Saturday, 12 January 2013

The saga of Rikkard Threadcutter: Part III - Grey Hunter

The third part of the Saga of Rikkard Threadcutter is told today by Jorn, Skald of Fyf. The previous parts can be found here.

Click for Rikkard's showcase!

Refresh your flagons, brothers, this tale has many glories to tell.

Grey Hunter

Rikkard thrived in Patrekr's pack. Many years after their first deployment as Blood Claws, they were now stalwart Grey Hunters and at the very heart of Egberd's Great Company. The Jarl would place them at the heart of his battle lines and seek their counsel. Rikkard admired Egberd over all other warriors, peerless as he was in combat. An ambitious warrior such as Rikkard coveted a place in the Jarl's Wolf Guard. To be amongst those elite few would be an honour indeed; and it proved to be an honour bestowed.

The perfidious Thousand Sons, the hated children of the traitor Magnus the Red, were ever the great enemy of the Vlka Fenryka. The Rout are always ready to put them to the sword, and it was with much gusto that Fyf attacked a Thousand Sons outpost on the rogue planet Tezlae.

Tezlae was a world forever altered by the malificarum that follows the Thousand Sons wherever they tread. Strange rock formations, a sky never the same colour twice, rain that fell upwards, and more bizarre sights that would unman lesser warriors than those bred on Fenris awaited Egberd and his kin. But their enemy died the same as any other. Well, perhaps not quite the same: I would say that the Rout made much red snow, but most of the sons of Magnus do not bleed. Still, a good knock is a good knock, and they fall down nonetheless.

Egberd sought the head of the Sorcerer Azkadae the Transient, a powerful warrior indeed. But his power was borrowed from a vile source, unlike Egberd, unlike Rikkard, and unlike any warrior of Fenris.

As the Rout cornered the vile traitor Azkadae, Egberd bestowed the honour of first in the breach to Patrekr's Grey Hunters and to this day, Rikkard counts among his many honours being the first to set foot in the Sorcerer's inner sanctum.

Patrekr and Rikkard fought back-to-back that day cutting a path through fallen Astartes, summoned daemons and other things I dare not name, so that their Lord might reach the arch-foe. And reach him he did, fighting Azkadae atop the Sorcerer's dais. Horrors leaped forth to defend their master but each was slayed, if such things can be truly slayed, by the blades of Rikkard and Patrekr.

Undefeated in single combat, Egberd finally struck a moral blow against Azkadae, running his great sword through the Sorcerer's gut to the hilt. His daemons faded away and a strange silence fell upon the sanctum.

"You are dead, traitor," Egberd spat into Azkadae's face.

"Dead?" he replied through gritted teeth. "Oh no, Greywolf. You have merely provided the catalyst of my change."

With that, Azkadae dissolved into wisps of sickeningly coloured vapour.


As the warriors of the Rout cheered their Jarl, Egberd leaped down from the dais and strode over to Rikkard and Patrekr. "My thanks for keeping those ... creatures off my back. I have need for warriors such as you by my side. I offer you both a place in my Wolf Guard. Do you accept?"

Immediately, Rikkard knelt before his Jarl. "I accept, Jarl. I will defend you with my life," he said. However, Patrekr remained standing.

"What say you, Sharp-mind? Do you accept?" said Egberd.

Uncertainty crept over Patrekr's face for a brief moment. "Is this your command, Jarl?" he asked.

"Command? No, it is not a command. A Jarl can command many things of his warriors. He can command them to fight here, to fight there, to live, to die. But this I ask."

"Then I must refuse. I am honoured, but my place is with my pack, in the lines. I seek no glory other than to fight the enemies of man, and I can be of more use to you with my men than as your guard."

Rikkard and the warriors around were struck dumb, none of them having ever heard the Jarl refused before. Egberd merely nodded then laughed heartily. "Just so!" he roared, "Damn you, Patrekr, but you think too much!"

Egberd then turned to Rikkard. "Stand, Rikkard," suddenly stern, and Rikkard did as he was bade. "From this day onward you will be counted amongst my closest brethren. You will fight by my side, you will be my champion, you will provide your honest counsel, and you will fight until your last breath!"

Egberd clasped Rikkard's pauldrons and shook him violently. "Enough of this place! Come, Rikkard, cutter of threads, join me in a drink to our victory!"

And so it was that Rikkard, from then known as "Threadcutter", was elevated to the Wolf Guard of Egberd Greywolf, once Jarl of Fyf.


Jorn, Skald of Fyf, continues his account tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment