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|Flailing-Axes||Posted on Mar 31 2008, 04:09 PM|
| A Haunted Drakwald
A droplet fell from her curved lashes; it rolled down her cheek and exploded on the ground. Her hair was dirty and gritty, her face smeared in blood and tears. In her arms lay a dying man, his face lined with moisture and his breathing short and sharp. He seemed to try and speak, yet all that came out was blood and he gargled in his last few moments. The woman held him tighter as if protecting a child; she wrapped her thin shawl around him to keep his body from the fierce winds. The dead gnarled trees bore witness to her sorrow, ancient branches reaching out to comfort her. A thin mist soon formed around them, an alien presence welcomed by neither. The beastmen were gone now, so what could this be? Her husband’s breathing turned to rasping, his face was now a sickening white and the breath before him froze on the air. The mist was now at head height, the menacing wind cackling as they chocked. She looked again at the trees and saw their branches meet to stop the menace getting in… or to stop them from getting out. The man’s eyes widened in fear as he stared at something beyond his wife’s head, his breathing quickened and the veins in his neck pulsed with terror; he lifted a single purple finger as a last warning. His wife turned. She screamed.
Heavy iron boots clanked along the gangplank, a heavy load being dragged behind. Caksin was a fearsome sight, his great tall figure coupled with the ancient battle armour and horrific scars inspired fear into the hearts of all men he encountered. These features were certainly desirable for one in his line of work, and a quick sword was preferable too. Caksin stepped from the flimsy plank of wood, carrying his heavy trunk off with him. Several men stared in awe at the giant of a man and then again at the measly plank that had supported the man’s weight. A short port master took a step forward, tapping his notebook with his pen. “Name, occupation and purpose for being here in Garshara” the mans shrill voice said
Caksin did grow tiresome of people like this; he probably should just toss the short figure off the pier now instead of on the way out. “Borston, silk merchant, I’ll let you figure out the latter” he said patting his trunk with an oversized hand. The dock master eyed the chest suspiciously and gestured to open it. Several men had advanced now, many with pistols and knives in their hilts. The seagulls circled up ahead, excited by the sudden gathering and tension. Caksin slowly put his hands on his side; he could feel his two spiked maces under his fingertips. ‘Not yet’ he told himself. He had no doubts about whether he could butcher his way into the city, but experience had taught him that the people of the empire are not quick to forgive, or to forget. He grasped a circle of keys from his thigh pocket and carefully selected a small silver key, decorated with fine silk to form a loop around the key’s base. He slowly turned, reluctant to show his back to potential enemies, and opened up the trunk one lock at a time. The stout port master now stood by his side as he undid the last lock. The tension was absolute, not one figure dared to breathe save the gulls cawing from above. In one swift movement Caksin opened the trunk and stood up. There before him were several finely woven cloths, a stout pair of legs sticking out, a pair of hands scurrying through the precious garments, searching for a sign of danger. After dislodging every article inside and leaving creases in all but the dirtiest cloths, the dock master turned back to Caksin “That will be six pieces of silver please.” He coughed. Caksin removed a small pouch from around his neck and counted out six of the small coins, a small figure of Sigmar edged upon each. He handed them to the stout pig in front of him and walked off the pier as the man began to snigger at the rip-off price he had pulled him for. Such a shame those coins had been made from brass buttons! Caksin walked on and smiled at the justice that had been served.
His contact wasn’t known to stand out, yet Caksin saw him within seconds. He sat upon an elaborate leather armchair. In one hand was his pipe, fresh embers still in its basin. In the other was a slender glass, filled to the brim with red liquor. Caskin walked across the tavern floor, his boots announcing his arrival before his speech “Greetings friend”
The man nodded, it was hard to tell if it was genuine as a thick mantle covered much of his face “Good day Caksin, I hear there was a spot of trouble at the docks.”
Caksin sighed “It is a shame that you cannot talk to them, I am on their side after all”
“They have their reasons for being distrustful, and yes you being here is because of that reason. An elderly couple were found dead in the orchards of Drakwald, the man had wounds that were inflicted by the brethren of Cyanthair”
Caksin cursed “Bloody beasts, why however would you need me? They aren’t the most cunning beasts; surely your men can deal with them? Lay a few traps and such?” There was always something different about each mission, but this one was turning Caksin’s blood cold “What about the woman?”
The man clapped “You’re instincts are always right. The woman bears no wounds inflicted by man or beast. There are no fang markings, no claws, no drowning. Nothing. We have to wonder if she simply died of shock, and it is this possibility that we have fed to the public. Not all buy it, hence why they are suspicious when a half ogre-”
Caksin coughed loudly and stared into the man’s eyes “You had better reconsider your language, human.” He spat the last word as an insult
“As should you, you cannot harm me beast, you are my puppet not the other way around.” Slowly Caksin slowed his breathing: he was right, he couldn’t harm him, least of all in this city. Then the man spoke again “The brotherhood is approaching a critical moment and we cannot afford to be terrorised by whatever else lies in Drakwald. That is why you are here.”
Caksin looked into the man’s eyes: a brief moment of contact were slave met master, beast met tamer. “What do you want me to do? You said yourself the people wont trust me”
“I want you to take a team: five men, each of them have been fully trained so don’t worry about them, they’re there to watch your back.”
“I never recalled I worked as a babysitter. I work alone, it’s safer that way. And I don’t need anyone to watch my back; it’s the front that I’m worrying about”
“I never recalled saying you had a choice. These men are going with you whether you like it or not.” The man raised his hands to stop any protests, he smiled as none came “Come, let me show you who you’ll be working with.” He stood up with a swift motion and the effect was spoiled as Caksin stood up and dwarfed the figure by at least two heads. The man led him out of the small pub, he heard the barman grunt as his colleague left without paying, people like this hunter always think they are above the law. He had thought so too once, back in his old days as a child of chaos. He had once revelled in the moment of death; he had savoured every skull he crushed in Khorne’s name. He had been the nemesis of every village in Drakwald, leading his marauders through every settlement, pillaging and burning. He had sided with the mightiest of heroes and at last his time had come to prove himself. A small village had needed pillaging for sometime. One wouldn’t have thought there was a pattern in his raiding attacks, but there was a rough guideline. It was like harvesting: that was all humans had meant to him, a frail crop, ripe for the harvesting. He would raid a village for its wealth and food, but always left enough for the village to start again, and then, five years later, they could do the whole damn thing all over again!
They had reached a small church now; tall glass windows imprinted with warriors stood either side of the great arched door. Caksin stood back to stare at an engraved message chipped into the stone work. Burn the heretic, scourge the traitor, and fight for Sigmar. But that wasn’t what held his eyes, it was the small hieroglyphics above: beware child of chaos, enter here and you shall never repent. Caksin walked in, he didn’t believe in superstitious banter. Inside the roof lay high, impossibly high compared to what lay outside. Row upon row of chairs were assembled, all facing a raised podium at the centre. They strode past all of them and walked towards a small tunnel leading deeper into the network of tunnels owned by the brotherhood. Caksin dropped his head as they entered the underground road, the walls were lined with cobwebs and the stone work looked old and weak. Caksin confirmed it as he put a hand to the right hand wall, a cascade of dust towards the ground, the sound of scurrying legs and tiny squeaks as he bought an end to a tiny world. It was getting dark now, the light from the church nearly gone, and the air was getting all the fouler. His guide put a hand over his mouth and Caksin copied, his eyes widening in horror as they stepped over countless dead bodies. Their faces were filled with grimaces, their bodies broken, their skin charred. ‘Burn the heretic.’ The light had now dwindled to nothing, and still Caksin walked on: how much further? His master stopped finally and created a bright flare that shot out from his hand. Caksin snarled: ogres couldn’t do such magiks. The end of the tunnel was now in sight, barely feet in front of Caksin.
“Shall we go inside?”
Caksin slowly stepped forward, stooping his head as he passed under the low archway. The room was modern: wooden supports held up a clean roof, shelves upon shelves lay full of weapons, suits of armour fully polished lay against the walls. Caksin slowly walked around the room, taking in the mass of war gear assembled in the room. He saw a bench, five people sitting along it. The first was a slender chap, his eyes were narrow and in his hands was a crossbow, a small dagger in the other. He stood up, he was a tall one too. “Hello there” he spoke with a typical Marienburg accent “My name’s Shak, got a longer name too, but not even I can pronounce it.” He let out a hearty laugh but Caksin didn’t bother, he wasn’t interested in good humoured soldiers. The next one looked promising. He also carried a crossbow, only this time on his back, a long blade was in his hand, a whetstone running across it’s edge. He wasn’t a muscly chap, yet his body sat with confidence and his face showed experience. This one didn’t bother with he pleasantry’s, he simply nodded “Balder” he said, his accent more difficult to place. It had a brutish sound, every word he said would no doubt sound like a curse. Caksin smiled at him, he would come in useful. He lifted his head and saw another three talking quietly at the end of the table. He doubted they would be of use…not one was more than 3 ft. tall! He turned back to his master, his face a scowl “I’ll take these two” he said pointing at the two closest to him “I won’t baby-sit Halflings!” he boomed.
The hunter stared into his eyes “You will be taking whatever I give you, don’t make a show of yourself here, every one of these have been trained against ogres; they could kill you in the blink of an eye” Caksin looked again at the five assembled, a lingering resentment and respect forming in his mind. He turned back to the hunter, but he wasn’t there. He shrugged; he didn’t need him anyway. “Ok, I’ve been told that you lot have to come with me on this little hunt” he said to the gathered mercenaries “Now then, who here knows what we’re dealing with?” two hands shot into the air and Caksin coughed as he walked over to them. He towered over their tiny frames, his eyes full of impatience “I’m not here to baby-sit you! If I ask you something you answer, if I tell you to do something, you do it! You got that podgy boy?” Their two faces reddened brightly, they were going to be a nuisance; why on earth had he been asked to take these sheep into the heart of a wolf nest?
He saw Balder stand up, his hands still running over his word with stone. “My guess is we’ve got a ghoul to deal with, either that or a host of spirits”
Caksin stared, he hadn’t considered either, yet he knew that his companion was right “And how do we go about killing these things? They aren’t hurt by mundane weapons”
He shrugged “They aren’t unkillable. There are a few ways to get rid of them, the first is to bind one into an element, but we don’t have time for that, we could use silver, it’s a highly magical substance, it’s the only metal that can harm ethereal creatures” Caksin smiled, he knew is stuff “and the final way is to use a spirit weapon: a weapon that exists in their realm as well as ours.”
Caksin was impressed, he walked up to the man and patted his back “And when would be the best time to strike?”
A voice answered, but not Balder’s. Shak was looking at them “The sooner the better, if it’s a ghoul then its power will grow with each soul it feats upon, if this is a host, then it is going to get real big, real fast”
Caksin nodded, he might not like the youth, but he did like a man who didn’t wait. He looked back at the men “I have no intention of waiting, I take it you’ve all been armed ready for this, we are going in and out, you don’t wait for your friends, and you don’t fall behind”
The small party looked ready, but Balder hesitated, his eyes hovering towards a chest in the corner “There is one thing I’ve been told to give you”
Caksin followed his eyes, a small wooden box lay there, its lid bolted on its hinges. Caksin walked towards it, his boots creaking on the floor boards. It had been nailed down tightly, but it was easier than a door knob for the half-ogre. He gazed in amazement, his eyes completely fixed upon the dazzling weapon inside. He placed a hand inside, his fingers running around its hilt. He held it up high: it was like nothing he had ever seen, the blade was barely visible, a slight blue mist that lay like fire on top of a glistening shaft, reflecting the light from the overhead lanterns. He gazed in amazement, he turned to Balder, his voice shacking “What- what is it?”
Balder stepped forward leading him towards the table. “It is a gift from the elves; they call it a spirit sword. It exists with another realm, felling mortals and spirits alike.”
Caksin ran his finger along the blade; he could feel it, its sharp edge just like any other blade. He looked back at Balder “Shall we get going”
Balder laughed as the others stood up “Eager aren’t we, still I wouldn’t have it any other way, c’mon, we’ve got a duty to do.”
They walked out into the blistering sun. They looked to the walls and saw flags bearing the witch hunter emblem blowing in the wind. The dense forest covered much of the horizon, a far off river the only landmark of a different shade than green. They began to walk from the church, whores, lepers; they all littered the streets, the poor district wasn’t a pleasant place, or a place to grow up. Caksin watched as a procession of soldiers left through the main gates and followed, might as well keep safe for as long as possible. They followed the line of gunners along the forest road, heading deep into the forest. Caksin broke off, heading for a small patch of grass clean of trees. The brambles had been trampled; someone had come through here recently. Caksin waited for the rest of them to come: one, two, three, and four…….were was five? “Where’s Shak?” the others looked around, checking behind trees and looking out towards the road. Damn it, one down already. He looked to his men “Alright, remember what I said, we don’t wait for anybody, now c’mon” and they began to move deeper into the forest.
Caksin ran through the forest, Balder close behind him. He could feel the blood rushing inside him; it was like being back on the hunt, pillaging and burning, he remembered the faces he had seen as he rampaged through this forest. Now he had returned, the same man, but with a different mission. He thundered between the huge trees, leaping over bushes and huge upturned roots. He carried the spirit sword with him, he would find this beast, and he would kill him, he had never felt so alive! He looked to the skies and saw high above the blackened canopies of the dead leaves, this was a hellish place. He smiled; this was a hellish game of cat and mouse. He didn’t know were he was going, he didn’t know what primal instinct drove him; was it some bestial trait gained from his ogre mother? Or was this the hunter inside him, driving the hulking machine towards its target. The Halflings were still with him, carrying their heavy load with surprising speed. He began to slow, his senses telling him he was getting closer. He raised a hand and could hear his comrades gathering behind him. He raised his crossbow, loaded with silver bolts, he checked down the sight, scanning the trees for any sign of life. There was a sickening mist getting closer, a chilling wind that drove fear into Caksin’s heart. He cursed: going in blind.
His feet cracked a twig beneath his foot, he froze, certain he had doomed them all. Caksin was up ahead, his head staring towards him, his eyes were wide, his teeth barred. Balder grimaced and mouthed: sorry. His leader raised his heavy missile weapon and Balder did the same, he hoped the ogre knew what he was getting into, Shriken had a habit of getting bored with his pets. He knew he should keep focussed, these fiends were dangerous, and if they caught him off-guard he was finished. He lined his eyes up with his sight and squinted into the mist. He could see something. A face, between two branches. It sat there staring at him, its eyes a pure white and a menacing grin on its face. He pulled his trigger and the creature moved, he shouted “There, c’mon” He chased after it and heard a bolt fly the other way
Caksin’s voice thundered throughout the forest. “There are two, kill them both, Split-up!”
Caksin could see the creature in the faint light, he raised his crossbow and fired. Damn, the creature was moving fast. He abandoned his attempts and sprinted after the creature, this was a true test of reactions, adrenaline pumped inside his head and obstacles formed feet from him; springing out from the mist. He ducked under trees and leapt over obstacles, he could see the creature slowing; finally, a clear shot. He was about to fire when he foot caught on something, he went tumbling over, the bolt flying high above its target. He could feel pain in his back and grimaced as he tried to get up. He leaned up against a tree and massaged his back, cursing his impatience and stupidity. He looked around for any sign of the ghoul he had been chasing, mist still lay low, but nothing else showed sign of her presence; nothing except the looming figure gliding towards him. Its eyes pinned Caksin to the spot, he could eel roots binding his arms to the ground. He stared up at the towering spectre; its body composed of a foul mist, its hands shaped into knarred claws. It hissed at him as it came closer, floating atop a mound of twirling vapour. Caksin could feel something close to his chest, whether it was is heart giving out r something else he knew not, all he knew was that he wasn’t going to make it.
He closed his eyes, all he heard was the screaming of the ghoul, and he felt the roots around his wrists loosen completely. He opened his eyes and saw the ghoul lying feet from him, lying on the floor, its face contorted with pain. He looked down at his chest. There upon a length of golden chain was an eight pointed star. It pulsed with light, its magical power keeping the foul spirit at bay. He had never taken it off, now he thanked Sigmar that he had not. He remembered what had been going through his mind as he died. He remembered asking his gods or assistance, but none came. He remembered how in his final moment it had been of chaos that he had dreamt, and that it was chaos that had answered. The amulet still pulsed, it did so until Caksin muttered his thanks to Sigmar. Interesting. He got up and found his shoulder healed; whatever gods had saved him he thanked. He walked to where the ghoul lay, he saw a little girl crying, and he hesitated, what is this? He heard a whispering in his ear. Kill her. Kill her. He looked into those eyes and no longer felt mercy, he raised his sword and plunged it into the ghoul’s heart; his sword went through into the ground. He closed his eyes as the girl screamed, then opened them. There was nothing there, just a few punctured leaves and a mound of dust. He looked around, the mist was gone ;colour was once more flowing through the branches. He sighed his success and began to walk away. Baren flew through the air and landed in front of him. A foul mist began to intrude upon him. He drew his sword; he wasn’t done yet.
He treed softly, his feet barely brushing the underbrush. He slowly advanced into the mist, his heart barely ticking, nothing made a sound. His breath froze upon the air, his skin paled as he ventured deeper into the hellish place. He looked up and saw a patch of sky, and the ghoul struck. He felt an icy touch cut through his side. He fell to the ground and looked at his side. There was no earthly wound, but the pain was there. The ghoul came again at speed and knocked the sword from his hand. He tried to reach with his fingers but met only dirt. The ghoul came closer, its vivid face and fragile body stalking closer. It came right up to his face and kissed him. He could feel all heat leaving his body, a spot by his heart began to move, and this time it wasn’t the amulet. He was saved by a single bolt that shot into the fiend’s back. It reeled around and charged Baren, driving him to the ground and chocking him. Caksin ran towards his sword then sprinted towards his friend. He pulled the beast off its prey and pointed his sword at the creature’s heart. He watched as the ghoul before him shifted into what can only be described as a god. Tzenche’s face stared up at him, its eyes pleading to the seed of chaos within him. Caksin’s sword hovered over his enemy’s breast, his mind in turmoil. The voice of chaos sounded inside him, he could hear it calling to him, ordering him to step away. The amulet began to coil around his neck, chocking him as the chaos spirit lost control. Caksin plunged his blade deep into the creature, he saw for a second the ghoul’s face before it dissipated. He stood there with his sword held in two hands. The charred remains of the chaos amulet lay on the floor, smoke and ash rising from it. He had beaten the chaos inside him.
This isn't the ull version, it will be posted up in the fluff creation section.
|Flailing-Axes||Posted on Mar 30 2008, 04:33 PM|
|One day left for the writing, all pieces should be in by 1st April...........Skullz/Gibbs please tell me you wrote something up...........I'll be the only one if you haven't|
|JNMGibbs||Posted on Mar 6 2008, 12:35 AM|
| That is a pretty big gap in word sizes. I'll probs have to do something on the smaller end of the scale, depending on how my research goes (Ancient Egyptian vampires, yeah!!)
I like it though, I'll give it a try.
|Flailing-Axes||Posted on Mar 5 2008, 05:58 PM|
|? The site? O ye, none of mine o there yet, time to get my best pieces on here|
|LordOfSkullz||Posted on Mar 5 2008, 05:35 PM|
| Why such a big gap in words? Or why restrictions at all since its not a battle? Or just simply post it as a regular story... That or I have a feeling you have something already done and waiting lol.
But as such, yeah most likely be you two unless someone else comes by, I'm sticking out of this fluff game unless its for the site.
|Flailing-Axes||Posted on Mar 5 2008, 05:06 PM|
|Ok, heres' my suggestion. Each person interested (Me and gibbs probs ) can write up any pice concerning the undead, vampires, zombies, random monkeys with no brains, the usual stuff. between 500 and 5000 words. Good Luck!|