Chapter 1 – No Place Like Home

The Tribe built a village not to far from the border of the Empire, thinking the men of the Empire would not dare come to there village, and tread the wasteland’s of Chaos. For a long time they were right, but the day when the Empire would turn a blind eye would soon come to an end. A buxom woman in a simple long dress, cooking a stew of simple deer, and vegetables mixing her cooking pot, greasy meat popping, and a heavenly aroma floating through the air, the woman screams out, “Rivok!…Rivok!” A child of about 9 summers come from the basement carrying some wood for the cooking fire, and replies “Yes, Mom?” “Go tell your father to come in from the stables, it is time for dinner!”, The woman replies as she sets the table with simple bowls, and wooden spoons. The child goes out of the door, and heads to the stables, and starts shouting. “Paw!….Paw!” He enters the stables, and says, “Father, Mother says it’s time for Dinner” A burly man with a beard down to his belt, with muscles so big, that for him hefting a weapon for war would be a simple task indeed, but now he was petting his favorite War Horse, Hatebringer, for the man was Guther the best warrior in the village, but now he was doting over the horse for it was nervous. The man speaks to the boy, “Rivok come here, notice how the horse is looking around, he senses something in the air we do not know, always be aware of the animals around you for the know something of the Master’s plans of change, for they are able to sense change better then us at time., always look for subtle signs from our god, for Tzentech sometimes only gives us the subtlest signs, and failure to notice is our death, Understand?” The boy sighs, “Yes Father, you have told me many times.” The boy continues, “What could it mean father?” “ I don’t know yet, boy. What I do know that it can not mean anything good”, replies Guther. “For now lets head back to mother, before she puts us in that stew next.” As Father, and boy leave the stables, a man rides up with his side bleeding. Guther run towards him, and the man slides from the saddle, Guther catches him, and blood starts pouring from his side “What has happened, Relos.” Relos in a raspy tired voice, “Attacked Guther, Empire men, one who is leading them is called Witch Finder Petras is looking for something, he is killing, and burning people for heresy. I nearly escaped with my life, but I fear he is not to far behind me.” Relos swallowed hard, “ I fear it is time my friend, please make sure to kill a few for me.” Guther anger swelling says, “ Have no fear my friend, many will die with your name on my breath!” With that Relos closes his eyes, and whispers, “Thank you” with that his spirit fled to Tzentech and the next world.

Guther got up, and looked at the horizon, and saw the dust of horses heading to his farm, he shouted, “Rivok we must hurry, and run to the house. We will have unwanted visitors all too soon.!” They ran to the house, and bursted in on mother, she starts screaming, “What is wrong?” Guther, replies as he grabs his two long swords, and starts snapping armor on, “Reesa, hide in here with Rivok, if I fall use the hidden tunnel to go to the forest.” Reesa, kisses her husband, and says, “ May the Raven God bless you” He looks at her for possibly the last time, smiles he then puts his helm on, and heads out the door, and upon leaving says, “ I shall spill their blood in his name.” A group of 10 men ride up to the farm, most of them general soldiers of the Empire. Wearing basic armor, and helms some carrying swords, other giant hammers. One of them was different, he wore a long trench coat, his hair blond, and his eyes so blue you would swear they saw into your soul. He carried a simple rapier, and had a gun stuck in his front belt. The men pulled up and dismounted from their horses in front of the the house, as they did Guther stepped out of the house. Guther says to them in a harsh voice, “ Witch Finder Petras I presume?” The man in the trench coat, replies, “I am at your service”, and he bowed low, and then says, “ I am at a disservice, you know who I am, but I know not who you are.” Guther yells at Petras, “ I am Guther, master of these lands, and you are trespassing.” He then pulls his two long swords from their scabbards, the rasping of the metal sounding like the hiss of a viper ready to strike. Petras looks at the man, “ I sense a great power of Heresy, more then the usual taint of Heresy, the power seems to be coming from this house, I came to destroy it,” Guther snarling, “ You are more then welcome to try” Petras looks at the other soldiers, “ How droll, gentleman please handle this issue. “ 5 men surround Guther, and one of them with a sword attacked Guther with a sloppy sword thrust, Guther easily deflected it easily, seeing that Guther was very skilled all 5 men rushed towards Guther swords waving thinking to over power him. Guther used is swords independently from each as if each arm had a brain of it’s own. Thrusting, and parrying, then deflecting blows, each time eyeballing all 5 of the Empire soldiers waiting like a patient viper for them to make an error. They weren’t dyeing fast enough so Guther told them, “Your whore mothers should be proud, 5 men versus one Northman. You are all exceptionally skilled.” At that the Empire warriors got a little angry and pressed their attack. Ah one made a mistake, left his throat open. Guther took full advantage, Blood spewing from the soldiers neck like a waterfall, at that the other 4 tried harder, and became sloppy in their anger, while conserving his strength one by one Guther finished off the other soldiers, until all were dead, and Guther covered in blood, and gore not his own stood defiantly. Witch Hunter Petras applauding, said to Guther, “Very good, you are well trained. You other 5 start burning the building, and begin looking for what we came here for, I will handle this one myself” Petras drew his Rapier. He continued, “I sense the power on you, but there is another with such potential. I had a vision of this boy, he must be stopped for if he is not he will kill a lot of my people. So the Witch Hunter General bade me to find this boy and kill him.” Guther looked at the Witch Hunter, and with an icy stare from his blue eyes to Petras, “You have visions, then I give you this one. The boy will find you, and peel your hide from your bones, and make a banner to the mighty Tzentech out of it.” Petras chuckled, “Perhaps your right, but you will not see that day.” Petras attacked with his Rapier attacking, and feinting like a whirlwind, Guther even with two swords was hard pressed to keep up. They traded blows for a long time, neither gaining the upper hand. Guther started to tire, and started to wonder if the man was human. Petras skilled in the ways of war, and the mind knew how to get under a man’s skin to force him to do things he might not want to do. Petras uttered some words between the bangs of their blades. “Perhaps I will have my men have their way with your wife for some sport.” With that Guther’s anger boiled over, and screamed, “NEVER!” In his rage he pressed his attacks moving his swords has fast as he could. Petras was on his toes, just trying to defend himself, being forced back. Petras luck ran out, and fell on his back. Seeing his chance Guther charged raising his blades for the death strike, then BANG. Guther gets knocked back, a hole in his stomach spilling his blood all over the ground. Petra gets up, “ You are hereby sentenced to death for Heresy, and Crimes against the Empire,” Petras raised his rapier to end Guthers life, Guther screamed to the Gods, and all who would listen, “AVENGE ME!!!!” Then Guther was no more, and Petras turned to the house, and knew the boy staring at him was his target.

Petras smiled a cold calculating smile, and walked slowly towards the house. Rivok watched this Empire dog kill his beloved Father from a window in the house, he heard his father begging to be avenged, he saw the man who killed his father come towards the house. Rivok’s mother came near Rivok, “It is time for you to go son, take the tunnel in the basement to the Woods to the North, and keep running north. I packed you a satchel with some food, some coin, some clothes, and some maps. Just keep running as long as you can. Here is one of Father’s short swords which will deal enemies quickly. I love you son, now it is time to go. Avenge us my son.” Rivok got grabbed the bag, and headed downstairs, moved the crate which hid the tunnels, but lingered at the entrance a bit. The door bursted in. A man steps ine, “My name is Witch Hunter Petras, if you give me the boy freely, I will take mercy on you and kill you swiftly, if not my men will torture you and kill you with much pain.” Rivok overheard the name, Petras, and growled. He will make that one pay surely. Rivok’s mother drew a small dagger and lunged at Petras. Petras got a cut on his face, and back handed the women. He wiped the blood from his face, and snarled, “You two tear this place apart, the other 3 have your sport with this women, and then chop her limbs off, we shall then leave her in the field for the crows!” Rivok crawled down the little tunnel, after moving the crates that hid the entrance back somewhat. His only thoughts were of the screams of his mother and father as he shimmied down the tunnel. The soldiers tore the house apart. One soldier returned to Witch Hunter Petras, “My lord we found nothng” Petras grabbed the man by the throat, and tossed him against the wall, “ Check again.” After awhile the soldiers finally found the secret tunnel. Petras looked at the tunnel, and thought to himself the risk of taking a handful of men into unknown Northern Territory with legions of godless monster roaming the land. Petras had to admit he failed, but in the heart of hearts he knew he would meet the child again.

Rivok crawled for what seemed like miles then finally came up a rickety ladder, and climbed. When he climbed up there was a small iron grate, easily removed, he then came up through the hole, and looked around. He was in a forest clearing, the trees black and seeping corruption. The crows looking at him with hunger in their eyes, and predators stalking unseen from the bushes with unseen eyes; He knew he was in the Forest of A Thousand Laments. Then he got on one knee, and prayed, “My Lord Tzentech, I pledge my service to you, I shall bring the Winds of Change wherever I go, I ask, nay I beseech you for one thing for the chance to make the man that calls himself Petras much pain and sorrow, and to bathe my blade in his blood.” He got up, and knew that of all the gods of the north, there was one who could probably help him the most, and that was Tzentech the God of change, for things have certainly changed.

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