Ætulla looked out over the battlefield. The snow had just finished falling over the moor to the south-east, a sure sign of Fomoraic invaders. They were coming to raid the lands of the Jutes, and judging by their path, they were headed straight for the barrow he had just finished tending. He could see them now, their Srónax warriors cresting over the horizon, lumbering ever forward at the behest of their sea devil masters.
Ætulla turned back to the barrow and began his work. He had everything he needed to repel any invaders, and he knew just where to go to find some ancient warriors to assist him. Time was of the essence however, so a moderate force would have to do, the more powerful Wiht too deep in the barrow to reach. A unit of Wihtgār was quick to assemble, led by an honourable Thain of old. The Drēguth were next, their ghastly visages peering out from under their hoods, an ancient Thain commanding their every move. Finally, a couple of Gāst rounded out the force, their spectral forms glowing an eerie blue in the darkness of the barrow.
Moving quickly, Ætulla shepherded them outside. The Thains would follow his commands, and in turn, their brethren would obey. He commanded the Drēguth and Gāst to the top of the barrow, their lanterns making excellent weapons to pick away at the Fomoraic foes. The Wihtgār would form a shieldwall at the base of the barrow, covering him from sudden attacks. Ætulla grinned. He had some surprises in store for these would-be raiders.
Idruaada marched forward, his Srónax and Srónox following behind. Baalor had commanded a raid on the lands of the Jutes, looking to crush some of the unliving creatures before they had a chance to be roused from their barrows. He looked up. The snow of his master had fallen right in their path, as it always had, and as it always would do. Looking now to his goal, the great Barrow in the distance, he grimaced. It appeared that someone was already here, as he could see movement on the barrow itself, great unliving forms taking defensive positions, preparing to repel the Formoraic. No matter; the Srónax were a thundering rage that few could repel.
However, he knew of the dark lanterns the Jutes possessed, how they could rip away your very soul. He would have to ensure to keep his distance, and let the Srónax take the brunt of the ranged attack. As the army closed, he commanded the Srónax Untain to take his troops on ahead, just beside the small farming community. He would hold back in the shrubland and the snow, waiting for the right time to bring forth the power of the Ice.
The stage was set. The two armies faced each other in the afternoon sun. There would be no mercy, no prisoners in this bloody exchange. Both sides knew the stakes.
Ætulla commanded an advance on all fronts. The Wihtgar had their shields interlocked and moved at a steady pace, bracing themselves for a thunderous charge from the Srónax. If their line were to break, the results could prove disastrous for the defense. The Drēguth and Gāst brought their ranged weapons to bear, lanterns and gazes reaching across the battlefield into the very souls of the Srónax. They proved more resistant than anticipated and appeared to shrug off every attempt at ripping away their souls, already claimed by Baalor as they were.
Wielding nothing but hammers, Idruaada had commanded them to engage the enemy as quickly as possible, but to ensure they were cautious about doing so. The blades of the unliving were drenched with dark magics of old, and the first strike of this battle could very well determine the outcome. The Srónax advanced, their Untain not far behind. Something was off however; the Srónox seemed antsy. Idruaada hoped that the Srónax could keep their kin in line, but all of the beast men seemed a bit too eager for their own good. They stomped and thumped their chests, eager for blood. For insurance he decided to get closer to his allies, running forward from the cover of bush, looking to provide support with his sorcerous prowess.
Ætulla focused. The Srónax had gotten just close enough for his plan, and he called upon his sorcerous powers, offering up his life force as he began the spell. However, the veil was not feeling kind today; it took all he offered, and gave nothing back. His body wracked from the experience, he prepared to regain his strength, focusing inward and meditating, restoring his body and soul for the future.
An eerie silence settled over the battlefield at that moment. The tension was palpable. The generals on both sides knew that the tide was about to shift. Idruaada’s eyes flicked to the Srónax, knowing they were the weak link. At that very moment, the Srónox exploded into action, his wild charge inspiring the Srónax to follow suit. The charge was too early however, the distance too far, and the bulk of their momentum was lost when the counter attack came. Like a storm, the Jutes forces came down upon the beast-men, relentless in their assault. The Drēguth unleashed their piercing gaze once more, leaving room for their deadly Gāst counterparts to charge, flying down the barrow at break neck speed, shrieking as they went. The gaze of the Drēguth softened the enemy up as the Gāst collided with the enemy. Their shrieks had disorientated their foes, and that opening was all the Gāst needed. Their glaive’s cut deep into the Srónox, gutting the beast in a single stroke, its insides strewn across the battlefield. Their attacks carried further still into the Srónax, leaving wounds that oozed with the blackness of death itself.
The Srónax reeled from this onslaught, and were barely able to muster a count-attack. The Gāst held firm, parrying most the blows sent their way. Idruaada had to hurry; the battle was close to over. He ran forward behind the barn, covering as much ground as possible while still keeping his body from being exposed. His sorcerous powers would be key to winning this fight, if only he could make it in time. The Srónax Untain, enraged by the killing of his troops, ran forward madly, still short of engaging the enemy. As the battle shifted, the wounds inflicted by the Gāst refused to close as blood constantly oozed out of them. However, they appeared to be shaking of their stupor, and an icy resolve settled over them.
They moved into the Gāst, bringing their hammers to bear with all their might. Weapons exchanged blows, and the Srónax reared their heads as they used their horns to gouge even deeper wounds. The onslaught proved too much for the unliving monsters, as both Gāst fall to the ground, their spirits vanquished from the mortal plane. The Srónax reform and turn to face their remaining enemies; the Wihtgār shieldwall, and the Drēguth looming on top of the barrow.
Ætulla grinned. His body and mind were ready, and he knew that the battle was his. He invoked his sorcerous power once again, and this time, the veil heeded his call. It pulled the Drēguth in, violent portals playing out a lethal lightshow over the battlefield. They deposited the Drēguth directly behind the Srónax, screaming banshees flying in from above, the portals from which they appeared swiftly closing behind them. The Srónax were too surprised by this sudden sorcerery that they were unable to turn, let alone retaliate, as the Drēguth tore into them from behind, cutting two of them down in an instant. The General pushed his advantage, ordering the Wihtgār to advance and strike. They coordinated their attack well, cutting down another Srónax and wounding another. However, the remaining Srónax were ready this time, and struck back, killing both a Wihtgār and their Thain. The Srónax sees his opportunity as the Drēguth come into range, and charges the unit of specters, slaying one outright. Their weapons cut deep in response however, and the Srónax Untain seems worse for the wear for it.
At this point Idruaada can see the battle is lost, and no amount of sorcerery will change that. The raid is a failure, and he sounds the retreat. Better to keep the Untain alive, than have to find another. Ætulla lets them go; the unliving were not always the swiftest, and he had other matters to attend to.
Last edited by JediCat
on Mon May 22, 2017 11:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"Be as brutal and as sneaky and as nasty with your list as you wish - Darklands is not pink fluffy communist Warhammer" ~Rob Lane, May 17th, 2017