Just before dawn peasants from the wilderness around the City of Middenhelm came in there hundreds for protection the city would offer. The General, one Arlen Ulren, knew that the siege was coming despite this and had expected so for quite some time. The gate guards watched as a disheveled force of Swordsmen, who had obviously been on patrol, returned in the midst of these peasants. Out of 30, 11 were dead. None could say what happened to the 9 Knights of Ulric that acted as rearguard for there retreat. The unit champion, Hibold the General would later remember without effort, swore to Ulric they would be avenged to his and his dieing men’s breath.
General Arlen Ulren brought on his advisor, the Shadow Mage Tiburon, and consulted his friend on the battle to come. Tiburon made mention that Arlen release the prisoners from the city Jail, and offer a reward for those mercenaries billing in city taverns to help defend it. Draining some of his coffers he did so and had two units defend the left flank of his wall sections. A unit of 30 men to the front, a unit of 20 to the left flank, all criminals and mercenaries with the promise of freedom and coin. He then ordered his halberdiers and the battle worn swordsmen on the parapets beside the main gate, and had his unit of crossbowmen and one of his hand gunner units to guard the right. With his remaining hand gunner unit he gave the commission to them to hold the main gate. Feeling that they were well protected by halberdier and solider units he felt it wise.
Each of his four Towers held a cannon each and had always been drilled and meticulously attended, and in the courtyards behind the main walls his trusty engineers would see to the charge of the extremely dangerous Rocket Batteries. He heard of an accident with the called "Cricket" and that the engineer was wounded by powder burns but could continue. The General cursed is luck further, seeing how he did not have enough of his forces to defend the right flank. He knew the enemy would take advantage of this, and such was that it would not go untested.
When finally the army of the damned Chaos legion emerged from the forests surrounding the north face he was not surprised at its compactness. He knew that each soldier on the ground could match 2 or 3 of his best blow for blow. He prayed to Uric that his defending army would send them reeling despite. At first his army seemed to be bolstered at the idea that it was such a small force to be assaulting them, unsupported as it was. But when the massive Shaggoth lumbered from the forests beyond, pulling with little effort two gigantic siege towers, hooked by chain and flesh to each of its arms, he could hear the audible groan of his forces manning the walls. He heard from his advisor that a number of Mercenaries and freed men slunk away upon site of this, and now the was down to just 10 holding the left flank and 23 on the front. But he was not concerned despite this.
When the Siege Towers lumbered in within range, he gave the order to fire the cannons. He knew that solid month of drilling he ordered these men to perform would pay off. All four cannons ROARED upon his command. 2 ripped through the armored fronts with little effect, but the two corners had the correct angle for maximum effect. With two loud CRACKS wood splintered and both Siege towers bowed in on themselves. With chunks of splintering wood they leaned onto each other and the Shaggoth disappeared in the rubble between them.
The Empire walls cheered and the General slammed his armor fist against the wall with a grin. But such elation was immediate cut short. The Shaggoth roared and flexed its body from beneath the two towers that had crushed it. The splintering wood parted and huge sections of the rubble were hurled against the right flank of the city defenses. Timbers met bone and flesh of human men and many died, falling off the walls in there droves or crushed under the weight of the debris. Despite its wounds, bleeding from many gashes across his gnarled hide, the Shaggoth pulled forth its gigantic mace that had been strapped to its back and galloped with a bellow that ripped the sky with angry lighting. The Siege had begun.
When the Chaos Forces slammed against the main gate, hooks and rope flung across the walls. Some men were killed immediately, harpooned by the wicked hooks that the enemy forces used to scale the defenses up and down the walls. The Chosen took full advantage of the right flank, choosing to engage the Crossbowmen who had seen the brunt of there Shaggoths rage. General Ulren immediately stormed in to assist, and the moment he came to the aid of his crossbowmen the Champion of the Chosen’s elite unit was the first to touch the top of the wall. Immediately a challenge broke out, and before the General could react, the Champion grievously wounded him before he took two steps out onto the debris choked wall section. Most of the remaining crossbowmen died protecting there lord, battering back the Champion and the remains of his unit, dumping chunks of debris on them or simply tipping them over into the crowds below the Chosen simply stood back up and jeered at the base of the flagstones. None of the enemy had fallen, and almost all of the crossbowmen were dead.
While some of the Halberdiers managed to drag the badly wounded General into the protection of there tower he was still bellowing orders and threw them off. He grabbed the Unit leader of the Halberdiers by the scruff his collar. With blood trickling from his mouth the General croaked an angry command, "I'm not dead you idiots! I have some fight still in me! By Ulric HOLD THAT DAMN WALL!" He thrust a meaty finger at the bedraggled crossbowmen but before the Halberdiers could act one of the men screamed, "SHAGGOTH!" And the world turned upside down!
On the right flank Shadow Master Tiburon watched as the remains of the Mercenaries and freed men hold there ground. The unofficial unit leader, a plucky young youth named Maxim, was efficient and gave clipped commands that even the freed men respected. He ordered rocks on the ledges and as the Chaos Warriors began to throw there hooks over the wall he was the first to die. Harpooned through the chest in the midst of his order to release the rocks upon the foe, he was sucked out the portcullis in a heartbeat. More and more men were suddenly dragged down by these meaty hooks and Tiburon felt it prudent to interfere. Casting fourth a hex, the chaos warriors could not find the will to effectively scale the walls just yet and the Mercenaries just barely decided to stay. The remaining unit on the left flank, of which were under the command of an ex unit leader of some sort ordered his men from the wall section as they were not engaged and promptly ordered his remaining men to enter the tower section to aid in the support of the other unit.
With all the confusion at play, and the right flank under heavy assault, the wicked Chaos Sorcerer lead his unit of 20 Warriors into undefended wall section. Using incantation and daemonic spells his unit teleported unobstructed onto undefended wall section. He then approached the right flank tower and prudently knocked on the door as though he were casually looking for entry. Having not thought or seen any foe scaling the walls, one of the hand gunners opened the door expecting reinforcements. With a look of horror on his face the soldier saw his error a second too late though. He was hacked down in an instant and the Chaos warriors spilled into the tower in an orgy of slaughter, and from then it was called the "Red Ruin" tower.
When the dust settled the Halberdiers could hear the heavy breathing of the wounded Shaggoth on the other side of there fortification. The Cannoneers above them were screaming heated curses as its siege club rained feebly against the tower defenses. The leading Halberdier looked away from the General, still held in a death lock by him, and yelled for his soldiers, "SPILL IT!" He roared. The Shaggoths eye peered into the slight hole it had made in the tower wall and was attempting to reach for them. "SPILL IT NOW!" The Halberdiers roared back, somehow bolstered by the angry mood there leader was giving them. Some ran to the roof of the tower and with one hearty kick tipped the barrel of boiling oil right over the edge. The Shaggoth looked up just in time to be hammered by the two hundred pound half pot on the nose and then it squealed horribly as its eyes were burned out of its thick skull by the boiling stick of its contents. Collapsing its thunderous screams and its death rows went unnoticed, the sounds of Cannons and Men dieing drowning out its death.
"Right men! TO THE WALL!" The halberdiers stormed onto the wall section and was immediately greeted by the second attempt of the Chosen’s Advance. The Champion was already there, his own halberd slick with the generals blood "DIE SCUMPOUCH!" The Unit leader roared, and with a move that would have impressed even a High Elf, spin kicked the haft of his Halberd off the back of his leather boot, driving it with enough force to sever the Champions head in the middle of its boast before it could raise its bloody weapon to defend. There was a huge clash of blade and brawn, Halberd met halberd, many men died and only one chosen met a blade that could kill it. While the chosen were repelled again and again, the sorcerer looked out across his newly acquired tower and headily waited for his foul gods next command to action.
The general, still bloody and wounded, heard screaming from the gate. A loud crumping was heard over the din of battle, and the gate house trembled at the sound of heavy stone hitting wood. Men were shaken from the walls and the hand gunners began to flee, screaming "Trolls!" Having looked out at precisely the same time as the Swordsmen in the tower adjacent, the Swordsmen knew that his time for redemption was at hand. He kicked open his towers doors leading to the main gate, and spilled his swordsmen into the open gap. "Damn you!" HOLD YOUR GROUND!" The general screamed to his hand gunners. They stopped, realizing only then that they had nowhere else to go.
The mercenaries were now on there last legs. The Shadow Mages spells were holding the enemy forces at bay but the casualties were mounting. The ex captain approached the Mage and demanded that he take the head with his men. "We can hold this better then they can! They're about to break! Send them off, have them support us, or whatever! Let us out there!" "Fine!" The shadow mage scoffed, and with that the unit was relieved. "Do the empire proud! The shadow mage said, locking himself back into his tower with the cannon crew so he could look further down at the battle. The ex soldier turned back to say, "Just keep those spells coming," but the door was already closed.
Back on the other side of the wall the Halberdiers were fighting to there last man. Bloody and beaten the Unit leader looked over the walls and saw that the Chosen were backing off from the fight. Relief struck him as he realized that he was the only man left alive holding the wall but an ominous foreboding soon struck him. Not a cannon was heard coming from the tower to his right for quite some time and the moment he realized this the door flung open and twenty chaos warriors stormed out lead by a crooked and mutant thing that could only be described as a sorcerer of the ill-gotten gods. In one fell instant he looked back at his general and he in turned looked back through the window. The Unit leader, his name Rocklin, grinned and then took up his Halberd. He screamed the name of Ulric and disappearing into the press. It was not lost on the General that he saw the cold breath of the man as he screamed his gods name.
The remaining crossbowmen in turn began to barricade the door and window as he looked upon the wall. The entire right flank was taken. His city was almost lost.
The swordsmen flexed there arms and began to chant the name of Ulric. They began to loose rocks upon the Trolls below them, being meticulous and killing many despite there regenerative nature. But it wasn't long until the Trolls managed to bust enough holes in the wall for enough footholds to climb up. Just as the creatures realized this they chose not too. They were immediately culled and fell to there knees in abasement to the astonishment of the empire soldiers. Then it was quickly revealed why. The chosen marched heedlessly, forming up in a ragged band lead by a hideously crooked beast with a flag jutting out of its spine. It screamed and whipped and wailed and the swordsmen unit leader bellowed, "YOU!!" The creature responded in turn, rising its axe its helmet shook as it roared hideously in an alien tongue. 9 heads of bearded men hung from its belt and it only made the swordsmen hunger for revenge more.
Back on the left flank the ex captain and his motley crew held back the furious assault of the chaos warriors. Only three of his men had died in two more attempts by the Warriors. He took full advantage of his prior knowledge to the fiends, issued a challenge, and lopped the head off there champions body as he began to scale the walls. Though dishonorable it took the chaos warriors by surprise and in the lull the ex captains men managed to cut or pull free the cables leading to the top of the walls.
Tiburon was impressed. His idea to release the mercenaries paid off tremendously but his thoughts were quickly turned outwards. A sudden loud crunch of wood was heard over the din of combat. He knew the main gate was fallen, and suddenly noticed the ever increasing quietness of the empire soldiers manning the walls. Looking out across his tower he could see swordsmen amassing in the main courtyard as though preparing to make a last stand at the gate. He raised his hands to the heavens and spun an intricate wave of his hands. With a keening a bolt of gray ghosts made of the things of nightmares swarmed from his outreaching arms. The ex empire man looked in wonder as the apparition leapt from the wizards hands and disappeared towards the main gate.
As the Chosen climbed heedlessly up the walls the wicked personification assailed them. The swordsmen upon the walls took the likeness of some foul things. Men in golden amour, lashed with silvered swords and shields radiating light and a calming warmth. They snarled and spit to try to get the accursed vision from them but they continued despite this change of enemy. At the last moment the Aspiring Champion hooked its great axe on the cleft of the wall and hurled itself onto the parapet. Left and right it sheered and clawed and scraped. Men, despite there godly appearance, fell in streams of blood and were beaten aside as the rest of the Chosen filled in behind there lord. In a moment of outrage the Unit leader of the swordsmen screamed his revenge in Ulrics name. The Aspiring Champion took a step back, the image before him flickering to a gray armored man larger then life, ice breath sweeping from his bearded lips in a fog. Piercing blue eyes that cut deep into its wicked soul followed suite. It snarled its outrage but this new threat was just as good as he. It raised its great axe to stop the first blow and the sword swept cleaning through it, cutting into the eye slit of the horrible beast. By a seemingly mechanical response the broken half of its weapon seemed to have been guided by a will of its own, controlling the arm of its masters corpse, impaling this being in the side.
Both bodies fell, sparking light and black whirling maelstroms intertwining and then crashing upon the Chosen still waiting to climb the walls. The Chaos Horde seized in its action and the Trolls fled in a lopping gate. The Sorcerer, who was prepared to have his warriors batter down the door to the next tower and kill the General as his prize was suddenly wracked by the realization that his plans were destroyed. He screamed and raged and in a pop of light he and his warriors vanished from the walls in an instant. The remains of the chaos warriors who never made it inside the walls looked up at the 7 remaining mercenaries manning it. Lifting there champions body away one Chaos Warrior stood the longest behind. It stood, saluting the ex-soldier with a fist to his chest. The ex soldier promptly gave the appropriate response, the official "Two Fingered Sign of Sigmar" until the war band disappeared into the woods with the remains of the Chaos Chosen soon to follow.