Saturday, 12 May 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 5

The Witch Hunt

"Other duties call me, Pieter of the Order of Azyr". The massive shape of Lord Ironfundson was silhouetted against the sickly light of the Haunted Gate as he spoke to van Toorn.
"But I have a mission for you. After capturing the Hurricane Bell, An'sec is channeling its power to unspeakable ends. Strike him now, and reclaim this land for Sigmar."
"My Lord..."
"Do not worry, child of Sigmar. I've sent for help. Farewell, Pieter van Toorn".
The Lord-Ordinator took a step into the Gate. His shape shrunk into the greenish glow until a short figure in a longcoat stood in front of van Toorn.
"Well, manling, it seems we go hunting together again!", the voice came through a thick, orange-dyed beard.
Van Toorn smiled. None of his hunt with Avram the Unforged had ever failed.
From a copse some distance away, Kalyustar's gaze followed the pair taking the path to the Hurricane Bell. For a moment, he thought that a subtle laugh came from the shadeglass skull hanging at his belt.


Not far from the Hurricane Bell, An'sec glided over a stone altar. The Book and candles were ready, his retinue stood guard around him. The time was nearing.


Avram and van Toorn had separated their forces in three groups, barring all escape routes. Still undetected, they advanced upon the ghast's ritual circle.


Suddenly, something stirred in the perennial dusk of the Harrowmark. The Withering Serpent had come, wispering to An'sec of the coming attack. His ghost riders darted to intercept Avram's party.


Karol the Cuirassier was the first to fall, shortly followed by Esteban the Piper and his W├Ârtbader companion. Avram and Lucius Scopos stood their ground.


Van Toorn and his men easily broke through the shambling Deadwalkers that had risen to oppose them.


As Avram banished a spectral ghost after another, van Toorn's pistol barked loud and then the Witch Hunter's zweihander plunged through An'sec.


More Hexwraiths swarmed around Avram. When the Unforged's Khazalid dirge died on his lips, An'sec flared with fell energies. His Balesword darted up, straight for van Toorn's heart.


On the very edge of life, van Toorn looked up at An'sec. He had almost condemned the ghast to a fate worse than true death. But An’Sec had prevailed. 'Shyish, the land of endings', the old saying came unbidded to his mind.
AN’SEC. RETURN TO NAGASHIZZAR. RETURN. THE CITADEL IS UNDER SIEGE. BRING THE WHITE LADY.
He heard the voice, a voice not intended for the hears of living men. And then, like dogs summoned to a master’s side, the Knight of Shroud and his servants were gone.
Darkness descended upon Pieter van Toorn.

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