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View Full Version : Trollkin Wars: The Riders March revisited



kerensky
04-02-2010, 04:40 AM
Heya,
A couple of years ago I posted a few chapters of a story i started writing. Had some time off. Posting up the last chapter i was up to to reinvigorate the story (making changes for the changing storyline and such). Will be starting some fresh posts very shortly. But here's a sample piece for Trollkin Wars: The Riders March.

P.S: Bare with it, taking a few posts to get it all to fit.

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He felt pain.
The effort to keep his eyes open was tremendous however he did it anyway. Devlyn Stonerider felt the urge to die and yet his will to live was still winning the battle.
With more precious effort he pulled himself to his feet via the mechanical spear he had acquired, the wounds on his right leg and his chest refusing to heal. The land around him had gone silent, the battle long over. There had been shouts of man, but those faded with time. The sound he longed for, those of his fellows, had thus far eluded him but he still had hope.
Another labored step away, the spear then his left leg. The spear again, then his left leg.
He still had hope.


.........You never realize your mistakes until they happen.
His mind was elsewhere, considering bigger things. The great Ironhide was returning from the north, following the same path Devlyn had cut on his journey south to join the great Trollblood effort. Rumors had already spread that the Kegslayer was coming down, something that made Devlyn Stonerider smile with thoughts of great drink and song to be had soon enough. While the leaders looked for more kith, the Stonerider had taken his wandering Kriel north of the Crael Valley to disrupt Cygaran attempts to reinforce garrisons hurt by Trollkin raids and depleted by the war with Khador. He had his victories, destroying men and jacks and killing at least one of the humans vaulted warcasters. There were patrols assigned purposely to detecting the Kith of the Stonerider and so far two had not returned to their posts. In an attempt to protect the valley he had changed course west toward the Gnarls, maybe with Cygnar following hot on his heels.
He should have been paying attention.
Devlyn felt the tingle in his neck seconds before the first shot, his shouts of warning in chorus with the sound of bullets.
His kriel spun into action, some feeling the pinch of mans sting but ignoring the smallest of wounds.
Around them was man and his many mechanisms of war, awaiting the joining of battle in ambush.
"Kriel; to battle!" Devlyn roared, rearing his mighty Bison Bol and turning around to his left to charge. He choose a line of man and stampeded at them. In the corner of his eye he saw Tassia Hammertune order the Kriels Warriors forward, Gorrow Axeblocker sending his loyal band of Champions into the fray. The Impaler Trolls Nev and Chuck stood back to back and reached for their weapons, the Bouncer Swin looked for Devlyn and followed him as fast as it could run. Laughing in his mad battle howl, Elmo sent a spray of bullets into the ambushers, his mighty Dire Troll counterpart roaring at the sight of an incoming metal beast of Cyngar.........


The pain was intense, but he had felt it before and defeated it. He never lost.
He had lost once today though, he reminded himself.
Devlyn continued his slow pace, attempting to find some familiar terrain. Everything around him was foreign, a feeling he would no suffer in the Khadoran heights.
Would he ever see his home again?
But how many of his Kriels elite would see home again? He couldn't remember who lived and who had escaped.
A sound brought him back to reality. He stopped, barely breathing as he tried to hear but no more sound came. He hoped it was kin, but he couldn't remember who could come. The thoughts still came back to him muddled, probably a result of his fall. He hoped it was a war beast, so he could tap into the link to heal himself. He hoped it might be his faithful stead Bol.
But it would not be Bol.


..........Devlyn let out a cry of triumph as his chained ball crushed through a line of human infantry and turned their position into a grave. Through the gap he made charged the full might of his Long riders, the veteran warriors trampling over any not fast enough to escape. The sounds of battle made hearing any single cry impossible. He felt the link of his beasts as they joined the fray. Pulling on the link between himself and the Dire Troll, Stonerider leached the primal rage that empowered those massive beasts and used it to increase his own strength. Turning his Bison around he saw the retreating form of a Cygnaran warcaster. Through his own similar power he felt the presence of two more warcasters in the area, this one must die to give the Trollkin any chance of success. Kicking Bols flanks, Devlyn tore through the distance between himself and the retreating humans. Behind him the Long Riders finished off the line of humans who tried to obscure the landscape with smoke. Raising his chained weapon high, Devlyn brought it down at the warcaster, who dodged the blow and attempted to return the strike. Rearing up, Bol slammed both his front hooves into the Casters chest to send the human reeling away. From the corner of his eye Devlyn saw a warjack point its cannon at him, the warlock turning toward the threat just as the cannon fired..........

Devlyn Stonerider said a quick prayer to Dhunia, telling her to treat Bol as one of her favorites. And the Trollkin who would not return today.
Taking a misguided step, Devlyn collapsed to the ground with a heavy thud. Grimacing through the pain, the Trollkin yelled insults at himself for being here.
Alone, crippled, defenseless.
"Fool!" He screamed, standing again and leaning on the spear. "I am Devlyn Stonerider, I never surrender!" He took a more careful step forward, wondering if he should return to the river.
No, the humans may have seen him there.
He wondered about his comrades, he wondered about his faithful Troll Swin.


........Picking himself carefully off the ground, Devlyn disengaged himself from the gory remains of his Bison Bol, enraged at the death of such a longtime companion. Staring forward madly, he sighted the warjack and began a forward pace. Reaching back, Stonerider grabbed his shield and brought it before him in one hand, the other spinning the 'Ol Ball and Chain' around his head. The warjack took another step forward, offloading another round of its heavy bore gun. Ready for it, Devlyn deflected the round off his shield, the hard iron armament screeching under the assault as metal sheared off the front of it. Devlyn closed the distance between them quickly, coming into melee and striking the metal beast across its face. The ball jolted the warjack backward but it stayed on its feet. The warjack had its own weapons, the hammer coming up to return the favor to its foe. Before it could lower the hammer, a chained weapon caught the arm and pulled it away. Devlyn looked over to see Swin grunting with strain, locking the warjacks arm away to keep his master safe. The warjack began to pull back against the troll, knowing eventually it would pull free. Devlyn did not give it the time, swinging his weapon over and over again across the body of the warjack. Metal shattered and the warjack collapsed in pile of metal, water and mud.
Devlyn did not get to celebrate his victory, the stinging touch of human magic crossing his back and shoulders. Howling in pain he transferred as much of the pain as he dared to Swin, feeling guilt for returning its loyalty with such treatment. The bouncer didn't even flinch as he turned to face the new threat. The warcaster limped to his side, his armor wreaked from Bols last act of violence. He raised his hands to fire off another bolt of arcane magic but Devlyn raised his shield and blocked the attack. A fresh roar of pain from Swin got Dev's attention, a human slugger position opening up on Swin. The war beast learn t quickly, raising his own shield to block the attacks.
Beast and Warlock stood back to back, stopping the hail of bullets and magic that was determined to end them.........


Such loyalty should always be rewarded. Devlyn reminded himself of the lesson taught so many years ago by his father. As seasoned a warrior as the Stonerider was, as feared and respected as he was, he wondered how his father would have fared with the current fate of his son.
Many times today death had reached for Devlyn and missed him by inches. In some cases it had claimed friends instead.
The river was as calm as it had been when he had left it. Upstream where he had entered the water it was more of a torrent, but here all was calm. His decision to return to the river was one of logic. Maybe the humans had seen him use the water to escape, but so had the Trollkin. If they looked for him, the river was where they would start.
Again he heard the sound of something rustling the forest, Devlyn froze in alarm. Again it passed without revealing its identity.
Could it be Swin? The Troll had been alive when the battle had ended for Devlyn. Maybe his champions, Long Riders?
He hoped it wasn't Big Al the Dire Troll, who would be wild now without Elmos calming influence.

kerensky
04-02-2010, 04:41 AM
.........The assault was broken by the form of the battles largest combatant entering the fray, 'Big Al' catching the extremely surprised warcaster in both hands and rending him into a red mist of chunky blood. The sight of a leader being torn apart sent many of the nearby men away in fear, but the man behind the slugger stayed his post. Bringing his gun up he opened fire on the Dire Troll. The bullets hit the beast but did little to stop its momentum. Stuffing the remains of his prey into the gaping maw of its mouth, the Dire Troll began a lumbering trek to the gun position. On top the beast Elmo pointed his own slugger and opened fire, bullets bouncing off the protective plate protecting the Cygnaran. The human regathered himself and fired another volley. Tired of taking the pitiful fire, Big Al raised an arm and used the hard growths on the back to block many of the shots. One of the bullets struck a growth and ricocheted upward to strike Elmo in the chest.
Devlyn yelled in surprise, the Pygmy falling to the ground to die in front of his Troll companion. The sight of the dead Pygmy sent Big AL into a frenzy, the beast leaping across the battlefield to tear apart the gun position. In a flurry of metal and anger the restraints around Als arms broke and the Slugger fell from his back to crush the human attempting to flee the distraught beast.
Devlyn disengaged his mind from the Dire Troll, unable to control it now. The Dire Troll finished its destruction of the offending slugger and charged into another mob of humans.
Free from their own situation, Devlyn directed Swin to follow and the duo headed into the thick of things.
He saw the reassuring sight of Tassia leading the Trollkin and felt sure victory would be in their grasp.........


He knew he hadn't known Elmo for long, the little guy had still managed to win a place in Devlyns mind as a great warrior. Even a Pygmy, he fought with a ferocity not unlike a full blooded troll and a determination to bring glory to his fellow Pygmies.
Sitting down, Devlyn lowered his right leg into the water to let it wash the wound. Blood ran down stream and the icy touch of nature relieved some of the pain he felt. If one of his beasts was near, he wouldn't feel any guilt at healing himself at their expense. He just needed the relief.
He had been injured before, many times. Looking down at the spear lying on the ground, he never felt so defenseless. Even with so many friends gone, he mourned the loss of his weapon and shield. Both gave all they could to allow Devlyn to live.
To avenge the lost.


.........The light warjack unloaded an armor piercing round that shattered the great shield Devlyn held before him. Pieces of hot metal hit the Stoneriders chest and scarred flesh in blinding pain. Stumbling, Stonerider ducked below another shot meant to slay him, Swin moving in to engage the small Jack in melee. A second shooting jack was sent flying back by the flying spears of Nev, the Impaler dumping its empty spear bag and picking up the bag no longer of use by the slain Troll Chuck. Despite the years spent alongside its fellow Impaler, Neville ignored whatever pain it felt to charge in at the fallen warjack. Beside the new struggle Swin was finishing off the other jack, its weak Axe unable to threaten the troll.
Behind Devlyn there was a shout, and Stonerider turned in time to see Tassia Hammertune fall to the strikes of two Warcasters......


"Oh, Tassia...." Devlyn mourned. She was the only Trollkin he had ever shared himself with. Their daughter Avon would understand, the glory of battle was one taught to all in their Kriel, but it would not stop the child's cries.
Shaking his head clear, he heard more sounds, a rumbling, a sniff. Loud, uncaring.
Dire Troll
A second sound came, similar but lower pitch.
Two Dire Trolls.
Devlyn sank into the water as both beasts came into view, touching their minds carefully. One was wary, the other less so as it pointed at the Warlock in the water. As the first roared in challenge its companion gestured toward itself and the first fell silent. Devlyn reached for the spear as the Dire Trolls stepped forward, but the beasts were faster.
The smaller beast grabbed Devlyn roughly around his chest, the stinging pain of previous wounds calling. Without thinking Devlyn tried linking himself to the Dire Trolls for relief and found one was friendly. The other was wary, but the smaller was ready to accept orders. Devlyn felt his wounds heal, the sapped Dire Troll grimacing but not angry. More carefully then it had picked him up, the Troll lowered Devlyn to the ground and the Lock settled himself on his left foot. Seeing his distress, the larger beast picked up the spear and thrust it at Devlyn handle first. Stonerider grabbed it quickly and leaned on it for support. The pain was subsiding now, he would be as good as new in a few minutes.
Able to stand he looked over both beasts, looking over them. He saw what he was hoping, the smaller Dire Troll had marks around its torso where it had once been chained.
"Big Al?" Devlyn called to the beast.
The smaller Dire Troll took a step back, holding up a hand to show its Warlock what it held. Inside its massive hand was a scarf, red with stains of blood. It had been Elmos.
Devlyn came forward, watching the unfamiliar Dire Troll cautiously. Reaching out, he took the scarf from Al and tied it around the beasts thumb. Al raised his hand, looking at the cloth ring and smiling it its primitive way.
Looking to the larger Dire Troll, Devlyn crossed a fist on his chest and spoke to it. "Kol'aran, Devlyn, Munosh"
The words identified him to the Beast, the old tongue taught to him by Doomshaper in case the need ever arose. The Dire Troll looked him over, its mind opening to Devlyn slowly but surely.
"Kol'aran'nog, Vera'ashen." The Dire Troll rumbled.
Devlyn nodded, patting the beast on its leg. "Glad to have you with us, Vera." He looked around, hearing fresh sounds to the south. "Lets go find you some food."


.........His weapon shattered across the hull of a light warjack, Devlyn tore its spear from the dead metal hands and drove in at the offending warcaster leading this push. The end of the spear pierced the warcasters leg, the human screaming in pain. Beside him a younger human, a familiar looking human, raised a pistol into Devlyns face. The Trollkin put his hand up and soaked the blast in his palm, transferring the pain to the nearby Nev. The Impaler roared and sent his spear in at the offending human. The man moved but not fast enough, the blow glancing his shoulder. He rolled away to get behind a tree, the men at his command following suit. Around them the battle was dying faster then the troops, both sides taking heavy losses and unsure who would win. Devlyn pulled the spear clear of the human and aimed another thrust, the human darting away on his good leg. Devlyn turned to follow and was slammed back by an Arcane blast.
His mind was clouded by pain radiating from his right leg, he could not transfer the damage from himself. Around him Trollkin began to pull back, two of them grabbing their injured leader. From the flank roared the Long Riders, strafing across the face of the Cygnarans to distract. Shots were fired but none fell, the distraction working.
"Retreat to the forests, regather later." Devlyn ordered his fellows, tearing himself free of the supporting trollkin. He lunged forward, a focused spell of great power hitting the ground between him and the humans. The ground trembled and Cygnarans darted in all directions. The Trollkin and Trolls melted into the forest, darting in all directions. One of the human casters, one Devlyn thought he had defeated when he began his campaign, pointed to him and yelled instruction. Several rifle baring men regathered their bearing and raised guns, but were cut down by fire from Devlyns rear.
Laughing, the Pygmy bushwhackers evaporated back into the forest, having bought their Warlock seconds. Without thinking Devlyn lea pt over to the opposite side of his men, rolling down a hill. Shrubs struck him all over. He rolled on until with a splash he landed in the current of a river that carried him away from the warzone.......

kerensky
04-02-2010, 04:41 AM
With his two beasts in tow Devlyn returned to the battle zone, to find it a stripped waste land. Fires from destroyed warjacks burned innocent forests and the smell of rotting flesh did nothing from Devlyns gullet. Both Dire Trolls took advantage of the situation, glutting themselves on the carcasses of fallen humans. There wasn't many of these, the humans taking what they could before leaving.
Retracing his steps, he found the place Tassia Hammertune fell. Her body was there, peaceful in death for someone who had lived such a war torn life. Not wanting to leave her like that, Devlyn gathered his strength and blasted the earth beside her. The ground was gouged several feet but it wasn't enough. With spear in hand he began to dig the grave, widening it slowly. Without being asked Al stepped over and used his massive hands to enlarge n the hole with little effort. Giving the beast a thanking glance, Devlyn picked up her body and placed it in the hole. Al covered it over with two handfuls of dirt, Devlyn falling to his knees and siting the rights of burial he had been taught. Part of him wanted to take her body home, but he knew her wishes.
"Leave me where I fall, bury me there so all Trollkin will know where i fought" She had told him, not long after they began their journey south to this fight.
Rustling in the bushes warned Devlyn to the presence of others and raises his spear in alarm. Both Dire Trolls raised their heads and watched as a number of Trollkin stepped out of the forest and walked over to their leader.
Gorrow Axeblocker surveyed the scene, saluting Devlyn with respect. "Sir, I have regrouped our soldiers. We shall be gathered here in a few minutes."
Devlyn rose, patting the champion on the shoulders. "Good, thank Dhunia we have warriors left." He watched as many trollkin stepped forth, champions and kriel warriors mixed together, a tighter bond between both groups then ever before. Stepping heavily came the Long Riders, the remaining riders saluting Stonerider as they trotted past.
A fresh roar turned Devlyn as Swin and Neville came out of the thick woods quickly and took up position on either side of their warlock. Their minds opened to him and he felt their protective instinct around he who provided them with food and kills. He ran a hand over Swins damaged armor, the beast looking down in curiosity. "Do not worry, Swin, we will repair our damage and return the favor to the humans." Devlyn assured, turning back to Gorrow. "The Cygnarans?"
"Returning to their camp. Fletch and his Bushwhackers are tracking them." The veteran watched the trollkin scatter over the battle site, gathering bodies for burial and metals for recycling. One Champion lifted the remains of Elmos slugger, a prize they had to keep. The reminder of death filled Stonerider with anger, the Warlock walking across the field and seized the slugger gun. Hoisting it up over his shoulders, he yelled to his Kriel. "Gather quickly, and we will regroup. The humans shall have NO rest, they're victory will be a small battle, while we celebrate victory with brew drunk from their SKULLS!"
The Kriel cheered loudly, the returning wildlife scattering around them. The day had been lost, but the war wasn't over yet.

To be continued.........

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ForsakenPoptart
04-02-2010, 08:17 AM
This is pretty good! I can't wait to see more!

Ingensus
05-15-2010, 05:59 AM
This stuff is really well done!!! Keep up the good work.

Mr.Sunshine
07-23-2010, 04:31 PM
That is a brilliant piece of work! written really well, looking forward to more.

Poor elmo :(