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First Tale of Sir Simon, Knight of The Quest: The One-Eyed Brigand - Part Two PDF Print E-mail
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Written by The Red Cross Knight   
Thursday, 14 May 2009
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First Tale of Sir Simon, Knight of The Quest: The One-Eyed Brigand - Part Two
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 THE ONE-EYED BRIGAND - PART 2

In which a cave is invaded, a magician finds power, a terrible evil is unleashed, and a guard captain gets his brutal revenge 

 

A few seconds passed, then the explosion blew rock and dust off the walls of the cave mouth and shook the trees around the cave entrance like an earthquake. Marcelles reared and Sir Simon hefted his blade, twirling it in the night air. 

“FOR THE LADY!” With his cry, Sir Simon spurred forward into the smoke filled cave entrance, with Otto and his men baying like hounds at his heels.

 

The explosion had been sudden and powerful. One Eye’s men lay dead or writhing in pain at the front of the cavern, while others, shocked by the tremendous force of the blast, stumbled numbly away towards the rearmost caves. One Eye knew what the blast was and immediately started pushing his way towards the rear of the cave, making for the leather curtain that marked his inner sanctum. That was when the knight tore through the smoke-filled entrance, followed by a group of howling mercenaries. One-Eye’s single bulging eye widened in surprise as he recognized the caravan guards and the knight from his earlier raid. As one of his men burst into flames, One-Eye caught a glimpse of the wizard who must have cast the fireball that heralded the surprise attack. What had happened to the thrice-damned sentries then? Incompetent wretches! One-Eye’s thoughts were whirling as he pushed and shoved through scrambling bandits, shouting out orders to form ranks and fight back. Some of his men complied, but most just drunkenly threw themselves at the warriors in the cave’s mouth. Trapped like rats in a hole, the brigands could do little but desperately fight back and hope to escape. Some had already slipped past the intruders and now ran off into the dark forest, screaming in fear.

 

Ignoring the whimpering prisoners who scrambled to find cover at the back of the cave, One-Eye reached the curtain and swung it aside, entering his sanctum. He closed the curtain behind him, and seized the bloody rune-inscribed axe that lay on the crude stone altar in the middle of the room with his meaty hand. One-Eye hurriedly began chanting the invocation his Lord had whispered in his ear many nights ago, when he had first been gifted with the hideous weapon. The stone was still occupied by the freshly mutilated corpse of a sacrificed merchant and he bathed the axe in gore as he chanted. Now was his chance to truly earn all of his Lord’s favor. The whispers started again in earnest and the blade seemed to scream with hunger. One-Eye knew that the Murderous One had heard his prayers. The whispering voice told him as much, encouraging him to single-handedly finish off the intruders who threatened this holy space. Swinging the mighty axe in a bloody circle above his head, One Eye whirled about to face the entrance to the small cavern as the leather curtain was flung open. 

 ************ 

Sir Simon’s charge would have made many a Bretonnian noble proud. Brigands scattered under the pounding hooves of Marcelles as the knight’s mighty blade rose and fell almost too quick for the eye to see. The sword flickered out and a rogue stumbled back, a bloody gash were his eyes had been. Rising and falling, rising and falling, Sir Simon was like a windmill of death and destruction. Yet, he did not just fight without a purpose. He slowly cut a path towards the back of the cavern, where he saw the prisoners, huddled in a corner for protection during the chaotic fighting that now roiled in the cave. His blade hissed again, leaving another bandit laid open to his ribs and Simon continued onwards. 

 

 

The brigands in the cave were many. In his time, Jean had recruited almost a small army to his command and the cavern was quite large. Otto and his men had used the surprise of their sudden attack to their advantage. The old mercenary was fighting like a beast, his hammer swinging in might arcs as his men pressed their advantage over their drunken foes. Otto was laughing as he fought. He had not had a battle as good as this since he had battled against the undead at Hell’s Fen with the old Ostland Corps. The hammer checked a sword swing, whirled in Otto’s surprisingly deft old hands, and thumped into the chest of bandit trying to stab him from the side. This was excitement the old man had not known in years, a fight that most caravan guards could only dream of. These bastards had slaughtered his band of mercenaries earlier this day and now Captain Otto Spiegel was repaying them the favor with a steel hammer and strong arm. 

 

Otto shouted orders to his men as they hacked their way through the throng of ill-prepared bandits. His men made for the back of the cave as well, hoping to reach the prisoners and then fight their way out to the woods. It was an ambitious plan and with the spells of Josef Brugel beginning to flicker through the huge cavern, quite a plausible one. 

  

Josef Brugel had been a scholar all his life. He had joined the Colleges of Magic when he was but a boy, learning and studying all that he could as he grew. As a wizard, he had never been particularly powerful, so instead of galavanting with armies he had simply studied more books and wrote more texts. Now, as he strode through the cave blasting his hard-learned spells into the face of despicable enemies, Josef Brugel was reborn. He felt power singing through his veins that he had never known before. The surge of energy before each spell exploded into the air left his heart pounding and his blood pulsing. Josef felt like an unstoppable god of war, a veritable Sigmar, blasting his magic into the faces of those who tried to run at him with their simple clubs and knives. Fools, he thought as his next ball of flame chucked a bandit across the cave, fear the wrath of Josef Brugel, wizard of the Colleges of Magic!

 

The fight was almost too easy. Now he understood was his fellow wizards always talked of the thrill of battle and the excitement of combat. This was an experience like no other. And the spells, the spells came to him with such ease and power. He had never felt this way before. The mercenary captain who had held such a low opinion of him earlier would have to eat his hat after this. He was outclassing even the knight! In the mad rush, Brugel caught a glimpse of the bandit’s leader ducking into a cave behind a leather curtain. Here was a fitting challenge for a god of battle such as Josef Brugel! He would expunge this bandit leader like a man might crush an angry ant. Blasting a rolling ball of fire ahead of him to clear a path, Brugel charged forward, drawing his sword for the first time as he did so. Whispering the words that activated its magical properties, Brugel smiled as fire licked up and down the blade. Cutting down two more bandits with a suitable flourish, Brugel threw aside the curtain to the leader’s cavern, preparing a spell to throw into the man’s face. He was greeted with a horrific sight. The words of the spell died on his lips as Brugel released an ear-splitting scream of terror and pain. Gone was the unstoppable god of war. There bandit leader stood covered in blood and gore, whirling a howling axe above his head and screaming a violent war cry, but that was not what had staggered the now-howling Brugel. 

 

It was the sigils, the carvings and symbols that covered the small cave’s walls and the gruesome stone altar in the center of the room. Brugel’s clothes were ripped to shreds on his body as he screamed in pain. He felt the presence there, malign and powerful, thundering through his feeble magic defenses and ripping into his terrified mind. Brugel wept tears of blood as his skin was cut a hundred different places at once by something that ripped into the very core of his soul. The wizard fell to his knees, still releasing an unearthly shriek. 

 

Marcelles reared as Brugel’s screams cut through the cavern. Combat seemed to cease as men turned to face the crumpled wizard. Sir Simon’s pommel stone was glowing with an intense light as he tried to clear a path to the howling wizard, who had fallen to his knees in front of the entrance to a smaller cave. Suddenly, right before Sir Simon’s startled eyes, Josef Brugel’s chest exploded in a welter of gore. The bandit who had been blocking the knight’s path was spattered with burning blood and screamed as it ate into his skin. Sir Simon’s shocked eyes remained fixed on the body of Josef Brugel and he reigned in Marcelles before they got any closer to the gruesome sight. Brugel’s chest was pumping an unnatural amount of fountaining blood and yet the wizard was somehow still alive, his terrified shrieks piercing through the cavern. Some of the prisoners in the back of the cave wailed in horror at the scene unfolding before them. 

 

That was when the arm emerged from the gaping hole in Brugel’s chest. It was red-skinned and ended in a vicious black claw that seemed to drip with blood. Even Sir Simon had to resist the urge to cry out in horror as another arm, then the head of a monster was revealed slowly out of Brugel’s chest. The wizard’s eyes widened in shock and his screams grew louder as a full-fledged lesser daemon, a blood-letter of the horrendous Khorne, emerged from his shattered chest. The daemon was cackling as it impossibly pulled its bulk out of the wizard’s torn body and stood up to reveal its full height to the horrified onlookers within the cavern. The monster was tall and unnaturally lean, with skin that seemed to seep with blood, and its bestial face was terrifying to behold. One of the black-clawed hands reached back into the wizards chest and drew a long, vicious two-handed sword made of some jagged black metal. 



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 June 2009 )
 
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