While the carnage of the battle of the Southern Gatehouse was taking place, across town another vicious battle was taking place, The Battle of the Pits!
This account is written by Neil and I thought it was class so I have blogged it here.
The Hidden Thirteen
Amongst the shadows
The red robed creature flew backwards in a shower of black powder, flame and blood impacting against the rough wall of the mine shaft, lastly sliding to the floor and leaving a dark stain of blood against the wall. The sword that it was holding landing nearby and scattering along the coal coloured floor.
His killer, a gaunt faced man with deeply set eyes, shadowed under a wide brimmed hat and swallowed within a dense, dark cloak stood over him. muttering,
“And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he rose against me I caught him by his beard and slew him.”
The corpse twitched in response, a last flood of blood pumping from the chest wound but the hunter was already moving on.
Behind him his twelve followers spread out into the ruin of the mines, fearful of it’s dark secrets but more fearful of the hunter, their leader and jailor, whom was both terrible and spoke with the will of Sigmar himself.
Wulfhelm was on the floor, his helmet dripping blood matting within his blonde hair, the Northman mewing in pain from the arrow that had lain him low. The hunter paid him no attention, instead pointing his smoking heavy pistol to the mine entrance indicating the war band forward.
Lei Hung, the Neponise girl scanned around her and pointing her crossbow towards the shadows. Behind the hunter she cursed Shannow inwardly to herself. It was her curse to be caught by him stealing from the farmstead six moons before and his offer of repentance down the barrel of his two heavy pistols had led her here. I will kill him one day she thought to herself, but not now, it was better for her that he was alive as this place, this dead city was more dangerous still. When he leads us from here, she thought, then will be my time and when I go I will leave him at the gates with my sword in his gut.
Behind her came Merrick and the rest of the band. They all had their stories of how they had ended up in the Hidden Thirteen, all were innocent yet all were to blame for the crimes that they had sworn that they had never done. They had nothing in common except for two things, their universal hatred of Shannow and their fear of him. He would lead them to repentance whether they wanted it or not.
Ahead of them red robed figures began moving out of the smog which hung heavy around the mine their skin-sewn unholy symbols pulsing in the gloom and hurting the eyes.
“Beasts of the Damned…” shouted the fat priest with spittle spraying from his mouth, shouldering past Lei Hung and lifting his two handed war hammer above his head. Fool, she thought, let you be the next to die. She swept left looking for an angle between the two advancing warbands so she could put her crossbow to good use.
At the head of the war band she could see Shannow advancing on the cultists his two heavy pistols booming in his hands. He intoned;
“And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his fathers sheep and there came a wolf and a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, go send the hound to free it and show our Lords wrath.”
Lei Hung sighted her aim at a large, muscle warped creature barging towards Shannow by smashing it’s way past a ladder. Her crossbow bucked in her hands as the two warbands clashed in the smoggy entrance of the mineshaft.
Twisted fortune; warp and damnation
The last of the cultists faded into the gloom leaving the Thirteen bleeding and breathless amongst the fallen corpses of the injured and dying. The smell of gunpowder, blood and sweat hung heavy in the air causing Lei Hung to breathe through her mouth. Holstering her crossbow she slipped from her hiding spot on the stairs and walked towards the remaining hunters. Shannow, as ever stood apart from them, peering into the gloom ahead his demeanor calm and unchanged after the swirling melee. Hundan, Lei thought to herself quietly cursing him. How can he be so calm? She had seen him in the thick of the fight, guns blazing and striking down two of the cultists before being set upon by the two hulking possessed leading the mob. Something in his icy calm and loud recitals of the Book of Sigmar must of unnerved the possessed as to her amazement they instead fled before him signaling the end of the fight as the courage of the cultists broke.
Already the warband were stripping the dead of their possessions whilst others were looking around the shaft for the prized warpstone, the ruby red rock with black seems that fortunes were made of. Lei cared little for the rock, her salvation was one of survival and freedom.
Merrick joined her, the wiry Brettonian climbing the stairs whilst watching his fellow looters.
“Look Lei, over there” he said pointing towards a mineshaft.
Lei looked over and her lips curled in disgust as she saw the Interrogator. The only loyal servant of Shannow and with a warp mind little better than the cultists that they had fought. He was leaning over a dying cultist with his dagger pressed into his cheek. Lei could not hear the words he was whispering into the cultists ear whilst his dagger scored tormented flesh but she knew that his death would not be kind nor silent.
Lei and Merrick walked to Shannow both wanting to be away from the morbid work of the Interrogator. Shannow was now forward of the group, kneeling and examining the dusty floor with his hands. He glanced up at them when their shadows crossed his path.
“They have taken Jonas” Shannow said by way of fact, no emotion in his voice.
“See here, someone was dragged into the shaft” he continued pointing to a hole in the ground further on. Lei walked towards the hole her fingers tracing her sword as she moved closer towards its blackness. Shannow was right, by the edge of the pit were signs of blood and also a fallen spear, one of which she recognized as belonging to Janis by the painted kill marks on its shaft.
“We will see Janis no more” Shannow said standing next to her. “There is freedom in absolution” he continued before walking away.
Merrick muttered “I’d rather freedom without absolution thank you very much.”.
Lei snorted in agreement unwinding her long black braided hair which she had tied up in anticipation of combat and letting it hang as a panther tail down her back. Unnoticed to her, Merrick turned away, pretending to be looking around the mining village to hide his desire to star at Lei’s beauty. She was the only one of the war band that he actually trusted and he did not want to spoil their friendship by being caught gawping like a fool. He saw to one side a wooden building, ramshackle and leaning to one side but with a heavily padlocked door. Nudging Lei he pointed towards it;
“Maybe something of worth in there Lei” he said with a sly grin. Lei smiled in return whilst checking that the others were busy elsewhere. “Lets take a look”.
Together they approached the shack and found little difficulty in forcing the door as although the metal lock was sound the wood surrounding it had long aged.
As they pulled open the door and peered into the room, the smell of the creature locked within the cage inside blew out in to the fresh air. The creature, starved and thin but still twice the size of either of them growled at the unaccustomed light.
“Shannow….” called Merrick over his shoulder.
“Ogre……” said Lei to no one in particular.
The abridged version...... Lano got his arse handed to him on a plate!
The abridged version...... Lano got his arse handed to him on a plate!