A continuing series that follows the exploits of Gorm in the Nights Skies Over Valhallow World
The day grew late and cold. Gorm huffed deeply, steam rushing from his mighty throat. He stopped and put his blue-haired bundle down along the rocky, ascending path.
“Me tired of carrying people. Me want fight!”
Gottschalk nodded: he too felt discomfort at the presence of a cultist, but unlike their former companions that they had carried before, she wasn’t dead... yet.
“We sent Gudre’s and Brodt’s bodies back to the Fjord. Why would we travel to the mountains now?”
“Me need to see.”
Gottschalk shook his head at Gorm’s brevity. He knew it was unwise to travel in the mountains during winter. Still, they were probably safer than staying in Dinglesfuhr.
The two turned and looked down at the devastation in the distance.
Hordes of dark monsters, the goblins and their larger orc kin, still poured into the city from the east and the south. Even though the humans were broken here and their lands plundered, the inhumans still came.
And the great red balloons, the snoollabs that they had seen earlier that day, were now beginning to land near the city center too. What few remaining Dinglesfuhrians, those not slain, defiled, or imprisoned by the orcs and goblins already here, looked up at the dirigibles in awe.
Until they landed on them.
Scores of red dwarves, clad in fell iron and red, disembarked upon the resulting human corpses and fanned out through the ruined streets, shooting and stomping any remaining humans who were foolish enough to have remained around. Larger snoollabs even began to unload great, armored bears and dread engines of war, powered by the Helltowners infernal device.
“The Liberators have arrived!”
Both Gorm and Gottschalk turned to the one who had spoken: Esservassa. The broken cultist was conscious again, but unsurprisingly, was also being completely serious with her statement.
Gorm reached over and grabbed the woman’s remaining hand with his own, large, barbaric one. “Why you call them ‘Liberators’!? Squat-red-dwarf-people liberate nothing, they only control! You get hit on head too hard?”
Esservassa looked up at Gorm and sneered. “They have come to Remove the Stain from our Land! If you weren’t such a Stupid Amaranthinist Invader yourself, you’d know that!”
Gorm’s eyebrows lowered. He now took the woman by the head and thrust her gaze back down at the ruined city. “I see ‘Stain’ now! You make it! You and other Special Grow-People kind!”
Esservassa made to argue, but it then began to dawn on even her lost sensibilities that this barbarian wasn’t the usual, cowed, human male that she had become accustomed to in Dinglesfuhr. That he could easily toss her down the hillside also helped to remind her that debate was certainly unwise, as well.
Still, cultists were almost never wise.
“Justice! Justice for all those poor mountainfolk the Amaranthine Wizard slayed! Justice! Justice against all your Male Tyranny, human! Now we have New Leadership in Dinglesfuhr! Equalitarian Leadership!”
Gottschalk remained amazed at how insane cultists could be. This woman, like all Dinglesfuhrians, had benefitted immensely from the Amaranthine Wizard making their land safe nearly a century ago. And how in the name of Hades could allowing hordes of goblins to dwell here, or letting tyrants rule their land, make things better?
He made to challenge her, when their attention was drawn to another commotion down in the city. A group of blue-haired cultists, ones like Esservassa in rainbow robes, had just approached the red dwarves. They cheered and cried, calling them ‘Liberators’ too. They even bore signs that said the same.
Esservassa began to join in the cheers, as well, but then her face went pale.
The Helltowners simply fired on the cultists, killing them all. Their rainbow-clad corpses now showed mostly just red.
Gottschalk shuddered as Gorm dragged the now-screaming Esservassa back up the hill. He wondered at how cultists could be so naïve, that even after the goblins had devastated Dinglesfuhr for weeks, she still thought that the tyrannical red dwarves would liberate it.
He could wonder why, why the Dinglesfuhrians had fallen so completely for the cult’s lies, why even the Gods had allowed such a terrible thing to befall their land. Why had they allowed traitors to give away their home to hordes of hostile monsters?
For his part, Gorm considered why he hadn’t knocked Esservassa out again.