While this doesn’t link the chaos dwarfs directly, I thought I would share since I missed the last Scribes contest. For situational awareness, this is a story about a Merc Company, lead by a disgraced Tilean noble named Niccolo. We were called Alcolisti Anonimi, on account of the leader of our troupe often paying us in booze since we really had no use for coin outside of kitting ourselves out with weapons and armor. We consisted of:
- Niccolo- Tilean noble and duelist
- Dumin- Norse Dwarf Pit fighter and asshole (me)
- Dhorrog- probably the worst slayer ever, since he missed this session and our ultimate demise
- Aluvaine- Wood elf Spellsinger and bo staff master
- Otto- newly licensed Grey Wizard with a thing for rats
- Odwin- AWOL soldier from Bogenhafen.
We had chased a mutated Burgomeister into the sewers after he had essentially detonanted a dirty bomb inside a witchhunter’s black site on the outskirts of town. What happens next is the outcome of a clumination of dark dealings gone wrong and ridiculous rolls.
TLDR: We die chunktacularly
In the putrid depths of the sewer channel, Dumin lead the group through the foul sludge, his boots squelching with each step. The air was thick with the stench of filth and decay, and the humid, oppressive atmosphere weighed on their shoulders . Eerie chanting, a haunting chorus that seemed to emanate from all directions, reverberated off the damp walls of the tunnel . The echoing incantations seemed to blend with the ambient rhythm of the bubbling fecal slurry flowing through the center of the sewer channel, creating an otherworldly disharmony that sent shivers down the heroes’ spines .
Following a dim, sickly green light, the troupe crept through the labyrinthine tunnels. Otto’s hush spell enveloped them in an eerie silence, a shroud of anticipation. They moved cautiously, each step echoing their confusion and fear. Emerging into a circular chamber, a bizarre ritual came into view, bathed in the unholy radiance of the bad moon. Eight channels flowed into the chamber, converging in the center, their contents pooling into a vile, viscous mass. Along the outside lip of this nauseating pool, robed cultists stood, their sinister regalia marking them as servants of dark and profane powers . Their voices rose in a twisted chorus of devotion to Chaos.
There, amidst the muck and filth in the center of the chamber, an enormous figure towered, surrounded by his mutated supplicants . His body was an abomination, swollen and malformed. With a massive, hooked dagger, he gouged deep into the calloused skin of the palm of his hand and slashed down the length of his arm, flaying his flesh to the armpit . Blood gushed forth, pouring into the putrid pool below.
Hushed by Otto’s wizardry, the group huddled together in a secluded corner of the profane chamber, hidden behind a stack of rotting crates . The very sight of those cultists and their depraved ritual fueled the fire of anger and determination within Dumin. “The sheer idiocy of these manlings. Who even worships a lord of disease and plagues anyway?” he muttered under his breath. In their concealed position, The AA hastily devised a plan. Their only hope was to strike swiftly and decisively, slaying the Master and his supplicants as quickly as possible.
As the heroes prepared to spring their ambush, the air grew heavy with tension. With looks of grim determination, each hero understood the gravity of the task ahead. Weapons were at the ready, and their hearts pounded in unison, echoing the rhythm of the insane chanting that enveloped the room. With a silent nod, Niccolo gave the signal. The time had come to unleash righteous fury upon these agents of chaos and put an end to their blasphemous ceremony once and for all .
Dumin burst out from behind the boxes with a thunderous battle cry. Brandishing his bastard sword, he split the first cultist in two as he charged to the left side of the chamber, the man’s blood splattering the filthy ground as Otto’s magical darts glinted in the polluted light of Mannslieb’s perverted twin, propelled by the winds of chaos . Simultaneously, Aluvane, and Odwin launched their ambush to the right of the chamber, where they encountered a stiffer resistance from the mutated cultists. Niccolò, always one for dramatic flair, leapt atop the boxes and aimed his pistol at the bloated, self-flaying figure in the center of the chamber. At the last moment, something twisted within him, and he swung his arm, firing the shot not at the cultist but at Dumin! The ball narrowly missed Dumin, but the shock of the betrayal burned deep, and he swore vengeance against Niccolò. Amidst the chaos, a second cultist attempted to flee, but Dumin was upon him in an instant. With a powerful cleave, he cut the man’s legs out from under him and crushed his head under a steel-shod boot .
On the other side of the chamber, three of the remaining cultists attempted to fire a volley of crossbow bolts at Dumin and his companions. Their aim was far from true, however . One cultist managed to fire a bolt into his own leg, while the other two bolts went wide, missing their intended targets. Aluvane engaged in a fierce duel with a mutated cultist, sustaining several deep wounds before finally subduing the man under a flurry of bo staff blows. Odwin stood bravely against the odds, but the tide turned as two cultists combined their efforts against him. Mortally wounded, he desperately fought for his survival. Otto, the human grey wizard, slung magic darts with reckless abandon, embedding them in the distended belly of the self-flaying master of ceremonies. The monstrosity convulsed in agony, its grotesque form writhing. The battle raged on, the outcome hanging in the balance as the AA became the first and last hope for a city that barely knew they existed. The air was thick with the screams of the dying and the embattled, and the stench of blood and filth. The fate of Ubersreik rested upon the shoulders of these do-gooders.
“You’re too late! The shifting grasp will have you. The fate of Ubersreik is written in blood and sealed in bone!” cried the large, flayed cultist, standing in the middle of the room. Dunking himself under the fetid water, everyone in the room reflexively clutched their heads. Unearthly howls and screams threatened to split their skulls as the winds of magic shrieked through the mind of every conscious witness. The large man’s body ruptured and twisted, bones snapping, skin sloughing, bowels voiding, and teeth sprouting like enormous talons. The very fabric of reality seemed to distort and bend around him. What emerged from the muck was no longer a mortal being. It was a grotesque abomination, a monstrous fusion of chaos and filth. A Daemon was born. With a deafening roar, the creature surged forward, its malformed limbs flailing as it charged towards Odwin. The room seemed to shrink in its presence, and a palpable sense of dread hung heavy in the air. Dumin braced for the final, climactic battle against this unholy abomination, knowing that the fate of Ubersreik and perhaps the entire world hung in the balance. This was the moment when heroes were made or broken, and Dumin was determined to stand firm against the horrors that threatened to engulf him and his friends.
The sheer dread that this monstrous abomination inspired was beyond description. The mutants, their dimwitted worship culminating in this grotesque revelation, broke and ran in abject terror, fleeing from the monstrous manifestation of their dark desires. With a ravenous hunger, the beast snatched up the fleeing mutants, consuming them in a sickening bath of gore and filth. With each living creature it devoured, the creature grew larger, new limbs and tentacles sprouting from its nightmarish form, each more wicked and twisted than the last. Steeling himself, Dumin remained undaunted. The spirit of Grimnir filled his mind, and he was consumed by a singular determination to slay this gruesome mockery of foul divinity. Ankle-deep in the foul mixture of blood and excrement from his previous kill, Dumin leapt at the Daemon with a primal fury. With his bastard sword raised high, he chanted an ancient Dwarfen battle song, focusing the will of his ancestors into a single point on the edge of his blade. Dumin came hurtling down upon the Daemon, a blinding flash of light, a cacophonous boom, and a parting of the putrid sludge waters accompanying his landing. Dumin’s eyes blazed with the collective rage of thousands of dwarfs who had perished while swearing oaths of vengeance against the great enemy, Chaos. Their vows poured into him, infusing him with a power beyond mortal reckoning.
As Dumin’s blade came down upon the Daemon, reality itself seemed to shift and blur. In one vision, he saw himself splitting the beast open, ending its horrible existence in a triumphant blow. But in another, more horrifying vision, he saw himself being degloved by a myriad of clawed tentacles and mawed appendages, his fate sealed in a gruesome demise. Tzeentch, the Dark God of Change, reveled in the chaos of the moment. Where the Daemon had once been, it now appeared half-corporeal and elusive, its form shifting and phasing unpredictably. Dumin’s blade struck nothing but cold stone as it passed through the creature’s insubstantial form. To add insult to injury, the Daemon ignored him wholly, as if he were already dead, fixating on its own insatiable hunger for power and flesh.
Cold realization coalesced in Odwin’s mind. The end of the world had come. Odwin turned and fled down the tunnel, knowing the battle was lost. Nothing could overcome what we faced: The doom of Ubersreik. Motivated by neither craven cowardice nor heroic inspiration, Odwin knew that to survive was to fight another day, and the knowledge he bore with him could be the key to the survival of the Reikland. Ubersreik had to be evacuated. His compatriots were dead already, even if they still drew breath.
As chaos unfolded before her, Aluvane stood stunned. As the putrid beast of change and decay had surfaced, she had been engulfed in a wave of gore and shit. Dark whispers crept into her mind, like serpents slithering through the shadows, and she blacked out for what felt like only a moment. When she regained her senses, her world had descended into a macabre tableau of horror. She stood there, aghast and horrified, as she realized her own actions. In her momentary lapse, she had become a vessel for the malevolent forces at play, compelled to feed a dazed but still living cultist to a writhing mass of mawed tentacles sprouting from the Daemon. The realization struck her like a lightning bolt, and she recoiled in revulsion, slipping on the slick mixture of blood and piss that coated the chamber’s floor. Her very soul had been tainted by the foulness she had witnessed, and the taint of chaos threatened to consume her entirely. The abyss stared back into her, and it was a darkness she could not bear to endure. In one final act of defiance and shame, Aluvane drew a dagger from her belt and drove it into her own heart, a desperate prayer to Isha on her lips. It was a tragic and noble sacrifice, an attempt to free herself from the clutches of the malevolent forces that sought to corrupt her soul. The chamber fell into a mournful silence, broken only by the sobs of the remaining cultists and the sickening sounds of the Daemon as it continued to consume its victims. The battle had exacted a heavy toll, and darkness closed in from all sides.
Otto continued to catapult magic darts into the writhing Daemon. His eyes were wide with horror, and he could feel the icy grip of dread tightening around his heart. He knew that Morr, the God of Death, was coming for him, and he desperately hoped that death would arrive before the abomination before him consumed his very soul.
Niccolò, however, was trapped in his own personal hell. His eyes jaundiced and weeping blood and pus, he convulsed and contorted, screaming curses. He was a prisoner within his own body, a puppet controlled by dark forces beyond his understanding. His pistol fired round after round at his own allies, striking Otto and narrowly missing Dumin. It was a cruel twist of fate that had rendered him a helpless witness to his own actions. Niccolò rounded the crates from whence Dumin had emerged at the start of the battle, marching to the beat of the daemons dancing in his skin suit. Quickly closing the distance, Dumin was upon his former business partner and confidant. Niccolò’s face was contorted in horror and pain as he visibly struggled for control of his own body. He brought his pistol to bear on Otto again, and squeezed the trigger. A flash of steel sent Niccolò reeling to the ground, his arm shattered, still grasping the pistol. It went off, peppering Dumin with fragments of exploded stone and shot. With unearthly quick reflexes, Niccolò’s body sprang to its feet again. Morrsleib’s sickly green light poured into the chamber from the grates above, the gem-encrusted hilt of Niccolò’s drawn rapier—Killstealer sparkling in all its malevolent glory. It was now aimed at Dumin’s heart, and its thirst for blood was unquenchable. A brief but vicious struggle ensued. With strength beyond his normal form, Niccolò slashed and hacked at the Dwarf, his rapier nicking and notching Dumin’s bastard sword as he desperately sought to fend off his friend’s legendary abilities. As strength came to Niccolò’s physique through his dark dealings, though, finesse was lost. Whatever being had possessed Niccolò had none of the noble’s refinement. In Niccolò’s hand, the weapon was akin to an artist’s brush. Now, it had become a hammer. It wasn’t long until an opening presented itself. With a lowered shoulder and quick jab, the pommel of Dumin’s sword found purchase into the sternum of the corrupted noble. With a sickening crack, Niccolò was laid out flat on his back, his mouth foaming and his eyes flooded with blood. Standing over the stunned form of his former brother in arms, Dumin drove the tip of his blade through his shattered sternum into his black heart. Coins and blood spilled across the floor as the Company’s funds became blood money. Tilea’s seventh son’s life was extinguished, and with it, the malevolent force that had possessed him.
Without warning, Dumin found himself seized by the relentless grasp of the Daemon. A tentacle, covered in thousands of needle-like spines, coiled around his left leg, biting down with excruciating force. Fire coursed through Dumin’s nerves as he was hoisted into the air, suspended over the gaping maw of the abomination. Desperation filled the dwarf’s heart as he dangled there, helpless, his limbs thrashing in futile defiance. Otto, in an act of incomprehensible bravery, made a final, gruesome choice. Reaching down he consumed a vile substance off the polluted floor of the chamber, leaping into the beast’s open mouth, a desperate attempt to confront the malevolent force from within.
Howling curses in the name of his ancestors, Dumin met his end. A writhing mass of tentacles, each covered in wicked spikes and hooks, flensed skin from meat and meat from bone with terrifying precision. The Daemon vivisected him, dropping chunks of meat and steaming blood into the open maw of the beast. Surrounded by darkness, with no kin, no friends, and no family, Dumin died screaming in the abyss.
His defiance proved to be in vain. His soul was stretched and spun into the last thread of the dark spell that the cultists had initiated. The Daemon, now horrifically corpulent and twisted, folded in on itself, and with a blood curdling scream of a thousand consumed souls bathed in eternal torment, it tore reality apart. Gibbering horrors poured into the world, like intestines spilling from a slit belly. The warp rift shuddered and stabilized, and Ubersreik was irrevocably doomed. All that was left of the AA was the echoing laughter of thirsting gods.