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Author Topic: another short story: A man of ruined blood [library]  (Read 1634 times)

Offline rufus sparkfire

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another short story: A man of ruined blood [library]
« on: March 05, 2004, 06:48:14 PM »
http://www.warhammer-empire.com/library/tales/ruined.php


[Yes, another short story :roll: . I seem to have some kind of writing bug at the moment. I'm afraid you can expect the third part of this semi-linked semi-series sometime soon. Sorry about that. :wink: ]

A man of ruined blood

By Rufus Sparkfire

It was afterwards, when I realised what I had done, that I fell to my knees and wept. I knelt before the bodies and prayed to all the gods, even the ones I had never bothered with much in the past, prayed to undo what I had, in my frenzy, done. The soldiers left me alone, but Sternburg, the priest, came to me and offered me absolution. Sigmar, he said, washes away the sins committed by the faithful in his service. Sternburg is a hard man, and I do not doubt that he has committed worse sins than I in his time. It doesn’t matter. If the Grand Theogonist himself told me I was cleansed of sin I would not believe him. Perhaps in time Sigmar may forgive me, but I know that Shallya never will.

I had ridden with General von Plauen and his army into Dunkeldorf. The village was small and squalid, much like every village near the border; it was as if a portion of Sylvania’s corruption had drifted across the river and settled upon the land and the people here. The army came because the Avermarshall knew that von Bösewichtschloss would bring his dead troops across the river at the Dunkeldorf ford. I came because I suspected someone in the village was an agent of the vampire.

So, as the quartermasters busied themselves with commandeering such supplies as could be found, I began my investigation. I went from house to house, questioning the sorry denizens even as the soldiers stripped their homes of whatever was worth taking. Many would not talk to me initially, but soon changed their tune when I revealed my Official Mandate, signed by Johann Esmer himself. If that was not sufficient to convince them, I did not scruple to have my aides display the instruments of interrogation, prescribed for the reticent by the holy church.

Everything I heard led me to believe the traitor could be found in a tiny hovel at the very edge of the village. I arrived to find a stand-off already in progress: an old man stood at the door of the miserable little shack, waving an antique blunderbuss at Quartermaster Diethelm and a squad of soldiers.
“What is going on here, Diethelm?” I said.
“Captain Verborgen!” He was startled. I tend to have that effect on people. “Sir, this man refuses to allow us entry to his house. I have asked for handguns to be brought here to end the stalemate, but they have not yet arrived.”
“I have no time for this nonsense. Stand aside.”
He did, naturally, so I strode past him and up to the old man.
“Put down your weapon. I am a Templar of Sigmar, and this house and all within are under inquisition.”
He was really very old indeed; I could not imagine what it cost him in strength to stand here and defy the soldiers as he did. Such desperation could only mean that he was guilty, and protecting the traitor within the shack. His mouth dropped open, showing me a brief glimpse of rotted or missing teeth, before he drew together enough resolve to speak.
“Don’t go threatening me laddie. I’ve lived in this village all my life, and I’m not about to turn over what little I have to a bunch of thugs like that army of yours. You leave me and mine alone, or I’ll be blowing off your head with this here gun.”

I moved quickly, taking hold of the blunderbuss and wrenching it from his hands before he even had a chance to pull the trigger. I doubted that it would function in any case; the mechanism looked like it had corroded into uselessness long ago. I hit his head with the butt of the weapon, and I knew from the way he fell that he had died immediately. There was a cry from within the shack, and I drew my sword to face whatever horror might emerge from it. Already my anger had risen to overwhelm my vision, so that I saw through a red haze. Traitors, selling out their neighbours to an undead abomination to save their own miserable lives! Three people burst through the shack door, running towards me. The first I struck in the neck with my blade, and down he went. Shrieking, a second pounced on me, raking at my face with her talons – I threw her back without effort, and ran her body onto the point of my sword. The last simply stood and wailed with a voice like a banshee, and I silenced her with a lethal cut to the head.

When it was over, and my vision cleared, I saw what I had done. The old man had been protecting a woman, perhaps his granddaughter, and her two children. I had killed them all.

They say that, in time, all who kill grow to like it. I had convinced myself that I was a truly brave man, a man with the strength to do what was necessary to protect my beloved Empire. If I killed those who consorted with the Dark gods, or those who stirred the dead from their slumber, I knew that I was saving the lives of innumerable innocents. It would be easier to believe that I had gone on from such righteous executions into simple murder by mistake; that I had been carried away by religious zeal to act beyond the bounds of my own conscience. It would be easier, but it would be a lie. I have always known what I was doing, always. I am a man of ruined blood; my life, my work, have always been no more than a way to excuse what I have always desired to do. I know because, as I struck, I heard the voice of the blood god in my head. I know because, without hesitation, I would do the same thing again.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 03:40:21 PM by rufus sparkfire »
Hey, I could still beat up a woman!
If I wanted to.

Offline EC.Sylvania

  • Posts: 569
another short story: A man of ruined blood
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2004, 12:27:07 AM »
Bravo!

Bravo!

Bravo to you sir!


I LOVE your stories. They maintain the fantasy inherent in the bones of the Warhammer mythos and flesh it out with a setting and tone that pays omage to the Landsknecht’s of the Holy Roman Empire.

Don’t stop writing.

Offline Domoviye

  • Posts: 59
another short story: A man of ruined blood
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2004, 06:25:29 AM »
Wow

I don't like most fan stories, but this was extremely well done.
I will be looking for more of your stories in the future.

Very good work
I never touch reality myself you understand, I find it gets in the way of the hallucinations.
Joker in "The Killing Joke"

Offline Domoviye

  • Posts: 59
another short story: A man of ruined blood
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2004, 06:27:00 AM »
Wow

I don't like most fan stories, but this was extremely well done.
I will be looking for more of your stories in the future.

Very good work
I never touch reality myself you understand, I find it gets in the way of the hallucinations.
Joker in "The Killing Joke"