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Fiction Killer Angel's short stories_other armies

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Killer Angel, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. Killer Angel
    OldBlood

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    As suggested by @Scalenex (thanks ;)), this thread will contain all the short stories I've made (and I'm going to write), centered around my other armies or things in the WH universe that inspire me.


    The first stories will be about Tomb Kings, then… who knows?

    enjoy and feel free to leave your comments / suggestions! :)
     
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  2. Killer Angel
    OldBlood

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    The Prideful Father


    All the people of the city of Sanntri were amassed in the plain, near the Great Pyramid.
    On the top of a huge platform, the High Priest of the Mortuary Cult, the High Priest of Ptra, the Great Necrotect Techimech and the Master Craftsman were patiently waiting for the Pharaoh. The frontal side of the pyramid and its entrance, flanked by large statues and obelisks, were enveloped by immense linen drapery, that were hiding to the sight what could have been the last and greatest work of Techimech, his passport for the Awakening.
    On the flight of the platform’s steps, there were the priests, forming two colored wings, with increasingly less rich garments going downstairs.
    The sector for the lesser nobles, from where there was the best view, was near the lowest steps of the stairs, in front of the lines of the Guards; slaves were holding parasols, to shield their masters from the heat of the sun.
    Behind them, there were the members of the upper classes; merchants, officers and scribes, the richest of them with their own servant, each one armed with fans, to create some illusion of freshness.
    More distantly, the open spaces were filled by normal peoples; the lifeblood of the city, and also its ignorant scum, at the eyes of the Master Craftsman. Many of them were shirtless, and their skin was glistening with sweat; the Master was grateful that they were too far to annoy him with their stink.

    Finally, the magical enhanced voice of the Pharaoh’s herald, announced the arrival of Pharakh III, Bringer of Life, Beloved by Ptra, Destroyer of infidels and Protector of Khemri; a roaring from the crowd accompanied the royal chariot.
    Usually, the mere vision of their King would have been a sufficient reason to jubilate, but today it was different. The crowd’s excitement was sky high, because finally, after a wait almost three years long, they would have seen the finished work of Techimech, the definitive homage to Pharakh’s greatness.
    Many were the rumors about it: a great number of the most beautiful stones of Khemri had been brought to Sanntri in the last years, and it was said that the first statue was demolished by an angry and unsatisfied Techimech, only to be built even Greater...… but that was false, because there were two different statues, to honor the two Pharaoh’s daughters...… but even that was not the truth, because it was a huge Hierotitan, with a gold mask resembling the Pharaoh himself…... even if someone knew for certain it was a magnificent warsphinx, pulling a flying chariot of the Gods.

    The royal chariot arrived, and the Pharaoh slowly ascended to the platform while all the priests and the nobles were bowing down, as act of submission.
    Even the High Priests paid the due tribute to His Majesty;… only Techimech, in his pride, was standing high, bowing when it was almost too late, when a touch of the Master Craftsman shook him from his dreams of grandeur.
    Pharakh noticed it, but was ready to pass upon that lack of respect...… maybe.
    “"We have waited for long, Necrotect. And I see that you are eager to show Us your work. You have Our permission.”"
    Techimech raised his hand… in the distance, the artisans pulled the ropes that were holding the drapery; the masterful mechanism of hidden counterweights worked perfectly, and all at once, the veils fell.

    The rumors about two different statues, to honor the two Pharaoh’s daughters, were almost right…... but the ones that were flanking the main entrance of the pyramid, were no simple statues; they were warsphinxes.
    But the lionesque warbeasts, had not the monstrous heads of the usual monsters, nope:… their features were the ones of beautiful maidens, with a superior smile, because they were the prideful daughters of the Pharaoh, and his eternal defender.
    On the left there was Afrah, the second-born daughter…. The main bulk of the construct, was made by pure white marble, crossed by red gold belts; the graceful neck was framed by a necklace of huge light blue sapphire, of the same color of the princess’ eyes; the shoulder plates were adorned with threatening scorpions, because the child princess was left unharmed by a scorpion that was hiding in her cradle, and so her tail was bringing the envenomed sting.
    On the place of honor there was clearly Najat, the first-born; the lucid, red marble, was adorned with shiny platinum garments and the pectoral plate was emblazoned with the personal sigil of the princess; the sculpted muscles were tensed, ready to pounce, because Najat is a warrior, and a commander of the Guards, and so her Sphinx was the most intimidating. The huge red ruby of her crown, was the sign that the Sphinx was given the gift of the Fiery Roar.
    And roaring was the crowd, because the two sphinxes were amazing beyond imagination: white with red, and red with white, even chromatically the two were showing a perfect specular resemblance, and the different attitudes were complementary to each other. The two jewels of the Pharaoh, guarding Him for the centuries to come, waiting for the Awakening.

    And Pharakh was contemplating the warsphinxes with pride. All Nehekhara would have admired those magnificent behemoths, His Name and the names of his daughters would have been forever tied to such masterpieces.
    "“We are pleased, Techimech, such beautiful sphinxes honor Us. They are not beautiful as my daughters, but they are a comparable simulacrum. I suppose that the level of the details, must be of the same high quality… and it would be a pity, if the passing of time could ruin your excellent work”.
    “We think you gained the right to preserve the beauty of your creation, and to keep intact its efficiency through the ages to come. The High Priest Khefar will prepare you for the Sacred Embalming, and you will rest in a place of honor, within my most valued servants. Well done.”"
    Pharakh conceded himself another minute to contemplate the majestic statues, then he returned to his chariot, enjoining the jubilation of the crowd; in the meantime, the high priests and their attendants were escorting Techimec toward the temple. The Great Necrotect wore an ecstatic smile, marching to immortality…; the sun would have been denied to him for millennia, but now, it was shining upon his triumph.
    The priests were going away, and the crowd was swarming through the gaps between the relaxing guards, to see closer the two marvels.

    For a moment, the Master Craftsman was the last one remaining on the platform. He was very satisfied by the Sphinxes, even if no one would have granted him the real merit of his work...… not that it was important, since he was not ready to pay the price.
    But every artist likes to sign its creation.
    The thin layer of clay that covered the back of the pedestal of each sphinx, would have passed unnoticed for the next weeks, when the statues would have been the main attraction of the city. Within a couple of months, it would have been flaked off, revealing the engravings hidden behind it:
    “three things gave me birth.
    The shaped stone. The Vision of a Man. The death of a fool.
    ”
    Ramhotep smiled. His work here was finished, and it was time to leave the city.
    In the Great Plains, Emrah was planning to build some impressive monoliths, and Ramhotep knew he would have needed a Master Craftsman


    For those of you that don't know Tomb Kings, Necrotects are the master craftsmen that build the great construct of the army and gives life to them (Ushabty, Warspinxes and so on). The usual destiny of Necrotects (when they were alive), was to be killed and buried alongside the King to serve him for eternity… a gift that the most famous of Nehekhara's necrotects (Ramhotep) was unwilling to accept)

    Not all of TK players like how the figure of the Necrotect is portrayed, all these mad artists burned by eternal hate because OMG my preciousss creationsss!
    But anyway, like it or not, Necrotects cover an important part in the army fluff, and Ramhotep the Visionary is THE Necrotect. Sadly, I don’t like the part of his fluff, where he simply gives some drugs to the victims (other legendary Necrotects, BTW), takes their place with perfect masks, and then the victim is taken to death while they’re screaming as madmen.
    So, this is my take on that part of the legend: I'’ve imagined Ramhotep more as a subtle manipulator;… yes, he softened with drugs the spirit of the Necrotect-victim, just how much was sufficient to manipulate him and to give him the impression that he was taking the decisions, while the real project was developed and changed by Ramhotep, which was acting in plain sight, as the second-in-command, after the Necrotect.
    In the story, the Necrotect-victim Techimec, just a little dazed by the drug addiction, is strongly convinced that the creation is “his” and he goes happily toward his death. And Ramhotep secretly signs his artwork, as a final joke and to be sure that in the future it will be known that the sphinxes were made by himself (otherwise, how could we know that he was the author of so many works?).
    The title of the story was hopefully misleading: the prideful father is not the Pharaoh (although he is), but Ramhotep, and the sphinxes are his daughters, cause he gave them “life”.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
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  3. Killer Angel
    OldBlood

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Growing up


    The Child Prince Thuth-Amon was riding back home.
    Two companies of horsemen and two companies of horse archers were his actual escort, while the infantry was left behind. They were in a hurry.
    Amon-Thuth was at the citadel of Aqaba for a period of play and study, when the priest came with the news.
    “Forgive your humble servant, My Prince. Your presence is requested at the Capital, with your Father’s troops…” the priest’s voice became a whisper, as he further lowered his head “…immediately”.
    Amon-Thuth stood silent for almost a minute. “Interesting. Are these the exact words of my Father? Did he talked to you?”
    “No, My Prince. I received a sending spell from the High Priest Achmed-Ra. Those were his words”.
    “That’s even more interesting. Fascinating, I’d say. Is the High Priest giving me orders?”
    “I don’t think he would dare, my Prince. It must be something that I…. I don’t know, My Prince.”
    “Then we should. This mystery amuses me. Call the troops, we are leaving”.

    ---------------

    And so, Amon-Thuth was riding back home, upon the back of his horse, Black Beauty.
    Black Beauty was a gift from his father Amon-Rha; the Prince gave him the name, and it had been an easy call, given its magnificent coat color. He was 4 years old the first time he rode it… a small child upon one of the most beautiful animal of the King’s stables, that was frantically holding himself to the horse's mane. Probably it was a funny sight, because a young apprentice stableman laughed. He took three days to die.
    Amon-Thuth wondered if that apprentice would have laughed also now. Probably not… even if the stirrups were shortened to the saddle, to match the size of the Child Prince, he was more than capable to ride his faithful Beauty.

    This was the second day of journey. In the first one, the only news carried by the priest, were that there was some kind of military crisis, and that the Prince’s escort should have been very careful.
    The implications were not pleasant… they were in the Kingdom’s heart, what should they fear? Nonetheless, scouts were sent on the way.
    Amon-Thuth was lost in thoughts, when the priest came closer.
    “My Prince, I’ve got another message from the High Priest…”
    “I’m listening.”
    “He only says that times are hard, and the Kingdom needs the support of the Royal Family.”
    “May the Gods curse his worthless tongue! Why can’t he be more clear on what’s really happening?”
    “I can only make a guess, My Prince, but… I have a bad feeling.”
    “Then tell me your hypothesis.”
    The priest pointed a finger toward the horizon.
    “Zandri is still more than a galloping day in that direction. And I see smoke…”

    ---------------

    Zandri, the once beautiful Kingdom’s capital, was now a smoldering ruin.
    The stone walls and the towers with the catapults were burned down, molten by magical fire, and the great part of the inner city buildings was no more recognizable. Burned bodies were scattered all across the ruins, more numerous where the warriors tried to organize some resistance.
    Amon-Thuth slowly advanced into the city, shocked by the destruction of his home, and by the absurdity of what he was seeing. No way an enemy force big enough to take a capital, could have entered so deeply into Nehekhara without being noticed, without having the whole army ready to fight the invader.
    Instead, Zandri was apparently taken totally unprepared, even the Legion of the Hundred Chariots must have been in its distant garrison, as their force was intact, and now they were patrolling the city’s outskirts.

    The heat was intense, as there were still portions of the town engulfed with flames; no traces of enemy’s dead, except for stains of acidic goo, that were marking the streets, encircling the heaps of dead city’s defenders… and some of those stains traced strange humanoid silhouettes. Dissolved daemons? Was Zandri attacked by Chaos?
    The hypothesis seemed to be confirmed by the presence of some dead, twisted human, marked by Tzeentch’s signs… one of them drapped in robes, near a large horned disk.
    They finally arrived in the central square, in front of the smoking temple; walking down the stairs, the High Priest Achmed-Ra was heading toward Amon-Thuth, who spurred Black Beauty to meet the priest. Many questions needed to be answered.

    Achmed-Ra knelt before him. “My King…”
    “I am not your King! My Father is.”
    “I am sorry, My King. Your Royal Father is no more.”
    Something cold crept into Amon-Thuth. That was not possible…
    “Tzeentch’s scum cannot overcome my Father. What madness are you saying? How was it possible that those beggars took us unprepared?”
    “They were leaded by a Lord of Change, My King. A mighty daemon, and most of all a powerful wizard. That winged horror teleported through a portal the whole demonic army in front of our gates. And it must have used nothing short of an artefact, to accomplish such a feat.”
    Amon-Thuth was following the High Priest on the stairs, and into the demolished temple’s antechamber; over the shattered columns there was something big, an undistincted mass of flesh and feathers, slowly melting away.
    “Your Father faced the deamon here. He eventually took it down, but he was heavily wounded, and the demonic minions swarmed him”.
    “Where were you, while My Father was facing his fate?”
    “I was stuck in combat with a Soul Grinder, I was unable to giv..”
    “Enough with apologies! What about my sister?”
    “I’m sorry, My King. Your sister was with your Mother the Queen. They were sheltering themselves in the inner tower.” Achmed-Ra pulled from his robe an almost charred doll. “You are the only survivor of the Royal Family”.
    Achmed-Ra was still speaking, but Amon-Thuth was no more listening. His Father, his Mother, his dear little sister… all dead. His family was gone. He was the King of a destroyed city, the ruler of a Kingdom taken hostage by invaders that can simply teleport at their pleasure. But at a point, the High Priest said a thing that caught Amon-Thuth’s attention.

    “What did you just said?”
    “I was saying that the demonic army is marching toward Qhatara. In a matter of few days, they’ll be out of the Kingdom, and we should plan the reinforcement of our borders.”
    “Marching? How is it that they not left through the portal that brought them here?”
    “My King, the portal was kept opened by the mental power of the Lord of Change. With its death, those daemons are stuck here, and they’re just moving as a normal army.”
    “Are you saying that those bastards are still here, and you’re boring me with useless details? What were you waiting to tell me that we can kill them all?”
    “Because, as your counselor, I think it would be unwise, My King. I’m trying to be pragmatic: Your troops are almost intact, but we have few priests, and the commander of the Legion of the Hundred Chariots is our strongest Hero, I would not risk him to pursue an enemy that’s already leaving.”
    “What do you think I’m going to do? That I will stay here playing wargames? I don’t want to let them go when I can strike them dead!”
    “I beg your pardon, My King, but you cannot lead the troops in combat…”
    Amon-Thuth silenced the High Priest with a stern look. His gaze then shifted to the fragments of a great mirror.
    The King’s eyes were two points of white light, enclosed in the black void of the eye sockets, almost too large for the mummified child’s visage.
    “Achmed-Ra, I have been eight years old for the last three centuries. Only because I cannot hold the Destroyer of Eternities of my Father, it doesn’t mean that his killers will leave unpunished. Awaken my personal Guards, and put my insignia on the Royal Warsphinx. We march to war.”


    The story takes place in the Old World (before the End Times), in full Tomb Kings age.
    However, the impression I wanted to give to readers, was of a tale of Old Nehekhara, at the times of Alcadizaar or even before, with living being as “actors”. For this, I used some misleading hints: the protagonist as a child, the horse called Black Beauty for the skin color, the episode of the apprentice stableman, the story’s title itself… hopefully, you would have considered the setting as “before the Great Ritual of Nagash”, and in this way the revealing at the end would have been more powerful.
    It would also be an interesting background for a future army… if only I could find a small-sized skeleton!

    That said, I believe this story have the potential to be a full-lenght novel, or maybe a couple of books (afraid I’m not able to do such a thing), with some real character development. The protagonists is a Tomb King, but it starts as a mere “child” that finds himself in the seat of power of his father. He will face challenges that are well known to a king that’s around since centuries or millennia, but for him it would be all new, even the fighting. This “child” must still grow up in his role of king: there are possibilities of a development of the relationships between him and the Hierophant, and also political issues / allegiances with his “neighbors”.

    Hope you enjoyed it!
     
  4. Killer Angel
    OldBlood

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    The King of the Desert

    I miss the slum of Marienburg.
    For a mercenary, the Old World was full of wars and nobles ready to hire some swords, but the risks were high and the payment was never so good… so we were often laying in the slum, eating some rat’s stew and drinking bad wine.
    No wonder our minds were often dreaming of gold, hearing tavern tales about ancient kingdoms beyond the seas, ready to be sacked by brave men. And no wonder that, after a hundred of those stories, we found ourselves embarked on a ragged ship, sailing south and heading for the great desert, where long time dead wear golden masks and entire chests full of diamonds can be found in abandoned treasuries.

    We were fortunate enough to avoid all the perils of the sea, as no pirate ship attacked us and no storm was on the way… so our morale was high, when we reached the southern continent. An immense city was lying on the coast, abandoned since millennia and half clouded by an unhealty mist, that war arising from a huge river that entered the sea, a green colored serpent, more similar to a putrescent swamp.
    The dimension of the city was staggering, and even the lesser palaces were more splendid than the houses of our Elector Counts… yet centuries of raiding by treasure hunters transformed it in an empty shell, half buried by the advancing sands.
    There was nothing for us, but Konrad De Boer, our leader, spurred us with his mantra “We’ll be richer than kings!”, so we proceeded into the desert, with our bottles full of water and our hearts full of hopes.

    But days passed, and the water decreased.
    Then the sandstorm hit us, a raging hell that lasted two days, and when it ended we were surrounded by huge dunes, half of the men were gone and so all the horses.
    At that point, we didn’t knew if it was still possible for us to return to the ship, so we decided to go on. Somewhere there would have been a city, with wells and fresh water, and gold. “We’ll be richer than kings…”

    But we found only sand, and we losed other men, until only seven of us remained.
    And when there was no more water in the bottles, neither hope in hearts, we saw the city.
    The outer walls were almost intact, still defiantly resisting the passing of time, but the wooden doors crumbled into fragments centuries ago, letting the sands creep behind them; the town within was like a long time forgotten attic, with stored stuff covered by dust.
    Beyond the door, there was a place, with a great marble fountain; it was full of sand with an obelisk at its center, that was decorated with strange drawings… and at the bottom, there was a scarab carved in the stone, with its shell encrusted by emeralds. We forgot all, as the gold fever violently took us again.
    We ran through the streets, toward the center of the city, where we would have found the palace of the nobility and the temples… our lightouse was a sort of stone mountain, smooth sided. Such a construction could not be nothing short of the heart of the town: a monument to their dead gods, or the inner fortress, with sloped walls to deviate cannonballs.

    And finally we arrived. The immense square was dwarfed by the massive construction, which was a really bizarre one, given that no windows or openings were visible, aside from a single access: it was not a monument, and it was not a fortress. It was the treasury of this kingdom, or so we thought, given how abundant was the richness outside it: there was a paved avenue flanked by canine statues, each one with sapphire eyes, easy prey for our knives, and at the end there were two large statues, each one ten foot tall, sculpted from marble and decorated with gold and dazzling polished jewels.
    Hans was picking a diamond from the chest of the one with the head of an hawk, when this thing came to life, and its massive blade sliced in half poor Hans. Konrad recovered from the shock before us, shooting at the monster, but the gunshot simply bounced on it, and when also the other statue started to move, both converging on us, we ran like hell toward the darkened entrance.
    We were running for our lives, followed by those monstrosities, then the corridor was filled by a grinding noise, such as the rolling of a steamtank, and the world was shaken by a mechanical earthquake… the floor shiftened, swallowing Konrad and two of my companions and suddenly the trap-door closed, while a huge granite slab blocked the passage behind us. We were safe from the walking statues, but our party was divided, and we were buried within this place.

    Hoping for an exit on the opposite side, we lit our torches and started to explore the place. An hour passed, with just dark, endless corridors interrupted by seemingly pointless turns, a maze made by a madman, with paintings watching at us.
    We heard a distinct mechanical noise, when Klaus stepped on a moving tile. There were puffs of dust from the walls, and suddenly Klaus became a porcupine, covered by needles… he looked at us, scared, while his throat swelled and his veins turned black.

    We screamed, crying and cursing the place and the gods, and then…
    “Guys… Guys, are you there?”
    It was Konrad’s voice, just beyond the wall.
    “Konrad! For the love of Sigmar, yes, it’s Kurt and me! God, it’s so good to hear you! Are you all alive?”
    “Scheisse, it’s just me! The other ones are all dead. This place is a nightmare, we must get out of here. Come on guys, take me out, do something please, do something…”.
    So we tried, pushing our knives into the slots between the stone blocks, grating the old mortar.
    “Be quick guys, I’m hearing something…”
    And we heard it too. A strange ticking. clicliclicliclicliclicliclicliclicliclick…. growing stronger.
    We doubled our efforts, while Konrad was throwing himself against the wall.
    “no… NOOO! Stay away from me! Stay away!! STAY AWAYYYEEEHHHAAAAAARRRRGHHHhhhhh...”
    And then there was only the ticking.


    We stared at the wall… then, a beetle came out, slipping through the hole I was working on. Then another, and another, and another… I sealed the hole picking in it my dagger, and frantically i stomped the few insects that were on our side.
    “Sweet Sigmar, Kurt… we need to move. Come on”.
    But Kurt was not looking at me, he was looking at the corridor behind my back. And then he became grey colored and slowly he crumbled away, as a sand castle dried by the sun, dissolving in front of me.
    So i ran way, not daring to look back, until I fell into a manhole, on a slippery slope that drove me into a huge chamber, and the tunnel closed behind me.
    Finally, I’ve found the treasury.
    It was big as the hall for the hearings of a noble, with mountains of golden ingots, gems, statues, jewelry… a man’s lifetime wouldn’t have ben enough to count all the coins that were amassed here.
    I passed half an hour wandering in the huge chamber, finding only a massive, barred door.
    And so, here I am, sitting on a golden throne, contemplating the treasure, as far as the light of my torch arrives.
    Konrad was right, in the end. I’m richer than a king… but I miss the slum of Marienburg.
    My light is fading out.
    And I can hear the ticking.


    This story is obviously not an original idea... I wanted to write such a piece, inspired by things as the Diary of Heinrich Johann (in the old armybook of 7th edition) and some parts of the movie "the mummy" (the 1999 version). And the story is pretty much clear since the beginning: you are reading about a doomed fate, the only question is how the protagonist will die.

    I've always imagined that not all intruders and thieves represent a "threat level" strong enough to awaken the servants of a Tomb King, or to attract the attention of a Liche Priest.
    Khemri is such a dangerous place, that many trespassers are wiped away merely by the passive defences: traps, constructs, unndead animals.
    Lives thrown away, without even the small consolation of having been noticed.

    Once again, this wanted to be a misleading title: you should expect to see the Tomb King that finally deals with the last intruder, while it's our protagonist the "king of the desert": because the king of the desert means also the king of nothing, and indeed, he sits on a throne and disposes of the treasury of a king, but that's an hollow wealth, of no use for the doomed man.
     
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