The Famed Slaver, by Zhargonidus

"Once upon a time, there was a renowned slaver who specialized in rare and exotic thralls for wealthy and refined customers. For him it would not do with any sloppy raids on Goblin camps and ambushes with guns blazing at migrating Orcs, no, for this slaver took pride in seeking out highly demanded prey and capturing it with precision, and he was aided in his work by Daemonforged amulets and fell wards about his armour. Thus many a foreign spellcaster found himself impotent and pressed into a tight black iron cage, and many freaks of nature and individuals from far-off races such as Elves, Fimir and the fabled Half-Men of Ind were carried back hissing and spitting to the Plain of Zharr. So valuable were the famous slaver's catches that he fed and watered them extravagantly and rarely risked mutilation even of screaming tongues due to risk of infection, for to him a dead slave was a considerable loss of income and invested labour.

One day, the famed slaver ranged far and wide with his Hobgoblin underlings, and they happened upon a Human caravan, heavily armed and hailing from the western Empire. Yet the Manlings would never reach distant Cathay with all its marvellous wealth, for they were already decimated and scattered and bewildered like a pack of whipped Snotlings, and the scars of Greenskin arms were plain for all to see. The famed slaver eyed the Manlings through a spotting scope, searching for valuables, and he soon found one. Sitting in a cook's wagon was a hairy-footed Halfling, plump and weak and merry despite all the travails and sorrows of his companions.

A Halfling would yield a steep enough price as a rare curiosity back in Chaos Dwarf lands, yet it was of little use for labour, soulharvest or flesh reaping in Daemonforging and vile experiments. The true connoisseurs in the Halfling trade were to be found further eastwards, for the hulking Ogres of the Mountains of Mourn were known far and wide for their huge liking as well as good taste for Halflings, whom they petted like little brothers until their cannibal core betrayed them in rumbling hunger.

Thus the slaver waited and watched, and followed at a distance the meanderings of the Manlings. At nightfall, the Humans made camp in a wagon fort manned by nervous sentries, yet such a ploy was no match for the famed slaver, who let his Hobgoblin Wolf Raiders range to the other side of the camp and stage a noisy diversion while a vial was uncorked so that smoke and heinous Empyreic vapours were let wafting upon the winds into the camp on the opposite end of the wagon circle. The foul miasma of ash and curses of malignant spirits clouded the slaver's approach and threw the weak Manling guards choking and gasping and vomiting to the ground, all thrashing in primal panic as the insidious gasses spread into the abruptly woken camp. The deadly smoke did not affect the famous slaver or his two Sneaky Gitz who guarded his sides closely and stabbed down any threat within reach, for his fell wards kept off the shredded Daemons while the intruders' mouths and noses were covered with cloth soaked in urine.

In this fashion they stormed into the middle of camp, blasting and cutting, knifing and kicking in the ensuing chaos, until they reached the cook's wagon and snatched the snoring Halfling from his soft straw bed. The slaver and his lackeys left the camp swiftly, leaving behind only fear and disarray while their precious catch were to know nothing but the discomforts of a very small iron cage, tasteless mushroom cavesbread and brackish water.

The petty delicatessen ware was gagged and hauled all the way to the Sentinels, where the famous slaver sought out a visiting Ogre Tyrant wealthy from loot, bullying and pitfight murder. Negotiations took place with vigour, and they haggled furiously back and forth. The Famed slaver demanded exorbitant barter and a whole horde of fodder slave Gnoblars, and the sheer greed and guts of the Chaos Dwarf's demands almost made the brute stomp him flat upon the spot. What stopped him from doing so, however, was the futile pleading of the Halfling, which soothed the Ogre's savage heart as the famed slaver knew it would, enough to win the slaver a spectacular bargain. Fuming at the perverse greed of the slaver, the Ogre Tyrant nevertheless gave in and agreed to pay the hefty price, and the Halfling slave was his. The famed slaver said goodbye to the doomed delicatessen and welcomed his new wealth.

When the Halfling was let out of his cage, the terrifying Ogre petted it on the head as if it was a fat Ogre cub, and this show of affection made the pathetic Halfling break down in tears and sobs. The tiny runt shrieked and whined and told of his suffering at the hands of his cruel captors, of how they had starved and locked him up and pinched and punched him bruised. At hearing of this, the Tyrant's wrath at the outrageous barter finally snapped, and in black rage he grabbed his giant mace and smashed the famed slaver into gory pulp. For such is the fate of those who would sell a prized pet slave without first ripping out its tongue."

- The Famed Slaver, by Despot Zhargonidus Doombeard, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories, of our present time