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TVC - Chapter 39 - The Scribe

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Sweeney Todd

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Geralt's magical blast smashed the Reaper off balance just as Todd lunged in for the kill. Only its extremely quick reflexes saved it from being immediately decapitated by Sweeney Todd, and instead a razor carved a gash through its midsection. The wraith parried Todd's next two blows but they were merely a distraction for Geralt to strike from behind. Even as Moonfang neatly sheared off an entire arm the Reaper clubbed Geralt in the gut with the haft of its scythe, sending him reeling.

Todd threw himself back at the last moment as the Reaper reversed its now one-handed grip and struck skywards. Instead of bisecting Todd the blow grated against the mail shirt he wore under his vest with the sound of popping mail links. The Reaper moved forwards to press the advantage and Todd was forced to roll back to avoid the undoubtedly deadly kiss of the Reaper's scythe

Ectoplasmic tendrils snaked out from the Reaper's form to snare Todd's limbs just as he rose. As Todd struggled against the arcane binding that robbed him of his mobility, the Reaper cackled in triumph, a sound like the wind blowing through empty gallows. It loomed over Todd for the last time as it drew back its scythe for the finisher. Just then, a great gout of flame blasted the two apart, tearing through the tendrils trapping Todd and hence freeing him. The impact of the Sign of Igni fouled the spirit's killing blow and instead Todd escaped with a huge gash in his flank.

In the shadow of the dying flames an empty potion vial fell to the floor and shattered. Geralt suddenly convulsed as the alchemical concoction swept through his body. His world began to swirl with with a gray pallor as the Blizzard temporarily raised his reflexes to phenomenal levels. Together, Todd and Geralt charged the Reaper. Beset on two sides by combatants of such caliber the Reaper was quickly overcome and its immaterial form carved into pieces by Todd's razors and destroyed by the divine power of Moonfang.

Ignoring his own wounds, Todd gestured for Geralt to forward him as Todd began to head to where he last spotted the fellow Strigoi alongst the battlements. His claws would not be able to harm the spirit-assassin, and Todd felt somewhat obliged to help his own blood-kin.
 
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Peter roared with pure animalistic fury. He had not bled in over one hundred years. He charged forward and swung his sword at neck height. The Reaper blocked easily, but this was what Peter wanted. He swung his left fist and smashed the assassin in the face. Its jaw bone cracked off and spun away into the bushes. Peter stabbed the creature through the chestand it exploded in a shower of bone and magic.
 

Simon von Carstein

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The Wraith stared at Simon helpless without its scythe. It was then that Simon felt pain under his armour. At first he ignored it and approached the Wraith ready to finish it off once and for all. But the pain didn't go instead it increased until he could feel it all over his body. Examining his hand he noticed a cut appear on it followed by another and then another in rapid succession. The pain was rapidly becoming too much and in a panic Simon ripped off his hauberk only to find his clothes and body were also being affected by the invisible enemy. It was then that his spectral attendants appeared around him and he realised what was happening. Somehow the Reaper had turned his spectral attendants against him. What he had created to protect himself was being used by Nagash to flay him alive. Simon moved towards the Wraith only to find himself paralysed as parts of his flesh were sliced off his body almost to the bone. He fell to his knees as his former attendants surrounded him. In desperation he struck out with Animessor destroying several but he had killed too many people in his time and he knew he couldn't destroy all of them before he was just bone. "Not like this!!!!!!!!!!" he screamed in his mind unable to speak as his throat was shredded.
 

Gree

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The wraith floated up, it's blank, pitless eyes betraying no emotion. Another scythe shot out form it's robes and into it's hands as it prepared to swing. Then a swordblade protruded out from it's skull.

Mircea brought his sword down and cut the wraith in half. With a unearthly scream the wraith disappeared in a pall of black smoke. ''How intriguing'' he observed ''Nagash is really quite clever'' he remarked. With the death of the reaper Simon's spectral attendants seemed to have stopped, just as he thought. Without someone to control them they do nothing.

He looked at Akarin and Silbar. ''Well, what do you think you two are doing? Go help my brother'' he commanded.
 

Get of W'soran

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Silibar grinned
"What ever you say!" and strode over to Simon
Akarin merely bowed and did the same followed by his unnamed underling
As the three Assassins reached Simon they helped him to his feet
"Are you alright Master?" Akarin asked quietly
Silibar glanced of to the side
"Better hope the rest of these attackers die soon, Nagash probably won't wait too much longer"
 

Disciple of Nagash

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Suddenly the few Reaper's that still survived disappeared, leaving the vampires reeling from the surprise assault. They had not come off entirely unharmed, for whilst the lords had survived many of the thralls had fallen to wayward blows when they had attempted to protect their lords.

Suddenly a horn blew fitfully from one of the sentry posts, followed quickly by others across the line. The relief guard had arrived to find every sentry that had been on duty slaughtered, leaving no one to watch the approach from the south. Though the attack from Reaper's had lasted barely an hour, in that time the Dreadlord's had been busy. Before the Council's army nothing could been seen, a thick dark fog obscuring everything within. From it though sounds could be heard, the clash of armour, the tramping of thousands of feet, and none were in any doubt that hidden within were the legions of Nagash.

As the alarm spread captains began bellowing commands or willing the troops under their command into line. From their positions the few catapults and cannons the Council had prepared themselves. Suddenly a shriek ripped through the air followed by a gust of wind that buffeted against the the vampires. It lasted barely a second, not seemingly strong enough to do any damage. It was only when a cruel laughter filled the air followed by a rain of body parts that they realised the a full two thirds of the warmachine's crews had disappeared.

As the fog parted the Dreadlords prepared to do battle.....
 
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Northward they go, though not even the Warboss leading them knows its north they go. Just that the enemy he seeks is that direction. The first of many who will pay in the name of Da Godz.

“Yaz boyz betta get yaz feetsez movin!” the huge vampiric Orc bellows at his shambling Zomboyz, having no idea they are actually dead. “Da boyz jus’ dun seem demselfs no more.” He states to a shaman next to him. Shamans draw their power from da WAAAGH! Which in Args vicinity has been changed, altered, making the Shaman into more of a necromancer.. But it works out to the same thing. The small goblin shrugs his tiny shoulders and doesn’t say anything, the clever creature knowing full well what is going on, but using the more linear thought processes of his larger master to his own advantage, as the goblins are want to do. He just has to figure out how to do it.

For days the Shamblin WAAAGH! Has marched north, picking up more Zomboyz along the way. Fallen Black Orcs join as wights and form a powerful backbone to the otherwise especially dimwitted Orcish force, quelling the animosity that seeps through even in death to the Zomboyz.

Most of the new troops are picked up from the Orcs that have been killed by Nagash’s legions as they traveled north.. but some because they interfeared with Arg. Three Warbosses tried to defeat him, and all three are now in his own army on the backs of skeletal boars, their boyz now part of Args force.

Anger fills the Vampiric Warboss to his core, all Orcs felt the massacre and Da Godz decreed that the ones responsible must pay. Thousands upon thousands of Orcs destroyed in short order, lured to a place and massacred. The act reverberated through the Great Green, making even Orcs across the oceans take notice.

Arg is the spear of Da Godz, granted the right to fight even after falling in battle, to Krump after being Krumped, the Warboss now leads a WAAAGH! of his own.. Skeletal Goblins on the backs of Dire Wolves, Zomboys and Black Orc Wights. Arg even spread his curse to a group of snotlings, which now fly around the army in knots, taking the place of bat swarms.

Arg himself rides in a huge, crude chariot, pulled by a team of skeletal boars. Once a boar chariot it’s now acting as Bloodymaw’s own Black Coach, and the huge axe wielding beast directs his army from it.
“Da furst fing we’ze do iz smash da big bosses. Den we’ze go to da big black fing wot sticks up outa da ground and smash dat Naggy git wot iz dere Warboss. Da Godz want dem oll ta pay. Orcs iz fer fightin, dey’s not fer ‘im ta use.” The necromancer riding with him nods, but says nothing, knowing he has his own work cut out for him, for other shamans will need to be converted before they reach their goal. Of course.. That probably won’t prove to hard with the ferocious power of an Orc Vampire at his disposal.
 

Simon von Carstein

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Simon stood among Akarin's assassins a terrifying spectre skeletal with what was left of his flesh slowly growing back. He picked up his hauberk where he had discarded it and put it back on. "I am fine Akarin." he said as the flesh on his face slowly regrew. "All troops are to report to the front at once!"
 

Gree

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Mircea regarded the situation coldly. He walked out of the command tent, kicking aside a severed leg as he did so. ''I see the situation is grim'' he remarked, taking in the entire enemy army.

''Well no matter'' he strode forward. ''We will deploy in a defensive formation as soon as possible, and since me Brother has appointed me commander of these combined armies, I will be taking command''

His red eyes shifted to look at the Duke and Victarias. ''And I will tolerate no dissent on the eve of battle''
 
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Peter breathed a sigh of releif. But as the dust of the Reaper settled, signal horns blew out all along the lines. Peter sprinted back towards the fortifications and took his place on the walls. His army stood still, waiting for the approaching army of Nagash.

The fog in front of the walls was full of the sound of marching, but no army could be seen. Suddenly the fog lifted, and the huge horde was visible to all those stationed on the wall.
 
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Jason looked outwards form the wall, a small distance away form peter the horde of zombies swarmed over the field as the fog cleared lurching forward towards Jason. Spirits poured over the field as the approaching horde and Jason’s own army battled them ethereal blades and talons slashed at the dark life essence which propelled the creatures forward. larger creatures appearing through the clearing fog there hulking forms silhouetting fearsome creatures as the battle began.

Jason let fly bolts of ebon lighting form his hand, the creature leaped forward with a great bound of its hind legs towards Jason stopping infront of him. Its hide was stitched together form the skin of perhaps thirty ghouls, which in some parts hung as flaps of leathery skin. Its talons capped with steel claws, Its gazed around and then shifted to Jason, it leaped threw the air talon outstretched preparing for the bloody kill.
 
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Along the wall, a huge undead construct launched itself at Jason. Peter ran along the wall, leaving his vampire bodyguards to comand his army. He lept at the giant ghoul, and caught it mid air with his blade. The creature landed in a heap, but was soon back on its feet. Peter had only caught it across its giant lanky arm.

The beast loped towards the vampire. Peter let off a spell at the giant ghoul, and burnt a crater in its shoulder. The creature howled and continued its charge.

"OK Jason, time to return the favour," yelled Peter as he parried the things iron claws.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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As his form pulled back together the Innocence looked down from his viewpoint. He was stood on a large boulder next to the steep mountainside and before him the two vast armies faced one another. The Councils stood behind the scant defences they had managed to construct, old half crumbled walls from a long gone town that once was here, the ditches that they had barely managed to build in time. Yet they seemed almost nothing more than a gesture compared to the power arrayed against them.

From the rear of the Dreadlord’s army a squat black back pyramid spiralled up into the air on a bed of swirling mist, though it was twice the size of a man and many times heavier it moved as if it was weightless. It began to turn faster and faster until it was a spinning blur in the air, and through his mage sight he could see the tendrils of dark magic that the enchanted object irresistibly drew inwards. Suddenly it stopped and from it erupted a surge of necromantic power that rivalled that of any master wizard. The spell must have come to a surprise to the Council as no dispel attempted was attempted, at least not one he could see.

As the globe of power expanded and then disappeared it seemed that nothing had happened. That was until that thousands of dead that formed the majority of the army suddenly seemed to stand straighter, any damage that they had suffered to their bodies either from their long time in the earth or the hard march north healed. Suddenly from the ground mounds of dirt burst upwards, followed swiftly by bone limbs that clawed at the air. The power of the pyramid had also summoned the few dead that had lain deep down in the earth for thousands of years. Dirty and barely recognisable they took their place beside white shining bones of their brethren.

The rest of the army had not been lax during this time, for at the rear large contraptions made of bone and sinew were now ready, their deadly ammunition of ensorcelled bones ready to fire. Finally the Dreadlord’s were ready to attack and the Innocence saw his brethren side forward, stopping just outside the range of the Council’s missiles weapons. Bursting apart into a plume of black mist once more he streamed down towards them, re-materialising next to them. It was time to deliver the ultimatum.

****************************************

As the alarms sounded Lesa had bid Jason good luck before racing to where Rayla and her dragon lay. The massive beast had remained at the rear of the army, its curled form further the impression it was nothing more than a small hill. This had been intentional, to ensure that it caused the maximum shock when it roared into battle. Even with her speed it took her longer than she would have liked, and for a moment she was tempted to use her ring again. She quashed the thought aside, considering who had given it to her it just seemed wrong to use it now.

Just as she reached the foot of the dragon she felt the current so magic stir behind her and she glanced back. Even with her vampiric sight she could not make out what was happening at this distance, but as she switched to her magesight it became clear that something was drawing in a massive amount of power. At this distance she was powerless to intervene as the inevitable spell was cast, and she prayed that whatever the spell was had failed.

Minutes later she reached the top of the dragon’s humped back to find Rayla watching nervously. As she saw her mistress approach relief crossed her face,
“I was beginning to worry” she said, briefly hugging her, “I saw those spirits attacking, but you ordered me to remain here……..”
“You did right,” Lesa interrupted, “there would have been nothing you could have done against those creatures. Once nearly killed me and more than a few of the thralls are dead.” Gesturing over to the enemies army in the distance looked questioningly at the spyglass in her get’s hand.
“Did you see what was casted?” Rayla nodded in return,
“A summoning spell, and a powerful one. I have never seen one necromantic spell summon so many. Large summoning of our kind is normally the incantation repeatedly looped, but this was just one casting……”
“No doubt an example of Nagash’s power,” Lesa murmured as she took the spyglass. Lifting it to her eye she now finally managed to see what they faced, and as she watched the robed figures of the Dreadlord’s appeared at the forefront of the army.
“It seems they have something to say,” she said wonderingly, “though somehow I doubt it is an offer of mercy.”
 

Simon von Carstein

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"My lord! The Dreadlords approach possibly under a flay of parlay." said Akarin watching the scene. Simon joined him fully healed "They want to talk do they." he murmured to himself "See to our forces Mircea and be ready." he ordered. Moving forward he climbed up on to the nearest fortification "So you've had enough have you." he shouted to the Dreadlords "I can't say I blame you. Very well! Tell your forces to throw down their weapons including yourselves and I will see that you're well treated as prisoners of war. He turned away for a second and then as if remembering something he turned back and said "The same goes for your misguided master but first he has to hand over all his reseaches made over the centuries and acknowledge the dominance of the von Carsteins."
 

MasterSpark

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Helena watched with scant anticipation as Count Simon made his statement to the approaching Dreadlords, quite certain what the reply would be. Spirit-soldiers stood in guard all around her as she sat in her ornate wooden seat with Ashlotte by her side. The storm would be upon them any moment now and she hoped that the Council would have the fortitude to last the ride.
 

Get of W'soran

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The Sentence Cackled madly and raising a shriviled hand pointed straight at Simon
"The little count is mine!" he announced gleefully
Turning he gazed coldly at the other Dreadlords all expressions of joy gone as if challenging them to say different.
________________________________________________
Karl strode forward small wounds still on his body from the fight with the reaper although he once again stood straight and proud.
With a sneer he glanced at the forces of Nagash
"Perhaps if you surrender then we, The von Carstein family, may spare your lives" he stated in his usual icy aristrocratic tones.
Behind the Baron the Blood Dragon Marc stood covered in serious injuries but apparently not feeling them as he stood behind his lord.
 

Onikaigo

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There is something to be said for being in the shadows. Niklaus was not troubled by the Wraiths at all.

Coming out of his deep reverie, Niklaus smells blood. Faint, while the clash of arms is much more a beacon to his inaction.

Growling, he speaks only one phrase to Peter, hastening to his side.

I come.

Sprinting into the parapet, he launches himself along the wall, over the bodies of several re-dead guards to come upon Peter and the others at the front bastion, seeing Peter locked in combat with a large undead beast.

Roaring, not giving a thought for his own safety, he throws himself at the larger creature, latching onto its back as it was busy striking at his Liege Lord. His claws dig in deep, and the crack of breaking bones and flesh parting at his talons tips falls about him like a putrid rain. Gripping like a leech, Niklaus focuses on digging deeper and deeper into the beast, looking for Tendons and bones to break to make the Necromantic energies useless.

Peter should find himself with a bit more free time, as of now. Its attentions should be entirely on removing the Vampire from its back.
 
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Jason examined the creature as Peter fought against it as Niklaus dug deep into its flesh and leaped of the creature attracting its attention away from Peter. He lunged forward as he drew his long enchanted blade form his cloak, leaping over its thrashing mawl stabbing the long sword into the beasts back. It shifted focus and thrashed at Jason, its arms unable to ensnare the vampire as he clutched his sword.

Power flowed into the runes and enchantments in the blade it shone with a milky purple, as runes covered the creature, shifting and surging from the gash between its shoulder blades. It thrashed furiously as peter lunged his own blade into its lower jaw. Ebon runes glowed with a dark purple as Jason’s spell coursed through the creature, it thrashed at Jason the runes spitting foul smelling smoke. Until it shook Jason off the blade still sunk into its rotting flesh.

As Jason landed elegantly upon the ground seeing the seizing creature, battling the magic coursing through it he looked on face void of emotion as his enchantment set in, burning its skin to a char.
 
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Peter dusted himself down as Niklaus finished off the charred creature.

"Thank-you Jason. That was an impressive spell. I think I will stick close to you in the coming battle," laughed Peter, extendin his hand to the dark cloaked figure. Peter knew that they all had to stick together in the next few hours, because if they were seperated, the Dreadlords and their forces would drag them down one by one. He just hoped that Jason thought this too.

And he prayed that Jason and Niklaus could prevent themselves tearing each others throats out for a little while.
 
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“Load dis up on da back uf me Big Squig.” The huge vampiric warboss tells his necromancer underling. The goblin nods and turns back to his small but growing cabal of followers. They’d picked up several more on the way as well as many more dead Orcs and now this.

For what the Bloodymaw told them to load up is a large, stone Effigy to the Orc god Gork.. or is it Mork? Either way, it’s a powerful symbol of Greenskin might, and a conduit through which a great deal of WAAAGH! energy can be transmitted. The ground shakes and shudders then, as the big squig that was mentioned is brought up.

Enormous in the extreme, and somewhat resembling one of the Dark Elves Cold ones, the huge fungal creature lumbers forward, directed by living goblins well versed in controlling them. Though they are hardly needed for this, as the creature has taken a liking to the warboss and generally does what he says, the herders do keep the Big Squig from eating the rest of the army.

“Ah, dere yaz iz Big Squig. Dere.. sit!” the huge creature sits down on its haunches, ferocious eyes looking at the warboss, fungal scales glistening in the moonlight. “Good Big Squig. ‘erez yer treat. “ The Warboss grabs one of the squig herders, who immediately begins screaming, and easily tosses it into the huge monsters mouth. The beast devourers the herder in a single bite and licks its fangs with a huge slavering tongue. “Nowz be good Big Squig an’ let dem strap da Effergy on yaz back an’ yaz ken ‘ave anudder treat!” The warboss pats the Squiggoth on the snout and turns to remount his Black Boar Coach and continue leading his WAAAGH! Northward, knifing towards the rear of the Dreadlords army.
 

Disciple of Nagash

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After Mircea’s comment the Duke had done nothing but give him a baleful stare. He did not take such a tone lightly, and if the Carstein tried again to speak to him as if he was a mere thrall, he would show him how mistaken he was. He respected that he was working together with the Council, and the overall command have been given to Mircea, abut he would have respect.

Hearing the horn blares of his own troops he moved of towards them , striding by the fortifications on his way to see that they faced. He was not surprised to see what they faced, nor was he daunted. His line lived to fight, and before him were some of the deadliest creatures to exist. Either he would come out of this stronger than before, or die trying. Halfway to his destination a group of red armoured warriors rode up, dragging their steeds to a halt as they saw their lord.
“My liege,” the Kastellan of the group bowed his head, “we came looking as soon as those spirits attacked, but we could not find you. The failure-“
“Is no ones.” The Duke interrupted bluntly, “I do not need babysitting.” Behind the group he could see they had brought his warhorse and the knights parted as he approached, rubbing the horse’s long nose. It showed no fear at the situation, waiting patiently for its master to mount before snorting as if in anticipation.

Hearing Simon’s voice bellowing behind him the Duke turned round to see that the Dreadlord’s had come forward, though he doubted it was to parlay. Pushing his steed forward it climbed up a nearby hillock to look down at the scene below.
“Send a rider,” the Duke ordered whilst he watched, “this may be nothing more than a distraction. The first surprise almost got many of us killed, it will not happen again. Tell them to watch the shadows,” One of the knights bowed his head before galloping off as the Duke watched the scene unfold in front of him.

********************************

As Simon's words echoed over to the Dreadlords the Innocence shook his head. Such arrogance.

"Such grandiose words from a little creature," the Executioner returned, his deep and powerful voice making Simon sound like a insolent child. "It may please you to mock, but all you do is further the torment you will suffer." He paused before looking over the Council that were arrayed against them.

"I offer you no mercy. I simply come to tell you that you will be destroyed this day, that you will be the first to be crushed under the heal of our dark lord." Though the words seemed absurd none of the Council laughed, for it was said with such certainty that it was as if it had already happened. There would be no room for retreat or surrender here, the Council would have to either destroy the terrible foe that faced them or be crushed into nothing.

"Now"

The word boomed as the Executioner gave the command to attack. Immediately there was a hissing sound as massive bolts fashioned out giants bones scythed through the air from the rear of whilst at the front the hordes of dead surged forward, supported by the fanatical Nagashi. A grim smile on his face the Innocence streamed upwards, ready to deal death to any that stood in his way.
 

Gree

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Mircea observed the attack, noting the dispositions of the enemy troops. This was not the best ground he would have chosen nor the best situation he would have chosen, but he would have to make do.

A rider came up to him, reporting from the duke.

''I see'' murmered Mircea, snapping his fingers, as ranks of Drakenhof Guard formed about him, making a shield of rotting flesh and armor to protect him from any more attacks. He was still quite a ways from the front line, but it paid to protect oneself.

''Go tell the Duke to watch the flanks'' he instructed the rider. ''the greatest danger here is being surrounded and outflanked by the eniemes greater numbers''
 

Get of W'soran

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Akarin moved from the now fully healed count to stand beside the Marshal, leaving Silibar and the other cloaked assassin with Simon.
"I'm no General my Lord but it would appear that their army is quite formidable" his gaze stopped at the Dreadlords
"But how good is its commanders?"
____________________________________________________________________

Sentence sneered at the army of the council
"Pathetic children think they can challenge the might of Great Nagash"
Casting his gaze over their own forces he smirked, they where fools, rebelling against their very nature. They should embrace their inner powers as the children of W'soran had done...and became great beyond any other.
A cold and pleased smiled ran along the Sentence's withered features and with a surge of necromantic power he signalled the advance of a few troops, but then turned his attention away to scanning over the council members.
The Battle is inconseqential...or victory is assured he thought smugly
 

Arion

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Maatmeses only had to wait a moment before the Nagashi caught up to the Dreadlords, before pounding over the ground with a cohort behind her. She followed slightly to the left of the Executioner.
"For old Lahmia..."
A cloying haze set over the section of the councils army in front of her. Those under the control of the more powerful vampires didn't notice, but soon infighting broke out as more weakly controlled dead began hacking and grinding against their former allies. She slammed into this confusion, the Nagashi behind her cutting down the clumsy undead as spears of bone and great skulls rained down from both sides, creating a perculiar game of dodging.
 

Onikaigo

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Niklaus disengages from the rotting hulk, landing with an agile air next to Peter von Krahe and looking at Jason with a toothy and somewhat hostile grin. There will always be time after the battle, to raise this many corpses must have drank the land dry, so will all of the vampires be needed after this battle, or is that when the treason starts?

Niklaus ignores Jason for now, moving past him to the front of the wall, looking to the advancing horde, and more importantly, the Dreadlords in front of the walls. To his red tinted eyes the Dreadlords are simply what their name implies; the wielders of massive power, both magical and physical. His Grin disappears to become something much more feral, as with the show of power comes the desire to overcome it.

Turning his head to Peter, he sits back on his haunches as arrows and bolts begin to fly.

Where is our battle station, Peter von Krahe? It has begun.

Now pray to the Dark Gods that they live through this day.
 
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