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The mountain road had been long and arduous. He was barely able to keep walking, his legs leaden beneath him. The howl of Wolves was ever-present in the area, and he wondered how long it would take for him to be discovered and devoured.

Curse those rotten gits! He'd nearly managed to obtain the gem from the Chaos Warrior. He didn't know exactly what it did, but if the stunty had come to search for it, it must have been pretty powerful and probably pretty valuable. Still, at least he'd managed to nick an amulet from the dead stunty on the way out of Karak Azgal.

His back still ached from where he'd been struck as the roof caved in on top of him. He'd been lucky to escape really, his magic ring saving him once again. He didn't know any cure spells, and he couldn't find the mushrooms he needed to make up some firebrew, so he'd had to rely on chewing plants he found along the way, hoping one would soothe him. None did.

As he rounded the next bend in the path, he came across a scene of battle. The field was littered with the fresh corpses of Orc and Skaven ratmen alike. Thousands lay dead here. It was the kind of scene those poncy oomans would like to paint for their fancy halls. Skabnoze took a different view on it.

"Zoggin' 'eck!" he said aloud, his voice echoing through the mountains.

At the periphery of his vision he saw a commotion followed by a rumble which echoed back at him. Instinctively, he reached for the ring and put it on, taking cover behind a small cluster of rocks. Peering over the top, he saw a rabble of swift Goblin Wolf Riders careering towards him followed by a brutish horde of Orc Boar Boyz.

He glanced around furtively, wondering if he'd left any trace. His heart sank as he saw bloody footsteps leading to his hiding place.

"Buggrit!" he cursed under his breath.

The Wolf Riders slowed as they approached, parting left and right so as not to be trampled by the much larger Boar Boyz. The Boar Boyz also came to a stop, though not as gracefully as their smaller companions.

A particularly large Orc clambered from his mount and walked towards the rocky outcrop, looking intently at the floor.

"WE KNOWZ YOOR 'ERE!" he shouted, "MITE AS WELL GIV YOORSELF UP!"

Skabnoze sank back against the rock, anxiety growing within him.

"I'M GONNA GIV YOO TO DA COUNT OF FIVE!" the immense Orc shouted. "WUN!"

Skabnoze looked around for a weapon of some sort, anything he could use to clobber those who pusued him.

"TOO!"

What was the use, he couldn't take on this lot by himself.

"FREE!"

He longed for his little den back in Karak Azgal.

"...WOT COMES AFTER FREE!?" the Orc shouted, looking back at his mob. There was a general shaking of heads. "RITE, TIME'S UP DEN!" he concluded.

"Alrite!" said Skabnoze, stepping from behind the rock and removing his ring, "'Ere I am, 'appy now?"

The huge Orc looked Skabnoze up and down.

"Yooz a Shay-min?" he asked.

"Mite be," replied Skabnoze coyly.

"'Ee's a Shay-min, innee?" he asked his mob. The shaking of heads continued.

"Da boss'll wonna speak to yoo," the Orc said, "'ee mite 'ave a little job for ya. 'Ee's got a rat problem see..."

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