Ela & Martialla in “Fool’s Moon”

Firearms haven’t made their way to the Far Country yet.  They’re still relatively new in the real world so it’s going to be a while before they reach this Hellshole.  It’s not fair honestly.  When I killed my lord husband and went on the run I didn’t know how to use any weapons.  Why would I, I was a fancy britches high society lady, I would never.

Once I got down in the blood and the muck of the real world I put a lot of effort into practicing with a crossbow, I really worked at it, and I become a great shot with a crossbow.  Which if you add in the degree of difficulty caused by my laziness is a very impressive accomplishment.  And then just when I get good suddenly there’s this new thing and crossbows are out of style.  Unfair. 

I’ve become an okay shot with a pistol out of necessity, but what really tweaks my perky pink nips is that Martialla, who couldn’t hit fat side of a hill giant with a bow or crossbow or anything else under the sun, picked up a musket the first time and was hitting the target a few minutes later.  Bullshit.   

We were so busy warning our pathetic fighting force about werewolves that we didn’t think to mention to them how loud our weapons would be when we fired.  I think half the men were more scared of that then they were of the sight of their friends being killed.   The thundering boom of a firearm is damn startling the first time you hear it.

One thing about guns is they’re great for werewolf hunting.  You can make silver arrows and magic werewolf killin’ swords and all that, but realistically fire magic was the best way to deal with werewolves before.  You can also drown them but that’s harder to pull off.  I don’t know how I feel about them overall but I can’t deny that guns are good at getting chunks of silver deep in the werewolf meat.  What I’d like is one of those deck guns that would throw up a spray of silver pellets and cut everything down in its path.  But alas.   

People say that wolves are territorial.  I don’t know if that’s true or just a thing people say.  I’ve been through area where wolves live many times and I’ve never been attacked by a wolf.  Werewolves actually are territorial.  Illogically so.  That’s one good thing about hunting them.  Who move into their territory and start shooting them they’re not going to try anything strategic, they’re going to come at you. 

What I would do if I was grandpappy werewolf is cross the river and take the village hostage.  But he won’t do that because he can’t.  We’ve come into his claimed land and killed his kin and called him out.  He can’t back down from that challenge any more than you can stop your heart from beating.  It’s the natural order.  He can do nothing about it.   

The wolves tried one of their tricks again, why not, it worked the first time.  But the guy I don’t like because he’s a horse butcher, was smart enough to freeze in place and signal me.  A kid in a shredded bloodstained nightshirt was pretending to be roped around the neck and tied to a tree hollering about how the werewolves were gonna eat him and he’s so scared and alone.   

I don’t know if the werewolf hiding nearby was a bad hider or if we just got lucky, but either way we spotted it crouched in the bushes and Martialla shot him right through the chin.  Do canines have chins?  Maybe it was just his jaw.  When the gig was up the werewolf kid took off running and I shot him in the back like a hero.   

After that they gave up on tricks and resorted to time honored tactics of woodspeople everywhere – being sneaky and vicious.  The guy who was clearly an ex-bandit went off to take a piss and they grabbed him.  Let me repeat that, he went off by himself during a werewolf hunt to take a piss.  The wolves had him off a ways and they set to torturing him, making him scream, and half the group wanted to run off to try and rescue him.  It’s harder to say who was dumber in that scenario.   

I didn’t think it needed to be said but I explained to everyone that going off alone in the werewolf infested woods by yourself to piss is what we call a bad idea.  One guy suggested that if they had to answer nature’s call they should go in pairs.   

I shook my head “No, I’m sorry if I wasn’t clear, you don’t go in pairs because you don’t go at all.  If you don’t want to piss your britches, which is totally fine right now, just let everyone know that its time and we’ll all circle up and watch you do it.” 

They balked at that, you know because there are LADIES present and there are rules, so I had Martialla make them all drop their drawers and show us what they had.  One guy wouldn’t do it until Martialla smashed him in the gut with her rifle butt.  Men are so stupid.  No one cares about your floppy white dick.  AT ALL. 

After that one more guy got snatched off the trail, werewolves are crafty devils, but soon enough there was no more foreplay to be had.  Six or so of them appeared in human form and attacked by throwing rocks and broken weapons and various other hard sharp things at us.  Normally this is a solid move, werewolves are so strong they can hurt you badly with improvised projectiles, and they’re so fast usually they can fade away before you can get enough arrows in them to matter.    

As I said before though, guns have changed the rules.  A few of the men had bows or slings but we told them not to bother trying to shoot with them.  A couple of the slower, of foot or of wit, men got knocked stupid by rocks or whatever before they got into cover but mostly they were able to do what we had told them to.  Turtle up and let Martialla and I do our thing.  I wonder if any of them figured out they were pretty much only there to give the wolves more targets.   

Martialla shot three of the hurlers, didn’t kill any of them but it was enough to change their plans.  The wolf reserves committed, two charging in fully wolfulized, enraged by the pained screams of their packmates.  We killed the Hells out of those two for sure.  It took fifteen shots to put them down and Martialla’s molten ball of metal spell to finish them off.  I’ve seen her cast that spell dozens of times and I still hate the sight of it.  Burning metal is a bad way to go if you were wondering about that.   

Two of our men were mauled in the attack and another couldn’t handle the pressure and ran off into the woods to get slaughtered.  I’m not sure which is more concerning, the dwindling numbers of our part of the dwindling numbers of our ammunition. 

Just kidding, it’s the bullets for sure. 

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