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post #1 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-20-14, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hello, Heresy. I don't know how far I am going to take this story, this is a little experiment for me, since I don't usually write fantasy, but I want to get better at writing it. So I suppose this is a test to see how well and far I take a fantasy story. I hope you guys like it .

Also, this isn't necessarily a Chaos vs. Empire story, this is just how the beginning starts .


Gods’ Hall

Chapter One: The Battle of Pale Pass

Bjorn

The scent of burning smoke, loosed from a couple hundred muskets, was the first thing Bjorn awoke to inside the camp of the Alle’ Tribe. A light snow fell upon the tall and narrow mountains of the Pale Range, thin avalanches fell from rugged peaks with every thunder of cannon and shot. The dense collection of tents and old wooden cabins were ablaze, slaves swarmed the sites of fire with water filled buckets beyond counting. Yet the screams of men was still fresh in the wintry air, a whimpering noise amplified by all the horrors the technology of the Empire could riddle a man to.

Bjorn made to stand, a slow maneuver in his thickened armor of burnished brass and ordinary steel. He had slept through the beginning of the battle. He stood hunched in his ordinary tent, grabbing his blackened mace and a thick long sword lying by the entrance. Three barbaric looking individuals, half naked in the chill, rushed past him with shields and axes in their hands, screaming filth to the Gods above. Bjorn staggered out of his tent after them, dismissing his drowsiness with rapid blinks. He shook off the cold and searched around the camp, noticing the absent warriors that should have been gathering their arms an hour ago. He instantly knew where the fighting would be thickest and he set a steady pace toward the wooden palisade that protected the camp.

Lief’s bellowing already reached beyond the fighting when Bjorn neared the palisade, manned by nearly a hundred arches on the walls. “You see, men, Bjorn wasn’t scared to fight, he’s just a lazy sea dog!” A chorus of grumbled laughs rose up from the defense.

Two hundred knights of Chaos and Marauders surrounded the wooden wall from on the ground. Slaves were running to and fro, trying to repair the smoking breaches left by an accurate cannon shot. Musket fire slew many of them, but the slaves ran in great hordes around the warriors of Chaos. Bjorn caught a glimpse of their attackers through one such breach, a long formation of swordsmen marched toward them under the beat of a battle tune.

“Welcome, Bjorn!” Sigurd’s armored gauntlet found Bjorn’s pauldron.

“Come to fight?” Loki wheezed maniacally through the slit in his helmet. “The enemy seem twice our number.”

“We’ll defeat them.” Bjorn stated, raising his voice enough for most of the Chaos Knights to hear. “Such is our way, we’ll slay the Gods’ foes as we always do, as we always have!”

Lief’s whip cracked in the air, someone screamed in agony. “Archers, keep up your fire!” He turned around on the battlements, his iron finger pointed down to Bjorn and around the crowd of Knights. “They’re bringing up a battering ram! Don’t let them hole us up in here! Get out there and the skin them alive!”

Rancorous jeers and savage cheering echoed among the Alle’, weapons thrust into the air all around him, everything a man could possibly dream of for killing. The slaves toiled around the mechanism that opened the gates to the fort. The wooden doors struggled to open against the mounds of fresh snow, but eventually the opening crack widened enough that the Alle’ became encouraged, and then charged into the snowy rift of the mountain pass.

The archers on the wall covered the charge of their fearless comrades as best as they could. A hundred arrows loosed in timed intervals, thwacked into swathes of musket and swordsmen, their stricken numbers collapsing on their bellies and knees in various positions. Cannon fire roared around the palisade, creating a dozen more breaches along the main gate and neutralizing a score of bow men. A volley of musket fire bristled on the flanks of the Empire’s frontline. Asrod was the first to fall, blood sprayed from his wounds onto the snow, the first of about a dozen to succumb to their wounds.

“Khorne!!!” Loki’s mouth was filled with froth, bellowing as loud as his lungs could manage. The Alle’ took up his cry, sprinting through the snow toward the still marching center of the Empire’s forces.

More iron balls projected with smoke and fire hammered into the warriors of Chaos. Blood spilled. More warriors fell into the snow. After the second volley, the forces of the Empire state troops sounded their horn and their swordsmen charged forth. They were galvanized at the sight of blood, the sight of indomitable Chaos Warriors collapsing under their fire power. Bjorn laughed at their folly as they collided into the Norsemen.

Blades flashed between the giant Norsemen and the mortals of the Empire, quicksilver slivers that danced back and forth, hacking and hacking, attempting to find weakness in each renewed attack. The Alle’ cleaved through the first ranks with unbelievable ease, battle axes cracking and splitting and pole arms impaling. The swordsmen of the Empire simply swarmed their enemies in retaliation. Every strike parried by a Knight left him vulnerable to several attacks from other directions. Men bled on both sides, died in the span of breaths, but still the battle raged on.

Bjorn’s black mace cracked open a helmet and drank deep on a well of blood. His knee swept aside his first kill even as his sword thrust downward in an overhead strike. The squelch and tearing of flesh beneath cold steel and iron soothed the Chosen of the Gods. He struck again and again, cracking bones, spraying blood, all while accepting any pathetic blows against his own armor.

Bjorn ducked under a clumsy strike, brought his sword upward in an uppercut that sliced apart a man’s face. His mace left a heavy dent in a state trooper’s chest, bouncing backward to crack against another’s jaw. Several men rushed into his guard, attempting to bring him down. He withdrew one step and brought both of his weapons into a counter attack in the shape of an ‘x’. The mace cracked several bones in a puny mortal’s neck, his blade spliced through the meat and bone around the temple of another. A stern kick sent the last of them sprawled in the snow, his sword flipped in his grip and killed him with a simple lunge.

“Sigmar!”The chant of the Empire’s soldiers echoed across the field and Bjorn felt his heart race in anguish.

“Sigmar!!” Bjorn’s weapons quickened in his grip, struck dozens in the span of a couple breaths, killing with reckless abandon.

“Sigmar!!!” Bjorn bellowed his earsplitting scream like a maniac, driven into a feral rage along with the rest of his kin.

The rest of the battle happened in a flash, all Bjorn knew was the blood curse, cutting, disemboweling, and decapitating in the most horrific ways he could imagine. All around him, the Alle’ were in a similar frenzy. Quick blades suddenly became hammers in their masters’ hands, pummeling and crushing until only a tide of bodies and gore that caked them was all that remained for several feet around the warriors of chaos. The proud, defiant cries of Sigmar soon degraded into horrific screaming and pleas for mercy. The sound of retreat echoed across the field and the swordsmen broke in droves. The musket men on the flanks were tasked with covering the retreat, but their bowels had turned to water at the sight of the Alle’. They sprinted to join the fleeing masses, across the other side of Pale Pass.

****

The sound of several dozen hooves crushing through snow and decayed rock carried over the battlefield. Pale Pass trembled in the coming storm, her erratic winds covering whichever direction they approached from. Loki was the first to glance up from his spoils—taking, from gathering steel that could be smelted down to forge real armor and weapons. He shouted across the field, alerting the rest of the Alle’ scattered about the battlefield, likewise scavenging. All of them looked up from their tasks, stomping through the floor of gore splattered corpses to gather in a circle from the approaching banners cresting the Empire’s side of the field.

The approaching flags billowing on the wind were of Sigmar’s faith, burning with licking flames alongside the pristine banners of the crimson eight pointed star. The riders themselves were a cavalcade of bloated knights, festering with pox and other diseases. All of them were caked in gore, from the hooves of their steeds to their bulging guts. Their leader rode on a massive steed and a large scythe in one hand, his war helm cradled in the other. The circle the Alle’ made tightened as the column of steeds made to surround them, riding in a Cantabrian circle around their raised weapons.

A guttural bellow forced the circular motion of the steeds to grind to a halt. “Halt!” The champion who issued the command stuck his scythe into the white earth. His face was a gnarled, sickly green thing, hidden beneath a bushy beard. Rotten teeth revealed themselves in his mouth in a humorless smile. His gaze instantly caught Bjorn’s. “Where’s your master?”

Bjorn grinned lopsidedly. “The Alle’ only answer to the Gods above, but if you seek our champion, he is occupied with matters of war. Relay your message to us, and we shall gladly tell him.”

The Calvary Commander grunted, snarling. “And who are you to say such a thing to a champion of the Gods? I am Grom, a chieftain of the Aedui.”

Bjorn acknowledged him with a nod. “I am simply called Bjorn. I am no Chieftain, but I do have much respect among my peers.” He removed his helmet, a thing of many horns and iron. A pallid skin man with a neat blonde beard and short, unkempt hair regarded Grom with assessing eyes.

A flame wreathed banner toppled to the ground, the chosen of Nurgle remained silent. Whether because he felt insulted, Bjorn could not tell.

“Fine.” The pox festered champion cracked his neck, eyes narrowing in resignation. “The Aedui have ransacked the mortals of Sigmar’s camp while they were called to battle. With no place of respite to return to, the army that has besieged you in Pale Pass is now running for their lives further down the foot of the mountain, along the Leipzig River.” He cracked into another wide grin. “Tell me, Brother Bjorn, do you feel like hunting?”

Bjorn shrugged his shoulders, as if weighing the merit of his words. Then he returned the smile with a predatory glint in his eyes. “Of course. Dispatch a slave to Lief! Tell him we have gone hunting for the rest of the day! Gather the horses!”

****
“There they are!” Sigurd laughed quietly from the edge of a steep hill overlooking the foot of the Pale Pass.

The entrance into the mountain pass was wide enough for three hundred Chaos Knights on horseback to crest over the hillside join Sigurd, shoulder to shoulder. The deep snow muffled the combined noise of their steeds’ hooves. The scattered hundreds of the Empire’s forces, marching in exhaustion along the Leipzig River, just out of reach of the surrounding forests, could not hear them from such a distance. The banner men raised the flags of their tribes, both Alle’ and Aedui, toward the grey clouds above.

Grom hoisted his scythe beside Bjorn. “Spare no one! Brother Bjorn, shall we ride?”

“Aye,” Bjorn drew his blade, the rest of the Alle’ drew with him. “Show them that their deaths are on its way, boys!”

The cavalcade of Knights split the skies with their war cries, raising their weapons up and down as the Empire’s troops glanced over their shoulders, then began fleeing for their lives as they realized their approaching doom. Grom screamed something unintelligible and the Knights broke into a ragged charge down the hill. None of the Empire soldiers even attempted to make a stand for their lives, all they knew was to run as quickly as their legs could take them.

Bjorn shouted Khorne’s name as the charge found its way beside the untamed river. Dozens of men fell beneath the hooves of their steeds, he did not even need to swing his blade, so thick were the ranks of the chosen of Chaos. Mortal after mortal screamed to their deaths as they turned to fight too late, horses overwhelming and crushing them into the earth. Swords flashed and flails broke plate and bone, heads rolled, men fell with cold iron thrust in and out of their bellies. Soon the charge broke up across the snowy grasslands as the Knights individually sought their own glory.

Bjorn barreled over a man spinning around to bring his Halberd to bear, reared up on his horse, and then brought his hooves down on the man’s ribcage. He kicked his stallion into another bolting charge, brought his mace down on a man that had lost his helmet in a previous scuffle. He parried several other state troops trying to swarm him and knock him off of his horse. He thrust his blade into a soft throat and then Loki appeared, decapitating a man with a swing of his mighty axe. The last mortal turned to flee, but Sigurd cut off his escape root and slew him with a blow of his hammer across his face.

The chase was bloody, soon the combined might of the Alle’ and the Aedui left scores of the dead and dying by the river bed. Those who were wise simply plunged themselves into the frothing waters of the untamed river, never to arise again. Cheers of victory were fresh on the air, the bellowing of the united Norsemen a thing that trembled Bjorn’s flesh. Only the cries of their terrified enemies shouted with them as they were put to the sword.

Grom was bellowing to keep order in the celebrations. “Come on, you bastards, run the last of them down! Total victory is near!”

Bjorn made to join with him. “Alle’, attack!”

The Knights brought their steeds about for another charge, but were intercepted by a barrage of musket fire that knocked a dozen warriors from their horses. The back of Sigurd’s head exploded before Bjorn’s gaze, toppled from his steed as it made to bolt into the surrounding woods. Trumpets cried on the wind as reinforcing cavalry from the Empire swept from the forests, the pistols in their hands firing rapid volleys into the Norsemen. Wings of the Knightly Orders rushed in behind them.

Bjorn’s steed reared onto its hind legs, he fought to calm her before she could flee. “Rally, rally! Charge!”

The gun wielding mortals swept through the gaps left in the formation of Chaos Knights. Their pistols burst with smoke and fire, taking the Alle’ and Aedui by surprise, killing their brethren left and right, dispatching their steeds with a single shot. The Knightly Orders and the hundreds of Norsemen left from the attack charged into each other. Walls made with long lances impaled and shattered on northern flesh. Battle Axes and maces hit home as the Empire’s Knights galloped past them.

Bjorn sliced the head off of an incoming lance and threw his mace into the Knight attempting to claim his life. The force of the blow made the mortal sag, pulling his mount with him down into the white earth. His sword flashed in an arc, catching a Pistollier running circles around another Knight of Chaos square in the stomach. The upper body came free from the torso, the rest happily trotted along with its scared mount.

“Bjorn!” Loki and Grom came riding through the thick of battle, covered in gore, and bowled over two lesser horses beneath the bulk of their own.

Bjorn hollered in laughter. “It seems we have a battle after all! Loki, lead the Alle’! Grom, let us find a head worthy of taking!”

Grom’s scythe whirled around him like a storm of death, every swipe and overhead thrust splitting open armor and lopping off limbs. He took several blows from lances to the gut, but only seemed more determined to kill. Bjorn fought by his side, cleaving the head from mounts and treading over his fallen foes. Victory never looked so uncertain, a fact only made worse by the supposed head they would try to claim.

“Bjorn!” Grom called out, pointing skyward, above the forest tree line. “Gryphon!”

Bjorn slapped the Chosen of Nurgle’s pauldron. “Come on, let’s follow it!”

“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 #2 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-22-14, 07:10 PM
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This gave me a nice flashback to Warhammer Mark of Chaos. I liked the descriptions and such. Just two things I found a bit iffy. A unit having a Khornite and a Nurglite warrior in its ranks and that they seem a tad chummy with each other. But then again I can be a bit too literal with how things works as they are Chaos Warriors and not demons which I'm more familiar with.

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

Last edited by Beaviz81; 07-22-14 at 07:53 PM.
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post #3 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-23-14, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, Beavis, as for Grom and Bjorn, their allies from two different tribes, not of the same tribe. Think of it as a convenient alliance, for now, at least.

“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 #4 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-24-14, 07:23 PM
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Nice story man

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post #5 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-24-14, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myen'Tal View Post
Thanks for the feedback, Beavis, as for Grom and Bjorn, their allies from two different tribes, not of the same tribe. Think of it as a convenient alliance, for now, at least.
I'm glad for that and this is a good story I would like to hear more about. Of course if you don't mind, and I seem to have support.

I will as always provide just and pleasant feedback for you.

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 #6 of 44 (permalink) Old 07-25-14, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I'm working on another update as we speak, so keep your eyes peeled!

“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 #7 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-04-14, 11:56 PM
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I really enjoyed that. A nice, and refreshing, change of pace to the usual bolters-and-chainswords that I read.

More, please!

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 #8 of 44 (permalink) Old 08-05-14, 01:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, DA, let the story continue!

***
Through the thick of a cavalry battle, Bjorn and Grom rode through the gore streaked fields along the river Lepzig with a clutch of Grom’s best warriors. Brave Knights attempted to bar their path to the Griffon circling above the battle repeatedly, but quick blades saw them to even quicker deaths. The Empire’s ranks were in total disarray, scattered here and there, fighting on instinct and courage rather than any tactical sense. Yet they fought, Bjorn could not withhold a feeling of grudged respect even as he continued to cleave through armor, flesh, and bone.

“That Griffon,” One of Grom’s guards, Daegal, pointed toward the rapidly approaching creature that blotted out the sun. “I think I recognize its rider: General Ottokar Von Bornheim. He defeated us at Erenburg some odd weeks ago, but commanded a vast force then.”

Bjorn kicked his horse and bolted past a pair of Nordland Knights attempting to run him down. Grom’s men killed them easily enough. “If this is all he has, then perhaps the main force has succeeded against him somewhere else?”

Bjorn already knew the answer to his question. Why else would Ottokar even attempt to stop the Northmen’s advance with such a pitiful force? If it was true, then Pale Pass would have been the only likely battle he had a chance in winning, rather than face the combined might of the tribes. Then he would have an avenue of attack through the pass and perhaps pull off a great flanking maneuver. He was commanding this attack himself to ensure the Pass was gained.

One of Grom’s men screamed as he veered away from Bjorn with his horse. “Watch out! Here he comes!”

A couple of Knights nocked their arrows, firing a loose scream of arrows into the aerial creature sweeping down toward them, talons outstretched. The Griffon was unarmored, shielded only by white and ebony feathers and a thick hide. Several arrows found purchase in its underbelly, the creature screeched loudly, but it’s momentum could not be stopped. Bjorn barely managed to pull on the reigns of his steed and gallop away from the Griffon’s landing zone. The mighty beast landed talons first, crushing a clutch of knights too slow to avoid it into the earth of the river bank. Fresh blood seeped from between her claws from where she curled them, gouging into flesh.

The human riding the Griffon creature raised his hammer toward the sun, appearing a magnificent spectacle in the brilliant rays of the sun. He tugged on his massive mounts reigns, making the creature swipe its claws back and forth, tearing Chaos Knights from their horses as they charged in for the kill.

Grom screamed something unintelligible, froth spewing from his mouth as he led his retinue into combat. They advanced into the storm of claws, some of them claimed by death in an eye blink, while others managed to survive their scathing blows. The scythe cut into the outstretched talons of the Griffon and lopped away several clawed toes from her talons. It screamed a holy cry and answered with her razor sharp beak. The attack came down onto a Knight of Nurgle’s collarbone and left nothing but a ragged hole in the body from where it touched. The creatures head struck several more times and two more knights collapsed, wounded, but alive.

Old Ottokar swung his mighty hammer back and forth, attacking Grom’s men that were currently fighting on foot. Halberds cut into the flesh of the Griffon and drew on a steady stream of blood, but wherever they struck, Ottokar cracked open a skull. The chosen of Nurgle were able to withstand even such a brutal assault, but some had sense enough not to push their luck against a Griffon—mounted general of the Empire.

Bjorn kicked his steed toward the fight, weapons in hand. “Out of the way, you rotting sacks of flesh!”

Several men on the ground scattered before Bjorn’s mighty war steed, Ottokar’s mount immediately noticed the incoming challenger and reared on her own hind legs. He screamed a guttural noise as the Griffon brought her intact claw downward to crush him into the earth. Bjorn raised his sword overhead and answered with a sure thrust at the last moment, embedding his blade to the hilt into the majestic creature’s mighty claw. The beast shrieked and retreated several steps, enough for Bjorn to close the gap for one strike against General Ottokar.

The Griffon decided to skulk at the last moment, bringing Ottokar to attacking distance from Bjorn’s mounted presence. His hammer came up in defense far too quickly and parried Bjorn’s timed attack with his mace. Bjorn snorted as he pulled back his mace and struck a glancing blow into the slower General’s ribcage. He heard the armor buckle beneath the force and Ottokar cry out as a bone was cracked. The rest of Grom’s men hooted and jeered as they closed in to finish the job, but the Griffon took flight at the last moment. The last thing Bjorn could see of Ottokar was his wild eyes, staring down at him with plain hatred and disgust.

There was a blaring horn, playing a mournful note that told Bjorn the enemy had had enough for today. The Empire’s knightly orders withdrew in practiced order, the Pistollers covering their retreat back into the wilderness of the forest. Dozens of heavily armored nobles from the lands of the Empire stormed past Bjorn, retreating to fight another day alongside their general.

Grom’s hellish stallion, a decayed thing from the depths of hell, strode up to join him in the spot that they had faced the Griffon. Grom stroked his great beard in curious thought. “We do not pursue?”

Bjorn grimly shook his head. “No, not the Alle’, I’ve had enough surprised for one day. I am, however, thirsty. We should guard the river for now, since we have gained it along with Pale Pass.”

Grom nodded in agreement. “I will dispatch a messenger to your champion at the fort and tell him we have gained the river. I will bring fresh troops down to guard the sites of our new camps. Our men have deserved a day’s respite, I’d say.”

“Indeed, Chief Grom, we certainly have.”

***

The fleets from the Chaos Wastes had come to Nordland several months ago. Seven thousand warriors from a collection of tribes that desired something greater than the glory of fighting one another. The first target of the combined raid was the city of Erenburg, but the Empire’s forces there were vast and repelled the wandering Raiders after an intense battle. So the bands of Chaos turned outwards to the countryside of the Nordland region, breaking into several distinct groups with separate objectives. The main force, consisting of four thousand warriors, attracted the armies of the Empire out to fight on ground it had chosen. The other smaller bands served as flanking forces, marauding and pillaging wherever they saw fit and joining the battle against the enemy’s lightly defended rear guards.

After the massacre of Pale Pass & Leipzig River, the Alle’ and Aedui ransacked the undefended settlement of Darmstadt and several outlying villages. With the armies of the Empire’s garrisons defeated, the Northmen took whatever they willed and left nothing but a mound of skulls and defiled carcasses in their wake. Whether Ottokar had died in battle or simply retired from fighting, Sigmar’s sons had begun to vanish around the Nordland wherever the powers of Chaos drew close. The false God, Sigmar, had abandoned his people for whatever reason and the small bands the raiding parties did encounter fought without a spirit, without a heart. While the Northmen enjoyed the freedom of raiding without retribution, weeks passed and suspicion began to grow amongst the armies of Chaos. Such animosity continued until Floki Ironside, the Commander of the entire raid into Nordland, claimed the raids a success and began withdrawing his forces toward the Sea of Claws in preparation to sail home.


Three Weeks Later…

Four thousand survivors from the raids into Nordland, three thousand brothers were missing, lying dead on a forgotten battlefield, somewhere. At least, Bjorn thought to himself, most of the Alle’ were not among the fallen. Those who had lived had made their final encampment on hostile soil for the year against the coast of the Sea of Claws. Thousands of tents and wooden barracks had been raised on the high hills surrounding the beaches in an effort to whether the cold. Thousands of gnarled and vicious men were scattered everywhere, stripped to their breeches and bare backs, and so used to looking fierce in their armor that Bjorn forgot what being human felt like.

Bjorn, Loki, Asrod, and Ingmar sat around a crackling campfire, bright against the darkened clouds of the late evening, atop a great hilltop where the Alle’ made their temporary home. The vantage point overlooked the beaches and hundreds of warships at anchor in the shallow waters. Currently, the cheers of men realizing they were going to be rich echoed over the encampment, as caravan after caravan of wagons, burdened with the heavy weight of immeasurable treasures passed through the camp.

Loki remained hunched over the fire, his thin black beard and short ponytail blowing in the breeze. He looked up from the blood slick sword he was cleaning with his horrific eyes, small gems the color of the abyss, and then stared into the flames for long seconds.

He finally spoke after long moments. “Upon the men we slew on the Pale Pass, I killed nearly twenty knights the day that Bjorn almost slew the Griffon. Never once did a blade touch my flesh… I believe it a sign from the God Slaneesh. My reflexes were beyond that of any mortal’s that day.”

Bjorn raised his horn of ale, the seventh that night and gulped it down. He watched Loki through the flames, contemplating his destiny and sighed. “If you were blessed, it could be a trick by She Who Thirsts, for are you not of a people sworn to the Blood God, sworn enemy to the Prince of Pleasures?”

Loki’s yellow flecked teeth gleamed in the fires of the camp. “I don’t believe in only one god, Bjorn, you know this. We slaughtered so many mortals beyond counting, but with the aid of allies. Men who place their faith with other Gods. And they brought us victory. Don’t be so quick to spit in the eyes of the Gods, Bjorn.”

“Aye, aye.” Bjorn dismissed him with a wave of his horn, swaying slightly from left to right without his armor to hold him. “I have heard through Grom that a great heathen army is arising in the south.”

Asrod grunted in concern. “Maybe they’ll follow us home. This could be a great omen, to have a fight another war after such a hard earned victory.”

Bjorn shrugged. “I don’t know what they plan to use them for. We shall be long gone before anyone will come seeking retribution on us.”

Ingmar knocked his drinking horn against Bjorn’s and hissed with laughter. “The Gods will howl and shriek until this affront is cast down. More will come from the chills lands of the north to take our place, while we grow rich and fat with treasure! Let’s not worry about what may happen, I look forward to planning our raid for next year. There’s so many lands to discover!”

Loki flashed a wolfish grin. “You see this fool…” He leaned over the fire and patted Ingmar’s naked shoulder. “Does not care how long he will live with treasure, so long as he has it. Bjorn and I on the other hand, are beings cut from a different cloth. I am more worried about what is happening in our homelands rather than where we’ll go next summer. Am I right, Bjorn?”

“Aye,” Bjorn said. “I am eager to return to our home shore, triumphant and laden with riches. Then we shall return to slaying our rival tribes, keeping them weak so they cannot annihilate us.” He swayed a little as he came to his feet and stumbled away from the camp fire.

The crewmen of the warships below were occupied with constant labor, transporting boats filled with gold and repairing any damages to the ships taken on the journey to Nordland. Bjorn observed them from the hillside, making his way through the throng of tents that made the Alle’s encampment. He stared across the open ocean and closed his eyes. The brood forest surrounding the coast became nothing more than a winter wasteland, cloaked in snow and the tracks of his people left upon it. The hilltop encampment was suddenly a great village, filled with the gazes of thousands of appreciative villagers. Warriors that had stayed to defend the Alle’ lands bent their knees in respect and the Chieftain, foremost amongst them, extended his favor and the blessing of the Gods. Ingmar, Loki, and Asrod rode with him, through the rain of blood and flowers that celebrated their triumphant return. The history of this raid would forever be passed down through the bards and would never fade from memory in a hundred years.

***
Floki, an elder sorcerer known for stalking the Northmen encampments during the night, came away from the shadows and into the smoldering light of the camp fire. A thick shaft of moonlight sparkled on his sapphire robes, picking out his outline as if some partially real apparition. “You have questions concerning the Gods? Young Bjorn of the Alle’?”

The dying light of the flames half lit Bjorn’s naked face, but the glint of his eyes shone in the darkness, as he glanced up curiously at the old witch. He did not speak for long seconds. In truth, Floki’s visits to the warriors of Chaos were always random, and so Bjorn found himself slightly taken back. He finally whispered over the loud snores of his sleeping comrades. “No, I only have questions about myself.” He pointed toward an empty stump. “Why don’t you sit down, Sorcerer?”

Floki did not so much as budge from where he stood and his mouth spewed with droning prophecy. “You have never pleased the Gods, young Bjorn, but you have never displeased them either. Soon will come the time to prove whether you are worthy to live up to something greater or forever fade into the shadows of others’ accomplishments. When the moon becomes visible, sow the ground with blood as your tribute to the Blood God. Only then, he might take an inkling of interest in you.” The sorcerer revealed yellow and cracked teeth, wheezing with hysterical laughter as he sunk back into the darkness.

Bjorn waited until he was gone and finally decided to sleep for the night. It would be dawn soon, and the moon was nowhere in sight.

“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; 09-10-14 at 01:03 AM.
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Another enthralling installment, I definitely like the direction this is going.

Eagerly awaiting the next part.

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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The scent of burning wood drifted over the taste of sea salt on the winds, Bjorn could swear he heard distant moaning on the horizon. There was an occasional shout that broke the ill quiet for only a moment before it was abruptly snuffed. He knew something was awry, but the feeling of drowsiness lingered over him as if a spell. There was no movement around the campfires of the Alle’ tribe, only loud snoring or noises of a far more intimate nature. Images of Floki flashed in his thoughts, mouthing the words of prophecy he uttered earlier that night. ‘When the moon becomes visible, sow the ground with the blood as your tribute to the Blood God. Only then, shall he might take an inkling of interest in you.”

The war horns blared across the dead encampment and Bjorn snapped his eyes open, wide awake.

Bjorn rolled out of his tent and into nearly into the campfire, searching for the crate that contained his armor. He screamed. “We’re under attack! Get up you lazy whores! We’re under attack!”

The horns of the Northmen wailed a mourning note, again and again as urgent screams echoed from the beach below. The warriors of the Alle’ tribe were slow to move, at first, but were quick to grab their armor and weapons when realization dawned on them. The entire camp descended into chaos, slaves were rushing to the armories, pulling out large bundles of weapons and more common armor out from the stores. Marauders and Knights rushed back and forth through the dirt paths of the encampment, attempting to organize into the formidable army they were used to fighting in. The sight of hundreds of Long Ships set ablaze on the beach galvanizing them into urgency.

There was a battle happening down there, Bjorn could hear the screams of men dying by the dozen in crystal clarity now. The shadows and outlines of numerous individuals were blurred together in a melee that stretched across the beach. The fires did little to light them and they continued to fight on in the moon—lit darkness. A couple of warriors from other tribes marched down toward the conflict, too eager for blood spilling or simply arrogant. The Champions of the raid further within the camp tried to keep their underlings from joining the fight too soon, until their ranks could be organized.

Slaves finished equipping Bjorn into his armor after several minutes. One handed him his great mace and another, his long sword. The warriors of the Alle’ tribe were assembled just beyond the campfire and Bjorn went to join them the moment the last slave slid a horned helm over his head. Loki, Asrod, and Ingmar waited for him at the rear of several hundred warriors. There were many fold that number from the other tribes, marching and reorganizing into a great marching column that would take the hill path toward the beach. The Alle’ warriors held praises on their lips as they parted for the four warriors, allowing them to arrive at the front of the assembled host.

Lief cracked his whip and laughed. “Bjorn! Loki! And the rest of you, good of you to join us! Floki Ironside has requested the combined might of the Alle’ and the Aedui to lead an assault to reclaim the beachhead! Fall to my side! We march into battle once more!”

Floki Ironside’s assembled army was arrayed in a way that the forces he desired for shock troops could march between the reserves and toward the fore of the army. There were more than a few rueful stares at Bjorn and his kin, the supposed champions that would be the first to enter battle. Yet they held some form of begrudging respect in their gazes, some even clashing weapons against shields in anticipation of the fight to come. When the Alle’ arrived on the forefront, beside Grom and his Nurglite kindred, the marching column closed ranks. The horns sounded and three thousand men marched down toward the beach.

Chief Grom joined Bjorn in their march ahead of the entire raiding force. “Brother Bjorn! Good to find you and your kin well.”

“Grom,” Bjorn acknowledged. “Who is attacking us?”

The Aedui Chief grunted and answered with a mere shake of his head. “No one has arrived from the beachhead. We do not know who attacks us. My guess is probably Empire reinforcements.”
Lief spat. “Then we enter battle blind. The bastards have sunk most of our ships, do you know how much gold we have already lost?”

Bjorn cursed. “All we can do now is salvage it. Warriors of the Alle’, ready your weapons! The beach approaches!”

Lief called. “Double Time!”

The sounds of battle were thrumming in Bjorn’s ears now, carried across the entire beach as the Alle’ and Aedui descended into the flame wreathed coastline. Darkness cloaked everything, but the flames from the husks of Long Ships lit up the thousand northmen already fighting on the beach. Most of their numbers were lying in the sand, half covered and weeping blood. Yet there was a good number of dead foes that Bjorn could not recognize. Cheers of victory were being howled as the reinforcements marched across the beaches length, maintaining a good distance from the actual fighting as they deployed into combat formations.

Thunder bellowed ad lightning cracked the skies, rain began to pour down across the land, dampening the flames. The same victory cheering was soon squashed by the sight of an enormous ship suddenly looming over the coast. It was a vessel as black as inky shadow, festooned with numerous barbs, blades, and hanging chains. The sails billowed in the breeze for but a moment, etched with alien symbols that seemed to drip blood, before they were lowered. The cries of their attackers echoed across the sea, suddenly visible in their lesser boats with every lightning strike, destined to reach the coast of burning Long Ships.

A Marauder on horseback galloped to the head of the reinforcements, bellowing down to Lief, Grom, and Bjorn. “Masters of the Aedui and Alle’ tribe, Floki Ironside commands your relief of the fighting force at the ships. He will send in several other tribes after you, depending on the enemy’s strength.”

Bjorn nodded. “Understood, son.” He looked to Lief, who simply shrugged his shoulders and nodded toward the incoming ships. Bjorn smiled savagely, hoisting his mace into the air. “Warriors of the Alle’, join the battle!”

Over the roar of several hundred Knights and marauders, Grom screamed something similar, and the Aedui were once again at their side. Wooden bolts too fast to be arrows darted through the stormy air, punching through armor and flesh without effort wherever they struck. A dozen Knights that had soared past Bjorn collapsed into the sand, screaming as the crossbow bolts embedded themselves wholly into their bodies. Another volley was loosed, Bjorn ducked under several soaring bolts, not sparing one glance back as Lief collapsed to his knees, gurgling blood in a horrifying scream.

The few Northmen that fought on the beach since the attack that were still alive formed a shield wall in between their burning ships. The war cries of the enemy swept over the ranks of Chaos as another wave of boats from the black ship beached themselves. Lithe figures dressed in chainmail and elegant steel poured in covering fire with their crossbows, striking down those too zealous to maintain their ranks. The melee troops disgorged from the boats were even lighter and wore thickened cloaks woven from scaled Sea Dragon hides. They fought with all manner of close quarter weapons: punch daggers, cutlasses, and repeater hand bows. Bjorn could tell from their noble features and pallid skin that they were Dark Elves and Black Ark Corsairs no less.

Bjorn twisted to his left in the same moment the warriors of Chaos collided into the Corsairs. He brought his bulk into a foe with sights on another and barreled him over. He lashed out with his mace at the same moment, cracking it against an Elf’s right kneecap before he could thrust a Punch Dagger into Bjorn’s neck. His foe rolled into the sand screaming, one of the charging Alle’ finished him with a flicker of his sword. Bjorn was already on top of the Corsair he tackled earlier. He pinned his foe down with one foot and stomped on his neck with the other. The life in his opponent’s eye left in an instant.

The Dark Elves weaved into the melee with an agility and dexterity that no mortal could hope to match. Blades flashed back and forth between the opposing forces. The Corsairs thrust and sliced into the weak points of human armor and flesh with brutal precision. Knights collapsed in a heap around Bjorn, while others with proven skill cracked and crushed Elven skulls together. Another volley of crossbow bolts flew through the skies and scored several more kills in the melee. Bjorn cursed, Floki was losing far too many warriors, too quickly.

Bjorn parried a lightning blow to his temple with his blade, swung his mace overhead in the same moment and brought it down on the Corsair’s extended elbow. The corsair shrieked as he was mangled. “Loki, Ingmar, Asrod, fall to my side!”

Ingmar was the first to reach Bjorn. A mighty war hammer in hand, Ingmar threw it into soft Elven flesh with reckless abandon. Loki rolled into his friend’s right flank and thrust once with his sword. A Druchii that meant to cleave Ingmar’s head from his shoulders became impaled. Asrod was the last, barreling through Northmen and Dark Elf alike on his war horse. The axe in his hand flashed repeatedly, a sliver of steel picked out by moonlight. Several other knights on horseback charged into the melee with him, trampling Corsairs into the dust and cleaving heads away with sweeps of their massive weapons.

Bjorn shouted to the three of them. “Lief's dead. We're losing too many!”

Loki struck away several strikes targeting the slits in his helmet with his heavy shield and spun once, cutting through the guts of a Corsair standing too close to his person. “Bjorn, form a shield wall!”

“Shield wall!” Bjorn bellowed over the battle. “Alle’, fallback and form a shield wall!” He knocked another foe into the sands with a solid kick and impaled him with a downward thrust. Bjorn let the blade remain in the corpse. He picked up the shield of a fallen comrade. He pointed toward the nearest warrior. “You! You’re my new horn caller! Find Lief’s body and pick up the horn, he should be somewhere toward the rear of the fight!”

The calling note of the Alle’ Tribe’s horn echoed into the night several moments later. Bjorn’s kin flocked to its call, half fighting, half retreating, all while attempting to dodge the volleys of crossbow fire. ‘Form the shield wall!’ Bjorn commanded, even the Aedui were rallying to him to form the practiced formation.

Those Knights that possessed kite shields of tainted steel formed three ranks, shoulder to shoulder, their shields raised and pressed together. The second ranks kept their shields up in a slant to protect from arrow fire arcing over the first rank. The third ranks maintained their own directly over their heads, shielding the formation from overhead ranged attacks. The rest of the horde remained at the backs of the shield wall or on the flanks, fighting as they were previously. Floki Ironside sounded his horns and Bjorn knew that other tribes were coming to salvage the fight.

Bjorn found himself on the very first rank of the shield wall, along with his friends. “Stay braced! Here come the little Elves! Stay together and they cannot overcome us!”

Crossbow bolts embedded themselves into the thickened slabs of the protected formation, nearly useless. Here and there, a warrior fell, but another rose to take his shield and replace him on the wall. The Druchii, galvanized by their enemy’s retreat, charged headlong into the shield wall, intent on breaking it apart. The Northmen laughed as hundreds pressed themselves into formation. They bounced away on impact or trapped themselves in their zealousness for bloodshed.

“Attack!” Bjorn answered the Druchii with quick clubs of his mace. Corsair after Corsair collapsed to the bone cracking force, attempting pitifully to strike through the wall of shields before they died.

Across the line, the Chaos Knights responded with rapid thrusts of their swords, cleaving down rank after rank as they were funneled in by their momentum. The Alle’ and the Aedui reveled in the slaughter, fresh blood spraying and arcing in every direction, the screams of their enemies joining the crashing of waves along the shore. The slaughter did not stop until the Dark Elves broke all at once to regroup around the boats they came ashore in. A carpet of over two hundred corpses lay at the feet of the wall.

Loki was the first to break out in a great way cry, a wordless thing made of pride, triumph, and bloodlust. The forces of Chaos hoisted their weapons in the air, taking up the cheerful shout even in the face of their enemies, roaring long and proud at the Black Ship waiting on the coast. Bjorn nodded at his horn caller and he signaled the counter charge as reinforcements from Floki Ironside joined their ranks.

The Northmen naturally tried to maintain their formation this time and fell upon the Dark Elves in one great wave. Those Elves that fell beneath the weight of shields were trampled beneath human boots without mercy. Individually, the Corsairs could only strike at one target, but the Northmen were so packed together that three men could strike at one unfortunate foe. The Corsairs shattered against the counter attack, entire bands of them rushed towards the safety of their boats than face the wrath of the Dark Gods. Yet the Crossbowmen aboard their boats had already taken flight, fleeing toward their Black Ship, fear etched into their faces.

The rest of the battle happened in less than an hour. A slaughter so complete that none were left to interrogate or use for games. The Black Ship slipped away into the night, but Bjorn was certain it had not gone far. The Northmen celebrated by bringing what was left of the ale onto the beach, which was littered with nearly two thousand men and elves, after the body count was taken. Every Druchii head was severed from their bodies and placed on a large palisade of pikes that stretched across the entire beachhead. Yet even in their victory, there was a hollow feeling to what was won, for the armada that was laden with gold was mostly burned. It could no longer take the raiding party home, the Northmen were stranded in Nordland, just over three thousand in number.

“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; 09-10-14 at 01:05 AM.
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