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Fiction Psyche of War

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Paradoxical Pacifism, Jul 24, 2018.

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  1. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Individuals alike and unlike, try their best to survive the war in the Southlands.


    Psyche of War
    Chapter One: Crimson Red Sky

    Among the many swaths of humid jungles, laid an assortment of ancient Lizardmen ruins. The crimson red skies above cast their dipping sun’s glare at the ruins, illuminating the countless bodies’ blood spills of the Skaven and Lizardmen in their ever encompassing wake. Hordes of more lively slave and clan rats pushed harder into the broad ruin’s well defended entrance, falling victim to the defending Skinks’ javelins and clubs in the bloody process. But a limited amount of Skinks could only do so much against a nigh endless vermintide. As a result, the defensive line buckled under pressure from various points. This angered the Lizardmen defenders’ only leader, Conquatza.


    Alike his fellow Skinks under command, his narrowly shouldered body was covered in blue scales, with his elongated reptilian head crested with colorful feathers.



    Conquatza surveyed the fighting with fleeting eyes. Nearly depleted cohorts of Skink javelins were holding the entrance to the ruins, meanwhile Skinks on the ruins’ far flanks were viciously engaged in melee with various clubs and melee weapons, fighting for the ruins and their lives. Rage and fear built up in his mind as he tried to figure out a way the ruins and his garrison could be saved from this utterly destructive vermintide. But their fates had been sealed. For it would seem rats by the hundreds replaced their dead comrades, meanwhile the Lizardmen’s ranks stayed dead on the ground with their warm blood pools.



    In pure determination in face of this all, Conquatza stiffened his scaly grip on his golden tipped spear before heading off into the frenzy the mostly javelin equipped Skinks were trying their best to contain. He knew no matter what he could do, the end result would always be defeat. But that didn't matter to him. Defeat or not, he’ll bring down as many of the vile rats as he can down with him onto the ground, warm and bloodied!


    But before he could join the frenzy, he spotted a wide spanning line of blue figures along the trees, far behind the skaven. Reinforcements?! Finally, after long minutes of this costly battle, joy enveloped his mind, as he raised his head towards the vast skies that were hued an orange-red.


    “STAY FIRM! Reinforcements are coming!"


    In the shriek of their commanding Skink chief, the Skinks’ minds immediately turned into a bloody frenzy in parody of their Saurus comrades of the Southlands.

    ***

    Among the much needed reinforcements was an energetic cohort of Skinks armed with lethal clubs and stone hard red shields to assist them in combat. Massive formations of Saurus warriors constituted the bulk of the reinforcements with blade adorned clubs ready for the rats’ blood.


    Ahead of their advance, marched the army’s mighty Saurus Scar Veteran, Kha’kor. With golden plates strapped all over his saurian body, and standing a foot taller than his Saurus brethren behind, he grumbled in low Saurian at his fearsome army.


    “Purge the unworthy rats’ warm blood from the ruins of our ancestors. Kill them all!”


    The Saurus warriors from behind roared in agreement of their leader’s orders, interpreting it as charging into the vulnerable ranks of the invading Skaven, and killing them as much as possible.


    Tenx, a single Skink of his aforementioned Skink cohort, looked to the left of him in pure awe. Kha’kor was leading the charge with legions of Saurus warriors frenzied by his order. Tenx also remarked the excited expressions of his Skink brethren, eager to commit in their first engagement of melee. No doubt that Tenx was also excited for his first time to let his training shine in actual battle. But worry ebbed slowly in Tenx’s mind. Will this be his last engagement? What’s going to happen in the following minutes? Despite his eager expression, Tenx was very much worried of the uncertain future.


    Looking to his right, Tenx noticed the Skink next to him mysteriously had no blades at all on his club. With no blades, how can this Skink have any hope of defending itself!? Furthermore, unlike all of the other Skinks, its facial muscles were strangely relaxed in the most dangerous and unpredictable of times it could find itself in.


    Tenx took away his glance at the strange Skink in an effort to ignore his many questions that were dangerously occluding his sense of surroundings. The horde of dirty rats came closer and closer, until the thin, black whiskers of their snouty faces could be seen. At that point, Kha’kor and the Saurus warriors were already committed into melee, brutally slashing and chopping rats with near impunity.


    The first column of the Skink cohort collided into the very vulnerable flank of the vermintide horde with colossal effectiveness, instantly killing tens among the Skaven ranks. Tenx of the second column took this small opportunity, and flanked around to the left to seek out an opponent among the rat horde. To Tenx's avail, A single malnourished slave rat was isolated from a sea of brown furred rats, probably trying itself hard with its mind to make sense of the insanity that ensued around it.


    With a swift charge, Tenx was already upon the unsuspecting rat with eagerness brimming in his mind to get his first kill. The slave rat shrieked in horror as a reptile-thing leapt into the air, with its club aimed directly at its own body. It tried a desperate block, but the club easily over powered the already malnourished strength of the slave rat, slashing a deep, vertical line across the slave rat’s torso. The deep wound leaked streams of blood, before the slave rat succumbed to the grassy ground, motionless.


    Tenx leapt back and stared at his first kill. He expected glory and joy from his first kill ever, but instead, he got… nothing? A feeling Tenx couldn’t describe ebbed in his mind and churned his stomach as he stood watching his slain foe staining the grass red.


    Another armed rat smirked to itself as it found a prime opportunity. It rushed forth with an incredible shriek, and a short sword to bare into the ignorant reptile-thing’s flank!


    In Tenx’s Slann like trance, he barely noticed the small rat that was rushing onto his left flank at the very corner of his left eye. His heart throbbed against his chest in incomprehensible rates with adrenaline driving his shield-equipped left arm to block this unexpected charge.


    The ‘Clang!’ sound made when iron meets iron, told Tenx this vile rat failed to impale him with his short sword. But the inertia of the charge initially caused Tenx’s small body to stagger. Seeing this, the rat quickly followed up with another horizontal swing to end this, but Tenx easily anticipated the rat’s move, and parried the short sword far away from his attacker. With pure rage over taking him, he counter swinged his club at the defenseless rat, mercilessly cutting into the torso.


    Tenx hurriedly looked away from his new kill, and instead focused on his surroundings. He frantically bobbed and turned his head for any of the rats that would want to challenge and kill him. But he found none of that. Instead, motionless bodies of the rats littered the jungle floor with humid air reeking of the putrid smell of dead rats.


    Kha’kor roared onto the orange-red skies above him, signifying to the army the enemy was utterly crushed! The Saurus warriors joined in along with the Skink cohorts. Conquatza and the ruin’s battered Skink garrison also chimed in on the glorious victory.


    But Tenx couldn’t.


    Instead, he glanced at his two slain foes with golden eyes wide open, beating his heart against its narrow chest.


    Why can’t I roar to this?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  2. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Psyche of War
    Chapter Two: Unjust Morality of Killing

    Within the ancient walls of a Hexoatl training facility, Skinks of both the worker caste and the warrior caste, trained with a variety weapons to prepare themselves for their inevitable participation of war. Two Skinks of the worker caste stood still before a large cabinet of javelins.


    “What is the Great Plan?”


    “Well that’s a really stupid question.”


    “…”


    “Your philosophical inquiries of the Great Plan are unproductive. To purge this world of chaos and kill the unworthy… that’s all that matters!”


    “I…”


    “You must be thinking why.”


    All of the Skinks in the room stood still, leering at the lone skink whom dared question the Great Plan. Suddenly, all of them transformed into horrifying torrents of unorganized blue flesh. Their large golden eyes went missing as their bodies grew large, uncontrollable limbs. In their sickening parody of chaos spawn, they all leapt into the air at the lone Skink whom DARED question the Great Plan.


    “THE WILL OF THE OLD ONES, TENX!”


    Tenx’s orange crested head immediately shot up from his quiet slumber, his heart beating hard against his chest. He looked all around him in frenzy and saw the moist dirt that made his small sleeping crater. Above, he could see the dark, night sky with its countless stars decorating the canvas of it all. It must’ve been a really horrific dream, for It felt incredibly real as if it happened a few minutes ago.


    Tenx tried to focus on getting back to sleep, but the absence of water in his mouth and innards made it fairly uncomfortable. With a heavy sigh, he got up from his crater in search for his body’s much wanted water.


    All around him laid hundreds of craters the warriors of the army like him used for their uncomfortable sleep. A white tent was propped up among the craters, which was probably Kha’kor’s personal quarters.


    Tenx went further away from the army’s encampment, and further into the humid jungle interior. Ferns were pressured under the slithering movements of his slander tail, and the treacherous undergrowth consented his scaly feet. A small pond appeared in the middle of grey edgy rocks not far away in Tenx’s eyesight, making his lust for water nearly unbearable.


    T
    enx dropped his shield and bladed club near the rocks, before descending his slander body to meet the pond of water and gorge in. Filtering some of it would probably be a good idea, but he primarily didn’t care about the unharmful germs.


    However, before Tenx could grace his dull snout with water, he heard rustling of foliage somewhere behind him. Tension slightly gripped his mind as he ascended his body at full attention for the origin of that sound. He determined that the cause of the rustling is somewhere to the left in a large myriad of dark green bushes.


    Tenx slowly approached the myriad of bushes with a strong grip of his rectangular club, and a fearful mind ready to kill whatever was taking homage in there.


    Two brown furred rats with dirty clothing soon sprinted forth from the bushes, and stood staring at the lone blue reptile-thing. The twitchy rats exchanged unintelligible shrills with each other, before charging at their lone target with clean swords hungry for fresh blood.


    Tenx immediately braced for their onslaught with his heart throbbing, and shock gripping his mind. Nonetheless, he stood his ground and braced, unsure of what’s going to happen next. To his horror, the charging rats split their charges into two directions, and continued their assault on both of his flanks. His teeth grinded at themselves at the fearful sight of such an advance. He’ll only be able defend from one at a time, leaving his other flank exposed.


    Tenx instinctively lurched backward to gain more distance from his indefensible position, but the rats advanced much faster than he could stagger back. Mentally defeated, he stared into the mad expression of the rats, and sent a silent prayer towards Chotec for protection to survive this.


    It would seem Chotec immediately took notice of Tenx’s silent prayer, for another Skink almost identical to Tenx’s features, swooped down from the darkness of the trees above and bashed one of the rat’s heads in with a hard downward swing of a club. It gracefully landed behind the collapsing rat, before leaping onto its new ratty target. Instinctively, the dirty rat shrieked with horror, as it dropped its sword and held scrawny fingers in front of its snouty face. But the club didn’t care, as it went above the fingers, and on top of the rat’s unprotected head, dropping the rat’s horrified face down onto the moist ground.


    Tenx lowered his shield and club in awe at his savior. He interestingly noted the Skink’s rectangular club had no spikes on it at all, which visually denoted this Skink as the same one from his cohort earlier.


    “T-Thanks!”


    The Skink turned its nearly identical head, grinning at the heartfelt thanks.


    “No problem! But… why did you leave the encampment?”


    Tenx embarrassingly grinned at the pond he was hoping he would find peace... and water.


    “Well… thirst can often override the instinctual reasoning the living are spawned with, no?”


    “Yeah, I’ve been in those situations before…” the Skink chuckled slightly before continuing again, “Some of them fairly humorous.”


    The Skinks stood there enjoying each other’s company. For Tenx it was like a forgotten experience he had from Hexoatl that was nearly absent when he traveled across the Great Ocean and on to the Southlands. But once again, worry crept into Tenx’s mind as he saw the rat corpses twitch lively with obvious signs that they were actually alive instead of being dead.


    “The rats, they’re still alive!”


    The Skink turned around towards the twitching rats with a curious look on its face.


    “Of course… you expected them to be dead?”


    “Shouldn’t we just kill them then?”


    The Skink turned towards the rat he just incapacitated. Neither rage, nor contempt entered its mind, even though this vile rat tried to kill its brethren without remorse.


    “I don’t want to kill them.”


    Tenx’s already wide eyes shot even wider to the Skink’s revelation.


    “Huh?”


    "The constant spilling of blood has taught me the preciousness of life…” The Skink noted Tenx’s predictable bafflement grow more, “So, I swore to my soul, that I will never take another’s life… Ever.”


    It took Tenx several seconds to fully take in what he heard, but even then, this strange skink wasn't completely nonsensical in his eyes


    “I’ve never heard of anyone not wanting to kill… not even in self-defense?”


    “It’s a lot more common than you think,” The skink replied back whilst looking at the unconscious bodies, “Constantly killing with no end in sight… I can’t speak for the Sauri, but that would drive me crazy!”


    And now Tenx was finding this Skink frighteningly similar to itself. He remembered how it was hard to celebrate his first battle’s victory, even though they suffered no casualties.


    “What’s your name by the way?”


    “Yolotli.”


    “Mine’s Tenx.”


    Yolotli smiled at Tenx before heading off into the direction of the encampment.


    “Don’t make me have to save you again.”


    A cold breeze swept through Tenx as he saw Yolotli and his slender tail disappear into the ferns and trees. Yolotli’s last remark made Tenx’s stomach churn in embarrassment as he remembered his begging to be saved. Somewhat pathetic, he admittedly thought.


    In his mind, Tenx sought to drench his thirst, but the rats came first. They are for the most part, motionless, and it would seem they were even sleeping peacefully as if nothing happened to them. He grimly remembered the terror these vile rats caused to him when they were as lively as ever with their swords. Gripping his club harder, he was unsure of what to do with them. If he doesn’t kill them here, they will just become a dangerous threat to someone else!


    Tenx stood there presiding over the unconscious rats’ fates with his club seemingly sharpening itself. He should just kill them and end this quickly. But as minutes of staring went by, the more his resolve withered away, until the sharpened club, hungry for its blood, started to dull itself. He stepped forward, finding his arms unable to power through this feeling and drive the club onto two easy kills before it.


    With a heavy sigh, his body peacefully turned around, moving his tail from side to side.


    They're only slave rats after all.


    ***

    Conquatza with his colored feathers crested from various parts of his skink body, was among a field of craters. In each of them was a warrior from Kha’kor’s expedition. It felt pretty unnerving for there to be so many craters dug in on the jungle floor, but he discarded that feeling anyway. He needed to meet Kha’kor urgently!



    Conquatza was fairly shocked when he heard the reinforcements weren’t from Zlatlan, but rather from Hexoatl. It would seem the Slann of the Southlands somehow contacted Hexoatl across the Great Ocean and asked for an expedition of sorts. Whatever how, Conquatza was happy for the reinforcements anyway.


    A white tent registered in Conquatza’s eyesight, and so did the sound of metal being stricken at with lots of strength. Conquatza’s curiosity powered him to meet Kha’kor even more. Upon entering the tent, Conquatza immediately saw a Saurus Scar Veteran crouched down, striking a spear’s tip with a sharp rock. Other than that, there were many other weapons surrounding the Saurus Scar Veteran.


    “Kha’kor of the Hexoatl Sun Raiders?”


    Kha’kor instantly stopped what he was doing, and turned around to meet his Skink chief visitor.


    “Yes?”


    “The slann of Zlatlan orders your expedition to travel along the border of the Yuatek River, and attack any skaven hordes that may be preparing their assault on Zlatlan.”


    Kha’kor growled in approval before starting his work anew on his spear. But Conquatza spoke up again, for he wanted Kha’kor to accept something else.


    “By the way, I brought a gift of my appreciation for the reinforcements earlier.” Pedestals of different hues decorated a medium sized basket and Conquatza gestured it forwards with a wide grin for Kha’kor to take it.


    “Roasted grubs of Zlatlan’s cooking caste, and two potions of Kroxigor’s Might!”


    But Kha’kor took his disgruntled glance away from the gift and continued on his spear.


    Conquatza’s excited expression contorted into confusion as Kha’kor completely ignored his gift, and simply worked on his spear as if he wasn’t there. He would love to just place it near him, but Kha’kor was wielding a spear almost the same height of his own, and was completely surrounded by weapons. Fear is preventing him from doing so, and he sadly knew that.


    “You’re still standing there… why?"


    Conquatza’s heart immediately got pierced by that lowly grumble of Saurian by the Scar Veteran.


    “M-My…”


    “If you have no further orders for me, return to your assigned duties.”


    The cold Kha’kor returned to seemingly the only thing he cared about, his inanimate causer of death, his spear. With a defeated sigh, Conquatza waltzed out of the tent with his roasted grubs and utterly wasted excitement.


    After a while away from the encampment, Conquatza peeked at the deliciously roasted grubs and two large flasks of Kroxigor’s might with pure rage. With his claws shaking uncontrollably, he remembered the losses his garrison had to endure, and the many whom will never return to this world.


    With a mighty grasp on the basket, he threw it down onto the jungle floor repeatedly until the whole thing was finally an unrecognizable, forgettable heap of mess.


    Ear piercing roars reverberated throughout the dark trees as the enraged Skink departed its sense of logical thinking with blood boiling hatred.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  3. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Chapter 3's plot is already written, so it'll be out soon.

    What did you like? what didn't you like? please provide feedback for my first warhammer fan fiction :p
     
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  4. Paul1748
    Jungle Swarm

    Paul1748 New Member

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    I think a pacifist Saurus will be more interesting.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  5. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    I wouldn't call them bad guys...for now.
    My impression was more that the ScarVet was grumpy, impolite, and focused on his task, which is killing. The Skink doesn't understand it seems.


    @Paradoxical Pacifism
    I like the story so far, nice descriptions of the characters (a thing I struggle a bit with in my stories) and the action.
    Just two things were strange to me:
    One is the tenses. You mix present tense and past tense and I fail to understand the significance and the rule behind it. I generally prefer past tense in story, but present is ok, I just think you should stick to one.
    The other thing is the city names. I dont know if it is just my missing knowledge about the old world or if the reader is not supposed to know. Is the reader supposed to know what Hexoatl and Zlatlan are, and are those names of any importance? I understand that those are temple cities (dont know where they are though and whether that matters) but I probably missed why the Skink is surprised about the reinforcements coming from somewhere else.
     
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  6. thedarkfourth
    Temple Guard

    thedarkfourth Well-Known Member

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    This is great! Cool idea for a story! Moar moar moar! (also please enter the short story competition!)
     
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  7. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Psyche of War
    Chapter Three: Instinctive Divergence


    Among the sprawling masses of green flora, and under the overlooking trees, laid two incredibly malnourished rats. They laid next to each other with their scrawny limbs sprawled out unnaturally, as if something big and dangerous found its prey, and yet spared it? Nonetheless, they were sleeping fully content on the harsh undergrowth.


    A heavy beam of light stroke through the trees and onto one of the sleeping rat's head, instantly willing its eyes to blinking life. Mindlessly, it tried with its thin legs and arms to stand upright. After many fallacious attempts, it finally achieved its goal of standing, albeit with high amounts of weariness.


    In the episode of its mind trying to gain their bearings, it spotted something on the ground disgustingly similar to itself. The thing had brown fur, identical body structure, and a fairly long snout.


    It then did the unthinkable. It headed towards the defenseless rat with a feral stomach, and a mindless intent. It’s hungry.


    Even though this scrawny, unconscious rat mysteriously looked like an identical clone of itself, is it even alive? Perhaps cannibalism wouldn’t be the worst thing it could do under these dark circumstances?


    It prodded the roughed up brown fur of the sleeping rat’s back side to elicit only one response. A response to his intrusion, a response that could answer the desperate questions lurking in its mind. Finally! The thing seemed to be answering, for the once motionless corpse was now twitching about and moving uncomfortably with its muscles revving to life.


    Slowly, the woke rat swerved its snout with a headache pounding inside of its brain. Its hazy vision didn’t help, for nearly everything was distorted. It could only gather that its surroundings were very green, smelt fairly unnatural, and this mysterious touching that occurred from time to time. It slowly directed all of its muscles to toil themselves in order for its beady eyes to meet whatever was touching him, and found something hideously similar to itself!


    With complete surprise driving its skinny legs, it pathetically staggered the weirdo before scurrying on its back in horror.


    “Who-thing are you!?”

    “No, who-thing are you!?”


    Both of the poorly clothed rats stood still and stared at each other with their hearts beating. Eventually, their hearts cooled down, but their erratic as ever minds didn’t, for they saw each other’s eyes and didn’t know the other. Or themselves.


    However, in one of them, a flame spontaneously sparked. Pictures of home, of hope, and the answerer to all of its questions flew through its mind. A glimmer of faithful purpose flickered among distorted memories of helping those in need.


    It pointed its long dirty claw at the rat it was ironically thinking about eating.


    “You-thing! You shall help-assist me in reaching home!”


    "Oh?” the other rat questioned. it slightly felt the energy that came with the strange word ‘home’ too.


    Raising its head, it shrieked once more.


    “Skavenblight! The bastion for all that is right, and for my hope.” The rat’s head finally came down and revealed an innocent looking grin, “Yours too.”


    The surprised rat’s erratic mind was now filling with pictures of this ‘home’. Wealth, happiness, it wondered if this is what Skavenblight, its own home, is!?


    “Skavenblight!”


    The rat’s faces turned from fear into joy, as their companionship grows. But there’s just one slight problem…


    “What’s your name?”


    Their stares returned, for it would seem that’s something both don’t know at all.


    But the rat that suggested their return to their heavenly home, quickly came up with another suggestion in its brief time of thinking.


    "I don’t know, but my name shall be… Conquil!”


    “Nice! I shall take-make up the name, Sniplit!”


    Both Conquil and Sniplit smiled at each other before formulating plans to reach their beloved home, Skavenblight. It took a fair amount of time, but they decided on asking directions from the local populace of this… place.


    But where to go? All around them stood limitless directions they can stroll themselves into. A nice looking pond surrounded by grey rocks was ahead of them a bit to the right, but that’s about it. The trees all around them swerved from side to side in the rats' deep, incognizant stares. with patient thinking, they decided to just randomly make their way further into the jungle interior to talk to someone.


    It was a strange experience. Ferns and a whole lot of other green plants decorated the ground floor at different lengths and widths. Everywhere, there was green. But So far, things were going great. However, they haven’t found anyone despite weaving their way through the treacherous under growth and various myriads of plants for almost an hour.


    And then they stopped. They couldn’t go any further, for their tiny stomachs churned, and the humidity was mercilessly roasting their bodies. The consequence of malnourishment also settled in, as they could barely do any meaning full progress through this physically demanding terrain.


    Sniplit tried to think positively of home, of Skavenblight. But he couldn’t. Only the anger causing emotions of the fact that the vile-thing Conquil has lead him to his inevitable death.


    “You idiot-thing! Where are you take-leading me?!”


    Conquil’s patient panting was instantly interrupted by his companion’s shocking outburst.


    “What??”


    “You give-delivering us to certain death! Sniplit moved his angered face closer, “Fool.”


    Conquil’s skinny tail swiveled furiously at this wretched betrayal.


    “You call-insulting me a fool, yet you’re using me to reach my sanctuary, Skavenblight!?”


    “Fool-idiot, we’ve been in this forsaken place for over an hour, and there’s no sign of anyone,” Sniplit retorted back with a strong hiss.


    Conquil gritted his rotting teeth in pure anger. Mutual companions now turned into enemies, and despite a common goal, they continued to bicker loudly among themselves, until they eventually agree to disagree and partially separated.


    Conquil tried his best to simply ignore everything that happened, and focus on the future. He doesn’t know how he got here or who he even is. But his own watery past in Skavenblight is the only thing he can think back to. Curse this place! It’s so humid, it feels like you’re being suffocated by the air your body needs to function.


    Sniplit was digging and creasing among a construct of branches rooting up from the moist soil with only one thing on its mind, food. Sniplit wanted the inanimate thing that can somehow give the living their most needed source of energy. And Sniplit needed and wanted it so bad, for his scrawny body has bared the hallmarks of nearly lethal malnourishment.


    Among Sniplit’s desperate digging for food he faintly heard the harsh sound of ‘snap!’ when branches break under heavy pressure. But wasn’t he just there a second ago? Sniplit stared into a gathering of bushes where the sound originated. There was nothing out of the ordinary except for this mysteriously long brown stick protruding out of the whole thing.


    It’s probably just the brown branches doing its job of supporting their respective structures of greenness.


    Wait…


    This one branch is clearly thicker and longer than its brethren, and it’s pointing directly at me!


    Sniplit stared down the barrel of the stick, before his mind finally put the clues together and clicked.


    Ambush?” Sniplit uttered under his horrid breath, not exactly sure of his uncertain conclusion.


    The brown stick visibly answered a centimeter forward.


    “AMBUSH!!” Sniplit shrieked at the top of his tiny vocal cords before jumping up erratically and running away with his tail vying out of control.


    Conquil was instinctively taken over by utter fear as he saw Sniplit erratically run by him with a dart blazing over their both of their heads. Conquil immediately followed in suit, not because of his own precious life, but for incomprehensible amounts of fear driving his muscles and mind crazy.


    The two frantically ran past the countless tress and swamps, as well as dodging sharp features of the ground floor. Darts were still piercing the surrounding breathing area of the two rats making it more and more certain that they’ll find their mark soon. But the two didn’t take note of that, or even know who or what is launching these merciless projectiles, only that their lives could now reside on the sharp edges of these merciless darts.


    Finally, after long minutes of mindless running, the barrage of sharp dots stopped for some unknown reason. Tempt overtook Conquil as he wanted to see, for himself, the reason why he ran. He scanned the surrounding jungle swaths of trees and bushes with no avail. He was about to give up on the search, until a blue figure finally registered in his fleeting eyes. The figure had an orange crest and a strangely shaped head.


    Its eyes were wide, and golden. They pierced Conquil’s heart, for they were brimming with hate and a desire to kill. Conquil looked into the vortex of the golden eyes, and couldn’t understand the madness the eyes projected at all. Why?


    The mysterious blue figure wasted no time before quickly retreating into the depths of the encompassing tress, and disappeared… for now.


    “What-standing are you doing?!”


    Conquil’s silent trance was interrupted by a sharp shriek from behind. Sniplit tried to gesture towards the ignorant Conquil that they needed to run far away from this place as possible!


    But Sniplit couldn’t do as such, as he collapsed straight down onto the ground. Conquil’s beady eyes shot wide open as he did the same as well, landing his small body painfully beside Sniplit.


    Were they hit? Sniplit immediately thought so, but he couldn’t feel anything, except for the mind numbingly painful malnourishment. In fact, their malnourished bodies were pushed to the ultimate limit as both of the rats tried to squirm about to get up, but couldn’t.


    Sniplit laid his furry head down onto the moist dirt and stared at the overcasting trees above with bitterness engulfing his teary eyes. He doesn’t want to die! But it seems their fates have been securely decided with no objection from the rats’ lives themselves. With a heavy sigh of solemn acceptance, Sniplit turned his head sideways and saw something strange far off into the distance.


    He instantly thought it was another violent-thing wanting to kill them and end his suffering, but it didn’t move. Actually, it looked more like a messed up pile of little pieces stacked on top of each other. Most importantly, it looked like…
    FOOOOOD?!


    Sniplit’s mind turned into a frenzy as he crawled along the moist dirt with his long claws. The dirt soaked into his skinny claws when he finally got up to the strange pile of scraps, and began rummaging about mindlessly. Some of the coloring the scraps had were strange, however there were these countless white small, chubby things that had black lines etched onto them.


    He didn’t know what these were, but at this point anything’s food, for he threw the strange thing in between his rotting teeth and chewed on it. Initially, the small-chubby thing crunched under the pressure of Sniplit’s teeth, but a short second later, it became softly chewable. It also excreted a strange liquid in his mouth that didn’t taste like anything.


    But after eating only one, Sniplit’s mind turned into a crazed beast. It wanted more, and Sniplit himself couldn’t agree more. They both indulged in the food before Sniplit’s stomach finally felt like it couldn't take Sniplit's shenanigans anymore, and threatened to burst. Digging some more, Sniplit found even more of the stuff, but also these two large bottles that had a face of some creature-thing inscribed on it with a dark blue liquid contained inside.


    And then it him like a rock. Conquil! He turned his head to see that he was still laying there, motionless. At first, Sniplit didn’t care much at all for Conquil's fate, for he got what he foolishly wanted. Death.


    However, the more Sniplit stared at Conquil’s body, the more that guilt in his mind became stronger. Did Conquil truly lead, or was it a mutually agreed to plan? Sniplit thought about the plan that would've, and probably still will consume his own life, before eyeing the food-things yet again.


    Storing unneeded food later in anticipation for desperate times of need, is an instinct everyone in nature does without empathetic feelings towards others disadvantaged.


    Yet, something in the deep, uncharted realms of Sniplit's mind was manipulating his very nerves to toil his muscles for a completely illogical purpose. He horded all of the remaining food-things and carried it over to Conquil.


    Sniplit stuffed the nearly dead Conquil with his newly discovered food and dirt from his bony claws. There was no immediate, visible effect of Conquil’s life being saved, but Sniplit could tell that the food was doing its job of supplying much needed nutrients and calories.


    With the sight of Conquil’s roughed up fur and tattered clothes, just like Sniplit himself, an intense feeling suddenly roused Sniplit to pat Conquil on the back with a smile, and say something in watchful glares of the encompassing trees.


    “Strength in numbers.”
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
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  8. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I won't enter the competition though because my story is a bit too long
     
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  9. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, using the correct tense when writing is pretty hard, at least for me. will try to get better though!
    Hexoatl and Zlatlan are pretty much 1,000+ miles apart, and are separated by the Great Ocean
     
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  10. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    I'd agree, but skinks are easier to write :p
     
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  11. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Instead of a literal pacifist, what about a Saurus that yearns for peace.

    To paraphrase a character from an old RPG book. "Many warriors of his caliber would boast of a 1000 kills, but few would confess to 1000 kills."

    So said pacifist Saurus would yearn for peace and feel sorrow at all the death he inflicts, but he doesn't let his feelings interfere with the carrying out of his duty because he believes the Old Ones plans will eventually give him the peace he seeks.


    Anyway I like your piece so far. I plan to get caught up and try to provide some intelligent analysis of this, but it will have to wait till the current short story contest entries are all up.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
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  12. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Peace....
    I think most Saurus would say they want peace.
    Peace is what they will have once their last enemy is finally slain. Peace through victory!!
     
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  13. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Thanks!

    I greatly appreciate and want any critique that'll improve my writing. Like how mister Aginor, whom pointed out how the tense of the story was inconsistent.

    Chapter 4 is on its way. It's pretty long and somewhat comprehensive and i want to get it right.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2018
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  14. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Psyche of War
    Chapter Four: The Prayers of Mortals

    Among the numerous cone shaped tents, stood Gingkin's furred head staring at the expansive blue skies. His eyes were closed alike his aching mind, for it only thought of the friends that were no longer around. For civilized creatures, nothing is more important than the camaraderie that friends share instinctively during their day to day living. He held that to heart as he sent a silent prayer to the ethereal Horned Rat. A prayer that’ll instill the will to live in each of his friends, and give them the prowess necessary to live past the dangers that will inevitably confront them.


    Gingkin lowered his solemn face, opened his white eyes, and observed his surroundings. Cone shaped tents of various colors littered the grassy ground with numerous Skaven troops wearing an assortment of clothing and armor. They sharpened their tools and weapons, mean while others did erratic activities with each other to pass the time.


    Gingkin tried to hold back the raging rivers that prodded at the curvature of his eyes, and be a strong warrior that would fulfill his duty of killing the inferior reptile-things with ruthless efficiency. However, by the hard aching seconds, his raging rivers of yearnful memories broke though, and formed streams of tears that ran down onto the flanks of his brown furred maw. He failed, and he woefully knew it.


    Depressed, Gingkin randomly carried his well clothed self by the many tents and lively Skaven warriors. A tent like no other appeared in his vision with its colossal size and rectangular shape. Upon entering the tent, he saw the many colorful and shiny gems stockpiled onto wooden tables. However, in the middle of it all, a fully armored rat with its long claws caressed and marveled upon a sea of gems that surrounded it.



    Gingkin noted the rat’s grey fur which visually denoted him as a smart and logical thinker. It was without a doubt, incredibly absorbed in the shiny gems that were constantly being dropped and fondled upon by its sharp claws.


    “Zhen Headrunner.”


    Zhen took his indulged stare from his precious gems and locked onto the intruder whom dared to interrupt his heavenly trance of gem inspection.


    “…What do you dare to disturb me with?!”


    “It has been over a day, and the slave rat detachment didn’t return from their raid on the temples yet,” Gingkin solemnly answered back with his kneeled snout.


    “So?”


    Gingkin’s head shot up in surprise and found a nonchalant Zhen fondling with another gem.


    “Shouldn’t we mount-do a rescue attempt, or anything?”


    “We’ll be receiving reinforcements from across the Yuatek River for the fall of Zlatlan, and you want that delayed for a few hundred useless slaves?” Zhen’s pink tail thrashed around its gems violently.


    “…It’s just that we could use any help we can get-acquire in Zlatlan’s fall.”


    Zhen’s thrashing tail cooled down at the frankly good point made by his subordinate. Zhen even picked up a violent red ruby to sedate himself further. However, delaying Zlatlan’s fall for an expandable horde of stupid slaves was still nonsensical.


    “If their raid was successful, they would’ve already came back with the shiny riches and gave them all to me… Oh well. Chances are they’re already dead.”


    Gingkin’s aching mind came back in full force at the worst of his fears. The dark truth was incredibly obvious, but Gingkin wanted to hold back for hope, for the hope that somehow they would survive their telling signs of slaughter. With gritting teeth, Gingkin objected Zhen’s logical assumption.


    “No… no… I DON’T ACCEPT THIS!”


    All of the sudden, Zhen leapt from his sea of riches, and swiftly delivered an uppercut on Gingkin’s narrow, furry chin in a fury of anger. Gingkin’s entire body flew for mere seconds before painfully landing right where it came from.


    “Get out.”


    Those bleak, emotionless words barely registered in Gingkin’s mind, as he tried to stand with the throbbing pain beating in his face. He looked up into Zhen’s eyes and saw the rage fumbling out. Gingkin’s own soon followed for it would seem Zhen never cared at all about the previous sacrifices Gingkin’s friends made to get him his riches in their selfless actions.


    “GET OUT!”


    This time, Gingkin earnestly tried with all of his might to stand and get away from this dammed war lord as far away as possible. He made his way by the numerous cone shaped tents with skaven of all sorts romanticizing and dreaming about the plunder Zlatlan will eventually behold them to.


    Gingkin found himself on the Encampment’s jungle clearing that surrounded the whole encampment. In an effort to find peace in his mind, he randomly chose a random direction, and went further into the jungle interior to mentally prepare himself for the duties that will come for him in the future. However, it’s hard to do so without thinking about the numerous slave rats that are presumably dead without any of their varying souls to toil their bodies. The losses are truly great.


    Gingkin raised his head and found that the expansive blue sky was thoroughly concealed with cloud cover. With the clouds telling Gingkin the coming of rain, he found his resolve amidst his eye's tranquil stare of the vast clouds. He’ll find the remains of his dead friends and bury them in a strange tradition man-things do to their dead. Only then would he hopefully find peace for his mind, he hoped.


    In Gingkin’s stare of the clouds, a large flock of birds launched themselves from the trees and flew right to left underneath the vast clouds. Gingkin’s head lowered, and found a large line of blue figures trampling the undergrowth and maneuvering between the trees in the distance. The figures had what seemed to be large silver swords, and flailed them about wildly.


    Gingkin stood there in pure awe. It would seem the Horned Rat actually observed him, read his mental thoughts, and answered his prayer. The slave rats whom were deemed dead from their dareful raid, were running back to their home army fully alive with unfathomable amounts of plunder.


    Gingkin launched himself at the figures with joy over riding his muscles and nervous system. Soon, fond memories of decapitating inferior reptile-things and stealing gold flooded his mind as a vital piece of his own self was returning from a long hiatus.


    But a terrible realization suddenly followed.


    As Gingkin got within mere feet of the figures, he visually noticed the numerous amounts of blue scales that covered their entire bodies. Their faces were rough with numerous creases, and the heads were flat with a smooth crest.


    It immediately clicked to him that these weren’t slave rats over joyed with their blue plunder, but rather furious looking Saurus charging at him with their primitive clubs.


    Gingkin stopped his over joyed suicidal charge, and promptly turned around to run for his life. He skillfully weaved through the trees and acknowledged the sharp features of the undergrowth alike how any skaven would know how to if survival is their top priority. He instinctively slowed a tad in order to look over his shoulders, and saw he was outpacing them relatively easily. However, they were still hot on his hairless tail.


    The Encampment was finally in Gingkin’s full view as was the numerous skaven that were going about their activities, fully unaware of the murderous danger that’s coming. That was before Gingkin could have a holler about that.


    “WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!”


    “WE’RE UNDER ATTACK!”


    Soon, the encampment was enshrouded with complete chaos. Rats everywhere were running among the tents and their fellow warriors, desperately equipping themselves with various weapons and armor.


    Zhen immediately dropped his beloved gems and gripped his ridiculously long halberd to see what the mahrlect was going on outside. He made his way through the numerous rats running amok with weapons and armor before seeing and understanding the cause of all of this commotion.


    Or rather didn’t fathom the lack of joy.


    Zhen saw a modest line of twenty or so Saurus charging at the encampment from the tree line. They were led by a fairly tall one that had golden plates strapped to its stout torso. But that was it. His mouth soon contorted into a maniacal grin. If this was truly what Zlatlan can muster to defend themselves, they’ll fall in no time!


    “Stop screwing around and form your ranks! Quickly!” Zhen shrieked out loudly at his subordinates.


    In a timely manner, the rats organized into massive formations with their blades ready for the reptile-things’ blood. Zhen was incredibly pleased as massive formations of rats organized themselves in front of him, meanwhile additional formations were created on the flanks of the main formations.


    In the watchful eyes of Zhen, the force assembled had hundreds of well trained and armed rats against a small band of inferior reptile-things. With a long nail, he ordered the powerful horde with a simple order.


    “Kill them all!”

    ***

    Kha’kor and his fellow Saurus warriors charged out from the myriad of trees and found themselves in a large clearing. Ahead of them, stood numerous white tents occluded by hordes of rats with numerous assortments of weapons and armor rushing straight for them.


    “Halt!”


    At the sonorous command of their Saurus Scar Veteran, the group halted their charging advance and stood staring at their incoming enemy.


    In Kha’kor’s watchful gaze, he analyzed the massive groups of skaven that were rushing at them from the front, meanwhile additional formations assisted their charge from their flanks. His clawed grip on his mountainous spear tightened as he waited patiently for their ferocious assault.


    In the face of this seemingly endless vermintide, the Saurus’ faces were motionless, with fear restraining their thick tails. Kha’kor could read the fear oozing from their bodies and understood it perfectly. They could very well die here with nothing on their parts to prevent such an abrupt and painful fate. However, alike how a warrior entrusts their leader to lead and protect, Kha’kor entrusted his fellow warriors to fulfill their duties and orders to the best of their abilities.


    Only then would this mutual trust give them their chances of survival.

    ***

    Gingkin’s brown fur was under assault by the occurring rain drops and fast gusts of wind. He was running amok in the empty encampment looking for his sword. Everywhere he went, there was not a ratty soul or weapon in the desolate camp. Finally, in the corner of his eye, he found a lonely sword resting on the moist dirt surrounded by numerous tents. He rushed over to it before a loud shriek stopped him in his tracks.


    “What are you doing? Get to the front!”


    Gingkin turned his long snout around to see a well armored Zhen armed with a ridiculous halberd eclipsing its height by nearly two times.


    “S-Sorry, I forgot-misplaced my sword.”


    Zhen looked at his underling with great contempt before allowing him to get his sword. He wants those inferior reptile-things dead as soon as possible, and stragglers aren’t going to help achieve that.


    However, Gingkin stood before the sword with his tail thrashing uncontrollably. Something about Zhen made his blood boil.


    “Why aren’t you fight-killing as well?”


    Zhen’s halberd shook with shock at such a question, “Excuse me? As warlord over this army, my life is too precious for the bloody toils of my own body!”


    “But your armor can fully negate-block their primitive clubs and help us!” Gingkin yelled with all of his might. He didn’t understand Zhen’s cowardly reasoning at all.


    “Warlords are the sole reason for an army’s tactical organization. As such, warriors like you don’t need my physical help…” Zhen’s claws were growing increasingly livid, “You need my ORDERS!”


    Zhen dropped his halberd and leapt at Gingkin with his claws held firm.


    Gingkin instinctively flinched and held up his sleeved arms in response, but Zhen aimed for Gingkin’s stomach instead and launched him into the air. He painfully landed right beside the lonely sword which almost impaled his thin hide. His head looked up and saw Zhen’s maniacal grin.


    “Get to the fight, or I’ll kill you.”


    Gingkin’s entire body struggled to get up with this dammed stomach of his sapping the energy from his muscles. His hatred for Zhen grew enormously as he began to think about his friends yet again, and how Zhen used them for his own profit. And it would seem he’s still doing it to him and the rest of the army.


    However, before Gingkin could grip his sword, a small, blue figure swiftly came from the shadows of the nearby tents and charged at Zhen from behind. Gingkin’s eyes widen as he immediately thought it was one of the same reptile-things that he ran from a while ago!


    “ZHEN! Behind you!”


    Zhen was mildly bewildered at his subordinate’s sudden outburst before turning his head behind. He couldn’t react or do anything when the figure’s blade-less club bludgeoned him on the side of his head, knocking him down easily onto the grassy dirt. Gingkin’s heart sank and he found his gut overloaded with pure fear at the sight of his warlord being stricken down. He grabbed his sword quickly and got up to defend himself from this orange crested thing that appeared from nowhere.


    It impressively leapt from Zhen’s motionless body and flew right at him with its club held firm in its scaly hands. The club clashed with Gingkin’s sword, thrusting the inertia of the Skink’s charge onto Gingkin’s body.


    Their respective blades grinded at each other to a standstill with their masters’ eyes glaring at each other in their struggle. The skink’s large golden eyes were strangely relaxed as if it wasn’t in a life or death struggle at all. Skinks usually tense themselves too much when they’re in the thick of the fighting, which often makes them susceptible to mistakes. During Gingkin’s ironic trance of thinking, the skink directed all of its strength to the rusty tip of Gingkin’s sword. In doing so, the sword moved counter-clock wise away from Gingkin’s unfocused grip, and provided an excellent opening.


    Gingkin stared at the Skink’s death imposing club with utter shock. This is it. Time to die.


    The club indiscriminately bolted into Gingkin’s stomach as if it wasn’t abused enough at all, and sent Gingkin whooshing into the rainy air before finally landing face down onto the ground below. He expected a painful but quick death, but instead, his stomach ached and his muscles found it hard to respond to his nervous impulses. He laid his claws on his gut and found no blood leaking from such a violent attack. He immediately realized that the Skink’s club mysteriously had no blades on it, which made it effectively useless in killing just about anything.


    Gingkin’s head shot up and found the Skink fighting multiple armed rats with unbelievable ease. It dodged and parried their attacks whilst responding in its own as if it’s in a metaphorical dance to the death, only that it won’t be able to kill any of them.


    Gingkin eventually got up and tried to get out of this encampment with his life. He stumbled across the desolate tents and stumbled his way forth into the jungle interior away from this dammed place. Finally, the encampment was far behind him, and he was at home alone with the trees surrounding him.


    Gingkin stopped and looked at the trees above him that were bringing down rain drops in full force. He got out with his life, but now what? His mind was literally aflame with numerous thoughts on what to do, that it didn’t notice a certain thing that followed him the whole time.


    Turning around immediately, Gingkin spotted another one of those orange crested things with their oversized golden eyes and primitive clubs. Only this time, the blades on the club weren’t missing.


    It stopped and stared at Gingkin with visually noticeable anger. Gingkin stared right back at it unsure of what it’s going to do next. He’s unarmed, so it should naturally charge and end him, but that wasn't happening. Instead, it’s standing there with its imposing stare.


    The cold air between the two creatures turned tense as each second between the two stretched to a lifetime that can come to an abrupt and bloody end.


    Finally, to the relief of Gingkin’s life expectancy, the skink lurched back awkwardly before turning its long tail and running away to the encampment.


    Gingkin stared at the retreating Skink’s tail in awe. Two times his life has been spared by these things that would’ve easily killed him, but didn’t out of mercy? Ironically, in their positions he wouldn’t have hesitated to sink his blade into the blood of his would be defenseless enemies.


    Whatever the thing’s strange reasoning, he’s alive and alone with an ambition to satisfy. Gingkin hurried himself further and further into the jungle interior until he became one with the trees and ferns, akin to the scaly things he had always seen as inferior.

    ***

    Before the Skaven encampment, laid the jungle clearing drenched in the cold, desolate rain from the dark clouds above. Blood of the Sauri and the Skaven alike in their red hue and cellular composition, splashed onto the dirt below with their parents falling down along with them onto the drenched ground.


    The Skaven continually plunged themselves onto the clubs of the Sauri. Saurus surrounding Kha’kor fell one by one from the relentless assaults and slashes of the numerous vermintide. Blades constantly found themselves grapping and piercing Kha’kor’s scaly skin with varying amounts of success of drawing his blood. The killing still went on when Kha’kor and his Saurus dwindled to only a few standing.


    The Skaven finally seemed to be on the verge of totally eliminating the lone group of Saurus, when additional cohorts of the Sauri emerged from the surrounding tree lines. They converged on the skaven horde’s flanks and from behind, fully encircling them. Although Kha’kor and his sauri cohorts were still massively outnumbered, the psychological effect of being encircled, toiled on the minds of the well numbered and trained Skaven ranks.


    They wanted Zhen’s orders. His powerful presence and guidance was something all of them wanted to brake this encirclement and crush these inferior reptile-things under their massive might.


    But they never came.


    Instead, by the bloody minutes of fierce fighting, the rats’ need for a strong and competent leader to give them the orders to fight effectively went unfulfilled. As a result, hundreds of the rats tried to drop their weapons and flee with their lives, but they were caught defenseless by the deadly clubs of the Sauri. A savage slaughter devoid of mercy soon followed, and not long after, the vast dirt was littered with ratty corpses that used to have souls full of dreams and hopes, now splashed worthlessly onto the drenched jungle floor in their blood.


    Kha’kor looked on to the dancing ground with his gashed legs barely standing. Countless bodies of the Skaven intermingled with the stouter ones of the Saurus. Many of the rats he thought were dead, flailed around in screaming pain with their limbs missing. The Sauri all around him didn’t wait for him, and took it upon themselves to roar their victory over the defeated vermin.


    But in Kha’kor’s eyes, all of them weren’t defeated, for there’s one foe of the enemy uncounted for. He eyed the Encampment further up, and with each painful stroke, limped with his bloodied spear towards the myriad of tents.


    The battle wasn't over yet…

    ***

    Surrounded by riches, Zhen sat by a table’s leg. The cold air stood motionless alike Zhen’s unconscious body. An incredibly powerful noise reverberated throughout the serene air. It shook the innards of the various gems that resided in peace, and made the neutral air the carrier and messenger of the noise’s strong meaning.


    Zhen groggily opened his eyes and observed his surroundings. He was inside a fairly large tent with lots of wooden furniture residing on the white walls of the tent. Shiny gems of numerous colors were stashed everywhere they could it would seem. Those gems literally smacked his mind as he remembered something. The fight!


    Zhen instinctively tried to bring up his arms to get up, but they wouldn’t budge. He swiveled his head to the ultimate limit, and found thick chains attaching his bony wrists to the table leg behind him. Soon, he realized the probable outcome of his army actually being defeated and him being captured by those measly saurus. But how?! Last time he glanced at the Saurus, they’ve already lost one from the first impact of his army!


    That sonorous noise still kept on sounding off, which audibly denoted the embarrassing and frankly impossible loss Zhen’s army has indeed endured. Zhen gritted his teeth and tried to break free, but the chains stood firm and made the pressure on Zhen’s bony wrists worse. During his struggle, something much closer eclipsed the roaring remarkably well in his ears. It was a loud thumping sound that’s usually made when someone’s walking.


    Zhen stared at the entrance of the tent as the sound got louder and closer. Tension made his heart race with uncertainty as to who’s coming or what.


    Unceremoniously, the owner of those footsteps waltzed in and glared at Zhen himself with visible anger. Its entire small body were covered in bright blue scales, whereas the entirety of its gut and chest area were hued in a lighter version of blue. Most of its slim, elongated head were dominated by large golden eyes, and an orange crest resided on the top.


    Zhen stared at the menacing club it held in its ebony scaly claws. It was well drenched in blood and gave him the feeling this will be his executioner. His gut’s muscles contracted in fear of such a grim assumption, but it seems the truth in front of him was unavoidable. He swallowed his own saliva and knelt his head down to confront his fate. But that loud thumping sound was made again instead of something plunging into him.


    Zhen looked up to see the reptile-thing slowly walk away with its long slender tail bouncing from side to side. He wasn’t sure why it walked on in like that only to leave a few seconds later, but Zhen learnt something neat a long time ago to deal with these reptilian creatures. He wasn't sure how good it'll be, but he thought he may as well try it out before dying.


    “…Hey.”


    The reptilian-thing turned back with its golden eyes wider than before, much to Zhen’s amusement.


    “…Saurian?”


    “Yes, it turns out learning the most inferior language has its uses, besides sounding incredibly special,” Zhen answered back with a mocking smile.


    However, the Skink didn’t take such a sneer as lightly, and moved towards the chained rat with murderous silence.


    “Wait! I’m but only an insignificant pebble on the vast dirt, waiting to be squatted and stepped on…” Zhen’s body shivered with an innocent smile, “…Please don’t kill me.”


    The Skink stopped his silent approach and pleasurably smiled at such a dramatic turn of words.


    “That’s better… If anyone’s going to kill you, you’re already dead.”


    “Heh, totally,” Zhen replied back with nervousness plaguing his shaking muscles. He’s not fully aware of it, but his mind is afraid of the inevitable time it’ll shut down without its consent.


    A period of silence presided over the two as the skink stared at its prisoner. It never heard of a rat being able to speak saurian, let alone with such fluency. Although the accent of its words sounded highly unnatural, it understood this armored vermin fairly well. Such fluency graced the skink’s ears when the rat spoke up with its high pitched voice again.


    “What’s your name by the way?”


    “Tenx.”


    “Mine’s Zhen Headrunner. Zhen stands for preciousness and rarity,” Zhen proudly explained with a graceful upward tilt of his head.


    “Really? Not precious enough to not be caught prisoner I see,” Tenx chuckled lightly with his claws gripping his mouth.


    “Well… Death would honestly be a fate worse than being enslaved for the rest of your life…” Zhen embarrassedly responded before turning his head down, “To die and end up in an endless suspension where you can’t feel, touch, or hear anything…”


    Tenx waited for this Zhen to finish up on his sentence, but nothing came to be of it. He stared at Zhen’s kneeled down state and felt the pain that Zhen was experiencing, seep into his own mind. He himself doesn’t want to die either, but something conflicted with his continual wish of not doing so, at least in the far future.


    “I disagree.”


    Zhen’s disgruntled face lifted up to see Tenx’s head inclined towards the roof of the white tent with a slight smile.


    “I like to think that we as the first serve a higher cause of the Old Ones, not merely because they’re our creators, but to make something incomprehensibly good of this broken world for others…” Tenx’s head descended to reveal his smile turning wider, “When that cause is fulfilled, I wouldn’t fear death at all.”


    Zhen was in utter shock at what he just heard. He thought these reptile-things were intellectually inferior beings to be enslaved and killed. But this particular thing is contradicting such firmly held stereotypes in a very scary manner.


    “What about the skaven? Why fight?”


    Zhen pondered on that question but couldn’t come up with an answer at all. In fact, he didn’t know at all. Zhen gestured his head at a humongous pile of shiny gems. The only thing he could’ve thought of.


    “I see then… inanimate objects that hold an illusion of wealth and power,” Tenx uttered out with great contempt whilst making his voice deeper and darker. The scaly grip on his club hardened as did his furious anger.


    “Then our cause is just! We will win this WAR!”


    Zhen instinctively flinched with his back grinding at the table leg behind him. His heart sank at such an outburst.


    “O-Ok… not like I won’t be able to do anything about that.”


    It took a while, but Tenx sedated himself from Zhen’s nervous submission, and even smiled slightly. Once again, silence presided over the atmosphere inside the tent. Tenx studied Zhen’s fancy etiquette of armor and well-made clothes that distinguished him from the many similar malnourished rats he fought and saw die. However, It often meant Tenx’s big golden eyes pierced into Zhen's mind, making the latter extremely uncomfortable by each second that passed between them.


    Suddenly, Zhen's beady eyes widened in horror. Tenx was surprised by this and wanted to ask what was going on, but something deep in his mind told him to turn around instead.


    Alike Zhen, Tenx’s own golden eyes also widened with his gut sinking.


    A bloodied Saurus stood at the entrance of the tent with its golden armor dented and stained. It was slightly slouched against the colossal spear it was holding as support. With its small red eyes, it stared at both Tenx and Zhen with unsettling silence. Finally, it limped once from the entrance.


    “Step aside, Skink.”


    Tenx’s muscles promptly contracted in accords to the saurus’ order. But Tenx himself wasn’t sure what Kha’kor would want with Zhen. Everywhere he looked at Kha’kor, he could see numerous wounds that had opened up on his scaly skin. Blood had literally converted his powerful blue sheen to a redden hue and he looked weak with each stride.


    Zhen gulped his own saliva at the sight of such a fearsome figure. This is the one that has defeated his own army single-handedly against all of the odds stacked against it. Zhen slightly lowered his head in shameful submission.


    “A-As you can see He-Here, I’m totally defenseless and ripe for your interrogational needs.”


    Kha’kor’s pained limp stopped with mild surprise at what this vermin just uttered and stared into the rat’s fearful eyes.


    “I never saw you command your pathetic excuse of rats, or fight alongside them.”


    “R-Really?” Zhen replied back nervously, as he recalled what happened before being knocked out.


    “They were masterfully encircled by cohorts I hid all around the encampment,” Kha’kor explained with a maniacal grin brimming across his face, “They’re all dead now.”


    Zhen's bewildered eyes stared back at Kha’kor absolutely dumbfounded. To be out matched physically by these reptile-things is one thing, but to actually be outsmarted by them!? The grey fur that proudly denoted him as a skilled tactician and thinker was all a lie then… all of it.


    In Zhen’s wallow of shame, he didn’t notice that Kha’kor took an additional two limps forward, stopped, and gripped his spear with both of his scaly claws…


    “Wait, he’s defenseless!” Tenx yelled with all of might as he figured out exactly what Kha’kor was going to do. His heart throbbed, his mind dominated by the fear he knew from combat all too well.


    “Time to DIE!” Kha’kor roared as he plunged his spear in an untrackable sideways swipe.


    “NO, PLEASE, I WANT TO LI-“ Zhen shrieked louder with his shorter vocal cords, but couldn’t finish his blood curdling plea. Kha’kor’s humongous spear cleaved through Zhen’s long neck, instantly dropping Zhen’s head onto the moist dirt.


    Zhen’s headless body slowly slumped to the side and gorged out a pool of red hot blood onto the ground beside his head.


    Tenx’s perception of time literally froze as if a sledgehammer thwacked him in the stomach. From Tenx’s point of view, he could see the wide, red cavity that used to connect Zhen’s functioning head with the rest of his body.


    “What the mahrlect were you doing, Skink?”


    Tenx’s utter shock was disturbed by that lowly grumble of saurian seemingly unfazed by the gruesome act it just committed.


    “…Y-You murderer.”


    “Murderer? Interesting word to describe this,” Kha’kor looked down onto his latest kill with an emotionless expression before limping off towards the tent’s entrance.


    Tenx’s blood boiled and his body shook with rage. He was angry Kha’kor could do something so incredibly depraved to another living creature and not care at all.


    “Why?! This isn’t right, this isn’t justifiable!”


    Kha’kor turned around and glared at the Skink’s shaking body before continuing his way out of the gem infested tent. He wanted to get some rest for the duties that will eventually come for him, and this shrieking Skink wasn’t going to help that.


    Kha’kor was pleased to see the heavy rain stopped, and instead, only tiny rain drops fell from the dark clouds above onto his pained scales. He still pondered on why the Skink fed the enemy that would’ve easily turned around and betray him. He had heard multiple rumors of Skinks behaving in such a way towards the enemy, which made it worrisome there's such an example hiding in his army. Perhaps that’s the major downfall of Skinks. Not their inadequate physical strength, but rather their day to day psychological quarrels that prevents them from earnestly fulfilling their duty in service of the Old Ones.


    Kha’kor mockingly smirked at himself for thinking so much during a tiring time. He carried himself randomly into a tent until his vision contorted into a distorted, blurry mess of his surroundings. His body collapsed down onto the dirt flooring with his bloodied spear peacefully dropping next to him.

    ***

    Tenx stared at the bloody mess that was of Zhen’s corpse that talked to him only a few minutes ago. The blood stopped gorging out from his body, but as a result, there was a large pool of blood almost comparable to the vastness of the Great Ocean. Tenx knelt down to Zhen’s bloody head that still had its horrified expression and wept. In Tenx’s surge for his insatiable greed, he wept for the head to will itself back to life and talk to him again. But it never responded. Instead, both Zhen’s head and its body ignored him in their silence.


    An empty feeling soon overcame Tenx’s whole body as he still stared at the corpse of Zhen. It made his muscles weak and brittle, his mind ached with painful throbs, and an immortal hole carved into Tenx’s gut. Eventually, he found it hard to stand competently.


    Tenx silently sent a prayer to the Old Ones, the ethereal forthbringers of the Great Plan, to give Zhen’s soul peace.


    The enemy of his cause and theirs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
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  15. Aginor
    Slann

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    That's a strong story, I like it.
    And you greatly reduced the amount of grammatical errors as well, making it a lot easier to read. Still a few weird tenses in there, but not many anymore, good job!

    For a moment I thought the Saurus might kill the Skink, but of course he didn't.
    He did kill the rat though, and you described that event emotionally gripping.

    Looking forward to more. :)
     
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  16. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Psyche of War
    Chapter Five: Traumatized Betrayal

    Large, ominous clouds stretched across the vast sky, casting shades of darkness across the wild jungles of the Southlands. The once proud skaven war camp of Zhen Headrunner poised to successfully capture Zlatlan, stood desolate of the mighty rats. Instead, their ratty bodies laid broken and utterly crushed on featureless land right beside their comfortable tents. Their greatly idolized leader nowhere to be seen before everything was lost. Victorious, the Lizardmen warriors of faraway Hexoatl settled down to recover their energy sapped from the savage battle they decisively won.


    However, Tenx himself had other desires. His mind raced with obscene pictures of Zhen’s decapitation diluting the senses of his body. He needed help, and earnestly knew if he’s to forget about this dammed vermin warlord that had been tormenting his mind for the past endless hours, he needed helpful contact. Running from tent to tent, he occasionally peeked in to find Saurus and Skinks alike sleeping on dirt floorings in their respective tents.


    One Skink had its back turned towards the entrance of its tent, its orange crest slumped off the side of its resting head. Most importantly, for Tenx, its club had no blades on it unlike his own. He dropped his club down, and approached it with his claws burning for this Skink’s consolation.


    Without a care at all, Tenx yanked its narrow shoulders.


    “Yolotli, Yolotli!”


    Yolotli’s eyes groggily opened at the hurried mention of his name. Smooth, white walls of the tent’s lining, greeted him along with the comfortable dirt that made his sleeping space. The violent shaking that disturbed his peaceful sleep, stupefied him further for he knew for sure his muscles wasn’t the culprit behind this wretched disruption of a warrior’s most needed down time.


    Yolotli’s body swiveled on itself, and met a pair of large, golden eyes just like his, stare at him with a rather heart touching mixture of happiness and sadness brimming in its eyes. Still, the fact this Skink disrupted his sleep angrily hanged on his mind; and he knew exactly who this was.


    “Mahrlect! Wake me up again like that, and my sanity isn’t going to be the one paying!”


    Tenx retrieved his claws in slight embarrassment, “…Sorry, just wanted to talk to you.”


    Yolotli signed under his breath, and his body slithered up from his slouched position. The slight anger that purged him withered away before his body stood at a height similar to Tenx’s own.


    “About what?”


    “I’m curious… Is it normal to feel pity for your enemies?” To Tenx’s horror, pictures of horrid decapitation started to flood his mind yet again before elaborating further, “I mean to not stop thinking about them after they drop to the ground and die…”


    Yolotli glanced at Tenx’s eyes that were happily divided between happiness and sadness in emotion, now fully reaped in sorrow. Ever since he met Tenx, something in him was affectionately different from the rest. He reminded himself of his past… his past self.



    “Absolutely,” Yolotli uttered before taking a small step forward, “Everyone, at some point of their lives, feel pity for the terrible suffering they cause.”


    Tenx blankly stared into the humble Yolotli without much to contribute or argue with. He didn’t know what to think as he looked down onto the vast dirt particles that separated him and Yolotli.


    “But hey, when their rusty swords start swinging, don’t hesitate.” Tenx’s head perked up at the resolute sound of Yolotli’s voice, “Lest their blades plunge into you, and turn you into a hapless, bloodied mess devoid of soul.”


    “I can’t agree more, but something beckons me to have mercy on them when the rare opportunity presents itself,” Tenx disputed before continuing on, “…Same for you, no?”


    “Me? No, not really,” Yolotli responded as cold, dark images of his past showed themselves before his very eyes.


    “But your clu-“


    “I’ve seen what these vermin-spawn are capable of when they raided my temple city…” Yolotli bitterly explained with the same anger that purged his heart earlier before, only with much more bloodlust for the ones responsible, “They took nothing, yet everything of myself from me.”


    Tenx looked at Yolotli whose emotions were beginning to decay into a darkened state, and as a result, his mind stood alone, desolate of ways to reply and console its friend.


    “Ever since that dreadful day, I’ve always wanted to find those responsible and kill them…” Yolotli’s heart sank as he continued to reveal the truth of his inner-self he had always despised, “…I didn’t follow through with my hatred as every kill somehow tormented on my mind until I couldn’t bear the insanity anymore,” Yolotli solemnly smiled at his beloved club that took him hours to convert into something nearly non-lethal, “Perhaps I’m just too weak for war.”


    Tenx stood there baffled at such a monologue he heard. There was nearly too much information to make sense of, but Yolotli’s insistence of his weakness enraged him the most.


    “You’re not WEAK, Yolotli!”


    Yolotli’s head flinched at such an outlandish outburst. The irony of consultant becoming the consulted toiled on his mind, albeit Tenx wasn’t doing much of a great job. Then again, neither was he as well, he thought to himself whilst sedating his nerves.


    “…I mean, you do remind me of Xa’yaotl a lot.”


    “R-Really?” Yolotli’s voice grew hoarse as tragic memories started flooding into his mind alike frenzied jungle swarms. He wanted Tenx to stop right there…


    “Reading about his betrayal at the encirclement of Quetza, and the adventures that came before, was the first thing I did when I spawned,” Tenx swiveled his head to the right where Yolotli’s blade-less club laid, “He is, indeed, very much hated, but something in his self-less acts of mercy rekindled a pyre inside me for compassion… I feel like the same would be true for everyone else if they just stopped for a second, and read.”


    Tenx’s head realigned on to Yolotli, only to find Yolotli’s head unsettlingly knelling down. His heart sank, and he wanted to know why Yolotli was doing this. Reaching out with his claws, he settled on consulting Yolotli’s shoulder.


    However, instead of Tenx’s claws consoling Yolotli’s shoulder, Yolotli’s head raised with fury brimming in his eyes, and a clenched fist that rode up into Tenx’s gut. Tenx’s eyes widened before Yolotli followed up with another uppercut on his chest, launching him back-down onto the dirt.


    The innards of Tenx’s gut brutally contorted, and with it, came the searing pain that made any and all of his movements nearly impossible. His eyes looked up at the treacherous culprit with lividness tainting its aura.


    “W-Why?”


    “Don’t say that name near me… Ever.”


    Tenx's face widened with a grin, his rage fumbling upon a betrayed mind, “I can say any name however and whenever I please, XA’YAOTL!”


    Tenx immediately pulled himself up, and charged at Yolotli with his claws clinched furiously for revenge.


    Yolotli’s heartbeat raced through his chest at the sight of Tenx charging straight at him. He didn’t know how this is happening and why Tenx is charging at him as if he’s a rat-spawn to be quickly squashed without remorse. However, something else propped itself up in the deep, dark corners of his mind. No, why did I do that?



    Yolotli quickly sidestepped to his left, easily dodging Tenx’s admittedly sloppy charge, and prepared himself for any more of Tenx’s attacks. Tenx furiously lashed out onto Yolotli with his claws, but only the defenseless fresh air bared the brunt of Tenx’s assault, which only made Tenx’s rage more insatiable by each passing second.


    Yolotli easily predicted Tenx’s every move before responding with yet another uppercut nicely placed in-between the small amount of time Tenx had to recuperate his strength, and lash out again with his claws. The uppercut staggered Tenx, which provided Yolotli with the perfect space to powerfully kick Tenx in his gut and send him flying right back at the tent’s entrance.


    Ached, Tenx laid there with the all too familiar pain searing throughout his body. His club laid there with him conveniently right beside his body… Without a second thought at all, Tenx grabbed his club and leered at the treacherous Yolotli.


    Yolotli stared at Tenx with utter disbelief at the bladed club that was shaking uncontrollably. Tenx’s overall aura oozed hatred in a way he had never seen before in a long time, which made him slightly fearful of Tenx’s sanity deteriorating further, until the very bridge that separated ally and enemy crumbled.


    The Skinks' glares furiously interlocked with each other as both sides saw each other clearly, and yet, the motivations and thoughts of the other side, obscured themselves with hatred, and lack of understanding. Tenx’s uncontrollable shaking cooled down significantly, but still leered at Yolotli with apparent blood lust. Eventually, Tenx’s shaking stopped all together as the two still glared at each other, none willed to move or say anything.


    Tenx slowly picked himself up with his club as he set his tainted mind upon exiting out of the tent. Yolotli stood there, staring at Tenx whom was walking away from this ordeal that could’ve ended up with one of them injured, or worst, dead. He’s happy there’s peace in his tent, but can’t help but question the reasoning behind brutally punching Tenx in the gut. In fact, he didn’t know why his claws rode up into Tenx’s gut at all. The separation of soul and body?



    Tenx solemnly trudged himself by the many tents without a thought in his mind at all. He didn’t want to have any thoughts in his mind, only to forget and live his life unbound of the past. His own tent appeared in front of them with its rough, brown hue. He was going to enter into it and fall asleep. However the sound of a blunt object strangely being stricken at by something else sharp, graced his hearing. He barged into the neighboring tent to find an orange crested Skink sitting among a sea of bleak colored bottles.


    The two stared at each other awkwardly, unsure of what to say to the other.


    “…Care to join me?” The Skink
    questioned with the most dulled out expression Tenx had ever seen before that wasn't etched on the contemplative Slann.


    Tenx eyed the bottle it was holding with extreme uncertainty. He didn’t know what these potions were and why this Skink was hoarding all of it, but he conceded his worries anyway and joined the Skink in its orgy of drinking. He picked up a bottle, only to find strange inscriptions dotted across his.


    “What are these? Some kind of potion?”


    “Dwarven ale, actually.”


    “Ale?” This word had never graced Tenx’s ears before, and it sounded completely outlandish, “What does this ale exactly do?”


    “…Nothing,” The Skink stopped chugging and examined its own bottle extensively, “It doesn’t help or contribute to your body’s strength at all,” Grinning, it explained once more, “However, I’m finding that this stuff, for whatever reason courtesy of the Dwarfs, delivers your tattered soul onto uncharted lands of pure ecstasy.”


    “Huh?”


    “…It makes you forget,” the skink Uttered before swinging its bottle yet again.


    Tenx looked at his bottle with appreciation at the word forget. He had been through things he definitely wanted to forget, but he wasn’t sure a mere thing such as ale could be capable of such a powerful feat.


    The cork flew open, and the bottle’s ethereal, golden liquid enveloped Tenx’s tongue. It slightly burned the innards of his mouth, and a nutty, fruity sensation soon followed in the ale’s path. Dreaded memories of the rats he killed, Zhen’s decapitation, and Yolotli’s wretched treachery evaporated into hot air amidst his mind’s lust for more.

    ***

    The sun’s glare furiously assaulted the lustrian jungle lands without remorse. An orange crested Skink, typical of the worker’s cast, ran with haste above the harsh undergrowth. Soon, ancient walls of a temple city showed itself in its golden eyes.


    The Skink ran itself into the temple city’s entrance, and up the ridged stairs of one of the many resolute temples that dotted the city. It charged past the eternity chamber in utter fear of what the vile Skaven could’ve taken from its own city.


    Piles upon piles of golden plaques laid in a rather nonchalant room. To the Skink’s happy delight, they have strangely taken nothing from the city’s golden plaque vault when they had their scrawny little tails prowl on his city. It excitedly ran back down from the temple until collapsing to a standstill from continual exhaustion tiring its muscles.


    The whole city was desolate of all life, except for the Skink itself whom panted and relaxed near a spawning pool. It was sternly told by its superiors not to return to this city in logical fear that the Skaven infested the temple city with their deadly, infectious diseases. But it couldn’t give a Stegadon’s arse, for the Skaven were nowhere to be seen, and better, they never even took anything.


    Rippling with a torrent, the spawning pool right beside the skink showed signs of its livelihood. The skink couldn’t believe it forgot about the spawnings that would come into fruition even if a temple city was abandoned. It stood at full attention to greet the new spawnings and brief them on their situation.


    However, something terribly demented and disfigured emerged fourth from the pool. It expected Skinks or even Kroxigors, but instead, pitch black figures trudged their way towards the lone Skink itself. Their bodies were very similar to his own, yet they had no crests, and horrifyingly, most were missing limbs. Some of them tripped as soon as they emerged as a result of missing one of their legs. Others bobbed heavily from side to side as they walked mindlessly towards the Skink.


    The desperate Skink waved in front of them to get their attention and help them! But they never responded. They walked limb-less as they were until some of them collapsed, not paying mind to the frantic Skink doing everything in its power to get their attention.


    Crazed, the Skink charged at one of the figures to save it. Blood secreted out of the figure’s body when the Skink tried with all of its might to stop it from walking mindlessly into its death. Few seconds of desperate embracing passed, before the embraced figure stopped responding with its bodily movements.It slowly began slumping down to the cold, hard ground in front of the Skink's horrified eyes.


    Blood had bathed the Skink as it stared at the mangled corpse of the spawning it tried its hardest to save, but couldn’t. To the right, it noticed wide, blue heads emerging from a pool not far from itself. Immediately, it rushed forward at the pool with erratic thoughts racing through its mind of healthy Kroxigors being its salvation from this madness that’s decaying its own sanity. It waited for a time that went by incredibly fast, staring down at the pool with its reddened eyes hungry for anything that's intelligible and pure from this...


    However, alike the disfigured Skinks, the Kroxigors had most of their limbs missing as well. They slowly trudged forth straight towards the Skink in a manner similar to the darkened figures, until some of their bulky, heavy bodies fell earlier, while some persisted in their hapless struggle.


    The Skink’s knees collapsed. Its eyes widened in incomprehensible horror. All around it looked, death had embraced its city with not a healthy soul to help it. Corpses of disfigured Kroxigor and Skink littered the city, with some flailing their disfigured bodies about mindlessly. Its own mind caved in as it still stared; its thoughts slowly becoming insensible stretches of time unable to be discerned from the visual surroundings tormenting its mind.


    A pointy claw poked the Skink’s back, eliciting it to turn around.


    Three feathered Skinks, fully limbed and healthy, stood with clubs in claw. Their eyes burned with immortal hatred, as the clubs mercilessly raised above the lone Skink’s head.


    “STOP BETRAYING US, XA’YAOTL!”


    Xa’yaotl’s heart raced as the clubs quickly ran down onto his head, set on brutally smashing in his head.


    Yolotli’s eyes shot wide open, and his heart throbbed uncontrollably. He could’ve sworn he was in a temple city, but instead, the entrance of his small tent graced his fleeting conscious. Eventually, the heart slowed down, elevating his awry mind. It would seem, to him, that dreadful day just couldn't be left to die and leave him be. The day they've taken nothing from him, and yet everything of his soul. Throughout his blood bath of a military career, that day still tormented him, unknowingly eating way at his resolve until he couldn't take it anymore. Uncountable years after that day, he ironically committed the ultimate betrayal: mercy


    With a deep sigh, his slouched body inclined and sat upright as its eyes noticed the blood stains that lined the dirt. He immediately remembered the brutal beating Tenx endured at his claws, and how Tenx chose to peacefully show himself out instead of charging at him with his club.


    The blood enraged Yolotli further when he remembered why Tenx came to him in the first place.


    …Betrayal of self?
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2018
  17. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Chapter Three: I like your amnesiac rats. They are sympathetic but still Skaven-y. Not easy to do. Now if I were writing a sympathetic Skaven I'd be sure to have him die horribly in some nihilistic fashion, but I'm curious to see what direction you will take this.

    Chapter Four: In chapter one and two you created a compelling Skink character. Chapter Three you introduced a compelling Skaven character. Now you have another Skaven character. My first thought was "Uh oh, Paradoxical Pacifism is cluttering the narrative with too many characters! My thought was you should develop the character arcs of what you got before adding new ones. Then I realized PP had a solid plan. Sniplit and Gingkin are tied together because they actually have compassion for their fellow Skaven. Gingkin is thematically tied to Tenx because he is beginnign to ever so slightly question the attitudes and drives of his culture.

    I invented the word mahrlect so I feel warm and fuzzy whenever another writer uses it. I intended to use it as a Saurian curse word. Then @spawning of Bob made it a curse word for every Force of Order race. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I guess I should be happy my word is catching on, and not be picky about how it's used. I was/am planning to give every race their own swear words. In Scalenex-verse Lizardmen say "mahrlect" and elves (all three groups) use "d’arvit" which I stole lovingly borrowed from Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl series.

    I am pondering a Skaven curse word to debut in my opus The Chronicles of Witch Hunter Verrick maybe with a gag worked in but I'm not sure how to deliver it.

    An intriguing thought would be what if Skaven and Lizardmen were the only two races to use "mahrlect"? That would represent a scandalous common origin or some cultural mixing, but I never intended to go deep into the intricacies of my made up swear word, but Bob had come up with the idea that immediately before the Great Catastrophe "mahrlect" was the last (un-translate-able) thing the Old Ones uttered before they perished.

    I really liked Zhen as a foil to Gingkin. I think the piece would have been slightly stronger if you edited out the brief portion from Zhen's point of view. I was going to suggest that you should have stuck with Zhen only through the lense of Gingkit and Tenx, but then you wrote this.

    I enjoyed that line and it justified moving from third person limited to third person omniscient. Along those lines chapter four was a bit jarring because you hopped back and forth between four different characters transitioning often. What started out as jarring became endearing. I eventually realized that these frequent shifts were needed to properly follow the action.

    Officially Itxi grubs are a rare delicacy and would probably not be fed to Cold Ones, though maybe that is what you met by nefariously fed. Not sure.


    Chapter Five has a lot to unpack. I'm going to have to sleep on it and read it again before commenting.
     
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  18. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    thx for the critique <3
    i would've loved more negative points though, because i'm somewhat new to writing stories (this is my second story, and my first one only had one chapter), but still, i appreciate it.
     
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  19. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Removes gloves

    Very well. There are lots of typos.

    The switches from one character to another could probably use a better defined transition.

    The Xa'yaotl is fairly vague. I get he's considered a traitor but we need more information in a clear non-dream sequence state fairly soon.

    Adopts professor hat (with mouse ears). Appropriate Skaven diction is to apply the suffix once. "Where are you take-leading me" Skaven talk fast, adding the suffix twice slows down their speech.


    Now here is a guideline I have trouble following because my characters tend to talk like I talk, but apart from a little bit of double-speak, most of your characters sound the same. They use the same grammar, sentence length, and breadth of vocabulary. Since your literary style jumps from character to character very quickly and often, it would probably be a good idea to give your main characters distinct speaking styles to help the transition.
     
  20. Paradoxical Pacifism
    Razordon

    Paradoxical Pacifism Well-Known Member

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    Psyche of War
    Chapter Six: To Forget... or Forgive?
    Tenx’s golden eyes flickered to the murky sight of large, empty bottles. His mind ached with occasional bouts of intense pain purging the strength from his muscles. It was all so dreadful as he tried to stand with his wobbly legs amongst the hundreds of bottles that littered the ground floor. A Skink across from him, rested upon the dirt alike he was before with seemingly much more comfort despite the numerous bottles that surrounded it.


    Tenx’s vision rapidly decayed into whirling images of his surroundings. Each dreadful step made the nonsensical images all the more worse despite his earnest wishes for it to stop the torment eating away at his sanity. His gut painfully tumbled from left to right in sadistic agreement, or so he thought when he reached for the Skink’s sleepy body with his shaken claws.


    “N-Nkachi.”


    Nkachi’s limbs pathetically convulsed and twisted in an effort to respond to his spoken name as was his eyes as well, much to Tenx’s mocking amusement.


    Delivers your tattered soul onto uncharted lands of pure ecstasy.


    “Huh?” Nkachi groggily inquired.


    “It doesn’t do that at all!” Tenx yelled before stumbling back, “E-Everything in my body feels like crap after drinking that ale.”


    “Word, Tenx.”


    Tenx looked down upon the squirming Nkachi and couldn’t really tell if he wanted to get up, or just sleep away his miserable experiences that were consuming his senses.


    “Honestly, you look p-pathetic,” Tenx’s incoherent thoughts raced across his eyes when he almost tripped on a bottle, “What you do will once dirty rats come without a club to defend y-yourself?”


    “Relax.”


    Tenx’s eyes couldn’t help but twitch at this response. This nonchalant temperament in this time of great misery was what got under his scales the most, or rather, the excruciating torment of his brain that made every day thinking almost as hard as fighting. He looked down onto the smudgy bottles that were everywhere, and wondered why he subjected himself to this misery.


    “I forgot why we drank these… Do you know?”


    “I don’t know as well,” Nkachi carelessly uttered before squirming his body inclined with a dubious smile, “A walk wouldn’t hurt, though.”


    Contempt in Tenx’s mind immediately sparked yet again at such a ridiculous request. However, the more he thought about it, the more the future obscured itself with the throbbing pain. There wasn’t an immediate, clear picture of his future self doing something, and it frustrated him further until he couldn’t take it anymore.


    “S-Sure, w-whatever.”


    With lazy smiles, the two Skinks trudged their way through the many bottles that dotted the path towards the exit of this swirly tent. Gusts of cold, dry air graced their scales when they peeked up at the dark blue hue that stretched across the skies. It’s very early in the morning, and that visual fact constantly pinged at Tenx’s wasted mind. Nonetheless, they peered at the neighboring trees, and set their wobbly bodies past the many tents, and by the sturdy trunks that stood stalwart by them.


    An enormous lake stretched across their weary visions, and free from the trees, the sun showed itself slowly emerging from the horizon. The lake’s surface reflected the rays of the sun, which tinted a good portion of the former a golden sheen.


    It immediately caused Tenx and Nkachi alike to stop, and stare. Tenx had always appreciated the stunning beautifulness of nature, especially when it came right at you unexpected.


    “Isn’t it beautiful? Really makes you wonder what else we’re missing.”


    Nkachi tiredly glanced at the reflection that mockingly bounced off on his eyes.


    “…It’s just a damn lake.”


    “And you’re just a damn Skink! Can’t you appreciate the wonder of nature when you see it?”


    Nkachi’s aloof eyes veered off to the left, “Nope. Alike you and me, this lake’s fate is intertwined with the only thing it’ll eventually meet. Death.”


    Tenx’s heart sunk at such a heavy word that clung onto his guts, “Death? How can you be so sure of yourself so as to predict something so unpredictable!?”


    “It’s not that I’m sure of myself, but rather, I’m stating the obvious when it comes to us skinks only having a limited amount of heartbeats in our lifetimes, and the sauri only being able to have their blood drawn so much,” Nkachi sighed under his breath after those last words. Memories were starting to flood in once again. Memories he hoped would die.


    “You wouldn’t say that to your friends,” Tenx teased with a smirk before continuing on, “Or are they just as sadistic?”


    Nkachi’s eyes widened in absolute horror. Memories flashed before his conscious, laughing and teasing him before the heartache that soon followed.


    "...Friends, huh?"


    Tenx’s soul sunk at the unsettling sight that was of Nkachi’s stare. This aloof demeanor all the sudden got darker, and it made Tenx’s nerves tenser by the drifty second.


    “Yes, I remember when they were charged on both of their flanks with impossible odds against them…” Vivid pictures of gut churning violence danced themselves before Nkauchi’s sorrowed eyes, “They tried with everything…” Teeth grinded, and Tears flowed, “And yet, I lost everyone… EVERYONE!”


    Tenx stared onto Nkauchi whom was decaying into a teary state with absolute shock. It immediately occurred to him why Nkachi would put himself through this misery the ale wrought onto him and be fine with it. To forget the horrific past, and live life in peace. His head slowly kneeled when he thought about that, and how much of the terrible ale someone would have to drink in order to reliably forget. Nkachi’s weeping was what pained Tenx the most, for he knew he was the instant catalyst for this suffering. Now’s the time for responsibility.


    With a swift stride, Tenx gracefully embraced Nkachi’s shaking body with his head hugging Nkachi’s own.


    “Fret not, Nkachi. Their souls are in care of the ethereal Old Ones,” Tenx’s hugging hardened along with the pain, “They in their care, would want you to carry their legacies on to you. You haven’t lost.”


    Tenx’s own dreadful memories slowly began flickering themselves yet again, mocking Tenx’s foolish attempt of forgetting them, of FORGETTING a slice of his own soul. However, they never bothered him for he accepted their mocking tirade, and in soon time, appreciated them.


    “Just don’t strike me in the gut.”


    “…What?” Nkachi wearily questioned with teary eyes.


    “Don’t suffer… please. Your suffering makes my gut’s life all the more miserable, along with mine as well.”


    “…I see.”


    In watchful glares of the trees surrounding them, the skinks embraced each other, and wept. The lake rippled in unison, trees swerved in agreement, and the ethereal sun raised. The pain was slowly dwindling away until it became a hardly noticeable vestigial extension of their souls.


    After many joyous minutes, Nkachi and Tenx, separated with the former heading back to the captured skaven encampment in logical anticipation for the coming of Kha’kor’s orders.


    Illogically, the later stayed back, and stared at the lake in all of its beautiful glory. It reminded him of home, and yet it was incomprehensibly so far away. He wondered what will become of him in this bloody future, and if he’ll even survive this war that has already consumed the lives of so much that were uncannily akin to himself. A mental laugh sounded off at those last thoughts. As if i'm any special.


    A loud thump assaulted the still air and tensed Tenx’s heart. He quickly turned around to see an orange crested Skink standing at a height similar to his own. A few seconds later, Hatred accelerated the heart and throttled the nerves.


    “Yolotli.”


    “Tenx.”


    Tenx glared with his claws clenched tightly, “You have guts for showing yourself after what you did.”


    “Indeed, but I didn’t come to you for that.”


    Tenx’s eyes enraged themselves, for they saw Yolotli clearly, and yet reasoning and motivations obscured themselves.


    “I came for… for forgiveness…” Yolotli's heart raced with a kneeled head, “Please forgive ME for what happened yesterday.”


    “What makes you so sure I’ll forget such a treacherous act!?” Tenx yelled, angrily sharpening his golden eyes further.


    “I’m not the one who betrayed you.”


    Tenx’s blood boiled at that wretched utterance, overflowing his senses with pure hatred. His legs instantly jolted into a charge headed straight towards Yolotli without even a second thought. Yolotli wasn’t changing his stance in order to prepare for his charge, much to his amazement. It slightly occurred to him that Yolotli was standing there as if there's not an enraged Skink charging at him with claws hungry for revenge.


    Claw then came into contact with scaly skin, widening Tenx's eyes at such an abrupt feeling he didn't expect to feel. Yolotli’s body fell back-down onto the rough dirt from the inertia of the mad charge.


    Tenx quickly strode onto Yolotli, laying down a furious assault of claws that punched Yolotli’s body from left and right, occasionally drawing blood. After senseless minutes of rage, Tenx’s stained claws shook uncontrollably as they hanged themselves over Yolotli. His soul tainted by the blood dripping onto his victim.


    “…Why? WHY AREN’T YOU FIGHTING BACK?”


    Yolotli awkwardly positioned his claw over his heart, and solemnly smiled.


    “Work on your charging, T-Tenx.”


    The trees stood silent along with the lake’s motionless surface, and the ethereal sun stretched dark clouds across the vast sky in methodical agreement.


    Tenx stared at the badly beaten Yolotli with utter disbelief. That last sentence hanged on him, for he didn't know why Yolotli would say such a thing after being beaten senseless. He knew Yolotli could’ve easily fought back against him, but didn’t for reasons that were beyond him.


    Questions mercilessly barraged his broken mind, and not long after, the golden sheen that beautifully graced the lake, left him.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018 at 6:15 PM

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