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View Full Version : The Tyrant Invades. A Wood Elf piece.



willowdark
03-12-2009, 18:45
I posted this on the Battleglade a long time ago, but it's slow over there and I didn't want this to get lost or grow stagnant. It was supposed to be the intro to a BatRep, but since I lost the battle I sort of lost the will to write it. ;)

I'm working on a fictional conclusion right now, rather than a BatRep. If this gets a good response I'll bring the second part by when it's done.

The Tyrant Invades

It is ironic that, as the soft, cool breeze of the early spring carried the aroma of Ogre cookpots along the borders of Athel Loren, the smell of roasting human flesh could be, somehow, less offensive to the Asrai than the smell of the timber smoldering beneath the pots. In the forest, deep within the Ways and Glades of Athel Loren, the lonely elves gather only naturally fallen branches and limbs, the generously given timber from the ancient sentience of the woods, so that no elf should feel the need to keep or carry an axe. There are no axes there, only the fallen implements of murdered intruders: the tools of men and Dawi, and the Beasts of Chaos, buried by generations of leaf litter and root growth, forgotten by the timeless void that is the ancient wood. Inside the dwellings of the Asrai, on the ledges of portals open to the sky, each elf keeps a small garden of Pineherb and Thyme, sung into life by the simple enchantments that every Asrai knows. And every fire in every hearth or traveler's camp is treated with these herbs. It is an offering of gratitude, and the Hallmark of the Covenant. So deep is the meaning of this rite that, as the many fires of the Ogre camps came out like daytime stars, the blasphemous fume called out to the Asrai, even before that impossibly low tremble that is the Forest's awareness of itself.

Even the villagers of Farcrop had taken to growing the herbs in outside gardens, growing enough during the spring and summer so that their superstitions could carry them through the winter. Now those gardens were trampled, along with the yards and landscaped greens of the village square, and the houses of those who grew them were burned down to their blackened frames. Only some still stood just half un-made, their shutters smashed in where Ogres had thrown torches to smoke out the residents inside. Fat Ogre Bulls mingled sloppily throughout the ruined town, many of them still filling their faces with the wet, pink hindquarters of pigs, sheep and dogs, the less valuable meats. Many of them were passed out on their backs or cradling their spears, gorged to unconsciousness from compulsive gluttony. Wretched gnoblars clambered stupidly around them, bickering with each other over shards of glass and scrap metal. But standing among the horde were several of the larger Ogres, Ironguts they were called, their backs straight at attention and cudgels in hand. Their deep breaths yielding hot banners in the chilled morning air. These were the ones that Reneai had eyes for the most. For when a host commander sets his camp, where he puts his sentries reveals much of what he plans.

The shadow sentinel coasted from bush to bush, silent as the wind, he wove along the treeline. His Waywatcher kin followed his lead, one at a time in a spider-walk scout formation. Stoically, they surveyed the horrific scene.

The Tyrant, Mastighot, had harried his Ogre host down from the southern mountains to raid this settlement of men in the night. The village of Farcrop had been swarmed. Mastighot had settled his camp on the eastern edge of the village, with his back towards the forest. The rubble of Farcrop set squarely between his camp and any Bretonni magistrate that might happen by in search of taxes. Not very likely, that. Farcrop lay deep to the South of Quenelles, far beyond the reach of even the most greedy of Lordlings. The people called themselves Bretonni, but it is the Forest that they pay homage to.

But Mastighot had no understanding for that. The Tyrant was young and naive. A generation ago, when Mastighot's sire, Hammelghot, had come down from the mountains for human slaughtering, he had loaded the backs of every spare Bull with timber from their own sparse patches of Highland woods. A gnarled old Irongut himself, Hammelghot understood that harvesting the wrong firewood so close to Athel Loren was like turning over a rock with a thousand snakes under it. But Mastighot was young and eager for blood and battle. His Ogres had carried weapons, only weapons.

Fat Ogres care nothing for the elements. No tents had been erected to house Bulls, only a single massive structure made of deerskin, still bearing its fur and dripping, soggy with blood. Reneai knew that the Tyrant was in there, mating with Ogre bitches on filthy deerskin rugs. Some of the salvageable houses had been taken over by Ironguts, their revelry was little more than bellowing as they drank away the last of the towns ale storages.

Human carcasses lined the village green by the hundreds, hanging by their feet in ranks and files. Their blood drained wantonly, mixing in burgundy pools too thick for the soil to drink. Their hellish battle line ending by a make-shift kitchen where Butchers worked to separate human flesh from bones. Returning the slabs of meat to the racks, they tossed the bones into pots for stock, adding rain sodden tree bark and muddy grass for aromatics. Just beside one of the Butchers was, what had to be, the last remaining goat in the entire village, curiously chained to the Ogre workshop. Setting a pot to the fire, the Butcher quickly loosened its bonds, and lifting the beast by the neck over the pot, he dragged a blade across her ripe utter, spilling blood and milk inside; a macabre bechamel. The line of human heads on the table behind him, their skulls broken open, made it clear what the purpose of this dish would be. Tomorrow, the Tyrant would dine on human stew. Tonight, Mastighot would wet his pallet on human brains...

... in a "lite cream sauce."

willowdark
09-12-2009, 13:45
It's been a few days and I'm eager to hear some responses.

C'mon guys. It's not exactly long. ;)