First I want to thank Ryan for a most exciting and fun game. He destroyed my army, but with a bold go for broke move and some luck with the dice I managed to pull out a victory in the end.
For our league players, because of how the game played out, I have elected not to take any promotions or artifacts from this battle as the narrative is much better without doing so, as you will see.
I hope you all enjoy my attempt at a narrative:
Herthgar, Runesmiter for clan Vultrex paused in his calling on the power of the magma to tunnel beneath the battlefield. His eyes closed as he concentrated, and his thoughts went to what must be happening above. Herthgar led a small elite band of vulkite bezerkers and was tunneling far behind the enemies front lines. His task was to destroy the wood aelf artifact that was being used in some foul ritual to actually awaken the very forest in this region. If they succeeded Clan Vultrex's campaign in these woods would be stalled at best and ended at worst. Even now many a brave fyreslayer was preparing a frontal assault on the wood aelves forces, a charge doomed to fail; but that was the plan. Those warriors and heroes had volunteered to be the bait knowing they would likely die. Just as these brave lads behind him had, and most if not all of them were doomed as well.
"Is something amiss Runesmiter Herthgar?" The question pulled him back to moment and had been raised by Arthger the Karl of this vulkite band and his longtime friend. "No, Arthgar... nothing is wrong. I simply must be sure of our position and the timing or all is lost." Arthger looked very serious as he replied, "nothing is lost if we fight well." "Aye, you are right my friend", Herthgar replied "but fret not for Grimnir sent me a vision this morning and you shall fight very well indeed my old friend... very well indeed."
Herthgar closed his eyes and reached his mind and spirit into the very earth. He could feel the ebb and flow of the strength and power of the ground around him and through it could sense the forces above surging forward. He sensed the ground open several hundred yards from his current position. That would be Mizgran his brother bringing the unit of Auric Hearthgaurd within magmapike range of the aelves. He smiled as thought of the surprise and damage that would be inflicted upon their lines before they could react, still he knew it would not be enough. "To Grimnir's Forge brother" he thought. The time had come, he called on the power of the earth and its magma as he tunneled upward now.
Suddenly the earth opened before him and daylight flooded in upon the vulkites around him. They surged out of the tunnel forming their line quickly. Herthgar looked around quickly his positioning was nearly perfect, but the aelves had not entirely taken the bait. The artifact was before them with the wizard working his incantations, but another unit of warriors was quickly moving to intercept the vulkites. Arthgar, also surveying the field, gave a great shout. "For Grimnir and Clan Vultrex!" as he and his vulkites charged the wizard and the vulkites.
Herthgar watched his friend for a moment, then began running not for the battle, but to the artifact. It was his task to destroy the focus of the ritual for all their clan's hopes lay on destroying it.
The battle surged swiftly around him as he made his last dash to the stone artifact, and he searched it with his spirit and mind. It was powerful, but it was old stone and old stones have their cracks. He quickly found the spot he needed and pulled his Latchkey axe from his back. As he raised the weapon to strike he was distracted as he caught sight of his friend Arthgar. The aelves, war dancers, had slain the rest of his vulkites and surrounded him. It had been at this moment that Arthgar's defenses had failed him and two swords pierced him in the side and back. Arthgar saw Herthgar staring at him and blood spattered from his mouth as he shouted, "GRIMNIR'S BEARD... STRIKE NOW!"
Herthgar struck and stone cracked and split. In blast hot white light the artifact shattered and fell to the ground. The ritual could not be completed. Herthgar and his warband had succeeded.
Herthgar, wood aelves approaching him now from all sides, looked back to Arthgar. Arthgar fell to one knee as the leader of the war dancers raised his blade for killing blow, and his mouth moved as he tried to speak blood flowing down from his lips into his beard. Herthgar could swear he heard a whisper of his friend's voice reach him, "Fight well, indeed." Arthgar smiled at Herthgar his bloody teeth showing as the blade fell. A dozen or more aelf blades were raised to strike Herthgar, but he did not raise his weapon in defense. He only thought, "I'll see you in Grimnir's Forge my friend... soon.
Then Herthgar thought no more.