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I originally wrote this story over a year ago, for the Warzone Ezine. This story received excellent reviews when released with the first edition of the Warzone magazine, and was one of several articles that I wrote at the time (incidentally my articles were probably the most error free articles released within the website and ezine). I hope you enjoy.
The sky flashed blue over the stormy expanse of ocean, as an arc of surging lightning lanced across the boiling cauldron of blackness that enveloped the sky.
Draln, however, barely noticed the maelstrom playing out above him. His eyes were fixed upon the large, heavy, Imperial frigate ahead of him. Fresh back from plundering the lands of Lustria, the ship was riding low in the water under the weight of the treasures on board.
The sleek Druchii boarding ship had pursued the enemy vessel for over a hundred leagues across the great ocean, and Draln was not about to give up the chase. Not now, when he was this close.
Breaking his gaze away from the Imperial ship, Draln turned to his crew and smiled. They shuddered. When Cap’n Draln smiled, death followed.
Moving to the helm, he took control. Tacking port and starboard, he skilfully inched closer to the enemy vessel. With perfect timing, he caught a swell, and using its momentum, propelled the craft forward at frightening speed, bringing it alongside and slightly ahead of the Imperial frigate.
Draln glanced to starboard. With his sharp vision, he could see the fear in the eyes of the human crew, and he revelled in their terror. Quickly tacking, Draln brought the ship closer to the enemy vessel. “Fire”, he ordered his crew, half laughing and half shouting. The deck-mounted Reaper batteries opened up, cutting swathes of blood and gore through the enemy.
Suddenly, a series of cracking sounds rang out, clear and loud, even above the gale. Instinctively throwing himself flat, Draln watched as lead filled the air above him, cutting into the Druchii crew, and wiping out the elves manning the Reapers. In response, the corsairs dove for cover, although many were cut down in the initial hail of bullets. Drawing their crossbows, the corsairs prepared to return fire.
Draln looked around desperately, eyes searching for a way to overcome this surprise assault. He hadn’t known the enemy carried handgunners, or he wouldn’t have dared to stray so close. His roving eyes caught the hatchway leading to the hold, and an idea struck him like a thunderbolt.
The elven Captain crawled along the deck, below the sights of the Imperial guns. He lifted the hatch and, motioning for his corsairs to follow, descended into the depths of the Druchii ship.
Moving rapidly, almost feverishly, the vicious idea still forming in his head as he ran, he headed for the slave pens. He smiled to himself. This might just work. Turning, he ordered his corsairs to remove their armour, and give it to the slaves. A few of them looked puzzled, but none dared defy his orders. Each elf quickly relinquished his battle gear. Once this task was completed, he gave the order for his men to ready weapons, and to assemble below the hatch to the deck.
Several minutes later, on the Imperial ship, one of the handgunners noticed movement on the deck of the Druchii vessel. He yelled a warning to the ship’s Captain, “Sir! Sir! The enemy are back!”
The human Captain peered out into the darkness, across at the enemy ship. “They number less than two score!” He roared triumphantly, “Prepare to board! We shall send the scum to hell!”
Grappling hooks were thrown to the Druchii ship. Once secured, the Imperial crew hauled on the ropes, bringing the enemy ship closer and closer to their vessel. The distance between them was diminished to mere feet, and boarding planks were thrown.
If the Imperial warriors had looked properly, they might have noticed the “corsairs” were bound at the wrists; they carried no weapons, and were not as tall as Druchii normally are. In fact they were mostly short and stocky, a highly uncommon trait amongst elves. However, they were so seized by their own bloodlust; they failed to see the obvious decoy. The warriors charged across the boarding planks heedless.
Draln waited, tensed like a steel spring, in the hold with his corsairs. Judging the time to be right, he turned to the bloodthirsty warriors. “Kill anything in armour,” he ordered, a smile playing about his lips, “They will learn never to take anything for granted when we Druchii are involved.”
By chaosundivided of Librarium Online.
Very nice Chaos.
Although it may seem obvious that you'd like to get some feedback, some people are a wee bit sensitive about that sort of thing (particularly where negative feedback is concerned). So unless it's asked for specifically, many of us would simply read and enjoy without comment.
I suspect the reason why nobody else has commented is because you didn't actually ask them to bud.
Because Sun Tzu would play Tomb Kings...
Hehe, thanks for clearing that up, I probably will post other stories then, I'll just tag the end with something like "Feedback appreciated". Thanks for the comment.
Pretty nice...and Druchiish
Thanks. I have a story about High Elves that I may post today or tomorrow, also written for Warzone, if that was too Dark Elfey for you :p.
A well written and fluffy story is nice, whatever races are involved in the tale. But nontheless I'd be glad to hear a story about HE
Thanks, I'm about to post the High Elf story, hope you enjoy it.
I quite like this piece - those devious elves always have a few tricks up their sleeves!
There's not much to criticise, really, it's a pretty solid piece of writing.
I guess, if I really think about it... I'm not all that sure the Druchii captain wouldn't expect guns... but then again, they aren't all that common in the Warhammer world, I guess.