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Author Topic: A empire short story  (Read 1175 times)

Offline Kerrian

  • Posts: 4
A empire short story
« on: May 20, 2004, 03:01:21 PM »
The Last Stand of the Hochland Halberdiers

Karl Stalhein had marched proudly at the head of his regiment of Hochland Halberdiers five days past when they had aligned themselves on the field of battle. On his left flank there had been positioned a battalion of red and blue clad Altdorf Swordsmen, and to the right had been a contingent of the blues and whites of Middenheim. The regiment's scarlet and forest green banner had flown bravely at that time, being one of many within the grand force that had assembled to confront the rampaging orcs. Two hundred and fifty men of Hochland among five thousand of the Emperor's finest. But that had been ages ago.
Karl did not know what had gone wrong. Perhaps the Orcish host they had assembled to meet had been underestimated in its size. Perhaps doom had been foreshadowed when the cannon batteries from Nuln had ran out of powder, and been hacked to sheds by the blood-lusting raiders. Or perhaps the turning point had been when the supply train from Talabheim had been found, looted and burning, with no survivors to recount what had happened. But all Karl knew was that of his brave two hundred and fifty only nine remained. The proud banner had fallen and been trampled upon, and then strips from it were torn in vain attempts to bind the wounds of mortally injured men.
A grim smile crossed Karl's face as he parried an orc's primitive cleaver away and brought his shield around and slammed it into the savages face. Reversing his stride, he brought his blade unmercifully down upon the creature's thick skull shattering it into a hundred pieces. Not that an explanation for what happened to the reinforcement column would have helped him now. To his right, out of the corner of his eye, Karl could see one of his sergeants, Siegfried Werner, an scar-faced veteran who had been with the regiment longer than anyone, twist his unwieldy halberd in an attempt to block a crude spear point aimed at his face. But the old man was unable to stop the lumbering beast from crashing into him and both collapsed into the sludge-covered earth.
Charging out of the swirling mists, another orc swung its cleaver towards the Hochland Captain. Karl managed to dodge the jagged blade, but he was wrong-footed in doing so and knocked off balance. He fell to the ground, tripping backwards over what he realized was a body of one of his comrades. His wooden shield, weakened after blocking countless blows aimed at his body, snapped under the sudden pressure. Cursing, Karl glanced at the body of the soldier. Whatever the livery of that soldier had been, the britches and tunic were now smeared so heavily with the blood of Empire soldiers, the darker ichors that spewed from the orcs, and the mire on which the body now lay, that it was impossible to guess its original colors.
Karl's attention was wrenched back to the orc as it gave a roar of triumph and charged forward to finish off the fallen Hochlander. In an act of desperation, he blindly thrust upwards into the beast's unprotected stomach, and gasped as the orc's hulking figure crashed to the ground beside him. The captain struggled to his feet, and turned to see old Siegfried, apparently having managed to struggle to his feet go down again, a spear lodged in his stomach and another crudely constructed blade protruding from his back. Desperately, his eyes strained to pick out familiar shapes and figures out of the mists, but he could see none of the nine he had huddled with the night before in a vain attempt to stay warm. He was the only one left.
Over the days, Karl had become accustom to the sounds of battle, the desperate shouting of orders and the guttural roars of bloodlust, the clash of tempered steel against roughly forged iron, and screams of the wounded and dying. Yet somehow he failed to hear his final foe until it was too late. Turning at the last moment, he saw the orc's saw-toothed blade arc slowly towards the base of his neck. His last thought was cursing himself for not retrieved his sword from the last orc's stomach.

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Offline Fafnir

  • Posts: 1767
A empire short story
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2004, 05:57:38 PM »
Good stuff. Really good stuff indeed. Very "the Empire lost the Battle Report"-like. :wink:
EDIT: see Africa for more examples ...