The fall of Blackwatch keep (unfinished)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
An unfinished fantasy short story; please tell me what you think!

Submitted: August 26, 2014

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Submitted: August 26, 2014

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The fall of Blackwatch Keep

 

PART ONE: THE ENEMY

Maldep stood in the midst of Blackwatch keep, savouring the gristle that only man-flesh could provide. A red, snake like tongue slipped from behind ivory teeth and made a noise like an eel sucking the blood from raw meat. He cast aside the lifeless body of the Paladin like a child’s doll. The necromancer lord addressed the cloaked figures that had watched him for the three minutes that it had taken to suck the warrior dry. His voice dripped with malice, like honey blackened by taint. As he spoke, his deep ebony eyes swept across the room. “I thank you for your patience, oh children of the betrayer lords.” At the mention of their lords, the figures threw themselves to the ground and chanted in the tongue of the Mortus gods. Maldep raised a black, gauntleted palm, wisps of taint billowing off from his spidery fingers. The cultists stopped immediately, sharply drawing breath through their rotted lungs. “Now then,” Maldep continued, the ghost of a smile playing on his blood stained lips, barely visible from within his plate mail armour. “Blackwatch has fallen. With contemptuous ease, we are victorious. The last of the Paladins is slain. The children of the deadened ones have brought them glory.” From the boughs of a nearby tree, a figure notched an arrow to a long, yew bow. The figure muttered into his roughspun cloak. “Not the last paladin, braggart…” a shaft tipped with cold steel, trailing jet black feathers flew through the crisp forest air.

 

PART TWO: THE SECRET

2 WEEKS EARLIER

“Falden! Gardrun! Fall in!” Bellowed Captain Barjhran, her cropped, raven black hair reflecting the little sunlight that flowed in through the once green leaves of the Watchwood, now slightly darkened by the cloud that had fallen over the wood weeks ago. The two recruits marched up and gave a mocking salute. “None of that, ye’ll be reported to Lord Blackwatch. Now, get on the Ren-Damned wall. The lord don’t like this cloud an’ nor do I. You two passed archery with flying colours, if something comes, it’s you I want shooting at that something.” Falden kept a straight face until she turned away. He then pulled a sarcastic chiding pose at Gardrun in an uncanny impersonation of their captain. Gardrun sniggered. Barjhran whipped around, her piercing blue eyes momentarily flashing red as she issued a low growl.  She blinked, hard, shook her head and gave a terse smile before walking off and barking some orders. The recruits turned to each other, daunted. Gardrun walked to a weapons rack and grabbed two long, elven yew bows, throwing one to his friend. He then selected a quiver of arrows, each tipped with raven feathers. He slung both across his shoulder and walked up the solid oak steps leading to the keep’s battlements. He hollered down to his friend. “Falden! Bring us some bloody Gnomefizz!”

“We’ve been ordered to guard the wall, Trollpiss!”

“The wall’ll wait, scum f’r brains! When I need my bloody Gnomefizz, I need my bloody Gnomefizz!”

Falden sighed. “Oh, by the fates… I’ll get you your bloody Gnomefizz, you piece of bloody Gobflem…”

Gardrun smiled sweetly back at him. “Thanks, rotskull!”

 

PART THREE: THE FALL

3 HOURS LATER

The recruits sat on crates, meaning that their helmeted heads just showing over smooth stone battlements. They sipped from flasks of Gnomefizz, the pale green brew tasting like hundreds of tiny daggers piercing their tongues and throat, cascading down and beating back the chill of the darkened Watchwood.

“Say what you will about the little mushroom farming buggers, they make damn a good brew!” yelled Falden.

“I’ll drink to that!” laughed Gardrun

“That’s what you’ve been doing for three bloody hours, drunkard!”

“Hah bloody hah.”

That was when Falden fell off the wall.

 

PART FOUR: THE SHOCK

 

Gardrun yelled and leapt to the battlements, not understanding how his friend had fallen from his point on the crate. He looked down, expecting to see Falden hurt, in pain, perhaps wounded.

 

What he did not expect was an army of ghouls fighting over his flesh.

 

PART FIVE: THE ASSAULT

 

Gardrun would never know how the ghouls had gotten so close to the Keep. He screamed an alarm to the other guardsmen. The door of the Black Spear tavern burst open, and every guardsman who had been drinking ran out, swinging pikes.

They climbed to the walltops and began fending off the ghouls that tried to climb up. Gardrun screamed for them to go down, to rescue Falden.

A firm hand grabbed Gardrun’s shoulder. He turned to see captain Barjhran, her face fiercely beautiful but stony with determination. “I’m sorry about your friend, recruit, but we can’t afford to lose any more guardsmen. Now, I need you to run to lord Blackwatch. He can help us. Go now, we haven’t time to argue. Go!” As he ran, he heard her grunt in pain. He turned to see a green tipped javelin protruding from her shoulder. He kept running.

 

PART SIX: THE LORD

 

Gardrun burst into the mead hall of Lord Blackwatch to see him, fastening on the straps of his dull grey armour, his earthy grey beard prematurely streaked with worry-induced silver flowing down his broad chest.


© Copyright 2020 Kurt Wagner. All rights reserved.

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