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Taking a Stand; War in the Ulricsberg (Chapter 5)
Topic Started: 14th February 2005 - 08:45 AM (426 Views)
Rattsu
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

Chapter 1: Discoveries and 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
Chapter 9: Deals with the Damned
Chapter 10: First Strike
Chapter 11: War Inside the Mountain
Chapter 12: Allies From Below
Chapter 13: A Meeting of Leaders



Kwikk never thought his heart should slow down enough so that he could actually start breathing again. He only saw spots in the darkness, and his legs twitched slightly, wanting to continue their flight even though he knew that it was useless. He couldn't run anymore...

So he waited for the shadows to consume him.

Funny how many things you regretted when you were waiting to die. The brood-wenches never mated with, the opportunities missed, so much of his life that seemed to revolve around things that didn't really matter to him. And now he would never have the chance to do anything ever again.

...

"Kwikk?" The whisper was quiet, almost hesitant in the darkness. But shadows held neither breath nor voice, so it had to be a living rat.

Kwikk's heart leapt in his chest. "I... I live-live." This was twice he had been delivered from certain death, and he vowed that he would surely put more effort in pleasing the horned rat in the future. "Ta'kk?" He thought he recognised the voice despite his panic.

"Yes-yes... the call went out, the tunnels are blocked and the shadow-things have gone back-back." The small rat swished his tail where he was hunched on the floor of the maintunnel, in the distance the scent of fire and the tang of blood could still be smelled, even under the overpowering musk of fear. Not many Hissvin rats had reached this point. And had he not put away the dagger he carried, Kwikk might have ended up a casualty himself, in the dark, where nobody would know or suspect foul play. Why was it that he had hesitated? Skritchit would have been pleased, but... Ta’kk shook his head, looking back over his shoulder at the distant light of the fires. Perhaps it was simply that he didn’t want to cultivate a new protector. Yes, that was it. Of course there was no other reason.

“The thing-things...” Kwikk’s ears flattened, and a burst of anger chased away the fear. He was not about to die. He was not about to be torn apart. Now he was just furious. “How? Rattsu said...” Well, to be honest Rattsu had not said a single thing about the creeping shadows that Kwikk had sometimes spied, and which he knew was hard to see without warp enhanced vision. He had just assumed... since the warlord didn’t mention them, they should be friendly, right? Magic. He spat a gob of blood on the floor and rubbed his bruised nose. It hurt, and he was swelling badly.

“Not-know...” Ta’kk slid soundlessly to his feet, watching Kwikk clamber up with considerably less grace. It had been amusing to watch the flight... and to be frank he had been rather surprised when the chieftain managed to escape the battle. Obviously he had seen the threat early on.

“Rattsu. Is he back-back?” Kwikk’s whiskers dropped in dismay as Ta’kk shook his head. “Then come... let’s see how big a mess-mess this is...” This meant it was up to him. The defence... and the responsibility.

Rattsu was not going to be pleased... and that gave him an even more sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.

He hated his job at times.

...

Later, in the warren known as stone-haven, just a few tunnels down the mainpath from dead-point where the Claws of the Horned One had made their base.

“They’ve taken dead-point warren... and reinforcements came from the clay-clay tunnel. The western routes are all unsafe.” The scout marked the extent of the intrusion on the scratch-map. “Downbelow path have been sealed, blown-up, rocks fell.” He paused for a moment, looking up at Kwikk, still in charge since Rattsu’s business had not yet taken him back to the mountain. “We are sure-sure that three warlords and a seer have entered. Scouts identify them as...” Here the scout paused for a moment, looking directly at Kwikk. “Warlord Raasnaard. Warlord Wynnar. Warlord Snikkit and... Grey Seer Skritchit.”

Kwikk cursed to himself, rubbing his sore nose, suppressing the wish to just kick or kill the messenger. Snikkit and Wynnar was bad enough, they had invested much interest in exploring the Ulricsberg. Skritchit he had expected after having escorted the fuming seer away from his meeting with Rattsu. But Raasnaard? The massive skaven did currently have the best odds on what rat was most likely to actually manage to beat Rattsu in a fair fight. He was also the faction leader for the Claws. Did this mean that they had grown tired of the Inferno Lords favoured position here and was going for the jugular? Kwikk certainly hoped not, while certain warlords from the south like Ratphink and Stinkhair had a strong interest here, Warlord Scratch ignored the mountain. If the Inferno Lords pulled out, they would no longer balance the Claws... and that would spell disaster for Clan Hissvin. They were not strong enough to fight an entire faction. What had Rattsu said to anger Skritchit and the Claws so?

“Four clans... troops pouring in.” The scout marked the sports on the map. “Four exits. Fork-tunnel. Mainpath. Left-path. Mudslide.”

Kwikk looked at the scratch-map, thinking hard. The mainpath led down to the most exposed breeding pit, it was the main road into Hissvin territories. It was also the most guarded one, with the stormvermin lair close by. Mudslide was a hard path to climb up for the first stretch of the way, but it would widen. Not much of importance was there, except the slavepits. If the slaves were released, havoc could be caused. The fork-tunnel branched away to the network of warrens that housed the main supplies, it was hard to defend, but it was also where Stirrvin and his moulder beasts had taken up residence. And the left-path... it was a straight and dangerous road, beset by shadows and thing-things, but it led straight down towards Rattsu’s own warren and the heart of Clan Hissvin. What path? He pondered, then looked up and realised that all the others looked to him for guidance. A cold shiver slid down his spine, turning his guts for water. Who was he fooling? He was not fit for command, he did not know what to do. He followed orders, that was what he was good at. He was no warlord. But with Rattsu away... he was the only choice.

“Barricades there are easy to remove.” The scout looked down at the scratch-map. “They can move anywhere.”

Kwikk shook his head. If he picked the wrong option he would be outflanked... where would they strike next... unless... With a sinking feeling he realised what the Claws might try to do. “Not anywhere... everywhere.” They were more numerous. Would they simply try to overwhelm their defences? It could be done... they were not that numerous. “Four warlords. Four paths.” That would make sense. He couldn’t imagine them actually working together. This way they all had their prices to claim, it would lead to no bickering.

“Four paths?” Ta’kk curled his tail around his leg, looking down at the map. “That is-is... stupid... of them of course,” he added quickly, the right nervous submission in his voice. He had not thought Kwikk would reach this conclusion so fast.

“Not so.” Kwikk looked around the warren, at the rats collected there. He knew their scents, their faces and still... “Not if they know-know how few they are. They picked dead-point to strike, because there are many paths there. We can’t guard-guard them all.” The Claws had a spy here, there could be no other explanation. They knew too much. They struck too well. But who? And how?

“Can’t guard-guard... but...” Ta’kk let the nervousness shine through in his voice, though in reality he was calm. If Kwikk ever found out the chieftain would have a dagger in his throat in a moment, and he would be out of there faster than anyone non-eshin could react. And Ittchi was not here... as always he guarded Rattsu. But he needed to avert suspicion here... besides he did not work for any of the other warlords. “... how about collapse?”

“Blow-blow things up?” Kwikk sounded doubtful, but the idea had merits. The mudslide could be collapsed easily enough, as could the fork-tunnel, at least enough of the paths to make the attack containable. But all their hard work... gah, he couldn’t let it fall in enemy hands either. “Get Molltov. Prep-prep the tunnels, when the attack comes... and has penetrated deep... blow-blow them to bits.” Molltov was the Scryre adept in charge of the explosives, he had been vital to making their network of tunnels connect. To bring it down would hurt... but not as much as it would hurt the forces within.

“Mainpath can not be blown.” The young Scryre apprentice that had so far stood silent spoke up, slamming his jaws shut with a squeek when Kwikk looked at him. “Str-structural weakness. Could bring-bring whole west down-down into the dark.”

Down-down. Dig-dig. Where had Kwikk heard that before? A dream unremembered? But he was fairly certain he did NOT want to end up deeper in the Ulricsberg. “Then we make a stand-stand there. Pull back-back, build barricades, sell every step dearly. We are home-home. They are not. They will fail.” Who would pick that path? Most likely Skritchit himself... Kwikk nodded thoughtfully. It was the best path, the most rewards. Of course Skritchit would pick it. And if he had been the seer... he would have sent Warlord Raasnaard down the left-path... down with the shadows towards a duel with Rattsu himself and hopefully to get torn apart by the horrors of the Ulricsberg. Yes, that would eliminate the faction leader, and Skritchit would have a stronger position than wither Slit Skythe or even Verminious fang himself. He would have the Ulricsberg. Yes, that had to be the plan.

“Let the left-path open... but...” And here Kwikk applauded himself of his own deviousness. “Tell Grey Seer Skwee that he is the one in charge-charge of the defence there. Give-give him as many clanrats as he wants.” Raasnaard was reputed to have a wizard... a man-thing wizard of some importance. The seer would be able to counter that threat. Unfortunately that left him with just arcane Scryre support to defend the mainpath, but he trusted those machines rather than Skwee. The seer had been even more unhinged lately. And Kwikk did not want to be near another of those plagues that tended to spread out of control when the albino rat was stressed.

Now... that sounded as good as he could get it.

Now all that he had to hope for was that Rattsu approved as well... and that he would return quickly.

Because if he did not, Kwikk did not relish the thought of leading the defence.
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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this is great! ive notice you trend to writre a lot faster and better, when theres the other one cxooperating. alomst as fast as when Rattsu was doing the NaNowriMo thing. class!!
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Rattsu
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Is writing Dragon Age fanfiction

daemonic badger
Feb 14 2005, 04:07 AM
this is great! ive notice you trend to writre a lot faster and better, when theres the other one cxooperating. alomst as fast as when Rattsu was doing the NaNowriMo thing. class!!

That is true... it is so much easier to get inspiration when you are two people writing.

I hope you are all enjoying this as much as I am...
I am currently writing an epic Dragon Age 2 adventure that can be found HERE!! or on my deviantart.

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Warlord Wynnar
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Hmm hmm, it seems I must begin to write the fluff for this too, unless Sneaky wants to write it for all of us, which I doubt.

Also, Raasnaard has the wizard, not Wynnar. Wynnar has a Enginseer. B)
Clan Skarratch

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Rattsu
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Warlord Wynnar
Feb 14 2005, 05:38 AM
Hmm hmm, it seems I must begin to write the fluff for this too, unless Sneaky wants to write it for all of us, which I doubt.

Also, Raasnaard has the wizard, not Wynnar. Wynnar has a Enginseer. B)

Thank! I knew that, for some reason my fingers typed the wrong name though... *groans*
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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:lol:
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Hmm hmm, it seems I must begin to write the fluff for this too, unless Sneaky wants to write it for all of us, which I doubt.


Argh............how right you are! My aim with my last story was to encourage those partaking in the Ulricsberg Crusade to write their own Warlords and Clan's encounters with Hissvin resistance....I'll certainly keep mentioning my allies in my own particular stories though.

But my main focus will be Skritchit carving a path to Rattsu's doorstep!

Now, where did I put my pen...

(By the way, excellent story as usual Rattsu.......Daemonic Badger was right to point out how easier it seems to flow when co-operating with someone else! As soon as I'd finished reading this latest chapter I was planning my next...)

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....when theres the other one co-operating..........


Looks like I've got to work on marketing my name more though! :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

The complete works of SneakyRodent can be found here

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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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Warlord Wynnar
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Hmm, so I'm going to be getting rocks on my head. :( Oh well... I guess it is only fitting that my on plan would be used against me. :globe:
Clan Skarratch

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