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Farewell to Ghrond 
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Chosen Babe of Slaanesh
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Farewell to Ghrond

by Darkprincess

After months of fighting, the forces of the Cult of Pleasure, who had effectively been in control of Ghrond for some time, were beginning to be pressed hard by the Khainist forces returning to take back their city. Things were becoming more difficult for the cultists and they began to lose battles regularly. In order to try to turn around this sorry state of affairs, Lonicera herself was placed in personal charge of the battle for Ghrond, and promised the cultists as great victory. For many days her forces kept the Khainists at bay, but even she began to realise that it was going to be an almost impossible task to retain control of the dark citadel for much longer. Night after night, the attacks would come. The air was filled with black fletched bolts and the screams of the insane witch elves rampaging through the narrow streets around the Great Temple where Lonicera's forces were holding out against the relentless onslaught.

Lonicera herself, relatively safe atop the great tower itself, in the palace that was once used by Hellebron before she fled the city at the height of the siege, had come to realise that she was not going to be able to make Ghrond the future heartland of the Cult of Pleasure. She was deeply angered by this, but not altogether surprised. Her forces had managed to take the city and to hold on to it for longer than anyone would have believed possible, but the time was fast approaching that they would have to leave.

But Lonicera had a plan. One last assault on the Khainist infidels. One final insult to their deranged religion. She had been waiting for the arrival of the reinforcements from Naggarond, and now thay had finally made it to the top of the evil mountain crag that was the foundation of this darkest of places. The forces of Khaine still within the city, mostly hidden during the daytime, only venturing from their secret hiding places at night to wreak havoc upon the cultists, were forced to come out into the open to defend the city against the newly arrived Slaaneshi army that stood outside the city gates. A great assemblage of elves and men, foul marauding tribesmen from the north, and hundreds of daemons had gathered for the final battle.

But as they began to engage the city's defenders in what was certain to be a hellish bloodbath, Lonicera had one more problem to address. She pulled on her cloak and began to make her way down to the Great Temple, there her Khainist counterpart Tiamehk was being held by the Cult forces...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lonicera stepped forward, firmly smacking down the end of her staff, causing the brass ferrule to ring as it struck the marble floor. Looking directly into Tiamehk's eyes, she paused in her step.

"I have not come here to kill you, Tiamehk, but to banish you. Too much blood has already been spilled this day, and you must now accept that you are beaten. I believe that you can be reasonable, so I ask you to release those of my loyal warriors that you have imprisoned in your foul dungeons"

Tiamehk said nothing for what seemed like several minutes, but was probably no more than thirty seconds in reality. Finally she spoke. "Do you think that I will simply let you walk out of my temple, Lonicera ? You came here to destroy us, and you have put up a good fight, but I will not concede defeat to your forces. Not now, not ever."

Lonicera was impassive. She had expected nothing less than defiance from the high priestess of Khaine. "There is little to prevent me from striking you down where you stand.... You are defeated, Tiamehk, and I suggest you leave this place while you are still able."

"You cannot win Lonicera. If you strike me down, Khaine will in turn strike you down along with the rest of your foul cult. And after He has finished with your weak and depraved souls, He will take your twisted leader Morathi as well !"

"You are mistaken, priestess." Lonicera remained calm and unimpressed. "Slaanesh will protect us. Slaanesh will come, and you will die. It is inevitable. Now let my people go !"

Tiamehk laughed aloud. "Your people will be returned to you a piece at a time"

Lonicera stared intently at her Khainist counterpart. "Leave this place, Tiamehk. Leave now, or die upon the Altar of Excess." Tiamehk smiled. "No, Lonicera, it is you who will leave. You nor your followers are not welcome here. This place is the house of Khaine and your foulness has no place within it." Then, raising her voice to a high shriek, she screamed "Now go !"

Lonicera nodded softly. Slowly, she turned and walked back towards the great temple doorway, past the ranks of her devoted troops. Halfway past them, she called out "Do it !", before continuing towards the doorway. The Cult of Pleasure warriors surged forward together, and Tiamehk turned and ran towards the secret passage behind the giant statue of Khaine. Waving their swords in the air as they ran, the devoted stormed up the marble steps to the altars where so many slaves had met their deaths, knocking over candles and braziers in their frenzy. With few if any witch elves left alive to protect the temple, they were free to wreak havoc with sacred objects that had remained unmolested for centuries. Within minutes, several wall hangings were burning, and a number of devoted were attempting to break the enormous cauldron of blood away from its supporting base. Gradually setting up a rocking motion, the great bronze vessel finally broke loose, and was sent crashing down to the temple floor, cracking open as it reached the bottom, and splashing vast quantities of blood all over the tiled floor.

Lonicera smiled. For several minutes, she stood looking around the great hall, with its opulent columns and raised dais that had carried the cauldron of blood, where the maibd had bathed in their evil rituals. She thought for a moment about how many of her people had died in this place, before returning the focus of her mental energies to the task at hand.

Stepping into the centre of the floor, carefully avoiding the possibility of slipping on the gore-slicked floor, and trying not to trip over the remains of bodies strewn about the temple, the sorceress swung the Staff of Kython round in a wide circle, before stepping aside. Moments later, a thin veil of purple mist began to form in the centre of the circle. Gradually it began to thicken then coalesce. Shapes began to form with the mist. Lithe, otherworldly shapes that became daemonettes, swift and deadly, they emerged in groups of six until there were thirty six of them climbing all over the desecrated shrine.

Several of them scurried into the passages that led off the great hall, possibly searching out any Khaine worshippers that has managed to escape the attention of the devoted's blades, while the rest surrounded the great statue of the Bloody-Handed God. They were joined by several devotees who began to attatch sturdy ropes to the head and arms of the statue, dropping them to the others around its base. Pulling together, the devoted attempted to dislodge the massive effigy, but it was firmly anchored in place. Disregarding the difficulty in moving the statue, they continued to pull on the ropes. Other warriors joined them and gave their assistance.

And then, almost from nowhere, a number of Bel'Kheriour devotees, spurred on by the events of the moment, descended from the great vaulted roof of the temple on long ropes that they had dropped only moments before. They too joined in with the others in attempting to destroy the Khainist's foremost place of worship.

The group of Lonicera's own devotees that had chased after the fleeing Tiamehk returned empty-handed, unable to find the cowardly priestess. Lonicera reasoned that she had hidden herself away in some secret chamber, probably intending to make her real escape later. She heared a sudden crack. Loud enough to be heared above the riot of destruction taking place around her. Spinning around quickly, she saw a small flurry of dust falling from the upper part of the Khaine statue. Something had finally given way under the strain. Slowly, the great idol began to sway slightly. Alternately pulling then relaxing, the Slaanesh cultists were able to increase the degree of sway with each successive pull, until its legs began to crack, and the statue started to fall to its right, until it finally succumbed to gravity and crashed sideways into the surrounding columns, cracking two of them, and causing one to break apart completely, falling to the ground.

A great cheer went up from the cultists and they all pulled together one last time, dragging the effigy down, and breaking off the other damaged column in the process. An almighty crashing sound, deafening to everybody in the temple, was heared as the great carved stone icon shattered on the floor. The forces of Slaanesh had fought against terrifying odds and struck a decisive blow against the spiritual heart of Khainism in Naggaroth, but the God of Murder did not give up without spilling Slaaneshi blood - two devotees, not nimble enough to move out of the way, had been crushed beneath the falling masonry, their blood mixing with that already covering the marble floor.

After a few minutes, the dust had settled and Lonicera stepped up to the ruined dais. Looking around for a moment, she composed herself before adressing her victorious warriors.

"There are those who said that this day would never come... What are they to say now ?"
The troops cheered again. Lonicera let them cheer for a moment. When the cacophony had subsided, she continued. "We have lost some of our best blood in order that we should stand here this day. But our struggle has been glorious and Slaanesh has taken the souls of our fallen and they now look down upon us this great day and they give thanks to us as we thank them for their sacrifice. Long after we leave Ghrond, they will live on in this place. The spirits of their past will echo through the hallways and the wall we leave behind will breathe their life. Hellebron has fled. To where, we know not, but in good time she will fall. She has lost much of her power, and the Khainists will long remember what has happened here this day."

With that, she ordered her followers to leave, and they formed a protective circle around her as they walked to the exit. Lonicera did not even so much as glance back at the temple. Her work here was done and it was time to bid farewell to this place. She paused for a moment, raised the Staff of Kython above her head and recited a Slaaneshi incantation in the Dark Tongue, before going on her way.

Hardly had they passed the great temple portal when there was a terrifying crash as the roof collapsed inwards, helped by the sheer weight of the structure above. Running frantically towards the city market quarter to avoid being crushed by falling masonry, nobody paused to look back at the damage they had caused. If they had, they would have seen a colossal landslide as those buildings perched above the Great Temple simply slid down the side of the mountain spire that formed the core of the city. The temple itself was now little more than a large pile of rubble near the centre of the citadel, and fires were raging all around, the flames fanned by the high winds, and making it almost impossible to bring them under control.

The tower spire still held firm of course. It was built far too well to be collapsed simply by bringing down the temple complex, but by dusk, large parts of the city were now burning, torched by the cultists as they made their way towards the city gates. While the battle raged around them, Lonicera's remaining forces were able to slip away relatively unscathed, the city defenders tied up in battle and unable to join the efforts to combat the fires within their city.

As night fell, a huge pall of smoke could be seen for many leagues around, and the fires illuminated the mountaintop like a huge beacon that was visible from as far away as the borderlands of the chaos wastes. All along the watchtowers, the observers' gazes were drawn to the fiery mountain to the south. At the Spire of Malice, Lord Kuulgyre ordered their own beacon to be lit, in the intention of guiding the cultists now fleeing Ghrond. Lonicera knew that her forces could reach the watchtower some days before the rumoured Khainist force arrived there from Clar Karond, and that the combined forces could defeat the enemy when it finally arrived. She felt that it would be at this grim tower that the final battles of the civil war would be fought. She could not see which way these battles would go, but she had confidence in her forces, now swelled by a large contingent of daemonettes led by the Greater Daemon n'Kara, and knew that she would prevail, for she was the chosen of Slaanesh, and a great and divine destiny awaited her.

She had delivered the great victory that she had promised her forces at Ghrond. Many had expected to stay there, but it was not to be, yet victory was still theirs, for although the Khainists still had their city, it would take them years to repair and rebuild. A great victory indeed for the forces of Slaanesh. No longer would they be regarded by the Khainist infidels as little more than hedonistic weaklings, for these were the forces that took Ghrond from the Temple of Khaine and held it for some time before leaving large parts of it in ruins.

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The Dark Princess
High Priestess of the Cult Of Pleasure


Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nighmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever


Wed Feb 02, 2005 3:09 am
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Cabal without a cause
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fine story, but it´s ending is awkward somehow, as by now we all know that lord kuulgyre´s forces have been driven from the watchtowers, so what happened to lonicera? has she been there when clar karonds army vanquished the slaaneshi presence in the north, and if yes, what became of her? if not, where has she gone instead?

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Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:22 am
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Yeah the problem here is that that this was written a week or two ago and should have been posted then, but that was when the site was down due to the problem with the chat :(

Given the current facts, we can only assume that Lonicera has returned to her fortress in the Iron Mountains, in the knowledge that she has scored a great victory against her enemies by destroying the Great Temple. She had hoped to hold Ghrond but it was not to be :(

So now she returns to her dark tower. There, she will rebuild her forces and lick her wounds. The civil war has been a hard-fought conflict but it is now drawing to a close. But Lonicera is not finished yet. Slaanesh still has big plans for her...

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The Dark Princess
High Priestess of the Cult Of Pleasure


Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nighmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever


Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:44 am
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making her a stone statue without any senses except sight so she will not ever gain pleasure again? :p

i mean if i was a god and someone i placed in charge of my whole army failed me so blatantly, i´d have some really nice punishment at hand for her. :p

well, nonetheless the story is good and perhaps you could just either change the ending or add something to it where she changes her plans and goes somewhere else to scheme and plot. and maybe a piece about a not too hard punishment by slaanesh would be good as well, on the lines of 'don´t fail me again, vader' - that would add a lot to her character after all, making her even more intent on gaining power.

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Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:02 pm
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And what makes you think that she has failed Slaanesh ? She has desecrated the temple of Khaine and burned their city...

Nobody ever suggested that Slaanesh wanted her to hold Ghrond - that was her own ambition. Not sure how Morathi will react though - but then she's ben conspicouous by her absence from this campaign, so her opinions will probably not count for much in the final analysis once Malekith gets back on the scene.

Of course let's not forget that the trigger for this conflict was the ambush of the Cult forces returning from Lustria - The ultimate responsibility for that attack has to rest with the ToK - in particular, with Hellebron. I doubt that Malekith will be too happy with her.

Of course if Malekith should kill Hellebron, he will really annoy Morathi as she sees Hellebron as her own prize, and would prefer to kill the crone witch herself.

But then Malekith despises Morathi for the way she manipulates his every move, and by killing Hellebron, he will be getting back at Morathi by denying her the kill she wants so badly

_________________
The Dark Princess
High Priestess of the Cult Of Pleasure


Give yourself over to absolute pleasure
Swim the warm waters of sins of the flesh
Erotic nighmares beyond any measure
And sensual daydreams to treasure forever


Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:42 pm
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no matter who started this thing, you can´t deny that you wanted to entirely destory the temple of khaine - and i don´t mean the temple at ghrond, but the religion itself. otherwise there would have been no point in fighting all across naggaroth.

but one of us had to loose, and this time, it was you. desecrating a temple is something people do when passing by, not something one sets himself as an objective.

OOC:
it is, naturally, entirely your decision if you want slaanesh to see this as a victory or a defeat - as lonicera is your creation.
i just thought it might add a little twist to her story.

please don´t think that i really hate the cop or lonicera or something as i seem to be heatedly argueing on this point with you in two threads now - your 'propaganda' just made me want to counter it with my own.

also, we should probably stop discussing who won in this thread, we can do it in the other one, there´s no use in doing it all twice, and it becomes either unreadable or repetitive otherwise.

i´m looking forward to read what became of Lonicera, so much is for sure ;)

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Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:46 pm
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darkprincess wrote:
Yeah the problem here is that that this was written a week or two ago and should have been posted then, but that was when the site was down due to the problem with the chat :(


Don't worry. AravarGaldean, Spartan and I are about to post a story that takes place while the Cult and the Temple were still at each other's throats in Arnheim. You're not to the only one who is in delayed fluff mode.

Mornedhel wrote:
making her a stone statue without any senses except sight so she will not ever gain pleasure again?


Oooh. good one. There are emplyment opportunities for you on my interrogation team.

darkprincess wrote:
But then Malekith despises Morathi for the way she manipulates his every move, and by killing Hellebron, he will be getting back at Morathi by denying her the kill she wants so badly


Why not kill them both and be done with all the headaches? :twisted:

Seriously though, I think the whole point of DP's story and Lonicera's offensive is that the Cult may have been fought back, but they are still formidable enough to pillage Ghrond and must be respected.

Edit - Whoops. Simul-post. Figures that I'd jump in as soon as the conversation moves to the other thread.

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Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:55 pm
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Very nice!

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While running a million dollar company, singing at weddings, and his frequent jetting to Spain Elton Jon style, Dark Alliance found the time to stand on the doorstep of Games Workshop like Moses and the Pharoah and calmly state, "Let my people go."


Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:58 pm
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I liked the "Let my people go" reference

hehe... nice being jewish... :lol:

anyway, it was an awesome story, good job

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Fri Feb 04, 2005 9:26 pm
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not bad not bad at all, very good infact.

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Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:13 pm
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