A Dwarven Tale

Another entry in my journal, it has been several weeks since I last managed to write of our journey. A lot has happened since then.

We lost the Slayers in an ambush we suffered one night. We had settled down and the Slayers had decided to stay up drinking… twas a good thing they did. They were able to leap to our defence when the Chaos scum descended on us. They bought us enough time to form a line of defence to repel them.

The time they bought us cost them dearly, with all of our Slayers dying. Glakor himself was the last to fall surrounded by Warriors of Chaos. Glorious deaths that we will make sure tales are told of.

Our losses were dear, with the Runesmith Varek also falling in the onslaught. We held them all night until they retreated in the Morning Mist. Thane Grungi Hammerblow was also injured in the fighting, his injuries were not mortal, but did incapacitate him to the point where I once again assumed command.

With our Ammunition supplies running low, the Thunderers stowed their weapons and took our fallen comrades Heavy Armour and Shields. This bolstered the numbers of Dwarves I had to command that were heavily armoured.

When we had buried our losses we set off after the Chaos Scum. Many of their Warriors had fallen, their numbers had been greatly reduced and I reckoned we would be evenly matched. Not that it mattered… either way this third time we would win.

It took us two days of hard marching to catch them up, and another three before they would engage us in battle. When we met them I found out why. They had brought a Hellcannon to the fray, with our accursed kin manning it. A sight that was enough to make my stomach turn.

We formed up in a large block of Dwarves ready to combat them. I also carried with me an Oathstone. The one that Thane Grungi had made we swear upon. My Oath was to avenge our fallen upon these Chaos Scum. The bravery an Oathstone instils in our folk is hard to describe, for we are already some of the most brave and stubborn creatures in this land, yet its Burden was a heavy one, not physically… but on the oaths I had sworn on it.

The battle with the Chaos was short lived. We lured their Calvary and their largest block of Warriors into charging us. When they did I place the Oathstone on the ground, my Warriors formed up ready for the battle be it victory or a last stand. When the two enemy formations met with us the battle was fierce, and the Chaos Champion made straight for me, our duel was brief as neither of us could land a telling blow.

The Longbeards I was with… I have never had such an honour as I did that day. They were unbelievable. Charged on two sides with the odds against us they dug deep and slew many of the enemy, enough of them that the broke and fled. The Champion himself stood facing me, unmoving. Even as his followers fled he stood ready to fight, and fight him I did. He threw everything at me, yet my armour held strong, and my return blow severed his head from his shoulders. With their General Dead their will crumpled. The Hellcannon and our accursed kin did little damage before leaving us, while a lone Chaos Chariot killed our Warriors and damaged one of the cannons before fleeing our retribution

We left the site of the battle that evening, ready to return to our hold. We were nearly a two week march from the hold itself, and took the time to gather our wounded, dead and supplies for the journey.

Five days after the battle and our vengeance against the Chaos we fell afoul of the Dark Raiders. Elves, Chaos worshipping maybe, but Elves nevertheless. Looking back on it, I believe we could have avoided them, but less than 10 days march from our hold I could not ignore such a threat.

We met them in battle and once again my battle hardened force prevailed! Their accursed Hydra barely had time to move in range of our Cannons before they killed it. Their foul magic’s, caused us little concern I knew they were trying to use them against us from the prickling in my skin, however we never saw any harm caused because of it. Magic… give me a stout axe, or well made Gun any time.

In combat they were lightning fast but could not find away around our armour, their Noble challenge me and I gladly accepted. This duel certainly deserved the name with both of us trading blows and wounds. However once again my Longbeard companions caused so many casualties to the Elves that they ran… pansy Elves. Can’t stand up in a real fight.

As they fled we pursued them, and in their panic we wiped them out. Only to find ourselves running into a hail of Crossbow fire from the warriors with their Magician. We charged them too, their fear of us made them run, but not fast enough to avoid our Blades.

As I surveyed the battlefield, I saw we had lost only one of our Cannons to the cursed Cold One Knights. Cavalry, I despise any creature that forces another creature to carry it into battle. The gods gave us legs! These Cold Ones soon fled when they saw what remained of my force bearing down on them. Another victory for us… another threat removed.

Now I will tell you of the Final Battle we had on our journey home. My time grows short and I hope I can complete my account. The dishonour of this defeat weighs heavily on me, as I led my Dwarves… too confident in my leadership… to prideful of my ability.

Not two days march from our hold we encountered the Greenskin. Our Eon’s old enemy. Even now, weak as I am, the anger I feel, the hatred of their kind… if one appeared in front of me now, even on the edge of death I would fight, and fight until they were all dead or till my last breath.

The Greenskin. Our Eon’s old enemy, my downfall. We met them before they had time to raise one of their cursed Waaghs. Their forces were not as numerous as they would become.

I have to praise our Thunderers who had donned Warriors armour. We had but one formation of them left due to our losses in the previous battles. With only ten Dwarves in the formation, they charged forward, engaging the ongoing Snotlings. Just as they did so the Night Goblins released three Fanatics, which careened through their Snotlings and into our Dwarves. Many Snotlings died, however the Fanatics killed nine of our kin! The lone survivor held his nerve and ran the Snotlings down! Never a more courageous thing have I seen.

As myself and the Longbeards moved wearily to avoid the Fanatics, the goblins milled around in confusion, for some reason the sight one of standard bearing Dwarf charging towards them stopped them in their tracks! They paused long enough to allow him to charge their Magician! Who promptly turned and fled. The time and chaos he bought us was amazing, as the fanatics crashed into each other and killed themselves, he bought us time to get into position for them.

His heroics ended when the Orc Warboss charged and killed him, just as he turned to flee and lure him out of position. Even though… the Warboss was out in the open now. No longer protected in the rabble of Orcs.

I signalled to the cannons and they unleashed shot after shot at him. The first few missed while they got their range, then one of them hit the Beast full in the chest… a roar erupted from the throats of all the Dwarves on the battlefield…. Only to be cut short as the Greenskin picked itself up and threw the Cannon ball back at us. It fell far short… but the statement was well received.

We moved forward, to be charged by the Night Goblin formation, their movement seemed incredibly fast, but the familiar prickling to my Skin told me that the Greenskin Magician had used magic to hasten their movement. Even with their foul magic on their side they caused us no problem, not harming even one of us, while we wiped them out, and chased down the few survivors.

Our momentum carried us into a large mob of Orc’s with Spears. With the Battle fever on us we wiped them out, and sent them running too, however at this point I saw how poorly our favour had left us placed. Between the Orc Beast, another formation of Orcs and their Chariot things did not look good. I called our Dwarves back, halting the Pursuit of the fleeing Orcs, and reforming us ready for the Charge’s that I knew were coming. I placed the Oathstone, knowing that we would need all of our strength to survive the next few minutes…

All of them charged, pretty much the whole of the Orc forces descended on us… the Carnage was brutal. Their Boss challenged me, and like so many before him, his attacks proved useless, barely scratching me, my response took off one of his knees, and then caved in his Skull. Alas… even killing their leader did not save my Dwarves, the Carnage wreaked upon them was too much, and even their Dwarven stubbornness could not prevent them breaking… as I was swept along with them, the Oathstone left behind under Orcish feet, we were run down by their Chariot, it drove through us killing many, and scattering our remaining strength.

From where I lay on the Battlefield, I saw the Cannon shot that killed their Chariot. I also saw their Magicians head explode, the price you pay for channelling foul magic. I then heard manic shrieking, that the Cannoneers that carried me from the Battlefield told me was one of their Contraptions exploding mid use, killing all of its attendants.

At this point the Orcs pulled back, unwilling to face the firepower of the Cannons we had remaining.

I believe we stopped any potential Waagh… with their General dead they will need to find another leader to unite them. Hopefully they will just go back to squabbling among themselves.

In the end there is little physical pain. Only the unbearable pain of the shame I brought on my clan. Leaving my Oathstone like that… the dishonour is something I could never atone for, even if I had the time and the strength to do so.

These are the last works of Karzak Gurnissan, to be known from this day forward as only Karzak. I now have no clan, as I take the path of the Slayer, for the minutes, hours, days or years I have left. I cannot see me lasting the night, but at least now the honour of my Dwarves will be known, and my Clan will know of the Dishonour I need to atone for.