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...