Battle Report—Gresham's Snakepit

Warband of Boss Skullgul versus the Masque of the Leaping Flame

The forces faced off across a rather cluttered and burnt refinery area, both sides infiltrating squads well forward of their companions. Skullgul's forces were preceded by a horde of small, green creatures barely bigger than the guns they desperately clutched; the Laughing God's followers, barely visible on the field, were nearly lost to each others' sight amongst the towers and buildings. Both sides were showing heavy-weapons crews—the Orks, a huge tri-lobed thing of some sort; the Harlequins, a scatter laser (Director Ra'shayn insists on calling them an "effects team," for some reason). The Orks fielded a few two-man groundcraft; on the opposite flank, the Flame had placed their squadron of jetbikes.

From the very first, the battle was plagued by error, perversity, and the twisted hand of Chaos. To the glory of Humankind and its protector the Emperor, both sides were affected, the Orks more so than the Eldar. Weaponry jammed, or failed to breach armor; combatants tripped over their own comrades in the close fighting; the much-vaunted boar-mounted cavalry unit of the Orks did not perform up to expectations. After the fight, it was discovered that the Flame had in fact misplaced an entire 5-man squad, who failed to show up for the engagement. ("First-night jitters," dismisses Director Ra'shayn. "To be expected the first night of a performance.") The Ork Cavalry, combining with Skullgul's own bodyguard squad, did wipe out a full squad of the Flame's infiltrators; Skullgul himself ripped the squad's sergeant ("Assistant Director") limb from limb. The other sections of the field, however, were faring less well for the Orks. The Ork warbuggies charged the "effects team," and were shot up rather badly; the Ork infiltrators had run afoul of the Flame First Squad (the "Principal Actors of the Company") and only the Ork lascannon crewman escaped; the other Flame infiltrator squad had charged the other half of the Ork lines, and engaged them in strenuous hand-to-hand combat until at last Skullgul gave the retreat order, and the Orks fled the field.

Director Ra'shayn was less than pleased, apparently; he was heard to mutter something about "Not staying until the third act." The planet itself, having enough fuel and repair facilities to support at least a tank, he ceded to the Orks, preferring instead to move on to the planet Skullgul had recently vacated. A hasty resupply of the troops awaited there ("choosing the props appropriate to the drama") and then . . .

. . . Chaos.

—Dylan Eidos, Librarian, 3rd Company Phoenix Legion