The Treeline

Colm Green wiped another drop of the incessant rain from the tip of his nose and shifted his heavy shoulder plates trying to get more comfortable. “No use” he muttered to himself as he looked over to Riggers who appeared to be unfazed by the down pour.

“You keep messin’ round like that and you’ll end up with a Widow Maker’s bullet between the eyes.”

The two trenchers sat in the rain watching the darkness that was the southern tip of the Thornwood. They were dug in no more than a hundred paces from the tree line, keeping watch over the hastily erected Cygnarian encampment behind them. The ground between their position and the treeline was littered with rocky out crops and felled trees, making sentry duty particularly difficult.

Colm was certain that something was out there, a flicker movement out of the corner of his eye or the sound of rustling trees, he was on edge and he knew it was getting to Riggers.

“Hey, Green, you wanna’ smoke” Colm looked at the soggy packet of cigarettes being offered by his grizzled comrade.

Shaking his head Colm denied the offer “They’ll kill you, you know that don’t you?”


Colm flew up from his position rifle ready.

“Put that damn thing away. You’ll be the one to kill me not these damn smokes!” Riggers whispered as he dragged Colm back into their foxhole.

Riggers added “Probably a hog or summat” lighting his cigarette.

Colm glanced back to the tree line then turned to Riggers “Go on th…”

Riggers face was blank stood over him was a dark-eyed Khadoran clad in furs, easily over six and half feet tall. As he retrieved his axe from the lifeless form of Riggers body Colm raised his rifle struggling to free the safety switch. With a cold-blooded coolness the feral looking manhunter dropped into the foxhole. The pair circled each other. Too close to use his rifle Colm drew his bayonet.

Without time to attach the long knife to the tip of the rifle he took a wild swing at his assailant. For all his hulking form the Khadoran moved with unnatural grace. He easily deflected Colms lunge with the first of his two axes and immediately swung the other in an over head arc. Crashing down on Colm’s shoulder plate he heard, as much as felt, his collar-bone snap.

Gritting his teeth against the pain Colm put all his weight his knife thrusting for the manhunters exposed chest. Again the Khadoran deflected the blow allowing Colm to pass by him he struck out at the Cygnarians back. The blow hit home but without force.

As he sprawled against the rough walls of the dug out Colm scrambled to get as far away from the menace behind him.

With a thud Colm fell out of the fox hole, suddenly disoriented. He saw smoke, and what must have been the encampment, in the distance. With all the speed he could muster he dashed for safety. It wasn’t until Colm could no longer feel rain beating down upon his battered form that he realised he was in the Thornwood forest.

Colm could feel the temperature dropping and his movements became even more laboured. Turning to get his bearings he faced a woman in drab grey armour wielding a massive spiked hammer.

“Hello my dear, how very nice of you to join us.” Her Khadoran accent was thick with a playful tone.

Colm tried to turn and run but his limbs felt frozen and would not respond, even to defend himself against the wicked hammer blow that shattered his upper body. All that remained were his legs frozen solid.

Forward Kommander Sorsha Kratikoff turned to the Khadoran assault force and issued her commands.

“Grigorovich lead the Winter Guard to the flank.

“We will assault this encampment before the sunrises on the blood of the southerners.”

Well that’s my short story to introduce my Manhunter, and here he is…

Sorry the pictures aren’t too good.

Let me know what you think, both the story and the painting.

Thanks for reading.

    • sath
    • November 6th, 2009

    Brilliant stuff with the story 🙂
    The work on the Manhunter’s skin is about right in my eyes, skin is something I’m woefully rubbish at painting v.v

    • neal
    • November 7th, 2009

    Great read bud, proof read an hour or more after writing, or even better – get someone else to proof read before hand to check flow etc. This story builds up character really well – its a shame the characters get wasted 😮

    Lets have somore more of this soon.

    ps – Lucky win for you tonight!

    • Ethan
    • April 2nd, 2014

    Great story but sorsha is actually really reserved at this stage in her life, she is very cold an professional and doesn’t even name her jacks’

    just a bit of constructive criticism but good work

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