Warband: Hydraulic Fluid

Ul’Karash sits bored upon his wrought-iron throne at Kathos Citadel in the heart of his hunting grounds deep in the realm of Khorne. His eyes languidly drift over the legions of Bloodletters brawling in the arena laid out in front of him. Clicking his claws on the manchette of his seat to the beat of the war drums that echo through the realm of Khorne, the Huntmaster’s gaze drifts towards his trophy rack to the grisly prizes snatched from worthy champions. The head of Ork Warboss Toofsnagga’ still grimacing after these long decades, the soulstone of Rylladin Surefoot, a particularly crafty Aeldari Autarch that over estimated his ability while fighting the Bloodthirster and finally to the mechanical arm of the Kastelan robot Veril-Dodecus. A toothy grin stretches across the fanged muzzle of the Huntmaster as he recalls his first engagement against what the mortal humans of his domain call the “Adeptus Mechanicus”.

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Though he did not know it, the planet was a Forge World called Braccius Zeta by the mortals, a fact that would, in truth, mean nothing to the chaotic denizens of the empyrean. Summoned by a mortal champion of the Crimson Templars World Eater Warband, Ul’Karash and his hunt pack burst into reality looking for mortal souls to cull. The immense spires and fields of manufactoria that covered the industrial planet’s surface proved to be a most entertaining hunting ground for the Bloodthirster and his hunters. For several days the daemonic cohort fell upon the mortal guardians of the planet, harvesting their skulls and feeding on their fear. On the 8th day of battle, the Bloodbraided came upon a relatively open field in a desolate part of the forge complex. It was here that Ul’Karash and the servants of the Blood God first witnessed the assembled legions of the God of Machines. 

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Sensing the arrival of a worthy new foe, the Huntmaster and his warband swarm across the rusted plating of the furnace decking. Born aloft by his leathery wings the Bloodthirster examines his foe from above. Bedecked in chrome augmentations and draped in robes of a deep royal blue the arrayed forces of the Omnissiah prepare to make battle against the daemonic interlopers. Calling forward his hounds and loosing his Bloodcrushers into the enemy Ul’Karash strides forward to engage the new threat.

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Immediately the arcane weaponry of the Adeptus Mechanicus sears daemonic flesh and blasts warp spawned abominations back into the realm from whence they came. The peculiar technologies of the machine-men infuriates the Bloodthirster, seeing these trinkets and toys as merely distractions from real bloodshed and warfare. The Kataphron Destroyer’s Plasma Culverins blast Bloodletters limb-from-limb leaving not even a trace of the former foot soldier. Dreadmaw, Ul’Karash’s most prized hunting hound, bounds across the surface of the battlefield leaving twisted and mangled robotic corpses in his wake. The Khornate Herald To’Rak leads his Bloodletter cohort along the flanks of the enemy line seeking to corral the soldiers of the Machine God. As the Bloodcrushers race towards the Skitarii warhost they are met by a fusillade of phosphor fire. Seeing the Bloodcrushers cut down to a man by a Kastelan Robot Maniple, Ul’Karash flies into a rage seeking to claim the skulls of these mighty warriors. Forsaking all other enemies, Ul’Karash barrels into what he assumes to be mortal warriors in colossal steel battlesuits. Activating their defender protocols the Cybernetica Datasmith prepares to meet the raging Bloodthirster with volleys of precise gunfire capable only by the cold logic of the Adeptus Mechanicus.  The slow and clumsy swings of the robot’s arms are no match for the arcing blows of the massive daemon. Ul’Karash slices one Kastelan in twain and pounces upon the other, knocking it to the ground. The Huntmaster reaches down with one hand to remove the skull of this newly vanquished foes….only to find hydraulic fluid. Puzzled, Ul’Karash swings his hefty axe gracefully in a downward arc and removes the arm of the Kastelan whose chest plate reads: Veril-Dodecus. Gripping the mechanical arm Ul’Karash bellows in rage as he realizes these robots were merely a trick to deny him the blood and skull of a worthy mortal foe. Only after his rage subsides does the Huntmaster realize all of the firepower trained directly at him. Cursing the name of the Omnissiah Ul’Karash the Huntmaster is banished back to the warp by arcs of lightning, gravitic distortions and radiation-drenched ammunition. Elsewhere on the battlefield the battle continues unabated, To’rak the Herald and his Bloodletters are cut down by uncaring legions of cyborgs. In the end, the forces of the Adeptus Mechanicus are left reeling from the daemonic onslaught while only Dreadmaw remains on the field feasting on what little flesh can be found in the corpses of the Machine God’s servants.

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