The Lammasu landed in the centre of the playing field of Cannonball Stadium with a loud noise and a strong wind blowing from his huge bat-like wings. His intelligent eyes were fire red and a coloured smoke was coming out of his mouth. His ugly head rotated from left to right looking at the Earthschaking Cannons. Seeing the monster approaching in the sky all the players had abruptly interrupted the morning training and left the field in a hurry.
“He is furious” thought Leo, mindlessly playing with a ball as he always did during training sessions “Exactly like his master”.
The big Taurus-shaped winged monster moved towards the centre of the field, right where Leodippos Bulltank was standing, and once there he kneeled down to allow his raider to climb down on the grass.
Coach Evuccifer stepped down a big clawed leg and got to the ground looking at the bull centaur. Leo had an admiring look in his eyes but his pale face showed fear too. The old dwarf coach always knew how to make an entrance, how to inspire wonder, or terror if he was in a bad mood.
“And today he is angry, dangerously angry” thought Leo while moving towards his coach “Maybe it’s better not to get too near to that monster” he looked at the mace tail and the claws of the Lammasu.
“Who the hell did order you to stop your trainings?” Coach Evuccifer shouted staring around angrily at all the players and staff members that still waited outside the side-lines in fear of the big winged monster in the centre of the field.
The Earthschaker Cannons went back to their training session and soon everyone was running around or blocking someone, mostly pretending to be doing something.
The coach walked towards the side-line making a gesture to Leo and asking to follow him. There was a dwarf sitting on the wooded bench. His long black beard didn’t hide the discomfort on his face as he was staring at Evuccifer approaching.
“He is the new player” thought Leo “and he was not comfortable even before this little show of his new coach, now he seems ready to faint” he smiled.
“Are you Karlund?” asked the coach.
“Yes sir! Karlund Livingtongue, sir!” the player answered leaping up. Leo knew exactly what his coach was thinking. The new blocker was tall, at least for a dwarf obviously, and quite big, he looked strong but was he good enough to play for the Cannons in the MML?
The Earthshacker Cannons were still newcomers in the MML Pro League and they had played just one season, but they got to the playoffs on that same first season and they still were the reigning champions of the MML Challenge League. The coach had asked to sign Karlund Livingtongue as a new Cannons player for the upcoming season so the young blocker should be definitely good.
“He is Leodippos Bulltank, Leo, and he is our captain. He is something more than just a captain honestly…” he paused and seemed to suddenly remember something really important “oh yes, talking about this … You come here, quick!” he shouted to a very afraid hobgoblin that was pushing a wooden cart.
Was it a burned carcass over that cart? Was it an ox or something even worse? Leo didn’t even want to think about it: for sure it looked like the Lammasu breakfast.
“Leave it there, go and bring here Knut Claydamn, and Thabak Stonetoe too”
The hobgoblin looked really happy to do something else that feeding the monster and ran away quickly.
Another hobgoblin joined them after a couple of minutes. He was Knut, he had played two full seasons with the Earthshacker Cannons, an incredibly long career for a hobgoblin in the Blood Bowl world “Yes coach” he shouted in terror “Something bad is about to happen, and he knows it” thought Leo.
Evuccifer struggled to stay calm. He was clearly angry but a little amused too. “What the hell did you had in your brainless head during the second half of the match against the Supernatural Born Killers? Do you think you can be a thrower? Do you pretend to be an elf or something? I’ll tell you one thing I know for sure about elves: Hirturak over there likes them a lot in his morning breakfast, just a little burned!” he said pointing his finger at the black winged monster.
“Now you’ll have the pleasure to bring little Hirturak his breakfast” he said to the hobgoblin indicating the wooden cart. Knut walked slowly towards it and started pushing it towards the Lammasu. Evuccifer turned towards Leo “If Knut will get eaten it will be all your fault, you know it, right? You and all your passing-catching stuff…”
“Here I am coach” said a dwarf blocker walking slowly towards them.
“He is Thabak Stonetoe” said Evuccifer to his new player “he and Leo are the two souls of the Earthshacker Cannons, and two of the few players that did not die in last playoff game actually!” he grinned, still disappointed by his team last performance.
“Is he the new guy?” asked Thabak “I saw him in the training field yesterday. Not bad, really not bad but coach” he said moving right in front of his new team mate “don’t you see something missing?” He then stretched his arm and took the fist of the other blocker, looking at the back of his hand.
“He has not your beloved bloody claws, T” thought Leo.
Evuccifer nodded “He will get his claws Thabak. You can bet on it. You began your career here without your razor-sharp claws too. Don’t you remember?”
“He will sleep in your cavern, he will eat what you eat, he will drink what you drink, he will get the same warpstone pills that you get and he will train with you everyday” he continued “And eventually HE WILL GET HIS CLAWS!”
The dwarf blocker looked doubtful. “And we will start this thing right now!” the coach ordered.
“As you wish, sir” Thabak run quickly towards the playing field, followed by Karlund.
“Maybe it is just a stupid question, coach, but what if all this “special training” gets Karlund a lovely tail or some pretty long legs, an amazing big hand or another handsome head instead?” asked Leo when the two blockers were gone.
Evuccifer turned back, looked at the Lammasu and smiled. The monster was feeding on what lied on the wooden cart. “Hirturak likes burned elves for sure” he said thoughtful “but not only burned elves…”
“He is joking, isn’t he?” Leo asked himself with a chill down his spine “and where the hell is Knut gone?”
Story written by and published on behalf of Evuccifer.