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The rise of Da One Armed BanditZag awoke to the smell of rotting flesh; it was a cloying suffocating scent that caused him to gag. He felt himself gasp for air but his mouth filled with blood and green flesh. He knocked away a rotting arm allowing a shaft of light to shine on his face. He made to wipe the gore form his face but his hand wasn’t working. He looked down at it and saw a stump looking back.
Chapter One: Inexplicable Rage is an Orc’s best friend.
A red mist descended over his eyes, he clenched his one remaining hand. Tensing his muscles he began to shake before launching himself upwards with a gargled roar. He erupted from the mound of corpses raising both arms above his head like an angered god. The lone cloaked man sitting around the campfire shrieked almost falling into the fire he was huddled around moments before.
Zag realised he was standing in a cart full of corpses and began chucking the bits and pieces of orc and human body parts before reaching the edge of the cart and ferociously kicking the wooden side into splinters.
He looked over at the man as he stood there his hands outspread and scowled.
“Oi! You, ‘umie. Where is my ‘and!” he shouted jumping out from the newly made hole in the cart. He picked up a piece of jagged wood and brandished it as a weapon. The human appeared to be ignoring him and in a rare moment of Orc ingenuity he repeated himself, slowly. “Human. Where. Is. My. Hand? My ‘and, where have you ‘idden it?” He poked the man’s neck below the jaw with the more ‘stabby’ end of the wood. Still the cloaked figure ignored him.
Zag, a now one handed bloody mess of ruddy green muscle squinted at the silent man. He poked him in the stomach with the wood. The man took no notice. Zag began to wonder if he had literally scared the man to death. His rage lessened for the moment as he stared at the moving lips of the pale faced human. How could he be dead if his lips were moving? As he pondered he made to scratch his head with his hand, only to miss by a hand span with the stump of his arm.
Remembering his hand was missing, his anger returned his resolve. Losing patience with the possibly dead human, he decided to make sure and thrust the jagged wood at its heart. The wood stopped before his heart. Clasping Zag’s wrist was a pale bony arm. Slowly he turned his head to stare at who had stopped him and met face to face with a skull.
The skeleton slowly moved the orc’s remaining hand away from its master. Zag’s strength was sapped by the fear this creature instilled in him. The skeleton raised another bony arm, clasping a rusted axe. Pitifully Zag raised his other arm to try and cowardly block the decapitating strike. Instead, he saw the stump of his arm and once more his anger surfaced and his strength returned tenfold. Wrenching his arm from the skeleton he grabbed its weapon arm quicker than it could move. While this wasn’t a spectacular feat as the undead were not known for their speed in battle, Zag didn’t care. With a sideways strike from his stump, he knocked the barely attached skull from the skeleton’s shoulders.
If Orcs could feel pain, Zag would have felt such debilitating torture from what was left of his wrist that he would have slumped to the floor in a heartbeat. As it was, Zag was an orc and therefore swung around to where the man he had tried to kill had been standing before he was rudely interrupted by the living dead. The man had disappeared.
“Looking for me, you raging buffoon?” Zag slowly turned to the source of the voice, eventually he found it, hidden behind an army of groaning shambling dead orcs. “You are a very good actor Orc; even I thought you were dead when I piled you onto my cart along with your brethren here.” He gestured to the creatures in front of him with a sweep of his hand. Zag sniffed the air and almost coughed out his lungs. Although it is widely known that Orcs don’t bathe and have a habit of living like walking heaps of garbage, these dead so called orcs even made Zag waft his hand in front of his face in disgust.
“These aren’t proppa orcs. Proppa Orcs don’t get thumped by pointy eared pansies.” Zag said.
“You were beaten by elves? Hah. A whole army of orcs beaten by the arrogant elder race. Maybe you won’t make as much of a minion as I thought you would,” the cloaked man said.
“I’m no ‘umie’s lackey.”
It should be pointed out that any man staring off against a necromancer and a small army of undead greenskins would either shake in his boots, scream or run. More likely it would be all three. However Zag was a living mound of green muscle and therefore saw this as ‘a good scrap’.
Smashing the skeletal hand still clinging to his arm against a nearby tree, he paused to pick up the rusty axe that had been poised above his head moments before and then grinned a toothy grin at the horde of has-been orcs.
“WAAAGH!!” he bellowed rushing at his enemies. The undead orcs seemed to stop for a moment as if trying to remember why that phrase was so familiar.
“Fools attack! By my command you will do my bidding. Dallan’s bidding.” Dallan screeched at his troops before summoning more dark magic’s and flinging it in Zag’s direction. The orc meanwhile was hacking through zombies with a stern look on his face. Whether this look of sheer concentration was accidental or maybe all orcs had it in battle where Zag came from, it didn’t matter. Flipping one zombie with an upward strike, it was struck with all the fury of Dallan’s dark magic. Dallan cursed.
Cutting an unimaginable swathe through the undead ranks, Zag eventually faced off against the necromancer. With a swagger, Dallan drew an ornate finely crafted blade.
“Do you know what this is, Orc?” Dallan asked, swinging it nonchalantly as he and Zag squared off. They circled, stepping over the corpses of corpses and the small sapling Zag had cut down with a wild swing earlier. “This is a runeblade, forged in one of the dwarfen holds and stolen by my lord. He gave it to me as I am his most promising student.” Zag snorted his disinterest, “He infused it with some of his own magical powers making the blade even more formidable, so I’m afraid that today, beast, I am your superior in combat.”
They stared across at each other for a few minutes. Dallan began to believe he had done the impossible and reasoned with an orc. He began to smirk like a villain in a William Long play. Zag, however was not convinced.
Reaching over his back with his weapon he made to appear as if he was scratching his back but then, with one confused look from Dallan he brought his weapon over his head and launched it at Dallan. Not expecting this Dallan gawped like a chaos addled Troll with a math puzzle. It struck him in his shoulder causing him to collapse to the floor and drop his weapon.
Leaning over the necromancer, he put his stump arm across his neck and pushed suffocating him. Zag then asked in the quietest tone, the Orc’s jaw could manage, “Where is my ‘and?”
“I, I don’t know,” Dallan managed to squeak gasping for air, “I didn’t inspect the corpses when I gathered them, maybe it lies where you fell.”
Zag pondered this for a moment. A minute passed, probably the longest an orc has thought in the presence of someone he could kill. Or anyone. He grinned a toothy grin and grasped Dallan’s fallen blade. But just as he made to plunge it into Dallan’s chest, he managed to mouth the last silent word of his spell, vanishing in a flash of black smoke and leaving only the smell of burning flesh. Zag fell the width of a man to the ground but easily shook it off.
Dallan’s sword in his one remaining hand, Zag stomped off leaving behind the corpse strewn clearing, scavengers already appearing to pick them clean. After all he had a WAAAGH!! to raise and most importantly of all, a hand to find.
Edit: Hmm, it doesn't want to format.
Last edited by Herald of Huanchi; August 31st, 2011 at 20:16. Reason: formatting
Not dead, just sleeping
Chapter Two: Greenskins, Large and SmallGreenskins are known across the old world as a living canker on the lands. As soon as you think you have quelled it, they come roaring from an unseen quarter. You didn’t have to walk far before they found you.
It was for this reason that Zag had barely stomped out of the dark woods before off in the distance he could see the dust whipped up by charging cavalry and the squeaky chants of their riders.
As he got closer the one armed Orc noticed who they were attacking. Or rather, who they were running at before stopping and running away again. Another tribe of greenskins.
“Cowardly Gobbos,” Zag muttered under his breath.
The Goblins on wolves were repeatedly feigning charges at the loose ranks of Orcs. Each time they ran it riled individual Orcs into sprinting after them and out of the safety of their loose ranks. The wolf riders then easily picked off the loners.
As Zag got closer he noticed they weren’t normal Orcs. Or at least not in an Orcy way. They wore no armour, in fact they barely wore anything bar a loincloth. Each Orc had also daubed themselves in blue paint, making crude symbols on their flesh.
When he finally got within spitting distance, the savage Orcs had regrouped behind some rocks, but still the odd Orc ran out after the wolves.
Grabbing the nearest Orc as he was about to run, Zag slammed him behind the rock, punching him square in the nose with his remaining hand. He then turned to the other Orcs as they stared at him.
The other Orcs looked confused. They could obviously see Zag was an Orc which stayed them from slaughtering him out right* but he was defiantly not one of them. He had armour and a strange weapon at his side.
The next nearest savage reached for the sword around Zag’s belt. He backhanded the Orc with the stump of his arm.
“Oi!” Zag shouted with the standard Orc greeting, “Who is da boss around ‘ere?”
“I is.” An Orc, not much bigger than any of the others stepped forward. He seemed to have a lot more symbols painted on him than the others and a piece of bone through his nose.
Zag unsheathed his sword and pointed it at the Savage boss.
“You ain’t proppa enough to be the boss. Letting puny Gobbos take advantage.” The last word confused the savages so he tried again. “You is getting thumped by Gobbos.”
The group nodded to each other in sudden understanding and the boss took another step forward in challenge.
“Come on if you think you is ‘ard enough!”
The boss Orc swung his club before Zag could react. It connected with his chin, twisting his head around to the side. The boss laughed and scratched his head with his other hand. Zag turned his head to look at the laughing Orc. He did it slowly, his neck clicking back into place. This somewhat unnerved the savage whose eyes widened before turning into a scowl.
The boss lunged at Zag. Dodging to the side, he brought his stolen sword to bear and sliced straight through the boss’ wrist. The boss roared as blood sprayed from the wound before attempting a headbutt to Zag’s gut.
The boss was obviously not used to armour as his head clanged off it, barely winding Zag. He staggered back, slightly dazed. Pressing his advantage Zag brought down the sword in a chopping motion.
The boss collapsed to the ground.
As the savaged stood motionless, Zag looked about himself. He had heard a voice. A distinctly un-Orc like voice. But the only living souls around him were the savages, a slight fear in them as they waited for their new boss’ orders.
Shrugging, Zag sheathed his sword and bellowed,
“Listen up, this is what we is gonna do.”
The wolf riders watched the rocky outcrop in confusion. The Orcs had stopped coming. Perhaps the Orcs had finally learnt from their mistakes, Chief rider Gren thought. Then he realised these were Orcs. They were too stupid to learn, especially these ones.
Gren and his riders had discovered the backward Orcs a few days ago and had thanked Mork (or was it Gork?) for their luck. These Orcs were the biggest morons the Goblins had ever seen, even for Orcs. This had given them their chance to get their own back on their larger cousins.
His wolf mount yawned, mirroring his master’s boredom. Gren chewed a finger before throwing it away, after all it wasn’t his. He looked down the lines of riders around him and could of sworn he had seen looks of cunning plans forming in his subordinates as their faces had lit up, only to look away from him quickly.
He had to get them busy, maybe get some of them killed. That was the only way to stop yourself getting a crooked knife in the back when you were the big boss Goblin.
He adjusted his helmet as a cunning plan of his own formed in his brain, but who would he pick for the honour of scouting out the enemy?
“Oi! You, Snotbat, c’mere,” Gren shouted to the Goblin on the end. Snotbat might look like a complete idiot picking his nose, but Gren had seen the way he looked at him and he didn’t like it.
“I want you to go see what those Orcs are doin’. Do it all sneaky like and take Thumbgus and him there.” He pointed to a Goblin who tried to look away but was too late.
The trio of Goblins tried to move out slowly but their mounts, ever hungry wolves weren’t having any of it and took off at full speed towards the rocks.
Gren rubbed his hands together and stifled a giggle.
As the trio of wolf riders made it to enemy lines they made to turn around the rock, at a safe distance. However, it appeared they weren’t far enough away. Several implements were thrown in their direction. Gren made out several rocks, one managing to smack Snotbat on the nose and knock him off his wolf. Quite a few sharpened stone axes buried themselves in the wolves flanks and the remaining Goblins were quickly thrown from their mounts. Two Orcs then ran to them and bludgeoned their fallen frames to pulp before turning to look directly at Gren.
Here they come, Gren thought. They won’t be able to help themselves. The pea brain idiots will run towards them and get tired and and...
“Oi! What are they doin’?” Gren shouted.
“They is retreating Boss,” said the Goblin next to him. Gren punched him in the mouth.
“They is no good stinkin’ Orcs. They don’t retreat.” Gren didn’t say it with too much conviction. “Roight, there must be lots less than we finked there were, otherwise they would be braver. Come on boys, let’s get ‘em!”
They charged at the rocks in a wide arc coming around the side and the last second, to try and surprise the remaining Orcs by appearing in front, as if out of nowhere.
As they turned to face the Orcs however, Gren’s malicious grin fell off his face, replaced a look of horror. He gulped.
“Oh, hello,” he said to the large amount of Orcs. If Gren could count he would have known the Orcs outnumbered him ten to one. Several savages clubbed their own hands threateningly but it was the Orc in front of the savages that caught Gren’s attention.
He held a fine sword in one hand balancing the blade flatly against his shoulder. In other circumstances Gren might have marked that out as loot for himself, but the Orc’s sheer confidence coupled with his armour and the fact he was backed up by many many others made Gren have second thoughts.
Gren soon realised this new Orc was also their new leader as he noticed the Orcs other hand or stump and the fact that one of the savages held a banner with a quickly painted svered hand on its flag.
He gulped again.
The Orcs descended on them, screaming and bawling. It was too late for Gren to order the retreat but still some of the Goblins at the back of his unit ran anyway. This left him and the others too near the front and unable to turn, to their fates.
As the new Orc’s blade cleft Gren’s head from his shoulders, he thought he heard a distinctly un-orcy voice but before he could contemplate it further, he was dead.
Last edited by Herald of Huanchi; September 1st, 2011 at 11:41.
Not dead, just sleeping
I like this story! You seem to have really nailed orc/goblin fluff, I had a good chuckle while reading this.
Cursed Sword, perchance? Don't people know they shouldn't take stuff from necromancers and Vampires without making sure it's not going to backfire in some cruel and terrible way?
Thanks Sir Proofreader,
You never see stories from the greenies point of veiw so I thought it would be fun. And it was!
I am glad it made you chuckle as I prefer the Orcs and Gobbos when they are being the comic relief because otherwise what separates them from the other races constantly threatening the Empire?
On the sword. It is like every Orc and Goblin magic item, it has been stolen from another race. However, whether its nature is malign or not is yet to be revealed...
dun dun dun...
Not dead, just sleeping
Chapter Three: Of War and Peace. But mostly war.
The wolf riders finally returned. Zag had begun to get impatient.
With Gren dead, the cowards that had run eventually came back and were savagely beaten. Zag ordered them kept alive however. Zag’s reasoning, for an Orc, was that they were more useful alive than dead. As long as they knew who the boss was.
“We’s found ‘em boss,” one of the riders squeaked.
“Good. Okay boys, move out,” Zag shouted to his motley tribe.
They followed the remaining wolf riders for what felt like an age. Zag tried to keep the peace but couldn’t stop the inevitable fights breaking out. They quick marched behind the wolves back, every now and again a wolf would break ranks, its rider holding on for dear life before it came back, mouth slobbering with blood and its riders face the very image of relief. It wasn’t unknown for wolves to eat their riders when they got hungry.
“Lucky Gobbo,” Zag said with a smirk.
They eventually came to a stop outside of a thick forest. Zag wondered if it was the one he had fought the human in. His sense of direction and Orc attention span meant he couldn’t know for sure.
The greenskins set up camp, if a series of hastily put together shanty style tents could be called a camp. The savages had gotten a bit too enthusiastic, chopping at trees on the outskirts of the forest and using the wood to make a shelter. Zag wondered if they were trying to copy the houses of a human settlement but dismissed it.
The wolf riders copied their larger cousins, whether out of respect, fear or boredom, it was unknown. One or two attempted to hack at the trees, only for a bees nest to land on one unfortunate Goblins head. Instead they stole leftover wood from the Orcs and set about making a pen for their wolves.
The wolves made sure to show their disapproval. More than one Goblin limped up to Zag, torn clothes and teeth shaped punctures in their legs.
While the others set about their duties, Zag made a fire stabbing his stolen blade into the dirt next to it and brooding. Ignoring the savage Orcs that had crowded around this miracle as they saw it, Zag attempted to think of a way of finding his hand.
“Boss?” a goblin said coming up to him relunctantly.
Zag stared at him with a burning hatred as if the little runt had stolen the path to his hand. He gathered his sword and stood. A Greenskin, much smaller than a Goblin, ran past him giggling. Since they had set up camp, these snotlings along with the odd Squig had sprung up, appearing as if out of nowhere.
A nearby Squig lay snoozing nearby. Zag gave him a disgruntled kick, venting his anger on the beast. It sailed into the side of a wooden tent. Surprisingly the building stayed upright. The Squig leapt to its feet and snarled. Zag growled in turn.
Charging at him, the Squig, a bouncing ball of sheer muscle and teeth, jumped, gnashing and snarling. In an uncharacteristically graceful move, Zag brought his sword up in an upward arc, pommel first. It struck the creature in its almost nonexistent chin. The Squig’s trajectory quickly changed to a more vertical one. It screamed the only way a fungal orb could, wailing into the sky.
As it returned like a gift from gravity, Zag delivered another kick, hitting it with precision back at the cobbled together tent. This time the building gave up and crashed to the floor.
The Squig emerged from the rubble. Whimpering it ran off, venting its own anger on an unsuspecting snotling. Eventually a dazed Orc emerged from the rubble as well, it staggered a few steps before collapsing. Its snores filled the vacuum of noise Zag’s outburst had created.
Panting, Zag finally turned to the Goblin.
“Yeah? What do you want?”
The Goblin, now physically trembling in a show of sheer cowardice, eventually summoned up the courage to speak.
“The forest Gobbos ‘ave sent an emissl- emissaaly-emissr- a guy to talk fer ‘em.”
Zag nodded. They had come to the forest to recruit the forest Goblins. Hopefully by force, but he would take peaceful surrender, however unlikely that would be. After all that gave him more Goblins to use as cannon fodder.
“Go get Boss Urk,” Zag said. The Goblin took off before he could shove his boot up his arse.
Savage Boss Urk was Zag’s second in command. Not quite tough enough to take Zag on, but more than strong enough to bully the other Orc’s, commanding their respect. Zag decided he might need the Orc to get the forest Goblins on his side. His face paint and tribal manner could be what swayed the spider worshippers. After all, even though they called themselves forest Goblins, they were nothing more than savage Goblins, the Gobbo version of the Orcs under his command.
Dallan watched the Greenskins as they attempted their parlay. He had safely concealed himself in the shadows.
His master had been most annoyed and unimpressed with his loss of the sword. He had threatened Dallan, not with death, but with unlife. And not the good kind. How Dallan craved his master’s kiss, to become immortal, but if he failed to retrieve the sword or something just as worthy, he would indeed become immortal, albeit with an eternity of suffering as a shambling stinking zombie.
Dallan shuddered at the thought.
He watched as the thief, the one armed Orc who had come so close to ending his life, stood, good hand clasped to the blade. The other Orc, a backwards creature daubed in paint was busying himself by throttling one of the Goblins they were trying to speak with.
He had to admit the Orcs had a way with brokering allegiance amongst their own kind. Not for them was the politics of mankind. The filling of pockets or the blackmail of a would-be ally wasn’t something that came to an Orc. They didn’t know greed. For that Dallan envied the simpletons.
For a moment he wondered how long an Orc would live if it was never killed on the battlefield. Did they age? Did they understand the concept of mortality? Probably not. It was unheard of for an Orc to accept the blood kiss or seek out objects that could prolong their life. No, the only thing an Orc understood was strength. If one found the elixir of life, he wouldn’t drink it.
“No, he’d beat the closest living thing over the head with it,” Dallan muttered to himself.
Suddenly the green skin truce meeting took a new turn. One of the Goblins stood pointing at the backward Orc’s head. The others saw what he pointed at and quickly began to bow, arms outstretched in front of them and their noses scraping the ground. It was as if they had just seen their God made form.
Dallan strained his eyes to see what the fuss was about.
On the Orcs head, Dallan made out some markings in blue paint, they looked fresh as it was dribbling down his forehead. If he was someone who took stock in the ink blot test he would have said the symbol looked like a spider, the dribbles forming the legs.
The Goblins rose and beckoned for the Orcs to follow. The savage one shrugged and did so immediately but Dallan could have sworn the sword stealer, the bandit as it were, was thinking. Could he realise why the Goblins had such reverence for his ally? He stomped slowly after the rest, his bodyguard of Orcs following in his wake.
It wasn’t hard for Dallan to follow them. Even when he momentarily became caught up in a bit of stray webbing, he soon caught up. The Orcs constantly stopped to bicker loudly, every now and again a punch was thrown, but their bandit leader soon stopped it before anyone was killed.
Eventually they came to a clearing under an opening in the trees. The twin moons glared at the gathering from on high. Looking around the clearing, Dallan made out various holes covered in webbing. Obviously the burrows of the spiders these Goblins kept. However his heart did jump when he saw a massive crater of a burrow, hidden partially by the undergrowth.
Off to one side of the clearing stood a very large fungus encrusted structure. It looked ancient and well made. Dallan suspected it had been made long ago by great craftsmen and the Goblins had merely taken it over. Possibly Dwarfs had done it, but then he had second thoughts. It didn’t have the same practicality in its architecture as normal Dwarf makes had. Elven then? An outpost they had created from long ago. No, it didn’t have the required elegance. If anything it looked like an altar, a massive one though, that by all appearances looked like a prototype of the pyramids he had seen in one of his master’s books on Khemri.
He did wonder if the long dead Kings of Nehekhara had ever come this far north though. Perhaps a race older than them had done it then. Which meant there could be ancient treasures in there, left undisturbed by the fools of the Empire. Instead of garnering a dusty museum, the powerful treasures of that temple could win him his immortality; the good kind of immortality where he was his own master.
He rubbed his hands in anticipation. But how to do it?
A rather fat Goblin appeared at the top of the temple, a veritable chicken-full of feathers adorned his head dress and he rode atop some form of stone chair strapped to a giant spider. A throne perhaps?
He twirled a makeshift sceptre with a glowing orb at its end. The orb shined with a venomous green colour and fixed in such a crude way to the sceptre made Dallan think that this could be the type of treasure he was looking for.
The Goblins obviously found it and finding no other use for it tied it to a stick, no doubt intending to bludgeon another of their kind with it.
He knew exactly what to do.
The words fell from his lips like a storm as all around his little hiding place, small hands shot out of the ground, rotting green flesh still hanging from their bones. Their groans and creaking limbs all that was needed for Dallan to know they would do his bidding without hesitation.
There was a subtle irony here. Dallan did to these deceased Goblins, what he feared his master would do to him if he failed.
His smile dispelled the thought.
“As if I would fail.”
Last edited by Herald of Huanchi; September 2nd, 2011 at 12:20.
Not dead, just sleeping
No, of course he won't fail. Not like you already got your sword stolen by a one-handed Orc
Getting interesting now, though!
Chapter Four: One Orc’s fortune is another man’s bane.
Thousands of dead Goblins had appeared from the ground, their small frames and grabbing hands more of an annoyance than a threat. The forest Goblins had obviously lived in the forest a long time to have accrued so many dead.
Their numbers made them more of a threat however and accompanied by massive long dead spiders they were more than a match for the Goblins and the small unit of Orcs.
Kicking one Goblin in the mouth, its head separating from its body and bouncing along the floor, Zag turned in a swirl, his sword cleaving through many Goblins at once. Nearby, Urk smashed about himself with his axe, laughing wildly at the violence.
Taking a quick breather in the space he had created, Zag scanned the battlefield. Many Goblins were running into the trees screaming in their cowardice, while many others ran to face their dead doppelgangers, happy that they finally had something weedier than themselves to fight. Dead spider fought living spider in deadly mirror matches. The living spiders stupidly injected poison into the dead, where it lingered uselessly, while the dead attempted to do the same but their sacs were empty from long years of decay.
Zag then spotted the cloaked human. He ran towards the Goblin’s altar to the spider God. The human’s weakness showed itself however as he stopped to pant and catch his breath before running awkwardly. His black cloak billowed outwards like a shadow.
“Oi! Umie! Come over here and fight, you coward,” Zag shouted.
His challenge was obviously heard as the human slowly turned scanning the battlefield for him before their eyes locked. Zag waved his sword in mock greeting expecting the man to charge. It was only when he saw the human’s mouth move faster than a retreating Goblin, did Zag realise his mistake.
This was a cowardly human, not an Orc.
The man raised his arms in the air and everything turned black. It was as though the moons had been blotted out, the lights turned off. The darkness swirled like living shadows. Zag looked about himself. All around him was shadowy darkness as far as the eye could see.
Then out of the shadows came another. It seemed different somehow, more solid. At first Zag thought it was a tree but it seemed too blocky and moved awkwardly. It was as though it was connected to the shadows above and swung out. It picked up speed as it arched towards him.
Unsure if it was real or not, Zag decided it was best not to find out the hard way. He leapt aside landing awkwardly as the floor he was used to reappeared and the shadows vanished. Everything was suddenly a lot brighter.
Zag looked to where the ghostly pendulum would have been and watched as one by one, in a line, several undead Goblins fell to the ground. Several living Gobllins, in the same line followed suit, their eyes dulling as they fell, dead. Two Orcs also fell. One of them was Urk.
Zag shook his head as his second in command fell. Looking for the necromancer he saw him climbing the steps to the spider altar.
But before he could smash his way through the horde of Goblin’s between him and the cowardly magic man, someone, an Orc, tapped him on the shoulder.
“Oi! Wot happened there boss? That was weird.”
To Zag’s surprise it was Urk, the savage was scratching his head with one hand and absent-mindedly holding a dead spider at bay with his axe in the other. His crude face paint seemed to glow briefly as though there was some magic to them but then they faded. Had that saved his life?
The oncoming Goblin zombies had stopped on seeing the spider pattern on his forehead glowing, as if some part of their former life had rekindled in their small rotting brains before they carried on, as if nothing had happened.
“That ‘umie did it. If you don’t want it happening again, help me get to the bugger,” Zag said, pointing at the necromancer.
The two Orcs ran in tandem. Urk ran on Zag’s weak side where his stump swung uselessly. The two hacked at Goblin bodies as they pressed towards them. At one point, Zag was sure he heard one of them scream and for a moment he realised he had killed a normal forest Goblin but shrugging, he carried on.
As spider leapt at them, its innards attempting escape. Urk butted heads with the creature, before hacking off several limbs and biting into it, shaking it around like a wolf with a rabbit before launching it behind them.
As Urk turned to grin at Zag, his paint began to glow again. In front of them, a Goblin stood, oddly translucent, and wielding an odd weapon for a Goblin. Zag recognised it as a scythe, something humans used for something or other, his Orc memory failing to give any extra detail.
“Orcs. My master bids you the sweet embrace of death,” the Goblin shrieked, its voice odd and echoic, much unlike a normal Goblin’s squeaky cackle.
Urk launched himself at the creature, his axe cleaving an accurate arc towards the odd Goblin’s unprotected stomach. The odd Goblin did not move. Urk, along with his axe careened through the Goblin as though he wasn’t there, before laying dead on the floor, mouth wide open, and his eyes staring in a cold surprise.
“Your attacks are pointless. Prepare to accept death.”
The odd Goblin swung his scythe down towards Zag’s neck. Zag stood motionless as the scythe descended in slow motion before his eyes. His shock seemed to dissipate as his natural reflexes took over and he raised his sword to attempt a parry.
The Sword and scythe connected for a moment before Zag knocked the odd Goblin’s weapon aside. The odd Goblin gave him a look that suggested that that had never happened before. Zag ignored it and lunged, his stolen blade plunging into the odd Goblin’s ethereal heart.
It screeched as it rose up, before exploding silently. A ghostly wind blew across the battlefield in a mockery of a real detonation.
Zag made to step over his fallen comrade and return to his march on the necromancer when Urk stirred. His paint glowed brightly, especially the spider mark on his forehead. He groaned and for a moment Zag believed Urk had joined the living dead and he would have to behead the weakling.
“My ‘ead ‘urts boss,” Urk said stupidly clutching his head. He stood up staggering slightly before clutching his weapon. “Roight, lets get that stupid ‘umie.”
Dallan cursed as he climbed the crumbling steps to where the fat Goblin and his prize resided.
Of all the Orcs that could have figured out to dodge his spell, the foul Bandit had to be the lucky one. The one armed muscle head had to be the one to throw himself aside as the magical pendulum swung through the battlefield.
It was unfair, that’s what it was. The Gods were trying every dirty trick they could cobble together to stop him achieving his goal. For instance, he could have accepted that someone had the Orc equivalent of an epiphany, something akin to remembering to breathe, but for it to be the green tinted bane of his existence?
What was somehow worse was one of the backward Orcs had actually managed to survive getting the pendulum full in the face. Somehow the crude shapes on the Orc’s body had managed to bat away the Grey winds attempts on his life.
Perhaps the forest Goblin’s deity did exist and had bestowed its favour on the Orc for venerating it with his forehead? Morr knew odder things had happened.
Well his spell may have failed, he thought as he stopped to catch his breath, but at least he had the foresight to bind the spirit of a wraith to his whims. Admittedly he hadn’t had a lot to work with but the Goblin’s soul had to suffice.
Dallan had to admit, necromancy held a lot more power than his coveted shadow magic but if he hadn’t been a Grey wizard before he met his master, he would have been spit on his master’s own sword by the Orc.
He decided to turn his attention to the battlefield before continuing up the poor excuse for a temple.
He had to stifle a laugh when the backwards Orc sealed his own fate, swatting ineffectually as the wraith’s mere being robbed him of his soul. Dallan’s happiness was short-lived however and he put a hand to his mouth in horror as the Bandit dissipated his minion with his master’s magic sword. He got the feeling his master would give him a piece of his mind for that, at best. He didn’t dare contemplate the worst case scenario.
Before he could look away, the Gods threw another helping of mud in his face as once again the backward Orc’s tattoos saved him. What were the chances? Steeling his resolve Dallan climbed all the faster.
As he finally made it to the peak of the man made mountain, he came face to face with his quarry. The fat Goblin squawked in a moment of panic before hitting the giant spider mount with his sceptre.
The Spider struggled to move under the weight of the throne as well as its master’s bulk. This gave Dallan ample time to prepare his greatest spell.
He chanted the words and the winds heeded his call. The very world seemed to stop and stare in awe. The moons hid themselves from view and the shadows flocked to him.
The shadows twisted and turned, changing shape by his whim before finally coalescing into solidity, in his grasp.
Unable to stop himself, Dallan laughed as the simple dagger formed in his hands. It’s very existence, because he willed it.
Reaching out he slashed the shadowy blade across the spider’s face. It left no mark. For a moment the spider continued, but before it could slash him with its barbs, something told it, it was dead. It fell to the floor in one motion, its very load helping to crush it.
Its rider tumbled from its throne, rolling head over heel before coming to a stop at Dallan’s feet. It made to attack him but Dallan was too quick and once again he lashed out with the blade of shadow. The Goblin gave him a confused look before his eyes dulled and his jaw fell open slackly.
“WAAAGH!!” The shouts reached his ears and he knew the idiot thief and his crew of buffoons would be on him quickly.
Dispelling the dagger, it vanished as quick as it had come and he reached out to claim his prize. The sceptre however, would not budge. Dallan quickly realised that such a strange death must have made rigor mortis set in much quicker than normal.
“No matter, I only want the orb,” he said confidently. Placing one foot on the sceptre he grasped the orb in both hands and heaved.
The sceptre creaked but held firm. Goblin manufacture may be crude, but Dallan had to admit it was sturdy and quite effective.
He could almost feel the Bandit’s breath on his neck but still the orb wouldn’t budge. The stomps of feet and the collapse of stone told him the Orc’s were approaching fast, uncaring for the structure’s crumbling nature.
Panic took hold of him. He could not fail. He wouldn’t.
Taking a deep breath, he reviewed his options before quite bluntly slapping himself on the head. How could he have been so foolish?
Recanting the summoning spell, he willed the fat Goblin’s bones to move again. Slowly it stood, several snapping sounds audible above the approaching enemy. It stared at him, awaiting orders.
Dallan held out his hand. The Goblin stared at it before staring at the sceptre and back at his hand. Eventually the zombie held out the sceptre to him and greedily Dallan snatched it from its hand. He then let the Goblin crumble back to a motionless corpse. Turning he watched the one armed bandit emerge over the steps. They locked stares for a moment before Dallan said a word.
And then Dallan vanished, leaving behind nothing but smoke and the mixed smell of burned flesh and an overconfident smugness.
Last edited by Herald of Huanchi; September 6th, 2011 at 18:51.
Not dead, just sleeping