Act 1

Scene 13: Meet Herr Drachenfels

ining room. A large rectangular room. In the centre of the room there is a huge table for about seventy people. It is richly set with silver and crystal. A gigantic crystal chandelier hangs over the table. More or less in the centre of the table, Wolfgang, Snori and Lorindil sit, the latter still examining his piece of warpstone.]

[Wolfgang] [holding a silver knife in his huge hand] Do you think it will be alive?

[Snori] What will be alive?

[Wolfgang] Well… the food.

[Snori] [surprised] What are you babbling about?

[Wolfgang] Well, why would they give a knife and the other funny thingy?

[Snori] [irritated] It’s decoration, imbecile.

[At this point, “O Fortuna” is played in the background, the door opens and Constant Drachenfels enters the room with the “Imperial Courier” in hand. His gaze somehow passes the party of heroes, and the Enchanter proceeds towards his chair, decorated with a “D” monogram. He sits down, unfolds the newspaper and starts reading.]

[Lorindil] [breaking away from the examining the warpstone with difficulty, whispering] Hey, isn’t that?…

[Snori] [also whispering] Impossible.

[Lorindil] Well, who could it be? Look how he is dressed.

[Snori] Still impossible.

[Lorindil] An aura of evil, enormous figure, almost material magic in the air around him…

[Snori] I’m telling you it can’t be Gnori…

[Lorindil] [surprised] Who now?

[Snori] He only works near Karak-Varn.

[Lorindil] Who is Gnori?

[Snori] Whadda ya mean “who is Gnori”? You don’t know who Gnori is?

[Lorindil] I have no clue.

[Snori] Ha, you woodland monkeys, you don’t know anything. Gnori is the most famous dwarven robber.

[Lorindil] But…

[Snori] The tallest of Karak-Varn dwarves, he attacks the rich and gives to the poor.

[Lorindil] This is probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

[Wolfgang] This fellow is the cook?

[Lorindil] I stand corrected.

[Wolfgang starts looking at the Drachenfels’ newspaper. He looks for a long moment and then turns to the Enchanter, screaming across the room.]

[Wolfgang] That newspaper, it is old, it is!

[Lorindil and Snori dive under the table with horror in their eyes. Constant drops the newspaper and looks at the before unnoticed guests with surprise in his eyes. At the same time Wilhelm bursts into the room banging the doors. Realizing what’s going on, the demon hits his head with his open hand, then turns on his heel and tries to leave the room. Drachenfels makes a gesture with his hand without looking in that direction, the door closes in front of Wilhelm’s face. The servant leans his forehead against the door with resignation, mumbles some demonic prayer under his breath, then turns back again and puts a smile on his face.]

[Constant Drachenfels] Wilhelm, my insidious reptile, tell me, what are the mortals doing in my dining room during my breakfast?

[Wilhelm] [still smiling awkwardly] Well, there was a bit of a mis…

[Constant Drachenfels] [raising his hand] Wait a minute.

[Drachenfels chants a magic formula and snaps his fingers. Lorindil and Snori hit the table with their heads, then they quickly crawl out from beneath it and take their seats.]

[Constant Drachenfels] Go on.

[Wilhelm] Yes, well…

[Wolfgang] Excuse me, are you the cook?

[Constant Drachenfels] The cook?

[Wilhelm] [through his teeth] This is Herr Constant Drachenfels, count of this and the surrounding…

[Wolfgang] Drachenfels?! By Ulric! [nudges his comrades who pretend they’re not there] Guys, that’s the bad guy! We have to kill him! By Ulric!

[Wilhelm] [to himself] Why the hell is everyone interrupting me today?

[The Great Enchanter slowly rises from his seat. Wolfgang, on the other hand, takes his sword and rushes at Drachenfels.]

[Wolfgang] By Ulric!!!

[Wilhelm] [sits down on the floor and draws smiley faces in the dirt] So much for the fun…

[The Ulrican runs up to the Enchanter, who snaps his fingers, then grabs the opponent by the throat and, to the horror of almost everyone in the room, lifts the giant man up in the air with his single hand. He grins slightly and throws his opponent like a toy towards the nearest wall. Wolfgang hits his back against the wall, which causes one of the tapestries hanging on it to fall over the man’s head. The tapestry depicts the moon of Morrslieb with an added nasty mocking smile. Wolfgang staggers up from the floor with difficulty. At that moment the decorative tapestry flashes with greenish light for a moment and then the face of the moon comes to life and starts laughing demonically.]

[Tapestry] [in a hoarse voice, slightly resembling that of a goblin] T’was then that our lord brought us gifts…

[Wilhelm] [joining the familiar rhyme] Let us prepare a feast, be swift, be swift…

[Tapestry] [chuckling] Grateful and faithful to our Master grim…

[Wilhelm] [joyfully] Let us tear the sacrifice limb from limb, limb from limb!

[The tapestry twists and tightens around Wolfgang’s head and after a short while there is a sound of screeching, crunching and muffled screams of the human. Blood begins to trickle out from under the fabric. After a few moments, the man falls to the ground, dead. The tapestry busily continues to devour his flesh. Constant Drachenfels turns to the other two mortals.]

[Constant Drachenfels] Your turn.

[Snori stands up with fury in his eyes and grabs his axe. Lorindil takes a step back and raises the warpstone above his head.]

[Snori] You goddamn bastard! That was my idiot, you killed! I’m gonna rip your stupid head off and shove it in your ass!

[Constant Drachenfels] Go ahead, shorty.

[Lorindil] [in a maddened whisper] Thou Who Changes Ways, hear my plea…

[Snori rushes towards the Enchanter with a battle cry. At the same time, on the ceiling above Lorindil’s head, a sinister, ethereal vortex emerges out of nowhere.]

[Snori] Die, dark wretch!

[Lorindil] [speaking with a demonic voice] …send your power, give us strength, show us the way!

[As Lorindil finishes uttering the final words of the invocation, a purple ray of energy fires from the vortex above his head and strikes the dwarf. Snori falls to the ground and begins to writhe in pain. Then he rises. His physical form begins to alter. His legs contract, he grows a scorpion’s tail, his face lengthens and shifts into that of a goat and a lion’s mane appears on his head.]

[Lorindil] [furiously] What?! What the hell?!!! I pray for a blessing, to the greatest magical power of Chaos and what do I get?! A mutated dwarf?! Come on! You call yourself a Chaos deity?! Esmeralda, the halfling household goddess is more fearsome!

[Wilhelm] [rocking back and forth] I think it is unwise to insult the Powers of Chaos.

[Lorindil] Yeah?! What’s he gonna do about it?! Turn me into a sheep?!

[A second beam fires from the magical vortex and hits Lorindil, turning him into … a sheep.]

[Wilhelm] Yeah, we’re gonna have warp-chops for lunch today.

[The creature that Snori has turned into notices the sheep and shifts to attack it instead of the Enchanter. He catches the unfortunate Lorindil and, after stinging him with his poisoned tail, tears his head off and splashes blood in all directions. He is so preoccupied with eating that he does not notice the tapestry sneaking around him from behind. The tapestry launches an unexpected attack and, much like it did with  Wolfgang, strangles the victim and rends him limb from limb.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [turning his eyes to the whirlwind of Chaos] What’s the meaning of this meddling?

[Tzeentch] [from the Abyss, with the voice of a thousand suffering souls] Careful, Constant…

[Wilhelm] [suddenly excited] Or what? You gonna turn [with emphasis, pointing at Drachenfels] HIM into a sheep?

[An energy beam bursts from the vortex again, this time hitting the Great Enchanter. He stands as he did before and his physiognomy remains unchanged.]

[Wilhelm] [to himself] Damn.

[Constant Drachenfels] [dismissively] Please. Now excuse me, but we’re in the middle of breakfast.

[Drachenfels waves his hand, the whirlpool in the ceiling disappears.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [to Wilhelm] Get up, you lazy traitor, you have some cleaning up to do around here.

[Wilhelm gets up, goes to the wall, puts his hand literally in it and takes out a broom. He then starts cleaning, cursing constantly under his breath. After a while, Pierre the ghoul enters the room. He is carrying three covered trays on a movable table.]

[Pierre] Our breakfast is ready!

[Constant Drachenfels] [sitting at the table] Excellent.

[Wilhelm] [opening his eyes wide] No, you idiot!

[Drachenfels points to Wilhelm with his finger. A beam of energy bursts out painfully striking Wilhelm in the back.]

[Wilhelm] [in pain] Ouch.

[Constant Drachenfels] Shut up Wilhelm and go back to your cleaning. [to Pierre] Breakfast, now.

[Pierre approaches the table with great grace. He places the dishes in front of Constant, then takes two steps back and claps his hands. At this signal, the dishes uncover themselves. On the trays there are three meat miniatures of snotlings. The miniatures appear to be alive, they move around the dishes and when they spot Drachenfels they start throwing meatballs at him. Constant hits one with his fist, but the blow doesn’t have any effect on the little snotling.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [using the dish cover like a shield protecting him from the attacks] Let me guess … Meat golems?

[Wilhelm] [clearly trembling] Well, it sure looks like it. So uh… Should I kill Pierre or something?

[Constant Drachenfels] No, that won’t be necessary. I think I might have an idea who else, equipped with demonic powers, summoned these beings to life. Also, I know who will be cleaning up dog poop for the next eon or so… [realizing something] Right, the dog … [in the direction of the corridor] Fluffy!

[The puppy runs joyfully into the room.]

[Constant Drachenfels] [looking at Fluffy] I won’t even ask who, because that I already know [looking at Wilhelm], but I’ll ask what, Wilhelm, did you do with my dog?

[Wilhelm] Nothing! He did it to himself! Honest!

[Constant Drachenfels] [still fending off the indestructible meat golems] Yes, your honesty… Fluffy, sic ‘em.

[Fluffy jumps onto the table and greedily devours all three golems one by one. There are scuffling sounds coming from Fluffy’s tummy. After a while Fluffy burpps and the sounds stop.]

[Constant Drachenfels] Good dog … [coldly] bad demonic servant.

[Wilhelm] [in a hurt voice] But it was an accident, really.

[Constant Drachenfels] Shut up, Wilhelm. Take Fluffy out for a walk, then take a broom and start cleaning the castle. When you’re done do it again … then again … and again.

[Wilhelm] Well, maybe my Lord wishes to simply send me back to the Void or something?

[Constant Drachenfels] Yes, you would like that, wouldn’t you? Cunning beast. Get to work… And make me breakfast in the meantime. And burn the cook… and the breakfast should be as dead as the cook.

[Wilhelm] Ja wohl… [to himself] Damned existence.

[Suddenly the spirits of our three heroes materialize next to Wilhelm. They resemble the living versions of themselves before the mutations and the battle.]

[Wolfgang] [confused] Uh, so, well…

[Snori] [hysterically] What will happen to us?!

[The elf only looks blindly into the space before him.]

[Wilhelm] [in a tired voice] Oh yeah. Well, you have reached your destination, you have fallen more or less valiantly and now you will go where all who died in this castle go…

[Snori] [interrupting Wilhelm, still hysterically] I knew it! We’re going to hell!

[Wilhelm] [surprised] What? Where? No, you idiot … You will get a chamber like everyone else who died before you and you will be haunting it for all eternity. [suddenly, as if he understood something] Oh… Well, yeah, there’s something to it.

[The curtain drops, but rises in a moment. The audience sees a corridor with many doors on either side. Wilhelm leads the way. Behind him, hesitantly, the adventurers follow, looking cautiously around. The corridor is endless.]


End of Act I.

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