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Ground Zero - Chapter Twentythree; wrapping things up
Topic Started: 28th November 2004 - 04:58 PM (702 Views)
Rattsu
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

Prologue, Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve, Chapter Thirteen, Chapter Fourteen, Chapter Fifteen, Chapter Sixteen, Chapter Eighteen, Prologue, Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three, Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six, Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine, Chapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve, Chapter Thirteen, Chapter Fourteen, Chapter Fifteen, Chapter Sixteen, Chapter Eighteen, Chapter Nineteen, Chapter Twenty, Chapter Twentyone, Chapter Twentytwo

[This is my current NaNoWriMo project. 50 000 words from Nov 1st to Nov 30th. It is not proofread or grammar checked, so please be gentle. I'm writing during my lunch hour at work, where the computers are too old to have the english spellchecker for word installed. Long live wordpad! I will edit, proofread and streamline it once I am done. Wordcount so far: 46 886 (deadline minimum 46 000). Is feeling a lot better now. Did a total wordcount and I had forgotten a chapter. And that the end of turn two wasn't until next monday. Happy times are here again.


~Chapter Twenty three~


Outside Rattsu’s personal warren, near the heard of clan Hissvin’s territories.

“What-what?” Kwikk didn’t believe his ears. Or rather, he didn’t believe his ear, the other one was nearly swollen shut by now. His wound had been stitched, but his head felt swollen and throbbing and the Skalm they had smeared itched like mad. Really, he preferred the one that they drank, but they were all out. Much rarer. He had to settle for the salve.

“Yes-yes, all sick. Scales go blotchy and eyes glass-over, then bom, drop-dead.” Ta’kk illustrated it with a loud smack of his paws, that made Kwikk’s head hurt even more. Seeing the chieftain wince, Ta’kk quickly lowered his voice. “Slaves all sick-sick.” Their presence from… whatever clan it was. There were so many that wanted to get in good with Rattsu that he could hardly tell them apart anymore.

“Curses.” Kwikk sighed, miserable where they sat outside the warlord’s chambers. “He will want revenge. More kill-kill. My head hurts.” He fingered the small flask of watered down skavenbrew, then took a small sip. He needed that right now. “Why take presents? Only bad-ones anyway.” Every interaction with another clan always went sour. They should just move to the far north and stay there. But then there would be the man-things of the north, and they were clearly mad.

“You think he will? War?” Ta’kk sounded nervous at the prospect; he had yet to be involved in any battle. “You think they meant it as insult? Or hope that plague would spread to rat-kin?” Ta’kk looked at the fur covered opening, fingering the tip of his pinkish tail.

“No-no.” Kwikk tried to wiggle his swollen ear, but failed. “Probably their enemies sent sickness. To soil gift. Doesn’t matter.” It still was an insult in the end. And Rattsu solved insults with force. Or perhaps even more force. He wondered whether he should chew some fever-root and try to stay home as wounded. It seemed to work for Skwee, the seer had hardly been seen since the battle. It was rumored that all he did was drink and ramble on about omens. Well, that was not really that strange coming from Skwee.

“Politics are scary.” Ta’kk summed up his stance nicely, being a former slave he had no patience for any more plotting than what was needed to get his next meal. The grander schemes… seemed to be beyond him. Kwikk thought that he would go far. “Better to wait and do what others say.” You didn’t get kicked then. That was the way of the world.

“We do.” Kwikk admitted that with another sigh, turning the bottle of skavenbrew upside down, catching the last drops of the pungent liquid on his tongue. “We wait-wait. Warlord gives the word.” He was good at that. Waiting. Catching sleep when he could. Eating when he had the chance. Getting a good tumble with the brood-wenches. Life was good here, especially when compared to the mad marches he had been dragged along during the storm of skaven. “We just have t…” he choked on the last words as a black shadow appeared, the furs hardly disturbed. “Ittchi!” His legs sagged in relief when he realized that the Eshin was a friendly one.

“Go-go inside.” The assassin leaned closer to Kwikk, whiskers ticking his ear. “Word from boss. Eshin spotted. Spies around. Be careful.” And then the assassin faded away, just a step and he was gone.

Kwikk would give half his tail to know how they did that, just fade from sight like shadows. “Spies?” He had suspected of course, there were always spies. But to get a warning like this must mean dangerous spies. Well placed ones. Eshin skilled enough to sneak right into the most secure warren, or spies that heard every word. Otherwise Ittchi wouldn’t have bothered. “Just great.” He rose from the stone where he had been sitting, stretching his aching legs. “Just great. Spies. Dead-things. Spies. Mad females. I need to sleep-sleep.”

“No time-time.” Ta’kk pulled gently at Kwikk’s arm, reminding the chieftain what they were here for. To see Rattsu. To find out what his plans were now that they had returned. “We should go in-in.”

Kwikk gingerly touched his swollen ear, then shot a glance at Ta’kk. “I go in. You go get brood-wench. Will want her later.” He wouldn’t take Ta’kk to see Rattsu, that would be far too much of an important job for the former slave. And besides, he wanted his warren prepared. He was not sleeping alone tonight. Not with the dreams he knew awaited him.

“Yes.” Ta’kk sighed a bit as he let Kwikk step beyond those black furs. It was not for him. Not yet. And he was acutely aware of the eyes that kept staring at him in the dark, so he simply slunk back down the tunnel, to pick out a suitable female… perhaps Whiskerfall would serve.

She might serve very well.



“Are you serious?” Kwikk couldn’t help but question the warlord. What Rattsu had told him… it sounded so utterly unlike the straightforward rat that he couldn’t help wondering who had hatched this idea. Skwee? Surely not, with the way the seer had been quaking lately.

“You know-know that. Utterly.” Rattsu paced the room, looking at his chieftain with burning eyes. “I would not have said-said things otherwise.” He pierced a piece of seasoned meat with his claw, biting off a piece. “It’s good-good plan, sure.” He was in a better mood these days, having got over his initial disappointment over the dead-things attack. It only proved that the course he had chosen was the right one.

“But-but…” Kwikk sat down, fingering the meats on the plate, thoroughly tested for poison before being served. “It is so… not blood. Not kill-kill.” He had half expected some elaborate plan of war, some campaign he would be sent on. Tunnels and battles and suffering and death. That was what he had come to expect from the large rat.

“You mind-mind?” Rattsu’s tail grabbed one of the bottles, delivering it in front of Kwikk. “Thought you liked the no-blood plans.” Was the large rat smiling? That he was, and it was a scary sight to behold, with his skin and fur still marked by the burns from the Doom Hemisphere.

“I… I like-like of course.” Kwikk snatched the bottle, downing the sweet man-thing wine. “It is sneaky and clever and not like usua…” He broke off, realizing that the more he spoke, the less he complimented the warlord and dug a very deep pit for his own career. “… as usual it’s brilliant.” Which was not what he had planned on saying. Not at all. “Just unexpected.”

Rattsu halted, leaning down over the chieftain, whispering into his healthy ear. “It will work. You deal with it. You make a mess-mess and you will pay.” A heavy burden to carry, but that was why you had a second in command. Someone to do the work. Someone to take the fall. “Security has to be good-good. Make more Eshin payments.” They would ruin him, or rather they would have. Now he suddenly had warpstone to spare…

“I will.” Kwikk tried to avoid pulling away from the warlord, whimpering to himself in secret. This meant putting him in the center of things again, and he doubted that he could take those days off in the warren as he had planned. “But to give up so much-much…” He looked at the scratch-map that was engraved on the wall, the tunnels, the sneak-ways and the caverns.

“No use if we can not hold-hold it.” Rattsu ran his paw over the surface. “Dead-things below. Warp-things in the tunnels. Shadows and inside-out things. Plague and eating-stones. No-good for rat-warren. And why keep tunnels close-close to this? Can’t defend. Better to let others do that. Fight the nasties for us.” The warlord smiled again, whiskers shivering in delight. This would work far too well, if he could just play everyone against one another. Was he turning into a diplomat? Was that grey hairs in his black furs? Or perhaps he was just growing smarter… he had not lived this long by being dumb, no matter what the others thought of him.

“That is true-true.” Kwikk had downed half of the man-thing wine by now, humming to himself with happy thoughts of new possibilities. “They don’t know-know. We do.” Information was power. Was that why he had been speaking of spies to Ittchi? “Will they accept?” He didn’t understand why anyone would get here of their own free will. Except for greed… and because they did not know. They did not know the horrors. So why did he stay then? He could have fled and joined another clan. His secrets would be welcome, and he was not ambitious enough to be a real threat. So why? The answer was simple. Rattsu. He trusted the warlord to keep him alive. And Kwikk wanted to live.

“They will. Fools. Greedy. For knowledge and for power and…” Here the warlord smiled, nose twitching. “…because they can not bear to let me have it for myself.” On that he counted. As long as he was Lord of the Ulricsberg the challengers would come. It was worth fighting for. He was worth fighting. Which was exactly as it should be.

“Yes-yes…” Kwikk emptied the last of the bottle already thinking of the sweet brood-wench waiting for him in his quarters. Rattsu could go on like this for a long time, but he already knew what was expected of him. What he should do. So he didn’t have to listen.

He could dream.

Which was what he enjoyed the most anyway.
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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Matt
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News Elf of the Twilight Host
:o :o :o - but in a good way

The way you write inspires so many people and the chronciles of Rattsu have me hooked!

Please write more when Nanowrimo is over - please!
Wise Words of the Rebellion:
"When you run the gauntlet of the Rebellion of Flames, you must expect the unexpected" Warlord Morrik Ashenfur.
"Why is it, that as a culture we are more inclined to death than songs?" Warlord Brackenfurr.
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I don't know, but I have the impression of chatting with a cat when I talk to you!
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Darkslayer
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Wordcount so far: 46 886 (deadline minimum 46 000). Is feeling a lot better now


only 4k left to go and about 2 days left GOOOO RATTSU. i promise not to start anything today so you can finish on time ;)
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Skaskrit Venomclaw
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The three new chapters are great stuff. (But somehow I don't see this story ending in only 4000 more words...)

I'm confused about one thing, though. In the battle chapter Rattsu's still disappeared. Then, when Kwikk wakes up under the corpses, he's back, but nobody comments and Kwikk doesn't react at all to the news... how? what? why?
"I have a post-Armageddon vision. We and all other large animals are gone. Rodents emerge as the ultimate post-human scavengers. They gnaw their way through New York, London and Tokyo... within 5 million years, a whole range of new species replace the ones we know. Herds of giant grazing rats are stalked by sabre-toothed predatory rats. Given enough time, will a species of intelligent, cultivated rats emerge?"

Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale
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Rattsu
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

Thanks for all the kind words from you people, wouldn't have managed to keep writing otherwise...

*grins*

And the battle chapter is a stinking pile of crap *sighs*. I probably did not made it very clear that Rattsu was just on an expedition outside the Ulricsberg. He had taken the stormvermin to raid for some supplies, so he was expected to be back shortly. Hence the lack of surprise on comment on it from Kwikk.

Heh, this needs a MAJOR rewrite once I am done, I haven't had time to proofread a single bloody thing.

As for the ending... it won't end.

I have two major chapters and confrontations planned right now, and after that it will be sort of a 'end of book one'.

Then I'll contine at a more leisurly pace... with proofreading and quality control *laughs*
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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SneakyRodent
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Three cheers for the sick lizard slaves! Thanks ;) :lol:

Grey Seer Skritchit
Lord of the Ulricsberg
Clan Virulus
Holder of 'Best Post' Award 2007 here
Took part in the glorious Lords of Decay Revolution of April 1st 2012

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We've got a psychic creeper, a tactical master, and a liar who talked himself out of an execution.

(Scrivener on the Scum And Villainy2 characters of me, DamnedPrince and himself)
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