Sunday, 22 September 2013

The Second Massacre at River's Crook

Beastmen (Tim) vs Tempestrians (Gill)

Lord Ruin stood motionless and silent in the trees, his tough grey hide barely visible in the shadows, surveying the approaching Tempestrian force beyond the river. It was a sizeable army, easily powerful enough to rout the defensive troops he had lying in weight in a straight battle on open ground.

But they had the river to cross. And this was a place they had known devastating defeat already at the hands of Ruin's allies, the Dwarfs of Gorak Duraz.

It was in response to that conflict that he had come himself to the front line with his entourage of roaring Beastmen.

Lord Ruin knew well the Knights of Tempest Falls. Why wouldn't he? He used to be one of them.

Shatana, the Fay Enchantress of the Border Princes, led her archers forward to the edge of the river and bade them take up position, edging forward. The northeast border of Tempestria was imperilled here and a stand had to be made against the foul creatures of the Drak Heart. Complacency and fear could play no part. The dirty beasts had to be routed out and exterminated.

But across the river, the bushes parted and dozens of baying and stamping Gors emerged, clattering their swords against their shields, taunting this invasion force, daring them to cross the river.

They got their wish.

The Knights of Tempest Falls hurdled forward, driving their horses into the shallows at the bend in the river, while the archers shot volley after volley into the air in arcing fire down toward their unclean foes. 

At Lord Ruin's command, the Beastmen remained still but the Bray Shaman behind their ranks whispered foul and forbidden words of power, summoning something dark and terrible from the woods behind the lines of the Tempestrians, something with every ability of the unnatural Jabberslythe but cast into an even more grisly form. The great beast leaped forward on its mighty legs, tearing the crew of of a Trebuchet apart in seconds, even as the Bray Shaman fell to his knees from the power-draining exertion.

The Knights clattered up the opposite banks and charged full on into a pair of Giants, immediately impaling one and bringing it down. Its partner roared in rage, swinging its gargantuan weapons into the horses, slicing heads from bodies despite the magical protection provided by Shatana, the Fay Enchantress.

The remaining giant hacked most of the remaining knights apart then chased down the rest as they tried to flee.

The Tempestrian archers had cleared all attacking forces before them and were approaching the river ready to make the crossing, but they hadn't reckoned on the filthy bloated monster rampaging through their rear.

The beast leaped into their ranks from the flank, devouring some men and simply bisecting others until all were running in terror before its vicious assault. No force could stop this creature. They were doomed!

And as this happened, Lord Ruin himself was tearing apart the other strike force of knights, driving them back into the water and pursuing them there, dragging them down beneath the surface to drown of be crushed.

He surged up onto the opposite bank, right in front of Shatana and there she stood her ground.

Only one unit remained to her now of archers and as these were hacked apart by a speeding chariot and the remaining giant, she took Lord Ruin to battle herself.

It was an impossible fight.

Despite her unrivalled magical prowess, there was no way she could hold her own against the holder of the Dark Heart. Lord Ruin drove her to the ground and it was only her magic that spirited her away before the death blow was struck.

Lord Ruin had led his forces to victory again. Surely the Tempestrians had to have learned their lesson.

There was no route through here!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Massacre at the Gates of Barak Varr

And there came a time when the mighty fortress of Barak Varr was once more laid under siege.

The Tomb Kings had wrested it from the Dwarves, slaughtering all inside, and now they themselves were under assault as thousands of malignant spiders swept down from the hills goaded and led by the cackling Spider Goblins.

Never before had so much evil been amassed in one place: both attackers and defenders.

And behind the lines, bundles of web filled with acid-mawed spiders were hurled, up and over the battlements into the waiting skeletons within.

The fusillade of arrows from the skeletons manning the walls was insufficient to more than slow the waves of arachnids and the spiders reached the walls with minimal losses.

To the west a siege tower infested with crawling horror clumped against the walls, disgorging hundreds of gigantic scuttling killers.

Already the defenders were flagging and the battle had barely opened.

Atop the back of his gigantic eight legged beast, the Spider King had already wiped out all resistance on the section of wall he had climbed. He turned the beast and immediately attacked the eastern tower.

In matters it was his as well.

And now the Goblin King himself reached the gates, hurling up a grappling hook with a cry of triumph as his spider horde scuttled up the wall around his climbing form.

The Goblin King dispatched the defenders rapidly, barely slowing, such was his hatred and thirst for conquest.

But from the north came reinforcements, galloping undead steeds and chariots, hurtling to defend their fastness.

But it was far too little and far too late.

Barak Varr belonged to the Goblin King now and their time of military superiority was at an end!

Monday, 2 September 2013

The Gates of Barak Varr

There is a place where the Howling River issues from the Black Gulf where stands the mighty Dwarfen fortress of Barak Varr.

In its heyday the fortress was proud and prosperous but has fallen now on desperate times, for all the Dwarven men and wives have been slaughtered, every child thrown into the sea. It is a dark place infested with now only with dark creatures.

There is more than one place of entry to Barak Varr, most notably from the very sea itself, but from the north the way is blocked by the river. Here a bridge of wide girth passes over, allowing in days now gone for trade and peaceful visits.

Instead, in these days of war, it functions only as a sallying point for foul raids into the Border Princes as the dark forces gathered within the fortress march forth to taint the lands with their tread.

But while the bridge still stands there remains yet hope, that instead of merely disgorging evil, it might act as a means to storm the bastion - for forces just and courageous to tramp down from the north and take Barak Varr back once more!

In either case, it is a place where battle is met and always will be.

And more the shame for it.