Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Eye See You

Gateway, Winter Night 1, 354 AC

            The walking goblin dead  took  five steps before it collapsed to its knees. The front portion of its goblins face and scalp started to bubble and pop, remind Odren of a stew he once tried to make. The bubbling and popping intensified until the face and bone melted off revealing an insect the size of Odren's own fist. It stared at him as he stared at it, a horrific combination of spider and crab.
           
            "A DEMON SPAWN!" Odren screamed as he pointed his left index finger shakily at the spider-crab. His right eye twitched as his right hand anxiously rubbed the large stone on his giant tortoise's back.

            The spider-crab sprouted wings,  breaking through the sides of the goblin's skull, sending out bone and tissue shrapnel and completely destroying the goblins head. The goblin's body fell to the ground like an old and ugly ragdoll as the large insect began to fly and buzz around.  The creature stayed close to Odren as if considering the dwarf.

            As the spider-crab circled Odren one more time, as Odren cringed in abyss-born anxiety, a narrow, long, and pink tongue shot out. Odren blinked as it made contact with the large flying insect. The tongue and the insect fell to the freshly snow covered ground. The tongue, inch by inch, reeled in the spider-crab. Bringing it closer and closer to a nearby mound of earth, dust and snow.

            The spider-crab screamed. It was an ear drum splitting and piercing noise. Odren thought for sure his ears would bleed after this. The scream made him think of infants dying, or of rabbits being cruelly butchered for reasons other than food. How he knew of either, Odren hadn't a clue, but he was sure the scream brought to him those distinct images. The pink tongue, and the insect finally disappeared into the mound, followed by a crunch and then silence.

            "DEMON SPAWN!" Odren screamed as he pointed at the mound. He tumbled as quickly as he could off the back of Torz. He gathered up as much of the fresh snow as he could. Rolled it into a red dust-stained snow ball, hurling it at the mound. "Go back from which ye came!"
           
            The snowball hit, and Odren smiled, feeling his foe vanquished. Until the mound started to shake as two scorpion-like tails protruded. On the end of one, an eyeball, on the other a stinger. At the end of the stinger the tell tale pink tip of the tongue he had only seen only moments before.

            "Torz?" Odren said as he scratched his head, "is that your mother-in-law's Winged Trade dinner?"

            The pupil on the eyeball narrowed as it stared at Odren.

            Odren gestured crudely at the rude eyeball. The unstable dwarf climbed on top of Torz once again. Tapping the on Torz's head and pointing at the scorpion tail with the eyeball

            "Snap it's eye off Torz!" Odren shouted.  Torz dove into the floor of the plains, burrowing with a single minded focus, that Odren couldn't hope to ever understand.
           
            Torz's back barely stuck out of the ground.  Odren felt as if he were speeding through a white and red sea as the, the dust, dirt, and snow churned up in Torz's wake.
           

            Torz's launched his head out of the floor of the plains, his mouth posed to take a significant chunk out of the eye stalk. Odren balanced perfectly on the back of the tortoise, his club swinging on its chain, whistling in the chill air. 


Monday, May 12, 2014

Dust, Dust Everywhere, and Only Blood to Drink

Gateway, Winter Night 1, 354 AC

            Torz, as Odren was fond of calling the giant dire woolly tortoise he claimed as his own, stopped chewing only long enough to look over at the giggling dwarf. After moments filled with giggling and chewing, the sun beating down on them but doing little to warm them, Torz spit the contents of his mouth out. The object of his mastication landed with a thud. It was a head, a goblin head.
           
            "Oof, good fer day teef's," Odren said with a smile. Odren had come to respect his companion's eating habits, and knew an occasional goblin treat was nothing to worry about.
           
            Torz turned its massive frame around and began slowly walking the path the dwarf had just made. Odren scrambled up to ride his companion, using the tufts of fur and the bumps of its shell as hand holds.  The tortoise stopped at the site of Odren's previous battle. Goblin blood mixed with red dust, and now lightly falling snow created a mucky paste. Torz lapped at the paste, drawing what moisture he could from it.  Five goblins now lay dead. One with no obvious injury, but Odren prattled on as he often did.  He said everything that came off the top of his head, often wondering how he would stop the end of the world. The dead goblins on the ground before may as well have not existed.

            "So Torz," Odren continued as he pat a large round stone on the tortoise's back.  The stone was in fact a massive jewel with large black jagged lines in it. A dwarf in his right mind would have noticed that even for a creature of such a rare nature as that of a giant dire woolly tortoise that this was unusual. But Odren was not in his right mind."Shall we find people today?"

            Torz turned his massive head to consider the dwarf, before turning it back to nudge the mysteriously dead goblin.

            Odren looked down at the goblin, twirling a lock of his beard in his hand, "hmm... "

            Leaning over the  edge of Torz's shell, Odren dangled his chained club like a worm on a hook. Slowly inch by inch he let down his club. He watched as it swayed slightly in the chill wind of the barren plains, finally reaching the goblin's head.

            The club made contact and the  goblin's body began to writhe and twitch. It rolled around with its legs and arms at awkward angles, a black fluid leaking from its eyes, ears, and nose. Odren stuck the end of his beard in his mouth. More confused than he normally was. If he was not so incredibly sure that the goblin was dead he would have sworn an oath that it was trying to stand up.

            He gazed closely at the goblin as it writhed on the ground, he knew even in his haze of insanity, that something was wrong with it. It took him a moment, and by then Torz was already backing up.  The dead goblin's eyes had changed. Instead of pupils in the beady eye sockets of the goblin, he could see some sort of chitinous legs sticking out.

            The goblin corpse finally stood up, and started to walk toward the now retreating Torz and Odren. Torz's speed increased, the chill air nipping harder at Odren's exposed nose. Odren had never seen Torz move this fast, as he struggled to hold on.


            "Whooaa, What in the name of Juniper's under garments is that?!" yanked his club back to his hands as he settled on Torz's back and readied himself.


Friday, May 9, 2014

The Plains of Dust

Gateway, Winter Night 1, 354 AC

            The elderly dwarf wandered through the wastelands of the Plains of Dust.  A red stained cloth around his face to block the dust and grit from getting into his mouth or up is nose. His beard was immense flowing from his face to around his waist. The dust clung to his beard dying it a hue of ruddy orange and grey.
           
            The dwarf looked around for his tortoise, his only companion for as long as he could remember. Which unfortunately was not that long.  Torz was an immense creature. Large enough for him to ride on. It had tufts of fur and hair sticking out where it it’s legs met its shell. Perfect for the habitually cold weather of the Plains.  And unfortunately it had disappeared on him. Again.

            "Dag blaster,” he muttered, “dat der torz 'ere 'ave ya gone."

            He coughed and held his hand up into the wind and grumbled as he tried to peer through the windblown particles that circled him. The dwarf silenced his muttering and listened to the wind. In between the low howl he heard it. The distinct sound of a creature with a deep guttural voice.  He wasn't sure what it was saying but by its level of irritation  he could tell it was cursing.

            He scanned around for the location of the creature, but could only see its potential hiding place. A small stand of scrub and brush. Not tall enough to hide a human, but tall enough to hide something.

            "Now what is the blazes dis dat?" Odren (the dwarf had named himself, he could not recall his real name, but in this place it didn't seem to matter) scratched his beard a moment and then suddenly, with no words, dashed toward the scrub and brush. He hooped and hollered in excitement and joy. He tried to hop over the brush determined to reach the other side. His trajectory off, he landed square on his butt, letting out a grunt.

            ”Woooo HOOOOOOOO!"

            Odren could see the creature, the creature could see him.  The creature stared at Odren, a stunned expression on its face. It was a small and humanoid with a flat face, broad nose, pointed ears, wide mouth and small, sharp fangs.  Its arms were long hanging down to its knees. On one arm a shield was strapped, on another it carried a morning star. Its wood cracked and its steel ball and chain caked with rust.

            "Well Hiya Feller" Odren shouted as he nodded at the creature and gave a sort of quick unorganized salute from his brow.  "Have ya seen Torz? He's got the world and without the world we've got no place ta be"

            The creature smiled wickedly. It clutched its morning star and laughed. Drops of saliva fell from its mouth. The creature ran at Odren, trying to close the distance between itself and the dwarf, swinging its morning star about.
           
            “This could get interesting,” Odren muttered. The creature swung directly at the dwarf’s head. As confused as Odren was, he certainly wasn't stupid. Odren ducked.  The ball and chain whistling as it met nothing but empty air.
           
            Odren began to scream. It was a high pitched scream of terror and panic. He pulled his club from his robes and flung it at his foe. A long rusted chain rattled through the air as it followed the attached small club toward the enemy's face. The other end of the chain remained firmly grasped in Odren's hand.
           
            The club landed with a solid blow to the creatures chest. The creature snarled and turned to run away from the dwarf. Odren turned away from the creature and ran the opposite way, away from his retreating foe, his arms flailing, one end of his rusty chain in hand,  dragging the rest of the chain and club through dust and dirt behind him.
           
            "AAAaaahhh Aaaahh, No no NO.. Demons Non, Torz! AAaaaaHH!" Odren screamed as he ran in circles.  The creature, stumble and Odren threw his club at the creature again. It’s  ten foot chain rattling as it flew through air, a rusty steel leash for the flying club.
           
            The creature turned toward the rattle, only to see the club narrowly miss splitting its skull. Odren watched as  the creature stopped just sort of leaving the slightly overgrown area.  It turned around and laughed at the dwarf, brown spittle dripped from its yellowing canines.
           
            The raggedy dwarf dashed into the brush, falling to his hands and knees. He attempted to creep toward the laughing drooling creature, his grey and tattered beard hindering his futile attempt at silence.
           
            Odren stopped to peer out of the his hiding spot to check on his foe. The creature, had been joined by two others, pointed teeth ears, and green skin. They were of the same species, possibly the same tribe.
           
            “Goblins,” He grumbled to himself, at last remembering what they were called, but also wondering how the goblin had manage to duplicate himself from the red dust and dirt of the Plains.  

            He could hear them grunt and chirp in their ugly language. Then the three goblins laughed. Odren burst forward, angry and convinced that the goblins were laughing at him. 
           
            He began to swing his chain-club weapon wildly. The goblins jumped back, their grins revealing yellowed and brown decaying teeth.
           
            "No one calls me a HAMSTER!!" Odren whipped the chain up to try and slap the club into the chest of the one in front of him. " I DON"T EAT SEEDS!"
           
            The dwarf threw his club forward, only to stare in  horror as the rusted chain snapped.

            The three goblins laughed again as they rushed forward.  Odren  grabbed the broken  portion of his chain still attached to the club and hopped backward trying to keep the distance between him and the goblins.

            Odren stopped his hopping as he watched one of the Goblins reach over and crack open the skull of one of his companions. With nary a whisper the injured goblin fell to the ground, its pink brains spilling onto the red dust of the plains.
           
            Odren blinked.

            Unaware of the betrayal and death going on behind him one of the goblins still surged forward, he swung his mace wildly, only to miss the dwarf, hit the ground, and cause a cloud of red dust to explode up into the air.

           "Arggg... Ya smell like ya ate a pile of Torz's dung! Bleh"  Odren shouted as he wrinkled his face and hopped back bringing his club up and around his head. He flung the now shortened chain and club weapon at the attacking goblin, trying desperately to bash into its head. "That is worse than my mother's roast Newt!"

            Odren's chain club swings by the goblins head and passed its shield. The only attacking goblin ducked, cursing at Odren in its chirping, guttural language. Furtively it looked around for help, finally realizing what its companion had done.

            The traitorous goblin stood,  staring slack jawed  and in a daze. Seemingly unsure of what is going on.  The attacking goblin jumped up and ran, forgetting his dwarven foe, swinging wildly at his  traitorous companion.  The attacking goblins movements were furtive and shaking, repeatedly missing as the dazed goblin began to walk around in a circle.

            Odren could scarce believe his luck. He looked around before taking a few steps back. Perhaps the goblins may forget about one unkempt and dirty dwarf.  His thoughts raced, but scattered. He tried to gather them all together only to have them flit away. How was he supposed to sneak away quietly?

            "AAAaaaahhh" He stiffened, his eyes going wide.  He bolted to the north, his arms flailing as he screamed at his confusion.  Only vaguely aware of passing through a line of six goblins armed with javelins.

            Hours passed, or maybe days. The constant buzz of bees that were Odren’s thoughts made keeping track of time very difficult.  Still he had not live this long in the Plains through sheer chance. He would walk a few steps and check for signs of pursuit.  All he could see were the miles of red dust, all he could hear was the lonely sound of the wind against the destitute and sterile land
            "Come on Torz, I need the world back. Gotta save the world, yes save it" Odren mumbled to himself. Thoughts of demons , dust , and women's unmentionables buzzing about in his confused and shattered mind. He tucked his arms into his tattered sleeves. Growing impatient, Odren  shouted, "Torz!"

            The ground around him shook as the dire woolly tortoise dug its way up through the barren soil. Torz had returned to his friend and Odren could feel his heart swell in delight.  Torz stared him down, Odren could tell the Tortoise was chewing on something. It was a bored chew, the same way he would chew on the occasional weed.

            Red dust, and dead soil covered Odren up to his chest, a pile of it ending up on his head like a wizards hat. He blinked a moment staring at Torz. Then a moment later sprayed  a stream of red stained dirt from his mouth into the face of the oversize tortoise.


            Odren struggled to move for a moment as the sand, and then leaps from the sand bouncing and shouting with glee and then embraces the neck of the tortoise's neck, giggling.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Prologue – Part 2


          

             His new arrival looked human, but was unlike any human Auld had seen before.
           
            This man, if a man he was, stood 13 feet tall with lustrous dark skin and black hair. His eyes were crimson and shown with a cruelty Auld could only guess at. A pair of small sharp horns crowned the visitors forehead. 

            The visitor's dress was of a quality Auld had not seen in some time; robes of red and black, studded with black diamonds and fiery rubies. Finery that would put kings and gods to shame.  

            In his hand he held a rod made of a single carved ruby.
           
            "Ye are the one which I have summoned?" Auld had finally worked up the nerve to ask. Though he could feel and hear his knees knock in fear.
           
            "Shouldn't you know who, or what you are calling, forth from the depths before you call them forth?" The visitor asked. His voice was deep and soothing, a voice meant to comfort while it slowly took your life, and damned your soul.

            "Yer kind are unknown on Krynn. I wanna be sure." The dwarf replied, drawing up as much courage as he could muster.  

            "Fine, yes. I Am he. Lord of Nessus, Overlord of all Baator.  Mightiest of All and so on and so forth. Now what may I do for you, dwarfling?"
           
            Auld nodded, pleased with himself. He grabbed a nearby map, and handed it to his visitor.
           
            "What is this?"
           
            "Ye be in the world of Krynn. Ye be in the Mountain Kingdom, Thorbardin." Auld began to point at land marks on the map. "On the continent of Ansalon. Ye are gonna make me the most powerful dwarf, the most powerful creature in all of Krynn. And I won't have no lip from ye. I studied, and I know. Yer my slave til I say otherwise."

            The visitor began to laugh. It was a cruel and capricious laugh, and somehow had the ability to make Auld feel even smaller and more terrified then he already was.  
           
            "What ye laughing about?"
           
            “Oh you poor, little dwarfling." The visitor said with a smirk, "you have made a terrible mistake.”  The visitor pointed to a spot amongst the dwarf's many circles of protection.
           
            And Auld could see that he had. The blood he had poured onto the floor had pooled and spread, disrupting the circle and his protections. He was no longer in control. His dead nephew would be avenged. Auld began to shudder as he awaited a fate that would surely be worse than death.   
           

            "Worry not little dwarf." The visitor said in a disturbing tone, meant to both mock and comfort at the same time. "You have brought me into a new world. A world that does not know of me or my kind. I won't kill you. But when I am done, you may wish I had."