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CaptainSarathai - Empire
The Great Hunt: excerpt from 'The First Swords of Sigmar
Once great Sigmar- King of Tribes,
did send forth an urgent call,
to every master of the Wilds
to hasten to Sigmar’s Hall
“A Beast marches from beyond-
who destroys and defiles all
-and if he will not be gone,
the tribe of Man shall surely fall”
This did Sigmar tell the Hunt,
each a son of the great tribes,
and with silver horns at front
the company westward rides.
They came upon the Beastly camp,
three days from the realm of Man,
in the forests dark and damp,
from whence He savaged the land
Ettus, bravest of the lot-
though he was the youngest still
-felt his warrior blood run hot,
when he saw the beast to kill
Now Wiser Joden spake out
against such a reckless course;
for he had no little doubt,
the Beast could outrun the Horse
But Ettus would not listen,
nor Joden’s wise warnings heed,
and the crimson blood did glisten
as Beast tore him from his steed
The Hunt could not mourn the loss
now caught in an ambuscade,
for recklessness had its costs,
and the Beast had his brigade
Wise Joden fought on alone
scarce wining his allies time.
Thus unyielding as a stone
did the wise old Joden die
The Hunt made camp ‘neath the sky
In the unforgiving cold
and to hope they bid goodbye
as I’ve heard the story told.
Waking upon the next dawn
the weary Hunters did find,
their beastly foe had moved on
and another town maligned.
Once again the Hunt resumed
the bold Hunters now enraged,
and brave Cetan, lead assumed
and the Beast again engaged.
They met upon a hillside-
the Hunt and the beastly van
-for the sons of the great tribes
to decide the fate of Man.
The Hunt charged with polished spears,
the Beast with weapons of brass,
and battle did fill the ears
as red blood stained the grass.
Each son fought strong as ten
Yet the Beast did number more
But Cetan order’d “Charge again”
Though the Hunt now numbered four
Cetan, Luis, Keld, and Tal,
rode towards a hero’s death,
to again ‘pon the Beast fall
as the world held its breath.
Blood arced high as beasts fell low
and Cetan drove them forward,
Tal was dealt a fatal blow
though Luis saved his sword.
Strong Keld was the next to fall,
dragged down from atop his mount,
torn apart with tooth and claw,
as the Beast tallied the count.
Cetan and Luis, alone-
Man’s fate upon their shoulders
-still fought on and held their own
as resolute as boulders.
The Beast watched with fangy smile
As the two Sons fought onwards
each standing atop a pile
of butchered beastly cowards.
At last the Beast did decide
to end this fighting himself
and words of sorcery cried-
more ancient than dwarf or elf.
Cetan watched the magic come,
a great black sphere of power,
and with valor did he run
out towards his final hour.
Up atop the chanting Beast
brave Cetan did boldly leap,
and with focus thus decreased
Beast could not his power keep.
Fickle gods of the far North-
who heard the dire claxon call
-from their fallen gate reached forth
to steal Beast, Cetan, and all
The Hunt had saved the Realm of Man
although the cost had been dire
as every Tribe and every Clan
lit the funerary pyre
The tale will still continue on,
As the Beast is ne’er banished,
Cetan, Luis, Keld and Tal,
in spirit have ne’er vanished
So bold soldiers of Sigmar,
when you hear the trumpet call,
remember those who’ve fought before
and earn a place in their Hall
8people - BeastmenFavoured of the GodsVendraciese - EmpireKarach crouched down and sat back on his haunches, his gnarled fingers wound into his robes and he drew out two handfuls from hidden pouches and bags tied into the fabric and his own fur, in one hand he held a dark powder, in the other a collection of small bones. He scattered both in a patch of cleared ground before him and snorted to himself as he analysed the patterns as a group of Gor crowded around peering curiously. Behind them bickering smaller figures scuttled about lashing weapons together and repairing broken shards to serviceable use by their larger brethren. Finally the silence was broken.
"Another group has joined the fray."
The Gor murmured and fidgeted
"Stronger, bigger, they must be looking for the weaker, smaller."
Karach brushed away the bones and dust into nothing and stomped on the remains.
"Rest. We move in an hour."
Karach and a small band had broken off from a small battle in a local town. As the shaman accompanying a larger Beast-lord in taking over a portion of the filthy man-built lands and restoring them to the glorious wilderness. The men broke and fled in many directions and the ranks of beasts broke in pursuit. Now they were scattered in the woods, chasing down the last of the men in a vain attempt to encounter comrades to resume their reign of peril among the soft-skinned builders. Karach walked on, hobbling on a staff, one limb long, powerful ending in a powerful hoof and long fetlocks - the other ending in a crippled crows' foot limping on the harsh ground, stumbling on the broken branches and ashes indicating their quarry was up ahead. Around him were a dozen gor, a blade in each burly arm, huffing in the air to get a trace of scent, something to stir the bloodlust bubbling within them. Smaller Ungor with shortened spears of damaged wood and shorn flint heads scattered on the outside, darting around looking for clues and watching out for food or other prey to satisfy them. One of them darted close to Karach babbling as he streaked past, a large graze into his waist, the Gor paused and sniffed the air - one after another like a domino affect around the group, Karach paused and turned, his nostrils flared to pick up what had stirred his wards.
The scent of men, the bitter scent of sweat and rage of a troupe forced on the march. Karach cursed to himself
"Continue onward. Keep marching. The foe before us is closer!" The bones may have not been so right this time, Karach considered, but the gods would protect them. They were the true children of chaos! The gods would surely guide them.
The troupe of Gor and Ungor cantered onwards, tighter knit, a group of Ungor ahead and another behind while the Gor drew close around Karach. The scent of smoke hang languidly in the air, thin and starved - like the prey they chased. It was muffled, stifled from a covered flame that the men ahead had desperately lit to provide warmth and food. It would be their undoing! A murmer up ahead had issued as an Ungor had tried to squeeze past the largest Gor,
"What is it?" Karach demanded,
"The camp, ahead." Karach smacked his lips and nodded. The Gor let go of the wriggling Ungor and shouted out orders to the Ungor who darted round and disappeared into the surrounding trees to encircle the camp. The Gor stamped and a loud bray rose from the back and was echoed by the others in the herd, they clattered their weapons and charged into the clearing to a small group of men. They looked tired and hungry, but leapt to their feet at the terrifying sounds coming from the forest and siezed their weapons, standing ready to defend from the beings before them. The Gor clashed with the men, blood sprayed into the still air and the clash of weapons deafened both sides. Karach raised his head to the sky and bellowed, thousands of critters writhed onward, the ground crawled with slimy, wriggling bugs that slithered up the trousers of the defending force, their shrieks of horror mingling with cries from deep blows and death gurgles.
With howling cries the Ungor joined the scene, pinning the men from both sides, spears low biting into weak flesh and tattered leather. However, The scent of man was growing stronger, a few of the Ungor were edging back to the woods edge nervously, a few Gor had fallen and some Ungor had collapsed so soon to entering the fray. This was all wrong! The gods had given all the right signs! Their children fought in their names!
Two Ungor stopped and fled into the trees, their shrieks echoed into the clearing and the men cheered as two more forces of their army emerged. The beasts were surrounded. The Ungor were cornered and flailed against the new assailants in a panicked frenzy to break away, The Gor fought harder, faster, but their natural fury was no match to the trained regiments closing in on them. A man in a plumed hat and beard drew a long blade in both hands and turned to Karach, his determined, proud stride was nothing to the limping shaman, in desperation Karach drew upon his gods once more and called out drawing strength within his humble form, he felt the chaos flow within him, filling his limbs, strengthening him, but it did not stop. Karach fell to the ground spasming as raw chaos ravaged his muscles and slowly killed him from the inside. This was wrong! He was a child of chaos! A servant of the gods! Why had they forsaken him? He blinked blood from his eyes to hear the victory cries of the townsmen and the strong blade of the furred man shear through his neck, his final thoughts of desolation and rage towards the gods he had served.
The click of the firing hammer in Friedrik’s ear was oddly comforting. Closing his eyes, he lost himself in the feel of the weapon, the smooth mahogany of the handle, the cool metal of the trigger, the smell of gunpowder…
This was peace.
There was a knock at the door. Friedrik ignored it. It did not matter who it was. Now his weapons were his only friends, this weapon in his hand was the only solace that he had.
There was another knock, louder this time. Friedrik still ignored it. He only had to find the courage…
The door opened and a familiar voice called out, “Colonel Friedrik, are you there? Colonel Friedrik, can you --” The voice cut off.
Colonel. He had received a battlefield promotion during the Pfunzig Defense. When he got back to Pfungzig, command promoted him to Colonel for his valor in the campaign. There had been a ceremony. Empty words. He had just wanted to go home. They’d sent a bantam with him. Corporal Whit. That was his voice.
Whit cleared his throat. Friedrik set the pistol down on the table in front of him and turned around.
“What is it, Whit?”
“The general heard about the attack on Bieswang. When he went to see you, though, you were nowhere to be found. We’ve been looking for you, sir. Frau Heinrich said you might be up here. She said… she said that your family was dead.”
The smoke. He had seen the smoke, had felt his stomach sink. He had the destruction. The door to his home had been torn off its hinges. A man was dragging away the corpse of a dog. The dog had horns on either side of his head, his fur had dripped with blood. Beastmen.
The man dragging the chaos hound saw Friedrik, begged him not to go inside, but he had anyways, saw the face of his wife, barely recognizable, found a tiny limb in a corner, blood everywhere. His blood. His flesh. He hadn’t cried. Hadn’t said anything. Just walked away, walked into the forest, where it was quiet. It was quiet in these hills, in the autumn.
“Yes. They are dead,” Friedrik said softly. “So are my friends. I came here to find peace.” Friedrik turned away from Whit and walked to the window. “We built this cabin together, me and Johann and Walter.”
There was a pregnant silence. Leaves rustled just outside of the cabin. Whit cleared his throat again.
“Your pardon, sir, but… well… they want you to lead the hunt for the beastmen.”
“What do you mean ‘they,’ Whit?”
Whit looked down at his feet. There was another sound of shuffling leaves outside of the cabin, followed by a cough. Friedrik strode past the corporal and flung the door open. The trail below was crowded with people. All of them were staring at Friedrik.
Whit came up behind Friedrik and whispered to him, “A lot of them are veterans from Pfungzig. They want to hunt down the beastmen that attacked the town. They’re calling it ‘The Great Hunt’ and they want a great man to lead them.”
“I’m not a great man. What do they expect me to do for them?”
“Just… give one of your speeches, sir. They’re all struggling to cope with the attack. Even if you won’t join the hunt, at least give them some hope, sir.”
Friedrik sighed and stepped out onto the porch. He cast his eyes over the crowd. All of the people gathered in front of his cabin were looking at him with an air of expectation. Friedrik took a breath and closed his eyes. Gripping the rail in front of him, he began to speak.
“I came to these hills to look for peace. I can guess that you came here for the same reason.”
He opened his eyes and looked out into the crowd. They were completely still.
“You may wonder why I have not gone after the creatures that killed my wife and children. I can see that the desire for revenge is burning bright in your souls right now. You want the beasts to suffer for their actions. You think that you will not find peace until they do.”
Friedrik lowered his head. When he next spoke his voice was low and subdued.
“I understand your emotions, but I know that no matter how many beastmen we slay the people we love won’t come back to us. There is no blood price that can be paid that will bring a soul back from the gardens of Morr.”
Friedrik looked back up. His gaze swept across the crowd. Many did not meet his eyes as he did so.
“I will come with you on your hunt,” he said suddenly in a strong voice.
There were cheers, but Friedrik raised his hand for quiet.
“I will come with you, but not for vengeance. I will go because I never wish for these abominations to harm another villager, kill another mother or devour another child. I will go because the only way I will make peace with my own past will be by protecting the peace of others. Go back to Bieswang, prepare for the hunt. I will meet you there at dawn tomorrow and the hunt shall begin.”
Friedrik finished and turned to go back into his cabin. The crowd on the path exchanged glances and then filed back down the hill, muttering as they went.
Inside the cabin, Whit helped Friedrik gather his things. As the colonel picked up his pistol Whit coughed nervously.
“If you don’t mind, sir, may I ask what were you doing when I came in?”
“I was checking my weapons, Whit. It’s a poor soldier that does not make sure his weapons are in good condition. Why do you ask?”
“No reason, sir. It’s only that I’ve never seen anyone examine a pistol like that, with the barrel up against their head and the hammer cocked.”
Voting ends in 98 hours. Be sure to tell everyone you know to check these fluffs out (and vote), because this fluff is seriously awesome!
Last edited by Tashin; June 2nd, 2010 at 10:18.
CaptainSarathai - A quite interesting entry this round - I wasn't expecting poetry! Points for originality, certainly, and the execution is not bad, either.
8People - Hmm. It's a good, solid story. It doesn't seem to stand out to me, for some reason, although I do enjoy getting to see things from the Beastman perspective.
Vendraciese - Again, a very strong effort from you - you seem to deal quite well with the emotions surrounding conflict. And, while I fully admit I'm one of those 'idiot readers' who need to have things spelled out for them, I though the last line kind of spoiled the... well, not really the suspense, I guess, but... I don't really know what I mean, to be honest.
Well, how to separate them?
Aside from the very end of Vendraciese's piece, I think it's my favourite of the three. It seems to carry a lot of weight and emotion, something that you've managed to achieve quite regularly throughout this competition, if my memory serves correctly.
I'm not all that sure if I can separate the remaining entries. As I said, CaptainSarathai gets points for creativity, but the tone of the poem seems quite dry so doesn't really resonate with me. And 8people, while capturing the scenes well and managing to get a bit in to the character of the Beastmen, still unfortunately doesn't stand out from the other entries.
I feel like I'm being overly harsh here - I'm not trying to be! You've all made it to the finals for a reason, and you've all submitted very interesting pieces, but... for me, Vendraciese has just edged in front.
Cheers for all the stories, everyone. I've really enjoyed reading and writing my way through this competition!
CaptainSarathai - 4/5
8people - 4/5
Vendraciese - 4.5/5
As this is the final, I thought I'd throw my pennies in.
Captain Sarathai, you gave an interesting variation of the norm with your poem, but it didn't seem to keep my interest as much as the others I'm afraid. Don't get me wrong it was good, but perhaps I am simply not fond of poetry.
8 People, I liked this as it was from a different veiwpoint than normal and you seemed to convey the beastmen quite well. But you used a shaman so I wanted to see more magic,
Vendraciese , I enjoyed the conflict within himself[colonel] and the fact he ends up going on the hunt anyway. But, perhaps it was the word count, but it seemed to end abrubtly with the final sentence.
Well, this is what I thought, I hope I didn't upset anyone
Not dead, just sleeping
I must say, all 3 are great, and all of you have definitely earned your places in the finals!
Captain Sarathi- Very different, and interesting poem. I found it a fun, and flowing read. Well executed, and a very creative twist on fluffwars!
8people- interesting and action packed story, like the twist at the end. I really liked reading the story from the beastmens perspective, usually when you read about them they're just fodder! I do agree with Deadstar though, it does feel like theres a little something missing.
Vendraciese- good an interesting story, I really got into it, but I feel that it did kind of end abrubtly, unlike the rest of it which I felt really flowed. Still, I did enjoy the twist at the end.
Well done all of you!
Captain Sarathi- 4.5
Well, I have to say to start off that each of you had a better netry in the quarterfinals. That being siad, let's go through this one by one...
Captain: I have to agree with others. Props for going a different route, but I feel that you relied too much on the different format. Writing in such a different style takes a lot more time to write. I think another hour or two of editing would make it flow better.
8people: The story doesn't flow. You spend too much time saying Gor and Ungor and not enough time describing the color of their skin, their smell, their twisted, gnarled horns. Also, the final falls a bit flat. It feels like a different story altogether. If you want to kill off a character at the end, you need to build up some emotion for saaid character so the death means something.
Vendra: My first reaction was "beastmen and empire again"? However, that's all three of you, not just you. Work on the main character a bit, he's a fairly flat character. He's calm when he's supposed to be angry. He's suicidal when he's supposed to be valiant. I want to know why and that question wasn't answered.
I'm being harsh because this is the finals, so I assume you all are looking for a lot more criticism.
Capt S: 4
I am heading off to the Peace Corps. It is bery likely I will not be back. Good luck to all of you endeavors.
Captain Sarathai: I'm afraid it just didn't flow. It was a brave and interesting approach to take, but many of the lines were much longer or shorter than others, making it difficult to imagine anyone reciting it pleasantly. Also, some parts were a little difficult to follow. Did any of the warriors survive? If not, how does anyone know what happened? Still, a very interesting approach.
8people: I'm afraid this isn't your best entry into this competition. There were a lot of repetitive, run on sentences, and the whole story felt a bit dry. There were many interesting parts, but I think it needed a bit more revision/editing.
Vendraciese: VERY good job. It's an interesting take on revenge and battle, and focuses very well on the character's feelings and emotions. If there's any weakness, it's that it doesn't follow the 'great hunt' theme as well as the other entries. Still, very nice job.
Captain Sarathai: 3.5/5
Haha, I should've stuck to the prose version that I used as a rough draft, but the story and the topic lent themselves well to a poem, and I haven't written in a while. And wordcount is for rookies- there are 7 syllables in each line, as closely as possible. If this poem is dive bombing, I'm glad I didn't stick entirely to form and write AeFreslighes.
I will say I don't mind losing, considering I wasn't originally going to compete...
Is every line about seven syllables? Huh, it didn't seem like it, but I probably was mistaken. Still, some of the lines just didn't seem to flow well, at least not for me.
By gods that are some smooth stories im not kidding this is good stuff!
I'l start off by saying im a slow reader, so "easy read" is allways a plus for me.
Sarathai: i love your style. It reminds me a bit of Tolkien's poetry, but its alot easier to read. You used very easy, yet fancy words.
The story is simple but it works out this was indeed a great hunt!
8People: I must say, your 2nd paragraph is by far my favourite paragraph of all stories on LO. I can just picture the beasts sniffing the air for manflesh in foggy woods.
About the story: The beasts should have won! no questions asked!!. i dont only hate you for letting the imbecile humans win, your score will suffer for it!
i also agree with Daelrog. So many times Gor and no actual descriptions of the smell/skin etc
i want to play beastmen now...
As allways you are really good at choosing the right words! Im in it from the first line till the end. Such an easy read and such good capture of emotions...
It feels quite short but a good read. and i didnt like his words he said to his men. His men want to hear words of vengeance and i dont think saying. "lets take a step back and think for a moment" will sober his men up, at the moment they find their families slaughtered.
Warchief Diggah o da Bloodmoon Squiggahs
Uh...you need to fix your scores there, digger. It's out of 5, not 10. Did you mean 5/5, 4.5/5, and 4.25/5?