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Author Topic: Starch and Iron  (Read 89 times)

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Offline Fortis Scriptor

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Starch and Iron
« on: September 24, 2017, 11:54:39 PM »
So, just to say hey I'm slightly alive, I present to you a short story which I threw together recently. It is the result of one of my few moments of relieved writers block, as I've been suffering from a rather nasty case of it of late.

I will eventually get to actually posting some of the story for the writing workshop, but to be frank I haven't had much luck getting it down on paper. This is partially due to some other ideas (Like the one I'm about to post) butting into my mental space and those of you fellow writers know where that rabbit hole goes.

Anyways, I now present to you, Starch and Iron.

Spoiler

“Blessed be the Starch, my rock, who trains my arms for battle, and my hands for war. It is my love, my fortress: It is my stronghold, my saviour, my shield, my place of refuge… it need not forgive me for the sins I am about to commit, for I will endure eternal damnation if it serves the Holy Starch. Deus Starch!”

The Knight rose from his knees and made the sign of the starch, he was now prepared for the coming bloodshed.

Looking upon the encampment the Knight saw his comrades, his fellow Crusaders readying themselves for the final battle.

The servants of His Starchiness Pope Cru*censored*us, gilded in full array of holy iron cleansed themselves of the dirt and dust of the campaign.

Some stood in reverence as they heard the Priest give his sermon in a humble temple assembled from cloth and wood.

Yet more of the Warriors of Starch gathered around small fires eating their humble rations, for many it would be their last meal.

As the sun rose over the horizon, the Crusaders gathered into their lines of battle.

At the center stood the spearmen, with great kite shields bearing the Holy Potato. To the flanks were the men at arms, swords and heater shields in hand. Just behind them stood the archers with longbows of Starchy yew. At the rear in a thin line were the knights mounted upon mighty chargers wielding great lances.

There at the Heart of the glorious formation was the Great Potato Standard protected by Warrior Monks of the Starch wielding Swords of War that were as long as their wielders were tall.

The Army of the Holy Starch stood ten thousand men strong, the greatest force in all of starchdom.

Across the field the Hordes of Lemurism scurried into an insulting excuse of a formation. The minions of Zoboomafoo were ugly creatures of darkness. Once men, and believers of Starch, so much exposure to memes had disfigured them into twisted beasts unrecognizable of their original form.

By the time the Lemurists had fielded their whole force, the Starchy Crusaders were surrounded by millions of the unholy creatures armed with jagged rusty blades hungry for the blood of innocent Believers in Starch.

The stage was set for the battle to commence, the last battle in a long crusade which had taken the men of Starch from their tiny stronghold in Wintreath all the way to the meme infested NW community. A light in the darkness of the interworld, it’s fate resting in the hands of these brave 10,000 men.

A great and terrible horn was sounded, and the Lemurist horde lurched forward.

Upon a great silver steed rode Pope Cru*censored*us himself unphased by how numerous the enemy army was, he signaled to a trumpeter who sounded the call to ranks for the archers.

The longbowmen rushed to the front with all haste and knocked their first arrows.

The trumpet sounded the call to loose at will, and the archers began their bloody work.

They aimed, drew, and loosed the first volley, at such extreme ranges only a few of the arrows found their marks. The same could be said for the second volley, but then as the Lemurists passed within 200 meters, the Archers loosed their third volley, and dealt devastating casualties on the front ranks of the horde.

Next the Grand Inquisitor rode forward and ordered the archers to focus their efforts on one spot, thus weakening an area for the cavalry to break through.

The longbows did good work to an area on the right flank, and then with the sounding of another trumpet, the Knights charged through the weakened position trampling over the heretics dumb enough to stand in their way. A small portion of the horde chased after the few hundred knights who broke through, but it was barely more than a single percent of the Lemurist army. (Though even that was rather large.)

The archers continued to loose volley after volley until the Lemurists passed within 30 meters. It was then that the trumpet sounded off again, telling the archers to fall back behind the men at arms.

Now it came to the melee.

The Crusader’s formation had altered into a circle, with the front ranks containing two rows of spearmen, 3 ranks of men at arms behind them, and the archers brandishing whatever melee weapon they could find behind that. At the very center was the Potato Standard and it’s Holy Guardians, a force of the most elite crusaders, including the Pope and his Cheddar Guard.

In an instant, the Lemurist Horde crashed into the Crusader formation, only to be shoved back by the unrivaled strength of the Starchy Spearmen.

The Lemurists were unrelenting, even as they fell in droves to the holy steel blessed by the priests of the Great Potato.

The dead began to pile high forming a wall of decay around the holy warriors.

The spearmen alone would hold the line for two days, without a moment of rest, for the Lemurists gave them no chance to.

 One by one, the heroic spearmen fell among the filth of their fallen foes, blessing the ground with their saintly blood.

Finally at dawn on the third day the Lemurists paused their attack allowing the few spearmen left to retire to the center, the wall of the dead now a good 5 meters tall.

The ground began to rumble once again as the Lemurists recommenced their attack, and this time the men at arms charged up the hill of the dead to meet their foes. Holy blades met the savage iron in a great clash as the battle was joined.

Within minutes the Men at arms maxed their already high experience chevrons, as they cast their foes down the mound of the dead. They pushed down the outer slope, allowing the archers to take position at the peak and let loose a deadly hail of arrows once again.

For days more the battle seemed to go in favour of the Holy Warriors of Starch, for every crusader who fell, 10 Lemurists were slain in return, but it wasn’t enough, the Lemurists still outnumbered the Crusaders 50 to 1.

Over the course of the eighth day, it started to become clear that there simply weren’t enough Holy Warriors to triumph over the seemingly endless horde of Lemurist savages.

The Crusade once 10 thousand strong was dwindling down to little more than 2,500. Who knows how many infidels laid dead upon the field, but who would waste their time to actually count?

Things were starting to look more grim. The crusaders were running out of arrows, their swords were dull, their shields were splintered, their armour was rent, and they were all drenched in the filthy blood of the heretics.

After more than a week of near nonstop fighting, the iron wills of the mighty warriors of Starch was beginning to rust, fatigue, lack of sleep and food, were all contributing to a growing fear: Fear that they would lose, fear that they had been abandoned, fear that The Holy Potato would not find their efforts good enough… Fear that was all wiped clean from their minds by the mere passing of Cru*censored*us and his Cheddar Guard, those mighty warriors yet to commit to the fight.

The Lemurists came again and again each time losing hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of warriors.

It did not matter to them.

The mound of corpses was more than 20 meters tall by now. It was a citadel of savage corpses with the Great Potato Standard crowning its peak.

The Crusaders fought bravely, and met their enemies savagery with the merciful relief of removing their corrupted heads from their bodies, freeing the souls of the damned to be saved by the Great and Holy Starch.

However the overwhelming numbers of the Lemurists would bring down more and more heroic Crusaders.

By the tenth day, even the archers were in the melee, having run out of arrows on the ninth.

Blood soared through the air from great geysers of flesh, and the roars of the Lemurist battle cries began to be overturned by the sounds of breaking bones and clashing steel.

The Crusaders dwindled more and more, 1,900… 1,600… 1,100. Each one of these Saintly Martyrs making every drop of their blood count for one Lemurist savage slain.

By the pre-dawn hours of the thirteenth day, only 300 Holy Warriors of Starch were left alive, standing firm above a mountain of corpses 50 meters high, and at least 30 wide.

Finally, the guards of the Great Potato Standard would enter the fray.

As the red sun began to rise, Cru*censored*us stood before his soldiers and said this.

“Brothers! Fellow Warriors of Starch, hear me now! For thirteen long days you have stood by and watched your comrades fight with glorious fury, and little by little you have watched them fall upon this holy ground to take their place among the Holy Starch. And Brothers I must tell you, your sacrifices have not been in vain, for last night, the Holy Starch came to me as I slept… and he told me that today, would be the last day of our battle, and that today!.. Today I see not 300 men… I see ten thousand mighty warrior Saints of the Holy Potato. Today will be our last day of battle, and the Holy Starch has assured me that there will be no outcome but victory for us! So now, steel your hearts for the final push! Take up the sword, the spear, and the unbeatable resolve of Starch and drive these Infidels from the earth! DEUS STARCH!!!”

The Crusaders replied with an earth shattering united roar “DEUS STARCH!!!!!” and with fire in their bellies, and victory in their hearts, they charged down from the Fortress of Corpses descending into the jaws of the Lemurists one final time.

But this time, to the utter disbelief of the Lemurist savages, their foes fought with the strength and ferocity of a thousand men. Single sword strikes rent the beasts of Zoboomafoo asunder in a glorious red haze of blood and gore.

It took the combined strikes of at least a dozen Lemurists to bring down even a single Warrior the Starch.

Crusaders were slashed and stabbed through with hungry savage iron, yet still they continued until there was nothing left of them.

As they fought on, the brave 300 carved a deep scarring path through the Lemurist lines, but… soon 300 fell to 150, and then further to 90.

By the time the Crusaders had circled back around to the Great Standard, only 36 remained, most of them Cheddar Guard, or Monks of the Standard.

As the Lemurists began to climb the mountain of corpses for the final push, most of the remaining Crusaders gave their final prayers, preparing to meet their fallen brothers on the other side.

It was then that Pope Cru*censored*us spotted in the distance a speck of light in the darkness, a hope that would make true the word of the Holy Starch.

As the Lemurists reached the last of the Crusaders upon the mountain, the Knights of the Potato Inquisition rode at full tilt bannered lances fluttering in the wind, their white armour shining in the morning light.

At the center of the line rode the Grand Inquisitor himself, for on the first day he and his knights had cut their way through the enemy lines and wreaked havoc upon their rear before riding to the nearest Potato Monastery to retrieve reinforcements, and retrieved them he had.

2,500 Knights and Mounted Sergeants crashed into the Lemurists rear catching them completely off guard.

The last defenders of the standard too fought with a divine fury unrivaled by any other mortal man.

By the twilight of the thirteenth day, the Lemurist horde was finally broken, and by midnight, the Knights had slaughtered and scattered them so well that their foes would never again even consider taking up arms.

As the Grand Inquisitor climbed to the top of the mountain of corpses, he came upon the last of the defenders of the Great Standard.

7 Warriors stood upon the peak, at the center of them Pope Cru*censored*us, his broken blade clutched tightly in his hands.

In his hand the Grand Inquisitor carried the severed head of the Lemurist General, and upon greeting his noble vicar, he offered up the final prize of the successful Crusade.

Cru*censored*us took the head in his hands and stared deep into its dead glazed over eyes for a moment, then gingerly closed them, before taking the head, and hurling it from the top of the mountain.

He took a step forward, placed a hand upon the Grand Inquisitors shoulder and said, “Starch’s will has been done.”

The Crusade was finally, over.

So ended the Great War of Lemurist Extermination. At the cost of nearly ten thousand Holy Warriors, Potatoism continued to spread, no longer hindered by the savage and heretical faith of Zoboomafoo.

Upon the site of the Mountain of Corpses, Cru*censored*us built a mighty fortress monastery which will forever watch over the lands of Lemurism’s final defeat.

And Cru*censored*us himself, would finally gain immortality as the Holy Starch’s eternal vicar.

“Blessed be the Starch, my rock, who trained my arms for battle, and my hands for war. It is my love, my fortress: It is my stronghold, my saviour, my shield, my place of refuge… For I fell upon the field in those thirteen bloody days, and now I live forever among Starch’s Saints. Deus Starch…”