Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The Shadows Return: Game 12

Norbert the Necromancer stood beside Korgorax, the Scourge of Albion and his new lord and master. The Wight Lord stood silently beneath the cover of the trees, looking out onto the valley. The area was lush and green, though slightly damp and boggy (so it was still relatively firm by Albion standards).  And the valley was a bustling hive of activity as the Lizardman army scrambled to recover from a recent battle. It was apparent that they had come off second-best, however the odd trophy that had been retrieved was enough to show who they had been fighting.

“It seems these lizards have also been fighting the Chaos worshippers,” Norbert said quietly.

Korgorax gave no indication that he had heard, continuing to stare out across the field as though he was looking for something in particular.

“My lord, there is no particular reason for us to fight these creatures,” suggested Norbert. “If they are fighting our rivals, perhaps it is better if we leave them to it and go around. We are lucky to have avoided being seen so far.”

Korgorax stiffened suddenly and gave an angry hiss as a figure moved into sight in the valley. This figure was a strange inclusion in the Lizardman force, as he was clearly human and dressed in the primitive garb of a Truthsayer. The fires in Korgorax’s eyes blazed as he stared at the human and memories flooded his mind of battles fought centuries before – battles against armies of men and giants, and invariably those armies had been led by the magic of the Truthsayers. His skeletal hands clenched and opened involuntarily as he imagined closing them about the throat of the hated druid.

The change in his demeanour was apparent to Norbert. Something had changed. “My lord…” he began, but was interrupted as the Wight Lord’s thoughts suddenly drowned out his own:

We fight now. Prepare the legions.

The Wight turned and stalked away hurriedly, followed by his pet Necromancer.

It was only once they were clearly gone that the Chameleon Skinks that had been all around them began to move, hurrying toward the Lizardman army to warn them of the enemy’s presence.

Our next battle takes place as Nick's Lizardmen are regrouping after their failed ambush upon Aaron's Chaos Warriors. Korgorax's Undead are now on the mainland and are making their way north. The Lizardmen simply got in the way. The scenario was a simple pitched battle.

Game 12: Ancient Scores to Settle

The armies line up with the Dire Wolves using vanguard on the flank.
The Lizardman army arrayed for battle.
The Truthsayer in the centre of the Lizardman line.
The Undead moving into position.
Korgorax, a Wraith and a pile of Skeletons.
By the time the Undead army marched into the valley, the Lizardmen had managed to form ranks and prepare to receive them. Korgorax marched at the head of a column of Skeleton warriors, his glowing eyes fixed upon the Truthsayer skulking in the ranks of Skinks across the field. Norbert commanded the left flank, accompanied by a pack of Zombies whilst Dire Wolves slunk around the edges of the valley.
The Lizardmen advance.
Qur'myt the Frog glides along behind the front lines.
Qur’myt wasted no time and signalled for his forces to attack with an energetic twitch of his finger, which is Skink attendant immediately emphasized for the benefit of everyone further away. Terradons glided along behind the Kroxigor holding the centre of the line. Ivyl-Knivyl rode proudly atop his new Stegadon, which looked fresh and in fine condition compared to its rider, who was now barely visible beneath all the bandages and splints that were holding him together. Mostly of the force was comprised of Skinks, who not for the first time wished that Nick would paint some Saurus to do the heavy lifting for them. Ahem.
Hello Chameleons! Let me sing you the song of my people.
The Chameleon Skinks were sneaking around behind the Undead lines when a deafening shriek heralded the sudden arrival of the monstrous Terrorgheist from above. It dropped heavily to the ground in front of them before opening its rotting maw and emitting a mind-shredding howl that tore the patrol of Skinks and their sanity to shreds. Meanwhile the Undead lines advanced to meet the enemy in the centre of the valley.
The Kroxigor go in alone.
The Kroxigor were the first of the Lizardmen to charge. With bestial roars they raced across the field into the Zombies that were leading the Undead advance, their huge double-handed weapons raised overhead. Their assault was savage, with most of the enemy regiment collapsing under their punishing blows and Norbert’s weakening hold on the magic animating the Zombies. Those few that remained pawed at the huge Lizardmen ineffectually, but they held their position as intended.
It's possible the Stegadon tried to accompany the Kroxigor - I don't recall.
A general advance. Mostly more cautious than the Kroxigor.
The Zombies hold and then their friends arrive.
The response to the aggression of the Kroxigor was immediate. More Zombies lurched into their exposed flank, whilst the Terrorgheist flew over resettled itself nearby before unleashing its terrible scream in their direction. Half of the Kroxigor staggered and collapsed, and though the remainder were able to bludgeon the remaining Zombies in front of them into a paste, it was not enough to save them from the masses assaulting their flank. Their discipline failed them and they turned and fled, but the unnatural energies driving the Zombies made them faster than they looked, and they dragged them down from behind as they sought to escape.
The Terrorgheist sings half of the Kroxigor to death.
The Kroxigor lost narrowly, despite mopping up what was left of the Zombies to their front.
The main lines engage. If you can call a Salamander part of the main line. Good enough to hold up Zombies, I guess.
Korgorax leads the charge into the unit containing the hated Truthsayer.
Meanwhile the battle was joined all across the field as Skink regiments and even a Salamander were charged by regiments of Skeletons and Zombies. Korgorax himself hacked at a tide of waist-high Skinks as they surged and darted about him. They were more difficult to strike down than their fragile forms suggested, and the Wight Lord hissed in frustration as he fought to shield the more vulnerable Skeleton warriors behind him. He could almost reach the accursed Truthsayer, who was leading this assault. But try as he might, he could draw no closer with the Skinks darting in and stabbing at him whenever he looked to push through the swirling melee.

The Truthsayer himself was faced by the sinister Wraith that was accompanying Korgorax’s regiment. It glared at him malevolently, ignoring the brave Skinks that thrust their javelins ineffectually through its ghostly form. Its scythe slashed down toward the druid and his protective enchantments failed to deflect the blow. The Truthsayer staggered back with a cruel gash across his chest, then gathered his powers in an effort to end the contest by the power of the Transformation of Kadon. His body began to ripple and grow as he assumed the form of a massive Dragon, however he had not reckoned upon the power of the enemy Necromancer. With a hastily muttered counter-spell and some slightly frantic gestures, Norbert barely managed to halt the transformation. The Truthsayer sagged back into his normal form just in time to see the Wraith’s wicked scythe descending with grim finality toward his head.

The Truthsayer had fallen, but the Skinks around him fought well, deflecting the clumsy blows of the Skeletons with their shields. More Skinks soon reinforced them, charging into the flank of the Skeletons whilst Korgorax continued to glare and hiss as he tried to carve his way through the enemy single-handed. The Bastiladon crashed in alongside the Salamander and set about crushing the enemy Zombies with its clumsy blows.
The Lizardmen respond to the Undead assault.
That is a lot of Skinks, Korgorax. You sure you've got this?
Ivyl-Knivyl seeks vengeance for the destruction of the Kroxigor.
Ivyl-Knivyl watched the Zombies pulling apart the remains of the fleeing Kroxigor, and righteous indignation stirred in his otherwise cold-blooded heart. With a shrill battle-cry that was mostly muffled by bandages, he drove his Stegadon into the flank of the Zombies. The earth shook beneath the dinosaur’s lumbering tread, and numerous Zombies were crushed or impaled as it bulled its way into the midst of their formation. Those Zombies that still stood lurched about to face their assailant, but it was clear this was a fight they were not going to win.
What is left of the Zombies now facing their doom (rather than looking the other way).
Unfortunately Ivyl-Knivyl found that destroying one regiment of Zombies just means you will have to fight another one. At least he got the little Necromancer.
Korgorax laid about him with savage blows as his frustration continued to mount. His Skeletons were pressed on multiple fronts, and it was becoming clear that this was fight they were not going to win. The Zombies nearby collapsed under the pressure being applied by the Bastiladon. Things were not going as planned. Relief was offered as the Terrorgheist swept in to attack the Skinks fighting in his regiment’s flank. Shrieking and thrashing about, the monstrous creature immediately swung matters back in favour of the Undead. The Skinks could do little to fend it off, and their numbers dwindled rapidly.
The Terrorgheist moves to rescue Korgorax from the Great Skink Menace.
The Skinks dwindle quickly in the face of the monster's terrible singing and thunderstomps.
Elsewhere on the field, Skinks decided that fighting things they couldn't hurt would be no fun, so fled the charge of the Spirit Hosts.
Terradons fly in to assist Ivyl-Knivyl in his unending efforts to kill all the dead things.
Unfortunately for Korgorax, the Terrorgheist’s intervention could achieve only so much. The mighty Slann Qur’myt weighed into the tussle by bolstering the might of the large regiment of Skinks still engaging the front of the Skeletons with the Enchanted Blades of Aiban before moving to engage the Terrorgheist himself. The beast clawed at him but was unable to strike him properly as his form seemed to fade away every time it swung. Qur’myt was there, but Qur’myt was not there. 
The Skinks fighting the Terrorgheist thin to a handful as the Bastiladon strolls past.
Qur'myt glides into the flank of the Terrorgheist to annoy it and add combat bonuses.
Meanwhile the Skinks, energized by the power of the spell the Slann had bestowed upon them, tore into the Skeletons with renewed gusto. The Wraith found it was no longer impervious to their blows at their javelins glowed with magical energy and a storm of javelin tips suddenly bit home. The Wraith gave an echoing howl as it unravelled, collapsing into a pile of dirty robes. Korgorax himself was wounded, as he continued to try to simply shrug off the attacks from all around him. The magic sustaining the Skeletons began to fail under the pressure, and soon the Wight Lord was standing alone against a tide of crazed Skink warriors.
Korgorax runs out of minions and fights on alone.
The end arrived quickly. Korgorax fought on undaunted whilst the Terrorgheist continued to wade into the Skinks behind him. He had fought on a hundred battlefields, and faced enemies far mightier and more menacing than these little lizards. In fact, he doubted he had ever fought anything quite so pathetic and unintimidating. It was slightly embarrassing that he had been fought to a standstill by such opposition. And they had wounded him, no less. The shame only mounted as the Skinks continued to assault him, javelins striking with magically guided accuracy. Korgorax hissed as another blow struck past the enchanted protection of his armour. And another. HE swung about with his massive axe, but whichever way he turned, there were always more of his diminutive assailants to strike from behind. As he finally succumbed to the relentless bombardment, Korgorax, the Scourge of Albion and mighty lord of the Undead, was consumed with feelings of frustration, shame, and fading visions of a destiny that remained unfulfilled.
Seriously? Korgorax, you are so disappointing on so many levels. He didn't even crumble to death. He got stabbed to death by Skinks. Some mighty Undead lord he was. Bah! Bah, I say!
The fall of the Wight Lord had little immediate impact upon the Undead, as it was not the will of Korgorax that held the force together; not directly, anyway. Norbert was assailed by waves of dizziness as his lord’s iron control of his mind suddenly weakened and fell away. As he battled the confusion, he barely registered the approach of the Bastiladon as it charged toward him. He had seen this dinosaur fighting earlier. It was slow and clumsy – it would take a long time to battle through his entourage of Zombies. It came as a surprise then, when the Bastiladon shouldered through the Zombies without paying them any heed and crushed the Necromancer to the ground before bludgeoning him to death with its mace-like tail. Norbert’s last thought was that this trip to Albion really hadn't gone the way he had expected.
This was a slightly comical twist. The Bastiladon is really not a great fighter. But 3 attacks became 3 hits and 3 wounds, and poor old Norbert (for whom James didn't bother to buy any protection at all) is dead at last. The army then crumbled. Game over.

No comments:

Post a Comment