The tale of ‘The Crypt-Kickers’ entry into the annals of Blood Bowl history is one of adversity, courage and revenge!
Well…actually that might be an exaggeration. It’s more accurately a tale of how a combination of escalating silliness AND escalating rent arrears formed a band of misfits, accidental necromatic summonings and frankly horrifying experiments into a mostly coherent and surprisingly compentent Blood Bowl team. We begin almst two years ago on the streets of Altdorf in one of it’s poorest quarters; an area of the city predominantly populated by students, cutpurses and student-cutpurses. In a large delapidated house lived the future coach of The Crypt-Kickers, a young man named Dr. Wrongpipes. Now it should be established that this young man had no formal qualification to practice medicine and, for a number of years, was barely qualified to boil an egg. At this time, the young man was in the process of being expelled from one of Altdorf’s illustrious Mage’s College’s for detonanting a fireball in the quad while trying to impress a group of Amazons on a student exchange program. He gained the dubious moniker of ‘doctor’ around the same time, from an equally dubious correspondence course on the highly frowned-upon art of Necromancy, that Wrongpipes had been blowing the last of his student loan/drinking fund on in recent months. Aside from severely burning several students AND the College’s campus mascot, a falcon named Peewee, Wrongpipes’ studies were already a shambles. He was constantly late to classes, late for his deadlines and late to realise it was already too late to salvage his career as a mage. He protested, of course, blaming everything from light reflecting off distant planets, his two werewolf housemates’ incessant howling, but especially the unfortunate location of his house-share – smack in the middle of no less than THREE Blood Bowl stadiums, as the cause of his tardiness.
Needless to say, the College board were unconvinced and the good “doctor” was literally booted out of the College by its Ogre security guard, himself a former Blood Bowl player, only furthering Wrongpipes’ growing dislike of the sport. Now, despite his excuses, the noise from the three nearby stadiums did in fact range from sleep-depriving outrageousness to the downright bloodcurdling. Roaring crowds, agonised screams and in more recent years, one of sports fandom’s more evil innovations- the vuvuzela. The noise affected Wrongpipes’ lycanthropic housemates so much that they spent more and more time in wolf form, making their already grimey student accomodation smell increasingly of marked territory and did seriously affect the young mage’s attempts at the Necromatic arts. His first attempt at summoning did nothing but add another housemate (subsequently increasing their rent), the result was a frankly disappointing and in no way terrifying Wight, who called himself “Spooky Dave” – hardly the powerful Witch-Kings of legend. After this disappointment, and an adjustment to the housework rota which nobody looked at anyway, Wrongpipes moved swiftly from summoning into reanimating the recently dead instead. His first attempt at a Flesh Golem immediately rose, smashed through the kitchen wall and disappeared into the night. He wasn’t heard from until he was later arrested for “lumbering menacingly” outside of a school. With a hole in the house they couldn’t afford to repair now amplifying the sounds of baying Blood Bowl crowds directly into the house, Dr. Wrongpipes became obsessed with the sport as all half-decent cartoonish villains are expected to become obsessed about something.
He planned to destroy each of the stadiums, maybe even the sport entirely, but first he would need help. His agitated lupine housemates were already responding obediently to simple commands (except when it came to not defecating on the landing), he decided to perfect his talent for reanimation. Selling the last of his textbooks and alchemical equipment, he boarded a ship at Reiksport and began a quest for knowledge, leaving his wolven housemates to rip up the soft furnishings and bark at postmen and the Wight, Spooky Dave, to be ever-so-slightly spooky. Unfortunately, his ship quickly ran aground in a storm on the shores of The Wasteland and, deciding this journey was one his most spectacularly bad ideas, decide to trudge miserably back to Altdorf. The trudging quickly became speed-walking, then promptly became outright running for his life as he found himself being relentlessly pursued by a shadowy, slobbering beast, eternally hunting him through the fields and forests of the Empire… …was this the end of our dubious anti-hero? Well, obviously not, if you’ve read this from the beginning, but a writer must attempt to inject dramatic tension where they can, right? We jump forward a year and, after charting a panicked, zig-zagging path back to Altdorf, Wrongpipes had actually befriended the horrifying beast that had pursued him, after discovering all it actually wanted was some company. Of course, this misunderstanding took months to clear up, months where the Necromancer (he felt he could call himself one now) had attempted to delay his own death by leaving a trail of freshly raised zombies in his wake, a kind of relay-buffet that backfired into becoming a breadcrumb trail of shambling meat.
The creature was actually a Ghoul he had named Lil’ Ernie, who exchanged unflinching but utterly stupid loyalty for meat, which the Old World’s frankly unreasonable amount of constant warfare provided in the form of battlefield corpses from every race under the sun. Wrongpipes marched back through the streets of Altdorf, the noise of distant Blood Bowl crowds growing louder, Lil Ernie nipping at the heels of passers-by and dozen or so zombies stumbling dumbly behind him. He stopped by the house, put the werewolves on leads and told Spooky Dave to get his act together and be more menacing – they were going to attack a stadium, he wasn’t going to wait anymore! The motley group of feral werewolves, zombies, a tiny idiot cannibal and…erm…Spooky Dave marched on Griswell Memorial Stadium, home of the Altdorf Acolytes; Wrongpipes’ only goal – to destroy this accursed game once and for all. When they reached the stadium, the zombies swarmed the front gate, scattering fans and awful mass-produced merchandise everywhere. Once inside Lil’ Ernie went immediately for the referee and the werewolves clawed their way through the away team and went straight for the ball. Unable to tell them to keep on murdering people rather than playing the game they were here to ruin, Wrongpipes raised a few more zombies to stop his Werewolves from being tackled by the Acolytes’ linemen. Then, suddenly, stomping from the stands and carrying a large tray of peanuts and ice creams was the failed Flesh Golem he’d made years before. Perhaps it recognised it’s master, perhaps it had had enough of selling snacks as a form of community service, but the golem immediately began smashing it’s way through the Acolytes’ defensive line, protecting the wolves and provided a wall of defense for the zombies. Spooky Dave began levitating, which the increasingly excited crowd all agreed really was rather spooky.
Dr. Wrongpipes was confused. The crowd, rather than be outraged, were actually cheering this assault on their sport. The away team were mostly unconscious, half-eaten or reanimated and one of the wolves actually had possession of the ball, much to the annoyance of the Acolyte’s coach and their fans. Two touchdowns and an exciting montage set to upbeat music later, Dr. Wrongpipes was signing a contract with a shifty-looking goblin still baffled as to what was actually happening. Apparently they were joining a league, some of the zombies were moaning incoherently for a Cabalvision interview, and the Werewolves had already marked a spot where a stadium would be built. The Crypt-Kickers had arrived – what happens next? Nuffle knows, but it’s probably going to be messy…