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Beware Black Clouds

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The Captain sat upon the battlements, long legs splayed out over the precarious drop to the dirt packed killing zone below. Tapping out his pipe against the solid yellow stone of the wall, he then meticulously refilled it and took a flint out of his robes. Before lighting the ornate pipe, which the men claimed was made of demon bone, he tilted back his handsome face to take in the breathless majesty of giant black clouds in the distant sky.

They look so intent on arrival, he thought, malevolent and malicious. After staring at the far reaching blackness in silence, he turned to look over his shoulder into the bawling and unorganized mass of humanity that called this place home.

The settlement was large, walled and garrisoned by fighting men. Proud fighting men who had a handle on everything from skirmishes with bandits, defeating the Sand Dunes Clans and even toppling the heretical Mago Sucubus in the waterless wastes. A bastion of defense and power was located in the center of the settlement. Holding the settlements hierarchy, nobles and overlord it was a formidable towering edifice which exuded authority. Surrounded on all sides by simple citizens’ hovels it looked even more intimidating, an arm of yellow stone reaching into the sky with manned parapets, archery slits, murder holes and artillery platforms.

On the battlements the towns’ principal overlord approached the Captain.

“A good day to you Captain. Recently joined if I am not mistaken?” the portly, well-dressed man said, “How does the land fare from here?”

The Captain smiled and nodded in greeting, letting the fat politician waste his breath for them both.

“Those clouds look evil” the Lord commented, following the Captains gaze and squinting into the black clouded horizon with worried eyes. “Mayhap they have something to do with the terrible stories we have been hearing recently.”

The Captains perfect eyebrows lifted at this.

“Rumours really” The Lord stated hurriedly, “Rumours of an army of the dead. Led by a ruthless Skullfaced Demon. The rumours and stories have reached us that they march East across the desert. Destroying and razing every settlement they come across. Killing all inhabitants. No matter how well defended the city, no matter how high the walls….”

 

Drifting off his sentence he looked at the high walls. Shaking his head, as if to clear his doubt, his face brightened up.

 

“No matter if these stories and rumours bear any truth! We have the most capable defences, the best fighting force on this side of the Great Dune and last but not least, The Great Captain!” He delivered the last part with a flourish and wink.

 

“The highest walls won’t stop those clouds” The Captain declared in an alien voice.

 

“Your accent sounds strange.” He noted warily, realizing this was the first time he had actually spoken to the newest military recruit, “Where are you from Captain?”

 

The Captain gave him a lopsided smile that showed an incisor too long and sharp for human comfort.

”From the East I came”

“To the West I will go”

 

Putting down his pipe of human bone and slipping on his Skull Death mask the Demon-Captain turned to face his handiwork. Stretching out behind him and leading all the way back to the now burning city was his Legion. The rising smoke already starting to look like black clouds in the sky. No one could see it now, but his handsome face was smiling.

 

End

 

 

Bio - The first story I have ever submitted for someone else to read. Thought of this a long time ago and glad to see it written down now. It was actually a vivid dream I had once and have never been able to forget it. Still can picture every scene. Hope you enjoy. Chris in Mexico.

 

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