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Author Topic: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)  (Read 16419 times)

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2009, 05:38:48 AM »
Chapter 33

“Master I have it!”
Mayor Schatz turned and fired a pistol at this surprising voice as a sword blade whirled past his head. Ernst was knocked out of the room by the pistol blast, the bullet exploding against the side of his breastplate sending shrapnel into him. With a groan he slouched over into the hallway, bleeding.

The Mayor had already redirected his attention to the main fight. Geilir, having caught the sword, was on the rebound; He was parrying Krieger while actively seeking to kill the two Knights Jaguar. Schatz could see his daughter dangling above them, alarmingly close to the melee. Mayor Schatz, not seeing any opportunity to reload his pistols, retrieved his warhammer from off the floor and was about to make his way over to the fight. Just as he thought he had an opening, one of the Knights was beheaded.

“Ha! Foolish mortals! Do you really think I can be dealt with do easily? Did you not think that this too, was foreseen?” Geilir mocked them. The Daemon Prince was truly dangerous, and quite cunning.

Grandmaster Krieger was clearly not giving it his all. Something was wrong. Then Schatz saw it: There was a lot of blood running down the Grandmaster’s leg. The Mayor realized that this was from the two bullets that he had put into him, and as whatever spell was lifted from Krieger, so too was his strength. He didn’t see how there was much choice, he had to join Krieger and the last Knight or all would be lost.

Then he saw something; up above, at the broken skylight window, was a boy quietly watching the room. Just as he was attempting to make sense of this observation, he heard a terrible clatter rising up the stairs and quickly coming from the hall behind him, it sounded like...horse hooves?

----

The army was impressively big! Both Dieter and Hanz were quite overwhelmed by the size of it, the order of it and apparent leanness of it.

“Those lads sure are skinny, ey?” Asked Hanz, leaning out the booth window, to the young nobleman. Rosenkrantz the younger laughed at that observation, and continued to reload his pistols from the back of his horse.

“You chaps are alright,” he said smiling.

The troops continued their rigidly perfect march through the forest shadows and green-lit mist. Jaffir Rosenkrantz was at the head of the column, and had ordered the troops to stop. They did so as abruptly as a door slamming shut.

“That’s some discipline…” remarked Dieter. Hanz thought likewise, but he was still thinking about how skinny those foot troops looked. Hanz took a moment to really take in this army. They really seemed gaunt and malnourished, but he had difficulty making out their faces as they all had metal face guards on their helmets. An expensive luxury for a private army!

“Your men seem lean, are you strict on rations or something?” asked Hanz with a hint of smartness,

“Ha! 'Rations!' aye, you could say we stay on budget where that’s concerned!” replied the amused nobleman.

Rosenkrantz the younger then moved his horse over to his father’s and the two men talked, although neither of the two guards could make out what they said. They had a rather odd sense of style, but Hanz assumed that might have to do their cultural crossbreeding.

Rosenkrantz the younger moved back to join his pistoliers by the booth. He addressed the men, but again, the two guards really couldn’t make out what was said. He turned to look at the guards, and smiled again.

“I’m sorry, I don’t believe I caught your names?” the pale young noble asked.

“I’m Hanz, he’s Dieter.”

“Ah, splendid. We only have a few hours left before sun rise, so we have to make this quick: What’s the best way, do you think, to get in that castle while the bridge is up? Which points has your officers always posted the heaviest guard and defenses?”

Then Hanz had the epiphany...
« Last Edit: February 22, 2009, 06:55:05 PM by neverness »

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2009, 02:49:53 AM »
I'm such an instigator:

CHAPTER 34

Rakthor stood with his retinue at the edge of the pit. He watched as the three Bray Shaman conducted their rituals on the stones below. With the chanting and bleating of the assembled herds in a faux-synchronicity with their actions, the shamans held the assembly in it’s grasp.

They were gathered like they do every year that Morrslieb has the exclusive right to the night, and the world of men recoils from it’s power. This pit sits at the end of a long, dark and twisted crevasse that cuts through six miles of forest. Just two miles north of this location sits the castle of the men. The hated men. The men who all year around hunt, harass and hound the beastmen. The men desecrate their sacred grounds, pull their herd stones from the earth, drag them to this spot, and dump them down into the pit.

   The result is that the herds regard this place as the most sacred place in the forest. And every year, while the men hide from the moon, the herds fearlessly creep out from their caves and shadows and gather at this spot. But this year was going to be different. The shamans had finished their augury of the adolescent boy they had abducted and they agreed; the time was right. The time was tonight. The time was now.

   The men of the castle had done a terrifyingly good job at crushing the beastmen presence in this part of the forest, but the beasts had done a better job at hiding their numbers. Playing into the arrogant nature of the men, the beastmen had convinced them that they were all but eradicated.

The moon passed overhead casting it’s eerie green glow over the hundreds of gathered creatures, all bleating, cheering and howling in conjunction with the ending of the ritual. The runes on the shattered rocks below were glowing their green glow, and glowing far brighter than they ever had in any year before. Sounds had echoed up from the crevasse in the direction of the castle of men. Sounds of fighting, explosions, the reports of gun fire. Shouts and screams. Light displays accompanied these sounds as well. Truly, this was the final affirmation they needed.

   Rakthor blew his mighty horn, and with a final rally cry, over three hundred beastmen charged in the direction of the castle.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 04:48:22 PM by neverness »

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2009, 06:25:02 AM »
CHAPTER 35

Drandorf and his shadowy stallion had finally ascended to the keep, where the demon whom he had bartered his freedom for lay, embattled with the heroes of the castle. A young soldier who looked vaguely familiar was propped against the wall opposite the doorway to his destination, bleeding. Pushing his mount onwards, he moved into the doorway.

The whineying and snorting of a new dark intruder and its mysterious rider caused all eyes in the room to focus on it. The steed reared, and then leaped onto the large table in the middle of the room. Drandorf began to shout a spell of great power, his voice echoing in the room and down the hall. A pointy crown made of black and grey smoke appeared on his head. Within moments, cloudy tendrils grew from each point, and spiralled at each creature in the room, living or dead. Seeping in through the knights visors, penetrating the demonettes, forcing open the mouths of the various depraved villagers, violating the mayor's ears, up through the Grandmaster's nostrils, and plunging into the exposed head of Geilir; the wicked smoke breached everyone present.

For that one moment, there was absolute silence in the room. The smoke then began to pull at each of its victims, something sinister and arcane occurring in their minds. In a whirl, the smoke released each creature it held, and in sequence each victim fell to the floor, unmoving. With a whisp, the smoke returned to the crown on Drandorf's head, which then faded into the shadows. Drandorf surveyed the room, and everything was still. Bodies were slumped all over the floor, it was difficult to tell if anyone survived his incantation.

It was at that moment, from the corner of his eye that Drandorf spotted a boy, in the sky, watching what he had just done, and grinning. The boy bore the mark of the Chaos Gods on his forehead. Spirring his steed upwards, the Master of Shadows and his shimmering black mount soared through the skylight onto the roof. A darkness now present in his eyes, Drandorf addressed the servant of Tzeentch.

"Begone from here, creature of Chaos" demanded the Shadow wizard.
The boy simply laughed, and pointed back into the room from whence Drandorf came, which was now much brighter than before...

-----

Following the constant sound of arcane horse hoofs, Jauchman and his Apprentices pursued the Grey wizard to the keep. A booming voice echoed through the hall and down the stairs.

"Cover your ears!" warned Jauchman to his Apprentices, who managed to cover their ears just before the Grey wizard finished his spell. Still ascending the stairs, they saw a young soldier in the hall drop to the ground as a cloudy tenticle released its grip on him.

"Prepare yourselves!" suggested the Light wizard to his companions as they approached the doorway. Toji reached for his dual blades, Mikel his doubled handed blade, and Grayiel unfastened a potion. Peeking around the corner, Jauchmen saw bodies littering the floor. His brother was nowhere to be seen, however the bodies of the Mayor, Grandmaster and a Greater Demon of Slannesh were sprawled in a heap near the centre of the room. Carefully stepping through the doorway, Jauchman surveyed the carnage his brother had wrought. His apprentices followed him in, and Jauchman indicated to them to tend to the Grandmaster and Mayor.

Laughter drew Jauchman's attention upwards, as he saw his brother conversing with what looked to be a boy, but whose eyes showed a being much older than a child.

"I will suffer your treachery no longer, brother!" vowed Jauchman at the figure on the roof as he positioned his staff...
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 06:31:20 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2009, 03:54:46 AM »
CHAPTER 36

A Cleansing Flame ignited the bodies of Gelir and the Daemonettes but Joshi was able to resist the spell. Joshi was fascinated that the spell could’ve harmed him so effectively and he was glad he was able to resist it. He couldn’t take his eyes off of Jauchman, who unknowingly had what Joshi had returned here to retrieve dangling from his neck.

“Brother! Why do you try so hard to deny me the reward I’ve worked so hard to earn?!” hissed Drandorf as he set about manipulating the shadows to his whim.

“You damn us all! You will damn us all!!! I cannot allow that to happen! -NOW!” Jauchman threw the order fast to his acolytes who were more than ready to proceed with Drandorf’s cleansing. Toji and Mikel both cast from Dispel Scrolls and although Drandorf was a mighty wizard compared to these acolytes, they still managed to shatter his wards and end his spells.

Drandorf dropped to the stone floor with a resounding thud, and Joshi even winced at the sight of it.

“Tonight, I will allow you no more leniency,” stated Jauchman prefacing the recital of an incantation. His focus was on Drandorf who was clearly in pain from the fall. Jauchman’s eyes were as fixed and intense as a statue and seemed to glow with an inner light. The room was filled with a blinding light as the robes and hair of Drandorf ignited from the intensity of the heat generated by Jauchman’s Burning Gaze.

+++++

Grandmaster Krieger was unsure what woke him; the pain from his wounds, the blinding light, or the howling of the Daemon Prince Geilir, writhing and thrashing as he burned on his dais. Krieger was laying face down. As he struggled, he turned his head, and saw Jauchman the Wizard Lord of Light and his Acolytes engaged with another, burning, wizard. He saw the remaining daemonettes dematerialize as they yielded to the same burning effect that afflicted Geilir. Krieger also saw one of his knights and Mayor Schatz, but was not able to tell if they were alive or not. He turned back around; he was only a few feet from Geilir, who was reciting something in his evil language, no doubt an attempt to dispel the burning using some sort of damnable sorcery.

Krieger saw his chance. He stood up, and spotted Geilir’s blade teetering on the edge of the dais. He picked up Geilir’s blade, and with a mighty lunge drove it into the Daemon Prince’s neck. He thrust again and again, as Geilir struggled to thwart the attack, but the attack cost Geilir his concentration, and the burning spell, along with Grandmaster’s attack, got the better of him. As his head separated from his body, Geilir was banished back to the immaterial hell that spawned him.

Krieger was adrenalized from that effort, his heart pounding with the moment, He could hear voices, urging him to press on the attack, To kill something else, The girl. Kill the g-

“No!” Krieger yelled as he threw the sword across the shattered table and skittering out the door in the hallway. In the heat of the moment he had forgotten how dangerous that blade was. He shook his head and looked up. There was Francine, unconscious. Had she been struck by the spell also? He had to save her!

On the floor next to the dais was a set of keys, perhaps fallen during the fight or left behind from Geilir’s defeat; it mattered not, and so did certainty. Krieger snatched up the keys and started to climb up the back of the throne to reach her. His balance was far from stable, in great pain and dizzy from blood loss. The lights from the spells being tossed around the room were not helping either, yet he persisted in reaching her and freeing her. His instincts proved true and the keys were indeed the correct ones for these manacles that bound the girl. As she was freed, she dropped heavily into his arms, but he was not ready to receive the weight, and his wounded side stabbed him with pain causing his to slip off the back of the throne. He tried with one hand to catch the velvet curtain behind the throne while holding Francine with the other. The curtain tore from it’s mount and both he and the girl crashed to the floor in a heap.

Francine moaned in agony. The girl had been through so much tonight, and Krieger yearned to free her from this place. He pulled himself up using the windowsill. As he righted himself, he looked out the window. He saw, in the courtyard below, his soldiers fighting daemons. It was difficult to determine which side was winning from way up here, but that’s not what forced the surprise to strike Krieger, It was the vast army parked outside his gate on the other side of the crevasse.


+++++

From above, watching the wizards of “light” trying to use their powers to destroy another being, Joshi was more amused by watching the Grandmaster’s clumsy act below. And the sheer look of surprise on Krieger’s face as he recognized the war banner of Jaffir Rosenkrantz lit up under the green light of Morrslieb was just too rich. Oh yeah, this was about to get amusing!

« Last Edit: March 28, 2009, 10:39:50 PM by neverness »

Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2009, 03:04:02 PM »
Is everyone else stalled on ideas? Well, I just couldn't hold out any longer! Enjoy:


CHAPTER 37

Sgt. Griff Hausbergen was exhausted, but he wasn’t about to show it. His gunline on top of the wall was about to get the upper hand on the daemons below that were pressing against the door to the keep. The Tzeentchian Horrors were able to get the door to ignite with their daemonic fire, and Griff knew that it would be only a matter of time before they breached the vestibule of the edifice.

“Matter of time, how about a matter of bullets…” said Griff quietly to himself.

“FIRE!” Screamed Griff, and with a series of sharp cracks and plumes of smoke, the organized line blasted into the blue and pink mass, sending a third of the daemons straight back to their hell.

The daemons seemed unfazed, and pressed on attacking the doors and the men struggling in the courtyard. Griff’s team was scrambling to reload their guns when a thunder that overwhelmed all sound around them roared from across the ravine and shook the wall he stood on. Smoke and fire erupted all around, flying limbs of daemon, man and horse blended with fiery clouds of rock and wood. Thrown to the ground, with his hands to his ears, he saw through squinting eyes a black burning cannonball bounce off the high wall of the Keep and into a unit of halberdiers where it exploded.

The noise abated followed by sounds of pain and distress. The daemons, seemed unfazed, although their numbers had been diminished greatly by this attack. He could see that the door was fallen, and the Horrors were moving through the breach into the Keep. A section of the wall he was standing on was missing, and half of his gunline were missing or dead. Smoking craters pocked the courtyard. The smithy was burning, smoke pouring through the new hole in the shingle roof. Horrible gouges dotted the Keep, and it was clear to Griff, a veteran of many battles, that this was not caused by daemons.

Pulling himself up, he limped over to the nearest crenellation, and looked out into the gloom across the ravine. There, on the other side, was an army arrayed in perfect infantry and cavalry blocks, with a line of cannons situated at the ravines edge before them. He could see the guard booth, and both guards in it appeared alive. With the fighting inside the castle, Griff had ignored what was transpiring outside the walls, much to his regret.

“Men,” shouted Griff to the survivors on the wall, “The defenders in the keep will have to defend it themselves, we must take out those cannon crews on the other side of the crevasse!” And with that order, the men that could do so, turned their attention to the side of the wall.

++++

“NO!” Screamed Krieger as the Keep shook violently! This was just too much for him to take; the army of Jaffir Rosenkrantz was now firing cannons at his castle! At this moment all Krieger could think was that he must’ve really upset the Rosenkrantz’s when he did not attend the ball Jaffir had held last month! Really, was it worth this? Did it mean so much to Jaffir that Krieger didn’t attend every function he was invited too? Granted, Krieger did think the merchant from Araby was a bit creepy. And last year Krieger did attend one of his functions, but was put off that the event lasted all night long which threw off Krieger’s sleep pattern for half a week. Krieger never invited the Rosenkrantz to his haven on the night of Geheimnisnacht, but then why would he? The Rosenkrantz were a bit far away and had a very fortified manor, very near a castle in it’s own right, and had a large private army more than capable of protecting him. Krieger had thought that to invite him here would seem to be a belittling gesture and how these sort of things could insult a proud man from Araby.

And, Krieger had to admit to himself, he thought Jaffir and his family were spooky. That son of his always seemed agelessly young, and both men never liked to be seen during the day. They were always hosting parties and events well into the night. A pair of huge and mean dire wolves, which everyone had assured him were well trained and safe, always flanked Jaffir, but Krieger just was never comfortable near these people. To have them staying as his guest seemed like a bad idea so he never extended an invite to them.

The Keep rocked and shook, the cannonballs impacted into the Keep’s side but the walls held. But how much more of this punishment they could take Krieger wasn’t sure about. The boy was laughing again, and Krieger thought he was laughing at him, but the Acolytes of Light were now fighting each other, no doubt a victim to one of the boy’s spells.

Suddenly, Francine screamed, and he turned to look at her and saw that she was reacting to something behind him, something that was coming up on him quickly!


« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 03:13:01 PM by neverness »

Offline Buddha90

  • Posts: 106
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2009, 03:30:52 PM »
Cool neverness, we were typing at the same time, but the two chapters seem to link quite well :D

Chapter 38

Hanz had given up. Everything was out of control. Two armies were fighting at the castle walls, one clearly with the intention of slaughtering every human, and the other with clearly questionable intentions. Dieter had passed out, again, and it did not look like he was going to wake up any time soon. The sky was lit every now and then from lights inside the castle. Hanz placed his handgun against the wall of the booth. It was a fine handgun. Hanz had aquired it while serving in the hochland army. It had engravings on the barrel, and the wood was neatly carved into small figures. He could see a red light from inside the castle reflect in the barrel. Hanz could not think of a single time where the handgun did not work, always loyal to him. His finger followed the outlines of a woman carved into the handgun. He could see her clearly in front of him now, the love of his life. It was as if a whole lifetime had passed since he had been in his home town. She had married the local noble, some 20 years older than her. A real snob. It was a deal between her father and the noble, relieved her father from paying taxes or something.

His thought were disturbed by a volley of cannon shots fired at the beastmen. His eyes scanned the area of the battle. It was hard to tell the two armies from eachother, but both sides had a lot of casualties. On a night like this, the afterlife pulls you in with more power. The walls had been breached. Demons were swarming out and beastmen were swarming in. Killing eachother under the rain of bullets from Rozenkrantz's private army. The lights inside the castle were getting more rare. In fact, Hanz had not seen one for a while. Apart from the sounds of battle, it was quite silent. There was no wind and not a single animal to be heard. Hanz jumped up when Dieter's head fell to one side, slamming into the wall.

"At ease Hanz, no one is gonna attack this booth, not with that juicy castle having been breached". Hanz said to himself.

He looked down at his feet. He had always thought the right one was bigger than the left. No one else could see it, but he was sure of it. Now he saw it. There under his feet was a hatch. He turned his head to one side, as if he questioned what he had discovered. He picked up his handgun and opened the hatch. It made no sound, not even the smallest squeak. The lamp inside the booth was able to light up the first few feet, but Hanz could only see stairs leading downwards. He searched the booth for something to ignite. He kicked of a leg from the chair, ripped some clothes from Dieter and tied it around the piece of wood. He lit it with the oil lamp and began to climp the ladder down into the darkness.

The ladder stopped after only about two men's height. He held up his home made torch. It was a small room and a passage, which Hanz could tell was leading to the castle because of it's direction. Not exacly what Hanz had been hoping for. He had no interest in entering that castle. He actually felt more safe in the booth. But now, knowing that the evil inside the castle could possibly enter his booth from beneath, the booth was not so safe anymore. Hanz turned to the ladder again. His heart jumped into his throat, voices, he could hear voices from above. His hands squeezed the handgun as he climbed the ladder. He had put out the torch. He could hear the voices more clearly now. They were human, not necessarily a good sign. They were in a lot of armour. Hanz recognized the sound of a full plate amour walking around.

"Do you think he crawled down into the hatch?" Hanz could not recognize the accent of the voice.

"That would be my guess.. I do not suppose his friend here will be telling us where he has gone." That was clearly a man from Stirland speaking.

Hanz aimed his handgun at the opening. He was halfway up the ladder, making it very difficult to aim the handgun.

"I'll bet that if I look down there, my head will be blown off, by an unsteady handgun"

"How in the name of Sigmar did he.. " Hanz thought to himself. "I will not shoot if you tell me who you are!" He said loudly, making his voice more manly.

There was silent in the booth above. Hanz wondered if they had heard him, and opened his mouth to shout once more, but before he spoke, a voice from above replied.

"We are knights of the Sacred Scythe, we are here to hunt down some undead, seen any?" The sarcasm in his voice was clear enough for a child to understand

Hanz was both relieved and terrified. Not those madmen. He hoped that they would not take him for vampire. He climbed into the booth where two knights in completely black armour was waiting for him. He could tell that there were at least 40 outide as well. Dieter was gone.

"Don't worry about your friend. We have sent him to our field doctor.. Now that tunnel down there, does it lead into the castle?" The knight revealed some shining white teeth as he smiled like a halfing uncovering a hidden gold treasure.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2009, 03:42:26 PM by Buddha90 »
Hold your head up high
Raise your fist up in the air
Play metal louder than hell
Louder than hell!

Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #56 on: April 06, 2009, 03:12:38 AM »
Chapter 39

Sgt. Griff Hausbergen shot another artillery crewmember on the other side of the river. He noticed, but wasn’t too sure, that these guys were tough. With the obvious exceptions to the ones that had fallen, it would seem that these were the best, most fearless cannon team Griff had ever witnessed! Until one of the men next to him, Friedrech, yelled above the din of battle:

“I say Sergeant, these blokes seem a bit daft don’t you think? I shot the foot off of one and he just kept on loading powder!”

“I noticed that too!” Yelled back Griff, “Where the heck have you been all night? I sent Ernst to look for you right after sunset!”

“Sorry Sir, must’ve ate something that disagreed with me, I spent a good part of the night using the latrine!”

“Why bother? We’ve shat ourselves twice over with the things we’ve seen! Have you seen Ernst!?” shouted the Sergeant as he raised a spyglass to his eye.

“No sir, we seem to have lost a lot of men tonight, it’d be a damned shame if we lost—“ but Friedrech was cut off before he could finish his sentence by Griff’s sudden exclamation:

“Morrslieb’s bad luck! Undead! The men on the other side of the crevasse; every last one! All of them are skeletons! There’s a necromancer... there he is, on horseback; a bloody vampire!!!”

“Don’t reckon you brought a cache of silver bullets with you ‘ey?” half-joked Friedrech.

As Griff continued to watch, he witnessed something amazing. A horde of beastmen, those foul mutant servants of chaos that infest the forests of the Empire came rushing out of the woods. They seemed surprised at first to find an army of undead in their way, but their fury allowed them only the briefest paused as they tore into the army’s rear ranks. The beasts and skeletons engaged fiercely, but the press of their attack was just too mighty. Easily a 1/3 of the skeleton army of Jaffir Rosenkrantz was crushed. A group of minotaurs rushed the cannons, smashing crew and cannon a like. A really big minotaur had picked up a cannon and was swinging it around wildly bashing undead like rotten pumpkins.

“Hold your fire! HOLD!” Griff ordered his men. They stopped and turned their attention toward him. Conserve ammunition, we’ll let that lot sort each other out, and then we’ll shoot what’s left over!”

Griff’s attention was caught by something going on behind him in the courtyard. He turned to see that a few priests had some how managed to rally the men inside and were pushing the daemons back out of the keep!

“Well, horary for the servants of the gods, about time they pulled through tonight.” Griff thought to himself.

“Sir, look!” yelled Gurtz. The Nordlander had spotted something bypassing the battle and approaching the crevasse: beastmen, with ladders! Scores of them!

“Shoot them boys! Don’t let them cross!” ordered Griff. Round after round of shot poured from the walls, and many of the beasts were cut down toppling into the crevasse. Some of the ladders were broke as well, dumping their load of beastmen into the dark void below. But it wasn’t enough.

Teams of beastmen stormed across. Surely, they out numbered all the opponents encountered tonight and would’ve been an over whelming force even without the daemonic invasion these tired and worn men had been pushing back all night. Griff had not realized, or been informed, that below him the wall had been breached. A hole just wide enough for man to crouch through had been punctured by the cannon fusillade earlier on and now the beasts were exploiting it.

Oddly, the daemons in the courtyard, having given up on the Keep, turned toward the beastmen and they began fighting! Below, man, beast and daemon fought in a swirling melee in the courtyard. Smoke from the burning smithy filled the air, with the low hanging Morrslieb casting it’s sickly green hue upon it, making the whole scene ghastly and strange.

“Sergeant, you’re not going to believe this!” Shouted Friedrech.

“What now soldier? Trust me, my disbelief is quite suspended right now thank you very much! What is it?”

“More soldiers, and these appear to be Imperial Knights!” said Friedrech with astonishment and something sounding like joy.

“Well, it’s about time fortune smiled our way! I just hope they can sort out this mess or we’re all done for!”

« Last Edit: April 07, 2009, 01:28:27 AM by neverness »

Offline Buddha90

  • Posts: 106
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #57 on: April 06, 2009, 10:55:03 PM »
And suddenly this story picks up pace :)

Chapter 40

Hanz had demanded to see Dieter, before telling the knights anything at all. They had taken him outside the booth, and Hanz could see the force of knights. Hanz had served in a lot of battles, but he had never before seen that many knights. They were all from the same order, the sacred scythe. It was an amazing and terrifieng sight. A sea of black armour and a wood of scythes, resting on the shoulders of every knight, under the green moon. The knight had taken Hanz to a small tent, where Dieter was being treated. Even though Dieter was still passed out at the time, he seemed to be in recovery.

The flame crackled above Hanz' head, lighting the path in front of him. The tunnel was covered in webs and the tiles which had once been placed, were nearly gone. His handgun was dangling on his back, hitting him in a rythm controlled by his walk. The knights behind him were silent, as silent as a fully amoured man can be. Sometimes a scythe would cut the roof of the tunnel. Had Dieter been walking down here, he would have been scared out of his mind. Hanz halted. They had to be right under the castle now. A knight behind him cleared his throat, and Hanz walked on again. Up ahead he could se a ladder. It came closer and became more defined. A skeleton was holding the bottom steps, not a good sign. A knight stepped forward. He climbed the ladder swiftly and tried the hatch. It was locked.

"Do you think you can shoot the lock to pieces?" He asked Hanz.

"I'll try"

He aimed his handgun at the lock. His hand followed the carvings down to the trigger. He fired the handgun and felt the well known punch to the shoulder. The hatch blew open. Three knights went up the ladder.

"No danger" A voice said from above.

All the knights who had followed Hanz in the tunnel went up the ladder, exept one. He seemed more calm and experienced than the others. Hanz could hear suprised voices from the room above. He thought he recognized the voices above, but they seemed to be from another life. The somewhat safe and secure life he had within the castle walls. The knight who was still in the tunnel turned to Hanz. Hanz could see that his black armour had golden trims. His black cape and hood had small patterns in white following the outlines. He had to be some kind of a leader.

"Lets head back to your booth. When the knights inside signal us. We will charge the undead from the rear."

As they entered the booth They could tell that the battle at the castle walls had increased. The leader knight asked for a report. The beastmen had in their bloodrush stormed the castle, and had begun to ignore the undead, who then attacked the castle as well. It was not looking good. Hanz spotted a man in the outskirts of the wood close the battle.

"Sir, over there in the wood.. a.. a.. something is sneaking around!" Hanz wispered to the Knight.

"That is a man sneaking around over there." He seemed satisfied that Hanz had first spotted the man now.

"Actually a lot of men. We've brought some huntsmen along, we figured they would make excellent distraction."

Hanz could see them now. A lot of figures sneaking around in the woods. Climbing the trees positioning themselves so that they could hit the temple of any beastman. Hanz felt the feeling of hope rise once again within him. His memories became clearer, changing status from myths to history. He could feel his heartbeat again, he felt alive again. Hanz got a grim feeling, had he just awoken from the depths of an infected mind, a chaotic mind?

"That was the signal, lets chop down some undead!"
Hold your head up high
Raise your fist up in the air
Play metal louder than hell
Louder than hell!

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #58 on: April 08, 2009, 04:10:04 AM »
Reflecting upon the events of the past few moments, Jaffir considered his options. At first he was startled by their unexpected arrival from behind, however now it appears that fortune was on his side.

The Beasts were drawn to the castle just as he was. However upon their arrival, they were meet with an army, and their primal instinct overcame them. Jaffir had ordered his son to quickly withdrawn the troops back into the forest. Loses were larger than expected, but were still acceptable, and easily replenishable. The cannons were damaged and abandoned, but could be replaced later. They had torn holes in the castles defenses, and phase two of the plan was now underweigh.

Withdrawal of the main portion of the army was the best course of action, allowing the beasts to focus once more on the castle occupants, sowing further confusion. Wachhon the Necromancer was however tasked with remaining, providing adequate diversion for any onlookers from the castle, and thinning the numbers of any beasts that remained. The withdrawal was also exceedingly well timed; a troupe of knights and their commoner entourage arrived at the booth but moments after the silent withdrawal. They made a defensive perimetre around the booth while they prepared themselves for battle.

Looking to the sky, a swarm of bats, and masses of fell bats and unholy riders on winged nightmares approached the breached tower towards the south. His son led them, his will would ensure a foothold in the castle. The men on the parapets did not even notice their advance in the dark sky.

A meagre 50 knights would not halt him tonight. Jaffir silently ordered the advance of his soldiers with a nod.
The scavengers on the outskirts of the army; the ghouls dressed as beggars and citizens rushed ahead of the battleline through the woods, back towards the booth.

-----

Positioned on a branch up high amongst the woods, his vantage point was ideal. Looking back he could see the gleaming black armour of the knights, beyond them the castle looming from the rocky crag in the ravine. Forward he could only see darkness and trees. That was until he saw something move. Things were coming, and quickly.

"Ghouls" he yelled towards his group of fellow marksmen. He made a signal back towards the knight camp, hoping that they would see him before they were upon them. Readying his bow, he let loose an arrow at one the fast approaching fiends. Striking it between the eyes, it ceased its unlife immediately, however its momentum kept its body skidding through the undergrowth. The others in his group also loosed their shots, others not as lucky. The ghouls approached the huntsment group quickly, those on the ground was were ripped to pieces. Other ghouls began climbing the trees with an unnatural speed. Wilhelm took another shot, felling a ghoul climbing a nearby comrade's trunk. The ghouls body fell, landing in the underbrush with a thud. Hagen nodded his thanks, when a look of horror crossed his face.

The clawed hand gripped his ankle, throwing Wilhelm off balance. Reaching out, one hand managed to grasp a nearby branch, while his other drew his sword. Striking at the hand, he sliced it off at the wrist, eliciting a spiteful snarl from below. The hand however remained unnaturally clutched onto his ankle. Reaching down, Wilhelm tried to remove it with the hilt of the sword, and in that moment, the ghoul reached with his other hand, and pulled hard on Wilhelms neck. Loosing balance completely, he fell from the branch. With all his strength, he stabbing in the direction of his attacker as he fell. He saw the blade enter the ghoul through the side of his gut, and then his gravity pulled it down through the groin, dislodging the ghoul's grip its clawed feet had on the tree trunk.

Falling through the foliage, Wilhelm made a prayer to Sigmar and Morr to guide him to the afterlife. Wilhelm did his best to look back towards the camp of knights, hoping to see his sacrifice had given them the time they needed to succeed, but he could only see sky. A sky with bats and winged things heading towards the castle. And then Wilhelm saw no more.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2009, 04:14:59 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #59 on: April 09, 2009, 02:22:01 PM »
CHAPTER 42

Grandmaster Krieger whirled just in time to avoid a mortal wound. Instead, the chaos blade of the Daemon Prince Geilir tore into his left side, leaving a deep gash. He yelled out in pain, but the seasoned warrior returned a defensive elbow jab back, connecting fully to the jaw of the over-extended Ernst, and catching his wrist with his right hand he pushed the young traitor to the ground. Ernst continued to squirm, cursing and bellowing what would sound like gibberish to most folks, only after this evening Krieger knew well that this was the black speech of chaos.

He continued to pin the possessed guard, but his fatigue and wounds were taxing him too greatly, and adrenalin alone wasn’t going to keep Krieger in the fight. Ernst was truly a man possessed; Krieger could see it in his eyes. His eyes were enchanting and evil just like Geilir’s were. Just like…

“You bastard Daemon…you’ve possessed this young man haven’t you?” Krieger said.

Ernst began to laugh the unforgettable laugh of Geilir. Francine cried out in terror, which was more than enough confirmation for Krieger, who knew that this situation was about to swing the other way. He could feel Ernst’s arm twisting, trying to bring the blade to bear against him. It seemed as if Ernst was only getting stronger the longer he continued to laugh that daemonic laugh of his.

++++

On the other side of the room, the Acolytes of Light continued to fight amongst themselves as Joshi’s spell continued to hold them. The smoldering Drandorf was now mostly out of the fight. The wizard had fallen to his brother once again, and if not for Joshi it is conceivable to assume that Jauchman might have finished him off. Joshi lowered himself down, closer to Drandorf.

“Master,” Drandorf reached out, and stammered, “I have failed you…”

Joshi crouched down, and leaned over to speak to Drandorf: “I’d say so Sir. All I wanted is that stone hanging from your brother’s neck, I didn’t need him dead. I care nothing about whatever revenge or twisted family issues you mortals have with each other, I just want that stone.” Joshi stood back up while Drandorf continued to issue some sort of apology, but Joshi wouldn’t have it.

“Do you still wish to serve me?” Joshi asked Drandorf.

“Yes master! I do…” croaked Drandorf.

“Good. Than here is your reward,” Joshi reached out and tapped Drandorf on the forehead.

“Thank you…” Drandorf said with an intoxicated smile…

++++

The spell was suddenly lifted. Jauchman wasn’t even aware that he and his acolytes were under a spell until it stopped. They looked at each other confusedly. Toji released Grayiel from the headlock and muttered “Sorry…” while Mikel took his foot off Jauchan and helped him to his feet. They brushed themselves off and, turned their attention back toward their intended foes.

The boy was now on the ground, giggling as he patted the fleshy mass on one of it’s heads. The head looked like Drandorf.

“Men…retreat to the north tower….”spoke Jauchman softly, “We must complete the ritual.”

 And as the Acolytes of Light slowly moved out of the cursed chamber, Joshi addressed the spawn that was Drandorf:

“Complete your mission: Bring me that stone!!!”

And the spawn leaped out and darted off with incredible haste after the now sprinting wizards.

++++

Kurt was one of the ten guards assigned to guard the roof top of the north tower and to protect the Acolytes of Light. They were armed with Crossbows and swords, but when the fighting started they were mostly forgotten about. Sgt. Hausbergen had not sent any new orders, so they waited in reserve. They could hear the chaotic fighting below, and could see the swirling combat taking place on the other side of the crevasse, but were too far away to contribute anything. Kurt decided to check on the Acolytes, their leader had asked them to stay on the roof and not disturb them, but since the light had stopped a few hours ago, Kurt felt it was safe to check it out.

He stepped inside and found nobody within. Just a few mostly burnt out candles. He poked around for a few minutes, just to ease his curiosity, before heading to the door, which was ajar. He pulled it open and stuck his head out into the hallway. The guard was not at his post, but he could hear something coming up the stairs. It sounded like multiple people running fast up the stone steps. He unslung his crossbow and stepped back inside the chamber, but only partially so he could continue to view the stairs. Suddenly the wizards appeared, wide-eyed with terror. The one in front saw him and yelled,
“Out of the way you fool!!!”

Kurt stepped aside into the hall as the four wizards practically dived back into their chamber. Kurt, confused as to what was going on, stayed in the hallway. He could still hear something bounding up the stairs. He lowered his crossbow. Yet when he saw the monstrosity come into view, terror and revulsion prevented him from firing the weapon. He wanted to step into the chamber, but the wizards had slammed it shut, and were bracing it when the spawn descended upon Kurt, tearing him apart in a matter of seconds.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 02:30:55 AM by neverness »

Offline Buddha90

  • Posts: 106
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #60 on: April 10, 2009, 11:06:26 PM »
Chapter 43

Hanz stared with an open mouth as the ghouls overran the huntsmen in the woods. The huntsmen never stood a chance. The ghouls were everywhere in the woods. The knights did not seem suprised though.

"They attacked earlier than expected, Grand Master" One said calmly.

"Not that it matters" The Grand master replied as the dropped a torch on the ground.

A straight line of fire ran across the earth, creating a flaming wall between the knights and the ghouls tearing apart the last hunstsmen. The flames continued hastly to the forest and the trees, in which hunstmen had been hiding seconds earlier, ignited like giant torches. The ghouls were covered in flames and seeing that their way to the knights were blocked, they ran back to their master in the hope of being saved from their burning destiny. As the flaming ghouls ran through the undead masses, more of them ignited.

"Sir... Sir, the huntsmen.. Those still alive were they.. burned?" Hanz asked quivering.

The Grand Master smiled at Hanz.

"We are here to slay the undead, the huntsmen did their part and Morr will take good care of them in the afterlife. Now if you do not mind to much guardsman, we need silence to perform the next part"

Hanz held his hand up infront of his mouth, he was not going to bother these knights. He did not want to end up as another of their sacrifices in exterminating the undead.

Three flaming arrows were fired up into the air inside the castle. That must have been the sign the knights were waiting for, because now they began to form. Ready to attack. It was an awe inspirering sight. Rows of knights, clad in black armour all armed with scythes reflecting the green moon of Morr. Hanz could feel the cold sweat on his back. They stood no chance against the undead horde and yet they seemed to be in absolute control of the situation. Up at the castle walls the beastmen and daemons had stopped fighting eachother and united against their common enemy inside the castle.

Hanz thought of the sun. He could not remember how daylight looked like. This night had erased all memory. It all seemed like another life. He felt as if he was already in the realm of Morr, dead. Now four flaming arrows were shot into the air.

"Soon my fellow knights, soon" The Grand Master said silently and calm.

Hanz could feel his heart in his throat now. What had they planned? There was no way they could kill all those undead. Even if they could, beastmen and daemons were waiting longer within this mass of evil. Suddenly Hanz was tired, he fought the impossible fight against his eyes. They closed and for a second, Hanz was at peace. He wasn't scared or anxious. He was calm. A voice spoke to him. It was a warm and caring voice. It was telling him that everything was going to be alright. Hanz opened his eyes. He would not fall asleep. He did not want to meet the horrors lurking in his dreams.

Five arrows. This had to be the final signal. And yet the knights were stationary. The knight nex to the Grand Master raised his hand at the arrows. He began to mumble. Ten arrows. The knight's hand was glowing with a dim white light. The arrows multiplied again. The hand became brighter and as the knight's hand became brighter and his mumbling became words of magic, the arrows multiplied into a vast swarm of flaming arrows. The Grand Master shouted to Hanz.

"I know Grand Master Krieger from battles long gone. He has an item that ignites arrows with pure sunlight"

The rain of white arrows covered the undead horde, the daemons and the beastmen. The knights began to move towards the enemy with increasing speed.

Hold your head up high
Raise your fist up in the air
Play metal louder than hell
Louder than hell!

Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #61 on: April 26, 2009, 01:47:29 PM »
CHAPTER 44

Rakthor stood with his retinue at the edge of the crevasse. He watched as the three Bray Shaman hurled their spells upon the necromancers in the vampire army that was waiting for them at the foot of the human castle. With loud bellowing and bleating the assaulting herds stormed forward to wage war against anything that stood in their way, but Rakthor was surprised to find this army standing before them as when they came out of the woods into the clearing before the castle. His scouts had not reported any sort of undead or necromantic activity at this Imperial stronghold, but before he could assess the situation further, his army, already far too worked up in a frenzy, charged into battle. And what a glorious battle it is!

Despite the melee in the center of the clearing, the main strategy was being adhered too. The ungors brought the ladders needed to cross the crevasse, and conveniently, the undead army had already blasted a few holes into the wall for easy access to the castle. A group of large minotaurs assaulted a cannon battery, destroying the war machines before the undead crew could move them.

Just as Rakthor and his retinue were set to move toward the castle walls for their assault, a group of vampire riders were upon them! They would’ve smashed his unit if not for their counter-assault which seemed to surprise the undead. Rakthor, and his chosen guard, were armed with blades crudely forged from the remains of a chunk of warpstone his herd had found in a crater deep within the forest some time ago, perhaps a meteorite chipped from Morrslieb. Tonight, of all nights, these blades were at their most mighty under the green glow of the moon. Rakthor’s blade sliced through the vampire rider’s armor, and the undead was vanquished in a howling shriek, as it’s armor collapsed in a heap of dust. Although fearless, these masters of the undead were not stupid, and after the rider’s numbers had been reduced to half of what they were before the charge, they pulled back, into the forest. Rakthor’s unit gave chase, and as they did so, he could tell the undead army was in disarray.

Or was it…?

He ordered them to stop. The undead army was refocusing. As it pulled back into woods, they redressed their ranks, and were cutting down the small skirmishing bands of beastmen that were chasing them. This was a trap! A shadow fluttered over him, and he looked up to see a massive cloud of bats descend upon the castle. While on the ground a black robed wizard was directing the undead to reform behind the beast’s that were assaulting the castle.

As his unit was making it’s way toward the wizard in black, another army arrived from road. Approximately fifty knights armed with scythes. They concentrated on securing the guardhouse opposite the main gate to the castle. This was not a strategic asset to Rakthor and he was content on letting those knights have it. Watching the castle situation, his army had encountered and was fighting with a host of daemons that were within in it, but the two forces were now combined and were defeating the men that opposed it. Daemons were erupting through the breach in the wall and crossing the ladders to fight the undead.

It was a glorious, chaotic mess, and regardless of the outcome, Rakthor was satisfied with the level of destruction that was wrought here tonight. It would take the humans months to recover; more than enough time for his herd to reclaim this part of the forest and have it’s revenge for the desecration of their herd stones.

As his unit stood at the precipice of the woods, he spotted, not too far away a lone vampire. He saw it gesture and with that gesture a horde of undead shambled in the direction of the guard booth. Rakthor realized that this was the vampire lord. This was one whose defeat could turn the tide of the night. He ordered his retinue forward, and they advanced upon the gloating figure that seemed unaware of their approach.


Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #62 on: May 14, 2009, 02:20:27 AM »
No more contributions? Has this gotten too convulted? Well, allow me to indulge further:

CHAPTER 45   

The door continued to buckle, yet hold, under the pressure being exerted on it from the spawn on the other side of it. The rooftop guards had rushed in to support the cadre of wizards and were now trying to brace the doors. The team of acolytes were chanting, beginning the ritual they had trained their entire careers for, yet hoped never to cast. Jauchman was leading the group, hardening his heart and mind, and preparing to become one with Light.

Yet the forces of Darkness and Chaos had allies with far more sinister agendas. Outside, the war was raging so intense it seemed that the battle was shaking the foundations of the castle. Soon, it would end though, and Jauchman knew that this ritual would cleanse this place of their taint and wash it with his light.

A swarm of bats suddenly fluttered into the room. The squeaks, squeals and flapping of wings surprised the wizards, yet they held on to the chanting rhythm. The guards were not so resolute, and were freaking out, some flailing the air with their weapons, hoping to fend off the nocturnal pests. So distracted were they, that they failed to notice the larger foe, quietly touching down on the landing outside.

++++

Rosenkrantz the Younger, arguably a misnomer for a hundred year vampire, was eager to complete his mission. His father’s necromancer, Wachhon, had foreseen a terrible fate that awaited them if these bastard wizards were not dealt with. They possessed an item that had to be destroyed at all costs. And Jaffir’s son had sacrificed quite a lot this night, his knights that he proudly led in undeath, were now destroyed, brought down in the swirling confusion of war in the courtyard below. Yet, he prevailed and, drawing his blade, was about to successfully extinguish this tower’s light permanently.

“I don’t think I can let you do that Siam.” A young voice said.
   
Looking up, the young vampire spotted a boy perched on the tower’s pointed roof; only this boy had a pair of talons where his feet should be and a pair of wings with multi-colored feathers sprouting from his back. Newly bestowed gifts from him master Tzeentch.

“Who are you to challenge me? And who are you so cursed by fate to have knowledge of my name?” he hissed back.

Joshi chuckled, and shrugged, “I am a servant of Tzeentch. I know lots of stuff. I know what you want to do to the thing I’m here to retrieve, and I just can’t let you do that.”

“Boy, those wizards possess a threat that must be eliminated from this world, or my kind will…will…” Siam Rosenkrantz slowly stopped speaking when Joshi started to laugh, and this insolence angered the son of Jaffir.

“Silly dead thing that refuses to die! Look, when I possess that item, I promise you, it NO longer will BE in this world! Indeed, I’m taking it to my master’s realm so I can, well, never mind that, but trust me this once if you trust me at all, it will not be a threat to you.”

“No, you mingle with Daemons. You seek to use this weapon to secure your power over this world, and I’ll be twice damned to commit suicide by agreeing to any offer you make!” Siam son of Jaffir said raising his blade to grasp the hilt with both hands.

Joshi continued to laugh, but louder now; “You’re hilarious! Twice damned? Suicide? Oh, my; that’s good stuff!”

The light from the wizard’s room grew more intense, and brighter still. It was now the brightest it had been all night, and cast a shadow far mightier than the descending Morrslieb, which was now partially obscured by trees.

“My…father, I think I’m too late…!” uttered Rosenkrantz the younger, as he turned from the boy, shielding his burning eyes with one hand, and stepped into the chamber.

++++

Gregor the field surgeon was getting over the shock of it all. He had stared at the fire that was once Arst until it was but embers. The night was almost over, and the terrors that he could hear seemed to be muffled to him compared to the shock of what had happened to Arst. He eventually turned, and sat down in the dirt and grime of the battlements to watch the battle below. He knew he should return to his post, assist with the wounded that must be stacking up in the clinic, yet just didn’t see the point. There was no way imperial forces could pull out a win here. And when he saw more minions of evil, undead and beasts, join the fray between man and daemon it just seemed pointless. No, from here, he could fling himself off the wall into the crevasse to avoid whatever torments these things had in mind for him. At least suicide offered him the path to least pain.

These thoughts rattled through his tortured mind. It stupefied him just how badly he was torn up by Arst’s fate, that he was even contemplating ending his own life after fifteen years of sewing up the guts of others and trying to prolong their pointless lives.

The light from the tower, it had returned. For the first time in hours, Gregor experienced hope! He could tell that, although the light was faint, as it renewed it’s intensity, the imperial forces seemed to be rallying, and the forces of evil, seemed less invigorated than they were minutes before.

Gregor walked along the rear wall. It was lightly defended, with only a few guards, as most of them were fighting in the castle’s front. He headed toward the tower, it just seemed safer there. As he moved along the wall, he kept looking up, and at one point, spotted a winged figure fly from the area of the keep where the Grandmaster’s quarters were, to the top of the north tower.

He quickened his pace, he somehow knew that he just had to get up there, and fast!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2009, 12:26:19 PM by neverness »

Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #63 on: May 22, 2009, 02:57:57 PM »
Still no more contributions! Well, forgive my further indulgence...  :icon_twisted:

CHAPTER 46

After the wizards had left the room, Ernst, seemingly possessed by the Daemon Prince Geilir, had gained the upper hand on Krieger by rolling over and pinning the Grandmaster. The Grandmaster was quite surprised by the young man’s strength despite the fact that the laughing madman was clearly possessed. His laughter filled the chamber, making a further mockery of the butchered and desecrated corpses that filled it.

With a gurgle, Ernst’s laughter ceased, his eyes stared blankly as a steady stream of blood seeped from his mouth. Sensing his slack, Grandmaster Krieger pushed the possessed madman away from him, and the body of Ernst slapped hard on the ground. Francine, daughter of Mayor Schatz, stood trembling while holding the daemonic blade of Geilir. Ernst must of have dropped it when Krieger pinned him, and she in turn retrieved it. She had a bewildered look about her, as if she was surprised she had done it; the look of one who had killed for the first time but as if she had discovered a new power that she never knew she had the potential of utilizing. Krieger knew full well that this daemon weapon was far too corrupting for it to remain in her grasp for long.

“Good work lass, “ spoke Krieger as he slowly rose up, “but I think I should have that now,” Krieger was wincing as he spoke as the many wounds along his body each screamed for medical attention.

Francine did not speak, but she stopped trembling. She seemed to be relishing her achievement, almost as if drawing power from the experience of the kill.

“No!” Krieger knew what was happening, and knew he had to get the blade away from her. “Francine, you must discard that weapon! It is more than a blade! It is far more dangerous!”

Yet, he could tell his pleas where not getting through, she grinned a sinister grin that belied a truth that Krieger, with all his heart, did not want to accept.

++++

Rakthor and the Vampire lord were locked in combat. Their duel had been going on for a few minutes. His retinue was slaughtered, as were the allies of Jaffir Rosenkrantz who had ran to assist him. It was difficult to determine who would win this match up, but fate was to intervene preventing the natural conclusion of this duel.

Scores and scores of brilliant flaming arrows rained down upon the plain. Brighter and hotter than the sun, they ignited the pelts of the beastmen on contact, and utterly immolated the undead. The vampire lord howled as the lights of the approaching arrows seared his flesh. One arrow hit him directly and he exploded in flame. Rakthor, dove away, narrowly avoiding the cleansing flame himself. He retrieved his bearings, and turned to take in the whole battlefield. The arrows had done a great job in devastating the armies of the undead and beastmen. The daemons caught in the onslaught were destroyed immediately. Now, a hard line of scythe wielding knights was methodically advancing forward, striking down all that oppose them.

Rakthor wasn’t too savage to know when he was on the losing side, and if he hoped to have any followers after this night, they would need to fall back. He was pleased with what they had achieved here, even if it wasn’t a total victory, it was enough to hamper the men in this region for the foreseeable future.

He sounded his horn with loud blasts. Most of the beasts pulled back, fleeing and broken they began scattering back into the woods.  Those that didn’t pull back were still too caught up in their frenzy to disengage, and remained locked in combat. It seemed the knights were more interested in crushing the undead, but he knew this window to pull out was closing fast.

Rakthor sounded the horn again, trying to disengage more of his warriors from the burning battlefield before he himself would turn from this battle. As he sounded his last call with the horn, Rakthor’s world suddenly went black.

++++

“You got him! Right in the head!” Shouted Friedrech.

“That was a tricky shot indeed,” understated Sgt. Griff Hausbergen, as he exchanged handguns with the powder boy, “he was further out than I thought we could hit at this range…”

Sergeant Hausbergen had the best seat in the house for watching the way this battle unfolded. At one point, he was certain that they were done for. But now, with the aid of the Knights of the Sacred Scythe, his men stood vigilant at their post on the castle wall, blasting volley after volley of leaded death into the foe. They continued to do so even as the beastmen were breaking and running, trying to pick off the stragglers while the knights worked through the undead elements on the burning battle field.

Suddenly there was a bright light, far more brilliant than the rain of sun-soaked arrows from moments before. Griff turned to see what this was, as sunrise wasn't expected for at least another hour. He was surprised to find that the light was coming from the north tower. The actual stone was glowing, as if it’s physical structure was transforming into light.

“Gentlemen,” Griff shouted, “I think we ought to go…!”


« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 08:03:53 PM by neverness »

Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (The final chapters)
« Reply #64 on: August 04, 2009, 02:13:54 AM »
I still think we told an awesome story, and I don't want to leave it hanging around unfinished. Well, I've been totally stuck on what to do with the 2 guards. Every other subplot, I pretty much have an ending in mind...


But, now I have some ideas, over the next few weeks, I will be wrapping this up tight. I still welcome other contributions however! Even if you don't fancy yourself as a writer, but have an idea or a weird twist, throw at me, and I might use it.

Thanks so far for everyone who helped!


« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 02:16:16 AM by neverness »

Offline neverness

  • Posts: 545
Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
« Reply #65 on: August 04, 2009, 03:21:33 AM »
CHAPTER 47

As the sky slowly crept from black to violet, Hanz knew the night was finally almost over. He also knew, that he was probably still going to die. He watched as the Knights of the Sacred Scythe cut down the final skeleton warriors. The undead and beastmen armies had been routed, the straggling bands of beasts limping back to their dark holes, while the undead masters sought refuge from the approaching sunrise.

 The north tower was the curiosity that vexed these Morr worshipping knights, they seemed strangely offended by it’s glow. Hanz, found himself leaving the company of the knights, who were mostly occupied with dragging corpses of undead and beasts over to a bonfire that was raging in the middle of the field. Once the combat seemed to wrap up, they had immediately sought to clean up the evil influence on this field of battle and eradicate it. This did not interest Hanz, but the tower’s glow did. More curiously, the guard booth began to glow with equal strength to the tower. Hanz thought it best that he be in that booth…there was something about these knights that did not seem right. He retrieved Dieter from the tent where he was resting and mending his wounds, and brought him back to the booth.

Now, they were both sitting up in the booth, watching the sky brighten, the stars fade, and Morrslieb pale and sink behind the trees. The walls were being abandoned by the guard, as the north tower intensified in brightness. Suddenly there was a thunderous electrical crack that made every hair on the men stand up. Dieter yelled out and they both shielded their eyes from the massive column of white light that replaced the tower.

 A column of roaring light and energy shot up into the sky. The white light overwhelmed the early dawn and this new source of light washed over everything that it touched. Everything tainted by chaos flashed out of existence. The corpses upon the ground, the squirming undead still struggling to gain purchase against the Sacred Scythes were eradicated in an instant. A few stray daemons flashed out of existence as well. A particularly bright light flashed down in the gorge, perhaps another group of bloodletters gathering for another assault?

From up high, and bright ball was ejected from the column of light, it screamed a hideous wail as it arched burning to the ground. It landed not far from the booth, and both guards held tight to their weapons as they watched it, flailing upon the ground. It was a boy that writhed in the dust and dirt, he was screaming in tongues not familiar to the guards and he fought in vain against the burning light that was consuming him, until finally, he too winked out of existence.

The two guards turned to each other, speechless, they turned their attention back to the field, only to find that it was now empty. There was no sign of the Knights of the Sacred Scythes. No bodies, no stray weapons, no tents, no camp, not even a glimpse or sound of a caravan slinking off down the road. The only evidence of their presence, were the bandages on Dieter.

“What in…?” muttered Hanz, stupefied, “I can…they were here! Right?”

“Yes…” Dieter wasn't staring at the lack of knights on the field, but rather the bandages on his body.

The light continued to roar and crackle, and it seemed that the ground near the castle was beginning to shake from it’s intensity.

   The drawbridge lowered again, and this time a horde of people surged out of the gates, pushing and shoving in it’s panic to escape it. Ironically, as fear overwhelmed some of the crowd’s civility and base needs for survival overwhelmed them, those who sought to benefit from the fall of another for his own survival, was winked out by the light. This immediate retribution from the almighty column of light only spread the panic, which in turn, spread the punishment.

   It was happening so fast: the hordes of civilians, guards, and foot knights, who ran past the booth, that Dieter and Hanz didn’t think to run themselves.

   It’s a good thing too, as the foundation of the castle finally cracked, a section of wall toppling over into the crevasse. The castle seemed to be sinking and rising, as if the very foundation was replaced with a gelatinous substance. Then, another thunderous crack, replacing all with an intense light. The two guards were knocked over in their booth, both scorched, deafened and blinded. Then, after the ringing in their ears subsided, there was only a calm, eerie silence….

« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 03:19:15 PM by neverness »

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
« Reply #66 on: August 08, 2009, 03:14:17 PM »
CHAPTER 48

Early morning, the day after Geheimnisnacht, the world is picking up its pieces. The Knights of The Blazing Sun had sent out patrols, as it always does on this day, and the patrols so far had encountered very few scenes of destruction and mayhem. It had seemed like a mild night this year. One patrol in particular was to discover that this was not actually the case. Sir Heinz was leading the patrol that was supposed to meet with a patrol from the Knights Jaguar. They waited for over an hour, and for the first time in decades, the rendezvous did not occur. Sir Heinz decided to split his group, having it continue with their rounds, while the other group would investigate the region that the Knights Jaguar was supposed to patrol.

Into the forest the patrol went, passing through the empty village. Everything seemed fine, accept for the odd stray animal. A few people who stayed in the village described the usual strange noises and other chaotic weirdness common with Gehimnisnacht, but nothing terribly calamitous.

Pressing on, the patrol of knights arrived at the smoke shrouded ravine, where Castle Krieger stood. They were in awe to see a pile of rubble where the proud keep was supposed to be. The outer wall, cracked and sundered, seemed to have been burst from within. The north tower still stood, however the top was an endlessly burning torch of white-hot flame. Debris was everywhere, huge stone blocks that were the engineering wonder of their day appeared to have been moved as if cast away by a child discarding toy blocks. Scorch marks randomly dotted the ground. The scene was clearly the definition of chaos.

As the knights moved slowly up the road, to the ravine’s edge, they stopped before the only structure that still seemed intact and normal: the little guard booth. There was movement from within, and a voice issued out from it.
“Who goes there?”

“Sir Heinz, Knight of the Blazing…”

“THANK SIGMAR!!!” another, haggard looking guard said as he stumbled out of the booth. The other guard followed, both men smiling as they did so. They looked terrible. One was clearly injured and bloodied. They both appeared sleepless and covered in soot and ash. And dried blood.

After calming the two guards down, and providing them with water, Sir Heinz proceeded to ask the obvious question too ask: what in Sigmar’s name had happened?

The one called Hanz was clearly the smart one of the two and was telling the story of what had transpired, when one of Heinz’ men yelled from the edge of the crevasse:

“Sir! There is someone down here! I think he’s alive!”

Dismounted, the Knights along with the two guards gathered along edge of the crevasse. About four meters down as a man clinging to some vines with one arm, and hold a woman with his other. It was obvious he was tangled up in the brush that grew along the crevasse wall, and it was this brush that kept him from falling to his demise.

It took sometime for the knights to figure out how to lower ropes down and retrieve these two people. While that was going on, some of the other knights explored the scene more thoroughly. They found the bonfire pit, now smoldering embers, to be of interest. Chaos icon were found scattered in the ash, and the bones could be easily identified as beastmen. A few knights were contemplating the bridge, tempting to explore the ruined Castle.

As the man was brought forth, a small cloud of buzzing flies and a horrible stench followed him. He tried to speak, but thirst had made his words croak and raspy.

   “Conserve your Strength sir, “ one of the Knights advised him.

“Save the girl…” the man said, eyes rolling back.

“Hey, that’s Grandmaster Krieger!” exclaimed Hanz.

“The same Krieger you lads saw climb out of this pit and jump over this crevasse, and into the Castle?” Heinz turned with a half serious smirk on his face.

The two guards looked upon each other, looked back to Heinz and answered in unison: “Yes!” and they both took a few steps back.

Heinz turned his attention back to the pit where his knights were pulling the two people free from the pit, the tragedy of the situation was punctuated more firmly, as they wrested the girl away from Krieger, it was clear little could be down for her. One of her legs was gone, and most of her insides were dangling out of the hole. She was covered in flies, and most likely dead. Krieger seemed too shocked, too tired to comprehend the hopelessness of the situation as he rolled over into the grass. A knight offered him some water, which he gulped down automatically. 

Studying the girl, one of the Knights noticed that in one hand, she grasped a sword. He reached down to retrieve it, but as he touched the blade, the girls eyes were thrust open, and with unnatural speed she rose up, and swung with her blade, sending the disembodied head of the knight soaring over the edge of the crevasse.

As the rest of the Knights of the Blazing Sun scrambled to pull their weapons, the screeching girl cut down another Knight. Her entrails writhed down from the mortal wound, and they twisted to act like a second leg. The cloud of flys grew more intense, and their buzzing intensified.

“Father Nurgle thanks you for your aid!” hissed the gruesome girl, whose eyes were solid black, and skin necrotic. Two knights charged, but they were no match for this evil thing and were cut down by the wicked blade.

Two gunshots rang out, and the girl was blasted back, and tumbled back over the crevasse’s edge, screaming and howling as she tumbled over, smashing along the rocks along her decent. The Knights turned to see the two guards, quickly reloading their handguns.

“What?” asked Hanz glancing up at the relieved Knights, “You don’t think two bullets took her out do you?” and he along with Dieter continued to reload their weapons.

“Well, that and rocks, yes, I do believe her threat is over.” Said one of the knights, looking over the crevasse’s edge.

“Yeah, her bits are everywhere down there…that’s just gruesome!” added another knight.

Other knights were attending their stricken down comrades, while some of the others attended Kreiger, who was now unconscious. Hanz and Dieter approached Heinz, who standing over the blade that the girl had, which was now laying in the grass. He was staring at it intensely. He started to crouch down, and reach toward it…

“Are you sure you want ta do that Sir?” asked Hanz with an advisory tone.

Heinz flashed them a wicked glance, a look to kill so to speak, but it quickly left him and he realized what was happening. With a look of disgust he rose back up and kicked the unholy blade across the crevasse, where it clanged against the side of the castle wall, bounced down the maw of the crevasse clattering and clanging it’s way to the bottom.

He turned back to the two guards, gave them a nod, smiled and patted the shoulder’s of one of his men.

“Let’s see what’s in this castle,”
« Last Edit: August 08, 2009, 03:21:28 PM by neverness »

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
« Reply #67 on: August 13, 2009, 01:17:18 AM »
Sorry I haven't added much of late, but just to show you I am still interested, here is a little something...

CHAPTER 49

Clattering steel awoke him.

Rocks and debris covered him almost completely, but the sound rang out into his consciousness. With as much strength as he could muster, he pulled himself from under the pile. His right hand was still strong, and with it he was able to pull himself to his feet.

His head hurt. His body hurt. The fact that he had survived bewildered him, but slowly strength returned to him. Looking at his hand, he noticed his ring was glowing - a calm yet powerful glowing. Surely he owed his fate to this trinket.

Standing in the shadow of the ruins of what was once the castle, he looked up the crevasse. The sun was shining, gleaming off the armour of men crossing the bridge. Their voices echoed downwards, and they did not see him in the shadows.

The source of the sound that awoke him, the clattering sword that fell down into the crevasse was presented before him. It appeared to be embedded in solid stone only metres from where he stood. There it was, drenched in sunlight, calling to him.

Knowing that he had little time before he was discovered, he considered his options. Should he attempt to retrieve the blade? Or should he search for the crystal that powered the light explosion, causing the castle's destruction?
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 01:30:19 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
« Reply #68 on: August 19, 2009, 01:44:14 AM »
CHAPTER 50

Moments passed. Long moments. His eyes were mesmerized on the sword. He could hear a seductive voice whispering to him, tempting him, longing for his touch. The sword needed him. And he needed the sword. He wanted to feel it in his grasp. He wanted the smooth yet jagged blade to be an extension of his arm. He wanted to feel complete.

A shout from the ruins above broke the spell, but for a moment. But that moment was enough for him to realise that his fate had been changed last night, and he needed to keep his composure.
Perhaps the shout was the cursed Light Wizard sensing his presence.
Perhaps it was the owner of the sword wishing to reclaim it.
Perhaps the men above had spotted him.
One thing was clear, he needed to leave, and quickly.

Not risking his willpower once again, he turned from the sword without another glance.
Not risking burning pain, he turned from the ruins, and the column of burning light.

Sticking to the shadows of the valley, the darkness where he belonged, he secretly departed the scene, with not a soul noticing his passing.

His destiny was now his to write.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2009, 01:55:44 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
« Reply #69 on: August 23, 2009, 02:10:43 PM »
CHAPTER 51   
They stood before it. It’s walls a transparent field of solid white light. A flame, also white, blazed at the top. It stood as a brilliant beacon rising from the ruins of the castle. Swirling patterns, shapes, could be seen circulating counter clock-wise within.

The group of Knights stood at the gate house, in awe. Hanz and Dieter were there as well, the castle’s ruin moving Dieter to silent tears while Hanz just scanned the ruins in utter astonishment. The South Tower, they watched collapse a few hours prior. It's upper section had crushed the master stables, and filled up a great portion of the courtyard. The main keep was pocked with gaping holes, especially near the top where the Grand Master’s private level was. It seemed that Keep was the most salvageable. Sigmar knows what could ever be down with the North Tower.

They remained silent, and slowly worked their way over to the North Tower, picking through the debris. Scorch marks littered the scene, but it was difficult to determine what they could’ve been. Daemon? Human? Some time a tool or trapping could be found protruding from the dust to give a hint. They found themselves standing before the tower. They were all equally stunned to discover what the swirling things within this tower of light were: souls.

Every being claimed by the light was absorbed into the tower: Daemon, beastman, undead, and human; a wailing tornado of souls. They seemed to see the people outside and were screaming and begging them to help as the current whipped them by.

Heinz whispered a prayer, and his brother knights joined in. Hanz keep staring, looking for people he might know. As his eyes looked up he could see through the light just under the white flame, a silhouette of beings at the top. They stood in a circular pattern, although it seemed they were slowly moving in the same counter-clockwise manner as the swirling collection of souls contained within this column of light. He didn’t understand it, and it was too intense to stare at this much light for so long, but he swore he saw it.

“Hello?” a voice came from the wall beside them. Immediately the knights sprang to action, and approached the wall with weapons drawn.

“Show yourselves!” Ordered Heinz.

One of the wall’s lower level doors slowly opened, and a few human faces peered out from within. Hanz and Deiter immediately recognized Sgt. Griff Hausbergen along with Friedrech and some of the others from the handgunner unit. They appeared haggard and exhausted, but relieved to see the knights.

“Over here good knight! Is it safe to come out? “ asked Griff.

“So far so good,” Heinz stated, “How many of you are in there?”

“Just eight of us! And the powder boy. Say, do you have any wine?”

This last part caused Hanz and some of the knights to laugh, and lightened everyone’s mood. Griff spotted the two guards with the knights, and seemed over-joyed to see them alive.

“Goodness lads! We thought for sure you were goners out there? How did you survive the night?” asked Griff as he sat on stone. The other knights were attending to Griff’s men, while the two guards stood with Heinz and listened to Griff.

“Never mind us,” Hanz stated, “How did you not get struck by lightning bolts from the tower?”

“Well, funny thing, about that,” he paused to take a gulp from Heinz’ wineskin, “Funny thing is, my lads had just climbed down into the wall’s lower level, when suddenly this field surgeon pushed us all aside. He was definitely rude, and in great haste. I’d say panicked even. Anyway,” he paused and took another drink, “Anyway, he ran out ahead of us, and pushed aside one of my men as we were heading out to the courtyard. Well, my man, what was his name…?”

“That was Fritz sir,” interjected Friedrech.

“Yes, thank you lad: Fritz! Well, Fritz and this field surgeon stumbled and fell hard on each other, and they began cursing at one another. Suddenly, a beam of light shined down from the tower and then they were gone! Just their shadows burned into the cobbles! Damnedest thing I ever saw! Well, with exception to all those daemons that attacked us last night…” he trailed off in his thoughts, and took another swig of wine.

“So you stayed in the lower section of the wall?” offered Heinx.

“Exactly! There was no way I was letting more of my men go out that door. Unfortunately we were the last group out, so I have no idea how many that light claimed.”

++++

And so, this is the tale that the two guards tell who survived the Fall of Castle Krieger, the northern outpost for the Knights Jaguar, of how their bastion became the holy place now known as the Beacon of Souls. At night it’s radiance can be seen for miles as it illuminates the night sky, and shines through the woods. The beastmen stay far away from the beacon of light, those who ventured too close are instantly claimed by it’s light and join the wailing souls within. And on the night of Geheimnisbacht, the tower’s flame erupts into a searing column of light that blasts straight into the heavens, and can be seen from Middenheim to Salzenmund. And woe to those on that night with Chaos in their heart, who dare to let the tower’s light catch their eye…
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 03:24:17 AM by neverness »

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
« Reply #70 on: August 26, 2009, 02:02:40 AM »
Ok, well, that's a wrap! What did you think?

It was a little experiment that really took off; it seemed that immediately, other writers wanted to write in characters other than the two guards, which really made this thing far more epic than I initially thought would happen. Honestly, I thought we'd all take turns torturing those two idiots with all the insane stuff they'd see from the booth.  i thought every contributor brought something new to the tale, even the few onetime posters did things to push the whole story in a new direction.

If you're reading this, you've probably read the whole story and you might be interested to know that Warlord and I have been talking about doing a spin-off story featuring a character from this tale. (Guess who!) so look for it soon.

Special thanks to everyone who contributed! It was fun!  :::cheers:::

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
« Reply #71 on: August 26, 2009, 02:45:12 AM »
It was really fun. I enjoyed it immensely, and I definitely enjoyed the sections added by others - they added a cool extra flavour and kept me and neverness on our toes. Thank you guys for contributing.

A special thanks to neverness who set this up, and I look forward to working with him in the future on our next little project.

Thanks for reading - and what did you think about the final outcome. Should it have gone another way?
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline Buddha90

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
« Reply #72 on: August 26, 2009, 06:33:59 AM »
Nice ending. I like how it was a tale about a tale.

I enjoyed contributing to this, it was exciting because you were never sure that the story would go in the direction you had planned :D

It was funny how every time I tried helping those poor humans, with Krieger as a potential champion of sigmar, the neighbour lord coming to aid and the black knights, someone (Warlord I think ;) ) made them evil and chaos-like..

All in all it turned out to be a great tale, even though it took it's time :)
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Offline Captain Tineal

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
« Reply #73 on: August 26, 2009, 01:56:54 PM »
It was cool.  I, like neverness, had expected to torture the guards for a little bit... I had great plans for my Daemon of Slaanesh, but by the time I got back to the story we had moved on too far.

I'm definately looking forward to what neverness and Warlord come up with.  Pints all around, on Midaski's tab of course!
« Last Edit: August 26, 2009, 02:02:56 PM by Captain Tineal »
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Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
« Reply #74 on: September 02, 2009, 03:37:26 AM »
It was cool.  I, like neverness, had expected to torture the guards for a little bit... I had great plans for my Daemon of Slaanesh, but by the time I got back to the story we had moved on too far.

Oh, your daemon was going to be slaaneshi?  :engel: I Figured that you had figured out what I was doing to those guards so I upped the odds and made it a Great Unclean one. What did you think of Gelir? Was he slaaneshi enough?

Thank's everyone, again.

Oh, and Buddha90, I enjoyed your contributions, you really kept Warlord and I working hard to keep this story grim and dark. I thought making Krieger somewhat crazy/possessed was the only rational solution to the sudden apperance of a pegasus. But your army really had me flustered! See, I had written the ending with a another group of Knights showing up way before that, and knew that I wanted that scene with the two guards being found in a booth in front of a totally trashed out castle. So I had your knights be "legion of the damned" like and sort of fade away from the site before the dawn. I think if made them a bit cooler and more mysterious, a lot like how they appeared. I think I just might bring them back in the follow up... :evil: