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Ronin's Tale Part 9 
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Highborn
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:49 pm
Posts: 753
Location: castro valley, caslifornia
The Storm Vermin, the black furred elite warriors of the Skaven race, made their march forward. Although they made their mach later then every one else, even the Zealots, they weren’t complaining. After all, if the resilient Monks and the lesser Clan Rats wanted to take all of the missiles coming at them, the lesser members in their massive platoon had to loose. In any case, they had only one target: The sorceress. Her presence irked their lord, so her presence must be extinguished. As usual, they felt confident in their superior armor, and swords made from freshly stolen Dwarven steel. But their Fang leader, a fifty year old veteran, could tell something wasn’t right. Minus the occasional squeal of a painful death, he couldn’t hear anything.

Then a lone arrow struck one of the vermin. Its death was painless as it pierced it’s neck, and severed it’s brain stem. A few more stuck home. Then another volley, then another volley, and one after that; each one wildling a few more of Vermin down a little at a time. But no matter how many, or how few were killed with each shot fired, there was simply too many of them to worry about a little detail such as the death of a fellow warrior.

The shades knew that now. They also knew they needed a different strategy. “Ok, Gobo’s would have started running for the hills by now. Why are they still marching forward?” Asked the youngest shade their. Although he had a few battles under his belt, this would be his first battle away from home, and his first encounter with the Chaos Rat Man.

Clay’Motis was the first to notice the boy’s question, so he decided to further his education. “Good Observation. These rat men are well known world wide for their cowardice, but when they come in a big enough mass, such as this, they tend to grow a backbone. That and the fact they know everyone of them is expandable.” had it not been for their stoic, and stealthy nature, this would have gotten a chuckle out of the group. Instead they just simply shot another volley of bolts from their repeater Crossbows with a smile this time.

“They look different from the others. They stand and march like a true warrior. They don’t smell as bad either.”

“Good, good. I want you to take this in. These here are called Storm Vermin. I worked with a Skaven general in one joint attack against a Dwarven stronghold. Despite the Ogre thugs they had hired to help out, we managed to take care of them. It is with him that I learned about this breed of warrior. Those born with a white coat are believed to be symbols of luck, and generally become great leaders or become their Grey Seers. But those with black fur, on the other hand, those born with black fur are born with a warrior’s instincts and spirit. They are best fighters amongst them, so are treated better and given superior arms and armaments. Too bad they are still filthy vermin.” Once again, another smile and another volley of bolts.

“They’re getting too close to the sorceress. Shouldn’t we do more then just harass them? Or do we just continue to hit and miss as we are now?”

“I don’t know what is with you whelp,” said one shade. “But you know as well as we do that we should just…”

“Attack.” Said the Blood Shade.

“What? Are you crazy? We do not have the man power or the capabilities to take on a fighting force like this! We can’t do this and expect to win!”

“I don’t plan on winning, only delaying. They are here to kill the Sorceress. We need her, regardless of much of a failure she is. We know they are after her. By now the most of our army has already been whipped out. We have to stall them, even if it’s for a few minutes. We knew the moment that we were called to this battle that we may not make it home.”

“Well, only one blood shade in a hundred years dies of old age. I guess that won’t be us.” Said the more vocal of the scouts.

With a war cry, they leaped out of the forest, impaling their mass of enemies with crossbow fire. This finally hit a nerve with the Fang Leader. “Turn face!” He yelled in their high pitched language. In unison the whole platoon turned to their right. “The Other way.” They turned to the right a couple more times. “ Halberds out.” The mass dropped their shields, and sheathed their swords. Procuring two poles from inside their shields, and a heavy blade from their back they quickly assembled their weapons. Like wise, the shades cautiously and efficiently reloaded their crossbows. “CHARGE!”

As the overgrown rodents rushed towards the Dark Elves, they Shades made their stand, taking out a rather large number of them. The Young Shade slashed one foe accost the chest, while unloading what was left of his crossbow in aothers face. The Blood shade made two point blank shots in couple of muzzles, killing both targets, as he loped a pair of heads with his sword. The others shades had the same luck, more or less. The Skaven on the other hand managed to nail two solid hits. “Retreat into the forest, now!” Even though they seemed equally matched, the blood shade knew they had more Skaven then they could kill out in the open. With one more shade getting the business end of the halberd in their chest, they made it balk to the safety of the wood.

But the Skaven were not finished yet. They still wanted more blood, and the wanted it now. Head it no been for their leader, they would have bolted after them, regardless of the danger ahead. “I have been in too many confrontations with these skinny folk. They fight us, pump our blood lust to the point where it can not be contained, then retreat. Besides, we still have that spell caster to take care of. They turned to face their target, and continued to fulfill their mission.

“But don’t you want to stay and chat?” Said Sevrill Relik as he leaped in from behind them, twisting his dagger in to their champion’s back. He quickly pulled it, and spun around; slashing the poor creature in half. “But it you have more important things to do, that’s ok by me. I won’t be offended.” He said, throwing the weapon into the fallen Skaven’s forehead. After a few minutes one brave storm vermin got the courage to strike at the Assassin. But Rellik just simply tapped the large blade, forcing down a different direction. When the foes head was in rang, he grabbed the vermin’s head, placing his fingers at the different cranial sutures. His strong grip was that was needed to force its brain case collapsed on it self. With his weak hand, the left, Severill swung the halberd all around him. The show of strength ended when the ax blade crashed into another skull. With one final push, Relik sent the spear head into another’s face.

Another Rat came charging after him. This time, he brought out his specialty weapon: The Kerugma. He stole the design against a Cathayan Ninja, but it was a superior weapon none the less. In one hand was a sickle. In the other was a weighted skull shaped ball that was connected to the sickle with a long steel chain. He swung the skull around the enemis blade, and like a fishermen, reeled him in to be gutted. He swung the around him, smashing a few heads as he went. Dead simply piled all around him, wither being sliced to pieces, or having their skulls bashed open. Even those who had only a scrape were not lucky for the Assassin had laced his blades with the Dark Venom. While most seemed to have shrugged off the early effects, overall, they were too exhausted to try to fight the poison. With a deafening cry of war, he forced what was left of the horde back. Most of the smart ones fled. Some of the braver simply left the group, to finish off the woman. The rest more scared of leaving the battle field with him hunting them down.

“IS this the great storm vermin I have learned so much about in my studies?” He goaded. “”DO you expect me to believe that you worthless pieces of [insert Elvin cursing the means fecal matter] are the best your kind has to offer? Pleas,” he said taking a step forward. He delighted in the loud shuffle back they all made stepping away. “Don’t make me laugh. I don’t find this funny at all. While it has been fun killing yawl here, I was expecting more of a challenge.

Suddenly a black roadbed figure darted out amongst them, and locked blades with Rellic. It was another Assassin, but not one from the temple. No, this one was of a different sort. “I guess he hired the services of Clan Ensuin after all.” The two locked their blades for several minutes, not letting either coming close to laying so much as a tip of their blades on each other’s skin. They both knew they were poisoned, and one drop would mean certain death.


“Why don’t you guys hurry up and finish the mission.” Said the new assailant. “He wants a fighter, not crowd of cowards. But she better be dead by the time she gets down there, or her throat won’t be the only one slit today!” he ordered. It was uncommon for an Assassin from the Skaven Clan Ensuin, or the Dark Elves’ Temple of Khaine, for they studied the antinomy of every creature from every race to know which poisons, and which points on their body would kill them in an instant. They also spent more time on their marshal prowess. So much so that they become the embodiment of war itself. Others add stealth to go with this, slipping into enemy camps and castles, dispatching everyone before the night was through. But on this occasion their mission had to be fulfilled at any cost. And his was to make sure that women could pose them a threat no more any way, any how. If sending these sorry excuse for a Skaven to their deaths while he had a little fun was the answer to this problem, then so be it.

While Relik could understand them, he wished he didn’t have to listen. He was divide d in keeping the two oaths he had to keep: Obey your commanding officers, and slay the Covenants. On the one hand, killing this half hazard rodent and the others would full fill the first, yet go against his moral code as an Assassin at the same time. The Opposite was also true. Well, if the lesser of the two evils was to actually fight something worth fighting, then try to keep up with the other rodents would still obey both oaths. On the other hand, if he purposely delayed this by fighting the vermin, he wouldn’t be very efficient at his job either. It was now the middle of the after noon, and the sun would set in three hours, when both his senses and the rat’s would be at their greatest!

But that wasn’t to be. He got careless. The Skaven slid his blade in-between a pair of Relik’s ribs. Nothing fatal, but the venom inside the Warpstone knives, and the chaotic mineral that it was made out of, was doing the work for him. Like wise, Rellik slid his knife into the creator’s side. Again, nothing fatal, but it would make getting to the sorceress long and painful. As Rellik hit the ground, his eyes dilating to their fullest, he could only think of the failure he had truly become. The temple was right, he thought. He was too immature to be of any use o them, or anyone else.

The Rat bent down to the Elf’s ear and whispered: “I know you can understand me, so listen up. If you survive the touch of the warp stone in my blades, then you will survive this. The toxin on my blades is only deadly in high dosage. It’s used as a pain killer during surgery by most species of life on this miserable world, your's included. It will make you numb and sleepy for the next hour. In which time, I will have killed the woman. You see, I like to filay my prey when they are alive, just as the drugs are wearing off. That way I can see the look in their soon to be dead eyes as I put their own gore in front of their faces. I’ll save you last. Those idiots may have been weaklings, but they are still family. I’ll enjoy my fun with you!” It hissed as it walked away. Though painful, he managed to treat his wound while he marched. A March made even more daunting by the freshly fallen faces of his brethren (cut down by the arrows of the spineless Shades.)



Elsewhere, another group made their way to the hart of the battle. They were Plague Monks, and this unit was among some of the more veteran members. Many of them felt they were the most blessed members of their ilk, having the protection of their vile dark god: The Horned Rat. But even Pussbutt had to admit it was their rank, as every plant with in five feet of them withered and dies. The ground cracked, rocks split, and animals…dropped dead. Even By their clan’s standards, they vile and filthy beyond imagination. While Pussbut didn’t care, he figured he was the only one who couldn’t die within their presence. Well, At least he got to take in the scenery while it lasted. Then something caught their eyes. A lot of something. A flock of something. And it blocked their way.

Just twenty feet in front of them a flock of harpies were resting, basking in the sun that filtered through the trees. All of them had red leather wings pale skin, black hair, and fiery eyes. One in particular had yellow stripes near the veins in the wings, while another had red highlights. Surprisingly, they all had clothing, custom stitched onto them. Most had their ample breasts covered, while others just enough skin showing to keep a victim focus on something other then their sharp claws, and pointy teeth. Who ever did this was either really stupid, really lucky, or just both!

Halftail Pussbut, as well as the other Monks just stood their in aw. “Hmm. They brought chicken!” He said. With grins, and unsheathed knives and forks, the Monks charged forward, leaving him behind.

The Harpies knew this would happen, and had already started running. After a few steps they got enough of a start to take flight. The Monks followed, at a maddening pace, trying to keep up. And just when they thought they did, the ground collapsed underneath them. As the pit filled their bloodied masses. The Harpies Kept flying till they saw a tree covered in animal blood. The mass of festering monks kept coming at them, some wit half a spear going through them. But they kept falling into more pits filled with spikes and discarded pole arms. Those that didn’t die from the sudden impalement, or get crushed by the weight of all of their comrades falling on top of them, climbed out, and continued running forward. Bang!” A large explosion came through the ground, killing one, wounding three more. Then another. Four fatalities. This continued for thirty feet, severed limbs and gore flying through the air as they continued through this open path. Once again, the harpies ran off just as the Skaven were in reach of their meal. And once again, another pit filled with pongee sticks impaled them.

Despite the massive loss of life, they continued their mad dash at their prey. Regardless of how far. regardless of how dangerous the path was, now that logs with wooden spikes came flying though the trees like an angry Treeman’s arm, and regardless of the fact they were no longer concerned with the rest of the battle. Even Pussbutt couldn’t contain his desire to tear these winged beast women apart. Then a whistle was heard ringing through the air, as a three foot tall spike strip rose out of the ground, killing more, and stalling their advance. Several bolts pelted the hides of the skaven, but they wee impervious to pain do to innumerable diseases that festered their bodies. Only hatred and fury filled them. Now their foe was forty feet away and still luring them to their death. With only forty of them still alive, both their plague Preist and Decon were now thinking they had better stop before they could witness the wholesale slaughter of their unit. Without fighting, the enemy had lured them down this trap filled path, and had used their skills in destroying almost every one of them. It was no use sniffing for them All of them either had no nose to speak of, or were so used to their own overpowering sent, that they could no longer detect anything with that part of the body.

The Trees had stopped attacking, and they returned to their gallop forwards. No traps, they could make it. No traps, they could reach them. No traps, they could feel their breath on the wind. No traps, they could barley wait for the not so gentle caress their all but scrapped blades would do to their prey’s flesh. No Traps, they could almost taste blood in the air. A trap, the blood was theirs and theirs alone. More spikes rose, and still they came. More explosions, and crossbowfire, and still they came. More spears, and flying logs tied to trees, and still they came. Their frenzy, the Plague Monks greatest strength on the battlefield, was proving to be their greatest downfall. And just as the last fifteen were about to pounce the harpies moved back to reveal four shades who opened fire upon the. All that were not killed in the barrage were too shocked to realize what was happening. This was made worse as a pit opened up underneath them. Any that were still standing were weather crushed by a falling boulder, thanks to the winged beauties, or had their head loped off by the Hades swords. All the other Skaven were either being dealt with along the trail, or shot at in the pit.

“I think that’s all of them.” Said one shade. All of a sudden a brown blur slashed it’s way out of the pit, and the Dark elf down the middle. It was Pussbut Half Tail, or what was left of him. His right hand rearranged it self or a black, sinister blade would pop out of new stump. The other hand simply became a mechanical claw. Blood, oil, and puss formed a black ooze drooling out of the fanatic’s mouth. Two more Shades went to strike it down, but to no avail. The Left claw extended three feet, tearing it’s way through the one elf’s heat and back. The other had a bit more skill at parrying the enemy’s attack, but the mostly mechanical beast simply spun the blade around, and did and upward slash to the scout’s head. The Harpies Threw boulders at it, and attacked with their vicious claws, with little effect. The last shade, who was preparing to do his right of passage into becoming a man, tried hi luck with a bit more succsess.

The two managed to stab each other; the shade receiving a small scratch that would heal in no time, while the rat received something more substantial. As the other harpies swarmed the Skaven, the Shade backed off to clean his wound. Normally he wouldn’t worry about it, but normally he wasn’t fighting something with more diseases then a Britonian Peasant. But the winged women were falling like flies, their hearts being pushed out of their ample chests. All but three of them fell at Halftail’s claws. But it only took one of these three to scratch out one of the Rat’s eyes! Enraged, he knocked her to the ground, putting himself into a Death Frenzy. Just as he would cut her in two, the young Shade blocked the blade. With Both hands on his sword’s handle, he used all the strength he had to keep the black blade just inches from his face. He didn’t know why he did this, knowing the three beast women would probably tear his throat out after the fight. He just felt he needed to protect something in need of help. The other two harpies talked the rat away. With some breathing room, the Shade and priest dueled. Dodging the left claw, the elf managed to not only to sever the limb, but rodent’s head as well.

“I think he’s dead.” Said the shade. Unfortunately the creature still wanted to fight, long after it had left this world. The body struck wildly into the air, trying to hit anything in it’s path. Surprised, yet still calm, the shade lead the headless body to the mass grave of his comrades. With a well placed strike to where the elbow should have been, the Elf removed Halftail’s last weapon. All that was left was to force the still writhing body into the pit. Exhausted, the warrior dropped his weapons. The harpy he had helped had maneuvered itself so it could sit next to him. Bravely, the Dark Elf placed his hand on her head, and ruffled her hair. As he looked d upon her lovely form, he noticed the yellow stripes on here wings. For some reason it reminded him of his friend, a bride of Khaine, who painted her body in the same manor. “I guess it’s true. Harpies are the reincarnation of fallen Witch Elves. “


****
The Sorceress was the only one left to Face her demons. She managed to kill a few of the plague monks with her hand of Death spell, but the Winds of magic were blowing. Knowing the inevitable destruction of the crossbowmen and spearmen, she rode away to get some distance. Cowardly, yes, but she was no warrior. To make matters worse, she was being persuod by what was left of the Storm Vermin. The last thing she needed was to die in this fashion, but it wasn’t like she had much of a choice. “Come and get me, if you can maggots!” She foolishly taunted. The winds of magic were not helping here. She tried again, hoping a few more would die this time. Sadly, only a few sparks flew out of her lovly hand. “Ok, I guess it’s time to put this to use. She said, puling out a shiny red stone. Simply by holding it in her hand, she released the secret power within. Black smoke and a horrid feeling of dread flowed out of it at lightning speeds, nearly whipping out the whole tire unit. Only smallest amount of courage, or an overwhelming lack of sanity, kept them from running away.

Only a few short foot steps away from death, the Sorceress forced dark steed to charge the enemy. If she was going to die, she might as well take a few slaves to serve her in the next world! Surprisingly, she managed to kill one with a slash from her scimitar. But two of the Skaven managed to strike back with their halberds. One struck her side. The other would have been the death of her had it not been for a charm Ronin gave her. The talisman was his lucky charm, and it proved to be just that. Out numbered, and out matched, the sorceress prepared one final spell to destroy her foes. But the winds of magic were now gone from this area. But the tried no the less. Just as her hope was about to die with her, a spark of hope came out of her hand. Then another, and another. These sparks kept multiplying, growing more powerful and destructive with each passing moment. The Skave simple minds were in aw at the pretty colors, but the Elf only felt dread. She had seen this happen before. It was one of the worst things that could happen to a spell caster. The Spell she attempted use had miscast, and now, she would suffer the consequences. Stroking the scared horses


Fri Dec 21, 2007 8:37 pm
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