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Kraka Draka

a series of short stories

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#401 Skull Krusher

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 12:10 AM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Thirty Three (333)

Note: Continuation from previous post.


*

They had met not in the Kalan’s private quarters but in the Kalan’s formal audience Khaz. The Kalan Throngrink Council had departed to attend to their personal interests or trade. There are only occupants still in the Khaz; King Groth, his Kvinn Queen Bronda and his mother, Marta Throlindottier Matriarch of the Royal Kalan of Durazklad. They all had stayed behind and watched as the others and Grundi Durakson leave. “That went rather well,” the Queen-mother commented. “I have expected loud protestation from Grundi, not docility.”

King Groth looked around the Khaz saw that they were alone, the service doors were closed a well. When one is the King, no one is truly alone, he shrugged, “Mother, I saw not docility only intimidation.” She nodded only slightly as if in agreement.

But it was Bronda who saw it differently. Queen Bronda looked to her husband and mother-in-law, “His posture may have projected intimidation for you are our Matriarch and you do serve as the King’s chief adviser. As Matriarch you also chair the Kalan’s Throngrink Council.” They both nodded as she refilled their tankards, “what Durazklad Kalan kin is not caught off guard when they are ordered and escorted to appear before the Matriarch who is also the Kings chief adviser?” The Queen-mother chuckled at the younger woman’s assessment but then she was caught off-guard by her son, the King’s comment.

“He was neither intimidated nor docile but exuberant I could see it in his eyes.” The two Kvinn’s surprised expression made him smile. It was not often that his mother’s plans were exactly what the recipients had wished for. “What neither of you two quite understand is Grundi Durakson and Fenna Zylradottier are what the Umgi of the southlands would call soul-mates, have been since his time of fosterage. The sooner the formal Ban is posted in both Karaks, the Barazdeg is over, and the Rite of Marriage has been completed the better,” King Groth informed them. He drained his tankard dry and left the Khaz; four Hammerers joined him in the hallway. As he left the royal compound heading towards the Rusty Harpoon which is where he would be needed, not as King but as kin he wrapped a worn non-descript cloak around his shoulders pulling the hood up for upon his brow is neither Daggron, or Hoggron for he had left symbols of kingship behind.

Four similarly cloaked Hammerers departed as well; two in front and two behind. King Groth dressed simply and if not for the icon of the Royal Kalan or the crown of Kraka Draka few outside the Royal Kalan would recognize him for he dressed like any other Dawi warrior. Those that did were either to intimidated to address him in public or were unafraid an addressed Groth about all sundry of matters from simple greetings to requesting a Royal solution to their problems. King Groth made suggestions or solved their problems as he went. He was not all together sure his mother had solved or created a problem but that small concern disappeared as the doors to the Rusty Harpoon opened.


Note: to be continued with more post for this particular story line.

Cheers.

#402 Skull Krusher

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Posted 19 April 2015 - 11:38 PM

Kraka Draka  - Part Three Hundred Thirty Four (334)

 

Note:  This is a continuation from the previous post and the last post for this particular storyline.

 

*        *

 

It is the year 2519, some six hundred and nine years after the first marriage in the year of 1910 of Prince Drazhgrund Kartinson, second son of the 42nd King of Kraka Draka his third wife made a startling discovery.  Kvinn Kari “Kazhunkidrengi” Katrindottier is tracing the blood-ties of the Royal Kalans of Norsca Ankor.  Her own royal blood can be traced to her great-grandfather the second son of the 54th King of Kraka Draka.  She even had royal blood from her deceased father, Prince Hargar Thorinson of Kalan Zhargrun of Kraka Dorden.  Even her mother had Kalan ties to the royal house Kalan Zhargrun through her own Kalan Drazhvarag. 

 

All these interwoven blood-ties made it confusing and somewhat difficult to find at least three degrees or separation between possible suitors amongst the other Royal Kalans of Norsca Ankor for her children.  She did not want to wait until they became of age which is why she began tracking the various bloodlines.  That was when she saw a notation inscribed by her husband’s mother, Queen Marta Throlindottier in the year 1627.  Kari wondered if Drazhgrund had discovered his mother’s tactical error that could become an embarrassment.  Queen Marta’s plan for Grundi Durakson who is really Grundi Drazhgrund to marry Fenna Zyladottier had backfired.  Because two hundred eighty-three years later in the year 1910, four hundred ten year old Drazhgrund Kartinson married his first wife who was Princess Alrika Vanyradottier his great-great-grand-daughter.

 

Kari just shook her head at the rich tapestry of life that made up the royal Kalans of Norsca Ankor.  After over six thousands years the four Royal Kalans have an unbreakable blood tie and even she is somewhat distantly related to her husband.  As she closed the Kron Kari looked at the latest entry made by her husband Drazhgrund Kartinson; Gotrek son of Drazhgrund Kartinson and Kari Katrindottier born 2nd day of Durgzet.

 

*        *        *

 

Note:  To be sure this particular story line had some Romulan twists that even I had not planned.  Who you enjoyed... I have more stories about the Norsca and Kraka Draka and its inhabitants that are waiting to be written.  The stories have grown to 814 typed pages...  Cheers and have a pint or two on my tab.



#403 Skull Krusher

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 01:28 AM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Thirty Five (335)

Well this next one is skipping forward in time to just after 55th King of Kraka Draks was killed in combat. Not sure where this storyline will go but it needs to be told.

Have a pint on my tab and enjoy....

* * *
2510

Like common domestic workers who are seen so often going about their daily duties the Brotherhood of Drak-Grundal are seen yet hardly noticed. But not today for the Za’s Drak-Grundal are in greater number than usual. Of course being that this is the first Za’s Council of Thorin Thorgardson that is about to be held plus that most of the council did not have a whiff of royal blood flowing through their veins was reason enough to increase the number of Drak-Grundal outside and within the Khaz. Norsca Ankor had lost a High-King and heir and the Drak-Grundal are taking no chances today and if trouble arose it would not be from any of the Rinn Guild-Masters. The Thane of the of the Drak-Grundi; Skaff Ragnison of Kalan Ironhelm acted as door-warden his Drak-Grundi Rik stood inside leaning against the back-wall of the Khaz watching as he waited for his King to enter through a secret door at the front of the Khaz that was hidden behind the ceiling to floor length royal banner of the Kalan of Durazklad. Hardly any of the Guild-Masters or Thanes noted the Rik as they passed inside those that did saw only the more ornate armor and not the overly long white Tromm and if they did notice; he was just one more Gormtrommi Drak-Grundal that should have retired to hearth and kin to bounce his wee grandchildren on his knee or sit in some warrior tavern or inn telling tall tales. Not being noticed suited Lord Drazhgrund Kartinson of Kalan Durazklad just fine.

The Guild-Masters that represented the thirty-three guilds were already inside as well as the sixty-five Thanes who represented their Kalan and even through the closed doors Thane Skaff could hear their loud voices which sounded like a low rumble of rocks being tumbled by a fast flowing mountain stream. Where the Khaz design idea came from had never been recorded publicly and no one within the Za’s Kalan knew whether the acoustic design and the construction of the Rusty Harpoon came first or the Za’s Council Khaz. But the similarities are too coincidental for slightest whisper no matter where spoken within the Khaz can be heard only by the individual sitting in the Za’s chair. Just as any conversation in the Rusty Harpoon can be heard by the proprietor where he stands or sits behind the bar ensuring that customers orders are filled and delivered to the table almost as soon as spoken. The cliental of the Rusty Harpoon appreciated the great service never realizing what is gained ultimately by the Za or Kvinn who sits upon the throne. The only difficulty lies in hearing multiple conversations all at the same time, however the general thread being discussed seemed to be the recent death of King Thorgard Balunson and his heir; Prince Durak Thorgardson.

Lord Drazhgrund Kartinson the patriarch of the royal Kalan of Durazklad and whose father had been the 42nd King of Kraka Draka stood against the back-wall listening to the twaddle that filled the Khaz. Of the nearly Kantuz that were within the Khaz perhaps a Duz were actually there and only a very few of that Duz were close enough to see the death of either the King or his heir. Drazhgrund remembered; it was a winter battle, we had thought it most unusual for the Chaos Beastmen to start a campaign in the dead of winter but perhaps some shaman had ripped open the body of some helpless victim as he cast sinister Rhuns, scry the weird northern lights, and studied the steaming entrails of the sacrificial victim. It would not take much for the followers of the Ruinous Powers to surge forth. King Thorgard and his war-thane would have ignored the horde except they were heading directly toward the above ground seaport of Sjoktraken. But they were not Chaos Beastman but Umgi Kurgan who worshiped Khorne and they came out of the Chaos Waste… The twaddle died down and his attention was drawn to those that just entered.

The Drak-Grundal opened the doors again and the Khaz’s conversations got louder until those closest to the doors noticed who had entered then it grew quieter. Not the Za or any of his royal kin but members of the priesthood who entered representing the Ancestor Gods Grungni, Grimnir, Valaya, and Gazul; that they were here meant that the council meeting was of great import. The voices ceased as many watched as the four priests took their place. The high-priest of Grungni; Thrund Baragorson hardly glanced around though he did return the nods from the Guild-Masters and Thanes representing the mining, metalworking, and stoneworking Kalans. Alrika Magdadottier; the high-priestess of Valaya greeted the Guild-Masters and Thanes of the Brewers, Farmers, and the Healers as she passed by them. The battle-scarred high-priest of Grimnir; Ragni Kraggson viewed the assemble Guild-Masters and Thanes with hidden disdain for nearly all were Khazukan. But it was the black-cloaked perpetually gloomy high-priest of Gazul; Grum Thorgardson that caused the Khaz to grow quieter. When the attention of the entire Khaz was drawn toward the four priests, especially on Gazul’s priest; the secret-door at the front of the Khaz opened, the banner hardly moved as the King followed by his Queen and two heir-apparent stepped around the banner an entered the room unseen and sat upon their respective thrones. The Za looked toward his Kalan’s Throngrink, Lord Drazhgrund who stood leaning against the back-wall next to the entrance doors; then to his own half-brother; the black-cloaked Grum and nodded and the hooded priest returned the nod.

King Thorin sat there listening to the not so quiet whispers of the council. Many of those voices were full of doubt, fear, and puzzlement as to why he, Thorin 2nd son of the late King Thorgard is now the Za their King. The oh so not quiet whispers wondered why his mother Queen Valma should not continue to reign for there was the precedent that had been set by the 4th Queen Bjornhild Hildadottier and then again by 51st Queen Hilda Kettradottier. Both those two formidable Queens had still been very young where as Queen Valma is centuries past childbearing years. More than anything those voices wanted answers to how Thorin’s father and older brother had died on the same day.

The Royal Kalan’s Seneschal; Harok Morgrimson raised his staff of office and hit the floor four times in a measured beat in recognition of the Ancestor Gods as he called the Za’s Council meeting to order. As the fourth strike against the floor slowly faded Harok spoke as he faced the gathered Guild-Masters and Kalan Thanes; “The first meeting of King Thorin’s Za Grand Council is now in order.” Those that were still speaking in harsh whispers ceased suddenly. Harok continued, “Those Thanes wishing to speak will do so in order of Kalan seniority; the oldest of Kraka Draka’s Kalans will speak first the newest last; then finally the Guild-Masters. As usual those Kalans or Guild-Khaz that have the same concern will have but a single speaker.”

Many within the Khaz knew that the Warrior, Brewers, Healers, Mining, Armor-
Weapons, and Farmer-Herders Guilds had the oldest established Kalans within Kraka Draka. Those Kalans had ancestors who had departed the birthplace of all Dawi during what is now called in ancient Zagaz as the “Long Migration” from fabled Karak Zorn which is purported to be located somewhere in the Southern World Edge Mountains. Harok Morgrim looked not towards where the Warrior Thanes were seated but toward the second oldest Kalan, a Kalan that can claim hearth and kin rights in nearly every Dawi hold. But Harok did not see Rhun-lord Hugnir Skalfson, Patriarch of Kalan Karangaz, but Harok’s Kvinn, Hilda Thorisdottier who is wearing light chain mail over blue-grey robes which is covered by a well-worn Drakk-leather forge apron, the accoutrements of her craft stuffed neatly into its various pockets. She is smoking, a curved long-stem calumet with a bowl shaped like an anvil. Hilda’s bright blue-eyes flashed with disdain as she listened to some of the outrageous comments. Prior to being called to the council meeting she had been having a quiet drink with the Oakenstave’s Karugromthi Thane; Derna Morgadottier of the Skara Brae Brewery. Derna wanted her opinion on the latest ale that had been laid down nearly 75 years earlier and the ale had been named Drazh-Anvil; which is an oatmeal stout, with a trace of honey and just a hint of almonds. That they both had been summoned put them both in a sour mood.

So when Harok nodded, Hilda the Master Rhun-smith nodded back. As Hilda stood her long braided gray streaked yellow-hair that had lain in a massive coil on her lap fell and would have reached the floor if she had not looped two coils in her forge apron. She looked at each and every council-member before she spoke. Hilda pointed at and glared with undisguised contempt at some of the council-members; “Most of you are daft, slow-witted, empty-headed Khazukan; who’s Kalan and kin are afraid to step beyond their Khaz.” An angry hiss rose mainly from those sixteen Kalans that formed the Artisan, Jewelry-Smith, and Bakery Guilds. “If you want to know how King Thorgard and Prince Durak died ask those Warriors who donned their armor, grasped their weapons in firm resolute hands and followed their King into battle. Listen not to unthinking craven Khazukan who were not on the field of battle.” A few of the angry voices called out for a Dar. Others yelled for a grudge, some called for quiet but many applauded. Not to be deterred she pointed again saying, “Thorin is the 56th King of Kraka Draka!” Hilda raised her forge-hammer in the air and shouted, “Hail King Thorin Thorgardson. Long Live the King!!!”

Suddenly there was not one Dawi in the Khaz that did not fail to stand some were somewhat slow but that was due to infirmaries due to age or perhaps battle-wounds; all shouting, “Hail King Thorin Thorgardson. Long Live the King!!!” Four times it was shouted and as the noise died down Seneschal Harok banged his staff repeatedly against the floor calling for quiet.

Lord Drazhgrund Kartinson smiled, Hilda Thorisdottier reminded him so much of his great-aunt Kettra Harpadottier whose father was the 40th King and aunt Zilyra Dernadottier whose father was the 41st King; both Rinns had married Rhun-smiths within Kalan Karangaz. As a young Dawi he had known them both and when he thought of Kettra he remembered her daughter, Anaya whom he loved. Those Rinn were long gone, laid to rest in their tombs, Drazhgrund did not feel old but he had outlived every one of his contemporaries. He was wool-gathering and returned his attention to crowded Khaz.


Note: to be continued.

#404 Skull Krusher

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 01:48 AM

Kraka Draka -     Part Three Hundred Thirty-six (336)

 

Note:  Continuation from previous post....

 

Loremaster of Kraka Draka, Gorril Balinson of Kalan Drakkdrengi stood upon the lowest of the four steps leading up to the thrones.  Gorril’s Kalan is the third oldest whose ancestor had fought alongside Snorri Cromson who had slain the Mhornar Draka.  Snorri became King Snorri “Drak-Slayer” Cromson the 1st King of Kraka Draka.  Gorril’s ancestor Ragni Norgrimson Kalan name became Drakkdrengi.  Gorril spoke not for his Kalan but as Loremaster.  The Seneschal banged his staff once calling for quiet and Gorril nodded his thanks and began reading out loud what had been reported by Shield Bearer Dugan Brokkson.  As Gorril began to speak the main doors opened just enough to allow a young 30 year old Rinn wearing the icon of the Royal Kalan of Durazklad upon her cloak slipped into the Khaz.  The Sagaz of the death of King Thorgard had already begun.  She came in without notice, for the listeners were enamored of what Gorril spoke of.  Only Lord Drazhgrund took note as Kari Katrindottier who had once been of the Royal Zhargrun Kalan.  But that had been after her father: Prince Hargar Thorinson of Kraka Dorden had been killed in a cave-in.  Shortly there after with the permission of two royal Kalans; Kari and her mother Katrin had moved back to Kraka Draka.  Some time later they had been sponsored and adopted back into the Royal Durazklad Kalan.  She stood next to him leaning against the back-wall listening to the Loremaster of Kraka Draka.  The Drak-Grundi Rik smiled.

 

“Lord Drazhgrund attempted to change King Thorgard’s mind that the King’s place was with the Drakk-Hammerers and not with the Kalan Ironhelm but King Thorgard was adamant that he was perfectly safe with the Kalan Ironhelm whose position was to the right of the Drakk-Hammerers.  King Thorgard told Lord Drazhgrund that the royal Kalan was honoring the Thane and Kalan Ironhelm by fighting with them and that Drazhgrund would fight from atop the shield bearers saying that he, the King would vanquish the beast horde from either unit”.

 

“Are Dawi Throng had heard that it was just another Chaos Beast Horde only larger but the scouting reports of Chaos Warhounds leading a Chaos Beast Horde was terribly wrong what we faced were well armed Kurgan who worshiped Khorne and they came out of the Chaos Waste.  They were on a direct path for port Sjoktraken.  Our King and Lord Drazhgrund conferred with his Warrior-Thanes and decided it was best to meet the oncoming horde before they discovered Sjoktraken not wanting any survivors to take back information that Sjoktraken was a prime target for looting and pillaging in future invasions.”  The Loremaster stopped his reading long enough to take a sip of ale then continued.

 

We heard them before we saw them coming out of the blowing snow like ghosts upon the wind.  The rattle of the armor, the jingle of harnesses the sounds of bellowed commands, the crunching of heavy shod feet upon the snow, and the whinnying of their mounts could be heard above the sound of the wind.  Then they appeared Chaos Knight, Chaos Chosen Warriors, Marauder, Marauder Horseman, Chaos War Hounds, no more than half a quarreler shot away and all along our front.  Those quarreler units that could see their targets through the blowing snow fired a mass volley but the wind spoiled their aim and the enemy raised their shields stopping many bolts from raining death down upon them.  Only three in ten shots hit and less than a quarter of those killed our enemy and on they came.  The Quarrelers fired again and a few more dropped and then the enemy charged as the Quarrelers slung their crossbows and armed themselves with their great-weapons.  The mounted Chosen Knights came thundering in heading directly for the Drakk-Hammerers but beside them in their charge were two Chaos chariots pulled by fell beasts who may at one time may or may have not been steppe horses but they breathed daemon fire and their hooves sent sparks flying as they struck the exposed rock and ice.  Then two Dawi bolt throwers fired both striking the same chariot shattering it as the team and the riders within the chariot tumbled end over end but the second chariot continued on striking the Ironhelms to our right. 

 

Then a guttural Norsca Umgi-voice rang out from the charging Chosen Knights their Chaos Lord, their general issued a challenge and Lord Drazhgrund called out his acceptance though our own Drakk-Hammerer Thane wanted to step forward but Lord Drazhgrund forbid him as the fighting began all along the battle line as the blowing storm swirled around.  Drazhgrund borne aloft by his shield bearer’s vs. the Chaos Lord upon his daemonic steed in mortal combat as the other five knights attacked the rank and file of our unit.  The Chaos general swung his sword that glowed coloring the falling snow in a vile sickly warp-stone color with such speed that it looked like a glowing comet across the night sky but as quick as the Chaos general was, Lord Drazhgrund seemed quicker as his own Rhun covered war hammer glowed brightly with a golden light that seemed to purify the light of Chaos turning it from a sickly putrid color to the color of life, like new budding pine needles on a Norsca spruce tree or a blade of new grass poking it’s way skyward toward the sun. Then Lord Drazhgrund hammer smashed into the Chaos general’s shield, some of the strokes seemed to glance off as if an invisible hand had stopped the hammer blow or did not hit at all.  But more often than not the runic inscribed hammer head of the great-weapon hit true creating dents and cracks in the shield.  Two of the strikes got past the shield and slammed into Chaos Rhun Armor and where the Dawi hammer hit the metal armor seemed to glow with the heat of a golden forge fire and began to melt.  Then before my eyes I saw the armor try to heal itself but it was only partially successful.  The Chaos general swung back and Lord Drazhgrund parried the first two strikes but not the others as the Chaos Rhun sword slashed down hitting Lord Drazhgrund numerous times to no avail as the gromril Rhun armor glowed brightly negating the attacks.  Lord Drazhgrund’s armor even turned away the attack from the general’s demonic steed flashing hoofs and biting attacks.

 

To my fellow Shield-Bearer and I the battle between the Chosen Knights and the Drakk-Hammerers seemed to go on forever but in reality not long at all.  Two of our front line fell to wounds but our Thane, Kazrik felled two of the knights.  We fought on but above the din of battle and then we heard a cry of despair and I looked to the sound and it was from the Ironhelms to our right, the one that had been charged by the Chaos chariot.  All I heard was “the King is…” and the sounds of fighting blotted out all other sound as my attention as well as my fellow shield bearer was to provided a stable and level fighting platform for Lord Drazhgrund.

 

We fought on and once again the Chaos general began to swing and again Lord Drazhgrund’s great hammer came thundering down and his first swing shattered the shield, the second swing snapped the shield arm and the general tried to parry the blows with his sword as well as turn his mount aside but we kept abreast of him as Lord Drazhgrund’s final strike struck the Chaos general upon the helm crushing it as the general slid from mount.  The demonic steed sensed its master’s death and attacked in a fury as the front line struck at the remaining Chaos Knights as we struck them down, all but one, who turned and fled.  We would have chased the lone Chaos Knight to run him down but Lord Drazhgrund ordered us to instead to charge to the right as we flung ourselves forward into the side of the Chaos chariot.  Lords Drazhgrund’s great-hammer smashed the chariot driver and rider into a bloody heap.  The our Drak-Hammer Lord leapt from atop the shield and then he grasped the side of the chariot and single handedly heaved and flipped it over onto its side as harnesses snapped and as we killed the horses.  Under the chariot lay the Ironhelm Thane and King Thorgard, broken, bloody bubbles upon his lips.  I saw Lord Drazhgrund place his ear to the king’s mouth and the king grasped his kinsman, his Kalan’s Throngrink.  I heard King Thorgard gasp out only one word, “Honor”.  They clasp forearms and then Lord Drazhgrund places the King’s weapon in his mailed fist and closes the King’s eyes.

 

Loremaster Gorril noted the silence in the Khaz after he had finished reading the first part of Shield Bearer Dugan Brokkson report.  Gorril spoke to those in attendance; “What follows is a continuation of Dugan Brokkson’s report.  Dugan states and it was heard by others that Lord Drazhgrund ordered Dugan to find and report to Prince Durak that his presence was requested and was to escort him to Lord Drazhgrund.”  Many in the Khaz nodded and then Gorril read the rest of what Dugan Brokkson had reported:  “As I headed toward the right flank of our battle-line where Prince Durak’s Langktrommi were I heard Lord Drazhgrund order a Drak-Grundal to search the left flank where Prince Thorin’s Drak-Azuldrungi were fighting.  The battle had been costly, the King was dead and now I had to tell his son, the heir, nay now King Durak that his father was dead.

 

I had to fight my way to where the Langtrommi were still hotly engaged in combat.  They were in a shield wall formation battling the last cohesive group of Chaos Warriors still on the battlefield.  When the last of the Umgi were killed I joined the Langtrommi and managed to find Thane Thorin Brokksnev of Kalan Stoneface and asked the whereabouts of Prince Durak.  Brokksnev pointed oft to one side where a knot of Langktrommi stood guard.  The battle had been too costly the king was dead as was his oldest son Prince Durak.  I saw that his body was atop a Chaos sorcerer whom he killed in hand to hand combat.  The sorcerer was nearly cut in half by a Rhun-axe wielded by Prince Durak who was dead with not a wound upon him.  It was as if the sorcerer’s last moment of life was to cast a spell of death.

 

I took it upon myself to take Durak’s Rhun-axe and then informed Langtrommi Thane that King Thorgard is dead and Prince Durak’s body needed to be carried back to Kraka Draka along with that of the King.  Thane Thorin nodded his acceptance to my order.  I then made my way back to Lord Drazhgrund and upon my arrival noted that he and Prince Thorin are in a deep discussion.  Lord Drazhgrund seeing my return noted that I was alone but I was also carrying the Prince’s weapon.  I said nothing, just sadly stoically shook my head.  Lord Drazhgrund then spoke out loud enough for all the Dawi to hear.  “King Thorgard Balunson and his heir; Prince Durak Thorgardson are dead.”  There was a gnashing of teeth and a tearing of beards but the royal Kalan’s patriarch spoke again.  “Prince Thorin is now the 56th King of Kraka Draka!”  Then he raised his weapon into the air and shouted, “Hail King Thorin Thorgardson.  Long Live the King!”  A ragged cheer rose into the air from flank to flank and back again as one loud long unified cheer shook the mountains of Norsca Ankor;  “Hail King Thorin Thorgardson.  Long Live the King!”

 

“So ends the report of Shield Bearer Dugan Brokkson.” Loremaster of Kraka Draka, Gorril Balinson of Kalan Drakkdrengi stated as he look into the eyes of those Dawi in the Khaz.  Gorril returned back seat where his apprentice sat taking notes of the precedings.

 

 

Note:  To be continued..... Have a drink on my tab...

 

Note:  So far this new tale is much slower in the telling due to the conditions of the ancient Krons and the near unreadable pages upon which it was written...  But this Loremaster will continue on telling the Saga of Kraka Draka....


Edited by Skull Krusher, 19 June 2015 - 01:50 AM.


#405 Skull Krusher

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 03:46 AM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Thirty Seven (337)

Note: Continuation from previous post.

The Royal Kalan’s Seneschal; Harok Morgrimson looked around the hall waiting for the forth oldest Kalan’s Patriarch to speak, and he nodded to Brogar Zfarrgrund of Kalan Drakkgrund who represented not only his own Kalan as Karugromthi but for the three Kalans; Drakkgrund, Stonebeard, and Ironforge that made up the Endrinkuli Guild. The Kalan Thanes, Thorik Kazranson and Fenni Kraggson made it known to Seneschal Harok that Brogar spoke for them as well.

The Khaz became respectfully quiet as the Karugromthi slowly stood. As he did so he glanced toward the back of the Khaz and saw Drazhgrund’s nod and then he turned toward Heganbor who is seated amongst the Miners Guild and lastly toward Derna who sat with her Brewers before turning toward his new King. Lord Drazhgrund, Heganbor, Derna and him-self were all Karugromthi and their combined age if anyone was crass enough to ask totaled up to nearly four thousand years. Nearly a thousand years each! A living Kraka Draka history sitting in this very Council Khaz, Lord Drazhgrund is the oldest of the four by a mere nine moons but that was all that mattered to the Heganbor Kladfist of Kalan Rhyn of the Miners Guild, Brogar Zfarrgrund of Kalan Drakkgrund of the Engineers Guild, and last Derna Morgadottier of Kalan Oakenstave of the Brewers Guild. Brogar was the youngest of the four by thirty seasons, Heganbor was the next oldest followed by Derna who was older than Brogar though she looked to be almost 100 years younger and if you looked hard you could still see strands of bright golden hair that seems lost in the numerous white braids that coiled around her shoulders.

That respectful silence was finally broken as Brogar Zharrgrund gave a respectful bow to his new King. “Six hundred years ago much to our Ankor’s grief we were ruled by three kings in one year; King’s Gottri, his sons; Kendrak and Ulther. But it was his daughter Queen Hilda Kettradottier who ensured the line of succession ruling for 20 years until she married Prince Florin Elmadorson of Kraka Dorden. They ruled together for 44 years until his death and Queen Hilda ruled for another 6 years until her son Grindol Florinson became the 51st King of Kraka Draka. Now once again our Ankor is beset by naysayers who desire some other Dawi to rule; perhaps themselves and their Kalan.” There was a slight hiss amongst the gathering, but he continued. “In truth there are a few Dawi outside the Royal Kalan of Durazklad who wonder and have spoken in not so hushed whispers why Lord Drazhgrund Kartinson, 2nd son of our 42nd King of Kraka Draka is not our King. Fortunately for all of us my friend, my comrade in arms; Drazhgrund has flat refused to usurp his great, great, great grand nephew. If there had been no one else alive in the line of succession perhaps he has told me.” There were many quiet nods of agreement so he continued to speak, “I learned through long years of careful observation that Lord Drazhgrund has accomplished more in the name of those fourteen Kings he has honorably and ably served than many of those fourteen kings did themselves.” There were a few quiet chuckles. The Endrinkuli Guildmaster looked at his fellow Dawi and turned to face King Thorin, “King Thorin, you may have the entire Endrinkuli Guild and my oath of allegiance right now.” King Thorin looked upon the living ancestor whose long white beard and hair flowed down from his head like a massive icy glacier off the flanks of Mount Sjoktraken.

“It can wait,” King Thorin replied but to himself he wondered what those gathered here would have thought if he had wanted his half-brother the high-priest of Gazul; Grum Thorgardson to be King. Let it be know that he, Thorin had no desire to sit upon the throne. Prince Durak should be the one to bear all the trials and tribulations that came with the crown. But his brother had died in the same battle as his father, the king and Thorin had joked with his patriarch about it and Lord Drazhgrund’s reply was harsh. Thorin was now King whether he wanted to be or not. Thorin returned his attention back to the Endrinkuli Guildmaster.

Brogar Zharrgrund nodded turned back to face the Khaz and shouted, “Long live King Thorin”! His fellow Karugromthi rose as did those Kalan Thanes who Kalans made up the three guilds and all shouted, “Hail King Thorin, Long live the King” as Brogar made his way back to his chair and sat down.

Once again the Royal Kalan’s Seneschal; Harok Morgrimson had to bang his staff against the floor to bring quiet to the Khaz. He slowly looked at each of those Guildmasters who had yet to speak or any of their Kalan Thanes. It is mainly the Khazukan Guilds and or Kalans that at least seemed to Harok to be the most boisterous; the Artisans, Bakers, Jewel Smiths, and Merchants Kalans. Harok decided to end this charade for that was what it was; Thorin is their King so Harok as the Royal Kalan’s and King’s Seneschal spoke out reminding those noisy Khazukan about a little known ruling that govern succession. He struck the floor one final time cleared his throat and spoke; “The Loremaster; Gorril Balinson has reminded me of a little know law concerning succession. For those who are adamant in their opposition to Thorin Thorgard becoming the 56th King of Kraka Draka and you do not wish to have yourself or Kalan swear a fealty oath you may issue a challenge to Thorin Thorgard to fight a Dar to the death. You would either take up arms against Thorin or his Champion in single combat,” and Harok pointed toward the back of the Khaz as Lord Drazhgrund stepped away from the wall; “and that would be Lord Drazhgrund.” A shudder ran through those few individual Thanes who thought the Ankor would be better served with someone else upon the Dragon Throne. “Speak now if you desire a trial-by-combat or give your acknowledgement and swear a fealty oath that will bind you and your Kalan for as long as King Thorin rules.” Then Harok struck the floor four times with his staff and there was dead silence.


* * *

Note: This ends this particular story but more will surely make their way from pen to paper. Already the story of Kraka Draka is 829 type pages!!! When will it end? Never Dwarves are eternal!!!

Edited by Skull Krusher, 09 July 2015 - 03:07 PM.


#406 Skull Krusher

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 12:14 AM

I am at a loss.  The End Times came and destroyed not only the Warhammer world but also the muse. 

 

I have lots more stories to write but what is the sense; all seems meaningless so to speak. 

 

Not realistically; b.u.t!  And oh what a b.u.t. as the Kraka's Runelord rummages around and removes a Rune engraved box no bigger than a deck of cards for some Umgi game.  He mumbles to himself as he carefully places his hand over the hinged box.  If opened and used the lore of his forefathers states that time can be turned back.  But how far he thinks to himself.  He did not want to relive his own life again, no mistakes were made; each choice was correct but what of others.  The Runelord places the box back into a sealed chest.  He needed time to think about what he was about to do but there was no time left.  For the world had run out of time...  

 

I will not give in to the ET's.   Warhammer and the Dawi of Norsca Ankor will live on through my stories....  Cheers and have a drink on my tab. 



#407 Tah Kazak Rik

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Posted 15 August 2015 - 03:31 AM

I am at a loss.  The End Times came and destroyed not only the Warhammer world but also the muse. 

 

I have lots more stories to write but what is the sense; all seems meaningless so to speak. 

 

Not realistically; b.u.t!  And oh what a b.u.t. as the Kraka's Runelord rummages around and removes a Rune engraved box no bigger than a deck of cards for some Umgi game.  He mumbles to himself as he carefully places his hand over the hinged box.  If opened and used the lore of his forefathers states that time can be turned back.  But how far he thinks to himself.  He did not want to relive his own life again, no mistakes were made; each choice was correct but what of others.  The Runelord places the box back into a sealed chest.  He needed time to think about what he was about to do but there was no time left.  For the world had run out of time...  

 

I will not give in to the ET's.   Warhammer and the Dawi of Norsca Ankor will live on through my stories....  Cheers and have a drink on my tab. 

Keep writing! You have wove the most epic and lengthy Dwarf story in the forum's history! You have to keep writing.

The End Times exists only for GW's Warhammer World. It does not apply to the world you have built, nor has it fully applied to the Bugman's Brewery Campaign world. 

I love reading your stuff! And I encourage you to continue your world!



#408 Skull Krusher

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Posted 09 September 2015 - 07:47 PM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Thirty Eight (338)

 

This particular fluff story line takes place two hundred (200) years in the past from the current time line in WHF.

 

*******

Year 2310

 

Mount Sjoktraken starts up sudden and solitary within the heart of an ancient thick-dark-green Wutroth forest in the north-east mountain range of Norsca.  It stands like a lonely god, white as a winter moon or perhaps a living ancestor with long white hair and beard flowing down the flanks like glacial ice.  Within the heart of this towering mountain an infernal raged back and forth between the representatives of the four Holds for over seven years; those Khazukan Kalans who advocated continued isolation and those who Vithang and their supporters who advocated connecting the Norsca Ankor Ungdrin to that of Ungdrin Ankor and the Holds of their Southern Dawi kin of the World’s Edge Mountains. 

 

In 2292 after over 1,000 years the Ungruvalk, an underground river-canal from Draksfjord to the River Dumaraz which separates southeastern Norsca from Troll Country had been completed.  Norsca Dawi Vithang Drakships and steamships were now able to travel to the Sea of Claws without circumnavigating the whole of Norsca.  The Norsca Vithang soon began trading with the Umgi merchants in the port cities such as Marienburg and Erengrad.  With the increased trade came rumors and the occasional chance meetings with Ruebatuki who had fled their embattled Holds upon being over-run by Skaven, Orks, and Goblins. 

 

But then in 2301 the Great War of Chaos began and Chaos forces lay siege to the city of Kislev, and the forces of Norsca Ankor honored their long standing treaty with Tzar Nicholas of Kislev and sailed through the underground passage from the port of Sjoktraken to the Sea of Claws.  The forces of Norsca Ankor then began attacking the unprotected flanks of the Chaos hordes that had swarmed Kislev.  Unknown to the Norsca Dawi, other allies came to aide Kislev as well.    It was two years later in 2303 at the final battle of Grovod Wood that Chaos was defeated thus ending the Great War of Chaos.  It was there during the Battle of Grovod Wood that Thorgard Balunson the Great King of Norsca Ankor and Thorgrim Grudgebearer the High King of Karaz Ankor met one another for the first time in nearly 7,000 years.  Thorgrim invited Thorgard to Karaz-A-Karak.

 

Note:  To be continued and have a pint or two on my tab....

 

 



#409 Skull Krusher

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Posted 26 September 2015 - 12:35 AM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Thirty Nine (339)

 

Note:  Continuation from previous post

 

No sooner than when the forces of Great King Thorgard returned from Karaz-A-Karak after participating in the Day of Remembrance festivities the demand amongst the Vithang that the Norsca Ungdrin connect with that of Karaz Ankor began and every year; the Dawi Vithang came from all across Norsca to discuss matters of importance and settle disputes during the Throngim Gromthi.  Not for the first time Great King Thorgard Balunson and his Patriarch and Throngrink Lord Drazhgrund Kartinson wished that they had not met their Imperial cousins on that Kislev battlefield seven years past… “If the southern portion of Norsca Ankor Ungdrin were built naval actions against the Dark Elgi and Chaos would lesson.  Protection of Vithang shipping would not be a drain on the treasuries of Norsca Ankor.  Our trade caravans could travel unhindered from Kraka Ravnsvake to…” Vithang Durak Dimzadson sputtered as he was interrupted.

 

“The Ungdrin Ankor is hardly safer than the Sea of Claws,” shouted one of the Khazukan who had not bothered to be recognized by Lord Drazhgrund who was overseeing the Althing this particular day.  If not for the presence of his 2nd wife; Kvinn Harga Ulladottier whom had agreed to sit in on the deliberations as she held their 1st born son; Baruch Drazhgrundson he would have put the dullard in his place.  She sat on his right but the Heir; Prince Durak Thorgardson sat to his left and when the Prince started to enlightened the Vithang Durak to the constant dangers of the Ungdrin from his own personal experience having traveled to Karak-A-Karak after the final battle at Grovod Wood his Patriarch motioned him to be silent.         

 

“That is what we have Ironbreakers, to guard the Ungdrin…” someone else shouted.  So far nothing had been discussed that had not already been debated in the last seven years.  Drazhgrund’s patience was almost at an end when his daughter-in-law Kvinn Magda Helgadottier of the Royal Ziflinskaud Kalan of Kraka Ravnsvake whom married his son from his 1st wife handed him a Kron pointing to an item of interest that would be a welcome relief to the constant bickering over the Ungdrin expansion.  All four kings were in agreement that expansion would be to costly even with the shared cost by the four Holds and the imposed increase in taxes and the increase tariffs in imported goods in order to offset construction costs.  Perhaps a demonstration was in order and he smiled his thanks to Magda who is heavy with child. 

 

Drazhgrund slid the agenda Kron over to the Heir who nodded in agreement.  Prince Durak reached over with his gavel; which was shaped like a typical warhammer and hit the Rhun crafted Argil-bell that was set up on the table in front of him.  Every Dawi in the Khaz stopped speaking; the magic of the Rhun made it seem like the King had demanded silence.  Prince Durak rose from his chair and spoke; “I have decided that the Endrinkuli from our respective Kraka’s along with their Endrini shall demonstrate their Ungdrin Hewn Barag. The Throngim Gromthi has been temporarily adjourned and everyone in attendance is to follow Endrinkuli Brogar Zharrgrund of Kalan Drakkgrund.


*

 

Note:  To be continued... have a drink on my tab.



#410 Skull Krusher

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 05:58 AM

Kraka Draka    -    Part Three Hundred Forty (340)

 

Note:  Continuation from previous post.....

 

A couple of marks later those that were in attending the Throngim Gromthi had made their way down to the lowest deep that belonged to the three Kalans that made up the Endrini Guild.    Brogar’s grandson; Snorri an Endrinkuli as well stood next to a standard earth boring machine used throughout the Norsca Ankor.  Behind the boring machine was a set of metal tracks and on the tracks was something that was hidden under a large canvas that hung from the ceiling.  These steam powered machines were used to drill small water and air tunnels that were no bigger that the length of a battleaxe.  “I will let Snorri explain how we intend to hewn our way to the World’s Edge Mountains” Brogar stated.

 

Snorri looked at the assembled representatives of Norsca Ankor.  “What the four Endrini Guilds of Norsca Ankor has created is a new Ungdrin Hewn Boring Barag; we have expanded on the standard earth borer mining drill and built this as an alternative to drilling and blasting methods in rock and the more conventional hand mining in soil.  This new Barag has the advantage of limiting the disturbance to the surrounding areas caused by blasting and produces a smooth tunnel wall.” 

 

Then Brogar’s grandson pulled a rope and the canvas fell to the cavern floor.  There was silence and everyone crowded around to look at the machine.  It had twelve wheels, six on each side, and obviously steam-powered since it had two steam engines; and it was armored.  Drazhgrund quickly realized the reason for the armor was to protect the operator from flying debris.  He slowly walked to the front of this strange vehicle and stopped.  He well knew that the standard earth boring machine had a three foot wide rotating drilling disc head comprised of three one foot wide rotating drill bits made of hardened steel with embedded cast-off diamond bits.  This new machine has twenty-four rotating drilling disc heads set up in concentric circles.  He realized that what the Endrini Guilds had built was to take standard earth boring machines and mount them on a rotating spindle which is powered by the first steam-engine while the second steam engine powers the wheels to move it forward or backward at the same time expelling the debris to the work crew to be carried away on the ore carts that followed along behind.  Both Prince Durak and Lord Drazhgrund had completely walked around it looking and evaluating.  It was the Prince who commented quietly to Lord Drazhgrund that any tunnel that was drilled would be sufficient to allow two Vithang wagons to pass side by side.  Drazhgrund replied to the Prince, “I noticed that as well and large enough for an invading army.  But has it been tested?  It looks like it was built here since I see no doorway or tunnel big enough for it to be brought in.”

 

 

Snorri began by explaining all about the Barag.  “As you can see this Barag consists of a rotating cutting wheel, called a cutter head, followed by a main bearing, a thrust steam system and trailing support mechanisms.  The Endrini operating the Barag can excavate any type of rock using disc cutters mounted in the cutter head.  This Barag has twenty-four cutter heads.  Each disc cutter creates fractures in the rock, causing it to chip away from the rock in front of the Barag, which is called the tunnel face.  The excavated rock, known as muck, is transferred through openings in the cutter head to a conveyor belt, where it runs through the Barag to a system of conveyors or muck cars for removal from the tunnel.”

 

“Has it been tested” Prince Durak called out interrupting the Endrini?  “Does it work?  I am sure my father the King would not want you to be boring a tunnel through all of Kraka Draka just to get to the starting point of the new Ungdrin that is to link with our southern kin.”

 

There were a few scattered comments; one of the less supportive of the Vithang who happened to be a member of the Jewel-Smith Guild asked, “What is the upfront cost?  Those diamonds you are using is your drill heads are not cheap, must be expensive to construct, and is looks to be very difficult to transport to any starting point?”

 

Snorri looked over at his grandfather, Brogar Zharrgrund head of the Endrini Guild and then over at the Guild Master of the Grungi Guild.  “What the Royal Klans would like to see right now is a full-power demonstration of this Ungdrin Barag,” Drazhgrund stated but it came out as a royal command.  Both Guild Masters looked startled then Brogar ordered Snorri to muster the Barag personal.  Twenty four apprentice and journeyman Endrini quickly arrived.  Snorri climbed up into the Barag and lit the fires and in a quarter candle-mark as everyone impatiently waited the water within the boilers boiled and steam began circulating throughout the piping that lead to each of the twenty-four disc heads.  The rest of the Endrini that had climbed up onto the Barag are busy as they quickly made final adjustments and opening steam valves that would start the discs to rotate.  Seeing that the main gauge showed more than sufficient steam Snorri pulled a rope and a steam whistle sounded and the Endrini immediately jumped off the Barag as each boring head began turning faster and faster.  Then Snorri pulled two leavers; the noise was tremendous, and it became worse as the Barag slowly trundled forward and as the large cutting-wheel with it multiple boring discs met the rock wall.

 

Prince Durak stood with his Kalans patriarch and with Kvinn Harga Ulladottier who was holding the hand of her son; Baruch Drazhgrundson.  Prince Durak was trying to get Drazhgrund’s attention but was unsuccessful due to the loud noise of the steam engine and the Barag.  Durak realized that Drazhgrund looked seriously worried and wondered why until he turned back to look at the Barag.  It was vibrating, shaking violently steam was escaping around various connection to the cutting discs.  Then Drazhgrund shouted orders at the Drak-Grundi; the Hammerer bodyguards; “Form a shield-wall and get the royals to safety now!”

 

The Drak-Grundi acted immediately, Prince Durak and the other three princes from their respecting holds were quickly hustled away, Drazhgrund’s wife and son were physically carried away.  Others who were in attendance for the Throngim Gromthi realized that they were in danger and tried to escaped and stampeded toward the exit tunnel.  Lord Drazhgrund is still shouting orders when the rotating cutting head literally came apart as twenty-four spinning cutting heads and their rotating cutting discs shot out in various directions.  The main drive shaft tore away from the gear box as the largest vessel for the steam engine ruptured and live super-heated steam quickly filled the room.  Drazhgrund was to far away from the exit and there were too many others in the way.  Spotting an opening in the nearest tunnel wall that was about three feet above the tunnel floor he ran towards it and dove through pulling the iron laminated stone lid shut.

 

 

Note:  to be continued and have a pint on my tab...

 

 



#411 Skull Krusher

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Posted 06 January 2016 - 01:15 AM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Forty One (341)

 

Note:  Continuation from previous post and sorry for the long pause...  Have a tankard on my tab.

 

No sooner had the lid slammed shut than the second explosion occurred which sounded much worse than the first.  But all Drazhgrund could hear as he falls into darkness is the peens of metal ricocheting of the walls, ceiling, and floors of the chamber and tunnel.  The screams of those caught in the destruction of Endrini Guilds of Norsca Ankor newly created Ungdrin Hewn Boring Barag are muffled.

 

*

 

The steam as it cooled turned into a moist rain that dripped from the ceilings and ran down the walls to extinguish any burning coals that had been flung from the exploding fireboxes that had been used to heat the two boilers.  With water dripping from her nose Kvinn Harga Ulladottier who had used her own body to shield her son from danger ordered two Drak-Grundi to take Baruch safely to the royal Kalan quarters. 

 

They baulked; “Do in now!” Harga repeated.  “We are not under attack and Prince Durak and I need to bring order to this Endrini made disaster.” 

 

The Drak-Grundi looked toward the heir who was standing next to his patriarch’s wife and nodded but what was upmost on their minds was where is Lord Drazhgrund.  They quickly left taking Baruch with them and as they did so they are met by Dawi who were hurrying towards them; the oncoming Dawi had heard and felt the two explosions and feared collapsed tunnels and cave-ins.  The rescuers carried jacks, hammers, and other equipment needed to shore up tunnels and to treat the injured and but there were too many that only required the services of the priesthood of Gazul and not Valaya.     

 

*

 

As he fell into darkness he slammed against several rock protrusions before landing face down in water.  Drazhgrund floundered about in the dark until his hand landed upon a semi-dry ledge and hauled himself half-out of the water and leaned against a rough hewn rock wall barely conscious.  Icy water streamed off of him as he squeezed his beard until it was damp and tolerable.  He is angry and Drazhgrund’s anger needed an outlet and it was the muffled but strident voice of Harga that came from the dark shaft above that made him realize he had taken cover in one of the Endrini Guild’s water cisterns.  She at least had survived the explosion and was safe; Drazhgrund almost felt sorry for those she was ordering about as he took stock of his situation.  The comfortable feel of his weapon still strapped to his back told him he could defend himself if need be his main concern was getting out of the cistern.  Reaching for his belt he found his pouch and even in the dark he could tell that no water found its way inside.  Opening it he removed his short campaign pipe, filled it with pipe-weed, and several strikes later managed to light his pipe.  From its glow he surveyed his surroundings as smoke slowly rose above his head.  In the dim light he spotted a ladder opposite him reachable only by getting back into the water.  He was not happy but with a shrug Drazhgrund clamped his teeth upon his pipe and eased himself back into the water headed for the ladder.  At the ladder he began the laborious climb towards the distant voice of Harga.   

 

*

 

 

 



#412 Skull Krusher

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 06:04 AM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Forty Two (342)

 

Note:  Continuation from previous post.

 

 

*

 

Those that survived the destruction of the tunnel boring machine had been either carried away or like the walking-wounded escorted towards the Sisters of Valaya for healing.  But for the dead it was a far more difficult task.  Some bodies lay without a mark upon them others, many others were torn apart by the rotating cutting heads much like canister shot from a great war machine.  It was a gruesome task carried out by the Priests of Gazul that matched appendages to those bodies torn apart.  Some bodies were totally unrecognizable not because of the explosion but from the live steam that literally cooked the flesh from the bones much like an overcooked fowl.  These were bodies without a name or not enough body parts to supply a name and if not for the Kalan icons... 

 

It was a fearful-somber group that stood before Prince Durak and the Kvinn of the Royal Kalan’s patriarch.  They had been told that the King was on his way.  “Have you found anything of Lord Drazhgrund?” Prince Durak demanded.  The Thane of the Drak-Grundi held out a blood-stained braided white hank of hair about the width of his hand; the end capped with gold.   Harga Ulladottier took it from Skaff Ragnison of Kalan Ironhelm turning it over in her hands she recognized the Grindal weave of the Royal Kalan. 

 

“Where is his body?” Harga loudly asked, Skaff had no answer so she turned to Garil “Uzkul Stalker” Norgrimson of Kalan Kolgrund the senior Priest of Gazul.  In a much more respectful pleading tone “Garil, where, is he…”

 

Garil Norgrimson held out his hand and hesitantly, reluctantly she placed it in his hand.  Inspecting it revealed only what the others knew that it was from Lord Drazhgrund.  Garil began to chant a minor canticle barely audible to the others.  Soon the other Priests of Gazul that were there joined in.  Not only did this particular canticle prevent the interference of Necromancers but it also was used to determine if a person was dead and under malfeasance control.  As the chanting voices faded away Garil looked up from the white hank of hair, Harga’s asked without speaking.  “He lives!” Garil answered.   

 

Note:  To be continued...



#413 Skull Krusher

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Posted 10 February 2016 - 03:09 AM

Kraka Draka - Part Three Hundred Forty Three (343)

 

Note:  Continuation from last post...

 

*

 

They all heard the cadence of a full dozen Drak-Grundi who escorted the Za of Kraka Draka; their King.  Prince Durak turned towards his father’s bodyguards and saw the resolute look upon their faces and then saw his father, Great King Thorgard Balunson.  Saw the flash of relief that his heir was unhurt but then the stern stone-like look oh his face returned as the King surveyed the wreaked remains of both machine and Dawi.  Then his father spoke, nay commanded, “I want a complete list of those injured and killed to be give to” and he turned toward the Keeper of Kraka Draka’s Dammaz Kron, Grim Grothson who is fully clad in his dark-dark green armor trimmed in dark blood red colors followed by two Rhunscribe apprentices who are similarly attired, one from Kalan Drakkheart the other from Kalan Wyrharaz who carried between them a small sturdy battlefield table and a single stool, “Grim.”

   

Prince Durak looked toward Grim who is the King’s Grudgekeeper, though others called him the King’s conscious and was about to speak but his father’s questioning look stopped him; “where is Lord Drazhgrund?  Where?” Thorgard loudly asked again as he looked at the wreckage around and saw nothing of his Kalan’s Karugromthi and Patriarch; but did note that Grudgekeeper sat at the table, the Dammaz Kron opened ready for the next entry and that Grim had his stylus in hand and was nodding to him that he was ready to proceed.

 

Next to the Grudgekeeper’s table the Guild Master of the Healers Guild, Helga Magdadottier stood next to her cousin, Garil Norgrimson the Priest of Gazul.  That they were both from the same Kolgrund Kalan was not commented upon, but the fact that Helga worked to keep Dawi living and that Garil concerns were with safe guarding the dead was not lost on anyone.  Life and death and Helga recited the names of those who were wounded and expected to live and those who are not.  The Grudgekeeper wrote each Dawi’s name, their Kalan, and the wounds inflicted upon them by the Engineering Guilds from all four Norsca Ankor Kraka’s and those Engineering Kalans who helped to design and construct the Ungdrin Hewn Boring Barag

 

King Thorgard and the others listened as the lists grew.  The list of those who were wounded was longer than those who had died what made it just as bad as the list of the dead was that both lists contained various Guild Masters or their senior personal representative from all Kraka’s not to mention those who represented the Royal Kalans.  There is going to be a great many new Dammas Kron entries throughout Norsca Ankor King Thorgard thought to himself and he hoped to keep any potential Bludgald at a minimum so as not to impoverish any one Kalan though there was nothing he could due to limit the Bagtal paid to the Kalans for those that were wounded or killed.  No matter that the majority of the dead were Endrini; the Engineer Guild and their Kalans will be paying off the Bludgald long after he was King he thought to himself. 

 

Grim Grothson paused looked toward his King; “Your majesty, how do you want me to list those killed who are yet to be identified by name and Kalan?  What about the missing?”  But privately he wondered why he was smelling pipe-weed smoke.  It had been faint at first but now seemed to be stronger as he looked around as he wrote no one could be seen smoking amongst this carnage.  Strange he thought but said nothing and neither did anyone else.

 

The King frowned but Garil the Priest of Gazul answered for him; “By three days hence you will have the names and the dead will be entombed in their Kalan burial vaults,” he stated then handed the blood-stained braided white hank back to Harga Ulladottier.  King Thorgard nodded and was about to speak when a loud noise was heard.  Then repeated strikes and the King’s Drak-Grundi quickly wordlessly formed a protective shield-ring around those of the Royal Kalan as a nearby iron-bound stone lid shattered an exploded upward.

 

*

 

It seemed to take Drazhgrund forever to climb the slippery ladder and the fact that he was still soaking wet did not help.  A few of the metal rungs had rusted nearly away and he would have fallen back into the water if not for his iron resolve of not wanting to get another Dunkin.  He climbed, pipe clenched firmly between his teeth as he huffed and puffed Drazhgrund continued upward.  Standing and hanging onto the ladder rungs Drazhgrund at one point stopped to rest and managed to repack and light his pipe before proceeding on.  Finally reaching the top of the cistern shaft he noted light shining through two edges of the lid.  He pushed against the ironbound stone lid expecting it to easily open but it did not the metal hinges had been damaged by a broken piece of machinery.  Drazhgrund managed to climb high enough to wedge his shoulders against the lid and he shoved upward with his whole body but it failed to budge the lid and nearly broke the rung he was standing upon.  He shouted but no one heard him.  In anger with one arm firmly holding onto the ladder he reached for his weapon.  The same weapon that Prince Thorin Snorrison used over 6,000 years ago upon the Daemon Kraznack breaking the Daemon’s wrist forcing Kraznack to drop the Axe of Khorne.  Drazhgrund swung the runic great hammer called “Talonbreaker” at the lid above him.  The hammer’s head smashed into the lid, sparks and chips of stone were strewn about.  In a controllable rage Drazhgrund swung repeatedly, loud hammer strikes echoing in the cistern and the tunnels above him.  The lid above him was cracking and with one mighty swing with all the pent up rage the hammer head struck the stone lid so forcefully that it shattered sending its fragmented remains upward into the lighted tunnel beyond.    

 

The mighty weapon called “Talonbreaker” was first to be seen coming out of the cistern.  Then a large ring-endowed hand that clutched its halt followed by a pipe that sent smoke swirls to the tunnel roof and followed by a thoroughly soaking-wet dripping and very angry Karugromthi who had finally climbed out of the cistern.  He stood there staring at the still smoking steaming wreckage around him, the dead many of them Endrini that had been laid out along the tunnel walls, and finally to those who stood dumbfounded at his sudden unexpected appearance.  He stood there clutching his weapon, lit pipe clenched between his teeth as water dripped from his clothing and hair.   Those who saw his disheveled appearance said nothing for the look upon his face made it all too dangerous to speak.   His Kvinn Harga is the first to rush to his side and Drazhgrund seeing that his King and the Prince had taken command of the situation nodded respectfully toward them then quickly departed with Harga back to the royal compound without saying anything. 

 

*

 

In the deadly aftermath of Throngim Gromthi held in 2310 it was unanimously   decided by Royal Proclamation signed by all four Kings of Norsca Ankor that there would be no connection between the Norsca Ankor Ungdrin to that of Ungdrin Ankor and the Holds of their Southern Dawi kin of the World’s Edge Mountains.  All safe travel to the south would be via the Ungruvalk, the underground river-canal from the Port of Sjoktraken to the Port of Draksfjord on the shores of the Sea of Claws.  The Norsca Dawi Drakships and Vithang steamships would continue to sail upon the world’s seas despite the call by more traditional Dawi who believed all Dawi should always be underground.  Though rumors heard amongst those who frequently drank at any of the local taverns that the Endrinkuli were building a bigger and much improved Barag that would travel below and above ground and would even carry nearly fifty Dawi warriors and engineers.  There are other rumors but then there always is when anyone drinks a bit too much. 

 

But those tavern rumors were true many centuries later the Endrinkuli of Norsca having given up on their massive tunnel boring machine turned their endeavors elsewhere by converting their revolutionary “tractor engine” from a gigantic rock grinder to a mobile garrison, fitting it with multiple Organ guns and Steam Cannons.  The Endrinkuli carved a bloody path through Urk tribes the Worlds Edge Mountains all the way down Kraka Drak to Karaz-A-Karak.  There are other rumors but then there always is when anyone drinks a bit too much and those rumors often become tales that grow into sagas that will be eventually be recited around hearth fires.

 

*        *        *   

 

Note:  So ends my latest fluff addition... and as a side note due to the beforementioned disaster... A machine was built and it was mentioned in the last and final hard copy edition for WHF rules as a side-bar note on the left hand side of the page.  That machine went from Kraka Draka all the way to the Worlds Edge Mountains and perhaps someday tales will be told of that long journey.

 

Cheers and have a tankard on my tab and PM messages are always appreciated.  Cheers.    

 


Edited by Skull Krusher, 17 February 2016 - 10:23 PM.


#414 Skull Krusher

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Posted 01 March 2016 - 11:41 PM

Note:  I have been doing a lot of rereading my hard-copy of my tales of Karaka Drakka correcting misspellings an adding a word or two to make a sentence less confusing...  Also produced a cover sheet for the hard copy (see first post) as well as an index page listing chapters and page numbers...  This is what it looks like so far...

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Chapter One                           Page 1              In the beginning classroom lectures

Chapter Two                           Page  5             The founding of Norsca Ankor

Chapter Three                         Page  16           Riding versus Marching

Chapter Four                           Page  17           Queen Bjornhild “Chaosbane” Hilgadotter

Chapter Five                            Page  33           The Secret of Norsca Drakk Ale and Bread

Chapter Six                              Page  37           Chaos Marauders attack Dawi Farming Village

Chapter Seven                          Page  43           The Seacat and Kalan Krupp

Chapter Eight                          Page  46           Memories of Hard-rock Mining

Chapter Nine                           Page  48           The Black Urk Raiding Party

Chapter Ten                            Page  54           The Drakk-Ranger and the Sister of Valaya

Chapter Eleven                       Page  60           Morik, son of Ragnison, of Kalan Oakenstave

Chapter Twelve                       Page  65           Part 1 The Death of a King of Norsca Ankor

Chapter Thirteen                     Page  68           The Highest lookout post atop Mount Sjoktraken

Chapter Fourteen                    Page  72           Finn Harokson of Kalan Oakenstave Enlists

Chapter Fifteen                       Page  78           Nemesis Campaign – Norsca Expeditionary Force

Chapter Sixteen                       Page  83           Part 1 Norsca Expeditionary Force or NEF

Chapter Seventeen                  Page  86           Part 2 NEF – Dawi, Wood Elgi vs Beastman

Chapter Eighteen                    Page  89           Part 3 NEF – The Headless Badger – 1st Battle

Chapter Nineteen                    Page  92           Part 4 NEF – The Headless Badger – 2nd Battle

Chapter Twenty                      Page  94           Part 5 NEF - The Tower of Moonrise - Battle

Chapter Twenty One              Page  95           Part 6 NEF – The Hanging Tree - Battle

Chapter Twenty Two              Page  98           Vault of the 2nd King of Kraka Drakka

Chapter Twenty Three            Page  100         Part 7 NEF – Lord Drazhgrund sails to Kislev

Chapter Twenty Four              Page  103         Part 8 NEF – The Stone of Blood - Battle

Chapter Twenty Five               Page  107         Part 9 NEF – The forest of the Empire

Chapter Twenty Six                 Page  110         Part 10 NEF – The Vragthar’s Monolith - Battle

Chapter Twenty Seven             Page  115         Part 2 The Death of a King of Norsca Ankor

Chapter Twenty Eight             Page  118         Part 11 NEF – Final Battle Nemesis Campaign

Chapter Twenty Nine              Page  128         Part 12 NEF – The Aftermath of the Nemesis Campaign

Chapter Thirty                         Page  134         Part 12 NEF – The Return of the NEF to Norsca Ankor

Chapter Thirty One                 Page  136         A gift to the Rhunlord and a request from the King

Chapter Thirty Two                 Page  139         Oldar “Klinkafist” Ragnison of the Kol-Duraz Kalan

Chapter Thirty Three               Page  141         Dawi History Class

Chapter Thirty Four                Page  145         The King’s Drakk-Ranger Belegar Goddison

Chapter Thirty Five                 Page  150         Call for Vengeance against Dum Kladhand Marauder Tribe

Chapter Thirty Six                   Page  151         The Destruction of Dum Kladhand Tribe

Chapter Thirty Seven              Page  167         Navnsdeg the Day of Naming

Chapter Thirty Eight               Page  170         Kalan Krupp – Engineering Guild

Chapter Thirty Nine                Page  172         Largo Khazadson – Drakk Thunderer

Chapter Forty                          Page  193         The Heirs – Princess Kalea and Prince Bronn

Chapter Forty One                  Page  210         Slayer Skaldor Grondson

Chapter Forty Two                  Page  219         Fimbar Thyksnev of the Ironhand Kalan

Chapter Forty Three                Page  240         Grund Khaz - Borkas Alrikson of Kalan Ironhand

Chapter Forty Four                  Page  245         Arkat Fooger - Jeweler’s Guild Master of Marienberg

Chapter Forty Five                  Page  247         Boyar Vanya Borissavich Kaminski – Erengrad, Kislev

Chapter Forty Six                    Page  251         The Rusty Harpoon – Throwing Axe target hall

Chapter Forty Seven                Page  253         Bronzed muscles rippling beneath thy braided beard

Chapter Forty Eight                Page  254         Grindol Royal Mine

Chapter Forty Nine                 Page  261         Baruch Drazhgrundson – Village of Lodz, Stirland

Chapter Fifty                           Page  291         Death of Ragni “Kladfist” Skaffson, Shieldbreaker Kalan

Chapter Fifty One                   Page  295         Weapons training – Sister’s of Valaya

Chapter Fifty Two                   Page  302         Saga of Bjorn – Champion of the Aeslings Tribe

Chapter Fifty Three                 Page  312         Gorril Balinson - Loremaster of Kraka Drakka a

Chapter Fifty Four                   Page  315         The return of Kalan Ironfist

Chapter Fifty Five                   Page  372         The Rusty Harpoon – Years End

Chapter Fifty Six                     Page  373         House of Durazklad

Chapter Fifty Seven                 Page  377         Keg’s End – Erengrad – Troll Slayer Skaldor Grondson

Chapter Fifty Eight                 Page  385         The passing of Norgrim Durakson, Kalan Kladgrong

Chapter Fifty Nine                  Page  387         Troll War’s

Chapter Sixty                           Page  391         Baruch Drazhgrund – City of Wurtbad, Stirland

Chapter Sixty One                   Page  437         Kadri Florinson, Kalan Durazklad – the Black Gulf

Chapter Sixty Two                   Page  444         Thrangi Ragnison destroys undead army by himself

Chapter Sixty Three                 Page  446         Warriors Guild Khaz – The Night of Zagaz

Chapter Sixty Four                  Page  448         Death of an Umgi Assassin

Chapter Sixty Five                   Page  452         What Dorin “Talon” Moreksnev discovers in the Archives

Chapter Sixty Six                     Page  464         The Incursion and the Battle against Chaos Warrior Horde

Chapter Sixty Seven                Page  469         Journal of Bradni Gromson, Blackhand Kalan of Ravnsvake

Chapter Sixty Eight                 Page  482         Different Sagas of the North

Chapter Sixty Nine                  Page  492         The Lay of Yorri of the VarrDrakka.

Chapter Seventy                      Page  499         A shameful gathering of Foolish Warriors

Chapter Seventy One              Page  507         Deamon Slayer Skaldor Grondson – Erengrad, Kislev

Chapter Seventy Two              Page  519         Princess Kettra Valadottier – Brewer Apprenticeship

Chapter Seventy Three            Page  525         The Baker’s Inn – The Oath of Wheat

Chapter Seventy Four              Page  528         Vengeance, Dragons, Lost Anvils, Dragon Slayer Skaldor

Chapter Seventy Five              Page  608         The Mound of Chamon Dharek – Northern Oblast Kislev

Chapter Seventy Six                Page  624         He is Known as Baragdrengi – The Badlands

Chapter Seventy Seven            Page  631         Rikkaz Khaz - Shields

Chapter Seventy Eight             Page  631         The Bedrock Tavern – Meeting between Matriarchs

Chapter Seventy Nine             Page  640         Source of Kraka Drakka’s Wealth

Chapter Eighty                        Page  643         The new Weapon’s Master                 

Chapter Eighty One                Page  648         Rogni Kraggsnev of Kalan Langkhirn

Chapter Eighty Two                Page  666         Vanyra Fennadottier, Kalan Ironhelm the search for truth

Chapter Eighty Three              Page  670         The expedition to Grung Skekbrund – Kraka Ravnsvake

Chapter Eighty Four                Page  689         The decision of Anaya Valadottier, Kalan Ironhand

Chapter Eighty Five                Page  697         The Royal Kalan Gathering

Chapter Eighty Six                  Page  705         Drazhdok Migdhal – Sworn Drakk Oaths

Chapter Eighty Seven              Page 756          The Rumor about Lord Drazhgrund

Chapter Eighty Eight              Page  765         The Jewel-Smith of Erengrad, Kislev

Chapter Eighty Nine               Page  777         The Year of the Three Kings of Kraka Drakka

Chapter Ninety                        Page  783         The Completion of the Sjoktraken Shipyard

Chapter Ninety One                Page  785         Kaboom!!! An explosion rocked the night

Chapter Ninety Two                Page  787         The Year 1625 - The aftermath after the Earth Shakes

Chapter Ninety Three              Page  802         The Year 1627 – The meddling of the Royal Matriarch

Chapter Ninety Four               Page  819         The Year 2510 – The first Za Council of King Thorin

Chapter Ninety Five                Page  828         The new Ungdrin Hewn Boring Barag

Chapter Ninety Six                  Page  839         The Riders on the Storm

Chapter Ninety Seven             Page  840          The Jail Break

Chapter Ninety Eight              Page  856          The Carpenter

Chapter Ninety Nine               Page  859

Chapter One Hundred             Page

 

 

Note:  As you can see it is 859 printed pages (8.5 by 11 inches) and still growing...  and this does not include the family tree of various main charaters and the clans they are related to that is not included in this giant tome.  An insane amount of background information of clans and guilds that make of Kraka Drakka and Norsca Ankor.

 

I have another story that is in the works that takes place in Erengrad and the main character is of course a Dwarf.  Cheers and have a pint on my tab.... or perhaps Daft's!!!

 


Edited by Skull Krusher, 15 April 2016 - 04:34 AM.


#415 Skull Krusher

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Posted 10 March 2016 - 05:49 AM

Kraka Drakka - Part Three Hundred Forty Four

 

 

Chapter Ninety Five

 

Most of the population of Kraka Drakka hate going above ground and no one can blamed them for that dislike for going above ground is not natural.  However for those Kalans of the Farmers and Herders Guild going above ground is part of who they are and it is as natural for them as living below ground.  But then again most of that same population also have poor opinions of the Farmers and Herders Guild mainly because of their lack of knowledge of just what valuable services the guild provides to the well being of the hold in general.  If not for the guild; hops would be unavailable to the Brewers Guild not to mention wheat and corn for the Bakers Guild.  Then Tanners, Weavers, and Taylor Guilds rely heavily upon what is produced by the Farmers and Herders Guild but the other fifty guilds and the Kalans that made up those guilds give little thought to the five Kalans that made up Farmers and Herders Guild.  Which is not true of the Durazklad Kalan for they alone know full well the valuable contributions that have been provided since the founding of the hold.  

 

The Farmers and Herders guild have over the millennia domesticated various animal species found only in Norsca.  The most useful according to the Kvinn of the guild is what the people of Kislev call the Silvestris but to the Dawi of the guild they are called Azril Grimalkin or silver-cat due to its silver colored fur.  Most of the guild, just call them Azrils or Grimalkins and they have the run of the grainery and they always seem to be on hand when it comes time for milking.

 

One domesticated animal provides the guild with extremely fine fleece or wool which they harvest from the sheep herds.  The fleece that is not used by the guild itself is sold to the Weaver Guild who then sells the woven product to the Taylor Guild.   The few Umgi who have seen the Norsca sheep often confuse them with goats because the Soay sheep have horns and they are agile, tending to take refuge amongst the rocky crags when frightened.   Not only do the Soay herd provide fleece but lean tender meat.

 

Then there is the fierce breed of mountain cattle with long horns and thick long shaggy coats which helps them to survive harsh winters.  Their skill in foraging for food allows them to survive in steep mountain areas where they can dig through the snow with their long horns to find buried plants.  Though raised primarily for their meat their milk is used in the making of cheese and butter.  The hide and long hair provides another source of income for the guild.

 

But for over four generations the Farmers and Herders Guild have kept one particular animal a secret.  In the beginning one of the herders from Kalan Drazhvarag seeking shelter from a harsh lightening storm discovered the first of the giant bearcats.  When Skagg Ragnison entered a small cave he discovered a crippled bearcat dame and it was giving birth to a litter of ten kits.  Future generations of his Kalan think the Skagg was a bit Zaki for staying and feeding the mother bearcat who could no longer hunt.  The bearcat was four times as large as he and Skagg was no small Beardling but an Altrommi.  All through the first summer Skagg secretly kept her fed, handling and playing with the kits.  They knew his smell and voice fearing him not.  When the mother died he kept them warm and safe and to do so he built a large stable of stone that was completely enclosed.  Over the generations that original stable has been enlarge to hold as many as thirty bearcats of ages.  And over those same generations the Drazhvarag Kalan has trained the bearcats to pull sleds during the winter months, and to act as mounts for the herders who have to watch over the roaming herds of mountain cattle and Soay sheep.  It takes years for rider and mount to bond and some within the Farmers and Herders Guild think that only someone who is truly Zaki or full of courage will want to ride one of these vicious animals.   Now the Rik of Kraka Drakka wants to equip and mount an elite group of ten Dawi Rangers to act as scouts for the Throng.  Perhaps Skagg Ragnison envisioned this, but then again Lord Drazhgrund was once overheard saying, “That there are only two times a Dawi does not walk on his own two feet, when he comes into this world and when he leaves it.”  The times are a changing.

 

 

Note:  this was just a short little piece of fluff to rationalize me fielding Brokk Riders in Kings of War...  But what the heck it fits into my fluff as a whole.

 

Have a drink on my tab.

 

 

 



#416 Skull Krusher

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 01:27 AM

Kraka Drakka - Part Three Hundred Forty Five ----- Chapter Ninety Six

 

Chapter Ninety Six

 

Within the government house of the Erengrad Port Authority it is not calm since Prince Petre Von Skvortskov one of many ministers for the Tzarina of Kislev has expressed his annoyance.  It seemed that his youngest son, Gregori being all of seventeen seasons old had decided that attending this evening’s court function, was not as entertaining as carousing around various taverns with his indolent often bereft friends.  Now the gathering was in full swing, lights ablaze, and a large number of enclosed carriage-sleds entered and exited the courtyard of the Lord of Erengrad.  Gregori needed an anchor a mentor to settle his wild ways and Petre had thought an appointment to one of the newest Pulks; the Thaggoraki Hunters would do, not as an officer but as a common soldier who would be taught discipline and responsibility.  Then perhaps later if he showed any promise Gregori would receive a commission Petre thought to himself.  Ursun knows he had tried everything else. 

 

*

 

Gregori Von Skvortskov did not want to quit fighting.  But he is outnumbered three to one his so-called friends had fled and now his hands were chained behind him.  Further resistance would only give the Chekist bailiffs an excuse to finish beating the "I Swear too much" out of him.  But Gregori is too angry to quit.  He had not done anything wrong.  Other than attack the bartender for serving watered down Kvas and then telling Gregori that the sultry Uruska Tyurin would no longer available.  Gregori merely had the bad luck to be in a brothel-tavern owned by someone whose brother was Vlasi Vdovyn; who just so happened to be a Chekist Sergeant and a bailiff.  The Erengrad city watch had descended upon him like a mountain avalanche they should be arresting the bartender for serving bad Kvas or out looking for cultists, thieves and killers that roamed Erengrad’s Harbor District at night.  Gregori never had a chance to explain his actions or mention who his father is or that he himself is szlachta, nobility.  Kicking to the rear his heavy boot glanced off a bailiff’s shin.  The bailiff cursed. Then pain ripped through Gregori’s back, his knees turned to jelly, dumping him on the flagstone floor.

 

Gregori tried to curl into a ball, tried to protect face and groin.  Without the use of hands, it was not easy and near impossible.  Iron-tipped cudgels thudded on his arms and back and heavy leather boots slammed into his ribs.  The world turned grey and distant but the pain did not fade.  It did not seem fair and he wondered what his father, the Lord of Erengrad would say.

 

Finally the punishment stopped.  One bailiff removed the chains, then unlocked and opened a cell door.  The other two picked Gregori up and tossed him forward.  Too weak and sore to catch his balance Gregori sprawled face down onto the cold damp filthy moldy-straw covered floor.  The cell door crashed shut behind him.

 

For a while, all he could do was lay there and listen to the prison’s unending din of voices, screams, insane nonsensical songs, the begging and pleading for help and or forgiveness, the rattling of chains, and finally the harsh sounds of other cell doors slamming shut.  Then there is the disgusting blend of smells; unwashed bodies, vomit, dried blood, human waste, smoke from fish-oil lanterns that hung from the passageway ceilings; all of which stung his nose.  Gregori normally only partook in a bath at least once a week during the summer never during the winter and he never smelled this bad.  At last he managed to raise his head.  Gregori looked at the nine other sullen prisoners who shared the cell, they stared back at him.

 

The closest who had obviously also been beaten is a short squat muscular Dwarf wearing torn leather trousers and ragged furs leaned against the far wall of the cell stared back and smiled.  The Dwarf prisoner’s forehead had been sliced open and his nose had been broken more than once and is now was pushed to one side, the blood that had flowed had long since dried.  Obviously the bailiffs were in no hurry to call a healer for him or release him; then seeing that the three bailiffs had started to leave the Dwarf came towards him.

 

Gregori wondered if the prisoner meant to help him up or rummage through his clothing.  So far, the bailiffs had not asked him his name, let alone confiscate any of his belongings, his hidden boot knife was still in his possession as well as his belt pouch that is hidden by his embroidered kozhukhi coat and Gregori thought that maybe he could buy his release.  Gregori hoped that by a show of strength would prevent any attempt at theft by those within the cell and tried to stand.  His body throbbed, wringing a groan out of him.

 

To his surprise, the Dwarf walked right past him to the cell door bars.  “Wait,” he said in badly accented Kislevarin as he walked passed Gregori and then started banging upon the bars of the cell door.

 

The three bailiffs had started back down the semi-dark passageway stopped.  The tall lanky sergeant attired in chainmail glanced around.  “You will get your hearing when the magistrate has time to hear your case,” he said.

 

The Dwarf laughed and taunted the bailiff in badly spoken Kislevarin, “I just thought you might want to be here when I did this.”  He gripped a bar in either hand and pulled.  The muscles in his arms and shoulders bulged the veins in his neck pulsed; then the bars squealed in protest and bent.  One of the badly forged bars snapped sounding much like an exploding match-lock.

 

Gregori gaped in astonishment.  How could the Dwarf be so strong?  Maybe he had been eating goblin mushrooms or had gone berserk, but he seemed so calm, too rational.   In no more than a couple of heartbeats, the space between the bars was large enough to squirm through which the Dwarf proceeded to do.

 

“"I Swear too much"!” Yelled the bailiff.  He ran forward, cudgel raised.  His fellow bailiffs turned, jerked in surprise then followed calling out loudly for additional guards.

 

The chain-mailed bailiff’s cudgel swung at the Dwarf’s head.  The prisoner brushed it aside to clang against the bars.  His fist streaked up at the tall bailiff’s jaw.  Bones cracked, and the bailiff fell in a heap.

 

The other two bailiffs, one in studded leather the other wearing chainmail plunged in, cudgels flailing.  The Dwarf dodged, weaved, and parried the strikes faster than Gregori had ever seen anyone, even the weapons master in his father estate who’d taught him unarmed combat, move, the prisoner ducked, or sidestepped every blow.  In fact, the way the Dwarf is smiling, Gregori almost suspected him of playing with the bailiffs.  Maybe he was reluctant to strike back because that could end the dance.

 

Finally as if bored, he grabbed the one in studded leather and slammed him face first into the wall.  His nose shattered and the bailiff slumped to the floor, leaving a sunburst of blood upon the wall where he had hit.

 

At the same time, eyes wide and face white as newly fallen snow, the third bailiff fearfully back pedaled to the weapons chest; drop his cudgel, and fumbled for a crossbow.

 

Still smiling the Dwarf stood and waited till the crossbow was cocked and loaded then he charged, covering the ten paces that separated them.  The bailiff somehow missed and the Dwarf prisoner with one hand grabbed the bailiff by the throat holding him off the round as he slowly choked him while his other hand stripped the bailiff of his ring of keys before letting the unconscious bailiff fall to the ground.  Then the prisoner turned back towards me and his former cellmates, “As you can see I am leaving,” he said, “would anyone like to come along?”  Then the Dwarf tossed the keys into a crowded nearby cell.

 

Every prisoner in the cell block just stared.  Suddenly his small stature, filthy, sprinkled with small bits of woodchips and sawdust in his greasy beard and hair did not matter anymore.  “Help yourself to a weapon, there are plenty on the floor,” he said then turned away but not before grabbing a rather large ornate two-handed warhammer from the weapons chest.  As Gregori left the cell by squeezing through the opening and then leaned down and grabbed a cudgel and followed up the stone stairs.

 

They are met by five very angry armed Chekist bailiffs.  Any sensible escaping prisoner would have surrendered.  Who ever heard of a sensible much less reasonable angry Dwarf?  The Dwarf charged the middle bailiff, Corporal Nicolai Kostina hurling him into the wall causing the two bailiffs on the left to stumble and fall over their now unconscious leader.  The two on the right flailed away with their cudgels at the Dwarf who seemed to avoid all but a few of the blows.  However the Dwarf’s did not miss as he head-butted the closest, breaking the Bailiff’s nose and then took a half step back and kicked the Bailiff in the crotch who fell forward cupping his groin with both hands screaming in pain.  The last Bailiff standing received a hammer-head in the stomach the Bailiff collapsed gasping and wheezing for breath.  The Dwarf looked over his shoulder at Gregori as he opened the outer door to the Chekist guard house and calming asked “You coming?”  The two of them quickly disappeared into the cold Kislev night; a light snow soon hid all traces of their flight through the Erengrad streets.

 

*

 

To be continued...



#417 Skull Krusher

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Posted 16 March 2016 - 08:38 PM

Kraka Drakka - Part Three Hundred Forty Six - (346)

 

Note:  Continued from previous post.

 

*

 

Chekist Corporal Tordimir Kudrov stood nervously in front of his Chekist Captain.  It had been two candle marks since the escape had been reported and corporal and two other Chekist had just come from the City Watch guard post “What do you have to report?” Chekist Captain Boris Dazhdalev demanded.  Rumors had reached him here in the government house of a prison break and Boris wanted all the facts before he had to report to Prince Petre.

 

Corporal Tordimir grimaced for he knew that Captain Boris hated incomplete reports.  So he started with what he knew for sure.  “All of the surviving guards at the guard house are in need of healers,” and he shook his head glad that he was not there on duty this night.  “Sergeant Vlasi Vdovyn has a broken jaw and has difficulty seeing and speaking at the moment; Corporal Antal Jakov has a shattered nose and is still unconscious; Oleg Novosi is dead; Corporal Nicolai Kostina has broken arms; Vitali Wuloshyn and Lukyan Ipatiev were knocked down but otherwise unhurt; Boroda Chzov has a smashed-broken nose and is not sure he will ever sire any more children; and finally Fyodor Gavrilov who has broken ribs,” Corporal Tordimir stated.

 

Captain Dazhdalev was mentally going through the duty roster on who was available to be transferred from different posts throughout Erengrad as he heard the litany of injuries.  Finally he spoke, “How did Oleg Novosi die, how many prisoners died or escaped?”  Boris cared not if any were hurt while attempting to escape which is why he did not ask.  Most prisoners were too weak from lack of food and forceful interrogations that he could not imagine how anyone would have the strength to attempted an escape much less fight off eight guards.

 

“Only one prisoner, an Ungol by the name Vachir of Igerkhan was killed and he was not attempting any escape.”  Seeing that Boris was about to ask Tordimir continued, “The Ungol was sleeping when a crossbow bolt fired by Oleg at an escaping prisoner missed glanced off an iron bar and hit Vachir in the head.”  Now was the more difficult part of the report and the Corporal girded himself mentally as he continued, “Only three prisoners escaped despite the other prisoners having all the cell door keys in their possession.  The first escaping prisoner took the keys from Oleg and tossed them into the cells.  The second prisoner quickly followed the first one out.  It was the third prisoner who shared a cell with the first two killed Oleg ignoring both Sergeant Vlasi and Corporal Jakov who were lying nearby.  I found the word justice written in blood across Oleg forehead and I can only assume it was for the death of the Ungol Vachir.”

 

Again Captain Dazhdalev paused as he reviewed the information then asked again.  “How did the prisoners escape in the first place if Oleg had the cell door keys and how were they armed?”

 

It is one of the Chekist with Tordimir who answered, “Sir from what the prisoners told us is that the Dwarf taunted the on-duty guards, bent and broke the cell door bars with his bare hands and escaped.  The guards who were armed with cudgels attacked the Dwarf who then struck all the guards down using only his fists.  The Dwarf said something to the second prisoner who escaped through the broken door and followed the Dwarf up the stairs but not before the Dwarf retrieved his warhammer that had been taken from him when he was taken prisoner.”  Sevhim Zubov continued, “Once upstairs the two escaping prisoners were confronted by Corporal Nicolai, Vitali, Lukyan, Boroda and Fyodor.  The Dwarf charged into them and only used his weapon when he struck Fyodor in the stomach knocking him to the floor.  Then the first two escaped into the night.  The third escapee fled before anyone could stop him.” 

 

“Have you identified who the escaping prisoners are?” Captain Dazhdalev demanded.

 

“Yes sir!” Corporal Tordimir replied.  “The third prisoner is Pyotr Rebikov who was scheduled to be executed in three days for the murder of a "I swear too much" and her pimp.   All of Erengrad City district’s watch garrisons have been notified.”  Then he took a deep breath and wished for something to drink that was not water.  “As for the other two, we found this on the floor of the cell where the second prisoner escaped from,” and Tordimir handed his captain an ornate button made of silver.  “Apparently the prisoner caught this button on the bars when he squeezed through.  Sergeant Vlasi did not log this prisoner in the prison records book and since the sergeant is still unable to speak clearly it will have to wait.  I am not sure who the Dwarf is no one that I am aware of can speak their harsh sounding tongue.  The record book only listed him as Dwarf and a bad drawing of a fist.”

 

Captain Boris Dazhdalev recognized the symbol on the button and uttered an oath under his breath.  “Has anyone else seen this button?” The Captain demanded.  The three junior Chekist shook their heads no, “Then speak to no one about what you have found and given to me, I will be inform Prince Petre Von Skvortskov this evening about everything that you have discovered.  Dismissed!”  Boris was not pleased at all at the prospects of a quiet evening who knew that Von Skvortskov was not happy about his son’s absence from tonight’s court function.

 

The Lynsk River cuts Erengrad in two from east to west.  In each of the three districts on the north and south side of the Lynsk stands fortress-like towers of stone and because the river splits the city there are six of them.  Each of these buildings is home to the district’s watch garrison; the Chekist who keep the peace in the district with iron tipped cudgels are the lawful authority of the Tzarina.  In addition to the Chekist assigned to each tower is the Fire Watch who manned the upper floors of the tower overlooking the city reacting to any warnings of fire, a deadly danger to a port city built on wooden pilings.  Normally Captain Boris had fifth-teen Chekist and Fire Watch working in three shifts in each tower, but he is always short handed.  Any search for the three escapees would be made all the more difficult if they had crossed the river using a boat.  There is only one bridge that crosses the Lynsk and the Bridge Wardens would hopefully note their crossing.  Where would the murderer Pyotr Rebikov hide; the north or south Harbor District, the north or south Low City District or the north or south High City District?  More than likely in the Low City District, the other two would be found more easily.

 

*

 

Note:  To be continued and as always have a pint or two on my tab.  Cheers



#418 Skull Krusher

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 05:29 PM

Kraka Drakka - Part Three Hundred Forty Seven - (347)

 

Note:  Continued from previous post.

 

 

*

 

The streets of Erengrad are a mess thought Nyi since no street is completely free of materials used in the rebuilding the Port of Erengrad; snow hid much of the results of that sack making travel difficult.  One would think that after two hundred years that the city would have been completely rebuilt but reconstruction was limited to the summer months.  Rebuilding has been quicker here in Erengrad than elsewhere in Kislev.  The only areas of the city that are more or less complete and free of construction is in the High City District which is where the most important  city government buildings and temples are located.  Which is where Nyi and the Umgi that is following closely behind hope to find safety, not in the Low City district or the Harbor district which is where the Chekist would start their initial search, nor in the Empire Quarter of the High City.  The two of them kept to the shadows so as not to draw attention to their filthy attire.  They were two streets away from what the Umgi of Erengrad called Dwergsbezit, or Dwarf town which is where all the Dawi inhabitants lived, worked, and conducted business.  The lofty stone walled-compound of Guild Master Thurgrom Thyksnev and his business partner Boyar Vaja Rybkin finally came into view and at this time of night Nyi was not sure the gate guards would open the main gate.  They would let Nyi in without question through the hidden postern door but not the Umgi.  Nyi still was not sure why he wanted the Umgi to follow along but something caused him to itch and bringing the Umgi with him cured that nagging itch.  Perhaps it was the Umgi willingness to fight back or perhaps it was something else he had seen and he was not sure what it was.  Nyi had not even bothered to ask the Umgi his name he decided to let Master Thurgrom handle the problem.  Nor for the matter had the Umgi asked what his name is as well.

 

Not to far away following the escaping prisoners; Gregori and Nyi are Kubah Jakov and Stepan Boriskova.  They have no idea that the two they are following are wanted by the Chekist but having just left the Shining Comet tavern where they had been conducting business for Boyar Vaja Rybkin and spotted the two who looked out of place for the High City district and the way they moved, avoiding the lights from any establishment caught their attention as well.  Both Kubah and Stepan wanted to make sure that the two had no ill intent on their master’s business interest.  However the two suspicious characters soon entered a particular alley and the lead figure rendered a series of coded knocks on a darkened doorway in a familiar pattern to both.  The door quickly opened and closed then locked behind the two before either Kubah or Stepan could get close enough to see who had entered.    

 

*

 

Gregori was limping badly by the time they had reached this particular alley.  He had really wanted to stop at the Shining Comet and rent a room but the Dwarf shook his head no and they continued to trudge through near knee-deep snow and every conceivable shadow which made the trip across half of Erengrad even longer.  Finally they had arrived and Gregori looked nervously about as they entered a dark alley cull-de-sac.  Gregori is sure they are being followed but who ever they were he had not spotted them.  That alone kept him close to the Dwarf not wanting to be beaten again.  The darkness of the alley did not seem to bother the Dwarf who suddenly stopped before a door.  Gregori looked over his shoulder towards the street they had left and it looked like he was looking down a long dark tunnel the dim lights of the street beckoned him back but he resisted.  Then the Dwarf banged on the door in a series of knocks.  It was much darker inside than the alley and being fearful Gregori started to turn back but the Dwarf grabbed his kozhukhi coat and pulled him inside.  Then the door shut with an ominous sound of bolts being shut home and a locking bar being dropped across the door.  Gregori’s heart thudded against his aching ribs and a heart beat or two later the shutter of some hidden lamp was withdrawn brightly illuminating the chamber in which Gregori found himself in what looked liked an abandoned atelier.  A heavily armored and armed Dwarf stood facing them, and then Gregori realized there is a second who is the one that had locked the door which so surprised Gregori that he dropped the cudgel and it hit the floor with a loud noise. 

 

“Bah!” his companion said turning toward him, “Never ever drop a weapon to the ground” he said with just a tint of contemp.  “Did not your weapons master teach you a thing?”  Chagrined Gregori painfully bent over and retrieved the cudgel.

 

One of the armed Dwarves began speaking and Gregori understood not a word and did not think there was anyone not a Dwarf who could communicate in the language of Dwarves, not even a scholar.  The three Dwarves seemed to be arguing about something at least that was what Gregori thought.  But right now he is in so much pain from being beaten and the trek across half of Erengrad that all he wanted to do was fine someplace warm and quiet where he would not have to listen to the harsh speech of Dwarves.  Finally they stopped talking and Gregori companion gestured for him to follow.  Gregori took two limping steps gasps in pain and darkness overwhelms him and collapsed to the floor without dropping the cudgel.

 

*

 

Note:  To be continued... have another tankard on the Rusty Nail's finest on my tab.



#419 Skull Krusher

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Posted 20 March 2016 - 06:50 AM

Kraka Drakka - Part Three Hundred Forty Eight (348)

 

Note:  Continuation from previous post

 

*

 

Master Thurgrom Thyksnev is sitting at his desk reviewing the Vithang accounts in the ledger for Kalan Ironhand.   If one were to judge the room and its occupant they would describe the room as austere, not the room of one of the two richest guild masters in Erengrad.  Besides he was not in the habit of bringing impressionable dishonest Umgi to this particular Thindrongol; besides this room is nearly a hundred feet underground like most of the Dawi Quarter of Erengrad.  Only the above ground buildings within the Dawi Quarter showed any trappings of wealth and power and the lofty stone walls that surrounded the quarter did as much to help garner further profitable contracts.  There is a knock at the door and in annoyance Thurgrom looked up muttering Bugrit, Bugrit, Bugrit as the door slowly opened.

 

He could see that there are two at the door, Yulia Fedokova formerly of Horchovsk and one of the most loyal of his Umgi workers in Erengrad and just behind her; Alrim Gormsson a Kalan kin.  Both warriors looked older than their actual years and by all rights they should have died last year while in the Northern Oblast.  By Dawi standards Yulia would not even be considered an adult but by human standards she is just shy of being two and twenty winters old but looked sixty her hair now frosted with gray; where as Alrim a Gnutrommi looked to be an Altrommi but would not be so for another thirty years.  They looked old before their time, a near death wound did that to some and if not for the Rhun of Valaya the Ancestor Goddess both would be dead.  With that morbid thought set aside Thurgrom spoke in cultured Kislevarin; “It has been two days has our guest awoken yet and have you confirmation on his identity?”

 

“Yes Master Thurgrom,” Yulia replied, “I knew who he is when I helped Duree Boriadottier the guild’s healer attends to his injuries.  As requested by yourself and Boyar Vaja, Alrim and I,” and Alrim nodded affirmative, “called upon Gregori’s father.  The Prince is relieved that we have his missing son and that he is being well cared for.  Prince Petre states he is in your debt and has a proposal.”  Then Yulia handed him a sealed message tube.

 

“Once I have read this and given it some thought I will contact you when I need to send a reply, meanwhile where is Master Nyi Brokkson now?”  Thurgrom asked. 

 

Thurgrom did not want to have Nyi leave on the next ship for Kraka Drakka in three days.  Master Nyi a member of Kalan Ironfinger of the Cooper Guild is under contract to Kalan Ironhand and as the Thane of the Dawi enclave in Erengrad and Guild Master, Thurgrom did not want to break a contract between the two guilds if he had to; not for something as trivial as a labor dispute which turned into a skirmish between Erengrad’s Cooper Guild workers and Nyi Brokkson and his apprentices.  The skirmish on the streets of Erengrad was the reason for Master Nyi being in jailed; all for being over zealous in his own defense.  Apparently the cause of the dispute is that Nyi Brokkson’s firkins are a much better quality than those made by Umgi Cooper Guild not to mention the other products such as the tuns, butts, hogsheads, barrels, kilderkins, and pins.  The finished cooperage produced by Brokkson and his apprentices are of a higher quality and less expensive which was why the majority of products both wet and dry being shipped from the Port of Erengrad were shipped in products manufactured by the Kalan Ironfinger’s Cooper.  The Umgi coopers are fearful of being forced out of business.  However Thurgrom’s main concern is with the Chekist authorities who are searching for a Dwarf and two Umgi who escaped from prison cells.  An escape could be easily explained away or forgotten, but not with one dead Bailiff and seven others wounded in the escape.  Granted Nyi swore an oath that he fought to subdue and not to kill when he escaped and that he had not killed any one.  It was a good thing that Umgi thought all Dawi looked alike and no one had a good description of Nyi who is indirectly responsible for the death of the Bailiff.  The real killer needed to be caught to make this all go away.  All this was on Thurgrom mind as he waited for an answer.   

 

“Prior to coming here we saw Brokkson and his apprentices in the cooper shop finishing up on the last of the hogshead order and is about to start on the Pulk order for the dry-tight casks which ought to make the two Erengrad Coopers by the name of Bocharov and Bondarev unhappy,” Alrim Gormsson replying to his question.   Thurgrom grimaced at the reminder that the Pulk had cancelled their cask order with the two Umgi and decided to take their business elsewhere after discovering widespread spoilage in the gunpowder and flour casks produced by Bocharov and Bondarev.

 

“Master Thurgrom,” said Alrim.  “Kubah Jakov and Stepan Boriskova reported to us that they have discovered where the Umgi, Pyotr Rebikov is hiding.  Would it be to the Kalan’s benefit to either forward this information on or to capture him and turn him over to the Chekist?”

 

For the first time in two days Thurgrom had something to smile about.  “I want the four of you to capture him alive.  Let me know when you have done so; you four will be rewarded as will the Kalan and Kraka Drakka.”  Still smiling Thurgrom thanked them for the information then dismissed them.  When the door shut he opened the messaged tube.

 

*

 

Note:  To be continued...

 



#420 Skull Krusher

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Posted 24 March 2016 - 04:20 AM

Kraka Drakka - Part Three Hundred Forty Nine (349)

 

Note:  Continued from previous post sorry for not posting sooner, spent the last three days in the hospital after having emergency surgery.

 

 

*

 

Gregori awoke in complete darkness and silence.  At first he lies there and could hear absolutely nothing.  Which is un-usual to say the least, the palace was never this quiet, no sound of the wind, the creaking or moaning as the palace settled with old age, or clatter of mindless servants going about their business.  Just silence only the sound of his breathing and the thump of his heart told him he was alive despite the residue aches associated from being beaten.  Then Gregori opened his eyes and panic set it, it was completely dark, not a shred of light anywhere could he see and wondered if he had been buried alive for the thick-heavy blankets weigh him down.  Then he discovers that he is naked and Gregori fully believes he is in the Temple of Morr and cries out.  A door opens and all Gregori can see is a figure enveloped in a cloak or robe, the cowl pull up obscuring the figures facial features.  “I am alive,” he calls out!

 

The sweet female sound of laughter is heard then the room suddenly floods with light all of which emanates from several Brightstone’s embedded in the ceiling.  After the complete darkness Gregori covers his eyes to protect them from the sudden glare.  “Of course you are alive you young fool.  Why would I want to waste two days of my time treating and healing you if you are dead?  I am not a follower of Morr much less a necromancer just a healer of the living.” Duree Boriadottier answered in Kislevarin.

 

Gregori removes his arm from above his eyes and slowly sits up and gasps.  This is no dark cloaked Priest of Morr smelling of death.  The individual is wearing the finest thick green wool Gregori has ever seen, the hem, cuffs, and edging around the cowl is embroidered in silver thread with continuous knot-work intertwined with runes.  The opening in the front of the robes from the waist down reveals the finest silver bar-mail skirt that only a master smith would take a lifetime in crafting and this lay atop the deep-purple padded krashenin that could be glimpsed beneath the bar-mail.  All this he saw and realized that his father must have sent a court-healer, a Priestess of Shallya.  The green robed figure is now standing near his bed, lowers the cowl revealing the most beautiful young maiden Gregori has ever seen.  All thoughts and memories of the blyad-sultry Uruska Tyurin whose every move enflamed his desires are erased much like an avalanche.  This young maiden’s long silky blond braided hair frames her face her eyes remind him of looking into an icy deep-blue fjord.  Gregori is truly entranced and wondered how old she is for she looks to be no more older than he, perhaps younger for she is shorter.  Then he realized that if she was the one who washed and treated him then she must have taken his clothing off for he could see them sitting on a nearby table neatly folded and clean even his boots were waxed and polished.  Slightly embarrassed but entranced by her beauty he asked; “Who are you?” and as an after thought seeing that she wore no kika asked, “Are you spoken for?”  Then Gregori notices an armed Dwarf warrior standing in the doorway behind her, his jailer, executioner, or her guard and the Dwarf glares at him with something akin to a wolf staring at a rabbit.

 

Her smile brightens the room like a warm summer day on the steppe and then she speaks; “I am a Priestess and Sister of Valaya, my name is Duree Boriadottier of Kalan Ironhand and my hearth and kin is Kraka Drakka.”

 

“But you can not be!” Gregori stammered.  “You can not be a Dwarf you are so beautiful.”

 

Laughing out loud, “Yes you are certainly better.  From now on you can wash yourself, the tub in the corner will be filled shortly with hot water, soap, and towels have been provided.  When you are ready someone will escort you to Guild Master Thurgrom where there is food and drink.”  Turning to the Dawi Zamnil Narsson of Kalan Ironhand who is standing behind her she smiled mischievously speaking in Khazid, “See husband even the Umgi finds me beautiful as well.”  Zamnil said nothing for just this once he could not say that an Umgi had not spoken untruthfully.  Still he fingered the edge of his axe…

 

 

 

 

Note:  To be continued.

 






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