Warhammers in the Deep

A place for stories beyond the gates of Rhy'Din
Post Reply
Gavel
Junior Adventurer
Junior Adventurer
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:43 pm
Location: Kurgangrad
Contact:

Warhammers in the Deep

Post by Gavel » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:53 am

[Adult reading; abundant graphic violence certain, mature content may vary]

Gavkreiz Makzaad reunited with his warband that had been steadily gathered for expedition, ranging far from their home of Kurgangrad built by their own hands. Roughly two-score of a very mixed bunch came to settle outside of a cavern opening that had only a few barefoot tracks to and from it, a pair of mutant war-hounds sniffing out the wretched odor drifting from them. Witch-fire torches had been set around the opening, casting a chilling blue light to signal their finding. Dismounted from his daemonic mount, the Zar of the tribe looked over his lot to determine who would go, and who would stay to keep the wagons secured. Chaotic beastmen lugged a cage set from the supply wagon, setting it up to keep the war-hounds at bay until they were needed, and separate. Hungry beasts like those were ideal for skirmish and battle, but not for caves of untold structure.

Hand picked, a baker's dozen would see the job through well, or so Gavel hoped as he chose an even amount of force for the task at hand, a sure mystery. One marauder with a pick, another wielding hammer and ax, the other with a shield also bearing a mace. The mightiest of the nomads beared a flail with shield over shoulder, sided with one with a triple-flail, and another keeping a huge golden-coated maul over shoulders. Heavy plated warriors of Chaos filled the line as well, some more mutated than others, a mix of dual-wielding swordsman, shielded ax-men, and other more unique looking fellows with hammers, maces, and shield. That knight of Ruinous Powers beckoned over one of the Dane-axmen to give them some flexibility for attacking in crowded quarters, divied out the torches, and set down into the caves.. keeping the shielded ones in front with the ones with reach behind them, which included their leader, brandishing his obsidian runic halberd. Uttering a dark incantation, he soon saw in the shadow as if it were day, and the dwarf of Chaos followed behind the rest with his orcish and hobgoblin escort, with a trio of the beastmen to keep those low in fealty in line.

At first the cave did open wide but soon narrowed to a passage half concealed, riddled by stalagmites to navigate carefully single file further. Ducking and twisting through the turns, it wasn't so narrow to hassle those in thick and heavy armor but made progress slow at times, wary of what would be alerted to the sound of their approach and casting of pale light. Eventually this led to a more expansive cavern from a ledge, worn by water and perhaps some olden effort of cave dwelling beings. As they gathered up, none wandering far as they adjusted to the bleak shadow spanning rough terrain, their leader saw through the most readily. He grimaced some, as what he saw before the others wasn't entirely pleasing on the eye. Ghouls, not a hive of them at least, but it was sure to escalate if any of his men fell. The pack of six bald, gaunt cretins was around a crude work station cobbled together in the unevenly open place by a dog headed, stitched variant that gave it's hyena grin to the shiny assembly building up in the apparent exit.

Guttural growling-barks signaled the obvious intention in tandem to Gavkreiz giving command and awareness, "Undead! Shield-wall!" Smaller shields scurried to the sides, those so heavily armored held their ground in the front just as Gavel set his halberd forward along with the poled-ax of an ally, their fellow getting some room behind him to rear back with a multi-headed flail to swing when the shining in their eyes drew closer. Intelligent enough to try to avoid charging the obvious threats, the ravenous running dead found themselves beset by bludgeons and axes as they avoided the lanes of doom offered. Hard to avoid the flail, its chains snapping down with hooks and spiked balls crushing limbs and skull with ease. Trying to rip through unholy-blessed armor, blow after blow rained down on them as shields jammed forward to drive them back and run them down. Opposing foe of a leader grew distressed as the northmen charged without rushing to keep from being hurt on the uneven terrain, flowing forward, those following up mercilessly driving blades, clubbing weapons down, until the unliving didn't twitch any longer. Abomination at large ran to climb for a grotto wall, moving with celerity surprising to the hardened warriors but still, a few threw axes to slow the creature down.. doing more than mere harrying in fact. Losing half a leg and jarred by a strike to the shoulder, it fell backwards, howling until it found itself impaled on a stony spike jutting up from the cavern floor. After some gurgled screaming Gavkreiz silenced all that wretched echoing noise as his halberd dropped, a swift beheading.. brackish blood poured out which was jarred for potential uses, the warband pooled together around their leader with many grins of victory but kept their guard up, uncertain of what else lurked in the dark.. waiting for the right eyes to see the picture more clearly.
Gavel
Junior Adventurer
Junior Adventurer
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:43 pm
Location: Kurgangrad
Contact:

Re: Warhammers in the Deep

Post by Gavel » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:54 am

With the entire expedition piled in and beginning to make sense of this expanse, Gavel gazed around with a handful of others adapted to the darkness beyond human means. As capable and strange in their own ways, the warriors of Chaos lacked such adaptations as a majority. They were left seeing as far as the torches let them, listening more so to the drip of moisture from the stalagtites above, skittering little rodents to and fro. Dripping of blood from the severed head, that smell of blood luring what more lurked in the darkness to stir. Not all of the things above were stone and cemented salt, they didn't see as much crystal glimmering along the walls as they would have liked to. It was to be expected, they were still near the surface.. still dealing with the stench of ghoulish den and primal, cthonic deranged sort of magic. Tendrils squirmed, leathery movement crept along the ceiling in ways that began to alert bated breaths to those staring around, trying to discern where to go and what more might enjoy feeding on all the bones half plastered, molding into the landscape... a rather macabre sight as it unfolded to adjusted eyes. They cared naught, at times they left similar or worse in their wake, and may well add to the mayhem those underground walls.

"Cherepakha!" On guard, the reprieve was brief, and the call for a high-guard sent their shields up. Gavkreiz joined them, drawing up a fiendish ebon shield of his for defense. Creatures from above fell, fanning outwards as apparent spikes from above dropped down upon them with the intent to feed. Perhaps more so on the already rotten flesh, to which, they would not mind if one of the things impaled itself with the hyena-ghoul that resembled something from Jhebbal Sag's grove twisted to undeath. From their rapidly buckling position beneath shields being grasped and pressed down on, strange blood trickling where spiked bosses pierced leathery hide, battle-cries carried into the cavern once more! Flails and large, two handed weapons battered down and bashed, smashing the creatures aside and down, dropped as if a mosh abandoned their supported load. Those who couldn't hold enough of the weight and began to suffer for their folly were freed in short order as a blue skinned, dark horned warrior otherwise clad in thick Baroque Gothic plate sliced through it with gnarly silvered and golden swords. War-hammered, axed, the slaughter was over quickly as a scent few of these aberrant monsters clung on still, aware enough to tell if they wish to feed even on their fallen, it was best to wait now..

Wary of further surprises the crew went about carving up one of them quickly to see if their innards held anything of value, but found little alchemical reagents of note. Surly dwarf of foreign cut helped to guide towards further depths, the shuffle of boots and chainmail taking them all onward. Gathering at the cusp of a deeper ledge and natural opening they tended to the wounds taken, patching with aloe bandaging and chugging honey wine, ropes were deployed for some scaling safely between drop offs and a rocky path similar to a mountain's. It wasn't always easy to traverse, but hadn't proved difficult either as the group carefully encroached further towards parts unknown. Perils were around every turn, predators always out to feed on one another, one such craggy cleft taking advantage of perpetual uncertainty. From darkmantles to lashworms, from a vantage point before the passage unfolded, five yard range of namesake lash sprung forward from a pulpy hairy set of triggers that seemed to be mere moss clinging to the stone.

Those caught in it's tasting, ripping cuts of flesh roared in fury and returned offense with offense. Pick and long weapons struck back, lashing into the crevice that the body tried to hide in. Shrill noises were heard, the one from above warded off with the grappling hooks kept at the ready and being pulled back down from above. Unable to unroot the plant-like beast they pulled the hooks back free, and spared an oil bomb at the behest of their leader as they made haste to get clear of the passageway. Smoke would roil to the chamber above, flames teaching the creature to act less rashly.. especially when left to regrow its feelers, if it even could in coming days as the fire cooked for a short while. Flames licking their heels, the warriors of Tchar spilling into the next passage huddled close to prepare yet again. Behind a wall of shields the wounded tended to themselves, flooding some into the mouth of a slightly more structured cavern.. assembling their gear back into a semblance of order, but could see easier as the mouth to the next area held aglow temporarily from the small blaze. Gasps for air and blood in the stagnant air lured more horrors from the deep, unknowingly hungering for the flesh of men who were eager to march to the very rift to the Warped Abyss where the Powers of Ruin awaited them.. willing to throw their souls to the maelstrom for glory, for a meager chance of immortality, the minor prospect of returning scathed and empowered.. but they were (to their belief) barred and far detached from such a fated destiny.
Gavel
Junior Adventurer
Junior Adventurer
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:43 pm
Location: Kurgangrad
Contact:

Re: Warhammers in the Deep

Post by Gavel » Sat Jan 25, 2020 12:06 am

Residue clung heavier in the air and to the walls, actual moss grew thicker along stone spanning a wide divide with jagged ceiling. In some parts it dipped low, almost dangerous for average height and in others the fissure led high. At first, all seemed still even with water pooling in lower points of the flooring, in the distance even a glint of metal to catch the eye. The water pooling at that point, thresholds to deeper lengths masked by archways of stone and all of those pointed pillars, or actual pillars in some points where ancient geology merged stalags' in what some creatures may find an ideal underground hall. Textures matching the terrain slowly slithered in and around the natural structures, seeking to beset the on edge and suspicious horde inching forward. "Hmm, a shame we can't just burn things in these places. On your toes, back to back once we can." Gavel issued, and stepped forward to head the exploration as he saw better than most there did. Movement still hard to trace, serpentine motion keeping to shadows of the brightened entrance as some smoke poured up the chasm above. Leering eyes began to catch wind of the things causing tensions to stay high, poised to strike with serpent forms coiling to lunge in tandem.

Ankle biters. The aberrants weren't short by any means, but they shot forward below the knees to dive around shields and easy eyesight, causing men to holler out into the dark. Tendrillous grabbers hooked on with beaks to bite at, around, armor where it was worn. One of the horrors reeled back finding its beak nearly breaking from trying to pierce a particular suit of Chaos armor's daemonic steel. Gavel struck down with the obsidian spear back-end of his halberd into the body of one grick, spilling strange blood into the murky waters. Practically gutting the false snake beast, the Kurgan knight swung his large weapon around to strike at the other one but it had already reared back and launched itself for the neck. Unable to pierce his wolfram wolf-mask, helm or plate, it did rake and hook into his meaty neck long enough to take a plated elbow to dislodge it. Roaring in rebuttal, the black gem-stone blade slammed down after, splitting the hook-tentacled aberration in twain to the point it fell apart, spurting fluids unusual and unpleasant.

The others fought back just as voraciously, some losing chunks of flesh and others out right laughing as the eyeless monsters failed to penetrate their armor plating, just before smashing their semblances of heads in or hacking them off - the extent this was crude, or clean, did vary by the content of malcontent held due to injuries growing for some. Those worse for wear held back in the mob, longer weapons cleaving and battering the gricks that tried to elude them for survival, though having a stalagmite hammered down on top of the creature was no better a fate. Before long warhammer and sword gave the killing blow. Noise of melee settled soon, half a dozen of the things maimed.. "Unusual creatures down here. Some from home, some not.. skin them, they do look to be aspects of Grand Tchar." A few could be salvaged, others taken for their scaly hide though it wasn't armor quality. They left the rest in remains, patching up quickly as even Gavel cursed as he slammed down special blood for its healing properties before breaching the cross-paths in this subterranean maze.

As the shallow pool section was neared and looked into, seemingly carved out of the cavern wall, sounds for once echoed in return to the rather noisy, diabolic intruders. Huddling up further, the warband focused on the split path and remained uncertain which way unknown things would come. Weapons raised and bobbed in eager anticipation, schemes of havoc to unfold.. bated breath taken in and held as language unheard of echoed to the sounds of boots in their own march. It seemed they intended to get the drop on the intrepid adventurers before they could advance on their own location, whatever they were up to, and disrupt any plans to recover or prepare for further opposition. More than seven dwarves arrived before long - ten in fact, deep dwarves no less. A new sight for even the chaotic one among them, though they were barely different to behold except the style of their own warhammers were intriguing and exotic yet familiar; ashen skin impossible to discern in the dark hardly, even as Gavkreiz signaled battle as he swiped a wooden arrow across a near by torch to hold forward, since his usual spell component was awkward to maintain in these conditions. "Urd Laga-Gash!" Duergar yelled as they charged in, though one of their number flew backwards in the charge, struck dead in the chest by a twin magical missiles of Tzeentch's Pink Fire, dealing out a grievous set of wounds while the others rushed on. Shields collided, warhammers clanging against shield walls, axes trying to pry the dwarves down a bit further as the reaching weapons were raised..
Gavel
Junior Adventurer
Junior Adventurer
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:43 pm
Location: Kurgangrad
Contact:

Re: Warhammers in the Deep

Post by Gavel » Sat Jan 25, 2020 3:23 am

Steel on steel rang out, gruff voices yelling, screaming, in a cacophony of pain dealing and taking resulting in merciless killing. Squish-like, crunchy echoes filled caverns as well when the giant hammer fell and flails crushed down on dwarves intent to rely on numbers over battle hardened skill. Still, one of the marauder fell as the back line's crossbows riddled the one bearing a two handed ax to spare one of their own. Briefly, at the rate of losses were concerned. It did not take long at all for the heavy infantry known as chaos warriors to march over crumpled up, mangled and maimed bodies near half their own size and larger warhammers struck them down. Fleeing did not end well, crossbowmen crying out as axes thrown mostly met their mark and Gavkreiz himself made gang-way for the tunnel opening. That still burning arrow from before snuffed out along with the deep dwarf on the run, sizzling with the darkwood tip so charred sticking out of the throat.. well, beard...

In their pidgin speak betwixt Norscan and Kurgan, comments were spread. "Rishard is dead.", "One of these maggots still breathes!" Another more perceptive rooting around declared, "There's gold on them, haha.." - "Shackle him, then. Leave nothing behind, including our comrade. He will get his kurgan outside, and we will take more of them in his honor, perhaps.. now what about this, eh, alcove of sorts?" Gavel boomed over the rest who squabbled over the valuables found. Chain maille and helmets fit for youth among them, the warhammers sizable and the shields a bit on the small side for most. Sixty coins each, more than enough for each of them a piece in their upkeep and pay. Good steel wasn't cheap either, already loading themselves up with spoils as Gavel finished dragging his gruesome kill to soon add to the pile as the dwarves were stripped down. "My liege, we also found these. More than enough, for your share?" One was a wooden rod, gilded with gold, easily rivaling the sum of coins divided out, and a silver mirror embellished with topaz that some of them considered treacherous thoughts of murder over. However, kinslaying was fealty forsaking and they were quite.. careful around their Zar of the Makzaad for that very reason. He had no qualms boasting of such a feat, since proper challenge made it more acceptable means of power gaining.. but to kill the tribal shaman.. respect was mingled with fear.

Frightful because of the Gaze of the Gods this had earned him. The very same that brought that massive Kurgan into the very shallow pool where what apparently was a chest ripe for raiding stood with the ruin of an altar or podium of some kind, and odd leather cloaks hanging on the walls behind it in plain-ish view. It was dark, walls uneven and calcified, dank air starting to reek of decay and stagnation they abhorred ever so ripe. Was this a competition with the ghoul's lair above? It gave some a bad hunch, and they were not exactly classical, no proper thief among them even if most of the barbarians there could be considered rogues as such. They looked for traps sporadically, Gavel himself prodding the chest with his halberd which at first appeared to make it pop open, revealing ludicrous amounts of treasure by comparison. The amount of bones littering the shin licking depths of the pool still went unnoticed, eerily setting a tone some only grasped too late while the chaos dwarf was busy smacking his foreign-cousin awake and testing dialects and unholy tongues in challenging efforts of translation. One of them even remarked from behind a rounded shield, "They wouldn't actually have a trove just guarded by those creatures, could they? This place.. it isn't well kept to suit offer-" Upon a further pokey pokey, however, things became far weirder.

The glow of torches did not disrupt illusions at hand, but they began to grow while other facades fell. The chest was not a chest at all, but a rather large, meter length, leech that plowed forward! Brushing past Gavel, as it found it hard to knock him over but did send him puzzled to see it barely wield intelligence. Aiming for one of the bare chested fighters, it had the sense not to try to chew through cold clinging plate and mail. It was not fond of the war pick still dripping with deep-dwarf blood it received with equal timing, barely getting half of its razor-sucker around the shield to hit the chest. With the passing distraction that earned focused, terrible attention of marauder and viking battery, the cloaks had replicated en-masse to the point of covering the rounded wall. That, and they began to float and launch, trying to attach themselves to those who lacked cloaks and even some who had them.. from the front, naturally. Revealing terror gripping bellows and manta-ray like visages, which some of the men were familiar with in a way. Screamers of their dark god were actually more fierce to behold and deal with, but not as subtle and deceptive in sincerity. So many illusions made them flail and practically frenzy, some clobbered by allies but most hit figments of their enchanted imaginations.

Undoubtedly, some began to doubt the reality of the situation.. except others let rip noises of agony as they were barbed and bitten, clung to and smothered, in some vague semblance of orderly predation. That, too, was not long to last around the warrior-cult of Change present, Gavel cleaved the lower end of one clean off which inspired it to release his minion before others were pried off. Illusions of the same attack pattern had panicked ones dragged away practically, while the champion among them flail-bashed one so hard into the archway it regurgitated and internal blood shot out of it in a gory mix. Not quite dead, far from it actually, but it flopped over for a moment as an inhuman face looked hurt and sickened. "Pull back, you fools! Knock them back!" Giving commands, Gavel also shoved his halberd into reliable hands so he could take up a palm full pouch of ashes in one and in the other, his odd aspergil flail that was swung with minimal intent to actually hit one of the creatures. Though, he did clip one in his own back stepping while flailing oil about, trying to mind where it was spraying. The others recognized his tactic, spear and shield driving back the beasts, trying to keep them from flying into the limited air-space in the chamber above. "Damn, they are tough as ogre hide!" One warrior rang out as it took nearly a dozen blows to kill one that had been found true, that druzhina making team effort after to throw the carcass into the others to beat them back into the hole they emerged from.

"Stand back! HAZDRAT!" Torches of varying forms of fire dimmed once more as Dark Speech was uttered and their Zar threw his ashes forward, causing them to ignite into a cascading shower of sparks and cindering embers that caused light damage and annoyance by itself.. but combined with oil, the ignition was more severe. The horde had already began to retreat properly, making sure the exit path wasn't still plagued by lashes or other surprises, nor a threat to cook them alive. As well, they dragged the one kill back with them, letting the other monsters burn to death or assumed death for their trickery and perils. Gavel waited to go last, well after the sound of shouting and grappling hooks echoed behind him. The order hadn't been given but it was the right time. They had treasure, wounded, and risked being smoked out horribly.. but in the bright flames the illusions gave away, and his bronzed flail swung upwards to knock out teeth and sense of direction so the cloaker would not pursue, nor find salvation from a slow burn. Steadily backing away to abandon the tunnels until a later time, those in wait were tense about what they would find and hear as both amused and injured 'friends' appeared one by one, smoke wafting from the entrance, some coughing to be had and others trying to aloe-glue flesh back together.

Gavkreiz emerged last, his armor a bit charred and blood stained but a smile all the same found on his mutation crisped face. "Did you make sure all their skulls were crushed?" The forever scowling main marauder gave a firm nod, "Of course, for the mighty vulture and.. I suppose wyrms in the deep, more so." Now he grinned a bit more, "Yes, for the Greatest Eagle, and the Wyrd Wyrm. Bring the rubble, may our customs never die." Once the wounded were saw to, they each set at least one stone but it was more like a dozen to each, piling unusual but plain blue rocks and chunks of sandstone to pile up a kurgan / cairn to one side of the cave mouth, burying their dead after taking gear worth repurposing, replaced by offerings and trophies he had won. Some poppy seeds, a filled drinking horn, and an amber rune-stone among the things buried with him. Topped by one of the duergar's helmets, the kurgan was left in memorium, the Kurgan Druzhina taking their shifts and taking stock of everything before they would again move on to keep searching for suitable grounds to encamp when circling back around to visit the city once more, and hawk off what they didn't wish to keep.
Post Reply

Return to “Beyond the Gates (shared)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest