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post #11 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-10-14, 01:05 AM
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Another engaging, and exciting, post. I certainly wasn't expecting Lief to die so quickly - It's a pity, he seemed interesting. Hopefully this new guy is better.

Loving it, so far, mate. Get to work on the next part, now. ;)

Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.

"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"

'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Yes, lord.'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
'No, lord.'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'
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post #12 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-10-14, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Loving it, so far, mate. Get to work on the next part, now. ;)
Ask and I will oblige ;).

NOTE: Chapter Two has been overhauled, completely redone! Begin rereading Chapter Two here! :D

Chapter Two: The Treacherous War

The winds bare the stench of blood, ashes, and decay in the fields. Village after village is ransacked and abandoned, robbing us of bloodlust. The fishermen ships lay anchored to the docks, the temples and shrines of Sigmar are covered with dust, dead leaves, and snow. The roads are thick with grass and the haunting moans of those whom had fallen so long ago that their corpses were buried beneath the earth. The Sorcerers claim that they hear the cries, the struggles borne from the chaos of battle in the distance. Yet every hill we crest, every forest we forge through, there is nothing. There is nothing, until we arrive further west, nearer the lands of Brettonia. The Northmen had arrived to plunder and raze, but here, the world was already burning…

The Imperial Highways stretched onward as a never ending serpent of cobblestone. Bjorn watched the path that wound through the smoldering village of Brubach, from amongst a maze of charred timber that rose up around the venturing north men in a series of tattered structures. His war horse kicked through layers of loose hay and animal carcasses scattered about the roadside. But even he, a heathen from the cold lands of the inhospitable North, did not disturb the Empire’s dead that dwelled amongst them.

The vast majority were simple villagers, peasant men clothed in wool tunics and thick leather breeches were pinned against half-collapsed huts with arrows. Others laid still in overturned wagons, but most of the fallen had been killed fighting a desperate fight on the Highway. The women and children likely died inside their wooden huts and shacks. Beautiful horses not bred for war had been ran through with spears and spikes, their brave but unskilled riders crushed beneath them.

The Northmen of Floki Ironside’s raiding parties were scattered about the village, overturning every piece of rabble in search of plunder and food. The Mauraders moved swiftly through the winding alleys and roads, hopping from building to building, with only a few spare pieces of silver and gold to show for their efforts. The Knights of the tribes remained on the highway, marching to the dark tune of war drums, in the direction heading west across Nordland. The banners of the eight pointed star wavered in the chill breeze, colder than autumn. Winter was coming.

Bjorn did not have to look anyone through the slits of their helmets to realize the increasing desperation and disappointment in their eyes. Ever since piratical elves had razed their fleet, the Northmen began a trek further west in hopes of regaining their riches. The region called Nordland was still filled with fresh plunder, but the commanders of the raid were suddenly fearing an imminent reprisal from the Empire. The Warriors from the North were severely depleted, disheartened that they would not return home, and without a steady source of food now that they were on the move through an area that had been previously ransacked.

Bjorn silently cursed to himself as he marched at the fore of the Alle’, at the fore of the Raiding force. He cast his golden blonde hair around with assessing glances, taking in the sight of Brubach’s outskirts and the fresh grasslands beyond. The only evidence that they were heading in the right direction a simple wooden post emblazoned with the names of the next towns. It was meaningless to anyone unfamiliar with the lands of Nordland. It was even more useless because the next settlements were likely to have already been burned down, their cattle taken, and their citizens butchered.

There was a resounding blast of a war horn and the marching column of Chaos Knights grinded to a halt at the edge of the destroyed settlement. There was shouting and confused warnings, but there was no command to fall into a fighting formation. Bjorn kept an eye on the Highway, half covered by dense batches of woodland trees. The sound of hooves against stone resounded in the distance and a shadow atop a black horse darted into the open. He came riding hard toward the Northmen, whom were busy raising a hundred bows toward the rider.

Bjorn peeled his eyes and instantly recognized him as a scout, certainly deployed by Floki Ironside. He raised his hand in the air, the sign of a friendly, and reared up on his horse before Bjorn and the men of the Alle’ tribe. The scout hid his face behind a hood and his tattoos of faith, beneath a flowing ebony cloak.

The scout babbled hurriedly. “Where is Ironside? I must talk to him immediately!”

“Hold!” Bjorn stayed the scout from riding past with a raised hand, his palm held open. “I’ll send someone to relay your message. What have you seen? Empire forces? How many?”

“I have not seen any forces of this world!” The scout bristled, annoyed by the questions. “I have seen the armies of the dead, buried in a field not too far from here! There was a battle there and very recently! I have spent the better part of three hours riding across it. It should be safe to approach.”

“A battlefield?” Loki spat from behind Bjorn. “Who was fighting?”

“Better you see for yourself. It is about an hour’s march from this village!”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

Last edited by Myen'Tal; 01-07-15 at 01:21 AM.
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post #13 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-14-14, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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The intelligence under the Northmen’s disposal failed to include the sightings of a Castle in the distance, built upon a high, lonely mountain. Bjorn could see that it was clearly secluded and that whoever dwelled in it had no doubt fought on the battlefield he had just crossed into. For miles, the Earth was choked with blood, flesh, and steel. Tattered banners of the Empire billowed solemnly over the fallen ranks that had come from all over Sigmar’s realm. There were standards from another Kingdom as well, but Bjorn could not recognize them. Yet the warriors that had fought under those unknown banners were clasped in archaic armors, not the light polished cuirasses and puffy uniforms that the mortals of Sigmar wielded.

Bjorn kicked his steed into a light trot across the field, maneuvering through a field of shattered spears and corpses with the deftness that belied his weight. The Highway had been purposefully walled in by overrun supply trains and hastily erected barricades. The Northmen circumvented the wall of wood and blood by crossing through the battlefield. Across the battle’s aftermath, the Knights of Chaos strode across the field in long, thin lines. The on ground forces moved in behind them, deployed in a battle formation.

An hour passed. The fields outside of Brubach were silent as the grave and continued until they reached a dense woodland that sprang up down a long slope further in the distance. Bjorn watched the faces of the dead that looked skyward, their expressions twisted grimaces or peaceful expressions that they had held in their last moments. There could be a survivor amongst them that could perhaps tell him about the lonely Castle built atop a mountain.

Spear shafts splintered under his mount’s hooves. Random men clove down the high banners and stuffed them into their cloaks. The few wounded that had been found still alive were quickly ended. Annoyingly, they were ended without interrogation. The wolves howled in the distance, smelling the blood in the air. The carrion birds swarmed above in uncountable numbers and flew up suddenly wherever the Northmen neared.

Kirkegard, the Alle’s new horn caller, rode up beside Bjorn with his helm cradled in his arms. In many regards, Kirkegard bore a lot of resemblance to Bjorn, golden blonde hair and short, neatly trimmed beard, and a ruggedly handsome face. Bjorn could tell that he was a younger man, his eyes neither hardened and his skin scarred enough. He seemed like a good enough fellow to have at your side during battle. Other warriors had known him as a loyal sort.

“There’s been a battle…” Kirkegard sighed in quiet wonderment. “Yet there is a Castle up there that is neither smoking or appear to be under siege. If someone is still living there, they most certainly are alive.”

“Correct.” Bjorn grinned wickedly. “No doubt it is the stronghold of some famous Nordland Prince with a reputable history of service and valor.”

Kirkegard huffed, his eyes fixated in a look of disbelief. “You would hope to fight such a figure? That would no doubt have an army behind him?”

Loki cackled from Bjorn’s left. “You do not know much about good Bjorn, do you, Kirkegard? He appreciates a good challenge over any easy fight! So does everyone, I’ll bet! Woe to the first patrol we come across in our travels. Surely, they have always been fated for a fate far worse than death.”

Kirkegard nodded once. “The Gods take their sacrifices from our victories. But with our forces at these numbers? Ottokar could simply throw a bunch of wild Griffons at us and see us scattered.”

Bjorn hawked and chuckled. “We’re still three thousand in number. It’ll take more than a horde of angry birds to stop us…”

The war horns sounded across the fields, but Bjorn immediately tensed because they were unfamiliar and trumpeting. The Knights of Chaos immediately drew their weapons, blades and axes that had been too long in their scabbards. The infantry behind them hoisted banners and marched to a halt. He stared into the westward forest where an army began to emerge. Banners emblazoned with a giant lily of burnished gold on a striped silver and ebony background were hoisted at the head of infantry lines nearly two thousand strong. Across the entire front of the Empire army was rank upon rank of pikes. Wings of light cavalry, made fearsome by the Knightly Orders bolstered their flanks. Bjorn knew that there was artillery hidden in the forest.

The reverent silence of the battlefield was drowned under the quaking march a thousands of boots crushing into the earth. The Northman, galvanized by the sight of an enemy, burst into a resounding cheer and war cry. There were shouted commands and the Chaos Knights peeled away from the center and headed toward the flanks. Bjorn was riding hard across the field and noted a number of white flags billowing from the ranks of the Empire’s forces along with their other standards.

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

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post #14 of 44 (permalink) Old 09-17-14, 02:38 AM
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I enjoyed the new updates - Interesting take on the Dark Elves. Kelithor comes across a bit moustache-twirly, at times, but otherwise it's very good.

Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.

"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"

'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Yes, lord.'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
'No, lord.'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'
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post #15 of 44 (permalink) Old 12-30-14, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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NOTE: I have changed Chapter Two with a complete overhaul. All of Kelithor's scenes and other scenes relating to his story line have been taken out. Please, go back to the top of page two and read the beginning of the chapter, it's not too much, I don't think, and it will catch you up. Gods' Hall is now following a new plot line :D.

***

The drawbridge that made the moat of Castle Saarland crossable collapsed with a creeping hesitancy as if reluctant to allow several dozen leaders of the Warriors of Chaos onto its wooden surface. Yet the bridge came down. The archers and musket men upon the fortress’ formidable battlements raised their weapons as the generals of Prince Tibalt Von Saarland rode hard up the mountain trail and across the drawbridge. Bjorn admired the monument created by towers built upon towers, surrounded by battlements and enough fortifications to turn an army back. Silver and ebony standards emblazoned with the burnished lily wavered on the castle walls. Alas, an army of the Empire that could be worthy of fighting.

Bjorn pulled on the reigns of his war horse as he crossed through the portcullises and into a vast courtyard that teemed with rank upon rank of Empire troops arrayed in their respective units. The men of Sigmar kept their swords at their hilts, except a regiment of men whom stood nearest the entrance into the castle proper. Their uniforms were more rich and pompous than the usual state troop regiment, vibrant silver and ebony patterns marked their clothes beneath their breastplates. They carried expensive gear, from their helms to the glistening great swords that were held pointed to the floor.

Lord Tibalt’s troops twisted and turned, stepped back and forward again with timed precision as they made a path for the Northmen to approach the Castle. A simple servant rushed and took Bjorn’s mount by the reigns and allowed him to leap off. His massive greaves thundered against the granite pavement of the courtyard. He heard several hawking sounds as he tore his helmet away with an unclenched fist. Then the other leaders of the Northmen raid were by his side.

Amongst the champions of the men beyond the wastes were several prominent figures: Dag Frost—Eye, Ymir the Implacable, and Floki Ironside himself. While Dag Frost—Eye was merely a humble sorcerer, robed in ornamental and priestly attire, the latter individuals were truly giants amongst men. Armored in thickened steel from head to toe, their gait lent them the appearance of demi-gods, capable of slaying a hundred men on their own before becoming overwhelmed. Their aura of intimidation was only made more lucid by the vile blessings of the Gods. Demonic weapons quietly wheezed and screamed in their scabbards, their armor echoed with the souls of the dead, and their eyes held the looks of men not of this world.

Floki’s shadow cast a permanent darkness over Bjorn as he strode to stand beside him. Through the grill in his rounded helm decorated with Ram’s horns, his voice dripped with a demonic strain both brutal and terrifying. He chose not to look at Bjorn as he spoke.

Floki tore away his helm and revealed a grizzled, scarred, and weather beaten face plastered in intricate black war paint. Veins within his eyes appeared bloated and made his eyes slightly red. Short and uncombed raven hair clung in clusters across the pallid skin of his face. “The champion of the Alle’? It has been too long to excuse us not speaking to one another. I have trusted your tribe with many privileges, asked much of them… and they have always prevailed. Yet as I search around for the slave driver that I deemed your commander, I can only find you amongst us? Where is that fool they call Lief?”

Bjorn nodded curtly, careful not to share stares with his temperamental commander. “Fallen in battle against the Dark Elves. Like a true warrior should.”

“An untimely death,” Floki grinned savagely. “May the Gods skin his hide in the afterlife. I suppose we must become more familiar with one another, you and I. For I must know my commanders if they are to lead in this army. Come, there is talk to be had. Shameful, despicable discussion, with outsiders! Weaklings of the faith of Sigmar! How low we have been brought down!”

A trio of trumpet blasts thundered from the higher bastions of the castle and the gateway into the main hall buckled backwards with a peel of thunder. Several of the Northmen quietly laughed as several mere mortals, dressed in flamboyant clothes, emerged into the courtyard. At the head of them was an older gentlemen, clasped in a silver breastplate and clothed in ebony and silver silk clothes. Thick arm bands made his shirt around the shoulders puff outward. Pulled over his breeches was a ebony tabard emblazoned with a burnished lily. His face was ruggedly handsome and clean shaven, his skin a roasted chestnut color and features angular and sharp. He was surprisingly tall too and built like a bear, the rest of his attendants were dwarfed by his presence.

A herald waved his hand about dramatically, calling to the assembled Northmen.“May I present Lord Tibalt Von Saarland!”

Tibalt wasted no time on ceremony, he gracefully moved down the steps and into the courtyard. He wore a weak smirk, tense but not timid. There was no fear in him, Bjorn could not blame him with so many troops at his disposal. He flaunted around the gathered Knights of Chaos, appraising them with a furious eye. He grunted several times, once in disapproval and twice in satisfaction. “Greetings, those from the northern wastes! Forgive my curiosity, you barbarians are so transformed by remote life in those wastelands. You will also forgive me if I do not shake hands…”

Ymir growled from beneath his helmet, a gesture that had mortal men scurrying to draw their blades. Tibalt stayed their weapons with one raised hand. “We have come because your forces raised white flags as they revealed themselves. You have strategic advantage, why stay your men from crushing your rivals – no, your nemesis?”

Tibalt placed a hand on the hilt of his blade and nodded once in acknowledgement to the giant in his midst. “Straight to business, eh? Yes, it is true that I sought to discuss terms with you when I was first notified of your arrival in the area. As you no doubt witnessed in the fields outside of Brubach, I am currently fighting a war against another enemy. When fighting such a war so close to my stronghold, I can ill afford to waste good soldiers trying to expel your army as well.”

Floki wheezed in hysterical laughter and made several men flinch with a shrug of his shoulders. “You hear that, boys? The noble lord admits that he cannot repel us, so he asks us away instead. Did you think we would simply leave in peace because you offered the hand of understanding over the axe like a weakling!?”

“You are only a handful of men, perhaps imbued with unholy powers, but normal in the scheme of things. As you can see, I have a few hundred more men in this castle than you do. I already know of you and your exploits through Nordland, commander Floki. I know that you were repulsed at Erenburg and won a victory at Pale Pass. I also know that you are stranded here, your ships burned by pirates. I wonder what will become of your heathen army, demoralized and pitiful as they are, if they were to fight on without their more famous commanders?”

Floki rolled his eyes, but Bjorn could tell that he considered his next words carefully. “So what shall the good lord request in exchange for the safety of my army? What makes him think he needs to discuss anything at all, if he is so confident in victory?”

“Simple.” Tibalt quipped. “Shall we talk inside my hall? Away from all of these prying eyes?”

Floki grunted in approval. “Lead on.”

***
Tibalt threw back another cup of wine, the war table reverberated as he slammed the chalice back onto the heavy oak. “Fight for me, for my country, and alongside my people against the villains that advance upon my land.”

Bjorn huffed in disbelief, then scoffed. “As mercenaries? Are you mad? We’ve been adventuring and pillaging your people for months now! Why would you trust ‘barbarians’ like us?”

Tibalt smiled knowingly. “Northmen live for plunder and riches, right? I understand why most of Nordland would have grievance with you, but it is worth noting that your armies have never caused trouble in my lands. My enemies, a league of Barons from Brettonnia, have been raiding my and a number of other Lords’ lands for the better part of a year now. It is an invasion! I always knew this day would come, when a border stronghold would fall and allow those cheese—eating scum to march further into the Empire.
“Many settlements and more powerful lands have fallen to their depredations and now my lands are next. What you saw today in those fields is but a taste of the blood those barons and I have shed from each other. So far I have manage to maintain an advantage by winning key struggles throughout the region. Unfortunately, your abrupt presence has robbed me of any chance to capitalize upon my fortunes. A siege is now likely. A siege concerning this fortress, Saarland, if you weren’t aware.”

Ymir chuckled, swallowed the last dregs of his ale, and belched loudly. “How much are you willing to pay?”

Dag interjected. “What is the enemy’s strength?”

Bjorn spoke up. “Who are these Brettonians? Another faction within the Empire?”

Tibalt addressed each question in turn. “Firstly, I shall pay you with an entire fleet of ships in one of the towns that have yet to be ransacked. And a third of them will be laden with enough silver and gold that they can carry. Secondly, the League of Barons have a superior numerical advantage over us, but only by a slim margin. If your armies decide to fight alongside ours, I am confident we can achieve victory. Thirdly, these Brets are an archaic society, still shackled to the ideas of feudalism. They are of their own Kingdom and are longtime rivals of the Empire.”

Bjorn leaned over the table to exchange glances with a silent Floki. “These ‘Brets’ sound like a challenge. Plus, a fleet of ships…”

Floki grumbled quietly to himself, then drowned out every other present voice. “And what’s to hold you to your word, Tibalt Von Saarland? What is to keep you from cutting all of our heads off once you have achieved victory against the Brettonians?”

Tibalt pointed to his noggin with a sly grin. “You must think long term, Floki Ironside. I do not desire to hire you just to repel these savages from our walls. I want them out of Nordland! I would be crazy to try and betray you in my own halls, where any of your men could break free and dash my brains against my fine granite floors. I won’t risk destroying my army trying to betray you when there are Brettonians on my doorstep, constantly threatening to swoop down like the vultures they are! If your warriors could fight alongside mine until reinforcements can be mustered form the neighboring proinces-“

Floki bristled with anger. “You would have us stay and fight until another army from the Empire can come in and surround us? Do you think us fools?”

“Now, now,” Tibalt raised a hand in the air, vainly attempting to quiet the murmurs of discontent in the hall. “Let me finish! Let me finish! … Now, arrangements can be made for an exchange of a fleet for your army, Floki, before Empire forces arrive to help us drive the Brets back into their own lands.”

Floki nodded hesitantly, considering his options. “That deal better happen before any agreements are made. Understand? I want nothing left to chance!”

Tibalt agreed swiftly. “Of course, of course. Let us discuss the details.”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

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post #16 of 44 (permalink) Old 01-07-15, 01:33 AM
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Interesting change in the storyline.

Tibalt's dancing with the devil, here. I'm looking forwards to see whether or not the new allies honour each other.

Nyctophobia- Fear of the Dark Angel.

"No one ever spoke about of those two absent brothers. Their separate tragedies had seemed like aberrations. Had they, in fact, been warnings that no one had heeded?"

'Killing a man is like fucking, boy, only instead of giving life you take it. You experience the ecstasy of penetration as your warhead enters the enemy's belly and the shaft follows. You see the whites of his eyes roll inside the sockets of his helmet. You feel his knees give way beneath him and the weight of his faltering flesh draw down the point of your spear. Are you picturing this?'
'Yes, lord.'
'Is your dick hard yet?'
'No, lord.'
''What? You've got your spear in a man's guts and your dog isn't stiff? What are you, a woman?'
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post #17 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-15, 11:25 AM
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This is really fun to read. I love the Norsemen. I get some sort of thrill of this resembling a real evil cast of the Vikings. Dice-throw six.

My story about the commissars Zachary Carrus and Michelle Ionza and their life and crimes https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=123690
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post #18 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-15, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Beavis, I haven't updated Gods' Hall in a long time. Been focused primarily on the New Word, but it will receive some attention soon .

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879
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post #19 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-13-15, 08:44 PM
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No offense to the New Word, but I like this story better. But I'm a Norwegian and you writing really twisted and evil versions of vikings resounds deep in me.

My story about the commissars Zachary Carrus and Michelle Ionza and their life and crimes https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=123690
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post #20 of 44 (permalink) Old 05-14-15, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Perhaps I'm focusing way too much on battles, here, but would I like to think that you guys like to see the battles, at least.

In the fields outside of Zwesten Village

The night sky was shrouded by a thick, roiling blanket of dark clouds. Moonlight could not guide Bjorn through the wheat fields, but only the fanning flames of a hundred torches waving back and forth across the shadows. Five hundred Northmen followed the small pinpoints of light as if they were signs from the Gods themselves. They charged across the open fields, grinding fresh golden wheat into the muddy earth beneath their boots.

The village bells began to ring at the sonorous sound of their war cries, things made of guttural and primal noise. The village of Zwesten was built upon a series of overlooking hills, its cluttered and bustling districts rising and falling along the slopes in such a way that they made entering the village a potential chokepoint for anyone brave enough to assault it. No matter the direction, the buildings were arrayed so that enemy forces were funneled through the gateless entrance into a district courtyard. A prime killing ground, Bjorn thought. Yet in spite of the fact that a decent garrison protected this village, the Northmen were goaded into offense by the chance to win the enemy’s food and winter supplies.

Loki shouted over the battle cries as a hail of arrows descended upon the Northmen. “Shields up! Keep your damn shields up!”

The Archers garrisoned along Zwesten’s towers were highly disciplined and well trained. They effortlessly spotted weaknesses in the Northmen’s defenses and picked them apart, shield or not, and barbaric warrior after warrior vanished in the wheat fields below. The survivors immediately began to form a shield wall around those bearing torches, as they quickly became prime targets.

“Kirkegard!” Bjorn called. “Blow the horn!”

Kirkegard raised the war horn from beside Bjorn and played a long, mournful note that resonated throughout the battlefield. Right on cue, the very air was filled with the thunder of cannon barrages from Tibalt’s artillery regiments. Entire swathes of defensive towers and battlements imploded with a quaking boom that sounded reminiscent of the world’s end. Regiments of Longbow men screamed to their deaths as they were dragged into and crushed beneath an avalanche of stone.

“Alle’! Scatter!” Bjorn shoved apart the phalanx of shields protecting him from archer fire. He raised his mace and longsword high and led the charge through the winding uphill path into Zwesten’s Temple District. “Into the village!”

Fire raced through Bjorn’s legs as he climbed the high path. Arrows darted through the dark, lodging themselves into the dirt trail around his feet as he rushed into the village proper. The Bretonnians obviously had not been suspecting an attack. Several unfamiliar soldiers stood guard in the streets. They were burly, skin burnished from long hours laboring beneath the sun. Draped over their chainmail was cloth dyed in the colors of their Lords. In this case, ginger and royal blue coinciding side by side.

The Men—at—Arms showed surprising defiance as they charged forward with their rectangular shields, nearly as tall as themselves. They formed a wall of shields of their own and lifted their spears overhead as they charged to block off the Northmen’s route into the village. Bjorn could sense Loki, Kirkegard, and Ingmar by his side, and shouted a war cry as he threw himself into the shield wall.

Bjorn clashed shoulder—first into the center of the shield wall, twisted away from a sure spear thrust, and countered with a vicious uppercut of his elbow that cracked against the Bret’s nose and flipped the steel cap off his head. The peasant recoiled, spat a wad of blood, and bashed with his shield. The force sent Bjorn reeling backward into his comrades, whom simply pushed him back into the fore of the fight. The same peasant had used the break in the combat to retract his spear for another thrust. As his opponent lunged forward again, Bjorn lashed out with his foot and smiled as he heard toes crunch beneath his boot. The Man—at—Arms stumbled forward, nearly collapsing. Bjorn allowed him to come forward and finished him with a downward thrust through the man’s spine.

Across the rest of the melee, the Bretonnians held the line admirably. They answered the wild and reckless rage of the Northmen with practiced thrust that left several of the men from the northern wastes scattered on the roadside, dying and clutching at their wounds.

The warning bells continued ringing.

Urgent shouts gave way to cries of bravery as enemy reinforcements trickled in from the surrounding Temples. More Men—at—Arms joined the shield wall against the pressing Northmen until there were a hundred defending against five hundred. The small group of Knights that Bjorn had brought with the raiding party quickly made their way to the front of the battle and began tearing into the mortal phalanx. Shields cracked and shattered against wicked battleaxes and Warhammers, armor and flesh alike was cleaved in twain by great claymores and longswords.

“Loki!” Bjorn spun away from a downward thrust meant to crunch through his shoulder blade. His longsword came up in a diagonal arc that severed the offending hand at the wrist. “Tell Arles to gather some men from the rear and take care of those archers! Their sniping at our backs!”

“Gwaahhh!!!” Loki brought his axe downward directly upon a peasant’s steel cap. The blow cleaved him from head to chest. He stared at Bjorn with unbridled fury, but eventually relented and vanished from the battle.

“Ahh!!!” A Chaos Knight screamed, three spear shafts embedded through his stomach, shoulder, and thigh. One by one, the weapons were ripped free and the Northman was allowed to die.

Kirkegard parried another blow with his shield. “The shield wall is too strong! We won’t break it!”

Bjorn howled over the chaos. “Marauders! Jump!”

The Marauders. They were simple folk back in the northern wastes and common warriors at best. But they were good when a situation required speed and agility over the mailed hammer that were the Knights of Chaos. They came on in their simple tunics and leather breeches, some even stripped down to nothing but their fur hides. They rushed over Bjorn and his Knights all at once, surmounted them effortlessly, and landed in the midst of the Bretonnian shield wall.

Simple axes, swords, and shields quickly gained an advantage at such close quarters. The Marauders were brutal in their efficiency, slicing throats and splitting skulls with single blows before they dispatched another soldier the next moment.

Bjorn quickly shoved himself into the nearest Bretonnian with all of his weight and pushed into the shield wall as it began to break apart. His mace whipped around and crunched against the back of a skull. His longsword hacked through a spear haft, allowing another Northman to slay his opponent with a swing of his blade. Another Men—at—Arms scrambled away from him, but it was too late. Bjorn rushed into him with all of his might and trampled him underfoot with his heavy steel boots. He finished the broken corpse with a thrust of his sword.

Sounds of fighting pervaded all of Zwesten when the Alle’ finished the rest of the Bretonnians. The aftermath was a thick floor of gore, blood, and corpses left in the road that the Warriors of Chaos were content to leave behind. Of the party that Bjorn commanded before the raid began, several dozen were dead. The wounded were afflicted beyond saving.

Kirkegard rushed from scattered group to group as they paused to take rest.

Zwesten’s Temple District was surprisingly lavish, celebrated by tall monuments of Sigmar and his champions. The roads that interconnected inside this district were littered with rose petals and lit with braziers of incense. It was a blatant sign that this quaint village had the potential of becoming a town, perhaps a city, one day. Bjorn studied the Temple of Sigmar, a vast bulwark of stone and granite and shut from within by mighty bronze doors.

“Kirkegard, Ingmar!” Bjorn’s friends quickly approached him. “Find some soldiers with a taste for burning. Start razing this district to the ground. Spare no one.”

“Evil is relative…You can’t hang a sign on it. You can’t touch it or taste it or cut it with a sword. Evil depends on where you are standing, pointing your indicting finger.”
-Glen Cook, The Black Company


Tales of Heroism and Bravery, in the 41st Millennium and the Old World. Perhaps some Realm Gate Wars in the future .

Gods' Hall (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

The New Word (Completed)
https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=121879

Last edited by Myen'Tal; 05-15-15 at 02:41 PM.
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