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Sarcantasy 100e

12 4 153 (1 Today)
By Grendelkin   |   
Mature  |  Published:
© 2019 - 2020 Grendelkin
Previously, on Sarcantasywww.deviantart.com/grendelkin/…

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His voice rings out from above, clearly audible over the cheering and the roars of the armoured troops looking up at him, pumping their fists at the sky. He speaks, a leader of warriors, a veteran of a thousand times a thousand skirmishes and major battles over the course of an Elf's long life. He speaks, a merciless killer of a thousand times a thousand enemies both within and without: 

"I know what you all heard before we left Aaken! How the King himself wants the return of this insane girl who spat on her family name and her people! How the noble factions are offering secret rewards to have her snuffed out before she can bear the King sons, and give him a true dynasty! How her father is offering even more money for her safe return, in secret! And I know -- I know the scouts and hunters we sent ahead are chattering about claiming her, about creatng true-blooded dynasties for their own Houses!"

The General lifts his left hand to the sky and bellows:

"Forget our child-King on his throne of mistakes! Forget the noble Houses and their stinking intrigue! Forget the fat fool who couldn't raise a proper daughter of the High Kingdom! And forget the childish whispers of the fodder we sent to hold the borders of the Lumberjackfree Forest! FORGET THEM ALL!

I say to you, we are the steel core of the High Kingdom of Elf in the West! We see the right way to go forward! By our sweat, our blood, does the High Kingdom thrive and survive! So a wayward girl fled the High Kingdom, so she can give birth! That is nothing to me, nothing to us! All that matters is this: because she ran, the King has finally unleashed us, the Heart Guard, to drive our steel into the heart of these border regions! Finally, we can do what I have said we should be doing for over a hundred years!"

The armoured soldiers of the Heart Guard howl like rabid wolves, pump their gauntleted fists at the sky, their eyes drinking in the sight of their leader on his high platform.

"WE WILL PURGE THE FOREST!" the General shrieks. "While the fodder holds the border, we will march to the great stain upon these lands, wipe it clean! Then we run down and butcher all who flee us, like cockroaches fleeing the light we will step on them! We will leave nothing alive in this forest that is not Elf! If we find any of the Wood Elves that still dwell here after betraying the High Kingdom in the West, we will flay them, we will scourge them, and we will drag them back in chains to resume their duties and DIE doing their duty to us, their rightful masters!"

"DAM-AZEL! DAM-AZEL! DAM-AZEL!" the soldiers chant, pumping their fists to the rhythm of their leader's name.

"For this glorious and righteous task, our Faerie cousins have bestowed upon us mighty gifts!" General Damazel shouts, and waves his hand at the monstrous creatures lumbering forward out of the sylvan shadows. "One hundred Hoons!"


The Hoons, carnivorous brutes, utter the grunting "HOON HOON"-sound for which they are named. Skulls -- none of them of Elves or Faeries -- hang by chains from their belts and their heavy clubs. Steel wires connect the wooden panels on their backs to the folds of their eyes, their noses, their ears, their mouths; an easy way for the Elves riding those panels to control them. Easy and necessary; never trust a Hoon unless you can hurt it into obedience.


"And! And!" General Damazel shouts as he waves his hand up, up and up. "A bull Urr!"


It should not be possible for something so huge to move so silently, but the Urr somehow manages it, coming upon the Heart Guard and the Hoon unawares. Suddenly, it's just there, appearing from between the treetops. A crew of Faeries swarms around its head and shoulders, manipulating the cranks that tighten and relax the control-wires connecting to its big face, its nipples… other parts of the body.

The Elves fall silent in awe; the Hoon whimper and try to back up, to prostrate themselves.

"The stain will fall!" General Damazel shouts. "The vermin will die! Their blood shall run like rivers! We will brew Ruby enough for a celebration of months! We will plant Snort and Bubblegrass and Starweed and all the other goodly herbs on their lands, which allow us to endure in this dirty and tainted world! Our victory celebration shall be legendary! Our triumph will be absolute! This forest will be CLEANSED!"


The Heart Guard roars.
The Hoons ... go "Hoon, Hoon!"
The Faeries swarm around the Urr, which whimpers and moans as wires tighten -- and pushes down a tree without any sign of effort.
And the crowd goes wild with excitement.

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"Oh, man. Oh, man!" Volamite Number Twelve whispers, clutching his collar close to reduce the amount of light that spills out of his robe. He doesn't think the cheering Elves will notice, but he is terrified that they might.

The Halokai is growling; a soft, but intense rumbling that rises from the depths of his barrel chest.

"Oh, man! Droz, what do we do?" Volamite Number Twelve whispers. "When that fluffy little … when Silva said she saw something bad, I thought she meant more of those zombies, not -- not this! These guys are nuts!"

The Halokai nods, still growling.

"Oh, Droz! What do we do?" Volamite Number Twelve asks again. His bones are rattling quietly as he trembles. "We going for the edges of the forest, maybe try those fodder-guys they were talking about?"

"High Elves," Droz says.

"Say what?" Volamite Number Twelve asks, startled by the tone in the Low Elf's voice. The Halokai stops growling.

"High. Elves," Droz repeats, as he slowly draws his new, magical longsword.
A gleam of orange light travels along the blade's edge.
"Did you know? They're the high lords and ladies of the Legion of Slaves down in the Underground."

The Low Elf turns to the Halokai and the Volamite, and they both flinch at the red fire in his eyes.


"We've got no friend in this forest, except maybe each other," Droz says. "For a given value of friends, yeah? But you know? I still feel more warmly for anyone those bastards are planning to steamroll over than I do for them. You get me?"

"What... what do you want to do?" Volamite Number Twelve asks, bones rattling louder now.

"Those zombies are still out here. They're going to be a big problem for us one way or another," Droz says, his voice low, his words flowing smoothly. "And now, here we've got these High Elves. I figure, I might as well go AWOL for serious; really burn my bridges with the Legion. You guys don't have any bridges with them, so hear this.

You" -- he points at Volamite Number Twelve -- "want to earn EXP. Yeah? Even if we find those zombies again, you can't get any off of them. And we need to get you and Silva levelled up so you can use magic to kill those shamblers before they get us."

"Yeah-yes? Yes?" Volamite Number Twelve says, hesitant.

"You," Droz says, pointing at the Halokai, "want to eat fresh meat. Yeah?"

Slowly, the Halokai licks his chops.

"I know about armies," Droz says. "And I know about High Elves. More than they'd like, I bet. These boys may look hard, but they'll still be smoking Snort and who knows what else so they can "endure this filthy world". There are going to be stragglers, here and there. 

You hear me?"


"What about the big monsters? The Hoons, that ... thing?" Volamite Number Twelve asks.

Droz looks at the Halokai -- and smiles.
"How hungry are you, big guy?" he asks.

The Halokai blinks ... and grins.


"Let's go talk to the girls," Droz says, "and take it to the vote.
We can try to sneak past this bunch, or...
Or we start trailing these bastards. We wait. If there's a supply train coming, we cut them and gut them. If there's stragglers, we take them down hard. We grow strong on the EXP and we loot the dead."

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Team B ... when the vote comes,
WHAT WILL YOU DO?

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Continued at: www.deviantart.com/grendelkin/…
Image size
3424x2032px 2.21 MB
IMAGE DETAILS
Date Taken
Jun 15, 2019, 7:58:48 PM
Software
Windows Photo Editor 10.0.10011.16384
Comments4
anonymous's avatar
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MichaelJohnMorris's avatar
MichaelJohnMorrisProfessional Digital Artist
Time to slaughter these scum.
Grendelkin's avatar
GrendelkinHobbyist General Artist
That seems to be the general consensus. ^_^
MichaelJohnMorris's avatar
MichaelJohnMorrisProfessional Digital Artist
Let the bodies hit the floor!!
HelenMcLaughlinArt's avatar
HelenMcLaughlinArt Digital Artist
I'm with Droz on this one: turn these bastards into exp fodder.