An Assassin’s Tail
By Geoff Sheehan
Kersh, the Clan Eshin
Assassin, slipped past the sleeping guard, who was dozing quietly
against the haft of his spear. He had been successful so far and
he had found no difficulties in penetrating the Empire camp. In
the distance, he could see a flag flying on a tent, signifying
it as the tent of the enemy General. His beady eyes narrowed as
he paced onwards. His furred hand gripped the weeping blade tightly
as he heard voices ahead. He had just passed the outer perimeter
guard and knew that the guards would only be present in patrols
of two in the main camp, as was standard with the armies of the
manlings. Kersh moved forward cautiously towards the only such
patrol in view. He took the first with a throwing star, and as
he went down, his weeping blade found the gullet of the other.
The guard slumped to the ground beside his fallen comrade. Kersh
grinned evilly as he stepped over the corpses.
The Clan Eshin fiend made his way through
the camp. As he was passing a tent, a man emerged and almost walked
into him. In a lightning quick movement, Kersh’s blade lashed
out, cutting the mans throat before he could scream. He gurgled
as he fell to the earth clutching his neck. Kersh concentrated
on his goal once more and set off for the General’s tent. He arrived
at it and peeked around the stone he was hiding behind. There
were two guards, in full armour with halberds. One was asleep
and the other was staring intently forward. Kersh’s hand drifted
to his belt and removed two throwing stars.
watched in front of him, looking for anyone approaching. He glanced
sideways at his fellow guard. Jonas could never handle the night
watch without falling asleep. He decided to let him rest, for
tomorrow they were facing the skaven horde. The Skaven had unified
under some warlord and were becoming bolder, attacking isolated
villages and harassing farmers. General Heimlich had been sent
to stamp out the Skaven threat. Gareth turned. He thought he heard
something to his left. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw a
glitter and, reacting to the possible danger, he dived to the
ground. A dull thud came from behind him and he turned over to
see Jonas grasping his chest, an absolute look of confusion on
his face. Blood trickled down his breastplate as he fell to the
"Guards!" yelled Gareth.
Curses! thought Kersh. How had the
human seen his throwing star? He had no time to ponder that at
the moment and he leapt forward to complete his finish his job
before the area was swarming with soldiers. His first target was
the second guard. With a weeping blade in each hand, he made for
the guard who was now facing him, his halberd held in front of
him. Kersh could hear others shouting and running to his aid.
Time to leave, he thought. But first…the guard lunged at him.
In a trained move he ducked and rolled towards the guard, coming
up with his weeping blade and ramming it into the weak human’s
midriff. He didn’t even stop to see his foe go down but whirled
around to find himself face to face with General Heimlich. Kersh’s
arm whipped out and his other blade screamed through the air before
piercing the General’s heart. He grunted in satisfaction and turned
to face the oncoming guards.
A group of three soldiers were the
first to arrive and Kersh readied three throwing stars in his
clawed paw at once. As they turned into the torchlit clearance,
he whisked them at his assailants. Two missed but the other took
one of the soldiers in the eye. The other two stopped dead in
their tracks as their compatriot screamed in pain. Kersh used
this moment of hesitancy to run full pace at the soldiers before
somersaulting over their heads. The astonished men turned and
Kersh’s paws moved in a blur. He caught the first one with a swift
blow to the windpipe and the other with a heavy kick to the groin.
Both men went down and Kersh spun around in his black cloak and
sprinted away into the night’s eerie shadows. Hmm. Six guards
and the enemy general killed in one night and Kersh had still
to report to the new warlord of these parts for orders. He was
glad he had decided to go the long way now.