Welcome to Librarium Online!
Join our community of 80,000+ members and take part in the number one resource for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K discussion!
Registering gives you full access to take part in discussions, upload pictures, contact other members and search everything!
Will post when I can access Avatar's story.
Avatar of Khaine
Things change... A scarred, half-blind ogre stumbles gropingly through the dark twisting caves under the cold mountain. His body operates entirely on instinct. Today, as every day, it is his stomach that rules him. Thick flaps of loose skin swing with every step, covering the insatiable void where his prodigious gut once lay, and he follows the wafting smell of a great feast, trying to navigate the labyrinthine passages to the warmth of the meal.
It would be easy to assume that there was no guiding intelligence to this pale, gaunt creature. But there is a mind amongst the long, tangled hair and dribbling mouth. Unfortunately for its owner, the mind is trapped in the past, remembering the day when everything had changed. It had dwelt on this day for so long that even to this clouded mind, the memory was sharp and clear.
The pre-battle feast...
A long cavern with huge benches packed with ogres, gorging on the finest meats and wines that the tyrant’s purse could buy. The ceiling is high and smoky from the many burning torches. The walls have been ineptly covered with columns, drapes, and paintings in imitation of the fashionable style in the empire. To the ogres, it is the height of sophistication, to a human eye, the rough walls and mismatched dressings would look ridiculous.
At the far end of the cavern lies a raised dais, on which there is a fine oak table. It was cut from Athel Loren, and then looted from an imperial governor.
Around it sit several ogres, dressed in clothes far finer than the rabble below. Two butchers sit on either side of their slaughtermaster, their beards braided with bits of bone and feather. They are wearing heavily stained cloth vests, a mark of their high station. The slaughtermaster looks positively terrifying, even to an ogre. He has a wild, unkempt beard, and a hungry stare that he does bother to mask. His teeth are sharp metal points, bared in an unsettling grin, made worse by a spice-stained tongue licking them in apprehension. He toys idly with a thick, clumsy knife that he keeps in always at hand. He wears no gut plate, displaying his high station.
Next, the hunter. An unusually lean and muscular ogre, barely any of his vomit-green flesh is visible under his many layers of furs. Mammoth, sabretusk, and other pelts unknown wrapped around his frame. A huge harpoon gun’s stock is visible over his shoulder, and around his left arm is wrapped a lead, which is attached to the collar of a hulking sabretooth, which sits under the table waiting for the scraps.
On the tyrant’s right-hand side sits his wife, a hugely fat ogress in a (to a human) sickening dress imitating empire fashion: Ruffs, bustles and padding. Throughout the hall ogre heads would turn and stare in either in stunned admiration or bitter jealousy.
The table the six were sat around was creaking desperately under the immense weight of the meal: A full-grown mammoth’s head and trunk lay on several skinned sabretooth carcasses, with lesser dishes surrounding it, and huge goblets of wine at each ogre’s place. Gnoblars ran around the glistening, steaming meat, the smell alone causing some to fall into a drunken stupor. As always, the tyrants’ loyal hunter had done his work well.
What was his name again?
And then there is the tyrant himself. Well over a foot taller than everyone else at the table, he wears a robe similar to the hunter’s one, though it had been produced of ermine by a captured tailor and was less weather-beaten. A steely gutplate, inlaid with intricate designs countless dwarves had been tortured to produce bulges out in front of him, shielding his excessive gut from attack. Leaning against his chair was his prized club; Mahogany surrounding a thick steel core, with carved faces of screaming opponents and shark metal spikes sticking out of it all around, it is to clubs what a dwarvern runeaxe is to a hatchet. He is pride incarnate.
Then, moments from the battle...
The first cannon shot hitting the slaughtermaster straight in the head, pulping him into a thing resembling his own stew, as red blood sprays over the gnoblars, who panic and flee for the forest to the army’s back, screaming in terror.
The gorgers running rampage into the bulls, scattering them like humans. The taste of blood as a bullet sliced past his cheek. The maneaters, world-renowned, as they were systematically slaughtered by the enemy greatswords. One of them had had a parrot, and it had flown away from its fallen master, only to explode into a puff of feathers by a cocky gunner’s hand.
The stench of burnt flesh as a fireball flew from an enemy mage, exploding all around him, burning away his priceless cape into ash. Behind him, more bulls were flailing in terror as they burnt, but it was the cape that mattered to him, it was his first personal loss in the battle.
The hunter charging into the enemy wizard, only for them both to explode into a crater. The moment when the ironguts had broken through the enemy line, and victory seemed at hand. The next instant, when every gun in the army turned on them at once.
He and the last few bulls making a final assault, charging into the open mouths of the enemy guns. Bullets whizzing past him, all around, pinging from his thick hide and drumming on his gutplate. Then the enemy commander appearing, and smashing his bullet-ridden club in two. Losing his gutplate as he fled, unable to recover it.
Finally, scarred, weaponless, the desperate flight back to his hall, to his ogress. The hall is dark, empty. The decorations on the walls, the beautiful table, gnoblars had stripped it bare while he was gone. And where was his wife? He called and called, wandering deeper into the catacombs in search of her, but would never find his beloved...
A Fool and his Treasure Eventually Parted
Bakari rode on his steed at a steady pace, the skeletal creature adorned with engravings to detract from its insubstantial nature, alongside rode Prince Akar on a chariot with a small unit and another priest called Saho marching along with some guards. A small group to bolster the forces the king already claimed yet small enough to travel without harassment through unfriendly lands. The days passed without event, something the priest was thankful for. Bakari wasn't a young initiate into the priesthood so when he transcended to a liche it took some time before people actually noticed the difference. He looked frail and huddled in his robes and his crooked little legs were darkly comical to watch amble alongside his much sturdier steed as he approached an opened barrow.
“Greetings from Nehkhara, awakened one, we received your call for aid in these barbaric lands” no sound but the faint echo. Bakari sighed and stepped into the chamber below, his bony limbs clattering jerkily as he pulled a torch from the wall and approached the chamber where the king himself had rested, he peered myopically at the cartouche above the doorway and his leathery skin creaked into a frown: “King Darticham.” Bakari pursed his lips, the following stream of ancient tongue would have made any passing interpreter blush and gasp at the linguistic creativity long thought lost to civilisation.
The prince and accompanying priest stood at attention when the soured liche emerged from the barrow. The prince bowed
“Is everything satisfactory?” he asked delicately.
“No, no it isn't. We've been taken for fools. This is the tomb of Darticham, and he's wandered off somewhere at that.”
“Darticham?” The prince appeared to take on a look of stoic concern “Isn't he the one that...”
“Yes. The very same.”
The prince stood silently for a moment considering his immense lifespan and the options before him.
“So when do we leave for Nehkhara again?”
No such luck, there was a horn blown from a hillock to the North of them. The prince tilted his head,
“It's a summoning to the king... he knows we're here.” he's sun bleached bones somehow paled at the thought. Saho nodded and he turned with his guards up the hill, Prince Akar followed with his charioteers in tow leaving Bakari mumbling quick prayers as he followed them. At the top of the hill stood a hornblower with a section of cranium missing along with numerous teeth giving him a somewhat anguished appearance, the King was stood next to him, in a heroic pose, one foot resting on one of his own guards in place of a convenient rock, his heavily dented armour glistening in the evening sun.
“My friends! I welcome you to my court!” he gestured broadly at the empty landscape.
“Your arrival is timely! For I have just received news of a hostile presence to the North and to the West.”
“Your majesty.” Bakari bowed “It is an... honour to be here, what presence do you speak of?”
“Ahead to the North lies a strange forest with impolite archers who speak a barbaric tongue, to the west are some more barrows which have a group of rather overweight foreigners pillaging them! It is my belief that they even stole from me!”
“Your highness, Prince Akar here is an excellent strategist if you would like our assistance in this troubling matter.” The king waved a hand dismissively
“No need. I have an excellent plan that you shall follow.” He stepped off the skull of the poor guard “What we shall do, my loyal subjects, is we shall draw these barbarians from the woods through a system of approaching them and then drawing away until they follow us.” The Prince and priests exchanged fearful glances
“Your highness... I have encountered these beings before however, and understands their weaknesses quite well.” Akar said hopefully, The king nodded
“Very well, Prince, you shall take your chariots and join the men down at the Northern area” The prince nodded with a sigh and took to his reigns again. Hopefully he could salvage what remained of Nehekharan forces down at the skirmish without losing too many more men.
The king led the two priests and the contingent of guards down to the western barrows, before them stood a group of large men with greyed skin and outlandish clothes. The King issued a loud warcry and the guards charged towards them a synchronised force. The massive hulks laughed and hefted massive clubs with little effort, with broad swings and rumbling laughs the guards shattered before their might. The force being whittled down with ease, King Dartisham stepped forward and challenged their greatest beast to a fight, there was a brief pause and a sickening crack as the armour was dented further, and his skull along with it. A chill wave passed through the priests as they stood aghast, slowly within the ranks they could see once strong skeletal warriors toppling where they stood, Bakari turned to Saho
"We've got to leave, NOW!" he tugged at the reigns of his steed and it turned silently galloping away from the battle, the familiar thundering echoed nearby signalled Akar and a few damaged chariots following them at speed, he caught up with Saho and pulled him aboard the chariot with a strong skeletal gasp. They only paused to look back as they reached the cusp of the hill.
Waves of skeletal remains collapsed, the will of their ruler absent their bones ceased to animate and fell apart. Bakari shook his head at the sight.
"We must leave, at least perhaps the memory of King Darticham the Fool can finally be a forgotten embarrassment." Prince Akar clacked his jaw
“But there are still many treasures from Nehkhara down there in the barrows.”
“A regrettable loss, my prince, but a price we must be willing to pay.”
They shall know fear
The undead where closing in and Ansell looked around at his friends. Seven way watchers stood among the trees, scanning the tree line as the undead approached. There were no grins or jokes among them now. Their lands where being defaced and now was the time for action. Ansell looked them all in the eye, Wood Elves he had known all his life and trusted with his life. A big job to do but someone had to start this party.
With a sly grin Ansell knocked an arrow on his bowstring and aimed for the biggest bastard he could find in the group. One big ugly fella looked at him just as his arrow flew. Its eyes locked on the arrow between its eyes and fell back. That was their queue!
The forest exploded with figures of elves and he ran with them. His legs jarring with every impact as he thundered towards his enemy. They turned sluggishly, zombies weren’t known for their speed he noticed, and when he and his group reached them they parted them like barley from the scythe.
His sword shot out and pierced a woman in her thirties, decaying arms with sours and cuts on them reached out and tugged at him. They pulled him towards her with inhuman strength, embracing him. They were like two lovers, a macabre replication of love.
White hot pain shot up his left side and he saw another zombie had started eating his right arm. With a growl he lashed out with his free hand and knocked the thing back. The women had now opened her mouth, maggots spilling out over his face making him wretch and his stomach convulse. The smell of death was paralyzing and the women took a bite out of his cheek.
The pain was worse than he had ever experienced. It shot through him and made it impossible to move. Where were his friends, his comrades in arms? The figure of Allurian, a good shot with his bow, tumbled into his field of vision, dragged down by five zombies who started to pull him apart. His screams of pain mingling with those around him as the undead started cutting down the elves. Ansell felt more zombies starting to tear at his body, his blade still locked in the women’s gut. She obviously didn’t seem to notice it. Not the way you want to go, he thought as one ambitious zombie tugged at his scalp trying to get to the brain. With a sucking sound coupled with the breaking of Ansells spine the zombie fell back with the head in his hands. It looked at it, wondering what to do next, and was content to pick out the eyeballs.
Antrén watched the fabled Way Watchers get butchered by the zombies and he scanned the forest for better news.
Wardancers fought with all the vigor and grace that honored their kin. The Glade Guards rained down arrows that pierced putrid flesh and brittle bones from the perches in the trees. A mighty roar of horns came from the east and Wild Riders of Kurnoss erupted from the treeline. Mighty steeds and elves imbued with the Fury of Kurnoss, the Wild Hunt fresh in their minds as they smashed into the ranks of undead.
Antrén felt a surge of pride in him and raised his arm in salute to these brave warriors.
Yet in a few seconds the charge was dead. A mighty figure on a black steed billowing fire charged the riders and with one word, blasted them all with some sort of magic. Their bodies aged decades in scant seconds and skeletons fell from lifeless horses. His arm fell and his heart sank down to the forest floor. No sign of dryads or tree kin that had promised their aid. Was this the gratitude they showed for the elves? In their hour of need they abandon them to their demise?! A roar of anguish and defeat erupted from him and his eyes scanned the field.
The wardancers had fallen, bodies cut and skewered. One Dancer was trying to escape, crawling on the ground. A skeleton walked by him and it seemed like it was going to miss him entirely. It stopped and looked down on the feeble elf. The dying Dancer squealed in pain and fear as the skeleton loomed over him. The spear pinned the Dancer on the ground, blood spraying up and the skeleton left the prone figure cringing on the ground in pain, his howls scattered by the four winds.
Antrén felt his heart stop; he couldn’t place the strange sensation in his body. Everything had frozen and his heart now slowly beat an unruly rhythm. He looked down to see an arrow caught in his stomach. It rose and fell with his breath.
“Well…that’s unexpected.” He said quietly.
Pain roared through his body and he doubled over and tried to find a good spot to lie down so that the pain didn’t overtake him. He couldn’t find it, the pain escalating so that he couldn’t breath any more. He coughed and blood ran from his mouth. He was too old for this kind of work. A figure in black approached him and Antrén watched horrified as the man approached.
The vampire kicked the Elf in the head, watching as it snapped back and lolled back to reveal dead eyes. They were full of fear which made the vampire smirk. He had them on the run, their backs broken.
Dead bodies littered the forest floor and the screams of the dead and dying mingled in a cacophony of sound that sent waves of pleasure racing through him. Black magic enveloped him, streangthed from the death around.
He turned to his necromancer pet.
“Go forth,” his voice low and sinister, “they have lost. Their realm shall bleed. Bleed and feed my power until they can bleed no more.” He walked away, kicking the Highborn again for good measure.
Having had access to these stories a while longer than mst, I suppose I have a privileged position to having read them a few times.. so judging in isolation is a little tricky.
Avatar - you capture the essence of an Ogre pre-battle feast - the mockery of propriety, very well. Not sure what I make of the skinned sbare-tusks, as carnivorous mammals tend to not eat other carniovorous mammals... However, its is pretty and appropriately gruesome.
The battle is a little confusing - the Gorgers barelling through the bulls? But I suppose battles ARE that confusing. ANd this passage portrays it well. In all a fine piece. makes me feel empathy for the ogre. I'd rate this at 4/5
I never thought that you could give Tomb Kings character I could empathise with - in fact this passage reads almost like a Transformers sketch - WIth the Prince being Star Scream and the King being a rather stupid versionof Megatron going up against something he can't possibly defeat.... What detracts from this passage is perhaps too much speech, it doesn't flow as well as I like, but perhaps that is stylistic...
I'd rate at 3/5
this is similar in style to the entry I put in, and I like the fat that the enemy is a Vampire - perhaps this is in the lead-up to Hel Fen eh? Perhaps bringing Thalandor Doomstar into the mix would have been nice...
To be honest, this subject is pretty difficult - glad that I suggested it? Maybe, maybe not. Its difficult to portray failur without being all cliched as I was (Kithre shaking his fist at the uncaring sky and screaming "nooo" type scene...) . I like the twist - one side's uitter failure is another's victory, but perhaps there should have been that feeling of abject failure expressed in teh High Born before the final spark of life had been sbuffed? Maybe he saw Athel Loren burn in his mind's eye, saw the butchery of his people and the power of the dread legions? I did like teh commentary on the dissapointment of the spirits not turning up for battle which was nice... ANotehr solid entry overall, 3/5
Last edited by kithre; March 14th, 2011 at 09:19.
Right, time for some judging.
Avatar's Fallen Pride
This may be the best story in this round because whereas the rest of us (including me) dropped the ball a bit (due to Valnetines or other reasons) you have improved. You finally hit the mark of consistency I was talking about and you kept the same tone and style throughout the whole story.
I think a theme with all of our stories is that the weakest part seems to be the action. The description of all the ogres, and each individual member was a bit long for the size of the story, but it was still very solid description and I enjoyed it. However, when the fighting happened, it lost my attention a little. I was mostly curious as to how an army with greatswords in fullplate, and a cannon could sneak up on them, but given they all all gluttoning themselves it seems reasonable. Maybe instead of focusing on all the blood and guts, you could have captured the despair and feelings of uncertainty the tyrnat must have been feeling?
4/5 though I would have considered a 5/5 if you had tougher competition
8people's A Fool and his Treasure Eventually Parted
You hit the theme very well, and did so with what I perceive as a very difficult army to write for. I think the biggest problem in this story was the language. Kithre had it right. You had too many words in there. For example, take out 'another priest' from the first sentence and replace it with just 'priest'. Also, the attack that killed the King seemed very abrupt. Why were the ogres there? What were they doing? One moment they are talking, and then suddenly they accidently run into the ogres? You need to put a clearer transition. Have the Tomb Kings worried aobut running into specifically ogres. Have them reinforcing the King to deal with the ogres. Make it so it makes sense.
It's a hard one to rate, but I'll give it a 3/5 for doing a decent job, getting the theme, but needed refinement
BlackDow's And They Shall Know Fear
The biggest problem in this story is the language, but in this case for word usage. I felt like the story was silly at the beginning. "Someone had to get this party started", "one big ugly fella", "zombies weren't known for their speed". These lines were zany, which put me off since you specifically wrote "There were no grins or jokes among them now." Heck, only a few lines later one of the elves was having a sly grin, in direct contradiction.
I felt because of this the mood was off. For a fairly dark story about the Wood Elves being slaughtered by the dead, it was pack full of one-liners and clever witicisms(sp?) that belong in a James Bonde flick. Beyond that, there were some descriptions that needed changing. When attacking a zombie, who cares if it was a 30-year-old woman? Say middle aged (or young) and tell us about her tongue hanging loosely, or the crackling sound her spine is making.
This is also a tough one to judge. Though normally I'd be incline to consider a 3/5, I'm going to give 8people a slight advantage over this story. 2/5
I am heading off to the Peace Corps. It is bery likely I will not be back. Good luck to all of you endeavors.
Avatar of Khaine
Well, you've made me feel sorry for an ogre! What is the world coming too? An excellently written piece, though, I really like this one...
While I like the idea of a seemingly crazy Tomb King, the story just doesn't seem all that strong.
A very solid entry, with the battle quite well described, and a bit of dark humour in there to lighten the mood.
To me, Avatar's story stands out best in this round. While all are good, his is just a little better told, so it gets my vote!
Avatar of Khaine - 4/5
8people - 3/5
BlackDow - 3/5