The Warlock Titan bounded across the wasteland to its target, the Tau superheavy walker before it dwarfed by its massive statuesque stature. Inside the titan, immersed in the flowing energy that radiated from its wraithbone core, the steersman in his meditative trance was confronted with a vision - the Ta'unar turning and leveling its heavy railgun array at him, mass-induced targeting systems driving the hypersonic projectile straight at the command pod he now resided in. Breaking from his foresight, the steersman looked out through the titan's sensors to see the squat Tau walker with its heavy railgun trained straight at where he rested.
This would not be. With a single thought the steersman brought the Warlock Titan into a weaving turn, while simultaneously bending the fated space-time of the shot's trajectory away to where it could do no harm. The hypersonic shell struck only the titan's shimmering holofield, passing straight through and smashing into a slender spire in the fortress behind.
Now the Warlock Titan struck, loosing a blast from its psychic lance. The violet flare of arcane energy surged from the long jewel-encrusted lance and washed over the Ta'unar with horrifying force. Armour plates twisted and buckled, literally recoiling from the force as if out of fear before falling away in tears of liquid metal and strange twisted shapes. icy bolts crackled around the walker as its barrier shield struggled against the eldritch onslaught, straining to blunt the worst of its destruction. Inside their machine the Ta'unar's crew screamed in hideous pain. Azure blood began to run from one crewmember's nasal slit, while it dripped from around the eyes of another. The third banged his head against his control panel and against the sides of the cockpit in a desperate bid to stop the ghastly screeching and terrible crushing sensation inside his skull. And then just like a storm the wave of psychic energy passed over the walker, leaving it damaged but still standing.
Now the Warlock Titan closed the distance to the Ta'unar in full and a terrible clash of giants began. As the Eldar titan lunged forward the Tau walker fired its fusion cascades point blank. At such close distances no amount of psychic trickery would avoid the searing fusion blasts, and the titan recoiled as they struck its lower torso section in an eruption of cool-coloured flame and energy discharges. In response the Warlock Titan raised its power fist and swung down at the Ta'unar, ripping off the shoulder-mounted weapons in one massive swipe. The Ta'unar fired again with its fusion cascades, this time hitting the titan's elegant rear wings where they met the shoulder. In a spectacular pair of detonations they fell to earth, leaving sparking, crackling mechanical wounds where they had been. But the Warlock struck the final blow, bringing its power fist down and smashing apart the Ta'unar's central control centre in a maelstrom of sparks and fire. The stricken Tau walker stumbled back, wobbled for a few ominous moments, then fell to earth with a thunderous crash.
But now the Warlock Titan stood exposed, its holofield generators destroyed. And now it was vulnerable...
Far away on the edge of the wasteland the tracer missile carriers had arrived, and wasted no time in setting up. As the massive skimmers touched down on the surface, their enormous square engine pods swung forward to their storage position, allowing the immense silos behind them to be raised to launch position. From within the central command vehicle, the battery commander could easily see on his displays the most immediate threat, and immediately gave the order to prepare to fire. The superheavy warheads would be able to finish off the Ar'cea titan, but they needed someone to guide them in...
"All units within vicinity of the Ar'cea titan," the battery commander said over the comm-net to any nearby unit with a markerlight, "This is tracer missile battery R-12. We have a full compliment of tracer missiles primed and ready to launch, but we need a positive targeting fix. Light the target Shas'la!" ****
Now the Enclave Tau had finally arrived at the battle, and they poured through their own two breaches on either side of the one made by Hunter Cadre Da'Anuk, shoring up the flanks of the Empire Tau and moving outward to sweep the compound clean, fighting with all the fury of their hot-blooded icon.
Da'Anuk and his bodyguards dropped down into a space between two buildings, evading a volley of plasma bolts loosed from a trio of slender Ar'cea combat walkers just up ahead. As the war walkers advanced past their hiding place the battlesuits emerged behind them and blew them apart with ion and missile fire.
"This is Da'Anuk, detonation order is a go, bring that pillar down!"
For a few moments there was silence. Then a series of brilliant explosions rippled up the towering device. It stood, riddled with craters and holes, for what seemed like an eternity. Then crackling eldritch energy began to spill out from the ruptures, sending monstrous lightning arcing out in all directions. The Gue'vessa were hardened veterans from their service in both the Tau and Gue'la militaries. They knew when to duck and cover, and quickly took shelter in an abandoned crystal pyramid.
The energy washed over the final pillar, consuming it in a raging corona of violent purples. The alien structure was ripped apart by the uncontrollable force, which seemed to fold in on itself until it was barely the size of a pinprick. Then it burst forth, rocketing towards the sky in a spectacular plume of energy.
Nothing remained where the pillar had once been.
Tyrioq watched with anguish as the final pillar imploded in the vortex. He sensed the tortured pain of the spirits inside the crippled Warlock Titan, and his heard screamed in sorrow. The pillars were now gone, there would be no Vaul's Torment for the Tau orbital above. But not all was yet lost. If he could simply slay the Tau already on the planet, his true targets. then victory would still belong to the Eldar.
The Farseer reached out with his mind, probing the pillar's final resting place for the perpetrators. At last he found them, sensing their presence coming towards the main battle after having escaped the blast. Even now they had recovered from unconsciousness and were coming up the same way they had come, no doubt seeking to hunt down the Eldar at the rear of the fray. They were hidden from mortal vision by impressively creative concealment technologies - for a younger race at least - but their minds could not hide from his Witch-Sight. The Farseer sensed something horrifyingly familiar about one of him, something he had not felt since-
Yes, it could only be him, the Mon-Keigh who had dared to meddle with the arcane forces of the beyond, and threatened the webway directly. Tyrioq seethed with rage knowing that he still yet lived. The Farseer did not recognise his companion, but there was nonetheless a strange connection that he could feel running between them... almost as if... No, surely it could not be! What could these primitive beasts possibly know of affection and adoration, they who still huddled by fire in ragged skins when the Eldar explored all the utter exhilarating heights of blissful entwinement, all the burning golden joys of knowing that one was apart of something greater, together with another who matched so seamlessly with them it was impossible to discern where one ended and the other began. What would these feral creatures know of the longing to be united upon every level and plane with the one their very soul reached out to embrace?
Still, the pattern was unmistakable, and in his yearning for retribution Tyrioq devised a most fitting punishment for this Mon-Keigh's crimes. He would see for himself now whether these animals were truly capable of devotion. The Farseer began to focus on the second Mon-Keigh, the one called 'Grey'.
War was fought on many levels, and in many theatres, but perhaps the most dangerous and violent battles of all were fought somewhere so small and intimate that it was invisible to the mundane eye. And now it was this place that the battle came to as Tyrioq waged Mind War upon the female Mon-Keigh. She stumbled and fell screaming, blood dripping from her nose and weeping from here eyes as capillary walls began to collapse under his terrible psychic invasion. Her will was strong, and she resisted with all the inner force she could spare for the mental duel, but it was a losing battle against the might of an Eldar Farseer. He could have ended her life here and now, squeezing the energy from the nerves in her primitive dull brain like juice from a fruit, but he wanted the other Mon-Keigh to suffer. He wanted him to feel hope that he might save this one he cared about, just as Tyrioq had hoped to triumph with the Pillars of Vaul, only snatching that chance away at the last minute. So he turned his attentions elsewhere, leaving only enough focus on the Mon-Keigh female to continue pressing down upon her feeble mind.
Now the battle was truly joined, and Tyrioq and his seers laid about the Tau all around them with the full arcane might of Ulthwe. Destructor blasts scoured Tau from their hiding places, psychic guidance drew forth death for even more as they led the fire of the Eldar around them to perfect precision. Powers of concealment and fortune protected them from retaliation as they continued the slaughter, slashing and hacking with their witchblades and leaving Tau bodies wherever they struck, smoke billowing from within their armour. A hammerhead appeared near them, its long railgun tracking some distant target. Tyrioq loosed his singing spear at the beast with an elegant throw, and the blade cleaved through the air before striking the skimmer in the side, punching straight through one engine and out of the other before twisting in the air and returning to its master while the grav-tank fell and burned. And in his heart Tyrioq knew that these were the final fated moments. ELDAR! PROPHECY COMES TO PASS!