Twin-Tailed Crusade

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Twin-Tailed Crusade is a massive Dawnbringer Crusade launched from Hammerhal during the Era of the Beast consisting of two large Crusades launched across Ghyran and Aqshy at once.[6]

Harbingers

Shudderblight Plague

Within the Kindle Heights district of Hammerhal Aqsha came the first omen of the coming affliction to be known as the Shudderblight Plague. Within the Temple of Sigmar the Enkindler, some rogue party had defaced a mural of Sigmar until it resembled a giant with three eyes, wreathed in black flame. Accusations were made, judgements pronounced, executions conducted, yet definitive evidence never once presented as to the blasphemers' identities. This might have been forgotten in time, had it not served as a prelude to what followed. The Shudderblight Plague's origin and how it had first penetrated the free cities was unknown. The afflicted initially displayed apathy, and it was hoped that this could be banished through sermon and labour. But next came a pale and waxy complexion, a hollow gaze, a shambling gait, and irrepressible shuddering as insouciance deepened to near catatonia. None were spared. Glassy-eyed Dawnbringer officers had been court-martialled for refusing to march out, and priests allowed themselves to be burned for sedition rather than peddle what they saw as deceptive optimism to their congregations.[1a]

In Hammerhal Aqsha, Order of Azyr agent Armand Callis noticed a miasma of despondency smothering everything. Citizens who normally relished their labours spoke of a nagging, soul-deep sense of worthlessness, and through many taphouses ran doom-laden chatter predicting a second Age of Chaos. Callis recongized dangerous talk when he heard it and so called upon his master, Hanniver Toll. The veteran Witch Hunter had recognized that the situation must be dire for them to be summoned from Ghur's Coast of Tusks to Hammerhal, but the scale of the thread was becoming gravely important. Sigmar's faithful were wavering, a sense of despair exasperated by recent losses in the Brimstone Peninsula where the first strike was made against Chaos during the Realmgate Wars. This sense of restlessness was therefore utilised by Zane Delorius - the Hidden Hand of Hammerhald (spymaster) - as a means of encouraging a vast crusade.[1a]

Dual of Rains

In response to the Shudderblight, a malaise the Everqueen Alarielle knew could only have spring from the Plaguefather's cauldron, summoned the waters that filled pure inland seas across Ghyran and hurled them into the skies. Where this blessed liquid fell, pestilence was washed away, crops were healed of sickness, and mortals were rendered hale in body and soul. In Thyria, the crusading efforts of the walled city of Slicston had stalled as the Shudderblight had ravaged the city's Grand Conclave, some members even found growing into their their chairs due to the extreme lethargy. However, beneath Alarielle's Downpour, new energy seized its commanders and regiments of jungle-fighting pioneers were raised with all haste. The rains fell hardest in Veridia, where Hammerhal Ghyra is stands. Beneath this torrent the city's dizzying array of terraced farms flourished. Citizens flocked to bathe in healing waters, singing praises to the Everqueen]] as pustules and scabs flaked away. However, this surge of optimisim did touch upon the spirit of all of Hammerhal Ghyra's residents. The Matriarch Ghyranis, Lady Nadian Greenspur, understood that Alarielle's Downpour could not last forever, as she was a being of cycles, and that Nurgle's retribution was inbound. Meteoarcanists had begun reporting the appearance of sinister rains being called upon by the daemonic servants of Nurgle, which are battling Alarielle's rains. Greenspur coined the term for this phenomena as the Dual of Rains.[1b]

Understanding that the rains bringing the Shudderblight were a prelude to an invasion, and that Alarielle's Downpour would eventually recede, Nadian Greenspur made the critical decision to pull garrrisons from outlying Sigmarite Strongpoints back into Hammerhal Ghyra. Greenspur understood such a decision would these Strongpoints, but should Hammerhal Ghyra fall to despair, then Sigmar's Empire would lose its breadbasket. Greenspur did not attempt to hide her decision from the noble Hallowed Knights. While these Stormcasts understood the reasoning and necessity behind her decision, many of their warriors marched out to defend the now undefended settlements with or without permission. For every Strongpoint they managed to save, they would arrive late to two other - discovering only corpses bearing slack expressions or vermin swarming over dripping ruins. Nadian made it a point of reading every report the Stormcasts sent to her office, for deficiency left her unwilling to ignore the costs of her command. Strangely however, the northernmost strongpoints showed signs of battles and half-devoured corpses, but no signs of plague. Instead only crude graffiti daubed in blood offering thanks to 'the noble Sir Jerrion' and proclaiming allegiance to a 'Summer King'. Few could guess that these anomalies would shape the coming war.[1b]

Battle of Despair and Delusion

Alarielle had been correct to assume the Shudderblight was the work of Nurgle. However, unlike other 'gifts', this contagion travelled via a specific vector: the Harbingers of Decay. Accompanied by the Everchosen's inner circle - the Varanguard - the Harbinger of Decay known as 'Her Highness in Ruin' was leading the campaign against Sigmar's folk in the Everspring Swathe. When Alarielle's Downpour descended upon Veridia, Harbingers rode to the blighted land of the Sog and sought the assistance of Rotigus Rainmaker. With his assistance, a foul deluge was summoned to keep away Alarielle's ritual. Settlements that lay beneath Rogitus's deluge and came to the Harbinger's attention fell, but only after being blighted by seven terrible omens. This process as necessary for the Harbingers to fully channel Nurgle's might, a slow process that would irritate the swift Varanguard. During the campaign, a champion of the Harbinger order known as Phulgoth the Miser was discomfited, as he sensed the Shudderblight had slowed in northern Veridia.Certain strongpoints were found abandoned, but the Shudderblight's distinctive signs were absent. By reading the pox-ridden entrails of sacrificial victims, Phulgoth was able to scry whispers of a 'Sir Jerrion', who worked to muster resistance in Veridia.[1c]

The strongpoint of Furtherfield had thus far escaped Rotigus's Deluge, but Phulgoth and his disciples - led by his personal Shudderhood, the Circle of Woe - now road ahead of the rains to bring the seven signs of doom. So followed the withering of cattle, the blighting of idols, and the tolling of rusted bells. On the seventh day, Phulgoth led his Circle with unseemly haste to butcher the remianing defenders and send Furtherfield up in flames. At dusk, their challengers appeared, at first appearing to possess a palpable sense of regality. Only as they passed into the scrutinising moonlight was the truth revealed: the soldiery were hunched and wild-eyed, spittle flying from gore-encrusted jaws, while the knights were ogor-like fiends. At the head of this mad delegation came its master: the Marrowscroll Herald Sir Jerrion. Sir Jerrion condemned Phulgoth as a diabolical sorcerer who had brought despair to the region's inhabitants. Sir Jerrion lamented he was too late to save the noble burgh of Stamethia - the long-fallen city whose ruins formed Furtherfields foundations - but had 'rallied' some of its former inhabitants, as evidenced by the Sigmarite cions tattoed upon some of his howling entourage. Phulgoth refused to take the mad mob seriously, but nevertheless understood that these ghouls' madness made them resistant to the Shudderblight, and should Jerrion 'recruit' enough followers the entire Maggotkin campaign could be slowed and give the Sigmarites time to recover.[1c]

Phulgoth drove straight for Sir Jerrion, cleaving through the corded flesh of the ghouls who stood in his path. With gurgled prayers and gestures with rotting fingers saw cannibals swell with buboes before rupturing in foul-stinking showers. Eventually, Phulgoth managed to eye his prey and his surrounding monstrous bodyguards. Using the power of his sword, which emanated a visible wave of anguish, he directed the power of the Shudderblight directly towards Sir Jerrion. The herald's pallid flesh broke out in weeping black sores as the plague enveloped him - physical manifestations of whatever doubts lingered beneath his madness. However, Sir Jerriod clasped around an trinket containing the blood of his liege and shattered it, releasing a surge of aetheric energies containing the stuff of madness. The feral unity of Flesh-eaters intensified as their collective madness pushed away the power of the Shudderblight. The Rotbringers began to falter. Phulgoth hoped another boon from Granfather Nurgle would help turn back the tide of battle, but the power now wielded by Jerrion raged within his fellow ghouls like slivers of a poisoned sun. The Harbinger of Decay was unable to summon any further gifts and quickly escaped. As Phulgoth rode from Furtherfield, he could hear the howls of Jerrion and his disciples - howls of devotion to the King of Summer and Carrion.[1d]

Preparations for Crusade

Just as it had been recovering, the Twin-Tailed City threw itself into mustering a Dawnbringer Crusade on a scale the realms had never seen before, a crusade that would be simultaneously launched from Ghyra and Aqsha consisting of a fully self-sufficient army with enough supplies for many seasons and armed with the latest battlefield innovations. The Aqshian "tail" would drive east across the Great Parch to build a Strongpoint in the mountain valleys of the Talons while the Ghyran "tail" would cross Verdia to found a city on the northernmost tip of the Everspring Swathe. [2a]

Impressment Officers began roaming the streets in packs searching for recruits, a duty that was not particularly hard as many enthusiastically took the Coin Malleus seeking to be part of a momentous event in Sigmarite history. In Hammerhal Aqsha industrial districts were pumping out unimaginable quantities of wargear ranging from fusils, cannons and cartridges to breastplates, tower shields, iron-shod boots, horse barding, smokepowder bombs, and steam-wagons. Meanwhile in Hammerhal Ghyra labourers took day-long shifts cultivating the fields under the heat of the Verdian sun pushing themselves to the point of collapse, some even perishing to fulfill the quotas. However not all were enthusiastic, some including Callis and Toll were concerned with the large allocation of resources for the Crusade which would deplete the city's defending Freeguilds significantly. [2a]

Aqshy Campaign

The Aqshy Campaign also called the Crusade of Fire was the more heavily armoured of the two, expecting to battle the Khorne worshippers such as the Tribes of the Burning Blood who had the combined manpower to devastate Sigmarite armies, the Ironjawz of Capilaria, the Gloomspite Gitz of the Adamantine Chain and as well as dozens of equally dangerous threats. However, they pale in comparison to the hostility of the Realm of Fire, where the risk of dehydration and incineration is everpresent. Weather phenomena such Ember Storms, Flame Cyclones, meteor showers and sudden jets of lava that spurt from the ground as well as equally murderous wildlife such as Blister-serpents, Ashcrawlers and Magmavores. [2h]

Many of the crusaders had never been outside the walls of Hammerhal and the sheer immensity of the trials became apparent even before their first battle. Gusts of fiery wind ignited poorly stored bags of Fingerbite sometimes resulting in the loss of fingers or arms. Ash Scorpids or Firekeg Beetles crawled into boots at night and on the morning their unwary owners would scream as the corrosive excretions of the insects scorched their feet to the bone. But the relentless drive of those from the Great Parch kept them going. [2h]

Tahlia Vedra took command of the Crusade determined to outrace the Ghyranite Crusade in establishing their settlement but she made sure the Crusaders would see her sharing their hardships as she traveled across the Crusaders encouraging and joking with them. Pontifex Zenestra and her followers of the Cult of the Wheel strode at the head of the column, refusing rest and refreshments much to the bewilderment of their comrades. Tahlia was uncomfortable by their zealotry but all crusades needed the representation of the Cults Unberogen whose spiritual support was essential to morale. [2b]

Battle of the Vale of Ash

The first true battle of the crusade came at the Vale of Ash, a narrow valley of smoldering sulphur-sand flanked by basalt cliffs. Ironjawz of the Bloodpunchas including mobs of Gore-gruntas led by Megaboss Grokklaw da Rippa crashed down from both sides of the crusader column. But under First Marshal Tahlia the satellite formation reacted rapidly, erecting shield-walls and unleashing a barrage of firepower. However, the Orruks didn't stop and crashed into Sigmarite lines. Tahlia herself rode into battle upon Infernadine leading a charge of cavaliers before sighting the Orruk Megaboss, who was quickly defeated and decapitated by Tahlia. After hours of fighting Orruks were defeated and the crusade gained its first victory. However, the situation would only get worse as grim news arrived from Hammerhal. [2b]

Tahlia's Departure

As the Dawners cheered Tahlia Vedra Whisperblade Earchus Yalt met her and revealed that a massive Khornate army had besieged Hammerhal even as Skaven flooded out of the catacombs in vast numbers bringing the battle inside its walls. Tahlia was furious but was forced to take a significant portion of the Crusade's forces and return to relieve the city. [2b]

The command of the Crusading forces was given to one of her favorite commanders, Marshal Derridan Malchorn. Marshal Malchorn was a legend in the Acadamae Martial known for shattering enemies with artillery bombardments and cavalry charges. But the loss of one-fifth of the crusade's forces including most of the Hammers of Sigmar retinues was a massive blow. And Malchorn was still not Tahlia Vedra and instead more Crusaders flocked to Pontifex Zenestra and as more and more soldiers were bloodied and exhausted many Freeguilders also began to listen to her sermons about the relentless grinding of the Great Wheel and the need to lay down their own bodies in its path to make way for the expansion of Sigmar's Empire.[2d]

But as the zealous flagellants began dismantling vehicles to use their wheels to hold aloft as religious symbols and began refusing rest Malchorn became concerned that the Crusade would fail to keep up with Tahlia's already merciless schedule. But he lacked the authority to chastise Zenestra and more of his forces were joining her cult. Yet more disturbingly he realised the pace of the Crusade was not slowing down as much and the soldiers of the Wheel-cult had gained an almost uncanny ability to keep marching at a steady pace even as they carried heavy crates and ironwood shields in full kit allowing the Crusade to travel at a pace that should have been impossible.[2d]

Despite the changes the Crusade managed to arrive on their first stopping point, the Strongpoint known as Trucebreak a settlement built on a vein of aqthracite and was seen as a potential City of Sigmar in the future. It was well defended by Freeguilders, Guardian Idols, and perimeter Cogforts. But when the Crusade arrived any hope for a proper rest were taken away. Inside they found terrified citizens and nervous troops who told tales of a massive Gloomspite horde that had overrun settlements and strongpoints as they marched from the Adamantine Chain. The survivors claimed that the horde is led by an antlered Troggoth twice the size of others of its kind and capable of wielding destructive magic. Malchorn's collegiate advisors denied that a Troggoth is capable of using spells and all scoffed at the idea except Zenestra who analyzed even the most far-fetched tales.[2e]

Malchorn's scouts revealed that the vanguard of the Gloomspite horde would be a league away from Trucebreak before evening and he decided to engage the enemy on the terrain of his choice, a location where both the effects of artillery bombardment and cavalry charges could be maximized. Zenestra however attempted to dissuade the Marshal but this only hardened his resolve even further. He summoned troops that had not yet been affected by Zenestra and marched out to intercept the so-called Troggoth King.[2e]

Battle of Mander's Crest

Marshal Malchorn chose Mander's Crest to meet the enemy. The crest was a mound ideal for artillery placement and was bordered on three sides by lava-spweing geysers leaving only the western side, a narrow winding path open. They were also reinforced by the two Cogforts, Saint Markov and Lion's Pride. The infantry in castelite formation repelled enemies and when the Troggoths came they were shredded by armour-piercing shells from Ironweld Great Cannons and the Cogforts. Sensing victory Malchorn signaled a cavalry charge scattering the Grots that had gathered under the crest. But Malchorn only realised his mistake when the cannons went silent.[2f]

Boingrot Bounderz had not only eliminated the artillery batteries but were now attacking the Infantry formations. However, the firepower of the Cogforts was still adequate until the arrival of Trugg who single-handedly destroyed the Lion's Pride. Malchorn desperately ordered a retreat but the Saint Markov was immobilized and overrun by Spiderfang forces but its crew held long enough to buy time for Malchorn and his remaining forces to flee back to Trucebreak.[2f]

The Fall of Trucebreak

Main article: Fall of Trucebreak
Pontifex Zenestra and her freeguiders faces off against Trugg and its Troggoths

Pontifex Zenestra calmed the defenders and chastised Malchorn for his pride before giving him the opportunity to redeem himself. Malchorn took a group of volunteers consisting mostly of wounded soldiers and flagellents for a last stand in Trucebreak while Zenestra led the bulk of the Crusaders through the series of narrow canyons known as the Ember Passes. The defences held out until the Bad Moon itself appeared on the sky as Trugg crashed through the walls. In a last act of defiance, Malchorn exploded a Fingerbite wagon which destroyed Trucebreak in a massive explosion that for a moment turned night into day. However, even this failed to kill Trugg with the magical engine on its back protecting it and fellow Troggoth's from the flames.[2g]

As Trugg led the Troggoth towards the fleeing Crusaders Zenestra unleashed her power unleashing beams of light which burned Grots and Troggoths while envigorating Dawners. The lights combined into the shape of the Great Wheel and as it began spinning Grots were turned into torches of white flame and even Trugg was sent reeling back by its power. The Great Wheel descended to destroy the chasm entrance creating a landslide that separated the Crusade from their pursuers. [2g]

The fall of Trucebreak was ultimately a victory for the Dawnbringers but came at the high cost of losing many of their numbers and supplies. Yet the spirit of the Crusade was not broken as they rallied under the leadership of Zeenstra.[2h]


Ghyran Campaign

The command of the Ghyranite Crusade fell to Marshal Iscilla Thorian, a veteran strategist who preferred a cautious and well-planned advance, unlike the aggressive Parchers of Aqsha. Her mortal troops and auxiliaries were reinforced by the Redeemed under Knight-Venator Tornus of the Hallowed Knights.[2i]

Unlike the Aqshian Crusade the Ghyranites relied less on firepower and more on numbers and an intuitive connection with the wilderness as Ghyra lacked the sheer industrial might of Aqsha. That did not mean it lacked in artillery, the Greatcannons in the Castelite formation could shred enemies with grapeshot even in the tangled confines of Verdian forest.[2o] However massed artillery could not be easily deployed in the terrain of Ghyran. [2i] Marshal Iscilla Thorian preferred an infantry-focused approach combining her eight-thousand-strong reserve of Fusiliers and Steelhelms to outmaneuver her enemies while the thousand-strong Cavaliers of the Jade Lance would spearhead sudden counter-attacks all aided Wildercorps who provide a steady stream of information about the enemy with the aid of Angelos Conclaves led by Tornus.[2o]

The most prized asset was the cohort of Jade Wizards known as the Greencloak Circle. Their expertise is vital where a single seed that fell into a muzzle could instantly grow and make the weapon unusable or worse where Nurgle's deluge fell spreading disease and putrefaction.[2o] While they did not face the explosive perils of Aqshy their journey is no less hazardous, a constant deluge fell that rusted weapons with unnatural swiftness made gunpowder useless and caused foot-rot while insects filled themselves with Dawner blood. Those that blundered into undergrowth were ensnared by Stranglevines or choked by spores of belching Fungi while some that went to sleep found themselves encased in a tomb of moss and mildew that had grown overnight. To survive here the knowledge and skill of sages and rangers were essential.[2i]

The Crusade would travel north through the Verdian wilderness, across the plague ridden ruins of the Scabrous Sprawl and cross the Neck, a narrow isthmus that connects the Verdian mainland to its northernmost peninsula. Here they would lay down the foundations of a new city on the shores of the Gulf of Thorns.[2i]

Through the Verdian Wilds

Before they reached their target the crusade first had to travel through the Mosshorn Fens staggering through knee-deep mires and beds of throny vines that bloodied the Dawners only to emerge through the obstacles covered in clusters of thumb-thick leeches. Many Dawners were swept away from flash floods of filthy water as Nurgle's deluge was ascendant across the Mosshorn Fens in the Duel of Rains.[2i]

The situation became worse when the sound of droning came like a dirge from above the downpour, Rot flies plunged down to attack the crusaders, their Blightlord riders severing heads with their scythes. The first to die were caught by surprise and didn't even manage to fire back but their compatriots managed to crouch behind heavy pavise shields of Ironoak and unleash a barrage of disciplined musketry that took down several of the enemy aerial cavalry even as warhorns sounded the charge of Nurglite infantry. The banner of the Blessed Sons was raised high alongside those of several Tallybands of Pleaguebearers but the most disturbing was the Great Unclean One that loomed behind the filthy horde, the droning of the flies fluctuating to chant "Thlorpolax!" as it advanced.[2i]

The sight of the Greater Daemon caused many Dawners to tear at their eyes or vomit and faint from shock, cannonballs were lodged harmlessly within the body of Thlorpolax as it charged crashing into the Castelite lines crushing Freeguilders beneath its reeking blubber, in turn Stormcast Vindicators moved into drive their speaks deep into the Daemon while Presecutors bombarded it from above. However, even they failed to take down the Daemon who counterattacked, smashing a presecutor with its chains. Then Tornus himself joined releasing an arrow charged with the magic of Azyr into the underarm of the Daemon and into its boil-like heart. After a pause a great pathetic gurgle which invoked a sense of regret even among the Dawners the Greater Daemons body sagged, decomposing in seven breaths like a rotten apple. The loss of Thlorpolax resulted in the Plague God's retreating but Marshal Thorian ordered Cavaliers to hold back noting that the terrain favored the enemy. [2i]

The victory raised the morale of Dawners as they entered the fog-blanketed grasslands of Dewmarch, a reprieve from the sweltering marshlands. However a sudden rumbling of the ground and fleeing birds signaled something was coming and the thick mist made it impossible for scouts to warn the Crusade with many being crushed by the stampede that was rushing towards the Crusade. [2j]

Tuskboss Krazogg Hornsplitta had taken the Ironjawz cavalry in search of violent battle leaving their slow infantry forces with Zoggrok Anvilsmasha and the army of "humies" provided what we Krazogg wanted. While the majority of his army consisted of Gruntas Krazogg and his hardest Orruks rode massive Maw-Gruntas which were nearly three times in size and couldn't be stopped after their charge had begun. [2j]

The moment the stampede was noticed Thorian ordered her troops into defensive formations around munition wagons and steam tanks. Despite Thorians quick reaction the first Freeguild lines were still being formed when the stampede crashed into them , unfortunate freeguilders screaming as they were crushed or sent flying. Pavishes were shattered while Cannons were twisted and torn apart from their moorings. One of the Maw-gruntas had a platform carrying an armoured Orruk in each of its flank wielding massive two handed cleavers and it sliced through ranks of fusiliers like a haywire harvesting machine cutting through crops. [2j]

Realsing the Orruk stampede cannot be stopped by shield walls Thorian swiftly changed tactics, ordering formations to fragment and open gaps. Tornus led Prosecutors to bombard the vanguard of the stampede goading them through the openings. Tuskboss Hornsplitta noticed the change in tactics and tried to steer the Maw-Gruntas towards the enemy but the stubborn Maw-Gruntas were fixated on Prosecutors resulting in the stampede barreling past the Freeguild lines, exposing their flanks to Fusiliers. A barrage of fire crashed against the Orruk flanks but the massive beasts with their thick hides further reinforced by great iron plates suffered few casualties. However this made it even harder for the Orruks to control their mounts allowing Tornus and Proescutors to lure the Stampede away as the Dawners fled to the dreaded Grimbark Forest. [2j]

However unluckily for the Crusaders King Brodd led a force of Sons of Behemat across Grimbark Forest as well soulpod groves of the Dreadwood glade were crushed beneath their feet as they effortless crushed any resistance by the Sylvaneth who desperately threw themselves at the enemy. Although the Ghyranites knew not to tresspass upon the Sylvaneth territory the bitter song of vegeance by the Dreadwood Sylvaneth had reached Drycha whose bitter mind couldn't differentiate the Dawners from those that desecrated the soul pods. As the Dawners travelled through the Grimbark with the aid of Jade Wizards who used their powers open paths through the thick forest a sudden burst of screams sent a wave of panic throught the columns. Dark shapes appeared to from the darkness with ear-splitting cries that formed a haunting melody even as thousands of Flitterfuries filled the air as Drycha herself appeared attacking the dawners that were caught offguard.[2l]

Arch-Knights and Battle priests bellowed orders to regain order as Fusiliers hastily formed lines awaiting Thorian's order to unleash a barrage. However before Thorian could give her order, a gust of wind split the air carrying a melody that caused Drycha to screech and snarl while her forces hesitated in confusion. Then the woods parted to reveal a host of Forest spirits, whose Noble aspect contrasted against the creatures attacking the Dawners. The new arrivals from the Oakenbrow Glade was led by a Warsong Revenant who forced even Drycha to feintly nod to respect. The Spirit identified itself as Tethamyr of the White Sapling and urged hostilities to end and warned that Fort Gardus was under siege. [2l]


Fall of Fort Gardus

Main article: Fall of Fort Gardus

While the Dawners were trying to reach Fort Gardus it had come under siege by the forces of Destruction led by King Brodd's mega-gargants and Zoggrok Anvilsmasha's Ironjawz. Tuskboss Hornsplitta also rejoined the forces after his failed attack on the Dawnbringer column. The defenders consisting both motals and Stormcast Eternals, were led by Gardus Steel Soul himself and further reinforced by Admiral Lokki Khrufin and his Grundstok Sharpshooters.[2m]

However when the combined army of Dawnbringers and Sylvaneth rushed to Fort Gardus they were already late. Both the spiritual barrier and the physical walls of Fort Gardus had been sundered and forces of Destruction where rampaging inside. Despite the combined force managing to deliver a blow to the Orruks and Gargants when King Brodd marched alongside the Mega-Gargants the offensive began to falter. Realising that it was too late to save the Fort Gardus called out to Tornus and asked him relay a message to Marshal Thorian, to clear a path so that civilians that were taking refuge in the Basilica of Matyrs could escape through a postern in the North wall. Meanwhile Gardus lead the surviving Hallowed Knights garrison to disract the enemy alongside Admiral Khrufin and the remaining Kharadron who swore to perish with honour. [2n]

Gardus climbed the exterior wall and began taunting King Brodd himself who moved in to finish off Gardus. But a sudden barrage by the remaining Kharadron and Vigilors forced King Brodd to shield his face giving Gardus the oppurtunity to leap from the wall, his hammer splitting holy lightning as it crashed onto King Brodd's skull even as the gargants hand grabbed Gardus. Behemat's prophet fell onto the facade of the Basilica of Matyrs causing the building to collapse even as Gardus disappeared in a flash of silver light.[2n]

Aftermath

Sources