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Stunties in the Sands

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Thoth's beaked head cocked to the side as he tried to overhear the whispered conversation between two potent mummies.

"...up ahead, encamped..." Khadath was saying, gesturing with his wrapped fist, slamming it into his other hand.

"...shall know... never again..." was the Storm Lord's reply.

Thoth wished they would include him in their discussions. He yearned for information like the living desired water while traveling the desert wastes. Never the less, experience could fill in the gaps for him. Khadath had been prowling and he knew where their quarry rested. Dawn was approaching, which meant that Neb'nesew Ne'pet, the so-called "Royal Lord of the Sky," would make sure it was a rough morning for their enemies.


Before long, Ne'pet had his cadre of mummies assembled and was beckoning for Thoth to join him, staring with vague, glowing eye sockets. Thoth's limbs ground as he assumed his place in the vanguard. Away to the left he could see Khadath leading a troop of constructs, a mix of Guards and those vicious Devourers. Neb'nesew had his hands to the ground and whispered the words of ancient pacts, and from a depression to the right a huge, black scorpion shook the sand from its back and clawed its way towards the mummies. Thoth would have grinned, except his crafted form denied him the ability to express emotion on his face. Instead, he clicked his beak and returned his attention to the Storm Lord, awaiting the order to attack. Who was the quarry this time, he wondered? Eying Neb'nesew Ne'pet again, he wondered if the powerful mummy enjoyed keeping him in the dark.




Logrim was supervising the breaking of camp while strapping the last of his armor on. After placing his winged helmet atop his head, he hefted his massive greatsword and gave it a few quick swings, then he replaced it upon his back.

"You there, Doril, Dain, watch yourself with those tents. You'll be sleeping outside before long if that's how you break camp!"

Logrim kept a watchful eye on everything in the camp, so he couldn't help but notice when Herryk Aesir stopped, put down his load, and reached a hand down to touch the sandy soil. He also noticed Herryk's suddenly serious expression.




Thoth broke into a run with the rest of his companions. His heavy cleaving blades sliced through the air as he tested their arc. In the shallow valley ahead camped a score of Dwarves, and one, Thoth could see, was clearly a student of the arcane. His mind raced ahead to the joy of devouring the knowledge in her spell book. What mysteries he would uncover!




"At the ready!" Logrim shouted. He desperately tried to rally his soldiers to his side in time, but there was nothing for it. The Nefsokar had gotten the drop on them, and there was no time to prepare an adequate battle line. Logrim's heart sank.

Then his eyes locked with Herryk, and the other's intentions dawned upon Logrim. Gritting his teeth, he prepared his mind to cast a spell...





Thoth felt the thrill of victory before he was a dozen yards from the enemy, but in an instant the earth shuddered and the battle was no longer a straight forward slaughter. The earth split apart, hot magma splattering mere feet in front of him - and, unfortunately, all over a group of mummies, who promptly burned and dropped to the ground. Nearby, with a loud rush, a wall of fire erupted from the ground, and Khadath and his constructs barely avoided tumbling through. Elsewhere rocks jutted up from the ground, forming a low wall. Behind which, dwarves with crossbows crouched and sent a volley into the Nefsokar.


Thoth was no stranger to a chaotic battlefield, though, and nothing the Dwarves had done rivaled the power of the Storm Lord and his cohorts. Stalled from fighting the enemy personally, he himself turned to his arcane powers. He too broke the earth with his will, scorching ground and dwarf alike. The Storm Lord raised a decayed hand, and with an ear shattering boom loosed an arc of lightening that cooked several of the dwarves in their armor. A prophet of Sokar incanted powerful words, and in a blink he teleported a whole group of Tomb Guardians into the midst of the dwarves where their bronze blades sought tough flesh.




Logrim was happy with how Herryk's plan had gone, but it was clear that they could not carry the day with magic alone. Margara's fiery wall had guttered out, and massive golems twice the size of a dwarf were charging through, incredible blades zipping through the air. The Piercer's bolts snapped against their obsidian skin, and in an instant the enemy was in their midst, crushing and swinging. The Dwarves fought back with equal savagery, and soon blood and stony chips littered the ground. His magical blade glowed as it bit deeply into a golem, but Logrim could see that one of the piercers under his command was in trouble - he quickly incanted familiar words, and the ground below the offending golem became saturated with water. The golem tripped and began struggling... the piercer, Dorel, was safe for now...




Thoth was nearly to his quarry, but a stalwart line of Dwarves, backed up by their allies with long halberds, kept him at bay. He was furiously swinging while chanting arcane words to augment his physical prowess, and as he sought an opening in the enemy thicket of weapons, he barely glimpsed a hammer made of pure, angry fire arcing towards him! With a superb effort he emptied himself of his arcane power and just barely managed to ward off the attack. Thoth nearly jumped with elation! A new spell! Knowledge to claim! His determination redoubled, and he quickly slew two of the dwarves in front of him. "I must have this knowledge!" Thoth thought.




Logrim knew when it was time to cut and run, and he knew that the time was now. Half or more of Herryk's fighting company lay in the sandy soil. The mummies had bypassed their hasty defenses, the constructs had proved too fierce, and the might of the Nefsokar spellcasters was wreaking havoc. Still, an orderly retreat could save lives, so he waited on Herryk's command.




Thoth could feel victory again. The dwarves were hard pressed, and he was mere feet from that dwarven mage! He was utterly surprised, therefore, when he heard the Dwarves give out a ragged cheer. Risking a glance around him, he saw that the old dwarf with the large hammer was standing next to the crushed corpse of the scorpion, and that many of the mummies lay in the sand, cloven and pierced through. The Storm Lord's eyes were full of wrath as he shouted the final words to a spell of great power, calling the sky itself to aid him.




Logrim smiled behind his helm as he saw the Nefsokar prepare their own retreat. Herryk had single handedly lead a counter attack that had crushed the power of the Nefsokar. With the amount of spells both fighting companies had been firing off, no doubt those Nefsokar mages were nearly exhausted, and they simply did not have the numbers to slog it out hand to hand any longer. Catching an order from Herryk, Logrim lead his own contingent of Piercers in a chase to ensure that the Nefsokar wouldn't return anytime soon.






Thanks for indulging me. This was a pretty exciting match for me. I played Nefsokar and tried to pack as many casters as I could into Neb's troop to take advantage of his Warlord ability. Even though the spells the ability allows to succeed are low powered, it's still nice to know for sure that they will hit. I tried for a turn 3 blitz of spells to really weaken the already battered Dwarves, and it worked fairly well. Anyways, here's the lists:


Nefsokar - 998 points

Troop 1 Neb'nesew Ne'pet (Familiar, Staff of Sokar), Sokar's Disciple, Sokar's Prophets, Thoth, Tomb Guard x 3, Awakened Mummy x 7

Troop 2 Khadath (Magic Weapon, Book of Tactics), Ammat Devourer x 3, Anubis Guard x 3

Troop 3 Giant Scorpion


Dwarves - 998 points

Troop 1 Herryk Aesir, Margara Firetongue, Ivar Silverfist, Shieldmaiden x 3, Warrior x 3, Halberdier x 6

Troop 2 Logrim Battlefury, Durgam Deepmug, Warrior x 4, Piercer x 3


Terrain had a roughly circular set of hills with passes breaking the circle. That was mostly towards the Dwarves side, and the Nefsokar had various stone outcroppings and a few hills of their own.


The Dwarves attempted to wall off the Nefsokar charge via Wall of Stone, Wall of Fire, and Molten Earth. It was a pretty nifty trick but the timing was just a little off and only stalled the Nefsokar slightly. Unfortunately for the Dwarves, the Nefsokar could still zing spells over the Molten Earth, which put the Dwarves in a bad way early on. Cross Death's River is always a party, and it turned out to be the sort of party that keeps the front line from being the front line. Never the less, soldiers sent behind enemy lines usually don't last long in this game, and that was the case for the Tomb Guards.


The turning point really was when Herryk managed to kill the Scorpion with his first action and cast Earthquake, stalling the mummies long enough to allow the Piercers to do their thing. At that point it was very nearly just Neb'nesew, Thoth (engaged) and the Disciple, with a smattering of other Nefsokar. The Dwarves were beat up pretty badly, but Margara had a few SP left, as did Herryk, and there were a handful of Dwarves that were free to charge the Nefsokar casters. Neb used Sandstorm to keep the Piercers from earning any turn 5 points, and the casters played it cagey to end out the fight.


In the end Dwarves edged out Nefsokar by 50ish points. Pretty close!

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Thanks for the encouragement, guys ::D:


To me story is always more fun than just a simple translation of data, and often in a battle report there are so many key factors that just don't make the report. So I figured, heck with it, I'll cut out the minutia of "x number of models died, this one focused and blah blah," I'd exaggerate the best parts and skip the boring parts and add some character to the whole thing.


And Thoth is just a completely awesome character, so how couldn't he be the focus?? I really dig the lore about him from the old Nefsokar faction book.



Well, now that I know people enjoy that sort of thing, I suppose I'll do it again.

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