Perhaps more off-putting was the distinct lack of cheering, stomping and clapping from the crowd as the home team roared from the tunnel at the start of the match. In fact, to their dismay, the Pink Ones were met with absolute silence as they took to the pitch. They brayed fiercely, then mournfully to the crowd, but all eyes were on the stage...
Most of the beastmen fell to the ground and even the massive forms of the iron-clad warriors were forced to shield their eyes as the stage suddenly burst bright with the shattering light of a thousand dancing flames. The wailing of slaves and the unmistakable scent of burning flesh filled the air as the Twisted Sisters leapt onto the stage, shrieking laughter at their blazing prisoners.
The crowd jumped to their feet, almost buckling the wooden bleachers of the Pink Pyre, the force of their cheers ringing for miles around.
The Starchild held the mic close, a crooked smile ghosting his lips as his eyes surveyed the adoring crowd. With barely an ounce of effort, his voice powered through the speakers by a crashing wave of audiomancy, he intoned:
‘Do. You. Love. Us?’
The crowd cried out their affirmation, weeping adoring tears of pure rapture. A swathe of them burst forth onto the pitch, rushing the foot of the stage. Some were beaten back by the force of the flames, but most were able to gladly throw themselves upon the raging conflagration, jumping –oblivious - in excitement, reaching to touch the form of the Starchild even as their muscles shrank and cracked.
The Starchild laughed gleefully as he dropped his trousers and urinated on his burning fans. The rest of the crowd cried out their joy all the loader and even the beastman Ug-Gruff-Gaw, ‘the Darkling Heart’ brayed his approval.
The rest of the Horrors glared in silence as the ‘Darkling Heart’ punched the air, overjoyed. When he eventually noticed their disdain, he shrugged.
‘Their live album... really good,’ he explained and grudgingly fell silent.
The Starchild took up the mic once more.
‘Let’s. Play. Blood Bowl!’
And with that, the Twisted Sisters stormed the pitch, the referee blew his whistle, and the dooming of the Pink Horrors began...
Both teams lost time as fans rioted to get autographs from the Starchild, but once the pitch was cleared, it was a cagey start to the beastmen’s game, having received the ball but not quite daring to pick it up in case of catastrophe. Their uncertainty as to what this strange, round piece of inflated skin was led to the Starchild rushing forth and scoring an early touchdown – pushing the Horrors onto the back-hoof.
The children of the Dark Gods now had it all to do – at best hoping to equalise before the half-time whistle. But as they became bogged down in surrounding elves, they were forced to fall back upon their favoured tactic of hitting problems until they were solved. Sadly though, the audacious sacrifice of the Twisted Sisters at the outset seemed to have secured the favour of the gods.
Each time the elves were beaten to the floor, they merely jumped back to their feet, unscathed, much to the annoyance of Head Coach Lysenko. In the end, the Horrors were unable to punch their way through the Dark Elf lines and, predictably, the Sisters scored their second touchdown at the beginning of the second half.
Hopes of a win were quickly fading for the Horrors and they moved from a scoring stance to one of damage control, knowing that under the circumstances, a two-nil defeat would perhaps be better than they deserved.
Typically, as the ‘Weeping Widow’ awkwardly scooped up the ball from the pitch, he was swamped by the elves and forced to lob the ball down the field and hope for the best. Equally typically, Mendaitha, plucked the ball out of the air with magnificent grace. In a bizarre twist though, the gods’ interest waned - perhaps becoming more excited by the sight of Khorne’s Killers butchering what was left of the Slaves to Pleasure – and the Sisters were unable to immediately capitalise on their good fortune.
What followed was a catalogue of fumbles, trips, slips, drops and knock-outs, leaving both coaches wondering what their teams were doing, but – inevitably – the Horrors were unable to stop the elves scoring one last crowning touchdown.
It was then left to the Violated Virgin to restore at least some honour to the Horrors by smashing the teeth out of Snidjer’s head and forcing him to miss the next game.
In the end though, as the final whistle blew and the Twisted Sisters took to the stage to sate the crowd with a medley of their greatest hits (The Dark Gods Gave Rock and Roll to You, We Built This City on Broken Bones and Clanrat Out of Hell...), the Horrors slipped quietly off the pitch, only able to cling to the consolation that though the elves may have scored lots of those touchdown thingies, the immoral victory was theirs – winning one-nil on injuries caused.
In the dugout, Head Coach Lysenko was observed pinching and stroking the skin on his face sadly, as though one day soon, he would miss it...