The Flying Beaver:
This story was written during last summers Twilight War campaign, so there may be story elements which you don’t understand as a result of not participating in it. I apologize for this. Anyway, enjoy the story:
Lord Imgrazzathar II was grinning as he strode back into Dragh Naggrund. He was mounted on a Great Taurus, which he had named Zarkoroth. Imgrazzathar was fond of the beast; it was a great blessing from Hashut and a very powerful mount. On the other hand, having a Great Taurus reminded Imgrazzathar of his limits. What he truly desired as a mount was a Lammasu- only the Sorceror-Lords rode Lammasus, and it was only the Sorceror-Lords who had real power.
Imgrazzathar pushed such thoughts out of his head; he had a job to do. The Hunters of Kurnous had foolishly declined his offer of allegiance, insisting that his Brettonian slaves be released. “The elf must have been insane, did he honestly think that we’d provide soldiers for the enemy?” Imgrazzathar thought. It was time to do the opposite of what the Wood Elves had requested.
“Move, you lazy dogs!” Imgrazzathar heard his head overseer Haavrakh yell. Several hundred Brettonian slaves were being led to the north side of the city, within sight of the enemy camp. He kicked his Taurus, who leapt up into the air, it’s mighty wings taking him to the front line in only a few wingbeats. Zarkoroth landed. Imgrazzathar waited until all the preparations were made, and he then blew his horn.
At the enemy camp, just out of cannon range, he could see Asrai, Imperial and Brettonian troops emerging from tents to see what the Dawi Zharr were up to. They gasped in horror at what they saw.
In front of Dragh Naggrund, hundreds of naked Brettonians were lined up, unbound but kept in place by Dawi Zharr and Hobgoblin slavers. Large wooden stakes were erected and large pyres were built. Iron pokers were heated in several kilns. It was to be a torture display. The forces of light could not launch an assault to prevent it, for the Dawi Zharr had deployed a large amount of infantry and death rockets in high quantities were ready to fire. The forces of light had already learned that assaulting Littleton was suicide, as the craters and corpses throughout the field pointed out.
Imgrazzathar dismounted from his Taurus and walked over to a large block of wood. The first slave was brought over to him, whimpering nervously. Imgrazzathar drew a dagger and with his other hand placed the human’s palm on the stump.
He cut off a finger. The Brettonian screamed in pain; blood beginning to stain the wood a crimson red.
He cut off another finger, followed by yet another scream. Imgrazzathar grinned.
All that remained was a bloody stump. The Brettonian was sobbing uncontrollably. A look of pure sadism crossed Imgrazzathar’s face. He took a deep breath, drinking in the scent of blood. He raised his dagger again.
Off went the palm. The man had finally had enough went into shock. Imgrazzathar motioned to Haavrakh, who brought Imgrazzathar a great hammer. He sheathed the bloody dagger and began pounding the Brettonian. At least ten times he struck with all his might, leaving a bloody paste on the ground. His men cheered, roaring for more blood. He dropped the hammer and raised his hand for silence. He addressed his restless torturers:
"You may begin! Do as you please with them, be creative! Inflict as much pain as you can before they die! Flay their skin and drape it on the walls! Burn their corpses or just throw them into the fires alive! Make them SUFFER!"
A loud cry of approval shot out and they began. Red-hot pokers were rubbed against flesh, which scorched and ran on the ground like wax. Men were skinned alive, and the skins were used to suffocate others. Scalps were removed from heads and piled in a great mound, which was set alight to carry the foul smell on the wind to the enemy camp. Flesh was ripped from limbs and fed to the wolves and other livestock. The screams of the dying echoed all around and rivers of blood flooded the Earth. A red mud stained the outskirts of the Chaos Dwarf’s newly-conquered city.
Several hours of torturing passed, and only one slave was still alive. This was reserved for Imgrazzathar himself. He clapped his hands twice and pointed at a cauldron of molten iron.
“Tie the slave up!” Imgrazzathar yelled. His orders were followed quickly. The slave was set dangling from some wooden beams, just above the cauldron. A pully held by Imgrazzathar himself was all that kept the slave out of the cauldron. Imgrazzathar spoke to the slave:
"You are to receive a glorious death today, unlike your comrades. You shall go to Hashut’s fires, praise the name of The Father of Darkness. You should appreciate the situation and be grateful, it is an honourable death for one of your kind."
With that, Imgrazzathar slowly started lowering the slave. Inch by inch, the slave could see it’s toes approaching the iron. It’s feet were already scorching from the heat, it was wincing in pain. It showed signs of struggle, but it’s bindings were too strong. It’s toes grazed the iron’s surface. The Brettonian was sobbing, a silent prayer on it’s lips. His feet were halfway in now. Imgrazzathar suddenly pulled the slave back up. The slave looked down at it’s feet, seeing that the part that was in the iron had simply melted. It screamed frantically and struggled uselessly, yelling curses at Imgrazzathar. The chaos dwarf simply continued to lower the slave again.
Soon it was up to the mid-calves. The heat had scorched the man right up to the chest. It was barely alive now. Suddenly the rope holding him snapped and the man fell into the cauldron fully. Iron splashed out, almost hitting Imgrazzathar.
“Who brought me that weak rope!” Imgrazzathar yelled. Silence. A squeaky hobgoblin voice called out “He did it!” A chaos dwarf was brought forward. Imgrazzathar pointed his gloved hand at the scared Chaos Dwarf. “You. Here. Now.” Lips trembling, it obeyed. Imgrazzathar punched him in the face, sending him to the ground, knocking off it’s helmet. Imgrazzathar grabbed the chaos dwarf’s hair and pulled it upright. He dragged the dwarf over to the cauldron and pushed it’s face into the iron for several seconds. Pulling the head out again, Imgrazzathar showed the horribly disfigured face of the chaos dwarf to his men.
“This could be you! If I say get something, woe betide you if it’s anything but the best!” Roughly throwing down the corpse, Imgrazzathar stormed off angrily. Haavrakh and the priest Zharbok followed him quickly.
“Lord wait!” Haavrakh, Imgrazzathar’s lieutenant, yelled. He turned and punched Haavrakh in the stomach, who struggled to maintain his breath and his dignity at the same time. Imgrazzathar turned to the Sorceror-Priest Zharbok now, who tried to calm him.
"Lord, surely the enemy will attack soon, a display like that will doubtlessly have them thirsting for revenge!"
Imgrazzathar pulled out of his rage. “Of course. They likely will lead a raid tomorrow. We will be prepared for that. In the meantime, let them mull over the loss of their comrades. If only I could have seen their faces! I love displays like this. Fear is a weapon as mighty as the earthshaker, and the grisly deaths experienced by their fellow men will leave their camp rank with sheer terror. Today has been a success. Now, send a messenger to Narmo Eressea, tell him of the fate of these slaves. Let him know that you do make requests and then cross me.”