Warhammer Story (It's a bit dark...)

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Warhammer Story (It's a bit dark...)

Postby Aeyth on Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:41 pm

Okay, so here's some fiction I've been working on around my druchii characters on Warhammer Online. That's where I go when I'm feeling ebil :P . Enjoy!

Lightening flickered across the sky as the storm moved inland across the Sea of Chill. Ulrolith looked out across the steely water and watched as three black ships steadily cut their way through the white-tipped waves. Behind him, the island fortress of Karond Kar rose like a black claw against the angry sky, its streets glossy with rainwater. As the slave ships grew steadily closer to the harbour mouth, the highborn disciple of Khaine watched with icy eyes as the crew tied in the sails, the ships tipping from side to side violently as if Ellenill himself redoubled his efforts to pull the crews and their cargo to his watery embrace. Black oars appeared from the sides of the boats as they passed through the mouth and into the relative safety of the harbour.

Business was brisk and profitable, the invasion of Ulthuan raising the demand of flesh to sate the bloody appetites of the Temple, and Ulrolith grinned to himself at the prospects of making a tidy profit at his most recent venture. His father, Lord Wyrmlash, had requested that he meet the slave ships as they returned loaded with a fresh harvest of Bretonnians and with the promise of a share of the gold from their sales, the disciple would be well compensated for his long journey from Har Ganeth, City of Executioners. Sacred city of the Temple of Khaine, it had been home to his family for generations, and to have survived to his age in such a violent place was no mean feat. The journey to Karond Kar had taken weeks, and his party had encountered more than one ambush along the Slave Road as they had travelled eastwards.

The noble pulled his cloak about himself as one by one the ships docked. His black hair soaked with rain, his abhorrence was more than apparent as he strode past civilians milling about on the harbour walls, pushing aside any that got in his way. With a look of disdain, he watched as a handful of corsairs leapt from the sides of the black vessels and secured the ships with thick ropes. Meeting the first slave ship as the gangplank slammed onto the black cobbles of the harbour side, he waited impatiently for the captain to emerge. From this distance he could hear the groans of the slaves held in the cargo holds, the odd crack of a whip, shouts and screams, and he smiled to himself.

His attention on the first vessel, he watched as a group of corsairs stepped out of the main cabin. Ulrolith observed that they could not have washed in months, his lip curling in disgust as he saw their filthy clothing and matted hair. The party walked across the deck and made their way to the gangplank. At their centre the captain stood, his black hair streaked with grey, and a long scar running diagonally across his face. His nose had been nearly cut off at some point, and Ulrolith pitied the wench he would soon be visiting after months at sea. The captain grinned to the disciple with a mouth full of blackened teeth before bowing. The disciple narrowed his eyes.

‘I haven't got all day corsair. Unload my cargo so that I might inspect them!’

‘As you command, my lord.’ The captain laughed to himself, wheezing rasps ending with a chesty cough. He appeared unwell, and turned to bark some orders to his crew, who hurriedly worked with hooked poles to open the caged hatch of the cargo bays.

Ulrolith found himself pacing with agitation as the slaves were brought to the deck, their hands bound. Sobs and prayers were whimpered as the humans set sight upon the City of Slaves, and Ulrolith laughed cruelly as one of the Bretonnians collapsed to the deck with shock.

‘How many?’ the disciple asked.

‘Three score and ten!’ came the reply, ‘although we lost that many at sea.’

Ulrolith scowled at the corsairs as they chuckled amongst themselves. He was more than aware of a slave ship's entertainment during the months of a long voyage, and wondered how many of the slaves had perished from their capture, and how many had perished at the hands of this uncouth mob.

As if sensing his thoughts, the captain called out, ‘The other two ships have just as many, my lord... fear not, there is plenty of gold to be made.’

‘I should hope so’, Ulrolith sneered. ‘Or you shall all find yourselves in the slave markets with them!’

The corsairs snarled and exchanged some disgruntled whispers. ‘Best get on with it then, wretches!’ yelled the captain.

Ulrolith nodded sternly and sighed with annoyance. ‘Yes... best get on with it. You have an hour. See that they are ready when I return.’

With a curt nod from the captain, Ulrolith turned on his heel and made his way to the maze-like streets of Karond Kar. This damned weather was beginning to spoil his mood.

The storm showed no sign of wavering. Rain fell in sheets as thunder growled in the sky overhead. Stepping out of the biting cold, Ulrolith entered The Hanged Man, a tavern frequented by merchants and rogues alike. The wind caught the door behind him, pulling it shut with a slam, and the disciple scowled at the faces that turned questioningly to inspect the newcomer. Unbuckling the clasp around his shoulders, he let his wet cloak slip into his arms as he wove his way through the tables and patrons towards a specific spot near the fire.

‘I thought I would find you here.’ He snarled, dropping his cape onto an empty chair to dry, taking a seat at another. His companion nodded and slid a pewter cup across the battered table as Ulrolith rung water from his hair.

‘Well?’ The druchii asked eagerly, ‘Do you have anything for me?’

‘That depends.’ Ulrolith replied testily. ‘Can you keep your bargain?’

His companion hissed a laugh and placed a leather pouch on the table. ‘One hundred gold pieces. Count it if you like...’

Ulrolith deftly took the purse, nimbly untying the cord around the top. His companion was worthy of no more trust than any common cut throat or thief, and thus any trading would be made cautiously. Pulling the top of the pouch open, he cast an avaricious eye at the coins within, careful not to reveal the contents to the patrons around the tavern. He was cold, wet, and tired. The last thing he needed was a brawl.

‘Excellent Casaythe. Consider our deal complete.’

Inconspicuously tucking the purse into his belt, he gave his instructions. ‘There are three ships at the docks carrying slaves. You may take one of your choosing. I shall tell father the vessel was lost at sea... plundered by corsairs.’

The white haired druchii smirked as Ulrolith grinned and grasped the goblet before him. Raising it to his lips, he noticed an expectant look from his companion, and slammed the cup down. The noble suspected the merchant had slipped some poison into his wine, and meant to take the ship and the gold once his body was lifeless.

Intent on not letting his suspicions show, he feigned amicability. ‘It has been a tiresome day. I shall retire. You may leave.’

Casaythe clenched his fists, careful not to reveal any signs of murderous intent as he rose from his seat. ‘I should be away myself. The slaves will not sell themselves.’

With a bow he turned and strode across the tavern, casting a look behind him to ensure no daggers were hurtling towards his back.

Ulrolith smiled to himself as he stretched his legs out in front of the fire. If father insisted on sending him on such a menial errand, he would at least ensure he was well compensated.

‘Innkeeper! A bottle of your finest!’
Aeyth Duskwalker
Huntress of Astranaar
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