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, p16 — Strike Like the Wind

The foothills of the Bone Heights swarmed with daemons. Horticulous and his army had reached the site barely a day ahead of his pursuers, and wasted no time in climbing up to the Emberwash Realmgate and beginning his sowing ritual.

The ritual would take time. Ever the glum pragmatist - Horticulous found it best to assume that his enemies were always breathing down his neck. He had despatched much of his Tallyband back down into the foothills to lurk amnogst the craggy plateaus and watch over the old road that led up to the heights.

Fat little flies brought warning of the Rangers' approach, wobbling through the downpour to land on dameons' shoulders and jabber in their ears. Yet so swift were Neave and her warriors that word of their coming arrived scant moments before them.

The Knight-Zephyros was a direct and aggressive huntress, and she put great stock in rapid kill. Still, she was no rash fool. She would not rush in blindly. Crouched amidst the storm-lashed grass, Neave held a swift council of war with her warriors while they waited for their Aetherwings to scout the daemons' positions.

Upon their return, the vibrantly-hued birds spoke of slouching daemon packs spread all along the line of the hills. They infested every route like maggots, but in their wide deployment Neave saw a weakness. The daemons of Nurgle were resilient and dangerous foes, but they were lacking in speed. If the Rangers could punch a hole through the rearguard that defended the old road, they would be past the enemy lines before the farther-flung daemons could react to stop them. From there, it would be a straight shot to the summit and Horticulous. With their plan decided, the Shadowhammers moved out. They slipped through the grasslands like flitting shadows, gathering pace as they arrowed towards the old road upon aetheric winds. Neave led the warriors' charge, becoming a blur as she accelerated to her full blistering pace and bringing the full wrath of the storm with her.