November 9 Microupdate
Cries of agony and plumes of black smoke rose from the smoking ruins of Brionne Tower. After scattering a handful of bandits and undead who were battling in the vicinity of the tower the forces of the Covenant along with their Arabian allies quickly surrounded and laid siege to the outpost. Powerful dark magics ripped down the outer walls of the outpost which allowed the frenzied troops of the Covenant enter the compound and overwhelm the cavalier defenders. Although they have now secured the rear from attack the forces of the Covenant now face a long march into the heart of the Arabian desert where their enemies have used their absence to gain an advantage in the battle for control of Araby.
As the second week of the war draws to a close the true realization of the price for victory has come to light… Across the Gateway of Araby villages and towns now lie in ruin, pristine oasis’s are now defiled and consumed, and once proud defenses are now little more than smoldering piles of rubble against the onslaught of the advancing armies.
Following the fall of Brionne Tower, and the taking of a number of Crusader hostages, Lord Solomar ordered the bulk of the Covenant forces to the south, while leaving a small warband under command of the Fel Orc Warboss Gorefang to ravage the rest of the Gateway in the name of the Dark Gods. Although Gorefang and his troops scored a number of quick victories against the outlying defenses around Bel-Allad, they quickly came to the realization that only after a pro-longed siege would they be able to breach the keep’s defences and eliminate the Sheikh’s defenders. Shortly thereafter the orders arrived from Lord Solomar telling Gorefang to abandon the siege and begin the long march into the desert to rejoin the bulk of Covenant forces for the assault upon the pyramid and temple complex at Ra-Tep.
The second week of the war began with great promise for Lord Baluin’s forces but it ended in near disaster. After the long march through the desert, Baluin’s forces finally arrived at Mezdah to a heroes’ welcome. In the previous days the forces of the Caliph AlQuadamah and their allies pillaged the lands around Mezdah setting crops alight, murdering supporters of the Sheikh in their homes and even lighting the oil pumps of the dwarf Eaba Shalebreaker aflame. Upon hearing word the allies of the Sheikh were marching towards Mezdah the raiders quickly withdrew. Wasting little time, Baulin ordered his forces to establish a defensive perimeter around the town and waited for the inevitable attack from the forces of the Caliph Al-Quadamah and his Covenant allies. But when the attack came it was not from the Covenant… In the dead of night cries of alarm rose up from the patrolling guards. As the forces of the Pact scrambled to the defences, several groups of cloaked ratmen emerged from tunnels under Mezdah and immediately moved towards the town’s reservoir. After battling through a handful of guards the ratmen were seen poring several bottles of a vile green potion into the town’s water supply before being slain by Pact reinforcements. As dawn broke upon Mezdah, the bodies of the ratmen of Clan Husk were burned as Lord Baluin and his lieutenants inspected the water supply. What should have been an aqueduct system filled with crystal clear water was now nothing more then sand filled pits. Whatever dark magic the potion had possessed its power was clear. The entire water supply of Mezdah had been turned to sand!!!
Meanwhile, Caliph Al-Quadamah’s legendary temper made a frightening appearance. Upon hearing the news that his Covenant allies would not being assisting him in the planned attack upon Mezdah he launched into a fit of rage and he ordered the immediate execution and dismemberment of the unfortunate messenger. This delay has allowed the routed forces of the young Sheikh to rally near Mezdah and they now move to confront the traitorous Caliph at the first opportunity.
It appears that King Ahemet’s long laid plans now seem to be coming to fruition. Although his forces currently lack the sufficient numbers to battle the other invading armies directly, he realizes that the armies of the living require sustenance in far greater quantities then his own. By striking at his enemies’ ability to re-supply, Ahemet hopes to stall their advance into Araby long enough for his forces to become stronger and then battle them directly. To this end, with much of the opposition moving into the Great Desert, Ahemet ordered a strike by his Dwarven and Skaven allies against the Wadi Oasis while Ahemet himself would lead his undead horde to Ka Tala Stronghold and awaken his long sleeping allies. Unfortunately for Ahemet he was not the only one who coveted Ka Tala…
The bellows of WAAAGH SNAGAFANG rang out across the fields of Ka Tala as the Orc & Goblins charged the undead lines of King Ahemet. Following his victory at Ubadir Oasis Warboss Snagafang ordered a tribute to Mork and Gork be constructed. In the following hours a giant mound of sand, dung and bone was scalped into an effigy which now sits on the dry bed of the Ubadir Oasis. Even now both Mork and Gork smile down upon the forces of Waaagh Snagafang as they battle the Undead at Ka Tala. But it is unclear whether or not their gods blessing will be enough to take ruins as the battle is still too close to call.
The other force which is vying for Mork and Gork’s approval is Waaagh Gzahkull. Unfortunately for him and his Goblin forces they have run into a major obstacle: The arrival of the Brethren of the Sea. Both sides seem to have been lured to Ka Sabir Oasis by rumours that Arab nobles were evacuating much of the nations treasure to dwarven vaults in the World Edge Mountains. Even though the goblins currently hold the advantage it is the chance of great riches and glory which drives forces of the Brethren into frenzy as they descend upon the field of battle. A quick and decisive strike by either of these factions could push their opponents back and lead to a windfall of epic proportions.
The sands of the Great Desert are being stained red as several battle sites near capture. Now as the invading forces begin the long march to the sea once more the decision must be made. Pillage the lightly defended targets of the desert for all they are worth or strike for the coast where there are many rich but heavily defended targets to be had…
The wails of the innocent can be heard long into the night. The Gateway to Araby is now left abandoned as the many armies march, having claimed what they have needed. Few remain, either fleeing in despair or being cut down by unimaginable horrors of Chaos design or greenskin malice. Only Al Hadok in the far north has been unscathed, but it to suffers. Refugees from throughout the Gateway have the walls of the city ready to burst and the vizier struggles to maintain order. The only place that has any sense of order is Maharek.
After the surrendering of the city, the Araby Reclamation Pact quickly moved in, establishing martial law, placing a strenuous strangle upon the city. At first it looked as if the so called allies truly were invaders. However, in only a short two week time span the inhabitants have turned from hostile resistors into cautious partners, due in no small part to Baluin’s humble and honest approach. Baluin left Thane Hadhod to oversee the construction of a new mighty shipyard that would harbor the might of the Pact’s navy. This new shipyard would be a valuable asset for the rest of the campaign and Hadhod nodded his head with delight as he left the city at the head of his throng, knowing that only a great feat would destroy such hardy construction. With his rear completely secured now in Maharek, Baluin could focus on other matters.
The poisoning of the water at Mezdah left Sir Baluin in a difficult situation. With some aid from Sheikh Tariq’s forces, Sir Cai Leonsis struck out to the nearby Mezdah Oasis to gain valuable water supplies. Meanwhile, the rest of the Pact’s forces launched a ferocious assault upon the Temple at Eunuch Mountain. Shielded by the gallant Lord Admiral Jean Marcel’s fleet, the Pact Araby neared its goal of raising their flags upon the mountain. Lord Ares was determined to have a say in this matter before the week was over, however, his longing to do battle in the open seas with Jean Marcel was great. As Marcel eyed the coast watchfully a lone large Black Ark drifted towards the Bretonnian fleet.
While the forces of light strike out quickly throughout the land, the greenskin WAAAGH continues to move. Warboss Ghazak Ghazkull himself led the final charge that broke the backs of the pirates that tenuously defended Ka Sabir Oasis. The small parties of Kap’n Blacktoof and Varrskik were no match for the might of Waagh Ghazkull. If not for the squiggot that distracted Zogdar Skullcrusha at the right moment, the entire pirate force would have been irradiated. As it were, it allowed the skilled Blacktoof time enough to withdraw his marauders. Now, seeing his chance to appease Wurrzag, Ghazkull ordered a large group of goblins, lead by Agslasha and Wazi Elfbiter, to strike out towards the mountains.
As the goblins of Ghazkull quenched their thirst, to the southwest a great and terrible battle raged at Ka Tala stronghold. Ahemet’s forces were caught off guard, an uncharacteristic trait for a King of the Sand. Waaagh Snagafang rushed the old fortress with greater numbers than expected and Tarlen da Foeburna collected many dead skulls the day the fort fell. If not for a gallant and bitter rearguard action by Lady Amethyst’s mercenaries and a well timed counter attack by Warlord Gulag’s clanrats all would have been lost for the King of Zandri. As the remnants of the Tomb King forces were shielded by a great sandstorm, Warboss Snagafang could be seen at the highest point of the keep roaring victoriously.
While many of the armies clashed amongst one another for valuable resources and strategic positions, the Covenant of Shadow moved ruthlessly unhindered. With their interest not coinciding with the Caliph’s, the old man resigned himself to tracking Tariq himself and would not call upon aid unless vitally needed. He saw a lost chance to end the war quickly and reports of fits of madness emanating from the Caliph’s tent have reached the ear of many a general, on all sides.
Lord Aborakh Solomar cares little for the Caliph, however. His quest is for the gods, not some old fool. After being delayed for some time by a force of undead, Lord Solomar came upon the Ra Tep Pyramid structure. Known as the Necropolis, this place had seen the worship of the dark gods in times past. Now, the Covenant would claim this place and open a vast Chaos gate to release all manners of demons upon Araby. The land would truly be in the hands of the gods then.
As Solomar surveyed the surroundings, a mass assault readied itself against the outer walls of the great pyramid defenses. The Black Duke’s trebuchet’s made short work of the wall and a combined assault of skaven and chaos mortals under the leadership of Fluxin and Anealador Hearn swarmed into the complex. Smiling an unseen smile, Solomar nodded to Warboss Gorefang. With a loud Waaagh various parties spread out into the distance, headed for the Land of Dervishes, unchecked and thirsty for carnage…