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Number of posts : 761
Registration date : 2007-04-26

PostSubject: Doomed!   Tue 16 Aug - 17:59:59


A strategic withdrawal then, briskly carried out in the finest traditions of the DEAD, carried us safely from the clutches of our airborne attackers. We headed south east towards the promised village, hoping to pick up transport to our deadly doom filled rendezvous.

Another noise from above had us scampering for cover. Incredibly, instead of the expected gyrocoptic pursuit, a huge flying machine appeared.* Its prow shaped like a hawk, it hung below a huge balloon and was powered by an infernal engine of some sort driving it through the clouds.

*I would say that it dwarfed the gyro copters we had encountered so recently, but the metaphor would probably be confusing.

The contraption flew over and headed on out of sight, descending as it did so. It seemed to be heading for a position suspiciously close to the location of the mystery village. Perhaps we’d get some answers there?

Nope. Just more questions. The village when it came into view had a clearly recent look to it, and a none too definite sense of permanence. Dwarf children played amongst its temporary looking structures, gambolling in the shadow of the huge long structure whose purpose could only be to house some sort of giant model hot dog.* Of the airship, there was no sign.

*After all what other purpose could it possibly serve?

Even more surprising as we wondered into this seemingly idyllic setting just a scant few miles from the Heart of Chaos, we were welcomed with open arms by an overbearingly hospitable dwarf, named Grandin. The next incident was even more astonishing: Our old friend Slurk, ambling along in our wake now same to the attention of our earnest would be hosts: After all, he’s not one for blending in with the scenery what with his vulture and finch heads.

However before a single dwarven chopper had swung in anger,* Slurk declaimed a speech of such power and poetry that the dwarf horde’s hearts were quite won over. The topic of his eloquent praise? Us of course!? He spoke of our heroic deeds, our dedication to the cause of truth, justice and quite possibly the American way. He was so convincing that even we were beginning to believe the distorted clap trap of exaggeration and half truths that had us painted as veritable paragons.

*Easy tiger

The most formidable achievement he laid at our door? The conversion of Slurk himself from despicable beastman bent on serving chaos and the will of T’Zench, to this completely reformed model citizen, whose only goals in life were the helping of under privileged children and the founding of a chain of soup kitchen for homeless chaos spawn.

Thoroughly convinced by the nonsense spouted by the beast, our dwarven friends fell over themselves to accommodate our every whim, laying on a banquet and offering every hospitality.

We happily flattered our host, anxious to learn about his flying machine. Turned out he was a dwarf inventor, struggling to perfect his design for a heavy duty flying machine with multiple applications both peaceful and warlike.

We attempted various means to get ourselves aboard the Leatherhawk as the device was called. Money, requests for a trial journey so we could report favourably to our princely employer,* a plot to fly north to meet an emissary that he was expecting. Unfortunately none of the schemes borne of our fevered imaginations seemed to cut any ice, and we edged closer to the truth, speaking of our urgent need to head north.

*We may have neglected to mention his recent untimely demise, but hey, this was well down our list of sins.

Eventually, we adjudged our situation to be so critical that we took the radical, almost unheard of step of telling the complete truth. The dwarf inventor took the news of the end of the world pretty well, reflecting the undying solidity and imperturbability of the magnificent dwarven race. His not believing a word of it probably helped too.

Eventually we were able to persuade our host that the journey couldn’t do any harm, after all taking us for a trip north would give the ship a good shake down cruise and if we happened to save the world en passant, well that would just be a bonus.

We hopped aboard the dwarven airliner, taking station on its observation deck as the dwarf crew scurried about the rigging, stoked the furnace and monitored the flow of methane to the engine and balloon. We were soon underway, Getz puking moderately as he failed to find his air legs, and it was quickly apparent that prevailing air currents were drawing the craft north at an alarming rate.

Soon the ship was hurtling through darkening storm scarred skies at the remarkable rate of seventy miles an hour or more. At this phenomenal rate it was evident that we would be arriving at the rift that very day. It was also evident to the forces of chaos that stood watch over T’Zench’s maelstrom.

Wizards astride daemonic floating discs hurtled towards us, opening fire with magic missiles and fell enchantments, unfortunately Getz was paralysed with fear, and Saladin was quickly overcome with one of his insanities, righteous rage that encourages him to frenzied attack at inconvenient moments. This was brought on by the sight of Slurk in a bitter act of desperation taking his own life as his two heads argued, the finch finally victorious defeating the T’Zench worshipping Vulture, severing it from its own body.

But as they used to say on Batman, the worst was yet to come: Andilwei was possessed by a charm and began peppering the unfortunate Arab with arrows, and he rarely missed.
Getz eventually managed an act of desperation, use of the doomstone. A devastating explosion wrecked one flying saucer of death, killing the wizard who had enslaved the sea elf. He also narrowly avoided killing Cyrilliac in a firestorm that was only countered by her separate bringing forth of the waterstone’s powers.

The other wizard rider and steed was also despatched, as the balloon was cut free of its tethers and detonated by doom power. By now though everyone had injuries; Getz had lost his left hand, hacked off by his own actions as chaos twisted his mind even further.

Saladin, who had been struggling with his own comrades, was sorely hurt and on the horizon, distant dots were growing into the shape of pursuing gyro copters. The Arab, possessed by the notion that destroying the doomstone was a bad idea had taken to trying to hurl Andilwei from the deck but was fortunately restrained. His madness seemed complete, at one point he even screamed for the dark elf to blow both himself and Andilwei off.*

*Not so mad perhaps?

Battle was rejoined and dwarf bomblets were scattered across the deck leading to some frantic bomb baling. Saladin, trying a combined multi faceted doomstone broadside seemed to have overloaded the system, possibly managing to get each mode of attack to cancel out its opposite twin.

Cyrilliac had more luck, unleashing the stone’s energies bringing down the next wave of three machines before they could reach bombing range, and with one of the first trio of attackers already shot out of the sky by a certain dead eyed elf sniper the remaining attackers decided to stand back, especially as we were getting mighty close to the threatening hole in reality that drew us like a magnet.

But one copter came on, head on in fact. The imperial leader was heading straight for us, intent it seemed on a collision that would destroy us all. Could they not see what we were attempting? And then, heroic near dead Slurk, finding some unsuspected reserve of energy struggled up and hurled himself into the void, crashing into the slicing whirring rotor blades of the foe, sending the machine crashing to the ground.

Andilwei as time slowed hurled the cursed doomstone into the rift where it hovered for so long that the elf was actually able to place an arrow into it to encourage it over the final threshold.

And then, destruction, Cyrilliac had been struggling elfully to keep the engine fixed to the hull but the final blasts of power were now in danger of shaking us from the skies. Just as well our trusty pilot was still ok. He led the celebrations before dropping dead of an untimely heart attack. Oops.

Andilwei took the helm and tried to steer the best possible path towards the onrushing ground. We crashed heavily but remarkably all staggered from the wreckage before the leaking methane tanks exploded. There were no survivors.

So there we go, world saved, got rid of the cursed stones at last, one in the eye for chaos. Time to get back to the delights of civilisation, mutated, dented, insane but still alive. A job well done. No doubt that rumour that in using the doomstone you became part of it and it part of you was totally untrue scare mongering.

Within fifteen seconds of realising that they had survived, Cyrilliac (who was she anyway) had dispersed into a billion constituent molecules that dispersed on the four winds, Andilwei had sunk crushed into the ground and disappeared, Getz had spontaneously combusted and Saladin had become a simple puddle that quickly evaporated or was absorbed into the damp ground, so perish all who trifle with and dare to try and use the forces of chaos…

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