Saturday, 12 May 2018

Thy Soul to Keep, Part 6

The Beast's Lair

'Soulchemist. What now? It is days since the Witch Hunter is gone'.
The Skull had kept talking to Kalyustar, even warned him of how the Karadhron Overlords' attack on the Rotmoons would have not pushed the Greenskinz away from the Hurricane Bell. But now, it had begun to be more insistent.
'Seize the opportunity! Can't you feel the Fiends of the Harrowmark is flying over the land? Think of what you could do with the soulstuff that binds it together'.
There was some truth in those words, and he still had a vial of aether-gold he could offer to the Kharadrons for their help.
'Yes! Use the duardin to your ends. You'll then have the power to take your men away from this accursed land'.
There was something in the skull voice. Something akin to a half-lie. And yet, none of its wispered warnings and advices had ever caused Kalyustar any harm.
Pulling the vial of aether-gold from his belt rack, the wizard made his way to the Admiral's quarters.

As the darkness of night gave way to the pale, orange-red light of the Harrowmark brief day, the Olshovilaag crawled back into its lair. Black feathers rustled against branches and bones and even the wailing wind, for a moment, fell silent as if scared.

Kalyustar's plan was simple. He and his men would have goaded the fiend towards the duardin's gunline. When the Olshovilaag would have been on the verge of falling, peppered with aether-shots, he would have funnelled its soulstuff. And even if some duardin ends up in the fiend's belly, it won't be such a loss. Was that his own thought? Or another of the Skull's wispers?

Karol's Cuirassiers spurred their steeds forward, lead balls crushing into the trunks around the fiend's lair. The Kharadron spread, ready to get the Olshovilaag into a crossfire.

With a hear-piercing skreech, the Olshovilaag flew out of the copse in which it had hidden, diving through a volley of shots and onto the Raidho Othala's second-in-command. The Admiral lunged forward, his hammer crushing onto the fiend's hind quarters.

Allerted by the commotion, the Rotmoons scrambled through the ruins of the Kharibdys Occulum. Don't let the savages interfere! They'll waste all your efforts.

The Olshovilaag retreated from the Admiral's fury. Landing with a resounding crash in front of Karol, it sent the Curaissier's horse mad with fear with its terryfing scream.

Kalyustar ordered the Venithyan Marksmen to hold the line and open fire on the incoming orruks. The Rotmoons slowed their advance as bolts whislted around them.

For a second time, thunder roared from the Raidho Othala's gunline.

The fiend burst into a huge flock of ragged black crows, as if its essence was transmogrified at the moment of its demise. Squawking wildly, they wirled in the air and dived towards the entrance of the cave. As they passed over Kalyustar's head, the wizard held the Skull aloft. One single crow halted in the ruddy daylight, slowly discorporating and flowing into the Skull's sockets.
'Good. Good'.

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