As promised, here is Warpstone. It continues after Epic, although has a completely different plot.
Warning: contains swearing.
Robbie looked upon the world with extreme boredom.
"This is so BORING."
Then he had an idea.
Let's cause some chaos, he thought. But this time, he would be more subtle. He would cause an event, and let the lesser beings take it from there. But how? Greed - yes, greed would be perfect.
He threw his hands up to the sky and said something in an ancient, grating dialect. A distant rumble was heard.
He grinned. Perfect. Now to wait for events to unfold.
And while I'm waiting, he mused, why don't I go beat up chaos again?
A massive rift opened behind him, and he stepped through.
The vampire of Necrarch pondered. Because he was bored. He turned to his familiar - a two foot hunched-back skeleton in a black robe covering his whole body (except for his face), and carrying a staff three times his height effortlessly.
"I'm bored, bones. Any ideas?" he asked.
Click Clack Rattle, said bones.
"None at all? Oh well..."
The Necrarch himself was dressed in a red robe, which was missing the bit around his belly (he believed that sunlight aided the digestion), and a black cape. In his was slung an ancient ceremonial knife, which he had converted into both a powerful magic artifact and a lethal weapon; and the magical skull of a (recently) deceased dark elf hag queen. His bald pink head was unblemished, along with the rest of his skin, although it was darker than most other vampires - a result of spending a lot of time here, just south of the wood elf forest. And he was bored.
But not for long. A giant shadow flew across him, and he looked up to see an enormous zombie dragon land right in front of him. Zacharias, second most powerful vampire in the world, after Harland. He seemed extremely pleased with himself as he dismounted.
"Zorgon, I bring good news," he said, in an extremely gravelly voice.
"Oh REALLY?" asked Zorgon patronizingly. It was probably extremely unwise, but his boredom had made him cranky.
"Quiet! Anyway, I came tell you that I am, as of now, the most powerful vampire in the world. My sources tell me that he was killed in Lustria!"
"And I should care because...?"
"BECAUSE! Because now I have no-one to oppose me in my plans for world domination!" He laughed manically, "And I came to recruit you for my great army! The rewards will be immense!" He cried, arms flung wide. He held this pose, panting, while Zorgon silently regarded him.
"Fuck off." he said finally.
Zacharias growled and swept back to his dragon.
"You haven't heard the last of this!" He cried as he rose into the air, and flew away.
But as he was heading off, a massive green blur smashed into him, and he crashed into the trees.
In the rubble of the collision, there was just the zombie dragon. It got up, then spoke in Zacharias’s voice.
"What the- HOLY CRAP!" It looked down at himself. He was glowing green. A warpstone meteorite. He grinned evilly, then paused. A zombie dragon is no good, he thought, they fall apart too easily.
"Let's see if I can fix this up" he mumbled. He blurred, and became a monstrous, smoking black dragon.
Suddenly he folded in on himself, and became Zacharias again. Then he exploded outwards, and became the dragon.
"Dragon, Vampire! Dragon, Vampire! Hehehe. Dragon!"
No need for an army now, he mused. He gave a few experimental wing beats, and flew off.
Zorgon watched him leave.
"Ah, something to do." he said, "Let's see if we can get that warpstone, eh, Bones?"
"We'll need to kill him. But, How?"
Rattle Rattle Click.
"Good idea. Let's follow him, and see what happens."
The Skaven warpmaster opened his eyes, and turned to his most trusted servant.
"Warpstone," He said in a whispery yet forceful voice, "And lots of it. More, in fact, in a single place than any other in recorded history. However, it seems to be moving. Probably has been absorbed by another being." The other rat grunted. He bore a large scar across his left eye as a trophy to his belligerent determination in battle, and wore a belt covered with assorted weaponry.
"Shouldn't be too easy to remove."
"Nonetheless, we must exercise caution. This being will have absorbed the warpstone's power, and so will be a dangerous enemy." He stood up, and strapped two staves with warpstone heads to his back. Green lightning constantly flashed between them.
"Still," He said, "It should not be too hard. Once I have the warpstone in my grasp, I will be unstoppable."
"Those frickin' tree-huggers won't know what hit them."
"Well said. And anyway," He grinned, "I like a good challenge."
The captain returned his grin.
The shadow spoke.
I must have that warpstone, it said.
"I will obtain it for you." said the Bloodhunter.
You’d better... for I must... walk... AGAIN!
The spellslinger opened her eyes, and turned to her apprentice.
"Warpmaster Drellakor, sworn enemy of the Wood Elves, is on the move."
"Whatever," said Tellenin.
"He is after the largest warpstone deposit IN HISTORY," She leant in to Tellenin, "And he must. Not. Get it."
Tellenin rolled her eyes.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because you must stop him!"
"Why can't you do it?"
"Because," she nervously darted her eyes, "because, um, I am bound to the forest and cannot leave." She grinned triumphantly.
"No, it's because your second job is being a prostitute, and you have had a 'special order' tonight, and don't want to disappoint."
Tellenin could nearly hear the crash as her grin fell.
"Just, get out of here."
"FINE!" she huffed indignantly, and stormed away.
Zorgon peeked under a rock.
"Nope, not here." he said. Bones emerged from behind a tree.
"Where is he?!" Zorgon cried, exasperated. Suddenly his vision was filled with green.
"Where is.... who?" came a whisper.
"Umm.... no-one..." he mumbled. The Green edged closer. Zorgon now saw that the whisper came from a Skaven.
"You're not looking for a.... Warpstone dragon, are you?" he said. Zorgon's eyes darted.
"Nooooo..... YES! RUN, BONES, RUN!"
He stood, panting.
"I...*gasp* think we lost him..." he said.
Suddenly a green bolt of energy bolted out, vaporizing the tree next to him. His eyes ever so slowly moved round to look at it.
"I guess not! RUN AGAIN!"
He stood, panting.
They were in a large, grassy clearing.
"An old battleground... perfect." he said.
The rat emerged from the trees, along with at least a hundred others. The lead rat grinned evilly.
"Got you now." he said, pointing his two staffs at him. Their glow increased,
Zorgon returned his grin, and drew his dagger.
"No you haven't." he said, and drove his dagger into the ground. Suddenly a skeletal hand burst out of the ground, and struck the staffs out of the way.
"Ha!" Zorgon laughed.
Warpmaster Drellakor vaporized a row of Skeletons with green lightning.
"Is that all you got?" He called.
Zorgon grinned. "Nope." He pulled the sword out of the ground, and there was a huge, piercing whooshing noise as a massive stream of ghosts burst from the hole.
They closed in on the rats, and started to devour their souls , the rats shrieking in despair as they realized that they could not harm them.
Drellakor swung his staffs out wide, blasting the ghosts away with a huge shockwave. He muttered something under his breath, and the weapons of all the Skaven started to glow green, and they shouted in triumph as they discovered that they could now harm the ghosts.
"The fight is on."
Tellenin held up her hand, stopping her troop - a small, elite taskforce of waywatchers that agreed to come with her (Since they were all men, she was fairly sure of their motives. But she wasn't complaining.).
"Can you hear that?" she whispered.
"No.... wait, yes! Far-off - possibly a battle?" Said Aren, their leader. He was about Tellenin's age (young to be a leader, yet still a very able captain), and wore a green cloak, with a thick, oaken bow and a long, thin-bladed sword slung over his back, the standard equipment of a waywatcher.
"Yes," She nodded, "I think you're right."
She was wearing a battle dress (Lithe, string, and flowing, with a deep V neck that showed off what Trog liked to call 'The work of the divine potter'), and carried a vine-woven staff with a blood-red gem set in the top.
"Then what are we waiting for," said Admos, a (relatively) junior member of the troop, "Let's get stuck in!"
"Now, now," said Trog, a dark-skinned veteran who was so old that he very much resembled a log with limbs. He had effectively raised Tellenin, Her father being away on 'business' most of the time, and her mother totally indifferent to her life. "Let's not be too hasty. Why should we care about this battle? What's it to do with us? And anyway, our numbers would mean for a more subtle approach."
"What do you think?" said Aren, nodding over at the other three members of the troop. They shrugged. They just seemed to be along for the ride, (In more ways than one, Tellenin mused to herself). She chuckled to herself, drawing quizzical looks from the others.
"I have a feeling," she said, "that what we are looking for will be within that battle."
"WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOsorry." cried Admos, after a stare from Aren.
They emerged behind an undead army, deadlocked with a Skaven army on the other side.
"There! Warpmaster Drellakor! We have to kill him..." began Tellenin.
"...Before he raises this forest to the ground," Finished Aren. She glanced at him, and he flashed her a grin.
"I guess That means we help the dead people!" Cried Admos.
"WE LIKE DEAD PEOPLE, DEAD PEOPLE, DEAD PEOPLE!" chorused the three waywatchers. The others glared at them. They stopped, abruptly, and one said "Well... It's appropriate!". They shook their heads sadly.
Then they realized that Admos was no longer there. Trog rolled his eyes.
"Well, So much for our subtle approach!" He said.
Zorgon noticed the elves with amusement.
"Looks like Drellakor has more than one enemy," he said.
Click Click. CLACK!!!!! Bones swung his staff up. Zorgon ducked just in time, and heard a THWACK behind him. He looked, and saw a dazed Gutter Runner sprawled on the floor.
"Thanks," He said, and stabbed it.
Zacharias circled high above the battle.
All this, for little old me? He snorted, and grinned a horrifying, draconic grin. Or should I say, not so little.
I'd better show them just how pointless this is, hadn't I?
Warpmaster Drellakor glanced up to see a rapidly growing shadow. At last, he thought.
"Captain Carnakle!" he called over the din of battle. The Captain looked up in mid-hack.
Drellakor grinned at him, and nodded upwards. Carnakle glanced to the sky, and grinned.
He pulled out a small, shining gold object. He pressed a button on its back, and it suddenly unfolded, until it showed itself to be a massive, hyped up warp-lightning cannon.
He aimed it up and fired just as Zacharias swooped down on him.
A massive surge of blue lightning burst out of the cannon and struck Zacharias in the chest. He shrieked deafeningly as a mass of blue sparks enveloped him.
He slammed into the ground, head just in front of Carnakle's feet.
He lay there, jerking, but Carnakle was unrelenting.
"That’s enough Carnakle. Time to withdraw the Warpstone!" commanded Drellakor. The blue lightning ceased.
Drellakor stood before the huge form that was Zacharias’s head. Zacharias turned one bloodshot eye up to look at him. Drellakor sneered, and placed his staff heads on either side of Zacharias’s head. Zacharias’s eyes turned inward and he roared deafeningly as a stream of green energy flew from his head into the Green orbs at the end of Drellakor's staffs. This went on for a few seconds, until the streams abruptly ceased. Zacharias’s head crashed to the ground. The orbs started pulsating dangerously.
Drellakor quickly held out another orb, this one much bigger and clear, with his tail, so that it was touching the other two. Green smoke quickly filled the orb, until it largely resembled the others, except much brighter and bigger. The others stopped pulsating.
"Finally!" Drellakor laughed, holding the orb up high, "The warpstone is mine!"
"What of Zacharias?" asked Carnakle. Drellakor reluctantly stopped his celebrations to look down on the huddled, withered man that now lay there. He sniffed.
Carnakle swung his sword down, and there was the squelchy Shnick of a sword cutting through the neck.
Zorgon Watched all this with dismay. He turned to the elves.
"I don't know who the fuck you are!" he cried, "But Drellakor has got the warpstone! We have to stop him!"
He’s absolutely right, thought Tellenin.
"Get him!" she called.
The elves charged.
Drellakor looked up, and thrust his staffs out with a hiss, sending a stream of lightning though three of the elves, vaporising them instantly.
"HOLY SHIT!" cried Admos. Tellenin looked up as another stream of lightning flashed out, this time at Admos, when suddenly a dark shadow intercepted it. She looked to see Zorgon holding his hands out. A lightning bolt flew out him, but Tellenin cast her staff out, blocking the bolt with a flickering blue force field.
And so the battle Commenced, Zorgon and Tellenin working together to keep Drellakor at bay.
She didn't know why she did it, But later she would later she would thank God she did.
She looked right, and there, just out of the ring of trees, stood a figure in a grey, hooded cloak. In each hand he carried a wickedly jagged knife, edges tinted red.
Nobody else seemed to notice him.
Bloodhunter stood, observing the battle.
Undead, Skaven, or Elves?
Eeny, meeny, miny, mo....
Tellenin Watched as the Figure disappeared.
Her puzzlement ended abruptly when it reappeared behind Admos. Admos cried out as a Bloodied knife burst through his chest. The figure then disappeared again, letting Admos's body fall limp to the ground.
The Figure reappeared again, this time behind a Skaven, and, only stopping to slit its throat, once more vanished into thin air.
By this time everyone on the battle field was looking around nervously for the next strike, battle momentarily forgotten.
Except Drellakor. He sent out a burst of energy, sending Zorgon flying. Zorgon hit a tree, and lay still.
Drellakor swung his staffs downwards, and blasted himself into the air, and away from the battle.
Tellenin watched with horror as more and more soldiers fell to the assassin. A skeleton here, a Skaven there.
Suddenly she heard a sound behind her, just on the edge of hearing. It was an otherwise inconspicuous, and very faint, whoosh sound. And yet, it filled her with utter terror.
Time seemed to slow down as she turned around slowly, to see the Figure standing there with his arm raised, dagger in hand, preparing to strike.
She stood there, terrifyingly helpless, as he brought the dagger down.
Suddenly the world was filled with blistering orange flames. The flames disappeared as abruptly as they had arrived, and the assassin was no longer there. He was off to her left, sprawled in a smoking heap.
She looked for her saviour, and there was Zorgon, heavily leaning on the tree for support, a still burning skull in his outstretched hand.
She looked back at the assassin, but he was gone.
Tellenin, Aren and Trog looked down sadly at the body of Admos, the gaping hole in his chest, his endlessly staring eyes, his blood-splattered face.
Zorgon suddenly barged in.
"I can fix this!" He cried, and knelt down over the corpse.
There was a massive uproar as he sunk his teeth into Admos's neck.
But it was over within seconds, and he stood up quickly.
Tellenin swore she could see Admos's teeth grow ever so slightly longer.
Admos suddenly jerked, and spoke.
"Woah!" he laughed.
Then he saw the wound in his chest.
"HOLY CRAP!!" he cried. He stood up.
"Hey! Look what I can do!" He said, sticking his arm through the hole in his back, and wiggling his hand around.
"What happened?" He asked. The other elves were still looking at him with their mouths wide open.
"You got stabbed," explained Zorgon, "So I made you into a Vampire."
"Cool!" Said Admos. He experimentally moved his mouth about.
Then his eyes widened, and he began to sway groggily.
"Argh!" he moaned, "I think I just bit my tongue!" and with that he collapsed to the floor.
Bloodhunter fidgeted nervously in front of the Shadow.
"Well?" growled the shadow.
"Well.... I don't have it." Bloodhunter mumbled.
"WHY NOT?? WHAT HAPPENED????"
"Well... I did kill lots of people..."
"THERE'S YOUR PROBLEM!!" The Shadow cried, shaking him out of his hole of self-pity.
"What?" he snapped.
"You're not subtle enough!" Bloodhunter rolled his eyes.
"You can talk!"
"You forget your place." rumbled the shadow in a whispery, but incredibly menacing voice.
"Sorry," Bloodhunter said quietly.
"Anyhoo, I told you to steal the warpstone, not to kill everyone. Once I have the warpstone, I will be restored, and you can kill them then."
"Promise?" asked Bloodhunter hopefully.
"Promise." affirmed the shadow.
Drellakor stood in the Mountains of Mourn, in a vast clearing, an oasis of flat in a sea of mountains. A flat space that had made for breeding grounds for the wildlife, and camping space for weary, but very much relieved, travellers.
All that was about to change.
Drellakor through his arms up, holding the orb of warpstone aloft.
He cried out ancient words of power, and the ground started rumbling.
Then, a white spire burst out of the ground, then a tower, then another, then a wall, then a keep...
Soon it was finished - an immense castle, towering even over its neighbouring mountains. A castle of towers causeways, a veritable maze of vastness. A castle of dread, to inspire terror in everything for miles around.
A castle of Bone.
Drellakor slowly lowered his arms. He grinned.
With this, all the Skaven in the Old world will flock to me.
First, they will try to overthrow me.
Then, when I have shown them my power, they will fight for me, out of fear, awe, and respect.
They will worship me, and I will be as a God.
Then, when I have them all in my power, an eager army numbering into the millions, The Old World will Fall.
Morgus brooded in the darkness, scheming.
When I have that warpstone, I will return, with an innumerable army at my side.
The World will hold my name in fear, and I shall become Morgus, Master of the living, and the dead.
Deep in the unfathomable wastes of the desert of Araby, is a place where no man has entered and left wholly alive. It is Nagashizzar, home of the most powerful man of all time. However, now he is but a mere Shadow of his old self. But soon, if his servant managed to retrieve the Warpstone (he had learnt long ago not to be utterly confident of his servants infallibility), he would return.
More powerful than ever.
The troop were milling around randomly, having absolutely no idea where to find Drellakor.
Then Tellenin heard a faint groaning coming from behind a bush. She pushed the bush out the way to see a fatally wounded man lying on the ground. He was dressed in a brown tunic, and had two swords strapped to his back. She quickly whirled around to glare at Zorgon.
"Don't you DARE even think about it!" she warned. She bent over the man and began to heal his wounds. It would take some time.
Bloodhunter stood outside the Castle of Bone. He grinned, and went in.
Several hours later.
"Are you done yet?" asked Admos for the Hundredth time, "I'm so BORED!"
"For God's sake, SHUT UP!" snapped Tellenin. Admos's incessant complaining, coupled with the sheer tediousness of her job, had rubbed her nerves raw.
She breathed a massive sigh of relief.
"Done!" She called. The man opened his eyes and rubbed his head, dazed.
"Awwww, my head..." He groaned, "Uh, What happened?" suddenly he leapt to his feat and whirled around, obviously looking for something.
"THE OGRES!!" He shouted, "Oh. They're gone." He looked crestfallen.
Aren walked over and patted him on the shoulder.
"Don't worry about it, mate. Can you remember anything that happened?"
"Not much. Only that I got attacked by some Ogres. They knocked me out and took all my stuff." He looked puzzled, "hmm. Odd for Ogres...."
"Can you remember anything about who you are?"
"No.... WAIT YES!!!" He cried, physically growing several inches, "I was the Emperor of Cathay!" The others exchanged nervous glances. Aren shrugged.
"Eh, he's probably delirious." The man shrunk back down again, resuming the pose of the severely crestfallen. He sighed.
"Can you remember your name?"
"What was it?"
"Sooo.... What are you doing then?" Asked Blade, now firmly in a good mood.
"Well," Tellenin, "We've been tasked unofficially with preventing Warpmaster Drellakor, an incredibly powerful Skaven, from obtaining the largest warpstone deposit on the planet. We have miserably failed."
"So you're going to try to retrieve it?"
"Yes, of course." Blade rubbed his hands together excitedly.
"Ooh, an adventure! I can't wait!"
"The trouble is, we have no idea where to find him."
"Hmm.... Incredibly powerful you say?"
"In possession of an enormous warpstone deposit you say?"
"Well, then I would say he's right over there," he said, pointing to the gigantic spire far in the distance, towering way above the clouds surrounding it.
The group stood outside the Castle of Bone.
"Soooo...." said Admos, "What do we do now?"
"We go in!" said Blade, and marched forwards.
"WAIT!!" cried Tellenin. Blade turned around and looked at her oddly. "We can't just... stroll in through the front door!" she continued.
"Why the hell not?" asked Blade, and he turned around, threw open the door, and walked in.
There were several screams.
"Shit..." said Tellenin. Suddenly poked his head out from the door. He Held out something. It turned out to be a severed head. Just not from anything she had ever seen before.
"Don't worry," assured Blade, "Just some sort of Sentry Golem. It's been dealt with. Now, are you just going to stand there all day looking to all the world like a group of half-witted monkeys, are you going to come in, so we can do whatever the hell it is we're supposed to do?" His head disappeared back behind the door.
Zorgon shrugged, and went in after him. The others followed.
They emerged into twilight, shadows flickering and dancing, behind their backs and in front of their eyes.
"What now?" asked Aren.
"I know this type of place," said Zorgon, caressing his chin, "And generally all you have to do is keep taking random turns, and going up whenever you can."
"Is there a catch?" asked Tellenin.
"What is it?"
"Never, EVER run."
"Because the more you run, the more whatever it is you're running from will want to get you, and the type of horrors you get in these places generally don't tire easily."
The journey had been fine. They'd climbed up at least ten flights of stairs, and hadn't been attacked even once. At least, it HAD been going well, until Zorgon, for some unknown reason, decided to look behind a door.
"Hmm..." He said, "Hmmm.... HOLY CRAP!!" He started backing away slowly, holding his hands out in front of him.
"What is it?" asked Tellenin.
"Nothing... You should worry about... you keep on going... Leave me..." and with that, he turned tail and fled.
The door opened a bit. It opened a bit more. The group were staring wide-eyed at the door (Except Blade, who was tapping his foot impatiently), scared out of their wits, yet unable to run away.
The door opened completely. They prepared to run for their lives.
A man walked out. A completely unremarkable man, except for the fact that he was at least a head shorter than normal men, and carried a long-bladed spear that was glowing an eerie blue. He also wore a necklace with a silver cross, and several sprigs of Garlic were attached to his belt. He nodded curtly in their direction.
"Goodday," he said, and started running after Zorgon.
The others looked quizzically at each other.
"Well, that was odd..."
Tellenin was worried. Not about Zorgon, not about herself, but about poor old Trog. He'd barely spoken since the battle with the Skaven, and at times he was subject to fits of shivering and wide-eyed anxiety. This was one of those times.
He was hunched over, and his hands were writhing about each other. His eyes darted frantically, seemingly finding something horrifying wherever he looked.
Tellenin slowly put a hand on his shoulder. He immediately swung round to glare at her. She flinched, but he had already sunk back down. The others had stopped a short distance ahead, waiting, already swallowed by the gloom.
"Trog... What's wrong?" she asked.
"He's got them..." He whispered.
"Who?" she asked.
"Him... Them..." he murmured. Suddenly he cried out, and spun around. Then he straightened, and turned to face her.
"Come on," he said, "What are you doing? Is there something wrong?"
"GOOD!" His enthusiasm shocked her. "We’d better get moving..."
He made to walk away, when Tellenin stopped him.
"You said that He has them," she insisted, "Who is He? Who are They?" Trog looked at her, puzzled.
"What on Earth are you on about?" Then he blinked, and stared at her, now even more puzzled.
"Who... Who are you?" He asked. Then, "ANYWAY, Best be off."
And he turned and strode away.
Tellenin was about to walk up to the others, when she saw a particularly large shadow dart across the corners of her eyes.
She swivelled around slowly, dreading what she might find.
The shadow was in the shape of a man.
And, in each hand, he held a dagger, the edges of each tinted an ominous red.
Blade, Admos, and Aren saw Trog appear out of the gloom. He was shaking his head, perplexed.
"Hey, where's Tellenin?" asked Aren. Trog shrugged, and walked past them.
Suddenly he stopped, and stiffened. He turned around, terrified.
"What is it?" asked Admos. Trog stared at him, then looked around wildly. Then he burst forward, grabbed his tunic, and shook him violently.
"Where... Where's Tellenin?" He deplored. Admos stared at him fearfully. Trog looked at the others hopefully, yet with terrible fear. They shook their heads. Trog let go of Admos.
"TELLENIN!" He called, before running off, instantly consumed by the impenetrable darkness.
Tellenin was running, running as fast as she could.
It was him, the assassin from the battle. He'd come back, seeking to finish what he'd started.
And so she was running, in blind, all-consuming terror.
She smashed into something solid, sending her collapsing to the floor, the world spinning around her. She slapped her hand to her nose. It was broken, utterly smashed. It was bleeding, but not much.
She got a grip on herself, and took a look at her surroundings.
Walls on three sides.
A dead end.
And there, in the one open side, was the assassin.
He approached her. Tellenin scrabbled backwards, but all she found was wall.
"Ooh, hello." said the man. He laughed. "Looks like one got away..."
Trog ran about wildly, calling out Tellenin's name sporadically.
He saw a door, and in his panic threw it open. What he saw appalled him.
He'd found Tellenin, but she was lying in a pool of her own blood.
And standing above her, grinning, was the assassin from the battle. Trog's horrified stare was met by two others. One was cold and cruel, as a hardened executioner might look upon his next victim; the other was glazed, lifeless - it hardly looked at him, but through him, and into the fathomless beyond.
Zorgon was running.
I wish I had taken my own advice, he thought. He looked behind him to see the diminutive vampire hunter still in pursuit, not two paces behind, tireless. Hang on a second-
He abruptly stopped, and turned around only to have Von Trappe's enchanted spear drive deep into his leg. He grunted, and collapsed to the ground. Von Trappe cleanly removed his blade, and sneered.
"Scared, are you? I be-"
"nope." asserted Zorgon.
"-t that - wait, what?" but Zorgon noticed that he was already beginning to fade.
"I'm not scared of you in the slightest, you pompous imp."
Von Trappe was at a loss for words, then:
"How dare you, you- but, hang on, then why were you running from me?" he was barely a shadow now.
"Merely a wish for self-preservation, I assure you." And then the apparition was gone.
"Huh." He thought for a moment. "Bones!"
Bones poofed into existence beside his Master.
"Bones, it seems that we have a revelation on our hands." he told him, "But, since I am unable to walk, you will have to help me convey the message to the others, understand.
Trog was running.
Haphazardly, wildly, just trying to get away from the horror.
Oh, the horror, he thought, oh, the death, the horror, the horrible death... RUN!
Suddenly an apparition appeared before him. He lurched to a halt. It was a ghostly head, one that part of him knew he should recognize.
"Trog!" the apparition said, "Hey, listen... Oh Gods, what's happened to you?"
But Trog just shrieked, and swept out with one hand. It passed straight through the apparition, dissipating it in a whoosh of smoke. Trog ran, just ran, because it was all too much.
Admos, Aren, and Blade took another random path, turning right at an ominous T-junction. The path then bent sharply left, taking them into a long, wide corridor. There were doors on either side, and it stretched in a straight line for as far as their eyes could see, which wasn't very far in the gloom.
Suddenly Zorgon's head appeared in front of them.
"Zorgon!" cried Admos, "what happened-"
"Never mind!" snapped the apparition, "I have something gravely important to tell you - nothing is real. It may seem real, it may terrify you out of your wits - but that's because that's exactly what it's meant to do - don't you see? This place finds your deepest, most absolute fears and makes them corporeal. Remember that! If you can convince yourself that you aren't scared, then it will fade! This place is fear incarnate, and courage is the only true path..."
The apparition vanished.
"So..." said Blade, "shall we move on?"
Tellenin woke abruptly by someone shouting.
She groggily opened her eyes to see that the shouting came from Zorgon - or rather, his head.
"Tellenin! Oh, you're awake! Thank God, I thought you were..."
"Please, no questions." Zorgon then began talking at length, but she wasn't listening, for just as she was remembering what had happened, a figure slowly began to rake shape behind Zorgon.
She screamed. Zorgon's head whirled around.
"HOLY CRAP!" he shouted. The figure began to walk forwards, oblivious to the apparition's presence.
Tellenin scrambled back in blind terror.
"Tellenin! Listen to me! Say you're not afraid! It's the only way! Say it!"
Tellenin looked at him fearfully, eyes wide. Then she blinked, closed her eyes, turned back to the figure, opened them and looked up at him with fierce defiance.
"I am NOT afraid of you." she growled menacingly. The figure suddenly began to fade. He still approached, placidly, towards her. She held her gaze steadily on him, until, by the time that he had reached her, he had vanished entirely.
"Nice touch." Zorgon commented. Tellenin glanced over at him quizzically. Then realization dawned on her face.
"Do the others know?" she asked.
"Yes," answered the apparition, " Well except Trog, but he's-"
"Say no more," she said curtly, and strode off into the Gloom.
Admos, Aren and Blade climbed a set of stairs for the umpteenth time.
"ur... ur... G-Guys..." stuttered Admos. The others look behind them to see Admos staring wild-eyed at the cieling.
They looked up, and saw a mostrous spider the siize of a horse.
It dropped down, to land directly between them and Admos.
"It's not real!" said Blade, "Tell it your not afraid of it!"
Admos looked at him fearfully.
"B-But I'm t-t-terrified of s-spiders!" he squeaked.
Then he decided to turn tail and run.
"Huh," huffed Blade.
No sooner had they resumed their journey, when they heard a hissing noise coming from directly in front of them.
"Oh for God's sake!" Blade cried, and proceeded to stride off into the gloom.
There was a faint noise, like someone cutting through a pear with singular force and concentration.
Blade strode back out of the gloom, carrying an enormous head of a snake.
They arrived in a high-roofed hallway. This one was uniquely (or at least relatively) well lit. At the far end was a massive double-door, at least twenty feet high.
Standing in front of it, with its back to them, was an ogre.
"You afraid of Ogres?" asked Blade. Aren shook his head. "Oh well, guess it's me then." He strode over towards the ogre. The ogre turned around, took one look at Blade, and promptly vanished.
"Huh," huffed Blade, "anyhoo, come on! I think we're nearly there!"
And he pushed open the massive doors.
They entered into an enormous hall, utterly empty except for a throne at the far end.
On the throne, there sat a rat.
"So." came a voice. It took them a while to work out that it was coming from the rat, who, come to think of it, was quite a lot bigger than rats should be. "Come to steal my Warpstone, have you?"
"What, you mean that one?" said Blade, pointing at a window to the left of the throne.
In the window, a cloaked figure crouched.
It was holding the warpstone.
The fiqure grinned, and leapt.
The Skaven Roared.
Trog was whipping about wildly when she found him.
"Trog!" called Tellenin. Trog whirled around.
"Tellenin?" he said, softly and sadly. Then his eyes widened. he slowly raised an accusing finger at her.
"Y-You're not real!" he shrieked, "none of this is real! You're just trying to get into my head!" He gibbered madly. "WELL I WON'T LET YOU!"
And he darted off into the gloom.
Tellenin started to run after him, but then the floor began to rumble.
The Rat had grown.
Within three-dozen heartbeats, it was the size of a house.
It went on growing.
"You..." came the voice, much deeper than before, "are going... TO PAY!"
"I think this would be a good time to run," said Aren.
The rat followed.
"Was that one of us?" asked Blade.
"I sure hope so," replied Aren.
They reached a tee-junction.
This hadn't been there before.
They turned around, to see the rat, now the size of a castle although mercifully no longer growing, literally tearing through the hallway.
"You go right," said Blade, "I'll distract him!"
Aren didn't need to be told twice.
Blade Turned to the Rat.
"Oi! Yo- oh."
The Rat was there, its nose but a yard away from his.
Blade ran left.
He emerged on a walkway bridging two towers. Only now could he truly appreciate just how high up he was - He could see the tips of the mountains below him. Well, at least the ones that weren't hidden below the clouds.
He risked a glance behind him, to see the Rat explode out of the tower behind him.
He entered the tower, and sprinted up the steps, three at a time.
He emerged at the pointed roof of the tower, and took a moment to regain his balance. He was now at the highest point of the Castle of Bone, with nothing above him but the stars and the night sky. He would have said it was beautiful, if he'd had time to take it in.
The Rat looked up at him.
It raised itself up on its hind legs, and slammed its forelegs into the tower. There was a crash.
"Any last words?" came the voice.
"Yes, as a matter of fact." Blade replied calmly.
"Your tower's falling down."
And it did.
The Rat howled as it fell downwards, down towards the ground.
Blade didn't, he just lay back and enjoyed the ride.
A golden Glow appeared in front of him. Then it faded, to leave only Zorgon.
"Come on, we're all waiting on you now," Zorgon said, "HOLY SHIT!" he cried as he saw that the only thing between them and the ground was air and a couple of pointy mountains.
He reached out to Blade.
He did, and the world became Golden.
The Gold faded, and they were back on the ground, beside an enormous rat carcass that didn't used to be there but now was, and the gates of a castle that used to be there but now weren't.
There was a heavily panting Admos, being supported by Aren and Tellenin.
"Hold on..." said Zorgon, "Where's Trog?"
They looked around.
"There he is!" said Tellenin, and there indeed he was, running after a cloaked figure.
That figure held the Warpstone.
They caught up with them in a clearing.
The figure was holding the warpstone up high, and begging at his feet, clawing at his cloak was Trog.
And Shadows were gathering, forming into a solid mass of darkness.
"Please... Please..." begged Trog, "Give me the Warpstone... please..."
Bloodhunter growled, and stabbed him.
"YOU!" Tellenin Shrieked, and sent a burning, incandescent fireball hurtling at Bloodhunter.
Bloodhunter looked up, mildly surprised, just before the fireball engulfed him.
The warpstone flew into the air, and seemed to hover for one long, eternal second, before slowly dropping back down.
An armoured hand darted out of the Shadow, grabbed it, and pulled it back in.
They heard a deep, rumbling laugh.
One foot clashed down onto the ground.
Then a whole body, garbed in blood red armour, and carrying a massive black axe emerged.
He raised his shaven head up to the stars, spread out his arms, and laughed, this time louder, much louder. It reverberated across the world, and brought with it an icy chill of dread.
"Hello, World!" He bellowed, "Missed me?"
HERE ENDS WARPSTONE
Harland glanced over at them, and strode away, the shadows having dissapeared.
Admos, Aren, Blade, Tellenin and Zorgon all ran over to Trog.
He wasn't dead yet.
Tellenin croouched down, and propped him up.
"Tellenin... listen to me..." He wheezed, "It's not my fault... he... he has my familly..."
"Who does?" asked Tellenin softly. Tears cleared pink trails on her dusty cheeks.
"Nagash." Trog coughed. "Promise me this... Tellenin... save... save my familly..."
And so Trog died.
Tellenin stood up mournfully.
Zorgon sighed. "Anyway, off to Nagashizzar!"
In the darkness, Morgus Darkblade sighed.
Oh well, I suppose I will have to do it without the warpstone, then.
He emerged from the darkness, and prepared to take over the world.
TVC II: The loquacious assassin, Roland Kobura
In reading order:
Something Wicked This-way Comes - you can start from here if you read the Plot synopsis
Rob Has moved on to better things...
But Stewart's adventure is only beginning...
(This post was last modified: 05-13-2012 01:52 PM by Harland.)