Sunday, 4 March 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 1

The Well of Souls

The Balemoon had risen every night since Kalyustar had found the shadeglass skull. The voices had come even more often, and by the Balemoon light they spoke of the Shattered Circle, where the souls of those dieing in the region were drawn. There, Kalyustar could find his lost men. If only he could continue to evade van Toorn. He had left the Witch Hunter for dead, but knew that it took more then some spirit hosts to do away with the Azyrite. And then, next to the Balemoon, Lunaghast had appeared. 'Follow the Balemoon now, Soulchemist! Use the secrets unveiled by Lunaghast to rejoin with your men'. Kalyustar looked up at the two moons and knew that was right. His men had died for him, they deserved a new life, a new chance to fight.

The morning mist was lifting as Kalyustar and Lucius left Wörtbad and made for the clearing were the ruined dais known as the Shattered Circle laid, trapping the souls of the departed.

They were almost at the clearing when they spied the Rotmoons in their elaborate armours and ruffs shouting cheerfully in the direction of a crew of Kharadron also converging toward the Circle.
"It seems the orruks are invoking the Code of the sky-pirates" wispered Lucius arming his repeater crossbow.

"We better..."
Kalyustar did not hear Lucius finishing his phrase. The wizard's attention had been caught by the low moaning of a spirit host, floating around as if searching for something.

An enourmous hook wistled through the woods, impaled Lucius and then dragged him towards the Kharadron. Kalyustar barely heard the guttural laughs of the orruks as he found himself repeating a cantrip the voices were wispering.

The spirits heard the cantrip and were drawn in the open, there to be caught by the rays of the setting Balemoon. As their essence dissipated, Kalyustar moved forward and trapped it in the shadeglass skull.

The Kharadron advanced towards the Circle, more of their kind approaching from the east. Kalyustar could not understand why, but they too seemed intent on collecting the souls drawn to the Circle.

Pieter van Toorn slowly advanced through a decrepit graveyard. Although he loathed Lunaghast, he had to admit that the Dark Moon had indeed revealed him where to find Kalyustar. Yet, he stopped, realising the Rotmoons were striking an alliance with the Kharadron.

The main group of Kharadron halted, listening to the orruks' offers. In response, one of the duardins rushed for Kalyustar, menacingly swinging his sky-pick. The wizard took a step back and out of his robes tossed a glimmering vial at the duardin's feet.
"Perhaps you should reconsider your priorities, master Kharadron, if nothing else, for this aether-gold".

Screaming in frustration, Kapitán da Leeva charged in, his pistol firing a mixture of rock salt and screaming gheists. The apparitions dragged the duardin away, leaving Kalyustar at the mercy of the orruk's cutlass.

Grinning, van Toorn prepared to charge. No one but him would have the wizard. The sudden arrival of a Rotmoon halted him on his track. He readied himself to take the charge, yet the orruk never made to him. As the brute stepped into the Balemoon light, he fell to the ground, his soul dragged toward the centre of the Circle.

Spitefully, the orruk's soul took a Kharadron with it. Orruks and duardin's were now fighting to claim control of the Shattered Circle. Kapitán da Leeva pistol continued to spit salt and gheists.

van Toorn let them fight. Their quarrels were none of his concerns. When the Kharadron withdrew, their arcane devices loaded with souls, and the orruks disappeared into the woods, the Witch Hunter gestured to the men that had been hiding in the graveyard.

"Those were the Raidho Othalas, they ship-wrecked during the last storm and..." the man's word died on his lips under the Witch Hunter's stern gaze.
"Keep your local news for yourself. I'm not interested in those Arkanauts, yet. This wizard left me at the mercy of Sigmar's enemies. That's a grievance I have to settle."

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