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Tales of Midgard - Part 7

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  • Tales of Midgard - Part 7

    19.

    A Traitor’s Price

    The mage crept silently into his faction commander’s personal quarters, hidden from sight by a spell that made him seem no more than a passing shadow. He strode over to the commander’s desk and threw open the brass-handled chest beside it that was used to store plans and military correspondence. Rifling through it, he found a sheaf of documents tied with a red ribbon and sealed with wax bearing the commander’s imprint. This he removed, placing it carefully in the folds of his robe, before closing the lid of the chest and slipping out the way he had come.

    At midnight, under a spreading yew tree in the churchyard, the mage met a thin-faced elf with a haughty smile and cold, uncaring eyes.

    “You have the plans?” asked the elf.

    “Aye, damn you,” said the mage, “Now give me the remedy.”

    The elf held out a small glass phial filled with pale green liquid.

    “As promised,” he sneered, “Your daughter’s fever will soon pass once the potion is administered.”

    “And how many men in my faction will die to save my daughter’s life?” spat the mage, snatching the phial and clutching it to his breast, “You have damned me to Hell, elf. No doubt I’ll see you there.”

  • #2
    20.

    Check Twice

    “Our informant was quite clear, sir,” said the lieutenant to his commander, “This is the right place.”

    “Then where is the danger we were warned of?” asked the older knight, “This chamber is as empty as a pauper’s belly.”

    The troop had arrived ready for battle, transported by portal into the dungeon realm, where their sources told them a new ally of the Dark Lord was readying to attack. This was to have been a preemptive strike. But there was nothing to strike.

    The chamber in which they had arrived was wide and tall, with pale stone walls and wrought iron gates at either end. Against the walls stood a series of huge statues; giant, dog-headed guardians holding curved scimitars.

    “We’ll sleep here for the night,” the commander decided, “And push deeper into the dungeon in the morning. Perhaps we will find this new foe after all.

    The men found space on the floor, ate their rations and settled down to sleep.

    They stayed asleep - most of them - until they heard the screams of the commander, his belly split and his limbs hacked by the swords of the dog-headed warriors. Not statues but sentinels, who woke now, to punish the trespassers in their dungeon...

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    • #3
      21.

      Cleansing Fire

      The troops had fought well but the enemy’s numbers were overwhelming. All day, the brave men of the Brotherhood defended their barracks while wave after wave of the Dark Lord’s bone soldiers beset them on all sides. For a while it seemed the men might emerge victorious but with each comrade that fell, the Dark Lord gained another of his accursed warriors; robbed of death’s relief to join his unholy army.

      By dusk the situation seemed hopeless and the young captain gathered the survivors to discuss a plan of action. The faces of the men were set grimly as each nodded their consent and set to work fetching barrels of pitch and gunpowder, and laying fuse.

      As the moon rose, the oak doors of the barrack hall were thrown open and the bone soldiers poured in. The Captain turned to his men.

      “With each man fallen, a new legend rises!” he called, thrusting his sword into the air, “Better this than join the ranks of these foul creatures, men!”

      He lit the fuse and closed his eyes. Some of the men muttered prayers.

      The explosion ripped the roof off the hall reduced everything to rubble and gore. There were no survivors. And there would be no more bone soldiers for the Dark Lord’s army. Not today.

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