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Imperial Artisans => The Imperial Office => Topic started by: neverness on July 04, 2008, 10:04:50 PM

Title: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: neverness on July 04, 2008, 10:04:50 PM
Here’s a fun exercise. Years ago, I was on a BBS and from time to time we wrote a creative piece where one person would start a story and then, entry by entry, others would add to it. I figured this would be perfect here, and I’m not sure something like this had been done here before or not with exception to the Rufas Letters from last year.

The rules are simple: I’ve started a story. Some one else continues where I left off. So on and so forth. You can totally change the tone and add what you like by throwing in whatever curve ball that you wish.

However I’m going to ask that you adhere to a few guidelines:
 
Stick to the genre (no Space Marines landing and nuking the world please).

Keep the two protagonists in character and alive (relatively).

You can only post again after at least one* other has posted after you, or if a week* has passed without activity on this thread (regardless to whether you posted last) but you don’t have to post again if you choose not too.

*Changed due to low participation at this point.

Every post that adds an episode to the story should start with a CHAPTER number. Length is up to you, but as a participant I’d appreciate a conservative length.

And please CHECK YOUR SPELLING .

Alright, lets have fun!
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on July 04, 2008, 10:09:23 PM
THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS
   
PRELUDE

It was the night of Geheimnisnacht and people from all over the land were pouring out of the forest and following the road to the castle. Peasants abandoned their hovels and brought what they could spare, merchants redirected their caravans, huntsmen retreated from the forests, and the village shut down and locked up. All men possessing an instinct for survival and an ounce of sanity sought out the sanctity of the castle walls before darkness fell.
   The knightly order, whose castle this was, was prepared for the worst. The annual night of damnation was soon to be at hand. The dark moon Morrslieb would make it’s closest pass to the world this night, and for this one night chaos would be at it’s strongest. The Grand Master of the Order decreed that all soldiers of the Empire be on duty to protect the castle and the people within from whatever damnable foulness tried to enter it from without. The walls were lined with handgunners, priests walked the ramparts, blessing bullets, the guns, and anything else requested. The last rays of sunlight faded to orange and purple, and were soon replaced by the night. Quiet fear descended upon the castle, as the soldiers waited to have their souls tested.
   Hanz and Dieter were the two unlucky guards assigned to the guard post on the other side of the crevasse that surrounded the castle. The booth sat beside the point where the drawbridge would rest when lowered. Armed with handguns, and spears that would normally feel like state issued empowerment felt instead like symbols of underwhelming futility. Behind them, an alert bastion of defense awaited the worst that chaos could summon on this night. Their job, was to stop, and turn away anyone –or thing- that approached the castle after nightfall and send them packing down the road and back into the forest. If they were attacked they’re to ring the bell mounted to the outside of the booth and alert the defenders of the castle. But no matter what, the drawbridge would not, and will not, lower until dawn. They were utterly alone.

   CHAPTER 1   
“So, um, what time do you reckon it is?”
   Hanz sighed and said flatly to Dieter without diverting his attention from the road. ”It’s been no more than 20 minutes past sunset, and less than 5 minutes since you last asked me that.”
   ‘Oh.” Dieter said while sinking his head. “This quiet really is torturous isn’t it?”
   “It can be, but ye best pray that the night doesn’t decide to become noisy mate, or we could end up like the two chaps from last year."
   The memory raced through Dieter’s mind of the last Geheimnisnacht. He was with the unit that checked this booth when the drawbridge was lowered. They found one of the guards, curled up in a ball, naked, covered in blood and mud, and shaking with terror. That guy ended up institutionalized in an asylum in Salzenmund. The other guard was never found. It was Dieter’s first year in the Imperial Army, and that night left quite an impression on him.
   They continued to wait and soon the light of Morrslieb could be seen lighting the forest mist with it’s vile illumination. Hanz was older. A veteran of many battles, he was happy to be assigned to this castle away from brutal conflicts he experience before. But the stability of this post by no means softened his combat reflexes. He was always prepared for the worst. But even the steeliest warrior remembers how to sweat on this night. Seeing Morrslieb’s light illuminate the forest road made him feel bittersweet about their situation, and almost yearned to be in pitched battle, where at least he had comrades around him and a weapon that could actually kill something.
   “I need to stretch my legs,” sighed Dieter as he went to unbolt the booth.
   Hanz whipped around, slapping Dieter’s hand away from the door and said sternly: “You will NOT step outside this booth! Do you want to end up dead lad, do ya?”
   “I was just going ta move about a bit not-“
   Then they heard it.
Coming down the road a sound that sent a chill straight through to their souls. Both men, snapped to attention immediately erased all signs of their previous argument, and scrambled to bring their guns to bear on the road.
In the faint light of Morrslieb, moving toward them, about 1000 yards way, they saw it.
   



Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Padre on July 05, 2008, 12:22:38 AM
On the parapet of the castle's gatetower, the largest bastion on the outer wall which also supported the drawbridge, young Ernst peered through the gloom.

Ever since his comrades had told him what had become of the two guards posted the previous year in the outer booth, he had been thinking of their fate. What had the survivor - a raving lunatic according to those that saw him, a gibbering wreck of a man unable even to look anyone in the eye - what had he seen? What had become of the other gaurd? Ernst's fascination had grown, until he dreamed of that night over and over, though each dream showed some new nightmare enemy, each nightly vision mutated into a novel monstrous form. And he became (though he hid it from everyone he knew) utterly obsessed by these thoughts.

He looked out again, but all he could see was the light of the lantern that hung on a pole by the booth. It swung lazily from side to side. He couldn't even see Hans and Dieter silhouetted against the light - they must be in the booth. Would he have wanted to be where they were? Of course not, he thought, that would be madness. All he wanted was to know what was coming.

For nearly a year, Ernst had dreamt of wolves, orcs, or of men warped into rats, approaching the booth in the darkness. All these had appeared in his dreams once each, but never again. He dreamt of dead men walking, of menschenfrescher, of elves with hateful eyes and pale skins. He dreamt of every monstrous creature he had ever heard of, and many more that were unknown to him. Each appeared once and once alone.

Then about a month ago he started to dream of demons, and there was no end to those dreams. He had umpteen nightmares every night. He dreamt of demons of every colour and size, with ever more hideous faces. In every dream one guard was maimed, killed, dragged away, while the other was driven insane by the sight of the deed and the thing that did it. And then the monster, whatever wicked form it took that night, would stand on the edge of the crevasse to glare at the castle, and howl or whine or sing or squeel or roar it's frustration at  being unable to get any closer to the castle.

Yet the dreams, though they tried a new story every night, never settled on a form that felt right. The story, such as it was, was identical each time - the monster would kill, frighten, and yell out their anger, vanish as he awoke, only to be replaced the next night night with some new beast.

Until last week. That was when, for the first time ever, his dream showed him the same beast as that of the night before. Not that he truly saw it, for it was a beast made of shadows, a black thing shrouded in shadows which seemed to drink up the light that fell near it. Just as wicked, maybe moreso, than all the beasts that had come before, but a secret creature, who desired to hide from other's eyes with a yearning so strong that it had become a powerful spell.

This dark beast had come for seven nights in a row, last night being the last. Each time the dream lasted a bit longer, so that when the beast stopped howling, it spoke some words, a few more each night. Upon waking however, Ernst could never quite recall what it said.

Ernst was getting tired. He'd offered to take this watch from a guard he knew wouldn't argue, but it meant he'd been on watch twice as long as normal. And after a week's worth of multitudinous nightmares, he hadn't exactly been sleeping well. So Ernst's eyes slowly closed, and his thoughts drifted off as his grip on the parapet weakened. His head lolled, his hands weakened their grip on his handgun, and in that still sleepy moment, he thought what could it hurt to lie down and take just a little nap.

This he did.

Moments later he was dreaming. This time the night demon stood direct before him, and spoke its words clearly. It was making a demand, laced with an awful threat and a hypnotic potency that came from having repeated the words many times before, the power of the suggestion growing with each utterence.

What were the words? They were these ...

"Ersnt, I am your master. Obey me. I command you to lower the drawbridge. Do it now. Let me in."
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on July 08, 2008, 03:42:29 AM
Great Idea. I loved the Tavern writing exercise Karl Voss set up last year (or beginning of this year) and I can see myself trying to contribute the odd bit to this piece.

*****

CHAPTER 3

"It's just a rock!" dismissed Hanz with a shake of his head.

"I swear to Sigmar that is not a rock!" said Dieter, not taking his eyes off the suspicious shadowy object in the distance. "It moved. Besides, what was that noise then?"

"T'was probably just a wolf." responded Hanz trying to make light of the dire situation they were placed in this night of nights. Raising his eyebrow, "You wanted to stretch your legs..." suggested Hanz with an enthusiastic slap on his younger companions back.

"Just one minute ago you were telling me I couldn't leave!" cut in Dieter while retaining his fixation on the distant shadow.

"Up to you lad." responded Hanz with a sly grin on his face. He knew full well Dieter would not be going anywhere. However he also knew that if he was unable to refocus his companion, this cursed night would at the very least turn Dieter insane.

Dieter nodded and without saying another word continued gazing out the booth window toward the moonlit road.

-----

"Wake up you lazy piece of Snotling turd!" Griff Hausbergen grumbled as he kicked the young layabout guardsman in ribs he found sleeping at his post on the Gatetower. Griff was an experienced guardsman, so much so that the knights had been employing him as Sargeant to charge their tower defenses for many summers. He was only ever truly tested one night of the year, this night of Geheimnisnacht, and one slacking soldier could cause kinds of hell to break loose.

"Sorry Sir" coughed the youth, strangely with very little regret.

He couldn't have been older than 17 summers, and why he was in Friedrech's post was unknown. "Where is Friedrech?" demanded Griff impatiently as the boy-barely-man rose to his feet.

"He wanted a rest..." started the boy.

"You mean like the rest you were getting?" Griff asked with annoyance apparant in his voice. The boy opened his mounth to continue, but before he could speak Griff cut him off. "Go find Kurt on the Northern tower and tell him to report to me here."

The Youth nodded, starring at the Booth in the distance. There appeared to be something on his mind, but that was not Griff's concern. "NOW!" shouted the Sargeant.

Within a moment, Ernst was gone the gatetower, leaving Griff alone on the parapet.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on July 09, 2008, 04:56:58 AM
Chapter 4

The four horses stopped almost suddenly, yet no rider sat upon the old imperial war wagon to issue their command. Indeed, if a rider commanded this vehicle he was fortified within it. These old wagons haven’t been in service for decades, but even Hanz knew to expect men to be mounted on it’s top. Yet it was bare. The wagon had come down the road so fast that the two guards were actually caught by surprise. Dieter was stumbling about in the booth and shaking so bad that Hanz even entertained the thought of shooting him. How could any army accept this man into it’s ranks? Hanz was feeling embarrassed that this virtual youth was assigned to be with him, a veteran of actual battles, when the kid couldn’t even hold his handgun steady. Now this wagon, still, quiet, and unmoving sat next to their booth waiting the lowering of the drawbridge. And wait it would. Hanz was prepared to be the barer of some very bad news.

The door had an imperial crest with the letter ‘M’ emblazoned on it. The door opened. The two guards tensed. Weapons aimed and intensely focused. Hanz noted that Dieter was now very quiet as if the opening of the door triggered his inner soldier. ‘Good, there was hope yet for the lad.’ thought Hanz.

A wooden window on the door slid open, yet iron bars still covered it. A man glared back at them. Noting that he appeared human, the two guards did not fire. The man was incredibly old, and Hanz had to wonder how he opened that door with such force. So feeble was this geriatric that the ornate hat he wore, overly festooned with the most lavish feathers he’d ever seen, almost appeared to be crushing him.
“Guard…” the old man croaked in an unsteady yet proper voice. Clearly, a stately fellow accustomed to issuing commands without ever assuming anyone could hesitate to carry them out. “Tell your people to lower their drawbridge.”
“The bridge is closed until dawn.” Stated Hanz.
“Not for me.” Said the old man while producing a scroll parchment. As he held his hand out, Dieter was fascinated by the old man’s venerable skin, which seemed to cling to his bones like some sort of splotchy transparent papier-mâché draped tightly over a skeletal hand. Hanz reached out and snatched the scroll, held it under the lantern light. Dieter noted that his expression changed, and Hanz actually appeared worried for the first time this evening.
“I’m afraid my Lord, even for you.” Said Hanz with disappointment in his voice.
“Come now man! Do you not know what terrible fate is in store for me if I’m left out here on this night? This most unholy of nights!”
“I’m truly sorry,” Said Hanz while handing back the scroll. “But the drawbridge does not, will not, and can not lower until sunrise. Orders from the Elector Count, to the Lord.”
“I’m-“ The old man was clearly agitated and was manipulating the door’s locks as he spoke, “in the employ of the Electors, you saw my credentials! I’m a tax collector, returning from a special assignment to Salzenmund. I sent forth news of my pending arrival! Your lord expected me this evening but we had a wheel brake and we had to stop back at the village for repairs..!”
“The village is abandoned!” interrupted Dieter, who surprised himself with his sudden outburst.
“Cretin!” snapped the old man toward Dieter who for the first time made eye contact with him. Dieter was snapped back and his bravado squashed by the sheer hate that burned in those ancient eyes and the venomous sting of that one word.

The door swung open, the old man reached out. Hanz held firm and gestured threateningly with his handgun, while Dieter stood next to him in a confused mess.
“Get back in and leave, Sir.” Hanz ordered.
“No one gives orders to Lord Mi...”
His sentence stopped in mid word. As he reached toward the men, his fingertips passed the threshold of the booth’s window, and they ignited in flames!

With a hiss, the old man spat at the two soldiers, both of whom had stepped back as they too were surprised by the brilliant flame, and flinched to protect their eyes. In a series of actions that took hardly any time to perform, the wild eyed old man gasped out, surprised, looked at his burning fingers, looked at the two guards, stepped back in what appeared to be one step into the wagon, the door shut, and the horses reversed unnaturally back down the road from which it had come at an incredible speed.

Dieter released his bowels.

Hanz whistled, as he leaned out the window of the booth, looking up the road.
“Now, that’s an impressive trick!’ Exclaimed Hanz, whose adrenaline made him more thrilled and bemused as opposed to Dieter’s obvious terror.
 “Lad have you ever seen anything like that? A four-horse drawn wagon going backwards? I mean is that even possible? I wonder if the boys saw that too?”
 He looked toward the castle wall, but as he did so, his eyes spotted a glow on the booth’s rail. He looked at it more closely, and noticed that there were carvings in the wood that now glowed a bright golden light. The words were clearly some sort of protective ward, perhaps in elvish, that must’ve of caused the old man's fingers to burn. It did seem to suddenly make sense why the booth itself never seemed harmed in it’s decades of existence, just the souls within it. It also reinforced what he’d been told about staying in it.
Smiling, he looked at Dieter and pointed to the now fading symbols.
“You see why you don’t want to leave this booth lad? Ha! And the night is only just started!”
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on July 14, 2008, 03:16:21 PM
Why has no one else yet contributed to this? Its a load of fun, trust me!
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on July 15, 2008, 03:27:45 AM
It's a mystery to me too! Should I reduce the "2 posts between your posts" rule down to 1? I already reduced it once...
I've also noticed a low readership, which tells me that the Imperial Office in general doesn't get that much traffic.  Those that do come here are passive readers as opposed to contributers, which is why I've not said anything sooner. I don't think enough of the people we're looking for have found us yet.

Needless to say, I've had a blast with this and I like the way you guys (Padre & Warlord) have planted some great subplot seeds that I can't wait to develop (or see developed) further. Thanks so far!

Anybody else: there are LOTs of little areas that the 3 of us have left room for anyone else to explore, but total curve balls rock too.

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on July 15, 2008, 07:19:31 AM
The thing is, there are quite few members who suck up every new bit of info posted on the forum - I would have thought maybe they could have contributed the odd piece. Although I do know some have been busy also...

Hmmmm... who knows. Anyway, I'm just going to write some bits and hopefully as we go we will generate some momentum and more members will contribute.

*****

CHAPTER 5

Did you see that!?!? whispered the grey whiskered man standing to the left of him.

"I did!" replied excitedly the tall bald man to the right of him. "It was a beast, I know it!"

"Charge!!" yelled the smelly man behind him while pushing him forward through the scratchy underbrush.

Yuri fell through the bushes into the moonlit glade first. As he regained his footing on the soft grass, the other members of his group burst through the shrubbery with a mighty yell. "THE END IS NIGH!!!!" they howled, their flails clanging on each other, the noise designed to strike fear into the hearts of Sigmar's enemies.

Needless to say the startled deer swiftly turned tail and fled into the undergrowth. The flagellants were once again alone in the forest.

Disappointed by their inability to meet a foe, many slumped to the ground. Some began flaying themselves, others sobbed that they were not yet able to meet their pious deity in the afterlife.

The ripples in the pond slowly dissipated from where the deer was drinking its fill. The eerie glow from the moon of Morrslieb filled the now still pool.

"Get up you fools!" commanded Yuri as he pushed his way to the centre of the flagellant host. "Sigmar needs us on this night of nights" he began as his eyes glazed over. Visions of Doom and Destruction filled his sight, and a mighty castle on a crevasse stood burning into the night.
"Evil has come to harm the righteous, on this night of Geheimnisnacht, and Sigmar commands us to stop them". Yuri paused for a moment, so his words could sink in. He noticed more men begin to flay themselves as their responsibility sunk in.
"I know where we must go. Follow me, and some of you may meet Sigmar this very night!" Yuri said with determination in his voice. "The End is Nigh!"

"THE END IS NIGH!!!" shouted the flagellants with renewed vigour. With their arms waving and flails clanging, the frenzied group again moved on towards their destination.

-----

The high room in the tower was sparse, with not a single decoration or ornament. Three men in white robes formed a triangle, within which the sacred flames formed a second triangle. Each chanted their own verses, each one word in sequence, each one third of a sentence. Alone the words meant nothing, together in the right sequence they formed powerful incantations.

The room flickered dark, for a single moment. Their power was tested, and it held firm. The trio of acolytes continued chanting. The room grew brighter, until once again it was white with pure energy. Every year Jauchman's apprentices, the Acolytes of Light locked themselves high in his tower to ensure their master had a solid power base to protect the citadel. Among other things, their power was used to sustain the protective barrier on the booth, as well as the magic vault in the castle keep.

Jauchman, standing on the North tower saw a dark coach pull up to the booth on the crevasse. Moments later he felt a slight power surge. He looked up at the tower, and saw the light dim, but once again return to normal. At the same time, the coach backed away from the booth, and careened down the dark road.

Something was testing them, and it would not find them wanting. Jauchman would make sure of it.

A young man appeared on the Rampart, and approached a nearby soldier. The newcomer avoided eye contact with the wizard. This was not unusual; Jauchman was used to being treated with suspicion by common folk, and thought nothing of it. He was more concerned with matters beyond these castle walls anyway, matters that soon these castle walls would need his protection from.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Castozor on July 15, 2008, 08:38:16 AM
Why has no one else yet contributed to this? Its a load of fun, trust me!
It could be loads of fun but my meager writing skills would do no good to, what is to date, an excellent story.  A great job from the three of you.  :::cheers:::

Gr.

Castozor
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Padre on July 15, 2008, 10:30:28 AM
Ernst made his way along the parapet towards the Northern Tower, but slowed his pace as his gaze fell upon the rear of the gatehouse instead. There was something he had to do – not something the sergeant had commanded, but something more important. Absent mindedly, he let his thoughts wander and settle upon the fragmented memory of the dream he had been having just before the sergeant shouted.

He couldn’t recall exactly what happened in the dream, but it there was someone outside the gate, someone with the answers he yearned for, someone with far more authority than Griff Hausbergen. Would a little diversion to the gatehouse do any harm? Surely not? Besides if he ran both there and back hardly any time would be lost.

His mind made up he dashed down the nearest steps two at a time. He knew the wizard on the northern tower would see him, but what of it? Such as the wizard would care not a jot for the comings and goings of a lowly guard. Besides a new feeling of elation surged through Ernst, his heart quickening its pace as the feeling turned into light-headed anticipation of … of …

Suddenly there was someone in front of him and he lost his train of thought. He could not at first see who it was because of the deep shadows there in the yard behind the great tower, but a gruff voice, not unfriendly, revealed who it was.

“Where are you running to?”

It was the gate-keeper, Mossman, a fact confirmed by the sudden glint of moonlight from the huge key hanging from his belt.

Caught off guard (an event not uncommon in the young guard’s life, an irony he had yet to recognise himself), Ernst mumbled an answer,

“Got to get Kurt, I mean like the sergeant said. He is needed now, see? Up there. I’m fetching him from the northern tower.”

“Well you’re going the long way around aren’t you, Lad?” said Mossman, sounding amused.

“I am, master, yes. That I am,” mumbled Ersnt, whilst trying to steal a glance at the gate itself. Perhaps the little barred window would be open? Perhaps there would be a dark face upon the other side?

“What troubles you lad? What do you see there?” demanded Mossman, who being more accustomed to the dark couldn’t help but notice the boy’s stare.

“Nothing, master, but I think I should have a look out of the gate.”

Mossman frowned, then said,

“You’ll not find Kurt out there now will you lad? Only Dieter and Hanz – Sigmar protect them this night. I’ll ask you again, and I will have an answer this time, what ails thee lad? What’s on your mind?”

Ernst glanced around, his eyes becoming adjusted somewhat to the gloom of the courtyard. He couldn’t see anyone else. Or could he?

There was something else there, something in the shadows themselves, right behind Mossman. Its black eyes were known to him, and they caught and held his gaze. Then they glanced down to look at the sword at Ernst’s side.

“By the gods, what are you looking at lad?” inquired Mossman as he spun around to face the gate himself.

Ernst could now see a mouth too, made of darkness and framed in darkness, which smiled wickedly. The head which sported these eyes and mouth towered over Mossman, who suddenly looked ridiculously small to Ernst – comical even.

Then it was obvious to Ersnt – the dark creature was the master in his dreams, which meant this was a dream. But this time he wasn’t supposed simply to watch, he would get to join in!

“Do it now,” came the command.

Whipping his sword out of its scabbard, Ernst clasped the hilt with both hands. Hearing the sound, Mossman allowed his turn to continue, so that he wheeled right around to face the boy again. And as he came to a stop, Ernst thrust the blade straight forward into the gatekeeper’s throat.

Mossman’s last cry was silent. His mouth did its best, his lungs worked hard too, but with the blade thrust squarely through his neck and protruding more than a foot from the other side, all that came was a weak, gurgling, bubbling, throaty gasp.

It took all of Ernst’s strength to keep his sword held straight, to resist the weight of the dying man enough to prevent him falling suddenly to the ground. Instead he braced himself and slowly lowered the blade, so that Mossman slumped gently, then fell quietly sideways. By the time Ernst had extracted his bloody blade, Mossman was a corpse.

Ernst looked up for recognition from the shadowy lord, but his new master was gone again. He sheathed his sword and knelt down beside the dark lump, feeling the body to find the key.

“I’m coming,” he sang to himself and to his master. He now knew what was supposed to happen next in this dream.

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on July 16, 2008, 04:11:29 AM
CHAPTER 7

   “I got that in Araby.” Said Grandmaster Krieger with pride. “We were on crusade with the Knights Panther at the time and one of the villagers gave me that shortly after we ousted the local tyrant out of power.”
   “Ohhh!” exclaimed Frau Wechsler looking most impressed at the decorated vase adorning the Grandmaster’s mantle.
   “What’s this then?” asked Mayor Schatz who was transfixed at a glass case in the corner.    
   “Ah, those are shrunken heads…” stated the Grandmaster matter-of-factly but he was interrupted by the immediate exclamations and gasps from the other members of the local high society who were his guests.
Every year for the past twelve years since Grandmaster Krieger’s last campaign he made it a point to entertain the local aristocracy on Geheimnisnacht as opposed to making them cower with the lower class in the belly of his castle. He found that the extra attention he afforded these people helped cement his standing in the locality as well as add some sheen to the bright reputation that his Knights already had. As if all the wine tasting events weren’t enough. Now, the Mayor, his wife, his daughter Francine whom the grandmaster fancied, and about a dozen of the richest land owners and merchants along with Frau Wechsler the local bank owner, had swarmed around the glass case, each looking to behold the shrunken heads exhibit.  Grandmaster Krieger had quite a menagerie of exotic items that he had gathered throughout his career and set up in display in his study. He made a point not to show them all off at once, so that he always had something new to tantalize the locals with the next year.
   “Shrunken heads! Surely Krieger you jest!” challenged the Mayor in disbelief.
   The Grandmaster smiled, “If only that was a jest! Now, the people of Southland, when they defeat a foe in combat, they don’t just take a banner or a blade or some other memento of their victory, nay, they perform a ritual on their foe’s corpse and that your honors, is the result!”
   The women acted shocked, but none could turn away, whereas the men seemed keen to learn more.
   “I acquired that when we were stationed for five years in Sudenburg-“
   “Tell us about this item.” A stern baritone voice said that made everyone turn. The voice belonged to the guest of Frau Wechsler, Arst, a man she said claimed to be from “the north”. He was an unthreatening fellow, with dark hair, dressed in a grey cloak but otherwise tailored above the station of most people in these parts. The item he wanted to know about, however, caught the Grandmaster by surprise.
   “Curious, I did not intend to display that item for a few more years…”
   The other guests immediately diverted their attention to this new relic. In a glass case was mounted a curvy and sharp dagger. It was wicked and clearly created with the vilest of intentions.
   “Please, it’s quite interesting Lord Krieger. Tell us about it.” Pressured Arst.
   The Grandmaster had all eyes on him now. Although he said he was keeping it back, in actuality, he never intended to show this item to these people. It was simply too harrowing a memory to want to have to share publicly. Possessing it, even as an artifact of historic record, might have him visited by the Emperor’s sanctioned Witch Hunters.
   “It’s, “ the Grandmaster stammered, while his mind raced to come up with a witty and misleading story.   
   “It a war blade of the Kurgan. The dreaded savages that dwell within the icy depths of the chaos wastes.” The stranger took advantage of Krieger’s hesitation and stole his spot light from him. Arst started to pace as he spoke. “The blade made it’s way eventually to the ownership of one Geilir, a brave and mighty warrior who accompanied He who sought to bring you people your salvation, the great and mighty Archaon.”
   A gasp sounded out amongst the very captivated audience, and one man’s wife even feinted. Krieger set down his wine, and reached for his scabbard. While gesturing with a nod toward the Knight he had guarding the door to come and remove Arst.
   “But during the siege of Middenheim, Lord Krieger slew him in combat setting forth Geilir’s ascension to daemon princedom and Lord Krieger kept this blade as a trophy. Isn’t that so my Lord?”
   “I don’t know who you are,” Grandmaster Krieger said while drawing his blade, “but you are definitely going to be a guest in the dungeon tonight.”
   Arst threw a dagger, that he must’ve had concealed somehow, and Krieger would’ve taken it in the throat had he not deflected it with his blade. Unfortunately it embedded in one of his guest’s arms. The knight named Spitzer, lunged at Arst, but Arst produced another, long knife that quickly found a new home in Spitzer’s left eye. One of the villagers tackled Arst from behind while Krieger lopped off Arst’s blade wielding hand with a single stroke, sending it into the punch bowl. With that, Arst was brought down screaming as the men in the room subdued and beat him.
   The women screamed, the men yelled, Spitzer howled in agony and Arst screamed out more in rage than pain. A dozen guards poured into the room.
   “Take this offal to the dungeon but make sure he stays awake and alive, I want information extracted from him as to his true purpose here. I’ll continue to stay and protect these guests.”
   “Ha! This room won’t protect you for long!” Raged Arst as they dragged him toward the door. “And I’ll tell ye now my Lord, you’ll die not in this here room! NO! You’ll die in single combat against the most horrible creature from the ether the likes of which these sheep could never imagine!!! Your armored body smashed on the rocks beneath this castle and all you know shall be in ruin by night’s end!!!”
   As the ranting mad man’s words were carried off down the hall, the field surgeons had arrived to attend the wounded.
   “So, what’s next on the list of entertainments?” asked the Mayor.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on August 14, 2008, 03:36:19 AM
I've changed the rules to this again, see the 1st post.

The change is, regardless or whether you were the last poster or not you may add another piece to the story if a month has elapsed without a new chapter. We're REALLY close to that point now. Which is a shame, because I've really enjoyed this.

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on August 14, 2008, 08:34:17 AM
I've changed the rules to this again, see the 1st post.

The change is, regardless or whether you were the last poster or not you may add another piece to the story if a month has elapsed without a new chapter. We're REALLY close to that point now. Which is a shame, because I've really enjoyed this.

I am more than happy to contribute, and I imagine many others are too...

Its just the Marienburg campaign is monopolising much of our time. I know its a while to wait, but I would imagine in a month or so (once it has finished) we would probably get a higher participation in this story.

Activity on the site has slowed a little since the Campaign has been up and running, but its all happening over there. People's creative minds are working overtime on all kinds of stories and everything over there, so be patient, and people will come back.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Arcano on August 14, 2008, 04:56:03 PM
I like this idea, could really be something. However, my writing skills are not the best, so i'll read through your posts and maybe i'll learn in time...
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Captain Tineal on August 15, 2008, 02:32:04 PM
Thought I'd help you guys out.  :-D

Chapter 8

The Daemon watched from a distance.  The little shack stood where it had every year at this time when he came.  He could feel the isolation of the two men inside, as palpable as the ground beneath his manifested feet.  It was a comforting feeling.  It was the only thing he didn't hate about this world.  The suffering that mortals could feel was dizzying in its diversity, and absoultely wonderful.  And tonight, he would cause much of it.

The man in the cart had been a simple test of character for these men.  The younger of the two would be far too easy to break.  The older man would last much longer.  The Daemon felt something as close to happiness that it was capable of anticipating the things to come.  He had grand plans this year, many already in motion, and this year this puny castle would suffer unlike any year before.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on August 16, 2008, 10:24:51 PM
Its just the Marienburg campaign is monopolising much of our time. I know its a while to wait, but I would imagine in a month or so (once it has finished) we would probably get a higher participation in this story.

Activity on the site has slowed a little since the Campaign has been up and running, but its all happening over there. People's creative minds are working overtime on all kinds of stories and everything over there, so be patient, and people will come back.

I'm forced to agree, I've more ideas for fluff concerning Marienburg that I haven't the time to do all of it! It's been a very fun and engaging campaign.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on August 17, 2008, 12:24:27 AM
CHAPTER 9

“So, what do ya say gents?” asked the halfling merchant in the most friendly tone possible.

The two guards appeared steely in their resolve, although Hans could hear Dieter’s teeth rattling. Dieter was clearly becoming unnerved by the events of this night, and Hanz already had to deal with Dieter cleaning out his britches from the previous individual that requested admittance into the castle.

“Sorry, no entry into the castle until sunrise.” Spoke Hanz sternly.

“C’mon mate, I’m just a merchant! I was a day late to the village, and with all the rain we’ve been hav’n I wasn’t able to keep tabs on the whole...” the halfling gestured toward the light of Morrslieb, now clearly over the trees, “moon situation.”

Hanz never once took his handgun off of the Halfling. Not since he slowly plodded up the road with his small cart. The halfling was over weight, even for a halfling, and stank as if he hadn’t been near a soapy bath in weeks. A small cloud of flies buzzed constantly around him. His cart was loaded with trinkets and bric-a-brac. The type of stuff he’d seen when the carnivals were in town. He wore bandoliers and belts that each had dozens of pouches hanging from them. The halfling was clearly over-loaded with these pouches and it was a wonder he was able to walk at all.

“I’ve got gold. C’mon, what’s it worth to ya?” The halfling reached for one of the many pouches that hung from his belt. He plucked it from his belt with huff, and tossed it up toward the booth’s window.

Neither men had time to react, suddenly, with a blinding flash, the white light exploded around the pouch as it crossed the perimeter of the window and was blasted back. The pouch fell to the ground burning a blinding white fire, and it screamed the most unholy of howls. Hanz saw the sigils along the windows glow again, even more intensely than it had before. Dieter yelled, “Sigmar save me!” and flinched away. Hanz watched the pouch, which had turned into a greenish brown ball of rot that had little fat pudgy arms and legs. It continued to burn brightly and it scrambled over to the halfling who was wide eyed, yet smiling. The other pouches started to move along the halfling’s body as the burning one made contact with it, and were revealed to be the same type of creature. The halfling and his cart erupted into blue-white flames as the small creature contacted him. The little creatures burned and howled, but the halfling, now growing, continued to smile. The bandoliers that the pouches were attached too were revealed to be entrails that had been flung over the merchant’s shoulder. Entrails spilled forth from many rotted tears along the now bare and bulbous form of the depraved merchant, who, still smiling that sinister smile, now sported a rack of greasy horns on his head. He had now lost his halfling with cart disguise and was now a thing that Hanz once heard a Warrior Priest sermonize to be a Great Unclean one; a Greater Daemon of Nurgle.

All of that took a mere matter of seconds to play out, and Hanz, clearly knowing he was outmatched but stood still and gripped his handgun tightly. Dieter was utterly terror stricken but Hanz kept his cool. He did this because the blue/white flames continued to burn the daemon, and the sigils on the booth continued to glow. He knew the tamed magic of this booth had withstood years of Daemonic attacked upon it and the Acolytes of Light within the castle would continue to channel power into it. Dieter knew none of this, even though both men were lectured together on how the booth functioned, this sort of thing was just beyond his comprehension. Hanz kept his aim steady and despite his own reservations with their situation, said to the creature with surprising confidence: “You need to go.” And cocked his head in the direction of the road.

“Hahaha!” The disgusting creature laughed jovially. It’s rolls of decayed filthy fat shook and shuddered, and flaming nurglings fell from it as it did so.

“Foolish mortal! The only place I’m going,” and he raised one flabby putrescent arm toward the castle, “is in there!”
Hanz wanted to fire his handgun, but he knew it would be a pointless gesture. Instead he reached over and pulled the chain to the bell and rung it with vigor. The Great Unclean One continued to laugh. The flames continued to eat at it, and as his flesh continued to dry and crisp, it cracked and popped and boiling puss oozed from the blackend hide. The daemon appeared to be diminishing from the slow magical fire. Indeed, if it were not for Morrslieb he probably would’ve been shunted back to the Realms of Chaos already. But on this night, Geheimnisnacht, Daemons were a bit more resistant to this sort of attack. Nevertheless, the smaller creatures were dying and as the flames claimed them they’d explode with a burning pop leaving no trace of a physical residue as they did so.

Hanz heard a commotion from the castle. No doubt the gun line mustering to bring a rain of fire down upon this abomination. Then both men heard the unmistakable clatter of uncoiling chains and the creaking thud of the drawbridge slamming down into the open position. Both men looked out in shock; the drawbridge had been let down, the gate flung open. A single man stood there in the archway, his body language an expression of jubilation.

“You see,” The Great Unclean One said jovially to the two guards, “that’s where I’m going!” and he started to amble toward the drawbridge, still burning a blue white flame.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Spectre on September 12, 2008, 12:15:50 AM
Hope this is up to the high standard you guys have set so far.

- - - - -

Chapter 10

As if commanded by the Mayor's comment, the alarms started ringing throughout the castle and thus the night's entertainment ended abruptly. Grandmaster Krieger took command of the garrison’s defence and ordered is knights to the courtyard.  After making sure that Arst had been taken to the dungeon, and considering the latest event, under double guard.

" My Lord, the knights are assembled and stand ready.  I had your horse brought from the stables.’’ said the captain running up to his Grandmaster who was just getting to the courtyard.

“Thank you Captain. Have we any idea whom or… what lowered the drawbridge?’’

“No my Lord, but one of the garrison’s sergeant found the body of Gate-Keeper Mossman near the entrance… He had been beheaded” added the Captain trying to hide is revulsion.

Both the Grandmaster and Captain were surprised by the sudden arrival of a young trooper drenched in sweat.

Still trying to catch his breath the young soldier reported “Sir, nurglings have started coming through the gate.  The main line is still holding but we will not be able to hold all night Sire!”

“At ease lad, that is why my knights are here.  Go warn the Elector Count that we might need his Greatswords in order to sure up the defences” as the soldier ran off, Grandmaster Krieger turned to the captain and said “Lad I need you to take command of the gun line on the rampart so they do not kill us instead of the Chaos spawns we are dealing with.”

“Yes milord, I shall keep them in line and on target” he declared snapping to attention.

The sounds of battle became louder and louder to a point where none in the castle could have denied the keep was under attack.  The sound of men shouting orders, curses, pleas for dear life, and shouts of anguish and agony brought the Grandmaster back to reality.  He donned on his helmet, made sure is sword was secured to his side and he headed toward his men.

Grandmaster Krieger could already see the line starting to buckle.   Morale of the line was failing.  The men were losing faith as a strange and ungodly figure was making its way through the main gate.   He could still ear the thunderous sound of the garrison’s handgunners sending hails of lead bullets on the hordes of spawns of Chaos. He knew that the troops would not hold much longer and his troops would have to act quickly if they wanted to make it through the night.

He mounted his horse and signalled his troops forward through the yard.  As they had done so often before, the knights followed their Grandmaster faithfully into one more battle.  This time a battle against an unknown foe which, might this time, be the end of them.  The sight of the commander at the fore front of the advance reassure them and their faith in Sigmar kept them moving forward even with thoughts of dead and oblivions in their minds. This might be the end, one trooper thought to himself, but at least the evil spawns will be joining us in the afterlife. 

Shouts rang throughout the line.  “Sigmar be with us!”, “Stand strong men, the Emperor depends on you!”, “Dead to Chaos”, “The Knights are here!” as that last cry rang, giving hope to the foot soldiers battling for their lives, it seemed to have reinforced the assault of Chaos.  The Great Unclean One had joined the battle, killing squads of men in a single attack, spreading pestilence amongst the Imperial soldiers.

Seen that the soldier would have no chances to hold against such a foe, the Grandmaster had to other choice but to give the order he was hoping to avoid.

Throwing his horse to a full run, and shouting with his low and roaring voice he gave the command: “KNIGHTS! For Sigmar and for the Emperor! CHARGE!”
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on September 16, 2008, 09:21:35 PM
CHAPTER 11

“AGHH!!!” Cursed Leviticus Kurtz, snapping away from his telescope, “Bloody Light wizards! I wish ye’d all shove off with that fecal and let real scholars work!!!” he screamed out over the tower’s rampart at the north tower, now radiating with an inner light.

A celestial wizard, Leviticus Kurtz was assigned here for the first time last year by his order to study the full Morrslieb only to have the light pollution caused by Jauchman’s Acolytes of Light confound his studies. His report, upon peer review, was regarded as incomplete and this time he was given a second chance. They assigned him two apprentices, one, when they stopped over in Salzenmund, fell in love with a barmaid and quit the order altogether. The other, here now, copiously inscribed everything that Kurtz related to him. The two were working on the roof of the eastern tower.  A half erected canopy was set up in the event of inclement weather and also to act as a light blocker in case Jauchman’s gang of drones got out of hand again this year.

Everything was going well it seemed, until a little while ago when the north tower flashed brilliantly, the telescope catching the full fury of that flash and magnifying it directly into his eye. Things seemed to be calming down with the north tower until just now it lit up blindingly with the most brilliant light Leviticus had ever recalled. His right eye spotted with afterimages and trails, he leaned forward with both hands on his knees cursing and gagging. He was so dizzy he thought he was going to vomit.

The apprentice, Joshi, came to his aid with a cup of water, which Leviticus took and poured some of onto a cloth.
“Master, is there anything I can…”

Kurtz cut him off,
“Yes, you can; kill every one of those freaks over there!” He pointed sharply over toward the north tower with one arm while his other hand pressed a damp cloth against his eye.

“I can’t believe they’d be so foolish as to attempt casting in these conditions! The winds of magic grow too powerful on this night, and ye risk your soul trifling with their level of parlor tricks on Geheimnisnacht.”

The boy looked concerned and a bit exasperated at his master’s apparent over reacting and dared to ask,
“But aren’t they professionals, surely they know what they’re doing?”

“Nay, they’ll summon something utterly ghastly if they keep it up!” retorted Kurtz, now holding his right eyelid open and rolling his eye about.

Suddenly they both heard a resounding thud, and the noise below became more excited. They both dared to lean over and look into the courtyard below. Something big was lumbering across the drawbridge toward the gate and it was burning a blue flame. A sea of smaller things, some burning, some not, was swarming its way through the gate and into the courtyard.

“Sigmar’s hammer! Master the gate’s been opened!” yelped Joshi, now turning pale with terror.
With a hand over his still blurry right eye, Leviticus Kurtz tried to make out what these burning creatures were. But he just couldn’t make them out. The light pollution from the north tower was illuminating the entire castle area.

“Well, do you see what I mean lad?” spoke Leviticus in a matter of fact way, “That’s chaos alright.”
The boy gulped and quivered.

“Yup,” Kurtz went on to say. “I can’t make out what exactly but that isn’t good stuff. See how the smaller ones explode and disappear? That’s banishment caused by a lack of physical cohesion as the stuff of chaos yields to the crushing order of reality. The magic fire burning at their forms can’t do it alone, although on a normal night it could, but we have-“ he broke off and pointed skyward toward the full Morrslieb, “THAT to thank.”

They continued to watch as halberdiers, swordsmen and spearmen hacked, chopped and poked away at the sea of smaller creatures. Men on the walls unleashed volleys of gun shot at the large burning lumbering thing on the drawbridge but onward it marched. The handguns caused a loud and obnoxious noise, and the boy and his master both covered their ears from the shock of it. Clouds of gun smoke drifted into the night and the light of Morrslieb gave them an eerie glow.

“Master!” shouted the apprentice who pointed downward, “What are they?”

Leviticus Kurtz shifted his focus, now that his eye seemed to be mostly recovered, to see what the boy was flipping out about now.

Then he gave a whistle.
“Ooh, not good! Lad, those are chaos spawn!”

“Chaos spawn?” quipped the young apprentice.

“Yes, no doubt some of those guards below weren’t so pure of heart and when exposed directly to chaos, their spirits were instantly corrupted. That corruption erupts from the inside out, and that lad is what happens!”

“Eew...”

“Eew indeed lad, eew indeed.”

Another gun line blasted away at the spawn, and most of the spawn were destroyed but still, a few made it to their line and savagely began rending and mauling these stout men broke in a panic upon seeing their companions so viciously eviscerated. The bigger creature just beyond the gate was intercepted by a few units of soldiers but was destroying them without slowing it’s pace.

Then there was a trumpet’s calls, from a part of the castle their vantage prevented them from seeing, followed by the clacking claps of heavy hoof beats on cobble stones. Then with a thunderous roar that echoed throughout the castle walls a thunderous command was given;
“KNIGHTS! For Sigmar! For the Emperor! CHARGE!”

The hoof beats grew louder. The foot troops broke and scattered clearing the way for Grandmaster Krieger and his knights to storm forward. They smashed into the burning tide of smaller creatures and spawn utterly destroying them and pressed on through the gate, clearly in a direct line toward the larger creature.
Staring down with focused intensity, Leviticus Kurtz said to his apprentice words that would forever ring with the weight of understatement,
“Keep watching lad, this could be bad…”

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on September 17, 2008, 02:46:36 AM
The Captain knew what he must do. From the moment Grandmaster Krieger signalled the trumpet call, the Captain knew. With the battle raging around him, he ran over to the gate. The Captain shouted up through the gap where the portcullis was raised in the gatehouse. "Anyone up there?"

"Sargeant Hausbergen, Sir" was the disciplined reply.

"Prepare to drop the Iron Gate, and wait for my signal to raise the bridge." instructed the Captain.

"Yes Sir" came the response, then followed by a series of barks that roughly resembed orders to the other guardsmen with Griff in the Gatehouse.

Looking out from under the gatehouse, the knights were pushing the foul chaos beast back across the bridge, away from the castle. However each swing of a decaying limb sent another knight from the bridge, falling down into the deep crevasse below, horse and all. Somehow though, Krieger was still visible, his shining sword a beacon of hope for all onlookers on the castle walls.

"Lookout below!" was the call from the Gatehouse as the portcullis was released. Troopers scrambled from the drawbridge back through the gateway as the iron gate fell quickly from above. All but one made it through, the last was impaled by the falling metal. A nearby nurgling was also crushed by the force of the impact.

"Leave him!" ordered the Captain, gesturing the troops to stay back and not move to free their now deceased comrade.

The battle inside the walls was still being waged; the demons and spawn continued their relentless skirmish against the men in the courtyard, though they were now cut off from their master, and it was just a matter of time until they were defeated.

On the drawbridge, Grandmaster Krieger and his courageous inner circle now battled desperately for sake of all within the castle. The Captain could do nothing now but watch the knights sell their lives dearly to repel the Greater Daemon from the bridge.

-----

Hanz and Dieter were standing, awestruck at the events that just passed. The castle was breached and now the knights were cut off. The beast was outnumbered, but knights were falling with each swing of the monsters arm. Grandmaster Krieger himself was still leading the knights; both Dieter and Hanz recognised the gleaming armour and shining sword of their Lord.

Being pushed furtherback by the knights, the abomination spat with contempt at Krieger. Green and yellow goo and puss covered his helmet, its acid eating through the steel with frightening ease. Krieger tore off the helmet, his bearded face now exposed to the night. The beast made another noise, the same noise it made just before it first spat at the Grandmaster.

"No!!!" shouted Dieter as he reached for his halberd. The Unclean One turned to face the booth, just as Dieter's lunged from the safety of the seal. Hanz was too slow to hold him back, and within moments tiny nurglings had leapt from demon and adorned Dieter's body, as well as his weapon.

Hanz reached out from the booth, grabbing Dieter by the collar of his shirt, and pulled the youth backwards. The force of Hanz's pull tripped Dieter, his torso unable to follow his legs. As his body passed back over the seal, each nurgling exploded with a loud 'POP', leaving scorch marks on Dieters clothes and body. His hand and halberd, covered in nurglings exploded too, but made a very different sound.

In pure agony, Dieter screamed. His entire hand was gone, the purifying light taking it off along with the demons attached to it. Clutching his arm ecstaticly, Dieter fell into the corner of the booth, screaming and weeping. Hanz, not able to believe what had just happened, stood dumbfounded, his mouth open and his head shaking as he starred at Dieter's stump.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Spectre on September 17, 2008, 04:58:19 AM
Chapter 12

The castle’s garrisons had finally been able to put down all of the spawns of Chaos that had made it through the gate.  Many men had lost their lives and many more had been wounded, but still outside of the citadel’s wall the battle still raged on.

Grandmaster Krieger and his knights were still battling for their lives and for the castle’s and its inhabitants’ sakes.   Many of the knights had fallen and the Daemon did not seem to weaken even with all the damage the troopers had inflicted.

“Be gone from these parts Daemon, you shall not defeat us” yelled Grandmaster Krieger as he tore off his helmet before the acid tore through it. 

“Look around you pathetic human, all of your forces are gone you are all that is left” said the Great Unclean One almost laughing at the knight’s misfortune.

Looking around him and realizing that all of his knights had fallen to the evil beast and its minions, Lord Krieger knew his time had finally come.  So many men had lost their lives on this unholy night.  Some of them he had fought with for decades, some he knew more than his own family.  They had been his family, and he had failed them.  He took them into a fight they could not have possibly won.  They had been cut off when the gate was lowered and the drawbridge pulled back up when he had pushed the Daemon just far enough.

Of course the Captain had done what he had known to be the right choice.  Krieger had sent him there exactly for that.  He was a good soldier and he could be depended upon to make the right choice at the right time, and again this time he had done so.  But this time it spelled doom for the Grandmaster.  Well maybe the order would find a new Grandmaster in the person of that young Captain.  Who knew, but Lord Krieger did not have time to pounder such thing for know, for as long as he lived he would fight on.  For his sake and honour and for the memories of all his fallen comrades.

-----

Inside the dungeon, Arst was still making trouble for his guards.
Laughing franticly, he yelled at his keepers:  “What know pathetic sheeps, what are you going to do?  Your courageous knights have all fallen, your Grandmaster is about to lose his life to my master, who will save you then?”

Dumbstruck the guards knew not what to reply.  Arst had been chained in the dungeons for hours now.  He had been taken there when the battle had just started, how could he possibly know what was going on outside when they knew nothing themselves?

They could hear up the stone stairs that the castle was safe for now, the gate had been lowered and the drawbridge pulled back up.  And they also received confirmation of what Arst had just announced.  The Grandmaster was still outside the outer wall and could not be reached.

“Sergeant, surely he must be a wizard to know all of these things. We should not keep him here, he will destroy us all” said a young trooper while others approved him silently.

“Listen to me well men for I will not repeat myself.  Grandmaster Krieger told us to keep him under guard until further orders.  Until we receive those orders that Chaos worshiper will stay chained to the ground.  Think about it son, if he indeed was a wizard or had any kind of powers, do you think he still be here?  And remember this, if any of you leave your post or try to set him free, you will have more to fear from me than any power he might have.” Said the sergeant resting his hand on the hilt of his sword as to emphasis his last point.

Not looking to convinced but just scared enough at the sergeant’s treat, they return to their duties.  All they could hear around them was the sound of their heavy breathing and the smothered laugh of their charge chained like a wild dog to the cell’s floor.

-----

Back on the ramparts, the young Captain understood what he had just done.  He had done his duty by keeping the gunline firing and by raising the draw bridge, but he knew that last act would cost the Grandmaster his life.  He would not be able to get back to the safety of the walls and with no more knights to support him, is Lord would surely lose that fight.

What can I do know, he wondered.  He wished for some miracle as he saw Lord Krieger thrown off his horse by a single blow of the Chaos beast.

“Set your sights on the Daemon soldiers” he yelled at his handgunners.  “Shoot the beast and make sure your aim is true, we have to protect Lord Krieger, and we are the only one who can. On my command… FIRE!”

Once again thunder and smoke filled the air of that cold night.  The beast seemed to be taken back a step or two by the impact of so many lead bullets.  The Captain had never seen soldiers aim so well in the heat of battle before.  It seemed they all understood that they were responsible now for the Grandmaster’s life and they were determined to protect it.  Again and again, shoots took off the parapet and struck at the Daemon.  Each of the man seeming to be worth three and shooting as well as any marksman on the rifle range on a clear summer’s day.

We might just make that miracle happen yet, hoped the young Captain.

-----

Having been thrown to the ground, Grandmaster Krieger knew his time had come.  He had fought as best he could. Warding off blows with shield and sword.  Attacking every opportunity he got and stabbing the fiend more times than he could count.  He knew now that nothing could be done. But he would die knowing that castle would be safe until morning came.

Calmness filed him as the Daemon stood on top of him, laughing manically has it prepared to deliver the final blow that would take him to Sigmar and eternal rest after so many years of warring. 

As he closed his eyes and made peace with Sigmar, he could hear in the distance what seemed like a human voice or many in fact. But how could it be possible? Who would be mad enough to lurk outside on this night?

The cries that resounded through the night, almost overpowering the thunder of the Imperial handgunners on the castle’s wall, gave him the answers he was looking for.

In the night echoed hundred of voices claiming “THE END IS NIGH!!!”

It seemed that the miracle the Captain had been waiting for had just arrived, but would it be soon enough?
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on September 22, 2008, 02:23:11 AM
CHAPTER 13

Ernst looked up. The pain in his leg caused him to wince and cry out. There was dirt in his mouth and in his eyes, and he couldn’t feel his left arm. He looked at his leg and realized it was caught between two jagged rocks. He then realized, that those jagged rocks may have saved his life; they were keeping him from falling further down the crevasse! How he fell off the drawbridge above he couldn’t recall, the fact that he hadn’t fallen further amazed him. Yet, hanging upside down here, bloody and broken, it would only be a matter of time before the numbness set in and he forever slipped…

Must stay conscious! He thought. He tried to bend up to grab the top of the rocks but his breast plate prevented the motion. He loosened up again and dangled. Looking down in the darkness below. The crevasse was indeed very dark, yet illuminated by moonlight.

Morrslieb!

A chill coursed through Ernst; what am I doing out here?

A scream interrupted that thought as a gleaming knight and his horse fell past him and into the darkness below. He heard, after a few grueling seconds, the crushing sounds of meat and metal impacting on rock. The terror struck Ernst hard and he tried again to gain purchase of the rocks and pull himself up, but he couldn’t reach them. Another knight fell past followed by his mount. Again, the sickening thud resounded below. Looking up, through joins of the bridge’s planks, he could see the shadows of things fighting off something big and illuminated on the bridge.

That blue white glow…

The image flashed in his mind; a hideous disgusting thing of rot. Was it not his savior? It was burning a blue flame…he remembers being panicked and stomping on smaller versions of the monstrosity and tripping…

“A warrior like you really should’ve charged out of that gate with ‘is sword drawn.”

Ernst shrieked! The voice was so close, but he couldn’t see it! It was coming from behind him, but he was pinned, and helpless. But this did not prevent Ernst from trying, in his panic, to see where the voice came from.

“No, tsk tsk, you went out like a jubilant girl greeting her father upon his return from sea.”

The voice was male, gruff, and somehow familiar…

“Who…are you? “ the struggling Ernst asked.

“Ah, I’m the warrior you always hoped to be. I’m the glory you thought you’d get, and I am the friend you’ve always wanted.” The voice continued. Ernst could feel the presence near him, just behind him. It was creating a noise and a steady breeze.

“I’m your future. The only one you have that involves the continuation of your life anyway. I’m am the renewal of your soul.”

“Why the riddles? I’m…in too much pain…to think...” stammered Ernst

“I can take care of that too…yes, I am your…panacea.” And with that statement, Ernst felt something touch him and a good, pleasurable feeling washed over him, and the pain was gone. Ernst felt really good. But that high quickly faded, and within the instant the pain flooded back in. Ernst cried out. He wanted that good feeling back instantly. He was shaking, and sweating.

“What…do you …want…?” Ernst struggled to get the words out.

“Want? I just want to fulfill these things for you; give you a 2nd chance.” The presence said with a faux innocence.
   
   “Arrrgh!!!" Ernst cried out again, the pain was intensifying.

   “You’re dying lad; it’ll be days-Nay! Weeks! Before someone can retrieve your body. Assuming, anyone discovers it or even bothers to try…”

   He felt the presence grow closer, he felt it’s breath near his ear as it said more quietly: “Lad, I can prevent that death from ever occurring.”
   
   “What do I have to do?” said a crying Ernst.

   “Just say the word. Just, say you’ll give me the opportunity to fix this for you, to make it right. Just say-“
   
   The presence paused dramatically, but what Ernst couldn’t see was that it was looking up at the drawbridge. Now the monster above only had one foe, and it was winning.
   
   “…just say yes.”

   In his heart, Ernst felt like he knew he was thinking about doing something unspeakably wrong and forever damnable…

   “You can’t go back to that life my friend, you finished that course before you even fell into this predicament! I mean, killing a superior officer at that gate? Opening said gate and lowering the drawbridge to invite in your enemy? Lad, even if they pulled you up alive, they’d probably toss you back in making sure you hit the bottom next time. Face it lad, I’m your only hope.”

   With tears in his eyes, Ernst caved.

   “Yes. Save me, please.”
   
   “It shall be done.” And with that he flew into view, revealing his purple hued daemonic glory to Ernst.

   “What is your name, my lord?” he asked the being that appeared in his dreams that now appeared before his eyes.

“I’m known as Geilir, but I’ll let you call me master.” The bat-winged, horn-headed, and cloven-hoofed being answered
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on November 02, 2008, 02:37:17 PM
Being well past a month, I've taken it upon myself to add another chapter. Enjoy this action, it get's gruelling!

CHAPTER 14

Dieter was screaming in agony, as he leaned in the far corner of the small booth clutching the smoldering stump that was his hand. Hanz looked on, not knowing what to do for the lad. The explosion cauterized the wound instantly, so bleeding to death thankfully wasn’t going to be Dieter’s fate. Perhaps shock would be it however. Hanz had seen men of greater strength and character die from lesser wounds.

The noise outside the booth grew more chaotic: during Dieter’s attempt at martyrdom, the Grandmaster himself managed to push back the Great Unclean One to the other side of the crevasse and off of the Drawbridge. Those within the castle raised the drawbridge back up at the first opportunity, stranding Grandmaster Krieger and his knights with a Greater Daemon of Nurgle. Now, as Hanz looks away from the moaning Dieter, he sees the last of Krieger’s knights killed, his carcass tossed over the cliff’s edge, and Krieger, a far more impressive fighter than Hanz would’ve imagined the old man was, locked in single combat with the Great Unclean One. It was not going well. Now, the Greater Daemon of Nurgle had knocked the Grandmaster down, who was dangerously close to the edge of the crevasse, but still he held his blade up definitely.

The Great Unclean One was no longer burning the magical fire that had engulfed it when it was exposed to the booth but he could see that it had done far more damage to the Daemon than the knights had. However, exposed under the vile glow of Morrslieb, the Greater Daemon appeared to be revitalized, although he no longer possessed as many nurglings as he did in the beginning, Krieger was now down, and the Great Unclean One raised his rusted shard and was preparing to bring down his master stroke when the lights caught Hanz’ eye.

Streaming out of the woods, a horde of crazed maniacs with torches threw themselves at the Great Unclean One. Jumping on his back, beating it with a motley assortment of crude pain evoking instruments: chains, flaming torches, pitch forks, clubs with nails in them, and rocks. They tore into the Greater Daemon’s backside ripping out chunks of rotted maggot riddled hide while setting other parts on fire. The Great Unclean one whipped around laughing, swinging with it’s chains, and bashing many of the crazed horde of humans with a single swipe. Hanz hand heard of these crazed fanatics devoted to Sigmar, but he never had seen them in combat before. These men were utterly fearless, as the man next to him was cut in twain, the other screaming maniac jumped on the Great Unclean One’s arm and starting to bite into it. The Daemon flung the maniac off and he went toppling into the booth, landing on Dieter, who screamed in terror and in pain.

Hanz, realizing that the man was not on fire or had exploded, crouched down to get him off of Dieter, who, thankfully, had passed out. The man was hairy and covered in scars and ritual tattoos, most of which were holy symbols of Sigmar. He was frothing mad, and had the look of a killer in his eyes.

“Who are you? What’s your name?” Shouted Hanz above the din.

“Yuri! Sigmar’s vassal of punishment against the unrighteous! FOR SIGMAR!!!” He screamed as he pounced to his feet, stepping on Dieter’s crotch. Hanz grabbed his shoulder and yelled into his ear:

“Yuri, try to get your men to push the Daemon into the booth! It’s blessed by Sigmar and will destroy it!”
The mad man, paused for a second, and saw a nurgling, right on cue, jump off the creature’s back and through the booth’s window, where it was instantly vaporized.

“Blessed be! Sigmar aides us!” he leaped out the door, and looped his chain around the Greater Daemon’s neck and started pulling! He tossed the other end into the booth, which Hanz picked up and started pulling. Dieter too, conscious again after having his groin stepped on, also grabbed hold of the chain. The three men began pulling the chain trying to drag the creature into the booth.

“FOR SIGMAR! MEN! PUSH IT INTO THE BOOTH!!!” screamed Yuri.

The flagellants obliged without question and all heaved upon the Great Unclean One, who said as it laughed:
“Ah, the children now play a new game! If games you wish to play, you can join me in the Father’s garden and…ARGHH!!!”

Grandmaster Krieger took advantage of his opportunity and with all of his might swung with a mighty upward stroke that cleaved a viscous cut into the beast’s belly. A gush of viscid entrails, juices and foul stench broke forth from it’s decayed hide and spilled onto Krieger, who, exhausted, was overwhelmed and fell over into the slime and wretched. But this action was all that the flagellants required to distract the Greater Daemon, who lost balance and toppled, his horned head catching the booths doorway, and passed the threshold.

There was the brightest, most intense, blast of blinding light of this night so far. This was followed quickly by a blast of heat followed by a wall of silence.

When Hanz recovered, he had afterimages burned into his blurry eyes, and a ringing in his ears. He stumbled over, and found Dieter, unconscious again. Yuri was in the booth still as well, and was on his knees clutching his hands to this face, no doubt also blinded. Hanz pulled himself up, and looked out of the booth, which, amazingly was completely intact.

Outside the booth, scores of dead flagellants lay scattered about. Their bodies burned a bright blue flame, and everywhere the Greater Daemon had left it’s slime, was now a magical fire. Hanz looked around for the Grandmaster, but did not see him. Near the crevasse edge, where he had been, was his sword, laying in a pool of burning blue flame.



Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on November 10, 2008, 03:52:44 AM
CHAPTER 15

From the Eastern Tower, Kurtz and his apprentice spied the battle as it passed; knights pushing the Greater Demon back across the drawbridge, crazed Sigmarite fanatics assaulting the great beast with frenzied abandon, and finally the explosion of fire as the abomination was destroyed by the enchantments from the booth.

The flash of light from the North Tower was exceptionally bright, so much so that it brought a slight smile to the old Celestial Wizard’s lips.
“It will take them a while to regain their power” mused Leviticus to himself as he leaned over to peer into the telescope once again, “which gives me so time to study”.

Joshi, considering his duties, the importance of his master’s study’s, as well as his own future in the school, cast one final look over the mess down below; something shiny catching his eye.
“Master, what do you make of that?” asked the apprentice, pointing out to the dark crevasse near the Drawbridge.

“What do you want?” demanded Leviticus, annoyance apparent in his voice. Leaning back up, he saw the boy pointing at something below the tower. Following the apprentice’s finger, he too saw a glimmer in the darkness. Reaching for a nearby speculum, he lifted it to his eye.
“It appears our gallant host may still be alive” exclaimed the wizard, spying the body of Grandmaster Krieger dangling precariously from some outlying roots protruding from the crevasse wall.

Handing the speculum to the boy, Leviticus turned around to continue with his studies. Leaning over, he adjusted the positioning of the telescope to reflect Morrslieb’s new position in the sky.
Viewing the scene through the speculum, the apprentice speculated “I think he is unconscious, and…”
 “QUIET!” barked Leviticus, as he turned a dial on the telescope, adjusting his focus. “Why don’t you inform an officer of the dear Grandmaster’s situation and give me a moment?”

As the young student tottered off, Leviticus stood and rubbed his eyes on the wet cloth once more. ‘It cannot be’ he thought, reflecting on the vision he saw only moments ago. Stooping once again, he put his eye to the apparatus, viewing Morrslieb once again.
“Oh my...”

-----

Jauchman felt the surge of magical power as the foul beast of Nurgle was destroyed in a shower of blue and white flame. What’s worse, he also felt the drain of power immediately following. Turning to view his Tower, the light coming from it was now dim.

Too dim.

Doubt began to trickle into the Light Mage’s mind. Thoughts and possibilities racing through, Jauchman could not help but run toward the tower. The enchantments needed to be upheld, the fate of the booth, the vault, and the entire castle rested now upon him. His Acolytes were most likely fine; such a surge or raw power often renders a vessel unconscious as the body racks with energy.

'I must rouse them. The enchantments must continue.' he thought desperately as he ran, pushing past various guards all looking over the ramparts at the remains of the battle in which they had seen their Grandmaster slain.

The heavy wooden door at the base of the tower was not guarded like he requested; not a solider was to be seen. Pushing it open, he begun to make his way up the stone spiral stairs. Bounding up flights of stairs at a time, he arrived at the top out of breath. Reaching into his robe, he brandished a key, glowing with white energy, and inserted it into the enchanted lock with a click. The door vanished in a bright flash, and Jauchmen put the key back into his pocket.

Looking into the room, the sacred flames had been extinguished, and an unnatural shadow hung over the candles. There was still light shining through the window from the mocking moon of Morrslieb. There was also a faint light glowing from each acolyte; they were each lying on the floor up against opposing walls. The light meant they were still alive, but the raw power that flowed through them had obviously blasted them apart, and left them immobilized and unconscious.

There was however a darkness in the room that did not belong. A sacred room of ritual such as this, needed to be well lit. No shadows should be cast in such a sacred space, unless performing an enchantment.
Jauchmen took a step towards the sacred candles in the centre of the room, and the shadow, the darkness began to grow…
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on November 19, 2008, 06:30:11 AM
I couldn't help myself...

CHAPTER 16

Ernst approached the door at the base of the darkened tower. His fall had left him with a slight limp, and although his master had relieved him of his pain, the inconvenience of his injury was yet to be felt. There was not a guard to be seen, suspicious for such an important night for a key defensive building to be left unattended. Also suspicious was the fact that the heavy wooden door was not locked.

A dull ache returned to his leg as soon as he opened the door; before him stood a seemingly endless flight of spiral stairs. The rock they were chizeled from was a pale colour, almost of a reflective quality. The moon of Morrslieb shone through the open door, and the room appeared better lit than the night sky itself.

Ernst pushed back on the rough wood; the door shut with a dull thud, and the room dimmed, but only slightly. A bright light was coming from the top of the tower, and the stones reflected the light brilliantly, keeping the room well lit. Taking a step towards the stairs, Ernst hoped that there was no one at the summit as his master had promised.

Letting out a slight grunt, he raised one foot to the first step, and the dull ache became sharp pain once again. Before he could move any further, there was a shuffling noise beyond the wooden door from outside. The entrance flew open, and Ernst barely had time to dive behind the stairs he was about to ascend, before a bearded man in a white cloak appeared in the threshold. Despite a heavy graze on his already injured leg, Ernst remained silent, fearful of disappointing his master.

For the longest moment, the wizard did not move. Ernst did not breathe. The pain in his leg was overwhelming, but he could not betray his location to the enemy. The light for Morrslieb once again lit the room, and Ernst could feel the wizard's eyes on him through the cold stone he was pressing his body to.

Suddenly, the wizard was gone, his footsteps echoing up the tower, as he bound flights of stairs at a time. Before too long, he had reached the summit, and extinguished the light coming from above. Ernst finally took a deep breath, knowing it would not be long until he would have what his master sent him here for.

The key to the vault.

-----

Rubbing his now aching crotch, Dieter was quiet once again. Yuri had exited the booth, regrouping with his fanatical comrades, leaving Hans and Dieter alone once again. The flagellants began to sing warsongs praising Sigmar, which to Hans and Dieter sounded more like shouting and cursing than anything like what they were taught by their battalion training.

"It'll be alright lad." reassured Hans, trying to take Dieter's mind away from his injuries. "At least it wasn't your right hand."

"I'm sorry" murmurred Dieter to his older companion, a heavy melancholy now evident in his voice.

"Cheer up lad, and be glad you're not one of them" remarked Hans, gesturing to the crazed bunch of Sigmarite worshipping loonies dancing amongst the blue flames.

"It looks like fun" replied the young man, with a flash of cheekiness appearing in his eyes.

"Don't get any ideas, son." said Hans gruffly. "You're a good soldier, and if it wasn't for you distracting the beast at that moment, we both may not still be here now. The Grandmaster, whom you saved, delivered the final blow allowing us to slay the hideous creature."

A proud smile appeared on the young man's face, a smile sorely missed since the beginning of this fell night.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on November 29, 2008, 02:36:44 AM
CHAPTER 17

Mayor Schatz had seen enough. Clearly, a role he had since left behind him was in need of resurrection. Some skills never fade away, regardless of how many decades in the past you try to leave them. For the nine years he had been a witch hunter he had performed some deeds in the name of Sigmar, which, when his zeal began to wane, he started to regret. That regret made him a less effective witch hunter, so he stepped down from that office and started a new career in government. Now, decades later, living out the autumn years of his life in the honorable and less hectic role as a mayor of a small town, Mayor Schatz had hoped the skills of his youth would never be needed again.

When the reports reached his ears of the Grandmaster apparently falling down the crevasse thus pretty much nearly fulfilling the prophecy of Arst, the Mayor felt he had to do something. After all, the crème of high society was here waiting out the night; a Mayor not quite wanting to retire yet had to keep the constituency secure and happy. A visit to the field surgeon’s hospital building to acquire some tools and an assistant preceded the Mayors arrival to the dungeon. Whereupon he found the two guards watching the door of one cell in particular, the cell that he assumed he’d find Arst inside.

“Sergeant!” the field surgeon called out. The two men seemed to jump in surprise and the younger one even yelped.

“Sir!” saluted the Sergeant who instantly snapped to attention

“Sergeant, the is Mayor Schatz. We’ve come to examine the prisioner that was brought down here tonight. The man called Arst; is he in that cell?”

“Yes sir! And in good condition... He’s chained down to the floor so that he can’t harm himself.”

“Or cast any spells!” interjected the younger guard.

The Mayor’s eyebrow rose at that comment. He stepped up and set down a leather doctor’s bag upon one of the two guard stools that was in the hall.

“Has Mr. Arst tried to cast any spells tonight gentlemen?” he asked rhetorically while opening the bag.

“Um, n-no Sir!” Stammered the younger guard.

“You can never be too safe your Excellency!” added the Sergeant.

“True men, true.” The mayor said, and then he let his surgeon’s gloves snap. The field surgeon helped the Mayor adjust a black leather apron, and then they both nodded to each other and headed to the door, the surgeon picking up the leather bag as he passed the stool.

The guards produced the keys, and unlocked the cell. Arst was indeed chained to the floor, finally silent and perhaps sleeping, with his head resting in a small puddle of his own drool. He did not seem to react to the door opening. Mayor Schatz quickly deduced that either Arst was faking it or he was dead, as he did not make any sounds or indicate that he was breathing. The Mayor had hoped for this poor fool’s sake, that he was indeed dead. Fore if he was not, he’d soon be begging for it. As he stepped through the door’s threshold, he turned to the Sergeant and spoke:

“Lock us in. But be ready to open this door at a moment’s notice.”

He saw the fear in the younger man’s eyes. But chose not to say anything else.
 
The door shut firmly behind him and he could hear the locks tumbling into place. The Sergeant watched through the small barred view slot. The surgeon set his bag back down while Mayor pulled from beneath his shirt the Sigmarite holy symbol, which bore the seal of a Witch Hunter General in the Holy Order of the Templars of Sigmar. He rarely wore this amulet anymore, but he always made sure he did the night of Geheimnisbacht. The field surgeon was crouched down, examining the prisoner.

“The bleeding still hasn’t stopped, but it’s slowed down. The wound will not kill him so long as it’s kept clean and free from infection.”

“Oh, that won’t be a problem. We’ll guarantee that the infection will not set in.” spoke the Mayor as he pulled one of the two torches that lit this cell from it’s sconce and stepped toward the center of the small cell, “Go ahead and wake him, we’ll need him somewhat lucid if we’re to get any useful information from him.”

And then, the two men proceeded about their work, and the two guards in the hall outside would each gain a new nightmare…
         
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on December 28, 2008, 12:56:18 AM
It's clear to me that this has run it's course, so I'm thinking about tying up the subplots and wrapping this thing up in the next couple of weeks. Perhaps we climaxed with the fight with the Great Unclean one? I've got a wicked little twist cooked up so unless someone beats me to it... :icon_twisted:



Regardless, I had a lot of fun and I'm proud to say we put together a rather good story I think...
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Karl Voss of Averland on December 28, 2008, 01:17:06 AM

Regardless, I had a lot of fun and I'm proud to say we put together a rather good story I think...


That you did! Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to read the finale.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Captain Gerntass on January 17, 2009, 11:24:49 PM
That was a hell of a good story, especialy with the greater deamon and the whitch hunter. Can't wait for the next instalment, I would add my own piece but I'm just to afraid to spoil it, please we beg of you,more.
 :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap: :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on January 18, 2009, 12:58:28 AM
Thanks! I do have an ending written up, but I'm stuck on a few plot points that just need to be resolved. Actually, I'll confess it: I have no frigg'n idea what's in the vault! I'm usually fairly creative with this sort of stuff, but that one has me stumped.

By the way, ANYBODY can still contribute, the more the merrier! No contribution has been dismissed. In fact, someone posted a very short entry which changed the course of the whole plot (I introduced the GUO in my followup post) and it was the only contribution that person did and it was awesome. So, if anyone wants to take a crack at that, I'll be more than thankfull!

-Joel
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on January 18, 2009, 02:30:28 AM
Not the ending, but a necessary part toward it:

CHAPTER 18

“What’s your name son?" asked the Captain.

“Joshi Sir, Lo-“

“What are you doing up here on the wall? It’s midnight, Morrslieb is at’s it’s peak!”

“I was sent by-“

“I mean look at this mess!” exclaimed the wide-eyed Captain, who was just now beginning to reveal small cracks in the veneer of his calm and steady demeanor. He was gesturing toward the courtyard where men and soldiers were clearing out the burned and bloody bodies of soldiers and spawn alike. “Doesn’t this indicate to you lad that this is a dangerous place to be?”
 
The boy saw the opening and took it: “The Grandmaster is in danger!”

The young Captain was clearly getting impatient and he started to fluster as he said, “Young man. The Grandmaster, the hero of this night, single handedly stood up to a Greater Daemon fueled by the power of that cursed moon. I watched, and was briefly blinded by, the explosion that destroyed them both. Please, speak no more of our hero, everyone’s nerves are at the breakpoint, and we’ll never see the dawn’s light if the men protecting this castle lose their wits and their resolve.”

“But...” stammered Joshi, feeling helpless trying to relay his message.

“Guard,” signaled the Captain to a passing soldier, ”escort this lad to wherever he’s supposed be.”
“He’s alive!” yelled the boy.

“What!?” the temper of the Captain flaring to life instantly and he lunged at the boy, slapping him hard across the face and knocking him to the parapet floor. Joshi yelped, and tried to scramble away but the Captain hoisted him up by his collar, and held him up to eye level.

With his eyes bulging, teeth gritting, veins pulsing and sweat pouring his face appeared to be that of a berserker. He spoke with an unnerving clarity and calm considering the manic display of his disposition: “Speak no more of the Grandmaster. He is dead.”

He released the boy, who was caught by the guard this time.  The guard had been quite surprised by the Captain’s outburst and was now making it his goal to not see the boy killed. Joshi was bleeding from his nose, and tears ran down his face and he was utterly humbled.

“Now GO, and I do not want to see you again this night!” bellowed the Captain.
Both Joshi and the guard made haste to leave the wall.


Neither one noticed the Captain slowly glaring back at them as he licked the boy’s blood from his glove.



-----


With a damp cloth held to his face, Joshi returned to the tower where his master, Leviticus Kurtz and he had been engaged in studying the moon Morrslieb. He hated failing at a task, for he enjoyed pleasing and learning from Leviticus. He slowly opened the tower door and made his way to his worktable. He spotted a presence by the telescope but he was too fearful to make eye contact with his master. Also, he didn’t want to distract him with the tale of the abuse he had just taken from the Captain when it could just wait until morning.

“Ah, good you’ve returned lad…” Leviticus’ voice issued out from beyond the half canopy that protected the worktable from the threat of inclement weather.

“I need you to take some notes for me. I’ve made some discoveries that change everything.”

“Change everything?” Joshi said with surprise. His master was firmly attached to his theories about Morrslieb and rarely deviated far from his accepted conventions.

“Everything. Yes! Change…change…yes, prepare to write lad, fore this will revolutionize what we know about Morrslieb and even the nature of Chaos itself.” Said the excited voice.

Joshi was now beginning to really take interest in this, as the jubilation in his master’s voice was something rare to behold. Either that or he was partaking of too much wine. He glanced down at the provision basket they had brought up here, but he could quickly tell that the bottle of wine had not been touched and the flask of water was still right on top of the basket where Joshi had left it a few hours ago when his master wanted water for his eye. Dismissing that theory, he snatched up the quill, loaded the ink, and said: “Ready Sir.”

“You’re a good lad, now..” and his master proceeded to speak in a harsh and untranslatable language that quite truthfully Joshi had never head before. It rattled his ears and every syllable seemed to cause his heart to pound hard against his ribs and punch at this inner ear.

“Ah! Master! What are you saying?” exclaimed the boy in puzzlement and disgust.

Leviticus did not stop, and if anything his vocals only grew more rhythmic. Joshi stood up with his pen and his book and stepped around the canopy to where the telescope was now positioned, and gasped.

Dressed in his master’s robes and the burst tatters of his master’s clothes, was a huge beaked bird like thing with folded wings sitting upon the telescope stool. He was holding a mirror toward the telescope viewfinder and reflecting moon light on to the tower’s floor. The chanting was unstopped, and it was clearly his master’s voice some how coming from this beaked monstrosity. Joshi was terror stricken and seemed that his legs were rooted to the spot. He stared at the creature’s head, and it seemed as if the old wizard’s eyes were the exact eyes of this creature. It was gesturing toward the pattern of light on the floor, and Joshi could see movement in that pattern. He watched as a pair of long pink limbs reached up from the light, braced themselves and pulled up from it a large bulbous grinning creature not unlike how a ratcatcher leaves a manhole. The creature giggled at him and wobbled toward him. Joshi felt liquid running down his leg, and he knew he had pissed himself. Yet he was too terror stricken to do anything.

More creatures popped out of the hole until quickly they filled the area of the tower with pink giggling whirly and twirling things.

The bird monster stopped speaking, it looked up and addressed Joshi:
“Lad! Stop slouching! You look pathetic! You’re about to learn the secrets of the universe, you can at least show some respect!”

The Pink Horrors all laughed with that, and the ones closest to him reached out to Joshi and lifted him off the ground. All he could do was shake and stutter as they passed him around toward the light, now clearly a free-formed portal.

“Ah, you have your pen! Good. Do take notes, but try not to comprehend too much too soon; it could make you crazy. See you soon enough!” and the Lord of Change turned his attention back to the viewfinder of the telescope as the Pink Horrors passed Joshi down into the hole of light, and he slipped into the Realm of Chaos…

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on January 19, 2009, 12:46:46 AM
I've got plenty more in me - its just Christmas took a bit of the energy out of my, and work was busy since I got back.

I have no idea what to do with the witch hunter, and I don't really know whats in the vault either - or do I?

I think there is plenty more story to be told... if you have the legs for it neverness...

But most definitely, anyone wishing to add to it really does help flow on the story, and the new elements added by new writers make it that much more interesting.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on January 19, 2009, 04:20:36 AM

I think there is plenty more story to be told... if you have the legs for it neverness...


I'm game! And I definitely have got more in me.

Carefully rereading this stuff, I've noticed a few elements that haven't been addressed yet or no one has yet to pounce on and run with:

The Captain. Nobody seems to want to take a crack at naming him! I think I read every chapter this bloke appears in , but I can only find him being referred to as 'the Captain' or 'the young Captain'. Did I miss something? Of course, I'm totally cool leaving it as is. It might be fun to have a nameless hero! (Although I don't know how much of hero he'll be in the end... :evil:)

Mayor Schatz, the ex-witch hunter, only came about because I wanted to do more with Arst and I thought the Mayor and the aristocracy ought to be involved more. I introduced them in that party scene (I really enjoyed that one) but we never really went back to them. Unless someone beats me to it, I think I have a few more chapters in me concerning that situation. Also remember that Miss Schatz and his daughter Francine are there as well, and that Krieger has an interest in her. And Frau Wechsler, the woman who brought Arst to the party. Was she just a pawn in Geilir's machinations?

The Knights. Or rather, the name of their order? Are these guys religious nuts, or just imperial enforcers? I've been viewing them as something in between. I've been toying with making them the Knights Jaguar as I couldn't find enough on them to veto using them. But nothing's official until it's in a chapter, so if someone wants to run with figuring out who these knights are, I'm more than happy to take their lead.

The Castle. It has no name, and neither does the villages and town that it protects. It's obviously not a major town, or we'd have mentioned it already. In my mind, I've been visualizing it as being near the Middlemounts, and nearish Salzenmund (I wanted to mention Salzenmund as a tip of the hat to the late Rufas the Eccentric, whose writings have been very inspirational; then and now. In fact I think I did in the chapter that I introduced Leviticus and Joshi.) Being in the northern part of the Empire, it's just that much closer to the influence of Chaos wastes and was probably in or near the path of Archaon's last invasion.

These three things are not vital or even really important to the overall story, but I thought pointing them out might spark someone's imagination and desire to contribute.


Go on, you know you want too... :evil:


Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on January 19, 2009, 05:26:24 AM
I like the outline you just did. A synopsis on whats going on - kind of like an intermission in the show, or an ad break on TV, where you talk and reflect about whats happened.

The Boys in the Booth. We aren't allowed to kill them off. But thats not to say they can't get hurt. Dieter has already lost a hand. Deiter is young and reckless, Hanz older and more worldly. The booth is protected, only so long as those wizards keep chanting, and right now they are out cold.

Crazy Mob. Does Yuri's vision of the castle burning come true? Does Yuri apologise to Dieter for stepping on his crotch?

Grandmaster Krieger He is unconscious (possibly dying), hanging precariously from branches / roots out the side of the cliff, drenched in Great Unclean One mucus. Joshi and Leviticus are no longer able to help him, will he make it back to save the day once again? Will a stiff wind blow him down the crevasse, fulfilling Arst's promise?

A new character? There is plenty of space for you to write in your own character - what have they been doing while all this has been going on?
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 on January 19, 2009, 11:00:24 PM
I'll play along. Please excuse any mistakes in my English, hope it is good enough :)

Chapter 19

Krieger was hanging on, with the last of his life force, he was hanging on. He could not see anyway out of this, he was going to fall, soon. A young voice interrupted his dim thoughts. Even though the voice was young, it had an ancient wisdom, it was warm and kind.

“Take my hand, Grandmaster”

Krieger could now se a hand reaching out. It had a warm glow, even though the night was dark and cold, this hand looked like being lit by the sun. Krieger did not fully trust the voice. Who would be foolish enough to venture outside the castle? But he could not think of any other way out of his current situation. He took the hand and was with a secure and strong force pulled up.

A young man stood in front of him. He was dressed in farmer’s clothes, but looked more like a barbarian. He was the tallest man ever to be seen by Krieger. His eyes were calm and wise. Had one only seen his eyes, one would have thought him to be an old, wise man. The young man picked up the Grandmaster’s sword and handed it to him.

“I believe this belongs to you?”

Krieger took the sword out of his hands. It seemed lighter than before. So did his armour. The sword felt warm and calm, just like the young man in front of him. But wait, the young man was gone. Krieger went over to the two guards. The younger guard who had earlier distracted the demon was asleep on the floor, the older guard stared wonderingly at his Lord.

“ My.. my Lord? You are alive?” – The guard asked

“Did you see the young man helping me to my feet ?” – Krieger did not see a need to answer such a simple question.

“What man?” – The guard was clearly confused

Krieger stared back at the former battlefield. There was no sign of anyone. His eyes rested on the castle instead. Something was dreadfully wrong in there. He needed to get back inside.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on January 20, 2009, 12:03:17 AM
Great stuff Buddha! Really good. No evidence English isn't your first language(I'm assuming by what you said) - a great piece of writing!

CHAPTER 20

“Begone from this sacred place!" commanded Jauchman to the Darkness, as he pressed his staff onto the floor. Concentration on his face, a dazzling brightness began to shine from the stone at the top of the staff, and shadow began to emit a hissing noise.

As seconds went on, the brightness increased, and the beasts hissing noise became louder, until the demon could not take it anymore. It took form, and lunged at Jauchman, black claws reaching for his throat and arms. Sidestepping out the way, the staff fell to the ground, and the light faded. The beast could not be seen, concealed under Jauchman’s cloak that it had torn off and hidden under near the doorway.

The Light Mage picked himself up from the ground, and quickly retrieved his staff.  As he approached the heap, he heard chanting. Looking around for a physical manifestation of the enemy’s spell, he saw a new shadow in the centre of the room. A tiny hole of darkness appeared right where the candles were. The hole began to grow, and the candles fell into the Abyss.

Acting quickly, Jauchman cast an enchantment on himself. His limbs began to glow with a purifying light, and with fantastic speed, he picked up the chanting demon. It continued chanting defiantly, as it sneered at the mage, the Pit of Shades coming ever closer to where the wizard stood, and where his acolytes lay scattered around the room.

The power of Pha completely filled his limbs, Jauchman, began to pummel the demon in the face and torso. Bones crunched and black blood splattered over the tower walls, the demons chanting ceased as it wheezed for breath. The pit began to close, and the demon knew it was finished.

“Owww” muttered one of the acolytes as he returned to consciousness. Jauchman turned his head slightly, relieved to see at least one his apprentices still alive. This was all the distraction the demon needed, as it forced itself from Jauchman’s grasp, sending Jauchman reeling back towards the centre of the room.

His arms still alight, Jauchman turned to the fleeing demon and cast one last spell at the foul beast, just as it crossed the threshold to the stairway. The light from his arms condensed into his hands, and then from the wizard’s fingertips, a burning flare hit the demon. All light from his hands left in a bright, burning beem that pushed the demon over the edge of the stairway and tumbling down the open space at the centre of the tower. Its body alight on the way down from the cleansing flare, a charred corpse hit the floor far below with an echoing thud.

Jauchman could now set about restoring his acolytes to their work.

-----

Both hearing the ruckus above, and seeing the bright lights and dark shadows overhead, Ernst knew it best that he stay hidden. I miss you he thought, longing to be close to his new master once again.

Suddenly, only inches from where he crouched, a blackened and charred demon fell. Its angular ugly face screwed up in a final expression of agony and pain. In its claws was the once white cloak of the Light Wizard, now also burnt and damaged.

Sensing the opportunity his master no doubt wanted him to take advantage of, he crawled towards the scorched corpses’ outstretched arm. Ernst reached for the wizards cloak, feeling the now rough material in his hand.

The corpse let out a guttural groan, air, escaping the dead creature for the last time. Startled, Ernst dropped the robe on the floor and jumped back towards the relative safety of under the stairway. As the cloak fell to ground, the shining key it stored fell also, with a cling.

Eyes wide, realising his prize was in sight, Ernst snatched the key up and bound as quietly as he could for the door. Stealing one last glance at the doorway at the top of the tower, he exited. His master would be pleased.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on January 20, 2009, 01:17:01 AM
Good job guys. Thanks for joining us Buddha90, that was great stuff!

CHAPTER 21

The tower door slammed open, the Captain pushed through the threshold with a frantic and frenzied resolve. He was a sweaty mess, with wild crazy eyes.
 
“Where are you boy!?!” he bellowed out his question. He held a battle-axe in his hand that he had pulled off of a wall display and the bloody head of the guard that had been posted to this tower’s level in the other.
 
After Joshi had left him on the wall, the Captain subconsciously licked the droplets of blood off of his gloved hand. It tasted rich and it filled him with vitality and strength unlike any he had felt before. And he wanted-nay, needed- more! Abandoning his post, he searched franticly for the boy, and eventually found the guard he had ordered to escort the lad to tell him where he was brought. He made his way up the tower with minimal bother. A lot of the occupants were attempting to sleep through this cursed night, but when he made it to the roof level the guard dared to question his presence there and refused his passage. When he returned a few minutes latter with a battle-axe the bastard was taught a lesson in military hierarchal respect; not that the fool would be left in a state to exercise this new found knowledge.

The Captain now stepped out onto the chilly roof.

“Boy! Come here!” he ordered as he stepped away from the door and walked over to the table under the canopy. He could tell the lad had been here, and like a bloodhound he found a bloodied and damp cloth wadded up on the table. He snatched it up and began sucking the liquid from it. The tangy iron taste was almost intoxicating; he need more!

For about ten minutes he stood there sucking every drop out of that cloth, until he felt a tug on pant leg. He slowly turned, and even in the pale green light of Morrsleib he could the creature seeking his attention was pink. He snapped back, and brought up the axe.

“Back away spawn! Give me the boy!” yelled the Captain.

The giggling and laughing began, from the other side of the canopy, and he could tell that it came from a small legion of voices.

“What is this?” yelled the Captain as he angrily knocked over the canopy with his axe and kicked the pink horror away…

He was surprised to have revealed to him a Lord of Change, a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, sitting at a telescope, now watching him, amongst a sea of pink daemons that filled the entire space of the roof of this tower.

“Aye, this is a private study, bugger off!” pronounced the Greater Daemon.
 
“Bugger off! Bugger off! Bugger off!” chanted the jubilant lesser daemons.

“NO! You bugger off you filthy swine, and give me the boy!!!” screamed the Captain holding the battle-axe threateningly.

“He’s claimed. There’s plenty of other pickings in this place, go find your own!” retorted the Lord of Change.

“No! I want HIS blood!!!” bellowed the Captain, clearly working up a horrible rage. He started to bleed from his own nose, and the blood ran into his mouth, and this taste only excited him more.

“Well, I’ve already got his mind, you can’t have the rest!!!” taunted the Lord of Change.

“Blood!!! Blood!!!” Was all the now berserk Captain could say as he went into frenzy and dove forward swinging his axe like a rabid orc. The Pink Horror’s surged forth to protect their Greater Daemon master, Every killing blow that landed on a Pink Horror, created two Blue horrors to take it’s place. Soon the biting, clawing and stomping creatures overwhelmed the Captain and he was consumed by a cavalcade of blue and pink daemons.

“That’s that then…” muttered the Tzeetchian Greater Daemon as he turned back to his telescope.

“B L O O D ! ! !” screamed the Captain’s booming voice as a horned, red skinned, giant bat winged cloven-hoofed monstrosity broke out from the pile of horrors. The horrors flew in all directions; some even fell from the tower landing on the surprised troops lining the wall below. Some exploded on impact dematerializing back to their hellish void, while others simply turned into two smaller blue versions of themselves and began creating havoc with the mortals below. On the roof, they tried to press back onto the thing that was once the Captain but was now a Greater Daemon. It easily brushed them aside and strode over to the Lord of Change, who was now stepping away from it’s telescope.

“Easy now, there is plenty of offerings for ye here..” said the Lord of Change in a soothing attempt to redirect his daemonic peer.

“BLOOD! FOR THE BLOOD GOD! BLOOD FOR KHORNE!!!!” And the Bloodthirster charged as the alarm bells were again ringing below.


Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 on January 20, 2009, 10:59:54 PM
Great job guys, and thank you for the kind words!  :::cheers:::

I've managed to write some more, a bit longer than last time, but keeping the Grandmaster's angle. Hope you enjoy!

CHAPTER 22

Krieger could tell that it was a cold night. He could see it but yet he could not feel it. He closed his eyes. He was standing in a meadow. His shadow was short, nearly gone. He could hear birds singing and children playing. A drop of sweat ran from underneath his helmet down his cheek, it went into his mouth and he could taste the salt. The trail left by the drop of sweat quickly dried out. The sun made his armour shine and nearly blind him. He took off the armour. He went down to the nearby village. No one seemed to notice him, but one. He was in the centre of the village, next to the well. It was the young man who helped Krieger earlier. He was not wearing the same clothes, but had the same warm glow, Krieger, for the first time in ages, felt safe.

“Come closer, I must show you something”

Krieger did as he was told.

“Look into the well”

The well was old. Krieger could tell by the poor masonry. In the well he could see nothing but himself. Then the water began to coil. A silky smooth coil transformed the mirror into a window. Krieger could see his castle. It was day, and the castle was not destroyed. It was still inhabited by men of the empire. But something was not right. The image changed. Krieger was now watching an older version of himself. He was telling stories of the night he saved the castle. Krieger did not like what he saw. This version of him, it was not who Krieger wanted to be. But deep inside, he could feel that it was what he was becoming. There were slaves all over the castle. No colours. No joy. The old Krieger was laughing, not because he was happy, because he was mocking a former opponent.

“Chaos does not always attack our walls” – The young man said.

The image in the well disappeared.

“Neither does it always attack our minds” – The young man continued.

“Sometimes we invite it. Sometimes we are the chaos”

Krieger’s eyes were travelling down to the sand. He did not dare look at the man. He closed them, he was ashamed. When he opened them again he was back in front of his castle. He now realised that chaos was to be defeated in several ways tonight. He walked back to the guards. They were both sleeping. Krieger coughed. The older guard nearly fell off the chair. They aimed their handguns before realising who was standing in front of them.

“Oh.. My apologies m’lord. I did see…”

“No harm done soldier. At ease”

The guards lowered their weapons. They seemed lost. They had no idea what to do, and why. All three of them could he the alarm sounding inside the castle.

“I need to get back in” – Krieger said in an asking way

The guards did not react naturally to this question. Krieger had hoped they would know a way, or at least they would confirm in that there were no way in. But they did neither. Their mouths were open. Their eyes were staring intensely at something behind Krieger. He turned around fearing the worst. His eyes were met by a sight he had not seen for a long time. A winged horse, a Pegasus, was standing on the road to the castle. Krieger walked towards the creature. He could feel the Pegasus’ heartbeat. It was calm, nearly the same rhythm as his heart. He touched the creature. He could feel the same sun as the one in the village of his dreams. He jumped on the back of the Pegasus, he did not need to tell it were to fly, it knew.

“Did you just see that?” – Hanz asked his younger friend.

“Sure did. But I do not believe my eyes yet”

Dieter closed the booth door and sat down.

“I think I will need a bit of vacation after this shift is over”

“So do I, so do I”

Krieger landed in the centre of the courtyard. He looked around. His men were fighting without a leader, but when they saw their Grandmaster, their hope was renewed. Krieger shouted at the nearest swordsman.

“Where is the Captain?”

“I believe I saw him walking towards the tower of that dark wizard”

Krieger flew to the tower. He got of his ride and opened the door. Inside a demon dressed partly in the Captain’s clothes were eating the remains of the apprentice. Krieger had noticed this apprentice earlier, while he was still alive. There was something magical about him, now this demon was eating his earthly remains. Krieger did not want to think of the reason why the demon had his Captain’s clothes on; or rather he did not want to accept his theory. He drew his sword.

“You will die while my blade is still playing the sound of being drawn” – Krieger said in a very determined voice.

The demon got on his feet and laughed as hard as he could. Outside in the courtyard the men were fighting valiantly, but their attention was partly directed to the tower. They had heard things from in there, and now their reincarnated Grandmaster had walked in. Something rather round and bloody flew out of the tower’s window. Out came the Grandmaster. His blade had not been drawn for more than mere seconds. The soldiers gained courage and strength as they saw their Grandmaster beheading a demon of Khorne.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on January 25, 2009, 04:35:30 PM
...and from a different perspective:

CHAPTER 23

The few flagellants that were left were just starting a new chant, as they turned to march along the edge of the crevasse. Dieter was feverish, mumbling a prayer to himself as he caressed his wounded arm. Hans worried if the young man would survive the night. The thought of whether he himself would survive the night truly never entered his mind. The yard between the edge of the woods and the Crevasse was a sheet of green light, indeed as everything now was under the high Morrslieb. Hans stuck his head out of the booth and noted that the sickly green moon was now just past it’s highest and closest point and was about to begin it’s descent toward the horizon, which would soon be followed by the sun’s blessing. The chanting and ruckus of the flagellants was somehow oddly soothing to Hans, and he relaxed on one of the booth’s stools.

Not even aware he had dozed off, he woke with a start and snapped immediately to action! Raising his handgun (and he could tell that Dieter was doing the same) he almost pulled the trigger on the Grandmaster himself, standing just outside of the booth!

“Oh! …My apologies m’lord. I did see…” Hans stumbled to say.

“No harm done soldier. At ease” said the Grandmaster.

He was mess. Bloodied and battered, the noble knight looked pale and cold. He appeared almost undead in demeanor, and his limbs and body seemed defiant of gravity’s pull as if controlled by some unseen force, like a puppet, yet his voice seemed to be as stern and commanding as always. He had a crazed look in his eyes, as if he was seeing past or even through these two bewildered guards who were now lowering their weapon despite Hanz’s instincts that were railing to do otherwise.

“I need to get back in…” stated the Grandmaster. Hanz was unsure if this was a question or an order, the look of shock on Dieter’s face did nothing to dispel that confusion.

Suddenly there was a bright illumination followed by a near deafening crack of thunder. The two guards could see that one of the castle’s towers had been struck by lightning and that illuminated in coursing energy on top of it was an immense winged being fighting another. Both guards turned back to the Grandmaster still wearing masks of shock and astonishment. Running toward them along the crevasse edge the flagellants were returning, screaming all sorts of decrees and edicts demanding to be let in the castle so they could battle chaos directly. Grandmaster Krieger turned as if to look at them. Suddenly, he bounded up into the air, and floated in mid air as it sitting upon an invisible mount. The flagellants stopped dead in their tracks as they beheld this new miracle of the hovering Grandmaster. Without saying another word, the Grandmaster launched himself up and over the wall into the castle.

“Did you see that?” Hanz asked Dieter.

“Sure did. But I do not believe my eyes yet”

As Dieter closed the booth’s door, Hanz heard crying. One of the flagellants had pulled his eyes out in disbelief while the others beat themselves or each other.

“Apparently lad you’re not the only one!”

“I think I will need a bit of vacation after this shift is over” stammered Dieter upon seeing the crazed maniacs.

“So do I, so do I” stated Hanz.

He turned away from the flagellants and looked back toward the tower. The two beings were still struggling and energy was crackling everywhere. Stray bolts of energy lashed the air. He could hear fighting; lots of it. And shooting. What foes confronted their comrades now, they could not tell. The two guards could do nothing but watch, and try to make sense of the scene before them. Adding to this sight was the cacophony being created by the flagellants outside their both as their zealous rants created the soundtrack to the madness. The two men contemplated silently what it was they witnessed the Grandmaster do. Or what he was.

    The energy on top of the tower dissipated brilliantly, and the upper levels collapsed in upon themselves Ash and dust rose in a cloud and the tower sank into it with a mighty rumble. Screams issued out, and the fighting continued. Hanz could tell through the dusty haze that the tower had not collapsed fully, but that the devastation was awesome never the less.

   “Sigmar save us…” whimpered Dieter as Hanz stared ahead wondering if he was going to survive this night…
 


Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on February 01, 2009, 05:12:48 AM
CHAPTER 24

“What was that?” one guard said to the other. They both had fear in their eyes, as sounds emanating from outside grew louder.

“I’m not sure…” the other one, the sergeant, replied cautiously. They were both wide eyed, uncertain, and definitely nervous.  These noises were not helping their situation much. Assigned to guard the door to a prisoner, Arst, the crazed chaos cultist who managed to get invited to Grandmaster Krieger’s party and promptly disrupted it, and his two interrogators, Mayor Schatz, ex-witch hunter, and a field surgeon to the Knights Jaguar.

Another rumble from outside, this one deafeningly loud, and it shook the whole castle. Masonry cracked and crumbled, and chunks fell from the ceiling. One of the lanterns shook off the ceiling and crashed to the floor, extinguishing that light. The younger guard, already traumatized by the sounds of the Arst’s torture, let out a yelp as he slipped and knocked his knee against the wall.

“Sergeant!” the stern yet smooth voice of the Mayor addressed from Arst’s cell, “Unlock the door please.”

He, still rattled from the rumbling from outside, did so, and without fumbling, The Mayor strode out. He was just as he appeared when he entered and clean of any blood or nastiness one might associate with conducting torture. The field surgeon on the other hand was covered in blood, and was trying to clean himself and his tools with a bucket of water and some rags. Arst was quite dead, and the Sergeant, not a stranger to war, gagged at the sight of the miserable wretch. War had nothing on what these men had done.

“Sergeant, you and your man need to come with me. You have nothing here left to guard. It is imperative that we get back to the Grandmaster’s chambers.”

“Yes sir!” and the two guards snapped to it and escorted the Mayor up to the ground level of the keep. There was commotion everywhere. Guards, Knights, and citizens of the local townships, all were gathered in here. Indeed, the entire keep was filled with more civilians than soldiery, and they were in a panic. Something terrible was occurring outside. Women wailed, and children cowered and cried. Someone was barking orders that seemed to be ignored. As they made their way to the next hall, they passed a priest of Shallya sermonizing to a group of people, telling them to make peace with their souls. The Sergeant thought it a bizarre sight to see a group of calm, nearly placid people surrounded by the desperation and panic of all the other occupants of this castle. The priest was nearly knocked over by a team of castle guards running through with braces to shore up the doors.

Mayor Schatz strode through the room as if these sights did not exist. So steadfast and determined was he that the two guards had a difficult time keeping up. They made it to the other side, the Chambers of the Knights Jaguar and took the private stairs of the Grandmaster. Normally the guardian knights of the castle would protect this area, however at this time they were clearly occupied elsewhere. They stopped by the armory, and loaded up on a few choice items. They then took the stairwell upward and reached the guest quarters where the aristocracy stays during visits.

As they passed a small window, both guards paused briefly to glance outside, and quickly stepped back to pace with the Mayor.

“Sergeant! Did you see the Grandmaster fly up to the tower?”

“Yes, beautiful Pegasus, I wonder where he was keeping it…”

“What Pegasus? Sir, he was moving through the air on his own! It was incredible!”

“Silence, both of you! I need you two to stay focused and alert!” ordered the Mayor.

They proceeded further on this level until they reached the sitting room where the Grandmaster entertains his guests. There were two knights guarding this room, and the door was shut.

“Sirs, I need you to let us in, and if anyone attempts to leave this room without my permission, you are to kill them. Understood?”

“Yes sir; what’s...?” the inquiring was promptly interrupted by the Mayor;

“Chaos. Pure chaos.”

The door opened.

Chaos was indeed what they saw, and what they saw was impossible to imagine. Sitting at the head of a table was a light purple/pinkish skinned being with leathery wings. On his lap sat two women, Frau Wechsler and the Mayor’s wife Helfa. Both women looked youthful despite their years and intoxicated with pleasures. They stroked the daemon prince playfully with slow lustful caresses. Scattered around the room were the dismembered torsos of the all the other dozen or so of the richest landowners and merchants from the area. These beings, limbless, yet living, were each fornicating with the clawed daemonettes, minions of this daemon prince of Slaanesh. Some appeared to be enjoying their situation, some hating it. Regardless, they were now thoroughly addicted to whatever situation they were in, and the chorus of emotional outbursts filled the air. From a chandelier behind the daemon prince hung the unconscious Francine, the pure and unharmed daughter of Mayor Schatz.

The two guards where terrified, the knights, alert and ready to slaughter the vision out of existence. The Mayor, despite seeing his family in such a predicament, was cool.

“Geilir I presume.” Stated the Mayor flatly.

“Yes my dear Mayor, it would seem your old talents are alive and well. But did you have to kill poor Arst? He really was a good minion…”

“This is over daemon. I know what you are here for, and you have lost.”

“Oh?” inquired the daemon teasingly, “And how does your small and closed mind reach that conclusion?” Geilir laughed.

“Arst is dead, and…”

Geilir’s laughter grew louder, and when the two women sitting on his lap joined in and laughed as well, the Mayor’s words stopped. He looked at his wife. Never had she looked so beautiful or so wicked. He snapped back, in anger, and continued his speech.

“Arst is dead, the vault is still sealed. The prize you seek is denied to you.”

Geilir stopped laughing enough to say: “Ah, but your honor, Arst was just the advanced scout. He wasn’t even my favorite minion. Talented, yes, but no, I have another, and even now his mission is almost accomplished. I will win this game. Slaanesh will win this game, while my kin beat each other within this playpen you call a castle. Impressed, indeed, I am with your Grandmaster who defeated Nurgle, but the jokes on him. When you are all dead, I promise, he’ll be back to claim our leftovers. And the noise you hear outside? Those are my other brothers, Khorne and Tzeentch, tearing down your castle. So, Mayor, I’m not seeing how you plan on defeating me against my terms.”

“Terms?” asked the Mayor stalling for time.

“Yes. Obviously, I have something you want and hold dear,” Geilir nodded his head toward Francine, dangling behind him. “And you have access to the vault. Or so you hope I think.”

The Daemon Prince noted the look on Mayor Schatz’s face, “Worry not Mayor, your daughter was left unscathed. Wouldn’t be much of a bartering piece if I had my way with her too…”

“And my wife?” added the Mayor.

“No.” said Geilir almost angrily,  “She is not up for barter. She is mine now. I’ve restored her youth, given her answers to desires once locked away and denied; She could never return to you now.”

Misses Schatz giggled and licked Geilir’s chest, and Geilir smiled smugly back at the Mayor.

The Mayor produced a brace of pistols, and aimed them at the Daemon Prince.

“Than lets not allow this farce to continue,” he said as he pulled the triggers.



Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 on February 01, 2009, 03:16:40 PM
Update 25

Krieger felt invincible. Below him his men were fighting off chaos. So small were the men, so small and puny. He heard gunshots below him, in his own sitting room. He landed on the roof. Oddly enough, the Pegasus was light enough not to go through the roof. He punched a hole as if it was thin glass and jumped down in to room.

The mayor was standing in one end with a smoking brace of pistols. At the other end a young man was sitting, with wounds from the pistols. Krieger recognized the young man; it was the one who saved him from the abyss. The Mayor's wife and another woman, who was unrecognizable from her wounds, were lying next to the young man. Krieger turned towards the Mayor.

“What in the name of Sigmar have you done?!”

The Mayor's eyes questioned Krieger's words

"Apparently you are not one to use the holy name of Sigmar"

Krieger could feel the anger rising inside him. He could see the blood pumping in the Mayor. He could feel his heartbeat, every beat making him hungrier. No man was allowed to talk in such an accusing way to him, the Grandmaster. Krieger smiled.

"Choose your next words carefully, Mayor Schatz, they may be your last"

It was as if Krieger had several voices. The young man got up and placed himself next to Krieger. He said with his warm and calm voice:

"You see? Chaos comes in many forms. The mayor has been corrupted. Look around you; he has murdered all of your friends."

---

The soldiers standing next to Schatz were trembling. Schatz was calm and reloaded his pistols. He pointed them once again towards the demon of Slaanesh, this time Krieger stood in the way. Schatz felt no pity for Krieger as he fired his pistols once again. The soldiers screamed as they saw the bullets drill into their Grandmaster. Schatz dropped the pistols and picked up the hammer he had brought from the armoury.

Krieger laughed at the wounds, he enjoyed the pain. He drew his sword and charged the Mayor.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on February 03, 2009, 01:08:53 AM
This is shaping up very nicely :-)

CHAPTER 26

The sound of battle could be heard outside the window. Huge winged beasts were dueling on the battlements Jauchman only minutes earlier occupied. Half the fortifications on a multitude of towers had been destroyed. Somehow, the tower of light had thus far evaded damage.

"It's too late." said Jauchman aloud in despair. Hanging his head, he turned from the window. His Acolytes were roused, however were still slightly hazed, and had not began chanting again yet. There was still a dark taint to the room, and even if they were to continue chanting, their is no guarantee it would hold the same power as it did earlier in the night.

"Master, look!" exclaimed Toji, the youngest of the three, as he pointed out the window. Following his line of sight, Jauchman spied a man flying through the air towards the embattled winged beasts. The other Acolytes too crowded around the window. Eyes wide, Jauchman finally realised who was responsible for this sorcery, realised who was responsible for the shadow demon. Drandorf.

Turning from the window, and looking over each of his acolytes, he knew he now had no other choice. "Toji, Mikel, Grayiel, prepare yourselves for battle. My brother shall cause havok no longer. To the Vault!"

The acolytes scurried quickly around the room, equipping their curved blades and battle robes. Reaching for his staff Jauchman now noticed that he no longer was wearing his cloak.
"We must go NOW!" he yelled, realising that time had already aligned itself against them.

-----

His cell was finally dark. The bars no longer carried their enchanting light - a light which burned the shadow mage constantly. His brother, the paragon of light certainly was cruel. The demon that visited him in his dreams promised him his freedom. He only need be his servant for one night, this night, and then he could have his revenge.

He wasted no time. Once the light was gone, he set to work.

When Ernst opened the door, the first thing he noticed was the darkness. There were bars, for what looked like a cell in the centre of the room. However there did not appear to be anyone held within. Taking steps forwards, a miniature model of the castle and its occupants could be seen on the floor, composed entirely from what looked like dust. Hands moved silently and elegantly above, pulling figures into place, one figure in particular riding a shadowy steed from one parapet to the next.

Moving closer still, Ernst could make out the figure of a man. The man whose hands they belong. His grey beard covered half his naked chest, and Ernst knew this was the man his master wanted freed. Reaching through the bars, he held out the key he had stolen. An invisible hand took them from him.

Backing away, his back hit the cold stone wall. Turning, he crossed the threshold and left the room, closing the door behind him. A sigh of relief escaped his lips, to be replaced by a quick gasp. A shiver running up his spine as he felt his master in trouble.

-----

Both of them were still staring at the castle in awe and fear when it happened. A flagellant noticed first, and screamed before being beheaded, his mouth forever open in a look of agony, fear and insanity. Quickly turning, Hanz was struck with fear. He felt a lump in his throat he could not swallow. Dieter saw them too, and peed himself for the second time tonight.

The rest of the flagellants turned, and Yuri yelled "The end is Nigh!!!!"

Arrayed along the road, just metres from the booth were at least thirty red coloured demons. Most were a bit larger than a man, their horned heards shining in the moons light. Some others roughly resembled dogs, but were almost as big as horses. Their eyes were focused on the castle, their attention was on the Avatar of their God, that is until Yuri's shout.

An unholy sound escaped their mouths as they prepared their swords. The first wave of flagellants ran towards them, butchered mercilessly by the jagged swords the Bloodletters carried. Blood spurted from the dead flagellants as the Bloodletters tore at their corpses, trying to release the red liquid they craved.

One of the larger beasts bound for the booth. Hanz raised his handgun, but not before the hound had already leapt through the window. Diving to the floor, Dieter narrowly missed the gnarling teeth of the fierce beast. Hanz pulled the trigger, the hound's head exploding in a black bloody muck over the wall and Dieter.

"We're dead" lamented Dieter to Hanz, looking up from his positon on the floor as he realised that the booth would no longer protect them. Nodding, Hanz agreed as he slid his body down under the windowsill to hide from the demons. He only hoped they could not smell their fear.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on February 03, 2009, 06:17:22 AM
Chapter 27

“Fool!” Mayor Schatz yelled as he parried the blade of Grandmaster Krieger with his pistols locked into an ‘X’ pattern, “You’ve been tricked by a Daemon Prince!”

Krieger yelled and shoved the Mayor onto his arse. The two guards and the two knights were attacking the daemonettes with surprising success. The younger prison guard turned to watch the Mayor roll to the avoid a blow from the Grandmaster that would’ve split a log in two, and that distraction was enough to have a daemonette eviscerate him.

“No lad!” Screamed the other guard as he brought his halberd to bear on the fiendish creature standing over the younger guard. He took her head off with a mighty blow, and kicked the thrashing clawed body in the chest, sending it sprawling across the table.

The Mayor rolled again, throwing a pistol at Krieger, hitting him in the right eye. The Grandmaster stepped back; stunned. Sweeping with his feet, he tripped the Grandmaster, knocking him into two chairs at the table. As he stood up, he tossed aside his other pistol, reached into his coat, and pulled out another brace of pistols. He kicked the sword of the Grandmaster away. “Odd, “ thought the Mayor, “I thought he tossed that down when he charged me…?”

All this time the daemon prince Geilir cheered, laughed and clapped. He was being thoroughly entertained. Schatz knew that this minion of Slaanesh cared not about who won this fight, just that it was getting pleasure from it. Two of the Daemonettes were about to jump the Knights, who were locked in a fight with four more of the daemons. The Mayor blasted them with his pistols, and they were no more. The knights pressed on their attack, taking down another daemonette. Geilir continued to laugh.

There was a sharp pain. The Mayor turned back to find the Grandmaster’s sword sticking into his thigh. The Grandmaster, somehow, impossibly in fact, had retrieved that blade again and from the floor had stabbed him! Mayor Schatz felt all his strength fade, and he stumbled back and fell to the ground.

“Father!!!” A woman screamed hysterically.

Geilir stopped laughing as hard, and tilted his head back curiously.

Grandmaster Krieger whipped around. When he saw who was screaming he was snapped back hard into this reality.

“Francine…?” Krieger stumbled to say. He was awed. The woman he had been courting, was suspended behind and above the Daemon Prince…Daemon Prince?! How’d he not notice her when he entered the room? And what was this…

The Pegasus he rode in on, disappeared in a wisp of smoke and shadow. The blade in his hand, crumbled into immateriality. In awe, he looked around the room as the lies he had been duped into believing were whitewashed with the cold harsh brush of reality. A Daemon Prince was sitting in his chair, not a young man. The local aristocracy were scattered about the room, butchered and dying. Frau Wechsler and Mayor Schatz’s wife were grievously wounded if not dead. Two of his knights were holding their own against a few daemons of Slaanesh, and two of the castle guard were struggling with their wounds. One of whom was clearly about to die as he struggled to hold his guts in.

“Welcome home Krieger, now save my daughter…” issued the voice of Mayor Schatz from the floor below. Krieger turned and looked down, and saw that the Mayor was wounded in the leg. “Don’t let these things win…” a wonderfully timed statement as the Guard Sergeant lost his head to a daemonette's claw.

Krieger had tears in his eyes, as he turned to look again at Francine. The Daemon Prince was still laughing, and seemed to not realize that Krieger had slipped his leash…Krieger saw his chance. He pulled his pistol from his belt along with a vial of holy water. He anointed a bullet, and loaded it into the gun, and turned quickly, aiming true.

“Geilir, didn’t I kill you once before?” yelled the Grandmaster from across the room.

The Daemon Prince ceased laughing abruptly and actually looked startled to see his puppet acting this way. With a load boom and a flash the bullet struck home, right in what was the Daemon Prince’s cranium. The fiend fell back, flipping the chair over and shattering it with his weight. The last of the daemonettes cried and turned to jump Kriegar. But in that moment that they were distracted, they were cut down by the Knights Jaguar.

“ARGH!!!” Bellowed the Daemon Prince as it rose up from the floor, unfolding his wings dramatically, “Grandmaster! You’re not as weak as we'd thought!” The men in the room looked on in astonishment. Krieger’s holy bullet had blown the top of Geilir’s head off, exposing where one would assume his brain was.

“…or are you?” Geilir said raising an eyebrow, tilting his head toward the woman, Francine.

“No daemon,” Mayor Schatz spoke as he struggled to stand, “You’re party of madness is over!” He threw a vial of holy water. The Knights charged, as did Krieger.

“Master! I have it!!!” The door was flung open behind them, and the Daemon Prince Geilir, burning from the acidic touch of the blessed water splashing onto him, could see Ernst standing in the doorway, holding Geilir’s long lost blade as the three knights charged him.




Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on February 06, 2009, 04:56:01 AM
CHAPTER 28

Drandorf could feel the absense. The demon whom he served was in danger. Its basic instincts for survival meant it released its foggy hold on his mind.

Taking a deep breath, the grey wizard knew that this was his opportunity for escape. In his pocket he found the key that the young soldier delivered him moments earlier. Reaching through the bars of his cell, he unlocked the door. Stepping through the threshold for the first time in years, Drandorf savoured the moment.

Another deep breath, and he listened to the shadows. Interconnected through the castle, the shadows told him all he needed to know. Demons still fought on the roof, men fought each other, and the Greater Demon, whose name Drandorf now knew, was confronted by leaders of men. More threateningly though, the shadows told him that a bright light was coming to him, and would be with him very soon.

"Brother" Drandorf said aloud, knowing that the bright spark of his family would soon arrive to reprimand him. Wasting no time, he opened the door out to the corridor, and to his escape. To left lie stairs ascending to the world above, to the right lie stairs leading down below, down to the vault. Without hesitation, Drandorf descended the stairs.

One guard, somehow oblivious to the happenings above was sleeping at his post. Metres away was the door to the vault. Creeping past, as only a master theif or master of shadows can do, Drandorf quietly put the key in the lock, and turned.

Expecting bright light, Drandorf squinted as he pushed the door slowly ajar. Darkness.

The wooden door creaked as he pushed it all the way open. His grey eyes focused in the darkness quickly, and he spotted what he came for. Longing to feel its touch in his hand, he released his grip on the door handle, and dashed over to a table to pick up his staff. The door began to close, its hinges creaking to find a position it was familiar with.

"Yes, Sir" recited the guard, roused by the creaking door.

Quickly retrieving his cloak, Drandorf headed for the just ajar door.

"Oh my, oh no, oh no, oh damn, oh DAMN!!" the guard lamented on the other side of the oak, no doubt in his mind that he was soon going to be in grave trouble with his commanding officer.

Concerntrating his effort, and with a wave of his staff, the grey wizard summoned the shadows around him into the shape of a black stallion. A silent but terrifying beauty stood in front of the wizard awaiting his command. Doning his cloak, staff in hand, he mounted his steed of shadows. With his free hand, he waved at the door, forcing it open.

The soldier standing just outside screamed as the black stallion reared its legs. The stallion charged, and the soldier dove out the way, narrowly avoiding being trampled to death by the darkness. As the horse galloped up the flight of stairs, the soldier could hear the maniacal laughter of its rider as he rode his way to freedom.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on February 13, 2009, 02:03:30 AM
CHAPTER 29

It was too quiet. The sounds of the bloodletting, to which the hellish creatures outside the booth deservingly earned their name, had abated. Dieter had passed out in his corner. He wasn’t sure if it was from blood loss, fear or what, but Hanz was glad Dieter wasn’t able to make any noise or some other stupid mistake. So Hanz had continued to squat in his corner of the booth. He legs were beginning to ache, and his knees hurt. The pressure of the position weighing on his bladder and he really wanted to piss. Dieter’s involuntary urinations left an aroma that wasn’t helping his situation either.

He noticed that the daemonic corpse in the booth had faded away, and it’s blood had wisped away in a steam. Hanz wondered if this was a result of it’s daemonic nature or the power remaining in the booth. Either way, the effect was too slow to put any more faith in the protective properties of the booth. For the first time all night, he began to run contingency plans through his head in case he had to abandon his post. The crevasse, though climbable, was too unsafe and treacherous. The woods was too noisy with all the brush, dead leaves and twigs; anything would be able to hear him for hundreds of yards in every direction. Also the green light of Morrslieb would make hiding a challenge as well.

The fighting in the castle seemed to be winding down, and Hanz had mixed feelings about that as the noise masked the sounds he thought he and Dieter were making, like breathing and heartbeats.

All the noises from the castle immediately ceased, and there was a brilliant white light! Dieter slowly peeked over the edge to see what was going on. He saw, on the crumbled remains of one of the towers, some sort of portal had opened up, and it was the source of this new light. Hanz watched as a small figure floated out of it and hovered over to the roof of the keep, leaving the slowly closing portal behind it.

“Fascinating…” thought Hanz, but he spotted something moving out of the corner of this eye. He focused his eyes. There, in the pale green moon-light, were the bloodletters, scaling the castle walls!

“All this time, in the silence, those buggers must’ve climbed all the way down the crevasse, crossed the stream, and climbed back up the other side!” thought Hanz. His mind raced, and then he got an idea. He looked around more thoroughly to see if there were any other Bloodletters on this side of the crevasse but he spotted none. Hanz stepped out of the booth, and circled it. Still he saw none. He paused, relieved himself quickly, and dashed back into the booth. He snatched up Dieter’s gun, and gave him a kick, and said in a hushed tone:

“Get up lad, I need you!”

“Wha--?” moaned Deiter,

“Shush! Get up, I need you to be a loader!”

“What? The daemons will...”

“Die,” interrupted Hanz again, “Die, as we blow those bastards back off of our wall!” and pointed toward the castle.

Dieter pulled himself up to look, and immediately saw what Hanz was going on about, smiled, slumped back down to the ammo box and started to take out his loading rods, and black powder.

“Ready,” whispered Dieter.
Hanz watched. He wanted to make sure the bloodletters were about a quarter way up the wall before he started to shoot. Surely they wouldn’t be able to jump back across, or they simply would’ve done so to begin with. They were such well-lit targets in the moonlight, with their crimson bodies contrasting sharply with the light granite rock of the castle.

His plan was this: he’d start shooting, catching the bastards by surprise. He was sure that his shooting could take them out, as he was one of the best shoots stationed at this castle, but they were quick, and would probably quicken their pace up the wall. He wanted the noise from his shooting to attract attention from the ramparts, hoping those men would notice and be alerted to the attack about to happen and join in the shooting as well.

Hanz fired the first shot. It hit the highest bloodletter on the wall in the back of the neck, as it fell, it took two others with it, and the three bodies fell down the crevasse. He passed the gun back to Dieter, who immediately began the reload, and grabbed the other gun, raised, aimed, shot another through the head, passed the gun back to Dieter, who in turn passed the now reloaded rifle back to Hanz. This procedure continued at this rhythm. The bloodletters, were being picked off the walls, as the two guards systematically began destroying the daemonic unit. The bloodletters were climbing back down the wall, hissing curses at the booth. Hanz really had underestimated how many of these things there were. But Dieter assured him that they had more than enough ammo.

And they continued.

After some time, Dieter realized no one on the wall was helping him out. Either the guards were occupied with whatever was going on inside, or worse. The bloodletters didn’t do what Hanz thought they ought to do. He had assumed they would try to scale the wall faster, but instead they started to work their way back down the crevasse. 

“They’re coming back for us…” stated Hanz.

“Oh shite!” exclaimed Dieter.

“No problem lad, there aren’t many left besides, they’ll be just as easy to shoot down there as where they are now.” Hanz said turning to Dieter. He saw the look of doubt on Deiter’s face, and added: “Well, for me anyway!” He turned and shot another one off the wall.




Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 on February 14, 2009, 05:41:57 PM
Chapter 30

Hanz kept putting the daemons to the ground. They were coming up from the crevasse now. Hanz kept shooting the one nearest them, but there were more than he could shoot, he realized that now. It was no help either that Dieter's reloading got slower and slower, he was so scared that he dropped the handguns from time to time. Hanz shot a daemon only a few feet from the Guardhouse. He could not shoot the next, it was to close, Dieter was to slow. He could smell the foul breath of it now. Was this the end, were the two guards to be massacred by a handfull of bloodletters. Hanz closed his eyes as the bloodletter was about to attack.

The sound of gunpowder made him open his eyes again, just in time to see the bloodletter being torn apart by a swarm of bullets. He could hear hoofs passing the guardhouse. He stood up to see what was going on. Another brace of pistols was fired. Hanz scouted into the green night. Outside a band of young men were gunning down the last of the bloodletters. They approached the guardhouse and one jumped down from his horse. Hanz reconized the colors of his clothes. He belonged to the private army of a nearby self-proclaimed nobleman, Jaffir Rosenkrantz. The young man standing infront of Hanz was this nobleman's son.

"What's the situation, guard?"

Hanz was pleased to hear a human voice that wasn't screaming "the end is nigh".

"We... We actually have no clue" Hanz paused to seek verbal backup from Dieter, only to find him passed out, again.

"We have not seen nor heard any sign of survivors inside the castle.. Only strange sounds and lights"

The young man reloaded his pistols while nodding.

"I see.. So we might have to storm the castle?"

Hanz realized that this could be the only solution

"That depends.. No offence, but you are a mere group of pistoliers. Not that I doubt your abilities but..."

The young man began to laugh, laugh hard. He was a bit darker than the common man of the empire. His teeth and eyes seemed whiter. He was the youngest son of the Rosenkrantz family. His father decended from arab merchants and his mother was a farmer girl. That was the reason why they werent invited to Krieger's party ealier this evening, they weren't really noblemen, only rich merchants. He finished laughing.

"You have to be the smartest soldier I have ever met. My father is marching with his army to aid you. I was scouting up ahead and saw you, and your.. ahem.. troublesome situation. The rest of the force will be here soon."

Hanz knew that Jaffir Rosenkrantz had a passion for guns, the bigger the better. His son had unmistakeably inherited this passion, he could count 8 pistols. Dieter woke up, gazed upon the young Rosenkrantz. He got to his feet. The sudden sound of marching troops stopped him from saying anything.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on February 16, 2009, 04:11:16 AM
CHAPTER 31

Upon arriving to this realm, Joshi found himself split into nine separate beings, each personifying a particular aspect of his personality. One particular aspect was riddled with fear and terror, and it tried to run back through the portal. The other eight selves watched with mixed emotions and interest as a Bloodthirster of Khorne snatched the cowering aspect of Joshi, and dragged it back to the mortal realm. The eight selves, concluding that trying to leave through that means would end in death, reformed back into a singular being; a being now totally devoid of fear or terror, but filled with curiosity and intellect.

He had traversed the eternity of chaos. Stood upon the bastion stair and looked down upon infinite wonder. Seen armies of monstrosities tear itself apart in endless war on an infinite battlefield. But it was within Tzeentch’s crystal labyrinth that he would attain true transcendence. He must’ve spent an eternity absorbing knowledge unknown to mortal men, arcane secrets and answers to mysteries his master would’ve sold his soul for.

Oh wait, he did.

It was here in Tzeentch’s realm some incalculable time later that Joshi would reunite with his accursed master, Leviticus, damned to forever stare upon the face of Morrslieb. Never again to blink his stinging eyes or turn his head, Leviticus was rooted to the spot at this corner of Tzeentch’s realm, eyes permanently pressed against the viewing glass of his telescope while one hand constantly adjusted the telescope’s dial his other hand worked automatically to scribe within a never filling tome his observations and insights.

Joshi could hardly recall the night that had forever changed his destiny. It was so long ago now, since that greater daemon had superceded Leviticus’ place within the mortal realm had sent him here. The night. Joshi was truly indebt to that servant of Tzeencth, and wondered if he’d ever get that chance to thank him.

“Boy! Ah, where have you been! I think I’m about to crack the secrets of Morrslieb! The things I’m seeing in this beautiful damned vision would make me a legend in the Celestial Order, but the manuscript is far from done!  No, I’m still gathering notes, what a magnificent night this is-“

“Master Leviticus,” the boy interrupted the babbling wizard, “it’s good to see you again. I have learned much since I came here, and intend to learn more.”

“Good lad, good. Morrslieb will make us both legends in the order! Being my apprentice will make you legend among your peers! You’ll see!” rambled the old wizard.

“Yes…” replied the boy, almost sadly, but he recomposed himself and continued, “do you recall a crystal, a glowing crystal about the size of a walnut. I recall seeing it at the castle of the Knights Jaguar, but I do not recall who had possessed it.”

“Ah, um…” and for a few minutes of thought, and for first time in ages, the old wizard thought about something other than Morrslieb. His automatic writing stopped, and painfully, his neck muscles worked for the first time in ages to turn away from the telescope to look upon the boy. His bloodshot eyes, the tears stained face of this tortured soul saw a color palette other than green, and the wretched soul looked upon his apprentice with scorn and annoyance: “Can’t you see what I’m doing? Why do you care about some trinket of Jauchman’s when Morrslieb is full tonight?! Now, if you’re not going to assist me, leave!” And with that, the miserable old man, returned to his telescope, and continued his writing.

But Joshi now had the info he needed. Yes, Jauchman, of course:  he met the Wizard of the Light Order along with his Acolytes of Light, only briefly on that day before night fall, when the wizard came by the south tower to have tea with Leviticus. Joshi had spotted the crystal on a necklace that hung outside of his robes and was impressed with it’s luminescence. He wondered how it was capable of producing light on it’s own without an apparent energy source, but when he asked his master later about it, Leviticus would hear nothing about such talk. Indeed, away from the Light College wizards, Leviticus had nothing but spiteful criticisms and put-downs to offer regarding them.

But now, Joshi knew what that crystal really was, and the power that it contained. Surely the foolish wizard of light knew nothing of the artifact dangling around his neck or how to tap the knowledge it contained? It mattered not, fore even if he had to kill the wizard himself, he would have that item. He caressed the Mark of Tzeentch upon his forehead, and smiled as the plan came to fruition…


----

Stepping out of the portal into the very night he had left it, Joshi found himself floating high above the ground. The south tower was now a ruin. The Greater Daemons were slain, and the blue and pink minions of Tzeentch were now few. The light of his passage had disrupted the fighting below, and the lesser daemons immediately surrendered to his presence and rallied to his command. They stormed the doors to the keep, while Joshi floated over to it. The treasure he sought was within the keep now. Odd, he thought it would be in the North tower, where the Light Order had sequestered itself.

Below, as the small horde of remaining daemons sought entry into the keep, the men on the wall and in the courtyard counter attacked the daemons, and fighting began anew. Joshi look beyond the walls and saw another daemonic horde, this one belong to Khorne, making it’s way through the crevasse and setting up it’s attack upon the castle. He had to be quick. Even though Khorne probably cared little or nothing about the object Joshi sought, he couldn’t risk loosing it. With a thought, he ordered his pink and blue minions below to finish playing with the humans and destroy them. Screams filled the night as coruscating flames blasted from the horrors and immolated the human warriors in the courtyard.

Turning his attention back to the keep, he looked down through a shattered ceiling window in the Grandmaster’s chambers, and saw an interesting situation. Before he was sent to the Realm of Chaos, Joshi recalled seeing the Grandmaster, whom he recalled was dangling for life in the crevasse out side the castle, but here he was fighting with the Mayor of the local town while other men fought with daemons of Slaanesh. A Daemon Prince of Slaanesh oversaw the fight. There were mangled people everywhere. He watched as the grandmaster knocked the warhammer from the Mayor’s grasp, and Mayor, rolled back and produced a brace of pistols. He observed this fight for a while, and it really got interesting when the Grandmaster suddenly switched allegiances and charged the Daemon Prince with his Knights Jaguar and the Mayor. They seemed to have the upper hand on the Daemon Prince, which fascinated Joshi to no end, when another guard burst into the room with a daemon weapon of considerable power, and hurled it through the air toward the Daemon Prince. The Mayor, turned and shot this guard, and the guard slouched to the ground holding it’s wounded arm.

This is it, thought Joshi. He could feel the power source heading to this battle scene. This would be the place. He would not have to hunt for the item he sought; it would come here. All he had to do was continue to wait and watch.










Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness on February 17, 2009, 04:10:06 AM
The Tale of Two Guards ‘Who’s Who’
Or
Keeping up with the corpses.

As I wrote my last entry, it occurred to me that I needed a basic score card to keep up with who's who and whether they were still alive or not. It also occurred to me, that any one wanting to participate in writing with us, might need a handy primer. Also, if you're a casual reader or reading this as it's serialized, you might also need a refresher on who's what. This is a more expanded version from the one done back in December. I will probably post another update if we get the chapter count up to 45.

(was I the only one to forget about poor Griff?)

Enjoy!


Example Template
Name:
First Appearance
Status.
Brief description:

Acolytes of Light
First Appearance: Chapter 5 /Reply #7, Acolytes named Chapter 26 /Reply #41.
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Toji, Mikel, and Grayiel, Acolytes of the College of Light, under the guidance of Jauchman, whose ritual powers the protective property of the guard booth.

Arst
First Appearance: Chapter 7 / Reply #10
Status. DEAD
Brief description: Spy; Herald of Geilir. Tortured to death by Mayor Schatz.

“the Captain”
First Appearance: Chapter 12 / Reply #19
Status. DEAD (most likely)
Brief description: Captain of the watch, damned by Khorne. Replaced/ possessed by Bloodthirster.

Dieter
First Appearance: Chapter 1 /Reply #1
Status. ALIVE, but wounded.
Brief description: Younger of the two guards assigned to the guard post outside the castle. Prone to panic and involuntary bowel/urine release when frightened.

Drandorf
First Appearance: Chapter 26 /Reply #41, by name Chapter 28 / Reply 43
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Wizard of the Grey Order, imprisoned in the castle by his brother. Now freed.

Ernst
First Appearance: Chapter 2/Reply #2
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Guard under the acquiescence of Geilir. 

Francine Schatz
First Appearance: Chapter 7 / Reply #10
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Daughter of Mayor and Helfa Schatz, love interest of Grandmaster Krieger, prisoner of Geilir.

Frau Wechsler
First Appearance: Chapter 7 / Reply #10
Status. Unknown; wounded.
Brief description: Local bank owner, member of the Aristocracy influential due to wealth. Beguiled by Geilir.

Geilir
First Appearance: Voice of: Chapter2/Reply #2, By Name: Chapter 7 / Reply #10, in person: Chapter 13 / Reply 21.
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Norse chaos champion ascended to Daemon Prince of Slaanesh. Apparent manipulator of the events and attacks on the castle.

Grandmaster Krieger
First Appearance: Chapter 7 / Reply #10
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: The Grandmaster of the Knights Jaguar, Lord of the Castle.

Griff Hausbergen
First Appearance: Chapter 3 / Reply #3
Status. Unknown
Brief description: Sgt. in charge of tower defense.

Helfa Schatz
First Appearance: Chapter 7 / Reply #10
Status: ALIVE, wounded.
Brief description: Wife of Mayor Schatz, Mother of Francine, now damned concubine of Geilir.

Hanz
First Appearance: Chapter 1 /Reply #1
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: One of two guards assigned to the checkpoint outside of the castle. Older of the two, and more experienced.

Jauchman
First Appearance: Chapter 5 / Reply #7
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Leader of Acolytes of Light, tasked to maintaining protective wards on the guard booth outside the castle. Has lots of secrets!

Joshi
First Appearance: Chapter 11 / Reply #18
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Apprentice to Leviticus Kurtz ascended to.Daemon Prince to Tzeentch.

Leviticus Kurtz
First Appearance: Chapter 11 / Reply #18
Status. DEAD
Brief description: Wizard in the Celestial Order obsessed with the moon Morrslieb. Now forever damned to look upon it. Was the master of Joshi. Replaced in the mortal realm by a Lord of Change.

Mayor Schatz
First Appearance: Chapter 7 / Reply #10
Status. ALIVE
Brief description: Mayor of local town on authority of the Elector Count, retired witch hunter. Father of Francine, and married to Helfa.

Mossman
First Appearance: Chapter 6 / Reply #9
Status. DEAD
Brief description: Castle Guard; Keeper of the Gate. Important role in the damnation of Ernst.

Yuri
First Appearance; Chapter 5 / Reply #7
Status. DEAD (apparently?)
Brief description: Leader of a pack of flagellants, assumed slain by bloodletters.

Jaffir Rosenkrantz and son have just appeared, so I’ve not yet created an entry for them yet until we see a bit more about them.


Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 on February 17, 2009, 03:55:08 PM
That sure is a lot of characters. Great to them listed. You were not the only one to forget about Griff, actually I had forgotten quite a few other characters  :icon_redface:

I cannot understand why so few are writing on this, it's great :P
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord on February 19, 2009, 04:25:01 AM
CHAPTER 32
Gregor was disgusted with himself. The man he had seen the Mayor torture deserved it. He was a lunatic, a deranged follower of chaos, and withheld information critical to the safety of the castle and its occupants. But as a Field Surgeon, Gregor found his actions alien to his modus operundi. After the Mayor had left, Gregor stayed at the cell, trying to come to grips with what had happened.

"The ends justified the means" thought Gregor, hoping that the evil he had witnessed was to be their salvation. Moments passed, minutes or hours, Gregor was not sure. What he did know, was that he now he must destroy Arst's remains in Sigmar's cleansing fire, thus cleansing this mans foul and evil blood from his hands.

Assembling as many pieces of Arst as he could find, Gregor dragged him up the stairs, to the battlements above. On his way up he passed a troupe of men on their way down. Preoccupied with their defense duties, not a one noticed the corpse Gregor was pulling.

Finally reaching the battlements, Gregor dumped the body in a bloody mess. A few pieces of wood littered the parapet, as was common for performing ad hoc repairs or repelling sieges. Hastily crafting a pyre, the field surgeon then put Arst on top to ensure he received the full fury of Sigmar's flame.

With a piece if flint, Gregor started the fire. Small at first, but quickly roaring, the flames began to engulf the body of Arst. Almost like thats what he was waiting for, Arst's body began writhing. His head straightened up, and his remaining arm began to try and pull his intestines back into himself. The Field Surgeon could not believe his eyes. He had seen a lot on the battlefield in his years, but a man coming back to life after what he had been though simply does not happen.

Then it dawned on him. Drawing his sword, Gregor said a quick prayer to Morr before beheading the pathetic and undead Arst.

-----

Leaving his keep far behind, Jaffir knew tonight was a night of opportunity. A merchant made rich from his personal contacts in Araby, one would think that wealth could buy him respect. Instead his neighbours ostracised him, his obscure looks, dress sense and strange habits brought out the bigotry in men. This night Jaffir would ensure he would get noticed, one way or another.

Jaffir rode at the forefront of his battalion of followers, while his cannon were dragged by levy. Looking back, Jaffir spotted his court magician accompanying them. His black cloak and hood unmistakable in the moonlight. Casting an enchantment or curse; no way really to tell which, the magician's cursed mind was always scheming something devious.

Raising his hand, his entire command halted. The castle he was so often denied access to stood in the distance. Spotting his son and his companions in the distance, he could see there had been a melee already. Corpses of man and demon littered the ground around what looked to be a booth. And thats when it hit him. He could smell it. The scent was so strong and seductive, so beautiful and so tasty. A hunger stirred from within. No doubt that is what attracted his son to the castle too.

The smell of blood.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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...
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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.

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord 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...
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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!

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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!


Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 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.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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!”

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 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!"
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Warlord 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.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: Buddha90 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.

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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.

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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!
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
Post by: neverness 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…!”


Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (The final chapters)
Post by: neverness 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!


Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
Post by: neverness 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….

Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
Post by: neverness 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,”
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
Post by: Warlord 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?
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (And now, the conclusion)
Post by: Warlord 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.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: neverness 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…
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: neverness 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:::
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Warlord 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?
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Buddha90 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 :)
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Captain Tineal 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!
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: neverness 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:
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Warlord on September 02, 2009, 04:04:53 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?

I followed where you were going with that Captain, but neverness's contribution was seamless, so I never thought twice about it once written.

Oh, and Buddha90, I enjoyed your contributions, you really kept Warlord and I working hard to keep this story grim and dark.

Agreed. Hence the introduction of the undead to stir it up.

I thought making Krieger somewhat crazy/possessed was the only rational solution to the sudden apperance of a pegasus.

Hey! I though my idea for a steed of shadows worked decently also.
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Buddha90 on September 02, 2009, 06:13:13 AM
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:

Thank you  :laugh:
"Buddha, bringing peace and happiness to a story near you.."

I think that it actually made the story more exciting and that the reader would think: "Okay.. now it's turning to the better" and then either neverness or warlord would take that fragile hope and crush it with chaos :D
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: neverness on September 03, 2009, 01:16:08 AM
Hey! I though my idea for a steed of shadows worked decently also.


As did I. I thought, and still do find, the whole Drandorf part of the story to be quite the mystery...

I've got the scene with exactly what happened at the top of the north tower figured out in my head. I might reveal it in the next story. Which should be launching any time now...
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Warlord on September 03, 2009, 01:22:56 AM
I've got the scene with exactly what happened at the top of the north tower figured out in my head. I might reveal it in the next story. Which should be launching any time now...

I know...

:engel:

I will be putting something up tomorrow afternoon (work has been pushing me hard of late)
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: neverness on September 03, 2009, 01:27:19 AM
No worries or rush! I probably won't be able to contribute until the weekend anyway.

Hear that Buddha90, we got more fun coming your way!  :icon_twisted:
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Buddha90 on September 03, 2009, 12:54:02 PM
No worries or rush! I probably won't be able to contribute until the weekend anyway.

Hear that Buddha90, we got more fun coming your way!  :icon_twisted:

Yay :D

Lol.. I've been sigged  :icon_cool:
 :::cheers:::
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Captain Tineal on September 04, 2009, 03:21:07 PM
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?

He was a different kind of slaaneshi than what I was going to go for, though probably a little more traditional, and well done too, I thought he worked very well.

I had visions of something less decadent, with daemons torturing the guards in the shelter by doing violent carnal things to images of their loved ones, and committing other vile acts, trying to tempt the guards out to stop them/join them, or forcing them to watch the horror show and break them that way.  It would be very dark though, and people would probably wonder if I have mental problems, so is probably best left out.  :::cheers:::
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Warlord on September 07, 2009, 01:14:55 AM
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?

He was a different kind of slaaneshi than what I was going to go for, though probably a little more traditional, and well done too, I thought he worked very well.

I had visions of something less decadent, with daemons torturing the guards in the shelter by doing violent carnal things to images of their loved ones, and committing other vile acts, trying to tempt the guards out to stop them/join them, or forcing them to watch the horror show and break them that way.  It would be very dark though, and people would probably wonder if I have mental problems, so is probably best left out.  :::cheers:::

That would have been cool. This cool:  :mrgreen:
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: Warlord on March 16, 2021, 02:35:40 AM
This was the castle I always imagined when writing / contributing to this story.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&thid=AMMS_f71052335a7652f48ff96e9b798a0be7&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fupload.wikimedia.org%2fwikipedia%2fcommons%2fthumb%2f3%2f38%2fHunedoara_castle.jpg%2f1200px-Hunedoara_castle.jpg&exph=314&expw=474&q=Corvin+Castle+Romania&selectedIndex=0&stid=69196f05-a184-4f93-d144-161e355033a2&cbn=EntityAnswer&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0 (https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&thid=AMMS_f71052335a7652f48ff96e9b798a0be7&mediaurl=http%3a%2f%2fupload.wikimedia.org%2fwikipedia%2fcommons%2fthumb%2f3%2f38%2fHunedoara_castle.jpg%2f1200px-Hunedoara_castle.jpg&exph=314&expw=474&q=Corvin+Castle+Romania&selectedIndex=0&stid=69196f05-a184-4f93-d144-161e355033a2&cbn=EntityAnswer&FORM=IRPRST&ajaxhist=0)
Title: Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)
Post by: GamesPoet on March 16, 2021, 02:59:34 AM
Hmmm ... here's a blast from the past ... makes me want to go reread this thread. :icon_biggrin: :icon_lol: