A fable is a short and straightforward tale with simple characters and a strong moral point. In many cultures, fables are generally thought of as tales for children, even when they are aimed as much to an adult audience as to a juvenile one. Fable authors are rare among Chaos Dwarfs, not least because the highly developed cognitive abilities in uncorrupted and corrupted Dwarf children alike place high expectations on young offspring to take part of adult folk culture. Yet still the Dawi Zharr has produced a few fable authors, most of whom were excentrics and alone in their generation. This has not stopped their fables from gaining popularity and spreading to become part of the oral folk culture of the worshippers of Hashut.
Akin to other cultural expressions, Dawi Zharr fables mirrors the convoluted and cruel mindset of the children of the Bull God. They are both stories and testaments of a world view steeped in mysticism, sacrifice, heinous cruelty and slavery, as well as domination, warfare, rigid hierarchy and eternal toil to mine, quarry, forge and build in the name of the Father of Darkness. These are not narratives of good and just deeds rightfully rewarded while wicked deeds are punished, and only rarely do they have happy endings. These are tales of a world where might makes right, where strength and cruelty are signs of greatness, and where the capricious will of the Dark Gods can bring about doom upon you at any moment. They are spoken witnesses of a world where the wicked may triumph so long as the Dark Gods wills it, and are appeased through adulation and sacrifice. The underlying world view is fundamentally different to that of most Human societies. For these stories are not bereft of moral. Instead, they are permeated by a morality utterly abominable to lesser races devoted to gods of order.
They are dark tales of a harsh and mysterious world, where blood runs and fire rages as mortals doom themselves by their shortcomings.
These are the fables of the Blacksmiths of Chaos.
- - -
Once upon a time, our tribe had freshly mastered gunpowder and had begun to fashion tools of destruction around this new technology, yet everywhere else in the whole world, mortals were ignorant of this discovery. And so it was, that a war caravan rolled out from Uzkulak and set course into the vast expanses of the Chaos Wastes to trade trinkets, bronze axes, shields and vambraces for slaves, secrets and artefacts of great power with the scattered Human tribes up north.
Northward they rolled, and then eastward, for months on end. Months stretched into years, yet on and on the war caravan trundled, hunting, fighting and bartering as it went, until finally, it happened upon a vast encampment of eastern men. This was virgin territory for the merchants, and they halted outside the camp to display their wares and awe the locals with the ingenuity of their craft and the deadliness of their blades.
All the encamped tribesmen and even their bound thralls rushed out to watch the foreign traders, some with trepidation or fear, others with curiosity, jealousy, greed or hungering ambition. Fell shamans rattled their bone shambles, old Humans mumbled and chanted protective mantras. Womenfolk tittered and tattered, and children jeered and cheered at the tricks and otherworldly appearance of the Chaos Dwarf war caravan. The young menfolk put up a brave show, for they were armed with but the crudest of weapons and would have fared poorly indeed against armoured opponents, yet they held their stony masks and observed the newcomers' every move and strange equipment.
The negotiations started, and the households produced their belongings, their catch and their produce. As usual, the traders haggled for long with the natives, yet suddenly, one man had enough of this strange custom of tongue-waggling, and he strode up to the leading pair of Chaos Dwarfs without even a bone knife about his person.
"Why should we give up our property for the likes of these?" asked the cocky Marauder loudly.
The first foreign trader stood his ground at the man's approach, staring at him silently. Yet the second trader picked up a flared pistol from his belt.
"Just look at them! They're Dwarfs! Practically toddlers! We could twist their heads from their tiny necks without breaking a sweat!" laughed the cocky Marauder, and paced closer to the foreign traders.
"Halt!" called out the second foreign trader and pointed his pistol right at the man.
"Your trumpet does not scare me, midget," said the cocky Marauder with a sneer and approached the Chaos Dwarfs with a swagger.
Thereupon the Marauder grinned and pulled out his manhood and let water right into the face of the first foreign trader. Seeing this, the second foreign trader enraged and pulled the trigger, shredding the cocky Marauder to fleshy bits and bloody pieces, as a warning unto his kinsfolk. For such is the fate of those foolish enough to approach the unknown with arrogance.
- The Cocky Marauder and the Foreign Traders, by Despot Zhargonidus Doombeard, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories, of our present time*
* This story is traditionally told to all Temple Acolytes, Daemonsmith apprentices and others who will deal with abysmal unknowns in their craft at an early age.
The post was edited 3 times, last by Karak Norn Clansman ().