[Archive] The Slave Trade - Story

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Hi gang!

Here’s a short story for you entitled “The Slave Trade”. This is my first story for CD’s and anything Warhammer related. I think you’ll all know the main character. :smiley: I wanted some other CD names, but couldn’t access WoH #2’s Kool word generator. (My home computer isn’t capible of downloading the large PDF.)

The story is 1300 words and I hope you enjoy every minute of it! If you like it, I’ll make a second chapter of @ the same length and so on.

So without further ado, here’s my story. Please leave all comments to the end! :hat off  

The Slave Trade

Under a vale of moonlight, a single slave wagon passed through the shadows along the old Spice Route. Manned by a group of seventeen Chaos Dwarf traders and warriors, this horse drawn menagerie lumbered onwards towards its final destination, The Ogre Kingdoms.

If successful, the cargo would be used as a bribe to pay the Ogres to act as mercenaries in a long awaited battle against the Chaos Dwarfs and their distant cousins, The Dwarfs.  If unsuccessful, it could mean the final mission for these traders and the beginning of the end of the Chaos Dwarf Empire.

Tarrakk Blackhand watched the road ahead as he sat perched beside the driver in the passenger compartment of the large cart. His warriors, skilled masters of the Blunderbuss, were resting in the sleeping quarters behind them. It had been a busy day and Tarrakk had agreed to take the first watch, as he knew that his troops needed their sleep.

Hours before, this same group had successfully ambushed a camp of unsuspecting Night Goblins, killing the stronger of their number and rounding up the survivors.  Unfortunately, although the Dwarfs fought a hard battle, their original number of twenty-five had been reduced to a mere fifteen. This was due to an unforeseen occurrence. There was no way of knowing that inside the largest Night Goblin tent there was a sleeping Cave Troll that the little wretches kept as a pet.  

It sickened Tarrakk to think of the Night Goblin�?Ts battle tactics.  Squabbling and cursing every order, only to flee when the battle got strong. Didn�?Tt they believe in defending their own camp? Was bickering and backstabbing all these weak boned cowards understood?

They did kill a large number of Chaos Dwarfs in the battle, but once they saw their camp burning in flames, and their Cave Troll getting ripped to shreds under a cloud of black powder smoke by the Chaos Dwarf Blunderbuss Team, the little creeps ran for the hills.  They were no better than the Hobgoblins that the Chaos Dwarfs sometimes employed in their armies. Useful in most conditions, but equally as useless in a full out assault.

As Tarrakk reflected on the battle, the night sky erupted with the flash of lightning. An Easterly wind began blowing across the wagon, causing the horses to whinny and slow down. The driver urged them forward with a cry and a crack of his whip, however both he and Tarrakk knew the horses moved cautiously.

Black storm clouds soon blocked the little amount of moonlight that showed them the road. Suddenly, a large clap of thunder filled the quiet night sky and along with it, a hard rain. The water was falling faster and faster as the wind smashed the tiny droplets against the cart, the twisted and knarled trees along the road, and the rocky mountain faces.

The wheels slowly sliced into thick mud as the rain beat down upon the wagon.  Through the bars at the rear of the cart, the sad and worried faces of seven captured Night Goblins peered out in despair at the vastness of The Mountains of Mourn as their rolling prison moved onwards. The rain had thoroughly soaked their clothes and the little pests were shivering and whining from their cold and dampened state.

Suddenly, the horses lurched to the left, hitting an unseen rock that had washed up through the mud in the rainstorm, just enough to trap the back wheel of the cart.

�?oCurses!�?� Tarrakk proclaimed as he and the driver quickly ran into the sleeping quarters to get their rain gear.

�?oEverybody up! The wagon�?Ts stuck in the mud! Blast it all! We�?Tre going to be behind schedule!�?� Tarrakk continued his barrage of profanity and foul speech as he hurried to dress in his tar covered leather rain slicker.

Tarrakk moved through the awakening unit. His men were grumbling at the abrupt inconvenience of being awoken by their General combined with the thrusting of the wagon in such a violent fashion. �?oCome on you rats! Get a move on! The faster we get this tub out of the mud, the faster we can get these wretched Goblins to the Ogres and finish this horrible mission!�?�

Under a quick blast of lightning, the Dwarfs pilled out of the wagon. The mud splashed on their boots as the rain ran off their jackets. Quickly, they assembled themselves into a line as Tarrakk discussed the situation of the wagon with the driver.

�?oThis Sucks! It looks bad boss. The wheel�?Ts up to the axel in mud. I just hope the spindle�?Ts not broken!�?� Said the worried driver.

�?oHmmm…how long to you think it will take to get her out?�?� Asked Tarrakk.

�?oIf we get some of the troops to push the cart from the rear and right hand side, I think we can get the wheel out of the hole and around the rock. I�?Tll get the horses ready to pull from the front and await your command.�?�. With that, the driver walked to the front of the wagon.

Tarrakk arranged his men as the driver instructed and on the count of three, the team began to free the cart from its muddy prison. The night goblins decided that now would be a good opportunity to try and assault the Chaos Dwarfs, as their cage was part of the wagon�?Ts rear and all the warriors were within grasp.

Before the Night Goblins could get into hand�?Ts reach of the warriors, a flash of lightning illuminated the landscape hitting a tree not more than 40 feet away, splitting it in half and causing it to burst into flames.  Sounds of hard hitting rain filled the air, drowning out the terrified moans and cries of the Night Goblins who scurried back into the safety of the cage and began to huddle themselves into a corner near the front of the wagon to avoid the worst of the storm.

�?oShut up you cowardly scum!�?� Cried a frustrated and muddy Tarrakk as he pulled a whip out from underneath the cage.

�?oThis should get you some backbone, you little wimps!�?� He yelled as he cracked the whip five times across the green skin�?Ts backs. With a grin on his face, he proclaimed �?oYou want something to really cry about, you vermin?�?�. The Goblins responded with a few moans.  �?oI�?Tll give you something to cry about!�?�  Tarrakk continued to give them another fifteen lashes before he grew tired and stopped. He then returned the whip to it�?Ts resting place away from the Goblin�?Ts reach and returned to help his men as they finally freed the wagon out of it�?Ts confines.

Tarrakk, soaked to the bone, instructed his men to momentarily return to their quarters to dry off and rest up. He then told the driver to wait for him as he scouted the road ahead, looking to see if they were headed for any other disturbances that may trap the cart.  

Tarrakk moved cautiously down the road, keeping his eyes open for fallen branches, large mud holes, and unearthed rocks. The further he traveled, the more he realized that the road was not as wide as it was where the wagon got stuck. The rain was coming down harder and he feared that he would loose his footing and possibly fall off the cliffs that were beside the narrowing road. He decided to turn back when he came to a slick wooden bridge.

Suddenly, a shiver ran down his spine and his hair stood on end. He could smell the smell of death as it permeated the air behind him. Clutching his Blunderbuss, he quickly spun around to see, in a flash of lightning, the snarling and bloody face of a rain drenched Ogre!

The Chaos Dwarfs had found their intended mercenaries!

wallacer:

Preet cool. Have you considered writing something for Word of Hashut?

Kera foehunter:

neat nice story ! You did a good job !! You did your own stunts too

maybe you can get a Oscar for your roll

Willmark:

Tarrakk- There is always the low rez PDF that is around 5-6 megs… check the link on the thread.

Tarrakk Blackhand:

@ Willmark…where’s the fun in low rez? :smiley:

It’s ok, I can look at it on my work computer and just jot down the names on a pad of paper for later.

Did you like the story, by the way?

speedygogo:

I enjoyed it. It is good short story.

Tarrakk Blackhand:

ThanX Speedy!

hopefully, I can get to write part #2 where we make the deal with the Ogre.

Thommy H:

This isn’t bad, Tarrakk. Would you appreciate some constructive criticism though?

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Sure Thommy. What do you have in mind?

Thommy H:

Okay, well the big thing I notice is that it’s quite heavy on the exposition. A lot of the “action” happens in Tarrakk’s head. There’s an old writer’s maxim: “show don’t tell”. Now, good writers subvert that as often as they follow it, but you have to know the rules before you can break them. Either you should have the battle with the Night Goblins “on screen”, or find a more exciting way to talk about it. Dialogue is a better way to get exposition across - that’s why so many stories and TV shows and stuff pair someone naive or ignorant with a wiser friend: the smart one can tell the dumb one stuff, and it comes across as natural. Maybe Tarrakk could be talking to a hobgoblin lieutenant about the battle, or dictating terms to the vanquished Goblin boss?

Secondly, there’s some interesting dialogue choices in terms of slang and colloquialisms. Words like “suck” and “wimps” are kind of jarring in the context of medieval fantasy! You might find it more beneficial to give the different kinds of characters distinct ways of speaking - especially with Chaos Dwarfs, who have a very rigid hierarchy (masters and slaves). Usually in Warhammer fiction, greenskins have exaggerated working class cockney accents, which usually comes across as kind of corny, but it at least makes a distinction of class.

Finally, a lot of the things you write about are somewhat “gamist”. That is, you focus on justifying features of the rules - like greenskin animosity, or on elements of the setting that it probably wouldn’t occur to your characters to even think about. Why does Tarrakk need to think about Night Goblins being similar to Hobgoblins? Doesn’t he know that already? And would he even care? For that matter, would “Night Goblin” be a term a Chaos Dwarf would use? One of the best ways to write about a fantasy world is to treat the characters as what they are - inhabitants of that world - instead of outsiders, like the reader. You shouldn’t explain what a Hobgoblin is, because the character knows that already. You have to learn the trick of explaining setting details without just coming out and talking about them.

For example (and I hate to use my own work as an example, but it’s all we have really), in my Dark Testament series, the human characters don’t know anything about Chaos Dwarfs. This means that we can drop loads of exposition about the Chaos Dwarf background without it seeming didactic. The Chaos Dwarf character can just sit there and explain how his society works, and mention that Hobgoblins are a kind of greenskin that are similar, but not identical, to Goblins. That balancing act between the known and the unknown is what makes fantasy such an interesting genre.  

I hope that all helps!

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Yeah Thommy! that sounds good! I’ll have to try again in the near future.

Grotsnik:

I like the story, i agree with Thommy though especially about the slang. A couple of spelling mistakes i noticed but still good story and i look forward to hearing the second part, u shoudn’t have said what was gonna happen in it in one of ur replies.

Tarrakk Blackhand:

@ Thommy H - Actually, when I typed this, I looked at the word count, and it said 1298. So I put in “That Sucks!” to get the even 1300. Yeah, it doesn’t belong, but it did get the recommended word count! :smiley: Next time, I’ll do something better…or I could go back and remove it.

@ Grotsnik - Spelling mistakes! :smiley: There shouldn’t be any. I used the spell checker a few dozen times - however, it’s an American one and I just can’t seem to get it to speak Canadian/British English. :smiley:

u shoudn’t have said what was gonna happen in it in one of your replies.
Ahhh…a HINT…but you saw it comming. However, I don’t tell how the deal goes down;)

Back @ Thommy H -
Okay, well the big thing I notice is that it’s quite heavy on the exposition. A lot of the “action” happens in Tarrakk’s head.


Actually, I thought I had a good ballance between the action in the story and the Exposition. Remeber, it’s a short story and I couldn’t get into the “Motion Picture” element of the battle. It worked out better to have it as a reflection as I wanted the real action to be about meeting the Ogres and what happens with the wagon on the journey. In fact, although this is my first submission to a story, this doesn’t nessiccarily mean it’s the FIRST part of the story. I tend to write from the middle and go outwards to the begining and the end of the bigger book - meaning that if I went back a “Chapter” and wrote primarily about the battle itself, then this reflection would probably benifit the reader as a “refresher”, esp if I was to write for WoH and Wallacer suggested. I could even go back further and have a story about them leaving Zarrhh Nagrund if I like.
Dialogue is a better way to get exposition across - Maybe Tarrakk could be talking to a hobgoblin lieutenant about the battle, or dictating terms to the vanquished Goblin boss?
True - and if I wanted to do this, then the most obvious choice would have been The Driver - another Chos Dwarf. It’s a good consideration if I did a re-write.
Secondly, there’s some interesting dialogue choices in terms of slang and colloquialisms. Words like “suck” and “wimps” are kind of jarring in the context of medieval fantasy! You might find it more beneficial to give the different kinds of characters distinct ways of speaking - especially with Chaos Dwarfs, who have a very rigid hierarchy (masters and slaves). Usually in Warhammer fiction, greenskins have exaggerated working class cockney accents, which usually comes across as kind of corny, but it at least makes a distinction of class.


Yeah, I can fix that little problem with the slang. Also, I’m trying to keep with the established “Fluff” for the dialogue, but we haven’t run into anybody else but CD’s for the diologue yet. In subsequent stories, there will be.
Finally, a lot of the things you write about are somewhat “gamist”. That is, you focus on justifying features of the rules - like greenskin animosity, or on elements of the setting that it probably wouldn’t occur to your characters to even think about.
Well, it’s true I did pull out the “Gamist” elements of WFB and threw them into my story, but it’s all to give some explination to Tarrakk’s fellings about the world he’s in as well as inform the readers - who might not know anything about the CD’s - about Chaos Dwarfs and the CD Army.
Why does Tarrakk need to think about Night Goblins being similar to Hobgoblins? Doesn’t he know that already? And would he even care? For that matter, would “Night Goblin” be a term a Chaos Dwarf would use?


He would know the diff with Night Goblins and Hobgoblins and it is possible that he wouldn’t care, however, their actions upset him, so in this paticular instance, he would care. Being the regimented Cd that he is, he can’t stomach the “Greenskin’s” constant bickering and questioning of the commandmants of a superior officer. that was my reasoning behind explaning these things.
One of the best ways to write about a fantasy world is to treat the characters as what they are - inhabitants of that world - instead of outsiders, like the reader. You shouldn’t explain what a Hobgoblin is, because the character knows that already. You have to learn the trick of explaining setting details without just coming out and talking about them.
Didn’t J.R.R.Tolkien do this in “The Lord Of the Rings” trillogy?
For example (and I hate to use my own work as an example, but it’s all we have really), in my Dark Testament series, the human characters don’t know anything about Chaos Dwarfs. This means that we can drop loads of exposition about the Chaos Dwarf background without it seeming didactic. The Chaos Dwarf character can just sit there and explain how his society works, and mention that Hobgoblins are a kind of greenskin that are similar, but not identical, to Goblins. That balancing act between the known and the unknown is what makes fantasy such an interesting genre.  
This is good for that type of story because CD’s aren’t known to many outside of Zarhh Nagrund. But in my story, we’re going from the perspective of a CD who is actually describing all the elements that he already knows, linke the goblin/Hobgoblin/Orc/Black Orc stuff and their trading arrangements with the Ogres. If he were to meet Lizardmen, then the story would be different ans writen differently.
I hope that all helps!


It does and i will consider all you have written! :smiley: ThanX for the help!

Thommy H:

Well, it's true I did pull out the "Gamist" elements of WFB and threw them into my story, but it's all to give some explination to Tarrakk's fellings about the world he's in as well as inform the readers - who might not know anything about the CD's - about Chaos Dwarfs and the CD Army.
This is good for that type of story because CD's aren't known to many outside of Zarhh Nagrund. But in my story, we're going from the perspective of a CD who is actually describing all the elements that he already knows, linke the goblin/Hobgoblin/Orc/Black Orc stuff and their trading arrangements with the Ogres. If he were to meet Lizardmen, then the story would be different ans writen differently.
Nothing else to add, except that these two things seem to contradict each other a bit. Your character knows everything about Chaos Dwarfs, but your readers don't - so why are you using that character as your central protagonist?

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Who would you rather have?

Thommy H:

I don’t know. Someone else. Someone who can be a viewpoint character for your readers. A protagonist serves as the reader’s window into the world you’re writing about - if there’s a conflict between what the protagonist knows and what the reader knows, you need a way to fill in the blanks naturally (i.e. with dialogue). Having your viewpoint character think about things he should already know, simply for the benefit of readers, isn’t very elegant.

It would be like me telling my life story and writing: "Thommy H was using the internet - he was very impressed with the speed and efficiency of the global computer network which enabled him to communicate almost instantaneously with people on the other side of the world with computers of their own. He was on a ‘message board’: a computerised analogue of a real life discussion between many people, in which messages were typed using the keyboard and then ‘posted’ in individual threads of other messages, making up a conversation on a certain topic."

So, either your readers know what Tarrakk knows already (in which case he’s a good choice of protagonist, but his internal monologue is the equivalent of what my silly example just then), or Tarrakk is there to inform them about the world of Chaos Dwarfs in a natural way (in which case he’s a bad choice, but the kind of silly info-dump I just mentioned is sadly necessary).

Essentially, you want to avoid any kind of situation where a character thinks about stuff he should already know, so you have to make sure you’re not writing a story where your main character needs to do that.

two_heads_talking:

Remember a spell checker will only check correct spelling, but a spiel chequer has no ideal if ewe are using the write word…

See what I did thar?

jolpis:

Tarrakk had agreed to take the first watch, as he knew that his troops needed their sleep, the first watch is the easiest,its the mid watches that really kills ya.

awsome story. i could actually see the ogre before my eyes. turning around meeting something 4 times your height and covered in blood must scare the shit out of you.

anyway 5 thumbs up!

Tarrakk Blackhand:

I get it THT. What I mean to say was that I did the spell checking AND read it a few times before posting to make sure it didn’t have spelling mistakes. I guess I might not be the best speller either! :smiley:

Thommy H ~ I’ll keep the advice in mind for future stories…although it seems like writing for me is going to be very difficult from here on in.

@ Jolpis ~ thanx! …Hmmm…5 thumbs? That doesn’t sound good if you’re going to build a house. :smiley:

jolpis:

@ Jolpis ~ thanx! ...Hmmm....5 thumbs? That doesn't sound good if you're going to build a house. :D

Tarrakk Blackhand
works good for me. you should try it:P