Jin-Gitaxias advanced rapidly to the shafts to gain entry into Mirrodin’s Core. Fortunately enough, the surrounding lands brought no resistance at all. Then setting up an extensive scouting network, he proceeded to redirect the water pouring from the skies into concentrated blasts into the shafts. The passages thusly cleared of any impediment, the army soon followed. Bursting upon the forges, they found them abandoned, but it was apparent that the Coalition had recently been here enjoying the fruits of darksteel.
It didn't take long before Karn showed himself. The Coalition surged up the deeper passageways to engage the descending Phyrexians. But Jin-Gitaxias had come prepared for this eventuality. As soon as the first Coalition units appeared, the entire area was quickly consumed with a continual stream of mists from water pouring upon the forges. In the haze rough illusionary forces appeared amongst Karn’s forces, causing his units to think they were stronger than they were. Thus, into the fray they charged. Adding to the Coalition charge, and with an ultimately blind hope, they tossed explosive weapons toward the forges, but in the thick atmosphere the reverberations contributed just as much to further disrupting the already flaky Coalition formations.
After a short battle, with the conditions shifted toward Phyrexia rather than the metallic foes, Karn retreated deeper into Mirrodin’s Core. With the respite, Jin-Gitaxias took the opportunity to create weaponry suitable for confined warfare and rest up. Meanwhile Karn was milling about not quite sure on the appropriate activity after being fended off. Jin-Gitaxias aided in the decision as now prepared and equiped, Phyrexia set off in beat him over the head a few times.
Darigaaz wasn’t quite sure what to make of Gwendlyn. Way down below, at the very base of the third mount, she decided to have a party. This didn’t involve scaling either of the first two mounts, or even attempting to climb the third. Yet all the same, Darigaaz had made sure to fall back in order to keep up with his foes, just in case she did decide to try the cliffs instead.
Thus is was, and quite as expected, the Coalition made sure to set up defences in the Grand Fortress facing toward the paths intending to fend off a head on attack. Less expected was that they also maintained extensive scouting and decided to have hellkite overlords cling to the rear cliff face. It was still some time before they managed to realise that the many units coming up the rear were not just scouts. But since the better part of Gwendlyn’s forces were sitting at the bottom of the third mount and Darigaaz wanting to take the opportunity to move from that angle himself, shifting focus to the advancing few didn't take long. All the same, enough vampires managed to slip through that they managed to take the Altar of Black Flames for a time, but against the full Coalition might, they could not hold out. By the time the rest of the force arrived through the normal channels, there was no longer a distraction making it decidedly wiser to retreat instead.
Intet rushed Teneb, and Teneb fled into Nyx, retreating down into the catacombs. From there, things kind of went downhill. Now sometimes a good way to win is to fight a long battle of attrition and guerrilla warfare. Slowly wearing down the opponent over an extended period and forcing them to crumble as morale plummets. Teneb attempted such a tactic. Yet other times, the far simpler processes of killing everything works too - which was Intet’s plot.
As it was, Intet did not wish to chase her foes into the catacombs - but was also unwilling to capture the cathedral clearly left for the taking - so she set about ruining as much of the city as possible. While it is a big city and this would take a wee while - especially as the locals wouldn’t be too keen on the matter - Teneb still underestimated the amount of damage that 10000 dedicated Phyrexians could do to a focused area when left to their own devices. To make matters worse, the Phyrexia army tended to operate as a single force so that picking off the stranglers was not so viable.
Such it was that during the daylight hours, the many Coalition units spread throughout the city had to either flee, or end up incidentally dead. It was only from a distance that they could perceive Phyrexian activity - and with little capacity to act against it. As night fell, and Teneb left the catacombs to make small scale raids, he could claim some of his own back, but it proved too dispersed and small scale to frighten his foes - who subsequently took out their frustrations upon the locals.
For many days this cycle continued, and each day left more ruin amongst Nyx. Each day the citizens perceived the Coalition army as willing to allow their homes to be destroyed and thus took matters into their own hands - while getting far less accommodating to their so-called protectors. Yet, even with guerrilla tactics, uncoordinated local attacks, and attempts at poisoning food sources, Phyrexian morale and ferocity grew as the Coalition apparently hid from their might.
As the sun set on the final night, Teneb burst from the catacombs to attack the cathedral - which was just as empty as he had left it. There were however now many dragons very pleased to see a concrete force to attack. Not really expecting an assault from such an angle, and with much of the information of what was happening outside already disrupted, Teneb lost his units above ground - while the rest waited in the catacombs. In the end there was a light engagement, but nothing extensive, and Intet was left with a devastated city and the centre of Nyx. In the catacombs Teneb wished to remain, but between dragons and unhappy locals, his soldiers decided otherwise.
The battle for Wrath was a long and drawn out one. On the first day Iona went about to find the incoming supplies from Sytherain rather far away. It was an extended process, especially as she wished to bypass the base in order to do so. It was hoped that they would have them discovered and down within the first day, but luck wasn’t entirely upon their side and they missed the first shipments. However, by the second day Iona returned to the crater and set about making a camp within. The entire place was surrounded, and all future shipments were spotted and soon appropriated - the benefits of blocking all access to a structure afterall.
For days following, the two armies effectively stood staring at each other - although both were nicely rested as a result. The week was drawing to a close when at last, the now very well fortified Iona made her attack. Bit by bit she advanced to the floating islands where Selenia was ready to force them to land - which was unexciting as the Coalition did that by their own accord. In any case, Phyrexia quickly moved to intercept.
Upon the lowest floating island, Iona began to set up yet another forward position. Yet soon enough, streams of arrows flew down, grinding construction to a halt. The Coalition banded together into phalanxes behind overlapping shields to withstand the assault. All went fine with the added bonus of dust elementals to nudge enemy volleys. But Selenia came with explosives too, which tight formations aren’t quite so good against. All the same, Selenia wished to wear down her foes rather than make a direct engagment, in return Iona couldn’t pin down more the mobile groups without breaking apart her formations. And so, the day ended. A little bit of bloodying, but with neither force quite achieving its desired end.
The following day brought much the same. Iona still unable to draw out her foes into the open, and Selenia incapable of making a dent in her well armoured opponent. It was not until the final day that things at last got exciting.
As the Coalition marched yet again upon the floating islands, Selenia yet again intercepted with ranged attacks - although things were starting to get a bit light on the resources front as she had not anticipated such a slow advance. However this time, Iona wasn’t going to try build anything - instead she aggressively pushed forwards across the islands. It was all Phyrexia could do to fall back before the steadily advancing stream.
Soon enough, Iona was upon Wrath’s island proper. At last, Selenia decided to commit fully to the attack and swept from the base, trusting her foes to be worn out and demoralised. While Phyrexia was slightly fresher, the island hopping had not been as draining as could be hoped. In addition the many days of so easily halting the advance had left Phyreixan angels overconfident. And lastly, this is what Iona had been hoping for the whole time.
The battle proved rather quick in the end, Selenia attacked from above, but Iona was well prepared with phalanxes. What didn’t get poked full of holes still had to try fight through shields and dust. The strong formation was designed to withstand attacks from the fore and above, this together, with a touch of luck, saw Selenia’s attack faltering. A final push against Selenia's flanks proved enough to finish the job. Thus it was, that as the light of Phyrexia’s day dimmed, Iona was alone outside Wrath; and just in the nick of time too, had Selenia held out for merely a couple hours more or remained within the stronghold, it would have been unlikely Iona could have wrestled control that week.
Amongst the trees Gwendlyn moved, ensuring that her vampires kept out the Coalition scouting net and distracting or picking off those that got close enough. As it was, Ib wasn’t entirely sure about her exact position as a result - except that it seemed fixed within a general area, and so he went off to there. As the goblin's aerial component swept forward with bows at the ready, they began to fire down on the canopy below; complete with fire. Of course Mirrodin trees are made of copper outgrowths making this a somewhat lacking procedure.
In any case, Phyrexians soon began to fire back, and Gwendlyn’s position was revealed. With the trees the worst of the ranged attacks on both sides were mitigated, but Ib had goblins on shields to send down too - which tended to go through things better. While plenty missed and went splat and others got arrows from one side or the other, enough managed to break through to the vampiric center. Thus faced with melee, Gwendlyn found herself on the back foot. However she would not give up yet, there were other vampires off slipping through the canopy to attack the approaching ground forces below.
With a rapid assault upon the Coaliltion rear, this sneaky force of vampires managed to make a small dent in Ib's army. But as the rest of Phyrexia was otherwise too engaged to distract themselves, the advantage of surprise was soon dissipated. Gwendlyn wisely chose to leave the battlefield rather than risk a more drawn out conflict.
Greven once more marched upon Lake Ultimus, and once more he had to face the Ultimus’ washing machine prowess. Initially, there was the doppelgangers upon the land itself. It hurt, but with a bit of brute force and stubbornness, Greven at last managed to break through and cause it to collapse from within. No one quite knows how he did that of course, least of all Greven, but that’s beside the point.
In any case, this left the passage to the lake itself mostly clear except for the occasional attacks by small groups of returning doppelgangers. Then as the shores were reached, Phyrexia dumped a collection of wood it collected on the way and gobbled up the supply wagons to create some boats. The Ultimus chuckled silently and watched beneath the liquid’s surface.
Soon enough, these boats were set sailing across the lake, loaded with various canisters which were quickly thrown overboard - and ignored by the defenders as seemingly irrelevant. There was one minor flaw with Greven's plan however, the Ultimus led an aquatic force now well known for capacity to churn up water rather a lot and he had no way to stop that without taking a dip himself. Phyrexia’s boats soon became less like smooth sailing rafts, and closer to toy boats in an emptying bath. The unknown canisters spilled over the side in the dozens and soon lay scattered across the lake bottom.
Greven’s forces quickly found themselves surrounded and again in a liquid environment where they were at a distinct disadvantage. But most of this was caused by doppelgangers already, and the Ultimus’ true units erupted from concealed patches on the lake floor and joined them on the attack. Yet it was then that it became apparent the canisters actually contained various poisons and chemicals. Normally poisoning an elemental wouldn’t achieve much, but the complete immersion and constant flow of liquid ensured that the stuff got everywhere, significantly reducing their efficiency. Of course, Phyrexians were in it too, but with their continued aid of lady luck, greater numbers, and biggerness combined, the Ultimus’ washing machine was at last ground to a halt and a new dry cleaners opened in his place.
Rorix rather saw himself as a large hammer to smash his opponent into small squishy things. Reya rather correctly guessed such an approach and adopted a tight phalanx formation in reply. The battle began with demigods sweeping toward Reya's position as the first wave into sharp pokey things. Then as they pulled back, the rest of the army swept into, still pokey things (although a few less than originally), while demigods went to the flanks - at which point they soon found flickering spirits in the way.
Between Reya’s phalanx, protection for her flanks, and designing the formation to make the most of her units’ supporting capacities, even the toughest in Rorix’s charge failed to make a significant breach. And so, as quick as Phyrexia came, they were off again for lands less spiky.
Through the dry riverbed Bosh advanced, all ready and prepared for fighting amongst the ruin and caverns. Geth, at last with things going his way was not going to let his opponent get the initiative this time around. Thus, as Bosh marched through the canyon, he soon found dragon engines roaring forward. Somewhat unwisely, he prepared against an attack at such a time via ranged fire within the natural cover provided by the terrain. Large metallic things are not known for being easily stopped by small projectiles afterall.
Within moments, the distance was closed and Bosh’s forces found themselves in direct engagement. Left to their own devices, the artifacts of Bosh would have cut through Geth’s sacrificial advance - but that wouldn’t be any fun would it? Following up came lightning, both shocks and lightning reaver blasts, pouring into the canyon and the engaged forces. Conductive metal let lightning spread quicker and deal more damage as heat levels rose quickly. It was devastating for both engaged forces, with huge chucks of melted slag filling the canyon.
Meanwhile, there was still the mostly fresh Phyrexian army watching and waiting for the best time to attack. But then a group of masticores attempted to slip around to their rear and knock off Geth! Even at the best of times, 500 units against a full force doesn’t end well. Yet this attempted sneak attack filled Phyrexia with bloodlust, so they pushed over twitching dragon engines to slam into Bosh's artifacts trying to perform an orderly retreat. It was a slaughter. The scars of the fight remain upon the land with countless machines scattered throughout and the sand itself fused into a mix of melted metal and glass. Bosh too was lost, but rumour has it his body was taken back to Phyrexia, there to become a new power against the multiverse.
Numot wasn’t going to stick around and get deaded, so he toddled on off instead. But before he left, he made sure to adopt the boobytrap tactic by making a mess of things in damaging the equipment and making lava flow everywhere. Unfortunately the Triplets decided to dig up from underneath Kuldotha instead of taking the door - for which digging through metal even with the strongest of units isn’t the quickest process. But this in the end proved a saving grace as it kept them separated from the erratic explosions and burning above. In the end, most of the deaths upon both sides were ultimately incidental rather than caused by direct engagement.