Monday, 29 April 2013

Savage Orcs vs Skaven: Challenging Times

"Rats," spat Bonekrunk Stonesplitter.

"Wot's da matter?" asked Ramgut, eyeing his warboss for a sign of weakness.

"Rats," Bonekrunk pointed to the far end of the cavern. Two regiments of Skaven had emerged from the side tunnels of the Gazarkhame, almost as if they had been waiting for them.

One of the units was unusually well-ordered and clad in good armour, more like 'ooman soldiers than ratmen. Lumbering out before both troops was a disgusting mass of warped flesh - an Abomination from the dreaded Hell Pit.

"Scared, boss?" Shaman Ramgut was wondering if, once again, he would need to take charge of the Waaagh!

"Stoopid runt!" Bonekrunk clouted the shaman accross the head. "I ain't scared a' no squeaky warpstone-chewers! Now git over to Da Brave 'Arts and hold da flank. I'm taking da lads down the middle."

Bonekrunk was as good as his word. Shaking off the blasts of fire and magic, he smashed the Big Uns into the Hell Pit Abomination, joined by the Giant and the chariot. the creature was hacked to pieces by the stone axes of Da Bone 'Eads, though not before it had dragged the unfortunate giant down into hell with it.

From the carcass of the dead abomination sprang swarms of vicious rats. The chariot sped forward, crushing the creatures under its wheels, but coming to face the Skaven warlock. With a crackle of warpstone, the war machine burst into pieces, the boars ran wild and the crew left the battle to round them up.

Feeling that the Skaven should not be the only magical show-off on the field, Ramgut called the power of Gork upon himself. He felt himself filling up with Waaagh! energy, expanding and distorting his body until his fists had grown into a pair of massive gristle-pounders, ready for the crushing.

With a cry of, "Get 'em, lads", Ramgut led Da Brave 'Arts into the unit of Clanrats that were guarding the flank. The orcs' frenzied assault, augmented by Ramgut's fists of Gork, made short work of the ratmen and their foes were soon run into the ground.

As he idly stamped the Skaven musician into the dust, Ramgut looked to his right and saw that Bonekrunk had charged into combat against the main Skaven unit. It was then that he spotted the back-banner of the Skaven general. The row of neatly several heads and flensed skulls left him in no doubt: it was Queek Head-Taker, famed killer of the undertunnels and invincible in single combat.

Though he felt no fear when the battle-rage was upon up, Ramgut took a sharp breath. He rubbed his massively outsized hands together pensively as he watched the elite Stormvermin and the Savage Big 'Uns hack away at each other. Surely, he thought, even Bonekrunk wouldn't be stupid enough to accept Queek's challenge.

A shrill cry of verminous triumph gave Ramgut his answer. The Big 'Uns had been deprived of their warboss and the ratman were surging against them. Even with the frenzy beaten out of them, the orcs held their nerve: Da Bone 'Eads were going to stick this out and avenge their fallen boss.

And then the Skaven attack stalled. Queek was too busy arranging his latest trophy on his back-banner to make any attacks, and the Stormvermin's halberds failed against the Big 'Uns warpaint. The ratmen's nerve failed them and the regiment broke from combat, speeding away from their pursuers.

"Get moving, lads!" Ramgut shouted at Da Brave 'Arts. Queek's sudden and characteristic act of cowardice was a stroke of good fortune, but Da Bone 'Eads weren't going to beat them without help.

The Big 'Uns hurled themselves back into combat, and Ramgut found that his lads had arrived on the flank of the Stormvermin. He pumped together his magical fists, signalling the charge. Those dirty rats wouldn't know what had hit them...

(Author's note: after a back-and-forth battle, with a big unit of infantry perfectly placed for a flank charge on the main contest, I had every reason to be confident, and uttered the immortal words: "Only a failed Animosity test can stop me now." I leave the rest to your imagination.)

"Oi! Wot's going on?" Ramgut stopped his charge and turned around to see that none of his mob were following him. Da Brave 'Arts were all busily reapplying their warpaint. "Extra bit of slap, boss," said Bunka. "Us needs all the 'elp we can get - it looks dangerous in there!"

Looking back at the combat, Ramgut saw that Da Bone 'Eads were still holding back the ratmen, smashing their rock hammers into Queek until his trophy rack was torn from his back.

"Get movin', yer bunch of tarts!" Ramgut shouted, and Da Brave 'Arts finally obeyed, added their weight to the combat and sending the Stormvermin scurrying away. The savages chased after them, running down a Skaven weapon team, just for good measure.

Most of the orc tribe were lying on the cavern floor, broken and bloodied, and only the Skaven warlock left alive from their foes, shrieking at them in his foul chittering. Bunka fished around the rubble of battle field and picked up Queek's trophy rack. Fresh on top of it was the severed head of Bonekrunk Stonesplitter.

"Good work, lads," the disembodied warboss grunted. That was testing out me delly-gation and you all done well. Now find me body and sew me 'ead back on."

In exasperation at the stupidity of their war chief, Ramgut slapped his palm against his face. Then it occurred that he still had the Fists of Gork augmenting his strength, and he remembered nothing more.

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