Author Topic: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (Epilogue)  (Read 20274 times)

Offline neverness

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« 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.


Alright, lets have fun!
« Last Edit: August 23, 2009, 02:28:45 PM by neverness »

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2008, 10:09:23 PM »

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.

« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 02:52:46 AM by neverness »

Offline Padre

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #2 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."
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 06:00:34 PM by Padre »
Photobucket has now re-destroyed my pictures, so the first half of my collected works thread is no longer working again. To see my website version of the campaign thread, with fully functioning pictures, please go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #3 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.



"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.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 08:58:07 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #4 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!”
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 08:58:31 AM by Warlord »

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2008, 03:16:21 PM »
Why has no one else yet contributed to this? Its a load of fun, trust me!
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #6 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.

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #7 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.



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.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 09:02:22 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline Castozor

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #8 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:::



Offline Padre

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #9 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.

Photobucket has now re-destroyed my pictures, so the first half of my collected works thread is no longer working again. To see my website version of the campaign thread, with fully functioning pictures, please go to https://bigsmallworlds.com/

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2008, 04:11:29 AM »

   “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.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 12:29:12 AM by neverness »

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #11 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.

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #12 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.
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Offline Arcano

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #13 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...
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Offline Captain Tineal

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #14 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.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 08:56:24 PM by Captain Tineal »
I don't know what a pisolires is but it sounds like a musical instrument you play with urine...

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #15 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.

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2008, 12:24:27 AM »

“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.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2008, 03:23:19 PM by neverness »

Offline Spectre

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #17 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!”

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2008, 09:21:35 PM »

“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 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…”

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #19 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.
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline Spectre

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #20 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?
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 07:31:04 PM by Spectre »

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2008, 02:23:11 AM »

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.


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
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 02:11:20 AM by neverness »

Offline neverness

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #22 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!


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.


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.

« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 11:35:09 PM by neverness »

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2008, 03:52:44 AM »

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…
« Last Edit: November 10, 2008, 04:12:25 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.

Offline Warlord

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Re: THE TALE OF TWO GUARDS (A writing excercise)
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2008, 06:30:11 AM »
I couldn't help myself...


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.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 06:39:31 AM by Warlord »
Quote from: Gneisenau
I hate people who don't paint their armies, hate them with all my guts. Beats me how they value other things over painting, like eating or brushing teeth.