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post #21 of 53 (permalink) Old 08-17-15, 02:48 AM Thread Starter
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Default Chapter the First: Scattered Clouds pt 5 of 5

At a time before the Annihilation, the Tyranid Invasion, in the calm before the storm, a dwarven woman stood before a mirror. Fresh and black, rimmed in angry red, two runes newly tattooed across her cheeks stood out, dominating any other aspect that might catch a man's eye. No one would comment upon the luxurious fall of her brunette hair. Brutally short away, it lay in a scattering circle about her feet. The bright blue of her eyes would not bring flirtatious smiles from the more amorous who might cross her path and catch her gaze. Either one of the runes would kill such greetings with utter finality. No man's eye would surreptitiously sink to gaze, however briefly, upon her bosom, or perhaps fall even farther to admire the lay of her day's choice of clothing. Those looks and glances would instead flick from rune to rune and then upward to her hair. Her woman's glory would declare not her pride and beauty, but darkest tradition. Tradition so old that no tale told of its birth. Sickly greens, off whites and colorless grays now stood in lieu of her once brown hair. Lye, in ritual application, now bleached her hair. The lye's presence stiffened the once pliant glory that she had taken such pride in and now brought out such horrid color. Her hair now stood upright and molded into an array of spikes. The days of her existence would no longer be counted in years, but counted in battles. Should there be more than one, other tattoos would join the two on her cheeks, but today there would only be the important ones, Loss and Abandonment.

Battles later, on another planet, at a later time, a Living Ancestor slapped her hard. Though her head snapped back, the Ancestor no longer had the strength anymore to cause real harm. The blow did bring her out of her drunken stupor. She did not remember what had been going on, the grog that had been in her tankard had finally stopped filling and refilling, the damned thing, and she had been staring at the somehow empty tankard. She knew it was empty, but not what she should do about it. There had been quite a commotion in the tent, but Jyn paid it no mind. When the horns would sound, she would take her place with her brothers and sisters to kill and kill and, should the ancestors relent, die. Then the Ancestor slapped her.

With a cry of rage, Jyn hopped to her feet. Her combat dagger shot out in her fist. The silly thing always knew when she would need it, she never even needed to reach to its sheath. It would simply appear in her hand to cut and maim whatever needed it. Strength and determination drove her arm forward to bury the blade deep in the eye of the ancient squat in front of her. Honor demanded the strike be returned and death would be the result of it. Jyn was a berserker. Her hair was dyed purple to red in full spectrum. More battles than colors in life and Jyn was still killing. No one commented to a berserker, but another berserker and no one struck one. Death dealt from a berserker was never prosecuted. Berserkers were already accepted as dead in society, they were simply still breathing.

The knife point stopped inches from the Ancestor. Movement stirred behind the shrunken old squat. Armor clad attendants shifted their weight, preparing to intervene, but Jyn stayed her hand. Berserkers were not struck as a matter of safety, but no one struck an Ancestor. They were the living conduit to all those who had died throughout all the ages. The Living Ancestors were ageless creatures who spoke to and heard counsel from the dead. No one struck an Ancestor, no one. With a sob, Jyn turned from the Ancestor and threw her free arm down on the field table she had been sitting at. With jerking motion, she carved another rune into the flesh of her forearm, cutting across half heal scars of other runes. Marring the angry red and partially healed wounds, she chanted to herself over and over as blood flowed from her and she carved a new rune, “Shame. Shame. Shame.”

The Ancestor stood, impassively watching Jyn cut upon herself. After a few minutes Jyn looked up, surprised to see the Ancestor still waiting.

“Jyn”, the Ancestor said, once she stood before him. Jyn nodded, the blood from the runic wound dripped unnoticed to the ground. The guards behind the Ancestor looked on, disgust apparent on their faces. Berserkers were despised by the average squat for they were individuals who committed a crime or chose to pursue death rather than face whatever problem they encountered in their life. The two runes on Jyn’s cheeks told of a woman abandoned by her husband and who chose to die instead of resolve her problem.

“I am Desdyn and I have a task that you need to do.”

Another time, a new day, a different battle. Jyn reached up and touched the unit patch on the chest of her flak jacket, it was the flaming hammer of the Sixty-First. She didn’t understand why Desdyn insisted she add the patch to her kit, but it was one of the instructions he told her. Checking a map reader, she compared the time and location. She did not understand why the Ancestor sought her out, there were others in the tent that were the same as her. The route that had been sketched for her in the map reader had taken her in a very circuitous route to the side of a low hill. Her instructions had been explicit. She was not to engage any enemy, unless attacked. That prohibition ended at the hill she had come to at the bottom. She smiled when she heard the sounds of battle. Pulling her pistol and drawing her combat knife, Jyn ran with all her speed towards the conflict ahead of her.
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Default Author's Note

Here ends Chapter One.

We have met, albeit briefly, our heroes, or at least the main ones. Don't worry, more faces are on the way. With a bit of luck, this will wrap up within five chapters. Double the original length I outlined sadly.

Thanks again for all the feedback I've received so far. I really do appreciate it. This next post will be an interlude, and there will be a bit of a wait for it. I need to do this next piece from scratch. Chapter 2 will post quickly as it's mostly rewritten.

Till the next post!

---Snif (short for Treesnifer)

The Book of Grudges will know their name.

The Worlds of J.D. Barbera
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Here ends Chapter One.

We have met, albeit briefly, our heroes, or at least the main ones. Don't worry, more faces are on the way. With a bit of luck, this will wrap up within five chapters. Double the original length I outlined sadly.

Thanks again for all the feedback I've received so far. I really do appreciate it. This next post will be an interlude, and there will be a bit of a wait for it. I need to do this next piece from scratch. Chapter 2 will post quickly as it's mostly rewritten.

Till the next post!

---Snif (short for Treesnifer)
Interesting learning the lore of the squats, the berserkers are kind of like Dwarven slayers from fantasy.

I enjoyed reading the first chapter a lot. A colorful cast of cast of characters with a lot of personality to them. Well done. I think there were one or two missing words from the latest update, I'm on my phone now or else I'd point them out. Doesn't really detract from the story itself, though. Keep it up .

“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 .

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https://www.heresy-online.net/forums/...d.php?t=161618

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Default Interlude - Dwarfmoot

Interlude
The Dwarfmoot

Deep in normal space between the stars in the endless black, a tear in fabric of reality split the darkness. A maelstrom of color never meant to be witnessed by the unaided eye heralded the arrival a great fleet. Corvettes careened into real space from the anarchy of the Warp, each powering itself away from their egress point to stations ranging far afield. Immense cruisers entered next, gliding in stately disinterest they formed up to escort ships even greater. Kilometers long, with Grand Cruisers in close attendance, the great battleships slipped silently out of the chaos and drove forward. In their wake, the tear seemed to shudder. Its whirlpooled center flexed and spun, yet as the capital ships sailed away, the gate impossibly held itself open. Ripples flowed away, causing the reflected light of stars eons away to shimmer, flex, and wobble in their eternal sentinel duty.

Diving into space, far in the wake of the ships of combat, haphazard and pell mell, tiny ships of commerce fell into existence. Gnats compared to the parade that preceded them, they milled hesitantly about, nearly navigating into one another in their attempt to exit the warp gate. The stately purpose of the proceeding fleet was shattered by the chaotic mess of private vessels, ore carriers, pleasure ships, freight haulers, and the miscellaneous flotsam of interstellar commerce. Yet, inexorably, the mess of ships moved away from the still open gate, making no attempt to disguise that more was yet to come in this parade of star ships.

Great as the ships of battle were, their bulk filling the swirling gate, the final ship through seemed to stretch the unimaginable tear. Rounded and formed like no other ship, the nose dwarfed the cruisers as the battleships did the freight haulers, yet inexplicably the bulk of the ship was still hidden within the warp. Great runes declared the vessel as it squeezed itself through the gate. Blocky and long, the warships of the fleet bore no resemblance to the impossibly immense ship that finally drew itself out of the gate that impatiently snapped closed, as if it wished to bite down and rend the great ship like the mighty bite of a ravenous beast. Resembling nothing so much as an impossibly large egg, its runes held no doubt to its origin or purpose. Perhaps the size of as many as three battleships, the great vessel drove forward. Dwarven script, along with hundreds of clan sigils filling the nose of the hull, named the vessel; The Ark.

Inside, deep within, a debate was coming to a close. A week of controversy had reached its end;

“I, for one, still strongly disagree”, declared Oolong of the Stonehammer Clan.

“Nay, you say? Can you not do anything else?” The angry retort was punctuated by a slammed fist on the table.

“Peace, Y’Mordin. Oolong.”’ A placating tone from a wizened old dwarf forced a nod from the two who then glared at one another. “None here care for your personal quarrel. Put it aside. You are both adults.”

“You would instead have us pick and choose what engagement to embroil ourselves in, like some Eldar Craftworld. By the Ancestors, is that not what we are now? Allow me recess to be fitted with dancing shoes that I might look more Eldar than I live now!”

“Ever the skeptic, Oolong.” Y’Mordin began calmly, though he became more animated as he renewed their argument. "Yet you propose, Nay! Demand! That we fracture what is left of us, just as the Eldar have done, to make some fruitless attempt to propagate and at sometime regain the Homewords? No mind to the future! No consideration of resources! Not a care for any of our allies, or even a thought to our enemies!

"Peace! The two of you!" The placating tone was dropping swiftly and anger replacing it.

"Not a care? Not a care!" Oolong shot to his feet, his chair clattering across the floor behind him. Mirroring him, Y'Mordin stepped away from his chair and the two advanced upon each other. On the other side of the table, the older dwarf pinched his nose and breathed deeply.

"Chaos take you, Cisternwatch! I care! Have I not put aside all claim to restitution for the Ark's design? Guided this counsel in this Exodeus? Not a care?"

The two dwarves glared at each other. Y'Mordin walked up to Oolong and poked him in the chest with his finger.

"Your restitution? You senile old fool! Cisternwatch had pushed this plan for how long?"

"It was only accepted when Stormhammer took up the standard. Hah! Cisternwatch, as ever, has been ineffective in trying to prove any benefit to any proposal." Oolong pushed Y'Mordin back, slapping the braid in Y'Mordin's beard as he fell away.

Y'Mordin franticly brushed his beard back into place and glared at Oolong.

"And now your plan is to disperse all strength we may possess? Emperor above! The Ark has no weapons!"

"Just wait and see, Cisternwatch. You can prance and crow all you care to. The Moot will hearken to Stonehammer long before seeing relief from Cisternwatch. Go back and keep tabs on the depth of your well, waterboy."

"The ever shoddy work of the revered Stonehammers? Tell me, mason. When was the last time any clan came to you or yours for basin work?" Y'Mordin growled back. Oolong's face grew deep purple as he spit at Y'Salnos. "This body seeks not your wisdom, if it could be called such. Stonehammer foresight has ever been flawed. Just like your stone cunning skills."

The two combatants glared at one another. Each waiting for the other to speak. A soft cough from the table claimed their attention. The elder dwarf who had spoken before was sitting back in his chair, seemingly asleep. The other dwarves around the table were quietly waiting for the argument to subside. The two dwarves traded another glare and moved back to their seats. As they reseated the dwarven elder spoke softly.

"By the Book of Grudges you two. That was nigh a thousand years ago. No one cares what was wrong with that bath."

"It was an emergency cistern."

"It was a catch basin, elder."

The two answered reflexively and just as swiftly glared at one another, their ire growing again.

"You will only set them off again, Y'Ressantin. Please." Another of the ancient dwarves at the table groaned only to have Y'Ressantin's wheezing laugh as a response.

"Nay, my friend. Nay." His laugh falling to a soft coughing fit. "At my age, I need something to entertain me. Besides, have we not formed a consensus on the matters before us?"

The heads of the dwarves around the table all nodded and murmured their assent. The soft mutterings of the men was brought to a halt as the doors to the room opened.

"Hail, the Moot." Another wizened old dwarf moved into the room, raising his hand in greeting as he moved to the table.

"Hail, Y'Desdyn. The Moot recognizes you." Y'Ressantin smiled at the newcomer. "Welcome back."

"I have made contact with Titan Slayer Jyn and she has received her commuted sentence." Without preamble Desdyn sat at the table, pulling some cold cuts of meat to him and filling his plate. "I am unsure of the outcome though. I do not relish our paths crossing in the future."

"You alone have dispensed happiness and not death. Should that not be cause for celebration?"

"Do not the Slayers find happiness and celebration in death?" Desdyn frowned at his plate. "Have any of us have even seen a Titan Slayer? I am unsure if she can comprehend anything beyond death and war."

The mutters of other dwarves at the table again filled the room.

"Berserkers aplenty. Those of the criminal class."

"It galls me that these criminals steal the berserker title from our legitimate troops."

"Troll Slayers? Aye. Giant Slayers? Two I recall."

"Only one, myself."

"What is a Titan Slayer?"

"When Stompers are too easy to bring down, these psychopaths turn to gargants as the next challenge to surmount."

"I have never given the choice to a criminal. What would be the point?"

"It is enough that the first domino has been put in place. We will soon welcome another to our ranks. The promised one who will know the minds of our enemy." Y'Ressantin's reedy voice rose to cut through the soft voices of the other dwarves and silence fell across the room.

"The Tyranid." Oolong grumbled the word.

Desdyn finished building his sandwich and stood. Saluting the assembled dwarves with the sandwich, he spoke his farewell.

"The warlord will be splitting his forces away for the collection effort shortly. Jyn has already been detached to the force and I will be counsel for the warlord. Ancestors willing, we will be able to recollect the bulk of the Sixty-First Brotherhood of Durnak."

The dwarves raised tankards to the departing Desdyn.

"Hail and well met! Victory to the Warlord!"

Last edited by Treesnifer; 11-03-15 at 03:22 AM. Reason: Myen'Tal's feedback incorporated.
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Interlude
The Dwarfmoot

Deep in normal space between the stars in the endless black, a tear in fabric of reality split the darkness. A maelstrom of color never meant to be witnessed by the unaided eye heralded the arrival a great fleet. Corvettes careened into real space from the anarchy of the Warp, each powering itself away from their egress point to stations ranging far afield. Immense cruisers entered next, gliding in stately disinterest they formed up to escort ships even greater. Kilometers long, with Grand Cruisers in close attendance, the great battleships slipped silently out of the chaos and drove forward. In their wake, the tear seemed to shudder. Its whirlpooled center flexed and spun, yet as the capital ships sailed away, the gate impossibly held itself open. Ripples flowed away, causing the reflected light of stars eons away to shimmer, flex, and wobble in their eternal sentinel duty.

Diving into space, far in the wake of the ships of combat, haphazard and pell mell, tiny ships of commerce fell into existence. Gnats compared to the parade that preceded them, they milled hesitantly about, nearly navigating into one another in their attempt to exit the warp gate. The stately purpose of the proceeding fleet was shattered by the chaotic mess of private vessels, ore carriers, pleasure ships, freight haulers, and the miscellaneous flotsam of interstellar commerce. Yet, inexorably, the mess of ships moved away from the still open gate, making no attempt to disguise that more was yet to come in this parade of star ships.

Great as the ships of battle were, their bulk filling the swirling gate, the final ship through seemed to stretch the unimaginable tear. Rounded and formed like no other ship, the nose dwarfed the cruisers as the battleships did the freight haulers, yet inexplicably the bulk of the ship was still hidden within the warp. Great runes declared the vessel as it squeezed itself through the gate. Blocky and long, the warships of the fleet bore no resemblance to the impossibly immense ship that finally drew itself out of the gate that impatiently snapped closed, as if it wished to bite down and rend the great ship like the mighty bite of a ravenous beast. Resembling nothing so much as an impossibly large egg, its runes held no doubt to its origin or purpose. Perhaps the size of as many as three battleships, the great vessel drove forward. Dwarven script, along with hundreds of clan sigils filling the nose of the hull, named the vessel; The Ark.

Inside, deep within, a debate was coming to a close. A week of controversy had reached its end;

“I, for one, still strongly disagree”, declared Oolong of the Stonehammer Clan.

“Nay, you say? Can you not do anything else?” The angry retort was punctuated by a slammed fist on the table.

“Peace, Y’Mordin. Oolong.”’ A placating tone from a wizened old dwarf forced a nod from the two who then glared at one another. “None here care for your personal quarrel. Put it aside. You are both adults.”

“You would instead have us pick and choose what engagement to embroil ourselves in, like some Eldar Craftworld. By the Ancestors, is that not what we are now? Allow me recess to be fitted with dancing shoes that I might look more Eldar than I live now!”

“Ever the skeptic, Oolong.” Y’Mordin began calmly, though he became more animated as he renewed their argument. "Yet you propose, Nay! Demand! That we fracture what is left of us, just as the Eldar have done, to make some fruitless attempt to propagate and at sometime regain the Homewords? No mind to the future! No consideration of resources! Not a care for any of our allies, or even a thought to our enemies!

"Peace! The two of you!" The placating tone was dropping swiftly and anger replacing it.

"Not a care? Not a care!" Oolong shot to his feet, his chair clattering across the floor behind him. Mirroring him, Y'Mordin stepped away from his chair and the two advanced upon each other. On the other side of the table, the older dwarf pinched his nose and breathed deeply.

"Chaos take you, Cisternwatch! I care! Have I not put aside all claim to restitution for the Ark's design? Guided this counsel in this Exodeus? Not a care?"

The two dwarves glared at each other. Y'Mordin walked up to Oolong and poked him in the chest with his finger.

"Your restitution? You senile old fool! Cisternwatch had pushed this plan for how long?"

"It was only accepted when Stormhammer took up the standard. Hah! Cisternwatch, as ever, has been ineffective in trying to prove any benefit to any proposal." Oolong pushed Y'Mordin back, slapping the braid in Y'Mordin's beard as he fell away.

Y'Mordin franticly brushed his beard back into place and glared at Oolong.

"And now your plan is to disperse all strength we may possess? Emperor above! The Ark has no weapons!"

"Just wait and see, Cisternwatch. You can prance and crow all you care to. The Moot will hearken to Stonehammer long before seeing relief from Cisternwatch. Go back and keep tabs on the depth of your well, waterboy."

"The ever shoddy work of the revered Stonehammers? Tell me, mason. When was the last time any clan came to you or yours for basin work?" Y'Mordin growled back. Oolong's face grew deep purple as he spit at Y'Salnos. "This body seeks not your wisdom, if it could be called such. Stonehammer foresight has ever been flawed. Just like your stone cunning skills."

The two combatants glared at one another. Each waiting for the other to speak. A soft cough from the table claimed their attention. The elder dwarf who had spoken before was sitting back in his chair, seemingly asleep. The other dwarves around the table were quietly waiting for the argument to subside. The two dwarves traded another glare and moved back to their seats. As they reseated the dwarven elder spoke softly.

"By the Book of Grudges you two. That was nigh a thousand years ago. No one cares what was wrong with that bath."

"It was an emergency cistern."

"It was a catch basin, elder."

The two answered reflexively and just as swiftly glared at one another, their ire growing again.

"You will only set them off again, Y'Ressantin. Please." Another of the ancient dwarves at the table groaned only to have Y'Ressantin's wheezing laugh as a response.

"Nay, my friend. Nay." His laugh falling to a soft coughing fit. "At my age, I need something to entertain me. Besides, have we not formed a consensus on the matters before us?"

The heads of the dwarves around the table all nodded and murmured their assent. The soft mutterings of the men was brought to a halt as the doors to the room opened.

"Hail, the Moot." Another wizened old dwarf moved into the room, raising his hand in greeting as he moved to the table.

"Hail, Y'Desdyn. The Moot recognizes you." Y'Ressantin smiled at the newcomer. "Welcome back."

"I have made contact with Titan Slayer Jyn and she has received her commuted sentence." Without preamble Desdyn sat at the table, pulling some cold cuts of meat to him and filling his plate. "I am unsure of the outcome though. I do not relish our paths crossing in the future."

"You alone have dispensed happiness and not death. Should that not be cause for celebration?"

"Do not the Slayers find happiness and celebration in death?" Desdyn frowned at his plate. "Have any of us have even seen a Titan Slayer? I am unsure if she can comprehend anything beyond death and war."

The mutters of other dwarves at the table again filled the room.

"Berserkers aplenty. Those of the criminal class."

"It galls me that these criminals steal the berserker title from our legitimate troops."

"Troll Slayers? Aye. Giant Slayers? Two I recall."

"Only one, myself."

"What is a Titan Slayer?"

"When Stompers are too easy to bring down, these psychopaths turn to gargants as the next challenge to surmount."

"I have never given the choice to a criminal. What would be the point?"

"It is enough that the first domino has been put in place. We will soon welcome another to our ranks. The promised one who will know the minds of our enemy." Y'Ressantin's reedy voice rose to cut through the soft voices of the other dwarves and silence fell across the room.

"The Tyranid." Oolong grumbled the word.

Desdyn finished building his sandwich and stood. Saluting the assembled dwarves with the sandwich, he spoke his farewell.

"The warlord will be splitting his forces away for the collection effort shortly. Jyn has already been detached to the force and I will be counsel for the warlord. Ancestors willing, we will be able to recollect the bulk of the Sixty-First Brotherhood of Durnak."

The dwarves raised tankards to the departing Desdyn.

"Hail and well met! Victory to the Warlord!"
Nice update, Treesnifer, very interesting to dive deeper into your take of the squat lore. I will say this, though I have been guilty of it myself. When the dwarves are talking about the titan slayer simultaneously, you may find it better if you just left all that in the description of your paragraph. A couple of voices with no owners may detract from the reading. Some might disagree, which is okay, it's just my opinion. See what works for you .

“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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I will say this, though I have been guilty of it myself. When the dwarves are talking about the titan slayer simultaneously, you may find it better if you just left all that in the description of your paragraph. A couple of voices with no owners may detract from the reading. Some might disagree, which is okay, it's just my opinion. See what works for you
I've been taken to task, and watched others as well, when trying to give some background for creating an 'info dump', and putting the reader to sleep. Of course, I've never tried to write dialog of a room full of overlapping conversations either.

My concern with a paragraph, even a quick one, is that a clinical description would be the result, and I want to illustrate the disdain and revulsion dwarves feel for any slayer. In addition to the simple fact that there isn't anything like a Titan Slayer. The weakest gargant is the Mekboy Gargant, and it would take a either a Warlord detachment, or a full bezerker support card plus it's hearthguard to drag one down. Even with rerolling 1s and 2s as a single successful round of close combat probably wouldn't stop the dang thing.

My eon's old view of the slayers from when we played the WHF RPG, was that the slayer is looked down upon because they are, in a dwarf's view, cowards. Would rather die than deal with/ face their problems, and cloak that fear in death by combat (sorta like suicide by cop).

What about giving faces and emotion to the crowd? Or does that just add to the confusion? There is also doing the description narrated in thought; "So-and-So thought about the slayers and their cowardice. Fallen dwarves who could not face their failures and sought death instead. Blah, blah, blah. Yada yada."

Which would fit best? Omniscient descriptive paragraph, In-Character silent pondering description, or adding emotion and faces to the mumbling of those gathered?

The Book of Grudges will know their name.

The Worlds of J.D. Barbera
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I think adding emotions and faces will work just fine, maybe the in character description to. Hope that helps .

“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 #28 of 53 (permalink) Old 11-03-15, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Myen'Tal, your suggestions have been implemented. Things took a bit longer than expected as the wife's business has needed me to be involved more to get the orders out the door. The busy season is upon us.

I hope adding in who is talking alleviates some of the confusion.

The Book of Grudges will know their name.

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Originally Posted by Treesnifer View Post
Myen'Tal, your suggestions have been implemented. Things took a bit longer than expected as the wife's business has needed me to be involved more to get the orders out the door. The busy season is upon us.

I hope adding in who is talking alleviates some of the confusion.
Treesnifer, the changes implemented make everything much clearer, I get an overall better sense of clarity when I'm reading the Interlude. I can easier tell who is who and their importance in the Elder Council(?). Looking forward to the next update.

“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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Default Interlude - The Eldar

Interlude
The Eldar

As Veghard, Abelard, and Novarious joined together, on the opposite side of the battlefield, a tall lithe figure stood before a silvered pillar that sent a soft white glow up towards the sky. Suspended within that glow, slowly orbiting themselves, floated a gathering of rectangular chits colored the hue of aged bone. After contemplating the flow and dance before it, the figure turned its attention to a map. A delicate hand, encased in armor, deftly touched icons defining troops and their positions and moved them. Elsewhere, troops picked up their gear and began moving.

Turning back to the silvered pillar, the figure gathered the chits and after a moment’s meditation, gracefully scattered the chits back into aura of light to watch their dance. Each chit was etched with a single rune of a geometric design, each different and unique. A oracle of ancient design that had always been the harbinger of good things, and the cry of warning in times of trouble. As the runes spun and the chits slowed their orbits, the figure that initiated the toss froze in disbelief. Another figure, armored and helmed as the first, stepped up to contemplate the rune’s message. Together they observed two additional casts of the runes, both matching the first.

Another consultation of the map followed by another study of the floating runes. Reaching out a delicate hand, the floating chits were gathered up and placed into a small bag. A soft click gave testimony of others unrevealed within. Reaching inside, a single rune was withdrawn. The figure nodded, satisfied with the draw. Returning the single rune to the bag, the figure rose it's masked face to the sky before bowing its head seemingly in prayer. Reaching again into the bag, three runes were withdrawn and tossed into the light where they were caught and held suspended slowly revolving. The two exchanged a look.

“What is it, Farseer?” the newcomer asked.

“Trouble, my friend”, the farseer reached up to remover the helm. Long tresses of bright golden hair spilt down the back of the farseer. “You may find your service in higher demand than I first divined.”

“How shall we proceed?”

The farseer was silent. He gazed at the cast of three runes, then gathered them to cast out five stones.

“Here, Anfelas, see? These three have come up again. Locked into their place.”

“But you’ve added two dimensions to your cast. That changes it, does it not, Erl’myasdul?

Erl’myasdul nodded absently. Anfelas wasn’t sure if his friend’s mumbled answer was directed to him, or Erl’myasdul talking to himself. “What lies before us. What we cannot see. What we seek. Here is the influence. The outcome. I care not for this outcome.”

Anfelas waited patiently. The farseer would decide the best course of action, and Andelas would implement it, as best he could. Though he tried his best to learn the art of casting, Erl’myasdul walked the path of the farseer. As a warlock, Anfelas strength was of a more direct nature. When he matured a bit more, perhaps he would be able to find where the path of the Farseer started. He just needed to cultivate more patience.

Erl’myasdul tossed the runes again and again. No more orders came from the farseer though and Anfelas found himself growing concerned. Speed and mobility was their strength, and this lull would only benefit the mon-keigh. His thoughts starting to wander, Anfelas started when Erl’myasdul suddenly poured all the stones from the bag into his hand and threw them at the oracle beam.

Several of the chits flew outside of the pillar’s cone of light, but not all. The rest swirlled around and around as Erl’myasdul stood, his eyes closed in concentration. One by one the chits fell from the cone and onto the table, until there was only one rune left floating alone. The farseer stood staring at it, lost in thought. Anfelas frowned when his friend spoke unexpectedly.

“Recall Olirneth. His squad is in trouble and we cannot risk them where they are now.”

Anfelas nodded. He was unfamiliar with the single rune floating before them. “What is that?”

Erl’myasdul gazed at the last rune, an odd smile played on his lips. The rune, a depiction of five vertical parallel lines topped by two horizontal, was a stylized face. “The Dvergr. The Dwarves. Our old allies come, and they are calling their dead to them. Our gift to them, did you know? In their Age of Trade, we guided their psychic growth, but now they are so few. So inconsequential. It never even came to mind that they could even be involved here. Have you ever faced one of their living ancestors, my friend?“

Erl’myasdul removed the chit from the oracle and set it aside. With Anfelas’s aid, he picked up the scattered runes, replacing them into their bag. “I have, and it is good that I am with you today. Many a farseer does not use this rune anymore. It is a rare rune to have in any event, but it does detect their psychic signature and we won’t wonder at the source of the interference with the oracle.”


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