Sunday, 26 August 2012

The Pink Horrors 2 - 0 The Drakkenhoff Ravens

The Grinning Butcher raised his right arm, flexing the muscles in his hand.  As he tried to clench his aged, calloused fingers into a fist, bolts of pain shot from his wrist to his shoulder and he knew that his best Blood Bowling days were behind him.  He snarled, spitting hatefully onto the pitch before wiping spots of stray saliva from his pink beard.  It would not be a good day.

He looked around the stands.  The roar of the crowd was somewhat muted today, the ferocious brays of the home fans tempered by the ragged groans of the rather ill-looking Ravens fans.  Necro supporters certainly weren’t what they used to be.  This once-mighty Warrior of the Blood God would at one time have relished sullying the virtue of countless necromantic fans, with their faux-black hair, their heavy eyeliner and – most importantly – their voluptuous chests that could smother the life out of a randy Bloodthirster.  But those were the good old days, before the fads changed, the girls got fat and the vampire teams lured them away with their moping lamentations on the miseries of an immortal life.  Now all that sadly remained were hordes of mindless zombies who, if they had the faculties at their disposal to be completely honest with themselves, didn’t have the faintest idea where their own feet were, let alone any sort of clue as to what everybody in the stadium was cheering about.

Indeed, the Horrors fans found plenty to cheer about as their newest signing, the minotaur Ermintrude Gayhammer, roared onto the pitch, scenting the blood of a werewolf.  As soon as the ball was kicked-off to the Pink Ones, the Gayhammer thundered across the turf, tearing out chunks with its great hooves, straight for the wolf-man.  While the minotaur pounded his way through the necromantic front line, the rest of the Horrors huddled around the ball and waited to see how the situation would play out.

The Ravens fans groaned as seventeen tonnes of angry bull managed to catch ‘Howling Mad’ Murrdok Von Drakk by the tail and launch him flailing across the pitch.  The snapping of broken bones as the werewolf landed was drowned out by the ferocious brays of the man-goats.  Their celebrations were quickly silenced though as the wolf-man defiantly stood, his bones mending themselves before their very eyes.  Von Drakk was alive and well, though thankfully out for most of the rest of the first half.

With the wolf out of action, the Horrors decided it was time to make their move.  Sadly, getting carried away while clutching the ball, the Drowned Lover ran in completely the wrong direction in order to lay a heavy punch in the face of an ambling zombie who had ‘looked at him funny’.

Once they had calmed down, the Horrors succeeded in forcing their way down the field with the ball, managing to whittle away most of the first half and denying the Ravens any hope of an equalizer before half-time.

By the second half, the Horrors had grown in confidence; they were leading by one touchdown, they had the entire team still alive on the pitch and Ermintrude was proving to be a fine investment.  But as the Ravens lurched onto the field for the second half, the Horrors realised to their dismay that the necromantics had been keeping a little something back...

The crowd was silenced by the roar of a chainsaw as Hack Enslash marched out to join the Ravens on the pitch and it was clear from the start that his churning blade had the minotaur’s name written all over it.  Barely a second had passed after the whistle blew before Ermintrude was nose-down in the turf being dragged bleeding from the field on a stream of his own blood.

In a rage of blood-lust, Hack Enslash ploughed on into the rest of the Horrors, lopping off the arm of the Oozing Gash with one wild swing of his chainsaw.  Luckily, the warrior was tough enough not to need too much attention from the Horrors’ apothecary, who managed to successfully sew the limb back on.

The real controversy of the match came when Me? the zombie laid an apparently foul block against the Weeping Widow.  After some violent protestations to the referee from the Horrors coach, along with many cutting insults from the players, the official resolved the situation by holding down the wronged man-goat while the offending zombie stamped on his head until he stopped twitching.

That was the last time anyone argued with the ref.

Aside from the Weeping Widow’s unfortunate death, the rest of the match seemed to go completely in the Horrors’ favour.  Despite the Ravens taking possession at the start of the half, and then being particularly vocal with their fists throughout, their game plan fell foul when the wight carrying the ball was tripped as he tried to dart away from a scrum of man-goats.  The Blushing Doxy, Concubine of Slaanesh, easily scooped up the flailing ball and threw it to Grull-Maggath, the Drowned Lover, who scored a second magnificent touchdown in the final stages of the game.

Their chances of victory evaporating before their glazed and vacant eyes, the rest of the match became an exercise in vengeance for the Ravens, who took every opportunity to try and kill off their opponents.

The Grinning Butcher was sent hurtling backwards through the air by the fist of a flesh golem, landing face-skywards in the dirt.  Before his hand was destroyed and the subsequent foul infections of Nurgle had taken their toll, the blow would barely have tickled him.  Now he lay staring at the stars which wheeled overhead, a weak and crippled old man, all use having abandoned him.

But as he stared upwards, the moon above grew red and something in the air changed.  Thunder cried out, though the sky was cloudless and, from nowhere, a searing bolt of pink lightning pierced his chest.  All was blackness and agony and the scream of tortured souls.  And then there was stillness.

He awoke at dawn to find the rest of the team looking down at him.  He was still lying in the middle of the pitch and, but for his team-mates, the stadium was empty.

‘We thought you dead,’ grunted the Drowned Lover.

‘Aye,’ he agreed.

‘What with lightning and all,’ explained the Broken Oath.

‘Aye,’ said the Butcher.

‘And your legs,’  he added.

‘Aye.’  The Grinning Butcher sat up.  ‘What?  What you sayin' 'bout my legs?’

The team shuffled nervously, staring at their hooves.

‘What’s wrong with my legs?’

The Butcher looked down.

‘Oh,’ he said.

They were glowing.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Pink Horrors 1 - 0 Astun Killa

Night-time was falling fast around the Pink Pyre Stadium and - as he was being dragged through the dirt by the chains around his ankles - Coach Lysenko couldn’t help but notice that with daytime’s thick pall of black clouds shrouding the sun, there was very little difference between the two at all.

The coach had become used to travelling around on his back and, if he were honest, the ground had been so worn by his prone body eroding its stony clay that his journeys were now almost what he’d call comfortable.

The Drowned Lover, probably the most proficient of all the man-goats, barged the stadium’s rotting wooden gates open with a pink-furred shoulder.  Coach Lysenko didn’t need to trouble his neck to see where he was being taken as his head bounced off each and every one of the six-hundred-and-sixty-six stone steps leading down from the Pink Pyre.

Today had been Match Day, which meant only one thing.

Lysenko was being taken to He, the thing in the skin-tent.

At the foot of the almost-sheer slope of rock which ascended jaggedly towards the clouds, cradling the Pink Pyre Stadium at its peak, there sat a tent; an old tent, worn and weather-beaten, erected before the time of any now living.  From without, its walls were hued a pale and ghostly blue by the flames which roiled inside – but those walls, at first glance ragged sheets of heavy cloth bound tight with twine, were not in fact what they seemed.  Every inch of leathery material which sheathed the crudely-hewn wooden frame was all that remained of the coaches who had displeased the thing which dwelled within.

Whatever it was which resided beneath those tanned flaps of skin, its form shrouded in heavy, mouldering robes, had no name of which the coach was aware.  ‘He’ was all anyone said; ‘He wants to see you,’ or ‘He is angry,’ or ‘You must go to He and hope him not want to skip with your gizzards.’

The Drowned Lover threw back the entrance flap (Grolgar Mittenfeugen, Head Coach, circa I.C. 2168-2173...) and slung Lysenko inside.  The coach scrambled  to his knees and stared across the sapphire-blue flames.  The form opposite was unmoving and the tent fell silent as the grave.

Seconds passed, dragging into minutes, and Lysenko began to sweat.

The creature, He, neither mover nor spoke.

The silence was unbearable and Coach Lysenko broke it before he was driven mad:

‘So... Not a bad result today, then?’

No reaction.

‘You know what they say,’ the coach tried to force a smile, ‘it’s not easy being green.’

Indeed, today  it hadn’t been.  In a rare show of skill, the Horrors had managed to convincingly keep their orc opponents at bay.  Astun Killa had put up a ferocious fight, to be sure, leading with their fists the way that only an orc team can do, but so furious were the Pink Ones after their defeat to the Jagermonsters the week before, and so determined were they not to be humiliated in that manner again, the Horrors came out punching from the kick-off and didn’t stop until the last dregs of the crowd had begun their dismal walk home at the end of the match.

The war-master Khorne, fortunately for both sides, had been slumbering for much of the match and the most serious injuries suffered were knock-outs and bruised pride – though he did open one sleepy eye in time to see Baa-Ram-Ewe of the Horrors disembowelled by Jow Hurt of the Killas; but both orc and Chaos cheered his death in equal measure as nobody likes a journey-goat.

In the end, it had been a close game, the Horrors managing to cling to the narrow lead they had secured early in the first half.  The orcs had put up a fine fight, but in the end the Horrors simply had to wait for the clumsy greenskins to do what they do best – drop the ball at every opportunity.

It wasn’t a comfortable win, or a glorious one, but it was at least a win which Lysenko felt merited him keeping his skin.

As if reading the coach’s thoughts, a finger – long-clawed and bony – appeared from beneath the creature’s robes.

‘...You... want... keep... nanny-jabber?’ asked He.

‘What?  I don’t follow...’

The finger gestured towards the coach’s groin.

‘Oh.  I understand.  Yes, yes please.  I would like that very much.’

There came a snort from somewhere inside the robes.

‘Then...’ He said, ‘Someone you need to meet...’

Lysenko heard the tent flaps thrown open behind him and felt hot breath as something large and foul sniffed the back of his neck.  He slowly turned to see the unmistakeable form of a minotaur trying to untangle its horns from the guy ropes.

The coach sighed.

‘Alright, if you insist.  But the bell has got to go.’

Friday, 10 August 2012

The Pink Horrors 1 - 2 The Jagermonsters

The burial was at dawn, but there was no colour in the morning sky, just a pall of iron grey.

A keening wail pierced the mist, a mournful ballad butchered by a foul tongue as the Murdered Maid sang the eulogy.  The funeral, if that it could be called, was in stark contrast to the graceful farewell bid to Twister Pine-Cone of the Green Glade Hackers.

Coach Lysenko remembered that occasion well; the scattered flowers, the silver-grey shroud that was intricately, lovingly, embroidered with the tapestry of the wood elf’s proudest achievements.  And the words.  The words which, though foreign and beyond the grasp of his human understanding, filled his very soul to the brim with sadness.

As the Drowned Lover and the Broken Oath dumped the smashed body of Ug-Gruff-Gaw, the Darkling Heart, into the shallow and hastily scored out pit, Lysenko realised that this burial would be something completely different.

The game had been a blood bath.  Even now, in the healing-dungeon, the Grinning Butcher lay bandaged and bloody – and as he slept in his sweat-soaked bower, the nightmares made him scream as over and over again in his fever, the Jagermonsters came for him.

The nightmare for the Pink Horrors began at the outset. The Jagermonsters surged forwards on the whistle and the butchery began in earnest as the Repeated  Scream was bludgeoned from the pitch.  The Horrors tried to match the Norse-men’s ferocity by removing one of the fat-bearded ones in response, but the humans maintained their advantage shortly afterwards when the Oozing Gash was brutally removed from the game.

Thought the Horrors initially managed to stand firm in the face of the false-horns, scoring the first touchdown of the match, the Norse-men easily equalized in the remaining seconds of the first half, and a knock-out from the humans meant that the Pink Ones were a player down on their foes at the beginning of the second.
The whistle blew, the Horrors kicked, and then the slaughter began.

The Darkling Heart was the first to fall, killed mercilessly as the team’s apothecary tended the wounds of the Grinning Butcher, who barely survived a ferocious Yhetee-mauling.

By the end of the match, barely two players were left on the pitch for the Horrors as the Jagermonsters sat the ball beside the endzone and proceeded to foul the prone man-goats into oblivion.  The Norse-men, drunk on dishonour, waited until the referee raised his whistle in preparation for the end of the match before easily stepping over the line to score.

It was the second loss of the season for the Horrors, but for Coach Lysenko it was a loss counted in more than touchdowns.  It was a brutal loss that may well have taken his team out of contention for the league title.
Though the coffers had only swelled slightly after the game, the Horrors coach had already planned a mid-week pilgrimage to the local livestock auction.  He was starting to think that he might need a minotaur after all...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

The Pink Horrors 1 - 1 The Slaves to Pleasure

The crowds brayed in ferocious anticipation, the very walls of the stadium throbbing and swelling as the home team, the Slaves to Pleasure, took to the field.  As always, the daughters of Slaanesh had promised a spectacular display, predicting debauchery and death in equal measure.

The Pink Horrors could but stare in wonder as the lithe, fey, grotesquely beautiful daemonettes whimpered and moaned their way pleasurably down the pitch towards them.

The referee’s hand trembled as he drew the whistle from his pocket and a sweat broke on his reddening brow.

It took three attempts before he could find his mouth with the whistle, but when he finally managed to sound the start of the match, the Slaves launched the ball down the field and... nothing happened.

The Horrors could only grin longingly as they watched their opponents writhing around on the pitch, all thoughts of Blood Bowl forgotten.  Some of them began to applaud.

‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING???’ screamed the Blushing Doxy.  A disciple of the Prince of Pleasure herself, she was immune to the spell woven by her Slaaneshi sisters.  ‘GET THE BAAAAAAALL!’

‘But my billy-plums are tingling,’ moaned the beastman,  Broken Oath.

The Blushing Doxy broke the hex with a swiftly-delivered iron-clad boot between the hind legs of the man-goat.  He dropped to the floor, but his keening howl certainly gained the attention of the rest of the team.

‘Now GET THE BALL!’ screamed the Doxy.

‘Billy-plums sad...’ he groaned.

The rest of the team leapt for the ball, huddling around it, the beastman carrying it becoming lost in the protective scrum, and that’s where it stayed for the majority of the half as the Horrors fought off the attacks of the Slaves, but little daring to advance themselves.

In the end, this tactic led to a mad scramble for the endzone in the dying seconds of the first half.  Thankfully for the Horrors, their caution paid off, scoring just as the half-time whistle blew.  To the anger of the crowd though, this half had been sadly bereft of any serious injuries.

The second half was as tense as the first.  The Horrors needed to fiercely defend their lead against the Slaves’ attack and several lucky knock-outs certainly helped them.  In a huge stroke of luck for the Pink Ones, the Drowned Lover managed to counter a block from Escalvo, taking her out of the game and – potentially – cutting short her career.

After a scrappy defence, the Horrors managed to capitalise when Skavle of the Slaves tried to make a break for the endzone – the Betrayed Bride knocked him to the floor and sent the ball scattering.

The rest of the Horrors were quick to huddle around the ball, making it almost impossible for the Slaves to equalize.  However, in a fit of madness and glory-lust, the Broken Oath leapt into the scrum of man-goats and attempted to pick up the ball, much to his team-mates’ dismay.  He fumbled the pick-up and the ball bounded to the feet of Esclave, who danced around the scrambling Horrors to score a welcome equalizer.

With precious minutes left in the game, the Horrors were forced to try and emulate the strange and mysterious ways of the accursed elves.  The Betrayed Bride picked up the kicked ball as it bounced across the pitch and, waving his arm while at the same time letting go of the air-filled bladder, managed to launch it down the field.

This was an entirely unexpected turn of events as far as the rest of the team were concerned and they were content to watch it land and tumble across the grass as they continued to pummel their opponents.

When the final whistle blew, the crowd were left longing for the orgy of death that they had been promised, while Coach Lysenko was left kicking himself for the simple error that had lost his team the advantage and the win...