Friday, March 30, 2012

Battle on the Bastion Hills - Lanprak's Last Stand

In an amazing shock result, the dark elves defeat a chaos army twice their size and break through the chaos line...

In your face, chaos boys
It always struck Turan how noisy an army was, it was like every unit was clamouring to be the noisiest unit in the army and the one he observed below was one of the noisiest he'd seen. A child could have seen them coming from ten leagues away and smelt them at five.  He signed a message back to the other groups who sat waiting patiently in their hides giving final numbers and positions.  All was ready, the marauders could have stood beside them and still not seen the scouts. 

On the plain below Lanprak the sorceress steadied her horse, the riders nearby sat easy in their saddles, their horses unconcerned grazing on the long grass.  This everything important in her life this was a big gamble, but she was running out of options and having avoided the men of chaos for weeks she decided this was their only chance to break free of the encircling armies.  She slipped the channelling staff from its leather sheath and felt a static crackle; it gave a magnetic pull to the north then pulled this way and that no doubt aware of other magic users in the area. She tightened her grip on it and tried not to think about the strange dark dreams from last night.  On the left flank a second unit of riders sat at their ease regarding the monstrous creature’s relentless march forward.  They had chosen their ground, the time and waited for the enemy, it all depended on Khaine's will now. Not that she believed that for a second. 

The plan was simple, avoid direct combat and try and slow them down with missile and magic fire.  They had no illusions about glorious combat with a hated enemy.  The chaos army halted looking at the two units of riders ahead of them, no doubt surprised that so few stood to face them.  the centre unit held warriors in grotesque armour, the ones known as chaos warriors, she could make out one huge pale warrior in the centre no doubt the general and a robed figure radiating unsteady corrosive magic beside him.  A fug hung over the unit making it hard to see them properly. A second unit of warriors, a motley crew of lightly armoured stood to the right of them again with a magic caster among them.  To her left an abomination.  Some sort of massive living war machine straining at its bonds being goaded by dwarf men in coloured armour.  the creature at its heart stopped it's trashing for an instant and turned its sinister attention on her, she felt a chill run through her like someone had stepped over her grave.  Her mind clouded with visions of disease and death, terror and regret, and then it was passed. Unable to contain it's fury it trashed against its bonds once more.  Black ichor dribbled from its maw and it bellowed with a deafening animal voice, calling her by name. To the left of them stood two groups of twisted massive hounds of some fashion, she felt happier now about being to the right than she had earlier. Horns and conches, bellows and snorts signalled the start of their march but in an instant she had signalled all of the scouts with her first spell and they added their fire to hers.  

The first spell leapt from her fingers and connected with the chaos warriors splitting armour and snapping bones, not waiting to see the results she unleashed a massive wave of magic at the same unit. She could feel the slithering minds of their magic users trying to prevent it but she pushed through. This time the effects were much more pronounced, men fell to their knees their armour twisting and snapping tight on them changing and strangling the life from them in an instant, their flesh hardening and seizing. Turan's men erupted from their hides on the hillside, the two other units in unison.  They were close to the mauraders, really close.  They fired at will, reloading and keeping a steady fire on the surprised unit. A full half of them fell before they realised what was happening.  On the plains the riders on the right fired on the same marauders their light armour no match for the withering fire of darts from both sides.  They were reforming trying to get ready to charge the scouts up the hill. Their wizard was desperately trying to compose himself to launch spells but the fire was hampering him. on the left the other riders loosed bolts the massive hounds, reloaded and loosed again, three fell the others to stupid or too frenzied ignored the producing darts and continuing to close the distance with the riders.

The chaos wizards were returning fire now, something touched her mind and she felt a maggot intelligence struggling to control her, she pushed hard and it stopped. She was sweating now. She urged her horse forward circling the chaos warriors and coming up on their unprotected flank, again she unleashed a massive wave of magic on them again their chaos wizards struggled to stop her but she would not be denied, men collapsed becoming one with their armour or fell  blood running from mouths and eyes.  She felt that mind again this time distracted by her own spells she couldn’t stop it, she felt something popped behind her eye and her head exploded in white pain, blood ran from her nose and her right eye became dim, she struggled to keep her saddle aware that the chaos machine couldn’t fire at her as she rode so close to it.  It’s handlers were struggling to keep it in check.
On the right hand side the scouts were still trying to take down the marauders, they dropped but there was just so many of them and they were mindless to how many were being killed.  A bolt of magic seared two of the scouts but it only stopped their brother’s fire momentarily. 

The last few marauders fell and the single wizard bellowed and charged head down for the already battered scout unit, his armour and surprising burst of speed besting the bolt fire.  Just before he contacted them he raised his head roared at them and blasted them with raw magic wiping them out to a man. Exhausted he stopped, resting on one knee and gasping for breath.  His armour couldn’t save him now from the vengeful fire that came from the other scouts.

The riders on the left side charged the hounds, dodging through a gap between them at the last moment and quickly reforming behind them, the riders on the right added their fire against the warriors with little effect, the powerful miasma confusing their aim.

Black tar exploded in the ranks of the riders on the left, two riders fell and the unit fled and panicked just recovering themselves at the last moment, but it was too late the hounds were on them.  They fought to the end holding up the hounds and taking four to Khaine’s arms with them Blood ran freely now from the Lanprak's left eye and ear.  Her head rang but she forced herself to keep going, again she seared the chaos warriors with her magic, this time their general and wizard feeling the full brunt of her skills.  She was spent now her fight all but gone.

A black glob of tar exploded in the ranks of the other riders and more magic from the wounded chaos wizard taking the last of the horsemen to Khaine’s embrace.  The remaining two scout units on the right flank jogged to join the remaining battle in the centre.  It was now just the wounded sorcerer and the two scout units, two chaos warriors the wounded chaos wizard and the general, the unhurt hell cannon and two reduced groups of warhounds, all racing to finish it in the centre. Then it happened.

Unable to contain itself the demon finally slipped its bounds with catastrophic effect.  For a second the twisted demon at the centre of the cannon could be seen then it exploded, unable to contain itself billowing out in gouts of black and red flame.  It’s handlers imploded within their colour armour. Wider, wider the flames and power erupted from the cannon.  Lanpraks mind was on fire, she expired in an instant.  The remaining warriors, general and wizard and a unit of hounds were consumed and destroyed completely.

The scouts continued to jog forward reloading as they did; the remaining war hounds confused by everything fell to the still accurate fire of the scouts.

As the smoke cleared, just two units of shades remained, somehow unharmed.  Aware that more chaos armies would be coming, they quickly gathered as many bolts as they could carry along with any food they could find and slipped away into the hills, blending in with the now falling shadows.  It wasn’t over.

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