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Fiction Contest: The Break of Dawn


Alcadizaar

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Hey,

Just made it in time haha. So here is the first 1000 words (Actually 986 words).

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            "Get over here, woman!" a large, lumbering man roared, grabbing Ujdra by the hair and throwing her to the ground. "Is this all of them?!" the man asked. "No, Kraxgar," another marauder responded. "These are just the slaves the caravan to Bétone threw out to slow us down," he said, surveying his surroundings. "Slaves!" Kraxgar exclaimed as he ground Ujdra's head underfoot. "Heh, we have something to play with while we wait for another caravan," Kraxgar grunted, kicking Ujdra squarely in the side. "Yes, but my axes hunger for real flesh. We haven't had a decent fight in ages, and there is nothing here but cowards and the walking dead," the other marauder groaned.  "Do not worry, Sven. A battle is coming. I can almost taste it in the air," Kraxgar replied. And with that he lifted his foot off Ujdra's head, grabbed her by the throat and dragged her limp body towards a holding cell where other women were crying out. Ujdra was thrown in and fell heavy on the hot, brass cage floor. Still, she lay there, recovering from her battering. A feeble woman in rags reached out to touch her. Ujdra lashed out, smacking the woman's arm away, and retreated to a corner of the cage. "Sorry, I...I just wanted--" the startled woman whispered. "I know what you wanted!" Ujdra interrupted. "You are all vultures. You were just checking if I was alive before you looted my body," she seethed. Suddenly two thick hands passed through the cage bars behind her and started groping her. "Get off!" Ujdra shouted. "This one still has some fight in her, ha ha," the marauder barked. "You will be a lot of fun once we set up camp!" he whispered into her ear as he started to rip her clothes. Ujdra pried one of his hands off her bosom and bit into it deeply. The marauder let out a shout and struck her, launching Ujdra towards the center of the cage. "****** ******! I will break you in more ways than one once I'm through with you!" the marauder roared. Ujdra spat out the blood whelming up from her cut lip and hissed, "Try me." The marauder, taken aback for a moment, chuckled and said, "Fierce little creature, aren't you? Maybe there will be room in our ranks once we are through with you." Ujdra was about to retort, but she suddenly felt uneasy, and the hair on the back of her neck stood on end.

            A crash of lightning broke the commotion of the camp as armored beings of gold manifested from the lightning, the Stormcast Eternals. In seconds, fighting erupted and the Khorne Bloodbond host, surrounded and confused, was quickly slaughtered. As the battle came to a close, the Stormcast scoured the camp finishing off disabled marauder. A Stormcast donned in gold plate bearing the visage of a lion approached the cage. Without addressing the cage's occupants, the Stormcast turned away and said in a low thunderous rumble, "Sixteen occupants, underfed, ill-equipped, and unsuitable for the marching. All units in marching formation. It is time to leave." The ornate warrior started walking away, and other Stormcast began retrieving their weapons to do the same.

            Ujdra's mind was racing. "Hey! Come back! Don't leave us here!" she shouted. The gilded Stormcast Eternal turned slowly and said, "Why? Our goal here is greater than your lives, and ensuring you lives by accompanying your to Bétone will only hinder our objective." The gilded Stormcast turned back and resumed his march. "Have you no heart! Have you no humanity!" The Stormcast, without stopping, coldly responded, "No." And it struck Ujdra: These creatures are not human. No, they are less than human. They are just merciless automatons sent forth by the cowardly god Sigmar. The god who turned his back on a world that needed him most. The god who only saved his favorites and turned a blind eye to everyone else. That is no god of mine. That is no god at all.

            Ujdra fell to her knees, finally accepting her fate, as the soulless war machines of Sigmar marched off. Left caged and vulnerable to the sun's cruel rays, the prisoners slowly wilted away. One by one, the prisoners succumbed to the darkness until only Ujdra remained. "What a cruel world," Ujdra whispered. Her lips cracked and split as a smile formed on her face.  Blissfully, she closed her eyes expecting to never open them again.

            "Stand," a dry voice rang in her mind. Slowly, she rose from her slumber. Squinting as she opened her eyes, she noticed that she had been cleaned and redressed. Twisting and turning she inspected herself. Ujdra's wounds were mended, her muted red hair coiled tightly into thick strands that cascaded down her back. She was dressed in a gown of rich purple and hues of every kind of blue that rolled softly off her delicate frame. "How do you feel?" the voice spoke again. Startled, Ujdra shot to her feet. Searching for where the voice came from, she noticed that she was in a large, luxurious room filled with vibrant cloth of colors she had never before seen. "You seem to have recovered quite well. I'm glad we found you before Khsar claimed you," the voice croaked out again. Her eyes turned toward the voice. It was coming from a hunched skeletal being enrobed in black silk and wrapped in gold jewelry. "Please follow me. The Prince would like to see you now." The creature motioned to the door as it limped away. She hesitated to follow, but four skeletal beings donned in gold armor and wielding ornate halberds stepped out from the corners of the room. Stubbornly, Ujdra followed the skeletal creature. Together they wove through the halls, until they entered a massive room where one lone figure donned in gold stood on the balcony, gazing off into the distance.

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And the next 1000 or so, if you are still interested.

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            "Please pay your respects to your savior," her guide croaked. "This is Prince Tutankhanut, only son of King Ahken of Numas of the World that Was and steward of this great city." Ujdra stared at the back of the dazzling figure. Tutankhanut was a regal being, adorned in marvelously crafted, brilliant gold armor that framed his powerful figure. His face remained behind an emotionless death mask. "Welcome," Tutankhanut said, his powerful voice resonating throughout the room. Being spoken too, Ujdra come to and spat towards the Prince, "Let me go!" Without paying any notice to her tone, he replied, "I cannot." "Why not!" she shouted. In a soothing tone Tutankhanut whispered, "There is nowhere for you to go, nor are you held by me." Tutankhanut, gaze still fixed on something in the distance, motioned towards Ujdra. "Come, little dove, and see for yourself." Hesitantly, Ujdra crept forward past her guards and peered off the balcony beside the Prince. "What do you see, little dove?" Tutankanut asked. "I am no little dove," Ujdra snapped. "My name is Ujdra, daughter of Talus." With a subtle hint of a chuckle Tutankhanut responded, "As you wish, Ujdra, daughter of Talus." Squinting her eyes from the bright light until her vision cleared, she saw a beautiful city. Never before had she seen something so beautiful or developed. The city of Numastra was a city of unimaginable craftsmanship. The buildings were hewn from white marble, inlaid with fine gold. Each edifice unique, reflecting what could only be the architect's personality and brilliance. And then she saw it-- or more accurately, them. Beyond the high alabaster walls that dominated the skyline loomed what looked like an endless mass of black. "What..." she breathed. "That is just a small portion of the Usurper's legion." Tutankanut replied. "Nagash..." she murmured. "Yes, the pathetic, unruly child of Settra's own bloodline. It fashions itself as a god, but is nothing more than a selfish, bothersome insect," Tutankhanut sighed. "Walk with me," he said, lifting his arm to her. Confused by this gesture of civility, Ujdra hesitated. "Allow me," Tutankhanut soothed, as he delicately took one of her arms into his. Together, the two walked through gilded hall after gilded hall. As they walked, she noticed hundreds of children peeking out from the ornate surroundings. Puzzled, she kept following the prince. After much walking, they finally arrived at the alabaster wall. As they crested the high wall, Ujdra saw the rest of the city lying in ruin beyond the wall. Below stood rank upon rank upon rank of skeletal warriors clad in gold, locked in combat against a revolting horde of black mottled flesh. The horde was composed of fellow humans animated by the perverse magic of the Usurper. Commanding the horde was the vampiric elite whose cursed magic polluted the sky above them.

            "Every day I step foot on this wall, only to see the kingdom I worked so hard to build, eaten away little by little," Prince Tutankhanut said. "Is there nothing you can do?" she asked. "No, my resources are limited and the Usurper's are nearly endless," he replied. "Why not leave? The city is filled with the living. Their deaths will give you plenty of time to retreat," she pressed. Tutankhanut turned back to gaze at the undamaged city he was protecting. A group of children gathered in the distance, watching Tutankhanut and Ujdra's interaction curiously. "I cannot retreat--" he said resolutely. "Then why don't you just kill them all and use their corpses to bolster your ranks," she interrupted. For the first time, Tutankhanut looked directly at her and said, "A Tomb King leads only those who choose to follow." Ujdra bit her lip, confused by the emotions twisting within her. Never before has she seen such kindness or mercy, let alone from someone in power who had died eons ago. Trying to impose her cruel reality on him she responded, "Then kill me! I am nothing more than another corpse to be animated!" "No, Ujdra. It is seeing you, the inexperienced living, that reminds me of what is most important," the Prince replied. With a wave of a hand, a retinue of elite skeletal warriors, the Tomb Guard, emerged and lined up beside their Prince. An elderly man stumbled out from behind them, clutching to his chest a massive bow of exquisite gold and ebony. "My Prince," the shriveled carpenter said in a hushed tone, "We have just finished it. Thank you for everything." Tutankhanut effortlessly retrieved the weapon from the man's hands, worn raw from recent work. "Thank you, Ellandar. Return to your family and rest. You have done more than I could have ever asked," Tutankhanut said. "You are the light of my world," Ellandar whispered, and with a bow he turned and left. Tutankhanut raised the ornate weapon skyward and drew its ephemeral string back. Born from nothing, a golden arrow of keen light rippled into existence as the string was pulled taught. In a flash of pale gold, it was loosed skyward, piercing the unnatural clouds that shrouded the Usurper's army. With a thunderous boom the black clouds were cast aside, cleansing the sky of fel magic and letting the holy light of Ptra, god of the sun, grace the lands once more. Cries of agony could be heard from the Usurper's army as the vampiric elite began to convulse and wither under Ptra's wrathful light. Tutankhanut turned once more to Ujdra and said, "You remind a deathless creature like me of something that was long forgotten." Tutankhanut walked towards the precipice with his Tomb Guard retinue in line. "You remind me of my humanity," he said, taking a step off the edge. Ujdra watched as he and his Tomb Guard dropped effortlessly off the wall, plummeting towards the battle raging on the other side. She rushed to the edge to see what would happen to her prince. She saw the golden figure stride magnificently towards the frontline, leading forth a wave of gold like the rising sun casting out the dark night. "Prince Tutankhanut...you are a true king...or perhaps even a god..."

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