The Four Strands Modeling, Painting, Gaming and Storytelling

Big Game V – Chapter Sixty: Disappointment

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Lord Gorath pivoted on his spidery legs and allowed the Warlock's blade to become wedged in his shoulder guard. The Warsmith had smashed aside the warlocks Wraithguard constructs with contemptible ease, but their master had proven elusive. Gorath smiled grimly under his demon helm as the warlock desperately tried to free his weapon. As he tugged on the delicate blade, Gorath stepped forward and backhanded the Eldar seer sending him stumbling. With his opponent open Gorath brought the Soul Hammer down upon his foes skull, shattering it, before following through to obliterate the eldar soul stone, thus allowing the demon within the hammers’ head to feed on the Warlock's soul for eternity.

The lord of the 9th Grand Company of the Iron Warriors growled to himself as he turned away from the gory remains, “This is taking too long.”

Firing his bolter impotently down the street at distant shadows he surveyed the scene. His spearhead had been severely blunted by the stubborn resistance of the 401st Cadian Guard Regiment and though his troops had slaughtered whole platoons pockets of resistance still remained. The Eldar diversion had been just that, but it had almost cost him his ascension as their wraith cannons had torn through his Land Raider like paper. Even now their cursed transport was trying to extricate its self from his troops.

Displaced air heralded a new arrival to Gorath’s quadrant of the battlefield. Landing near his master Tuefel folded his wings behind him and kneeled.

“Warsmith”

“Tuefel” Grated the ancient warrior, “I see you’ve begun to ascend.”

“Indeed my lord, these leathery gifts,” Tuefel said, motioning to his wings “were only granted to me just prior to my forces landing on this rock. While I am not usually partial to mutation they have proven quite…useful” Tuefel smirked.

“What of your forces?”

“That, my liege,” Tuefel spat bitterly, “is another matter entirely.”

Gorath’s great tusked head nodded slowly. “I share your…disappointment in our brethren’s performance this day, Tuefel. What of the blade, my Champion?”

“Yes…” Tuefel turned away, knowing his master’s wrath was close. “Our…sources inside of the Sicarii’s Mechanicus sect have gone silent. I fear we have been detected.”

As Tuefel was speaking a nearby explosion, signaling the death of the Eldar Wave serpent, briefly drowned him out.

Gorath’s mood was inscrutable under the heavy helm of his Terminator armor, but the Chaos Lord simply continued to nod. “Indeed, it would seem that such matters have been rendered meaningless. The Warp no longer speaks to me of the blade. That fool Esarhaddon has lost for us the most potent weapon of Chaos.”

Tuefel remained motionless, astounded by his Lord’s words. What else had the Immaterium whispered to him?

“You will withdraw your troops from the Northern sector and rendezvous with the transports of the Black Morass.” Gorath’s voice held an unaccustomed calm to it. Tufel merely nodded, still reeling. “My troops here will cover your withdrawal until it is done and then they too shall join you. You will do your utmost to retrieve our damaged war machines and you may use your discretion when salvaging Imperial hardware. These are your orders, do this quickly and do not fail me” Gorath warned.

“Warsmith,” Tuefel asked having risen to receive his orders, “what is your own course?”

“My schemes are my own youngling” blazed Gorath, “you would do well to remember that. Something has turned the tide here and I intend to find out what. Now leave me.”

“Iron within” shouted Tuefel, slamming his gauntlet against his breast plate.

“Iron without” answered Gorath, mirroring the gesture and dismissing his subordinate.

Yes, something had gone terrible wrong for the Alliance, and Gorath vowed to ferret out what it was. “Esharradon” Gorath growled to himself, “Whatever your plan was it has failed, but what you have wrought upon the face of history today is irrelevant. You have taken something that I seek, and recompense must be paid. I will have my due, Word Bearer, even if I must take it from the flesh of you and yours.”

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