WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (2024)

Unholy Pact

The tall vaulted chamber was in darkness, except for the fluttering light of eight large candles placed upon the stone floor. Each stood was at the end of an eight-pointed star, engraved into the stone flags. Within the star was a bounding circle, it had also been carved to encompass all eight arms of the star. Cloaked and hooded in black, eight acolytes stood at the star's points, above the candle, a curved, serrated, executioner’s knife in hand, poised above a kneeling captive. Eight slaves, all naked and heads bowed, with hands bound behind them, each drowsy with poisons to sedate them, knelt to mindlessly await their gory fate. The blood-ritual was about to begin. Outside of the coven circle stood another sorceress, very tall and lithe, her robes of deep purple trimmed with golden thread and embroidered with many sigils and runes. In one hand, she held a black staff, in the other a book, ancient and worn, its browning pages tattered and crumbling, from which she began to intone in an ancient, unknown, language. This was not an elvish tongue, but something darker, of gutteral sounds and twisted vowels. In the silent chamber her clear voice rang out, the spell of summoning had begun. The candles suddenly guttering fiercely as if a wind had blown through, but there was none.

Eight knives were placed across eight throats as the rites continued. Each blade paused, awaiting their leader’s command, then cut deep, slicing across the exposed vulnerable flesh, and the bright life blood of the captives suddenly gushes down their chest and stomachs to pool upon the flag stones, a lake of warm crimson leaking around the candle holders and into the stone channel of the star. Blood flowed like a trickling riverlet, along each channel and, as the bodies of the sacrificed lay lifeless and twitching, into and around the bounding circle, until the entire stone-carved sigil was brimmed with blood. The eight acolytes began their own chanting, quiet words muttered under their breathe, each repeat of the spell’s refrain growing louder. The sorceress led, chanting first, rising with ever greater pleading. Louder and louder, until the spell’s chant was a shout, insistent and imploring, calling out to the glimmering darkness. Then, the candles guttered and blew out. All was utter darkness. The chanting ceased. Silence.

“Speak. Reveal yourself. We entreat you.” demanded the high sorceress.

No reply, but there was something there, in the centre of the blood-sigil, a formless shape. It had no substance, yet it projected an atmosphere, a feeling, that grew stronger and filled the summoning chamber. Anger, a pent-up rage of murderous intent, contained, but barely so, straining to burst forth.

“Speak. Reveal yourself. Daemon of the primordial chaos. We entreat you.” repeated the sorceress. The blood-filled sigil upon the floor suddenly burst into bright red flames in a flash, illuminating the chamber in a searing hellish glow.

A voice from the inner darkness responded, disembodied, it suddenly boomed in a fury, echoing back from the chamber walls.

“BLOOD!’ BLOOD! BLOOD!”

Bathed in red, the sorceress stepped forward, assured and unflinching, towards the bounding circle.

“I WILL DRINK YOUR BLOOD AND PLACE YOUR SKULL UPON THE BRASS THRONE.” the voice boomed.

“I know your names, servant of the Blood God. I hold the power here. This circle binds you.” she spoke with a voice of certain command, never shrinking before the disembodied fury before her.

“I SHALL TAKE YOUR SKULL IN HIS NAME!”

“Shall I speak it? You are Golagoth, the Skull Cleaver, mighty Warrior Prince of Khorne. You have other titles too, but I also know your true name. Shall I speak it? Shall I cast you into the outer abyss, not to return for a thousand years?”

“ARRRGH!” it bellowed in a reply of frustrated rage.

“Those who know a daemon's true name, the daemon must serve, or be banished… for I can be your utter undoing. A slaughter for Khorne you might be, but if I call you forth from the chaos, then you will bow your head to me.”

“I BOW FOR NONE. ONLY THE TRUE LORD OF DEATH MAY COMMAND ME!”

“And his command is ever the same. Kill, bring massacre in his name. Spill blood for him and pile skulls at the foot of his throne. Slaughter is your master’s only pleasure. Death is his only command. Death for any and all, under your legion's murderous blades.”

“THE SKULL CLEAVER LAYS SKULLS AT THE THRONE OF KHORNE!”

“And death for Khaine also, bloody be his reign. Under me, you will serve both. I can break the bonds of this circle, but the power of your unmaking is still in my gift, Golagoth, Skull Cleaver. You will serve my commands, but they will be no different to those of your maker. I am in need of a slaughterer, a war leader and his unsated legions of carnage. Skulls I can gift you, many skulls, and they shall go to the brass throne, but the blood, it belongs to the lord Khaine. Bring forth your legions. Kill in the name of Khorne, and kill in name of Khaine. Pile the bodies of my enemies high and make a tribute of the skulls to present before your master. War is your only calling, and I offer it to you, in unholy pact. What say you, daemon, prince of the chaos?”

Silence. The room fell into pitched darkness again. The fury and tempest that had filled it blown away in an instant… Golagoth, trapped and bound, awaited. Seconds passed, the hooded acolytes shuffling in place, had the ritual failed? Then…

“BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!” Golagoth roared, acquiescing.

“And blood for Khaine.” was the assured reply of the victorious Sorceress. She had what she required.

****

Game 6 of the campaign, and the Dark Elves now have their allies available to them. Having failed to take the first watchtower to the east of their beachhead, they are now attempting to destroy the watchtower to the west. Their own forces having failed in a humiliating defeat last time, this would be the first unleashing of the daemonic allies. 1000 points aside in a repeat of game 5. I'm deliberately keeping the forces small atm, but larger battles will come as the war escalates.

Here are the two picked forces.

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (1)

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (2)

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (3)

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (4)

A stand-up fight then, with the brave Elves defending the hill and watchtower atop it, and the Khorne daemons launching an all-out assault (they know no other way), with their ambushing Fleshhounds arriving from the rear (hopefully). Can the High Elves hold out against such wreckless hate?

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (5)
The daemonic assault will come from the front and rear.


WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (6)
The tower's guardians deployed in glittering array.

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (7)
Khorne's foot soldiers ready for the rush to battle.

With the High Elves holding their hill and tower, the Khorne daemons would launch an all out charge, no missile fire, no magic, just run… and chop them up. The Elf archery would begin the damage, but it had little effect to start with, picking-off a few Bloodletters, but their ward save rolled well, the bolt thrower did impale 2 deamons in one shot… and they all just closed in. On their left, the unit in column marched 15” around the rock, expecting to change formation next turn, but this didn’t happen, being Impetuous (forgot that) they then had to charge… oops, so were only 3 wide and no ranks, not great, lesson to learn.

Start of turn 2 was a big swing when both ambushing Fleshhound units arrived behind the elves and could charge (I think this is right). The Ellyrians reavers turnabout and loosed their shortbows, to no effect, and the shadow warriors did the same, and did, err, 1 wound, so the Fleshhounds could charge the reavers, whose stand and fire did, err, nothing again (terrible rolling). They were doomed, 6 horsem*n being savaged, and they broke, out-running the pursuit of the hounds by 1” - go elf steeds!

On the daemon’s left the fight at the foot of the hill was a mess, charging Bloodletters and Fleshhounds on the sea guard, but both eagles swooped in behind to aid them, to make an even fight. The daemons just won, but the elves only gave ground… we forgot the eagle’s stomp (that might have helped).

On the hill, with the Bloodletters rushing in, one Impetuous unit had to try and charge, needing a 6 to make it, and they got it… in they rushed, up the slope and the sea guard then did a solid job of holding them off.

The battlefield was now set, combats in place, the second Bloodletter unit rushed into the big block of sea guard, whilst the herald joined the fight at the foot of the hill and was challenged by the sea guard champion, cutting him down (only 1 wound, so the champion did his job). As hounds, eagles, elves and deamons fought, the daemons got the better of it, and the sea guard/eagle combo broke and fled. One eagle was pursued by Fleshhounds and killed (I have no idea how a dog catches an eagle!), the other fled, failed to rally later, and flapped off the table. The elves though out-ran the Bloodletter pursuit and would rally to fight again, only to be overwhelmed. On the hill, it was a grind, with the daemons rolling terrible attacks and getting beat (how?), by 2, so 2 daemons were banished backed to the warp. Far away, the other Fleshhounds chased down the last fleeing reavers, but were now well out of the fight.

It would all be resolved on the hilltop, in a desperate struggle. Sea Guard with glittering robes spell on them holding the line well, and the shadow warriors charged into the flank to aid as they could. We had two rounds of tied combats, even, both with musicians, something of an epic struggle (the -1 to Hit them was costing the Bloodletters which kept rolling 3s), but it swung when the herald arrived (having charged and finished off the bolt thrower crew en route). Again, the bold elf champion challenged him, and again he cut the champion down, adding another skull to the brass throne. Despite the daemons winning, the sea guard held (gave ground), and that was it. We called it on 6 turns.

On VPs the daemons had the win, 521 vs 379, so not a slaughter by any means, but enough.

The elves would retreat and surrender their tower, the daemons would rejoice, and burn it down!

Campaign-wise, we rolled for any unit experience gained (we decided it seemed weird for daemons to gain war experience, being immortal souls, etc., so didn’t roll for them). The surviving elf wizard, Lielath, gained a magic level, and is now a level 2 wizard for future battles.

Story-wise, we decided the loss of the watchtower means the Dark Elves can now move west from their beachhead, around the island if they like (or with a strong raiding force anyway), having cleared the way. The High Elves will need a fast moving force to intercept them (all cavalry and flyers), or let them go for now, until they reach the next watchtower.

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (8)
Fleshhounds appear on Turn 2 from the right rear, eager for the kill today. Can ambushers charge on the turn they arrive? We couldn't find anything saying no... so that makes fast Fleshhounds scary(ier)


WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (9)
Fleshhounds also quickly appear on the left rear, forcing the reavers and shadow warriors to turn and fight.

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (10)
Fleshhounds charge the Reavers, and slaughter 6 of them. Woe are the reavers... always dying.
WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (11)
The pitched melee atop the hill, sea guard putting up a valorous fight, aided by Glittering Robes (gem marks a spell in effect)

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (12)
At the foot of the hill, the other sea guard are in some trouble, put can the eagles save them?

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (13)
The battle on the hill top is met... shadow warriors distracted by dogs behind them.

WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (14)
Sqwuak, flap, flap, ... wounded eagle flees to field...
WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (15)
The day's victor... he has 'heralded' the pitiless bloodshed to come. 'Skulls for Khorne!'
Personal tally, 2 Sea Guard champions and the bolt thrower crew... a start...
WARHAMMER: TOR HELETHION - GAME 6 - THE ALDREAS WATCHTOWER (2024)
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