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Oliver D. Bernuetz's Stories

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Whitewall - A Lunar Hero Approaches

The Young Pup was mucking out the latrines.  His punishment for abandoning his post.  His superior hadn't agreed at all with his and the Old Hand's actions in the situation involving the Orlanthi hero who had come up the Goat's Path.  The Centurion had expected them to try and stop the maniac.  The Pup shuddered as he remembered the stories his barracks mates had gleefully told him about the man who had called himself Gunnar.  Gunnar Deathsinger they insisted and they told him of all the people he'd killed.  If he had killed only a quarter of the people he was rumoured to have killed he was still too damn scary for some kid right off the farm.  The Pup sighed, at least he wasn't face down in the hospital tent recovering from a flogging.  The Centurion had declared that he'd been led down the wrong path amd latrine duty would be sufficient.  He'd visited the Old Hand and when he'd asked him how the pain was he'd whispered, "Ah, this is nothing lad.  Now crucifixion there's real pain for you."  The Pup shook his head in rueful admiration.  Now there was a bullshitter for you!  He was still nodding in bemusement when a hollow, echoing voice spoke in his ear.  He almost leapt high enough to visit the Goddess.  He dropped his shovel and turned around.  Before him he saw a nightmare.  The figure who had addressed him was over six feet tall and covered from foot to head in close fitting black iron armour. The armour was covered with spikes and strange decorations.  There seemed to be no sign of humanity in the suit. It looked like nothing more than an animated suit of armour.  There were a trio of pale looking followers of Yanafal Tarnils behind the suit.  They looked the worse for wear and seemed exceptionally nervous for followers of such a stern god.    "Pardon?" mumbled the Pup swallowing his fear.  "Where is the command tent?" repeated the figure impatiently.  "The last idiot gave me the wrong directions and I am tired of punishing slackness.  Tell me where the tent is or I shall cleave you in two."   The Pup noticed that the armour did seem to be splattered with an awful lot of red.   He'd assumed it was some kind of decoration. He bobbed his head quickly and dropping the shovel.  "This way."  He'd take his chances with the Centurion for deserting his post.  He hastily led the way to the command tent and was amazed how quickly the normally busy camp became quiet and deserted.  He'd have to spend a few hours chewing on the notion that Shargashi could actually go pale and hasten off to find something else to do besides intimidating people.  After an anxious trip through the camp, was the suit breathing or not, they arrived at the tent.  The guards snapped to attention and presented arms.  The Pup turned to the figure and asked.  "Who should I announce?"  The helm turned towards the Pup and the echoing voice said.  "Tell them that Merodach the Black is here."  

Last updated October 07, 2016

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