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View Full Version : Aemus Shades, part 1.2 (the end)



pinksaurus
28-04-2005, 12:26
The conclusion! Enjoy and leave a message!

‘Thank Sigmar, he’s just standing there. Maybe he saw how much this was worth, maybe he could be bribed?’ Hoffman managed to fake a tiny smile and acted completely relaxed as he sat down behind the table and continued his luxurious meal. He forced chunks of meat and bread through his throat, still smiling. He looked up at the Witchhunter, this Aemus Shades, and saw his vivid green eyes flick over his shoulder for a second. He didn’t have to look back himself to know what the other man was looking at. His warhammer. He still thinks I’m dangerous. And this time his smile was genuine. Always negotiate from the strongest possible position. In his mind he already started thinking of the number of coins it would take to get this madman out.

The priest seemed to relax behind the table, thinking himself quite the slick devil. He thought this display of money and wealth combined by the warhammer at the wall were enough to save his hide. He might even try to bribe him. His left hand slowly began descending towards the but of his crossbow-pistol.

‘Why is he just standing there? Does he expect me to say something? Should I offer him a bite, or should I offer the gold right away? He got so caught up in his thinking that he didn’t notice the Witchhunter position himself, moving his left hip towards the table to get a better shot. Hoffman felt his armpits get moist again and was just about to make his deal as the man in black cleared his throat. Here it come, he thought, I hope I can get him cheap.

Aemus’ mind clouded over and his mouth spoke the words he always spoke. Only the name was different every time. ‘Warrior-priest Hoffman of the town of Old-Creek...’ A look of understanding entered the fat man’s eyes, followed by one of fear. ‘...with the power invested in me, Aemus Shades Imperial Witchhunter, by the emperor Karl-Franz and our lord Sigmar, I find you guilty of the sin of sloth and the disregard of your function as a protector of the people.
You are a disgrace for your order and thorn in the side of the empire. You are a traitor and your sentence is death, to be carried out immediately.’ His hand grabbed the crossbow-pistol, unhooked it from his belt and aimed at the man’s head.

It was more luck than reflexes that saved Hoffman’s life. He saw what the Witchhunter was about to do and reacted, that much credit you can give him. He tried to stand up and make a run for his hammer, but his chubby legs betrayed him. He slipped. He got half-way up when his feet lost their grip on the floor.
He fell backwards, tipping his chain over and sending his legs flying upwards. That saved his life. His kicking feet hit the table pretty hard and it fell over spraying his meal all over the marble floor. The bolt that was racing towards his head hit the table instead and buried itself in the wood. Hoffman started crawling towards the end of the room and the wall on which his hammer hung.

The Witchhunter saw his bolt strike the turned table instead and attached his crossbow-pistol back to his leather belt. It didn’t matter, the fat man would probably reach the wall before he could stop him, but that was fine too, it would all be over in a minute. He drew his sword and started pacing across the room, ignoring the table and the bits and pieces of food beneath his boots.

‘Almost there, almost there...’ Hoffman could think of nothing else while crawling on all fours toward the wall. Seven feet, five feet, three. He got up and reached toward the heavy two-handed hammer. He lifted it free and raised it high above his head while turning towards the Witchhunter again. He could hear his boots echoing on his beautiful marble floor, smeared with the remnants of his dinner. He wondered if he could get all the stains out, and that was to be his last coherent thought.

Aemus saw what his friend was about to do and was prepared. The priest turned around and brought the hammer down, Aemus side-stepped immediately and turned while doing so.
The result was that his heavy, black cloak hit Hoffman square in the face and caused the hammer to narrowly miss his left arm. It hit the floor with tremendous power and shattered at least four tiles of fine Estilian marble. Not that anyone noticed. Aemus brought his sword around and the blade headed towards his victim’s neck. It would have undoubtedly hit the stronger backside and result in a broken neck at most, if the priest would have kept still.
He didn’t however and turned his head, and of course his neck, towards Aemus and looked him in the eyes. Aemus didn’t care, and even if he had wanted to, he couldn’t have stopped the momentum of his weapon.

‘Nooooooooooooooo....’ It sounded inside Hoffman’s mind.

The sword cut through the neck with relative ease and was finally halted by the spinal cord.
But that was more than enough as the priest now slumped to the floor with his blood gushing through a ruptured artery. He slowly withdrew his sword from the man’s neck and wiped it’s edge clean of blood using the priest’s robes. He held the blade in his hand and headed back towards the door, he didn’t bother with the lock, but instead kicked the door open with a well-placed boot. He expected to see an angry crowd surrounding the house. He expected to see pitchforks and torches. He

That’s not what happened however, as it turns out the religious villagers had never felt love for their corrupt priest. He had abused his power and issued taxes for the church of Sigmar, but everybody knew the gold never left his house. They cheered at the Witchhunter, he had done what they could have never done themselves. To kill a priest entitled you and your kin a one-way ticket to hell. They offered him a room in the town’s only inn and free food and drinks to show their gratitude.

He hadn’t expected this when he emerged from the house, but he was content with it nonetheless. He stayed in the inn, and although it was crystal clear that most of the town was pious at heart, he saw many bad things as well. Men greeted him before returning to their cards, women winked at him before heading upstairs with seemingly random men.
The bartender served alcoholic drinks, something against the strict rules of Sigmar.
He felt the urge kill rise again, but repressed it as he thought of the warm welcome they had given him. When he left in the morning, bags of fresh water strapped to his back, he only left one corpse behind. Forgiveness can be a beautiful thing he thought and laughed, a rare event.
Behind him the town of Old-creek burned to the ground, the flames cleansing its inhabitants’ sins and the thick smoke warning all the enemies of the Empire. Aemus walked on.


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Pinksaurus