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Blasphemer and Heretic
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I wrote this little story today and can't think of a decent a title for it. Please take a look and offer your sugestions.

It is a short story about my Dark Elf character - General Kala - before the War of Flesh and Blood and before she was given command of the Black Lotus Brigade (i.e. early in her career. Pre-Storm of Chaos for those of you who don't remember Flesh and Blood).

I have always pictured her being a lot like me in my games - atrociously bad luck that is compensated for with creativity and cunning.

Anyway, here you are. Critique is welcome, as I consider this to be an unrefined draft.


-----

The hooves of her steed flung sand into the surf as she rode off the landing barge. She reined her horse into a full turn to survey the beachhead. The sun was hanging low in the west and the tide was coming in. Three more of the small, shallow-draft boats lay empty on the beach around hers. Their crew and passengers had left footprints leading inland into the dune hills of the Cothique shore.

A scowl crossed her face. Her dark eyes narrowed to slits and the faintest hint of teeth showed through as contempt crossed her lips. "All the subtlety of a herd of oxen." she said bitterly to herself. With a gesture, a dozen more light cavalry joined her on the beach from the barge. She then turned to her boat crew, wrapped in their scaly Sea Dragon cloaks, and snapped out her orders. "Be prepared to cast off when I return. Make ready the other boats as well." Without acknowledging their obedience, she turned her entourage inland and rode into the dunes.

Her sharp elven ears registered the fight before she could see it. As she cleared the peak of a dune matted with sea grass, they were below her. A trail of blood led into the hollow where the battle was being fought. The Druchii were locked in combat against an Asur battle patrol. The combat had degenerated into a face-to-face bloodbath. Corpses of the defeated from both groups were strewn about the field.

One figure broke off from the fray and approached her group. He was one of the Corsairs, but his cloak was in tatters and his forehead was bleeding. He ran up the hill toward her with exhaustion in his eyes. "Hail, General Kala Velari. We are grateful for your presence. My name is Draln, and I am leader of the Midnight Reavers. We are hard pressed here, my general. What are your orders?"

She looked down from her saddle at the Corsair. "Who is in command here?"

"Mordrik Myrdahl, my general. He is the one with the gold tips on his helm." Draln pointed to one of the groups tangled up in the battle. No individual could be made out in the heaving, shapeless mass of bodies and blades.

Kala surveyed the tactical situation. Both the crossbow formations were locked in a shield press against enemy spears. The Corsairs - presumably the Midnight Reavers - were engaged with a formation of Swordmasters of Hoeth and were literally being cut to pieces. The largest unit of Dark Elf warriors was also locked in a stalemate with another large group of Asur spears. Both forces were piled up into a solid, immovable battle line.

But behind the Asur line was a reserve. Twenty more spears were waiting on the flank in the case of a Druchii breakthrough. The enemy commander, an Asur Prince, stood on his own a few paces beside them. He shouted orders from the rear and kept his troops in line. By him stood his battle standard bearer. The Asur banner fluttered out above their troops, lifting their spirits and lending them a grim determination that the Druchii simply couldn't match. In the distance could be seen the faint silhouettes of swift Elyrian horsemen riding at full gallop away from the engagement.

Draln was right. They were losing this fight.

As Kala gazed back down into the fray, the enemy commander looked up at her group on the hill. The eyes of the two generals met for a moment. The Asur commander smiled a wise little smirk and saluted her. He knew that they were losing this fight as well.

"Piss and fire!" Kala spat. "Why do I always find myself chained to such incompetence?" She bared her teeth and clenched her fists. Her horse stamped and moved from side to side as the reins went tight.

After a moment, she calmed her temper and went quiet. For a few seconds there was nothing but the sounds of the fight - clashing steel, grunts of determination, screams of the dying. A distant look crossed Kala's face. She watched the Prince as he led his line from the rear.

Then the orders came. "Draln, get back into that battle and keep your Corsairs fighting. Hold that line to the end." She turned to her Dark Riders. "Take your group and ride east. Make your presence fully known. Sound trumpets and fly colors. Take up a position to charge their reserve and do not be subtle about it. Await your opportunity before you engage."

The Dark Riders wrinkled their brows in confusion. Surely she didn't expect them to charge light cavalry into a fresh spear wall at the ready? But none dared question her. They all knew what became of those who crossed Kala. They turned eastward to circle the dunes with trumpets sounding cavalry call.

Kala gave one last glare to the enemy Prince before she turned and casually rode down behind the dune to the West.

----

The Asur Prince was pleased. From all outward appearances, this would be his day. The Druchii were falling apart. His brother still carried his family's banner, flying high beside him. His messengers had been dispatched to inform his commanders of the incursion (not that he needed reinforcements to finish off this rabble). The enemy light cavalry was brazenly setting up to charge his reserve spear wall in the front. And to top it all off, the enemy general had abandoned the field while he remained to lead his warriors to victory.

He chuckled to himself as he ordered his spears to reform to greet the cavalry. He stood directly behind them in complete confidence. The fools were even charging into the blinding light of the sunset.

But then something caught in his mind. Surely the Dark Kin were not that stupid? There must be a stratagem in play.

A shadow fell across him. He turned to look into the orange glare of the sunset. The shadow was the battle standard falling to earth. The sunlight was filtered red through a spray of blood. He could see his brother's corpse being born down to the ground beneath the hooves of her horse. Her blade - the infamous Blade of Ruin - gleamed with a fatal halo as it entered the eyeslits of his helmet.

The spear formation heard their Prince's death cry. Momentarily shocked, they turned around to face the new threat from behind. The Dark Riders were given their opportunity.

----

The last Swordmaster was dispatched with crossbow bolts as he fled. With cavalry in their backfield and their spear reserves run down, the Asur line had rapidly crumbled into mayhem. A victory cry went up from the remaining Druchii when the last shot of the battle found its mark. They sheathed their weapons and began assessing casualties and prisoners.

One Druchii stepped forward as Kala dismounted. The tips of his filigreed helmet gleamed with gold in the fading sun. His hands were held out in a gesture of gratitude. "General Kala Velari. What a magnificent performance." He spoke with the confidence of victory. "My name is Mordrik Myrdahl and I am the leader of this expedition. Our victory will no doubt be celebrated …"

In a blur, his hands came off. His gauntlets were severed as cleanly as a razor cut. He screamed as his blood finally began to realize it had a way to escape through the stumps of his forearms. He fell to his knees and folded his arms in an attempt to staunch the bleeding.

Kala spoke to him in a seething voice as she wiped his blood from her blade. "You are the cause of this foolishness, Mordrik Myrdahl? Your so-called victory is little more than chest-thumping. Were you expecting glory and reward for your "courageous" attack on the Asur? Did you not see the enemy fast cavalry riding away? What do we use our fast cavalry for when they are not fighting, eh?"

The response was merely blubbering and crying as Mordrik cradled his ruined arms. She continued undaunted.

"We use them as messengers. If an invader were to set foot on Naggaroth, who do you think would be the first to notify the defensive forces? Hmmm? Were your orders to notify the Asur of our impending invasion? Were you to alert the Asur of the Black Ark moored off the deep side of the shoals? No? Yet that is exactly what you have done, you arrogant buffoon. You were ordered to scout the coast without engaging. Without. Engaging. In failing that, you have tipped His Majesty's hand. Malekith intended to sweep into Cothique like a wall of flame. Now you have forced us to disappear like so much smoke."

"Mercy…" Mordrik whimpered.

"You marched your troops straight into the enemy's grasp and banged about like a little child with his first toy sword. You didn't even use your crossbows to kill off the Elyrians on the chance that you would be defeated, which was precisely where you were headed until we arrived. Petition the Brides of Khaine for mercy tonight on the altar." She kicked him to the ground. "Draln, you are to take command of this wretch. Deliver him to the Hag Queen aboard the Black Ark with my compliments. As for the rest of you, I want every trace of this fight erased from the dunes. Every drop of blood, every bent blade, every last corpse I want removed and every footprint scattered. Make haste, lest nightfall overtake us."

Kala led her horse by the bridle back to the top of the dune. She turned and watched as the last sliver of the sun settled over the horizon. The evening sea breezes were just coming in. The sky was glowing in deep reds and purples which the sea reflected like so many scattered gemstones. Ulthuan was undeniably a beautiful place.

She sighed in exasperation. It was her duty to make sure that the scouting parties carried out their orders. She knew that she would have to answer for the fools under her command.

The sea breeze crept beneath her breastplate and chilled her. It would be a cold night on the Black Ark.

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Last edited by General kala on Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:40 pm
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That was an amazing story! I really enjoyed. Don't have any deliciously evil title to accompany this right now but still, great work.


Fri Oct 27, 2006 2:03 am
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Mayhaps "The Fortunes of War"?

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General Kala wrote:
...reasons for taking Dark Riders are secondary to their unparallelled ability to rush up and shout "nah na na-naah nah", escape, and do it again...

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Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:17 am
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What about "Blood and stupidity."?

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Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:35 am
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Quote:
Mayhaps "The Fortunes of War"?
That has a nice ring to it. But I'm not sure that it quite matches up. What made you suggest that?

Quote:
What about "Blood and stupidity."?
I was hoping for something a little more eloquent.

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Fri Oct 27, 2006 10:05 pm
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Well, Comrade Modrik is certainately on the recieving end of said fortunes. Besides, it gives a hint of the content(fickleness of battle, something probably changes) and, as you said, it sounds nice, I thought.

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General Kala wrote:
...reasons for taking Dark Riders are secondary to their unparallelled ability to rush up and shout "nah na na-naah nah", escape, and do it again...

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Sat Oct 28, 2006 8:19 am
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Ok if you want eloquent "Bathe the sands in the blood of fools" is that better? maybe its a bit long winded.

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Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:38 am
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Don't know about a title, but this should be immortalised in the Druchii Herald. Drainal's isn't bad, but as he said, perhaps too long winded?

Sean

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Sat Nov 04, 2006 10:55 am
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First of all I'd like to say... what a story! That was really good. Some of the short stories in the army books aren't that good! And second I think you should go for Drailas title but shorten it to "The Blood of Fools" btw will you be making a sequel?

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:43 pm
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"The Blood of Fools" sounds really good and matches the mood of the story. I might just go with that one.

But unfortunately, any story that gets posted to the public forums is disqualified from the magazine. Anythng you see in the magazine should be on it's maiden voyage.

But that gives me an idea. I might make a thread with a link to a my fluff stories on d.net

I may do more Kala stories. I don't know about sequels, but I do like to write. The Druchii are a very dramatic people and the stories come very easily to me. So you'll likely see more of my stuff periodically.

Oh yeah, thanks for all the positive feedback. I was pretty pleased with this one. (Although I still think the "sea raid" story is my best to date.)

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:13 pm
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thats good to hear as you seem to be very talented at capturing the most dramatic aspects of our people the druchii and I personaly cant wait to read some more of your stories. If andwhen you do please contact me as I would much enjoy reading them

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 3:17 pm
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Heh the Infamous Kala returns at last, at least there is still the untold Story of her past. Personally i think "Black Mercy" fits this one.

ps: Kala, i think we may need to do another talk about the Herald when you have time again.

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Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:37 pm
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what about Beachhead Ulthuan???

I know, I like theatricality a lot ;)

edit: someone should re-organise the Hall of Fame imo; this one for instance may have its place there...

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Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:22 pm
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Holy crap!!!!!1 what a story!!!!! Man that is a better story than some of the ones in the codex!! Maby we could make a special character named Kala in the codex. now that would be cool! I hope you make more stories because this one was great!:)

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Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:16 am
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Great story. I would love to read more of Kala's exploits.

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Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:51 am
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I thought it would be good for General Kala to become a special character for the dark elves, but thought it might possibly have been going a bit too far, but putting your stories in the army book would be fantastic as i said earlier!

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Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:03 pm
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Voodoomaster has been toying around with making a special character out of Kala for the magazine. But one of the things that I always liked about her was that she is just a Highborn. She doesn't get by on special rules or a bigger-than-life personality. She's just brilliant, cunning and resourceful. I personally think that makes her more of an inspiration than some of the uber-characters that GW creates.

But I did go ahead and make a list of all my stories on druchii.net - http://druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=46689

Everyone else who writes on this site should also consider compiling their links into that thread.

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Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:44 pm
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Great, I can't wait to read some of your other stories! And just out of interest, whos title are you going for?

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Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:35 pm
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Thanks for make the list of all your stories, have to read through them all now. If any are even close to the quality of this piece then it will be well worth it.


Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:02 pm
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Second paragraph. "Be prepared to cast off when I return. Make ready the other boats as well." Might want to rewrite that.

It's a good story, and interested to read some more :)

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Tue Nov 14, 2006 10:34 am
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After reading your story, i think a good name could be Daughter of Khaine. Then you could write a lot of short stories and put them all together into one big book.

e.g I'm writing a selection of stories and my main title is Dominion and so far i have two titles:

Maps of power and the Journey continues.

Look forward to reading more stories about General Kalan is it?

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:41 am
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Kala, In one of your stories,"the general and the sorceress" I think it was, I read that there would be follow up for the sorcerress who Kala should have killed but didnt and didnt know why. Could you tell me where I might find it?

p.s.
Fantastic stories on that thread!!

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 3:26 pm
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Lord Ruerl - It's Kala. General Kala. As in
<----------------------------------------------

But she is a completely secular leader and doesn't believe in worshiping gods. So anything involving Khaine aside from an occasional off-hand remark is out of character for her. Having a story about her named for Khaine wouldn't really fit. Aside from that, it would be a good title for a Druchii story of some manner.


Marik - That story never got completed. Onyx Paladin had other things in real life that drew him off from the Flesh and Blood campaign. It was over before he could get back to writing the sequel.

He discussed the proposed plotline with me, though. Essentially, Xaniphera was planning to travel to Naggarond. There she would try to use her preternatural charisma to manipulate the royal court in order to bring Kala down politically.

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 4:10 pm
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oh well, sounds like it would have been interesting if it had been written

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Mon Nov 20, 2006 5:36 pm
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