Maggroth planted his gnarled staff into the loam and stared out from the edge of the forest. The woodlands around him were moving, twisted roots and choking vines writhing out into the daylight like so many tentacles. Behind him, his master prepared for war, Thadrane was attended by the coven of lesser shamans who painted his hoofs and great set of curling horns with the blood of freshly slaughtered captives, as was the tradition of the herd.
Since the dawn of time, the Blooded Herd had lived in the forests. For nearly as long, they had preyed on the tribes of man, but the Manlings were relentless. They cut down the trees and set fire to the underbrush, and scoured the forests for the Beastmen. It was a battle without end, and without victory. A source of endless joy for the Dark Gods who ruled over the Blooded. Every year, the Blooded Herd seemed to dwindle, and every year the humans grew more bold. Rumors spread that Thadrane was growing weak in his old age, that he was ill-equipped to defend the Herdstone from the wretched tribes of man. So it was that when the humans began to erect a large fortress at the forest's edge, Thadrane had been moved to action. He rallied the entire herd, and summoned Maggroth from his swampy abode, and prepared to raze the fortress to the ground, and slaughter the defenders.
Thadrane moved to stand at Maggroth's shoulder, his footsteps heavy - Thadrane's considerable bulk further weighed down by layers of raw iron armor and creaking leather. Beside him was his trusted lieutenant, Skourl White-Eye, a massive WarGor who had been left half-blind in a battle almost three decades before. The old wound had done nothing to dim his war-lust, if anything, Skourl had only become more vicious and bloody-minded since his brush with death. Maggroth could hear the rest of the herd as they assembled behind them. At Thadrane's signal, Skourl began the throaty war-bray of the herd. The rest of the tribe joined in, and the sound grew like a deafening tidal surge. Finally, it broke, and the entire herd charged out from the woods.
Bodies stampeded past Maggroth in a stinking, growling, clamoring wave. Across the freshly turned fields and quarried expanse before them, Maggroth could see the started humans hurrying to prepare themselves for the savage tide of beastmen. A few of them, from what Maggroth could see, wore the red and white livery of Talabecland warriors. The rest however, seemed to only be petty laborers and craftsmen. As the pack drew closer to their enemy, the more canny, experienced Gors and Bestigors slowed their pace, and suddenly the Ungors found themselves leading the charge. Their youthful exuberance was dimmed slightly when the first volley of crossbow bolts hit their lines.
Maggroth followed a few paces behind as Thadrane leapt over the bodies of the fallen Ungors and urged them on with foul curses and vile threats. Two crossbow bolts thudded into Thadrane's enormous hide, but if they wounded him at all, they didn't slow him at all. Within moments, the two forces had met, and Thadrane was butchering everything at hand. Maggroth himself set about ripping the enemy apart with his own wild magic, sending roots bursting from the ragged earth to lash and strangle anything which strayed too close.
As Thadrane tore at the men around him, Maggroth tore at the walls. The vines and roots which had been steadily creeping from the edges of the forest, and bursting from the ground at Maggroth's command, now turned their attentions against the fresh-laid stones of the fortress. Entire sections of the wall were ripped asunder, and towers crashed and fell on the battle below. It was too much for the weakling humans, and they broke and fell back, retreating from the field in terror.
Around Maggroth, Gors lifted their mangy heads, ribbons of gore hanging from their fearsome horns, and brayed the cry of the herd to the horizons. Thadrane and his elites however, were not content with letting the remaining humans escape with their lives. Thadrane himself leapt onto the back of a passing chariot and thundered off, leaving Maggroth to survey the results of their battle. The ground was strewn with death and dying, blood soaking into the churned soil to create a muddy loam. Roots had already begun to drag the fallen back into the earth, and carrion circled greedily overhead. Before him, the once-growing fortress was left as a ruin, it's partially built walls destroyed, it's towers toppled and overgrown by the vines which Maggroth himself had summoned. Maggroth had not seen the world beyond the Blood Herd's lands look as desolate for a thousand years. His ancient lips cracked in a contented smile. Skourl hefted the banner of the Herd to the top of a cairn of stones assembled by the few remaining Ungors. It was the signal for a new age - an age which would see the return of chaos and savagery to these lands. An age of the Blooded Herd, of Thadrane Gorehoof, and the power of Maggroth Thunderbane.