Unlike the previous days, today was really fucking cold. I had to pull out the emergency windbreaker in the bag and wear it under my flank vest to warm myself up a bit. Since last night I ate the last of the rations, I had to find food for myself, something that I found better than those shit rations. First thing that I came to mind was the wild fowl, an easy and safe source of food around this quite empty valley. Why a safe source? Well, for all I know there could be some dire predators out there, plus those birds are in abundance. Took a couple of shots with my las pistol and eventually blasted one of the heads off of those birds. Now that I had the meat, I needed a fire to cook it over… which wasn’t much of a problem when you have a flamer in hand. Plucked the bird, gathered up some scrap wood and bam! Breakfast and lunch is made… which didn’t taste like shit, thank the Emperor.
Today I decided to investigate the remains of the dead space marines again. Like last time, I scanned the area for any signs of life or useful tools, this time more clear with the morning light. To my luck I found several flares and bolt pistol in good shape. But I found that the bolt pistol was far too large for my hands and would be too heavy to carry it around, so I just left it. I checked the middle of the massive burned area from yesterday and found it to be the same… Except for one thing. A short distance away from the main body, a lone space marine corpse leaned against a small tree stump, something that I didn’t see last early evening. Unlike the others, it was not incinerated, but yet heavily scarred and ripped up. I checked the body out and finally found who were the men who died here. They were Space Wolves. I don’t know why they would be here, nor do I know what killed them, but it was a sad sight to see such valiant men burned alive. I closed his eye lids and departed as an act of respect.
I was about to leave when, by pure luck, I stumbled upon some sort of communications device. It wasn’t big and had a small screen, but I guessed it was used for monitoring their position and to receive orders from HQ or something on the lines of that. I was elated to see it working fine, but my hope was crushed when I saw the red words across the screen: Mission Aborted. My chance to be rescued was foiled. With that chance thrown out the window, I decided to move on.
Seeing this valley quite bare with the exception of a few trees and a river, I took out my binoculars and looked for a way out. At first I was looking for a nook between the mountains or an overpass, but I realized that the best route was following the river! Thank the Emperor that I thought of that, otherwise it would have been hell trying to get out. I started to follow the river, heading west/north with the current. I followed that body of water for the rest of the day, making excellent distance. Again, I stopped at nightfall, finished up my fowl and slept in another snow hole.
Again I was awoken by that same monstrous roar two days ago, this time it was louder and much nastier. I swear I was on the verge of freaking out. This growl of ungodly proportions was definitely a product of a fucking large creature, not some wolf sized shit like I thought it would be two days ago. Again, after the roar, there was dead silence. I fell back asleep, but it was an uncomfortable sleep to put it at best.
The next morning I had fowl for breakfast gain, something that I am not complaining about. I packed my stuff and moved onward up the river, again hoping to find people of some sort. It was about ten in the morning at best when my luck started to turn for the better… For what it seemed like at the moment. In the distance on a large bank in the river, I saw someone! Yes, a human being! A rather large human to be exact… Unusually large. With joyous adrenaline through my veins I jogged up to that person’s position, calling out and grabbing their attention. The person found me, and started sprinting towards me in return… sprinting too fast I could say. With the distance closing in I finally got a good look at who was running towards me. It was a space wolf… a rather insane looking space wolf…
I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the crazed space marine. His maniac like expression told me that this might not be a friendly encounter, so I pulled out my flamer, ready to burn him in the act of self defense. But he was too close. He grabbed me by my flank jacket and started yelling at me, asking if I have seen him. I had no bloody idea what this crazed wolf was talking about but I could tell that he was talking about a thing at least. He went on about how something killed his squad and how now he plans to extract vengeance on it. With those words I could immediately tell that he was part of that squad twenty five miles back. I was about to ask if he could bring in some aid and help to get me off of this rock, ignoring his plan for vengeance, but he then silenced me when he saw something in the sky. He pointed out and screamed with delight at what he saw. Before I could even turn my head to look as well, he grabbed me and we sprinted off to where ever he was going, screaming out that we must kill it in the name of his fallen brothers. It must have been two hours of insane running before we stopped. He dragged me up the slope of one mountain, still insanely mumbling to himself about how he will render a beast of great size. Then it came to me like a divine revelation, a horrible and insane revelation: he was going to kill the thing that destroyed his squad, and this thing is most likely to be the creature responsible for those terrible roars in the night. I tried to break free after that realization, but I couldn’t break free from his inhuman grasp.
We reached the tip of the mountain and we found it to be not a mountain, but a dead caldera volcano. He dragged me down into the bottom of the volcano, leaving me at the outer rim. He told me that he will bring divine wrath upon the beast in the name of Leman Russ. I told him good luck nervously. Good luck? If this thing he was talking about killed his entire squad in one go, he shouldn’t last a second. I saw him sprint away from me after those words, watching him head towards a cave of enormous proportions that sunk in the ground, like a gaping mouth. It was easily large enough for a warlord titan to walk through. He pulled out a power axe and started screaming out war cries and battle chants, obviously trying to catch his murder’s attention. I hid behind a giant boulder, for deep down inside I knew things were about to get ugly fast. I peered around the corner to watch it though, hiding myself enough so I don’t look so obvious. As I told you before, most creatures of chaos and xenos don’t strike too much fear in me compared to my fellow man, only make me a bit nervous at times. But when I saw the eyes lit up in the deep cave, I was scared stiff… Scared as in I-was-about-to-shit-my-pants. The space wolf kept screaming, succeeding at getting the attention of the beast inside. He repeated the words:
“Nidhogg! Nidhogg! I shall avenge my brothers with your death Nidhogg!”
That finally summoned the creature. I will say this once and once only: greater demons are huge, squiggoths are enormous and avatars are gigantic. But this “Nidhogg” was just fucking unbelievable. The great beast walked out of his cave and stood up. It must have been about fifty five – sixty meters tall, not including its two tails in length. It height was so great that it would easily dwarf any greater creature that I have ever encountered. Its four wings blocked out the sun in the valley of the caldera, and boasted two mighty antlers on its head, antlers that looked of great age. In simplest terms it was a fucking colossal dragon.
I knew in the beginning that the space wolf had no chance in even scratching this creature. He charged at the monster, again screaming at the top of his lungs. The dragon in return simply picked up the marine, who was barely as large as its smallest finger. He stared at the marine, and with a flick of its wrist, devoured the man. The only thing left of the marine was his power axe on the ground. “Nidhogg” took the axe and threw it into his cave for some reason. I on the other hand after seeing this beast devour the marine, hid behind the boulder, praying not to suffer the same fate. But instead to my luck, the dragon looked around and then turned back into its cave, disappearing into the darkness.
It took me about an hour and a half to get out of the caldera. By the time I reached the top rim, it was already dark. I traveled down a ways and found a sheltered area to spend the night. I dare not start a fire, least I be seen by the dragon. I finished the night by writing this and fell asleep with no dinner. Emperor save me from such a fate.
Since seeing the beast I had a very uncomfortable sleep last night. Never before have I seen a creature of such awe and power, let alone to strike so much terror in me. I checked my surroundings after eating the remains of my two day old fowl for breakfast. I could see that I was land locked between two nearly impossible to climb mountains on both sides and the slope before me was too steep to go back down. That left me with only one choice of moving on: traveling through the caldera. It was suicide I know, but it was either risking my life to get back down to the valley or risking my life to travel close to Nidhogg’s den. Either way I was fucked so I choose the dragon. At least my death would be swift…
After a bit of time, I was at the upper rim of the collapsed volcano. I could see the giant mouth like cave at the end, obviously with Nidhogg in it. I used my binoculars to see if I could just walk around the rim and descend on the other side. It my dismay I could not. I would have to travel down into the collapsed volcano like yesterday and climb up the other side. Again, I was screwed either way with both decisions, but might as well try. I slowly climbed down the steep slope, placing my feet only on solid earth than loose rocks. It was a miracle getting down and now I was back at the same spot like yesterday, behind that blessed boulder. I was about to creep forward but a thunderous roar echoed from the cave. I dove behind the boulder without hesitation. Nidhogg was awake and angry. I was in the fetal position after I hide, trying to make myself as small as possible so he didn’t notice me. I felt the thunderous footsteps on the ground, guessing the mighty beast was coming out of the cave. The next thing I knew I saw a giant shadow looming over me. I was done for I thought; this was the end of me. I heard it snarl and with a gust of wind, he was gone. I looked over the boulder with extreme caution and he was really gone. This was baffling for a moment. Where did he go? He was just there and now he’s gone. I looked up towards the sky and there he was, flying away into the distance at great speed. Again, my life was spared.
I slumped on the ground with great relief. Now I could make some distance without being in great trouble. I got up and dashed across the caldera floor. The lowest point to climb over was next to the great cave, so I was forced to run by it, but that wasn’t a problem since Nighogg wasn’t there. But as I was half way across the cave’s mouth, a shinning glimmer caught my attention inside. Again my stupid curiosity got the better of me. I stopped and took a closer look at the glimmering light in the distance. I could barely make it out, but the shining light somehow convinced me to come closer. Without any thought I entered the giant cave. Nidhogg wasn’t home so seeing no consequence of disturbing the surroundings I pulled out a flare and threw it into the cave. The sight was spectacular. The cave floor was littered with an endless ocean of weapons, armor and artifacts! It sparkled and glowed with the colors of gold and silver as the flare illuminated everything. I walked about these treasures with amazement. But it wasn’t the amount of riches that surprised me, but what they were. I found master crafted power weapons, deamon weapons, eldar artifacts and other various treasures. Yes, I said it, deamon weapons. I heard of the tales of the temptations of these cursed weapons, but some strange reason none of them called me. I could see them glow with life, but none tried to woo me over to darkness. Strange isn’t?
I continued with my looking about, and to be honest, desired some of these treasures. But all of them were either cursed, too large or completely alien. But after a while I found something that was light, small, and practical. I picked up what looked like a sword, but possessed a complex and interesting structure. Describing it would have taken to long, so here is an illustration of the blade. Sorry, this is the best I could draw.
From what it looked like, it had two batteries down by the pummel and a turn dial switch right on the hilt. The blade was the most surprising part to me, being designed like a fork prong than the traditional full blade. Unlike the others, it wasn’t all gold and sparkly, in fact it was all the colors of steel and only some gold trimmings. At first I was skeptical about the uses of this sword, the whole blade design thing looking fragile. So I dicked around and found an artifice breast plate. Thinking at first that the blade would shatter when I try to pierce the reinforced steel/adamantium plate, to my surprise the sword punctured it like a hot knife through butter! After seeing this, I knew it was keeper and useful. I discarded the space marine knife in my bag and wrapped up the sword with a tattered cape on the ground. The blade’s weight was decent, and it was big enough for one hand only, something that was perfect for me. I decided that I had spent enough time in the dragon’s lair and that he might come back any moment. One my first step though, I lost my balance on some uneven treasure, falling backwards. I fell back and tumbled down deeper into the cave, stopping when I hit a mound of some sort of stale material. What I crashed into crunched and snapped, something that was not metal unlike the others. I grabbed another flare and lit it to see what I landed into: a mountain of bones. I jumped back at the first sight. The flare revealed that this was no simple mound, but a mountain of bones and skulls. I continued to scan the mass of bones, staring at awe and fear at the endless body count. It must of took thousands upon thousands of victims to create such a mound! But the most disturbing of all was not the amount of death on the pile, but it's shape: a bed.
I needed to get out. I frantically sprinted out of the cave as my flare started to die. I scrambled up the seemingly endless mountain of treasure and reached the entrance. To my horror, I saw in the distance a giant brownish black blob in the sky. I knew what it was. Like fucking hell I booked it up the slope of the caldera crater. I didn’t care if I was noisy or quiet, I needed to get out of here now! Every minute I could see Nidhogg coming closer and closer, and with that my heart raced even faster. I could hear his wings beat in the distance, sounding on the lines of a tempest heading towards me. After I reached the top, I literally slid down the other side. I crashed right in front of a dead tree and swung around it and hid in the bush. I watched the mighty dragon fly back down, disappearing behind the crater’s walls.
Everything else after that was a blur. I raced down the dead volcano with great speed until I reached more fertile areas. I pitched camp there and ate some local berries for my dinner. I will never travel back here ever again.