Blight: Lore & Fiction


#402

Chapter 20: New alliances
(Alternative title: Dwarves, finally!)

Previously in Ashes to Ashes: (Because who can remember it after such a long hiatus? :joy: )
-Cale followed Rakshasi to an inn room where he saw her turn into a woman and disguise herself. Now he follows her to sate some strange curiosity.
-Rakshasi is a shapeshifter that eats meat, the more sentient the better.
-For the last few chapters, Boac the Axe (Who always wears a helmet, making it possible he’s not Boac the Axe) has been stuck at the twin mana springs, forced to see how the amount of Dusts and other non-Wilds have been growing in number compared to his’s.
-Baddac is Scar’s real name, the one orcs refer to him as.

(P.S. Strap in, because this chapter is 14 pages long…)


#403

Gonna give my full review in a few hours but I just had to read the dwarf bits…
I love your dwarves man. Waiting was well worth it! They’re really intimidating! I think you were inspired by the Thirdlings from the Dwarves series…which is my favourite clan in the series to be honest.
I love your chapter at least for that bit! I’ll tell you more when I read the rst.
Cant wait to see your dark children of the mountain into battle!

Edit: Read your chapter fully now.
I wonder how the Minerva storyline will go. Having a shapeshifting carnivore in a city is very…disturbing. Gave me an idea for my next fic to, thriller stuff.
I like how she did notice how impossibly perfect Cale is. The curse of being offspring to Firstborn.

I said it from the start, Baooc and his twin brother are possibly one of my favourite characters in this series. They’re just so cunningly brutal or brutally cunning. Love em.

Keep up the story dude!


#404

Thanks, though the dwarves were more inspired by your dark dwarves idea of the “original, dark-themed heroes of the Blight” phase that this thread went through a while ago and which started your Transylvanian storyline. Although their elites did get a bit alike the alf/dwarf hybrids from the 4th Dwarven volume.

I’m really interested about Minerva and Cale’s story too, not yet sure where and how I’ll direct that one. Though there might’ve been a bit of confusion about Boac due to how long ago that chapter was, Tael and Mael were the twins from the Dust tribe and Boac was the Wildling who forced one of them to come along with him.


#405

Ah sorry about that, got my orcs mixed up.


#406

Chapter 21: A new quest
(Considering it’s not that far back, the previous link also works for this new chapter.)
New chapter’s up, shorter this time but it contains lesbian elves! :smiley:


#407

Lesbian elves?! SOLD!

Okay real talk, I liked this chapter. Brings a bit of Dungeons and Dragons into Blight of the Immortals.
The good thing about this universe is that you can tell so many stories in it and the different cultures despite some being the same race.
I liked the gobo assassin…shame he had to go so fast though.
I really dig Bonebeard, and i’m not just saying that because I like dwarves. Despite the short chapter you gave every member of that party their own personality, really loved that.

Also good job with the leylines and how the Blight works, kudos! You added a bit more to the mythos that way.


#408

From the world of Buccaneers, Bounty and Boom/Blight of the Immortals comes…

Tales of the Black Bess…

It’s been a while my friend! Gone off pillaging and raiding? Had a good haul?
The state of your clothes say different…Look I heard what happened to your ship, very tragic. Have an ale and a wench on me and try to cheer up, you’re killing the mood here. You are not the only one who lost something or someone to the Black Fleet.
Remember, the luck of a pirate always flips like a gold coin. One day you are a rich man with a harem of beautiful women of four different races, the next your feet are kicking the air as you are hung like a sea dog.
I heard Captain Lunatice and Dwarfkiller have returned here to Tortugan.
They had some casualties and are looking for some new crew to go up against the dreaded Black Fleet that’s been roaming these waters. Sounds like a good plan to take some vengeance eh?

They’ll be here tomorrow my friend, until then let me tell you a tale of a Pirate Queen who was in the EXACT some position as you and nearly everyone else in this tavern are right now.
This is the tale of…

Chang Shing, the Red Queen of Van Xia.

Nobody knows exactly where Chang Shing came from. Obviously she was from the far east end of Arabiana in the oriental land of Van Xia. The land of rice fields that span for miles, where armies are made of legions of Terracota soldiers, serpentine dragons and a large wall the size of giants that some say span the whole continent keeping out such threats such as the roaming warbands of barbarians, the Arabian Sultanas and the Transylvan vampires. Van Xia is ruled by the mysterious Yellow King from the forbidden city of Carcosa near the massive lake of Hali, a monarch who has ruled the empire for centuries for as long as the Citadel in Alundria has stood. Some say the Yellow King is just a title but what little rumours does escape the city say the king has been the same man ever since the city was first constructed.
We do not know much of Van Xia other then what their traders and the Sultanas tell us. For no outsider is allowed inside their wall. So this makes Chang even more of a mystery.

Some say she was the daughter of a nobleman who wished to be free and not be limited by her gender. Others, mostly her enemies, say she was a whore who was taken by some pirates who managed to sneak past the walls defences. The few who support her say she was a freedom fighter who opposed the Yellow King who had to flee the nation.
If it was one of these reasons or a mixture we will never know. All we know Chang was put on board of her future vessel, the Whisper captained by the Dark Elf Malwrat.
Malwrat is a separate story by itself so I will keep it short. He was a dark elf pirate who was feared and respected around Van Xian waters, having been driven rom Alundria by the sea elves. Although a decent enough captain in his own right he was not as smart as the likes of Calimbrimbor or as feared as Blackbeard.

In the span of a year Chang did the impossible. It all started swen the Van Xian Imperial navy attacked the Whisper. Although Chang was a prisoner aboard the whisper, when her cage was opened she picked up a sword from a fallen pirate and joined Malwrat in combat. Together they fended off the Van Xian soldiers and a friendship was formed on the battlefield. A friendship that turned into more.
Chang Shing quickly became one of Malwrat’s lieutenants, later his lover and after that his wife. She took the part of lieutenant very seriously and under her guidance the Whisper became the flagship for a small fleet of pirate ships. This small flotilla would in time count over three hundred junks and be called The Red Fleet manned by fourty thousand pirates of Van Xian, Arabian, Dark elven and even Alundrian descent.

Years later Malwrat was slain in a raid on a Dark Dwarven fortress, Chang was quick to assert full control of the fleet and mercilessly had all her rivals placated, outmatched or otherwise killed. One such rival was Malwrath’s own son whom she had killed by his own love slave while he was sleeping.
It is unknown if she did love her husband or not but she used his death for all it was worth. The men loved their captain and were eager for vengeance. She had all the ships painted red and had one simple purpose. To rule over the oceans surrounding Arabiana. Chang Shing dubbed herself the Red Queen and preyed on every ship she could find and sacked every coastal town she could. Van Xia, Arabiana and even some isles off the coast of Alundria felt her vicious sting.

When she had full control of the flotilla she started the task of uniting the fleet by issuing a code of laws.
First, anyone giving their own orders (ones that did not come down from Chang Shing) or disobeying those of a superior were beheaded on the spot and their corpses thrown to the seas.
Second, no one was to steal from the public fund or any villagers that supplied the pirates.
Third, all goods taken as booty had to be presented for group inspection. The booty was registered by a purser and then distributed by the fleet leader. The original seizer received twenty percent and the rest was placed into an public fund.
Fourth, actual money was turned over to the squadron leader, who only gave a small amount back to the seizer, so the rest could be used to purchase supplies for unsuccessful ships.

She also came up with specific laws concerning the prisoners taken during raids.
Standard pirate practice, which we still follow, was to release women. The Red Queen implemented some changes. Usually the pirates made their most beautiful captives their concubines or wives, as was her case with Malwrat. If a pirate took a wife he had to be faithful to her, if he was not his manhood was chopped off and fed to the fish. The ones deemed unattractive were released and any remaining were ransomed. Pirates that forced themselves on the female prisoners were put to death, but if pirates had consensual sex with captives, the pirate was beheaded and the woman he was with had cannonballs attached to her legs and was thrown over the side of the boat.

Almost exactly one year after the death of Malwrat, where first she started as a slave to be sold off to a goblin slaver or a Arabiana harem, she now captained the Whisper and created a flotilla of likeminded people who became a very nasty and infectious thorn in the side of Van Xia.
No matter how many ships the Imperial Van Xian navy send, no matter how many dragons came for her or Arabian carpet riders, she had every opponent who tried to stop her defeated and beheaded.
For twenty years she ruled over the seas as the Red Queen…but like all reigns it came at an end.

The Red Fleet had grown to large and to famous and it was not long before an alliance of Van Xia, Arabiana Sultanas and even gobo pirates began forcing her fleet in a series of devastating defeats.
After the battle of Gryphon Beak, where the fight ended in a stalemate, the Van Xian offered an amnesty for her and her Red Fleet, a boon from the Yellow King to an honoured adversary. The Red Queen knew further fighting was fruitless and wisely accepted the bargain. Her two sons, one from Malwrat and the other from a Van Xian man, objected and led the fight with others a few more years before they hanged from the noose.
None knew what happened to the Whisper although it is believed the Red Queen has it hidden in some secret island hideout where it waits for it’s next Red Queen.

Chang had enough of adventure however and used the money she had gathered and along with her daughter and grandchildren moved to Alundria where she opened a gambling den/brothel. You may have heard of the Lady Jasmine in Gryphon’s Crown? The current proprietor is actually a descendant of the Red Queen…or so she claims.
Chang eventually passed away at the age of seventy, a good age for anyone of our profession to reach.

So remember my friend, when you hit your lowest point…think of Chang, think of opportunity. Think of the one inch you can take back. And the next inch. And the next inch. And the next. Until you can take no more. And above all else…give nothing back.


#409

A nice tall tale, me lad! Have a drink on me.:beer:

Nice lore, an even nicer hint to a firstborn in Van Xia and lovely new continents lore. I can’t tell how much of this is in-game lore of buccanneers, but nice nonetheless. Either it’s all original or it’s a good use of already existing lore to mix with a tall tale.

One bit of feedback is to spellcheck the story, there were a few typos and Malwrat went by three different ways of his name being spelled. But the story was good!


#410

Glad you liked the tale, Mammon!

I admit Chang’ story is similar to a real pirate who existed in the 17th century, I just gave it a bit of a fantasy twist. Likewise the Yellow King is a idea I took from the King in Yellow novel which has Lovecraft influences.
Sorry about the spelling, no excuse for that one.


#411

Encyclopaedia Alundria

Gryphon’s Crown.
The Crown of Sanctuary/ The Walled City/ The Sky City.
By Brother Toth of the Gray Council

Located in the northern part of the Sanctuary province near the dwarven kingdom of Coolcraig and the elven forestto the east and north of the river of Rhine. Gryphon’s crown boasts the reputation that ever since it’s creation the city has never fallen hence the moniker “The walled city”. With it’s massive spires and architecture one could easily mistake the city for a dwarven stronghold but keener eyes can see humanity had it’s hand across the entire construction.
It was from here the kingdom of Gryphon’s Crown began and all human villages, castles and settlements in the province owe their allegiance to the capitol.

History.

Gryphon’s Crown began not as a settlement per se but as the name implied a Gryphon’s roost. Some dwarves lived nearby in some caves but what would one day become the largest city of Sanctuary was little more than a few rocks on the plains where the majestic beasts of the sky made their home.
However when human settlers came the gryphon population was all but gone, only one sole buck by the name of Sharptalon who ruled the roost like a king remained.

There are few sources that shed light on what happened but according to dwarven sagas and old myths of Cyclop Priests, the gryphons were engaged in a war with the black dragons that made their home in the mountain chain that would become Coolcrag. These reptilian beasts ruled Sanctuary with a iron paw and used the magic in their teeth to create skeleton warriors to enforce their rule over the land, bring maidens to be eaten and destroy any and all who would oppose them. The gryphons of Gryphon’s Crown were the largest of their kind and strong enough to go head to head with a dragon, some records of Sharptalon seem to confirm this as he was seen with a wingspan the size of a city gate.
A alliance of dwarven gryphon warriors, human tribesmen and the lion-eagled beasts made war with the black dragons and their undead minions which ended in the death of all black drakes and the near extinction of the gryphons. Although the gryphons did manage to return from near extinction, the roost of Gryphon’s Crown never recovered and left Sharptalon as the sole survivor.

When the elves came to settle the land and named it Sanctuary, the war was all but forgotten save for a few songs. Elven scholars to this day deny any such tale and found no proof of any black drakes. They theorize the Gryphons met their extinction by other means such as a lack of food the encroachment of the human settlers.

Whatever the case, the early human settlers saw Sharptalon as a god and worshipped him. They gave the buck some of their livestock and human sacrifices to appease him. In return the large gryphon protected the humans and allowed them to remain in his territory. One legend claims that during one sacrificial offer, five men and women and a child were offered to the beast by a cruel chieftain who wished to usurp control of the clan by getting rid of the competition. Sharptalon ate the men and women but spared the child. The child who would be named Kar was raised by gryphon. Years passed as a warband of trolls came to the land and raided the village and the dwarven caves nearby The chieftain had grown to old and soft and even sold his own people to troll slavery. Sharptalon saw this and acted. When Kar became a man killed the chieftain and took control the clan. Dressed in a war suit of gryphon bones and feathers, Kar led his clan to victory and ousted the trolls out of Sanctuary. Gryphon Crown’s royalty claims that they have been descended of Kar’s line. There is some credence to this belief since only the royal family was able to fly on Sharptalon. One such example is at the dawn of the First Troll war when Queen Hrella herself dressed in a similar armour and led the attack against the trolls.

As time went on, the small village became larger and by time of recorded history, a small walled city was created around the roost. Early documentation showed humanity sought contact with the dwarves and hired them to help build the walls. The children of the mountain knew how to build fortifications to not only protect themselves but also as not to upset the gryphon.

Dwarven artisans helped their human peers shape the rocks around them to create thick walls and helped dig tunnels underneath the city to bring in more resources and supplies. In this time some of the dwarves had their own quarter in the city they helped build and some of the old noble houses can trace dwarven ancestry from these times.
It was around this time the city began to expand rapidly and villages nearby became annexed by the gryphon army led by Queen Beatrix, a ambitious Queen who wanted to rule the entire province. A army of men and dwarves struck out and laid claim to countless smaller fiefdoms and added them to Gryphon’s Crown. Sharptalon himself aided in the early days of the expansion by Queen Beatrix’s urging but quickly retired.

Gryphon’s Crown was unopposed until they came upon the city state of Dawnford. The two city-states would engage in bloody wars with each other with one side proclaiming themselves sovereignty over the other.
During one such engagement Sharptalon himself came to a tragic end as a elven arrow struck him in the eye. Both he and Beatrix died that day. In honour of Sharptalon’s sacrifice, the city of Gryphon Crown began erecting tall buildings and spires to invoke the sense of awe the gryphon had on his people. Prince Valiant led a new series of wars against Dawnford and swore his people would not stop until the citystate was well and truly his.
This lasted for several centuries with decades of peace that occasionally was interrupted by short wars over some sleight or insult. The last war prior to the First Troll war was one hundred years until it was stopped when the king of Gyphon’s Crown married the princess of Dawnfort and incorporated the city and its villages proper into the kingdom.
With Dawnford now as part of the kingdom, the unification of the province was now complete.

Local features.

Royal Palace; Originally the roost of the giant gryphons it is now the largest building in the city after the last gryphon died. It has the height of five kilometres and twice as wide. It is shaped like a large castle with a large gryphon whose beak provides entrance to the castle. The supposed line of Kar who was the first man to befriend the gryphon is now royalty and lives here. King Leopold III and his court now reside here.

Upper Levels; Nobility, the upper class and knights make their home here. The higher you are in the city, the more important you are. Guarded fiercely by the city guard, people here life a comfortable life without fear of being mugged in the streets.

Lower Levels; The lowest levels of the city, tunnels excluded. The paupers and homeless life here. Although there are a few tall buildings here, they are mostly abandoned and close to collapse although it does not stop people from living in them. Crime lords rule the streets although all fear the one they call ‘The Mole King’.

Grand Forum; The large marketplace where farmers, merchants, street performers, traders, mercenaries and whores ply their trade.
A large stockade is permanently build there for the occasional execution or announcement.
Some claim it to be on par with the large market in the Iron Citadel.

Lady Jasmine: A well known and luxurious brothel ran by Lady Jasmine herself, a so called descendant of a famous pirate lord of elven and Van Xian heritage. Catering to all walks of life, the rich and wealthy often come here to have their affairs as discretion is guaranteed and the tunnels leading in and out of the brothel avoids scandals coming out.

Tunnels: There are numerous tunnels build by the dwarves that the more well versed people in Gryphon’s Crown can use. A few of them are well known to the public and are used to get to work or back to their domiciles. Not all tunnels are advised to be used however. Plenty of people frequently go missing in the less used tunnels of the city.

Dwarven district; A well fortified corner of the city where the children of the mountain life. Dwarves ranging from Mountain dwarves to Gnomes make their living here. The city guard have no jurisdiction here as the ruling Thane and his hammerers act as the law enforcement in accordance with the crown.
Noblemen often come here to buy dwarven crafted weaponry, armour or jewellery since only they can afford it.

Queen Beatrix’s Cathedral: After the death of Queen Beatrix and Sharptalon, the city fell in deep mourning. In honour of their memory the nobility and clergy decided to build tall buildings to emulate flight. One of the first building is the Cathedral. Complete with tall, now crooked, spires that reach of three kilometres in the sky.
Every year the Queen and Sharptalon are remembered in a week long festival, called the Sky Festival, of fasting followed by a large feast that towers over the tables. All can eat from the long tables within the Cathedral without persecution.

Outer and inner Walls; The city walls are the tallest walls on Alundria, the Citadel’s excluded. Made of thick stone and manned at all times by men and dwarves, the city ever since it’s construction has never fallen. Since then it has faced Trolls, Orcs and of course the Blight on several occasions. 500 men guard the walls that stretch around the entire city. Crossbows, bows, blunderbusses and cannon’s are placed across the wall behind locked boxes where only the guard has the keys off.
Although the outside walls are restricted, the inner walls may be seen by the public with some portions serving as museums and gift shops for tourists.

Sorceress tower: A crooked spire located near the palace, the tower was constructed as a watch post in the early days of Gryphon’s Crown but was changed into a arcane library by the then-ruler the Sorceress Morganna I, the only mage of the royal bloodline. Although at certain nights when the moon is high one can see strange spectres walking passed the open windows, the local populace do not seem to fear the tower but do not test their luck by trying to enter it.
During her tenure as Queen, Morganna spend most of her time in the tower where she perfected her magic crafts which helped save the kingdom when Warchief Gorvar the dragonrider came to invade Alundria with his orcish hordes. On her deathbed she made it her testament that it became a school for wizards and sorceresses for those who lived in Sanctuary. Although the Citadel send tutors to teach the Queen, they have no jurisdiction in Gryphon’s Crown and since then all students who enrol and graduate from the Tower do not answer to the Citadel but to the crown itself.
No-one knows what the tower looks like on the in-side save the wizards who life there. Some say that the tower is bigger on the inside than the outside, it being able to house an entire castle. Other say that there are tunnels separate from the ones across the city connecting the tower to the royal palace so the sorceress could conduct her magical experiments on unsuspecting victims kidnapped by the royal guard.

Famous people of Gryphon’s Crown.

Kar: The first king of Gryphon’s Crown who was able to tame the large gryphon called Sharptalon.
When he was a boy, Kar and his family were send by the wicked chieftain to be fed to the gryphon in order to consolidate his hold over the clan. Although his entire family was eaten, the boy was spared and was raised by the creature. Years later when the trolls came during the First troll war, it was Kar who slew the old wicked chieftain and led the clan to victory. It was from his line that all kings and queens of Gryphon’s Crown come from. His armour, a war suit of gryphon bones and feathers, is centred in the royal palace along with other priceless artefacts.

Sharptalon; The ancient gryphon that made Gryphon’s Crown his roost for centuries. One of the last Great Gryphons that make present day creatures look like dogs compared to great elephants.
A fierce and territorial creature that mostly left humanity alone and preferred to feed on cattle and other livestock, although records show the beast had an unnerving bloodlust when tearing through enemy soldiers be they human, orc, troll or even undead.
He could only be ridden by descendants of the line of Kar and even so it was more akin to a partnership than a bound a rider would have with his mount. Sharptalon sometimes could grow displeased with his rider and a few kings and princes were either thrown off from a great height or eaten. Sharptalon and Queen Beatric both fell during the early years of the war with Gryphon’s Crown and Dawnford when an elven archer slew the beast with a single arrow through the eye.

Queen Beatrix: Also known as the Queen who fell. It was under Beatrix that the kingdom expanded aggressively and annexed several villages and keeps under her banner. A very militaristic leader who was stern but just. She fell during the first battle for Dawnford when she and Sharptalon fell from the sky into the river of the Rhine after a elven archer shot the great beast in the eye, her body was found a week later. The Grand Cathedral of Beatrix was made in her honour.

Queen Morganna I: The first and only member of Kal’s bloodline who had the gift of magic.
Well known for her part in stopping Warchief Gorvar during the Second Troll war, Morganna was a sorceress whose quest to learn more about the realm of magicks often clashed with her royal duties. And when she did rule it was mostly to tax the people to further her experiments in the realms of magick.
As such it was mostly her younger sister Altrissa who ruled the kingdom as a steward. Since Morganna never married, although records show she did have lovers and might have had at least one child, it was Altrissa’s children who inherited the crown.
She was a powerful magic wielder and was able to slay hundreds of orcs with just one of her spells. Although she was not an effective ruler, people do remember her fondly for the victory against the orcs.

King Leopold: Also known as Leopold the Fat. The ruler of Gryphon’s Crown during the start of the Second Blight.
An obese and cowardly man who used his political machinations and cunning to stay one step ahead of a rebellion. Before the Blight came to Sanctuary, Leopold had the food stores emptied and send to the capitol and flattened any rebellion mounted against him. When the Blight did come he shut his army up in the capitol and waited as the land around it died. When Mountain King Freya Dainsdottir and Prince Halmadir led the charge against the Blight, King Leopold send his forces to assist. Although his planning did save more lives, he is forever known as Leopold the Fat and he is not remembered fondly.

The Mole King: A mysterious mob boss who has been around ever since the city was probably build centuries ago.
His men manage to sneak in and out of banks, rob caravans, assault political opponents and evade capture due to their intimate knowledge of the tunnel system. Most of the criminals in the lower levels work or know someone who works for The Mole King. No-one is sure who he is. Several sheriffs claim it is a title passed from one mob boss to another over the years while other claim it is in fact the same man, or dwarf, from the start.

Lady Yasmine: A beautiful half-elven woman who owns the brothel named after her. She is a descendant of a pirate lord and a Van Xian captain. She caters to the rich and wealthy but also offer services to the lower classes. She offers her services herself rarely these days but would do so for a lot of coin. It is claimed she is in league with the Mole King and the Crown.

Ser Harold Barnsworth: The current champion of Gryphon’s Crown, the son of the mayor who recently returned from his grand tour in the south of Alundria. When he returned to his homeland his caravan were beset by the Children of the Light, a zealous cult led by Mother Mercy. This proclaimed crusade was terrorizing the land as the rogue Cyclops Priestess tried to weed out the corruption of the Undying Ones, mortals who ally themselves with the Blight. It was Harold who rallied his escort and survivors of the attacks to harass the Children. After a political marriage which earned him support from the capitol, and the purchase of some orc slave warriors, he managed to capture Mother Mercy and broke the army of the Children. For his efforts he was made a knight and was given a spot in the Court as a advisor.

Captain Hroth: Captain of the city watch and the second dwarf to hold the position.
Veteran of several wars against the Blight he now retired to the ‘quiet’ life of keeping the people of the city safe from both outside and domestic threats. He runs the watch like a army with strict regulations and codes of conduct. However he looks after his boys and girls and if a member of the guard ends up dead, many more criminals end up dead in the following weeks.
However it is still rumoured he frequently accepts pay from the Mole King.


#412

Nice lore, and it seems you got a writing itch around the same time I did.

A good tale with the Gryphon’s brood, although Sharptalon’s involvement with so many historic events would make him incredibly old. How old do gryphons get? Or is he a firstborn perhaps? :wink:

A good story on their wars with Dawnford and such too. Bloody, neither the hero nor villain, and suggesting of the arrogance that the upper levels no doubt have about their walls. Though they’ve never faced vapires before…


#413

Chapter 22: Skull crushers.
Decided by a literal flip of a coin, the battle between the Wilds and the humans has been decided. And, I’m quite glad who won due to certain foreshadowing from waaaaay back. Foreshadowing you probably don’t even remember… :frowning: Oh well.


#414

Thanks for the read, Mammon!

Sharptalon was a old bird when he died, showing this massive form of gryphons were as long lived as dragons themselves.
I did enjoy writing the history of Gryphons Crown and how they would see themselves as good guys. Victory is written by the victor after all.

Your story was pretty good. I really enjoy the Minnerva storyline, seeing the interactions with the locals is what pulled me in. Despite this being a fantasy game about zombie apocalypses i like the human element in this, how people in those cities we protect ingame are just living their lives.

Also love the shootout to Van Xia and the Yellow King there. It would make sense for Mammon to use ancient knowledge to solve the problem or rely or consider relying on people just as old as he is.

Cant wait to read more. Each chapter you do just gets better and better!
Only gripe i got was the c-word you used. Now I know i do a lot of sex scenes and such but a flat out curse is a bit off to me. Now I dont mind it myself, if anything go full r rated if you like, just wanted to give a heads up.


#415

Thanks, I too have found the more normal stories more intriguing to write about than the continuous war marching and such. And considering I’m not one for describing battles and fighting, numbers and politics is what’s left for a blight story…

Sorry about the cursing. I’m not one to care for curses, whether being appalled by it or using them unnecessary for effect. Though that you wouldn’t care that much either (being Dutch where no one cares about cursing and in England where the c-word is okay to use on the telly). My apologies for not giving a heads-up.


#416

No worries man, I don’t mind the swearing at all :slight_smile:

Agreed even Warhammer stories have a little downtime in between massive battles, why would you care about reading big battles if you got nobody you care about being in them?


#417

No new chapter this week, kinda out of imagination atm.
Did add a bit more in the Gryphon’s Crown entry.


#419

No worries, I’m not writing yet either. Soon enough though, I hope, although I am currently quite busy with my other story again.


#420

A new chapter has been added to the link. Chapter 23: A bloody escape
Warning: The following chapter contains violence, grotesque descriptions and topics that may not be fit for the average person. Reader͛s digression is advised


#421

Oh, this was a nice bloody chapter. And we got the Park Wrekers here as well, nice!
Love storylines coming together here with Bonebeard and Cale.
Love how bloody you made Minerva. I plan to do something similar in my tales.
Good chapter.


#422

Pieces on the board.
Chapter 2 of the Fall of Gryphon’s Crown.

Gryphon’s Crown was a kingdom under siege. It took a bird’s eye view to see that. Even at nightime with the moon out, the winged creature could see all.
The capitol itself was surrounded by all sides by the Blight. The Immortals hungrily scraped at the walls of the city. There was the odd attempt of the immortals who piled up to climb on top of each other like ants to scale the walls but those quickly were stopped by the wall’s defenders. Human spears and dwarven gun made quick work of that. Gryphon’s Crown would outlast the siege…but the surrounding countryside was not so lucky.

Dandy’s Park was burning, it’s defenders had given up on the village and moved southward towards Dawnford. Refugee trains trudged through the winter snow, young and old, man and woman. Many would die because of the cold than the undead.
The creature that flew kept it’s eye on the refugees and did notice they had silent guardians. Elven archers moved unseen through the snow. Any Immortal that got close to the refugees was shot down by a quick arrow.
The creature did not care for their struggles. Instead it flew to the last village near the capitol, called Black Park.

It was a small village with crude fortifications, around a dozen buildings including the inn. It had a dock near the Rhine, in peace time it would’ve supplied the capitol with fish and trade from the river. As the creature flew overhead he saw goblin mercenaries with shortbows among the crude barricades, prone to leave with the first real sign of trouble.
Militia and the odd Knight were the towns only real form of protection. Which was not much.
The creature landed behind the tavern and took a different form. A more handsome form. Much like the humans in his own land of Arabiana it took a more tanned skin and the dress of a merchant as not to rouse to much suspicion. He was here to infiltrate after all.

He entered the tavern and noticed there were not many people in the dead of night. Just a few militia and the innkeeper, a petite woman with long brown hair who was still serving drinks. She looked to the newcomer with a tired smile, the end of the day and the constant worry was obviously getting to her despite her trying to hold it back.
“What can I do for you, hon?” She went back behind her counter and poured out a drink already for him.
The creature sat across of her and gave a perfect smile with his perfect white teeth.
“I would like a room for the night…and a person to share it with.” And with that he already had her.

A hour later after the inn closed, Shala, for that was the innkeeper’s name, was kissing the newcomer fiercely and deeply. She undid the laces of her perfect Arabiana attire and took it off. In turn the newcomer returned the gesture and undid her bodice. His clothes and hers were strewn across the room as their passion ignited in her small room.
She hungered for this all night, a distraction from the long, dark day. Shala did not keep quiet, she groaned and moaned in ecstasy.
“I don’t even know your name…” she sighed as he took her.
The newcomer kissed her neck. “Cambion…” he replied." You may call me Cambion."

They frequently changed positions, some Shala had never even tried before with the men in the village, before it all reached a pleasant culmination. She cried out in pleasure before finally, interrupted by occasional quivers and shudders as the last of the sensation drained from her.
“Cambion…” the innkeeper smiled happily as her newfound lover laid next to her." You were just what I needed…“
Cambion smiled and strayed her hair.” And you are just what I needed…" He kissed her again.
“What brings you here?” Shala asked, regaining her breath.
“I’m on the way to Gryphon’s Crown…” he replied." To find the Mole King.“
She chuckled.” The mole king? Why do you need him?"
“Because we have some…unfinished business.” Cambion gave his signature smile that put her at ease." Do you know how I can find him?“
Shala laughed.” Well…assuming you can get past the dead…I have no idea. However…" she took his hand and kissed it." I heard if you go to the Lady Jasmine you can find him…"

Cambion smiled a predatory grin." The Lady Jasmine? Good to know…“
He began kissing her neck again, making her giggle, before he started nibbling her. Shala winced as a teeth hit her neck.” Careful, you hurt me there…"
He looked to her as his face began to change to something else. Something evil. “Oh, I intend to do more, Shala…” Cambion replied…and sunk his teeth into her chest.
Before she could scream a strong hand fell on her mouth, her pleas for help smothered.
The unnaturally strong creature known as Cambion held her down as he fell on her like a snake on it’s prey, taking chunks of her flesh with every bite.
Blood covered them both and her bed as gore and organs flew around. The last thing Shala saw in her bloody end was the creature jamming his new reptilian maw into her chest and it ripped out her heart, eating it with one gulp.
His hunger was sated, for now. In the morning he would find a way to end the mole king.


Bruna

It was as if she had been doing this all her life. She jumped and ran across rooftops like a adrenaline filled cat. Her cannon hawkbeak tip hood clung to her head despite the speed she went. A smile came to her lips, it was as if right now she was only truly alive.
“Careful Initiate.” the fellow Undying one next to her warned. Like Bruna she to was human but with short blonde hair and blue eyes. She along with the large orc male and goblin were all dressed in the same black and gray hooded attire." Last thing we want is to have a pancake for a guide.“
Bruna nodded.” Don’t worry, I know these rooftops like the back of my hand!" She assured but then again she never ran across them so fast, especially during the winter with snow covering everything.

She took them to the Lower portion of the city, passed the Grand Cathedral of Queen Beatrix. She did not need to look to see the massive construction in her mind’s eye. A massive building with the statue of the Queen riding her gryphon outside the large wooden doors, the stained windows showing several saints doing their acts of martyrdom, large spires that seemed to pierce the heavens and the symbol of god.
“The Sky Festival is up soon.” Sera remarked." Looking forward to it?"
“Aye.” Bruna vaulted over an chimney." All you can eat buffet with nobody judging you. Also the artwork inside is nice."
“You religious?” Sera asked.
Bruna smirked." Can you be religious as a assassin?“
The blonde assassin jumped off another rooftop before she replied.” You can be, just imagine you have a lot of explaining to do in the afterlife. You?"
“No.” she replied. How could she believe when just outside that very same building a father was killed by some vagrant with a rusty knife, leaving behind a poor wife and two daughters to fend for themselves.

“You think it’ still on?!” the orc named Turok shouted, he was less lithe than his three other peers but could keep up the pace." With the Blight an’ all…“
Sera glared behind her.” Keep it down, you idiot!" She hissed." You want the whole city to hear?“
The orc grumbled.
“Turok has a point though.” Frenzo the goblin replied.” Think there’s enough food?“
Before sera could reply it was Bruna who spoke.” No way the nobles would deny the poor their food. If they want to stop a tide of hungry people smashing in their doors on the upper levels, they better pay up the food.“
Sera nodded.” And we have a steady supply going in the city."
Bruna wanted to ask but stopped as she saw the location. She held up her hand, the other three assassins stopped in their tracks.

The Initiate pointed to a small church, one of many that were spread across the lower levels. The only difference being this one, despite the early hours, it was well guarded by several thugs.
“There, that’s the place Captain Convenus told me where he had to send patrols away from.” Bruna said.
Sera undid her hood for a moment, her short blond hair waving in the wind." Is your intel solid?“
Griffsdottir turned to Sera.” Yeah, after nearly exposing his affair with a maid, he’s been all to eager to give up who he is on the take from.“
Sera nodded and peered into the church.” The vampire will be just asleep now…now is the moment to strike.“
Frenzo frowned.” Why would a vampire pick a church as his hideout? Isn’t that like…A Blighter hiding in a mana pool?“
Sera shook her head.” No, the mole king said vampires tend to corrupt places of worship or bureaucracy for fun. they thrive on the chaos of others but hate chaos in their own ranks…" the blonde assassin took up her daggers." It’s time to give them a piece of their medicine."

Bruna took up her short axe, a memento from her grandmother, and took her place.
A week ago she would’ve immediately shot down the idea to fight a vampire. If anything the mole king said she didn’t have to. When she returned with the money, Frina was elated. She did not question once where the money came from but Bruna knew her lover to well that no amount of juggling or parlor tricks could generate two bags full of coin. The two bags were exactly what they needed to move slightly higher up the city with actual padded, heated walls, flowing water and a good school for Tiny Tina. Frina succeeded in her audition and her new role in the Dawn play would provide them for the winter. Best thing of all, they started to make love again. Having a room of their own helped matters a lot and the fire in their relationship returned.

But three days later she started having visions, daydreams even. She saw a hooded dwarf move around the city, much like she could now. She saw him fight using an axe, quick and strong despite his size. He fought orcs and trolls but the same applied to humans. But only saw them when she had the hood on.
The mole king was right, the hood had chosen her. She was still conflicted, at times she wondered if the hood was controlling her actions.
“The hood is a instrument.” the mole king said.
She confronted him in one of his tunnels. Still the kindly grandfather who was feeding his three small children with bacon and eggs. Two dwarf boys and a human girl. If they were his grandchildren it was all to possible for she saw a resemblance in them.
“How do you mean?” Bruna asked.
“You do not question a knife for cutting something.” the mole king divided the bacon and eggs across three plates." You do not question a sword for doing chopping your enemies to bits. It does what you ask it to do. Same goes for your hood." he pointed to the hood.
Before the children ate, the mole king cleared his throat. The boys looked confused but the girl took his meaning." Thank you granpapa!" the auburn haired girl smiled. The two boys muttered their thanks, glaring daggers as their clever sister.
“You’re welcome, children. Eat up, it’s a long day ahead of us.” the mole king smiled before he motioned Bruna to sit. The initiate did so." What makes you question it so?"
“I’ve been seeing…things.” Bruna admitted.
“Oh?” the mole king took his seat and poured in some warm tea in both their cups. He waited for her to continue.
“I see…this dwarf running across the rooftops. And when I try to follow him…I can.” she took a sip of the tea.
“Is that so?” the old dwarf took his tea." You don’t seem horrified of this…ghost."
“I was to begin with.” she admitted." But after a while it…it felt like it was friendly. Like it was showing me how to do those things. How to run, how to breathe, vault, fight, steal…"
“It senses your potential.” the mole king said." You can only get something out of it when you put the effort into it, which you have been doing."
She paused. "What do I have to do?“
He smiled.” There is a saying I learnt when I was a young man in construction…when something isn’t broken, don’t fix it."
Another moment passed as another question came to mind.
“Are you the ghost?“
He only drank his tea and replied with a smile.” Do you want it to be?”

She could see the ghostly form of the dwarf jump into the church, laying waste to the thugs in a expert fashion. When Sera gave the signal, the four assassins went to work and Bruna knew what to do.
The thugs were all centred around a big coffin, a black dragon served as it’s crest. Their main objective.
Turok went in first, his massive bulk smashed through the window and skewered one thug with his massive sword.
Sera ran up on his back and leapt, taking care of the crossbowmen above them. In a blink of an eye she threw one dagger she pulled out of the now dead thug to a troll bruiser’s head, instantly killing the creature.
Bruna went to work with her axe.
She had never taken a life before. she stole, she lied, she cheated, she saw other people get jumped in the alleys and stabbed to death…but she never killed. When her axe severed the orc’s neck from his shoulders…she felt like she had done it a hundred times before. No remorse. For a brief moment this worried her. She killed a person yet she felt…nothing. That moment nearly cost her her life were it not for Sera killing the orc’s kin trying to avenge his brother.
“FOCUS, INITIATE!” she shouted.
And Bruna did. Every kill that was made afterward was just like a dance. Parry, strike, killing blow. Parry, strike, killing blow. The others could not see the ghost dwarf, fighting alongside them. A silent brother fighting his own silent war.

When the last of the thugs fell, the assassins eyes fell on the coffin.
Sera took out her dagger and nodded to her brothers and sister. Bruna and Frenzo each grabbed the side of a lid and pushed it off. Black dust came from the casket and revealed the form of a noblewoman, dressed in her best. She opened her eyes and was about to lash out, sharp fangs came from her mouth. Sera’s dagger in her chest and Turok’s mighty sword swing made quick work of the creature.
When the head was severed, the body turned to ash and only left behind the dress.
“It’s done.” was all Sera had to say on the matter.
Bruna was breathing heavily, the adrenaline in her body screamed and ran through her blood. She was trembling still, her axe suddenly felt heavy in her hand. Her right hand was covered in blood, the life essence of another being. It was fascinating now, and horrifying at the same time. She could not hear anyone speak. A hand on her back made her jump, Turok held both his hands up." I did not mean ta scare you. You alright?"
She nodded the lie. She wasn’t sure if she ever would be alright.

The four left the church quietly. As they left they saw the cleaning crew was already moving in, Bruna kept her hood down when she recognised some of them were people who lived in her old building.
The four split ways and went back to their homes. It was nearly dawn when Bruna made it back in her bed, her blood soaked clothes in the wash.
She took great care not to wake Frina and snuck under the covers.
Her heart stopped when Frina spoke.
“You’re late…” the half-elf said without opening her eyes. Her voice sounded like it was with mirth.
“Aye…” Bruna replied and kissed her lover." Late night…"
“Heard you sneak out and back in just now…” Frina returned the kiss." You would make a terrible thief.“
Bruna chuckled.” I would…"

The assassin let her worries go and held on to Frina, her anchor to this life. It reminded her of a saying her mother used to say. "No matter what happens during the day, how good or bad, at the end of it you will always be in your bed."
The two held each other for at least a hour before the day would begin anew.


Harold

Harold of House Barnsworth should be a lucky man. He was named champion of Gryphon’s Peak, he had a wife who was with child, a orcish shamaness as a mistress and ended the war with the Children of the Light.
So now when he was looking down his villa on the higher levels, he could only see the waves of undeath around the city and the surrounding area, blocking any chance to escape. He saw the guard patrolling the walls as the people down below made their morning rounds. And all of them believed he would be the one to save them all from starvation, civil war or god forbid the Immortals actually managing to break the walls. He knew the latter was not going to happen, the walls would never fall. But starvation was a bigger deal. Worse some people on the lower levels had gone missing during the night, never to return. A cult of serial killers or Children of the Light seeking vengeance, nobody knows.

“All of them believe in you, my boy.” the king said to him the day before." You’ll find a way."
“But what if I don’t have one?” Harold asked.
The king paused." Well…then all will be lost. And none of it will be our problem anymore." He cackled the last bit.
He poured himself in some wine and had a drink to calm himself. All he had to do was to find a way to keep the calm in the city before spring so Dawnford’s Knights could ride in to save the day.
He had entrusted his friend, the Troll Prince Aziboo, to pay off the knight’s academy in Dawnford to make sure they would ride out.
But that was still two months away. He shook his head. Sudden knocking interrupted his thoughts and before even waiting to be beckoned, the door opened.

A beautiful young woman with dark hair and shapely curves entered, one of his maids by the looks of it.
“How can I help you, my dear?” He asked.
“Good morning, Champion, my name is Stella. The King was upset that you parted on such poor terms earlier and asked if I would come and help make amends.” Her bright teeth shone in the moonlight, and as she curtsied her breasts pressed together and offered him a generous look down the front of her dress.
“Oh, really…?” Harold raised his brow and placed his glass down." How?“
By doing anything you require, my Lord…anything that will make you happy.” She rested her small, dainty hand on his forearm and stroked it softly. For a moment he considered declining, after all he was married and he wasn’t sure how Frekkia would respond to it.
When he started to kiss her and undo the front of her dress by then all previous worries fled from his mind.

He took her twice that morning. Once whilst overlooking the city on his balcony, thankfully they were really high up so none of the people below could see, and one more in his bed.
When he reached his second crescendo he rolled off Stella, he did so with a happy smile.
“That was fantastic, Stella.” Harold said.
Stella returned the smile." Oh, I had better." She replied as she gathered her clothing.
This soured Harold’s mood. Before he could reply he saw a old dwarf sitting across of them, drinking a cup of tea.
“Was that alright, your majesty?” Stella asked the dwarf.
“Very well, thank you Stella. You may go now. Please give my regards to your mother.” The dwarf replied.
Stella quickly redressed and kissed the dwarf on his head before she disappeared passed the door, leaving a embarrassed Harold Barnsworth.

When he could speak, he was furious." Who in the name of Alundria are YOU?!“
The dwarf finished his tea.” My apologies, Lord Harold but I tend to only come out in public when I know the other person has nothing on his person to hide. Pardon the deception."
“Just you wait until-”

The dwarf held up his hand." Your bodyguard likewise is occupied with a orc slave warrior you brought her yourself. She thankfully has the same open mindedness you have. Also…" he drank some more tea." Were it not for our common friend, I wouldn’t be here to ask for your help.“
Harold glared.” Funny way of asking for help! Who is your friend?!“
The dwarf smiled.” Prince Aziboo of course. We go back a while, even before King Thror reclaimed Orangecraig. It was he who suggested I should come to you for help."
The naked lord grabbed his trousers and put them on under his bed covers. Aziboo was a close friend of his, were it not for him life in Wildriver Run would’ve been unbearable. He lost count how many fights he end up in with the local troll tribes and Aziboo with the humans. Both taught each other diplomacy and the power of words.
“Alright…what kind of help?” Harold asked.

“Something small to help you take care of that…serial killer issue.” The dwarf placed his tea down before he began tinkering on a mechanical device on his wrist." I need my people to be able to move across the Higher City and the Royal palace undisturbed."
“Your people?“
The dwarf smiled.” You’ll know them by their hoods.“
Harold frowned.” So you want your hooded people to move…undisturbed?”
“Aye. We took care of most of the killers in the Lower Levels but we need to move up before we can end the issue. Also what time is it?”
“Urghm…Nine o’clock I think…” Harold cursed himself when he finally realized whom he was talking to.
“You are the mole king, aren’t you?“
The dwarf nodded.” Aye.“
Harold stood up.” My family told me about this…you worked for with my ancestor, Morganna! Killed everyone who opposed her, including Warchief Gorvar’s chief lieutenants when they besieged the city!”
“I prefer the term co-operated.” the mole king finished finicking with his wrist." But yes. I need your help in this, Lord Harold. A threat is coming, using the Blight as a shroud. If we want to save this city, we need to act now before all is lost."


Hroth

Thumping on his door woke the Captain of the city watch. His partner next to him groaned.
“By the beards of my ancestors, Hroth…” the other dwarf sighed annoyed." Third night…"
“I know…” Hroth replied tiredly and slid his trousers on." Don’t wait up…"
He stopped when his partner’s hand held his for a moment. Glin could grumble like any other dwarf and withstand heats not all blacksmiths could handle but deep down in his own inner forge, he was a big softy.
“Be careful…” the bigger dwarf replied. Hroth replied with a kiss. Another thumping on his door broke the two as duty called.

Hroth marched along the city wall with his second, a human woman named Naomi. He was still reading the report when they came to the east gate.
“When did this arrive?” he asked.
“Ten minutes ago, sir.” Naomi replied." We had to double-check with the palace but it all checks out."
“A shadow bazaar wants to come in NOW if all times?” Hroth asked his second who nodded.
“Aye captain, apparently the king managed to secure us some food for a hefty prize…and with the shadow bazaar being invisible…“
Hroth turned.” It still means us opening the bloody gate! With thousands of those Blighters outside!“
Noami looked down to avoid the stern dwarf. With almost a sigh of relief she pointed to the gate in question where the other members of the watch were ready.
Hroth was used to the moaning of the undead and trained himself to look beyond them and drone out the nose. He focused on what was important. His eyes spotted a series of brightly coloured caravans that hid under the trees just outside the town.
“Five caravans, captain.” Naomi said.” Guessing by the speed we need to give them…ten minutes.“
One of the guards spoke, a young man named Toby.” Ten minutes against those undead?! No way we can hold them off!“
Hroth glared at the young man.” How old are you, pup?”

Toby’s face went pale, Hroth mused his face was even whiter than when the Blight came.
“N-nineteen, Captain…” he replied.
“Then forgive me if I take your expertise into question, PRIVATE.” He emphasised the word to drive the point home.
Hroth pulled his beard as he pondered." I faced the Blight more times than you people can count. Was in a fair few sieges myself…" His mind racked back to those events." There is a plan…but we’re going to need a lot of gunpowder."
“But Captain.” Naomi said." The king expressed we’re nearing our budget with the blackpowder!"
“I don’t give a rat’s arse! Tell him to bill me! Get me five kegs of blackpowder, twelve blunderbusses and twenty men who know how to hold a bloody shield! I want it ten minutes ago!”

He knew he was harsh with his men, most just signed up for the better food or impress their families or friends. But he trained his boys and girls to be the best. They were the guard of Gryphon’s Crown, the capitol. If they didn’t look presentable, what would the rest of the kingdom think? One man on a wall was worth ten on the ground, that was only one reason the city never fell. One man who can barely hold a weapon cannot hold back the ten on the ground so he damn made sure his one man on that wall could hold back a hundred.

Ten minutes later, the Captain overlooked the operation from the top of the gate. When Naomi came with the go-ahead he gave a nod.
“Signal the caravans to move on my mark.” he motioned to the signal man who used torches. The man nodded and lit his torch.
Hroth made a silent prayer to his ancestors…and gave the command.

Further along the wall, several barrels of gunpowder were lit and thrown off it. The moment they hit the ground, large explosions rocked the ground. Thankfully the wall held but the undead around it didn’t. The huge noise alerted the rest of the horde who crawled to the new empty, blackened space.
The signalmen waved and already the caravan moved swiftly. He waited until the undead at the east gate were thinned enough to begin phase 2.
“Shieldwall, NOW!” Hroth shouted.
On his command the east gate opened as twenty men, including three half-giants, ran out and stabbed the few undead who remained. They created a large wedge with a small opening.

The noise of the caravans began to draw attention, thankfully there was more noise to be dispersed.
“Gunners, open fire!” Hroth commanded. The blunderbusses and crossbowmen fired on the Immortals below. The undead growled at the death of their dead peers, some even eating them, as they went back to clawing at the walls.
A few of the undead did go for the shieldwall but a quick spear to the head took care of it.
The caravans made it passed the shieldwall, when the last one came through the gate the call was given to retreat. With as little noise as they could the shieldwall fell back as the door closed behind them.

Hroth had to restrain the smile he felt. He was proud of his boys but he couldn’t show it.
“Noami, tell the men to keep an eye on the blighters.” He told his second." They might try to go for another ant pile because of the new activity."
“Aye, Captain.”
“And…give them some extra ale and meat from the stores, they earned it.”
“Aye, sir.” Naomi smiled and went out to relay the orders.

The dwarf captain made his way down to where the caravans were.
He moved to the goblin in charge." I hope you’ve a lot of food in there for all this trouble, gobo.“
The goblin chuckled.” Of course I do…" He got off his cart and showed his wares of crated food.
Among the other passengers, which were either goblins or troll bodyguards, there was one human that drew Hroth’s attention.
The human in question looked around the city in question with a big smile on his face. He was dressed in fine clothes which marked him as a merchant, his skin was tanned like he was from the far east.
Hroth tapped the goblin on his shoulder." Whose that?“
The goblin looked.” Oh, some human merchant who calls himself Cambion. Says he wanted to come along, gave us coin to come here. Even said he had people on the inside who would help get us in."
Hroth frowned at this. A cold tingle came along his spine as if someone walked on his grave. He did not trust that man and promised a oath to himself he would keep an eye on him.