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Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 8:39 am
by Nightcall

'We're here then.' Despite pointing out the obvious, it was somewhat reassuring for him to hear those three words. There had been some close calls along the way, and their scrape against those five marauders had not gone well. Elysian's chin was bloody, and the shadowmancer was looking nearly as scruffy as he with his black eyes left from the scrap with the ratmen.

On route to the library, he had wondered what had become of the other three. Did they still live? He was sure that their struggle would be no greater than theirs, and he found himself longing again for the open sea. Cities were useful for supplies, the odd raid, and entertainment, but that was about it. He hoped Caraoc's instincts were right and there was treasure to be found to compensate for at least a little of the difficulties they had encountered.

He paused before the steps. Somewhere hidden like this was bound to be protected. 'Eh lads, can you see any curses or wards?' he asked, squinting in the gloom to see if he could spot any trip wires, poison dart holes, or pits. He'd never forget that time in Lustria or that enormous boulder that he had to race away from after stealing a golden effigy of Sotek...

A bit tired but alive. Waiting to go in and get it over with.

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:31 pm
by Calisson

The five marauders could have escaped, at least a couple of them.
But those barbarians lacked not only culture and elegance. They lacked brains.
So instead of doing something intelligent, they did something idiot and potentially efficient. They charged.

Two of them fell down immediately to handbow's bolts. That's the price to pay for stupidity.
Casaythe held back two of the remaining three, giving time for Caraoc to get rid of one more.
However, Elysian did not have the same luxury and received a maul's direct hit.

The following twin catch party did not go well.
Casaythe somehow fluffed his parry and was knocked down, it took Caraoc a desperate effort to deflect the axe which was bound to terminate his friend's career.
However, it came at a severe price, as Caraoc himself received the flat blow directly in the head.

The trio had met its end. Barbarians prevailed.


Caraoc was about to start his ultimate one way journey towards the stars he had become so familiar with.
Here they were. Both distant and friendly, both strange and familiar.
They were dancing around his head, in a whirlwind of glimmering light.
In the middle of six bluish stars, here was Hekarti herself, smiling at Caraoc.
She invited him with her six arms, to come and twist around with the stars, in an elegant waltz.
She's dancing with the stars, Living in the sky with diamonds.
She's dancing with the stars, And oh, how the lights are shining.
She has the key in her hand, Reflection in the moon's the best thing.
She's dancing with the stars, the stars, Keep dancing.

Suddenly Hekarti slapped violently Caraoc's cheeks.
The stars faded away, only a faint trace keeping circling around his head. Hekarti had vanished into the infinite. Only the echo of her voice remained.
Strangely, the ever-shifting Goddess had now taken Casaythe's voice. She/he was yelling something about the necessity to get up and move.


The marauders who were on the verge to finish them three had been pierced with crossbow bolts instead.
No much time was given for Ccaraoc to say goodbye to his Goddess, the trio was on the move again.

Soon, the pilot in him took control again, and he carefully registered the complex path Elysian made them take across the maze of narrow streets.
Thanks to Elysian's mastery of discreet movement, they avoided the occasional Chaos patrol, which they could not afford to risk to face.
Now they were out of range of the crossbowmen who had saved their lives.
They were on their own.


'We're here then.' observed Casaythe.
A dark horse, rearing up at a midnight sky. That was the sign they were looking for.
Arriving on the opposite side of the building, Caraoc stopped in a surprise.
The low building in front of them was his very vision came true.
"This is the place", confirmed Caraoc.

The square was well hidden from streets around. If not for the House Tvar's heraldry, they would've had hard trouble to get there.
The Norse warriors might be looking for the same kind of hint.
"We should erase these signs, before they lead anyone else."
Caraoc went back to the street they were coming from, and vandalized the heraldry.
He went around the block searching for similar signs to be removed.


'Eh lads, can you see any curses or wards?' asked Casaythe.
Sure, it was dark. Too dark even for Druchii.
He replied:
"Could you find a torch in a building? Even a Norse one will do."

Caraoc recalled the vision given by the Gods.
Here's the place to go, that's for sure. But why didn't they hint about what to do?
The stars could help him once more, by shining into the maze.
"The path of choice optimal - The labyrinth unsolved
Haunting the complex of these halls - Adrift upon the massive waves
This godforsaken maze - Suddenly returning to the haze
Guiding star shine bright tonight - And light up my path - Time has come to know myself"

Removing street indications - "Houston, do you hear me?"

OOC: Cobra Starship - Living in the sky with diamond
Lyrics: ... twsjy.html

OOC: Scar Symmetry - The path of least resistance
Lyrics: ... 39233.html

OOC: Internet access limited by now, I can't control the Youtube links. I hope for the best.

EDIT: checked. Updated a wrong link.
Still denying any responsibility about Caraoc's musical taste. He's totally out of control.
Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (9/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:11 pm
by Raneth
Once again smoke filled the street, so ensuring the Cockatrice wouldn't be able to use its gaze upon Vryala or her friends. She let rip an entire clip before Karonath disappeared into the haze, but no cries were heard and V could only hope for the best. Phalx had skulked off somewhere - as of yet of no concern to her - if all went well, this little bird would be meeting the wrong end of a Draich in a matter of seconds, rendering whatever the Shade had planned inconsequential. Alas, it wasn't to be.

In spite of its rather clumsy appearance, the giant fowl was possessed of deathly agility; V watched K fall, only now noticing that poison stinger tail, and rushed to her aid instinctively. The Khainite scrambled back up, Phalx now completely out of view. The next charge, then, would be hers. The Cockatrice screeched its challenge; though pale in comparison to the Wyrm's, enough to chill the hearts of the stoutest adventurers in any other situation. Closing her eyes, V roared a wordless response.

Going by her ears, V blindly charges the bird-beast in an attempt to take it to the ground. She hopes her agility will allow her a cheap cut at that tail, if not she'll try to hold it down for her comrades to finish.

Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2012 7:29 pm
by Dauricha
He heard bolts fly, and the cry of the chicken monster, and the swish of a rather large Drach. Phalx moved, keeping to the thinning smoke, making for the hazy shape of a wall. His comrades fought on, as he climbed up, the Cockatrice thinning the smoke. The stupid thing was to far away, and by the looks of it would not be moving closer. K dodged and flowed with the chaos spawned monster.

Balls to it!

Phalx will leap from the wall, sword and dagger ready. He will come up at the Cockatrice from behind, and leap onto it. If he can latch on, he'll aim to butcher its wings.

Posted: Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:03 am
by Drainial

Bloody hell his head hurt. That damn barbarian had very nearly ended him and that was not a feeling Elysian enjoyed. In fact it was a close toss up between embarrassment and the fact that several of his teeth seemed to be loose as to which he disliked more. Fortunately for once he was saved by unknown Druchii, dark elves being helpful, whatever next? It seemed there was nothing like the threat of oblivion to bring people together. With a brief salute to the elves upon the gantry Elysian set off again with the others in tow. Sailors they might be but they could fight, and that was something.

After yet more walking, and Elysian really was missing Euan by this point, they finally arrived. A horse as black as night marking the library. Of chaos warriors there was no sign but they clustered thickly in this place. Whether they had come and gone, were present inside or were yet to appear was not yet clear.

'Eh lads, can you see any curses or wards?' Casaythe asked, now that was his kind of question

"Let me check, I know a little of house Tvar, they can be tricky indeed when it comes to such things. I am a shadowmancer though, there is no need for further light." With that Elysian shifted his gaze into second sight and began to check the area.

Trying to answer Casaythe's question, checking for wards and traps.

Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:39 pm
by Kinslayer
OOC - Sorry I'm late guys I was away visiting family at the weekend and despite taking my laptop just didn't find the time to post. Was supposed to have a warhammer game tonight but that was cancelled so more time to post tonight!

IC -

In the east, the Cockatrice continued to thrash and glide around Karonath and Vryala despite half a dozen crossbow bolts jutting from it's thickly feathered hide. Phalx watched on from the low wall a few yards behind, waiting for them to lure the monster his way so he could pounce on it, but quickly lost patience. The Cockatrice was circling with the girls, constantly darting forwards to try and lock it's deadly gaze upon one of them, but the Druchii would not be fooled. They kept their eyes low to the ground, and only Phalx could look upon it's beaked face as he observed the combat, the creature as yet unaware of his presence. Throwing caution to the wind as he always did however, Phalx leaped from the wall and unslung his short sword, aiming to charge the feathered fiend from behind and plunge his punching dagger into the back of it's skull.

As Phalx moved in quickly from behind, Vryala and Karonath continued to move with the creature, unable to see their comrade running to their aid. The Cockatrice darted in with a powerful beat of it's eagle wings, before lashing at Karonath with the long talons of it's hunting cat lower half. The Khainite kept a careful eye on the approach of the dagger like talons, and easily stepped around the wild swipe the creature made for her, delivering a downwards slash with her Draich at the same time, parting the last of the fading smoke and shearing feathers from the creatures' side. Looking down however, she failed to see the Cockatrices' monstrous beak snap forwards in an attempt to bite her head clean off her shoulders. As she cut it's side however, the creature went off balance and instead of decapitating her it's beak snapped against her armour pauldron with enough force to send her stumbling back across the loose rubble covering the ground. She managed to keep her balance, and only her well honed combat instincts prevented her from looking up at the attacker as she fell back, for it glared at her with piercing eyes.

Seizing the opportunity and praying to Khaine that Karonath was alright, Vryala slammed into the Cockatrice like a cannon ball, her shield up and her head down. Even with it's attention focused on her comrade, the Cockatrice swept it's tail around at the incoming threat in an attempt to jab it's huge stinger into her chest. Vryala lashed out sideways with her blade just before she reached the monster, and was rewarded with the wet rip of a blade cutting through flesh and muscle. Without looking at the effect of her slicing cut, Vryala ran straight into the Cockatrice, hurling herself with the last step into more of a tackle than a charge. The creature rocked back on it's wings and raised it's clawed feet, turning it's gaze upon the warrior as she slammed into it. Vryala heard the scrape of rock hard talons grating against her magical breastplate as she thudded into the monster, but there was no pain in her chest telling her the claws had bitten through. Keeping her eyes tightly shut, she wrapped her arms around the monster and drove it down with all her strength and her weight behind her.

Karonath recovered from the hit that sent her stumbling back a moment later, coming forwards again without looking directly at her target but seeing that Vryala had just charged it and tackled it to the ground. She saw something thrashing around on the floor between her and the grappling duo and realised a moment later that it was the sting and the last few feet of it's tail, dancing like a fish out of water as nerves continued to give it motion after it had been severed. Karonath had to cut her charge short to stop herself running into the jumping needle, well aware of the toxic venom that still dribbled from it's tip. She looked up over the combat without letting her eyes meet those of the Cockatrice, and saw Phalx darting into the fray from behind the creature. She didn't know if he had realised that to look into the eyes of the monster meant petrification and therefore death. The mad expression in the Shades' eyes told her he was probably too far gone for any warning she could yell to have any effect anyway.

Phalx watched the feathered monster hit the ground with Vryala on top of it as he approached mid charge, and relished the opportunity to jump into the opening and plunge his dagger into it's head. It was clear that Vryala would not be able to keep the creature pinned down for long, for despite having it's tail neatly severed half way down the Cockatrice was already scrambling for purchase against the Warriors' breastplate, about to kick up and hurl her backwards so it could get up. The Shade had seen the way the other Druchii that had faced the Cockatrice had turned to stone, and so took one last glance at where it's head was positioned, snapping at Vryala even as it was pinned to the ground, and closed his eyes and jumped. He brought his punch dagger down on the spot, and heard the gory crack of his short blade punching through bone. Even so, without daring to open his eyes he brought his short sword across where he knew the creatures' neck would be, intending to cut it's beaked head from it's shoulders and hurl it as far away as he could. Instead, he heard only the metallic clang of his blade hitting armour.

Vryala cursed under her breath as she felt herself suddenly projected over the Cockatrices' head by a powerful kick of it's muscular legs, momentarily unaware that the beast had kicked out in pain rather than in attack. She span head over heels and crashed into Phalx just behind the Cockatrices' head, feeling the sharp nick of a blade cutting under her left vambrace and piercing the flesh beneath, drawing a red bead of blood. The pair fell into a tangled heap for a moment, Vryala eventually putting her palm on Phalxs' chest and pushing herself off him, forcing his back into the stones underneath him as she did so, fully aware that it was his blade that had cut her. Still blinded by their closed eyes, the two came apart as the beast they were supposed to be fighting surged back into the air with a few beats of it's large wings, howling an inhuman cry of agony and rage. As Phalx rolled away from Vryala and got back to his feet, he realised his minotaur horn punching dagger was no longer at his wrist. He didn't dare risk a glance up at the monster to confirm his suspicions, that the horn was wedged in the back of it's feathered skull where he had left it.

Severely wounded, the Cockatrice became all the more lethal, and fighting it blind was proving to have it's difficulties. The stinger however had stopped moving and allowed Karonath to rejoin the fight.


In the north, Casaythe had to wait by the entrance to the library as Caraoc went back into the alleyway to remove the Tvar heraldry from the wall, and Elysian stood motionless with his mind elsewhere, searching the entrance for wards. Caraoc was careful not to be seen as he went back out to the road and used a small knife he usually used for cutting ropes when back on a ship to instead prise the two small pieces of art from the stone wall. He carried them back into the hidden square and discarded them in one corner, before checking around for any other way into the place, but finding none. Clearly the Tvar family had this place well hidden, but as Sevro had told them when it was in use it was well defended, which meant total secrecy was probably not an issue, the marks on the wall told him that. He could only hope that the library was no longer defended, and that whatever they had come here to find was still there. Outwardly the library showed no signs of recent use, and certainly no sign of the rampaging marauders having trashed the place, but until they got inside nothing was certain.

Elysian however knew that just because the library had been well defended when it had been in use, did not mean that it was now unguarded. The Zukhil Guard of House Tvar had continued to serve Eaun Tvar long after their deaths once she became a dreaded Vampire, and even with her now destroyed he wasn't sure all her minions would rest quietly. The dead could walk without the power of a Vampire to guide them, indeed places of death such as graveyards and the Vikarh Crypts were likely places to find them, but they could also exist elsewhere. More than one travelling mercenary had a tale to tell about a skeletal warrior attacking them while out alone in the wilds, and they had to assume at least some of those boasts to hold some truth. For that reason, Elysian took his time and was slow and methodical in his search, checking each angle of the doorway for the tell tale signs of a ward, a complex string of energy in the aether held in place by words uttered at the time of their creation.

Despite his best efforts, Elysian could find nothing around the door or the stairs leading up to it, though he could feel a great, almost overbearing, power coming from within. He couldn't help but notice that the Wind of Shyish was in ascendancy around the library too, something Caraoc also must have picked up on as he returned. In fact, Elysian knew that even Casaythe would have detected it, though in a slightly different way to actually seeing the dark tendrils of death magic than crept around the edges of his second sight. Casaythe felt a cold shudder move down his spine as he looked around, and could almost taste how stagnant the air was it was so thick. The whole square was not just dark, it was as silent as a tomb and held an eerie coldness, even compared to the chill that clung to Vikarh alongside the snow this far into winter. Most of all however, Casaythe was left with the uneasy feeling that he was being watched. Unsettled, he glanced over his shoulder both left and right, and peered aimlessly into the gloom around the doorway, but knew that nobody was there.

Moving as quickly as they dared without being careless, the three mercenaries advanced to the bottom of the stone steps, and Elysian lifted a foot and placed it on the first circular step. When nothing happened, he cautiously advanced another step, Caraoc and Casaythe falling in beside him. They quickly reached the top step without triggering a hidden ward or trap, and all three of them breathed a simultaneous sigh of relief as they stepped forth before the doorway. The sudden echo of a nearby howl in the street outside caused all three of them to spin around, weapons ready to defend themselves. They calmed their nerves after a moment, realising that they were jumping at shadows, and that it was the eerie Wind of Shyish making them so unsettled. Still, the howl of a marauder in the street outside reminded them that the Warriors of Chaos were closing in, and that the three of them could have a matter of minutes to investigate the library before their enemies located it and they were overwhelmed. The last thing they wanted was to be trapped in the square when a regiment of armoured Northmen found the hidden alleyway. By removing the heraldry, Caraoc had bought them minutes at best.

The library had a pair of large, ornate wooden doors, carved of some dark wood that seemed to absorb the light naturally and without enchantment. By the looks of it, the doors themselves and their fine silver handles were artefacts of their own worth stealing, but now was not the time and that was not what they had come for. Caraoc clearly remembered something gold being stolen from the library in his vision, though what it was or what it looked like completely eluded him when he tried to remember. All he knew was that it was small enough for one man to carry, though appeared in his vision to be heavy enough to require two hands. As he cast his eyes over the door Elysian had just pulled open, he remembered seeing the Northmen setting the dark wood alight with their braziers as they fled with their trophy, leaving the hidden treasury to burn in their wake. This confirmed in his mind that if his vision spoke to the truth, the Northmen had not yet come and raided the library already, for it was still standing undamaged. He voiced this to Casaythe in a hushed voice as they followed Elysian through the dark entrance, at once feeling a wave of warm air wash over their skin compared to the chill outside.

They looked left and right as they stepped into the entranceway, finding themselves at the top of a set of square stone steps that led down into a large chamber. Either side of the steps stood a thick black pillar of stone, rising up to hold the dark ceiling over their heads. Two more pillars stood to perform the same duty at the far end of the hall, and between those ones was an archway leading to another room as yet out of sight. The wide hall they had just entered was lined with bookshelves, and the space between the walls filled with ornate tables each holding a glass case a few feet in diameter. The stands were arranged in neat rows, allowing for a corridor down the middle of the room that led straight to the archway, and allowing someone to walk around each display case with ease without ever risking knocking into one. Every single one however had been smashed, and splinters of glass littered the ground like a blanket of stars, glistening in the light of the braziers attached to each pillar, also the source of the warmth inside the building.

The Temple of Khaine had not been delicate in their seizing of the Tvar artefacts after Eauns' true identity had been revealed and she had been destroyed. They had smashed and taken everything the glass cases had once held.

Perhaps it was that haste and lack of caution that had seen something be left behind?

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:10 am
by Layne
She had run through the smoke, swinging both wild and blind, just trying to keep her head down, and watch for anything coming out of the mist. Nothing came, and her sword met no resistance.

She came through into clear air and turned on her heel. Then something made her jump backwards, and she saw the beast's tail fly through the air right in front of her, just where she had been standing. There was a giant claw on the end of it too, which was dripping with something or other. She hadn't seen that from a distance. She charged back into the smoke before the thing could get a fix on her again. Her blade blew some more smoke about. Then something grabbed her about the legs and whisked her around. She shut her eyes tight and hack downwards where she though the tail must be. The grip on her legs released and she stumbled back. Had she cut it?

She saw a shadow above and stepped sideways, chopping forwards as she did it. Her blade hit finally struck home, passing through something that was fiarly heavy but particularly resistant to a blade like hers.The beast's head - it must have been the head - slammed into her shoulder and she fell backwards, but not over, righting herself on her heels. It was not as strong as she had expected but it was strong. It had a beak, she knew, and she was lucky not to have been crushed like a seed in a bird's beak.

She heard the thing struggling and dared to look up. It was on its' back, and there was part of its' tail - with stinger - between her and the beast. And she could see that V was on top, grappling. She had to get in there.

K will dash the tail aside with her sword and rush in, aiming to maybe hack off a leg.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:32 pm
by Drainial
There was plenty to see and feel in the aethyr in and around this obscure Tvar vault but nothing that seemed to indicate the kind of traps he had seen before. Sevro had said the library had been raided before, maybe the temple had already set off all of the defences and dealt with them, maybe there never had been any. The wind of Shyish blew strongly here though, a sign that Euan had laid her mark upon the place as well as her brothers, unless there had been other death mages in the family in previous generations. Moving forward carefully Elysian saw that the interior told much the same story; whatever treasures had once been stored here were long gone. Still there had to be something here, Caroc's vision had been too accurate up to this point for there to be nothing. Still the temple was not in general renowned for subtlety aside from the assassins, they may well have missed the true treasures, ones hidden out of sight. He would not make the same mistake. With his gaze flickering in and out of second sight Elysian began to search the room, trusting to old burgling skills to see him right and keeping an eye out for telltale wards and switches that might indicate a secret hiding place.

Searching for treasure as only a mage/thief can.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 3:38 pm
by Calisson

In the library, some warmth and dim light was provided by braziers attached to four pillars. Besides that, glass litter everywhere.
Funny thing, it looks like we're walking on tiny stars. thought Caraoc who had often made star walks in his dreams.

He trusted Elysian to be their best asset for treasure hunting. Being an adept of arcane arts, and even better, being familiar with the wind of Chamon, a magic metal object could not escape his attention. Especially as he was also a trained thief.

Four pillars of stones were all that was left in the original state.
Caraoc knocked them as a routine check, in case one of them had been a faked one.

At the far end of the hall, and between the two farthest pillars was an archway leading to another room.

"Let's see that other room?" suggested Caraoc.


Meanwhile, he started to ancitipate for the next step.
Assuming the golden statue would be found, the trio would soon face another task: to bring it back to safety, across a district patrolled by Norse men, and another district defended by noblemen's private guards who owed the trio no particular sympathy.

For that trip back, they would have to be as nimble and sneaky as possible.
Elysian could probably help them to avoid attention.
Caraoc could give another try at moving through original paths.
In order to let the two spell caster concentrate as much as possible, that would leave Casaythe as the statue bearer.

Checking pillars. Then moving to next room.

Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (9/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 4:00 pm
by Raneth
V slammed into the side of the beast with all the force she could muster, aiming to knock it over outright. Despite not having noticed her in time it resisted her charge skilfully, lashing out with its poison stinger to repel the young soldier. Half expecting such a move, V's enchanted blade managed to capitalise on the Cockatrice's brute instinct and severed the appendage altogether. No time for victory cries just yet; instead she redoubled her attack and dragged them both to the ground quite ungracefully.

In that instant, a mad cackle signalled Phalx had entered the fray. The beast buckled; V heard the wet crack of bone and hoped that would be the end of it. However, the beast's thrashing became only more violent - Vryala's grip faltered, then quickly failed and she sensed being thrown into the Shade. A sharp pain flared across her collar bone; she realised it must have been Phalx' blade. Motherf****r!, she cursed under her breath, if that was poisoned I'll haunt your every f*****g step in the afterlife! The two came apart, V having to fight back the overwhelming urge to punch the Shade in the face, though she immediately resolved to do so later.

Another screeching challenge, now more angered, more desperate. Moreover it came from above their heads, proof that the Cockatrice's wings weren't altogether redundant. How far up, V had no idea, and dared not inspect.

Get down here!

V slams another clip in her repeater, then full auto in the direction of that screech. Wary of the beast's charge, she stands by to give it another big hug and reacquaint it with the floor.

Posted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:28 pm
by Kinslayer

Vryala resisted the urge to start attacking Phalx instead of the Cockatrice, despite the fact it was the creature that had caused them to crash together and his blade to nick her arm. She left the Shade on the ground and rounded on the monster once again, spinning around to face it and scanning her eyes across the ground. She saw only broken rubble and stone, and a glance after the footsteps to her left assured her that that was Karonath returning to the combat. She peered down and behind and saw Phalx crawling back to his feet, muttering curses and blasphemies under his breath, still looking for his missing punch dagger. But where was the Cockatrice? She could see no sign of it's clawed legs at the height it had been hovering earlier, and could only assume that it had risen even higher. "Get down here!" She reached for her repeater, about to start firing up at the air around her, when her eyes detected a dark shadow on the ground beside her. Oh, there it is...

Karonath watched as the Cockatrice, failing to lift it's heavy body into the air any higher than it already had, instead dropped back to the ground right on top of Vryala. It came down with it's claws outstretched and open, like the great eagles used by their hated kin. Vryala had only just loaded her crossbow, and K watched almost in slow motion as the monster grabbed her by the shoulders and flung her backwards. As she arced away from the beast Vryala did not open her eyes and meet it's gaze as it had intended, and instead pulled the trigger on her crossbow. She came skidding to a halt on the ground some seven or eight feet away from the Cockatrice, having pincushioned it with yet more black fletched iron bolts. Several of the bolts had pierced it's feathery wings, and combined with it's major head wound this seemed to ground the Cockatrice. It scrabbled for purchase on the loose debris covering the ground, cawing like a raven from hell as it glared angrily at V. She had been hurled right over Phalx this time, and the Shade was back on his feet also under the scrutiny of the petrifying creature.

Karonath came at it from it's blind spot this time, behind and to the side, knowing that between them Vryala and Phalx had wounded it enough to slow it down. She knew her Draich would find it's flesh this time, and sure enough it did. The Khainite ran past the Cockatrice before it could turn it's head to see her, slashing her magical weapon across the back of it's neck in a spray of dark crimson blood and blue-green feathers. The monsters' head went limp on it's neck, and it let out one last rasping cry before it collapsed on the ground and quivered in it's death throes. Karonath turned around to examine her handiwork, still being careful not to look into the creatures' fading eyes. She walked back over and with an executioners' grace she made one more cut, severing the head entirely before rolling it face down with her foot. Phalx came over to retrieve his punch dagger from the back of it's skull as Vryala nodded to K before taking a look around.

The Chimaera to the south lay dead, impaled now by at least a dozen reaper bolts for the City Guard manning the warmachines were taking no chances it seemed. Beyond that, the small mobs of Orcs still plagued the isolated groups of defenders, accompanied by the overgrown boars of the Beastmen and several other flocks of Harpies. A quick glance north revealed that one of the three wild Manticores had been brought low by the reapers as well, though the other two still decimated the mercenaries trying to reach the main combat from the north. Inside the breach, the wall of City Guard defending the gap was holding fast but growing ever thinner. The Executioners that had hit the thousands-strong mob of Beastmen in the flank had cut a bloody swathe through their ranks, but had now lost their momentum. The Beastmen had flowed back into the gap they had created in their wake, essentially surrounding the deadly swordsmen of Khaine and once again throwing themselves against the side of the defending line.

Only the Drach seemed to be prevailing with obvious success against the herd, having thrown himself into their rear rank atop his mighty Dragon. With every passing heartbeat the Dragon seemed to send a handful of the dirty creatures flailing through the air with mighty sweeps of it's claws and tail, and every time it leaned down to snap half a dozen bodies inside it's vicious jaws the Drach would lash out with his lance and skewer two or three more. As the Dragon lifted it's head once more before the Beastmen could retaliate, it's throat seemed to momentarily swell as it summoned up a gout of noxious fumes from it's twisted stomach. The black cloud it belched forth scorched the hair and flesh from dozens of Beastmen in a matter of moments, and already dozens more were fleeing from the fight or at least concentrating on putting as much distance between themselves and the Drach as possible rather than actually attacking.

Despite the darkly magnificent sight of so dread a Lord in the midst of battle however, it did not look like it would be enough. Dozens, even hundreds, of Beastmen could die or flee at the feet of the Drach and his monstrous mount, without putting more than a dent in the herd that had broken into Vikarh. The three mercenaries couldn't help but think that if this was all a diversion as Caraoc had suggested, that it was the biggest act of diversion they had ever seen or even contemplated, and that meant whatever they were being distracted from must be worth an awful lot to the Chaos thieves. Reasoning that the Mage must be mad or seeing things, the trio held their ground as another Khainite war horn sounded, this time surprisingly from behind them to the west. All three of them turned their heads as one to find the source of the call, and they turned just in time to see another defending force of Vikarh entering the great battle. It was quite a sight, even compared to the Drach, and it awed them into standing like statues with open jaws.

The Hag of Vikarh, naked save for a liquid skin of dripping blood, charged from the gap behind the group at the head of her army of Witch Elves. The Maibds wore armoured skirts and corsets but not much else, alarmingly unarmoured when compared to their male Executioner cousins, but it left them light, unhindered and deadly agile. Each of the Witches carried a pair of long, serrated swords that visibly shimmered with the toxins the Temple of Khaine were infamous for creating and distributing amongst their followers. They screamed a vicious war chant as they ran past the group, some of them continuing the blasts of their Khainite horns, others raising high icons of Khaine in some of his many aspects, some of which were also hung with long slender banners that fluttered behind them as they charged. It seemed Banes' earlier request when she had sent a Midnight Guardian to call the Hag out to battle had been answered, and such a resplendent sight as the Hag herself going to war filled all the Druchiis' hearts with the promise of victory through bloodshed.

The Hag led her Witch Elves in a direct charge across the open, broken ground straight towards the back of the gradually faltering wall of spears and swords that were the City Guard. It took them less than a minute to cross the battlefield and reach the defenders, all the while reaper bolts continued to fly overhead in the direction of the two Manticores, struggling at such range to gain a significant hit. Phalx, Karonath and Vryala followed the charge of the Witches, almost caught up in their inspiring blood frenzy and certainly enchanted by the cold beauty of the Hag as she had passed them. Such warriors spelled doom for any who dared stand before them, and accordingly the City Guard in the ranks behind the fight fell back and moved aside to let them through. The Beastmen seemed to think that the line was finally faltering and about to break, and made to surge forward into the gap as it was created with loud bellows of victory and grunts of rabid laughter. They fell silent again the moment they realised their mistake, but by then it was already too late.

Even as the Drach tore into the back of the Beastmen herd atop his Dragon and the Executioners continued to cleave away at the left flank despite being surrounded, the Witches hit the front of the horde head on screaming their praises to the Lord of Murder. They lashed out this way and that with poisoned blades, curving their lithe bodies around the pathetically slow in comparison attacks of the Beastmen. They literally danced into combat, at once chopping their way through the first ten ranks of the Beast herd, and hurling themselves ever deeper even as some of their number were cut down by the heavy swings of axes and mauls carried by the largest members of the herd. The mercenaries approached the main combat behind the Witches, the wall of spearmen that had opened to grant them passage already closing in again behind the last of the Maibds, giving them scant seconds to follow the Witches into the fray or join the combat from another location, or head off elsewhere.

Bestial cries of fear and pain now rising up from the hundreds of Beastmen caught in the front ranks around the charge of the Hag of Vikarh, the trio considered their next move.


In the Tvar library, Casaythe kept guard by the door as Elysian and Caraoc began to search the inner chamber for whatever secrets it may still hold. The Astromancer began to examine the two black stone pillars just inside the entrance for hollows or obvious signs of tampering as Elysian moved over to the left wall. The Shadowmancer began looking for anything of note along the bookcases, his life as a thief giving him clues as to what to look for. He was still examining the first bookcase when Caraoc moved through the hall and began to search the pillars at the opposite end of the library. The Mage glanced back over at Casaythe a moment later, who was still standing beside one of the pillars by the door, peering outside through the gloom. His vision flickered between the arcane and the mundane, and as it did he watched the tendrils of Shyish energy that writhed around the edges of the building, and seemed to creep across the ground seemingly at random, giving no clues as to their source or direction.

Elysian turned his mind back to the bookcase in front of him, scanning every shelf and every single mark of ornamentation around it's wooden frame for a ward or clue. He ran his nimble fingers over each piece of iron or gold that jutted from the wall, be it a candle holder, a coat peg, a small ornamental feature or simply a pole or knob seemingly without function. None of it revealed anything to the Mage, causing him to grit his teeth in frustration as he knew time was fast running out. He tried to think as a thief would once more, and put together in his mind all the facts that he could muster in an attempt to figure this great puzzle out. It would take some time, and another quick glance at Casaythe reminded him that time was not a luxury they could enjoy right now. The Corsair seemed on edge, though that could be to do with the tendrils of Shyish energy that wormed their way around his ankles as he kept watch outside. Elysian looked back to the other end of the hall just in time to see Caraoc pass through the archway into the antechamber beyond.

Caraoc passed through the shadow of the archway into the smaller chamber beyond the main library and instantly felt the chill creep back into his bones that had accompanied him outside. Strangely, the room was as well lit as the first because it had a brazier hanging from each of it's three walls close to the Corsair, but they seemed to offer no warmth alongside the illumination. Suspecting witchcraft, Caraoc let his mind drift into the aether and confirmed his suspicions. The braziers were not burning with the power of Aqshy, the Wind of flame, but with the cold power of Shyish, known to some as Death Magic. When he looked at the braziers again with mortal eyes he could see it, the flames shimmering a yellow-green at times rather than blazing a bright orange and red. The strangeness of this smaller chamber seemed to give no clues as to what the Corsair might be looking for however, containing only some sort of black stone altar. Remembering the mention of House Tvar containing a Vampire, Caraoc felt a chill run down his spine which wasn't caused by the lack of warmth in the room.

Casaythe was half in a daze as he peered into the square, which seemed grey and hazy through the gloomy doorway inside which he was standing. All night he had been fighting and walking, fighting and walking, and now he could feel exhaustion niggling at his senses. He threw the occasional glance back over his shoulder into the library to check Elysian and Caraoc were still searching for their treasure, and noticed that his Corsair comrade had moved on into the smaller chamber now. He shuddered for no apparent reason as he turned his attention back on the square outside, and almost instantly snapped back to being wide awake as he saw movement out there. He took a step forwards and narrowed his eyes, spotting the same flickering shadow on the far wall of the square, close to the mouth of the alleyway to the street beyond. It was obvious to the Corsair what he was looking at, the flickering shadow of a brazier being carried in the alleyway towards the square.

Casaythe span on his heel and ran back into the library, descending the small staircase between the black pillars and entering the long hall so that he could see Elysian working on a bookcase off to his left. He called to the Shadowmancer and told him what he had seen and to hurry up and find what they were looking for, whatever that was, before returning to his post by the door. He arrived just in time to see a pair of marauders enter the square, one carrying a burning brazier and a hand axe, the other armed with a flail and a small buckler. Both men were bare chested and thick with muscle, their faces and scalps covered with long braids and their ears pierced with numerous silver trinkets that glittered in their braziers' light. The Corsair expected more Marauders or a group of the armoured Northmen to follow the pair into the square, but realised after a moment that the two had come alone.

Casaythe watched the two humans slowly approaching the bottom of the wide, circular steps that led up to the dark doorway where he stood unseen to their feeble eyes. They kept glancing back warily over their shoulders, and muttering to each other in their dark human tongue, clearly feeling the same sense of dread that the Druchii had felt upon entering the square. In fact, Casaythe was confident that the humans would feel it worse than any Druchii, and were no doubt already afraid. This led him to consider attacking them, and the more he looked over their weapons and their size the more he contemplated such a move. He realised that if he took them by surprise and killed one of them quickly, that going in against the two Marauders was a fight he could win. Thinking of Caraocs' description of his vision, and the burning library thus described, he might also buy his two comrades precious time in their search if he stopped the Northmen from burning the library to the ground so soon.

Elysian moved onto the next bookcase, his hands working instinctively across all the raised edges and potential levers almost without thought, as his mind continued to check for wards whilst also contemplating what the Corsair had just told him. Apparently someone was approaching the square, and Casaythe had gone back to see who it was and would call out for help if necessary. That meant their search might come to an abrupt halt at any moment, and they had still found nothing. His search was made harder by the fact he didn't even know what he was looking for, the only description Caraoc being able to give was of a golden artefact, small enough for one man to carry but heavy enough to require two hands. He had already tried searching for gold with the senses allowed to him by his practise of the Wind of Chamon, but with so many golden candle and brazier holders and gold etching on the black stone plinths, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Actually, he contemplated, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack without actually knowing what a needle was or what one looked like.

At that moment, Caraoc returned from the smaller antechamber beyond the archway and reported on all that he had found. The next chamber was a dead end, compromising only four small walls again without windows, each of those around the doorway decorated with a single witchfire brazier. All the chamber contained was a black altar, leaving enough room for one man to walk around the altar at a time, and appropriately sized for any Druchii sacrificial victim to lay across it's stone surface with ease. The room possessed no wards, and could be nothing more than a now unused sacrificial chamber in which Eaun Tvar had in life, or rather in her unlife, carried out her dark sorceries hidden away from prying eyes. The main hall of the library seemed to be where all the trophies had been kept, though as they had already observed the Khainites had smashed every case and taken everything on display to their vaults when Eaun Tvars' true identity had been uncovered and House Tvar burned to the ground, the trophy room there also emptied of all it's arcane treasures.

Whatever was hidden here had to be hidden within the main chamber, and Elysian had already come to the conclusion that one of the walls had to be concealing some sort of passage or chamber. The library looked wider from the outside than it did from where he was standing, and by his calculations at least five or six feet of the building was seemingly missing on the inside from both sides of the hall. One side was possibly only a diversion, the hall being built central to the library as to help conceal a hidden chamber or chambers, but the thief had already worked out that at least one side of the building likely had a hidden chamber. The problem was working out how to access it, for even the authorities from the Temple of Khaine had missed it. He pondered on what they might have forgotten to try, where they may have forgotten to look, but was coming up with no answers. And yet, Caraoc reminded him, in the vision the Corsair had seen the Chaos Warriors retrieving the golden artefact from the library as it burned.

Caraoc and Elysian shared a momentary look of realisation, as they looked at all the paper and wood that the Temple had left untouched in their search in the form of the books and bookcases. Would the Northmen find what they were looking for only after the library was ablaze?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:05 am
by Dauricha
By the gods you stink woman! Phalx spat, as he carried no to search for his dagger. Karonath finally ended the beast and its deadly glare. Phalx then saw his dagger, straps and all showing from the back of its head. With further mutterings and curses over Vryala, he did not bother to help her up after her second flight, he went to retrieve his weapon. It was stuck in deep, the Shade needing to put a boot on its horrid visage, to yank it free. Whilst the other two were looking over the battle, Phalx used the momentary quiet to step over to the beasts now headless body. A few sharp tugs and plucks, gave him a few fist fulls of its feather. Fine trinkets no doubt that would fetch a high price.

His dagger was ruined for the moment, most of the straps had torn when it was ripped from his arm. It could easily be fixed, but not anytime soon. Would there be any leather workers once the city was freed of these invading horrors? For the moment he stored it in his pack alongside his newly acquired feathers.

When he returned to stand by the pair again, his eyes fell upon the Hag, and his mind was lost. What a beauty, what fierce strength radiated from her, and her luscious sensual form. Phalxs blood was up for very different reasons now, only heightened by the appearance of Virkarh's Witch Elves. He saw their course, and smelt the blood. He was following them before he even knew it, a cry of slaughter from his lips. Vryala and Karonath were besides him, both equally enthralled by the madness of the Hag.

To blood! Phalx wanted to follow, to join in the holy slaughter, to dance in the gore with the Witches! He howled again, moving to follow them, before the spear elves closed formation.

Phalx wants to follow the Witches!

OOC: Kin, I took some feathers from the Cockatrice. Is that ok?

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 7:59 am
by Nightcall

The silence was broken by his footfalls on the flagstones as he ran deep into the library. 'Hurry up! Get a bloody move on will you, they're coming!' he shouted breathlessly to his comrades. This place sent shivers down his spine; it might be a library, but it felt like a tomb. If Caraoc's vision was correct, he didn't fancy their chances if the three of them ended up trapped with the only way out blocked by an army of Northmen.

Without waiting for a reply, he turned on his heel and went back the way he came. Sneaking as quietly as he could, he leaned behind one of the door lintels, waiting for those humans to come closer. If they began to enter he'd welcome them with his glaive.

Trying to be stealthy (haha). Hopes he hasn't been seen, will try a decapitating sweep of his glaive if they come any closer.

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:12 pm
by Raneth
The only warning of the Cockatrice hovering directly overhead was the slight chill of the shadow it cast over her. Then it was all claws and violence. Hurled through the air once more, V let rip even as she descended, determined to take the wounded beast with her, before landing on her back with an almighty crash. Blinking furiously to steady her swimming vision, she saw Karonath standing victorious over the now headless monster, Bloodfeather dripping with gore. V cracked her neck; a job well done, and sure to have prevented the deaths of a few good soldiers.

The scene around the mercenaries was grim, however. The Druchii were fighting tooth and nail but they were simply being overwhelmed. Even the Executioners had been forced on the defensive; it was only a matter of time before the streets were overrun and the three would have to fall back to a more defensible position. But then, an awesome war cry drowned out the sounds of battle. The Hag and her handmaidens had arrived, bathed in blood, come to exact vengeance in Khaine's own name. The battle-lust that emanated from the Witches was damn near palpable, forcing a wicked grin of enthousiasm beneath V's face plate. Phalx made to join them as the front lines crashed into each other, but Vryala looked to K first and foremost, inviting her friend to war with a dramatic bow.

After you, my dear!

Right, to blood.

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:19 pm
by Calisson

In the library, the treasure hunt was stalling.
Caraoc and Elysian discussed briefly.
Caraoc observed that success was linked to the behavior.

The way of the Khainites, with haste, missed the golden artifact. They had smashed and emptied the glass cases. However, they had left the braziers and the library’s books and bookcases. After years left unattended, House Tvar braziers were still burning with arcane flames, and books were only dusting.

The way of the Arcane masters missed. No starlight, not even Chamon winds would indicate the direction of the large mass of gold. They had touched nothing.

The way of the Thief was more promising but was stalling. Elysian had come to the conclusion that one of the walls had to be concealing some sort of passage or chamber, six feet wide. The problem was working out how to access it. Elysian had checked the glass cases, Caraoc had knocked pillars and checked the altar's stone, but they had not touched the shelves.

In a short future, the way of the Marauders, stupid and uneducated, was bound to yield results.
Caraoc reminded his vision, with the Northmen setting the dark wood alight with their braziers as they fled with their trophy.
What will they do better than the Druchii?
Caraoc thought about a sacrifice on the altar, but no, the Marauders would not worship unknown Gods. And not with their own blood.

Caraoc silenced his arcane intelligence and let loose his plunderer’s instincts. The pillaging corsair took control of his mind. What would happen if he discovered a library emptied from its treasures?
Burn! Burn!
He felt the urge to burn the books. For that, the easiest would be to rip them from the bookcases and to spill the braziers on them. Indeed, books would burn much better on the floor than remaining compact on the shelves.
While pulling the books off, even an uneducated barbarian could trigger a secret mechanism and open the safe. And discover the place where House Tvar had hidden their most precious of the rarest artefacts.
Once done, the Marauders would set the library ablaze, immediately after. That would match with the end of Caraoc’s vision.

The pillaging corsair had spoken. The intelligent and refined Druchii took back control. They had to be quick.
If an extremely precious artifact was kept in this specific place by a powerful adept or Death Arcane, that must have had something to do with the altar. The hidden issue was likely to be very close to the altar, and very far from the street entrance.

Caraoc went on towards the end of the room and urged Elysian to follow.
"Let’s pull off all these books, starting from the altar. One could trigger a mechanism. Quick!"
Caraoc took the right side, leaving to Elysian the left side.

Pulling off the books from the shelves. No particular precaution. Starting from the altar’s end.

OOC: again, no song. :shock:

Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (9/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:42 pm
by Drainial
There had to be something here, Elysian was certain of it. The trouble was finding it, he was fairly sure there was a hidden compartment somewhere, the buildings proportions made it a near certainty. That didn't change the fact that that he couldn't find the trigger, key or even the lock. Caroc was having no better luck but hit upon a less sophisticated strategy. On the one hand Elysian didn't like to treat any repository of learning in such a violent fashion but time as Casathye pointed out time was off the essence and loath as he was to admit it he didn't have a better idea. Reluctantly but energetically Elysian joined Caroc in tearing the books from the shelves, making a mental not to return and scavenge what he could of them if both he and the building survived the fires consuming the city.

Starting from the other end of the bookcase on the same side Elysian will help pulling out the books and scrolls though he doesn't want to burn them unless absolutely necessary.

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:00 pm
by Kinslayer
OOC - Dauricha, no problem. I'm sure Varin won't mind you making them into a feather duster and giving the estate a good spruce up ;)

IC -

In the Tvar library, Caraoc and Elysian began to tear books from their dark wood cases, pulling armfuls of ancient texts off at a time and letting them crash gracelessly to the ground. As they began they looked to the doorway to see that Casaythe had gone outside, and they kept an ear out in case he called for aid. Caraoc wasn't sure what had led him to suggest they rip all the books from the walls, but the more he considered it the more he knew he was right. He didn't know how he knew, but he did. Sure enough, within just a few minutes and having already cleared three whole bookcases each, Caraoc pulled on something that did not budge. He threw down the other books he had grabbed from beside it, and cleared the other side of the shelf with a sweep of his arm. He turned and called Elysian over, the Shadowmancer picking his way around the black plinths through broken glass to reach him a moment later.

The book was bound in black leather and was totally unmarked, and Caraoc pulled on it again to confirm that it was no ordinary tome. Elysian leaned in beside him and studied the edges where the book met the back of the bookcase, finding the faint lines of a hollow just behind the book. Taking a deep breath, Elysian put his hand on the book above Caraocs' and pushed rather than pulled. With a hollow click, it slid back along well disguised runners and locked into place in the wall behind the shelf. The mechanical click was followed by a long moment of silence, before they heard a long drawn out groan behind the wall itself. Then, with a sudden hiss of escaped air that blew out a blanket of dust around the two mercenaries, the entire section of the bookshelf they were facing sunk backwards into the wall. It slid away into darkness before grinding to the side, and a wave of cold, stale air washed over the pair with a ghastly howl, before silence took over the library once again.

That silence was broken scant seconds later, Elysian and Caraoc hearing a loud thud from the altar room off to their left. The braziers in the library flared brightly for a moment, and then fizzled out to leave them in darkness.


Outside, Casaythe watched as the two Northmen approached and readied his glaive, waiting until they came within the perfect distance to strike. Where he was standing in the shadow outside the doorway, between the two statues of rearing horses, he seemed to be well concealed from his approaching foes. Just as they took the first of the stone steps, the Corsair heard his comrade calling to Elysian inside, and though the words were lost to him he could hear the elation in Caraocs' voice. Had they found what they were looking for? If so it seemed likely that these two Marauders would have been the ones destined to find it were they not here to intervene. Casaythe would not allow them the chance, intending to gut them on the steps as they took one step closer and he finally sprang from the darkness, just as one of the humans made the mistake of looking back over his shoulder in fear.

Casaythe came at them like a Wight straight out of the shadows, springing with Druchii agility to land on the steps just above them, retaining the advantage of height and lashing out with his glaive. The closest Marauder was looking back over his shoulder and only just turned back around in time to see the silver glint in front of him as the polearm tore across his exposed neck. His comrade ducked instinctively and raised his axe behind his brazier, as the first one dropped his flail and buckler and brought his hands up to his ruined throat. Casaythe gave him a hard kick in the chest to finish him off, sending him crashing backwards onto the stone ground at the bottom of the steps. The other Marauder did not intend to give him a chance to refocus his attention, and hurled himself up at the Corsair with a loud shout, axe sweeping up and buckler raised defensively.

Casaythe had the advantage of being slightly higher on the steps and better armoured, but the Marauder held the edge when it came to sheer strength and brutality, he would not tire easily and would not relent until he was dead.


The battle in the east had been postponing an inevitable defeat until now, the numberless horde of Beastmen and the hundreds of Orcs they had brought with them simply too numerous a foe for the City Guard to hold off. Even the arrival of the Executioners, who butchered and slew with a martial grace that in itself would see fewer foes break and flee, had done nothing to turn the tide. The Drach too had only halted the bombardment of the Orc warmachines from beyond the walls and then starting slaying Beastmen in what was inevitably going to be a failed attempt, too little too late. However, the sudden and unexpected arrival of the Hag and her Maibds had changed all that in an instant. Suddenly they were not fighting a hopeless fight, and facing an undefeatable foe. Every Druchii from the most battered surviving City Guard to the lowliest of mercenary skirmishers felt their blood boiling with new strength and determination.

Phalx howled with joy as he hurled himself after the Witches, and Vryala paused only a moment to honourably let Karonath step in front and initiate their charge. The three mercenaries ran together into the melee behind the Witches, who had already carved a bloody path into the first dozen ranks of the Beastmen. They had hit the herd right in the middle of the front rank, and upon seeing such wanton destruction those further towards the flanks seemed to be losing heart and faltering in their press and advance. It gave the City Guard the opening they needed to push back against the tide of fur and horns, and they got the feeling from the grunts and braying of the Beastmen that they realised for the first time now they were surrounded and great numbers of them were going to die. Vryala, Karonath and Phalx were only too happy to ensure that some of them fell by their own blades, not about to leave what could be Vikarhs' hour of reckoning to any other.

Caught in the midst of so many foes, the trio slew those Beastmen that stumbled into the path the Witch Elves had created in their frenzied charge, watching as those left with deep wounds on the ground suffered painful deaths from the poison of their blades. The trio were lost in a whirlwind of brown fur and hacking blades, each watching each others backs as they let their bodies take over, working with the great thrill of bloodshed as their only guide. Every now and then they caught a momentary glimpse of one of the banners of Khaine, and saw that his leering face seemed to visibly pulse with murderous power as more and more Beastmen were slain. The Witches shrieked and laughed as they butchered and died, some of them so frenzied that they drove a bloody path into the thick masses of Beasts alone, shearing off limbs and killing dozens before being surrounded and brought down.

K, V and Phalx were just watching one such fanatic die when a large Beastman stepped into the small clearing she had left behind in her wake. It was taller and broader than any other they had yet seen, and carried a pair of serrated broadswords, one in each hand. It looked at them with cold red eyes from behind an iron studded mask of human hide, the same material making up the armour that covered it's chest and arms. It's long horns and distinct equipment seemed to mark it out as some sort of pack leader, and it turned it's cruel gaze upon the three mercenaries with a loud, guttural challenge on it's lips. In it's eyes they saw only the need to burn, raze, kill and destroy any and all civilisation, and knew that such a creature could only be born of Chaos.

Without any further warning, the Beastmen Lord was charging at the three elves, the rest of his kind leaving him a wide enough berth to do so on his own. A small clearing formed around the challenge, three against one.

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:03 am
by Layne
K watched mesmerised as the Witch Elves seemed to slink silently past in their hundreds, swords waving and armoured boobs shining. It had been some time now since K had last laid eyes on the Hag, or even one of her Witches. She had nearly forgotten it, but it was of course the Hag of Vikarh who had given K her introduction to the ways of Khaine. And of course, K had sort of forgotten most of what she had learned form the Hag, and so no longer felt inclined to gat about in nothing but a steel bikini.

In the matter of practical fighting she had forgotten anyhow. She could still slice people up with two swords at once but it was no longer what she did best. She was still lithe and flexible under her armour but could no longer do the jumps and tumbles she used to practice in the Temple. Not even without armour. But some things she did remember, and it was on account of those things that she could not help but to stand aside and let the Hag and her army pass, and to stand still like a stone set up there as a thing for armies to march past - perhaps dress their lines against - and stare in wonder on their march, and could not help but follow with quickening feet in their wake.

Not that K was particularly allured by the sight of so many near naked female bodies. She had given up on those sorts of feelings some time ago, or perhaps her ability to feel such things had been stolen from her. She had herself forgotten how it was. The draw was the promise of blood and glory, of trembling enemies, falling as they ran from her, of courageous enemies standing and dying just like their weaker kin, and of the praise and blessing of Khaine that went with all such deeds.

She had not felt those things for some time, being just an ordinary mercenary, and spending a great deal of time either doing no more than showing petty enemies her sword, or occasionally tasking them with the flat edge of it. That was enough to put fear of Varin Blackthorn in most eyes, and it paid well. But it was something different, much more, to see the fear of Khaine in anothers' eyes, even as you felt his spirit moving your own limbs...

K followed the Brides.


A great beast broke out from the wake of the Brides, all by himself, determined to carve out a one more small packet of glory before he went to his filthy gods. He had decided, K saw, that she and her kin were to be his last promise. And she had decided to take up his challenge and break his last promise, and give him an even worse hell than the one he had earned.

The giant beast bellowed its' rage, and came on to meet his god. But you're going to Khaine. she thought. and he won't think well of you at all. So she shouted her promise and met the beast charge with her own.

Khaela Farmiekh Mensha Furdiekh Khaine!

So long it had been...

Also, charge!

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:32 am
by Nightcall

"Damnation, these bastards won't give up!" he thought, as the second marauder raced up towards him. He had an axe and his round shield was held to protect most of his torso. The ugly brute was yelling, and Casaythe knew he had to shut him up fast, before the rest of his pals were alerted to the fracas.

From the sound of things, the two mages had found something. He couldn't fail his guard duty, it would only give these apes an advantage. Casaythe held his glaive across his body to give the human the impression that he was going to swipe downwards at his shoulder. He waited until the brute came closer, his axe coming down in attack. At the last minute, Casaythe took a large step backwards, levelling his glaive and extending it out in a straight thrust. If the humans were as predictable as he imagined, the idiot would run straight onto his glaive, and get a blade through the face as a welcome.

Hoping to stab the second marauder through the face with his glaive. If that fails, he will step into the library and fight.

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:07 pm
by Raneth
The rush was exhilarating; Vryala followed in K's wake shield first and blade flashing, plowing through and finishing off ample numbers of wounded Ghor. Even the scattered City Guard rediscovered their resolve at the arrival of the Maibds, joining in the wanton slaughter. The tide of battle had been turned, V could feel it in her bones, and she silently thanked Khaine for this grand opportunity - none would soon forget this day.

A leader of some sorts stepped forward, braying a challenge to the three. Through the madness in its eyes Vryala could make out a desperate sense of urgency. The beast would attempt to retake the initiative, set an example, rally its troops. Karonath responded first, already leaping at the foe, and V stayed hot on her heels. She had just tussled with a Cockatrice with decent results, and relished the chance to test her strength against this mutant champion.

If K doesn't finish the beasty outright, V will follow up with a shield bash/tackle, reckoning it isn't more used to fighting off its back then the Cockatrice was. If presented the chance she'll try to stuff its maw with a vial of sleeping poison - no sense in fighting fair!

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:25 pm
by Calisson

Good guess! thought Caraoc.
The library included a faked book, which did open a secret room.
The characteristic oppressive smell indicated that this passage had not been taken for many years.
A loud noise was heard from the altar room: something else was triggered by the secret lock.
There was another unexpected consequence: all braziers fizzled out. The library was now in total dark.
Caraoc stared towards Elysian’s direction, but of course nothing was to be seen.
The two adventurers held their breath, listening to the darkness. What if another trick would be triggered by the mechanism?

What was heard was the sound of a combat.
Caraoc looked towards the entrance. It was now the only source of light, rather dim, made by something that could be a small brazier fallen just at the gate. Was there a body nearby? Possibly.
What was going on beyond could not be seen, but the shout of a human could be heard. It sounded more like a challenge than like a victory.

"I’ll get the light back" said Caraoc to Elysian.
His training as a pilot allowed him to recall easily the disposition of the broken shelves. He could walk rather quickly towards the entrance. However, he could not do it silently, as broken glass littered everywhere.
Caraoc made his staff ready. If he could stab Casaythe’s foe in the back, he would not miss that chance.
If his irruption would distract the foe, that should give Casaythe the opportunity to strike.
If fought back, Caraoc would just escape in the dark room that he was now much more familiar with than the opposition.

Getting to the combat. Will stab the Norseman in the back.
Once the barbarian killed, will bring back the brazier to Elysian and see what’s going on.

Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (9/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:42 pm
by Drainial

The corsair mage had good instincts, he could have been a decent thief. Elysian wondered if he would have made a sailor and astromancer if their positions had been reversed. They had not been however, a shadowmancer he was and he relished those skills now. With the extinction of the mystical witchlights he found himself staring into a blank void. If it was a defence it was a crude one but it may well have been concealing worse terrors. Clearly the temple hadn't found this room, if there were any defences left this was where they would be.

"I’ll get the light back" Caroc said, heading towards the nearest source of light. Elysian did not try to stop him but instead half under his breath he murmured
"I like the darkness, brother to shadow. It will not hide its secrets from me."

So saying he incanted a short spell to bless his eyes with the gift of night sight and allow him to see into the gloom. Waiting for the spell to settle over his eyes Elysian raised his handbow in his left hand, holding his staff ready to defend with his right and stepped in to explore the place, wary of traps both magical and mundane.

Casting a spell on himself to let him see in the dark then having a look around while being careful to watch out for enemies or traps.

Posted: Thu Oct 04, 2012 10:30 pm
by Kinslayer

Karonath, Vryala and Phalx paused momentarily amidst the slaughter that was to become known as the Great Battle for Vikarh. Any Beastman that had survived the passing of the Witches had fallen instead upon their blades, the three mercenaries following the direct path of the Hag, where the slaying had been the bloodiest and most efficient. Only a few limbless or already gutted survivors limped back to their feet only to be finished by the trio, but the Beasts were big and strong even in death. All three of them were breathing heavily and covered in flecks of gore by the time they slowed to a halt, seeing the Beastmen left around the opening the Hags had created holding back the urge to charge in, and noticing the much larger Beast Lord for the first time. It's guttural challenge was made as it began it's charge, thundering towards the three Druchii as if fuelled by the same bloodthirsty rage as the Maibds.

Karonath would meet the charge of the Beastman champion head on, and shouted the name of the God of Murder as she raised her Draich and met the charging creature of Chaos head on. Vryala took that as the command to charge, and followed her Khainite companion forwards with her shield up and her sword held level at her side. Phalx reacted slower than the girls, still pointing his crossbow into the thick wall of Beastmen at their side and firing into enemies that were packed so thick every shot had to hit. He turned back just in time to see Karonath and the Beast Lord collide. The magical Draich came down, and one of the notched broadswords came up to meet it. Karonath had the power of the downward strike, but the Beast Lord was much stronger than she had anticipated. It almost casually swept her first attack aside, and as Vryala ploughed into it a moment later with her shield thrust forth it planted it's feet and lowered it's shoulder and horns.

Vryala smashed into the Beast Lord, and came to an abrupt halt in front of it, her shield smashing into it's shoulder as she leaned her head to avoid it's horns. The muscular Beastman did not fall back as she had anticipated, it's feet grinding back a few inches on the rubble ground before she had completely lost her momentum. She saw that Karonath had skidded under the Beast Lords' block and was now a step behind the brutal creature, and she also saw that one of it's heavy swords was cutting through the air towards her already. Driven to a stop before the Beast Lord, it was all V could do to drop to one knee and pull her shield from against the Beasts' shoulder to over her head. A loud metallic clang ensued and she felt the muscles in her arms being sorely tested. All of the Beastmen more than matched the Druchii in strength, but this champion of theirs was clearly in such a position because of his size, strength and even speed.

Both Karonath and Vryala had underestimated the Beast Lord in their initial attacks, Vryala now fumbling at a pouch for a sleeping vial. Phalx was just about to join the fight, approaching behind Vryala.


On the steps outside the Tvar library, Casaythe took a step back as the Marauder continued to hurl himself up at him despite the death of his kinsman. The wild human was brandishing his axe fiercely in the air and now began to sweep it from side to side as he climbed the steps, trying to force Casaythe to block so that he could force him back without being attacked. Despite his strength and ferocity however, the Marauders' moves were predictable. Step, swing, step, swing, he repeated the same motion with his axe as he advanced, all the while clutching the brazier behind the buckler on his offhand. The Corsair had retreated two steps already and was almost at the top where the horses guarded the entrance, and knew that he was running out of space, but was quick witted enough to put what he had left to good use.

He hopped back again, two steps this time, and raised his glaive defensively. The Marauder growled and picked up his pace, his axe going way back for a more powerful swing. Quicker than the human could react, Casaythe levelled his glaive in front of the charging Marauder, and watched as the maniac impaled himself. The Northman let out a loud cry of agony as the tip of the glaive bit into his chest, Casaythe forcing it deeper with a hard shove that drew the still living Marauder to his knees upon the step. The man swung his axe fruitlessly through the air before him, but the length of Casaythes' weapon kept his axe at bay. The Corsair couldn't be sure, but the axe seemed to edge closer with every swing, as if the Marauder was pushing himself further and further onto the blade to try and take the Druchii down with him. Forced to clutch the haft of the glaive with both hands to keep the Marauder down, his strength alarming even when he was on his knees on the end of a blade, Casaythe could do little more than watch the axe draw closer with each swing.

Suddenly the Marauder was dead, his head snapped back as something rapid hit him in the face. The bolt was followed a moment later by a second, this one straight in the throat. Casaythe looked over his shoulder just to see his comrade Caraoc arriving at his side. The Astromancer had shot the Marauder dead with his handbow as Casaythe pinned him in place with his glaive, the fight over as quickly as it had begun thanks to the Corsair surprising the two humans and having the advantage of height, reach and speed. Now the second Marauder was as dead as the first, and Caraoc rushed forwards to snatch the brazier from his dying grip as he rolled back down the steps. The two Corsairs paused a moment to listen out across the square, but couldn't hear anybody else approaching from the alleyway. Caraoc knew however that in his vision he had seen the armoured Warriors of Chaos retrieving the artefact, and if the Marauders had reached the library they couldn't be far behind.

Casaythe had bought them some more time at most, but they still had to hurry. The Warriors of Chaos finding the library was inevitable, and they knew that foe would not be so easily overcome.


Inside, Elysian had been left in total darkness as he heard Caraoc crunch his way across the carpet of shattered glass towards the entrance, quickly casting a cantrip that came almost naturally to him to help him overcome the shadows. The inside of the library came back into view, everything slightly hazy and grey but revealed to the Shadowmancer with more clarity than any other elf could see. With his sight returned, Elysian turned his attention back on the open doorway now in front of him where a bookcase had been only a few moments before. It led into a narrow passageway, which made an almost immediate turn to the left, towards the back of the library. The Mage took a quick glance in the direction of the altar room, having heard a second dull thud from that direction just before the door in the wall had revealed itself. He couldn't see anything there, and his instinct as a thief was luring him into ignoring the sound and investigating the new passageway.

Was it really his thief instinct? The more he thought about it the more he felt the subtle pull of magic luring him closer. He realised it had started as soon as the doorway had been opened, as though a ward so subtle he had not detected it had just been lifted, and he could sense the magical potential held within this newly discovered vault. No, he realised that was wrong as he passed through the wall into the dark passage. He physically felt himself pass through a ward, not subtle but so strong that it had evaded his prying outside. The library was more than just a building of stone and iron, there was one of the most powerful wards Elysian had ever felt built into the very structure of the walls. And it wasn't there to keep thieves and Mages like him out, it was reversed to that purpose, facing inwards rather than outwards. The ward had been set into the stone of the library as a means to keep something in.

As Elysian passed through the ward he sensed it's only weakness, an image flashing across his vision momentarily of the Executioners of the Temple of Khaine moving silently through the library, their Draichs' rising and falling to smash every glass case atop every black plinth. In his momentary vision, he saw the priceless amulets, trinkets, scrolls and weapons that had once been held here by House Tvar. He watched an Executioner stood in the doorway as the others went about retrieving the artefacts, who turned and carved a rune of Khaine onto the inside of the door before he swung it open again and the Executioners began to leave. Elysian blinked, the image was gone and he was turning left, following the dark passage into the small vault it led to. He knew then that the rune that had recently been carved had caused a chink in the wards defences, and whatever was contained in here and been able to get it's power out. Had it caused Caraocs' vision? Had it wanted to be found?

Elysian gasped as he stepped into the vault, his spell falling away as he needed no help seeing the prize he had come to retrieve. Stood upright on another black stone plinth, illuminating the vault with it's dazzling glow, was a square tablet of solid gold, wrought with ancient runes and, seen with his second sight, simmering with magical potential.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 11:02 am
by Calisson

Caraoc arrived at the library's entrance.
A swashbuckler fight was ending on the steps.
Casaythe got the upper hand. Compliments, matey.
However, the Marauder refused to die! He kept waving his axe at Casaythe. What a bad loser! Cheater!
Filled in with disgust, Caraoc voted a quick dishonorable discharge. Immediate sentence. The handbow delivered his brother in arm.
"Good job, Cap'n. May I borrow the light?"
Caraoc recovered the brazier before it could spread over and extinguish itself or - worse - ignite anything.


Outside, no noise was heard. Caraoc suggested to Casaythe:
"This bastard could serve as an obstacle in the entrance.
Unless you wanted him placed on the altar?"

He added:
"I'll go back inside. We've found something"


With the brazier's light, Caraoc could see the library quite well.
Elysian was nowhere to be seen. Probably in the secret passage.
There was no noise except the Druchii's steps on the broken glass.
Caraoc decided to give a quick glance at the altar room, and check what had caused the dull thud they had heared.
As he passed next to the secret entrance, he noticed what could have been a dim light coming from his right, along with a faint breeze of magic winds. Elysian was probably checking for traps and the likes.

Caraoc would join him in a second. But first, the altar.

Quick-checking the altar. Bound for the secret passage.

OOC: Kinslayer, what a plot! :D
<music track: Raiders of the Lost Artefact>

Caraoc the scald pilot - WS3 S4 T2 D5 I5 - A saga or it didn't happen!
Equipment: staff, repeater handbow (8 clips + 18/20), Sea Dragon Cloak,
Inventory: "Beastbane" Horn - Mount: - Gold: 100
Skills: Power of Azyr (2), Evasion
Class: Mage (Astromancer)
(I've just realized I counted the RHB clips the wrong way - corrected by now)

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:20 pm
by Nightcall

The marauder had continued his charge, Casaythe needing to readjust slightly... "Wait for it.... wait for it..." Thump! The fool had indeed run onto his glaive. Casaythe frowned. He kept running. He wasn't supposed to do that... The axe he was wielding was chopping towards him, closer and closer. The corsair had no desire to let go of his glaive, and was thinking of his next action when two bolts thunked through the human's skull. Caraoc had come to find him.

'Good timing there, matey!' Casaythe grinned, lowering his glaive and letting the Northman slide off, aiding the corpses' removal with a shove of his boot. 'Help yourself.' he replied as Caraoc took up the human's brazier. At Caraoc's suggestion of leaving the human as a barricade, the white haired Druchii shook his head. 'Nah, we should hide him. And his friend. Don't want any of their lot seeing that there's trouble over here. It'd only bring more of 'em snooping around.'

Caraoc went on to summarise their discovery. 'You found something? Treasure?' Casaythe was concerned that there was more than booty lurking within, and as they crunched across the shattered glass he noted that the lighting had been put out. The brazier sent long flickering shadows as they walked through to the altar, and Casaythe could not help but shudder as he followed his friend to the altar room.

Casaythe wants to drag the corpses into the library and hide them out of view in the gloom. Following Caraoc to the altar room.