…..For the Time Draws Near
by: Lester Crow
Jet black clouds clashed against the snow capped mountain peaks. Far below this battle of the elements a lone hunched figure trudged its way slowly along a winding trail that snaked its way around the face of the mountain . The lone traveler’s tattered cloak whipped to and fro furiously in the hastening winds, but despite the sheer force of the brewing storm the resolute figure continued to push onward. The traveler had walked for what seemed like several lifetimes, head bowed against the gale, always northward. A particularly strong gust blew back the cowl that had been pulled closely across the stooped figures face. What was uncovered would have been a gruesome sight had someone been there to behold it. His face torn and bleeding, the pustules upon his now sunken cheeks oozing with what the Shallyan’s have termed Nurgle’s Rot, this troubled traveler looked as though his days had finally caught up with him.
The mans stature betrayed a past of hardship. His once broad shoulders, now stooped and rounded toward a chest that labored with each breath, showed signs of a man who was once a great hero of battle. However something vile had turned this strong specimen into a hacking, sniveling mess. Groaning as he plodded forward, the diseased traveler continued to place one foot in front of the other; onward down a path certain to end in doom. Without so much as a whisper a dark form began to take shape on the path ahead. This new comer seemed to appear out of the Aethyr, its form even more grotesque than that of the traveler’s.
“Come my child,” the bloated figure cooed in a voice that dripped with death and decay, “give in to the pain and suffering. Let the Plaguefather give you new purpose. Your days do not grow any longer.” If the traveler slowed his pace it did not show, and so the bulbous and perverse creature of dreams took up beside him as he made his way up the winding path that carved a foothold into the mountain side. “All hope is lost child of man. Only in despair can you find repose. Give up this foolish journey and embrace your new fate. To bear the Lord of Fly’s gifts is a blessing bestowed only on those he deems the most worthy.” The entity seemed almost to mock the man openly, its voice a writhing cacophony that bubbled like a swamp.
The boot shod feet of this weary sojourner dragged more with each passing step, however a fire burned within his puss lined eyes as he continued onward and upward. The two walked together for what seemed an eternity to the traveler, all the while the beguiling words of his disturbing companion oozed like disease filled honey. At last the the leprous pair stopped as the path ended before a cavernous entrance. Runes of old carved into the rock face told a story that the traveler could not decipher. It was here where his quest was to end, he could feel it in his bones.
Lifting his feet, the man lurched forward on what would be the final leg of his journey, upon those swollen appendages did he enter the ancient cave. A look of woe seemed to flicker across the face of the tempter who accompanied the traveler, if only for a brief moment. “You are one of us and you know it. Soon to be as immortal as Morrslieb. Why do you continue this foolish escapade!?” the creature spewed the words forth as if his chances were disappearing.
The man paid little heed to the daemon’s feeble attempts to sway him . Hot air scorched his ravaged flesh as the weary traveler made his way toward a ledge that stood several yards from the mouth of the cavern. Each step he took seemed lighter than the last. He reached the very edge and peered over the precipice into the seething hot magma far below. He had finally found his resting place.
“I see through your ruse Bringer of Famine. You know you have have no power here Agent of the Realm of Refuse. I hereby claim my soul as my own” the words seemed to lift the wretched frame of the traveler. Smiling, he threw himself over the cliff and into the waiting hands of Morr.
The daemon messenger, sent to bring the rotting traveler into the Plaugefathers fold, had failed at its task and was now no more. For one does not fail the Supreme Lord of Decay, the Regent of Rot………. Nurgle.