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His words echoed across the barren land, in the depths of the darkness something blacker than black crawled close; pure darkness. No light bright enough could see through, no flicker of hope through the despair. Just black; black, empty and evil. High above him the clouds drifted apart; silvery shafts of Mannslieb's light illuminated the scene about him: the garden of death in which he stood. Markers crafted and engraved from stone stood at the head of graves, neatly in rows they stood. Each one guarding the dearly departed beneath. Some were simple, heart felt messages etched into the hard surface; only time could erode the meaning. Others stood many feet above the ground; its occupant guarded by gargoyles and other creatures, their gruesome protectors little better looking that the corpse below them. Dotted among the graves were that of the rich, the nobles. This 'elite' group felt the need for all to see their presence even long after they were gone; mausoleums were build for them, their rotting carcasses looked no more noble than a beggar would in death. The buildings each vied for supremacy, to out bid one another in size and splendour; nymphs and cherubs scampered across scrolls of the occupant; angels bearing arms â€“ a hammer or sword â€“ stood still, their great pinions folded behind them, All this pride and money for what? Nothing. Be they noble, peasant or priest; all would band together this night; for tonight they had no will only that of their master.
A hunched being stood on a stone lecture, once a proud headstone; now it became the base of darkness, they black coiled and swamp to its master. The darkness pulled at his ragged clothing, a tall staff topped with a gibbering skull stood close by, in his hands he read from a book and his words were in an ancient language. Guttural words filled the cool night air, the fresh breeze that came with the dark swept them through the headstones; his words reached all. Through the night it came, swirling, creeping; the black power. Tendrils dug deep into the ground, through earth, through wood and through flesh; down in their eternal sleep they awoke. Clawing and scratching at wood with dead flesh, no longer did warm blood flow though their veins; no longer did their voice speak soft and loving words; no longer did they feel. No, now they were dead; balefires burning in their eye as the necromantic magic drew them from their slumber. Now they were his. Leaving them to excavate themselves he wondered off, more was needed.
* * * * *
His lantern gave off little light, he didn't want him to know of his approach; just enough light to avoid clattered into gravestones. The wind had picked up, the hooded cowl about him whipped and lashed in the breeze like a wounded beast in its death throws; his armour beneath gave nothing away. The silvery light fell upon him as if he was a shadow, but the black he wore could be be penetrated; the cloak about his form hid him from any suspicion, for who would doubt one on a black hooded cloak to be moving about the sanctuary at night? But beneath was different; plates of black steel shaped and worked into armour covered him from head to foot, dark scripture blessing dedicated it to his god adorned its surface. In his hand he clutched his only weapon, a large black broad sword, its surface reflected no light nor betrayed his position: sharp smooth edges ran either side, and on this night he could feel its power. Brother Mortez of the Black Guard strode on through the graveyard; his quarry was the necromancer. And he was not hard to find, signs of his corruption were everywhere; his foul magics waking those who slumber. Mortez would not rest till he was dead, Morr had waited too long for this being's soul.
Slowly and in near silence, even covered in the black plate armour he crept forwards; the necromancer stood among new graves, his foul words rolling from his tongue like waves crashing on the beach. With each syllable, each word, the air grew denser; the night grew darker and the dead grew restless. Too his right the earth began to grow, slowly in an eruption of mud a hand pushed its way to the top: black blood rolled down the fingers slowly, the vital liquid had long stopped flowing but the force of the creatures frenzied digging forced it to ooze out slowly. Taking grip it slowly began to haul the rest of its owner from the grave, around him it was the same; graves lay open to the skies as their occupants answered to a stronger will. He could not take it, as a Templar of the God of Death he was sworn to keep his sanctuary, swinging his long bladed sword he planned to do just that. Turning the the closest corpse he advanced upon it, it was still dragging itself from its grave: looking down he offered a prayer to Morr, raising the blade above his head he brought it down with a crack. The zombies skull split like a ripe melon, shards of bone and pieces of brain splattered his armour: wiping them off with a casual flick he searched for more opponents, and there were no lack of them. One zombie lunged at him, arms outstretched, with contemptuous ease he flicked the blade out: the corpse hit the floor with a wet slap and its upper torso was shorn from its legs. Still it came, a trail of black blood and entrails were left in its wake; a sword thrust to its skull finished it. He could not hope to defeat them all, but as his masters had taught him; â€śRemove the head and the body crumblesâ€?. With a grim smile he waded through the thong of the dead and raising dead; the blade in his grip flicking out severing arms and wrists off in an attempt to reach the living man ahead.
* * * * *
Ra'has spoke the familiar words again, feeling the tendrils flow through the earth to his new army he smiled; now he'll show them. Thoughts of vengeance swam through his mind, the people of Warrenhof would pay; his family would pay. Forcing him from his home under the pretence of him being 'tainted' was a weak excuse, it was them who tainted his soul; now he would steal theirs. Finishing his spell he began to move to the next lot for more when he heard something: it wasn't the low moaning of his hordes but something, something human. Fear griped him, turning and it was as if he was looking at Morr himself: a sinister figure cut his way through the zombies like the reaper himself, the black sword in his hand cut through undead flesh like it was burning through them. A templar, a templar of Morr, stepping backwards he tried to put as many gravestone between the pair of them. Then it struck him, why should he cower because of one man. Drawing himself up to him full height he began to chant, slowly at first then quicker: as the tempo increased the air dropped, condensed water dripped from the metal armour of his adversary. The darkness spread like a cancer, the black wisps floated upon an unseen breeze; entering the cold tombs of the nobles, their decayed bodies rising, swords griped firmly in a hard as steal grip. And as one they marched to battle.
Ra'has smiled as ten of the great and mighty nobles now stood under his control, the final stroke was to be administered. Pointing at the knight he rasped his words to the creatures in an ancient language
â€śKill himâ€? Without so much as a nod or even a bow they marched off, their footsteps in perfect unison. Their old weapons their bore in life now shone with a witch light, blue light seemed to emanate from its length. No trumpet heralded their march, no banner wafting in the breeze; just silence. They were almost upon him; Ra'has' face split into a toothy grin as he returned to is macabre work.
* * * * *
He was surrounded; Mortez could see the great black gates of Morr opening. But he swore this Necromancer would follow him; with a roar he swung his blackened blade in a viscous circle, the attack splinting bones and severing arms. Swinging the weapon before him like a pendulum on a clock he waded in, a prayer to Morr on his lips he sold his last moments of life. The blade hissed and spat as it bit through rotting flesh, its surface had been blessed by the faith's strongest and most powerful priests; its touch upon dead flesh was like a flaming brand and a haystack, it turned skeletons to dust and zombies to decomposing corpses. With each hacking blow of his, each elegant strike, thrust or parry resulted in a zombies being mangled. But now he faced wights, once great nobles of his land now they were nothing but shadows clinging to what they had in life.
The first one thrust the glowing sword in its bony grip at Mortez, slapping aside the slow strike he stepped forth and ripped his blade across its eroded throat. As quickly as it has risen it now fell, the crumbling skull was the last piece of it to touch the ground. The next counted his thrust with a low sweep aimed at hamstringing him, it was his quick reactions that saved him; twisting he sent his weight forwards the momentum slamming him hard into the creatures chest skewering it with his sword before he exploded from it in a cloud of dust. The others turned but in death they were slow, and his sights were set. Now nothing stood before him and the necromancer, with a feral roar he bowled forward. In his mind he was surprised the necromancer didn't look shocked or worried as most do when they see a sinister knight of Morr charging full pelt at them, but no not him. Instead of fear his face wore a smug smile, raising his right hand the words that he'd been chanting rushed out in a shout; a cold wind swept Mortez. His mind laughed at such a petty spell, his charms would protect him from that. He slowly began to realise his charge has slowed, each step becoming harder and harder; the sword in his hands felt like a small man as he lugged it about. Then he stopped, he was all but ten feet from the smug man, who now had his back turned, the leaden weights of his armour threatening to crush him. He realised the source of the slackness, the spell; he was dying, his body was ageing unnaturally fast. He had been cheated, he would enter the gates of Morr with an unfulfilled oath: he refused to allow this.
Grasping at his last ebbs of strength he drew his arms back, the long sword behind his head; the two metal gauntlets covering his hands gripped tightly. With an gut wrenching scream he brought his weapon up and over is head before releasing it, like a comet it hurtled through the night sky; turning at the scream Ra'has would have wished he never. It hit like a warhammer, a killing blow; the man was slung off his feet into a tombstone, the force of the attack shattering the rock. Ra'has couldn't scream. Just whimper; its pathetic sound escaped his bloodied lips; then he died. Mortez never saw the telling blow, he had slipped into Morr's realm a few moments before hand. His ageing body nothing more than dust and ash in a hollow shell, his oath fulfilled and his duty done it was with a proud and a light heart that he pass through the great gates of Morr and into paradise.
Yeah, very evocative, and quite disturbing in a gruesome way. I do like the way you evoke several sensations as the events unfold, to my thinking this allows people to engage several of their sensory emotions as they read, thus enhancing the yarn.
Ryan Dancey, Vice President of Wizards of the Coast, believed that TSR failed because of "...a near total inability to listen to its customers, hear what they were saying, and make changes to make those customers happy." Are you listening, Games Workshop ?
wow! really impressive
i loved the description of the Necromancer's spell it sounds as evil and unatural as i'd it to be and Mortez's passing just seemed right for a knight of Morr.
the name Mortez isn't exactly subtle is it? but then again this is Warhammer
Last edited by Twilight Dancer; April 17th, 2005 at 23:30.
I still hate Twiglets!
Thanks, the idea was get get across the horror of the spell and the fact tis evil (this was actually inspired by the BL novel Necromancer, good read).
Shadow Coil - Ta. I actually chose the name because my mind went blank, I couldn't think of a decent sounding one. So that had to surfice.
Wow, that was great! I really liked the end. Could you critisise my story and maybe give me some pointers? I mean I know you do mostly warhammer stuff, and my story is 40k but I would still really like it. I am still wrighting it (not done yet) so advice in mid story would help make it better I think.
(betrayal of the rose)