But already the next phase of her transformation was underway.
The Chaos Dwarf Wizard had only just joined her warband. She thought him funny looking with his bull like head, but he just looked on inquisitively as Helga began polymorphing once again. The world seemed to swirl about her, whilst the itching intensified around her chin and nostrils... perhaps she would be transformed into an image of her loyal fighting ratmen!
Lavisicious the dwarf looked on as Helga transformed faster and faster. Huge white ears popped from her head, beady pink eyes glowed as white hair grew unnaturally fast. Whiskers and teeth finished off her transformation. Suddenly Helga the fearsome champion had been transformed into a dull witted, white rabbit! She ambled about eating grass and dandelion leaves. It was time for Lavisicious to take command.
"Follow me" he growled. The skaven scampered after him. The monstrosity that was Helga half followed, half stumbled after them.
A small party of pathetic humans had joined the warband by the time they spied the forces of Nurgle across the clearing. The humans had all passed the perversion tests easily, but now it was time to test their mettle against the slimey pus covered beastman, that stood between Lavisicious and immortality...
This is Justin's warband (you can see more on his blog): http://themasterworkguild.blogspot.co.uk/. a great selection of Oldhammer miniatures, beautifully painted and with a lovely conversion for the Champion and the Spawn.
Istan Nnarth felt blessed. He felt his belly bulging and writhing beneath his leather jerkin; wiped his finger through the moist wounds oozing the sweet, putrid smelling liquids which dripped into his breeches. But not all was perfect. Istan was on a mission; he was searching for a helmet. This was not an easy task though as Istan had been blessed with a huge head and Istan desperately wanted to protect it from any harm in future battles. So he had decided that it would have to hunt down a helmeted Ogre, if only he could find such a beast to slay in battle.... (these rambling visions were becoming more and more frequent and Istan seemed to lose track of time and would disappear from everything around him - almost as if he was disappearing to another plane).
Following his lead (but not knowing Istan's self-imposed mission) were six beastmen. Driven purely by the excitement of a looming battle and the hope of pleasing their God, these brutes were in awe of Istan and hoped that he could lead them to further glory and damnation. Perhaps they could even be further blessed with more disease and boils to spread amongst their foes.
Istan's distant thoughts were once again disturbed, this time by the loud chanting and wailing of the two cultists who had followed him after a recent skirmish at a small village; and he groggily returned to reality and his immediate surroundings. If they weren't shouting out all the pleasurable diseases that they knew, then they were grovelling up to Istan, desperate to know what they could do to please him, and in turn their God. Mostly Istan wanted to be left alone, but he knew that he might just need their help if he was to secure his treasured helmet. Besides, he felt the eye of Nurgle upon him and he did not want to displease his God by not showing willing. He embraced his cultists and they licked the goo which he had deposited onto their clothing.
It was only his friend Caldon the Ruste, that he truly trusted. Although a thug by nature, Caldon was loyal and would always do Istan's bidding, whatever the task. A manic fighter in combat, but strangely scared of the sight of blood, Caldon often believed he was a warrior, not just a lowly thug. Istan also knew that Caldon's armour hid his leprous and decaying skin which also kept his guts
from falling out all over the place; Istan could smell the familiar putrid scent and felt comfortable and back in the mortal realm again.
Across the field Istan could see the glimmer of steel and some scurrying shapes, it did not look like a friendly greeting would ensue. His warband stopped on his command. From above, a shadow flickered across the landscape and all immediately brandished their weapons, senses alert and coiled, ready for action. A terrible winged creature descended and landed not twenty feet from where they stood, it emited a gurgling squawk and turned to face them, beckoning. The mutated harpy, with the face and body of a beautiful plaguebearer, knelt down in subservience and quietly described how he had sensed a magic item that he knew to be in the vicinity of a building on the horizon. Istan hoped beyond hope that it may just be that helmet he craved...
|Istan has the Mark of Nurgle (+1 T), Huge Head (+1 FP) and I then rolled Involuntary Temporal Instability. For his equipment he has an axe, shield and light armour|
|These two are led by a Chaos Thug, who has recieved two Chaos Attributes, in this case Manic Fighter and Fear of Blood!|
|5 Beastmen of Nurgle|
|The Nurgle warband|
|The new harpy addition|
The battle was a vague and slightly distant memory, Istan Nnarth had surveyed most of the events from his private hazy realm which oversaw the battlefield but only at one point did he feel really involved and hear the clatter of sword on shield or the pained shrieks of the fallen. (My champion suffered from temporal instability for all but one of the turns - for D6 turns on the roll of a 6 he rolled a 6 two of the three times!) He felt blessed by Nurgle that he had been protected from the fray in this way, but also frustrated that he hadn't had the opportunity to wield his axe. But most of his frustration was borne from the disappointment with the magic sword that Caldon the Ruste had discovered in the cottage, it wasn't the helmet which he craved. He had sent Caldon off to look for the promised magic item and as usual Caldon had been successful, returning with the loot at the end of the battle. With the treasure being a sword and not a helmet, Istan had allowed Caldon to keep the sword for himself.
The battle. Istan remembered it from afar. The odd creature menacingly patrolling the back of the battlefield. The bloated Slaaneshi Skaven taking a thundering charge from the bellowing beastmen. The initial melee was quite brief, one beastman fell to his numerous wounds (I forgot how awesome two wound beastmen are) whilst the Skaven casulaties were enough to make them flee, very slowly, from the rampaging beastmen. (The Skaven's reduced movement, due to them having a fat chaos attribute meant they could not escape from the pursuing beastmen, so there were lots of free hacks). The Nurgle harpy flew unconventionally over the battlefield looking to pick off weak prey and directing the warband to the treasure (the flying rules are impossible to understand - so we completely fudged them and the harpy saw no action!)
Caldon and his Cultists followed the harpy to the abandoned cottage and discovered the magic sword in a locked chest; Caldon smashed his mace against the lock to open it and raised the sword aloft, he could feel the magic pulsing down his sword arm. On leaving the building, Caldon was greeted by the Slaaneshi champion, incanting a spell which made one of the Cultists completely mindless. Caldon led the rest of his followers into a charge against the sorcerer, knocking him down a brief but brutal assault, the words of the spell still echoing in the valley.
At this point Istan returned to the din of the battle and advanced forward, but the Slaaneshi minions had had enough and retreated back into the forest to lick their wounds. Istan's warband converged in the clearing, bragging of their feats and comparing their glorious, oozing wounds. Two new beastmen advanced from the depths of the forest, having watched the battle and deciding to join the Nurgle legions by proffering a new totem made from the infected remains of the slain enemy. Istan himself felt the warm and affectionate attention of Papa Nurgle upon him; his belly wound glistened and excreted a new acidic like substance and the start of a tail protruded through the tattered, rusting chainmail. All was good, but Istan had the distinct impression that he had not seen the last of this Slaaneshi warband. He must find that helmet before another battle ensued...
Lavisicious ordered his troops forward to the edge of the clearing. He looked back at his Skaven bodyguard. Even since this morning they had grown slovenly and fat. No sign of Nurgles rot yet, but still he wouldn’t be able to use them as scouts today. They struggled to keep up with even his own short dwarven legs. Across the other side of the clearing the disturbing visage of a large unit of corpulent and pustulent beastmen approached. He thought he could smell the whiff of decay about them. Lavisicious mentally flexed the magical energies of his spells in this mind, eager to test his battle magic against his disease ridden enemies.
My Chaos Dwarf Champion was a 5th level wizard. I made a mistake, not realising that I should have taken the Slaanesh spell ‘Acquiescence’. Instead I just rolled 3 times on the Battlemagic list, gaining Lightning Bolt, Steal Mind and Wind Blast. I managed to roll two Dominate Attributes for my skaven unit! Weapon Master (+1 WS) and Enormously Fat (Movement rate halved to just 2 inches!) which severely hampered their ability to charge and gain the vital combat bonus!
Laviscious ordered his battle line forward into the clearing. The Skaven unit hauled themselves forward and the humans seemed to sprint ahead in comparison. The Chaos Spawn that had been munching grass all day seemed to think there were better pickings from whence they had just come! He decided a fire ball would see off the largest and scariest unit on the field… the Beastmen of Nurgle! Summoning most of his energies and Lavisicious unleashed hell. A trickle of fire made its way lazily across the clearing towards the unit of beastmen. It seemed to flare briefly against the first beastman it came to and then it fizzled out. Hmm not what he was expecting!
My Fireball did one wound against a beastmen and Helga the Chaos Spawn failed her stupidity test and moved away from the battlefield. My kind opponent suggested that she just stay at the table edge (perhaps it was just a cunning ploy to kill her properly in battle!!!).
Soon Battle was joined by the charging beastmen. Despite the heroic work of the weapon master skaven, their newly inflated bellies seemed to get in the way. The skaven caused one of the beastmen to fall, before it was time for them leave as fast as their little fat legs could carry them. The Beastmen joyously took advantage and hacked and slashed their way through the retreating skaven.
Lavisiscious turned from the slaughter of his skaven without a care. Instead he saw some Nurgle thugs heading into an abandoned cottage at the edge of the clearing. They were obviously up to something. Checking over his shoulder to see Helga the Spawn still dribbling in the grass, he approached the thugs as they disappeared into the cottage, he quickly fired off a steal mind spell and the last thug in the group fell to his knees gibbering. ‘Ha! - that spell was better!’ he thought, until he realised he had just one spell point left. ‘Nevermind I shall just have to show them who is boss with my steel blade!’. He waited for them to return from the darkness of the cottage.
The humans watched as their skaven allies where slaughtered before them by the beastmen. “This is our chance boys!” roared the leader as he led them in a brave charge against the beastmens rear (oo-er). The beastmen managed to recover themselves and slaughtered the humans in double quick time. The human remnants would have a new battle cry after their first encounter “For the love of dying!”.
As the thugs came out from the cottage, the leader seemed to hold aloft a glowing sword! A mighty prize indeed thought Lavisicious as he imagined himself wielding such a fine weapon of workmanship! He hastily charged against the greedy thugs who merely turned to him and sliced into his gut before he could land a blow. A quizzical expression spread across Lavisicious’s face as he sank into the bloody mud. Why? Why? WHY?!
Finally Helga the fearsome spawn of chaos came to her senses. The cries of dying comrades seemed to remind her why she was here. She headed for the nearest group, however, before she could get far, a flying gargoyle appeared from nowhere and charged her in the rear. The beast never had the chance to even smell one of her precious farts as it pulverised her skull beneath its blows.
It was a fun furious evenings battle! – My troops didn’t even see the opposing Champion of Nurgle (busy as he was; off on a different chaos plane probably!) It felt like the battle was totally one sided. But I still enjoyed it! I think I managed to kill one beastman and steal minded a chaos cultist, but that was it! Most of my figures were taken out. We rolled up for injuries but nothing really came from that and most characters came back ok.
Then we rolled for Rewards from our respective powers. Laviscious got a Spell Familiar (handy as he only had 4 spell points in that battle!), a Small unit of Hunchback Cultists, and the remnants of my Human runaways turned into Merfolk. I now have 2 small units of troops with a Movement of 2! Great! I’ll be relying more on my spells next time I think!!!
I forgot to take many pictures due to the fun we were having and the amount of time we were looking through the rules! It was great fun and Justin a great opponent to play against and a great host. Before the game I had the opportunity to see his lovely glass cabinet full of a glorious 3rd Edition Wood Elf army and the beginnings of an Undead Horde too. Also very jealous of his permanent painting space, mine remains a temporary arrangement which means getting the paints and models out, painting and then putting them all away again at the end of a session; far from ideal. Cheers Justin, looking forward to the next instalment with our new warband members....