I felt like sharing this with people who I thought may enjoy its combat focused story. Much so perhaps, if you're looking at rolling a warrior come release..!
The Quarrel of Arms
No light glimmered from the edges of this magnificent greatsword, for any shard of light to pass through the acrid, black ashes that collected here within the mural chamber would be miraculous; but still, in the blindness it found its target as it came sweeping, relentlessly downwards. The sword cried a ringing fury from its thickly enforced and exceptionally sharp blade. A deviously serrated edge grated for blood against its adversary. From the impact came a tidal force of power, menacingly shocking its way upwards through the metal, reaching a heavy sweep hilt and fiercely tight grip - and went no further. Small punctures, barely visibly but undoubtedly present, were the first ever to make damage to this legendary weapon, however from another legend they were surly made.
The intensely formidable, brazen flanges of a two-handed mace - unstoppable by any other force, crashed their way mercilessly around the unyielding boundaries of these two rivals. Such immense fortitude allowed supremacy over the colossal barrage of strikes and unfathomable pace released from such a massive, weighty sphere of hardened hatred. One muscular force enthralled the frictional grip of this usually two-handed mace; in the other hand, firmly: a pata sword.
Each man stood at equal stature; broad, powerfully built physiques, seven feet tall and toned to killing perfection through years of aggression, fighting and endurance. Thick and sweat-soaked dark hair hung long across their shoulders; pleated in war-like fashion. Their armour, tough and light, allowed muscular limbs the freedom of swift movement. Arms and legs were exposed - scarred from other battles but yet to shed blood this day. Their huge, commanding hands were weaponry themselves, able to shatter bone and strangle life. Although battling for many hours, neither man suffered any degree of fatigue.
A burst of stone, splintered wood and pounding sound shattered from the roof of the chamber and the curtain wall where they fought, following a stun of fiery light. Both men were thrown from their feet and through the chaotic damage of previous explosions, to smash down into rubble and dirt. One had fallen out onto the bailey; the other, still among the battlements of the curtain wall. Both still possessing their weapons, they rose quickly, searching surroundings and rubbing off a daze.
The brooding, disingenuous disorder of war fed itself without limit among men, women, homes and keeps. The onset of a deathly night fell tiresomely into the minds of combatants, from tower top to battered plinth. The air was hoarsely thick with smoke and dust; humid and sickly from a enclose of burning, bleeding and belligerent death.
The sword-wielder tugged away a splinter of shrapnel from deep within his thigh; blood spurted out momentarily. From above him came a raging roar of anger and abhorrence so loud that other fighters stopped short their actions in conscience.
With his mace and pata astride, his roar melded into one of his opponent's own bellows, as that man looked up to him with vengefully piecing eyes. From the mace-man's right side, he could see coming: two men, hollowing out obscenities and running sword-first at him. To the sword-wielder's surprise, he was shoved from behind, into the stone of the curtain wall. A pole-man had dropped his weapon in the explosion and acted impulsively; scurrying up his polearm from the debris as the powerhouse in front of him steadied himself. With a speed unseen, the pole-man lost his arm and foot in a single barbaric motion. Blood gushed freely from the dismemberments. Screaming insanely, shortly, the man's head was cut cleanly and effortlessly from his shoulders. A twitch of a smile gathered briefly across the sword-wielder's lips. Three more men came at him; his back against the wall.
As he swung around the mace to perform a hefty, forceful blow across both men: one man's sword was ripped from his hands; breaking one of them and spinning him around. The other man's chest and jaw were wrecked into, fracturing them; causing instant death. As the mace finished its arc, the pata stabbed up and into the face of the broken-handed man; brain matter slopped to the floor as the mace-man drew out his fist and pushed the corpse over the wall. Looking down to find his foe gone, his eyes grew wide; spittle showed among clenched teeth.
Three loose bodies lay besides the pole-man's corpse. A bestial, throaty growl came almost involuntarily as the sword-wielder watched the man above him run down the length of the battlements, out-of-sight. Nothing more indomitable occupied his mind, than to seek and fight this man. Running, full-pace towards an opening in the yard's bedlam, the sword-wielder's determination brought him to a scalable cascade of a fallen wall. In half the time it would take a skilled climber, he was to its apex and on his feet, searching beseechingly.
Five more fighters lay dead; a trail of madness smashed into stone. Their demise offered no debauchery, no dissipation. As the mace-man moved around the length of the wall walk, his sight struck upon a shadowy blur of his nemesis, who fought off men as they circled him. Fire and black surrounded the onslaught; flashes of steel striking steel - death striking life.
As if by a force known only to the Gods, the sword-wielder turned victoriously to face the other man. Each man saw a black silhouette of the other, through the smoke and fire of battle.
The sword-wielder shouted viciously; his words lost to the distance between them. Raising his arm rigid and slow to signal a location, the mace-man hollered back - the forebuilding lay open to them with little effort, its guards absent, having joined the melee below.
A grand stair of stone steps reached up to the keep. Before them lay, mostly undisturbed, a courtyard with bordering chambers. A bull-sized sphere, cracked and smashed, was anchored squarely in the centre of the yard; a section of a dividing wall had succumbed to its high trajectory, and was sure to collapse further at any instant. Flowers and vines adorned the walls. Small statues - deities, past and present, lined the outskirts in symmetry.
Across one side, the sword-wielder stepped unhurried, from out a stairwell, to stand patiently in the comparative calm. His greatsword hung loosely from an armoured hand; its point perpendicular to the cobblestone floor. His eyes set on a hefty, sturdy wooden door directly opposite him. A thick timber bolt secured it.
The thick timber bolt split forcibly in two - wrenched powerfully from its bar-holes. Another collision took the door from its frame entirely. The flanged, two-hander, dominating the smashed entryway, appeared first. Its master, greedily hungry for more, followed after it. A protruding stab of metal and wood from the door's hinges stung into the side of the mace-man, drawing blood, but within the intensity of his concentration across the courtyard, the injury went unnoticed.
Upon seeing him, the sword-wielder strode forwards to give himself space to move. He began to pace slowly from side-to-side, balancing his weight, with his arms astride and his weapon low. He clashed the sword against the ground; once, twice - growling as he did. Then he used the sword's serrated edge to grate the cobblestone; grooves showing on the stones surfaces as he drew athwart it.
A short, loud snort left the mace-man's frowning features; followed by a large stream of mucus that he spat outward, thrusting his upper-body forwards as he did. Then, from the slight of his vision, he saw distinct, serrated marks on one flange of his indestructible mace. Never before had anything tarnished its eternal vigour. It sent him into a frenzy; uncontrollably wrathful, he stormed at his foe.
Both men met each other in full swing. One held his mace up high and leaped; the other came around in full circle, slicing upwards. At the last moments each had parried an attack. The force, so unadulterated, literally blew them apart - they came hurtling to the floor, with shuddered bones. After a brief moment of stunned unbalance, together they rose and lunged back into battle simultaneously.
Thrusts, swings, parries, stabs, dodges, deflections, muscle, hate and blood-lust; all furiously fast and rigorously relentless. For a half-hour they fought. Slashes begun to show in their flesh; bruises on their faces, as fists and elbows clashed with noses and eyes. Blood streaked its way into their hair, and splattered the floor. Their eyes stung, their chests heaved and their limbs ached. No man bettered the other.
Their movements brought them close to the collapsed, dividing wall. Both men seeing an opportunity; one so similar but ultimately different - a swift butt from the pommel of the sword-wielder's weapon as he ducked under the arc of a mace swing, knocked the mace-man where he wanted him: under the fragile hold of a broken segment of the wall. Knowingly, the mace-man had let the blow strike; sweeping with only a modicum of power to allow his intentional counter the freedom to motion. The sword-wielder took the chance he had created, and thrust his huge greatsword upwards, into the stone of the wall. As he did, the mace-man turned with blinding speed, embedding his pata sword deeply into the chest of his adversary - critically close to his heart. The sword-wielder faltered. Shock and pain entering his senses. The man before him grinned vindictively as he twisted his blade to rip into a pulmonary system. Wincing under the effort of all his might, the sword-wielder wrenched his steel from the wall to cascade a mass of stone down onto the man that stood, with false victory over him. Through the madness, as the stone fell onto them both, the greatsword entered the side of the mace-man, shattering his ribcage and tearing his lungs.
They spent their last seconds of existence under stone; their faces merely inches apart. Each man still grasped their own weapons. They snarled, spat and choked in anguish, until death.
Fighters, during combat within the higher portions of the fortress, had seen the war between the two titans as it exploded out onto the courtyard. They ceased their fighting.
Now, with the end of them both, many from each army stood silently, with weapons held low. One man stood among three of his enemies; another, crippled from a fall, supported himself against his sword. A faint infant's cry could be heard as a mother held her child tight and fled for safety. The bedlam of war receded, ever quieter. Only the black ash and orange fires remained a defiant reminder of battle.