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Animatronica
06-21-2010, 05:21 PM
The sun was slowly climbing down behind the Snow-capped mountain range before Zarrath, he watched the light fade from Orange to a dark bruised crimson. Pennants atop a row of white tents snapped in the wind, all displaying the Menofix of the Creator.
The Camp was a hive of activity, Priests and acolytes rushing to whatever tasks they busied themselves with. Closeby, a Vassal Mechanik struck his hammer along the length of Warjack armour, beating out dents and remaking the piece to its original splendour. The innate form of a Crusader stood, as if watching over the furnace, and the missing sheets of metal from its carapace standing out in stark contrast to those that remained. A Choir of Menoth chanted litanies to the creator as the Vassal carried out his work, sanctifying the metal with every strike, and infusing it with holy power.

Zarrath was a member of the Knights Exemplar, his distinctive helmet with its reverse crest and grim face-mask marked him as one of their order. He had completed his prayers to the Creator in his simple barracks tent and he was now taking his time to survey the encampment, he liked to do this on the eve of battle, in case it would be his last time. He had fought in many battles and slain many frightful denizens of the Iron Kingdoms, and he hoped he would continue to do so for much longer.
He passed a throng of Zealots, men who had left their wives and children in defense of their homelands and their faith. He thought for a moment of what life would have been like had he a family, and whether he would be any happier. But quickly he knew the answer, it was always the same, he had no room in his life for such things. He was entirely devoted to the Creator, it was because of men like Zarrath that these men could have families at all.
He reached the edge of the camp, where Temple Flame Guard stood their immobile watch over the Dark forests and the lands beyond.
The screams of the Wracked Cygnarans at the edge of the camp began to reach him, along with the faint waft of incense from far away. They were Cygnaran Trenchers, survivors of a patrol clash several days ago, he had been there when the men were hoisted to the rack by their former comrades, several of whom had eagerly converted to the glory of Menoth and now swelled the ranks of the Zealots back in the camp. Some within the Protectorate did not believe these individuals fit to serve in the armies of the Creator, but if you had been born and raised into a society that repressed any knowledge of the one true God Zarranth thought it only fair to grant the men a second chance, to serve gloriously as his hand to atone for past sins.

Animatronica
06-21-2010, 06:25 PM
He turned and walked back into the camp accross the grassy ground in the dying light, his thoughts turning to the Battle to be had the next day. The converted Cygnarans had eagerly turned on their former allies, betraying the location of their encampment to prove themselves. The High Reclaimer had taken what they had said and stared into each of the men's souls, gauging whether they were worthy to serve, Zarranth had been there when the Reclaimer had brutally struck one of the men without a word, rendering him to a pile of ashes and gore. The Reclaimers weapon was a wicked barbed creation dubbed Cremator, none would ever challenge the High Reclaimer's actions, as he was a vessel of Menoth's divine will, some said the god himself whispered to the man telling him the names of those to be slain. What the High Reclaimer himself thought of this none would ever know, he had taken his oath of silence long ago when he had taken the garb and duties of the Reclaimant order. The man who had been slain was clearly some kind of Cygnaran spy or too weak of will to serve Menoth himself. As he reached his tent he looked about the camp, Acolytes were beginning to light Braziers about the grounds to maintain visibilty and again the sweet smell of incense reached his nostrils. He pulled the flap of his tent aside and stepped through the opening into the simple room beyond, all that was inside was his bedroll accross the floor along the right hand side, a small chest containing his few personal effects ,his travel pack containing his civilian clothes and habit and a few small objects near the bed, a servant at some point had left him a plate of Bread and Meat. A Gold Menofix hung from a loop sewn into the tent accross the back wall, it glimmered as he took out a tinder box from the chest and lit a small oil lantern, it cast its lazy glow accross the inside of the tent and he removed his helmet, placing it to one side he began to unstrap his armour and remove it piece by piece until he stood in his underclothes, he sat on the bedroll and consumed his meal before praying and turning in for the night, eager to do battle the next day...

Zarranth marched with his brethren, holding aloft his Mighty Relic blade as they advanced on the Cygnar encampment, his brother Knights Errant had scouted out the camp during the night and assessed the number of enemies present as well as the number of Warjacks present, it seemed the force was fairly strong and a Hammersmith jack had been sighted as well as a pair of Defenders, easily identifiable by their twin Cannons.

The Errants had begun the Battle in ernest, the first sign of their presence had been the black arrow fletchings appearing in the sentries' chests. Men were shouting and running to and fro, raising the alarm as the Menites closed on the camp.
Zarranths group of knights strode forward relentlessly, closeby the High Reclaimer was wordlessly commanding the Menites into different battle positions, assigning each arm of his force a task, alongside the Warcaster loped his Devout Warjack Redoubter its smooth pointed head looking about for any potential danger to its charge. There was a sudden series of cracks and Zarranth saw a group of Cygnaran long-gunners had managed to take up positions to the left and were firing on the Zealots as they charged in flailing with anger, plumes of blood erupted from the backs of several as they were taken out at extreme range. As their forms crumpled, Zarranth saw Orbs of light wrenched from their bodies by the High Reclaimer. He was taking back their souls so that they may continue to serve Menoth, even in death. His eyes began to glow a fiery Orange and sigils began to play about the air around His hands. Within moments the Zealots had reached the Long gunners, though half of their number now lay dead on the Battlefield, as they closed in Zarranth heard the distinctive crump of their crafted Fire bombs erupting, the soft Cygnarans began to scream as their flesh was burned hideously, those that survived were quickly clubbed to death by the frenzied Mob. Before they could celebrate their victory they were blown to shreds by heavy-bore rounds from a Defender's Cannon as it strode surprisingly quickly from behind a row of tents. The surviving Zealot charged, a wordless scream on his lips, but with a swift motion the Defender had dispatched him too.
"There stands our target men, Destroy this Blasphemous Machine!" The Warder of his unit Dal'Leh turned to his men Clenching his fist.
They raised their blades and Charged at the Machine, it turned to face them, they were Fifteen Meters away from it and closing, Its Cannon roared and two of the Knights were blown asunder, a shower of limbs and ornate armour, this served only to enrage the knights further and before it had another chance to fire they were upon it, hefting their mighty blades at the weakest points of the mighty machine's armour, Zarranth's Blade sheared into the arm joint mounting its cannon. A normal blade would have been laughably bounced off the thick Metal of arm, but this was no normal blade. It was a Meter and a half long Relic blade of the Knights Exemplar and Zarranth had trained every day with it for as long as he could remember, he had slain monstrous Helljacks and hideous beasts with it, and he wielded it with the Zealous rage endowed upon him by the Creator. The Heavy Blade sheared through the arm and it fell with a heavy thud to the ground, Steam and Smoke gushing from the wound. It brought its great Hammer down toward Halesh, another Exemplar who nimbly danced aside the Blow before cleaving the Hammer itself in twain. Dal'Leh Drove his Weapon into the Jack's face, destroying it instantly. Within moments, the once proud machine was reduced to scrap by reapeated blows of the Knights' great weapons.

Spooker
06-22-2010, 09:05 AM
Good Story so far.
Keep writing, I enjoy the action.

take care

Animatronica
06-28-2010, 04:54 AM
(Many thanks!)

Zarranth looked around him as Dal'Leh ordered the knights to return to formation, a squad of Cygnar trenchers had appeared and were beginning to draw a bead on the knights with their rifles, almost instantly, clouds of magical roiling black ash appeared between the two squads and the Trenchers' commander ordered them to halt, knowing they would only be wasting ammo to fire through the thick black cloud.
The newly re-crafted Crusader Flamewarden had appeared and it was barrelling towards the Cygnar lines, obscured to Zarranth by the thick ash. The High Reclaimer was striding forward, looking thunderously at the Cygnar encampment, flames where wreathing his arms and his battle-staff and he looked for all the world like an avenging god.
Redoubter was deflecting what zarranth assumed were Trencher rounds until it too became concealed by a cloud of sorcerous ash, The knights began to advance through the cloud closest to them, until they reached the other side and charged headlong into the startled Trenchers, several fired rounds at close range, one hitting Dal'leh accross the pauldron knocking him off his feet but doing no serious damage, within seconds close quarter combat was engaged between the two groups of men, and though the Trenchers outnumbered the knights Three to One, the odds still looked in their favour, as the Relic blades began their whirling dance of death, Cygnaran after Cygnaran was struck down, Zarranth could feel the rage of the Creator in his bones, urging him onwards. To slay and Exemplify the misguided.
He had slain Three Trenchers already, their prone forms in the dirt behind him as he clashed blades with their Sergeant, a grizzled veteran who looked as though he had fought in many engagements, Zarranth had the upper hand until the Veteran managed to bring his rifle to bear and Zarranth was just a moment to slow to react.
It fired, and for a brief moment Zarranth's world was filled only with the loud noise, and then pain.
Blinding agony flared accross Zarranth as he fell, a chunk of his head missing. So this was how his service would end.
He suddenly felt at piece lying on the dirt, he hadnt remembered falling, but he looked up into the sky surrounded by the screams and shouts of battle. He no longer had any idea how the battle was going and he slowly felt his life-blood drain away.

Suddenly an orange glow beset the edge of his field of vision, growing steadily brighter. His nostrils filled with the smell of Incense and he heard a powerful voice speak his name, "Rise Zarranth, i still have use for you. You shall not die this day"
He felt cool and tranquil and the pain had subsided, before he knew it he was back on his feet, relic blade in hand, he looked about him, the rest of his unit stood about him, even those that had fallen earlier in the battle. He didnt question the fact, he was merely grateful for another oppurtunity to serve. He raised his Relic Blade and with an angry shout, ran forwards into the last few Trenchers, in moments they were all dead. Very little in the Iron Kingdoms could stand up to the charge of a full unit of Knights Exemplar.

The Second Defender was closeby trading blows with the Crusader, which looked badly damaged, though its fury had not diminished in the slightest.
The Knights charged forwards to the Great machine, striking it from behind with unbelievable force. They angrily raised their blades against it, again and again, hacking apart more and more of the machinery as it struggled to come to terms with what was happening to it, moments later it lie on its back, The Inferno mace of the Crusader smiting it over and over as well as the Relic Blades of the Knights.

The Battle had been won, there was no sign of a Cygnaran Warcaster though it was thought that whoever had been in charge of the Encampment must have fled at the sheer destruction cause in a matter of moments by the Menites.

The High Reclaimer stood in silent prayer to the Creator as Acolytes picked over the ruins of the Camp for anything that might be of use, and the Knights Errant were hot on the trail of whoever had fled the camp.

Zarranth removed his helmet, he look it over and saw the Ragged tear down one side of it where the gun-round had struck him. He anxiously raised his hand to feel the side of head, not knowing what he would find, his fingers reached his head, but he felt only his skin and hair, seemingly the wound had been miraculously healed, to allow him to carry on fighting. He offered a silent prayer to the creator that he had been deemed worthy and replaced his Helmet, striding towards Dal'Leh to await his new orders.