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“So if you put that one over there…”

“…and I put this one here…”

“No, don’t put that there, it’ll fall over!”

“I know what I’m doing you know!”

“You don’t know what you’re doing, clearly. Just let me do it.”

“Fine, you do it, then when it collapses we’ll all laugh at you.”

“There look, perfectly stable.”

“After you then.”

“No, no, ladies first.”

“No, I insist.”

“Just let me, I’m the only one who can open that Trapdoor anyway.”

“By all means”

*THUMP*

“It doesn’t sound like Orcs,” said the first Guardsman, listening intently with his ear pressed firmly to the trapdoor.

“Don’t be fooled,” said the second Guardsman, “It’s obviously Goblins being sneaky. Listen to them fighting amongst themselves, dead giveaway that.”

*THUMP*

“It’s not budging”

“Well of course it’s not budging, you didn’t put your full weight behind it”

*THUMP*

“I’m not sure it’s going to hold you know,” said the first Guardsman, looking nervously at the heavy wooden beam across the top of the trapdoor.

*THUMP*

“It’ll hold,” said the second Guardsman, “That beam is four inches thick.”

*THUMP*

“On second thoughts,” said the second Guardsman, “Why don’t I run and get the Captain?”

“What and leave me here on my own to deal with a horde of rampaging Orcs and Goblins?” replied the first Guardsman.

“You think we can deal with them together?” asked the second Guardsman.

The first Guardsman pondered this for a second, “…be quick then.”

*THUMP*

The Captain arrived shortly after with a small company to see the first Guardsman sat on the trapdoor, mopping his brow with sweat.

“What do you think you’re doing soldier? Stand at attention!” he commanded.

“Apologies Sir,” the first Guardsman said, standing and saluting. He glanced nervously down at the trapdoor. The Captain followed his gaze and saw the four inch thick beam nearly broken in half.

“What is going on in here?” the Captain said authoritatively.

“Well…” the first Guardsman started.

*CRASH*

The beam gave way with a mighty explosion of splinters as the trapdoor was flung open. Dust flew around the room causing spontaneous coughing to break out amongst the men of the company. As the dust settled, a grim visage of muscle coated in dried blood and black soot began to claw his way out of the hole.

The Barbarian looked up, seeing 10 burly men dressed in heavy plate armour and clad in wolf fur, carrying heavy two-handed warhammers.

“Alright lads, could you give us a hand?”

____________________________________________________________________________

The Ar-Ulric strode towards the tavern house. As supreme Head of the Cult of Ulric, he was not a common visitor to such places, though he knew they were necessary in a World as cruel and heartless as this. This was no common visit though. The beast that had been terrorising the City and that his Warriors had been unable to kill for 2 weeks had been slain by a mere 4 Warriors. Who they were and how they got here however was a much more worrying tale.

A crowd had gathered around the inn as the Ar-Ulric strode through it. Inside he saw the Warriors bound in captivity, their weapons and possessions confiscated. As he entered, he saw looks of defiance in their eyes.

“I know your tale,” he said with a deep resonant voice, “and I do not believe it. You say you were sent on a quest to recover the lost axe of Grimcrag Grunsson, found the remains of Lord Ungrunn Grunsson, met an Orc Shaman who could summon Minotaurs and vanish at will, a Necromancer who you killed and who rose again in front of you, entered a gate from which you travelled 100 leagues from the Southlands to the Northern Empire and somehow managed to free the lost King Grimcrag Grunsson who had been turned to stone by the Cockatrice which has been plaguing our City, turning my soldiers to stone, from whose unfortunate bodies you made a tower to climb out of the Cellar we had it trapped in.”

The Warriors still stared up defiantly.

“Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds?” the Ar-Ulric said in astonishment. “These are times of great evil, the omens point to the end of all things. War is approaching from all sides, and it is not beyond the machinations of Chaos to send 4 spies to us from its beating heart.”

“If you do not believe us, look at the name in the book,” said the Wizard.

The other Warriors glanced nervously at the Wizard, who stared defiantly back at the Ar-Ulric.

The Ar-Ulric raised an eyebrow and strode over to the book. It reeked of evil and was bound in human flesh. Quite clearly the work of a madman. With his staff, he reached out to the cover and turned to the front page.

Reading aloud he said, “This book is by ownership the possession of the Son of Ixthod.”

The Wizard coughed and spluttered, “No, no, it said Alberto Laranscheld.”

The other Warriors groaned and hanged their hands.

“Take them to the Dungeons where they shall await execution.”

“Please,” said Short-arse, “Please, just contact Grimcrag Grunsson, he can vouch for all of this.”

“I have already dispatched messengers to Karaz-a-Karak,” replied the Ar-Ulric, “If I receive the official seal of Lord Grunsson before Morrslieb waxes full once more you shall be spared. Until then…”

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