Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Ankh-Mordheim Back-Story Part II

“You appear to have returned empty-handed” scowled the Chaos Sorcerer. The Troll that stood in the doorway to his library shrugged in response. The Sorcerer had dealt with the creatures for years since his venturing into Troll Country. Casting numerous spells on the humanoids, he not only had control over a unit of sixteen Trolls but also increased their intelligence. The magic was sufficient for them to understand his orders, but not enough to question them. The creature here was the Sorcerer’s chosen unit leader and supposedly the most intelligent. But it was times like these that made him question that appraisal and infuriated the Chaos worshipper. He tried a different approach.
“I asked you to bring the amulet back from the Goblin leader”
“Yes boss” said the Troll, his thick-set brow furrowing into an almost confused state.
“And?” quizzed the Sorcerer.
“An’ we got too da Goblin cave an’ stomped ‘em”
“All of them?” The Sorcerer could see this turning into a long conversation.
“We left da leader so weez could ask ‘im where da amulet woz” the Troll beamed. He knew his boss would like what he had just said.
“And what did the Goblin reply?” snapped the Sorcerer.
“Da Goblin sed da amulet was in ‘is chest” replied the Troll, a large smile forming on his even larger face.
“So did you open the chest?” The sorcerer was beginning to lose his patience now.
“Yes boss.” The Troll saw the sorcerer nod appreciatively, so he continued. “But when we’ze cut open ‘is chest all we’ze found inside ‘im was ‘is ‘eart an’ lots ov blood”.
The sorcerer let out a loud sigh. He was half amused by the fact this creature understood biology, yet could not comprehend the basic domestic knowledge that treasure is often kept in treasure chests.
“Did you not look inside the Goblin lair for a treasure chest?” demanded the Chaos sorcerer.
“Yes boss!” declared the Troll, the smile on his face turning into a fully-fledged grin.
“And was the amulet inside the treasure chest?”
“Yes boss.”
“So why did you not pick it up?!” demanded the sorcerer, his voice stepping up an octave.
“Cos it ran away, boss.”
There were several moments of silence. Silence where the Troll thought his boss was mulling over how to reward his minion. But silence the Chaos Sorcerer was actually using to attempt to decipher what the Troll had said.
“It what?” he eventually managed.
“It ran away, boss” repeated the Troll. He must have done well; his boss wanted to hear it again!
Patience was never the Chaos Sorcerer’s most plentiful character trait. But he struggled to understand how anyone could possibly accept what this creature was telling him.
“The treasure chest ran away?” he implied, sarcastically.
“Yes boss.” The Troll’s grin grew larger still. The Chaos sorcerer’s face, meanwhile, developed an expression somewhere between anger and anxiety.
“Explain to me exactly how the treasure chest was able to run away?”
“Cos it ‘ad legs, boss” answered the Troll. He must have done really well. The last time he was able to answer this many questions in a row, his boss gave him double food rations.
“Right” said the impatient Sorcerer. “So the treasure chest had legs and ran away with the amulet inside it?”
“Yes boss.” The Troll’s stomach rumbled with the thought of more food.
“Why didn’t you follow it?”
“Me an’ da rest ov da boyz did, boss. We’ze went afta da trezza chest but it woz really fast an’ den da uvver boyz woz ‘urt wen annuver Troll walked over dem.”
The Chaos Sorcerer was alarmed by this last statement. He’d had many conversations with his Troll leader and long ago gave up trying to teach him the names of various creatures. He understood that the creature often referred to unknown beasts as Trolls as well. And a beast that could simply walk over a Troll must have been very large indeed. This plot had suddenly thickened somewhat.

The Chaos Sorcerer shook his head, snatched his goblet and made his way over to a bookcase to look for his creature studies documents. This was going to be a very long evening…

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