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Author Topic: Cethire Chantroots the Snarling Crab  (Read 316 times)

PineMarten

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Cethire Chantroots the Snarling Crab
« on: July 10, 2019, 05:35:04 pm »

It was the age of the Roc and the Mountain Titan and the Dwarven nation of the Humble Stockade was experiencing a dramatic resurgence under the growth of the Fortress Othildastot, Weakenswords.

For 139 years Dwarves had been absent in the Bold Land, driven deep, deep underground by the combined force of the rapidly growing powers of the Goblin civilization of The Strange Demon and the Elven civilization of The Palm Island of Sweltering. Then in the year 250 a small party of seven outcast Dwarves resolved to found a new fortress in the uninhabited savage grasslands of the Somber Plains. There, far from the corrupting influences of the sneering Elves and grinning Goblins these seven Dwarves began the long and arduous process of rebuilding a civilization. They soon appointed a new queen, who would eventually defy the early deaths of her predecessors and become the longest reigning monarch the Humble Stockade had seen in 200 years. 

These intrepid Dwarves delved quickly and deeply far into the heart of the Earth. They set up a small, temporary outpost when they struck a layer of caverns densely carpeted by all manner of fungal growth. Here they would bide their time while more and more Dwarves from all around the world flocked to their banner. Unfortunately, when Dwarves (a species long since thought to be extinct by the other sentient races of the world) were seen emerging from their miserable hideaways in the Eastern mountains and marching to the far South-West grasslands, others could not help but notice. 

Some were friendly and sympathetic to the Dwarves plight. Human trade caravans arrived regularly to bring news and goods to the Dwarves of Weakenswords. The Goblins appeared occupied in their own petty squabbling and infighting, and the Kobolds had long since been eradicated. However, the immortal Elves had not forgotten the wars of ages past. The War of Cudgels, begun in the year 102 and responsible for the destruction of the last few Dwarven Citadels in the East, continued to this day. The Elves marched from their great and populous forest retreats of the North in great hordes, bent on once again snuffing out every last Dwarven hearth. They marched with numerous exotic and frightening war-beasts in tow; Grizzly Bears, Jaguars, Camels, and other such abominations dredged from their forests and "natural places" that they loved so. However, the Dwarves of Weakenswords were not like the weak and tired Dwarves of the past. They had prepared for this occasion and steeled their minds against the possibility of ever letting Dwarvenkind return to the torturous lows it had already suffered through. Their honor demanded it.

So, when the Elven war host numbering in the hundreds began the assault on Weakenswords their war-beasts and great numbers did nothing to aid them. As the Dwarven scythe cut through their ranks their war-beasts fled in terror. Their unnumbered hordes of wood-clad recruits trampled each other in their desperate attempt to escape the fast-approaching slaughter. Those who were not shredded instantly by the mechanically precise and readied Dwarven fighting Machine were captured in cages of iron and transported to a prison deep underground, beneath the Magma Sea so that they would never again lay eyes upon their beloved nature.

And yet, the Elves did not relent. Year after year, season after season, Eves poured forth eternally from their innumerable hideaways. The burden of these constant pressures grew so great that although each Elven siege was in its turn slaughtered, the resolve of Weakenswords began to flag. 

It was now, when the strength of the Dwarves was already beginning to decay, that an ancient force of nature journeyed from its lair in the mountains to attack Weakenswords. Not even the mystical sages and prophets could know what had prompted the beast to awake from its slumber. Perhaps it had some ancient link with the Elves? Perhaps it resented the Dwarves relentless tunneling into the ground? More likely it was simply an animalistic lust for blood. Either way, it did not matter. For the Mountain Titan Cethire Chantroots the Snarling Crab had come. A great quadruped with enormous folded wings, he was unlike any natural creature that presisted to the modern day. He was believed to have been instrumental in the Gods creation of the world, and his power was so great that he had been recognized in the very name of the current age. The very ground seemed to warp and twist where he stepped, as if it was recognizing the primal sway that the Titan had over the natural world. After loosing a great howling roar the Titan took off into the air and rocketed towards the main entrance into Weakenswords. The Captain of the Guard and the Militia Commander quickly conferred on the appropriate course of action. After a brief moment off hurried discussion it was decided that the Titan must be confronted in the secondary entrance, where greater abundance of traps and defensive fortifications might aid the defenders. The cry rang out: "Shut the main gate! All soldiers of the squads the Tufted silver and the Ends Crafts reports to the central staircase!" Prompted by this order a great flurry of action began. Civilians flattened themselves to the wall to allow the expedient passage of the soldiers who were rushing up from the main fortress to a position closer to the surface. The Queen herself broke into a sprint and charged towards the lever that would close the main gate. With all her strength she tugged on the heavy diorite lever and forced the creaking mechanisms into movement.

 The gate slammed shut just before the Titan reached it. With an angry snarl the Titan turned and barreled towards the secondary entrance. The soldiers watched from a secure position as the Titan approached the lines of traps. They gasped in horror as it deftly evaded them and continued on its way. They all now turned to the leaders of their squads, their expressions hardened and resolute. They must confront the Titan directly. The front line charged the Titan, and the front line fell. Ensnared by clinging strands of web shot from the Titans gibbering mouth they were helpless as one by one the Titan dispatched them. Seeing the carnage ahead the Captain of the Guard rallied the last two soldiers remaining and hastily retreated down to the fortress. As the Titan prowled restlessly above, destroying furniture as it pleased and slowly working its way ever closer to the core of the fortress.

When the Captain of the Guard and the two remaining soldiers returned to the grand meeting hall and relayed the horrible news to the crowd pandemonium ensued. This horrific defeat was made worse because each of the lost soldiers had been a master of his or her chosen weapon, legendary in skill. These had been Weakenswords greatest heroes who had slain countless enemies in the past, adding to the honor of their illustrious squads. Who in Weakenswords was left who could possibly match their bravery and skill? 

The Captain of the Guard took charge of the situation and issued a flurry of orders. The Queen was rushed away deeper into the fortress by the fawning, swirling group of courtiers that surrounded her perpetually. A small group of brave masons shouldered diorite blocks and hurried up the central staircase where they hoped to construct a wall between the core fortress and the Titan. One Dwarf –a miner in fact- stood silently and calmly in the corner of the room sipping a mug of ale, thinking. 

The small band of masons knew that they would have to move quickly, for if the Titan were to make it into the core fortress, none of the Dwarves would escape its wrath. They employed the full extent of their skill in their trade as together they assembled the wall at lightning speed. They were just expending the last of their concerted effort to heave the final block into place when a rumbling, popping laugh echoed down the stairs from above. This galvanized the steadfast masons to pour the entirety of their strength into the endeavor. They were just sliding it into position when the Titan appeared, twisting and barreling downwards and around the central column of the stairway. Before they could finish sealing the block in place the titan had slammed into the wall. The Titan howled in pain before pressing its eye to the wall. The masons, thrust into this position as they were, lost all cohesion. Some fled in terror back down the stairway, and others simply stood their staring transfixed at the enormous menacing milky eye staring through a crack in the wall. The Titan used the claws on its front legs to further gouge the imperfections in the unfinished wall and pry it apart. The wall soon shattered and fell to pieces under the unstoppable strength of this primeval monster. Those Masons that had stayed behind soon fell to the whirling, chaotic, unthinking rage of the Titan. Their mutilated corpses did not amuse it for long.

Hearing the screams of the doomed masons above a senseless terror swept across the assembled population below. Even the Captain of the Guard seemed lost and aimless in the wake of the extraordinary calamity and consequence of the situation. Amidst the swirling madness of the terrified crowd, one Dwarf left her brooding position in the corner of the room and decisively climbed atop the enormous diorite table in the center of the room. This Dwarf silenced the room by thrice slamming the handle of his pickaxe firmly into the table. “Silence! Quiet your whining cowardice! We must not allow this monster to destroy all that we have carved from the earth here! If we are to fail, all prospect of a future for the Dwarves will be lost. Follow me and we will deliver wrath and ruin to this beast or die and join our ancestors in the presence of the gods. Our deeds here will be forever recorded in the illustrious history of our greatest heroes! Come, to our destiny!” She raised her pick and rushed up the stairway towards the rapidly approaching sound of the Titan with a bellow of vengeful fury. Those able-bodied Dwarves present joined their voices to hers in a unanimous expression of their courage and intention and charged upwards to her side. 

These suicidally brave Dwarves had no training in the arts of war, most had nothing but their bare hands with which to confront the juggernaut ahead. With a crash the Titan was in the midst of the impromptu Dwarven army. The thrashing intense madness of the combat left many Dwarves broken and dying on the steps of the bloody stairway. In this enclosed space the Titan was unable to utilize its formidable webs, leaving the battle to be decided purely by sinew and bone. Even as their comrades fell among them, even as their limbs and weapons shattered, even as they were slowly pushed ever down the stairway by the unmatchable might of the Titan, the Dwarves fought on, until eventually green Titan ichor began to mx with the Dwarven blood and run in streams down the stairway. The situation seemed hopeless. Summoning the last of her failing strength she threw herself upon the titan pickaxe in hand. She struggled valiantly with it before she found that it moved no more. The many scratches, bruises, and gashes across its body had bled the beast to death. 

The stunned Dwarves stood silently, staring at the mountainous corpse. They could hardly believe that they had felled the beast where highly trained soldiers had failed to even land a hit. Cethire Chantroots the Snarling Crab was dead, and the Age of the Mountain Titan was over. 

For many days the Dwarves rejoiced, praising the bravery of the Dwarves who had dared to challenge the monster. The miner who had rallied the Dwarves to the cause of slaying the beast was forever after known as the Savior of Weakenswords and venerated for her heroism. The loss had been great, for more than 25 honest Dwarves were interred in their ancestral tomes that day, and many more left with life-long crippling injuries. The Dwarves of Weakenswords would have to work hard to recover from the rampage, but they would recover and face again their many foes.

When the hated Elves returned, they would find the Dwarves imbued with a new sense of boundless purpose.

-----

This story is based on a game I recently played. Not all the details are accurate, but the gist of the story is true. I legitimately thought that my fortress was going to be wiped out, so when a random miner managed to slay the titan, I was super happy. I hope you enjoyed the story! Any criticisms, questions, or suggestions are welcome.
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Meng Lolorked

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Re: Cethire Chantroots the Snarling Crab
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 01:35:45 am »

I have one, simple suggestion: write more! That story was awesome!  :D
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PineMarten

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Re: Cethire Chantroots the Snarling Crab
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 09:59:47 am »

Thank you for the compliment!
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