Logo
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Nov 21, 2019 10:23 pm



Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
A short story for your perusal 
Author Message
Executioner
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 169
Location: Canada
Slowly, carefully, quietly Pyrchos crept forward in the shadows. This is almost too easy he thought. The tracks of the escaped human slaves were plain as day in the snowy forest and even in the darkness of night he found it all too easy to track them. As he approached a tree branch that had grown into the crooked pathway he smelled blood and touched his fingertips to the needles. They came away wet and he brought them to his lips. He gingerly licked the blood from his fingers; the smell and taste was intoxicating. He felt his heartbeat quicken. The blood was still warm and he could see a tiny mist rising from where it was spattered on the tree. He was close.

Excited, he quickened his pace and gently undid the buckle on the harness of his crossbow. He could hear screams up ahead and smiled. The humans had escaped when one of them had apparently gnawed through his own arm to get out of the chain attached to the wall and thus an entire string had gotten away by killing the guards watching over them. Pathetic humans though Pyrchos, how could they expect to escape with one of their number bleading to death?

As he came closer to the screams he saw more blood in the snow with steam rising from it. Here he slowed his pace and loaded a bolt pack into his crossbow then pulled the string back and went forward with the loaded weapon in front of him. Through the trees he could see one of the humans with his back turned. The human was nervous, turning this way and that. This annoyed Pyrchos, how could it be that the human knew of his presence? If he could not approach a group of humans without being detected how was he to survive as an adept of the Temple of Khaine? He fired a dart into the back of the human’s neck and quickly pulled the string back into place for another shot. As the human was still falling, Pyrchos fired another bolt, at the other who was revealed standing in front of the first. This pierced the rags the human wore and lodged itself in his breastbone over his heart knocking him to the ground. Pyrchos was already half way through the trees when the human hit the ground with a muffled thump. The human lay on the ground, winded; before he could catch his breath to scream, the Druchii’s blade slit his throat and silenced him forever. Pyrchos crouched over the corpse and cleaned his knife on its rags. He pricked his ears and could no longer hear anything. He slowly and silently turned to take stock of the situation. He could see the dead bodies of the two he had just slain and he saw broken chains and blood everywhere.

Then he heard it, a sound like an animal licking its chops. He could not see any steam rising from the forest that would signify breathing but he had a strange feeling that something was watching him from the trees. He crept further along the path and saw a dismembered arm that had apparently been ripped from its socket. He smiled this may be interesting after all he thought. Rather than allowing himself to become angry that his human quarry had been poached right under his nose, Pyrchos relished the chance of facing a worthier opponent. Obviously some beast had happened upon the escapees and proven to be more than a match for them. His mind worked through the possible candidates. He looked skyward searching for harpies in the trees and pointed his crossbow where he looked. Then he heard the sound again; this time it was much closer. He wondered that somehow he had been outsmarted and he cursed his bad luck.

Pyrchos had always been singled out as special. When he rose from the blood-filled cauldron in infancy his cheek was cut by one of the runes of Khaine on its edge giving him a permanant scar. The Hags took this as a sign – Khaine had marked this boy out for greatness. Throughout his training Pyrchos excelled at stealth and skill with all weaponry, especially the blade. Killing the escaped slaves was his first mission as an adept of the Temple and he was the youngest novice and had gotten his first mission assignment before many boys twice his age. When he felt the blow that caved in the back of his skull, Pyrchos was amused rather than disappointed that he had been beaten. He assumed that another novice, jealous of the preferential treatment he had received must have done him in. He realized as he died that stealth was about more than sneaking up on someone, it was about hiding one’s intentions and skills so that rivals would underestimate you and let their own pride unman them as it obviously had him.

Pyrchos was wrong though. It was not another novice that had killed him.

***

...write more?

EDIT read the revised edition, I think it's better.

_________________
Always forgive your enemies...nothing annoys them more.


Last edited by Arduhn on Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:18 am
Profile
Executioner
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 169
Location: Canada
Post 
Comments are welcome. The last part "write more?" is me asking if anyone is interested in hearing more of the story. I suppose if I get no replies that the answer is no and that no one is interested in finding out what happened.

_________________
Always forgive your enemies...nothing annoys them more.


Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:49 pm
Profile
Highborn
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:39 pm
Posts: 797
Location: Enjoying a Longdrink on the Beaches of Cathay...
Post 
Hmmm pretty good. But did you really have to put in a moral? (this is just a personal grudge against all morale)....
Yeah you could write more would be nice :)

_________________
Pirateering the #1 Dutch national hobby 1600-1700...

--------------
Group 24
Khaleth
WS: 4 S: 4 T: 4 D: 3 I: 3

Equipment: Long Sword, Spear, Shield, Light Armour and Wolfskin cloack. 145 Gold.

Skills: -


Thu Apr 21, 2005 2:59 pm
Profile
Blasphemer and Heretic
Blasphemer and Heretic
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:07 pm
Posts: 2021
Location: Sowing the seeds of evil in the hills of Austin, TX
Post 
Quote:
I suppose if I get no replies that the answer is no and that no one is interested in finding out what happened.

No, actually, you tend to get more responses from nitpickers than anything else. :D

But since you really want feedback, here's my two cents. Take this as constructive criticism. It really was a great story and you should continue.

The prose is very well written the story develops nicely. However, the ending is somewhat lacking. Not only is the only character that you developed now pushing up daisies, but the delivery of his last thoughts - which I think are great - fizzles a bit. It is the climax of the story and should have been delivered with more emphasis. Plus, the last sentences about "It was not another novice" was completely irrelevant to the developed story. It should have been made clear in chapter 2 instead of an appendage of chapter 1.

IMHO.

_________________
Because anyone vicious enough to shoot down her own battlecruiser because there might be a traitor at the helm deserves to have a Druchii namesake.


Thu Apr 21, 2005 3:05 pm
Profile YIM
Executioner
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 169
Location: Canada
Post 
Hmm, I guess I never thought of the ending as a "moral" but rather just a commentary on the essense of stealth (or as my group of friends likes to call it -- ninja :p ). EDIT maybe that is the same thing as a moral EDIT I like the criticisms, I savour the opportunity to improve my writing as I intend to make it a career. I wrote this little tidbit on the fly and it is a sort of prologue to part two of a serial of short stories (10 page or so each) that are in progress. The entire part one is finished and I was testing the waters to see if there is sufficient interest in the storyline. I once had ambitions to try to get it published with games workshop but with school taking up so much of my time I don't really see that as a priority anymore and I want to share the story without having to go over it with a fine toothed comb. If there is enough interest I will enter the story in the next contest to be included in the monthly and, therefore, I do not want to spoil too much.

Quote:
However, the ending is somewhat lacking. Not only is the only character that you developed now pushing up daisies, but the delivery of his last thoughts - which I think are great - fizzles a bit. It is the climax of the story and should have been delivered with more emphasis.


Good point, perhaps I could re-arrange the composition to have his thoughts delivered before the climax and then have the end refer back to his thoughts with the final idea about stealth. I will try to rework it when I get home (right now I am killing time at school before a final exam).

As for the only developed character dying, this was intentional. In the extended serial novel he will be a very minor character serving as an accessory to the main plot thread involving the thing (and I won't elaborate on what it is yet) that killed him.

Quote:
the last sentences about "It was not another novice" was completely irrelevant to the developed story. It should have been made clear in chapter 2 instead of an appendage of chapter 1.


I agree completely and that is how I would do things if I was laying it out to be published.

As a final note, when I rework the story I hope to include an extra tidbit after this part: "Obviously some beast had happened upon the escapees and proven to be more than a match for them. His mind worked through the possible candidates."

This would be a list of possible candidates and any help in regards to what beast exist in the forests of Naggaroth would be appreciated. Off the top of my head I could only come up with cold ones and harpies, and cold ones aren't stealthy at all.

Looking at it again I noticed an awkward sentence which I might try to rework: "He wondered that somehow he had been outsmarted and he cursed his bad luck."

I know perfectly what I am trying to say here but I am not sure others will. Is it clear? He realises that he has been outsmarted, that someone has snuck up on him, and he can't help but be amazed. The fact that he has met someone or something stealthier than himself inspires wonder (bordering on admiration).

_________________
Always forgive your enemies...nothing annoys them more.


Thu Apr 21, 2005 5:07 pm
Profile
Blasphemer and Heretic
Blasphemer and Heretic
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:07 pm
Posts: 2021
Location: Sowing the seeds of evil in the hills of Austin, TX
Post 
Arduhn wrote:
I know perfectly what I am trying to say here but I am not sure others will. Is it clear? He realises that he has been outsmarted, that someone has snuck up on him, and he can't help but be amazed. The fact that he has met someone or something stealthier than himself inspires wonder (bordering on admiration).

Yeah, you got that part across pretty well. Very Druchii of him to admire that factor even as it kills him.

_________________
Because anyone vicious enough to shoot down her own battlecruiser because there might be a traitor at the helm deserves to have a Druchii namesake.


Thu Apr 21, 2005 6:16 pm
Profile YIM
Executioner
User avatar

Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2003 4:45 pm
Posts: 169
Location: Canada
Post 
Revised Edition >>>>>>

Slowly, carefully, quietly Pyrchos crept forward in the shadows. This is almost too easy he thought. The tracks of the escaped human slaves were plain as day in the snowy forest and even in the darkness of night he found it all too easy to track them. As he approached a tree branch that had grown into the crooked pathway he smelled blood and touched his fingertips to the needles. They came away wet and he brought them to his lips. He gingerly tasted the blood from his fingers. The aroma, the taste was intoxicating; he felt his heartbeat quicken. The blood was still warm and he could see a tiny mist rising from where it was spattered on the tree. He was close.

He quickened his pace and deftly undid the buckle on the harness of his crossbow. He could hear screams up ahead and smiled. The humans had escaped when one of them had apparently gnawed through his own arm to get out of the chain attached to the wall and thus an entire string had gotten away by killing the guards watching over them. Pathetic humans though Pyrchos, how could they expect to escape with one of their number bleading to death?

As he came closer to the screams he saw more blood in the snow with steam gently rising from it. Here he slowed his pace and loaded a bolt pack into his crossbow then, careful not to make a sound, pulled the string back and went forward with the loaded weapon in front of him. Through the trees he could see one of the humans with his back turned. The human appeared nervous, turning this way and that. This annoyed Pyrchos, how could it be that the human knew of his presence? If he could not approach a group of humans without being detected how was he to survive as an adept of the Temple of Khaine?

He fired a dart into the back of the human’s neck. Immediately another bolt sank into the chamber and Pyrchos pulled the string back into place for another shot. As the human was still falling, Pyrchos fired another bolt, at the other who was revealed standing in front of the first. This pierced the rags the human wore and lodged itself in his breastbone over his heart knocking him to the ground. Pyrchos was already half way through the trees when the human hit the ground with a muffled thump. The human lay on the ground, winded, clutching at his chest. Before he could catch his breath to scream, the Druchii’s blade slit his throat and silenced him forever. Pyrchos crouched over the corpse and cleaned his knife on its rags. He pricked his ears and could no longer hear anything. Still crouching, he cautiously turned to take stock of the situation. He could see the dead bodies of the two he had just slain and he saw some broken chains and blood, blood everywhere.

Pyrchos had always been singled out as special. When he rose from the blood-filled cauldron in infancy his cheek was cut by one of the runes of Khaine on its edge giving him a permanant scar. The Hags took this as a sign – Khaine had marked this boy out for greatness. Throughout his training Pyrchos excelled at stealth and skill with all weaponry, especially the blade. Killing the escaped slaves was his first mission as an adept of the Temple and he was the youngest novice and had gotten his first mission assignment before many boys twice his age.

He wanted desperately to prove himself and gain glory, but now he was losing his grasp on the situation. He had lost all sense of where the other three slaves might be. Something was clouding his senses. He crept further along the path and saw a dismembered arm that had apparently been ripped from its socket. Then he heard it, a sound like an animal licking its chops. He could not see any steam rising from the forest that would signify breathing but he had a strange feeling that something was watching him from the trees.

He smiled this may be interesting after all he thought. Rather than allowing himself to become angry that his remaining human quarry had been poached right under his nose, Pyrchos relished the chance of facing a worthier opponent. Obviously some creature had happened upon the escapees just before he had and proven to be more than a match for them. His mind worked through the possible candidates. He didn’t even consider a cold one or an Orc, both lacked stealth and he would have found the creature by now. A Goblin, likewise was impossible as it would not have the strength to rip arms from sockets. It might have been a daemon but it was unlikely that one could have made it so far south of the watchtowers. A Harpy? His eyes searched the treetops and he pointed his crossbow where he looked. He had heard screams but were they harpy screams or only human? Slowly he backed away from the clearing and crouched just inside the treeline.

Then he heard another sound; this time from right behind him. He knew that it was on purpose that he had heard the sound; whatever was behind him wanted him to hear it or else he would not have. He wondered that somehow he had been outsmarted and he didn’t bother trying to turn for he knew it would be pointless. When he felt the blow that caved in the back of his skull, Pyrchos was amused rather than disappointed that he had been beaten. He could only assume that another novice, jealous of the preferential treatment he had received must have done him in. He realized as he died that stealth was about more than sneaking up on someone, it was about hiding one’s intentions and skills so that rivals would underestimate you and let their own pride unman them as it obviously had him. The white, snowy ground turned black as it rushed up to meet him.

_________________
Always forgive your enemies...nothing annoys them more.


Thu Apr 21, 2005 10:46 pm
Profile
Slave on the Altar

Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 7:50 am
Posts: 1
Post 
yeah nice little story there...hmm would have liked to see some character introduction i mean if it is going to be a series, well as far as i know the main character just died :-P or did he just enter the story?!?!? bum buum buuuuum!

_________________
There's nothing to fear except... well... me!


Wed Apr 27, 2005 8:00 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Reply to topic   [ 8 posts ] 

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Designed by ST Software