Dimkin of the Stump
Lost Journal of Dimkin, Gnome of the Stump
- Day 47
My journey through the Turnip Plain has proven that it is not endless as I had first thought -- and why should it be since the gods are such right bastards that they would never make anything as nice as an endless turnip field. 'Pon finding the edge of the turnip rows I spied a great square mountain as red as blood in the distance, its peaks black as night. Towering shapes of queer proportion and unusual texture are scattered across my field of vision and I cannot help but feel that there was some intelligent force behind the shaping of them. Have I at last found the home of the gods spoken of in legend?
I hope I get the chance to piss in their drinking water if this be the case.
- Day 52
While foraging for the kernels of grain which seem to scatter randomly before Blood Mountain (as I have taken to calling it), I was nearly slain by a most foul beast. Twice the height of a healthy Stump gnome (and thus three times the height of one of those Under the Hill bastards), it stalked about on two great scaly legs with claws like knives. Even now as I write this curled up in the abandoned gopher hole I have taken for shelter I can still remember its mad red eyes and strange flopping head crest as it jabbed toward me with its beak.
If such a beast could be ridden the Gnome who controlled it would be invincible in battle, for I witnessed two of the larger ones (possibly the males) engage in a duel with their claws and the blows they dealt would put even David Foxrider to the ground.
- Day 60
Though it has been over two cycles of the moon since I first set out on my journey I feel compelled to stay in this strange land and discover its mysteries. Much as I long to return to the comfort of the Stump and my nagging whore of a wife, I feel that I cannot leave until I have learned all that I can.
Earlier on this day I found a great silvery mountain taller than any tree and wider than 4 stumps put together. After careful exploration I discovered a tunnel marked with rat spoor and so, keeping my flint blade in hand, I made my way into the heart of the mountain. What I found astonished me...
Darkness, but in the darkness there was the rich overpowering smell of food! This was the source of the grains and kernels which the Hell-Walkers feasted on each morning. In a fury of gluttony I dropped my dagger and began to gorge myself of rich kernels and seeds till my belly felt ready to burst. This was a mistake.
The rat struck suddenly and viciously, its blade-teeth tearing into my leg and sending me toppling down the dune of grain which I had been standing on. Wounded, blind & without my weapon I found myself facing a threat that even a healthy and armed Gnome would be hard pressed to defeat.
Little time I had to gather my wits before the beast struck again, its squat fat body barreling toward me as it lunged in for the kill. It was luck that saved me, for the tearing agony in my left thigh set me sprawling on my back at the moment that the beast dived for me, causing it to pass over my head and land harmlessly in the empty grain behind me. Gritting my teeth against the agony of my torn sinews I rolled to my feet and faced my enemy, guided to his direction in the lightless void by its overpowering stench.
Were I a gnome from Under the Hill or from the Plains I might have quailed at the thought of hand-to-hand battle with the rat, but no gnome born of the stump has ever felt anything but joy at the prospect of furious combat and the rapture of feeling flesh and fur tear beneath his stout fingers. The hairy fuck was about to get it in a bad way.
When the rat charged again I was ready, and set myself firmly with my weight on my good right leg. The impact of its body nearly sent me on my back once more, but I managed to lock my fingers onto a hunk of fur and wrench its tearing teeth away from my body. Foul spittle drenched my beard as the creature sought to devour my face, but as its claws shredded my squirrelhide tunic and scored my flesh I felt a battle fury build within me. Drawing back my fist I rammed my arm fully up to the elbow down the creatures throat, cutting off its air supply. The rats struggles grew more frenzied as it fought for its very life, but I held it fast to my chest with my free hand and gradually it began to weaken. When it had ceased to move for a full minute I withdrew my bloodied arm from the creatures ruptured windpipe and lay gasping on my back in the darkness.
Tonight, I would feast like a king.
- Day 75
My battle with the rat left me feeble and incapacitated for nearly a week: I scarcely had the energy after the battle to skin the beast with its own teeth and make a bag from its bloody hide to carry back grain and rat meat to my gopher-hole home. Lapsing in and out of fever dreams, my only ventures outside during my period of weakness were to collect morning dew to quench my thirst.
It was upon one of these dew-collecting expeditions that I glimpsed a sight which even now I cannot fully believe. I had turned at the sound of a great creaking noise to witness the entire side of Blood Mountain twist and deform, stretching outward and revealing a yawning black cave of unnaturally straight and rectangular proportions. Awed and fascinated by this change in the mountains solid form I gazed into the cave, hoping for a glimpse of whatever strange force caused this rift in the mountainside.
What emerged was nothing less than madness made solid -- it was a Gnome, but not a Gnome. It stretched out from the ground, and though dwarfed by Blood Mountain it was nonetheless unimaginably tall. Its proportions were hideous and like nothing I had beheld before, with long spindly limbs that were each thicker than a full grown gnomes body, a huge red face devoid of beard & clothing (or perhaps skin) which shone with a riot of colors. This thing, this creature, strode out from the cave and beyond my sight as I sat paralyzed with awe by the dew drenched grasses.
I have not emerged since from this hole, though my lips are cracked and my throat screams for water. I had thought that fear was something for children or Under the Hill gnomes, but even as I write this I can feel it creeping into my heart and eroding my former unshakable pride.
- Day 80
The madness and fever have fully left me now, and even as I write this I can feel a new sense of resolve stiffen my sinews and rouse my blood. Whether or not the apparition which emerged from Blood Mountain was real or a figment of a deranged mind no longer matters. My course is clear. If it was a figment of the imagination it cannot hurt me and if it is real then that means it has life, and that which lives can die.
I must prepare.