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The Sound and the Fury....

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(no subject) [Mar. 14th, 2007|11:20 pm]
The Sound and the Fury....
As the darkened skies swirled overhead, Malari Neth Khar'Dhaos stared up into them.  He had once been a youth of the Yin tribe, but now he was much, much more.

Having felt the burning liquid-fire of magic in his veins early on in his life, Malari knew he was destined to bend the elements to his will.  He had grown and matured in a tribe of vicious warrior-priests who venerated the Lord of Change, people who were as adept at slaughtering with a whisper and a bolt of fire or lightning as they were with the jagged-edged axes that the Yin tribe was infamous for.

The darkness began to coalesce, deepening in such a way that Malari knew there was an intelligence within.  His dark eyes studied the even-darker essence before him, his fear of the unknown torn from him a decade ago during his tribal trials.

Though the darkness continued to swirl, a light wet-looking sheen played across its front, causing the man to raise a brow in return.  A torrent of voices escaped the darkness, it was that of horrid cascading pitches,  terrific volumes and dangerous phrases.  To any of the uninitiated this experience alone would have rended their soul from their physical form, but not Malari.  He had mastered the protective ritual years earlier, after a first 'meeting' almost killed him.

"The Lord of Mysteries wishes to bestow a gift upon his chosen childe."  The voices shrieked and groaned, all at once.

"I shall accept whatever the Lord wishes!" Malari shouted in return, trying to have his voice heard over the cacophany across from him.

"Only fools accept gifts without inquiry!" The voices screamed in unison, their sudden harmony causing a silence to fall over the altar Malari stood upon.  "You know nothing of its sacrifice!"  The cloud of darkness and sound groaned, beginning to swirl faster and faster, only to lash out with darkness-stained pseudopods which enveloped the man instantly and completely.  His screams merely joined the chorus of others as the Lord of Change gifted and cursed its newest favorite childe.

When the morning light finally fell upon Yin-Chang village its rays illuminated the once-shaman, his body now completely covered in a thick-plated dark armor and brillant multicolored robes.  He had grown over a foot, body almost doubling in size.  He towered over the other barbarians, but the more frightening aspect of the champion was that whenever he spoke, it was not a single voice but multiple in chorus, as if he had several souls fighting over the same form.

The tribe immediately recognized the work of their Patron God, Tzeench and the changes he had shared with Malari.  They praised his name and shouted promises of corpses that would be torn asunder for his favor.  It was not long after that a Speaker of Mysteries visited Malari, explaining the wishes of Tzeench and how they would be carried out.


As the sun rose over the dawn's edge peaks, a vast army of barbarians, knights, daemon-infested hounds and magi entered into the Border Princes.  There was little to slow their advance as they marched south, the desire of a God driving the new Chaos army forward without complant.  A halt was called shortly after a daemonic scout reported that there was an old, abandoned wizards tower to the south that would be easily fortified and built up into a fort.  From there, the scout murmured, Malari could launch campaigns into the inner-reaches of the 'Princes' and conquer it in the name of Tzeench.  With a nod, the new Warlord and Warlock of Tzeench made his will known and the army marched into the tower, immediately beginning to build fortifications.

Climbing to the top of the tower, Malari shielded his eyes from the sunlight, studying clouds of dust and movement far off in the distance.  Something else was stirring he knew, something else that was searching the 'Princes' for the same thing he was.  Even in his own thoughts he was not safe, so he chose not to remember what that thing was...but he knew it was there and he knew he must find it...or face the will of his God.
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The Siege of Malko [Oct. 8th, 2004|05:47 am]
The Sound and the Fury....

Bazhrak kicked the carriage of his cannon in frustration. Two of his kinsmen worked feverishly to get the devilish contraption functioning. A few hundred feet away, three other chaos dwarfs lay on the ground, with the ruptured remains of their own machine scattered about a small crater. Bazhrak cursed loudly in Khazalid, and glanced at the walls of Malko.

The south wall stood firm, despite having sustained numerous direct hits from their engines. Tzeer'ak's warped, twisted Chaos Giant stood before the south wall, still waiting for the chaos dwarfs to blast a hole in it big enough for him to stomp through. Bazhrak was about to order his kinsmen to work faster, when a shadow fell across him.

The Beastlord Tzeer'ak approached, his blue robes spattered in skaven blood. He was flanked by four massive bestigor, clad in coats of plates and wielding wet halberds. "Malko has fallen," growled Tzeer'ak.

Bazhrak smiled nervously around tusks that were the envy of his clan. "Aye, master, good work!"

"No thanks to you or your cowardly machines. I lost beast herds. I lost Bestigor. I lost my own apprentice, Gru'rak. My giant waited for you to open the way, and you did not. The walls still hold. You told me these machines could crack open walls like the club cracks the turtle. Why have the walls not been cracked?"

Bazhrak began to stammer and stutter, frantically searching his mind for an explanation. Tzeer'ak snorted and pawed the earth with one hoof. "As I thought. Machines are weak. Mannish trickery. Dwarfs are weak. Small men. You have failed." Tzeer'ak turned to his Bestigor and nodded. The mighty beastmen stepped toward the cringing chaos dwarfs. Halberds rose, and fell, again and again, until the cries of pain and protestation stopped.

Tzeer'ak turned his back and walked toward the fortress. His beastmen stood on the ramparts, tired and bloody.

"Gather the spoils! Rat-flesh! Man-flesh! Beer, and mead, and wine! Tear the roofs off the houses! Make a mighty fire! Tonight we feast!

A hundred abominable voices filled a hundred unnatural throats, splitting the air with a single ululation of victory.
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Infinite Hunger [Sep. 29th, 2004|10:31 pm]
The Sound and the Fury....
[mood |enragedenraged]
[music |Van Hel's Danse Macabre]

As the citizens of Plainsville were gathering their animals and children at 4 bells in the afternoon a dark cloud passed over the sun, blotting it out for a long few minutes. More than a few sets of eyes upturned to study the overly-brackish looking cloud, as if it something about it was whispering of a past encounter...

The church bells began to toll furiously as further clouds began to choke the light from the sky. People fled to and fro, diving into their homes and slamming the doors closed before throwing the bolt and dropping to their knees to pray to Sigmar. Unfortunately he was not answering this day.

The clouds quickly turned day to night and within moments thousands of bats descended on the town, shreiking and flitting hither and yon, creating a cacophany that only the disturbed few would think beautiful. Almost ironically one of them was not far behind.

Moroi landed in the center of the town with a heavy THUMP, his flight having been stalled merely by his desire to feed. Turning his eyes on the small thatched-roof buildings around him his hatred welled within his unbeating heart. 'They will sate my hunger', he thought to himself before shouldering a door from its hinges, claws tearing people, animals and house-wares to shreads before savaging the bleeding corpses with his heavily-fanged maw. Not one house but five were destroyed before the Vampire Lord decided he could continue, his will driving more darkness before him as he launched himself back into the air towards the far reaches of his Catacomb-Castle.

Word traveled on the lips of the cursed that the Twice-Damned dwarves from the north had pushed south faster than expected. In Moroi's desire to raise an army he had neglected to keep anyone stationed at the castle, his minions would have been useless without his hatred anyways. Turning his attention and rage back to the dwarves he tried to wrap his mind around the short-race and their useless fascination with metal and explosive dust. So like the Ratmen they were.

His overland flight eventually brought him to the castle just in time to see the Dwarven army setting up fortifications. They knew he'd return, either out of pure spite or perhaps out of need to crush them for the insult. Once again dropping to the ground he released an ear-splitting howl. From the shadows stepped a Necromancer, direction the Shuffling Legions to follow through the Shadow-Gate and onto the hills above the fortified land. Hours passed as the legion slid through the dark gate, Moroi's eye watching each group and comparing it to the dwarves below. The half-men had no clue what was coming to greet them once the moon was fully peaked.

The battle ensued at the height of the evening, the dead and their brethren edging towards the wary dwarves and their fortified battle-points.

When the battle came to a close neither side had tasted true victory, both suffering tremendous losses and reveling in the gains. Moroi turned and strode from the hilltop, five dead dwarves tucked beneath his arms, one being eaten on the way. He would need to call the rest of the army to engage the dwarves.

As he headed north to ponder further 'gathering' of his army he noticed another army of dwarves marching down the old-dwarf road. Without hesitation he howled once again, this time certain he could run the small things into the ground, especially when they lacked the fortifications of his castle and grounds. Again the necromancer appeared, rending the air to allow the dead to pass into the world....
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The Sorrow of Aldium [Sep. 27th, 2004|10:36 pm]
The Sound and the Fury....

Tzeer'ak stood atop the low rise, looking down at the hodgepodge settlement before him. Aldium lay about three miles away, but from this vantage point, the Tzeentchian Beastlord could clearly see the wildly assorted structures of the city. Low, sturdy dwarfen houses built of stone butted up against the beam-and-plaster human structures; a style very popular in the Empire. Smoke curled from the chimneys; the cookfires carried the scent of evening meals being prepared.

Down the hill from Tzeer'ak stood a line of nervous-looking men, dwarfs, and halflings. Trepidatious mutterings rippled through the hastily-assembled defensive line. A couple of Ogre Mercenaries stood off to one side, sizing up the two opposing forces, ostensibly deciding where their best chances lay.

Tzeer'ak turned back to the beastherds lurking behind him, and with a wave of his braystaff he ordered them down the hill. The defenders of Aldium had enough time to grit their teeth and take two shuffle-steps back before the wave of screaming, braying flesh crashed into them. The Ogres nodded to each other, saluted Tzeer'ak, and stomped away from the site of the carnage.

An hour later, Tzeer'ak watched as his lieutentants rounded up the pitiful citizens of Aldium. Among the cries of pain and whimpers of fear, Tzeer'ak almost did not hear the voice that called out to him, "Gla-Argh! A'rua Tzaano Kahlesh!" The beastlord's ears pricked up. The words were in the Dark Tongue, but the accent was distinctly Dwarfen "Twist! The Power of Tzeentch Eternal". Tzeer'ak stomped over to where he heard the voice, shoving captives and Ungor aside.

Before the beastlord was a defiant dwarf. Unlike other dwarfs he had seen, this one had thick braids in his black hair and beard, and two large tusks jutted from his prominent underbite. And he spoke the Dark Tongue.

"Mulhrok-o Tzaan Glar ukk Naggro Fah'Mahlu!" snarled Tzeer'ak. By Tzeentch, our limbs twist and our minds know infinity.

The Chaos Dwarf grinned rapaciously, despite the heavy cords that bound him. "I am Bahzrak, great Beastlord, and I have a proposition for you."

"Go on," replied Tzeer'ak.

"This town could be far more useful to you as a military strong point instead of burnt ruins. Give me and my brothers control of the place in your stead, and in return we will arm your tribes with forged steel and mighty machines!"

"Hmmm." The short one was alarmingly direct; a trait much respected by the Beastmen. If Tzeer'ak kept an eye on the treacherous little creature, then he could see no reason why this would not work.

"Very well, Bahzrak. You and your brothers will join our cause. This place is yours."

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Tzeer'ak and his tribes melted into the forest. Behind them, the slavewhips of the Chaos Dwarfs drove Aldium into a fever-pitch of production. Cannon were cast, axes, swords, and armor were forged, and the chants to the Bull-God Hashut echoed out over the city.

Tzeer'ak permitted himself a smile. On the other side of this forest was the fort-city of Malko. According to the Spirits, Malko was held by the Skaven. Tzeer'ak glanced behind him, toward the iron-shod Chaos Dwarfs marching in line behind him, and the great engine of despair that they brought with them. Malko would soon know the same fate as Aldium.
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(no subject) [Sep. 27th, 2004|07:22 am]
The Sound and the Fury....
        Grey Seer Thanquol looked out over his new aquisition, meager in comparison to the richness and sophistication of Skavenblight, but the largest fortress he'd ever commanded. The seer was pleased. Malko had proven far too easy to conquer, a clear testament to the weakness of the humans in the region. An outpost of half this size had proven to be beyond his grasp in the place the humans called "Kislev," though this was owing in a large part to the treachery of his underlings and the presence of that awful dwarf and human. Regardless, things were looking up. At the very least, the council had seen the staggering error of removing him from his command, and finally realized how very lost they would be without his strong will and leadership before their armies.
        The council of thirteen, Thanquol was sure, had not foreseen the resistance that he had met so far from the elves, and were fortunate that he had been able to defeat them so overwhelmingly. "It will be a long time," he thought, "before the tall ones rise against my might again." Thanquol stil couldn't help but chitter with mirth when he thought of the defeat he'd delivered upon the elves. The elves, though, were not the end of the unexpected peoples here in these lands. It seemed to Thanquol that the intelligence-gathering skills of the Clan Eshin scouts was not worth the warpston paid for them. He would fry the next one he saw with the flick of a whisker, perhaps even before it reported it's useless findings to him. One simple spell had revealed to the grey seer that beastmen were near in some numbers as well. Though he had worked with the beasts of chaos on one other occasion, he was loathe to do so again. He trusted the beasts less than he would a barrel full of ratling guns, and that was certainly saying something, given the recent failures of his artillery. Thanquol made a mental note to devour the next Clan Skryre mechanic he saw. For an undefended territory, this "Border Princes" place was becoming awfully crowded.
        Thanquol had been sent to strengthen the Skaven position here, in this forgotten outland section of the under-empire. At the same time, other skaven leaders certainly less-skilled, would do the same in other parts of the under-empire. The lords of decay, relying as always on Thanquol's mystical council, believed that the recent increase in chaos activity was a sign that the Skaven would soon fulfill their destiny. Soon they wouldl raze the surface world in it's entirety, and free the world from the lesser races. At htis point, though, the under-empire here was not big enough to sustain the armies  needed to get the job done. In order to succeed,they would require the food and supplies that as yet were only available on the surface world. Having possession of Malko was a great first step.
        Thanquol was wiser than any being living on the planet, and much favored by the horned rat. Unlike most warlords or lowly master engineers, teh grey seer had tricks prepared to quell even the strongest of foes. He'd seen enough battles lost by the bumbling of his troops, and would not be stopped this time. Let them try.
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The Storm Gathers [Sep. 22nd, 2004|12:52 am]
The Sound and the Fury....

Gremorac stared balefully across the expanse of the brayherd at his hated rival. To the casual observer, Tzeer'ak was merely conferring with one of his advisors, but Gremorac knew him too well. He could tell that the Great Bray-Shaman's attention was as firmly fixed upon Gremorac as the Khornate Beastlord's was on Tzeer'ak.

Gremorac tossed his horns impatiently, and dug a deep gouge in the sour earth with a mighty hoof. He sensed the tension of his Khorngors behind him, and he knew that they, too, wished for nothing so much as to spill the blood of this cowardly magic-user. Here before the herdstone, deep within the twisted, chaos-blessed forest, in the sight of the gathered beast-tribes... the mighty blood-god Khorne would be greatly pleased by such an offering. It was tempting; nearly irresistable.

But a dark presence near the base of the herdstone gave Gremorac pause. A great force had been gathering around it for weeks, drawing the herds to itself. It seemed to have a dire, daemonic consciousness of its own, but had yet to take shape. That it had summoned them was irrefutable: many herds were present, from the lowliest brays and ungor, to the gor, the bestigor. Chaos hounds howled and snapped at the edge of the circle, and the great herdstone's guardians, five massive minotaurs, glared suspiciously at the unruly gathering.

Tzeer'ak seemed to smirk, drawing one lip up over his curved fangs, and thumped his Braystaff authoritatively. The challenge did not go unnoticed by Gremorac, who simply drew his daemon-tainted axes. The time had come at last.

Stop, came an authoritative command, and Gremorac could do nothing but obey.

I did not call you here to let you play out your petty rivalries, little fools! The imperious command came from the as-yet-formless darkness at the base of the herdstone. Gremorac, Tzeer'ak, and the beasts of chaos quietly paid attention.

The Wanderer is coming. You all are to be his heralds. Bring madness. Sow discord. Wield Chaos. As the Lord of the End Times sweeps down from the North, the Winds of Magic bring Chaos into this sad little world, and our time has come at last.

Tzeer'ak, you will travel East. As the hoof-borne son of Tzeentch, you will change the ways of all before you, and gather resources for our cause. Make for the township of Aldium. You shall enslave their populace and twist them to our cause.

Gremorac, you will march North. The Elves and the Rat-men skirmish there. As the Blood God's agent, you will teach them the true meaning of conflict.

At the thought of his axes biting the soft flesh of the no-horns, Gremorac nearly forgot all about Tzeer'ak's proximity. He dipped his impressive rack of horns reverently at the strange spirit of the herdstone, and turned northward. His bellowing roar was echoed in the throats of his herd, and they marched to war.
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