Welcome to Librarium Online!
Stuff in italics is battle data for those who want a crisp idea of what was happening on the table top, it may break the flow of the story if you are enjoying that, so skip them if ya want.
Caine headed north with his band of hand picked men in their scruffy leathers, Cygnaran insignia safely stowed in packs and under great coats. Caine himself walked with his coat tight closed hiding the colours of his clothes beneath. All in all the band of men managed to look convincingly like a group of mercenaries trudging through the mud, with only one light warjack and clearly not much of a threat. This was all that had protected them up until this point allowing them to navigate an area thick with Skorne whilst only engaging in one minor engagement, ended in moments by Caine flashing in front of the inexperienced warlock and removing his head with a perfect shot. The only other forces in that engagement had been a trio of warbeasts and these could tell no tales, so the company continued their secret identity safe. Now they trudged through the rain around the border of Protectorate held land, hoping not to draw the notice of the Menites as their target was further away and far larger in the mind of certain elements among the Cygnaran military, notably those elements which Caine took his orders from.
The gorge down which they walked was slowly turning into a river and the mud caked everyone, which only complimented their disguise. One of the trenchers under the command of Lieutenant Strange came jogging up as they were about to exit the fissure onto flatter land and waved for the column to halt. Quickly he spoke to Caine “We’ve spotted a group o’ Menites sir, they seem to know we’re ‘ere and are moving to bottleneck us in this gorge. Reckon they just think we’re a ragtag bunch o’ merc’s though so we should be able to give ‘em a nasty surprise. There’s a rise out the end of the gorge off to the left, the Lieutenant has us setting up outta sight on it, just waitin’ for your orders sir.” Caine nodded “Run back and tell your Lieutenant to secure that rise and prepare for the Sergeant Brace and his Long Gunners to take position behind you. I’ll be with them and we’ll have Lieutenant King bring you the Grenadier as soon as possible. With any luck the enemy will think he’s in charge and not notice me ‘til it’s too late. Captain Able, I want you and your gun mages to circle round opposite the hill and try to draw off priority targets and eliminate them. The Choir and any ‘jacks are priority.” Captain Able, a gun mage who had known Caine since his days at the academy just gave a nod and smiled before signalling his cadre of Gun Mages to move out.
Cygnarans run into position
Menoth advance and fire
Minutes later with Caines’ forces nearly in position the first Menites were spotted coming out of the rain slogging across the marsh. A group of Zealots headed towards the trenchers position as the brave front liners marched onto the hill top and set up a screen of smoke. The long gunners, under sergeant brace jogged out of the gorge under the cover of the trenchers smoke screen and headed towards the hill, accompanied by the Grenadier ‘jack and his controller Journeyman Warcaster Lieutenant King. Caine followed close behind enchanting the Long gunners’ weapons as he advanced, to allow them to fire at a monstrous range.
Captain Able and his gun mages jogged forwards on the far flank, making themselves clear targets for a Guardian Warjack and a unit of Temple Flameguard. The guardian and his attendant Flameguard took the bait and began to advance on the Captain and his men, but as the huge ‘Jack started moving it shimmered and seemed to disappear. An eerie chanting flowed across the open ground and Able recognised the sound of a Menoth Choir. As the Gun Mages do their best to spot the warjack a hail of explosive rockets falls just short of their position, startling them, looking up through the haze of pounding rain they can just make out a unit of rocket armed Deliverers wading through a marsh near the front of the enemy battle line. On the far side of the battlefield a small cadre of powerful Menoth priests, a Warcaster, Reclaimer, Covenant and a Hierophant advance behind the Zealots.
Trenchers use Cautious Advance to set up a perimeter around the hill, use CRAT to attempt to damage the Hierarch, fail. (others use smoke)
Caine, upkeeps Snipe casts Deadeye on the Long Gunners, shoots some Zealots, ‘ports behind the Chain gun
Long Gunners advance and shoot the Zealots, killing several including the unit leader and Monolith bearer
Chain Gun fires at the Zealots, comes up short
Grenadier runs, but is now in BTB with the trenchers.
Jnr Advances to babysit his Jack and upkeeps AS
Able shoots at Temple Guard leader, fails to wound (by 1)
ATGM use Thunderstrike to KD some and disrupt others of the Temple Guard, and detonator to kill one
Temple Guard do the Knockdown shuffle
Choir give the Guardian protection from shooting
Zealots run and throw grenades at the long guners and trenchers, setting the Lieutenant on fire
Reclaimer uses a soul to give himself +4 arm
Hierarch + chum mover
Hierarch shoots through the ‘jack node taking down the ATGM lieutenant
Hierarch pops feat and has the long gunners and chain gunner try to kill stuff (chainggunner vs ‘jack) (Chain gunner gets capped)
Hiearch uses his spell over and over through ‘node to make the ATGM cap each other (2 kills)
Deliverers fire at the ATGM, miss due to OOR
Strange signalled to his men to move forward quickly and with care to form a semi-circle on the slope of the hill, providing a fortified position, whilst giving the long gunners and chain gun on the hill top a clear line of sight. As soon as they were in position Strange grouped his men into threes, a pair from each trio tried to take down the enemy ‘caster whilst the third used a smoke bomb to set up a screen as soon as the shots were fired. The shots rang out, but bounced off the arcane wards set around their foe and moments later he was lost behind a cloud of smoke.
Caine looked across his forces and gave a grim smile, the Menites had almost got the drop on them there, but his men were well drilled and setting up this position made it a virtual certainty that the battle was theirs, unless his enemy did something unexpected. Caine focussed a moment maintaining his enchantment on the gunners weapons and added a second overlaying their goggles to make their vision almost telescopic, so they could make best use of their shots. He then dashed down the hill and into the screening smoke, letting off shots at anyone who saw him, when he was done three zealots were dead and a moment later there was nothing but a shimmer in the air as he stepped behind the chain gunners on the hilltop.
Sergeant Brace signalled his men to form up on the hilltop to get a clear shot over the heads of the dug in trenchers. The disciplined troops had lined up in moments and sent a hail of lead into the zealot unit, carefully selecting their targets to eliminate both the priest and monolith bearer leading them. With a grim smile Brace reminded himself to buy Caine a pint, the augments made to goggles and guns were all that had made his men’s shots possible at such long range. This fact was made all the more evident as the chain gun crew fired up their weapon and the rotating barrel began to spit bullets into the air, but all fell well short of the enemy position.
King focused power into his warjacks legs and the metal monster pounded forwards to take position tight against the trencher line, whilst the Journeyman Warcaster followed up behind, maintaining the power flowing from him to trenchers as he did.
Captain able moved to the edge of the hill on which he was situated and with a flick of his wrist sent a bullet streaking into the leader of the Flameguard unit, who was hiding behind his men, as the bullet curved though, one of the men to their leaders right brought his shield up and deflected the shot. Cursing, Able signalled to his Gun Mages to disrupt the unit and they did so admirably blasting men out of formation and knocking them down and silencing one in the front rank forever.
Whilst the gun mages were focussed on disrupting the Flame Guard they failed to notice the rumbling as the Guardian warjack pounded closer, still invisible to their eyes thanks to the chanting choir. As it came within range a lance of fire swept from it blasting Lieutenant Able (the captain’s brother) and knocking him unconscious and sprawling. Eerie power followed in its wake invading the minds of the gun mages and having sever raise their pistol each against the other. Shots rang out and when the smoke cleared two of the students of the Arcane Tempest lay sorely wounded and unmoving. The remaining mages looked at each other warily as the power faded, but had only moments to do so before rockets began to rain down scan feat away and the mages ducked for cover.
On the far side of the battlefield Caine found his troops suddenly in disarray as the chain gun went off, seemingly of its own accord slamming shot into the Grenadier. One of the long gunners raised his rifle and ended the threat by shooting the crewman operating the weapon through his right arm. Moments later it became evident that the man was not acting to protect the army but to harm it as he and several of his unit began pouring shots into the Trenchers dug out. Fortunately the Arcane Shield arcing over the top of the trench deflected the bullets with crackling flashes of power. It took a moment for Caine to realise what had happened the cadre of enemy priests had moved closer and were using insidious magic to take control of the minds of his troops.
Even as Caine moved off to deal with this new threat the zealots, filled with fury at their commanders demise reached the trencher line and began pounding upon it with grenades. The resulting blasts did little damage as their force was absorbed by the entrenchments and magic shrouding the troops. The last grenade however was packed with a little something extra and splattered burning oil onto Lieutenant Stranges’ greatcoat, setting it alight.
Meanwhile the temple guard pulled themselves up and moved back into formation, but not in time to stop Captain Able from slipping past. The Captain saw that he had mis-evaluated the threat and, ignoring the flame guard instead set his sights, and his magical skill, on the leader of the choir preventing his men from disabling the Guardian. With a grim smile he pulls the trigger and the man is dead. Unbeknownst to him his brother, along with two of his men, is at that moment being dragged back to safety by his squad mates, who then prepare themselves to deal with the ‘Jack as it approaches.
Caine casts Deadeye on the LGs and moves to cap two zealots and the Hierarchs buddy before ‘porting back behind the gun
Long Gunners move into position and CRAT to take down the Reclaimer then use remaining shots to pop 2 Zealots
Chain gun fires, is out of range
Grenadier uses arching fire to pound on the hierarch reducing him to 3 wounds (3 attacks, 2 boosted damage)
Jnr tries to shoot the Hierarch, misses
Abel advances into the Temple guards back arch and caps the Choir leader
Gun mages back off out of charge range of everything and get ready to fry a cortex next turn
Trencher lieutenant cries “Over the top lads” and the valiant mud covered trenchers charge the hierarch screaming battle cries and firing their rifles to end the threat.
Caine proceeded down the incline of the hill bringing himself into a position where he could see the enemy priests, but was surprised by two zealots in the smoke and had to kill them before he could use a bullet to remove the Hierophant from the equation. He had no choice then but to flash back to his previous position in order to augment Sergeant Braces’ men once more or his presence would fail to remain a secret.
Brace and his men, out of position after the disorienting few moments which none of them can now remember recover admirably and see what has to be done. Moving back into position Brace directs his unit to combine fire against the Reclaimer, who has a strange glow around him reminiscent of Kings’ Arcane Shield. The bullets fly and whilst some are deflected by the pulsing green light enough strike home and punch through. The Reclaimer falls, his soul fleeing beside those he had collected.
Philips, the ammo feeder on the chain gun crew, pushes his friend out of the way gently and takes up the weapon himself. Its his first time firing in combat and it shows as his spray of bullets seems closer to hitting the trenchers than his target.
Lieutenant Strange calls to the two trenchers with the grenadier “Get him firing lads, that ‘casters is ya’ target.” The men oblige, springing in to action to manually reload the Grenadier as it looses shot after shot at the enemy Warcaster. As the grenades pound down Lieutenant King focuses his arcane power putting deadly magical force into each blast and tearing through the enemies defences. The enemy Warcaster staggers, wounded and in pain. At this sign of weakness King cries “Over the top, lads” and the trenchers stream from their dugout firing as they charge. When the smoke clears the enemy Warcaster is nothing but a meat sack filled with bullet holes and stab wounds. His army, what’s left of it turns to flee and Caine signals to his men to let them go. Soon the bodies will be claimed by the mud and the marsh and the Cygnaran forces still have a long march in the rain to get to where they are going.
Gun Mage Captain Adept
Long gunners (6)
Trenchers (6) + UA (2)
Arcane Tempest Gun Mages (6)
Trencher Cahing Gun Crew (2)
Temple Flame Guard (9)
Choir of Menoth (3)
Zealots (8 ) + Monolith Bearer (1)