Monday, 11 July 2011

The Knights of Ebon Scar

Tim (Space Marines) vs Mike (Wood Elves) 

Arodor Naurven, the Scourge of Bloodroot Forest, narrowed his eyes, repositioning himself on the wide neck of his Bloodwood Drake, peering into the mist surrounding the village on the edge of the forest. 

He had thought he'd seen movement but it was unlikely. The village was long dead. His minions had seen to that. Every man, woman and child had been dragged from their dwelling and slain for no more reason than that it pleased him to give the order and see it carried out. 

No. No movement was possible, but he was sure he'd seen... something. 

Even if all that lay beyond the village was the Ebon Scar: the great rift that had formed overnight as a shooting star had sliced a deep swath in the earth.

Then from deep within the circling mist, he heard the growling as from a pack of powerful beasts. But this growling grew louder and louder; far louder than anything he had heard before. Still he could see nothing concrete but he gave flicking hand movements to his troops to take up station in preparedness. And they did, drawing hard on their bowstrings. 

And not a moment too soon. 

From out of the mists came something terrifying and almost outside of his comprehension; something that made no sense to his eyes nor his ears.

At a glance they might have been knights on steeds, but the crimson  armour of these knights was unlike anything he had seen. The beasts they rode roared and sped toward his waiting Elves, pouring out smoke in their terrible wake; churning up the earth as they went. And behind them soared some devilish flying steed. Not dragon or giant bird.

Something else.

Something new.

Surely something conjured by dark sorcery.

Then between the buildings came marching more of the knights, this time on foot, steam issuing from the massive packs on their backs as they came on without pause.

Arodour gave the signal and his Elves let fly their arrows but only one of the knights fell from the volley fire of his entire force, the arrows falling useless against the impenetrable armour of the knights.

The Elves sought out allied faces, questioning and not comprehending. And then the Knights of Ebon Scar raised their weapons, at once similar and entirely different from those born by Dwarf or Empire Handgunner. They opened fire and Arodor began to comprehend the scope of what he was facing.

 Wherever the shots of the Knight's weapons struck, there followed a fiery conflagration of light and noise, an explosion that ripped apart their targets with no hope of survival.

Arodor called for the spiteful hate-filled Dryads that he commanded to dart forward, branch-clawed hands flexing wickedly. No foe could battle for long against they rapid attacks and magical resilience.

But over the rocky outcroppings, more of the Knights came; but these wore massive structures on their backs that bore them up into their air amidst fumes and blasts of noise and power, before they crashed down in amongst the Dryads and hacked them to kindling.

Arodor commanded his Elves to hammer the unspeaking Knights with every arrow in their quivers, but still the Knights marched, uncaring. And they knew no fear. They were implacable.

With a glimmer of fear in his chest, Arodor rode his Bloodwood Drake into the thick of the fighting. The mighty dragon cared nothing for the strange indomitably of these foreign Knights. The power of it and its kind was unequalled in all the Border Princes.It ripped the Knights apart, ignoring the blasts from their weapons, sending them to rout, and Arodor, leapt down from its shoulders to join the battle himself; strike left and right against these new and unknown foes.

The Drake forced back the crimson blades of the enemy, but that was its downfall. Circling it on all sides, the Knights of Ebon Scar let loose a fell and unending volley of fire from their sinister weapons, tearing into the flank of the beast and bringing it down, even as it struggled to get back up; struggled to lash out at its tormentors.

Arodor fell to the side, knowing his doom was upon him; trying to lose himself in the smoke from the ripple of explosions. The Knights were closing in and all he could do now was crawl on his belly away from them, praying to his dark masters that their glowing eyes did not seek him out in the carnage of his dying mount.

All across the battlefield the Elves of his force were crying out in agony as they were cut down and all Arodor could think as he slipped away from it, leaving his men to their fate, was that this new force in the Border Princes was perhaps more powerful than anything he had ever faced before.

More powerful than anyone had ever faced before.

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