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Old October 5th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Legends of Valhalla: Chapter 3 - The Tomb of Migol II

After spending some more time reading bios, official scenarios and perusing the map of Valhalla, I've decided to go back and build up to where "Darkness Surrounds" takes off from.

I'm not sure whether I'll go back and forth between the two or not, but I had a strong urge to give an account of some of the famed battles that resulted in certain champions having titles like "Heroes of Barrenspur", etc. Of course, it's only my version, but hopefully it'll arouse the input of others who imagined famed battles in their own way.

Without further delay, here's the start of the first. Hope you enjoy.

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Chapter 1 - Table of Giants
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Strong winds blasted across the open valley. To the south, large hills of stone jutted up to block the sun. To the north, the surface of a cold lake rippled, beyond which lay the broken ruins of an outpost lost to a race long since vanished.

The clear blue sky reflected brightly in Raelin’s concerned eyes. She planted the butt of her spear firmly in the earth. Her golden blonde hair whipped about her porcelain face. Her red lips tightened. “There is but one wellspring upon these fields. It lies just beyond those ruins.”

“We trekked over mountain and river for one wellspring?” Thorgrim grunted, stroking the braided ends of his beard. “Why?”

“This one is special,” the female kyrie answered. “The visions will enable us to locate certain wellsprings that cannot be found otherwise. They have remained hidden for centuries. No other general knows of its existence. No other, but Utgar.”

“Figures,” Sgt. Drake muttered. “The only other general with a real army – and the last general we want to have one.”

“Utgar must not be allowed to take this wellspring,” Raelin warned, her tone resonating with a gravity that echoed the power of her kyrie heritage. “It begins here.”

“We are ready for battle,” Finn boasted, “Let them come.”

“They will separate their attack between two distinct forces,” the kyrie instructed. “One will come from the east, upon the plain. The other, from the rocks to the south.” She eyed the Tarn Vikings. “Thorgrim and Finn, your Viking warriors will guard the lake’s edge. They must not be allowed to cross. Their blue-skinned warriors are known as “gruts” and fight with a savagery like crazed animals. Their weapons are crude but effective. Their attack will be relentless and without mercy.”

The largest of the Tarn, Ulf, smirked, gripping his jagged spear tightly. The Tarn could hold their own against savagery. Now that the great Jandar had given Thorgrim and Finn enchanted swords and shields, the monsters would be in for a grim surprise.

Finn raised his broadsword and examined it. A faint blue light radiated from the metal, illuminating his square face. “They have not seen savagery yet.”

“They are led by one called Grimnak,” Raelin continued. “He rides atop a terrible reptile. The creature should not be engaged by any but the stoutest of warriors.”

“I’ll kill him,” Finn smirked.

“No,” Raelin’s voice was stern once again. “I will deal with Grimnak. There is another. Tornak is vile as he is treacherous, and though his reptilian steed is smaller, it is no less menacing – for it moves with the speed and grace of a viper. It will be Tornak who seeks to find the wellspring for Utgar. Your charge is to stop him.”

“The wellspring is a sight his eyes will never see,” Thorgrim swore.

“Unless his head rolls far enough from his shoulders,” Jarl laughed, slinging his shield over his shoulder. He dug the tip of his blade into the dirt at his feet.

“Tonight we'll feast on roasted reptile,” Ulf boasted.

“You can be the first to taste it,” Brandt shook his head. “If you live after the first bite, then the rest of us will try.”

“I will rend the beast’s skull from the sheath of its flesh and use it for a bowl,” Bjorn raised his sword. The other Vikings burst into laughter. The large wings extending from Bjorn's helm caused it to sit crooked on his head. "The earth will shake with the tremors of their screams. I swear it!!" More laughter.

“Is he for real?” Ramirez looked to Drake with wide eyes. The sergeant just stared blankly.

“Sergeant Drake Alexander,” Raelin turned her gaze to the camouflaged soldiers, “You and your men will position yourselves in the clefts of the rock. Remain hidden until Utgar’s forces reveal themselves. You may find their appearance disturbing, but do not be alarmed. They fall easily enough. They will have ranged weaponry, somewhat like your own, albeit... organic.”

“Organic?” Ramirez questioned. “What kinda freaks-”

“Enough,” Drake snapped. “Anything else we should know?”

“Yes,” Raelin’s deep blue eyes hardened. “Their leader is a warlord by the name of Ne-Gok-Sa. He possesses a dark power. Do NOT underestimate him. If you engage him in combat, beware – he may try and seize your mind. If he succeeds, you will be forever lost to us.”

“What the f-“ Johnson started.

“Easy, Johnson,” Drake interrupted. “Don’t engage him. It's that simple. That’s what grenades are for. Saddle up, boys.” He waved an arm to the Airborne. “Move out.”

“There is one other thing.” The kyrie’s voice was sharp.

Drake stopped, motioning for the others to continue on. He looked over his shoulder. “Yeah?”

“Do not let them near the water.”
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Old October 7th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Chapter 1 - Part II



As the wind continued to whip across the grasslands of Upper Bleakwoode, Thorgrim stood silently, his storm-scarred eyes resting steadily on the eastern horizon. His leather gloved fingers drummed patiently on his swordbelt.

The sky had since darkened, and thunder clouds loomed brooding overhead, casting a shadow over the waiting Tarn.

Brandt hoisted his massive two-handed sword over his shoulder and came up beside the quiet Tarn leader. “I have seen that face, Thorgrim.” His golden hair blasted wildly about in the raging wind. “You wore it in Korland. I was a boy, but I remember it well.”

Thorgrim grimaced. “The moment I saw the wretched dreadguls emerge from our forest, I knew Ulrick was mad. Their presence fouled our homeland beyond reckoning. I pity those left behind.” He exhaled. “The same weight sits in my stomach now.”

“Feel that, brothers?” Finn gave a wide grin. “The earth trembles with Utgar’s approach. Soon it will bathe in their blood.”

“Do not be so eager, young brother,” Thorgrim grumbled. “Not to fight a creature we’ve never seen. We know only what the kyrie told us.”

“So, they fight like wild animals,” Finn concluded, “No worse than the Dreadguls, I’d wager. Save now I wield the Sword of Guether.” He eyed his brother thoughtfully. “I did not fear Ulrick’s unholy creatures before and I do not fear these monsters now.”

“There, upon the horizon,” Ulf pointed his long barbed spear to the line appearing on the edge of the grasslands. “We’ll not be short of enemies this day. Let us hope our scrawny green-clothed comrades can do the same in the rocks.”



“This is insane,” Burnell complained. “Since when is taking the LOW ground to our advantage?”

“Since we want to keep the element of surprise,” Drake countered. “As long as they don’t know we’re down here, we can watch ‘em long enough to figure out a way to take ‘em all down.”

“I got your easy way right here,” Hauser grinned, a grenade in each hand.

“Put those away,” Drake ordered. “If they group together, we’ll frag the hilltops and bring the whole mess down. If they scatter, we’ll have to spread out and pick ‘em off one at a time.” His steel blue eyes scanned the rocky ridge above. “Hauser, you’re my radioman. Ramirez, Johnson, Delgado – fan out and take up position near that crumbled boulder. Burnell, Meyers, Castillo – that rockslide - dig in deep.”

Meyers adjusted his thick glasses, his eyes appearing giant behind them. “Sarge, I think someone should scout the ridge.”

“Too dangerous,” Drake shook his head. “If he’s spotted we’ve lost our cover.”

“Not necessarily,” Meyers argued. “If can get close enough to the top, I can use my mirror to see over the ridge without actually climbing up there myself. At least then we’ll know which way they’re coming from. That and the rest of you will still be hiding.”

“Y’all go on,” Johnson called, “This here boy gets himself shot, we’ll have ourselves plenty reason to unleash the fury.”

“C’mon,” Delgado tugged at the large soldier’s arm. “Let’s get outta this wind or I’m gonna be a corpse before the fight starts.”

“Alright, Meyers,” Drake consented, “Take it slow. You turn the wrong angle with that thing and you’ll end up flashing them and signaling our location.”

A wide smile spread across Meyers’ narrow face, “This is what I do!”

As the skinny soldier scrambled up the rockside, a tremendous roar broke the windy silence.
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  #3  
Old October 7th, 2007, 02:32 PM
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Deathclaw767 Woo who?
As good as ever, Akralon! Keep the quallity coming!

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Old October 10th, 2007, 10:34 AM
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The earth shook with each massive stomp of the great tyrannosaurus’s clawed feet. Its scaled tail swung back and forth as it lumbered forward. Yellow reptilian eyes glared menacingly at the band of men, armored in metals and furs, guarding the edge of the lake.

Upon the beast’s back, Grimnak raised his crude spear high, inciting a series of snarls and shouts from the surrounding gruts. The dim light darkened the shade of their bluish skin. The blade gruts grunted and snorted, clanging blades together in anticipation of the order that would set them loose to wreak havoc.

To the other side, arrow gruts yipped and yelped, shaking their bows. Swog riders darted about amidst the sea of moving archers, their furry feline steeds snapping at stray gruts wandering too far from ranks.

“Tornak!” the grut warlord snarled. “Ready the blade gruts!”

“They are ready now,” The raptor riding grut grinned, patting the scaly dinosaur. “Easy, Talon. Soon you will drink man-blood.”

Grimnak eyed the band of Viking warriors barring their path with little interest. “Tear them apart," he spoke casually. "Leave none alive.”

“What of the wellspring?” Tornak questioned, reining his raptor up beside the tyrannosaurus, tromping at a quick pace to keep up.

“The blade gruts will handle the humans." Grimnak's crimson eyes locked onto the broken ruins. "Search the ruins. Find the wellspring!”

...

Drake squinted, watching Meyers clumsily clamber toward the ridge, hand mirror clutched firmly to his chest.

“This ain’t a good idea,” Hauser grumbled. “I gotta bad feelin’.”

“Hand me the binoculars,” Drake waved his hand. “And stay on the horn.” He looked to the north, where Burnell and Castillo were tucked in behind out-juttings in the rock face. “There’s a lot of dust near the lake. How’re our horned-headed brothers-in-arms doing?”

“It’s a bloody mess,” Castillo muttered over the radio. “All I see is blue. And a… dinosaur.”

“Is that a T-rex?” Burnell’s voice cut in. “Somebody slap me.”

“Knock it off,” Drake ordered, “Keep Meyers covered. If these freaks are gonna show, they’ll most likely be taking position there.” He nodded toward the small cliff protruding from the northern end of the ridge. “Keep your eyes open.”

“In position,” Meyers whispered into the radio. “Standing by for go ahead.”

Drake readied his assault rifle, squaring it against his shoulder and taking aim just above Meyers. “All set. Go ahead.”

“Roger that.”

“Sights are HOT! Sights are HOT!” Castillo cried out. “Wait!”

Too late. An unearthly and hollow sounding blast shook the rocks and stones, followed by a shrill scream. The airborne watched in helplessness as Meyers fell from above, landing on his back over a broken rock with a dull crunch. The cracked hand-mirror fell from his open hand.

Before Drake could give an order, gunfire exploded all around him. The frenzied soldiers peppered the ridge with a spray of bullets.

Cursing their luck, the sergeant took advantage of the outburst to scramble across the hillside to the fallen Meyers. He ducked under the rock and then gasped and wretched as a sickeningly sweet smell filled his nostrils. To his horror, the dead soldier’s face and chest were eaten way. Acidic spores sizzled against Meyers’ exposed ribs.

Adjusting his cover, the sergeant looked up to see the first of their attackers. The creature looked like a man – save it was devoid of flesh. A putrid mix of muscle and organs pulsated and writhed, stretched over elongated bones. It held in its sinewy hands what looked like a rifle or cannon – but the weapon was covered in some kind of mold or fungus. Pulsating green spheres shot forward from the weapon and struck the earth, leaving steaming holes drenched in bright green ooze.

"Yeah," Drake acknowledged Hauser. "This ain't good."
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Old October 10th, 2007, 04:51 PM
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Deathclaw767 Deathclaw767 is offline
 
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Deathclaw767 Woo who?
Sizzly.... Nice interpretation of their effectiveness. At the risk of sounding repetitive, this is as good as ever. Keep up the quallity of your work!

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Old October 10th, 2007, 05:51 PM
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Grimnak shouted with glee as the great tyrannosaurus snapped down over a hapless Viking, then wrenched its head to the side, sending the human’s lower half spiraling away through the air, sprinkling those below with warm blood.

Just then a flash of silver caught his eyes as the armored wings of the female kyrie stretched out and she leapt into the air. The sun glinted off her spear as she arched her back and poised to dive.

“Come, wench!” Grimnak motioned.

Raelin frowned, zipping down toward the reptile-rider. She spun her spear in circles as she flew in for the strike. The grut warlord thrust his own crude weapon outward, but the kyrie used the momentum from her spinning spear to deflect his jab and the butt came around to blast him in the side of the helm.

Grimnak dropped the spear and frantically clutched the reins to keep from sliding out of his saddle. “Your flesh will be a sweet dessert!” he snarled. “You are nothing more than a mid-battle snack!”

“Foolish grut,” Raelin returned, readying herself for another dive, “I have bested enemies of far greater strength and skill than the likes of you. If this is the best Utgar has to offer, than perhaps we overdid our defenses.”

“I will rip the pretty hair from your head and clean my pet’s teeth with it!” Grimnak growled.

Raelin’s cold blue eyes were resolute. “One day your pet will eat you.”

Grimnak slammed his razor-edged heels into the dinosaur’s hide. The tyrannosaurus reared its head and chomped at the kyrie, who deftly darted aside, returning the attack with a quick jab of her spear.

Roaring at the provoking stab, Grimnak’s mount stomped aside and lashed out its tail. This time the kyrie was not fast enough. The thick tail swatted her from the sky.

Raelin hurtled downward and crashed into an array of arrow gruts. Before the stunned grut archers could recover, she spun her spear round and its twirling knife-edge sliced and slashed, opening throats and loosing heads. When the slain gruts had fallen, she had cleared an opening large enough for her to take flight once more, and with a great leap, soared back up into the stormy winds.



Lightning split the sky with a brilliant flash and thunder cracked like a breaking mountain, rumbling the earth below. Rain fell like a curtain of water, drenching the battling enemies in seconds.

“Watch that one!” Thorgrim slammed his tall shield into a grut, which stumbled clumsily backwards and caught Thorgrim’s blade in the neck. “He looks for passage across the waters!”

“Clear a path!” Finn ordered. “I’ll have his skull before he reaches the ruins!”

Ulf and Brandt stepped forward and as they neared Finn, the Viking leader’s blade flared to life once again, bathing them in blue light.

“Lookee,” snarled a large grut wielding two crude butcher blades. “What pretty clothes you wear.” He scraped the dark swords together, the sparks lighting up his grim face, which was smeared with blood-red war paint.

“I’ve something pretty for you,” Thorgrim grumbled, thrusting his sword forward.

The blade grut crossed his swords, parrying and forcing the Viking’s weapon upward, and then shoved his blue-toed foot into the human’s gut.

Thorgrim staggered backwards, put his shoulder to his shield and charged forward.

Near the water’s edge, the raptor sprinted lightly across the muddy shore, while its rider swept the ruins for signs of the wellspring. Tornak's green eyes widened with pleasure when he saw, emanating from behind a broken wall, a soft white light.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 08:36 PM
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Deathclaw767 Deathclaw767 is offline
 
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Deathclaw767 Woo who?
Good old Tornak....
Hey. Am I the only one reading these, or are you other guys too lazy to compliment a master on his wonderful work?

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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathclaw767
Good old Tornak....
Hey. Am I the only one reading these, or are you other guys too lazy to compliment a master on his wonderful work?
No, I'm reading it too and it's great .
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Old October 11th, 2007, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathclaw767
Good old Tornak....
Hey. Am I the only one reading these, or are you other guys too lazy to compliment a master on his wonderful work?
I like it and hope he does more.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:55 PM
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“Delgado’s hit!” Johnson yelled. “I can’t get a shot off! They got the entire ridge covered!”

The surrounding rocks hissed with bursts of steam as the green acid blasts pelted the sloped land from above.

“Stay down!” Drake ordered. “Frags out!” He looked to Hauser, who was grinning widely, ecstatic at finally being able to blow something up.

“On three!” the sergeant shouted. “Pins!” The soldiers popped their pins.

“One! Two!” They turned, readying to throw. “Three!”


Finn sprinted forward, using his momentum to bash battling blade gruts aside as he charged after the reptile rider. “Come, Ormr rider!” he called, chopping an ill-prepared orc out his way. “Feast on Guthbrandr!”

A series of explosions echoed across the valley. The battling Tarn and gruts glanced anxiously to the southern ridge, where blasts thundered like a new storm.

Tornak, recovering quickly, sneered at the Viking champion with little interest. “Clumsy human,” he uttered, “Play with someone else!” He waved his spear and a small mob of blade gruts roared and charged past him. “Bring me his sword!”

Finn lifted his shield and slammed into the first grut, shoving it sprawling backwards into those behind it. A handful of orcs toppled over each other, slowing the others in the back down and preventing them from immediately reaching the Viking.

Finn smiled grimly as the trampled the fallen and hurtled into the next rank.

When the Viking disappeared amidst the blade gruts, Tornak turned his raptor and darted off down the lake’s edge. A tall pillar of granite rose up on his side, the top broken centuries ago. “This will do,” he muttered to himself. He looked to the battle. The Vikings were stubborn creatures, fighting with foolish bravery against overwhelming odds. But could keep Grimnak from advancing, save the female kyrie, of whom Tornak could not see.

Putting a small horn to his blue lips, Tornak gave a stout blow. A short distance away, Grimnak turned in his saddle. The raptor rider was calling him, waving him toward the lake. Grimnak grimaced, yanking the reins and scanning the lake. Then he saw what the other rider had wanted. A great granite pillar, easily tall enough to bridge the gap between shore and island, slanted upward.

The mighty tyrannosaurus lumbered forward. Before the Vikings could react, the reptilian giant swung its tail out and slammed into the pillar. They watched in horror as the granite cracked.

“He’s trying to bridge the lake!” Thorgrim screamed. “Tarn! Angrep! Drep dyr!”


“I can’t stop the bleeding,” Johnson cried, clutching gauze to his comrade’s thigh. “Delgado’s the friggin medic, not me!”

“Keep pressure on it,” Castillo ordered, hovering worriedly over Delgado, occasionally slapping the drowsy soldier in the face, “Stay with us, buddy.”

Drake grimaced. Staying here was only prolonging defeat. They had to take initiative. He exhaled, examining the foreign blade harnessed to his belt. It was a gift – from the archkyrie Jandar himself. A sort of offering – in exchange for service to Jandar’s army. Raelin had told him the sword was forged by the great warrior Thorian, who was said to possess legendary abilities. The blade channeled one such power, a power said to obscure one’s image to hostile eyes… though he had never actually put it to the test.

He sighed, “Now’s as a good a time as any.” He looked to Hauser. “Stay on the radio. I’m gonna bring the fight to them.”

“Are you crazy?” Hauser’s eyes were wide, “You’ll get slaughtered before you make it ten steps.”

“Maybe,” Drake muttered, “But we stay down here any longer and we’ll be slaughtered anyway. We’re pinned down and they don’t seem to be running outta ammo.”

Castillo looked up, watching the sergeant draw his katana from its sheath. “Take those sons-a-b****es out, Sarge.” He touched the silver cross hanging from his dogtag chain. “Angels watch your back!”

Drake gave a curt nod, clapped them on the shoulders, then lowered his cover, tightened his jaw and jumped out from under the rock overhang.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:48 PM
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Billtog Billtog is offline
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Billtog rolls all skulls baby! Billtog rolls all skulls baby! Billtog rolls all skulls baby! Billtog rolls all skulls baby! Billtog rolls all skulls baby!
It's about time that Drake got serious.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:58 PM
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Amazing work like usual. I'm glad this time I get to read it from the start. I know you sttated, in your other thread, that you are very interested in which parts readers thought to be the best and worst. So I think the thing that most sticks out in my mind is your portrayal of Meyers after he is hit with a plasma bullet.The desription of his flesh being eaten away and his bare ribs is just so vivid. Excellent job!

One question though, is Finn speaking Norwiegen (sp?) in the last episode in italics?

My only dissappointment was that the destription of the grenade explosions was cut out. Still very good though.

Feedback: We could all use a little more
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