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Thread: TotW Story Archive

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    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; January 23, 2019 at 08:52 AM. Reason: updating for 281

  2. #2
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 1 - Start of the March
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    Winner - PowerWizard
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    He watched the knights canter past the outer battlements in all their panoply and knew he would never forget that sight - the jangle of the harness, the pennants flapping in the slight breeze, fire glinting from the bassinets and cuirasses. It was a Flemish tapestry come alive like a woven snake uncoiling across the landscape. No, that sight would never leave him for what young man will ever forget the sight of his father riding out to war? He could not remember ever having felt so proud in all his life. Even the cold of the morning which made the horses’ breath steam like dragon’s fire did not quench his pride. This was what all sons were born to see and he being the son of the King was no different.

    He would remember the beaten bronze of the sunrise, the golden warmth of the stones he stood next to, the towers and battlements rising up in hues of honey and copper, and through all that wound the silver and ice of the knights, upright and martial, like caryatids from a lonely Winter land. Even the mask which was his father’s helmet seemed carved from some cold metal, distant and otherworldly. Only once did it swivel in his direction and for an instant tip as if in recognition.

    He knew they rode out to war with a rebel Baron far to the south amidst the marshes and arid plains which fringed the sea. This Baron had raised up high his banner in revolt and now his father as a matter of honour rode forth at the head of his household guard to settle this upstart once and for all. Rarely did a king leave his throne and yet he knew his father could never take such an insult without seeing it as a personal affront to his honour. So the king his father sallied forth with his best to ride into a distant land and seek vengeance.

    He watched them all snake past him in the rosy dawn and he knew he would never forget that sight in all its wondrous and fairytale glory. Bards would sing of that ride and of the lonely boy left behind to rule a kingdom bereft of its king and how that boy avenged his father’s death with the head of the rebel - that Baron who had cut his father down in a treacherous ambush along with all his gaily caparisoned knights. He watched and knew he was watching history and fable being born; and he knew that even though he felt such pride he felt satisfaction also.

    For to make a King ride to war and doom was no easy feat especially when it was your father. So, yes, a sight he would never forget and one he would soon write a sonnet about, but first, before those light words composed in the rose garden, other words, to a far-off Baron and a trap he himself had been laying for quite some time . . .

    Entrant 1 - SeniorBatavianHorse
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    He watched the knights canter past the outer battlements in all their panoply and knew he would never forget that sight - the jangle of the harness, the pennants flapping in the slight breeze, fire glinting from the bassinets and cuirasses. It was a Flemish tapestry come alive like a woven snake uncoiling across the landscape. No, that sight would never leave him for what young man will ever forget the sight of his father riding out to war? He could not remember ever having felt so proud in all his life. Even the cold of the morning which made the horses’ breath steam like dragon’s fire did not quench his pride. This was what all sons were born to see and he being the son of the King was no different.

    He would remember the beaten bronze of the sunrise, the golden warmth of the stones he stood next to, the towers and battlements rising up in hues of honey and copper, and through all that wound the silver and ice of the knights, upright and martial, like caryatids from a lonely Winter land. Even the mask which was his father’s helmet seemed carved from some cold metal, distant and otherworldly. Only once did it swivel in his direction and for an instant tip as if in recognition.

    He knew they rode out to war with a rebel Baron far to the south amidst the marshes and arid plains which fringed the sea. This Baron had raised up high his banner in revolt and now his father as a matter of honour rode forth at the head of his household guard to settle this upstart once and for all. Rarely did a king leave his throne and yet he knew his father could never take such an insult without seeing it as a personal affront to his honour. So the king his father sallied forth with his best to ride into a distant land and seek vengeance.

    He watched them all snake past him in the rosy dawn and he knew he would never forget that sight in all its wondrous and fairytale glory. Bards would sing of that ride and of the lonely boy left behind to rule a kingdom bereft of its king and how that boy avenged his father’s death with the head of the rebel - that Baron who had cut his father down in a treacherous ambush along with all his gaily caparisoned knights. He watched and knew he was watching history and fable being born; and he knew that even though he felt such pride he felt satisfaction also.

    For to make a King ride to war and doom was no easy feat especially when it was your father. So, yes, a sight he would never forget and one he would soon write a sonnet about, but first, before those light words composed in the rose garden, other words, to a far-off Baron and a trap he himself had been laying for quite some time . . .

    Entrant 2 - molls
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    Lord Ned I. glanced out of his bedroom window to watch the morning crawl over his mansion. The view bored him.
    A grey sky, barely sunlight and lousy clouds – not worthy of a Lord’s attention.
    He could hear the crazy witch Grypela nagging down at the marketplace already, cursing the peasants:
    “Clouds of dust, dirt and blood shall cover theeee!”
    His mood was turning bad considering the dull sky and the shouting grandma, but then he hatched an idea:
    His magical powers of manipulation were quite good but to change the sky that was yawning above him, he needed more...

    Later on Grypela was dragged before him, crying and struggling. In the end she did what Lord Ned I. demanded.
    On 10 a.m. the sky bursted with bright light, and huge black clouds racing after each other.
    The Lord smiled contentedly.

    --

    On midday, Baron Anelious P. the second watched the sky with his hands covering his eyes from the burning sun and his face turned into an enraged grimace.
    His daughter, Batavia, who had been extraordinary pretty since she was born, had turned into a maneater when she reached adolescence.
    After a certain day she developed long canine teeth, red eyes, a pale skin, a really nasty behaviour and soon the word ‘maneater’ had a literal meaning to her.

    When the servants discovered her earlier this day lying in the cone of light that was formed by her bedroom window she was not so pretty.
    In fact she had turned into a heap of grey dust with four long teeth lying alongside.

    To Baron Anelious P. it was clear that Lord Ned was responsible for all this, especially the incriminating weather.
    He shouted at his servants to assemble the army.
    They obeyed but trembled, saying: “But Master, his magical power is too mighty for you!”
    Anelious pushed them into the courtyard of his keep where his knights were gathering.

    “Oh I will show you how magical my devine powers are! See this great flagpole with my banner waving in the wind?
    I want my soldiers to carry it when fighting the enemy.”
    “But sire ‘tis too heavy!?”
    With the coolness of a civilized diplomat chatting with mongolian leaders he approached a mounted knight in the first row, tightened his grip on the flagpole he was carrying.
    Jumped high in the air –
    and rammed the sharp end of the pole vertical on the back of the knight’s horse!

    They cried out loud in surpise and horror but the horse just whinnied and grimaced the face to a broad grin.
    And all were amazed!

    --

    Down in the town, a mother was talking to her boy:
    “Where’s your father?”
    “He’s outside removing the rust of the stone wall!”
    The woman stomped outside ranting. “What the crap are you talking about? Stones can not be rusty! If you...-”
    “Ah my lovely hoe would you like to step here and take a glance?” The father had heard her and stood up.
    As the woman was inspecting the large brown spots in the wall with an unbelieving face,
    they heard the noise of the Baron’s army moving out of the keep, down the hill, towards their house.
    When the first horses passed the house, the three stood with open mouths.
    One horse in the first row was prancing nutty to the left and the right, having a huge flagpole with a waving banner standing out of it’s back straight in the air, and all the knights around were cheering.

    And the father, overwhelmed by the scenery, said: “...-Gah-...”

    Entrant 3 - Benz282
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    Maria watched as Jacob and Mathiew drew shapes in the dirt floor. The shack was dark, and how the boys could even see their “masterpieces” was beyond her, but Maria was happy to see that even in times as bleak as these, her sons were still able to enjoy the life they still had.

    Maria stared at them; each a living skeleton. Every bone in their body was visible through their skin, as there was little or no tissue between the two. Maria knew she must look the same as her children did, as what little food they had ran out weeks ago, but what seemed like eternity.

    Two days after the last of the bread was eaten, Maria’s newborn-child had died. She awoke one night and could not wake the baby. Looking at her boys in their slumber, Maria realized that if they were to survive, she and the boys would have to eat what little meat there was on the carcass. It was a silent meal, and even though she had told the boys that she had found a rabbit lurking outside their shack, Maria felt that they knew.

    It had been sixteen months since the great kingdom to the east approached the city. There was a great battle, but the forces defending the city rode back through the gates stained with blood, with arrows protruding from their bodies. Some men were missing entire limbs, and many were slumped over their horses as they made the long climb up to the castle. There were no cheers of victory that day; only the wailing of widows broke the eerie silence over the city.

    In her mind, Maria pictured a time long ago, when all she knew was the rolling green hills of the countryside. Her and her late husband frolicked through the fields as children. Maria believed she was in a constant state of bliss back in those days, which was probably true, but living in such memories were all that kept her from losing her mind, the way things were. She had been completely devastated when her husband did not return from the great battle and she considered ending her and the children’s lives, to prevent them from having to know what it is to suffer. But as she looked into her boys’ eyes as she gave them their bread, she could see that they still had so much more to live, and could not bring herself to take that from them.

    Maria awoke from her dream to find herself alone in her family’s “home”; the light from the sun streaming into their haven. Panicking to find her children and fearing the worst, Maria rushed out the door but was immediately blinded by the light of the outside world, which she had grown to live without. As her eyes once again became used to the brightness, her senses were greeted by the staleness of the air and the sound of hooves clicking against stone.

    Approaching the sound, Maria spotted the boys as they stood at a street-corner in awe as the garrison marched out of the castle. The horses seemed barely able to support their riders, who in turn seemed barely able to support their arms. Maria and the boys shivered in the cool autumn chill, wearing little more than rags, but continued to watch as the men streamed by them, one step at a time.

    Jacob and Mathiew both admired the arms, but Maria could see the fear in each of the men’s faces, and she knew in her heart that none of them would return alive…

    End

    Entrant 4 - D.B. Cooper
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    It was a march towards a new future, he hoped.

    Harold led the sombre procession of knights from the citadel, arguably the finest soldiers in all of England. It was not an easy decision, true. But with his brother James now dead, what was there left in England to remain for? The nobility was corrupt and beyond saving. They only cared for money in their pockets. How it got there, either by treachery or deception, was irrelevant to them. The golden age of England was gone, dealt the final blow with the death of James, the last truly noble nobleman.

    Harold reflected on James’s final moments. In England’s gruelling war with the Scots, James led his knights and true Englishmen deep into Scottish territory, with the intent of ending this war once and for all. There were many Scots, but James’s valour and overwhelmed personality led his army to victory. But not without cost. He died as he lived, with a sword in his hand and a final battle roar in his throat. James’s knights returned to England, with an odd mixture of jubilation and mourning. The Scots were repelled, crushed, but England’s greatest leader lay dead. At England’s greatest triumph, she wallowed in her darkest hour.

    James now resided with God, above the petty worldly affairs, and England was at peace from external invaders. But internal corruption did not cease. England, once one of the finest cities in Europe, had become a cesspool of crime and corruption. A hive of villainy. Harold looked at what had happened to his beloved city, and decided that it was beyond help. He announced his company’s departure this morning, and was now leaving at sunset. Harold left behind two factions. The weak and poor, who lamented his decision and called him a coward for leaving England at her darkest period. But what could Harold do? He was but one man, and a small company of knights.

    Harold knew that he could never be as great as his brother. His brother, who vanquished thousands of Scots on the bloody battlefield. Harold was but a lowly captain, who had command of the knights thrust upon him with James’s death.

    And then there were the noblemen, who wore a mask of sadness, in vain, to hide their glee. With Harold gone, they could run free. The reins of England were now in the hands of the corrupt. Harold looked over his shoulder at the glorious sunset. It was a beautiful thing, a rare and lovely arrangement by the heavens. It was strange that such a sunset would present itself on such a grave day. Was God mocking him? Harold turned and continued down the path, lost in his thoughts.


    TotW 2 - R:TW Untitled Picture
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    Winner - zznɟ ǝɥʇ
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    Numidia. What foul mood filled Saturnus, to make him whither these lands so? The crisp and clear Mediterranean breezes of Africa and Carthage proper were long behind them--the army had progressed too far to the south and west. Instead, craggy rocks and rolling hills and mountains obstructed the bath. The air lost its clarity, and became choked with sand and dust and grime. It was mid-Quintillis, or at least it was likely to be such--most had forgotten what day it was in which month. Did it matter, even?

    Battle was scarce here. The Numidians came as quickly as they went. And it was always on a rise. Always. The Romans made little use of scouts or spies, and every change in elevation was as good a place for an ambush as the next. After weeks of marching against a ghost army, the Republican army had finally found its prey. In all honesty, the discovery was just that--a discovery. A dust storm kicked up, and by the time it cleared, the Romans found themselves looking down upon the Numidian camp. The Numidians were just as surprised, it seems.

    The battle began in a few hours. The Romans lost most of their advantage, but not enough of it to allow a Numidian victory. The Numidians were, of course, lightly armored and fast. They did not count upon the Romans being of the same speedy calibre.

    A long march in extreme climes does strange things to a man. He either dies, or finds reserves of strength he did not know he posessed. Most die. And indeed, the Roman army that fought on that day was small. Yet the men who survived were strong and eager for battle.

    It began with the usual exchange of missiles. Then the impatient centurions, eager for glory, urged troops forward. The useless legate bleated for his men to hold, to wait. But the men were through. They charged. The two armies met. War was strange that day. It seemed further away, as if the men were watching the battle from above. They were observers watching their brothers participate.

    Soon the desert rose in protest. Sand and dust were flung about by the screaming wind, scraping flesh and shield alike. The sun's rays were distorted by the debris and it transformed into a dull, red ball. Apollo called for blood. They gave it to him, and to Mars, and to the desert.

    Soon the Numidians were finished. They turned to flee back into the endless wastes of this land. How they could survive is anyone's guess, and another man's care. The Romans chased the Numidians for a short while, more for sport than for actually trying to catch them, and then gave up. Let the desert keep them. The Romans laughed to themselves. They were lost, low on supplies, and not likely to see home. But they had won a victory, pointless as it was. They would likely die out here, but they were happy--why?

    A long march in extreme climes does strange things to a man, clearly....

    Or perhaps just long marches?

    Or perhaps just marches...




    Or perhaps just war.

    Entrant 1 - Musthavename
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    Conscript, what an awful word. They came for me on my farmstead, and took my life from me. I could see my wife in the distance as I marched off, tears flooded her face. The legions brought me to a training camp, donned me armour, gave me a spear, and hastily told me what to do. It was clear we were losing this war, and my end was nigh.

    For months we marched, and for months we suffered. Only the commander was a true soldier, the rest were just peasants and farmers. Rome must be desperate to send these men. We had only heard stories and rumours of the horror outside our borders. Cannibals and barbarians of an endless horde, men strong enough to rip us limb from limb, and cast us into the endless scores of forgotten soldiers, who died, in vein.

    A day ago, we got word from our legions. The barbarians were amassing ready to attack a small Roman outpost. We were to go “assist them”. Rumours in my camp were that this was a fight we could not win. The hordes swamped the landscape of the North, so much that the grass had simply died from the marching and charging of the barbarians. We marched onto the wastelands, corpses periodically drawn across the countryside. Some were soldiers, but most were simply farmers, caught up in the conflict. My heart sunk with every one I saw, for I knew that these men were hardly a world apart from me.

    It was almost dusk and we saw a hill in the distance. Our commander stopped us and paced five yards from the front. He stood towards us and attempted to make a speech to ignite our souls, but the men were too paralysed with fear, the fear that awaited them over the hill. The outpost would be there, but by this time it has probably been overrun. The hordes would most likely have sacked the place and be restocking on supplies. Our men were tired, and if they chose to attack us, we would surely lose. Our fate hung on the survival of our legions, the ones who weren’t simply conscripts, numbers added to a sheet of men and losses, losses of lives, lives lost hundreds of miles from home in a conflict they did not wish.

    As we marched over the hill I could only think of my farmstead and my wife, and how it had been taken from me.

    Taken forever.

    Entrant 2 - SeniorBatvianHrse
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    Report has it that in the endless reaches of the Thebaid, where the Nile dwindles and merges into a hazy world of marsh and tangled palm trees, there fell a man into the embrace of death, the manner of which startled not only the distant and uncertain inhabitants of Rome’s last town on the Nile but also, as word spread, all those who lived along the fertile banks of that great river, even to its delta and the city of Alexandria.

    For it must be told that a certain commander of the Second Valentinian Legion, long since the garrison of Hermonthis, felt the moment of his appointed death come upon him. To his companions in the army of Rome, then, amid the dawn light and its play upon the waters of the Nile, this Tribune unburdened himself of all his past in words of such beauty and rarity that no man, hearing them, was able again to pluck a word from his mouth for the ear of another.

    It was then that the Tribune concluded his past, and rose with dignity to descend into the Nile, its virgin waters, and the insubstantial light which wreathed it. All those who gathered into the very limits of the bank saw now only a multitude of elegiac reflections rise up and float away from him, twisting and yawing, like scattered petals. Of the Tribune, his soldier’s body, there was neither a sign nor a clue as to its whereabouts. And it could be truly said that in the minds and eyes of the officers of a Roman legion this sight was not one which invoked fear or madness but rather only a cosmic vision in which the stars alone claimed dignity and mystery.

    And as the last iridescent form of the Tribune glided in its own gossamer wake down the Nile, it could be seen that, among the reeds and distant hillocks of the far bank, little buds of flame had sprung up to announce the imminent arrival of the barbarian Blemye, as they burnt and ravaged this last, faint, echo of Roman civilisation. Without a word, these unblinking officers fastened on their breastplates, tied the cheek plates of their crested helmets together, slung the ornate scabbards over their right shoulders and, thus garbed, descended as one into the Nile with eyes as cold and implacable as the stars to rise reborn upon the other side and march like golems towards the oncoming barbarians.

    It was in this process that a dull sentry divined the passage of his superiors and the distant advances of the Blemye, and raised the dusty bucina to summon the legion and its standards to follow in the wake of its commanders. And so it was that as the horsemen and foot-archers, drunk from pillage and the exhilaration of a battle never in doubt, advanced up to the Nile and the garrison town of Hermonthis, they were confounded by the sight of a Roman legion rising up from the river in rank upon serried rank; sloughing off its mortality as though it were no more than outworn reptile-skin. To the confused and superstitious eyes of these sons of Kush and Aethiopia, whose tawny skins bore testament to a harsher sun than that which shines over Rome, it seemed as though this legion’s officers, its dragon-standard bearers, its infantry and scouts, its camel men and, finally, its medics, all assembled before them shrouded in the deep silence of the reflection, oblivious to the shades and layers which they had left behind in the Nile like the detritus of the past.

    Thus brought to a ragged halt, the chieftains of this barbarian horde rolled their eyes and mouthed yellow froth upon their lips to work up a rage to dispel this fear, and then, with a lion’s roar, charged the Second Valentinian behind a shower of arrows and barbed javelins . . . to be met only with the empty shadow of a reflection and the hollow laughter of mocking gods. In disarray, these Blemye fled back into the interior and so the last city of Rome upon the Nile was saved . . .

    Entrant 3 - Worm
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    The attack on Rome:
    It's 117 AD and the roman empire is at it's greatest extent, and the sarmatian king is worried.
    - Romans romans romans, the only thing in the news today is about the damn romans. Only a couple of years ago they wrote about naked celts, large elephants and that lousy tourist Hannibal and and.......
    - Your pizza has arrived.
    - Great i want it in my helmet imidiatly
    - I don't really understand
    - I am the king, so that dosn't matter! Now beat it or i will throw you to the lions!
    - There isn't a single lion in sarmatia.
    - Then i will throw you to the horses! The are hungry and the kick hard!
    - I am not scared or your horses!
    - Allright then.... What about cats?
    - Not scared.
    - Dogs?
    - Nope.
    - Your mother in law?
    - Jesus save me!!!!!!
    He said and ran away with remarkable speed.
    Then the prince arrives the king looks him straight in his eyes and says:
    - I got a task for you tomorrow, gather a army and go and sack Rome !
    - Now why would we do that, there is no way we will win. And besides after your latest project when we where supposed to get to sicily without ships the mens morale aren't exactly on top.
    The king looked at him with a glance that only a pizza in the helmet can provide.
    - Well find some new men then.
    - Where can i find so many men so fast?
    The answer proved to be a easy one, the pub. The prince walks towards on of the drunks:
    - Do you want to join an expedition to Rome?
    - Sure anything for the king.
    - And the boose!
    - Good point!
    After some very odd chatts with the drunks, they all agreed to join
    and later that day they were on the their way to sack Rome.
    - I can see my house from here!
    - Ofcourse you can, we haven't left the town yet!
    - Right fancy boy, Rome is behind that hill right?
    - It's a little longer than that.
    - How long?
    - About 1000 miles!
    - Thats what i said, behind the hill!

    Entrant 4 - Xavier Dragnesi
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    TotW 3 - Contest 3
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    Key words: n/a

    Submission 1 - Desperado †:
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    The field was icy. Frost lay upon the grass were it showed through the snow so that it shone in the dim morning light like a thousand diamonds scattered from the heavens. Dewi's warm breath was like dragons smoke in the cold winter atmosphere.

    No one spoke. There was an occaisional cough now and again, breaking through the silence like a sword through water. No one wished to think of the battle ahead. Of what was to come. Dewi stared to his left, where he knew more of Owain Glyndwr's Welsh warriors lay, hidden in the taller frost and snow covered grass. He could not see them. That was good, for if he could not, then the chances be neither would the enemy. But Dewi knew his eyes were not as sharp as his sword, and it gave him no comfort that he only had his own consience to rely upon that the men were there.

    The heavy mud brown robes which each man wore were still in adequate against the chill that morning. Dewi wondered if he would even be able to pull his bow, let alone run. It was there he was happy that he was not lying in the grass. For there they would be soaked and cold to the bone. But at least they were hidden. Not like them. No. Dewi and his comrades were in quite the opposite situation. They were the bait.

    And then he saw it. Further down the way, marching through the fields in their proud blazing red and yellow colours. The Saeson. The English. Slow and lumbering through the fields, yet to see Dewi and his friends. Each man took their bow up, and with their frosty hands took a bow from their quivers.

    But before they loosened their first shot, the Lions had seen them. A horn was blown in the distance. Dewi shot his arrow, and the arrow flew, the enemy still too far to hit. But that was not the intention. They were to fall short. The English were to think these were not Owains men. They would charge, feeling safe that no tricks were hidden by these unprepared ill-placed Welshmen.

    And Dewi saw it. He heard it. He could feel it. The lion had taken the bait. The charge of hooves, like thunder, each horse throwing up snow and the mud beneath up into the air as it's metal hooves hit the fields. Welsh fields. Dewi drew his second arrow. This time he aimed. This time he had truth in his heart. He shot. He knew not if the arrow flew straight, but he saw many a valiant English knight topple of his horse and fall, crippled on the Welsh field.

    A Welsh field. Aye, for Welsh fields they were. For this was Wales. These were Welsh lands!

    Dewi drew his third arrow. He could see the knights clearly now. Their horses were charging a immense speeds, each like a loosened demon charging from hell. But before Dewi shot his third arrow, another horn was heard. A closer, louder horn. A horn that would bring courage to Dewi's heart. And then, out from the grass to the Knights left, charged eighty or so spearmen, each with freedom in his heart, and anger in his arm.

    The Lions were down! Falling off their screaming stallions. Falling to the ground. Their blood dripping from their bodies onto the frost, melting it as the warmer scarlet blood touched it. Staining the field with death. A frost covered field. A Welsh field.

    Submission 2 - TheTrueGreek:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    "My, your looking good today" Roy said

    "aye, this fabric my wife made is supposedly special, ye know" Conner replied

    "Oh, yes, the shiny tightness really exposes your great legs" Duncan said, mocking the disablility of Conners wife to get sizes right.

    "you got that right" Roy added, increasing Conners wrath.

    "Fine, but at least i dont have wifes the size of hay stacks, and mine dont stink of horse piss to." Conner said, knowing full well his wife was the most buetiful maiden in Scotland

    "Hey, me wife could out cook yours everyday, and at least we have the strength to support our massive wives, yours is as skinny as a twig." Duncan replied, fired as it was by Conners insult.

    "And me wife could wit your wife into bathing in the milk of a goat." Conner hastily replied

    "aye, but a stupid wife means an obediant one." Roy stated, defending both his wife and Duncans.

    "Well, no matter, i have a wife buetiful enough so as that i dont ravage the women i conquer, you two would take a women for your own the second you win this battle." canner said, knowing he put the two in checkmate

    "That we admit, but really, a 400 pound wife doesnt support abstaining from adultery" Duncan said, blushing slightly at his shame.

    "You win this one Conner, but we win our fair ladies after this battle." Roy said, trying to lighten the mood after the argument.

    Submission 3 - Czone:
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    The men were waiting. Yes they were waiting to be slaugthered by the Turks. Or whatever those heathens are called. Johnny thought about his brother Duncan, who had killed an assassin and now was a knight. He thought about home, home sweet home, Holland. He thought of the girls. And he thought about his mother, who got killed by a French knight because she called him a tyrant. He thought about daddy, who got killed in the last battle, and he thought about the priest in the village, who said that we would burn in hell if didn't go with the crusade, but three days later he raped his sister. The Lord burned him en trowed him in the river. Then he saw the Turks, they charged right at them while they where stringing their bows. And then they screamed and turned around. Everybody was astonished. Something scared them but what? Then Johnny looked to his left:
    What the #^*@! What is that?!

    The thing answered: Oops I did it again, I got screwed, wrong era again! I wanted to go to Rome!!! $#@%@# Why can't I ever do this right?!! I hate it when I come to the wrong era and seemingly the wrong place to.

    Submission 4 - Severus Snape:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dear Mary,

    The king's experiment is entering it's fourth week as he attempts to discover the elixir of life. I am honored to be his test subject. Yes, that is why I am in the front line. Everyone else should die, but if this elixir is the right recipe, I should be oblivious to both sling and arrow. It's strange, but it seems that drinking this potion composed of 100% unadulterated mercury has morphed the tone and physical state of my skin. I am no longer a solid, but a liquid. The other pilgrims make fun of me, and say that I am the devil's son. I'm not sure how much more of their bullying I can handle. Even brother James has been making completely idiotic statements such as "Look at John, the big Drip!" It's not even remotely funny, it's just ridiculous. I attempted to hang myself, and I'll just say that being made of liquid is very limiting. The other pilgrims get to perform self flagellation to show their devotion to Jesus and the cause, but I can't. I don't bleed. I just cry molten Gallium.

    If somehow the Mongols do capture me and separate my particles, tell the children that their father died defending them, but tell them not what happened to me. They have enough to worry about, like not dying of plague.

    Truly,

    Martin

    P.S. Enclosed is a lock of my hair. Well, actually it's more like a lock of hair infested with bubonic carrying lice and ticks. The best of luck to you. If somehow I don't die in battle, I will probably die on the return journey.



    TotW 4 - Contest 4
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Eisengewitter (Iron Storm) by crypel

    Key words: n/a

    Winner - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    TEUTOBURGER WALD: THE TRUE STORY

    Jovinus Flatulus Pulcher was the epitome of that peculiar type, the man's-man. His voice loud, humour coarse and intellect finely honed to methods for beating men senseless and recollection of rude jokes.

    Although his presence would be caustic among the fine company surrounding Governor Varus, there was always some place in the column that appreciated his talents.

    When the turncoat Arminius brought screaming hordes of barbaric Cherusci upon the unsuspecting column, Jovinus was constantly in the midst of battle, laying about him with no regard for personal safety, felling enemies by the dozen.

    That night in the derelict fort, Jovinus alone retained his composure, making his way through two month's wine ration and his entire repertoire of bawdy songs.

    Cunning Varus had a plan to snatch victory. He would sneak a force into the forest, sally to tempt the enemy into an all-out charge, then the ambushers would fall upon the German rear. The vital signal was entrusted to Jovinus - clearly the bravest and most unflappable man in the army.

    Varus emerged with the first blood-red rays of the sun into a maelstrom of screaming barbarians. Pushing forward into the mass, swords flashed, blood ran, men fell lifeless to the ground. Amidst the chaos, Varus coolly contemplated the state of battle. Judging the moment right he ordered the signal be made.

    Jovinus, still drunk from the previous evening, decided to raise the brand with his spatha for greater visibility. But the effort of bracing his legs around his horse and trying to raise sword and brand together brought forth a mighty belch.

    Brand and belch exploded together in a yellow ball of flame and Jovinus fell stunned.

    Sadly the ambushers failed to see this unrepeatable feat, so both groups went down to an heroic but inevitable defeat.

    Entrant 2 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This entry has been deleted from the submission thread by request.

    Entrant 3 - Zhangir
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    THE DAY THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

    Rome has had many battles fought for it. Sometimes it was saved by accidents, animals and this time it was saved by God. Maxentius has chosen to make his final stand on the bridge of Milvian. Constantine was not yet known as the Great but was already a formidable military commander. He saw the right flank of his army falling to the barbarian mercenaries Maxentius used. The proud veterans of Rome, the conquerors of the numerous people, the legionaries were pushed back. Constantine threw another cohort to fight off the ruthless barbarians, just for it to be slaughtered in vain...
    The skies were dark, and the oracle has told Maxentius to stay in Rome, while the oracle has told Constantine not to fight, yet he did. He didn't believe Pagan oracles. He felt they were not sincere and Godly. It was not just the battle to win the Throne. It was a battle of Gods to win over Constantine. He rode on and on and on into battle, not noticing how his comrades fell or the Sarmatian cavalry approaching. In the last moment before the charge of the Barbarians he saw a flash of light in the sky and a symbol. Christian symbol. He held up his sword and knew, Victory was his. The god of Christians knew Victory, in his fight against the Pagan Gods was his...

    Entrant 4 - Caradog
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Like Hares to the Golden Eagle

    The olive men. They came to our lands with great red shields. Beneath our trees. Over our fields. Through our streams.

    They came to our villages. They burnt. They hacked. They killed men like trees in a forest, falling to the ground with blood like sap oozing from their wounds to dirty the grass.

    We had attacked their homes to the south. Beautiful homes. The olive men built from stone and marble, too live a thousand years. We built from mud, too live less then their owners. But so full of Gold where those houses. Gold spilling out from chests, shining like the sun in our eye's. Their men where away. Fighting some other foe. Cowards we called them, though fools they where to leave their gold and women at our disposal. We took what we wanted. We burned what we didn't. And we returned home, to our humble homes, as Gods.

    But the olive men were not happy. They sent a man in long white robes. He spoke many languages, and spoke ours also, though terribly. He told us to give back the gold we had taken, and the heads of the men that had taken it.

    The olive men got a head. His head. We cut it off. But not before slicing his arms off first, so that he squealed like a pig before he died. And we sent it to the Olive men.

    They were not pleased.

    No more did they send men in long white robes for us to laugh at and slaughter like livestock. They sent men. Not true men. But rocks. They marched like rocks. They thought like rocks. None with true courage. They stood side by side. They followed their master. They were hard to kill. Our arrows bounced from their shields. Our warriors were cut by their swords. Our men taunted them, calling on them to fight like true warriors. But they didn't. They marched like the coming of the tide, slow but true and constant. And we were drowned. Others ran like hares to their golden eagles. And so we hid in the tree’s. But we knew, that one day the Olive men would fall. We knew the day would come for Bards to sing once more, and we would take their Gold and their Women. We would have to wait. Wait for the tide to turn.

    Entrant 5 - TheTrueGreek
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Cernnunnos watched the battle around him, his men surrounded on three fronts fought off the Romans, but were being cut down one by one.

    Servius Atilius Dives smiled as he saw his ambush that they had been preparing for months now finally act. Ordering his men to lay on their stomachs in the tall grass, he struck the last Gallic king a surprise that was sure to be his end. He saw the gathering clouds and thought to himself that the gods were surely making it so that Cernnunnos shall never escape.

    Epona watched all of this ensue from her throne in the heavens, worry showing in her face. Cernnonnus was her patron and she could not let him die, but Artauis had denied her from intervening in the battle, saying that it was his destiny to either fall or die after slaying Dives.

    Cernnonnus had seen enough of his men die, he knew they would rout if he did not act soon, saying a small prayer to Edona, he and his 15 dearest freinds and gaurdians charged into the roman line, shattering the infantry and charged into the 20 men protecting the Dives.

    How have they gotten to me? Dives thought, raising his sword to deflect a blow. In disbelief he watched his sword snap in half, and saw Cernonnus's spear and thought, how have they gotten to me?

    Entrant 6 - Legio Caesar
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Disaster at Allia
    The Gauls came on in hordes, and the Roman legions did their best to halt them. But scything Gallic blades and the shrieks of barbarian warriors infused the air with an aura of terror and hell.
    Quintus Caecilius Ahenobarbus knew that it was his fault. He had foolishly ordered the forced march through enemy territory, and the shrieking Gallic hordes now told him that it was time to pay the price.
    As the barbarian chieftains entered the fray, the legions gave way.
    Ahenobarbus knew that if his forces were defeated, the Gauls would have a clear march into Rome herself.
    The legions were breaking. He knew he had to rally them somehow, to fight to the bitter end, and to kill as many of the barbaric invaders as they could.
    Quintus Caecilius Ahenobarbus reared his horse so that his flaming red cloak and crested helm would easily be seen over the heat of combat.
    "Men! Fight o-!..."
    And then the world spiralled as Ahenobarbus toppled form his faithful steed, his side pierced by a Gallic lance.
    After the Battle
    There was panic in the city. The mighty troops of Rome had been defeated. The city garrison was too weak to defend the walls. All the citizens were advised to retreat the the fortress on the Capitoline, but some stayed. Marcus Domitius was one of them. As the Gauls pillaged his house, he sat still and motionless, like a statue. A Gaulish warrior pulled his beard.
    In fury, Marcus Domitius smashed the Gallic head with his walking-stick. In turn, the old man was slain by the other warriors in the house.
    History
    The army of Rome was crushed by the Gauls at Allia in the 390's BC, and Rome was pillaged. The anecdote of Marcus Domitius is true except for his name!

    Entrant 7 - mollsomg
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Blinded by the light.

    I could barely keep balance on my mount.
    The light seemed to burn into my head, twisting everything.

    Roman shouts beside me, the grunting hairy animals in front.
    Why was I so close to the enemy line?

    Take a look around.
    Blurred legionaries scattered and confused.
    Roman battle line discipline did not seem to exist around here,
    -around their commander, around ME.

    Remembering the last evening at my house with Olivia.
    With pleading eyes she had said:
    “Don’t go north, sweetums! There the gods have an ill-tempered and lunatic artistic mind!”

    I had laughed:
    “If anything like this existed, every man in greece must be a walking god, Ha!
    But the greeks – are deadish now. Ha!” ,- throwing the empty wine flagon at my meowing cat.

    The battle roar came to my ears again.
    I looked at the sky and its clouds.

    They exploded with fire again and again, a never ending process of destruction and unification,
    painted with red, ochre, orange, yellow, meow, I felt sorry for the cat...

    A work of mad artists, but it was fascinating, beautiful.
    And it matched the colour of the torch’s fire I carried with the left hand.
    Why was I carrying a torch?

    Arggh!
    The light again, brighter than before!

    Lucius come here. Join us.
    Bring us your light!

    What was that?! The sound of the heavens??

    Lucius bring us your light!
    Join us!


    -
    Behind this field of barbarians lay the sky, where the gods pleaded me to come to!
    I gazed at the aflame torch and put spurs to my horse.

    I remembered the rumors about greek runners once crossing all lands with a torch in hand.
    Who cared?
    My horse flew over the hordes of germans towards the horizon…

    Entrant 8 - Nakharar
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This entry has been deleted from the submissions thread because the entrant was disqualified from the contest.



    TotW 5 - Contest 5
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The image for this contest was entitled Gaza Tea Party and was by Aldgarkalaughskel. Unfortunately, the link to the image no longer works

    Key words: n/a

    Winner - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Gaza Coffee-House Parting

    Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah sat outside his establishment, head hung low with an air of despondency. At intervals he addressed passers-by in desultory fashion on the quality of his services, with no success. Gaza was a small town and his girls, no beauties, were now known and loathed by his whole clientèle.

    After a particularly rude brush-off, Hakim stood up in disgust and walked right out of town into the wilderness. After hours of circular thoughts about his problems he happened to look down and saw something glint.

    Carefully clearing the rubble away, Hakim found that he had discovered an old battered oil lamp. Suddenly excited at this exemplar of childhood stories he gave it a good hard polish with a corner of his robe.

    With a blaze of sparks and a cloud of acrid smoke the Djinn appeared (coughing). Hakim, fearful of being tricked, blurted out “I wish my girls were irresistible to men!”

    The Djinn, nonplussed, abandoned his prepared speech and disappeared back into the lamp, the words “You got it bub” echoing in the rapidly dispersing cloud as he departed.

    Hakim ran back to Gaza. A large queue of foreigners had already formed outside his premises. He noticed that they looked angry and carried much weaponry, so he ran down the line shouting loudly that this was Happy Hour and all prices were halved.

    All proceeded well through the rest of the afternoon as Hakim’s purse grew ever heavier, but the queue was growing faster than customers could be satisfied and soon circled the whole town.

    In the distance, Hakim saw a large contingent of Poles start a fracas with the Germans ahead of them. But then they seemed to come to an agreement and both groups turned as one and made straight for town.

    Seeing the writing on the wall, Hakim made a run for it. The last thing he saw as he raised the sail of his skiff was the pillar of smoke as Gaza was sacked.

    Entrant 2 - Legio Caesar
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Kingdom of Heaven
    The crusading lords had gathered in the East. The barbaric infidel had ran in the face of superior force and strength. From every European nation came a force accompanied by a prince, lord, or king. Each clamored to be the first on the walls, the first to flood through the breach of the shattered walls, to overwhelm the heavily outnumbered garrison.
    The quarrel was initiated by Ludwig of Bavaria. He wanted to be through teh breaches in the walls first. He argued that his country had deserved it.
    The Holy Roman Empire and the Kingdom of Sicily had sent the most troops. Surely it was they that deserved to purge the Holy Land?
    But the Polish Crown Prince had come the farthest way. They had shown the most crusading zeal en route.
    The Venetians had paid for most of the journey, and also provided the other armies with provisions.
    Among with dozens of other squabbling lords.
    The prevailing question was :Who should lead?
    With the fighting that broke out between all the other crusaders, the attack faltered. The siege machines were left in utter disrepair. The frequent sallies by the garrison wreaked havoc on supplies and morale.
    Eventually the crusade fragmented, each army going its own way. The Poles went back north, and their Crown Prince was spotted with a siege train near Hansa.
    The Venetians sailed back to Venice, and then to Constantinople, sacking it.
    The greatest infamy in Christendom was committed. And all because of an arrogant German prince.

    Entrant 3 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This entry was deleted from the submissions thread by request.

    Entrant 4 - zznɟ ǝɥʇ
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Letter to the Pope, April 1243
    Your Eminence,

    How are you? It's been a while since we played ball together. We should call the guys and try to get a game started sometime.

    I'm writing to you from inside a mosque in the city of Gaza...yes, that Gaza. You know, the one you ordered all of Christendom to raze to the ground. What gives? It it cause I hooked up with Amanda? You know that wasn't me, it was the booze. And it was like twenty years ago. You've got to move on, bud.

    As should be apparent, I'm a bit worried about your well-being. You've changed, man. Where's the carefree guy I knew back in college? Where's the guy that used to shotgun a beer in under a second? When did you hang up the toga for a big, silly hat? And where'd all these cultist followers come from, anyway? Those guys are bat**** insane. Completely bonkers.

    So I'm looking out over the walls of the city, you know, looking at your cultists, and I gotta say, it's not a fair fight. I've got a few units of 'mercenary levy spearmen.' Do you know what they do? Neither do I. But with a name as generic as that, I'm willing to bet they suck. Not to mention the numbers involved--you'd think Gaza was hosting the World Cup! Public service announcement to religious nuts: you're at the wrong end of Africa, and a year or two early.

    Look--we can work this out. Give me a call, tell your weird followers to go home, and let's chat. There's the big 25 year reunion in a few weeks. I'll be there, I trust I will see you there as well? First round is on me!

    With sincerity,

    Imam Kareem Abdul Jabbar

    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; April 20, 2017 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Added TotW 4 and TotW 5

  3. #3
    wowbanger's Avatar Jimmy's winning matches
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 6 - Bowling for Palpatine
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Revenge of the Sith

    The Dark Modder sat brooding over his monitor, his face in the gloom
    showing an enigmatic expression as he glanced at the clock.

    Once he had been happy, the burning light of his genius illuminating the
    inner workings of the flawed gem that the Chitinous Amalgam had created.
    He had tested, and tweaked and slowly found ways to improve it until it
    became a respectable opponent for the baying fans.

    And then at the height of his fame, the acclamation of his followers ringing
    in his ears, he had offered his towering skills to the pathetic Cretinous
    Autarchy ... and the craven fools had rejected him!

    Stunned at their folly, he considered moving on. But then he realised that
    simple Justice demanded there be a reckoning. So he threw himself anew
    into modding. He found bugs in the program that enabled him to inject new
    code, and his subtle algorithms grew so powerful that even on-line players
    were drawn into his thrall.

    And so now the hour was upon them. He watched the machine intently,
    fingers wrapped tightly around the emergency cut-out as the final minute
    rolled over – 11:11pm November 11th. At first nothing seemed to happen, but
    then there was a low rumble, it became louder, and the ground on the
    screen began to shake, soon the little A.I. figures were literally thrown into
    the air as the sound became a scream and a light brightened in the sky. An
    ironic mushroom cloud could be seen growing on the horizon until the light
    drowned it out.

    The PC itself now began making an alarming grating noise and a curl of acrid
    smoke emerged from the case. The Dark Modder threw his switch and the
    machine fell silent.

    Striding to the window, he threw back the curtains in triumph and looked
    out over the city as one by one the lights started going out.


    Entrant 1 - Desperado †
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Death

    The troops had gathered, upon the Archbishop’s command. Word had it that Death itself strode the land, with a long black cloak. Though be it legend or true, at least thirty people had been killed and a village razed to the ground.

    Jacob, or Sir Jacob to precise, was sceptical on the situation. He had no time of the paranormal, and was a busy enough man as it was. A grizzled veteran as he was he knew that there was nothing to be feared but King and Church. But petty bandits these men must be.

    And so, the party of Knights rode into the valley where Death was rumoured to be. It was surprising that the men truly where all Knights, though Jacob knew most had been but Knighted this month and he was the only true man in the group. The rest had fine armour and good sword hands, but none he knew would stand for long in a true battle.

    Not that he expected one of course. Just a quick chop up of bandits, ride after them and cut as many as they could down and be back at the castle before nightfall.

    But things did not go to plan.

    First, the horses halted. They neighed and stopped, all in a line. None would go further into the valley. They shook their heads and neighed and whined. One man whipped his horse till it bled and it’s fine white coat trickled with blood. But nay, the men would have to go on upon foot.

    After about half an hour walking in silence with but the clinking of their armour in the empty valley, they saw him. Like a lightning bolt Death flew towards them. They raised their swords, which were suddenly weightless. And then there was darkness.


    Entrant 2 - Legio
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Confusion
    The TIE Fighter spiralled away from the Death Star. As it whirled farther and farther away, it became apparent to him that he was going to a new region of the galaxy. Even his radar map was whizzing uncomfortably and there was a serious fluctuation in the Force. It was not a disturbance. The Force just...disappeared. It slowed its appearance slowly at first, and then it disappeared. All was black....
    ****
    "Ey! Pantagruel! Lookit what I found!"
    "Oi, stow it, Epistemon! You cuckold you, I will not look for four-leafed clovers with you again!"
    ****
    Light slowly came back through the mask. He could see the sun, but not the stars. Funny. He had pressed the button on Alderaan. What nonsense ws this?
    Sudden panic seized in. He was on Endor! He had been captured by the rebels!
    A slight pain in his side. His head lolled to his left. A weird creature, with red and yellow markings on his CR2-BOX space suit. His light saber looked rather odd as well, the glow was more dull than any he had seen before.

    In the bat of an eyelid, Darth Vader was on his feet.

    ****
    "Pantagruel! Help!"
    "Oh be quiet, we are not scared of a beaver like you were last time. Man up!"
    "Pantagruel! Really! It's moving!"
    Pantagruel grumbled something about beavers and muskrats, and turned around fro a split second. Then blackness enveloped him.
    Epistemon tried to run, screaming about witches and sluring his Pater Nosters in vain hope. But the figure cloaked in black was much too powerful.
    ****
    Darth Vader flicked his lightsaber off with a casual gesture. It was time to get back home.


    Entrant 3 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Strike!


    "...and finally, men, God is on our side!" Wailed the duke at his troops. The morning was blinding as it gleamed off the polished armor and sharpened spears. The battles lines were forming. This would be a blood bath....

    Faintly, ever so faintly in the distance, coming from the enemy's lines, a deep, guttural noise could be heard...

    "...What...what is that..?" An enlisted man asked of his sergeant.

    "I know not," replied William.

    The noise was growing in strength, and it's baritone resonance echoed through the trees.

    Peter, by now shaking in his armor, inquired more assertively of his superior,"What the bloody 'ell was that?"

    Again, the roar then pause...the roar then pause...the hideous, sickening noise, like that of an Independent wind moving through the cold throat of a corpse, producing a cold, deathly rumble.

    As the sound became more distinct, it was clear that the sound was that of..breathing..

    The Duke's gaze wandered across the field. A dim haze, almost a weak shadow, was barely visible over the horizon, but seemed to be manifesting itself more clearly with the slow passing of every second.

    Peter held his breath, he too had seen the dark apparition appearing over the horizon, silhouetted against the crimson hills at the figure's back.

    "Mother of Jesus" were the only words that could escape his grief-stricken face.

    All the while the rumble was becoming louder and finer, it was definitely the sound of breath, but amplified and diabolic in nature. Slowly, the creature removed a globe from it's belt, a globe of pure evil, thought Peter.

    The duke's final words to his troops "God is on our side" echoed in Peter's head. he thought to himself, 'IF God is on our side, than Lucifer must be on theirs...and I see him now.'

    The dark figure had drawn the globe behind his head and proceeded to launch the missile. Rolling on the ground, the globe crashed over tree and grass, leaving a swathe in it's wake. The globe was heading right for Peter.

    The men had barely any time to react, and the group joined voices in one, terrified chorus before the ball made contact, smashing into them and sending the group flying through the air, dead by the impact.

    The rest of the army fled in horror...


    Entrant 4 - TheTrueGreek
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Knights of Dissent

    Henry tried not to think of the past, he tried, but failed. The years of peace and tranquility, farming and pleasure. now, he has to be enslaved. this suit, so hot, why can't this suit come off. why did George have to rebel? Was he just unhappy with is life, well, he doesn't have a life anymore. Vador made sure of that, but im sure a few of his particles are left.

    Henry landed with a thunk.
    "Why are you not dead?" Vador asked.
    Henry laid there.
    "I sense the life in you. Speak or Die."
    Henry laid there.
    He felt the grip, the death coming to find him, he closed his eyes and thought of his wife, then felt nothing.

    "It is done" Vader said, the Emporers hologram appearing in front if him.
    "Good, now this rebel scum has been wiped out, i have work for you to do.

    Henry awoke, bruised and battered. He left me alive, then he looked to the ground around him, all his friends lying there, dead. Henry began the trek back home, to find his wife. he didn't see the laser, he didn't feel it either. Henry became nothing, fading into oblivion, to live eternally with his wife.



    TotW 7 - Ye entrants beware!
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Theseus1234
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Foreign



    I...I do not know how to describe the feelings that I am experiencing right now. It's like nothing I have ever felt, the sensation of inevitable death. I had only felt like this once before, yesterday, or at least what I thought was yesterday. I was standing above these very gates with fireballs of death in hand, facing the thousands upon thousands of Europeans, only this time the men from Europe were preparing to kill me just as I prepared to kill them. The sun had shied behind the mountains when the enemy approached with ladders and rams. The notion of death came when men wielding halberds scaled the walls. I lit one of my black balls and threw it with all my strength at the base of the ladders. What happened after, I cannot tell, but my ears are ringing with the sound of a large explosion of fury, and the wailing of men who had tried to breach, a job well done. However, my feeling of satisfaction was cut short when a ladder clanged against the parapet in front of me. A white man appeared and he shouted some European words. Like I did then in the night, I try to sound out the words he bellowed as the rough rope scrapes against my neck. Na...Naff…Nafata?…Naffatun! Those words sound so… foreign. The mere taste of them makes me sick, but I can do nothing about it now, just as I did nothing then. The last thing I remembered was the flat of the pole arm smashing against my face, just like the last thing I’ll remember now is falling down, with the rope arresting my descent in front of the gates I tried to valiantly defend.


    Entrant 1 - Legio
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A Failed Revolution- Worms 1521

    It was September the Twenty-Ninth, in the year of our lord 1521. The wind rustled in the trees listlessly, as if it too was tired of living. Cardinal Cajetan gazed upon the courtyard with a strange feeling of calm. Even though the people of Worms were close to rebelling, the Papal-sanctioned assembly solemnly filed through the courtyard without batting an eyelid. Some glanced at the corpses hanging just out of reach of the peasants and their sticks, others chatted amiably about the journey back to their respective homes.
    Meanwhile the shouting grew louder.
    "We want Luther! We want Luther! Luther was a holy man!"
    Glancing at the faces of the peasants, Cajetan felt a rising disgust for this unruly rabble. What had made Pope Leo* allow this meeting to happen right in the territory of the German Emperor?
    "Aleander**!" Cajetan barked, turning his head slightly to catch his diplomat and friend come through the door.
    "At your service." Aleander humbly cast his gaze down, holding his right hand over his heart.
    "What are we supposed to do with this?" When he said the word 'this', he waved a hand heavy with signet rings at the courtyard below. "The German Emperor has no real control over the people! What to do with them?!"
    "The same thing we did before, Cardinal." Aleander purred. "Call forth the guards the Pope so graciously sent us. They kept back the people when we had to burn the heretical literature."
    Cajetan's mind travelled back to that day. Piles of books were everywhere, and for every page of erroneous thinking there had seemed to be ten illiterate peasants. The Papal guards fired their crossbow bolts into the crowd, not aiming but wishing to frighten the mob.
    "Yes." Cajetan's mind was set. "Call forth the crossbowmen and the Swiss mercenaries. Close every gate and lower the portcullisses."
    For the sound of hooves was approaching. Leading a body of knights was Duke Frederick of Lotharingia.
    Cajetan cursed. The rebellion had officially begun.
    And all because of that one man - Martin Luther.


    Entrant 2 - Desperado †
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Stink of Death




    John had been standing there in the sun for hours. He was sweating beneath his cuirass, and the shaft of his hallberd which had been newly replaced was still riggid and put splinters into his hands.

    But neither the unberarable heat and the huge desire to leave down the road for a quick cool drink down in the Lion's head or the unbearable rougness of his hallberd or the weight of his armour was what made Jack so uncomfortable.

    What made him so unneasy, almost sick, was the terrible stink. The smell of rotting flesh being slowly cooked in the boilling sun. It made his stomach's turn inward.

    Before Jack, upon a hemp rope, hung a barbar pirate. Opposite that was another one, upon the far side of which was the deaf guard Richard. He had been there at the hanging, as had many of the city people. He had watched the stools being kicked away, and the poor men drop, the rope tightening around their necks as the breath was stolen from their body's. He had watched the eye's begin to bulge, and the men squirm and struggle for at least ten minutes, though it had seemed like an hour. The crowd had cheered. Eventually, the squirming stopped, and the crowds slowly trickled away until it was but a few chilldren tthrowing stones at the corpse. He had shouted them away, then stood riggid at attention trying to divert his thoughts away from the body.

    It had kep twitching for at least an hour, the foot jerking now and again. Sometimes a trickle of urine would pass out down the side of the man's leggings and fall into a tinking puddle on the cobbled floor*. It was unbearable. The stink of death.


    Entrant 3 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    God Wills It

    It was God's will. Such a fate awaits all the followers of the false one that deny Jesus. They must be purged, this land must be made holy.

    I stood guard over the men. Their tongues hanging out like sick dogs, their eyes twisted into an unhuman glare. Bloodshot and swollen. Men with wives, men with children, with livelihoods. Reduced to morbid wall ornaments.

    But why? Why should these men be killed? Because their God is different from our own? What kind of hypocrites are we?

    Does Christ not command us to love our enemies? The only difference between these men and us are religious beliefs. This does not justify killing them. So as I stand here I offer prayers to God to guide their souls into his keeping.

    As Christians, how can we be so blinded by our leaders that we close a central gate in the city to make a statement of hate. This cannot be God's will. This is but one example of the injustices done by our people to theirs. They should be welcomed into the congregation and aided. After all, we are not the majority here, and we cannot be expected to rule these people unless we adhere to Christ's true teachings. Too long have our leaders corrupted doctrine, bending it to their own will. Money, Land and Wealth has become their trinity.

    At times like these discipline is needed. We must come to recognize these selfish forces at work and oppose them. Christ be our light to illuminate the path of righteousness.


    Entrant 4 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Final Doom

    B. J. Blaskowicz was tired. He had been fighting for his life in these
    subterranean corridors for what seemed like years now.

    Except for his trusty shotgun, gleaming a dangerous gunmetal grey, and
    the other weapons slung from his tall rangy frame, Blaskowicz resembled
    an ancient Egyptian Mummy. He had sustained so many wounds fighting
    the Hellspawn that his entire body was covered with bandages from the
    many med-packs discovered in his travels. His skin was a pincushion from
    the hundreds of self-administered injections and his body fluids seeping
    from these welded his bandages into a single soggy mass.

    Evading a particularly enthusiastic Revenant, Blaskowicz ran into yet another
    tiny courtyard, the sky beckoning, but just out of reach as usual. Two of his
    UAC comrades hung from a battlement, but he was inured to such sights now.

    Ignoring the two decorative figures either side of the gateway, he
    searched desperately for the switch that he knew would open the gate.
    But sadly the decorative figures had been mis-identified, and Blaskowicz
    barely had time to wonder whether the chain-gun or the plasma-rifle was
    most suitable for the task when the sweep of a halberd hacked off his head



    TotW 8 - Untitled Picture
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - mollsomg
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The mist

    "Friiii"

    The whistle sounded again.
    The hand holding my armour in the back urged me forward.
    I pushed my comrade in front of me to let the row advance.
    The shields were pressed to our left sides, for we knew that they would come soon.
    Accompanied by a terrifying, thundering squeal that sounded as if Hades spoke to us mortals,
    they returned from the mist in the front,
    stumbling through the gaps of our rows, crashing with the shields and shoulders to the left and the right,

    with fear in their eyes, falling behind, safe.

    Metal crushed with bones and flesh in between, I could hear latin screams supressed by the loud squeal again.
    My comrade in front of me moved backwards, my right hand struggled to keep him at distance.

    The mist was clearing slowly –
    I saw the red flashing feathers of the Centurio few meters away, holding his head high.
    A huge black shadow moved out of the mist, and with the ground shaking by it’s trampling I realised that this was the incarnation of fear.

    A grey head with long, white, curved spears became visible, and I could hear it’s coughing, a deep rumbling sound. Slowly the massive thing rolled towards my row.

    The wrath of gods! I had to escape!

    I glanced at a legionarie’s silhoutte trying to turn from the front, stumbling and falling.
    A giant member from the fear became visible and stepped on the man’s back with cruel slowliness, bending his body and gently squelching his bones.

    The aweful sound was soaked up by the returning mist, covering the fear and the front.
    Those behind me did not see, did not know!

    I was held tight at my back, rows to the left and the right.
    Roman discipline, no way out…

    “Friiii”


    Entrant 1 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Elephant Bait

    We marched in perfect formation, we proud, we few, we hastati. As my booted foot slid deep into the steaming pile of elephant excrement, I realized we were to be the bait to draw them out. As the distant trumpeting of elephants grew increasingly loud, I felt my bladder release sending an itching, warm sensation down my legs, and bringing a red hue to my cheeks.

    The world went silent as the elephants smashed into the first ranks, and in a flash, lives were immediately ended in a flurry of crimson. Some men were able to dodge the tusks and plunge their gladii into the beasts, often lost in the folds of fat flash. Others were not so lucky and were thrown into the air like toys.

    Panic ran rampant through the ranks and the line would have broken had we not heard the rumble of another unit coming from the flank, spearmen, coming in to take the beasts down from the unprotected flank. The day had been saved, and always at the expense of the plebs.


    Entrant 2 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Price of Honour

    Barnabus was not a patient man, and after just a few minutes in the line he
    was unable to contain himself any longer.

    “What in the name of the Gods are we doing here?”

    Luckily his buddy Sextus had been paying attention during the briefing and
    was able to give a synopsis.

    “Well, it's like this. You know the Great Scipio insists we should have
    elephants, so the barbarian scum can't boast about them any more. Trouble
    is, the damned things are so delicate they keep getting sick. Anyway, this
    time the stupid beast was given the wrong type of flowers in its feed or
    something and had a fit of sneezing.”

    “So? It aint sneezing now.”

    “No, it stopped when it sat on our Legionary Eagle.”

    “Ah... ", there was an embarrassed pause, "so we're here to get it out?"

    “Yup.”

    Time passed, and soon Barnabus reached the head of the queue. His
    comrades had all been unable to retrieve the Eagle, either through
    shortness of arm or delicacy of stomach (some were still heaving weakly
    beside the queue).

    Barnabus, true to his nature, decided to take the direct approach and, with
    a single fluid motion, thrust his gladius deep into the rectum of the elephant.

    “Got it!” he exclaimed feeling the solid contact of sword point against wood.

    Clearly the elephant must have felt something too, because it gave an
    ear-splitting howl and promptly sat down.

    Sadly Barnabus, intent on winkling out the Eagle, wasn't paying attention
    again and failed to get out of the way in time.


    Entrant 3 - Yojimbo
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Deed is Done



    Asard cursed as his victim gurgled quietly, the hungry blade biting into his flesh. He’d let his eagerness get the better of himself again and as his victims friends drew their swords he knew he could not win. Parrying a wild thrust. he violently kicked the man in the groin not wanting to waste any time with fancy fencing. As the man screeched and collapsed into a writhing heap, Asard ran for the elephant that was marching towards the unit, before the archers behind the elephant blotted out the sun with their shafts Asard realised he was a target, franticly he ripped off his armour and waved his hands screaming to the commander who he was. The white robed man looked down and his gaze alighted on Asard’s face and nodded to him slightly. The man then raised his arm and the singing of bow strings stopped, even if the screams and groans of Asard’s former colleagues did not, as they cried like children their guts impaled with arrows of the finest iron. Asard scrambled up the elephants armour and joined the white robed man as the top. “The….deed is done” he said breathless, for the first time realising an arrow had glanced him in the shoulder and he was bleeding. The man said a few words to the mahout and the mighty beast charged forward in a surprising burst of speed. Asard looked down eagerly as the elephant began to crush the men, some fell under its feet and Asard could hear the wet crack of their spines breaking. Asard grinned at the noise and knew his part had been played and it was only a matter of time till they triumphed. As the elephant gored men, tossing them like rag dolls, Asard laughed.


    Entrant 4 - Theseus1234
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Leviathan


    Despite the weakness of my weapons and courage, I held fast. My comrades-in-arms who had not seen the beast before started slowly, but surely, shuffling backwards. I reassured those who would listen that the first ranks of infantry would absorb the blow, and it was up to us to bring down the brute. Some of the soldiers moved back into line, whether from the thought of glory or the thought of responsibility, I do not know. As the behemoths moved closer, I realized that these were not the small, forest beasts I fought in Africa, but full-grown leviathans, clad in plate armor and mounted by archers. My own will started to erode, but I knew that the downfall of this beast would be our job. The moment came, and the beasts collided with our first ranks. Spears, swords, and arrows all bounced off the iron hides and appeared as though the animal was unstoppable. I immediately rolled out of the way as the thundering hooves charged past me. One thing I grasped was that while the monster was strong, it was as slow as a siege tower. Realizing this, I jumped onto the scales of the armor, and began to climb. The other Romans must have seen me, for they too started to scale the sides. My gripped tightened as the animal started to buck, but I still climbed. As we began to reach the top, the archers spotted us, and rained arrows down the sides. Arrows flew overhead as they attempted to strike us without harming their mount. Taking out my sword, I leaped to the top platform, where several Carthaginians were fighting off my men. One turned and looked straight at me, but was unable to stop my sword from plunging into the base of the elephant’s skull.


    Entrant 5 - Ozy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Dragons.

    I feel the land shaking…
    The beast attacked from my side, emerging from the morning mist. Its horns are ten times longer than those of bulls; its legs wider than fifty cypress trees. Metal scales cover its shivering skin, and a red crest raises above its head, red like the blood of the men it smashed, craking bones, turning us apart like ants. And then the snake appears, revealing herself from underneath, crying horrific shrill and loud sounds, a thousand trumpets brought from the end of the World! Its eyes are small, darker than a cloudy moonless night, eyes only comparable to those of their riders. Demons they were! The dragon's lords, their masters of destruction, soulless damned creatures condemned to ride those beasts for eternity. Their armor is silver white, and their crests of feathers rise high on the sky. Their missiles fly and kill everyone they touch, deadly thunders they are!
    Which evil deity would have created such things?! Such abominations! Not our gods for sure!
    And I wonder what we have done to deserve this curse. I wonder in what horrible way we have offended the gods, so that they abandoned us like this, to these creatures of oblivion, and their lord, this “Hanniba’al”.
    I feel despair now, I am confused. I want to run, but my legs won’t obey. My chest hurts, there’s steel trough me. The monster approaches, I can feel it. I can smell it and the wastes on it! Then I see its snake’s and hear it cry. “Not again!” I yell and cry, “Stop that cursed sound!” but it continues. I see the dragon now, rising its legs, and then moving them down on me….
    My eyes are wide open now, with tears, for now I know the true meaning of fear…


    Entrant 6 - Desperado †
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Screaming


    The screams. The screams as men fell to the floor, trampled beneath the massive feat of the beasts, their lungs crushed as their ribcages break beneath the weight, their guts forced out of their skin to cover the earth in a sickly, slimy, gory red.

    Some fly upwards from a flick of the trunk, to land on their winded and broken backs, only to be trampled beneath the feet of their own troops as they shuffle forwards.

    Sometimes, the beast, driven mad by the driver constantly whipping its thick leathery grey skin bleeding red, to roar, and rear its head downwards and charge, trampling all beneath, spearing screaming men on its tusks, piercing their armour as they are skewered like animals upon the spit, their blood and guts streaming down the white ivory.

    Yet still, the beast was tired. The constant stabbings of the men, their screams and their jabs as they tried to pierce through the leathery skin. It enraged him, made him charge and roar and swing its trunk, yet there where always more of them. Always more. Every time it charged, it was slower, its legs streaming with blood as it crunched the dead bones. Where was its lands? The sweet free lands? Far away, over the sea. In that lush green forest. With mother, beneath the shady trees, drinking from the waterpool. Those days where gone. Taken from him that day his mother had fallen, her tusks taken, the day he had been chained around the ankles so that they burned in pain.

    Now those ankles burnt more. The men jabbed at the sore skin, sore from years of imprisonment. And all he could do was roar, and swing, and kill. The screaming. How it haunted mens souls, but also that of their killer. The screaming.


    Entrant 7 - Philos Sophos
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Story of Epic Fail

    The Beast was closing in...the men were terrified to see such thing coming close to them.It just kept coming closer...and closer...and closer...

    Marcus thought what to do...if he would run away,he would be thrown out from the legions and his honour would be destroyed...but if he would stay to attack the beast with the weaponry they had,it would be a massacre.He thought a while until he had made his decision-but it was too late.The beast was already there and slaughtering began.The screams of the men as they were crushed were horryfying and panic started to spread.The men were running on all sides,but they were far from being safe.The enemy was waiting for them.The legionaries didn't know what to do,and they too were dead from the huge legs that the beast had.

    After a few hours,all that was left was blood and the bodies of the men that were killed by that huge beast...This day shall never be forgotten as an example of bad leadership...


    Entrant 8 - Astaroth
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Fighting One's Destiny

    You could smell their fear, cold as steal, dark like a shadow, an ancient beast. A smell of rust and exhaustion, of blood and tears, rising up to the heavens. To the rotten temples up in the skies, where the Gods, as old as the very fundaments of the world, are sitting. Sitting and laughing maniacally at the fools. The fools dying, dying on the fields, day and night.
    When the first row broke, the world collapsed. As blood was spraying over the fields like a beautiful fountain, the cruel lords of heaven were screaming with laughter.
    You could hear the young skulls being crushed, the painful screams of the dying.
    Young men, barely arrived in the world, screaming for fathers and mothers, wives and children.
    Without mercy, the old beast was mowing through the rows, like a scythe through the ripe grain.
    Like a knife through butter, crushing man-made armor, destroying god-made bone. As man perished on the fields, the beautiful sunlight colored the scenery in shades of orange and red. Nature knows no mercy, the sun never covers her face, she doesn't cry for the dead.
    And when the sun reached its highest point, you could see the souls, like little clouds, nothing more than pieces of mist, rising up, high and higher, vanishing in the nowhere. While the bodies were passing away, reduced to a mass of blood and bones, the spirits escaped, flying, floating towards a new, a fresh future.
    At the end of the day, a battle had been won. But no matter how much man fights, kills or tortures, his destiny cannot be changed, death cannot be fooled. That's why the Gods, the ancient Lords up in the skies, keep on laughing, laughing until the end of days.



    TotW 9 - The Crusaders Have Arrived
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Like a Thief in the Night

    The three Hashshashin ran across the dunes with fluid grace, black robes
    concealing everything except their very existence, with even that easily
    doubted by any but the most pious and fanatical of observers.

    The Templar Lord had barely ceased to gurgle away the last of his life's
    blood yet the three were already almost out of sight of castle and pursuers.

    One, who had paused to sweep the horizon with a small spyglass, put on an
    amazing burst of speed to catch up with the others.

    Pushing back her cowl, Azzah (the Gazelle) gave her report.

    “They have no horses and there is a small dust storm coming this way, so
    we will be able to lose them easily”

    Ra'idah the leader shook her head.

    “They will have sent messengers, no doubt cavalry will soon be found to
    ride us down. We shall keep to the plan”.

    Reaching their hidden cache, they donned the clothing there and waited for
    the storm. Fedheela (the most widely read) checked each outfit to ensure
    it was correctly arranged according to custom.

    ***

    The dust cleared suddenly, revealing the calm shore through shafts of
    brilliant sunlight. The Templar guards came to a ragged halt and looked
    around in dull bewilderment.

    Gunther the Lame called his men to attention.

    “They must have had a boat waiting, there's no point looking around here,
    we're going back!”

    As the grumbling men-at-arms turned to go, Gunther couldn't help noticing
    that three nearby soldiers in red and ochre surcoats seemed strangely
    attractive. Shaking his head to banish the sacrilegious thoughts, he
    resolved to scourge himself for twice the usual time in his cell that evening.

    Retracing their steps, the Templar Guards trudged clumsily off into the
    distance... except for three in red and ochre who moved with fluid grace.


    Entrant 1 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Changing Sands of Time

    Leather connected with sand, and flesh was caressed by metal as the crusaders disembarked from the leaking wooden galleys.

    The midday sun shone benevolently upon the soldiers of God as they leapt proudly into the surf. The banners played in the breeze. Young faces smiled under their steel visors. Clouds rolled lazily across the sky and gulls called in the distance.

    This was to be the last day any of them smiled. For what lay ahead would be worse than any hell these men could imagine God had in store for them in the afterlife.

    Within weeks the water had run out. Lips cracked and skin dried. Many young crusaders were left dead and uncared for on the cruel, churning desert face. Their bodies were stripped of any valuables by wandering desert inhabitants, and the bodies picked clean by birds of prey and jackals. Those unlucky enough to survive were haunted with the memories of watching the vultures pick the eyes off their comrades in their eternal quest for sustenance.

    Battle came and the soldiers of the Lord were blooded by the indigenous peoples in a long range display of superiority. For the most part, the arrows glinted harmlessly to the ground, clinking off the heavy armor that had so harried them in the desert. Those unlucky enough to be wearing ill fitted of cheaply constructed armor were struck down and left bleeding on the sand. Plumage of the arrow perched at the highest point as the arrowheads gorged themselves in the European necks.

    At the end of the day, an oasis might be spotted. en would rush the island of green in a search for water, and most would be satisfied. Perhaps even a hare or two would be captured. For some of them it would be their last meal. A source of water is not appealing to men alone. Serpents and all sorts of unfriendly desert creatures called the oasis home and many were sent sobbing to the gates of their God with two neat fang marks located on the flashy part of the calf.

    Such is the lamentable life of a crusader.


    Entrant 2 - Theseus1234
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Purpose
    Jacques walked patiently in the first rank of the column. It had been a trying night, and not much sleep was to be had in the entire the camp. During the evening supper, the Englishmen had jested about the French, trying to provoke their former enemy into a friendly fight, but the gravity of the upcoming confrontation was just too much to bear. Now he was marching, swearing silently to himself every time his armored shoes became trapped in the billowing sand or when the whip of the wind snapped through his visor and scarred his eyes. However, his determination and willpower kept him from stealing away in the night. Jacques noticed that their numbers had dwindled as soon as they stepped foot in the Godforsaken desert and that even the night watchmen were starting to disappear as soon as the dark curtain blanketed the sky. As the days tolled on, they were raided by their own deserters, lacking supplies to survive outside in the unforgiving sands. But Jacques would never desert, no, for Jacques was a religious soldier to the core, and would give his own heart to save just the name of God if necessary, which is why he willingly entered the crusading campaign. Even now, he could sense that the two most formidable religions would crash together for their God. Heathen Saracens holed up in the sacred city, while Frenchmen, Englishmen, and Germans marched determinedly into position across the barren, cracked landscape that their Redeemer had lived and died in. Swords were unsheathed and shields readied as mighty flaming stones were hailed upon the City of Christ.


    Entrant 3 - Sun Zaraki
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Price of Faith
    There were ten thousand of us here today, just a fraction of what Richard intended to bring, but today we were here with Guy. The swine, he caused our slaughter at Hattin, but still, he was King of Jerusalem, appointed by God. We had joined under "The name of God, Jesus and the Holy Sepulchre," but a few of us had learnt the truth; that the lords of Europe flocked to this place for its richness, not for "faith" or "enlightenment."
    The seemingly endless desert stretched for a mile or so before reaching Acre's walls. The hot, golden sun shimmering off the specs of sand, and then glinting off our armour. The pure, blue sea extended miles into the distance, the salty smell lingering in my nostrils. The city of Acre still held fast, we had been here for only three months, but the citizens showed no sign of weakening yet. We saw them from time to time, creaking open their gates slightly to empty their waste out. They couldnt dump it in the sea as they had been blockaded, but they also couldnt dump it in the shore for it would stay in the city, we reckoned. But, recently, they've been using their catapults to launch it at us. The stink was unbearable, is unbearable! The gates havent opened since, not once, not a little dog had come out searching for scraps.
    The flags, once waving, have begun to drop now, as the horns bellowed out. The Accursed Tower lay ahead of us, and we had been charged to lay an attack on it, by demand of "King" Guy himself.
    "Soldiers! Forward!"
    The horns blew and we began to move slowly at first, increasing to a jog, then sprinting, bounding our way to this massive tower. We cried to our God. I, in front, prayed quietly inside my helmet, noticing the movement on the walls surrounding The Tower. I looked back and saw only about 500 of us had charged.
    "Ferenghi! Allah!"
    The captain of the Saracens cried, and his troops cried also. The beating in my chest grew uncontrollable, the sweat unbearable. Our horns sounded again and we ran faster. Faster and faster. The arrows shot into the sky. Punding into the metal neext to me, i was one of few he kept running. Of the original attackers, more than 200 lay dead behiind us. The captain cried agai, his troops answering, and as the arrows flew into the sky, whistling at our doom, i ould only think of four words that summed up my feelings...
    The price of faith


    Entrant 4 - Philos Sophos
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The price of redemption



    Outlands of Jerusalem,5th of July 1099...


    It was a hot day...the sand was burning our feet and the sun was melting us.Everyone was exhausted from marching,we all wanted to rest,but our commanders told us to march a little longer because Jerusalem was just a few days march away.Everyone got a boost after that,they formed a line again and started walking in a normal pace.

    But then,something happened.The men stopped and started searching for something...but they didn't have to search for long,it was already there for them.It was the Saracens who had been waiting for us.They outnumbered us greatly,and the men were scared.And they had a good reason for it too,because they were facing warriors who had been born here and knew how to fight in the desert.The commanders started forming a battle line and everyone quickly took their position.

    A moment later,they charged...they killed many our men and we killed many of theirs as well.Seeing the swords clashing and men falling,I thought about my family back in France...I was here because of them,to seek redemption from god and the church.I was fighting for my family...that gave me my power.I took my sword and run towards a Saracen.I saw his face,he was afraid as was I...and a few seconds later,he was dead.I killed him with the edge of my sword.All the memories that he had,had been vanquished and he got his resting place here in the Sands of the Holy Land.But soon,the Saracens were getting more and more tired and our commanders gave the order to advance.

    "Deus Vult!"yelled everyone.

    The Saracens were frightened because of our spirit that hadn't been killed.They began to retreat and our cavalry charged their rear.After a few moments,every Saracen who had attacked us on that day was dead...the beach was filled with bodies and the sand was red.But noone cared-the commanders gave the orders to march forward towards Jerusalem.Tired,but still alive,the men began to march towards the Holy city once more and after a few days,we were finally there,sieging the the Holy city of Jerusalem...


    Entrant 5 - pericles_plato
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The long hot day.


    It was a hot and very humid day. The sea looks like it was boiling. The Crusaders were burning up in their armor. "It's way to hot to be here." said a warrior. "Quite in the ranks you dogs." yelled another warrior who was a leader of the unit. "Why, they can't even here us." said the warrior. "Steve if you talk one more time i'll push you into the water." yelled the leader. "Yes sir." replied Steve. They stood there waiting for the enemy to come. "They aren't coming Larry." said a warrior to the leader. "They will come, Bob." Said the leader, Larry. They just waited for the enemy to come. Clouds started going over there heads. "It sure is pretty out here" said Steve. "Hot, but pretty." “Pretty?” yelled Bob. “It’s way too hot to be pretty.”The men continued to wait. The enemy did not even come closer. The heat was killing the soldiers. It felt like burning alive. Steve got dizzy and collapsed. The last thing Steve saw were the men standing there beside him. The men he was friends with. The men who have been with him for years in the service to God. The men who called them selves..... Crusaders.


    Entrant 6 - Commander Flasheart
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    In their Gods own name


    We watched as the infidel army marched through the sands,so many we could not count their numbers.They looked so proud as they marched towards our lines their armour dazzling in the hot desert sun.My commander was silent he had fought these dogs before he knew their worth,they would stop at nothing give no quarter so sure were they of their right.I asked myself why do they come? how dare they spill the blood of the glorious prophets followers, this is not their land it is ours our homeland these foreign heathen blasphemers come to steal and to enslave us.

    A trumpet sounded and the infidels attacked, our archers fired into their lines many fell but still they kept coming driven on by hate and a misguided faith.I was now in the thick of battle my sword cut into the belly of my nearest foes and cried in triumph as i felt his life blood spill warm onto my hands, as he fell to his knees i took off his head with a swift downward swing.All around me men were fighting and dying i knew the prophet was smiling on me this day for although i fought and killed none were able to harm me.A huge man wearing the insignia of their holy soldiers screamed his war cry at me babbling in his strange tongue that i understood not, he was far too eager to kill me and he over reached with his sword stroke, his weapon hit the sand i cut his his throat watched as he clawed at it the only sound he made was a bloody gurgle.

    And then it was over we pursed the infidels as they turned and fled, our commander sounded his horn calling us back he wished to waste no lives in the pursuit of cowards.Men stood cheering and dancing proclaiming we had beaten the infidel, our commander shook his head as he said we had beaten them for now we had won the battle they would be back and keep coming back, this he said was a war that would last down through as yet unborn generations he ordered us to march back home, on his noble face i could see only sadness.


    Entrant 7 - Sensi Karate
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    North of Jerusalem, 22nd of August 1102

    The last couple of days took there wear on the Catholic soldiers of god. We had been marching to Jerusalem for months now, with the desert leading us on our way. The days were horrible and the nights were atroshish. We had been taking heavy fire from archers to the East and West and we left many men behind from the raids. We had fought to survive, and no men would leave after what we'd been through to get to the Holy Kingdom of God. Still, life felt desolated near Jerusalem, we had not crossed a single peasant or wanderer for the last week and we started to wonder if our commander was directing us in the right direction. As the sun faded away, and the darkness crept upon the lifeless dunes of time, we made camp for the night. My knees were shaking as I huddled close to one of the few fires that were illuminating the camp from the darkness around us. After a small dinner from our near-empty rations, men beside me started to bangle on about there children and wives who they'd left at home. In the start of our campaign to Jerusalem, many of the men would banter about wars between other catholic factions. Now, however it seemed as if we had become a nation ourselves, instead of bickering anymore we would just talk about the more peaceful lives we had before this, even if it wasn't that different at all. I left the camp fire to enter my small, cold tent. Before I slept in my small damp bed, I prayed we would be successful in our crusade to Holy City of Jerusalem, I prayed for my children and wife to be safe tonight, and most of all, I prayed for peace.

    As I awoke the next morning, a horn was sounded across the camp. As I stubbled out of bed and looked outside, I saw the most beautiful and elegant thing in my life, Jerusalem. The large towers were seen in the distant and many of the men packed there belongings as fast as they could. As we lined up to march to the Holy City, I thanked God for listening to my prayers, it was as if he had Taken Me Under his right wing, and I was forever grateful to him. Let us hope he heeds my prayers once more, and takes the Holy City away from the heretic Islamic people. "We march to Gods City!" shouted our commander as the boots of thousands marched off to reclaim Jerusalem.


    Entrant 8 - Tweety
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Only for their God

    The hard, cruel sun of the Palestine beat mercilessly down on the backs of the knights, enrobed in thick fur and swathed in the dead-weight of armour, they boiled gently alive like a French chef's lobster in the wait for a Saracen on the horizon. Each was enclosed in an own captule of pontification, wrapped in the thoughts of the loved ones they had left behind, whom they may never set eyes on again. All were in this for God, be it by pretence or true faith. Catholic Europe had sent forth the men of the land in a vain hope to 'rescue' the land they believe Holy from those they term barbaric and infidels, the worshippers of Islam. These men had come forth at the words of men such as Fulk of Charters, of the great speakers and preachers of their lands. And they were from many lands, the many states and warring kingdoms of feudal Europe. Bavarians, Bohemians and Burgundians side by side. English and French united under one banner. Aragonese, Castillians, Basques and Leones, together for their faith. Milanese and Genoese shoulder to shoulder, under the benevolent protection of their Lord.

    They hated each other by principle, these peoples, from birth they were espoused their racial enmities, which smouldered deep in the mind of each one even as they waited motionless, sweating in the wait for battle and perhaps death. Thousand of enemies, united, by the power of God, only for their God.


    Entrant 9 - Medicus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I hate sand. Hate it with a passion.

    Why the hell did we come here? How on Earth was I convinced by the lies they told? I was an idiot, that’s all. An idealistic young fool who thought he was doing the Lord’s work. Don’t the Muslims think the same? We go about it the same way - killing as many of the other as possible. No “God of Love” could ever enjoy such an act.

    It’s starting. Over the rise of a hill they come, thousands of them. A man next to me falls to the ground, an arrow in his neck, blood trickling into the sand. Again with the sand, you say? It’s everywhere here, gets into everything: your eyes, your mouth, your food, places you don’t want to know about.

    Our own leader gives the order for the cavalry to charge. They’re massacred; the enemy is just too good at his art. He has lived here for thousands of years; I’ve been here for two. What hope do I have?

    He gives the order to charge. Instinct takes over. My feet start moving on their own. I can’t help it. I know I’ll be killed, yet I still do it. Why? Why do all of us, Christian and Muslim, fight over a few thousand square miles of land, when our every impulse tells us to turn and go home?

    I don't think I’ll ever know.

    I hate sand.



    TotW 10 - Do Not Fear Death
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Grave of Liquid


    The swelling waters of the river, tainted with the blood of fighting men, laps along the banks of the stream. Not far away, the earth had shook as battle was waged. Eventually, the loyalist forces broke, and were pursued in all directions as they fled. Some men launched themselves headlong into the waters, only to be swallowed up as their heavy mail sent them screaming to the bottom, only a trail of bubbles left to give evidence of their entry.



    The river became a crypt, so vile and filled with rotten flesh that for some months after the battle, if one were to gather the water in one's hand and drink of the cool liquid, the twisted taste of sour flesh would permeate itself in the mouth.



    If stagnant pools were to form by drought, the bodies would serve as a breeding ground for many sorts of foul insects and reptiles, making full use of the sustenance decomposing flesh contains. It is by death that live is born, and even as the maggots gorged themselves on the flesh of soldiers, peace was established throughout the land, and from this peace, hope and prosperity sprang anew.eventually the stream flushed the rot out, and the waters were once again live giving. Flowers appeared on the banks, reeds blew in the wind. A generation had crumbled, but given birth to a new one in it's wake. The earth rebuilds itself from the ground up, and the clicking of the grasshoppers in the field cast a peaceful pall over the landscape.



    Had this once been a field of combat?





    Entrant 1 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Original Just So Story

    Uther Pendragon was weary, last night with Ygraine had been very
    demanding, and now the fight against the Saxons was going badly.
    That devious charlatan Merlin had promised a magic weapon to smite the enemy,
    but then led him to this bog in the middle of nowhere.

    “I have it!” Merlin shouted in triumph,
    taking Excalibur from the Lady of the Lake and raising it high.

    “Give me that” Uther responded, rather shortly.

    He snatched the sword, which shone gently with an unearthly
    inner glow, and took a few practice swipes at his old sword (which fell
    into several pieces). Excalibur was as light as mist and
    perfectly balanced. Yes, this was the one!

    Merlin looked up, expecting gratitude and approval, but no –
    Uther was frowning.

    “Are you not satisfied my Lord?”

    “For God's sake man, look at the length of it! It won't fit my scabbard!
    Doesn't it come with one of its own?”

    “Er, I'll just check...”

    Merlin returned to the lake and attempted to contact the Lady,
    but there was no reply and all he got for his pains
    was sodden breeches and a mouth full of weed.

    At that moment the Saxons reappeared.
    Uther, ever the man of action, led his few remaining followers into the fray.

    Excalibur almost tipped the balance, every swing dispatching another foe,
    but when fresh enemy warriors appeared, Uther was forced to flee.
    Putting the sword through his belt, he rode awkwardly away.

    Coming upon a huge rock barring his way, Uther skirted it to the right,
    but as he bent to pass under a low bough,
    the naked sword cut his horse neatly in two and he fell.

    Uther was still hanging suspended by his belt from the sword,
    which was in turn firmly embedded in the boulder,
    when his enemies arrived to help him out -
    generously freeing his head from its bondage


    Entrant 2 - Sun Zaraki
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Triumphant
    Triumphant... I am triumphant... again
    The fool... he never stood a chance... this common swine claiming to be of noble and heroic birth. The Idiot.
    His blood pours from his dark and hideous wound, the wound i had planted on him with the swing of my mighty sword. He had challenged me, calling my men child lovers and ball sniffers. I fought for my men, and history shall remember it that way!
    The mighty stand, fight and win, and history remembers them! The weak stand, fight and fall into the sodden dust, or today in bloody river, black death enveloping their eyes.
    I have killed many like him before, some stronger, and i shall kill more men like him, some stronger. My sword will never tire, my shield will never break.
    The blood still pours from him, the smell begins to attack me. My sword drops the last bits of blood and i wash it in the river. I feel the earth shaking.
    My men roll past me, in chase of the heathens who ran after their masters death. My armour... it feels slightly heavy.
    A dove circles above me, blotting out the sunlight for a bit before flying off into the trees behind me. I stand again, looking upon my dead and rotting foe

    Triumphant... I am triumphant... again...


    Entrant 3 - Musthavename
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    When Soldiers get really.. really bored.


    Knight: God, i'm so bored. Where the hecks the rest of our regiment?
    Soldier: I dont know. I just remember coming here to have a drink and next thing I know, everyone buggered off.
    Knight: But I haven't had a drink, how the heck did I get here?
    Soldier: Plot device maybe?
    Knight: Fine, let's just settle for that.
    Soldier: Anyways, shall we go look for the rest of the army?
    Knight: That would involve effort.
    Soldier: That's hardly what a chivalrous knight would say.
    Knight: I know, but that's besides the point.
    Soldier: Hey, i've got an idea.
    Knight: What?
    Soldier: You have to guess who i'm doing an impression of.
    Knight: How the hell will that help us? We're stuck out by a river with no-one else in site! Forget it.
    Soldier: So what, we're just going to sit here untill someone turns up?
    Knight: Works for me.

    *1 minute later*

    Knight: Ok... this is boring. Go ahead with your impression.



    Soldier: *proceeds to fall flat into the water*
    Knight: What the hell, is that it?
    Soldier: *hand is raised out of the water, before plunging back in*
    Knight: I take that as a yes, eerrr, Jaws?
    Soldier: *silent*
    Knight: If you're trying to be Michael Phelps he actually swims you know.
    Soldier *silent*
    Knight: AH!!! I've got it!!!!!!
    Soldier: *silent*
    Knight: FREDERICK BARBAROSSA!
    Soldier: *silent*
    Knight: Err, you even alive still?
    Soldier: *silent*
    Knight: Well.. at least he did a pretty good impression. Now, why the **** is everything red?


    Entrant 4 - Antiochos VII Sidetes
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Blood.

    It rushed out of the corpse like a great flood. Blood, as red as a...normal man.

    The warrior had almost expected it to be something more becoming of a heartless monster, a shell that God, in his Wisdom, did not see fit to give a soul. But, no, it was red, just like...

    The flowing torrent of the blood of the women and children...the felled bodies of their husbands and fathers...

    Red as...

    The flickering flames that danced like gleeful spirits over the meager hovels and houses, almost -ALMOST- masking the shadows of the hapless villagers locked inside...

    The warrior, known by many names in the Godforsaken land of Britannia, had hunted the transgressing demons-in-flesh for many days. Their pillaging and looting had slowed and dulled their senses, allowing the warrior to take them, one by one...

    Every night, one would be taken. No matter how stout his shield or long his battle-axe, the hidden death would claim him...

    Their foul captain soon realized the extent of his folly, and turned around the steadily shrinking band of raiders back to the shore, back to the heathen lands of Hibernia.

    He caught them at the edge.

    Gasping, he ran towards the shore. He could see the longboat in the distance...If he could just reach it---

    A blinding pain was felt, and then no more.

    His blood was red.


    Entrant 5 - R-teen
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Augustus: Damn, where the hell am I? Where have my soldiers gone?
    Unknown origin: They are gone. you're alone now.
    - :Sreaaaaaaaaaaaaaam:! Who the hell are you?
    - Me? what do you think ?
    - I don't have time to discuss with you. the battle is in a dangerous condition. I have to go.
    - Ah! such a stupid person you are! I wonder how did you become a general?! Where you wanna go you fool?! ahhh haven't you realized what happened to you?
    - Silence! show yourself if you ...
    - oh! such a brave BUT idiot general!!! so, let's see how brave are you... look down!
    - For what? perhaps you are below that water!? I see nothing down there !
    - Ahhh! why me? God, couldn't you send someone else instead of me to lead this idiot? YOU BLIND FOOL! LOOK DOWN! SOMETHING IS ON THE WATER!!!!!!!!!
    - :screaaaaaaaaaaaaaam:!... Who the hell is him? Is that you?????
    - You know something, I've NEVER EVER sawn a person as fool as you! THAT'S YOUUUUUUUUU, YOU GENIUS!!!!
    - :screaaaaaaaaaaaaaam: ME??? Ahaaaaaa I got it!!!!
    - Finally you got something in you your entire life! so tell me what did you figure out of seeing this body?
    - I had a twin brother that I didn't know about it!!!!!
    - ! God ! I right here, right now, am asking you to take my life forever and set me free of this pendejo !!!!! THAT'S YOU! YOU HAVE D I E D!!!!!!!!! IN BATTLE!!!!!!
    - O O! Let me guess!!! Am I a April fool?
    - Let me tell! You are not a April fool, YOU ARE COMPLETELY A FOOL!!!!!! YOU ARE DEAD!!!!!
    - nooooooooo!!!!!!!!! you mean I'm d...d...d...d...
    - D E A D
    -
    -
    -
    - argh! don't be upset my sweet general.
    - ... so ... so ... tell me... WHO ARE YOU...??...?
    - Good question of course. I am the ANGLE OF DEATH! The famous Grim Reaper! I've come to take you with myself... to a better place than this rubbish world!
    - to where? Ah at last! I can see the heavens, right?
    - hmmm :hmmm:... a... yeah... but it's not completely heaven tough!:hmmm:
    - so what is it?
    - IT'S HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELL!!!!!!!!!
    - :screaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam:
    - MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    - :screaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaam:
    ..................................
    General!? General!? My Augustus wake up! Enemy army is so close! we have no time! we must ready the army... wake up!


    Entrant 6 - Yojimbo
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Red Mist

    Romulus gazed into the red fog his head spinning. That last blow must have hit him pretty hard, if the red tinge he could see was any indication. He felt he was floating and as he parried another vicious swing it seems like the blurry visage was happening to somebody else.

    He heard himself gasp as he felt a sharp pain in his guts even as the blurry shape in front of him grunted as his own foot found its mark on the man's instep. As he saw the shape stagger he thought about the rest of his unit, the battle has been a disaster, he had decided to stay and fight trying to avenge those who had fallen and not wishing to sully his honour by running.

    He felt himself fall as a blinding pain kissed his knees. He felt his back hit the ground hard. Then suddenly even before he realised he was doing it he was crawling dragging himself away from the laughing he heard behind him. Romulus felt the coolness of the water washing over him as he blindly crawled into a shallow pool of water left on the battle field from the torrential rain. Romulus felt himself slump to the ground.

    In his mind he was racing, straining to crawl more, to get away but his body just wouldn’t move anymore. Romulus felt sleepy, he had come a long way and it seemed it was time for rest and as he felt himself let go, he found he could see himself sprawled in the water blood flowing freely and staining the still water. In a flash he realised where he was and what had happened.

    As the man planted his sword in the cold earth and the red mist billowed around him Romulus screamed.

    Last edited by wowbanger; April 27, 2011 at 10:25 AM. Reason: ADDED TOTW 10

  4. #4
    wowbanger's Avatar Jimmy's winning matches
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 11 - CS_Castle: Need Backup...
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    SELF-DESTRUCT
    Dieter Schnabel sweated in the 1903 Bosnian summer heat. His ludicrous
    ceremonial guard uniform baked him - just like the fish his mother used to
    prepare every Friday (despite such Catholic practices being viewed with
    suspicion in the enlightened Democratic Communist Republic of Franco-Deutschland).

    Sweat smeared his experimental HUD (made to look like a monocle),
    so he took it off – it was impossible to miss at 5 metres.

    Dieter wondered if this was really the best use of State resources. Surely
    it would be better to bend all efforts to winning the conventional war
    back in 1945. How on Earth had Einstein’s time-travel project
    acquired the influence to launch such a crazy expedition?

    Admittedly the premise sounded good. Would the Austro-Russian Alliance
    still be fighting now without Austrian Premier Vojislav Princip's irrational
    hatred for Communism? But for Vojislav, Austria might have
    embraced Marx during the revolutions.

    There was a scrape of boot against stone in the darkened stairwell.
    Vojislav was arriving exactly as predicted by the time-project historians.

    Dieter and his comrades readied their weapons, and as soon as the figure
    stepped out into the sunshine they fired simultaneously.

    The man collapsed instantly, falling like a sack of flour, and Dieter
    stepped forward to confirm that he was dead.

    Relieved at the ease of the mission, he hardly noticed the child,
    Vojislav's brother Gavrilo, staring open-mouthed with shock.

    He turned back towards the faint disturbance of the air
    that betrayed the presence of the time-warp,
    confident that history would only record that Austrian soldiers
    had shot a man of no importance for an unknown reason.

    How much better would the world be on the other side?
    Maybe the war had never happened, his Dresden home saved from the
    ruin of the firestorm and his family still alive. Trying to banish
    this hope from his mind, he stepped back through the warp...


    Entrant 1 - Philos Sophos
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Operation "Tropic Thunder"





    7th of october,1513

    On 6th of October,our reconnaisance spotted a large Aztec castle North-East of us,and our commanders decided to take it.Our elite group of arquebusiers,called the Delta Force,was called in.Our team leader Chuck Norris said the go-code which was "Roundhouse kick all the way".After that,everyone loaded on the catapults and they fired us away.a short moment after,we were in the city walls and we began pushing in to the command centre,where the enemy leader Gaddam Bussein() was making his last stand.We cleared the castle pretty soon,and were at the command center's entry...

    We were ordered to check our weapons and ammunition,which we did,and after we are all locked and loaded,Chuck stormed in.He killed everyone who stepped in his way and was soon at the boss.He quickly neutralized him,planted the bomb and ran out.We all ran down from the walls and quickly went out of the castle,and a moment afterwards,the whole place blew up...





    Moral of the story,do not mess with Arquebusiers...and with Chuck Norris...




    Entrant 2 - molls
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The call of duty

    After chasing the suspicious and probably dangerous person, which was recogniced by the 3 guards upon sneaking around at the central city-lord’s manor, from their post through the whole town, they nearly caught up while pursuing him on the outer city ring’s walls.

    The 3 royal gunmen did just see their target disappear in the gate house and assembled before the entrance.

    “Oh my, I’m not used to this kind of physical exercise anymore! Phew...” the sweating Christopher Constable moaned, closing in on the other two waiting by the door already.

    “Gentlemen, we have him trapped in there now!” said Arthur Authoria, who was kneeling by the pinacles, readying his gun.

    The third one with the name Harold Hunta, slowly peeking into the dark gatehouse from the door’s side, whispered:
    “ ‘Tis a trap, I tell you, it is! Look at how dark it is in there, ‘tis most unsettling. He could be waiting in his tent... hrhm I mean the tent of darkness all around... camping – trying to slay us with a most outragous manner...”

    After waiting for a while, Christopher started rambling:
    “I urge you, we have to storm the frontal area of the target’s assumed residence, carrying the element of surprise to him!”

    Arthur nodded.

    “If you insist...” Harold Hunta took forth a torch, ignited it, and threw it into the dark hallway most courageously:

    “Flare in the Hole!”
    “Move, Move, Move – but watch your precious backs!”

    The 3 guys rushed in – only to find that the gatehouse was empty.

    “Holy Lord, what are we doing?!” Christopher got angry.

    “Doing our Job: guarding the Lord’s manor!” Harold answered.

    The three looked at each other, with growing understanding..

    “Then why are we at the outer city wall stumbling through the gatehouse?”


    Entrant 3 - Sun Zaraki
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    When COD4 met M2TW!
    Narrator: All righty then!! Welcome to the first ever showing of "When i met your mother, THEN PLAYED VIDEO GAMES WITH HER!!" In this show, we contemplate on what would happen when two games are put together. The first ever combination today is COD4 and M2TW!! Mainly because none of the production team have ever played Counter-Strike (myself included), it would be pretty difficult to combine these two into a mildly humorous series of events!!


    (crickets)



    Anyway!! On with the show!! Closest to the door here you can see Jim Mcdougall, or "Beefy Jim!!" as his friends know him. The closest to us is Hugh Hughmenson...
    Yes, and the protagonist is called (drum roll)







    HOBO JOE!!! Commence the game!!


    Hobo- Dudes.... what the hell does all this stuff at the bottom of the screen mean?
    Beefy- What stuff?
    Hobo- Well, this! Theres a clock saying its quarter to four, ive got a hundred health, and no armour! WHY DO I HAVE NO ARMOUR!!
    Beefy- Shut up, Hobo, im trying to keep an eye on this door
    Hobo- Its not even a door!! Its just a wall if you look closely!!
    Beefy-Shut up!! Hugh, tell him
    Hugh-.......duuuuuuhhhh........
    Beefy- Precisely! So! let me kick this door down...
    Hobo- its not a door!!
    Beefy- **** off, it is! Im gonna kick this door down, and then we gotta take the gateway and release the hostages. Hugh, you take the left flank when i throw the smokes in, and Hobo you shoot the guy with the bow and arrow. Got it?
    Hobo-...... How does ANY of that make sense!?!?!
    Hugh-..... duuuuuuhhhhhh..... I wish.... I wish i was a fish......
    Beefy- Poetic as always Hugh, and Hobo, SHUT THE **** UP!! The presidents on the other side of this door, and if we dont release him, the nukes will be launched after 30 mins, so.... SHOOT THE GUY WITH BOW AND ARROW!!!
    Hobo-.... You realise your being anchronitic?
    Beefy- WHAT THE **** DOES THAT MEAN????





    Narrator- .... Yes, i suppose that was... ok... this show may never be broadcasted again....
    Still!! Im getting paid £5,000 just to turn up for this, so who gives a ****?


    Entrant 4 - Sensi Karate

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Why am I here? I should be at home drinking my ale and putting my youngin' to sleep. Instead I've been brought to this so called 'new world' by idealistic generals who can’t even read a compass. We fight uncivilised men who run around with there bare bums showing. Thousands of these barbaric people lay dead in front of me; none survive the onslaught we bring with our artillery. Are faces blooded and our clothes stained, we go to sleep on low rasions, barely feeding ourselves. The beds are just a few old rags which just keep us from getting a fever.



    The next day we awake to rain and cold conditions, my hands shaking, I put my gloves and boots on. We march once more, with nearly no food to sustain most of us. Many just collapse into the damp soil which is beneath our feet. After what seemed a month of marching in this hideous place, we finally reach what seemed a city. Our general told us to breach the walls immediately, giving no time for the people inside to arm themselves. The cannons eradicate the walls with ease, leaving women and children inside scurrying around, trying to get there belongings before trying to escape the onslaught. We enter the city with no troubles, killing anyone who stands in our path. We take the women, enslave the children and kill the men.



    After a long hike up the hill, I finally reach the centre of the city. I could hear whispers and cries within the house. I crept over with two other men to the houses door. The soldier closest to the door quickly opened it. I rushed in to find three women bending over there children shouting strange words at me. That second a large scream came from the left, a man with a knife came charging at me. I had no time to counter-attack and was stabbed twice in the leg and once in the chest. I collapsed to the ground, my head spinning and my eyes slowly shutting. I could hear gun shots and voices screaming around me, blood dripping from my pale body I went into a deep sleep. I awoke the next day, with bandaging around my stab wounds. "You'll be fine" said one of the nurses as she ticked my medical report. My body still tired and worn out, I shut my eyes once more.






    Entrant 5 - TheTrueGreek

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I am a Space Marine, hardened in the tests of war, and toughened by the rigors of my day to day life. We ridding this town of terrorists, who have hidden themselves in this world. This planet is extremely underdeveloped and he have had to disguise ourselves as Arqubusiers to not assaulted by the townsfolk. My captain, Price, and Bean, are covering the door to the house they are susspected to be in. Price kicks the door open and he finds a family of 1 women, 5 men, and 10 children. As per his orders, he is to kill any men that are suspect of trying to undermine the Greek overlord. Price orders Bean to fire on the men, they stand there, waving there arms into the air, screaming something in old french. looking at my watch, i saw that we had 3 minutes to get out of here before the town realizes what is going on and starts rioting. I tell Price to leave the children, we don't have the time and there is no way they were terrorists, even if there mother and father were. Price says that they must die as they are in this building at the pre-ordaned time, and by law they must die. At this time the men and women are dead, a plasma shot thru the head ended their lives prematurely. Bean puts his rifle next to the first kids head and I try to stop him, but i was just to slow. I tackle Bean and Price tries to seperate me, and at this time the townsmen have heard the gunshots and have grabbed their torches and pitchforks, Price gets on in the face and dies, but me and bean manage to find our teleporter and we make it back to our base in Mars. I was denounced to a security role for the company that made the teleporters, and I am the only one left, Bean and the others have all been eaten by those demons from Hell. If anyone finds this, tell them I tried.end transmission. Last message from the brave warrior who fought to the end against the demons of Hell in Mars.






    TotW 12 - Now - to Battle!
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Winner - Desperado †
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Dew on the Morning Grass

    The sound of two hundred men, each clad in steel, thundering down the hillside, their steel boots crushing all the grass and life beneath. It was not as mighty as a cavalry charge, though the effect was greater as the enemy, with their long spears, had been facing the opposite direction, expecting heavy cavalry from the south, their stakes prepared and facing. But the English horn blew, loud and powerful, echoing off the mountains and sending the still sleeping birds fluttering in fear into the sky, the Scots turned and saw their doom, clad in shinning steel armour with swords and poleaxes raised above heads, shouting their voices hoarse in a battle cry lusting for blood.

    The morning was cold. The Scots fumbled, their hands numb, as they tried to turn their formations and ready their spears. Men dropped the wooden poles. Others slipped on the wet morning grass. But up ahead, charging down the small hill to meet them, the English lions ran magnificently. Their minds were clear, clear as the morning air. No fear tainted their hearts, only fury, and confidence.

    The first feeble arrows were shot. But they were too late. In vain. They fell short of their mark as they struggled uphill, or clattered against the knight’s armour to fall and be smashed beneath their heavy feet. No arrow would pierce these English men’s victory. Other archers gave up on stringing their bows with their cold stiff hands, and grabbed a sword and awaited their death. Others ran. Those who stood were cut down like corn by a reapers scythe, their blood staining the lush green grass.

    The Scots fell, drowned by the tide of armour clad warriors. Blood was now the dew upon the morning grass.



    Entrant 1 - Commander Flasheart
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Now that is much better


    Sir Monty stood atop a steep hill, on either side of him he had his trusted retinue of Knights.He was so proud of them how they each kept their Armour and their weapons in such pristine and shining condition, they were a credit to him and to themselves.

    Monty cleared his throat and began his well rehearsed speech, a speech he had indeed been rehearsing in his mind ever since the idea of his great plan first came into his mind.On that day when he realized he would have to do something about his enemy, would always be his most cherished memory, indeed even now Monty had a warm feeling inside that made his heart flutter when ever he thought on that day.

    "Men and i call you men for that is indeed what you are, we are gathered here this day to lay low the enemy that has for far too long stood and mocked me in this land". "Look how they stand so very proud their very presence mocking myself and you my noble Knights". "For too long now they have stood here each day daring us to attack them, well now with all of you gathered here with me we dare to attack".

    Monty waved his hand in the air and waited for the cheering of his men to subside, oh he was so happy so proud so glad to be alive.

    "By the time night falls again over this land not one of those cheeky buggers must remain standing, all will fall this day to your axes and your swords, for God wills it to be so". "We are a happy breed and after this day is over we will be happier still, for the enemy will be no more".

    "And now at the last i tell you to put your faith in God and a strong arm to give no quarter, to leave none standing and to show nay mercy to these miserable devils".

    Monty and his men with weapons drawn, slowly marched down the hill their Armour glinting in the bright sunshine.Suddenly as one mind they all charged screaming threats of death violence and destruction. They hit the trees like a mighty wave each knight hacking and chopping as the forest fell down around them, by night fall not a single tree was left standing, only stumps and huge fires where they lay burning. Monty looked back up the hill to his castle, and thought "Now then i have a perfect view of the river without all those bloody trees spoiling it for me".



    Entrant 2 - Aldgarkalaughskel

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    CELLOPHANE KNIGHTS

    - Stop. - La Zebra, the fat French director said, halting the action with one hand, and laying low his baseball cap with another.

    - Zzzhis is bullcrap. You are fighting in the battle of Crécy, not playing tag like little girls, mon Dieu! Be more desperate, go crazy, like you were fighting the Nazis. I won't say it again: as Spanish battlefield assassins, you are hired to get close to the Black Prince and disembowel him.

    The nervous seconds of silence were soon resolved by a hiccup from the background and everyone returned to the fray.

    He was called La Zebra, because he changed colours and genres with almost each film. As a young, unemployed actor he ventured into porn to make a name for himself; later he started to compose erotic thrillers, but they were only as lascivious as an agonizing reptile. He still kept his habit to hire hasbeen waitresses to serve coffee in cheerleader dresses, with a cleavage almost unbearable to look at without spilling out much of the drink you have just received; meanwhile he found it funny to flatter them with minor roles if they would fire up a hot atmosphere during the shootings.



    La Zebra was also amused to play tricks on the actors. Once he had the lawn anointed with a slippery gel to make them sledge on their arses right down to the valley. The photo immortalizes this moment. Later it won the World Press Photo Award in the "Sport Action" category.



    The movie was intended to be a shameless replica of the 300, spiced up with French flavour and more doses of mainstream horror. The expectations were flying high, but as it was a low-budget project, the properties had to be substituted with pieces of junk. Instead of credible-looking shiny, dreadful armours, the actors were dressed in cellophane, with beaten buckets pressed upon their heads. "If Tin Woodman could become a superstar in The Wizard of Oz, you can do it, too." - he said. "Appearance does not matter, only shocking appearance matters." Nonetheless all of his clichés were trumped by the uproarious title on his worn-out T-shirt:



    "Speak softly but carry a big shtick."





    Entrant 3 - Pontifex Maximus
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    The Old Forest


    The boughs creaked and the leaves sang in the breeze. It was a low, crackling noise. Constant and strong. As the ranks formed and bows were bent, a lower, hoarser rumble was heard over the leaves. This was no sound of nature, but that of Scottish rebels. The highland rabble charged across the plain headlong towards the English line, partially hidden in the forest. The archers, wielding the deadly longbow, released their airborne darts. Time stopped, and all at once the peaceful sound of crinkling leaves was blotted out by the hellish scream of the arrows as they crashed into the Scots at high speed. Metal met flesh as the cruel steel twisted holes into necks, legs, torsos, and arms. The charge was stopped and before the Scots had time to reform, a shout resounded above the treetops. As one, the English line of heavily armored knights moved forward, looking unhuman in the twisted masks and helmets.

    Panic spread as the sound of metal became deafening, and the first wave of English troops moved forward. Birds flew from the trees as the knights entered a charge, silent at first, but then ear bursting as the lines were closed. Sword met ribs, axe met skull, and spear met throat. Many villagers were sent into the next life screaming, much like the birds above fleeing from the noise.

    Before long the battle was ended, a single, green leaf was knocked delicately knocked off it's branch high in the boughs by a squirrel. It danced lightly to the ground, landing in a cool pool of blood, the green silhouetted against the red.



    Entrant 4 - Lupus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A CHARGE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
    The enemy forces are drawn up and ready. Their armour shiny, even in the early dawn. And their beautiful colours, blue and white, matches the sky and clouds. Their position unique, at the foot of this hillock, purposefully so, for our own momentum shall carry us onto their militia held spears, surely intended to break our charge. Then there, the true slaughter shall commence.

    Rather than assemble a true and proper force to repay this insult of landing an army on our lands in kind, our King, drunk on vanity and pride as much as wine, has hastily gathered a force only from the closest lands. Bound by the knight's code of honour and loyalty to our King, we complied.

    Surely, if it is God's will, the cavalry on our far right may add enough power and impetus to carry the day.

    Dear God, strenghten my resolve and my swordarm. Allow me to slay my enemy today. But if You decree that I should fall, may I do so with honour. And may that bastard King fall with me. Amen.

    Now, as we charge at the enemy, with only our swords sharper than our anger, excitement quickly overtaking misgivings and common sense, we shall not sell ourselves cheap!

    This, my first battle, may yet be my last.



    Entrant 5 - Iron Juggernaut
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    TO ADMIRE

    Atop a hill, a few hundred Englishmen, protected by gleaming steel, await battle. Their blades are sharp and at the ready, for it was not but a matter of hours ago that they were preparing... preparing to fight the rebel Irish and barbaric Scottish in harsh terrain.

    The trees blow in the wind, and the birds sing, but the atmosphere among the men is not at all like a state of bliss or happiness. For many, they shan't return from this fight, but for those who do, they shall be proven as worthy and strong men. Distinguished, shall the survivors be, in knight's armor.

    Hearken; the barbarian horde comes! Half-naked, sweating patriots of the northern lands; they fight for what they feel is just. Different causes, yes, but all men are equaled by the color scarlet.

    The English captain stands with his men. He is ready, and they are silent. They are going to war, and it is likely that they go to their doom... they know this...

    But such bravery!

    In the face of great odds, how they stand, proud and defiant. They are not intimidated by the fear of death. To die for a cause is the greatest glory any soldier could hope to achieve!

    But soft, good listener, the Scots and Irish are quickening their pace.

    With a final act of bravery, the English captain unsheathes his longsword.

    He points it to the sky... and with a quiet grace, he lowers it to equal the height of the enemy...

    And he runs, followed by his men... true soldiers, true men, true to the end. Admiration I hold for these fellows who died and went to Jesus without fear; strong, powerful, all gone now.



    Entrant 6 - Juvenal


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    How the Hundred Years War was Lost
    Sir John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, fidgeted in the humid summer heat of a French meadow.
    The war was going badly, the Longbow corps depleted and French Knights popping up everywhere like mushrooms in a field. But maybe today would change all that.

    A dark-robed philosopher was introduced to him as Geoffrey of Monmouth. John brightened, half remembered childhood studies swirling in his mind.

    I know you! Those wonderful tales of Arthur and...”

    No, no, that was an ancestor – 300 years ago for pity's sake! I am a Philosopher, not some vulgar scribe”

    Somewhat chastened, John attended to the demonstration.

    My assistant Joan Dark has brought the secret of the Hand-Cannon from the French”

    Geoffrey lit the touch hole on the bulky tube held by a servant. The weapon discharged with a loud crack and a target disintegrated across the meadow.

    I will now demonstrate the method for loading and firing this wonderful weapon”

    Joan gestured for the English to gather closer.

    ... and after using the fuse, I place it in this flame-proof box for safety”.

    Opening the box Geoffrey had only an instant to note its unexpected contents before the explosion threw him in several directions among the onlookers. Sir John, perhaps quicker on the uptake than most, saw that Joan was gone and that a trail of fizzing gunpowder led to the main stocks piled up behind him.

    Flee the sorcerer's trap! Run! Now!” he shouted over his shoulder as he sprinted for the cover of the trees. Luckily most of his men got away with no more than first degree burns and blackened cuirasses.

    His ears still ringing, Sir John swore an oath to himself that as long as he lived, the English would stick to good old fashioned longbows, let the gullible French destroy themselves with this infernal device.



    TotW 13 - Away With Glory
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    Winner - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Blood andSand

    -for sensi XD


    The bolt struck his neck, just above the breastplate. The brilliant spray of red that splattered along the steed's back was closely followed by the warrior's last dying breath as he slid from the saddle. The warrior landed in a crumpled pile of his own gear, once polished and shining, but now blighted with smears or bloody mud.

    About 100 yards away, standing on the hilltop, a young man wielding a crossbow recovered from the slight recoil of his weapon and looked towards the field. It was almost impossible to plot the flight of his bolt through the chaos of the enemy charge, but he was fairly certain the bolt hit a target, as several mounts fell at about the same time his bolt would have reached the enemy. With a smirk, the young European again went about reloading his weapon. The desert sand scorched his feet as he struggled to pull the string back on his weapon. Reaching for an arrow, the young marksman heard a whirring buzz, and in an instant his comrade nearby was struck down with nothing but plumage visible and protruding from the hole in his chest.

    Looking quickly to his left, cold fear gripped him as the crossbowman realized their position was flanked by mounted archers. The buzz of panic and horror was quickly stifled by a silent dart, loosed from an unknown rider, which found it's mark in the man's belly. As the man fell, his bowels opened and a mixture of filth and blood mixed with the gray sand. The cold eyes of the dead stare straight ahead, uncaring as the bodies were claimed by the desert. Standing on a distant holltop, the ghastly visage of a mounted rider, banner furling in the wind, could be seen silhouetted against the setting sun. The rider reared his mount and trotted off in the opposite direction, never again to return to the field.


    Entrant 1 - Juvenal
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    Horsemen of the Apocalypse

    The three riders plodded slowly across the burning plain, two seeming to wink in and out of existence, as if not fully committed to this world.

    I really can't be bothered any more”, said gaunt black Death. All I get here are the regurgitated left-overs from that greedy bastard”.

    Don't you get the nobles when they pop their clogs over doing it in the harem or in the feasting hall?” suggested Famine, portly and sweating in his tightly fitting full plate armour.

    Yes, but most of them die in suicidal charges, which means War gets them first. By the time I see them they're all dried out and they taste disgusting”.

    Count yourself lucky”, said Famine, I get nothing at all, armies can sit in the middle of the desert for a hundred years and no one starves!”

    As for Pestilence,” he continued, gesturing to the pathetic figure bringing up the rear, the next scripted plague is fifty years away, so he has to carry it himself until then, poor bugger ...You all right back there?” The figure attempted a response, but all that came out was a wet gurgling cough.

    The two of them agreed that War was definitely having all the fun.

    Famine continued in a low voice Actually I've been rather naughty, I took all the siege casualties, after all it doesn't actually say they die of disease – it could easily have been starvation, they don't even have refrigeration yet!”

    Looking back they saw the Pestilence had stopped, his back arched in a spasm. He gave a great racking choking cough that sent blood and bile arcing through the air only to be swallowed instantly by the parched earth. Then he toppled slowly from his horse. While he was still falling, both rider and horse abruptly disappeared.

    Well, that's torn it.” said Pestilence. I'm off too, maybe we'll have better luck in ETW”.

    The burning plain was empty, natural disasters no longer worked and soldiers still lived forever, but at least War was happy.


    Entrant 2 - Sensi Karate
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    Rangers Longbow
    The sword swiped his neck making blood spray out in a great heap. He fell off his horse and onto a green patch of grass where he laid, his face pale and mouth dry. "You killed General Llanima!" shouted my apprentice as he leaped off his horse and poked the Moorish General in the face. "Do not be so inconsiderate to him my young apprentice. He may of been the enemy leader, but he was also of royal blood and is worthy of respect no matter what he did in this life", I insisted to my learned student. He nodded, not arguing with my judgement as he knew my ruling was final. "Help me pick him up. You need to bring him back to our camp and wait for my arrival. I will head north and assasinate General Morgarath", I told him as we lifted his dead corpse onto his horse. He then got on the horse, looking to the North to see the reinforcements coming this way, then looked back at me, my face not showing even a squint of emotion at the events that were about to come. "You can call me Ponti you know?” he said. "But that would take the fun out of you being my apprentice, now would it?" I exclaimed back at him, smirking as he turned his head and rode off into the distance.

    I headed North to where General Morgarath and his army of Moorish reinforcements were marching towards the already intense battle. After running for over ten minutes, I finally reached the Moorish soldiers. After waiting in the bushes, watching the incredible masses of enemies marching to the battle zone, I finally saw the General Morgarath the Killer, who brought terror across the Iberian Peninsula and even sieged Rome at one point. His face full of scars and one eye lost after the Battle of Lucas, which resulted in a win for the Spanish, one of only a few victories for the Spanish Alliance against the Moorish. I quietly pulled my longbow from my body and unsheathed an arrow from my quiver. I attached it onto the longbow and pulled the bowstring back. General Morgarath was in perfect sight and I quickly got into position. Hatred ran through my body as I heard him joke about the ‘pitiful Catholics.’ I let go of the arrow, it flew through the air like a lightning bolt. General Morgarath had finished his joke about the Catholics when the arrow went straight through his heart, his face went white and he fell off his horse. A silence went through the ranks of his army, men looking around trying to find me. Then a loud cry was heard by one of his bodyguards, “FIND THE ASSASSIN!” The men shouted with him and scurried around the bushes. Arrows went flying everywhere, hitting trees and the ground around me. With the enemy so close I quickly rushed to the forest, where my camp was set up. I used the shadows to protect myself from the dangers that were trying to find me. After a long tedious trip, I eventually arrived at the camp where Ponti was waiting with the dead corpses of the Prince. “You survived, eh? That’s one two generals killed today alone? You going to take out the Pope next?” greeted Ponti as I lye down on a mat, my legs tired from the long run. “Maybe tomorrow young one. For now I need to rest myself. We had a long march back to Lucas Mount tomorrow. General Morgaraths army will be disorganized and many will abandoning the march. This five day battle will finally end tomorrow”, I smirked at Ponti as I continued, “You take first nightshift, they'll be scouts trying to find our location, take them out 'quitely.' Wake me up in a few hours,” I winked to Ponti and soon fell to sleep, my dreams running wild.



    Entrant 3 - bomberboy
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    A Generals Sending

    The General looked at the battlefield. The Portuguese had brought some of the finest knights in the whole of Iberia, dressed in brightly coloured coat of arms that showed defiantly who that knight was. The armour shone like the rays of a thousand suns in the glistening sunshine. As thousands of armour plated warriors, thirsty for blood, Moorish blood marched confidently, in the arid lands of southern Portugal. The general, his tanned face scarred, showed years of being in the trade of war, and made him look much older than he actually was. The Christian footmen trailed shortly behind the knights but at the front of each lowly peasant, who was lucky enough to have a sword, or even low quality leather armour, that looked ready to break was a knight on foot or men-at-arms. These men carried swords, mighty ones that survivors said they were as big as the tallest and mightiest of men. Others carried polearms that tore men a sunder like sliced bread.

    The general looked at his own men. The majority had no armour, wearing robes and clothing that was better suited walking through the harsh conditions of the desert back home, than in a battle. Others had simple leather armour that glistened brighter that day than they did when they were put on fresh from the black smith. The heavy cavalrymen he had were the best of the best. Covered head to toe in Lamellar armour and a steel helmet, these men were fearsome yet were out numbered by the Christian knights. He had also placed his best foot soldiers in the front and the others behind. His only hope was his horse archers to win the day.

    The Portuguese charged, “release arrows!” he bellowed, the twang of a thousand bows filled the air along with the cries of men. The Portuguese were hit hard but kept coming. The horse archers raced along the sides and fired at the slow moving infantry, yet crossbow fire tore into them, and out of nowhere light cavalry charged them from the rear, and routed them. Now the battle had joined, the Moorish infantry losing ground but not giving up. The general charged with his cavalry but intercepted by the knights, he was forced to fight. The General killed many a Christian that day, but alas, he was cut down and dead before he hit the ground.



    Entrant 4 - Sun Zaraki
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    The Fall of Captain Ibn-Salil
    Come now you Muses of old, those who see and know all, and tell me the story of the Great Captain who did fall for his country and die for his religion. Sing to me of his epic journey through lands of sand and rock, into cities greater than can be imagined, lined woth gold and silver. Come now you muses, and aid my mind and my hand to write this great story of sacrifice...
    Ibn-Salil was just seventeen when he first saw battle, saw the crimson, viscous liquid staining the ground, heard the cries of heroes an normal soldier alike. He was just seventeen... when he and his fellow soldiers retook the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. He trudged through blood soaked sand, through the fallen walls of the city and came to the hill, occupied by the Knights Temple. They had all gone, leaving behind only mere sergeants. Ibn stood firm, and began to bounce up the hill with his fellow soldiers. The arrows whistled through the air, clunking down onto paved ground, or thudding into flesh protected insufficiently, but not Ibn. He sustained three hits to the chest, each arrow never piercing the iron platemail and the four layers of boiled leather beneath that. He slaughtered many that day, and stood triumphant-as a lion stands over a stag it has killed to feed its starving cubs- so Ibn stood and proclaimed himself "Betterr than the infidel scum"
    After this battle, he was entrusted with his chosen men, who had made the attack on the Dome, to patrol the northern border of Palestine. He fended off many an attacker on a fateful Dawn, and her fingers were esspcially rosy that day. The ferenghi Lord Guillemot was slain by his hand, as was the Polish Prince Wladslaw Yzzbek. His greatness was known, and his spear was infamous.
    But, it was on that fateful September morning that he fell from his magnificent steed. Having been warned of thousnads of Crusader scum approaching the eastern border oo Palestine, Ibn mustered an army and moved to meet this attack. The charge... and the retreat were sudden. AAs soon as the Saracens saw the Crusader army they felt a roar ofcourage in their hearts, and with Ibn at their lead they charged. The clash... and the retreat. All routed. Exceot Ibn, for he was too proud. Calling to his god, he cried "Allah! Your faithful servant shall die today, but not without a fight! I shall die for you today, and only you!" So he spoke and made his lone charge at the ferenghi line. A siingle rider also charged against him. Risng high in his stirrups, Ibn screamed that shriill cry and waved his sword in the air, confident he would win. The ferenghi, clad in armour, made no attempt to raise his weapon. They were three feet apart when the killing blow was struck. Ibn had swung for the knights, under the arm where the armour is weakest. The knight simply moved left and cut for his throat. The sword sliced through, making no sign of slowing down, cutting through the chinstrap also. The armoured horse reared, the golden and steel armour chinkling about it, and Ibn fell to the earth with his grand armour crashing to the floor. He reached his hand to the sky, the blood pouriing from his throt, and he cried. And so, dark death took him there and then, shrouding his eyes in darkness to take him to his heaven... or his hell...





    TotW 14 - Untitled Picture
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    Winner - Desperado †
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    Poverty, Obediance, and Chastity

    Father David would be the first to admit that a monks life was a good one. The stylish clothes, the free wine, the easy life, the newest Gregorian chants for free straigh to his Ipod, the escape of obligation of keeping your hair up to date with the latest styles. But, alas, when David finnished the page of the Medieval II England faction Video Introduction, and reached for his Pepsi can, he couldn't help but feel needing something. He once again reached for glossy pages of 'Countesses un-Clothed' and gave a sigh as he opened the book and stared hungrilly at Lady Eleanor d'Anjou's mighty baggage.


    The monks life offered much. And despite the three rules, poverty, obbediance and chastity, only one was absoulute. Poverty mattered little, as all Ipods, Mobiles, Designer Outfits, Glitter Balls, Nike trainers and other acceseries belonged to the Church. So long as the local residence weren't woken by the weekly party's, obbedience was in the bag.


    But Chastity, alas, was a diffrent matter. There had been days when any monk could easilly slip down the brothel, perhaps nod at his Abbot in the waiting room, and then enjoy some fresh young flesh and the pleasurous shouts and painfull gasps. But ever since Father Russel had boasted of bedding one German Man's gran daughter, and almost become in a litteral Father, everything had changed. The only pleasure for the Monks now days was the rough hard flesh of young Monks in learning, and though desiarable for some, David was not that sort.


    And so it was that whenever Father David did open the fatefull book, and give the repetitive voiceover to one or other faction, his head would not be filled with grand ideas of new emerging Kings, but rather the lustfull, starving fantasy of Eleanor d'Anjou's baggage....


    Entrant 1 - bomberboy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Cheeky Monk

    Thomas was sitting at his desk admiring the sexy lady who lay down on a prop with a sexy smile and a sexy pose. “Ooh,” he muttered. He could almost feel her soft skin touching him and licking his face with her tongue. He flipped the page. And out of nowhere David popped his head round. “Christ!” shouted Thomas he quickly hid the porno under his research books. “Sorry about that Thomas, how’s your research going?” asked David.

    “Oh, its fine, fine yeah I’ve almost discovered the way…the way…the…way to turn lead into gold! Yes, yes that, that’s what I’m researching!” David nodded; well I didn’t hear you, doing that. I heard you go phoar! And ooh! And ah! Also you were giggling and at one point I heard you say. “I’d that !” Thomas quickly came up with an answer, that’s because I’m…also learning how to talk to teenagers. Yeah you know, juveniles, idiots, apes.” “Well can I grab a book and see your research.” Thomas responded by taking the book away. “No, no not that book! Here, this one this one has all the…” He checked inside and there was this week’s hardcore porno issue 33. “No this one…” There was a softcore in that one. “Well I’m grabbing one,” said David.

    “Nooooo!” screamed Thomas he threw the desk onto the floor and then his secret was unleashed to the world. “A pox on thee!” cursed David. “Why?” cried Thomas. “Porno’s are disgrace to the lord and you are also a disgrace to the lord. May he turn your wine to piss, and your food to dog and your life as bad as hell! I hereby banish you and your pornography from this monastery. Be gone!” Thomas grabbed a bag and packed all his belongings into it and began to walk off.

    “Oh Thomas!” called out David.
    “Yes,” moaned Thomas.
    “I’d that !” David Replied.

    THE END


    Entrant 2 - Pontifex Maximus
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    Ye Olde Playboy

    It was a stormy, lonesome night in the Abbey. The abbot had just read the nightly prayer, and all of Christendom was preparing for the cloak of night to cover the sleepy countryside. In a lone cell, deep within the vaulted halls of the Abbey, brother John was preparing for bed. Removing his bible from the shaky, aged table in the corner, he dusted it and placed it gingerly on his bed.

    Chuckling to himself, he opened the pages to reveal the latest editions of Ye Olde Playboy, a pornography publication.

    "Well, best get started!" The man said to himself with an excited grin. You see, when a man spends too much time working in gardens and praying, he has little else to look forward to throughout the day. The friar was about to break the seal on his illicit images when suddenly there came a tapping, as if someone gently rapping, rapping at his chamber door. Only this and nothing more. ()

    Embarrassed, and slightly taken back, the monk quickly stuffed the papers under his bed, straightened his robes, and headed towards the door. Beams of light were visible under the door, as if someone was holding a bright candle. Opening the door, a bright flash of brilliant crimson and white light shone forth, blinding the monk.

    Stumbling backwards, the monk landed uncomfortably upon his bottom and he was quite taken back. In fear, he jumped to his feet, and called out in a shaky voice "Sssir, w-w-what do-do you w-w-ant?"

    The white orb, for that is what it appeared to be, moved closer and into the bedchamber. The shape began to materialize and it was clear that the shape was that of a woman -and indeed- a very beautiful woman. The monk's fear slowly melted away and gave way to excitement as his heart pumped in his chest, ever faster as the light faded.

    There was a bit of saliva gathering at the corners of his mouth as the light finally dissipated and the woman was visible for the first time. The monk's wry smile faded and his mouth dropped.

    It was The Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus*. Mary strode across the floor, and she did not look the least bit happy. Standing directly in front of the monk, and several inches shorter, she reared back and slapped the monk across the cheek. She then immediately turned about and strode out of the cell, her chin held high.


    Entrant 3 - Sensi Karate
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A monks life for me, and a whisk of thy playboy for me!

    Father Lucas unraveled the Playboy from its golden silk cover. His eyes shun like stars in the night sky as the first page showed Princesses Adriana of France baring it all for Playboy. Saliva started mounting on the right side of his lip as he turned the page with excitement.

    His eyes widened as he saw the first exposing picture of Princess Adriana in a very seductive pose. After a long stare he read the title for this chapter, "Princess gone wild." He started to lick his lips as he turned the pages, each showing Princess Adriana in a very dirty pose, even some so zoomed in, so you felt like you were there with her, naked with babyoil smoothered on the floor. His heart pounded as he continued through the book, other models exposing themselves with the seductive Princess Adriana doing various things which no man could not get even a bit worked up on.

    As he flipped to the last page, his heart stopped to a hault, he put his glasses on and saw an advertisement. The words slipped out of his mouth as he read it, "Do you want to spend a romantice night with the Princess Adriana? Send us a small 500 word 'tale' about your naughty dreams about Princess Adriana and the winner will recieve a night with her at the Royale Gallar Hotel. Maybe your dreams will come true!" He gasped for air, he knew he had to win this, and had no time to spare.

    That second, Priest Gregory opened the doors of the church and immediately shouted at Father Lucas, "Father Lucas! We need you to do the final prayers for the 50 men who died defending the castle walls!" he insisted. "Oh shut it Gregory! The dead aren't going to be walking away, now are they? I got more important things to do! I'll be in my room, call me if theres something important, such as the new issue of Play... nevermind, leave now child!" Father Lucas shouted as he marched off into his room, his Playboy magazine tightely squeezed around his hands.



    Entrant 4 - Juvenal
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    Temporal Disturbance

    To the Committee for the Mission to the diocese of Britannia:
    Dear Colleagues, materials have recently come into the hands of my Brothers of the Monastery of Benediktbeuern that demonstrate the existence of a process for increasing the durability of religious tracts. We would respectfully request allocation of funds to pursue our scientific analysis of these materials.

    The materials exhibit a glossy resinous layer that fixes and preserves the text and illuminations. This would be the perfect means by which we might preserve the results of the work of the selfless and hardworking monks of this order. Sample sheets of the materials are included.
    Your humble servant in Christ: Brother Umberto


    To Brother Umberto of Benediktbeuern:
    We are most impressed with the quality of the materials, but we have some questions about the text. It shows amazing precision, surely the product of skilled monks, but there are many strange words and phrases that we hope you can help us with.

    The text appears to be mostly in some unknown dialect of Anglo-Saxon interspersed with Latin. Reassuringly the word Missionary occurs often, but many of the Latin words appear military in nature, such as vagina (a sheath for swords) and ejaculare (throwing of javelins). Are you able to help us understand the relevance of fellatio (sucking) and cunnilingus (licking) to missionary work – perhaps a treatise on food preparation has been inadvertently included? Also, what is the significance of the French phrase “House of three” which appears several times?
    Regards, Father Sextus Nones, Committee for the Mission


    To the Committee for the Mission to the diocese of Britannia:
    Please don’t be concerned with the content of the samples, it is merely the sealing process which we wish to reproduce. We are in urgent need of funds so that we can apply this process to a series of pamphlets we intend to produce to encourage enrolment into the Benedictine Order. I have enclosed some more samples featuring paintings of female subjects for your perusal.
    Your humble servant, Umberto


    To Brother Umberto of Benediktbeuern:
    We feel that this material is unsuitable for missionary work. A serious and thorough investigation of these items needs to be undertaken by senior clerics of this committee. Please forward all remaining items immediately, at which time your funding will be released as requested.
    Father Sextus Nones



    Totw 15 - A frozen lake, the night and the berzerkers
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    Winner - Naturalist
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Tancred wasn't like the other Germans. He didn't like fighting. He liked dancing and signing!

    The warriors didn't know this, but they suspected it. Tancred was always humming to himself on the march, moving in tune to the sound of their feet. But he hadn't run from battle yet, so they left him alone.

    Until tonight.

    The Germans had come upon a frozen lake, made camp, and turned in for the night. Tancred pretended to sleep, but after the last drunken German passed out, he opened his eyes and sprung up. He rummaged through his sack and grabbed a pair of skates made from swords attached to bits of wood and leather. He rushed towards the lake dressed in a skintight leather suit that was decorated with feathers and colourful leaves.

    On the ice, he did a quick triple axel and skated around, beaming joyously. He started humming to himself. Then he did a spin, a jump, and landed it perfectly. He began to sing softly. “Oh, I don't know why you're not there…I give you my love, but you don't care …so what is right and WHAT IS WRONG!” He ended the verse loudly and heard grunting emanate from the camp. He looked towards the lakeshore, and many men were at the lakeshore, carrying axes and looking angry. But such was his joy at skating, Tancred didn’t care. He sang even louder. He shouted, “What is love? Oh baby, don't hurt me! Don't hurt me, no more!”


    Tancred kept on, louder. “WHAT IS LOVE? OH BABY DON’T HURT ME—“

    He was cut off--the warriors had stepped onto the lake. One of them opened his mouth--

    “WHOA WHOA WHOA, OOOOH OOOOH! WHOA WHOA WHOA, OOOOH OOOOH!” he bellowed.

    Thus Tancred, with his newfound friends, danced the night away.


    Entrant 1 - Sun Zaraki
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Hum


    The druid moans sound the chage, let us know they are here. Like wolves prowling around a lone goat or doe, licking their lips for the feast soon to come. That is they, the Hum as we know them. The druid pagans of Germania, wrapped in bear fur with axes or pickaxes, their faces painted blue. Not any demon of the underworld would face them, not any devil. They swarmed upon the land like the Sea Peoplees of old, destroying, marauding, raping, burning, maiming... killing. The blood would run in rivers before they even got tired, and they would EAT the flesh of those who fell to them.
    The Moon casts an eerie glow on them tonight though, and it seems to give them power, give them bravery. We wait across a stream, summoning the courage that we havv left, sharing it together... but wolves eat goats and sheep and that is what our braver extends to. Our spears may be the sharpest in the world, but even that is not defense enough against these wolves, these dogs.
    The moan... we hear it now as their reflections mirror their images into greater beasts tha already are. The moonlight glints off their weapons, and we know we die today, shield to shield, man to man, we are joined in death this way, and fall as one.
    The Hum charge....


    Entrant 2 - bomberboy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The March of the Brave
    The brave mighty warriors of the ancient land of the German Tribes marched fearlessly across the frozen wastes of the plain. The small puddle reflected them in the winter suns weak and pale rays. But the cold didn’t bother these men. These men were thirsty, thirsty for Roman blood and to sink their weapons, may it be axes, spears or even the sharp canines of their teeth into the flesh of the enemy. The Romans stood in front like a wall of glistening steel the looked more like animated statues than men. The berserkers dressed in the sacred bear pelts shouted they’re war cry’s with a vengeance. No more will the Romans stalk this land no more will women be raped, no more will their children and grand-children be turned into puny Roman scum. They’re lives were shortened. The shouts of Latin war cry’s were automated over the air of battle but undaunted the Berserkers began to jog.

    The centurion saw the berserkers moving towards them at a deadly pace. Without emotion in his eyes he shouted, “Release Arrows!” The men acknowledged and with it shot a forest of deadly arrows into the poor berserkers. A hundred fell but a hundred more ran on then as the arrows stopped the javelins begun.

    Without remorse and emotions bordering along madness the berserkers charged the waiting line.


    Entrant 3 - Pontifex Maximus
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    Fear Not Death

    Wind bit the warriors as they emerged from the forest. Their long, puffed breaths hurried from their lungs and were immediately crystallized in the wintry chill...

    The night was well lit, the gods had blessed their venture. A full moon cast eerie shadows on the ice of a nearby pond, illuminating the massive warriors as they passed. Standing at a height of least six feet, these men were fearsome and huge, but it was to be their last march. It was the final attempt of a people to expunge from their ancestral these smallish, clean shaven men that called themselves Romans. They had an insatiable greed for land and the only way to stop their advance was by merciless butchery.

    Armed with hammers with spikes, the men of the Germanic tribes moved forward like a tide, ready to descend on the sleepy camp down below. The Romans seemed to think that just because of some snow, war ceased. Poor misled fools.

    Scouts were sent ahead to make ready for the assault and they slipped quietly ever closer to the camp. Roman sentries patrolled outside the wall, but in the shade of the trees, the stealthy tribes people could not be seen. Shivering in their armor, the Roman sentry had no idea that a burly German was less than six feet away from him hoisting a war hammer into position.

    In one fell swoop, the hammer headed straight for the helmet of the guard. The spike easily found a weak spot in the helmet as the cruel steel battered it's way first through metal, then through bone, then into the soft center of the head, where upon entrance the guard's life was utterly ended and the warm liquid that followed out of the wound stained the ground in crimson.

    With the outer guards dead, the Germans, in a deafening roar, descended upon the camp. The gate was forced open, as it was carelessly manned, and carnage ensued. The fury of an entire race was unleashed upon the sons of a far away empire.

    In the woods nearby faint clanking of metal could be heard amidst the gentle falling of the snow in the trees.


    Entrant 4 - Manoflooks
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The power of the Berserker

    The many ranks of the German berserkers were quiet. They walked in perfect discipline, not talking and focusing on making themselves have a concealed anger to release upon their enemies. The army was quiet, apart from two men in the last rank.
    “Um…Ario?
    Ariovistus sighed. Walking through these bloody forests in a blizzard was bad enough, having this idiot walking with him was…madness. Absolute madness. He was going into a rage, and when he went into a rage…man, there would be hell to pay.
    “What! What do you want, Suevi. And make it quick, my bare chest feels colder when I speak.”
    “Well…I think I saw a ghost. I’m scared.”
    Ario slowly turned to look at him. His face turned red with rage.
    Suevi stopped. His lip wobbled, and he looked like he might cry. Ario stopped him, by smashing him upside the head with his battle axe.
    “YOU ARE SCARED!! For the gods sakes, you are a berserker! You were bred in the cloning chamber to not feel fear, to fight entire armies without a thought of danger, and you are SCARED!!!” Crows flew from his voice, and Suevi looked up from the dirt frightfully. fortunately for him, Ariovistus missed the look. Fortunate because the alternative would have involved his head, and mashing. Enough said.
    He left Suevi on the ground, and rejoined the perfect ranks. Discipline is, after all, what Germans were known for. He focused on them again, on the lines of German wolves, ready to tear the throat of their prey out at a moments notice. Concentration was the key.
    Without warning, Suevi knocked him down, yelling, “Look out! There’s a ghost in front of you!”
    Ario looked down, and glared at his own reflection in the water. His eyes narrowed.
    “That’s…IT!!” He swung his axe, and caught Suevi in the head with the gruesomely sharp tip. Ouch. He felt anger bubbling in his stomach, and released it.
    With a primal roar of rage, he leaped and knocked out the men surrounding with a single blow. He roared “Who will take me on!”
    No one came to face him. He then ran across the ENTIRE width of the Rhine, and leaped onto the Roman legion on the other side. Several minutes passed, and Ario ran back over the Rhine, having destroyed the ENTIRE Roman Legion. The power of the Berserker. *


    Entrant 5 - molls
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Exercise and Demise



    “Now do you want to win this or not?“



    The men started ranting:



    “It’s so cold!”

    “...in the middle of the night...”

    “..and the land is so dark”

    “Those axes are so heavy-“

    “...and the moon is the only light we see...”

    Belsarus felt an angry chill crawling up his spine.
    ”Cut the whining this instant! How do you want to compete against the disciplined Romans, or the furious Gauls when you start whining about the ‘oh so bitter night’ ?

    You will be defending the pride and reputation of our nation in the ‘Patavium Contest’ soon and it was you to apply for the job, wasn’t it?”

    The group shut down and remained waiting on the border of the frozen lake.

    Belsarus faced the few painted old men sitting on the ground with strange instruments to his right.

    “Druids!”

    A faint whimper was the answer: “ – yesss ? “

    In all his might, Belsarus shouted:


    “ MUSIC!”


    The druids began to hum and drum, playing their various percussion sets. And the air was filled with a slow, moving music.

    “I am waiting...”


    The group of “berzerkers” were getting in position, shivering but daring.


    --


    A first quartet began their gracious performance and soon the others followed.

    Pirouettes, complexe figures and the most risky turnings in mid air were seen, as the whole bunch of wild men was ice-skating in a most nobel manner on the frozen lake.



    Belsarus smiled: The training went well.

    He had brought those axes as accelerating tools for the pirouettes and it was only good fortune that his crew was used to bloodsheds (being berzerkers...) so that the first ... accidents with the axes while colliding fullspeed against other team mates during the fastpaced scating performance did not cause too much trouble.


    Belsarus was confident that his group would win this years "figure scating contest".
    The quality of this performance was speaking volumes.

    The quality of the ice was speaking muted creaks, with increasing volume.



    Entrant 6 - Kátz
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    The Last Stand at Lake Trasimene

    Gaiobomarius, unlike any other Germans. fought to the last of his life and was able to touch his fellow companion berserkers that become his personal bodyguards. In his campaign, He led the Germans into so many victories that only the best Roman armies dared to cross swords with him. Especially considering the fierceness of his berserkers! He took part in the annihilation of Varus's legions and made him and the Roman army so ashamed that Augustus said: " Varus, give me back my legions! "

    Some years after the Roman attack, The Germans, including Gaiobomarius, are no more longer patient enough to counterattack the Romans. Years after Years of victories followed the Germans and it seemed like it is futile for the Romans to resist or even stem this seemingly invincible tides of defeat.

    After various campaigns, The Germans had succeeded taking Gaul and the lands of Getae and almost forced the Romans to an indignified defeat.

    Finally, Gaiobomarius and his companions reached Lake Trasimene with 7800 men, a lake where a history was born, he saw the Romans pitched up camp at the other side of the river with 30000 men. Surely the Romans wouldn't want to repeat something that has already happened here? The Germans are known for their fierceness while the Romans are famed for having powerful armor troops, but easily intimidated by the mere sight of routing troops and death. He had somehow already foreseen a possibility of victory. He hid his troops at a forest where Roman corpses are still lumped and not buried. He has a plan, to throw the corpses to mock the Romans. The tactic was a success. The Romans are rushing to the Germans....

    Before battle, Gaiobomarius and his companions looked down on their faces on their 'mirrors' and prayed to their respective gods. May the gods bless them once more......


    Entrant 7 - Juvenal
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    Target Acquisition
    “I knew you'd come in useful someday you ugly bastard” Lentulus remarked as he adjusted the frozen corpse of his ex-Ducenarius to fit more snugly into the makeshift barricade.

    The cohort had been trapped on this island for three days now. Most of them had died reaching this place after the castra had been overrun. A dozen bodies still lay on the shore where the bridge to the island had started, before Lentulus had set fire to it. The enemy had tried swimming across, but the Romans had killed them easily, so now there was a stand-off.

    Every morning Alamanni archers crept up through the trees to take pot shots. Then in the evenings, young warriors came to taunt them. At first the Romans had tried throwing pila and plumbatae, but they dodged easily and it just wasted ammunition. Now the dozen surviving legionaries stayed behind their improvised works as much as possible.

    But just as hope began to swell in Roman breasts, the weather turned and the lake froze. That evening, instead of taunters, the Alamanni warlord brought up his berserkers. The Romans watched fascinated as they took their potions, scourged each other and danced themselves into a frenzy around their camp fires.

    Handlers lined the berserkers up along the shore to fix their attention on the target. Lentulus mouthing a silent prayer to Mars, got up to stand with his comrades.

    The frozen lake, covered with a thin film of water due to the fires, cast an ethereal reflection of the warriors. The enemy, twitching and jerking to the compulsion of their geas, stepped out onto the lake and lowered their heads, like bulls ready to charge.

    But then the strangest thing happened. Almost as one they stopped and, still looking down, began to scream and froth, their spiked clubs rising and falling as they tried to kill the beasts they saw in the water.

    It was only a matter of moments before the newly frozen ice cracked and the whole band were thrashing in the water, their struggles rapidly weakening as the cold claimed them. A wail went up from the watching Alamanni and they rushed forward to try to save their champions.

    Later they remembered their original purpose, but by then Lentulus and his men were already gone into the gloom.

    Last edited by wowbanger; April 25, 2011 at 01:20 PM.



    "Some writers never know what's to be written until they see it on the page...." Some words of wisdom from my good friend, Mega Tortas de Bodemloze

  5. #5
    wowbanger's Avatar Jimmy's winning matches
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 16 - Will you Have Pity with this one?
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    Winner - Juvenal
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    The Sword


    Vashili had never been a great warrior. He was of the impoverished minor nobility and so served as a captain of the levy, unable to afford the panoply, and more importantly the string of horses, required of the Boyars.


    But then his luck had changed. His company had cornered a small group of Polish nobles in a mill house. Following the storming party in, he found only one enemy still able to fight, but his sword traced a whirling arc of death about him and none were able to get near. But then by chance, the sword struck a hanging cauldron which fell knocking the man senseless. Vashili lost no time darting forward and running the man through with his hanger, with such force that it broke.


    From that day, the captured sword seemed to bring Vashili fortune. He became feared and respected by his men having killed scores in single combat. Although none dared speak of it, they noticed that it was the sword that seemed to do most of the fighting, Vashili trailing behind it like a mere appendage attached to the pommel.


    The nature of the fighting changed. Now the Teutonic Order was ravaging the lands that Vashili's lords had so recently conquered. They were grim foes who killed, not with the passion and hatred of normal men, but mechanically out of some inexplicable duty.


    The Army of the Grand Duke saw fit to draw on even Vashili's men for the climactic battle. It went disastrously. A small body of Teutonic Knights had ridden into the mass of the Boyars, and incredibly had beaten them! Now Knights on foot marched with mechanical precision towards Vashili's line protecting the baggage.


    With his men dying all around him, Vashili was still confident the sword would save him. Then a Knight strode up to him, face hidden within a hideous horned helm. Vashili raised the sword, and it did... nothing!


    Straining at the pommel with both hands, Vashili never even noticed the swing of the mace that crushed his chest. He fell, numb with the shock, sword still held out straight before him.


    His field of vision narrowing with approaching death, Vashili saw the Teuton calmly take the sword from his outstretched hand and step over him on his way to future glory.


    Entrant 1 - Musthavename
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    More than Meets the Eye


    The brethren of the Teutonic order had fought for days on end, mercilessly slaughtering the natives in God's name. Each battle was bloodier than the last, their white colours stained with blood, sweat and dirt. And it was with that, that the conquest was nearing it's end. But inside a battle, there are many stories.

    Ludwig von Wolfenstein was a long serving Knight of the Order. Captain of his unit, he was a gallant Crusader, chivalrous to his brethren, but mercilless to his enemies. On this, the final battle, he had fell at least eight of the heretic scum. Then, he felt a touch to his leg. Always alert and with lightning reflexes, he turned with his sword ready to parry his foe's attack. He looked down the ground.

    "Maxmillion! What are you doing down there!", cried Ludwig.

    "I am dying my old friend", responded the Knight's squire, clutching at his leg, his hand moving ever upwards.

    "What.. what are you doing..."

    "If these are to be my last hours, then I wish to at least die knowing I could say one thing.". The man reached upwards, closer and closer to where no Crusader would want to be touched by his fellow man.

    "Er... Maxmillion... why are you doing this..."

    "I love you Ludwig!!! Please, make my last few minutes on earth the happinest of my life!"

    "HERETIC SCUM! PREPARE TO BE SENT TO HELL!!!"

    "Err... what are you doing... err... NO NO I WAS JUST JOKING!"

    "Only God knows if you were joking or not, and he shall pass judgement on you soon enough!"

    As Maxmillion threw his bloodied and beaten arm infront of his face, Ludwig rose his sword and began the swing to end his friend's life. As the scream from his friend rose above the sounds of the battle, his sword was well and truly buried in his corpse. Ludwig had absolutely no defence against the Pagan berserker behind him, screaming the battle cry... "I LIKE CAKE!".

    These stories happen on every single battle, and all are forgotten in the annals of history. So next time you read up on the Teutonic Knights, remember the soldier of melancholy known only as Maxmillion. Remember him as the man, who only ever wanted to be loved.


    Entrant 2 - bomberboy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    One Last Breath



    The Knight sliced the pole with his blade watching the blood put on a ballet of crimson that sparkled in the sun. Then scouting out for another victim he spotted a lowly peasant looting a fallen comrade of his. That was his target charging over he slashed the peasant legs the blood shooting out covering his tunic in a red paint.




    “Have Mercy ‘o great one please!”



    The Knight looked, his eyes hidden by the deep shadows of the great helm he wore like a second skin. He grabbed the sword and plunged it into the peasants stomach a cry that sounded like a confused and fearful puppy entered the air. The knight twisted the blade and then released it.



    The Knight prowled the battlefield.

    Looking for his next prey.



    Entrant 3 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Zombie Hand

    The battlefield was littered with the corpse of the dead. Victims after victims have fallen to the sword and the spear. The Knights slew any living body of the resistance army and slaughtered all of the wounded layed on the battlefield. Would they be insane enough to be called battlefiends?

    Reznov, one of the resistance troop that joined the last line of the army, as a last hope to stem any knight attack. The battle had seemed impossible. But what can a desperate human do in such situation?

    Before the battle starts, all soldiers said their last words before the expected death, "DO NOT FORGET THAT I WORSHIP THE GOD!!!"

    When the battle started, Reznov had already known that the meaning of the battle is futility. When there is no hideout, then what remains must be defended. When both armies exchange arrows. The outcome began to look more and more obvious. As men and men started to look at the sky. Women and women joined the battle. But it is too late for them to be any help. The Knights had put everyone, including children to the sword!

    Reznov tried to make a run for another city, but the Knights had surrounded the village. And so was killed. At least he thought and fallen to the ground. But how many stabs and slashes put to him, he didn't die. The knights tried putting him in stakes, but the flames doused away at his sight. The Knights put him to the ground once more, at this time, the hand moved by itself!
    " Help me!, I'm going to hell!"
    The funny screams can be heard everywhere, and all put to the ground and the corpses seem gone for a while. The Zombie after this dies and puts himself to rest.


    Entrant 4 - Pontifex Maximus
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    Lights Out

    As the peasant was sent hurtling to the ground in one massive kick from Sir Michael's boot, no sound could be heard except the knight's own labored breathing. Michael thrust his sword into the bare chest of the peasant, red leapt from the new gash in the torso and painted the sword with a fresh coat. Drops from the spray had even splattered the Knight's gleaming armor.

    All at once a bugle call could be heard. It sounded like that of a hunter's horn. "Strange," thought he, "why would the baron send reinforcements when we surely would be enough?"

    Just as Michael sent another poorly prepared serf sprawling into the next world with a clean slash across the neck, a deafening roar was heard from behind. Pausing for a moment to gather himself, the Knight cast his glance across the field to see who the baron had sent. Scottish mercenaries?

    To his horror, Michael did not see militia, not even reinforcements, but the sigh of hundreds of screaming serfs chargin his position. Alerting his comrades, now pitifully few in number in comparison to the ranks before the battle, made ready to face the assault.

    under normal circumstances, there would be no reason the baron's men wouldn't win the day. But in the face of hundreds, possibly thousands of enraged villagers armed to the teeth with whatever they could wield, the knights began to give ground.

    Dispatching a boy no older than 15, Michael realized that his strenght was failing. His armor had saved him from many a pitch fork and occasional scythe, but it was unbearably heavy. falling to one knee, sweat poured into his eyes. That's when he felt the knife go into his back. Rearing around in a flush of adrenaline, Michael realized that many of his fellows lay around him in puddles of blood.

    A sharp object entered his side. What weapon it was cannot be said, but it twisted into his ribs and when released drew with it blood as red as flame. Falling on his side, the knight made a feeble attempt to defend himself which left a peasant armless, but within seconds they were upon him. Rippin off his helmet a massive hammer was brought down on his skull.

    One more extinguished flame of a soul.


    Entrant 5 - _TheChevalier_
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I'm a Monster

    My name is Friedich Speer, my german name, I was born in Lithuania under a name that I forgot, so many years that I left my home, I was unhappy with anything related to the pagan gods and the boring life I had, so I escaped to the west with my horse and some clothes.

    Finally I reached a Teutonic monastery and learned the catholic believes, which I liked, after that I decided to join the Teutonic Order.

    That day we were marching to a pagan village, then I see a pagan army and our commander decided to wait a couple of hours for reinforcements, after two hours the reinforcements arrived and both forces prepared for battle.

    Soon the fight started and our forces quickly took the advantage, the pagans could make anything to stop our charge, I was happy until I killed one particular spearmen, he tried to stab me, I blocked him and then he fell he claimed for mercy but I just stabbed him in the chest and then cutted his head.

    I realised he had a pendant which looked familiar, I compared it with my pendant, I thinked about 5 minutes and I discovered that I have just commited the worst act in my life.

    He was my brother, I'm a monsteeeer!!, I just killed my little pagan brother, I'm a monsteeeeer!!!!, I spit the cross, I hate you god, I hate this damn Teutonic Order, I hate you all!!!!!!!, I'm a cursed monster, a monster, a monster ...

    Whoever find this text, you can find me in the in the road near Marienburg, please burn my corpse.


    Entrant 6 - Acco
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    Welcome to the new Baltics


    The date is 1230 in the year of our lord, Prussian militant attacks persist and grow as cathedrals and churchs are plundered. Land captured by the Prussians results in the inhabitants being forced to convert back to the old days of Pagan lore. The Grand Duke, our lord, forced out these heathens with the gift of tribute...but this only encouraged the Prussians to continue their disgraceful attacks. The poor Poles were helpless as the Prussians had shown no mercy. The Pope issued the papal bull and approved that a crusade was sourly needed in this cesspool of war. The Poles invited the Knights. The Teutonic Knights. The day was gloomy, and damp, the sun had set quicker than usual. Birds were out in the skies, weary, watching...waiting. A rustle in the woods. Men dressed heavily, with the Cross on their uniform, with their heaumes (helmets) appearing as bull horns, advanced, making their marching heard. Their hands reached to their side and drew an iron sword, crystal clear. The Prussians, with their spears and light clothing, started a bone-chilling howl and charged at the enemies with ferocity. The Prussian most noticable, most brave, most young, screamed "THIS IS THE BALTICS!!!" as he jumped and smashed his sword against the Teutonic shield. The Prussian, of young age, his soul forever-strong, was smacked back as he hit the ground, complaining of a pain on his back. He attempted to stand and rejuvenate his strength, but alas, he could not. The Teutonics marched right over him, he held out his hand, begging for help, the poor soul. A man looked at the young Prussian, his eyes turned heaven to hell, he denied the Prussian's hand, stared at the Prussian, getting his utmost attention, and stated in a soft, convincing voice, his accent thick, but understandable..."This is the new Baltics".



    TotW 17 - Untitled Picture
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    Winner - Pontifex Maximus
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    Loved By God

    "Give it the old heave-ho boys! If we're to finish this church by next week we have to hurry!"

    The foreman had been working on the job for too long- it had become an obsession. The church was seven years in the making since the old abbey burned down. Every citizen of the town had helped pay for the expense, whether it was monetarily or by physical labor. The town was awaiting the visit of the bishop to bless their church, which would be done within the week. All that was needed were the final stones for the top of the roof support. The two stones were being hauled up by a big pulley.

    At that moment the bishop, surrounded by deacons and priests, was spotted coming up the road. Already there was a great bustle in the town, families lined the street to greet the bishop and a large crowd gathered outside the church. Suddenly, as the bishop was preparing to go under a bridge directly above the church, a cry was heard from the pulley high above. A snap of timber was heard followed by a "look out" called from high above. Eyes looked up just in time to see a massive block careening towards the ground. The stone crashed to the ground, right next to the bishop. There was stunned silence. Everybody was in complete shock.

    After a time the bishop laughed to himself and began to address the crowd, "Well, God protects those whom..." WHAM! The second stone came crashing down on the bishop, who was this time crushed.


    Entrant 1 - Authentique
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    One man and his Cat

    “Jess... Jess! Get this rock off me! Oh where on earth is that brainless feline? Ahh dear, first the pathetic postal van issued by the stupid post office breaks down, then, to make matters worse, I get left with this horse to do my stupid round on, as if it didn't take long enough already! Then, Christoforo Rossi decides he wants the day off, the lazy swine, so head office decide that I have to do his stupid round as well, on this stupid horse as well, and some joke thinks it is funny to throw a stupid rock at me!... Jess! Jess! Where are ya Jess??”
    “Pat! Pat! Are you alright, you seem to have been on the wrong end of an accident...”
    “I’ll give you ‘wrong end of an accident’ when I get hold of you... now get this rock off me before I make you finish my stupid rounds.”
    "Pat, Pat its too big, I can't move it!"
    "get help then, be quick it hurts!!... Its dark.. I can only see darkness Jess... Jess i'm fading..."
    "Get your face out of the mud then you stupid oaf."
    "Oh..."

    You must have all heard of Postman Pat yeah?


    Entrant 2 - Naturalist
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Terror from the East


    Cristoforo was annoyed. Since his return from the Levant, he had seen cats everywhere. He could barely compete as a merchant anymore, with the cats stealing his new spices. Those dumb animals must think it's catnip.

    Unless--no, it couldn't be. He pushed the thought from his mind. It was just catnip.

    A cat crossed the street in front of him, stopping to stare. Cristoforo lunged towards it, and it ran off. He thought no more of it. It was late, and he was tired. Bloody junkie cats.

    ***

    Sleep was rough. He had dreamt of a cat in his ceiling, and it had demanded spices. Could it be a messenger? No…impossible. It had lost his trail.

    Right?

    ***

    The walk to his shop was no less worrying. Cats poked theirs heads out from everywhere. One was wearing a lime for a hat. Another was twice the length a normal cat should be.

    Things were not well.

    Perhaps he had been followed. Perhaps He had realized His spices were gone... Cristoforo rounded the corner, only to see his shop's windows broken. Inside, spices were scattered everywhere. Shelves were upended and containers were in pieces on the floor. Robbers! or worse..? But what's that - a note! Cristoforo walked towards the small slip of paper. He bent down, and picked it up, hands trembling. He glanced at it, and suddenly, his worst fears were confirmed.

    He had been followed by the One from the East. Shaking uncontrollably, Christoforo ran outside, still clutching the paper in his hand.

    He had to flee.

    A black cat darted in his path. Kicking at it, he ran to a horse, and jumped on. He urged it on, but as he did, the black cat struck at its hind legs. The horse rose, and whinnied in confusion and pain.

    *CRACK*

    Cristoforo looked up to the sound. A stone block was fall--

    ***

    The black cat sauntered slowly away. On the roof, a tan, thin cat turned and slid away, with what looked like a smile. If a passerby had stopped to open the dead merchant's hand, they would have been puzzled at the message.

    But we know the meaning behind the note. We know why the tan cat with the blue eyes killed Cristoforo.

    For as the note said: I controls the spice, I controls the universe.

    Dunecat is not one to be trifled with.


    Entrant 3 - Musthavename
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Ninja Kittens


    Leonardo looked into the distance, the three kittens were ontop of a wall, blending in seamlessly with the... bricks. After all, they were s.

    "So, why the heck are we camped up here?" questioned Raphael, his blades sheathed at his sides. It was a miracle he could ever wield them, because of the obvious lack of opposable thumbs, but lets ignore that fatal flaw and proceed with the tale.

    "Well, someone called "Cristoforo" will come along, and we've got to kill him", replied Donatello.

    "Why?"

    "Because he's a traitorous Milanese bastard, therefore he deserves to die regardless. Unless you're playing SS ofcourse, in which case he's Genoese, the bastard mutant spawn of the Milanese."

    "By the way, where's Michelangelo?"

    "Painting the sixteenth chapel. Kittens have souls aswell as being great s."

    Then, Leonardo took a step back with shock. "That must be him!!!" he cried. When the others turned round and simply said why, he only had to say "HE'S A MOTHER****ING CENTAUR! KILL HIM! KILL HIM!"

    And so, the brick fell and Cristoforo was quashed in an instant, his humanoid half bent back on itself. Immediatly, another black cat came out of the shadows, phasing into reality.




    "Oh dear" said Donatello. "It's...my father!"






    "YOUR FATHER?!?!" cried the others.





    "Yes, I never told you the truth. He's a weird demented alien pyscho cyborg cat who raped a milk carton, which gave birth to me."





    "Wtf man..."





    "Look! Don't blame me! Blame the frigging milk carton for being pro-life!"





    Donatello's father, aka "Plot Device Cat", stared deep into the centaur's soul, and drew on his power. Soon, his evil goal of becoming an even weirder plot device would reach it's fruition, and then, he could... take over the world. Ofcourse, unknown to our heroes, he was secretly just looking for another milk carton. Why he needed to suck the soul of a centaur out to find one, we shall never know.





    And so, will our heroes defeat this weird... plot device? Will Michelangelo finish the sixteenth chapel in time? Why doesn't someone order a pizza already? Find out in the next exciting installment of, kittens!







    Entrant 4 - Manoflooks
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Creativity


    Once upon a time there was a professional assassin name Christoforo Rossi. Now, Christoforo was a creative man. None of that boring old stabbing, strangulation, drowning, or beheading when he killed people. No, he was a creative man. He even graduated with an arts degree from the University of Bologna! Only natural, then, that he joined the local assassin’s guild.
    He started out as a telephone operator, but his creativity and intelligence made him rise through the ranks quickly, to doorman, then greeter (Welcome to the Assassin’s Guild! How can I help you?), and even became their representative at the city council. He helped make new laws that benefited his guild, such as bylaw 3583, which stated that all guilds were able to actively and publicly recruit new members.
    The day he became an assassin was a joyous day. He was so happy that he went out and practiced, with the screams of dying strangers like music to his ears.
    His skill at devising deaths that looked like accidents was legendary. All the lords on the street greeted him, and smiled at him as if they had met the Pope himself. Nobody connected him to the Pope dying when his horse fell on him after bucking from a stampede of Arabian camels running through the city of Rome, or Scotland just happening to sink at the border with England the exact day William Wallace turned 16. After all, they were just accidents, right? Of course, those weren’t his only dastardly deeds. Countless people had fallen to his-ahem, someone else’s hand.

    Sometimes he brought a black cat with him and left it at the scene of the crime. This was a useful tool for three reasons. One, people exclaimed : ``The cat did it!`` Two, people yelled :``The cat crossed his path, he had bad luck by the will of God!``, or twoB,``OMG! It’s a black cat! Run away!`` and the resulting stampede trampled the man. This last reason was actually the murder itself, as the stampeding crowd was more often than not the only injury inflicted.
    Then he was ordered to kill Lord Puccio Rossi. ``Certainly,`` he replied
    As Puccio rode under a church-in-progress, there was a large grating sound above him, and a rather large rock fell on top of him, killing him permanently. This was followed by a black cat.
    And the people cried, ``THE CAT DID IT!!``


    Entrant 5 - _TheChevalier_
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Rossi is dead, luckly



    My career as assassin has been very bad, my friend Damiano Basso is an unluckly spy, he tells me where and when my targets are, but when I arrive to the given place, they aren't there, maybe Damiano is located by my target's bodyguards and then they escape.


    I'm not angry with Damiano, maybe we are in a bad straight, though my lord, Giovanni di Firenze thinks that I'm bad at my work, he has given a new target, if I don't kill him, I'll be killed by my lord, I ordered Damiano to spy and get a lot of information about Cristoforo Rossi, we have three weeks to kill Rossi.



    At the middle of the second week, Damiano came with information about Rossi, he said that Rossi would visit his farm, at the south bank of the Po river, near the city of Cremona, if so, I need to take the road from Venezia to Cremona, Damiano told me that Rossi was in Venezia, so I'm going to scout places in order to KILL Rossi.



    Now is the third day of the last week, it's dark and I'm waiting over a bridge, below the bridge is where Rossi should pass, as Damiano told me. I've a rock, it's so big that would kill Rossi and his horse, I'm seeing someone, it's seems to be Rossi and his bodyguards...



    ...All this waiting has been worth, I've killed Rossi, near him a black cat was watching me, maybe it was send by God, after all I discovered that Rossi was so bad that he deserved to die, now my lord is going to be pleased, I'm taking Rossi's ring to my lord, Damiano is waiting me at Cremona, after that we're going to my lord's castle in Firenze.







    Entrant 6 - Celsius
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Sign From God


    And there he lay. He and his companion crushed by the force of God. Perhaps he did not believe in God. No matter. As he tried to sneak upon the Archbishop, he pulled out his knife. Sharp, but not reliable. He began to get closer to the clergyman, but when all was done, the clergyman's Lord got to him with loose stone on the bridge above.

    As he lay there on the ground, knowing that he was surely dead, he saw something in the dark. A cat. A pure black one no less. He began to panic, knowing that it was bad luck. But how much more badluck could he possibly have. He's already going to die.

    As he awaits his death, the cat slowly walks over, staring right at him. He puts his hand out to show the cat he means no harm. But the cat hisses and very loud hiss. One that people in the village could hear. He screams for his live. Then as he reopens his eyes, the cat is gone. No trace of him. But people in the village run over and lift the rock off the top of him. He tries to stand, and the villagers take him to the physician. He says he has broken his legs. He begins to think to himself that it was a warning from God. A warning to never try to kill a man of god again. Or for that matter, any man.


    Entrant 7 - Mega Tortas de Bodemloze
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “The Black Cat”


    Oh my God.. Oh my God.. I was just resting here a moment when the bridge wall gave way…Please Sirs have mercy. I haven’t eaten in two days. Clothed in rags, slender as death, the beggar gasps his version of the tragedy to the men at arms in frenetic disposition to solve the apparent assassination of The Lord Mayor of Florence. As the crowd gathers round to see the spectacle, the constables prosecute their quarry. Let’s take his head now and be done with this charade. We’ll hang it on the city wall and go claim our bounty.

    But please Sirs, I have done nothing but stop here to rest a moment when the tragedy happened. I looked down and saw a black cat and knew it was “The Devil.” It hissed at me and I turned to flee it’s gaze when the wall gave way. Haggard and decrepit the beggar collapsed after giving the testimony that might have saved his retched life.Let him go”, Let him Go” the crowed menacingly chanted at the two men at arms. Fearing for their safety the investigators relentedYour not worth the effort old man, pick up your bundles and be on your way. Once the prosecutors had left, the crowd slowly dispersed leaving the beggar to regain his composure.

    As he rose to his feet and started on his way, ever so softly he muttered to himself…..So Lord Mayor, you see the price to be paid for betrayal against the House of Machiavelli. A visit from the reaper known to all as “The Black Cat“.……


    Entrant 8 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Hostile Takeover

















    It must have begun on the night of the meteor shower. The sky was lit with hundreds of flashing trails and most of the town turned out to enjoy the spectacle. Much wine was drunk and as a consequence the business of the following day started rather later than usual. The Cat also first appeared that night. Astonished by its huge size, Mayor Gilberto adopted it as unofficial town mascot.

    I reckoned myself a close friend of Mayor Gilberto, indeed we regularly frequented the local brothel together. But the following week when we met to discuss new commissions, he seemed vague and distant, treating me with politeness but no recognition of our shared life. As I was leaving, I noticed my portrait of him missing from the display outside the chapel.

    Time passed and more and more of my friends on the council became cold and distant until one day Mayor Gilberto summoned me to his chambers to say that there would be no further commissions. Leaving, I noticed that all of my portraits were now gone.

    Tonight, while making my way carefully home after too much drink, I came across the Cat, sitting outside the Council Chambers. As I stopped to regard it, a massive block of stone fell with a thud right by my feet. It was the keystone of the arch over the entrance, bearing the relief of my friend Cristoforo Rossi.

    Staggering back in shock, I was seized by rough hands and raised up. I felt the hideous pain of the butcher's hook as I was suspended in the shadows under the archway, and now I hang, twisting slowly to the flex of the rope. Next to me is Rossi himself, I think he is already dead.

    The stone block with my relief is doing very strange things. It seems to be melting... My God! There are limbs growing out of it!

    Now the transformation is completed and a horse and rider rise from the remains of the block. It is Rossi, exactly as I had portrayed him in my carving!

    The Cat stares at me. I hear a cart approach, a shrouded object is taken from it and unwrapped within the archway where I hang. As I turn past it I see that it is a picture taken from my studio...

    My self portrait.




    TotW 18 - Untitled Picture
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A Friend Indeed


    "Ay, Let 'im have it Greg!"

    As the circle of onlookers grew, so did the volume of their chants. the cause of the fight had been unknown, but three weeks on the march and no sign of the enemy had caused the men to become restless and rowdy. Petty squabbles seemed to be breaking out everywhere and this one had been allowed to escalate.

    "OI'm gunna skewer you loike a pig!" exclaimed George, the yellowshield.

    "Aye, that's wot you think you bloody little worm, have at you!"

    As combat ensued, the crowd before mentioned had become a throng, and the sound of their cheers and jibes was just loud enough to block out the sound of enemy cavalry charging from the hills in the distance.

    Just as George scored a hit on his opponent, a soldier standing on the opposite side of the circle, who would have been able to view the charge, gave a little whelp. He attempted, in vain, to warn his comrades of the charge. It seems they were just too focused on the fight.

    Just then the same soldier heard a sound like hooves behind him, but that was surely just a magnification of the hooves coming from across the field. The enemy knights were very close now, it was only a matter of second, though he.

    Before said knight could say "useless" he was skewered from behind by a lance. Simultaneously, the charge from the hill smashed into the circle. What followed could only be described as carnage as the mangled bodies of bleeding knights were trampled by the rampaging horses. In the eye of the storm, George and Greg watched in astonishment as their friends were butchered.



    Entrant 1 - Acco
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    On these hallowed fields

    The battle had been fought and lost. Acamas, despite fighting like a true warrior, undaunted by fear, was captured and lay at his enemy's control. His army had been routed; his nation had disappeared, like a breeze that swept away his life and everything important to him in a moment's time. A group of soldiers convened; Acamas was pushed violently to the the middle of the circle as the warriors encircled his position. The soldiers were silent as the meeting progressed. Standing a few feet away from Acamas, yet still encircled by the enemy, was Perios, a man he had befriended since the age of seven. Perios had a troubled look on his face, and avoided eye contact with Acamas. An enemy threw a sword near Acamas, Acamas scurried over and equiped himself...Perios already had his sword and shield by his side. Acamas sighed and knew of his fate. The enemy soldiers, raising their swords, a good majority drunk after the decisive battle, shouted in a boarish manner "Fight! Fight! Fight!" Acamas paused, and the world paused with him. He looked in the sky, such a clear day, a dazzling sky blue, the clouds were little wisps, and it appeared as if the Gods of old were watching him. The soft steppe grass was damp and moist; it had poured recently. Acamas took a deep breathe...as Perios plunged towards him, thrusting his sword. Acamas dived to ground and avoided Perios altogether, boos from the barbaric enemy were heard. Acamus' mind went into a wreck, he sourly wanted to live, but he cared for his friend, even though he attempted at his life. Perios attacked again to which Acamus parried. Acamus, however, was too slow and Perios dislodged Acamus' shield from his hands as the shield plunged to the ground. Acamus delved into his mind, Perios was preparing for another strike. Acamus hurriedly placed his sword on the ground, and fell on his sword, ending his life. Perios gasped and took his helmet off, realizing his atrocity. Perios broke a tear, and fell on his sword in honor for his friend, and of shame that he killed him. The enemy had a sorrowful look on their faces, and solemnly walked away one-by-one...as the breeze wisped away


    Entrant 2 - Celsius
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Encircled


    As the man stood fast, he was no match for the lackies he faced. He stood with a look on his face. A look that can only be the look of death. He saw the entire army surround him. As the General of the Enemy army face him, he breathed heavily. Waiting for his moment. But even if he did kill this General, he would die by the hands of this men.

    He stepped close to the General, pacing himself. They touched swords a few times. But no hits were taken. The Lone Man stood wondering what he could do. Until he thought of Julius Caesar's famous saying, "It's better to die on your feet than to live on your knee's".

    He runs toward the General. The General not knowing he had let his guard down falls to the ground. The Lone Man had cut off his head. As he kneels their, all alone on the field, all the men look at him.....None attack. He stands up, and sheaths his sword. The Men around him make an opening so he can exit. The Lone man make his way off the field, with the greatest story to tell for generations.


    Entrant 3 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Brutish George

    The skies were bright as is the mood of the Great George, known to have survived countless battles, wielder of the legendary sword Excalibur, he has been regarded as one of the best knights the world has to offer. Sadly, he led darkness to rule over him. He became arrogant, brutish, and hated by the people. who now called him 'The Brute'. As he had exterminated and slaved various villagers, the Knight Association decided to throw away himself from his position and his army.

    Angry at what had happened to him, George decided to challenge the knights one-by-one, to show his worth. He forgot, that the legendary sword would only help the Chosen One. He was, before, when he had fought for the sake of God. Now as the light from the sword lost, the blade rusted. The feared knight was no longer worthy of this sword.

    As one of the knights accepted his challenge, he prepared himself for the duel to come. Forgotten the word of God when he received the sword Excalibur. In his dreams, God chatted to him once more : " George..... you are no longer worthy of your title and sword....... "

    Soon he wake up, shocked after hearing these words, he tried to not believe it, but it has been proven for the sword cannot even cut a piece of cloth! Panicked, he hired mercenaries from nearby lands to help him.

    But it was too late, the knight who challenged him had also brought an army, he sweated hard at the death of the mercenaries and it seemed as though the armor was all filled with his sweat!

    The Challenge was sounded, and he died in his duel as a result of his own deeds. For God's words is always correct, his sword left him forever, his title is passed to the victor. He is buried in this place.

    Seemed too long.......


    Entrant 4 - Sensi Karate
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    A story behind a struggle


    Blood stained the last Danish Knight who had survived the onslaught of his comrades. The Norwegians were once allies of the Denmark Kingdom. They traded goods, offered gifts and prospered together in harmony.

    This was all an understatement when the Norwegian King, Henry III died by an assassin at a banquet with emissaries of the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire had always despised the Denmark’s flourishing in land which should truly belong to them. They gave rumours to believe that Denmark had hired the assassin to take out the King for trying to establishing trade route with the Holy Roman Empire. Rioting started to occur all across the Norway, insisting the new King, Leonard I to take revenge. Pressured by the people of Norway, he declared war on Denmark.

    However Denmark's military might and navy was the best in Catholic world. Though soon after, the Holy Roman Empire declared war on Denmark as-well, backing up the weak Norwegian King in an attempt to seize lost land. Fighting on two borders was a hard struggle, with death almost certain if you were garrisoned on border posts.

    This was what had just happened here. The Norwegians came out of no-where with an army tripling the Denmark’s own at this garrison border post. Though the Danish Knights fought well, killing incredible numbers and holding there ground, it was no use and every man fell that day. Everyone except one brave knight who fought protecting the post until he was pierced in the shoulder, slashed on the thy and sliced on his back. He was taken prisoner and used as a duelling buddy for the intoxicated Norwegian Knights.

    "Let’s fight you bloody tosser!" shouted a Norwegian Knight as he unsheathed his sword and pointed the tip at the surviving Denmark Knight. The Drunken Knight impetuously charged. The Danish Knight parred his attacks and blew many at the opponent. However the Drunk persisted, becoming fiercer with his hits, and eventually penetrated the Denmark’s armour and hit just above the heart. He staggered backwards, his face turning white as he held tightly the wound. He new he had only a few minutes left before perishing to the birds as they hovered above, ready for a meal.

    The fight continued, with the Danish Knight barely parring off the Norwegian Knights blow. However tidings finally favoured the Danish Knight as the Norwegian Knight tripped over a rock from his stupidity and drunkenness. The Danish Knight saw his opening and plunged his sword through the heart of Norwegian, ceasing his life to an end. The crowd of knights went quiet, and the only noise heard was the banging of steel side guard shoulders sliding on each other. A small smile grew on the Danishes face as he collapsed to the ground, his eyes slowly slipping into eternal sleep. Just another casualty of war.



    Entrant 5 - Authentique
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    Marius

    And so I, Marius the Pious stood with a heavy heart. My people vanquished, my rule saw the end of my people, the shame of it. I sigh and look to the heavens,was there no God up there? Or is the God on a different side to me? Yes I thought, that was it, what hope did I have anyway if God has opposed me from the beggining? But, if true, I have honoured him all my life for nothing, I Marius the Pious, have earned my title through pointless tasks, all those long hours in the chapel thanking deaf ears for petty victories... And so I raise my eyes to see my foe, my eyes stained with disbelief, my self esteem crushed and falling though my fingers like water through cupped hands. And even I my enemy raises his sword aloft I can only think how betrayed I feel, my loyal friend, adviser, father figure. No, this cannot be happening to me, God, if you are up there save me, save me... save me. The sword fell, sunlight gleamed off its hilt as it glided through the air... save me... I see nothing but dark, dark which turns to light, waters are lapping my naked body, bright sunlight now reflects off its surface.. where am I? Is this death?
    "Marius, you were wrong to doubt me. All good things have to come to an end, you know that. You had a place in my house, my loyal servant, but you have thrown this away, I cannot grant people eternal joy who question their faith.. I am sorry Marius."
    "Father.. save me.." the water retreated. Long grass grew around Marius as he lay there in a puddle of his own blood. Marius never rose again.


    Entrant 6 - Musthavename
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Clone Wars



    It had been going on for three years now. The cloning process, under development by Roman scholars in Constantinople, had been stolen by the Magyars in 1098 AD. Using it, they replicated their feared General, Istvan, numerous times, and before long, had conquered the pitiful remnants of the Roman Empire, were advancing deep into the Holy Land, and were overthrowing the Catholic Church itself.

    This was Europe's final chance to stop the advance. The main schematics for the mechanism were housed in Satu Mare, the previous domain of Istvan himself. A collection of knights, soldiers & peasants had fought their way through waves of Magyar clones and had reached a plain just outside the fortress, which had been made almost impenatrable. Istvan, being a Knight of chivalry and valour, would have felt it honour bound to fight the enemy on an open field. And so, the largest battle in the history of humanity was about to unfold.

    Eric the Bloody, a Danish Viking warrior and commander of the Allied Catholic forces, realised that although this battle was winnable, with the casualties they would take, they would not be able to penetrate the fortress afterwards, which was guarded by the elite forces of Hungary's non-clone forces. He decided the only way that the Allied Forces could win the day, would be to duel the commander in chief... the original Istvan himself. With it, they would rout, and the way to Satu Mare would be open.

    And so, he rode forth and made his declaration the night before. It was all arranged. At daybreak the next day, Eric and his mounted Knights rode up, and then Eric solely approached the enemy forces, who had formed an arena for him.

    "Mr Anderson..." remarked Istvan.
    "Err, wrong film..." replied Eric.
    "Crap. Regardless, I accept your challenge. A viking warrior like yourself is a true match for even myself."

    As they stood in battle stance, shield outstretched, staring each other down beforehand, the crowd of clones was getting eager.

    "Today, you shall be struck down Istvan, and your army will dissipate to the fields. For Pope Urban!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    "Err Eric, you didnt think this through did you?"
    "What do you mean?"
    "This is a clone army... one of them would just replace me as commander in chief and it'd be no different."
    "Oh... crap..."



    Entrant 7 - Juvenal
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    Victory at Mohács













    The battle had been raging for most of the day and the Hungarian reserves were getting bored. While others covered themselves in glory (and Ottoman blood), these men were forced to stand, sweating and itching in their heavy armour.


    Rumours began to circulate that the King (who was not of their clan) had deliberately left them out of the battle so that they would be excluded from their share of the Ottoman baggage after the inevitable victory.



    A lone Knight and his servant (pulling a hand-cart) sauntered into their ranks. Addressing the throng he proclaimed...



    I am Ritter Sacha von Scharnhorst-Cohen and I challenge any man here to knock me down. Should thou succeed my servant shall give thou a silver Thaler”



    The Hungarians were more than ready for any fight, especially against a stuck-up Austrian and a queue of candidates soon formed.



    The first man faced up to von Scharnhorst and after a short fight knocked him to the ground.



    You have bested me thou noble fellow, please accept thy Thaler which thou hast fairly won. Next please!”



    von Scharnhorst lost the next six fights in quick succession, and the queue grew steadily until eventually almost the whole reserve were clustered around the makeshift arena.



    Later, when the King was in desperate straits against the resurgent Ottomans, his frantic messenger was unable to gain the attention of the Reserve, who were now entirely focused on their continuing lucrative victories against the Austrian Knight. And so it was that the King of Hungary was defeated and killed at Mohács.



    Suleiman the Magnificent retained the conquered south and the throne of Hungary passed to the former King's brother-in-lawHoly Roman Emperor Ferdinand I. Surely an amazing return for the investment of a few hundred Thaler?



    As for von Scharnhorst-Cohen, well, the best efforts of historians to date have failed to find any account of him apart from the peculiar events of this climactic battle.



    Entrant 8 - TheTrueGreek

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    No Honor among Thieves
    King Robert paced, his mind set on getting revenge. He found out his best man, Sir Galles, had made it with his women. Now he must pay. Many thoughts raced through his mind, poison, assassin, none of them good enough. Then he thought that he could appeal to Galles honor, something he does not have anymore. He wrote a letter to Galles, stating that if he wished to not live in shame and a life of pettyness, he come to the plains of Gatsbury. Riding out there with about 200 of his own knights, he spotted Galles alone. Ordered his men to circle him in case he tried to run away. "So, you wish to kill me? then why do you do so with 200 men?" Galles sneered. "I wish that not, you and I shall fight in an honourable duel. Galles drew his sword and charged, but was caught short as an arrow landed in his chest. "So I die for taking my women back." he collapsed and breathed his last, Robert turned around just before Galles own sniper shot him in the throat and ran away.



    Entrant 9 - Manoflooks


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Shut up and drive




    Sir Gallahey motioned to the surrounding ring of men around them. "This is a circle. It knows how to get around."


    Sir Aquitane looked oddly at him. "what the-



    "PIE R SQUARED sounds like radius to me. when you need a circumference, just use, pi D."



    "Gallahey, we wer just about to duel, now please stop singing that annoying song and stand stil so I can kill you.









    "Shut up and drive, drive, shut up and drive, drive."





    "SHUT UP"



    Sir gallaey winked. "and drive?








    Sir Aquitane hefted his sword, prepared to cut gallaheys head from his shoulders. And fell down on one knee.



    "AHHH!!! This armor is too tight! Stupid hand-me-down. Should have tested it first."







    And Sir Gallahey jumped up again. "He has an itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka dot suit of armour, that he wore for the first time, today."






    "SHUT THE UP"





    Gallhey sidled up to him, trying to take Aquitanes armour off. He sang "I wanna love you. Oh yes I do. I know you see me looking a you and you already know: I wanna you. "






    Aquitane looked up wildly, and motioned at Gallahey. "KILL THIS ING !"





    As they charged at Gallahey, he swung his hips and pointed away.



    "And the Turks came back, the very next day."







    TotW 18b - The Challenge

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    Winner - Theodotos I
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    HomeComing

    Every time I had come home to my village it was different. I was different, my people were different. War leaves nothing unchanged.

    But there was something about this time—different than all the rest. The hair prickled up on the back of my neck, warning of danger. What, I knew not.
    I stopped my horse on the edge of town, looking carefully to the priming of my pistol. It and the rapier at my side I carried for protection against the countless vagabonds and highwaymen roaming England these days. Discharged soldiers or mercenaries like myself, unable to return to the plow after smelling the powder of battle. Danger lurked everywhere—but not here. Not my village. Surely not. . .
    Nevertheless, the instincts that had carried me through countless battles against the Ironsides of Oliver Cromwell did not desert me now. I tethered my mount to a post there on the perimeter of the village, drawing my sword from its scabbard.
    A blade in my right hand, a loaded wheellock in my left. I felt a strange sense of unease at striding into my home in this warlike fashion, but something was wrong. No traders bartered in the market. No children chased each other through the streets, laughing and shrieking at each other. This time was nothing like my last return home. What had happened?
    I walked carefully up the hill toward the center of the village, limping a little at each step. A musketball had lodged in my hip at Edgehill, ending my role in the war for the space of about five months. Now I could predict the weather as readily as a seer, and it was equally accurate in predicting danger. It pained me now.
    Nothing was moving, even the birds seemed to have stopped their singing. The only signs of life were the wisps of smoke drifting upward from the chimney of Godfrey the tanner.
    I stopped by the wall, checking the priming of my pistol once again. Nerves. I thought I had conquered them long ago—but there was something uncanny about this. This was not the battlefield, this was my home. Yet Death hovered nearby, I could feel his presence. The Reaper.
    I lurched toward the tanner's door, putting weight on my good leg, aware that my investigation must begin at his house.
    Silence. No sound greeted my ears as I approached. His latch-string was out, and I pulled the hammer of the pistol back to full-cock, placing my sword-hand on the door.
    I pulled it open quickly and stepped inside, stepping into the unknown. . .


    Entrant 1 - Sun Zaraki

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    Essence



    I stood, with my bag over my shoulders, at the bottom of the small incline leading to the village where i grew up, Hawarden, with high hopes much like that of the adolescent boy as he meets his first love. The dusty path to my right showed no signs of new and unknown visitors, but that did not mean that old and friendly residents had not left. The Inn on the left, and the small house on the right seemed to... blend into the background. The colours, or rather lack of, seemed to haze in my view, oddly like a painting by a man who calls himself an artist, but really throws strange coloured blobs of oozey gunge onto a blank white canvas. It didnt appear to me to be the colourful, green and red, flowery countryside of my birth. Infact, not even the trees seemed to stand much out from my memory, save the darkness of its shadow, but even then, the trees cast no shaodw today, but were rather complete in darkness from the dim setting sun in the west, behind the clouds native to this land. Smoke was rising from the house to my, and that was the only thing that matched my memory. The grey, wispiness mirrored my childhood precisely, and oddly gave me a comforting warmth inside. Perhaps my view was askew, or my perceptions had altered with my departure. With a heavy heart, i ascended the small inclination.




    Entrant 2 - Pontifex Maximus
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    Liquid Reality


    Everything appeared translucent, as if the world had turned into a teardrop that when conjured by the eye temporarily blurs vision. The entire world had become colorless, dark and shifting.





    Solids took on qualities of liquids, smoke flowed like water, leaves rustled mechanically. The world was made completely of lights and darks. Emotionless, sullen, somber, bricks called to pedestrians, singing mournful songs.





    In that one moment, all warmth was stolen away, and it seemed all cheer had left the world. All that remained was a melancholy shell of a remote village. All of the life that had been invested in it was executed in that moment. A putrid veil of sadness cloaked the entire land. A pall of lifelessness. Nothing was heard. there is only silence, save the breath of the wind.





    That's what death is, peace. In the final moments of this world, everything was quiet, colorless, and still. That one moment, nothing thought, nothing breathed, nothing cared. Rot will follow, and rot is the deplorable side effect of death.


    Entrant 3 - Kallum
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    Memories from Exeter


    "Fire!!!!" the garrison commander shouted. James hears the release of bow strings and the sudden pain on his chest. The arrows had hit their target. Breathing becomes harder and the pain on his chest is even more harder to bare with every second that passes. As death takes a hold of his body, James is going back in time. He sees his mother and father. The house he was born in, on the small hill just outside Exeter. He sees the field where and he and his friends played in their youth, the trees who were cut down by the soldiers to create their cursed rams and catapults.



    James hears the bowstrings release once more, but he can't feel the pain. He's numb for everything around him as he's traveling through his memories of his beloved home. He sees smoke coming out of the chimney, his mother is preparing his favourite dish: pork with beans. He runs to the house with a grumbling stomach. He shouts "mom I'm home" as he enters the house. He sees two soldiers feasting on the pork, he looks around but he can't find his parents. He looks down and their they are laying in a pool of blood. In a violent act of rage James grabs a knife from the table and stabs the soldiers in his neck. They die quickly but one shout reveals their fate to their commander and companions. They enter and horrified to see what James had done they decide to execute him on the spot. James hears a third fire command, his trip throug his memories stops and he embraces the cold touch of death as everything around him goes black....


    Entrant 4 - Manoflooks
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    The face of death


    The pain...It surrounds me. It penetrates me, permeates my very being. Nothing seems real anymore. The colours seem to fade and wilter, then come back with renewed ferocity. But the pain, oh the pain. I have never felt anything like this.No one has ever felt anything like this. It makes everything unreal, like a dream. Some things are clear, some are blurry. But it is all...deception. A hallucination. The once vibrant reds, blues, and greens have all faded away, leaving nothing but black, and grey, and white. And even that is slowly fading. I feel pain now, still, but it has faded, just backround noise in the distance. The real thing, the thing that really is there, is all around me. All earthly things are vanity, they say...but that can't be true. Nothing like this could be anything but everything. It would be madness to believe that, now that this sight has graced my eyes. Madness...



    I don't have much time left, I can tell. But the beauty...oh, it is wonderful. Unreal, yes, but still so beautiful. Who could live without seeing this? It is truly the best sight. I have seen the face of death...It is a wonderful thing.


    Entrant 5 - Juvenal
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    Lost Idyll


    From the moment of waking I knew that something was different, wrong.

    I am accustomed to assisting the master with his hunting on days such as these. I flush out the prey and he brings it down with his bow. I have always felt particularly happy at this sport, because although I know I could catch the prey myself, I let him have the kill, and I am sure he appreciates this.

    There was a sense of nervousness about the household. The mistress had returned from a long absence and was bustling to and fro ordering the staff around and getting in their way. I could smell the mixture of anticipation and disquiet caused by this break with routine.

    I have never understood the mistress, she gives contradictory signals. Sometimes she will appear to be angry, shouting and throwing things, and yet be calm inside. I assume she does this to show her dominance. It is hardly necessary, she will always be the mistress to me.

    At other times she looks and sounds serene, but the scent of true anger is unmistakable. These are the times I am most frightened of her.

    The warmth of the long summer's day made me drowsy and I rested on the veranda soaking up the Sun.

    The sound of the carriage woke me before anyone else was aware of it and I was first to greet it when it came clattering to a halt outside the main entrance. It was the master! But I was not welcome, so I slunk away and watched him bring his new thing into the house.

    I tried to go in through the kitchen, but the mistress was there and she chased me away, shouting and screaming... and I knew she meant it. But just before I was expelled I caught sight of the new thing... it was a baby!







    I miss the warmth and the smells of the house. I sit here now and watch it from afar. Maybe the master will want to hunt again and I will be allowed back into his company.

    I am no threat, I love them. I am not made to be alone. The dusk descends. My tail is drawn in with my misery and I howl with emptiness.


    Entrant 6 - emperornovaroma
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    A Christmas Night





    The night's sky was dark when I was taken. That did not sadden my though, for it was Christmas. I was only 10, only 10 and I had no idea of what was to come..... Yes, it was a dark Christmas night....when the raiders came. They called them the Vikings, but their name matters little to me. I remember how my mother used to sing while preparing dinner and how my father smiled to me, even though there was nothing much to smile about. I even remember how my grandpa used to tell stories around the fire about ancient heroes and how they fought the monsters of old..... The houses where our friends live and even the small church where we celebrated Christmas But no more, no..... those Vikings took them all away from me.... all killed, and only me survived covered in blood..... They took me...... and made me a slave....... Now after 20 years, I return..... once again covered in blood.....I have taken my revenge, but there is no peace..... All i can do is remember of that dark Christmas night......



    Entrant 7 - Sensi Karate

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Memories of Life


    Life stood still where my childhood memories lived. Where children fought with sticks, longing to become Knights and serve the King. Where food was plentiful and delicious to the mouth. Where tranquillity was only but a step away from your house. This was peace, the harmony that everyone looks for. A place where someone is one with nature and its surroundings.

    In the morning the crowing of rosters, perched on the farmer’s fence were heard. Children were waking up from there magical dreams and parents were getting ready for another beautiful day. By midday, everyone was up, women cooking esquired lunches which filled the air with joy as the children rushed home to get a bite before embarking back on there journeys around town. By night everyone was quiet, with children getting tucked in under there blankets as there parents gave stories of heroic deeds that brave warriors accomplished before indulging into there magical dreams once more. Parents would then sit outside, basking in the moons aura and talk about what unfolded that day. The chooks would be herded back into the pens as the farmer waved them goodnight, with the roster standing guard for his fair-lady chocks as they fell to sleep in there warm hay beds.

    What a wonderful childhood I had.


    Entrant 8 - RVFVS
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    The Raider


    The darkness was closing around him. He was dying. HE looked quietly up at the village at the trees. "Why?" he asked gently as if he didn't already know the answer. He had felt the blade pierce his skin. For seconds agonizing pain enduced his entire body. "Am I dying?" once again he already knew the answer. He had been raiding a village in southern England. Him and his clan jumped out of the longboats and powered up the hill towards the village. While running up he had been ambushed by a English peasent who stuck him in the chest. He laughed at the irony. He had been the most feared warrior all over Daneland and England and his life was ended by a simple peasent. Chieften Gwarer clutched at the wound. he looked at all his "loyal" warriors who ran past him. All the bads he had done in his life...for nothing. So Gwarer fell into a deep and unwaking sleep known as death.



    TotW 19 - Gods Have Decided
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    Winner - Theodotos I
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    The New Prometheus



    The night is dark, ink-black clouds thundering across the firmament, obscuring the light of the moon. A distant, ever-growing rumble fills the heavens with its voice, harbinger of the coming storm.
    In the shadow of the ancient ruins a group of men and women stand, clustered around one man in their midst. Well-dressed, his very bearing sets him apart from the others. He is in charge. He is in command. He is their leader.
    A string leads from his hand skyward, toward a kite long since vanished in the roiling clouds above.
    “Watch,” he commands, stretching forth his hand to one of his followers. “The key, if you please.”
    The man fumbles in the folds of in his garment, producing the requested item. With a satisfied smile, the leader attaches the heavy iron key to his kite's-string, securing it with a knot.
    To the south, lightning streaks across the sky, rending the darkness from heaven to earth, followed by thunder deafening its very intensity. A murmur ripples through the crowd.
    “It has been thousands of years,” the leader begins, raising his hand for calm, “since a man has stolen fire from the gods. Prometheus dared—no one has since. Behold, my people, for a second Prometheus has risen before you. This is the night.”
    More string unravels from the ball in his hand, the key rising ever higher as the kite pitches unseen in the tumult above. The man's eyes shine forth with almost unearthly intensity, their gaze fixed upon the ascending key. This is it. This is the night. Fire from the gods.
    And once more lightning rends the heavens, as though called forth by him, streaking downward toward the ruins, toward the key, toward the assemblage anxiously watching the sky.
    Striking the iron of the key, the lightning explodes outward with frightening intensity, fingers of electricity reaching out in every direction.
    The man's eyes open wide in a moment of shock and then it is all over as the fire consumes the string, he, his followers, incinerating everything in its path.
    Another moment and quiet returns to the plateau, silence hovering over the scorched corpses.
    Judgement. . .


    Entrant 1 - Sensi Karate
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Do not press the red button.
    Simon slowly walked into the centre of the pillar with David, his younger brother following behind. They looked around quietly, seeing the blood and guts which stained the stone pillars. They then turned there attention back to the centre stone, which had a large red button on it. An engraving was on the large, red button with the words: "Do not press the red button." Simon stared at the button anxiously, seeing its red glory glow into his pale, brown eyes. "Re...d..d..B..b..utton..." David slurped out as Simons hand started to move closer to the red button.

    "S.iim..mon.....It...s..aa..ys....no..t..t..t.o...to..uc...hhh...th...e......r...r..e..d...d...b..b...u...t..t...o..n..." said David as Simons hand moved even closer to the button. "Oh what harm can it do David? It’s just a silly red button. It’s not like its god or anything!" giggled Simon as he slid his hand across the plastic big red button. David stepped back as he brother leaned closer to the button. Drool started to preside in his right mouth as his hand started to rise into the air, ready to smash that button into the stone itself. "Don’t press it Simon!" shouted David as he stepped even further away from his brother and the big red button. Simon did not listen to his brothers words and his hand came crashing down, ready to hit that button. 'BAM!' was the sound that the button made as Simon hit it. He lifted his hand and looked at the button again. It started to shake and the words started to move around and disappear. After a few seconds a new sentence appeared from the buttons plastic area. "I said... do not press the button." Simon laughed and started to hit the button more and more, with more sentences re-appear every time he did.

    After half an hour of plummeting his now sore hand into the big red button, a large sentence appeared; "You've had your fun kid. The only thing you care about is pressing the god damn button? You must've had a life, hey? Just pressing me over and over seems pretty fun to you? What if I told you the world would explode if you pressed the button again, would you still do it? Actually... If you press the button again, I WILL DESTROY THIS WORLD!"

    David shouted to his brother one final time, "Please Simon, don't press the button! You've had your fun, let’s go home now!" "Fine!" said Simon, "but I'm just going to press one last time." With no hesitation to what the big red button said, Simon pressed the button. Nothing happened for awhile, nothing could be heard except the Chittering of birds. However the earth started to shake and the pillars started to crumble, Simons eyes widened as he looked into the sky. He started to run, but it was too late, a large lightening bolt smashed into the red button, making a white light glisten upon the earth and destroy it into nothingness. No screams were heard, no babies crying, no animals scurrying away, everything just disappeared. Everything except the big red button which was now floating in space. Words started to be scrabbled once more onto the big red button and it said "That wasn't very smart, now was it?" The button floated far away, looking for a new planet to destroy.


    Entrant 2 - Celsius
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Old Ways

    We set up camp a few yards away from an old pagan god ground. It was huge with stones, but no-one could move it. So we laid down to go to sleep, hoping to awake the next morning with a warm day.


    In the middle of the night, all of us awoke to a frightening sound. Like lightning. We all looked around, and then we saw what look like a bright crystal with smoke coming from it. We got up to get a closer look. Then, one of us touch it. The bright light shocked him and threw him a few feet.


    We dared not touch it again, but all of us wanted to. Then, in an instant, it was gone. Nothing left, not even the smoke. This is the day we all started to believe in the Gods again. Or could this be from the one god. We shall never know for sure. But one thing is for sure, we will never make camp near one of these things ever again. So we rode away, never to return to this stone ritual area again. Maybe we will no some day. Maybe hundreds of years from now, we still might not know.


    Entrant 3 - TheTrueGreek
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Might of God

    Luther was preaching in the lowlands of England. The men here were arrogant stupid folk who had no clue that the church was scamming them. Instead they clinged to their personal belief that the pope actually knew god, and could determine how they live in the afterlife. Fools, everyone forgot the good days, when numerous gods ruled the world, men were blessed with magical strength and wisdom. Even the biblical heroes exisited in those times. As he sat at a bench in the ancient stonehenge, a cload appeared out of nowhere. Luther was unaware of this so wrapped up in though he was, and as the lightning bolt ripped through his head and down through his rectum. God chuckled as he saw that, disbelievers always pay, and Luther had met his right end. Luther was amazed at what he saw, god, in his form which he cannot reveal. "You have been saying to stop believing in me, and you have seen what that has caused to you. If you forsake what you have been saying and take up the religion of the Church, i may reconsider your sentance to the eigth level of hell, if you spread the faith." "Yes my lord, i will take up the faith my lord, just give me a second chance."

    A second flash of lightning crashed down, seen be a shepard who drew a picture of it, and Luther walked out of the light, with a new view on life.


    Entrant 4 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Holy Portal


    Narrator : Ahem, This day, both Wendell and Edward had seen the forecast of the weather : stormy, but the ****ing hell with them is they are so hell persistent to play and poke around other dudes. No matter who are the big dudes, not even Mike Tyson can stop em from this danger. All other dudes are scared of the thunder. They decided they can't stop them. Let em play around the sweet grassy field, with the props Black Clouds and the Pagan Shrine.
    Ahem, this place has been once the homeland of Gods who descended to Earth. Looking at this, people has been in awe. Unfortunately the people around there has been prone to believe in superstitution. They believe there are ghosts ans spirits around there!

    Other Dude 1 : Just **** them!
    Other Dude 2 : Hey, I'd like to hear them saying HOLY **** during rain time.
    Other Dude 1 : I'd like to draw the epic moment of the Flash!
    Other Dude 2 : What? Flash? Game?
    Other Dude 1 : HOLY ****.
    Narrator : Hey! You are the other dudes! You can't speak more than one sentence! You are just to be cameo around this!
    Other Dudes : @^$!)*@*$)!(#.

    Narrator : Soon after the two guys Wendell and Edward set their play to the scene, after touching the Pagan Shrine, the Pagan God seems to be angry, rained down storms of storms to them.
    Wendell : HOLY ****!!!! I'm in my deathbed you fool Pagan God!!!! You'll pay for this!
    Edward : Uhhhmmm.... If you are dead how come you say that?
    Narrator : But the Pagan God decided to spare Edward's life and bring him into the realm of 280BC. And opened the portal of time.........
    Pagan God : Humble brethren of the past..... Come.... Join us in the world of the ol ways...... Succeed the world of Rome : Total War. Make the Gauls triumphant.......
    Edward : WHAT THE **** ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??!!
    Pagan God : I hereby unallowed to give reasons...... COME!!!! Or you suffer the same fate as your mortal friend suffers.........
    Edward : HOLY . Now I'm really confused.
    Narrator : Without further talk The Pagan God absorbed Edward into the portal of time...... Who knows what is there?

    THE END.


    Entrant 5 - RVFVS
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    John and George - Glorious Discoverers


    "Hey George!" John screamed over on the west side of the ruins, "I think its working!" George ran to where John had set up his reasearch station. "Why...JOHN! ITS WORKING!!" John and George were best friends and scientists, or they thought they were. The companions had decided to find a way to harness light and make it accesible to the normal citizen. "Just think," George had said when the two had first started the project, "We will be the most famous and rich men on Earth!" They had set up their 'lab' in a deserted Greek ruin somwhere between Constantinople and Thessalonika. "So what will we name it? I think we should name it The George Harper theory." John scoffed, "Ha! it should be named after ME!" George snarled and jumped on John, punching him in the face. John fell on the machine causing the two to jump off of it in horror. "John you idiot you...oh god...you...you..." What George said next was muffled by a huge explosion resulting in the death of both John and George. John and George were the first men to discover electricity.


    Entrant 6 - Authentique
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    On This Day a God is Born

    As the fog rolled over the low hills, just as the sun was setting, a most spectacular scene blossomed, nobody needed a calendar to know when new years day was around these parts. This spectacular scene marked the day that Hercules became famous, the day we Greeks were liberated, the day my great great grandfather was born. Born beneath those hallowed pillars he was a god, as histher held him aloft, his small frame stood out against the backdrop, a small face peaked out, some say he held an arm aloft. Well, he did go on to become a famous warrior, upon his shield an engraving of that spectacular scene was visible, a reminder to all who opposed him. And now, as I look upon this wonder I am happy, gods do exist in human form, and upon this day another small child raises his arm aloft, the gathered crowd are over joyed, another miracle has occurred on this hallowed day, another young child has the help of God.


    Entrant 7 - Pontifex Maximus
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    When A Life Ended

    The day my life ended I saw a bolt of lightning strike a field. Winds commanded the grass and it rustled in obedience. The only thing that could be seen or heard was the sound of a storm, a storm growing in magnificence and terror by the second. As airwaves clashed, groans of thunder were created and spread over the region. So loud were these quakes that the ground shook in response, and the grass upon it.

    A boy, whose voice was still unbroken, lay asleep in the field. His jet black hair hung loosely over his brow. He awoke with a jolt as the ground bounced. The only thing that could be seen, for miles, was darkness. He stood, and began to run to his house, where else could he go? Already the wind was whipping his hair into his eyes and rain was falling.

    It wasn't long before he came to an abandoned barn. He crouched and took shelter in a corner, holes in the roof allowed water to enter, but at least it was protection from the wind.

    The Night became all the darker, and lightning lit the sky in furious pale bursts. Wind shook the shanty and beams fell from above. Overhead, in what was beginning to sound a tremendous clap, a crude tangle of light reflected in the boy's green eyes.

    As they flash illuminated the night sky, it was but a fraction of a second before the bolt struck the barn, in its center.

    Outside, the grass still bent to the wind, the trees still swayed with the waves. On a hill, in the plain, a burned out old barn stood alone, silhouetted against the rising sun.


    Entrant 8 - Junius
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Light of Heaven

    The two armies met on a plane close to Gaugamela, near the place of Alexander's greatest victory. Like it had been all those years ago, it was a dry and barren landscape, with scrub stretching over the whole flat horizon. The two armies made camp, and it was obvious that this was the place this war was to be settled.

    It was morning. The two armies had settled into their orders. It was to be a titanic struggle. I am no military man, but even i was awed by the splendour of both sides. The Pontus forces were armoured in loot from Seleucia, and our own forces had the most exquiste armour. I was admiring the forces in the rising sun when the bugle sang, and the earth shook. The two sides were thundering towards each other.

    The sky blackend. Everyone slowed, and then stopped, and saw the moon eat the sun. A few miles from the battle, a temple to Nike had been dedicated by Alexander. Now it was as if midnight had decended on us. Storm clouds brewed in the heavens, and settled over this temple. A divine thunderbolt struck the temple, which was unharmed, and from it's steps a ghost of calvary came charging. Alexander himself had reawakend.

    This scared both sides. Who was he fighting for? He had at his back Companions, those of old Macedon, following his charge. Antiochus, our king and an able speaker, galloped out in front of his army and rallied them.

    'Men! Look at Alexander. Here where he beat the mighty Medes, he now comes to aid his brethren, his ancestors in arms. Do not fear him, he is our Divine King, and he has come to aid us. Do not shame him now, but forward, forward against these modern Medes!'

    With that his whole host surged forward, in a merciless charge.


    Entrant 9 - Manoflooks
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    That Fateful Night




    I had everything I ever wanted. Fast cars, big house, ten wives, Empire Total War four months before it came out- I had it all. I strut through my life, and what I wanted, I got. What, I thought, could possibly go wrong? Anything bad could be bought off. Anything good could be bought. They are wrong. Money does bring happiness, and protection too. I was safe.


    Right?

    Sometimes, living in the centre of a crowded and busy centre of commerce can get a little overwhelming. The crowds, the noise, the lights. So, I usually take a little walk, ipod playing in my ears, through a nearby meadow. It is usually secluded, and is a bit of calm. Can't handle the quiet for very long either. So a short walk...and I'm good for a few weeks.
    But one night was different. One night changed everything.
    I was walking through the highlight of the park, a stone structure that was modeled on the ancient Stonehenge. And a blue light shone it. At first I thought it was a low flying plane, but soon I realized this was not so.
    The unnatural light blinded me, and when I could see again, things were...changed. Things seemed to be cast in a different light, and everything had a new perspective. I went to sleep on the floor that night; the bed seemed too luxorious.


    And the next morning I remembered the words.
    "Not everything is as you once saw it."
    Too true.


    Entrant 10 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Last Sacrifice
    As dawn gave way to fitful overcast Grakkus, for the first time in his existence, actually felt tired.

    The battle had been raging since the previous morning, and he had needed to make mighty efforts at the very beginning just to save his precious stock of souls from the ambush in the valley.

    Jadugarr, wizard of the traitorous God Stratos, had assailed him with his full panoply of weather magic. The air was acrid with ozone from constant lightning bolts, one side of the ridge was scoured down to the bedrock from innumerable storms and tornadoes (in stark contrast to the green sward of the undamaged side). Even the bedrock itself was cracked from freezing spells.

    Despite the intensity of the attack, Grakkus was still strong. He drew the power of his God James from the very ground itself, what happened in the air above was of little consequence.

    This ridge-top ruin had proved a boon containing plenty of clay for the bodies of his creatures, and rocks of all sizes for ammunition. He had not even needed to resurrect any for the last hour, their hides were burnt and cracked from lightning and some were missing large pieces, but they were working well, able to destroy any of Jadugarr's creatures that dared come into range.

    Unaccustomed to looking up, Grakkus only noticed the Silverback when it was almost upon him, an unlikely looking gigantic silver bear with huge slow-flapping Lammergeier wings.

    It cast its freezing breath and the world went white. Flexing to throw off the skin of ice, Grakkus found his low-level creatures frozen solid. No matter, he still had his Jabberrocky.

    Grakkus prepared a knock-down spell to bring the Silverback within reach. Looking up to target it, he noticed the small black shape of a Cloudkill spell sliding into position to deliver its payload. He ignored it, knowing his remaining creatures could take it in their stride.

    But then a strange thing happened, the Cloudkill gathered its full energy and let loose a single titanic bolt – straight onto the Silverback!

    The great beast convulsed and writhed with pain, but also began to glow with a strange light. Its mouth opened, and Grakkus just had time to feel resentment at what was clearly some kind of exploit before the entire ruin exploded into icy fragments, and his essence dissolved back into the Earth from whence it came.

    Last edited by wowbanger; April 28, 2011 at 09:34 AM. Reason: Added TotW 19



    "Some writers never know what's to be written until they see it on the page...." Some words of wisdom from my good friend, Mega Tortas de Bodemloze

  6. #6
    wowbanger's Avatar Jimmy's winning matches
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 20 - Christmas Stories
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    Winner - Manoflooks
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    Delusions of the Deranged

    Dec 1


    Santa Claus. That egomaniacal selfish attention grabbing son of a . I hate him. He is the only person in the world I hate, and I hate him with a passion. Seriously, my hatred of him knows no bounds. I go around, trying to spread happiness and joy, but does anyone eery thank me for it? NO!!! I am celebrated 1 day a year. 1 DAY! That's it. No lights, no trees, no store sales. NOTHING. And he gets worldwide reknown and recognition, for putting a bunch of midgets and reindeer into service for him.
    He called me earlier today. Wanted to know how my preperations for Christmas were coming on. The bastard. Always rubbing it in my face. Did I mention I hate him?

    That was the last straw.

    Dec 8

    I called a friend, an assassin for the assassin's guild. A good guy, who goes by the name of Christoforo Rossi. He owes me for giving him an alibi when he was cheating on his wife a couple months back, and if he doesn't help he knows what will happen. I asked for a little "help" with the jolly old elf. And a videotape of how it went.

    Dec 28

    The videotape arrived. And it was the best thing I have ever seen.

    The old man was coming back up a chimney, from yet another of the billions of break and enters he commits every year. And my friend left him a gift. A highly explosive gift.
    It was great. The old man's eyes opened wide in terror, before the explosion shot him up, up, and away. No "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" this time. It was just "HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP"


    -The Diary of the Easter Bunny


    Entrant 1 - TheTrueGreek
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Jolly saint Charles crept on the rooftops, annoyed that he had to walk this far just to get to his own fricken house. He had dressed up as Santa and all, but the costume was ruined by the soot billowing from chimneys.

    Chimneys!!!!!

    Dear god, santa probly has some burnt buns cooking right now, least I only have one chimney to go down, and a candle to light my way.

    These clothes are too dang hot he thought, taking off his supposedly jolly coat, and putting the hood on his hoodie up to keep the soot out of his eyes. As he passed one house he almost slipped by saved himself by jumping to the church roof. As he crept past the chimney he heard a voice.

    "God damn these cursed chimneys, Rudolph, im suck again. Get the harness."
    "Sir, do you need help?" Charles said, but instantly regretted it.
    "Your not Rudolph? that godforsaken deer cannot do a job correctly for his life, well, i have a harness sitting by the chimney, just drop it down for me and raise me up."

    Charles struggled, pulling the man out inch by inch, but when he raised the man up, the man just began screaming.

    "Its a theif, he wants my presents, no one steals from santa." Pulling out his whip that he reserved for Rudolph (Who at times got very roudy with the eggnog)

    He began to whip the man, until he fell off the christmas chimney with care. Not disrupting a single soul with santa there.


    Entrant 2 - Kátz
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    Medieval Santa

    Santa knows the technology of the 22th century. Seeing poverty in the Medieval Ages. Santa decided to create a time machine to transfer himself to the aforementioned timeframe. What is his present is only known to Santa's factory. Santa himself only received a very little bit of information : The presents are all Medieval-themed!

    Tonight is December 25th of the 11th Century. And Santa is roaming around the walls, throwing out presents. Santa had examined the place carefully. He had known every corner of this town. Everything had seemed to have gone well. Until finally, he given somebody a bomb, Truthfully, he did not know what was inside, it can be a sword, knife, butter, bread or anything, Secrecy is assured to the Santa Factory.

    The person he gave the bomb was none other than Altair, an old face around the town, A feared slayer. And more renownly called 'The Assassin'. Santa however does not know anything about the folks around 'ere. Stumbling upon him, Without losing mood and confidence. Santa gave him the bomb as requested, strange, the ignition of the bomb has started since it was given! Returning from the balcony, Santa sets out to give more people more presents. Mysterious, No one ever knows he is there, except Altair. He waited to kill him!

    Clad in black jacket, Altair's first priority is to bomb Santa away from his town. For some unknown reason he hated Santa very much as though he had killed his parents! Carefully, he made sure that the bomb's voice is unheard by anybody. Seems like everybody is sleeping quietly. And it seems there are only two souls in this town. That is Santa and Altair.

    Moon was facing the Santa, as is his fear. Once, somebody from his factory talked :
    "When the full moon shines upon you, comes the trouble."

    Santa loses his confidence as he gave out more and more presents to more and more people around the town while Altair is slowly creeping into Santa. Finally, when he had finished giving out presents and just set to return home to the 22th Century. A sound can be heard just while he is climbing out of the balcony. It hits Santa real hard.

    *BOOM!!!*

    Santa has heard the voice, the bomb sets him flying away. Along his last breath his last words came out : LOL!!!!!!

    THE END.


    Entrant 3 - Theodotos I
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    Twas the Fright Before Christmas
    Twas the night before Christmas,

    When upon a rooftop of slate,

    An assassin was lurking,

    And Death he doth wait;

    His cowl was pulled low, fire danced in his eyes,

    And now! Look up! Look up to the skies!

    The townsfolk were lying all snug in their beds,

    While dreams of the morrow swirled in their heads;

    The spy on the rooftop, and the saint in his sleigh,

    No one knew what would come at the breaking of day,

    But on dashed the sleigh and on dashed the saint,

    Toward a danger from which most men would faint;

    From the skies of the north! With a loud rushing noise!

    Come St. Nick, his reindeer, and his pack of toys!

    The moon in the sky did shine oh so bright,

    Lighting the way for St. Nicholas that night.

    On the top of the roof the sleigh it did halt,

    And St. Nick jumped out with the things he had brought.

    A doll for the girl, and a drum for the boy,

    Muffled and soft, so as not to annoy.

    A pipe for the husband, and a dress for the wife,

    The spy he lurked there, in his hand was a knife.

    And the saint he looked out o'er the streets of the town,

    Little knowing that Old Nick himself had come down.

    He walked over to the chimney, and he got such a fright!


    For the spy rose up, straight out of the night!


    “Good evening,” stammers Nick, and, “How do you do?”


    Then down he falls, straight down through the flue!


    The spy he laughed, for he meant no harm,


    Only thinking to give St. Nick an alarm;


    And he was heard to exclaim,


    as he walked off through the night,


    “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fright!”

















































    Entrant 4 - Pontifex Maximus
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    An Unexpected Visitor

    Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even an assassin.

    ...But this is only because the assassin had not yet entered the house...

    As the assassin, John, clambered up the wall, he once again checked his pouch. The grenades were still there. John smirked as he reached the top, finally the town would be rid of this greedy governor. Too long had he embezzled funds meant for public works and made a mockery of his office.

    All he had to do was drop the little explosives through the chimney and get off the roof- fast. Simple enough. But what was that smell? Did something behind him just go "plop"? Turning on his heel, John was shocked to see a sleigh! On the roof! A count of nine reindeer stood tied to it as well. How could this be? Further inspection revealed that no man was in sight on the roof, so John decided to go ahead.

    Lighting the fuse on the first grenade, he dropped it down the chimney. As he stood poised to light the second, a faint noise was heard from below as it echoed up the vault. No matter, he must drop the second one in quickly. As he dropped it over the side, he heard it strike something hard. "Hoh!"

    ...What was that?

    Suddenly, a corpulent man dressed in red popped his head out of the hole. He looked angry at just having been hit in the head by a grenade, and he stood holding it in his hands. The fat red man pulled the fuse out of the explosive and grabbed John. For a fat man, this guy had a grip. john was thrown into the sleigh and off the reindeer went. John was to spend the rest of his life mining coal for all the other bad boys and girls.


    Entrant 5 - Juvenal
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    Nakles
    Everyone knows about Santa Claus, children write him letters and try to make him welcome by leaving out food and drink. But few dare speak of his shadowy alter-ego, perhaps for fear of attracting his attention, because no one wants a visit from Nakles.


    While Santa pilots his sleigh through the cold crisp night air of Christmas Eve, Nakles drives his black cart, drawn by nine gigantic naked moles, through the ancient tunnels that lie beneath every town and village (even yours).



    Nakles has a supernatural sense of smell, he can even detect the odour of unclean thoughts, and should a child be undeserving, Nakles will come. If they are lucky, he will merely put their presents in his great black sack and leave a lump of coal to remind them of their sin. But if he is angry (which he often is), it is the child that goes into the sack, and those children are never seen again.



    I embarked on the flight this Christmas Eve with a sense of dread. Nowhere in this world seems immune to change, not even the North Pole (did you know that our manufacturing facilities now have to be supported on pontoons?). I think the rot set in when we allowed the Coca Cola corporation to sponsor our clothing (have you any idea how much ermine costs these days). But now, perhaps driven by the Credit Crunch, we were going to be required to leave cards at every house asking the children to leave a Coke and a MacDonalds Happy Meal™ next year instead of the traditional milk and cookies.



    At first things went well, chasing the instant of midnight around the world, we had got as far as Boston. I was wearing my smog mask while holding the reindeer, so I failed to see Nakles until it was too late to intervene.



    As Santa emerged from his latest delivery and card-drop, milk and cookie crumbs still adorning his beard, Nakles stepped up and administered the Vapour of Forgetfulness. Santa slumped, and Nakles swept him into his great black sack and melted back into the night.



    Next Christmas, I would advise you all to be on your best behaviour, Nakles never did like Santa, so after a year of his company he is going to be looking extra-hard for the undeserving and the mean-of-spirit. Fear the great black sack!




    TotW 21 - Untitled Picture
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    Winner - Musthavename
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    Total War - Apocolypse

    The beings came out of nowhere. After the End Turn, the Horde just appeared... giant barbarian monsters. Since New York had no walls, no siege weapons were requried, not that it would have stopped them... they would destroy the city regardless.

    The player put his infantry to choke points on the map, a useless plan. These monsters just shoved buildings ontop of them, the soldiers were crushed. It seems they also "inspired fear", and had something far more than simple "armor piercing". Tanks were simply shoved aside, the rockets did nothing to them! Their defence stat must have been over 9000, what kind of stupid programmer did that?

    The player was slowly realising this was futile, though he knew that this invasion couldn't simply be one massive bug... could it? His air support was gone aswell, swatted out of the skies like flies. All he had left was one scout chopper where his General was situated. He coulnd't even take pleasure in the destruction... the developers never botehred programming civilians, but why program this.. why?!?! The player had no choice but to initiate a nuclear strike on one of his prize cities, finally ending this apocolypse.

    After the next end turn, everything got worse. An alien invasion at Washington, a zombie outbreak in San Francisco, and a "Sarah Palin" found the nuclear launch codes and obliterated what remained of the world... game over... on Turn 3. Enough was enough, he lodged a complaint on TWC, but wasn't surprised to see everyone else was enraged, it wasn't long before a statement was made by the Head Developer himself.

    Dear Players,

    After Empire, you stated that the thing you wanted was intelligent AI to accompany Apocalypse, our new modern day strategy game. We spent huge amounts of time perfecting the AI, but it was still too easy. Thus, we decided to increase the stats on everything... massively, to give the player more of a challenge.

    I am pleased to say we created a very challenging experience in Apocalypse, and we are saddened to find this has not met player expectations. We reccomend turning the difficulty down to Easy if you are finding it difficult. In which case, the Zombie Outbreak will not happen, which should allow you to survive.

    CA
    It seems the player had just wasted £40... damn. Think how many pints that would've bought?


    Entrant 1 - Manoflooks
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    My Pet Goat

    "Now children,"George Bush began,"This is the story of a little boy named Sam and his pet goat, Billy.
    "Now, Sam and Billy were great friends. They were perfect for each other. But then a mean boy, named Obama, came to take Billy away! But Sam wouldn't let him, no wa--...what is it, Jackson?"

    Jackson, an SS agent, bent in low to whisper in Bush's ear.
    "Um, sir...we have an emergency in New York City. Giant pe-"
    "What! Why are you disturbing us for a minor problem!?"the end of his sentence escalated into a scream, and he looked over and said "Oh. Sorry kids."
    "Sir, I think you should look at this." He handed the President a small portable TV.
    Bush stared. New York, amid a mass of terror and confusion, was on the screen. Giant warriors, with actual swords, were smashing down the the city, and it was clear that, if they weren't stopped, the whole city would go. But stopping wasn't an option. Huge numbers of people were shooting, tanks blasted, and ariplanes bombed, but nothing had an effect on the monsters. America's freedom was about to be destroyed-but what happened next nobody knew, for the head of the Statue of Liberty was torn off and thrown into the camera.
    Jackson was speaking again."Sir, the only way to stop them is if the president tells them to go away, in person. They told us that themselves, by writing on the buildings. Otherwise, everyone in New York will be killed. So, sir, we have prepared a helicopter. Are you coming?"

    Bush looked at him. He looked at the kids. He looked at the book. He looked at Jackson again. Then at the book.
    "As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted, Sam wouldnt let Obama take Billy away without a fight! He tried to keep him, although the law was against him. He fought..."


    Entrant 2 - Celsius
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    Watch them Crumble!

    They came from no where! We were just watching the game on TV and BAM! There they were. It was unbelievable. Giant men with spears and swords starting slashing buildings. They didn’t speak English. They spoke some weird language that no one could understand. Then they starting fighting each other, Right in the streets of New York.

    One feel off a building, making a huge crater in the ground. We saw Military helicopters come in. They started shooting bullets, but the giant men didn’t react. Then the missiles. It must have felt like little stings. They just swatted at the helicopters like flies. We were amazed. We just watched in shock, not leaving the building.

    We heard a huge crash. We looked out of the side of the window and saw the Statue of Liberty crumble. The giant warrior beside it just yelled. It was disturbing in a way. Now we see what they are doing. Why they are doing it. Why have these things come to destroy our most prized
    possessions. Ships in the harbor become bats for the men. They swing them and they go flying through the air. We still watch as the helicopters drop like bugs. This is the most shocking site the United States shall ever see.


    Entrant 3 - Legio
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    The Sack of Rome, New York
    Narrator:Hariulfus sat enthroned in the barbarian fortress of Uxellodunum, in all his regal glory!
    Hariulfus:Rigal glory. Regal comes from the latin rex, regis. Rigal comes from the Gallic rix
    Narrator:Hariulfus, in all his martial glory-
    Hariulfus: A Roman name!
    Narrator: Hariulfus prepared to march on Rome! However, Uxellodunum was far from the city. With this in mind, he called upon the greatest gods that the barbarians had ever known- the divine twins Asterix and Obelix!
    Hariulfus: Oh Asterix and Obelix, grace your faithful barbarian horde with the power to march on Rome this very night!
    Narrator: However, a twist in the plot! The divine Asterix, ever wily, had just remembered that Hariulfus had forgotten to sacrifice wild boars on his altar the last major barbarian holiday!
    Asterix: Obelix tried to eat me...
    Narrator: Asterix spoke for the two of them, for Obelix was off terrorizing the local Wild Boar Petting Zoo.
    Asterix: Say a dozen Hail Mary's and do twenty push-ups. Then click your heels together and say "There's no place like home!" You will find yourselves in Rome itself!
    Narrator: This the barbarian horde did well, and when they opened their eyes again, they found themselves in a park filled with trees. This really confuzzled them, since they thought the Romans just created wastelands and called them peace:hmmm:
    The keen eyes of one of the Gaesetae (those pills do wonders, btw) spotted a sign...

    WELCOME TO ROME, NEW YORK:
    TREE CITY OF THE USA!
    Hariulfus realized he had been tricked!
    Hariulfus: Rape! Pillage! Burn!
    Narrator: Carried off by all this pillaging, burning, and a handy Red Bull van nearby, the barbarian horde found itself at the shores of Manhattan itself!
    However, the bodies of the barbarians, not being used to the stress accompanied by heavily caffeinated drinks, began to feel strange.
    Barbarian Axeman 1: I'm getting bigger!
    Barbarian Axeman 2: Anyone wanna switch places with me?
    Narrator: Soon the barbarians found themselves towering over the river. they strode over with ease and completely destroyed New York City!
    Gaesetae: YAARGH I see green...KILL ROMAN BRUTII!!!
    Narrator: No more statue of liberty. And all because of the fatal misnaming of the city of Rome, New York.


    Entrant 4 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Last Day The Miniature Earth Stood Still

    Andre had worked sooooo hard to build his miniature world. With the bustling sounds of a metropolitan. The robot humans are working so humanly. The cops have their own minds to chase the burglars and such. The graphic skies are worked so perfectly into perfection. The Statue of Liberty can also be founded there.

    But, all his happiness and hard work may come to an end......................

    Andre had tried to invent a miniature world Roman Age museum. His first experiments are the Gaesatae. It's his first try inventing something with completely with different mind set. What he set the bot mind is : (Note that the bolded ones are the settings he used.)

    Agressiveness : Low/Average/High/VeryHigh/Brutal
    Power : Weak/Average/Strong/Powerful/Deity
    Size : Small/Average/Big/Godlike Size!
    Attitude : Overly Polite/Polite/Average/Rude/Bossie

    All is going well to his wish until a friend banged up the doors. As mentioned above he forgot to set the size of the new Barbarian Robots. Plus his mouse is just over there pointing to the word 'Godlike Size!'. Apparently, Trojan Viruses and Spywares infected his computer. And so decided to make a 'click' on it. Without caution, Andre keeps talking to his friend. Until finally the new scene of his miniature world is......

    Andre : !!!!!! I forgot this!! Now what I'm going to do with this new piece of ***T?!?!?! AS*****!!!!! Man, Yesterday I told you I'm utterly busy! Why you still come here?
    Friend : Sorry dude............
    Andre : Sorry is not always the right answer! Look at my new ****ING miniatures. Now what are you going to do with it???!!!??!!?


    The Liberty Statue is destroyed!!!! NOO!!!!!!!!! With it follows the town, and the giants strangely gets bigger and bigger. And finally as big as a true human size............
    While Andre tries to decrease their size using the computer, which, unfortunatelt hacked by a trojan virus. Including spyware, which in turn manipulates the command line to increase their size even bigger. With it razed all hopes and hard work of Andre at his grand miniature project.....


    Entrant 4 - Theodotos I
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    End of All Dreams

    2084. The end of all dreams. That it would end like this—apocalypse. Smoke broils upward from the red-hot ruins of a thousand buildings in a city once teeming with life. With dreams.
    In the harbor stands a lady, once the symbol of compassionate imperialism, now beheaded and dismembered, smoldering.
    Giants, awakened from their slumber in Earth's long-ago past, now rampage through the streets, killing weapons in their hands. The city's defenders are dead or dying, as all who resisted their might. Those still alive would be better off dead than in the hands of the conquerors.
    Lo! A dot appears in the western sky, out of the clouds. A helicopter, an old AH-64 Apache from the Gulf War-era, a relic as antiquated as a biplane. And as futile. Multibillion-dollar airbases were destroyed in the path of the giants only days previous. Whoever the man, whatever his mission, his craft is a museum piece—not a fighting machine.
    The chopper swoops low over the city, its pilot fighting the fiery updrafts billowing up out of the steel canyons below, fire-fed winds carrying the stench of death with them.
    Search and destroy. It is the only thing that comes to mind as the helicopter sweeps purposefully over the ruins below, searching, its twin pylons armed to the teeth with rockets. More antiques. Useless in this apocalypse.
    Is anything useless in the hands of a determined man?
    The giants don't even bother looking up at its approach. It is of no more concern to them than the passing fly.
    Inside the tiny cockpit, pinned in by the cumbersome weight of 20th-Century technology, the pilot squeezes the trigger, his face impassive as a giant looms in his reticle sight. Perhaps his loved ones are dead in the carnage below. Perhaps they are imprisoned. Perhaps. . .His story will never be told.
    The first salvo of the rockets catches one of the giants in the throat, tossing him backward, crushing a skyscraper in his fall.
    Shocked, dumfounded by the intrustion, the giants are slow to react, and another falls in the interim. But then—then one of them lifts himself up, thundering a brute cry of challenge, his war axe swinging through the air.
    The edge collides with the Apache, slicing through the thin airframe. The grinding of metal on metal, the ancient helicopter torn in two, fluttering sickeningly to the ground, like a wounded butterly. Consumed in the inferno below.
    A pyre. The city a funeral pyre for its last defender. End of all dreams. Requiem. . .


    Entrant 7 - Juvenal
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    Blockbuster

    Guy Juliano, the celebrated Auteur, stood in his control centre atop the Statue of Liberty, face eerily lit by the banks of consoles, with bundles of power and control cables underfoot snaking across every flat surface.

    From here, the Manhattan skyline seemed like the wings of a stage, making the city look like a model of itself, the kind that used to be demolished in dire Japanese monster films by actors in rubber dinosaur costumes.

    Guy had already tried every trick he knew to shock film-audiences out of their detachment. Fast-cutting, jarringly juxtaposed bright/dark quiet/loud sequences, even hired-agents to sow panic in theatres with elaborate stunts. Anything to force his viewers to engage with his art, to feel part of it rather than be mere observers.

    This was to be his Masterpiece, a battle so real that people would be completely overawed by it. Special projection smoke began rising between the buildings of the city in time with the scream of power from the banks of holographic and 3D-sound projectors lining Liberty Island.

    Guy gave the signal, and the Battle of Alesia sprang into life all over the city. Gigantic warriors strode between the buildings, dodging, hacking, screaming with triumph or agony.

    With satisfaction, Guy noted people running to escape a huge figure toppling toward them in its death throes. Yes, it was perfect!

    He was so engrossed that he failed to notice that the increasing vibration of the projection equipment until his teeth started to chatter. There seemed to be more smoke than he remembered from the previews, although it was hard now to distinguish between projection and city,

    Then he saw the reason, as the paths of two warriors crossed he saw the corner of the building at their focus crumble away. Aghast, he realised that the extra sound projectors added at the last minute, to cater for the larger than expected crowds, must have tipped the balance, and that his art was literally destroying the city!

    Guy lurched toward the emergency cut-off switch, but the control centre was vibrating so hard that he was thrown to the deck. He was still trying to get up when the whole upper section of the Statue of Liberty dissolved into a cloud of green and russet confetti which fell delicately about her feet as the buildings of the city slowly shook themselves to pieces.



    TotW 22 - A Bad Omen
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    Winner - Theodotos I
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    Valley of the Shadow

    Darkness. The valley of the shadow of death. I glanced nervously up at the looming cliffs as we rode through the canyon, my hand nervously going to the sword girt at my waist. How different this was from the rolling meadows of my native France.
    The contingent of Turkopoles at my back seemed unconcerned by their surroundings, their bows slung over the saddle of their light horses.
    Just five more miles. We were returning to the main body of Crusaders from a foraging expedition. The camp wasn't far.
    The sky above was dark and threatening, ink-black clouds rolling across the face of the earth. Sunlight streamed from a few faint cracks in the blackness, the last frail efforts before nightfall.
    Without warning, a cry went up from one of my men, a cry of alarm and fear, quickly spreading through the column. I wheeled my horse sharply, the sudden jerk on the reins causing him to rear, his hooves pawing the air for a moment in time.
    “What is it, Subawi?” I demanded, my interpreter riding up beside me at that very moment. His face was pale as the morning mist, a look of fear in his eyes.
    “It is the bird, my lord. The bird of death.”
    I looked, my eyes following his pointing finger. There, silhouetted by the final rays of the sun, circling over the canyon and our strung-out column, was the form of an eagle, a vulture hovering low as if in anticipation of its next meal. Le oiseau de mort. The bird of death. As the interpreter had said. Hair rose on the back of my neck as I remembered the priest's words on the last Sabbath day. “For wheresoever the carcass is, there shall the eagles be gathered together. . .”
    The words of our Lord.
    One of my Turkopoles drew his bow suddenly from off his saddle, fitting an arrow onto the string, firing in one smooth motion. The arrow ascended, twisting, through the air, its course straight and true. I watched breathlessly as it connected with the vulture, piercing the bird through the breast. A shriek of agony rent the valley, seeming almost human in its intensity as the vulture fell from the heavens. I spurred my horse forward, intending to congratulate the man on his marksmanship, but the look on Subawi's face stopped me.
    “It was an omen, my lord,” he stated, answering my unspoken question. His voice trembled. “We are all marked now. We are going to die.”
    I started to reply, but at that moment I caught movement on the cliffs above us. I turned in my saddle, fear rising within me. He was right. . .


    Entrant 1 - Manoflooks
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    As the crow flies


    It wasn't meant to be like this. Our once mighy army, with it's powerful Janissaries, had been poised to deal Christendom a powerful blow. Our army struck Vienna, our victory assured, but somehow, some way, we were turned back. And so us few survivors fled back to Istanbul, carving a path. Our horses were swift, our blades long, our arrows sharp, but all this came to no avail. We were forced to go through a narrow mountain passage, a dark place where we knew death awaited. Yet still, we hoped against hope that some way, somehow, we would survive this horror.
    But even as the end of the passage came in sight, they came. They came by the thousands, tens of thousands. It made me proud that they sent such numbers for our small band, but not nearly enough to quench the terror in my heart. It terrified me.
    They lined the exit with stakes, the walls with crossbows, and the path with their men. Our band came together, and we prayed to the one God. We prayed that He would join his strength with ours, and give us to strength to retreat to Turkey. Even as we prayed, we strung our bows, and a new strength surged through us, and we knew that He was with us.
    But then it came. Far in the distance a black crow, an agent of terror, came for us.
    It flew slowly, and finally stopped unnaturally, simply hovering in the air above us.
    At last, I could stand it no longer. I bent the bow, and an arrow shot up to meet the bird. The crow fell, dead, but we knew it was no use. We were doomed. But we weren't dead. Not yet.
    Dropping my bow, I raised my sword and, with the cry "Allah akabar!" I charged. My companions followed me, and we became one, stronger together than apart.
    The twang of the crossbows came, and the first one spun me from my seat. Gripping the bolt, I tore it out. And staggered towards the enemies.
    Twang. Another bolt ripped into me, and although I was hurt, I kept going, the power of God in me.
    Twang. A third bolt ripped into me, entering my heart. I was dead. I knew it. But I kept going, coughing blood, until I could take it no longer and fell to the ground.
    Dead.


    Entrant 2 - Pontifex Maximus
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    Rocks, Wind, and Moisture

    The roots of the mountain. The location was not ideal, but this is what happens when you let the enemy pick the field. Only two men may walk abreast on the pass, and more than one man had lost his footing and fallen screaming to the ground, silenced by a muffled crunch of his armor as he met the ground. In the rush of retreat,it shouldn't be surprising that a few or more wouldn't lose their lives in this way. A majority of the dead already lay hewn in the valley below.

    Peculiar, but it seemed to some that the sky had changed color since the end of the battle. What's more, no carrion birds could be seen, but a lone eagle soared overhead silhouetted against the red, raging sky. Its scream was magnified by the mountain itself, and the noise was lonely and terrifying. Lightning licked the sky over the men, when suddenly, in a blinding flash of orange and blue, it struck a tree. At this point, even the victors, who had been dancing in the valley below, stopped and looked upward. Suddenly, in waves immeasurable, the skies opened and water poured from it as if someone had punctured the clouds with a spear.

    Scrambling onto the scraggy cliffs above the valley, the bruised soldiers of the unsuccessful army watched as a torrent of water rushed from higher in the valley towards the victors. How could this be- a flash flood? The bodies of the dead floated at first, but as the water increased dramatically as seconds ticked by, they soon became part of the current and sank in their armor. Panic struck the army still in the valley. Many struggled to stay above water as their armor weighed them down. Others scrambled like rats to get to higher ground, where many a time an arrow sent from above stopped their advance.

    Mother nature had once again shaped the outcome of human venture.


    Entrant 3 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Valley of Death

    On a stormy night, the adventurers set out for a journey where it has been impossible for others to do. The Valley of Death. The Valley which has eaten so many lives, reminds Narses of the scene, where his father dies fallen from a mountain right in front of his eyes. Ah, the traumatic scene is still clear in the deepest part of his mind.

    Once upon a very cloudy day, the adventurers embarked on their journey passing throught the Valley of Death, with the beliefs that there is a valuable treasure somewhere deep within this Valley.

    For a moment, life seems empty in places as barren as this, until finally they heard the sound of the flying crow. Then they realized, there is a source of living somewhere around here! Desperate searching for that source, they traveled deeper inside, not realizing what was on their backs....

    Narses stopped for a while, along with their friends and horses. Sensing something, something which seems to be able to threaten their lives. Spoke : "What was beyond here?". Hearing this, the only replies that come is : "Something... unpredictable?". Narses is confused, and so does his friends. What was beyond this Valley? Treasures? Dangers? Happiness? Eternal Life? Death?

    Nobody knows.......... Finally during the night have they realized something. It was an exploration party! They have been following our adventurers all day long! Seeing a figure high on the Valley, Narses once again remembers the memory. Heavy, what can he do? Running away as fast as possible while scaring the enemies by shooting arrows. As far as he go. The Valley seems to be endless, as though there is no way out and no way inside again. Desperation and sweat now clouds his mind. For once he looked on to the black sky, remembering his family that has passed away before him, maybe he is prepared to join them....

    Dead or Alive? Nobody knows for no information is ever being leaked out. As the rumors are true, nobody escapes this place alive. But what happened to the exploration party? Are they also dead? It may be another story....


    Entrant 4 - Elendil of Númenor
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    He will have his way

    The King frowned as two of his soldiers brought in a priest he captured last night, when he burned down one of the enemy's temples. Before he could even open his mouth, the priest cried loudly.
    'You! Do you think robbing us is a great - aaargh!' he was cut short as he was kicked hard by one of the soldiers. The King, however, nodded to them, to let the old man continue.
    'God will punish you for everything!'
    'Oh yes? I have won too many great victories, and survived too many plagues, to think that your... God wants to... punish me.' spat the King.
    'The Lord will find a way. He always does.'
    Eventually the King lost pleasure in the parley, and nodded to his guards to take the old man away, who still shouted over his shoulder.
    'The Lord will have his way! He always does!'
    The King then sat back in his chair, humming to himself, faintly glimpsing a black shadow of a bird outside the window...

    ...A year later...

    Battle was raging at the far side of the canyon and the King was trapped. Ahead of him the enemy army has met with his forces, behind him he could see the glitter of their banners edging ever closer to the mouth of the canyon. His campaign didn't go well at all since he robbed that temple a year ago... And as the King looked up, there it was. Black against the fiery sky, a huge winged creature.
    The King spurred his horse forward madly, his heart filled with murder. He had enough. That bird had been following him for a year now, and he didn't have the smallest bit of luck, since. He grabbed his bow, fitted arrow to string, and fired the shot at the creature. The arrow hit the bird in the chest. The body fell right on the branch of a dead tree. The branch broke, and hit the side of the canyon. Suddenly a huge bolder came hurtling down, right towards the King. White with terror, he pulled the reigns, but the horse would no longer move. Horse and King both stood there, stoned as the boulder whirled at them. CRASH.

    As the darkness closed in around him, the King could still hear a fateful whisper.
    'He will have his way. He always does.


    Entrant 5 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    REGRET

    The tiny Israeli Defense Force had acquired many trophies in this war, but in the end it was their lack of resources that had sealed the ultimate fate of their campaign.

    Christian support had turned out to be mainly verbal. They spoke of great offensives and of the money and manpower they were expecting at any moment from their governments, and yet they stubbornly remained in their fortified areas, leaving the Jews with the bulk of the fighting. The problem was that the Moslems, even disunited as they were, were just too strong.

    David ben Solomon (a name he had chosen to show his patriotic fervour) was returning from the raid on Gaza with his few ragged survivors. It had been intended to distract the Moslems from a combined Jewish/Christian assault on Jerusalem, but the Christians had failed to show up, their fragile alliance probably broken again by the rivalry of their home countries. The assault was abandoned and the sacrifice of David’s force had been in vain.

    Now David’s men were almost home, soon they would be safe in their mountain fastnesses of old Israel. The welcoming cliffs of the Bekar valley and the sight and smell of the cypresses brought a warm glow to David’s heart.

    But then, as he chanced to look back, he saw the vulture. A sudden chill washed through his body. Looking down he now saw the Moslem soldiers lining the valley sides.

    David spurred his horse into a trot and directed his men to lay down suppressing fire which might allow his troop to evade their pursuers. For a short time he believed they might escape, but then enemy Ghulams appeared ahead of him and he knew that this was going to be the end.

    Even as he ordered the final suicidal charge, he still had time to regret that the founding of the New Israel was going to have to wait for a future age.



    TotW 23 - A Crazy General
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    Winner - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    AMBITION


    Quintus Macrinus was a career soldier, Primus Pilus after twenty years service in the legion (the highest possible rank for a plebian). He had fought more battles than he could remember, so many that he could no longer account for all his wounds.


    Now the Empire was going to wrack and ruin with yet another pretender trying his luck against the Emperor. Quintus felt that there was something faintly unclean about having to fight other Romans, wishing fervently that the common soldiers would just throw off these pallid in-bred drooling cretins the Patrician class was serving up as officers these days and elect commanders from the ranks. Men of experience, men of skill, men who had proved their worth... in fact, men like Quintus himself.


    He sighed with despair. His new Tribune was energetic enough, but had a head stuffed with stupid stories of heroism and glory where battles were won by noble gestures rather than the application of intelligence and caution. He was darkly certain the idiot would get them killed in a manner likely to be celebrated by poets down the ages.


    After a series of costly skirmishes, Quintus decided to take matters into his own hands. The Tribune was already widely known to be erratic and given to rash impulses, so Quintus began adding a subtle poison to his wine to amplify this mood and hopefully lead to a fatal misjudgement.


    Then the Rebels attacked in force and Quintus and his men found themselves sorely pressed, crouching behind shields while a fusillade of pila fell amongst them before the enemy charge. From his position behind the Tribune, he saw the man start twitching and quivering with uncontrollable urges. Knowing that a foolhardy, and hopefully suicidal, act was about to take place, he quickly reached forward to unbuckle the Tribune's cuirass – just to make sure.


    Unfortunately the Tribune chose that moment to rush forward screaming some battle quote of the ancients, with Quintus, thumbs trapped in the Tribune's straps, drawn into involuntary pursuit.


    As it happened, the Rebels were defeated that day and Legionaries found the bodies of Quintus and his Tribune surrounded by enemy corpses.


    Ironically, their posthumous fame grew so great that Quintus was immortalised in legend as the Loyal Soldier, his contentment with his subordinate rôle and eagerness to sacrifice himself to protect his betters drummed into generations of recruits for centuries to come.


    Entrant 1 - bomberboy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Crazy General


    The Hun's cavalry galloped forward eying the tasty Roman Legionaries blood to fill their bloodlust.
    The frightened Soldiers formed a spear wall the front ranks p!ss!ing themselves behind their sheilds.

    General Lucius seeing his men, cold, wetting themselves and just being well...human! His brain said hold postion, his body. Charge the bastards!
    He turned to the men. "Men! Today is our final hour these hun's don't know what its like to taste Roman steel well now they'll taste it!"
    The men let out a rather manly cheer.

    "Today we serve them our steel, now we charge!"
    The men cheered and then stopped. "What do you mean charge, sir!" complained Gaius. his right hand man. "We charge!" They thought he was bannana's.
    "No I can't do it!" shouted a lowly recruit.
    "Die coward!" Lucius slashed the mans head off and then began to charge. "Don't do it!" cried Gaius grabbing hold of Lucius' cape. "Get off me scum!" he screamed.

    After all the commotion Lucius was about to give Gaius a stab he won't forget when the cavalry arrived.

    "OH SHI-"

    The end



    Entrant 2 - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Why?

    Day was fleeing away, swift as the wings of an eagle, and with it the last hopes of the legionaries. The grass of the Teutonic forest was slippery with their blood, stained with that of their foes. They had killed, killed, and kept on killing till their arms ached, till their hands cleft to the hilt of the gladius. Mounds of bodies surrounded their ever-shrinking line, as the hard-pressed soldiers pulled back and regrouped again and again.
    Yet still the barbarians came, throwing themselves upon the frail line. Their pilum were exhausted, their swords crimson. Cornelius glanced upward, measuring the daylight left as its rays filtered through the thick canopy of trees. Darkness would soon fall, and they with it. Something must be done and quickly. The centurion's eyes swept the line, forcing himself not to look at the dead sprinkled obscenely across the ground in piles and heaps, bodies left in the rigor of death. He would join them soon—unless. . .
    Thirty years' experience serving the empire across the battlefields of Gaul, Dacia, and Judea were not lost to him now. His mind flitted back across the years. Another time, another day. Blood and fire. Death. What had worked once might work once again. Fate issues no guarantees, but something must be done, by Jupiter!
    His hands were sweaty, the gladius feeling as though it were a permanent attachment to the end of his hand. This was it, he thought as he raised his voice, calling to his century to follow him, his sword lifted high toward heaven. A standard to follow.
    The barbarians wavered as he charged down upon them, blood-red gladius in hand. One of them stabbed toward him with a spear, the tip glancing off the scales of his armor. He turned on heel, thrusting quickly, his sword entering the man's body between the ribs. The man screamed, his eyes glassing over, his body crumpling to the ground as the centurion withdrew his blade.
    Pain shot through his left shoulder as an ax fell upon his armor. He half-turned, realizing that his men had not followed. He was alone. Why?
    Had they not seen? Had they not heard? Had they been too frightened to follow? The answer mattered not. He was alone, and alone he would die.
    He swung the blade around, disemboweling his attacker, but the weight on their rush bore him to the ground. He looked up, seeing a sword descending toward him. It was the last sight his eyes would ever see, death closing over him as a blanket. Death. His lips forming the eternal question moments before they were stilled forever. Why?


    Entrant 3 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    This Is The End, Secundus!

    It was a scary day, as clouds have blocked the sunshines and mists have fogged the land. Absolute fear has made her presence deep within the heart of the Roman scouts sent on an expedition to scour the forests to identify the whereabouts of the Germanic Army.

    The unfortunate commander whose (also) unfortunate squad sent to this dreaded expedition is none other than Secundus. One who has a cowardly attitude that failed to rejoice the sore sights of the Roman Army. The Senate is rumored to love ditching him because his life is no more longer useful now. But so far, none of their attempts failed to bring him down.

    So with their George.W Bush-like speech, they forced Secundus to the forest. Waiting for his death.......

    In this creepy forest, which seemed to have no signs of life at all. In utter fear the Romans searched the forests one by one. Looking for some figures taller than the dwarves they are. Thoughts are only filled with blood, axes, and last but not least. Death.


    And suddenly.......

    This is the End!!!

    A German guy thrown a shoe to a legionary, accompanied by arrows shot down four of the scouts. Only now they have time to prepare for the onslaught. Ah, the sights of blood and the loss of the loved one seems to be unbearable. Lost in his thoughts, Secundus only shouted the usual Roman speech. Calling the ambushers Nazis. (Sorry should I insult you)

    Gaius, enraged. Soon left the lines and stabbed Secundus in the back. Saying up with voices that raises right from the throat to the mouth :


    This Is The End, Secundus!

    It was a hard one as it struck his neck. "ARRGHHHHHHH!!!!" Are the last words that come out of Secundus' mouth.

    He don't know the word Nazi, probably since Hitler wasn't born yet and Secundus maybe just hurling out random words. Ahhhh..... Stupid Gaius. Just then, the second shoe is thrown at him, which Gaius in his George Bush style managed to dodge it.


    And the last words he screams are :

    THIS IS ROMA!!!!!!!!!



    Entrant 4 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Breakdown of Command

    "That dog killed Decius! He killed my brother!"
    "Sir, you can't go out there! Stay in formation!" As the Optio tried to hold back his commanding officer, a spear, thrown from an unknown warrior across the field, Punched through the Centurion's neck and through him into the Optio's chest. The centurion died within seconds, but the second officer was left lying on the ground, gasping and spitting up his lifeblood as he slowly suffocated with the tip of the spear lodged between his ribs into the soft meat of his lung. As the blood of the two men amalgamated and congealed, the Optio's eyes slowly glazed over and the blood surrounding the corners of his mouth dribbled onto the ground.

    Meanwhile the rest of the rank was in dissaray, having lost two men of authority within seconds, the command broke down in the Centuria. Their position in the line began to waver, and had Decimus, an optio stationed on the left flank, not taken over, the results could have been disastrous.

    The enemy was closing in about the flank, and Decimus sensed this. Urging his tentmates into the fray he rallied his fellow soldiers to push back.

    Scanning the field,Praefectus Castrorum noticed the faltering flank. "Gaius, see that over there? We better throw in a second cohort to hold that line."

    Gaius surveyed the situation. As Legatus, his decision was final. "Yes Marcus, send the order through."

    With a nod Marcus motioned to the Cornicen to send in Cohort IV. Four short blasts followed by two longer sounds.

    The Princeps Prior of Cohort IV went rigid as he heard the blasts. His subordinates rushed to position and the Cohort thundered into a jog as they closed with the enemy on the left flank. The men of the battered cohort were encouraged by the shouts of their comrades in the back and hope once again made them confident.
    ----------
    The breakdown of command was vital to Roman military success. Flexibility in the ranks aided in both maneuvering and instruction of the troops. Without the organization that characterized the legion, it is doubtful the Roman military machine would have been able to triumph over the unorganized yet fierce tribes that surrounded them.


    Entrant 5 - molls
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Barbarians

    Our cohort was dispatched to assemble at a Roman manor not far away on the outer side of the Hadrian’s Wall, but already in enemy territory.

    The barbarian warbands and fanatical woad warriors had recently shown aggressive behaviour and threatened the safety of Roman civilians and noblemen, who had been granted a piece of land in this area – between the Wall and the Highlands.

    We learned that the inhabitants of the manor were no one else than M. Publius Lutar and his family, a highly decorated Roman General who gained his fame with outstanding performance in Gaul -
    And he was going to command us against the new threat.

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


    After having patrolled far from the Hadrian's Wall for weeks, we finally ran into their trap, yes, but being barbarians they were far too noisy to stay undetected, alas we were able to form a battle line and shieldwall just in time.

    - I’m holding my Scutum firmly, my comrades to the left and right stood in their position.
    The barbarians had gained a few lucky shots at the beginning but now they are holding back, staring uneasily at our wall of steel that was repelling all wild but futile efforts.

    Glancing over the top edge of my shield, movement in the enemy lines becomes visible.

    A struggling woman with a tattered tunic and a small boy are pushed in front of the huge bearded monster who was commanding the barbarians.


    What do they expect? We Legionaries are disciplined, not easily tempted. Our line stays quiet,
    not a single word. Only a single gasp somewhere rightwards.


    The bearded monster slowly closes up to the woman’s back, his huge hands slipping under her tunica,
    gliding on her voluptuous body.

    The hysterical cries for help are not reflected by our shields.

    The monster pushes her down, rips off her clothes, completely exposing her pure skin – she is close to fainting.


    Not a single word, not a single sound from us Legionaries.

    Suddenly there is movement in our line. A crash of metal –
    Do my eyes deceive me?


    “Antoniaaa!!”


    Our General, M. Publius Lutar is running towards the monster, sword unleashed-
    The second in command, C. Marcus, tries to catch him, looses his grip on Publius Lutar’s shoulder,
    stumbles to the ground.

    Javelins violently crushing through steel, bone and flesh, nailing Lutar down-

    Two blinks later- C. Marcus’ foot is pierced by an arrow, stopping his attempt to reach the safety of our lines, his back being peppered with missiles.. our trusted second.


    Barbarians?
    Who am I to call

    them

    dumb
    ignorant
    barbarians?


    We are facing a most cunning opponent who had successfully tricked, exposed and finally beheaded our cohort.


    Entrant 6 - Elendil of Númenor
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Traitor who was betrayed



    Days have past since the Legion routed the rebels. The Roman column was marching down the forest road, Emperor Crassus riding at the front. Next to him walked his legate, Sextus.
    'You have dealt with the rebels beautifully' Sextus was saying.
    'Are you sure they won't regroup?' asked the Emperor.
    'Definitely.'

    Meanwhile the column emerged from the forest, and they could see a small hill. It's top was burning with a red glow as the sun was climbing ever higher behind it. And as the army started marching uphill, the sun's rays burst out. No longer did the hill burn red. It was lined with the black outlines of soldiers. Roman soldiers. Bearing the emblem of the Rebellion. Thousands of them. And in the front stood General Quintus, leader of the Rebellion.

    Before Crassus could react, a hailstorm of arrows and pila rained on the Legion. The Emperor, after his horse was shot out from under him, ordered the army to form a line and a shield wall. Panic spread through the men after the second volley landed, taking hundreds of Romans to Death's welcoming arms. After the third hail, the two armies clashed. Crassus however leaped forward with his men cheering at his back, and ran towards Quintus. But before he could take more than a few steps, Sextus grabbed his cape.
    'What in the gods' name are you doing' Crassus asked wildly.
    'I will not let you kill my...'
    'Your?'
    'My brother.'
    'Quintus is your brother?' but without waiting for the reply, Crassus slashed at his legate with his sword. Sextus ducked, and drove his own blade through the Emperor's heart.

    After a terrible battle, Quintus emerged victorious, his men massacring every last enemy.
    Sextus walked up to Quintus on the blood-soaked field.
    'I ask for my reward.'
    'Your reward?'
    After the elder brother still didn't think that Sextus deserved any reward, Sextus yelled at Quintus. 'I will condemn you! Accuse you before the Senate and People of Rome for the murder of the Emperor!
    Quintus walked up to his brother, so close that their faces were bare inches apart. He whispered quietly.
    'I am the Emperor.'
    At the same moment Sextus could feel the pierce of a gladius stabbed in his back. And another. And another. Hearing his blood splash to the ground, the traitor, who was betrayed closed his eyes and saw no more.


    Entrant 7 - Manoflooks
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Folly



    "I dare you to cross this line."

    As Lucius watched, the barbarian commander came up and bellowed those words to the Romans, drawing a line in the mud between the two armies. The barbarian watched Lucius, taunting him. As Lucius remained still, he laughed, saying "Or are you a weakling?"

    Lucius, the commander of the 14th Germanica, started quivering in rage. No one had ever insulted his honor and gotten away with it. He would kill this beast, he knew, but if he left the rank, what would his men do? Would they follow him? Would they run? But worse yet, what would happen if he let the insult go unnoticed? The tale of Lucius's courage would become something for the tavern men to laugh about.

    "Men! Form a shield wall!" As he shouted the order, he stepped to the side of his rank, unsheathing his gladius. His subordinate notice his movements, but moved to bring him back a fraction too late. Lucius was away.

    "You! Barbarian! I challenge you to single combat!"
    The barbarian looked, and watched him, a smile curling at his lips.
    "Ha! You expect to win?"He sneered."So be it." He raised his hand, as if to salute his opponent as he walked towards him.
    And dropped it.

    Instantly, arrows shot out from the archers. They struck down the legionaries, and the blood poured.
    The tale of Lucius's folly, a story of how the commander died to a barbarian's trick, was sung in tavern's around the Roman world, and his legacy remained.



    TotW 24 - Through a rain swept street
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    Picture Unavailable

    Winner - Juvenal
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    W.M.D.

    A small outpost once guarded a vital route into the heart of the County of Tripoli, last bastion of Crusader power in the Levant. The garrison were grizzled and experienced men, having seen off five attempts to force the pass this last year.

    This place played well to the strengths of the Crusaders, the pass narrow and rocky and the outpost dominating it completely. Moslem mobility was of no avail in such cramped confines, and Christian crossbows on the parapets could penetrate even good armour while remaining immune to counter fire. But despite their many defeats, the Moslems, driven by the imperative of Jihad, kept on returning.

    It was late afternoon with a terrible lightning storm raging when a wet bedraggled sentry spotted movement in the pass below. The garrison hastily turned out to man the walls.

    A large enemy force formed just out of crossbow range. A strange horseman made his way to the front rank, man and horse both covered with banded armour and shod with shiny black boots. A line rose from the man's saddle straight into the roiling clouds overhead, its end lost to view.

    The defenders marvelled briefly at this, but soon turned their attention to trying to unseat the horseman as he cantered up to the gatehouse. The armour must have been very thick because the bolts bounced off. Arriving at the gate, the horseman took out a long whip and struck at it.

    Unaccountably, the gate suddenly exploded into splinters and the gatehouse collapsed around it. While the defenders reeled with shock, the enemy main force ran up the slope and poured in through the gap.

    Undeterred, the Crusader commander gathered his men into line facing the oncoming mass, confident that this rabble would soon be dispatched by his veterans.

    The lone horseman led the Moslem charge against the braced halberds of the Crusaders, but then he stopped short and the whip came down once more. A blinding flash of light passed from man to man, flinging burned and blackened corpses to the ground with an ear-splitting crack of thunder and the stink of ozone.

    Omar ibn Jahman Fran Kahlinn pushed up his visor and surveyed the captured fort. Satisfied, he reeled in the line connecting him to heaven using a small winch, stowed its attached kite, and went to see what provisions these foreign devils might have for a hungry pious musulman.


    Entrant 1 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Touche

    The doom befalling the Islamic Army is no longer in the vicinity of sights. If astronomic research can at least prove that. But all that are just words thrown out by the commander of the Islamic Army in an effort to rejoice the men from the brutal defense against the Crusaders. He is David. After saying this, he bids for forgivement by Allah.

    In the countdown of three days when it is predicted that the Crusaders would set their steps at Babylon. The Muslims all prayed for safety in the Mosques. David has a hunch, he knows prayers alone won't help them from something inevitable. For a moment he thought, even Allah cannot prevent death. The only thing he is able to do is setting up palisades so the Muslims have enough momentum to shoot the Crusaders with their bows and crossbows enough to at least, deter the Crusaders.

    The Crusaders, on the other hand. Are not commanded by somebody as wise as David. He is a coward, Indecisive, weak. He is Joshua. Defenseless as he is, he commands without leadership, and so have encountered massive casualties throughout the Crusade.

    David, for a moment again thought of plans as good as possible to prevent the death of thousands. He sought a way where and when everyone can have a peaceful Earth. As being taught in the ways of Allah. He tried the diplomatic way. But the messenger is now nowhere to be found. At last, he realized that One cannot Earth two masters. Nor Earth people with different beliefs at once. Now he must resort to blood. It is pain that he must do this, no matter what the cost.

    The Siege Day, Thunder has befallen the Earth. As all forecasts never said about rain in the last 6 months. David and his men thought this is a gift from Allah to his worshippers. Soon the morale of the Muslims increase rapidly. As if they had wanted to fight to the death. At long last Allah has granted them his holy powers. Perhaps the truly religious are the ones allowed to live long. As the thunder, accompanied with arrows struck down every Christians on the vicinity of the Muslims.

    For a time he has forgot that some have potentials to be turncoats. The traitors are soon brought down the the ambushing Islamic Spearmen, who are lying in wait just in case this happens.

    After the glorious battle, David whispers something that can be heard by the inhabitants of Babylon :
    "Touche."

    Nobody knows what this had meant to him. But who cares, as long as they are safe with David's protection they are happy to have him in this town.



    Entrant 2 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    That Just Happened


    Abdul almost wept as he surveyed the field from over the wall. The Crusaders had amassed in huge numbers, and their most fanatical warriors were making ready to attack the walls. As the downhearted commander looked to either side, he was forced to face the brutal reality that death was near. The 'troops' he was forced to levy were little more than boys or old men armed with whatever heirlooms they could get their hands on. But there were all he had.

    Abdul positioned himself in a tower, he was a renown shot with the bow and would better serve the beginning of the battle in such a tower. The initial assault came, the Crusaders brought with them a ram of the most immense size any of them had seen. Although out of range, some of the inexperienced archers shot off arrows that fell pathetically short. Abdul waited several seconds in his tower. He then lifted his bow and shot a single arrow. He saw the unarmored pilgrim go down. Soon the rest of his levies followed in loosing arrows and many of the pilgrims met their doom.

    The Christians brought up heavily armored infantry to finish the trek to the walls, and before long the ram was hitting the gate with a thunderous roar. Fewer of the Crusaders were killed from arrows, as the armored soldiers were predominantly up front.

    Bolts from crossbows peppered the defenders and many young men were felled with nothing but black feathers marking the entrance of the bolts. Abdul ran from the tower and mounted his horse, readying his guardsmen to defend the gate, which was seconds away from being breached.

    When the gate fell, the crusaders gave a cheer and rushed the gates. None could withstand their broadswords and Abdul's men were pushed back and many died. The most elite of the Crusaders were coming through the gate, when suddenly a bright flash blinded every combatant, and a monstrous crack, as if from a whip, was heard. The sound was so deafening the screams of the crusaders could barely be heard. Their armor conducted the current from man to man and soon almost every armored Christian lay dead upon the field.

    Abdul could barely believe what had just taken place. He had been saved by some astronomical feat, or could it have been the will of Allah..?


    Entrant 3 - bomberboy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    All Hope

    The Moors were beginning to break. After thirty minutes of continuous fighting exhausted them to the point where they couldn’t stand. But still they fight. Still they hang on for whatever reason. Their general stood back, all his men were out there but he wasn’t. He stood back like a coward not directing but sending in the worthless peasants into the bloodbath. Fear was going through his mind, fear of being tortured being executed or scarred for life. The lightening tore the sky asunder as the pointless battle was drawing nearer to a close. The General wished he were back home safe and sound with his family. As he thought about these things he ordered more peasants into the fray. These looked unwilling to risk their lives for God and country, but with a threat he easily got them “motivated”. They jogged in a futile attempt to win this fight, but then.



    The men had finally given up breaking up they desperately attempted to withdraw. The Generals horse reared upwards, plummeting to the ground and partially trampled by his fleeing horse. He lay there all alone, crippled and looking like a corpse watching “soldiers” running for their pitiful lives. As he muttered a prayer the sword punctured his stomach and twisted, he felt nothing. As he had lost all hope.


    Entrant 4 - Theodotos I
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    Irony

    Lightning rent the clouds in twain, forked shafts piercing down through the darkness like the points of the devil’s pitchfork. Shaiton.
    The dead lay piled in heaps near the gate, weary men fighting on as rain pelted down from the firmament, as though God was striving to wash away the blood as fast as men could spill it. Christian, Mohammedan, their blood was the same, running red in the streets as desperate men clawed their way over corpses, slipping in the mud, falling to be trampled under by the press.
    This was not battle. Tactics had fled with the morning’s sun, leaving in their place the raw savagery of men who were unacquainted with the word retreat—or mercy. Tight formations of spear and sword-wielding men were replaced by a ragged mob of demons who fought with anything and everything, rocks, sticks, their bare hands, even their teeth in a frantic effort to destroy the foe.
    The Mohammedan commander appears, a bloody, disheveled figure mounted upon a once-glorious steed, its magnificent barding spattered with the dirt and muck of the street. His sword raised high, he shouts a cry to rally, his words lost as the artillery of the heavens thunders forth once more.
    Disconcerted by the cacophony of battle and storm, his horse rears, the stallion’s hooves pawing the air for a moment.
    The man’s eyes widen in fear for a moment, then he falls backward, taken off-balance by the weight of his armor. The horse bolts, riderless, into the night
    Beyond him the battle rages on, above him the storm continues unabated. Both beyond his control as he lies there helpless. Helpless in the mud of the street. The power, the glory he had once known, now forever lost to him. The irony of it all. . .



    Entrant 5 - Manoflooks
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    The End of an Empire.Constantine XI
    May 29, 1453, Constantinople.

    And so it ends. Those blasted Moslems have broken into the Queen of Cities, leveled it's walls, killed it's soldiers. It was only a matter of time until the surrounded Byzantines were cut down, and then-who knew? All I knew was I would not be around to see it. Donning my kataphractoi armour, I mounted my best horse, a black mare I called Nemean, in honour of the impregnable hided lion Hercules had to slay. It was dark, and all around lighting lit up the sky like a thousand lanterns. Nemean galloped, away from the palace and it's luxories, towards the Moslems I knew would be the death of me.

    Turkish gunfire split the air, as powerful as the thunder that preluded it. As I slid around the slick street corner, our last contingent of cavalry charged into the flank of the Moslem spearmen. I held my breath, hoping the flank attack would cause a rout and giving it another chance, but God was not kind today. The Turkish cannonball flew low over the walls, striking through the whole contingent and laying them all dead, just inches away from their targets. They were dead, I was dead, and the city was dead, but I would not desert my countrymen. Bucking Nemean, her front legs cycling in the air, I raised my sword to the sky, calling for all to hear "Vengeance of the Lord!"

    And charged, burying myself in the depth of the Turks, killing many. But eventually, I fell, and with me fell the Romans.



    TotW 24b - The Lithuanian
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    Winner - Elendil of Númenor
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    Memories in the rain

    The rain had been pouring for days. And on the vast, muddy plains an army marched. But not an army of shield and spear and sword. Not the glorious line of men dressed from head to toe in shining mail. Instead, the line of poor farmers, townsmen, and peasants, driven from their homes. No colourful banner, no honourable decorations glittered in the wind. The convoy blended into the field, the men and women wore the green of the muddy grass and the brown of the wet dirt.


    Only one single man shone in his bright steel armour. He walked at the very end of the line and carried in his hand a sword. A sword that was the symbol of proud generations of Kings, now forever forgotten. On the chain mail, which covered him from head to toe, he wore a leather tunic. The tunic had the figure of a heroic knight woven into it. No one will ever see such a knight anymore. Gone, they are. The shade of a brighter past.
    And on a once proud and noble head, was laid a silver helm, decorated with the crown of a King. It glimmered with a golden light as hundreds of raindrops that fell from the sky reflected it's light.
    But what made this man apart from the others was not a steel blade. Not a set of chain mail. Not a tunic, not a forgotten knight that once rode on these plains, not a golden crown.


    It was the eyes. Sharp, piercing blue, dulled by grief. Young by age, but they have seen much more than what they should have. And as those eyes gazed into the nothingness of the murky field, they could just see a towering line of smoke climbing into the clouds from the distance. What miles away was now nothing more then ashes, was once called 'Home' by every man and woman who marched in this army of refugees.


    Around the King hundreds of small flowers bent their heads to the pouring rain, as if to mourn the things that were forever lost...


    ...


    The line had gone long ago. No one looked back. And there, stoned, watching what remained of his past, stood a king. His tears spent, his life fading as the Sun set. A memory. A forgotten memory. And by the dawn, a memory was just another flower in an endless field.


    Entrant 1 - Kátz
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    Nobody is Perfect

    Chris the Lithuanian is a very nationalistic man. He never leaves his country, nor ever allow anybody to talk anything bad about Lithuania. Every Saturday he comes to the Theatre to enjoy whatever melodrama and musical value his countrymen can give. Even more, he bought a set of Lithuanian Equipment as a symbol of respect towards his country! His attitudes, however is not favoured by the townsmen. They hated him, because he is an arrogant figure. He thinks he is one who can match the power of God himself!

    Because he has fun beating people in his town, nobody tried to seek trouble with him, let alone doing anything to help him to stabilize his mind once more. He is crazy, everybody knows this fact about him.

    In this world, nothing and nobody is perfect, but the Lithuanian seeks to challenge everybody his town can provide. Nobody from the village seems to be brave enough to challenge him. But one day..... a Knight stands up to the challenge to dispatch this fool.

    Still thinking he is the perfect human, he sets out to the fight himself, Thinking that simple sword alone can pass through the metal. In his heroic imagination, one who can do magics and all else in the story of myths.

    It has been raining since the past three days, as if God waits for the outcome of this duel. Black sky has closed the Sun and a chaotic weather ensues long enough to be called a disaster. Instead, Chris thought it has been the message of God to him.

    Inviting people to watch the duel. He stands out in the open field. Waiting the opposition to make his move.

    The Knight, however, is not at all intimidated by him. Instead, he waits for his move.

    Unfortunately, Chris is one impetuous figure, and easy to be enraged. Roaring his words to the sky, he rushed forward to the Knight. But, the knight, before Chris managed to reach the attack range of his sword. Has already put his sword in the neck of his foe.

    Chris, whose face is pale as the morning mist, whose legs have seemed to be crippled. Whose hands seems to be cut off. Sees the blood in his hand, and another patch of blood right in front of his eyes. For a moment, he managed to remember the days during his birth. It was such a happy life where everyone can enjoy peace. And remembers the teaching of his father : Nobody is Perfect. But it's too late, he can no longer live. Finally he understands the message of God. How he regrets what he has done.


    Entrant 2 - Pontifex Maximus
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    Anatomy of a Soldier


    From far away, he simply looks like a shiny glinting piece of metal. Indistinguishable, he blends in with the rest. Nobody could see the detail, the precision, the amount of artistic work that went into the battlefield regalia. Each link had been meticulously bonded to create an impenetrable vest of iron. The weight was immense, as was the cost, but worth the protection it offers.

    It was all lost on the eyes of the fearful women as they ran, screaming from their village to seek refuge into the woods. Only several soldiers remained to offer what protection they could, and if they were discovered by even a modest force, the end would be swift. The only option was to tighten their leather belts and keep moving.

    The Lithuanian swords were crafted especially for them. They were traditional, but nonetheless deadly. Sunlight reflected off of them like glass, and they were a sight to behold when stained with the dark fluid of human life.

    The blood was dry and crusty now as the party hurried though the woods, ever fearful of possible pursuers. A wounded man was left behind, he was only slowing the party down. Several minutes later, a scream could barely be heard from behind.

    The plate armor of the hands was particularly hard to craft. Overlapping plates had to be used to ensure optimal wrist mobility. Bound and reinforced by tough leather, the plates wouldn't guarantee a deflected blade, but it was better than nothing.


    Without warning, the armor was suddenly put to the test. An arrow deflected off the side of a soldier, as glancing blow, but the enemy was upon them. No more than a few seconds passed when a bolt from a crossbow whizzed into the chest of the same soldier, and a splash of red erupted from within. It wasn't long before the rest of them lie in their own fluid as the knights surveyed the slaughter.



    Entrant 3 - Theodotos I
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    A Good Day To Die

    I was cold, colder than I ever remembered being in my life. Cold and wet as the early rains of spring pelted down, dripping through the heavy mail I wore.


    Twelve months in the field—it had come to this. At moments like this, the crown of my people weighed heavy upon my head, a well-nigh unbearable burden. Was there any other way? Any other path?

    The Christian host lay just across the muddy field from me, I could hear the sound of their horses as the knights assembled. Death lurked in their midst.


    Had I led my people to their grave? I had seen the Teutons in action before, as a boy. I could still hear the thunder of their horses hooves beating a death knell against the hard-packed earth, hear the cries of the wounded and dying. Lithuania's bravest had been scattered that day, scattered like chaff upon the wind, my own father dead in a pool of his own blood.


    Perhaps I was temping fate, believing that I could avenge his memory. Perhaps. That belief was the only thing I had left, the only thing that had kept me alive.



    My lip curled upward in a bitter smile. Fate plays strange games with the sons of men. Strange, that which had kept me alive was now leading me to my death. And not mine only, but the brave men who followed me, who looked to me as king.


    The die was cast, our destinies sealed. I looked up at the clouds, rain pouring down remorselessly. No matter. I raised my sword high to the heavens, a sign to gods, a sign to men. It was a good day to die. . .



    Entrant 4 - bomberboy

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    What Does He See?
    As the Lithuanian General covered from head to toe in shiny chain mail and a grand helm on his well-established head, the coat of arms was pictured valiantly on his broad chest and a scar lay on his cheek giving him a menacing appearance. What did he see?



    The Teutonic march, left right, right left

    In a never ending tide of men


    The Officers shouting the words of God which every man felt.



    The grey sky overhead cleared like a brawl of drunks split up by the town guard, at a home that is now too far away to see. He felt homesick as he though about home about the forests and fields and the people all gone now as he was far away in an oppressive land filled with fanatical barbarians.



    The clouds reveal a clear almost clean blue sky


    Maybe this is a good sign.


    Only a fortune-teller could tell.



    As he sees the rumbling mass of great Iron Men lumbering forward shouting "God Wills It" and making a loud rhythmic noise with their armoured boots. He returns to the lines and knows:



    Only the Gods themselves can decide his fate


    Yet the world is wants to see the results.


    Guess they’ll have to wait.





    Entrant 5 - Juvenal


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    Second Chance

    A man stares across a field, standing unnaturally still. His raiment is clean and new, but only because retainers have replaced the ripped mud-spattered and blood-soaked clothing he had worn during the shameful rout of his army. He is expected to set an example, to be the embodiment of manifest destiny, but for the present he does not know what to do.



    His reserve Banners still fight the implacable Teutons while his main force mills around leaderless like a crowd of onlookers at a tournament. Camp followers and foot soldiers watch him, each silently judging the worth of his nobility from his actions and those of his knights. Should he call these defeated men to him, and lead them back to almost certain death against the unyielding foe?



    He stands alone, honour will not permit him to take counsel to dilute the responsibility for this choice. Perhaps the enemy will come soon to ride him down and take the heavy burden of decision away.



    He had begun this battle of the Green Wood (Grunwald in the harsh tongue of the enemy) so full of hope. The Teutons had stood at bay, surprised, outmanoeuvred and outnumbered. But they blasted him with their artillery and scattered his knights with the sheer weight of their massive all-out charge.



    They are dishonest and greedy men, he reflects, even though Lithuania has adopted their Christ, they still continue their attacks, intent only on feeding their disgusting and insatiable appetite for power. Somehow they must be stopped.



    Emerging from his reverie, he begins to notice that only small numbers of the enemy have arrived to seal their victory here. Squinting against shafts of brilliant sunlight, he sees that his Polish allies are still fighting from their original positions, on the left flank.



    Perhaps this God of the Christians has sent him a miracle. With sudden determination, he turns and calls for his standard and a fresh charger.



    Once more my children, once more into battle, let us match those grim and humourless men with Lithuanian bravery and honour.”



    Slowly he walks his horse toward the enemy, allowing the other Banners to reform behind him as his men gain fresh heart. All the while the cries of standard bearers can be heard above the din of battle,



    To arms!, To arms! Rally to the banner my comrades, for Vytautus leads us once again.”





    Entrant 6 - Manoflooks


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    I stared


    I stared. I stared through the rain that came down in droves. The Teutons, the so called "Christian" knightly order, had pushed us to our last stronghold. Our army was gone, left with some mottley peasants and other rabble, dressed in rags. No match for the Teutons, with their armour gleaming and slippery in the rain. I stared at them, feeling for all I had lost. My crown was dented; my sword nicked. My chain mail was left to a few straggly links, and my helmet had lost it's visor. I stared, wondering why we were here. This war was worth not it. It had no gain and nothing but cost. The lives lost were immense, and I knew dismay could be seen on my face.



    I stared. Wondered why I was still standing here, with the water pounding on my back. I stared, unable to even left my sword to lead my men to one last fight. I stared, my eyes taking in everything. I felt myself weakening, falling, but still, I stared. I could not take it, I could not know that I had lead my people to die.



    I wrenched off my crown, tore off my helmet, and ripped off my mail. I threw away my sword, and removed my gauntlets. I felt light, and ready. I could fight. My lips curled, and my hand somehow raised itself and pointed at the enemy.



    And I stared.


    Last edited by wowbanger; May 12, 2011 at 08:16 AM. Reason: Added TotW 24b



    "Some writers never know what's to be written until they see it on the page...." Some words of wisdom from my good friend, Mega Tortas de Bodemloze

  7. #7
    wowbanger's Avatar Jimmy's winning matches
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 25 - "Brokeback Mountain"
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    Winner - Kátz
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    The Confusing Gays
    Rianorix, Brennus and Vercingetorix are all well-known gay, homosexual people known for disturbing the people of their hometown. Brokbahomoius. Although the people of aforementioned town are also gays. Just a gaze of thought in the name already give you the imaginations. Brokbahomoius! Behind the Brokeback Mountain which is the idea of this town name. Although just a year ago the mayor, Brohomoius. Changed the name with the homo on it.

    The gay trio, however soon fall into a love triangle. Rianorix loved Brennus, but Brennus loved Vercingetorix, and in turn Vercingetorix loved Rianorix. All things has passed like how apples fall down a tree. Each day, a combat of mouth ensues. They always beat each other. They are always biased toward each other. How we would miss the days of this gay trio hug.

    One day, they step on the chilly, gayish Brokeback Mountain. They are, actually the first peoples to be able to climb this mountain. There is a reason why it is called Brokeback Mountain. Everytime one climbs this mountain. He is always brought back right to the start once more for whatever reason. And also have his/her bones broken.

    But the magic now has her effects at Vercingetorix. Somehow, he flies by himself. Possibly down right to the start. Rianorix and Brennus can only see as Rianorix's hated and Brennus' loved falls down. Most likely to die. Brennus then draws his spear to stab Rianorix down. However, Rianorix managed to dodge that one. And draws his bow.

    Rianorix, loving Brennus does not shoot him, while Rianorix is very persistent on killing him. But who shall triumph from this fight? We shall never know. If we know, we are likely to be killed by the victor!


    Entrant 1 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Rapture of the Heights


    Are you Chatti?” the handsome warrior ventures brightly. There is no reply.


    I was just asking because I was admiring your armbands, we just don't see that quality of workmanship up here in the mountains, that really is a lovely filigree”. The silent warrior fails to respond.


    Don't you get cold with that tunic? It looks great mind you, but up here you really need something with sleeves”. The silent warrior stares fixedly straight ahead, seemingly oblivious to the other man.


    I hope you don't mind me talking to you like this, only, I think I'm going crazy. There's nothing but sheep up here... and Dagobert of course, but he's always tinkering with the damned catapult. I keep telling him it's never going to work, they probably don't even need it any more. Lord Drustan never did have much patience, he's probably just knocked the walls down and spitted every Roman in that fort by now.” The silent warrior sighs, but doesn't turn around.


    I really am fed up with sheep, I herd sheep, I butcher sheep, I wear sheep, I eat sheep, I'm even beginning to dream of sheep. I was getting worried I wouldn't know how to talk to people any more. Daggy's no use, he doesn't understand feelings and I don't care for siege equipment.”


    Now the silent warrior does turn, he has a sensitive face, currently bearing a look of rapt wonder. He finally breaks his silence... “Oh!... That was an incredible sunrise, the whole sky was suffused with the most exquisite colours, I've never seen anything remotely like it down in the forest.”


    The handsome warrior's own face lights up with a smile. Somewhere behind them there is a sudden loud crack. They both look back to see what might have caused it and, as a consequence, fail to notice the man flying overhead, his thin scream dopplering away to silence as he drops into the dawn mist below.


    Sounds like Daggy broke something. Still, forget about that, you really haven't seen anything yet! I know a place where there is a whole field of Morning Glories, they follow the rising Sun like chicks begging for food! Come, I'll show you.”


    Arm-in-arm the two warriors slowly make their way further up the mountain, kindred spirits intent on thoughts of artistic beauty, lost in a world of shared appreciation.


    Entrant 2 - Pontifex Maximus
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    A New Type of Love


    "Dumnorix! We need to make sure we have a fresh floral arrangement ready for dinner when we come back from battle! Remember, I only like the freshest Daisies!"

    Dumnorix Began to sharpen his spear, paused, then inspected it. He would need to make sure his outfit was color coordinated this time. It was an unfortunate time to be called to the muster again, he had just washed out the blood from his battle scarf and it seems he would be doing the same routine tomorrow.

    "Vercy dear," began Dumnorix, "Have you seen my axe? The one with flowers crafted into the sides?"

    "I'm afraid I haven't", replied Dumnorix, "Perhaps we forgot it when we were out on our walk?"

    Vercengetorix strapped on his greaves and hoisted up his shield. He was proud of the design he had painted on it. A rainbow sihloutted against a tree from which two men were shown feding eachother fruit. He propped it up against a tree in which the iniials V.H. were inscribed above a heart, followed by the initials D.K.

    "I'll be sure to cover your back against these enemies." Said Dumnorix in Passing.

    "Ooh, scandalous!!" Said vercengetorix as he slapped his butt and picked up his spear.

    The two then skipped off in the direction of their warlord, the sun setting behind them.


    Entrant 3 - Sunbird Alkibijad
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Love is in the air...


    Clouds started to break up, and letting the last rays of Sun warm Asterix's face.
    "Oh, finally, I might be able to take that awful hood that ruins my beautiful curly locks, but also hides my intricately braided mustache..." thought Asterix to himself, while staring into the distance.

    "If only Obelix were here...His shoulders, his broad palms...To see my beauty in the last light of the setting Sun..." he thought, and sighed deeply...

    He nearly screamed when he heard steps to his right...He didn't even dare to look sideways, he was so surprised, and he was supposed to be on the watchman duty..."How embarassing, what should I do, who might it be?" the thoughts started flooding his mind, and his bowels nearly turned to water...

    "Hi there, stranger!" he heard the deep, manly voice from his right, "careless on the watch, again, are we?!?!" Then the voice transformed into a joyous laughter, and he quickly realized who it was..."Obelix!!! You evil bastard, how could you!", and Asterix now started to laugh, at first shyly, but quickly turning into a satisfied, almost devilish smile..."Now he's mine" Asterix thought to himself...

    But just as he thought that, down the slope ran Obelix's young guard, which Asterix always thought of being too good looking for a mere bodyguard to HIS Obelix. He was still some distance off, so Asterix straightened himself, gathered all his courage, and spoke up: "Obelix, today You choose, me or that cheap toy of Yours!"

    "B-But...What do You mean, Asterix?" uttered Obelix, now obviously blushing and giving out a most sheepish look any Gaul has ever assembled, even with his furry moustache making him anything but a sheep...

    "You know very well what I'm talking about, said Asterix turning his head away from Obelix..."Such risk I'm taking now", he thought to himself. "Me, or that doll You call to Your bed each night"

    At that moment, Young Slootylooksix ran upclose to Obelix, about to utter some words, but before he was able to speak, he found himself screaming, hundreds of feet through the air..."Leave us alone, little **tch, Obelix has some work to do tonight, ALL NIGHT!" said Obelix, grinning heavily, casting spear aside, and letting other one slide out of his trousers...
    Force seems strong within this one('s trousers)!


    Entrant 4 - Manoflooks
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Confessions of a lover



    "Oh, Mhorbaine! Your eyes are as beautiful as the sight of a thousand dying Romans."
    "Darling Alaric...is that beautiful to you?"
    "Yes dear. It is."

    Mhorbaine turned to Alaric,tears in his eyes. He gripped his spear, wishing the long hard thing were something else, something of Alaric's.

    "Well, Alaric, your muscular body is like the soft wind to me, gently blowing on the breeze."
    "Oh, Aly!"
    "Oh, Mory!"
    Mhorbaine looked at Alaric, and started weeping.
    "Mory! What's wrong?"

    "Oh, Aly...I'm sorry. Im just so sad, because I know we can never be together. Not while we are Gauls."
    Mhorbaine couldn't bear to see his love so. His heart broke inside, and he made a promise that he knew could have disastrous consequences. Especially if the commander, Cassivelaunus, saw them.
    "Aly, come here. Give me a kiss."

    And the two soldiers kissed, tenderly at first, but evolving into an open mouth passionate mix of the mouths.


    Cassivelaunus watched the pair in disgust from a high cliff. He hated them. "Perhaps,"he mused,"Perhaps they should die."

    "Ponti! Kill those two homosexuals. They disgust me, and you know I dislike that."

    Ponti, the kings servant, looked at the two. He recognized Alaric and Mhorbaine, who were, unfortunanetly, his two best friends.

    "But sir...those are my friends. I dont want to kill them."

    Cassivelaunus was silent for a long moment. For a second, it looked like he might take back the order. Then he got up.

    And kicked Ponti over he edge. He landed with a thump, near the two lovers.

    "Alaric! What was that thump?"

    "It was just my heart beating in wanting for you, Mori. Come, let us dance."


    And they danced into the sunset.




    TotW 26 - "Sons of Mars, to Victory"
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    Winner - Elendil of Númenor
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    Gods' Wrath

    'Advance!!!' sounded the cry from the enemy line. The huge mass of barbarians started inching towards the Romans. Suddenly hundreds of horns blasted the silence, drums began banging the rhythm of approaching death.
    'Where's the General?' asked one of the legionaries.
    'Preparing the ambush' a centurion replied from somewhere. 'when our lines clash, he will strike the enemy from the rear. From the forest.' He said, pointing at the woods on the mountain, which was now continuously puffing up black smoke.
    'Vulcan will watch the fray' the legionaries muttered as the two lines were now just a few feet apart.


    A mere mile away from the battle, amongst the trees, an uneasy company of knights were adjusting their arms. The General was watching the fuming mountain anxiously, when from a pair of bushes a centurion burst out. His clothes were ragged and bloodied, his helmet askew.
    'Sir! The enemy have met our main line! The centre is being overwhelmed!'
    The General took a deep breath and signalled to his standard bearer. The man blew a harsh note on his small trumpet and the company organized into formation. Horses calm, riders shining in silver and gold. Their leader raised his sword high into the air and cried encouragingly.
    'ROMANS! TO GLORY!'


    The knights, powered by a godly wrath, emerged from the woods and crashed into the barbarians' flank. The damp air was soon filled with the dust from the horses' hooves and the ground covered with seas of crimson blood. And the General did no stop. He drove his men right into the heart of the enemy army, slashing, stabbing at the barbarians.


    Then the enemy looked towards the mountain and the deadly company of Roman horseman cutting through their army like butter. Shrieking in horror, the barbarians bolted. Ran as fast as their legs could carry them; away from this place, away, far away.


    Rejoicing at the sight of the enemy rout, the General, not even realizing that no longer did anyone stand beside him, charged after them cutting them down with all his might. Suddenly a flare of heavenly light blasted the path before him, followed by a terrible roar that shook the very depths of hell.


    His horse reared, and for the first time, the General looked back. His eyes widened.
    'What the - ?!'



    Entrant 1 - Aldgarkalaughskel
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    Facing the Beast

    The sun rose behind the mountains as the legion marched unaware towards their position. Julius felt the old excitement build as he waited for his soldiers to see the unwashed Helvetii tribes looking up at them. He grinned in anticipitation of the first ray of light and when it came, he laughed aloud at the sight. The sun spread a beam across them from the peaks. Ten thousand helmets and sets of armour went from dull grey to gold in a few minutes. The yellow horsehair plumes of the centurions seemed to glow and the column of the Helvetii staggered below on the plain as men pointed and shouted a warning.
    ’There must be half a million of them. I swear by Mars, there must’ Julius whispered.
    He saw the fighting units rush to the front, bristling with spears as they began to accelerate over the ground between the armies. Their front ranks carried wide shields to batter the enemy, but the formations would never survive the broken ridges of the hill.
    Julius was in the saddle when he heard the tribe roar. He jerked his horse round viciously, looking for the scout who had brought him the news.
    ’Where is the man who told me the enemy were on the hill?’ he shouted. ’Arrest that man and hold him for punishment. Those were our legions, you stupid bastard.’
    Julius wheeled his horse, thinking furiously. They had not travelled more than a few miles from the plain. It might not be too late. He untied his helmet from the saddle horn and pulled it roughly over his face, turning the metal features to face the gathered horsemen.
    ’The Tenth and Third Gallica are without support. We will race at our fastest pace to attack the Helvetii. Straight in, gentlemen. Straight in, now.’


    Entrant 2 - Kátz
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    This Day We Fight

    Flavius was never a man brave enough to take his steeds to the fight. Instead, he always sends only his men to the war. Leaving himself behind. Watching as his men and their competitors perish. The Gusts of Wind carry their souls to the heaven. While the chill of night brings them to hell. Much more lives could have been spared should he be a general brave enough to command his men to a much better victory.

    Still, even if he is a coward. He has the sanity of human bourne deep within inside of his mind. It saddens him to see that now people regarded him as the worst general ever Rome has offered to her enemies. The Human Code of a general dictates that he, as a capable man. Must protect those who are incapable. It is just common sense.

    He thought and thought. But it never crosses his mind that what he do is actually a very dark deed. He offered to Mars some children and lambs for sacrifice in exchange of her soldiers. Although well trained, they are never humans to begin with. It is true that they have souls. But a corrupted soul shall never bring a victory. Diplomacy, however and for whatever reason, does.

    Flavius, only realized the wrong of his deeds now. Must now pay for what he has done. He shall have access to an eternal life. At the cost of his strength, friends, family and the people he loved. He looks as the winds blowed and the leaves rustled. Forming some kind of a black hole. And from that hole are unleased Mars' soldiers to aid him. In the glimpse of an eye Flavius suddenly knows. That his curse will be lifted away once his soldiers have been killed. Now he can only hope that they shall perish in war. Loosing out his shout :

    "IN THIS DAY WE SHALL FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"



    Entrant 3 - Theodotos I
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    A Blow For Freedom

    On they came, pounding across the plain, dirt kicked up from the horses' hooves. Beasts and men, unstoppable display of Rome's might.
    His fingers trembled as he notched the arrow into the string of his bow, hands sweaty against the rough wood. Eliezer ben-Judah bent down on one knee, covering himself behind the rocks. They were riding fast and there wasn't much time. Not much time at all. His mind harked back, recalling the rabbi's words. The horse is prepared against the day of battle, but victory is of the Lord.
    Jehovah must guide his hands now, guide the arrow into the Roman's proud heart. Desecration. It had been two years since the Zealots had taken to the hills of Galilee against their oppressors. Eliezer had shed blood many times during those long months, lives taken in defense of the land his fathers had called holy. The land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
    They were nearly abreast of the rocks now. It was time. Now. Eliezer rose up from behind the rocks, fingers drawing the bow-string back to his ear, his eyes on the Roman commander. The man was looking back, urging his men onward, a naked sword in his hand
    A whispered prayer. Lord, guide this arrow. The twisted gut shot forward, the release almost physical. Arrow spinning toward its target.
    He heard a shout, in the distance, far away, a shout of fear, of warning. It was too late. The feathered shaft struck the Roman in the throat, just above the breastplate, blood spurting from the wound.
    A scream of anguish rose from the plain, the body sliding backward off the horse, trampled in the dust.
    Eliezer turned and ran, melting into the rocks of the hill, into the shadows cast by the red and lowering skies. One of the oppressor was dead. A blow had been struck. It was enough. . .


    Entrant 4 - Juvenal
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    The Mural


    Julian and Gavin had been friends since childhood. Gavin the practical one, and Julian artistic and dreamy. But after Julian's mother died he began slowly but inexorably to go off the rails.


    Weeks went by and Julian gradually withdrew from all of their shared activities, finally even losing his job.


    Gavin still visited, hoping to find a way to draw his friend back into the world. Although he now spoke little, Julian had begun to paint a huge mural covering the inside of his garage wall. It was a landscape, Julian had skilfully incorporated all the marks and imperfections of the breeze-block wall into his composition.


    Gavin made a point of looking in every other day, despite being mostly ignored. Although Julian spoke little, the mural grew a little more on every visit. The sky, which had started as a bright cloudscape at the horizon, grew red and sulphurous as it climbed toward the rafters.


    Next, vague animal shapes began to emerge out of the browns and blacks of the landscape, gradually resolving themselves into horses galloping as if for their very lives, with desperate foam-flecked flaring nostrils.


    Soon the horses acquired riders, men in shining banded armour carrying large diamond shaped red shields.


    Inspired by the figures, who were clearly Roman Equites, Gavin decided on his next visit to wear his Druid costume from the re-enactment society.


    Julian's sister answered the door and Gavin took the opportunity to check the mural. It was complete, the final touch being a red banner bearing a brilliant golden legionary eagle bearing the legend Legio XX Valeria Victrix.


    A sound made Gavin spin around. Julian stood wearing the panoply of an Imperial Legate. He strode over to the mural and seemed almost to merge with it.


    Julian, you look fantastic!”


    SILENCE!” it was the voice of a stranger, an older and more powerful man, accustomed to command.


    MAKE YOUR PEACE WITH YOUR GODS FOUL DRUID, I HAVE COME TO CLEANSE THIS LAND OF YOUR KIND”.


    Lifted a long wickedly gleaming spatha, he gestured to the figures in the mural, and spoke once more. “RIDE DOWN THIS FOUL DRUID SCUM, LET THEM KNOW THAT GNAEUS JULIUS AGRICOLA HAS BROUGHT THEIR EVIL REIGN TO AN END, KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!”


    Like a rabbit in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, Gavin stood transfixed as the spatha completed its deadly arc.



    Entrant 5 - Pontifex Maximus
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    Unorthodox Tactics


    "Sir, the enemy is on the verge of collapse on the left flank"

    Gaius surveyed the field, and indeed, everything was going according to plan. On the left, the extra cohort had driven back the enemy and the flank was beginning to roll.

    "Excellent work Centurion." responded Gaius. "Sound the retreat."

    "But sir.."

    "Are you second guessing me?" Gaius looked down upon his subordinate, who was obviously trying to guess what kind of test this could be. "and while we are at it, have the trumpeters sound up 'When the Saints Come Marching In'. "

    Mounting his horse Gaius raised his sword in the air and started galloping away from the battle. Within minutes the orders had been transferred and the entire legion began to fall back behind the general, who was leading the way.

    Dumnorix wiped the blood from his face. His friend had just been gutted right in front of his eyes and it was hard for him to keep his footing amidst the gore coating the ground. He heard the trumpets strike up an order he was not familiar with. It filled him with fear.

    With blood dripping from his eyes -not his blood- he gave out a barbaric scream and turned tail and sprinted away. Not soon thereafter, many of his comrades followed suit, and before long both armies stood back to back in mutual rout.

    Glancing over his shoulder, Gaius smiled to himself. "It's working!" he cried.

    "What is working?" Retorted a centurion.

    "I don't know, but it worked!" gaius sheathed his sword and began galloping towards camp.

    "Dear diary..."



    TotW 27 - Ambush
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    Picture Unavailable

    Winner - Pontifex Maximus
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    Captain Feeney


    His horse glistened with sweat, its labored breathing erupted in irregular bursts as it stumbled through the forest. The rider, a young Irish man, rode, his eyes wide. The underbrush hadn't been kind to the rider, and his body was scored with bleeding nicks and cuts. This part of the country wasn't exactly safe, and until he has reached Cork, he was very vulnerable to highwaymen, most notably Captain Feeney, the famous highway bandit.

    Captain Feeney took a final puff from his pipe. After he had blown it out, Feeney picked up his bow and nodded to his comrade. Before long the two were galloping off over the hill and into the woods. Travellers had been criss crossing the paths and foothills all day, travellers ripe for the picking. Feeney's brass buttons shone in the setting sun as he rounded the hill, entering the woods just at the mouth of the river.

    Meanwhile the traveller, spooked and wary of robbers, strayed off the path and followed the river. The horse was badly tired and he considered it a wise measure to allow it some gentle riding in a somewhat level are clear of brush.

    Feeney leapt from his horse, his friend trailing not far behind. There was a rich bounty for the son of a noble to be had, or perhaps a fat purse to be snatched from a spoiled young man...the possibilities were endless. The pair took up position in the underbrush by the creekside. They had spotted a rider diverging to walk the creek from the hill. Feeney thumbed the brass buttons on his overcoat as he inspected his bow.

    Before long the sound of sloshing water could be heard from upstream. Feeney strung his bow and his friend leveled his pike. When the rider was close enough, Feeney leapt from behind the bush, his bow bent. He shot at the rider. The arrow shot right into the shield of the rider. The shield?

    The knigh was surprised to see the small Irish man to his left. He thought that tiny hunting bow could penetrate his armor? As the knight dispatched the obviously surprised man, his accomplice in the woods gave a yelp and ran off in the other direction. The knight shook his head. these highwaymen prey upon the weak and defenseless, the vutures.

    The traveller jumped as he heard somehting crashing in the woods. A man ran by, mad as if he had seen a ghost. The traveller hurried out of the woods and made it to Cork by nightfall.


    Entrant 1 - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Renegade

    Steady hoofbeats against the forest path, alerting us to his presence. I crouched, clutching my longbow, one hand on the polished yew, fingers of the other nocking the arrow against the string. My men were stationed on both sides of the path, weapons at the ready. We would have to be careful—in very truth, it would be sad irony if one died this day at the hand of a friend.
    Another moment, and the horseman was in sight, a proud sight, a helmet of iron crowning his head, the visor back, displaying a haughty, weathered countenance. The visage of a rebel.
    His face bore the marks of battle, pride chiseled into those features. Walter de Montmorency. Six months since his rebels had been vanquished, his forces scattered to the wind by my Lord the King. The body of the snake had been crushed—now we were tasked with dealing with the head.
    It was time. Now! I sprang from my covert, into the horseman's path, the bow in my hand, the arrow drawn back to my ear, its tip aimed at his breast.
    His horse reared backward in fright at the apparition, I could hear him cursing as he fought the steed down. My men streamed out of the trees, surrounding the renegade
    “Surrender!” I cried, the horse's hooves pawing the air only inches from my chest. “Surrender in the name of the King!”
    He calmed his mount with difficulty, stroking its mane with a gauntleted hand. “And for what reason, for what cause, am I accosted in such a fashion—by men more likely to be highwaymen than loyal subjects of the King?”
    He leaned forward as he spoke, his bright blue eyes gazing at me, a fierce magnetism in their depths. He seemed unruffled by our appearance, or my demand. His sword buckled to his side, he carried himself in a way that bespoke assurance. Confidence.
    “I am Geoffrey of Oxford,” I replied, my arrow still aimed at his chest, “an agent of the King. I was sent to bring you before him to stand trial for treason.”
    “Treason, is it?” he retorted, fire dancing in his eyes, a smile flitting across his lips. “Then come and take me.” He looked over my head as he spoke and I felt a strange misgiving pierce my heart.
    I turned. We were not alone. . .


    Entrant 2 - Kátz
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    The Unsuccessful Messenger

    Ralf and Marco are two people trapped deep inside within the forest. They are left behind by their own lord to cover for the escape route. Scared, they only hope nobody found them. Chilly, they are left dead. They are truly afraid of the ghosts and beasts lurking inside.....

    One day later, they hear footsteps. One is the sound of the leg and one is the sound of the horse. They come closer to overhear to conversation......

    "What is it?"
    "Sir Harry, the renaissance army led by our foes are on the run. It seems they are on the verge of annihilation."
    "But we need more soldiers to besiege their fortress!"
    "Aye sir."
    "Go, my scout. Return to our fortress. Go through this route. It shall be the shortcut there."

    The fool, both didn't recognize the shadows of the forest. But only a sense of life can be felt. And also they did not hear the desperate breath....

    And so the horseman goes. But, for whatever reason. The horse today walks slowly. Probably because it did not eat for several days. This gives time for Marco and Ralf to hide back into oblivion. The horseman stops for a while. He is looking for grasses to feed his horse. This should be giving some itme to snipe him. After all, both our heroes are hungry!

    Then, he runs on. The horseman hides himself behind his kite shield. He suspects that there are lives present. And those lives are not a beast's life. But it's too late.....


    Shoot!

    And an arrow is buried beneath his body and a bullet has gone through the sights of his eyes.....


    Entrant 3 - Musthavename
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Art




    Leonardo had at last finished. After months of paint strokes, each one more delicate than the last, it had finally reached perfection. The layered textures, the faces of the ambushers, the shadows, they were all perfect. It was such a promising piece that he'd already had a buyer lined up. It seemed such a shame to let it leave his hands, but that money would last him for years.





    He had no time to lose. He packed the painting up and strapped it to his back. It wasn't that big, focused more on quality than sheer size. He saddled up his horse, and grabbed his sword and shield, should the worst happen.





    After a few minutes he'd reached the place that had given him the inspiration. He'd spent days there building up the background before adding the characters. He knew this place well. It was then he noticed something in the corner of his eyes.





    Two bandits, one with a bow, the other with a spear... it was then he felt the arrow pierce his chest.





    "Nice shot! Let's grab that painting!"





    How... how could it have happened exactly as the painting depicted?





    "Hey, you think he'll survive that?"




    "Yeah, it's just a flesh wound."




    "You know... an artists work is worth more if he's dead."






    Entrant 4 - Juvenal
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    Home is where the Heart is

    Rolf felt the hideous pain stab through his gut again, a sure sign the canker had spread a little further through his body.


    True, the necromancer was (temporarily) dead, but the poison from his dagger was slowly exacting its revenge. When it finished, Rolf knew his own corpse would become a biddable thing, like those that had killed his men while he fought their master.


    But the necromancer had been overconfident, partly from taking Rolf for just another ignorant knight, but mostly because he knew he could not be killed. He had mastered that procedure which separates life and body, and his beating heart was kept safe in a place not of this world.


    Rolf struggled to remain straight in his saddle as the horse picked its way between cobbles on the stream-bed. He had to follow the trail exactly, a single misstep and the charm would be broken.


    The talisman at the end of his lance glowed fitfully, but nowhere near the full radiance that would signal journey's end.


    The necromancer's shade hovered just out of reach, even though it could not re-manifest completely before the next new moon, it hoped to distract Rolf and throw him off his path.


    Rolf's last two retainers followed him along the bank. When the shade flew too close, one would fire a garlic-dipped arrow making it scream faintly with some ethereal pain. The other protected his comrade with a spear tipped in silver.


    Now the talisman was glowing brightly, the stream widened here into a rocky pool and the path in the water became a spiral into the centre. On the first circuit, the glow of the talisman spread over horse and rider like a blanket. On the second, the shade became frantic, flinging itself against the impervious glow. On the final circuit the talisman shone with a blinding light and Rolf disappeared from this world.


    Rolf was alone on a bleak windswept moor, a ruined tower standing before him, doorless entrance darkly beckoning. He entered, climbing stairs to a room near the top.


    There lay the beating heart of the necromancer. Rolf took it, lifted it high and squeezed. The life essence of the necromancer dripped into Rolf's mouth. In his stomach he felt the cool healing wave as the canker was destroyed, and in his mind he heard the last agonised scream of the shade as it finally experienced true death.




    TotW 28 - An Immortal Hero
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    Winner - Elendil of Númenor
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    The Legend of Greyheart



    “Is he crying?” Peter asked. The small boy was leaning on the windowsill. Rain trickled down the glass. In front of him, on a marble pedestal stood the statue of a man. He carried shield and spear, and wore a helm. The rain poured down his face like tears.
    “Of course he isn't crying.” snapped Peter's mother. “Statues don't cry.”
    They've just moved in to their new house. The previous owner was getting ready to leave, when he called Peter to him.
    “Don't listen to your mother, lad. Greyheart mourns the leaving of the last owner of this house.”
    “Greyheart?”
    “My thirty-four-times great-grandfather. Legend has it, the night Greyheart gave his life to defend the city, a statue appeared here by dawn. His descendants have lived in this house ever since, the Statue guarding them. The legend says, when the last owner of the house dies, Greyheart will be free, once again.”


    Five years later, Peter was watching TV. A storm was raging outside.
    “Mum, come and look at this!” Peter shouted. A familiar face was being shown on the news. The reporter spoke,
    “...statue of his grandfather in the city. The last of the Greyhearts died peacefully, yesterday...”
    “He was the man who lived here! According to the legend - ” Peter stammered.
    Suddenly, there was a deafening thunder, and the lights went out. The silence was quickly broken.
    “The electricity's gone! Off to bed with you, Peter!”


    Peter slept uneasily, and woke up in the middle of the night. He crept to the window. The Statue still stood there, five years after the man left... Suddenly, to his amazement, there was a flash of blinding light, and the Statue sprang to life. A shining stairway appeared next to him, leading into the clouds. Greyheart walked to it solemnly. When he passed Peter's window, the boy said aloud,
    “This is a dream, it can't be happening!”
    Unbelievably, Greyheart turned, and said to Peter, smiling,
    “Of course it's a dream! But why would that mean it isn't happening?”


    Peter was woken up by a noisy crowd gathered outside his window. His mother trotted in, to see what was all the fuss about.
    “What's going on, Mum?” Peter asked, getting up.
    “Hooligans...”
    “Hmm?” the boy poured himself a glass of water.
    “The statue is gone. Somebody stole it.”
    The glass fell out of Peter's hand with a loud crash.


    Entrant 1 - Kátz
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    My Last Wish

    Joseph is a miserable soldier who is forced to live his life inside a prison. The Pope has him jailed at the reason of treason. He only wished to be remembered by the people. Instead, it has gone the opposite way. People remember him the bad way. Memories are always blighted by darkness.

    It is 17 March 1317. Lies his day of execution. It is destined to take place at midnight. It is truly unexpected by the people of his age that he does not give a sweat about it. Joseph thinks about his escape, if possibly someone lost his key and he picks it. Escaping from the scales of death.

    5:00 PM. A guard comes to him, bringing a spear, shield and armors for him. As the laws of life suggests : All executed personels must die bravely. That way the Pope's reputation won't be ruined. People believed that, at least, until now.

    However, his handcuffs are not made for the quality. The muscleful Joseph then managed to break it. Therefore killing the guard beside him. Soon, all personnels are alarmed about this situation. Scrambling to find an escape route. He rushes about everywhere, breaking everything in his sight.

    11:00 PM. Finally he managed to find an escape route. But....... some soldiers who wanted to train come through that door. Thereby killing him in the process.

    Before finally breathing his last air. Joseph says to them : "My last wish....... is to be remembered."

    Touched by his bravery. They carried his corpse to the graveyard to properly bury him. And last but not least, making his statue, and so his last wish, to be remembered, has be fulfilled.


    Entrant 2 - Mega Tortas de Bodemloze
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I’ll be there soon….


    The author looks down at the statue in the Courtyard from the High tower and writes…..I’ve made all the arrangements, so don’t worry I’ll be on the way to you soon. The statue turned out magnificently I’m sure your really going to like it. The finish on the masonry turned out perfectly just the way we talked about it.

    The administration of Edinburough will be carried out as per your instructions. Even though you and I fought harshly over the candidate for mayor in the end I see the wisdom of your selection. He is a great mathematician and has a brilliant mind. I’m sure he will come to be a great leader even though if my candidate had been selected that wouldn’t be an issue. Danmmit…Why can’t I ever win one of our arguments…{he smiles at the mere thought of the intensity and passion of their heated exchanges}

    At the sound of the opening door the writer turns to address his trusted advisor and beneficiary. “I’m sorry for the intrusion…all the arrangements have been made as per your instructions. Afterwards the attendants will take you to join with the master.”

    Excellent..Let’s get it fishned then shall we. I want to dine with my husband by sundown…..They leave the chamber together and the writer is heard to say…. “If they axmen makes it on the first pass pay him a six month bonus and retire him in splendor“…


    I’m proud to let you all know that things went well. The happy couple were reunited by nightfall, and the administration of Edinburgh passed on to the next ruling dynasty with out a trace of scandal.
    The letter addressed to Theo was placed on the glowing coals of the fireplace as previously instructed……


    Cut scene…curtain closes…


    Entrant 3 - Musthavename
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Stone Soldier


    The merchant walked past the street he passed through every morning. He was on his way to his market stall to try and sell some goods, just like any other morning. He just turn the corner past a noble's house. It was then he looked with surprise to his left.



    A statue. "That wasn't there before..." he looked on with curiosity. It was still early in the day, but it definetly wasn't there the other night. "Maybe the noble shipped it in overnight?". Still, it seemed unlikely. He approached the statue and touched the cold stone plaque on its base.



    "A Momument to Sir Robin the Brave - 1262-1294"



    He then took a step back in surprise. But... this year was 1294. He read on...



    "For his heroic attack on the market town of Silsbury, October 4th, where he valiantly died to capture the town. May his memory be a light for all to aspire to".



    But... today was the 4th... and this was Silsbury! Something didn't add up. He took another step back to investigate the statue again. It... it wasn't the same! It's spear was raised and pointed, almost straight at him!



    He stood in awe as a loud crumbling noise echoed around him. The stone spear pierced his chest and he cried out in pain. As he made his dying breaths, he saw the statue step down from his podium... The town was at his mercy.




    Entrant 4 - Theodotos I
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    Tears for the Fallen


    A chill breeze whips through the churchyard, leaves ripped free from their moorings and sent flying through the air. The harbinger of an approaching squall.
    Above the sky grows dark, clouds covering the face of the earth. Blocking out the light of the sun.
    Rain, first a few teasing drops, then more, pelting down with angry force as the heavens break forth in a torrent.
    The man stands there, seemingly untroubled by the gale. A spear gripped tightly in his right hand, a shield strapped to his left forearm. Wind swirls around him, rain lashing at his granite cloak.
    And yet there he stands, unflinching. The storm is nothing to him. He has seen thousands of them, hundreds more fierce. What is one more?
    He stands above the grave of a fallen hero, a man who stood as hardily in the defense of his country as the statue stands now in remembrance of his deeds.
    His name?
    It matters not—that has been lost long ago, the inscription to his heroism worn away by the elements. The only tribute left to him is the statue, a stony soldier standing in remembrance of the unknown. A country lives today because of this man and his comrades, their lives forfeit in a forgotten conflict.
    Rain smites his face, running in rivulets down stony cheeks formed by the hands of a long-ago craftsman. Tears.
    Tears for the fallen. . .


    Entrant 5 - Nazgûl Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Never To Be Forgotten.

    "Move it move it! They ain't gonna kill themselves!" Yelled the captain... "Get our arses out of that ship, NOW!" He screamed over the roar of flaming arrows hitting all around and on the ship, killing a few soldiers.
    "Come on, Tom, we need to hurry up!" I said to my friend who stood by me;
    "I know I know!" He replied, fixing his spear which was stuck in some sort of net; "Alright, let's go" He said, finally, as he removed the spear, all I could think was that my luck was probably the worst.
    Running outside, a volley of flaming arrows hit the soldiers around us, many dying and others just screaming in pain and misery, however drowned when they fell to the muddy beach or into the shallow waters, and couldn't rise up for one reason or another, the heavy rain made the enemy forces invisible, the only thing we knew is the general direction of them, we saw where they were, the men were scared, I could see it on their faces, but suddenly, with a great roar of excitement, the captain, an expert in battle, known to me only as 'The Captain' ran in front of his bodyguards in his special black armor, holding a sword an a shield, he looked back, and pointed with his sword towards the general direction of the enemy; "TO DEATH!" He roared, and with a grand roar of excitement, the entire army charged forth, mud, sand, storm, arrows, lightning and water did not stop an army this motivated, the sheer sight of the captain could make every coward a hero of myths.
    Charging to the - finally visible - enemy's front lines, we saw that they were mostly a force of archers, but they had plenty of foot soldiers, we engaged in combat to the death, us motivated by the captain, and them shocked by our audacity, in the midst of battle and screams, after killing an enemy soldier, I saw the captain facing off with the enemy prince, I ran to his aid, quickly.
    I was too late.
    The captain was already victorious. Smashing the prince's windpipe with his shield, the circle which was formed around the dueling two dissipated into an all out war, and the captain in the middle, I arrived to his side;
    "So, captain, how are things?"
    "Eh, you know, killing princes, helping armies, getting hit by arrows, all in a day's work" He smiled, and so did I, as we bashed and slashed the enemy army, which was faltering.
    I looked to a hilltop which wasn't too far off from us, just in sight in the pouring rain, and I saw a lone rider there, joined by about a hundred others... And I knew this was a bad omen, they charged down on us, and our army was shattered. One of the horsemen knocked me off my feet, and jabbed his lance at me, but the captain saved me, kicking it off with his foot, and the two engaged in a combat worthy of the mightiest of gods and titans, but this time it was the mounted warrior which had the upper hand, the captain was slain after fighting valiantly, and I, with pure rage, jabbed my sword up the rider's stomach... It was too late though, killing this rider won't help... We lost... And I ran.

    "Don't, break, it!" I yelled at the builder; "This needs to be FLAWLESS!" I screamed again, and finally, after a week's hard work, I finished the statue, all was left, was the carvings;

    Beneath This Statue Lies James Heavengate, Also Known As The Captain, One Of Our Greatest Heroes, Remember Him.


    Entrant 6 - molls
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Shoot and Run

    "So why are we hiding here? All the others have barricaded themselves in the houses..-"

    In this moment the frensh cannons introduced themselves to the town's buildings.
    Besides the great monument, where the two riflemen were hiding, the stone wall was struck causing the ceiling of the nearby structure to collaps.

    "Take cover! - Any more questions, Jack?"

    The two men pressed their backs on the monument.

    "Well Bob, after elaborating over the situation, I came to the conclusion that we may as well make our position here.
    Who is that guy worthy of a huge stone statue anyway?"

    "That's major Richard Sherp. 50 Years ago, he was the one who brought the frensh army on the edge of ruin - Look OUT!"

    The next volley crashed into the town, laying waste to everything that stood in the way of the projectiles.

    "It seems to me Bob, that he wasn't that successful after all - we're sitting ducks here for christs sake! Ah just tell man, what did he do?"

    "Richard Sherp used the common tactic "Shoot and Run" and reversed it to "Run and Shoot Later". T'was a major success against the frensh.
    He brought this technique to perfection after some battles, so that whenever he spotted frensh troops, he would not engage them, but retreat in the opposite direction.
    The Frensh bored themselves to death and started to desert one after another! This way their army turned into history, and Major Sherp was declared a british Hero."

    "And now they are back and we are to stop them with filthy partisan techniques, bah!"

    Jack peaked around the monuments edge to view the street.
    The air was full of dust and smoke, the streets covered in rubble. The other british soldiers were surprisingly quiet, in fact Jack couldn't notice any of them at all.
    Well they were stationed in the buildings, of course.

    Then finally, the frensh artillery stopped shooting and soon the sound of the drums and marching feet poured through the dust.

    Jack turned to Bob.

    "Here they come.."

    The drumming and marching grew louder. No shots were heard.
    Jack suddenly began to move. He crouched and sneaked away from the statue and the streets, heading in the direction of the fields that lay outside the town.

    "Jack what are you doing? Stay here and take cover! They must be very close!"

    Jack turned around.

    "Well Bob, I have learned a history lesson today and shall use the tactics of our great idols. And this tactic is called: 'Run and Shoot Later' ,isn't it?"

    Bob was puzzled.

    "But you can't just leave! That is... That's... ehm... You will be considered a deserter!"

    Jack grinned:

    "But I'll stay alive. 'Coming Bob?"



    TotW 29 - Sunset Charge

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    As the Setting of the Sun

    We met them outside town, the Crusader detachment encamped in a grove on the outskirts of the village. It mattered not they had entered our lands at the permission of our most Christian King Lazslo the First. Royal permission counts for naught when one's women have been ravished, when one's children fear to stir outside the cottage door, when one of their number lies dead in the street, beheaded by a drunken soldier.
    Permission? Bah!
    We were girt in our simple armor, a shield gripped tight in my hand, a helm upon my snow-white hair. I am old, and I have seen much of war. In my youth, I fought against the pagans of the north, driving them back into the steppes from which they came. I had fought and I had killed, their blood on the grass.
    That was behind me, or so I thought. I was content to take my rest on the land of my fathers. But now new pagans had come, pagans chanting Christ's name, holding His bloody cross high as though they wished to remember His death—only His death, ever renewed through their sacraments. A cult of death.
    Death they had now brought to our small village. Death they would now experience for themselves. I wondered how they would like it when it stared them in the face.
    We formed a line there by the grove, facing them. The sun was going down, a golden-red canopy over the heavens, casting strange shadows across the plain.
    Two men stepped from the Crusader line, tall, strong men. “Pick two of your men to fight our champions! Two men, against the two of us.”
    No one stirred. All of us had been affected by their deeds of darkness in the village. Either all of us would fight, or none.
    At length, the men began to march toward us. Insane. I watched them as they came steadily closer, the setting sun glinting off their weapons.
    They began to run, one of them screaming a challenge as he came toward me. I braced myself, catching his spear-tip in my shield as he jabbed violently toward my throat. I wrenched the shield, twisting the spear out of his grasp, thrusting into his side with my own.
    He fell, blood pouring from the hole in his side, staining the grass. His helm fell off and I saw his face. A boy, no older than my son, his eyes frightened, glazing with death, his life ending as the setting of the sun. I remembered the screams of the children and felt nothing. No pity. . .


    Entrant 1 - Nazgûl Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Just Another Ordinary Day

    Throwing his spear, Johanas saw that he hit a Hungarian cavalier in the head, killing him, with a smile he drew his sword and returned to the lines of the Polish soldiers, taking the shield off his back and supporting the main line against the incoming Hungarians.
    A volley of arrows flew above his head with an annoying buzzing sound, and several Hungarians fell to the ground, a few more arrows were shot, and the enemy suffered some more casualties, several troops of the militia battalion charged towards the enemy line, but it wasn't long until they were cut down, Johanas ordered his cavalry to move to the flanks of the enemy and wait, and with a click of a button ordered his archers to stop firing, and the infantry to charge, the battle was messy, Johanas' Captain was fighting furiously and the infantry were winning the fight, sending in the final blow, Johanas clicked on the enemy troops and his cavalry charged to assist, his archers also broke skirmish and attacked! The battle was almost won! Victory was in his--- "Johanas! Wake up! Time for breakfast!"
    His mom yelled, and he fell out of his chair, looking up his saw that he fell asleep on his keyboard, playing Medieval 2: Total War.


    Entrant 2 - Kátz







    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Tom and Jerry










    Tom and Jerry always sit in the same bench, stuck on the same boat since they are 6 years old. They have features distinctly unique to others, they are always together, but are always quarreling. People are confused at them, even their tutor, Roger does not know what are they doing always. Tom is a cat lover, and Jerry is a mouse lover. Perhaps it's the reason Tom is always together with Jerry, he's chasing him like cats and mouses!

    Then...... 17 years old, both of them joined the military. Tom is just following suit to Jerry so he can chase him all day with his lifetime hobby of the anti-mouse guild. All day, Jerry must tire his legs running away from Tom. It's really getting on his nerves. Tom is just obsessed with him.

    Their first battle.... The battle of Strato, is a place where love is on it's heights, at least in the rumours of lovers. Now is the time, is Tom really hating Jerry? Or instead, he loves him? Let's find out guys.

    After the general finished his battle speech, Jerry let's out his charging words, the sound is as startling as a squeaking mouse. Tom, soon follows suit. Blurting out the words openly, with a loose shout, terrors down the enemy : "JERRY, I LOVE YOU!!!!!"

    Heck! He sounds like a gay in front of other people. Meowing up like a cat... Shame on you Tom, SHAME ON YOU. But hey, you are in front of other people! And IN FRONT OF SPEARS!!!!


    Entrant 3 - Aldgarkalaughskel
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A WEIRD DREAM
    - Hon, wake up... Honey, come on, wake up.
    - What... What time is it? - I said rubbing my eyes, feeling awful and splendid at the same time.
    - It's 6:30. And it's snowing. There's going to be heavy traffic. You need to wake up or you'll be late from work.
    - Oh funk. I'm tired. Let me sleep a little more...
    - You were foruming all night AGAIN, weren't you? - she asked frowningly, rolled up the shatters and stared at the curtains over the window. I looked at her gorgeous hair, as if I wasn't sure if I could see her tonight. - Come, I'll make breakfast for you.

    I walked out to the bath to shave myself, and heard the morning news blabber about the US recession. I started to remember what a weird dream I had...

    "My dear friends, we have come here for one reason. To fight those who have put our nose to the grindstone and win back our freedom again.

    Some of you are thinking you won't fight or you can't fight. But keep in mind, that even if we fail, our story will be told by the good men all over the world. We shall resettle our community at a new place and start it from the scratch. In any case, this day will be remembered in the history of total war..."

    - Honey, come! Your coffee almost got cold.
    - I'm coming! - I said, sat down at the table and started to chew my musli almost insensately.
    - You were talking in your sleep again. This is the third night you are doing that.
    - Sorry about that - I laughed - What was I saying?

    "As you all know we are going to war against Creative Assembly. CA decided to purchase the site after the February Ambush in which infuriated TWC members - pissed off by the bugs and poor performance of the demo - attacked the heaquarters of the new owner followed by the March Revolution where several thousand total war fans conspired to boycott the game worldwide. After The Purchase CA started to delete whole ETW mod forums that were distributing files downloadable only from Steam. The Curia became alive again, citizens protesting, moderators, even admins resigning... CA responded by appointing banned members for moderators and giving mass citizenship for everyone with 50 posts, unwittingly mobilizing the forces of the Consilium Plebis. Martial law, then chaos took over the site. Most of us took refuge here, at the Org, but now our presence is becoming uncomfortable due to our massive spamming...

    You got your shields and spears at General Sun's tent. Halie Satanus designed them carefully to give you a massive bonus against AI stupidity...

    Today we fight by all that we held dear of our beloved site.
    Today we fight shouting our fearsome motto: MY SULTAN WISHES YOU DEAD!

    NOW CHAAAARGE!"


    Entrant 4 - Sun Zaraki







    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Aristeia








    The two armies, separated by the smallest gulf of open air, stood as opposing but at the same time attracting forces, both not wishing to fight but also wishing for blood. The Polish on the left cowered in fear, retreating slowly into the forest. The Hungarians to the right, praying for blood but exhausted from chasing the rout. The Poles had nowhere to go, nowhere to run now... thay had hoped to run into the forests but it proved more of a hinderence than a gift. They turned to face their attackers...
    It was then that the man, a Gustav Wladslaw, shook his head in disbelief. He had been sure to see his home in Krakow again, to hold his children in his arms again, to kiss his wife again, but, now the enemy was so close, he was sure of deaths misty embrace. He stepped out of the line, making his comrades shift together to hold the line. Gustav turned, lifted his helmet from his head, and they saw tears in his eyes and cleaning his bloodied face.
    "I have seen... seen too much this day. Seen my friends fold to the spears of the Huns, seen my brother cry for help just as the sword came down... so cleanly... came down into his shoulder and watched the life leave his eyes blank. I have no future now, and if i run, how long until i must fight them again? No... i cannot take this fight home..."
    Gustav slipped his helmet back over his sweaty brow, the chainmail to guard the neck burned from the heat of the day. Turning to face his enemy, he noticed another man, only one other, step out from the line an rotate his shoulders as if to attempt to rid the fear of death from him. Gustav smiled, but looked back upon his enemy.
    His mind cast back to the face of his beautiful, smiling wife, her face etched intoo the cloudline. The world seemed unreal now he was so close to death, as if painted to fit his imagination. The sun seemed so dim, perhaps to hide his fear, the trees were blurred at the tips and the hills on which they had previously fought seemed so far away. "Enough," Gustav snapped quietly to himself, heaved up his shield and looked at one of the Huns straight in the eyes. For the last time his wife appeared in his mind, but now she was sad, tears staining her perfect face, standing behind her children who also were were weeping sorrowfully... but before Gustav knew it, he was already running........


    Entrant 5 - Sunbird Alkibijad
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Father's Tear

    "Haven't they learned nothing so far..."
    "I've been watching them do the same thing over and over again...For thousands of years, and yet they keep at it."

    Sun sets in the west as the two armies approach each other for the imminent clash. It casts an eerie aura over the slaughter field to be...The gray-bluish clouds seem to soak up the bloodied gold of the dying light, as the blood is about to soak the meadow of butchery...

    "Why won't they learn...Has my lost child imbued himself so hard in the spirit of men that they will rather see their enemies blade than the plow in their fields..."
    "I cast the days last glance on You my children, as my eye is about to hide itself behind the eyelid you so innocently call horizon. For tonight, my lost son will feed on your souls, and I shall not have the sight of my creation once I cast my eye upon the world tomorrow."

    "Yet you call my name just now, I can hear you do it. Oh yes, I can.
    But I won't heed your words, I won't hear your cries, I won't watch you damn each other to eternal embrace of my lost son."

    And so He closes his golden eye, letting one last bloodied tear fill the sky with sorrowful gleam, an image of what He wishes not to see...


    Entrant 6 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Nike?


    John strapped on his heavy, leather boots. He delicately scraped the mud off the toe and laced them up. The past few battles and seen them drenched in mud, drowned in a stream, and splattered with the vital fluids of other men. Still, they were a good pair and had served him faithfully.

    Opposite John sat a man of medium build and unremarkable characteristics. Steven was his name. His boots were not so well off. A hole in the left sole left his feet completely exposed on the bottom, and worse, his laces had torn. As he cursed his luck, he looked up and called out to heaven "Why, Oh Lord, do you subject me to these hardships?"

    Just then, a box dropped from the skies. A peculiar brown box. Opening the box revealed two strange looking foot wear with the inscription 'Air Jordan' written in white string on the side. They were shorter and less heavy than boots, but much more elaborate than sandals. The insides were soft and the entire thing was purely white.

    Hesitating, Steven pulled the shoes over his swollen feet, and they fit like a dream. He stood up and bounced on his heels, testing the new shoes. He noted their weightlessness and support for his knees. Just then the assembly drum began to roll. Steven grabbed his spear and shield and headed to formation.


    After several minutes of (blissful) walking, the troop made contact with the enemy. The horn to charge rang out, and the formation moved as one towards the enemy. Steven noticed something strange....he had passed his comrades....the shoes....they were making him accelerate at speeds he had not previously known. He crashed into his opponents at full speed and knocked the first five completely on their faces. Several seconds later his comrades reached the scene and the enemy was driven from the field.



    Entrant 7 - Elendil of Númenor


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    What Counts



    Jack fell to the ground laughing as John lay on the grass for the tenth time in a row.


    “I give up” John said, panting “you really are the best dueler in the Army, Ben.”


    “Care to have another one?” Ben said teasingly.


    “No way. I'll need some strength for the enemy...”


    “The enemy?” joined Jack. “I don't believe we'll fight them...”


    “Everyone knows our King's a coward” Ben said in a low voice.


    It was well past noon and the forest gave a cool shade against the last hot rays of the sun.


























    Flocks of birds rose into the air, twittering madly, as a thunderous horn blast the silence.


    The enemy is here!” sounded the cry. The enemy line could be seen standing a few feet from the trees, their leader galloping forward. To meet him, stumbled the King. The King wasn't used to this life. He lived in castles, palaces, not forests. Ornaments decorated him and his horse, which he could barely ride.


    “Is there no way to avoid bloodshed?” asked the King.


    “You want a duel perhaps?” snarled the enemy leader.


    “Perhaps.” He turned to his army. “Anyone?” They started chanting Ben's name, so he stepped forward.


    “Fine then.” Spat the enemy. “Marcos, come and gut this weakling!”

    The King scuttled back, even dropping one of his bracelets in the hurried process.



























    Thus the duel began. Sparks flared as the two blades clashed. Ben was easily defeating his opponent and soon knocked the sword out of his hand. Suddenly, intent on what was before him, he tripped on a silver bracelet in the grass. His opponent quickly grabbed for his sword and thrust it right through Ben's back. Scarlet blood spilled, and the enemy army cheered, whilst the King sighed,


    “Well... retreat, then.”


    Suddenly, two figures leaped out of the line, the setting sun reflecting a heavenly light on their helms as they charged into the enemy. The Army cried together and ran forward, after the heroes.













    “Beautiful victory, my Lord!” people said to the King after the battle. He was forever remembered as the saviour of his country.








    “But it was Jack and John who won the battle, wasn't it, Dad?” asked the son of a soldier.




    “Yes, son. But you see, it wasn't fame and glory what the three friends wanted. All they wanted, was to fight for their country. And that's what counts.”







    Entrant 8 - Juvenal

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    Stopping Distance




    The Keel of Sven Sigaardsen was renowned as the rowdiest in the army, so experienced that every man had a hideous looking scar and an interminable battle story full of heroic charges, victory against the odds and the gratitude of the local women at their prodigious stamina and generously proportioned manhoods. The biggest braggarts and hardest drinkers of all were Anders and Henning.





    The current campaign had started well. Landing from their swift silent longships and descending on the poorly defended English town like locusts, destroying and consuming everything in their path.






    But a passing enemy flotilla burned the precious longships before the Danes could return to defend them. The cowardly English refused to come ashore and fight like men, being content to cast insults from the safety of their boats.






    After falling out amongst the chieftains, Sigaardsen's Keel found themselves taking a separate route, heading for a Danish enclave a few days march away. On the second day they came across a monastery, and stopped to pillage.






    But the following day, Sigaardson decided to cut short the celebrations and resume the march, the monks had been wine-makers, and the whole Keel was in serious danger of drinking itself to death.






    The men stumbled on through the late afternoon, hot sun on their backs, Anders and Henning trailing slightly behind the main body, doggedly drinking their way through the three skins of wine apiece they carried.






    Then there was a shout, a small group of English Thegns had been spotted ahead and the Keel came to a ragged halt. Henning took one bleary look at the enemy, let loose a skiirling war cry and charged straight at them with Anders running along in his wake.






    Oblivious to the fact that the rest of the Keel hadn't followed, the two friends converged on the frightened looking English. Then there was a strange rippling in the grass ahead and a hundred more Thegns rose up to face the astonished duo.






    Unable to stop their charge Anders and Henning pitched into the English mass. They were last seen with their spears broken, whirling their axes amidst dozens of enemy warriors, while the men of Sven Sigaardsen looked on amazed and admiring.






    It is little wonder that every boast the two heroes had ever made now went verbatim straight into the Sagas, carried by the unstoppable force of eye-witness testimony from fifty hung-over Vikings.





    TotW 30 - Death and Glory awaits you

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Winner - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Eulogy


    Twelve weeks. Blood and fire. I stand alone now, amidst a field of the fallen, looking down into the face of my friend. He is gone now. He rose from the ranks to become our leader. He led us, inspired us, drove us onward through every challenge until our fame spread across every hill and dale of Total War Center.

    Through week after week, struggle after struggle, he remained ever the voice of reason, ever the leader of the charge. A new week, a new battle to the death. And now he has left us. . .

    I find myself dazed, the hot glow of a blood-red sun beating down upon my armor. It seems too much to believe. Were it not for him, I would not stride this battlefield today. If not for him, many the glory would have been lost, many the warrior would lie forgotten upon the field of battle. If not for his bravery, heroes we would not be.

    He wielded his pen as a flaming sword and called for others to follow trembling where he tread in might.

    His name? I give it to you, the name of a fallen hero, of a new Achilles,a name for the ages--mollsomg!!!!!!


    Entrant 1 - Nazgûl Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Seventh Battalion

    "I told them... They weren't ready..." Spat Gargarious at the dead prince's body. "But, what did they do? Send them anyway... Second legion my a..."
    "Garg!" Yelled a man, Gargarious quickly looked back, to see his battle-worn comrade, filled with blood, gashed and open wounds, running to him as he collapsed, Gargarious felt some sort of a sting in his heart, he kneeled down near his wounded friend;
    "You'll be all-right, I promise you. You'll be fine. We've won, the healers are coming to assist the wounded, you'll be just fine" Gragarious mumbled helplessly as his friend stared back at him and suddenly smiled;
    "That was one hell of a first battle... Eh?"
    "Yeah. You did good, thanks for the help."
    "My pleasure, Garg..." He said and his eyes became veiled, his breath disappearing and his heart stopping.
    Gragarious got up with a pinch in his heart which went so deep, he thought it would crack him in half, he approached the enemy prince which he slew only moments again, and cut his head off, lifting it up from the hairs and approaching his dead friend's body...
    "This one's... For you..." He threw the head at the enemy soldiers which were trying to gather themselves after this insane battle, and defeat for them, after being allowed to carry their fellow soldiers' bodies to their lands, the soldiers were awestruck, soon after the head landed near them, Gragarious ran to them, roaring, sword flinging in the air... He's had enough of life...


    Entrant 2 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A New Leonidas

    Today is the day where we, Spartans worth the worship of the other Greeks. Are holding out against the Romans at Thermopylae, our last bastion of defense. Truth be told that we are only 300, against their huge army of 10.000 men! It is the day where we shall die....... WITH HONOR AND GLORY!!

    Pausanias, a cowardly figure can only listen to these words of bravery, yet a presence touches him, both inside his heart and outside his bodies. It is the deceased Leonidas. Who holds the Persian with his 300 soldiers, including himself here in this place where stains of blood has not been cleaned yet. Perhaps it is time he changes for the better.

    There, the Romans are at us. Hold them at bay, I, Pausanias, sees them throwing their javelins, which they called pilum, if in plural is pila. I see 30 of my hardy fellows fall down. With blood coming out of their mouth, their face, their body, and lastly, their legs.

    The Romans have all but one flaw, I know they are powerful, disciplined, an army worh our respect. But there is one and one only. Their leaders are in an internal strife. Soon, after we hold them out long enough they will fight themselves. I guarantee it.

    The remaining 9.000 men of Rome has been demoralized by the Spartan moral. Their leaders, Publius and Cassius fights themselves. Soon enough they all crumble at each other's face to face of Rome's fights.

    With Cassius dead to Publius' sword. Pausanias soon rushes at him, his sword has been blessed by the Sun. Cutting his head off his body.


    Leonidas, know that I dedicate this victory to you.



    Entrant 3 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Novelty Gift
    “Try something new every day!“ Tycho always said.


    What Tycho liked to call his Agèma was now just a mercenary band, Lakedaimonian in name only and leavened with the worst scum of the Peloponnesus.


    But the Oracle at Theudoria, high in the Pindus Mountains, changed their luck.


    Nikephoros led the storming party, killing most of the Molossian guards before they even found their swords. Tycho then got to work on Sophia, leader of the acolytes. She was quite stubborn, and by the time Tycho got what he wanted, was missing several fingernails.


    Rather than return south to their employer, Tycho took the band east to Macedonia. Their fortunes waxed in the succeeding months as they learned how to use their prize. Tycho operating the Box and Nikephoros interpreting the Scroll. The foreign incantations were clear, but undecipherable. Marginal notes, scrawled in a shaky hand, only hinted at their meaning.


    Then Tycho got the band into a situation beyond even the capabilities of the God-Box. Finding the army they were employed to join already destroyed, they were ambushed by thousands of Thracian tribesmen and forced into a tight knot, sheltering behind their shields from incoming javelins.


    None of the commands were any good this time. Blinding Light wouldn't last long enough for them to make their escape, Cloud of Sleep was too local in its effect and the Lightning of Zeus would kill just a few score among the multitude.


    “Find something stronger!” Tycho yelled in Nikephoros's ear as they crouched under the great slab around which they had based their last stand.


    “No! I don't know what it does!”


    “Do what you're told you whore-son, what could be worse than this?”


    Reluctantly, Nikephoros gave the pronunciation for the command that had no notes against it. Tycho stood straight, God-Box in hand, and addressed himself to heaven proclaiming the barbaric syllables...


    “KLUS-TYR-BOM-MY-PO-SY-CHON”


    There followed the loudest noise Niko had ever heard, thunder, earthquake and fire all rolled into one.


    Some unknown time later, he awoke and crawled painfully out from under the slab. The whole plain was pock-marked with craters and the only remaining signs of life were piled body-parts. By some strange irony, he stumbled on the head of Tycho, still bearing an expression of surprise. On a whim he lifted it and addressed his ex-leader.


    “So, what would you like to try next?”


    Entrant 4 - Sunbird Alkibijad
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    HAZE...
    "I've walked this field before. The field littered with bodies of brave heroes and vile enemies. Ages before...And now I walk upon it today."

    The lone Spartan straightens up and looks into the distance. His eyes gazing into distance, almost as if trying to see beyond the limits of time, somewhere where he used to burn with same passion, in some other age.
    It finally hits him...As the warm finally flushes the chill away from his tired body, he starts to feel the cold rim oh his helmet cutting into his skin just below the eyes...He remembers what made him live through the day...
    It wasn't the will to live, it wasn't the training he endured since the earliest days of infancy that he could remember...It was the words his "civilized" enemy spoke, while commanding savage slave tribes...
    "Surrender your weapons, Spartans!"
    He remembered the overbearing attitude of the foul fiend...The tingling feeling of rage burning up the last bits of his sanity...

    He slowly kneels down, cutting a head off from one the dead savage slave, and lifts it up, having thrown his sword away, looking into it's empty eyes, almost as if looking for an answer...
    The lips cracking dry, open and unleash a thunderous shout, turning his face, just a mere moment ago an example of serenity, into beastly distorted face of terrors:
    "MOLON LAVE!!!" *
    Now, with a limp, he looks into distance, the head of savage dangling by it's blond hair and whispers, almost tenderly:
    "Molon lave, tora..." **
    A late-day haze sets in the field of horrors as a Spartan Paean slowly sends a steady stream of welcome chill through his spine.
    Checking the weight of his shield on his left arm, he threads slowly towards his unit readying for the final charge at the bewildered remnants of Roman army now free of barbarian allies...

    *Come and get them. = Free translated quote, you all are more or less familiar with, attributed to Leonidas at Thermopylae as an answer to Persian request to lay down their weapons.

    **Come and get them, now...= Pay attention to the way it's spoken. "Tora" is modern greek, as I didn't manage to find ancient greek version of "now" term.


    Entrant 5 - R3G3N
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    A life had and lost
    Slias knew what was coming….

    Only one foe could inflict such carnage upon a legion….

    Only one enemy severed the heads of the fallen….

    Only one evil could turn the sky, the home of the gods, the colour of Hades….

    The horsemen from the East were coming….

    Coming by the thousands….

    They had slaughtered Rome’s finest legion, the guardians of their Eastern border….

    What could one small city do….

    Made weak by Roman protection….

    His men would need to be strong….

    If they faltered then all they knew would be destroyed….

    He had seen them come once before….

    He still heard their hellish battle cry….

    Could still sense the fear that gripped a veteran to his very core….

    He still felt the spittle from their horses upon his neck….

    The barbs of their arrows as they tore at his body….

    The hopelessness as his friends died around him….

    The humiliation of slavery….

    The searing pain of the pack masters whip….

    He could still taste the dust of the chalk mine….

    The metallic taste of his own blood as he rotted….

    He could feel the ecstasy of escape….

    The warmth of sunlight upon his broken frame….

    The embrace of his wife he thought he had left forever….

    All to be lost….

    All to be banished….

    All to be forgotten….

    All to be replaced….

    Replaced by despair that the savage horsemen had returned….

    …..and the knowledge that he would never feel again.



    TotW 30b - Describe the City's Inhabitants Daily Life
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    Winner - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The End of an Era

    Tranquility. It was the first word that struck me as I gazed out over the city. Splendor. A land untouched by the ravages of time.
    The sun broke over the heathen temple dedicated to its worship, its myriad-colored rays dancing down mossy steps watered by the blood of countless sacrifices.
    Mountains loomed over the primeval city, like guardians, their slopes covered emerald green with the jungles.
    I undid the knapsack at my side and withdrew a small spyglass, fixing it to my eye as I gazed at the city. People scurried through the streets, and by the power of my lens, I could see many of them carried weapons of one sort or another. They were congregating on the temple.
    My appreciation for splendor vanished with the morning mist, my glass following their ascent up the rough stone steps of the temple.
    By all the saints, it would be a hard struggle to rout them, once they were safely esconced in their citadel.
    There was but one thing left to do. I turned, motioning to the men at my side. The little cannon rolled forward, already loaded with one of the few iron shot we had brought with us from the motherland.
    I stepped to the rear of the piece, one of the men handing me a flaming brand. One hand across my ear, I stooped, placing the flame to the touchhole.
    The charge exploded, a thunderous boom echoing across the valley. An alien sound in this peaceful land. I looked up just in time to see the top of the temple disintegrate under the impetus of our cannonball, stone flying through the air, men falling from its height.
    The end of an era. I raised my sword, calling to those behind me to follow. “Viva el Rey! Viva el Rey!
    Truly, the end of an era. . .


    Entrant 1 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Yes..... WORSHIP IT.

    It is the holy day that is the first day the city called Tenochtitlan is celebrated. Moctezuma, the Aztec leader seeks many hapless and unfortunately human to the sacrificial pit of doom. Many things have changed since that fateful day. A Great Temple for us Aztecs has been built. With a beautiful layout that is our beautiful creation of houses and buildings with the magnificence of Aztec architecture and The Sun God who may not be named that pays us a visit using the Sun. When it sets, it always looks at our Great Temple. This is only a mark that we worship him and he worships us.

    Today the Aztec streets are bustling with activity, a trade of money, worshipping items, games, dances of Aztec tradition are being celebrated today with great celebration. Such times only come during important days like this.

    Now, to avoid being a subject to the sacrifice. The Aztecs run away from the military guards, mainly the skinny ones. Usually, the skinny humans are subject to death by the cruel tradition of the Aztecs. And then a human called Az comes as a wandering traveler. To his surprise, he is picked by them to be sacrificed!

    "What the heck are you trying to do?!" He nags at the Aztecs.
    "You are here to be sacrificed." The Aztecs reply, with a harsh accent.
    "Let me go! LET ME GO!" More nags from Az.
    "Shut up and worship it!" The Aztecs again say. Finally backed with Moctezuma's voice.

    "There We see the Great Temple, a place where life is balanced, a place where the sun is balanced, a place where we are depending on, and a place where we worship the Sun God. Today is the fateful day Tenochtitlan is built. And This Temple wishes to be commemorated along with the city. And now..... you, are chosen to be sacrificed for us and the Gods up in the heaven. Be honored."

    "I still wanna live....."

    "Men and Women and Children of the Sun God! Today we shall be honored as this day unfolds in the sights of our eyes. Do you look at the Sun? It is staring at us, mainly at those who are inside the Temple. It is only a sign that the Sun God wishes to participate in this fateful day! Now.... Let us all worship it!"

    Yes........ WORSHIP IT.



    Entrant 2 - Nazgûl Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The City

    "Ahh, it's finally complete" Said John, smiling at his creation.
    "Yeah... You know it's about time, didn't take you too long" I smiled, and I was sure I could hear him mumble something like;
    "Bit--..." Annoying him was my favorite thing to do when I got bored, he worked on this pyramid for days, weeks, it was his little baby, and my god was he proud, looking at it as if he has just created a bloody space-ship that could travel the length of the galaxy in two seconds... However this would make the people at the archeological center proud.
    "So, when do we get out of here? We need to bring them here or bring it to them?" I asked, somewhat patiently, "Well? Come on John, we need to get out of here, well, -YOU- need to get out of here and see some sunlight, I had a date last night" I smiled and bragged, rubbing it in harder and harder "And was he good..." After smiling again, I continued to grunt at him "So! When?"
    "I don't... Know... Maybe we shiuld..." John thought for a second, looking at his little baby and back at me, afterward at the exit and the sign and than at the pyramid again, he picked up the miniature model of the city and signaled me to follow.
    "The arche-geeks would be so proud" I said, annoying him again.


    Entrant 3 - Hesus de bodemloze
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    The scared boy

    It was a beautiful morning in Cuzo the capital of the Tahuantisuyu empire. The sky was filed with dew this morning like every morning. It was spring, you could tell because the wild live was starting to get lively again. Birds where preparing there nests, insects activity was starting to multiply. Yes even those swarms of annoying mosquitos where back again. Live wa wonderfull but a pain in the ... SMACK auch, little Amaru tript over somthing. His knee was hurt but he would survive it. He scratched his head and looked at his knee, that will leave a bruise he thought. I got to be more carefull when i am daydreaming, he started to smile but stoped as sudden as he started it when he noticed something big was situated on the other side of the stone road. Amaru pulled his small little body back on its feet, - a small body it was he was only 6 years of age - and walked to the mysterious object on the other side of the road. It took him a few paces before he got there as the object had been moved by his fall. When I got closer to the object it slowly revelead it self. When he got closer Amaru’ s face started to change colour. The object that made him trip wasn’ t some thing you would find lying around every day. It was the head of a prisoner of war that was sacrificed to Inti our sun god and ruler of all our gods. This bloody sacrifice was made in the red temple, his home for many centuries now. Amaru looked up at the huge red temple, the stairs that would lead to the seat of Inti were still coloured by the blood of all the prisoners that where sacrificed a few days a go. Amaru rilled at the sight of the temple he prayed to the other gods this sacrificing would stop soon, it all started when the harvest failed. This is when the misery started, thinking back at this day of disaster made Amaru sad. It wasn’ t a SUPER day afther all.

    The End


    Last edited by wowbanger; June 23, 2011 at 09:17 AM. Reason: Added TotW 30b



    "Some writers never know what's to be written until they see it on the page...." Some words of wisdom from my good friend, Mega Tortas de Bodemloze

  8. #8
    wowbanger's Avatar Jimmy's winning matches
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 31 - Somewhere beyond the sea...Somewhere waiting for me...
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    Winner - Theodotos I
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    The Storyteller

    “You see, it was down about Cape Horn that it 'appened, back in '49. We were takin' a boatload of those consarned Yankee minin' fellows to Californy in the early days of the rush. I was first mate of the brig Hampshire in those days, had Geoffrey Sikes as skipper on the voyage—you lads remember 'im, don't you?”
    A few nods around the room and the storyteller continued, sipping his pint contentedly. “Well, like I say, I was first mate at the time, working my way up to become a master's mate. We was on our way round the Horn, running into some 'eavy weather—those Yankees were leaning over the rail, puking their guts out all the way. Maybe that's what aroused the blighter, I'll never know. Anyway, we were there one moment, forging forward through the gale—we had reefed most of the sail so it wouldn't get torn, ended up losing the top-gallant yards in the process—but we were still making progress. And, all of a sudden, this fellow rises up off our stern. Lord 'elp me if he wasn't higher than our mizzen.”
    The seaman paused and took another long sip, deliberately drawing his audience out. Finally one of them asked, “Really?”
    “Gospel truth, boy. Well, I thought it was a big wave at the first, then I saw his eyes. Just like flames of fire, piercing through the storm. Then his jaws opened and a roar like a thousand cannons hit our ship, nearly knocking us over on our beam-ends. Men were screaming like children. The shortest of his teeth were as long as my cane, and each of them razor-sharp. The skipper ordered me and the midshipman, Jim 'Arkins, to train the carronade on the blighter, but before we could react, the monster took a bite out of the stern, oak planks snapping like matchsticks. The ship lurched and began to go down fast by the stern and I knew right then that we were doomed. I rushed to the stern to inspect the damage and it was bad. I looked up and saw the monster right on top of me, his jaws closing for a second time. I tried to move, but it was too late. There was nothin' I could do.”
    Another long draught as the sailor slaked his thirst, replacing the empty pint on the top of the bar. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, seeming in no hurry to finish his story.
    “What happened?” Someone asked.
    A grin crossed his wizened, leathery face. “Well, then the monster ate me. . .”


    Entrant 1 - Nazgûl Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Ride of My Life.

    "WHOA!" I yelled, as we went downwards very steeply, waters sprinkling all over us, we were scattered all across, and it was hillariously scary, we kept going on and on and it was getting very dark, water kept sprinkling at us as the sounds of the monstrous waves clashing into the 'ship' were heard.
    Many people screamed but it was engulfed by the enormous noise of yells from the sailors and the captain, the sound of the rattling sail, the cracking and crackling wood...
    This time I was almost thrown off, luckily the restraints kept me in place, we rattled back and forth and to the sides, as the sounds of the enormous waves were heard again and even more water sprinkled over us, eventually as some 'moonlight' was shown, we were facing a monstrous beast, gigantic sea monster stood in front of us and it ripped the 'ship' in half with its bare hands, grabbed a few 'sailors' and ate them, it rampaged completely! It was insane and I was bloody terrified!
    "JOHN! THIS IS INSANE!" Shirly yelled to me
    "I know! Isn't it fun!?" I yelled back
    "Hell yeah!" She said, I could see her faint smile in the dark as more water sprinkled at us, finally, the lights were operational again, and some were quite happy about that, the restrains were released and we climbed out, looking at each other, we both smiled, I knew this was a good idea bringing her here.
    "That was some ride." She concluded as we stepped out of the theme-park.


    Entrant 2 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I knew it.....

    Hello, I am Jack Sparrow. I joined this expedition for a treasure called "Davy Jones' Heart". We sing in the Caribbean. We sail in the seas. We live in the ship. Loud and clear, Bang at head. Ready at lock. We march to the place called the Atlantis. Or perhaps, the Bermuda? To think rain would hinder our sail ahoys is absurd. Wherever it is, I want to be in the Sea forever. Forever at peace. Love at peace.

    My ship, The Black Pearl, is known by the people as cursed. We know it as blessed. Law and Order. Civil and disciplined. We march all day, we do not land to port. We hunt for fishes during our free time. We burn them for our food. We can't die forever. We can't be caught by whispersnappers of the Sea.

    My assistant ship, Unnamed. Is travelling along with us. We enjoy our time together. With love.
    My love, Elizabeth. Wishes to stay in the sea forever. If that is her wish I shall fulfill it. Even if I must die, even if I must go to the corners of the world.

    So today we got to the Bermuda, it amazes me. The water is so calm. The air is so breezeful and does not show signs of rain. We are happy, we sing our national anthem : The Pirates Anthem. Lyrics are :

    We shall go to the sea forever
    go to the sea forever
    go to the sea forever
    For we are the men of the sea
    we cannot be defeated inside our ships
    for we are the undefeatable pirates
    O The Black Pearl
    You are our love, our hope, our life
    It's time you shall be known
    known by the world
    known by the world
    And never be defeated

    Ahoy landlubbers of the sea
    you are not belong to the sea
    you belong in the hell
    wait until we draw our cutlasses
    then you are carried by hades to hell
    to the hell
    to the hell

    And then.... Storm! The sails of our ships have been broken. The hull has been damaged. And on top of that. We shall see one worth our rivalry : The Flying Dutchman! But it's too late, when we known it's appearance, a Huge Shark comes, my friend's ship has been eaten alive along with the savvy crews. And mine is next. I knew it for the first day we touch the Bermuda, a curse inflicts us. God help us!


    Entrant 3 - TheTrueGreek
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    THE FIRST BURMUDA DISSAPEARANCE.
    That monster? what is that? asked George, a stocky man who was in dismay.

    That, That is what some would call, Godzilla in Japan, Kracken in Greece, and your mum in Ireland. replied Captain James.

    Its headed right for us though, shouldn't we change course?

    No, for i intend to kill this monster, bring it to her majesty, and become a better version of Sir Drake, who knows, they might even make a film after my deeds.

    Grabbing his trusty harpoon, James thrusted it at the beast, only for it to bounce off.

    He grabbed another one, and it bounced off.

    The monster had not moved one inch.

    Another, and another bounces off.

    By this time, they have come almost next to it, and only then do they realize what it really is. Only the sound of the movement of stones foretold their doom, John would never be knighted and George would never become a captain of his own ship. Their screams would not be heard, their blood never seen. All that remained was the monster, Godzilla to some, Kracken to others, death to all.

    Patrol ship Yorkshire was never heard from again, although they say that the land was once belonging to a race that had dissapeared long ago, into the sea.


    Entrant 4 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Bitter Pill


    He was sleepy and sluggish from his quiet time drifting in the still darkness. Feeling pangs of hunger, he decided to visit the Bright, maybe something tasty might have come along while he was gone. But the Bright wasn't living up to its name today, the light was weak and its familiar thin acidic taste was much stronger than usual.

    Coming closer to the Barrier, he noticed it scintillating with thousands of tiny flickering bursts. Slowly (for he still wasn't fully awake) he began to realise that this might be an interesting day after all. The flickering meant that the Barrier could be passed today, that the horrible searing touch of the Other Side would be reduced to a mere discomfort. Yes, today could be fun!

    For a while he rested near the Barrier, tasting, feeling and listening. Getting used to the bitterness, he began to detect something else, lovely echoes of sweet heavy scents that made his stomach rumble with anticipation.

    Sweeping his head from side to side, he was able to start following the trail of the wonderful taste. After a while, he also heard a low rumbling sound ahead and he redoubled his efforts, thrusting forward with long powerful strokes.

    The sound was loud and the taste so strong he had trouble thinking clearly. Now was the time! He gathered himself and burst through the Barrier. It was agonising, the void pulled at his skin, sucking the life out of it, but the rain caressed him, taking away the worst of the pain.

    Opening his eyes against the pain of the void, he looked down onto his Prize. It was beautiful! Big, crunchy and fresh, its tiny lice still crawling over it, pricking his skin deliciously with their darts.

    Almost overcome with ecstasy, he opened his maw and bit down on the Prize. It was incredible, the mix of flavours improving with every bite.

    But then he came to a hard part. It was hot! Suddenly angry, he bit harder, one bad bit wasn't going to be allowed to spoil his whole meal!

    With strength fuelled by anger, he felt the hardness give way. Exulting in his victory, he never had time to fully notice the explosion that ripped his head from his body.

    Awareness fading, he still welcomed the comfort of the enfolding Deep as he fell back into it with the ship he had destroyed.


    Entrant 6 - Pontifex Maximus
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    What the ?

    Charles had roughly four seconds left on this planet. He decided to make the best of it and he released an utterly bone shilling screech. The screech was allowed to last all four seconds before Charles' body was destroyed by the teeth of the creature. Charles was probably the luckiest of all the mariners that night. The other looked up just in time to see the beast choke him down. They were able to witness the way in which they would die as well. Those that could grabbed pikes and began to prod the thing's thick hide. It barely noticed!

    All at once a call to arms went up. Small arms fire mingled with some muskets rang out. It seemed hardly affected by the lead balls hitting it at all. That was, until, the cannon was propped up. The beast had just happily popped another sailor into his mouth when then blast was heard. The ball ripped through the air and hit the thing right on the chin. Green blood trickled from the wound.

    The beast was surprised. He was quite enjoying the easy meal he had found, when suddenly these delicious things he had been eating became rude and threw something at him. This simply won't do, he thought to himself. He snatched up the ones that were responsible for the wound and crushed them in his bare hands. Not very much meat on these, but they were sweet. The beast licked what was left of the mariner off his hand.

    At this point the sailors were livid with fear. Many jumped from the ship.

    After the beast had eaten his fill (for he had discovered 'the brig' and about 50 prisoners), he tore the mast from the ship and used it as a toothpick.



    TotW 32 - Ship Ahoy
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    Winner - molls
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Driftin'


    The chase was on.

    Only two ships remained on the watery battlefield:
    The Frensh admiral chasing the English admiral.

    The British flagship was badly damaged on it's left hull, after having to swallow too many broadsides.

    On deck, the officers were pondering on how to escape their enemy:

    First Officer: "Captain, we won't outrun the Frensh, they're a tad faster than us... This bugger always stays on our left side, if he catches us there once more, he will tear the whole ship apart!"
    Admiral J.R. Ackbar: "Hm.. a cursed situation. Tell me Officer, how far away are those shallow waters with all those shipwrecks on the ground?"

    The Officer looked puzzled.
    First Officer: "Uh, let me see, eh... We're heading towards them."
    Admiral Ackbar: "Well, so be it. This might be our last chance..."
    First Officer: "Your Orders, Admiral?"
    Admiral Ackbar: "Set full sail towards the shallow waters, leave men up the masts, we may have to loose sail instantly. Get every single cannon we have to our RIGHT broadside."
    First Officer: "Our RIGHT? But the frensh are coming from the LEFT!"

    Admiral Ackbar: "Mate, we gonna be driftin'."
    First Officer (shocked): "Are you serious?"
    Admiral Ackbar: "Very serious, my friend. Give the orders, prepare our second special anchor, which I installed last month with our engineer, Mr. Hazard."

    So the English ship was shooting across the waters full speed, the Fresh closing in on the left behind.
    Minutes later...

    Admiral Ackbar: "Now is the time! Bring down the top sails! Is the special anchor ready?"

    The First Officer tourned white.

    First Officer: "Ah.. At this speed? If we let loose the anchor at this speed, it will tear our whole botttom section apart!"
    Admirial Ackbar: "Don't worry. We reinforced this anchor and it's fixation as good as possible. Make the anchor cannon ready, we're in the shallow waters now!"

    The top sails were brought down - some moments later...

    Admiral Ackbar: "MEN! This is our last hope! Hold on to something, it's going to get tough! FIRE THE ANCHOR ON THE RIGHT BROADSIDE!"

    Crew: "WHAT THE HELL?"

    A modest "boom" was heard, then the special anchor was shot straight down the right broadside, entering the water ~ 15 foot from the right hull of the ship.
    As the shallow waters contained many shipwrecks, Ackbar hoped for the anchor to catch on to something - now!

    A loud "KRRK" was heard, then the ship was shaken brutally as if strangled by surprise ,
    and one could hear the planks screaming in pain!
    The anchor chain was tense - then it happened:

    The English ship, in it's full speed, was literally thrown to the side where the anchor caught on.
    The whole ship bent down to the right, almost scratching the water surface -

    and performed a 180 degree turnaround circle to the right, using the anchor as it's axis,
    the chain and the speed providing the turning moment!

    First Officer: "Holy Crapppp *pukes*...--_"
    Admiral Ackbar: "It WORKS! Loosen the anchor NOW! Yarrrr, you didn't expect that Frenshy? MAKE READY all cannons on the right broadside - For King and Country!"

    And with that 180 degree turnaround, the English flagship was racing towards the Frensh on the right broadside, who were still not believing their eyes and too slow to react.
    The firm right side of the ship made this manouver possible, and now every available cannon was waiting to give the devastating blow to the enemies of England.


    Entrant 1 - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Redoubtable

    Redoubtable. The name brought an ironic smile curling to my lips as the deck shifted beneath my feet. That which should be feared. That which should be dreaded. And for years, it had been true.
    I could remember the first day I had seen her, her forest of rigging rising above the harbor of Plymouth. The shrill call of the bo'sun's whistle rang in my memories, as it had on the first day that I had been piped aboard, as the new captain of His Majesty's Ship Redoubtable.
    The French fleet was moving off into the distance now, one of their own sloops going down not more than a biscuit's-toss off our port side.
    Two of our own boats now bobbed in the Atlantic, the rest smashed to flinders by chain shot. The gun decks ran red with blood. The deck shifted even more as I walked forward, forcing me to stagger along at an angle.
    I was alone now. It was my responsibility. To go down with my ship and with the men my mistakes had consigned to their watery grave. I felt a strange calm fill my body as though this was only right. Only fair. Justice, to share their fate.
    A sound, from beneath my feet. Alone?
    Hardly. A furry form shot past me from a hole smashed in the deck, the denizens of the hold streaming to the surface as the Redoubtable's lower decks filled with water.
    Rats. Hundreds of them.
    The rodents flooded to the deck, their panicked squeaks filling the air with an obscene clamor. I reached for the brace of pistols at my sash, remembering the stories.
    “Nothing left of 'im, poor blighter. . .”
    “What do you mean?”
    “The rats—they stripped 'im to the bone in their panic. Right to the bone. . .”
    I backed unsteadily up the gangway to the fo'castle, balancing myself against the rail, my eyes fixed upon the rodents below. Sweat broke forth upon my brow.
    Nothing in all my years at sea had prepared me for this. A carronade broke free from its fastenings, ripping across the deck, leaving rat carcasses in its wake as it lurched toward the other side of the ship.
    It barely dented their numbers, a living tide moving upward as the ship sank further beneath the merciless waves.
    A click as the hammer of my pistol cocked, the other one ready at my hand. The first rodent appeared, his beady eyes flickering left and right, incisors clearly showing beneath a furry lip. Harbinger of things to come.
    The pistol exploded in my hand, fire and smoke billowing from the muzzle.
    Redoubtable no more. . .


    Entrant 2 - Nazgûl Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Le Capitan

    Marching proudly on his newly acquired vessel, the English captain was very pleased, fifty cannons on each side, two at the front and seven at the back, enough room for one thousand men made this ship a monster of the seas, and it would be soon put to the test, he stood near his steering wheel as his Spanish ally approached;
    "Capitan, we have just received word, pirates are near" He said, struggling with the English, the Captain smiled at him and nodded;
    "Thank you. Get the men to battle stations, and make haste!" The young Spaniard ran below to the decks, preparing the men for combat. The Spaniard and the captain had a special relationship, as the captain stayed at the young Spaniard's house for a short duration of time when he was just a little boy, seeing his parents get killed, did not do well with the Spaniard. The Enligshman adopted him soon enough, and brought him to England, had him attend to the best schools and learn to speak English very quickly, having been in the nobleman's court since he can remember, the Spaniard feels like a son to the captain, and the captain felt like a father, he always laughed when the Spaniard called him "Le Capitan" when he was a little boy... Just seven years ago... But he enlisted yesterday, and the captain, using his royal ties, brought him aboard his ship, proudly.
    After daydreaming about his past for about ten minutes, the Spaniard returned; "Le Capitan! Le Capitan!"
    "Yes?"
    The Spaniard pointed to the horizon, and the man's eyes widened;
    "Signal the alarm! Raise the black flag!" He screamed, and soon enough a black flag was up and flying around near the sails and the British flag, alerting the rest of the ships to a battle; "Emergency procedures!" He screamed again, as the men dropped the anchor, and he using the wheel to swurve right, to meet the pirates, broadside to broadside; "FIRE!" The captain yelled, a few men repeated, and soon enough, 28 cannons, 1 from the front, 2 from the back and 25 from the broadside, pierced the puny pirate ship, destroying it, the rest of the British fleet came close, and sailed right past them, defending the flagship from the rest of the pirates... This battle was already lost, seven pirate ships against three English? They stood no chance.
    "LE CAPITAN!"
    "WHAT!?"
    "A second ship!" The Spaniard yelled, as a second ship broadsided their front, the Captain screamed;
    "BRACE FOR IMPACT!" The booming sounds of relatively distant cannons were heard, and the ship was pierced, the Captain could feel a cannonball flying right above him, as he ducked for cover. "Go! Go! Get the men ready again!" He yelled at the young Spaniard, as another ship broadisded their back. He swurved again, this time... Too slowly, both ships opened fire and the little Spaniard, who was running down the stairs, was no more, the entire deck exploded in a firey blaze, and the Captain fell to the sea...
    Hearing the distant sounds of firing above him, he looked up, he saw his ship still fighting... However it was toppling over, and it took a pirate ship with it, broadside to broadside, it won, but it had no chance against what was now three ships... The other two British ships were long gone, and seeing the flagship topple down, was a blow too hard to bare... He looked up again, and a cannon from the pirate ship shot... Darkness enrouded the captain...


    Entrant 3 - SonOfAlexander
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    This is my homeland... and I will do anything to keep you from it

    Mouret spat blood on the rough, salt-coated oak deck. The air was choking, a mix of suphurous smoke from the cannons, pistols and muskets being fired. It filtered down from the decks above to mingle with the foul, cloying, sour air of the gun decks below. Slanting rays of definite light shone through the grilles from the world outside.

    Mouret wiped a dirt-stained, powder blackened forearm across his mouth, and a tooth fell loose and fell inaudibly to the floor amidst the chaos that reigned supreme around. It was the king and this was it's realm. Mouret pushed with all his strength against the four-pounder cannon that had smashed against his face when it fired, the chains not quite retaining the vicious recoil as the gun screamed in protest, hurling it's unwelcome load towards the British ship only 40 yards away in the blinding fog.

    He almost fell over a powder monkey as a roundshot ripped through a partition 10 feet to his right. He dived out of the way as a musket ball caught the throat of the corporal on his gun. He looked up and peered into the violent wreckage, eventually finding the stricken leader inside. He was stone dead, with half his torso ripped out by the .50 lead ball.
    "DELACOR! THOSE NELSON-LEAD B ******* HAVE TAKEN OUT MOREAU!" He ran over, and swerving to avoid a cannon that had broken free and was now rolling along the deck, a behemoth destroying everything in it's way.

    A blue-jacketed marine tumbled down the gaping scar torn in the sky that was the deck above ."BOARDERS! THE ENEMY ARE PREPARING TO BOARD...Arrr..." He tripped and then lay trembling and twitching as a bullet tore through the wooden hull and buried itself deep within his chest, seeking out the centre of his life and killing it.

    Mouret leapt with inhuman flight as the French frigate started to list heavily. Mouret stumbled, drawing his marine's sword as English voices could be heard shouting orders. He pulled free his pistols and fired one, then the other into the fog in front of them. The ship was now sinking fast, and the English musket volleys saw to any survivors.


    The English triumphed... Mouret cursed the demons and cursed himself... the water filled his dying self...

    Last edited by wowbanger; July 11, 2011 at 12:21 PM. Reason: Added TotW 32



    "Some writers never know what's to be written until they see it on the page...." Some words of wisdom from my good friend, Mega Tortas de Bodemloze

  9. #9
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    Default Re: TotW Story Index

    TotW 33 - Bards share your story
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    WINNER - Mega Tortas de Bodemloze
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    "The Call"

    The soldier opens the sealed letter as requested On the eve of battle….

    Niko…..

    So many years ago you took me from my family and made me your own. Slave that I am, I have bore your seven children and raised them to Manhood and Nobility. I have hated & despised you but ironically now poses everything that you own. Your lands & titles, mine thru soldier’s last will and decree and long since had you given the rule of your Kingdom over to me…..

    On the eve of your greatest battle and triumph I have one simple request…Return now to me and share with me the few remaining weeks of my life. You destroyed my world when I was in the full bloom of youth and vigor. Twice your age and then some but still the fairest of the land. Now Viking is the time that I claim your life and ruin you the way you destroyed me…Return to me these last few weeks I have left so that I may have peace & contentment in my life…There will be other battles though not like this one. The Conquest of Britain shall pass to someone else….

    Enraged by the gall and audacity of such a request the warrior howls with rage and fury….Alarmed by the call his bodyguard scrambles to his aid. Seeing their frenetic approach he raises a hand to stem the tide. Lowering his arm the Viking inclines his head toward the ground and admits his most humiliating defeat…

    He has been summoned by his true Master and cannot but answer "The Call".

    ENTRANT 1 - SonOfAlexander
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Dragons


    "From the cold lands up north they came,
    Hardened men with no fear.
    Worshippers of the old gods, feared by men and demons,
    Watch out, they have landed on our shores."

    Egil pulled hard on the oar. It ploughed through the water, tossing it with contempt as the longship surged forwards. The water boiled in it's eddies as the Norsemen sailed around the crest of the peninsula - the dragon's back.

    As the shore grew larger and larger on the horizon, the anticipation of the raiding party swelled, swelled till it was far greater than any of them. Egil looked outwards between the row of shields lining the gunwale, and through the pure beams of brightest sunlight, he saw the white sand that made the Briton beaches glisten under the sea.

    The men raised the oars as the ship cruised in, riding the wind on the magnificent square sail, embroidered with a dragon's head. Egil leapt to the front of the boat and turned to Sauro standing beside him. He held up a small leather bag, with an encouraging ringing noise emitting from the precious pieces inside. "This bag of hack silver says i'll lay the first hand on Briton." Sauro grinned and shook his hand. "A deal - but you might as well hand over that bag now." Egil laughed and focused on the shore.

    Egil discretely took a lump of rag stuffed with straw from his sack. He threw it with all his might and it landed on the shore. Sauro stared then laughed. "I MEANT a real hand - but well thought out." He shook hands and Egil kept his silver.

    Sauro busied himself with the rest of the men, scuttling to and fro hauling crates of supplies and tents out of the boats. It was a beautiful day, and even though the summer sun was watery as usual in Briton, these Scandinavians were treating it as a good omen - that Frey had blessed their voyage.

    Egil ran to a small grove that he saw on the hill. The wild flowers grew all around, determinedly pushing through the sandy soil. Egil, the Aryan Noble of this raiding party from the Norse lands surveyed the beautiful land that they would pillage as the clouds drew over the fleeting sun. He turned and looked back at the fantastic mass of moving men. He watched as the first rock flew, soundless and unforeseen, and landed on the Viking ships. Seconds later the whole beach was swallowed by the rocks and the arrows...





    ENTRANT 2 - Nazgûl Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Beach-head

    "It's been a week now, Gorlach, a week!"
    "I know, I know... We'll set out soon enough" I replied to my annoyed friend, yelling at me because our 'trip' was delayed, again. "Suit up, Landor, this might not be a drill" I said, calming him down and smiling. It was a vigorous week, a week of training and fighting dummies, shooting at the target with our javelins and bows, deflecting attacks by our fellows in the same old move... The routine drove us mad. The preparation was taking too long, something had to be wrong, however, as a lowly sergeant, expressing my concerns in public was out of the question, lest a Danish nobleman finds out and beheads me...

    Soon enough, after all the men in my platoon suited up, my friend Landor ran up to me, smiling, sprinting and his armor clacking; "It's not a drill! It's not a drill!" He screamed as he ran through the lines of our platoon, soon after he went out of my eyesight, I could see a sea of smiles, and I joined it, and people started laughing, this was the real deal, the Saxon enemy at the shores of England will never see this coming.

    The seas were stormy and the rain was unrelenting, this night was a poor night for us, horrible weather for our first day of sailing, but the men sang as they kept the Dragonboat at top form, they sang as they kept the sail in place, and not a single frown was seen, everyone were smiling, after this kind of week, everyone would be smiling. I found myself smiling and singing as well, while steering the ship behind our allies, and I could hear singing coming from the ships near us too, soon enough, all the men in my ship rounded up together and yelled at the ship parallel to us, in the 4 column formation, we were in the leftmost column;
    "Nana-na-na-na-nana!", I could hear the ship replying, same rythm and tone;
    "The Saxon kiiiing's gonna da!" Yelled the men, half laughing as they twisted the word "Die" into "Da", and the ship replied... This continued throughout the night...

    Sailing... And sailing... Two days have passed and finally the beach was in sight, my platoon was the beach head, honorable duty indeed, I jumped out of the ship the minute it touched shore and ran to the hill... Only to stop halfway... The Saxon king and his army, waiting for us, at the top of the hill... I gasped...

    ENTRANT 3 - Baron Vlad Felix
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Arrival

    "My eyes can see her at last,
    The mother of mighty men,
    The field of famous fights.
    In the sky above I see
    Fair Asgard's shining roofs,
    The flying hair of Thor,
    The wings of Odin's birds,
    The road that heroes tread.
    I am now here in the land of the gods,
    The land of mighty men."

    After a turbulent night,this morning waves caress the shore. The king has arrived!
    Boats are gentle swinging on the water with tired but excited crew. They arrived in a new world, and perhaps for the first time step foot in this sand.
    With unrest in their hearts,their tend views explored the environment. Landscape takes the breath away ... The beauty of Earth surrounds these courageous people. In the contrast of fondling wind and strength of their views and hearts you can almoust fell the smell of new discoveries.
    The mist lurks strange silence ... and then how vagueness disappears the first signs of life are arise in..
    One gull was flying over the prominent flag, inegrating his graciously skein whit a cry of freedom ... And then the king spoke!Kneeling he took the sand in his exploited fist,turned to his warriors and said:

    -My children and heroes of the northern sea .. this is for us the beginning of conquering the unknown.Our gods will lead on and give us strength to tame this land and its spirit.We will break the wings of the dragon, for he who sleeps in our hearts is much stronger!,We will shed without fear our blood and we will satisfy the thirst of our ancestors!....My heroes, let the sound of the horn hear now!

    Seagulls get silent, their clamor was outloud by the sound of those who march on their shores ... Their cry of freedom may have been muted forever!
    In the distance now you can hear the echo of drums, horns and hissing steps of brave sons!

    Mirela

    ENTRANT 4 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I sense Art inside me.....

    I see a bird in the background
    I see a shield on the ground
    A mountain a landscape I take
    A clear sky with the color of blue
    I see the portrait of a Viking
    I see the ships ready to plunder
    I rest on a garden looking for a picture to paint
    I sense many a sprint
    Imagination starts coming to my mind

    There comes one man
    Unknown to bend in darkness
    The rustles of the tree
    The whispers of the wind
    The fly of the dust
    Imagination comes again to my mind

    The drums of war have sounded
    Chaotic storms strikes the ground
    The Flash of Lightning blinds the eye
    I sense the anger of Thor inside me
    More imagination comes to my mind

    It is finally time for myself to draw
    Imagination is finally clear to me
    The gardens are a fine landscape for me
    I see one man that seems to stand
    In front of me he stands still
    Like a hero he bravely holds his ground

    And all of a sudden...... I got lost inside my own poem. I am now more concentrating in what I call Art. It appears Art is a more suitable occupation for me. Perhaps I would stop being a poet and hail myself as a painter. It is all I can draw. But wait, I am incredibly proud of my work.... Maybe I am really talented in drawing? Or perhaps this was just a blind luck?

    ENTRANT 5 - Juvenal
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Going for a Song

    The blond warrior pushed his way past two men from another longship, saying nothing,
    his attention focussed entirely on the slope above the shore.

    “Don't…” one of the men warned his comrade. “That's Knut the Merciless, he'll kill
    anyone who gets in his way. See that bird on his shield? That's the Raven of Rheged, he
    took that shield in the Great Raid last year when he killed Riwallawn, son of King Urien
    and four of his retainers with the very same axe he carries now”. Averting their eyes, the
    two men sought employment elsewhere.

    The arrival of the Danes had not been as much of a surprise as they had hoped. Saxon
    archers had already begun firing on them from a stand of trees further up the slope. The
    twang of bowstrings was accompanied by an odd bird call, unfamiliar to the Danes below.
    Knut tensed at the sound, and without any warning began trotting up the slope.

    The other Danes watched what promised to be Knut's latest berserker exploit with
    admiration. A small group from Dubh Linn even started laying bets on how far he would
    get before he was brought down. But Knut broke into a strange loping run, ducking and
    weaving while warding off the arrows with surprisingly deft movements of his huge
    shield, and the Saxons were unable to hit him.

    As he plunged into the copse, Knut's great axe could be seen to swing: Once; Twice;
    Thrice, and three Saxons lay dead, cleaved into bloody portions. Several others ran for
    their lives and cheers rose up from the beach (except for a few disappointed punters from
    Dubh Linn).

    Stepping over the bodies, Knut looked intently up at a nearby tree. Appearing to come to a
    decision, he swung his great axe once more and a bough came crashing down, a startled
    bird in mid-cry still perched upon it. A quick cast of Knut's net and the bird was caught.

    When Knut came sauntering back down to the beach, his comrades could see that the bird
    with the strange call was now confined within a small wooden cage affixed to his belt.
    Knut's face cracked into a broad grin and he addressed the men of his Keel.

    “My work here is done, do you fancy a trip to Vinland? I hear there is a gigantic Puffin
    there that walks like a Saxon!”

    ENTRANT 6 - Bongfu
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Sons of Odin
    Oskar's leather hide boots splashed against the salty wake on the sandy shore of his home. He was home again, he could smell it in the salt scented air mixed with the pines of the dense forest that covered the land. He brought his warriors with him from Vinland, to heed the call against Kristjan usurpers in his land. Armies from the South now marched freely in his father's kingdom, unchecked by the battered thanes that can no longer stem the tide of the invasion.

    Oskar stood watching the horizon as the other warriors unloaded supplies from their ships. Dark clouds of Thor's beard lumbered from the east in their direction. A winter storm was coming, Oskar could feel it in his bones. It is as if the door to Frostheim had opened to Midgard. The wind howled through the trees as dusk fell. The wolves did not howl this night, for they knew their homage to the gods would be drowned out by the thunder of the coming blizzard.

    By nightfall the storm was in full force. The tents were being savagly ravaged by the wind, some threatened to blow away, taking their occupants with them. The warriors in Oskar's tent huddled around a small fire, telling stories with mead in hand, it was all they could do to put the storm out of mind. Oskar, however, stood at the entrance, staring into the white abyss with an unwavering intensity. Eirikr, Oskar's closest friend, brought him his white wolf cloak.

    "I know you do not fear death, Oskar, but the gods frown upon warriors who come to them frozen." Eirikr laughed as Oskar slipped the cloak around him.

    "Many years ago, when I was just a lad, I saw a storm like this. During my trial into manhood." Oskar turned towards the fire, the light seem to set his eyes ablaze.

    "The same winter you acquired your cloak, I remember it well" his friend put a hand on his shoulder, "Tomorrow, the storm will be over, and we will set out to free this land from the Kristjans. They will know the fury of the Asamen!"

    Oskar's thoughts cut out Eirikr's words, he just stared off into oblivion, thinking back to his passage into manhood.

    That year his home saw a particularly brutal seasonal storm. All night Oskar waded in an endless sea of snow and ice, across the vast wilderness, with spear, and an axe.

    Seeking shelter from the storm he found none, save a small hill that greeted him as a wind break. Racing towards it almost gleefully he praised the gods for granting him this gift. Resting against the hill he heard a deep breath, startled he jumped up, spear ready.

    In a flurry of white powder, a massive form arose from the hill where the wolf had been sleeping. Its ice blue eyes made Oskar freeze as if he was made of water. The pure white wolf snarled showing even whiter, hungry teeth. Oskar threw his spear just as the wolf pounced. The spear missed low and caught only snow, the wolf landed with a direct hit on Oskar, almost burying him in the snow making a most appropriate grave.
    The wolf bit at Oskar’s neck, but he used his now returned strength to grasp the wolf’s gaping jaws. Using everything he had, he held the wolf at bay. It seemed the push a war went on for hours, as the wolf drew closer, Oskar pushed back. Finally the wolf pulled up, yanking Oskar to his feet. The wolf lunged forward, Oskar dodged to the right narrowly avoiding his stomach becoming dinner. He raised his axe high above his head, ready for the next move by the hunter.

    It came with blinding speed, pushing into Oskar with unimaginable force. As more reaction to the blow than intention by Oskar, his axe flung forward and sank into the left shoulder of the beast. A piercing howl brought Oskar back to his sense, he raised one hand to the wolf’s throat, and with the other fiercely punched the left cheek bone. Hearing bone cracking, Oskar grinned as best he could with his frost covered face.

    The wolf dropped to the ground, stunned by Oskar’s crippling blow. Oskar retrieved the spear, creeping carefully back towards the lame wolf. Again the wolf tried to arise, to honorably face death. That is when Oskar caught its stare, the stare of a life accepting death. It knew its time was over, and it still struggled to fight on. It reminded Oskar of what his father had told him, right before he went off to join the King in the battle where he was killed.

    He had put both hands over my tiny shoulders and crouched down to look me straight in the eye, “Do not cry my child, we all must do our duty to our kin. It is what makes our kin the strongest of all. Only in death does this duty end.”

    The wolf laid panting, not struggling any longer. He raised his spear as high as his young arms could muster, high above the wolf’s battle scared head. Words almost lost to him now returned, “Your duty ends, warrior.” Oskar plunged the spear into the ear of the beaten foe. No more did the wolf howl.

    ENTRANT 7 - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Conqueror

    A new land. Scouts had come back to the longships that morning bearing bunches of grapes big as a man's head. A fertile land, in contrast to the snowy colonies on Grenland.
    Warm breeze flowed across the hills to the shore, rustling the tall grass as the man walked inland. His axe in one hand, a shield in the other, its boss covered with the black symbol of the raven. He paused on the top of the hill, gazing into the interior of the country. Island or continent, he knew not. The land stretched on forever into the misty-white of the horizon, as far as his eyes could see. Land covered with trees, mighty and noble.
    Clouds moved over his head, low and threatening, as though warning of a change, a break in the tranquility that seemed to envelop this land. He took off his helmet, shaking out his long blond hair into the wind. He stood there a moment, a majestic lion-like figure. He was a big man, his form enveloped with a cuirass of mail. A backward glance to the ships, still unloading on the beach. His was the form of a conqueror.
    The wind shifted abruptly, tousling the golden mane back around his face. Movement in the bushes to his right and he shifts, a fleeting glimpse of a dusky countenance before an arrow glances off the mail. Time slows down, his hand flying to the sword at his waist. The sun glances off the polished blade, magic runes inscribed along the gleaming metal.
    Another arrow flies from the covert—and this time finds its mark, a plume of blood spurting from the throat of the Norseman. Eyes glazing over, his knees give way, crumpling to the earth. His head pillowed against the tall grass, his sword falling unused at his side. The conqueror destroyed. . .

    TotW 34
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    WINNER - Ratbag
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    “Betrayal”

    “What have I done?” As I stood there with the moonlight shining upon my face, it was all I could think about…
    “What had I done, my old friend?!”. But he left me no chose, such an act of betrayal could not be allowed…
    He became an enemy of the Empire, and all enemy’s of the Empire must die.

    Just an hour earlier I had come home and my wife said to me. “Allesandro came by about an hour ago, he seemed nervous.”
    “What did he want?” I replied
    It seemed weird to me that he would come by now, in 2 hours we would have to stand guard together before the palace.
    “He asked if you could go by his house as soon as you got home, it sounded urgent” she said with a worried look in her eyes.
    I left without saying anything else, there must be something wrong I though.

    When I arrived at Allesandro’s house, I saw him standing in front of his house talking to one of the other guards that would have to work at the palace tonight.
    “So tonight we’ll do it?” I heard the other man say.
    “Yes, tonight is the night of our freedom Allesandro replied.
    When they saw me arriving they said goodbye.

    “What is going on my friend?” I asked wondering what that was all about.
    “Jan I’m glad that you are here, there are things we must discuss” He said mysteriously.
    “Tonight we will be liberated from our Tiran ruler”.
    I looked upon the face of my friend, how could he say this. Our glorious leader Caesar had led us to many victories and made the Empire greater than ever before, how could he say this?
    Before I could say something he continued his tirade.
    “His campaigning against those savages, the Belgians has claimed to many of our mans life’s. His rule over this land must end! Tonight all the guards will kill him during his sleep.
    There is nothing that can stop us now my friend, join us please? For the future of our beloved Emp…”.
    Before he could finish his wretched preach, I silenced him with the tip of my sword.

    And so I stood here bathing in the moonlight, looking upon the dead body of my old friend. Why did he have to do this, betraying the Empire…
    I will miss him but there was no other solution. Now I must hurry to the palace and stop this conspiracy. I’m just hoping that it won’t be too late.


    ENTRANT 1 - Nâzgul Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 




    "Cunning..."

    I entered the city, walking swiftly amongst the crowds of traders, nomads and travelers of mid-day, squeezing through and passing a few guards, making sure they don't look at my face, I paced fast and my greaves made such an annoying clacking noise against the pebble... However, as soon as people heard that they quickly made room, thinking I was a soldier.
    I turned to an alleyway from the main street, happy to get away from all those noise and yelling of mid-day, however I made it into an even noisier place, the market. People yelling prices, laughing, guards in the dozens walking around, I quickly made for a new alleyway, and entered the designated house.
    The door squeaked as I entered the house, up, up the stairs, the stone stairs stood firm against my weight, and as I finally reached his room, he greeted me; "I see you had a hard time getting here" He said with a slimy smile.
    "It was fine. Too many guards"
    "Yes, I figured. Now... Straight to business?"
    "No. First get me something to eat and drink, it was a long day" I said, I know it was rude, but I enjoyed doing that to the fat senator.
    "Oh yes, yes of course!" He said, with his annoying smile.
    The servants quickly brought me some food and water, I ate swiftly, smelling the food before eating it, for any traces of toxins.
    "So, you called me here for a reason, fa--... Senator... Speak." I said again, rudely, and loved it.
    "Yes yes. The target is Julius Gregarius, a member of the senate. He'll be protected by two guards, at least, and tonight he'll be returning from his usual brothel back home to his wife. Make sure his wife will never see him again" He said, seriously this time.
    "Money" I quickly said, the slimey senator might just try and cheat me out of paying.
    "Oh yes yes" He threw a pouch filled with coins in front of me onto the table. "You'll get the rest when you're done." He said.
    "Make sure it's ready"
    "Make sure no one traces you back to me" He said, this time in more of a threat, I looked around to make sure there are no guards;
    "Talk to me like that again, and you'll be the target", The fat man squirmed and looked at me with utter fear;
    "Yes yes, of course! Sorry"
    "Shut up you pathetic fat man..." I whispered to myself as I left the room, the fat man still had my money.


    Just as expected, the senator left his brothel with two guards, one of the guards made a turn to his home, apparently, as I was trailing them, and I figured this was my time to act, I sprinted and drew out my knife, jabbing it into the soldier's back and cut all the way down, he dropped to the floor and I jabbed the knife again onto his chest, he tried to get it out with his shield-hand, he failed and died. I grabbed his sword and turned on the senator... He was doomed, and he said; "Cunning..." The last word he said made a real impact on me, first time I've actually killed a man of this importance... And he knew who sent me...



    ENTRANT 2 - Baron Vlad Felix
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    MOONLIGHT

    What hatred can do from to a person!I stood over his dead body in a dark street and I realized that he is not guilty!
    My hands are enlightened whit moonlight ... my hands are bloody.
    My conscience awakes in a dark street, and in me gloom is spreading.
    I remained alone with the dead traitor.
    In the quiet blindly street, I hear the blood slowly confluence from my fingers.The moment would be almost perfect If it ain`t for this damned moolight.It made the body and the blood to seem so real.
    This spiritual knowledge and brutal sense of his innocence is kill me...but I am too coward to take my life.Is easier to kill other!
    I will light down my life in her hands .... on her breasts...and let her to decide!
    I turned my head to the other side and went to her.
    I stalled in front of her door and start knocking.She opened almost in the same moment.

    Did she suspect something?

    She seemed almost unreal on the damned moonlight .She looked me and then I realized that she knows!Any word would be to much,we just watched ourselves and than I spear the pain....

    On the moonlight the last thing I seen were her bloody hands!!!

    I only managed to say:"YOU LOVE US BOTH,FORGIVE ME MOTHER!"

    Mirela

    ENTRANT 3 - Ozy
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Titles are lame .

    “Flavius!”
    The man ignores the call, passing the stores at his left with a steady pace.
    “Flavius!” the other yells again, but the man does not stop, and continues to walk over the pebbles on the street.
    “You cannot do this!” yells the follower, “to leave is not an option!”
    “Is it not?!”, replies the other, “Rome is ruled by a mad man, and you want me to stay and participate?! I will not fight anymore, not for Him!”
    His steps are long and fast, as fast as he could go without running, moving closer to the temple of Ceres. The other runs ahead of him, stands in his way, and raises his hand.
    “As a centurion of Rome, I demand that you stop this!”
    “Or what, centurion? What will you do?!”, the walker responds, mocking him.
    “Think of your family, of your life. If anyone finds out you will be killed!”
    “So be it! I will not fight more battles against Roman soldiers, or siege Roman cities! That Monster can do that by himself!”
    “He will bring peace to Rome!”
    “No he won’t! He is a murderer, and I shall no longer do his dirty work!” he points his finger towards the man, “Now move away from my path, Caius!”
    “I will not let you do this!” says the chaser, and draws his sword. Its cold blade pointed to the deserter, aiming to his face. The man’s arm shakes with the sword, the sun makes it glare. He hesitates. The walker begins to laugh hysterically, breaking the silence.
    “You will kill me? You will kill me for deserting your Emperor's army?”
    “I will not let you leave, Flavius.”
    The man stops laughing and looks at the other’s eyes.
    “Then you will have to kill me, friend, because I won’t stop. What’s another dead Roman for His cause, right?”
    The walker moves closer to the chaser, and the sword’s moved away by it’s master. The first man pushes the other, the other stops the first, the sword in the middle. A slashing, sharp, sound makes them stop; blood can be heard dripping on the street. One of them falls to the ground, defeated. The survivor hold’s the sword, looking down at his friend.
    Looking up, he sees the Curia, lying ahead. The sun glows behind it, giving the building a crimson aura that paints the city in red.
    The blood on the floor begins to run through the pebbles.
    “What’s another dead Roman…”


    ENTRANT 4 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Vengeance

    Marcus Aurelius.... you disgust me by your sights alone. I should be the one who has my position raised, not you! So now I am a lone man and an outcast to Rome and you can lavishly enjoy the life of a Roman Legionnary! I can't believe what you have done to me after all I have done to you. But when? When is not a question. As I will kill sooner or later...

    I have found my plan, I will dress myself as a town watch, you will see the day you die soon, it is INEVITABLE! By nightfall I will kill you and have your soul eaten alive! That is a promise I SWEAR to you! Vengeance is near...

    Nightfall, I crept into the town slowly, avoiding every security while addressing myself as a member of the security. Rome is quiet tonight... perhaps it is the sign that one soul would flee this town.... either myself or you, Marcus. Too quiet, as if there is no life at all in this supposed to be bustling town. I cannot believe it, even in nighttime, there should be some people around other than the security!

    Near the market I see him, walking cowardly as slow as a snail! There I have found him, he will die soon!

    "Marcus, do you remember me?"
    "Who are you?"

    I grabbed his coat, hidden deep within his armor. And is about to crush him.

    "I am sure you know who you have betrayed, Marcus."
    "You??? Lucius Julius?? No, it's not the way I want it to happen!"
    "Silence! Marcus, now..... you will die!"

    I drawn my sword out, somehow. My hand cannot stop me from smashing him. Soon after, he dies. I cannot believe that I did this by my own hand, I took an arrow from his pocket and put it beneath his neck. His blood was splattering everywhere. That gone everywhere enough to stain my hand and sword, enough for my shadow to be seen. And enough for my face to be the last he sees.......

    ENTRANT 5 - Terantor
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Let's give it a try. Sorry for my bad english.

    Everywhere in this once big city, blood covered the ground.
    Most of the soldiers of my cohort were fallen in the battle against the barbarian scum that raped our wives and enslaved our child children. But I...I fled during the battle and hid in the sewers of the town. And now...now my family is dead...my House is burnt down to the ground...and I; I am still alive because i was such a coward.

    I walked through the streets, aware of the barbarians, but it seemed, as if they had already left the town. Sometimes, the blood stood as high as my knuckles, and it was almost impossible not to step on dead bodies. They covered the streets, the buildings and even the entrances of the imperial palaces. It seems, the Praetorians fought bravely to the bitter end.

    I continued to wander through the corpuses of the Barbarians and Romans until I came to a street, where only a few dead bodies laid. Next to him I kneed down and saw, that his arm was cut off. I looked into his face and realized that it was my former best friend Spurius Antonius. Some Warm Tears rolled down my cheek, so I stood up and turned my face away, but a sea of blood reflected my face. I couldn’t bore it any longer! My life didn’t make any sense anymore. I turned around and picked up my friend’s sword. Holding it with one hand, the last thing I saw was, how the clouds hid the sun.

    ENTRANT 6 - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Son of Mars

    It had taken me hours to find him, picking my way back through the carnage littering the city streets to the place where I had seen him fall.
    The cobblestones run red with blood, reflecting the setting rays of the sun, horrible reminder of the slaughter of the day.
    I look down into the face of my friend, the distended form splayed across the street, his scutum across his chest, his sword lying not far from his lifeless fingers. He lies there, his head tilted to one side, his cheek pressed against the cobblestones, a look of peace in his eyes.
    The spirit has long since departed from this son of Mars.
    His lips are slightly parted, as though he went to his death smiling upon his enemies. A game. That is all it ever was to him. I could read our battles in the scars upon his handsome face. Battles in a full a score of taverns from here to the Via Appia. Battles upon a dozen battlefields from Hispania to Judaea. That it had ended here.
    Our friendship had been forged in those battles, in our laughter at the odds, in the brotherhood of death. Death which had now claimed one of our number—the choicest warrior of them all.
    I knelt reverently by his side, laying my naked sword to the pavement. His body was cold, already stiffening with death. I reached beneath his tunic—his money pouch was already gone.
    The same barbarians that had killed him had robbed him of his earthly treasure. I sighed, looking into his face, pale and scarred with death, but still bearing that same handsome grin that had beguiled the hearts of so many fair maidens in Rome. Son of Mars, perhaps, but liege of Venus.
    I undid my tunic and pulled a bronze coin from my own pouch. Leaning forward, my fingers pried open his mouth, placing the coin underneath his tongue. “There, my old friend,” I whispered, clasping his hand in my own. “When you reach the river, Charon will not deny you. Give the ferryman my regards. . .”

    ENTRANT 7 - Elendil of Numenor
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    Flames of Insanity

    “Guards!” rang the cry. Footsteps echoed through the abandoned streets as Silanus ran with all his might to the place the voice was heard from. There was a muffled yelp and a sickening thud, just before he reached the sight. Silanus gasped. A huge pool of blood washed the ancient stones of the road. It shined in an eerie red colour, reflecting the fiery sky and the grisly scene. As the sun went down, a rusty lantern lit the sight. A few paces from the pool lay the body of a Roman. A soldier, a Guard of the City.
    His face was white with horror, eyes wide with fear. Blood oozed from his throat, where a deadly arrow pierced it. His scutum lay upon him.
    Silanus bent down to the soldier, when suddenly about half a dozen men burst out of the Palace in front of him. That 'Palace' belonged to a lord called Marcianus, who acted as the haughty, unchallenged ruler of the district. He considered everything in the area his property. This man strode before his guards, who were not legionaries, but well trained and unique personal attendants of Marcianus.
    “What has happened here?” Marcianus asked icily. “It looks like a murder to me...”
    “Sir, I have found this man here seconds ago.” Silanus protested “I heard his cry for help, so I hurried here.”
    Marcianus hissed.
    “Well?” he yelled at his men. “Grab him!”
    “Wait! How could I have murdered him? He was killed by an arrow! Do I have a bow with me?”
    One of the guards sprang forward. Silanus backed down, slipped on one of the stones, and fell on his back, his hand sinking into the pool of blood. It felt as if he plunged his hand into ice.
    “It's cold!” he exclaimed. “The body is still warm – this isn't -”
    “GRAB HIM!” Marcianus shouted, as Silanus began shrieking in pain.
    Three men took him by the arms and led him away. One of the guards hesitated, stayed back. He stepped to the dead body and examined the arrow.
    “Hmmm,” he thought. “To strike him like this it had to come from somewhere ahead and above.” He looked up. The first thing he spotted was an open window on the far side of the road. Dark curtains rustled in the wind, shadowing the opening – which, he noticed, belonged to the Palace. “This just doesn't make sense.”
    Suddenly a group of guards dashed to the scene. They inquired what happened, and Marcianus bellowed:
    “A man murdered a soldier. He must be put to the sword now!”
    “He must be brought before the courts!” said the leader of the company. “How can you be sure he was the killer?”
    “He was here! Look at all the blood!”
    The man stepped to the pool and looked at the liquid. His eyes narrowed as he dipped his sword in it. It trickled down queerly; he stood up.
    “This” he said “isn't blood.” He looked to where the substance led. It flowed to the middle of the road from a house. The trail disappeared under an old oaken door. He signaled to his men.
    They broke in, entering a damp, dingy, circular room. The walls were soaked with the liquid. Not far from the door lay the corpse of a ruined man, his fingers reaching for some kind of cauldron, which rolled to the door of the room, and still dribbled scarlet fluid. The man was burnt, and where his face was not covered with the liquid, terror and agony stoned it. It seemed like an accident, the cauldron was probably too hot.
    “Poison!” the soldiers gasped.
    “It would have looked well in my goblet, eh, Marcianus?” said a new, deep and heavy voice.
    Everyone whirled around. The soldiers stood in the back of the room, cornered by Marcianus and his guards. But outside the doorway stood a kingly figure. He wore a cloak, but even under the hood, the eyes could not be mistaken. Marcianus smirked, yellow teeth visible.
    “Emperor.”
    “A pity your slaves don't even know how to handle a cauldron of acid. Put down your weapons, and your death might be less...” he glanced at the corpse in the room “painful.”
    Marcianus laughed.
    “They are right. You truly are mad, Emperor. You come here alone to arrest me?” his eyes flashed with evil. “I will be Emperor by tomorrow, and you: dead.” He turned to his servants. “Kill him. Now.” He gazed at his opponent with a sneer.
    “Aaaargh!!” His eyes widened with horror when he suddenly saw the tip of a sword protrude from his chest. He looked back. His own guards fell on him, stabbing wherever they could, until Marcianus's blood washed his writhing body on the floor. The Emperor watched them wearily, and when they faced him, he just whispered.
    “Thank you.”
    “It was our duty.” They answered loyally. The Emperor did not pay attention to them, and hooked the old lantern off the wall. The fire danced in his eyes, giving him a sinister aura. A wicked smile crossed his face as his lips moved.
    “I'm very sorry.” He cackled as the lantern was flung in, landing with a loud crash in the middle of the room. The glass broke, the flames touched the acidic liquid on the floor. The explosion shook the street, sent debris many feet into the air.

    The Emperor has long left the fiery scene behind, watching Rome burn from his Palace window. The flames went up from house to house, enveloping every street, every district in a deadly golden glow.
    Nero answered the anxious questions with a mock sigh.
    “Ahh, the Christians will have to pay for this...”


    TotW 35 - The camp fire
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    WINNER - Nâzgul Killer
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    You Old Coot...
    Standing atop his house's balcony, an old man, leaning on the ledge looked down to the busy street, seeing people running around to their daily affairs, the noisy, new cars drove quickly and he smiled, he knew that because of him, only thanks to him these people were allowed to live, only thanks to him these people now run around and head to their daily affairs, he was still dazzled by the cars... He never knew how they worked, but what saddened him is that people told him, many times, how they work... But he kept forgetting, the fragile old man looked down his balcony and grinned as he saw his son with his grandson approaching, they finally came!

    "Hi, dad" Said the young man and shook his father's hand
    "Hi grandpa" Said the younger boy and hugged him, the old man was on the verge of tears, his moment of nostalgia has been interrupted by the future, as glad as he was, he was still on the verge of tears.
    "Come in! Come in!" Said the hearty old man, and smiled, the two gladly went inside, to the warm house, the lying sun was very perky and strong, but the weather was cold... Too cold...
    As the two sat at the living room, with the view outside the balcony, the hearty old man brought sliced fruit and vegetables, which he prepared in advance.
    "So, James, my son, how are you?" Asked the old man, willing to enjoy every second of his son;
    "I'm fine dad, work's great... Thanks dad... How about you?" Asked the man, while forcing a smile on his face.
    "Lonely... Very lonely" Said the old man, again with tears in his eyes, he did not realize that his son did not appreciate his father complaining
    "I know, dad, what about your friends? Wher--"
    "I don't want anything to do with them! They're pieces of crap!" Yelled the old man, and James, his son, was very surprised, covered up his son's ears;
    "Dad! Mind your language, this is my son here, you know, I don't want him to learn bad words yet" Said James, annoyed
    "I'm sorry... You can remove your hands from his ears now... I have a story in mind" Said the hearty old man again, and James removed his hands, "So, Dilon my boy, would you like to hear a story?"
    The young boy nodded; "Good! Do you see that painting on the wall?" The boy looked and nodded, obviously not much of a talker, "Well, I'm the one holding the flag" The old man said, smiling.
    "He's delirious again..." Mumbled James, out of hearing range from the old man, but the truly fascinated Dilon didn't hear his father.
    "You see... It was a bloody battle that, the Confederacy attacked us at full strength! We had to hold on, we stood our ground, tremendously outnumbered, but we had the high ground, we held firm and powerful! They dared not charge any further, but they held their lines also... You see, a bullet grazed my shoulder!" He said, showing a scar, and he was speaking with such enthusiasm, he forgot that young Dilon didn't understand what he was talking about, nor did he know anything about the civil war. "Now, as the battle ensu--"
    "Shut up" James cut him off, "Just shut up. Stop filling his mind with your rubbish. This is exactly why I don't want to visit you, this is exactly the reason no one wants to visit you, you make up stupid stories" The angry James said, making his way to the door with his son, the old man was truly on the verge of crying now, he was truly amazed, he didn't realize what's going on;
    "You old coot... Stop making up lies, you're annoying us all" Said James and trundled off with his son, which obviously didn't want to leave.

    "You old coot..." The hearty old man repeated, and started crying.
    After an hour, the old man woke up, apparently fell asleep after his son left, but he couldn't remember a thing, he just remembered the words; "You old coot!" and he thought he saw a couple fighting in the street, blissfully unaware.


    (This is based on a true story from my life, details were altered, but still based on a true story)

    ENTRANT 1 - Junius
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Russia.

    What is Russia?

    A behemoth straddling continents, still to claim it's true glory. That's what they told us it was. Those beardless, mysterious men, fat and old who rode from the plains of the wide flowing Volga. They were looking for young men to fight for Tsar and Empire. In the foothills of the Urals, far from Moscow or Petrograd, what had they done for us? We were the backwater, the people fit only to die for their Emperor. These men, fine figures in their full uniforms, were skilled at buying drinks and saying honeyed words. Over bottles of vodka they inspired us, with mighty stories, to fight alongside tall Finns and war loving Cossacks for the great Tsar, and spread the glory of the Empire, the Northern Bear.

    The next morning, my head full of pain and patriotic jingoism, I was to leave my beloved Perm. Long marches, drilling along the way, I was made into a soldier. We were not skilled, but there were a lot of us, from Perm and beyond. We crossed the mighty Volga, the river who before I had only heard stories of. And like the small streams and humble creeks which cascade together and make that titanic river, men trickled and dribbled, small groups, like ours, from all over the large Empire, met and tumbled, until, what had been a small troop soon became a mighty army.

    Now I was part of an army, with men from the Urals, the Black Sea, the Arctic, Siberia, all coming together, lured by the same promise of glory and battle that had brought me there. Marched to the furthest Western border, I was given my musket and uniform, brilliant green, like the tall trees of the Urals. We were the grand patriotic army of the Tsar himself, summoned from the farthest reaches of his great personal domain, and now we were to fight against the hated Poles, they who would steal our glory, our promise, our history.

    Thousands poured forth from the great Motherland, ready to risk all for her greater glory. We were the soldiers that would be remembered for ages to come, our sacrifice would make it possible for our families to live in peace, and in riches, for centuries to come. The Poles, hateful beggars, were going to be defeated and defeated easily in an epic battle.

    The night beforehand, we drank, we were all Russian. We sang songs from our homeland, the Volgans sang of their river, the Cossacks sang of freedom and of their great steppes. I joined in with my compatriots and sang of the tall Father Urals.

    The morning of battle. We were to fight over a grassy plain, a place which would be remembered for eternity for the great victory we were to win. The porridge tasted bland, my tongue having been blasted by pure Russian vodka. But the bugle sounded, the morning reveille, and I, along with the other Perm boys, assembled on the improvised parade ground. There General Alexei Storonov addressed us.

    'Boys, you see those pig eyed, ugly little shrill voiced men over there? They are your enemy, though they are beneath even that. Remember your glory, the glory of the Motherland, of the Tsar. You fight not from fear, nor do you fight because you have been trained, like a dog, to do so, but because you are Russia, you are imbued with the spirit of the unadulterated passion of our glorious homeland. Now fight, fight like the men, like the Russians you are!'

    And so I stand, musket in hand. Beside me are Cossacks and Finns, Siberians and Georgians. We are all from different places, speak different dialects. We do not know the same songs, yet we are all Russian. What is Russia? What is it to be Russian? It is not a birth place, or a uniform. It is not a language, not even a culture. It is a spirit. To be Russian is to hold on to the ideal that strength comes from not the few, the singular, but from diversity, from the great continent which the Volga waters and gives strength to. So, Russians fight, and Russians win.

    I look to my front. I see the Poles coming, charging.

    I am not scared.

    Neither are those around me. I steady myself, I shoulder my gun. I aim.

    I do not flinch or fear.

    I am not scared.

    I am Russian.

    ENTRANT 2 - SonOfAlexander
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    We will meet in the place where there is no darkness…
    The woodland scene was typically pleasant. It was quiet as the grave and little stirred. The summer was maturing and the air was warm and lively… that is, as warm as it gets in Russia. A large, black bear, menacing yet calm for the moment, slowly and majestically padded out of it’s forest dwelling. It sensed something different. It stepped forward to the smooth ground in the centre. A road ran down the centre and the ground trembled slightly as the Prussian Army advanced along a mile wide front. They had just forded the icy Danube, and were advancing towards a sparse, tall wood. The Russians had left them unencumbered… so far.

    The bear looked up, but dismissed the figures approaching from a distance. It pawed the ground and walked to the other side of the clearing. The explosion ripped through the ground, sending up a fiery spray of mud, dirt and maimed pieces of bear. The animal lay there, groaning as it’s remaining blood drained out of it’s mangled armsockets.

    “CURSES!” shouted Vladimir. “That damned beast has set off a mine!” His commander, Patrushev nodded and stood up. “RUSSIANS, MOVE! Form up outside the wood! Regiments in order of line! The drummers beat the rumbling orders as the wood came alive. They hastened to their positions.

    The booming crack ripped across the land and the Prussians stopped dead. The commander saw the wood teeming with Russians. “Artillery! Prepare to fire - long range targets! Shells!” The artillery horses were whipped torturously, straining as the Prussians ran forward to firing positions in front of the wood.

    Vladimir grabbed his musket and ran, shedding his backpack like many around him. He shouted as the whole formation raced into their formation. Patrushev was beside him, and the company captain ordered his NCO breathlessly. Vladimir nodded with equal exhaustion, as the adrenalin started to fill him. The sergeant cried “Comrades! Fix bayonets!” The men dutifully fixed bayonets as the Prussian cannon opened up with a lion’s roar.

    The sound was drowned out as the shells exploded in mid air overhead the Russians. The men were scattered with hot shrapnel, some of it lethal. Men’s faces were ripped and torn, falling without a scream. Their muskets were loaded, and the Prussians were waiting for them to advance. The Russians did not hesitate - their glory was to be earned quickly.

    Patrushev sleekly drew his sabre and swished it through the already dusty air. “FIRE!” He screamed his loudest, but was barely audible as the Russian 4-pounders began to return fire with deadly roundshot. The unstoppable iron tore through the Prussians. The front rank added their firepower and many Prussians fell, their blue tunics stained by rancid German blood. Vladimir grimaced and smiled, seeing a Prussian commander hit by one of the devil’s marbles. The top half of his body simply ceased to exist, and, bouncing on the tough ground, it tore a straight line, a sword slash, through the enemy ranks.

    Vladimir lifted the musket to his shoulder, the task at hand owning him once more. Patrushev cried once more as Vladimir and the rest of the 2nd rank opened fire with their murderous long muskets, spidery fingers of death pointing at the enemy. The musket kicked angrily like a wild ass, trying to leap from his hands as the .69 calibre lead ball tore through the sulphur-choked air, seeking out it’s kill. Many more enemies fell but still more took their place. Vladimir lowered the magnanimous, gleaming 40 inch weapon, to remove the bayonet. However, it was jammed - the soft metal had been squashed by the recoil and was now bonded inseparably to the gun itself. Vladimir cursed, throwing it to the ground.

    Patrushev took out a telescope and in the chaos, discerned a miracle. The Prussian infantry were retreating. He was as bemused as curious, but saw that this was only for a few yards. The enemy infantry stood dumb… motionless. The cavalry were flying forward to smash the weakened infantry before they could form squares, and the artillery on this part of the line was being narrowed in on Vladimir’s regiment.

    Vladimir looked at Patrushev, unsure, but wanting confirmation. Patrushev frowned doubtfully, then nodded. Vladimir shouted to the company. “Form SQUARE!” The men executed the manoeuvre like automatons, rapidly falling inwards. The men in front knelt, making a chevaux de frise of impenetrable bayonets. The enemy horse troops circled the formation, isolating it and trying to find gaps in the formation.

    Vladimir joined the NCOs and a few men who had lost or broken both muskets and bayonets in the centre of the square. He had cobbled them together for a plan to use their firepower. He heard cannons open up, but too distant… too low a growl… he knew that the shells of the Prussians were coming for him. He looked up, seeing more enemy artillery belch smoke towards him. He looked down and gathered all the men’s cartridges, along with a sack.

    He bit the tops of the cartridges, helping his comrades. He saw one man obliterated by a cannonball, and the tight formation was taking heavy casualties. Once the bag was filled with gunpowder, he dumped the balls in for extra lethality and poked one final cartridge out the end. He fired his pistol near it, the spark igniting the cartridge. As the men desperately fired at the tormenting horsemen, the ‘charge’ was thrown at the main mass of encircling enemies.

    They ere almost totally destroyed by the blast, the heat searing Vladimir’s face with a lick of death. But, ironically, as the Russians charged forwards to defeat the Prussians, a musket ball from the charge ripped through Vladimir’s chest. He fell to the ground in agony as Patrushev looked into his eyes. “For the Motherland…” Patrushev gripped him and said “Of course.” And Vladimir flew away...

    ... to the place where there is no darkness.


    ENTRANT 3 - Lysimachos
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Last Cartridge
    Late August's sun was bathing us in light and the heat was gathering under my hat and coat, sweat was covering my face and body, glueing cloth to skin and I was constantly blinking, because of the biting gunpowder smoke in my eyes.
    "Fire!", called the Captain and "Fire!" bellowed the Sergeant and then the roar of five hundred Muskets surged onto my ears, the shock of the erupting sound made me cringe unconsciously, driving the bullet from my musket's barrel into the ground.
    They've told us how to load and fire a gun, but they never taught us how to shoot, never made us experience the blast right beside your head, too expensive the ammunition to waste it in training.
    But the enemy was here, right in front of us, marching towards us, up the slight slope. They were Prussians, veterans of many battles. If it wasn't so frightening it would have been of astonishing beauty how they moved like parts of one body, that certainty, that confidence! And - lo! - how fast they load their muskets! They were advancing and firing alternately: always one halfcompany firing and the other marching, the whole of their line along.
    I couldn't say how close they were, but too close anyway. I heard the Sergeant's voice again and I reached for the pouch at my side. My fingers felt empty slots and one very last cartridge remaining. The last one - and then?
    My movements were automatic, without spending a thought on them: Biting on the paper cartridge to fill the priming pan with powder, closing the pan, emptying the rest of the powder into the barrel, then shoving the rest behind, with the ramrod pushing the bullet deep into the barrel. We cocked the guns and lift them up towards the Prussians.
    "Fire!" was the command again, and we emptied the muskets, fired our last bullets wherever to, I doubt we hit much.
    Then the sergeant's voice raises again and he announced: "Fiiix - Bayonets!" Clumsily I grasped for my bayonet and fastened it to the musket. I felt my pants wetting while I hold the gun firm, as if it could give me strength, strength enough to charge the prussian guards - charge and live.
    Oh, in that moment, how I missed that last cartridge, the last postponement of the deadly clash.

    ENTRANT 4 - Theodotos I
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    What Glory?

    Banners wave high in the morning sun, floating over fields of spring grain. Men in brightly colored uniforms march forward, their raiment soon to be bespattered with blood. Eyes front, muskets shouldered they march, officers urging them forward like terriers baying at the edge of the pack. To their front, black-mouthed cannon belch forth the sulphur of hell, sowing death and devastation among their serried ranks.
    What glory?
    What is it of which poets write, the glory of war and battle? Triumph, victory, the camaraderie of death. Carpe diem. Sieze the day. . .
    Gaps open in the advancing line, mangled limbs scattered among the grass like the playthings of a giant, bodies smashed to pulp by solid shot. Men in lines, lying as they had marched, the rank behind them stepping over their corpses, cut down as grain before the reaper.
    What glory? That men should fight and die, drowning in a welter of their own blood. Struggling, fighting as beasts possessed, overcome with a lust for the blood of their neighbor. Death is ne'er a sweet thing. . .
    A barked command from the blue-jacketed officer on the right, his voice hoarse amidst the swirling clouds of gunsmoke. The glitter of steel flashing in the sun as bayonets are affixed to the end of muskets, their icy click lost in the raging cacophony of battle.
    What glory? To die upon a throw of the dice, a spoken command by a golden leader far to the rear ordering men to their deaths. Arbiter of lives. A tidy pencil stroke upon a headquarters map—the line of dirt men strove for in flesh and blood.
    The line was ragged, wavering now, many of their officers dead among the grain, cut down one by one. Their ranks torn through by shot and shell, yet still they advance, bayonets leveled.
    What glory? Glory is a gift to the living, not to those well nigh dead. Death before dishonor, the poets say. . .
    A hoarse cry erupts from a hundred throats as they begin to run, bayonets flashing on high, filling the dark void of fear with the sound of their own voices, cheering wildly.
    I threw my musket to my shoulder, seeing a pale-faced boy running toward me, seventeen inches of steel tipping his musket.
    A slight squeeze of the trigger and fire exploded from my musket, smoke billowing in front of me. My face blackened with powder, I began to reload, waiting for the smoke to clear.
    The boy lay there upon the grain, his sandy hair flecked with blood, his mouth open as he strained to gasp his last breath.
    What glory. . .

    ENTRANT 5 - Don't Tread on Me
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    Grandpop's Masterpiece

    "If only your grandfather could see you now," Peter Finnegan thought to himself.

    Peter’s contacts met him at the Moscow airport and picked him up in a limousine. They were a bit smug, vicariously self-important through their boss. Grandpop would have despised them.

    “Would he despise me now, too?” Peter wondered silently.

    His thoughts turned to the large, flat wooden box propped up along the seat beside him. The whole reason for coming here. Grandpop’s pride and joy. A painting little known outside the small community of Russian romanticism experts and aficionados. A piece many assumed had been destroyed nearly a century ago.

    Last Stand for the Motherland, painted in 1791 by Alexander Afineganov. A classic example of the nationalist fervor of the romantic era, capturing a legendary moment from the Russian victory over the Prussians near St. Petersburg. Peter smiled as he recalled his forefather’s surname, remembered back to his college years as a finance/Russian literature double major, when freedom seemed to sweep through the old Soviet empire and he aspired to help his ancestral homeland make the transition to democracy and a market economy. He even considered changing his last name to Afineganov, which Grandpop’s father anglicized to Finnegan when he arrived in America in 1919.

    In the days of the Red Scare, even an Irish last name was better than a Russian one.

    When Peter saw the tempting perks of the big job on Wall Street, he put his altruistic dreams on hold. Those dreams dissolved in the years since, as Peter got more comfortable on the Street and Russia’s post-communist reforms were trampled under Putin’s boot.

    “Mark my words,” Grandpop used to say. “Russia will be great and good someday! The spirit, the courage, the pride of the people – you can see it in our ancestor’s painting! Look at those brave boys – the Motherland depends on them holding that hill, and they’re not about to flinch!”

    Grandpop would stretch credulity more and more with each retelling of the story. The number of Russian infantry dropped from hundreds to tens, and their ages from their 30s, down into their early teens. Peter eventually half expected him to describe them as wearing diapers.

    But when the story turned to the painting’s fate as revolution erupted in Russia a century ago, Grandpop’s voice took on a tough, steely gravitas. There was no myth-making in this part.

    The painting had passed down to Grandpop’s father, Ivan Sergeyevich Afineganov. One night, a police officer friend showed up at Great-Grandpop’s house to warn him that he would be arrested the next day as an enemy of the Bolsheviks. Fortunately another friend worked at the St. Petersburg shipyard; hoping he could help them stow away, the family rode to the waterfront as quickly as they could.

    But Lenin’s thugs got word of his escape and tried to chase them down. A bullet grazed Great-Grandpop’s arm and he dropped the painting.

    Urging his family to rush inside and find their friend, Great-Grandpop jumped down and painfully pulled the canvas out of the broken frame. A few drops of his blood spattered onto the painting – they are still visible just to the left of the large flag. With bullets buzzing by, he miraculously made into the gates, saw his wife waving a lantern to him from a ship about to depart, and leapt from the pier to the ship’s deck just in time.

    The ship was bound for New York. Great-Grandpop worked menial jobs for a decade but saved enough money to partner with other Russians and establish a modest savings and loan for immigrants just before the Crash of 1929. Somehow they kept their heads above water during the Depression, and the bank grew into one of the great Wall Street investment houses, Finnegan and Roman.

    It declared bankruptcy last week.

    It’s the same story as AIG, Bear Stearns, and the other big boys that went down. Peter was a senior executive in the family business. He was in serious financial trouble for the first time in his life.

    He remembered Grandpop’s painting.

    He had inherited Grandpop’s love of art and read art history books and journals. He found there was even a niche of Russian romantic painting fanatics who made a cottage industry out of speculating about the whereabouts of Last Stand for the Motherland.

    One of them was Yuri Nikolai Fedorov, Chief Executive Officer of Sevastapol Oil Interests.

    Peter contacted Fedorov, told him he possessed the painting, and asked if Fedorov had any interest in buying it. Upon seeing proof Peter was telling the truth, Fedorov offered him $5 million.

    Peter accepted and made arrangements to meet Fedorov in Moscow to deliver the painting. Fedorov offered to have Peter chauffeured.

    When they met at Fedorov’s offices, the tycoon was moved by Peter’s grandfather’s stories. “I have an idea. The Western press has been hounding me about my contracts with the Russian government, our dealings in Iran, all kinds of things. I normally would not care, but Vladimir told me throw them a bone.

    “I will buy the painting. And then I will donate it to the new National Museum of Russian Art here in Moscow. I can still look at it whenever I wish, get some good press, and you can return to America with a clean conscience about the future of your ancestor’s painting.”

    A wave of relief swept over Peter. He accepted enthusiastically. Grandpop would have supported this. Russian children would see their ancestor’s painting, hear all his old stories, and feel pride in their country and its history.

    But Peter knew he couldn’t just walk away from this lucky break, the salvation of his conscience, without giving something back. He asked Fedorov to write two checks, evenly dividing the price of the painting. Before leaving Russia, he endorsed one over to the human rights organization Freedom House and dropped it off at their Moscow office.

    Somewhere, Peter thought, Grandpop is beaming with pride, and so is Alexander Afineganov.


    ENTRANT 6 - Ra's Al Ghul
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Revolution in the air


    We stand here today, all men of Russia, facing the boys of Germany. A field of
    gray clad foe lay before us, moving inexorably towards our muskets. They come to take
    our land, our homes. The Tsar expects all men of the Motherland to stand firm in the
    face of volley after volley, but we do not fight for him. We fight because we have to,
    because if we didn’t we would be labelled cowards and traitors by men who sit in their
    Manors and halls ordering us out here in this bitter cold to defend there rights to free rule
    of the masses. Our officers tell us it is our duty as men of Russia to fight there wars. But
    we have no quarrel with these Germans, we are not even informed of why this conflict
    started in the first place. My wife and child sit at home waiting, hoping, for me to return.
    The men who speak of honour and freedom are the ones who think little of me and my
    life. Hypocrites. One more war like this may push us peasantry over the edge.
    Enough of this though. Today, I must do my duty and stand in the line. My
    musket is old, tarnished and rusting, the powder I depend on clots with the slightest
    touch of moisture. The call to load goes out. I shove my ramrod down the rusting
    muzzle, thrusting the rough lead to the bottom, pour the powder into the pan and prime.
    Suddenly a tongue of flame shot out from the flanks of our army, the artillery duel had
    begun. 8 heavy cannonballs tore through the Grey ranks, leaving 8 red tears which
    quickly filled up with more fodder. Mercenary gunners under German command open
    fire on our positions, thankfully not aiming near me. I hear screams of pain to my left and
    right.
    The infantry close in, we draw our muskets to our shoulders and simultaneously
    fire. A temporary cloud of smoke embraces our line. We each begin the reloading
    process, bring up our muskets and fire, reload, fire reload… It went on for a while, our
    faces becoming dirtier and hotter as we went. Then the call for bayonets to be fixed went
    out. This was it. The final charge. Our General rode in front of us, the enemy stopped
    firing for him, another perk of the aristocrats. He began to shout his pre-charge speech.
    “On this day men, we stand before a host of soldiers, and I will not lie to you.
    They are well trained, and well disciplined men! But they lack one thing, this is our land,
    and not theirs! And I know all of you will do your duty and defend your tsar and
    motherland! For Russia Charge!” I began a slow run forward, keeping in line with my
    comrades. The Prussian horde began to do the same. We closed in. Fear gripped the
    two armies as they clashed. Shuddering ranks came to an abrupt halt. This was it. We
    would die here, our the peasantry would survive to bring a glorious revolution to Russia.
    This was a time of change.


    TotW 36 - Jerusalem
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 



    WINNER - Theodotos I
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Deus Lo Vult

    White clouds drift by overhead, celestial puffs of cotton against an indigo-blue sky. Warm zephyrs blow over the city, off the deserts to the south and west.
    I am dying.
    I lie here upon the sun-baked roof, blood slowly trickling from my wounds, draining my body of strength, robbing me of the fountain of life.
    Memories flicker before my half-closed eyes, thoughts of home and love sweet upon my lips. It had been a day like this—when we left my native France so long ago.
    Who would have thought that it would have ended like this? The Holy Father had pronounced the blessing of God upon our mission. Deus lo vult. God wills it.
    Perhaps. Yet here we lie, upon the battlements of the Holy City, slain by the swords of the Mohammedan. Of the heathen once again possessing the land of Christ, the holy sepulcher, the cross upon which our Savior died. Sacre bleu!
    Our defense of the city had been a desperate one, a last gambler's throw. And we had lost.
    I dare not open my eyes, but I remember, and the image springs fresh to mind's eye—of my comrades lying dead to my right and left, their white surcoats spattered with red, their armor washed in their own blood. They have gone to their reward as defenders of the faith.
    I will join them soon enough. I can hear the screams drifting up from the street below, the cries of those unfortunate enough to still be alive. Death is a gift of God, yet my body fights it with every last ounce of strength—the instinct of survival overcoming the desire to rest, to slip off peacefully into that long night.
    My strength is fading fast, my sword lying just out of reach of my limp hand. No matter. I could not find the strength to lift it if it was close here by my side.
    Footsteps, on the roof near me. My eyes flicker open, ever so cautiously. A Mussulman strides past me, a flowing banner in his hand, its silken folds inscribed with the flowing script of the Koran.
    He passes the bodies of myself and my comrades and I close my eyes as he mounts the banner on the battlement, blasphemy fluttering over the Holy City.
    I hold myself still as he returns, praying with every last ounce of my strength for him to pass me by. I feel him pause, his eyes looking down on me, his gaze penetrating.
    The kick comes without warning, landing in my side with rib-crushing force. Taken off-guard, I scream, my face distorting with pain.
    My eyes return to the Mussulman’s face and I see him smile—the last thing I will ever see in this life.
    The sword descends and steel slices through my body, ending it all. Deus lo vult. . .

    ENTRANT 1 - Ratbag
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Kingdom of Heaven.

    I felt the last bits of life flowing out of my mangled body... I would join my brothers in the Kingdom Of Heaven very soon. We died protecting the holiest of cities, the place where our savior had given his life for us.. And now we had given our life's for him.

    But we had failed and Jerusalem had fallen before Saladin's army, we had but to pray that God would forgive us. We did everything we could but the enemy was too strong, they had rallied Muslim warriors from every corner of the world. While I was struggling to breath I taught back at the fight that occurred today, it all looked so unreal...

    After a siege of many months they had decided to attack, we all went to our posts with confidence.. No unbeliever would take this city back from us! Me and my unit stood on the front wall were we would fight of their attacks and protect this holy ground. After some catapult and trebuchet fire their first wave of siege towers sallied forth, they reached the walls and Muslims jumped out, the massacre had begun.


    It were untrained warriors and we killed them all, their bodies were stacking up on our wall, but they kept on attacking. Growing tired of fighting we were starting to lose more and more good soldiers, it was clear we would not be able to keep it much longer. After the 3th wave of unbelievers had been repelled of the walls we had lost over 1000 brave and honorable men, but on our walls laid at least 4000 Muslims. As I looked over the wall to see how many foes were left my heart skipped a beat... Those 4000 were just the tip of the iceberg... a sea of men as far the eye could see still stood before our gate.

    After many more hours of bashing in skulls and removing guts from their insides we were pushed back to a tower in the middle of the city, only 3 of us remained. We were tired, bruised but we would not stop fighting for our city.
    We kept giving al our heart in the fight, but it could not be... I saw my last 2 friends die and cold metal piercing my stomach.

    As so here I was, struggling to breath looking up at the soldier who had stabbed me... The look in his eyes... No mercy... No pity. He raised his sword for the final blow, the blow that would release me from me suffering and send me to the Kingdom of Heaven. His sword came down... And it was all over...My journey to the Kingdom of Heaven had begun...

    ENTRANT 2 - SonOfAlexander
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 





    Soul of Stone
    I wound the dry, dusty rope away from the wooden capstan. “Ready, Saladin?” My captain nodded and pulled on his helmet. He turned and addressed the men in the top of the siege tower. It was dark and every man was silent, filled with adrenalin, waiting for the doors to come down, not knowing what they would face. “Alright, men. You can hear the infidel enemy outside. Let’s beat those English and fight for Jerusalem like the true warriors we are!” The men roared like lions, beating their chests with the hilts of their swords. They then remained silent and tense, ready to run forward at a moment’s noise as the noise of the battle, still muffled by the wood, seeped through from outside.






    This was always my favourite part of a battle. Being the first unit to charge off the siege tower. I wound down the rope, letting in a chink of light from the top and then I laughed out loud, overcome with bloodlust and threw the rope to the floor. The wood fell and crushed a few stupid Christian defenders. They were still dazed as I leapt forward, blocking a thrust from the clumsy broadsword of one with my metal shield and slashing with all my might with my scimitar. The precision of my stroke found the gap below the man’s helmet, and the knight’s head was sent flying as he collapsed in a bloody heap.

    Saladin smashed the boss of his wooden shield into one man’s face and slashed upwards into his groin with his wickedly sharp sword. The man cried out and screamed in agony, before falling to the ground, dead from the shock. Saladin turned and parried a stroke from behind, deflecting it’s brute strength and nimbly turning to slash the man’s arm off. The man appeared to feel nothing, throwing down his shield, emblazoned with a coat of arms that meant nothing and leapt on my commander.

    Saladin was winded by the initial blow and was having a hard time fighting this Christian, covered in armour as he - it - was. I stepped in, stabbing an enemy in my way before pushing him off the walls. He shouted his echoing last as I grabbed the man’s forehead from behind and slit his throat with my dagger. Saladin got up and slapped me on the shoulder, breathing heavily. Something unspoken passed between us as he wheezed “Well done, Osama. Thank you very much. I am indebted to you.” I shook my head. “All in a day’s work in a war., sir.” Saladin grinned and grabbed his shield. “Come!” he shouted, and he beckoned 3 men to join me and him.


    We ran to one of the towers. He gestured to me. “Osama, you can do the honours.” I smiled. I stood back from the door and leant with all my strength, smashing through the dry and withered wood. It burst open and my fellow Moslems ran up the stairwell, fighting whenever an opponent ran down to greet them. Saladin skewered one man like a piece of meat, letting him fall behind him as my colleagues dispatched him with further sword slashes. I took his golden torc to add to my collection, slashing his face just for good measure.


    We reached the top, killing a Christian officer that tried to oppose us. He got to discover the rare experience of falling through hundreds of feet of air before being dashed on the rocky cliffs below. I stood, taking my breath and admiring the glorious war before us as the walls of the ‘Holy City’, as the Christians called it were swamped by our soldiers, taking the fight to the infidel enemy. “Saladin” I hailed. “Why have we taken this tower? It is of no practical use and we should get back to killing Christians.” I knew my captain as such a pragmatic man it was an unprecedented move coming up here. “Well Osama” he replied “There is a new bombard cannon that is joining the barrage that is set to commence on the Lower city walls in a few minutes.” Saladin stared out of the shutters. “The sun is high and we have a good view.” I looked out.

    I got the fright of my life as a cannonball, a little screaming dot that grew bigger and bigger till it filled my vision was approaching. I grabbed my captain with a hand and dived. “DUCK!” I shouted as the cannonball tore through the tower, covering half the room in debris and collapsing the roof. I crawled out like a filthy rat, pulling my commander out. Amazingly, neither of us had so much as a scratch on us. “COME ON!” I shouted, barely audible over the rage and fury of the cannon duel now commencing in (and on) Jerusalem.


    But as quickly as the murderous guns had started, they stopped. I listened as a curious mood descended onto us. There was almost complete silence and I realised that the Moslems had won. Saladin hoisted a dropped standard of our regiment, and those all over the blood-stained walls copied him. I stabbed a dying enemy with my scimitar, taking out my anger at these infidel holy warriors. But for now, we had won. For now, we had regained the Christian’s precious ‘holy city’ by conquest and it would be ours… or at least until they tried again.


    ENTRANT 3 - Nâzgul Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    "Who am I?""So long have I lived in the shadow of my colleagues, so long have I sprung theories only to see the entire world discredit them... So long..."
    I whispered to myself as I worked at the digging site, I was fueled with anger and driven by excitement, this would be the find of the century...
    "Now we'll see who-"
    I hit something... And it wasn't a rock... It was some sort of metal... And my excitement rose;
    "G-G-GUYS! OVER HERE! QUICKLY!"
    I screamed into the open air near Jerusalem, I called them to me quickly, I had found something, after all this time, finally I might get some credit...
    We quickly dug up the chest and the Israeli archeologists gave me the honor of opening it... And after I did that, I saw what I had wished for, since my first work was discredited... It was the Templar seal.
    I stood there, mouth gaping open, until my son came up to me, asked me what was it... I could not answer, so I showed him the chest and I pointed at the seal, his eyes lit as if he had never seen something more wonderful, he tapped me on the back;
    "Can you smell the Noble Prize? I can..."
    He sniffed the air jokingly, and I ravaged through the chest, and there it was... The document which proved it... It proved all my theories, I looked up and smiled, I could feel the tears running down my cheeks.


    "This is quite... Impressive... Very nice... Very well done my friend"
    Peter said, a fellow archeologist and a wide supporter of all my theories, he was like a second son, the young man smiled and gleamed... Suddenly everything turned shakey, I noticed the ground shaking... Everything, I was still holding the main document, the ground tore open but Peter did not seem to care, I fell down the crack what seemed forever and landed hard on the ground...
    I could feel a sharp pain in my shoulder, I looked at my armored shoulder and in it was an arrow... I looked up and there was Jerusalem, retaken by Saladin... And there he was, Richard the Lionheart, leading the assault, and we all rushed to join him,
    I am a Templar Knight...
    I was a Templar Knight...
    And I slew the enemy soldiers with my sword...
    When I woke up, I was holding a big fat check, and a prize.
    Many asked me who I was, no one actually knew me... I was the shame of the archeological world, now I -AM- the archeological world...
    So who am I?
    Better than you.

    ENTRANT 4 - Mega Tortas de Bodemloze
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    "The End of Things"


    How can this be?? We are the greatest Empire on earth. How can this be, the Chief Eunuch cries as he looks over the slaughter. The entire Royal house is dead in one Heinous, venomous act of revenge. Those self-righteous infidels shall all drown in a sea of blood for their malevolence.

    It cannot be said that almost anything is not attainable if one is willing to lose all in achieving their goal. Just three months ago the Isle of Malta was finally seized for the Empire and the followers of the Crescent Cross seemingly broken forever. Well my friends the taste of revenge is indeed sweet, even if ultimately the many shall suffer beyond comprehension & measure for the misguided righteousness of the few. The audacious achievement executed by the few remaining souls from the once mighty Templar's would see Christian Europe by all rights cease to exist.

    Riders, messengers and emissaries shot forth from the once great Byzantine city to the four corners of Islam like Haley's Comet to invoke Jihad against the ungodly ignorance and evil of those self-righteous imposter's in the Great City of Rome. During the interregnum and restoration of order, prayer to heaven would hold the Empire together.


    The only evidence of the culprits and perpetrators of this unspeakable act were the three Templar Knights staked to the walls of the North Tower. Indeed, the Chief Eunuch collapses and departs this world from seer grief. Barely could his last words be heard. Surely this is ....


    "The End of Things"


    ENTRANT 5 - Feragorn
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I am Abdul Aziz ibn Izz al Din. This is the tale of our Jihad under Saladin to retake Al-Quds (Jerusalem). After a three week siege, our men broke through at one of the southern gates. The Christians fought like lions to keep us out but after a short skirmish, we were in the city. My men and I walked thriough the streets toward where Muhammad ascended to heaven. We were filled with emotion as we gazed at the sacred stone.

    We were snapped back to attention when we heard a group of Christian knights turn a corner and see us. We ran and attacked them. I dueled with one who was very skilled at the art of swordplay. He wounded me lightly on the shoulder, I was lucky my armor took most of the blow, else I would not be talking to you now.

    Ah, glorious combat! The Crusaders were shocked when our army under Saladin made it's way to the heart of the city, the Cardo. The armies clashed, dueling in the streets with the words of the Koran on our lips. "God's curse be upon the infidels!" "Do not say that those slain in the cause of God are dead. They are alive, but you are not aware of them." After a fierce battle, in which we lost many warriors and friends, we finally captured the city! Our hearts were joyous indeed, and we chanted these verses from chapter 48 of the Koran.

    Surely We have given to you a clear victory
    That Allah may forgive your community their past faults and those to follow and complete His favor to you and keep you on a right way,
    And that Allah might help you with a mighty help.
    And Allah's are the hosts of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
    Surely We have sent you as a witness and as a bearer of good news and as a warner,
    That you may believe in Allah and His Apostle and may aid him and revere him; and (that) you may declare His glory, morning and evening.
    Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward.

    Last edited by Boustrophedon; January 07, 2012 at 09:21 AM. Reason: update

  10. #10
    Boustrophedon's Avatar Grote Smurf
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    TotW 37 - Roman theme
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    WINNER - Theodotos I
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    Roman Might

    The sun beats down hot on the Judean plain, filtering through the haze of dust kicked up by the hooves of our cavalry mounts.
    Quintvs Valerivs is my name. I come from one of the first patrician families to settle Galla Cisalpina after the conquests of Caesar. Ten long years have passed since I was sent to Palestine as part of the personal bodyguard of Procurator Pontivs Pilate. Ten years of dealing with a people driven mad by their belief that this land was given to them by a god. A one true God.
    I stare down at the dry, worthless grass crushed beneath the hooves of my horse and grin with the irony. By Jupiter, what type of god would have given this land?
    Yet they fight for it as though it were the very vineyards of Galla, the lush, fertile plains of my homeland.
    A mountain looms above our column as we crest the rise. Mount Gerizim, or so the Jews call it. Ye gods, perhaps this land could be worth something. But the people. . .
    They are the reason we are here this day. The people of Samaria are following a new madman, who promises them victory against our arms. Something of relics buried upon the summit of Gerizim, the details I know not.
    It is sufficient that Pilate wants this rebellion suppressed. My breath catches in my throat as we draw up on the ridge, looking down into the valley between Gerizim and Ebal. Mountains of blessing and cursing, in Jewish legend.
    They are already here, by the thousands. Men, women, and children, families all come to see their 'Promised Land' restored to them.
    Slowing our horses to a walk, we descend into the valley, sunlight reflecting off our polished armour and weapons. Perhaps a show of force will be enough to convince them to disperse.
    Ten years in this land should have crushed my optimism by now. A show is never enough. Our line halts, the signifer riding forward, Pilate's proclamation in his hands, the words of the procurator spilling from his lips.
    The mob does not accord him the privilege of finishing—murderous yells and shouts erupting from a thousand throats at the first mention of Pilate's name.
    A rock flies past the helmet of the signifer and out of the corner of my eye I see our centurion's sword leap from its scabbard, bellowing a single order. “Charge!”
    Our line surges forward, the land disappearing underneath the pounding hooves of my steed. My spear couched, I see women and children scatter as we bear down on their line, their cries of terror floating heavenward. Here and there the sun glints off the sword of a rebel. The Jews were prepared to fight.
    Fight, perhaps, but their line evaporates under our impetus, men thrown to the ground and trodden underfoot, women disemboweled by the blow of a spear, children crushed by the hooves of a rearing horse. Love, hope, vision disintegrating under the iron fist of Roman might. . .

    ENTRANT 1 - Nâzgul Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Every End is a New Begining...
    How many of you have ever thought, what if I would've... How many of you ever thought, what if I wouldn't have...? How many of you have ever wanted a chance to go back in time and change past events?
    I do.
    So I wouldn't have to look at the faces of their wives, so I wouldn't have to see the blood boiling in the veins of their sons... So I wouldn't have to see another bloodline imbued with the power of vengeance...

    We rode quickly, the third proud legion, we rode and ran quickly as the word of the German rebellion rose, we hastened to the river Rein, to the battle. The second legion was already at the midst of combat, and from the looks of it... It was a grim day for the Roman Empire...
    We rode faster and faster, I raised the banner for the charge signal, and at one moment, the entire organized running formation broke off into squads of insane Roman soldiers, fast and furious, running and sprinting, shields and armor, greaves and helms... Did not interrupt them, they felt no ordinary heat, they felt the heat of battle, I believe that some of them even ran faster than my horse...
    Finally, we passed the valley and on the hill in front of us, the battle ensued, the second battalion held firm, but they were mightily relieved at the sight of our forces.
    I raised the banner and waved it twice, half the soldiers withdrew and sheathed their swords, pulled out their bows and let loose... Hell rained upon the enemy and the screams were terrible, after another wave, they ran into the fray, swords flailing... This was one hell of a tough battle...
    Seeing my best friend die before my eyes...
    Seeing my second in command decapitated...
    I was enraged. I faced off with their general head-on, and not only did I kill him, I cut off his head and threw it at another soldier, the tip of his helm struck the soldier in his eye and he fell down, dead... I was feared.
    I ran into the fray again, and struck people, left and right, until I finally felt a strong pain, I was stabbed by a sword... But that didn't stop me, looking at the soldier, I said;
    "You should not... Have done that..."
    I cut his hand off, proceeding to cutting his stomach horizontally, and seeing he didn't die yet, I also slashes his face, he didn't die though, I left him there...
    I ran back into the fray and I heard someone call me the god of war... I was no god... I was the spirit of vengeance.

    I walked in the streets of Bologna, many military men walking past me... Some wounded... And I have yet to treat my wound, I just wanted to go and tell my friends' wife about what has transpired, my friend's wife reacted as I figured she would, wept and held her daughters close, fearing I might take them away as well, but she said it was not my fault;
    Liar...
    Again walking in the streets of Bologna, I found myself at my second in command's home... I opened the door and told the news, I wish I never had opened that door, only to see his weeping wife, but she asked me something, something that made me think, that not all is black and white;
    "How did he die?"
    "Bravely. Fighting off two German brutes"
    Of course I lied, but he did die bravely.
    She looked at her son, who was enraged with hate, she looked back at me, as if blaming me, and glanced at an armor, obviously fitting for her son, being taught from an early age at the art of war;
    "Every end is a new beginning..."

    ENTRANT 2 - SonOfAlexander
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Honour
    The marble gleamed white in the moonlight as the messenger ran up the steps of Caecilius Sextus’ Palatine Villa. The powerful Patrician, one of the most respected senators in Rome. And now, in this late hour of the night, the messenger’s tired, worn sandals beat out a tattoo of urgency on the hard, polished floor.

    Caecilius was pacing his narrow chamber, sweating in anticipation when the man was ordered in. He strode over to him and took the scroll without a word. He sat on the hard bed and read quickly. The servant could feel the tension as his master’s eyes scanned the papyrus. Caecilius looked up, slowly letting the letter fall, then drop to the floor without a sound. His eyes were glazed and full of tears. He barely managed to give a horse croak from his now sore throat…

    “How did it all go wrong…?”

    Caecilius Gallus stabbed the attacking man of Pontus, and his lungs punctured, throwing forth a pink, frothy fluid that shadowed the man’s dying screams in a rush of gurgling. Gallus wheeled his body over, hitting an infantryman with the edge of his hexagonal Praetorian’s shield. The man’s helmet split, but he was not killed. Gallus urged the horse’s body round, closely avoiding a swipe of the man’s spear. The clumsy fool did not even have time to realise his mistake before Gallus’ sword put him to rest.

    “CAECILIUS!” … Caecilius turned, effortlessly making his horse obey him as he turned to hear his friend. But the companion hesitated in attacking an Eastern foe, and the man took his chance, slashing at the Samnite horse with his scimitar. The horse fell and a gruesome crunch of bones showed that the man was clearly lost to this world.

    The enemy was decapitated before he could even pull his sword back to try and attack Gallus, but he now saw that the formation was riding out to attack another set of infantry. Caecilius Gallus looked around him. To the east, the enemy chariots were slicing the Roman infantry’ discipline to pieces with their scythes as the Pikemen, those cursed Eastern descendants of Alexanderos, kept the Legionnaires at arm’s - or should that be sarissa’s - length. The battle was hopelessly lost, but as true Romans they all fought to the last, never thinking of giving up.

    Gallus felt exposed, and he rode to the formation. His commander’s white crest flashed in the sun before him, and he lowered his spear as the enemy hid behind the carcasses of crashed chariots. The scum threw spears, hiding behind the steel-tipped wall as the last Praetorian cavalry left made a last charge.

    Gallus roared, jumping from his horse to slide his sharp dagger through the weak throat of an enemy. The man lay dead as Gallus knelt, truly exhausted. He cried as the sun set, a sun that could be seen on Rome … “Forgive me, father, for I have failed you!” He sobbed…


    ENTRANT 3 - Kátz
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Grief, Sorrow, Pain, Suffering and Death

    It is the day March 17, 45BC as Gaius Julius Caesar along with his subordinates Gaius Octavius and Marcus Agrippa march towards the plains of Munda, modern southern Spain against the forces of the Optimates, commanded by Titus Labienus, Publius Attius Varius and Pompey's oldest son, Gnaeus Pompeius. It was the battle that decides the fate of history.

    The two armies met in the plains of Munda in southern Spain. The Pompeian army was situated on a gentle hill, less than one mile (1.6 km) from the walls of Munda, in a defensible position. Caesar led a total of eight legions (80 cohorts), with 8,000 horsemen, while Pompeius commanded thirteen legions, 6,000 light-infantrymen and about 6,000 horsemen.

    As the Republican soldiers who deserted Pompey to join Caesar rejoined Pompey back again. They had known that they would have to fight to the last blood, fearing they would not be pardoned for the second time.

    Soon after, Caesar shouted "LURE THE POMPEIANS DOWN THE HILL!!!!"

    But the Pompeians did not budge, they are smarter as they are commanded by Titus Labienus, who is formerly one of Caesar's Lieutenants. As one of Caesar's trusted servants before. He had known the tactics commonly used by him. Furthermore, he attempted to counter-lure the Caesarian army to a frontal attack.

    And so Caesar ordered a frontal attack with the watchword "Venus", the goddess said to be his ancestor.

    The battle resulted in an even match, both of the forces struggled to gain an advantage. And so forth the generals summoned themselves to join the ranks of their respective armies. For one of the first times Caesar said to himself "This is not a battle where I fight for a victory. This is a battle where I fight for my life." numerous times whilst approaching the right wing.

    With his favourite legion, called the X Equestris who were inspired by Caesar's bravery to approach the battlefield. Begin to push back their oppositions. Gnaeus Pompeius, sensing danger in the left wing, commanded the legion in his right wing to reinforce the weakened part.

    Titus Labienus sensed his folly, and moves to intercept the cavalry. What happened then is a tragic scene. Gaius Octavius, who led the charge. Does not think Titus would move to intercept him, bringing an army of phalangites. His horse was felled down and his bodies are thrusted by the sea of spears.

    Marcus Agrippa and Julius Caesar heard this message from their messengers

    Quote:
    Sir, the left wing are disheartened by the death of one of our Cavalry Commanders, Gaius Octavius. Requesting reinforcements immediately.

    Furious, Marcus, along with Mauritanian king, Bogud. Leads their forces against Titus Labienus head on. While Caesar did not wish for his death. Alas, fury and rage have taken their heart. And a bloodbath occured in the center and left line.

    Seeing the death of Titus Labienus. The rest of the Pompeian commanders sounded retreat. The Populares have won the battle! But at a high cost. . .

    The casualties were heavy, while the Pompeians suffered the loss of more than 30.000 men. The Caesarians sees the depart of 10.000 men, along with their prized cavalry commander, Gaius Octavius.

    Caesar speaks to himself "Let the dead rest in peace, the grief, the sorrow, the pain, the suffering and the death are obstacles that must be overcomed to achieve my dreams."

    And so he leaves the bloody battlefield, littered with corpses everywhere. . . Wishing the dead rest in peace.


    TotW 38 - Indian theme
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    WINNER - Theodotos I
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    Hair

    “Did I ever tell you boys the story of my hair?” A few weary nods greeted the question—the rest of the tavern's occupants too preoccupied with their pints of ale to even respond.
    “No.” The only audible response came from a boy of no more than fourteen, warming himself by the fire.
    Groans went up from the rest of the men in the tavern. “Lord have mercy, kid,” one of the men bellowed, setting down his pint to glare in the boy's direction, “you oughta known better than that. Here we go again. . .”
    The old man in the tattered red jacket ignored their protests, his eyes shining with delight as they focused on the boy. “You haven't, eh? What's your name, sonny?”
    “Jim.”
    “Well, Jimmy, let me tell you about it. It was back in '59, when we went after the Injuns down in Cherokee country, with Colonel Montgomery at our head. Winter came on as we chased them durn natives through the forests, and every morning we’d shiver ‘round the campfires until our teeth nearly rattled from our heads.”
    “Then one fine mornin’ the colonel hisself comes up to our bivouac and says all fancy-like, ‘Sergeant’—that’s me, sonny—and he says, ‘Sergeant, I want you to take your men out on patrol to the sou’west.’ Well, I called together my boys and off we set, six of the proudest soldiers auld England ever produced.”
    The twinkle died in the old man’s eyes and he peered mournfully into his now-empty pint. He reached into his pouch with a long, bony hand and extracted a gold coin. “Ale!”
    Only when his pint had been refilled did the old man continue his story. “Yessiree, some of the best men I’ve ever known. There was John and Billy, Jonas the corporal, the MacGuire brothers, Malcolm and Jack. And me. A light snow was falling as we started out and it got heavier.”
    The boy’s eyes never left the old man’s face.
    “Jonas was the guide, a Kentuck boy hisself, but all the guiding in the world couldn’t have helped us as the snow fell faster. Our tracks were filling in and we was lost. That was when the Injuns hit us.”
    “They came thundering outta the snow on horseback—jest like they knew we were there all along. Jonas got it first, a musket-ball through the breast—then Billy and Jack were cut down. John turned to run, but a spear caught him right back here—‘tween the shoulders. And he was dead. A musket-ball clipped my head and I fell, knocked senseless. I just lay there, not knowin’ a thing till I woke hours later with the sun shinin’ down on me. Malcolm lay not far off, dead as all the rest. So, I got to my feet and walked all the way back to camp on my lonesome. And that’s the story.” The soldier returned to his ale, a look of contentment on his face as he sipped the dark liquid.
    The boy looked puzzled. “I thought you said that was the story of your hair?”
    A cunning look came into the old man’s eyes and he grinned, standing to his feet and sweeping off his hat.
    His head was devoid of any hair, the flesh rough and discolored as though the entire scalp had been removed. The tavern exploded with laughter at the shocked look on the boy’s face and the old man chuckled. “It is, sonny. It is. . .”

    ENTRANT 1 - Nâzgul Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    The Beggining...
    he walked from his tent to the general's, pacing quickly through the grassland, many soldiers looking at him. The man in the bright, shiny armor walking gracefully and quickly, he obviously just tidied himself up and cleaned his armor from the battle before, but now he paid little care to that, something was so important, it could not wait. He walked faster and faster, mud splattering on his greaves, he did not care, rain and muddy water on his leggings, he did not care. The carefully cleaned man just kept walking faster, he knew that running might cause panic, so he walked.
    Upon arriving into the general's tent, he stormed in, looking him in the eyes and told the rest of the men;
    "Leave us!"
    They gazed at the general, which nodded, and they left.
    "What is i--"
    "They are coming, we must make haste and rally up all the men, we must hurry!"
    The general smiled, a hearty smile; "Lest you worry my friend, I promise you, we will be fine"
    The man seemed really terrified; "Fine!? How!? They are in the thousands! We are mere hundreds! Horsemen, infantry, archers, shamans, what are we to do!?"
    The hearty general smiled again; "You worry too much my friend. Come, stay, clean up your armor, it is quite messy"
    The man gazed at the general, annoyed... But he did as such, and calmed after a while.

    A day later, at the general's camp, the two were there already, and in came the captains, the general stated:
    "Men, tonight we will face our greatest battle. Prepare the men, it will not be pretty"
    He said heavily, not smiling this time.
    As the captains rounded up the men to war, the general gazed back at the man riding behind him;
    "How many are we?"
    "Seven hundred and thirty three, sir"
    "How many are they?"
    "Seven thousand"
    The general smiled.

    Reaching the battlefield, the general took a deep breath of the clean fresh air, fresh after the rain, and the second he did, it started snowing, he smiled, he knew the Indians would interpret it as a bad omen, he actually loved the snow, reminded him of his homeland.
    "Prepare for battle! Muskets! Aim for the back of their lines!"
    So they did and opened fire, none of the front lines fell, but the back lines got hammered, the cannons opened fire and more were killed.
    The Indians sent in their horsemen, five hundred, galloping quickly, running towards the English.
    "DO NOT, fire at the horsemen!"
    The whole army looked at the general, awed;
    "Keep aiming for the back lines, do not fire at the horsemen!"
    The soldiers, reluctantly, complied.
    As the horsemen reached the English lines, they all stopped, with battle in their eyes, and the lead one, the banner carrier, approached the general;
    "General Hartford, 'how do you do'"
    The Indian asked, cynically, and the general laughed, smiling at the man.
    "I'm fine, thank you my friend. Set up your soldiers at the flanks, we'll be needing them" He said, smiling.
    Seeing that, the enraged Indian chief sent his front lines, who were all infantry, to the fray, they ran quickly.
    "INFANTRY! Charge!"
    The general screamed, after five minutes, both infantry sides collided, but not with the clash of swords, but with joyful handshakes and smiles.
    The hearty general smiled.
    "It's not quantity, my friend. It's quality" The general stated to the man, who was awestruck.
    "Yadid! On me!" The general yelled and galloped ahead of the Indian cavalry, coming to support the English-Indian infantry charging at the Indian lines;
    "This is the begging... Of a beautiful friendship!"
    Yelled the Indian cavalry leader, as they galloped together to meet the Indian chief in combat.

    ENTRANT 2 - Conquistatore
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Torment
    The natives were all around us, left right and centre. We could not move, we could barely breathe. There was no escape for us, we all knew we were doomed. They surprised us, came out of nowhere. How could we not have seen them? How could this happen? Their axes are stained red with the blood of our men, their howling warcries pierce the dead night. The falling snow is as cold as death all around us, endless black and fire.

    Their horses are crazed, mad from the blood rage. They plow into our ranks, crushing men underfoot. We have no chance, we never did. Our General was foolish, he underestimated their strength. Pride in ones country and military skills alone cannot stop the slaughter. He was arrogant, over confident, and now it has cost us our lives.

    The cold wind whips through the night, turning us to shivering bloodied souls. The icy hell that is being delivered is unstoppable, the end is only a black wall. Our reinforcements had not come, we were alone out here, forced to march on against our will and better judgement. This is their land, they love and protect it, who were we to invade and attempt to destroy them?

    Now we are being punished for our sins in the worst possible manner. Our mischief is being returned tenfold. It is my hope that our nation learns from what happened here today, to prevent a slaughter such as this in the future.

    Their muskets light up the night, I see glimpses of the faces of desperate men, trying to get off just that one shot. We are surrounded, there is no hope, not in this life. Death and despair overtake us, some of the men begin to flee, but they won't make it. It is an open field and the enemy is on horse, methinks the running ones will only suffer greater pain and torture in the end.

    Time is almost out, peace is almost upon me. I can feel the life slipping from me, oozing out of the hole in my chest. It is almost over, soon I can sleep forever and end this nightmare, this torment.


    TotW 39 - Cohort vs Phalanx
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    WINNER - Astaroth
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    A Soldier

    The blood-red sun is burning mercilessly, turning the clouds of dust and the empty plains into shades of gold. There's no sign of life in this godforsaken land and my heart fills with cold and hate. As the hot armour is burning my back, I ask myself what I am doing in this forlorn land, so far away from home, hundreds of miles away from civilization.

    But now I'm here, lost in the empty plains of Asia, fighting for the glory of the eternal city. Fighting for generals and emperors I have never talked to, feeding Rome's hunger for new lands with my own blood. Slowly but surely, the sarissas come closer as the Macedon phalangites move forwards. Slowly but surely, death approaches.

    To my left and right there are my comrades, preparing to unleash their fury and hate on the enemies. "Roma aeterna!" is sounding through the ranks as our centuria moves forward, forward towards the seemingly impregnable wall of sarissas. I want to shout, to scream: "You fools! Why do you want to die so desperately?" but my dry throat is sealed.

    We keep marching towards the enemy, just like lambs to the slaughter. The forest of spears comes closer and there's no escape. Only death lies in front of us, we are marching to fulfill our destiny. Suddenly, our centurion commands the charge. And like sheep, just like obedient sheep, we charge. "Roma aeterna" is sounding through the ranks yet another time, a last time before the two armies will clash.

    Everything seems to slow down, almost as if it were in slow-motion. No sound can be heard, the shouting has ended and there's nothing but the seemingly endless hordes of enemies in front of us. As I raise my gladius above my head, ready to strike, I feel an incredible, burning pain in my chest. Cold steel is cutting through warm flesh, mercilessly digging its way through my body. I want to scream, shout, cry for mercy - but my voice has left me and I can feel how my legs are collapsing beneath me.

    As darkness is approaching with rapid strides, I desperately try to recall my little son's image. But there's nothing, nothing but emptiness. Tormented by the unbearable pain, breathing is becoming harder every second and I cannot keep my eyes open any longer. Life is slipping from my hands, the world is ending.

    Suddenly I feel free, as if someone had taken an incredible burden from my shoulders. There's no more pain, no more suffering. In front of me there is a light. It's coming closer. Nothing seems to be relevant anymore, pain and death seem to be an eternity away. Suddenly everything is turning golden. A new life has begun.


    ENTRANT 1 - Nâzgul Killer
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The Duel
    "Forward!"
    Screamed the general, seeing that the left flank has already engaged in combat, and same about the right, he decided that striking fast at the middle will break the other two flanks.
    The soldiers marched quickly with their swords, wary of the enemies' spears, but nonetheless, obedient and willing to fight and die.
    "Shields, up!"
    He yelled again, and we raised our shields, I raised mine just in time, a spear hit it and shattered, and I threw a knife I had on my belt, a responding scream came to the throw.
    "Charge!"
    He yelled, we lowered our shields again and charged at the enemy, swords up and their spears down, spears shattering at the clash of shields and spear jabbing into men all around me, and I looked around... I could not understand what had happened, I could not understand how I got here, I could not understand what I was supposed to do...
    I looked at the foe, lunging a spear at me, and I felt a stinging pain in my chest, I fell to the floor, blood splattering all around me, soldiers dying... People fading, the endless darkness of battle and the weariness of war engulfed me, I felt myself starting to fade...
    Someone shouted my name...
    Someone shouted my name...
    I felt my head rocking back and forth, and there he was, the general, looking down at me, and I finally realized, I'm the Lieutenant... How could I allow myself to become so shocked? I returned to the battle in spirit now... But not in body, I could not rise...
    "Sir, I... I ca--"
    "I know, just sit tight, Soldiers! DEFENSIVE FORMATION!"
    He screamed and about five soldiers formed a half a circle around us, shields up and swords at the ready, battle raged all around us, but then it came.
    "Skirmishers!"
    A scream was heard from afar, and soon enough, stones and javelins fell all around us, the skirmishers opened fire, and three of the defensive soldiers fell, dead.
    "Sir!"
    One of them yelled, seeing a group of soldiers approaching, seven of them, the leader was obviously the enemy general, and my general rose, looking at him, the other six engaged in combat all around him...
    The duel began...
    The enemy general slashed at mine, but missed, shields clashed, swords met.
    My general fell down to the floor, the other general knocking him down, but he soon got up and lunged at him, a direct hit to the shoulder, but the enemy general smiled, I could not understand, why? Why was he smiling?
    As blood splattered all over my helmet and armor, I realized, that the duel which was happening right in front of me, has ended. My friend fell to the ground, his throat slashed, and the enemy general looked at his round shield, which had blades on it... And smiled. I looked at the lifeless corpse of my general and darkness engulfed me again... Why was I here, I asked myself...
    The answer never came.

    ENTRANT 2 - SonOfAlexander
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    TOTW - One more time…His bare feet ached. Alexanderos ran with great long strides, dodging the carts in the busy streets as he ran down the hill. The hills of the Cilician Gates stood like a sentinel, watching over the lands of Pontus. Alexanderos reached the steep terrace where his family lived. The squalor of the district could be clearly seen in the chipped lime plaster and human waste in the streets as he crashed through the front door of his home.

    The sound of ringing pieces of metal being gathered could be heard as Alexanderos listened to his mother talking to Antonius in the next room.
    “I’ve got to… the honour of Rome… prove myself.”
    “But Antonius… trivial and unimportant…” There was a moment of silence and then a woman’s scream as Antonius slapped her, knocking her to the floor. Antonius ran to the door and stood there, armour clad as he gestured to his fellow sibling.

    “Come, Alexanderos. We’ll see the sun set on that battle yet if we leave now.” Alexanderos shook his head and spoke as the rain started to fall outside, casting a grey shadow on the street outside. “Yes, but will it be from under a Roman standard or a Macedonian one…?” Alexanderos’ family was part Greek, part Roman, and the 2 brothers could not have idolised the Greeks/Romans more than they did.

    Antonius grabbed Alexanderos and flung him to the floor. His back jarred on the stone streets as he fell to the floor. He scuttled backwards through the urine-soaked ground and water as the rain fell harder still. Antonius stood in the dry doorway and pointed his sword at Alexanderos’ gullet. “You are no brother of mine…” He walked over him and within seconds had disappeared into the rain.

    It was one week later and Alexanderos’ feet now compacted the hard, dusty earth above the edges of the River Issus where all those years ago Megos Alexanderos had defeated Darius in his epic duel of wits. Would the Macedonians be so successful today? Alexanderos shifted his shoulder and shield to hold his huge Sarissa more comfortably.

    Antonius manned a Scorpius to the rear of the lines. As full of will, patriotism and bravado as Antonius was, he was still apprehensive.

    But as the two lines prepared to meet, he saw a familiar face standing in the front line. “FIRE!” he shouted as the single huge bolt flew towards the line. The young man was lifted into the air and his pike fell to the ground.

    Alexanderos pulled his shield into his chest and lowered his spear on orders as the Romans advanced. He was ready to thrust when he heard a near silent whistling. He looked up but saw nothing before his vision went black and he felt himself thrown skywards. He slowly rose to his knees and sat there, watching the lines advance in front of him as sound faded from the world. He hadn’t been able to prove himself worthy of his Macedonian lineage…


    ENTRANT 3 - Elendil of Númenor
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