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New story - An unfortunate casualty 
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Hello everyone,

A new story of "Adventures of the Dark Ones" has been posted. I hope you will enjoy it.

Regards.


Last edited by Durithir on Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:55 am, edited 17 times in total.



Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:06 pm
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Trainee Warrior

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Red harvest

It all began during a scrying session at the witch coven of Karond Kar. One of the sorceresses present, whose name was Karaskia, received a vision of a ruined tower in a desolate country she identified as lost Nagarythe, known since the Sundering as the Shadowlands. Over the following days, she grew obsessed with that vision and resolved to go personally to that tower to see why her scrying powers urged her to go there. But she knew that in order to reach that tower, she would need a ship and soldiers and as an average sorceress with no influence at the court or coven, there was no way she could raise an army, even a small one, on her own. As she considered this cold fact, she told herself, “If I cannot raise an army by myself, I will have to simply borrow one.”

As the highborn Uriaeth was ordering his desk in his tower, he felt as though he was being watched. He raised his head and almost jumped as he saw a woman standing on the other side of the desk. “How did you get in here?” he asked, anger seething in his voice, “how come my retainers did not announce you?”
“Well, I did not have to enter through the door”, she answered, her voice cold like marble.
He looked more closely at her and saw that she carried a staff of wood and iron, “A sorceress” he thought. Now he understood too well why she had not been announced. Keeping a hand at the handcrossbow at his waist, he asked “What do you want?”
“I wish to offer you a bargain” she answered.
“What kind of bargain? How could I be of use to you? And above all, why should I help you?” he asked.
“I would need some troops, at least a few hundreds, to investigate a ruined tower in the Shadowlands” she replied.
“You would have me lend you troops just so as to visit a ruined tower? Surely you have a reason, a convincing reason?” he asked.
“My powers suggest me that something that would suit us is in this tower”, she said.
“You expect me to lend troops and fund a wild human chase based on a vision?! You will have to do better” he replied with a sneer.
“Oh, but I intend to pay you in return”, she said, a smile appearing on her lips.
“And what do you have to offer?” he asked, his eyes frowning in suspicion
“My services of course, for free, at least for a decade or two” she replied.
It took Uriaeth all his discipline not to show his emotions, so staggering was the offer. Sorcery was a tremendous addition to any expedition, raid or battle but the price required to hire even a single sorceress was horribly high. To dispose freely of the services of one would be a huge advantage.
“Fine, and if I ask for a payment in advance?” he answered.
“I could freely enchant your gear”, she replied.
“You have an answer for everything it seems. So how many soldiers would be necessary?” he asked a cold smile appearing on his lips.

And so it was that a week after, Karaskia and Uriaeth left Karond Kar at the head of five ships carrying two hundred dreadspears, two hundred crossbowmen and Uriaeth’s personal cold one chariot, in addition with the ships’ corsairs. After two weeks of navigation, the ships reached the coast of the Shadowlands.

Walking the shattered remains of what had once been Nagarythe, mightiest of all elven kingdoms and birthplace of the Witch King, supreme ruler of the druchii and rightful king of the elves, was a disturbing experience. All around Karaskia, the druchii’s faces were a mixture of awe, as they saw for themselves the land where their ancestors had lived and fought against the daemonic armies of chaos during the time of Aenarion, and endless hatred as this same land was now reduced to a broken barren wasteland after the first war against the traitorous high elves, usurpers of Ulthuan. For several days, the army inspected the ruined towers in the area but they were all empty. As Karaskia realized this cold fact after having inspected the last tower, terror filled her. Such incompetence would be punished by death both by Uriaeth and the coven. Had she imagined this vision? Or had she been tricked by another sorceress? She tried to remember her vision and remembered a detail about the tower that she had not paid attention to before. Indeed, she now remembered clearly that there was a bat-like coat of arms above the gate of the tower. She realised that what she had mistaken for the Shadowlands was in fact another country, one she obviously knew nothing about. Suddenly, a corsair exclaimed “Asur!” Immediately, all druchii became as restless as caged animals and Karaskia knew too well why. The hate the druchii felt for their wretched cousins knew no limit and the prospect of spilling their blood filled them with a primal fury. Karaskia considered her options and realised that it would be pointless to try to convince her troops to flee and so let Uriaeth order the army to stand ready for battle.
As the opposite army drew closer, doubt gnawed at her, the high elf army was small but fearsome to behold: a squadron of dragon princes, a regiment of phoenix guards and a regiment of spearmen led by a mage. Only elite regiments when all she had at her disposal were conscripts and raiders. For a brief moment, she considered again advising her troops to flee but realised it was too late for that, the druchii’s only option was to fight.

The battle began as the high elf regiments advanced on her army, the mage hurling fireballs that completely wiped out her crossbowmen body guard but left her unharmed. She counterattacked with magic of her own, casting a spell that corroded the opposite spearmen’s armours and shields. Meanwhile, following Uriaeth’s orders, the dreadspears placed themselves as bait to the dragon princes who broke into a gallop towards them, while he and his cold one chariot positioned themselves to smash into their flank and the corsairs went around the tower hoping to fall on the flank of the high elves’ forces.
As she struggled with the mage to wrestle control of the magic swirling around them, she saw the spears of the fierce knights impale many dreadspears but now faced with their most hated foes, the latest refused to give ground, their spears striking with a hatred born of a five-thousand year old conflict. Here and there, elven knights fell from their saddles pierced by Naggarothi steel. The sound of steel against steel and the screams of the dying were deadened by the roar of the nauglir pulling the chariot as it smashed into the knights’ flank, killing many of them and routing the survivors before trampling them under its wheels as they tried to flee for their lives. The cruel laughter of the victorious dreadspears died in their throats and fear filled their black hearts as the phoenix guards, silent as death itself, advanced on them.

Without a single sound save the clutter of armour and the beating of their drum, the phoenix guard attacked the dreadspears, the energy surrounding its members filling the druchii with utter fear. It was like cutting through wheat thought the phoenix guard Galthiron. The druchii fell in dozens to the halberds of his companions but driven by hatred or perhaps by the same fear that made them helpless, they refused to give ground, preferring to stand and die rather than flee. Galthiron turned his gaze to the right and saw that the druchii corsairs had turned around the tower and were now closing on their right flank. He turned, halberd ready, but felt no fear or surprise as he knew already what would befall. He had seen it in the Chambers of Days. He had seen this battle foretold many decades before it would happen and he already knew its outcome and what would happen afterwards. He had kept it for himself for he and his comrades were forbidden to speak of what they had seen in this chamber. The corsairs were closing fast but he paid them no heed. He had seen his own death written in the Chambers of Days and he knew that he would not fall at their hands but at the hands of another druchii, one who had been marked by the Lord of the Murder. As the corsairs reached them, a druchii, clad not in the customary sea dragon cloak of druchii corsairs but in clothes as black as a starless night and with a hood and mask covering his face, seemed to materialise among them and jumped from their first rank, heading directly for Galthiron, his brass coloured eyes burning with hatred locked on him. Any other warrior would have been surprised or terrified by the sudden apparition of a druchii Khainite assassin, one of the deadliest warriors of the elven race, but Galthiron merely nodded, acknowledging the apparition of his slayer. The phoenix guard swung his weapon at this attacker even though he knew that it was pointless. The assassin avoided the blow effortlessly and struck like a snake, slashing the asur’s throat. As he fell, Galthiron felt no fear or despair, merely acceptance at his fate.

As he saw his first victim fell to the ground, blood flowing from her slashed throat, Tharnithil felt confused by the acceptance he saw into her eyes, as if her death had not been a surprise to her. “What kind of god makes his servants welcome death like lambs heading for slaughter?” he thought. He quickly pushed back his incomprehension as another phoenix guard attacked, only to find himself with daggers buried into his arm pits. As he disposed of his victim and killed a third elf, then a fourth, then a fifth, the corsairs fought ferociously while the number of dreadspears gradually dwindled until the last of them fell. However, their refusal to flee had prevented their opponents from turning to face the corsairs. Suddenly, Karaskia cast a spell to induce unbearable pain in the bodies and minds of the asur and unable to defend themselves, they were slaughtered. As he killed several other asur, Tharnithil spotted the mage. Realising Karaskia would perhaps want him alive for questioning as he would probably know, as a mage of the White Tower of Hoeth, which land Karaskia had seen in her vision, he shouted, “The mage is mine, harm him and it is you I will sacrifice to the Bloody Handed one”. Even in a state of utter bloodthirst, the corsairs knew better than to ignore the warning and so let Tharnithil reach him. With a hand, he seized his prey by the hair and with his other hand; he drew a dagger already coated with paralyzing poison and slightly stabbed his victim, paralyzing her. Now that there was no risk of seeing her escape, he turned his attention to other matters.

Meanwhile, Karaskia turned her attention to the asur spearmen who reached the bolt thrower, whose shots had taken several lives among their ranks, and effortlessly killed its crew. They then turned towards the chariot, which, after trampling the knights, had found itself behind their lines, and engaged it. However, those who dared to step forward and strike Uriaeth were killed by his halberd or the jaws and claws of his nauglirs. The chariot couldn’t defeat them but Uriaeth and the nauglirs refused to flee which distracted the spearmen long enough so that the corsairs could join the melee. Karaskia tried to help her troops by drawing upon the energies of chaos to coat their skins in metal scales but failed to gather the required energy and thus lost her concentration, rendering her momentarily helpless.

“Slay these pathetic excuses for elves” shouted the corsairs’ leader. As the corsairs charged, Tharnithil charged also. The part of the asur regiment facing them turned to form a wall of spears but Tharnithil was quicker, stabbing a spearman in the chest, his rusted armour no match for his blades. He then performed a somersault over his victim, landing directly over the elf behind. The latest raised his shield to stop his attacker but Tharnithil kicked into the shield slamming it into its carrier and sending him to the ground. One of his blades sliced the air and slashed the spearman’s cheek. Hope momentarily flashed in the elf’s eyes as his wound was not lethal… but was quickly replaced with pain and horror as the poison coating Tharnithil’s blades ravaged his blood vessels. Carrying on with his momentum, the assassin leapt at another asur, easily avoiding his spear thrust before stabbing him in the stomach. Now that he was amongst them, Tharnithil kept moving and attacking, slashing back and forth, right and left, with an inhuman dexterity, each of his attacks followed by a shout of pain and a spray of blood. As many fell to his relentless and merciless attacks, Tharnithil’s heart beat wildly in his chest and his lips curved behind his mask into an ecstatic smile, feeling truly alive as he inflicted death. Around him, the spearmen stroke at the charging druchii, putting their training to lethal use, but the corsairs were drunk on bloodshed and hatred and although many of them were impaled on spears tips, they attacked with the ferocity of sharks, their blades cutting effortlessly through their opponents’ weakened armours and shields. Even though the druchii were outnumbered, their onslaught was so fierce that the asur knew doubt for a heartbeat, which was enough to send them fleeing in terror from their foes, not to avail as some were trampled by the chariot, others caught in the hooks and nets of the corsairs, others shot by the crossbowmen who had placed themselves on the left of the tower and who had rushed to enter it so that they would have a line of sight on the asur after realising they would have no available targets otherwise. The druchii had won the battle, now the slaughter and celebration could begin.

While Karaskia was waiting for Tharnithil to finish his work, she amused herself with watching the scene around the tower. The druchii who had survived the battle were examining the corpse of every fallen enemy, looting several dozen gems on armours and shields. The asur who had had the misfortune not to die during the battle were tortured mercilessly by the vindictive druchii, their cruel laughter mixing with the screams of their victims to form a symphony of pain and cruelty. Another scream of pain echoing within the tower brought back Karaskia’s attentions to her immediate surroundings. Entering the ruined building, she found the mage lying down naked on the floor with Tharnithil inflicting another cut down his chest with the dexterity and grace of a painter painting on canvas. The asur’s body was already covered in dozens of light cuts, which spoke loudly of the assassin’s skills as he was able to inflict excruciating pain on his victim while making sure she remained alive.
“Is he ready for questioning?” asked Karaskia.
Tharnithil looked at her, his eyes two orbs of sadistic pleasure and replied, “I suppose he is”. Smiling coldly, the sorceress knelt beside the mage and asked, “I want a simple thing, pathetic scum from Saphery, I want to know which land is the dark, desolate land akin to this country or to the Land of Chill?”
“I will tell you nothing, Naggarothi biatch” spit the asur. Tharnithil immediately reacted and slashed the elf’s cheek.
“You will show proper respect, vermin” said the assassin.
As he looked into his pockets for another poison to use, the mage suddenly exclaimed, out of terror “Sylvania!”
“What?” said Karaskia.
“Sylvania. It is a desolate province of the Empire which has been tainted with dark magic” said the mage.
“In the Empire! Fine! I must thank you for your cooperation” said Karaskia. Turning to Tharnithil, she said, “You may leave, I will respect my part of our bargain once we are back in Karond Kar”. As the assassin left, she took a brush and ink from her handbag and painted the rune of Hekarti, goddess of dark magic, on the mage’s chest. “The Lord of Murder is receiving a red harvest right now” said Karaskia, referring to the elves being tortured to death by her soldiers, “but I must make at least one offering to Hekarti, the goddess who provides me with my powers. You should be honoured that the end of your insignificant life serves a greater purpose”. With these words, she took a dagger with runes of sacrifice inscribed in the blade and stabbed the mage directly into his heart.
The bloody celebration carried on for the rest of the day and for most of the night. When every captive had died from his wounds or had been executed, the druchii impaled their corpses on spears. They then looted everything they could from the corpses of their foes and from their supplies before heading for their ships waiting at the coast.

As she was enjoying a glass of Ellyrian wine stolen from the defeated army’s supplies in her cabin, Karaskia could hear the on-going celebration of the troops. After having looted several dozen gems on the armours and shields of their foes and having enjoyed a long bloody revelry following a victory against their most hated foes, the druchii’s spirits were at top levels. She paid no attention to the noise, focusing on her own issues. Now she knew precisely where she had to go to complete her mission. Soon, her army would sail to the old world to find this tower in the haunted land of Sylvania and loot it of all its content. But for now, she would allow the soldiers to enjoy their victory. First, she would return to Karond Kar and use the wealth and prestige this victory had provided to ask Uriaeth for more troops and perhaps for some of the tamed beasts for which the city was renowned. Her lips curved into a smile as beautiful and cruel as her features as she pondered the future and the success to come.


Sun Nov 29, 2015 3:08 pm
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Welcome! I'll happily read that story tomorrow over my first cups of coffee. That's one nice block of text!

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Sun Nov 29, 2015 8:48 pm
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Nice battle report! Congratz for the win.
You need no further mention about not being a native English speaker, it shows not the slightest. You're ready for more!
Welcome Durithir164 to D.net :)

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Sun Nov 29, 2015 10:25 pm
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Miscast into the Warp
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Nice introduction to the forum. Welcome.

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Mon Nov 30, 2015 9:14 am
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
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Hello,

Thank you for your comments so far.

There are 21 more stories (for now). Would you be interested in them?

Regards.


Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:12 pm
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Were you able to keep the same storyline for 21 battles? Wouldn't Karaskia have exhausted Uriaeth's patience?

I imagine that sometimes you meet the same opponent again. Curious to learn how you allow the main characters who have been "killed" to come back.
Also, often lost battle provide great epic tales.

Otherwise, if you are to publish many batreps, make sure to entertain your reader with variety of situations and unexpected outcomes.

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Tue Dec 01, 2015 3:45 pm
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Trainee Warrior

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Hello,

Thank you for your opinion.

First of all, not all stories are battle reports.

I try to keep the storylines different and having them linked rather than having just a succession of unrelated situations.

I could only play at a store far from my home which means I have rarel played against the same list twice.

Regarding the characters, when the sorceress gets killed in game, I can always allow her to do a short teleportation to make her survive (in fact there were several games where her points would be the only victory points the opponent scored).

Regarding "lost battles" (and victories with a lot of casualties for the druchii):
-From the "in fluff" aspect, I don't really see how they can make a great story since they would end with Malekith executing the general for incompetence.
-From the "in game" aspect, most of my games have been a one-sided slaughter for one side or the other so I don't know if my battle reports can be considered exciting enough.

Regards.


Tue Dec 01, 2015 8:59 pm
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Trainee Warrior

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Hello everyone,

In case this interests you, here is my second "Adventures of the Dark Ones" story.

Regards



A profitable mishap.

After having disembarked at the western shore of the human nation, Karaskia’s soldiers had progressed quickly across the Empire. Her sorcery had created a storm that had veiled the druchii to enemy eyes whether they were humans of the Empire or beastmen and greenskins dwelling in the forests. Shades had scouted the areas around the druchii’s progression and had killed any enemy sentries they had found allowing the presence of the army to remain secret. In the middle of the army was Karaskia, sitting on a couch implemented on a chariot pulled by a cold one so that she could focus entirely on channelling the storm. So far everything had gone according to her plan. After having returned to Karond Kar, she had spoken to her coven and had received permission to lead an expedition to Sylvania to find the tower she had seen in her vision. Some members of her coven had expressed reservations claiming that maybe a more experienced sorceress should be sent. These oppositions had been silenced when Uriaeth had personally given her permission to lead this expedition, possibly to claim its success for himself should it succeed she had thought. So as to stay informed about what was going on within the city during her absence, she had instructed Tharnithil to stay in Karond Kar to spy on Uriaeth and the coven. A growl suddenly attracted her attention, a smile appearing on her lips. It was the hydra Uriaeth had purchased for her before leaving the city. Not knowing what to expect, she had judged wise to ask her investor to invest in such an expensive creature but so far, there had been no need to do battle.
Suddenly, the army halted. As Karaskia was rising from her couch, a shade, whose name she knew to be Itharin, arrived.
“Mistress”, said the hooded figure while bowing, “A human army stands at the border between us and our destination. We spied on these humans and discovered that they have a priest warrior of the god Sigmar with them. He is ordering the army to march toward us so as to investigate the storm. What would you have us do?”.
“Destroy them of course, they have decided to stand in our way, they shall pay the price for their folly”, she answered.

Soon, the army was ready for battle. When all was ready and when her scouts told her that the opposite army was almost on them, Karaskia stopped channelling the storm which suddenly abated. Suddenly the two armies were visible to one another but where the druchii showed no sign of surprise and remained disciplined, the humans were shouting in surprise. Seizing the advantage the druchii advanced. As Karaskia was advancing toward the enemy, surrounded by her bodyguards, she noticed a unit of handgunners and a battery of canons located on a hill. Knowing this would be the greatest threat to her troops, she acted in consequence. Channelling her energies, she modelled the dark magic around her into a freezing wind she hurled at the humans. The spell struck the handgunners with devastating results, more than a quarter of the humans falling dead to the ground, their bodies a frozen husk that shattered as it touched the earth. Horrified by the fate of their comrades, the survivors turned their back on the elves and fled. As she was relishing this display of terror, a bullet nearly struck Karaskia. Outraged, she looked around so as to find the fool who had dared try to harm her and saw a group of human riders carrying handguns, their leader carrying a long rifle pointed at her. But before she could do anything, a volley of bolts flew from the nearby tower where the shades had hidden and struck the riders, felling men and horses alike.

Itharin quickly reloaded his repeater crossbow but the riders were already dead so he took advantage of this respite to look around the battlefield. On the hill, he saw the two canons try to open fire on the elven host. One did not work, but the other did. The cannonball struck the dreadspear regiment, hurling several broken bodies through the air. Not expecting such an attack, the druchii were gripped by fear and fled. Such a sight drove Karaskia furious and she screamed at the fleeing elves “turn and fight, you worthless scum or I will feed your souls to the Cytherai” which succeeded in rallying them. Meanwhile, the corsairs charged the unit of spearmen led by the priest-warrior. They attacked with the natural ferocity of their race, cutting the humans with accurate strikes of their blades but exhorted by the priest-warrior, their opponents fought back, using their upper position to give greater extends to their weapons. In the end, the corsairs turned from their enemies and fled after their captain had been bested by the priest-warrior. Luckily, their foes reacted too slowly to prevent them from disengaging and so the druchii were free to regroup. Suddenly, a chorus of shouts brought Itharin back to his immediate surroundings. A mass of humans wearing rags was quickly advancing toward the crossbowmen. These humans were completely unlike the disciplined regiment of spearmen that the corsairs had engaged. They were a mob quite similar in behaviour, he thought, to the blood witches of Khaine. He, the crossbowmen and his comrades loosed bolts after bolts at these humans, slaying a third of them, but on they charged, oblivious to their losses. Just as they were a few dozen paces of the crossbowmen, a roar was heard. Itharin turned his head to see the hydra advance on the humans, goaded by its handlers. The sight of such a monster would have terrified any opponents but these humans showed no sign of fear, still screaming, they re-orientated their charge toward the monster screaming like the mad men they were. As they closed on the hydra, it drew its heads back and then extended them towards them, bursts of flames shooting up from its jaws and striking the humans. Several dozen fell burning to the ground but the survivors paid no heed to the carnage and jumped over their burning comrades. They swung their flails at the beast’s tough hide but not to avail, so resilient were its scales. Their attacks did not go unanswered, jaws crushing humans in a shower of gore and claws rending them. Gradually, the mass of humans dwindled, falling to fangs and claws like wheat before a scythe until the hydra stood roaring in triumph amongst piles of torn and burned human corpses, its jaws and claws covered in blood. Itharin did not know how much gold Karaskia had paid for the hydra, but when he looked at the devastation the monster was bringing on their foes, he thought that the price had been worth it.

Varian Jaenaer turned his head at the roar and saw for himself the outcome of the fight between the Flagellants and the five-headed monster. But he had no time to dwell on this as a unit of elven spearmen charged his unit.
“Is there any one among you that has the courage to fight me alone?” he screamed, causing laughter from the elves. Their leader turned to engage him. His sword was a blur as it struck him but his enchanted armour effortlessly stopped the blow. In return, he swung his warhammer at the elf and crushed his head, spraying blood and bone on his soldiers. Invigorated by his victory, his spearmen fought with all their ferocity. The elves, impeded by their momentum, could not properly organize themselves to use their spears to their full potential. Realising they would not prevail, the elves turned to flee. But before they could get far, Varian urged his warriors to pursue them and to not let them escape. Realising the humans would catch them, the elves panicked, dropping their spears and shields to run faster. Cheers were given at this sigh but suddenly one soldier shouted that the other elves were coming back. Varian ordered the unit to turn around, allowing the elven spearmen to escape, and realised that indeed, the elves armed with serrated blades they had fought earlier were charging them again. He looked over them and saw that the hydra had reached one of the cannons while magic blades conjured by the sorceress were hacking at the crewmen of the other cannon. He realised that save for he and his spearmen, the entire army had been obliterated.
“So be it, he thought, if we must die, we will die weapons in hands”.
The elves engaged them and soon, the air was filled with the ring of steel on steel and the scream of the dying. Suddenly, a broil of smoke appeared in front of him and when it vanished, he saw the sorceress standing in front of him. Shouting a prayer to Sigmar, he swung his hammer toward her. As it was about to reach her, an aura of darkness surrounded her and the hammer rebounded from it. As he tried to recover his balance, she stretched her arm toward him. Before he could react, a bolt of pure dark magic struck him. His armour prevented him from being hurt but the impact send him flying several meters away. Before he could get up, the sorceress spoke a word of power and a freezing wind struck him. As he felt his blood freezing and his heart stopping, he heard her laughing.

Karaskia walked around the battlefield, a cold smile on her lips. Around her, the corsairs were busy chaining up the surviving humans, who had surrendered as soon as she had slain their general, while the dead human were chopped up, their meat salted so that it could be marketable once they had returned to Naggaroth. That meat would be easy to sell and would be used to feed the numerous monsters kept by the druchii. The thought of monsters reminded her of the nearby hydra which was feeding on the corpses of the countless humans it had killed. This at least had proven a profitable investment. Itharin and his companions had inspected the area surrounding the battlefield and found the surviving handgunners. Terrified, they had proved easy prey for the dreadspears once the shades had reported their position. She wondered if she had made a good decision sparing the dreadspears lives in spite of their rout. In Naggaroth, commoners had to know that only death or victory was possible for them, not defeat. But she had to be pragmatic, she had yet to complete her mission and she needed soldiers to complete it. She had showed them their mistake by denying them the pleasure to take part in the looting of corpses and the torture of survivors. Karaskia smiled, her army had only suffered a few dozen casualties and captured a few hundred slaves in return. Even if her initial mission was a failure, she would at least have something to present to Uriaeth when she returned to Karond Kar.

Very soon, the army was ready to move on toward its true goal.


Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:18 pm
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Co0mpliments for the win - and for a nice batrep!

Just one thing, when reading
Durithir164 wrote:
Shades had scouted the areas around the druchii’s progression and had killed any enemy sentries they had found allowing the presence of the army to remain secret.
this seems not a sustainable long-term strategy: the foes will soon or later investigate the loss of their sentries.
No wonder they did send an army!

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:53 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
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Hello,

Thank you for the feedback.

Good point regarding the sentries. I should have said "scouts" as it would be more difficult to investigate for the enemy. Also I was thinking the fact that the dark elves were always on the move and avoiding confrontation until they found an army directly on their path lessened the danger of killing enemy scouts.

Regards.


Sun Dec 06, 2015 3:14 pm
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Hello everyone,

In case that interests you, here is the third story of "Adventures of the Dark Ones". I hope you will find it entertaining.

Regards.

Jaws in the night.

After having disposed of the human army guarding the border between Sylvania and the rest of the Empire, the army reached its destination. For the druchii, the landscape of Sylvania was disturbing with its rolling thunder clouds, barren plains and dark forests. It disturbed them, not because of the desolate aspect of the land, but because it mirrored exactly the landscape of their homeland, the Land of Chill. For Karaskia, the area was even more disturbing as she could feel the dark magic that saturated the air almost as much as in Naggaroth. This abundance of dark magic disturbed her as it spoke loudly of the power of those that dwelt here as it meant they could, like the druchii, master the brute energies of chaos, the most powerful magic in the world.

Soon, the tower she sought was in sight, but as the army was getting near, Karaskia felt something unnatural and ordered the army to stop. The dark magic was channelled there by a powerful sorcerer. She ordered the regiments to get ready to fight as she guessed battle was unavoidable. As the army was ordering itself, two figures came out of the tower, one was a human dressed in black robes but the other, dressed with a blood red armour, was something more than human. She suppressed a gasp as she realised that it was a vampire. Around her, soldiers laughed at the sight, no seeing a threat in the two figures. Suddenly, the vampire raised his arms upwards and began casting a spell. Quickly, howls tore the air as hundreds of feral, stooping creatures, barely human in appearance, answered the silent call and advanced from the gloom to surround the vampire and the necromancer, roughly forming three regiments, each one several hundred creatures strong. On the flanks of the sea of ghouls, spectral knights appeared ready to charge. The sight of an army appearing within minutes was terrifying enough but for Karaskia, it was even worse. She could feel the vampire channelling the dark magic around him and covering the entire army with it like a blanket. She could sense the spell and realised that the vampire controlled the army with his mind the same way slaves were bent to their master’s will. He drew his sword and pointed it at the druchii. No word was uttered but his army suddenly advanced forward.

The elves around her screaming shouts of dismay at the sight of this army, Karaskia knew that they had to react otherwise the ghouls would stuck them in battle while the knights would outflank them and destroy them. Following her orders, the corsairs stayed back, ready to intervene while the dreadspears, closely followed by the hydra, advanced, supported by volleys of bolts from the darkshards and the shades and by dark bolts that she conjured and hurled at the sea of ghouls, slaying them by the dozen. The dreadspears quickly reached the ghouls on the right flank and a furious melee began. For all their savagery, the ghouls were no match for the ferocity and skill of the druchii whose spears cut through their mass with ease, not a single of them falling to the claws of their feral foes. The slaughter worsened when the hydra joined the fray, its jaws and claws killing a handful of ghouls with every strike. As the elves and their monstrous ally tore through the sea of beasts, killing half of them, the magic that bound their will to the vampire’s waned of this side of the army and the remaining ghouls recovered their free will and, realising that they stood no chance against their foes, fled.

Karaskia felt a small measure of hope as she saw the regiment on the right side of the opposite army completely break up, its members dead or fleeing. But the vampire showed no sign of worry at the sight. Under his mental orders, the ghouls forming the middle regiment turned toward the victorious dreadspears who had their flank exposed at the moment. She saw the unit’s lordling shout orders and the unit quickly began to turn toward this new threat. She could see the outcome, faced with a disciplined elven phalanx, the vampire and his minions would be cut down effortlessly. Suddenly, before the dreadspears could finish their manoeuvre, the vampire cast a spell. Sensing it, Karaskia tried to counter it but as she was about to succeed, he drew a power stone and the upsurge of energy provided obliterated all her attempts to dispel his incantation. Beaten, she could only watch helpless as the running speed of the ghouls suddenly increased by a tenfold, allowing them to reach the druchii as their flank was still exposed. Attacked on the flank, the druchii could not put their spears and shields to use and so fell to the teeth and claws of the ghouls or the martial prowess of the vampire. Quickly, their nerves gave away and they fled.

Kelrad Von Carstein laughed as he saw his opponents flee in terror. Darting forward, he seized one of the elves and bent his head with the ease of an adult catching a child, exposing his neck. Heedless of the elf’s powerless attempts to free himself, he plunged his teeth in and closed his eyes in ecstasy as he felt his prey’s warm blood. It was not as tasty as human blood, the comparison similar to the comparison between water and wine, but it was blood all the same and it filled him with energy. He only let go of the body when there was not a single drop of blood remaining in it. On the elves fled, some of them dragged to the ground and eaten alive. Suddenly, he and his minions found themselves within a few meters of the five-headed monster the elves had brought. Seeing the black knights standing right in front of the beast, he mentally ordered them to charge it. Roaring like a varghulf, he also charged the hydra and swung his sword at it. The strong steel backed by his inhuman strength bit deeply into the hydra’s flesh, at the same time, the knights’ lances hit home. The hydra roared in pain and fury but as the knights drew back their weapons, he saw that its wounds were healing almost immediately like the tail of lizard growing again but at an accelerated rate. He roared in anger and instantly, five reptilian heads turned toward him and roared in response. He barred his teeth in a threatening way but it seemed to infuriate the monster even more. Its whole body turned toward him, its bulk crushing several ghouls in the process. The latest and the knights struck at the hydra again and again but they could have been striking a stone wall for the damage it caused, whatever wounds they inflicted healing immediately. Kelrad charged forward even as the hydra’s heads struck like snakes. His sword was a blur, cutting three heads before the fourth one’s jaws seized him and lifted him in the air. He tried to hack it with his sword, but before he could, the fifth head’s jaws closed around his right arm, preventing him from using his weapon. The two heads were pulling him in separate directions, trying to tear him apart, their teeth slowing crushing his armour, but with his strength, he managed to resist until he felt several other pairs of jaws close around his legs and head. He realized with horror that the heads he had cut had grown again. He could discern the ghouls climbing upon the monster and biting at his exposed necks but it paid no heed, focusing entirely on him. He pitted his whole strength against the five heads trying to resist…but lost.

As the vampire died screaming, his body torn to pieces by the hydra’s jaws and falling in dust, leaving only the shattered remains of his armour. Karaskia felt the spell covering his army suddenly fade like a cloth being torn, its components suddenly recovering their free will or dying again. Everywhere on the battlefield, the ghouls’ feral expressions turned to expressions of surprise and terror, many fleeing back into the night. On Karaskia’s left, the darkshards, who had been fighting a desperate battle against the undead knights that had engaged them suddenly shouted in amazement and relief as their opponents suddenly stumbled from their steeds, mere inanimate skeletons once again while their mounts evaporated like mist. Roars of agony and pain suddenly brought back on the right of the battlefield where the hydra was feebly struggling, the ghouls climbing over its body and biting and clawing at every part of its body that was not covered with scales. While some of them were finishing off the monster, others had swarmed at the position of the shades near the tower, forcing them to flee for their lives. But the creatures’ success was short lived for the corsairs, after a moment of doubt at the sight of the hydra’s defeat, charged in their flank, carving a bloody path through their mass, killing or sending all of them in flight. The last regiment of ghouls, still led by the necromancer, faced her and so she ordered her bodyguard to charge it while the darkshards drew again their swords and shields and charged on the flank of the foe. While the soldiers around her easily disposed of their terrified opponents with swords and spears, she charged directly at the necromancer. He drew a sword to defend himself but she was quicker, conjuring a magic sword and beheading him. A movement on her right caught her eyes and as she turned, she saw the last of the undead knights that had attacked the hydra galloping towards her, his spear aimed at her chest. She laughed and gathered the dark magic around her, covering herself in a haze of darkness. When the haze abated, she was gone, shifting herself away from the melee to a place where she could see the whole battlefield. The savage joy of victory filled her as she saw the knight finally crumbling, the energies sustaining him undone, and the remaining ghouls fleeing her warriors.

As soon as it ransacked the tower, the damaged but victorious army, followed by the hundreds of captured humans and ghouls, began the trip that would lead it back towards the fleet waiting for them on the coast of the Empire. The expedition had been a success. Karaskia had entered the tower and found a comprehensive library full of books dealing with dark magic as well as several magic objects that would bring a good price in Naggaroth. The druchii had also captured any ghoul that had been too slow to escape. These creatures were too feral to be good slaves but they would have their use in the Land of Chill, whether as sacrifices for Khaine or in the fighting pits. Back on her chariot channelling the veiling storm, Karaskia could not help but foresee her triumphant coming back to Karond Kar. She had completed her mission. True, at least half her of small army had been annihilated during the journey but it had been a small price to pay for all the power and prestige that would be hers when she returned. A weak growl on her right attracted her attention. She relaxed almost immediately, knowing it came from the hydra. Indeed, despite the countless wounds it had received, the hydra had survived, its extreme regenerative metabolism denying death its due. The fact that its handlers had been slain was less enjoyable as it had forced Karaskia to use a spell to numb the beast’s mind until she could recruit new beastmasters in Naggaroth. All she could do now was lead her army back to the waiting fleet and sail back toward the Land of Chill and her triumph.


Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:19 pm
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As enjoyable as the previous ones.

Thanks! :)

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Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:55 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
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Hello everyone.

Here is the fourth story of "Adventures of the Dark Ones". I hope you will find it entertaining.

Best regards.

An unexpected promotion

Sweat ran like a river on Durithir’s body as he quickly fetched the bolts so as to reload his bolt thrower. “Hurry”, shouted his companion. All around them, the darkshards were firing hails of bolts that fell like rain on the ogres. Some bolts rebounded on the monsters’ thick skin but others bit deeply. The tide of the battle was turning against the druchii. Their dreadspears regiments, along with the noble that led them, had been defeated by the ogres following bloody melees with heavy losses on both sides or had fled the battlefield. Now the remaining ogres were closing on them, the dreadspears having being killed of having fled the battlefield. The endless hail of bolts had taken their toll, several ogres falling dead to the ground, pierced by bolts. On the hundred behemoths that they had been sent to destroy, only a dozen now remained but these latest now rushed at the remaining druchii. Durithir aimed at the ogre wizard with the bolt thrower and opened fire. Six spear-sized bolts flew and pierced the butcher’s gut, slaying him on the spot. On the right, the hail of bolts finished the iron guts, blood seeping from many wounds in their bodies. Their leader, a towering ogre, broader and taller than the others, kept on running despite many bolts stuck in his skin. He reached the darkshards and a huge sweep of his hammer killed more than a dozen elves. The survivors tried to retaliate but his armour prevented any one from wounding him. In a matter of minutes, the druchii were exterminated. Turning towards the bolt thrower, the bruiser quickly reached Durithir’s companion. Dropping his hammer, he seized the elf and lifted him as easily as an adult would have picked up a baby. His jaws closed around the druchii’s head, splattering blood all around him. He ate the druchii in barely a few seconds, eating flesh, bones, clothes and armour alike. He then turned to Durithir, stunned by the spectacle, and seized him. Breaking from his terror, the druchii drew his dagger and struck but the weapon was caught in the ogre’s fat and remained stuck. Thrashing in the ogre’s grip, his hand found one of the bolts he had been loading in the machine and closed madly around it. Just as the ogre general was about to close his jaws around his head, Durithir raised the bolt and thrust blindly with a shout of utter terror and despair. The bolt’s iron tip punched through the roof of the ogre’s mouth and into his skull. Dropping the elf, the ogre general’s hand flew to his mouth but in seizing the bolt’s haft, he only managed to push it deeper into his mouth, the bolt’s tip piercing through the back of the skull. As he laid in death throes, Durithir ran to the wagon containing the bolts and quickly reloaded the bolt thrower. Aiming the war machine towards the last seven ogres who had reached and destroyed the last darkshards, he fired. At such a close range, every bolt was lethal and so two ogres were slain. The bolts had barely hit home that the druchii had rushed to retrieve more bolts. The ogres had barely turned to face him that he had reloaded the machine again. Two other ogres were killed, each one pierced by three spear sized bolts. The three remaining ogres looked stricken at the sight of their fallen comrades but when they saw their general lying dead on the ground, their faces turned to complete terror. It took a few heartbeats for the druchii to realise that because he had killed their leader, the strongest of them, the ogres thought themselves unable of killing him. Knowing it was his only chance, Durithir reloaded his machine and aimed towards his opponents. Such was the stupidity and confusion of the ogres that they turned from the druchii and fled. Looking around, Durithir saw that he was the only soldier from both sides remaining alive on the battlefield.

As he was inspecting the corpses for valuables to be looted, five druchii warriors came for Durithir.
“Come with us” ordered their leader, “Lord Uriaeth wishes to see you”.
“Who is Uriaeth?” asked Durithir, suspicious. “The highborn who appointed the pathetic excuse for a noble who led the army sent against these animals” replied the retainer.
Durithir followed the warriors to a druchii camp set a mile from the battlefield. The warriors led him to the largest pavilion. Inside was the noble who had led the druchii against the ogres and a fully armour-clad lord surrounded by retainers and carrying a sword seething with dark magic. As Durithir entered, the noble said,
“the soldiers I had under my orders were weak and cowardly, it is because of them these brutish beasts were able to inflict us so high casualties”.
“You are nothing but a shepherd blaming his stock. If so many soldiers died, it is because you failed to lead them. You are the sole responsible for our heavy losses.” retorted the highborn.
“I will not let you torture me without reacting” said the noble angrily, his hand flying to his sword.
“Have no fear; torture is reserved for those who can still redeem themselves”, replied the highborn with a cruel tone.
The noble’s sword sliced through the air but the highborn parried with his blade and counter-attacked with a sweep that beheaded the other druchii. As the corpse fell to the ground, the highborn turned to his warriors.
“Who is that youngster?” he asked pointing at Durithir.
“He is the only soldier who survived the battle, save for those who fled” replied one of them.
The highborn looked at Durithir for a long time, gauging him.
“Take him to the ogres” he suddenly told his retainers.
The druchii left the pavilion and reached a part of the camp where the three ogres who had survived the battle were chained up. At the highborn’s request, the retainers shoved Durithir right in front of the captives.
“Is he the elf you are talking about? The one who slew your leader?” asked Uriaeth.
The ogres looked at Durithir and, recognising him immediately, nodded. “
Very well” said the highborn.
He turned to Durithir and extended his weapon, the blade coming to rest on the elf’s shoulder. Although certain he was about to be killed, Durithir remained as still as a statue.
“What is your name, young elf?” asked the highborn.
“Durithir” answered the soldier.
“So, Durithir, are not you going to beg for mercy, offering me all the loot you took from the corpses on the battlefield if it could convince me to spare you?”
“I am just a young lowborn. There is nothing I can do to influence you so you can deal with me as you please” said Durithir, resigned.
“Indeed, I can deal with you as I please, which is why I make you one of my retainers” replied the highborn.
“You cannot do that!” exclaimed Durithir before he could stop himself.
The highborn laughed then replied seriously
“I am Uriaeth, a veteran of the Black Guard of Naggarond appointed by the Witch King himself as a lord of Karond Kar. I have the right of life and death over every druchii in this camp. I have the right to execute those I judge wanting…and to reward those I judge worthy”.

And so it was that Durithir went from being a young anonymous bolt thrower crewman to a retainer of one of the most powerful nobles in Karond Kar. Uriaeth was generous with his new protégé and provided him with high quality gear, a ten year old human slave and expensive arms training lessons and management lessons with his children. Over the months of his new life, Durithir gradually realised that what had seemed to be a reward had been in fact a political masterstroke by Uriaeth. By executing a noble who had failed to do his bidding and by appointing a lowborn to a high ranking position, the highborn had shown the whole city that he would punish all those who failed him and reward those he judged worthy which would drive anyone acting under his orders to do all what was necessary for success, whether out of greed or fear of reprisal. He had also won a retainer who, unlike his other retainers who came from lesser noble families, was unlikely to pose a threat to him. Indeed, Durithir had no contact and no influence at the court and so had no one to turn to should he wish to turn on Uriaeth. Also, his peculiar situation prevented him from associating with anyone. The nobles saw him as a lowborn and judged rightly that he was too much inexperienced of the nobles’ scheming and plotting habits to be of use or importance, save once when another highborn had tried to bribe him into betraying Uriaeth. Knowing that to do so would have been madness; he had warned Uriaeth about this. His master had wasted no time in dealing with the highborn by hiring an assassin from the Temple of Khaine to kill that interloper. The assassin had then, at Uriaeth’s request, presented him with the highborn’s corpse so that he would know what would happen to him should he betray his lord. His new status also cut him from the rest of the lowborn citizens who were jealous of his spectacular ascension. Finally, as Uriaeth was the only reason for his sudden promotion, the newly appointed retainer had nothing to win and everything to lose by turning against him. Realising the web he was trapped in, Durithir could do nothing but accept his fate and enjoy all the advantages it provided. His one thought of comfort was that if Uriaeth had not seen at least a shred of potential in him, he would not be spending so many resources to mould him into an efficient weapon.


Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:07 pm
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Corsair
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Did that nice and enteraining story reflect the actual outcome of one of your battles?

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Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:49 am
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
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Hello,

Yes, this is what happened in a real game (7th edition):
-at this point, I was reduced to the bolt thrower and two units of crossbowmen. The Ogre army was reduced to the bruiser general and a unit of ogres.
-the bruiser charged the crossbowmen, destroyed the unit (or made it flee from combat resolution, I don't remember) then made an automatic charge on the bolt thrower. He managed only one hit which killed a servant. At this point, he had only one wound left due to all the shots he had taken and the remaining servant managed to wound him and he failed his save which spelled his doom.
-the unit of ogres defeated the other unit of crossbowmen and caught them.
-the bolt thrower had one shooting phase before the ogre unit reformed then a second before it could charge and during this second shooting phase, he killed one of the two remaining ogres in the unit and the other failed the panic test and left the table.
Only one model from both armies remaining at the end.

When I pointed out that the lone dark elf survivor had killed the ogre general, one of the staff in the store said "Someone is going to get promoted to dreadlord".
This gave me the idea to actually have the bolt thrower crewmember promoted to retainer to a dreadlord (since I think getting immediately promoted to dreadlord is far more difficult).

Regards.


Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:32 pm
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That was definitively a good one, worth to remember!

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Thu Dec 10, 2015 10:33 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
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Hello everyone.

Here is the fifth story of "Adventures of the Dark Ones" and the first one which is not a battle report. I hope you will find entertaining.

Regards.

Death and birth

All across Naggaroth, dark elves quailed in their homes, doors and windows shut, fearful of attracting attention. For this night was the Death Night, the night during which the blood witches roamed the streets of the six cities, killing or capturing all they found on their path, druchii and slaves alike.

In Karond Kar, a young blood witch whose name was Ithrial eagerly smelled the air, hoping to catch the scent of prey. As she and the other blood witches turned around a corner in the highborn district, they had the pleasant surprise of finding several dozen human slaves chained to the doors of the houses, so that the blood witches could know exactly who the owners of the offered slaves were. The Brides of Khaine rushed at the slaves screaming their bloodlust. Their daggers flashed, the screams of agony of their victims mixing with the chanting of the savage female Khainites. As Ithrial slashed the throat of a chained human, his blood spraying her face, she heard a small noise. Focusing on it, she followed it until she came to a door where stood a muzzled female human chained to a ring next to the door. Next to her was a small bundle of clothes from which little noises could be heard. Ignoring the human, the blood witch rushed at the bundle and lifted it. Her eyes shone with murderous intent as she saw that it contained a small elf baby, no more than a few weeks old. She opened a bit the bundle so that she could look between the baby’s legs. If it was a girl, she would be taken to the temple and trained as a blood witch. If it was a boy, he would be sacrificed to Khaine. Her joy grew even more when she saw that it was a boy. This would be a perfect offering to the Lord of Murder. She went to the Hag leading the blood witches and handed her the baby but the Hag refused saying, “You found him, hence, you will be the one who will offer him to our Lord.”
As dawn appeared on the horizon, the Khainites returned to the temple. Still clutching the baby, Ithrial went straightly for the Cauldron of Blood located deep within the edifice. Heading for a guardrail overlooking the cauldron, she looked at the blood that filled it. With a prayer to her god and under the screams of approval of the other blood witches, she hurled the baby in the carmine liquid. He quickly sunk in the blood filling the brass cauldron. Just as Ithrial turned away, the cauldron suddenly shook and bubbles pierced the blood at the surface. As she watched, the baby suddenly emerged from the blood and gripped the edge of the cauldron. One of the Hags watching turned to Ithrial and said, “Retrieve him”. Ithrial did as she was told, seizing a pole and extending towards the baby who seized it. As she took him in her arms, he opened his eyes and she saw with astonishment that his eyes had turned from green to yellow brass, a sign of favour from the Lord of Murder. She carried the boy to the Hag leading over the temple in Karond Kar. After examining him, she declared that the boy should be trained as an assassin as he had emerged unscathed from the cauldron and been blessed by Khaine himself. She then turned to Ithrial and asked if the child had a name.
“I do not know” replied the blood witch, “I found him in the highborn district. Shall I send someone to inquire who offered a baby as a sacrifice?”
“Why waste time doing this?” asked the Hag, “If they left him on the street as you say, it was because they did not want him. Besides, even if they wanted him now, it would be pointless. He now belongs to the temple. As we do not know his name, we shall give him a new one. Henceforth, this boy shall be named Tharnithil.”

five hundred years later.

The music of drums and flutes filled the air as Maelek was preparing himself to go to bed. The music brought a cruel smile to his lips. That same night five hundred years ago, when he had been barely thirty-five, he had taken his baby brother, Kaethir, from his cradle and put him on the doorstep next to the human slave his parents had chained at the door. As he had expected, the blood witches had come and taken him. In the very beginning of the morning, after the blood witches had returned to the temple but before anyone else had awaken, he had gone in the street to the window giving on his brother’s bedroom and broken it. Seeing this, his parents had assumed that a blood witch had broken in and stolen the baby. Knowing that it would have been pointless, and dangerous, to seek reparation at the Temple, his parents had accepted what they thought had been committed and had done nothing. Maelek always smiled when he remembered this masterstroke. With this small ruse, he had eliminated his future rival for the inheritance and rule of his household. Just as he was about to go to his bedroom, he heard a small noise coming from his brother’s bedroom, which had been empty for the last five hundred years and he opened the door. The room seemed completely empty but suddenly, a shadow detached itself from the wall and resolved into a druchii clad into black clothes, his head and face covered with a hood and a mask that only revealed two brass-coloured eyes.
“Who are you?” asked Maelek, anger seething in his voice, “What are you doing in my house?”
The other druchii only drew two daggers and advanced gracefully towards.
“Do you remember me?” he asked with a cold voice
The question filled Maelek with utter terror as he realised identity of the druchii. He knew that some boys taken by the blood witches were spared the wrath of the Blood Handed God and were trained as assassins and sadly for him, his victim was one of them. It was his own brother that now faced him, daggers in his hand and murder in his eyes. Maelek’s hand flew to the sword that was at his waist or should have been at his waist had he not left it in his bedroom. He turned to run but had barely taken two steps that the assassin caught him and pressed a dagger to his throat.
“Please, show mercy” begged Maelek.
“Mercy?” replied the assassin, “Do you expect a scion of the Lord of Murder to show mercy? Did you show me any mercy? “Brother?””
The hatred in the assassin’s voice was so strong that Maelek felt himself quaver.
“Please Kaethir, spare me and I will give you everything you want”.
“Kaethir” replied the assassin, “So this is the name I received at my first birth. That boy died in the Cauldron of Blood and was reborn in blood as Tharnithil. As for your offer, there is only thing I want and I think you can easily guess what it is.”
“How did you find me after all these years?” asked the terrified highborn.
“Have you heard about the sorceress Karaskia and the expedition she led in Nagarythe?” replied the Khainite.
“Yes, I have, that sorceress struck a deal with the highborn Uriaeth and led an expedition to victory against a small asur army”.
Suddenly, Maelek froze, remembering a detail. The druchii who had returned from the expedition had spoken of an assassin from the temple who had fought alongside them and had single-handedly killed more asur than any other druchii.
“You struck a deal with Karaskia so that she would use her sorcery to find me?” he both stated and asked, raising his gaze towards his brother’s eyes.
“Nobles are the masters of bargains and scheming but they are not the only players of this game” replied the assassin with a sneer, “You can only blame yourself. If you had not tried to bribe Uriaeth’s new retainer, he would not have contracted a blood debt with the Khainites. This retainer immediately reported to Uriaeth when you tried to bribe him, like a guilty child. Anyway, when I was chosen for killing you, the blood witch who raised me told me that ironically you were certainly a relative of mine as she had found me on this house’s doorstep five hundred years ago Prior to that moment, I had never tried to know where I came from as being a Khainite assassin is my true calling. But when I discovered that my target was probably a relative, my curiosity was sparked off and I resolved to discover how I had ended up offered to the Lord of Murder. When news reached the temple of this agreement between Uriaeth and Karaskia, I went to her secretly and offered her my services for free for two decades like she did for the highborn. I sailed with her to Ulthuan and I fought against our wretched cousins. She was fairly impressed and pleased with my performances so as a reward, she used her scrying powers to look not into the future but into the past and we saw what you did.”
The assassin stopped talking, apparently pleased with the look of horror on his victim’s face.
“Now it is my turn to ask you a question, brother” he said with a voice full of venom, “Karaskia showed me what you did three weeks ago and the blood debt has been contracted two months ago. Why do you think I have waited before coming for you?”
When Maelek shook his head, the assassin replied smiling beneath his hood.
“I have devised a fitting way to dispose of you, brother, a way Uriaeth has approved. It will fulfil in a stroke both his wishes and my own revenge. Moreover, it will sow the seed of fear in his retainer’s heart” he said.
Quicker than a snake, the assassin drew another blade and slightly scratched Maelek’s cheek. Immediately, the druchii lost consciousness.

When he regained his senses, Maelek realised with utter horror that he was lying naked on cold floor. He looked around and saw that he was in the middle of the street. He tried to rise but his body was still much paralyzed by the poison and his moves were slow and painful. He then heard feral screams and turned to see that at least a dozen blood witches were coming towards him, their faces twisted by bloodlust and their eyes shining with murder. He realised that Kaethir’s purpose had been to offer him defenceless to the Khainites like he had offered him to these killers five centuries ago. This was the only reason why he had waited before exacting his revenge; he had wanted to reverse the roles. He however had little time to feel horror as the blood witches began to run towards him howling like wolves.
“I am a highborn, I am rich, spare me and each of you will receive a slave to kill tomorrow morning” he screamed
The feral priestess-warriors paid no heed to his words. He tried to run but had barely turned his back that the blood witches caught him. His screams of pain were cut short as dozens of knives bit into his flesh and as he was brutally dismembered by the Bloody Handed God’s merciless followers.

From a nearby alley, Tharnithil watched pleased as his brother was brutally slain by those who had been expected to kill him so long ago. Such a fitting end, he thought. As Maelek’s corpse was reduced to a barely recognizable lump of meat, the assassin advanced, the other Khainites paying no attention to him. Picking up the remains in a bag, he went straight for the citadel at the heart of the city and walked through the maze of corridors until he found the door of Uriaeth’s tower. Like Uriaeth had said, it was guarded by his new retainer, who drew his sword as Tharnithil approached.
“Begone, assassin, Lord Uriaeth does not wish to see anyone tonight” said the retainer with a voice that could not wholly conceal his fear.
Looking more closely at his features, which were quite visible despite the helm, Tharnithil realised that the retainer was extremely young, no more than one hundred and sixty years, which was quite young for an elf. Why Uriaeth had taken such a youngster under his service was beyond Tharnithil’s comprehension but he quickly pushed aside the matter. After all, his role was to kill, not to have opinions on the behaviours of others.
“Are you Durithir?” he asked.
“Yes” said the other, his eyes frowning with suspicion and fear.
“Then I have something that your master bade me to show you” and with that, he emptied his bag at the retainer’s feet.
“What is that?” asked Durithir with incomprehension.
“Lord Maelek, the highborn who tried to bribe you to betray your master”.
The retainer’s expression turned to one of utter horror.
“But I did not accept his offer; I reported it to Uriaeth. I will not betray Uriaeth, without him, I would be nothing and he would kill me if I ever did anything against him” he said horrified.
“If you had betrayed him, you would indeed be the one reduced to a butchered corpse. Uriaeth merely wanted to show you what happens to those he considers a threat.”
The youngster’s face went white and he gulped gazing at the corpse, no doubt imagining himself reduced to such a state.
“Is there anything else you want me to transmit to Uriaeth?” he asked with a quavering voice.
“Well, tell him Tharnithil has performed his task…and tell him you understood what he wished to convey to you”.
With these final words, Tharnithil turned away and left the retainer with his macabre warning.


Fri Dec 11, 2015 8:17 pm
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Tis the season, I guess!
You arrived a little bit late for this competition

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Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:05 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Hello,

Indeed, with the loss of the "world that was" and the loss of "Warhammer Battle" (now replaced by Age of Sigmar), I feel like I am late for everything (and that I should not give opinions on posts that have not been active for months or years).


Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:12 pm
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Hello everyone,

Here is the sixth story of "Adventures of the Dark Ones". I hope you will enjoy it.

Regards.



The depths of despair

As dusk was setting on his village, the stable boy Davad purposefully returned to his cottage. The day had been busy, a squadron of knights from the order of the Blazing Sun having stopped on his village on their way for Salzenmund. The arrival of twenty knights had meant twenty horses to look after which had greatly increased the amount of work he usually performed each day. This work had been tiring but it had been a small price to pay for the opportunity to see the members of one the most famous chivalry orders of the Empire. During that entire day, Davad had wondered how it would be to be one of these noble knights or even to be a squire in their service. That had been his dream during his entire childhood. As he reached his family’s cottage, he turned and saw that the storm that had been building itself at the sea had almost reached the coast. He paid little attention to it, hoping it would abate before it reached the village.
The rest of the day passed without any other event, his mother made dinner for him, his father and sisters. As he went to bed, Davad offered a prayer to Sigmar, asking the main god of the Empire for the chance to serve a knight. Little did he know that his prayer would be answered but not in the way he expected.

As he was sleeping, Davad was woken by screams outside his house. Suddenly, there was a crash and a sound of feet as intruders broke into the cottage. As Davad rose up, the door of the room slammed open and a tall figure emerged. He had barely time to gasp in fear before the intruder seized him by the neck and dragged him outside the cottage to the village’s main place where the villagers were gathered like cattle and chained. Looking around in fear, he saw his parents and sisters chained up and taken to another group. He tried to go towards them but one of the attackers drew a long sword and pinned it against his throat. Paralyzed with fear, Davad looked up to the slaver’s face and gasped at the sight of it. The slaver was not human; a look at his face was enough to be sure of it. His face was too angular to be human and his skin was whiter than the skin of a human. His expression was one of utter contempt. The being threatening him was taller than a human but thinner. It was wearing an articulated purple breastplate and a long green cloak which seemed to be made from the scales of some huge reptilian creature. As Davad’s gaze moved around, he saw the other slavers coming and going through the village, taking all valuables, tools and food. Looking again at his tormentor’s face, he noticed that his ears were pointed. With a jolt, Davad realised that it was an elf. Legends said they were an ancient race whose skills in magic and sailing were peerless. Suddenly, under threat of the creatures, the captives began to march towards the beach where several black ships were waiting. However, all humans gasped with terror as they looked beyond the ships and saw, between the clouds of the storm, a titanic fortress floating on the waves as easily as a piece of wood. As this sight, one man tried to break free of the chains holding him and pulled back trying to free himself and flee. Unimpressed, one of the elves simply drew his swords and stabbed him through the groin. This brutal execution banished all thoughts of resistance from the captives and they let themselves be led like sheep towards the ships and then within the fortress.

The captives were led down corridors into the bowels of the fortress and were locked in cells where they were packed against one another. Over the following days, other humans, presumably from other towns and villages, joined them. For what seemed to be several weeks, time being impossible to discern in the unending darkness of their prison, they were crammed against one another like fish in a barrel. Some died of starvation, their inhuman captives feeding them only revolting bread, and sometimes meat whose origin they did not care about, always in quantities that could barely sustain them. Frequently, the elves would come in small groups and take one or two humans who would never be seen again. After an eternity, the elves came and led them, still chained, out of their cells. As they emerged out of the fortress, Davad, now reduced to little more than a living bone bag, saw that their torment had not even begun as he gazed upon a city of black stone with countless needle-like towers that seem to sprout from the ground like stalagmites on what seemed to be an island. Goaded by their merciless guardians, the humans, much less numerous than at the time of the raid, were led onto the docks then up the streets. Everywhere, there were elves; males, females and even children, looking upon the humans with sadistic pleasure, sneering and laughing as if this sight was their greatest form of pleasure. As the humans continued to advance, the man located just before Davad collapsed exhausted from despair and starvation. Davad momentarily stopped so as not to walk on him but had soon no other choice than to do so, pushed by those behind him. At that moment, the crowd, who in the very seconds during which Davad had stopped had looked at the downed man with trepidation, screamed in cruel joy as he was crushed to death beneath the feet of his kinsmen. Mixing with the shouts and the laughter was another sound, the sound of a wail of utter torment and suffering. As he raised his gaze, Davad saw with horror a human corpse tied to a post and his horror increased a tenfold when he realised that the plaintive wail originated from it. Magic light danced in his eyes and his face was locked in an expression of unending pain. Soon, the humans reached a broad plaza. Everywhere there were more of the macabre wailing corpses, the sound reaching such intensity that many humans began to moan in despair and beg for immediate death so unbearable was the noise. The elves however seemed to enjoy this sound as much as a human would enjoy the music of a flute. Once they had reached the plaza, the humans were divided according to gender and age. As he was led towards a stand where stood other boys whose ages ranged from ten to fifteen, Davad looked around, trying to discern any member of his family but not to avail. Had they died during the hellish trip or were they somewhere on this slave market waiting to suffer whatever fate these elven fiends had in store for them? Davad was not sure whether he wanted to know the answer.

The boys, barely children, stood almost naked; their clothes having been reduced to rags by the confinement and the conditions of the trip, for several hours. All around them, elves came and went; examining humans on stands the same way humans would examine a pig or a sheep at a fair. At one moment, an elf who, given the extricate armour he wore and the squadron of armoured warriors around him, seemed to be a noble came to the stand. After some words with the merchant, he sent one of his warriors, a young elf, to examine the boys more closely. He inspected several boys then came for Davad and brutally examined his teeth, arms, hands and legs and said some words to his lord who nodded. At once, another warrior came before the merchant and handed him a considerable amount of gold. Davad was then led down the stand by the warrior holding him and joined another group of humans, all adults, managed by warriors of the elven lord. The warrior then drew a dagger, ripped off the rag that covered Davad’s chest and carved a rune of ownership on the boy’s skin.

As soon as the lord had bought all the slaves he wanted, his warriors escorted them towards the massive citadel that rose in the centre of the city. After wandering through a maze of corridors, the group entered a massive tower marked with a halberd-like symbol on a door of oak. The different slaves were then gathered in the entrance chamber and the elven lord turned towards them.
“Human worms, I am the lord Uriaeth, highborn of Karond Kar and estimated servant of the Witch King. Your days of freedom are over; you are now given a function befitting a race as low as yours. Your life is now directly linked to your obedience, disobey my orders and you will know sufferings your basic mind is unable of even imagining” he addressed them speaking in their tongue.
The slaves were then presented to a warrior who instructed them with their new functions. When it was Davad’s turn, Uriaeth stepped forward and said something to his retainer before turning to another one, the young elf who had inspected Davad at the market. The elf nodded to his lord then turned to Davad and told him to follow him in a tone that left no room for questioning or hesitation. Davad followed the elf up the stairs of the tower until they reach a door. The elf entered the room and gestured for Davad to follow him. Uncertain of what to do, Davad waited nervously once he had entered. The elf then turned and came towards him and looked at him like at a dog.
“What is your name?” he asked.
“Davad”, replied the boy.
“I am Durithir, retainer of Uriaeth, but you may call me “Master” for that is what I am for you now. I do not know what you were before and I do not care. You are now my personal slave and you live and die at my whim. Serve me well and I will only dispose of you when you become too old to be of use” the elf said with a cold voice

So it was that Davad became the slave of a druchii. And as a slave, he had to attend to his master at the latest’s every whim or desire whether it was to clean his gear, weapons or clothes or prepare his meals. Yet for all the hard work he had to perform, Davad’s life was quite easier than the life of the other slaves. Indeed, his master spent most of his days in fighting lessons or other type of trainings which left him few time to give orders. Moreover, he was also softer with him than the other elves. Indeed, when another slave did a mistake, Uriaeth or one of his warriors would whip the slave or submit him to an excruciating torture that would seriously weaken him for several days when they did not kill on the spot. Durithir, as for him, never did anything serious regarding punishments. When Davad did a mistake or failed to show him proper deference, Durithir would take a knife and inflict on his body a wound that while excruciatingly painful at the moment, had no short or long lasting effect on his health. After some observation, Davad realised that Durithir’s behaviour had in fact more to do with caution than mercy. Indeed, in comparison to the other retainers’ rooms, Durithir’s room was empty, only containing two cabinets, one containing his clothes, the other containing his armour and weapons, and a shelve upon which stood the skull of an ogre. Also, while the other retainers always ate elaborate and expensive food for their meals, Durithir’s meals were very plain in comparison. After much thinking, though he was clever enough never to voice it to anyone, Davad came to the conclusion that Durithir’s position was in fact very precarious. It seemed all his actions aimed at avoiding attracting Uriaeth’s attention. From some words he had with the other slaves, Davad discovered that Durithir was a newly appointed retainer of Uriaeth, and one who had yet to prove himself which explained his extremely discreet behaviour. He was clearly afraid of doing anything that would anger Uriaeth and prompt the latest to dispose of him like he would dispose of a slave. Davad remembered with a shudder that night when, Durithir had woken him before dawn and ordered him to dispose of a butchered elven corpse that had been deposed in front of the tower’s gate. During the following days, the druchii had been anxious and reluctant to leave his room. Of course, his lack of cruelty towards his slave was also directed by his urge not to waste anything Uriaeth provided him with. He would not take the risk of killing or permanently incapacitating his slave and being forced to buy another one with his lord’s money. All this brought little solace to Davad as he knew that should something happen to Durithir; he would certainly find himself with a master who had nothing to lose by maiming or killing him.

Realising that there was nothing he could do to change his fate, Davad gave up on all dream of being free again and focused just on surviving. Once, he even laughed bitterly about his condition, realizing that his dream of serving a knight had become true…but not in the way he had wanted or imagined it.


Sun Dec 13, 2015 6:05 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
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Never make wishes... they might come true indeed.


Nevertheless, I would gladly see some other comments than mine after your stories.
It is nice to see the culture of the Druchii maintained alive with your efforts, I should not be the only one to encourage you.
Thanks Durithir! :)

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Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:06 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
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Hello,

Thank you for your feeback, Calisson.

Regarding the lack of comments, I don't know what the readers of Druchii.net enjoy reading on this forum so I don't know what I can do.


Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:11 pm
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Hello everyone.

Here is the seventh story of "Adventures of the Dark Ones". I hope you will find it entertaining.

Regards.

Battle at the front and murder at the rear

Barely two years after her successful expedition to Sylvania, Karaskia, whose political influence had grown considerably, had another vision of a strange ruined city located in some jungle. As soon as she had that vision, she requested an audience with Uriaeth so as to inform him of this fact. In response, he invited her to join him for a small feast in his tower. Halfway through the feast, she informed him of her vision. After hearing it, he remained silent for a long time, stroking his chin.
Finally, he broke his silence.
“And you would have me fund this expedition? I have to admit that after what happened last time, lending you troops to go on an expedition based on just a vision is not very encouraging” he said.
For a moment, Karaskia was too stunned to reply then replied, trying to keep her voice under control.
“May I remind you the wealth that my previous vision brought you? You won wealth and notoriety at the court” she said.
The highborn did not show any reaction but replied calmly.
“May I remind you that after this first vision of yours, you rushed straightly to Ulthuan only to discover that the tower in your vision was in a different country? If we had not defeated the asur army sent to destroy us, I would not have even bothered to provide additional soldiers, along with a very expensive hydra, so that you could go to the correct location of your vision. You were also lucky to defeat the empire army trying to bar your way into Sylvania and then of course to defeat the vampire. You were lucky all along but luck does not last forever. What if you mistake again the location of your vision? This time, you may not have the luck required to rectify that mistake”. Karaskia could find no answer to these arguments for they were all true. Luck had indeed been a key feature in her previous successes but she could not hope for luck to last forever.
“So, you will not support me this time?” she asked in a calm voice.
The highborn responded with a small smile.
“I never said that. Having the services of a sorceress for free in exchange for military and political support is a very profitable bargain and I will not void it unless I no longer have something to gain from it. I will support you again but not before determining the exact location of your vision” he said.

After much description of the place of the vision to an artist and to a mapmaker, Uriaeth was able to determine that the ruined city, given its proximity to the mouth of the Amaxon river and its position within the jungle, was the city of Tlanxla in Lustria, the tropical jungle swathed country located south of Naggaroth . Less than two weeks after, Karaskia sailed from Karond Kar with the Black Ark the Stronghold of Darkness, Uriaeth having paid the captain to dispatch some of his ships to the ruins while the rest of its fleet would head towards the pirate settlements on the coast of Lustria.

As the ships were setting anchor, Karaskia felt relief as the landscape around the city matched exactly the content of her vision. While some soldiers stood behind to protect the druchii's docking point, she directed most of her army, composed of two hundred corsairs, three hundred dreadspears, two hundred darkshards along with a hydra, different from the one which had accompanied her during her previous expedition as this one was still being trained to obey its new beastmasters, throughout the jungle then throughout the ruined city towards the tallest ziggurat she knew from her vision to be her final destination. Soldiers around her advanced holding torches and putting fire to every plant they found. The flames and smoke would warn of their presence but Uriaeth had warned about the lethal flora and fauna of Lustria and she preferred to take no risks. Soon, the army found itself facing the high ziggurat. A stair led to the top, lined with blue statues representing lizardmen warriors carrying halberds on each side of it. Karaskia set a foot on the first step then stopped. She tried to understand where her sudden uneasiness came from and remembered what Uriaeth had told her about the reptilian inhabitants and custodians of Lustria, the Lizardmen. He had said that they kept an unending watch on all of the continent, jungle and mountains, cities and ruins, for intruders, ready to kill any trespasser on their domain. And yet, the ziggurat seemed unprotected. She looked at the statues again and felt uneasy again. She decided to take a gamble. She ordered the darkshards to ready their weapons and stand in a semi-circle around the base of the stairs. She then turned to their captain and ordered to fire a bolt at the nearest statue at leg level which he did, knowing better than to question an order from a direct agent of Uriaeth. Astonishment rippled through the druchii as the bolt punched into the statue’s leg sending it toppling down the stairs, leaving a red trail behind it. As its fall came to an end at the base of the stairs, the statue tried to rise, snarling and all could see that it was not a statue after all but a Lizardman which tried to charge the stunned druchii before another bolt buried itself into its open mouth. Looking up, Karaskia saw that the other Lizardmen warriors guarding the stairs were forming ranks, forming a living wall between the druchii and the top of the ziggurat. But their attempt proved pointless when dozens of repeater crossbows were raised in their direction and released hails of bolts in quick succession. Their thick scaly skins and armours made from bones stopped many bolts but could not stop them all. Six volleys were enough to exterminate them. At the top of the ziggurat was an entrance to the inside of the building and in it, the druchii found vast amounts of gold. Karaskia for her part found tablets made in a stone-like material that seethed with magical power, artefacts whose worth was far greater than all the gold around.

While the druchii were carrying to their fleet all the treasures they had found in the building, Itharin ran at Karaskia with an expression of worry.
“A Lizardmen army is coming towards us, it will be on us in less than two hours” he said.
Karaskia knew that it would be impossible to carry the loot to the ships and flee within two hours so she ordered the army to stand ready to fight. Soon the Lizardmen arrived. Small lizards, skinks from the description she had read about them, moved through the ruins and vegetation like fish through water while more heavily built lizards with massive jaws and tails and bony protuberances rode on the back of cold-ones. Last came a massive creature as tall as a hydra and much more massive, huge horns jutting from a skull protected with a huge frill. Its tail ended in a bone mace. Heavy scales covered its back on which stood a platform teeming with skinks preparing two huge blowpipes. “Stegadon” shouted one of the crossbowmen.
Karaskia thought quickly and divided her army into two parts each located on one side of a nearly collapsed building facing a great plaza. She placed her darkshards bodyguard and the corsairs on the opposite of the saurus knights and one group of two hundreds skinks while the dreadspears placed themselves facing the second group of skinks. Under her orders, the beastmasters goaded the hydra so that it could engage the stegadon, hoping that the Naggarothi beast would be a match for the Lustrian reptile.

As the druchii advanced towards their opponents, Karaskia sensed that the wind of magic of Azyr was channeled by a Lizardman. Focusing on the channelling, she saw that the wizard focusing it was a skink priest. Sensing that his powerful magic would be a real danger for her soldiers, she decided to act. Gathering her energies, she tapped into the eight winds of magic, mixing them to create Dhar, the dark magic that only the druchii could master, then channelling it into herself. When the magic began to thrash inside her mind, seeking escape, she shaped it into swords she conjured out of thin air, channelling the spell for several heartbeats until she was entirely surrounded by a cloud of circling blades. She could feel the skink wizard trying to counter her spell but he was no match for her. Suddenly, she extended her staff towards the group of skinks with the priest and let the swords fly towards them. No less than a quarter of the regiment was annihilated, the swords hacking effortlessly through their frail bodies. Panic rippled through the survivors and they succumbed to it, fleeing the area, two of them dragging the priest with them, the laugh of the druchii following them before the sound was overshadowed by thunderous roars.

On the other side of the battlefield, the beastmaster Paltreth watched with a mixture of worry and trepidation as the hydra advanced on the stegadon, without any need of guidance, both animals enraged by the presence of the other. As the distance between the two monsters closed, the skinks on the platform on the dinosaur’s back fired a hail of darts not at the hydra but at the nearby dreadspears, apparently considering that their mount would need no assistance in dealing with the hydra. An opinion not completely foolish giving the very impressive horns of their beast but, thought the druchii with a cruel smile, these horns would be almost useless should the beast be unable to directly charge its target. As the distance between the charging beasts was reduced to a dozen steps, Paltreth surged forwards and stabbed the hydra on the left side of its tail with his spear. The beast’s training took over its instincts and it turned left sharply, the stegadon missing it. Before the dinosaur could turn, Paltreth surged again and stabbed the hydra on the right side of its tail. Obeying both the order and its killing instincts, the hydra leapt at the stegadon and buried its claws and fangs in its flank. The impact was such that although it was heavier, the stegadon was knocked over by the attack and fell roaring with pain to the ground. The scent of blood filled the beastmaster’s nose as the fangs and jaws of the hydra carved deep wounds on the dinosaur’s flank and belly where its scale were less resilient. Seeking to speed up the killing so that the hydra could be used to destroy the group of skinks whose shots had wounded or killed enough dreadspears to make them panic and flee, their captain proving himself unable to rally them. Nodding to each other, both beastmasters whipped the hydra on each rear leg. Obeying the order, the monster drew back its heads and bathed its downed opponent in fire. The stegadon roared in agony as its flesh, exposed by the bites and scratching, caught fire. Turning its back on the dying dinosaur, the hydra broke into a run towards the nearby skinks who fired javelins at it then retreated before firing at it again, managing to stay ahead of the pursuing monster. Some javelins rebounded on the monster’s scaly hide but others bit, remaining stuck into its flesh. Paltreth laughed at the sight of helpless creatures trying to kill a hydra with mere javelins. However, its arrogance quickly died when the hydra slowed down then came to a stop before collapsing. Not understanding, he rushed at it and stabbed it repeatedly, trying to wake it. When the monster did not react, he ripped one of the javelins from its body and discovered that its tip was covered in poison. This explained everything, he thought with shock.

On the other side of the battlefield, Elthric, captain of the darkshards, quickly reloaded his repeater crossbow and fired again at the saurus knights. A handful of them had fallen to the bolts but their scaly skins and shields had warded off most bolts and the rest of the unit was quickly closing on them. He looked left at Karaskia who herself was looking at the corsairs who, following her orders, had placed themselves ready to intervene should the darkshards be in danger of being charged. With a growing feeling of horror, Elthric saw that instead of advancing towards the saurus so as to intercept them, the corsairs were squabbling among themselves about their loot like vulgar goblins while their captain was failing to restore order. However, Elthric had little time to dwell on this as the Lizardmen cavalry reached them. But in spite of their strength, the saurus and cold ones’ moves were slow compared to those of the elves and so most darkshards were able to easily avoid their attacks, less than a quarter of them falling to the claws, jaws or swords of their opponents. Using their superior agility, they darted forwards to strike like snakes before retreating out of reach. As he withdrew his sword from the neck of a cold-one, Elthric saw Karaskia teleport herself out of the melee and reappear on the top of the nearby building. Sensing that the fight was turning out against the saurus, as they were now deprived of their superior mobility, Elthric ordered the unit’s musician to sound his trumpet. The sound galvanized the druchii and destabilized the saurus, whose leader ordered them to retreat, which they did followed by hails of bolts as the crossbowmen drew their repeater crossbows and fired. The saurus turned and readied themselves for another charge but were eventually exterminated by the successive volleys of bolts. Beyond their corpses, Elthric saw that the second group of skinks had moved into their line of sight after having defeated the hydra. Following his orders, his unit opened fire on them and they fled, leaving the druchii alone on the battlefield.

Anger seethed in Karaskia’s mind as she summoned the respective captains of the corsairs and of the dreadspears. One had let his soldiers quarrel among themselves when they should have intercepted the saurus knights while the other had let his unit flee from the battlefield. Such incompetence called for punishment. The first to arrive was the dreadspears’ captain, a young elf, barely a hundred and sixty years old. “What is your name?” she asked with a voice full of anger.
“Durithir” replied the elf.
“Well. Durithir. What do you have to say for yourself?” she asked.
“I failed to maintain discipline in the regiment I was supposed to command” replied the elf.
Such frankness shocked Karaskia as this was a trait of character that druchii usually did not have. Seeing her surprise, the young druchii pulled a chain from his neck and Karaskia could see that he wore a hadrilkar shaped in the symbol of Uriaeth’s household. This was not a mere lowborn officer but one of Uriaeth’s own retainers. “What is a retainer of Uriaeth doing here? Are you spying on me?” she asked angrily. Durithir laughed bitterly before composing himself.
“Spying? No, Uriaeth appointed me as captain of the dreadspears for this expedition as a trial in leadership. And since I have failed this trial, my life is forfeited. What should I tell my soldiers?”
“Tell them they are excluded from the sharing of the loot” replied the sorceress.
He nodded then turned and left. Turning, Karaskia saw that the captain of the corsairs was waiting for her and that he also wore a hadrilkar shaped in the symbol of Uriaeth’s household.
“What is your name? Captain?” she asked with a cold voice. There was something about this druchii that she did not like but she could not see what it was. The corsair said nothing for a time but eventually replied,
“My name is Arithair, captain of Uriaeth’s private ship” he said.
“What do you have to say for yourself, Arithair?” asked Karaskia.
“My corsairs were taken by their gold fever like sharks turned wild by the scent of blood. May I remind you that the very law of the Witch King stipulates that every corsair has right to keep a tenth of what he has looted. Trifling with this law would be most unwise” replied the captain.
Such lack of deference angered Karaskia and she had to control herself to not order this wretch to be slain.
“I am perfectly aware of the law and I will not trifle with it. Your men will be allowed to take what they have the right to take from the loot we took but I can certainly report you to Uriaeth”.
With these final words, she turned from the druchii and went to oversee the transporting of the magic stone tablets to her cabin.


Tue Dec 15, 2015 9:34 pm
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Well, I have the feeling that most readers browse quickly and jump on the topics they know. Once they are hooked, expect them to come back.
The difficulty is to incite new readers to read a new topic written by a newcomer.
Readers have a tendency to investigate successful threads, as measured by the number of replies and views, or threads made by authors who they know.
For that reason, it would be a greater incentive to update a single thread with all your stories, editing the first post's title each time you add a new story.
I merged your past threads for that purpose, with the last thread's title.
We will see if this brings more readers?

Just for the record, before merging threads, stats were:
Seventh story - Battle at the front and murder at the rear: 0 reply, 1 view
Sixth story - The depths of despair: 3 replies, 14 views
Fifth story - Death and birth: 2 replies, 19 views
Fourth story - An unexpected promotion: 3 replies, 24 views
Third story - Jaws in the night: 1 reply, 19 views
Second story - A profitable mishap: 2 replies, 27 views
Introduction and first story: 7 replies, 73 views

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Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Tue Dec 15, 2015 10:12 pm
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