[Archive] Memoirs of Travel in the Dark Lands

Hammerhand:

Hi,

This is my first thread! I’ve just put something together maybe we could work on a bit. I’m new to CD’s so have a fairly limited knowledge base, but using my old world map and a bit of wiki I have come up with this, what do you think?

MEMOIRS

This piece is based on an article in white dwarf to coincide with the Ogre Kingdoms release, whereby an Empire explorer travelled to the ogre kingdoms and kept a diary. It’s from a while back so I don’t remember exactly how it went (I throw my WDs away after 2 months. They are just catalogues these days and GW alters their prices almost monthly anyway!). The idea in itself was taken, I believe, from a book called “Incidents of Travel in Yucatan”, in which early explorers tell of their discovery of ancient Mayan and Aztec ruins in a diary/journal style.

Memoirs of Expedition In The Dark Lands.

PAGES LOST, FIRST ENTRY:

…A thousand thanks to Sigmar for my safe passage through the Worlds Edge Mountains. My dwarf guides and my personal escort are weary, but their eyes are as sharp as needles. The Dwarfs have made no secret of their surprise at the lack of attention we have received from their hated green-skinned enemies as we have passed through these parts. We expect an ambush at every turn but all evidence points to the inhabitants being abroad…

…We were attacked by a small band of goblins last night. It is unusual for them to be at the foot of the mountains. I was more concerned with their manner, They assaulted our camp, but as we defended ourselves I got the distinct impression we had taken them by surprise. They were few in number, many bearing wounds of battle.

At first light we follow the spur into Vorag Forrest. Apparently there is an old ruined fortress on the outskirts we could make in 4 days. Gunbad Thorinson, the head of the Dwarf Party accompanying us, refuses to go north into the wolf lands, although he will not tell me why. I would prefer to stay away from the forest if possible, we are great in number and have made slow progress through the mountains. The forest looks quite menacing…

…We have set up camp within the fringes of the forest, I should not like to stay here, it seems a wicked place. Even my horse is un-easy, and we’ve been on many an adventure in the past.

Gunbad is avoiding me, we had a tense discussion about the route we are taking. He plans to go via Ind, but we have provisions enough to travel straight through the Dark Lands and cut across the Eastern Steppes to Great Bastion. Going to Ind would add at least another month to the journey, and we’re already falling behind…

…We made little ground today. The forest is very hard going, it’s not easy leading 250 men and 100 dwarfs down a narrow path through a dense forest!

We have had dealings with sporadic bands of goblins on the way. Much like the first group, the goblins have met us war weary and as a result we have suffered no losses, although 2 of the dwarfs have minor concussion. The Greenskins seemed to be utterly shattered and have not the will to fight. This has unsettled my men a little but the Dwarfs are not showing any signs of surprise so I take comfort in that…

… Gunbad and I are on speaking terms at last. He has agreed to move from the forest and skirt the outer fringe. I must say I am relieved, I felt an oppressive evil in that forest, as if the very shadows of the trees were poking at my soul…

…At last we have reached the relative shelter of Vorag Fortress, or what’s left of it. The journey around the edge of the forest has been far from pleasant. My men report wolves are tracking us but the dwarfs pay them no heed. In the distance I can see a wall of smog. Such a sight it disturbs me to see, as it seems to blot the north from existence entirely. A choking hot wind rolls off the planes from there and the air somehow seems to taste oily, like burning metal. The stink of it also perplexes me, not dissimilar to the ‘freshly burned blackpowder’ smell that lingers around the colleges at Nuln. Perhaps Gunbad is right to avoid this place…

…Curses on our luck! We have had to spend another day in this Sigmar forsaken place! Gunbad’s rangers have reported a danger from the east, a horde of Ogres no less. We are to stay put to see what it is they do. At least the men and horses will recover their strength, we are doubly over provisioned if we are to be stopping in Ind…

…I have had another ‘to do’ with Gunbad. He insisted we stay at the fortress another few days. My men are uneasy at this thought and I must deliver an ancient relic to my master, who is waiting in Wei-Jin at the foot of the Great Bastion. We are running behind as it is because of his idiotic fear of going north and his excursion through that blasted forest. When I said as much to him he gave me a look of utter contempt and swore at me in Dwarfish, or at least I think he did. He has now left us and he and his dwarfs are heading back to Karak Eight Peaks. In the morrow, I will head north with my men and try to gain back some lost time…

…Our spirits are at an all time low. We headed north through the plains and have fought through a large pack of wolves. We have lost 10 men in all, including the cook. As we progressed through the day, the earth beneath our feet seemed to whither and die, until we were walking on the ashes of a cremated land long dead. The cloud of smog in the distance seems to shift and writhe like a living beast trying to encircle us…

…Today has brought many woes. The cloud of smog that seemed so far in the distance washed around us early on. The fumes stung our eyes and spattered our face with hot liquid soot. When it finally thinned, it retreated altogether, as if it were never there. Our faces were left blackened and the men found it difficult to grip their weapons because of the viscous residue. We set camp early and regrouped our will. As I write, the sun is falling and small fires are bursting from the ground in the distance. It almost looks like fiery daemons dancing on the horizon. Sigmar protect us…

…We were attacked by a small band of strange creatures today. At first I thought they were ordinary goblins but they were taller and almost sneakier if that is possible. They screeched with horrid bitterness as they fled. We lost 13 and a number are sorely wounded. I fear the horrid little creatures had laced their wepons with poison. We set up camp early once again to recouperate and re-group…

…All the wounded died in the night, as I had feared. Our number is diminishing greatly since heading this way. Much as it pains me I have to head back towards Ind. Hopefully the Ogres will have moved on and at least we will be free of this stifling heat. I have sent an Envoy to Wei-Jin to report on recent events. My master will not be happy. I have requested an escort meet us in Ind with fresh provision and reinforcements. At least we are moving away from the furnace like heat…

…I fear I have failed my mission. We were attacked yesterday by creatures I have never seen or even heard tale of before. I must start from the beginning.

A scout returned to me with some disturbing news. I looked to the north and had my men prepare for battle. In the distance I could make out a huge train of Orcs, Goblins, caged trolls and exotic animals, even Ogres chained together, being driven north by the creatures that had attacked us the previous night. Men of dark colour, elves and great beasts were amongst those being whipped and driven onward by these strange Goblins. It was an unbelievable sight and I blinked more than once to ensure I wasn’t seeing a mirrage in the prickling heat. We all stood dumbstruck when a shout came from the Eastern flank.

In my distraction, I had failed to see our fate approaching us from the east. A wall of dwarfs approached with banners of death and fire. These were no ordinary Dwarfs. Thick obsidian black beards groomed into tubular curls grew from their faces. Their mouths had tusks protruding from their jaws and their eyes were fixed with the purest hatred. They marched upon us flourishing arcane black powder weapons that cut swathes through my men, spitting death through several ranks, penetrating armour like it were cloth. More of the weird goblins approached in support of ranks of the evil dwarfs, slashing with cruel curved blades, lopping off limbs and heads with delight. Some rode great wolves and chased down those who fled.

With a deafening cry, a Great winged Taurus swept down from the heavens with a powerful dwarf upon it’s back, grinning with menace. It came down upon us like a thunderbolt snorting as it smashed men with its mighty hooves, it’s evil Dwarf master smiting my men with the impunity of a child crushing tiny insects. Great half-Dwarf-half-taurus creatures smashed through our flanks with deamonic strength and furiosity, tossing men aside or cleaving them in two with great axes

My men were scattered and broken, all was lost. I Fled. I spurred my horse through fireballs and arcane missiles hurled at me by dwarf sorcerors. I prayed to Sigmar as I spurred the horse harder and harder, slashing my way through a pack of wolf mounted goblins. Once clear I turned and looked back. Many of the survivors had surrendered as I fled, no doubt to join the long chain of prisoners the evil dwarfs had in tow. I heard the dwarfs laughing. I could see them slaughtering as many as they spared. The Goblins were feasting on the corpses while they were still warm. I turned back south and didn’t stop until I reached Varag fortress. Of the 250 men I had set out with, only myself and 7 others who had brought horses for the journey are left. My master’s artefact is lost, as is all of our provisions. I have despatched another envoy to Wei-Jin, and one to catch up with Gunbad to inform him of our plight. If we come under attack, I fear we are doomed…

FINAL ENTRY

Recovered form the body of Lucious Hellswing, merchant of Mareinburg.

THE END