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Wood Elves vs Chaos Marauders, Illustrated Bat Rep / Story

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The Western Yusak’s brush with the Forest

Isobral wanted to be the one to give the news to her sister Aelhma, for she could remember only too well how Aelhma had suffered after the terrible battle a year ago. It had taken her sister three months even to speak, another two to re-assume her responsibilities as leader of the kindred. Isobral thought it entirely possible that when Aelhma heard that the kindred must fight again it might re-open that spiritual wound, and she wanted no-one else in the kindred to see their Lady Spellweaver in such a state.

Yet when the words were said, Isobral was surprised to see her sister Aelhma react with a cold calmness. The Spellweaver simply told Isobral to summon all the force she could. After having been driven from their old forest valley by the dwarves, neither of them was going to allow the kindred to lose their new home too. Isobral did as her sister asked, and within three days every fighting elf in the kindred was armed and garbed for war, and the forest spirits once again had awoken in anger and joined the host. The spirits wouldn’t (or couldn’t) say it, but they remembered only too well what the dwarves had done in the west, and now in the east they could not allow another dark incursion of woodcutters and fire-starters.

Out on the steps to the east of the forest the Western Yusak Horsemen were riding towards the forest. Not for two decades had they all gathered in such strength, but not before had they such reason. This time they did not follow their chieftain, but a demon prince. The tribal shaman had brought the terrifying creature forth with their prayers and incantations, and the proud and mighty creature would accept nothing less than complete subjugation of the tribe. The warriors were quick to accept, for they knew that they would only be cursed by the gods for their cowardice if they did not.

And so the tribe turned to chaos as so many had done. Their shaman showed signs of the transformation first, both mutating. One took to wearing flowing robes which concealed his whole body, but the other took to going about practically naked so that the warriors of the tribe could see the ‘gifts’ he had been blessed with, namely extra mouths all over his body and a pair of horns extending from his chin and crown which made his head in profile look like Morrsleib when half full.

These were not the only changes. While the bulk of the warriors carried new battle banners and painted new designs on their shields, one warband began to dress only in black cloth and dull armour, and fastened horns from a multitude of beasts to their helms and shields. The tribes dogs became ever more ferocious, and thenTrolls and Ogres came at the Demon Prince’s beckoning to serve him and fight by the horse warriors’ side. The old chieftain’s son sealed himself perpetually into strange armour and took to riding a huge destrier of quite unsociable habits. He also carried a massive banner sporting the rune of chaos, which shone with a magical energy that could drive all the warriors riding beneath it into a frenzy.

And then what to some seemed the strangest transformation. An entire warband, blessed and favoured by their new Lord, killed their horses in a grand gesture that they had put aside the past, and garbed themselves in every piece of armour they could find, even those taken from dead enemies in ancient times. They called themselves the demon’s Chosen, and took to camping away from the Horse Warriors, as if they could not bear to be close to that which they considered so beneath them.

Thus was the young army of chaos that rode (and ran) towards the forest, eager to taste their first victory in service of the gods of chaos and their nightmarish Lord.

The field of battle was not to be the forest itself, for Aelhma’s kindred could not bring themselves to allow such trespass, even if it might benefit them tactically. No, the field of battle was to be the rough ground to the east of the forest edge, where trees grew only sparsely amongst the rocky hills and rugged, moss-covered ground. Aelhma was pleased that two little woods sat in the middle of the field – she knew that she could make use of them. When she turned to mention this to her sister, the cheeky youngling winked at her, and said:

“Yes, I know, I can see them. I can be clever too, you know.”

Aelhma ordered her force into a line of battle. This time she would make sure the magic her and her sister and brother could bring to the field could be employed against the enemy as soon as possible. Her brother, barely grown into adulthood, chose bravely to advance with one body of Glade Guard, while Isobral could not bring herself to leave her sister’s side (for she loved her dearly) and so the two of them stood with the other Glade Guard.  The Treeman, Dryads and Wild Riders once more formed a hammer head, ready to smash and break whatever came before them, while the Tree Kin and third body of Dryads looked to guard the flank – as unlike the dwarfs, the foe the kindred now faced was very mobile indeed and might easily look to gallop right around to attack from the side. The Warhawk Riders settled behind their Lady and waited to see how they might commit themselves, knowing full well that they were highly likely to have to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

The Western Yusaks came on fast. Their left was where they put their fastest riders and their hunting hounds, but also the Chosen thought to come on there, and the Ogres came on behind. Both Shaman decided that they would march with the Chosen, though whether this was because they would not stoop to be with any other warriors or whether they looked for safety amongst them, no-one dared to ask.

In the centre came the main bodies of Horse Warriors, the Black Horse, the Wolfpelts and the Red and Green band. Each had always ridden as one warband, and it didn’t occur to any to change that habit now. The Demon Prince oddly chose to out himself out on the far right flank of the tribe, and less mysteriously commanded the Trolls to advance close to him. He knew that without him to guide them, they would likely become worse than useless, perhaps even a hindrance.

So were drawn the lines of battle. In the centre of the Wood Elf line the Old Oak creaked and groaned as his branches swirled and clawed at the air. Two bodies of Dryads clustered at his roots as if they were somehow his offspring, while the Wild Riders sounded their horns the signal that they were ready for the advance.

To be continued.

Fandir Nightshade:
Padre looks fantastic ....I love those big marauder horsemen units.

These armies are so awesome!..........I love seeing armies that don't look typical :-D

Thanks for posting this.. :::cheers:::

haha is that wood elf army actually made out of sticks? Thats awesome! :happy:

Sweet battle reports Padre, I love reading them with pictures and yours always has fully painted armies which is extremely awesome.

Part 2

As the armies closed, hidden in the northernmost woods the Waywatchers prepared for battle, nocking their arrows and peering through the concealing foliage to see which enemies approached.

The Yusaks advanced towards their sylvan foe, their demonic Lord swooping down to land right next to the woods where the Waywatchers sheltered. He hoped to scare them away by his very presence alone, yet they were to prove themselves made of sterner stuff than that.

The left flank of the Yusak’s battle line came on fast, every unit there surging onwards, the warhounds leading the way and the fastest horse warriors (armed with throwing axes) following close behind. All hoped to engage the foe before too many deadly elven arrows could be loosed at them – even the dogs seemed to know that their lives depended on reaching the enemy soon.

In the centre of the Yusack battle line, however, the Black Horse moved rather less enthusiastically forwards, while the two other even more massive bodies of horse hardly moved at all. None could not decide who exactly should have the honour of passing between the trees first. Besides, they feared some elven trap and thought perhaps the Trolls ought to be stupid enough to spring any such snare. And indeed the Trolls, obedient to their Lord and quite able to follow his gestures of command, lolled forwards as best they could. No worries concerned them regarding who might first pass between the trees, mainly because it never occurred to them that there might be some enemy plan afoot. Such considerations were quite outside the bounds of their wit. The Demon Prince pointed and they went towards where he pointed. That was thought enough to fill their entire mind!

The Demon Lord and his two shamanic lieutenants, both quite powerful in their mastery of magic, thought fit to unleash what magic they could, hoping thereby to befuddle and disorganise the foe. It was not to be, however, as what they did manage to cast was dispelled by the elven Spellweaver and singers.

Now came the first real sign of the courage the elves had brought to the field – for the Waywatchers in the wood did not just stand their ground in the face of the terrifying Demon, but better still advanced towards it and unleashed their arrows into it at very close range.

The Warhawk riders decided to support their brave scouts and flew to the flank of the Demon Prince, adding what arrows they could to the cloud that would fall upon him. The central Glade Guard, in a moment of hesitation regarding what foe presented the greatest threat, failed to wheel properly and thus bring the Demon Prince into the sight of all their warriors. As a consequence they only managed to shoot a handful of arrows. Together, however, the combination was enough to draw the demon’s blood and injure him. He began to worry that maybe his bold advance was foolishness as well as fearlessness.

Now came Aelhma and her sister’s chance to make their first real contribution, and an effective one at that. Both of them, as well as their brother and the Treeman, all willed the pair of woods to move – to close together. The Demon Lord cared not a jot for dancing trees and so gave them no heed, but this would be his undoing. One wood moved to completely block the advance of the Black Horse, while the other drew closer to its neighbour and thus reduced the gap between them.

Now none of the Yusack horse warriors knew how they might pass through that gap. Not only were the trolls in their way, but the gap itself was so small as to force the two main units to reform before they could do so, and all that to emerge unsupported in the face of Elven arrows and two flanking forces of Tree Spirits. None of the warband’s champions wanted that, and so the faltered and looked about for another way to close on the enemy.

Meanwhile, Aelhma eyed her demonic adversary and some part of her was wise enough to know what his next move would be – he would come after her, and would come quick before more arrows could pierce his red flesh. With this in mind she cast her last spell, the Twilight Host, upon the Glade Guard she was with. Now the warriors were suffused with a magical courage, and they would flinch that bit less should the horrible Demon Lord approach.

Of course, he did come, flying overhead to set down right behind the Aelhma’s Guard. There his very breath could be smelt, the act of folding his leathery wings heard, and the heat given off by his hellish form felt. He glared at them, and as he began to conjure up his magics limbs and tentacles erupted from the ground upon which he stood.

To be continued …


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