Monday, 21 March 2016

The God Citadel

Travellers did not know this place. They could not. If they turned their horse towards it, the horse would shy away. If they set their eyes to the horizon on which it lay, their eyes would twitch and shift. Caravans would wind their trails casually around it. Never hard enough to wonder why the path they took drifted, but never through this place.

This place held the God Citadel. This place was old. This place held power. This place was almost unknown. Almost. Over the centuries there had been a few curious adventurers, the odd fleeing bandit, and occasionally a thorough cartographer who had stumbled across it. Evidence of their journeys were sketchy at best, but fragments were told through tattered journals, in fireside tales, and in the parchments of discredited maps that showed places people knew not to be true.

While the location was almost unknown, the legends of the God Citadel itself were not. Some said it was the prison of a Celestian, chained to the mortal world by his own kind for crimes long forgotten. Others avowed it was the fortress of an Abyssal, freed from the Abyss itself and hidden in fertile lands as the vanguard of a future invasion. Less epic tales suggest it to merely be the home of an ancient sorcerer; a mystic with a desire to be left in peace to study magic.

All the stories shared some common threads, however. Access to the citadel was not a physical feat, but magical. Moonlight needed to be shining, and the stars needed to be aligned just right. Once inside, the visitor needed to face the Citadel's guards. Few specifics were known, but they were said to be many and deadly. But as always with such tales, there was hope. If you could survive the guards through force, stealth or guile, you would gain an audience with its occupant, and from there bargains of power may be struck and unfathomable knowledge gained.

It was this knowledge, this power, that the Vampire Lord sought. For once, however, his was a reactionary stance. The Brotherhood were on the move, and not in response to anything the Vampire Lord had done. Curious, the Vampire Lord had sent his bats screeching into the night to circle far above the Brotherhood army, and learn what he could of their movements. They seemed to be circling, twisting back and forth, as if being pushed off course and then pulling themselves back again. This behaviour seemed odd, and for once the Vampire Lord himself could not explain it, so he turned to his necromancers for council. One of the more elder necromancers hummed to himself, and scurried over to the walls of the library. Down low on a floor level shelf he pulled out a rotting diary. It was from an adventurer called Clatrus, a former knight of Basilea who turned to adventuring after he became disenfranchised with the nation's lack of compassion for those outside its borders. He spoke of the nudging in his mind as his party moved through the lands around, and how once noticed, he actively fought the mental deflections to plot a course to the centre of the disturbance. At its heart they found a great ruined tower, tarnished with age, yet still imposing. Evening was near, so they made camp next to the tower in a small clearing in the lee of a hill. Taking first watch, Clatrus climbed the hill and turned his eyes outwards. Night fell and the moon rose. Sparse wildlife chittered and chased each other through the brush and undergrowth, set to the muffled backdrop of his camp's fire burning softly for a low warmth. After a few uneventful hours Clatrus walked back down the hill to call the next watch. When he got to the fire, however, he stopped cold, blood turning to ice in his veins. They were gone. The fire was there; footprints in the dust; horses tethered not far away. But his party were gone. He was no tracker, but the party's ranger had taught him enough to see that there was no obvious interloper, and that his party hadn't walked off. They were just gone.

The Vampire Lord recognised this type of tale, had heard of the entrance to the God Citadel, but the winding approach was new to him. Putting the tales together led to the obvious conclusion: the Brotherhood sought to enter the God Citadel and claim its power for themselves. This could not be allowed to occur.

With practised precision his army gathered, repetition making the necromantic chants, barked and growled orders, and mental commands almost superfluous.

Crossing the terrain in the direction of the Brotherhood, the Vampire Lord could feel the mental prodding, pushing, and slipping emanating from the citadel. Turning in to the pressure like a sailor tacking into the wind, he lead his force ever closer. Night was coming, and he knew he needed to be there before the moon rose, lest the Brotherhood gain the citadel uncontested.

Breaking through a small wood he came in sight of the citadel, its imposing form rising up in shadow into the dusk sky. On the other side of the citadel the Brotherhood were arrayed. Their fierce horses skittish in the presence of the citadel, yet their training held true and they did not turn.

Taking his pack of zombie werewolves with him, the Vampire Lord crept onto the left flank. His revenant cavalry and wights took the right, close to the tower. The centre was held by the mass of zombies and skeletons, chaff to take the brunt of a Brotherhood charge, while his revenant infantry provided some some heavier support.

In line with recent encounters, however, this one did not go as well as the Vampire Lord would have liked.

The Swain were ever a thorn in his side, so he sent the wraiths in to destroy them. But they failed to rout the feeble humans, and the cavalry came in to their rescue. The werewolves flew too far wide, and left themselves out of most of the battle.

The wights on the right flank exposed themselves too early to the pegasi and were cut down, with the revenant cavalry having to wheel and reform to hold the flank.

The centre slowly crumbled as what should have been a crushing three sided attack against the Brotherhood's centrepiece cavalry block failed like the wraiths failed, and there was no rout. This left the attacking skeletons and revenants with their flanks exposed. As the undead fell back, disordered, the moon rose. With its rising, the Brotherhood and all others in the centre of the battlefield faded from view. The undead caught in the moonlight were few, the Brotherhood many. They were now in the God Citadel, and its secrets would be the Brotherhood's to claim.

2000pts of my Undead against Matt's Brotherhood yet again. Matt's list was changed up a bit, mine was the same as previous. Dominate scenario, 12" radius in the centre needed to be held. This was the entrance to the God Citadel. Once more we took longer than we should, and had to get booted out when the store was closing. However we both agreed Matt was in an extremely dominant position and it would have taken a crazy amount of lucky rolling for me to be able to recover. I really need to start timing myself so I don't take so long.


  1. Great flavour-filled report! More please!

    1. Thanks! Click on "fiction" in the tags on the right. There's more!

    2. (You have to view the web version for the tags though)