The Eagles of Sigmar - Part 2

The story so far

Carnelian, Lord Celestant of the Eagles of Sigmar, has pursued his quarry Ahalyon the Infidel through a mysterious hole in the fabric of space. He awakes to find himself in a different age...

Carnelian's mind was dull and his senses were deadened except to the headache that split his mind into fragments.

Carnelian realised his connection to Sigmar was broken. He had felt this connection ever since being forged into Stormcast. The lack of it frightened him beyond reason. He was known amongst his brothers as one of the most faithful but it was a truth appreciated only by a few that the most zealous were usually those who doubted the hardest. Was this the moment that his warrior-god abandoned him?

The next thing he noticed, once he opened his eyes, was the blurry image of huge menhirs looming directly over him, their rough sides imprinted with glowing runes in a language Carnelian had never set eyes on before.

Once the rest of senses began to emerge through the pain, he became aware of the sounds of a viscious melee happening around him: the clash of steel on bone and the thud of blade into meat, a sound he was familiar with. He heard desperate screams accompanied by the braying of raging beasts and the gutteral war cries of both the dying and victorious.

Moving his head to look around intensified his headache but it afford him a better view of his surroundings. He was in the middle of a clearing in a deep forest, lying between two giant obelisks. The battle was clearly over, the victors now simply picking off the survivors. The forest floor was scattered with the broken and dying bodies of aelves, their wood green garments splattered with blood and gore. Striding amongst the casualties were huge warriors clad in red armour and runes that Carnelian immediately recognised as belonging to the blood god Khorne. With every step, each warrior brought his weapon down into the body of another writhing aelf with bezerk rage. The whole clearing stunk of death.

There was still limited resistance against the Khorne warriors from a few outliers at the edge of the clearing, where leaf cloaked aelves let loose their remaining arrows with pin-point precision, but it was clear from the number of Khorne warriors and the desperate sobs of the remaining aelves that the battle was lost and had been a disaster.

Fear gripped Carnelian, of a type that he had not known since becoming Stormcast. It was only a matter of moments before the Khorne warriors would reach him in the centre of clearing. He looked around, turning his neck gingerely, but saw no hope, only the furious face of an injured aelf who was using the obelisks to help himself to his feet. Carnelian met his eyes for a brief moment. The aelf's eyes blazed with anger and sorrow, his features twisted into a grotesque grimace. There was no lightness or sympathy here. If Carnelian died here, he doubted he would return to Sigmar, his beloved warrior-god.

A different sound began to mingle into the clearing now, a rattling and scraping of ancient armour and ancient bone that merged with the pitiful sounds of the dying. Through the dense dark trees emerged a sand-coloured band of skeletons, garbed in ancient armour and wielding weapons whose shields and blades shined even in the dappled forest gloom, At the front of the army was a skeleton as tall and wide as Carnelian himself, who was hefting a giant blade and wearing a head-dress that clearly set her out as their leader.

The new-comers formed a shield wall with their leader in the front rank, before they moved as one unit towards the obelisks, hacking and cutting at the Khorne warriors as they went. Their leader let out a deep and joyous laugh as she decapitated the blood warriors, expertly sweeping her great weapon through their ranks.

The Khorne warriors eagerly launched themselves into their new foe but each blow they landed gave them little satisfaction. Their blows would shatter bones but the undead were not perturbed and would carry on fighting, gripped by a will that would not let them die. The perverse rage that had previously gripped the Khorne warriors appeared to be dissipating when they realised that their new enemies would not spill blood.

The few remaining aelves continued to lose arrows into the blood warriors and the tide of battle appeared to be turning surprisingly quickly, The leader of the Khorne warriors barked a command to his followers who turned away from the skeletons and towards the remaining aelves. The aelves, sensing the impending danger melted away in the depths of the forest as if dissapearing into mist. Like a pack of hounds, the Khorne warriors barked and howled and sniffed the air. Their leader made a swift and violent movement with his arm and they followed him out of the clearing after the aelves, clearly bent on their utter destruction.

One by one the few remaining Khorne warriors in the clearing, those who were too slow to follow their leader's commands, were cut down by the remorseless undead.

The aelf next to Carnelian had lifted himself up to standing height next to the menhir, only for his leg to give way and to fall to the ground next to Carnelian, letting out a groan of pained frustration. Carnelian also let out a groan as he lifted himself into in a sitting position, next to the aelf. The aelf turned to Carnelian and hissed with hatred.

"That's it. That's the end. They'll hunt down every last one."

With the battle over, the skeleton leader turned to her warriors and without a word, they ranked up into a defensive formation before falling silent and as still as statues in a tomb. The leader then looked towards the menhirs and shouted towards Carnelian and the aelf:

"Some of you still live, you lucky bastards - it's been many centuries since I last enjoyed such a pleasure!"

She roared with laughter at her own joke as she strode confidently across the killing ground towards them.

"Those idiots didn't understand the power of this place. They're like a pack of damn dumb animals. Hah!"


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