Ulthuan

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 Post subject: A Farewell to Ulthuan
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:42 am 
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Hi guys, a bit late with this one since it probably should have been part of the End Times competition, but I couldn't get myself to post it before now. The story is rather short, but a lot of emotion was put into it. Hope you enjoy.

The Sun was shining from a clear sky and turning the sea golden as a strong breeze filled the sails of the Swooping Griffon, making the Dragonship dance across the waves like one of the fabled shadow dancers of Loec. Its captain, Lord Erthror of Tor Achare was standing in the forecastle, enjoying the wind and the salty spray of the sea. He knew that despite its size, his ship could catch all but the fastest Druchii corsair, and no human ship could ever match her grace and agility.

Yet for all that, the Swooping Griffon was a warrior. Batteries of Eagle Claw bolt throwers lined each of her sides, and a massive Dragon Claw bolt thrower constituted her forward armament. Almost three hundred elven soldiers called her their temporary home, enough to raze a small city, or carve an army of norsemen ten times that size into bloody ruin, if used correctly. The Swooping Griffon was the power of the Elven Empire made manifest.

Or she would have been, if she hadn’t been packed to the brim with refugees. All of what had remained of House Jadehill in Chrace was now aboard her, and Erthror would rather face the four great powers stark naked than take his ship into battle with all these civilians aboard. Luckily, the seas seemed to be devoid of foes, devoid of anything really. The only exception to the emptiness was the other elven ships he had spotted these last days. All of them filled with elves fleeing the destruction of their homeland, and all of them heading south towards the colonies. Towards safety and freedom.

While the loss of Ulthuan still hurt horribly, Erthror had made his home in the colonies for more than a century, and he was pragmatic enough to realise that this large influx of refugees would finally make them strong enough to fend for themselves. Safe in the south and free from the predations of the Druchii, elven power would grow. Grow until the string of pearls that was the southern cities and fortresses had become an unbreakable chain of ithilmar, and then the world would once again feel the wrath of the firstborn race.

So lost was he in his dreams of vengeance upon the world, that he did not hear the soft tap of feet approaching.

‘Still brooding over lost Ulthuan I see. You should let it go boy, nothing you could have done would have changed the outcome of that war’.

Erthror turned, anger flashing in his eyes, but it quickly calmed when he spotted the long blue robes and recognised the speaker to be Korian. The withered old archmage was more than 2500 years old, but he still found delight in meddling in other peoples’ business.

“I could have turned the tide in the North, convinced the Chracians to stay out of the war altogether. If I had, we wouldn’t be shipping the broken remnants of a lost Kingdom back to the colonies”. Erthror answered.
Korian smiled indulgently to his old apprentice. It had been three centuries since Erthror had first seen that smile, and it still annoyed him.

“You always did have an inflated opinion of yourself my young friend”, Korian sighed, “The nobles of Chrace would never have left Ulthuan for Tor Elasor and you know it. They were too caught up in their own schemes, and when we arrived Tyrion was already marching towards the Vortex”. “As it is, it seems Teclis’ path was set, and neither you nor I could have done anything about it”.

There was a pause as the two of them turned to watch the rolling green seas. What Korian had said was true, and Erthror knew it, but it still hurt him to hear it spoken out loud. The fact of the matter was that he and almost all the princes of Ulthuan had become inconsequential. When all was said and done, there were others, greater lords like High Loremaster Teclis and Prince Imrik of Caledor, who decided the fate of the world, and Erthror couldn’t shake the feeling that these lords had blundered greatly. So badly in fact that the world itself might not survive the coming years.

Turning back to Korian, Erthror was about to voice his concern when the old archmage beat him to it.

“Do you remember the floating palaces of Saphery?” Korian said.

“What about them?”

Korian smiled for a moment and with a clever twinkle in his eye he began to speak his plan. A plan that was as fantastic as it was ambitious, yet for every word, Erthror felt his hopes rise a little.

Could it be at all possible? Could the powers of the Elasorian council of mages turn a massive Island and its surrounding seas into a floating bubble of reality? A lifeboat with which a whole race could escape a dying world. Was Korian right when he said other cities could be included, that the raging winds of magic could yet be turned to the salvation of the southern colonies and cities.

Then a thought struck Erthror, and his face grew dark.
“So you wish to abandon it all? To abandon our kin in Athel Loren and all the world to those who would destroy it for their amusement?”

Korian sighed, “I fear we have no choice, the die has already been cast, and the world we knew is dying. The best that we can do is to save a small part of it, so that it may never be forgotten”. He smiled sadly “others have led us to this point, and now we must play with the cards that we are given. It was never our fate to deny the dark powers their victory, but we may yet live to see their victory turn to ash, and their plans lead them to their own destruction”.

Erthror turned away. The sky was darkening, but a flickering light was now visible on the horizon. The twinkling lights of the towers of Tor Elasor were guiding the white ships home, to a safe port and a new beginning.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:55 am 
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Sniff

=D>

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White Lion * Aestyrion * Griffon Knight

Malekith stepped down from his throne and loomed over the mage. ‘You have always intended for Tyrion to draw the Widowmaker.’
Teclis nodded, defiant. 'By drawing again His sword, the curse of Khaine will be lifted from our line.'


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:59 am 
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Lovely piece of writing. And nice inclusion of Bubbles in the story as a way to carry your army forward :)

Rod

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2015 4:43 pm 
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Thank you for those kind comments :) . One of the reasons why I hesitated with posting this is because I kinda refuse to allow GW to destroy the warhammer world, and therefore set my armies in a post Storm of Chaos setting.

However, KoW is looking better and better, so Mantica might soon have a huge new Island materialize in the middle of it's western ocean. As you read, Tor Elasor may even have company :mrgreen: .


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:17 am 
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Francis wrote:
However, KoW is looking better and better, so Mantica might soon have a huge new Island materialize in the middle of it's western ocean. As you read, Tor Elasor may even have company :mrgreen: .

QFT


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:53 am 
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Plenty of room on Mantica for us. The known map is just Europe, basically. Part of the core concept of the fluff is that the world is just coming out of a long Ice Age - the retreating ice is constantly revealing new landscapes all over the world. My elves are going to pop up in Australia. :D

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White Lion * Aestyrion * Griffon Knight

Malekith stepped down from his throne and loomed over the mage. ‘You have always intended for Tyrion to draw the Widowmaker.’
Teclis nodded, defiant. 'By drawing again His sword, the curse of Khaine will be lifted from our line.'


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