Elevenfold Memories

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Muzzy
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Post by Muzzy » Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:00 pm

2449 Years Ago
Six Hex Strategist Four Born Toch'zok Chek stared at the array of maps showing battlefronts and troop movements in the southern continent as workers bustled too a fro, carrying messages for the Mezek-rek and Strategists of the armies of Ashes on the Plains and Frozen Rivers of Sorrow.
A scent of nervousness made him look over his shoulder to where a worker was standing, nervously holding a copy of a message from Two Hex Mezek-rek Stars and Void to Six Hex Strategist Twice Born Frozen Light of Dawn. He quickly scanned the report of the last three months fighting in the eastern highlands and swore. The armies of Frozen Rivers of Sorrow were faced with yet another renegade faction, this time belonging to princess Broken Granite, a daughter of Ashes on the Plains.
"Eight rogue princesses. Eight. All having rebelled in the last year. All from mountain Hives that specialized in mining and ore processing."
Single Hex Strategist Four Born Hivegaurd raised his gaze from the maps he was studying to look at his thricefather.
"This puts me in mind of another war we fought together, my Prince. Its been what, three lifetimes since the death of Thousand Amber Blades?"
"Three lifetimes for you, maybe. Most of you warrior-brothers are not blessed with your particular longevity. But yes, I had noticed the similarity. Only this madness is beyond anything I have heard of. In that rebellion, there were only three mad princesses, and Thousand Amber Blades still lost her life."
"She sent us away, my Prince. It was not your fault. And besides, an entire ocean separates this rebellion from the holy nest of the Queen."
Chek went back to staring at the maps. While the rogue warriors were all self-born, and no match for the warrior children of the two Queens, it was still a war on eight fronts, on rough terrain against an enemy who commanded the home field advantage. The armies of the two Queens were spread dangerously thin, and it seemed that more hives fell into madness each month. It was fortunate that none of the lowland agricultural hives had fallen to the madness, or the armies would be without supply as well.
Chek's carapace shuddered with exhaustion. He had been awake far too long, devising strategies to counter the rogue hives, strategies that would have to be revised in the face of this new enemy faction.
"I'm going to sleep. Wake me if we get any news from the siege at Chak'pren."

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Muzzy
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Post by Muzzy » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:54 pm

2448 Years Ago
Six Hex Strategist Four Born Toch'zock Chek surveyed the map before him.
Displayed was a narrow pass leading through the coastal cliffs. Beyond it assembled the armies of the three greatest among the Mad Hives, united in their rebellion against their Mothers.
"Do we know what forces are arrayed to protect the pass?" He asked.
"Our observers have noted at least two thousand warriors of the three Mad Hives in attendance. 700 are warriors of princess Artful Dancings, 400 are born of the princess Tragic Passions and 1,200 are born of Marshalling Blades. All warriors are self born, save about 300 of the children of Marshalling Blades who were fathered by prince Tawny Claws, who leads them. They are arrayed through the pass."
"In such terrains, our numbers will mean little. And the madness of their mothers will embolden them against us. It would be a waste of life to storm them head on. What of the cliffs, can they be scaled?"
"Infested with rocklice and chitin-rot moss, nourished by the hotsprings. Any warrior who tried to climb those faces would be infected with a dozen diseases. One hive has fallen to plauge already when they tried to mine these mountains."
"If they hadn't, we would be forced to war with them now. It seems that every mountain hive on the continent has gone mad. What preparations are the Mad Son's making?"
"They have been seen to run and exercise amongst themselves, as well as to cut at polish their chitin."
Chek spared a look of disbelief for his scouts. Such primping was sign enough of his enemies madness.
"We attack at morning. For all their advantages, we outnumber them at least 100 to 1."

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Post by Muzzy » Wed Mar 12, 2008 4:44 am

2448 Years Ago
Six Hex Strategist Four Born Toch'zock Chek stared blankly at the casualty reports, his body rigid with shock and horror.
"How many brothers died? And not an inch gained after two days of fighting. Have we been able to retrieve the corpses?"
His aid shuffled nervously. "Most, my Prince. I regret to inform you that nearly half of the dead of the Crimson Guard fell beyond the point of retrieval. The remainder are being transported to the hive of princess Earth and Shadows and princess Cold of the Void, for cremation."
"How many can be recommended for rebirth?"
"I am afraid that their failure to take the pass will dispose the princesses poorly to the rebirth of any of them, my prince."
The a stink of pain rose from the four born prince, echoing the set of his body. So many brothers lost these past two days, and not an inch gained.
"My prince, an hour ago we captured a trio of mad sons approaching the camp. They wish to speak to you."
"Send them in. And be ready to dispose of the bodies publicly, if what they have to say displeases me. Our brothers will want vengeance for the fallen. These three may be a start."

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Post by Muzzy » Sun Mar 23, 2008 10:18 pm

2447 Years Ago
Four Born Toch'zock Chek felt the shock of deja vu as he stared around the ruined nesting chamber of princess Marshalling Blades. Despite the riotous clashing of blade on shield and chitin, the sound of his sons slaughtering the remnants of her honor guard, he felt a chill calm sweep through him. His gaze was fixed on twice born Zockin, the warrior who had betrayed his mother and guided the forces under Chek's control through the secret pass to the heart of the territory of the mad princesses, the warrior who had led Chek and his sons to the very heart of his mother's hive, the warrior who had just struck down his own mother to end her madness once and for all. Nearly 450 years previously, it had been him standing over his mother's corpse as a foreign prince stood watching.
As the clamor of battle died down, Chek approached the twice born warrior, resting a hand on his wing.
"It is ended, Zockin. Let us leave this place."
The young brown and purple twice born warrior stared up at the crimson prince who stood beside him, and Chek almost took a step back at the rage and pain that emanated from him.
"I am Zockin no more. I am Motherless Death, never born."

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Post by Muzzy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 10:39 pm

2432 Years Ago
Four Born Tcho'zok Chek watched the practice yard intently. Thrice Born Zockin, known to a few by the name of Never Born Motherless Death, squared off against the two other warriors he was training with. In the light of the setting sun his crimson carapace gleamed, highlighted by the ebony varnish that outlined each plate. His blades whipped out ferociously against his opponents again and again, the affixed metal edges sparking off their armor plates as he drove them out of the central hex.
Princess Sunlight Through Amber raised one hand, indicating that the match was done, the duelmaster relaying the command in his stentorian bellow.
The princess turned to her consort, her stance and face questioning in their disposition. "Your opinion?"
"He is driven as few others, princess. He will make a fine officer in your service."
"That much is evident, Chek'zokin. I am more worried by his choice of names. Your insistence on declaring yourself the son of the Eternal Mother earned you no little grief, and your chosen name was nowhere near as antagonistic as 'Motherless Death'. I fear that the madness of the mountainlands has not fully left him."
"I share your concern, but I council patience. Allow him the chance to prove himself. You may not be aware, but he shows a great deal of interest in the cult of the Eternal Mother for a warrior. I hope to induct him into its mysteries in the fullness of time. His cunning and drive should easily propel him to the rank of Chazak-rek in your service, and a priest-warrior in such a position is a useful asset."
As the proceeded from the observation balcony, a heady scent reached the prince's nose.
"I agree with your assessment. I expect you to keep your eyes on him. It was at your insistence, after all, that I brought him into the clan. However, I believe we have more pressing things to... talk... about."

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Muzzy
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Muzzy » Thu May 08, 2008 10:59 pm

2413 Years Ago
Four Born Tcho'zok Chek stepped expertly in between two of his sons, passing from the second ring to the third with fluid grace, filling the space occupied by Thrice Born Zockin at the circles head without missing a beat. At the same moment, Thrice Born Zockin stepped into the head space of the second circle.
All around them, the dance whirled and spun as the eleven circles rotated first one way then the next, at one moment moving with its neighboring circles, the next moving against them in an intricate and precise ballet, made all the more complicated as members of one circle constantly shifted to their neighbors. At the center danced Sunlight Through Amber, at once alone and surrounded by her sons and consorts.
Four Born Tcho'zok Chek suddenly spun into and through the second circle into the first, earning looks of admiration from the other dancers at the intricate and difficult step. He could hear an appreciative rumble coming from the raised dais where the visiting princess Shadows in Ice and Memory watched the dancing, and he grinned to himself. Shadows in Ice and Memory was a powerful coalition leader in the courts of the young Queen Ice Crystals Gleaming in the Void. Until her sister's ascension, she had been favored to succeed Frozen Rivers of Sorrow, and still commanded no little power.
She had also been opposed to Tcho'zok Chek's effective banishment all those years ago, and he held many allies among her princely sons. This very meeting had come about at his instigation, and the alliance being discussed would allow Sunlight Through Amber an inroad into the politics of the western continent without endangering her relationships with the Queen Ashes on the Plains. And if successful, this gambit would serve to advance his own reputation in both courts.
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Erinys
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Erinys » Sat May 10, 2008 5:26 pm

Interesting characters! And a fine sense of the labyrinth of Hiver court politics. :D

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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Muzzy » Sun May 11, 2008 1:24 am

Erinys wrote:Interesting characters! And a fine sense of the labyrinth of Hiver court politics. :D

--Arinn


Dankeschön.

Hivers are my favorite race, not only because I like their playing style, but also because they fall into the fine region of being alien enough to be really interesting yet human enough to relate to. IMO, the Tarka are a bit too human to be really fascinating (although they're a little too close to forehead aliens for my taste), and the Liir are a bit too alien (but not by much. They straddle the border.)
I'd rather not end up inside a Zuul's head... for the moment.
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Muzzy » Wed May 21, 2008 3:42 pm

2411 Years Ago
Four Born Tcho'zok Chek stood by Sunlight Through Amber on the makeshift dais, along with her princely sons and consorts. He fought to maintain his composure, holding his wingcases ridged against the thrill of excitement that refused to settle. A duel between princesses. Such a thing was unheard of. Never had anything like this occurred in living memory. And yet there stood the princess Cutting Blades of the Fields and princess Moonlight on the Sands, poised to do battle.
Their hatred of each other was well known to Chek. Cutting Blades of the Fields despised Moonlight on the Sands because Moonlight on the Sands was the child of the deceased Frozen Rivers of Sorrow by a princely son of Thousand Amber Blades. Moonlight on the Sands despised Cutting Blades of the Fields because Cutting Blades of the Fields commanded a coalition that had managed to block her political advancement for the last century and a half.
Recently, the situation had taken a turn for the worse. Insults had been traded, accusations made, and it seemed that war was on the horizon.
Then both queens had intervened. This conflict would be settled by a duel. And Sunlight Through Amber would adjudicate. Because he was her consort.
His spies in the Queen's court had been panicked when they delivered her message to him through them. He had to suppress a grin. They were so shocked to learn that she knew exactly who they were and what they had been passing to him. He was her son and, in a previous life, her lover. She knew his mind almost better than he did. And she was the Queen. Of course she knew who the spies were in her court.
The Queens wanted this settled, once and for all. And they hoped his reputation would help finalize it.
As the first blows were struck, he leaned forward, along with everyone else in attendance, eager to witness the surreal beauty of a duel of the princesses.
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Slasher
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Slasher » Wed May 21, 2008 3:47 pm

Oooh, cat fight!
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The Magus
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by The Magus » Wed May 21, 2008 4:51 pm

I really enjoy reading these :) Please, keep it up!
The teacher cut in smoothly, "Yes, of course. SolForce never fails to remind us how necessary they are to our...'survival'. ... It amazes me that the human race ever managed to exist, before you lot came along."

Cai Rui smiled thinly. "What amazes me is how quickly the human race could cease to exist, if we were gone."

--The Deacon's Tale

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Erinys
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Erinys » Wed May 28, 2008 3:56 am

Slasher wrote:Oooh, cat fight!


Indeed. This level of hatred between females is nearly inconceivable among Hivers. Many Princesses despise one another and wish each other dead, and will plot and scheme quite ardently to assassinate one another by means both subtle and blatant--but hate must become a truly towering passion before a mother will risk a quick violent death for herself and a slow, suffering death for her entire clan, especially on a chancy encounter like single combat. Hatred of such magnitude is generally considered a luxury that only males can afford.

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Muzzy
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Muzzy » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:31 pm

2331 Years Ago
Four Born Tcho'zok Chek stared out upon seven hundred years of civilization burning. In the streets before the temple, the sons of a dozen motherless clans ran amok. Plague, the aftermath of civil war and the climate change caused by a massive impact on the southern continent, any one the civilizations of Loyal Sons Without Number could have survived. But all three at once?
The last communications from through all three continents had described similar chaos, before the communications lines had fallen silent. Reports of infected sons feasting on the flesh of the living and the dead matched the description. The flames of anarchy, fueled by the contaigen formerly restricted to the mountain regions and fanned by grief at the loss of so many mothers burned the world he had helped build to ash.
"Father, the trucks are ready and we've cleared a path. The Queen and her sisters are ready." Thrice Born Zockin stood at his right flanked by four heavy warriors, his carapace gleaming a deep purple in the light of the setting sun streaming in through the bombed out wall of the temple. He carried a heavy bolter.
Four Born Tcho'zok Chek hefted his flamethrower and headed down to the underground garage where the young Queen and the surviving princesses had gathered, surrounded by their surviving sons.
He turned suddenly, raising the nozzle of the flamethrower as three plague corrupted sons came over the temple's shattered western wall. They staggered and fell as his warrior escort opened fire with their bolters and flamethrowers. A twinge of pain passed through him as he noted that one of the corrupted fell into the light, revealing itself to bear the crimson carapace of one of his sons. Turning back to the tunnel, he headed down into the darkness as the last light of day sunk below the horizon, a look of grim determination covering his face.









(Yes, they are suffering from the Hiver version of the zombie apocalypse. 28 days later style Hiver zombies. And there have been hints that this was coming)
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Muzzy
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Re: Elevenfold Memories

Post by Muzzy » Sun Jul 13, 2008 1:25 am

1983 Years Ago

Five Born Metzo'zo Tcho'zok Chek stood in one of the partially rebuilt rooms of the ancient factory and surveyed the scene before him. To the east stretched a vast array of solar collectors. To the north and the west the ruins of the ancient capitol of the eastern continent was slowly being reclaimed by the children. A temporary base camp had been established in the ruins of the central hex, at the base of the broken temple.
The workers and warriors who worked day and night to restore this ancient center of the Queen's dominion were almost uniform in their coloration; the Sons Clad In Crimson. They had been sent to ready the city for the coming of his daughter, their sister, the princess Crowned and New Dawn, the first female to bear crimson chitin since the death of princess Blossoms of Blood and Fire.
He shuddered at the memory of his first mother. It had been nearly a thousand years since she had died on his blades, the first victim of the mountain-plague that had destroyed his world so recently. A thousand years of pain and bloodshed. He had already witnessed two generations of workers since the rebirth of the people, and for the first time, he felt hope for the future.



A coupla notes:
The cause of princess Blossoms of Blood and Fire's madness, the rebellion that claimed the life of Thousand Amber Blades, the rebellion of the southern continent and the zombie apocalypse that destroyed almost Hiver civilization on the planet were all found in a strain of microorganisms (which, incidentally, do not fall into any conventional terrestrial classification) which, when exposed to Hiver physiology have some rather interesting effects. Princesses exposed to the microorganisms develop an incomplete set of 'crown jewels' as well as extreme paranoia and megalomania. Later, a second strain appeared causing males of the breeding caste to develop some vestigial feminine sexual characteristics, while non-breeding caste males developed a level of violent dementia. This second strain, nominally restricted to a remote region of the southern continent where an isolated 'lost' clan lived. After an impact event that destroyed most of the hive, the second strain was spread throughout the world by the refugees. The outbreak might have been containable, save the for the panic caused by widespread crop failure as the climate changed. Civilization was already collapsing by the time the second strain began to spread in earnest.
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