The Gundersson and Hammerstein Chronicles

90 Dwarf Hunter
T K
6800
Somewhere in The Dragonblight, Northrend.

He hated undead. They tasted foul for one. He avoided taking a bite whenever he could. He'd resorted to grabbing a mouthful of snow every now and then to get rid of the taste. Also they habitually left bits behind. Like the bit that was stuck to his left tusk right now.

The archers were already opening fire from the sides of the pass. The next wave lurched along it with some gigantic and putrescent white abomination in the lead. It already had several arrows sticking out of it. It didn't seem particularly bothered by this. From behind him came the sounds of somebody rapidly and intently reloading a rifle.

He flicked his head again to try and get rid of the thing stuck on his tusk. It flapped around and smacked him in the muzzle with a wet slop. Stuff like this made his temper rise. His temper had been rising all morning. He was wet. He got cold the moment he stood still. He was hungry, but that was at least normal. He'd even be happy with some of the crunchy undead like you found back home near Lordaeron. At least with them there was some texture as long as you spat them out and didn't swallow, but Nooo, he got wet and cold undead instead. They were only good for giving you a disgusting taste in your mouth and getting stuck on your tusks.

He backed away trying to shake the piece of stuff off his tusk. It slopped around the other way now and left a green stain on the side of his muzzle. If he could curse, he would have. Instead he grunted angrily and took another step back.

Nearby the front ranks of the shambling hordes had engaged the defenders. The dwarf fired his rifle into the mob, taking a step back after each shot. The forward defenders were fighting back with sword and shield.

One of the defenders, a tall woman with blonde frizzy hair sticking out from under her plate helm, looked over at him and back at the dwarf.

"OI! Hunter! GET YOUR PET IN THERE!"

"Not yet lass, just hold..." came the reply.

He blanked the fighting out of his mind and focused on the thing on his tusk. It hung there, just out of range of his tongue, not that he wanted to taste it anymore. It was infuriating though. Taunting him. He started shaking his head vigorously until his entire short stubby body shook like he was having some sort of seizure.

The sounds of the frantic battle were all around him now. Defenders screamed for help. Wounded were being dragged off the field. Swords cracked against dry bone and swished through rotting flesh. Undead claws screeched across armor and gouged chunks out of unprotected defenders. He stepped back as the dwarf fired two more rounds right over his head.

"HUNTER! I SAID GET HIM IN THERE! There's no time to waste!"

"''S not tacticly viable right now lass, trust me... I know the right moment and the lad knows his job!"

He could see it clearly from his left eye now. It looked like a piece of rotting skin, a grey-green color, still wet on the underside. It should by all logic have been dislodged by now. He watched its trajectory carefully. Timed the rhythm. Counted, and then quick as he could, switched his head upward like a whip. If his calculations had been correct, the tension would be just right to flick it off his tusk.

He watched in glee as it sailed upwards off of his tusk. In slow motion it flipped end over end above his head until the world around him got darker as a shadow loomed over him. The bloated horror that had been forming the core of the undead charge had reached him. It looked down at him with one bloodshot green eye. The other eye, blue, stared off at something unseen in the air above the battlefield.

He stood for a moment, deciding what to do. It was then that the 'stuff' finished its arc and still spinning, plopped down over his right eye with a disgusting wet sound, the lower half of the strip swinging round and smacked into his open mouth.

For a split second he stood there with the piece of grey-green flesh draped over his one eye and looked at the horror with his other, and then he lost it. He had simply had enough. The world around him turned red and his vision blurred. The only target upon which to vent his wrath stood over him, gently oozing unmentionable liquids from its stitching.

He opened his jaw and let out a primal squeal. It was a warcry from the depths of bestial anger itself. It was that sound that was permanently wired into every predator's mind. The sound that said: "You have just gone too far. You have crossed the line and the world is about to become a very unpleasant and painful place for you."

...

Some time later, When the rest of the world reasserted itself, he realized that he was standing in the remains of the monstrosity. He was covered muzzle to hoof in ichor and other bits he didn't want to think about. The most recognizable piece of the abomination was an arm still clutching a meathook. It lay a few feet from him in the snow and had toothmarks in it.

Stunned defenders stood in a quiet circle around him. He looked up and the circle enlarged by a few feet. The dwarf stood nearby, reloading his rifle with a massive grin breaking through his long, braided white beard. "That's mah boy!" he said proudly. "Didja lot see that? Didja see what 'e did!?"

Another defender studied him carefully over a shield: "I think it's rabid... you sure it's supposed to act like that? I never seen 'em do that to something before. You sure he's safe dwarf?"

"'E's ok lad, just a big softie really."

"..how did it even know how to do that thing with the knees? Did you see what it did to the knees?!"

He stepped out of the remains of the thing and started heading away from the battleground in the hopes of finding a clean patch of snow to roll in. The soldiers rapidly moved out of his way, forming an opening in the circle.

"...crazy danged boar..."
Edited by Gundersson on 1/24/2014 5:23 AM PST
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90 Dwarf Hunter
T K
6800
((Written some time during Burning Crusade))

Zangarmarsh was what the dwarf had called it. He didn't really care what its name was, he was in love with the place. It was just the right temperature. Perfect humidity. The only downside was the mass of buzzing insects around the place, but they brought their own rewards, some were downright tasty. Others lacked flavor but made up for it in substance. He'd soon learned to roll around a bit in one of the plentiful muddy patches to shield his skin from the bugs.

After that, the place became an amusement park for his nose and stomach. He'd eaten about four different types of roots, the last one being so bitter he could almost not finish it, however it left a pleasant salty aftertaste in his mouth which lingered for at least half an hour. One of the roots had squirmed as it went down his throat, but by that point it was too late, as whatever it was, was already being introduced to the horrors of his digestive system.

At one point, a bug had flown straight into his mouth, a massive buzzing thing about the size of the dwarf's fist, all feelers and eyes. He'd been so surprised he'd simply bitten down and been pleasantly surprised by the taste. After their recent jaunt through the Hellfire Peninsula, he'd started to believe that the only taste left in this place was sulfur. Everything tasted like sulfur there, the rocks, the plants, the demons... This gastronomic orgy was quickly making up for it though. He hadn't gotten any more bugs to fly into his mouth, no matter how much he left it open, but he'd learned to snag a few now and then if they weren't paying attention.

They'd made camp under what he soon realized to his delight was a gigantic mushroom. His knees had actually gone weak when he understood the reality of it. Tomorrow he would try to eat it.

The dwarf had eventually rolled over in his bedroll after giving him strict instructions to wake him if he started falling asleep. He took his watch rotations very seriously and had yet to ever fall asleep on one, yet the dwarf still reminded him. Besides, who could sleep in a place like this?

He'd taken a slow walk around the outskirts of the camp when he saw it. There'd been other mushrooms before, but this one... this one was different. It was a bright glowing green color and it seemed to flicker coyly at him. It had the most adorable purple dots on the cap and a svelte, yet well formed stalk. He knew he had a weakness when it came to mushrooms. There was always trouble when he got involved with one, and this one had trouble written all over it. He realized he was staring.

He started to justify things to himself. After all, he was a grown boar. He could make his own decisions. One mushroom wasn't going to do anything. You needed to be adventurous in life... I mean it would all be the same in 5 years and after all, better to regret doing something than spend the rest of your life wondering how good it could have been right? ...besides... MUSHROOM!

Gundersson woke up with the pig staring at him. The boar was sitting on his haunches looking directly at him, his tail twitched behind him and his pupils were gigantic.

"Lad... you didn't.."

As he moved the boar let out a squeal like a steam whistle and bolted. The dwarf muttered an oath, grabbed his rifle and his pack and set off after his porcine companion.

It was after him. Right on his heels. It had gotten the dwarf and he was next. Now he knew the secret of this place and it would kill and eat him slowly for finding it out. All he could do was run. He could feel its hot, wet raspberry breath on his back. It growled at him in a choked drawn out murmur, obviously listing the despicable acts it would visit upon him when it inevitably caught him.

"STOP! Ye crazy pig! Ye need ta calm down! Get back 'ere noo!"

A hiding place... maybe! Perhaps if he could shake it for a moment. He feinted left and then spun right instead, running straight over a marsh hydra which hissed and thrashed in his wake. There was the sound of more hissing and cursing behind him a few seconds later.

The best he could manage to find was a bush to huddle in. He tried to pull every bit of himself into the bush and none too soon. The monstrous, tentacled feet lurched out of the marsh where he'd just come from. The creature let forth a moaning call. He hoped it was lamenting the loss of its prey.

This was when he looked behind him. He grunted in fear and then the rows of mechanical mushrooms started to advance. He squealed and ran again. This entire place was one living entity and it was out to get HIM.

He thrashed through a small brook, crashing straight into the legs of one of those tall, gangly marsh walker things they'd been fighting yesterday. The creature thrashed around in a losing battle to try and regain its balance, but he was already running.

Behind him the sound of the marshwalker crashing to the ground blended with the surprised oaths of the creature as the two collided.

...

Some time later...

"I know you're awake, and if you don't come down here ret noo I'll climb up there an turf ye oot meself!"

He opened one eye. The dwarf, miraculously alive and whole stood far below him waving a fist and cursing periodically. He shifted his bulk to see more clearly and the tree creaked in warning. Craning his neck, he looked over the edge again. The dwarf looked irate, but at least he was alive... and by Cenarius's left buttock he was hungry!

The branch snapped.

Thankfully the small stream below him was enough to break his fall. The dwarf continued to rant at him.

"...and if ye ever do that again I'm sending ya to stay on that farm near Aunt Em's in Thelsamar where they feed ye nothing but water an' dry grass an' make ye sit in groups with other hunter pets an' think about what ye done an some such!

Crazy danged boar..."
Edited by Gundersson on 1/24/2014 5:34 AM PST
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12 Goblin Warlock
0
uh why does your dwarf eats bugs and zombies?
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90 Night Elf Druid
9485
Mr. Gundersson:

On behalf of the Blizzard forum community, I would like to offer a formal apology for the fact that this ....magnificent work of art... has been up a whole four days and has only received one mumbling, confused comment. Please understand, though, that what we are experiencing is the stunned silence that immediately precedes the thunderous ovation. You are clearly a superior writer and story teller, with a rare sense of comedy, and must not waste this talent on giving your writing away for free. Your comedic timing, pacing in general, the imagination to do it from a boar's standpoint, the focus on all the right details (because the mushrooms are out to get you) point to a talent that should by all rights go professional. The world will be in a worse place until and unless you do this.

Again, our sincere apologies for the silence. I assure you it is the quiet before the ovation.

Sincerely,
Sileas, Dr00d in Charge of Vetting Good Writing.
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90 Orc Death Knight
12350
I will second that. I would like to say I read forums a lot and never reply to anything but, after reading your stories I couldn't just read this and go on without saying anything. You had me laughing to myself the whole time thanks for sharing
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90 Dwarf Hunter
T K
6800
((Sileas: Your response humbles and motivates me to continue writing. I am deeply thankful for your comment and where I was probably going to abandon this thread, I am now motivated to post a further story. Please feel free to post any further comments, criticisms and ideas. ))

Shadowmoon Valley, Outland

"Brunn Flamebeard ye forty pound weakling! Put that hammer doon afore ye hurt yerself!"

"Gotrek Gundersson ye filthy old wardog!"

The two dwarves clasped forearms and proceeded to exchange pleasantries and insults with equal cheerfullness. After the exchange had died down the two stepped apart and took a look at each other.

"So what brings ye all the way out ta this light forsaken valley?" said Brunn as he began filling two tankards with ale.

"I want ta buy a gryphon lad," replied Gundersson as he took one of the tankards with an appreciative grunt. Still drinking, he dropped two rather heavy looking bags of gold onto the ale keg.

Brunn picked them up with barely a glance and tossed them into a chest behind him, not bothering to open the bags or count the gold.

"Aight.." said Brunn, the accent of the Wildhammers clear in his speech. "Let's take a walk then." Still drinking their ale they wandered off toward the stables, exchanging stories and reminiscing.

Brunn stopped in front of a snowy white gryphon with feathers like freshly fallen snow and a beak like an axe. "This is Ailbe," he said, pride evident in his voice. "Her stock traces back to Sky'ree. She's a clever lass, sometimes too smart.. strong and agile of wing."

The gryphon regarded them with one amber eye, intelligence sparkling in its depths. She carefully reached out her razor sharp beak and smoothed a wing feather into place. All the while watching them carefully.

"Course she'll do anything fer attention," he grinned as he scratched the feathers on top of her head. The gryphon made a soft twittering noise and leaned her snowy head towards him as he scratched it. "Gonna be rather sad ta see her go..."

Gundersson turned around to look for the boar. Hammerstein stood near another stall, apparently engaged in a staring contest with a large male gryphon. The gryphon was doing a fairly good job of appearing regal and elegant while still engaged in a vicious staredown with the pig.

"Dun ye be bothern' the locals lad, they'll have ye fer dinner," remarked Gundersson as he walked on. The boar responded only by rotating an ear in his direction.

The two dwarves moved on. "That's Ardan over there," said Brunn as he gestured in the direction of a dark colored gryphon bedding down in a pile of straw. "He's the best trained I've got. He'll do anything ye tell him to, no matter what. I wouldn't sell him to somebody that I didn't trust... not that I'd hand over any o' these beauties to somebody I didn't trust, but this one will follow yer no matter what. He's loyal, good natured an' totally selfless."

Ardan shuffled some more straw towards his flank with his beak by way of comment.

Over the next while they walked past several of the beasts. Brunn expounding the particular qualities and heritages of each one.

"What aboot that one?" asked Gundersson as he nodded to where the boar was still engaged in a staring contest with the old golden gryphon.

Brunn shook his head sadly. "Nah, that's Gedran.." he said as he steered Gundersson out of earshot of the gryphon. "He's a bit damaged that one. We think he's afraid of flying."

Gundersson stopped and stared at Brunn. "Yer tellin' me ye've got a gryphon that's afraid o' flyin'? So why's 'e here then?"

"Well he's sort of a retired war hero, a bit of a mascot really, but not much else. Nothing much we can do with him. Bit of a drain on resources, but as long as I've got the gold I'll pay fer his feed."

Gundersson looked over at the old gryphon. He could see scars on its leonine flanks and hind quarters. Its feathers weren't as strongly colored as the others either and his beak was gnarled, scarred and rough. More telling than any of that though were the creature's eyes. The beast turned his head regally away from the boar, which remained stock still staring at him, and looked directly at the dwarf, matching his gaze. There were no illusions in that gaze. No facades. There were equal amounts of respect and fiercly guarded pride.

"We don't really know what happend. The last time he flew was during the second war, back when Proudmoore went after that rogue orc fleet. Came back with the rest of Kurdran's squadron riderless, badly injured, burnt and near death. Took us months to nurse him back to health and he never flew after that, even though the healers say there's nothing wrong with him."

Gundersson walked over and stood next to the boar and regarded the gryphon. The gryphon regarded him right back. Gundersson slowly drew himself up, heels together. Standing at attention he raised his hand slowly up to his eyes in a formal salute and held it there. The gryphon regarded him for a moment and then carefully dipped its head once in acknowledgement. He snapped his hand back down to his side smartly.

The dwarf turned back towards Brunn. "I want this one."

"Lad.." whispered Brunn as he drew Gundersson aside again, "I can't trade him to ya with peace of mind. It's not a good deal. Maybe yer not understanding, this fellow doesn't fly! What use is a gryphon that doesn't fly?"

"'Bout as much use as a soldier that doesn't fight," responded Gundersson. "Now ye goin' ta wrap him up fer me or do I just walk outa here?"

Brunn sighed in resignation.

A few short moments later, Brunn watched as the strange trio walked away down the road together. The dwarf, rifle over the shoulder on one side, the gryphon walking in the middle and the boar on the far side. They walked the walk of old soldiers. Forgotten heroes with untold stories and fiercely guarded pride.

"...crazy danged dwarf..." muttered Brunn with a smile. "Crazy danged dwarf."

((Gedran will be back))
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I love how he puts rocks, plants, and demons in the same nutritional group. Truly a hilarious set of stories. Thanks for sharing.
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90 Night Elf Druid
9485
I just found this....

/me bangs table with both fists

MORE! MORE! MORE! what happens next???

err.....while we're at it. I'm not walking outa here without paying for it. How much does it cost? I mean.....you're not writing for free again, are you?
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Wonderful, Gundersson! Ovating (ovationing?) here! Please keep writing. I've bookmarked this thread in hopes of more.

Sileas is right, though. Your writing is worthy of professional pay rates.
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