Friday, September 27, 2013

Gurden One Hand

Excerpts from the Codex of Aihrde

As the war raged on a host of goblins, led now by demons of the Red God, came to the gates of Magdul-Hohle in the Rhodope Mountains and called for the King to come forth.

He did. Gurden King, One Hand, was the first of his line by that name and had ruled in Magdul-Hohle for more than a century. He bore a double-headed hammer, the symbol of his house, laced with runes of power. He wore a small, heavy, iron helm, but carried no shield for he had lost his hand in the Kinship Disputes. A bronze plate, greaves for the arms and legs, and a skirt of chain served him for armor. He looked over the horde as they chittered and howled. When he spoke his voice carried the weight of stone and promise of death. "I am Gurden King." His words silenced the host. "Be off my doorstep, or suffer for it."

A foul looking demon, twisted coils of gray and fang, crept forward on many legs. "And what sufferance can you give oh Gurden One-Hand? Leave off my doorstep and begone from my halls lest you suffer for it."

Gurden unstrapped his hammer and dropped it to the ground between them, the fall of it shook the earth, and tis the said the echo carried even to the world within the world and made the dragon Inzae turn in her slumber. "Come closer foul one. I did not hear you clearly."

Fear took the creature and it coiled in upon itself, hissing softly, so that only these words were heard, "Not yours to command, One-Hand."

"Speak clearly foul one."

The demon leapt high, screeching madness and fear. Its voice echoed the deep torment of the Wretched Plains and the wild rage of the Red God. All lesser men quailed at the sound of it, goblins and dwarves and demons alike. But Gurden One-Hand did not flinch, nor did he move. Not until the demon closed upon him, did he move. Tearing his helm from his head he smote the demon such a blow with it, that the creature's head exploded in a curtain of misty gore and shattered bone and there it died.

Howling their rage, more demons rushed the King and he smote a second and third with his helm, crushing them to ruin. But even so, they threatened to overwhelm him and throwing the helm aside he took up his hammer. This he swung wild above him, and all about him were lifted into the air and hurled into the rock and walls and ground to dust, for the rune-bound hammer unleashed a wave of elemental creatures and they howled in the glee of destruction.

Cleared of foes Gurden One-Hand placed the hlem back upon his head and sounded his armies to attack and all along the road, doors were flung wide and tunnels opened and the dwarven host came forth, falling upon the goblins on all sides. At first the dwarves had them, clearing the road to the gates, but more came over the high walls of the ridge lines and attacked them from above. More came up the road and pressed them hard and they climbed up the steep cliffs and onto the road from that direction as well. For two days and nights they fought upon the road and the dwarves were wasted in the end, their numbers depleted.

Gurdon One-Hand called his people into the halls, but too late for the gates were forced and the goblins inside. All the upper halls were ravaged and many put to cruel deaths before the King and his soldiery dislodged them and shut the gates agains them.

So the goblins had the victory though they did not take the Kingdom. And such was the destruction that Gurdon One-Hand wrought upon his foes that from that day to this, the goblins fear the thought of him and the hammer and helm he bore in battle.

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