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Contest October-November Short Story Contest, Reading and Voting Thread (Votes close December 7th)

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Nov 17, 2022.

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Which story or stories did you like best (You may choose up to TWO)

Poll closed Dec 7, 2022.
  1. Story One: "Hear My Words and Kneel"

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  2. Story Two: "The World of Skink Chief McBragg: The Siege of Hexoatl"

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  3. Story Three: "Everyone is Here!"

    2 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. Story Four: "Captured in Stone"

    1 vote(s)
    10.0%
  5. Story Five: "The Biggest Baddest Lizard"

    3 vote(s)
    30.0%
  6. Story Six: "A Debate"

    4 vote(s)
    40.0%
  7. Story Seven: "The Deliverer of Itza"

    5 vote(s)
    50.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    The theme for our 32nd seasonal short story contest, provided by @Killer Angel, was "Named Character(s)"

    Please read all seven stories before voting. You may vote for up to TWO pieces.

    The order of the stories was determined completely randomly. The order has no bearing on which pieces were submitted in what order.

    If someone wants me to fix a typo or formatting error that slipped through the cracks. Please let me know by private message AND please post the entire story with all changes made. It's lot easier for me to copy and paste a new story rather than for me to dig through the text to find the two or three errant sentences.

    Happy reading everyone! Let the commentary, critiques and gushing praise begin.

    HEAR MY WORDS AND KNEEL


    Should I be proud? I am the witness of the greatest event of all time. Yet this event is the end of an era and I will not be able to tell anyone about it. I am a herald, my only purpose is to exalt the greatness of my King, to inform His enemies of the futility of their efforts. And now I'm a herald without his King, while the end times are upon us.
    I walk alone, the sand crunches under my sandals as I step out of the shadow of Ptra’s temple. My gaze contemplates the desert dunes. So white, so bright.
    The priest told me that there is no longer any hope, neither for Nehekhara, nor for the whole world. We're doomed to face true death, even the God Usirian has already died. Settra failed us.
    I do not doubt his words, the signs are all too evident... but anyway I killed the priest for his sacrilegious outrage. I don't care if Settra is no more, I don't care if Khemri fell under the Usurper's blows. Even if my Lord is dead, I will not endure defeatism. And I still have one thing to do before it all ends. The guards are waiting for me near my chariot. It's time to go.


    The city of Numas is located to the far South, and it’s probably one of the few cities still under Settra’s banners. Lahmia is gone, and so Zandri and Khemri.
    The humidity of the southern forests gets here and numerous oases and gardens surround the ancient city walls, along with almost ripe crops tended by living beings… a rarity among Nehekhara but not uncommon here. I would like to enjoy the place but time is running out, and i need every second before it’s too late... i ride straight through the gates, without paying any real attention to the guards saluting my royal insignia. My destination is the Prince's palace, that's where i will find him. The prisoner.
    I haven't had a chance to meet him on the battlefield. He was the military commander of an army of invaders who came to steal what belongs to Settra. As always. I had been told that when the raid failed, their lord had fled while he had stayed to buy time and only by accident he was captured alive.
    I've managed to see him once: he was a magnificent beast, clearly born for war; a massive reptile, the living resemblance of Sobek.
    The light in his eyes was what mostly impressed me. That was not a defeated look, there was pride and challenge. The coward lord who fled that day, did not deserve a commander like that.


    Prince Tutankhanut was not in the palace… probably he’s fighting a battle somewhere, to defend this kingdom. It just made my task easier. Of course the captain of the Tomb Guards is not allowed to interfere with prisoners. Of course the liche priests are not allowed to mess with the treasury of the Prince. But I carry the weight of the Royal banner, and i speak with the voice of Settra. I don't ask, I demand... and I have to be obeyed.


    And so here I am, standing under the sun, in the middle of the inner court of the palace and watching the prisoner, finally free.
    He is very attentive and suspicious, he keeps an eye on both me and the palace guards who observe the scene from the shadow of the arches.
    He is a formidable figure, twice as tall as me, but he remains a living being and the long imprisonment has affected his massive body. He massages his wrists and ankles and can hardly walk properly. He does not dare yet touch his weapons and his armor, laid before him. And certainly he is hungry ... his forked tongue continues to dart out and into his jaws, in the direction of the banquet that has been prepared. He is still uncertain, but he will understand.
    Now I can finally relax and enjoy the moment I’ve already lived hundreds of times... the old, familiar feeling comes as warm wind waves. One last time... I owe it to myself, I owe it to Settra and, in some way, I also owe it to this unknown enemy.

    I stand at attention and raise the royal banner.

    HEAR ME!” I am Nekaph, Herald of Settra the Imperishable, Khemrikhara, King of Nehekhara, Lord of the Earth, Monarch of the Sky…

    His eyes open wide. my words are blessed by the incantations of the high priest of Asaph, to make sure my speech is understood by anyone.

    …Ruler of the Four Horizons, Mighty Lion of the Infinite Desert, Great Hawk of the Heavens, Majestic Emperor of the Shifting Sands, Eternal Sovereign of Khemri's Legions…”

    the list goes on. After some minutes, he slowly relaxes, and cautiously approaches the food.

    …Kings of Kings, God among Gods. Blessed Son of the Mighty Ptra, Beloved Brother of the Eternal Usirian, Brother in arms of the Supreme Warrior Djaf…”

    The lizardman eats and drinks, but doesn’t indulge in the food. After a while he picks his sword and begins some basic training.

    “…He who wears the Crown of Nehekhara, He who rides the Chariot of the Gods, He who wields the Blessed Blade of Ptra, He who masters the Staff of Osiris…”

    The lizardman parries, springs, dodges… for an hour i see him recovering and slowly regaining confidence.

    “…Vanquisher of the Chaos Tribes, Subduer of the Dragonback Mountains’ Orcs, Slayer of the Northern Giants, Conqueror of the Marshes of Khernarch…”

    I continue to list the victories of my Lord and the sun casts shadows longer and longer, until he senses that I’m almost done. He wears his armor.

    …He who stands before eternity Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken.

    A distant, colossal thunder marks those last words. In the western skies, upon what I was told is the home of the lizardmen, the Green Moon explodes and thousands of colossal fiery fragments fill the dusk, slowly and inexorably descending toward the earth. The end is near.

    “…Now you know what you are facing. Surrender and live, or fight and die. HEAR MY WORDS AND KNEEL BEFORE THE MIGHT OF SETTRA!

    He roars his challenge, and charges. I ready myself and raise my flail.

    The World of Skink Chief McBragg: The Siege of Hexoatl


    Que the old timey epic music.

    At the Gentleskinks’ Club where all the old skinks had inexplicable British accents and even more inexplicable mustaches.

    “There, Hexoatl, City of the Sun.” Skink Chief McBragg said imperiously pointing at a map of Lustria. He turned to the slightly less old Skink standing near him.

    “Did I ever tell you about the time that I saved the life of Mazdamundi?”
    “Commander—I mean chief, I really must be going..”

    (He looked completely different from the listening skink in the previous McBragg installment but inexplicably had the exact same voice as the skink from the first installment.)

    McBragg pushed pulled the other skink back into his chair by the tail as he tried to get up. McBragg began his tail…er tale.

    “The largest Warriors of Chaos army that Lustria had ever seen this far south sailed to the isthmus near the Hexoatl. Fortunately I had recently been called into the city to supervise the latest temple construction there.”

    Cut to a scene with a team of Kroxigor dragging a large block. McBragg is dragging a similar block single handedly. Alarm bells start ringing. McBragg puts down his giant block in alarm.

    “As Mazdamundi marshalled his mighty army against the Chaos invaders, I set about searching for the enemy leaders, realizing this was the best way to contribute to the success of my comrades."

    McBragg barges into a temple observatory, Tetto’ekko immediately defers to McBragg moving out of the way as McBragg seizes the largest telescope and starts scanning the incoming Chaos army.

    “I quickly decided Gaulrach the two-headed dragon was the greatest immediate threat, tactics don’t know. Mounting my trusty Terradon, SS Queen of Araby, I flew towards the great beast ready to do battle, but a massive storm of Tzeentch magic tore up my steed’s wings sinking the SS Queen of Araby.”

    “I plummeted like stone.”

    “Thinking quickly, I took off my feathered headdress, dissembled the feathers and reattached to them by my arms as wings allowing me to fly back into battle.”

    “While I was using my arms to steer my gliding I couldn’t properly hold my weapon, so I prepared to battle the dragon using only my fangs, but I remembered Hexoatl is the City of the Sun, so I angled my golden bracelet, caught the afternoon sunlight and aimed the blaze of mighty Chotec’s radiance into the eyes of one of the dragon heads.”

    One of the two dragon heads is blinded, it bumps into the other head and the two heads start fighting and the dragon floats away from the fight locked inner turmoil until they smacked into the top of a vertically oriented temple and fell to the ground with cartoon stars around both heads.

    “Reawakening the conflict between the two rival dragon heads had, I had removed Gaulrach from the fight.”

    “I began gliding around looking for my next foe when suddenly a glob of slime struck me and sodden my feathers, forcing me to land.”

    McBragg crashed into the ground a short distance, embarrassed and dismayed but not injured. He faced a bulbous and ugly pockmarked man with a large cauldron on his back. The man grinned evilly.

    “I found myself facing Festus the Leechlord and surrounded by two dozen Nurgle touched Chaos Warriors into and the Lizardmen lines were over a quarter mile away as the putrid unit advanced towards me.”

    The other skink gaped in astonishment.

    “Commander—I mean chief, whatever did you do?”

    “Thinking quickly I built up a large wad of spittle in my mouth and spat into Festus’ cauldron. My saliva was so antiseptic, it cleansed its contents completely, clean living don’t you know.”

    Festus’ cauldron of horrors turned into sparkling water, Festus examined his cauldron and looked terrified.

    “So startled was Festus and his men that they all fled. By disarming his greatest weapon, I had removed Festus from the fight.”

    “I was about to return to the line where suddenly a Slaaneshi banner was before me and I found myself facing the handsome but evil adversary that was Sigvald the Magnificent surrounded by four dozen Slaanesh touched Chaos warrior while the Lizardmen lines were over half a mile away, as the degenerate soldiers advanced towards me.”

    “Oh my, Commander—I mean chief, how did you get out of that one?” asked the other skink.

    “Thinking quickly, I knew that the sludge left by Festus’ men, while still putrid-looking was quite safe to touch so I gathered up as much slime as I could and I flung it towards Sigvald smudging all of the mirrors held by his attendants.”

    Sigvald starts wringing his hands girlishly and yelling at everyone around him.

    “Sigvald ordered his men to go get the heavy duty cleaning supplies to restore his mirrors at once,m forcing them all to withdraw. By exploiting his vanity, I had removed Sigvald from the fight.”

    “I returned to the friendly lines but found our center was buckled. Zlaaq the Stegadon was incapacitated and Wulfrik the Wanderer was steadily beating Mazdamundi into submission. Thinking quickly, I gave Wulfrik a cleverly worded irresistible challenge, Moxy don’t you know.”

    Cut to a scene of McBragg yelling across a field of Chaos Warrior and Temple Guard bodies.

    ‘Wulfrik, I would like to fight you in single combat.’ McBragg the flashback said flatly in the cutscene with the same cadence as McBragg the narrator.

    “As Wulfrik charged towards me I remembered I still had a banana left over from lunch and all this fighting had made me a bit hungry, battle hunger don’t you know.

    McBragg slowly and carefully peels the banana and taking no defensive action while slowly eating the banana Wulfrik gets closer, then nonchalantly tosses the peel over his shoulder.

    “I threw the peel into his path causing him to slip and slide off of a ledge. My clever ruse had removed Wulfrik from the fight.”

    “I turned to help Mazdamundi as the Chaos Warrior rank and file surged. With Zlaaq the Stegadon unconscious, I knew it was up to me to carry Mazdamundi on my shoulders myself and together we battled the Chaos hordes.”

    Cut to a scene of Mazdamundi throwing down magic while McBragg with makeshift spikes on his head which he uses to impale Chaos warriors.

    “The two of us were winning and slowly driving the Chaos Warriors back when suddenly the forces of Chaos were reinforced by fresh troops led by none other than Archaon the Everchosen, himself”

    “Unfortunately, Mazdamundi, mighty though he was, had become exhausted from hours of unending life or death combat so he could barely cast a cantrip. As Archaon as his men advanced it looked hopeless."

    “Do I even want to ask what you did?” the other skink interjected.

    “I used all my mystical might to access the winds of magic and I channeled my magic through Mazdamundi engulfing all his attackers in magical flames and winds, destroying most of the rank and file and blowing away the rest I had removed Arcahaon from the fight, thus defeating the army once and for all and saving the eldest living Slann and his city.”

    The other skink paused and scratched his chin.

    “I say, Chief, …that sounds rather…blasphemous.”

    McBragg tapped some ash out of his pipe and grunted.

    “Quite.."

    Everyone is Here!


    "Lay down your weapon, mortal," boomed Archaon the Everchosen as he reined in his Chaotic horse Dorghar, the Slayer of Kings raised with infernal point aimed toward his foe, "And the Chaos Gods may yet spare you."

    The sky was black with godly wrath and volcanoes simmered and bubbled with lava around the oval-shaped plateau, upon which the Everchosen faced his most challenging enemy yet.

    "As a Space Marine and defender of the Imperium, I shall never yield to a vile pawn of Chaos!" Retorted Captain Cato Sicarius of the Ultramarines as they glared at one another across the barren plain of ash, "As the epitome of the perfection inundated by the glorious Emperor of Mankind, it is I who will vanquish you!"

    "Wot da zoggin' eck is dis?" Swampboss Skummdrek bellowed at the top of his Greenskin voice as he and his Sludgeraker, Sloppklaw, emerged from a great hole in the ashy ground, "Get on wiv da fightin', and I'll show ya 'oo's da boss 'round 'ere!"

    “What’s this? A couple of ironclad fools and a simple Greenskin,” purred Lelith Hesperax as she sashayed toward her foes, jagged knives in hands, “Hardly a challenge for my beatific skill.”

    “Artycle 2, Point 26,” Intoned the Kharadron Magnate Brokk Grungsson, as he descended from the skies in his dirigible suit and planted his Dwarven feet firmly upon the blackened earth, “If in the pursuit of duty, a captain encounters a threat that might impact the financial or physical well-being of their shareholders, they are expected to respond with all reasonable force. Any external entity that threatens the accumulation of profit should be subjected to immediate destruction.”

    “All of you think yourselves strong, but none of you are kings!” boomed the Silent King, Szarekh, as his Dais of Dominion slowly elevated him and his fellow members of the Triarch up to the rim of the plateau, and he gazed contemptuously upon his foes, “Bow down to your one true sovereign, or face the true might of the Necrontyr!”

    “A king is nothing compared to a god,” the Elf-Mage Teclis drawled in a bored voice as he drifted to earth accompanied by Celennar, Spirit of Hysh, “Your attempt to cheat in gaining immortality cost you your very soul, whereas I achieved omnipotence through pure skill.”

    The enemies all glowered at one another, then at some unseen signal, the Silent King gave a groaning, metallic growl, and raised his Sceptre of Eternal Glory into the air, summoning two Triarchal Menhirs that began to blast Teclis with their Annihilator Beams, knocking the Elf deity backwards with each shot. Celennar leaped toward the Menhirs, swiping at them with his great clawed paws and batting them away from his ally. Szarekh kept up his assault, and used his Sceptre to blast a bolt of green energy at his target, knocking him to the ground and hovering toward him like a predator closing in for the kill. Teclis flung a bolt of bright light back at the automaton to distract him, before closing his eyes and channelling his thoughts into manifesting that which he desired. Opening his arms wide, his form began to glow with the light of Hysh. The Silent King and his fellow Phaerons of the Triarch fired bolt after bolt of channelled energy, but each turned into mere tickle as his protective light absorbed the Necrons’ attacks and used them to fuel his power further. Then his eyes snapped open and with a glare, Teclis shot a beam of light from his forehead that shattered the Dais and knocked the metallic aliens to the floor.

    Meanwhile Archaon charged Sicarius, Dorghar ramming into the Space Marine with the force of a thunderclap, but he was barely harmed and shot his artisan plasma pistol up into the Chaos Lord at point-blank range, rending great holes into the Everchosen’s armour. Yet the Chaos Gods protected their champion from the worst of the damage, and he goaded Dorghar to trample Sicarius into the ground. The Space Marine rolled aside and jumped to his feet, drawing the Talassarian Tempest Blade which clashed with the Slayer of Kings. Then both were smashed to the ground as Sloppklaw slammed into them, his Orc master grinning in triumph. Dorghar whinnied and kicked out at the Sludgeraker with his bladed hooves. The beast snapped its great jaws in return, but was distracted as a plasma shot burned a hole in its scaly hide. The monster ramped around and slashed at Sicarius with its claws as Skumdrekk caught him with his Snatcha-Stikk, throwing him to the ground near the edge of the plateau. Sloppklaw thundered toward Sicarius again, but something jolted it aside at the last minute, causing the beast to swerve past the Space Marine and plummet off the precipice, sending it and its furious rider to their mutual destruction.

    Brokk Grungsson soared above the pandemonium using his personal aether-endrin and blasted at Lelith with the Mangate’s Charter. The Dark Eldar gladiatrix dodged and somersaulted toward him, pirouetting in mid-air to kick the Duardin square in the chest with her sharpened toenails and slashing at his breathing suit in a flurry of knife cuts. Grungsson charged up his aetherblasters and blasted Lelith back to earth, though she landed catlike on her feet and danced around the storm of aether-shot that pursued her. Brokk buzzed after her - the Elgi-woman was quicker than an aether-sprat and devilishly difficult to catch. Perhaps the only way to defeat her once and for all was to fight as his ancestors did, with Duardin steel, determination and skill-at-arms on his side.

    After destroying both of the Triarchal Menhirs, Celennar watched the other combatants fighting. His brother-soul Teclis seemed as though he had got the measure of the metallic pretenders he was up against, but there were many other threats to deal with. He recognised the Everchosen, astride a steed that somehow resembled that which he rode in the Mortal Realms, but smaller. Brokk Grungsson was also familiar, though he appeared to be struggling to defeat a servant of Malerion. Though the Lunasphinx felt a disdain for the duardin, he liked those twisted Aelves a whole lot less. He galloped toward the gladiatrix and swung at her viciously with his claws, but each time she darted out of the way and raked the creature of Hysh with her wicked blades. The Duardin hovering above seemed not to discriminate in his shooting, and Celennar howled in rage as he was strafed by aethershot. He leaped up and swatted Grungsson, but the Duardin whizzed away and continued to pursue the Dark Aelf. The Lunasphinx could not let such an insult pass unpunished, and raced after him.

    Archaon had thundered into Sicarius again, and with no dim-witted Orc and his oversized pet to distract him, he had his gaze firmly fixed on his prey. Sicarius had blasted him again with that projectile weapon of his, but had failed to land a telling shot, and the damage inflicted by the Orc’s monster had shaken the defender of this ‘Imperium’. Was this a cipher to mask this super-warrior’s allegiance to the Empire, or was this yet another nation for the Everchosen to conquer? It mattered not, for the Slayer of Kings struck true and pierced his foe’s stone-like armour and straight into his heart, where Archaon could feel U’zhul sating his hunger for blood. Yet his foe did not die.

    “In the Emperor’s wisdom, he gave me two hearts to counter such a predictable offence,” Sicarius spat smugly, and swung his own sword at the Everchosen, knocking him back and staggering to his feet. Yet as soon as he aimed his plasma pistol again, a lithe figure leaped into him and sent the Space Marine over the ledge, screaming like a child as he fell to his death. Next she turned on the Everchosen, raining blades onto him. Dorghar snorted flame and reared to parry many of the blows with his hooves, and Archaon swung back with the Slayer of Kings, the deadly blade forcing his opponent back. Then a Dwarf shot out of the air and into the Elf-maid, wielding a sword of tiny blades that rotated along its length, which he madly swung at the Dark Elf as she sped away across the ground. A monstrous leonine creature wearing a mask of what appeared to be Elven make then thundered into the Dwarf, and batted his propulsion device with its great paws. The Dwarf fired at the beast point-blank with his firearm, but the monster slashed through the metal covering of his flying device with its claws. A loud noise that would have been at home coming from a Daemon of Nurgle accompanied yellowish-green gas from the puncture, spiralling the Dwarf through the air. He screamed as he rocketed up, up, into the sky, until he was but a twinkle in the heavens above. The beast next bounded toward Archaon, yet the Everchosen feared nothing, not with the Slayer of Kings at his command. He countercharged the creature, bringing an overhead blow toward its neck as Dorghar galloped past. Once again the weapon bit deep, cutting through the beast’s neck, but instead of collapsing in a gory mess, the creature vanished in a blinding flash. Archaon glowered in anger - as the chosen of Khorne among others, that creature’s skull should have been his by right!

    Lelith smirked as she watched the balloon-wearing Squat’s demise. He deserved nothing less. She now turned her attention toward the Eldar bombarding the Silent King with psychic magic, the most worthy challenge for the gladiatrix. She pranced toward him, paired daggers at the ready to slit his throat from behind, yet just before she could lunge at him, she felt a sharp prick on her neck. She turned and noticed a tiny dart embedded in her bleached skin. She plucked it out and threw it away, but as she did so, she lost all control of her senses, ambling forward like an intoxicated Ork. She still aimed a blow at her prey, but she missed clumsily, and as he turned his gaze toward her, she felt herself being thrown backwards by an unstoppable force. With the unknown poison crippling her reflexes, she could do nothing but accept her fate as she was propelled over the edge of the plateau to her doom.

    The Dark Eldar had provided the distraction that Szarekh needed. His Triarchal Menhirs and fellow members of the Triarch had all been destroyed by this unimaginably powerful Eldar, but achieving this had sapped his foe’s strength. Now the Silent King aimed the Sceptre of Eternal Glory and fired a beam of Gauss radiation straight into his foe, at point-blank range. The Eldar was cast once again to the ground. He fired again and concentrated the beam so that it bored into his enemy’s body. The Eldar attempted to resist as he had before, but this time the Silent King was too strong. The power of aeons flooded through the primitive Eldar’s body, and he cried in pain, before exploding in a light that dazzled even the Necron’s photoreceptors. The Silent King raised a metal hand to shade his sight, to witness a rider in black armour leaping straight into him. The Phaeron was knocked to the ground with such force that he ploughed a furrow through the ash, until he was perilously close to the edge of the plateau, his new adversary keeping pace upon his dark steed. Szarekh gripped the flank of the beast with a clawed hand, before reaching up to clench onto one of his foe’s legs and pulling hard enough to tear his enemy from the saddle, the steed vanishing in a puff of dark smoke. The infernal warrior swung with his sword, which appeared to be polluted with Chaotic taint, but The Silent King parried effortlessly with the Sceptre before blasting the weapon from his hand and over the edge of the plateau. Szarekh laid the Sceptre upon the ground and prepared to fight his foe on even terms, yet even here he was superior, as his mechanical strength overpowered the god-touched fortitude of his opponent, and at last cast him over the precipice, the Chaos Lord swearing vengeance as he fell.

    Satisfied that he had vanquished the last of his foes, Szarekh turned from the ledge and wondered what would happen next. Yet he soon got his answer, for from nowhere a hefty thump in his chest pitched him over the precipice and sent him to his annihilation.

    As he fell, the Silent King stared upwards and happened to spot a scrawny, orange reptilian creature materialising from thin air, that peered over the ledge after him, silently but with an unmistakably mocking look upon its round, boggle-eyed face.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    “It’s always the invisible ones you have to watch out for.”

    As the character Oxyotl spoke his pre-programmed win quote and raised his blowpipe in triumph, the announcer yelled “The winner is… Oxyotl!”

    “No way!” Dave was yelling as the rankings appeared on the TV screen and he threw down his Nintendo Switch, “He should never be able to beat The Silent King! Oxyotl is cheese!”

    “Rubbish, he’s only just dropped, you just need to practice more to try and beat him,” retorted Chas, who had laughed out loud when the puny Chameleon Skink had so easily dispatched the Necron Phaeron that his Teclis had lost to. His Goth girlfriend, Stacey, who had played Lelith, was simply sitting and shaking her head at the screen, dumbfounded.

    “I would have won if you two hadn’t ganged up on me!” Ellis the Skumdrekk player was furiously yelling at the sniggering twin brothers Adam and Bob, who had played Archaon and Sicarius respectively.

    “I really need to keep practicing with Brokk, he’s so difficult to control in-game,” Henry, the quietest of the group, muttered to himself.

    “Hey, lads, there’s no more Fanta,” Chas grumbled as he got up, “I’m off to get some more out the fridge.”

    And as most of the other excitable, yelling teenagers followed him and traded accusations and ripostes relating to the match, Chris grabbed the last can of Pepsi and slurped it while gazing at the screen in elation. He hadn’t won a game of Super Smash Hammer Bros for ages, and the new content update, he thought, had been a great success.

    Captured in stone


    A vast green sea of canopies stretched to either side of the horizon. Interrupted here and there by peaks of various Temple Cities, placed in a precise pattern along the Geomantic web. In the middle of this jungle sight a part of the trees was covered by thick clouds. According to the lines of the web there had to be a city at that exact location. And yes it was.
    Underneath the mists a city resided, one almost identical to most Temple Cities: a combination of barracks, animal shelters, spawning pools and lesser ziggurats positioned orderly around a great Temple Ziggurat.
    Xlanhuapec, the City of Mists. Due to the permanent clouds the city was only lit by diffuse daylight or, during the night, bathing in the shines of hundreds upon hundreds of torches.

    The inside of the main ziggurat consisted of many hallways, stairs and chambers. Skinks franticly walking in and out, bringing items around or cleaning up. Just one of the chambers, in the heart of the ziggurat, had a door and it was closed firmly. From the hallway you might not even notice it was a door, because no handle or doorknob was to be found. It could only be opened from the inside. The name of this room: The Eternity Chamber.
    Slann Lords of Xlanhuapec isolate themselves inside this room to meditate on the Great Plan and communicate with Slann Lords of other Temple Cities via the lines of the Geomantic Web. The door only opens if the Slann has a message to proclaim on the city’s inhabitants.
    The last time this occurred had been thirty-two years ago. After the proclamation the Slann had returned to the chamber accompanied by his trusted bodyguard and protector Chakax, Greatest of Saurus Guards and the most unmoving lizard known within the entire New World.

    Periods of meditation between proclamations stretch for years and years, a skink is blessed to even receive one revelation during its lifetime. These extensive years of silence and a closed Eternity Chamber result in speculations about what is really happening behind that door. Is the Slann Lord really meditating all those years? And what is the honored Eternity Warden doing in the meantime?

    ----

    Flashes of blue and green alternate continuously, even easily visible with closed eyes. Chakax opened one of his eyes. In front of him a palanquin floated in the middle of the chamber. Around it swirls of blue and green, enclosing the palanquin and the meditating Slann Lord Hua-Hua on top of it in a giant ball of spiritual energy. Chakax closed his eye again: Nothing out of the ordinary.

    Deadly silence laid heavy on the octagon shaped room. All eight walls lacked windows so no outside disturbances could interfere with the meditation. Also no daylight could enter the room, shifting of days and night, even time itself, had no influence in here. Most of the time the room was lid by one torch right beside the entrance or the Spiritual outbursts that the meditation process produced.
    Shelves adorned four of the walls, on them stood carefully carved round stones with a flat bottom in different sizes. Ranging from a few stones the size of a human skull down to almost hundreds the size of a Skinks’ tooth.

    Chakax took a deep breath and opened his eyes again. He stood in front of a stone table with two chairs. The surface of the table was carved in a flowing form resembling a landscape with hills, lakes and rivers. On a couple of points pyramids showed the location of Temple Cities. Around the pyramids a gross of small stones was placed neatly among two or three bigger ones. At the edge of the tables landscape a dozen big stones lined up.
    Chakax moved the stones from the edge towards the middle a couple of inches, closing in around one of the Temple Cities. After moving the last big stone he moved to the other side of the table to move the stones within the Temple City to face the incoming ones. From the one of the hills a group of nine stones attached on little wooden sticks came in behind the big threat.
    Chakax grabbed something out of the satchel hanging from his hip. He swung his hand over the table whilst opening it and nine six-sided stones rolled over the table showing different glyphs on each of the six sides. After inspecting the cubes he growled and took away one of the incoming treats to the Temple City.

    In the middle of the chamber the Blue and Green energy flickered shortly, but restored again.

    The Biggest Baddest Lizard


    Koma’s eyes swept over the plaque he held, examining every written glyph.

    History as a concept never failed stirring the skink priest’s heart with inspiration. For thousands of years, before even the warmblooded races learnt to walk, It was Koma’s ancestors who endured countless tragedies, countless strife against the forces of Chaos. But the jungles of Lustria still spoke the language taught by the Old Ones, still did their children live on and awaited patiently for their return.

    This history Koma shared was a tale he couldn’t stop obsessing over.

    So it brought him unbearable happiness to learn that the plaque foretold the arrival of an ancient warrior even Chaos feared: Nakai the Wanderer—the oldest kroxigor thought still alive.

    Nakai was history manifest; his scales over the ages have hardened into something nearly impervious, and each of his numerous scars told stories of countless battles—all in protection of his kin so much younger than him.

    When Nakai appeared, it was usually during a time the hordes of warmblooded spawn sought to destroy lizard-kin and all they held dear. A time like now.

    Koma left eagerly to prepare the sacrificial pits as his tail flicked with excitement. He imagined there won’t be any shortage of offerings from the battles to come.

    ***

    It would be an understatement to say that meeting Nakai was the moment Koma looked forward to the most in his entire life. Tradition held that skink priests like him have adorned Nakai’s massive frame with tributes and gifts for centuries, thanking the ancient warrior for his service. For Koma to finally play his part in this tradition was a dream come true.

    So he couldn’t stop staring in utter disbelief from what he saw.

    A rat with a Jezzail sniper rifle strapped on its back was riding on top of Nakai, affectionately resting his furry head against the tough scales that made up the giant kroxigor’s neck. The two enjoyed each other’s company as the rat giggled uncontrollably, not used to the towering height, and Nakai chuckled from the almost childish behavior coming from his tiny companion.

    “Nakai… what are you doing?” Koma asked incredulously.

    “This rat wanted a place to call home,” Nakai rumbled, smiling.

    Koma looked at the ancient kroxigor curiously. That brought up even more questions than answers.

    “It’s funny, because you know, I'm a marksman specialist,” the small rat squeaked on top of Nakai. “It’s sort of my job to snipe-snipe you important lizards from long range. But… this is more fun-fun!”

    “Right…” Koma said slowly, still not comprehending.

    A few days later, as the many lizards and Slan steadily grew accustomed to the small rat riding on top of Nakai (there were still many stares, of course), Koma went to visit Nakai again, only to find the ancient kroxigor had a different, much LARGER companion with him.

    “Nakai…” Koma stared at him somewhat tiredly. “Why are you hugging a minotaur?”

    “This big guy wanted a friend stronger than him.” Nakai hugged the minotaur harder, his large arms wrapped around it firmly. “He was a lonely soul like me, so why not become friends?”

    It looked like the heavily-built minotaur wanted to say something, but instead smiled and closed his eyes, choosing to enjoy this joyful moment with his scaly companion in silence.

    ***

    Koma wasn’t mad. He had no disappointment, nor any sadness residing in him. Koma was just so immensely bamboozled. He broke away from the tradition of not questioning those of great status, and asked the ancient, revered kroxigor for the reasoning behind his actions. Koma wanted to know why Nakai treated the accursed anathema with respect and kindness.

    Koma gestured towards the many scars covering Nakai’s scales, and asked quite pointedly, “Oh Nakai the revered lone wanderer, Aren’t the scars on your scales proof of your long history of struggle against the forces of Chaos? Aren’t you proud of this history? Don’t you find comfort in it like I do—like everyone else does?”

    Nakai was silent as he gazed at his many countless scars. After a long moment, Nakai locked eyes with the skink priest he towered over. “History shouldn’t make you proud. You shouldn’t look back at history and find comfort as though you’re retiring for rest. It should break you, it should tear your heart apart, and drown your soul in utter despair. It should make you desperately yearn for a better future.”

    Koma wanted to disagree, even felt anger budding in his chest, until he realized that although he was an old soul, he still had no scars to call his own. It was very easy for Koma, then, to look back at history like a comforting dream.

    Koma looked away from Nakai and smiled with such immense pain.

    ***

    For centuries, skink priests have adorned Nakai’s giant body with necklaces and bracelets which all serve as tributes to the Old Ones. There were tributes to Itzl, Quetzl, Huanchi, and the most numerous of all, Chotec. Now, it was Koma’s turn to partake in this tradition.

    For a long time, Koma would’ve thought a tribute for Quetzl would be most appropriate for representing Nakai’s stalwart scales and the fighting he’s done for centuries. Itzl, Huanchi, and Chotec would’ve been other good options as well.

    However, Koma instead chose the Old One Rigg. She was wildly unpopular (there certainly weren’t any tributes of her to be found on Nakai). But her values—her love for compassion—resonated a lot more with what the ancient kroxigor truly believed in—so different from what Koma originally thought Nakai would represent.

    At the very least, it did tickle Koma’s heart when Nakai said, “I love this so much, little one. I will remember it until my last days.”

    A Debate


    “I’m telling you, Nakai would crush Gor-Rok like an Itzi grub!”

    Lim paused in anointing the glyphs with the sacred seed oils to regard his fellow attendant with a sharp look. He lashed his tail angrily.

    “Firstly, Zani, this whole discussion is utterly blasphemous. Secondly, Gor-Rok has weathered blows from greater daemons and wyverns. Nakai is strong, very strong, but even he could not move the immovable Gor-Rok.”

    Zani snorted at his fellow Skink as he continued to polish the carved stone floor of the temple chamber. “You forget that Nakai is even move unkillable. They say he withstood the plagues of the vile ratmen during the rise of Sotek, plagues that would slay any other Skink, Saurus, or Kroxigor. And before you say it, Nakai has fought hordes of daemons and never faltered or fell. In fact, he was there when the Dark Ones first broke through, isn’t that right, Itl?”

    Itl, the oldest of the Skink attendants looked up from his study of what he claimed to be glyph forty-three and fixed the two Skinks with a hard stare from his single eye (the other a milky orb lost to a thornsnake many years ago.) “I think you both should get back on with your work before Master Gr’ttl returns from the morning devotional and finds his chamber woefully unprepared for his reading.” He paused for a long moment before running a claw over his crest in exasperation. “But yes, Nakai was there when the world was young, at least so they say.”

    “Well I think Tehenhauin is the best!” Skri declared aloud as he scraped away at the mould clinging to the chamber walls, pausing to look at the others and stick a claw up his nostril. The other three groaned at the smallest (and incidentally the smallest of brains also) of their group.

    “We keep telling you,” spoke Zani with a deep sigh, “Tehenhauin is not real. The Slann invented him so the less intelligent Skinks would have someone to believe in and find more motivation to sacrifice the ratmen for Sotek.”

    “Who is certainly real, by the way,” added Lim quickly, making the sign of Sotek just in case the serpent god might have been angered by such a suggestion.

    “Tehenhauin is real!” Skri declared angrily, “I met him once, he was really nice!”

    “No, you were suffering hallucinations from mould poisoning when you tried eating that mould. Mould that you should be scraping instead of talking,” Itl growled. “And that goes for the two of you also.”

    The three grumbled and got back to work as hissed chants for the Old Ones crept through the carved window slits into the chamber. The Skink Priest’s morning devotionals were nearing their end. The sun had risen and all across the Temple City the Lustrians were basking in the early warmth of the day.

    Itl put down the plaque he had been pretending to study and let out a long sigh.

    “Regardless, you three are completely wrong. Kroq-Gar would crush all the others to a fine paste. Easily. And without Grymloq.”

    The chamber was quickly filled by the sound of bickering Skinks.

    The Deliverer of Itza


    The jungle surrounding Itza was a desolation. Charred green corpses and lumps of goopy flesh decorated the trees - all that remained of the vast greenskin horde that had dared to attack the first city of Lustria.

    The lizardmen crowded the city streets and looked up to the temple that towered above them, its golden steps ablaze in the sunlight.

    "All hail Lord Kroak!" cried a skink priest from the summit, gesturing to the mummified slann that floated impassively beside him.

    "Hail Kroak! Hail Kroak!" shouted the crowds, somewhat indifferently.

    It was just another ritual - a routine part of city life. A vicious enemy would attack Itza in uncountable numbers, and when all hope seemed lost, they'd wheel out the undead Lord to annihilate the defilers with a spell of unparalleled destructive force. This was followed by an obligatory thank-you speech, before Kroak could be safely re-interred in the crypt until the next time.

    "Truly, he is the saviour of Itza!" chirped the skink priest. "He who walked with the Old Ones, who defeated the ravening tide of Chaos. We praise him for his great deeds!"

    "Praise him!" the crowd called back. A well-worn formula.

    "Greatest of Mage-Priests, we give thanks unto Thy Holy Corpus for the -"

    The priest paused as an attendant scurried forwards and whispered something in his ear. The priest cleared his throat and turned back to the crowd.

    "It seems High Lord Xlotec wishes us to return to work with all haste. The ritual is over!"

    The lizardmen hissed and clicked, and quickly dispersed. Those greenskin bodies wouldn't burn themselves.

    On the temple summit, the skink priest gestured to a quartet of waiting kroxigors to take Lord Kroak's holy remains back down to the vault of the Relic Priests.

    Everyone breathed easier when the unsettling mummy was gone. Being dead, the ancient slann couldn't move or speak, but somehow it always felt like it wanted something from you. Like it was ...lonely.

    As the kroxigors placed the Lord back in his alcove and began to reseal the great stone door of the crypt, nobody noticed that from an eye that had long since shrivelled to dust, somehow a single tear emerged, and rolled down an immaculate golden faceplate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2022
  2. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Story One: "Hear My Words and Kneel" by @Killer Angel


    Story Two: "The World of Skink Chief McBragg: The Siege of Hexoatl" by Scalenex


    Story Three: "Everyone is Here!" by @Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl


    Story Four: "Captured in Stone" by @Imrahil

    Story Five: "The Biggest Baddest Lizard" by @Paradoxical Pacifism

    Story Six: "A Debate" by @Y'ttar Scaletail

    Story Seven: "The Deliverer of Itza" by @thedarkfourth


    The winner by a single vote is @thedarkfourth with "The Deliverer of Itza". Congratulations to thedarkfourth and thank you to everyone who entered!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2023
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  3. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    Yes! here we go :bookworm::bookworm:

    Grrr, !mrahil
     
  4. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Slann

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Eleventh Spawning

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    Well well, seven entries - sounds as if there were a fair-few last-minuters this time ;).

    This will be an interesting battle to say the least.
     
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  5. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    YES! Glad the theme has been well received. I'm so excited to read the stories. :D
     
  6. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Troglodon

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    First read throughs and some excellent writing as expected.

    A lot more comedic themes this time around with a few deeper elements thrown in here and there.

    I look forward to the review-things. :)
     
  7. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Here we are, it's time to open the flow of the reviews (hoping that more will follow)

    No chaos dwarfs this round, @NIGHTBRINGER :p

    Hear my word and kneel
    the first story took me by surprise: no named lizardmen characters, but Tomb Kings. Luckily i know them so i guessed immediately it was about the herald of Settra, a detail which will be revealed later. Interestingly told in first person, it's a serious piece that follows the last days of the Old World, right before the destruction of Morsslieb and the final cataclysm. A sad story, when the end is near the characters (the named TK and the unnamed Saurus), choose to spend their last moments doing the only thing they know and they find comfort with: a last fight, while everything is falling apart.

    The world of skink chief...
    A comedy piece, with the pleasant return of the most boastful and liar of all lizardmen in history, that harasses one of the usual "victims" of the Club, which would like to be in every other place other than that. This round he breaks basically by himself the whole siege of Hexaoatl, defeating the most famous enemies of lizardmen and even acting as a better substitute of Mazdamundi. Maybe the story is a little too long, but we know how much McBragg likes to talk about himself.
    If you want over the top absurdities, look no further!

    Everyone is here!
    Second comedy piece in a row. This story reminds be af an old piece i wrote. it was about a videogame set in 40k and the players were modern skinks (alas the piece took the last place on seven). Here we have a similar concept, with humans playing a game of the fabulous Super Smash Hammer Bros (a name that IMO is simply great :D).The game is rightully a chaotic mess of various famous characters from warhammer fantasy and 40k, and in the end lizardmen win the day (very appropriate, I'd say). IMO the piece is too long for what it brings to the table (if i'm not wrong it's the longest one) and it would have benefited by the presence of a less numerous plethora of characters, but is still enjoiable, and as said i like the idea.

    Captured in stone
    not full comedy, but still a light hearted piece, that begins with a serious tone. It's about the long meditations by slaans in their inner chambers, cloacked in mistery, while the faithful Saurus Guards are on duty and nothing can distract them. What happens in those chambers? what kind of thoughts cross the minds of their guardians, and especially a guardian as famous as Chakax himself?
    Well, it seems that when things are going smoothly, Chakax enjoy himself playing a sort of solitaire chess game... a very mundane hobby, certainly not the kind of things that one imagines from such a glorious figure. You cannot stand on attention for years, after all. In the end, a nice piece that manages to tell its story in a short amount of sentences, which is a good thing.

    The Biggest Baddest Lizard
    OK, let me get this straight: i'm torn about this. It's about Nakai (a character i love), but in truth the main character is the skink priest that must adorn Nakai with a homage adequate to the greatness of such a mythical defender of Lustria. Except... Nakai don't live up to the high expectations of the priest, as he firstly befriends a skaven, then a chaos minotaur, apparently betraying everything he should represent.
    Whan Nakai explains the reason of his behavior, it's by far the most profound concept of all the stories in this comp, and the skink not only understands it (albeit with a certain effort, given the lack of direct knowledge), but manages to homage Nakai in a proper way.
    A great piece but... there's IMO a strong dissonance between the seriousness of the ending concept, and the silliness of the way Nakai presents his friends, that are almost caricatures appearing out of nowhere, breaking my suspension of disbelief (necessary in a serious story).

    A debate
    another comedic piece. Based on real events: every group of friends that work together sooner or later will break the monotony of their task, debating who's the strongest one within a certain number of characters, be them fictional (marvel superheroes) or real people (football players).
    In the same way, these skinks debate on the most famous lizardmen heroes. The piece is short AND brilliant. As this review (well, at least for the "short" part).

    The deliverer of Itza
    we started serious, we end serious. The protagonist (well, sort of) is Kroak, nonetheless.
    The silent, undead slann is only a shadow of a living being, but his power is still unmatched. Alas, being an undead Slann that communicats with no one, he's considered almost only a venerabe tool that needs to be used only in the most dire of circumstances. But what about Kroak? There are still real feelings behind the golden mask? Can he experience nostalgia of the past? The story gives the answer, and it's a sad yes, when we understand that the lizardmen unknowingly condemn poor Kroak to a (un)life of loneliness.


    yep, my part has been done.
    Great pieces, everyone. Kudos to the authors. :)
     
  8. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I guess no one wants seize upon the unfair advantage that a free vote would entail!
     
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  9. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Out of curiosity, have you taken a look at the various stories?
     
  10. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Does a quick ctrl-F search for "Chaos Dwarf", "Hashut", "Drazoath" and "Dawi-Zharr" count?

    ... I did notice a few mentions of Settra though.


    P.S. I'd also give out a free vote for an in-story mention of Nightbringer (because I'm vain like that :p)
     
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  11. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    A while back, Bob wrote a fiction piece where most of the characters inspired by regular posters discussing with how to deal with varying upcoming catastrophes. I believe there was a character called Bringer of Night who did not like a threatening phantom menace.
     
  12. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    yep, there's a story that revolves around the Herald of Settra.


    ohhh, that's good to know for the next time. :D
     
  13. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Epic!

    I miss Bob, he was a great forum member.

    :D
     
  14. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Slann

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Eleventh Spawning

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    Typical, the last chapter of that great-looking forum saga appeared only a day or so after I joined...

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Troglodon

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    And now I feel old(er)...

    Sigh...*Puts on donkey-jacket and dyes beard white* Back in my day the magic phase had cards, bases were painted in goblin green, Warhammer Historical was still a thing, Warmaster was pretty big, and the Land Raider had just gotten a multi-part plastic kit...that is still moreorless being used today but for a lot more money...

    ...Anyway...I was off and on working on review-things. Hopefully something in the next week or two...maybe...
     
  16. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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    In all these are some great stories! I loved reading all of them.
    I will have to think about my votes a little more, but here are my reviews.

    Very cool to see the return of Settra to the Short Story Competition. I love the appending doom that is hanging over the story: we all know the End Times are near. The story builds up tension and interest by the task the Herald needs or wants to complete before his time is over.
    I like how the description of the prisoner makes it a Kroxigor but there is no mention of the name, because of the unfamiliarity of the protagonist with the prisoner. The ending left me with a question, was the protagonist reciting all the names of his King because he had to? (Settra had already perished) because he was accustomed doing so? Because he wanted to annoy the prisoner? Or because he was waiting for the End to kick in so he did not have to fight the prisoner (for long) after all?

    A wonderful other installment of the pub-stories from Skink Chief McBragg. As before all bragging about things he supposedly did. This installment is in itself an over the top exaggeration of his actions. Surely a story that a drunk person could come up with, but in all a bit over the top for me.

    Named Character(s) is the theme and named characters is what you get in this story. A crossover between Age of Sigmar and 40K in a sort of Battle Royal style. The lack of a Lizardmen fighter disturbed me until the dart in the neck of Lelith was mentioned. Clearly a Chameleon Skink was lurking around and non-other than Oxyotl. Love the fact that it was a Battle Royal game in the end. Great laugh to read.

    This story has a much more usual start. Depicting a Temple City in Lustria. The story plays on the premise of the ever meditating Slann and their trusted Saurus Guard. What does the Eternity Warden do for all the time? A fun twist to see him play a solitary game of pieces on tabletop, something we might relate to in times of Covid.

    A great start to this story, the devoted Skink longing to meet one of his Heroes. Followed by a bit of an odd piece and great example of never meet your heroes. I have been pulled in with the struggles of the Skink about the behavior of his hero. The message in this story is incredibly strong and multiple layered, never judge a book by its cover and learn from the past.

    Fun story about hero top trumps. Something I thought of doing but couldn’t make it work properly. It is good to see it is done very well in this story. The work ambiance looks a bit like every office place (I would imagine) and I love how all is within a greater setting of a Skink Priest having done his morning rituals and then returning.

    We are taken to Lustria’s pride and glory, Itza, post-battle. The describing of the scene is basic and something that is written about many times before in different styles and with different opponents being slaughtered. I loved that the Lizardmen them selves feel the same way about it. Always the same routine, enemy approaches to take over the city, Lizardmen fight, bring out the Relic Priest and he saves the day. They almost seem bored with it. The end really triggers a sad note and leaves me wondering what will happen the next time Lord Kroak is wheeled to the frontline of battle.

    Grrr, !mrahil
     
  17. Y'ttar Scaletail
    Troglodon

    Y'ttar Scaletail Well-Known Member

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    Here lies my thought/review-things:

    Even after all this time and for the most part myself coming to terms and even enjoying some of the potential and setting of Age of Sigmar, The End Times still hurts. This is very much a final huzzah for Nekaph (and possibly a better or more poignant end compared to iirc him getting killed off by Arkhan during the End Times Nagash book...I will have to check that again.) who has seen/heard of his nation falling and his king defeated by Nagash.

    I loved the pacing of this piece. There is a tongue-in-cheek parody with Settra’s long list of titles taking Nekaph an age to declare which the author time skips between parts, filling the gaps with what the lizardman is doing as it waits. Finishing with a final climax as Morrslieb explodes above (as a Clan Skurvy rat I still hate Skryre for doing that.)

    Deep but with a generous slice of humour. A great start to the competition.

    McBragg rides again! A rambling shaggy dog story that got more and more ridiculous as it went on (I’m almost surprised McBragg doesn’t end up in the Realms of Chaos and tag-teams with Oxyotl to menace the Chaos Gods themselves!) But wow, that was fun to read...unless you are a Chaos player... :p

    Pacing seemed fine with me and didn’t seem to drag, the characterisation was enjoyable with the poor bystander Skink getting more and more exasperated whilst McBragg’s solutions to each named character was ingenious and hilarious.

    I can see the silly nature of this piece not resonating with those that prefer deeper, more emotive, and darker pieces. But I enjoyed it greatly.

    Just wait for the Thanquol and Boneripper character pack, the Boneripper Warpfire spam will redefine the meta! :p

    This was a very original idea that I was not expecting to see in this compy and was very well executed to boot. The details and individual voices of each of the named characters felt right and true to me. The action scenes too were very well written, however, if I was to nitpick, this piece did feel a little too long and the cast a little too big. Whilst the concept is a Smash Bros ‘Everyone is Here!’ and the varied characters were voiced very well, I feel a few lesser characters could have been trimmed out for a bit better streamlining.

    Regardless, hats off to a very fun and well written concept!

    Oh my, that was some delicious narration and top-tier descriptive work...i’m a little jealous! The pacing of this piece is perfectly slow to match the overall theme of the story, perfectly chosen.

    No words are spoken and very little actually happens in this short piece. And yet, you get a lot of the feeling of the Temple City, of the chamber, and of Chakax himself. This type of writing is not always popular and compared to some of the more energetic pieces in this competition it will likely be outshone. I for one wish there was a little more to the sequence of Chakax playing the wargame against himself just to clarify it a little more and give a little more depth to is character.

    Regardless, this writer-thing in a brief story conveyed so much. Thank you.

    Every scar tells a story of the hurts and mistakes of the past. Many of us are fickle beings with one eye peering into the past with rose-tinted lenses, forgetting that often things were not so great back then (as I recall, in the Iliad there were a few mentions of how the men of the past were greater than the lesser of the then modern day...effectively if my memory is right, humanity have been talking about the ‘good old days’ for thousands of years!)

    Nakai is ancient. He has been through much hurt and much war. Others venerate his deeds and scars as testament to his power and glory forgetting why Nakai continues to fight. Nakai fights for the Old Ones and the Great Plan, to create a better world. Which I believe is what the author-meat was aiming for.

    Admitted, the use of the Skaven and Minotaur whilst amusing did I feel take away a bit from the message. Although, it did serve a part kinda explaining the why (as well as a little cheeky ‘never meet your heroes trope.)

    A very short piece that is surprisingly very full of character. The little quirks of each character is nicely conveyed. Itl does little work, Zani starts the whole zany debate, Lim is gods fearing and follows a straight lime...I mean line, and Skri skreeees aloud his thoughts which are just all noise and no substance. At least that’s if I really try to read in what the names could be referring to in their characters. (I’ve probably annoyed the author now...*Horrible chittering laughter*)

    But yes, this was a very fun and silly piece with a surprising amount of depth despite being a literal ‘my hero is bigger than your hero’. I just wish it had been longer and a little better proofread.

    Ouch, that one hurt. I demand the author-meat write a little sequel where some tiny Skink manages to find a way inside through a crack of collapsed wall, because it felt Kroak was lonely and goes and talks to the unresponsive Kroak with the latter’s skeletal visage seemingly smiling at the end.

    Ahem, anyway...great use of economy of words in such a short piece which perfectly led to the final heart breaking line. Very nicely done!

    In all excellent work once again to the author-things and Scalenex for running this compy. :D
     
  18. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Story One: "Hear My Words and Kneel" by @Killer Angel


    Story Two: "The World of Skink Chief McBragg: The Siege of Hexoatl" by Scalenex


    Story Three: "Everyone is Here!" by @Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl


    Story Four: "Captured in Stone" by @Imrahil

    Story Five: "The Biggest Baddest Lizard" by @Paradoxical Pacifism

    Story Six: "A Debate" by @Y'ttar Scaletail

    Story Seven: "The Deliverer of Itza" by @thedarkfourth


    The winner by a single vote is @thedarkfourth with "The Deliverer of Itza". Congratulations to thedarkfourth and thank you to everyone who entered!
     
  19. Imrahil
    Slann

    Imrahil Thirtheenth Spawning

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  20. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Congratulations to @thedarkfourth , it was well deserved. :)
    My votes went to @Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl and @Y'ttar Scaletail

    all in all i'm satisfied by my piece. i entered the podium (8h consecutive time!) and i knew it would have been an uphill battle when i choosed to write a story without a reference to lizardmen characters.
     
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