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Author Topic: The Shield [library]  (Read 2093 times)

Offline Alagoric

  • Posts: 83
The Shield [library]
« on: September 03, 2005, 07:20:14 PM »
http://www.warhammer-empire.com/library/tales/shield.php


The Shield


Dividing the lands of Bretonnia and the Empire was a low range of mountains, and through them was a pass. A dark and twisty track ran through the gap, and in its meanderings it passed below a solitary and leafless oak tree.

Suspended high in the oak’s bare branches was a brightly painted shield, circular in shape and bound around its rim with iron. It was not clear who had placed the shield in the tree, or why, but there it was anyway.


One fine morning a warrior, stocky and muscular, with hair as orange as flame and eyes as blue as ice, was walking along the path. He wore a slashed doublet and fine hose, a finely crafted breastplate protected his body, and upon his head was a strong helm. In his hand he gripped a sturdy spear, and tucked into his belt was a sharp axe. He strode with purpose, confident of his prowess and afraid of no man.

A fighter, tall and slender, with hair as black as ebony and eyes as grey as granite, was following the path in the opposite direction. He wore quilted and dyed linen and a scale hauberk, and he too had a solid helm upon his head. In his hand he grasped a broadsword and hanging from a thong at his hip was a heavy mace.

It was from either side of the tree that the two first caught sight of one another. Each peered suspiciously, noting posture and poise and scanning for weaknesses, while at the same time adopting a casual walk and relaxed manner. Both continued forward, and it was directly below the bare branches of the oak that they met.

Guten tag,” said the first. “Bonjour,” responded the other.

“A bon shield” remarked the dark-haired fighter, looking up among the branches.

“Ya, for sure,” answered the red-haired warrior, glancing upwards too. “Der vorkmanship is very fine.”

“Pour moi, ze colour, she is wrong,” continued the fighter. “Never was I keen on blue.”

Blau?” exclaimed the warrior! “Sigmar im Himmel, der hue is as green as der grass under our feet!”

“Monsieur, ze eyes, zey must be playing tricks on you, for it is plainly as blue as ze skies above us.”

“How you are so mistaken I cannot see,” growled the warrior. “Ein kind could tell of der green-ness.”

Alors, you call me a liar?” the fighter said, with more than a hint of menace in his voice.

“Nein,” replied the warrior, “but you could be blind or ein dummkopf, I suppose.”



They stepped back, each eyeing the other warily, and paced a little in order to find their best footing. For a moment they stood motionless, eyes locked, each waiting for the other to move.

And then, at the same instant, they let roar their worst battle cries and launched their attacks.

The sword swung, the spear thrust, a dodge, a parry, a chop and a cut, and then a flash of red as a blow hit its mark. The warrior staggered back and held his cheek to stem the flow of blood.

Verdammung, I am cut!” he hissed, drawing his hand away from his face and peering at the crimson stain on his fingers.

“Alors, now, will you yield and admit ze foolishness?” asked the fighter arrogantly.

“Nein, never!” shrieked the warrior, and readied his spear. With clenched teeth he launched a series of thrusts and jabs that sent the fighter reeling back, barely able to defend himself. The last ripped through his sleeve and flayed open his arm.

Mon dieu, Monsieur, you ’ave sliced me!” said the fighter breathlessly, glancing down at the wound and narrowing his eyes.

“Ya, so, vill you admit zat I am right?” asked the warrior, panting from his exertions.

Non, I do not!”

So they paced around some more, each sizing the other and looking for some edge. And all at once began another melee.

They stabbed and flailed and laid about one another, and the sounds of mortal combat rang among the peaks. A desperate series of chops were fended off but the shaft of the spear shattered. Amid furious jumping and dodging the axe was drawn. A blow hacked at a leg, an ear was nicked, a belly was grazed, and a tooth was broken.

More blows rang to and fro and with a metallic snap the sword broke. A figure scrambled backwards, the engagement broken off until the mace came to hand. And then the action resumed. A thump and an eye swelled and blackened, a chest was deeply sliced, and bones crunched below heavy impacts.

Breathless and exhausted the two staggered apart, their clothing shredded and their bodies bloodied and bruised.

“Alors, will you now admit your folly?” wheezed the fighter.

“Nein, der truth is that you are wrong!” slurred the warrior.

So it began again. The pair summoned up what little strength they had left, and with limbs as heavy as lead and their senses blurred and fuzzy from pain they prepared to face each other.

They staggered forwards, raised their weapons, and like two old drunks they teetered and wobbled and shambled about. A downward chop missed and a parry barely got to the right height. A sideways swipe went far off target and a dodge became a stumble.

Their injuries and their fatigue finally overcame them, and the pair collapsed to the ground. They lay side by side, too weak and exhausted even to raise a hand against the other, and found themselves staring up into the branches of the ancient oak.

A breeze caught the shield that hung there. As the wind turned the disc both could plainly see that one side was painted blue and the other side was painted green.

The pair said nothing, but painfully helped each other to their feet and spent a few moments tending to wounds and injuries. They set about gathering their scattered possessions, and without even so much as a backward glance each limped off on his way.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2007, 03:01:21 PM by rufus sparkfire »

Offline Flagellant

  • Posts: 445
The Shield
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2005, 08:49:59 PM »
:shock: IMPRESSIVE!!!!!

that's probably the best thing ive read on any forum yet!
"We fight them with our steel,
we fight them with our courage,
but above all we fight them with our faith in Sigmar"

Offline Rufas the Eccentric

  • The Old Ones
  • Posts: 3536
  • Taken from us May 9th 2008 - But never forgotten
The Shield
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2005, 03:26:38 AM »
Very well written  :clap:  :clap:  :clap:

Could we petition to have this added to the Library?
Sigmar on a sling, the stuff some people come up with. . . .

Offline BAWTRM

  • Posts: 5207
  • The Netherlands
The Shield
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2005, 10:03:32 AM »
Well done, the action of the battle was maintained without resorting to the use of the same metaphores or metrum all the time.

A good read! :-D
"...granted it isn't as retarded as having a lady popping out of your head holding a cup while humping a boar with a sword through its back, but there can only be one Brettonia."

PhillyT

Offline Lord Baldrick

  • Posts: 179
The Shield
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2005, 10:11:35 AM »
A fine piece of writing!

Humourous and serious at the same time.
I like it.
Ludo Ergo Sum.

Offline General Helstrom

  • The Old Ones
  • Posts: 5322
  • Chicks dig moustaches
The Shield
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2005, 01:04:20 PM »
There's a bit of zen wisdom in there, I suppose :-D Great stuff!
I don't know what Caesar thought when he got to the Ides of March
Don't know what Houdini bought when he went to the store
But I sure do miss the eighties

Offline MatthiasofAltdorf

  • Posts: 20
The Shield
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2005, 08:19:04 PM »
Bravo!!  :clap:   That was a very fine piece of writing! I loved the way they talked, good job on the dialects. Those derned Brettonians.  :wink:  I agree about having it added to the library.

Offline Dazgrim

  • Posts: 546
The Shield
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2005, 04:34:51 PM »
Shame we couldn't have won, I like it and support the motion it enter the library.
Don't hug me I'm British, we only show affection to dogs and horses.

Offline HoS

  • Posts: 1865
  • Beyond Beyond Thunderdrome
The Shield
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2005, 05:21:37 PM »
Hmm, that was quite an interesting little story. I wonder, how many other fights started because of that?
Gave into the WoW.

The Shield
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2005, 05:24:28 PM »
Slightly nitpicking here, but: since "Reikspell" is considered to be the "common tongue" of the Old World, it seems rather odd that a man of the Reik should have any accent at all...

I know, it's supposed to be funny, just doesn't make much sense IMHO ;)

Other than that it's a really good story... it even has a moral, which one will rather rarely find in most fan-fiction... :)

Offline Captain Tineal

  • Posts: 2419
  • You will join me or die! Could you do any less?
The Shield
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2005, 08:06:59 PM »
That was a really cool story, kudos on the clever ending.

The Captain
I don't know what a pisolires is but it sounds like a musical instrument you play with urine...