[Archive] Bloodshed on the Bridge

Dînadan:

Short story I wrote a few months back. Not the best, but hopefully some of you will enjoy it :slight_smile:

“Where are they?” grumbled Gahzrak, peering out over the parapet. “The reports from the watchtower said they’d be here an hour ago.”

“Manlings are always unreliable,” shrugged Hrazzan, hawking a gob of phlegm through crooked teeth “And the Wastelanders more than most. They’ve probably had to stop to fight an honour duel 'cause one of 'em stole another’s favourite skull.” Gahzrak barked with laughter at his friend’s jest and gestured to a nearby slave to bring over a skein of wine so he could wash the mountain dust from his mouth.

“Still, it’s not like them to dawdle when they could have a scrap against someone else.”

“Hush,” Harazzan raised a hand, “Listen.”

“Two miles?”

“And a half at least,” nodded Hrazzan. “Best sound the alarm.” Raising a rune encrusted bronze horn to his lips, he gave a single, long blow, which echoed over the valley. Resting the horn against the crenellations he began to casually reset the game board, smirking “Should give us time for another game, your turn to be trolls I believe.”

“Doesn’t matter,” grumbled Gahzrak, draining the last of the wine, “You’ll beat me again somehow. I swear to Hashut you cheat somehow.”

=== === ===

The sun was setting as the first of the marauders rode into the valley, horned and scaled hounds bounding ahead of them. Spotting the walls of the fortress, they pulled up short of the broad stone bridge which spanned the chasm outside its gates. Hollering in their uncouth tongues, the riders spread out, galloping in circles around the plain on their side of the bridge as if to mark out their own personal territories. Horn blasts, drum beats and savage chanting echoed up the valley from whence the riders came and shortly afterwards the infantry marched from its mouth in ragged ranks.

First came the northern tribesmen clad in pelts and armour scraps, savage tattoos etched on their bare skin and rings of iron, gold and bone piercing their naked flesh. The stoutest marched at the front of their rabblous units, bearing aloft ragged skull topped banners embroidered with foul runes and symbols. Behind them in ordered ranks came the warriors - those favoured by the gods and bearing their marks. While the marauders broke ranks, dashing forward whooping towards where their mounted kinsmen had claimed camp spaces, the warriors maintained discipline, striding in step to the centre of the plain and planting their banners in unison, the personal standard of their lord, Hroathgnaw Crowborn, flying high above the rest.

Last came the supply train, wagons piled high with looted weapons and pillaged food, drawn by hulking beasts or pitiful wretches mutated by the northern wastes. Towering over the carts were four hulking shapes, dark fusions of hell-forged steel and daemons. While the carts trundled down into the camp, the four hellcannons, goaded by their dwarfen handlers, lumbered to take up positions on the slopes of the hills that formed the valley mouth.

On the fortress walls on the other side of the bridge stood the disciplined ranks of the Dawi Zharr, waiting and watching. As darkness descended and the barbarian hoard at their gates fell to drinking and feasting, the stoic dwarfen warriors held their places, still as the stones of the mountains. Through the depths of night they stood watch, keen eyesight surveying the northmen’s camp for signs of movement, but all they saw were the debauched revelries of the servants of the Dark Gods.

=== ===

Xx9millxX:

Awesome story … Loved it … Can’t wait to hear more

Dînadan:

Awesome story .. Loved it .. Can't wait to hear more

Xx9millxX
Thanks. Got a vague idea for another minor fort to write about, but just need to think of a plot for it to star in ;)

Abecedar:

Loved it. Your defences have given much to think about as I plan my own fortress.

Xx9millxX:

Yea man it was cool … Liked it a lot … Different from most of the stories on here an a lot longer :slight_smile:

Bloodbeard:

Great little piece of bloodshed.

Consider changing “cwm” to some synonym. I had to look it up, thinking it was a reacurring typo - and perhaps a lot of people think the same.

The statues bursting into flames and revealed as hidden k’daii is awesome. Great to know other people had that idea. I plan on making my destroyer as a statue in the middle of transmuting into flames.

Keep writing stories, good fluff for our armor.

Dînadan:

Thanks guys guys.

@ Bloodbeard: I chose cwm because I felt it wouldn’t be as boring as valley. On the plus side, it has accidentally provided education for some ^^; if more people comment querying it I’ll change it, but for now I’ll let it stand :slight_smile:

Abecedar:

CWN… I gave up. My google search came up with casinos and “Catholic World News”. Acronyms annoy me greatly and I didn’t say anything because i liked the story.

Dînadan:

Err, it’s cwm, not CWN :s

It’s a synonym for valley :wink:

Bloodbeard:

It’s the welsh or gaelish word for valley. Hard to read. It’s pronounched “coom” - but that’s impossible to know.

Xx9millxX:

Ahh so it doesn’t actually stand for anything? Lol I loved the story like I said and I figured it was something along those lines ( using context clues) but that’s interesting

Dînadan:

It's the welsh or gaelish word for valley. Hard to read.  It's pronounched "coom" - but that's impossible to know.

Bloodbeard
Well, I learned the word from GCSE geography so thought it'd be general knowledge for most English speakers. Guess I was wrong :s

Abecedar:

Always interested in olde words, I should have known better… keep them coming