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Infernal Dwarves of the Torture Valleys 
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:23 am
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"My reverend lord, did you bring a straw? Or how on earth will you consume the blood with that nose ornament in the way?"

"I'll drink to that!"


Infernal Dwarves of the Torture Valleys

Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you all to participate in a brainstorming for this new concept, courtesy of Uther the Unhinged: Fantasy South American evil Dwarves!

I'd like to scoop up all wild ideas you have. Let's have some fun! :)

You don't have to know anything about the Ninth Age (T9A) to participate. Just assume it's the Warhammer world, with different names and lots of more stuff in it. It's a dark fantasy smörgåsbord based on history. I'll sift through ideas here and present them oo T9A, due credit and quoting given. In this instance, we're concerned with a cousin of Lustria, but with something more than Lizardmen to speak of on the continent. There's gotta be Dwarves...

Ready? Then let's travel to faraway Virentia, over whipping seas, steaming jungles and Wrathful Mountains, and emerge onto a desert coast beyond the edge of the mapmaker's knowledge...

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This concept was spawned as the fallen brother culture to these proposed Inca Dwarves. Uther the Unhinged had lots of fertile ideas:

Quote:
Cool concept. I think you could have standard and infernal dwarves in the continent. It is a big place and mines would have been well separated leading to multiple revolutionary movement. Infernal dwarves obviously utilizing fire sorcery/daemons (sorry not T9A literate) and playing up the sacrifice aspect of Incan/Aztec culture. Possibly binding daemons into animals. The standard dwarves animating statues. Again to differ from other pld world dwarves the statues could be animal/totem based snake like caymen panther jaguar etc. Longer association with saurians might have led to more magic/rune binding. You could go down the lack of iron route with rune encrusted war clubs. Obsidian daggers, obsidian encrusted clubs (for both types). As for artillery again standard torsion engines with animal totemic themes fir standard dwarves but enslaved/mutated/daemon bound animals for infernal dwarves. Like tortured bloated snakes spitting incendiary venom as counts as firearms. Sort of twisted Lizardmen technology, which would fit fluff wize.

The uprising of the dwarves would have been sporadic and disunited due to geography and a clampdown by the saurian masters. Each mine (future hold) would develop differently. All paying religious homage to ?? Queznir (I know Quetzacoatl was aztec but he was famously bearded). However secet symbols and signs were used often utilizing local animals. Over the years these took on totemiic status rising as quasi-deities themselves. The defeat of the saurians was piecemeal each hold achieving independence at different times and often facing several attmpts to retake it. Thus it was years before the dwarves (the Quezcuz as they call themselves) started to contact each other.

Magic stolen /learned from the saurians is used to infuse stone statues of their totemic animals. Arcuballistae, bows spears atlatlt stone headed tomahawk like axes and mauls. Armour rune/totem bound leather or padded cloth. Iron usage is unknown. Shields wicker?. But gold and silver adornment common. All totems are bird, mammal or fish. Reptillian and amphibian totems are taboo given the link to their hated saurian oppressors. Now contactbetween holds maintained by giant condor.

However not all mines followed the same path. Some came across knowledge of the infernal (again not sure of T9A fluff so this needs work). This great mine too eventually won its freedom using the infernal skills they had developed under the guidance of their infernal god (Haztet? Gotto reference the father of darkness somewhere). The dwarves of this mine (the Hazcuz) used magic to bind deamons into anomals to fight for them (rather than statues). With the overthrow of the saurians they used the reptiles of their previous masters as beasts of war and burden (twisting them with their infernal magic). Far from avoiding reptillian iconography the Hazcuz subverted it. Thus it was that when the Hazcuz made contact with other freed dwarves they were not greeted as long lost cousins but as evil blasphemers. Several Quezcuz holds united against these heretics and besieged them. Faced with overwhelming odds and the threat of extinction they broke out from the suege and embarked on ‘the long trek’. Effectively a running battle with pursuing Quezcuz, Saurians seeking to recapture them, grenskins and others. The trek lasted over 2 years. It did not end till the Hazcuz were driven from their mountain home to the lowland and escaped the pursuing Quezcuz in the jungle. Eventually they reached a land where they felt safe (unsure if this should be far south Terra del Fuego or Mexico). a hot forbidding land. Here they built their step puramids in memory of their lost mountain home. If you go with the Mexico option you can go full aztec.

Magic is using runes/reptillian totems to bind infernal spirits into creatures thus empowering them ?twisting? them but seriously reducing their life span (they literally! Burn out) runes/totems branded on (fire dwarves yay). Weaponry bucklers of alligator hide. Armour of toughened reptile skin. Wooden Warclubs (see plains indian warclubs) with obsidian studs/shards. ?slings? Spears. Animals adapted as weapons eg venom spitting reptile held as hand arms etc.
There that is me done. It was a long drive today.

...Anyway if we don’t do something our hated vanilla cousins will steal all the glory!


Now, there is a prime candidate among ancient cultures in South America that fit the bill perfectly: The Moche culture (100-700 AD). The Moche lived by the coast of what is today Peru, inhabiting nine river valleys with arid desert in between. The Moche are an archaeological culture, meaning they left no written documents behind, but they sure left behind monumental architecture, eyecatching craft objects and proof of ritual cruelty!

The Moche were fine craftsmen who produced works of art in gold for the highly elaborate dress of their elite, and they likewise have become famous for their erotic pottery. The Moche built stepped pyramid temples and practiced a warfare reminiscent of the Aztecs: They fought wars to capture enemy warriors, whom they stripped naked, bound, tortured and sacrificed to their gods. Sounds like Infernal Dwarf material?

Now let's pool all our ideas! :cheers

Here are some video/audio links for those who want to listen and learn while working or driving. Documentaries:

Moche Tombs of Sipan

Treasure and Secrets of a Moche Tomb


Lectures:

Warfare and Human Sacrifice in the Moche World: New Discoveries and Continuing Debates, by John Verano

Recent Research on the Moche, by Richard Stutter

Tales of the Moche Kings and Queens: Elite Burials from the North Coast of Peru, by Jeffrey Quilter


Reference images, primarily of Moche and of various coastal Peruvian cultures, mainly drawn from the master artist Coricancha's gallery:

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Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:17 pm
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Cold One Knight

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Igor Levchenko over on Deviantart had an idea for our Infernal Dwarves of the Torture Valleys:

Igor Levchenko wrote:
Gigantic andean condor will make a good mount for infernal dwarf.


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While Uther the Unhinged on CDO had some evocative writings to share:


Uther the Unhinged wrote:
I like the idea of separate city states against imperialist power. Yet I still yearn for one god (my Hashut complex). How about the Quezcuz Unite as an imperialist power and move against the various independent Hazcuz city states. These fall one by one survivors fleeing to the greatest city fortress Hazcu Pizcu. When the Hazcuz retreat from here they go as one nation. On finally reaching the safety of the Torture valleys they split into their original groupings. Each representing one of the founding rebellions.

If you did this then you could develop their mythology along the following lines:
One of the many rituals of Haztec . This excerpt is from the ritual performed at the first new moon after the Spring solstice.


Priest of Haztec:
Hearken one, hearken all! Know that the words I speak are the truth: hotter than fire, sharper than flint and harder than stone. So it is recorded. So it is written.

Devoted of Haztec:
So it is written!

Priest of Haztec:
In the beginning there were the two who were one. Haztec and Queznir, the brothers. Together they spoke. Together they ruled. All the other powers bowed to them.

Devoted of Haztec:
All bowed to them!

Priest of Haztec:
Yet Queznir grew jealous of his brother. He coveted his greater strength and his wisdom. He plotted with the lesser powers and turned them from their true master.

Devoted of Haztec:
They turned from their true master!

Priest of Haztec:
Lo, they came in friendship. False smiles upon their faces and treachery in their hearts.

Devoted of Haztec:
Treachery in their hearts!

Priest of Haztec:
Unknowing Great Haztec opened his arms. They seized him. They bound him. They cast him out from the realm beyond the stars. In fire and pain He fell!

Devoted of Haztec:
In pain he fell!

Priest of Haztec:
In flame He fell. In anguish He fell. Yet even in His fall he brought succour to His children.

Devoted of Haztec:
All praise His name!

Priest of Haztec:
Like a thunderbolt He hit and His fall shocked the world. Like fire He hit and His fall burned the world. Like a fist He hit and His fall shook the world.

Devoted of Haztec:
His fall shook the world!

Priest of Haztec:
His fall shook the world. His fall shook the temples of the oppressors. His fall shook their false gods. His fall shook their empire. All felt His fall.

Devoted of Haztec:
All felt His fall.

Priest of Haztec:
Through the earth He fell in fire and anguish. Through the earth He fell and the earth closed above him.

Devoted of Haztec:
The earth closed above him.

Priest of Haztec:
In darkness and in fire He lay. In darkness and in fire He nursed His anger. In darkness and in fire He grew strong again.

Devoted of Haztec:
He grew strong again!

Priest of Haztec:
In the depths of the mountains His children heard His voice. In the depths of the mines His children heard His voice. In the depths of their despair His children heard His voice.

Devoted of Haztec:
We heard His voice!

Priest of Haztec:
Of fire and stone he spoke. Of blood and runes He spoke. Of power and Freedom He spoke.

Devoted of Haztec:
Of power and freedom he spoke!

Priest of Haztec:
We learned of magic from Him. We learned of strength from Him! We learned of vengeance from Him!

Devoted of Haztec:
We learned of vengeance from him!

Priest of Haztec:
Thus with His help we rose against the oppressors and drove them from our homes. With fire and stone, we drove them from our homes. With blood we won our freedom.

Devoted of Haztec:
With blood we won our freedom!

Priest of Haztec:
With blood we won our freedom. With blood we praised His name! With blood we show our thanks.

Devoted of Haztec:
With blood we show our Thanks.

Priest of Haztec:
With blood we show our thanks.
With blood we praise His name.
With blood we will set Him free!

Devoted of Haztec:
With blood we will set Him free!

The sacrificial offering is ritually opened and his heart removed and shown to the devoted.

Priest of Haztec:
All tremble at his name!

Devoted of Haztec:
All tremble at His name!

Priest of Haztec:
With fire we won our freedom.
With fire we praise His name.
With fire we show our thanks.

Devoted of Haztec:
With fire we show our thanks!

Priest of Haztec:
With fire we show our thanks.
With fire we praise His name.
With fire we will set Him free.

Devoted of Haztec:
With fire we will set Him free!

The sacrificial heart is ritually cast into the fires of Haztec that burn in idol cauldrons atop the step pyramid.

Priest of Haztec:
All tremble at His name.

Devoted of Haztec:
All tremble at His name!

Priest of Haztec:
Remember the treachery of Queznir!

Devoted of Haztec:
We remember!

Priest of Haztec:
Remember the whips of the oppressors.

Devoted of Haztec:
We remember!

Priest of Haztec:
Remember the voice of Haztec.

Devoted of Haztec:
We remember!

Priest of Haztec:
Obey the will of Haztec.

Devoted of Haztec:
We obey!

Priest of Haztec:
Obey the law of Haztec.

Devoted of Haztec:
We obey!

Priest of Haztec:
Obey the chosen of Haztec.

Devoted of Haztec:
We obey!

Priest of Haztec:
Go in the Blood of Haztec.
Go int the Fire of Haztec .
Go in the Will of Haztec.

Devoted of Haztec:
All tremble at His name!

Priest of Haztec:
All tremble at His name!

Devoted of Haztec:
All tremble at His name!

Uther the Unhinged wrote:
I see
Vanilla dwarfs (Quezcuz in my head) riding giant condors, with smaller(!) giant humming birds (as fighters to the bomber) supporting them (got to leave our hated cousins something). The Hazcuz (evil stunted) could ride giant feather winged serpents (Aztec mythos ) to fit with more arid climate where they have been driven. Possibly giant two headed ones as the bigger version.

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Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:39 pm
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:23 am
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Wonderful ideas from Ghiznuk over on T9A. We're on a roll:

Ghiznuk wrote:
Condor is such an overused trope, it seemed pretty obvious for me from the beginning lol

Yeah, let's go for a full flying army for those dwarves.
See them how they carved fortresses out of the flanks of the mightiest peaks, with wide openings on the side. In that enormous cave that is actually the entrance to the hidden fortress, countless preying birds are perched.
The dwarves routinely ride them for any errand they are sent to.

We can have full condor dwarves unit, much like Equitan pegasus knights.

Local Infernals on the other hand use a mightier technology, such as magic-propelled zeppelins, to ride between the sharp needle-like peaks.

All this, because those mountains are so high and sharp, that the valleys below are extremely narrow and dark, some of them full of strange water and slime, and scary monsters without a name, much like the fish from the deepest abyss.

You know, mountains like this :
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On such heights, not much rain, but our dwarves grow food on terrasses on the very mountain top, catching the humidity from the clouds by ingeniously crafted « fog nets ».
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For Infernal zeppelins (without steam-power), get some cues from comic series Thorgal. The country named « Qa » is more Aztec in style, fighting against the local Pueblo indians, but you get the idea ;)
(scenario by Jean Van Hamme drawings by Grzegorz Rosiński)
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Thu Mar 28, 2019 2:07 pm
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:23 am
Posts: 232
Energic brainstorming is taking place on Chaos Dwarfs Online:

Uther the Unhinged hooked onto the flying Dwarf concept:

Uther the Unhinged wrote:
Flying dwarves are cool and yes condor squadrons of ‘bombers’ protected by giant humming bird ‘fighters’ with the hero’s on huge Harpy eagles.

Zeppelins are a nice idea but a bit close to old world tech and would be ripped to pieces without protection from guns or ‘fighters’ . Therefore you could have zeppelin bombers ?pulled by flocks of flying foxes/bats and protected by ‘fighters’ . I like to think of dwarves on cockatrices (coz I love the figure from GW) the feathered nature and chaos would fit well. Oh and I have still not given up on feather winged snakes. Oh Oh Oh can we have flying monkeys???? Pleeese I want flying monkeys then we can get the vanilla dwarfs and their little llamas too!



While Gargolock had a lot of fertile ideas:

Gargolock wrote:
The Moche made a lot of pottery. I can imagine infernal dwarves bearing saurian equipment with vast bags of pottery. They could use them like Molotov’s filled with fiery daemonic fluid then then shatters on the enemies heads. A sort of infernal grenadiers.
The Moche also made lots of fine golden things. These could be reflected as magical artefacts of power, these infernal dwarfs of the torture valleys could be very adept sorcerers and have a heavy reliance on sorcery and artefacts in their military. They could have a Totem Of Adamant stone which could improve the armour of the wielded or something of the like.

I like the idea of tons of independence in these infernal dwarfs of the toture valleys. I think the idea of many city states possibly constantly at civil war could work or them united under a religious task like bringing pain to everyone. I think I prefer them being completely united under the cultural mechanic that they all must serve a higher purpose to a god.

Another wacky idea is that the sorcerers shouldn’t be in charge as rulers. To mix it up a bit the torture valleys could have cruel “Painbringers” as their rulers and government and have tons of adept sorcerers leading campaigns in the name of these lords of suffering. They could reverse the thinking of traditional infernal dwarfs and alter it to create a more unique society.

I think armies reliant on a magic and artefacts with very elite, glass cannons without much armour is a nice divergence and suits the Moche theme. Possibly having a society were strength and ability to inflict torment upon others dominates is fitting for the cruel inhabitants that live in the area. I also think the idea of sorcerers being born to serve as special chosen to try to advance the pain brought to everything rather than chosen leaders sounds interesting and could work.

They could worship an aspect or a divergent god that is more focused upon pure pain and torture than anything else, they could have a philosophy that believes that something bad happened (there is tons of events that could possibly fill this role, maybe the torture valleys had a mighty capital that the saurians burned, maybe a few saurians used to worship this pain god then revolted and decided to burn the capital. Maybe these dwarfs and some saurians lived in relative peace a long while ago.) only because the world resisted worshipping their god and now them as the sole worshippers of this god believe the must punish the world for abadoning him. They could have a complex built into their culture were they all serve to make the entire world suffer. Maybe the sorcerers could be chosen to ensure this happens? I am just spattering on here but there is tons that could be done. This is an excellent idea for infernal dwarfs.

As for the airship idea, I think the sorcerers could be given fleets by the Painbringers. Maybe it is a birth right of a sorcerer to be given the tools of war to inflict pain upon everyone by his Painbringer. I think these airships could be covered in painful weapons, like chains that get shot down with blades on the end (triangle shaped, barbed blades to cause maximum devastation). Or maybe fiery oil to sear the enemies. I am just thinking of war crimes now.



And finally Uther the Unhinged have some more ideas (he is explicitly giving reference homage to WHFB's Hashut, which is fine for his good headcanon but not advisable for T9A, so please look instead to what materials are of good use for our purposes and don't catch on quirks), and the first ever miniature conversion for the Torture Valleys!

Uther the Unhinged wrote:
The Hazcuz are known to be a very devout culture. This combined with their worship of a single ruling Deity would be expected to provide a strong unifying force. Little could be further from the truth. During the age of awakenings (rebellions against the saurian) Each mine developed in a fair degree of isolation from the other. Different dialects, different customs and different rituals arose. There was a brief joining and cross-fertilization of cultures during the 'Long Trek'. Since then the different groups split up and settled their own city states. These have been regularly at war almost ever since. Conflicts driven by competition for land, resources, slave and such doctrinal issues as the correct spelling of their deities name. Much blood has been spilt over whether it is Haztet, Haztec, Haztek, Hazteq or Hazteg. Such is the fervor and violence of the Hazcuz and their Painbringer priests. Indeed it is known that the only thing that can unite these warring cities is the Quezcuz.




Like all Dawi societies the Hazcuz are obsessed with Hierarchy. However where as usually it is beard length ard greyness, or in the case of thequezcuz gold ornamentation, the Hazcuz are different. The practice of curling and dyeing their beards means this is not an option. Thus the Hazcuz demonstrate hierarchy by their Headgear. The bigger the headpiece the more important the individual. Of course being a cult of pain blood fire and death many cities have skull themened Headgear either with 'naked' skulls or gold plated skulls dependent upon the individual caste and city.

Had a bleb of greenstuff left over soooo.....
Here is a very VERY roughmock up of a kigh caste Hazcuz warrior

PS Sorry Skink


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Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:53 pm
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Cold One Knight

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Uther the Unhinged over on Chaos Dwarfs Online continues with his grand vision for the Infernal Dwarves of the Torture Valleys. Check it out!

Uther the Unhinged wrote:
The Hazcuz outlook is similar in many ways to other dwarf cultures. Their defining outlook is one of bitter grudges, the overthrow of the rightful ruler Haztec, their oppression by the saurians and their persecution by the Quezcuz. Indeed their seminal national myth is the heroic ‘long trek’ from their mountain home to the Torture Valleys. This gruelling march assailed by the Quezcuz and harried by saurians, greenskins and beasts is the defining moment for them. It is seen as a trial survived by grim determination, stoicism, strength and ruthless dedication. There is however only partial truth to this. The survival of the Hazcuz actually owes much to their saurian enemies (though they would never admit this). The Quezcuz only called off their pursuit of the Hazcuz when faced with a massive assault by their former masters. The subsequent war lasted nearly two centuries. Finally exhausted by war the two sides ceased hostilities and the Quezcuz concentrated on rebuilding their shattered cities. The Hazcuz were forgotten, a footnote in the history of the war. So it would remain, but not forever.
The Quezcuz resemble the Hazcuz in many ways. They too believe in brother gods Queznir and Haztec. However in their telling Queznir was the elder brother. Haztec jealous of his brothers power rebelled against him. Queznir quelled his treacherous brothers rebellion and bound him. Then he sent forth his servants to find a prison to hold him. Thus it was that Queznir learned of the world. Incandescent with rage at the treatment of the dwarfs by the saurians Queznir smote the saurians with fire and rock. Having shattered their empire he sent his servants forth in secret to aid the dwarfs and bring them the knowledge oh his glory. Haztec he buried deep beneath the earth in his eternal prison.
Like the Hazcuz the cultures of the Quezcuz arose separately in their isolated mines. Like the Hazcuz they would unite against common foes. However between these brief respites the Quezcuz return to low level hostilities between the cities. That is they did until Dakhaztutek Hinkha. Dakhaztutek was the priest king of Khazkho a powerful Quezcuz city. Yet Dakhaztutek was not satisfied. It was he who first learned to tame the great condors that roosted in the high peaks. It was he who stole the eggs of the giant hummingbirds and raised the chicks bent his will. It was he who used these great beats to bring war to the other cities and bind them to him. Thus it was that Dakhaztutek became the first Hinkhan emperor. The cult of Queznir in his incarnation as the sky father spread through the wrathful mountains and drove the other sects out. The priest kings of Khazkho tolerated no deviation from their strict interpretation of the Quezcuz religion and used it to bind the satellite cities tightly to them. In only a few generations the Hincans had United all the wrathfull mountains and began to look further afield. They Braganza to look west to the Torture valleys....
To be continued

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Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:27 am
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Cold One Knight

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Some great brainstorming from Uther the Unhinged over at CDO. To Uther, the Hazcuz are the Infernal Dwarves of the Torture Valleys, while the Quezquz are the Dwarven Holds of the Wrathful Mountains. The Hinkha are the imperial expansionary DH of said range:

Uther the unhinged wrote:
Ok a bit more. Tried to assimilate Gargolocks ideas in as well. Hope you like.

The great condors of the Wrathful mountains have long dominated the skies there. Indeed their very presence had long benefitted the Quezcuz as the flying reptiles of the saurians avoid the territories of these great birds assiduously. However it was the taming of the great condors by the Hinkhan Quezcuz that proved decisive in their development. The condors provided control of the skies allowing the Hinkhan Quezcuz to project power. They could outmanoeuvre their enemies on the field of battle and when the other Quezcuz retreated to their cities they allowed the Hinkhan to control the terraces that produced their food eventually forcing them to come to terms. The condors also allowed the Hinkhan to control their vast empire once it was established. Only the great condors could travel easily between the isolated Quezcuz cities situated high on their mountain peaks.

It was under the young priest emperor Khuaynir Khapaz that the Hinkhan began to look beyond their traditional mountain territory. The great condors soared high scouting the land below. So it was that the Quezcuz discovered the lands of their despised cousins once more. Their scouts watched the Hazcuz cities from afar not wanting to alert them to their peri. Confident in their power the Hinkhans prepared for war.

The Hinkhan army approached slowly from the North east. Above it squadrons of the great condors circled ready to swoop over the enemy troops to spread fear and panic. However the lands they advanced over were eerily deserted. As the force approached the great city the infantry found itself increasingly confined to the wide roadways that converged on the city and its great stepped pyramid, by the numerous irrigation channels and canals that criss crossed the wide valley.
The Hinkhan had split the infantry into three columns that aimed to converge on the city itself. The foremost of the columns was still 5 miles out from the city when it came across the first signs of life. The Hazcuz had lined the roadway with stakes on either side. ImpLed upon each stake was the still writhing form of a slave. Human, green skin even dwarf prisoners moaned they final agonies, forming a grisly honour guard for the advancing Hinkhans. The groans of the dying and the foul buzzing of flies accompanied the final advance of the Hinkhan infantry upon the forbidding city.

The three columns were still a mile out from the gates when the first sign of opposition was seen. In silence the three great gates opened an ranks of Hazcuz warriors field out in silent phalanxes to block the roadways. The Hinkhans pounded their war drums in challenge but not counter challenge came. The Hazcuz stood in eerie silence. Inexorably the Hinkhans advanced stopping 300 yards short of their foe. The traditional challenges were made, the ritual insults hurled, the Great War drums sounded. Yet no answer came. The Hazcuz ranks stood in silence, their reptile skin shields locked and their war clubs readied.

The Great War drum of the Hinkhan general Akhuwalka started a slow beat. This was picked up by the drums throughout the three armies. Then the elite warriors of the Hinkhan vanguards began to beat their shields in unison to the drums. Slowly but surely the tempo of the drums picked up following the generals war drums’ beat. Then the Hinkhan Vanguard began their advance. In perfect lockstep to the beat of the drums. Each step echoed by the clash of war gear. Slowly the beat picked up. Slowly the advance quickened. At 300 yards they stepped. At 250 yards the vanguard started to chant. At 200 yards the were marching. At 100 yards they were trotting. At 50 yards the roared and charged. The drums beat a mad tempo and a thousand elite warriors raced upon the Hazcuz. Who never moved. Who never spoke. Who never flinched.

The Hinkhan charged the last 100 yards. They never noticed the small lines of stones stretched across the roadway. Each stone daubed in colour on the side facing the Hazcuz, each line a different colour. At 40 yards the saw the strange darts rise from the 3rd and 4th ranks of Hazcuz. Squat javelins 2ft in length, with feathered canes and flint points. They saw the bulbous pottery weights set on the shaft back from the points. But their wicker shields were strong and they raised them as they ran and roared their defiance. The darts struck the shields. Their points stuck futilely in the wicker. Very few found their mark. Many crashed to the floor harmlessly. The impact of the darts barely slowed the charge as the pottery weights slid down the shafts and smashed. At 25 yards the front ranks of the Hinkhan vanguard erupted in a sheet of flame. It was the first time the Honkhan has come into contact with the sticky combustible fluid known as Zanghazteg (the’blood of Haztec’). It would not be their last.

The swooping five of the condors has been timed to perfection. Aiming to hit the rear ranks of the Hazcuz just after the vanguard hit. The wall of flame that burst upward spooked the great birds. Most banked away but several were caught either by the updraught or stray darts. Suddenly aflame they panicked desperately seeking to escape their own immolation and disrupting the careful formations of their riders. Amidst this chaos hundreds of diminutive winged forms rose like gnats from their cages hidden behind the city walls. Strange stunted creatures, greenskins but tailed like monkeys with wings like bats. In swarms they assailed the great birds. Though tiny and feeble compared to these masters of the skies their sheer numbers proved decisive. Overwhelmed several birds wheeled from the city only to crash into the wide grasslands that surrounded it, great lions overwhelmed by termites. Other birds sought height fleeing their tormenting enemies.

On the ground the Hinkhan advance was in chaos. Pressed forward by the masses bodies behind them the vanguard was forced into the burns he’ll in front. Wave after wave of the dreaded darts (Tuskhazteg ‘teeth of Haztec) rose and fell. The great drums rapidly began to beat the retreat.

From the city walls great balls of twisting daemon in flames rose at the behest of the priest sorcerers of the Hazcuz. Many vanished harmlessly as the spell eaters of the Hinkhan battled this foul magic. Yet enough found their mark, burning and twisting the Hinkhan warriors they touched.

Focussed on the disaster unfolding in front the Hinkhan generals did not see the threat from the rear. Far out across the grassland strange shapes sprang from hidden ditches. Great flightless birds ( Hreaz) streaked across the ground to the Hinkhan rearguard. Leaping the irrigation ditches and narrow canals that watered the lad with ease the giant birds closed on the Hinkhan. Atop each bird sat a Hazcuz warrior. The nobles of their race. Too late the Hinkhan realised their danger. Yet the rear ranks turned well and locked their shields. The ranks behind the readied their javelins. But the shock of the charge never came. 30 yards out the Hazcuz released their Tuskhazteg and wheeled away. Carried by the momentum of their steeds the darts rose and fell with a terrible inevitability engulfing the rear ranks in flame. Again and again the Hreaz charged and their riders released their deadly gifts just out of javelin range.

Assailed from front and rear, their great condors harried and in disarray and with flames spreading to either side through the grasslands, the Hinkhan broke. Their famed discipline gone they fled. Many died in the fires that raged around the roadways. Others trampled by their comrades and drowned in the irrigation ditches. Others still hunted down and clubbed to death by the Hazcuz nobles on their great Hreaz. Few escaped save those condor riders that had survived the initial assault above the city walls. Great Alhuwalka was led in ropes from the field. The priest king of the Hazcuz city is said to have used him bound as a mounting block for his Hreaz for years afterwards.

The disaster of the torture valleys shook the Hinkhan empire. The myth of their invincibility was shattered. The empire was convulsed by rebellions and civil war for decades after. Eventually order was returned and the Hinkhans ventured once more to the Torture valleys. This time there were to be no easy victories for either side. A state of perpetual low grade war has existed ever since

The great victory of Mokhe field is celebrated by all Hazcuz city state for all sent troops. The Quezcuz may have forgotten the Hazcuz in their struggles against the saurians And long wars of empire. The Hazcuz never forgot. For years they had watched the eastern approaches. The first scouting flights of the condors had been marked and plans laid. Hreaz from all city states had been gathered. As had the strange Ghordhuz, the Simi Yate vicious winged greenskins that had surprised the great condors. These are bred in great numbers by the Hazcuz and used as slaves messengers and scouts.


The great birds are based on South American Rheas

The teeth of Haztec are based on roman plumbata with pottery weights carrying Greek fire

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Sat Apr 13, 2019 10:15 am
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Cold One Knight

Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2014 8:23 am
Posts: 232
It seems The Snowman was ahead of his time. Hazcuz before there were Hazcuz!

From Golden Hat XI (2010):

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Fri May 03, 2019 6:13 am
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