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 Post subject: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 5:03 pm 
Crucible King
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I have one chapter left to write in "The Western War," the second volume in my alternate history epic. Before I start the third volume of that series, I will write this historical science fiction for a while: Swashbuckle! It will be set in the 1700's and with an Austrian main character: Samuel Kleinheinz, of the Holy Roman Imperial Army. This will NOT be a Pirates of the Caribbean look-a-like. I hope it will be original and interesting, and keep everyone here reading. :)

CHAPTER ONE

Battle of Banja Luka, in Bosnia, during the Russo-Austrian-Turkish War in the year 1737...

"Vorwärts! Zerstöre die Türken!"

The white-clad Austrian line infantry advanced across the hilly field, rifles pointed forward, bayonets glistening.

Tatatatatatatatatatat.

"Für Österreich!"

"Halten Sie die Linien gerade!"

The white line of huge, gun-toting men adjusted the line of battle and marched on. Officers on horseback rode here and there, trying to make sure the men kept the formation.

The Turkish soldiers stayed where they were, roaring various Muslim battle cries. "Allah büyüktür! Allah sadece tanrı ve Muhammad onun elçisidir!"

The two lines of men met.

"Ateş!" The Muslims fired a musket volley.

"Feuer!" The Austrians, reeling from the Turkish volley, returned fire.

Dozens of men screamed in horror and agony as the musket balls made thudding noises into the flesh of the feuding Christians and Muslims.

Samuel Kleinheinz, a captain of the Holy Roman Army, raised his sword in the air and paced behind his regiment, hurling curses at the Turks and slapping his men on the backs. The cockade in his tri-cornered showed he was a captain, but it also made him an obvious target. Musket balls whizzed past his head and chest. One nicked his leg, but his white gaiter over his shoe and stocking took the blow. Seconds later, the drummer and the standard-bearer were killed. Samuel rushed over, picked up the Holy Roman flag, and handed it to another soldier. As he tried to help the wounded young drummer boy to his feet, a bullet shot off his tri-corne. He assisted the drummer onto a stretcher and started back to the front line. A hussar wearing a green coat and a busby hat rode up to him and told him to order the men to charge the Turkish infantry.

"Grand Vizier Hekimoğlu Ali Pasha is calling up his artillery. If they get that up before we can wipe the ground troops out, we will be doomed. General Lukas asks you to charge head on immediately. Break them, Captain! Now!" The cavalryman saluted and rode off.

Samuel returned to his men. Waving his sword, he shouted the order to charge.

The men cheered "Hurra! Hurra! Hurra!" and charged forth, bayonets pointed straight out like a phalanx of Greek pikemen. Samuel led the charge, his powdered hair sticking to his forehead as sweat poured off of him. Bullets hit the ground all around him, but he was unharmed. He readied his sword and he and his men crashed into the Turks. It was chaos. Samuel ran his rapier through one turban-wearing Nizam I Cedit soldier, twirled the sword between his fingers, and then injected it backwards into the man behind him. He waved his sword over his head and kicked another attacker in the chest, which sent the man flying backwards onto the tips of his friends' own bayonets. As Samuel beheaded another man, a Muslim carrying a huge straight sword rushed at him. The man sported armor and wore a pointed helmet and chainmail. Samuel instantly whipped out his flintlock pistol from his sash and shot the man right between the eyes. The huge Ottoman collapsed with a loud bang as his armored body hit the ground. Samuel led his men forward again, beating back the Turks. It was vicious. Blood spluttered everywhere, men with missing limbs or a bayonet lodged in the chest moaned in agony, and wounded men were trying to withdraw from the conflict.

Just as the Turks looked ready to retreat, a huge group of Wallachian Boyars, fez-wearing light horse, charged the Austrian right flank, scything down the Holy Romans like hay. Samuel knew what was going to happen. "Withdraw! Withdraw! Withdraw! Retreat! Come on! They have cavalry!"

The men screamed and cursed as they dropped their weapons and fled. The Austrian generals and officers were horrified as the Turks gave chase, wiping out huge numbers of the Christian soldiers. The commanders deployed their own small cavalry force, the Hungarian Hussars. They charged straight-on at the Wallachian horsemen, and met them in hand-to-hand combat, using swords and pistols.

Then the Turkish artillery finally opened fire. Men running beside Samuel were turned into pulp as dozens of cannonballs hit the ground.

"Organ guns!" cried a terrified trooper. The organ guns were deadly, rapid-firing, multi-barreled Turkish cannons. One of them could do the work of six cannons. The Austrians were finished, and they knew it.

Cheering "Allah has given us victory!" the Turks raced across the open field, sporadically firing their muskets.

Samuel and many of the men ran into the woods, hoping that the Turks would not bother following. But the Turks did. In the woods, it was almost impossible to get your bearings. Austrians physically ran into Turks. Daggers were drawn and fists were used. Carnage, utter carnage.

Samuel used the butt of his pistol to hammer a Turk in the skull and his knife to gut another. He grabbed a heavily-ornate musket from one of them and fired into another. He reloaded his pistol, a tedious process, and fired blindly behind him, wounding one in the gut. He threw the pistol away and turned to face another attacker. He inserted the bayonet into the mans throat, where it became stuck. He squeezed the trigger and blasted the dead man's head, freeing the blade. He stabbed two more and turned and fled again. He ran into a stream with a few dozen other Austrians, and the Turks started to shoot them like fish in a barrel. Somehow, Samuel dodged all of them and made it to the opposite bank. The Boyar horsemen crossed the lake, hunting them down like the King of England on a foxhunt. One Wallachian charged up behind Samuel and hit him in the head with the guard of his cutlass. Samuel lost consciousness and collapsed. Before the Boyar could finish him off, a musket ball went through his fez and he fell off his horse.

Later...

Samuel opened his eyes. It was almost dark. He inspected himself and found he was not seriously injured. He slowly stood up and looked around. Dead Holy Romans were sprawled all over the banks, and bodies of horses and men floated slowly down the body of water. The dead Boyar was at his feet, a pool of blood on the sand under his head. He took the man's weapons and gear and mounted the Wallachian's horse, which had been lazily chewing grass, as if nothing had even happened. Samuel spurred the horse forward and he took off down the bank of the river. He tried to get a feel of wear he was, and looked for landmarks. He saw a bridge. Right as he prepared to run over onto the bridge and try to get back into Austrian territory, he stopped, dismounted, and ran behind a fallen log. A small group of Turkish officers carrying a small box marched onto the wooden bridge. He took out his spyglass and tried to see what the box was. Using his knowledge of Turkic, he tried reading the inscription cared onto it. But it was not Turkic, but Arabic. He tried to recall what little knowledge he had of that language. "Uh... 'The... Sword... of... the... uh, Prophet Muhammad... Servant of Allah.' " He checked to see if the pistols and carbine he had looted were loaded. They were. He aimed the carbine at the head of the leading officer.

Boom.

The man went down instantly, and the other three men tried to avoid dropping the box, instead of trying to fight back. Samuel aimed one of the pistols at another box carrier.

Boom.

The Turk cried out and hit the ground.

Samuel fired the last pistol, but missed. He drew the cutlass he had gotten from the Wallachian corpse and charged down the bridge. The remaining two men sat the box down and drew their own swords. Samuel sliced the slower of two right across the throat, which sent the man staggering backwards and over the bridge railing, straight into the water. The last Turk was a much better swordsman and nicked Samuel across the thigh. The Christian and the Muslim locked sabers and struggled to topple the other. Finally, Samuel pushed the man to the ground, grabbed the Turk's sword, and stabbed him through the shoulder, pinning him to the bridge.

"What's this box, Turk?"

"I not tell you, dark servant of Iblis!"

"You will or I'll disembowel you nice and slow."

"I die martyr's death then! Kill me!"

Samuel grabbed a loose wooden board and started using it to hammer the sword further into the man's body. Not a word came from him. Furious, Samuel injected his own sword through the man's shin, and hammered it in viciously. Finally, after several minutes of useless torture, he shot the prisoner. He grabbed the heavy silver box by one of the handles and, after almost getting a hernia, hefted it onto the horse. He tied it securely and started trying to find a safe place to stay for the night.

EDIT:

The Captain leading his men into battle! :D


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Last edited by Napoleon on Sun May 22, 2011 8:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 7:38 pm 
Mould Mason
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Very nice, I hope to read more!

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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 8:25 pm 
Crucible King
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Thanks, Daken!

Here's a Wallachian Boyar:

Image

Nizam I Cedit(d):

Image

Austrian Line Infantry:

Image

Hungarian Hussar:

Image

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 8:39 pm 
Mould Mason
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Cool! Are those from a game?

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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 8:54 pm 
Crucible King
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Daken the Bladesmith wrote:
Cool! Are those from a game?


Yup, Empire: Total War, the game that largely inspired this.

http://www.totalwar.com/empire/

B) I think it's the best game ever, though Napoleon: Total War is fantastic too, so it's pretty close. If you have a chance, you should definitely play it. I've spent 1000+ hours on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 11:53 pm 
Crucible King
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Location: In your basement, under the floor boards... O.O
CHAPTER TWO

Samuel Kleinheinz slumped over on his horse. He had ridden almost nonstop for a day, and was extremely tired. He turned a bend in the dirt road and spotted a small cottage. He urged the horse to go faster and reached the building in about two minutes. It had rained the last night, and his hair was unpowdered and greasy. His uniform was extremely filthy and his face was pale. He dismounted and took out a pistol and tucked his knife into his sash. Cautiously, he knocked on the door. When no one answered, he pounded harder. Finally, he pounded on it like a policeman. "In the name of the Holy Roman Empire, open up in there! Schnell!"

The knob turned, and a young woman answered. She held a knife in one hand.

Samuel bowed politely. "My apologies for being so rude, my dear lady. I have been riding for the past day, and I'm not in the mood of a gentleman of Austria. I am Captain Samuel Kleinheinz, of the Holy Roman Army."

The woman was beautiful, but somehow eerie looking. She had long dark hair and weak-looking green eyes. She did not talk for a moment, but then put the knife on a table. "Hello. My, don't you look like a gentleman?" she said sarcastically. "Listen, if you're wanting a tavern, bawdy house, or a church, there's a town due east of here, and it has all three."

Samuel looked at her in surprise. "I'm a soldier! I fought in the battle yesterday at Banja Luka. I'm sore and tired. Could I have some food and sleep in the barn? If you say no, I have the right to demand it from you, for if you are Austrian or Hungarian, I have the right to search and/or seize this house and requisition supplies. If you consider yourself loyal to the Caliphate, I have the right to do anything I want. Now, may I have some food?" He raised his pistol.

She gave him a nasty look. "I'm Hungarian. Sophie. I need not tell you my last name. Fine. Come in. Sit at the table. I give you food, you sleep in barn, and then you leave." If looks could kill, Samuel should have been in pale a twitching. Samuel stepped inside and grunted. He sat down on one of the table's rickety chairs.

"Anyone else live here?"

Sophie slapped some kind of soup onto a plate a put it in front of him. "No. Almost no one lives in this area."

"Why's that? Seems like pretty nice land, to me." Samuel sipped some of the stuff and found it did not taste half bad.

"Because of the... nothing." She walked out of the room.

Samuel was bothered now. He sprang up and stormed after her. "What's with this eeriness? What are "the...?"

She looked uncomfortable. "The... undead."

"What?"

"The undead. Corpses that rise from the grave. Vampires. Wolfmen. All manner of horrible beast." She took out a piece of paper from under her dress collar. "This drawing was done by a local farmer. It should give you an idea of our problem."

He ripped the piece of paper from her hands and glared at it in horror. "Mein himmel... It's of the devil! Mother Mary protect us!" He shoved the paper in her hands and ran to the door.

"Don't!" she screamed. She ran over and slammed the door. "Please, they've been coming around my house more recently. They killed my brother two months ago. Please, it's not safe. Stand watch tonight. After that, take me with you to the nearest town."

Samuel nodded. "Jawohl! I will bring in the Holy Roman army to deal with these demons! Have no fear, citizen of the Empire. As long as I breathe you shall not be harmed! I have several important items on my horse. I will get them and get ready for trouble, though God forbid it occur." He raced outside as fast as his tired body could and retrieved his belongings, including the Turkish box. He dragged the things inside and loaded his weapons. "Do you have any guns?"

She nodded. "Many. In the cellar. I'll get them." She opened a hatch on the floor on went down some stairs. Seconds later she reappeared, carrying four muskets. She went down again and came up with another five. Then came bags of musket balls and powder horns. Finally, she brought up several belts of pistols. Samuel laid them out on the table and loaded all of them. Sophie sharpened all the knives she had, and prepared several lanterns.

Later that night...

Samuel slumped down on the floor as Sophie took to the watch duties. She carried a huge musket that was much too heavy for her, but if she could get it to fire, would kill almost anything. Her shoes made annoying clacking noises, but Samuel ignored it and dozed off with his rifle over his lap.

An hour later, she tapped him on the shoulder. "Your turn. I didn't see anything so far."

Samuel nodded and got up. He looked at her for a moment. "Why do these monsters live around here?"

Sophie shrugged. "I don't know. They just seem to like it. Some of them come from the cemetery. Others, like the wolfmen, seem to just move from the mountains to this area annually. It's very frightening."

He kept staring at her. She had not said anything about the vampires. He wondered why. He shrugged mentally and stood near the window while she sat down. He went from one window to another. He did not see anything either. In his boredom, he looked closely at the house. It was very old. At least 1650. He glanced at the fireplace mantel. Mounted on the wall was a wolf head, under that a portrait of some ancestor. He noticed something strange. Almost anyone who was anyone had a Catholic figure or relic above the fireplace. Not Sophie. He also wondered why she didn't have a Bible. Or a prayer book. She seemed to wince when he mentioned God or Heaven. He put it to the back of his mind until he looked at her again. She was reading some philosophy book by one of the deep thinkers of the time.

In almost total darkness.


They only had one lantern lit. Her eyes that he had made a mental note of earlier as verging on blindness looked bright and perky, busily scanning the pages. He also tried to ignore the fact that she was seeming younger and healthier looking. He was exhausted. She had been up for over 20 hours. He slept when his shift ended. She read Spinoza, who, by the way, detested and challenged religion! He could barely stand. She could lug the largest musket around. He knew he would not be sleeping anymore on his breaks.

An hour later, his shift ended. He sat down and forced himself to stay awake. He just kept watching her. She had seemed several years his senior earlier, and now it seemed the opposite. She was practically goose stepping from window to window, even occasionally cracking jokes.

She crouched down next to him a few minutes later. She just stared at him. Samuel started sweating bullets.

First she kissed him normally. Then she moved in on his neck.

He shoved her away as fast as he could. He could see it plain as day. Fangs. She grinned and acted as happy as could be. Her eyes were a very strange shade of her normal green now, and her skin was paler. Samuel knew he was in trouble. Big trouble. She advanced toward him again. "Don't worry. It doesn't hurt you. You'll just become like me. And then we can be together forever."

Samuel shoved her away again and readied his rifle. "Stay away from me, woman! Schnell! Or I shoot."

She laughed. "Shoot me? I love you. Like I said, if I bite you, you'll become immortal! You and I can live forever."

He cocked the gun back. "I don't love you, witch! Stay away!"

"Are we to stay in this stalemate?''

"I know vampire stories. Plus, I saw you earlier. You're normal by morning. Then I can leave. And I can assure you, His Imperial Majesty will hear of this! The army will destroy this place!"

She stepped back. "Oh, my dear Captain, I can't allow you to do that. Sylvester!"

Up from the cellar barged a huge wolfman. Drool coming from his mouth, he pounced on Samuel and pinned him to the floor.

Sophie smiled. "This is my actual brother. As you can see, we have a very... unique family. Now, are you ready for immortality?"

He spit on Sylvester's face. "No, demon. I am NOT!"

The wolfman put one of his claws on Samuel's neck. "If I so much as scratch you, you'll become like me!" he growled.

Samuel stared at both of them. "Kill me. I am ready. Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne Christ the Saviour, the Deliverer of our souls!"

Both Sophie and Sylvester shrieked in horror. Sophie covered her ears and Sylvester whinnied like a kicked dog. Samuel recited the Hail Mary again. And again. And again, until Sylvester got off him. He whipped out his crucifix from around his neck and held it out. "Back creatures! Though I walk through the Valley-"

"Enough!" Sylvester roared and jumped at him. A sudden shriek came out as the silver cross impaled him in the neck. Blood ran down the religious keepsake as Samuel withdrew it from the furry hide. Suddenly, Sylvester turned into a normal human. A Magyar with long black hair and bushy sideburns. He looked like a wolf even in his normal form. Blood was gushing from the corpse's throat as Sophie huddled over the body.

"I won't kill you, Sophie." He picked up his musket. "But I won't allow you to bite me. Thus, I regret I must shoot you in the leg. The Imperial army will come later and mop up you and the others. Expect to see an executioner." He threw her to the floor and aimed at her leg. Horrifically, she grabbed a knife, and thrust it through her own breast and into her heart.

"I won't kill you either." She died.

Samuel's hand trembled. He lowered the gun and stooped down next to her. Her teeth were normal and she once again looked older. Just like Sylvester.

Terrified, Samuel readied his horse and bolted off down the dirt road. It was the fastest ride he ever made. He had seen two creatures of the night die, and their friends probably wouldn't be happy about it. He already thought he had spotted another man-wolf bolting through the woods, following him. He took out one of his pistols and fired. A yelp rang out and a "large dog" stumbled and ran off. It wouldn't be the last monsters he would deal with, as he would soon find out.

Like I said, this is sci-fi. =U

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Last edited by Napoleon on Sun May 22, 2011 7:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 4:17 am 
Chisel Hand
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...

Lovely as always!
Man, I sat here thinking I was just reading a "peaceful" historical story, with perhaps a few minor steps away from history... and then, there's suddenly vampires and werewolves everywhere =U !

A very interesting idea indeed, and I'm looking forward to the next chapters.


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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:52 am 
Mould Mason
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Wow! This has been coming along excellently. I like the mix of alternate history and fantasy.

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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 2:19 pm 
Crucible King
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AlbaVik wrote:
...

Lovely as always!
Man, I sat here thinking I was just reading a "peaceful" historical story, with perhaps a few minor steps away from history... and then, there's suddenly vampires and werewolves everywhere =U !

A very interesting idea indeed, and I'm looking forward to the next chapters.


Thanks! Haha, that's the way I roll; if it seems quaint and historical, put some Old Country monsters into it. :D It has special importance to me, since my great grandfather actually lived in Hungary and spoke like a Transylvania native. ;D

Baylego wrote:
Wow! This has been coming along excellently. I like the mix of alternate history and fantasy.


Thanks! Actually, this is just historical fiction/sci-fi, not AH. This is set in a real conflict, the Russo-Austrian-Turkish War of 1735 - 1739. It's just the first time you've heard of it, because no one cares about it. :9 It's not something that radically changed the world, just another war between the three countries.

Here's a clearer picture of Austrian infantry:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Swashbuckle: The Sword of Islam
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 2:59 pm 
Mould Mason
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Great read! I've seen those little model figurines before. Their pretty cool looking.

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