As the sun begins its slow decline into west, the chaos warband spreads itself out across the road. Their bright and garish colouring catches the light while the metallic amulets that adorn many of the folds and creases reflect the sun's rays around them in wild, dancing shades. The leader of the group, now exposed as a female dark elf, emerges from the canopy cover flanked by a hulking chaos warrior.
"Brandidir!" A voice howls from east. "Brandidir! Beware the gigantic spider that lurks to the south east! Its crawled from its hole and is just sitting there!"
The dark elf glances across the clearing at the sound of her name. She spots a peasant man fleeing in earnest towards her. As his feet eat up the furlong between them, she watches as he prizes a simple silver band from his finger. Instantly, his simple clothing vanishes and in its stead appears the hulking form of an armoured warrior!
Illusion then! But why?
"The shrine? Have you found it?" Blandidir calls out eagerly, her eyes flashing with impatience.
"Not yet, just that damn spider! Its enormous!"
As the hurried exchange is made across the clearing, the goblins gather their strength and charge across the open ground, levelling their weapons and collide with the spider and a crack of impacting bodies. The wolves snarl and snap viciously as the goblins mill around thumping the arachnid's bodies with their weapons. Grubshat recoils and then counter attacks, her slicing mandibles striking out for goblin skin and wolf throat.
The remaining goblins spread out and block the road between the bricks of the woodcutter's garden and the old fence of the hedgerow. Their wicked eyes glean nastily towards the cottage and its occupant and wearily towards the advancing chaos worshipers.
The warriors of the chaos group advance at a pace and form a rough line across their side of the road. The woodcutter, his eyes blazing, grips his axe haft with his rough fingers and watches, poised for action.
"What are you goblins doing here?" Are the words of the pink haired clubman.
"Wee iz 'ere ta doo in dat bugga, Grubshat! An' yoo pinky sodz iz not crossin' dat dere fresh'old or wez will fillz ya full of arras. Itz da boss' scrap an' nuffin ta doo wiv yoo!" Comes the gutteral response.
Meanwhile, the newly revealed warrior in armour completes his mad dash across the clearing towards his leader. Only seconds from his group, he stops stock still alongside the tree that grows close to the hedgerow. What was that he could feel? A tickling, pulling sensation. A fine feeling and one he has experienced before when standing close to the magical items that his coven maintain in Drakberz.
"Brandidir! Here! I think I have found the shrine!"
The dark elf passes a sign to the cowled follower in purple and the acolyte produces a preserved heart from a secret place within his robe. Advancing with the organ held high above his head, he slices open the ventricles and allows the cold blood to splatter across the bark of the tree.
For the second time in minutes, an illusion flickers out and vanishes. In its place stands an ancient statue of a chaos warrior. Its stone grey green with age and cracked with the passing of the centuries. A strange tremor can be felt beneath the ground and the tickling and pulling sensation spreads out across the clearing and beyond. Almost like some kind of magical force was spreading out across the land itself.
Despite the breaking of the illusion, the stand off by the road remains tense. To the east, the wolfriders continue to battle with the spider. Now wounded, the creature fights on as brown ichor oozes from its severed leg. Sensing victory, the wolves and their riders surge forwards once more. In the melee, their leader, Ripnose Snotz, goes down beneath a savage strike from the spider's hairy leg. Undaunted by the loss of their leader, the remaining goblinoids continue to hack into the meat of the arachnid.
Unnoticed by any of the fighters in the clearing, the canopy to the north is again vibrant with movement. Only, instead of the bright colours of the chaos warband the hues on show are darker, mud splattered a filthy. The cloud of flies returns, thicker this time, intrigued no doubt by the commotion. They buzz and dance in excitement in ever darkening clouds.
A new leader steps forth onto the soil of the clearing. Chaos armour hangs from his powerfully formed body in rusted plates. Bodily fluids run in glistening rivers from between the cracks of the armour and like the dark elf before him, he has the words of a letter in his mind.
We have been informed that a group of rival cultists have emerged from the fields around Drakberz and are making their way along the Old Forest Road. Our informant has reported this group to be followers of the Purple Palm, a Slaaneshi group active in the town. I understand that they are well equipped with magical items that will be useful to our cause.
Your instructions are clear. Locate this group, ambush them along the road and kill them. Their equipment must be looted and returned to me here, as the Deathfist will soon begin to push at our boarders once more. Spare the life of the acolyte Brugal Vassel though, he doesn't yet know it, but he is the informant feeding us with the knowledge we so desperately need. Father Nurgle has blessed him with a most fortunate illness and as the pustules burst, so the pus speaks to His servants of the perverse plans of the Purple Palm.
Leave no other witnesses.
The buzz of flies does not go unnoticed for long. Blandidir spins on her heel and notices the threat almost as soon at it appears in the clearing. Snapping a command, most of her warband forms a line of battle alongside the shrine. A beastman and thug remain between the group and the three goblins.
They have been ambushed!
To the south east, Grubshat finally falls to the goblin's attacks. Her body recoils for the last time and curls up into a broken ball. Howling their delight, the surviving wolfriders begin to ride around in a circle singing foul goblin songs.
"I challenge thee, Slaaneshi fool!" The rusted champion calls out, pointing his sword towards the enraged figure of Blandidir. "Single combat in the eyes of the gods!"
Unable to refuse such a request, Blandidir strides forwards with her blade in her hand. Encouraging voices and foul jeers are uttered by their followers as they make their first moves towards each other. Soon, the fight is in earnest, but due to battle prowess and magical aid the two champions seem locked in a bitter stalemate.
The acolyte, Brugal Vassel, starts a whisper amongst his fellows. The stalemate is obvious and only a change in circumstance will assure victory. A few moments more and they charge the enemy in support of their leader.
As the dark elf's latest blow is deflected by Voight's blade, the Nurgle warband, perhaps guessing their foes plans, take the initiative and surge forwards. The faster moving troops run and clash together in a fury of blades, while the two slower flail wielding warriors stalk towards each other. A fire ball spell lauches itself from Brugal's hand, wounding the Nurgle sorcerer before he is able to act...
As the first drops of blood fall to the soil and its sour tang fills the air the cracks on the shrine begin to deepen. Small grains of stone begin to fall away...
The woodcutter, watching the struggle, hefts his axe once again as his eyes slowly turn yellow.
END OF PART TWO. PART THREE CAN BE FOUND HERE.