Blight: Lore & Fiction


#1

Lore & Fiction for Blight of the Immortals, written by players. Please feel free to add your ideas and stories here.

By @Gorvar:

DWARVES

Gnomes
"According to ancient legends, some dwarves abandoned the ways of the mountain and settled in the forests down below. Under the shade of the trees, the Gnomes have grown shorter than their cousins in the mountains but have grown faster and know the woods like the back of their hand. Both the dwarves and the gnomes don’t see eye to eye often, the latter seeing to much elf in their forest dwelling cousins, but when news of the Blight came the gnomes answered the call and flocked to any dwarven stronghold or Gryphon banner to fight for the living."

Artillery
"Dwarven ingenuity lead to the creation of gunpowder based weaponry. The Artillery guns have defended dwarven strongholds for hundreds of years from goblins, orcs and dragons. Now with the coming of the Blight, dwarven shells are prepared to decimate any foolish zombie horde who wanders to close by."

Blunderbuss
"Dwarven ingenuity lead to the creation of gunpowder base weaponry. Much like the Artillery guns, but on a smaller scale, the blunderbuss has defended dwarven strongholds against orc, goblin and troll raids for centuries. Now with the coming of the Blight, dwarven riflemen are ready to aim their guns at the oncoming zombie hordes who dare to consume their home."

“This…is my Blunderbuss. There are many like it but this one is mine.” - Private Stonefist just before the battle of Gulls Stone.

Wing Warriors
"There is a powerful connection between the gryphon roosts and the dwarven people. Having lived together for generations allowed the children of stone to tame and befriend the winged lions of the cold and windy peaks, much like how wolves bounded with humans or orcs. Some dwarves have observed the gryphons and created a fighting style which was inspired by the majestic beasts flight. Seeing a gryphon soar in the sky inspires these Wing Warriors to fight that much harder."

Stout General
"Veterans of hundreds of battles both above and below ground, dwarven generals will lead their men towards battle with grim determination."

“No dwarf ever won a war by dying for his thaig. He won it by making some other poor dumb bastard die for theirs.” -General Hadgar Dainson before the battle of Stoney Sept, 2nd Troll Wars.

Master Foreman
"Dwarven architecture demands a lot of gold and gems, which are plentiful in the mountains that the children of the stone call home. Earthquakes, goblins and pitfalls however make mining a dangerous occupation. Foremen lead miners down the deep, dark tunnels of the mountains to bring back the streams of much needed gold for a thaig to survive. In this risky business, bounds are made and often a Foreman is like a father to his crew of miners. Now with the Blight at their door, the dwarves need the Foremen even more now than ever to keep the gold going for the war effort.
The Blight zombies are not like your average tribe of goblins but the Foremen will lead their boys into battle if needed."

Mountain King
Whenever a king dies, his heir must vast for three days and nights while meditating near his predecessor body. At the end of those three days the heir must open the book of old grudges and read the first sentence he flips open on a random. Whatever verse he lands on will be the way how he leads the children of stone, although many pages were added to the book when the curse of the Blight turned many of their kin into the undead.
These kings under the mountain have led their people for many years and know each mountain passage of their kingdom like the back of their hand and will guide their armies safely through them in defence of their mountain homes against the Blight.

Gryphon Standard
Dwarves revere the gryphon ever since the first time the children of the stone popped their heads out of their caves. Seeing the majestic gryphon soar inspired the dwarves to reach out and fly towards their ambitions but be prepared to fight for that with their talons. As such the children of the stone have adopted the gryphon on their warbanners when they march to war.
Gryphon feather’s are weaved together with goat hide to imbue the banners with a mystical glow which makes them easier for dwarves to spot from a distance.

ORCS

Outcast Warchief
"When the Blight comes, all orcs must answer the call to arms…even those who are exiled.
Several clans were deemed to dangerous or strange to the others, hence they become outcast. Maybe because they are cannibals, to friendly with the other races or because they smell. Either way the warchiefs of these exiled clans lead their people to the forests or the swamps, outside of the orcish deserts.

There they remained until the call against the Blight came. Now these Outcast Warchiefs lead their people against the Blight, bringing with them experience of fighting in un-orcy territory."

Butcher
Pigs are the mainstream diet for a Orcish Horde, butchers are thus essential to feed the bellies of the Horde.
“Us orcs love to eat a pork!” -Gorvar, a butcher of the Beastmaw Clan.

Desert Maiden
Desert Maidens have lived in the desert all their lives. They know how to set up a trap in the dune, where to find water, shade, combat renegade orc clans, raid human caravans and when to march. Their skills in tracking and their battle hardened blades are essential in the coming war against the Blight.

Vicious Sergeant
Life in a desert burns the weak away and the strong remain. As such orc culture reflects that attitude in all aspects of their life, including warfare. Sergeants are veterans of countless raids and are harsh on both their enemies as well as their own men. Although they do not show it, they care about their men and make sure to lead them safely through deserts to get back to the clan.

"All right you bunch of gobbos, what are you waiting for? Breakfast in bed? Another glorious day in the Horde! A day in the Orcish Horde is like a day on the farm. Every meal’s a banquet! Every piece of plunder a fortune! Every formation a parade! I love the Horde! " - Unknown Sergeant in Warchief Torakk Bloodrain’s Horde during the First Troll Wars.

Dragon Banner
The dragon embodies everything a orc admires. Strength, heat and ferociousness. As such they have adopted the dragon on their banner to make their enemies quake in fear at the sight of their Hordes.
Dragon banners have dragon scales weaved into them so to give them a magical glow that allows any orc to see a passing Horde army and join them into battle.

HUMANS

Cowardly Noble
"Nobles are part of the upper classes of human society. In their villa’s and estates where they house grand parties, they influence the court and decide the lives of all those in the kingdom. Prone to backstabbing and ambition, their skills have proven to be quite useful against the Blight. Although they prefer to let others do the fighting for them, they let their gold coffers speak for them when they hear of the valour tales from the battlefield."

“He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.” Lord Nicohlas Machianos.

Mighty General
"Veterans of hundreds of battles against orc, troll and goblin, the mighty generals now lead the human forces against the forces of the Blight."

“In war, events of importance are the result of trivial causes.”- Lord General Darren Verelden, High Commander during the 2nd Troll Wars.

Enchantress
"No-one knows where the Enchantresses come from. Some claim they came from the dark forests, others from the moon, most claim they were send by god to help mankind against the Blight. Most are not very talkative and those who do are a consider themselves superior. Whatever the cause, their magicks allow them to weaken the zombies which makes them very brittle to steel."

By @Diaphanous:

The Elder Shaman
I walk among my kin, back hunched with the weight of burdens both real and imagined. They call me elder, but it is not a term of respect. They would drive me into the swamps and forests like the other clans, were it not for the dirges they have heard out on the far dune. The blight has finally come to their minds. No more war songs for the sake of pomp. Once the bodies start to pile up, they look to those who remember. They look at me with loathing, for they all pretend that failure in battle and kin-slaying is not our way. Let them march to glory and death. I will prepare the flames for the night that none of them return, and the dirges in their hollow lungs ring out across the dune.


Lore suggestions?
#2

#3

The Woodland Bard

For centuries, song and dance has always been my way of life. I have ballads or poems for the seasons, for war, for weddings, for parties; for just about any occasion that is joyous and good. My voice is my power that I gift onto my people, but the songs I have found myself singing of late are no gift. They are the clarion call to any who can help…

The villages are filled with the dissonant screams of my people.

The only chorus that rings through the great halls are the hollow overtones of the wind, and the percussive taps of dripping blood.

The groves crackle and burn, a catastrophic cacophony to my ears and heart.

I sing now to any who will join me. Let the mana woven through my voice ring true to the mana that binds us all. Feel it’s pull, and find the bravery that has been planted in your spirit. Join me now, in song, lest our voices be forever silenced in the coming of the blight.


#4

DWARVES

Gold Miners

The majesty of the dwarven citadels with it’s beautiful ornate giant statues to past kings, roads covered in diamonds and hundreds of technical marvels are all to thank to the brave mining guilds. Hundreds if not thousands of dwarves mine in the pitch blackness every single day for hours on end to bring the stream of gold needed to finance dwarven culture. Despite the dangers of tunnel collapses, goblin raids and gas pockets, the dwarven miners keep on mining with a smile on their face.
With the coming of the Blight, the dwarven miners have since then begun to mine gold to fuel the war effort against the zombie hordes that threaten their people. Although trained to fight against small threats like goblins, their pickaxes are best used to mine or if they are led into battle by a Foreman.

HUMANS

Giant

The giants and mankind have shared a peculiar relationship. Giants often feed of livestock from farmers and make a mess off villages when on a drunken stupor or being generally clumsy. But more often than not, giants are adopted as city mascots and were seen defending human villages from orc raids before the Blight came. Giants are often not accepted by mainstream society but when they are, they are willing to fight and even die for their newfound friends.
With the coming of the Blight, Giants are now seen marching alongside the armies of the human kingdoms to both defend their own caverns but also to defend their little human friends.


#5

Mad Pirate:

I enter a peaceful, quiet village with the Blight is on my heels. Many would fear for their lives, but I know opportunity when is raises its rotten decaying hand and knocks on my door. Silly humans and their gods believe that piety and humility will somehow shield them. I feel no pity for fools.

They say in times of war: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Such trust is what a business man like me capitalizes on. In days past goblinkin such as myself would never be allowed in the front gates, but to those days are over. Now I merely say “I bring news of the Blight,” and the bumpkins that pass for town guards turn their backs just long enough for me to put a knife in. I reclaim my blade as take their purses as well.

I find the nicest house around and stand banging on the door screaming bloody murder: “The Blight! The Blight! I bring news come quick!”

A maid answers the door, and is headless before words leave her lips. A well fed Noble comes rushing out to see what the fuss is about and finds out all too quickly. I find a woman and child with fat greedy little eyes hiding in a closet, and they join the rest.

Several homes later and I’ve got as much as my pack will carry. I leave the rest of this miserable lot to Immortals. The Captain will make far better use of these funds on the actual battlefront than these greedy slobs ever would have hiding in their miserable little homes.

I look back and see some poor orphan gazing at me with sad eyes and I remember a conversation from my early days: A philisophical man the Captain, who liked to test his crew. One day over an ale he asked me an age old question:

“Would you kill a child to save a village?”

“Only if it paid well” I replied.

He smiled.


#6

The Marsh Warden

I hope the prince knows what he’s doing.

Can’t grumble enough about these elves flying over head on their eagles, or these goblins (GOBLINS!?..-mumble grumble-) splashin through my fen. Wasn’t even three months ago that I was told to drive all of my little beauties down on their fetid little hides, but now I gotta play nice with the “big wig” and his little band o wizards and clowns.

Prince says the blight hit Midnight Dangle and Twilight Tinkle (Those goblins need to learn how to name their towns). Says that I’m to wait two days, then let loose my “pets” on the blighted shamblers. I sure hope that ol bigwig flibbertigibbet and his crew don’t get lost in the fogs (I’ve half a mind to let out the fen sharks and bog crocs early -mumble grumble-)

Troll hide’s thick, but those critters will tear through goblin (living and dead alike -chuckles-) like a paddle through water. Maybe I’ll open the cages a few hours early. Goblins brag about their luck. Let’s see how well that luck floats in a troll’s swamp.

-chuckles-


#7

I’m loving these short stories…i’ll try to write some as well later.

The Mad Pirate and Marsh Warden ones are really nicely written and it explains neatly what their use in the game is.
Kudos, guys! :smiley:


#8

Dragonhelm Knight:

The vast open plain outside of Monks Orchard is punctuated by a solitary figure: A soldier atop his steed. He does not move, and were it not for the light whisk of his horses tail, one might mistake him for a statue at a distance. His head is raised to the heavens, his hand rests on the pummel of his longsword. His chainmail and helmet are polished to a gleaming silver, and shimmer in the sun. There is something about the way he looks that would make most extremely uneasy; It’s as if he were a mirage, and that if you looked away long enough he might disappear. Only one trained to see the flow of mana would recognize what surrounded him, heavy like a cloak.

This man encased in steel and magic is an empty shell. High above him his spirit floats in the clouds scanning the horizon, and his heart breaks at what it sees.

Frost Field has fallen, and so to have the giants that lived nearby. The Blight moved more swiftly than was anticipated, and it has cost many their lives. The giants were fearsome fighters alive, and were nearly unstoppable in undeath. A single giant would devastate Monk’s Orchard, and here were several, spelling inevitable doom to the meager defenses that have mounted there.

If they are to live, the people need more time.

He is a soldier. The burden of duty and sacrifice has been his since the crest of the dragon was placed upon his helm: There is only one solution.

He draws upon the flow of mana, and opens his ethereal voice in a siren’s song. The tuneless, wordless incantation flows with godspeed to the ears of the giants. At first they slow, then they stop. One turns it’s grisly head in the direction of the knight, and lurches in his direction. In a moment, the others follow suit.

The knight quickly rejoins his body: He feels the pull: The burden of duty and sacrifice. He holds a fist up to the heavens and offers a prayer to the gods. He spurs his horse and rides towards fate.


#9

Gosh darn, that was beautiful dude…you deserve a Scribe award for this one.
Love how you can change narratives so well, from Mad Pirate to Dragonhelm Knight. From downright evil to downright heroic. Love it.


#10

Why thank you! Yer makin me blush!

I’ve always enjoyed writing fantasy/fiction, and this world lends itself well to it.


#11

I think that there is such a blank canvas with this world, but there are so many points to launch from. It does make for some fun ideas.


#12

Stout General

The once vibrant stronghold of Gulls Stone was rendered to ruins. Marketplaces were abandoned, the busy chittering of pickaxes on the rich soil down below was silenced as the local populace had run away to safety.
Instead of dwarves living their lives in peace making their trade out of jewels and goat hides, Gulls Stone was host to a battle hardened army. Dwarven hammers were repairing their armour with what little scraps of metal were left in the forges, a Foreman was leading a small group of miners to dig out a little more from the soil, the artillery crews on the walls were loading in the last of their shells and aimed their weapons towards the west, Gnomes were keeping to themselves as they sharpened their scythes as standard bearers were mending their tattered gryphon sigils.

For four nights did the dwarven host stand vigilant and beat back the zombie hordes. The blight had reached the troll and goblin villages south a week before and destroyed every single form of resistance in their path. The brave dwarves who held Gulls Stone were the last defence. The first wave was easily deflected, the second horde led by a necromancer caused some casualties but the third wave which had several giants in them did the most damage. More than half their number were dead and reinforcements were days away, if they would even arrive. Food was running low, ammunition had run dry and most weapons were three strikes away from being broken. But the dwarves, stubborn as always, chose the remain while most humans would’ve ran and fled. If the stronghold fell, the human and elven villages up north would be overrun.

The dwarves knew this but the constant battling and the loss of so many of their kin had caused a blow in their morale. And even now their scouts report a large host, commanded by a human knight in black, rusted armour. The maggot riddled herd moved with purpose and even sported a giant in their ranks.
To a soldier, victory seemed further away than ever.

But the general, it was closer than ever. The white haired dwarf moved along his men, inspecting their armours, praising the miners for their work and even jested with the Gnomes and their loud cackling. He was like a father to his sons, someone they looked up to when things turned for the worst.
When the sentries called for arms, the dwarves wearily picked up their weapons. The artillery fired their last shells as the general prepared his men for battle.
“Sons of the stone!” He cried." I know you are tired, that you are hungry and long for home. I know most of you had to burn your kin so they would not rise as one of the immortals, I know of the sacrifices I ask you to make every day. To face this dark storm that threatens to destroy Alundria. " he raised his halberd to the dwarven host." But I know you can take it. Because we are dwarves!"

The dwarven host cheered as more shells rang overhead.
"We are the sons of the stone! We are born from the mountains! The mountain does not bow to the storm, IT REMAINS! SO TO MUST WE REMAIN! Let us show Alundria that we do not fear death, that we stand steadfast, stare it square in the eye and bash it’s rotting brains out!“
Dwarf and Gnome cheered as the undead horde began bashing on their gates. The general turned to the gates as he lowered his visor.” For Alundria, for the stone! WE CHARGE!"
As the gates buckled and the moaning corpses entered, they were met with dwarven and gnomish steel. And at the head was their stout general, unrelenting and unafraid.


#13

Not forgotten this yet guys!
I’ll do more short fiction next week.


#14

In our nightmare game, the dwarven fortress of Gull Stone reads true to this lore at the moment. The blight is surrounding it, and a gigantic stack of dwarves are sitting there and enduring the everflowing hoards. :grin:


#15

Outcast Warchief

The undead were mostly orcs, victims of the massacre at Giants Dust. Warriors, slaves and children alike were all joined in death and risen to become mindless slaves, serving the will of the Lord of Purgatory. But the creature was not pleased with the deaths suffered there, for some of the Orcish Horde had fled. Their tracks led from the sands to the soggy swamps to the north. In life, orcs were not creatures that thrived in the swamp so these refugees would make a nice snack, the Lord thought to himself. It did not matter his own dead were also greatly weakened, he had the numbers to overcome those odds.
With a wordless cry, the Lord motioned to the swamp and send his undead creatures to search for their prey.

For three hours the Blight had marched through the swamp when he noticed something was amiss.
Portions of his own horde were disappearing, seemingly swallowed up by the swamp. They found traces of the orcish refugees but they were nowhere to be seen. For over the course of the remaining day, it became more apparent that the hunter had become the hunted. When the night fell, it was confirmed.

Orcish swords jumped down from the trees, their green suntanned bodies covered in shrubbery and mud. Their swords were shorter so they were easier to use than get tangled in the vines. Arrows hit the undead forces. Although only a arrow to the head could kill an undead, these arrows had a special poison in them which made the undead’ skin melt. They no longer felt pain, but the loss of limbs did make them easy pickings for the swamp dwelling orcs.
The Lord of Purgatory called for a rally but he soon saw his Blight was doomed as his creatures all fell to the swamp. His rotting brain wondered, how did these orcs manage to ambush him? Orcs did not thrive in swamps. But then he saw his adversary.

A female orc, covered in leather and chain mail, was cleaving through the undead with her large two handed axe. The lord’s rotting orcish brain recognised the runes on the massive belt she wore around her torso. A outcast, orcs who were deemed unworthy to life in the desert with the rest of the Horde.
Beside her was a desert maiden, now to wearing swamp garb, and the survivors of the Orcish Horde he had beaten so thoroughly, beaten to a pulp…and yet now they stood with this outcast clan, fighting side by side.
The sheer disbelief was still in his eyes when the Outcast Warchief’s axe severed his head from his shoulders.

The desert maiden finished the last of the zombies as members both from her Horde and the Swamp orcs piled up the corpses as the Shaman were preparing the fire rituals.
With a tired smile she turned to the Outcast Warchief, her tusks welling upward. The Warchief smirked and raised the head of the Lord of Purgatory in the air and let out a savage war cry which rallied this new Horde.
Some bards sing that this event is what led to liberation of Volcanic Dust and how the Outcast Warchiefs and their clans became true members of the Orcish Kingdoms once more.


#16

Really enjoying reading these folks!


#17

Storm Friar

The flow of refugees did not stop. Humans, dwarves, elves and even a few goblins were entering the large city as the guards ushered them in. Thunder clouds began to combine overhead and the first drops came down. But the mass did not care, for the dead were right behind them.
Ever since the undead flowed from the north, refugees from all sides fled to Queenspark. Queenspark was for some a stop for those who wished to flee further south and escape the docks near Crows Barrow but most would try to hide the Blight out behind the city’s heavy walls.

Queenspark’s Lord raised his army and led most of his men to combat the Blight but it was obvious from the fires in the distance and a few soldiers who ran passed the refugees that he had fallen.
The Storm Friar was seated on top of the hold where the Lord was until recently seated. In fox blood he had inscribed the ground with runes as he prayed to the gods for the ritual.
He was sat cross legged on its roof, muttering under his breath with his eyes closed. The wind picked up and blew the sickening smell of the rotting corpses to his nostrils and the screams of the town’s citizens.

The few elven archers that survived the destruction of their villages fired a volley, killing a mere dent of the oncoming tide of death. Only three dwarven Wing warriors of a whole company returned as the remainder of Queensparks knights had abandoned all charges and returned with only half their number.
The city guard were already starting to panic as the refugees erupted into chaos and pushed and stepped over each other to get inside. A common sight to those who had fought against the Blight.

Already the Lord’ son ran up to him, a cowardly noble but whom had his people’s best interests at heart.
“Beorn, the undead are headed for our gates! What are we going to do?!“
The spell was almost prepared, it only needed a few more words. The Storm Friar named Beorn opened his eyes and turned to the noblemen.” Call your men inside and close the gates now.“
The cowardly noble gasped.” But…there are still so many refugees still headed for us!“
Beorn frowned.” If I do not finish this spell, we will all die and your father’ sacrifice would’ve been for naught. Close the gates, boy and tell your people to stay inside. You have one hour.” On that note the friar closed his eyes and muttered his spell.

In his mind’s eye, he saw the rotting masses of the Blight marching to Queenspark. It was a very large force consisting of undead soldiers and villagers, led by the former Lord of Queenspark who now served as a black knight. They marched hard and the refugees who were to slow quickly fell to the sword or were devoured.
They were nearly upon the walls when Beorn saw the gates were being closed. A large number of refugees were locked outside, their hands slamming against the door as they demanded to be led in. Mothers held out their babes in the pouring rain and pleaded to the sentries above to let at least their children in. A few refugees began to flee to the south as some brave few rallied a militia and tried to fend off the undead horde, their efforts were pitiful at best. Beorn saw this all happen before in a dozen other cities. The first time it had broken his heart, now he barely felt the pain as he cast the spell.

The hour was over and he brought down the thunder. The lightning bolts struck the undead horde, large numbers of the dead were turned to ash or were thrown in the air. Large bolts the size of trees slammed down harder and faster as the earth began to shake. The refugees outside screamed as the wind and lighting began to claim them as well. Dead or alive, all fell to the elements of lightning, wind and earth.

The howling storm lasted a eternity for those who survived it. When the clouds disappeared and the sun came through, it revealed the carnage outside the city gates. The undead horde was gone, as were the refugees. The guard opened its gates and looked for survivors, barely finding any.
The Storm Friar was gathering his things in his knapsack as the noble returned. For a boy who had no spine, he showed it now with anger in his eyes and guards to his side.
“You killed those people! Mothers with babes, what kind of monster are you?!“
Beorn threw his knapsack over his shoulder.” The kind who knows the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” he motioned to the city." You saved all you could, my lord. That is all you can do."

“Do you have no heart?!” the lord cried.
“I did.” Beorn replied." It died when I had to cast my spell for the first time, when my family’s hands stopped beating on my door to be let inside my home to eat my people." With that he walked passed the young noble who looked upon the Storm Friar as if he had seen a ghost.


#18

( Bit of a short story this one. Sorry. )

Mountain King

She had heard of the majesty of the dwarven holds but to see it for herself gave the stories no justice.
To see the city carved inside the mountain with it’s many roads and bridges, lights and busy merchants. As she looked up to the ceiling she saw bright crystals illuminated the inside of the mountain much like a small sun. Other jewellery was embedded on the walls and the street art from Forge Urchins. Stalls were brimming with goat hides, meat, gryphon cloaks. All of it was so…vibrant, warm, alive. A far cry from the dull, dark and cold depiction she had when her grandmother told her of homeland.

“Coolcraig is a terrible place. A city who lost it’s grandeur centuries ago and where backstabbing and ambition have replaced the virtues of honour and the feeling of a hard day’s work.” she said as she was busy cutting a tree." That is why I left and made a life here with our people.“
She placed her ax to the side as the young gnome listened to her dwarven grandmother.” Gnomes always appreciate hard work and fun. They life in harmony with the forest, for every tree we pull down to make our homes and keep us warm, we plant another in it’s place. Dwarven miners just keep digging and digging, tearing the earth apart. They will destroy everything in due time."

But young Mara of the Mushroom Leapers tribe did not see this dreaded destruction. She saw the gems and roes of the earth being remade into something new. From a crude black ore, forge smiths turned it into a piece of armour. Pick axes picked at the stone until a bridge was made connecting one side of the mountain to the other. Everywhere she looked she saw people working hard and there was order in the streets.
“Like what you see, Miss Mara?” her escort asked. She looked to the dwarven male and nodded." It’s quite…different from what I was expecting."
“I bet.” he replied and motioned her to follow him towards the massive citadel up ahead that towered over the smaller buildings inside the mountain." Still, you gnomes still have some gifts left coming from the children of the stone.“Mara looked puzzled until he motioned to her scythe.” Good quality metal there and well made. Did you make it?“
She shook her head.” The blacksmith did. He makes everything. Axes, scythes, nails. We use the same ore your merchants give us."

The guard smiled." Good, I was afraid the elves changed your ways to much.“
This made Mara frown.” How do you mean?"
He looked surprised and his face showed instant regret at having summoned the fury of the small gnome. “Well with you living in forests and all that.”
“The elves are a kind and wise people, they showed us how to life in harmony with the forest. We may not have these cobbled streets or bright crystals but we have tree houses, bridges over the foliage and we know which mushrooms and herbs are poisonous or can save your life.“
This made her escort’s face sour.” Fat chance it does against the Blight now does it?”

Mara’s felt guilty. Here she was marvelling at the city sights as her home was being destroyed by the undead horde. Dark Garden had fallen when she was send off as a emissary to the dwarven kingdoms, how much of the forest still remained whole? Was her village still safe?
She felt a heavy hand on her shoulder." I’m sorry lass, my inner forge burns hot at times. Come, the Mountain King will hear you and I am certain that we will help your kin."
“You sure?” Mara smiled.
“Aye, Gnomes are still children of the stone. Dain himself said that we have to help each other in good times and ill. We’re like the rock of the mountain, we stand together or the whole mountain collapses.”
“I’m still a rock?” she asked.
“Aye.” her escort replied." Just…a bit covered in moss is all." he smirked.

The duo made their way past the busy streets and made their way towards the citadel. Two sentries stood in between them." Halt, who goes there?"
“I am Frolgar Axehamerer.” the escort said." This is-“
Mara stepped up.” Mara of the Mushroom Leapers, emissary of the gnomish and elven people send by Prince Halmadir himself! I demand a audience with the Mountain King!“
The two sentries looked to one a other before giving a hearty chuckle.” My, my, a real fire cracker this one." one said." Her inner forge is brimming over!"
“Come on in, Mara of the Burning Shrooms!” the other jested." The mountain king is expecting you."

The sentries stepped aside and allowed them entry. Frolgar thanked them before leading Mara inside the citadel. Much like the city outside, the citadel was busy. Servants were cleaning the hallway as large statues of previous mountain kings decorated the sides. The gnome noticed a few paintings hanging on the wall showing different kinds of vistas. Such as mountains, rivers, human nobles and their hounds and…a naked woman who was laid down on a long, red bed and only had a book to cover her modesty. This made Mara look away with blushing cheeks much to Frolgar’s amusement.
“A gift from Lord Darren Verelden of Queenspark.” her escort replied." As thanks for the dwarven people’s sacrifice to hold back the Blight masses twenty or so years ago."
“Whose…” Mara motioned to the naked brunette.
“Oh, his mistress if I recall correctly.”
"…humans are weird."
“I know.” Frolgar nodded in agreement." But come, the throne room is up ahead."

The throne room was, much like everything dwarven, large. Mara guessed the large room was roughly half the size of the citadel. Held up by mighty pillars as a massive throne was placed in the middle. The walls to her sides were covered in mosaics, plated with different types of steel of vibrant colours. To the throne’s right was a large book that was held up by a bookcase shaped like a gryphon. The book of grudges, Mara recalled from her grandmother’ stories. Each dwarven king owned one, detailing back to the foundation of his thaig and detailed every slight an enemy of the dwarven people had committed on them. Guessing since the book was half open, the dwarves were holding a lot of grudges.
Frolgar spoke to one of his kin who nodded and motioned them to follow.

A dozen eyes followed her every move as they came closer to the massive throne. This was it, her journey was nearly at a end. Now awaited the hardest job of all, asking the king to help her people.
Nerves were getting to her. She looked to Frolgar who gave her a smile and a assuring nod. She returned the smile and stepped forward.
The court fell silent as the gnome approached, the dwarven nobles moving aside.
The dwarf Frolgar spoke to said aloud." Your highness, Lady Mara of the Mushroom Leapers."

Mara looked up to the figure sat at the throne. Much like the city, even the mountain king surprised her.
She was expecting a old dwarven male with a yellow beard reaching his belt, covered in trinkets and a gryphon’s cloak draped around his shoulders. Instead she saw a young queen draped in trinkets, rings, necklaces and a gryphon cloak coloured blue. The queen gave Mara a kind smile but there was no mistake, this queen was every inch a rightful monarch as her male counterparts.
“I am Freya, daughter of Hadgar Dainson and Mountain King of Coolcraig. Come forth, Lady Mara and tell me, how fare our cousins in the forests?”
“A-apologies your highness.” Mara excused." But I thought you would be…" she couldn’t finish the sentence.
Freya smirked." A woman. Yes, Mountain Kings can be of both sexes although we are both called King. Women are just as capable of ruling as men but I believe you are not here for a lecture." the queen placed her arms on the arm rests of her iron throne." I believe I asked you a question?"

Mara nodded." My people, your cousins, are in danger your majesty. The undead Blight has come from the south and swallowed everything whole. The forest kingdoms are in danger and Prince Halmadir has asked me to ask the noble people of Coolcraig for aid."
“Look at this, the point ears are asking us for aid and they don’t even bother sending one of their own!” One of the noblemen shouted.
“Let the blight come, our holds held against the trolls they can hold against some rotting corpses!” a noblewoman shouted.
“Hang the elves and their gnome pets!” Another added to which a large ruckus erupted amongst the court. Mara tried to speak but every time she tried her voice was overwhelmed and stayed close to Fralgor when things chairs were coming off to be thrown around. She looked pleadingly to the queen.
Freya let it continue for a while before she picked up her mace from beside her throne and slammed it hard on the ground." SHUT IT!" the room fell silent." Good. Lady Mara, why did Prince Halmadir send you?""

Mara sighed with relief and spoke." Because us gnomes are kin to you. He knew a elf could only expect a closed gate if they asked for help. He came to us as a friend, not as a ruler. We gnomes are still children of the stone and we only answer to ourselves. But the Blight is coming, your majesty." she looked to Frolgar who nodded at her. She smiled back before she turned to the Mountain King. "Now more than ever must we realize it’s not just dwarves but also gnomes, elves, humans, orcs, trolls, goblins that are stones in this mountain. We either stay together or we will all collapse."
The court muttered in their beards at this, some even grumbled, but all fell silent when the Mountain King slammed her hammer down once more, more gently this time.

“I hear you, Lady Mara. You are not the first who mentioned news of the blight to us. Years before my father was told of the Blight and choose to ignore it…it was I who had to slay him when he returned as Lord of Destruction.” she motioned her hammer to the book of grudges." I added the name of the Blight in the book and I am all to willing to scratch that name out of it." the Mountain King stood up." Let it be known throughout Coolcraig, Forgotten Echo, Kingspass and every village in between. We are going to war! We are going to save our kin, smash this undead horde into a pulp and show the point ears how it’s done!“
This made the court cheer and Mara’s heart soar. She turned to Frolgar who cheered at her before she pulled him to her and kissed him deeply on his bushy lips. Now it was his turn to have reddened cheeks.
Mara’s smile faded when she realized something.” It will take weeks for a army to gathered…and the march will take months!“
A heavy hand fell on the gnome’ shoulder. She turned and saw the Mountain King as Freya smiled.” Don’t you fret, we will be in time to save your woods."

A week later, a dwarven host marched. But not through the mountains as Mara had feared but underground.
Long tunnels that connected the dwarven realms allowed the Mountain King to rally her armies and march towards the edge of their realms towards the woods.
“Mountain Kings have knowledge of these routes.” Freya said to Mara as they marched through the tunnels." Our ancestors build these generations ago to keep close ties with the nearby other dwarves and to rush to each other’s aid. It seems fitting we would use it now to help our forest dwelling kin."
“My thanks, your highness…I don’t think Prince Halmadir actually thought you would come to help us or if you did only send a token force.“
The gnome looked back as a army of Hammers, Blunderbusses and Winged Warriors were spurred on by Gryphon standard bearers and horns.” But this…”
“Here’s one thing you can always expect from a dwarf, young Mara.” the Mountain King pulled her close." Us dwarves will do anything in our power to upstage an elf." she gave the gnome a wicked grin which the gnome returned.

The dwarven host left the tunnels as were greeted by the sunshine. Undeterred the dwarves marched as the sun beat down on them. Frolgar wiped his forehead and placed his helmet back on. Mara offered him her drinking flask which he gladly took and drank from.
“Ta.” he thanked her." Not used to marching above ground…"
“You could’ve stayed at Coolcraig.” Mara teased.
“And not be able to crack some skulls alongside a beautiful woman? You must be jesting.” he replied.
Mara took the flask back." When my ma said to take a man back home, I’m not sure this is what she meant."
“I’ll do my best to impress then.”

Freya called the company to halt as they neared Buffs Wood. In the distance they saw the forest was being corrupted, losing their leaves while fall was still half a year away, as the sounds of battle sounded. The Mountain King pulled out a binocular and saw elves trying to fight off the undead horde. Elven steel, arrows, Gnomish steel and Ents did their best but it was evident they would lose. She saw the banner of Prince Halmadir fluttering bravely against the tide.
“Prince Halmadir stands alone…” Mara whispered sadly.
“No, not alone.” Freya lowered her binocular and pulled a general to her." Sound the attack.“
The Stout general saluted and motioned to the Gryphon Horn. A long, heavy bass tone rolled over the woods which made both the elves and undead horde turn their heads.
Mountain King Freya drew her hammer and gave out a mighty battle roar and charged forward, followed by the dwarven host. Mara drew her scythe and ran alongside Frolgar as they followed their Mountain King into battle.
Dwarven steel and gunpowder met rotting flesh as the dumbstruck elves saw their rescuers were the stout people of the mountains.
Their prince was the first to snap out of the surprise.” Sons and daughters of the wilds, with me!"
The battered elves took up their prince’s cry and charged alongside their unexpected saviours.
Mara sliced undead elven heads and arms off, her back to Frolgar who bashed skulls in with his shield and mace. When they had a small moment, one would look towards the other and giving a knowing look and a eternal vow, one way or another they both would make out of this alive.

A hundred years later, a statue was build on that battleground. Elven, dwarven and human citizens go around their business in the town every day as the statue of a female gnome watches over and salutes them.
‘To Mara of the Mushroom Leapers and House Axehamerer, for whom none of us would be here.’


#19

Blind Justice:

The Sorceress stands there silent, unfazed by the utter darkness. Not surprising, considering the fact that she had been blind for years. The elvish maiden explained the plight of her people to her, “Please ma’am, the elder at Eagleswood said that you were the only one who could stop the immortals. You must do something.” The sorceress stands there, silent. Silent, as the maiden is taken into a cabin and nourished, silent as the moon rises high into the sky, silent as birds begin to cry, silent as the sun breaks open the morn. When dawn had broken, I asked her, “What do you intend to do?”

"When I was a young girl, I gave up my eyes for the promise that I would see the hearts of men, that I would be able to give true justice."She points to the east, “Your general at Squirrelsfarm slew two hundred immortals there this morning, and to the west, your giants and swordsman slew four hundred immortals. What you do has consequences to your name, tell me, may I borrow your name?”

“What?” I ask.

“May I borrow your name? I need it to slay the demons to the north.” she replied.

“How will my name help?” I said.

“Every heart in the land, will lend a hand, by your great name, I can summon heaven’s flame.” she said, “With the northern immortals slain, I shall spare many elves pain… Don’t you wish to help that girl?”

I nod slowly, “You may borrow my name.”

She smiles, turns to the north, and begins to whisper in an ancient language. I feel my heart flutter, with hope, with pride, with admiration. Many leagues away I see great light, then a mighty bang. She turns and smiles, “Let us go tell that sweet girl that her home is safe.”


#20

I like this one! I wasn’t quite sure how to tackle cards like Blind Justice and the Enchantress simply because there is no added fluff about where they learned their magic. But this was a really good and awesome way to tackle it! I like it, dude! Well done!