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Library: 639 Barbarian Brothers

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Author: Runeaxe
Date:Dec 5 2002

639 Barbarian Brothers.

We were outside the enemy encampent waiting in the brush. Kraak kept
asking me why we didn't just go for the kill, but a barbarian must 
also know when to strike, though his determination was admirable.
Soon enough our, or at least my, patience paid off. The nearby guard
left momentarily as nature called. We raged against the heart of 
the encampment and before anyone noticed us our barbaric 
battlecry shattered their hearts.

The blood smeared all over our bludgeons. The lamentations of our
enemies but encouraged us more. In minutes they were dead or
miles away running for their dear lifes. At this point we usually
burned everything up and picked up everything of worth left in 
the rubble; but today was different. Even though as barbarians
we expected nothing but victory, it had all seemed too easy.
We had been faced with two higher ranking warrior priests from
the order and at least eight of their elite guard. There was something
rotten about it all, and it wasn't just my barbaric smell.

Kraak was searching some tents whilst I surveyed the surroundings.
I was just about to return when I heard Kraak's voice exclaiming
'FOR GROO!' - battle was about. As I returned to the encampment
Kraak was held down on the ground by three flesh golems, who 
just barely managed to hold him still. In front of him stood
a man in a dark robe which beared the three circles of the order.
The robed man turned around and clapped with obnoxious glee, as 
if he had been aware of my presence. From behind I was suddenly
grappled by two larger stone golems, impervious to any of my physical 
attacks.

We had been captured - alive. I know of no worse fate for a barbarian.
We had been caged on a carridge for three days now, travelling along
the road to Syvien, the heart of the order, which was now peeking up
beyond the horizon. Why did they go through all that trouble to capture 
us alive? I had a feeling I was to be served with all the answers soon, 
just before my impending doom.

The wheels of the carridge stopped their loud creaking and were brought
to a halt. We had arrived. I woke Kraak who was fast asleep. We looked
around us and saw the troops within this establishment of religious 
fanatics. Dozens of troops moving around the courtyard on their morning
marches, dark warrior priests levitating in meditation, labouring golems
supervised by arch priests. We had been aware of the order's numbers before,
but never had we seen this many at one time. They opened the cage and bagged
our heads with black sacks. We were escorted inside a building and down
some stone stairs, where they finally unveiled our heads. Before me was
a known face. He had been in carvan transporting alchemist organs 
we raided months earlier, unfortunetly he had escaped with some magic.

- I know you coward. Why have you brought us here. Kill us now or I'll
  have you dead before nightfall.

- How quaint. Completely overpowered and still making threats. You are
  partly right about one thing, though. One of you will die. I shall
  only require one specimen. Disembowl the skinnier one.

One of the guard's moved towards Kraak to shove his sword in his belly.
I tried to free myself in rage, but in vain. Kraak laid on the floor
with his guts dripping out.

- You are dead priest, DEAD! You shall die even at the cost of my life!

- Oh but I want you alive, and I am not at all a priest. I am an 
  alchemist who sympathizes with the order. More specifically
  I am an alchemist specializing in cloning - cloning living 
  beings.

- Spare me your life's story and get to the point alchemist.

- As you wish barbarian. You see, you and your kind have been quite
  the thorn to our order. Even though our position in these lands
  is undisputed, we can't seem to get rid of you. Sitting down one
  night it came to me. To kill a barbarian you need a barbarian.
  This is where the cloning and you come in my friend. You are one
  of the finest in your tribe, and if we had hundreds, maybe thousands
  of you with your skills and abilities, the barbarians of these lands
  would soon be history.

- An army of me fighting for you? You're mad. A barbarian, I, would never
  fight for the order.

- Ah, but personalities can be tamed, nurtured and molded into whatever
  I wish. But let us not waste more time. Sedate the prisoner.

In a second i felt a sharp object hitting me in the back of my head and
all went black.

My eyelids felt heavy and it took me some time to open my eyes. It felt
as if I had been asleep for days. I was chained to a wall. Before me I saw 
the alchemist tinkering over a table with intriquite equipement and various
meats, organs I suppose. He glanced at me momentarily first and then faced me.

- Aah. You're awake. You've slept like a baby for eight days. In this time
  all the priests and various casters of Syvien have been hard at work
  depleting their mana - creating clones of you. I can proudly say that
  you now have 639 brothers, all obeying the order.

I wanted to mouth him off some, but I was too tired to speak. I feared
what would happen when he unleashed those killing machines upon my tribe.
Usually nothing can defeat my tribe when they gather and horde, but what
happens when they are faced with another barbarian horde of superiour 
numbers. The alchemist put his instruments aside and spoke once again.

- I shall leave you now here to contemplate as your tribe is about to
  meet its final demise. Good bye barbarian, and try not to do your
  natural needs while hanging there.

The alchemist left. Hours passed and I felt my strength returning.
As I peered over my right shoulder the bolts in the wall for the chain 
holding my right arm seemed loose. I pulled a little and saw them loosening
further. I gave it a rapid jerk and the whole thing came falling down.
With one of my arms free I was soon liberated with one thing on my mind,
vengence.

I had managed to sneak into the courtyard and up along the walls without being
noticed, but I was going to need a weapon real soon. Luckily one of the guards
watching over the grounds outside the castle had a mace. His neck snapped 
easily and his body fell 16 meters down outside the castle walls. As I raised
my sight I noticed the massive army outside the castle, and it looked like
639 impersonifications of me. Somehow I needed to infiltrate them on their
campaign, so I could destroy them from within. My barbarian wits were not
that sharp, as I didn't immediately know how to infiltrate an army which 
looked just like me. Maybe that would work in my favour, since they were
clones of me.

A killing and a costume change later the army now had a new addition bringing
the total up to 640. I was not sure how to proceed. Should I march with the 
army for days or do some brainless stunt now. I did as Kraak would've done.
I decided to get the attention of my brothers by smashing in the head of the
nearest commander of the order, whereafter I gave an unprepared speech.

- LISTEN! YOU DO NOT BELONG TO THE ORDER! YOU DO NOT SERVE ANY ORDER OR MAN!
  YOU ARE BARBARIANS!

The crowd was hardly moved in any way, though they did not take any hostile
action against me even though I had slaughtered one of the commanders.
Troops which were not my clones were now on their way towards me through the
crowd. It seemed like the end, but I was going to go out with a fight. 
As the first soldiers came my clones had formed a circle around me, watching
me in pure facination. I slaughtered the first few soldiers with relative 
ease; crushing their skulls as melons. Numerous more soldiers progressed
against the slaughterhouse that was me. With every crack, with every
neck snap, with every death scream my clones seemed to get more excited.
A sparkle was lit in their eyes and they were getting agitated.
As I sent a few more soldiers to their maker one of my clones suddenly
joined me and fought as ferociously as me. In a matter of seconds
the rest were on my side. I had awakened their barbaric ways. 
I realized my moment had come and I siezed it.

- FOR GROO! KILL THEM! KILL THEM ALL!

The elite guards, warrior priests and all the other soldiers fell like
a house of cards when my barbarian horde delivered my retribution.
The various powerful casters of the order were defenseless. They had 
depleted their mana cloning their army, which was now mine, and they 
couldn't even flee with their cowardly teleportation spells. Within the 
hours that followed the order was mostly decimated. I'm sure it all held
some blatantly obvious irony, but I had a bone to pick with a certain
alchemist. Sure enough I found him hiding in some room within the temple.

- So alchemist. It seems my 639 brothers were more than you bargained for.
  
He was about to say something, but I didn't let him as my mace crushed
his windpipe. I left him on the ground for a while whilst he tried desperately
to get some air.

- You should've known you cannot tame the soul of a barbarian. 

I watched him squeel and curl up on the floor for a while, and then moved
in for the kill. I felt the surge of my barbaric ways take over me as I 
raised my bloody mace above his body. With my battle sense at its peak I 
struck down and pounded him into oblivion. Vengence surely is the best
motivator.


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