When the Bastion fell, so too did the Empire’s last chance of holding back the Chaos tide. In desperate haste, the Imperial Armies of all the Empire made ready for a last stand upon the outskirts of Heffengen as the Hordes of Chaos overwhelm all in their path. General Godfrei Talb commanded the eastern defences, while Valten and his Army of Sigmar held the far eastern flanks. Reinforcing their ranks were the Ogre Maneaters of Grub Kineater and his Bloodfist Mercenaries. The western defences were held by General Garrat Mecke, Lord General of Talabhiem, and the armies of all Talabecland were under his command. Upon the center, Karl Franz held the command of an entire army of Palace Guards, Reikguard Inner Circle Knights, and Imperial Soldiers from Steil’s Swords, forming a double-line half a mile beyond Heffengen’s gates.
To the north, the Hordes of Chaos advanced beneath the beating wings of innumerable crows. War drums beat the very air with noise and demons roamed amongst their ranks. Without any plan or order, the hordes rushed into battle with the Claws of Skael at the fore. As the horde came into range, the entire might of the Empire’s artillery rained stones and ballistae bolts upon the teeming masses. Hundreds died within seconds of the barrage and yet the Hordes kept on coming, and as they got closer, volley after volley of Hochland crossbowmen let loose their barrage. Yet again, this horde was titanic beyond imagination, and the barbarians had the bodies to slowly close the gap.
Within minutes, the center of the Imperial line was struck by the barbarians like a thunder bolt, with already five whole regiments of elite Imperial soldiers lost in the brutal melee. The Imperials under Kurt Helborg launched a counter-attack as the second Imperial battleline marched forward. The first barbarian wave faltered and the Imperials pushed them back. Yet within moments, the second Chaos wave came forward, at their head came rotting daemons, Skaeling berserkers and the ancient Unclean One that Gelt temporarily imprisoned, Gurug’ath.
Yet the hordes were disorganized, and all their forces were directed solely towards the center of the Imperial battleline, leaving their flanks exposed. In response, Garrat Mecke’s western artillery and crossbowman positions opened fire once more. To the east, Valten lead his flagellant army and slammed headlong into the Chaos Hordes eastern flanks. The Reikguard Knights under Kurt Helborg fought deep into the Chaos ranks until he came upon the Greater Deamon and fought him hard. Seeing the battle hanging in the balance, Karl Franz leaped upon Deathclaw and came to Kurt’s aid.
The second assault began to falter, as the Skaeling warriors found the fury of the fanatics beyond even their own abilities. Chieftain after chieftain had challenged Valten to battle, but each one fell before the crushing force of Ghal Maraz. Unable to fight against such crazed madmen, the Skaelings broke and ran. Hearing the cheers of the Fanatics, the Imperial and Ogre warriors of the eastern flanks pushed forward. Yet as the Skaelings broke, the armies of the Kurgans fell upon them, killing their comrades for being spineless curs. Then came the legendary Crom the Conqueror, sent forth by Archaon to either conqueror or to die within the south.
The third wave, which consisted entirely of powerful Chaos Warriors led by the Sons of Nifflecht and the Unclean, slammed upon the Fanatic army and killed the lot of them. Only where Valten and Huss fought did the holy army held its ground, until they too became an island within a sea of hulking armor-clad barbarians. The Kurgans surged past the two holy warriors, and slammed upon the Imperial and Ogre forces coming to reinforce them. Out of formation, the Ostermark Imperials were overwhelmed by their ferocity. General Godfrei Talb died alongside his men, and only Grub Kineater and his Ogres held their ground.
Yet as the battle raged, the river banks of the Revesnecht, just a mile east from the fighting began to stir to life. Without a sound to be heard, an entire army of the Rackspire Dead appeared out of the massive river with Estroth the Silent leading the warbanner. Skeleton Warriors, ancient Wights and hungry winged Reavers descended upon the north-eastern flanks of the Chaos army, with Vlad von Carstein at his head. The Kurgans did not despair like their Skaeling brethrens, but fought the new foe with renewed savagery. Yet as they fought, the recently slain began to reanimate themselves, and soon the Kurgans were trapped on all sides. However, Crom the Conqueror would not be denied his victory, and soon he fell upon Valten and Huss with a vengeance. The three fought hard, Valten landing three powerful blows before he and Huss were pushed to the ground. As Crom closed in to end Valten’s life, Huss hurled himself against Crom and held him back until Valten grabbed Ghal Maraz and slammed his hammer upon the Conquerors head. With his death, the Kurgans finally broke and ran. The western flanks was secured.
On the eastern flanks, Akkorak the Crow of the Kul tribe lead the Chaos Knights of Kruld’s Rampagers and the Marauder Horsemen of the Wildkin of Hraldar against the Talabecland armies. The Talabeclanders braced themselves, and amongst their ranks Morrstan, last Wizard of the Athemyst Order hurled a blast of purple death magic upon the Chaos riders, breaking their charge. Back at the center, Karl Franz came upon the Great Unclean One and struck his sword upon its skull, banishing him from this realm. Yet as the battle seemed won for the Imperials, trumpets blared to the north as a host of Blood Knights came down south.
As they came closer, it became clear that the Blood Knights were touched by Chaos, and soon these Vampires showed their new allegiance to Khorne by falling upon the Imperials and Undead alike. In the skies overhead, Karl Franz was suddenly assaulted by the Blood Knight’s Grandmaster, Walach Harkon. In but a few minutes, the Emperor, the greatest statesman and general the Empire has ever known, was seen falling from the sky, blood streaming from his chest. As the entire army saw him plummet, fear spread like a raging wildfire, and the entire army ran for their lives. Only the two Undead armies continued their battle until Walach was finally slain by Vlad himself. His death mattered little, for the Emperor was dead, and the Empire stood ready to crumble.
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