Tuesday, 28 July 2015

A Pyrrhic Victory

The Universe is vast and infinite but so are the different version of it and there are countless different versions of reality in which events play out differently. So when the Warhammer World was consumed by Chaos this was only one possible outcome, in another reality the End Times never came and perhaps would never come and it is in this reality on this version of the Warhammer World that the following battle is fought. 

The Human settlement was small and unassuming and if you were a casual traveler passing through then you wouldn't pay it any heed, normally however now a casual traveler probably would pay the sleepy little village plenty of heed mainly due to the large Dwarven army camped out near it. Elidyr, a Asrai Spellweaver and more importantly the leader of the Asrai army that had followed the Dwarves here mused that within a few hours casual travelers wouldn't be passing through here much anymore, or that people probably wouldn't use the word "Sleepy" to describe this place after he was done.

He strode back from where he could see the village to where the small clump of his army's commanders and the unit leaders awaited him.

"Brothers and Sisters" he began "The Dwarves have camped out in a small human village, they think the buildings of wood, stone and plaster will keep them safe from us but they are wrong. Andrathath, Shaundyl, Flinar"

He turned to the three leaders of the Scout units

"Your task will be keep their Gyrocopters off the rest of the army. Deploy as you see fit to fulfil this task and Flinar, Spellsinger Ruven will be accompanying you. Now go and may Hukon guide your arrows"

As the scout leaders and spellsinger bowed and took their leave Elidyr turned to the still form of Oakbrow, the Treekin Elder and leader of his kin. He placed his hand of Oakbrow's gnarled body and spoke not with his voice, but his mind

"My friend, it would do me a great honour if you could guard our right flank. The Dwarves will send their Gyrocopters and your tough hides will be all but impervious to their steam guns"

The Elder one responded with a gentle yet building tone that, while not spoken, rumbled through the Spellweaver nonetheless.

"I will do this task for you Elidyr, by the will of the Ancients and for our friendship"

The Treekin turned slowly and moved off towards the rest of his kin to bring them the their orders and ready them for the coming battle. With this done Elidyr turned to Vamir, the Captain of the Eternal Guard, Corym the leader of the Waywatchers and Almer the Bow Captain of the Glade Guard.

"Vamir take our Shadowdancer friend and Glade Captain Mhaenal and prepare to strike the central tower, i believe the Dwarves will try to concentrate their defense around it and once they are in it we will drown them in arrows, once that is done storm it and claim it for the Asari. Corym I want your Waywatchers, our Waystalker Friend and Siwios the Great Eagle to all take the left flank opposite the hill. No doubt the Dwarves will pace their artillery on that hill and it is vital you silence it as soon as you can. Almer you and your Glade Guard will be my escorts. Now to your positions and may you walk in Drakira's shadow."

As they bowed to him and turned to leave he turned once more in the direction of village. The Dwarves had thought themselves immune to the wrath of the forest when they cut down trees from Athel Lorens outer edge, mainly because of the size of their host. Today they would learn just how long the reach of Athel Loren and the Asrai could be.

Elidyr was the last  to make it into his unit making sure the others were in the right place, then as he took  his position in the front rank of Almer's Glade Guard a chat began from the Asrai lines, low at first but rising with a savage quickness:

"We are the Bow, we are the Arrow, we are heralds of Isha's sorrow"
"We are the Spear, we are the Blade, we are the guardians of Lileath's glade"
"We are Vengeance, we are the Fury, we are Kurnous's wrath to which all must yield"

He smiled as the chant reached its thunderous climax and as it ended, and the sound of it faded, have gave the signal to begin. At once his units sprang into action moving to fulfil the plan their leaders had explained to them. On the far right flank units began to move and Oakbrow too began to move towards the Dwarves that faced him, he could see two Gyrocopters and a unit of Irondrakes, the sight of the Ironbound Dwarves filled him with a slow building rage as it was they who had been the ones to gun down the great Ancient Clyner who had lead the defense of the forest against their initial incursion. He and his kind would have vengeance on those Dwarves.

Across the building from the Treekin Mhaenal, Glade Captain and bearer of the hosts battle standard, took aim with his longbow at the hovering form of one of the Gyrocopters near the Irondrakes. He had fought the Dwarves before and had no intention of experiencing the results of a Dwarf Steam again. Loaded in his bow was one of the feared Hail of Doom Arrows one of the most feared weapons of Athel Loren. He pushed all other thoughts from his mind and focused solely on the Gyrocopter, breathed in and released both the breath and the arrow in the same instant. It shot from his bow and half way to its target split into ten separate shafts each glinting in the morning sun with savage menace. The Dwarf pilot saw the danger too late but still tried to pull his machine up in a futile gesture of avoidance mere seconds before three of the shafts entered his head and body and his machine crashed down to earth amid the cheers of the Asrai all of who had seem what the steamguns could do to unprotected flesh.

Gael didn't see anything of this, all he saw was the Dwarf artillery line ahead of him. He was a Waystalker and had been charged to remove the Dwarf guns alongside his eagle Siwios. He began his approach to the Dwarf guns, cresting the small hill that the guns resided on mere seconds before Siwios landed by his side. It was then he heard the thump, thump sounds of a approaching Gyrocopter but more importantly he heard the gruff shouts of "Fire" from the Dwarf guns, he had mere seconds to duck before the scatter shot of the cannons rained down around him. His heart tore at the sounds of Siwios's cry of pain and fury fueled him as he jumped up and charged at the cannon in front of him, the Dwarf crew only having time to adopt shocked expression as his charge hit home. The first Dwarf he met tried to brain him with a hammer but Gael was too fast and ducked under his swing only to spring up and plant both his daggers into the Dwarf's back. As he turned to face the other two he caught a glimpse of Siwios, bloodied but alive attacking the other cannon. It was then as he completed his turn that a thrown wrench hit him in the head and he fell.

He crashed to the ground dazed as the Dwarf who hit him loomed over him, wrench in hand ready to finish the job but it was as he raised the weapon fully over his head that Gael struck with lightning speed, a arrow from his quiver in his out stretched hand. The Dwarf didn't have time to react as the arrow went into his right eye and snapped off in his skull as he toppled over dead, the remaining crew member could only stare mouth agape until a dagger transfixed his wind pipe and he too died. Gael wasted no time in recovering the dagger and his bow before charging into the other cannon to help Siwios but he needn't have worried for as he arrived Siwios drove his great beak right into the top of the last crew member's head splitting it like a ripe melon and sending bone and brain flying. Gael nodded his respect to the great eagle and then went off in search of other prey as Siwios took flight once more in the direction of the far right flank and the Treekin. It was only as he was a few step away from the hill that he heard the sound thump, thump, thump sound of a Gyrocopter. He turned to face the machine but as he was doing so heard a sharp hiss and was then engulfed by a searing pain all over his body. Wearied already by his wounds from the Dwarf Cannon crew he collapsed into the darkness as his flesh bubbled and melted.

On the far right flank Ruven tried once more to harness the winds of magic and throw off the aim of the Irondrakes thus giving the Treekin a better chance against them. However the Dwarves rune magic had proved too strong and thwarted him at every attempt. Now he felt he had it as the winds of magic came to him once more and he could feel the power building.....building....building.

Pain, a white hot pain that seemed to burn ever inch of him. He screamed, or tired to as only a dry husky croak came out of throat, and then the power he built up escaped from him in a blinding flash incinerating four of the scouts that he had been standing with. But as all this happened he felt the hex he had been trying to cast fly from him with unstoppable force and slam into the Dwarves, as he slipped into unconscious he saw the Treekin advancing towards the Irondrakes and hoped that he had done enough to help them.

Elidyr survey the handiwork of his archers as they prepared to give the Dwarves another volley. Already the Glade Guard, two units of Scouts and one unit of Waywatchers under his command had destroyed a Gyrocopter, killed the Dwarf Thunderers who had tried to hold the central tower, killed the other unit of Thunderers who had not been in the tower and forced the large unit of Longbeards into the tower. The later was unfortunate news for Dwarf Hammerer regiment that now found itself the target of fifty Asrai Longbows. He had been amused no end when he saw the Dwarf battle standard bearer and Runelord leave the rather vulnerable looking Hammerer unit for the more sturdy protection of the tower, although it must be getting rather cramped in there with the forty plus Dwarves cowering in it.

He caught the look that Almer shot him and gave a respectful nod in return as he filled his lungs and shouted:


As on the Scouts, Waywathcers and Glade Guard fired at the Hammerers and for a moment the sky did dim a little, then the arrows fell and the dying began. The Dwarf Hammerers were some of the toughest troops that the sturdy Dwarves could produce but out in the open against the might of a Asrai arrow line they stood no chance. It took just under one minute for the Wood Elves to fire one hundred and fifty shots and by the time it was over not a single Hammerer remained standing.

Oakbrow roared in triumph and lead his fellow Forest Spirits forward in a thunderous charge as he saw Siwios charge the rear of the Irondrakes. As he and his Treekin lumbered forward the Irondrake's facing them fired their weapons but not a single shot landed as the mighty Treekin slammed home. Oakbrow roared his delight as he laid abut with gnarled limbs, smashing Dwarves to the ground and then grinding them into paste beneath his feet. He saw mighty Siwios rend, tear and smash with her talons and beak and before long there were all the Dwarves were dead. Then he, his Treekin and Siwios turned as one and faced the central tower were the remaining Dwarves had taken refuge.

Elidyr once more surveyed the battle field, and then with told the musician of Almer's Glade Guard to sound a retreat. At Almer's raised eyebrow he spoke.

"I know what your thinking, why retreat now when they are broken and cowering in a building? It is because we have won, yes they hold the Watchtower and thus this village but they have one unit and one damaged Gyrocopter left. We on the other hand have lost only a few here and there, most from Ruven's miscast and of course the brave Waystalker Gaels. Assaulting that tower would only cost more Asrai lives and i believe that the Dwarves have learned their lesson."

Almer nodded in agreement and began to organise his regiment to leave the battlefield. Elidyr turned back to the watchtower and murmured under his breath

"And besides, only a Dwarf would be so stubborn to consider this a victory"  

This ends the narrative battle report.

Before i go i just wanted to announce that this blog now has Twitter Account, follow this link to go to the account or search for the TheDiceOdyssey (all one word), it will be mainly used to announce new posts, show off models that i have recently finished painting an allow me to express thoughts to small to warrant their own post. Until next time.


1 comment:

  1. Great game and I'm glad to see that WHFB still has a place in the world.