Tork yanked on the shoulder straps to ensure the steel backpack could not shift once Caustor ignited the fuel that would spray from the nozzles along the bottom. He checked the flame rifle again and found specks of grit near the trigger. As he turned to take it inside the shop for cleaning Caustor pulled the weapon from his hands.
“It’s fine,” he said. “If it doesn’t work, I’ll swing it like a hammer. Seems heavy enough.”
“If it doesn’t work,” Tork said, “you’ll be too busy screaming and burning alive.” He’d grown to almost like the flameless Pyromancer over the previous days as they worked to tailor the weapon system to Caustor’s shape and movements. Continue reading Steampunk Part 3
Far to the east on the fringe of dead forest below Grimm’s Crossing, a line of Legion soldiers stood shoulder-to-shoulder, their swords, spears, axes and hammers ready behind overlapping shields. To their rear civilians scurried about a tiny, shabby settlement, some fool’s suicidal idea to occupy the no-man’s-land between Caldavar and Hell’s Keep in an attempt to force the daemons to retreat. Continue reading Steampunk Part 2
The open doors and windows of Tork’s workshop glowed deep into the night. His journeymen and apprentices brought their meals and bedrolls, though they did not plan on using the latter. Smoke billowed from the chimneys and the sound of hammers and blades on steel echoed, along with the occasional curse as a bolt slipped or a finger was crushed. Continue reading Steampunk Part 1
The pale body lay within a soiled cloak under a busy swarm of flies. The family of vegetable merchants who had found it in the roadside ditch near the City of Iron sat in their open wagon, the father insisting his wife and children keep their eyes away from the corpse. Against his own advice he mustered furtive glances to make sure it did not stir with daemonic life.
He knew not how the man had died. The body wore the armor of a Legion foot soldier, but if his soul had been replaced with a Hellbourne seed that began to grow, the merchant would see how fast his sway-backed mule could pull. If it were up to him, he’d get a fire going and the body would be ash before nightfall. The dead could no longer be trusted to stay so. Continue reading Steampunk Prologue
Even though the lamp of the Nine Kings of the Great Waste no longer held him, Salomon still felt the fetters of imprisonment. He only remained free of the lamp as long as Ophelia and the Legion desired it.
Who would call that free? Continue reading Salomon’s Revenge
Yanluo Wang waited at the base of the Sang-La Mountains in the mouth of a dark cave. A cave which, with the correct spells and a day’s travel, led to the upper levels of Diyu. He missed the darkness and despair of the realm he ruled. The mountains towering above his sedan chair bored him; they were plain compared to the slopes of knives his sinners had to climb, again and again, their bodies healing once they reached the top so they could shed fresh blood on the way back down.
“Be still!” His minions stopped shifting beneath his sedan chair. Before him the valley descended toward the vast canopy of the Forest of Caldavar, which stretched as far as he could see. Bird songs and animal calls erupted from the trees constantly, despite his commands for silence. At one point he heard the scream of a dying creature, which cheered him slightly, but it was no replacement for the moans and shrieks of Diyu. Continue reading Beyond the Sang-La Mountains 6: The Battle Begins