Part 223: Tosanu: Update 11
OOC: things happened brutally fast. Only a few good screenshots, but a lot happened.
Like a nightmare, they come.
To my horror, the demons, almost as disgusting as those dwarves, break through the side entrance i made for my cat army. Sadly, most of the brave cats are there, and are torn to shreds.
They fall upon the beard creatures next. Dwarf after dwarf picks up a weapon, only to be cut down. The creatures take a certain joy, in fact, of going to the lower levels first, and murdering some of the bedridden, like Oni Elm and CountryMatters.
Many dwarves take up arms, grabbing wepaons and charging the foul beasts. Stupid mice, they get cut down horribly.
The foul monsters charge up the front passage from below. And, suddenly, the fortress guard is there! The battle that breaks out is fierce. The only guard of renonwn not taking part is Chance II, who spends all his time dodging the beasts while trying to get a drink.
Eiba stands up over the carnage and shouts "I WANT BALLISTA ARROWS!" and Rotinaj decides hed rather stop fighting and go steal a mason's workshop.
Not a single guard falls, and in a series of two combats, the beasts are slaughtered. Without warning, the fortress is safe again.
The dwarf Idles lays in the carnage. Among the bodies he lies, both hands gone, one arm destroyed, his leg broken, and a lung torn out. Somehow, he lives long enough for Bobthethurd to pull him into a bed.
Things look bad. No less than 4 of the bearded twits, maybe more, are bed ridden, many with missing limbs.
Markus, amazingly, survives in his bed at the front entrance. te Spawn never went near it. However, in the rush to get everyone food and water, he has yet to be noticed. I suspect soon another body if the fools don't notice and bring him what he needs.
My cats are devastated. Only four are still prepared for battle, and many other strays were torn apart as well. But no matter. The beardworms are badly weakened. My plan can yet go forth.
OOC: lets give a big prop to Glopdemon, who killed TWENTY spawn in that fight, without a single one laying a hand on him! But dont feel optimistic. We are in sad shape. No decent army, though the fortress guards are quite fearsome, indeed. People have been ignoring them, but i think they might just be frighteningly strong after all. Multiple dwarves are permanently crippled, and our best champion is slowly starving to death. There are so many bodies in different areas in the fortress i cant figure out where all the miasma is coming from, even a week or two of time later. We are in mid to late autumn, and I am proud to leave things in this condition. When they broke through that hole i was messing around with, i thought for certain it was over. Ill never mock the fort guards again.
Oh, and i estimate it was taking five war cats to kill a single spawn in those first fights. And the cats were managing to isolate and swarm them and still got shredded. Not the best fighter after all.
Epee Em wrote :-
This is a newbie Goon post. All craftsgoonship is of varying quality. On the item is self-referential drabble. On the item is a story written in winter of 2010 by Epee Em the Goon. The story relates to the blending of Dorf-Nordic mythology by Epee Em. It menaces with spikes of ignorance and self-deprecation. It is encircled with bands of literary wit, rhetoric, and far too much free time.
Urist Pageslate was a dwarven archaeologist. If his kind were best suited to digging and unearthing things (and dying, vomiting, fighting, drinking, and sleeping), why not apply those talents to something with a bit more variety than mining? This train of thought led to his proposal to a local noble, Urlest Glassbat. Pageslate was only interested in the knowledge and fame to be gained, and so, promised any artifacts to Glassbat in exchange for funding.
The process of digging for history, unsurprisingly, would prove to be identical to that of mining precious stones. A human or elf (ha!) miner would require a helmet with a candle on it to provide light and head protection, being surface-dwelling ninnies. Pageslate, having aquired such a helmet, devised a system of tubes to replace the candle with a mug of beer, which fed down to a mouthpiece. This ingenius method of supplying oneself with alcohol at ones' leisure while mining has been credited as the secret to his later success.
Sitting in Glassbat's halls was a particular tablet that Pageslate had been almost loathe to part with. A deal was a deal, however, and Pageslate would have rather shaved his beard with a mining pick than break his word. The tablet in question was covered in runes of a language unfamiliar to most Dwarves. It resembled their alphabet slightly, but was otherwise gibberish. An otherwise worthless scholar recognized the language as belonging to a civilization of Dwarves that had existed long before. Translating the tablet yielded an awing tale of what the civilization believed would be the end of the world. The transcript was subsequently carved and recarved onto various surfaces by engravers:
"Axe-ages, spear-ages, and sword-ages, shields will be gashed: there will be a sun-age and a mandrill-age, before the end of our world begins. All of the earth, above and below the surface, will be first wracked by wars and strife for three winters of deadliest cold. Fathers will kill sons, brothers will be drenched in each others' blood. Mothers will be the death of their own children, treating them as weapons rather than infants.
Then, a winter to surpass all others will brew, the winter of winters will grip and throttle the land. Dwarves' beards will be as icicles, the mens' eyes will be as glassy ice. The Elves will weep as their precious forests become entombed in frost. Everyone will laugh at them, good riddance, but this mirth will be fleeting. The whole of the world will be opened to us, as the harsh light of day is blotted by storms of ice. Dwarves will be lured above, tempted from their ancestral dwellings, by the darkness encroaching over the land. No springs nor heat will come, as the winter takes hold permanently.
So the end will begin. The children of the dread Gatinbomrek and Shovethzuglar will be unleashed upon the world, heralding the extinction to come. Tithleth will swallow the sun from behind the clouds, as Ostesh tears the firmament asunder, magma flowing freely in great torrents. The world will be dyed black, as blood flows equally, creating endless landscapes of obsidian. The mountains, once so welcoming, will crumble and split, as every bond and shackle snaps. Shovethzuglar herself will be free of the confines of the underworld, emerging to fill the world with ruin, her terrible (See Notation 1) axe felling dwarves like barley. Our blood will be as wine to her, as she consumes all in her path, tearing civilizations apart with her ever-hungering jaws.
Nothing escapes the watchful eye of the gods, certainly not the end. The one-eyed elephant Ranskor Rubytusk will trumpet deafeningly, awakening all goblins, kobolds, and monsters from their dens, calling them to pillage and wage war. At the same time, the golden-tusked elephant Lulin Knifeclaw will trumpet to those in Dorfhalla (See Notation 2), rousing all to the ultimate battle, calling them forth from Armok's halls. A third elephant, undead, will trumpet in response, raising the dead from Hell.
The sea will rise up and pummel the shores with great waves, as the World Hydra, Venomgirdle awakens, spewing poison as it writhes in fury. And in those high seas the ship Gravewind will make it's voyage, so named for its sail of dead Dwarves' beards. The bows and the waist and the stern of Gravewind will be filled with demons, led by Kodgutid, eager to reclaim the glory he once had.
Then Shovethzuglar and Venomgirdle will move forward side by side. Shovethzuglar's slavering mouth will gape wider than ever before, her chin dragging across the ground as her upper jaw presses against the sky. It would gape wider if there were only room for it. With each breath, meanwhile, Venomgirdle will spew poison, staining the decrepit remains of the land.
The world will be in an uproar, the air quaking with the rumble of their cries. Then the sons of Koganusan will advance from the bottom of creation. Gatinbomrek will lead them, his flaming visage blazing like the old sun itself. As they rise from the depths, Adamantine will crack and shatter, the once-ultimate material worthless dust. So all enemies of life will congregate, all but filling the world, the legions of Hell, the forces of Koganusan, Venomgirdle, Shovethzuglar and her Spawn covering the withered land from horizon to horizon.
The land itself will moan, creaking in pain, blotched by obsidian fields and seas of poison and magma. Its caverns will roar, its stones will tremble, its depths will quake, even as two dwarves hide within it. All of creation, the heavens, the depths, the lands, will quiver.
The gods will not be idle, nor will their champions. Atith will blow a forbidden, great horn of his own creation, sounding such a blast it will be heard across all plains and caverns of creation. All the gods will come forth and hold council, Armok will mount his mighty Molesteed, swiftest Moledog of creation, to lead the pantheon against the forces of Dorfnarok. The pantheon will arm itself, donning their helms and coats of mail, and grasp their swords and spears and axes and hammers. Joining them will be the champions of champions, dwellers of Dorfhalla, marching towards the seemingly endless legion of Dorfnarok.
Armok will make straight for the abomination Shovethuglar, intent of purging the world of such a horror. Imketh will be beside him, unable to help as he fights Venomgirdle, who will at once attack him. Lumen will fight the flaming emperor Gatinbomrek. And when Gatinbomrek closes in with his eternally burning hands, Lumen will rue the day he gave his finest sword to his servant. It will be a long struggle, however, before Lumen succumbs.
Driven to rage by the death of Lumen, Ner will enter a martial trance, charging forth only to be intercepted by the great dog Ulrn. The hound of flames, part of Koganusan's legion, famed amongst even them as a source of madness and greed, will engage Ner, and they will tear each other apart. Kodgutid and Egul will meet, only to be the death of each other.
Imketh, Son of Earth, God of War and Fortresses and Venomgirdle are well-matched. At Dorfnarok, the great god will slay the hydra, only to stagger back nine steps before dying himself, poisoned by the waves of toxins Venomgirdle spews over him.
Armok and Shovethzuglar were the first to engage, and their fight will be fearsome. In the end, though, Shovethzuglar will seize the God of Blood in her jaws and swallow him whole. That will be the death of Armok.
At once, the combined might of the champions of Dorfhalla will rush forth, enraged by the death of their creator. They will stand tall atop each other, pressing their boots against Shovethzuglar's tongue, combining their strength to finally tear the Fallen One apart down her middle. Alas, the ultimate victory of the Dwarves will be shortlived.
Gatinbomrek will fling fire in every direction. The world will become as a forge, a place of raging flame, swirling smoke, miasma, and ashes. Creation will die, the gods will die, the champions will die, the Dwarves will die, the Humans will die, the Elves will die, the Kobolds will die, the Demons will die, the Spawn will die, the titans will die, the dragons will die, the animals will die, the insects will die, the birds will die, the fish will die.
There will be no stars in the sky, as everything is dark. The earth will crumble, sinking into magma.
The earth, however, will rise anew from the magma. Great mountains and caverns will have formed as the old world burned away beneathe the magma, creating a rich, vast new landscape. Soil will arise, rich veins of minerals and jewels will snake through the caverns, fish will swim in new rivers and streams, bountiful and sleek with fat. Plump helmets will ripen in field that were never sown.
Litast and Doren will still be alive, they will survive Gatinbomrek's flames, they will survive the magma. They will make their way back to the site of the halls of Dorfhalla, the shining plains where magnificent fortresses and castles of the gods once stood. Imketh's sons will join them there, having slept in their barracks through the whole thing. The children of the gods will become a new pantheon to look over the reborn world.
They will sit down in the sunlight, as Dakas, taken by a fey mood, forges a new sun with Litast. Talk by turn, they will call up old memories of the world before, of great fortresses and battles, of breathtaking artifacts of peerless beauty, of drinks long past. They will talk of the horrors of Venomgirdle, of the infinite, hungering maw of Shovethzuglar. And then, amongst the waving grass, they will find golden puzzleboxes, and other treasures once owned by their predecessors. A set of exquisite bone flutes, created by a dying craftsdwarf out of his own body as his final act, will be used to play a new song, one to carry the hymn of rebirth.
Many courts will rise once more, some good, some evil. The best place of all will be a fortress of unparalleled perfection, roofed with gold, the Adamantine powder being mixed into the ultimate concrete, the entire fortress made of this awe-inspiring material. That is where the gods will live, at peace with themselves and each other. Then there will be new homes for the Dwarves and Humans, where rivers of alcohol flow freely, easily satisfying all with a tongue for it. Good men will live in these places.
But there will be another hall. The corpses of the Dorfnarok legion will have become a great island of obsidian, as the magma engulfed them. That place will be as vile as it is vast. All its doors will face south. Its walls and roof will be made of rotting Carp, their heads facing inward, blowing a constant stream of miasma to suffuse the halls. Oath breakers and murderers and thieves (See Notation 3) will blindly crawl through the haze.
The two Dwarves who hid in their cave, some say in the very center of the world, will be called Urist and Urist. Gatinbomrek's fire will not have scorched them, it will not even have touched them, and their food will be lichens from the cavern wall. Through the stalagmites, past the boulders, they will see light return to the world. This new sun of Dakas and Listast's creation will not bother them, and they will understand its significance.
Urist and Urist will have children, and their children will have children. There will be life and new life, life everywhere on earth.
That was the end.
And this is the beginning.
(Notation 1: The word here seems to stand for 'rat leather backpack', but the absurdity of this defies belief. Thus, we will assume a more conventional weapon was the intention of the carver.)
(Notation 2: It seems that slang from our language dates back farther than expected, the term 'dorf' apparently previously being a common syllable.)
(Notation 3: The word here is, oddly, interchangeably used for Nobles and thieves. Clearly, it must be referring to the latter in this context.)