By Lord_Johnathan 0 Comments
So in light of Sha's fanfic type posts I've decided to do much of the same thing and define the battle between the Order and the Cult more thoroughly. Please tell me what you think and what can be improved, but try to be constructive.
The Golan Heights is a region smack dab in the middle of Palestine. It is a a verdant, beautiful area (for the region) that provides water for much of the area and is the richest farmland in Palestine. Needless to say, it was one of the areas the Talon was quick to seize. However, the people who contested the occupation refused to accept the new peace, and dug in and prepared for an attack.
The Talon were unconcerned. They sent the first Cataphract Land Ironclad ever made, the Ironmongery against them. The trenches and foxholes were no proof against the Cataphract’s steam cannons and massive size. However, the Ironmongery lacked the legs of its brothers, and literally got stuck in the mud in the middle of the heights. Regardless, it was still able to rout the enemy by its mere presence, nevertheless its continuing bombardment.
As any machinery to remove the Ironmongery wouldn’t be developed until the Nightingale Carryal decades later, it was left there for good Salvaging what they could from the situation, the Ironmongery was converted into an armored fortress, and surrounded by a curtain wall and turrets, while having its Automaton workshop removed. Eventually, the whole complex was named Hawk’s Perch, and it was the lynchpin of the Talon’s defense, as it guarded the Talon’s heartland in Israel from attacks from the rest of the world. As it turns out, it would prove its worth countless times throughout history.
One such time occured late in the first decade of the second millennium. In the midst of Kaiser Wilhelm's devastating Fel Imperial invasion; the Cult of the Black Hand decided to launch a massive attack on the order of the Talon to crush them once and for all. Mobilizing millions of Soldiers, equipped with all the finest weaponry they could receive, they set out to destroy their hated foe. They knew that the Order of the Talon was vulnerable while it did it's best to fight Kaiser Bismarck's hordes across the globe, and they would plunge the dagger into their back.
It is not known who betrayed the Talon’s position. All that is known is that a Talon Hawk flew into the Sanctum Majoris, with a carrier pigeon in its beak. Attached to its leg was a message stamped with the seal of the Black Hand, with the message “We have heard, brother, and we come”. Immediately, all members in the Order in Palestine mobilized. Lord Varitan himself mounted his horse and rode to where the thought the enemy would attack, Hawk’s Perch.
Varitan was correct. The Black Hand knew that the Order was in a vulnerable position where they could finally end the four thousand year long war once and for all.. The future of the Talon depended on Hawk’s Perch holding against the massive numbers set against its garrison. Leading the vast host of the Black Hand was the unholy triad of the Black Hand, the Archlich Necromancer Vrakmul, the Death Knight Black Guard Kargoth, and the Night Gaunt battle mage Nexatos.
Three of the most powerful beings in the entire universe were leading an abolutely titanic force to smash the Order of the Talon once and for all. Millions of soldiers, tens of thousands of tanks, hundreds of thousands of other assorted vehicles, thousands of Avatars, Hundreds of Redeemers. As the middle east was deep in Fel Imperial territory at the time, the world remained largely unaware of this battle, and if the Extramultiversal invaders ever knew about it, they have never spoken about it.
The order of the talon; facing a horde that numbered in the millions, mustered everything it could afford to do so to Hawk's perch. Roughly a half million men total, they were vastly outnumbered by the two and a half million of the black hand which had countless reserves. Leading the Order of the Talon was Lord Varitan, the first saint of the Order, all fifteen members of the high council, the entirety of the Triumvirate; the three sepharim flying into battle, Lady Maria and Lord Johnathan. Dozens of crawlers, Cataphracts, Eden Superheavy tanks, and Lazarus Air dreadnoughts would form the superheavy core of the defenders of Hawk's perch. The order had a large menagerie of men and vehicles, but it didn't seem likely that they'd hold out.
The battle (Part 1)
Standing from a balcony in the Ironmongery, Johnathan looked out to see the huge horde the Black hand had assembled before them. To further bolster their numbers, they had called up additional black hand cells, hoodwinked Fel Imperials, recruited Muslim fundamentalists, summoned monsters from the other planes, and vast swarms of undead had virtually octupled their numbers, creating a horde fifteen million strong. They stretched out across the stormy landscape like a black sea of evil, an image helped by the thunderstorm that was raging at the moment from the night sky, lightning and rain pouring down.
The Talon was working on acquiring more reinforcements, but for the moment these five hundred thousand would have to hold out against a foe that outnumbered them forty to one. The reports were sobering, even with the unparalleled defenses offered by the Ironmongery and it's fortifications, the force multipliers would still not create a parity. And with all the artillery the Black hand was packing...who would say that the fortifications would even last?
The young man steeled himself for the coming battle, he was surrounded his brothers and sisters, God's highest three angels were on his side. As he looked out, Lady Maria came next to him and turned her helmeted head to the young man. "What troubles you brother Johnathan?" she asked softly as lightning crashed in the distance. "The enemy...I have never seen such a large army..." Johnathan responded with a shaky voice.
"Yes...the Black Hand rarely operates so overtly...if they are throwing this much at us...they must believe that they can eliminate us once and for all...but do not worry, John...God is with us and so is the world..." She answered, smiling underneath her helmet as the stationary steam artillery cannons of the ironmongery began to fire, joined by other forms of heavy artillery to start bombarding the black hand forces.
Projectiles went flying into the air at dizzying speeds to impact and explode with terrifying force, likely causing terrible casualties on the Cult side of things. But the vast horde kept on approaching, and the vanguard of their strike force came in the form of a horde of aircraft. The airpower the Talon had to offer soon took off into the air, as did anyone with any marginally useful anti-air capabilities, pouring a storm of fire into the air that blew countless aircraft out of the skies.
But still Johnathan was ordered to wait...even as aircraft and flying beasts crashed from the sky all around them, he had to stand still and wait for the order to go into action. The young saint bit his lower lip nervously as the black hand's artillery moved into range to respond. The deflector shields of the Iron Mongery then flared to life, surrounding the entire facility with a massive hemispherical yellow field of ambriaric, strange alien, and holy power.
As the shield sealed around the base, the shells from a terrifying number of artillery cannons exploded against the yellow field, creating ripples in the field while black and red clouds of flame and shrapnel blew out against it, seeming to embrace the dome as they flew out. Protected from counterbattery fire, the Talon's heavy artillery joined their superheavy brethern and gave a mighty return barrage that ripped visible holes in the vast lines arrayed out against them.
Again this dance of artillery and aircraft played out, going on and on as the armies drew ever closer into combat range. Johnathan clenched his hammer as he looked out, and he could see that the Soldiers of the Talon were equally nervous. Men were making their last prayers from their fortifications as the thundering sound of a vast host marching into battle and the earth shaking rumble of countless machines of war drew ever nearer and grew ever louder.
The terrible din of a new wave of heavy guns exploded throughout the battlefield as the Talon started to engage their black hand foes. The Black hand appeared to simply stand outside of the Dome, not doing much in the way of retaliating. Perhaps they were not as confident as they were originally thought to be? Maybe there was hope after all? Johnathan thought as he looked at the scene from his perch.
But this belief was soon dispelled as the Inner circle of the Black Hand; comprised out of mighty liches and other forms of undead who possessed incredible power, especially in the arcane arts. Leading forward the spellcasters, Vrakmul stood in front of his army, followed by a retinue of powerful liches. With a few dark words of power, a terrible barrage of magical energy crashed into the shield, followed by every black hand weapon in range.
The shield to it's credit, held out against this barrage of firepower that would have put a nuclear bomb to shame for an impressive length of time. But it began to falter, shake, and fade. It was simply too much, even for an artifice of divine power. And with the collapse of the barrier, a great roaring cheer went through the black hand's horde.
Vrakmul pointed a skeletal finger at the Ironmongery, prompting the entirety of the army to advance in a frenzied charge. Comprised of virtually every foul thing imaginable, the army seemed to be a huge multicoloured sea of evil. The weapons of the Talon fired into the advancing horde, from the mightiest artillery gun to the lowliest pistol; everything was shot into the Cult's army. But it seemed that the Cult was uncaring about losses, men simply stepped over the corpses of the dead while vehicles pushed aside the smoking ruins of their predecessors.
It was at this point that Johnathan and the other saints were given the order to advance to the frontlines and hold the line against the Cult no matter what. Now that battle was upon him, the boy had to be ready, and thus he clutched his hammer tightly and uttered one last prayer. With a few flaps of his clockwork wings, Johnathan flew off into the air into the maelstrom of battle; keeping low to avoid the dueling aircraft and flying monsters as he advanced to the nearest wall.
The Adamantium walls held admirably, and their static defenses reaped a high toll of Cultist lives, but the necromancers of the cult were reanimating virtually every soldier they lost into undead form; sending them to continue the fight as cannon fodder. A truly detestable but undeniable effective tactic. He soon landed in time to see an Black Hand scorpion tank get uncomfortably close to a wall, only for a superheated clockwork ballista bolt to pierce through it's top and lance through it's engine, impaling it to the ground where a barrage of cannonry obliterated it.
Standing from atop the front wall, Johnathan looked up and saw a passing Cultist Carryall aircraft be blown out of the sky by a heavy stream of missile fire; prompting a cheer from the talon forces. More attempts at bypassing the defenses by air were similarly foiled, as the anti-aircraft defenses prioritized the transports over the bombers and fighters, and a new rain of wreckage fell from the sky engulfed in flames.
But this was short lived, for what seemed to be massive boulders launched from enormous catapults approached the wall. At first Johnathan snickered, even by the Order's standards that was rather obsolent...but his smirk vanished off of his face as he saw the nearest tank sized lump of rock begin to sprout arms and legs...Earth Elementals...By God he hated elementals...