Author Topic: The Black Wolf Avengers [library]  (Read 1119 times)

Offline Midaski

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The Black Wolf Avengers [library]
« on: December 11, 2004, 02:22:38 PM »

My wolfkin are undoubtedly my favourite unit in my Cult of Ulric army. However I made the models with a sense of a select band, rather than the 'flagellant' feel suggested. They all have wolf cloaks, and hand weapon and mixed shields, looted from enemies. I have fielded them with a Priest Hero and decided they needed some fluff.

The Black Wolf Avengers.
The forest track opened out into cleared ground; ground Sergei knew well.
As a lad, he had worked alongside his father, felling trees to make the clearing for their farm, and later alongside neighbours, as the clearing grew into a small village.
He had tried to match his father stroke for stroke with their axes, and struggled at first, but as the years passed, his body grew honed and strong. His mother had been the daughter of a wealthy Middenheim merchant who lived in the city and saw to it that she was well educated, in the hope she would catch the eye of some noble. In truth the merchant was probably disappointed when, the ex-soldier, who became his father, courted her. His mother had then ensured her influences on him by making sure that when darkness fell after a day in the fields, he spent time learning other skills.
Their dwelling was modest compared with the buildings that he saw on occasional trips to the larger town with his parents, but he doubted if there was as much laughter and happiness within.

It had been some ten years since his father, and several of the male neighbours, had answered the call to arms to purge a rampaging horde of the foul greenskins from their lands. His father had been one of those who did not return. His mother died less than a year later, seemingly withering away without the love of her husband.
He left the clearing the next day.

Now he was back, a veteran sergeant of the State army. His skill with hammer and shield was unmatched, and many a swordsman of other states had found out in friendly, and sometimes serious, combat that he was more than a match for their supposedly superior ability. Due to his height and strength he had got their regimental armourer to craft him a specially balanced weapon with a longer handle, and there was always that look of surprise on his opponents face as the butt end smacked into their face with a deft twirl of his right hand.
Now he was back, but for all his skill and strength he was too late.
- - - - - - - - -

Gunther raised his head and opened his eyes. The fresh movement at the edge of the woods had somehow registered, despite his bowed posture and silent incantation of the prayer. His trusty great hammer was serving as a support as he was bent on one knee; he pushed upwards with his right hand placed flatly on the head of the bloodied weapon, as at the same time his left hand let go his precious weathered pouch to dangle from his belt again, and reached across his body to grip the haft. Despite the pain in his side, he stood tall, surmising that those he had slain had obviously been missed.

He had been following the trail of destruction for four days. He had sensed the new band of accursed raiders, even before the exhausted and deranged man had staggered into the village where he was tending to a sick child, crying out manically about slaughter and foul creatures with hooves and horns.

He had smelt the burning embers before dawn, and as the blackness greyed into first light, he had reached this small cluster of smouldering huts and cabins to find again he was too late, the dead and mutilated lay everywhere; and then he had seen the creatures, obviously the stragglers who had feasted and looted too long and too much.
Amidst the drifting mix of smoke and morning mist, with the blind fury of his faith and search for vengeance he had fallen on them, repaying their excesses, his blessed hammer splintering bone and horn, and when it was quiet again, with the three carcasses around him, he had knelt and prayed to Ulric for the souls of the villagers.
A surreal tranquillity had returned to the clearing, as he looked across through the hazy air to the new arrival.

In the silence Sergei saw the figure slowly stand up, and his eyes made one more, slow sweep around the site, before he moved slowly forward, confident the man before him was the only creature alive.
Gunther’s right hand let go of the hammer, and it swung down to clump into the soft earth – no beast carried the blue shield of Middenheim, and as the man moved closer, Gunther saw the image of the dark emblem and realised significant help had arrived; here too was a fellow hunter, another who had come to purge the forest.
Behind Sergei fresh figures appeared, and without turning to them, a quick wave of the hand from the sergeant saw the band scatter left and right to cover the area, and then, confident his back was covered, he walked briskly towards the priest.

Gunther spoke quietly;  “Sergeant Steinolf…… your presence is indeed a reward for my prayers. To see the shields of the Black Wolf fills me with confidence. How far behind you and your scouts are the main body? I knew such a company would not be long in replenishing its ranks.”

The sergeant paused before replying, considering that this priest knew both him, and the recent painful events.
“No, brother, we are but fifteen,” and he hesitated again before adding, “all that are left; there has been no recruiting, - decisions have not been made yet.”
Then, in an attempt to dispel the nightmare visions rising again, he shook his head, before enquiring; “Have we met before?”

“We have not spoken, but I have seen you before, and heard much of your exploits. Indeed I witnessed your taming of that upstart champion of the Altdorf 1st Swords, at the midwinter feast.
I am Gunther Ryszard, priest of Ulric, and unlike some of my colleagues, I do try to return to the Temple in Middenheim each year to, shall we say, refresh my endeavours. There are many in the brotherhood who have watched your progress.”

The two men looked at each other, introductions over, both appraising and realising the strength of the other – the bond was made.

The priest hefted his hammer to his shoulder, and his face became stern again. “Enough, we may be only sixteen, but we have work to do sergeant. Tell me – why are you here, and now?”

Steinolf turned and nodded to two of his men. One of them pointed off to the edge of the forest where a small gap indicated a possible path. Sergei remembered it led down to the small stream, and then one could climb the slope towards the first crags of the Middle Mountains. He nodded again and the two men set off into the gap.
“Renke and Sigi, probably the two best trackers in the whole of the northern provinces,” he acknowledged to Gunther, “They will find our foe. They are from Dirkswald only some few miles from here, on the old forest road, and I,” he paused, “I am from here, ….. this village, ……… this clearing and this was my home and these were my friends and neighbours.”
A new anger seemed to come upon him, and his words came out deliberately and slowly: “Since Salzenmund, and whilst what was left of my men slowly recuperated, I have been wallowing in self pity, waiting for someone else to decide what was to become of us. Sigi heard the news of these latest raids, and his concern for his family finally shook me into some action. I convinced our new captain that we would be better off helping here, than waiting for the politics to decide the fate of our regiment, and he gave us all indefinite leave to, he called it, ‘patrol’ this area.
It’s been two months since the battle with the Norse raiders, and one day sooner here and  …….” His voice trailed off, unable to express his fury and frustration further.

Ryszard placed his hand on the younger man’s shoulder. “The gods have their plans for us all, my friend, and you are here now; maybe this is your reawakening, your trial to see if you can recover, and exact the vengeance due, from the true enemies of mankind, and not some preening Nordland puppy.”

Sergei’s pride stirred, from the strong hand upon his shoulder, and the understanding words. He remembered his fury as he was restrained from delivering the skull crushing blow to the arrogant Nordlander, and the solace of venting his fury.
Now he had purpose, now he would quench his anger.
“Well Priest Ryszard – give me what information you have, and we shall go hunting!”

Gunther withdrew his hand and responded to the warrior’s new attitude; “This warband has been raiding the small villages for some seven days, appearing out of the forest, destroying everything living, and moving on quickly. I sense some purpose to establish territory, maybe their leader is anxious to improve his standing amongst his fellow beasts – the raids seem intentionally provocative – maybe trying to draw out troops from the garrison at Bergstad. Maybe the foul creature plans an ambush to enhance his reputation. From what I’ve seen of hoof marks in the mud, there would seem to be some 30-40 of the creatures, with at least one very large beast – probably a minotaur, and I suspect there are some of the half horse creatures, called centaurs, as well.”
“Well good priest,” smiled Sergei, “These foul creatures want to meet some Empire troopers, - let us not disappoint them. No doubt they are expecting some shiny column in ranks marching down the old forest road. However I have a different idea - with your prayers, and all our hammers, maybe we should do a little ambushing of our own?”
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 03:21:40 PM by rufus sparkfire »
Quote from: Gneisenau
Metal to Finecast - It is mostly a swap of medium. 

You mean they will be using Ouija boards instead of Tarot cards for their business plans from now on?