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New story - An unfortunate casualty 
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
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Memories of fateful events

As the fleet sailed back towards Naggaroth, Arithair fulminated at the failure of his latest plan. It had been so simple and yet so clever that he could not believe his target had thwarted him again. Even though he had lost nothing in this attempt, the fact that a mere slave had thwarted his plan made him feel furious and humiliated. Worse was the fact that he had been so sure of the slave’s terror of the druchii that he had not bothered to incapacitate him with magic, not seeing him as a threat. This was a thing to remember he thought, that no one should ever be underestimated.

One evening, Uriaeth invited his retainers to a feast in the Black Ark. Halfway through the meal, Nymerith turned towards Arithair and spoke.
“How have you come to serve Uriaeth?” he asked.
As he turned towards Uriaeth’s newest retainer, Arithair surveyed the room. Uriaeth was in a deep conversation with the Black Ark lieutenants while his other retainers were drinking wine and boasting of their actions during the latest raid. As for Durithir, he had been irascible for the whole journey, clearly angered by the wound he had received and the loss of his slave.
“This at least is a small consolation prize” thought Arithair. He then spoke.
“Following the defeat on the Finuval Plain” he said, “my corsairs and I were ambushed in the wilds of Chrace by a noble carrying a great banner and his white lion bodyguards. The noble challenged me to a duel, confident that he could not lose and actually spend the first few minutes toying with me while his warriors were exterminating mine. He then became so overconfident that he actually told me he found me too tall. He then struck a decapitating blow but as he had unintentionally warned me of such an attack I was ready and managed to dodge it and immediately counterattacked. His sword had missed my head, mine did not. His bodyguards were so horrified by what I had done that I was able to retrieve both his head and banner and run for my life. Sadly, I was the only who managed to escape the pursuit. I then managed to reach the landing site in the Shadowlands where those who could were embarking on ships to escape. When I returned to Karond Kar, Uriaeth was impressed with my slaying of the noble during a duel and he offered me the position of captain of his private ship as his previous one had been killed”.
This was both the truth and a lie. After having killed the noble like he had said, he had unleashed dozens of black swords against the white lions who had been forced to recoil as the swords hacked at them. He had retrieved both the noble head and the banner before consuming the energies of the dying white lions to increase his speed and easily escape.

Later while enjoying a glass of wine alone in his cabin, Arithair kept reminding this duel, enjoying the memory of the noble’s face when he had realised Arithair’s blow would behead him. This had been a fitting end for an arrogant idiot. It felt like a good night to remember past events and he let his mind drift to many years before, to the fateful battle that had shown him what he truly was and put into his hands the power to shape his life with this discovery.

Three centuries earlier

“It is hot” thought Arithair as the druchii raiders set camp in a cave leading to the Dark Path, a network of underground rivers under the jungles of Lustria.
Indeed, for the druchii used to the cold climate of Naggaroth, Lustria was almost unbearably hot. They had come at this entrance of the Dark Path because they knew there was a temple nearby. As they left the cave to march towards the temple, lizardmen emerged from the jungle. Their army consisted of half a hundred saurus riding nauglirs, several hundred skinks divided into two groups and several huge saurus-like creatures Arithair identified as kroxigors. Expecting this, the druchii quickly formed their ranks. Narenthra, the sorceress overseeing the expedition took place among the darkshards and unleashed a freezing wind that killed several skinks. Meanwhile the druchii bolt thrower and darkshards released a hail of bolts towards the nauglir riders. Although these saurus’ scales were as hard as steel armour, even they could not survive such a relentless storm and they were quickly obliterated. At this moment, one of the skinks pointed a staff at the darkshards and a lightning bolt leapt from it and struck them, killing several elves. Losing their nerves due to such an unexpected attack, the darkshards fled back towards the entrance of the cave.
“This does not sound good” thought Arithair.
Facing them were the group of skinks escorted by the kroxigors. He could see how a melee with these creatures would turn, the skinks would provide a wall of flesh that would prevent the druchii from attacking the kroxigors who would use their superior size and range to strike above the heads of their smaller cousins. The corsairs’ leader then pointed his sword at the other group of skinks with the wizard and ordered them to charge. This unexpected and reckless move stunned both units of skinks. The targeted group reacted too slowly, having expected their kinsmen to prevent their foes from attacking them and the druchii had not trouble reaching them. The lizardmen tried to defend themselves but they were no match for the skills of the corsairs and they were quickly exterminated. Seeing the priest trying to escape, the corsair captain shouted.
“Arithair!” he screamed. “Catch that wizard and guard him with your life”.
Arithair quickly captured the skink and turned to see the corsairs turning towards the second group of skinks preparing to engage them. At this moment, Narenthra extended her hand towards the skinks and their souls were suddenly ripped from their bodies. While half of their numbers fell dead to the ground, the bolt thrower opened fire and a few kroxigors fell, each of them pierced by spear-sized bolts. Although their regiment was decimated, the lizardmen did not succumb to panic and charged the corsairs. However, the skinks were now too few to effectively serve as a living shield for their taller cousins and were quickly exterminated by the much more skilled elven fighters who were able then to engage the kroxigors directly. The towering lizardmen swung their immense clubs but their moves were slow compared to the speed and agility of the elves that were mostly able to avoid their attacks, only a handful of them falling to their weapons. Meanwhile the corsairs hacked at the creatures’ belly, less armoured than their backs, before retreating out of range. Quickly, the kroxigors fell, bleeding from dozens of wounds, their death heralding the victory of the druchii.

Following their victory, the druchii looted the temple of its treasures. As they were carrying their loot to their ships, Arithair was instructed to bring the skink wizard to Narenthra. When he entered her tent dragging the chained prisoner, the sorceress looked at him with a surprised look. Her lips then curved into a cold smile.
“Two additions for my ring” she said.
Incomprehension and fear raged for predominance within Arithair’s mind but he mastered himself.
“I do not understand” he said.
“You do not know? Tell me. Can you feel and see the winds of magic? Can you sense the casting of spells?”
Arithair thought about this and admitted to himself that he could always sense the presence and use of magic very clearly.
“Yes I can but we are elves. Are we not more tuned to sense magic?” he said.
“Yes but those with magic powers can feel them even more accurately. That is right. You have magic powers” she said obviously enjoying the look of shock and disbelief that showed on Arithair’s face.
“What does it mean?”
“It means that your life is forfeit. The practice of magic by male druchii is prohibited by order of the Witch King himself and as you have magic powers, that makes you unfit to live”
Without thinking Arithair drew his swords but Narenthra spoke a word and unbearable pain filled his body. He fell to his knees, moaning with pain.
“Now after many years of study and experiments, I have been able to make a ring that can absorb and store the souls of wizards and tap into these souls to increase the magic powers of its wearer. Now I will take your soul and lock into my ring. You should be pleased. Your otherwise meaningless life will serve a greater purpose.”
She then took a dagger seething with dark magic. Fighting against the pain, Arithair closed his hand firmly around the hilt of one of his swords. As the sorceress bent to slash his throat, he struck with all his strength, his blade striking her directly into the heart. At once, the pain faded and an icy dread came to the druchii.
“What have I done?” he thought.
If the other druchii found he had killed the sorceress, they would kill him even if he had killed her in self-defence. Looking around, he saw a book and piles of notes and picked them up. Seeing that it was a book dealing with dark magic and notes dealing with the magic of the ring, he browsed through them, a desperate idea taking shape in his mind. He then decided on a course of action. He knew that he needed not only to cover his murder of the sorceress but also take measures to prevent the discovery of his powers from happening again. Taking Narenthra’s ring, he slipped it on his finger before taking her dagger and stabbing the skink wizard. He then tried to seize his soul and smiled in awe as he managed to do it and lock it within the ring. He then spread oil everywhere in the tent before leaving it and throwing a flaming brand inside. The result was immediate, flames surging like living things and consuming the tent and the bodies inside in a matter of minutes. As the other druchii came to see what happened, he took a terrified composure and spoke.
“The skink wizard has committed suicide by unleashing his powers in a final explosion. I barely escaped with my life” he said.
“What about Narenthra?” asked someone.
“Is it not obvious?” said another, “She is dead, killed by the explosion.”

The following day, the druchii sailed back to Naggaroth.

The present.

Since that day, Arithair had studied dark magic with the help of the book. As this training was theoretical, it was quite slow but as he could only cast spells that could not be seen, it was not a problem. As his mastery of them had increased, he had used them to manipulate the crew of his ship into appointing him as captain. With the ability to manipulate minds, he could subtly force others into loyalty and submission. When the druchii had invaded Ulthuan more than a century earlier, he had led his crew in battle. They had killed many asur but when the main part of the druchii had been slain on the Finuval plain, the hunters had become the hunted as the asur counterattacked. As they were retreating, Arithair’s fateful duel with the asur noble had taken place. After having escaped the asur with the noble’s head and his banner, he had manage to secure a place on a ship about to leave. In Karond Kar, the highborn had been impressed by Arithair’s slaying of the asur noble and had appointed him captain of his private ship in reward. As soon as he had begun to serve Uriaeth, a plan had taken shape in Arithair’s head: to manipulate Uriaeth into marrying him to his daughter Natharia so that he could inherit the highborn’s wealth and household. He had not suggested this precise course of action to Uriaeth when casting manipulation spells on him. Trying to convince him to marry him to his daughter would have been too direct and would have attracted unwanted attention. Instead, he had planted the seeds of his plan into Uriaeth’s mind in an imperceptible but relentless way, like water slowing eroding a rock. He had told him that the best way to make sure his daughter was not married to one of his enemies was to elevate a loyal retainer to the rank of prince and have him marry Natharia. This way, he would have the best ally a highborn could hope to have. Following the marriage, he would have used his powers to kill Uriaeth and seize complete control of his household. However two people had appeared and become a threat to his plan. The first one was Karaskia. Now that she had signed her agreement with Uriaeth, the sorceress had become an omnipresent member of Uriaeth’s raiding expeditions and battle. Her presence represented a threat as there was the ever-present risk that she sensed him casting a spell and discovered the truth. Still, she was not the real obstacle to his plan, Durithir was. Having spent time with him, Arithair could see why Uriaeth had named him a retainer. He was clever, there was no denying that, but his young age, complete inexperience of politics and plotting, and justified terror of Uriaeth made him a perfect puppet for the latter. One thing that always gnawed at Arithair’s mind was that Uriaeth had perhaps named Durithir his retainer because of his own suggestions. Indeed, Durithir was only ten years older than Natharia and was extremely malleable. Perhaps Uriaeth intended to marry Natharia to Durithir and this was the reason why he had the youngster learn everything there was to be learned about being a noble. Arithair relaxed. No matter what was Uriaeth’s plan with Durithir, he would make sure they did not interfere with his own plan. After all, Uriaeth was not the only druchii that could be manipulated with magic.

Last edited by Durithir on Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Feb 05, 2016 7:49 pm
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Err, the first line is duplicated in the second paragraph, probably a typo?
Nice to read about the roots of the story.

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 Feb 05, 2016 8:00 pm
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Hell breaking loose

“This is boring” thought Natharia.
Her father, the highborn Uriaeth of Karond Kar, had sent her to the watchtowers a decade ago so that she would learn of battle. So far, all she had been allowed to do was shoot at half-naked human barbarians coming from the Chaos wastes. This had been fun but she could not wait for the end of the year when she was finally due to return to Karond Kar. Being located on the northern border of Naggaroth, the watchtowers had little comforts and she was used to better. One thing that had distracted her recently had been a rumour according to which her father had taken a young lowborn under his service. Anyone else probably saw it as something crazy but Natharia knew how her father thought.
“If you see something that can be of use, make sure to seize it first” he had always told her.
This could only mean one thing; that the lowborn had potential. The real question was what was her father’s true purpose with this youngster. So far, Uriaeth had only one son, under training within the Black Guard. Should her brother survive his two hundred years of service in Naggarond, he would inherit the household.
“But what if he dies?” she thought, “In that case, there would be no male heir available. What would Father do?”
As she was pondering over this, a sentry sounded a trumpet. She turned towards her watchtower’s entrance to see a party approach it. A look at the scaly skins these druchii wore was enough to show that they were corsairs.
“What are they doing here?” she thought before finding the answer to her question when she saw that a sorceress accompanied these corsairs.
As the gates were unlocked, she descended the stairs to witness the exchange between the tower’s commander and the sorceress. Since her fiftieth birthday close to a century earlier, her father had always made sure she accompanied him to councils and audiences.
“Watch the proceedings and you will know how to behave like a true highborn” he always said.
As she was remembering this, the commander spoke.
“Greetings sorceress. What brings you to our watchtower?”
“I come to survey something. The winds of magic are blowing strong again from the north. There is a location not far from here where they are especially strong. I demand that you lend me some of your troops so that I can inspect this site” replied the sorceress.
“You have no authority here. I am the commander of this garrison and I will not send my soldiers into the wastes especially if the winds of magic blow strongly there. You know what this means. When these winds blow, daemons can enter our world” replied the commander.
The sorceress then drew a piece of parchment and spoke.
“Here are orders from Morathi herself” she said. “It states that I can take command of any garrison I wish. So you will give your troops and I will go inspect where the winds of magic are gathering” said the sorceress with an icy voice.

So it was that the sorceress took a bolt thrower and a hundred darkshards along with the corsairs she had enlisted to take her to the border. After seven days of marching, the druchii reached the plain where the winds of magic were gradually gathering. For a day the army waited while the sorceress was writing down her observations. As dusk fell, the winds of magic increased even more and suddenly there was a flash of light as a hole in the fabric of reality appeared. From this rift emerged a pack of flying ray-like daemons with fang-filled maws. Following them, a hundred smaller brightly coloured creatures emerged from the rift before it closed. The druchii wasted no time in reacting. Pointing their crossbows and bolt thrower at the flying daemons, they loosed hundreds of bolts while the corsairs broke into a run towards the other daemons. Bolts rebounded from the flyers’ scaly skin or passed through them as if they were insubstantial but others bit into their unholy flesh. Others fell to an icy wind conjured by the sorceress but the surviving daemons paid no attention. They swept over the corsairs, several seized and lifted from the ground like men seized by a shark. Meanwhile, the other daemons extended their fingers and balls of multi-coloured fire erupted from them. Druchii were incinerated but the survivors kept on running and quickly reached their foes. These daemons were not built for melee and they were quickly banished by the elven fighters. Meanwhile, the bolt thrower and darkshards continued their volleys at the flyers but even as some fell, others attacked. Two of them swept over the bolt thrower and killed its crewmen. Turning, the sorceress unleashed a chill wind that banished them. She then turned in time to see the remaining flyers diving towards her. She had barely time to conjure a block of ice around herself to protect her. The sudden freezing wind caused ice to coil around the flyers’ bodies and they crashed into the flank of the darkshards. Despite their surprise, the elves kept their discipline and turned to fight their attackers. Unable to launch themselves into the air, the daemons were quickly cut to pieces by the merciless druchii. In a matter of minutes, it was over.

“Have you seen enough sorceress? Or shall we wait until even more daemons arrive?” asked Natharia with an icy voice.
“Mind your tone, girl. I am an envoy of Morathi herself” replied the sorceress.
“And my father is a veteran of the Black Guard. We were lucky enough to survive this first wave. If another comes, we will not survive. We must retreat.”
The sorceress looked around and saw that every other druchii agreed with Natharia. Reluctantly, she agreed to retreat.

As they returned towards the watchtower, they found companies consisting of additional darkshards and corsairs were marching towards the location they had gone to. In addition, a hydra and its handlers were marching with the army. As Natharia wondered what it meant, she spotted someone she knew.
“Arithair. What is going on?” she asked.
“Morathi has sensed the manifestation of daemons and has decided to entrust your father the task of banishing them” he said. “I am here to lead some of his troops against the daemons. Luckily for us, he judged that his hydra would be useful.”

As dusk fell, the air was quickly filled with multi-coloured lightning and high pitched laughter as the daemons arrived. Another pack of ray-like daemons soared through the air while two of them pulled some kind of canon worked by another shapeless daemon. On the ground ran several hundred of the daemons looking like giant faces with arms and legs. As the flying daemons sped closer to the hill where stood the darkshards and the sorceress, the latter conjured dozens of swords she hurled at the daemons slaying several of them. Meanwhile the darkshards opened fire on the same daemons, some bolts missing them, other rebounding from their skin or passing harmlessly through it while others bit into it. The other daemons extended their hands at the druchii and cast balls of multi-coloured fire at them, some balls rebounding harmlessly on the elves’ armour, others reducing them to ashes. One daemon that was obviously the leader cast a bolt of magic at the hydra which struck it with the force of a cannonball, scales and blood flying from the point of impact before the wound healed almost instantaneously. The daemonic canon then aimed at the monster and hurled a massive ball of pink fire that hurled the monster from the ground, roaring with pain, its flesh severely burnt in several places of its body. Angered by the pain, the hydra rushed towards the pink daemons and bathed them in fire, dozens of them melting like wax. As the corsairs ran towards the daemons, the daemon operating the cannon shouted something and the two ray-like daemons pulling it leapt forward, pulling the canon from the ground and hitting the flank of the corsairs like an arrow. Many corsairs were killed but they managed to reform and swarm over the chariot, every one of its daemonic components hacked to pieces by blades. Seeing this, Natharia smiled as it seemed the druchii had the advantage. Suddenly, the pink daemons pointed their fingers at the hill and another wave of daemonic fire rushed towards them even as the daemon leader cast another bolt at the hydra whose regenerative abilities once again lived up to their reputation. As the druchii hid behind their shields, the flying daemons attacked. From the corner of her eye, Natharia saw one of them diving towards the sorceress. Before she could shout a warning, the creature’s fangs buried itself into her back and lifted her from the ground, killing her. Enraged, Natharia drew her crossbow and opened fire at the flying daemons, quickly imitated by her fellow druchii. The daemons were agile in the air but even they could not escape such a storm of bolts and quickly the last of them exploded into magic particles as several bolts bit into its unnatural flesh. Turning towards the remaining daemons, Natharia saw them bath the hydra in their magic fire but the flames just rebounded harmlessly of the monster’s scaly hide. Roaring a challenge, the monster rushed at them, slaying dozens of them with its jaws and claws. Under her orders, the druchii opened fire on the other mass of daemons that kept casting their unholy fire at the hydra without any effect. Caught between the storm of bolts and the rampaging monster, the daemons were quickly annihilated.

As Natharia was finishing writing a report explaining the death of the sorceress sent by Morathi, Arithair came to her.
“What do you want” she asked.
She did not like Arithair for he spent too much time looking at her as if she was a woman within his reach, not above him. He ignored her tone and spoke.
“Your father has instructed me to tell you that he wishes you to return to Karond Kar, that your training here is over. The Witch King has ordered him to take control of the Black Ark the Stronghold of Darkness and he wishes you to accompany him on his future attacks.”
This pleased Natharia beyond what she could have imagined. At last, she could leave the watchtower.

Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:49 pm
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Nice plot overall! :D
It is in particular interesting to read that a mighty sorceress may be killed, after all.

The only thing I liked less was that the two battles has somehow too similar descriptions, such as:

"Bolts rebounded from the flyers’ scaly skin or passed through them as if they were insubstantial but others bit into their unholy flesh."
"some bolts missing them, other rebounding from their skin or passing harmlessly through it while others bit into it."

It could be possible to change style, and have only one of such flat description.
The other one could rather, for example, present the dramatic view of a crossbowmen, desperate to see that three bolts already had been aimed perfectly at the same bluish daemon, for no effect, and now that the creature's iriscent eyes were plunging in the elf's pupils, would the last possible shot similarly fail to affect the colorful eerie creature? Could those unbelieveable horrors be vanquished at all? How could the guards have been provided with such useless weapons, and false instructions about their efficiency? Was it time to make the ultimate prayer to Ereth Khial?

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|--}

Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:11 pm
Trainee Warrior

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

Thank you for your remarks. I will take them into account.


Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:45 pm
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Raiders in the desert

As Natharia arrived in Karond Kar, she felt joy at seeing the familiar buildings where she had lived most of her life. The ship carrying her then turned towards a Black Ark not far from the harbour and she deduced that this was her father’s new seat of power. Once she had entered the Black Ark, she was led to a huge door above which hung the skull of a giant bat.
“Impressive” she thought.
The door was guarded by two young warriors, both being less than two centuries old, like she was. She had no trouble recognizing one of them for she had often seen him in court. It was Nymerith, the son Altheriath, one of her father’s greatest enemies. That he was here was surprising as it meant that either Altheriath was dead, either his son was there as a hostage to ensure he did not trouble Uriaeth. As for the other youngster, she could not recognize him even though she knew the face and name of most of the nobility in the city. This struck her. Was this youngster the lowborn her father had taken as a retainer?
“Who are you?” she asked him. The retainer turned his gaze to her and spoke with a neutral voice.
“I am Durithir” he replied.
“The lowborn my father took as a retainer?” she asked.
“Yes” he replied neutrally.
From the corner of her eye, she saw Nymerith chuckle, amused by how the lowborn was reminded of his inferior status.
“Nymerith. Go and tell my father I have arrived” she ordered.
The druchii looked furious at having to obey an order but had no choice. Casting a dark look both at her and at Durithir, he went to carry out her command.

“Greetings daughter” said Uriaeth when she entered his audience room, “Know that I am especially pleased by your actions during the two fights against daemons.”
“I merely put into practice what you taught me to Father” she replied.
“And it is good to discover that this was not in vain. It means you are ready for an expedition.”
“What will be my role” she asked.
“You will command the darkshards and the army while Arithair will lead the corsairs.”
The door of the audience room then opened and Arithair entered it, followed by a woman dressed in a purple gown and carrying a staff of iron.
“Natharia, meet the sorceress Karaskia. Karaskia, meet my daughter Natharia.”

Both women looked at each other with cold unflinching eyes as Uriaeth introduced them to each other. This amused Arithair as in a way it mirrored the situation between him and Durithir, a youngster confronted with an older druchii with magic power although unlike him, Karaskia could use her powers without any restraint.
“Now that introductions have been made, I will be brief” said Uriaeth. “Your task will be to strike a place full of gold, steal it and leave a few asur gear on the location to make it look as though the asur are responsible for the raid.”
“Where do we strike?” asked Arithair.
“Somewhere hot where the locals have lots of gold they do not use” replied Uriaeth.

“Have you ever been to Nehekhara?” asked Natharia as the druchii fleet sailed across the ocean.
“I have been there. It is a lifeless desert where the sun is merciless” he replied.
“There must be something of interest there. Otherwise my father would not send us there.”
“There are more treasures in a single Nehekharian building than in an entire city in the Old World. The only trouble is that they are guarded by relentless and merciless guardians”
“You just said that Nehekhara was inhabited” said Natharia confused.
Arithair chuckled as she said that then replied, “I said it was a “lifeless” place.” “What do you mean?” she asked with a threatening voice.
“You will see soon enough. I think I know why Uriaeth has chosen to send you instead of Nymerith or Durithir. Neither has faced daemons and they are the only more terrible things than what we can face in Nehekhara” he said.

The fleet set anchor at the coast not far from a temple. As the army walked towards the building, Karaskia could feel the dichotomy in the surroundings. With her eyes, she could see the sun shining in the sky while her magical sense told her of the dark magic saturating the desert. Powerful magic seeped in the sand like water. As the army neared the temple, she sensed something and, realizing what it was, warned Natharia.
“There are undead soldiers in front of us” she shouted, “hundreds of them.”
Natharia understood at once and ordered the army to form a battle line, the beastmasters positioning their hydra between the regiment of corsairs and the regiment of darkshards. Suddenly, the sand before the temple rippled like water and hundreds of white stones rose from it, resolving into skulls then into skeletons armed with bows. A priest escorted by four armed skeletons then appeared just in front of the temple and cast a spell. Skulls emerged from the sand before rolling away to reveal a strange chest. Simultaneously, a gigantic statue depicting a feline upon which stood a platform where stood four skeleton warriors suddenly moved and started to advance towards the druchii.
“Attack” shouted Natharia as the undead army appeared in its terrifying glory.
The corsair’s broke into a run towards the regiment of archers facing them while the hydra advanced towards the statue. Tapping into the dark magic saturating the desert, Karaskia conjured a blizzard she hurled at the other regiment of archers but another priest dispelled her spell. Biting back a curse, she conjured a swirling vortex above the archers, sucking several dozens of them while the darkshards released clouds of bolts. As she did so, the priest near the chest chanted an incantation. At once, the chest opened and a ray of light erupted from it, flying towards the hydra, only to be dispelled by her powers. As the light was sucked back into the chest, Karaskia saw that it was no light but a swarm of souls bound to the chest. She then realised with horror what it was, a casket of souls. Paying no attention to their casualties, the archers raised their bows and released clouds of arrows blackening the sky. The corsairs were hit by a volley but their scaly cloaks lived to its reputation and stopped most arrows. Meanwhile, the darkshards were forced to raise their shields to protect themselves. Roaring the hydra then engaged the sphinx. As it reached it, it extended its heads and bathed the statue in fire but the flames rebounded on its opponent’s body without damaging it. The hydra then bit and slashed but its jaws and claws failed to inflict damage to the statue which counterattacked with its claws, carving red furrows on the hydra’s hide, wounds that healed instantaneously. This sight troubled Karaskia as it was the first time she saw Uriaeth’s hydra facing an opponent it seemed powerless to defeat.

As arrows continued to rain on Natharia’s regiment, wounding or slaying several druchii, Arithair heard Natharia shout.
“Sorceress!” she exclaimed. “Can you do anything to help us?”
Instead of replying, Karaskia channeled more dark magic and again conjured a blizzard she hurled at the archers facing the crossbowmen. The icy sorcerous wind swept over the regiment like a wave, destroying dozens of skeletons and freezing their bowstrings, enabling the darkshards to resume their own volleys. As one of the priests cast a spell to revive several fallen skeletons, the other once again unleashed the power of the casket, this time at the corsairs, bypassing Karaskia’s attempt to stop it. As the swarm of hungry souls flied towards him, Arithair knew he had to act or face eternal imprisonment within the ark. Discreetly channeling dark magic, he managed to disturb the incantation of the priest just enough to force the magic of the casket to pull the souls back in it. Arithair offered a silent prayer to Hekarti, praying that Karaskia had not sensed his intervention. As his regiment kept running towards the archers facing them, braving the storm of arrows flying at them, most arrows stopped by scaly cloaks but some punching through, wounding or slaying elves, he saw the hydra still fighting the animate statue, neither monster being able to gain the upper hand. Beyond, he saw Karaskia conjure dozens of swords and hurl them at the casket. The conjured blades slashed and hacked at the skeletons and priest guarding it. As he fell, a warrior’ sword fell on the casket piercing it. The casket then shook violently.
“Why do I have a bad feeling about this?” thought Arithair.
The casket’s lid was suddenly thrown open and thousands of souls escaped from it. Many of them rushed at the skeleton archers, tearing their souls from their bones while others rushed towards the corsairs.
“I really hate you Karaskia, I really do” quietly muttered Arithair before thinking “When faced between potential death and certain death, chose to avoid the latter.”
Channeling as much dark magic power as he could, he shouted a mental command to his regiment to have them focus exclusively on the skeletons which his corsairs did while kept rushing at the archers facing them.
“Now comes the hard part” he thought with a mixture of apprehension and excitation as he unleashed his powers.
Just as the freed souls were about to reach his warriors, he extended both arms and a bolt of dark magic surged from his hands. Like a fire burning across oil, the dark magic consumed the casket’s souls almost instantaneously. The sight was as terrifying and beautiful as a storm-wrecked sea thought Arithair exulting. As no one was watching, he cast a spell to consume the soul of one nearby corsair. As Karaskia unleashed another blizzard at the skeletons facing her, followed by volleys of bolts, Arithair and his corsairs reached the second regiment of archers. These skeletons were not trained or geared for melee and fell like wheat before the bloodthirsty corsairs. As he struck down an archer, Arithair saw another corsair behead the priest accompanying them. Smiling, the corsair-sorcerer extended his hand and seized the priest’s soul, locking it into his ring. With this death, the sorceries animating the undead army withered and almost all remaining skeletons fell inanimate to the ground. As his unit reformed, Arithair heard a roar and turned to see the hydra recoiling from the statue, a piece of claw stuck into its hide. The hydra’s flesh writhed and rippled but the piece of stone stuck into the wound prevented it from healing. Realizing the possibility of death, the Naggarothi monster ignored the orders of its beastmasters and turned its back to the sphinx to flee. Luckily, the statue was too slow to react. Seeing this, the corsairs brandished their swords and charged at the statue, ignoring Arithair’s vocal orders. For the first time, he cursed the banner he had bewitched. Its effects were to induce frenzy into every nearby soldier. The point of it was to make sure his corsairs were too bloodthirsty to sense him cast spells through their magical senses and also to make them more receptive to mental commands. The downside effect he admitted was that they could not rationally analyze a situation and would not hesitate to attack an invincible opponent. Joining them, he engaged the statue in the back while sending a mental command to his warriors, ordering them to use their hooks and chains to climb over the statue and attack the skeletons controlling it. As the last of them was overwhelmed and slain, the statue went still and did not move. Moving to stand on its head, Arithair drew his swords and waved at Karaskia and Natharia to signal the victory.

“I need to inspect your corsairs” said Karaskia with a commanding voice.
“May I know why? You cannot accuse us of having been idle during the fight this time. We destroyed half the archers and stopped this moving statue when the hydra could not” replied Arithair.
“I do not question your deeds. There is a magic practitioner in your regiment. He cast a spell to destroy the souls threatening your soldiers” said Karaskia.
“Oh. That explains everything” said Arithair with a tone of surprise, “As we were charging the skeletons, we were taken by an irresistible urge to focus exclusively on our foes surely so that we would not see him casting his spell. I think I know who it is.”
Arithair took her to a corsair corpse that bore no mark of arrow but was white as chalk with eyes that were as black as jet. She could see that this druchii had been killed by magic.
“He apparently lost control of his magic and paid for it with his life.”
After having tried so hard to find the mysterious sorcerer targeting her, she was disappointed to see that he had already perished putting himself beyond her revenge.
“What shall we do with the casket” asked Natharia.
“Take it to the ship. We will send it to Naggarond to see if it can be repaired and mastered” she replied.

As the druchii were looting the temple, plundering vast quantities of gold from the building and leaving asur weapons and shields, Arithair did not know what to make of the situation. The unexpected display of power he had been forced to carry out had given him a unique occasion to fake his death. On one hand, Karaskia would stop suspecting that a sorcerer was targeting her which meant that he would once again have the element of surprise if he tried to kill her. On the other hand, if another murder attempt failed, she would be even more suspicious and would immediately realise that the dead corsair was an innocent decoy. After much thinking, Arithair decided that there were other ways of neutralizing her. He would wait until finding a way to dispose of her in any possible way. As Natharia came to him, he spoke.
“So how did you find this little expedition?”
“There is a lot of plunder here but I would rather fight opponents who bleed and scream when you stuck a blade or bolt in their bellies” she replied.
“You truly are your father’s daughter” said Arithair with a smile.

Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 8722
Location: Hag Graef
Good reading.
The druchii may have had an easy game, not that much untertaining, but the inside story of the male sorcerer gives al the interest to the story.
The only detail, I wonder why "asur" in "leaving asur weapons and shields"?

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|--}

Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:41 am
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Hello Calisson.
Regarding your comments, my games tend to be a complete slaughter for one side so there is are not much twists within these stories.
I am not sure I understand your question. The reason the druchii are leaving shields and weapons on their battlefields from Ulthuan is to have their ennemies suspect the asur of attacking them.
Sorry for the late reply.

Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:39 am
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
An unfortunate casualty

The spring following the raid in the Land of the Dead, Uriaeth learned that an important dwarf diplomat was taking ship at Barak Varr to go to Ulthuan to settle what they thought had been an attack carried out by asur. Knowing that he had a priceless opportunity to prevent the dwarves and asur from settling the matter, Uriaeth planned an ambush to kill this diplomat.

Thus, Uriaeth and his army set sail for Estalia, on the course of the dwarves and set sail in a hidden cove. While Durithir and Nymerith were tasked with raiding the nearby human villages with the dreadspears, Itharin and his shades found a beach that would suit the druchii’s plan. Positioning themselves not far from the beaches, the druchii waited. Soon enough the dwarf ship appeared. Uriaeth motioned for Karaskia standing on the hurricanum’s platform. Nodding, the sorceress used the machine fueled by Teclis’ power to conjure a violent storm that forced the dwarves to set anchor at the beach. Leaving to an underling the control of the machine, Karaskia joined the rest of the army as they descended towards the dwarves. Seeing the druchii approach, the dwarves formed their battle line composed of a hundred dwarves armed with handguns, a hundred armed with heavy axes, a hundred armed with axes and shields and two cannons. As they did so, Karaskia channeled her energies and conjured dozens of blades she hurled at them, slaying some of them. The dwarves armed with handguns aimed at the corsairs and fired, some wounded or killed by the bullets hitting them. Others were struck by a cannonball. The second cannon tried to fire at the hydra but as it did so, the shades opened fire on its crewmen, killing them before they could operate their machine. Channeling more energies, Karaskia conjured a swirling vortex of dark magic above the dwarves, many of them being sucked into the vortex. Closing on their opponents, the hydra extended its heads and bathed the dwarves in fire, dozens of them screaming as their beards and hair burned while their armours melt. Taking advantage of the confusion, the darkshards raised their weapons and blackened the sky with bolts, slaying many dwarves. As the corsairs led by Uriaeth advanced towards the dwarves armed with heavy axes, the remaining cannon fired a cannonball towards the hydra. As it flew towards the monster, the cannonball suddenly burst into flames and squarely hit it. The monster roared in pain and anger as its flesh caught fire, impeding its regenerative abilities. Driven mad, the hydra rushed at the dwarves still reeling from its fiery breath and slaughtered them to the last dwarf before impacting the flank of the second regiment of dwarves at the same time the corsairs and Uriaeth engaged them. Turning her gaze away, Karaskia conjured another swirling vortex above the dwarf shooters, decimating them while the darkshards dispatched the few survivors. Looking again towards the melee, Karaskia saw with pleasure that between the fierce corsairs and the hydra, the dwarf warriors had been easily defeated. As the monster roared in triumph, another flaming cannonball struck it, breaking its bones and rekindling the fire burning its flesh. With a final roar, the hydra collapsed and died just as the corsairs were reaching the cannon.

As the druchii were enslaving the dwarves who had only been lightly wounded during the battle, Uriaeth personally tortured the dwarf diplomat to death and stuck his shaved head on a spear. Following his orders, his warriors shaved and beheaded the dead dwarves and stuck their heads on spears among asur banners.
“A profitable victory is it not?” asked Karaskia with a smile.
“You could go tell this to my hydra” replied Uriaeth with a cold voice, “May I know why you did not use your spells to destroy the remaining cannon.”
“Well firstly I was quite away, secondly. Why are you not having this discussion with Itharin and his shades? Destroying the cannons was their mission not mine” she replied with an icy tone, “Anyway, why do you care about one hydra. You do not complain about the death of druchii soldiers usually.”
“Because druchii soldiers are plentiful in numbers and easy to replace,” he replied. “Monsters are much less numerous and much more expensive to purchase. If I want to purchase another hydra, I will have to cut expenses elsewhere. As a result I think I will turn our twenty-year long contract into a two century-long one. I hope you have no problem with it.” said Uriaeth with an evil smile, enjoying the look of fury on Karaskia’s face.

As Uriaeth was leaving to oversee the loading of slaves into the ships and the destruction of the hydra's corpse to prevent anyone from suspecting the druchii of this slaughter, Karaskia was torn between admiration and fury. Even as she was furious at how Uriaeth was using the death of the hydra to ensnare her into his nets, she could see the cleverness of it.
“Would you like me to do something about it” asked a voice behind her.
“No Tharnithil. There is no need for that, at least not now” she replied.
As she thought about this, Karaskia saw that her situation was in fact unchanged. Working with Uriaeth remained profitable and his decision made sure she would enjoy his political and military support for two centuries which was good as it would be several decades before she could afford to be completely independent. As the assassin left, Karaskia wondered what she should do about him. He still had to carry out her orders for eleven years, a short amount of time by elven standards, but once that time had passed, she would have no way to renew their agreement as she now had nothing that interested him.
“Well I will have time to deal with this later.”

Last edited by Durithir on Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:58 am
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 8722
Location: Hag Graef
Easy victory it seems.
I do not have a similar record against my usual dwarf foes, unfortunately.

You did mention about leaving dwarf heads on the scene of the battle.
However, no mention about the hydra corpse, which would indicate unmistakingly towards Dark Elves. Any afterthought?

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|--}

Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:57 pm
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Hello Calisson.
Thank you for your remark about the hydra's corpse. I had not thought about that.
Regarding my victories against dwarves, they are only based on luck and/or on the opponent's inexperience such as once charging the corsairs with one unit while he was blasting the rest of my army with his machines. After a lenghty melee, the corsairs defeated the dwarves (including their general) then followed by charging another unit, destroying it, then charging a machine and destroying it also, allowing me to score enough victory points to achieve a draw.

Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:46 pm
Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:28 am
Posts: 1734
Location: California
Finaly I get through this!

Cool story so far
I love to see where it goes next

Who needs sanity? I have a Hydra

Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:34 pm
Trainee Warrior

Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2015 2:20 pm
Posts: 42
Hello Saintofm.
Thank you for your message.
The problem is that I have no idea what will happen next since Warhammer is gone and I don't like the Age of Sigmar so I don't know when and how I will be able to carry on with the stories.
I have tried the ninth age but it just isn't the same.

Thu Apr 07, 2016 8:19 pm
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