Second Sphere

Hobby Creations => Battle Reports => Topic started by: BigToof on October 27, 2018, 11:13:57 am

Title: The Dark Eldar Archives: Dark Eldar vs Knights... Again (Part 4)
Post by: BigToof on October 27, 2018, 11:13:57 am
Dark Eldar vs. Knights/IG in "Post FAQ Blues" (1500, 09/18)

Hi All,
Well, the FAQ dropped and it's been doom and gloom and well... mostly confusion.
So, we did the only scientific thing possible:


So, same lists.  Same setup (had to move the terain around, but that's ok) and see what happens...

And indeed, the game was... different!

How did it go?
Who got FAQ'd? (pun intented)
And did the Dark Eldar make it out alive?

Read.  On.



The Lists

Dark Eldar 1500: 38 Infantry, 3 MCs, 6 Vehicles; 9 CPs
Black Heart Battalion
-Archon w/Venom Blade, Blaster
-Archon w/Venom Blade, Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Warriorsx5 w/Blaster
-Raider w/DCannon
-Raider w/DCannon
-Scourgesx5 w/Haywire Blastersx4
-Ravager w/DCannonsx3
-Ravager w/DCannonsx3
-Razorwing w/DCannonx2
-Razorwing w/DCannonx2
Prophets of Flesh Patrol
-Talosx3 w/Chain Flail, Macro-Scapel, Haywire Blastersx6
Artifacts of Cruelty: Writ of the Living Muse, Vexator Mask
Warlord: Labrynthine Cunning, Diabolical Soothsayer

Imperial Knights and Guard 1500: 32 Infantry, 4 SHs; 11 CPs
Imperial Knights (House Raven)
-Knight Castellan
-Knight Gallant
-Armiger w/Autocannonsx2
-Armiger w/Autocannonsx2
Imperial Guard Battalion (Cadian)
-Company Commander
-Primaris w/Force Stave
-Infantry Squad
-Infantry Squad
-Infantry Squad
Castellan: Cawl's Wrath
Castellan: Ion Bulwark (4+ Ion Shields)


Chapter 18: Return of the Eldar 2: Electric Bugaloo

Lord Montgomery Raven gazed down at his Men-At-Arms that ran around the feet of his enormous Dominus-Class Castellan.  The aged noble made sure to note of those who bowed and scraped immediately and those who took their time.  The latter would have to be flayed later for their insolence.  But, it was the nobliesse oblige of the keepers of House Raven to act in such a manner.  Other Houses would undoubtedly simply crush the curs underneath their feet, but Montgomery told himself that he was different.  He cared about the little people, much in the way his ancestors did.  After all, the pilots of the Castellan "Omnissiah's Perfection" had a reputation to uphold as defenders of the right and just.  Keeping the unwashed masses in line was just part of the job.  They could not understand the responsibility that the Throne Mechanicum demanded.  They had not undergone the ceremony to make man and Titan one, they did not feel the second skin of the machine making him closer than anyone to the Omnissiah, and they certainly could not bear the responsibility that near-limitless power brought.  No, better to keep it in the hands of those who could weild it with an equal measure of civility and sensibility.  His body, now more virtuous machine than corruptible flesh, flickered with data as sensor readings came pouring in.  The mask of metal that covered his wizened skull barely betrayed a sense of concern.

Something had happened.

The Kurov's Aquilla network had failed.  A sensible Mechicanicum mechanization to keep the Guardsmen and Men-At-Arms in line, the Aquilla network was the distribution of supposed rare artifacts that gave useful-enough advice in return for a subtle recording of all the engagements in the known Imperial combat sphere.  But, now... something had gone wrong.

Data links were severed on a mass scale and confirmatory reports from the Forge Worlds held equal parts dismay and outrage.  Could it be that the Adeptus Administratum had figured it out?  No, he told himself, not them.  The bean-counter pencil-pushers could barely figure out which end of a quill held ink.  No, something more insidious must have occurred.  But, what it was, he did not yet know.

A mental gesture sent a flurry of commands to his Sacristans, who quickly began their search.  The Guild-Priests were well trained.  They would find the source of this tech-heresy, and Omnissiah's Perfection would come to cleanse it.


Haemonculus X'Bella Le'Gosi of the Salon of Sorrow turned her head to the side.  It was rather curious after all.  The slight Eldar floated above her worktable, staring down at the mechanical Aquilla that she had aquired from the Imperial Guard Commander long ago.  It was a curious device.  The Mon'Keigh had assumed that it held some kind of religious power, but Bella could find none of the usual trappings that indicated that it channeled warp Energy.

It did, however, contain a simple, but vast information network that was surprisingly large given it's primitive appearance.  She had told Archon Y'stral of the Grisly Hand of her findings, and his reponse was rather confusing.

The network did not have a set of genitalia, so twisting them seemed an improbability.  However, it did allow for acquiring a rather good amount of data while allowing Bella to look into the workings of the so-called "Adeptus Mechanicus."  Bella had always had an intellectual curiosity regarding the crimson-clad Mon'Keigh.  As a Haemonculus, she had always wondered about their strange tendency to remove flesh from their bodies and replacing it with questionably reliable mechanical parts.  Surely cloning or subtle mutations would be more efficient and aesthetically pleasing?

A sharp pinging sound brought her attention back to the device.  It appeared to be a search program of some kind.  Again, primitive, but insistent.  A demand from a far-away source.

Bella weighed the options.  The demand was unlikely Eldar in nature, given the Mon'Keigh device.  Therefore, the hierarchy of normal Commoragh behavior was not in effect.  Furthermore, it meant that more information could possibly be acquired in person.  Tendrils extruded from her back-organs and began to work furiously on the Aquilla.  A meeting request would have to be made.  Somewhere isolated.  She checked the next Realspace Raid and noted a good location.  Soon, the makers of the Aquilla would be able to meet.  Bella was looking forward to it.  Perhaps they could be friends?


Pre-Game Thoughts: Right.  I got lucky the first time and managed to beat the Kninghts convincingly.


Ok, right, more like skin of my teeth that let me roll him up in the steam-roller that is the Dark Eldar.

But, now, I've lost one of my important tricks as I can't defensively deep-strike on Turn 1 anymore, but my opponent, at least, doesn't have infinite CPs to use.

And I can already tell that he's worried about CP, as he has ditched the IG Warlord combo and put all his money on the Castellan OP.  As it is pretty much the linch-pin of his army, I can understand that.

So, I'll have to play more tight than last time, and see if I can get my opponent to use CPs unnecessarily as the Raven strat is now 3 CPs, just like the others.

Not sure if I'll use the new defensive buff, but we'll see how it goes...


Title: Re: The Dark Eldar Archives: Dark Eldar vs Knights... Again (Part 4)
Post by: BigToof on October 27, 2018, 11:14:30 am
Well, as this is a semi-competitive FAQ experiment, we tried to keep it as even as possible, with a big LoS blocking terrain in the center with a defensive line in back of both large sides.  Rocks in the corners and trees scattered about.
Not too bad, but the major point of contention would be the very, very large manufactorum-like piece in the middle that hid things from even the Castellan's line of sight.

Deployment was fairly straightforward, with the Knights castling back with the Castellan surrounded by Guard and the Armigers to the flanks.  The Gallant was put as far forward as possible.

On the other side, I put the Taloi as far up as I could, then guarded my flanks with the Razorwings and put the boats in the middle.  As I can't Deep-Strike on turn 1 anymore, I decided to let the Ravagers swing in the wind.

I won the roll to go first (yay!), but then my opponent SEIZED THE INITIATIVE (doh!).

Well... here comes the pain train...

( (


"Y'stral, are you sure about this?"
The spindly frame of Archon Y'stral of the Kabal of the Grisly Hand swiveled on the deck of his Raider throwing a look at his Dracon (and formerly Farseer) Thielbane.  The Archon threw his hands up in mock frustration and said,

"Thiel, Thiel, Thiel, we've gone over this DOZENS of times."

"Twice, actually."

"Twice, Dozens, Whatever. Listen, it's simple: we've got these Mon-Keigh on the ropes with their comms all glitched out.  We take the biggest prize possible and scoop it up for the Dark City.  Can you imagine how much rep we're going to get if we bag ANOTHER bunch of the big bots?"

Thielbane tapped his hand nervously against his borrowed armor, trying his best to avoid the panaply of artfully arranged, but still very sharp, rows of spikes.

"I... just...  I consulted the runes."

The eye-roll from the Archon was almost audible.
"The runes?  The RUNES?  Come on, Thiel, what are you going to trust?  Some hocus-pocus scribbles or your best friend's gut?"

Thielbane stifled the standard response about how the Runes of the Seers were a type of highly reliable divination, but decided to cede this confrontation... for now.

"I just... want to let you know that this isn't going to be easy, the odds are..."

"Odds, schmodds.  If I wanted to know the numbers, I'd ask the Haemo."

WIth that, Thielbane glanced over at X'Bella Le'Gosi.  The waifish Eldar was floating amongst her bodyguard of masked Wracks, who were then dwarfed by the enormous trio of Taloi that glided through the air with silent purpose.

A shiver ran through him at the thought of the creatures unleashed.  They looked ungainy, but Thiel had seen Bella's handiwork first-hand and it was not for the faint of heart.

Noting, but completely misreading his companion's involuntary response, Y'stral laughed and cackled, "Yeah, don't worry, I'm sure they'll be enough of the Haemo later to jump on when it's all said and done.  I know you like 'em with some fight still in them."

Sighing, Thielbane was about to respond, but then heard the scraping of weapons as he saw the Wracks had all drawn weapons and were staring menacingly at the Kabal behind them, as if daring them to try.

Bella, on the other hand, had her head in her notes, scribbling away at whatever she was usually doing.

Before he could respond, Thielbane was interrupted by the Archon, who drew his blaster in an equally threatening manner and barked out, "What?  What?  You little four-armed freaks want to try something?  Let's not forget who's in charge here!"

"Archon?" came a slightly trembling voice over the comms.  Thielbane recognized it as his occasional love interest, Allonia.  The once-Wych was now part of the Kabal's air force and Thielbane had congradulated himself on getting her in a safer and more prestigious position using his influence.  Granted, it also had to do with her reflexes and skills.  Both... inside and outside of the bedroom.

"What?" snarled Y'stral.  "I'm busy putting some freaks in their place!"

"They're... advancing," came Allonia's wincing reply.

Thielbane and Y'stral both simultaneously jerked their heads up to see that yes, indeed the enormous Knights had made their move, and one of the enormous machines was lumbering forward, holding titanic versions of the armaments that the Space Marines carried.

Swearing and juping manically up and down, the Archon barked out, "Idiots!  You see what you did!  Now we're gonna take it from the rear!  If we die, I know who's going to get turned inside out!"

Allonia switched off her comms and swallowed hard.  That was bad timing indeed.  From within her Razorwing, the battlefield seemed so far away, but she knew that there would be hell to pay if things didn't go swimmingly.  There was a streak of pink-silver that zipped by her and she threw a glare up to see her rival, the far-too-pretty Ray'keth pass by in her own Razorwing, a mere hairsbreath away.  Although not noticable by most Eldar, her Wych-trained reflexes allowed her to clearly see the not-so-subtle gesture that Ray'keth was throwing her way.  Allonia's hand strayed to her weapon panel, and it took all of her control to not arm a barrage of Shatterfield missiles.  No, no, it would take all of them to try and get out of this one.  Then, she'd make Ray'keth pay.  With interest.


Turn 1: Imperial Knights
Lord Raven sent out a semi-garbled barrage in Lingua-technis.  Although it was his holy duty to defend the Manufactorum, the enormous building blocked most of his firing arcs.  The Omnissiah could be a hard patron indeed.
Deciding to make the most of the situation, he mind-signalled his thralls forward, nodding in satisfaction as the Armigers moved forwards into position.  He considered whether to awaken the mighty Raven Spirit of the Machine to its full power, but he considered his target: A mere single jetfighter.
An unworthy prey for his Dominus war-god.
Very well, a mere mundane barrage then...


Allonia swore as the enormous Mon-Keigh machine swiveled it's guns towards her.  Weaponry that could tear open a Wraithknight like paper lanced through the air and she closed her eyes as streams of fire and plasma tore through the sky, leaving sizzling arcs in their wake.  More explosions thundered around her.  What seemed like an eternity passed before she dared look again and surprisingly... she was alive.  Her readouts alarmed with scattered damage up and down the fuselage, but nothing critical.  Khaine himself must be looking out for her.  Glaring with vengeance at the Mon-Keigh, she swore that she would make them pay.


My opponent, having dastardly stolen the initiative, moves his Gallant out to the left and uses a Command Point to re-roll it's initial move to quite a bit forward.  The Castellan, realizing that it can't see my big squad of boats, moves out to the left as well to look and see... Allonia's Razorwing.

That's not good, but it could be worse.

The Armigers go out to the flanks to get a look at all of my vehicles.
Realizing that I'm basically out in the open, I decide to try the new Strategem, paying 2 CPs to get a +1 cover save (yay?).

Shooting then goes out, with the Castellan going out, but... slowly.
Realizing that only 10 CPs are left, and that it's "only one plane," my opponent decides to fire standard (i.e. no Raven Stratagem nonsense) and surprisingly low-rolls against the Razorwing.  Allonia gets away with only a few wounds lost!

Perhaps deciding that the Razorwing is blessed/cursed with nigh-invulnerability, my opponent switches targets to one of my Ravagers.  The Armigers open up and... well... a 4+ save is a LOT better than a 5+ save.  The Ravager in question takes 6 wounds, slowing it down a bit, but it's still alive!

( (
Picture Caption: I'm... alive???

Turn 1: Dark Eldar

Commander Edgel Gearsworth had served as leader of the rag-tag bunch of Men-At-Arms for Lord Montgomery Raven for years.  A simple man, he had the Omnissiah's blessing early on when a stray bit of shrapnel tore open his braincase, necessitating a good amount of useless grey matter being replaced with proper cogitators.

His men had said that it made his thinking and movement more like the Machine Spirits: precise, unyielding and accurate.

It did affect his pain receptors to an unfortunate degree, so it took Gearsworth a number of seconds to realize that it was not an error in his balance motivator, but he had indeed been blown off his feet by an insidious Xenos attack.

Actually, he corrected himself, his eye-lenses focusing back and forth over the battlefield, his feet had been blown off.  And his legs.  And most of his arm.  But, most importantly, his sensor and comms relays were cut-off, meanining that he could not provide the necessary orders to his troops.  Crawling his way towards the nearest service station on his bio-map, the aged Commander felt a slight tinge of regret in being unable to serve his function.  But, he could at least look forward to finally obtaining more than 50% replacement tissue.  A worthy reward for any servant of the Machine God.


I've realized something... my opponent has moved his Castellan AWAY from his Commander, leaving it open to a potential assassination strike.
As Allonia's done pretty well, I move her out to go behind enemy lines and an inch from the Commander.  The boats move out to the left to challenge the Gallant, and the Taloi move out to get within charge range of the Gallant.  Ray'keth moves her Razorwing up to block the Gallant's path.

In the Shooting phase, I start throwing Dissie shots from my wounded Ravager into the Castellan, spooking my opponent enough to make him throw Shields on it (and knocking his pool down quite a bit).  Rocking a 3++, I do no damage.  Then the real shooting opens up with the Blasters taking a terrible toll against the Gallant (14 wounds on 3d6?  I'll take that!).  The Taloi put more Haywire shots in, doing a surprising amount of damage (7 more wounds!).  As this means that the Gallant is rocked pretty hard, I decide to switch targets to the Armiger.  I have just enough Dissie fire left-over to take it down.

Then, the Taloi charge in and do enough damage to mince the Gallant apart.
Oh, and as a side note, Allonia snipes out the Commander, insuring that orders will be the least of my worries coming up.

( (
Picture Caption: You know where all of my opponent's luck went to?  I think I found it.

Turn 2: Imperial Knights
X'Bella Le'Gosi floated through the Manufactorum making careful notes as her Wracks dispatched any remaining servitors that dare get in their way.  Zero, the Acothyst leader of the Wracks, seemed to be taking great enjoyment in cleaving apart the mindless servents and Bella made a note to adjust his levels of rage injectors.

A gout of flame to her left suddenly intensified and she saw one of her Taloi fly through the air, spin and then land in a sizzling heap.  Gasps echoed from the assembled Kabalities behind the trio of monsters, but Bella instead nodded at the other two Taloi, who quickly moved forwards, tearing off bits of the technically-dead creature and implanting new organs.  With a swift injection of Panacea-virus, the fallen Talos sparked to life, floating again into the sky, gore dripping from it's wounds, but alive once more.  Or at least, as alive as the Taloi technically were.  Bella turned her head as she thought about the technicality of life and the separation between life, unlife, and the inanimate. Some time may have passed at this point as the Kabalites were yelling about something and limbs were flying through the air, but it was probably of little import.


My opponent is a bit shocked at the loss of the Gallant AND the Armiger so early in the game, but is even more surprised that he's at 7 CPs!  He makes a comment about how scary it is to have "only single digit CPs" in turn 2 (cue eye rolling).
In any case, the Castellan now has ample targets, moving back a bit behind his thin green line.  After measuring, he realizes that there's no way to keep out of Talos charge range, so he just accepts it.  The Armiger continues to move around the side, but his line of sight is severly blocked by the center ruin.
In the psychic phase, my opponent fails to smite Allonia's Razorwing.
He activates the Raven Strat (down to 4 CPs now) and after a lot of thought he decides to go after the Taloi.  Which is... perhaps not the best idea as I handily make my 4++ against his Volcano Lance hits but take some severe damage from Cawl's Wrath.  One of the Talos holds on with a single wound, but I manage through the torrent (barely) by making a rather ludicrious number of FNP rolls (6++ FTW!).  The Guardsmen try and help, but with the limited number of shots without orders, they don't do much to the Taloi.

( (
Picture Caption: That Talos should have been dead like twice already...

Turn 2: Dark Eldar

Lord Raven scowled as the beast he had slain returned somehow to it's feet.  Xenos sorcery indeed.  He stepped back, but his proximity warning went off and a silvery-pink aircraft flew by him, the wind buffering him forwards.  He scowled and his sensors clearly showed a foul Xenos wench with ample mammaries.  The creature had the audacity to make a mocking gesture at him that insinuated that his genitalia were of less-than-average size.
Raven chortled.  Clearly the creature did not know what she was dealing with.  He had replaced his nether-region long ago with a gigantic adamantium implant that would dwarf any Xenos' pathetic member.  How dare she...
Screams from anaugmented throats brought his attention to the fore, and he swore in binary as he noticed that only the smoking boots of his front-line remained.  Before he could log a complaint about the physical stability of his flesh-wall, the trio of Xenos monsters rolled forward with surprising speed.  Vials of injectors depressed into their backs and they seemed to spasm with glee as they tore into his Castellan's legs.  The enormous God-Machine buckled and Raven felt his very will being torn asunder.
How had things gone so wrong?


Wait... it's turn two and NOTHING of mine has died yet?
What's going on?
I decide to press my luck and move in hard, pushing forward with basically everything.
Shooting is pretty harsh as I wipe away the screen of Guard and then throw shots into the Castellan (who activates shields and is down to 1 CP) hurting it pretty badly.  I then assault in with the Taloi, who I give re-roll wounds and 2+ to hit.
They do more than a DOZEN wounds on the big guy, almost killing it, but my opponent uses his last CP to re-roll a save and keep it alive (so close!).  The Castellan tries to stomp back, but it can barely hit and fails to wound.

( (

Turn 3: Imperial Knights
Out of CPs, my opponent tries a last ditch effort to save some face.
He moves the remaining Guard up and decides to take out some Taloi.
In shooting, he manages to do so, dropping one of the big beasts and hurting another, but it's not enough.
Then, in an act of apathy, he charges a squad of the Guard in to assault the Taloi (ok...).  He gets chewed up a bit in overwatch and then the monsters set their weapons to "puree" (i.e. 10 attacks each) and mince the Guardsmen.  After morale, the remains of the squad flees.

( (
Picture Caption: Man, without CPs, the Knights just... kind of fall apart.

Title: Re: The Dark Eldar Archives: Dark Eldar vs Knights... Again (Part 4)
Post by: BigToof on October 27, 2018, 11:14:38 am
Turn 3: Dark Eldar

Guardsmen Herbert Edgewater wasn't much of a Guardsman.  He had been part of a Cadian company that had been decimated, renamed, re-decimated, renamed and then reabsored into a PDF that was then reassigned to a Knight World.  He had changed uniforms, ranks and badges so many times, Herbert felt more like a cog in a great machine than a man.  Which was somewhat appropriate given the Machine-Worshippers around him.  Not that he had anything against the Cog-Boys.  No, no, that wasn't what bothered him.  What did bother him was the news that fluttered in back channels.  That Cadia had suffered some horrible and grim fate, but nobody was going to admit it.  It seemed impossible.  The Cadian Gate had remained involate for millennia, acting as a bastion against Chaos.  But, something, something deep within Herbert gave him pause.  And perhaps it was this lack of faith that made him not pull the trigger when a figure rose out of the Manufactorum.

Herbert gasped when he saw a familiar visage, that of a stern, scowling bulldog of a man with a half-chewed cigar in his jowly maw.

"L... Lord Creed?"

Herbert couldn't believe it.  It was Lord Castellan Creed.  Said by those same rumours to be lost in some battle.  But, the most famed general next to Macharius himself was striding towards him, hands on his hips in a classic pose demanding respect.  Herbert straightened to attention, and felt nothing but unending joy when the Hero of the Imperium drew him in for a brotherly embrace, patting him on the back.

"Cadia...  Cadia STANDS," intoned the Lord and Herbert felt tears, real tears of joy and satisfaction roll down his cheeks as he wept for the first time since he was a child.

But... that changed to confusion when he suddenly felt pain.  Looking down, he saw that it was not arms that held him, but some kind of fleshy tentacles.  He gasped, and looked up at an alien face.  A strange, youthful Xenos girl with perfect porcelin skin that somehow seemed... wrong at the edges.  Before Herbert could even think of seizing his Lasgun, he was casually thrown head over heels to land in a senseless heap.

X'Bella Le'Gosi looked up as a shadow passed over her notes.  Ah, they were in close combat after all.  Her war-appendages were working within normal limits, clearing the way with adequate precision as the Wracks did their usual work.  They had made it to the other side of the battlefield with little disruption.  Perhaps things had gone better than planned?


Time to clean up.

Everyone moves up.  Razorwings fly around.
I down the Castellan with random shots, whittle down the last of the Guard and then Bella with the Coven just come in and finish the job.

Oh, and I drop down the Scourges on the right flank behind some cover to take potshots on the last Armiger that we both had kind of ignored at this point.  (There was a "serious" battle going on with Allonia's Razorwing, but it was really just a dog and pony show compared to the main event.)

( (
Picture Caption: Dead.  Done.  Dead.

Turn 4: Imperial Knights
The Knights decide to try and save some face and assault the Scourges with the Armiger.  Hilariously, I roll decent on overwatch and the massive Armiger falls to Haywire Cannon shots.

( (

And with that it's over!


Post-Game Thoughts: You know, without nigh-infinite CPs, the Knights just aren't that scary.  Ok, I take it back.  They just are more "swingy" in terms of damage output.  And in this game, Lady Luck really kicked my opponent in the pants while making sure that I saw more 6's in a single turn than I would usually see all game.

My opponent had really bad rolls on the turn without the Raven Strat and it really showed that the randomness of the Castellan does hamstring the big Knight.  On the other hand, I was rolling 6's like a madman with FNP rolls, keeping the Taloi and the Vehicles alive when they really, really shouldn't have been.

Looking at it, my opponent seemed floored at having to really think about his Strats and it felt much more tactical in terms of having to choose when to intervene with CPs.  On my end, I'm still always surprised by how much damage the Razorwings and Taloi can soak.  With the nerf to Ravagers, I may go back to these two units, although I am a bit worried that there may be some point increases in the near future that may hamstriing my list more than a bit...

In any case, thanks for reading!


Thielbane stood on the prow of his Raider, watching the Kabalites wrap up the incapacitated Mon-Keigh for transport. 

It was still taking some time to process.  They had won.  Easily.  How had this happened?

A crackling boom brought his attention to the skies as a Purple-Black Jetfighter was peeling away from a silvery pink Razorwing.  The latter was spiraling away, having lost part of a wing from a near impact.

Thiel shook his head.  Allonia, though normally pensive and angstful, had a mean streak if provoked.  Ray'keth would probably never figure that out.  If only it was like the legends where two rivals could meet and work out their differences.

Just like Khaine and Isha, he thought, rolling his eyes as he thought about a less savory story from their race's checkered past.

"Thiel!  Thiel!!"

The high-pitched screaming brought his attention back to Y'stral who was waving his hands around.  Thielbane sighed and jumped off his Raider, landing with effortless grace against the crater-filled ground.  The Archon was interested in something, surely.

He looked past Y'stral and swore inwardly when he saw Bella and her monsters, silently waiting.

Y'stral was tapping his foot impatiently as Thielbane walked forwards.  Thiel's mind raced as he thought of all of the ways he potentially defuse the situation.  But, this was interrupted as Y'stral spoke.

"Thiel, you can't keep a girl waiting.  Did you see that craziness with the spinning monster-thing?  Those beasts may look like fat blobs of snot, but they can take a BEATING."

Thielbane nodded and carefully replied, "Yes... Y'stral, the Taloi are an... amazing piece of work."

At those words, Bella suddenly jerked her head up and her cotorie of flesh-beasts suddenly came to attention.  Khaine's blood, thought Thiel, What did I say?

Y'stral nodded and said, "Glad that you finally came around, Thiel.  I know you weren't too hot on the Coven-guys in the beginning, what with them looking like refugees from a Splintermind orgy gone wrong and all, but I always gave them the benefit of the doubt."

Thiel tried to respond as the vast hypocrisy of the words hit him full in the face, but he collected himself as he could see where things were going.  "Ah, yes, Y'stral.  Thank you.  I'm glad that you gave me an opportunity to see the error of my ways."

The Archon nodded, "Good, good.  Now, I've told Bella how you feel about her, but have never been able to express yourself, you being a Craftworlder and all..."

"W...  Wait..." began Thiel as felt the sudden feeling of a noose tightening around his neck, "You..."

"So..." continued Y'stral with a conspiratorial wink, "I'm going to give you the go-ahead to be her consort.  You two crazy kids have fun.  I'm gonna go loot and all."

Y'stral started to walk off when Thielbane grabbed his arm and whispered, "Y'stral... I...  I can't..."

The Archon sighed and said, "Thiel, c'mon now, you've nailed worse.  Just use that old Space Pirate charm and reel her in.  What's the worst that could happen?"

Before he could say anything in response, Thielbane felt a long shadow cross over his face and looked up to see the leader of the Wracks, crossed serrated blades in hand, staring menacingly at him under a featureless metal mask that reflected back his own sweating brow.

Swallowing, Thielbane said, "Uh, hi.  I'm... Oh, you probably know who I am.  I guess, we'll be uh... seeing a lot of each other, right?"

Zero, Acothyst of the Salon of Sorrow, had once been a Wych of the Arena.  Had suffered depredations and disfigurements from the vain and the pretty.  He knew of their ilk before his Mistress had cut away his imperfections and honed him into a blade of torment and suffering.  Yes, he thought, yes he would be glad to let this trembling bag of perfumed meat into his Mistress' lair.  If only then better to flense him into bite-sized pieces.

Bella watched the pair with a nod.  They were clearly getting along.  Y'stral had indicated that she should have more friends.  She had Friend Allonia, but perhaps expanding her social linkages would be better for the Kabal and the Salon.  Things would work out splendidly.  Or at least within normal parameters.  Surely something to look forward to.