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The Zoanthrope the Hive Lord sought was consumed. With it, contact with the Hive Mind and the approaching fleet was renewed. The shock of the Exterminatus had also revealed to the Hive Mind the true magnitude of the threat posed by Kyras. The realization triggered the spawning of the Tyranids' deadliest bio-weapons: the Swarmlord. Insidious and deadly among Hive Tyrants; an engine of martial devastation, psychic fury, and the deepest intellect.
— Gabriel Angelos, Dawn of War II: Retribution

The Swarmlord is a unique and powerful Tyranid Hive Tyrant and is the most powerful synapse creature ever created by the Hive Mind. It is thought to be as old as the Tyranid species itself and to be the supreme enforcer of the Hive Mind's will.

It is conventional for the Great Devourer's tactics to involve constant adaptation mid-battle and overwhelming the enemy with sheer numbers. But even then, there are often times when such things are naught but folly, prompting the spawning of the Swarmlord. This powerful synapse creature is as old as the Tyranids themselves and has fought on many battlegrounds within and without the Milky Way, leading hordes of alien monsters in the consumption of hundreds of planets.

As weapons the Swarmlord wields four Boneswords, crackling with disruptive bioelectrical power, that are capable of slicing through adamantium and even force fields as if they were nothing. Like other Hive Tyrants, it possesses mighty psychic capabilities. If it dies, the Swarmlord's essence is recollected and can be re-spawned by another Hive Fleet. Memories of past victories and defeats are recorded within its genes, as does newer tactics and strengths.

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Battles here were deemed to be unfair or otherwise not in accordance with wiki standards, and have been removed from the statuses of the warriors and displayed below.

Battle vs. Mannoroth (by Monkey Doctor 33)[]

Prologue[]

Anetheron was there when the Burning Legion assaulted Mount Hyjal for Lord Archimonde. He commanded both the Scourge and many of the Legion’s other ‘clients’ alongside the Annihilan, Azgalor, both of them replacing two of the greatest generals the Legion has ever had. He massacred many dregs with his own hand, both of the Alliance and the Horde. Dreadlords are always much better suited to working behind the scenes, but Anetheron does not mind getting his claws dirty.

Though he and his masters failed on Azeroth, there are still many other worlds, even beyond the Twisting Nether. Worlds ripe to plunder, dominate, and annihilate. Worlds whose inhabitants have never heard of the Burning Legion. Worlds with no chance of resisting against their might. One such planet they have recently discovered unfortunately teems with human life. Humans, of all the new specimens they could discover after leaving the endless void. At least they were lucky to know that they’re not the only creatures to live in this universe, for they had annihilated a fleet of an interstellar empire of sorts consisting of many unique creatures the Legion has never encountered before. Their numbers and weapons cannot save their ‘great journey’ from the Legion’s wrath, and neither can these humans with their... pelicans, warthogs, and scorpions? Who cares? Anetheron is delighted to see how ineffective they are against the Legion’s magic and how none of them believed in magic, unlike how those annoying Azerothians were.

What displeases Anetheron and the Legion as a whole is how they’re not the only one to covet the planet. He and his brothers, Tichondrius and Mephistroth, were in the middle of slaughtering a group of humans, six of which were the only ones who could put up a real fight before those things came. They were escorting a sizeable amount of civilians, lesser soldiers, and an officer. As of Archimonde’s orders, none of these filthy humans are to leave this planet alive. The three Dreadlords recognized the weapons they wield as advanced versions of those ‘rifles’ the Alliance used. Disregarding their technology, the three demons made a short work of the group. The ‘noble ones’ were tough fighters, and their coordination actually surprised Anetheron. Needless to say, Tichondrius, as the Lord of their race entire, was not happy by him toying around these elites and proceeded to gut each of these armored insects by himself. After a moment of insulting from his brothers, the skies turned dark red and all across the planet, meteor clusters soon revealed to be organic descended, followed by the chittering of wings and screeches of terror.

A host of strange creatures from the deep void invaded the planet, ignoring the Burning Legion’s presence although the trails of their ravaging can be seen all the way from the world’s orbit. Within seconds of their arrival, telepathic cries of pain and confusion were heard by the Nathrezim. If there is a new first to be added to many of the demons’ lives, it’s the first time that they all have heard their kin feeling something akin to cowering.

Mephistroth was quick to interrogate the leader-soldier in blue. Fortunately, he replied in honesty, telling him that he knew nothing. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his wounds, and so did Mephistroth when a giant spore suddenly landed on top of him and the corpses of the noble team. A grotesque creature emerged out of the spore and gave birth to hundreds – if not thousands – of broodlings who were somehow born with guns. Tichondrius wisely ordered a retreat as a squadron of Wrathguard arrived, just in time to give the two Dreadlords the time and space to do so. They cared little for whatever purpose they came in for, and they’re quite sure those Man’ari were dead.

Now that the Legion has been rallied with the deployment of the Legion’s stronger assets, the demonic horde is fighting as hard as they can against these ‘aliens’, who thus far have proven themselves to be more than a match for them. Defeat is something not uncommon to the Legion, but suffering such a fate against an invasion fleet that’s barely a quarter of the Legion’s size is... concerning.

In the midst of battle, Anetheron is seen battling a number of Genestealers, his larger size proving to be an advantage as his claws reach farther than theirs are. His magic puts these predators into temporal sleep, just long enough to allow him to rip out their living hearts and crush them. Their attacks are left meaningless to the Nathrezim as he transforms into a swarm of bats. After clearing out the Genestealer group, Anetheron takes his time to breathe, only for him to be surprised by a Tyranid Warrior firing its Deathspitter at him, knocking him down as he gets showered by a painful caustic slime. The Warrior screams, as if it expresses glee, and a swarm of Hormagaunts respond to its call. The Nathrezim would be reduced into a fragmented corpse if it wasn’t for a burst of Fel energy annihilating the Gaunts and the Warrior, in addition to its nearby kin.

Getting up, he encounters a familiar face from Hyjal, wading through corpses of Tyranids and slaughtering the beasts left and right: Azgalor. The Annihilan stabs the mouth of a raging Carnifex rushing at him before driving his blade down, splitting the creature in half. When a Dimachaeron suddenly appears and lunges at him, Azgalor stabs its torso where its second giant mouth lies, impaling the creature before blowing it up with Fel energy. After the slaughter, the Pit Lord finally spots the Dreadlord.

“I see that you still live, Anetheron! Have you got tired, already? We have much to slaughter for Lord Archimonde!” Azgalor bellows while he casually smacks away a Trygon that emerged from the ground several meters away, finishing it for good by blasting a concentrated Fel beam at its head until it melts away.

“I have fought on this forsaken planet longer than you have, Azgalor! How can these creatures be as numberless as we are?” Anetheron replies, just before a Lictor suddenly de-cloaks and pins him to the ground. The Tyranid goes straight for his face and relentlessly wrecks it with its scything talons.

“Urgh! Get.. off me!” the Dreadlord transforms into an insect swarm and flies into the skies to free himself from the Lictor. Rematerializing, the Dreadlord drains its essence, restoring much of his health and knitting his wounds. “Sickly cretin! You think you can strike me down?! I am...”

Anetheron’s words are cut short when shards of toxic crystals penetrate his head, rendering him catatonic and sending him falling down, only for a Harpy to fly-by and cut the Demon to pieces with its scythed wings. His body parts unceremoniously drop to the ground where Rippers feast upon his corpse.

Azgalor has no affection towards him whatsoever, but he feels quite the surprise when he saw what just transpired before him. Nevertheless, the Pit Lord roars in defiance and continues fighting against the endless Tyranid wave. His roar inspires the rest of his kin upon the battlefield, the Lords of Destruction sustaining their attacks with renewed vigour while the other demons, both of equal or lesser degree, begin to push back the Tyranid tide.

Portals from the Twisting Nether begin to materialize both on the battlefield and over the skies above. Fel stones crash from the sky-portals, revealing themselves to be newly enchanted Infernals. Their mechanical cousins, the Fel reavers, run through the dark portals and make their presence known by smashing through swathes of Tyranid Warriors, although some of them are devoured stalking Mawlocs. Mo’arg brutes, lords, and guards alike enter the battlefield slashing through Genestealer bodies. More Pit Lords soon arrive, many of which are legendary warriors known throughout the Legion. Magtheridon, Garnoth, Brutallus, are just a few of the destroyers that have entered the field. However, none of them could compare to the presence of the Destructor himself: Mannoroth. Death could not stop him, and he sees no reason why that shouldn’t apply here.

“Come, Legions of Hell! This world is ours and ours alone! Destroy them all!”

Within minutes of Mannoroth’s and the reinforcement’s arrival, the Burning Legion gain more and more ground against the Tyranids. Their magics are not of Chaos’ despite their similarities. Adaptation is working perfectly well against these foreign demons, but they are literally spawning reinforcements straight from their powerbase within an infinite universe, and it doesn't help as their corruptive essence literally degenerate much of their lesser organisms.

As of this moment, even the Destructor himself has made his way to the Tyranid forces’ Hive Tyrant, the most important commander of these creatures on-ground. With the assistance of twenty five Wrathguards, ten Infernals, and Magtheridon, Mannoroth successfully breaches through the Tyrant’s bodyguards of seven Tyrant Guards and an intervention from two Dimachaerons and Hierodules. Only the Pit Lords survived the ordeal, but their Patriarch managed to slay the Hive Tyrant. Predictably, many of the nearby Tyranids fell victim into the Burning Legion’s ‘discipline’ as they descend into savagery.

-

High above the planet, a titanic Hive Ship remains static alongside its organic cruisers and escorts. This is all but a tendril of the legendary Hive Fleet Leviathan, separated by a freak Warp accident. As much as how foolish they may be, this tendril has no other option but to invade the closest world within their reach that’s infested by daemons not of Chaos after being thrown from one universe to another. They’re in dire need of biomass, and they’re not wasting the opportunity of feeding from this new world they found.

Within the Hive Ship, the Norn-Queen continuously send orders of birthing new organisms as soon as possible to overtake these adversaries. Its mental capacity is nearly overtaxed as she also surveys the madness that is the Burning Legion. It considered sending in the cruisers to help the ground forces, but it is apparent that they are quite busy in fending off enemy warships. Their Narvhal was disabled after the Warp jump. The Tyranids have never used the Warp as their transportation, and the vulnerable Narvhal can neither withstand nor adapt to endure the Warp's strong currents. 

There are many Hive Tyrants throughout the planet. But after the death of the first one by this ‘Mannoroth’ creature, the other demons are quick to follow his methods in dealing with the Hive Tyrants. Yes, the Tyranids themselves have claimed billions of demon lives throughout the planet and utterly eradicated more humans than these abominations have. But sooner or later, they have to feed upon the planet before they waste their entire biomass stock.

Drawing upon the Hive Mind’s memories and genetic material, the Norn-Queen lets out a groan in its chamber. Within moments, the Hive Fleet’s reproduction switches its focus to the creation of an apex predator. The greatest balance of strength and intelligence of all the Hive Mind’s children...

-

Having the time of his life, Brutallus, the blade-armed Pit Lord, is seen burning a Haruspex with Fel magic, sending it reeling back before finishing it by dismembering its jaw with his meteoric slashes. The grizzled veteran roars in victory, but his celebration is quickly interrupted by a Mawloc emerging from its subterranean hunting ground, attempting to devour the Pit Lord. Quickly snapping back to reality, Brutallus braces himself and impales the immense creature. He musters his strength trying to free himself of the Tyranid's weight, and he is successfully released when Mannoroth himself comes to his aid, draining the Mawloc's essence in half a minute, weakening it so Brutallus can throw it away and let it bleed out beneath the ground.

The servant thanking the master, Brutallus salutes Mannoroth with a bolsterous roar. "Glory to you, Lord Mannoroth! I shall never forget what you have done for me this day!"

"Cease your sycophancy and continue the slaughter, Brutallus!" Mannoroth's stern order is responded with a grunt of agreement from Brutallus, just moments before an especially large mycetic spore crashed near their location, creating a sizeable shockwave upon impact that briefly shudders the lesser Annihilan. Upon its arrival, the surrounding Tyranids unleash piercing shrieks in the midst of combat, just before they intensify their assault upon the Legion. Slimy, acidic projectiles begin to rain into the battlefield to immolate the demons from a far and monstrously large mycetic spores soon land on the ground to unveil their deadly cargo of Bio-Titans.

"What is this madness?" Brutallus asks with alertness in his tone. From a distance, he can see a titanic beast emerging from its 'transport', towering even over his kin. That thing's not the only one of its kin, even. In the skies, squadrons of Doomguard found themselves overwhelmed by Tyranid Warriors who suddenly adapted wings, whilst Harridans surprised Fel dragons with their lightning speed and weapons. Something is changing, and the harbinger of such emerges.

Seconds later, four blades penetrate the spore in front of Brutallus from within, attracting the Pit Lord's attention. Bracing for battle against a possibly deadlier adversary, Brutallus witnesses as the blades savagely cut through the spore, the being inside smashing away the makeshift gate it made. A large being, just as big as the Pit Lords themselves, walks out and reveals itself with a mighty roar. The Swarmlord has arrived, and it has come to affirm the Tyranids' claim over the planet. 

Upon spotting one another, Brutallus and the Swarmlord lock eyes, the latter snarling at the former, as if it's challenging him. Brutallus' response is rather obvious.

"Perish, insect!" Brutallus immediately charges at the Swarmlord, his blades covered in Fel fire and his large body moving as fast as it can with hampered speed, courtesy of a Pit Lord's natural build. The Swarmlord simply responds with a horrifying psychic scream that burrowed itself to Brutallus' head, instilling doubt and shock. Fear is not what he feels, but the move is effective enough in disabling Brutallus. Good enough for the Pit Lord to lose his concentration and dispell the Fel fires upon his blades. Taking advantage, the Swarmlord walks a few steps forward and plunges all of his Boneswords into the Pit Lord's body.

Brutallus roars in agony as he feels his body being destroyed from the inside out by the Boneswords' psychic energy, Fel energy begins to overload throughout the Pit Lord, his wounds, eyes, and mouth glowing from the influx. The Swarmlord notices this and responds quickly, practically, and strategically. A fair distance away, it can spot the Mannoroth demon the Hive Mind has ingrained his image of during his creation, marking him as a primary target. Quickly dislodging his swords, it shoves the dying demon a good distance back before turning around and smacking him back again with a powerful tail swipe. 

The King of the Pit Lords thought with nothing but confusion until he realized how moderately close his barely-living underling is and how his kin explodes upon death. With what remains of his little strength, Brutallus turns to his Lord, asking forgiveness for his failure once he rematerializes. Instead of delivering a sentence, though, all the words the Pit Lord sent to Mannoroth are his last shout of pain upon this plane before exploding in a hail of Fel energy that decimates everything within range, both Tyranid and demon. Mannoroth was more than fast enough to conjure a powerful shield to protect himself, not those fleeing demons scurrying away from him.

After the explosion, Mannoroth gazes beyond the smoke with his shield still up. The Swarmlord stands silent, gazing back into the Demon Lord's eyes with unflinching resolve. Its Boneswords are steady and ready, and Mannoroth himself prepares the Glaive of Ruin to destroy whoever this insolent cretin is. The smoke clears, and both of them lock on to one another whilst Tyranids and demons alike continue their battle. The latter avoid coming close to the two's vicinity, and the former suspiciously does the same, ignoring Mannoroth and the Swarmlord.

"Wretched insect! I shall devastate you into nothingness!"

Battle[]

After blasting a roar at one another, Mannoroth charges at the Swarmlord with his Xu'tenash lit with Fel fire and Fel shield maintained, not wanting to suffer the same fate as his underling. The Swarmlord wisely decides not to charge back despite his approach, opting for a more strategic approach. It turns its head sideways and delivers a snarl. No, not a snarl; a signal. A kilometer away, three Biovores brace themselves in response to the Swarmlord's gesture.A mile away, a pack of Pyrovores heed its call. Two miles away, an Exocrine obeys the will of the Hive Mind's greatest. 


All these organisms, bio-artilleries, all of them, divert their attention towards the direction the Swarmlord intends them to have. While Mannoroth is still lumbering across grounds of stomped Termagants and unfortunate imps, it roars at the Pit Lord. His lack of fear means that the Swarmlord has done nothing to stop him. Mannoroth stops the moment his shield is impacted by a rain of bio-plasma and spore mines. Many of those projectiles destroyed the Fel shield, and even some actually damaged the Pit Lord himself. 


The Annihilan is forced to stop his advance as he attempts to recover from the barrage he just took. Just before he can fully shrug off his wounds, the Swarmlord is seen just a few steps away with his Boneswords brandished, ready to strike him down. Mannoroth hastily lights his Xu'tenash on fire a split second after remembering the crackling energies upon its blades, bringing up the glaive just in time to parry two swords. The Swarmlord wastes no time in going for his stomach. The Pit Lord is more of a brute, but he is not stupid and he is also a magician. Though the Tyranid managed to give him a nasty scar, the Demon also managed to surprise it with a teleportation spell that got him out of its range and to the space above it.


With a roar, Mannoroth falls upon the unsuspecting Swarmlord who could only rear its head a bit before the Pit Lord's weight pins it to the ground. Standing on top of the Tyranid's back, Mannoroth stabs it multiple times with the Xu'tenash but discovers that its carapace is harder than he thought. Moving his focus away from it, Mannoroth moves over to its head, pulling it up so he can decapitate the creature.


Though cornered, the Swarmlord is far from hopeless as its mind focuses on coalescing Warp energies that eventually culminate in a large blast unleashed from the back of its head. Mannoroth's expression changed from sinister contentment, then to confusion, and then to annoyance after he's sent flying backwards, landing flat on the ground after the Warp Blast hit him hard.


Mannoroth tries to get up, but the Tyranid got up faster and smites the Demon with powerful lightning arcs from his four hands. Pain is an old friend to Mannoroth, and the Pit Lord responds by summoning a Fel Hellstorm from the skies, blasting it down with a barrage of magical meteors that sear its carapace and interrupt its smiting. Though still electrocuted, Mannoroth continues the counter-attack by blasting its frontal body (including face) with a rapid blast of twenty Felseekers. The bolts find their appropriate ways into the Swarmlord's every body part in the front, prompting it to stumble.


Now up on his four feet, Mannoroth punishes the creature by telekinetically lifting it up with shadow energy before draining its life-force through the same means. Mannoroth's wounds recover in moments, including the scar its two blades inflicted on him. After restoring himself, he throws it over his head, slamming it hard down to the ground. The Swarmlord is unfazed but enraged, delivering a powerful scream meant to screw over the Pit Lord's head. It'd be forgiven for thinking that the Lord of All the Pit Lords is mentally as weak as the rest of its brethren. Mercy is not present in this fight, however.

"Your incessant cries are nothing to Mannoroth!" Mannoroth immediately blasts its head with a concentrated beam of Fel energy that sends it stepping back a few paces. The Swarmlord reacts swiftly by clashing his quadruple blades together to block the Fel beam. With its mind power, the Swarmlord sends a paroxysm to the Pit Lord's nerves, but such only results in a small shudder from the Demon. 

Mannoroth disengages its beam and sends a wave of Fel fire at its feet. Unexpected by the Demon, the Swarmlord leaps up high toward him and nearly slashes him apart in four pieces. Mannoroth teleported just in time to avoid it and reappears behind it with his hands grabbing its tail. For all the struggle involved, Mannoroth managed to lift it up above his head and slams it around for four times. After the last throw, Mannoroth summons another Fel Hellstorm. The Swarmlord simply gets up with little difficulty after the ordeal and rushes at him while ignoring the pain with his four blades ready. 

In melee range, the Swarmlord finally unleashes a streak of effective attacks as he managed to scar his face and slash his torso. Enraged, Mannoroth responds with a thunderous punch to its face followed by a series of powerful swings from the Xu'tenash, ending with a downward slash to the Tyranid's head that stuns it. Mannoroth chokes it and slams it to the ground, mercilessly following the move by shooting its face with another barrage of Felseekers unleashed as if it's a machine gun.

The Tyranid's durability begins to wither from the assault as Mannoroth continues to rain down magical bolts up its face. Yielding is not its nature, and so the Swarmlord hits back Mannoroth with another powerful Smite that lights up the Demon Lord, stopping his onslaught. He is filled with even more fury and proceeds to force down the Xu'tenash without igniting it with Fel fire, feeling that it would be better if his blade was stained with the blood of this adversary.

Even against such a powerful blade, the Tyranid's teeth apparently holds up to the Glaive of Ruin as it bites the sword with enough power that it cannot move in or out of its mouth. Mannoroth forcefully and successfully retrieves Xu'tenash, but he is too distracted to realize of the Swarmlord's true intention. With the speed of lightning, the Swarmlord plunges his Boneswords into Mannoroth's body, each entering and exiting his body.

Another scream of agony booms throughout the battlefield amidst the fighting hordes, interrupted when the Pit Lord teleports out of the fight with his corrupted blood dripping from his body. Deeply weakened but his spirit unbroken, he roars in anger as he seeks out a victim to restore him. Good enough, three Stonecrusher Carnifexes (no doubt sent by his enemy) come rapidly at him, attempting to finish the Demon off. With ingenuity born out of desperation, Mannoroth utilizes the last of his strength to immobilize the trio with Shadowforce. 

"Legions of Sargeras! Protect me while I recover!" Mannoroth calls for aid for the first time in many, many years. Not that the Burning Legion complains, since all of them are experiencing first failures in this mission. True enough, while Mannoroth drains the Tyranids' life-force, a contingent of demons led by Azgalor and accompanied by a wounded Tichondrius come to his aid, doing their best in staving off the Tyranid hordes who seemingly become more numberless by the second.

After a period of battling and draining, Mannoroth recovers much of his wounds, but not the scar on his face and a broken tusk of his. He isn't fully restored, but this is enough for him to kill that aberration that stabbed him. "Lord Mannoroth! What catastrophe has befallen upon you?" Azgalor asks not in mockery but in concern. Mannoroth's patience is all but non-existent, but he understands in seriousness of what he means.

"Whoever controlled these creatures summoned a powerful being that nearly killed me! They are not idiots, Azgalor! They are tougher than I thought," Mannoroth answers Azgalor in the midst of battle. Before the Pit Lords can continue their conversation, a giant Hive Crone swoops in and delivers its acidic payload from its Drool Cannon at Mannoroth and his retinue. The Pit Lord immediately conjures a Fel shield around them all, preventing the acid from engulfing the group and protecting them from the Tyranids outside.

"Your wounds were grievous, I see, Mannoroth. And I know mine are even bloodier. Yet I must ask, how do we intend to win this battle? Lord Archimonde would be displeased to know that we..," Tichondrius' statement is cut short by the Pit Lord, now more serious and determined as ever.

"We will win this fight, Tichondrius! Our failure on Azeroth, we compensate with our victory here! We are the Burning Legion! We have ravaged a thousand worlds and a trillion enemies! The only difference I see here and there is our enemy. Our enemy is strong, but the Legion is stronger! Even with our deaths and the punishment that soon will follow, nothing is beyond our might!" Mannoroth delivers words of partial encouragement toward Tichondrius, Azgalor, and all the demons he encased in his dome. Even as Hormagaunts, Genestealers, and Lictors come crashing with their talons, the shield holds thanks to how Mannoroth conditioned it to only accept demons.

"Your words ring true, my Lord. Perhaps we..," Azgalor's words are shut down when the ground beneath them all shakes. Muttering disbelief, Mannoroth looks down in shock as he realizes of his foolishness: he expects not of the enemy below. True enough, a gigantic Trygon soon bursts out of the ground and devours the entire group save for Mannoroth who unfortunately could not save his retinue in time. The surviving demons soon fall prey to the hungry Tyranids waiting outside the dome, annihilating them all once the protective barrier falls apart. 

Mannoroth reappears, full of fury and power, on another area within the battlefield, now near an urban area where the Legion is having more ground than the Tyranids. For the moment, at least. He lands within the city's outskirts, where a sign with the name of 'New Alexandria' is seen. There, an exhausted regiment of Ered'ruin led by Doom Lord Kazzak is engaging a large force of Genestealers and Tyranid Warriors. As Mannoroth enters the battle literally out of nowhere, his presence inspires the tiring battlegroup. Swinging the Glaive of Ruin, Mannoroth clears out waves and waves of lesser Tyranids. He also annihilates much of their numbers with his own Fel fire waves. After murdering the last of the intruders, Mannoroth converses with Lord Kazzak.

"Kazzak, how many of our demons are in this city?"

"Many, Lord Mannoroth. There are still numerous insects in the city, but our forces are effectively keeping them harmless as we purge them and defeat their... war machines," Kazzak responds with a weary body shuddering from countless hours of over-exerting his body, but ready for battle nevertheless.

"How many Abyssals are here? I require them to destroy their commander," Mannoroth's request both puzzles and annoys Kazzak, yet the Doomlord can't exactly insult him. He is left with all but words of 'wisdom'.

"There were a hundred Abyssals fighting within this settlement. We sent forty to support the frontlines, and I believe I sent twenty to yours.  And then those... things came in droves, and now we're down to two. We have yet to receive any heavy reinforcements, although we were able to set up Fel Cannons, Devastators, and other machines to aid us."

"What of our ships? Can we not deploy them to eradicate these creatures one for all?"

"Thus far, we have yet to hear from the ones above ever since these creatures came. We deployed seven warships to aid us on this planet. Against the humans, we lost none. Against these beasts? After news of your arrival had broken out, all of them were destroyed thoroughly by their titanic abominations. All, including the ones sent alongside you," Kazzak informs, unfortunately unveiling a little implication to Mannoroth.

"Were you implying that my presence prompted these creatures to become more powerful? That's what you're saying? Mannoroth's anger-filled words instill doubt and fear within Kazzak. As high-ranked he may be, a Doomguard fighting a Pit Lord never ends with the victory of the former. He has not much choice, however.

"In a way, yes," Kazzak expected Mannoroth to smash him to paste and take command of all of his forces. Surprisingly, that's not what he received. No matter how insulting Kazzak's words may be, Mannoroth realizes the truth. He is the King of the Pit Lords. He is one of the greatest lieutenants the Burning Legion has ever had; one of its greatest paragons under the command of Sargeras' own generals. When he came here, he slaughtered scores of Tyranids and inspired many to fight even harder than before. Reinforcements also came bringing heavy support unlike anything the Tyranids have ever seen. Then that four-armed creature arrived with even more powerful horrors supporting him. They came from the skies, so there should be a fleet of some kind that deployed them. Through thorough thinking, Mannoroth just figured out the presence of the Tyranid Hive Fleet (tendril) above the planet, engaging the Legion's ships. A moment of clarity, yes, but one not relevant to the current situation. Nevertheless, he is able to cobble up something in his brain out of all this.

"Kazzak, do you know how their commanders look like?"

"I remember killing one with my blades hours ago. That was not easy. Yet from what my Observer spies report, there are hundreds of these creatures scattered around the planet. Our forces were lucky to be able to identify and kill them all strategically. I believe you killed the last of them moments ago..."

"... just before that thing came."

"I beg your pardon?'

"That thing I fought. It must be the Prime Commander of some kind. I should have ripped that thing's spine off immediately! Yet it is strong, just as strong as I am! If I could slay it, then it would be less than effortless for us to defeat them!"

"You mean us, Lord Mannoroth? I see that your wounds are yet to heal, and the scars on your body gave me the idea that it nearly killed you. You cannot do this alone."

"I realized my mistake, Kazzak. I am not doing it alone this time, and so will it. Muster our forces, Doomlord. This city will be the grave of this swarm's lord!" Mannoroth sternly orders Kazzak and the Doomlord nods in obedience as he heads back to the city with his regiment to rally the Burning Legion's forces. Mannoroth teleports out of the outskirts. But before doing so, he stares into the horizon. He can already hear the thumping footsteps of a million aberrations, and his sense correctly suggests that the Swarmlord is in the middle of all this. He grunts and teleports into the city's depths, all while the Swarmlord marches on with its forces amongst the corpses and bones of fallen demons.

-

"Is everything in position?" Mannoroth asks Lord Kazzak in the middle of the city's ruins. Every single building, street, and parchments the city has have been used to set up new siege machines, deploying new troops, and other strategic assets. The Tyranids definitely outnumber them, but these defences are intended to effectively distract all the Tyranids except for the Swarmlord, whom Mannoroth wants to slay himself.

"Yes. I must digress, however. Are you sure you will be able to slay the commander?" Kazzak questions Mannoroth. The Pit Lord's response now sounds more in-line with his characteristic.

"If it was not for my need of you, I would kill you for such question!" Mannoroth gnarls at the Ered'ruin, the latter simply looking down as a response in addition to breathing. Moments later, the Tyranids' skittering, roaring, and groaning can be heard as they effectively swarm a quarter of the city in seconds. 

Raising the Xu'tenash, Mannoroth proclaims, "Minions of Sargeras! We are the bringers of death! The killers of worlds! The ruination of realms! These beings are nothing but a new foe we have never faced before! This day shall be our greatest triumph, so come forth! Kill them all! Kill them all!" Mannoroth's words drive the demons into a murderous frenzy rarely seen within the Legion's history. Kazzak leads the charge at the front, followed by a massive concentration of Infernals, Wrathguards, Doomguards, and three Antaens. Even though Mannoroth loves to charge in the front lines, he has to know where the Swarmlord is so he can kill him on the spot. The Pit Lord teleports out again, just as the demonic tide collides with the alien wave.

-

The Swarmlord has yet to spot the Mannoroth creature. As it rapidly dismembers demons, both elite and lowly, left and right, it scans the city's surroundings with precision, spotting through fallen skyscrapers and the ensuing slaughter. While sending paroxysms and chain lightnings to all the demonic enemies around him, it sees a gigantic Antaen crashing through packs of Carnifexes and crushing a Harridan with its palm while tanking much of the Tyranids' artillery. As if it's an afterthought, the Swarmlord summons a pack of Harridans to annihilate the beast. Even though it is larger than them, each Harridan is stronger than a super-heavy tank, and it doesn't take long for them to ravage the Antaen. 

The Antaen's corpse falls into the ground, claiming a horrendous amount of Tyranid lives and nearly crushing the Swarmlord. Right after its fall, a winged figure glides past the generated dust. Despite the presence of wings, no, it is not tricked by the fact that it's not Mannoroth. With his powerful warblade and a thundering warcry, Kazzak slashes at the Tyranid's face. Sure enough, the relic weapon fails to penetrate its thick face... but not one of its eyes.

The Swarmlord screeches in surprise, briefly stumbling back before annihilating the Doomlord with an attack delivered at a speed not even Kazzak himself could comprehend. Within a split second, the Doomlord is reduced to a bloody mist the moment a single Bonesword phases through his body. The Swarmlord takes a small moment to shake off the wound, but such a moment is rendered meaningless as a powerful Fel beam suddenly blasts him from the side, sending him sprawling across the street. 

From the other side, Mannoroth continues to blast the unstable supports of a skyscraper with the assistance of other Pit Lords. After crumbling the skyscraper, Mannoroth instructs the Pit Lords to utilize Shadowforce to push the Skyscraper forward. Forward, exactly where the Swarmlord and a large portion of the Tyranids are.

"Push, my subjects! Push! Do not let Kazzak's distraction be in vain!" encourages Mannoroth, despite how Kazzak died delivering a nearly negligible attack. What matters is that the struggle of the Annihilans paid off, and the skyscraper falls down. From the other side, the demons quickly withdraw their positions, abandoning both the weak and them among their numbers who are left behind. The Tyranids? Many, they are, and many they died. The Swarmlord screeches in surprise as it witnesses this turn of event. Before it can convey other orders, it and its underlings are crushed beneath the skyscraper's weight. Within minutes, the Tyranid Commander and its 'elite' are crushed by 250 kilotons worth of metal and concrete.

After the smoke of the explosion clears out, Mannoroth and the Pit Lords teleport back into the scene, surveying the damage they have done. Aside from the other Tyranid hordes that are cut off from their commander and seemingly regressing to savagery, Mannoroth hears nothing. He hears nothing, save for his own triumphant roar followed by his ones from his kin. "Foolish creature! Mannoroth is unbeatable! Mannoroth is unstoppable!" the Pit Lord King gloats as his kin happily roars in approval, "Mannoroth is invinci..." 

"RAAAAAAAAAGH!"

Mannoroth's celebration is cut short when a pack of Harridans suddenly swoop in and devour the smaller Pit Lords. "No!" Mannoroth angrily utters. He attempts to free his kin from them, yet he fails as they fly high up fast enough to avoid the Annihilan's wrath. Mannoroth screams up to the skies with outrage, only stopping once he notices that the Harridans are exploding one by one thanks to the Pit Lords' physiology. Shame, he does not feel. Surprise, he does feel when he suddenly hears the sound of breaking from the skyscraper.

Seconds later, the Swarmlord emerges from the ruined building, roaring in its own defiance as if it's mocking the Demon for his futile effort. His carapace is partially out of shape and his left eye is still broken thanks to Kazzak. All this does not mean that he is disabled, unfortunately. Nevertheless, Mannoroth has been anticipating this.

"I knew I would eventually tear you apart myself again!" such a statement is followed by a massive roar heard throughout the city, starting the two generals' second engagement. The Tyranid speeds across the ruined building and jumps off it to attack Mannoroth, only for the latter to blast it out with a Fel beam. It quickly gets up and shoots out four psychic lightnings out of its fists. Mannoroth responds by conjuring a shield before raining down Fel meteors to harm the beast. It makes its way closer to Mannoroth while charging another Warp Blast, but its progress is hindered as the meteors begin to hurt the flesh beneath his carapace. Charging against the Swarmlord, Mannoroth then shoves it using his shield and pins him to a giant debris near the building. He attempts to use the shield and debris to crush it, also stabbing its body several times with the Xu'tenash to kill it. The Glaive of Ruin slowly but surely makes a number of cracks upon its torso. 

Mannoroth's attack comes to a stop when it unleashes its powerful Warp Blast which it continued to charge while he was gutting it. The sheer power of the blast creates an explosion the size of a large house. Mannoroth is sent flying back with his shield dispelled, getting up as swift as he can, but not swift enough to avoid the Tyranid biting the Pit Lord's flesh, consuming it to restore his own wounds. Mannoroth responds with a strong dual slash from the Xu'tenash that bisects its mouth and left eye, completing Kazzak's wound. It walks back a few steps while screaming in shock, but it ultimately ignores the pain it experiences as its flesh begins to be knitted. In this small moment, Mannoroth notices a green fluid dangling from its mouth, some of it it actually consumed.

That thing drank his blood and nothing, nothing happens. Regardless, once it finishes recovery, it charges again at Mannoroth with his four blades and begins a brutal melee with the Pit Lord. Infused with Fel energy, Mannoroth deflects the Swarmlord's initial strikes with precision and responds with slashes of his own, only to be parried back with impossible speed. Mannoroth stomps down the Swarmlord's foot, grabs its head, and forces Xu'tenash with both enhanced magic and sheer muscle power through its throat. The Glaive of Ruin runs through its throat, and Mannoroth wastes no time in disengaging to avoid getting stabbed again. He pushes it back with Shadowforce, charging a powerful Felseeker blast to destroy the stunned alien. The Swarmlord notices this and runs at him again. The Fel bolt is dissipated by a Bonesword, but Mannoroth is prepared for it, responding by creating a small quake by smashing the Xu'tenash down to the ground. 

Knocked off-balance, the Swarmlord receives a score of wounds from his glaive yet yields no ground. It counters with a powerful quad-slash to its chest that sends it sprawling. It stands up and wastes no time trying to cut him down. The stubborn demon is barely able to parry the first strike, let alone the second one. Then the third one, the fourth one, the fifth one, and so on... until he teleports behind it.

"I will not die today, mongrel!" the raging Pit Lord furiously slashes at its tail, successfully cutting it down. The Tyranid, aside from shrieking, responds by turning back and delivering a barrage of deadly slashes at the Pit Lord, who is forced to contend with his wounds due to his waning strength. Despite this, blows are still traded between the monsters and Mannoroth ends the brief skirmish by uppercutting the Swarmlord with such force that it's sent flying back. 

After so, he examines the wounds inflicted upon him. He gazes upon the blood he used to corrupt the orcs flowing through his body. If he continues to deliver ineffective damage upon this thing, then surely, Archimonde will give him a punishment beyond measure for losing again after Azeroth. The Tyranid, on the other hand, gets up whilst trembling from the damage it took. Between the two, the Swarmlord's ignorance towards pain and the life of others seem to be greater than Mannoroth's.

With a grunt, Mannoroth conjures a vertical wave of fire at it which it avoids using its greater agility. Once within melee range, it promptly avoids the clumsy Pit Lord's swing and stabs through his open wounds with three of his blades. The Pit Lord coughs up blood afterwards, and the Tyranid finishes off his masterstroke by beheading the Pit Lord unceremoniously. 

Mannoroth's head rolls down, but even the head's removal does not mean that it mitigates the most common attribute among Pit Lords in death: exploding. Though the Tyranid managed to dislodge his blades, upon doing such act, Mannoroth's head and body blows up in a spectacular display of dark magic, engulfing the Swarmlord and the nearby environment.

-

The explosion was heard clearly throughout the city. Its echo resonates throughout the former human establishment. The Tyranids care little for such occurrence. For the Burning Legion? It is all but a single battle within a gigantic war spanning multiple fronts across an entire planet. The death of a single leader can simply be alleviated by picking another one. Yet for once, no single demon on that planet could believe that Mannoroth, the greatest Pit Lord to have ever lived, was killed again by a creature they absolutely have no knowledge of. Grommash Hellscream was one, but this? They don't even know who they're up against. Yet whoever they are, one of them just murdered him.

Razelikh, the Dreadlord second in-command to the now-deceased Lord Kazzak and now the demonic forces' commander, is filled with terror and dread as he realizes what has just happened. 

"N--no... Lord Mannoroth is dead! How is this possible?!" Razelikh's question is left unanswered as the Nathrezim gets obliterated by the bio-cannons of a Hierophant that has just killed the last Antaen. Now, the demons are the leaderless ones, and they are left with no choice but to regroup with their surviving commanders as more and more Tyranids enter the scene. All throughout the planet, these 'refugees' will find no safety in numbers, as no further reinforcements are received and much of their leaders, champions, and heroes are dead, slain by the unstoppable hordes of the Tyranids.

Above the planet, the Norn-Queen relays the Hive Mind's order to slaughter the demons and commencing of the invasion's next step: absorption. While the Legion's ships are falling into the planet's surface, titanic Capillary Towers are being constructed on different places across the world, even within oceans. It is time that they reap their reward of biomass and consume this new galaxy once and for all.

Back in the ruined city, the Swarmlord emerges battered but alive from Mannoroth's explosion. Much of his wounds are fatal, but it has accomplished its objective of eliminating the enemy leader. News of Mannoroth's death quickly spread throughout the world after Razelikh's telepathic message, demoralizing them and instilling fear within their hearts. The Swarmlord is still burdened with the duty of commanding the entire Tyranid forces on the ground, but victory is in its grasp. Standing triumphantly, the Tyranid lets out a loud primal roar, signifying its victory. Not just the Swarmlord, but the entire Tyranid swarm.

Long live the Tyranids. Long live the Great Devourer.

WINNER: SWARMLORD

Expert's Opinion[]

Mannoroth is no doubt a powerful demon with a collection of magic spells and moves that outmatch the Swarmlord's psychic powers provided by the Hive Mind. What upsets Mannoroth's path to victory is his primary weapon's inferiority to the Tyranid's Boneswords and his physicality. While his strength is nothing to be scoffed at, the Swarmlord's speed and durability are way too much for the Pit Lord to contend with. His formidability is also outshadowed by the Swarmlord's intelligence and experience, despite the latter's many losses in individual battles.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.

Reason[]

The author declared the battle to be invalid due to the Swarmlord's vastly superior weapons, physicality, and intellect, which made it impossible for Mannoroth to even scratch it.

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