Wednesday 25 April 2012

Battle Report: The Shadow of Koles Lorr: Epilogue


Abudabi blinked.

He only did so once. Just before the pain hit, his brain issued one final instruction: never, ever, ever, do that again! You shut your damn eyes, or I’m off!

Such was the pain that he cried out, the sharp mountain air whisking his pathetic mewling away.

Sleep came.


Abudabi blinked.

Each time his eyes opened, pain seared through his whole head – surging and indiscriminate – such that it felt to him that there was enough pressure within his skull to pop his eyeballs out and shoot them a distance of twenty feet.

He covered his eyes with his hand. Here, too, was pain. His hands didn’t hurt like his head, but his gnarled fingers were stiff, and were very uncomfortable when extended.

Sleep came.


Abudabi blinked.

There was less pain now. His head still pounded, but the waves of pain were more consistent, more bearable. It was as if they were responding to a rhythm. Come to think of it – Abudabi realised that the ground was also gently vibrating.

Pound, pound, pound.

Abudabi rolled his head over to the left. The vast expanse of white he was previously aware of gave way to a border of blurry green. He realised he was on his back.

Pound, pound, pound.

He closed his eyes again, breathed in, and forced them open. Concentrating to the point that the pounding in his head became one long peal of agony, he forced his eyes to focus on the green bit.

Pound, pound, pound.

Grass! It was grass! Soft, soft, grass! He was so excited, he rolled over onto his stomach. He winced as his head chastised him: no sudden moves! Slowly, okay? Just do it slowly.

Pound, pound, pound.

The noise was getting louder. On his stomach, he stretched out his arms, feeling the cool, soft grass with his hands. The gentle moisture soothed his aching hands. He spread his fingers out, letting the delicate blades lick the bits in between them.

Pound, pound, pound.

Slowly, ever so slowly, Abudabi exhaled, releasing with that languid sigh all the pain and tension in his body. Briefly, a memory flashed past his eyes: The Profit! He’d undertaken a task for The Profit. What had he done, now?

Pound, pound, pound.

Another memory: He had fought for The Profit! Yes – in a previous life, he had waged war on the oppressors of goblin-kind. His holy weapon: a ball and chain, the likes of which no mortal goblin could bear. Only the chosen could wield such a weapon. And he had been chosen!

Pound, pound, pound.

Definitely louder, now. Abudabi’s eyes flashed with excitement. Somewhere, in the back of his head, there was pain, but that was draining away. It was a mortal pain, for mortal bodies.

Pound, pound, pound.

That was it! Now he understood! He was no longer mortal! He had fought for The Profit, and in glorious apotheosis, had slain the requisite number of oppressors, rising now to what must surely be his reward! He had died for The Profit, just as Bag-Dahd had said. Even now, his reward must surely be here.

Pound, pound, pound!

Vergins! Thousands of ‘em! That’s what the noise was! His own heart racing, matching the heavenly rhythm of his new environment, Abudabi leapt to his feet and ran.

Pound, pound! Pound!

The noise was everywhere. He was running, but which way to go? He turned to the left and ran towards a distant hill. Still, the pounding was behind him. In front of him. To his left. To his right. He changed direction again, squealing with delirious delight.

Pound! Pound! Pound!

“Come to daaaaaddy,” he yelled. He didn’t know why, it just… made sense. He changed direction again, hurtling towards a new object, slowly becoming visible in the mist. Was it his new house?

Pound! Pound! Pound!

“I’m here! I’m heeeere!” he screamed, so excited his heart felt like it would burst. He opened his arms, ready to embrace the vergins, surely just inside his house, waiting to smother him with their untasted love.

“Daaaaddy’s hoooooome!”



Hans and Ruger were leaning up against the barricade, watching the dwarf army march by, crunching feet synchronised to the hypnotic pounding of drums.

"So you're not going back with them?" Ruger asked. 

"Nah - that was my last bit of soldiering. Thought I'd walk home a free dwarf, to my own rhythm, so to speak. What about you?"

Ruger sighed. "Gotta go get my troll. Only reason I came was I thought there'd be trolls. Always trolls around orcs. So they must be nearby, I reckon."

"In the mountains?"

"Yep, that's what I'm planning-"

Their conversation was interrupted by a high pitched yammering from behind them. It was getting louder quickly. Both dwarves spun around, Hans bringing his crossbow to bear, whilst Ruger unhitched his axe. 

The screaming ended in a crushing squelch.

Hans blinked. “Did you just see what I just saw?”

Ruger raised an eyebrow. “Sure did. Screaming nutter ran straight into it.”


“Mmm. Very curious behaviour indeed.”

The two dwarves lowered their weapons and wandered over to the tower. 

“Nutter ran straight into it.”

Ruger looked down at the crumpled goblin, tentatively prodding it with his boot.

“Out cold."

"Is that the one that tore its way through their ranks?" Hans asked. He'd remembered the crazed fanatic - how could such a small creature have killed so many orcs?

"I dunno. They all look the same to me." Ruger hefted his axe. "Lets off it, then."

"Whoah - wait, just hang on. Seriously, that's the one that killed all the orcs."

Ruger peered down at the goblin. "If you say so. Did you want to kill it?"

"Well, I was kind of thinking we should leave it. You know - it sorta helped out a bit, didn't it?"

Ruger was silent. His eyes switched between Hans and the goblin. There was a long silence. Eventually, he asked: "You're not one of them vegetarians, are you?"

Hans grimaced. "No. What's that got to do with it?"

"Trying to see why you don't want to kill it. You're not barefoot and I can't see any you wearing any crystals, so I was guessing you're a vegetarian. Vegetarians don't kill anything. If you're not one of them no-good peaceniks, then what in the name of all creation is stopping us from killing it?"

Hans shuffled his feet. "Its just...not fair. He really helped us out. Besides, he'll probably get torn apart by wolves or something anyway. Its not honourable."

Ruger shook his head. "Fine. Whatever. Much better to be torn apart by wolves than have an honourable death with the axe."

The two stood in silence. 

"Okay, okay. You're right," Hans said, sighing heavily. "Let's kill it."

"Oh, now you want to kill it? I don't think we should, anymore. Its not honourable."

"What? You were just about to kill it!"

"Well I'm busy now. I don't have time to kill it. You kill it."

"Busy? Busy doing what? Kill it, already."

Ruger pulled out his pipe. "Busy preparing a smoke, that's what. I'm not killing it, and that's that!"

"Well, I'm not killing it either!"




And so it was, that as the dwarf army marched west over the plain of El-Skitchin, and as two dwarves parted company in disagreement, one headed north - the other south, the only thing left breathing in the shadow of Koles Lorr was a single goblin.

Abudabi, the goblin fanatic, survived. 


Sir Loyne grinned at the king. "Whaddaya reckon? Is it good, or is it good?"

King Pinne was struggling. Good was not a word he would use to describe where he found himself right now. Pain was, although it didn't quite go far enough. Agony, definitely. He might have gone with  something like 'the raging fires of hell' if he could but speak. 

"Water," he whispered, as tears streaked from his eyes. 

"Have some more, Ty, have some more! You've barely touched your plate!" Sir Loyne ladled another steaming spoonful of curry into his mouth, sealing the deal with a swig of beer. 

All around the room, dwarves cried in homage to Yasmar Nodrog. Most cried even more when they realised how much more homage was still present on their plates. 

Muz was in the same place. He, like most of the dwarves, had given up on the beer and was sticking steadfastly to water. Until that moment, he hadn't understood Yasmar Nodrog's unusual combination of godly duties: food and rage. But now, having tasted curry for the first and last time - if he had anything to do with it - he understood. The rage was in the food. Yasmar Nodrog demanded much of his followers, if this was the sort of thing he made them eat!


Sir Loyne and his son left early the next morning, taking the infernal curry powder with them. King Pinne had offered them a mule to haul the wagon, some guns with which to defend themselves, and 'anything the hell else they need to get out of here as quickly as possible'. He had still entertained the notion that he would recover from the curry burns, but his good humour had evaporated when he had been forced to attend to his ablutions in the middle of the night, and in so doing, he was forced to experience the pain a second time. Pain, where pain should not be. It made his piles seem like gentle sunlight on his bare skin by comparison.

When he had left, Sir Loyne had offered to bless the hold, but the King had been quick to say no. They had evidently been judged by Yasmar Nodrog and had been found wanting. No further blessings were necessary, thanks very much. 


"Do you think they liked it?" Sir Loyne asked, as the wagon gently plotted its way through the countryside. 

"They sure did, dad, they sure did," Tendhe replied. He knew better than to tell the truth. 

"They seemed awful keen to get us out of there this morning."

"I think they just wanted us to get on with Yasmar Nodrog's will. Been a bit of delay, with all the fighting and everything."

The wagon rolled on in silence for a while. 

"Could you pull up here? I need to... er... fertilise the countryside."

Tendhe smiled. He always enjoyed his father's little phrases. "I thought you went before we left?"

"I wanted to, but I couldn't. There was too much of a queue..."


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  1. It's the same old story:

    Goblin Fanatics, Can't win with 'em and you can't win without 'em... : )

  2. Hi Gaj,

    Great conclusion! I really appreciate the time and effort you have put into this. Although the feedback has dropped a bit since our last battle I hope this isn't the end of our cooperation. Looking forward to our next installment, but first I'm going to enjoy my stay at Playa Crystal...



  3. Hey All

    Sorry for the late reply on this. You know the story...

    @MC Monkey Dew: Too true.

    @Dreamfish: I very much doubt this is the end to our co-operation. I daresay the only obstacle we will have might be my time as the BOJ develops.

  4. Thanks for writing all that up. VERY entertaining.
    My disappointment in the dwarf victory is now balanced by my joy over their gustatorial penitence.

    Looking forward to whatever comes next.

  5. Late to the party, but I really enjoyed everyone's efforts to bring us this wonderful battle report. Well done!