#Lorefight 114!

#Lorefight 114!Having sunk the Curse of Zandri and its captain King Amanhotep thanks to a miraculous whirlpool, Marco Colombo smiled towards Tullaris Dreadbringer as Sudenberg finally came to view upon the horizon.Upon entering the Imperial harbour the ship’s crew was immediately welcomed by the sight of four men hanging by the neck with a sign reading “Pirates be warned” above their heads.“Should we be worried about this place Marco, your crew have been through a lot as it is.” Tullaris asked upon seeing Colombo’s face drop at the sight of the hanging men. Still Colombo regained his composure and responded with “Of course not Señor, we are not pirates. Do you really think the Phoenix Court of Ulthuan makes deals with pirates?”And so the ship docked into the harbour and the crew disembarked from their ship after Colombo suspiciously bought the harbourmaster off with two gold coins in return for not having his named written in the port’s log book. “Alright lads, we have 1 evening to resupply and then we’re off again with the morning tide. So snap to it. Vamonos!”The crew walked off in the direction of the marketplace while Tullaris stayed behind to question Colombo. “You said we’d have time to slaughter a village. My master, his voice demands sacrifice.”“And I swear you’ll get your killing spree my friend. But just not right now, we’re a bit rushed for time.”“Why?”“Oh speaking of time I really must be getting on with things. We’ll talk about this later I promise.”“Fine, I’ll go find someone to kill myself!”“No Tullaris, come back here! Ok, get over here now! … Fine, you go do that! See if I care! Don’t be surprised when there’s no ship waiting for you!”
….
Tullaris trudged through the streets of Sudenberg, clad in his heavy suit of armour and with his great sword the First Draich strapped to his back. He peered around looking for his target but no matter where he looked, he couldn’t find a single target whose death wouldn’t be seen by others or wouldn’t immediately rouse suspicion. He continued to circle round the back-streets of Sudenberg, seeking his victim until finally, he came across the perfect target. Right in the corner of a seldom used alleyway stood an artisan refreshment store whose sign outside had lost so many letters one couldn’t tell what it said anymore. Inside was a young, scantily dressed woman with her back to the door preparing some concoctions in the hope someone may eventually come in and try her drinks, even though all the empty tables and chairs suggested nobody ever did. Sensing he could kill this woman unnoticed, he unfastened the sheath on his back so he could remove his blade once close enough and entered the store. He came closer and closer, approaching his prey as he slowly reached up for his sword and…
“Can I get you something love?”The woman at the counter turned around with the broadest of smiles as well as the most soothing of voices and in that instant, Tullaris was no longer so clear how he should proceed. He moved his hand to his chin, as if rubbing it whilst he considered the menu in the hope she wouldn’t notice the loose holstering of his blade.“Well sir?”“Uhh… I’ll have that please.” Tullaris said as he pointed towards a strange green brew.“The Bloody Cactus? Wow really? Nobody ever picks any of my specials.”“Should I not be picking it then?” The elf asked.“No no, that’s not what I meant sir. I just meant that the people around here aren’t so open to new tastes…But I’ll get straight to it. What brings ye here Mr. Elf?”“It’s a long story.”“It’s a long brew.”
….
Meanwhile, Colombo had caught up with the rest of the crew including Mr Bill, Señor Montero and Signore Petrochilo among others. They were parading through the hustle and bustle of the town’s central marketplace, living it large as they made the most of their newfound fortune buying everything which offered even the tiniest element of fancy to them. However, all this spending quickly drew the eyes of fellow traders who annoyed at being outbid all the time, soon reported the foreign buyers to some nearby guards. Two state troopers clad in leather armour painted in Sudenberg’s navy blue colours and brandishing halberds approached Colombo and his mates demanding papers.“Aye, we no ‘ave no papers. The capitan cleared it with your jefe.” Señor Montero replied hastily.Colombo quickly interjected, staying that “I think what my friends means to say is that we do have papers but we’ve simply misplaced them back on our ship. Now if you don’t mind we’ll just go collect those and all will be okay.”Colombo and his crew mates turned and began walking off only to see four more guards approaching from that side.“Well, well, well. I could recognise that hat from miles away.” came a voice, interrupted by slow clapping and the heaving of heavy armour as an elderly soldier clad in a plate suit of armour decorated by gold trimmings and a silver cuirass stretched over his chest approached. As the soldier neared, Colombo took in more of his features including his grey sideburns, feathered helmet carried in his arms and the missing left eye marked by a long scar along his face.“Have we met? I apologise in advance if I had something to do with your face.” Colombo squirmed.“Only by reputation. This (pointing at his eye), was the Khemrian king’s doing.”“Huh, well that’s just terrible. I’ve had my own share of encounters with their kind I can tell you that.” Colombo chuckled.“But enough about my eye, I know you don’t I? Marco Colombo, scavenger of lizard temples.”“And who might you be?”“My name is Andreas Leonardus, Governor of Sudenberg and Enforcer of the Emperor’s mandate.”“The, the Governor?”“You don’t have to look so frightened, I only meant to say hello. What you did in Lustria took some serious nerves and I bet that elf queen was pleased to get her crown back. Here, let’s shake to new beginnings.”“Ah yes, to new beginnings!”Andreas stuck his arm out and shook Colombo’s before happily shaking each crew member’s hands only for his smile to suddenly fade while shaking Mr Bill’s hand as he noticed the barest trace of a tattoo sticking out from the cuffs of his shirt. Becoming suspicious, the governor lifted the sleeve of Mr Bill’s shirt revealing a massive letter “P” tattooed onto his skin.“Had a brush in with the Elves’ Golden Company did we, pirate? Guards, take this man to the brig. He has a date with the gallows and it would be a shame for him to miss it.”“Mr Governor, I must protest. Mr Bill has been in my employ for some years now and has never once given into piracy since before I met him. It’s all in his past I assure you.”“Nevertheless, the sanction for piracy is death. The fact he has gone all this time avoiding such a fate makes no difference to me. Regrettably, the punishment for employing or in some way providing services to a pirate is also death. I think it’s about time we saw this ship of yours.”
….
Back at the dining establishment, Tullaris was sat at a table tucking into his drink, which he was secretly disappointed to discover contained raspberry rather than actual blood for flavouring, and a freshly baked date pie making small talk with the waitress who he’d by now discovered was an Amazon named Melandra.“So you mean to tell me you were a general in the Dark Elf armies? Was Malekith really as scary as the stories say? What about their Queen now?”“Yes I was, well we call them Dreadlords rather than generals. As for Malekith, you got used to him in the end. Hellebron however, she was-“ Tullaris stoppped talking for a second, unable to articulate how he felt about his former commander before turning back to Melandra and continuing “but enough about them or my adventures killing lizards, I’m curious to know how a young Amazon ends up in Sudenberg of all places.”“How does anyone end up somewhere they shouldn’t? I wanted to travel the world only for life to get in the way. But it could be worse, at least I’m not close to the bottom of the food chain here like my sisters in Lustria. It’s funny really, when I was younger I used to dr-…. oh never mind it will sound ridiculous to someone like you.”“You dreamt of another sky, new land, new people, new life. A whole world teaming with life. Why stand still waiting when there’s so much out there?”“How could you know that?”“Because contrary to how it might look Melandra, I’m much older than you and I’ve seen many people with similar dreams.”“How many of them get to fulfil them?” Melandra asked inquisitively.“Life gets in the way.” Tullaris responded.
….
Back at the port, Andreas Leonardus’ men were scouring Colombo’s ship from top to bottom for stolen goods before calling him on board once they discovered the massive vault of treasures on board, leading Andreas to storm out shortly afterwards.“You brought cursed gold into my city?!”“Now to be fair, we didn’t know it was cursed until a floating pyramid with a scorpion tail tried to sink our ship.” Colombo explained, poorly before a further marine came up to governor holding Colombo’s talisman.“What’s this? A talisman to Ranald? First you bring cursed treasure and now a homage to the god of thieves? I don’t believe this.Marco Colombo, I place you and your entire crew under arrest for the crimes of piracy, suspicion of sponsoring piracy and the importation of dangerous goods into an Imperial province, thereby creating significant risk to public wellness. You and your men shall be taken to the gallows henceforth where you shall hang until dead at which point your bodies will be taken to the bay as a warning to other members of your kind!Though I will thank you for one thing before you go. This treasure of yours will certainly help us pay our debts to the Reikland so we’ll just have to hope this curse doesn’t follow them there.”And so Marco Colombo and his crew were shackled and brought to the gallows while marines began unloading his treasure to be moved to the governor’s flagship. Meanwhile, a crowd of Imperial citizens were beginning to gather around the gallows for the public spectacle. The whole plaza was surrounded by soldiers wielding either halberds or handguns with Leonardus soon joining them via horseback while a string of drum-playing troops signalled his arrival. Atop the gallows stood a hooded, bare chested figure sharpening his axe, just in case a trap door were to fail. As Marco was brought up the steps where the noose awaited him, he surveyed the area to no avail, causing him to wonder whether Tullaris really had abandoned him for a good slaughter. How could he survive now?
….

  • Wow React: Tullaris never heard the drums playing in the distance and simply kept drinking with the Amazon. Eventually once the drink was over he paid and left her presence, intent on finding Colombo and making amends.

But he never discovered Colombo’s fate, hanging several feet off the ground by a rope wrung round his neck, for on his way through the city Tullaris suddenly became distracted by a trail of magical energies emanating far away from here. Could it be? No, surely it couldn’t. But he had to find out, he had to leave this city now, alone, and find out whether the Witch King could actually be alive.
….

  • Love React: Tullaris and Melandra heard the drums playing and decided to inspect what was going on. Upon arriving at the plaza they saw Colombo and his crew being brought to their positions on the gallows where each had a noose brought down over their heads and tied round their necks.

The dark elf instantly began hatching a plan to rescue his captain, asking Melandra to sneak round and free the captives while he made a distraction. He burst into the plaza, brandishing his greatsword and striking at both guard and civilian alike. The crowd attempted to clear as citizens ran for their lives from the bloodthirsty elf who went on an absolute rampage, hacking and slashing through his victims as if they were made from butter, but soon found there was nowhere to run under the sheer mass of the crowd and Dreadbringer’s own talent for murder.As the fighting continued, more and more troops piled in to stop the Dreadbringer only for him to use the peasants who still remained as shields against enemy gunfire to lure them into melee. Eventually even the executioner picked up his axe and descended from the gallows to fight the Dark Elf, allowing Melandra to finally sneak up and begin untying Colombo and his crew from their bindings using a knife she wore on her belt.However, Leonardus grew tired of watching his troops die and thus gave them the order to no longer hold back in the event of civilian casualties. Tullaris continued to fight his way through the plaza, numbering over 400 kills as far as he could tell but the pressure was mounting as handgunners began deliberately firing into the crowd to kill him. And then he took pause as he saw a hell blaster volley gun being wheeled onto the edge of the plaza!The artillery piece’s engineers opened the canon up and proceeded to load its top 3 barrels, there was no way Tullaris’ armour would protect him from this. Fortunately, Tullaris looked over towards the gallows to find out that their distraction had indeed been successful because Melandra, Marco and the crew were nowhere to be seen, therefore marking the perfect time for Tullaris to run before the artillery piece opened fire.Tullaris ran through the streets of Sudenberg back to the port, effortlessly bursting through walls of spearmen and miscellaneous imperial units until finally he returned to the ship which Marco’s crew had been busily preparing to set sail.Marco Colombo’s ship departed from the harbour just in time to save all of their lives. However, it later turned out that only 75,000 golds worth of the original 250,000 gold treasure remained on board. It seems the Empire would be settling its debts after all.
….

  • Angry React: Tullaris and Melandra heard the drums playing and decided to inspect what was going on. Upon arriving at the plaza they saw Colombo and his crew being brought to their positions on the gallows where each had a noose brought down over their heads and tied round their necks.

The dark elf instantly descended into the crowd, hacking and slashing through soldier and civilian alike as Melandra snuck round and free the captives during his distraction.Troops piled into the plaza to stop the Dreadbringer only for him to use the peasants who still remained as shields against enemy gunfire to lure them into melee while Melandra attacked the executioner with her knife face-on.The executioner struck towards her with his axe in large swings only for her to evade his attacks by use of her natural Amazonian agility, limboing beneath his blade and sidestepping any low blows while she delivered a series of precise jabs with her knife to his chest until finally he succumbed to blood loss and fainted, falling off of the side of the gallows as he did so.However, despite her victory over the executioner this result had indeed cost her a great deal of time. Down in the plaza Tullaris was still slaying his enemies in their dozens, still protected by the human shield of civilians unable to vacate the premises. But the Governor was growing tired of such slaughter and began to care less and less for Tullaris’ shields, resulting in an order to send the marines in. Whole squadrons of riflemen appeared while the governor’s engineers wheeled in a hellblaster volley gun. Now was the time for Tullaris to leave!But he couldn’t, for as he looked over to the gallows he saw that Melandra hadn’t yet finished untying Colombo and his crew. They needed more time and there was only one way they would get it. Tullaris Dreadbringer grasped his sword as tight as he could and ran straight towards the Governor.“Fire!” The Governor cried as he suddenly feared for his own life. Twenty rifles lit up and pierced the Har Ganeth executioner’s armour, tearing through his chest and reappearing through his back but the elf never relented, charging with ever greater fury. The Governor removed a pistol from his horse’s saddle and joined the men in firing at this ravenous elf only for Tullaris to finally come into range and thrust his blade through Leonardus‘ chest. The Governor fell to his knees and died but it seemed Tullaris was not long for this world either as he took more and more gunshots to his body. As he died he turned to see Melandra escaping with Colombo and his crew, it seems Tullaris’ sacrifice had been worthwhile after all.The crew ran back to their ship and set sail before the marines could catch up but despite escaping with their own lives, the ship was beset by a solemn mood. Not only had Colombo’s companion died, they were missing 175,000 hold’s worth of treasure too!…………As time went by and the Governor’s men read out the long list of trumped-up charges being directed at him “By decree of the Emperor’s mandate, all persons found guilty of piracy, or aiding a person convicted of piracy or associating with a person convicted with piracy shall be sentenced by the neck to hang until dead. The prisoners are found guilty of such crimes and thus shall warrant the consequences of their actions.”
Colombo became increasingly anxious. There really was no sign of Tullaris or any rescue for that matter. As such, the explorer from Trantio decided to put his escape into his own hands.“Psst. Hey you, over here.” He called to the executioner whose hands had been hovering over the lever to the trapdoor beneath him.“Me?”“Yes, you. Tall, dark and frankly quite spooky. Where am I?”“Where? You’re in Sumderberg. What are you, a dummkopf?”“Ah yes, Sudenberg the great imperial colony in the South. And tell me does Sudenberg follow Imperial law?”“Uhmm…yes.”“What’s going on up there?” The Governor yelled before motioning for the executioner to stay away from the prisoner.“Thank you spooky.” Colombo said before turning his head to the crowd “Under Imperial contract I demand a trial by contact! Have you got that you sand-smitten tin donkeys? I invoke the legal right of judicial championship!”The Governor merely smirked as he heard Colombo’s request. “And of course we except your request, pirate. You will soon wish you had accepted your hanging. Summon our champion!”Two marines climbed onto their horses and rode off into the distance while Colombo and his crew were let down from the gallows where Colombo’s bindings were promptly cut loose.Marco instinctively rubbed his hands together and soothed his wrists that had succumbed to rope-burn as he demanded the use of his crossbow in the upcoming fight.“Have whatever you like. It won’t save you.” The Governor scoffed as a trumpet blew in the distance. “Ah, our champion is here. Clear the courtyard! Behold, O employer of pirates and despair!”The people in the plaza dispersed, revealing a mercenary by the name of Brunner, a bounty hunter clad in leather armour backed up by a plate helm and shoulder-guards, carrying 5 daggers strapped to his chest, 2 pistols holstered at his sides, a machete sheathed behind his back and a whole array of pouches carrying who-knows what?

  • Sad React: Within second’s from entering the square Brunner immediately reached for his two pistols and opened fire, signalling for Marco Colombo to duck and run towards a nearby market stall for cover. He pulled back on his crossbow and hastily loaded an arrow onto its shaft as Brunner fired off another round which only narrowly missed the explorer’s head.

Having loaded his crossbow, Colombo turned to fire over the crate only to suddenly be caught off guard as he received a smoke bomb to the face. The smoke stung his eyes and caused him to miss-fire, sending his arrow way off course into the air while Brunner rushed forward with one of his daggers in hand and plunged it straight into Colombo’s left shoulder before punching the explorer in the stomach with his other clenched fist.Reeling from this sudden attack, Colombo pulled an arrow from his quiver and thrust it towards his foe, attempting to use its head as a dagger himself. But the mercenary moved even quicker and instantly grabbed Colombo’s arm in a lock-hold to disarm him before removing a second dagger from his belt which he promptly stuck into Colombo’s ribs. As Marco reached for his bleeding torso, Brunner delivered two additional punches to Colombo’s jaw before grabbing his outstretched arm and pulling him into a throw. Colombo tumbled over Brunner’s back and landed flat on his own. Finally, Brunner reloaded his pistol and shot the incapacitated sailor between the eyes.“No!” came a yell from outside the square as Tullaris Dreadbringer saw his friend lying dead on the ground. He turned to rage and charged towards his friend’s killer with his greatsword only for Brunner to pull out his machete in kind. The two swordsmen clanged their blades against one another and Tullaris struck repeatedly at his foe, never relenting in his pursuit for vengeance such that he eventually knocked Brunner’s blade from his hands. However while Tullaris gave into despair, Brunner remained calm and calculating, causing Tullaris’ finishing blow to be met by a flash grenade. Brunner dropped another smoke bomb, shrouding the fight in smoke. By the time the smoke cleared it was all over, Tullaris lied dead on the ground with a dagger sticking out from his neck.“Did you know these men, girl?” Governor Leonardus asked Melandra from the vantage of his steed.“Uhh, no sir. Sorry sir.”“Then be on your way, this is no place for girls dressed like you.”“Yes sir, thank you sir.” Melandra left the square and headed back to her shop, trying to ignore the sound of firing squads finishing the rest of Colombo’s crew off.
….

  • Laugh React: Within second’s from entering the square Brunner immediately reached for his two pistols and opened fire, signalling for Marco Colombo to duck and run towards a nearby market stall for cover. He pulled back on his crossbow and hastily loaded an arrow onto its shaft as Brunner fired off another round which only narrowly missed the explorer’s head. Having loaded his crossbow, Marco turned to

“Wait!” Colombo called from behind his cover. “I think we can come to an understanding sir! It would be a shame for either of us to waste good ammunition when a deal can be made!”“What sort of deal?!” Brunner yelled to the cover-seeking crossbowman.“A lucrative one! I have a treasure on board my ship. A hefty chunk of it is yours if you come with me!”“You can’t afford what I charge!”“Oh really, a 100,000 gold salary says you’re wrong!”“You’re bluffing!”“I never bluff sir, I merely make considered offers. By Ranald, I swear it! … And I seriously doubt you have any intention of staying in this barren pit they call a city for too long!”“Alright enough of this now. Close in and execute that man, Brunner.” Andreas Leonardus interjected from horseback.“Hey Brunner, do you trust me?” Colombo yelled once more.“No.”“Clever man. I’m going to run on the mark of 3. If you choose to follow I would happily welcome you to my crew.”“Kill him, Brunner!” Leonardus bellowed again.“1.”“You are this city’s champion. Kill that man now or by Sigmar I will execute you myself.”“2.”“Do it now!” Leonardus shrieked as he removed his pistol from its holster and aimed it at Brunner.“3!”Marco Colombo took off running as Brunner ducked, removed a dagger from his belt and stabbed the Governor in the throat before turning his pistols on the troops guarding Colombo’s crew.Tullaris stood up from his seat at Melandra’s shop and ran after the sound of gunshots emanating from the plaza as Melandra followed close behind out of concern.Colombo darted through the streets, swindling his way across rooftops and through small crevices to avoid the marines’ gunfire only to discover that the majority of his treasure was missing from his ship and that its rudder was connected to the port’s mooring via a massive chain.“The Flagship! They have my money!” Colombo yelled in frustration.“I know where it is stationed, this way!” Brunner responded as he led Colombo’s crew through the harbour. The team fought through entire waves of infantry men as Brunner opted to fighting with his machete after handing his pistols to Mr Bill and Senor Montero and giving his satchel of explosives to Signore Petrochilo.Guns fired and grenades detonated as Colombo’s gang tore through the city before finally running into Tullaris and Melandra.“I leave you alone for 10 minutes and you manage to turn this place into a battlefield.” Tullaris chucked as Brunner called for them to hurry before serious reinforcements were called.However, just as they were about to set off Melandra suddenly let go of Tullaris’ hand.“What are you doing?”“Get away from me!”“You never said anything about bring pirates! You’re a bunch of criminals. Leave me alone!”With a disappointed tone of voice, Tullaris responded “But you said you wanted to travel the world? This is your chance to fulfil that dream. Please.”Melandra thought for a moment but her fear won out, resulting in her calling out “They’re over here! Guards, they’re over here!”The guards approached and Tullaris ran with the others to board the flagship before setting off. They sailed out to sea, avoiding cannon fire and gunshots from the port. They had recuperated most of the treasure, they had a massive ship fully stocked for sea-faring adventures and they had a more than capable bounty hunter added to their ranks yet despite all of this, Tullaris Dreadbringer still wished that strange Amazon running a shop in Sudenberg had chosen another way…

#Lorefight 113!

Something stirred deep within the heart of the Lustrian jungles. The Amazons, the proud race of warrior women whose presence in these lands stretched back almost as long as the children of the Old Ones, were gathering their various tribes around a great bonfire.
Nine moths ago their queen, known simply as Anakonda, died at the hands of Wulfrik and his Norse Marauders. Through all this time her people have mourned her passing, for the passage of nine months held great spiritual significance to the warrior women of the Lustrian jungles on account of its relation to the cycle of birth. But with the passing of nine months came the time to nominate a new queen. Six tribes gathered around the bonfire, each led by one of Anakonda’s daughters, to claim their right to rule from the Curse Witches who stood before them dancing around the flames and gyrating their hips over its coals. The eldest daughter, Thalestris of the Blood-Lion Tribe, emerged from the crowd of warriors first to receive blessing from these strange, almost supernatural practitioners of the darker arts known only to those who’d given their lives to the Serpent god.
Thalestris stepped forward, carrying her spear and shield and dressed in a combination of green armour and long folds of crimson cloth, and stood before Lwaxana, the Curse Witch of the Blue Stumps and the chosen matriarch for this ceremony. The witch approached Thalestris with a pot of powdered minerals in her hand which she proceeded to smear across Thalestris’ body; below her eyes she smeared a blue mineral denoting the “Vision of the Falcon”, across her chest Lwaxana smeared the red paste representing “Heart of the Lion”, she smothered green chalk along the warrior’s elbows for the “Agility of the Jaguar” and finally, the Curse Witch poured a sample of water, diluted yellow by her own piss, to reflect the “Speed of the Culchan” (the Terror Bird) across the princess’ calfs.
With her opening blessings complete, Lwaxana took Thalestris’s hand and guided her towards the bonfire to gaze directly into its vapours. Thalestris did as instructed and looked deep into the roaring flames only to find something was off, for her surroundings seemed to slow down as she watched the flames and then, “Could it be?” She wondered as she began to see something moving in the flames. Something was moving, but how could anything survive in there? Yet despite her doubts, something slithered nonetheless only for it to suddenly erupted from the flames, sending embers and splinters everywhere which conveniently stuck to all the areas of her body which the Witch had covered, from just below her eyes, to her elbows, to her pasty chest to her urine-soaked calves. The embers stuck to those areas and moulded themselves onto them within seconds but the true wonder was not the way the embers had stuck to her body, it was what had caused those embers to fly in the first place.
A Coatl, a mighty winged snake believed by outsiders and colonists to be a symbol of Tepok though to the Amazons it reflected the majesty of the Serpent God instead, hovered above, flapping its wings which each spanned the length of a grown man. The Curse witches danced with delight, chucking burning embers at Thalestris’s tribe members for the ritual had been successful, the Serpent God had sent its angel to crown a queen and proclaim the Blood-Lion Tribe the chosen of the Serpent until the age of the next monarch dawned.
And then, something unforeseen happened as the sound of ravenous beasts approached from the jungle, snarling and roaring as they neared, snapping through old trees and jumping across streams. The Amazon warriors gripped their weapons and stood ready for whatever may come, they beared their blades, sharpened their spears and drew their bows in anticipation until finally, the beasts appeared through the trees. A unit of Horned One Riders, strangely led by a Skink, burst out of the forest and roared at the Amazon warriors as they halted before them. The Amazons looked on in bewilderment as the skink dismounted and proceeded to speak in the best facsimile of the Amazon language the records at Itza had been able to teach him.
“Greetings and rejoice, for I, Inxi-Huinzi, am here to introduce you to your master.”
Lwaxana stepped forward and angrily ranted at the Skink “You are interrupting our most sacred of ceremonies, leave now beast or suffer the punishment of our blades!”
“The Children of the Old Ones never interrupt, for it is your ceremony which interrupted our arrival. Behold, your true monarch!” Inxi-Huinzi declared as the trees behind him parted, revealing a Slann Mage-Priest hovering atop his disc. “Lord Tepec-Inzi, Supreme Ruler of the First City, Survivor of the Second Generation, Master of Realities, Creator of Dreams, he who has slept for countless generations, awoken once more.”
Thalestris then came to the front and joined Lwaxana’s tirades “Enough of this! Regardless of who you are, I am to be Queen! Do not rob me of my sacred time with the Coatl!”
“But that is why we have come, Princess. We seek audience with the new queen, to ensure she will uphold her pacts just as her predecessor did.” Inxi-Huinzi explained sincerely.
“You speak to us of pacts? Where were your cohorts when our Queen was crushed against a tree? Where was this toad in helping us avenge our fallen sisters and daughters?”
“Asleep, lost in the dark and the void. But my lord stirs once more and seeks your commitment in the wars that are to come. For it was his own champion, the mighty Gor-Rok who perished at the hands of elves and men. Stand by your allies once more and we will uphold your vengeance.”
“You speak of wars? We have known far too many of those to wish to enter other people’s battles. And why should I declare any allegiance now? You have yet to offer something greater than that which the elves may offer our people.”
Inxi-Huinzi turned to his master, whose eyes glowed silver and translated to him what the would-be Queen had said. The Slann grumbled and raised his arms as two horned one riders dismounted below him and the sky above suddenly jittered under a bolt of lightning.
The Amazons bared their weapons once more, uncertain of what was to happen until it was too late, as a lightning bolt came down from the heavens and struck the Coatl dead in a single blast. The Amazons turned to uproar, as the Curse Witches in particular appeared aghast at the sight of their religion being so recklessly defiled, but the Slann wasn’t over just yet as his magic lifted the winged serpent’s deceased body and brought it over to Thalestris before proceeding to coil it around her body.
“Your Queen wished to spend time with her serpent, consider this but the first of wishes granted under your master!” Inxi-Huinzi cried.
The dead snaked wrapped itself around Thalestris’ body, becoming tighter and tighter in its hold. Her tribe’s members rushed forward to pull the snake from her body, but found its hold too tight to remove. They slashed at it with their blades to set her free, only for its wounds to instantly mend themselves under the Slann’s oversight. The Serpent constricted around her ever tighter, breaking bones before finally wrapping around her neck, causing her to choke as her air passageways were crushed under its asphyxiating pressures. Within seconds she was lying on the floor, a mangled mess of broken limbs with a collapsed chest cavity and stretched throat.
The Amazons shrieked in horror as a second queen died before them but the Lizardmen had no interest in their grieving process.
“Which of you is the next eldest daughter of Anakonda? Step forward she who would serve her Master.” Inxi-Huinzi demanded.
The crowd was silent, for no Princess dared declare her claim to the throne after seeing what happened to their elder sibling. Even those who were specifically known for their courage and unbreakable spirits balked at the sight of the Slann’s brutality.
Finally, the silence cleared when Lwxana announced it was “Azura, Princess of the Black Culchan Tribe” who was second eldest daughter of Anakonda. The Princess stepped forward from the crowd, herself one of the warriors usually known for her bravery from whence she’s gained the title of Ice Maiden, now a timid wreck as the Slann stared into her soul with his glowing eyes.
“Hail Azura, Daughter of the Amazons, will you accept Lord Tepec-Inzi as your lord and saviour? To follow him in all his pursuits and ambitions?” Inxi-Huinzi questioned for the final time. “If so, please-“
“KKKKNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLL!” Tepec-Inzi bellowed, with a voice as deep as that of a walrus…

  • Love React: Azura did in fact kneel before the Slann who in turn decided to remain for the rest of the ceremony. She was smothered in the same minerals and piss-water as Thalestris had been and was brought to the bonfire to receive the blessing of the Coatl. She was in luck, for a second Coatl appeared to bless her ascent to the status of monarch. Now Queen, she swore to the Slann to begin war-planning immediately.
  • Wow React: Azura knelt before the Slann who in turn decided to remain for the rest of the ceremony. She was smothered in the same minerals and piss-water as Thalestris had been and was brought to the bonfire to receive the blessing of the Coatl. However, it never appeared for Serpent God could not forgive her so readily. However, all was not over as Tepec-Inzi hovered forward and decided to crown her himself under the watchful eye of the Lizardmen’s pantheon, the first human in all history to have ever received such an honour.
  • Sad React: Azura knelt before the Slann despite what he did to her sister. With her loyalty assured, Tepec-Inzi allowed her to continue her coronation ceremony. However, a second Coatl never appeared upon being brought to the fire. Sending a great sense of shame both to her god and to her sister, Azura unsheathed a dagger from her costume and stabbed herself in the chest. The Lizardmen told the Amazons to declare another leader…
  • Laugh React: Princess Azura rejected Tepec-Inzi’s offer. However, rather than killing her now like he had with Thalestris, Tepec-Inzi simply turned and flew away while the Horned One Riders mounted up and rode off. Finally, Inxi-Huinzi proclaimed that “You will regret this decision.” before setting off himself as well.
  • Angry React: Azura rejected Tepec-Inzi’s offer who immediately rejected any notion of politeness in turn. Azura attempted to turn and run, or perhaps to reach for a blade with which to attack the Slann but either way the result was the same as Tepec-Inzi used his telekinetic powers to apply massive air pressure to her skull. The Slann pressed on, fracturing her skull under around 6 tonnes of pressure until finally, she jerked over onto the floor, with her forehead completely caved in.

Tepec-Inzi looked at the crowd’s terrified expressions and revealed the inevitable, there was no way these stubborn people would bow before him now that he had killed two of their queens. And so, Inxi-Huinzi cast a signal, leading to hundreds of skink skirmishers armed with javelins and even some chameleon skinks to appear from the bushes and begin throwing their projectiles at the unarmoured savages.
If the Amazons were suitably armed for battle or at least had some of their beasts on their side, they might have been able to put up a fight but as it was now, they didn’t stand a chance. The Amazons ran for their lives, as the occasional archer fired an arrow over her shoulder, but most were not quick enough to outrun the master skirmishers. One of the princesses, a huntress named Lysippe of the Emerald Jaguar Tribe, managed to outrun the Skinks through her excellent knowledge of the local vegetation but even then it was for nought, as she climbed a tall tree to discover that a second force of Lizardmen was approaching from the direction in which she had been running; an army of dinosaurs and sauri led by none other than the mighty Kroq-Gar himself who approached atop his carnosaur Grymlok. Hexoatl’s reinforcements had arrived and there truly was no place for the Amazons to run…

#Lorefight 112!

The Great Mortis Delta, the river estuary which separated Khemri from the Great Ocean, a land marked by desolation and the wails of jackals long since gone. For months Vlad Von Carstein has marched his army south in pursuit of the trail left by his late wife’s stolen chalice and now after all that, he arrived here.
Vlad looked around through this ruinous landscape as his loyal standard bearer Estroth the Silent sent the hounds off to re-discover the trail but all was for nought as after 3 days of searching, the trail had truly vanished.
However, this changed on the fourth day when two figures appeared atop an immense sand dune upon the horizon. Vlad approached them alone, telling Estroth to remain alert and to come to his aid should the situation deem fit. And so after 4 days of searching through this vile region, Vlad finally discovered what he was looking for.
He approached the two skeletal sorcerers who as he neared, began to speak in unison:“Hail Vashanesh, fallen King of Lahmia. We humbly bow before your grandeur mighty majesty. Listen to our words and rejoice for you shall soon stand before the Undying King, your worthless life given purpose anew. Please, follow us.”
The two led Vlad across the dune and revealed a portal to him which they commanded him to enter. He followed them, firing a single flare of energy from his sword into the air as a sign for Estroth to hold back on leading an attack, before entering the portal.
Vlad woke mere seconds later inside a dark chamber of hieroglyphed stone, a chamber without so much as a single gap in its walls to let the outside light in, let alone any windows. He stood to his feet and paced through the labyrinth of stone and then Vlad heard him.
“I still endure. You walk through my domain. A home occupied by spiders and worms who burrow through my chest. Yet I survive, I still stand against my enemies. I shall always do so, for I can do nought else. My will simmers like an exhausted flame, my power broken in two upon the altar of fate yet still the Great Necromancer remains vigilant. Nagash endures.”
Vlad followed the voice, guiding his hand along the stone walls to better grasp his senses and then he turned a final corner and came face to face with his master, no matter how he denied it. Before him sat the great skeleton of the Undying King, three times the size of any mortal man, upon its throne, totally motionless without the simplest glimmer of life or true existence within its frame. Yet the voice continued, emanating not from the skeleton but from the air above, just as stale and devoid of passion as the voice it carried.
“Nagashizzar is toppled. It’s great tower and obelisks turned to dust. Where it once stood rests only broken earth and the streets where a thousand warriors marched now heralds only the wailing of jackals and the wing-beats of carrion. Yet Nagash still endures. You could pull down the Sun or drain the oceans and I would still endure. Nagash is risen. The dead are mine. I rule the dead and the soon to be dead.”
Vlad interjected into Nagash’s monologue, proclaiming that the vampires needed no supreme ruler, only for Nagash to continue “The deceased known not of what they need. They will know their master and heed his call. However, even knowing this souls still slip my grasp and spirits flee my voice while thieves and invaders stalk this land in the night, digging up my tomes and taking from me that which is mine. You know what it means to be stolen from, do you not vampire?”
Vlad was almost startled for a moment as Nagash consciously directed his monologue towards him for the first time. “I stand here in search of my wife’s remains. I implore you tell me of their whereabouts or suffer my wrath.” Vlad commanded in response.
Nagash heard his demand and responded in kind as the echo of a chuckle danced across the air “You are in no place to make demands. What would you offer for her return?”
“Anything.” Vlad responded.
“Very well Von Carstein…but providence requires action. What will you offer me for Isabella?”
“If you truly have her, I could offer a declaration of fealty… across my entire bloodline if necessary, to you.”
“You and all your lineage would serve as mortarchs through all existence, through both death and undeath?”
“Where is my wife?”
Suddenly, the lifeless skeleton opened the fingers of its left hand, opening a stone doorway up until now hidden by the dark to the right side of the room. As the door unlocked, the two robed necrarchs entered once more, now followed by a Strigoi carrying a wrapped body over its shoulder.
“See how Nagash unites his mortarchs, whether master and duplicitous student as in W’Soran and Melchior or through the second wedding of lovers.” the voice of Nagash bellowed. It was then that Ushoran unwrapped the body, revealing a crude, empty shell akin to Vlad’s wife. Forged from the stretched skin and bones of Neferata, taped together by the webs of an Arachnarok Spider hunted and killed by Ushoran near Mount Arachnos, her hair constructed from the fibres of the reeds that grew next to the River Morris, her mouth slightly skewed to make up for all the marble chips which replaced her missing teeth,… truly this body Nagash’s minions had created was an abomination to Vlad’s memory of his departed wife.
Vlad instinctively moved his hand towards the hilt of his blade, intending to strike these monstrosities down for the insult that had befallen him.
“Stay your hand Vashanesh, for your King alone holds the power to revive the woman you love.” the Necrarchs spoke once more, still in unison.
“How?”
It was at this moment that the Necrarch apprentice Melchior lifted his robes, revealing that he had been carrying Isabella’s Chalice all this time while W’Soran clawed at a specific hieroglyph in the Pyramid’s wall, triggering another door to open which in turn opened an observation deck. It was now that it finally dawned on Vlad, the Black Pyramid was hovering directly above his army, far above the clouds. All this time it seems the chalice’s path had not faded, his army had simply never thought of checking this high above their heads!
“Approach his majesty” the three mortarchs commanded. Vlad stepped forward and knelt before the Undying King.
“Make of my enemies your enemies. Make of my mortarchs your allies. You will find the fiends who stole my power and strike them down before filling their bodies with mouldering air. Now, confesss your loyalty and I shall reunite you with your love once more. The Von Carsteins instilled with purpose anew.”

  • Love React: Vlad considered his position deeply before finally agreeing, pledging his loyalty to the Great Necromancer.

Nagash accepted his pledge, for through it Vlad’s soul would now be his and so Nagash’s skeletal body opened its mouth to unleash a stream of green energy which poured into Isabella’s makeshift body.
And so the vampire countess rose to her feet, revived into undeath. However, upon inspecting his risen wife’s body, Vlad discovered a terrible truth. Isabella was wholly sentient and conscious, yet she didn’t recognise who he was!
“I know not to trust the pledges of Vampires, Vashanesh. I have revived her mind but if you want her heart, you’ll need to earn it by finding my tomes. Prepare your armies my mortarch, the gates of Khemri await!” spoke Nagash before recoiling into his decrepit skeletal once more…..

  • Wow React: Vlad initially agreed to the Great Necromancer’s offer, waiting until Nagash had resurrected Isabella to the point of sentience before pulling his sword out and plunging it straight into Nagash’s chest. The Blood Drinker’s necrotic magics seeped into Nagash’s body, stunning the Lord of Undeath in place as Vlad ran over to the semi-revived Isabella, dodging blasts from the necrarchs and avoiding Ushoran’s pounces.

From there he picked Isabella up and lifted her over his shoulder as he ran back to Nagash to reclaim his blade. He withdrew it, causing Nagash to instantly regain mobility who proceeded to rise from his throne to attack the insolent vampire. However, rather than waiting for Nagash or his mortarchs to kill them, Vlad swung Isabella into his arms and dove from the observation deck/balcony of the Black Pyramid.
As the two former spouses fell to their deaths, Vlad wrapped his ring-bearing hand around Isabella’s own, hoping it would revive the both of them upon impact. Meanwhile Nagash and his Mortarchs looked down upon Vlad’s army on the surface and prepared their own…….

  • Angry React: Vlad rejected Nagash’s offer outright, swearing he would never serve the Necromancer again and plunged his sword deep into Nagash’s chest. The sword dug into Nagash’s body and begun to drain Nagash of his essence while Vlad leapt towards Ushoran and proceeded to beat the Strigoi with his blood soaked, armoured fists.

W’Soran and Melchior came to Ushoran’s aid and began to blast their gaze spells at Vlad only to discover that their spells were significantly weaker than usual on account of their master’s weaker state. After one final cracking of Ushoran’s skull, Vlad stood up and grabbed onto Melchior’s right arm, tearing it from his socket with ease before kicking both necrarchs to the floor with his greaves.
Finally, Vlad returned to the stunned Nagash who despite complete silence, Vlad could tell was in utter agony. He stared into Nagash’s nebulous black eye sockets and spoke “I hope you can hear me. I hope you know what I’m about to do to you. You took my wife’s remains from me, robbed her of her death, replaced her body with one almost as grotesque as your own. You made her nothing more than a message in a bottle to bring me hear and you broke my heart in doing so. You violated something more important than mere life and death, you used our love against us. For that, you die!”
And so with one final move, Vlad grabbed the hilt of his blade and pushed it further into Nagash’s body, unleashing its full sapping potential as Nagash’s cold form finally burst into a storm of necromancy, setting millions of souls free to rest as red winds of death gushed around the room. Meanwhile, without their master’s binding Ushoran, W’Soran and Melchior all began to crumble before finally disintegrating, leaving nothing but a pile of sand beneath where each of them had stood. ….

  • Laugh React: Vlad rejected Nagash’s offer outright and charged towards the three mortarchs. Filled with rage for what they had done to his wife, Vlad shrugged off the Necrarch’s spells and thrust his blade toward Ushoran as he pounced, causing the Strigoi Ghoul King to impale himself upon the Blood Drinker. Having dealt with Ushoran, Vlad approached the two necrarchs who in turn each withdrew a khopesh-styled tomb blade from their robes in unison. Vlad engaged them in battle, hacking and slashing at what little remained of their bodies, parrying W’soran’s blade as his other arm scraped against the steel of Melchior’s spellblade until he eventually managed to grip Melchior’s chest with that exposed hand. Having grasped Melchior’s chest, Vlad moved his hand up the Necrarch’s body and wrapped his claws around its neck before finally snapping Melchior’s neck bones and ramming his skull against W’Soran’s head to knock him down before finishing the elder Necrarch off with a single sword strike.

Having defeated the three mortarchs, Vlad turned to Nagash and plunged the Blood Drinker in his chest. However, nothing happened, nothing suggested that Nagash was experiencing even the slightest bit of pain. Vlad inspected Nagash’s body, totally motionless, totally silent, except for one feature. His hand was still open from when he opened the door to his mortarchs but his fingers were starting to close!
Vlad did all he could to prevent Nagash from closing his fist but it was useless for these brittle fingers held untold hidden strength until finally, Nagash closed his fist and crushed Vlad’s hand inside. The closed fist sent shockwaves of burning energy through Vlad’s body, scorching his skin and blazing through his armour before spreading and shattering Vlad’s ring. And so after enduring hundreds of lifetimes, Vlad Von Carstein died for the final time at Nagash’s fingertips. ….

  • Sad React: Vlad rejected Nagash’s offer and plunged his sword through the Great Necromancer’s chest only to discover there was no effect whatsoever. “A pity. You would have served me well.” Suddenly, both Necrarchs blasted Vlad off his feet with Gaze of Nagash spells, causing him to drop his blade which Ushoran picked it up and threw it away.

Vlad rose to his feet and answered the Necrarchs’ spellcasting with his own spells. Lore of Vampires and Lore of Death spells were flung between the parties as each attempted to dispel their foes spell until Ushoran pounced once more, this time landing behind Vlad so he could grab the Von Carstein patriarch’s arms and pull them up behind his back. Vlad struggled to free himself from Ushoran’s lock hold but it was too late for without his own magical prowess he could not protect himself from W’Soran and Melchior who were unrelenting in their death magic. Finally, Vlad dropped dead, having had his spirit completely leeched and his body blasted by dozens of successfully-impacting damage spells.
With Vlad dead Nagash raised Isabella though this time without any knowledge of who she was or the people she knew in her former life. Instead, he replaced all of that with a deep-seated longing to fulfil the will of Nagash, something he wished to rest by sending her and his three mortarchs down to claim Vlad’s former army for their own…

#Lorefight 111!

Tensions are running high in the Empire. While Balthasar Gelt travels the mountains to the East trying to find a cure for the Emperor’s leglessness, the Empire has known great suffering. Altdorf lies in rubble, the Capital has been moved to Nuln, The Elector Count for Middenland is dead, Averland was threatened by a vampiric invasion and most recently, the town of Essen in Ostermark was sacked by a Khornate army, resulting in the local hero known as Valten falling into a coma as a result of an incident with three Halfling chefs.
Following all these tragedies, the Imperial Grand Marshal, Kurt Helborg, has come up with a new strategy to prevent further invasions. Kislev, the famed Realm of the Ice Queen, has been under great strain as of late due to an Ungol uprising in Praag which forced the Tzarina to mobilise the Gryphon Legion away from the Northern border to quell the rebellion. Indeed, if the gryphon legion had been active in the North as they should have been, it may have been far more difficult for Aarbal and his Khornate army to cross into Ostermark in the first place. However, if the uprisings in Praag could be crushed once and for all, Kislev may be able to return to its original role as first bulwark against any future chaos invasions.
As such, Helborg dispatched Ludwig Schwartzhelm, the Emperor’s Champion now famed throughout the Empire for ending the Imperial Dragon’s rampage after the goblin Grabnatz Sourbelly released it during the Greenskin sacking of Altdorf, to travel to Kislev accompanied by the Knights of the Black Bear, who hail from his native province of Averland, such that the revolts in Praag May finally be crushed, at which point the knights will reinforce the Gryphon Legion on the Northern border against future chaos incursions while Ludwig will travel East into the mountains to assist Balthasar Gelt and Karl Franz in their quest to restore the Emperor’s legs.
However, for as clear as Helborg’s orders may be, nothing could prepare Ludwig and the knights for the journey ahead. From the moment they crossed Ostermark’s border and first stepped foot in Kislev, it was clear that no outsider could ever cross this wretched nation safely for a thick layer of snow covered all land just as the constant mist of blizzard’s hung before their eyes no matter where they went.
Weeks passed for Schwartzhelm and his knights as they went round in a circle for perhaps the eighth time. They figured they were near Bolgasgrad by now, although truth be told they could just as easily be as far behind as Lynsk or even Ostrody. They wondered about the nature of this endless unforgiving blizzard, of whether it possessed natural or chaotic foundations, of whether it would ever clear enough for them to see more than four yards ahead and most controversially, of whether this storm was under control of the Tzarina. Still they trudged through the harsh wilderness of the Dobryrion without any notion of whether they were still following the same path they had started on. Days passed and the weather only seemed to worsen. Food in their satchels went hard with frost, their beards were constantly filled by snow and their horses collapsed under the sheer weight of the cold.
But all was not yet lost for just when all seemed over, a beautiful maiden appeared in the distance. A lady of fair complexion dressed in a shimmering silver gown with long locks of hair whiter than snow and a circlet of icicles floating around her head approached. As she neared, the icicles emitted a magical aura which cleared the winds and falling snow from her advance, allowing her to save the knights as she neared.
The maiden professed to be an Ice Witch in service to the Tzarina who, having been stranded by this endless blizzard, was living in a nearby forest for the winter. She invited the knights to stay with her and showed them the way for her aura enabled her to travel through the wastes without becoming lost.
The lady took them through the blizzard into a nearby forest, still covered by snow but at least no longer afflicted by Kislev’s winds. She guided them through the forest and over a stream via an old, rickety bridge until finally, they reached the point she called home, a large shack based within a grove filled with twigs and stray branches, as if it were a bird’s nest, and surrounded by a ring of bones which the Enchantress claimed were to ward her home from Beastmen incursions.
She led Schwarzhelm and the Black Bear knights into her home, a surprisingly spacious building with a long dining table and two hog-roasts cooking on a spit over a fire. She invited the knights to sit at or stand around the table as she carved slices for the near-starving men, all while glancing and offering sultry smiles to their commander.
Once the food had been handed out, the knights dug into their meal while the sorceress took Ludwig’s hand and took him back outside where the two began to exchange long sensual kisses between one another before she pulled away once more. She proceeded to undress herself, removing her long gown and stripping down to her knickers and stockings while she motioned for him to do the same, claiming she would shield him from the cold, besides the cold never bothered her anyway…

  • Love React: Ludwig removed his armour and joined her in the snow. They laid together atop its soft cushion as she sat above him and stroked his bare, muscled chest with her long delicate fingernails before proceeding to make love with him once again. As the knights gorged themselves on the Ice Witch’s sausages inside, Ludwig introduced her to his…

….

  • Wow React: Ludwig followed the Ice Witch’s lead by removing his armour before approaching her. The two lovers embraced each other once more in intimate lovemaking when suddenly, the enchantress removed her icy crown. The temperature dropped by almost 40 degrees in seconds as the blizzard winds set in once more, causing Ludwig to freeze to death before he could even stand, let alone dress himself.

With Schwartzhelm lying frozen in the snow, the Ice Witch returned to her shack where the knights had all been turned into pigs, all ready for her next feast! ….

  • Sad React: Ludwig remained cautious to undress himself so the witch approached him instead, wrapping her arms around his neck and kissing him once more. “I just-“ the enchantress placed a finger on his lips before redirecting that finger to point towards her shack. Ludwig stood in utter shock as he watched the witch’s home sprout two legs akin to those of a chicken and stand up! Ludwig ran towards the shack to save his men but it was too late as the house turned and ran from him at incredible speed with his men inside. Still he ran after the mobile home, even removing his greaves so he could run faster but to no avail.

Alas by the time he caught up it was too late, for the shack had dumped his men in the freezing river, causing all of them to die from a combination of drowning and hypothermia as their heavy suits of armour prevented them from swimming to safety. He later discovered that neither a single trace of the home, nor its nest, nor the witch nor even the ring of beastmen bones remained, leaving him alone in this empty forest as the winter winds rode in……………

Despite following along until now, Ludwig had been lured into similar traps before and so decided to drop the act and unsheathe his Sword of Justice, a magical blade adorned with Dwarf runes handed down to the Emperor’s champion across the generations. The Ice Witch feigned ignorance, asking what the matter was but he saw through her; for despite her pretence her kisses betrayed her. The witch may carry the guise of a beauty, but her breath concealed her true status for it reeked with the stench of garlic, mushrooms and slugs.


Ludwig ran toward her and so with the imminent threat to her life, she discarded her veil and revealed her true form as Baba Yaga, the horrifying Hag of the Forest.

  • Laugh React: Yaga fired a shard of ice magic towards Ludwig which he sliced in half before advancing towards her once more. The two clashed in melee as his sword clanged against the shaft of her staff which much like its owner, turned out to be as strong as iron rather than the comparatively weak staff of birch wood it appeared to be. The two exchanged strikes until Ludwig’s runes finally enabled his sword to break the enchantment on the witch’s staff, allowing him to slice it in two and stab her through the heart.

While Yaga bled out onto the ground, Ludwig returned to the shack just as his peers were about to dig into the cursed food. He instructed them to pack up and move on, this wasn’t a safe place to stay. …

  • Angry React: Ludwig ran towards his foe with haste only to be blindsided when Baba Yaga projected an icicle straight through the left side of his jaw. The frozen shard tore through his skin, causing him to yell in agony as Yaga intensified her attack by tapping into the lore of dark magic to cast a Word of Pain on her enemy. The knights heard their commander’s yelling outside and rushed to the door to protect him only to find the door to the shack frozen from the outside.

With no means of aid available to him, Schwartzhelm attempted to stand only to receive a punch to his face from the witch whose fists collided with his face like a ton of bricks. The knights all slashed at the frozen door with their blades but by the time they finally got out, it was too late to save their master who’d been savagely beaten to death.
The knights prepared to avenge their master only to cower at her sight as she began to cast an avalanche spell. “Go!” was all she had to say to them as a mountain in the distance began to crumble.
And so as the Knights of the Black Bear fled for their lives from the Forest Hag of Kislev, the moral of the story was clear. No outsider can seek to cross the Dobryrion of Kislev and survive!

#Lorefight 110!

Nippon, Land of the Rising Sun, realm of the mighty samurai and as of recently, Prince Tyrion of Ulthuan’s new home until the season passed or the Druchii lost control over Tor Elithis. Throughout his short stay here, Tyrion had already seen and done much, having fought off a revolt by the nationalist samurai Sanyo Kawasaki and survived riots on the streets of Usaki, the Capital of Nippon, on account of price hikes on Elven imports. Yet it was not his battle with Kawasaki that brought Tyrion lasting consequences, it was his subsequent conversation with the samurai in prison where he handed him his sword and pleaded for the human to not commit suicide; for within two days of this meeting he was suddenly being summoned to the Court of the Shogun.
“Is anyone going to inform me as to why I’m being summoned here?” Tyrion called as he was lead into the court by a group of samurai known as Hatamoto, retainers specially selected by the late emperor for their loyalty to his dynasty on the battlefield.
The samurai all stood silently as a figure entered the room wearing red samurai armour and a helmet so large it encompassed long strands of silver hair within its frame to impress its owner’s wisdom upon those who saw him. “You have been brought here at my charge, Tyrion, Prince of Elves. You stand accused of consulting and supplying arms to the sentenced traitor, Sanyo Kawasaki, by no less than 4 guard witnesses. Do you accept these observations to be true?”
Tyrion gasped for a second, surprised this was even an issue as he responded with “Well of course I did. Kawasaki requested his blade during his trial. And who are you to question me anyway? I cannot be on trial.”
“Hold your tongue elf, you speak to Yoritomo Ieyasu, Shogun of Nippon. Do you normally supply weapons to prisoners just because they requested them in Ulthuan? Just because a prisoner requests an honourable suicide, does not mean that the court should accept such a plea.”
“I…I thought the trial had concluded in favour of such an outcome.”
“Regardless, it is up to the Imperial court to ratify the decision of that tribunal. Have you even the vaguest comprehension of the problem you have created for us, never mind the constitutional implications of such unilateral actions.”
“But surely the death wishes of a samurai must be honoured. To reject such a fate would make him a Ronin after all?” Tyrion questioned.
“Indeed it would which is why it would simply be better to defer the case indefinitely, that way the samurai lives out his days in prison without ever breaking his oaths. Instead, you have forced him into making a decision that should never be made by one man alone. Do you even know if he still breathes elf?”
“He was still alive when I came to pray for him the morning afterwards. I promised not to see him again from then on….But surely if this is such an issue you could simply disarm Kawasaki?”
“What an outrageous suggestion! Consider how many of my men could die trying to disarm him.”
“Well then I could do it for you.” Tyrion suggested.
“I want you nowhere near Sanyo Kawasaki ever again. Do you understand that? You have caused enough issues already and frankly, you deserve to be imprisoned for what you have done.”
“I don’t think her highness would appreciate a suggestion like that, Shogun. It would surely affect any friendships she may hold with my people.” Tyrion said before gesturing to a set of stands above where a woman clad in red robes was sitting on a gilded throne within the confines of a glass box, a woman who Tyrion deduced was in fact Jungi, wife to the late Emperor of Nippon who died in questionable circumstances and acting Empress of Nippon until such a time that a successor may be crowned.
“Be that as it may, you have created significant political upheaval and so I must request that you leave Usaki Castle, Prince of Lothern.”
“And where am I to go, Shogun? You are of course aware that I cannot sail home.”
At that moment a servant (who Tyrion suspected to be a eunuch) approached the Shogun and handed him a scroll which the Ieyasu proceeded to look at. “It seems you are in luck elf. Our agents have spotted a raft of Northern ships approaching the Kiroshima-Wan coastline to the North-East. Our armies in the region are well prepared to face them but if you’re so desperate to be a hero, I recommend you go give them a hand. Perhaps you can reduce civilian casualties while we clear up the mess you’ve caused.”
And so Tyrion left the Shogun’s court in partial disgrace for his blunder. He had only done what he knew to be right yet clearly he should have been more cognisant of the ways in which legal verdicts were handled in this foreign land. Tyrion entered a set of stables where his squire, Princess Eldyra of Tiranoc, was tending to his horse Malhandir and her own steed Maladhros.
Eldyra: “How did it go?”
Tyrion: “I’ll tell you once we’re under way.”
Eldyra: “So we’re going somewhere then?”
Tyrion: “You’ve got that right, Norscan raiders are coming Kiroshima is 5 days ride from here.”
Eldyra: “I’ll make sure the you and the Silver Helms are well stocked then.”
Tyrion: “Oh no little hummingbird, you’re coming with us.”
Eldyra: “But I…I’m not ready…I’ve never fought Norsemen before.”
Tyrion: “Well there’s always a first time for something. Besides, you’ve come a long way since I found you crying at a shrine….and none of the Princes at court laugh at you any more now do they?”
Eldyra: *Chuckling to herself lightly* “Not sure any of them would dare with you standing by me.”
Tyrion: “Exactly. Now, are you not Eldyra, Squire to Tyrion?”
Eldyra: “Yes, I am.”
Tyrion: “And is Tyrion known for training poor squires?”
Eldyra: “No.”
Tyrion: “See? You’ll be fine. Now come on little hummingbird, time to suit up.”
And so with Eldyra’s morale restored and their steeds’ fully stocked, Tyrion, Eldyra and his regiment of silver helms known as the Knights of Alabast set off on their journey to the North-Eastern coast of Nippon to fend off the Norscan invaders.
………………………………..5 Days Later……………………………
Having traversed valley-sides, mountain tops and great fields of rice and lotus blossoms, the elven riders finally reached their destination. Upon arriving at the coastline where the Norscan were set to land tonight, Tyrion was introduced to Datashi Matsunorii, Daimyo of the Datashi Clan, who was in charge of this coastline’s defences. A rather secretive fellow who rarely travelled to the capital to take part in its politicking, Datashi never declared an allegiance when Kawasaki’s rebellion took up arms, causing many at court to suspect that he privately sympathised with the rebels but lacked the boldness to declare war against the Emperor, though such allegations could never be verified of course. Datashi took Tyrion and his allies along the beaches to oversee the hidden defences they had planned, suggesting that his men could thwart the Norscans themselves yet never quite went as far as admitting that he didn’t appreciate the elves’ help. And so, with spearmen and archers nestled in bushes and cavalry hiding behind sand dunes, they all sat and waited in silence.
Hours passed and the sun began to set as darkness rolled in. However, just before the last few remaining glimmers of light could finally fade, the Norscan ships came into view. Five longboats each bearing the bear-pawed symbol of the Ursfjordings upon their sales came into view upon the horizon. Tyrion recognised these sails as hailing from the Great Hall of Urslo based in the Ursfjord and instantly realised that the Daimyo had underestimated his enemy for these were not mere Norscan marauders, they were touched by the taint of the Were!
300 Norscans disembarked and immediately got to work, using their enhanced sense of smell to sniff out the Nipponese warriors that were concealed within these beaches. Men were torn from their hovels and immediately hacked to death by Norscan steel, forcing the Daimyo to blow his horn and signal a full scale attack. Nipponese infantrymen clashed into the Norscan ranks, covered by arrow fire while Datashi personally circled round for stragglers with his cavalry guard and Tyrion unsheathed his blade to lead his Knights into the fray. The battle was fierce while Eldyra held back, fearful of what may happen if she made any errors and then she saw him; Beorg Bearstruck, son of Bran,

Champion of Chaos and chieftain of the Ursfjordings, who stood at over 7 feet in height clad from head to toe beneath an adult grizzly bear’s pelt, disembarking and charging into battle with his Norse great-axe in hand. Sensing that this was her chance to prove her mentor proud, Eldyra directed Maladhros to attack the pelt-wearing chieftain…….

  • Angry React: Eldyra charged towards Beorg Bearstruck at full throttle with her father’s sword in her hand and the shield in the other. However, Beorg saw her coming across the field and anticipated her charge, causing him to duck just as she had planned to stab him and swing at her steed’s front legs with his axe, sending it crashing to the ground and her flying.

As she picked herself back up, Beorg swung his axe into Maladhros’ neck before turning to his prey. He charged at her with an overhead swing which she blocked with her shield only for him to pull her sword from her hand once she thrusted toward him. He swung twice more which she narrowly avoided with her shield until finally, he lodged his axe firmly into her shield thus enabling him to pull it from her hands before knocking her to the ground with a sharp elbow thrust. Beorg proceeded to pull out a pair of iron manacles and cuffed both of Eldyra’s hands and feet before chucking her into the hull of his longboat to be taken and sold on a Norscan slavers market. While this was happening, Tyrion was far too busy fighting Beorg’s marauders to notice his squire’s disappearance until it was all too late. Many Norscans had indeed died at Tyrion and the Nipponese warrior’s hands but it mattered not for Beorg had escaped with a far greater prize than he initially anticipated, a Princess of Tiranoc in his possession! ….

  • Wow React: Eldyra gripped her father’s blade and rode straight for Beorg atop her Tiranoc charger. She felt the wind woosh across her brow as she sped up, faster and faster until she came into a range and stuck her blade straight through Beorg’s chest before he could even react. Beorg Bearstruck fell to the ground and gurgled his last few words under a stream of blood before finally dying.

With the chieftain defeated, many marauders instantly turned and fled to their longboats while Tyrion’s knights finished those who remained off. As the Norscans fled back to the sea Tyrion rode over to Eldyra to congratulate her, removing her helmet so he could hug her probably for her first battlefield kill. However as the two comforted each other Tyrion remained cautious, noticing that nobody else was celebrating their victory nor even congratulating each other for their efforts. It was quiet, much too quiet.
And then it struck, as an arrow flew through the air and pierced the back of Eldyra’s skull. Tyrion held Eldyra in his arms as tears fell from his sockets while her own eyes glazed over only for his mourning to be interrupted when two samurai approached him with their katana’s unsheathes, forcing him to drop Eldyra so he could fight them off. Meanwhile spearmen approached the Knights of Alabast, attempting to kill them before they could turn tail and run.
After slaying both samurai, Tyrion lifted Eldyra over his shoulder and proceeded to carry her towards Malhandir only for him to take an arrow to his greaves while loading her onto his horse. He mounted his horse and set off to out-gallop these rouge samurai, quickly catching up with his fellow fleeing silver helms, yet the Daimyo was in pursuit with over 60 mounted samurai at his back armed with a combination of bows and lances. They fired their arrows, killing a few more silver helms as they caught up while other silver helms survived the arrow fire only to be stabbed in the back by a lance once the samurai caught up thanks to their lighter armoured cavalry. Only Tyrion’s steed managed to outperform the samurai horde, even while clad in Ithilmar armour, and so managed to pick up pace until finally, Tyrion escaped the Daimyo’s warriors. Tyrion rode off into the countryside, injured by arrow fire and with a dying squire strapped to his saddle… …………As the battle pressed on night began to roll in. The clouds parted overhead and Morrslieb appeared in all its glory as a full moon. Meanwhile, the Norscans seemed to be growing stronger, almost as if there was a link between the two…
While his men simply grew stronger, Beorg Bearstruck underwent a transformation as he threw his helm to the ground and took in the moonlight. He removed his boots and un-clipped his armour, leaving only the bear hide he wore on his back in place. His face mutated, rounding out as his mouth and nose began to protrude from his facial expression, his ears grew, his teeth sharpened and fur sprouted from all across his body as his own hands and feet mutated into the paws of a bear while each one of his fingers and toes stuck to each other and lengthened into the size of daggers. Beorg grew in size until finally the bear-skin he wore on his back fused with his own skin, creating a hideous hybrid of Norscan and bear. Beorg let out a series of bear-like growls (

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPwxqy11MrI) and entered the battle……

  • Sad React: Regardless of the Norscan chieftain’s new state, Eldyra knew she must stand by her vows and so charged straight for her adversary. Beorg was now more animal than man and so he saw her coming, causing him to charge towards her in response. Horse and bear strode towards one another, picking up speed as they did so until finally, the two clashed. The bear-man leapt towards the horse, battering it over and knocking Eldyra from her saddle.

She attempted to stand and fight only for the Beorg to immediately jump on top of her and attempt to bite through her chestplate. His teeth scraped across her armour while his paws slashed through her armguards. Suddenly, the bear flipped her over and Beorg bit her back before using his jaws to shake Eldyra around. The shaking became more and more violent as the bear clawed at her back randomly, mauling her beneath its immense strength. Eldyra screamed in agony before finally being killed when the bear shook her a final time, snapping her neck.
The Norscans continued to fight until finally they were pushed back to their ships by Tyrion and the Daimyo’s forces. Sadly, it was much too late for the Princess of Tiranoc who’d long been mauled by the Norscan chieftain. ….

  • Love React: Regardless of the Norscan chieftain’s new state, Eldyra knew she must stand by her vows. She charged straight towards her adversary atop her steed, while he was now more animal than man. But the bear saw her coming and so began to charge towards her too. Horse and bear strode towards one another, picking up speed as they did so until finally, the two clashed. The bear-man leapt towards the horse, battering it over and knocking Eldyra from her saddle. Still she stood to her feet and swung at the bear with her father’s blade, the bear swung at her with its paws but she evaded them with her shield and pressed on with her attack, slashing at the beast’s fur with her shield though no single swing was quite able to pierce the bear’s hide.

Beorg growled in anger once more before knocking Eldyra to her feet by slashing at her face. The bear clambered on top of her and began biting her wildly. However, just as Eldyra seemed to be done for, Beorg’s fur suddenly set alight as Tyrion appeared behind him and stabbed the bear through his back with Sunfang. The bear died instantly and Tyrion lifted its paws so that Eldyra could escape before its corpse crushed her. Eldyra and Tyrion went on to defeat the rest of Beorg’s crew, though privately Tyrion was rather disappointed that Eldyra had needed his help. ….

  • Laugh React: Regardless of the Norscan chieftain’s new state, Eldyra charged straight for her adversary atop her steed but the bear saw her coming and so began to charge towards her too. Her horse clashed with the bear and reared up onto its hind legs to kick the bear’s face with its front hooves.

The bear-man continued to leap towards the horse but was consistently knocked down, enabling Eldyra to swing at the beast with her sword. Beorg raised his paw to slash her only to be dismembered by a swing of her sword, before being stabbed through the head one final time by the Elven princess. And so Eldyra joined Tyrion to finish the Norscans off. The two fought valiantly alongside each other, decapitating bearmen in their dozens and celebrated together with the Daimyo’s troops once the Ursfjordings had fled.

#Lorefight 109!

The fighting pits of Clar Karond located along the Soulshil Strand, where former Hag Queen and ally to Morathi, Anethra Helbane, has known nought but suffering for the last several months. Since her husband Duriath had set off for the invasion of Tor Elithis, Anethra has had to endure some of the worst conditions imaginable ever since she dared spread word that the true Witch King may yet be alive. From gladiator fights to unarmed combat against the many hellish beasts owned by Rakarth of Karond Kar to watching her own son Nurekh be dropped off a cliff, Queen Hellebron has seen to it that Anethra’s jailor, Venhil Chillblade the Drachau of Clar Karond himself, did all he could to show what would happen to those who questioned the Witch Queen’s rule. Though her magic had enabled Anethra to survive thus far, it had taken its toll on her due to overuse, causing her life force to sap, her body to age at an enhanced rate and most alarmingly, to develop the tell-tale molluscoid changes to her back that underpin the first stages of chaos mutation.
However, fate had something else in mind for Anethra when one night, while languishing in her filth-sodden cell with her ankles chained to the ground and her wrists latched onto the ceiling, a relative came to visit. Could it be her husband, finally returned from war to rescue her?
No, it wasn’t Duriath but salvation seemed to have come nonetheless for it was her adopted son Khelthrai who had come to her cell.
Khelthrai, whose name meant Bloody Death, was a youthful man by Elven standards who through his ambition had sought out more powerful allies than his own family could provide, even once killing his own mother to prove his loyalty to the Helbanes. His ruthlessness and dedication were indeed recognised and so in return Anetbra had her granddaughter Ylandria induct the young Dark Elf into the cult of Executioners in Har Ganeth a few centuries back and though she had scarcely seen him in centuries, Anethra knew it must have been him who had come when a single elf dressed in executioner garb came to save her.
The executioner revealed himself to indeed be Khelthrai and told her to open her mouth so he could pour a cup of water for her before unshackling her manacles. With his stepmom freed, Khelthrai took Anethra down a series of tunnels to her freedom as she barely hobbled along on her spell-staff turned walking stick yet Anethra recognised this path…it was the same one she had taken so many times to the main arena of the fighting grounds. Anethra hesitated for a second as Khelthrai turned to her saying “Come on, father’s waiting for you just outside the grounds. The exit is on the other side of the arena but we must hurry! Chillblade could be here any second!”
While she found it odd that Duriath would wait outside, she had indeed never seen someone leave the fighting pits from this side of the complex, thereby lending some credence to the notion that the exit must really be on the other side of the stadium. And so Anethra stepped through the door onto the stadium floor with Khelthrai following close behind her but after only three steps, she heard a The heard the jangling of keys and the clicking sound of the door behind her being locked closed.
Anethra grasped her staff firmly in her hands and took a death breath before turning to speak to her traitorous son. “So it comes down to this. My own son.”
Khelthrai grasped his greatsword and responded “The Executioners have but one mother alone…and you betrayed her, you made our Queen your enemy.”
To make matters worse for the imprisoned Hag Queen, Anethra suddenly heard a set of hands clapping from the stands, revealing that they had been watched this whole time. Venhil Chillblade, Drachau of Clar Karond, rose to his feet revealing his position to Anethra as a great manticore suddenly flew overhead and landed shortly near him. “You should have seen this coming Helbane, the boy has killed a mother before after all.” Venhill gloated from the stands as Khelthrai approached his foster mother with his blades in his hands while his regiment of Executioners known as the Crimson Draichs covered all possible escape routs and came down from the stands.
“What makes you think I did not see such things before, Drachau?” Anethra called to the stands, “this is perfectly in-keeping with your queen’s barbarism. You may kill me, but know that the House of Helbane shall not fall without one final stand!”
“Enough!” Venhil yelled. “Kill her now boy, and you shall be rewarded with gifts beyond your wildest ambitions; Captain of the Executioners, Dreadlord of Har Ganeth, Lord-Marshal of the Witch Queen’s armies, ask and you shall receive….but only if you complete this task. Now, kill that traitorous witch!”
Khelthrai took a deep breath before lifting his blade high above his head to take a swing. Could he really kill another mother he wondered? Would he even be rewarded as Chillblade claimed or was this all a deception? Truthfully, he couldn’t know the answer to either question without going through with this action…..

  • Angry React: After a few seconds of deliberation Khelthrai made his decision and swung towards Anethra Helbane. The enfeebled Helbane matriarch ducked and evaded the swing of his blade before parrying his next attack against her staff. Anethra blocked a few more strikes with her staff but she knew that Khelthrai would inevitably get through this pitiful defence. As such, Anethra drew on the winds of magic to unleash a tide of destruction upon her assailant yet this mattered for nought, as her body was just too weak at this stage. For even a mere chillwind spell proved too straining on her body for her to maintain after a few seconds, resulting in Khelthrai slicing through this icy barricade in seconds. And so Khelthrai cast her spellstaff aside before proceeding to slice his blade straight through her neck, removing her head from her body once and for all.

….

  • Wow React: After a few seconds of deliberation Khelthrai made his decision and swung towards Anethra Helbane. However, while Khelthrai had been considering his morality, Anethra was planning for her mortality. For while he stood there with his blade, she had secretly been casting a horrifying spell known as the Power of Darkness on herself.

By casting this spell, Anethra had essentially signed her own death warrant for there was no way her weakened form could withstand the damage that would be incurred upon her by drawing on such unstable, raw power from the Realm of Chaos. Still, she pressed on knowing that if she were to die, she would rather perish in a blaze of magical glory than at a sword’s edge wielded by her enemies.
Her skin began to tear and flake off as if it were made from saw-dust, signalling to Khelthrai what she had done yet before he could act, she unleashed her final wrath. A Pit of Shades opened beneath her and instantly sucked both her and Khelthrai into the abyss from whence the incessant wailing of ‘those who dwell beyond’ boomed. Venhil Chillblade stood to his feet and attempted to mount his manticore’s saddle to escape the event horizon while the terrified Crimson Draichs struggled to hold onto the stands only for the floorboards and seats to be torn up, causing them to be dragged off screaming into the void.
Venhil sat on his manticore and ordered it to fly to safety. However, just as the mount was set to take off his saddle’s straps suddenly loosened on account of the void’s dragging force, causing Venhil and his saddle to slide off of the manticore’s back when it flew. As the manticore flew off to safety, Venhil screamed “Nuk! Come back you beast!” before being towed into the realm of shadow himself, followed shortly by the entirety of the stadium and all the guards and prisoners who dwelled within it. ………..As Khelthrai stood and wondered whether he could go through with this action, Venhil yelled once more “Do it boy! I will not stand for insubordination!”
Suddenly, a strange voice came from the distance shouting “You won’t stand at all, Chillblade. Today you die!”
Venhil and all the executioners peered towards a far corner of the stands, revealing a set of intruders. Duriath Helbane, Anethra’s faithful husband who despite Morathi’s war against Hellebron on the Isles of Tor Elithis, had sailed across the Far Sea in a small ship to avoid detection by Hellebron’s fleet, now stood atop the ramparts surrounded by a dozen of his most prized corsairs. “Templars of Spite, attack!” Duriath cried. ….

  • Sad React: Duriath and his corsairs advanced down the ramparts towards Anethra who herself was doing all she could to block Khelthrai from killing her, all while the Crimson Draichs descended to ensure her death and Venhil Chillblade mounted his manticore to attack.

The corsairs fought valiantly through the executioners with renewed morale despite their comparatively weaker training and then tragedy struck, for while Anethra did her best to fend off Khelthrai’s advances, one of his Draichs snuck up behind and stabbed her through the back.
Duriath turned to anger in his anger and advanced with ever greater fury, blocking attacks with his shield and slaying three executioners in quick succession. He pressed on, hoping he could take Anethra away to safety and nurse her wounds before she bled out until he was suddenly struck by the pounce of Venhil Chillblade’s manticore. The manticore clawed its way across Duriath’s body yet even now as the beast picked at him, Duriath Helbane continued to crawl along the sand-laden floorboards beneath him towards his dying wife. After several strikes the manticore finally clawed through the bones of his legs, causing them to amputate at the knees but still he dragged himself towards her, a mere torso of a man reaching for his long-absent wife while the manticore gorged itself on his lost shins. Duriath struggled towards Anethra in total agony as the shock began to ware off and the sheer weight of his injuries dawned on him as he bled out from where his legs had been but in the end it was all for nothing as Khelthrai walked over and thrust his sword through Duriath’s back. After sailing half-way around the world and even committing treason against his queen, Duriath Helbane finally died with his arms still outstretched only a mere yard away from where his wife had fallen.
With the Helbanes dealt with, Chillblade went onto assist the Crimson Draichs in slaughtering Duriath’s men before setting off to find Duriath’s ship and the remainder of his traitorous crew. They soon found the ship moored within a nearby cove and Venhill ordered that every single one of the ship’s crew be tied to their masts before he set it ablaze, burning them and their vessel as an offering to Khaine. ….

  • Laugh React: Duriath and his corsairs advanced down the ramparts towards Anethra who herself was doing all she could to block Khelthrai from killing her, all while the Crimson Draichs descended to ensure her death.

And so a mighty battle between executioners and corsairs broke out as the corsairs made up for their comparatively weaker training with enhanced morale to save the Helbane matriarch. As they fought, Venhill remained seated in the stands even picking at some blood-grapes as he and his manticore watched the show. And then tragedy struck, for while Anethra did her best to fend off Khelthrai’s advances, he eventually cast her staff aside and shoved his draich-sword through her chest.
Upon seeing his wife fall, Duriath broke through the ranks of the Crimson Draichs, killing 3 of them in quick succession as black tears went down his face before finally reaching Khelthrai. The aspiring captain of the Executioners and the Commander of the Temple of Spite Black Ark traded blows as Khelthrai’s greatsword clanged against Duriath’s shield while his own cutlass ricocheted off of Khelthrai’s shoulder-pads. They swung their blades ever more for each other as Duriath blocked a hit to his knees as Khelthrai evaded a swing towards his head when suddenly, Duriath lowered his arc and plunged his sword between the lining of Kelthrai’s stomach armour, stabbing him right through his kidneys.
Kelthrai fell to his knees and began to cough blood up while Duriath readied his blade for a finishing move. However, just as he was about to stab the executioner Khelthrai suddenly uttered two words in-between his gurgling. “Fa-ther, please.”
Duriath looked towards his bleeding wife before turning back to Khelthrai “I only had one son. Your queen dropped him off a cliff. For Nurekh.” and with that Duriath sliced his blade through Khelthrai’s throat, dropping the executioner to the ground instantly.
With his step-son finally dead, Duriath approached his wife and picked her up in his arms to return to the ship only to hear a clapping sound from the stands.
“Well done, well done Helbane. I honestly doubted you or any of your feasible household had that in you.” Venhil Chillblade spoke mockingly.
“Come down here and fight me Chillblade.”
“No, I don’t think I will. Draichs disperse!” *The Crimson Draichs ceased fighting the corsairs and began to funnel themselves out of the stands.* “Farewell Helbane, we shall meet again I am sure. It’s been a pleasure.” Venhill laughed before mounting his manticore and flying off to Clar Karond.
And so Duriath and the remaining corsairs took Anethra back to the ship. She was bleeding heavily and given her weakened state, it would be unlikely that she would make a full recovery but Duriath was confident she would survive. Husband and wife had been reunited after so very long…..

  • Love React: Duriath and his corsairs advanced down the ramparts towards Anethra where Khelthrai still pondered his actions.

“Kill her now boy, before it is too late!” Venhil Chillblade cried. Only for Khelthrai to speak in return “I…I choose family.”
The Drachau of Clar Karond instantly yelled in anger “What?! The Witch Queen shall see your head for this insolence! Draichs, dispose of him. Dispose of them all!”
But the Executioners stood completely motionless, as if they hadn’t heard a word that the Drachau had spoken. “What is this?” Venhil snapped once more. “I am their captain, they only listen to me. Crimson Draichs, slay the Drachau!”
“No, no you cannot do this to me! I am Venhil Chillblade, Drachau of Clar Karond, Rear to the Witch Queen, Master of Ships, The Doom Lord, he who purged Daldrach! Stay back, stay back I say! Nuk, get me out of here!”
But despite all his grand words, nothing could save Venhil Chillblade now. He attempted to mount his manticore only for it to immediately be decapitated by the blade of an executioner, followed shortly by Chillblade’s own head being removed from his body.
And so Khelthrai and the Crimson Draichs made their way back to the escape ship with the corsairs, knowing that they would need as much of a head-start as possible to given who they had just killed. But as they prepared the ship, Duriath and Anethra finally had the chance to come together once more, embracing each other in the deepest of kisses and love-making. They may have changed since last they had seen each other, but their love had brought them back together nonetheless. The Helbanes live on!

#Lorefight 108!

Having negotiated a terrific payment of gold blocks ranging at the value of 250,000 gold coins with the Phoenix Court of Lothern in exchange for the first Everqueen’s Tiara known as the Aster Feather, Marco Colombo returned to his ship with a spring in his step.
“All aboard lads, the money is ours!“ Colombo cried. “Señor Montero, raise the anchor! Signore Petrochilo hoist the sails! Mr Bill man the helm! Monsieur Chambeau clear the rudder for use!”
“Aye aye Capitan!” Colombo’s crew set off from the Straits of Lothern with their bounty in tow and plenty of supplies to fill their guts with. Once they were far enough away from Asur monitoring, Tullaris Dreadbringer was removed from the cubbyhole in which he had hidden and spoke to Colombo, “You chose to keep me then?”
Colombo: “Yes, I figured I could use someone with your set of skills moving forward. I hope you don’t mind not rotting in a cell for the rest of your life.”
Tullaris: “And the treasure?”
Colombo: “All on ship, nothing can stop us now.”
Tullaris: “And now that you have this treasure, where is it we are actually going, captain?”
Colombo: “How far East have you been executioner?”
Tullaris: “I’m not sure. It’s all relative to whether you consider Naggarond as western or eastern I think.”
Colombo: “Well, we’re going pretty far East, that I can tell you. Next stop, the Kingdoms of Ind!
……………………Some Time Later…………………………………….
Colombo’s ship sat motionless in the open sea, somewhere off the Bay of Araby. The winds had died and the ship would scarcely sail without losing plenty of load. Tullaris Dreadbringer was lying on the ship’s bow fiddling with a rope as the bright sun shone overhead, trying to keep himself from killing Señor Montero who was presently vomiting for the third time today from sea sickness. He wasn’t sure how long they had been at sea but it must have been quite some time given the tan he was developing, a truly unusual event for a Druchii to experience. Their supplies were running low, having run out of rum and beer about a week ago and likely to extinguish their supply of water in a matter of days.
As his crew sat exhausted on deck waiting for the tide to pick up, Colombo stood up top on the bridge, desperately alternating between his maps and compass and peering to the horizon with his spyglass. He swore up and down that they were nearing Sudenburg where they could restock but all his predictions had been disproven thus far.
Finally tearing the rope apart from frustration, Tullaris rose to his feet and paced updeck towards his captain. “How goes the navigation Captain?”
Colombo: “This makes no sense! We passed those Elf Ruins ages ago, we should have entered the Gulf of Medes by now…. I don’t know anymore. How are you faring? Is that voice of yours under control?”
Tullaris: “I’m trying Captain. We hunger for a good slaughter though.”
Colombo: “And I promise we’ll get you one. Once we come into Sudenburg I promise I’ll set you loose for a day or two on some unsuspecting villages just outside town. How does that sound to you?”
Tullaris: “Sounds like a plan, if only you had taken my advice and resupplied at Sartosa like I said you should. We wouldn’t need to worry about mooring then.”
Colombo: “And as you will surely recall me saying before, docking a ship full of treasure at a dwelling of scum and villainy like Sartosa is just asking for trouble.”
Tullaris: “Oh come off it, half your crew are or have been pirates at some point, you even picked that Mr. Bill up at Sartosa. They’re good for navigating uncharted waters since merchant sailors only tread in marked lanes you said.”
Colombo: “Exactly, that’s how I know not to trust pirates Tullaris.”
Tullaris: “You don’t trust your own crew?”
Colombo: “With this kind of bounty in the hull? No, definitely not. Why do you think I keep you around after all? You don’t make for the best drinking partner but I know that you wouldn’t hesitate to massacre the lot of them in the event of a mutiny.”
Tullaris: “And what makes you think you can trust me?”
Colombo: “Ha, because you’re predictable my friend. While I certainly find you Drau-chy a weird bunch with your constant want for suffering, especially compared to your more regal kin, I must admit it makes it quite easy for me to keep you on side.”
Tullaris: “Of course that ‘want for suffering’ as you call it could include you, Marco….and it’s Druchii for what feels like the millionth time…”
Colombo: “Well yes, but, where would you be without me aye? A fugitive serial killer stuck on the open ocean with no way to land or to quench his addiction. Regardless of my thoughts on you lot, you’re a driven man Tullaris. And driven men are simple to keep in check so long as their goals are sated.”
Tullaris: “Whereas you are nothing but a godless one.”
Colombo: “Am I? Come, let me show you something. It’s not like the wind’s picking up anyway.”
Colombo took Tullaris down the bridge’s steps to the captain’s quarters. They were largely much like most of the ship; damp, rotting and rather confining with the only big difference to other sleeping areas being the presence of a bed rather than bunks and a table at which he could eat. However, Marco Colombo drew Tullaris’ focus to another area of the room, a small corner in which a vanity table with a gold-encrusted mirror stood. However, upon drawing closer Tullaris discovered this was not in fact a vanity area at which ladies would apply makeup and don their wigs, it was an altar. He drew his fingers along the gold trim until he found a single word carved into the mirror’s edge; a name unfamiliar to him but known to all humans “Ranald”.
Tullaris: “Why am I not all that surprised? What is this, an altar to some kind of money god?”
Colombo: “Close but not quite, he’s the god of luck and good fortunes.”
Tullaris laughed for a moment before responding “Well your god doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers then.”
“Given you’re not killing some innocent Sudenburg peasants right now, it would seem that neither is yours.” Colombo responded snidely, obviously slightly offended for having his god mocked like that.
“SHIP AHOY!” Signore Petrochilo called out from the crow’s nest. Colombo and Dreadbringer returned to the deck to find their crew speculating. “I must be going mad. It’s a giant scorpion!” cried Señor Montero having finally stopped vomiting. “No, no you buffoon. It’s a floating pyramid!” snapped Mr. Bill. Colombo extended his spyglass and peered through it towards the strange vessel.
Colombo: “I’m afraid it’s much worse than that, it’s a Khemrian warship and it’s gaining on us!”
Mr. Bill: “But how can something so big even float, let alone sail captain?”
Tullaris: “Ever heard of a Black Ark sailor? It’s driven by magic.”
Colombo: “But why are they even after us? Unless…”
Marco Colombo darted downstairs with a key in hand to inspect the vault in which the elves had placed the treasure. He unlocked the door, stepped inside and picked a single block of gold up. He turned it over and the inevitable struck, it was covered in hieroglyphics!
Colombo: “Damn Elves!”
Colombo returned to the poopdeck and revealed the stolen gold to Tullaris.
Tullaris: “Sure you prefer our more “regal” cousins now Marco?”
Señor Montero: “But there is no way we can outsail something moving that fast capitan.”
Tullaris: “Not without ditching a large chunk of our cargo. That’s for sure.”
As Marco Colombo and his crew deliberated on what to do, King Amanhotep left his sarcophagus inside the central pyramid and joined his crew on the deck of the Curse of Zandri which was crewed by hundreds of skeleton oarsmen, three Screaming Skull catapults, 12 ballista crews, 4 Necrolith Colossi (Bone Giants) armed with ethereal bows, a handful of liche priests and no less than a mighty Necrosphinx at its bow to sink any vessel which came into close range. At the rear of the vessel was a scorpion-like tail containing a great gym at its tip capable for acting as a prism for the light of Ptra, thereby focusing the incandescent energy of the sun into a devastating beam of light to strike at his foes. How could Amanhotep possibly be thwarted in his attempt to reclaim his long-lost stolen treasure?

….

  • Love React: Marco Colombo gave the order to jettison all unnecessary cargo as the Khemrian warship approached from the distance. The crewmen moved below deck and began throwing barrels of food, gunpowder and cannonballs overboard, knowing well enough that this would make them defenceless should the Tomb Kings catch up.

The ship began to pick up pace as more and more barrels were abandoned but this paled in comparison to the enemy vessel’s combination of magical flotation and rowing prowess. And so Tullaris turned to Colombo as if to say the inevitable. Without the elf saying a word, Colombo responded “No. We cannot do that.” Tullaris sighed to his gold-obsessed friend and uttered the truth “We’re going to need to ditch some of the treasure.” “Do you have any idea how long it took us to secure that score? I would sooner die than give it up.” Colombo retorted. Suddenly, a blast of solar energy was fired across the waves from the tail of the Nehekharan ship and hit the water only 30 metres behind Colombo’s ship, causing an immense splash as tons of water flew everywhere, even soaking the ship’s back-decks. “Looks like your wish will be answered then.” Tullaris said before sitting down to call his captain’s bluff. “There’s no way we can escape without abandoning a large portion of the treasure.” “How much?” Marco enquired nervously. “Half of it at least, maybe more…maybe a lot more. It’s hard to tell when they have magic on their side.” The Khemrians fired again, this time lobbing a volley of screaming skulls overhead, it wouldn’t be long until one of these artillery pieces hit their target and once they did, it would be over. “Che cavolo… Oh okay…let’s do it!” The crew followed Marco Colmbo downstairs and after unlocking the vault with his key, they all proceeded to throw hundreds of bricks made from Khemrian gold overboard. Fortunately, the plan worked and the ship began to pick up speed quite rapidly. They sailed for some hours with the Khemrian warship vanishing further and further back into the horizon until finally, they had truly escaped the Tomb Kings and what’s more, the port of Sudenberg was coming into view. As Tullaris Dreadbringer and the crew celebrated not being sent to the Galleon’s Graveyard, Marco Colombo returned to his quarters to lament his lost treasure of which only 85,000 golds-worth still remained on board.
….

  • Angry React: As the Tomb Kings ship approached our heroes vessel, Marco Colombo gave the order to jettison all unnecessary cargo except munitions. However, no matter how much they tried to lighten their load and get the wind on their side, their ship barely sped up at all in comparison to the prowess of the skeleton rowing crews. The Curse of Zandri came more and more into view and then…it struck. It’s scorpid tail lit up and blasted a beam of solar energy across the water which pierced straight through the masts of Colombo’s ship.

As the masts fell and fires began to spread, Tullaris suggested that they abandoned the ship in favour of the lifeboats. However, just as they began to hoist the rowing boats’ pulleys and lower their escape vessels into the water a second tragedy struck as both rowing boats on either side were suddenly shredded by volleys of screaming skulls.
The Tomb Kings continued to approach as hails of bone giant arrows and ballista bolts prevented anyone onboard Colombo’s ship from even trying to move until finally, the Curse of Zandri came into boarding range. Tullaris lifted his blade, Mr Bill handed rifles out to each of the sailors and after offering a final prayer to Ranald, Marco Colombo loaded his trusty crossbow for one last valiant stand as skeleton warriors boarded the ship. They fought heroically, each destroying at least a handful of skeletons while Tullaris’ blade cut through many, many more.
However, Amanhotep grew bored of their fighting and so motioned for the Necrosphinx on the bow of the Nehekharan ship to plunge its blades into the galleon, sending it sinking to the ocean floor. With Marco Colombo and his crew all dead, King Amanhotep commanded the necrolith colossi and a hundred skeletons to submerge themselves beneath the waves, take a walk along the ocean floor and carry the treasure on board the sunken galleon back to shore. ….

  • Laugh React: As the Tomb Kings warship approached, Marco Colombo ordered the impossible. “Señor Montero, change course for that vessel over there!”

Everyone reacted with shock as Colombo took the helm and proceeded to turn his ship in the direction of King Amanhotep battleship.
“But capitan, we are hopelessly outgunned. We only have 6 cannons on each side!”
“Then you know what to do Mr Bill, load them to the brim!” Colombo continued as his crew ran below decks to arm what few munitions they have with Señor Montero telling Signore Petrochillo that “El capitán se ha vuelto loco!”
Tullaris approached the almost gleeful Colombo as his captain spoke “What did I tell you, friend? Battle is upon us.”
“And do we have any chance of victory?” the executioner asked inquisitively.
“I don’t need chance my friend, I have good fortunes.” Colombo responded as he tightly gripped his serpent-shaped talisman of Sotek which he gained from his many adventures in Lustria.
The ships came closer together and the Tomb Kings vessel began to fire its solar beam at the galleon as Colombo only shouted “Keep us steady….steady I said!”
They continued to sail towards the King’s battleship, taking more and more fire as they approached while Tullaris begged Marco to consider an alternative strategy “Whatever you think is going to happen…it won’t. Turn around or we all die now!” but Marco only continued to smile with a mad delight in his eyes when suddenly, a miracle struck as an immense whirpool appeared between the two ships. “Now!” Colombo cried as his ship turned on its axis, providing his crew with a perfect opportunity to fire a broadside at the opposing ship, crippling their oar-rowing teams. As the Tomb King’s reeled over the damage they took from cannon blast they lost control of their vessel, drifting closer and closer to the whirlpool as the necrosphinx and necrolith colossi fell off the ship’s decks one by one until finally, the whole undead warship was drawn into the eye of the storm and sent straight to the Galleon’s Graveyard.
With their foes dealt with and his ship still intact, Colombo continued to smile at Tullaris in a gloating manner. His faith in Ranald had been rewarded.
(As this is a literal Deus Ex Machina and therefore a rare and unlikely event, each vote for this option only equals half an equivalent vote for other options)….

  • Sad React: As the Tomb Kings ship approached our heroes vessel, Marco Colombo gave the order to jettison all unnecessary cargo except munitions. However, no matter how much they tried to lighten their load and get the wind on their side, their ship barely sped up at all in comparison to the prowess of the skeleton rowing crews. The Curse of Zandri came more and more into view and then…it struck. It’s scorpid tail lit up and blasted a beam of solar energy across the water which pierced straight through the masts of Colombo’s ship.

As the masts fell and fires began to spread, Tullaris suggested that they abandoned the ship in favour of the lifeboats. They hoisted the rowing boats’ pulleys and lowered their escape vessels into the water to flee from the approaching warship.
And so Marco Colombo and his crew abandoned their ship with whatever scraps of food and gold blocks they could carry in their pockets, leaving their ship and their treasure to be taken by King Amanhotep as they all rowed toward the shore’s probable direction, knowing well enough that nothing but desert awaited them……..

  • Wow React: As the Tomb Kings ship approached our heroes vessel, Marco Colombo gave the order to jettison all unnecessary cargo except munitions. However, no matter how much they tried to lighten their load and get the wind on their side, their ship barely sped up at all in comparison to the prowess of the skeleton rowing crews. The Curse of Zandri came more and more into view and then…it struck. It’s scorpid tail lit up and blasted a beam of solar energy across the water which pierced straight through the masts of Colombo’s ship, completely immobilising it.

The Tomb Kings continued to approach as hails of bone giant arrows and ballista bolts prevented anyone onboard Colombo’s ship from even trying to escape until finally, the Curse of Zandri came into boarding range. Tullaris lifted his blade, Mr Bill handed rifles out to each of the sailors and after offering a final prayer to Ranald, Marco Colombo loaded his trusty crossbow for one last valiant stand as skeleton warriors boarded the ship. They fought heroically, each destroying at least a handful of skeletons while Tullaris’ blade cut through many, many more.
Eventually King Amanhotep grew bored of their fighting and the pointless casualties which would need reviving and so he boarded the ship himself to strike a bargain. Amanhotep approached Marco Colombo as the Dreadbringer threatened to decapitate the Tomb Monarch only to stand down when two necrolith colossi aimed their massive ethereal bows straight for his head.
And so the fighting ceased as Amanhotep’s crew were provided access to the lower decks to take the stolen treasure in return for not killing all of Colombo’s crew where they stood. The Tomb Kings took the gold, all of it, and left on their magical warship once more, leaving Colombo’s crew stuck on their immobilised ship.
But fate was even crueller to Marco Colombo this day as a new problem arose, a Dark Elf warship on the horizon! With absolutely no way of steering his galleon or even turning it so that its cannons may fire on the approaching ship, Colombo simply sat and waited for the Druchii ship to arrive, for its purpose here was rather obvious to him.
They waited for what felt like an age until finally, the Dark Elf vessel reached them and fired its harpoons onto the still-lying galleon, thereby allowing the Black Ark Corsairs to board the ship. And so a second great melee emerged as Colombo and his company fought against the better-trained Druchii sailors as best as they could while Tullaris slaughtered dozens of his former kin under his Khainite rampage.
However, all this stopped when Colombo was suddenly grabbed by the Druchii’s leader, a ship’s captain with ambitions to become a Fleetmistress known as Drane Brackblood, and had a cutlass pressed to his throat.
“Submit, or I cut this dog.” Drane spoke menacingly. Tullaris wanted to fight on, his blood boiled as the voice of Khaine screamed at him to continue his slaughter yet he knew he couldn’t, not if it meant Colombo’s death. Tullaris dropped his greatsword and allowed himself to be taken into Druchii custody while Marco Colombo and the remaining members of his crew were cuffed and brought onboard to be sold into slavery.