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 The Hunting Party

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Shelena
Champion
Champion


Posts : 57
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Join date : 2012-03-25
Age : 34
Location : Denmark

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Primary Warband played: Middenheimers Middenheimers
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: The Hunting Party   Mon 26 Mar 2012 - 3:09

The Hunting Party

- Mordheim?!
Matthew looked at his young master in dismay.
- Why in Sigmar's name would we go to Mordheim?
Sir Nicholas yawned and looked out the window. Autumn was drawing to its close. The sky was grey and the smell of wet leaves clung to their clothes like a scent of decay. He was bored. Bored with the castle and its fainted tapestries, bored with the feasts and endless toasts in his honor, bored with the village and its plain girls. It was all so trivial. The young master looked at his seneschal.
- Bigger prey, he said and smiled.
It wasn't a nice smile and he wasn't a nice man. Matthew knew this, but through the years he had come to accept the flaws of his master. He had known him from child. He had seen him molest animals, bully his peers, and mistreat women. He had done his best to do what the noble's father had failed to do, but his endeavors had come to nothing. Bad blood ran in the family - poor inbred bastards! Even the Lord himself had a streak of madness and his late Mistress had done herself in as a result of his perverted cruelty.
Five months ago the first rumors of war reached the castle and soon after the Noble and his two oldest sons joined the Empirial forces - leaving the youngest with an empty castle and little less to do but hunt and drink and whore.
- Prey? he asked, looking confused. - But there is nothing in Mordheim. Nothing but...
A sudden thought made him hold his tongue. He couldn't mean...
- Wyrdstone.
The smile grew bigger.
- And where there is wyrdstone...
Matthew's face turned pale and even in the warm light from the fireplace, he looked like a man facing death.
- But Sir! They are people!
Sir Nicholas laughed.
- People, eh? They are villains, fanatics, beasts, and monsters. They are far less innocent than the cute little rabbits we returned with this afternoon. While dear dad is fighting equals who's only fault is being born on the wrong side of the border, we will go to Mordheim. Assemble the men!
- There are no one left, my Lord. Your father took them all with him. You know this, he added with a wry smile.
- Right, said the nobleman. He looked thoughtful. - Whoever you can find, then. The son of the blacksmith. He has come of age, hasn't he? And Thomas, the hunting master. You can even take my valet, though he won't be of much use, I'm afraid. He has been a great disappointment.
Matthew sighed and reluctantly went to do as told.

---

Matthew looked apologetic at Robin. The boyish girl had uttered no word of objection when he had passed over the commands of their master. She had managed a weak smile and began packing at once.
As often before he felt the regrets of getting her the place. It had seemed such an innocent lie. With little men left in the village, the housewives could do without help, and she had been unable to make a living. Futile attempts to make it as a bawd in the camps outside the city had left her starving and even less womanly. Only her eyes still held the warmth of a women - her body was that of a lad. And as such she had pleaded him for help, and he had yield. The former valet had just lost his place to one of Sir Nicholas' whims and it had all seemed so simple.
But then he had seen her eyes when the master was about, and he knew she would have been better off starving.
- We will die, you know, he said.
She looked at him and nodded.
- I know. But if only I can get him to see me first..
He sighed and only hoped she would meet her death before that happened.

----

- I won't go! the boy shouted in a weak attempt to drown the sound of hammer against steel. He looked furious and a sword-in-progress suffered from his misplaced wrath. - I won't!
Matthew smiled.
- You will. We all will. We have no choice and you know it. Going to Mordheim is our only chance, if we want to live. It's a slim chance, but a chance never the less. Get ready, lad. We'll leave in the morning.
John watched the seneschal leave the blacksmith. He then removed a treacherous tear with his dirty sleeve, leaving his face even more sooty. It could have been sweat, he thought to himself, it could have been sweat. Then he threw the sword into the hearth with a roar and sparks filled the air. The sword turned white and then friable - a waste of steel, a waste of life.

---

An arrow passed him and almost nicked his cheek.
- Be reasonable, Thomas!
The hunting master never removed his eyes from the target.
- Move, he said. His voice steady as his hand.
- We have no choice! Matthew cried.
- They told me I was too old for war. I'm definitely too old for suicidal missions.
Another arrow passed close by and hit its target. Matthew stubbornly stayed where he was.
- You are too old to die? he snorted.
His old friend laughed derisively.
- He can fight his own fights. No more, and that is my final word. I taught him to shoot. I should have taught him to be a man, but that was your job, wasn't it?
Another arrow. Matthew sighed and finally moved.
- I'm sorry, he said in a low voice and left.
The hunting master lowered his crossbow.
- Me too, old friend, me too. His voice was barely audible.
Then he gathered his vast amounts of hunting bows. They would need them.

---

They left in the morning. Sir Nicholas was in fine feather and whistled a well known tune. Something rather sultry, if Matthew weren't mistaken. Robin looked almost happy. Madly in love with a madman, Matthew thought. John didn't mutter a word. He looked at every tree, every stone, as if seeing it for the very last time. And perhaps he was. Thomas looked as grumpy as a dwarf, righteous as an elf, and fierce as a mercenary, and Matthew thought it best not to look twice. Instead he turned his eyes to the sky. A storm was coming.




Last edited by Shelena on Tue 27 Mar 2012 - 2:34; edited 1 time in total
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Squig
Captain
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Mon 26 Mar 2012 - 3:53

Simply wonderful. I like your writing style. Wink

Keep up the fantastic work! Very Happy
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Shelena
Champion
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Primary Warband played: Middenheimers Middenheimers
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Mon 26 Mar 2012 - 4:37

Fluff is the easy part! Now I somehow have to convince myself not to let the characters get in the way of actually playing to win Rolling Eyes

And yes, there are more fluff to come. We have a rather fluffy take on our campaign, and the warbands have tons of crossover relations. For instance, Sir Nicholas has a bastard half-brother who is now the - equally mad - carnival master of a Carnival of Chaos warband. In our test games they never were in line of sight, so they are yet to meet. Also, one of my henchmen units are runaways from a Sisters of Sigmar warband...

Anyways, I foresee I won't be able to help myself. Our battle reports will most likely come with bits of fiction as the story unfolds Wink

And thank you! It's been years since I last wrote anything not work-related in English. I'm happy it's not that bad Very Happy
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DeafNala
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Mon 26 Mar 2012 - 11:10

VERY WELL WRITTEN! thumbsup Morheim is one of a new genre of war game; i.e., an adventure skirmish game. AND what would an adventure be without a story? The background fluff makes the game SO MUCH MORE than rolling dice, pushing around some minis, & figuring out who was victorious. SO keep writing along with the painting, modeling, & gaming...throwing in a few photos of the games wouldn't hurt either. clown
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Tue 27 Mar 2012 - 18:16

Very well written! I hope to hear more of their adventures.
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Stronzo
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Wed 28 Mar 2012 - 2:00

Oh you will Smile as soon as we get our new gaming table done Smile we plan to do fluffy battle reports of every game Smile
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Shelena
Champion
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Primary Warband played: Middenheimers Middenheimers
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Wed 28 Mar 2012 - 2:44

For starters I need to actually paint the warband - and since I'm still awaiting the arrival of the final bits (Female Heads and Amazon Torsos from Micro Art Studio Miniatures) I am yet to assemble Robin and one of my henchmen groups... But I have loads of stories in my head Smile
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Shelena
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Primary Warband played: Middenheimers Middenheimers
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Mon 9 Apr 2012 - 3:38

Part two

John looked as crestfallen as ever.
- You are not alone, Matthew said.
They had just crossed the River Kolpin and the lights of Welleborn served as their benchmark. The blacksmith gazed at him and snorted.
- No? Right you are, old man. There is Robin the Lean, Crazed Sir Nicholas, Old Grump Thomas - and we are all following the same path to the Netherworld. Not alone. You've been watching me for days and that's what you came up with?
Matthew smiled.
- I know what you left behind, he added. He wanted the boy to talk - wanted him to spill his rage.
- You do, do you? So you know of my father. You know we've received word of his death. Not an honourable death, no no. He died trying to stop a fight among his own.
- I know of your father, yes. He was an honourable man, and the honourable men are always the first to go. There is no honour in war. A good Captain is a man who can make decisions worthy of villains and still have the heart of his men. He can command you to commit an atrocity and you will do it - for brotherhood, for your country, for the loved ones you left behind. Doing wrong in the name of something doesn't make it right, son.

John laughed and looked almost as mad as their Captain.
- So a good man is a dead man?
- No, Matthew replied thoughtfully. - A dead man is a dead man. And the deaths of good men are the casualties of war.
- You are wrong, old man. The casualties of war are the loved ones, you speak of. The wives and children unable to support themselves, when men are forced to fight the wars of others. My father could be spared. His son had learned the trade and could have supported her. If it wasn't for you, that is!
- Your mother will eat with the womenfolk at the castle. I saw to that before our departure.
John opened and closed his mouth several times and looked very much like a fish.
- I didn't know, he finally said. - Thank you.
Matthew patted him on the back.
- It's my trade, son. I'm payed to be one step ahead. I know what... Crazed Sir Nicholas wants, before he does. Tell me - what does that make me?
They both laughed.
- But that was not what I meant. Robin, Thomas and I - we all served Sir Nicholas. But take a look at the henchmen. They are like you. Common men forced to leave their trade and families. They were chosen because they participated in a shooting contest on the grounds this Spring. They know how to handle a longbow, but they are farmers, nothing more. And they were deemed too old to fight in the war. Thomas and I are veterans, but it's been ages since I last killed a man. Robin has never laid hand on a weapon. And Sir Nicholas - he's the greatest shot around, but you'll never know what he will shoot at. You are neither unfamiliar with weapons not too old to use one. You are our ticket home, son. You will save us.
He watched John look at the henchmen. The features of the young boy softened, and Matthew knew his words had hit their target. Words had always served him better than steel. Commands, he thought to himself, commands too are made up of words.
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Shelena
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Mon 9 Apr 2012 - 3:42

Part three

In Krugenheim Matthew took Thomas to the fletcher's for supplies. Looking very much like a monk returning to the Great Cathedral of Sigmar after a pilgrimage, the eyes of the hunting master filled with tears of joy. He treated every piece of craftmanship as either a rare relic or an old friend.

- You knew I needed one more war, Thomas said, slowly caressing a hunting arrow.
Matthew smiled.
- And the blacksmith. What did you give him?
The seneschal looked somewhat affronted.
- Don't give me that look, old friend. I know you too well. You're still doing their dirty work, and you'd never offer anyone gold.
- Very few people really want gold, Matthew said in a soft voice.
Thomas looked amused and Matthew sighed.
- Purpose. I gave him a purpose.
- That easy, huh? Thomas chuckled, but halted seeing Matthew's dejected looks.
- They need someone to follow, Thomas, the seneschal said.
- And so they follow you, old friend. Even I, even though I know your trade. I followed you when you were the Mouth of the his father, I follow you now. I've always wondered how you got out, though. But a man who can talk people into war, can probably talk himself out of one.
- I struck a deal with the Lord. And it took his son to dishonour it.
They both laughed. Thomas shook his head.
- Trust the beggar, you said. Trust the beggar, never the Noble. That was the first lesson you taught me.
Matthew sighed.
- And I was right, wasn't I? The beggar, the whore, the thief on the scaffold. They may not speak the truth, but their lies hurt no man.
- Matthew the Mouth, Thomas muttered.
- Thomas the Falconeer, Matthew replied.
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Thu 12 Apr 2012 - 21:16

MAPS! Good use of the maps to give us a sense of place. I'm enjoying learning the background of your characters.
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Shelena
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Fri 13 Apr 2012 - 4:17

Thanks! Any kind of pics are great for fluff. Massive text is just a bit too overwhelming Smile
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Spectre76
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Wed 25 Apr 2012 - 9:48

Nice! I love backstory to a warband. It really gives a more fleshed out feel to everything, and makes the extra time and effort put into your group all the better! Keep up the good work, and I look forward to the next installment.
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PostSubject: Re: The Hunting Party   Today at 11:12

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