Written by: KNC
Illustrated by: Forgefire

The Absentminded Hatter, by Ur-Kulmbizharr

Once upon a time, there was a hatter who was absent of mind and scattered his tools around him and did not keep his hatmaking workshop orderly and tidy as he should have done. Indeed, he sometimes even forgot to offer up due adulation, prayer and sacrifice to His mighty idols during work at the appropriate times ordained by his craft.

One day, the hatter busied himself at the anvil by hammering out a tall hat for a customer of considerable wealth and standing, who was from another clan. The hatter was assisted in his labour by apprentice and slaves, yet he had carelessly forgotten to chain the slaves. Thus it was that one tiny Goblin thrall took the opportunity to attempt escape, for the mite stole a knife for a weapon and climbed into the finished hat and hid himself within its depths. The absentminded hatter missed to count his slaves that day, and never realized the Goblin had disappeared.

When the important customer arrived to procure his order, he was showered with flatter and assurances of the fine quality of the headgear. Yet when the customer took the hat from the workdesk, he found it weighed a great deal and remarked as such.

"Gold is heavy, but the high stature of this shining hat will hardly burden a good man of your dignity," said the absentminded hatter.

Yet when the customer raised the hat to put it upon his head, he found it top-heavy and remarked as such.

"As befits your might and ambitions, for would we not all tower as high if we could? This sturdy chin strap will keep your crowning glory secured," said the absentminded hatter.

Yet when the customer lowered the hat onto his head and strapped it fast, the sly Goblin inside panicked and stabbed him dead in a frenzy. Soon enough, the wronged clansmen of the killed customer exacted cruel revenge upon the absentminded hatter and threw him off the high ziggurat walls. For such is fate of the careless.

- The Absentminded Hatter, by Daemonsmith Ur-Kulmbizharr the Blind, the renowned Chaos Dwarf author of fable stories during the foundation of Zharr-Naggrund*

* The moral of the story may also be read as "always look into your hat before wearing it."