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Kill this Thread

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Philip Overby, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Nihal

    Nihal Vala

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    Wait, does that means that this thread is some sort of time machine? Can we text people in the past?!
     
  2. Jabrosky

    Jabrosky Banned

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    The OP did say we could post stories in this thread, so here's the first of two planned scenes from a short historical fiction featuring Attila the Hun. This was the story I was talking about in my recent lactose intolerance thread in Research.

    Fatal Delivery

    Constantinople, 453 AD


    The smell of freshly baked bread wafted between the palace's columned archways. Stylian wrinkled his nose. He would have welcomed the aroma earlier at dinnertime, but the evening had already passed with his stomach full. Except for oil lamps flickering from scattered stands, midnight darkness shrouded the hallways he passed through. No one should have even been awake, let alone cooking anything, at such an hour.

    Stylian hovered a sweaty hand over his sheathed gladius's hilt. A lifetime of service in the Eastern Roman forces had bronzed his skin, scarred his hooked nose, and earned him a general's iron breastplate. Even as his hair faded from black to gray, his muscles had kept their bulging firmness. A man of such enduring strength, needed more in these times than ever before, would make the best candidate for the Emperor's successor. Hopefully the Emperor himself had brought Stylian here for that purpose. But why so late, and what was with the smell of bread?

    The last hallway Stylian marched through opened into an octagonal chamber crowned with a domed ceiling. A platform in the room's easternmost side supported the throne on which Emperor Marcian himself lounged, fidgeting with a gold wine-cup. The chamber's opposite side was shrouded in complete darkness, but Stylian could have sworn to have seen a tongue of red cloth waving within it. He tapped his sword's hilt with his fingers.

    "There's no need to be so anxious, my favorite commander." Marcian leaned forward from his throne with a smile across his wrinkled face.

    "In my defense, you could have picked a sunnier time of day for this," Stylian said. "This better be important, Your Imperial Majesty."

    "I assure you that it's nothing less than saving the light of civilization itself. I trust you have been following the reports on Attila's movements, yes?"

    "Last I heard, the Huns were bound for Rome in the West. Surely they can't be a threat to us anymore."

    Marcian shook his head. "You couldn't be more wrong. Ever since you last heard, they've galloped back to our borders along the Danube. The summer won't arrive this year before the Scourge of God bangs on Constantinople's door itself!"

    "I'd sooner wash my blade in his blood before he even raises his hand!" Stylian pounded a fist into his palm.

    "I admire your enthusiasm, my general, but I didn't bring you here to announce another campaign. At least not the kind you're used to." Marcian stood up and made a beckoning gesture with his hand, but he was facing the dark area of the room behind Stylian. "I've decided we won't vanquish the Hunnic foe with cold steel alone, but by putting a warmer weapon into him."

    From the darkness strode a man cloaked in dark red, carrying a large and flat wooden chest in his arms. The smell of bread flowed stronger than before from the chest as he passed Stylian.

    "A warm and tasty weapon, that is," the cloaked man said. "Call me Petronas, the Milkman."

    Stylian snickered. "I suppose a humble mantle is the cleverest disguise."

    "More like the most fitting for my line of work. The profession I represent goes further back than you can imagine. It was ancient beyond years when Julius Caesar was still in his womb, and it survives even after the West and East have split. And during all that time, we have performed one role that has set the course of history."

    Petronas pulled the chest's lid open. A thick disc of flatbread blanketed with melted cheese stretched across its interior. The warmth radiating from it, together with the pleasing smell, made Stylian's mouth melt inside.

    "Melted cheese on flatbread," he said. "A most inventive and appetizing recipe, I'll admit. But how could it possibly set the course of history?"

    "All our service has its roots in a certain observation, my general." Petronas tapped the cheeese with a finger. "You know not all men can digest foods made from milk, but what we Milkmen have noted is that the ability to consume milk is not evenly distributed across the world. Some nations of men can stomach it more than others. The pale barbarians of the north, like Celts and Germans, can enjoy it even more than we of Roman descent can. On the other hand, the dark-skinned peoples of the south have more difficulty. Hannibal of Carthage and the Egyptian Cleopatra were among these, which we Milkmen used to our advantage with this very recipe."

    "You poisoned them with cheese on flatbread? I thought they both committed suicide."

    "You can't believe everything the historians tell you," Marcian said. "They only tell the stories the powers that be want them to tell."

    Petronas nodded. "Indeed, we still have the orders for their elimination archived. Mind you, there are certain southerners who can digest milk unlike the rest. But one race with even less tolerance for it than the southerners are the narrow-eyed men of the most distant east. It so happens that Attila and all his Huns descend from that very stock."

    Stylian grinned. "I can figure out what you're planning. You want to poison Attila with your special dish." He laughed. "A dish that can kill Huns but not Romans. What brilliance!"

    "Technically milk indigestion can't kill anyone by itself. It only renders them weak and vulnerable for the killing."

    "Which is why I've brought you here, Stylian," Marcian said. "You've still got most of your youthful strength. What you have to do is deliver these flatbreads to Attila's camp. Once his men have a taste of them, you and your forces can finish them off once the effects set in."

    "So we can wipe them all out with barely a fight," Stylian said. "I like that. But wouldn't Attila be suspicious of tribute from us? You did cut off tribute from him before."

    "Trust me, barbarian warlords always crave tribute sooner or later. If anything, Attila plans to force it from us himself." Marcian rose from his throne to pat a hand on Stylian's shoulder. "You need not worry about anything, Stylian. Just do as you're told and you can come home a hero."

    "Not that we plan to disclose it openly," Petronas said. "We Milkmen must remain unknown for our service to persist. It shall be told that Attila died of, let's say, a nosebleed from too much drinking."

    Stylian shrugged. So much for parading down the streets of Constantinople with gold medals studding his breastplate. "I suppose it'll be a private glory for me then, but the light of civilization must flicker on. I'll do it."
     
  3. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    Yes indeed. In fact, I have several historical figures following me on Twitter.
     
  4. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    Can I use a crossbow to kill this thread? Or must I get close enough to engage it in an honorable duel?
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    You can try to use a crossbow to kill the thread. This thread has a really good armor class.
     
  6. Reaver

    Reaver Kwisatz Haderach Moderator

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    But what if I roll a natural 20 and I use the famed Crossbow of the Divine Cat?
     
  7. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    Was this thread ever truly dead?

    DOES IT MATTER? NO! IT LIVES! IT'S ALIVE!!!

    (At least until it dies again.)
     
    Devor likes this.
  8. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    I think I might throw holy water on it.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  9. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    You resurrected the ancient one Sparkie. The gigantic corpse of a thread that blossomed in a bygone time. We shall see if this is a good or a bad thing, but it is certainly a thing.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  10. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    What is dead may never die!
     
  11. I hate kittens.
     
  12. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    I sadly must now hate Brian. My honor demands it.
     
  13. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    But they taste so good! I mean, come on, kitten steak doused in bourbon, what could be better than that?
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  14. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    All of that, but with added mushroom sauce.
     
    Devor likes this.
  15. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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    A zombie thread attack!

    And it took a Sparkie to get things going again.
     
    Sparkie likes this.
  16. NOOOO! Not the kittens!

    A Kitten Apocalypse causes the thread to be overrun!
     
  17. Kittens are cats only dumber, and cats suck.
     
  18. Holman

    Holman Minstrel

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    Kittens are far from dumb - their cuteness is a weapon that they use to steal your soul. While cats are just waiting for the opportunity to eat your face.
     
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  19. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    Whatever you do, don't give them one!
     
  20. Indeed, you should never have a cat because they are portals to hell itself.
     
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