, a second ronin, this one wrapped from head to toe in dirty linen bandages, shrugged her shoulders. "You didn't have to take it," she pointed out, not for the first time that night.

"Yeah, really," agreed the third ronin, little more than a voice from beneath the white sheet that had been tossed over her body. Crude eye-holes had been cut in its surface to let her see, and another pair had been cut in the sides to allow her twin pigtails to poke out. "It's getting a bit old."

The green-faced ronin sighed and rolled her eyes. "I didn't say it wouldn't be easy, just that it was stupid."

The three women fell silent as a man in a fur coat approached them, a heavy sniper rifle slung over his back. Bits of fur had been glued to his face in places, and someone had drawn wolf-like whiskers on his face with a grease pen. Two rough-looking men followed behind him, their expressions showing amusement at the disguises being worn by the rest of the crew.

"Hey," ghost ronin said, a tone of annoyance in her voice. "Where are your disguises?"

The two convict gunslingers looked at each other, and the taller of the two hooked a thumb back over his shoulder. "Lost them in the river," he lied, and poorly at that. "The Vikis said to just stay out of sight and make spooky sounds."

The green-faced woman scrunched up her face and glanced over at the two distant mercenary sisters. "What? How is that fair?"

The two men shrugged, but were cut off as one of the Viktorias signaled them over. "Alright," she began, her tone crisp and business-like. "This should be an easy one. Just spread out, and when the Guild guards show up, wave your arms around and act like monsters. Remember, we only get paid if the Guild thinks that this bridge is haunted."

The other Viktoria motioned to the green-faced ronin and tapped her face. "And fix your make-up. You don't look anything like a zombie prostitute."

The green-faced ronin narrowed her eyes, never breaking eye contact with the Viktoria as she snapped open her compact and wished the mercenary leader dead.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

"I'm counting nine of them," the death marshal said as he lowered his spyglass and glanced back over his shoulder. "Some of them look pretty fresh, but it looks like the tip was accurate."

Lady Justice held her hands crossed over the pommel of her sword, her expression serene. "It's not quite the zombie horde they had claimed."

The Judge sipped at his coffee from behind his mask. "Do you think it's a trap? They could have more hidden in the river."

"Drowned?" A second Death Marshal sighed as he loaded his pistol. "Hate those things. Freakin' ghosts."

"Yeah, well..." The Judge shrugged, as if to say 'what are you going to do about it?'

A set of heavy footsteps drew the attention of everyone but Lady Justice, and the death marshals took a step away from the large, shirtless man that joined them. "Oooooh yeah!" the large growled, his lips pulled back in a maniacal grin. "We're in the danger zone now! These undead are going NO-WHERE!"

There was a long, awkward silence as the rest of the Guild forces just stared at the executioner in silence.

"Right," Lady Justice finally said, breaking the silence. "Let's get down there, clear these undead out, and then get some bagels. Nothing fancy, just by the book."

The Judge took one last sip of his coffe, then tossed the cup over his shoulder, took up his sword, and advanced toward the distant bridge with the rest of the Guild strike force.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

T1: The executioner stomped forward onto the bridge, his claws raised up to challenge the undead creatures milling about to the south. "The power of undeath is like a single grain of sand in the Sahara desert that is the EXECUTIONER! Best there is, past, present, and future! Ooooh yeah!"

Far to the south, Hans lowered his sniper rifle and just stared at the clawed madman in confusion. "What in the...?" Sighing, he shook his head, mumbled something about madmen, and lifted his rifle back up to his shoulder. The bullet struck the executioner in the head, tearing a deep groove along the man's skull and forcing him to stagger back against the railing of the bridge.

The ronin dressed as a ghost ran up along the eastern bank of the river, half-stumbling as she hurried towards the bridge, allowing the woman wrapped up like a mummy to outpace her slightly. "Hurry up!" she called back, her bandages flapping in the moonlight. "Remember to make spooky sounds!"

"I got that covered," the taller convict called out, his guns already drawn as he hurried after them. "Less talkin', more runnin'!"

Behind them, the rest of the mercenaries hurried across a shallow part of the river, the two Viktorias leading the way as their pint-sized apprentice followed in their wake. The shorter gunslinger was right behind them, and he glanced to the side as the ronin dressed as a belle let out a shriek and plunged head-first into the river.

"Careful, love!" he called out to her, grinning as she surfaced amidst a flurry of coughing and flailing limbs. "Ain't no bridge there."

The woman shot him a death glare, her makeup already running down her face in a ruined mess. "Shut. Up."

The convict opened his mouth to mock her weak retort, but was cut short by the sound of hooves racing closer. He turned his head just in time to see a mounted marshal burst forth from the small valley to the west of the bridge, the silver badge on his chest gleaming brightly in the moonlight. Two large men were following after him, each lugging a heavy coffin across their shoulders, and behind them...

The convict swore harshly, the water-logged ronin completely forgotten. "Viki! That's Lady Justice!" He jabbed one of his guns in the blind woman's direction. "What have you gotten us into? I ain't goin' back to no prison!"

Both Viktorias glanced back at him at the same moment. "Shut up," they ordered, no trace of fear in their voices as they spoke in perfect synchronization.

"Yeah!" their young apprentice chimed in, nearly stumbling over her sword as she glanced back at him. "Shut up and fight!"

Further to the north, on the opposite side of the bridge, the Judge paused as he looked down at the river. "That's going to be cold as hell," he mumbled, more to himself than to the death marshal at his side.

"I don't think that hell is very cold," the death marshal pointed out, his tone completely serious. "In fact, it's most often depicted as being quite warm, though Dante interpreted the innermost circle of hell to be frozen solid in his Inferno, so if you look at it that way..."

Any hesitation the Judge might have felt vanished instantly, and he raised his arms as he leapt into the river, holding his gun up high so as to keep it dry. The water was just as cold as he had imagined - colder, really - but at least the chattering of his teeth helped to drown out the death marshal's inane ramblings.

T2: The mounted marshal pulled at the reins of his horse, causing it to rear up with a whinny of protest. As it did, he swung a long carbine from his shoulder, took aim, and fired a shot at the approaching mercenaries. The motion was so smooth, so well-practiced, that Viktoria could scarcely believe it could have been possible until the bullet had punched through her stomach like the kick of a mule.

Her sister grabbed her arm and yanked her behind a rock as a second bullet ricocheted off the ground where she had been standing a moment before.

Viktoria winced as her sister held a soulstone to the wound, its warm light draining away as the nearly fatal wound pulled itself shut. "These aren't normal guild guards. Did we get set up?"

"Must have been," Viktoria agreed, the depleted soulstone disappearing into her pocket as she drew her pistol. "If that's actually Justice out there..."

"...then we'd best finish this quickly," her sister finished, the meaning of her words crystal clear to both of them.

The death marshal that had been keeping pace with the Lone Marshal whistled in appreciation and glanced up at the mounted man with admiration in his milky-white eyes. "Damned fine shot. You think you got her?" To his side, a more shapely death marshal advanced carefully on the rock, her pistol drawn as she slowly inched to the side.

His question was answered with a shout from behind the rock as one of the women darted out, her body twisting as she flung her twin forward by her arm. The airborne woman drew a pair of swords as she tumbled through the air, landing near the female death marshal in a cyclone of dismemberment. The twin rolled to her feet, and what was left of the death marshal fell to pieces behind her.

The death marshal that had asked the question could only stare with wide eyes, utterly shocked that such a feat could have been possible.

"Nope," the Lone Marshal replied, his tone flat as he answered the hanging question. "Don't reckon I did."

With a curse, the death marshal raised his pistol, but the sword-wielding psychopath was already ducking behind cover, so he twisted and fired off a shot at the other twin, missing her but catching a nearby young girl in the shoulder.

"****, son," the Lone Marshal mumbled, with a glance down at the panicked death marshal. "Don't be shootin' no little girls."

The death marshal snapped his head back up to the mounted man, his milky-white eyes still wide with shock. "She...she had a sword! And a gun!"

The Lone Marshal was silent for a moment, then nodded in approval. "Well, that changes things a bit, doesn't it now?"

The girl, meanwhile, was clutching at her shoulder, her back pressed against a rock as she fumbled with her sword. She looked up as someone approached her, and put on a brave face as a ronin in a soaked ball gown hurried up to her, green makeup running down her face and neck to stain the top of the fancy dress.

"You okay, kid?" the ronin woman asked, looking down at her in concern.

The student of conflict bit her lip and nodded in a tough manner, just in case one of the Viktorias was watching. "I'm...fine," she hissed through teeth clenched in pain. "Just a...scratch."

Back across the river, the two ronin women had claimed the hill on one side of the bridge, and both were darting left and right with guns drawn. "My costume got turned around!" the now-blind ghost ronin cried out. "What's going on?!"

"There's a..." She caught sight of a soaking wet man pulling himself out of the river to the north of them, and fired off a quick shot at him. The shot went wide, however, and he ducked low as he hurried towards them, his own gun drawn and at his side.

"A what?!" The ghost ronin turned this way and that, trying to see what her companion was shooting at, but the sheet over her head was completely blocking her sight. "What is it? Where?!" She released a cry of frustration and began firing randomly into the night, forcing the bandage-wrapped ronin to crouch down, arms over her head, to avoid being shot.

A deep laugh came from the bridge to their left, and the sheet-covered ronin swung her gun towards it, the hammer of her pistol clicking impotently against empty chamber after empty chamber as she continued firing wildly.

"You think bullets can stop the PAIN?!" Moonlight glinted off the oversized claws of the executioner as he stomped towards them, his eyes wide like a crazed animal. "You're goin' NOWHERE! The executioner is here, and he's gonna take it to the lim..."

The man's voice became a howl of pain as his kneecap exploded in a cloud of blood and bone shards, and far to the south, Hans snapped open the barrel of his sniper rifle and shoved another bullet in the chamber. "Just shut up and die already," he murmured, his eyes never leaving the giant psychopath.

"HYAA!" A sharp cry to the west drew his attention, and he turned his rifle in that direction, focusing the sight to bring the source of the shout into focus. Two women - a blind woman with a massive sword that he instantly recognized as Lady Justice and one of the Viktorias - were engaged in an epic swordfight. The Viktoria had two swords to Justice's one, but Lady Justice had the offensive, and already the Viktoria was wounded and straining to keep the blind woman at bay.

With a grim expression, Hans lowered his rifle and double-checked his evacuation route to make sure it was clear. The Viktorias paid good money, but they didn't pay him enough to risk his life by taking a shot at Lady Justice.

The woman was probably immune to bullets, anyways.

T3: "Surrender now!" Lady Justice didn't wait for a response, instead swinging her sword laterally in a wide arc. Viktora saw it coming and dropped to the ground, sacrificing her footing to keep her head attached to her shoulders.

"Don't think so!" she called back, rolling to the side and kicking up to her feet, one sword raised to catch Justice off-guard as she turned toward her. To her surprise, however, Justice dropped to one knee, brought the pommel of her weapon in close to her generous chest, and stabbed forward with the tip like a spear.

Viktoria's eyes went wide as the weapon punched through her chest and into the tree behind her, splintering it in half along with a half dozen of her ribs and more than a few vital organs.

"You're under arrest," Justice stated, matter-of-factually. Her only reply was a groan from the pinned Viktoria, and Justice yanked her sword free, letting the dying woman fall to the ground in an unmoving heap. Her head turned towards the other twin, but rather than charging forward she fell back, a frown on her lips. She had expected some form of dark magic or undead reinforcements, but the women and her crew had seemed...well, human.

Something strange was going on here, and Justice was starting to suspect that her "anonymous tip" hadn't been quite as legitimate as she had first thought.

As she retreated, the mounted marshal let out a "Hyaa!" and spurred his horse forward, riding hard with his carbine held tightly in one hand. Rather than charging onward, however, he yanked the reins hard to one side, spinning the horse back around in a tight U-turn as he raised his carbine and fired a shot off at a nearby rock.

The bullet struck the rock and ricocheted off of it and into the rock a half-inch from the remaining Viktoria's head. Her eyes snapped wide open in surprise as she risked a glance around the edge of the rock at the retreating horse. "Who is that guy?!"

The death marshal had been just as impressed with the trick shot, to the point where he noticed the motion to his side a second too late. Milky white eyes turned toward it to find a short, rough-looking man pointing a gun right at his face.

"I ain't goin' back to no prison," the man stated, his hand suddenly lowering as he fired a shot right into the death marshal's groin. As the death marshal doubled over, the convict fired a second shot into his chest, dropping the marshal to his knees with a groan of agony. He looked up, his hand struggling to raise his gun to defend himself, but he found his gaze distracted by a dark spot against the moon.

It was growing larger, and in his final moment of life, he realized that it was one of the two twins, leaping down from the sky with her sword raised high above her head.

Across the river, the Judge fired a quick snap shot at the wildly-firing ghost, and was surprised when the glancing blow drew a yelp of pain and a quickly spreading circle of crimson from the wound. "You're...not a ghost."

"Nope," came a man's reply, and he looked up to see a tall man pointing two pistols at him. "But you are." The man unloaded with both barrels, and bullet after bullet punched into the Judge's chest and out the back, making his body jerk like a spasming marionette.

There was a loud shout from behind the Judge as the death marshal came into view, his pistol raised as he glared death at the convict. "Remember tonight, for it is the beginning of always!" he quoted, before snapping off an expertly aimed shot at the convict's head.

Unfortunately, it was just at that time that the sheet-covered ronin stumbled into the line of fire, and the shot struck her in the arm, drawing another cry of surprise from her. Dropping her gun, she stumbled forward and somehow managed to get her katana free, which she promptly began swinging around her wildly. Her momentum carried her into the Judge, and she bumped into him and began tumbling down the hill towards the death marshal, her sword accidentally slashing the bullet-riddled Judge as she rolled away, coming to rest right at the death marshal's feet.

The mummy-wrapped ronin watched all of this with the wonder of a woman watching some sort of comedy farce unfolding right before her eyes. As the Judge struggled to climb to his feet, however, she drew her sword, hopped forward, and stabbed it neatly into his chest. He groaned and pushed away from her, falling backwards off the hill and rolling down it and into the icy river below.

Her victory was short-lived, however, as the towering executioner was once again stumbling forward, still grinning despite his shattered knee and a river of blood that was streaming down the side of his face from a profusely bleeding head wound.

T4: Viktoria flicked the death marshal's blood from her sword and ran past him, slowing her pace as she caught sight of her apprentice running towards her. "Dragon's bite!" she called out, grabbing the girl's arm in her hand. "We need to take out that mounted marshal. Are you ready?"

The girl winced in pain, and Viktoria saw her eyes mist up with tears, but she nodded her head and Viktoria swung her around, launching the young girl into the air and then leaping after her. The Lone Marshal was just turning his horse around for another pass when a young, screaming girl flew right past him, all swords and panic and screaming. He blinked in surprise and yanked on the reins of his horse, causing it to shuffle backwards a handful of steps.

Those steps saved his life, as a moment later a full-grown women flew past him, the tip of her sword severing the front brim of his hat in a flash of steel and moonlight.

"What in the seven he....!"

His words were cut abruptly short as he tensed up, then slowly listed to one side and fell from his horse, revealing a panting women in a soaked formal dress and running make up standing to the side of his horse. She flicked the blood from her sword, stood up straight, and pushed a large clump of wet hair back with one gloved hand as she tried to reclaim some semblance of dignity from the night.

The Lone Marshal's horse reared up in a panick and bolted, dragging the unconscious marshal behind it, one of his boots still firmly stuck in his saddle's stirrup.

Viktoria cast a quick smile at the ronin, grateful for the assistance, but then there was a flash of red hair and Lady Justice was among them, her sword swinging this way and that as some sort of crucified man stood behind and leered at the fighting women.

The student of conflict let out a surprised shriek and rolled away from the crazy blind woman with the giant sword, coming to her feet a short distance from the weirdly crucified man. She glanced back at Viktoria, who was swiftly losing ground against Lady Justice, and then turned to face the crucified man, who seemed unarmed and relatively helpless.

"Die!" she cried out, charging forward with her sword raised above her small head. The Scales of Justice watched her coming, then took a single step to the side, allowing the girl to stumble past him awkwardly.

His attention turned away from the pathetic girl and back to the duel between the two women, just in time to see his mistress cut the blonde woman deeply across the chest. The blonde fell to the ground, panting heavily as she tried to regain her footing, but his mistress raised her blade and plunged it into the mercenary's chest, ending her pathetic attempts to resist the judgement of the Guild.

"Well done, my lady!" he called out, his rarely-used voice raspy and sounding more like an undead creature than anything the strike force had fought thus far that night. On reflex, Lady Justice leapt to one side, pulled out a pistol, and began firing it wildly in every direction, causing everyone nearby to leap to cover.

The wild firing drew a glance from Hans, who looked up from his sniper rifle, looked back towards the executioner, and then quietly began packing up his extra ammunition to make a quiet retreat back towards town. His employers were dead or severely wounded, things were starting to wrap up, and he wanted to get rid of the bits of fur the one Viktoria had insisted he glue onto his face.

Looking back, he realized that such a request should probably have been a bit of a red flag.

Standing up, Hans carefully made his retreat, not bothering to look back as he slunk away from the bridge and all the madness of the night.

Back on the hill beside the bridge, the executioner walked up to the bandage-wrapped ronin, his shadow blocking out the feeble light of the moon overhead. He raised a clawed hand and swiped at her, only barely catching her with the tips of the claws as she stumbled backwards awkwardly. Even that, though, was nearly enough to eviscerate her, and he grinned in savage pleasure as blood sprayed out from the deep cuts in her chest.

As the bandage-wrapped ronin struggled to keep her insides from spilling out from the wounds in her chest, her ghost-clad companion was rolling about on the ground in front of the death marshal, a whirlwind of white sheet, pigtails, and wildly slashing sword. One of her wild slashes nicked his arm, and he took a step back and watched her for a moment.

He raised his gun, fired a single shot down into the flailing girl to put her out of her misery, and then turned and charged up the hill at the mummy. Or at least, the girl that was dressed as a mummy. The indecision cost him, and he slowed as he approached her, not entirely sure just what was going on with these strange undead things.

The mummified ronin, not quite so concerned with such philosophical ponders, simply turned and slashed out with her katana, decapitating the death marshal in a single stroke.

"Hun," came the calm voice of the convict behind her, "this is the part where you duck."

The ronin's eyes went wide as she threw herself to the ground, just as a barrage of bullets tore through the executioner, forcing him back, step by step with each bullet, until he pressed up against the bridge's railing. It groaned against his weight, then snapped loudly, sending the executioner tumbling into the river below with a howl of indignant rage.

T5: The scales of justice slowly struggled to its feet once the wildly shooting had stopped, looking around fearfully in case Lady Justice had remembered to bring a second clip with her. He caught sight of her putting her pistol away, sighed in relief, and turned away from her...

...only to have a sword plunged into his chest.

"That's for Viktoria," the small girl huffed, ripping the sword free and causing the crucified man to stumble backwards and collapse, one of his metal scales falling free in a clatter of metal.

Lady Justice didn't so much as glance toward the scales as she charged forward, slashing at the convict that was standing over body of one of her fallen death marshals. Her sword cut deep into him, but surprisingly he fought back the pain and remained standing.

"I said," he grimaced, pulling himself up her blade as she struggled to pull it free. "I...ain't...goin'...back!"

Justice felt something press against her stomach, and then the Gunslinger pulled the trigger, blowing a hole in redhead's chest...and then again. And again.

Trailing blood behind her, Justice managed to shake the convict off of her sword, earning a groan as he fell to the ground. She pressed a hand to her ruined stomach and raised her head, listening carefully.

She could make out unfamiliar voices converging on her position, but no more gunfire...which meant that the battle had turned against her. Quietly hoping that her Judge had survived, she fought back the pain and hurried away from the carnage, leaving the mercenaries to their cursed bridge.

"Viktoria!" The student of conflict dropped her weapon and hurried to Viktoria's side, her small hands fumbling with the older woman's satchel in a desperate search for an unused soulstone. "Come on, come one..."

She could vaguely make out the voice of another ronin shouting that she had found the other Viktoria, but the student knew that if there were any extra soulstones, this Viktoria would have them.

Her heart leapt with joy as her hand closed around a warm stone, and she allowed a faint smile to rise to her lips as she pulled the soulstone out. Everything was going to be alright.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Somewhere in the Bayou...

Zoraida waved a hand over her cauldron, allowing the image to dissipate back into murky water. Turning her back to it, she hobbled across the hut, absently rubbing at her newly regrown arm as a small horde of puppets followed in her wake, like baby ducks following their mother.

Humming softly to herself, the swamp witch reached up and snatched a red-headed, busty puppet from a shelf.

"You thought you were so smart, didn't you?" Her lips pulled back in a victorious grin as she shook the small puppet, which raised its arms and flailed in a futile attempt to get free.

Cackling in amusement, Zoraida opened the window and hurled the small red-headed doll out into the muck of the swamp. "Try to find your precious bagels now! Twahahaha!"

Game ends 5-3 in the Vikis' favor.

Edited by Mindshred
Grammar!

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Great battle report Mindshred! I really enjoyed both this one and your other narrative report. Very informative with a great dash of humour!

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