| || |
It was early morning and the rain had abated. Still thick broiling clouds were obscuring the orange glow of the sun climbing the horizon, but at least the downpour had ceased. The sergeant pulled back the hood of his oilskin overcoat and lit a rolled-up in the lee of the captains’ tent. He knew he wasn’t supposed to eavesdrop but it was really too early for anyone to care.
Inside the tent a heated discussion was in progress. So far the sergeant had not been able to discern the voices and what the subject of the debate was, but he listened intently while trying to appear deep in his own thoughts.
“Have you gone completely mad?!” – This was surely Zurmael, the sergeant’s own captain speaking. – “Attack them now?! You have lost your marbles, man!”, “That’s rich coming from a bloke who has walked into every single ambush the damned Magmars had set up along the Foothills yesterday! Tell us, have any of your troops survived??!” The second voice spoke in a low rumble with menace dripping from every syllable. It would have to be Tranwall, a boisterous human who was known among his troops for his ability to avoid the enemy wherever possible, even in a direct confrontation. “I will not have you insult me like that, you coward! At least I didn’t pack it in and leg it!” ,”Ha! Have you ever heard the words ´tactical withdrawal´?!” The sergeant smiled. As usual the captain was not holding anything back. “If it hadn’t been for your oh so `tactical withdrawal` they wouldn’t have sent this friggin’ mad man to take command, you fool!” “Who are you calling a fool! From all I’ve heard, he is a gifted tactician!” “From what you heard, alright! You deaf plonker! The man’s one evil son of a Gungl!” “That’s enough from both of you!” a third voice calm and controlled cut in. “He may be a tough master but I think he is the right one for the job.” The sergeant lent forward, this proved to be interesting. Too late he heard a sound behind him very much like the one made by a bellows which made him turn around in alarm. The sergeant was immediately engulfed in a cloud of a terrible smell of rotting meat and decay while staring up into not only one but two mouths showing more teeth then should be legal. The shaking sergeant nearly swallowed his cigarette while commanding his soul to any god present: A Cerrador! He was looking at a bloody Cerrador! Someone tapped him on the shoulder “Yes, he does have that effect on people.” Said the tall Human standing behind the sergeant. “Don’t let him lick your face, serge.” he added handing the sergeant the reigns. “I’ll just pop in here for a minute, do take him for a walk. If he starts gnawing on your leg, he just wants to play. He can be like that.” The newcomer turned, pushed aside the tent flap and walked right in while the sergeant was starting to whimper.
“Gentlemen it is so nice to see some eager soldiers these days! Do have a seat.” “And who might you be, you ponds...” – Evidently not the smartest last words ever to be uttered but never the less those of the late captain Tranwall who realized with the clarity brought on by sudden death, that the newcomer had just as quickly shoved three feet of well crafted steel through his mid section. The new guy looked at him quizzically. “I can see you wondering, Tranwall, about those rumours: Let me set you to rest. I really am that evil.” As the captain collapsed on the floor with a strange look on his features the human who had just entered the captains tent pulled free his blade and wiped it on his coat, for a second revealing the markings on his armour which identified him as a War Master. The other two captains were still staring at the tableaux of horror as he said: “I am ever so sorry, but I will not tolerate cowardice. And neither will I endure stupidity, Zurmael.” he remarked, turning to one of the captains who was already backing away. “That is precisely why you and I will lead this attack side by side. And if you don’t want to end up a puddle on the ground like your friend over here, I suggest you pay attention and follow my command...”
Thus begins the legend of Evil One, the Magmar Murderer, the Beast’s Bane. If you are ever unlucky enough to meet him in battle, be it as your foe or friend, heed his words: They might be the last sound you’ll ever hear.