Monthly Archives: June 2015

A nasty surprise; from The Claws of the Earth Part IV

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Rimyar looked at the wagons and the men taking food and water out of them to prepare dinner in big cauldrons for a multitude of thousand men. There were few guards, but all the men with the wagons were armed and partially armoured.

‘The outer wagons are less watched and protected,’ observed one of the scouts.

Rimyar nodded, he had noticed it too. ‘There, on the other side are ten wagons practically left alone. Let’s destroy them.’

‘It will be dark in about an hour,’ the scout said, looking at the setting sun. ‘We’d better get moving.’

Two hours later ten wagons stood burning and several black-armour lay dead on the desert sand. Rimyar was satisfied with the result, but feared that guard duty around the wagons would be stepped up.

‘We’ll deal with that another day,’ he decided. ‘We’ll leave them be for a few days, let them think it was a onetime incident. Make sure our force stays well out of reach and see to it that their scouts, who will be sent out, won’t find us and if they do that they don’t return alive.’

For three days nothing happened as the ink stain lumbered on, but on the fourth night quick shadows moved between the wagons in the dead of night. Rimyar wanted to know what was inside those wagons besides food and water.

He listened to the rhythmic snoring of the two beast-men sleeping under the wagon and waited for his companion to join him.

As the man joined him, he nodded. The others had found three wagons loaded with water barrels and were now drilling holes in them.

Rimyar pointed two fingers to his eyes and then at the sleeping beast-men. His companion nodded as Rimyar quietly entered the covered wagon. Once inside, he lit a small lantern and held his breath in shock as he faced a life sized statue of Hodulu with outstretched in welcome.

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A piece of bad luck; from The Claws of the Earth Part IV

Claws 4 Complete design edit

The black-armoured commander enjoyed the forest in the early morning. The sun was filtering through the leaves, making drops of dew sparkle like diamonds. He liked the serene quiet and the smell of the place; he could live here when the war was over.

Sighing happily, he led his horse off the track to look at his troops when his happy thoughts were shattered. Before he could give any warning, two long and heavy tree trunks swung into the troops from the sides of the track, crushing troops between them.

The commander was too stunned with surprise and shock that it took him some time to react. The same happened to the troops. Once they had recovered they were all flat on their bellies, looking around in bewilderment.

‘Goshuk,’ the commander called from the forest floor.

‘Yes?’

‘Go see if anyone survived those tree trunks.’

‘Sir.’

It was a haunting and gruesome task the officer went on. He found blood, guts, and bones all over the place. ‘No survivors, sir. Eight dead.’

Slowly the commander climbed back to his feet and scanned the forest around him. The very place that had looked so beautiful to him a few moments ago, now looked threatening, dangerous and menacing.

‘You two,’ he pointed to the men in the front. ‘Go scout ahead. We don’t need more surprises like this. You two scout the flanks. The rest get back to your feet and start moving again.’

Slowly, the soldiers got to their feet and started to move again, looking all around with their weapons at the ready.

From high up in the trees, Lagona and a few of his companions smiled at each other. A series of whistles went up the track from treetop to treetop.

In the afternoon the black-armour were all at ease again, sure that it had been a hunter’s trap they had stumbled upon.

Clouds started to gathering in the sky, blotting out the sun. Looking up, the commander feared rain was coming. that meant stopping sooner than planned to build shelters, for they had no tents.

A big cry rose up half way through the column and all soldiers were on the ground again in a second. The commander cursed and rode back to finally see two blocks of wood with long spikes in them swinging over the track at almost ground level with four bodies stuck to them, blood dripping to the forest floor.

The commander cursed softly inside his helmet. What was happening here? Who were they fighting? 

To be released in november 2015

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Aunt Celinda; from Claws of the Earth Part IV

‘Aunt Celinda?’ Rimyar asked with awe.

‘She’s a magic-user,’ Baringo explained. ‘The general thinks we need magic to defeat the black-armour.’

Rimyar looked at the general. ‘I thought all the statues were destroyed in the north.’

‘Yes, but in the border region they are reappearing, as your scout found out. So we need magic to destroy magic before we can use steel to defeat steel.’

‘There are more magic-users among the tribes. I’ll see if I can gather them all here,’ Rimyar said thoughtfully.

‘That sounds like a good idea,’ the general said. ‘Let’s go, Baringo.’

‘Are you sure you want to visit Aunt Celinda?’ Rimyar asked again.

‘Yes, I am. Why?’

Rimyar gave the smiling Baringo a fleeting glance before saying; ‘She’s quite a piece of work.’

‘I only wish to talk to her,’ the genereal said. ‘What’s the harm?’

They rode to the canyon that was Baringo’s home and dismounted all the way in the back by the entrance of a cave. A faint light shone in the back of the tunnel.

Baringo heaved a sigh and entered the tunnel, followed by the general. The tunnel made a sharp turn to the left to end in a high-ceilinged spacious cave. Water trickled down from one side to form a small pool. Most of the floor was covered with carpets and rugs and pillows in all kinds of contrasting colours that could be seen by the light of dozens of torches, candles and lamps burning all over the place. Mirrors, crystals and well polished metal reflected the light to the darkest corners of the cave and was most painful to the eyes.

In the centre of the cave on a pile of pillows a stunning beautiful woman with grey in her black hair lay, sultry, looking at the visitors. The moment she recognised her cousin she was on her feet in a ruckus of rattling bracelets on her arms and lower legs.

Baringo cringed and bit his lower lip before he said; ‘Dear Aunt, this is—‘

The rest was lost as her flat hand hit him on the cheek with a loud clap.

‘You have some nerve, cousin, showing up here again. And you don’t have to tel me who he is. I know who he is.’

‘How do you–?’ General Fingers began, when he too was hit.

‘Be silent soldier boy,’ she spat. ‘I first have to deal with this upstart before I will pay any attention to you.’

The general blinked, flabbergasted, while rubbing his cheek, wondering how she knew who he was.

‘But Aunt Celinda, I had no choice. I had to answer Rimyar’s call to arms. You have seen the result,’ Baringo said, trying to calm her down.

‘Yes, an overcrowded bad-smelling town growing out of nowhere. Rimyar should’ve stayed where he was. Nothing good ever comes when it involves the empire. Be it with them or against them.’ With that she stretched her rattling, bracelet-covered arm and lifted General Fingers of his feet to float him directly in front of her. ‘Hm, yes, he looks about right,’ she mumbled. ‘A little older than the dream foretold me, but hey, let me also have my fancies. You have a tatoo?’

The general blinked at the abrupt question and pulled his head back, as hers suddenly moved forward so the tips of their noses almost touched.

‘A what?’ he asked softly.

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A late visitor; from Claws of the Earth part I

As the Dog entered his room his accute senses of smell and sound told him that he was not alone. He casually walked in and placed the candle on the table where he lit the lantern to have more light. He put his cloak over the back of a chair and looked out of the window.

‘You can show yourself or you can be killed,’ he spoke icily.

Two bloodred eyes opened in the dark corner of the room as a pleasant voice said; ‘For a moment I thought that the famous senses of the Dog were nothing but fables.’

‘I knew you were there the moment I entered,’ the Dog turned. ‘Who are you and what do you want?’

‘I am Sunderbahn,’ he bowed with flourish. ‘Spy extraordinair and come to offer my services.’

‘Why?’

Sunderbahn was taken aback a bit by that simple question as it had not been asked him before very often.

‘As you noticed I can get in everywhere unnoticed to gather information for my employer, useful information. And as you are on the winning side–.’

The Dog smiled. ‘For now, the moment the table turns you’ll be in the other camp selling me out.’

Sunderbahn’s face didn’t change, he kept silent.

‘You will work for whoever pays you the most and switch sides on a moments notice. Give me a good reason to trust you?’

‘What you say is true for my profession, but I am different. When I’m paid I always see the job through to the end.’

‘Well, I’m not the one who’s having the money, that’s the king, so I can’t pay you anything.’

‘But I have very important information for you, definitely worth something.’

‘Do you now,’ the Dog sat on the bed taking off his boots.

Sunderbahn moved extremely fast and noiseless to stand in front of the Dog. His eyes burned. ‘You are about to be attacked.’

Before Sunderbahn could do anything the Dog knocked him over, sat on his chest and pointed the barrels of one of his guns on the man’s nose.

Sunderbahn was confused and shocked.

‘Now tell me something I didn’t know,’ the Dog spoke threateningly.

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