I apologize for the directional arrows on the maps... they wouldn't behave when I was building the lists. Ultimately, I felt position was the more important measure here. - J
Bloodstone Marches, 40 miles Northeast of Corvis
A cold wind washed over the Bloodstone Marches as Jeremiah leaned in closer to the bonfire his forces had set up. It had been a hard journey, circling the Widower's Wood, but he had been charged with scouting out the Northern frontier and he would serve his King in any way it was required of him.
“Excuse me, Captain?”
Jeremiah looked up to see a gun mage standing close by. His cloak was nearly pristine, especially compared to Kraye's mud-caked clothes. The warcaster reached into a pocket, pulled out a cigarette and held it in the fire to light it before taking a pull from it. “Sergeant. What can I help you with?”
The gun mage moved in closer and sat down by the fire. Pulling his gloves off to warm his hands by the fire, he studied his commanding officer before speaking. “Permission to speak freely, sir?”
“Go for it,” Kraye said with a chuckle. “This isn't the academy...we're on the frontier. What's on your mind?”
The gun mage sighed. “What are we doing out here, sir? We're in the middle of nowhere, in the cold with no one around for miles. It's supposed to be spring, but it feels a lot like winter here.”
Jeremiah let out a short laugh, taking a drag from his cigarette. “Spring always arrives a little later here, Sergeant. As for no one around, that's a grand assumption to make.”
“How do you figure? Look around, sir. Who would want to live in a Godforsaken place like this?”
“Jonah Reiman, of the Maelstrom of Ceryl.”
“Ah. You were stationed near Sul, were you?”
“Yes sir, two tours against the Menite rebels.”
“Well, humans would rather live in cities like Sul. But...see these trees here?” Kraye said, indicating the large swamp-like wood not far away. “A horde of Thralls once attacked Corvis from here. And the Druids of Orboros love to hide in these dark places. And those massive, tall trees over there? That's the Glimmerwood. Trollkin territory. The Marches are home to Skorne's forces and last known location of Asheth Magnus, traitor to the throne. Trust me; there is no shortage of possible hostiles out here.”
The gun mage swept the landscape, finally seeing the landscape for what it really was and instinctively his hand rested on the grip of his pistol. “Who are we here looking for, sir?”
“No one force in particular,” Kraye said, inhaling another hit from his cigarette and letting the smoke lazily roll over his lip. “We're an 'aggressive reconnaissance' force. Scout the area, track enemy movements and if they should attempt to engage us, we're prepared to meet them head on. Presently, His Majesty is most interested in the Trollkin. Tensions are up between the throne and the beasts. We're hoping the locals can be reasoned with and give us one less front to be concerned with.”
A shadow moved at the edge of the inner ring of the camp and Jonah drew his weapon, but Kraye barely seemed to react. “Welcome back, Corporal. What did you find?”
Holding his weapon up so the jumpy gun mage could see, a Ranger stepped closer to the fire. “We've finished our search of the nearby Widower's Wood, Captain. No sign of hostiles.”
“Excellent, we'll keep the forest to our rear and focus on the Glimmerwood. Anything from your Northern scout?”
“No sir. He's overdue,” the Ranger said with a scowl.
Kraye flicked his cigarette into the fire. “I'm guessing the trolls must not have taken well to the trespass. Or your scout has simply penetrated too deeply into the forest and is having a harder time extricating himself.”
“His orders were pretty specific, Captain. He should be back by now.”
A cold wind picked up and a light snow began to fall over the landscape. “Snow?! In the Marches?” Sergeant Reiman said with an exasperated expression.
“Believe it or not, it does happen,” Kraye said, standing up. He surveyed the Glimmerwood from where he stood. “We'll give your man a few more minutes, but I think it's best we...”
The Captain was distracted by the whinnying of Malagant, his trusted palomino horse. He strode over to where the horse was tied up and gently ran his hand over the horse's side. “Hey boy. What's got you bothered?”
“You're asking your horse?” the Sergeant said with a raised eyebrow. Despite his scepticism, he watched the surrounding area for signs of movement.
“Malagant has more sense in his head than half the men I've served with,” Kraye said, casting a glance over his shoulder before leaning in close, ruffling the horse's mane. “What's the problem, boy?”
The palomino snorted and kicked his hoof against the water trough. The gun mage shook his head and laughed, but Kraye knelt down by the trough and waited. After a brief moment, he watched the water ripple unprompted.
Grabbing a young man who cared for the animals at the camp, Kraye said to the kid. “Get Malagant's saddle. I want him ready to ride in minutes.”
“Yessir,” the boy said and hurried off.
Kraye moved toward the east side of the camp, studying the Glimmerwood closely. Jonah and the Ranger followed close behind. Kraye watched the tree line and after a moment, saw one of the enormous trees sway from being shoved aside by something very large in the woods.
“W-what could do that?” the gun mage asked. “Can trolls do that?”
“Some...” Kraye took a deep breath, tasting the air crossing over from the forest. His eyes shot open and turned to the Ranger. “Corporal, fetch Reginald and Professor Pendrake, now!”
“Aye sir!” The Ranger ran back to camp signalling his own men with a series of silent hand gestures to prepare.
“Could that...are the trolls coming?” the gun mage asked.
“No, this is something else.”
“How do you know?”
“If you lived in those woods, would you go smashing through it, wrecking your home?”
After a thoughtful pause, Jonah asked, “So... what is it?”
“Journeyman reporting, Captain,” the young warcaster said, having arrived from the camp.
“Ah, Reginald. Rally the men. We have inbound warbeasts. Prepare the men to engage.”
“You summoned me, Captain?” Kraye turned to the sound of the new voice and saw Professor Pendrake standing there. The man did not appear as an academic, with his armor and Orgoth sword at his side, but the spark in his eyes betrayed his knowledge and experience.
“Yes, Professor. I caught the smell of something on the wind. Perhaps you can confirm my suspicions?”
The Professor took a deep breath, just as Kraye had. He scowled and for a moment, it appeared as though he were studying the sky. With a trained hand, he suddenly reached up and snatched a flake from the air and crushed it in his glove. Seeing the black of ash, rather than snow, he nodded. “Dragon's fire... I shall fetch my tomes on the subject.”
As Pendrake ran back to camp, Kraye wheeled around and ran back toward Malagant. “Men! Form up and prepare to engage! We have inbound. Fire up the Warjacks!”
The gun mage looked around confused and followed his commanding officer. “Sir! What is going on?”
Kraye had finally lost his patience. “The cold air and the snow are blowing in from Ios.”
“Ios? The elf nation?”
“Things much worse than elves come from that land these days. It is the home of Everblight. If you've never faced any of the forces that dragon has cursed into being, I suggest you speak briefly with the Professor. Ready your men. They likely came to destroy the local trolls, but they stumbled on to us instead. Unfortunately, the dragon rarely cares whom he eliminates.”
Throwing his leg over Malagant and sitting high in the saddle, Kraye loaded his rifle. The Sergeant was barking orders to his men, the only clean unit in the camp when the Captain moved over toward the unit of gun mages, their own warjack powering up.
“Sir?” he said turning to face the Captain.
“Welcome to the Northern frontier.”
Cygnar’s Forces – 50pt
Capt. Jeremiah Kraye (6 WJP)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages
Professor Victor Pendrake
Everblight’s Forces – 50pt
Rhyas, Sigil of Everblight (6 WBP)
Nephilim Bolt Thrower
Throne of Everblight
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Blackfrost Shard - Sevryn, Rhylyss, and Vysarr
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen
Throne of Everblight
Blighted Nyss Shepherd
Blackfrost Shard - Sevryn, Rhylyss, and Vysarr
Blighted Nyss Swordsmen
Blighted Nyss Swordsman Abbot & Champion
Blighted Nyss Raptors
The ground rumbled as an unseen foe moved toward the Cygnaran lines. The warjacks under Kraye’s command came online, their boilers heating up and smoke belching from the stacks. The air filled with the stink of burning coal as trails of black smoke rose from their ranks. Kraye looked at the massive form of the Centurion, its shield humming with voltaic power. Messily painted on its forearm was the name “Impaler”, the name assigned to it after its creation.
“Are you ready, my friend?” Kraye asked the hulking machine. It craned its head, looked down at its keeper and nodded, raising its spear in a silent rallying cry.
The sound of shattering timber echoed from the Glimmerwood and Kraye’s battalion turned to face the forest. Erupting from the tree line was an abomination that could only have been born by the twisted mind of a dragon. Stepping free of the forest was a moving pillar of chitin, rising up into the sky, with an Iosian mage standing atop it, looking down over the field of battle. The base of the creature was a gaping maw of teeth, surrounded by a nightmarish swirl of flesh tentacles.
“Morrow, have mercy on us...” one of the gun mages muttered as he froze upon the sight of the Throne of Everblight.
“Saying your prayers to God is never a bad thing before battle,” Kraye said in a steady, loud voice. “However, unless Morrow is going to come down from the heavens and pick up a sword, the only ones who can win this battle will be us.”
Turning his attention back to the Glimmerwood, Kraye made out the forms of numerous blighted elves stepping free of the trees, almost ignored due to the visage of the massive creature alongside them. Kraye watched as a Carnivean strode out alongside the dragon’s forces and he scowled.
“Gun mages! I want you on the western flank. Professor, you go with them and direct them to the weak points in the enemy’s hide. Lynch, your team has the eastern flank. Arlan and Reginald, your job is to bolster our warjacks and keep them in the fight as long as possible. Corporal Chesney, take your Rangers ahead and alert us to any foes getting close.”
“You’ve got it, sir,” the Ranger said, motioning his men forward to the hill that separated them from the enemy.
“Impaler, you’re with me,” Kraye said to the Centurion. “Marksman, you’re on the west, Deadeye, you’re on the east. If it’s large and has teeth, kill it.”
The two Hunters nodded their comprehension and ran off to their assigned posts. Kraye heard the telltale hum behind him of his Squire, powered up and the psychic tether that bound him to it touching his mind. Resting his rifle on his lap, he looked across the field toward the massive forest and took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as he readied himself for what was to come.
“Here we go...”
Legion Turn 1
Rhyas had been frustrated. She had come all this way to massacre the blue-skinned cretins that lurked here and it seemed that they had somehow learned of her approach. The day was now redeemed though, upon finding this pack of wayward humans out in the middle of nowhere. The air was thick with anticipation, as her forces were huddled together, ready to lay waste to their foes. She ran her hand over the back of the Shredder that stood beside her, as if it were little more than a pet, rather than a carnivorous eating machine.
“Take them,” she said in a quiet voice. Though her voice should not have carried, the simple gesture seemed to echo throughout Legion’s ranks. Drawing her sword, her Swordsmen charged forward, sprinting for the hillside. Striding confidently down the field, Rhyas drew her sword and tapped into the energy from her creatures, urging them forward with Dash and obscuring her bloodthirsty Swordsmen with Occultation.
The entire force was in motion. Her Shredders rushed the enemy lines, the Raptors sought the cover of the trees and the Carnivean strode forward, strengthening its already thick hide with thick bony spikes as it moved. The massive Throne of Everblight moved with startling speed and grace, rushing down the eastern flank toward the warcaster.
Annyssa Ryvaal rode up the field, her bow at the ready, but even with pressing her Ulk as far forward as she could, she could not make the shot on any of the foes before her just yet. Her eyes settled on the black coats of the trio of gun mages opposite her and grinned. They would be first. Urging her steed back toward her own lines, she resolved herself to wait. But she would strike soon.
Forming the rear ranks, the Shepherd remained close to the Carnivean, as the Nephilim Bolt Thrower ran over to where the Raptors had bunkered in. The Blackfrost Shard brought up the rear, ready to aid when called upon, but keeping themselves safe for the time being. Vysarr channeled his energies to conceal their location until they were in a more advantageous position.
Cygnar Turn 1
Upon seeing the Legion forces rushing toward them, Kraye raised his weapon and yelled so his forces could hear. “Forward, men! Engage at will!” The warcaster pushed slight energy off to his warjacks to aid them in case they engaged the enemy.
Corporal Chesney led his men around the western flank, skirting the hill to try to avoid a direct confrontation with the Blighted Swordsmen that were rapidly closing in. Lynch led his team forward in preparation to engage the enemy.
Marksman moved to the side in order to catch sight of a viable target and spotted one of the Shredders lurking near the edge of a copse of trees. Taking aim, the Hunter fired and managed to deal minor damage to the creature. Inspired by the close proximity of the warjack, the gun mages advanced and one mage saw the Hunter’s target, raised his pistol and snapped off a shot, driving his bullet beyond its normal range. The round struck home, crippling the small warbeast. Keeping pace, Victor Pendrake moved forward, watching closely for what beast might present itself for him to address.
Arlan Strangewayes moved forward and looked to the massive Defender the gun mages had brought with them. “Hey there, fella,” he said with a grin. “Let me give you a hand.” Raising his voltaic gauntlet, he angled it toward the jack’s cortex and funneled power into it. “All right, go show ‘em who’s boss.”
The Defender nodded to Arlan, stepped forward and angled its massive cannon at the Nephilim that was milling about the tree line. Sgt. Reiman bestowed the ‘jack with extra range as it took aim and with a thunderous crack fired. Splintering a nearby tree, the shot did slight damage to the warbeast and it snarled in agitation.
Jeremiah urged his Squire to advance as he channeled power, readying his magic. “Go swiftly, my friend,” he said, casting Full Tilt on the massive Centurion. He kicked Malagant forward at a trot, getting closer to the advancing Horde. Journeyman Larkin moved up, erecting a field of defense over the exposed Black 13th as the Centurion moved with a speed one would not associate with such a hulking mass. Squaring its shoulders in the face of the Legion, Impaler raised its shield and polarized it to hold any fast moving troops at bay.
Deadeye strode forward and raised its barrel at the massive Throne of Everblight. Snapping off a shot, the armor piercing round tore through the chitin that protected its massive body. As blood like ichor seeped from the wound, the light warjack fell back to a safe distance and chambered a new round.
“Sir, shouldn’t we concentrate fire elsewhere?” Reginald Larkin asked, his eyes darting at the Legion Battle Engine. “That thing is massive!”
“If it bleeds, it can be killed,” Jeremiah said. “That’s all we need to be concerned with right now.”
Legion Turn 2
As the humans approached, Rhyas picked up a scent in the air. Doubt. Fear. She smiled as she watch them scurry about. These were not problems she had. There was only the hunt, the kill and the will of Everblight. She siphoned off the rage of her creatures, their energy invigorating her as she readied herself to engage the enemy.
Upon seeing Black 13th advance, Annyssa saw her opportunity. She spurred her Ulk forward, readying an arrow. She waited until she knew she was in range, drew the string back and released. Her hand was in her quiver again before even seeing what happened with the first shot, drawing back a second arrow.
The members of Black 13th had not expected the Legion hunter to be upon them so quickly. Ryan was readying her pistols when Ryvaal’s arrow struck her in the upper chest, driving her backwards and to the ground.
“Ryan!” Captain Lynch yelled, bringing his pistol up in time for an arrow to strike him down as well. Clutching the arrow shaft, Lynch moved to stand, but the poison coating the tip sapped him of his strength. As members of the medical corps moved in to try to save them, the Captain looked to Watts and gave him the subtlest of nods before passing out.
“Lazy gits,” Watts said, shaking his head. “Let me show ye how it’s done...”
Spurred on by watching Ryvaal strike down two of Cygnar’s finest before falling back to a safe distance, the Raptors broke from cover and rode out toward the gun mages. Drawing arrows, they took aim and chose their targets carefully. Seeking out targets of opportunity, they loosed their arrows and retreated to the safety of the woods.
Seeing the Raptors emerge from the trees, Sgt. Reiman barked orders to his troops. “Incoming, men! Don’t give them an easy target!”
The first arrow sailed overhead, narrowly missing the men as they ducked. The second arrow sailed over the men of the Maelstrom, but struck Pendrake. While the wound didn’t appear fatal, the poison on the tip brought the beast hunter to his knees.
“Professor!” the Sergeant said, moving to assist.
“Eyes front, Sergeant!” the Professor barked. “I’ve suffered worse...” Victor Pendrake slumped over, the paralytic on the arrow taking hold.
As Sergeant Reiman turned to face the front, the last Raptor arrow struck him square in the chest. His skin ran cold as the poison coursed through his body and his blood poured from his ruptured heart. He was vaguely aware of someone calling his name before he collapsed to the ground.
Rhyas continued to advance, watching as her forces began to draw blood. Casting Dash again to keep her forces moving in, she channeled the last of her power toward the Carnivean, linking her talents to it with Rapport.
Maintaining their fast advance, the Swordsmen charged over the hill toward the Rangers. Led by the Champion, they plunged down the hillside. Before they could raise their swords in defense, the Swordsman cleaved through two of the Rangers, spraying the Cygnar soldiers in the blood of their fallen comrades.
The Nephilim moved to the front of the woods to give itself a clean shot. Raising its crossbow, it took aim at the Defender and fired. The bolt struck the metal with a solid ‘thunk’ and sank into the armor plating of the warjack.
Acting on instinct the Shredders on the Western flank activated their animus and rushed in to engage the Hunter. The gnashing teeth of the creatures failed to find purchase on the light warjack, doing nothing but superficial damage.
The Carnivean advanced, possessed by sounder judgement through its link to its warlock. Looking at the Centurion, it unleashed a gout of flame from its maw, doing minor damage to the warjack.
Unable to charge the field thrown up by the Centurion, the Throne turned its gaze on the Hunter. Charging in, it lashed out with the fleshy tendrils at its base, but failed to find purchase. The third Shredder blindly ran toward the Centurion, awaiting an opportunity to rend metal.
Blackfrost and the Shepherd remained to the rear, advancing cautiously up the field, ready to assist if called upon.
Cygnar Turn 2
Kraye did his best to suppress his shock at how many of his elite men had fallen in a matter of moments. Instead he focused his efforts on keeping up morale. He loaded up Impaler with focus and handed some to each Hunter before drawing extra power from his Squire.
Watts readied his pistol took aim at the massive Battle Engine and fired, though his shot failed to pierce the outer skin of the creature. “Bah, waste of a bullet...” he spat as he reloaded.
Deadeye took aim on the Throne of Everblight and fired, punching another small hole in the body of the creature. Journeyman Larkin recast Arcane Shield on the Centurion before shifting his attentions to the nearest Blighted Swordsman. Firing his Hand Cannon, the swordsman took a round to the chest before collapsing lifelessly to the hillside.
Wiping the blood of his friends from his face, Corporal Chesney raised his rifle at the Nyss who had slaughtered his men. “Open fire! Kill them all!” The Rangers fired into the Swordsmen’s ranks, killing three targets, including the Champion that had led the charge.
Marksman used its axe to disengage from the gnashing Shredders and brought up the barrel of its gun to fire at the Nephilim. The round tore a deep wound through the creature and it roared in defiance, ignoring the bleeding injury entirely.
Arlan moved up beside the Marshall-free Defender and placed his hand on the warjack’s plating. “Shame about your owner... how about you listen to me for a while?” The mechanic attuned himself to the jack’s cortex and the Defender nodded its approval. “Good boy. Now go get ‘em.” The Defender strode forward and took aim at the Nephilim. The cannonball tore through an adjacent tree, but missed the target.
With the Hunter out of the way and the Rangers calling out telemetry, the gun mages readied their pistols, Lt. Gage taking charge of the squad. “All right, boys! Let’s win this for the Sarge!” The squad opened fire and in a quick volley, they had killed both Shredders and further wounded the Nephilim.
Bolstered with the Journeyman’s magic, the Centurion charged headlong into the Throne of Everblight. The Shredder attempted to intervene, but the heavy warjack plowed through it, smashing it aside and leaving the creature dazed. Shoving aside tentacles with its shield, Impaler pushed inward. The monstrous creature lunged forward, opening its maw to snap at the warjack. With a solid grip on its spear, the Centurion thrust inward, jamming the spear into the abomination’s mouth and driving it up through the roof of its mouth.
For a moment, time seemed to stop with the two figures unmoving. Finally, Impaler twisted and ripped his spear free, its full length dripping with a pungent fluid that now poured freely from the wound in its mouth. The Centurion was winding up for another blow when the creature fell to the ground and tipped over, collapsing with a deafening crash to the ground.
A loud cheer rose from the Cygnar lines with the fall of the towering creature. Kraye rode up and aimed his rifle toward the last Shredder, which was still dazed by Impaler’s charge. Snapping off a shot, he administered the coup de grace and felled the creature before falling back to a safe distance, his Squire running to keep up.
With morale high, he hoped the tide of battle had just swayed in his favour.
Legion Turn 3
Rhyas was unconcerned about the casualties thus far. The loss of the Throne was significant, but she still had several resources at her disposal. She maintained connection with the Carnivean via Rapport, but she was unable to reach the Nephilim, who was just beyond her range. Thankfully, the creature maintained its composure and she could bring the full force of Everblight down on these upstarts.
The Blackfrost Shard moved in to assist upon seeing the Centurion slay the Throne. Rhylyss cast Kiss of Lyliss on the Centurion to engineer the jack’s destruction. Sevryn cast Ice Cage, which failed to slow down the lumbering metal machine and Vysarr cast Cloak of Mist, hiding them away from sight.
With the Centurion weakened, the Carnivean advanced, charging with a gout of flame leading the way. The Centurion raised its shield to block the blast and the flames washed around the jack, heading for Watts, who quickly threw his burning jacket off before any damage was done.
Rearing up the Carnivean swung with its left talon and in a shriek of tearing metal, removed the Centurion’s spear arm. The follow up with the right talon destroyed the shield and drove the jack to its knees. Chomping down with its massive jaws, the Carnivean tore off the head of the warjack, leaving a gaping wound in the torso and exposing the cortex. With a final chomp, the Carnivean closed its jaws over the cortex and tore it from the warjack, causing the machine to collapse in a pile of torn metal. The warbeast let out a roar of triumph, as it stood over its fallen prey.
The victory cries of the Cygnarans died on their lips, as the Champion of the battle had been reduced to scrap in a matter of moments. Kraye scowled as he watched his strongest warjack falter in the face of the draconic monstrosity.
Moving closer to his keeper, the Nephilim fired its ballista-sized crossbow at the Defender. Striking the jack in the chest, it was driven backwards and knocked down by the force of the blow. Rhyas moved over beside the beast and unleashed Tide of Blood before casting Dash and Occultation, obscuring herself from reprisal.
As a faint red ripple pushed across the battlefield, the Swordsmen rushed any available target. One charged the Defender, hit the jack before bounding over its knocked down form and taking a swipe at the gun mages. Another charged into the Rangers, slaying one and moving to engage the Corporal, who managed to dodge the attack that followed. One attacked the Journeyman, but failed to land a blow and the Abbott moved in on Watts, who proved more agile than the Abbott had expected.
Annyssa shot forward, exploiting the warlock’s magic gifts but when she took aim at the Squire powering the warcasters magic, she found it just out of reach. Scowling, she fell back once again. The Raptors opted to divide and conquer. One broke off to assist with the Rangers, cutting down two under the Tide of Blood, leaving the Corporal the only man standing. The other two moved in and took aim on Arlan Strangewayes, one waiting for the outcome of the shot before firing himself.
Arlan realized he’d been caught in the open and tried to prepare himself for the attack. However, the downside to his armor was that it made dodging rather difficult. He readied his massive wrench to take a swipe at any incoming projectiles. The first arrow was loosed and he took a swing at the arrow and instead of a hit to the chest, the arrow pierced his arm.
“That the best you’ve got?” he taunted. He felt his arm fall asleep and his wrench slipped from his fingers, as the paralytic took hold. “Aw hell...”
Arlan looked up in time to see the second arrow strike him just below his ribs. He grunted as his armor failed to deflect the shot and after a brief moment he collapsed in a pile.
Cygnar Turn 3
Kraye recognized that if the Legion forces crossed the remaining gap, his forces would be overwhelmed. Pushing focus to his Hunters, he prepared to receive enemies. “Choose your targets and fire. Keep them at range if you can!”
Watts dodged swing after swing from the Swordsman Abbott. The Nyss sword master was frustrated at his inability to land a blow and after several near misses, Watts quickly drew his pistol and leveled it at the Abbott, mere inches from his face and pulled the trigger. The Abbott collapsed with most of his face removed and Watts spat on the corpse. “Bloody elves...”
Reginald Larkin was not faring as well. Despite holding his focus to aid in defeating his foe, the Nyss Swordsman blocked every swing. Similarly, The Ranger Corporal was locked in combat with his sword-wielding opponent, unable to get through the Nyss’ defense.
The massive Defender, running autonomously after both its previous Marshalls had been defeated, stood, turned and swung its hammer at the swordsman that had taken a shot at it, only to see the nimble swordsman roll out of the way, the hammer leaving a hole where it gouged the earth.
Distracted by the Defender’s attack, the gun mages closest to the Swordsman drew their swords and attacked. The Nyss soldier deflected the first attack, but felt the sword of the gun mage slide between his ribs and slumped over. Lt. Gage let out a small victory yell as the swordsman was removed from their ranks. “Great job! Now take out those riders!” The pistols of the Maelstrom fired at any visible targets, wounding one of the riders in the forest and dropping the one that had recently eviscerated the Rangers.
Marksman moved into position to fire at the Raptors, but despite channeling focus into aiming, the shot went wide, sailing into the woods behind the riders. Deadeye took aim at the Carnivean and did minor damage as it fired, retreating to a safe distance from the massive creature.
Kraye rode forward and pointed his rifle at Annyssa Ryvaal, firing off a shot that caught the Nyss huntress in the shoulder. Pumping the lever and taking aim again, the second shot went wide, as she was now aware of his interest. Kraye cursed as his second shot went wide and slipped back from the hillside.
Legion Turn 4
Rhyas had miscalculated and found herself out of position to reeve the fury from the Carnivean after decimating the Centurion, but thankfully, the creature maintained its composure. Maintaining Rapport on the Carnivean, she found herself short on power. Drawing Antiphon across her arm, blood welled up from the slightest contact with the weapon. She grimaced at the pain, but felt invigorated by the bloodletting.
Advancing on the nearest foe, the Carnivean approached Watts and belched another blast of fire at the gun mage. Able to shrug off the last attack, this time Watts was engulfed. He attempted to douse himself, but after a string of profanity his burns became too severe to fight further and he collapsed in a smoldering heap.
Seeing the warcaster so close was too good to pass up for the members of the Blackfrost Shard. Advancing, they unleashed magics on the enemy commander. Both Sevryn and Vysarr attempted to snare in with Ice Cage, but missed each time. Rhylyss fired off Kiss of Lyliss and successfully weakened the warcaster’s armour slightly for the moment.
With her original prey dispatched, Annyssa turned her attentions to the man in charge of the enemy rabble. Nursing her wounded shoulder, she rode forward, raised her bow and fired. The shot narrowly missed the human Captain, but she cursed her poor aim and slid back into the rear ranks, awaiting a new chance to strike.
The Nephilim approached the Cynaran forces, raised its weapon and fired at Jeremiah Kraye. The massive crossbow bolt slammed into the warcaster, driving him backwards. Only Malagant’s outstanding sense of balance and interpretation of his keeper’s movements kept Kraye in the saddle from the impact. Drawing Bitter End, Kraye swiped at the arrow, hacking off the bulk of the arrow, leaving the end and couple inches of shaft were jutting out from his collar bone.
Rhyas saw the pressure her forces were exerting on the human leader and she strode forward confidently. Activating the Carniveans animus on the beast, she cast Occultation on herself, concealing her position until it was time to strike.
The Shepherd approached the Nephilim Bolt Thrower and sensing there was more energy than her master could collect, she pulled all amassed Fury from the Nephilim, calming the agitated beast almost instantly.
The Raptors saw an opportunity to further weaken Kraye’s position and charged the Hunter that had been harrying the west flank for the entire engagement. Drawing swords, they charged in and carved deep holes in Marksman’s hull. Despite their efforts, they were unable to stop the warjack fully.
Cygnar Turn 4
Kraye looked at the Carnivean with a sense of dread. He knew he could not allow that creature into his ranks, or the fight would be all but finished. Pushing focus to both Hunters, loading up Marksman for defense, he drew power from the Squire and prepared to shift control of this field back to his favour.
Deadeye maintained distance with the Carnivean while firing again, but once again, damage to the creature was minimal. Skirting behind cover, the Hunter seemed content to pepper the creature at extreme range.
Corporal Chesney continued attacking the Swordsman in front of him, but the sense of overconfidence and boredom coming from the Nyss soldier was irritating. No matter how any tactics he tried, the Nyss blocked each attack with ease. Reginald Larkin had more success this time and using his focus to move more nimbly, he managed to feint the Swordsman into leaving an opening and he cleaved into the Nyss’ chest, dropping his opponent and freeing himself up at last.
Moving closer to the hill, the Defender took aim at the Nephilim and fired its massive gun, only for the shot to sail wide, carving a trench into the hillside.
Marksman, despite taking considerable damage, was still fully operational. Rather than stepping back, the Hunter raised its axe and swung, smashing the wounded rider from its steed and killing him instantly. Twisting its wrist, it swung back and caught the remaining Raptor with the axe, inflicting a deep wound on both the warrior and his mount. Allowing others to finish the job, the Hunter withdrew to provide clear lanes of fire.
Lt. Gage didn’t miss the opening the Hunter provided. “You men kill him. The rest of you fire at will!” A pair of gun mages opened fire, dismounting the last Raptor while others fired at the Nephilim, wounding it. Gage rounded the squad coming out close to the hill, took aim and fired at Sevryn, who was in front of the Blackfrost Shard. Catching the Nyss sorcerer in the chest, Gage smiled as he watched the unit commander collapse.
Jeremiah knew he had to control that Carnivean. He rode up toward the massive beast and fired off a shot which merely bounced off its thick hide. Channeling his focus he cast Pursuit on the creature before falling back. He would not allow that beast to reach his core forces. His victory depended on it.
Legion Turn 5 – Endgame
Rhyas felt Kraye’s tether snare her beast and she frowned. The Carnivean would be rendered almost impotent if it couldn’t engage its prey in hand-to-hand. She let Rapport slip away and conserved her collected power. She would need a new plan.
The Nephilim had been peppered with bullets all through the battle and it was starting to take a toll on the creature. The Shepherd used her abilities to restore the creature’s body a little, to aid it in destroying their foes.
Rattled by the fall of Sevryn, the remaining brothers attempted to lock down Kraye with Ice Cage and Kiss of Lyliss, but both spells faltered upon casting. Annyssa focused on her prey, despite the faltering spells, rode forward and fired, slightly wounding Kraye.
Rhyas watched the progression of the attack with frustration. All spells were failing, her largest beast had been mitigated and her best marksman had done little more than scratch the target. “All right... I’ll handle this myself.”
Casting Dash, she readied Antiphon and charged the Cygnar commander. Kraye saw her rushing toward him and raised his rifle. As he squeezed the trigger, Rhyas was already in motion, spinning to the side, the bullet narrowly missing the warlock. If the situation hadn’t been so dire, the elegance of Rhyas’ fluid dodge would have looked almost elegant.
Without time to reload, Kraye raised Bitter End and positioned himself to defend. Rhyas’ first swing Kraye was able to deflect, but she merely redirected the momentum and came up with another attack. As Kraye attempted a retaliatory strike, Rhyas back flipped up, over Kraye’s blade and Malagant. Righting herself in time, she swung her weapon, catching Kraye in the throat.
Rhyas landed in a crouch, as Kraye slumped over his steed, bleeding from the neck. His hand clutched the grievous injury, channeling focus inward to slow his bleeding and Malagant took off at a gallop, carrying the defeated caster to safety.
The cries of the surviving Cygnarans, calling out retreat filled the air, but Rhyas barely heard it. She savoured the killing blow for a moment, looking at the glistening red blood as it dripped from her sword in thick drops.
“Let them go,” she said finally, as her forces appeared ready to pursue. With those Hunters still out there, she couldn’t risk any more casualties. “We are needed elsewhere.”
Without another word, the Legion forces slipped back into the Glimmerwood, leaving the field covered in the bodies of the dead as the only remaining signs of battle.