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Mynameisgrax: Orcs & Goblins
FOR FEAR OF LITTLE MEN
The dark elf corsairs slipped through the night, as silent and quick as death. They could already hear the nervous chittering of the goblin force, around the other side of the crumbling cobblestone wall.
It’d been three weeks since the goblin savages ransacked the small port city, but they failed to notice the true value of the goods within. As far as the dark elves could tell, the gobbos had invaded solely for fish.
With no human presence left, and curiously enough, no orcs either, this left the corsairs with only pathetic goblins to deal with. Goblins made poor slaves, so the order had simply been ‘slaughter and pillage’, much to the delight of the rank and file men.
Not far away, the night goblins were already well aware of their enemy’s approach. As usual, the elves filled their tiny hearts with dread, but they had enough courage to pull the hoods of their robes down over their heads, their shields up high, and turn their spears towards the enemy. They sincerely doubted they’d need to use them.
Inevitably, the corsairs quietly leapt out from behind cover, and fired a salvo of bolts into the gobbo ranks. A few unlucky greenskins dropped, but the survivors didn’t seem to mind much, and began their slow advance.
The corsairs smirked and reloaded their bows, but the keen ears of their commander noticed a strange sound from the ranks of their enemies. It was a soft metallic click, almost like a key turning in a lock.
Out of nowhere, a single wild goblin hurled itself through the air, spinning itself into the corsair’s general direction. He was no larger or more fearsome than his pathetic brethren, aside from a ridiculously oversized mace and chain gripped within its tiny hands, an intense red eyed stare glowing underneath its hood, and a mad cackle upon its lips.
Surely, the Goblins would never cease to amaze the elves.
Perceiving this as a challenge, their own champion erupted with laughter, and casually stepped forward in the path of the strange, goblin berserker. Granted, the greenskin’s speed was impressive, assisted by the momentum created by the odd ball and chain in its grasp, but its small size meant it was no true warrior, if the goblins indeed even possessed such a thing.
The reaver champion withdrew his favorite blade, the one with the jagged edge, and lunged forward with a precise and deadly thrust, aimed directly at his opponen’ts throat. The blade caught the side of the goblin’s neck, slicing open a major vein, and causing blood to erupt like juice squeezed from an overripe peach.
Curiously, the goblin didn’t react to the deadly blow in any significant way. Driven on by some unknown force, the small creature merely continued his spin, effortlessly swinging his giant flail into the reaver’s head, knocking it clean off his shoulders.
There was a split second of confusion, disbelief, and horror as the corsair’s champion fell to the ground, headless, but with no other mark upon him. His partially squashed skull rolled somewhere along the gutter, and his exquisitely crafted blade clattered into the cobblestone path beneath his feet.
The fraction of a second soon passed, as the dreaded fanatic closed in upon the rest of the corsairs. What occurred next wasn’t so much an attack, but more akin to a crash of lightning.
The only corsairs that realized what was happening were the ones who weren’t already dead. The fanatic’s mace spun and crushed its way through their ranks, crumpling the bodies of their comrades into gross parodies of their former selves, little more than crushed bags of pulp.
By the time the few surviving corsairs were swinging their blades, the fanatic had already passed them. Panicked by the hideous deaths of their comrades, and terrified by the goading cackles of the goblin horde ahead of them, the dark elves turned and ran…right into the fanatic a second time.
The night goblins laughed and danced under the blessed moon, as their crazed fanatic finished off the last of the dreaded elves, which they of course had no desire to fight themselves.
Eager to be a part of the glorious celebration, the mad fanatic spun his chain happily through the air, back towards his comrades. A few of the more perceptive goblins ceased their cheers as their fanatic approached, and began to shout, but their kin failed to hear them until it was too late.
Soon, their laughter was replaced by screams.
“What the hell happened here?”
Captain Nick had absolutely no clue what to make of the scene. The bodies of both dark elves and goblins alike were strewn about everywhere, but instead of piercing or slashing wounds, they were all crushed or violently beheaded.
Close by, one of the city’s many walls was cracked and partially caved in, as if it’d been struck by a cannon. Amidst the rubble, the paymaster Samuel, Nick’s second in command, found the remains of a goblin body, and a bizarrely huge mace and chain, but no cannon ball.
It was merely one of many such scenes, littered over the deserted city. If there were any surviving elves or goblins, they were both long gone. Instead of the battle they’d expected, the Dogs of War instead had the undesirable task of cleaning up.
The captain’s exclamation caught the paymaster off guard. He obviously expected a rational answer for all this. After a full minute of silent deliberation, the best Samuel could manage was,
The captain glanced over the scenery for a moment, before nodding in agreement.
“Yes, it was obviously trolls. Lots and lots of trolls. Well spotted.”
“Thank you, sir.”
CaptainSarathai: Dark Elves
A Desperate Bargain
It was a gloomy day, and Malacai struggled to swallow his anxiety as his guests arrived. He had summoned the mistress of Clar Karond’s temple of Khaine. Now, the singularly beautiful witch-elf entered, along with her shaded male escort. Malacai bowed low in greeting, and motioned to a pair of gilded chairs, where his guests of honor should be seated in the shaded booth he’d ordered to be assembled in his palace courtyard.
Depsite her cold beauty, Hag Ennuli was a grim and single-minded individual. She cut short all pleasantries and turned the topic immediately towards business.
“You’ve summoned me to request the aid of my temple,” she began.
Malacai nodded, “Indeed I have, Mistress. I require the aid of one of your assassins, to help me secure a bid to build the next of the Witch King’s fleets.”
“But I understand that you are a poor man, for a noble, are you not?” Ennuli remarked bluntly.
Malacai shrank into his chair. It was true that if he did not secure the bid, his House would be bankrupted.
“Then how is it that you expect to pay for our services? They do not come cheaply.”
“That is why I have brought you here.” With that, Malacai gave a signaled a servant to open one of the gates entering into the courtyard. Ennuli’s companion reached for his daggers as a massive orc was pushed out into the opening. The brute blinked in the dim sunlight, until a crude axe was thrown into the arena.
“That will not be necessary,” Malacai said to the companion, noting the daggers, “we are safe from our position. It is but one of my slaves.”
“You offer me a slave?” Ennuli seemed irritated.
“No mistress. I offer you a student.” With this, another gate was opened and a young, thinly clad elf maiden stepped into the courtyard, carrying only a pair of daggers. “I was hoping to impress you with her skills, and offer some entertainment.”
“And if she fails?” Ennuli asked as the Orc bore down upon the maiden, “how will you pay me then?”
Malacai watched as the girl rolled under the first axe-blow, “If she fails, then I’ll have no choice but to suffer my fate.”
Ennuli nodded, “Is she aware of the weight you place upon such young shoulders?”
“She is aware only that this duel is a matter of her survival.”
“I see,” a sneer twisted Ennuli’s painted lips as the girl below dodged another vicious swing, and answered with a hurried stab of a dagger.
“The beast seems quite formidable” Ennuli said.
“He is one of my slaves, but I’m unable to break him” the lord replied.
“His skin is dark, he once held a rank within his race,” the companion said of a sudden.
Ennuli looked darkly upon the interruption, “You have chosen a powerful opponent. Are you sure of her success?”
“Not in the slightest mistress. I wished to show you her potential- there’s no better way.” Malacai cringed as a meaty green fist sent the girl toppling across the yard.
“I like your style Lord Malacai, you are either very desperate, or very shrewd.”
“At the present madam, I am a good deal of both.”
The witch-elf chuckled at his admittance before going on. She seemed disinterested in the young girl struggling for her life just below. “I understand that you are without sons.”
“Yes, it is unfortunate not to have anyone to carry my name when I’ve gone.”
“Indeed, furthermore, because I know you are a widow.”
Ennuli’s attention was drawn by a scream from the maiden, as the Orc’s axe bit deep into her shoulder.
“Tell me,” she went on, “have you trained her to kill?”
“Hardly” the companion interjected. He was cut down by a dark glare from his Mistress, “it seems” he finished meekly.
“He’s right Mistress. I have provided her little direction. She’s grown to follow in her mother’s footsteps.”
Ennuli looked up from the increasingly desperate battle below, “Ah yes,” she snarled, “I recall that transgression.”
Malacai also recalled the beautiful young witch-elf.
“Perhaps this is a punishment from Khaine?” Ennuli continued.
“Perhaps, but I would rather let the duel speak for that.”
“Indeed. We shall see. You have a great deal riding upon it” at that, the Witch-elf reclined on her cushion.
Below them, the girl fought bitterly against her overbearing foe. The orc bled from dozens of wounds, but none seemed to phase him anymore than would a mere scratch. The girl however, was pale, flagging, and blood flowed freely from her shoulder, and the scrapes on her unprotected skin.
Malacai secretly made the sign of Khaine with his fingers, and hoped that he had not pitted the girl against an impossible enemy.
The girl reeled however, as the Orc dealt her a cruel blow with a clawed hand. She toppled to the ground, a cloud of blood seeming to hang in the air behind the tendoned fist.
“Well Lord Malacai,” Ennuli said, returning to the railing, “it seems that Khaine has judged you.”
But the girl did not stay down, she returned to her feet, spitting blood onto the cobbles her head had rested on moments before. She clutched her dagger in both tiny hands, and spat a curse at the Orc’s muscled back.
The beast rounded on her, axe ready to cleave her in twain, but she was faster. With ferocity belied by her age and wounds, she leapt the six foot distance to plunge her dagger deep into the Orc’s thick throat. With a twist and a pull, the girl freed the dagger in a spray of arterial gore. Ennuli’s eyes widened almost imperceptibly in astonishment. She hardly looked at Malacai, “I’ll take her. Immediately.”
Coated in blood- her own and the greenskin’s- the girl gazed unsteadily at the box. Only when she saw her father’s approving smile, did she allow herself to collapse unconscious into the pool of crimson at her feet.
- Voting ending in 98 hours
Last edited by Tashin; April 26th, 2010 at 10:21.
Hihi, rather typical with fanatics that they plough through and enemy, the enemy panics and runs through the fanatic another time
And your story included crushed elfs & greenskinks, that's double the win!
I will have to contemplate a score, but because CaptainSarathai sent no fluff you obviously win this round.
If the captain gets a story in soon, can we still cast a vote....his last round story had me almost fearful, since I was wondering how he'd top Mynameisgrax and thinking that if he did my brain might explode. In any case, really nice story, excellent use of commas and I am going to be reading it again.
Sarathai, your story has lot of depth and in such a short space your bring all of your characters to life. It seems you have a real talent for the right cues to wake a readers imagination. The only bit I didn't like was how the Orc let his guard down at the end. I'd have figured he'd just keep swinging until the elf was a smear.
The same score, but I like Sarathais story better.
Last edited by Palos; April 26th, 2010 at 14:18.
The legions of Palos[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Many thanks to Tashin for getting my story up onto the main page.
Thanks also to Palos for the 5/5. I will admit, I was running out of words. Initially, the Orc's axe was chained to the floor, and the ending was a bit more climactic, with him lifting the girl off the ground, and her finally escaping by strangling him with the chain. But that was 500words over the limit! Thanks for bearing with the Orc's incredible dimwittedness, haha.
@ CaptainSarathai I've copied your fluff into its place. thanks for adding it Captain, and sorry for not being totally clear on the deadline
I liked it a lot, and you certainly made me chuckle as it reminds me of events while gaming. Fanatics have a habit of going through units, them going back through units and units running away through them. Also you killed both elves and greenskins so I am happy. I think one of my critiques is the spacing as you have written a lot of very short paragraphs where some could easily have been combined. Your story had less depth/drama than CaptainSarathai's story, but it's hard to get that when writing about a battle with a fanatic. Nicely written.
You've provided a lot of depth and character drama in your story and I liked that plot twist, of her being Malacai's daughter. It seems like something only a druchii would do, however the fact he was desperate does decrease the cruelty of the act for me. Also Ennuli's sudden astonishment when the girl killed the black orc was a bit too much I think because she, as a hag, would be around trained killers all the time and this sudden turn in the duel would merely 'interest' here instead of shock. Nevertheless I feel you have portrayed the workings of Druchii politics well as it is all about personal gain without any compassion for others and their fates. In fact the entire duel revolved around getting an assasin. The story was very consice and you didn't go into unnecessary details. Well done.
Hmm. This match up seems to have me a little stumped.
Regarding your story, mynameisgrax... perhaps it's just me but, while it's a solidly constructed and well written piece, sprinkled with a little Orc and Goblin humour to boot, it seems a little emotionally detached - it reads for me like a dry, historical recount of events, without having much life in it. I think the passage at the end lifts it a little, though.
For CaptainSarathai, the most obvious thing I noticed was the ending seeming very sudden - likely a result of having to cut out 500 words! It also seems a little unpolished compared to your usual efforts.
It's odd. Both stories are decent efforts but they just don't seem to do much for me. But I think mynameisgrax's seems the slightly better effort of the two in this matching.
mynameisgrax - 4/5
CaptrainSarathai - 3.5/5
Mynameisgrax (4/5): I loved the story, and before the Captain got his story posted I was going to give you a five, but reading the Captain's story made me realize that characterization was lacking (probably 'cause everyone died) only really showing up in the end with the conversation with the paymaster. I understand that short stories are difficult to characterize in, but I read fantasy for their characters, so I have to give the
CaptainSarathai (5/5): No problem with the ending for me. The orcs are stupid and overconfident. If an orc was tired, then he probably wouldn't just mutilate a corpse for the fun and he wouldn't think to check that the creature is dead. I really like your story. Good characters. Good relationships. Well done.
haha what a setup! Best 'duel' ever
the champion accepted a challenge that didnt even exist.
Nice writing, i liked every word of it.
Funny note how you managed to add captain Nick's Dogs of War again even though it was about orcs n elves.
nice nice setting. so much more is going on i want to read the next chapter now! What will happen to the student? Will Malakai go bankrupt? why did it end!
very well written by both, captin probly a bit better,grax wins because he restored my faith in greenskin fun
MynameisGrax 5 / 5
CaptainSarathai 4.5 / 5
Last edited by Digger; April 28th, 2010 at 15:24.
Warchief Diggah o da Bloodmoon Squiggahs
A very humerous and a strangely touching tale each.
I enjoyed the first story immensely, it really touhed on what we've all seen on the battleboard at least once! It was written clearly and sharpely, as a result I'm giving a 4.5/5
The second story I found more engaging, however, it had more emotion which was easier to relate to and enabled a depth that the humour, however well written, was unable to attatch due to the nature of the tale. As a result I'm awarding the second story 5/5
Fantasy: Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Beastmen and Tomb Kings.
LotR: Misty Mountains and Rohan