Skaven Prelude Part I
“Oy, gobbos arn’t made for dis kinda work, eh Scragz?” one goblin said bracing his lower back.
“Well meybe if ya hadn’t let da orcz eat da stunties who were doin’ da diggin’ for us den we wouldn’t be diggin’ nows, eh Greentoof?” Scragz replied.
“Wes gotta make da orcz git back ta werk so we dont have ta dig anymore, itz their turn eh?”
“Oi ya bigguns!” Scragz called to a dozen savage orcs sitting around a crude meal of cooked rats, “Youz git back ta work now! Da Warboss aint gonna like hearin’ about his orcz gettin’ fat while workin’!”
The orcs grumbled and picked up several picks and hammers and got back to the tunnel wall and began to toil away. For weeks now their Warboss had ordered them to expand the tunnel until they breached a dwarven mineshaft. The orcs and goblins were restless; this wasn’t their type of work. Unfortunately far from ready food supplies, they’d eaten all their slaves who were digging for them and now the workload fell on their shoulders. “Dont worry ladz! We’ll be eatin stuntie in a few hours!” Greentoof shouted to the orcs. “Wotz this stuntie hole wes been diggin to called anyway Scragz?”
“I dun rememba Greentoof, all da stuntie holes the same. I dink da Warboss said this un was da Igor Hole,” Scragz replied.
Scratching his head seeming deep in thought Greentoof went on, “Oi Scragz, whyz we diggin’ to da stuntie hole anywayz? Da manlings outside dis cave were easy killin’.”
“I dunno Greentoof! Whatcha dink I am? Some shaman gobbo? Alls I know is dem Bloody Sun Boyz shaman gave our Warboss a talkin’ to and nows we digging tunnels like stunties!” Scragz replied annoyed.
“Well I guess as long as ders shinies and foodz for us and da orcz doin’ da work itz good wid me!” Greentoof stated relaxing on a pile of rocks. His calm was suddenly interrupted when an orc called out,
“Ey gobbos! Ders some kinda noise behind dis wall!”
The two goblins stood up to go investigate the tunnel wall. “Whatcha mean noise, small brainz?!” Scragz called back.
“Meybe da stunties are diggin’ to us, eh Scragz?” Greentoof added.
“Why would da stunties be diggin’ to us eh orc brain? Yer no smarter than dem orcz!”
“Iunno Scragz, meybe dey tired of us keepin’ em awake at night with our hammerin’ and dey wanna help us finish dis tunnel. Dem stunties likes ta sleep ya know!”
Scragz whacked him on the back of the head. “If deys as stupid as you den meybe yer right, but we’re diggin’ ta kill da stunties and eat em and take their shinies!”
“Ey gobbos! Da noise stopped,” an orc interrupted.
Greentoof put his hands and ear to the wall, “Yep I don’t feel da rocks movin’ or ‘ear any noise now.”
Suddenly a rumble was heard on the other side of the wall, blast after blast, each growing louder as it came nearer.
“Oi! Dem stunties gonna blow us up!” Greentoof screamed, “Git back up da tunnel!”
The greenskins ran up the tunnel as the explosions grew nearer and shook the tunnel stronger. Hiding behind an overturned cart, the goblins were peering over the edge as the orcs stood farther back huddling around a corner. Scragz raised a hollowed out boars tusk to his lips and blew into the horn. A deep hum sounded through the greenskin shaft, followed by another one farther down and yet another. The primitive communication system alerted the tunnels full of greenskins to arm up and ready for the invasion of the dwarven Hold. A final blast blew the greenskin wall inward filling the opening with a thick dust cloud.
Scragz raised another smaller horn to his lips and blew three times quickly producing a higher pitch hum. “Go get em boyz!” The goblin screamed to the line of orcs forming behind him and waving his spear forward. Greentoof joined him in waving his spear and encouraging the orcs onward.
Charging down the tunnel into the thick cloud of dust the column of orcs disappeared into the dust cloud and a fierce battle could be heard inside. High pitch screeches filled the tunnels.
Scragz scratched his head, “Hrm dems dont sound like stunties…”
“Meybe deys female stunties, eh Scragz?” Greentoof suggested.
All of a sudden a small body was flung through the tunnel slamming into the two goblins leaning over the overturned cart. The goblins scampered up quickly and looked at the broken body.
“Oi Scragz, dats a small furry stuntie! Never seen un like dat! Meybe female stunties are small and furry eh?”
Turning over the body with his spear a strange realization dawned upon the goblins. “Dats no stuntie Greentof, dats a ratman!” More skaven bodies began to fly through the air as fuzzy projectiles slamming into the walls.
Apparently the skaven and greenskins had both been tunneling towards each other thinking they were tunneling towards the dwarven Hold. Panicked, Scragz lifted his horn to his lips and blew once signaling a halt. He and Greentoof stuck their spears out trying to halt the tide of orcs. The battle in the dusty opening raged but was no longer being fed by orcs. A massive orc clad in black armor marched up the column and grabbed the two goblins by their necks lifting them off the ground.
“Wots da meaning of dis, gobbos?! Why ya stoppin ma invasion of da stunties?” the orc screamed as he shook the choking goblins.
Squeezing out a few words Scragz replied, “Deys not stunties! Ratmen!” He and Greentoof pointed at the skaven corpse at their feet.
Gazing curiously at the skaven corpses littering the hallway and loosening his grasp on the goblins, the orc threw them to the ground. “I said to tunnel to da stuntie hole! Not a rat nest!”
“Wes tunneled da way you told us Warboss!” Greentoof said rubbing his neck.
“I want da stunties beards, not da ratmen! Dem foolz at Eight Peaks fought with da ratmen and stunties long enuff. Wes not gonna be stupid like dem! If da ratmen wanna fight us, kill da ratmen den da stunties! If da ratmen wanna fight stunties, den we kill stunties too!” Warboss Harghur Blood-Eye said kicking the two goblins.
Meanwhile, a squad of dwarven engineers stood behind three ironbreakers looking curiously down the minehaft at the struggle that erupted between the Skaven and greenskins. They had known for some days now that two forces were converging on a mineshaft of Karak Izor and wrongly presumed that it was one force trying two approaches. When the shaft exploded with the aide of warp-bombs and dwarven mines they squadron assigned to guard this mineshaft looked on as the two forces classed in the dust, not at all surprised that the foolish creatures would rush blindly into the unknown and kill whatever they laid hands on. Satisfied that the two foes would do the killing for them, the engineers saved their bullets and the ironbreakers saved their strength watching on. Occasionally a skaven would fly through the air towards them, but the force with which it hit the walls killed the beast before the dwarves had to lift a finger.
A mound of dozens of bodies was revealed as the dust cleared, skaven and orc intermixed. Scragz and Greentoof left to give the charge command of the invading greenskin Waaaagh! squinted through the dust. As it settled their eyes met those of the skaven sitting back in their tunnel. Apparently they too had halted their charge to gain a better sense of the fight ahead. A skaven scampered through his tunnel peering his head around the corner towards the position of the dwaves. A loud shot rang out and the skaven’s head exploded in a cloud of bloody mist. The creature fell and added his body to the already bloody mound. Another skaven armored head to paw approached the opening of the tunnel climbing upon the mound of corpses looking up the shaft towards the dwarves. A shot rang out, the bullet ricocheted off the armor hitting Greentoof in the arm.
“Oi! Dat ratman shot me in ma arm!” Greentoof screamed as red-purple blood began to ooze out of the wound.
“Shuddap mush-brain! Dat rat has nothing to shot ya with!” Scragz replied.
The armored skaven gave a confident grimace and turned his head to his companions as another shot rang out ripping off his upper snout. As the beast gave a horrid squeak another shot rang out punching through his armor. A small stream of blood began to seep out of his armor and the beast spun around and fell atop the pile. It became clear to both sides that there were indeed dwarves at the top of the mine shaft and that a struggle between the skaven and greenskins would be futile. Scragz made eye contact with a largish skaven holding a whip, one who seemed to be in command. The skaven pointed his whip up the mine shaft in the direction of the dwarves and nodded. Scragz pointed his spear in the same direction and nodded back. Scragz raised his horn to his lips and blew three times signaling the attack. At the same time the skaven pack master gave a high pitch squeak and began to crack his whip.
“Go get da stunties ladz!” Scragz screamed standing at the mouth of the tunnel with his back to the skaven pointing his spear towards the dwarves. This time the column of orcs and skaven climbed over the corpses of their fallen and ran side by side at the dwarves.
Shots filled the tunnel and grenades began to explode everywhere as the squadron of engineers and three ironbreakers prepared to take the dual onslaught of skaven and greenskin.