30 August 2000. Tarnobrzeg.

The last of the savages in Tarnobrzeg – including the self-styled “Krol” – were holed up in Dzików Castle nearby. It was time for a reckoning.

Maks and his men led the villagers quietly up to the overgrown castle grounds. The locals knew little. None ever went up here willingly since the monsters took over the town. The marauders would occasionally take a citizen up to the castle, and none returned. It was a black hole.

Grant Derek William, the company sniper, went ahead to scout the perimeter. A logging truck was parked nearby. A couple of horses out front. William spotted and avoided a roving sentry.

He also saw what appeared to be a large caliber gun poking out over a fence in the brush on the left side of the building. William reported in, and Maks asked him to get a closer look.

William, played by my younger son, had the best streak of luck I’ve seen in-game. From here onward, he would end up rolling 10 Outstanding Successes throughout the game session. If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes, I’d never have believed it!

30 August 2000 Dzików Castle 1 tankTurned out the marauders had a T-72 tank parked there. A man was sitting on a fender, smoking a cigarette.

Barna Áron and Wojciech joined William in an attempt to take out the two marauders spotted earlier. Wojciech watched the roving sentry through the scope of his VSS Vintorez, while Áron and William stalked the guy on the tank.

William, saber drawn, approached slowly through the bushes from the side. Áron climbed up on the back of the tank, knife in hand. William burst out, slashing downwards with his saber. The tanker scarcely blocked the blade with his AK. Áron attacked from behind, sinking his knife into the man’s back. Still alive, the man cried out.

Wojciech observed the roving sentry, who heard the cry, and began heading in that direction. “Ivan? Ivan?” Wojciech squeezed off two rounds, one which impacted the man’s vest, causing little injury. The other shot creased the man’s skull, leaving him stunned and writhing on the ground.

William missed with his next saber attack, but Áron stabbed the man again, who was soon dead.

They secured the wounded man, and waited for a response. William [who had some Mechanic skill] examined the T-72 tank, and it seemed to be in decent working order, though it’d require starting it up to be certain. It was low on fuel of course.

The villagers took the horses away from the vicinity. Maks had a plan for brazenly attacking, using the villagers as a diversion. Or taking the castle alone by stealth if the opportunity presented itself. It seemed that the latter would be the case.

There were possibly friendlies inside, so going in with lots of grenades wasn’t an option. The windows were boarded up, frustrating a gas attack. So William was sent to take a look in the front door.

30 August 2000 Dzików Castle 1 b

The doors were slightly ajar, with dim light inside. An odor was noticeable, a faint smell of decaying meat. William could see two prisoners chained to walls. They observed the American soldier quietly as he entered the castle. William could hear a man speaking in the open room to the northwest. Áron and Wojciech followed him inside.

William pulled the pin on a flash-bang grenade and rolled it into the northwest room. The slave there saw the grenade, and tried to crawl behind a desk. The grenade exploded in light and concussion. An armed man staggered out, senseless. Áron quickly dropped him with two shots from his G3.

Many things happened at once. From the room to the west, the door opened and a man emerged with a double-barrel shotgun. Wojciech cut him down.

From the east, the door flew open. Four dogs rushed the men. William was knocked down, two dogs ripping at each of his legs. Áron too was knocked down, a dog gripping his right arm in his jaws. Wojciech was also on the ground, but the dog was pulling on his kevlar vest.

Each man struggled with the frenzied beasts tearing at them.

Áron stabbed with his knife. Wojciech awkwardly jammed the barrel of his SVD into the dog and fired; the dog yelped and ran away. William fired four shots from his Uzi at the dogs tearing at him. [All 4 Outstanding Successes!] Those dogs collapsed, dead.

Áron got up, went to the west door, stepped over the body, and pushed his way into the room. Waiting was another marauder, who’d been covering the door with his AK. His entire miserable life led up to this one moment. He had the perfect shot, Áron in his sights. The bandit fired two rounds…

…and missed. Áron, seeing the two bullets impacting near him, returned fire, killing the man. [So much for that NPC… *sigh*.]

Wojciech covered the stairs while Maks and Elizka joined them. The villagers released their fellow citizens, and hurried them out of the building. The room where the dogs inhabited was a nightmare of blood and meat, at least some of it human.

The group tended their wounds, and steeled themselves for taking the rest of the building. The remaining marauders surely had heard the battle, and would be ready for them.

[Continued next week…]