Dwarven legends tell a dread tale of the fortress that was known as Simplewagons in the dwarvish tongue. Simplewagons was a thriving fortress with a population of over one hundred dwarfs, dug into the side of a mountain rich in minerals and gems. The fortress was a peaceful one, with few disturbances other than the occasional goblin ambushers who preyed on the unwary who wandered too far from the mighty gates of Simplewagons. These pests were of little trouble, for whenever they dared to approach the entrance, they were taken out by a hail of bolts shot by the stout defenders of the fortress. Life was easy and good. But as Armok knows, good times are often followed by the bad, and then worse.
The names of the dwarves involved have disappeared in the mists of time, but the legend tells that during one futile attempt by the goblins to seize the fortress, a lone craftsdwarf wandered outside while the fighting was still going on, apparently to retrieve a shiny iron dagger one of the now-deceased goblin warriors had been carrying. Unsurprisingly, the craftsdwarf was caught in a crossfire between the fighters and was slain. And this was the point where it all went downhill for Simplewagons.
There had already been some unrest in the populace of the fortress, because the recently appointed Baroness of the fortress had set up steep rents for the living quarters of the dwarves. The unemployed were not happy, and complaints of this policy had been expressed around the ale barrels. Now, the craftsdwarf who had died was a popular fellow in the fort, with plenty of good friends. These dwarves, upon hearing of the demise of their friend, decided that enough was enough and begun a revolt. At first it was simple acts of vandalism, breaking down doors and destroying workshops. This caused even more unrest, and soon the halls were filled with dwarves fighting dwarves, roars of anger and screams of agony echoing through the fortress. The captain of the guard stepped up and tried to stop the chaos by throwing the worst offenders in the jail, but soon it was apparent that the situation had escalated out of his hands. Blood flowed on the hallways as the civilians fought the guardsmen – tooth and nail against steel and iron. The severed head of the baroness was kicked around in the meeting hall while the captain himself was beating prisoners to death in the brig to make room for more.
In the middle of this was a small child, no older than five years, who had hid from the fighting in an isolated corner of the Fortress, seeking refuge in the abandoned workshops. As he curled up under a leatherworker’s workbench, he heard an ominous laughter echoing in his ears. All the mindless bloodshed in the fortress must have stirred up some ancient evil, for suddenly the child smelled brimstone and felt a strange power possessing him. The stone floor beneath him cracked and splintered as the spirit of a demon possessed the child, filling his mind with a single purpose – an irresistible urge to create an artifact fitting for the chaos washing outside. The child rose up, his eyes glowing with unnatural light, and calmly walked out of the workshop into the blood-soaked hallways.
The child walked straight to the Captain of the Guard, snuck up behind him and knocked the blood-drunk police chief out with a single mighty blow. Then the child dragged the unconscious dwarf to the leatherworker’s workshop and locked the door behind him. The screams of the captain filled the fortress for hours as the child strapped the captain to the workbench and begun the most macabre work the fortress had ever seen.
Months later, when the last surviving dwarves were scouring the ruined fortress, trying to find if anything of value was spared from the fighting, they stumbled into the leatherworker’s workshop. What they saw inside caused them to tremble and panic. The workshop was covered in blood and gore, the mangled skinless remains of the captain still lying on the workbench. In the corner of the workshop was a small gibbering child, wearing a cloak made from dwarven skin, adorned with grisly pictures painted in blood.
The survivors fled the fortress, never to return. Nobody has visited Simplewagons ever since, fearful of the dark acts that had been performed inside.
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