Escalation League 1, Game 1: Heated Passions and Cool Heads
Today… battle was joined in the realm of Aqshy. In the Kindlerock Badlands where the scorching air is so hot it threatens to extinguish the life of those who breathe too deeply of that arcane atmosphere, two unlikely foes found themselves drawn into tragic conflict. The dutiful Slann of the Seraphon foresaw calamity in the stars when they looked into the future and witnessed Chaos worshiping cultists hidden among a caravan that would one day bring ruination to the bastions of the Heavens. The caravan was on it’s way back from trading with the Floating City of Bataar to its home city in the realm of shadow. Scheming as ever Tzeentch hid from the Slann’s sight that the caravan was not lightly guarded by fickle mercenaries but accompanied by a contingent of The Darkstars, a confederation of Celestial Vindicators Stormcast chambers who helped found the city in Ulgu.
The Slann summoned a vanguard to intercept the caravan in Red Bone Pass. Sensing corruption a Stegadon carrying an Engine of the Gods on it’s howdah unleashed a torrent of celestial energy into a passenger wagon with cultists hidden among its occupants while a Bastiladon Solar Engine decimated a treasure transport which contained tainted artifacts. The Vindicators ,commanded by the trade expedition’s captain, Lord Castellant Kurnath Grimhelm quickly formed a rearguard action to shield the rest of the caravans escape. Though confused at the adversaries before him Grimhelm was aware the Seraphon were not renowned for their communication skills. Questions would have to wait for another day, Grimhelm formed the line of battle as the Darkstars recited their war hymns.
The Skink Priest tending the Engine of the Gods, though disturbed at the grim array of Stormcast before him could not afford to retreat from battle; his mission was not yet complete and vital work lay ahead. He ordered his Saurus Guard forward under cover from Solar Engine fire and celestial magic. Stormcast warriors fall to arcane energies but are quickly reinforced via celestial lightening by ranged contingents under the command of Lord Arcanum Talia Stormcrown. Saurus fall to withering fire from Judicators and Celestar Ballista leaving the Bastiladon alone and exposed on the right flank.
Meanwhile on the Stormcast left flank, a large cohort of Evocators advance under the beneficent light of Grimhelm’s Warding Lantern on the Seraphon’s last position of strength, the Engine of the Gods screened by Saurus Guard. The Evocators pace themselves in the sweltering heat making an orderly charge and engage the Saurus wiping them out with devastating blows from their grandstaves and blasting their earthly forms to ruin with celestial lightning. The Skink priest, incensed at the brutality with which the Vindicators fought fellow ‘scions of the heavens,’ charged his Stegadon at the offending Evocators unleashing a burst of celestial energy from the Engine blasting apart an Evocator. The stegadon lowered its head to gore the warrior mages, impaling two upon it’s crown of horns and trampling more underfoot. Simultaneously Lord Castellant Grimhelm was caught in the open, unable to keep pace with the swift Evocators by shrewd Ripperdactyle Riders. However the Riders weapons could find no purchase as befitting of his rank, Grimhelm defly defended himself from his attackers to a standstill.
The Evocators regained their composure after the Engines charged and counter-attacked their rampaging enemy. The battle mages struck punishing blows with their grandstaves breaking bones and sundering flesh with barely contained celestial lightning… The Engine and it’s priest succumbed to their wounds, dissipating into the ether with a pale blue light. The Evocators rallied to Grimhelm’s side banishing the Riders to the heavens while the Bastiladon tragically reared on its hind legs and then onto it’s back letting out a pitiful cry as it was laid low by arrow and bolt. Grimhelm consulted with Talia after the battle and the Lord Arcanum’s shrewd calculating mind guessed at the Seraphon’s true intentions. Though she was more deliberate in her application of violence than the scions of the Slann had been Talia’s justice was just as merciless if not more so after catching up with the caravan down the pass…
The schemes of Tzeentch had seemingly unraveled at the intervention of the Slann and the wisdom of a Lord Arcanum this time… or had they?