Monday, 6 October 2014

The End Times FAQ which the motivations behind, and the consequences of, the Return of Nagash are laid bare!

All your noobish questions answered!

Q.  Why weren't we warned this was going to happen?
A.  We were.  The real question is, "Why didn't we listen?"

Scalenex of Klodorex, Lustria-Online's resident Doomsayer has been urging us to 
Convert to Un-Life since January 2013.

Q.  Why did Arkhan the Black open the Nine Books of Nagash, thereby restoring their author to unholy life?

Q.  How good are these nine books?

Q.  Zombies once proudly served only one army.  What could compel them to shift allegiance during the End Times?

Q.  In the 8th Edition rulebook (page 249), Vlad von Carstein led his armies of the dead against the Empire.  Ultimately he was slain by the Grand Theogenist of Sigmar, Wilhelm the III.  Atop the walls of Altdorf, Wilhelm III wrestled bodily with the Vampire Lord, and both fell from the battlements onto the forest of defensive stakes below.

Did this pose any problem for Vlad's resurrection in the End Times?

Q.  Some see the End Times as an epoch of loss and despair.  Others see it as a time of opportunity.  Ultimately, who will profit most from this turbulent era?
A. The Lords of the Citadel.

Q.  After two millennia in the shadow lands, does Nagash enjoy the same respect from his minions that he once commanded?
A. Not really.

Q.  How do the denizens of the Warhammer world celebrate Halloween?
A. With Caution.

Q.  I am a dwarf general.  I cracked open my treasury to purchase "The End Times - Nagash" rule book.  When I opened it, I discovered there was NOTHING in it for me.  What do the Lords of Citadel say about that?????

Q.  Did Nagash keep his promise and reunite Vlad von Carstein with his wife, Isabella, in the lands of the living?
A.  Sort of.

Q.  Nagash has faced down many different enemies including Tomb Kings, Bretonnians, Daemons and even Skaven.  Is there anyone else he should look out for?

Q.  OK, if the New World savages mark the day named "Thanksgiving", what occasion is celebrated by the cruel vampires of the Old World?

Two Questions with one answer this week.  
Q.  Hey Bob, why are you spending so much time in the "Nagash" portion of the End Times?

Q.  I've only seen a few of the  characters from "Nagash" and "Glottkin".  Are all of the others so butt-ugly?


Saturday, 27 September 2014

The False Moon War: Epilogue

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Somewhere else entirely, King Balance and Queen Bias were amicably sharing a pot of tea.  The king had eventually shaken off his bonds, as he always did.

"You intervened," declared the Queen.


"You intervened.  The Chaos Moon is in a perfect orbit.  The warring forces are perfectly balanced.  Only you could have done that."

"Yes, dear.  Pass the sugar, if you would be so kind."

Queen Bias passed the sugar and a silver teaspoon.  The spoon rattled against the china teacup.

"You know the war will spread to other worlds, don't you?  They will all still be fighting 40,000 years hence."

King Balance shrugged as the spoon clinked gently onto the saucer.  "I suppose so.  Would you like a scone?"

The Queen sighed.

"With jam and cream, please."

The False Moon War: Chapter 28

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Chapter 28.  Beginnings and Endings

The wind dropped entirely.  A stunned silence fell over the survivors on the ramp.   They dusted themselves off and gathered around Welhung and Hellun.

Caneghem drew breath to speak, only to be interrupted by a fierce growl.  Surely not!  Had not the daemonic invasion been erased?

The growl was repeated.  It was Rodekhil's stomach.

"I could murder a kebab!"  the ogre declared.

Welhung considered for a moment.  "I've got my appetite back too!  'Ow are you my love?"

Hellun was beyond responding.  Indeed she was barely breathing.  Caneghem took two steps nearer to offer assistance, then stopped.  She was beyond any aid.  The stalled labour had doomed her.  She and her infant would surely perish soon.

Beyond their view, the palanquin drifted to rest above the exact centre of the Great Maw.   The empty body of the Great Slann Lord Taisteslaikch'ken, powerful wizard, respected battle standard bearer, heroic general and saviour of the world slumped off his throne and toppled into misty depths.

The Great Maw began its powerful grinding anew.  It showed its appreciation with a burp which shook the foundations of the world. 

A worthy sacrifice indeed.


Caneghem had stepped a little too close to the ogre couple.  With a mighty grunt, Hellun expelled a goo covered bundle of chubby arms and legs which caught the little skink priest low in the midriff and knocked him off his feet.

"WHAT IS IT?"  Hellun demanded.

"I think it's.... an Ogre?"

"No, you muffin!  Boy or girl?"  Welhung clarified the question.

Caneghem examined the weakly struggling infant.  "Oh no!  Welhung I'm so sorry.  Your...son.....He isn't breathing.  He is doomed."  Tears gathered in the skink priest's eyes.

"Ha!  You don't know as much about ogre reproduction as you claim!"  Rodekhil barked.  "Ogre whelps don't take their first breath until after their first meal."

Rodekhil carefully lifted the infant by the scruff of its neck and passed it to Hellun.

The ogress had produced a breast the size of a stegadon egg.  The child clamped on greedily.

Joe stared, mouth agape.  The other lizardmen didn't know where to look.  Caneghem attempted to rise to his feet, only to be skittled by the after birth.

The baby eventually paused and took a deep breath.  His face crumpled.  Finally he emitted a sound.  Once the echoes of the ear splitting burp had faded away, he fell upon the breast again with the enthusiasm of a starving carnosaur.


The rest of that winter was amongst the most dangerous periods in recorded history.  Warp stone dust and fragments of Morrslieb showered the globe, inflaming the rage of the beastmen and the greed of the Skaven.  Dead things which had lain undecayed beneath the surface felt the tug of the ravenous earth renewed.  They chose this time to rise to unlife, rather than be digested.

The warp stone dust stirred even natural life to mutation and hostility.  Woods, which had previously been merely dark, became hostile.  Hostile woods became active.  Active woods carried out their long held grudge against all things two legged.

The greenskin god, Gork stirred his hordes to new heights of savagery.  His twin, Mork joined in for "sumfing to do."

The four gods of chaos, stung by defeat, put aside their differences and elected one earthly warlord to wield their combined authority on the earth.  This man, Everchosen Asavar Kul, goaded the minions of Chaos to launch unholy crusade to assail the forces of order.  The Great War against Chaos was about to begin.

However, for the coming months, the greatest danger to all the races of the earth, both evil and good, was the renewed appetite of the ogres.  They launched the largest campaign of culinary conquest that had been seen since their migration at the coming of the Great Maw.

The annals of every race marked the years to follow as among the bloodiest on record, but only the Slann Mage Priests of Lustria and a handful of witnesses ever knew the true tale of the False Moon War.


There was a mist hovering like a silver cloud in the timeless depths of the void.  At least it thought it was a mist.  It pondered its ability to think as it began to slowly dissipate.

The mist knew that it had once had a form and a mission.  The mist had once had a name.

"Taisteslaikch'ken."  A voice intruded.  "It is I, your spawn brother, Tecciztec."

The mist that had been the Lord of Los'tmabo'tl responded with curiosity.  "I recall a mission.  To cast a chaos moon into the dark space between stars, and to remove warp gates from the surface of a world."

"Morrslieb was neither banished nor destroyed."  the voice responded bitterly.  "Alas, the Chaos Moon remains in stable orbit about our world.  The polar gates still infect  the poles.    We have failed. "

"Failed?  Rather Balance is restored."

"Restored?  Our spawn kin were barely able to reinforce the magical wards to hold back Chaos. Daemons press harder than ever."

"I stated that Balance was restored, not that Order was restored.  That will only occur through the fulfillment of the Great Plan."

"The Great Plan remains obscure to us all."  Tecciztec's astral voice conveyed despair.

The mist was fading quickly now.  As its hold on existence lessened, it was able to grasp universal truths.

"Spawn kin Tecciztec, your role and that of Itzlatlmazah in the tapestry of the Great Plan  are known to me.  I applaud you for doing your part."

"Itzlatlmazah was lost to us with the Great Catastrophe..."

"Lost?  If she is lost then she must be found. The Great Plan demands it."

"What?  She?"

"I now see the Great Plan from its beginning to its end.  Hear this,"  Taistelaikch'ken's thoughts were fading to a whisper.   "Balance is restored.  The future teeters on the edge of a blade.  In this time even the weak and insignificant may further the Great Plan or destroy it irretrievably."

"If the weak can do this, what of the actions of the mighty?  Tell me more of the Great Plan!  What is its purpose?  Its ultimate purpose?  How are we to fulfil it?  What must we do next?  Why did the Old Ones abandon us?  Will they return?"

The only reply was silence.

Tecciztec was alone. 

"Mahrlecht!" he cried into the void.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

The False Moon War: Chapter 27

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Chapter 27.  The False Moon

Rodekhil Offaleater joined his companions halfway along the temple bridge.  The Chaos moon was now practically at its zenith, hanging so low overhead that it almost filled the eye of the unnatural storm above the Great Maw.  

Welhung had returned to comfort his wife.  Hellun herself was now barely conscious, her brow glistened with sweat and her eyes were rolled back.

Four lizardmen stood in an arc in front of the Slann's floating throne.  The fifth, Caneghem, knelt before his Lord and proffered the cube from the solar engine.

Taisteslaikch'ken lifted his alien hands forward and the cube rose from the skink priest's grasp.  He raised his arms until the cube floated directly above his palanquin.  The Slann Mage Priest spoke a command.  It was not in the common tongue, the language of the lizardmen, nor even the secret language of the Slann.  The command was given in the ancient tongue of the Old Ones.

The floating cube had not previously shown any seam or irregularity on its surface, but at the word its edges split with gradually widening lines of painful yellow light.  The six planes retained their orientation as they drifted apart above the Slann's head.  Within was revealed a hard bright orb, like a tiny star, which remained trapped within their bounds.

"Yield the tokens," Taisteslaikch'ken commanded.

Bob and Joe gaped at him in confusion.  Rychek and Mahtis looked around for something to offer. 

Only Skink Priest Caneghem understood.  He lifted the Dark Magic Pendant of Khaeleth from around his neck.  The Slann kept one spidery hand aloft, telekinetically holding the components of the cube in place.  With his other hand he mimicked a grasping and twisting motion toward the pendant.

The pure black heart of the gem screeched like a blade being drawn down glass but its protest was in vain.  It could not resist being torn free, leaving Caneghem holding an inert bauble with a clear white gem.  With obvious effort, Taisteslaikch'ken reeled in the black spark, which twisted and fought until he had managed to force it into the space between the planes.

The spark of dark magic zinged between the walls of its open prison.  Whenever it approached the tiny star Rodekhil felt a pressure build inside his skull.

Mahtis caught on.  He raised the Rune Hammer o' Anti Magic in salute to his lord.  Taisteslaikch'ken made a gesture, like two fingers delicately picking a ripe berry, and the golden dwarven rune on the face of the hammer peeled off.  It floated two dimensionally in the heavy air.  The slann drew it into the cube.

The pressure inside Rodekhil's head doubled.  Within the confines of the open cube, starlight, darkness and runic power struggled to avoid each other.  Where their influences overlapped, pressure built to the point where detonation seemed a distinct possibility.

The Bob's warp stone Sword of Abstinence was the next to yield its magic.  The Slann drew the vile green warp power out of the crystal on the guard.  Its evil oozed like a poison, and squeezed between Taisteslaikch'ken's telekinetic fingers, but it could not escape.  Inside the cube, its tendrils flowed to explore its new world.  As they approached each of the other forces they recoiled.  It became a sullen blob, radiating hostility from one corner.

The pressure built to the extent that Rodekhil didn't just feel it in his head.  The air became almost too heavy to breathe.

Rychek held up the sceptre of Gork with leaden arms.  This time Taisteslaikch'ken did not reach out his hand.  Instead he spoke aloud.

"Mighty Gork!"  The sceptre's eyes flashed in response.  "Mighty Gork, I cannot compel a god.  However, if you yield this fragment of yourself, I will guarantee that there will be a crumping which will be recorded in the histories of all races!"

The image of Gork on the sceptre kept its arms stubbornly crossed. 

"Oh dear.  Perhaps your twin will get to do the crumping instead......."

With a roar of jealousy and annoyance, the essence of Gork burst out of his icon and, for a fleeting instant,  Rodekhil could perceive the full, towering belligerence that was a greenskin god.  The manifestation of Gork charged headlong at the dismantled cube, and, just as it seemed he would scatter its elements, he shrank and hurled himself inside.

Within the mystic cube's confines, the greenskin god of animosity amused himself by beating up the other four energies: Starlight, Dark, Dwarven and Warp.

"My lord, that is all we carry...."  Bob spoke. "...but surely you need a sixth.  A mystic cube.  Six sides.  The Law of Six.  You know..."  He hopped from foot to foot in consternation, as the slann turned his ancient gaze on him.

"Life."  Taisteslaikch'ken croaked.  "A life will provide the necessary sixth magic token."  Bob gulped and pushed Joe off balance, forcing his spawn-brother to stumble forward.

The Slann croaked a bitter laugh.  "Your generosity is noted, B'ob of Los'tmabo'tl, but Joe cannot fulfil this role.  And you, B'ob, I have another need for.

"However, the cube does need a life.  A pure life, having never set foot on this tainted earth.  Did no one else carry a burden here?" 

His eyes raked the party and finally rested on Hellun's heaving belly.  There was a heavy pause.

Welhung started.  "What?  No!  No!  Not my unborn child!"  He clutched his wife tightly with one arm and groped for his weapon with the other.

"Not your unborn child?  You seem ungrateful for those you already have."

"They are mine and I love each one!  I just wish they would stop appearing so, you know, often."

"Ah.  Keep your formidable weapon down."


"There is no need to threaten me."

"Oh.  For a moment I thought you were offering contraceptive advice."

The Slann rolled his golden eyes.  "What would I know of such things?"

Taisteslaikch'ken returned his attention to the cube and it's floating contents.  "There is but one alternative."

The Slann Mage Priest took an enormous breath, held it for a moment and then expelled it for an impossibly long time.  His arms fell to his sides, his great head bowed, and his chest never rose again. 

Something like a silver mist drifted from his parted lips and hovered above his head.  Caneghem, with his mage sight could see that the threads of the geomagnetic web, which connected the slann to his kin, still maintained their ethereal connection to the mist.

Inside Bob's mind, words formed.  "Bob.  When it is complete, you must cast the cube into the Great Maw."

Bob wrinkled his brow, "Why do you need me to cast the cube?" he said out aloud.

"This work, which has been in the planning for millennia, has succeeded to this point with an uncommon measure of luck.  It could do with a little more."

The silver mist entered the cube, and the pressure built to such levels that those that still stood were driven to their knees.  The slightest movement was almost impossible, as if they were buried under tons of sand.  The faces of the cubed closed together and the pressure was relieved with a sudden snap.

The Cube of the Old Ones tumbled down and clattered to Bob's feet. 

Each plane glowed with a different power.  Starlight glowed pure and bright opposite to the midnight of Dark, venomous green Warp fire cowered away from the duller green of Gork's simmering animosity.  Gold Runic power glittered coldly opposite the soft silver glow of Life.

Bob lifted the cube.  To the eye, it seemed that each surface was flat, but in the hand they felt as if they bulged as each force repelled five other incompatible essences.  Bob carried the cube to the end of the bridge with Joe trailing a step behind.

Bob stroked the cube against his scaly cheek.  He turned it in his hands.  He blew on it.  He tossed it from hand to hand.  He did a lucky little dance.

"Stop wasting time!  The conjunction is now!"  The command pierced Bob's mind.  In fright he dropped the cube and it tumbled into the Great Maw.  He and Joe leaned over the edge and watched it dwindle away to nothingness.

"How will we know if anything is happening?" asked Joe.

Half the world away on Ulthuan, the Vortex of the Great Ritual slowly began to rotate again.


The vortex, which had previously drawn the winds of magic and the energy from the geomantic web and funnelled it into space, now began to draw energy from the stars of space and pump it into the geomantic web.

The geomantic web increased its energy collecting function one hundred fold and tightened like a noose around the daemonic forces which assailed Lustria.  Each Daemon was dragged squealing from physical manifestation and back into its native form of magical energy.  Their mass was converted to vast stores of power, supplemented by the fury of the global storm of magic.  Both were gathered by the vast net.  Within seconds the trap had been sprung, and the daemon host were banished from the world's surface.

The geomantic web fizzed with power, and the white hot tendrils could be easily seen by mundane eyes.  When it seemed that no more energy could be contained in the web, it pulsed.  The power contained within surged into the four meridians which circled the globe.

The four channels, charged with the energy of a hundred thousand storms and a billion elemental souls, poured into one small, highly unstable cube deep in the gullet of the Great Maw.  As they delivered the power they squeezed against the earth's flanks.

The planetary equivalent of the Heimlich manoeuvre met the magical equivalent of two fingers down the throat.

The Maw heaved and churned and with one great spasm vomited the contents of its gullet, including the alien warp matter which had sat uneasily within it for millennia.

The fountain of material would have fallen back to earth within moments, but for power of the disintegrating cube and the rivers of geomantic energy which spiralled around the stream of ejecta and kept it on course.

Atop his temple at the precise, diametrically opposite point on the globe, the great Slann Mage Priest, Tecciztec, Lord of Tlaxtlan, played the geomantic streams like a musical instrument.  Whenever the tower of undigested matter threatened to topple, he would shepherd it by balancing the power of the four strands. 

With the guidance of the spirals of energy, the warp asteroid was hurled directly at its target.  The heart of the chaos moon, which hovered so close, and directly overhead.

The initial impact shattered Morrslieb's surface and blasted a crater hundreds of leagues across.  Warp stone meteorites were hurled into the void between the spheres and much material rained back to the earth' s surface.

The torrent of ejecta and geomantic power continued to pour into the moon, gradually pushing it away.  It began to slowly but visibly shrink, transfixed by the column.  Finally, as the stream petered away to nothing, Morrslieb loomed no larger than the earth's natural moon. 

The Great Maw and the Geomantic Web were spent.

On Ulthuan, the Vortex of the Great Ritual stopped its counter-rotation, and resumed normal service. 

The wisest and most ancient of the High Elven mages furiously scratched his sleek head.  "That's weally stwange.  I thought the Witual was Bwoken, but now its alwight!  Has anybody seen my hairbwush?"


Atop his temple in Tlaxtlan, Slann Priest Tecciztec's arms, too, fell to his sides.  He withdrew within himself and was not heard to speak by earthly ears for years to come.


When the Great Maw began its convulsion, there was a blast of such force that it knocked all of the group on the ramp off their feet.  After the acrid wind had abated, Bob and Joe scampered back to the others.

"We should, erm, run for our lives, maybe?" Joe suggested.

Hellun was not fit to run anywhere and it was too late anyway.

The initial blast had lifted the warp stone asteroid clear of the maw, and the swiftly accelerating stream of matter and energy from the geomantic channels created a Venturi effect.  The resulting vacuum drew in the air for miles around.  The gale was not strong enough to dislodge the ogres, but the smaller lizardmen were helpless to withstand it.

Rychek clawed at the deck as he skittered along.  His spawn kin, Mahtis grabbed him and hugged him to his chest.

"Must I always be looking after you?" the Kroxigor rumbled.

Caneghem would have been sucked into the void if not for the iron grasp of his friend, Rodekhil Offaleater.

Joe tumbled dangerously close to the brink before he was able to anchor himself by thrusting his spear tip into a crack in the deck.  Bob slid past, clutching his hand weapon.  Joe proffered a claw and clung to the bending spear haft with his tail and other hand.

Scant feet from the brink, Bob managed to clasp Joe's wrist.  The spear creaked and bent further, but remained intact.

A sudden gust lifted Bob's eggshell off his head, and he had only a split second to decide what was more important.  Hand weapon or shell.  He clamped the shell firmly onto his head and watched the Sword of Abstinence spiral into the void.

Once it had vanished, he turned to thank Joe for the rescue, only to find his spawn-brother looking unnecessarily smug.

"Oh, shut up!"  Bob snapped.

The Slann's Palanquin, with the empty husk of its owner, was tossed by the storm until it was very nearly spent.  As the tornado eased to a gale and then a breeze, the throne steadied and sailed serenely away from the bridge and far out over the Great Maw.

Friday, 12 September 2014

The False Moon War: Chapter 26

to Title and Contents

Chapter 26.  The Last Stand

As the Great Unclean One pressed to the front, Caneghem felt a sensation that made his teeth jangle. 

The command, "Come," formed wordlessly in his mind.  "Bring the cube, and your kin."

"Brothers!"  Caneghem shouted, "Our Lord calls us to bring the solar cube to him!"

The four lizardmen warriors nodded and waited expectantly.  From his position on Bessie's howdah, the skink priest grasped the mystic cube at the heart of Chotec's solar engine and tugged.  The cube did not budge.  Its depleted active face glowed sullenly.

"Rodekhil!  Help me with this." 

The ogre joined him on the howdah.  Even using his considerable strength, he could not release the cube from its five finger-like clamps.  He used one of his falchions as a lever.  The blade bent double and then splintered into shards.

"Argsplat!"  Rodekhil shouted,  "Buy us some time!"


The misshapen ogre stumped part way down the ramp.  He was alone, but for his meat axe, bladed hook and elegantly carved Queen Anne style peg-legs.


When the wave of pestilent things of Nurgle seemed ready to flow over him, he held his meat axe high.  "I CHALLENGE!"  he bawled.

The wave ebbed and parted.  The Great Unclean One advanced to the head of the path that had been opened for him.

"None shall pass!"  Argsplat squared his shoulders and brandished his weapon.

The Great Unclean One paused midstride and emitted a loud coughing gargle.  Ropes of mucus quivered between his fleshy lips.  Paroxysms gripped him and his shoulders quivered.  It took Argsplat a moment to realize that he was laughing.

"I have no quarrel with you, brave ogre, but I will mount this bridge,"  the daemon snickered.

"Then you shall die."  Argsplat swung his meataxe and severed the creature's right arm with one mighty blow.  "You are defeated.  Now stand aside."

The daemon couldn't contain his mirth.  More choking sounds and shudders ensued.  " 'Tis but a scratch!"

"A scratch?  Your arm's off!"

"I've had worse."

"Actually... I know how you feel,"  Argsplat mused.

The daemon grinned and swept his Bale-sword low, splintering Argsplat's wooden legs.

"Right!  I'll do you for that!"  from Argsplat's new, somewhat lower position, he had an unobstructed view of the daemon's oedematous legs.  The meat axe swung twice, and the daemon joined him on the ground.

The Unclean One grinned at his oozing stumps.  "Just a flesh wound.  I'm invincible!"

"You're a looney...."

"Nurgle always triumphs!  Have at you!"

With his one remaining arm he struck a heavy over hand blow with the bale sword.  This would have split Argsplat from right shoulder to left waist had the ogre not raised his hook in a desperate parry.  The blow was deflected, but the hook was torn from its socket.

The daemon's follow through left him vulnerable for a split second as his festering arm crossed his body.  The meat axe swung true, and the daemon's sword arm joined the growing pile of appendages on the pavement.

Argsplat pointed at the daemon's limbless torso with his axe. "Victory is mine."

The daemon coughed and gargled again.  This time it was not laughter.  A stream of corrosive bile spurted from the daemon's mouth and onto Argsplat's outstretched arm.  Flesh and tendons melted from crumbling bone.

Argsplat paused to assess the damage.  His arm below the elbow had been dissolved. 

"All right.  We'll call it a draw."

The daemon gargled in mirth again.  From the oozing stumps of his arms and legs, yellow headed boils erupted.  They swelled and burst, releasing stinking pus and tiny vestigial limbs.  The limbs quickly regenerated to their original size.

"I like this game," the daemon giggled as he lifted Argsplat by the shoulders.

Argsplat's eye swam.  This close to the daemon's face he was unable to escape the daemon's feculent halitosis.  He pulled his head back as far as he could.

"Time for round two?" asked the daemon.

"You cheated!"

Argsplat slammed his rocklike head into the daemon's brow.

The head butt made a hollow sound, like pair of colossal coconut halves being clapped together.  The impact caused a depressed fracture of the creature's skull.  The intracranial pressure build up was sufficient to force the daemon's rotten brains to ooze out of his blobby ears.

"Victory is mine."  Argsplat declared as he dragged himself back to the ogre lines.  The remaining daemons of Nurgle began to mill about in disarray.

Caneghem and Rodekhil had tried brute strength, leverage, hammer blows and bad language on the cube of the Old Ones with no success.  Chotec's engine stubbornly refused to release its grasp.

Rhodekhil glanced over and saw that Argsplat had squirmed back to the ogre line.  "Argsplat!" he yelled desperately, "Lend a hand will you!"

Argsplat apologetically held up two ragged stumps.

"A hand?  That's it!"  Caneghem cried,  "Rodekhil come here!"

The skink priest inspected the hand shaped imprint on the back of the engine.  The four fingered lizardmen could release the power stored in the cube by pressing a hand into the print.  What would happen if five fingers were inserted?

Caneghem gestured to Rodekhil to press his fingers into the depressions.  Then he cringed back.

Rodekhil seemed equally reluctant to perform this experiment.  He gingerly placed his fingers into the grooves one by one, and finally pushed his trembling thumb home.

With an unimpressive click, the clamps released.  The cube tumbled onto the howdah.  Caneghem snatched it up and scampered to the temple mouth.  "Come!" he called over his shoulder.

The other Lizardmen turned to follow, but were distracted by a commotion at the base of the ramp.  A well ordered phalanx of Bloodletters of Khorne were thrusting through the disorganized swarms of Nurglings.  At their head was a winged fiend many times their size.

"Fall back!  Fall back to the temple!"  Rodekhil herded his remaining ironguts through the arch and dragged Argsplat behind him.  Bob, Joe and Rychek moved to follow.

"What about Bessie?  And Rudolph?"  Mahtis asked.

"They can't fit through the door.  Come on!"  Joe urged.

"We can't leave them."  Mahtis planted his feet.

"It's okay,"  Rychek held up his hands in a placating gesture.  He whispered into Bessie's ear-hole and stood well back.

The usually placid beast's eyes bulged, and she bellowed with apprehension.  She tucked her head down, presenting a wall of bony plates, and thundered blindly down the ramp.

Rudolph the Rhinox saw his sweetheart disappearing, bellowed, and gave pursuit.  Those daemon's that dodged or survived the bony wrecking ball had scant time to recover before confronting the tossing horns of the battering ram that followed.  The pair careened off the ramp and into the wild night beyond.

The phalanx of Khornelings was no longer quite so well ordered.

"I've seen you do that before.  What do you say to her?"  Bob asked.

"Oh, I just tell her that the Karak Andstick Combined Pipes and Drums are coming back."  replied Rychek.


Bob, Joe, Rychek and the fretting Mahtis entered the jaws of the Dinner Gong Chamber.  Caneghem had already passed through to go to his master's side.

The ogre troopers had somehow released the great brass gong from its chains.  They rolled it across the gaping arch as soon as the lizardmen came into the refuge.  They began to reinforce the barricade with the kitchen supplies that had been neatly stacked on one side of the chamber.

The lizards found Rodekhil binding kitchen utensils onto the stumps of Argsplat's legs with lengths of rawhide.  He already had a rolling pin and frypan lashed to his arms.

"What are you doing?" asked Rychek.

Rodekhil looked up, "I'm assembling my troops...."

"No time for that!  Come!"

Argsplat waved him away with the pan.  "The lads will hold for as long as need be.  Go."

Rodekhil blinked tears from his eyes and looked to clasp hands with his most trusted trooper.  He eventually settled for tugging Argsplat's left earlobe.  The irongut himself snapped a crisp salute and knocked himself out cold with the frypan.

The clang seemed louder than it should have.  Then it echoed again and again.  Rodekhil saw that the brass gong was being struck with heavy blows.

"Ironguts!"  Rodekhil addressed the bare half dozen that still stood.  "You will hold here, by whatever means are necessary."

The battered soldiers nodded grimly as he lumbered away through the arch and onto the bridge.


The Exalted Bloodthirster of Khorne was still experiencing the after effects of the sensual attack of Slaanesh's Keeper of Secrets.  In addition to his usual rage, he found that other emotions continued to intrude.  On the whole, they were not unpleasant. 

He had felt satisfaction as he broke the physical body of the hated Slaaneshi and banished his essence back to the Chaos realm.

When the Great Unclean One had fallen, and had felt amusement as his last rival was eliminated.

When he called the Bloodletters to his side, he felt pride at their disciplined savagery.

As he approached the barricaded temple, he felt anticipation.  Soon Lord Khorne's thirst would be slaked with the blood of a mighty Slann Mage Priest.

He struck at the brass disk which sealed the temple and felt delight as it gave way slightly under the onslaught of his dully glowing axe.  He struck again and again until there was a thin rent many feet across.

Impatience possessed him, and he cast the axe to the ground.  He seized the edges of the fissure with two powerful hands and bent the edges back until the hole was wide enough for him to thrust his head and shoulders through.

On the other side he was confronted by six puny ogres.  The amusement he felt lasted until he saw what they held in their hands.

Each one held a spork, laden with steaming mashed potato.  On the shaft of each spork was a gleaming dwarven rune of accuracy.

The Bloodthirster experienced a new feeling.  This one started as a hard knot in his stomach and rose to flood his whole body with debilitating weakness. 

The feeling was fear.

To Chapter 27 The False Moon