[Archive] The Cattlewagon (Scribe's Contest IX entry)


The Cattlewagon

A slight breeze rustled the sparse grass across the great plain. The heavy steamwagon trundled slowly along the road pulling a large cattle or slave wagon behind it. A short stocky driver with a tall helm at the front steamwagon and two Hobgoblins armed with bows on the roof seemed to be the only guards.

Scaldr smiled to himself and climbed down the cliff he had been watching the caravan from. His band of raiders were already mounted and armed, their round hide-covered shields painted with the ruinous symbol of the Dark Gods. With scalps and leering skulls dangling from their saddles they looked fearsome and eager for blood and loot.

The Chaos Dwarfs were dangerous prey Scaldr knew, notoriously well armed and stubborn creatures. But this lone wagon would be no match for his warband of fifteen battle hardened raiders. Mounting his hardy Norscan steed, he drew his blackened steel blade, its edges sharp and deadly as always. Ironically those stunted and twisted Dwarfs had crafted it for his tribe generations ago at the steep price of a dozen healthy slaves. Spurring their mounts the raiders raced down the cliffside down to the plains and the hapless caravan.

The caravan driver glanced west seeing a cloud of dust coming from the cliffside and started in his seat, his smoking pipe dropping from his tusked mouth. Scaldr laughed as the driver turned the steampropelled caravan wagon slowly, facing it away from the approaching warband. The very thought of escape was ludicrous, the wagon moved barely as fast a walking man!

Hooting and bellowing battlecries the raiders drew ever closer. A lucky shot from a Hobgoblin sent one of his men crashing to the ground, a black-shafted arrow jutting from his throat. Cursing the cowardly swine Scaldr spurred his mount forward even harder, riding up alongside the caravan. Scaldr suddenly saw the caravan driver up close as he peered back at the raiders from the steamwagon in the front. His warcry stopped short when he saw the driver’s evil grin.

Why was he smiling?

The Chaos Dwarf gave him a little wave and pulled a lever next to his seat.The door-ramp of the cattlewagon at the back slammed down. He heard his men shouting warnings as six roaring and heavily armored Bull Centaurs charged out from the wagon. Their greataxes cut through the raiders and horses alike as a scythe cuts through wheat. Such brute strength!

Roaring in frustration, Scaldr turned his attention towards the driver, shield raised and sword ready to carve. A deafening blast blinded him and almost threw him from the saddle. The driver smiled smugly at him holding a smoking blunderbuss. Scaldr looked down. The blast had wrecked his shield, pellets and shrapnel shredding his shield arm and torso. Stunned, he coughed blood and slumped from his mount.

Karrzul Varr, caravan driver, bent down and retrieved his still smouldering pipe next to his seat. Such fools, these damn Manlings, he thought to himself as he heard the last of them being slaughtered. Did they really think they could raid Dawi Zharr lands so close to mighty Uzkulak without consequenses? He chuckled to himself and pulled the steamwagon to a halt. Time to see if there were any usable slaves or sacrifices still alive.


The illustration is the cream on the pudding. Evocative. Great work with both painting and writing. Fun concept. :hat off


Oh man I love the illustration! This was my personal favorite story from the contest.


Thanks lads, glad to hear ya like it :slight_smile:

Slavemaster Hod:

Really great illustration. You just need a centaur peaking out.

Fuggit Khan:

Beautiful illustration!

It would of been a great entry in the last Artisans Contest (your entry in that contest was great too, you had my vote…but this is such a great image of conceptual infernal machinery)

:hat off


Very Nice. Liked your story as it mirrored my own.


Awesome Art, really liked the short story too,Inspirational.