Chapter IX - Ruins of Narthain

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Senlui
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Chapter IX - Ruins of Narthain

Post#1 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:02 pm

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With not a moment to spare, the Regiment of Kar Khadath marched, their fatigue consumed by hate, driving themselves onwards to the north. The messenger who had been sent to guide them to battle was left behind a couple of miles distant. His horse had succumbed to the merciless pace her master had ordered to. It had been no matter, as the pillars of smoke and the distant echoes of battle proved to be ample guides. A small army of Greenskins was spotted at the edge of battle; fodder Malekith had procured and had intended to throw against the Fortress Gates but was being used now instead to fight the Asur’s surprise attack. The situation had to be dire indeed.

Behind the ragtag lines of green vermin, beneath the cover of a forest, the newly returned Commander gave his battle orders. Seemingly restored of his faculties, the Coven watched him with quiet concern following his ordeal. As his cold gaze fell over them, he swept out an arm towards Narthain, rousing them to fight. “Regiment, the enemy has taken advantage of our absence. We shall leave no quarter safe. Show them no mercy!”

With a call to arms, Caranordor led them out from the forest. Stepping out under the open sky, the Regiment was quickly spotted by the thalken forces. Having given little attention to the Greenskin lines, instead turning their efforts to reclaiming Narthain, they now diverted their full attention towards the reinforcing Druchii. Spears were raised and shields interlocked, a battle line was formed moments before the cries of the enemy’s officers brought forth a hail of arrows raining down upon the Dark Elves. Azdrubale, Vithari, and Sharinal held fast with Caranordor as the first wave struck, striking back at their weak kin with cold contempt. Ithilsyn made sure to continue her presence with the Regiment, despite recent events. Accompanied by Sylleth, Sildra, and Cadrilsonras, the sorceresses glided forward, guarded by Gretka and her wicked blades, and Telalis. Whilst most of the arrows missed or were deflected, some made it through; Telalis crying out with pained fury as one found its mark between his armour plates.

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Charging courageously, the Commander took the tip of the vanguard, charging headlong into battle in an attempt to break the High Elves’ battle formation. As the sundered kin hacked and slashed at each other, the Coven countered the arrow volley with sorcerous blasts of destructive force weaving and smashing through the defenders. Cutting through the lines the Druchii finally managed to turn the tide and send their enemy fleeing, only to be ruthlessly cut down and slaughtered on the run.

The Regiment made its way into the plaza at Narthain. All about lay the bodies of the Druchii charged with holding the town since Beastmaster Maughann had been relieved of his duties. Clearly abandoned, Caranordor led his troops through, searching for survivors amid the arrow filled dead.

Leaning against a wall, fingers clutching an arrow to the gut, one sole survivor remained. Two more arrows lodged in his chest, the Druchii glanced up with an expression of both relief and dread. A stab wound could be seen bleeding out from his chest, with a deep laceration running across the length of his torso. Clearly he did not have much time left. He tried to speak, and then coughed violently, his breath wheezing, spittle stained with blood. His eyes burned with hatred as finally his weak voice was heard, “They ca-came out of no-nowhere. Where we- were... No- Not at your post. Fa-failure. Malekith will... will ha...” The Dark Elf’s breath shuddered, the effort of his report too much. For a brief moment a glimpse of bliss could be seen in his eyes, before they stared still out in front of him.

“More incompetent Gharbin,” growled, Caranordor, kicking the recently deceased defender, who slumped to his side. “I spit on their corpses, as useless in death as they were in life.” The Commander looked about the plaza, his eyes blazing beneath his helm as he uttered, “We shall get to the bottom of this.” Regarding the fletches of the arrows in the slain Druchii all about he added, “I suspect Shadow Warriors of Nagarythe.” Vengeful defenders of Ulthuan, this elusive and fast hitting force struck with no warning, fought with no honour, and had a reputation as being as merciless as the Druchii themselves.

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A search of the plaza and surrounding woodlands revealed nothing. No enemy remained that might be interrogated. No Druchii that had been stationed here drew breath. The Regiment scoured the place, no chest left unexamined, no upturned chariot passed by without looking beneath for signs of those that had struck with devastating force in the hours it had taken to make their way to the fight from Chrace.

Something called to Ithilsyn. At the base of one of the towers, a door lay open. She stepped inside, her senses detecting a pool of magic. Within the air was noticeably thicker, and she found it difficult to manoeuvre, as if wading through some manner of invisible sludge. Nothing of importance could be seen as the room appeared to be completely empty, yet as she stepped outside she knew that some sort of enchantment had been put in place. The Coven was called, and as they stood on the steps to discuss their findings, the rest of the Regiment drew near. Reaching out with their powers, they detected a barrier, and linking their weaves of dark magic, focussed their energy as one. Ithilsyn struggled to contain the dhar, until finally feeling as if she would burst, threw it all forward in one raging blast. The Regiment was forced to avert their gaze as the room at the base of the tower erupted with an explosion of bright light, followed by a maelstrom of energy surging outward, evaporating into the sky above. When the blast ebbed away, a narrow set of stairs was revealed at the centre of the tower room, beckoning them into the unknown below.

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Cautiously the Regiment proceeded, guards at the front and rear. Beneath the tower, a labyrinth of corridors and chambers hewn from marble and richly decorated with tapestries and gilded ornament was revealed. Torches and beautifully illustrated frescoes adorned the walls of this seemingly ancient complex. Before them at the end of the long corridor along which they had travelled stood a group of Swordmasters of Hoeth, defenders of the High Elf mages, who stood silently with their greatswords drawn, ready to stop their advance. The Druchii halted in their tracks, forming a defensive wall of shields.

The noble asur gazed upon their foes with steely resolve, before their battle cry was given, “For Giladar!” Then the advance came, swords sweeping with graceful fury, to cut the invaders down.

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Previous Chapters:

Chapter I - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=23964
Chapter II - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24190
Chapter III - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24669
Chapter IV - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24808
Chapter V - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24875
Chapter VI - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24880
Chapter VII - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24898
Chapter VIII - viewtopic.php?f=55&t=24937

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