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Thread: The Army of Bane and Bone v.s. The Knights of Brae

  1. #1
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    Lye's Avatar

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    Lichensith Ulroke
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    The Army of Bane and Bone v.s. The Knights of Brae

    Match begins tomorrow morning 2/6/2018 @ 4:00 A.M. CST and ends 2/27/18 @ 4:00 A.M CST.

    Please read the rules in regards to setting:

    Gisela Open Rules & Regulations

  2. #2
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    Erik's Avatar

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    Erik Dranglein
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    The depths of the night were lit up brilliantly with dancing flames. The smell of burning meat and wood mingled in the air, washing over the few individuals left to notice it. Upon a small hill, a dark robed figure sat upon a smokey horse, a black fog rolling across the ground around the mount. Baleful green eyes were focused upon the source of the flickering, ruddy light, and a dark chuckle of satisfaction emanated from the being. His head swung to his right, and he looked at a small, frail man who was currently wrapped in the fog, and trembling violently.

    “So, you say that the entire village has been put to the sword now?” The voice that came from the dark rider was soft, but somehow off, wrong, like there was an unnatural resonance within it that grated upon the ears. The man that the being was addressing nodded violently.

    “Ye-yes my lord. The only survivors are a handful of women and children, as with the other villages. We let them go per your orders.” The dark figure nodded and gestured dismissively.

    “Go then. Tell the others that we will wait here. I have a suspicion that we will finally face an opposing force soon - we have been devastating this country long enough to draw the attention of someone.” The trembling man nodded and fled, escaping from the eldritch fog that flowed from the mount. The figure astride it let out another low chuckle and tightened its grip on the reins of its horse. “Let them come. They have no idea what they face.” The green gaze sewing back and the figure went still and silent, as he watched the village in the valley burn.

    ----------

    “Undying Ones. You, and a small detachment of the zombies that we recruited here will be serving as an ambush force.” I could barely hear the Necromancer who was speaking over the crackling of the flames around us.

    Three weeks ago I had felt an odd calling, a pull to the south, and I had followed it out of curiosity more than anything else. I could have shrugged the pull off, but I had been interested to find who or what might be able to create a draw that affected me. My curiosity had led me to a burgeoning army of undead entities - led by a figure that had sent a bolt of surprise down my spine. The thing at the head of the army was powerful, far more so than I was at the moment.

    I, and others like me - people who danced back and forth across the divide of the living and the dead - had been ‘conscripted’ into the Lich’s army. I could see the others trying to fight it sometimes, but they all seemed enslaved to his will. I think it was only the fact that I wasn't an Undead in the same manner that they were that kept me from being swallowed up whole like they had been. So rather than draw attention to myself, I had gone along, putting up a charade that I had been enthralled like the others.

    And we had been used like this for two full weeks now. The Lich was still building his army it seemed, and had been quietly razing the countryside to bolster his forces. He had a cadre of powerful undead monstrosities serving him already, these attacks were meant to sow terror amongst the populace, and to give him more skeletons and zombies to serve as cannon fodder.

    I watched as two dozen zombies shuffled forward from the throng behind the Necromancers, and joined the two squads of the Undying that were here in the village. This was the first time that I knew of that we were leaving an ambushing force behind - did the Lich think we were finally going to be confronted? I tightened my grip on the straps of my shield, obscured from sight. It had taken great deal of self control not to strike out at the beings around me as we razed village after village - I didn't know if I'd be able to resist if someone came to help and we were meant to attack them as well.

    “You will pretend to be dead. Bait as many in as you can before attacking. You will be left here for several days in case of pursuers. The zombies will be cued to you - if you attack, they will rise to do the same. Of you leave, they will follow.” The other Undying with me nodded, and I did as well - I had to be careful not to stand out. Not yet. Not until I had gotten close enough to do something about the abomination that led this army.


    The village that we were now setting up in - well, that most of us were lying down in, or making it seem like we were dead in - had been the fourth or fifth that we had attacked. The south and east sides were surrounded by low, rolling hills that stretched for a few miles. To our north, lay a small stream that ran through a dense patch of woods and then down into the village. West, was farmland, though the crops there had recently been watered with blood. A large part of the Undying squads that had been assigned to the ruse were actually laying out in that farmland, amongst the crops - it would be harder to see that they were still alive if it was harder to see them in the first place. Only a few of us were actually within the village - the ones who could pretend to have grievous wounds, and the shuffling dead.

    I myself was in a ruined house, a charred structure that was half-caved in. The fire still burned as the night grew deeper, edging towards the hours before dawn. I sat against a wall, sword and shield laying near my fingers. Part of a table leg had been stabbed through my shoulder, ‘pinning’ me to the wall I was slumped against. I could get free, but for now it would hopefully help sell the illusion of a fallen defender. I closed my eyes, and waited.
    "Fires Fade, the dimming of the embers. Come reignite this hopeful flame."

    A member of the NevCrew:
    Nevin: Thread count: please, don't try.
    Erik: Thread count: five or six. Maybe seven...
    Huntsman: seven. Maybe eight. Shhhhhhh.
    Telli' thread count: zero. I just can't get into writing the little hellion.

  3. #3
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    Name
    Arden Janelle
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    Corone
    A hundred good men marched to the village of Isola in the southern barony of Scara Brae, determined to put an end to whatever menace assailed their homeland. They approached from the south along a wide, snaking dust road flanked by lemon grass mottled ditches and a sense that many a well-worn traveller had taken the same path. The sun was soon to reach its zenith, marking the sixth hour since the Knights of Brae had departed the capital. At the head of the column strode a man with red hair and a black heart, trying to make sense of his world through good deeds and pledging his blade to good causes. A plucky merchant followed, his jacket slung onto the wagon that accompanied them and sweat visible in each armpit.

    “This is all so pedestrian,” he grumbled to no-one.

    “Rich, coming from a man who made and lost a fortune on the open roads.”

    “That was old me, this new me doesn’t take too kindly to forty leagues in now ruined boots.”

    “I didn’t force you to come.” Arden smirked.

    “You didn’t give me any option to stay, either.”

    “It’s okay to be nervous,” said the knight captain who strode alongside Arden with one hand on the hilt of his longsword and the other gently rubbing a fetish of swan feathers and golden icons. “It happens to us all.”

    “All well and good, Jacov, but I am not new to the art of war.”

    Arden turned to the captain, careful to hide his face from his brother. He mouthed ‘He likes to read about it’, and they exchanged smug smiles. As they slowly began to climb up the last of far too many rolling hills toward the village, the men redoubled their efforts and the silence was broken only by birdsong and the clank of the wagon’s wheels over rocks and ruin.

    Reports of corpses left to rot in the sun amidst the ashes of homesteads had done little to temper the growing sense of unease amongst the Knights Brae. Leopold did his best to investigate the sites for clues, but nothing had produced so much as a vague lead since the attacks began weeks prior. All they knew was that the atrocities were not committed by the Innari, the enemy for which they had formed their ragtag alliance of common swordsman and haughty militician. It gave Arden a sense of ill-ease he had not experienced in decades.

    “What are your orders Maester?” Jacov put the prayer beads around his neck and tucked them beneath his tabard.

    “They are your men, Captain. I am merely here to ply my own particular trade.”

    “That’s not what the Knight Commander said in his minutes.” The captain shook his head. “You are to lead this expedition, and that implies command.”

    Arden considered this gravely. Half a male behind them the remainder of the Knights Brae followed in loose formation, establishing a camp and moving it as the expeditionary force continued their procession across Scara Brae in search of the culprit. He could not see himself taking the helm of such a large force, even one so easily outnumbered by even the most lacklustre of armies standing around the world. He sighed and made to measure himself with the trust of just a hundred.

    “Stay close and enter the village in a spear head. If we encounter an ambush close into the vase and have the good gentlemen here at it’s centre. He can do his thing, and we can bring justice in the Scara Brae manner.”

    “Yes sir.”

    “Call me Arden, Maester if you much.” The swordsman bit his lip. “I am nobody’s sir.”

    They marched on silently, the heat getting even to the glistening torso of the Maester of the Scourge. Soon, the dark outline of Isolde turned into wooden palisades and half burnt houses atop a crested hill. He took in every detail he could pick out, his umbral eyes piercing the halcyon for signs of archers on rooftops or enchantments waiting to be triggered. Nothing. Silence. Birds circling overhead, and a swollen sense of a summer wasted.

  4. #4
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    Erik's Avatar

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    Erik Dranglein
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    "Master?" Coal black eyes slid to the side, burning with baleful darkness from within the confines of the Lich's hood. The magus who had approached him quailed for a mental before swallowing. "Master. The living have crossed into the village. It is only a matter of time now before the battle begins." The being addressed gave a calm snort, and shifted those hateful eyes back towards the map he had spread out on his table. Emaciated fingers drummed on the tabletop as the Lich stared in thought.

    "How many?" The Necromancer took a deep breath, and exhaled.

    "We estimate around a hundred of them, sire. We don't know if they have reinforcements or not, but -"

    "No matter. Two dozen undead, with the Undying Ones, will serve as a fine force for them to test their mettle upon. And we shall learn if the defenders of this nation have the courage to face those who walk from the other side of the grave. Our Ghouls are the fastest - have them slowly start to circle the town. But they are to make no move until the battle has been engaged." The Lich spoke without turning his head to the Necromancer - and after speaking, waved one hand dismissively towards the dark sorcerer. His subordinate bowed and left to carry out the commands for the engagement.

    "So then. A hundred, to investigate the deaths of villages. If I did not know the reputation of the Knights of Brae, I would be insulted at such a paltry force being dispatched to deal with us. Let's see how these knights fare against my undead servants, shall we?" The unholy being let out a long, low laugh as he set his hands upon the table.


    ---------

    This was absolutely driving me insane. I was no mindless Hollow, to sit and wait for the living to come to me. I was a man of action, I craved being the instigator in fights. I was so used to others reacting to me, or to searching me out to fight me, that just sitting here passively was infuriating. In fact, it was too much for me. I surged to my feet - damn this, may the Abyss take it all. I would not just sit by - I was not a heartless being, Camille had made sure of that.

    My feet started to carry me towards the ruined door when I heard it - the sound of armored feet trodding upon the earth, in some form of unison. My eyes widened - that damn Lich had been right. We were finally seeing this land's defenders, coming to the aid of a village. If it had been any other kind of attacker, it might even have been in time to help any survivors - bandits rarely bothered putting every man, woman, and child to the sword, after all. That kind of atrocity - well, it would get them hunted down. But - this wasn't a normal foe. These were Undead, just as monstrous as Hollows from my world had ever been. Slaved to the Lich's will, they had done just that, gutting the villages that they had devastated each time. Abyss, I didn't even know if there were even any survivors from the other villages, or this one.

    I slumped against the door frame, my sword and shield hanging from limp fingers as I looked out. Damn it - there was another of the Undying nearby, I couldn't break my cover yet. I hadn't gotten close to the Lich, I could afford to have them realize my will was my own. And all of us Undying had received the command to observe the others, in case the Lich's hold proved weak enough to break. Damn it, I was already risking things by standing up like this, but -

    Oh, no. These men were well into the village now, passing by the bodies. I couldn't see the looks on their faces, but - well, no feeling man, unused to tragedy and atrocity, would be able to stomach the ruins around them with ease. Not with how the Lich's army reveled in mutilating the corpses that couldn't be of use. That had been held to a minimum here, to help with the ruse of the living dead in the village - but it was only a matter of time before one of them got too close to a zombie, and triggered the trap. Damn it, and none of them would trust the' lone survivor' if they did see me. My fingers tightened around the straps of my shield - damn the Lich to the depths of the Abyss. I hoped these knights would be enough to fight off the Undead assailants.
    "Fires Fade, the dimming of the embers. Come reignite this hopeful flame."

    A member of the NevCrew:
    Nevin: Thread count: please, don't try.
    Erik: Thread count: five or six. Maybe seven...
    Huntsman: seven. Maybe eight. Shhhhhhh.
    Telli' thread count: zero. I just can't get into writing the little hellion.

  5. #5
    Supreme Overlord

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    Max Dirks's Avatar

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    Max Dirks
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    Thanks for being patient guys. Lye has asked me to jump in and judge round one. I just have a few preliminary things to go over first. Because no threads achieved 10 posts, I'll be using the condensed rubric. I did markdown individual category scores if you want to know them, but I'll only be provided generic commentary here. Per Lye, I also did not factor in activity into scoring. Finally, and most importantly, don't be alarmed by the low scores. A good story requires a beginning, middle and end. Your story barely started. Character scores factor in interaction. There was very little. In other words, be proud of your work, because everyone was trending well had the threads continued.

    Erik
    Story - 12/35 - The shifting of perspectives was neat and scored you points in technique, but it -along with the overuse of dashes- broke up the flow of your writing. The setting description was a bit of a sensory overload given the village was generic.
    Character- 12/35 - The story never took off, so action was limited. I feel like the first person helped develop your character and I sensed early foreshadowing of a plot to destroy the Lich. You should know I only identified the Lich and Erik from your profile, not your prose.
    Writing - 16/30 - I only noticed a few misspellings and usage errors, but as I noted above your overuse of dashes made some of your writing unclear. For a reader, it made things read as more hectic than they actually were. You add a lot of unnecessary commas as well and you should be on the lookout for run-ons.

    Total - 40/100

    Arden
    Story - 12/35 - Your lively post served as a good introduction to the characters that might eventually be relevant, but that's about it. You lacked the personal element present in Erik's first person, but your post was better paced.
    Character - 12/35 - The story never took off, so action was limited. Your character's disdain for their mission was clear, and served as a decent springboard for what I'm sure would be an unlikely hero scenario.
    Writing - 20/30 - Your writing was clear. I forgave British spelling and noticed only a handful of misspelled words (usually those involving double l's). Obviously, no particular advanced literary techniques were used, but your writing flowed well.

    Total - 44/100

    Arden advances!

    Thanks to Eric for participating and being active. Lye has not let me know how he plans to handle rewards, but I will add them when I get word.

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