This is the final battle in Skashran’s Path to Glory, and we are planning to send the Bloodthirster off in a suitably epic style with a battlefield worthy of the mightiest Bloodthirsters of Khorne!
The Story So Far
Lady Cassandra was not happy. She had not been happy for a few decades now.
Leading the siege for the Dreadhold of Fiery Fury had been a glorious battle but, now it was taken, she had been left to rot. Nagash, God of Death seemed to have forgotten about her after removing most of her forces to fight elsewhere, leaving her with a (literal) skeleton force.
This was no life for an immortal vampire.
To her credit, she had held the Dreadhold against roaming hordes of Bloodbound fanatics and kept the fires of the Crucible stoked. But she longed to be far away from the fortress and not acting as a gatekeeper for some mouldy artefact of Sigmar’s, a Blood Shard that she could not even drink.
It was therefore with some interest that she spied the Doomguard approaching her walls. Looking down from its mighty towers, she noted the Daemons of Khorne and the Bloodthirster who led them, and knew she would be in for a tough fight to stop them from breaching the Dreadhold.
It was a fight she relished.
The final battle of this campaign! Naturally, we will be featuring two large and powerful warbands for the final, epic confrontation…
Skashran, Bloodthirster of Unfettered Fury (Slaughterborn, Collar of Khorne, Ferocious Resolve, Whirlwind of Death)
Bloodcrushers x 3
Flesh Hounds x 5
Bloodletters x 10
Bloodletters x 10
The Doomguard have been fleshing out their forces with rank and file Bloodletters to better support their more elite units. As always, SSkashran himself is likely to be the central line breaker.
Legion of Blood
Lady Cassandra, Vampire Lord (Aura of Dark Majesty, Shadeglass Decanter, Vile Transference)
Lord Mordak, Wight King
Black Knights x 5
Skeleton Warriors x 10
Skeleton Warriors x 10
Skeleton Warriors x 10
Skeleton Warriors x 10
Against the Doomguard, we have the Legion of Blood. Led by a Vampire Lord, and ably assisted by a Wight King, this warband is very large. Featuring forty (count them!) Skeleton Warriors, there are also five Black Knights to serve as a rapid response unit to plug up any gaps, as well as two hard-hitting Morghast Archai. Backed up with lots of summoning and defensive powers, as well as an entire fortress, the Legion of Blood will be a tough nut to crack.
Well, we wanted something a little special for out last battle of the campaign, and I think we have found it – straight from the Age of Sigmar Core Book, The Great Wall.
The Legion of Blood will be split into two contingents – basically, those manning the walls and those in the garrison who will be hurrying to the area the Doomguard are attacking. The latter will start appearing on the battlefield during the second battle round.
There are two objectives – the temple which holds the Blood Shard of Isile and the realmgate Key that opens it. The Doomguard need to hold both objectives in order to be able to win, while the Legion of Blood merely need to hold one. Any other result is a draw (which, let’s face it, would be a loss for Skashran…).
To complicate things, we will be having a Siege phase before the battle begins, where both sides can try ploy and counterploy to gain an advantage during the fight, and both sides have access to fortress-specific Command Abilities.
Added to that, we have the terrain itself, where we will be using all the Warscrolls needed for the walls, gate, Skull Keeps, Crucible and Bastion. The Legion of Blood do not have a massive number of Heroes to fully take advantage of all the fortifications they have at their disposal, but there should be enough to make Skashran’s life difficult!
Lady Cassandra ordered her undead minions to shore up the walls, while the Doomguard paced outside as they enacted rituals to suppress the magical energies available to animate skeleton warriors. This had limited effect, as only six skeletons crumbled to dust but the gates suffered a battering from the Bloodcrushers and Skull Cannon which destroyed the baleful gargoyles either side of the entrance.
At a growl from Skashran, the Doomguard lined up to assault the gates and walls, while skeletons hastily assembled to line the walls. The Bloodletters would attempt to scale the walls while the heavy units would force open the gates. Skashran himself would fly high above the battlefield, dropping down on choice targets.
Lady Cassandra took her place within the Crucible, protected by one of the Morghast Archai. She would be on the back foot for the first part of the battle, as the bulk of her force had not yet moved to cover this section of the walls and was still mobilising the defence.
Battle Round One
Lady Cassandra was painfully aware that her line of skeleton warriors on the walls was very thin and that there would be a major assault on the gates. She was not confident her skeletons would be able to hold for long.
The walls had already been prepared as Gravesites, and skeletons started to pull themselves free from the stonework to reinforce the defenders. Lady Cassandra aided the process, funnelling her death magic to raise a new unit of warriors behind the first.
From her vantage point on the Crucible, Lady Cassandra spied Skashran on the plains before the Dreadhold, and knew if she were to triumph she would need to bring the Bloodthirster low. Producing a Shadeglass decanter from her robes, she muttered an incantation. Skashran bellowed as he felt his daemonic soul begin to slowly siphon from his physical form.
As the skeleton warriors stretched themselves thin to try to cover every approach to the walls, the Doomguard rushed forward and began scaling the Dreadhold.
Skashran prepared to launch himself over the walls while the largest daemons thudded into the gates with enough force to shake the Dreadhold.
Further along, the first Bloodletters scaled the walls and began to hack away at the skeleton defenders as the Skull Cannon belched a bloody mist. Burning skulls bombarded the skeletons atop the gates, blasting apart six of them instantly. Another lost its grip on the death magic animating it and crumbled into a pile of bones.
One Bloodletter was blasted into a dark mist by wards embedded into the walls, while another was speared by the defenders. However, two skeletons were smashed apart by Hellblades, creating a small gap on the wall. This was a tiny victory, but a terrible roar announced Skashran landing on the walls on the other side of the gate. Dutifully, skeletons reacted and struck at the Bloodthirster but their ancient blades simply scraped off his armour.
One swing of Skashran’s axe sent pieces of skeletons raining down into the graveyard. In one, terrible assault, Skashran had completely destroyed the entire unit of skeletons that Lady Cassandra had just raised.
Battle Round Two
Keen to sustain their momentum, the Doomguard pressed their advantage.
The gates held firm under the relentless pounding of the Bloodcrushers, but Skashran was eager to lead the way as he bounded down from the walls and into the courtyard.
Behind him, trespasser wards blew another three Bloodletters apart but Skashran cared little for his underlings – he had just spotted Lady Cassandra on the Crucible and was determined to claim her skull for the Blood God.
The Vampire Mistress ducked as the Bloodthirster’s whip lashed out, but its barbs dug deeply into her armour. Before she could recover, Skashran had crossed the few yards between them and the walls of the Crucible trembled under his rage. Lady Cassandra raised her sword to parry Skashran’s axe but could not begin to match the raw fury of the Bloodthirster. Within seconds, she had been crushed flat.
Back on the walls, the Bloodletters had been stalled in their assault against the skeletons, and another daemon was thrown off to lie crumpled on the ground outside the Dreadhold.
Too late to save Lady Cassandra, the Black Knights arrived. Mortal cavalry might have been terrorised at the sight of a Bloodthirster in their courtyard but the Black Knights merely guided their skeletal mounts forward.
On the walls, the first assault of Bloodletters was turned back, but this successful defence was short lived as on the other side of the gates, more Bloodletters scaled the walls and attacked en masse, quickly defeating every skeleton that faced them.
After the dust settled, one wall had held… but the other had fallen to the Doomguard.
In the courtyard, the Morghast Archai felt compelled to throw itself at Skashran, in penance for having failed to defend Lady Cassandra. Its glaive bit deep, but Skashran casually backhanded it with his axe, instantly annihilating it.
Battle Round Three
Without Lady Cassandra to feed them the energies of death, the Gravesites were greatly weakened and only brought one new skeleton into the fight – no way near enough to properly bolster the defence. However, the Black Knights thundered towards Skashran, sensing that if the Bloodthirster could be defeated, the Dreadhold would stand.
Wordlessly, they increased their speed, the hooves of their mounts clacking on the hard ground as they lowered their lances. As one, they crashed into Skashran and struck deep, causing the Bloodthirster to bellow in pain as their lances were driven in deep.
One swing of Skashran’s axe turned four Black Knights into bone splinters, leaving only their leader still fighting.
At the wall, the gates still held under the relentless hammering of the Doomguard.
Bloodletters were now free to clamber over the walls, and a vicious group of them dropped into the courtyard to assist Skashran.
Skashran contemptuously flicked his whip, smashing the last Black Knight apart, before raising his axe high into the air and calling upon his lord Khorne for aid.
A dark bloody mist started to materialise above the Temple of Sigmar and instantly the power of the God-King warred with that of the Blood God. Lightning sparked out across the courtyard but was quickly stifled by the blood mist. From its depths scrambled another unit of Bloodletters, reinforcements granted by Khorne.
The Temple of Sigmar, resting place of the Blood Shard of Isile, was now held by the Doomguard.
Battle Round Four
While the gates still held and skeleton warriors still held their section of the walls, the Dreadhold was now in possession of the Doomguard.
Skashran and his Bloodletters took the Realmkey, and now had not only the Blood Shard but also the means to unlock it. With the power of death now well and truly broken, Skashran roared his victory – his Path to Glory, so long in the making, was now complete and victorious.
This campaign was all about Skashran’s Path to Glory, and it is fitting that he took control of his own destiny in this fight and almost single-handedly won it. It was Skashran who first cleared the walls, who defeated the Vampire general, and her bodyguard, destroyed the reinforcements, and took one of the objectives.
Not bad for a day’s work!
However, others on the battlefield fared less well. Only one group of Bloodletters managed to take the walls and the rest of the Doomguard were either repulsed or could just plain not get the gates open (it is not easy). On the other hand, Lady Cassandra had too little time to enact her spells and special abilities (or the Crucible’s weapons), and the only reinforcements that turned up were the Black Knights – they did more damage to Skashran than anyone else but it was far too little, far too late.
The Story Continues…
This marks the end of the Path to Glory, and Skashran has reclaimed his position at the feet of the Blood God. However, this is not the end for Skashran and his Doomguard, and we will be seeing what they will be getting up to next very soon…