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S&S Story Challenge: To Conquer the City of Wizards

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  • manmiles
    Eternal Companion
    • Dec 2003
    • 509

    S&S Story Challenge: To Conquer the City of Wizards

    (Well, here is the start of my S&S tale. To be honest, outside of Mike's work, Virconium and one or two REH and Leigh Brackett stories, I've not read much of the genre. Oh, and the occasional game of D&D with friends in America. I will try and update every couple of days with this story. I've got a good idea of what will happen and while I can't promise absolute originality in terms of the genre. I hope I will make some of you think 'hey, that was a pretty neat story. So pull up a chair, open that can of drink and we shall begin.)

    To Conquer the City of Wizards
    A Tale of Keldurn Darkblade
    By Miles Reid

    Chapter 1: The Army Arrives

    Therum was known as �The City of Wizards’ for all the proper reasons. Therum was home to The Kingdom’s only Magical Academy and thus was home to a good majority of its wizards. The Academy stood as a shining crystal jewel in the middle of the swamp of non-magical peoples. The Magical Academy stood fifty meters into the air, a building forged by magical crystal. Around it were the houses, stores and streets of any other normal city.

    Magthar Greypalm sat in his chair in his study, slowly contemplating his newest ideas and theorems. The door opened and Mayor Treyas rushed in, his brow sweating. Magthar smiled, even the Mayor of Therum came to him for advice and aid.
    “What is it this time?� he purred softly, “wife been cheating on you again? One of your opponents gained the slightest inch of popularity over you?�
    “N-no…� stammered Treyas, “I’ve heard terrible rumours from the North. Lord Darkblade and his army have entered the borders of the Kingdom via the Plague lands of Trogador. They ravaged several small villages on the borders and it is rumoured they he comes here.�
    “Lord Darkblade? Isn’t he one of those upstart barbarian warlords? Another fool with delusions of grandeur…�
    “We can only hope. I have heard nasty rumours about him. A man who commands an army of the greatest, vilest perversions. A man who can order the insane and the criminal to their deaths with merely a gesture.�
    Magthar Greypalm laughed.
    “Rumours, merely rumours my dear Mayor. We have Warlords dreaming to be Emperors afflicting our lands on a nearly yearly basis. I have heard of warriors who could make the enemy’s woman tear off the privates of their husbands with merely a wink. These are merely rumours, propaganda created by these dreaming fools to create such a reaction. Anyway, the moment they attack this fair city, I will personally take my staff and turn this army of the Lord Darkblade into a pool of blood and bone!�

    It was three days later when the army of Darkblade arrived. To any bystander, it looked a terribly ragtag collection, it was comprised of armoured soldiers, grubby, barbarous savages from the Outer Wastes who travelled by foot, a collection of peasants. At its head were five men, resplendent in red armour and black helms.

    The Darkblade and his Generals had arrived.

    Lord Keldurn Darkblade led the army, he wore no helmet and his long black hair blew free in the wind. His face was handsome and young, but there was a dark, dangerous gleam in his eyes. On his left were Alurick Skullhelmet (so called because of the skulled faceplate of his helmet.) and Jeremans Karneck. At his right were Phias Goether and Junquis Phrisson, a man who had relished the chance to return to this city.
    “Look, men,� said Lord Darkblade, “the city of fat wizards! There they grow fat and corrupt in there splendid halls of crystal. They believe themselves so powerful and strong that they think themselves to be better than mere mortals like you and me!�
    His men raised their weapons and cried a fierce battle cry. Lord Darkblade raised his hand and his army fell silent.

    “I will ask only for your patience. This is no mere village of fools that we can simply flatten beneath our feet. No, this is a foe that can destroy us before our swords can lay a blow. It will take cunning and intelligent to defeat this corrupt foe. We will set up camp here, I will hope that you behave on the property of our enemy that you would hope them to behave well on yours.�
    There was a small ripple of laughter. Lord Darkblade smiled and swung himself off his horse; his four Generals dismounted and joined him.

    “Good words, Keldurn,� said Alurick softly, “but how are we going to take on a city of bloody wizards and win? I mean, fear enough, we’ve got a decent army to go against the city militia. But wizards… I don’t trust these magic men, I think they see too far with those potions and spells.�
    “You forget, Alurick. We have Junquis on our side, he knows this city well and he knows the Academy well.�
    Alurick raised his hand to ward off Phias’ accusations.
    “I haven’t forgotten. But to be fair to Junquis, one fallen wizard isn’t going to be much use against fifty wizards, or maybe a hundred wizards. How do we know that they’re not planning to turn us to ash with some magical rain of flame?�
    “Because,� rasped Junquis in his harsh, death-rattle like tone, “they have their own law and creed. Such magic can only be used in self-defence. That is the pact they have forged with those beings who grant them such power, to break the pact means to lose the favour they have with the Higher Immortals and thus forsake their power.�
    “And wizards like to have power,� smirked Darkblade, “one of the few things we have in common.�

    “So. Do we have a plan, or are we just going to sit on our arses and wait for them to die of old age?�
    Jeremans’ hand leapt to his dagger,
    “I grow weary of your flippant tone, Alurick Skullhelmet. As much as I admire your skills in battle, I would have to be mad to admire your ability of never shutting up!�
    “Friends, friends,� coaxed Darkblade, “I will not have my Generals shed each others blood. I have a plan, but I will need your help Junquis, and I will need the use of your dagger, Jeremans. I will need a body and I think it will also cool your lust for blood.�