Art from the story I wrote for Privateer Press

I love the game Warmachine and Hordes, so when I was asked if I wanted to write a story set in that world it was really a no brainer. This will be out in a few months, and I think you guys will really enjoy it. I had a great time writing it.

For those of you not familiar with the world, the fantasy race shown in this picture are the Skorne. They are a hyper-violent, ritualistic, traditional, caste society based on torture and slavery. Skorne have no gods. There is no Skorne heaven. All Skorne go to hell. And basically your one shot at salvation is proving yourself to be such an incredible badass that they’ll save your soul when you die to stick into an animated battle statue or a magical sword so that you can help your descendants kill better in the future. Skorne society is divided into a houses that continually strive against each other for dominance. Their magic system is based on pain, blood, and powered by the suffering of gigantic enslaved, enraged, war beasts.

So writing this was freaking awesome. :)

Instruments of War

20 Responses

  1. So, like what do these folks do for fun?

    • “So, like what do these folks do for fun?”

      They torture baby elephants…

      No. I’m not making that up. :)

    • “So, like what do these folks do for fun?”

      Oh, the usual. Watch gladiatorial contests of various natures, most of which end with the death of one or both contestants. Note that the contestants are not restricted to ‘man v man’ or ‘man v beast’, it’s entirely likely that the contests will be beast v beast. Betting on the outcomes of bloodsport is likely.

      Feud with each other, Afghan style (ie, company-scale engagements with heavy weapons). And bet on the outcomes if they aren’t in the feud.

      Wage war, betting on who takes the most heads, that kind of thing.

      You know, the things that civilized people did for fun back in the days of the Romans.

      “They torture baby elephants…”

      No, they do that for profit… Shame that PP doesn’t post the unit fluff online, the ‘baby elephant’ is … brutally clear, cold logic of why they do it. It might be the logic of a sociopath, but it does follow a logical path.

  2. They watch Twilight, unbearable pain ensues.

  3. That sounds awesome. I want a sword filled with my disturbed ancestors!

  4. the real question is how do they treat those stuck up snotty elves. Otherwise, the skorne sound like my kind of bad asses either to be or to killl becuase it would be one hell of a fight.

  5. Skorne ftl. Real Men serve Mother Khador!!! (I kid, I kid)

  6. “They are a hyper-violent, ritualistic, traditional, caste society based on torture and slavery. Skorne have no gods.”
    Does not compute. Ah, what the hell, it’s fantasy.

    • Oh, it computes. You’ll see. For a society with no gods, they are extremely devout. :)

    • People with OCD aren’t necessarily religious but they have their rituals. Ritualistic could just mean they have a particular way of doing things such as they can’t skin you alive if your unconscious as you might not suffer as much.

      Or like Larry just said we’ll see.

      I honestly can’t wait to read this.

    • While they have no gods, they do have an afterlife. A horrible, horrible afterlife of unending darkness and terror. Like Larry said, the best case scenario is avoidance of it completely, through having your soul stuffed in a stone.
      Their philosophy and ritual revolve around proving yourself worthy of stone-stuffing, and manipulation and use of those tormented souls not quite so lucky.

  7. So “damn you” is a compliment and “bless you” is an insult to them? I don’t know much about this universe but I’m totally picturing a paladin saving one of their souls before death to send them to heaven just to spite them as well as dishonor their entire family line.

    “We need some help flaying the neighboring tribe why not grab Shulla he looks big and tough” “Shulla!*spits on ground* that (insert native curse) his grandfather is in heaven the shame of it all”.

  8. They sound like the kind of neighbor that everyone eventually loses patience with, gangs up, and exterminates.

  9. So is there anything in your story that would either confirm or deny the rumors that Xerxis died and is going to be encased in a giant Ancestral Guardian wielding two huge tetsubo and still capable of controlling warbeasts?

  10. No good guys? :/

    • Let’s see here:

      among the industrialized nations you have an aggressive, expansionist regime; an aggressive religion that converts by the sword and the flame; a nation of undead and their human servants ruled by the big-daddy of all dragons (all dragons are utterly evil, I might add); a nation that instead of honoring a promise made to blood brothers of the king to secure the borders, chooses to pander to the nobles; and a loose alliance of cities kinda like Italy back in the 1800s, complete with mercenaries. The Dwarves are insular and pissed off that the expansionist empire is interfering with their trade; and the elves are convinced that the use of magic is killing their sole remaining living goddess.

      Among the non-industrialized nations, you have an entire tribe of winter elves that have been blighted by contact with a ‘lesser’ dragon, the torturers of baby elephants, a bunch of tree-hugging anarchists, and a group of tribes that have taken steps down the road paved with good intentions.

      No, not really any good guys.
      ===

      I cannot wait to read how Larry describes the Skorne.

    • Just remember. One of the most awesome things about being a writer is that even the bad guys think they are the good guys in their own story. :) So taking a group like the Skorne and telling their story from their own perspective is a fun challenge.

      • Ah…very good. Well, if anyone can, you can. I just finished listening to the first book, and I absolutely *loved* it. I thought you were going to let me down there at the end, but you came through for me ;) Game of Thrones did me in by killing off everyone I cared about–thanks for not, at least in this book ;) Just downloaded book 2–so. excited.

      • Like I said, can’t wait to read how you describe them. I’m just blessed/cursed with both the ability to read between the lines, and also the ability to follow the logic no matter how horrifying the end result (as long as there IS logic to follow).

  11. Where will this be available?

    -Scott

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