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Screams echoed off the walls of the thatched huts as Orcs butchered their way through the small village, burning everything in their path. The peasants fled before the green tide, only to be chased down and cut into bloody ruin by massive blood crazed boars, ridden by yet more Orcs. It took less than an hour for the massive horde to massacre every living thing in the village.
When the slaughter was over, the brutal Orcs basked in the glow of burning houses, and grumbled at the lack of a fight.
“Dat weren’t no propa fite,” one of them complained. “All they did woz run away, letting’ dem boar boyz ‘ave all da fun. Me choppa ain’t hardly got no blood on it at all!”
“Dat’s cos you can’t hit nuffink wiv it,” another laughed at him. The first Orc jumped on the other, wrapping his massive hands about his tormentors throat. The other orcs cheered them on. Suddenly the first orc was sent flying with a massive kick in the ribs. A huge hulking green brute stood over them, head and shoulders above the other orcs. He had a massive horned helmet on his head and a cloak made from fur that he claimed he had skinned from a wild Rhinox. The other orcs backed away, fearing the wrath of their leader, Warboss Gutstompa.
“Wot you snots squabblin’ about?”
“He said I wasn’t no good wiv me choppa, boss!” the first grumbled, pointing accusingly.
“That’s cos you ain’t,” Gutstompa said sternly, “now shut it, the pair of ya. We’s expectin’ sum humies for a chat.”
Not long after, a group of 5 men approached the Orc camp, robed in black and all riding huge horses. The man who lead the group demanded to speak to the Warboss. An orc guard grunted and headed into the camp. One of the men in the group leant closer to his leader.
“My lord, are you sure about this? These orcs are little more than savages.”
“That as may be,” the leader replied, “but they have the means to get the job done.”
“But, my lord…” He was interrupted by the arrival of Warboss Gutstompa.
“We’z done wot you wanted, humie. Wot now? Where’s dat big fite you promised?”
“Your actions have been brought to the attention of the Baron, and soon, Bretonnia’s finest will ride out to face you in battle.”
“So wot we gonna do till then, Lord Wassit?” The lord bridled at this.
“Lord Stoatal,” he corrected. “And you can continue killing peasants if you want. Too many of them for my tastes.”
“We’ve bin killin’ dem smelly humies for six days!” Gutstompa roared. “My boyz need a propa fite!”
“Very well. There’s a small chapel about a days march south, as well as a large village.” He pointed in the direction of the village. “It’s guarded by some low-born men at arms and a few knights. They should provide some fun for you.”
“Then do we get dat big fite?” Gutstompa demanded. Lord Stoatal sighed.
“Yes, then you get your big fight. But don’t forget the second part of our bargain.”
“Yer, yer, yer,” the Warboss said dismissively. “Kill dat nite in da wite wiv da birdie.”
“Good.” Lord Stoatal smiled, and turned his horse away, followed by his four guards. Warboss Gutstompa turned to his Orcs.
“Rite boys! We’z got a propa fite that way.” He pointed in the direction indicated by Lord Stoatal. “So ‘ave a good kip and ‘ave some meat for brekkie. The Waagh starts propa tomorra! WAAAGH!”
“WAAAGH!” came the enthusiastic reply. The orcs cooked the slaughtered cattle on the flames of the burning houses and sharpened their choppas for the next day’s fight.* * *
Two days ride to the north-west, stood Bodam Castle, which loomed, tall and dark stoned over the town of the same name. The village that the orcs had burnt glowed on the horizon. Baron Edward de Ardon leant against the open window in the castle’s main hall, looking at the afterglow of the sacked village. His three finest knights stood some distance behind him, all clad in armour, and with their swords hanging at their hips.
“My Lord?” Sir Rupert Clisson prompted. Baron Edward turned from his window.
“What am I to do?” he asked his knights. “I have an orc horde ravaging my lands I have to be at the King’s Court in two weeks to discuss taxes.”
“Can‘t you ask that the king postpone the meeting, my lord?” Sir Robert Penbrook suggested.
“No. This meeting has been delayed for two months already. I cannot send men where I would not lead myself.” Baron Edward sighed and turned back to the window. Sir Lucan Stormchaser stepped forward and bowed slightly.
“My lord, I would like to volunteer to lead your men into battle against these orcs.” Baron Edward looked at him.
“Sir Lucan, you know how I feel about sending my knights into battle, without me leading them.” Sir Lucan was a tall knight with piercing ice blue eyes and his long brown hair tied back in a pony tail. He wore a white tabard over his armour, which displayed his family crest of a red hawk in full flight.
“Then don’t send us into battle, my lord,” Sir Lucan replied, “Give me command of your knights while you are at the kings court, and charge me with protecting your land while you are gone. Any battle I engage in would be my prerogative, and my full responsibility.” Baron Edward smiled.
“Very well, Sir Lucan. You have command of my knights. I will leave at first light. You will assume command then.” Sir Lucan and the other knights bowed.
“Good day, my lord,” Sir Lucan said, and left with the other knights.
* * *
Alexander Loholt swung his longsword at an orc, slicing it’s chest open. Before it had even hit the floor, another scrambled over it, bawling and salivating, raising it’s crude choppa. Sir Alexander thrust his sword forwards into the beasts open mouth. Dark blood gushed out, as Sir Alexander kicked the dying beast off his sword. He took a quick look around. His men at arms, and his fellow knights were struggling against the tide of green.
“Fall back!” he bellowed. “Fall back! Do not let them defile the Chapel!” He edged back, taking care not to slip on the blood slicked flagstones. He and his few remaining men formed a shield wall before the double doors of the Chapel of the Lady of the Lake. “In the name of the Lady, do not let them get past!” Sir Alexander yelled, as a fresh wave of orcs barrelled towards them.
“Hold the line!” the commander of the men-at-arms shouted, a second before the hulking green mass crashed into the shield wall. The shield wall buckled, and barely kept from breaking. Only Sir Alexander heaving back against the brutish orcs saved the wall from shattering. “For the Lady!”* * *
Sir Lucan rode in full battle gear, at the head of the column of knights, men-at-arms and peasant archers that marched along the dusty road, all armed and armoured, unsure of when they would encounter the orcs.
“My lord.” Thomas interrupted Lucan’s thoughts. Lucan looked at him, and Thomas pointed down the road. Lucan looked in the direction he was pointing and saw a group of riders coming down the road. He turned back to his knights. “Make ready,” he called, as Thomas handed him his Great helm. Lucan pulled his helm over his head, then slipped his arm through the shield straps. He pulled his sword from its scabbard, the steel blade scraping against the scabbards metal throat. Just before he snapped his visor shut, he recognised Lord Stoatal. He breathed a sigh of relief.
“Stand down,” he said to his men.
“Sir Lucan,” Lord Stoatal exclaimed, when he saw him. “Thank the Lady you’re here! The orcs are attacking a Chapel of the Lady.”
“What? How do you know this?!”
“Sir Alexander Loholt, the knight who protects the chapel sent me a message via raven. He asked that I ride north and bring re-enforcements as soon as possible.”
“Re-enforcements he shall have,” Lucan nodded, and indicated the men behind him. Lord Stoatal gave Lucan a grateful smile.
“Thank you, Sir Lucan,” he said with an expression of relief, “thank you so very much. But you should hurry. The village is two days away, and the orcs may have already overpowered Sir Alexander and his men.” Lucan nodded.
“We will get there as soon as possible, though I feel that no matter how soon we arrive, it will be too late. Sir Alexander is a good man, and I will avenge his death.” Lord Stoatal bowed his head.
“Lady be with you, Sir Lucan,” he said, before continuing on his way North.
* * *
Alexander’s eyes flickered open. He stared into the wide, staring eyes of one of his dead men-at-arms. Dried blood was crusted on Alexander’s face, his body ached and his head throbbed. He lifted his head to see over the corpse that lay in front of him. Tears filled his eyes as he saw the vile orcs defiling the chapel, scrawling on the pale stone walls with burnt timbers or blood from the numberless dead that surrounded him. The smell of burning thatch filled his nostrils as, with tears streaming down his face, he reached out and grabbed the nearest sword. He staggered to his feet, hefting the blade in both hands. He gave a bellow filled with anger, and charged at the nearest orc. Swinging his sword in wild, hateful arcs, he decapitated the first orc, then took the right arm of a second, letting his tameless rage drive him.
Warboss Gutstompa, heard the commotion outside the chapel and sauntered out. He saw a knight with dried blood on his face hacking at his orcs. Gutstompa snarled, and lifted his huge axe, striding towards the knight. Alexander saw the Warboss advancing towards him, and screamed like a wild thing, raising his sword above his head. Gutstompa swung his massive weapon in response, bawling his orcish war cry.
Alexander stopped dead in his tracks. He felt a coldness spread through him from his waist. He dropped his sword, and gave a last gurgling breath, before slumping to the ground, cut clean in half at his midriff. Gutstompa gave a guttural laugh, as he spat on Alexander’s body.
“Now dat woz a good fite,” he said, grinning toothily. “Ain’t had dat much fun fer ages!” He looked around at his orcs. “Rite, boys. Get rid of dese humies, den set up camp. We’z gonna need sum meat if we’re wantin’ ter fite dem ovver humies.” He paused, and thought for a second. “Dey should be ‘ere in a few days.”* * *Gutstompa’s horde was very impatient, even by orc standards. Less than a day and a half after the defeat of the Chapel guards, they were thirsty for more battle. They took little pleasure in slaughtering the horses, cattle and sheep that were still alive, so they resorted to fighting each other. The best fight, that was drawing most attention, was between a single Black Orc and three Orc Boys. Unsurprisingly, the Black Orc was winning. The fight was ended abruptly, however when the ground started to shake, and a sound like rolling thunder filled the air, getting closer and closer. Some of the orcs lifted their weapons nervously. Suddenly, a vengeful battle cry sounded so loud, it made even the hardiest orc involuntarily crouch down with fear.
“STORMCHASER!” The orc horde had barely any time to recover before five columns of Bretonnian knights ploughed into their midst, the massed number of lances snapping like a crack of doom.
That was a great story, I thoroughly enjoyed that.
I wouldn't change much, but maybe adding those "***" things between parapgraphs when yu change the subject, ie, when switching between politics and the Waaaagh!, I found it a little hard to keep track of.
Also, why did you describe Sir Lucan on about his 4th mention? Maybe shift that up to the first time he gets mentioned eg "The tall handsome etc Knight said to his liege, words spoken with wisdom and tact" or something.
Otherwise, good job, you were able to keep it interesting from the start, and keep the plot alive. I never did find out Sir Lucans hidden agenda (I assume it was the glory he got for beating the Orcs).
Great work - a good sense of intrigue, those crazy Orcs and a touch of heroics. Poor Alexander!
You seem to have already acted upon ArchonFarseerGuy's suggestions, and the story looks fine as it is. If you did want to go over it again though, I'd just pay attention to your use of commas. It seems to be a problem I suffer from as well, jamming too many commas in and making sentences difficult to read.
Just a suggestion, it probably won't improve the story much though so feel free to leave it as it is!
Well done, and good luck in the competition
Commas are like fine cheese. Every now and then, they really enhance whatever they're served with but you kill them if you take too much.