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This was an ongoing series I was writing. Eventually calmed down for a bit. Last part was written about two months ago, so I got a break.
Well here it is, its long so be careful....
A low fog crept along across the wide berth. None were to be seen, only the ships, ghostly animated by the pale moonlight, shifted in the biting cold. Although his eyes were sore from his third full night on the dock, Dockmaster Tomulsburg was happy to even have a job. He had been a criminal in the lands of his past, now he could start over, where no one knew him. He looked off across the darkened waters, and almost fell over backwards when he saw a ship appear not ten feet off the dock. Now; most normal ships knew that Brandytowns port was closed this time of night, but this was no normal ship. Tomulsburg tried to shout to the boat to stop, but an arrow caught him straight in the head before any sound came out. Little did Tomulsburg know, that even if he had shouted, his comrades were already dead, thanks to the flanking force of archers.
So thus, they marched into the city. The regiments of soldiers inundated the city like a flood, killing the city guard and the citizens. But by morn, the city looked at peace, a keen observer would notice an extra ship on the dock, but no “observers” were left alive. The town guards and dock guards routes were still covered, but not by the original guards. No army marched to the cities aid, no regiment was sent check on the town. It was just a quiet town in the hills. No one would notice…
That the Empire had come.
“Your Magistrate,” said Commander of Defense Arckian “We have not received word from Brandytown or the other Northern city-states. We have reason to believe that the plague may have struck again. The cities seem abandoned except for the many decaying corpses of the townsfolk and the rats that feed on them.”
“Oh no; we need to contain this incident immediately. Send your best regiment to the cities and take our best Priests. We have to stop it before it taints anymore of our land.”
“Yes, your Magistrate,” said Arckian.
Magistrate Quicera had had the worst time over the last month. He had received word of a force of his neighboring regions armies in the north, now the plague. It had been a long time since the two regions feud ended. So why would he attack now, after the peace treaty. Little did he know that the worst of his problems were yet to come.
Rubens looked out of the forest and watched Arckian and his men ride out of the city. He quickly turned and ran back to the camp. He flew through the flap of the Magistrates tent.
“Commander, they have left. It looks as if the false plague fooled them.”
“Then we march at dawn, ready the men,” said Magistrate Gail.
Magistrate Quicera was awoke by shouting then a loud bang at the door. He rushed over, withdrew the lock and swung the door open.
“Magistrate, they, they, are here,” the soldier, panted.
“Who, who is here.”
“Magistrate Gail, his men, attacking.”
They rushed from the room down the hall and to the east tower.
“Situation,” spoke Magistrate Gail in a commanding tone.
“They marched out of nowhere sir, hundreds, they are at the gate.”
“Damn it, get ever able-bodied man to the wall, now!”
“Yes sir,’ the soldier saluted and sprinted to pass on the order.
“Ohh, Arckian, now when I need you most.
Arckian hopped off of his horse and strode toward the knelling priests.
“Well?” he asked
“It is not the plague,” said the head priest in a very mundane way.
“Well what is it?”
“Some sort of cover up spell, illusion, we cannot determine its origin yet. But it is defiantly a human wizard.”
“Oh no,” said Arckian as he realized what had happened. “It was a distraction, mount up troops, the Magistrate needs our help.”
“They’ve breeched the wall,” yelled a soldier as he ran to the keep.
The forces of Magistrate Gail flooded into the city, slaughtering anything in their way. They stayed far from the keep as they had been commanded.
His personal guard surrounded Magistrate Quicera. The boom of enemy forces hitting the door echoed not only in the room, but also in each and every one of their minds. They knew they were to die soon, but they would die with honor. A loud crack interrupted their thoughts, another crack then the doors fell. The enemy’s troops flooded into the room and formed a line about twenty feet from the guard. Something was wrong, wrong with the troops. Their eyes glowed red as blood and they seemed mindlessly still. The sea of warriors parted as Magistrate Gail passed through them.
“The time has come Quicera,” said Gail.
“You stay back,” said one of the guards. But his voice quivered showing his fear of death.
Gail whispered three words and with a jolt of his finger in the direction of the guard, the guard collapsed. The other guards jumped back and soon realized their fate would be the same.
Magistrate Quicera watched his personal guard, men he had known all his life, fall to the ground like rag dolls.
“Whhh, Why,” stammered Quicera, “We made peace.”
“Hahahahaha, you still believe I am Gail?” said Gail. “Let me show you my real identity.” Gail’s form started to diminish and a black cloud engulfed him. What arose from the cloud was not Gail, but a towering demon. It was the Bloodthirster Azurnubrak. Suddenly Quicera’s eyes were opened and he saw what was the truth. The waves of Empirical Warriors were in reality Bloodletters of Khorne. Quicera did not even have enough time to scream before his soul was ripped from his body.
Arckian returned to the city to find it in runes, by the destruction and rotting corpses he knew the truth. The Chaos had come concurred and had left by now. Only one though filled his mind from that day forward.
“Vengeance will be mine.”
His eyes focused on the spot, and although the piercing wind and the chilled night air would give a polar bear frostbite, he remained still. His company about him was well hidden, but all of their positions had been given away because of the loud chattering of teeth. Below them marched an army that had many names; the new found warriors, the mindless, the controlled, the changed as well as many, many more. This army was not one of flesh and blood, nor mind and spirit, only servitude and slaughter. These were the plaguebearers. Many of whom had once been good friends to those of the company. A single hand motion from the commander triggered one hundred readied arrows to be fired away. Although eighty of nurgle rot employees must have been taken down, it seemed that the flood of bearers would never end. A second twitch of the hand signaled the close combat fighters to ready and the archers to fire at will. The demented figures of the plaguebearers flew toward the forests edge, but as they arrived there, the company’s swords cut down the unsuspecting first line. As the archers continued to fire and the swordsmen continued to fight, the ruckus echoed through the night.
“For the living, For the Fallen Kingdom, For the memory of Quicera!” came a call through the night. The company commander knew that his company did not call out, but who? As he finished his thought out of the trees came ten men running into the lines of the enemy.
“Charge,” cried the company commander, for he knew those men would not last long. As the full hidden company drew swords and charged the scale tipped downward for the chaos rot.
Azurnubrak was “happy” with the destruction he had brought to these puny humans. Even now, the newly formed plaguebearers would be traveling to him for the next assault thanks to his puny new “ally” in a Lord of Nurgle.
“Shanessh,” said Azurnunbrak.
“Yes master,” replied the Bloodletter Champion.
“Take a regiment of Bloodletters and depose of Lord Carezz of Nurgle.”
“Yes my master.”
He was almost done with this kingdom and planed to move on soon. Yet something in the very back of his memory taunted him, some unfinished business, the thought taunted him day and night, “What is it?” was all that he could think about.
As his men scouted for any remaining plaguebearers, company commander Carlon moved toward the hooded figure. As he strode closer he wanted to turn and run. A strange chill filled the air around this; man, and darkness seemed to follow him whenever he walked about. Carlon was not scared; he was horrified. He was standing in the presence of a man with no fear, to remorse, no pity.
“Sir; Company Commander Carlon at your service.”
“My name is Arckian.”
“I’m sorry sir, The Arckian, once commander of Quicera’s entire army?”
“That was a long time ago. Don’t remind me about it.”
“Sorry sir, are you on your way out of the kingdom, God knows who would stay in this forsaken land-“
“I’m heading south.”
“What!?, you can’t go in there. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, thousands of Bloodletters and Daemonettes, not to mention wave upon wave of plaguebearers. It’s, it’s, suicide.”
“I know, but I have business with someone in there.”
“So you plan to walk right in and conduct this ‘business’.”
“No, I plan to slaughter anyone who gets in my way, then go about my business.”
“Well, this will be fun.”
“What do you mean?”
“I can’t let you go in alone, you are my superior officer. My company and I are coming with you.”
“Now with that idiot out of the way I can move on to the final phase of my plan,” said Azurnubrak. ”Shaneesh.”
“Gather my army, we are leaving this place.”
Although it had not bothered him before, Shaneesh now had thoughts of mutiny on his mind. This Bloodthirster, treating him like a useless slave. He was a Bloodletter Champion, and he thought that his “master’s” reign had come to an end.
“They’re moving out commander,” reported Scoutmaster Melcleave.
“Thank you, back to your position.”
Carlon couldn’t believe he was doing this. Marching against countless odds. “This is no battle, this is suicide,” he thought. Yet something about this man, Arckian, he had a; a commanding presence. He could feel the anger of Arckian just by being in his presence and see it through the mans actions, words and expressions. All this for revenge. “This is going to be a long night,” he mumbled then ordered the charge.
Azurnubrak looked out across his army. Even from here he could see the puny humans fighting the mindless slaves that are plaguebearers. He laughed at their pitiful attempt to fight back. Little did he know “puny humans” be part of his downfall.
Arckian watched as Azurnubrak sent off his personal guard to “have some fun with the humans.” All except one left. This one was bigger than the rest, probably a champion by the looks of it. “Now is my chance,” he thought. Arckian threw himself from the bushes and sprinted toward the towering pair of surprised Chaos flesh. His sword came in fast slicing into the side of the champion and tearing through it in one single, well-placed stroke. Arckian continued on towards Azurnubrak, but this demon was ready, a well-placed hit sent Arckian flying back towards the forest. Struggling to his feet, he prepared himself for the worst, sword in hand and ready in a defensive position. But no charge came, no wild fanatical yell, no axe flying towards him. He looked up to see that his cut had seriously wounded the Champion, and to his worst fears, the greater demon was charging in.
After a quick sidestep to the left and a duck roll, Arckian was safe again, but only for a few seconds. The demon charged again, his fists swinging. Arckian immediately moved into action, dropping his heavier sword and drawing his lighter scimitars. His hands flew into a fluid motion, slicing and slashing at the demon. A quick shot by the demon caught him in the chest and sent him sprawling onto his back. Arckian looked up through his blurred vision and saw the figure of a Champion Bloodletter above him.
“You, you are the unfinished business,” cried Azurnubrak. “Finish it Shaneesh.”
The Bloodletter looked up, then back at Arckian. “No,” he said. Although Shaneesh hated the human for sending him to his death, his hatred for Azurnubrak knew no bounds.
“What!?, how dare you defy me?”
Shaneesh bent over and helped Arckian up.
“Kill the bastard,” he said to Arckian and collapsed onto the ground.
“Fine, I do not need him to kill a puny human,” cried Azurnubrak, and he charged in temper raring.
Arckian placed his hands together and prayed to Sigmar for strength, agility and guidance. He picked up his scimitars and charged forward to face his enemy; to face his death.
Arckian stood over the fallen demon, sword raised. Time stood still, as if it was hanging on the edge of his sword. “Vengeance is mine.”
As he swung down, the daemon raised his hand and mumbled something. The heavy sword cleaved into his flesh and split through his heart. Arckian withdrew his bloodied sword and stumbled from the body.
“It; it is over,” said Arckian as he collapsed to the ground.
The sounds of battle filled Arckians weary mind as he regain consciousness. He tried to lift himself, and felt a painful sting on his side. He reached over and felt the blood gushing from his hip. He heard movement to the left. He looked up to see a human warrior scrambling toward him.
“Over here!” cried the soldier. “Hang on sir, hang on…”
Arckian’s weary eyes shut against the outside world, and he slipped from consciousness again.
“Today; today is a sad day for the Empire. One of Sigmar’s most noble soldiers fell to the Chaos horde. He was a son, a brother, a father, and a great man. He died for his country, he friends and his family. Most of all he died protecting our free world. Today we remember;” the soldiers voice quivered. “Today we remember Commander Carlon.”
Arckian sat upon his horse’s saddle surveying the field. It was strewn about with bodies and the dirt was red with the blood of his enemies. His company had done well. These Orks had been troubling the local towns, that trouble was now over. It had been going on like this for weeks, his life that is. Going from providence to providence destroying any threats to the new peace. And yet the ever present voice in his mind, calling him to do what is wrong, calling him towards his destiny. A destiny he had not yet realized.
“Thameus,” called Arckian to his second in command.
“I have matters to attend to, watch over the men until my return.”
“Yes commander, and if I may ask, how long will you be gone?”
“I’m not sure, stay in this region, if all else fails and I do not return by winter return to the capital.”
Arckian rode of towards the village nearby to stock up on supplies. His quest to find himself had begun.
The blizzard rained on, and Thameus peered out into the thick, chilled night air. Arckian had been gone to long. Two long and dreadful years had passed, yet no sign of the once proud and ferocious commander could be found. He sat atop the watchtowers post, looking into the abyss. He thought about his father, the Late Commander Carlon. Once he had stood with pride next to his father on the great blood soaked plains of battle. Now he was alone. No one for him to talk to; no one to guide him along his winding path of life. He looked up and almost fell two stories to his icy death. There, in the distance trudged a lone figure through the snow.
“Open the gates,” he called down to the men. With a loud creak and a moan the gates swung wide to allow the traveler a stay in the capital.
The door burst open and on of the soldiers of the tenth came in. Thameus turned to look at who had disturbed his thoughts.
“Sir, he’s back,” panted the soldier.
“Arckian sir, Commander Arckian has returned.”
Thameus jumped from the pole and ran through the door. As he ran through the hallways his mind was inundated with thoughts. What would happen now? So many things had changed. Would Thameus lose command of the Magistrates forces? He pushed open the heavy doors of the main lobby to see Arckian surrounded by men of the tenth. But something was wrong. Arckian just stood there, hood covering his face. He stepped from the crowd and over to Thameus.
“Follow,” his raspy voice said to Thameus. The two left the room to Thameus’ inner chamber.
“I have news,” said the voice again.
“What news is it that you bear?”
“A force, of Chaos is gathering in the Northlands for a second assault. Even now its numbers grow. I need you and five of the newly founded legions to ride with me against them.”
“Yes commander, when do we move?”
“Four hours, prepare the men.”
The freezing wind was relentless and the soldiers of the tenth, eighth, second, third, and fifth were all camped about fifteen miles from the capital. Thameus rose from his tent and quickly ran to Arckian’s in search of company.
“Enter,” came the raspy voice again. Thameus threw back the tent flap and walked into the shelter from the harsh cold. Arckian looked up to see who had entered. Thameus sat and said,
”Sir, it has been three days, when will we reach this spot you speak of?”
Arckian raised his head and looked at Thameus. For a moment something flashed in his eyes. His; red eyes. Thameus turned to run, but the vampire was on him before he could get very far. As Arckians teeth sank into flesh Thameus drifted from this world. He was now with his father.
Arckian walked from the biting cold towards the woods, he looked into the darkness and said,
“It is done.” A dark figure rose from the darkness and walked toward him. The champion of Khorne emerged.
“My master says for you to gather your vampires and start the process, the final hours of the humans has begun.”
“Yes, give your master my respects.”
Arckian rose and flew into the air. He looked off into the night and snapped his long clawed fingers. From the forest flew hundreds of vampires straight towards the camp. They flew from tent to tent administering the Blood Kiss. As the vampirism spread Arckian looked back the way they had come. Soon the humans would be eradicated. Then he would crush this puny force of his “commanding” chaos generals.
The torches burned dimly the night Mathias entered the court of Magistrate Eruben. The lantern he held cast a dim glow on the once proud and joy-filled messenger. Not anymore.
“What news do you bring?” asked Eruben.
“The army marches untiring at toward us. We have not three days.”
“Quickly, get the soldiers of the remaining legions ready. Then send the women and children en route to the north pass. Hopefully they will make it in time.”
“Yes commander,” said the messenger as he ran off to relay the orders. The days had been dim, not only in light, but spirit since the news of Arckians betrayal had come. He summoned another messenger and sent him to try and get reinforcements. They would need all the help they could get.
The echoing pounding rang on throughout the night. The vampires had aligned themselves with the rot of Chaos. They had breeched the main gates, and were hard at work trying to breach the second.
“Get to the wall,” cried the Commander of the First. The command echoed endlessly throughout the ranks of the terrified humans. They had good reason too, with an army of vampires at their gates. But as the gunpowder of their guns fired off into the night, the second gate burst under the might of the Bloodthirster of Khorne and his foul demon servants.
“Fall back to the keep,” came the command from various captains throughout the ranks.
“We have them just where we want them,” thought Arckian as he flew forward. His sword lashed out, killing another pitiful human. He wiped his bloodied blade on the, the things tunic and looked up to find his next prey. A shot rang out from the distance, normally this minor annoyance would have not bothered Arckian, but when he saw a vampire fall next to him, it did.
The retreating forces of Magistrate Eurben turned to face the surprised vampire and chaos forces. Commands of “Fire” and “Reload” came from the walls of the keep as men waiting their readied their weapons. Bullets whipped into the vampirical forces, a wave of the foul beasts feel back. They turned to get back up, only to realize the truth of the shots. Vampires throughout the army collapsed, silver in their veins. The shots rang out again and again, taking out wave after wave of the bloodthirsty vampires. As the human ranks turned, they slammed into the surprised Chaos. The first few ranks were cut down before the scum could regroup and consider their options. A great horn blast came from the northeast tower and the doors off the keep opened. Out charged the Empirical Knights, their armor gleaming in the newfound sun. The battle ensued for a few more hours, before the Chaos broke ranks and ran. The remaining hordes of the vampirical soldiers, upon seeing their allies flee, retreated as well, cowering back into the darkness of the world. The city was safe once again. The tide had been turned, and Arckian, was alone…..