Things are hotting up (ahem) in the Realm of Fire as the Stormcasts continue their war against Khorne, against the backdrop of Nurgle trying to muscle in on the Blood God’s territory and Archaon advancing his plan to enslave the Godbeasts to his will. However, there are more potential participants happy to muck things up for everyone, and now we turn to the strange world of Orb Infernia and the Daemon Princes who vie for control over it.
The Story So Far
High above Asphyxia, Orb Infernia became the focus of the war. It used to be a paradise world, a glittering sky kingdom of high culture. That changed during the Age of Chaos, when its inhabitants were slaughtered and its seas consumed by sorcerous beasts until its continents floated above an empty world, held together by great magicks. Orb Infernia was gifted to four Daemon Princes, whom Archaon convinced Orb Infernia belonged to each – ever since then, they have waged endless wars upon one another in an effort to attain final victory. This was to the advantage of the Seraphon, and Slann Starmaster Xen’phantica constantly probed and prodded, driving each Daemon Prince further into war against its rivals.
That was until an agent of Archaon revealed to the Daemon Princes exactly what the Seraphon were up to, and how they had been played. Coming together for the first time, the Daemon Princes planned a trap for the Starmaster. They would lead their combined armies to the Realmgate that lay in the centre of Orb Infernia as if they were about to invade the rest of the Realm of Fire, knowing the Seraphon would not tolerate this for an instant.
Slann Starmaster Xen’phantica dispatched his greatest general, the Oldblood Klaq-tor, but the combined forces of daemons immediately began to overwhelm them, each led personally by its Daemon Prince.
The Seraphon have quite a large force in this battle – however, Chaos has four decent-sized forces, combined into a veritable horde of daemons! This battle is going to be on the epic side!
Daemons of Khorne
Daemon Prince (Skinskein)
Herald of Khorne
Bloodletters x 30 (three units of 10)
Bloodcrushers x 6
Flesh Hounds x 10
Daemons of Nurgle
Daemon Prince (Glurtos)
Herald of Nurgle
Plaguebearers x 30 (three units of 10)
Plague Drones x 6
Nurglings x 6
Daemons of Tzeentch
Daemon Prince (Zyrrak)
Herald of Tzeentch on Disc
Herald of Tzeentch
Pink Horrors x 30 (three units of 10)
Flamers x 5
Screamers x 10
Daemons of Slaanesh
Daemon Prince (Synnistra)
Herald of Slaanesh
Daemonettes x 30 (three units of 10)
Seekers x 9
Seeker Chariots x 2
Fiends x 6
This is obviously an extremely powerful combined force, more than capable of taking on the Seraphon and winning. But, you know, I think we can be more… ambitious. The models we are using for the Daemon Princes of Nurgle and Khorne are very large and the normal Daemon Prince stat line does not really do them justice. So, to begin with, we are going to double their Wounds characteristic, as well as their ‘wounds brackets’.
Not content with that, we are going to place the four Daemon Princes in the Infernal Tetrarchy battalion. This allows them to re-roll, well, just about everything so long as a number of them are alive, plus gives each the ability to cast one summoning spell every turn.
Take that, Frog-Face!
Oldblood on Carnosaur (Klaq-tor)
Scar-Veteran on Cold One
Saurus Knights x 18 (three units of 6)
Saurus Warriors x 70 (three units of 20, on unit of 10)
Skinks x 30 (one unit of 20, one unit of 10)
Chameleon Skinks x 5
Kroxigors x 3
Stegadon x 2
While this is a strong force of Seraphon (with the Saurus Knights arranged into a Firelance Starhost and three of the Saurus Warrior units in a Sunclaw Starhost), they are desperately outnumbered by daemons. This battle will be about survival, plus the slim possibility that the Seraphon only need to kill four models to win (in theory).
Previous victories for the forces of Order meant that the Starseer had acquired the Breath of Elemental Fire as a Triumph.
The Seraphon are painfully outnumbered in this battle, but there is a glimmer of hope – each of the Chaos forces is an army in its own right, and if they can kill a Daemon Prince, its army will disappear with it!
On top of this, the battlefield is infused with magical energies, making both casting and unbinding easier, a boon for both armies. In addition, the Seraphon have access to the Mystical Translocation spell, which allows them to move entire units straight across the battlefield (possibly allowing them to directly attack a Daemon Prince).
The battle lasts for five rounds with major victory going to the side that wipes out the other. However, if the Seraphon have any surviving models at all at the end of the battle, they gain a minor victory.
Orb Infernia has its own Time of War sheet that allows the Seraphon to receive the blessings of Dracothion (granting an array of bonuses to them every turn), features magical storms that heal both daemons and Seraphon, makes summoning easier, grants the Prismatic Firestorm spell to Chaos wizards, and makes it unwise for any daemon or Seraphon to cross terrain at speed. Phew!
The daemonic forces of Chaos arrived on the battlefield in force, though each Daemon Prince kept a tight rein on his own troops and did not let them mingle with those of his rivals.
The Seraphon were forced to be a little more strategic in their thinking. The Saurus Warriors and Knights were deployed int he centre with the aim of holding up the daemons of Nurgle and Slaanesh. A slightly stronger force of Saurus Warriors, Kroxigors and a Stegadon, led by the Starpriest and Sunblood were similarly deployed to stall the Khornate advance.
The main weight of the Seraphon, led by the Oldblood, would be on the far right flank and matched against the forces of Tzeentch. The plan here was to target the two weakest Daemon Princes as soon as possible (Tzeentch and Slaanesh), halving the total number of daemons and putting a stop to the main summoning force. This would, in theory, deliver a punch that would give the Seraphon enough room to at least survive.
Battle Round One
As soon as they sighted their enemies, the Seraphon surged forward across almost their entire line. In the centre, the Saurus Knights raced for the daemons of Nurgle, while the Oldblood led a full assault against Tzeentch.
Capering Pink Horrors were instantly annihilated by a single blast from the Bastiladon’s crystal, and holes began to open along the Tzeentch force, layers being peeled away to reveal the Daemon Prince Zyrrak.
Not far off, the Scar-Veteran led his Saurus Knights in a charge, levelling their Celestial Lances at the Plaguebearers who chuckled at the purple lizards loping towards them. With a loud crack and squelch, the Saurus Knights ploughed into their front line.
Several Plaguebearers met their end at the tip of a glowing lance, along with a few Daemonettes who had wandered too close. However, the Saurus Knights were quickly bogged down by the Plaguebearers as more started to pour out of the ruined temple. Then the Icon of Nurgle they carried flashed, and three Plaguebearers were returned to the fight.
The Oldblood’s assault upon the Daemons of Tzeentch also bogged down quickly. While his Carnosaur tore apart and swallowed many Pink Horrors, the others held their ground, and the Oldblood snarled in frustration as his Sunstone Spear scraped harmlessly off the rubbery hide of an Exalted Flamer.
Dread chanting was heard from within the Tzeentch force as powerful magicks were unleashed. Pink Horrors and the Daemon Prince Zyrrak combined their energies to launch a succession of Arcane Bolts at the Oldblood, and the Carnosaur roared as they impacted into his scaled hide, while a large pack of Screamers swooped forward to slice the Stegadon.
In the centre, the charge of the Suarus Knights had opened a gap in the Seraphon line, and the Daemons of Slaanesh poured through, eager to get to grips with the Saurus Warriors.
The Daemons of Nurgle and Tzeentch were under the heaviest attack and both stalled their advance to consolidate their forces around the Seraphon who were attacking them. The Daemons of Khorne, however, were free to rush forward and, under the baleful gaze of Daemon Prince Skinskein, they did just that.
Sorcerous fire erupted from Flamers and Pink Horrors, bathing the Oldblood and Carnosaur in coruscating flames. When they finally dissipated, the Oldblood had vanished returned to Azyr to be dreamt of again by the Slann Starmasters.
As the Screamers continued to slice apart the Stegadon piece by piece, the Seekers of Slaanesh in the centre had charged into the Saurus Warriors of the Sunclaw Starhost – and met their match. They charged straight into the spears of the Seraphon, which crackled with celestial energy as they skewered the beasts. Daemonettes screamed, and one ran, as their retinue was reduced by two thirds in a split second.
On the far side of the battlefield, other Saurus Warriors of the Sunclaw Starhost prepared to face the charge of the Bloodcrushers.
The celestial energy was far weaker here though, and most of the Saurus Warriors were simply crushed underfoot or decapitated by Hellswords. Others ran from the assault, leaving only the Alpha Talon to hold the line. The Skink crew of the nearby Stegadon saw the danger, however, and the beast lumbered forward to gore a Juggernaut with a single swipe of its horns.
The Seraphon had seen their attacks on the Daemon Princes blunted already, and losses had been far higher than anticipated. With the Starseer now in command, the little Skink had to make a choice between pulling back and fighting on a purely defensive basis – or continuing with the plan to strike at the Daemon Princes directly in an effort to even the odds.
Battle Round Two
However, the Daemon Princes had no intention of giving the Starseer time to act, and they ordered their forces to close in for the final death blow against the Seraphon.
The Daemons of Tzeentch summoned more Pink Horrors into the fight before hurling Arcane Bolts at the Bastiladon, some of the blasts beginning to crack its thick shell. Pink Horrors and Flamers then scampered in to bathe the Bastiladon and Stegadon in magical fire, leaving both very badly wounded and barely able to keep fighting.
In the centre, the third wave of Saurus Knights were cut off from supporting those who had charged ahead into the Daemons of Nurgle, as the Fiends of Slaanesh charged into their assembled line. Not to be outdone, Flesh Hounds of Khorne raced into the fray as well, instinctively knowing that they could not be outdone by the vile Slaaneshi beasts.
Bloodletters swept around the Bloodcrushers, and spied a group of Skinks. Seeing an easy skill, they loped forward, Hellswords ready. However, as they approached, the Skinks simply melted away, leaving the Bloodletters to face the might of the Kroxigors.
The Kroxigors wasted no time when presented with Khornate Daemons, and their Moonhammer and Drakebite Mauls made short work of the entire retinue of Bloodletters.
The Daemons of Tzeentch and Slaanesh were also beginning to find things getting difficult as they advanced into the Seraphon army. While the Screamers were able to finally slay the Stegadon they faced, a Seeker Chariot was intercepted by more Saurus Warriors from the Sunclaw Starhost, and it was destroyed instantly, its Daemonettes screaming as Celestial Clubs battered them into nothingness.
As the Seraphon line shifted to face the greatest threats, the Starpriest leading the defence against the Daemons of Khorne saw an opportunity. The Daemon Prince Skinskein had advanced forward with his Bloodletters, and was now within striking distance. While the Seraphon plan had been to target the Daemon Prince Zyrrak first, this was a chance the Starpriest could not pass up.
With no Bloodletters nearby, the Skinks were able to return to the fray, and were joined by the Chameleon Skinks, as the Kroxigors and Sunblood advanced. Only a Bloodmaster Herald of Khorne stood between them and the Daemon Prince.
The Skinks threw Javelins at the Bloodmaster in an effort to drive him off, but the tiny projectiles only made the daemon angry. The Chameleon Skinks had more luck with their blowpipes, scoring several painful strikes against Skinskein, but the Bloodmaster stood his ground against the Kroxigors and the Sunblood was forced to halt his own assault to help deal with the much closer Bloodcrushers.
The Kroxigors crushed the Bloodmaster and the Sunblood’s presence began to swing the fight against the Bloodcrushers in favour of the Seraphon but the strike at Daemon Prince Skinskein was in tatters. The Starpriest knew he would have to move quickly if the Daemon Prince was to be brought down.
In the centre, the Seraphon forces were near collapse as the last of the Saurus Knights fell to the combined attacks of the Fiends and Flesh Hounds.
However, hope remained, as the Scar-Veteran was living up to both parts of his name, sustaining cuts and scratches while he held the line against the Daemons of Nurgle, now single-handed.
Try as they might, the Plaguebearers could not land a telling blow, and even swarms of Nurglings had little effect as the Scar-Veteran continued to lay about himself with his War Pick, his Cold One constantly snapping and tearing at Plaguebearers.
Across the battlefield, the Seraphon had suffered greatly, but they were still in fighting shape and still had chances to strike at the Daemon Princes.
Battle Round Three
As Pink Horrors hammered the Saurus Warriors of the Sunclaw Starhost with Arcane Bolts, the Daemon Prince Zyrrak moved in to lend his own weight to the attack, as well as ensure he was foremost amongst his rivals in the battle.
The nearby Daemon Prince Synnistra could not tolerate this in the least, so it too moved into battle.
As the Plague Drones swept through the open centre of the battlefield, the Daemons of Tzeentch swept the ranks of the Seraphon with their magical fire, immolating scores of Saurus Warriors and Skinks.
Daemon Prince Skinskein was prepared to dive into the Seraphon before him as well, but something about the Stegadon’s long horns managed to penetrate his rage-fuelled madness and for a critical moment, the Daemon Prince hesitated in his attack.
The Flesh Hounds rushed the Stegadon in Skinskein’s place but their fangs did little against the Stegadon’s tough hide, and its horns proved just as lethal against them as they had against the Bloodcrushers. As the Sunblood dispatched the last of the Bloodcrushers, the last Kroxigor swept clear of the Bloodletters that had been holding it back.
All of a sudden, it looked as though it was the Daemons of Khorne who were vulnerable, and the Starpriest allowed himself a tight smile. If he could just rally enough forces to strike at Daemon Prince Skinskein, the entire flank would suddenly belong to the Seraphon and a great deal of pressure would be taken off them…
Things were less cheerful for the Seraphon in the centre, as Daemon Prince Synnistra led Daemonettes and Fiends in an attack that wiped out the Saurus Warriors who, up to now, had thrown back everything Slaanesh could muster.
The Seraphon centre was now critically weak and their right flank had been completely turned, but the possibility of destroying Skinskein and taking the left flank remained.
As the Starseer used his spells of Translocation to join the resistance against the Khornate daemons, the Starpriest hurled a Arcane Bolt at the Daemon Prince Skinskein, an attack that was quickly followed by the bolts and javelins of Skinks. Skinskein howled in pain and fury as the celestial missiles found their marks.
The Stegadon was finally brought down to the ground by the persistent Flesh Hounds, but not before it and the Sunblood claimed another four of their number, while Skinks hurled themselves at Daemon Prince Skinskein in a brave but ultimately futile gesture.
Battle Round Four
Seeing the Seraphon all but broken, the Daemon Princes suddenly became a lot more bold, and they flew, strode and shambled forward to lead their daemonic troops.
In translocating across the battlefield, the Starseer had been forced to leave a retinue of Skinks behind, and these were quickly swallowed up by combined waves of Tzeentch and Slaaneshi daemons. This left the last hold out of Seraphon facing the fury of Khorne – just a few Skinks, a Sunblood, and the Starpriest, all led by the Starseer.
Daemon Prince Skinskein barked dead commands, and a retinue of Bloodletters dutifully took their place on the battlefield, blocking off any idea of retreat or manouevre the Seraphon might have had.
The Bloodmaster Herald of Khorne screeched a challenge, and was answered by the Sunblood. The two daemonic champions, one for Khorne, the other for the Celestial Realm, faced one another in a duel to the death.
The Herald managed to slash the Sunblood across the chest, but was quickly knocked to the ground by the Sunblood’s maul. The Sumblood roared as it stood astride its fallen enemy, smashing its skull to pulp with the edge of his shield.
However, the Bloodletters and surviving Flesh Hounds had managed to slip past the Sunblood as it destroyed the Bloodmaster, and rushed the Chameleon Skinks. Caught out in the open, they stood no chance, and the Bloodletters cackled as they vengefully wiped out the snipers.
The Starpriest tried to hurl another Arcane Bolt at Skinskein, but the spell unravelled in the presence of the Flesh Hounds and their Collars of Khorne.
With the forces of Chaos so close now, there were few choices left to the Seraphon other than fleeing in an attempt to survive. In the centre, still holding up the forces of Nurgle, the Scar Veteran decided discretion was indeed the better part of valour, and he finally withdrew from the combined attacks of Daemon Prince Glurtos and his Plaguebearers.
The Starseer had a similar idea and tried to draw Khorne daemons away from the other Seraphon by floating up one flank.
Battle Round Five
With his path finally clear, the Sunblood fearlessly charged Skinskein, his roar promising the Khorne Daemon Prince and painful death.
Skinskein could not believe it as he was rocked back by the impact of the Sunblood’s charge. The Sunblood’s maul cracked bones and blunted muscles in an attack that almost finished the Daemon Prince off. However, it was an assault that could not be sustained and, once Skinskein recovered from the initial shock, he tore the Sunblood in two with a single swipe of his sword.
By now, there were only three Seraphon left on the battlefield, and the forces of Chaos closed in on them.
In the centre, the Scar Veteran was preparing to launch a last, desperate charge against Nurgle Daemon Prince Glurtos but was blasted apart by an Arcane Bolt hurled at is back by a cowardly Herald of Tzeentch.
Skinskein limped over to the fleeing Starseer, who tried to finish the Daemon Prince off with the charged energy of his staff. Skinskein contemptuously knocked the staff from the Starseer’s hands, and then crushed the Seraphon with his own massive paw.
The Starpriest was the last Seraphon to keep fighting, but was all too quickly surrounded by Bloodletters and Flesh Hounds.
The combined forces of the Daemon Prince Tetrarchy had claimed a major victory against their ages-old enemy, the Seraphon.
The Seraphon got well and truly smacked in that battle – however, outnumbered two-to-one, we always knew they were going to be. The aim for the Seraphon was not to destroy the daemonic army they faced, merely to survive it.
And they came so very close to being able to do that.
The Khorne Daemon Prince Skinskein was very badly wounded by the last round, having just a single wound left as he strode into combat. If the Starseer had just managed to land a single solid blow, Skinskein would have been removed from battle – along with every Khorne daemon! With no other daemons close by, the Seraphon would have won the battle by virtue of the Starseer (and, it has to be said, the Starseer alone) surviving!
Alas, ’twas not to be, but this is another great example of an Age of Sigmar game coming right down to the wire in the final turn!
The Story Continues…
The Seraphon have taken a hammering – and now the Starmaster himself is caught between a force of vengeful daemons and Lord Khul…