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8people - Dark Elves
Andrielle struggled with the rope smothering her wrists and ankles in untidy knots and wrappings, she had been wandering ahead of a task force sent out by one of the Hags of Clar Karond. The shipyards were losing slaves and their mission was to track them down, if they had escaped - bring them back to the altar of khaine. If they had been stolen away - the same fate awaited the thieves. As such a group of Witches had been sent along with the standard troupe of warriors.
Andrielle turned onto her back and sat up, in the surrounding gloom she could pick out rocky facing around her on every side, above her was a ramshackle grating made of lashed wood where the beady eyes of half a dozen rat-snouted men looked down on her in the dimming light of evening.
"Elf-thing moves! Elf-thing moves!" one of them exclaimed in an almost panicked frenzy before squirming back
"Kill it! Kill it!"
"Leave it! Run-Run!"
"Why am I here, vermin?" she called out in what she hoped was a confident call
"Elf-thing saw us! Then fell-fell into pit!"
"Elf-thing had cruel knife! It's my knife now!" Andrielle paused and thought - she always carried two blades with her on simple missions. The rats above her chattered and jeered through the bars, some rattled their spears through the grate while others wriggled away.
"My companions will be looking for me." The jeering ceased spectacularly.
"There are many of us, elf-thing!"
"I was travelling with four other sisters..." the rats huddled slightly away from the grate and spoke in agitated tones
"Five elf-things? We can take five elf-things!"
"There are only two dozen of us!" Andrielle peered around the pit, she just needed a shred of light, just something to glint off the blade, or the hilt - anything. She wriggled around her containment while the rats argued.
The pit was small, but dusty with plenty rubble strewn around, her blade could not have gone far! She grew more and more tense as the bickering above her continued and her blade continually eluded her grasp, she had almost done a full circuit of the pit when she heard it - a dull chink against her ankle, she wriggled and kicked the dirt away and saw her blade - looking thoroughly folorn in the dust. With a sigh of relief Andrielle slid it up to her hands and worked to free herself from the copious amounts of rope detaining her.
Then the rats returned
"We can kill-take your sisters, elf-thing!"
Andrielle waited for the gleeful hubub to subside
"You did not let me finish, rats, I was travelling with four sisters whilst accompanying another force."
The clamour subsided.
"What force, elf-thing?"
"We were hunting down escaped slaves. Weak, gutless creatures that are easily dominated." The skaven above drew closer to the grating and listened carefully "The slaves are not valuable in themselves - we must make an example. We're here to hunt them down - the force I was with are also instructed to kill anyone who claims the slaves as their own."
"Elf-things kill us for slave-things?" the skaven speaking shuddered "We must kill-take her now!”
"Wait! I have a better idea." Andrielle suppressed a smile as the rope sloughed off her wrists: The rope was plenty, but not well tied.
"Speak quick-quick elf-thing."
"If you let me get back to my sisters - I will tell them you are helping us, I will tell them of how you came up with a cunning plan to show those slaves who the most powerful creatures around here are. The slaves we take are ours, the slaves you take are yours and we will not hunt you."
Chittering and mumbling arose once more above her, Andrielle slid the blade back down to her legs and started to work on the bindings around her feet
The grating was pulled aside and a rope ladder was dropped down, it was haphazardly built and there were marks along it that indicated it had been gnawed upon, Andrielle stood up cautiously with dozens of beady eyes upon her, she moved gracefully - nonchalantly, to the ladder and scaled it like a cat to the surface, she towered over the skaven, they backed away from her, gnashing teeth and gripping spears and rusted blades in caution, a few simply turned tail and scurried to a nearby warren. The skaven in front of her wrinkled his nose and twitched his whiskers, he looked agitated.
"Did we not tie-bind you?"
"Yes, yes you did." Several more skaven scurried away while others simply took a step back and readied weapons. Andrielle put her blade in its' sheath "I would like my other blade back." a nervous squeak followed by a thunk of dropped metal reached her ears, she turned and saw the blade on the ground, she reached for it and saw movement from the corner of her eye. Andrielle grabbed the blade swiftly and rolled to the side as a rusted spear tip was thrust towards her by a skaven who was snarling;
"Kill her! Kill her!" Andrielle was surrounded, but the Skaven seemed torn, there were still a dozen left but her words had rattled them.
"The other elf-things will kill-kill us!"
"She lies-lies! She is elf-thing!"
Andrielle simply lost patience. With one swift movement she slit the rats' throat and pushed him aside
"Any others who doubt my word share the same fate."
There was plenty of grumbling as Andrielle walked away, she carried both blades ready as she darted through the undergrowth and rocks carefully avoiding potential traps, she wouldn't worm her way out a second time. The crackle of fire drew her attention and the familiar speech of her brethren
"Kharen! Lindella! I am back!"
"Andrielle? Where were you?"
"Skaven, rat-men, a small warren of them. They seem unguided and restless.”
"Are they a threat?"
"No. Kill them on sight, they are unworthy of Khaines' altars."
The bearded one - Skaven
A Scheme too far
Grey seer Thanquol peered down from the ancient stone dais. Skaven were swarming and chittering in the under-lair, while a lone Skaven bowed in the space before him. The cowering Skaven groveled in the dirt before him squirting the musk of fear and blaming others for his defeat.
“You fail-failed to accomplish your task, chieftain Ritzikrik?”
The chieftain dared not look up at Thanquol’s glaring stare . No Skaven could tell even a slightly spinned truth directly into a grey seers piercing red eyes. He had failed to exterminate the force of dark elf-things above, but only because some unseen rival sent him inferior underlings to work with. There was a very good reason why Thanquol didn’t command the army himself. The elf-things were notorious opponents, and not even a mage-rat as powerful and brilliant as himself could be assured of victory.
“No-no, most potent of potentates! This is a mere setback. Allow me to scurry to the surface with more Skaven to finish the elf-things!” He pressed his muzzle further into the dirt.
“Don’t waste-waste my time with excuses!” Thanquol snarled, and blasted the Skaven with arcane magic. Thanquol’s whiskers twitched uncontrollably as the scorched bones clattered on the floor. In rapid start-stop motions he looked around the lair, looking for possible candidates to lead another pack to the surface. Inferiors, all of them, and none fit for such a duty. If he wanted something to be done right, it would have to be done by his own mighty intellect. Unless…
“Summon Warlord Skritch! Quick-quick!” He squeaked at his subordinates. Several Skaven scampered over each other into the dark tunnels, returning several minutes later. All eyes in the room were fixed on the armored figure that entered as one of the Skaven announced him, warlord of the gnawspine, leader of clan Schratchit. He was a rebellious warlord of a rising clan, rival of several of the lords of decay. Naturally the council had tried to deal with him, as is custom in Skaven politics, via a perfectly acceptable stab in the back, but the assassins they sent didn’t return. He was a minor rival, but not lacking in prowess and cunning.
“Warlord Skritch, come-scurry over here. “
“Yes, most exalted of mage-rats” Skritch said, as he bowed as low as possible. Thanquol could appreciate the fawning, no matter how insincere. He knew Skritch was scheming against him. Against a grey seer! Carried on paws by the masses! No matter, soon Skritch would feel the council’s wrath. It is dangerous to plot against the plotters.
“We are here to kill-kill the dark elf-things, that landed on the coast. These elf-things raid-plundered villages of the man-things, but those villages are our prize,our plunder, our slaves! This-this army the council sent, and these” Thanquol pointed a paw over the assembled chieftains and warlords, who when the seer mentioned them puffed up to their full verminous might “are the inferiors the council sent me to work with… including you.”
“Me, great seer?” Skritch squeaked with astonishment. “I do not fail, I am not worthless like those vermin-things who would die-perish. I would bring inevitable victory.”
“Well-well, warlord, you say you would succeed where others failed?” Thanquol asked in intimidating squeaking, pointing towards the charred bones of the leaders of the previous attempts. “You would kill-kill the elf-things?” Skritch had fallen for his ploy. Either he would have to deny it, risk his reputation and the hostility of the other warlords and chieftains he insulted, or he would have to fight the elf-things. Both suited Thanquol, who already basked in his verbal victory when Skritch asked:
“What-what is in it for me, most nefarious of seers?”
Thanquol snapped out of his delusion of having the advantage. “What did you say-speak?”
“What will be my reward for command, most illustrious of illustrious?”
“You are lucky, that as a reward I don’t blast you right now for your insolence!” Thanquol snarled.
“You asked me to take-take command, seer, it appear-seems you are in need of my services.”
“Fine, fine. What do you want-need in return?” Thanquol twitched angrily. He was a grey seer! He could take whatever he wanted from the clans, and this warlord asks for a reward? But Thanquol was too agitated to press this point. Skritch would not last long anyway.
Skritch listed his demands: “10 claws of warptokens,” Thanquol clasped the sides of his throne. As far as the council was concerned these tokens would come out of thanquol’s pocket.
“a 1000 slaves, ” If it came that far, Thanquol would requisition these from some unfortunate minor clan.
“Certain treaty-pledges with the council, “ Thanquol nodded. The council would not have to keep it’s word anyway.
“And all of warlord Scretch’s breeders.” Warlord Scretch, who was present, squeaked in furious outrage at this demand, but Thanquol silenced him with a sway of his paw.
“It is agreed, warlord Skritch. These most outrageous demands will be yours when you return. Go, and bring victory!”
Thanquol pounded on the Skryre farsqueaker until the picture became clearer, as slaves strained to power it. With the farsqueaker he could communicate with his superiors back in Skavenblight and report on the situation. Finally the silhouette of Seer-lord Kritislik became visible.
“Near-succes, great seer-lord, only minor setbacks” Thanquol reported to the seer-lord.
The silhouette on the clan Skryre device faded and then came back into vision “se.. * grrz *.. backs, Thanquol?” It asked.
“Yes-yes, seer-lord, however I took some precautions to deal with most rebellious warlord Skritch.” Chittering laughter echoed in the room between Thanquol and the flickering picture of Kritislik. Thanquol hoped Skritch wouldn’t notice all his clanrats were in fact slaves, until it was too late. If he did, he'd have to think of something..
Voting ends in 98 hours
Last edited by Tashin; May 25th, 2010 at 17:53.
I do hope 8people is in time to send some fluff
btw, Tashin, could you replace the last paragraph with:a typo, and I forgot my last line“Yes-yes, seer-lord, however I took some precautions to deal with most rebellious warlord Skritch.” Chittering laughter echoed in the room between Thanquol and the flickering picture of Kritislik. Thanquol hoped Skritch wouldn’t notice all his clanrats were in fact slaves, until it was too late. If he did, he'd have to think of something..
Hm. Not bad. I don't quite get the same sense of devious scheming that I did when reading CaptainSarathai's piece, but I can see hints of it there. I guess I'll just have to wait and see if 8people can manage to get something in.
Someone's been reading Gotrek & Felix. ^_^
A very interesting and well written story, as usual. As I suggested, the writing style was more than a bit similar to the one from the Gotrek & Felix story, so it didn't feel completely original, but the final product was very good and enjoyable, so it doesn't really matter. Good job!
8people's story was well written, as usual, but I almost feel as if it would have been more interesting if they actually formed an alliance. It just seems such a given that the dark elves are going to betray you, that you take it for granted. Still, the story was very well written.
I have to call this one a tie. Both stories were very good.
Bearded One: 4.5/5
Last edited by mynameisgrax; May 26th, 2010 at 04:38.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
I was really impressed by all the Gotrek books I read. It was a pleasant surprise to see Thanquol here, and I think you captured him pretty well. Extra points! Still, It doesn't feel completely original, so I'll go with 4.5/5 as well.
Hi guys, I've sent Tashin my story, sorry I haven't been around much
Fantasy: Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Beastmen and Tomb Kings.
LotR: Misty Mountains and Rohan