Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login
About Literature / Hobbyist IanMale/United Kingdom Recent Activity
Deviant for 3 Years
Needs Core Membership
Statistics 31 Deviations 108 Comments 1,679 Pageviews
×

Newest Deviations

Mature content
The Cost of Labour :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 0 0
Mature content
I am bad at titiles. Help... :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 0 0
Mature content
Lords of the Black Isle (supposed to be part one.. :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 0 0
Mature content
The Women of the Bay :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 1 7
Mature content
The Price of Betrayal :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 1 5
Literature
Untitled
A great bonfire burned bright on the stone plateau as men marched up the rough hewn steps, carrying the remains of their former brothers aloft on great carved targes. The hilltop was battered by a howling gale, tearing standards from their mounts to fly off into the glen below and sending the hair of the speaker whipping around his head as he bellowed over the din.
"We commend our fallen to the flames, so that their ashes are carried across their homeland, to settle and bring new life in their wake. Just as we sing songs of their bravery and call their names in the heat of battle, may their fighting spirit light a fire in our hearts in the darkest of times."
The men and women gathered around the great fire cheered and called out as remains were placed into the flames. The speaker nodded to the woman standing alongside him, clasping a great Astartes helm, highly polished and engraved with knotwork and runic inscription.
"And for our brothers who could not return, we cast this to the fla
:iconSonsOfFenris:SonsOfFenris
:iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 4 0
Literature
Tall tales
"Wee one! Stoke the fire, my legs are getting a chill."
The sound of infant’s laughter filled the room as the speaker smiled knowingly, looking down at his missing limbs with a look of mock surprise on his face.
"Oh! Forgot again! My mind is away these days…" The speaker’s aged eyes sparkled with mischief as he took a long draw from his pipe, bathing his face in an orange glow. Children sat huddled around the elder in the dim, smoke filled Broch. The flames of the hearth danced across the stone walls.
"I suppose you’re all hidin’ from that howlin’ storm and you expect me to entertain you, eh? Will a story work?"
As if in response the heavy gale moaned through the gaps in the naturally shaped stones that made up the walls. The young ones started at the sound. The elder simply chuckled, releasing whisps of sweet scented smoke from between his cracked lips to dance around his wrinkled features and fill the air.
"All right then, this story is true, I swe
:iconSonsOfFenris:SonsOfFenris
:iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 3 0
Mature content
Stormbringer :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 2 0
Mature content
Untitled :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 2 0
Mature content
Untitled :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 1 0
Mature content
Untitled :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 1 0
Mature content
Untitled :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 1 0
Mature content
Tosgan Cruaidh :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 3 0
Mature content
Rites of Battle :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 2 0
Mature content
Untitled :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 1 0
Mature content
Untitled :iconsonsoffenris:SonsOfFenris 5 0

Favourites

Space Wolf Title Card by wibblethefish Space Wolf Title Card :iconwibblethefish:wibblethefish 20 1 Dark Souls: Jolly Cooperation by MenasLG Dark Souls: Jolly Cooperation :iconmenaslg:MenasLG 1,619 107 Triss Merigold by Fin-Cosplay Triss Merigold :iconfin-cosplay:Fin-Cosplay 17 3 Mardroeme - Gwent Card by akreon Mardroeme - Gwent Card :iconakreon:akreon 1,530 34 AIR: Pseudoscience by wibblethefish AIR: Pseudoscience :iconwibblethefish:wibblethefish 32 27 AIR: Kaiju by wibblethefish
Mature content
AIR: Kaiju :iconwibblethefish:wibblethefish 76 66
For Honor Title Card by wibblethefish For Honor Title Card :iconwibblethefish:wibblethefish 8 1 Kill for Lupercal, Kill for the Emperor! by Nemris Kill for Lupercal, Kill for the Emperor! :iconnemris:Nemris 92 33 Minotaurs Space Marine Chapter by DeathsheadXIII Minotaurs Space Marine Chapter :icondeathsheadxiii:DeathsheadXIII 7 0 White Scar Space Marine by DeathsheadXIII White Scar Space Marine :icondeathsheadxiii:DeathsheadXIII 5 0 Victorus aut Mortis by t-cezar Victorus aut Mortis :icont-cezar:t-cezar 246 6 Primarch Angron by imaan8298 Primarch Angron :iconimaan8298:imaan8298 62 8 Vlka Fenryka by LeoJr Vlka Fenryka :iconleojr:LeoJr 209 29 Wh40K: Rune Priest by StugMeister Wh40K: Rune Priest :iconstugmeister:StugMeister 73 11 Betrayer Characters by slaine69 Betrayer Characters :iconslaine69:slaine69 251 97 Horus Lupercal by NeilDy Horus Lupercal :iconneildy:NeilDy 40 11

Groups

Activity


Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


or, enter your birth date.*


Month

Day

Year*
Please enter a valid date format (mm-dd-yyyy)
Please confirm you have reviewed DeviantArt's Terms of Service below.
* We do not retain your date-of-birth information.
“The job’s done.” Coinneach said matter-of-factly. His statement was followed by the dull thump of bloodied hessian sack, his proof of a completed hunt. The Witcher stood awkwardly hunched over within Alderman Eadgar’s shoddily built hut, hanging his head low under a beam of rotten wood. The dimly lit domicile was clearly built for the elderly man’s hunchbacked figure rather than the towering frame of the Skelligan mutant.  

“Excellent!” The Alderman responded. His joints creaked as he rubbed his hands together in glee. “I knew I could count on ye, witch man. Folks might talk ill of your type, but you’ve never done wrong by me and mine.”

“Coinneach, my name is Coinneach. Now, my payment, if you please.” The Witcher’s tone was calm and assertive, showing little in the way of appreciation of Eadgar’s kind words. In his experience, many thought showering Witchers with praise and adoration in a pathetic attempt to gain a discount or dodge payment altogether. He watched the Alderman carefully as the frail man ran gnarled fingers through his wiry silver beard.

“Hm? Oh. Yes, o’ course, Mr. Conn-ack!” Coinneach suppressed a wince at Eadgar’s pronunciation. The Alderman hobbled to a fireplace before returning his gaze to the Witcher. “Would you mind…” He said, gesturing for Coinneach to look away. The giant didn’t respond, keeping his eyes firmly fixed on Eadgar. An old scar on the Witcher’s lower back began to itch at the Alderman’s request, causing him to grimace as the memories accompanying it surfaced. The elder shrugged and and carefully removed a stone from the ramshackle construction, revealing a small alcove filled with coins stacked in disorganised columns. The mutant’s enhanced senses picked up the clink of every coin counted and dropped into a small pouch. Before long, the village elder turned and presented the weatherbeaten pouch to Coinneach with weak, weedy arms.

“You’re twenty coins short.”

Eadgar’s eye’s shot open. “I don’t know yer talking about.”

“The arrangement was fifty. There’s thirty in the bag.”

“Ye haven’t bloody counted it!”

A sly smile crept across the Witcher’s features. “I can tell. Did you think you could cheat me?”

The Alderman’s eyes darted about the room as he searched for a response. “Well. ye returned so soon!” He blurted out, desperately thinking on his feet. “Ye mentioned that if it was a simple job it won’t take long. I’m just paying for the time ye put in!”

Coinneach lazily placed a hand on the low beam above him with a sigh. He gave it a pull, causing the structure to groan in protest. “My time doesn’t concern you, old man. You pay for the work.That’s how Witcher contracts work.”

“Contract? I didn’t sign nothin’” Eadgar said dismissively.

“Can you read or write?” Coinneach pulled on the beam again. A crack rang out through the building as the timbers strained. “You agreed to fifty, I’m taking fifty.”

Eadgar swallowed audibly as he waited for the structure to fall down around him. “B...But it was only a few drowners, Witch man! Is it really worth fifty?”

“Who the hell are you to tell me what a monster should cost?!” Coinneach roared. In the distance, he could hear a villager scream in fright at the outburst. “Tell me, how many drowners have [i]you[/i] killed? What about vampires, wraiths or trolls? How much would you charge?” The witcher bared his teeth in anger.

“Take the thirty or be off with ye!” The Alderman responded, his voice wavering. The old man’s bark would be worse than his toothless bite, Coinneach knew that. The smell of pure fear began to emanate from Eadgar,  just detectable under the scents of his unwashed body and stale piss from a bedpan stowed under a filthy bed. He made for a drawer on the other side of the hut and reached into its gloomy interior. Coinneach took a single thunderous step forward, crossing the room effortlessly and placed a hand on his shoulder. The Alderman almost collapsed under the sudden weight pressing down on him. His heart beat intensely as his body stiffened. From Coinneach’s higher vantage point he could see the familiar sheen of a blade within the confines of the drawer.

“You can try it, but I warn you now that it won’t end well for you.” Coinneach said softly, mere inches away from the Alderman’s ear. The words elicited a whimper from the elder as he closed his eyes, waiting for the Witcher to end him. Images flashed through his mind of the myriad ways Coinneach could end him here and now, not to mention how little effort it would take compared to taking the heads that the sack contained. How foolish the old man had been to listen to the council of the village drunks on the foolishness of Witchers…

“You know, the corpses are still out there, old man.” Coinneach said in a menacing tone. He lessened his grip on him, allowing him to slither free of the Witcher’s grasp.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“A few corpses left out in the open are an easy meal for Necrophages. Give it a few days or so and the ghouls will find their dinner and make a lair. Then they’ll be digging up that pitiful little graveyard and before long…”

“Enough!” The Alderman yelped. “Bastard. You’re threatening the village elder!

“I’m threatening a frail little prick who would rather save a few Orens than pay for services rendered.” Coinneach barked. “Now, give me the full payment and this doesn’t get any worse.”

The Alderman flinched under the verbal assault, shrinking away from the mutant towering over him. With a deep breath, he finally relented. He crept back over to the coin stash and filled it with the missing coinage without taking his eyes off of the Witcher. Placing it on a table, he darted away from the money and left Coinneach to retrieve it. A gauntleted hand scooped up the pouch and the Witcher turned to leave.

“My thanks.” The Witcher said grimly.

“Get out.” Eadgar mumbled, exhausted.

“Other Witchers will hear of this.” Coinneach warned. “Next time there’s trouble, don’t expect any of my kind to be chomping at the bit to take on any work.”

Like a cornered animal, the elder lashed out. His arms waved manically in frustration as he berated the Witcher. “We’ll be fine without your lot sticking your nose in, you ploughing freak!”

“We’ll see.” Coinneach replied calmly as he bent down under the doorframe.

As he stretched out to his full height in the open air, the Witcher looked over the crowd huddled around the hut, pitchforks and rusty blades at the ready. Coinneach spat onto the ground, watching the reaction of the mob as they backed away. With each step the Witcher made, the crowd parted before him like an old story of the seas granted safe passage to the great hero. Before long, Coinneach cleared the throngs and calmly mounted his horse. With a gentle kick the brown mare set off at a gallop, leaving the bewildered masses in the dust.

*****


Kamil took a rag to the gleaming blade of her silver sword, cleaning away the reeking oils coating it. Her first encounter with a Noonwraith had taken more from her than she wished to admit and she did everything she could to hide it from her mentor. Coinneach knelt before the corporeal remains of the creature, carefully sifting through the pile of ash like material curiously.

“So?” Kamil asked.

“Your left side was open.” Coinneach replied, keeping his eyes on their quarry. Kamil pursed her lips in annoyance.

“It was a fucking monster. It doesn’t know swordsmanship.”

“Doesn’t matter. Never take that chance. You of all people should realise that.” Coinneach looked up at his ward, his harsh features softening as he saw understanding dawn on her scarred features. He got to his feet and softly placed a hand on Kamil’s shoulder. The contact was barely perceptible to her, too lost in thought as her fingers unconsciously traced along the leather straps of her eye patch and onto the marred flesh of the cheek. She felt every groove and contour caused by the acidic poison as it snaked its way across her body, eating away everything in its path.

“Kamil…”

She snapped out of her reverie with a start at the mention of her name. Noting the look of concern from Coinneach, she quickly asserted herself and shrugged off her mentors hand; following up with a look of irritation. “What now, then?” She asked.

“Well, I reckon you should pay the Alderman a visit.”

“By myself?” Kamil said, stunned. “Why?”

“Because you need to learn how to deal with your own contracts. This was your kill, so you can take the reward. Now…” Coinneach retrieved a small book from his jerkin and deciphered his barely legible script. “Let the old bastard know that the wraith was a lassie called Illya, he may know something about her and let her family know. Make sure you get the full payment, too, empty the fucking purse and count it in front of him if you have to.”

“Old bastard?” The young Witcher asked, bemused by Coinneach’s harsh tone.

“I’ll tell you about it another time, little Witcher, now get going.” He replied curtly. Kamil cringed at the utterance of the title he had given her. “And if there’s any trouble, you let him know Coinneach is waiting for your quick return. The Witcher added, letting slip a wry smile. Kamil nodded and made off through the sea of ripe grain toward the village, mulling over her mentor’s words as she departed.

Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


or, enter your birth date.*


Month

Day

Year*
Please enter a valid date format (mm-dd-yyyy)
Please confirm you have reviewed DeviantArt's Terms of Service below.
* We do not retain your date-of-birth information.
Merrick sighed with satisfaction as he gazed at the night sky. The stars shone brilliantly while the full moon cast the forest clearing in an eerie white light. With a belly full of meat and wine, he lay down upon the mossy ground beside a crackling fire. Radomil and Amis soon followed suit, having had their fill of the feast and organising the day’s takings. Coin pouches, weapons, food, drink and trade commodities were laid out neatly in the shelter of a fallen tree to be spirited away and fenced come sunrise. Merrick turned to his side, staring at the loot gleefully. Gold and jewels had their endless charms, but he would trade his entire share for one item in the haul; a single sword. It was a rare beauty, unlike any he had seen before. From the point, sharp as a Hapry’s talons came a razor edged blade devoid of any chips or scratches. No hammer marks or corrosion stained the highly polished metal. The quillons were pointed forward along the blade like claws grasping at its prey. Merrick’s eyes followed the lines of the sheathed weapon from end to end and took in every detail of the engraved leather carefully before coming eye to eye with the pommel, the grisly visage of a snarling bear’s head. His eyes began to fail him as fatigue set in. His eyelids heavy, Merrick relaxed himself and let sleep set in; all the while imagining taking the weapon for his own. Surely with a blade like that he could strike fear into the heart of many a traveller. Any quarry would be his without any bloodshed once his prey set eyes on it. Merrick’s eyes shot open as a loud crack came from the forest. The horses of the gang’s victims snorted and shied away from the source of the commotion, pulling their reins taught against a tree stump. The three men leapt to their feet, taking up arms in a perimeter around their sputtering fire. Merrick and Radomid peered out into the gloom, straining to see anything in the darkness while Amis haphazardly readied a torch.

“My apologies, sirs!” Said the shadows. “Could I trouble you for a place by the fire?”

Merrick cleared his throat and looked to his two accomplices, both frozen in fear.

“Show yourself!” He exclaimed. “I fear I cannot extend my hospitality to a voice!”

The shadow replied with a sinister chuckle as a figure emerged into the moonlight. The white light did little to reveal the visitor’s shrouded features, but for the sheathed longsword held in its grasp.

“Much better!” Merrick said, his tone relaxing. “If you would be so kind as to hand over that razor you are more than welcome to our gathering.”

“Of course!” Replied the stranger as he handed his weapon to his host cheerfully. “My name is Fingal, of Ard Skellig.”

Merrick motioned to his two compatriots to lower their weapons. “I’m Merrick, there’s is Amis and the bald ‘un there is Radomil.” The introduction was met with an indignant snort from the tall, bald man.

“A pleasure!” Fingal said warmly before settling into the nook of a tall oak. He cast a stealthy glance at the collection of loot a few steps away from him. Amis quickly threw a filthy blanket over the treasure.

“What are you doing out here. stranger?” Merrick asked. “Folks say all sorts of beasts call this place home.” A barely perceivable smile danced across Merricks features, followed by a similar look from his two compatriots.
“Merely passing through!” Fingal reached into his cloak as he spoke. Quick as lightning, Radomil took up a rusty mace, preparing himself to strike. Merrick made a quick wave of his hand and Radomil lowered the weapon slowly. After a pregnant pause, Fingal retrieved a wine skin from within the woolen folds and threw it to Merrick. “I must admit, I became somewhat lost travelling through the woods. Praise Melitele I came across you fellows!”

Merrick bit down on the cork stopper and tore from the skin, staring at Fingal intently all the while. He could get the sense of a person quickly after his years dealing with all sorts of criminals, killers, and con merchants, but this man was an enigma to him. There was no outward sign of the stranger posing a threat and yet Fingal’s every move set Merrick on edge. The hood covering the man’s features frustrated him to no end. Taking a long swig of sweet wine from the skin he lobbed it to Amis, rolling his eyes in embarrassment as Amis barely caught the container and spilled its contents over his stained shirt.

“Take down that hood, stranger.” Radomil said forcefully. Fingal took note of the rows of missing and broken teeth adorning the bald giant’s mouth as he spoke. The man had seen his share of brawls.

“I apologise, gentlemen.” Fingal replied anxiously. “An old war wound from my youth. Quite a mess up here, I assure you!” He chuckled.. “I prefer to keep myself covered, don’t want to scare folks off, after all.” Amis and Radomil chuckled, warming to their new guest. Merrick on the other hand remained stoic, painting his face with a false smile. “In any case, what brings you three you to these gods forsaken woods?”

“Trade.” Merrick answered, quick as a whip. His two accomplices remained silent, busying themselves with drink. “We’re on the way to Vergen and decided to travel on rather than stay at the inn a while back.”

“I see.” Fingal said thoughtfully. “Novice merchants, I assume?”

Merrick bristled. “What gives you that idea?” He asked, brushing a hand through his thin, greasy hair.

“Well, a more seasoned traveller would have better knowledge of the land.”

“I suppose you’re right…” Merrick replied with a nervous chuckle. “What about you, then?”

“Oh, I’m just an old drifter these days. Make my living moving from town to town telling tall tales, doing odd jobs, that sort of thing.”

“Stories?” Radomil blurted, sending red tinted spittle flying toward Fingal. “How about repayin’ our generosity with a yarn?”

Merrick nodded with consent. “Yes! Give us some entertainment, stranger,” He had him now. He suppressed a predatory smirk as he watched Fingal. Surely he would lose his nerve.

Fingal stroked the thick bristles covering his chin in thought. “I wonder…” With a click of his fingers, the stanger’s half covered features brightened. “I have a new tale. One I haven’t had the chance to put to an audience yet! Would that suffice?”

Amis stopped draining the wine skin for a moment. “By all means!” He shouted, adding a loud belch before returning to the drink.  

“Very well then. Settle yourselves and get comfortable, friends! I shall tell you the tale of the hunter!” Fingal announced with a booming voice.

“Not long ago, a simple hunter travelled through parts not so different to these.” He spread his arms wide, motioning to the surroundings. “He searched for new quarry. deer, boar, anything to feed his family better than simple game and hare. Desperation drove him deeper into the woods. Trees and bushes pushed in around him and before long he found himself lost and alone, his horse would carry him no further.”

“Get to the good bit!” Radomil heckled. Merrick smiled wryly, watching for Fingal’s response.

“Patience!” The storyteller said with a laugh. “You’re more impatient than a toddler about to piss himself!” Radomil put on a faux expression of injury before unleashing a hearty laugh.

“As I was saying. The hunter went on alone, deeper and deeper into the darkness. Suddenly, a bellowing screech filled the air!”

Fingal suddenly animated, jumping to his feet while maintaining his shroud. Radomil applauded while Merrick and Amis flinched, grasping for their weapons before Fingal continued.

“From the shadows came the slender figure of a woman. For a moment the hunter was stunned by her beauty before her face was revealed by light of the full moon. One side was that of fair, ivory skin and flowing blonde hair. The other was the image of death itself; skin burned and scarred, stretched thin across her ragged face and a single eye that blazed like a burning coal! She wailed again, the hunter recoiled in terror and took to his heels. Charging as fast as his legs could carry him, he found himself in familiar ground. Praising the gods under his breath he looked for his horse. The faithful steed has disappeared and with it his salvation. The man fell to his knees, unable to go on. Not only had his escape eluded him, but his weapon. A beautiful sword-”

Merrick’s eyes went wide. He looked over at the treasure haul, noticing the unique weapon still visible over the hastily placed blanket. This has to be a coincidence... He thought to himself. Looking down at Fingal’s sword, realisation hit him. The blade in his lap, with it’s engraved leather sheath and expertly crafted blade. Finished with a bear’s head on its pommel.

“-passed down his family for generations. A snarling bear’s head adorned the heirloom;  the mark of his once noble family. Death came for him soon after, and it is said his spirit still haunts these woods, vengeful and angry. Seeking his weapon and the thieves who took it. In fact, it is said that the sword is cursed, forever dooming those who come across it….” Fingal finished his tale with a bow and as he raised his head he met the gaze of the his audience, weapons drawn and ready.

“So, what now?” Merrick barked. “We hand over this ‘cursed’ sword? Are you the vengeful spirit?” He laughed heartily with his men. “So the horse we…nicked the other day was yours?”

“It was.” Fingal replied. The rasping, cheerful voice was gone, replaced by the rumbling growl of a younger man. He reached to his chest and removed the pin holding his cloak in place. The garment dropped to the floor silently, revealing dark chainmail nestled under leather armour and on top of the layers hung a large steel medallion in the visage of a ravenous ursine beast. Merrick took a step away from the stranger and raised his weapon before a scream halted him with a start. Amis stood with his mouth agape as his stare was met my Fingal’s snake like eyes, glowing bright orange in the gloom.

“What are you….” Amis whispered.

“Witchman!” Radomil barked.

“Three of us against one freak?” Merrick said nervously. “You supposed t’ scare us?! Bastard doesn’t even have a weapon!”

“Oh, you shouldn’t be afraid of me. Not at all.” Fingal spread his arms wide, opening himself to ahis foes. “Her, however.” He pointed behind Radomid. “Her, you
be afraid of,”

Radomid turned, locking eyes with ‘her’ just in time for a long, razor sharp blade to pierce his throat. The bald thief clutched at his neck and the sword embedded in it, slicing open his hands as blood flowed freely from the wound. The last image to enter his mind was the monster of Fingal’s story. The  weapon’s owner gazed at him as he futilely gasped for air. Her half burned face contorted into a scowl as the blade sank deeper, punching through his spine. Her glowing eye remained fixed on Radomil as he went limp and crashed to the ground. Merrick made to turn to the new threat when Fingal contorted his fingers, projecting a blast of force that crashed into the campfire. Flaming debris and glowing ash hurtling through the air. Amis yelped as the fragments flew into his eyes. He landed on his knees screaming in pain, hysterically clawing at his burning eyeballs. A polished blade coated in crimson flashed in the moonlight, casting a shining arc through the darkness before slashing into the screaming figure.

Fingal crashed into Merrick, tackling him onto the ground and hammering down vicious punches onto his foe. Merrick raised his arms across his face in a desperate bid to defend himself. He could feel his forearms swell under the force of the impacts almost immediately, forcing a scream from his lips. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, an object rolled into view. Still holding back the torrent of blows from Fingal, Merrick stared at the object with horror. As his eyes focussed he picked out the details; ruddy skin, a large nose, a mouth hanging open, and blackened eyelids screwed shut. Amis.

“Enough, please! Mercy!” Merrick wailed. Tears welled up in the corners of his eyes.

Fingal was relentless in his assault. With inhuman strength the threw merrick’s defences aside, opening his foe to his next strike.

“You beg?!” He roared. “Did the people you robbed and killed beg? Did you show them mercy?”
“I..I…” Merrick choked on his words. Mewling and screaming in fear, he wordlessly begged for his life.

“Coinneach, just end it.” Came a voice from the dark. It was harsh and deep, yet unmistakably female.

The Witcher closed his eyes and nodded before he looked down at Merrick. For a single moment the thief thought he would be spared before Coinneach’s fist slammed down. Merrick’s head smashed off of the ground beneath him. There was a sickening crack and the battered thief’s eyes went wide. The moans and yells of protestation were cut off soon after as a blade punched into the thief’s heart. With a final gasp, Merrick was gone.

Coinneach got to his feet with a grunt and placed a dagger back into its sheath.

“Excellent timing.” Coinneach quipped.

“I couldn’t stand any more of that fucking story. Why even go through with that?” The woman responded. She took up Coinneach’s stolen blade and admired it as her mentor spoke.

“For information.” He replied matter of factly. “If I didn’t get a good look at what we were dealing with, we’d never have noticed this.” Coinneach kicked Amis’ body out of the way unceremoniously, revealing a crudely carved wooden block shaped into a three toed foot.

“A hoax?” She spat. “
tricked the villagers?”

“It’s easy to fool simple folk, Kamil. Especially when all manner of outlaws and monsters have them living in fear.” Coinneach marched to Kamil and reached out for his sword, which Kamil evaded.

“You know…” She removed the weapon from its sheath and gave it a swing, feeling the weight. The blade sang sweetly as it sliced through the air. “I could get used to a fancy razor like this.”

“I’ll pass these on to you one of these days.” Coinneach replied with a smile. He deftly snatched the sword and sheath from Kamil’s grip and placed them together in a fluid motion.

Kamil let out a sarcastic sigh. “What now?”

“We gather the loot, saddle it on these horses and take them back to town.”

“You’ve got to be kidding…” Kamil said quietly.

“Do I often joke? Get to work, little Witcher.”
I am bad at titiles. Help...
Just another little thing I came up with, half of this has been written for the better part of 12 months. Also introducing Kamil! A character a buddy of mine came up with and will be writing her own stuff about!
Loading...

Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


or, enter your birth date.*


Month

Day

Year*
Please enter a valid date format (mm-dd-yyyy)
Please confirm you have reviewed DeviantArt's Terms of Service below.
* We do not retain your date-of-birth information.
Another successful hunt.

Camshron An Athach stood at the bow of the Carban as it sailed smoothly into the jetty of his native home. Proudly grasping rope cast from the mainsail he grinned as they cut a line through rough seas with their latest catch. A great armoured whale of the Green Oceans will serve them well, as fuel for the fires and meat to last his people through Winter, not to mention the bones and chitenous plate of the beast, perfect for construction. The smile faded from the warrior-lord’s face suddenly as they edged closer to home. His enhanced eyes caught sight of lights in the distance. Signal fires? No, too many and too dim to alert the crew to some danger. Perhaps a celebration of their return? Yes, that would be the reason. After all, peace between the Mathan and native clans had been concrete since Camshron took up arms against the Storm Giant and his raiders of Monadail, signified by the three Shieldmaidens of clan Rùda accompanying the giant on his voyage.

The smell of charred flesh assailed Camshron’s nostrils as the village of Càrn Cìobair came into clear sight. Indeed, those bonfires thought to be set in joyous revelry revealed themselves to be towering pyres of the dead. The giant urged the boat to reach its destination, as if his sheer force of will alone would hasten his flight home.

“As soon as we land, we move, weapons ready. Nothing else.”

His crew nodded nervously as outlines of thatched roof buildings came into view, smoking and blackened. Camshron roared in anger as he took up a harpoon along with a simple boarding axe, gripping the both weapons with such force to imbed his hand into the rough cut wood. The warrior women of Clan Tarbh bellowed in acknowledgment, taking up thick, round shields in preparation. As the Carban sailed ever closer to the jetty, An Athach backpedalled across the deck before sprinting forward, his heavy footfalls thundering across the weathered wood, cracking planks and shaking the vessel. As he reached the edge of the bow, his last step crashed down before he leapt clear from the ship. His legs throwing him forward like a coiled spring. With a great roar the warrior slammed down upon the dirt jetty and charged into the village.

Càrn Cìobair lay devastated by the chaos of battle. Bodies lay strewn across the dirt paths, mouths open in terror still. Camshron could name every face he saw, farriers, hunters, children, warriors, shepherds. Flames licked out from within crofts and byres, tormented animals howled in pain as they burned within their shelters, grain stockpiles rendered down to blackened husks. Every body and ruin stabbed like a dagger to the centre of his heart. Everything these people had strove for and every memory of triumph after the arduous battle against Gealach’s climate now put to the torch. Camshron moulded that pain into fuel, his blood boiled as he raced to find an outlet for his anger. Behind him, the warrior could hear the battle cries of the crew arriving onshore and lamented the heartache his comrades would suffer when they came to witness the ruin.

More fuel, more strength. Camshron’s heart beat like a war drum within his gargantuan frame as he set eyes upon his foe at last. Within the village square, before the great hall was a horde of creatures. Once human, but no more. Under rusted and decaying armour flesh hung loosely from rotting sinew. Trails of ethereal energy licked out between their joints, animating the twisted corpse-things assaulting the village. A monster of children’s stories, the Marbh. As if by command the group turned to face their new threat and silently began marching toward Camshron. Finally, his turn to strike. The warrior charged forth with a roar, thrusting forward with the harpoon. The weapon sang as it sank through fetid flesh and cracked bone, pinning his foe into the dirt before unleashing a bone rending swipe with his axe, with such force a handful of the raiding party were sent crashing to the ground with the snap of brittle, ancient bone. Swords, blunt with decay crashed against Camshron’s bare arms, he cared little, so lost in his berserker like state to feel the true extent of any injury as the blades cut into his flesh, leaving ragged, filthy wounds in their wake.

The war horn of clan Tarbh blared, the low tone shaking the bones of their undead foes and piercing through even Camshron’s battle rage. The Shieldmaidens hammered brutal flanged maces upon their shields before sprinting into the melee, heavy shields before them. The warriors smashed into the horde with the force of a battering ram, shattering bone and sending the undead sprawling to the ground before being trampled flat under plate armoured boots with a wet crunch. The crew of the Carban followed suit, spurred on by the sight of their cousins and adopted brother wading into the fray. Camshron was deep in the centre of the horde, power muscles sending his axe around his body in vicious swipes. Clothing was torn away as the warrior’s movements blurred. His fists and weapon pistoned out from the dervish he became, ruining any who came to strike at him. An Athach’s vision was surrounded by a haze of the foul energies animating his foes. Even those he thought cut down pulled themselves back together, literally reassembling themselves at the corners of his vision. Necrotic flesh stitched itself back together, forced into unnatural regeneration by some malign force. With a disapproving grunt the giant punched out once more, catching one of the undead horde in the face. Bone splintered and brackish gore burst forth from the skull, now transformed into nothing but a sack of pulped flesh. As his victim fell to the blood soaked dirt, the energies holding it together dissipated. Camshron watched the form slowly crumble and fade to ash before it was cast asunder by the ongoing battle.

“Destroy their heads!” Camshron roared.

“Seagh!” His warriors called back in acknowledgment. The women of clan Tarbh set to work with mace and shield, ruining skulls with devastating blows while bashing enemies off balance to ready the next bone sundering swing. Camshron cast his eyes to the great hall. the heavy oak doors began to swing open at last, its occupants coming to the realisation salvation has come at last.

“Dubhgall, Father?!” He called out as he took another head within his massive fists, tearing it away effortlessly.

A form appeared from the shadows with a bloody bandage covering his left eye. Fiery red hair hung around his young features, stuck to his skin with a vile mixture of blood, viscera and sweat. He limped forward in a trance like state.

“Brother!” Camshron called out.

The young man’s eyes began to focus as he heard the giant’s call.

“Camshron?! By the Threads…”

“Enough! go to the smith, get me a hammer!” The warrior bellowed. Dubhgall stared on, confused. “Now, the gobha, go!” Camshron struggled against a mass of the dead, clawing at his exposed flesh as he spoke. The giant roared with hatred as they sank skeletal claws and rotten teeth into his tough flesh. The battle wore on, the Shieldmaidens fought with all of their might against the tide, caving in helms and skulls alike, felling any that came within reach. Not without cost however, as two of their number were forced under the mass of stinking bodies. Their screams of anger pierced the din as their armour was rent and flesh pulled from their bones, defiant to the end.

“Athach!” Came a call from one of the warriors embroiled in the melee. It was Caoimhe, a woman of broad shoulders and formidable strength. She swung a broadsword down upon the foe before her, only for it to shatter upon the filth covered armour plating with the tolling of her own death bell. Black smoke belched from a strange device mounted to the beast’s back as it moved and struck. Caoimhe stood in horror, the hilt of her broken blade still tight in her grip as the creature batted her away as if the stocky warrior was nothing. She screamed as tissue began to swell from the blow, shifting cracked bone into precious organs, puncturing the thin fabric of her lungs and opening the floodgates to torrents of blood. Camshron could only watch as he struggled against the force of his opponents dragging him down. Her battle was over, all that was left was the agonising pain. She choked as her life’s blood filled her lungs, drowning her. Caoimhe’s throat burned as she wretched, coughing up her vital fluids. The coppery tang was all that remained as her last thread was cut and the warrior fell still. Her victorious foe barked and howled with a otherworldly screech. Keening wails sent men to their knees clutching their ears, making them easy prey to the horde. Camshron roared in reply, pulling himself free of clutching hands.

“Catch!” Dubhgall called out to his adopted brother as he cast out a smithing hammer. With lightning speed, the giant caught it before sweeping the tool out before him in a punishing arc, sending his foes to their doom with ease. He allowed himself a victorious growl before setting his eyes upon the wailing beast putting Camshron’s men to slaughter.

The enraged giant pushed his way through the throng of bodies, throwing obstacles out of his path as if making his way through a patch of flimsy reeds until he stood before his adversary. Blades and cudgels hammered his massive frame, blood flowed freely across his body and yet the warrior cared little. All wounds heal, but the pain of defeat is eternal. He thought to himself. Words told to him by the man who became his father. A helm of ivory stared back at Camshron as he strode forth, eyes of red glass glinted under a heavy brow watching his every move. From head to foot the beast was enveloped within a casing of this bone like material blanketed with moss and plant life. It whined and sparked, as if labouring to stay together as it sluggishly moved. With a screech the creature swung his blade clumsily at the warrior. Camshron easily swatted the strike aside and brought his axe above his bloodied head, bringing it down in a titanic swipe. The blade bit deep into the armour plating of the monster’s chest before breaking apart. Shards of harshly hammered metal were sent out in every direction, embedding themselves into wood, bone and flesh alike. Splinters dug deep into Camshron’s face, covering his vision with crimson blood. The monster screeched again before stabbing forward with a sword of ancient steel, impaling the giant upon the rusted blade. Dubhgall called out for his brother, shock and terror played across his features. Hope drained from him as he watched the blade twist in An Athach’s gut, causing a spurt of vital fluids to splash across the killer’s armour. The hammer dropped from the warrior’s grip. The entrance to the great hall filled with the people of Clan Mathan, hope leaving their hearts as they saw their champion put to the blade.

Camshron’s eyes stared deep into the lenses of his foe’s helm as he placed both hands upon the sword. With a grunt he dug his heels into the dirt, and pushed against the force of his opponent. The undead creature’s armour creaked and whined against the sudden resistance. Protective plating snapped and fell away from the beast as it was forced to its knees. An Athach placed a meaty hand upon its shoulder and brought it to the ground. With a backhanded strike the helm was removed revealing the creature inside, another undead beast of the Marbh. Camshron grabbed the creature’s gorget, pinning it in place. Gone was the petrifying scream that had sent An Athach’s warriors to their knees. What remained was a fetid corpse, flesh sloughing away from its face as it spat and grunted in animalistic hatred as foamy green puss congealed around its ragged, dry lips. Even now it attempted to crane its neck and bite at his hands while its own continued to twist and turn the blade embedded within Camshron’s body. No sign of pain passed over the warrior’s features as the sword sank deeper and changed course inside his body. His ice blue eyes burned with hate as he placed a hand over the Marbh’s face, ignoring the fluids spat upon his palm and tore the skull away in a fountain of black gore. The headless corpse remained kneeling, as if in surrender as the armour locked the remains in place as a statue of Camshron’s bloody triumph. Ash spilled forth from the ancient form as the power over it lost hold, along with the remainder of the horde. As silence fell, Camshron An Athach found himself standing knee deep in the remains of the Marbh creatures. With no more than a grimace the warrior wrenched the sword free of his body and snapped the blade over his knee with a roar. So powerful it was it sent a ripple forth through the air, casting ashes to the winds. Staggering, the giant placed his hand upon the village well at the heart of the square. Shards of embedded iron pushed out of his flesh as his superhuman abilities took hold. It always numbed him as tissue and organs reformed, knitting together skin and muscle, leaving only the faintest scar of the deepest wound in its wake. As weariness took hold, a familiar hand grasped his own, dwarfing that of the mortal’s.

“Brother.” Dubhgall cautiously whispered. “Grim news.”

“Father?” Camshron replied, eyes closed tight.

“Aye” The young man hung his head. “He’s gone.”

Tears welled in the corners of An Athach’s cold eyes. Gone? The man who gave him a home, purpose, a teacher and a mentor lost so easily? The ache in his heavy heart was all the more painful now. “How?”

“A ‘messenger’ came to the village. A little girl screaming and crying, father took her in, she tore his throat out for it. Too kind hearted. I put the little shit to the torch for it” Bravado was something Dubhgall was never known for. It was taking all the will he could muster not to simply break down into tears.

“Aye, I know.” Camshron’s mind fell back to the day he stumbled into Càrn Cìobair. Illiterate, devoid of language. The old smith took him in, raised him alongside Dubhgall and helped him learn how to harness his gifts. “What’s left?”

“The old rifles are better off as clubs now. The last of the shells are spent, along with the knowledge on how to create them.” Dubhgall held a rifle in his grip, motioning to it as he spoke. It was a simple thing, a primitive leftover from times of old. Rugged enough to be operable even after generations and with ammunition easy enough to create with the proper knowledge.

“Damn good club though.” The giant replied, dryly. “They’re heavy bastards.”

Sunset cast shadows of the ruined settlement across the land, blackened whale ribs pointing skyward like the carcass of a some massive animal, picked clean by predators. The hall, the smithy and a handful of outhouses and bothies were all that remained once the battle ended. Camshron sat upon the stairs to the hall. ‘What now?’ he thought to himself. Càrn Cìobair was leaderless. Many of its people slaughtered. The heart of Clan Mathan sacked and left to rot. Lost in his thoughts, he dreamed of bringing his people back to glory with his own to hands, ensuring the Mathan would always be remembered in the histories of Gealach. But what was he? A warrior, labourer, smith, but a leader? He could picture it, a golden band around his head, jewelled armour and a sceptre. Camshron scoffed. No, too high and mighty for him. Too much politics and masquerade for a simple man such as he.

“It was draoidheachd. You could see it, couldn‘t you?” Came a rasping voice. Only one person managed to take Camshron by surprise, the old crone. Called a witch by some, seer by others, and devoid of sanity by most.

“Sidheag. You didn’t get yourself killed?” A haggard, weather beaten face stared into his eyes. She stood a hands breadth from the warrior, stooped low and wrapped in mangy furs.

“You underestimate me, giant.” She cackled. “I have my ways to be hidden in plain sight, as you well know. I see and hear much without the eyes of others upon me.”

Camshron smirked. She was an outsider of the clan much in the same way that he himself thought he was. The warrior knew full well he was not like others, not only in stature, but in mind and in spirit. Sidheag was the same, old and wrinkled but stronger mentally than most gave her credit for.

“Aye, I saw it.” By this point survivors had began to gather, watching the display.

“Don’t fill his mind with old legends!” A voice shouted.

“Legends?!” She screeched, turning to face the crowd. Just as the Marbh are legends? You know the tales, you know where this started!”

“The Black Isle? You cannot be serious.”

Camshron’s mind raced at the name, stories elders told to children around the fire during Winter. “The isle of the dead? The three lords?”

“You do remember, I told you that tale, after all!” Sidheag called out triumphantly. She raced over to the armoured form still kneeling where Camshron had defeated its owner. Moving faster than any should in her state, she pulled away ancient wrappings and moss to reveal a rune. Cut harshly into the chest plate. Too neat to be a simple blade of Gealach make, yet not of a las weapon of old ages. “This is their mark, old draoidheachd!” Dissenter’s mouths fell agape, men fell to their knees and children were forced to look away.

“How could the lords still live?” Camshron asked, dumbfounded.

“Draoidheachd is a forbidden art. The lords, as they came to be were exiles of their tribe. Practising dark magicks upon themselves and the dead. They feared their end above all and perverted their bodies, imprisoning their essence within themselves. Once cast out the exiles wandered until they came to the Black Isle, the burial ground of our forefathers.”

“And there they had enough corpses to raise armies…” Camshron added as he stood. Purpose lit a fire in his heart as it always did. Purpose brought a focussed mind and distraction to him, he craved it. “I know what I must do.”

The crone nodded with a smile. “None but you, Camshron An Athach.”

“Well, if you must go off on a legendary quest, you’ll need a legendary weapon, brother.” Dubhgall interjected. He motioned to two men hefting a massive object swaddled in cloth. “Brother, this is yours.”

The two villagers placed down the item with a heavy thump as Camshron approached. Carefully unfurling the cloth revealed a sheathed sword of incredible size.

“A gift of the clans. Made from the old steel too. My father had hoarded all that he could find to build this for you.”

Old steel, finest material known to the clans of Gealach, crafted from the relics of their forefathers, so rare a metal that even the eldest of clan members had seldom seen its like. Camshron took hold of the rough leather grip and pulled the blade free of its scabbard in a flash of silver light. The blade was patterned akin to wood grain through layer upon layer of alloyed metals being melded together, giving it strength and flexibility. Along the centre of the blade flowing knotwork was engraved and stained black from quillons to tip. He took the blade in both hands, bringing the weapon up to his face. Great twin pointed quillons of intricately scrimshawed antler stood proud, angled outwards in the direction of the point. Camshron bade the onlookers to move away from him as he took a cursory swing. The weapon moved as if an extension of his own form, every swipe and cut delivered with a dexterity he had never knew he could even hope to attain. The weapon fit An Athach as if the two were meant to be together, a symbiotic relationship. It felt right in the giant’s hands. Moving to grasp the scabbard and replace the blade, the sword sang as it entered the sheath, leaving only the quillons, grip and pommel of bulky boar tusk visible. The sheath in itself was a work of art. Stamped black leather bearing the markings of the greatest clans along with a choke and drag of polished horn. A weapon fit for a lord, or maybe a king.

“Our cousins sent items of appreciation, a tusk from the Torc, antler from Damh Cróiceach, leather from Tarbh. and horn from Rùda. After you killed that Storm Giant bastard, these were sent to you. Father got hold of them and worked on this for you in secret along with me. ”

“They honour me, as do you.” Camshron was close to speechless. He never thought himself worthy of a weapon of such beauty and gravitas, yet here it was, held tightly in his grip. His eyes barely left the weapon as he spoke. “There is much to be done then.” His tone commanding, as if being presented with this gift bolstered his resolve. “Send messengers to the watches, let them know what happened here and ensure they send word to our neighbours. We tend to the wounded, salvage anything we can from the ruins and rebuild. We lost much today, but I promise you it is not our end!”
Lords of the Black Isle (supposed to be part one..
Wrote this about a year or two ago. Finally getting around to uploading it! Looking back on it, I can see a tonne of things to edit but I feel like I really got a good grasp on the character of my DIY Primarch.

As always, I hope you enjoy!
Loading...

Mature Content

This content is intended for mature audiences.


or, enter your birth date.*


Month

Day

Year*
Please enter a valid date format (mm-dd-yyyy)
Please confirm you have reviewed DeviantArt's Terms of Service below.
* We do not retain your date-of-birth information.
The rocky crags of Ard Skellig spread out for miles around Coinneach like the bare spine of a wyrm of legend. Wind blasted through the chasms and valleys of razor sharp stone, battering the sparse vegetation clinging for dear life to their perch. The gale brought a plethora of scents to the Witcher’s nostrils; the ever pervasive salt of the sea, kelp and seaweed drying on the shore, and the unwelcome cloying scent of death. Not all that uncommon for the inhospitable coastline and the rough waters, however the overwhelming power of the stench set it apart. Coinneach stood in the open, unlocking his enhanced senses to study the world around him. Pushing aside the roaring waves and howling wind, he focussed further. Below the squawk of seabirds, an altogether different sound could be heard; the voices of women singing and laughing. The melody sailed on the wind with perfect clarity, every note seamlessly complimented the next, never a key out of place or faltering vibrato. The greatest performers serving in the highest courts of the land would sell their souls to come even close to the talent these vocalists displayed. Listening brought warmth to Coinneach’s weary soul and as each moment that passed, it beckoned him to come closer. He had found his quarry. Coinneach tightened his sword belt, bringing the hilt within his hands reach. From his shoulder the bear headed pommel stood tall, the azure blue stones mounted in its eyes watching its surroundings. The hunter retrieved a medallion from within his jerkin. Feeling the familiar shapes and marks of the snarling bear head, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. The frigid air stung his chest, awakening his body to the hunt. His heart began beating a steady rhythm, gradually quickening at the prospect of combat. With a grim smirk, Coinneach cast aside the heavy fur cloak draped across his shoulders and set off towards the source of the intoxicating ballad.

After vaulting the outcropping of another rock formation, Coinneach came to a cliff edge. Crouching precariously close to the verge, he surveyed the sight before him. The rough seas were placated by a wall of black rock as it entered a serene natural bay. The calm, crystal clear waters lapped lazily upon a sandy shore where three feminine figures could be seen, waist deep in the freezing cold shallows. Their song continued in perfect harmony as the trio looked to each other. Each voice complimented the other, weaving a complex tapestry of emotion and suggestion. The urge to forgo all thought and go to them grew ever stronger the closer he moved. Suggestions of comfort and love, images of new joys and sensations; a promise of ecstasy forced their way into his mind. The Witcher’s medallion vibrated harshly in response to the lament, indicating the strong magic at work. A devilish smile played across Coinneach’s lips as he unbuckled his sword belt, removing the weapon from his back before sliding down the steep angle of the cliff. A layer of loose shale provided a safe yet somewhat uncomfortable path down and soon he found himself on the shore, some distance away from the singers. The remains of small boats were strewn across the shore around him, dashed against rocks and left to the elements. The musky scent of rotting wood permeated the area, it seemed the vessels had been here for some time. He watched the women from his new vantage point, peering from behind a smashed hull. More information on his prey was needed, however. He’d have to move in closer.

A short distance form the trio, Coinneach dropped his sword. The melody stopped abruptly as the singers turned to the source of the alien sound. Their shocked expressions quickly softened as the raven haired beauties looked the approaching visitor up and down. Each had skin the colour of polished ivory, a far cry from the weather beaten complexion of the men and women of the Skellige Isles. Ruby red eyes followed his every move as he approached. One of the maidens reciprocated, slithering through the water to meet him. She raised her arms towards him, revealing her bare breasts and beckoning him closer with a predatory glint in her eye. Each step caused Coinneach’s medallion to pull and strain at the chain hanging it around his neck as if trying to free itself from the grasp of the forces at work. From his position, imperfections became more apparent. Once slender fingers now showed elongated claws, sharpened to a needle point and upon her slender waist, scales blended into her milky skin. The Witcher reached for the straps of his leather jerkin, slowly loosening the ties and opening his armour as he edged closer. The woman’s face twisted to a wide grin, displaying a row of sharp teeth. She burst from the water with incredible speed lunging toward the man before her. Leathery wings breached the surface followed by a scaled, serpentine body. The midday sun danced across her scales, reflecting a myriad of intense shades of blue and green. As the creature made its move, her human countenance fell away, revealing ashen grey flesh tightly stretched across a lithe body, a row spines the length of a man’s arm travelling along her back, and her once soft features were replaced with a malformed face akin to a bat. Coinneach stopped in his footsteps.

“Sirens.” He muttered, confirming his suspicions. Coinneach reached inside his battered jerkin and retrieved a dagger from within, sending it hurtling toward the siren in one smooth motion. The poison coated weapon embedded itself deep within the siren’s chest with a dull thump. The simple iron tool was no silver sword, but in conjunction with the toxic mixture applied to the blade it would at least slow her down. The impact was followed by a blood curdling howl that would stop even the hardiest warrior in their tracks. The monster crashed to the ground, flailing wildly in an attempt to remove the thorn in its side. The Witcher took the response as a small victory as he sprinted back to his sword. With a deafening screech another siren closed in. Her leathery wings beat a steady rhythm, granting her incredible speed. Without a misstep, Coinneach turned on his heel and arranged the fingers of his left hand into the sign of Igni. Thrusting his arm toward his target, a jolt of magical energy surged through his muscles before bursting forth from the Witcher’s hand, unleashing a gout of flame. The enchanted fire struck hard, immolating the siren in mid flight. Flesh quickly blackened as the she wailed in pain. The remaining seawater flash boiled on her skin, leaving white streaks of salt across her body as the siren barrelled through the air; crashing into the ground as a charred husk. Returning to the resting place of his weapon he quickly took hold of the grip and removed the scabbard with a quick swing. Suddenly the hunter slammed into the sand face first as the third of the trio collided with him. Claws gained purchase in his armour as the third siren followed him down, her full body weight crashing on top of him. Coinneach and the monster wrestled desperately for control of the situation. Tumbling across the beach, his attacker’s claws tore away the layers of leather and began pulling apart the layer chainmail beneath. With a grunt of exertion the Witcher thrust his head back, smashing into the siren’s maw. The beast’s claws loosened their grip in shock, giving Coinneach time to throw off the monster. Before the siren could counterattack, the Witcher was upon her, straddling her torso and smashing his sword’s pommel into her face. The monster flailed in panic under the thunderous assault as Coinneach ignored a stray claw slicing his brow open, continuing to brutally rain down hammer blows. Blood rapidly flowed from the wound, masking the Witcher’s features in deep crimson. Finally the siren regained the upper hand as her tail whipped out, sending Coinneach sprawling onto his back. The monster coiled her lower half and launched into another assault, flying into the air and began to dive toward the Witcher with wings outstretched. Her eyes opened wide in terror as she witnessed the Witcher leap to his feet and ready his sword, the shimmering blade in position for a mighty thrust. She desperately flapped her wings in a futile attempt to avoid the certain doom shooting towards her. Alas her momentum couldn’t be stopped in time. The keenly sharpened point slid into the siren’s chest, the force of the beast’s descent forcing it inch upon inch deeper into her flesh. She looked down at the Witcher, bracing himself against the impact and returning her stare. His viper like eyes betrayed nothing, no anger, no hatred, no fury, not even pity. Opening her toothy maw wide, she snapped at her killer in a last ditch effort to end his life. Coinneach remained motionless as the siren gnashed her teeth inches from his face. Every bite slowed with each repetition as the beast’s blood drained steadily. Before long, she let out a final rasping breath and went limp. Coinneach spat as he used his boot to remove the corpse from his sword. The phlegm marred the golden sand with sanguine blood and saliva. One more to go. The hunter thought to himself. He walked towards the still writhing mass of scales as it struggled to remove his dagger from her flesh. Returning to her human form, she looked at Coinneach in terror, wordlessly begging for her life. The Witcher simply stood sentinel over her, wiping the blood from his vision and into his sand encrusted hair. As he took up his sword in both hands realisation hit her like a sledgehammer, there was no stopping this. Her glamour dropped away as she screamed in defiance at the fate laid out before her. The silver sword sang through the air, effortlessly slicing through the siren’s neck. Silence soon followed as her head tumbled onto the ground. Coinneach knelt, relaxing his muscles and allowing his breathing to slow. The quiet in the moments after battle was more beautiful than any song could ever hope to be. Removing a tattered sack from his jerkin, the Witcher wordlessly began the grisly task of collecting trophies.

His ears perked at the sound of movement on the sand. Coinneach cursed his foolhardiness. Three sirens, only three. Sirens live in packs of three or more and… From the shadows of a hollow in the cliffs came another half human, larger than the previous three. A shock of flame red framed her features, contorted in rage.

“An Ekhidna.”

The Witcher barely had time to take up his weapon before she was upon him. The Ekhidna shot through the air, moving more and more rapidly with every beat of her wings. Taking hold of Coinneach’s arm she lifted him from his feet. He winced as his shoulder was torn from its socket with an audible crack. Taking a sharp turn, she cast off her prey and watched in delight as he was catapulted through the air, his flight ended abruptly, slamming into the graveyard of boats he passed earlier. A sickening snap and lances of extreme pain overtook him as Coinneach crashed to the ground limp. Breathing raggedly the Witcher fought down the stomach churning sensation of broken ribs scraping together, dragging himself to the the shelter of an overturned rowboat. He released the death grip on his weapon as he furiously searched through belt pouches and hidden pockets. The sounds of the Ekhidna raging outside was deafening as it tore apart the rotten hulls in search of her prey. Every second brought the thunderous cacophony closer. With a smile of relief Coinneach produced a vial of red fluid and tore away the cork with his teeth, quaffing the liquid in a single gulp. The viscous potion warmed his body as it slipped down his throat and travelled to his battered organs. The flesh knitting mixture known to the Witcher schools as Swallow would aid him given enough time but for now its pain numbing qualities would have to suffice. Discarding the vial, Coinneach turned his attention to his left arm. Cradling it gently, he took a deep lungful of air before wrenching the joint back into its socket. Even the Swallow couldn’t dull the intense pain. His eyes screwed shut as he thrashed, straining against the urge to scream until he could bare it no longer. Coinneach’s lips parted and let loose a pained howl. The storm of fury suddenly stopped. The Witcher cursed under his breath and gripped his weapon tight.

The flimsy hull suddenly exploded open, sending splinters raining down upon Coinneach as  sunlight flooded his shelter. The Ekhidna slammed down onto the boat’s hull with a manic grin on her still human features. Coinneach raised his left hard towards his foe as her venom coated claws tore through the air toward him. Even a single blow would mean his end in this state. Contorting his fingers into the sign of Quen, Coinneach forced all of his energy into his magical abilities. The Claws bearing down upon him collided with a barrier of blazing orange light, stopping the blow dead in its tracks. Undaunted by the new obstacle, his foe continued her assault, raining strike after strike on the wall of magic. Coinneach’s muscles burned as he faltered under the assault. A warm trickle of blood began to flow as his strength was drained to fuel the arcane bulwark. He wouldn’t last much longer if this continued. In a last ditch effort, the Witcher abandoned his shield. The conjured creation shattered like glass before dissipating entirely. As the next swing bore down on him, Coinneach pushed himself to his feet and made his last stand. His sword flashed out in a wide arc, connecting with the attacking claw and hacked it from the wrist in a shower of dark blood. The Ekhidna reared back in shock while Coinneach used the momentum of the blow to turn into a graceful pirouette and prepare his next strike. The blade trailed a thin stream of blood behind it as it travelled to its next target, slashing a deep gash through his foe’s face. Immediately halting the arc, he changed his grip and thrust forward with all his strength roaring in frustration. The sword buried itself to the hilt in the Ekhidna’s neck, extinguishing her rage. The beast mewled in her death throes before collapsing onto the Witcher and the rowboat beneath her.

****


“For fuck’s sake…” Coinneach cursed as he crawled out from under the melee’s wreckage. Once free he fell onto his back, basking in the light of the setting sun. His limbs ached, his head was spinning and his stomach was in knots thanks to the healing tonic, but he was alive. Getting to his feet carefully, Coinneach suppressed the urge to vomit to no avail. A mixture of dark fluids of indeterminate origin slopped onto the sand as he found himself falling back onto his knees. With the toxic mixture expelled from his body the Witcher felt the nausea ease somewhat. Tentatively standing, Coinneach made his way to the hollow where the Ekhidna had been lurking. A narrow cave mouth caught his attention as he explored a sheltered overhang. The stench of festering meat spilled forth as Coinneach made his way inside. The Witcher’s eyes quickly adapted to the pitch black interior and to his surprise, the hunter could stand at his full height with room to spare; making the scene before him even more terrible. Corpses of men, varying in age, size and nationality were piled to the ceiling, many half eaten or simply toyed with. Between the mass grave and the Witcher stood a mound of treasure. Gold, silver, precious stones, jewelry, bottled perfumes, lotions, potions and tinctures; courting gifts to the ladies that called this bay home.

“Damned fools.” Camshron snorted.

Old tales speak of the days when sirens were willing and loving towards men, and of course that an everlasting love and marriage would follow successful courtship. The perfect wife, subservient and ageless. Those stories spread in no small thanks to drink and idle gossip.

“At least if I can’t find a contract on the sirens, this wasn’t all for naught.” Coinneach joked, gathering the valuables into his pouches and pockets. Taking another glance at the poor soul’s butchered remains, he let out a deep sigh.

“And if I leave you lot here the Necropages will come sooner or later.”

****


High tide brought with it the rising sun. Coinneach watched from cliffs above the bay as the water made its way to the shore, taking hold of the siren’s bodies and pulling them out to sea; wiping clean the signs of his battle. The Witcher turned to a ramshackle funeral pyre and cast the sign of Igni, the small smarks produced by his light casting beginning a makeshift cremation ceremony. Bowing his head in respect, he spoke.

“I know none of you. I don’t know what brought you here; be it searching for missing friends, desperation, a bet, or some other calamity. I hope now you can rest in peace.”

If not, I’ll be back soon. Coinneach thought to himself. With that, the Witcher collected his belongings, wrapped himself tightly in his fur cloak, and strode off into the wilds to start on the Path once more.
The Women of the Bay
Witcher story number 2. Just finished this up today. First thing I've written in months!

Give me your thoughts, I'd really appreciate it!
Loading...
So, bit of a delayed post here. But over on a blog I'm connected with, Allies Index we're running an art competition based on the story I wrote about Beorth the Space Wolf and Verinus the Emperor's Children Astartes.

All the details are here!

Hope someone notices this and maybe throws in a submission to it, there's a Games Workshop voucher up for grabs!

deviantID

SonsOfFenris's Profile Picture
SonsOfFenris
Ian
Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United Kingdom
This is just a place for me to dump my writing. It's just some Warhammer 40000 stuff based on the Space Wolves. Always looking for criticism so by all means wade in and tell me how I'm doing!
Interests

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconcrowsrock:
Crowsrock Featured By Owner May 18, 2014
Thanks for the favorite on my Rune Guns!
Reply
:iconsonsoffenris:
SonsOfFenris Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
No problem, mate!
Reply
:iconrecklesscharge:
RecklessCharge Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks for the fave mate, very much appreciated :)
Reply
:iconsonsoffenris:
SonsOfFenris Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No problem!
Reply
:iconnowio:
Nowio Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Hey Ian, I see you're pretty picky what comes to your favourites, it's just awesome that you decided to put my image in there, thanks for your support man! :)
Reply
:iconsonsoffenris:
SonsOfFenris Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No problem mate, great artwork!
Reply
:iconshadowengine:
ShadowEngine Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013
Thanks for the :+fav:
Reply
:iconsonsoffenris:
SonsOfFenris Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No problem, mate!
Reply
:iconwinterfluss:
winterfluss Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2013
Thx for adding praying-Space-Wolve to your Favourites :)
Reply
:iconsonsoffenris:
SonsOfFenris Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No problem, you honour the chapter :P
Reply
Add a Comment: