Elves in a Corner

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    • Cahl rubbed his shaven scalp baking in the harsh plains' sun with a coarse-skinned hand as the miles swept away under his raptor, Ngara. The scaleclad predator breathed in heavy, rumbling hisses in the heat, and Cahl's hydra-hide cloak felt absolutely stifling over his armour black steel. The Penumbral Knights of the Order of the Last Twilight around him were sweating profusely in their black plate, their reptilian steeds panting heavily under their weight in the golden midday haze. Riding unarmoured was no option however; they were already too deep in Laimdeonian territory, cooking under its famous sun.

      Fitting, Cahl chuckled to himself, that the Black Sun should come to blows with the Golden Sun of the plains. The knights of Laimdeon were famous for their horsemanship and matrtial skill, the most elite of which bore the golden sunburst on their devides.

      Laimdeonians are fiercely protective of their steeds, their lithe and powerful pegasi among the most prized of all, yet those were the ones Cahl and his beastmasters were after. A hippogryph would be even better, but their eyries were too deep in the southern outcroppings to risk venture with the force Cahl had at his disposal.

      He was making good time despite the raptors being no match for the swift elven horses on the march, because he had been able to mount the entire march column on horseback if not a raptor. 400 Storm Vipers would be the infantry spine of his battle line with their merwyrm cloaks, but on the march they too rode swift elven steeds to cover ground quickly and avoid major conflict with the Laimdeonian defenders. 200 Penumbral Knights would be the hammer to this anvil, while one of the gems of Lord Thaul's menagerie, Charach the war hydra, would wreak havoc through even the toughest enemy formation. 200 Ghosts of the Black Sun would harass the flanks with their recurve bows, and a formation of Subjugator Charioteers with their harpoon launcher would make do as artillery pieces.

      And then there was Ourayel Silverwrithe, the coldest, most calculating elf Cahl had ever met. The fair-faced youth was ever smiling a serpent's smile, always polite yet ever ready with a dagger for any back that would be turned between him and his ambitions, which weren't meagre. His talent in the mystic arts were largely fueling his meteoric rise in the social hierarchy of the Black Sun nobility. He rode with his entire conclave on raptor-back, but all of the nine magi knew to watch their step around their young master; the Silverwrithe Conclave often found itself missing a member when Ourayel was crossed.

      "Lord, the forward Ghosts have spotted an encampment of a formidable army blocking our path westward." Vaithis Deadlight, as professional a soldier as you could get, and Cahl's second-in-command. "Show me", the Exarch commanded, and they urged their raptors ahead of the column to inspect the threat.

      --------------------

      Game night! A proper sendoff for 1.3, I'll be facing KoE and a mystery threat, most likely WDG or SA. Stay tuned!


      My list:
      Display Spoiler

      Coldblood Legion
      DE 1.3 - 3500pts


      CHARACTERS 1326/1400

      Cahl Hearteater, Breaker of Souls
      Dread Prince - 640General
      -Glittering Cuirass
      -Shield
      -BeastBane Halberd
      -Sprout of Rebirth
      -Raptor
      -Beast Master

      Vaithis Deadlight - 346
      Dread Captain
      -Heavy Armour
      -Shield
      -Dragonscale Helm
      -Jack's Pickaxe
      -Raptor

      Ourayel Silverwrithe - 340
      Oracle
      -Alchemy & 2 extra spells
      -Raptor




      CORE 890/875

      Serpent's Sons
      20 Storm Vipers (Corsairs) - 490
      -Paired Weapons
      -FCG & Icon of the Relentless Company

      Pale Companions
      5 Ghosts (Dark Raiders) - 200
      -Recurve Bows

      Brine Riders
      5 Ghosts (Dark Raiders) - 200
      -Recurve Bows




      SPECIAL 590

      Knights of the Last Twilight
      10 Penumbral Knights (Dread Knights) - 590
      -FCG & Gleaming Icon




      MENAGERIE 440
      Charach
      Hydra - 440




      DESTROYERS 250

      Subjugator Charioteers
      Hunting Chariot - 250
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Narrative miniBR:
      Display Spoiler

      Cahl scanned the horizon with an unreadable expression masking his face. The Laimdeonian force wasn't here by happenstance; they had received warning of the elves' intrusion. Vaithis' raptor, a gigantic beast called Targo, jostled restlessly about. Cahl suspected the reptile was frenzied by the scent of the large Laimdeonian war horses. All Black Sun's raptors were brutally taught the that the scent of the lithe elven steeds was not to be associated with food, but the large chargers of the plains obviously smelled sufficiently different to make Targo buck and salivate uncontrollably.

      Vaithis kicked Targo sharply with his cruel spurs, achieving a moment of piece. "Lord, I suspect we have been made out by those green-cloaked wardens on the far side of the camp. The locals call the "forest knights", and they are supposedly expert reconnaisance personnel." Cahl nodded coolly, urging Ngara back towards his troops. Ngara snapped at Targo as she turned about; the old raptor had mothered the giant a few years back, and despite her far inferior physical size still dominated the younger male who but snarled in frustration as a response.

      The Laimdeonian lines were already forming up for battle, so Cahl had precious little time to bellow his orders at the march column.

      The Storm Viper dragoons dismounted, drawing their wickedly curved blades and rushing to the side of their beastmaster comrades that were prodding and lashing Charach to keep him from rushing ahead of the line. The hydra was starved from the march, and the smell of horses and humans was unbearably alluring to its twelve nostrils that eagerly sucked down every odour drifting from the plain beyond. Cahl positioned hisself and Vaithis near to the formation's centre by Charach nearby a small thicket of elm trees as the Subjugator Charioteers reined in next to them.

      The ever confident Penumbral Knights of the Order of the Last Twilight took the left flank under their charge, and the two small contingents of light cavalry splayed out to either side of the formation.

      Ourayel came up behind Cahl's and Vaithis' bodyguards with his raptor, Ra'ij, at the head of the coven of alchemists he had brough along for the expedition. Cahl couldn't quite see it at this distance, but he was sure the young warlock was licking his lips hungrily as he ever did on the eve of bloodshed.

      Cahl nodded to his lieutenant who sounded a beautifully blaring elvish war horn, and the batle line lurched forward. Charach immediately rushed out ahead of the lines towards a contingent of spear-wielding peasants cowering in the shadow of a nearby cliff. Cahl kept pace behind him, urging forward the Storm Viper infantry on his right.

      Ourayel's convent shadowed the general's bodyguard, muttering incantantions. A surge of red hot molten metal materialized from thin air to evoke screams of anguish from the formation of forest knights positioned next to the spearmen. Their disciplined ranks barely wavered under the onslaught, and on a hill beside them long lines of longbowmen let loose a volley that thankfully was yet distant enough to not be able to achieve much against the hydra hide cloaks of Cahl's personal guard, or the thick scales of their steeds.

      On the left flank the Ghosts had sped ahead on their swift elvish horses to try and outmaneuver the Laimdeonian infantry as a large formation of proud pegasus riders was descending upon the Penumbral Knights. A hippogryph-riding warrior princess was among them, brandishing a lance that seemed to rival the sun's brightness with an inner glow of magical might.

      The beast-keepers' chariots banked sharply at the sight of their wing-borne prey, and launched their harpoons. They managed to hit the mighty hippogrpyh, but were unable to ground the beast. The Knights of the Last Twilight had no room to turn back and give the chariot any support as they advanced on the other side of the steep cliff looming over the Laimdeonian spearmen, and to their left did lie a brambled patch of forest that their raptor mounts would struggle to navigate.

      So did the heavy cavalry of the Black sun press on as the pegasus knights descended upon the chariots, breaking them down in a storm of lance and hoof.

      The right flank was faring better for Cahl's ambitions, however. Charach decimated the spear formation as the magics of the Silverwrithe Coven ripped apart the lines of the forest knights. The Laimdeonian heavy horse on the far right from Cahl's position suffered under the harassment of the Black Sun Ghosts; the destriers couldn't match the speed of the lightly armoured dark steeds of the elves, and even though their wicked recurve bows' fire merely plinked off the human knights' heavy plate, the lance formation was entirely unable to clear space for a meaningful charge.

      The depleted ranks of the forest knights advanced unrelentingly with grim determination, finally clashing with the Storm Vipers on centre field. A blood bath of monstrous proportions soaked the plains with crimson, and indeed such was the battle lust of the merwyrm-cloaked corsairs that day that not a man was left standing of the forest knights' ranks.

      In a massive rout beginnning with the peasant bowmen upon the hill did the entire left flank of the Laimdeonian force crumble, leaving the airborne general and her retinue no choice but to retreat.

      Cahl's beast catcher chariots were demolished, but still he managed to capture some purebred Laimdeonian pegasi as well as a handful of human slaves to haul back to his Sovereign in the City of Elder Stars. He made a quick retreat back to his ships after that singular battle, fearing retribution from the fierce hippogryph-riding champion of the sun-blasted plains.

      The campaign did register as a resounding succes back home, and helped launch Cahl's political career and gained him the favour of the Sovereign, for a time.
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • A stab at 2.0 Sylvan character creation...

      SARTHAENGIL GLADEVENGER
      Prince - 200
      -Great Elk: 110
      -Sylvan Lance: 20
      -Touch of Greatness: 40
      -Light armour: 5
      -Curse of the Black Stag: 50
      -Shield: 5
      -Talisman of Shielding: 50
      -Glyph of Amryl: 40
      530
      My old general needed a makeover as the new frenzy with the discipline-penalties is a no-go for a general. So, no more WH means no more truck of devastation, but still decent combat potential despite the heavier investment on protection. 3+ AS (mounts protection-LA-CotBStag-Shield-WWard) and a 4++ in conjunction with on-the-charge potential of 5Att (CotBStag) at Off7 and Str7 (SLance-CotBStag-ToGreatness) with AP4; acceptable. Without charge he's still 4Att Str5 AP3. Gonna run him solo, let the WH wreck face (meaning run amok in the wrong direction) by themselves.

      SARGAEL DREAMSEER
      Druid - 150
      -Master (Druidism): 225
      -Sylvan Longbow: 5
      -Lifeseed Feathers: 90
      -Sceptre of Power: 40
      510
      Sapling Bow just cuz I wanna try it, gonna master druid up for that sweet Summer Growth backed up with TreeSinging, MasterOfEarth, StoneSkin/Mistwalker and Spirits of the Wood. Sylven Archer bunker for starters, prolly solo on the later rounds we'll see. And yeah, I play mostly elves with only 1 or 2 small dryad blobs and a single TReefather so Mist Walker looks OK to me. I know it has anti-synergy with the Sapling Bow, but I wanna try it before condemning it.

      SARTHAS FALLBRINGER
      Chieftain - 145
      -Forest Guardian: 50
      -Great Weapon: 10
      -Supernatural Dexterity: 40
      -Light Armour: 5
      -Basalt Infusion: 35
      -Lucky Charm: 10
      295
      A difficult guy to kit out for 2.0... Gonna support my small spear block so that those nasty thunderstompers think twice before coming after them. Agi9, Off8, Att5 and S6 with AP3 is no slouch, but for Res3 and AS3+ for 295 points seems iffy at best. But what wouldn't I do for my lovely fluff.

      SARATHIL ONE-ARROW
      Chieftain - 145
      -Pathfinder: 75
      -Sylvan Longbow: 5
      -Sylvan Blades: 5
      -Shield Breaker: 55
      -Light Armour: 5
      -Elven Cloak: 10
      300
      Delving deeper into "he's here for the fluff" well. 9 PF accompany him, he's there so that I can come closer than I should to those 2+ cav dudes and go down swinging, hopefully taking one with me for every one of my 4 Off7 AP7 Agi7 Attacks =P

      ILDIRYA STARBEARER
      Prince -200
      -Dragon: 475
      -Sylvan Lance: 20
      -Blessed Inscriptions: 65
      -Sylvan Longbow: 5
      -Crown of the Wizard King: 80
      -Magical Heirloom: 40
      885
      My Oaken Crown list's general, a model that's supposed to give me something to do with her in every phase. Mist Walker should be fun with the relatively slow speed of OC lists (still elf-heavy, mind you), and Wizard Crown on mounted models is back baby!! But yeah, certainly uncompetetive.
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Concerning Elvish Physiology (Phae's take on the subject)

      Compiled from the journal of Eldan Realmstrider, the Rider on the Lightning, of the Imperial School of Investigating Librarians.

      Elf, when comparing to man, is generally light of build; shoulders more narrow, longer of limb, more sinew than muscle. Whether it is a cultural inclination or a matter of metabolism, elves seem unable of amassing any significant amount fat on their bodies. Elves move with a surety and grace that stems from years and years of getting acquainted with their surroundings and the countless repetitions of a single step they have gone through during their existence.



      Elven genders seem far less distinct than those observed among humans or dwarves. Elvish women are generally slimmer of hip and broader of shoulder than their human counterparts, and when taking into account the slender frames of the males, seem far more comparable between the physical ability of the sexes than humans or dwarves, not to mention goblinoids.

      Also the elvish sexes seem to be equal of height, which varies much more than that of humans: 4'8" to 7' is the variance in posture I have observed during my time among elf-kind, when setting aside freaks of nature. The matter of body hair should not go unmentioned when comparing the elven sexes. No elf under the age of 400 have I ever observed sporting a beard, and there is very little hair under the armpits of even the males, and never any on the chest or the back.



      The aging of the elf is the most glaring difference between our species. An elf achieves their full height around the age of 30-36 years, but are considered adults between the ages of 50 and 75, depending on the individual. They are physically mature around 45 years old, give or take a few years, but corporeal maturation means little to them in comparison to the understanding and wisdom they expect of an independent elf.

      During their adulthood, they show very few signs of physical aging, but by their attitudes their ages can be guessed after a certain amount of interaction with them. As the elf ages, they seem to grow distant from the world. They show less emotion, save a profound sadness that can be guessed at under the wisdom of their years and seems to grow as time passes around them.

      They experience loss at a scale inconceivable to most men, having witnessed the deaths of most of the loved ones they have met if they live full lives. The long life span means disease and happenstance tax their peers at a relatively staggering pace, and even though elves seem more resistant to disease than the "younger races", their long life would seem to leave them going through a similar number of inflictions than us.



      Elves seem relatively infertile in comparison to a shorter lived race, and while a productive couple can produce up to 40 offspring with a birth every 4 years or so during the woman's fertile period, most never come close to this limit due to the lessened sense of urgency brought about by a long life expectancy and the witnessing of the demise of many of the children due to natural causes. Elves mate for life with very rare exception, and to take a second mate even after the death of the first is generally ill received in elvish society.



      After 350 years of existence an elf begins to show visible signs of aging. Their skin wrinkles, hair colour loses its vibrance, the males start to grow wispy beards, and their physical ability begins to decline as that of humans' after 45. Many elves seem to inexplicably perish quickly after, and even though they refuse to talk about it, I suspect they have the ability to just lie down and die if they so choose.

      It seems generally shunned upon to continue one's existence after age has began its work in earnest on one's body, yet some truly ancient elves still retain a level of respect from their kin due to their vast knowledge and insight. The eldest elf I ever met was reportedly 729 years of age, a dried up husk of a being babbling ludicrous prophecies that made no sense as if uttered in a dream. Yet, I remembered every word afterward, and some haunting resemblance of deep insight was wrought in them, tantalizingly close to profound meaning yet in the end elusive from my comprehension.



      An elvish fighter can just as likely be male as female, and their ability lies in uncanny control of their lean bodies rather than any measure of brute force. The flowing and graceful fighting style of the elves known almost universally as "the Dance" utilizes the entirety of their meagre body mass to produce force for each blow, made deadly accurate by the decades of practice the warriors have gone through.

      Indeed, in any walk of life, the elf strives to excel. Their attention span seems completely alien to me, as they take years at a time to devote themselves to a single pursuit, their stretched out lives seemingly removing the concept of wasting time from their comprehension. They are deeply passionate in their endeavours, and produce wondrous things when they set their minds to it, but their single mindedness taxes their efficacy and they seem utterly unable to do chase several pursuits at once.



      As in physicality, in societal stature the sexes stand equal. The ruler of a region can as easily be a prince as a princess, and the heritage of a title is decided by merit, not by birth order or gender. There are no occupations associated with a single gender aside from midwives, and chivalry is completely alien to them.

      Elves are individualists, and the rare occasion of self sacrifice is considered truly momentous and is deeply revered. Elves avoid loss of life with paranoid meticulousness, and never commit to an altercation they expect to not win by a wide margin unless under cataclysmic threat to their existence as a people.



      I awaken to the realization that I have spent my life observing these strange people, alas these 42 years are a fleeting moment in the existence of my "subjects". Be it the highborn variety that uphold the traditions of the Sea Kings from the dawn ages when elves first arose from barbarism, the dread kind that are kindest to their fellow elves yet the cruellest towards the rest of us, or the sylvan folk that have returned to their roots seeking harmony and balance with the world they inhabit, I am no closer to understanding these wonderful beings of the deepest empathy and the deepest indifference, the most striking familiarity and most profound dissimilarity, that I should ever hope to encounter on my journeys.
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • Foul deeds were afoot.

      Morning fog lay heavy upon the wetness of Mossheart Fens, drowning all the countless hues of green in thick greys. Droplets condensed, rolled down and dribbled off the hawkish nose of a figure peering intently upon the pale curtain obscuring the landscape. The hooded figure was looking down a steep slope of a hill, though one couldn't possibly tell in the thick mist.

      Cailnon smiled ruefully as he pulled back his grey hood, revealing a head of golden hair swept back from his face and held off it by a simple top knot. He dried his face on the silk mask hanging around his neck, and turned towards the young spellsinger that he had made wait half an hour by now.

      "Yes?", Cailnon said to her, the smile wiped away with wetness of the clammy fog's touch by his mask. "My Lord, I send word from my Master. Lord Tamaar would wish for an audience"

      Tamaar Icehowl was a savage. Druids were all peculiar in some way, at least in Cailnon's eyes, but Tamaar was akin to an animal. He played with magics most primal, those of the red hunger and black terror at the core of all beasts, elves included. His formidable powever, however, was undeniable. Indeed difficult enough to ignore as to result in a lordhood, and Tamaar's own Kinhall for teaching his art.

      The messenger was a pretty little thing, or had been before her years in Tamaar's tutelage. Now she stood as a force of nature, boldly staring down a Lord and her supreme commander in this army. She proudly bore ritualistic scar tattoos and talismans of fangs and claws upon her garb of flowing robes revealing tantalizing flashes of skin pulled taut over sinewy muscles. Her mount, if possible, was even more impressive a sight than she in her simple attire oozing her inner power; it was a pure white unicorn, a beast native to the feywild, that in some places permeated the mortal realm in the deepest, mist-wrapped corners of the fens.

      "Lead the way", said Cailnon as she vaulted on her steed's back. They reached the tent village of Tamaar's conclave of spellsingers near the centre of their encampment. Tamaar's pavilion was large, but without finery. He was addressing three younger druids, wearing only loose skirt-like pants of deer hide and the same scar-tattoos as his young pupil. At the sight of Cailnon he shooed the three mystics away without a word. Cailnon's young escort did not follow him in.

      "I see fire", Tamaar Icehowl said while holding Cailnon's gaze. There was an unnerving intensity to the master spellsinger that even Cailnon couldn't quite shake off. "Dark fire, and lots of it", Tamaar continued and waved a hand at the bones he had cast to the pavillion's hide floor. "I have seen it as well", Cailnon replied flatly.

      Tamaar's nose curled as his lip twisted to a snarl. "Half-Men's fires and fumes are upon us once more. We must hunt them." Cailnon took a moment before giving his reply. "Yes, alas we are too few. The forest must be roused." Tamaar let out an audible hiss of disdain, "Monugal has slumbered for decades. How is she to wake for some filthy dwarves, yet on the far side of the river?"

      Cailnon allowed himself a smug grin, "so you did not see them? The ogres?" Tamaar huffed. "The Half-Men's daemons' fires twist my bones. Beyond their unnatural existence, I can see little." The druid lord was many things, but prideful wasn't one of them. "The abominations must be destroyed!" Tamaar almost shouted now.

      Cailnon raised a hand. "Monugal shall stir. Truatha will see to that."

      Tamaar laughed. "That spiteful little thing? Well, she sure has the temper for such work!" Cailnon's smile turned wry. "The ogres have come from Hoarder's Cove, but apparently have ran into some resistance in the human lands: they are boat-wrighting." Tamaar laughed victoriously. "Of course! The Grove Hag is surely already on her way to Monugal's Garden!" Cailnon nodded agreement. "I am sure she has learned of the ogres' tree felling by now"

      "So, we hunt soon?", Tamaar asked with a wolfish grin. Cailnon replied, "We make our way to the river, see what the dwarves do; they are on a collision course with the ogres. With luck, they turn on each other and we need do naught but clean up the survivors. The waywatchers should report back soon, and then we march. We break camp before midday."

      Cailnon stepped outside, where the young spellsinger was brazenly eavesdropping. "Your name", Cailnon inquired in strict tones. "Yshra, my Lord." No fear in her voice. "Are you ready to die, Yshra of Glassenmere?"

      "No, my Lord"

      Cailnon smiled at that. "Good"

      He stepped back on his perch upon a small rock on the hill side, and pulled the grey hood over his head. The mists parted before his eyes, and he saw with a clarity an eagle king might have yet almost completely unobstructed by Mossenhome's thick vegetation the distantly glimmering river Euphoron, and the two armies swarming ant-like beyond it.

      The Hood of Amryl was Cailnon's most prized possession, a gift from the goddess or so the small folk said. The coming days would tell if Lord Cailnon of the Hood also carried the goddess's favour.
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().

    • The scene was bleak on the far side of the river as a waywatcher led Cailnon the the ogre encampment.

      The brutes had cleared a large section of the forest to make space for their tents, and the lumber was piled neatly on the north side of the clearing where also were the ship wrights' working area. The wooden support structures were charred and cast about, the wood working tools scattered among the bodies of ogres and scrapling littering the clearing. Most of the tents had been knocked over, all of the ogres' treasure pillaged while the previous owners had been left to rot in the sun.

      Upon closer examination of the latrines one could tell the ogre force was in the grips of an epidemic the flux, explaining their apparent inability to mount an effective against the dwarvish slavers. Some funeral pyres were still smouldering on the south side of the slaughter, only the slave casualties left to lie with the ogres. The pyres were few; the dwarvish force would be in good condition.



      Skywatchers on their kestrels were tracking the dwarves to the south. They seemed uninterested in crossing the Euphoron into Mossenhome lands, but they had chosen to advance inside the forest, most likely to avoid detection by the humans to the east. Cailnon deemed them too close to the border for comfort. They were felling trees to make fires, and if they would decide to cross the river, they would directly threaten Singing Winds' Hollow, one of Mossenhome's largest cities.

      Cailnon's army was swift on the march. This close to the border dotted with hidden bases of the border guard they didn't need much supplies, and inside the forest they would catch the dwarvish march column easily, encumbered by a large baggage train, war machines and countless slaves.

      A steady stream of information was being fed to Cailnon as he rode his lithe forest horse near the centre of own march column. The dwarvish infantry numbered some 2000 fighters, a quarter of which were of the dreaded Crown Guard elite force and another 600 carried guns of some sort. They had just short of 500 fighting slaves, and some 3000 as carriers and workers for the army. Fire elementals were circling their formation, filling the sky with acrid fumes with their unnatural flames.

      A magma wyrm had been summoned for the campaign, carving a scorched furrow in the forest as it lumbered along. Another colossal monstrosity followed close behind it, herded along by the same fire priests as the titanic fire elemental; it was a gargantuan bronze statue in the shape of a bull-headed dragon without wings. A fire had been set inside it, heating the blackened bronze into a dull red glow near the joints of its metallic frame. A chimney poked out its back spewing thick smoke and embers, and as it roared in metallically screeching cries a white hot blaze could be seen through its maw in its belly.

      The force was led by Magnus Magnusson himself, his blonde beard spilling from under the visor of his greathelm. His famous axe and hammer, Debt and Oath, dangled on his waist as he was carried forward in his brass throne by six ogre slaves. His wife Magta and her fire priests were accompanying the army, astride huge black bulls regarded as holy by the fire worshipping dwarves of the southern barrens.


      Two days passed in the chase before Cailnon could spring his trap. The dwarves were camped in a clearing of their own making with their backs toward the river in the west. Things went awry from the start however, as instead of sleeping dwarves Cailnon's waywatchers encountered a fully formed battle line of armoured dwarves after killing their sentries and encroaching on the encampment under the cover of night.

      Magnusson had brought along the slave he had granted freedom for his cunning and pragmatism, Gobl the hobgoblin. Riding his loyal warg Mang, he had a handful of wolf rider scouts in his command who had discovered Cailnon's advancing army and warned his lord of the ambush.

      Some patches of trees had been left standing around a sheer cliff formation the elves called Cenyrn's Finger, and two small hills were on the south side of the clearing, between the armies forming for battle. Magnusson's monsters glowed red in the night, their fires mirrored in the ensorcerelled hammers of the Crown Guard, among whom stood Magta's concalve of war priests. Magnus stood with one of his two formations of clansmen armed with axes and shields, and Gobl's scouts were lurking in a forest on the north side of the line.

      In moments Cailnon's own lines had begun forming up against the quickly advancing dwarves. Skywatchers on their war hawks and Wind Sentinels on their swift horses sped ahead of the lines to harass the advancing enemy. Waywatchers were trading shots with Gobl's wolf riders in the northern thickets as Monugal was closing in on the Finger, trailed by Claw Sentinel infantry, 300 elves armed with two short swords.

      Thorn Sentinels took the centre with their spears, hugging the slope of the northernmost of the two hills. On the hill a small contingent of Kinwatchers marched with their fearsome poleaxes at the ready, passing a line of Weald Sentinel archers. Truatha's Grove Hags and Tamaar's conclave of unicorn riding spellsingers stood behind them to reinforce their kin with magic. Some enraged dryads waded through a small thicket between the two hills in the south as the dwarves' line drew closer.


      Cailnon's left flank in the south was facing down the gargantuan fire elemental the dwarves called a Kadim titan north of a hill where handgunners were making their way eastwards towards a thicket where a flock of seething dryads were creeping forwards. With a deafening thunder they opened fire on the trees, scoring little damage on the fey spirits hiding within. Meanwhile the Wind Sentinels were riding laps around the gunners, picking at the with their bows as they advanced down the hillside. The advance turned into a rout when the light cavalry hit them in the rear at full gallop down the steep slope.

      The titan lumbered on, and with grim resolve the Kinwatchers marched up to meet it. Tamaar Icehowl, supported by his conclave of spellsingers, laid curses on the beast, causing it to stumble as it charged, sowing embers and liquid fire about itself but never slowing down. It wrought horrible destruction among the elves, who retreated disorderly leaving Truatha and her Grove Hags to the mercy of the monster. They stood their ground valiantly, casting illusions to confuse the titanic beast, but in the end its fires were simply too much for the woodland spirits and they abandoned their wooden bodies to fly home to the forest. This, however, gave the surviving Kinwatchers enough time to regroup and receive the monster's head on, this time managing to stand their ground and hack its legs right out from under it with relentless vehemence.

      The towering bronze bull in the distance was being crowded by skywatchers, but its metal hide proved too tough a nut for the kestrels' talons talons and the elves' lances to crack, and with heaving belches of liquid fire it scattered to the winds those hawks it didn't burn to cinders. Then, freed from their nuisance, it turned its attentions on the elves' lines, spewing its flaming bile in great arcs across the distance to land among the spear and sword wielding attackers in turn to explode on their formations, raining searing death on hte elves.

      In the northern forest the waywatchers managed to drive off Gobl's wargs, using bodkin pointed arrows to peel off warriors from Magta's bodyguard of Crown Guard immortals. From the hill the Weald Sentinels rained volley after volley on the formation as well, their arrows alas having a considerably lesser effect. Magta herself was responding with dark fire, chanting with her priests to spring forth flames to incinerate elvish fighters all around her.

      Monugal, the ancient Wood Mother roused to ire for the battle, was calling on the earth itself to help her defend her home. Great tendrils of green roots shot up from the earth under the dwarves advancing on the hill where the elven spearmen stood in wait, dragging them under the soil to a horrific end in the darkness.

      Screeching nightmares of pure flame came crashing from the heavens then, fire elementals in the shape of flaming drakes descended on Monugal, reaping at her thich wooden hide with searing hot talons, scoring deep furrows. Monugal screamed in pain and rage, unleashing all her anger on the monsters as her great limbs bashed and teared at the elementals flaming forms. The fight was hard fought, but in the end the charred and maimed Wood Mother was able to emerge victorious, tearing apart the last of the elemntals in her mighty claws.

      On the hill, the spearelves fought the dwarvish clansmen valiantly, and as their comrades fell under the axes of the invaders their spear thrusts gain renewed purpose and they drove through the dwarven line, killing as they went.

      Without warning some one hundred deer-riding Ranger Knights burst through the northern thickets, riding right through a line of fighting slaves, barely slowing as they went, dipping their lances in enemy flesh again and again as the deer trampled foes in great leaping bounds. In a wide arc they wheeled southward, levelling their lances at the bronze monstrosity spewing destruction on their kinsmen as Cailnon himself, followed only by his personal guard of a dozen warriors, left the spearmen to hold the line to end the threat of the fire breathing statue for good.

      Cailnon laid about himself with his twin swords, blessed in the springs of Monugal's garden, aiming for the red-glowing joints where the metal scales of the beast seemed more malleable due to the immense heat. The ranger knights' rage did little to the monster, as their lances proved ill-suited for damaging their enemies hide. Magta's fires finished those riders that didn't get simply trampled by the colossal beast. Resolved to not allow their sacrifice be for nothing, Cailnon used the distraction to vault off the shoulders of one of his bodyguard and plunge his sword right into the eye of the beast, which caused it to shudder and shriek horribly. After a moment of thrashing, the fire went out from its eyes, and the glow of its maw was extinguished in black smoke. The daemon inside it gone, it was but a statue once more, regarding the horizon with eyes unseeing.

      Magnus, marching with the second formation of clan warriors from Kol Karag, met the dryads on the edge of the thicket, making his way straight to the eldest of the dryads, beating it down in a fit of rage. He the breathed out a cone of fire from his enchented visor, stylized as a daemon from whose maw the flames issued forth. Inspired by his example and leadreship, his warriors cut down the dryads 'til nothing but splinters remained.

      Magta was staring down Tamaar's unicorn-straddled spellsingers across the battlefield, turning all the might of her priests' fires on them. It seemed however as if the unicorns' essence was somehow shielding the elves from her wrath, the flames refusing to spark as the elven mystics worked to unravel her sorcery. Frustrated, she saw that the dwarven line had broken, and the Crown Guard were being surrounded by hostiles on all sides. Cursing under her breath, she ordered her priest to encircle the formation in order to activate the last resort defence she had prepared.

      Jogging at a brisk pace, it took but moments for the priests to ring the immortals in. They all raised their staves, chanting, as a fire caught on the ends of the staves. The flames leapt from the staves towards eachother, creating a fence of living fire around the dwarves. The fires grew brighter and hotter, now over ten feet tall, obscuring the dwarves from view. The convocation began slowly to turn, gaining speed as it spun soon like a hurricane of red-hot flames, thick smoke rising from the inferno towards the heavens. With a clap of thunder the fires went out in an instant.


      As the smoke cleared, the dwarves were gone. Vanished. Magnus had continued his advance south as he had realized what had happened, and the elves were left victorious but confused staring at an empty battlefield, charred by the dwarves' dark fires.
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • Thanks Vesp! Always appreciate the nobler kin around this "Corner" of the woods! ;) It's a long time coming, but I have an evening in the planning with @JohannWeinberg of "Fire Painting", where he'll tackle his Kadim project and I'll get to work on my Fire Phoenix, Aegethys the Brilliant (hope saying that out loud will get me to it faster, I think you'd be interested in the results).


      ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      The rich scents of the earth permeated the underground chamber of the hideout of the border guard. This side of the Euphoron these hidden bases were scarcer yet all the more appreciated. The main army was camped a league eastwards, near the edge of the forest, to draw away attention fromt he outpost should someone be watching the movements of Cailnon's forces.

      Prince Cailnon had come with the wounded to this location to restore his strength. His personal surgeon was dressing his burns, having a moment earlier applied layer upon layer of stinging ointments and paultices to his raw flesh. All of his shins, his left side along with his hands and left forearm had been seared by the heat of the bewitched colossus he had contested with mere days earlier.

      Cailnon grunted with relief when the surgeon finally started packing her equipment. He eyed for a long while the bloody, charred bits of himself she had deemed a hindrance to the healing process, now lying abandoned and grotesque on the dirt floor of the chamber. He thanked the surgeon, grabbing her shoulder as they touched foreheads; a gesture of the deepest trust among elvenkind.

      He then admitted the druid healers, more for ceremony than any conviction of their blessings. His warriors believed in the mystic arts, giving them resolve against the most daunting of odds, so it would be foolish to shun the druids even in the most trivial of matters. Cailnon did of course believe in the truth of the force behind the druids' power, the eternal energies of the land itself that they merely channeled, but he deemed the ways of magic too fickle to depend upon for his own tastes.



      After the druids were gone, Cailnon donned the fresh set of armour prepared for him to replace the one he had destroyed in the battle against the daemonic statue of the dwarves. A simple linen shirt, then a jacket of a thousand layers of the finest silk, and finally a harness of boiled leather. He left his cloak and the Hood in his chambers as he stepped to the adjacent hall to meet the men and women that had been ready to spend their lives on his command.

      The prince knelt beside an archer whose wounds would see him from this world before the dawn. He spoke words of gratitude as the healers administered herbs to dull his senses from the horror of the reality of the state of his flesh. Cailnon shared a jest with a spearman with a simple bandage around his head, drinking tea in relatively good humour. The lord touched the shoulder of a waywatcher, drawing ragged breaths erratically, each one of which could be her last; her left leg ended in a stump above the knee, and there were two arrows of hobgoblin make still piercing her mid section.

      Cailnon swallowed against the lump in his throat, that futile rage that came about after each battle when he was forced to witness what the senseless cruelty of sentient life brought about itself. The gift of life sealed away in these fragile vessels so easily mutilated beyond repair at a mere whim.



      He paused at a mattress where a young spellsinger writ with tattoos lay unconscious, drawing shallow breaths. Cailnon's face was a taut mask as he knelt beside her, touching her face gingerly, as if careful not to break this thing of sorrowful beauty that mere days before had met his gaze with defiance and vigour.

      He bent low and whispered, "are you ready to die, Yshra of Glassenmere?"

      At that, her breathing steadied and she shifted in her sleep to a more relaxed position, tension melting away from her clenched jaw. Now she appeared to be in a deep sleep rather than in a fever dream, and Cailnon brushed her cheek firmly before getting up from her. One of the healers glanced up at him.

      "She was well on her way beyond the Veil", the healer said, "the sorceries of the dwarves must have been fearsome indeed for her to strain herself so". Cailnon said nothing, moving towards the tunnel leading to the surface.



      Outside, the prince found a feast organized by the least severely injured fighters. He moved through the crowds, nodding his approval at all he crossed paths with. Choice bits of dwarf as well as their greenhide slaves were cooking over several fire pits, turning slowly on spits as elves drunk on victory and wine danced about the fires.

      It was the ancient law of the land not to let any resource go to waste, so while the elves could not bring themselves to consume their own kin, they had no such qualms regarding their enemies. The elven dead were give over as offerings to the forest itself, stripped and left to nourish their home as the land had nourished them while they lived.



      Cailnon felt a fever coming on so he did not attend the revelry for long.

      Peeling off the layers of his uniform he grunted as the numbing effect of the medicines' sting had worn off, every move of his limbs an agony. He picked up the twin scabbards resting against the wall beside his cloak and bow and arrows, identical in all aspects save length; one sword was a hand's length shorter.

      He slowly drew the shorter sword, revealing a steel ruin that once had been an elegant leaf-shaped blade. The leading edge was utterly destroyed, and even the back of the blade was pitted and partially melted by the daemon's fire. The longer blade, he knew, was in worse condition, for that had been the one plunged in the molten eye of the monster.



      The prince sheathed the weapon and set aside the scabbards. These had been objects of unique beauty, their finely crafted blades blessed in the secret founts of the Garden of Monugal, a sacred glade that was the home of the ancient forest spirit. The smith that had made them had passed away over two thousand years ago.

      Cailnon sighed mournfully as he laid down to rest his aching bones. So much beauty was gone from the world because of his caution about the dwarven army's advance.

      Had it been worth it?
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • Long time, no ocean, citizens!

      I'm about to undertake some blog maintenance where I will split this thread into three: this here thread will contain hobbying posts only (=miniature stuff), and I will create new threads for my army projects that will get updates of fluff and minis related to those projects only, so this thread will be cluttered no more by my massive walls of text (which those that are interested will find in the new threads).

      ****

      In other news: I PAINTED SOMETHING!!!

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      First off, Prince Cailnon the Hooded Lord, guardian of Glassenmere.

      It is the GW Shadowblade mini with Eternal Guard spear tips for swords and a bow and a quiver. He serves as a sylvan prince, Cailnon (ForestGuardian-Longbow-SylvanBlades-SpiritOfTheWhirlwind-LightArmour-ElvenCloak-DeathCheater-RangerBoots), as well as a Cadaron Cult shooty assassin in my DE project (the grey colour scheme is shared by my raven cloaks), Nichodrius Veilwalker [PairedWeapons-ThrowingWeapons-Bloodroot-Dragonstaff])


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      Here a Heath Hunter and a cliffs-themed Pathfinder.




      I'll post links to the new blogs in this thread when I get around to the grand cleanup.

      Tread carefully, for these woods be haunted by the fey.
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
    • I have been waiting for it forever, but it happened eventually! The One Night of Fire Painting with @JohannWeinberg!

      Johann did some serious work on some impressive lava bases as well as Kadim Incarnates, of which I'm sure you'll be able to catch up on in his blog Halls of Kol Karag - JohannWeinbergs Hobby Blog

      So, my flame painting was about my Action Chicken, Aegethys the Brilliant, my singlular HE-exclusive model. Here's the process (from white primer through yellow-orange-red all the way to black):
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      First touches of paint




      Some more contrast



      Belly of the beast WIP


      Redder!


      Ember glow



      Plumage and flames pretty much finished, what's left to do are the face and the talons...

      I was shooting for a more charcoaly, less flamy, Phoenix, but I dare not touch this again since I doubted my skills would even suffice for this glowy version. A bonus point for you if you noticed that he burns brighter at the front where he's facing the draft!
      I invite you to choke on my pointy ears \ >_o/
      Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Phaeoron ().