Continuing our tour of the Mortal Realms before we plough right into Godbeasts, we are taking a trip to the Realm of Fire where a Verminlord Corruptor has run up against the Seraphon in his bid to locate a valuable ingredient to one of the Thirteen Great Plagues…
The Story So Far
Verminlord Corruptor Sepskrik arrived in the Realm of Fire with a definite purpose in mind – he was travelling to Serpentis, the City of Secrets, to locate an artefact known as the Serpentstone. With this, he would be able to finally unleash the Undulant Scourge, one of the Thirteen Great Plagues. However, he needed help to locate it within the ruined city and so he mustered the forces of half a dozen Clans Pestilens.
Hundreds of Plague Monks scouring a ruined city for so potent an artefact was never going to escape attention though, and Slann Starmaster X’loc X’hul duly arrived, ready to confront the Verminlord and put an end to his search…
The Clans Pestilens have come out in force for this battle. Led by the Verminlord Sepskrik, they are using every Pestilens model I have!
Verminlord Corruptor (Sepskrik)
Plague Monks x 60 (three units of 20)
Plague Censer Bearers x 5
Rat Swarms x 4
Pestilens are taking advantage of the newly painted unit of Plague Monks that I recently finished, and are bringing their full weight to bear in terms of Verminlord, Furnace and Plagueclaw. Furthermore, they now qualify for the Congregation of Filth Battalion Warscroll, which allows models to re-roll charges and provides an additional save against all wounds and mortal wounds. This is a nicely potent force that, while easy to damage, will be capable of kicking out a lot of hurt.
Oldblood on Carnosaur
Saurus Guard x 15
Saurus Warriors x 40 (two units of 20)
Chameleon Skinks x 5
The Seraphon have brought a strong force too. The Saurus Warriors will be a decent enough match for the Plague Monks (and can be summoned back should things go ill), while the Oldblood on the Carnosaur will be gunning for the Verminlord (as will the Chameleon Skinks). The whole Seraphon plan could unravel if the Slann Starmaster is killed early on, but the Saurus Guard and Eternity Warden are unlikely to leave his side…
The Slann Starmaster blinked in approval as he saw the constellation of the Great Drake rise in the sky – his Seraphon would fight all the harder now. The two forces lined up on opposite sides of the battlefield, the ruined city of Serpentis between them.
Battle Round One
Eager to claim the Serpentstone, Verminlord Sepskrik urged his rats forward, giving dire warnings to a group of nearby Plague Monks as to the consequences if they should even think of running away. However, he took the time to throw a Mystic Shield over himself before advancing.
As the Slann Starmaster threw a Mystic Shield over his Saurus Guard, the Seraphon advanced, their wardrums keeping an even pace as they surged forward.
The Oldblood on the Carnosaur took the lead as the Saurus Guard led their Starmaster and Eternity Warden into the ruins.
Despite the long range and the glare of the morning sun, the Skink crew of the Stegadon launched a bolt from its Skystreak Bow that thudded heavily into Verminlord Sepskrik.
Battle Round Two
As the Plague Priest riding the Plague Furnace Blessed with Filth the Plagueclaw Catapult, Plague Monks scurried into the ruins, desperate to be the first to find the Serpentstone for their Verminlord. As the Verminlord hurled an Arcane Bolt into the Stegadon, there was a frenzy of excited squeaking from the Censer Bearers as they proudly pointed to the Serpentstone within nearby ruins.
The rest of the Pestilens force advanced, with the Plague Furnace and the Plague Monks pushing it trundling towards the Oldblood on his Carnosaur.
A shot of pure filth from the Plagueclaw arced across the battlefield to land amongst Saurus Warriors, but they threw off the worst effects and continued their march. Then, the Plague Furnace charged.
The Carnosaur was smacked sideways by the rush of the Plague Furnace, though the Oldblood managed to skewer a couple of Plague Monks. However, the Carnosaur was immediately pushed onto the back foot.
As the rest of the two armies converged, the Slann Starmaster had other things on his great mind than the troubles of his Oldblood. He had not expected the Skaven to find the Serpentstone so quickly, and his whole force was out of position – only the Stegadon and a single retinue of Saurus Warriors were anywhere close to disrupting the Skaven as they tried to dig the Serpentstone out of the ground.
The Starmaster blinked slowly, and a small unit of Chameleon Skinks appeared close to the ruins that contained the Serpentstone, though they were perilously close to Rat Swarms, the Plague Censer Bearers, the Plagueclaw a great many Plague Monks. They could not even enter the ruins for fear of being attacked by the Plague Monks and so remained outside, dangerously exposed to attack.
Needing to forge their way past the barrier the Rat Swarms and Plague Monks presented, the Saurus Warriors and Stegadon charged. Their combined weight was devastating – nine Plague Monks were gored by the Stegadon’s horns and crushed under its feet, and the rest promptly turned tail and ran. The Rat Swarms, however, held firm and the wounds sustained by the Stegadon in this fight were already beginning to fester.
Now that the Serpentstone had been found, the fighting on the other side of the battlefield was somewhat redundant – but that did not make the combatants any less vicious.
The Carnosaur was beginning to suffer seriously from its wounds but the Oldblood on its back speared Plague Monk after Plague Monk. However, the Plague Priest onboard the Plague Furnace had his eye on the great beast, hoping its downfall would mark him in the eyes of Verminlord Sepskrik. Thrusting his Warp-tipped Staff forward, he fatally gored the Carnosaur, bringing it down.
The Plague Monks close by then threw themselves into the Saurus Warriors, but the shields of the Seraphon held firm. The counterattack of the Saurus Warriors tore the Plague Monks apart and damaged the Plague Furnace.
Battle Round Three
The full contagious weight of the diseases from the Clans Pestilens swept over the battlefield.
A Plague Monk opened the Book of Woe, its virulent contagions claiming a Saurus Warrior immediately. This was only the start. The Warp-laced fumes from the Plague Furnace claimed two more, while the Pestilent Breath from the Plague Priest took yet another two. Verminlord Sepskrik unleashed an Indiscriminant Contagion on his own Rat Swarms, and it promptly leapt to the Chameleon Skinks, Saurus Warriors, Stegadon and Saurus Guard, claiming more Seraphon lives as it went. He then unleashed a more directed plague which claimed another Chameleon Skink and Saurus Warrior.
The city of Serpentis was proving to be a distinctly unhealthy place to be even for the Seraphon.
Fearing the Seraphion might rally even from the contagions that were currently felling them, the Plagueclaw trundled forward to threaten the Chameleon Skinks though this disrupted its aim and it missed the Saurus Warriors by several yards as it threw another bundle of filth at them.
Verminlord Sepskrik moved into the ruins holding the Serpentstone just long enough to flick his tail blades at the Chameleon Skinks, killing two and leaving just a single survivor. Then, he charged the Stegadon.
The Stegadon and its crew reeled from this blindingly fast assault, and the Seraphon’s attack on the ruins seemed to teeter on a knife edge.
Things were no better on the other side of the battlefield as more Plague Monks ruched into the Saurus Warriors who were trying to stop the Plague Furnace. Though several Plague Monks fell, the Plague Priest on board chittered as he excitedly swung his staff, swiping at any Saurus Warrior who came close. The fighting reached a crescendo as Seraphon and Skaven tore each other apart but neither side could sustain the attack. The few surviving Plague Monks and Saurus Warriors were both forced to flee from the battlefield, leaving the slightly dented Plague Furnace as the sole victor.
Events were beginning to spiral out of control and the Slann Starmaster ceased his spellcasting to take a more active role in the battle. He ordered every surviving Seraphon to converge upon the ruins holding the Serpentstone, though he was painfully aware that they were few in number.
Fortunately, the Saurus Guard had reached the ruin and they now charged fearlessly into Verminlord Skepskrik. As the crew of the Stegadon hurled javelins at the Verminlord, the Saurus Guard piled in and, under the guidance of the nearby Eternity Warden, tore the foul daemon apart, sending it back to the company of the Horned Rat.
Seeing a chance of elevation amongst rat society, the Plague Priest on board the Furnace decided to take over leadership of the Skaven force.
Battle Round Four
The last bout of fighting, while dealing heavy losses to the Seraphon, had swung the battle in their favour. The Skaven had lost all of their Plague Monks and the fall of Verminlord Skepskrik had left a hole around the Serpentstone that would be difficult to fill.
Though badly wounded, perhaps fatally, the Stegadon swung slowly about to face the Plague Furnace which, in truth, was fairly battered itself. For their part, the Saurus Guard aided the surviving Saurus Warriors against the Rat Swarms, though this was hardly prestigious work for the elite fighter. However, it was necessary as the Slann Starmaster continued his sweep across the battlefield, and he needed their protection.
The Plague Priest on board the Furnace tried to Bless with Filth his great engine of destruction, but the Horned Rat had turned his back on the poor performance of the Skaven in Serpentis, and the priest was gripped with pain as his prayers were refused. He then ordered the Plague Priest on foot to charge into the Saurus Guard in a callous attempt to slow them down, but his underling simply refused.
Undaunted, the priest urged his Plague Furnace onwards, crashing into the Stegadon and wounding it, even as the Saurus Guard finished off the last of the Rat Swarms.
Battle Round Five
Seeing their chance, the Seraphon surged forward. As the Stegadobn crashed through the Plague Furnace, grinding its priest underfoot as it went, the Saurus Guard threw themselves into a final charge. Within seconds, the last Plague Priest had been hacked to pieces and the Plagueclaw smashed to kindling.
Peace descended onto the battlefield as it became clear there were no more rats to kill…
That was short, sharp, brutal, and fun!
The pivotal point in this battle was most certainly the third round. The Pestilens Skaven had pretty much won the right flank (though it had cost them a lot of Plague Monks), leaving the Plague Furnace free reign. The Verminlord was a serious obstacle and if the Saurus Guard had not been able to reach him, he might never have been defeated. If the Pestilens had been able to continue their defence of the Serpentstone, they would have likely won the battle.
However, that was not what happened. The Saurus Guard were the Unit of the Match here, defeating not only the Verminlord, but finishing off the Rat Swarms that had tied up the Saurus Warriors for most of the battle, then going on to finish off the Plagueclaw and Plague Priest, giving the Seraphon a major victory.
I should give mention here to two models who were definitely not the Unit of the Match. The Oldblood on the Carnosaur managed to kill a handy number of Plague Monks, but the Carnosaur itself did not hit with a single attack for the entire battle, and it was eventually crushed by the Plague Furnace. Supported by a large unit of Saurus Warriors, it should have completely owned that flank but ended up being a bit of a damp squib.
Perhaps the Seraphon should not complain too loudly though, for the Pestilens had their own issues with the Plagueclaw. With the large Saurus Warriors units present, the Plagueclaw had what could be called a target rich environment, and one solid hit on the Saurus Guard could have effectively removed them from the battle (or at least eroded their fighting capability enough to be dealt with).
It was not to be – the Plagueclaw missed with every single shot it fired except one, and with that it failed to wound. Take a look at its Warscroll, and you will see just how unlikely that is…
The Story Continues…
We have not finished with the Clans Pestilens, not by a long chalk. Next week, we will be travelling to the Realm of Life where some Fyreslayers have been hired to disrupt a Pestilens ritual…