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Undertow; The Dark Beneath The Worlds [Chapter 8]
Topic Started: 1st February 2005 - 07:45 AM (517 Views)
Rattsu
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

The Dark Beneath The Worlds

Chapter 1: Discoveries & Problems
Chapter 2: Desperate Measures
Chapter 3: Paws in the Dark
Chapter 4: War of the Words
Chapter 5: A Long Journey Home
Chapter 6: Some Good News at Last
Chapter 7: Things Unknown

...

Chapter 8- Undertow

The water was far colder than Ta'kk had ever anticipated. During his training he had often swum through cold water, but there seemed to be an almost unnatural chill to the rivers in the Ulricsberg, the searing touch of water that had never seen the light of day. The thin rope that kept him anchored was hurting his paws, and to pull himself back upstream was becoming harder and harder. One pull, then the next, letting his body go limp to reduce the effort as his arms ached with the strain. Soon he would be back on the surface and could breathe that sweet air and never again do a damnfool stunt like this one. The pay just wasn't good enough to get himself killed fo...

SNAP! The rope went limp in Ta'kk's paws, and the spy was swept along the current as the rope twisted helplessly behind him. It had broken, and Ta'kk quietly cursed the handicraft of elf-things. It was supposed to be magical and very strong, but he seemed to have been sold just another piece of useless garbage. He let go of the remains of the rope, but to try to swim back through the current was an impossibility. With a force violent enough to almost slam his carefully managed breath out of him, he was swept against a wall, and then further down the depths... Down to wherever the body of Grey Seer Skritchit had been pulled.

Not an encouraging thought.

...
Some months ago, before the end of the storm of Skaven...

"Is-Is this acceptable?"

Ta'kk the assassin looked down on the small mound of warpstone tokens in the bag that the seer called Skritchit had given him, nodding quickly. "For the first moon, yes-yes. If you want longer surveillance, then more pay-pay." As with all eshin adepts, he had his own way of doing his assignments. Perhaps he was not the most famous and skilled of the assassins, but when it came to the work in the shadows, to the spying and the infiltration, then his was a name nearly unknown. And unknown in this business, meant too good to be talked about. That Skritchit had found out who he was, and had managed to contact him here in the chaotic war meant that the seer must have very good contacts indeed. And good contacts meant more money.

"If service rendered is acceptable, then I will be most... generous."

Ta'kk eyes the seer carefully, but he had no reason to doubt it. To spy on a rival warlord for so long was a task most skaven failed at. There were too much backstabbing and too much paranoia for an outsider to easily infiltrate another clan for long. But he had his ways, and it wouldn't be the first time that Ta'kk had done it. "Condition... tell-tell no-one of me. Payment in-person each time, reports in person as well." The lithe rat flicked his tail, looking arrogantly at the seer. He would not risk being jeopardised by a runner or an amateur.

"Done-deal. Remember everything. The Ulricsberg is mine and this-this... Project Supremacy must be stopped." Grey Seer Skritchit had his own reasons for this, but they were no business of the assassin.

Ta'kk rolled his eyes, wondering for not the first time what would happen if ever the skaven would give up fighting against each other and turn their wrath on the world. Not that it interested him, he did not care for the surface, and that would mean that he might be out of a job. Infighting kept him rich, and before his joints started to stiffen he would have enough warpstone to retire to a nice out of the way clan as someone's tactical advisor, perhaps buying a few brood-wenches and bringing an apprentice or two to do the dirty work. He had plans to be a very long lived assassin indeed...

....

Now.

Long lived... hah! Ta'kk's lungs burned form lack of air, and the cold water seeped all the energy from his scrawny body. He did not know whether this river would ever reach the surface again, but though he longed to just close his eyes and let himself drift, he kept himself alert in case he should feel the river breaking out into the open. The foam and the current would alert him to that. But until then he had no close but to be swept along, his body becoming increasingly slammed and battered against the tunnel walls. He had not been this bruised since his time as a slave amongst clan Hissvin...

...

Just before the detonation of the Doom Hemisphere, in the yet untwisted tunnels underneath the Ulricsberg.

Ta'kk was curled up on the floor together with the other miserable slaves, waiting for the inevitable moment when they would be led to war again. It hadn't been hard to blend in with the slaves, he was short and scrawny enough to be one of them when his fur had been matted and dirtied and he had adopted their walk and speech patterns. Say nothing. Keep out of the way. Keep your tail close to your body at all times so it wouldn't be stepped on or bitten. Never take eye contact. Easy enough rules, especially since nobody paid the slaves much heed as long as they did what they were told.

But still... it was hard for the proud rat to play the part of the humble slave, to accept the bite of the whip with no complains but helpless whines. But that sacrifice allowed him to keep an eye on clan Hissvin, and on Rattsu the Black in particular. The warlord was easy enough to see through, and so far Ta'kk had seen no signs of betrayal in his actions. He detested Verminious Fang and the rest of the successful clans, and was determined not to allow them their moment of victory. So far this assignment looked to be short and profitable indeed...

... and then the Doom Hemisphere exploded.


...

Now.

Ta'kk almost let a yelp of pain out when his head was slammed against a sharp rock, leaving a faint trail of blood behind in the water. He saw starts, and knew that if he had not had his training, his skull might have been cracked. As it was, the pain helped to dim the burning feeling in his lungs, the way that his whole body was starting to scream for air. But he wouldn't just give up, not after he had clawed himself back from the dead once. This... this was easy in comparison.

...

Then.

Ta'kk had never known that he could hurt this much. It had only been his assassin reflexes that had allowed him to survive the massive explosion, managing to find a crack between the huge blocks that tumbled from the ceiling. But in the process he had got stuck there, surrounded by smashed bodies and the screams of the dying. he could hardly breathe, the block that pinned him down was large, but allowed him just enough space not to get crushed outright. He would die... but it would be a slow death from suffocation and bloodloss. But still... that was a better way to go than some. The fact that the explosion had caused the tunnel to collapse on the slaves had saved Ta'kk's life. He had seen others stumbling by, rats that had not been shielded by a massive wall of rocks. Their fur was hanging in tatters, their eyes just bleeding holes, skin sloughing off their bones. It was horrible beyond belief, and even Ta'kk was frightened and humbled by the forces released here. Project Supremacy... he had not expected to get caught up in it himself. Pity really. Death was always a reality, but he had always though that he would go out in battle or get stabbed in the back some dark night. Not like this. Trapped like a slave, choking on his own blood.

"He's moving, help-help me." The voice seemed distant, unearthly almost.

Ta'kk opened his eyes, seeing a small group of rats in front of him that looked as if they had been through the very same hell as him. A massive armoured rat with fur coming off in clumps was leaning against the rocks, and it took a moment for Ta'kk to realise that the wounded and disfigured face belonged to Rattsu the black himself. The one that had spoken was hunched near the edge of the block, attempting to lift it but failing. It was Kwikk, the standard bearer of Rattsu, who had this far only been a distant figure to him.

"A slave..." Rattsu's voice sounded tired and angry, as if he was just waiting for something, anything to release his wrath on. "But-but... a Hissvin one." With a tired groan he flicked his boil-covered tail, reaching down to wedge the edge of the massive sword under the rock, using it as a lever to allow Ta'kk to slither free. The strain made the massive rat groan out loud, bloodstained hands slipping on the handle. But the mechanical paws still worked, and gave him the strength that his tired body could not muster on its own.

Ta'kk rolled over, looking up at the scarred rats above him, the boils and the charred fur, the torn ears and the twisted tails. He should just get the hell out of here right now, he was a slave to them, and he might as well blow his cover. But... he couldn't move. He just couldn't. A bone-deep tiredness seemed to have drained every thought of flight from his mind.

Kwikk leaned down and offered his paw to the slave, pulling the scrawny rat to his feet. "Slave-slave no more. Clanrat. So few-few of us left." They were survivors... that made a stronger bond between them than things like position and power. They didn't need slaves yet... they needed rats. Clan Hissvin would grow strong again.

Ta'kk blinked... despite himself he felt a bit moved and amazed. He had acted the part of the slave for sometime now, and to suddenly be seen as something else was... elating. But perhaps it was just the fact that he was still alive... despite all odds.

Or perhaps it was the thought what information about those event would bring if he got them to the right paws...


...

Now.

Ta'kk coughed, emptying his lungs of the cold water, pulling in breath after breath of fresh air. It took him a moment or two to realise that he was breathing. Not only breathing, but clinging to a rock halfway out in the small river, feeling sand underneath his feet. Yes, there was a beach here in the dark, a small cave where the river had surfaced, and he had been washed up on it. He was alive.

Now that the fear of dying released its grip he couldn't stop shivering. The water had nearly drained the life from him, but he was not dead yet. Finger by finger me made his claws unclench from the rock, wading to the shore when he spotted a faint light. It was the elf-thing rope, washed along the same path as him. He reached out and grabbed it, running his paw over the shining surface thoughtfully. The rope had not torn, it had been cut.

That explained a lot. But unfortunately not who had done it, or whether this meant that his identity was exposed.

Wrapping the rope around his left arm, Ta'kk limped ashore, tail dragging in the shallow waters. The rope gave him some light to see by and... was there a body over there? His nose was so cold he had trouble catching the scent at first, but then he realised who it was as he came closer.

There was no mistaking the seer, laying still as a corpse on the ground.

Skritchit.
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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who would of thought it? first a spy, now an assasain? but is skrichit trly dead?
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Rattsu
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daemonic badger
Feb 1 2005, 03:14 AM
who would of thought it? first a spy, now an assasain? but is skrichit trly dead?

Well, Eshin are both spies and assassins I think.., that was always how I pictured them anyway.

They just specialise differently.

As for the fate of Skritchit... stay tuned for SneakyRodent's next part... coming soon.
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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Madthing
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How close are the two of you working, anyway? Do you hash it out together and go off to write seperately? Do you write pieces and send them to each other for continuity editing before unleashing them on us plebians? Or do you work entirely seperately and just react to what the other writes?
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s'nkeep
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Ajax = warpstone juice

Damn, good story. The second book is during out to be better then the first. :)
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Rattsu
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Madthing
Feb 1 2005, 04:43 AM
How close are the two of you working, anyway? Do you hash it out together and go off to write seperately? Do you write pieces and send them to each other for continuity editing before unleashing them on us plebians? Or do you work entirely seperately and just react to what the other writes?

That depends. On some, like War of the Words, the story goes back and forth a few times before we are satisfied with the finished version.

But usually they are our own ideas, and speaking for myself I have absolutely no bloody idea what Sneaky will think up next. The only thing we talk about is things concerning both plots, which we needs to get right for the next story (like Ta'kk finding Skritchit's body).

Mostly I get inspiration from Sneaky's last story and thinks 'wow, now it would be fun if this happened'... *grins* it's not nearly as planned as it looks in the end. I'm very much a creature of inspiration...

Think of it like 'tag, you're it' in writing.

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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How close are the two of you working, anyway? Do you hash it out together and go off to write seperately? Do you write pieces and send them to each other for continuity editing before unleashing them on us plebians? Or do you work entirely seperately and just react to what the other writes?


A bit of all of that to be honest!

It all started during the Storm of Chaos. I was on the Defender's side and blissfully unaware of the existence of this UnderEmpire site. Rattsu managed to contact me via a third party as she had the plan to tie in some Attacker/Defender fluff. For that project she had written most of the story already but invited me to write the bits that concerned my Grey Seer. I had been writing short stories for the defenders throughout the campaign and leapt at the chance to try a joint venture; I love writing anyway, and this was a novel challenge.

After my introduction to this site I guess we just carried on in the same vein. Our stories tend to inspire each other, and with our main characters already introduced during the Storm of Chaos it was a natural progression to keep their fates intertwined. This is especially true as Skritchit had his heart set on living under the Ulricsberg (before I'd even heard of Project Supremacy etc) and now in this Civil War, who should be there already? Yep, Rattsu the Black (but not for long if I have anything to do with it.... :angry: )

When we write stories that are linked we usually sound out a rough plot between ourselves, and in some cases forward chunks of text to each other that may need both of us to work on. (saying that, I managed to surprise her with Skritchit's death plunge in my last piece!) After all, neither of us want to mis-write the other's characters! But to be honest I find I very rarely change anything of Rattsu's simply because her work is so good and her interpretation of all things Skaven so intuitive. And for the record, I only tend to see final versions of Rattsu's work when she posts it on the Board (which is when I begin planning my next instalment).

Hope that answers your question Madthing!
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

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Sneaky is Sneaky, why is the sky blue?
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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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Madthing
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Many thanks to the both of you for answering my questions. Two very informative and clear responses from two of the most eloquent people that I have read.

I was just asking because you seemed to be doing all kinds of horrible things to each other's characters (or at least to your own...). Now entirely aside from that, in this kind of colaborative writing, you lose a lot of creative control, so it's kind of interesting to find out how you deal with it.

I mean, for example, if I was in Sneaky's position, I wouldn't be sure if I wanted Ta'kk to find Skritchit like that, but Rattsu pushed the issue (maybe). A better example would probably be, umm, sending the monster after Skritchit. And sending Skritchit tumbling down, suddenly throwing everybody something completely unexpected.

When I think about it now, I have to ask, was Ta'kk originally Skritchit's spy, or did it just turn out that way?
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SneakyRodent
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I was just asking because you seemed to be doing all kinds of horrible things to each other's characters


You ain't seen nothing yet!! ~cackles madly and rubs paws~ :lol:

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I mean, for example, if I was in Sneaky's position, I wouldn't be sure if I wanted Ta'kk to find Skritchit like that, but Rattsu pushed the issue (maybe). A better example would probably be, umm, sending the monster after Skritchit. And sending Skritchit tumbling down, suddenly throwing everybody something completely unexpected


Ta'kk finding Skritchit's body is something I felt I could easily incorporate into the next chapter (I had no idea Rattsu was going to send him down the river to attempt to find the Seer!) so we let it stay. And I was SO surprised when Rattsu wrote about sending the flesh creature after Skritchit after our 'negotiations'! But it really made me laugh; it was so typically Skaven that instead of just writing it off as a minor inconvenience on the way home, I decided that its effect would be to twist the current plot into something new entirely. After all, wouldn't it be deliciously ironic if this action of Rattsu's was to come spinning back at him and REALLY put him in trouble.... ;)

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When I think about it now, I have to ask, was Ta'kk originally Skritchit's spy, or did it just turn out that way?


It just turned out that way. Ta'kk is entirely Rattsu's creation, but she asked if I'd like to be the Clan responsible for his presence. How could I refuse ....? :ph43r:
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?
[/size]
Quote:
 
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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Rattsu
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

*laughs* No, I just offered Ta'kk to SneakyRodent since our stories started to entwine so much. I'm just glad I managed to surprise people that he actually was a spy back in the Ground Zero books... he just seemed like such a nice rat *smiles*

Far too good to be true.

But it is indeed fun to do horrible things to our characters. And believe me.. its going to get worse before it gets better *snickers but looks kinda nervously at SneakyRodent*

But we doublecheck with the other party before doing the worst things of course... *nods and waits impatiently for SneakyRodent's update*

I wanna know what happens!
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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