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Tales From The Thunderforge...


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#41 Thrang Thunderforge

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 10:54 PM

   The two dwarves couldn't be more opposed, yet they trudged on together. Through the troll haunted hillsides, black pine forests and fierce northern snows.
   "...and to cap it all off I'm stuck with you" grumbled Gorrin.   
   "Yeah" snapped Orrid. "I ain't so 'appy neither. But someone's gotta look after the map ain't they. Is there any beer left?"
Gorrin scowled under his helmet at the road ahead. "I've got beer left, thank you very much. Anyway, I don't need maps, I know where I'm going."
   "Pah, that's why I found you scratchin' yer whiskers in troll country lookin' for the Erengrad ferry."
Their iron boots crunched the gravel of a dried riverbed, and Gorrin handed over a skin of ale.
   "I was considering my options" he replied.
   "We ain't got time for considerin' options" warned Orrid shooting his fellow a dark look. "You know as well as me how bad things are; get back to the Hold and get everyone ready for war, the sooner they know the sooner we can get 'em out of there."
   "Out?!" gasped Gorrin. "Out is the last place we want to be; batten down the hatches and dig in! There's too few of us to fight this, Orrid. We'll do what we've always done and weather the storm."
   Gorrin wore a simple iron helmet, mail and furs, on his back was a large pack hung with ore samples, rope, lanterns and his trusty pick. If someone plucked a dwarf from the war of vengeance it would look like Gorrin, and think like him too.
   "You need to get out more" Orrid grinned. "Elves have got it right fer once - there's too much magic."
He pointed to the northern horizon, even during the day the balefires flashed in the sky, where once it was only certain times of the year, and at night. "Govan the runesmith told me about it once; magic flows in from the northern gate, where the chaos gets in too...   Then it sort of soaks across the world, and in Ulthuan they've got a soddin' big plug-hole they drain it all out again. 'Cept you can't trust an elf to stay focussed and they've thagged it all up. Ain't draining away anymore. Look" he pulled a small knife from his belt and picked up a fist sized rock without breaking his stride. Holding it out for Gorrin to see he cut into it like a fruit. The dwarves watched as teeth closed on the knife-blade; the hole in the rock became a fanged mouth and a tongue lolled out from it. Orrid slammed it to the floor and stamped it into splinters.
   "There's only so much magic the earth can hold and it's risin' like Black Water on a blacksmith's strike. The elves are going...   somewhere. So I 'eard."
Gorrin walked on in silence for a while. He was utterly at a loss to know what to do. This was time to ask a longbeard.
 
+ + + + + + + + + + +
 
   The King's Council was held, as usual, in the King's favourite bar, the Axemen's Arms. The large central table was lit with lanterns and candles, covered in tankards, maps and plates of steaming food. King Modsogni tugged at his moustache and tried to call the throng to order.
   "Shurrup!" he yelled. "Yes it's bad, we've established that much!" He then did what every dwarf would do and turned to his faithful Loremaster, Ethgrim Axehandle, and asked him.
   "Has this ever happen before?"
   Ethgrim looked up from the ancient book he was scrutinizing. "No, it definately hasn't been the end of the world before. Someone would have remembered. Last time something similar happened it was Grimnir, holding back the north gate while the elves finished off their Vortex thingy. We held our end of the bargain..." the elderly dwarf shrugged and thumped the book shut.
   "Fine" replied the King, "so we're digging uncharted seams then. If this is a magickal problem then it's your department Govan."
   The hold's senior runesmith was a large, bald dwarf with blue tattoos covering much of his flesh. He held up a mark six pressure gauge which was screwed into a smoked glass sphere, the needle fluttered gently near the red.
   "It's been going up and down for weeks" he said, tapping at the gauge. "Worse than I've ever seen, but there's nowt I can do. I've got the Anvil on full dispel, we had to pack ice round it the other day it was gettin' so hot. If it carries on we'll be fartin' doves and diggin' up seams of coloured hankies before the year is out, an' that's just the background stuff. We'll be alright if the runes of Valaya hold out in the main deeps, but it'll be tentacles all round if they fail. I can re-inforce 'em, but there's only so much we can do against a rising tide." He met eyes with the Chief Engineer Surt, sat across the table. "Of course there's always... the Grung'got."
   The King's face grew grim at the mention of the Grung'got, although many of the other dwarves around the table looked puzzled. 
   "The Forge-march?" asked Gorrin, who stood behind Govan's chair.
The King sighed and addressed the room. "We decided it would be useful, if such events arose, that a safety measure be built. My ancestors escaped from Thagnor Krakaz before it fell into the sea, along the Underway. Only... it's a bit different this time." He turned back to Govan and drained his mug. "Will it work?"
   Govan smiled, which was a rare sight. This time it was the engineer Surt who replied. As usual he was caked in grease and soot from his work, his hand rested on a clipboard on the table.
   "To drain off this extra wyrd we've filled up the storage tanks to full capacity, we're ready as we'll ever be" he flicked over to another sheet and passed it over to the King. A diagram showed what appeared to be a water-wheel, but affixed with various magic wands of non-dwarf design, gathered from far flung parts of the world. "If we end up draining the tanks we should be able to generate more fuel. Ahem, I did a line check of the system on B'horesday, just in case."
 
+ + + + + + + + + +
 
   Deep in the centre of the mountain was a small hall somewhere between the King's Hall and Govan's forges. Like the gold-vault and tomb-halls it had rune-seals to keep it hidden from view. The King and senior members of the Hold stood around whilst engineers and runesmiths adjusted valves and tinkered with bits of mechanism. Govan stood proudly atop a raised dias in the centre of the room, it had a single, large metal lever in the centre. With a small leather bow on it.
   "You're quite sure this will work?" asked Modsogni for the twelfth time in the last half hour. "If we all end up dead I'll have your head for it."
   "It'll work" replied the runesmith, "I'd stake my axe on it."
 As the King climbed the dias it crossed his mind that Govan had always carried a hammer as his calling demanded, but it was too late now. Without much ceremony King Modsogni of the Clan Thunderforge, pulled the level, initiating the Grung'got device.
 
   A blizzard blew across the Utgard Mountains, the great range silhouetted against a lurid sky of coloured light. Like teeth in a great jaw the peaks reached from horizon to horizon. Almost unseen, unless someone was watching for it, one of the jagged peaks flickered transparently, then dissapeared entirely, leaving just another deep valley in the mountainscape. The blizzard filled the gap as the howling winter continued obliviously. Just as it went was heard the voice of the last King of the Thunderforge Clan in the Old World... "So where are we actually going?"


#42 Dorakreat Magmabraids

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 02:55 AM

Absolutely great. Read the whole thing! Many laughs and very good writing! 



#43 Thrang Thunderforge

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 01:38 AM

Djorik clicked a bolt into his crossbow and hefted it up to his shoulder, scanning the old stone buildings for movement. For a moment nothing moved, not even the leaves in the trees. The old warrior counted to fifty under his breath and crouched back down behind the low stone wall. His lads waited for his order.
“Make for the watchtower; Finnar, Grodi, cover us, I reckon they’re split between the bakehouse and the trees behind the gate.”
Finnar and Grodi cocked and loaded their crossbows whilst the others prepared to run. Djorik peered over the wall one more time before giving the signal. Fourteen dwarven boots crunched across the cobbles and up the slope of the watchtower; once they reached the shadow of the stone awning and raised their bows Djorik, Finnar and Grodi followed.
Djorik thrust open the stout oak door and ran straight into the embrace of a corpse. “Oh frongal!” he gasped and rammed his helmeted head into the zombie. The other dwarves charged in beside him pulling out axes and daggers; the boiling chaos of combat erupted in a storm of shouting and movement. Rotted arms grasped and jaws snapped like bear traps as the dwarves fought to keep them back. Big Bolli was putting them down two with every swing of his blade but Finnar was overwhelmed and down on the floor, Grim and Orlf were trying to reach him. Djorik managed to get a look around the tower as his lads pushed forward around him, he found what he was looking for. Behind the unliving foes skulked a cloaked figure chanting his arcane magick. They locked eyes. Djorik’s hand went for his crossbow as the necromancer raised his staff. The oakroot and silver crossbow pinwheeled through the air and cracked into the staff of the wizard, sending it flying against the wall, the ancient let out a scream of anger as his escape spell kicked in, enfolding him in a cold of black smoke.
The zombies jerked awkwardly and fell to the ground as their master left, all their power gone. Djorik dived forward and grabbed the fallen staff and his trusty crossbow. “Anybody down?” he called. The dwarves checked themselves and only Finnar was hurt, Grim and Orlf helped him stand, his face was white and drawn with pain, blood coated his right arm. “Bloody bit me” he said through gritted teeth.
Bolli stamped on one of the heads, bursting it open like a jar of jam. Djorik shot him a stern look “That’s enough o’ that Bolli Bragnirson! Let’s get this back to the runesmith and Finnar to the barracks. Just hope we don’t run into anything on the way back...”

Edited by Thrang Thunderforge, 01 February 2018 - 01:20 PM.


#44 Killer Angel

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Posted 28 January 2018 - 07:52 AM

I missed this thread!
Lot of stories that wait a reading...

Just finished the first one. Enjoyable staff!

#45 Thrang Thunderforge

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Posted 01 February 2018 - 01:04 PM

Gardens of Altdorf


It all started when the King decided they needed a Blood Bowl team. It got a bit out of control somewhere along the way; sometime after the Battle of the Long Shorts and before the Decree of Reserves was signed someone pointed out they didn’t have a pitch anyway. This problem was delegated to the Mining Guild who deferred it to the Farming Clans who explained that technically they did have the land, but... “well, maybe you should look for yourself.”

The King watched the ball roll down the rocky heath, bounce up over a granite boulder and wedge itself firmly in a thorn bush. A mountain goat eyed him suspiciously and went back to chewing the stubbly grass.
“And how big is the pitch area supposed to be?” he asked the assembled dwarves. Gorrin Thunderforge thumbed through a small book and squinted at the mannish writing. “One half furlong by three chains, Lord.”
“And it has to be...?”
“Of solid standing and of a flatness alike to the gardens of Altdorf” Gorrin read.
The King watched the goat as it stumbled over the rocks and ended upside down in a stream bed. It bleated pitifully.
“I reckon I know how to fix this” ventured Orrid Strongbrew.

++++++

The role of Chief Engineer in a dwarf settlement is probably of more importance than any king or chieftain, it certainly calls for more skill, dedication and patience. Surt Thunderforge gripped the large adjustable wrench in both of his mighty hands and brought it down hard on the delicate gearwork he had been adjusting. “Kranak Thuk Dagaz!” he roared, sending cogs and springs in all directions. “Synchromesh gearbox my arse!”

Across the forge hall Orrid poked his head up from behind a pile of machinery and walked around. Wiping oil from his hands he grinned widely. “I’ve finished fitting the last drivechain. Look, double clutching will be fine, we’ll only have a couple of hundred yards clear run anyway. I think we’re ready to roll ‘em out!”

++++++

Gorrin slid a tankard across the table and banged his finger on the woodwork. “If the first blocker is here but the runner isn’t past the second blocker then it is offside” he glanced back at one of the open book on his knees “...unless the second blocker is shorter than the runner or has more legs.”
The King frowned. “Just go over it again” he said.
At that moment Orrid appeared behind the King and tapped gently on his helmet.
“Finished ‘em, come and have a look”
Modsogni rose and was about to give the ‘I AM the king and you should address me as such’ speech when he beheld the three iron beasts lined up before the fortress gate.
Each vehicle boasted a heavy metal roller at the front and a puttering steam engine mounted behind, various funnels vented smoke away from the engineers that sat astride them.
“They’re marvellous!” exclaimed King Modsogni, breathing in the delightful smell. “Let’s see what they can do then!”
Orrid raised a thumb to the drivers and Surt, the chief engineer, who stood by with his hammer in hand. With a blast of soot, steam and noise the engines surged forward, the great iron rollers splintering rocks beneath them. By now a crowd had mysteriously appeared at the gate and a cheer went up. The King grinned hugely and gave Orrid a slap on the back. “We’ll have a pitch in no time! And a big up yours to the flatness of the gardens of Altdorf!”
Orrid looked up a the sky. One half furlong away the engines were turning for the return journey. Orrid looked down at his boots. The King shot him a look. “What is it Strongbrew?”
“Well sir” replied Orrid, examining the sky again, “once the pitch is done you won’t really need these rollers anymore, will you...”
The King waited.
“And it’d be a shame to see them not being used...”
The King continued to wait.
“So if you wanted to put them to good use, well the elves have this thing they call ‘reconnaissance’...”
The conversation paused as the three clattering machines roared past, throwing shattered stone around them.
The King stared at the pulverised path the wheels had wrought.
“What you’re saying is, Orrid, is that a certain undesirable bunch of rangers might want to take these vehicles on some sort of rampage of terror and death, rolling through armies of goblins? And it might just happen that certain undesirable rangers might already be trained in the art of driving them? Forek Cogwasher, Grim Scrotekicker and Orful Angleiron perhaps? From... oh yes, Orrid Strongbrew’s Rangers...”
Orrid’s face remained carefully blank. “Could well be, your Kingship...”
Modsogni was long trained in the art of war, and knowing just which sledgehammer to crack which nut with was one of his many talents. “Well Orrid, I can only think the leader of a certain bunch of undesirable rangers owes me some free tickets to the next Dwarf Giants home game!”

Edited by Thrang Thunderforge, 01 February 2018 - 01:21 PM.


#46 Thrang Thunderforge

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 01:12 AM

Da Valley Ov Deff

Sometimes, thought Modsogni, kingship is the worst job in the world, as he hauled himself up the wooden ladder out of his dugout. Rain came down like a torrent, turning even this upland ground into a muddy mire. He shielded his eyes with a gloved hand and surveyed his army’s position. Cannons settled into the mud, bolt-throwers and one long-armed catapult crowded their little trench; helmeted, bearded faces stood between them, sour expressions turned on the king.
“Surt!” He yelled. “Where is ‘e?!”
The Chief Engineer had his arm up the breach of a cannon, feeling for distortions in the metal. He swore under his breath and carefully closed the breach. “We’ll have her apart when we get back” he said to the gun-captain. “Just to make sure.”
He squelched over to his King. “Aye?” He asked.
Modsogni’s face was grim. “Throbbi Drakkaz and the supply wagons were ambushed along the Drizgrim Pass” he explained. “Most of the lads got out but they had to push the wagons into the river to stop them being taken.”
Surt’s hands balled into fists. “There were five barrels of black powder in those wagons! I’ll have that kath’tak’s head on a pole when I get my...”
“Just tell me what we’ve got” interrupted the King. Surt glowered for a moment, but began calculating under his breath.
“Sod all” he answered. “We’ve got three barrels of powder that’s wetter’n Throbbi’s lot, the bolt-throwers ropes are like sponges and all we’ve got for Lodinfingra to throw are mud pies.” He cast a damning look down the turbid valley.
The two dwarves clambered down the ladder into the relative dryness of the dugout. Pools of water still swamped the floor but at least they were out of the deluge. A roaring fire lit up the room, a large wooden table covered with maps and writing slates was surrounded by dwarves all arguing heatedly. The King elbowed himself some room and planted his hands on the table. Water began smearing parts of a map.
“Basically we’ve got a perfect position at the top of this valley and nothing to fire” he stated bluntly. Throbbi, who had been in charge of the supply wagons, avoided everyone’s gaze, whilst Surt’s furious glare threatened to burn straight through his iron helmet.
“It’s four days back to Thragal Rock to get more powder, and Gorrin’s scouts say the greenskins are headed up the valley and should be with us in two.”
The dugout erupted in voices, each clamouring with a different answer. Surt had made it halfway around the table and rolled up one of his sleeves before Modsogni had secured everyone’s attention again.
“That’s enough!” he bellowed. “There’s only one thing we can do now, and by Gazul if it’ll go down in hist’ry I’ll bet.” The King grinned strangely, the fire throwing red light across his harsh face.
“They might even write a poem about it...” he added to himself.

++++++

Gorrin Thunderforge twisted the telescope into focus and panned across the valley below. Up here the few pines clung desperately in the fierce elements, but got denser into a thick forest in the shelter of the cliffs on either side. Between these trees moved the greenskins.
”How many d’you see?” asked Modsogni, leaning on the wooden wall. He could see movement but not individuals from this distance.
“About six hundred” answered Gorrin. “Mounted on those hogs I told you about. And maybe some gretchin at the back, carrying stuff.”
The King waved a hand dismissively. “And they’re still well back behind the tree line?”
“Yessir, they know we’re here and preparing to rush us.” Gorrin didn’t need to point out the drumming and shouting that echoed up from the trees, six hundred orcs building up into a battle frenzy wasn’t a subtle event. Drums rang out in staccato bursts, shouts and screeches and bestial roars, all to intimidate their enemies and bolster their own fragile courage.
Modsogni turned around to face his own battle brothers and carefully lit his pipe. He nodded at Surt and a few of the captains.
“Six hundred rode into the valley of death!” he said loudly, over the orcish din. “Cannon to the left of ‘em, cannon to the right! This will be a battle charge to be remembered!”
A guttural dwarven cheer obscured the sound of the orcs below.

++++++

Vragash hauled on the ropes around the neck of his boar as he fought it for control. The stupid thing wanted to go back to rut with some sow it had smelled.
“Get over!” yelled Vragash giving it a vicious kick in the side. At last he managed to draw level with his mate Raznekk who was pressing forward to get closer to the front.
“When are we gonna get killin’ ‘em den?” asked Vragash, as they moved through the trees.
Raznekk chopped away some branches with his rusty blade. “Gutfang sez we creep to the edge of these trees first, cuz they can’t shoot if they can’t see us” he explained.
Vragash nodded carefully, he always liked hearing about ‘kunnin tactiks’ and better ways of fighting. “Then wot?”
“Then we run up da hill an’ kills ‘em all” Raznekk said. “Ficko” he added spitefully.
They pushed through the trees further, their boars finding a way over the rough ground. Vragash checked his spear was still in good order and thought eagerly about the fighting to follow, he imagined himself jumping like a mountain lion over the dwarf defences, bearing down on them with his bloody blade, carving red ruin against his most hated foe when Raznekk interrupted his daydreaming.
“Wot woz wot?” snapped Vragash angrily.
“Shuttup! Listen!” Raznekk said with his head on one side. Then Vragash heard it too, a low rumbling, like a rockfall, getting louder. The orcs peered into the leaves ahead of them...
A large bronze cannon steamrollered through the trees in front of them, four dwarves ran, heads down behind it, pushing it like a battering ram. Then more, suddenly all around them more and more battering ram cannons tore through the trees, orcs and boars in an unstoppable barrage.
Vragash grabbed at Raznekk with a look of terror on his face. “Theyz chargin’ us Raznekk!! Theyz chargin’ US!!”

Edited by Thrang Thunderforge, 06 February 2018 - 01:20 AM.





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