Act 2

Scene 5: That’s the Sigmar way!

mperial camp in front of the Castle gate. Brother Albert’s tent. A sizeable structure that houses an enormous table on which maps and battle plan lie scattered. There are also miniatures on the plans showing individual regiments of attackers, as well as miniatures of skeletons that occupy the battlements of the Castle’s illustrations. Brother Albert himself and two knights panther in full combat gear bend over the map with attention and a glass of Reikland wine.]

[Brother Albert] [taking a sip of wine] Are the scouts back yet?

[Gustav] [looking towards the empty tent entrance] They should be any time now.

[Brother Albert] Good. It would not be wise to attack not knowing what awaits us in this foul keep.

[Kurt] Pf, whatever it is, we’re gonna set it on fire. Fire is good against everything.

[Gustav] [raising an eyebrow] Everything?

[Kurt] That’s right, against all sort of filth.

[Gustav] Like say, a dragon?

[Kurt] [dispassionately] Also, yes.

[Gustav] [folding his hands theatrically] Is that so? And against lets say, a fire elemental also?

[Kurt] Yup. [after a while, through the teeth] Fight fire with fire.

[Suddenly, a commotion is heard outside the tent. There are anxious shouts calling “messenger”, “messenger” in the background. After a short while, a wight appears in the entrance to the tent. He is a daunting figure clad in black armor and wearing a helmet with ornaments stylized as great bat wings. He looks at the humans with flaming red eyes. The knights instinctively put their hands on the hilts of their swords, but the wight signals with his hand for them to hold back. He eyes them for a moment, then with quick gesture he pulls out a severed head of one of the Imperial scouts from under his black cloak. The knights immediately draw their swords, but the wraith once again holds them back with a gesture of his open hand. After a moment, he also produces a harmonica out of his pocket. The humans look at each other confused. The wight raises the severed head and puts the harmonica to its mouth. Suddenly the head comes alive and blows, the harmonica plays a short tune.]

[Johan’s Head] [singing in a whistling hollow voice]

We just wanted to say “hey, it is good you came to play”,

It’s a beautiful day, for you to pray and slay,

But when you are done for today, please be on your way,

Your presence here is…

[The head frowns and looks to the wraith holding it.]

[Matheus the Wight] [dispassionately with a cold, screeching voice] … disgusting.

[Johan’s Head] [with a grimace] That doesn’t rhyme!

[Matheus the Wight] But it’s true.

[The wight drops the head which becomes inanimate again.]

[Matheus the Wight] Leave while you can.

[Kurt] I have a better idea. [grabbing a torch] First I’ll burn you and then I’ll burn that filthy castle to the ground.

[The wight laughs out loud and then suddenly pauses.]

[Matheus the Wight] You have been warned.

[Knights advance towards the dark messenger, but he suddenly covers himself with a cloak. Then the cloak falls the ground, and a hundred bats fly out from under it. They fly towards the Castle like a dark cloud.]

[Gustav] Brother Albert, what’s the plan?

[Brother Albert] [looking at the severed head of his scout] Time to act. We will use reliable imperial war tactics.

[Kurt] Ha! That’s more like it! So, we rush headlong and wait for the enemy to shit their pants at the sight of the Emperor’s bravest warriors?

[Gustav] [frowning] What ?! Have you seen these walls? Kurt, not even your thick head can get through …

[Brother Albert] [raising his hand as the wight did before] We will use another realiable imperial war tactic … meaning, we will use a reliable dwarven siege tactic. [shouting to the guards outside the tent] Send me Borri Grumson here.

[Outside the tent immediately there are shout calling for a Borri Grumson.]

[Kurt] If you ask me, I think we should burn these walls down. It’s the Sigmar way.

[Gustav] [rolling his eyes] Nobody asked for your opinion.

[Then, a dwarf appears at the entrance to the tent. He is dressed in light armor, a helmet, and on his right eye he wears a bizarre, multi-layer monocle.]

[Borri] You called, commander?

[Brother Albert] Borri, my friend. Yes, I did. We need your wise elder race advice. We have a castle here, access to which is guarded by great walls and a massive gate. How would we deal with this minor inconvenience?

[Borri] [without any hesitation] Fire.

[Kurt] [pointing a finger at Gustav’s face] Ha! What I tell you? You have a stupid face and your mom dresses you funny. [to Borri] Yes, yes, flawless logic, bravo.

[Brother Albert] [ignoring Kurt, to Borri] Fire?

[Borri] Exactly so. One volley from old Greta and that gate over there will become a whisp of smoke and a pile of splinters.

[Kurt] Right on! And then we’ll burn them!

[Gustav] What the hell are we going to burn?!

[Kurt] Well … the splinters [seeing Gustav frown] What ?! You’re telling me splinters don’t burn?! They’re made of wood, you know?

[Brother Albert] [ignoring the knights again, to Borri] Old Greta?

[Borri] Yup. That’s the huge cannon that a herd of donkeys dragged all the way here. Dwarven engineering. Those fragile human fortifications will crumble on the sight of it.

[Brother Albert] Then I guess we have a plan. [to Gustav and Kurt] Get your troops ready, we will attack as soon as the gate falls.

[Kurt] But we do bring torches, right?

[Brother Albert] [with a sigh] Yes, we bring torches … that’s the Sigmar way.

[The curtain falls. After a while, it rises to reveal a fragment of the field in front of the castle, on which a large dwarven cannon is set not far from the gate. Borri stands proudly next to it ready to fire. A little further away from the castle, Brother Albert, Gustav and Kurt lead the imperial troops ready to attack. With a broad smile Borri shows a thumbs up to Brother Albert. The human returns the gesture. The dwarf leans over the cannon and aims meticulously. When he is satisfied, he theatrically sets fire to the powder. There is a thunderous roar that scares off birds from the surrounding trees. A stone cannonball bursts out amid a fiery explosion and clouds of smoke hitting the gate with great force. As the smokescreen drops… so does the cannonball bouncing helplessly of the intact gate.]

[Borri] [staring in disbelief] By my beard…

[Suddenly, a loud laugh is heard from one of the windows at one of the bottom levels of the fortress.]

[Zahrruk] [shouting to Borri] Hahaha. What kind of a goblin fart was that supposed to be ?! You call that a cannon?! Try to throw it at the gate, you’ll do more damage! Hahaha, idiot!

[There is a consternation in the Imperial camp.]

[Brother Albert] [to his comrades, frowning] Hmm, we need a new plan.

[Kurt is about to say something, but Brother Albert interrupts him with a raised finger.]

[Brother Albert] [to Kurt] Not a word about burning stuff or I’ll burn you.

[Kurt] [offended] Hmpf, that’s the Sigmar way alright, but it ain’t nice.

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