The Battle of the Blackened Valley
The Battle of Blackened Valley
Hadrik Bloodbeard Fiction
Hadrik stood above the valley, the writhing maggots of the Dying Prince below him. The zombie lord had been destroyed weeks ago by the aging dwarf and the ad-hoc group of Paladins that had ridden out in the name of a variety of gods to end the terrible taint he had cast over the small country. Now, only a tiny remnant of that evil creature remained – the spawning pit of the Grubs, a race of dog-sized larva designed specifically to power necromantic war machines.
He descended the hill slowly, the great mordenkrad Iceheart humming softly as the morning humidity turned to frost on its enormous, spiked head. “Easy”, said Hadrik, partly to himself. “No need to get excited. Just another pack o’ feral bugs. Best take our time. These legs are bad on steep descents like this.” The hammer gave no reply, but the dwarf took it for respect.
Once he reached the bottom, the situation became more clear. There were dozens of the creatures, as well as a few ghostly “shepherds”, barely visible in the diffuse sunlight straining through the overcast sky. “Looks like 8… 9… hmmm.” He furrowed his brow. “I’ve never been good at math. Except”, he mused, “except for subtraction.” With that, he raised Iceheart above his head and charged towards the nearest Grub, which despite having no eyes, looked both confused and frightened by sudden attack. Its face crumpled against the onslaught, sickly flesh pressed too sharply against the internal viscera. Blood seeped to the surface of the strike, like meat bleeding through thin paper. It fell over, dead.
“They’re like cows”, he told himself, calming the slight itching sensation their presence caused him. The others heard the Grub die, and 6 more slithered in his direction, led by a dead-eyed specter with this transparent, skeletal hands outstretched. “Big, ugly cows with no face and a penchant for spoiled meat.” Iceheart glowed brightly, and Hadrik laughed.