Monday, 24 August 2009

Battle 2: Army Roster vs Empire


Thane Redson Sharpaxe
+ Rune of Gromril
+ Rune of Snorri
+ Rune of Cleaving

Thane Keska Greybeard
+ Battle Standard
+ Rune of Stone
+ Rune of Challenge

Runesmith Krik Smoothstone


19 Warriors
+ shields
+ musician
+ standard bearer
+ champion

19 Warriors
+ shields
+ musician
+ standard bearer
+ champion

10 Quarrellers

10 Thunderers


25 Ironbreakers
+ musician
+ Balrak Deepthrone (champion)
+ standard bearer

20 Slayers
+ musician
+ giantslayer
+ standard bearer

Grudge Thrower
+ Rune of Accuracy

Bolt Thrower
+ engineer


Organ Gun
Flame Cannon

Total = 2000pts

Battle 2: Caught Red Handed

Smoke rose slowly from the western tower, twisting into spirals which danced in the air before dispersing. Thanes Redson Sharpaxe and Keska Greybeard stood atop the eastern tower, surveying the battlefield. The fight had been extremely short and brutal. The scouts had laid down a curtain of crossbow bolts, sweeping the eastern tower emplacements clear of sentries. Chasing down the hill behind them had come the slayers - eager for battle. Caught completely by surprise, the eastern tower hadn't had time to barricade themselves in before being overwhelmed in a sea of orange hair as the slayers stormed the tower. The western tower had put up a little more of a fight, locking their door and firing back with their primitive handguns. It hadn't lasted long though - Ferdi Rustmane and his miners ran through the inaccurate gunfire and placed blasting charges around the door. The explosion had blown the door off its hinges and demolished part of the wall, allowing the slayers access to the tower where they repeated the chaos of the first.

Now the humans had been wiped out, both towers were in the hands of the dwarves and Runesmith Smoothstone had wasted no time taking the miners down into the tunnels to find the lost forge of his ancestors. Sharpaxe leaned on the battlements and chewed on his pipe, glaring at the smoke coming from the other tower.

"We did the right thing, my lord." Thane Greybeard was looking over the hillside which housed the concealed entrance to the Stonebeard settlement and its precious forge. Sharpaxe grunted. Greybeard took that as affirmation and continued. "The humans out here would not have given up the forge. They would have demanded its riches, insulting us in the process. Then we would have been forced to do battle anyway." Greybeard looked round at his commander. "It saved time this way."

"And what about the reports of an escaping soldier? If he carries word of this day back to the Empire there will be consequences."

"It is many miles to the nearest human town, my lord. Even if he manages to survive the journey who will believe him? And even if they send someone to take a look, we will be long gone before any human troops can come and investigate. The Empire will not discover us."

The sound of metal-clad feet on the stone stairs cut short Sharpaxe's reply. From the stairs came Balrak Deepthrone, commander of the Ironbreaker unit. In his hand he clutched several sheets of paper. "My lords, I apologise for intruding." Sharpaxe waved Balrak up - he liked the younger dwarf - he was intelligent, decent and honourable and had been as unimpressed by this skirmish as Sharpaxe himself.

"I have been going through the papers left by the force commander. It seems a sizeable Empire army is on its way here."

Sharpaxe felt his blood chill. "For what reason?"

"It doesn't say, my lord. These are just orders to the garrison commander to extend every hospitality. It seems they are to stay for a while."

Greybeard took the orders document and quickly scanned it. "This doesn't make sense. There isn't anything out here and certainly not enough room for an army to settle down. What are they after?"

"I don't know, my lord. But the dispatches indicate they are due here today."

Sharpaxe rubbed a tired hand over his eyes. "Damn. And with that soldier's report we are not going to be able to negotiate." He looked out, along the road to the south as if expecting to see the bright plumes of the Empire's banners appearing. "Gather the troops, begin deploying the artillery and bring Runesmith Smoothstone up from below. We will meet them here and see if our ancestors approve of us defending their lands."

Battle 2: The Ancient Forge

Miles to the east, Thane Redson Sharpaxe and Runesmith Krik Smoothstone were standing on a rise, having an argument. Below them sat Greyfort - an overly grand name for a small human outpost, barely more than a couple of granite towers nestled amongst the foothills. It housed a small garrison of Empire troops - evidenced by the small patrols they could see wandering around the paths leading to and from the fort.

"This changes nothing, Thane. We have our duty!" Runesmith Smoothstone stood immobile, arms folded, whilst Thane Sharpaxe paced back and forth. "You do intend to do your duty to your Hold and King?" Sharpaxe shot him a lethal glare, but remained silent. Smoothstone continued. "You know full well that the remains of a Stonebeard settlement sits under those hills."

"I know that. And I know that on top was supposed to be an Orc encampment!" Thane Sharpaxe stopped pacing and rounded on the Runesmith. "The humans are our allies! We don't just attack our allies! This changes things!"

"This changes nothing. The humans have laid claim to what is not theirs. We are here to take our property back - regardless of the thief." Smoothstone turned to regard the twin towers. "Anyway, I don't know what you are worried about. There cannot be more than two dozen men down there."

"The numbers do not bother me as well you know. I remember the oaths we have sworn to battle alongside the humans, not against them." Sharpaxe stepped in front of Smoothstone, blocking his view of the fort. "Or do THOSE oaths mean nothing to you?"

The Runesmith stared at the Thane until, eventually, Sharpaxe was forced to look away. "Do not push me, Thane. I know full well that the humans are our allies. This is a matter of priorities."

Sharpaxe looked back at that. "What do you mean?"

"The Stonebeard settlement contained the forge of Norik Smoothstone - a very knowledgeable Runelord who lived in these parts centuries ago. We believe there is much rare, perhaps lost, knowledge hidden there."

Thane Sharpaxe considered this new information. He knew that a treasure trove of runic knowledge would take precedence over this small human outpost. He also knew that although technically along to advise and oversea, Krik Smoothstone was older and more powerful than he was. A talented and proven Runesmith, he surely was not far from taking the mantle of Runelord himself - finding a cache of ancient knowledge could well be the last step he needed to make. Smoothstone was quite capable of sending Sharpaxe back with a retinue to collect the reinforcements and then ordering the assault himself and Sharpaxe's absence.

Drifting upwards from below, the sounds of shouting and metal hitting metal snapped Sharpaxe back to reality. Looking down, he saw a group of armoured men dragging a pair of dwarven scouts towards the towers. One was moving as if concussed. The other was clearly dead - his head bent at a strange angle and his left arm missing. As he watched, the bushes came alive as the rest of the scout units rose as one and pelted the men with crossbow bolts. As the soldiers fell and the dwarves recovered their comrades, a shout came from the walls of the tower.

"It seems" said the Runesmith, squinting at the scene down below "that your decision has been made for you."