The Second Assault on Viadaza, The Battle, Part Three

Now the Holiest of armies launched several charges. In such close proximity to the foe, the dedicant crossbow could not restrain themselves and so charged into the newly raised zombies despite the entreaties of their shepherd to restrain themselves.

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Despite their small size their flagellations caused the death of four of their own number, and such was the fury this self-mutilation instilled that they tore down eight of the zombies with the further loss of only one more of their own. The remaining zombies all collapsed as the magic re-vivifying their rotting frames petered out.

(Game Note: As GM creating the Disciplinati di Morr house rules – by modifying the Empire flagellant rules – I had forgotten to remove ‘The End is Nigh’ rule from this unit’s listing, which would have made much more sense with a missile unit. Who would create such a small sized unit if they were subject to that rule? It will probably be removed before the next conflict)

Gripped by a similar lust for battle, Father Carradalio and Brother Vincenzo jointly led their own regiment into the swollen mass of zombies before the gate.

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Carradalio personally cut down two of them, while his warriors slaughtered another thirteen. The still moving zombies reeled from the blow, unable to inflict any harm back, and fifteen more of them collapsed as they also succumbed to the effects of diminishing magic.

(Note: The Undead player realised at the end of the game that he should have put out only 30 of the zombies, but because the models were all magnetized to the movement base and he usually fielded 60 he accidentally fielded twice the size he should have. If that mistake had not occurred, the cultists would have destroyed the unit totally in this turn. There’s always a few mistakes creep in to battles, although they are mostly mine!)

On the left of the attackers’ line, the siege tower at last reached the tower and lowered its drawbridge, allowing the halberd-wielding cultists to pour forwards. Four of their own number perished to their frenzied flagellations, but the god Morr filled the rest with an overwhelming bloodlust as a consequence. They now cared not a jot for their own defence, only that they could rain blows down upon the foe.

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But the vampire Lord Adolfo was waiting for them, and they now discovered just what such a creature was capable of.

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Eight of the cultists died from his attentions. (Game note: Strigoi ghoul king with Sword of Bloodshed and vampiric Red Fury.) The ghouls on the tower with Adolfo butchered three more of the cultists, while eight of their own number died. The Disciplinati di Morr dedicants had failed to take the wall-tower, losing both the initial impetus of their attack and also their frenzied mania. They would not break and run, determined as they were to die to a man in Morr’s service. That did not mean that they would win, only that if they lost none would be left alive.

One of the dedicants climbing the ladders to reach the fighting platform, whilst corpse after corpse tumbled down from the mayhem above, glanced over to the regiment making for the neighbouring wall. In a sickening moment of clarity it occurred to him that unless the others ascended the wall almost immediately, attacking whatever was defending the tower immediately, then his own regiment would perish to a man before they even got into the fight. Not that he was afraid of death, for he was blessed by Morr, just that he realised that if the others were too late, then whatever was killing his own comrades so quickly would simply turn on them to do the same. And then neither wall nor tower would be taken. For a moment he felt a pang of despair, but he brushed the feeling away with an angry shout and continued his climb.

While these fights broiled, the priests managed to dispel the withering curse affecting the Urbimans. One cannon again shook the wall violently (yet it still did not fall) but the other failed even to shoot, and the hail of crossbow bolts shot up at the walls did little more than clatter and clunk against the stones.

The skeletons to the north of the walls chose not to wait for the enemy and hurled themselves into the horde of Urbimans before them.

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The ancient, undead warriors brought down three of the dedicants, merely matching the harm the dedicants own scourging had caused to themselves. Such was their frenzy that the Urbimans failed to notice and cut down a dozen skeletons.

Near the now open gate Father Carradalio’s sword continued its bloody work, hewing apart another pair of zombies. These two truly dead corpses were joined by eighteen more. Only four of the dedicants perished, three by their own flails! The last half dozen zombies fell as all vestiges of the magic animating them vanished. The way to the gate was clear.

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The Necromancer upon the tower now read from his book, conjuring a curse which sapped the strength of the dedicants upon the siege-tower, so that some even struggled to ascend the ladders. This did not help their fight. Three died from their own flagellations, eight more from Adolfo’s attentions and a further two perished at the hands of the ghouls. What few were left fought on (Game Note: Unbreakable) but more of them were coming to the realisation that the regiment approaching the wall with ladders was not going to make it in time to save their complete obliteration, and that this would probably mean that regiment would be destroyed in turn.

The Duchess Maria finally decided to quit the unstable wall and join her Black Knights in the yard below.

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She commanded them to move forwards a little towards the gate, for she intended to charge whatever came through it.

End of Turn 3

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