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The fall of Esk; Rattsu fluff part 3
Topic Started: 30th July 2004 - 05:11 PM (620 Views)
Rattsu
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

[Part 3]

[Day 29]



Esk was burning. The chaos horde that had been held back for a few days had overrun the town, the houses ablaze, the last defenders desperately trying to buy time for their retreating comrades. From nowhere the Orks had struck, the two tides of warriors, one of men from the north, one of greenskins, striving to outdo each other when it came to slaughtering the defences.

And… amidst this fierce fighting were a smaller force, which had decided to forgo the fast track to Hergig in lieu of wetting their claws in man-thing blood.

On the southern outskirts of Esk, the Skaven Warlord Rattsu the Black was fighting.

The ground shook underneath the approaching hooves. From beyond the slaves, brilliant pennants could be seen, shining banners rising towards the grey skies. Rattsu pulled his ears back tightly against his black fur, anticipating the shock when the horse-lord met the rat-thrash in front of him. To the left and right the painfully sharp staccato rhythm of the ratling guns had started, felling more slaves than horses, but they were there to die. Anyone who lived and did not run would gain rank as a clanrat, that had been Rattsu’s promise for this battle. He needed to replenish his ranks, and perhaps one or two ambitious wretches would take the opportunity. As the lance formation impacted on the slaves the air was filled with the stench of blood and musky fear, but the rats in the second line held fast. Slaves were there to die and to give them the opportunity for a countercharge.

“Hold fast.” Rattsu hissed the word though none of his stormvermin showed signs of budging, the sacred standard of the Horned Rat fluttering proudly at the rear of the unit. Who was insane enough to put their precious battle standard at the front? The man-things were.

At the front he could see the slaves breaking apart, scattering to the four winds as the unstoppable charge hit them. That was to be expected, but when the horse-lord reigned in his horse and ordered his men not to pursue, Rattsu’s tail twitched in defeat. Rats! He had hoped that the lure of further bloodshed would have made them pursue their worthless enemy. Now there was nothing left to do but to brace for the inevitable charge, as the enemy were too far away to storm over this muddy field.

To his right things fared better, the man-things there seemed to be less wise to their tactics and stormed after the hapless slaves, cutting them down left and right. Book-Rat the plague priest and his plaguemonks took the opportunity, chanting and charging in the confusion, clawed feet bearing them surprisingly quickly over the slippery ground. The man-things seemed to be taken back by the violence of the sudden surge of rats, horses reared, and a confused melee ensued. Rattsu cursed between gnawing teeth, he and Book-Rat had a long-standing tradition of seeking the worst carnage in battle, and so far the plague priest seemed to have the upper hand.

His time would come. He saw the horse-lord order his men forward with a wave of his gleaming sword, and Rattsu straightened from his slouch to scream a few last orders to his rats. “Stand fast! Shields and blades, once they have impacted, go for the horses. Gut them and trample the man-things in the mud!” He knew that if his stormvermin stood their ground during the first charge, the rest of the battle would be far more even.

They would stand if he so had to hamstring every coward himself.

And then the wall of horses charged at them. The thunder of their hooves made it impossible to hear anything else, now orders were needless; it was every rat for himself. Shields raised and blades drawn the stormvermin braced for the impact, waited until the white foam dripping from the horses splattered the dark fur, waited until the lances nearly touched the wooden shields… waited… and then the charge hit home.

Around Rattsu hell broke lose. Horses, lances, sharp hooves and wicked metal points. The horse-lord bellowed a challenge, but after one look at him, Rattsu kicked Two-Paw, the newly appointed unit champion to his doom. The horse-lord cut him down in two strokes, but by then Rattsu had already lunged forward. His massive blade had slipped off his back, and in a long brutal stroke he severed the legs of the two horses that wished to trample him to the ground. As they screamed in mortal terror, the man-things tried to free themselves from the stirrups, but were brought down by stormvermin finding the weak points in their armour.

The line was holding. Splattered by blood and mud Rattsu could hardly see, his one good eye blinking away the scarlet liquid that threatened his vision. The lines did indeed seem to be holding. The plague monks were still standing, he could hear the chanting and the curses of the man-things. His stormvermin had weathered the charge and were now gaining the upper hand in close quarters. As if the horse-lord sensed that the battle was at a balance he drove his horse through the mud, straight at Rattsu. The beast was frantic with fear, but the man-thing controlled it superbly, and Rattsu could not quell a slight twinge of admiration. What possessed someone to sit on top of a beast he had never understood. As the horse-lord closed in Rattsu took a step back, pulled out his warplock pistol and sent the horse skidding along the ground with its head smashed in. The man-thing on its back cursed in desperation as the beast rolled over, trapping him underneath. There, Rattsu thought. A much more fitting position, to be slowly drowning in mud.

No bright duels anymore. He was not one to back down from a fight, but this man-thing idea that a fight was supposed to be fair was just ridiculous. Now… all he had to do was to finish this off and the field would be theirs.

And so would the ruins of Esk.
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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