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Hallar barked orders to the Citizen soldiery of Saphery to advance to the lines secured by Prince Tyrion's Silver Helms and Reaver Knights. The mood of his detachment had been momentarily lightened by the verbal sparring between he and the arrogant mage sitting on a steed some way behind him, but that mood was rapidly darkening now.
His contingent consisted mainly the houshold troops of the various mages mustered to assist Prince Tyrion retake the Altar of Khaine. He saluted Menthues of Caledor, the leader of the contingent from Caledor, noting the Dragon Prince bore an unwieldly but impressive rune-encrusted lance.
Even though he and his brethren of the Tower were ready for the coming conflict, the soldiers of Saphery were not as battle-hardened as he would have liked, and the opposing force was indeed formidable.
Their wills would be sorely tested by the beast that stood at the steps of the Altar, the monstrous creature that was N'Kari. Hallar felt his hackles raise at the sight of the unnatural being. This was the same creature of legend that had fought Aenarion in the first war, and Teclis had banished the behemoth temporarily from the forests of Avelorn. He felt a surge of anger at the thought of this creature tracking down and terrorising the Everqueen...
The Bladelord shook his head...he could detect the cloying smell of blood, a distinct metallic tang in the air, and the bloodlust in the eyes of his men as the Elven army advanced. The Sword always amplified the aspect of Khaine, an aspect the Swordmasters could not allow enter their battle-trance..
As the Elven host drew up, he surveyed the lines. His Swordmasters stood motionless, like surreal statues, the wind barely touching their cloaks and crests. The archers drew their bows to test their strings, and the more experienced amongst them planted arrows firmly into the bone-strewn ground.
Prince Tyrion drew up at the centre of the cavalry, his Silver Helms arrayed around him. Mentheus and his Dragon Princes followed suit, their ancient banner hanging limp in the heavy air. The drake depicted on it would be roaring soon enough...
The Dark Elf lines were arrayed around the pyramid, the centre anchored by the demons of their chaotic allies. Hallar had deployed his contingent against a point in teh Druchii line defended by the warriors of Har Ganeth, City of Executioners. The Bladelord relished pitting his martial prowess against the butchers, and gain some measure of retribution against them for their crimes.
A horn blew, and the Elven cavalry trotted forwards, Tyrion aiming straight at the heart of the opposing army. Tiranoc charioteers began to canter towards an open stretch of the field, where they could do the most damage.
The sky turned darker as the hum of thousands of arrows was hear, their flight arcing over the cavalry, and dropping onto the Dark Elf line. The screams of the dying could be heard across the plain, and the taste of blood grew stronger. The Dark Elves riposted with a hail of black bolts, and dozens of noble Elf riders were pitched from their saddles, else dragged along by frightened or injured steeds.
There was a strange buzz in the air, as bolts of energy passed between the two armies. The battle on the sorcerous plane had not caused any significant damage, but the Elven mages were likelier to tire sooner than the Keepr of Secrets.
Hallar signalled to his swordmasters and the citizen soldiery to advance, pre-empting the second horn sounded from the Elven lines. In a rush of bright silver, the High Elf infantry moved forward, rushing to support their comrades. Repeater bolt throwers still spat death from the steps of the giant pyramid, and it seemed that N'Kari had entered to fray, intent upon the High Elf general.
Hallar knew his fomer pupil was best placed to handle this abomination, and he put his worst thoughts out his mind.
Several chariots were wrecked as steel-fanged missiles were hurled by the Druchii war machines. As the Elven horsemen were about to strike home, a second cloud of white-fletched arrows beat them to the Druchii lines, causing yet more damage, and opening gaps for the knights to exploit. The knights crashed into the Dark Elf lines, trampling and skewering dozens of Dark Elves. Hallar lost sight of Tyrion, but saw that Menthues and his Dragon Princes were stuck in a melee against Dark Elf spears, and a unit of Executioners was bearing down on them, intent on taking their scalps as prizes.
The fire from the Sea Guard's own machines faltered - they feared to hit their comrades and were likely to be preoccupied dealing with light troops such as harpies and Shades
The Swordmasters charged the line with sweeping arcs of their blades, butchering the Druchii warriors besieging the Dragon Princes. The Dragon Princes spurred their steeds forwards and charged again, chasing down a unit of crossbows that finally broke. The sowrdmasters then surged at the Executioners, who had engaged a unit of Spears, and as systematically destroying them.
The two groups of warrior elite engaged in a battle where the slightest error would be punished. Hallar singled out a Lordling of Har Ganeth, wielding a massive draich. The weapon was slick with High Elf blood, and as the dark one split open the helmet of a Sapherian spear elf, Hallar called out his challenge.
"Druchii! You have no honour, and we have come to teach your dogs how true warriors fight!!"
The Dark Elf kicked the body of his victim away, and flicked the blood from the blade of his weapon.
"Asur scum, you call yourself a Swordmaster! I will introduce you to a real weapon!". The lordling's voice was muffled by the chainmail cloaking his face.
The two master swordsmen leapt at each other, their blades ringing, the glancing blows lancing up Hallar's arms. He was well used to fighting against a great weapon, but his opponent's blade was weighted differently to a long sword, and the cruel spikes and curves could easily trap his blade if he was unwary.
They exchanged blows faster and faster, as Hallar brought his many years of study to the fore, using every slight advantage. Finally the Swordmaster engaged in a flurry of attacks, the great longsword sweeping silver shapes through the air. The other Executioners had been defeated, High Elf voices were cheering the demise of the demon, and now all eyes were on the duel. Hallar detected a subtle shift in his opponent - the fool had been feinting, trying to tire Hallar out to push for a killing blow. Hallar felt a bead of sweat trickle down his eyebrow, and it stung as it founf its way into the corner of his eye. The Druchi attacked again, beating Hallar's blade away with a mighty blow and continuing the sweep to sever his head...Hallar ducked and described an arc of his own... his opponent's the blow striking the top of his helmet. His ears rang and the helmet tumbled to the ground, ruined. The Druchi had struck so fast he was still turning as his shins met the edge of Hallar's blade, and were sheared straight through....
Last edited by kithre; October 8th, 2008 at 09:12.
Lol - thanks David, might attempt to write a few more pieces of fluff, this piece was meant to portray the expedition led by Tyrion against the Altar of Khaine. Now I don't have my 4th Ed High Elf book at hand, so I don;t have the name of teh mage who supported Tyrion, would have liked to use the fluff names as far as possible, hence the "unnamed mage" appearance above...
And now for the Rules:
Hallar teh Swordmaster is Ulthuan's finest swordsman, and has trained such luminaries as Prince Tyrion and the current Phoenix King, Finubar Seafarer. Many of the greatest warriors of the realm owe their martial prowess to years of intensive study in the halls of the White Tower, and Hallar is peerless amongst the order of Swordmasters. He has only been bettered in duel by Bellanaer, and that was in his youth, whilst under the tutelage of the wizened Loremaster.
Hallar is also amongst the foremost of the agents of the Phoenix King, having exposed dozens of nobles in the cult of pleasuer. Sometimes called by the few who know his true role as the Spymaster of Hoeth, he is a master of disguise, and has access to magical artefacts and potions to mask his appearance, voice, or even the colour of his eyes. The long war against the Cult of Pleasuer has caused the order to have a hard demeanour, and deep meditation and hours of incessant practice have prevented the warrior-ascetics of the order themselves falling under the shadow which they despise so greatly. Hallar has been impacted more deeply than most, as his role as one of the senior members of the order means that he is privy to much troubling intelligence.
As a younger Elf, he was always quick to flash a smile, and with his golden hair and exceptional talent with weapons of all types, he was destined for a glorious career as a commander of the household troops of Korvael, Lord of Tor Achare. He was not a hunter, so would never have joined the body of the Hunters, the White Lions, but his skill came to the attention of Belannaer when the Loremaster came to Tor Achare to seek and destroy adherents of the Cult. The very existence of the Cult was not a fact known to most elves, and their presence in Tor Achare was seen as particulalry dire, given its importance as a fortress in the north.
The cultists fled through the streets of Tor Achare, chased by agents of the Phoenix Crown, and the muffled noise of clashing weapons roused a few of the citizen soldiery guarding the walls of the great bastion. Hallar was one of the first to the scene, watching the swirling melee unfold in a derelict quarter of the city, and bore witness to a Slannesh-sworn mage invoking cursed rituals, tearing the fabric of reality to bring forth foul demons. Some of the militia were slain as hypnotic beauties with clawed hands, and even the Swordmasters were hard-pressed, for they were few, and the stream of demons did not stop.
Seeing an opening, and defending himself with all his skills, Hallar managed to hurl a pike through two of the damonettes, ignoring their stupour-enducing auras. The spear embedded itself into the back of the renegade mage, and at once the gate to the Chaos realm closed. The deamonettes began to blink out of existence, disappearing in a puff of sickly-sweet smoke. Hallar was the only resident of Tor Achare still alive in the darkened alley..
A figure emerged from the gloom, cloaked in shadows, eyes almost glowing within the cowl of a hood.
"Come young elf - you have but one choice, a troop of White Lions is heading this way...Join us...My captain says you have the skills and I see in you an inner conflict, which we will heal..."
Hallar had heard of the tales of the legendary scholar warriors, and the fabled pinnacle of Hoeth in the land of Saphery..He yearned to join them, but he had a duty.
"I must stay and report this to my liege-lord - and I must bury my comrades with honour.."
At a word spoken in a whisper by Belannaer, the remains of the demaons and the cultists were truned to cinder, leaving the bodies of the loyal elves for honourable burial. He and his swordmasters disappeared into the fog, and he called to Hallar, clear as a clarion-call.
"We shall be meeting again soon, young elf..."
Khorian Ironglaive picked through the ruins of the burnt our village. His opposite number, the Swordmaster, seemed was like a ghost moving through the charred timbers.
Khorian knew of a Hallar only by reputation, he was a formidable warrior, and certainly the Swordmasters had been very useful in tracking down this particular band of Druchii raiders. Something about Hallar, in his bearing and his eyes, made Khorian think of another warrior called Hallar, who had been found at the centre of carnage back in Tor Achare several decades ago. That Hallar had of course been questioned, and once Bel Annaer had spoken to Khorian's father, the Lord of Tor Achare, the young warrior had been exiled out of Chrace, rumoured to have taken on the mantle of an adventurer in the Old World...so the two could not be the same. Besides, Hallar of Tor Achare had been a warrior with golden hair, and this Swordmaster from Saphery was barely older than he, but his hair was brilliant white.
Hallar looked at the mighty captain of the White Lions, sensing the spark of recognition in the White Lion's eyes, and held a smile underneath his mail facemask.
He enjoyed his new position, knew his duty to the Crown and had a sense of purpose. The Loremaster had been right - his inner conflict at the butchery and the abominations he had fought had been resolved - he now knew creatures of legend such as demons were all to real. And his students loved him as a father - his naturally gruff demeanour and sardonic sense of humour contrasted with what the Princes were normally used to, the propriety of court and the sharp language of politics and intrigue...
Hallar the Sword Master, Blade Lord and Captain of the White Tower
M WS BS S T A W I Ld
5 10 6 4 3 5 3 8 10
Master of the Blade - when using the Elven Greatsword, Hallar gains the Killing Blow Special Rule, and his attacks will always wound a target on at least 5+, regardless of toughness
Speed of Asuryan
Valour of Ages
Spymaster of the Phoenix - Hallar may Scout, and if he is deployed as a Scout, he does not have to be deployed until after all other scouts are deployed. A unit of Swordmasters with US less than 10 may also scout with him. These are agents who have worked their way into the confidence of the enemy, or otherwise manipulate the battlefield.
Hand Weapon and Additional Hand Weapon: Al'drol and El'drol
These twin blades appear to be made from shards of glass, and are balanced better than any other weapon in the armoury of Hoeth. They are as sharp as the greatswords used by the Swordmasters, and whilst not as heavy, they are equally deadly in their own right.
At the start of any combat, Hallar may choose to use his greatsword or his twin blades. If using these twin blades, hallar gains +1 A, and all his attacks count as armour piercing.
Plate of Hoeth
Hallar wears the bone-white breastplate crafted by Priests of Vaul for the first Loremaster of War, who incepted the Swordmasters order. The once brilliant Ithilmar was dulled by coats of lacquer, and engraved with charms dedicated to Hoeth, the God of Wisdom, and Loec, the God of Luck.
The bearer adds +1 to his armour save.
Additionally, the bearer has a 5+ ward save, and may reroll failed leadership tests.
Cloak of Silence
The broach holding Hallar's cloak is a powerfully enchanted talisman, making its wearer stealthier, and harder to hear. If Hallar and his unit are in cover, they gain an additional -1 to hit modifier. Additionally, the talisman dims the noises of battle, so in the case of a drawn combat involving the bearer, musicians confer no bonuses.
Last edited by kithre; October 9th, 2008 at 10:32.