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Tales of Vikarh 
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 7:47 am
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Here we gather the stories about Vikarh.
Vikarh will soon be the city were all the missions start and end.

***

Malek’s journey into Vikarh. By Morvai

Malek stepped off board he took a good look around, a grin appeared on his face. “It’s good to be back home!” Malek walked from the dock to the south gate. The gate was guarded by two guards, as he neared one stepped forward. “State your name and your business in Vikarh!” “I’m Malek the Invincible and I come to recruit cutthroats so I can overthrow the king by killing him in his sleep!, replied Malek with a grin” “One day you will get killed for one of does jokes Malek, replied the guard. Now hurry along so that I don’t have to look at your butt ugly face all day!” “I love you too, said Malek as he walked away.”

Malek walked through the South gate of Vikarh, city of Mercenaries. Vikarh was still young for a Druchii city, but what it lacked in age it made up in originality.
In Vikarh nine out of ten people are mercenaries or were once mercenaries, this has let to some rule changes. Highborn have no longer power over the lowborn with the exception of power forced through strength of arms, mercenaries aren’t treated as the garbage of society and if you have enough money anything is possible.
Most of the current nobility of the city were once mercenaries, and so the ruling of Vikarh is rather lose. Crimes are only a crime when they involve someone important enough. Thanks to that everyone takes the right into his own hands and everyone is his own judge. This settles most problems quite quickly and it means a lot of work for mercenaries.
In short, everything that is forbidden or just wrong in normal Druchii society is normal in Vikarh.

Malek made his way through the southern part of the city past fleshhouses and cheap bars.
The southern part of the city lay directly against the docks and was the worst place of the city. Here were the cheap bars, were you had more chance on a bar fight then on a drink, and the fleshhouses, were you could ‘relax’ against a certain price ofcourse.
This was the place were one should look if he wanted to hire sailors or wanted to get a job as sailor.
This was also the place were one could hire people or get hired for ‘less’ legal jobs.

Malek now had reached the main square of Vikarh were the main roads of Vikarh came together.
On his left was the road towards the market square. There you could find smiths, clothiers, alchemists, bookstores, pawnbrokers, taverns, slave traders and Khaine may know what more.
On the market square one could literally buy anything, as long as you had the gold for it ofcourse.
On his right was the road to the mercenary square. Originally this was just a square were mercenaries gathered, but as more mercenaries came more people who hired mercenaries came on the square too. In the end the square was renamed to fit it’s new image.
On the mercenary square you can find people who want to hire mercenaries, food traders who are more then willing to support your inner elf and ofcourse an afoul lot of mercenaries. Here you will also find the houses of the mercenary captains and their offices.

However Malek headed straight on, towards the northern part of the city. There lived the nobility and the richest of the Mercenary captains. You would also find a few taverns and pleasure houses here. However they were only for the richest of people for their prices were absurdly high, it was worth it though.
Malek walked on and on until he neared the citadel’s first gate, here lived the Blackblades the current ruling house. He stopped and addressed the guard. “I was told to report here as soon as I was on land.” “And you may be?, replied the guard while his hand moved towards his sword hilt.” “Malek, Malek Hokarh!”, replied Malek with a hint of irritation in his words.” “Alright we were informed of your arrival, replied the guard. You should continue on and report by the second gate, the guard there will tell you were you must go next.”
Malek walked through the gate and all he could think of was, this is going to be a long day!

***

Vikarh by Numbers -- Tarbo

Vikarh, the city of opportunities. Arilynn squinted her bleary eyes, staring into the late afternoon sun to gain her bearings. She had just entered the city and already she was met with a staggering wave of poverty showing clearly in the state of and scarce wealth of the buildings. A cobblestone road, barely maintained, slithered through narrow alleyways, occasionally forking off in a seemingly random direction. She decided to stick to the main road, which was bound to lead her to the city core. Her horse whinnied tiredly, but otherwise followed Arilynn obediently; the creature was too exhausted to still carry its rider, so she had dismounted and now guided it along by the reins.

To her left, a lone cart manned by a hunched, hooded elf passed by, carrying an assortment of useless, unsecured trinkets that clanged blaringly as the cart staggered mindlessly over the bumps in the road. A nearby cat darted away with a sudden shriek when a battered cooking pan dropped from the cart, scaring it away. Only one doorway off, two children were fighting over a wooden stick they found lying in the streets, and when one got a hold, he ran as fast he could, chased by loud crying and pitched whines from the other. To her right, an elderly elf in rags sat, staring motionlessly into the streets, merely sharing Arilynn a distrusting look when she passed. A distant scream of anger shuddered through a neighbouring alleyway ahead of her.

Arilynn stopped at a signpost handing out very general directions. It succeeded masterfully in hiding district characteristics behind artificially construed names, a fitting example being the call of Southern Promenade for the collection of impossibly stacked projects and decaying slums she was standing in. Perhaps it had once been a better place, but slid into neglect and degradation over ages of existence. She shook the thought from her head; she wasn't here to ponder on the level of social justice maintained under her feet. With a steady gaze, she rolled her eyes over the words in an effort to find the infamous Mercenary Square. In a past life, the square may have born another name, but now it was called for what it was: a gathering point for those who sold their skills and loyalty to the highest bidder.

“Looking for something, sugar?”

A single of Arilynn's brows frowned while turning to the woman addressing her. She wasn't used to being thrown pet names, and even less so by complete strangers. Then again, in hindsight, she hadn't expected different from a courtesan, or so she ventured the woman in front of her to be at first glance. “Yes, I am. Would you happen to know where I could stable my horse and get a meal and quarters?”

“The 'Gilded Steed' has stables, and rooms more suited to your...” and now it was the courtesan's turn to throw a look over the other, and a playful one it was, “social status.”

Arilynn nodded as if thoughtful; the Gilded Steed it would be. Guessing nothing came free in a city such as this, she removed a few coins from her belt pouch and handed them over to the courtesan. “Thank you for your help.”

The woman bit her lower lip when feeling the coins in her hand and exchanged a last glance before pointing Arilynn into the proper direction. “Don't be a stranger, now.”

Arilynn chuckled and lead her horse through the streets of Vikarh. She had heard the streets were dangerous at night, with all manner of unlawful types stalking the alleyways in search of an easy prey. While she didn't consider herself easy prey, she had no wish to be proven wrong the rude way and hastened her pace mildly; her horse protested at first, but eventually kept up just the same.

For being the city of mercenaries, one would easily mistake the Main Square to be synonymous to the Mercenary Square. Arilynn knew she just had. Main Square was the de facto centre of Vikarh, sprawling over a vast area and cordoned off by wide streets and sturdy buildings. It was a very welcome change from the depressing alleys of the southern districts hugging the docks, and flaunted such public amenities as a fountain, trees and grass, and a few services of all make, such as taverns, general stores and the such; the majority of each, however, could be found at their individual districts, and these were mere median representatives for their distant colleagues and competitors. Still, as different as the Main Square was from the projects, it was reputedly no match for the wealthy northern districts, where the social pinnacle lived and snubbed. Arilynn had no wish or need to go further north; she had no business there, and instead walked on to the entertainment district, as she had been pointed before.

A single pair of guards patrolled the street she just walked into. Their wardrobe lacked any official insignia, lending to the increasing belief that many of these so-called guards were little more than private militia, perhaps maintained by a common fund or tax of some kind. Money was likely to be very proper leverage when caught at the wrong side of their law, or the business end of their whim. Arilynn dropped a brief look on them while walking on. She wasn't intent on crossing the guards and expected to be left alone for it.

It was something of a subtle change to the entertainment district, even if it was worlds apart from other areas. Under the evening sky, a great many lights shot out onto the streets from inns, taverns, pleasure houses, gambling establishments and who knew what else roamed the real estate in these quarters. A loud brash staggered his way across the street, spilling his half-filled mug while blabbing some incoherent vowels and finally falling flat in the gutter. What children were here sat quietly at the side of the street; the entertainment provided here had no appeal to the young. A pang shot Arilynn's heart for a moment when seeing them where they didn't belong, but was immodestly torn from her thoughts when a laughing couple—the better half undoubtedly paid for the company—held from bashing squarely into her, toppling back at an unlikely angle while supporting eachother. Arilynn wasn't sure who was supporting who, but their acrobatics and defiance for gravity could only be sustained by indecent amounts of alcohol.

A sign marked the tavern next to her as 'The Gilded Steed'. She turned a smile on her lips, looking forward to a good meal and a bed, and beckoned for one of the stable boys.

***

If you would like to submit your own story about Vikarh please contact Morvai.

_________________
Masters of Mischief (NC background)
The Black Blades (DE). W: 2 D: 2 L: 1


Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:26 am
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A new start. By Tijminator

***

Darkness fell. Good. Ar'Khale thought. Darkness would considerably ease his task. He thought about when he first came to Vikarh. A druchii like any other, wanting money, power, and hoping he would make a name for himself. Now things had changed. He had money, enough to live from, but not enough for his measures. He also had considerable power, for a mercenary. But despite his best efforts, noone knew his name, save a few partners in buisness. He didn't have friends. But then Eriuth came. Eriuth was a important, rich noble, and he was in a extended conflict with another noble, Zarteh. Eriuth had promised him wealth. Alot of wealth. And Ar'Khale knew that with wealth, you gained power, and with power, you became someone. But first Zarteh had to die. And there was the problem. He didn't have any experience with assassinations. He was a Shade, so stealth wasn't his problem, but how to kill someone important, especially with guards, was something totally different.

For months now he had followed him. He had watched from rooftops how he walked through the city. He had watched how he brought his gifts to the Temple of Khaine. He despised religion. Needing a god was a sign of weakness, and the weak die, so the strong prevail. He had watched him buying Cold Ones for his son. He had watched him extort other people. He had watched him sleeping. He had watched his guards.

He knew Zarteh was very generous to the Temple. The only good thing about the Temple is that they kill Slaaneshi cultists. He knew that tonight, on the Harvest of Souls, he would personally bring his slaves to the altar, and slay them all by himself. He knew the Hag would be watching, and he knew Zarteh didn't have to be afraid on Death Night. Tonight it was his soul that would be harvested.

Suddenly Ar'Khale got back to reality. A window in the roof next to him was opened. He quickly pulled his scarf over his mouth to block any clouds of breath to give away his position. then he sat down behind one of the ornamental gargoyles at the edge of the roof. After a few long seconds, the elf closed the window again. Peeking around the shoulder of the gargoyle, he saw the elf getting back in bed. Silence. Silence meant nothing. He had learned that in the Underways. He thought of his battle with that unearty creature. He had slain it, but it had scarred him. Mentally. Even now, he disliked not being able to see coulds or sky. He tought of his mother. He thought about the desperate look on her face when she drowned on her own blood. He thought of the rage that got into his mind. He thought about the wolf that had bitten in his arm. He thought about is journeys, all over the world. He thought about his father, about how he hated him. He thought about what he was going to do. About what would happen, should he fail. Slowly, his thoughts took him to his former battles, to each time the thread in his head snapped, to each monster, human and elf he had killed. To the look on their faces as they felt their lifeforce slipping out of their body. None of them could match the intense agony and despair of his mother.

Then he heard the familiar voice of Zarteh, and he shouldered his repeater crossbow. It was an dark, sturdy weapon, but it was used, and that was very obvious from the many scratches and old design. Still, it was a reliable weapon, and it had never failed him. When he saw Zarteh walking across the corner, he had three bodyguards with him. As always. He saw one of them, the left one, was new. Maybe the normal left bodyguard was ill or dead. He didn't care. Zarteh wore his armour, but his helmet hung next to his longsword. As always. When the party was almost onder him, he let loose a volley of crossbowshots, and Zarteh fell to the ground, one bolt in his neck, another one in his shoulder, and one in his hip.

Ar'Khale quickly jumped behind the gargoyle and listened to the confused screams of the guards. from th angle of th arrows they saw the shots came from above, but due to the small streets and the darkness they didn't know what side of the road. Silentle, Ar'Khale made his way to one of the small alleys where the buildings were low, and he jumped down. As he landed, he heard a voice calling 'I see him!' at the corner of the street. With a quick jump, he hung at the edge of the roof, but now the guards knew where to look. He had just pulled himself up when he heard the whistle of a sword cleaving the air, followed by the clang of metal hitting stone. Running over the roofs of the city, he heard windows opening and shouts of confusion and anger'Hey, come back!!' 'What did he do?' 'What is happening?' Then he heard a sentence that would make a major change in his life. 'I know him! He is called Ar'Khale!!' From that moment, only one thought was in his mind. I need to leave the city. Now.

He fled to the harbor to look for a leaving boat, but, als always in a city, gossips where faster than lightning. By the time he reached the harbor, the people there already knew about his assassination, and all hope seemed to be gone. When he heard footsteps in the alley behind him, he had two options: Kill the one who is there, or hide under the docks, and swim to the shore next to the city. He chose the second one. The water was freezing cold, but he didn't care. He had more pressing matters at hand. Careful not to make any unnessecary sounds, he swam to the shore a few miles out of the city. Exhausted he fell to the ground. He knew he would have to use his skills as a Shade once more. He made shelter in one of the large pine trees of the forest, and decided he would live in the caves a few miles to the north for a few months before returning to Vikarh. By then the people would have forgotten what had happend, and he would be able to live on.

When he fell asleep, the first sounds of bloodhounds came drifting with the early night air, and Ar'Khale had, once again, to start with nothing but wat he had on him.

_________________
Masters of Mischief (NC background)
The Black Blades (DE). W: 2 D: 2 L: 1


Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:56 pm
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