The Alternative Armies Blog

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Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Harringtorc Parte the First a Flintloque tale by Christian Cuello

Welcome to the initial offering in a short series of Flintloque fan faction concerning the campaigning of Lieutenant Harringtorc of the Albion Army.  Written by Christian Ceullo we and he hope that you enjoy this story and there will be more to come which will also be published for free on our blog.  The artwork in this article was drawn by Valonian artist Edward Jackson.  If you are looking for a miniature to match Harringtorc then we suggest an officer on foot from the 54506 Orc Command set.  Enjoy and I know that I did! GBS


It was a fine day, the finest the Lieutenant Harringtorc had seen for a long time during this arduous campaign in the Catalucian Peninsula. Yes, Sentinel knows, it had been difficult. But today was a day for victory! He took in a deep breath, the air a bouquet of fragrant pine, a waft of salty ocean spray, with an unmistakable note of blackpowder and grease.

Aye, a day for victory indeed.

‘Arry.

Harringtorc’s men stood behind him at attention, with the kind of discipline that would make any drill sergeant weep with pride. The men loved their Captain. “Harry” they called him, and he could hear them gently address him as he passed them for inspection. He had brought them glory in the name of Kyng George, and in return they gave him their undying loyalty. Fine men every one; their buttons and tusks gleaming in the rays of the early morning sun. It was enough to put the fear of the Almighty into any of Mordred’s troops.

He rubbed at a sudden pain in his side, took in another deep breath and cleared his throat ready to address his platoon.

“Ahem. Men – ow!”

He rubbed his side again.

‘Arry.

There was a sudden change in the air, the sweet fragrance of the forest, the sea, and the glory of battle was replaced with an unmistakable, foetid odour that could only mean one thing.

‘Arry!

He felt himself floating away from the scene before him, his troops standing stock still, the campfire and perfectly ordered tents, each moment smaller and smaller.

He slowly opened his eyes: it was not a beautiful day dawning, but the slow realisation that he had been dreaming.

“’Arry – it’s time.” The rancid stench of Rotter’s breath was enough to bring him back to reality. As Harry’s eyes adjusted to the scene around him, his memory filled in the rest.

They had been trekking through the Catalucian wilderness for days with some local guides on what was slowly revealing itself to be a particularly awful assignment. 

It had all sounded grand from the outset, it was finally a chance for Harrington to leave the safety of the Horse Guards and prove his mettle on the field. Younger than most officers, he was typically the butt of jokes about his protective uncle, a senior officer who had taken him in at his mother’s wishes to protect him from the worst of the Mordredian Wars.

What seemed at first to be a mission of the highest secrecy revealed itself to be little more than a jaunt to a Catalucian backwater to meet a probably useless informant nestled in the forests and mountains of Gallaecia.

He couldn’t have been further from the battle if he had stayed at Horse Guards.

“Yes, yes, Rotter – but couldn’t you have let me sleep just a few moments longer?”

Harry swore he heard Rotter mutter something under his breath about a spoilt brat as he shuffled out of the small round stone hut and into the misty morning rain.

“And was the kick necessary?!” Harry rubbed his side again.

This was a curious land.

The port city of Vigore that received them was indeed beautiful, with sights and sounds unfamiliar but at the same time known to a deeper part of Harry’s soul, like a memory. Under Rotter’s watchful eye they entered the city by night on a smuggler’s ship, daring to continue plying their trade despite Mordred’s blockade on commerce across the sea. 

With a clink of gold the captain was paid off, and with another so were the port officials. Taking numerous back alleys, and avoiding occasional Ferach patrols, now lazy with confidence of their supremacy over the port city, they reached a small, comfortable tavern with surprising ease. Harry’s heart pounded in his chest with excitement and terror all the same. 

They took a corner table and Rotter soon disappeared, leaving Harry awkwardly on his own. Moments later he’d forgotten the imminent danger as he delightfully sampled local food and wine, stumbling through conversations with the locals in what he knew of Catalucian (although their local dialect was almost lost on him), and let the local musicians entertain him with their curious music. In this part of Catalucia the music had a lilt that reminded him of home, rather than the fiery and altogether foreign sounds of the South.

Just as he was considering turning in for the night, Rotter appeared at his side, this time with a companion, an elf named Bieito. After a brief introduction they left the tavern and meandered through the city streets, finally leaving Vigore in the small hours.

That was days ago now.

He blearily looked around at his surroundings. The primitive huts that had offered shelter were very curious. The locals called them castros, reminding him of the ancient brochs he saw as an Orcling on a trip to Joccia with his father before he disappeared on one of his expeditions many years ago. The locals had explained that these dwellings had been built during the Darke Ages, but they did not know by whom. Mostly abandoned, they were used as shelter for travellers and bandits alike.

Harry picked up a small stone that had fallen from the ancient stacked stone walls, placed it in his pocket as a souvenir and skipped ahead in the drizzling rain to catch up with Rotter.

There was a brief commotion close by, and as Harry stepped forward to get a clearer view, Rotter’s surprisingly strong grip held him back. Harry’s short time in Catalucia made it difficult to tell when Dark Elves were enjoying a regular conversation or arguing, as both sounded the same to him. But from his vantage point the mob of rough-looking Elves, along with obvious disregard for concealing their collection of swords, knives, pistols, and occasional crossbow, were likely in for the latter.

Bieito gestured forcibly, occasionally flicking an upturned hand in the direction of the Orcs and then back to the leader of the small band.

The leader turned slowly to consider the Orcs. He held up a hand which caused Bieto to pause his rant, and turned his grizzled face to the pair. He was not a young elf, his long, dark hair tied up but greying at the sides in a way that aged the elf handsomely. The way his travel-worn clothes clung to him as he swaggered towards the Orcs with the rhythmic tinkle of concealed blades made Harry’s eyes roll.

In one fluid motion he snatched a sword from one his ruffians, and sent it sailing in a clean arc towards Harry. As the crude blade’s point embedded itself in the ground, he drew his own blade: the challenge was clear.

Harry took a confident step forward towards the blade, and again, Rotter’s steely grip held him back.

“‘Arry... are you sure?”

Harry took another step forward and drew the blade from the ground. He gave it a quick slash in the air to test its weight. Although young, but he was surprisingly  gifted with a sword, and he knew it.

“Well, it’s no sabre, but it will do.” 

With a wink, he turned to face his opponent.

“En garde!”

54506 Orc Command Set

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