NationStates Jolt Archive

The Skorne Horde (Mercs for hire, Fantasy Tech)

11-02-2006, 21:17
The guttering light emanating from the candle on the table accentuates the angular shadows of the stranger across from you. Dressed in muted colors, the man is difficult to see in the dim light, and he seemingly phases in and out of reality with the shifting blur of the candle.

The wick must have caught alight a contaminate, for the flame reared to life for a brief second, allowing you so catch a glimpse of purple flesh. A shiver runs down your spine, for the man across the table could only be one thing. Skorne. Your heartbeat increases and your brow breaks out in a sweat. A member of the most feared race in existence is sitting directly, calmly, across from you.

He speaks in a low whisper, barely audible above the gentle murmur of voices at the other end of the tavern. Unlike his countrymen, he is very civil in his language and easy to understand. The fact that he had not tried to torture or kill anyone yet also sets him apart from his brethren.

As you sip from your tankard and try to calm your fractured nerves, the man makes an offer. For a small fee, he says, his cousins would be willing to support anyone. In other words, he is saying that the Skorne hordes are now offering themselves as mercenaries.

Asking the man across the table what you should do, he simply says to find him a client. It is not until after he gets out of his chair and exits the building that you release the breathe in your lungs and lean forward in relief. It is then that you notice he left a message for you. Which is tied to a knife. Which is stuck in the wall next to your head.

Momentarily shocked that you did not see he had slammed it there, you hurriedly take the note down. It reads, or else.

* * *

OOC: The Skorne are a warlike race of purple skinned killers that hail from the land of Immoren. Before you request their services, you should probably know a little more about their fighting style.

Instead of using vast numbers of infantry, they make use of various monsters they corral, called warbeasts. A warbeast is forced to fight against its own will by the sheer power of the warlock that controls it and its brethren, known as a Tormenter. Unable to do anything independently but seethe, the beasts grow ever more furious. The Tormenter actually feeds on this anger, drawing it into themselves and then throwing it at foes in the form of powerful spells.

If the anger is not drained, however, the warbeasts will overcome their warlock and lash out at anything around them. This can be used as a secret weapon by a clever Tormenter, but is also a constant threat.

The warlock cannot actually tell the beasts to do something, only suggest it. Usually the mind of the animal will yield, but not always. For example, it can sometimes take days to corral a frenzied warbeast, even if a hundred warlocks are exerting their collective wills. When under a Tormenter’s control, a warbeast feels no pain. Instead, the sensation is transferred to the warlock, who notices it more like a damage indicator than actual pain.

The Tormenter doesn’t keep all of the beast’s anger to his or herself, however. They can also use it to speed up the natural regenerative processes of any nearby units, allowing them to fight on as long as the warbeasts are angry. Which is always.

Because the Skorne are taken from a brand-new tabletop miniatures game, there are not many types of units for it yet. The ones that do exist, however, I will detail below.

Titan Gladiator: Titans are thick skinned, four armed, elephantine behemoths standing between 13 and 15 feet (4-6 meters) tall and weighing several tons. As if an inch and a half of toughened hide was not enough, the Skorne have outfitted these Titans with heavy plate mail armor, making them nigh on invincible. The two tusks growing out of its maw are equipped with serrated edges for tearing through foes, and the gauntlets on its massive upper fists have three-foot (1 meter) long blades. Titans are omnivorous, meaning they can eat anything that is not nailed down, and are very difficult to kill. 1 ( 2 ( 3 (

Titan Cannoneer: Differing from the Gladiator only in armament, the Titan Cannoneer carries a whopping 120mm black-powder cannon and a heavy mace. The cannon is usually set on the ground and aimed with the heavy cord attached to the barrel, and then fired via the lit torch in the Titan’s other hand. The range of these weapons is incredible, and can easily outdistance contemporary weapons. 1 (

Cyclops Savage: Although shorter in stature, the Cyclops Savage is almost as dangerous as the Titans. Armored the same as those mighty beasts, the Cyclops are armed with a powerful scimitar capable of cleaving through stone like it was water. They also have a limited magical side, allowing them to predict opponent’s moves seconds before they happen. This future sight allows them to easily dispatch a huge number of foes in close combat. 1 (

Praetorians: Highly trained one and all, Praetorians are dangerous foes indeed. Scorning shields, the Praetorians will carve a bloody swath through their foes with whirling twin blades. Despite their plate armor, they are fast. Very fast. Expect to see them on the flanks of a battle in one minute, and killing the enemy general the next. 1 (

Tormenters: A Tormenter is a highly trained warlock capable of controlling the warbeasts placed under their command. Acting as the leader of any group in the area, Tormenters can expertly control just about anything. Only the very best are allowed to take command of a warpack. Tormenters are very difficult to kill, as they can transfer any damage they receive to any warbeast in the area.

Now, on to the actual renting part. The following packages are available (all prices are in pounds of gold):

Title: Standard Warpack
Contains: 100 Cyclops Savages, 1 Titan Gladiator, and 1 Master Tormenter
Normal Price: 2,650 lbs
Package Price: 2,400 lbs

Title: Extended Warpack
Contains: 100 Cyclops Savages, 2 Titan Gladiators, 10 Praetorians, and 1 Master Tormenter
Normal Price: 3,550 lbs
Package Price: 3,310 lbs

Title: Artillery Warpack
Contains: 5 Titan Cannoneers, 1 Master Tormenter
Normal Price: 2,500 lbs
Package Price: 2,323 lbs

In addition, individuals are available for purchase. Each Cyclops Savage costs 25 lbs of gold, each Titan Gladiator 150, each Titan Cannoneer 500, and each Praetorian 75. A Tormenter is included for free with every order.
11-02-2006, 23:44
12-02-2006, 04:10
Updated with a new opening, and lots of other new stuff. Apologies for the generally poorly written former version.