Death's Apprentice - Chapter TwoTime was not on his side, it was definitely slipping out of his grasp. He could hear the cries of the Ruinous Powers in his head, calling him back where he belonged. But he wouldn't allow that to happen, he wouldn't give up on his newly acquired material form, or his plans. Not just yet. Xhachgrat-Buhtiwaeu-Gptuh, known amongst his inferiors as Arphaxat the Wretched, needed more souls to claim in the name of his Master, the Supreme God of Decay, the Architect of All Rot, Nurgle the Lord of Lost Heart. Every offered soul counted in his favour, making him and his master stronger.
The last attack he had ordered, the one on that accursed town of Roezfels, had been fruitless, rendering his marauding forces unable to continue unless they were wishing to meet their ends. Left with no other option but to flee, they receded into the forest, having most survivors crippled and their numbers greatly decreased. He in turn had become so weakened he couldn't even use the gifts his Chaos Master had be
Death's Apprentice - Chapter OneThe farms at the border of the village, those ascending one of the many inclining slopes of the Middle Mountains, had reported smoke rising to the Northeast, coming from deep inside the Forest of Shadows. During the second day, when the smoke expanded in the sky covering the sun and the gentle spring breeze carried the distinct smell of battle and charred flesh, mayor Werner Moetter of Zingstal, former Captain of the Imperial Army who was honourably discharged from service, needed no more to gather the mere two hundred rugged souls he was appointed to protect and warn them of the impending danger. If the town of Roezfels were to fall, the forces of the enemy would find no other resistance between them and the village.
The man rubbed his temples tiredly. He had met with the forces of Chaos more than once in his lifetime, but always as a commanding officer escorted by the military company under his direct orders. Not once in his fifty three years of age had he been in a situation similar
Two Grapes and a Glass of spilt RacameA warm spring breeze carried the sweet, melodic laughter of Lady Rithiell to Hasar's ears as he was heading to the garden. His heart pounded vividly in his chest, forcing him to stop and catch his breath. What was it about this woman that made his arms tremble like those of a sealh's*¹, when she is paying her respects to the Mighty Wind? His shaky hands betrayed him and, to his fright, he realised he had spilt some of the wine. Several droplets were spread on the stone-covered floor, the rich aroma of fruits, sanā*² and cassia*³ filling his sinuses, while another tear-shaped drop was sliding slowly down the crystalline surface of the goblet he was holding. Hasar pulled his sleeve and wrapped the fabric around the glass, carefully wiping it clean from any remnants. He had picked the most expensive wine the master had in the manor's cellar, a bottle purchased in the city of Viya in exchange for three slaves. "Racame", the name his mother's people had given to it, "the First Blood of
Her Soothing Beauty"Hasar, light!"
An angry shout and a glare was all that was needed. The boy flinched instantly and held the mirror at a different angle, making sure his master was satisfied. The light filled the room once again, sun rays reflecting on the cold surface of the mirror, dancing their way merrily upon the woman's ebony hair. Hasar stood in awe, gazing at her smooth Qarista features.
"By the Duelling Moons", he thought. "Her beauty can only be compared to that of a goddess".
The woman rolled her eyes and for a fleeting moment they shared a glance. It was then that Hasar realised he was still staring at her. The boy's cheeks turned red and he quickly lowered his eyes to the ground, looking blankly at the wooden decking of his master's studio.
He had to always remember his place when HE was around. "A servant boy is not allowed to raise his eyes and look at anyone who is his superior", the master's voice resounded in his head. And in Hasar's case, everyone, even his own m