lauantai 10. maaliskuuta 2018

Battle at the Eyes of the Prismatikon


Prophet Wozoc Squinteye is now leading his Sunsplitterz tribe on a series of attacks to claim more land on the Flamescar Plateau. The first of these assaults is launched against the forces of Chaos massing around their sacred altar at Eyes of the Prismatikon.

We used Battleplan: The Ritual from the Age of Sigmar -app, in which the ritualists (Chaos) tried to accumulate 20 ritual points whereas the disruptors (Destruction) were seeking to shatter the altar upon which the ritual was happening. The General of he disrupting army could accomplish this goal by rolling a 2+ on a hero phase in which he stood within 3" of the altar. Wizards on both sides could either speed up or slow down the ritual.

On with the story!


This was the place. A pillar of multicoloured light shot up into the skies from somewhere ahead of Prophet Squinteye and his mob of warriors. They were close.

Ever since he'd re-emerged from the depth of that damnable unstable realmgate back at the Razorfang Sprawl, Squinteye had searched for his tribe in the Flamescar Plateau. The Sunsplitterz were all over the place: some mobs were hunting merrily in the Vitriolic Swamps, while others roamed the wilds all across the region just looking for a good scrap. Wozoc had been making his way back to where the majority of his tribe resided: the Magebane Dungeons. He hadn't gotten further than the Sporehollow Mountains before running into Big Boss Grom the Punch of the Shifty Mountain, leading a band of Sunsplitterz in search of their Prophet.

Thus united with his kin once more, Squinteye led this merry lot of loyal followers into the Eyes of the Prismatikon, a range of sky-high towers topped with gigantic crystal lenses. Something inside Wozoc's head told him that these towers were a formidable weapon and could speed his quest of bringing down the sun. Too bad the region already housed a Chaos altar upon which Cult Hu and their nefarious Magister Zhik'Akoot-Cot were attempting a ritual of some kind.

"Oh well, a scrap is a scrap!"

The evil Magister had assembled an entourage of Nurglings and Beastmen, led by a Great Unclean One and a Chaos Champion known to friend and foe alike as Slambo. This mixed bunch had the guts to occupy this place that Prophet Squinteye desperately needed for his life's quest!

Surging out of the scarce woods, the Sunsplitterz let out a terrible war cry that shook the ground:

They had to reach the altar behind this sea of foes, Wozoc realized. He urged his followers on, Big Boss Grom leading the boyz and the Big Stabbas straight into the ranks of the enemy with a smile on his ugly face.

The Arrowboys spewed forth a volley of arrows from their hunting bows, the crude shafts striking home in the herd of beastmen just ahead. The first two ranks of the mutated beastkin toppled, weepwood arrows sticking out of their bare torsos as death shrieks filled the air.

The Savage Orruks stampeded into a swarm of Nurglings, kicking and hacking their way through the masses of small, screaming fatties. Yet no matter how many they stomped and kicked and smacked, there were always three more to take the place of the fallen. The green swarm showed no signs of wavering and surrounded the orruks, their filth-encrusted teeth and claws blackening skin wherever they touched. As their kin fell around them, spasming on the ground with teeth-marks on their thighs, the orruks began to realize that perhaps these small creatures weren't as easy an opponent as they first seemed.

Big Boss Grom spun into the fray, his massive choppa severing heads and limbs with every strike. Three beastmen fell with the first swoop, the fourth got bisected by a downwards blow and the fifth got its skull cracked by an improvised headbutt. By the time the Big Stabbas has charged in, the remainder of the beastherd was already running for their lives, braying pathetically as they raced for the safety of the forests. Grom was still grappling one of the goatmen on the ground, holding its horns and twisting brutally until there was a wet snap and the mutant fell limp.

"Oi, come back! 'Tis no fun if ya run roight away!" the orruk boss kept yelling at the receding backs of the beastmen in the distance.

Seemingly unamused by the flight of his beastly followers, the Magister wove a set of intricate gestures and the winds seemed to rise. Suddenly the mage bounced of the ground, carried into the heights atop a Balewind Vortex. From this vantage point the cult leader cast his gaze upon the battlefield, trying to take in the numbers and direction of the orruk assault.

A Khornate Slaughterpriest strode forth from behind a large rock, chanting maniacally with a grin on his face. Big Boss Grom the Punch of the Shifty Mountain out in pain as his ears and eyes began weeping blood, his veins dancing to the unholy rhythm of the priest's chant. The Great Unclean One bellowed something the orruks couldn't understand, sending out out a foul wind that swept across the Big Stabbas, making their muscles wither and skin grow pale. Into this weakened pair of spear-carriers the Magister hurled a bolt of coruscating energy, blasting the two Sunsplitterz off their feet.

The Slaughterpriest charged into the remaining Big Stabba waving a great axe, while the Nurglings swarmed around the feet of the orruks nearby. Slambo, the champion of Chaos Undivided, waded into the masses of orange bodies and laid about him with his twin axes. The first Sunsplitter to meet him got an axe to the flank, driving it to its knees while the weapon's twin lopped off the orruk's head.

Slaughterpriest Vorax Hackmaster brought his axe down in a diagonal swing, cutting open the guts of one of the spear-carriers. Big Boss Grom ran to the aid of his mob, launching a series of furious hacks and slashes at the Khornate priest. Vorax Hackmaster met Grom's axe head-on with his own, the weapons impacting in the mid-air and bouncing off repeatedly as the two warriors lashed out at each other again and again. One of Grom's swings cut into the priest's leg, drawing blood from under all the red plate armour by crushing throught it with sheer force.

Slambo and his accompanying Nurglings laid waste to the orruk mob, the filthy teeth of the small creatures crippling many even as the Champion of Chaos severed yet another head from orange shoulders with his trusty axes.

The Sunsplitter advance was grinding to a gory halt. The mob of orruks had managed to swat aside almost a third of the Nurgling horde but had sustained heavier casualties itself, with only a half of the boyz yet remaining.

The Great Unclean one gargled and sent forth a stream of stinking bile which struck square into the remaining Big Stabba, collapsing both of the spear-carriers under the impact of the giant gob of puke. 

Big Boss Grom continued trading swings with Slaughterpriest Vorax, both towering warriors circling around and dodging each other's blows. Finally the Khronate Priest locked axes with the orruk, staring into the brute's yellow eyes and uttering a prayer to the Blood God. Gore poured from Grom's ears as his entire body spasmed and the Big Boss fell to the ground face-first. He did not rise again.

The boyz fighting the Nurglings were losing their zeal. With the Big Stabbas and the Big Boss dead, their chances of breaking through this endless mire of foes seemed slim indeed.

Prophet Squinteye decided to take matters into his own gnarled hands. With a mutter the summoned a great green spectral hand to speed his way as he made for the enemy flank, his leathery cloak flapping in the wind.

The Arrowboys surged forward with a cry of "waaaagh!" and let fly from their hunting bows. A cloud of shafts swept over Vorax Hackmaster, punching him full of arrows just as he turned to regard the screaming newcomers after slaying their Big Boss. Through clenched teeth the Slaughterpriest gave a muffled grunt before sinking on to his knees next to his recent kill.

Cackling maniacally, the Nurglings held fast onto the legs of the orruks as Slambo stepped in once more, severing an arm from one orange brute before embedding an axe into the forehead of the next.

From atop his perch at the head of the swirling vortex, Magister Zhik'Akoot-Cot conjured forth another bolt of multicoloured energy and sent it towards the running Prophet. The bolt struck Wozoc in the shoulder, making him fall and roll on the ground before getting up again to continue his run for the altar.

Finally the strength and stamina of the boyz failed and they fell under an avalanche of Nurglings and Slambo's axes.The Arrowboys sent a volley of crude arrows at the Magister atop the vortex, but most of their missiles merely fell from their trajectories as the power of the magical apparition swept them aside. Things were looking quite grim for the Sunsplitterz. 

Ignoring the peril of his followers, Wozoc kept on running around the enemy flank to reach the altar. His efforts didn't go unnoticed, though, as the Great Unclean One began lumbering towards him.

The pillar of light shooting up into the skies from the altar was growing stronger by the moment. The ritual was nearing its completion. Prophet Squinteye ran for the altar, speeding his way with yet another spectral hand that swept him up from the ground and carried him to his target.

Once there, Wozoc lifted his ju-ju staff high into the air, chanting under his breath to gather magical strength for the blow that would end it all. Before he had the time to deliver this telling strike, however, a gob of bile and a bolt of purple lightning struck him in the chest, throwing him back.

The Prophet of the Sunsplitterz was now separated from his last remaining followers. Both the Nurglings and Slambo moved to intercept the Arrowboys as they tried to run to the aid of their leader, leaving the bow-armed orruks only one option. They let off a cloud of arrows and then melted away into the forests behind them. The rain of shafts struck the summit of the vortex, once again bouncing off harmlessly as the swirling magical winds protected their summoner. One arrow still slipped through and struck the Magister in between the shoulderblades, the crudely crafted weepwood tip only just punching through enchanted armour and drawing blood.

Having been casting a spell when the arrow struck, the Magister grunted in pain and unleashed the magical energies prematurely. A wall of sparkly energy burst forward from the fingertips of the mage, engulfing the Sunsplitter Prophet and making him disappear in a flash of blue light.

With the orruks scattered and the altar unshattered, Magister Zhik'Akoot-Cot had all the time in the world to complete his mystical ritual.


A victory for Cult Hu!

It was a close one! My Prophet nearly managed to get close enough to shatter the altar, but my opponent's final turn proved to be decisive.

The Eyes of the Prismatikon now boast a Chaos Altar, a Chaos Control Marker and a Chaos Garrison. Things are starting to look very chaotic on the Flamescar Plateau indeed.

Be sure to check out the state of the overall war on the campaign landing page.

If you'd like to learn more about the armies and characters themselves, head over to the faction gallery.

Until next time!

maanantai 26. helmikuuta 2018

Landfall at Razorfang Sprawl


Our Firestorm campaign goes on and several battles have erupted all over the contested Flamescar Plateau. My Sunsplitterz ventured south to fight their next clash, meeting the Ghosts of the Crimson Path on the shores of the Razorfang Sprawl.

The Sunsplitter warband was more sizable one than the last, almost 700 points, but the cunning forces of Death were receiving support from a nearby Garrison and reached the exact same amount of points for their army. These matched foes met each other in a bloody head-on fight where nothing but the amount of enemy dead mattered.


After their more-than-successful hunt in the Vitriolic Swamps, Prophet Wozoc led his warband south. He left a great mob of boyz in the encampment they had raised after their victory over the followers of Chaos, taking only Big Boss Grom the Punch of the Shifty Mountain and a pack of his trusted hunters with him as he set off.

There was something happening in the south.

They trekked for days, looking for worthy prey to slay even as their Prophet led them further and further away from the rest of the tribe. They were chasing yet another one of their leader's strange visions which no-one knew nothing of, often Wozoc himself included, but none of the hunters seemed to care. A hunt was a hunt, after all.

Upon reaching the Razorfang Sprawl on the shores of the Searing Sea, the warband was once more succumbing to animosity. The hunters were kicking stray rocks at each other and muttering insults under their breath. The atmosphere could immolate at any moment. Wozoc was just about to give two of the noisiest ones a good beating with his shamanic staff when the boyz at the head of the mob began yelling. There was movement in the ruins up ahead.
"Well well, wut do we 'ave 'ere..." the Prophet mused as he lowered his staff and turned to face the commotion.

Wozoc picked up the small squiggly beast that ran about his feet and gave it a good squeeze. The magical critter burped out a thumb-sized eyeball that the Prophet snatched in between his gnarled fingers mid-air. Lifting this gruesome object to his eye-level and squinting through it, he could see spectral shapes moving about in the distance. Dead 'umies crawling their way back to this world from whatever shadows they had lurked in.

"Aaight, boyz! Wez got sum bashin' t' do!"

Roaring with delight at the prospect of battle, the warband surged forward. Once again the timely arrival of an enemy had saved his hunting party from tearing itself apart. Gorkamorka was evidently smiling down upon him and his devoted tribe.

Following their natural hunter's instincts, the orruks formed a wedge that thundered across the fields to close with the enemy. Big Boss Grom the Punch of the Shifty Mountain led the charge, urging the boyz into all new levels of frenzy for the upcoming fight.

Wozoc sneered under his wooden mask.

The spirits, rather than backing away at the sight of a charging orruk mob, began an assault  of their own. Spectral horses whinnied as their lifeless riders urged them on, long rusty scythes whipping through the air in deadly arcs. Howling banshees turned their hollow eye sockets at the oncoming brutes and started floating towards them. Hosts of malign spirits zigzagged around each other in their haste to sink their blades into the flesh of the living.

There was no backing down on either side of the conflict.

A pair of unstable realmgates stood on the wind-swept field, facing each other in an eternal staring contest. Noticing these peculiar structures and recognizing them for what they were, Prophet Squinteye bellowed a simple command at the Big Stabbas beside him.
"Get in, boyz! Into da gate an' out da uvver side!"
The spear carriers obeyed with all haste, screaming out a mighty cry of "Waaaaa-" on the run before entering the swirling realmgate abruptly cut off their voices.

Across the field the other realmgate sparked to life. From its swirly depths the crews of the Big Stabbas surged forth, their war cry of "-aaaagh!" startling the nearby spirits as it cut sharply through the warm summer air. In the middle of the battleground the hunter mob received the beastly blessings of their Prophet's spells, their eyes glowing bright green as the power of the Great Green surged in their veins. They set off after the spectral cavalry that was galloping up to meet them, with Big Boss Grom already swirling his mighty axe in eager practice strokes.

In a scrambling wall of muscle, blades and sheer noise, the orruks ran into the spirit horsemen galloping behind a tumbledown wall. Some of the hunters ran up the stones of the wall and launched themselves spectacularly into the air, their weepwood chompas held high above their heads in readiness to strike.

They landed on an empty field of grass.

The spectral Hexwraith cavalry galloped through the boyz, weaving nimbly in between the flailing orruks and lashing out with their scythes. Then they were gone. The spirits avoided the enemy altogether and inflicted deep gashes in orange flesh as they passed. Big Boss Grom slowed down his running speed in awe, glaring at the horsemen who had so swiftly bypassed his warriors and were now riding for the Sunsplitterz rear.

The Big Stabbas rammed home. The giant weedpood-tipped spears punched into the ethereal forms of the spirits in flashes of ghostly light. Some of the spirits' forms began to dim and evaporate. The largest of the spirits wielded a huge scythe with both of its lucid hands, slashing a deep cut across one of the spear-carrying orruks as they charged in, before the ramming spears pierced its form.

The other spirit, a banshee with a tangle of magenta hair flowing out on non-existent winds, whispered arcane words of power and sent a bolt of searing energy at the other Big Stabbas across the field. The missile struck the rearmost orruk square in the back, sending the brute face-first into the dirt.

Nearby the mob of hunters engaged the crumbling stonewall, their eyes still glowing brightly with the might of the spirits cast upon them by Wozoc. The frenzied orruks hadn't realized the spectral horsemen weren't there anymore; in their zeal and anger the boyz began ripping apart the lonely wall of stone that stood in their way. They kicked and hacked and tore and bit at the mossy bricks, unleashing all their fury upon the helpless ruin.

Suddenly something flashed in the clouds above. The enormous hull of a spectral war galleon seemed to sail past, and another troop of lifeless horsemen galloped forth from its belly. The transparent planks of the ship's landing bridge creaked as a score of hooves drummed on them, signalling the arrival of Dreadfleet reinforcements.

The Big Stabbas were starting to fall. The flashy boss-spirit flew away and a host of smaller ones took its place, blocking the Sunsplitterz from giving chase. Another banshee floated into view from the nearby ruins, unleashing a terrible scream at the orruks. The wall of sound shred eardrums and drew the Big Stabbas on their knees, eyes and ears leaking blood.

Big Boss Grom readied his choppa and roared a challenge at the Hexwraiths that had so skillfully tricked his hunters. The spectral horsemen responded, wheeling their charge towards the leaders of the warband and brandishing their mean-looking weapons.

"Waaaaagh!" said Grom.
"I don't likes dis..." said Wozoc.

The spirit cavalry flew past them, slashing open wounds on both of the orruk leaders as they passed. Then they turned around and thundered in once more: this time to surround th bellowing Big Boss of the Shifty Mountain.

Grom lifted his axe high, but never got a chance to swing it. In a flash of ethereal mounts and curved scythes, the Hexwraiths charged and the Big Boss tumbled to the ground under them, his muscular form criss-crossed with deep gashes and cuts that immediately began to blacken from the rusty strikes of the riders' weapons.

On the other side of the battlefield, the Big Stabbas drew back and rammed in with their spears again. This time the flashes of ghostly light emanating from the impact left nothing in their wake, as the banshee crumbled into a fine mist that dissipated quickly. Nearby, the mob of hunters was still trashing the stonewall, ripping the bricks from the ground and tossing them around. Their eyes were still glowing with the blessings of their Prophet.

Wozoc Squinteye saw his chosen champion fall under the blades of the Hexwraiths and started a furious counter-assault. He whirled about with his flint dagger and staff, hacking at the ethereal forms around him. It seemed to have no effect. A floating carcass approached the Prophet, carrying a long scythe of its own. A single swing of the peculiar weapon tore into Wozoc's flank, driving him back several steps.

"Oooof!" Squinteye gasped, holding his side that began to flow with blood.
"Ya fink ya can stop da Prophet and 'iz boyz wiv a bunch o' dead 'umies swingin' farmin' tools? Ya'z wrong in dat, skullface!"
Another swing of the Cairn Wraith's scythe ripped away a chunk of Wozoc's thigh and cloak. It was then that his little squiggly beast leaped up from his feet, sinking its teeth into the wraith and pushing it back. The Prophet laughed. His little companion was magical enough to battle spirits!

In the ruins the crews of the Big Stabbas were set upon by a pack of ghosts before having a chance to rise up from the ground with their ears bleeding. The malign souls flew furious circles around the orruks, weaving in and out again and again, repeatedly stabbing their knives into bare flesh. The giant spears fell, but with their last breath they hurled their weapon at a flock of spirits that exploded into mist at the impact.

Finally the beastly blessings wore off from the minds of the orruk hunters who then, after a moment of gazing around, ran to the rescue of their beloved Prophet. They cried out with joy as they plunged into the rear of the Hexwraiths, eager to impress and protect their leader who sneakily sneaked out of the whirling melee and started backing away.

The surviving Big Stabbas charged across the field to crash into the spirit host. Although they evaporated a number of spirits with the momentum of their impetuous assault they were quickly put down by the volume of rusty stabbing knives.

The hunters fought furiously to keep their enemy from giving chase to the escaping Prophet. One of the spectral horsemen was pulled down and stomped into a hazy cloud, but several of the orruks fell to the freezing touch of the scythes. Anywhere the rusty blades of the dead touched, flesh began to blacken and wounds deepen with alarming rate. Many fell before landing a single blow in return.

Backing away from the fighting, Wozoc watched his boyz being slaughtered. His hunting party was crumbling away into the gentle summer wind, put down by a host of dead 'umies. It all seemed ridiculous. Taking yet another step backwards, Squinteye heard the portal spark to life behind him.
"Oooooh, bugga...," he managed to blurt out before the swirling energies of the realmgate exploded outwards to consume him. A flash of orange light and the Prophet was nowhere to be seen.

Using the active realmgates to their advantage, the recently arrived spirit cavarly galloped through the other portal to emerge on the other side of the field. One of their number was lost on the way, trapped in between the realities or eaten by hungry daemons lurking there. The riders didn't seem to care. They were dead already.

The last of Squinteye's hunters were fighting for their lives as the spirits closed in from all sides. The odds were stacked against them and one of the boyz ran away into the forests. Then the trap closed and sealed the fate of the rest.

The malign spectres surged in and slew the remaining orruks in an orgy of stabs and slashes. For a moment the air was filled with terrified screams of the dying brutes, then an awful silence fell upon the land. Only wind howled in the mossy ruins somewhere in the vastness of the Razorfang Sprawl, like a final death hymn to the heaps of orange carcasses that spotted the clearing. No trace was left of the ones that had slain them.


A victory to the Ghosts of the Crimson Path!

Despite my initial success with the realmgate teleports and shenanigans my orruks got beaten bad. My opponent played his spirits with admirable skill, using the move-through mortal wound output of his Death faction in tandem with the Feigned Retreat stratagem to deadly effect. What a blast to play!

The Razorfang Sprawl is now under Death control, and they immediately Garrisoned it to secure their claim. Now each of the warring factions has some foothold on the mainland of the Flamescar Plateau.

Be sure to check out the state of the overall war at the campaign landing page.

If you'd like to learn more about the armies and characters themselves, head over to the faction gallery.

Until next time!