"Alright lads," a booming voice cut through the quiet chatter. Their conversation cut off immediately, as they all turned to look at speaker. Wendigo Frostrivven stood before them, rifle in hand. He lowered the butt of his rifle to the ground while holding the barrel, and leaned forward slightly. "Alright," he repeated. "We've got our job."
Wendigo rested prone on the hill, hidden behind the rise. His force was divided into three squads, spread out in a broad half circle to either side of the road. The plan was a simple ambush. The target, however, was not so simple. Supposedly some new weapon moving to the front would pass through here soon, despite the time of night. The Rats' job was the capture or destroy it, but that wasn't the real problem. Rumor placed an elite unit guarding the small convoy, and behind enemy lines was not a place Wendigo wanted to get into a pitched battle. With luck the operation would go quickly, but if they put up too much of a fight...
Next to him, the Elf known as Jacob stirred. "Something is not..." he started, but was interrupted by a sudden flare of light. Behind them. Wendigo turned to see a huge, crackling blue blaze roar towards one of the hilltops. A flash enveloped it, but Wendigo was already raising his rifle. Jacob, however, stared at the hill and said in amazement, "Pickett's whole squad is gone." Wendigo barely glanced at him, "No time for the dead." Then he saw the blue flare again, and had a heartbeat to know he was soon to join them.
He endured unimaginable pain, gone so fast it may never have been. The first thing Wendigo noticed was that he was smoking slightly, though he couldn't see anywhere he had been burned. Then he realized he was on a paved road, and had a look around. Several members of the Rats were around him, all staggering to their feet or looking in shock at the strange city. Wendigo shook his head and said, "If we're dead, this is one mighty disappointment." That drew a couple dry chuckles, and he continued, "Let's go see who else is a bit disappointed."
Personality: As far as they were concerned, the Frost Rats were on the forefront of military technology. To many, gunpowder was still a recent innovation, and weapons using it even more so. The Frost Rats, however, were one of the five original units assembled to make use of the new firearms. Despite being newly formed and not all that well trained, these outfits were thrown into the worst of the fighting. The hope that they could quickly turn the war proved to be a false one. The commanders overestimated the effectiveness of the gunpowder in battle, and due to their lack of training, the soldiers had to learn their firearms the hard way. The heavy attrition soon destroyed nearly all of the original units, leaving the only the Frost Rats. Through sheer courage, willpower and mostly luck, they survived to become one of the most effective and experienced combat units to be found anywhere. Many attribute this to the leadership Wendigo Frostrivven, who is generally considered "a damn good commander." Whatever the reason, the Frost Rats are a combat hardened outfit, tough and effective.
| Standard Normal human strength.||Agility:|
|Standard Normal human agility.|
|Superior Hardy. |
Takes punishment like a heavyweight fighter or wrester.
|Standard Normal human mental resources.|
The Rats themselves can only be described as a motley crew. The unit began life as all Dwarven, of course, but combat losses quickly forced a new recruitment strategy: "You just pull the trigger. Its easy." While still primarily composed of Dwarves, the Rats are an eclectic group. They include several humans, and if rumors are to be believed, an elf. The members come from varied backgrounds, though as a whole the group was known as the hard luck outfit. For many, the Frost Rats are as close as they have to family. Whatever their hardships, however, the Frost Rats consider themselves a force to be reckoned with.
- Power: Commander
- Ranged and Melee Attack! Attack is equally effective at range and up close.
- Multi Attack Attack can hit multiple times during one strike.
Ubris Stonecleaver remains one of the few original members. He was young when he joined the army, full of the invincibility of youth and the knowledge that these new weapons would surely destroy the enemy. The years of vicious fighting have robbed him of his optimism, transforming him into a hard and bitter man. The war has lost all meaning for him, but he still keeps faith in Wendigo Frostrivven. If his captain says something should be done, then that is good enough for him.
Aislinn McConnell just happens to be the only woman among the Frost Rats. While a relatively new addition to the Rats, she has nonetheless earned her place. She lost her home to the war at the age of sixteen, and as a result spent several months drifting from town to town. In one such town, she met Frostrivven through a rather poor attempt at pickpocketing. In the end he decided to give her a helping hand. The other members of the unit adopted her as a little sister, which made her push all the harder to earn a place in her own right. As it turned out, she had a natural skill with fusilors and soon enough became the unit's top sniper.
Dimitri slowly raised himself from the floor as the smoke cleared. His ears were ringing. The faint odor of sulfur hung in the air as he looked around the ruin of his workshop. "Jamel?" he called, "You alive?" A broken table shifted and Jamel sat up behind it, nodding in a daze. Dimitri grunted, "I guess so, you great bloody fool." He walked over to the table and eyed the metal rod driven into it. "Lucky fool, too," he muttered, "But I guess you were right."
- Power: Projectile Attack
- Multi Attack Attack can hit multiple times during one strike.
When you have to deal with wizards flinging all manner of spells about, some powder that makes a little flash of light just doesn't seem all that impressive. By the time the Frost Rats were formed, 'fuse powder' had already been around for some time. However, it was never more than a curiosity until some clever Dwarf worked out the implications of the explosions it caused. A fortuitous incident involving a bomb and a drainage pipe is what actually led to the creation of firearms. Commonly called "fusilors," the guns were first put to use as hunting weapons. A few improvements, and the Dwarves who created them quickly realized their potential in battle.
In the past his hair and beard were both a dark shade of brown, but now the years have faded them to a steel grey. Despite his age, he is widely known as a fierce warrior, though that was never what he wanted. He became a career soldier out of necessity. When Wendigo's homeland came under attack, there was a very sudden need for anyone who could carry a weapon. By their reckoning he wasn't really even considered an adult the day he signed up, but he was given a pike and send into battle all the same. He somehow managed to stay alive long enough to learn how to fight, and even outlast that war. Most people went back to their lives after the war, but he found that he really didn't have much of one to go back to. He remained a soldier, moving up through the ranks as he demonstrated a geniune talent for leadership. Today he is a canny warrior, and his long experience gives him an edge that few can match. He proudly commands the Frost Rats, a unit he calls, "The best damned group of soldiers anywhere."
- Power: Tactician
- Weakness: Not usable in terrain Bar Fight
The crack of several fusilors filled the air, swiftly followed a shout, "Is that the best you can do? You keep shooting like that and we'll all end up dead." Ubris walked behind the line of shooters, continuing, "The Frost Rats are the best damned unit out there, and you know why? Because we bloody hit what we're aiming at! You all know how to use those things by now, so start showing it! Volley!" He paused to watch downfield as another scattering of shots rang out. "Thats better. I'd hate to think we've wasted our time with you lot," he said, "Just remember: when you're on the battlefield, I expect every single shot to hit the mark. Anything less isn't good enough." He continued pacing behind the line while resumed their target practice, and none could see him smiling slightly. "This group isn't looking so bad," he said under his breath.
Pickett caught a glint out of the corner of his eye and immediately dropped flat. The fireball streaked over him and slammed into a tree a few yards away, showering him in splinters. He rolled onto his back and aimed in the direction it had come from, taking a shot by reflex. His bullet took the battle mage high in the chest, just before the man could finish his next spell. He clutched his chest briefly before slumping over, and the swordsmen with him hesitated. Their pause, along with the spellcaster's sudden demise, gave the small squad with Pickett enough time to react. The swordsmen tried to mount a charge, but the Rats cut them down before they could quite get close enough. Aislinn offered Pickett a hand up and said, "You're damn lucky." Pickett laughed, "I'd rather be lucky than good."
- Power: Lucky