Initiate of Sigmar


A work in progress:

Dietfried wiped the sweat from his brow. It was uncommonly hot for this time of year in the province of Averland. Even here in the footlands of the Blood Peaks it felt as if he had entered into a bath house when he was “up above” as his fellow miners liked to call the world in which their families spent their days. As Dietfried and his father Altfried entered into the darkness of the mine the temperature dropped considerably making the bathhouse feel turn into uncomfortable heat. This was a mine for coal but recently the miners had found another shaft where a soft yellow mineral was found in abundance. These mountains had been on the southern end of a great Dwarven stronghold and evidence of their brilliant engineering was found even here nearly a hundred leagues from the heart of a Karak of no clan name for it was time out of memory that any Dwarf living knew these ancestors or their history. The smell of the new shaft was pungent in the air. It seemed to Dietfried that the smell had taken on a new tang. Miners from the watch before his had come out of the mine more grumpy than usual complaining about the new shaft and claiming to have broken through a wall and found a pocket of charcol which brought on a stench like “Rugford after a bean eating contest. “ “ It’s hot and I need a drink, what say you son?” asked Altfried. “ Yes father. I am nearly through loading this cart, after that I will go and get us both a cup.” Replied Dietfried. “ Oh now, let me go and get us cups” argued his father. “No Father it is my turn to go, and ever my turn to serve you.” “ Dietfried, you are constant! A father’s pride. You set an example of industry to all around you. Please let me rest from my toils… I will bring you a cup” replied Altfried. With that the old man walked away to avoid further comment. Dietfried watched as his aging father ambled to the water cart. He strained to look beyond where the deepest work of the new shaft was being done. Franz Litzer was using a shovel to brake free a hard piece of stone wedged between the charcoal and the new mineral the bosses called “sulfurium”. In his frustration Franz hacked at the stone in a long hard swipe. The shovel glanced off the stone causing a spark to jump. Like flint thought Dietfried. Dietfried felt himself thrown against the wall of the shaft, the intense heat nearly suffocated him. He felt his head hit solid rock and saw a shaft open below him. Impossible, he thought as he dropped fifteen feet into the darkness. His world went black. Work here to show the dreamstate lack of conciousness
Dietfried stood in looking into the night sky. A new star brightly ornamented the sky. The star suddenly shot across the sky, twin tails following it. The shooting star turned toward the earth. There was no place to run, Dietfried realized. Dietfried hid his eyes from the brightness too late. Closed or open he only saw the ghost of the image now burned into his vision, a twin tailed comet coming deliberately for him. Somehow the night air was unbareably painful. The heat confused Dietfried. And the comet returned and continued to burn night after endless night. ………

Suddenly Dietfried remembered something he had heard in passing. He was very young. A group of ragadly dressed men and women had come through his town. They smelled. They had pieces of parchment pinned to their bodies. “Repent or be cleansed by the will of mighty Sigmar” , said a haggard old man, obviously the driving force of this mad band. A bright warhammer hung, so out of place, from his tattered clothing. A scroll of some leperous material was shoved in his belt close to the hammer. On the hammer, Dietfried could see it now in his memory, etched into the flat of the hammer a twin tailed comet. ……… The brightness returned in the night sky and this time the image of the comet burned in his mind like a thousand waterless days in the deserts of Araby. The comet returned again and again. ……..

Pieter ran to the mine a soon as he had heard the explosion. The fire he found there was intense. The smell of sulfurium nearly made him wretch. The overwhelming charnel smell that followed concluded any resistance to that outcome. The men and women of the mining camp watched the flames for two days, the funeral plans for all who were in the mine were already set. It was Pieter who first entered the sweltering mine after the fires had died. Pieter was the son of the mines owner. The grief of being “the one” who had lead these men to their deaths was too much for him. He had entered the mine in hopes that whatever had taken his men would open its maw one more time and swallow him, take him away from the tearful looks that surely were filled with vengeance for him “the one”. He had pushed too hard. The engineers in both Middenheim and Nippon were paying too well for the sulfurium and the charcoal. Pieter had persuaded his father to create three shifts in order to meet any and all demands for the contents of the mine. Torch in hand Pieter began seeking his end. Hours he wandered trying to find the dragon that had swallowed his workers, the monster that could make the screaming in his mind stop. In his anguish he rarely cared where he stepped. One misplaced step nearly brought him what he sought. Pieter fell, dropping his torch into the shaft, somehow me managed to keep himself from tumbling in after the torch. But there next to the torch was a body, not a husk like he had seen for hours previously but a body. The person, whoever it was, was blackend from the blast and a pool of blood had dried around him. Atleast we have one body, thought Pieter. We can have a proper wake with this one. And then the tattered arms covered the face of this would be corpse and wretched…words. “Sigmar forgive me.” The comet returned. Pieter climbed hastily down the shaft to find a young man about his age. It was Dietfried.

“Come Dietfried, come with me”, Pieter said as he put him over his shoulder and navigated the narrow walk ledge created by the miners.

The comet spoke. With urgency Sigmar had called Dietfried by name. “Come Dietfried, come with me”, Sigmar had called him. Dietfried would answer. He would see to it that he and everyone he knew would never sin again. He would make sure that chaos and corruption were cleansed. The starry sky was cool now and the comet shot away. The comet had gone but the message had not. That image would never leave Dietfried.

Three days later he woke to see Pieter and his mother Helgana by his side. “Your awake” yelped Pieter. “Son”, intoned his mother. “Wha…what happened?” asked Dietfried. “There was an accident son” “Yah Deet… there was an explosion because of a gas in the mine. I spoke with Dwarven engineers and they described pockets of powerful gas that come from the earth and apparently are very explosive. Dietfried…um everyone…except you is dead.”, reported Pieter. “Father?” questioned Dietfried. “He was one of those closest to the explosion, he too died Deet. You were somehow thrown back and down a short shaft which I believe saved you from the fate of the other miners” answered Pieter. “Sigmar be praised!”, exclaimed Dietfried. “Dietfried! You know our family are followers of Ulric. Why not praise his blessings?” “Mother I have seen the true light and known our worlds true corruption. Sigmar has called to me and I intend to faithfully follow his commands.” “Yes, but do you intend to beat yourself and others who will not listen. That is the way which Sigmar has been brought to us.” “I don’t know. I do know that I see more clearly how we all bring the wrath of Sigmar upon ourselves by our greed and lust. I know that maybe we want money so much we are willing to sell bits of our freedom and security to chaotic powers which fight against the will of Sigmar and Ulric. Maybe we push so hard to get what we think we want that we release chaos on ourselves. “ Dietfried looked to Pieter to see if this man perhaps was offended or maybe just maybe believed and would support him in his new faith. Sigmarites were not well thought of yet here in this small town. “All I know is that the explosion was the will of Sigmar.” “If that is the truth then curse the name of Sigmar forever, he has taken my husband.” “Mother I ….I meant that without my experiences over the past few days I would not have had the guiding light of a God to lead my way.” “Then ask your God to bring them back, tell him he has caused unbearable suffering to a whole town of women and children. These are not greenskins, women and children will suffer and die. Is that the will of Sigmar?” “Yes…. I mean no. I mean that perhaps we should spend less time thinking about what we think of him and more time worrying about what he thinks of us.” “Dietfried, you are angry and tired. I was confused myself and full of rage as I see you now when this first happened. I will leave you time for your thoughts. Pieter, no more talk of this, it will upset him and I want my son to rest.” Pieter waited a moment as Helgana left the room. “Dietfried, what is this you speak of, how can you know? I ..I am sorry Dietfried…for your father and for all of it. “ An intense look of sorrow lit Pieter’s eyes. “What is Sigmar’s will Dietfried? Why did he want these people dead? ........... To be continued


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