Sunday, 14 August 2011

Tales of Ankh-Mordhiem - A Tail of Woe part 3

He was loading his Warplock pistols when he became aware of the growing rumble like thunder.  His curiosity piqued, Haarchit approached the window to in time to watch a stampede of cattle tearing down the street toward him. He watched in abject terror as the cows came closer, closer, closer until he was convinced they would plough through the shop front.

Suddenly they veered away, flowing with the contour of the road and Haarchit became aware of two Nightrunners using their slings as temporary halters as they joyously rode along on the backs of the enraged beasts.


“Idiots!” rasped Stikum suddenly appearing beside him.  “Not going to be back before battle now”

Haarchit turned to the Assassin, “This was planned?  Who are they?”

“Eek and Squeek, crazy little nutjobs” Stikum said with a small smile of pride.  “Join us soon, but not now apparently.”

Two shadows detached themselves from the darkness, nodded to Stikum and Haarchit then disappeared once more.

“What? who? what?” Haarchit stammered.

“Like I said, list of jobs.  Job one ready now, Bo Djit and Skar Pa have laid false trail in Cattle Markets, humans now spread out looking for us. Easy pickings.”

They were.

Stikum took the Heezbeeg Hubwise, whilst Haarchit took Itcheez pack Rimward as they entered the Cattle Markets from Widdershins.  Swiftly and without mercy they advanced on the humans and within moments the first of the Bretonnians had fallen to Stikum’s blades closely followed by a peasant archer to the teeth and claws of Itcheez pack.

The human peasants panicked as they realised their predicament, ineffectually loosing arrows in the Skavens direction, their efforts further hampered by Haarchit successfully cursing the Knight Errant commanding the central section.  Feeling the effects of the curse take hold, he fell back from the Skaven and hid whilst support arrived.

Heezbeeg growled as, through a window, he spied the Questing Knight upon a horse and drooled with anticipation. Stikum whispered “Get ‘im!” and off bounded the Rat Ogre, charging around the ruined building to savagely tear the shocked knight from his mount, before discarding the shattered body to feast on the still living horse.

As he ran out from cover, Stikum spared a glance at the Knight’s crumpled and misshapen form and smiled  “Job one done, time for fun”.  He focussed on his target.  The Knight Errant was rallying the Brettonian warband, directing them to use all available cover as they converged on his position and they were approaching fast.  Stikum was approaching faster.  To his credit the knight spun to parry Stikum’s first blow, but the second slipped around his guard, the ichor-leaking blade sliding into his chest.  The knight screamed and fell to the floor, but Stikum was denied the opportunity to finish him off. Two men  swung for him and Stikum screeched in amusement at their ineptitude as he easily evaded a spear thrust and parried descending hammer.  Then he was behind them and, with a perfectly mirrored thrust, impaled one on each of his weeping blades.

The humans were defeated and broke, desperately dragging their wounded as they fled.  Their dead though was a different matter, those they left to the carrion feeders in their terror despite knowing in their hearts they could never return home. They were foregoing holy vows sworn to serve and protect their lord and they had failed, but worse they were leaving his body to the none-to-tender mercies of their foes.

Stikum and Haarchit strolled over to view the broken corpse and were surprised to hear the rattle of breath wheezing through blood-soaked lips.  Though his neck was clearly broken, the knight was twitching as though through willpower alone he could wield his blade and slay his tormentors.  The assassin crouched and started speaking to the Knight.  Haarchit could hear what he was saying but recognised none of it, stupid humans with their stupid dialects.

The assassin’s gravely voice sounded even stranger as he intoned “Je suis l'assassin n'est pas voleur. Ton frère possédait ce qui appartenait pas à lui, je lui ai offert sa vie en retour, mais il sentait monnaies étaient plus précieux. Vous avez vendu votre vie encore moins cher. Vous avez donné votre mot au nom de la vengeance d'une vie qui a été plus préoccupés par l'argent que l'honneur. Votre quête est à sa fin avec peu à montrer pour elle, aller maintenant à votre Dame et prier son pardon.”

With a calm that almost bordered on tenderness, Stikum slid the dagger he had secretly palmed through the Knight’s ribs and into his heart. The knight gave one last gasp and died.

“What was that about?” Haarchit asked.

“Honour…” growled Stikum.  “…and the idiots that hide behind it.”  He looked to the shadows of nearby building and made several quick gestures.  To Haarchit’s surprise Bo Djit and Skar Pa materialised from an area of coalesced darkness that couldn’t possibly have held them.  They moved quickly and gathered up the knight’s remains before fading into the night once more.

“Where…”

“Doesn’t matter.  Job two – Dwarves moving in on Warpstone stash I hid.  Time to discourage them”.


Note - Yes I used google translate (my French is no where near that good) and I realise the syntax is probably wrong, but it could be right for Brettonian. French is merely the closest approximation.  To my detractors I offer my latest (and surprisingly effective) battle-cry. "Meurent s'il vous plait" ;-)  

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