Articles by cm284 3

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  • Toriyama, first minister, chief architect and sorcerer supreme to the mighty Emperor Katagura Mitsuke, hurried towards the great Mausoleum at the centre of the ancient sepulcher, navigating its maze-like twists and turns with practiced ease. Motes of dust glittered in the moonlight, kicked up by his feet as they trod pathways not walked for hundreds of years. Silently he mused to himself, reflecting on the irony that being such as himself, a creature whom until recently had, quite literally, all the time in the world, was in fact, in a hurry. At over 2000 years old, Toriyama had spent all his mortal days desperately trying to escape the ravages of time. In the end, he had succeeded; to a point. Neither living nor dead and having shed his organic skin, its machinations had no effect on him. He neither aged nor slept, did not eat, drink, breathe or care for the pleasures mortals enjoyed. He only served.

    Precious minutes passed, but eventually, having navigated the labyrinth and found its way to its heart, he came upon a pair of mighty bronzed gates that led into a large, sealed, rectangular structure. With but a gesture, the portal before him opened to reveal yet another passageway, this time angled downwards in to the very bowels of the Earth itself. Pausing for mere seconds to utter the correct incantations and gather his composure, Toriyama crossed the threshold. No sooner had he done so, than the portal behind him ground shut with a resounding boom. With no windows or light shafts to the outside, the avenue was plunged into blackness.

    Whilst Toriyama had lost his mortal eyes long ago, when his cursed flesh had been turned to stone, the cold orbs that now sat in their stead served him equally well. He could have used his mage sight he supposed, but old habits die hard. With a muttered cantrip, a pulsating nimbus of light burst from his hand, its radiance gently illuminating the passageway. Shadows danced in the soft glow, revealing deep set alcoves filled with the silent statues of armoured soldiers. Continuing his journey, further and further underground he moved, pausing only occasionally to examine clay seals, which adorned many of the gateways that sprung from the thoroughfare, like the roots of a mighty tree.

    ***

    It was some time later as his journey neared its end, that the path ahead opened into a vast chamber, hundreds of meters long. Within the chamber, arrayed in ordered ranks stood thousands of warrior statues, similar to the ones populating the alcoves he passed during his descent. Silently Toriyama slipped between them, making is way towards the very rear of the chamber. On the far wall, raised on a platform high above the ground and accessible by a long flight of wide steps was his destination; a mighty archway built of the finest marble. The shafts of its pillars were adorned with mystic symbols, whilst the capitals, frieze and base bore intricate carvings of dragons and other creatures of myth. At its centre sat mirror of polished silver, gently reflecting the light still emanating from his hand.

    Glancing at the faces of the stone soldiers he passed, he noted the differences in each and every one, for no two were the same. Pride and shame warred within his mind, for between him and his goal stood both his greatest achievement and the ultimate stain on his honour. Brushing aside the slight resurgence of a humanity he had long thought lost, Toriyama made his way to the steps. Upon reaching their summit, he removed a small gong from within the folds of his robe, before taking up a position in the middle of the platform, opposite the archway. With a strike of the gong, surprisingly loud in such a cavernous space, he began his ritual.

    ***
    With his ritual complete, Toriyama abased himself before the now open doorway, daring to snatch a glance at the scene beyond as he did so. Beyond mouth of the archway now lay an ornate throne room, bustling with all manner of celestial beings. At its centre, seated on a throne of gold sat a figure in full battle armour, head bowed and a sheathed katana upon his lap. Slowly the head rose, revealing a handsome, if cruel, face of purest jade.

    “Toriyama. Why do you disturb me so?” growled a gravel like voice, its displeasure plain.
    “Master!” From his prone position, Toriyama tried to bow even lower, as if he could merge himself with the stones beneath him. “I have found it. I have found HIM.”
    There was a pause. “Where?”. The figure was standing now and striding towards the portal, its cold dead eyes somehow managing to radiate malice.
    “Kala Volcanis Great one, in the Mountains of the Sky! The Dwarves, they…”
    “SILENCE!” Beautiful yet terrible to behold was the figure as it reached the gateway. The surface rippled like that of a lake as his master stepped through. “Kala Volcanis”. He paused again. “It is as the Kami foretold…” He paused. “Rise!”
    As Mitsuke’s hand swept upwards, Toriyama found himself unconsciously standing, his stony flesh no longer[Read More]
  • Afternoon All!

    So, a little off topic, but I recently had the pleasure of playing @Clockwork in my first game at Call to War in Cardiff. I just wanted to point you in the direction of the fantastic battle report that he wrote post the event!

    You can view it HERE!

    I can strongly recommend giving it a read; although we did not quite finish the game, we had a great time and he was an outstanding opponent!

    Most importantly... I won :P !

    Cm284 [Read More]
  • The Fallen Dwarves of Kala Volkanis; A Descent into Hell.

    Dr Heinrich Vukensbrau.

    Extract from Chapter 3.



    It was with great trepidation that I entered the Swinging Pig, a seedy dockside tavern located on the less than salubrious waterfront of the small river town of ‘Peaks End’. Frequented chiefly by the miners and prospectors that made up the settlements inhabitants, it was here that I had agreed to meet my contact; a Dwarf by the name of Amgrin. Unusually for his kind, he claimed he bore no clan name, something that I must admit piqued my curiosity. It would soon become apparent why.


    Upon entering the tavern, I was directed to a private back room by the proprietor, an ill-mannered, heavy-set man by the name of Gunther. Angrin was already there, nursing a flagon of ale.


    Let me start by saying that Angrin was, in many ways, like no dwarf I had ever met. Beardless and light in stature, he carried himself like a man, long ago resigned to the gallows. Hollow of eye, his very manner was of a fellow who wished nothing more than an end to his days, but had not yet summed up the courage to take the leap. Stooped and frail, he was devoid of the strength and pride that one would normally associate with those of his kind; indeed, it was hard to believe that the wretched creature that sat before me was indeed a Dwarf. Despite this, he did retain some Dwarven characteristics that I have come to know, over the course of my travels; chiefly a prodigious thirst for ale, and a simultaneous loathing for the ’pisswater’ that his human compatriots put before him.


    Let me tell you dear readers, that it was here, after years of fruitless research that my journey truly commenced. Why? Because in the darkened back room of an ill kept, backwater drinking establishment, Angrin told me his tale and my destiny was forever changed.



    ***


    All hail! Welcome dear reader, to the introductory post for the tale of Kala Volkanis! First off, thank you for taking the time to stop by and read my humble Blog – your attention is appreciated! “All hope abandon, ye who enter here”, wrote Dante Alighieri as part of his epic 14th Century ‘Divine Comedy’. In a desperate effort to prevent you all from doing the same, I will endeavor to keep this brief.

    I am cm284, a plastic and resin crack addict in my late 20’s and latest addition to the 9th Age content team. Due to my location and work commitments, I do not have many outlets for any hobby related creativity that may strike me, and as such, this blog will provide a suitable venting space. With any luck, some of you miscreants may find it interesting along the way!

    To put it succinctly, the aim of my blog is to create a ‘narrative platform’ for the following;

    • A focal point for a sort of campaign/setting that I have in the offing, including battle reports.
    • Hobby related posts (tactics, painting, terrain making, miniature and scenery reviews etc).
    • A gradual showcase of my miniature collection and fledgling 9th Age armies as they slowly but surely acquires layers of paint… and dust.
    • A place to discus and review rule changes and army books, as well as to bandy about ideas etc.
    • A place to give my perspective on areas and issues that are affecting the hobby, be it company attitudes or business practice, through to negative experiences with player-bases etc.

    As with the introduction, I plan for every post to start with a narrative piece that relates to the main body of the article and all of which links into an overarching 'story', for want of a better term…

    Anyhow, hopefully something in the above has piqued your interest, and that the glazed look in your eyes is unrelated (if so, you should probably get that checked). Lastly, is there anything you would like to see? Did you love/hate my attempt at fluff? Feel free to send me a PM on @cm284, and let me know your thoughts! Feedback is always appreciated!

    In the next Post, I will introduce you to the first of the factions battling to secure the lands around Kala Volcanis, my EoS! Oh, and I promise there will be pictures!

    To wrap up my first post, I will leave you with a quote by Winston Churchill. “This is not the end, it’s not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

    Until next time!

    Cm284 [Read More]