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The Dark Beneath the Worlds [Chapter 6]; Some good news at last...
Topic Started: 24th January 2005 - 02:04 PM (456 Views)
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

Read this first: War of the Words - By Rattsu & SneakyRodent
And then this: A long Journey Home - By SneakyRodent

Some good news at last

In Rattsu's private warren, deep inside the clan Hissvin territories.

At times Rattsu questioned the wisdom of allowing the doddering grey seer to live. For his whole adult life Skwee had been there, first advising the Warlord that Rattsu had replaced, then taking over the same duties with the young aggressive rat himself. All this time Rattsu had questioned Skwee's skill, his motives and his usefulness. Forever he muttered on about omens and portents, he was cowardly enough to be of almost no use in battle, and his command over the arcane plagues he cast was flimsy at best. Over the years Skwee had been the cause for as many deaths amongst his own clanrats as any enemy, but every time he had decided to kill the seer and damn the consequences, something came up that made him change his mind.

He had been certain that Skwee should die when he betrayed him during Project Supremacy and left him behind to face a certain death without giving away the information that might have saved them all. But the Ulricsberg had given Rattsu new insights into the arcane world of the beyond and he recognised that Skwee could be very useful here, so the albino rat had lived for now. But this final act of betrayal was too much for him.

Not only had Skwee refrained from telling him that he had contact with some... thing at the heart of the mountain. He had obviously not told Rattsu everything he knew about the powers at work here, AND this had led to his embarrassment in front of grey seer Skritchit. Yes, he had looked the fool there for a moment, and that Rattsu could never forgive.

"Now-now... what have you not told-told me?" Rattsu tightened his paw around Skwee's throat, feeling the frail furred flesh in his grasp, the desperate throbbing of the seer's heart. They were so fragile the ancient rats, no matter how much arcane might they held they could be torn apart as easily as any slave.

"Ghhhk" Skwee tried to form words, but the warlord's grip blocked both words and air, and the seer clawed at the massive paw that held him. Sure, he could have called down lightning to fry the warlord had he but been able to draw a breath, but at these close quarters they would both have been hit. And he knew that Rattsu was far more resilient than he was. The safest thing to have done would have been to skitterleap to safety, but the Ulricsberg was notoriously hard to do that inside. It was as if the mountain itself reached out and pulled you away from your path. He had heard horror stories of a seer of one of the minor clans that tried to skitterleap and ended up halfway inside a wall, as if the stone itself had reached out and placed itself in his path. That would be a last resort, if only he could calm Rattsu down... but he couldn't say a word!

Rattsu's eyes narrowed as he watched the struggling seer, feeling the pulse throb in that thin neck, the manicured claws tearing ineffectually at his coarse fur. The seer's red eyes were even more bloodshot now, and his whiskers fluttered in desperation. Perhaps this was enough... for now. He wanted answers first after all. "Talk-talk fast." He released the grip, stepping back to watch Skwee slump into a gasping pile, fighting for breath.

"Y... yes-yes." Skwee rubbed his throat, thinking fast. How much could he tell the warlord? If he told too little he would most likely end up in battle with Rattsu, and if he told too much the warlord might be angry enough to try to slay him anyway. "This... thing-thing." His legs felt weak when he struggled to his feet, limping over to the low table, leaning heavily against it as he poured himself a glass of man-thing wine. "It... it came to me in my sleep. First I thought it-it was a dream, whispers in the night. Perhaps just madness from the mountain itself." A sip of wine cleared his throat admirably. "It... it was old. Ancient. Buried deep-deep below, in the heart of the mountain. Or below even..." The thought made him shiver, and for a moment words failed him. How to describe the absolute horror he had felt?

"Warp-thing then?" Rattsu paced impatiently, stalking Skwee like a predator his prey. He did not want to let the seer out of arms reach.

"N-no. No warp-thing. Felt different... I would know-know." Skwee would. When clan Hissvin had still lived in the Marienburg sewers, they had been fighting with a chaos coven for territory. He had much experience with the warp-things and their insidious whispers. "Mortal. At least once. It felt... I felt... sun, the heavens... it miss-missed the skies. No warp-thing misses anything." Their emotions were different. Whatever this creature was now, it had been mortal once. "It wanted me. Wanted me to dig-dig. Deep. Down-down. Down into the blackness." Skwee was shivering now, the bells on his tail chiming softly.

"Tried to take-take your mind then." Rattsu snarled, how could Skwee have kept this from him? On the other hand, if this being was looking to take someone over, that meant that Skritchit might be in jeopardy. And that made Rattsu very pleased.

"Yes-yes... so old... brought back the dead-things we fought... I think-think." Skwee could have almost bitten his tongue. He had not meant to mention the dead-things, because that could lead to questions about who raised them, and that would mean starting talking about Silverfur. Skwee did not want that can of worms opened just yet... Besides, the breeder was dead beneath a mountain of rubble. "Wanted paws to dig-dig, slaves to do bidding. But I cast-cast it out and it has not spoken to me again." The seer straightened his back, remembering the ordeal he went through to free his mind.

Rattsu's tail flicked, wrapping itself around his leg. The seer was not telling him everything, and even though he seemed to speak the truth about casting the creature out, what guarantee would there be that it would not try again? Skwee was a risk and that mean that he should be eliminated. At his side, Rattsu's claw flexed lightly, in anticipation. "Wanted slave with magic, wanted weak rat to take over..." Rattsu advanced on the grey seer, who quickly backed away.

"No-no, I was strong, beat-back thoughts, cast it out!" He would have to chance escaping, and the seer clutched the small bag of bones at his side, praying to the Horned Rat for luck with his skitterleap. He would not chance staying here, with a warlord with murder in his gaze...

"Lord Rattsu!" Kwikk burst into the room, breathless and heedless of the consequences of disturbing the warlord during one of his private meetings. "Grey Seer Skritchit! He... he is dead!" And the room froze for a moment at these news...

"Dead? Kill-killed?" Rattsu could not believe his ears. Skwee was suddenly the last thing on his mind, and he felt the urge to just jump up and down in elation. Had his sneaky stab at the dangerous seer worked this well? "Tell-tell me what happened."

"It-it came after they had left our borders... I had shadow-runners stalking them, and they told me that the flesh-thing came and chased them." Kwikk shivered, the flesh-thing was a nasty beast that even Rattsu had so far refused to tangle with, but since it generally roamed the levels below their territories, it had been left alone. The only thing that seemed to even scare it was fire... and lots of it. Once he had seen it absorb a full point blank blast from a ratling gun without even wobbling.

"Chase-chase is not dead." Rattsu shook his paw at Kwikk, who wisely pulled back before him.

"But-but runners report that they fled upwards through Breakneck tunnel. That tunnel was smashed to bits by warp-lightning, and-and the floor cracked open. Flesh-thing fell down there and... it looks like Grey Seer Skritchit was pulled along." Kwikk's whiskers shivered in agitation. "He was not seen leaving the Ulriks-Berg. Only a few storm-vermin, looking scared and wounded. He is lost-lost in the depths."

Rattsu let go of the breath he had been holding, trying to think what this meant. He was not used to having to see through the plots and plans of the seers, but after announcing his independence here he had to start thinking like one. It hurt his brain. Was this a plot of Skritchit to be able to remain in the Ulricsberg unnoticed? Maybe but... and suddenly the warlord stiffened as a horrible thought struck him. If the thing at the heart of the mountain had stopped attempting to turn Skwee into his servant, perhaps all it meant was that it had found someone else. Skritchit. While the thought of the seer as a puppet amused him, that meant that he might not only face the considerable might of Clan Virulus itself, but also whatever horrors could dwell below their feet. Perhaps the Seer had not just fallen down that crack... perhaps the darkness itself had taken him. Slapping his head Rattsu groaned. It was hard to think like this, plots within plots and everything could be either true or false. "Send Ittchi... I want to seen-down there... if he is kill-killed I want to see the rotting head."

Kwikk quickly nodded, running from the room to contact the contracted clan Hissvin assassin. He was glad that eh was not the one that had to lead an expedition down there, he had felt increasingly nervous about the lower tunnels, almost as if there was something brewing in the deep. But at the same time he knew that Ittchi would be annoyed, because he was working hard to attempt to unearth whoever it was that had been breaking their security, and you just did not want an eshin assassin annoyed with you. But better him than Rattsu Kwikk realised with a sigh. The warlord could be downright frightening at times.

Back in his room, Rattsu had already stalked over to the huge scratch-map that covered the wall, contemplating where the tunnels might intersect, and what might end up down there. He had his own spies to send, shadows that lingered in the corners and could float through the darkness faster than a rat could run. This was an opportunity not to be missed...

... and another thing that was not missed in the distracted mind of the warlord, was the presence of grey seer Skwee. The seer had seemed to disappear the moment Rattsu's eyes were turned, and so far the warlord had not even noticed.

He had more important things on his mind.


If you are lost and have no clue who these characters are... read these ones first. The oldest ones are at the bottom. I have decided to write some self contained stories for a while, eventually they might be edited and collected as Ground Zero II, but since I am writing them so closely with SneakyRodent I have no clue how to do this yet...

Aftermath - Ground Zero related stories

Animosity in the Ulricsberg... Ground Zero related Animosity fluff

Paws in the dark

Ground Zero

Ground Zero - Chapter Twentyfive - The end of book one!
Ground Zero - Chapter Twentyfour -showdown
Ground Zero - Chapter Twentythree - wrapping things up
Ground Zero - Chapter Twentytwo - Those that see too much
Ground Zero - Chapter Twentyone - Life amongst corpses
Ground Zero - Chapter Twenty - ...lost...
Ground Zero - Chapter Nineteen - Battle in the deep
Ground Zero - Chapter Eighteen - Prelude to disaster
Ground Zero - Chapter Seventeen - Heart to heart
Ground Zero - Chapter Sixteen - A ritual in the deep
Ground Zero - Chapter Fifteen - Down. Dig.
Ground Zero - Chapter Fourteen - Lizards and shadows
Ground Zero - Chapter Thirteen - A path for the future
Ground Zero - Chapter Twelve [The second interlude...]
Ground Zero - Chapter Eleven [Secrets best kept]
Ground Zero - Chapter Ten [Nightmares from the past]
Ground Zero - Chapter Nine [The tale of the first Brood-Mother]
Ground Zero - Chapter Eight [Kwikk to the rescue!]
Ground Zero - Chapter Seven [Intruders in the tunnels]
Ground Zero - Chapter Six [An Interlude]
Ground Zero - Chapter Five [Omens and shadows]
Ground Zero - Chapter Four [Futures and Hopes]
Ground Zero - Chapter 3 [The return of Skwee]
Ground Zero - Chapter Two [Rattsu within the Ulricsberg...]
Ground Zero - Chapter One [The saga of Rattsu continues]
Ground Zero [Rattsu aftermath]
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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Claws of the Horned One founder member

Lol.....excellent read! And you must have written this up on the spur of the moment and very quickly too, judging by the time I posted mine compared with the posting of this one.

A great continuation of the story. Can't wait to see what happens next!

~suddenly realises it's my turn and runs off to write more~
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

The complete works of SneakyRodent can be found here

.:WarWolt The Mad Engineer:.
Sneaky is Sneaky, why is the sky blue?
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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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

Jan 24 2005, 09:21 AM
Lol.....excellent read! And you must have written this up on the spur of the moment and very quickly too, judging by the time I posted mine compared with the posting of this one.

You can't wait? I'm the one that has to wait for the fate of Skritchit *groans*

Yeah, I wrote it in my lunch hour, hence the speed *grins*

What can I say, I got inspired...
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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daemonic badger
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looks good, i have to say that found it hard to believ thatscritchit is dead and rotting.......
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