[WHFB] ...Among the Wicked Dawi - Part 25 - Chosen of Mork

Previous

The shaman pushed us further back in my mind, and we came to the moment of my almost-sacrifice. Again he slowed down time, and explored the magical vision. He splashed around childishly in the lava pool, studied the smaller centaurs, and stared with fascination at Hamazi’s entry. I remembered the cold sensation I had felt as the beast held me above the lava, as though I was seconds away from a cosmic void.

Stirring further through my wits, we came to the Taur’ruk’s lair, and he paused, regarding me with a suspicious eye.

“You likes lyin’ to people wot gots the power ta kill yer, doncha ’ooman? You’s tricksier thanna hobgob, I give yer dat. But I respecks a survivor. You durn’t lie ta me again, or I chops yer legs off.”

I recalled with some grimness that Enmerkar had made a very similar threat not so long ago. “I shall have your legs flayed and burned an inch at a time,” he had said casually. I supposed for a moment that the sorcerer and the shaman were, at heart, cut from uncomfortably similar cloth.

The blur of memory running backwards resumed, and the glowing greenskin followed me down the twisting paths of the menagerie, speeding faster and faster until he came to the obsidian fane. I saw the Sleeper, serene, solid, lying upon his slab.

But something was wrong. The shaman seemed confused. He blundered about the obsidian chamber, running his ghostly hands through the Sleeper’s form, across the phantom surface of the great slab. He tapped the ghost of his staff on the walls, walked up to and under Anshan. He waved the staff at my own disembodied spectre, and I realised with some confusion that it made no sense we were watching my memories from the outside - we should have been only able to see what I had seen, but instead it was as though we were watching players upon a stage. Were my memories accurate? Could I somehow influence this sorcery?

The shaman turned to me with fury in his eyes.

“Stoppit. Iss not funny ’ooman. I’ll turn yer brain to mush.”

I blinked in confusion.

“Stop what?”

The ghostly form of the shaman grew obscenely in size, and great red glow from his eyes waxed powerfully and darkened in hue. When he spoke again, it was with a voice that echoed around the walls of the obsidian memory.

“You hide nuffink from me! I am chosen of Mork! I am da one who tricks! Youse just some bag of meat,” he bellowed, “an’ I will break yer ter my will!”

A great surge of green magical power surged from his hands, filling the obsidian fane, burning away the memory of Anshan, burning away the spectral version of me that stood within the memory, wracking my true self with blinding pain. I felt fires bubble through my ghostly flesh, saw my fingertips worn away to bone, and yet the shaman grew only more furious. The fires died away, and his ghostly form towered over me.

“Tell… me… wot woz on dat slab,” he bellowed, a thousand roaring voices filling his own, the shouts and cries of victorious warriors, the sadistic laughter of triumphant traitors, the brute bellowing of a great green tide -

But try as he might, my mouth could not move.

You will not answer.

The hoarse ghostly whisper pierced my soul like a single rusted talon poking through the top of my spine. So, the whisper was not the spider-daemon. And whatever it was watched me still, guarding my memory of the Sleeper from the sight of this creature. The words were not a command, exactly. They were a statement of fact; a recounted telling of a future long past. I would not answer the shaman’s question. I could not, for this memory was not my own.

The shaman stared at me in revulsion, and beneath it, a kind of shocked fear.

“I cannot.”

He held out his enormous staff, and gingerly nudged my spirit’s cheek with it.

“You… carn’t, ’ooman? For serious?”

“I am not your enemy, shaman. But perhaps I am my own.”

“Really talkin’ fer real fer a minnit,” he said, shrinking down to his diminutive natural size, the burning fires ebbing low in his eyes, “Wotchoo need shrooms for?”

“I need to make a healer’s poultice. If I cannot, Ashirk and I will both die.”

“Yeah?” he replied, uncertain, credulous.

“By order of the Prophet.”

“You bin talkin’ to ’im yerself den?”

“Go back yet further in my memories and you will see him. Assuming my memories of him are not similarly hidden from you.”

“Wot… wot’s he sayin’ dese days?” asked the shaman, attempting to sound nonchalant. Amiable, almost. “’Ee sayin’ much about a goblin conspiracy ter overfrow da fortress?”

“…He has not said the like to me,” I replied laconically. For all his power, the goblin was lacking in subtlety, that much was clear.

“Good. Good. Right-o. Well, best not be muckin’ abaht in yer ’ead if youse got all sortsa narsty tricks an’ traps hidin’ up dere. I believes ya. And err… sorry about all da torchorus pain an’ dat. Security.” He sniffed, and gobbed a loop of spectral phlegm onto the ground. “You prolly know ’ow it is, on account of you bein’ such a great zookeeper an’ awl.”

In a flash of green light, the phantom world fell away, and the bindings tying me to the upright table slipped quietly open.

Next

7 Likes

I hope we get this shaman guy back, I like him. More ATWD is definitely making december less of a slog, thank you!

2 Likes

Last parts of the Greenskin story coming up soon, then it will be back to exploring chorf lore. There’s also going to be a lot of explosions.

3 Likes

Between a rock and a hard place. Excellent as ever. The shaman is a funny gobbo

1 Like