Posts: 7,282 - May 2011
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Scribe's Contest II - Voting!
Welcome to the voting thread for the 2nd Scribe's Contest writing competition, sponsored by Zanko!
How to vote:
Please submit 3 numbers as votes by sending a PM to Scribe account (a special account all Staff members can access). We had 10 entries this time, which means each entrant will receive 10 slaves once the winners have been announced. There will be Gold, Silver, and Bronze Scribe's Contest medals to be awarded, though this time around there will be only one Gold winner and prize receiver (decided by vote-off in case of a tie).
Each (more or less) anonymous entry is numbered ranging from 1 to 10. There is no need to specify which one you think is 1st, 2nd or 3rd. Simply list the three that you like we will do the rest.
Voting will close at 11:59 PM Feb 15th, 2015 EST (Eastern Standard Timezone). Once the votes are tallied we will post the results.
Normally he was sneaky, always walking silently. Today there was no time for that, he was running quickly through the narrow streets of lower Zharr-Naggrund. Despite being in a hurry, he had remembered to clean his dagger. Otherwise the blood would quickly soak his sash, and the curved blade would not be secret then. Always keep some secret daggers – and dice!
The large tower city of the Dawi Zharr was always loud, filled with sounds of slaves in pain, hammers at work, a symphony of infernal industry. But this evening the noise was different, the sound of battle – screams of agony, pain and death. He had done his job well, as had all his fellow gits on this treacherous night. It was now just at matter of time before the last of the big dark skinned orcs would be slaughtered. The rewards in sight made the betrayal well worth it – they had all agreed.
Three gits had they been, three gits tasked with murdering a particularly large black orc slave boss. One git had never made it, he had chosen to run and hide in shadows, more likely he was a bloody red pulp on a black obsidian wall. That's the fate of the coward – not running fast and far enough.
Two gits remained. They had murdered together before, they knew the dance. Many a dice game had been settled with many a hidden dagger and they would split the winnings – almost equally. From the shadows they fell on the back of the big dark greenskin leader. Stabbing, slashing, slicing. Knees, armpit, groin, ribs. Soon the angry brute was spilling his black blood and stinking guts – getting weaker, getting taken by death.
Their job had been done, and very well indeed. Their little part in a much larger treason – their part in becoming the highest ranking greenskins of the Darklands. The Masters would be content, a position as overseer would be achievable. But there could be only one. A friendship ended by pointy daggers, a single git remained.
Running quickly through polluted lower Zharr-Naggrund, running towards the prize and safety of his Master. The git had always been sneaking, skulking, stalking – no git should ever change...
The cut came quickly and the blade was sharp and hard, his achilles tendons soft and naked. The git fell hard – face first on the soot coated pavement.
A git had hid, avoided both battle and avoided becoming a bloody red pulp. A git had hid and made a plan. The dagger hit like a red hot punch between his shoulder blades, his breath was forced from his lungs as they collapsed. There could be only one indeed, and it wasn't him, he realized, as his warm blood washed over the dirty ground.
For such is the nature of the hobgoblins – there will always be a sneaker git and most daggers fit perfectly into the back of a traitor.
Once upon a time in the Chaos Dwarf realm.
Off to one side of the tar pits where the slaves worked, there stood two Hobgoblins. Two dirty, scraggy, enslaved Hobgoblins, and instead of working, they were leaning on their tools and were chatting.
"And then Uhr-Kulmbizharr said that there was a wheel and a stone and they talked to each other."
"Whaaaat! They talked to each other you say?!"
"Yeah yeah! They did!"
"Nah! That's bollocks!"
"Shut up! Not just that. There was also a cloud and a volcano."
"Yeah and what?"
"They also talked with each other."
"Nah! What a hoot!"
"Yes, yes and…"
But the Hobgoblin did not go any further because a Dawi-Zharr slave driver rushed in and shouted: "What’s going on here!"
The two Hobgoblins turned their heads in awe and started to shiver due to his unexpected appearance. "N-n-nothing master. We’re just taking some breath."
"Just taking some breath?! What have you nattered about before I came here?"
"Just about some fables."
"Ya ya fables."
"Well how cute – but it’s wrooong! But don’t fear any longer, thou shall be forgiven."
The slave driver smashed the nearest Hobgoblin onto the ground and trampled him into the dirt with his steel-capped boots. After that he grinned at the other, shocked Hobgoblin, and said with a mad voice: "Still wanna talk about fables?"
"No! Boss please not! I will never open my mouth again till you want me to do so."
"So go back to work you filthy scumbag!"
So that’s what happens to lazy slaves in the Chaos Dwarfs' realm. It could be worse and it could be less bad, but you don’t want to find out.
The Old Wolfrider
He was old and tired, his hands and arms twitched from an old head injury and years of strong drink.
Once he had been a fine warrior riding on a wolf and harassing foes with his bow, but soon he would be useless and probably offered to Hashut.
It was a sunny if chilly morning when the Master eyed him with a malicious glint in his eyes and spoke, "Can't you stop waving your arms around like that?"
"Sorry Master, I… I can't", he stammered.
"We will sow the fields soon, but this year there seems to be an abundance of crows. They will steal the seeds if we can't do a thing about it."
"Mm…Master?" the old hobgoblin said.
"Let`s put those offensive twitches to some good use", the Master said.
From that day the old hobgoblin stood on the field with his arms twitching about – and he did so until he fell dead between the green wheat shoots greeting the sun.
Gorsh the Half-Man clung lightly to his malformed, six-legged mount as he rode through the greenskin camp. Though loyal to his master, this was a duty he did not relish. The camp was one of disorder, dirt and disease. Wicked, hook nosed gits guarding over pens of slaves, or pens of wolves. Malicious to the core, the hobgoblins were not to be trusted.
And for that reason alone Skrogg the Betrayer had sent Gorsh to find some.
Gorsh dismounted outside the khan’s tent. His mount would wait for him untied. He stepped through the flaps made of the skins of unknown creatures into a smoky darkness. Hobgoblin warriors in scale armour ringed the walls, and before him, sat at a desk of dwarfen manufacture, was a particularly ugly and scar-faced hobgoblin.
"Ah, the emissary of the betrayer arrivez. Pleaze sit. Would you care for a drink?"
Gorsh sat. The chair was remarkably comfortable despite its sturdy design. He lifted the visor on his helmet to show beneath not a face but chromed steel in the shape of a face, with six eyes of different colours and nothing else. He closed the visor again. The hobgoblin winced at the visage.
"As you can see, distractions shall not be required. As I understand things, your name is Garkash Vile-Everything, a name that I really don’t need you to prove, and you are currently head slave keeper for the warlord Varkon Goldenaxe of Zharr-Naggrund. Am I correct?"
The hobgoblin broke out in a grin displaying a mouthful of rotting, needle-like teeth, spitting as it spoke. "It seemz youz know a lot more aboutz uz then weez do aboutz you, emissary. Yezss you are right, the dwarf currently keeping my chests full of gold is Varkon Goldenaxe. I hear your master would like to aquire my services instead. You know, faceless man, that my services do not come cheap."
Gorsh stood and pulled a leather bag from his belt. "I was counting on it," he said as he released the cords on the bag. A metal ring flew out, straight towards Garkash. It opened and closed around his neck in a split second. Garkash stood, clutching at his throat as the ring contracted, causing him to choke. The hobgoblin warriors lining the tent made to close on Gorsh.
"I suggest you wave those fighters away from me. As you can see, If you want reward for your services to Skrogg the Betrayer, you had best do as he wants and come with me."
The Tale of Kracka-Khan
Kracka-Khan looked down at the barely moving body near his feet. It still breathed but at present could no longer be considered an immediate threat. In return the beaten one looked back up at the victor. With deliberate intent, Kracka-Khan slowly placed a booted foot upon the chest of his defeated foe.
"Serve me and you will live"
"Why would I?" came the laboured reply from the downed Khan, “What would you be?”
"I would be a Khan of Khans!"
The signs were easy to read. The mouth said yes, but everything else said no. The shape of the mouth, the eyes, the tenseness in the jaw and neck muscles. All said betrayal as soon as his back was turned. That was not what he required.
"You lie poorly," was his reply as he pushed his blade fully through the ex-Khan's neck.
"Who leads this tribe now?" he demanded.
"You do... Kracka-Khan... You do!" came a few shouted replies. His next question was one they’d never heard asked before.
"Who would have led next if this this one had died in battle instead of against me?"
"Me," came one grunted response. A few others shuffled a bit and looked like they might have wanted the job but were habitually hiding their intentions.
"Then come here, what is your name?"
"Digga," said the mean-looking hobgobbo.
"Would you be Digga-Khan? Would you lead your tribe? Swear loyalty to me and they are yours."
"Yes I would."
"Then on your battered soul swear your loyalty to me and then go prove your right to lead this tribe upon those of them that would deny you."
That made two whole tribes that were sworn to him, not counting his own small one. So three of the master’s tribes were his, that was if he could maintain and ensure his control over them in the coming days. So far two other Khans had denied him with their last breaths, but their tribes had descended into utter chaos as they squabbled over who among them would lead. Only a few remained to test and take control of. He turned and made his way back through his loyal disciples. Those last dozen survivors of his tribe that guarded his back as if it was their very own. Something else that he had failed to notice as being unusual for his kind.
As they left the dwelling area, a shape blocked his way. He instinctively began to draw his sabre. In the same half breath he felt his disciples fade back and their stances become ones of submission; realising it was one of the masters, he bowed and re-sheathed his weapon.
The Dawi-Zharr looked at the Khan. "You have been busy," rolled out the gravelly statement. "But this is not to be your destiny, oh Khan-of-Khans. For you have been chosen to be a part of something else than the endless battles amongst your kind here..."
Ghazag was a lousy git. He served the Masters of Zharr-Naggrund as turnkey of the wretched slave-pens, this position had made him grow fat and lazy. He flayed slaves and kin alike, sometimes out of pure malice but more often to cover-up his own mistakes and neglects. This time was different, however, and there was no one else to put the blame on. The sound of the Chaos Dwarf Overseer's steel-clad boots echoed through the torch-lit corridors, firm and fast approaching.
Ghazag barely had time to stutter his attempt of an apology until a steel-clad fist sent him crashing into a tunnel-wall, teeth flying. The Hobgoblin tried to roll away from what he knew was coming but the narrow corridor didn't allow such maneuvers and he felt a sharp pain as his ribs cracked from the weight behind the Overseer's kick. Before he had time to open his eyes again, he felt a hard pressure around his throat as he was hoisted into the air, choking against the Chaos Dwarf's steel-gauntlet. With fire in his eyes and a frothing mouth framed by sharp tusks and a braided beard the Overseer bellowed:
"YOU ATE THE HOSTAGE?!"
Ghazag, his characteristic cloth-cap displaced by the thrashing so that its left ear-flap now covered half his face, tried to speak, but only a cough, followed by a mouthful of blood that trickled along his pointed tongue down the Overseer's gauntlet, came out of him. Again he was sent flying towards the granite wall but this time he was heads first and as the back of his skull smashed forcefully into the solid rock the greenskin blacked out.
He regained consciousness feeling terribly ill. Vomiting, he regained clarity and found he was dragged face-down deeper into the tunnel at a relentless pace, his right foot in the Chaos Dwarf's steel-tight grip. The Overseer's grand adorned hat cast a long shadow and in this dampened torchlight the broken Hobgoblin reached with his still functional right hand into his tattered cloak and grasped a small dagger.
At the end of the tunnel was a thick and terrible smell which Ghazag recognized as the stench of sweat, feces and rot emerging from the deep, unlit darkness of the hand-dug ravine that was the wretched slave-pens. Without a word, the Overseer changed his grip, and with one armored gauntlet under each of the greenskin's arms he was about to drag Ghazag over the edge. A fitting punishment for the fat git to be eaten by the wretched slaves, as it was his appetite for slave flesh that made him overstep his boundaries, the Chaos Dwarf thought to himself.
Suddenly, in a last ditch effort to save himself, Ghazag spun around, dagger flashing. The cut was aimed at the Overseer's throat but the Chaos Dwarf quickly lowered his chin and parried the blade with a yellowed tusk then threw the screaming greenskin into the darkness below. Ghazag was a lousy git, he thought to himself.
Slowly, the Elf opened his eyes. The air was heavy with sulfur and ash. He tried to wipe his eyes, but then realized his hands were bound… what had happened? His ship from Eataine had run across a violent storm for three relentless days and nights… was it all a dream? Glancing about, he saw that he and one of his crew were in a wagon pulled by an Ogre… which had a copper dagger stuck cruelly in its neck. Alongside were Hobgoblin wolf riders…
"Scum!" the Elf muttered in his native Asur tongue.
Immediately there was yelling in the dialect of Ringkul, and the wagon stopped. The biggest of the Hobgoblins dismounted from his wolf and glared at the Elf, almost studying him. Then the Boss spoke in the dark tongue: "Lagg, go’s fetch my dagger."
The Hobgoblin named Lagg grinned wickedly while slowly twisting the dagger out of the Ogre's neck, and then handed it to his Boss. Lagg gave an evil glance, watching as the Hobgoblin Boss sheathed the dagger and then smiled.
Cautiously, the Elf asked, "Who are you?"
Squinting his eyes, as if in deep thought… and speaking fluent Asur, the Boss replied, "Khan of the Harghazhakh."
A Khan? The Elf had heard stories of them, but never thought he’d see one.
"You speak Asur?" the Elf asked.
"A depraved dialect, but one that my Master finds useful that I can speak," replied the Khan.
Confused, the Elf turned to his crewmate, and then realized that his companion was nearly dead, sitting in a pool of blood, with both ears cut off.
"He didn’t listen so well," said the Khan with a cruel grin.
Lagg smiled again… his red eyes looking intently at the ears of the Elf.
Looking back to the Khan, the Elf asked, "Who is your Master?"
Lagg stopped smiling as the Khan angrily snarled, "You are not worthy to speak HIS name!"
Scared, the Elf sat quietly, not daring to look the Khan in the eye.
After a few moments of silence, the Khan spoke again, calmly.
"This land bleeds lava, breathes ash, a heart that throbs to infernal machinery… it is His land.
His breath blackens the sky… we go to see Him… would you like to know how you’ll die?"
Nervously the Elf glanced up.
"My Master is here now, His Eye is upon us."
There was a sound from the sky above, looking up the Elf saw a fiery, brazen red bull flying overhead, wicked wings beating upon the ashen air and breathing flames.
Calmly, the Khan pulled out his copper dagger and spoke again:
"You are not worthy to speak His name… what makes you think you are worthy to look at Him?"
As the Khan gouged out the eyes of the screaming Elf, Lagg and the other Hobgoblins smiled… all the while keeping their eyes looking to the ground.
Slowly, she went up the stairs on the side of the rocky hill, above the cave where she slept and held council. The morning mists were chilly and she wrapped her rough-spun cloak tighter around her bony shoulders. Her back was aching and her muscles were even weaker than just a few years ago, so that she needed her gnarled staff more than ever.
But she knew that she could not yet travel to the spirits of the ancestors and that her folk needed her at least until her two sons got a little wiser or one of them died of steel. Otherwise the two of them would at once pit their followers against each other for sure.
She took the last step and let her small black eyes run across the valley. Hundreds of small wooden huts, the smoke of campfires, lots of green skinned children playing and fighting, the scent of cooked elf meat and garlic in the air... so peaceful was her kin now; it reminded her of her never forgotten husband and the good times they had brawling and drinking.
Oh it was so long ago, she didn`t count the winters since then. She even felt sorry that she had to draw this really sharp knife through his throat but he didn`t want to hear her advice then and would have tried to stand up against the masters! That would have been the ruin of all their people, so she had no choice, had she?
Quickly she wiped away a single tear with her ragged sleeve.
The howl of a giant wolf rushing towards the cave caught her attention. She looked down and Mura, the elder of her sons, was there on his mount, fully equipped.
"Mama Khan, da lord of da tower wanna see ya!" he shouted.
"Let him know I`ll come in the eve," she replied with a dignity which was uncommon even for a hobgoblin leader. The wolf rider turned and sped away.
The hobgoblin Nevmin crept into a cave, he wanted to help his master, Karrahk Goldaxe. Karrahk had a very importent document for the sorcerers. He fled into the cave because he was being pursued by a group of sneaky gits. The cave had several exits and he tried to lose his pursuers in there.
Unfortunately, Karrakh had lost his own orientation and took the wrong way out. He realized his mistake and was struck by fear, he had no lamp and the way he took was much longer then expected. Going back was no option, and he could already hear his pursuers on his heels. So he kept going slowly forward until he saw a faint light. Finally he reached the exit and the fresh air helped him to catch his breath.
His servant Nevmin had once told him about a dream he had, had once. Strangely, now he felt to be part of this dream, though it was years ago when Nevmin told him the story.
Nevmin hurried, he must reach his master before the sneaky gits did. Karrakh was still standing at the exit when he saw a figure rushing at him. Tired and exhausted he had to run, they must not get the documents.
He hastily stumbled down the steep path and when he looked back he fell off the cliff. With one hand he grasped a rock, and he was hanging down the cliff.
Karrakh looked up and on the edge he saw the silhouette of a hobgoblin. "You wont get me nor the documents!" he shouted and pushed himself off the rocks.
When he fell into the darkness, the last he could hear was "Master, it's me!"
Twelve Little Hobgoblins
Twelve little Hobgoblins saw a comet in heaven,
one of them got flattened and then there were eleven.
Eleven little Hobgoblins shared on a hen,
one swallowed his knife and then there were ten.
Ten little Hobgoblins started to whine,
master dropped one in furnace and then there were nine.
Nine little Hobgoblins formed their own state,
there was a coup in the palace and then there were eight.
Eight little Hobgoblins diced at eleven,
one choked on the dice and then there were seven.
Seven little Hobgoblins found a pile of bricks,
they stoned one to death and then there were six.
Six little Hobgoblins started to connive,
one didn't watch his back and then there were five.
Five little Hobgoblins walked at the shore,
one pulled a dagger and then there were four.
Four little Hobgoblins splashed in the sea,
up came a Merwyrm and then there were three.
Three little Hobgoblins went to a loo,
one drowned another and then there were two.
Two little Hobgoblins sat in the sun,
down came an eagle and then there were one.
One little Hobgoblin juggled knife all alone,
it cut his own throat and then there were none.
- Chaos Dwarf children rhyme song
Special thanks to Mivrash Faz
for proofreading the entries!
Note: Since we had 10 entries this time around, timed open poll voting would have come into effect. It will not be used, however. It was long ago it was used last time in a competition, but more importantly it weakens the voting.
Remember, the Gold winner's prize will be one unpainted set of miniature of Titan Wargames Dwarf Heavy Infantry Command
, courtesy of Zanko:
Great job folks and good luck!
Join us on the new forum. Come help us test it out! https://discourse.chaos-dwarfs.com
And thus there was Chaos. And Squats. Hobby Group Auxillia Work. On Dark Tides. Miscellaneous Commercial Sculpts. Flayman Tutorial.
Chaos Dwarf Writings: Fables. Songs. Proverbs. Quotes. Monumental Inscriptions. Religious Texts.
There's fourteen ways to skin a dwarf. Chaos Dwarf Warband Rules. Ninth Age concepts.
This post was last modified: 02-09-2015 12:35 PM by Bloodbeard.