• Published 9th Aug 2012
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Horn and Hammer - Lancer



Warhammer meets MLP. Two forces for good, two opposite ways of life, forced to stand together.

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Chapter Four- Standoff

Chapter Four

Standoff

Everfree Forest, Equestria

The tense standoff between the Equestrian princess and the soldiers of the Empire seemed to stretch for hours as Twilight looked on in dread, concentrating her magic on her mentor and Willhelm she could feel magic condensing on the two figures. Both Willhelm’s staff and Celestia’s horn were glowing as they channelled power into themselves.

With a leap she threw herself between the two sides, planting her fore hooves on the ground and spinning on them. She came to a stop facing her princess, forcing the alicorn to raise her horn so that it was no longer targeting the White Wizard.

Pieter watched the little lavender unicorn putting herself between the two sides and immediately lowered his own pistol, beckoning for the other officers nearby to lower their weapons in turn. Willhelm was the last to lower his staff under the watchful gaze of the suspicious princess. Pieter walked up to stand beside Twilight, glancing down at the pony he smiled with encouragement to which she reciprocated.

“Please, we are not here to threaten you, there are others on your planet who would wish that and many more who would if it were not for us right now” said Pieter.

“What do you mean?” asked Celestia her interest piqued.

Pieter turned to address Markus, “permission to show the princess the portal father?”

“Granted, but be swift, time is of the utmost importance”

“Ooooh ooooh can we come?” asked Pinkie Pie.

“Why not” Markus answered with a shrug, “This is your planet after all”

The officers and soldiers stepped aside to allow the Equestrians through. Pieter took the lead with Celestia and Twilight, just behind them was Pinkie, Spike and Rainbow Dash. Walking through the gap in the Empire regiments the stunned looks of the soldiers followed the ponies and muttering erupted from within the ranks. The Equestrians glanced around nervously at the soldiers craning necks.

“I should warn you, it is not a pretty sight. Many of our enemy died trying to chase us down” warned Pieter, stopping beside the regiment of Greatswords.

“Twilight, you and your friends should stay here” suggested Celestia, peering around the Greatswords the princess saw the devastation that had befell the Chaos worshippers in the other world. Celestia’s face being pure white already failed to pale at all and so remained impassive. But Twilight noticed her ruler’s pastel coloured, ethereal mane visibly shrink at the scenes before her.

“Yes stay here; this is not something I wish for you to see.”

Pieter walked with Celestia as he began describing recent events to the pony princess, making sure not to stray too close to the portal and lose the ability to communicate.

Twilight could see his steel covered arms gesticulating as he talked. ‘Interesting, these humans use their hands as paralinguistic aids while we ponies regularly use our heads and hooves, well and wings for pegasi’ thought Twilight. ‘There are so many similarities in how we express ourselves, even their faces share similar features.’

Twilight turned back to her friends to keep an eye on them and make sure none of them attempted to follow and betray the princesses’ request. Thankfully both Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie had found something else to amuse them.

“Hi! My name is Pinkie Pie, what’s yours?”

The horse she was addressing continued to ignore the pink ponies’ presence. The cart driver behind the horse however took note that an impossibly pink and tiny horse was trying to talk to the beast attached to his cart.

“Ulric’s beard you things can talk?” asked the incredulous cart driver.

“Of course we can, I mean gosh I couldn’t imagine not being able to talk, could you?” replied Pinkie, directing the question at the grey horse next to her.

“Pinkie they may be able to understand us but that doesn’t mean the horses can” chuckled Twilight. “The spell only affects sentient creatures”

“What does that mean?” asked a still hovering Rainbow Dash.

“Sentient essentially means an intelligent and self-aware creature, you know like a pony, griffon or these humans, apparently these horses aren’t. Interesting really, archaeologists postulate we could have evolved from a larger, brutish state.”

Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. Giving a sigh she subconsciously flapped her wings just a little harder propelling her higher, subconsciously trying to put distance between herself and the rambling Twilight. Fatefully she glanced around, her eyes falling on the portal. Rainbow Dash’s cyan blue cheeks turned pure white and her magenta pupils constricted to pinpricks.

“Rainbow, Celestia told us not to look, get down here!” commanded Twilight upon seeing her friend’s stunned face. Rainbow Dash instinctively reacted to the tone of command, her wings shot inwards and she fell to the ground.

The group of friends crowded round the stricken pegasus concern etched across each of their faces.

“So many bodies” whispered the shaken pegasus.

“Shhh it’s okay Dashie, you’re ok” said Pinkie Pie in quiet tones, patting her friend on the back as she did so.

Twilight looked up past her shocked friend as Princess Celestia returned with Pieter in tow. She watched her mentor’s eyes curious at what she would see. To her consternation the princesses’ face was set with its own grim expression, but it softened upon settling on the small group of ponies.

“Oh my little ponies, what did you do?”

“I’m sorry princess, I, I didn’t mean to look, honest” replied the still shaking Rainbow Dash.

Celestia walked serenely towards her subject, horn glowing with a faint golden yellow aura. Her face now set in a sad frown.

“That’s ok Rainbow Dash, here, let me help”

The princess lowered her head, her horn touching Rainbow Dash’s forehead lightly and casting a spell. Twilight watched with wonder as the golden glow surrounded her friend. Rainbow straightened her legs, the quaking that had held them suddenly gone. Her face softened, even a smile began to curl her lips as she lifted her head to look up to the majestic alicorn. The prismatic mane and tail seemed to glow and sway slightly as the Pegasus visibly shook off the shock that had gripped her. Smiling clearly now Rainbow Dash looked to the princess in thanks to which the alicorn nuzzled her in return.

“So erm, Celestia the sorcerers and their followers struck off into the woods turning left out of the portal. They will likely try to put as much distance between us and them as possible but obviously we are unable to pursue so I am sure Father Holstein would like to discuss . . .” Pieter began but a part of his words had struck a chord with the alicorn he was addressing.

“Wait, these sorcerers headed left out of the portal? Canterbury lies in that direction!” exclaimed the princess, wings flaring as her face lost its composure and her grief became evident to all.

“Twilight gather the other bearers and the mayor here as soon as possible, I shall call for my sister and the Royal Guard.” Celestia commanded.

“Of course I will princess but Canterbury is like a two day journey from here”

“I know, I shall stop these creatures and imprison them in Tartarus myself if I have to”

With a flash of white Princess Celestia vanished from sight, much to the amazement of the men who were watching the exchange.

“She’ll be ok wont she Twilight?” asked a nervous Spike as he laid his claw on Twilight’s back for reassurance.

“She’s the princess of course she will” answered Twilight, forcing herself to appear confident while her mind raged with questions and worries.

Pieter held his tongue, Chaos never made anything easy and this pony princess would assuredly learn that for herself. Assuming she survived.


Canterlot, Equestria

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Canterlot. The weather teams had gone all out to ensure the sky was barely blemished by cloud, only a few small fluffy clouds remained as training markers. Streaking across the sky were four teams of five pegasus guards, resplendent in the sun due to their pristine golden armour and snow white coats. Each group was arrayed in a V formation with team one taking point; teams two and three positioned to the rear right and left respectively. Team four took up the rear between teams two and three so that from below the guards appeared to be a shining triangle in the sky.

Captain Forlorn Wind viewed his guardsponies with pride, with a sharp blow on his whistle each squad dove into their third manoeuvre. All four units broke off in different directions, the flanking teams pulled out wide with a synchronised banking. At the same time team one began to climb into the air while team four dove towards the ground sharply being careful to maintain horizontal velocity to retain the same line as the other teams. Forlorn glided along below in clear sight, the display ensuring each unit maintained their forward velocity and stayed in line with him. The regiment retained their distance and speed to Forlorn’s satisfaction, blowing twice on his whistle they powered forward charging towards a target cloud placed roughly two hundred metres away from them.

‘Team four is off the pace’ thought Forlorn, ‘Gazer and Chaser are falling behind while team one is outstripping their comrades by some distance.’

As expected team one reached the cloud first pulling up just as team’s two and three fell in beside them, a split second later team four came in; the two rear corner fliers trailing behind. The aforementioned guardsponies, Chaser and Gazer were visibly out of breath upon the captain’s arrival much to his chagrin.

“That was sloppy gentleponies, I expect better than that. From a Canterlot guard ok, but you are not one of those pampered palace guards, you are a Trottingham guard, you are better than that and you are damn well going to prove it to them before we are done here.”

His ponies thumped their chest plates in response, waiting for Forlorn to make his next command. He checked the watch strapped across his right forehoof, the gold plating of the watch stood out starkly against his navy blue coat and the darker colourations which patched areas of it but complemented the brass coloured steel armour he wore as well.

“Right lads two more runs, start with a Split S in formation before moving into the Caduceus manoeuvre, second run will be the same as the one you have just done but do it right this time because I swear with Luna as my witness if Gazer and Chaser fall behind one more time I will have all of you banished to the moon.”

Captain Forlorn noticed a sudden change in the atmosphere upon completing his order. Surveying his stallions suspiciously he was pleased to see that every single one of them was hovering steadily and refusing to break their gazes away to meet his stare, ‘so what could possibly have them suddenly stone facing me’ wondered Forlorn.

“Captain Forlorn Wind I presume?” asked a regal and refined voice from behind him.

Forlorn spun around in a blur to face the newcomer, dread working its way up his spine as he realised which pony’s name he had just taken in vain. Without missing a beat he snapped off a salute and focused intently on a spot upwards and to the left of Princess Luna’s amused face.

“Ma’am” said Forlorn simply as he waited to receive either a terse comment or outright auditory assault from the princess of the night. He had heard many times of his princesses’ passion in her pursuit of the changeling menace in recent times. Her fury was something to behold, but not something one would wish to bear.

“At ease captain, please, we are not angry” said the smiling princess, notably slipping into use of the archaic ‘royal we’. Forlorn had heard that since she was forced to interact with other ponies so much more often now she had mostly adapted to modern speech, evidently she was still refining it.

With a smile at the captain’s deadpan expression she continued. “That was rather amusing all told, although I would really rather not be the one to send anypony to the moon, my sister is the only one with any experience in such matters. But enough of that, we, I have need of you and your guards services.”

“Of course princess, I would be happy to assist you in any way possible. What do you command?” replied Forlorn.

“I am here on urgent matters, I will need you and every stallion under your command assembled in war barding within the hour. Your guards will be accompanying me along with two other regiments to Ponyville.”

“It would be my pleasure, if I may be so bold could I ask for what purpose has the war barding been authorised?” queried Forlorn. War barding was the Guard’s heavy armour and weaponry. The kind that required authorisation to wear in public due to the fear and intimidation it invoked among the average citizenry. If war barding was necessary then Equestria must be at war and if the changeling threat was not enough to invoke its use in the first place something new must have arisen.

“As of yet I am unsure captain, I received a brief message from my sister outlining an intolerable threat to the nation and I immediately teleported back to Canterlot to prepare an advance guard while the Royal Canterlot Guard rally in Baltimare. The use of war barding was requested by my sister herself.”

“Thank you ma’am, my stallions will be ready within the hour.” Replied Forlorn, snapping off another quick salute he felt the last of the intimidation leave his body.

Luna smiled down at the captain her star speckled mane trailing behind, making the pristine sky behind pale in comparison to her regal beauty. Wings flapping with slow powerful strokes she turned away before disappearing in a flash of navy blue light.

“Well you heard her majesty. Fall in, looks like we might finally have a real fight on our hooves” ordered Forlorn, taking position front and centre as his formation pointed itself towards Canterlot palace. From the corner of his eye Forlorn noticed his sergeant, Summer Gale, pulling up alongside him.

“Captain, permission to speak sir?” asked the sergeant.

“Granted”

“War barding is only to be worn during times of war. Does Princess Luna mean we’re at war?”

“I know as much as you do my friend, could be a changeling group gone militant, could be some new threat, heck it could be the Griffons, they’ve been belligerent enough toward everypony else as of late and they keep on going on about their claim to Equestria Minor.”

“Yes but you know how much the princesses’ hate talk of war, let alone giving the order for the Royal Guards to don war barding.”

“Look Summer, there’s no point speculating, we’ll just have to see when we get there alright?”

“Yes sir”

“And don’t give me that yes sir crap, we’ve known each other for years and it makes me feel like an old stallion. I still have a good decade in me before I’m half your age old friend” Forlorn replied with a snide smirk.

“I’ll tell your dad you called me old Forlorn, he’ll whip you from Trottingham to Buckminster” quipped Summer in return gaining a look of mock horror from his rank superior.

“Low blow Summer, low blow.”

With a chuckle the two guards bumped hooves before turning back towards the glittering roofs and towering minarets of the quickly approaching Canterlot Palace. For the rest of the journey the two shared a pensive silence as they neared the barracks.

Canterlot’s Royal Guard barracks were an elaborate affair. The structure was a castle in itself; four, white, crenelated walls with two portcullises on opposing sides contained a myriad of smaller structures. Running parallel to the two bare walls were the sleeping quarters, one side for unicorns, the other pegasi. In the centre, a large sand strewn square acted as the parade ground. Spaced around this central feature were the other support buildings such as storerooms, officer quarters and the armoury. The latter building was the one currently besieged by some thirty guards filing in and out, trading their armour at Princess Luna’s request.

The Trottingham Royal Guard contingent landed in formation on the parade square. Around Forlorn guardsponies milled about as they watched their fellows emerging from the armoury in their fearsome war barding. The armour itself was largely based on the standard barding but with several additions.

The helmet was replaced completely; the open and welcoming helm of the ceremonial armour traded for a mostly enclosed steel helmet which completely covered the pony underneath’s muzzle down to their jaws which were left exposed. Horizontal slits marked where a ponies eyes and nose were, giving them a fearsome and aggressive expression. The eye slits exposed enough of the guard’s eye to provide for a comprehensive field of view while still making them a much smaller target. A thin blade could be seen protruding from between the blue bristles hidden within the guard’s crests.

Linking helmet and chest plate, chainmail covered the guards’ necks and yet more chainmail was connected across the ponies’ vulnerable underbellies.

Steel plates covered the ponies previously exposed legs, the guard’s knees however remained bare, to allow for greater manoeuvrability and dexterity. Connected to each pegasus ponies right fore leg was a retracted blade which could be extended for use in aerial combat with a push of a button. A small buckler shield was strapped across their left fore legs, the compact nature of both sword and shield meant a pony could walk normally without their equipment interfering.

Lastly but most notably was the most fearsome weapon in the war barding’s arsenal. Connected by means of a brace bolted onto body plates were the lances. For now the wooden shafts and steel tips of the weapons had not been set into their braces since they were cumbersome and unnecessary outside of a battle situation. However, nearby a burly green stallion with a soot black mane was loading the lethal lance shafts onto a supply chariot ready for transport. The usual Royal Guard spears were noticeably absent, while they served their purpose fairly competently, a hoof held spear was nowhere near as effective as the war barding’s lance.

The unicorn guards wore largely similar armour to their pegasus counterparts. The main difference in their equipment however was in the choice of their weapons. Strapped across both flanks were two swords clearly designed for telekinetic use. One was curved, designed for slashing at gaps in armour. The other was a heavier, straighter blade with a fatter tip; this blade’s purpose was for crushing armour and bones through brute force. Both swords had mouth grips for emergency use.

Forlorn turned to address his guards as he noticed them staring about at the unfamiliar scenes around them.

“Guards, you have fifteen minutes to get yourselves cleaned and fed, after that I expect each of you to requisition your armour and weapons from the armoury. We depart with the princess inside forty five minutes. Dismissed!”

With that order his stallions broke off, forming groups they made their way either to the canteen or the barracks whilst talking to each other in hushed tones. Forlorn pushed himself off the ground, flapping his wings to gain some lift he dropped down in and among the disorganised rabble of queuing guards. They instinctively moved aside to allow an officer through and Forlorn found his path to the armourer clear.

The armouries’ front desk stretched across the width of the room, behind the desk individual sets of war barding were bound along with their weapons and other accoutrements on shelves which reached up to the ceiling. These were just standard armour sets however and Forlorn could only presume his personal captain’s armour was stored somewhere out of sight.

“Ah, Captain Wind! Here for your barding I presume?” barked out the well-toned earth pony from behind the desk. His grey coat was singed in areas while his silver and black cropped mane was kept professionally short. A hammer and anvil adorned his bare flank marking him out as the armourer.

“Ironshod! How’s it going my friend? And yes I’m here for my armour thank you” replied Forlorn.

“Be right with you captain and yes I’m good thank you very much, wasn’t expecting this sudden rush though. I was working at home when the call came in.”

Ironshod dashed off through a door concealed from view by the crowd of guards on Forlorn’s left side. Within a minute the earth pony stallion had returned, Forlorn’s armour rested neatly on his back. The captain had a special love for his war barding. Both because he hardly got to wear it and thanks to his privileges as a captain, he had his own armour and weapons made to his specifications.

Ironshod dumped the kit onto the desk with a thump. Rising onto his hind legs he placing his left hoof on the desk while his right stroked the armour set fondly.

“I do so love this kit Forlorn; it’s a real work of art if you don’t mind me saying.”

“Not at all Ironshod, I’m with you on that” agreed Forlorn with a smile.

The barding had a completely different piece of body armour, in contrast to other guardsponies who merely attached the war barding to their normal armour. The main difference being the burnished gold coloured steel plate would cover more of his body as well as being one and a half times thicker than standard armour. It also didn’t carry the coat colour enchantment that the average guards did, of which captains were not required to have.

The rest of the armour was likewise different. Forlorn had no lance brace attached to the body plates hence the trade-off for thicker armour did not compromise weight. Instead of retractable sword and buckler both lower leg plates were armed with retractable blades. A complex arrangement of overlapping steel plates linked his helmet with his chest plate while silver chainmail protected the front of his neck.

His helmet also deviated from the norm; again it was a dark gold colour, the same as every other steel plate on his armour but this helmet did not have the eye slits that normal guard war barding did. Forlorn preferred this style since; during practise at least, the restricted field of vision in a three dimensional aerial combat could be the difference between life and death. Plus when addressing other ponies it was easier to interact with them on account of the ability to maintain eye contact. The average pony would see a guard in war barding and see the uniform first, when Forlorn spoke with a pony he liked to imagine they saw him as a pony too.

Slinging his armour onto his back and making sure it was secured by his wings, Forlorn walked out of the armoury door. Guards stepped aside to allow him through and after clearing the crowd he set off towards the officers’ quarters to change. His stomach promptly rumbled, reminding him that he had not eaten since breakfast and so he made sure to stop by the officers’ kitchen first. Today was bound to be a long day and Forlorn was keen to avoid eating standard rations if he could help it, besides the Tuesday special was on and Forlorn had a soft spot for the Cheese and Broccoli Pie.


Everfree Forest, Equestria

“Would one of you ponies tell me where the big white one just went?” asked a frustrated looking Markus Holstein. It was bad enough he had not even been introduced to the natives here but to have them wondering to and fro as they pleased through his camp and then disappearing at will irked him.

“Her name is Princess Celestia and she is the ruler of Equestria” snapped Twilight before gasping and holding a hoof to her mouth as she realised the terse tone she had taken with the giant armoured behemoth holding the hammer which was longer than her. A stunned silence followed her angry response.

“My apologies, I did not mean to offend but I was under the impression that we would be meeting with your leaders to discuss the situation at hand.”

“If I may ask, where did your princess go?” interrupted Willhelm, a sense of urgency hung with the question.

“Well she sent a message for help then went to confront those sorcerers before they reached Canterbury.”

“She went alone!?”

“Hey the princess can handle anything those Chaos worshipper guys can throw at her, she’s powerful enough to raise the sun for pony’s sake” interjected Rainbow Dash. She flew right up to Willhelm’s face and glared angrily at him.

“No, she cannot handle this, especially with one of them as unstable as he is. That was why I needed Father Holstein to call for a council, and your leaders especially needed to be present for this!” retorted Willhelm.

“That’s another thing, why do you keep calling the bald one father? He doesn’t look any older than any of you!”

“Rainbow Dash!” shouted Twilight, a look of horror on her face.

“Because he is a priest, shut up, sit down and allow me to explain in the absence of your ruler and her rash decision to chase a sorcerer who is one spell short of blowing up and taking half of this Sigmar forsaken forest with it!” roared the White Wizard in return.

Twilight telekinetically pulled the cyan pegasus back to her side, Rainbow Dash writhed inside the purple glow of her friend’s magic and she swore loudly. At that moment Pinkie Pie popped up grabbing her friend by her hind legs.

“Wait what do you mean one of the sorcerers is going to blow up, people don’t just explode you know?” said Twilight, her anger at Rainbow Dash’s temperament all but forgotten. Replaced by yet more worry for her beloved teacher and princess.

“I mean that damned Tzeentch sorcerer miscast when I hit him with a banishing spell, which is how we ended up here in the first place. The Winds of Hysh and dark magic react violently; my spell corrupted theirs’ resulting in that portal back there. Right now that sorcerer is hovering on the brink of death and the very same nature of the spell that causes it to draw on the Winds of Magic to sustain itself is the nature of his miscast. When he finally loses the internal battle raging inside him anything that uses magic is going to find itself crippled and powerless, when your princess confronts the Tzeentch sorcerers she will tip that stricken sorcerer over the edge and they will both succumb.”

Willhelm paused for breath in the wake of his hurried explanation, leaving the officers and ponies alike looking at him in a mixture of horror and confusion.

“No, Celestia can’t die” mouthed Spike, his voice barely escaping his mouth such was the shock.

“She won’t Spike” responded Twilight, nuzzling the shocked baby dragon before turning back to the White Wizard. “If I understand you right Mr Rekthofen you’re saying this Tzeentch sorcerer is going to suck in all the magic within a certain radius and it’s going to kill him. So it will just take away the princesses’ magic right?”

“Wow, yes, yes you are correct. That is quite some grasp of magical theory you have Twilight Sparkle. But the loss of her ability to use magic will not affect her innate abilities such as the ability to fly, if she did not have wings the sorcerer’s followers would cut her down so I expect she will emerge physically unscathed at least. The other Tzeentch sorcerer will likely experience a shorter period of powerlessness but the abilities of Chaos worshippers are largely innate, given to them by their evil masters so he will return to power relatively quickly.”

“Can somepony who isn’t a total egghead explain what these two are going on about?” asked a lost looking Rainbow Dash, her legs still held in the vice like grip of Pinkie Pie.

“Ha, allow me” responded Pieter, looking around to see that all the Equestrians who were not Twilight looked lost, as did Sergeant Kemper, Engineer Otto and Gerhart Manhelm. “Essentially, one of the dark wizards has a lethal headache; if he gets excited then he explodes and sucks in any magic in the area. Then, since he cannot control this magic he explodes again. The princess loses her magic but should escape while the sorcerer comes down with a fatal migraine.”

Rainbow smiled slightly at this condensed version and nodded her understanding, landing finally as she did so.

“Huh, I guess you can explode twice then.” concluded Spike, glancing sideways at Pinkie Pie who had by this point let go of her friend’s legs and nodded sagely.

Markus stepped forward after absorbing the exchange between the magistrate and the purple unicorn with interest, but his stance indicated he had something new to discuss.

“Right, now you have some answers. I would like to ask that you leave us to conduct our council uninterrupted. Your princess gave you some tasks she would like fulfilled and I expect we will need the aid of any local governors to create an adequate defence from within such a dense forest.” said Markus, looking across at the ponies and willing them to take the hint.

Twilight looked about to protest but her sense of duty to her princess overcame curiosity and so turning to her friends she came up with a plan of action.

“Right, Rainbow Dash, go collect Rarity, Applejack and Fluttershy, fill them all in on the way here” dictated Twilight. With a salute the pegasus sped into the sky leaving a shimmering rainbow trail in her wake.

“Pinkie and Spike I’ll need you to stay here in case either of the princesses arrive, try to stay out of the way while I go explain everything to Mayor Mare. Try not to get in the humans way too please” she added, directing the final part mainly at Pinkie Pie who blissfully ignores the hint. With that she bid her friends farewell and disappeared in a flash of purple light.

“Can all the horned ponies do that?” asked a thoroughly impressed Kurt Bohemond.

“Oh no, the only ones I know of that can teleport are Twilight just then and both the princesses’. Twilight Is Celestia’s personal student you know” Spike said, pride bursting from him with every word. His tiny clenched claw held to his chest.

Markus turned to finally address the assembled officers and leaders of his army, the men crowded around slightly, eager to hear what the arch lector had to say.

“Men, as you have seen we occupy a prime position, the enemy cannot attack through the portal’s bottleneck and the other Chaos forces on this side are eager to escape us. For now we must stand our ground, maybe with the help of this pony race we can defeat and drive back both Chaos forces. For now we have to hold our ground. Magister Willhelm, would you care to enlighten us with what you have learned. Aside from what happened to the two sorcerers, I think Pieter concisely covered that for everyone.”

Willhelm Rekthofen stepped forward to speak; he forced himself to ignore the bright pink pony bouncing past him nonchalantly as Pinkie made her way to the cart driver from earlier, Spike in tow.

“Right, well allow me to start by outlining some basic details. Firstly the portal that brought us here is as previously mentioned being fed by natural magic on both sides. In order to close it early we would need a powerful magic user on both worlds with the knowledge to do so. In the meantime the portal by my estimates will last naturally for roughly a two week period before falling apart. That will be our timeframe to return to the Old World. For now I cannot cast any magic within ten steps of the portal so if the Saarl’s do make a push through it my magic will be useless.

“Secondly, I have learnt much of this new world while we have been here. The native pony races who call themselves Equestrians largely have control of this continent and live in relative peace, this I learnt from the purple unicorn named Twilight Sparkle.”

A gruff chuckle came from Sergeant Kemper upon hearing the name but Willhelm pressed on regardless.

“The Winds of Magic flow strangely here, in the Old World they rage like a torrid river, difficult to tame and manipulate. Here though it is like a reservoir, easy to draw from and for some unexplainable reason more pleasant to wield. That tells us one key fact though; the Winds flow in the Old World because the Realm of Chaos at the northern pole makes it so. If there is no Realm of Chaos here then there are no Chaos Gods.” Concluded Willhelm, his face practically beaming at this revelation as the soldiers around him pondered the implications. Pieter however, suddenly turned a ghostly white.

“But, if I may be so bold Magister Rekthofen, the servants of Tzeentch are here. So in a way we are responsible for revealing this planet to the Chaos Gods.” said Pieter, the horror apparent in his voice to all.

Markus Holstein too understood what this meant. He too felt the cold, abyssal dread seize his spine as it snared his body in place.

“By Sigmar” Markus said, his hand etching out the sigil of the Holy Hammer on his chest. “What have we done?”