“The Means To An End?” = 1095 words (I think?).
“Are you certain that there is nothing you want..?” her soft voice whispered into his ear.
“Look down there...they are ripe for the taking; fruits to be plucked in their prime and devoured with as much gusto as a mortal can achieve. Surely you crave for just...such...delicacies?”
Beside her, the latest recruit could barely suppress a growl of these very same needs, his sharpened teeth glinting in the pale sunlight as they spied upon their prey.
Though the foe had superior numbers they looked in all directions, fearful of attack but lacking the tactical acumen to see where it would come from. Of course, the answer was ‘everywhere’.
Though unskilled, the enemy had armed themselves from the fallen and were well-equipped with weaponry and armour. In contrast, the attackers wore little more than an occasional shield, warpaint, furs and battle-scars.
Though sturdy, the carts of their forthcoming victims would provide little shelter against the minotaur which had joined them last year.
With the flames of the single-sided battle dying down to it’s last embers, a lucky bludgeoning strike smashed into the minotaur’s neck and face, crushing it’s jaw until the impact wound was a red ruin of exposed innerflesh and bone fragments.
Simultaneously, the rusted remains of a halberd hooked into it’s guts, tearing out several spools of innards onto the wagon yoke it straddled.
In reply, the beast screamed out it’s pleasure-pain and lashed out, sending the assailants sprawling into the dirt, huge gashes rent through their torso’s, but also leaving ragged strips of fur hanging from it’s face as the foe’s morning star ripped free.
With no more adversaries to confront and breath now coming in ragged gasps, it watched as the beloved Champion approached and tilted back her head, gulping down the gore that dripped from it’s wounds.
It’s deep brown eyes were full of adoration as her body shuddered with the sweet taste of his dripping vitality.
With a piercing shriek, the bull-headed monstrosity threw back it’s head and spasmed as a spear-point slid out from it’s chest, catching the champion’s porcelain-like cheek; crimson from this additional source flowed briefly, staining the swells in her elaborately-laced tunic.
The weapon-head withdrew silently and the hulking brute gave a final, childlike whimper as it crashed to the ground: the weight of it’s huge corpse finally breaking the wagon into so many worn and beaten timbers.
“That one was too injured to continue and would have slowed us down, a liability we can ill-afford.” the recruit stated, even though most assembled did not require -or deserve- any explanation.
His voice now a soft whisper: “...yet I do not think anyone here would prevent me from the deliciously oh-so-fleeting flavour of assuaged revenge..?”
Looking around, few met his feral grin:
Thorimund, a crazed follower of Hashut, tried to cast his raving eyes to the ground as best he could, yet they still displayed mania and his skull-headed wand shook with barely-contained eldritch energy.
Heleanor and Coriath –acolyte twins of the realm of Hoeth, now in thrall to greater Gods- were already looting the dead and dying from both sides, eager for yet more trinkets and ritual-items.
The brown-furred leader of the band’s beastmen, Garath, was his equal in strength and cunning, so could have posed a threat.
Instead, the horned once-man merely nodded and licked his thick grey lips in approval of the sentiment, before returning to his remaining four kin.
Esperanza, Rickard and Hekator, refugees from some fight or other, always fought as a trio, their seven sabres bringing down Ogres and Griffons alike and no mortal had been a match for them.
Although they looked away simultaneously, he knew that they already longed for the next defilement of the lands of Man that they had forsaken an age ago.
Lastly, he looked upon his delectable leader –as always, the obedient handmaiden by her side- yet she still held naught but disdain and a cool unflappable calm which he could not fathom.
“Spoken like a true Champion!” she screamed and the warband raised it’s weapons high in praise to the masters they believed in, but could never truly comprehend.
As she passed him, her eyes widened and her honeyed words sank into his being, salving his blood-drenched conscience and drowning what he had once been so long ago: “You did well with Malorex there: just one strike felled even his constitution. Yet I think the greatest treat is yet to come, is it not..?”
Her gentle laugh held neither softness nor humour, enflaming his deepest desire as she continued: “Come now, why the quizzical look when we both know you will save your utmost rage for me...and me alone..?
“You have been with us for such a long time; has your mind now withered to such a degree that there is nothing left of it?
"Or perhaps it looks to The Brass Throne for succour?
"If I lay my head down, will you take it as surely as you did The Transmuter’s magician’s last week?
"Or the Elven Princess' the previous month?
"No, you will wait and bide your time...all the while, I will be lounging in plain sight, drinking in your tormented gaze, knowing that such a thing shall never occur.”
“You are wrong, My Champion.” came his instant snarled reply, railing against her truths yet -even in this blasted place- he still clung to hope.
“Only two things remain for me now: one is the person you have taken to your side; the other is the belief that our Gods will grant me one last request, even as I anoint the ground with the lifeblood of your enemies.”
Another burst of laughter, this time as harsh and biting as the cruelly chill Northern winds:
“But have you considered what may happen if I should fall in battle to another’s blade? Then They would cheat you from your prize!
"Skilled as you are, such as you are, even you may not be able to protect me until your moment comes.
“However, if you are dedicated enough -and as motivated as much as you profess- then there is a way and it is such a little ritual.
"One simple step to take, requiring no special effort at all.
"One we can do here and now should you wish?
"Then you could protect me until our Gods direct your strikes as you so desperately yearn...what say you?”
Dropping to his knee later, his oaths to Slaanesh issued forth, motivated not by fealty but by the revenge his soul had craved these past five years.
Urgently trying to trace any living relatives of Private Sam/Samuel "Jock" Wilson (Black Watch, No. 6 Commando, UK Army Service ID 2764432, died 10.06.44). Any info/suggestions gratefully received.
"Mockles! Pent on silpen tree, blockards three a-feening. Mockles! What silps came to thee, in thy pantry, dreaming?"
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Last edited by andygorn; 07-08-11 at 05:48 PM.