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Victor von Hohenfeld; turnly fluff, hopefully
Topic Started: Tue 05 Jul 2016 15:58:42 (443 Views)
Eom



Turn 1 story for Victor von Hohenfeld. 804 words. Thoughts/feedback appreciated.

Uneasy handling
Another corner, another turn. Victor was getting quite sick of the maze that was Hells Pit. He’d been here for well over a year now, he reckoned, and he still wasn’t close to getting the hang of navigating through these endless tunnels. They all looked the same to him, anyway. At times he felt lucky just to find the way back to his lab. Well, it was the old Sharptooth’s lab, of course, until he had passed away two days ago. Now the lab was Victors. If one thing was for sure, he was not at home in this city. But then, given the state of affairs of the rest of the world, he would not be at home at home, either. He was happy to be alive at least.

Rats be darned, he couldn’t stand the smell of the furry, filthy little critters, and they seemed to be everywhere. The stench of a thousand wet dogs, multiplied by another thousand, didn’t get close to the almost tangible suffocating fumes that emanated from the lower levels of the Pit. Despite the piece of cloth he wore over his nose and mouth, he was almost fainting from the sheer penetrance of it.

Yet for all their unhygienic, waste-littered smellholes, this wasn’t the thing he hated most about being here. What he hated most was the utter lack of order, structure, community. Each filthy rodent for themselves, the constant fear of being stabbed in the back or robbed of any possession, it was more than a man can bear. He was tired of having to look over his shoulder with every step, tired of sleeping with one eye open, tired of the constant paranoia.

The rats charged with keeping a semblance of society, the Inquisition, were possibly the worst of them. It seemed to him as if the Inquisition didn’t trust him much further than he trusted them in return. More than once had they jumped up on him, searching his pockets or his lab for no reason, glaring him suspiciously before scattering off when they found nothing. It’s not that he didn’t pay his dues to Mutae. In fact from what he gathered, he reckoned he was possibly more devout than some rats that he knew. Just in a way that was perhaps a tad.. different than what the Inquisirats were used to.

At any rate, he had a job to do. He readjusted the dark hood so that it covered most of his face in dark shadows, and set off on a trot. If he wasn’t sorely mistaken or lost, he’d be at his destination soon. The murmur of the market area seemed to emanate from every stone, adding up to a cacophony unrivalled in any of the places Victor had visited in his life. He could see rats selling humans, humans selling rats and elves selling themselves. Slaves, breeders, wealthy rats all mingled in a sick parody of the cattle and fruit markets he knew from home.

-------------------

“Ludicrous!” Victor yelled at the rat across the table. “May you and your kin be thrown into Mutaes Maw! You better watch your back from now on, vermin.”
He looked at the pathetic heap of warpstone tokens that the chief-rat had offered him. A bundle far too small to his liking, it probably wouldn’t last him a week. Especially not with all the plans he had in mind.

He had offered his gold and ruby ring for sale just two minutes ago. It was a family heirloom, and one of his last memories of home. In the current abysmal situation that he found himself and his lab in though, the decision had been sell or die. He had clearly seen the flashes of greed flare up in the filthy rats eyes when he showed it the ring, and now it tried to scoff him off with a wholly inadequate amount of money. Did it take him for an idiot? Granted, Victor was not entirely sure on the most recent exchange rates of Imperial coin to warpstone tokens, but he was sure that the ring was worth a small fortune.

The filth didn’t seem inclined to raise its offer. Victor locked it in a battle of staring, but it didn’t blink. So he saw just one option left to him.. Grabbing a dagger from a hidden pocket in his overcoat, he lunged forwards and was abruptly knocked unconscious from behind.

He awoke some undetermined amount of time later, still seeing stars. The thumping ache on the back of his head was only the second of his problems. The first was the pouch of warpstone tokens that had been sown to his naked chest. It also seemed to be only half the size of what the rat had originally offered.

This was not a very good start.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
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Ratticq of clan Gnawkin
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SUIT UP!

This is definitely a good piece to start off with. I certainly like it.
Initially, the thoughts and experiences of Victory seem to be jumping around a bit (from the stench to the backstabbing to the Inquisition's disregard for humans), but all in all, certainly a series I will be happy to read more from. :)

Quote:
 
[...] The murmur of the market area seemed to emanate from every stone, adding up to a cacophony unrivalled in any of the places Victor had visited in his life. He could see rats selling humans, humans selling rats and elves selling themselves. Slaves, breeders, wealthy rats all mingled in a sick parody of the cattle and fruit markets he knew from home.

That made me laugh, though. Elves selling themselves. :lol:
In my body, where the shame gland should be, there is a second awesome gland. True story.
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Thanks for your feedback Ratticq. Reading back I think you're right on the thoughts jumping around a lot. This probably has to do with my own thoughts jumping around a lot, trying to wrap my head around this whole new world. Victor is an outsider to Hell Pit, as am I. Plus I don't have a lot of time to read back and re-word the story, shaving bits and pieces all the time. It's all written in one go and then posted, sadly.

Regardless, I'll try to make the following piece more consistent! Thanks a lot. :)

Sharptooth's unexpected legacy - [805 words]
Victor yawned. His eyes were sore from staring in poor light conditions, his hands were starting to tremble, his back was aching. He hadn't a clue what time it was, but judging by his protesting belly he'd skipped a meal or two, and he was in dire need of some sleep too.

He'd been practicing and planning his mouldering. Having not grown up with the trade he was having a hard time quite getting the knack. With some satisfaction, he looked at his latest creation though. The melding points were done quite well, he thought. Fewer jagged edges, a much smoother transition. In this light he couldn't really judge where one part started and the other ended. Then again.. this was just a clay model for what he had in mind. He'd been postponing sitting down for the real job for days now, not yet sure enough of his skills in Mouldering. Tomorrow.. tomorrow I'll start. Probably. Perhaps. Alright I'll start with buying a more decent torch. That's a necessary prerequisite, so it must count for something right?

He stood up, and immediately everything went black. Blood flushed through his legs which hadn't moved in hours, drawing away oxygen from his brains. It took almost ten seconds before he stabilised. Man, he was in a poor condition. His mind was in limbo. Food or sleep, food or sleep? Eating now probably meant he couldn't get to sleep properly. But sleeping without eating probably meant he'd lie awake in hunger half the time. Food or sleep? Eventually he settled for a golden middle way; eating a little now, then proper breakfast after sleeping.

He grabbed a hump of old bread when he suddenly heard the sound of paws on earth. Spinning round, grabbing a short sword, he looked to find the intruder. He soon lowered his weapon as he noticed that there were no less than eight of them, and they bore the sign of the Inquisition. Not again, he thought to himself, quickly followed by Food and sleep!.

The apparent leader of the vermin produced a scroll from one of its pockets and unfolded it. Speaking in its annoying accent, it informed him that his lab was to be searched on grounds of suspected Heresy. Again. They'd done this regularly, although admittedly never before with such a large pack. He could only look on in foul distaste as two rats pointed their spears up his throat, five turned over all his possessions and the leader was screaming like a madman. Or madrat, he supposed. Food and sleep, now!, by this time he was swaying on his legs.

After what seemed like an eternity (FOOD, SLEEP!!), the leader apparently concluded that they'd found absolutely nothing that pointed towards heresy. With a snarl that could mean anything from disappointment to anger, it ordered its rats to retreat. The two rats guarding him were the last to turn around. One of them accidentally bumped the back of its spear into the earthen wall of the entrance hall, with a clearly audible *thump*. Wood on wood, no mistaking. Food? Sleep? Victor felt all blood drawn away from his face, the rats halted and the leader turned around with a devilishly gleeful grin on its filthy pointed snout.

Within moments the rats had demolished the small wooden door, that appeared to hide a secret stash. In it lay a bundle of parchment now covered in mud. Victor had never known about it, this had been the old Sharptooths lab that he had just taken over. Bleary-eyed, he stood there shaking on his legs, frightful of what they might find. What did Sharptooth have that was worth hiding? Could it be that he had had ideas that could be deemed heretic? He didn't dare to think about it. Meanwhile the stench of rat urine penetrated his nose, seeming to come from his beast pens just around the corner. Eat and sleep, idiot! No! Stay alert! Eat! Stay! Sleep!!! The Inquisirat rummaged through the papers, and to Victors relief didn't look too happy with what it found. With a last snarl it ordered its rats to follow, and left the room, taking the papers with it.

With a sigh and heavy legs, Victor followed to close the hatch that served as his entrance. He should really invest in better security. But for now, finally food and sleep!

--

The next day, after having filled his stomach with the most wonderful breakfast, he experienced a bright moment. Knowing the old Sharptooth…
He stood up, making his way towards the secret stash. He cleared most of the wood and searched with his hand along all sides. Sure enough, he felt a small handle through the mud. Heart racing, he opened a second hatch and retrieved a bundle of warpstone tokens. You sneaky old rat!
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom





Turn 3 – Reaping what you sow [751 words]
Victor spat. He watched with some level of empty satisfaction as a trickle of green slime found the path of least resistance down the moss overgrown walls of his laboratory. A dragon. Who’d have thunk she’d bring a bloody dragon? Of course, when the news had transpired that ‘Grando’ was an anagram, it hadn’t taken him long to figure out Archibalds inevitable defeat. A small part of him had hoped against hope that the solution was ‘Dog ran’, and that Savannah would bring a particularly cowardly canine. Alas, it was not to be.

Archibald had behaved like a true hero. Flinging himself into the dragons face like that takes some serious gut. We’ll have to groom that particular talent, Victor mused. For now though, there were more pressing matters. Grandmaster Drachau had made it perfectly clear that he was not pleased with Victors poor performance in the Tournament. Getting kicked out by wyrdtech chaff in the first round is poor publicity, unbefitting a knight of the Shattered Knights guild.

Given the beating that he had received, Victor figured that Archibald was still in a reasonably good condition. He’d gotten no more than a bunch of cuts, bruises and broken bones. Nothing he hadn’t handled before. Perhaps, he pondered, perhaps I can put Archibald to certain.. other uses. As he tumbled the thought around in his head for a while, he noticed how it grew and matured. From a mere seed at first, pristine, pure, potent, growing to a sapling as he developed the first concrete ideas on the when and how.

He quickly jotted down his thoughts on the back of the first piece of paper that he came across, which happened to be the introductory page to ‘How to impress the girls – handbook for first dates’. It wasn’t like he was going to need that in here, anyway. Although.. his mind was briefly distracted by Savannah. Best not go down that path right now, in my glorious moment of inspiration. Before long his sapling-idea had grown into a fully grown tree; proud, mature and ripe for the plucking. A smile inadvertently carved itself upon his face as he looked at the intricate schemas, calculations and rich illustrations before him. This plan was infallible.


The next morning.
Victor yawned, stretched, and smiled. Another night of straight sleeping without intruders and saboteurs. It felt good to be alive. And today was to be the day of fruity endeavours!

“Come!”
A simple command, and Archibald drew up behind him like a lapdog. Victor had him on a leash, but that was more to comfort the masses than to control the beast. He had no illusions that Archie could bounce off on his own if he wanted to, leash or no leash.
“Good boy.”

They had just finished a full day of hard working. Or rather, Archie had, while Victor had sat back and enjoyed the lovely scenery. The human girl working in the convenience store was quite pretty, and if he wasn’t mistaken she had cast some sneaky glances at him. Knowing his history with girls though, she was probably just freaked out by his hairless appearance. Archibald in the meantime had been a right hero though, helping the fragile looking girl all day long grabbing stuff from places she couldn’t reach. With his enormous tongue, he could grab spiders from ceilings, jars from high stashes and so on. Invaluable. The pay was rather abysmal though. Perhaps the girl didn’t like him as much as he had hoped.. best try their luck elsewhere!

Before long he’d led Archibald to the fruit orchards, where harvest time had just begun. Here, again, Archie’s tongue would prove its worth by grabbing the fruits from the higher branches. They turned out to be rather slimy after Archie was done with them, but that shouldn’t spoil the pleasure. And truth be told, his assistance did speed the whole process up a lot. The farmer didn’t have any daughters, and Victor was getting quite distressed by the farmer casting numerous glances at him and Archibald.

He whipped Archibald to make him work harder. The sooner they were out of here, the better. Victor assisted by plucking the low hanging fruit personally, while Archibald behaved like a machine gun, his tongue flip-flopping in and out at amazing speeds. This was a great training indeed! When at last they were done, Victor collected their pay, treated Archibald to a jar full of his favourite sweets, and returned home tired but richer.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom




Turn 4 – Unfinished business 763 words

Victor sat. And waited. And sat and waited some more. His little hideout was damp, cold and gloomy, just like the rest of Hell’s Pit. Perhaps the lack of daylight was slowly getting to him, or the breezes of fresh air that he remembered so fondly. Perhaps it was the constant paranoia, or the complete lack of any silence and serenity. Whatever the cause, he didn’t feel at his place here. It was a feeling he was having trouble describing. He’d never really had a place to call home. He’d always been travelling, and nowhere did he ever feel truly welcome. This place was, in that sense, no different. And so he didn’t know what exactly it was that was hindering him so much.

As he sat there, waiting intensely for his subject of study to reappear, his mind decided to take a stroll down memory lane. His was a lane that was covered on either side with thorny bushes of failure and quagmires of shame. The lane was in dire need of maintenance but it was clear from everything that this place wasn’t frequented by anyone. Some paths were overgrown to an extent that they had become inaccessible, while others seemed to lure him in with false promises of happy memories. Without warning a shadowy memory crept up on the back of his mind and engulfed his vision like a tidal wave.

The howling winds shrieked around the ramshackle house. Outside it was dark, winter, as the icy torrents of rain kept pummelling the house and walls, as if trying to submit it to their power. Young Victors breath formed white clouds as he stood there, trembling on his legs. Only two candles were lit, flittering futilely to heat a room whose windows were shattered. He watched as the being across the room from him shuffled hitherto in its long and worn leather coat. Grabbing an empty flask from the mantelpiece, a piece of parchment from the table, a candle and three spiders from a cupboard, before turning around and facing him.

That pallid flesh hanging from his cheeks. The half rotten nose and ears. The swollen purple tongue. Any of these could freak a man out of his shoes, but it was the lifeless eyes that would haunt Victors dreams for the rest of his lifetime. The sockets were black as the night’s sky while the eyeballs were completely white. No sign of an iris or a pupil. “Come”, it beckoned in that rasping voice. And Victor followed. He was led down into a dungeon, scarcely lit and freezing cold. At least there was less wind. As he stepped onto the basement floor, he could feel the crunch of bones through the thin soles of his shoes. The putrid smell intruded his brain through his nose, forcing him to bend double and puke his hard-earned meal out.


Victor snapped back to reality, eyes wide open and heart racing. He must have dozed off! Quickly he ascertained that his target was still inside. The guard was standing where he was when last he looked. A sigh of relief. This was not a day to screw things up.

He shook his head in an attempt to get rid of the last remnants of his daydream. It worried him that these thoughts had recently returned to him, he hadn’t dreamed of his time as an apprentice for years now.. He wondered whether these dreams held any meaning or message to his current situation.

Back to matters at hand though. His target, nickname Greedy Snatchclaw, was the rat that had half-stolen half-bought Victors family ring some months ago. Greedy owned him some money still, and today was payback day. After having waited just a little longer Snatchclaw finally left the house, accompanied as always by his bodyguard. Taking Archibald and Nicolaus in tow, Victor hurried to cut off Snatchclaws predicted route home. The wound on his chest had never really healed, and he still had a bruise on the back of his head. Come to think of it, maybe the smack against the back of his head had loosened the memories.. Something to consider, at least.

Standing confidently in the midst of the alley, Archibald and Nicolaus arranged on either side in front of him, Victor crossed his arms and waited for Snatchclaw to arrive. He wasn’t after the rat’s life, or even all his money. He would only take what he deserved. Inadvertently his father’s voice echoed through his mind: “I’m too good for this world.” Except in Victors case, it was probably true.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom


Turn 4 (2) – Brewing thoughts [356 words]

Victor was sitting in his lazy chair. He was enjoying the lazy bubbling of his newest concoction in the background, very soon it would be finished. In his left hand he held a candle and in his right a book. It was an ancient tome, especially by Skaven standards. The rats had never been the type for preservation of knowledge. Or now that he thought about it, they weren’t really the type for preservation of anything. Shift and change, the very essence of mutation, and Mutae. Never look back, scared critters that they are. Reinvent the wheel and call it progress.

This particular tome though had been salvaged, apparently by a rat with some more brains than its kin. Now it stood in the grand library of Hell’s Pit, probably the place with the least dignity imaginable. It looked nothing like the many great libraries that Victor had visited in his lifetime, and it didn’t attract a particularly amount of interest. Still, he hoped that in this tome he could find some clues as for how to continue his newest line of research.

The tome itself detailed the travels and adventures of a human of the Empire. He had been far and wide, but his travels into the lands of Khemri were of particular interest to Victor. They were quite elaborately described, and it seemed as if the adventurer had learned more than a little of the intricate rituals of the Tomb Kings. Yes, this will do. On the arm of his chair a small booklet of notes, diagrams and illustrations had grown. He carefully closed the book, ordered his notes and walked over to his concoction.

Malted grain, yeast, water, hops and time. Five ingredients that should help ease his mind. The hops had been the hardest to get by, the rest was readily available. The result was two large barrels of ale. Glorious ale, it had been too long. He was going to sell one barrel to Rosko’s, and keep the other to himself. Over time he would keep doing this, perfecting his brewing skills with each new batch. Today was a good day.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom


Turn 5 (1) - The hardest job [745 words]

The wailing, the constant wailing was quickly getting to Victor. The infant screamed her lungs out, but Grysharin seemed not to notice. He demanded that Victor kept paying attention too, constantly asking for his assistance.

The Necromancer had recently taken Victor in as an apprentice. His rotting body was too frail to face the challenges of the winter outside, so it fell unto Victor to collect the obscure and sometimes obscene ingredients for Grysharins insane experiments. For every fibre in Victors body that desperately wanted to get away from the unholy experiments conducted in that bone strewn basement, two more were too curious to see what would happen next. Twice now he had run off, too frightened by the challenges that Grysharin set upon him. Twice too had he returned, ashamed, broken, and all the more eager.

The infant.. she was a little girl from a nearby village. It had been no problem at all to abduct her and bring her here. At the time it had seemed to Victor as if it wasn’t even him doing that. But right now he couldn’t bring himself to look into her terrified eyes, bound as she was to Grysharins altar.

Grysharin himself just worked on, undisturbed by the child’s resistance. He muttered ancient incantations in a tongue that Victor recognised by now as Nehekharan. This time it was different from the other times though. Much more intense, louder and faster. Grysharin held a silver piercer in his hands, arms outstretched above him, piercer facing forward ready to strike. As the incantation reached a climax he plunged it down hard; a heart ripping shriek from the girl, but the piercer stopped an inch from her heart. Grysharin stood there for a few moments, still as a statue before looking up at Victor with those unnerving eyes. “You” he rasped, while handing the piercer to Victor.


Looking back now, an essential part of him died that day.

After all those long years it worried him that his thoughts were drawn to that era of his life so often recently. All in all he had only served with Grysharin for two years, and had had many more exciting adventures since then. He’d seen wonderful valleys from mountain tops in the World Edge Mountains, had traced glimpses of wood elves, had even lived amongst a colony of dwarves for a while, had escaped from an ambush by goblins. Yet despite all that, he was dreaming night after night of his time in that ramshackle hut deep in the cold northern forests of the Empire.

Blinking twice he forced his mind to return to the current situation. He was in a meeting of the respected Nekrokult. The Pontifex Nygarsh himself was giving an uncharacteristically lively oration on the supremacy of the Nekrokult, and how the teachings of Raznarth had prophesised this to be so. Quite a crowd had gathered to hear the great Nygarsh today, and it seemed to Victor that the Nekrokult was growing more popular with each passing month.

Being a rather unknown moulder he found himself nearly all the way at the back of the crowd, finding it quite hard to make out Nygarsh’ exact wording. That was a shame, but it did give him the opportunity to observe the more influential members at the front. It was good to know who to make friends with, who to rub up to and who to kick down on.

After the oration Victor elbowed himself through the crowd of vampires, vampirats and mortals, seeking out his favourite targets as if there was no time to waste. He handed over a piece of paper here, accepted a small leather bag from someone else, exchanged shady objects with a third, and generally wove through the crowd like a ballerina on ice. After an hour or so, finally satisfied that he’d done all he could, he found a place at the bar, deliberately not striking a conversation with anyone. To the outside world it may have seemed like he was relaxing, Victor knew that this was as hard and as important as striking the right tone in a conversation. After a short while, he saw an unknown figure walking up to him. “I hear that you are the one I am to be looking for.”

---

On his way back to the lab, Victor weighed his pouch of tokens in his hand. A smile crept over his face; he’d done good business today.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom


Turn 5 (2) - Brewing experiment [309 words]

Victor stood hunched over his hobby table, carefully adding a pinch of herbs to one of the thirteen melodically blubbing flasks, taking extreme care to keep the brew sterile from any organisms he didn’t want in there. By his side was a leather bound notebook entitled ”VvH brewery labjournal”, which contained carefully gathered notes on all experimental variants of his various brews.

Brew b1;25y1;2w5h1;10
Update
Time: Day 5 since addition of yeast
Temperature: 18 degrees Celsius
Vial: Glass, volume 10 liters

Observation:
It is noted that gas production in produce b1;25y1;2w5h1;10 is roughly 35cl/minute, which is around 20% higher than for produce b1;25y2;2w5h1;10. It is hypothesised that this indicates a higher rate of alcohol production and hence a higher productivity of yeast 1 over yeast 2. Further analysis will have to verify that the gas produced is indeed carbon dioxide, which would be a further hint that alcohol is indeed being produced. In the end taste and smell will determine which is the better yeast.



Satisfied with his notes, Victor pours some more ice cubes in the cooled brewing produces. They didn’t seem to show much activity yet, but it was a fun experiment nonetheless. He’d done a fair bit of brewing in the last years before the End Times, but not nearly enough to really get the hang of it. His notebook was his lifeline right now, meticulously taking notes of every event, every addition, every condition. Then at the end of the line comes the “product confrontation”, where he’d pick his favourite brew and go through the pages and pages of notes on that particular produce to see what had made this produce different from all the others. That’s a learning curve for you. That’s how to make money in here, in the long run. For now the brews just needed a few more days of rest.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom



Turn 6 (1) - By Mutaes guidance – [726 words]
Suddenly strangely aware of himself, as if looking at himself from the outside, Victor couldn’t help but wonder what others would think if they saw him like this right now. Victor had always been the odd one out in his youth and adolescence, but never quite as strange as right now. He was clad and armed like a butcher, in an attempt to ‘Mould’ himself a new beast. Bigger, better, stronger than his previous one, more befitting of a god that he’d only learned of a year ago. Who’d have thought he’d be here doing this right now?

His operating table, indeed his operating room, was covered in blood and gore. All around him there were powerful glyphs carved into the floor, pulsating with black energy. They seemed to actively soak up the crimson blood, as if feeding on the life force contained within it to power their ancient magic. Victor smiled a wicked grin. Indeed he had been blessed by Mutae, he could clearly feel his power increasing with each passing day. He was feeling more energised, more inspired than ever, since he had started genuinely worshipping Mutae.

He knew now that he should no longer resist his mind being drawn back to his time with Grysharin the Necromancer. This was clearly a gift from Mutae, guiding his every thought on his path towards greatness in her name. The realisation had struck him without warning, about a week ago. He had just downed one of his more peculiar brews from the first batch when all of a sudden a number of pieces fell together in his mind: Suddenly it was obvious to him that everything in his life, every failure and every desperate flight had been building up to his life here. This was not just the next dead track in his life, this was the culmination of all that he could ever hope to be. He now envisioned all of his old adventures, which had seemed like unrelated events to him at the time, to all be small streams adding up to the majestic river that was his career in Hell Pit.

Of course, he wasn’t quite finished here yet. He had yet to win his first pitfight, and it would be a while before he truly stood in the favour of Mutae. But he had a start now, a clear objective and more importantly some self-respect. Mutae would guide his hand and his mind, and with her help he was sure he would get there eventually. It seemed that he had been taking the long route so far, but it was evident that the longer the run-up was, the further he would jump. Over the course of the past week he had run on minimal sleep and food, his faith more than enough to sustain him. He had written a book on his newfound insights, which had seen some interest from his Nekrocultist fellows and earned him some tokens.

It was cold. It always seemed to be cold around these parts of the land. The ground between the trees was covered in ice and the ground itself was frozen. The ramshackle hut that Grysharin and Victor called home served better as a landmark than as shelter. The basement wasn’t much warmer, but at least it kept the winds’ icy fingers out.

Victor had recently learned that the life energy stored within a living being grows less over time, like a clock ticking away the seconds of your life. By the time all the energy is depleted, you naturally die. Simultaneously this means that the younger the donor is, and the better the shape they are in, the more lifeforce can be obtained from sacrificing them. Victor had experienced this in his last couple of sacrificial ceremonies as an entirely new and intense sensation in the base of his brain, where the neck meets the head. He had literally sensed his mind moving up to make space for the soul passing through, his whole body a conduit for the life energy. The soul was preserved and extracted by the arcane silver piercer, amplified by the glyphs crafted into the altar and given shape and destination through the complex ritual that had been performed. The girl was dead, but her life force was transplanted into a creature too terrible to imagine. And now it rose.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom




Turn 6 (2) - Quadruple X [406 words]
Victor increased his pace in anticipation, elbowing his way past a number of rodents who didn’t have the sense to get out of the way at his approach. Clasped tightly under his arm was a rare copy of a book he very much had a desire to read. It concerned the history of a race of Dwarves from some alternate plane of existence, the Albed. Although the Albed themselves were of little immediate interest to Victor, he was hoping to catch glimpses of the brewing process of their infamous XXXX beer, reportedly the strongest ale ever invented. Guided by their King Guldan and a silver maned dwarf named Greg they invented and perfected the brewing of this most delicious of fluid gold.

Taking extreme care not to be followed, in spite of his eagerness to get to his lab quickly, he took a great many detours and doubling back on his own tracks. By now he was quite getting the hang of the labyrinthine tunnels of Hell Pit, and he had had experienced no trouble at all shaking off the most ardent trailers. All in all this process made his tour at least fifteen minutes longer, but he couldn’t take any risks.

As he stepped into the hallway of his lab, he could barely hold his anticipation. Still he had tasks to perform before being allowed to indulge himself into the book that would hopefully have an answer to his perfecting his brewing skills. Placing the two fist thick book carefully on a small wooden table, he checked up on his own assorted brews. The chilled brews of the second batch were now slowly developing gas, hopefully indicating the growth of yeast colonies in the vats. He had gone to great lengths to keep these two brews in particular extremely sterile, making sure no bacteria would outgrow what little yeast was in there.

Content that his brews were still safely developing, he poured himself a glass of crisp clean water. Sitting down on his most comfortable chair, a fresh candle by his side to assist him through the night, he put down his feet on the table and the book on his lap. Opening the index pages, he groaned. Flicking through the rest of the book revealed that the rest of it was in runes, too. He slapped his head against his forehead and went to bed, unable to read whatever secrets the Albed had uncovered.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom


A voice from thousands of years ago.. Turn 7 story (1) [709 words]

“YES!! AGAIN!” Victor yelled, “HARDER! DEEPER!”. He wasn’t sure if Nicolaus could hear him at all over the noise of the gathered crowd, but he felt the need to urge the dwarf on anyway. Nicolaus had just stabbed Peggy in the heart with his warp-blade; that was bound to hurt, but it wasn’t enough. Peggy was still alive and kicking; kicking with its hooves that is. And that snake-tail had already bitten Nicolaus in the neck! Nicolaus was bleeding profusely, and Victor wasn’t sure if he could hold out much longer.

“OOWHH!!” A loud cheer rose up from the crowd as Peggy’s snake-tail attacked the rat body. Victor couldn’t help but cheer along. “Now! STAB IT NICK!” Much to Victors delight, Nicolaus heaved his warp-blade and slashed it across and into Peggy’s pegasus body. The panicked pain-wrecked whinnying, blood frothing from Peggy’s snout, it was pure music to Victors ears. Peggy crashed to the floor with a deliciously loud thump, having lost too much blood to stand upright anymore. Victory was theirs! Brrx the packmaster hurriedly patched up the worst of Peggy’s wounds while Nicolaus returned to Victor the victor.

The dwarf grimaced as he shuffled over to where Victor was standing. Clearly the bite was worse than it had seemed to be at first. “Careful now Nick, I’ll take care of you in the lab.” “Ye had better ye hairless monster. I ain’t fightin’ no more of yer battles fer ye if ye don’t.” Victor grinned. Nicolaus had always been a grumpy dwarf, but he’d gotten all the worse when he woke up with a pair of hairy skaven arms one day. Victor made some easy money selling signatures to a small gang of groupies.

Some hours later Victor wiped his hands clean with his butchers apron. He had cleaned the neck wound to the best of his abilities and stitched the wound. He didn’t think this particular snake had been venomous, or else Nicolaus was just very lucky. He wrapped the neck and shoulder in a cloth bandage and returned to his personal shrine to thank Mutae for his victory. The shrine was, for now, little more than a corner of his living room dedicated purely to Mutae. As he knelt down and turned his attention to the Futuremother he was immediately struck with a gulf of divine inspiration. For a moment this left him dazed, but soon enough his mind was racing; he could almost literally sense the flows of energy coursing through his head. Mutae be blessed, this is marvellous!

The very next day he hurried himself to the library, again. The library was quickly growing out to be his favourite place in all of hellpit recently. He spent the rest of the day reading about ancient civilisations, their habits, their rituals, their customs. He was particularly interested in their magical incantations, for theirs was a civilisation that had approached magic in a manner quite unlike the Imperial Schools of Magic, and even much unlike Grysharins necromantic rituals. Still Victor believed that there was much to be learned from the Nehekharans. Their methods for preserving bones and bodily functions over countless millennia were truly fascinating. It seemed to Victor that the elaborately described methods of mummification, the inscription of hieroglyphs on the bandages and the rituals performed around them must have been of paramount significance. Of particular interest to Victor was a truly ancient tome, written by a relatively minor Liche Priest named Sharam Akhmet. Akhmet described in great detail the meaning of many powerful glyphs on parchment that was so dry that it cracked and crumbled at the slightest touch.

Deep into the night he put his book away, being a little bit wiser and a lot more inspired. He wasted no time and inscribed a bundle of linen with hieroglyphs, painstakingly copied to meticulous detail from the descriptions of Sharam Akhmet. He wasn’t quite sure if he was getting it just right, but that is the fate of the experimenter. Tomorrow he would replace Nicolaus’ mundane bandage with this newly empowered and improved bundle of bandages, and carefully note the progress and developments..

Mutaes gift is the gift of progress, change and directed evolution. His newfound interest was certainly going to please her..
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom


Bad trip Turn 7 story (2) [311 words]
Victor stumbled. He tried to grab hold of a nearby pole, but missed. The world was swaying wildly underneath his feet. Product confrontation with product b5;23y3;7w5h1;10 did not appear to be ending very well. Yeast variant #3 was apparently the cause of.. unwanted side products. Side products that went straight to the head and appeared to be somehow toxic or otherwise addling his brains. He bent double and regurgitated his supper all over the earthen floor of his living room. Damn.. he was going to regret that later.

Slowly the world was stopping its swaying, but his new status wasn’t much better. He was seeing.. things. Things that he was fairly sure weren’t really there. Purple umbrellas crawling up the walls, yellow elephants playing cards and dancing ants. Incapable of helping himself he turned to the breeder Skaven with no arms who was visibly terrified, crawling back into the corner of her cell.

“Hello little lady! Lattle lidy!
Rattling rat
don’t cower like that!
I wouldn’t do you no harm
except taking your arms.

I will tell you the secrets of life, you know. Here you go.

Knowledge is knowing that tomato is a fruit
Wisdom is not putting it in with your fruit salad
Philosophy is pondering whether that makes ketchup a smoothie

Look there, quickly now,
yellow elephants bellowing below
That may not rhyme
but perhaps it will some day, given time.

They trumpet their trunks
and will smash us to chunks
if we don’t join them soon
in their cardgame caroon.
So come my dear
play some cards with us here
I will help you hold your cards
and you’ll be the queen of hearts.
This is where it all starts
our tale that will be sung by thousand million bards
for years to come
of the clattering armless lady and the naked rat with his fat bum.”
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom




Towards perfection we strive Turn 8 story (1) [713 words]
Recently Victor had been pondering about biological clocks, the human body type. It had always been his assumption that the sleeping/waking cycle was largely determined by the concurrent night/day cycle. Obviously there is no day and night cycle on a huge rock floating through the Warp, for lack of a sun, and hence this was the perfect moment to test his theories. It turns out that without a natural day and night cycle, the human body still needs to rest regularly. This is perhaps no surprise, but Victor had noticed that he and all others around him had adopted an individual sleep and wake rhythm, as orchestrated by their individual bodies. It seemed to him that there was some naturally occurring flux of tiredness and alertness that was a perfect fit to each individual’s needs. That is to say, he had noticed that his natural cycle was somewhere around 28h, leading to him requiring less sleep than he had needed in the past.

On the other hand this had led – over time – to a somewhat asynchronously living society here in hellpit. There were definitely those with an 18-20h cycle, and there were those like Victor with a much longer cycling time, and everything in between. This had the annoying side effect that it was very possible for two neighbours to live in completely different timezones: One goes to sleep when the other just wakes up, and vice versa. He presumed that this effect, which he had recently dubbed the Hohenfeld-effect, was the cause of his companion’s bleary eyes. The rat with whom he had made an appointment had already downed three double ratspressos but wasn’t looking any better because of it.

They had met up in a local bar, for neither of them had been willing to invite the other to their own labs. Yes they had become somewhat friendly with one another recently, and they had ascertained that they had largely common objectives, but that was no reason at all to let your guard down. In fact if a rat is rubbing up to you, it’s that time of the season when you’re extra careful. That reminded him that seasons, weeks, months have no meaning either. Regardless, a handful of Tokens had changed hands and both parties were hoping that this was enough to ascertain themselves of the good intentions of the other.

Victor had weighed his options carefully. Of course he had considered defaulting on his end of the bargain, but clearly so had his companion. The deal as it stood left little room for trickery: A periodical but small piece of information, in return for a periodical but small fee in Tokens. That way either of them could at most default on a small proportion of the deal.

And so it happened that Victor and his companion met up on a daily basis. Or at least on a regular basis, given the aforementioned lack of defined days and nights. First they met in public places, counting on the murmur of Rosko’s Pub to cover their talks, confident that nobody could make out any too sensitive information over the chattering of the crowd. Later, when the information started becoming really sensitive, and more valuable because of it, they moved to more secluded locations. By the end of their agreement they were regular visitors to the other’s personal laboratories, and you could say that some form of friendship had grown between them based on mutual trust and respect. Victor had worked hard, very hard indeed, to acquire his end of the deal, and he parted dearly with it, but the pay-out was significant and he desperately needed this. Besides, he figured that his newfound friendship was perhaps more valuable than whatever else he had gotten out of this deal.

The rest of his time was spent practicing. If he wanted to stay ahead of the competition, if he wanted to have an edge in information that he could sell or keep to himself at his discretion, he would have to keep improving his skills. And so he practiced. He practiced day after long day in pursuit of perfection. For in perfection the master is distinguished from the pupil. In perfection the eternal is separated from the fleeting. In perfection lies the divine.


If only I had more.. Turn 8 story (2) [368 words]
After last month’s debacle with the product confrontation Victor was a tad hesitant to imbibe this week’s brew. His mug was trembling ever so slightly as he brought it to his lips. He wasn’t at all sure if this experimental brewing procedure could yield toxic or even fatally toxic products. He had used a new yeast strain, which he had acquired from a particularly good-looking female just down the street.. In hindsight he probably shouldn’t have trusted her, it was too much of a coincidence. The brew that he was staring into right now was dark brown in colour, with hints of chestnut and oak to the smell. Not unpleasant.

He decided to take the risk and took a sip. The brew had just the right amount of gas, tingling to his tongue and palate. The initial taste reminded him of the dark tones of stew and chocolate. It was quite sweet to the tongue, the tastes after a couple of seconds ever so gently unfolding to reveal the subtle tastes of oranges. Having swallowed his first sip, concoction #32 developed onto a pleasantly bitter aftertaste, returning to the earlier chocolate tones this time intermingled with the suggestion of almond that lingered for well over a minute before slowly fading away.

By Mutae, this was delicious! Victory at last!

After only two hours, he had finished the last dregs of his newly found masterbrew. The sensation was comfortably numbing, without being excessively inebriating. Apparently, it was quite low on alcohol. More importantly, the beer didn’t appear to satiate at all. Having downed well over three gallon by now, Victor would know. His mind was alert enough to realise that he could make a veritable fortune off of this particular brew. A beer that is delicious, but that makes the customers constantly beg for more, but that doesn’t inebriate them or instigates pub brawls. What more could a pub owner wish for?

Of course, there was the problem that he hadn’t seen the mysterious lady with her wonderful yeast strain ever since. And his stock was already depleted, leaving him only with the two barrels he had left. He would have to find a way to track her down..
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom



Breakthrough! Turn 9 story [819 words]
Victor stood still for a moment, leaning heavily into a nearby wall. He was in the lower areas of Hellpit, in a place where he’d never been before. In fact he was fairly sure that nobody had come here for countless years. The dark and narrow corridor that he found himself in was deserted, covered in rubble and hard to traverse. He used his handkerchief to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Having no eyebrows or eyelashes meant that the salty sweat was already stinging his eyes more than he liked.

He was wearing a simple leather suit to protect him from the worst of the environment, a simple one-handed sword at his side, torch in hand. He’d never been much of a fighter, but it was better to come prepared. Nicolaus the grumpy dwarf was a few paces ahead of him, and had proven to be a most useful addition to this two man expedition. They’d been beset on all sides by rats, tunnelrushers and beasts much worse than that. At one point a pillar that had looked solid enough had collapsed on them, and it was only through sheer luck and Nick’s intervention that they had gotten out alive and pretty much unscathed.

“Hold on Nick, give me a breather.” He whispered because he didn’t want to attract any more nastiness to their presence. The dwarf waited, clearly impatient for his unfit master. Slowly, carefully and ever so gently, Victor produced an ancient scroll from his rucksack. The papyrus was brittle and ill-suited for the rollercoaster ride they were making. Already some of the corners had broken off, pulverised by the rough handling. The map wasn’t very detailed. In fact it was more a puzzle than a map, the scarce sketches interspersed with pictograms and texts in rare ancient scripts. When first he encountered it he had skipped over it, but the book it had previously been a part of had referenced the page so much that it had made him curious. It had taken him well over five months to figure out that it was a map in the first place, let alone translate it.

So far his interpretations of the puzzle had been pretty much spot on, even though some of them had been wild guesses. They had found and followed secret passageways, battled through magical wardens, lost most of their gear to a crocodile attack and crawled miles through what seemed to be a long deserted sewer system. With every challenge they overcame, Victor grew more ascertained that they were indeed on the right track. However, just when he had started becoming really pleased with himself, they had ended up in this spot. By his interpretation of the scriptures they should now be standing in a wide circular room, presumably with a number of statues along the edges. What he saw was the same old dark and narrow corridor that they had been in for hours now. They shouldn’t falter now, they had to press on.

“Just a little further my friend! We are nearly there!”
- “Ya better tell meh what we’re suppose’ ta be lookin’ fer ya bald mongrel. It better be somethin’ good or I rip yer balls off, stick ‘em in a stew and feed ‘em ta yer mother.”
“Oh it’ll be good, don’t you worry.” He ignored the rest of the grumping, for they both knew that Nicolaus wouldn’t follow up on his empty threats. For starters, Victors mother died thirty years ago.

They shuffled on carefully, weary of any further booby-traps that may lay in this deserted part of Hellpit. After a few more minutes they came to a dead end. Victor lifted his torch to see if there weren’t any secret passages, or passages temporarily blocked by fallen debris. It all looked like solid stone to him though. Well.. crap.

Just when he’d lost all hope and his torch had nearly burned up, Nicolaus kicked a stone away out of frustration. Victor could hear the dwarf’s toe break and he stamped and howled in pain. “Silence you f-“ before he could finish his sentence the floor collapsed underneath them both with a thunderous roar. For a moment his world consisted of shrapnel hitting him in the face, stones trying to pierce his skin and a large boulder landing on his ribcage. He heaved and with great pain he removed the boulder, certain that he’d broken more than a couple of his ribs. Nicolaus seemed to had fared much better, already wiping the dust from his clothes and face.

Through his rasped breathing, Victor could make out the large room that he suddenly found himself in. It was wide, it was circular, and along the edges were no less than two dozen statues. Heureka, they’d found it! There, in the midst of the room on meter high finely designed pillar stood their prize: Krashintopha’s ritually enchanted sacrificial dagger.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
Eom


Back in business Turn 11 story [708 words]
“Look into the light”
“I can’t!”
“Look into the light boy!”
With a yank his master forced Victors face towards the light. It was an unnaturally bright light of green and light blue. Victor could feel his masters hand on his cheek, it was drier than parchment. The other hand was holding the wand from which the light emanated, some ten centimetres from his face. His eyes were tearing from the brightness of the light, he couldn’t bear it. He was blinded, and he thought he would remain blind forever.
“Look closely into the light. Find the secret it is hiding. Can you see it? What do you see?”
“I.. I see nothing. It hurts!”
“Look better.”
Staring into the light for a couple more seconds, it seemed to Victor that the light was starting to pulse. Slowly but ever so surely he started to recognise shapes. Shapes that didn’t make sense to him, and they disappeared as soon as he tried to focus his attention on them.
“There’s.. I see shapes! Shapes in the light!”

With a rasping snarl the light was suddenly gone, leaving the pair of them in the absolute darkness of the dungeon.
“I have no further use for you.”
The notion was as monotone and emotionless as it was painful and frightening. What does a necromancer do when he has no further use for his young apprentice? Victor heard Grysharin walk away, leaving him alone with his thoughts and fears in the darkness.
The pitch black darkness crept up on young Victor. The light was all gone, but the burn in his eyes lingered. Every time he blinked, visions appeared to his mind’s eye. Visions that didn’t make sense to him. Terrifying visions. He could see the silhouette of a man whose head burst into parts, tentacles sprouting from his brains and reorganising the shattered remnants of the skull into small islands. There was a prancing horse with talons for hooves. Foetal twins with rat heads ripping each other to tiny chunks. And in the midst of it all was a fat man with a long robe and a magic wand.

---
With a startled kick Victor awoke, hanging uncomfortably in his armchair in his lab. Cold sweat was on his neck and his back, his heart was racing. But it was okay. He was here and Grysharin was but a memory. Victor had been seriously ill for the past month now. His memories were an odd mixture of waking in pain and nonsensical dreams.
It was about time he shook it off and headed into the outside world to find out what he had missed in the meantime. Right before illness had struck him, the talk of the town had been about the Great Hunt. He could only hope he hadn’t missed it. For now though, a drink.

The game was on again. He’d walked his usual round past Rosko’s, the Beady Eyes tavern, the Slibbering Slime, the market square. He had attended a number of gatherings of fellow Nekrokultists. Some of them were happy to see him again, others.. apparently less so. He had noticed two young skaven skidding off in opposite directions at his approach. It seemed as if somebody wanted to be warned if Victor ever did return. Interesting tidbits of information. He had learned that indeed he was too late to join any hunting parties, which was a big shame given the fact that the Hunt was rumoured to be bountiful. At the same time though, he figured he could well use the absence of many of his fellow moulders for other personal purposes..

The coins ringing in his pouch betrayed that he had done good business today. He had met many people, and some of them were very interested in hearing what he had to say. Being out of the running for over a month does not serve an information runner well, but some news simply never gets old. He considered it good practice to always keep some such news items unmentioned anywhere, just in case he needed some extra coin. Such a time was now. On the way back to his lab his mind was already racing to puzzle together his newly acquired information, cash and contacts.
Victor von Hohenfeld
Losses: 7
Wins: 11

Tournament wins:
Execution of Ikkilit
Offline
 
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