The eldar warhost might have been completely silent in its progress but for the mighty avatar, whose massive footfalls reverberated loudly through the ancient forest. Guardians, dire avengers, dark reapers, and a battery of d-cannons followed behind their warrior god on their way to attack an imperial outpost recently installed on the former maiden world. Grav-tanks glided along on the flanks of the formation. Cut off from the guiding premonitions of their farseer, they did not anticipate the imminent attack from the fiercest protectors of the imperium.
Suddenly the air was filled with ear-piercing howls as five drop pods screamed through the planet’s atmosphere. In seconds, they had all impacted in a nearly perfect circumference around the eldar, and into the resultant smoke and debris stepped the mighty space wolves, armed to the teeth. Their mission: to ensure the destruction of the perfidious alien warhost while minimizing their own casualties.
The first to fire were veteran wolf guard clad in tactical dreadnought armor. Plumes of white hot flame issued from each of their weapons, sweeping through one squad of guardians and reducing fifteen of them to ashes in moments. A nearby squad of grey hunters, led by another wolf guard veteran, aimed their bolt and plasma pistols into a second squad of guardians, killing many of them as the survivors scrambled to gain control of the eldar rocket launcher platform. The guardians returned fire and three of the mighty astartes fell, their unit falling back towards cover to regroup. Across the battlefield, a wise venerable dreadnought extracted itself from its drop capsule and combined fire with nearby units of blood claws and grey hunters, sending more tongues of fire into the forest, burning up several dire avengers and, more importantly, melting the delicate d-cannon platforms.
The dark reaper exarch led his unit to the top of a human chemical storage tank. As his fellows took careful aim with their reaper launchers, he began to spin a bolo-like weapon, faster and faster, until he released it nearly straight up into the air with a single delicate gesture. The eldar bombs soared in an almost imperceptible arc and descended on the unit of grey hunters led by the space wolf rune priest, who had emerged from their drop pod to the left of the eldar column. At the precise point of impact, the dark reapers opened fire with their launchers, and the combined destruction wiped out seven of the space marines. The reaper exarch watched sadly as a squad of dire avengers charged into the rest. They were no match for the rune priest, and he cut them all down with little effort. Their attack had been merely a distraction, however, and suddenly a different foe emerged from behind the space wolf seer – a team of harlequins were flitting in and out of sight, encircling him and the two surviving grey hunters with their deadly dance. Confused by the horrible costumes closing in on him and the violent deaths of his brothers, the rune priest backed up, and thus did not see the wounded dire avenger exarch lying behind him, who extended one final fatal thrust with his diresword before dying.
The avatar, screaming with fury, charged the wolf guard terminators, felling two of them before they could react. The battle leader reacted instantly with a flurry of attacks, but his lightning claws could find no purchase in the demon’s molten iron skin. One of his bodyguard, however, stunned the mighty beast with a single swing of his thunder hammer, giving the blood claws squad time to run over and join in the fight.
The reaper exarch turned his attention instead to the second squad of grey hunters, who were pulling back from the circle of drop pods trying to rally for another charge. Another volley of missiles from the reapers and guardians dropped a few more marines and sent them running further back into the forest, where the sightless wraithguard would be waiting for them. The exarch’s second barrage of tempest bombs missed their target, however, landing instead on the big fray between the avatar, wolf guard terminators, and blood claws. When the smoke cleared, the eldar D-cannon crew and half of the blood claws were dead.
When the avatar recovered from the impact of the thunder hammer (not to mention the reaper exarch’s tempest bombs), he swung the wailing doom with deadly precision, killing two more terminators before finally falling beneath the weight of the blood claws’ many power fists. Having finished off their most hated foe, the blood claws ran directly for the tower where the dark reapers’ position, and by combining their fire with several drop pod storm bolters, managed to finish their targets off.
An additional unit of guardians, covering the rear of the eldar advance, had heard the horrible sounds of war and hastened to join the fight. Just as they were setting up their weapons to fire on the human enemy, space wolf scouts emerged from the underbrush behind them. One guardian turned in time to see and was able to kill one of the wolf scouts, but it was already too late. The determined scouts killed several guardians with their plasma pistols and meltagun before charging headlong into them and wiping them out in close combat. As they finished off the wounded, an eldar falcon tank came around the corner of a rock outcropping and opened fire with its pulse laser and star cannon, reducing the scouts down to two men. Undeterred, they charged the grav-tank, but after taking a glancing hit from the scout’s meltagun, the falcon turned and fled the scene.
The venerable dreadnought, incensed after having watched the rune priest die at the hands of the foul alien dancers, unleashed his heavy flamer and plasma cannon on the harlequins, killing two, including their shadowseer. The obscuring haze that had been clinging to the harlequins fell away, and suddenly they were exposed. Before they could get away, he reached out and grabbed one more, crushing the puny eldar body with an enormous claw. As the three surviving harlequins flipped away from the giant walking tomb, one of them took aim with his fusion pistol and sent a jet of superheated air directly into a critical joint, causing a catastrophic explosion that sent pieces of the dreadnought flying and annihilated one of the harlequins’ own number. Having recovered control of its weapon systems, the eldar falcon returned to the area to evacuate the beleagured harlequins, but the last two wolf scouts finished them off with bolt pistol and meltagun fire before they could get on board. The falcon launched one last salvo of plasma into the scouts, only killing one of them. The last scout stunned its weapon systems with his meltagun before the tank once again turned and blazed away into the forest, never to be seen again.
As the wolf guard battle leader led his grey hunters into the woods to regroup, an eldar wave serpent circled around behind them and dropped off its mysterious cargo: a squad of silent eldar wraithguard led by a spirit seer. Their horrible wraithcannons killed one of the grey hunters and wounded the battle leader before they came to grips in close combat. The wolf guard’s frost blade decapitated two of the eldar constructs before he himself fell to the spirit seer’s witchblade. The terminator battle leader stumbled over from the avatar’s remains to join the fight next to the two surviving grey hunters, his lightning claws slicing up two more wraithguard. Since the eldar grav tanks had retreated, it would likely be the final brawl of the day. Though they had lost many brave wolves, their mission of stopping the eldar advance had most certainly been accomplished.