April 28, 2011 by beerogre
Ayarchi looks downwards into the valley and utters an ancient curse; the young Vaelad leader draws upon the abundant elemental resources present in the valley and allows the flames to consume him. He is ready for war today and seeking vengeance on the puppet army that has plagued him so frequently, most recently he had been forced to abandon the ancient Mausoleuminua Dalgourtho to the Britanan invaders. The once proud city is located in the southeast and in ages long passed its impressive structure and gigantic stature was a proven deterrent for any would be invaders wishing to find an easy route onto the continent. Today it stands desecrated under Britanan occupation, unkempt, damaged, and decorated with their cheap tawdry banners.
Ayarchi spits as he remembers his retreat only months ago, he had held the home of his fore fathers for three weeks and a day when the puppets finally breached the northern wall of the Mausoleuminua. He has still not been able to remove the smell of smoke from his nostrils and this serves him a bitter reminder of the black powder capabilities possessed by the Britanans. He had managed to escape with a small band of Varriers and had made the journey to safety within the borders of his own people.
Once he had restored his injuries he made a plea with brethren in the north and managed to rally three other legions willing to march out to war with the Britanan menace. There are many present here today, united in their purpose and all bearing malicious intent towards the puppet army that refuses to relent with its never ending campaigns of expansion. Affording no respect for their ancient ways and boundaries has earned King Jorje’s army the attention of the largest Vaettir horde seen this century. Ayarchi stands confident convinced that this army will deal a massive blow to the Britanan’s northern expansion plans and buy him valuable time to further unify his people and crush this nuisance once and for all. He has calculated that victory here today will allow him many months and maybe even years to muster the troops needed for such large-scale warfare. If all goes well he might even be able to investigate the latest Ridendean menace that have recently been causing mischief in the west. He will enjoy seeing his Vicario put the chill to those little bastards for sure!
He shakes his head and focuses on the present task, The Ridendeans are like children when compared to the plague he ponders in front of him. They think they are big but they are in fact too small to have any major impact in the eyes of the hardened veteran and their weaponry and magic is infantile in comparison to the might of the doll soldier army that so frequently implements new uses for explosive powders and magical enchantments. The ancient Vaettir recalls a brief engagement with Ridend who had worn masks cannibalized from fallen Britanan troopers and wonders what the significance of that strange imitating act had been, if there was any significance at all. It would be his next mission to find out once he had ensured the slaughter of every living and enchanted creature in the valley.
The crazed Varriers race like lightning deep into the valley hungry for destruction, their thirst for vengeance will soon be quenched as soon as the Britanans are visible. These insect like fighters swarm their prey and are the most numerous warriors found in the legions of the Vaettir. Their shrivelled wings at first glance seeming incapable of flight hide the true capabilities of their speed and it truly is frighteningly fast. Armed with pairs of crudely crafted stone daggers their main strength lies in the underestimation afforded to them by their enemies.
They will wait patiently and appear to be quite fragile when faced with an enemy charge, only to launch savage counter attacks moments later. The counter attack is even more surprising for the aggressor when the trap is finally sprung; throwing the enemy ranks into chaos as the Varrier legions mercilessly cut them down. It is forgivable when observing Varrier in combat to conclude that they fight in a savage primitive manner, this is not the case however and upon closer inspection, it is clear that the techniques employed by Varrier have an elegance and grace to them that transcends the fighting styles of lesser races.
No less dangerous are the dreaded Vstonin as they too descend into the valley littered, amongst the Varrier hordes. Their stone form conceals their empty eyes while their chattering teeth grin out from beneath them, the Vstonin have proven to be instrumental in the victories of countless battles, their huge blades making short work of the close packed Britanan battle lines. Swinging outwards, they reeve their foes with deadly conviction, their grisly harvest litters the battlefield and the horrific scenes they display terrify their enemies into compliance.
Ayarchi scans the diverse array of warriors before him and absorbs an Elvspon, the wind elemental briefly squeaks as it is torn from existence, the flames surrounding Ayarchi rise higher, lighting him up like a beacon on the battlefield much to the amusement of the surrounding rabble. High-pitched squeals and sickening laughter mark the first sighting of the enemy, the ominous sound of their chattering teeth fading as the Vaettir prepare for war. A vengeful bloodlust consuming the legions as the sun slowly disappears from sight.
They slow their pace and brace themselves for the oncoming charge.
Captain Flescher of the 9th Lamina brigade is the first to notice the Vaettir horde and it fills him with a great sense of pride and accomplishment as he orders His Dragoons forward in skirmish line to slow the enemy up. The Dragoons of the 9th Lamina brigade charge into the valley taking shots at the ranks of Varriers ahead, the blasts from their black powder muskets ringing out far and wide across the landscape as a lone Varrier slumps to the ground and first blood is claimed. The smoke from the muskets temporarily obscures the view from the rear ranks of the platoons and Puppeteer Jaksun gasps in anticipation at the carnage about to unfold.
Pushing ahead of the main force, the front rank of the Dragoons are only moments away pulling back out of range of the Varriers when a dark shadow rises from the earth before them, the elemental creature engages them early than they had first expected and throws their ranks into chaos. The first Dragoon is killed instantly on impact and is shunted sideways unsteadying the balance of the Dragoon to its left and forcing his legs to buckle beneath him. The Dragoon crash into the ground and has little chance of recovery as the Varriers close in slashing and tearing at him as he lie helpless.
The rear ranks fare no better, their shots deflecting from the bodies of the assembled stone elementals approaching their right flank as they attempt to regain control. The resistance is short lived and the nearby Vstonin dismiss the remaining Dragoons incredibly swiftly. Each swing of their blades inflicts multiple wounds upon the light cavalry, crippling them and condemning them to their doom. Ayarchi stepped forward towards the scene and a malevolent smile spread across his face as he wreathed the downed Dragoons in flames turning them to ashes in an instant.
The plan had unfolded well and his Vaettir had eliminated a large chunk of Britanan light cavalry, suffering minimal losses in the process. The act of carnage seems to have lasted only minutes to the Britanans in the centre of the field but in the minds of the ancient Vaettir it is merely seconds. The Britanans claimed the first kill yet it was the Vaettir who inflicted the most destruction. Still, even the loss of a single Vaettirean soul seemed unacceptable to Ayarchi and he vowed to return the damage one thousand times over.
With the battle lines drawn, the enemies press onward into combat. Neither side willing to relent, the death toll promised to be high as the compassionless forces drain the valley of Maaj and fill the air with smoke. The bloodcurdling cries will be heard a hundred leagues away as the respective sides prepare for death or glory, the destruction caused will leave a permanent stain on the landscape forever and to the victor the meagre spoils of an eternal war.
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