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Well, here is the first match for the Intro-fluff event of the LO Site Campaign. The challenge was simple- submit a piece of introduction fluff, with a 1k work limit. The LO community gets to vote. I'll tally the votes this Saturday (October 29) and the winner of each match-up will get to count a victory towards their side's total in the campaign. Votes should be based simply on which story best captures the nature of the armies, and which story you like the best.
Entries were paired up on a first-come, first-serve basis. Our first two contenders are DeadstarMRC writing for Disorder, and Librarian Zahariel writing for Chaos.
DeadstarMRC: Disorder (Vampire Counts)New Recruits
Far from the ever-shifting front lines of the true war, Ivakov guided his rouncey to the crest of a low ridge. The gentle slope away from him glowed silver in the faint moonlight, although as the plain levelled out a different illumination coloured the rows of tents and makeshift barricades. Torches spat glowing motes and heavy smoke into the still night air, lighting the perimeter of the enemy camp.
They were soldiers from the empire; a supply train making their way towards one of the countless warzones that had arisen from such turbulent times. A complement of reserves accompanied them, two thousand or so troops that had likely been conscripted in to service having never wielded a weapon in anger. The Empire was desperate, but with good reason.
Ivakov glanced back over his shoulder at the cavalry force waiting patiently for his orders. Two hundred Wight horsemen, and easily double that number of dire-wolves. Though the countless battles in which they had served counted for little given the limited memory of such beings, his force would still make short work of the hapless and unwitting foe. It could hardly be called a battle, Ivakov reasoned. It would simply be a slaughter.
The knowledge of what was to come did not sit well with him. Though he realised the necessities of war and believed that any battle was welcome, any victory a blessing, Ivakov longed to be fighting the true war. Marching at his Master's side, defeating the great heroes of the Empire, crushing Dwarven throngs and Elven allies... In truth, the foe mattered not; It was only victory that was important, and the tougher the challenge the better. Sleeping supply trains and green reinforcements were hardly a worthy challenge.
Regardless, he was under orders from his Master, from a Vampire more powerful than he, and irrespective of the task it would be done. Besides, Ivakov reasoned, a victory here would aid in victories to come. The loss of this force would bolster their own as Necromancers accompanying him clamoured to load corpse carts with the slain. And his success would be rewarded, in time, should his Master remain satisfied with his progress.
Ivakov drew his sword and bared his teeth in a snarl. Thousands of hooves and paws responded immediately, breaking in to motion and building into an unstoppable charge as they descended upon the waiting camp. It was impossible to mask the rumble of their approach, and as they drew closer to the camp the patrolling guards saw their weapons glinting in the torchlight.
The fear in their eyes as they raced to sound the alarm made Ivakov smile. They were too late, and were soon in the midst of a battle for their lives. A battle they would hopelessly lose.
Librarian Zahariel: Chaos (Warriors)Children of the North
Looking out over the grasslands to the south you could see the wind rippling the tall grass. Tall enough to hide all sorts of animals, predator and prey.
Tall with a lean muscly frame the young Tsolmon turned from this nauseating vista of calmness and serenity and took in the destruction and carnage wreaked by his marauding band of young bloods. Bodies lay where they had fallen, horses were screaming as they were still hitched up to the burning wagons and over all this was the wailing and moaning of women and injured from the caravans party. Music to the ears for the young Kurgen marauders from the Khamaks tribe.
The leader of the caravan had been chained to a stake, watching as his livelihood went up in flames and smoke. His family, servants, guards and anyone unlucky enough to have joined him on the journey having either been cut down in the initial assault or were now being sorted into two groups. Those worth taking whether that be for slaves or sacrifice and those of no further use.
Tsolmon approached the stake and he could hear the piteous weeping and sobbing coming form the man. He wasn’t much to look at, a stocky figure with balding grey hair and a pot belly from too much ale. With burns and soot from the fires staining his face, he looked up at the sound of grass parting and the jingle of chain mail. “Please, spare me and my family and you can have the rest. People, jewels, everything, just take it.” he sobbed. “P-p-please spare us. Don’t hurt me, please, please. Let me go.”
“What’s your name, little man?”
“Radost...please let me go. Why are you doing this, we are just traders. I’ll give you everything, just spare me and my family”
“You cannot gift us with what we already own, little Radost. Your wives and daughters. Your jewels and wares. All are mine now. And as for why?” Tsolmon grabs him by the hair and forces him to look to the right. A young marauder was busy hacking off the heads of fallen guards and throwing them into a net. “Gansukh there thirsts for blood and glory. He will remove all flesh, muscle and boil them down and then mount the bare skull on his armour. Or horse. Whichever pleases him at the time.”
To the left Radost sees another marauder stake out one of his slaves and begin carving strange symbols onto her skin and as she screamed he smiled. The symbols seemed to writhe and pulse and the more he looked at them Radost began to feel even more unnerved. “Pleasure and pain are one and the same for Saran. As for Gan-Ochir, nobody knows what he does when he takes the living slaves into the tents. But afterwards it reeks of death and nothing remains in there.”
As he lets go his grip, Radost’s head slumps forward.
“So you ask why and there are many answers. For the glory of our gods. To bring their gaze upon us. To witness our deeds and if we are worthy gift us their favour. Why do we do these things? Why not little Radost? You are weak and could not keep what you had. Your weakling gods do not favour you this day. Or any.”
Standing, Tsolmon stretched and took out an axe with a jagged blade. “So little Radost. Are you ready to face your weakling gods? Will your deeds be remembered and told forever? Will your gods welcome you and gift with powers in the afterlife?”
Radost couldn’t lift his head to look at the tall shadow looming over him. “I thought not little man. You will die as you lived, soiling yourself, covered in your own faeces snivelling like a coward and a woman.”
As Tsolmon took a two handed grip on his axe, Radost strated to jerk wildly, trying to free himself from his chains, weeping hysterically. “No, no, please, spare me. Y-y-you can’t do this, you’re only children. You can’t, you’re just kids, only children. NOOOO you’re just childr.....”
A sure and swift strike from the axe sent Radost’s head tumbling to the ground. Rolling near to where Gansukh was finishing his harvesting. As Gansukh reached down for the head he was stopped by Tsolmon’s commanding tone. “No, leave it for the scavengers. He is not worthy enough to become a trophy, his daughters put up more of a fight. Kill those not worth taking, the rest tie to the saddles, we’re leaving.”
Looking at the remains of the caravan leader, arterial blood pumping out sporadically now and flies already beginning to settle, Tsolmon whispered “Not children anymore little man. Today we are men of the North and I feel the gaze of my Gods upon me.”
Alright everyone, there are the first two of our glorious contestants, more will hopefully be on the way. Get to your voting, and support this awesome LO event!
THough both are good,my vote is with librarian Zahariel. It perfectly encapsulates the way that warriors of chaos think and act towards the men of the south, and set the scene for a tribe in its early stages which can grow to full warriors of chaos as the campaign escalates. Deadstar's didn't provide as much backstory for the army or its general, and the mindset dsplayed doesn't seem very fitting for a vampire. "If I do well maybe my master will like me better" seems more of a southling point of view than a vampire, who should be seeking personal power rther than serving another like a mindless zombie.
“The ultimate philosophical question, “Am I human or machine” is answered by many people, “I don’t care, as long as I am”
- Myron Krueger
I think I'll put my vote with Zahariel. Though I don't like to have to choose between two stories about armies attacking my homeland Empire, I think Zahariel's warriors have the edge of intrigue being so young. I have to say, I almost didn't catch the part that they were so young, mainly because Tsolomon acts and talks like an older commander. Maybe that's part of his character, or maybe it's two side of the character that need to be separated. On the other side, Deadstar your writing's good but like Might pointed out he doesn't fit too much with my concept of a vampire. Cheers for the work guys!
Honey badger don't care.
Well, I guess this has been decided by now so its okay for me to post here?
Congratulations, Librarian Zahariel! I thought it was going to be close but the forces of Chaos seem to be unstoppable at this point! Thanks to those who read these and to MightisRight and Jackmoddle for voting, and sorry to disappoint you both with my poorly-represented Vampire!
All will fall before the might of Chaos!
Thanks Deadstar, hopefully we can have a rematch sometime in this campaign. Sort of like a Fluff Wars: Episode II Attack of the Spawns.
Seriously though i'm chuffed to bits as this the first time i've ever done something like this for people I don't know to read. Like most i've dabbled in the old school RPG games where you make up a bit of background, but this the first time where i've shown it to complete strangers, soooo relieved it didn't get slated!