A short piece of writing

Every now and again I occasionally get the urge to write something. This is something that I actually put together for the website of a good friend quite a while ago. If you want to check out a gorgeously illustrated version, then head on over to the brilliant Beyond the Grey Mountains website.

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Tales of Brother Friedrich Rechtung – pt.1

An extract from the remembered exploits of Brother Friedrich Rechtung, Witchfinder of the Third Order, Brotherhood of the Twin Tailed Comet

He could feel his blood pulsing against the steel gorget – the mark of his membership of the ancient order of Witchfinders.

Leaning his head back against the cold stone wall of the dungeon’s corridor, he felt his pulse gradually begin to slow, still pulsing, but slower now, against his steel collar. He got his breathing under control and concentrated on the noises moving along the corridor.

It was almost like a shuffle, as if the creature was injured or was carrying some heavy weight. Slow and deliberate footsteps, but definitely with something weighty being dragged along.

friedrich

The fingers of his right hand, warm and somewhat protected in his black, cow’s leather gloves, found the butt of his flintlock pistol in it’s usual place in the bandolier across his chest. His left hand reached across to his right hip and slowly unsheathed his rapier, blackened with boot polish the day before to prevent any telltale glints from the poor light in the cold, dank dungeon.

He had outrun the creature and defeated others in this hell-ridden dungeon but whatever it was that was following him had a resilience and persistence he had not experienced. But now this angular corner in the passageway provided an excellent opportunity to pounce. The noises moved further along the corridor, but slowing now as if the creature could sense his presence.

His grip tightened on the butt and trigger of his pistol and rapier and under his breath he muttered a hastily recalled prayer to Sigmar, then launched himself off the wall into the path of the creature, pistol held at arm’s length and sabre drawn.

Shock, for a split second as his night adjusted eyesight allowed him to see the horrifying visage before him, if only for a moment.

Rags of greying skin clung to the remains of a face, dark red muscles visible through holes in the skin. Strips of what Friedrich realised after must be a funeral shroud hung to the emaciated form of the creature, giving it some shape but doing little to hide the impossibly thin arms and skeletal legs. Notwithstanding it’s physical appearance, Friedrich knew the creature possessed strength not of this world.

In an instant he reacted, squeezed the trigger of his flintlock and there was a terrific flash as the black powder ignited and the shot left the barrel, penetrating the creature’s eye socket with predictably impressive results. Ungodly howls erupted from the creature’s mouth as it’s clawed fingers shot up to it’s damaged face, but it staggered onwards towards Friedrich – desperately searching for its quarry.

Friedrich swung his sword in a short arc, bringing the blackened blade down, slicing across the creature’s chest and raised arms. The creature’s forearms and chest were bloody, the grey, tattered remains of it’s skin, hanging off from where the blade had struck – but yet it lurched towards Friedrich.

He had faced zombies, minions of Chaos before and yet for the first time in a long while, he felt fear prickle the nape of his neck. This one continued to move towards despite the horrific injuries the Witchfinders’ weapons had effected. Retreating a few steps as the zombie approached, he swung again and again with his holy blade, emblazoned with words of scripture, each time finding his mark with a sickening squelch . The zombie howled again and staggered a step. Sensing his opportunity, Friedrich threw caution to the wind and lunged at the creature sabre first, blade pointing up towards the zombie’s chest. Throwing all of his weight behind the attack Friedrich caught the zombie off balance and thrust his blade up through what remained of the ribcage until the tip of his blade exited from the back of the creature’s neck.

They fell down together, the zombie immobile and the Witchfinder panting heavily. Hauling himself upright, he withdrew his blade, wiped it against his boots and returned it to it’s sheath. He drew a long, wickedly curved dagger from his belt and knealt by the zombie’s neck. Knowing from previous experience that it was unwise to leave the head attached to the neck and continue on his journey, Friedrich set about slicing the the tendons and muscles and eventually with a crack, the bone, of the neck, in order to separate the head from the body. Task complete he sat back on his haunches and exhaled slowly.

Making the mark of Sigmar he stood, the head of the zombie in his hand. With a grunt and an overarm throw, he dispatched the head back down the corridor from whence it’s previous owner came. Then turning to the remains of the creature he could see for the first time, in the sepulchral half light of the corridor, what the zombie had been dragging. A large sack woven, in year’s gone by, with a thick hemp. Friedrich pulled open the string and examined the contents.

Not having any use for golden trinkets, he searched the sack thoroughly. At the bottom his fingers wrapped around what felt like the shape of an amulet, complete with chain. The amulet itself carried the mark that was familiar, very familiar to Friedrich, that of the Twin Tailed Comet. Grasping the amulet in his fist, Friedrich stuffed it into the pocket of his overcoat. He looked again at the decapitated remains of the zombie and vowed to Sigmar a personal oath that he would avenge his fallen brother and bring an end to whatever power saw fit to defile the body of a long dead Witchfinder for it’s own, unknown, ends.

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About honorarywelshman
Ex student, honorary Welshman, xbox gamer and politics (left of centre-ish) geek. However this "left of centre" malarkey is rapidly shifting and changing - will update. I also tweet here: http://twitter.com/honorarywelshy All comments are my own personal ramblings.

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