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The Harrowmark Twisted Oak

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The Tale of the Twisted Oak

The forests of the Harrowmark are endless, though the touch of human change can be seen here and there. The woods are pockmarked with villages and levelled where meagre farms scratch out a living. Evil and monstrous creatures thrive in such a place, lurking underneath the forest’s canopy. Wolves, ghouls, bandits, and worse. There is a sense of horror there, or more accurately, a sense of encroaching dreadful melancholy, an all-consuming sense of loneliness. A perpetual Autumn settled across the region, so long ago that not even the Graveroot Sylvaneth could remember when the woods were young. For time immemorial, the trees stood not growing nor dying and not a single sapling could be seen by those brave or foolish enough to venture deep in the woods.

But then, the Necroquake came and in its wake the raging wild magic of the Arcanum Optimar. Weather- and battle-worn Spellhunters came, hunting for rogue Endless Spells. Few returned from the deepest woods. But those that did, reported things unheard-of in the Shyishian underworld of the Harrowmark.

They claimed that somewhere deep in the abyssal woodland of dead trees and tangled undergrowth, a Tree is born and growing, feeding on a knot of sorcerous energy seeping up from the soil below. On flying ships and through Realmgates, the rumour is spreading and both the learned and the fool, from far and wide, speculate on the origin of such energy.

Some say it leaks from the hundreds of graves that permeate the Shyishian soil, thousands of souls flowing into the Tree’s heartwood.

Others claim it comes from a hidden Stormvault, long forgotten beneath the dead forests.

Yet others claim the Tree is twisted and corrupted by Chaos magic and is attracting all manner of dark creatures, who venerate and worship it as an altar to the Dark Gods.

Some even theorise that the energy of the Necroquake itself is trapped forever in the dead wood.

The servants of Nurgle whisper the Tree is one of Horticulus Slimux’s dreaded Black Oaks. When it will bear fruit, they say, Rotigus Rainfather will come back to aid Nurgle’s favoured Gardener in his feud with the Lord of Death.

Then there are those telling that the Tree grows over the burial site of a great Spellhunter, his weapons and arcane devices poking out of the twisted wood.

For others, a powerful sorceress was cursed and turned into the Tree, her soul-stuff raging to be free.

As the rumours spread, the mad and the brave once again dare sailing the stormy skies above the Harrowmark and tread its abyssal gloom. Who can say what they want and what they will find? How many of them will be lost forever?

~ 🕱 ~

We are planning to embark on a new adventure in the Harrowmark. Warbands will venture into the unknown, yet familiar, dark of the endless forests. We will be using Warcry this time, with a few house rules - mostly around Campaign Quests that will be tailored for warbands exploring the Harrowmark, instead of the Bloodwind Spoil.

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The jury-rigged Rotmoon limped over the tangled, malignant forests. The hard-pressed crew of orruk sky-pirates were all exhausted and even more argumentative than usual: they had fought-off two Crypt Flayers before breakfast and narrowly avoided a collision with a black skull-formed rocky outcrop in the fore-noon. A few crew-members had been pushed overboard since then.

Kapitán Da Leeva, first mate Bortagno and El Doctoro stood on the aft-deck and stared at a filthy and dog-eared map they had spread out on the top of a barrel. Unseasonably strong winds had pushed them off course by three and a half miles and forced them through the rocky areas area far further south than the course they had plotted. Their maps and charts were old and inaccurate, all the compass bearings were reversed since the Necroquake, which added an extra layer of calculations needed to navigate over the Harrowmark's horrible forests. They didn't even get on with the first layer of calculations very well.

Even taking all this into account, something seemed to be throwing out their navigation. The thaumaturgic compasses both seemed to be off by a few points; it like something powerful was pulling at them. El Doctoro the Shaman took measurements with a ceraunostant and drew lines on the chart, he muttered to himself as he tried to calculate the source.

He straightened up and jabbed a gnarled finger at the parchment. “Whatever it is, it’s somewhere here-around.” he pronounced confidently.

The other two orruks looked closely at the area of the map around the Shaman’s finger. “Nothing is there, but only forest!” said Bortagno, incredulously.

“Something new is come into to the forest,” said El Doctoro “something newer than the map.”

The Kapitán scratched his chin and thought for a minute, “We’ll take a look, it might be worth something.” he said with a grin and a piratical glint in his eye. He nodded to Bortagno who turned to the deck and started shouting orders to change course.

~ ~ ~

I am going to continue the story of the Rotmoons for this campaign. 

Their ship, the Rotmoon, is battered and broken and badly in need of proper repairs. El Doctoro has heard the rumours of the Twisted Oak and he wants to cut it down, saw it up into planks and use the timber to repair their sky-ship - what could be better to repair a flying ship than magical wood? He urged Kapitán Da Leeva to make sail through the area it where the rumours suggested it might be, knowing that it would be hard to find and that navigation around it would be difficult. He hasn't been entirely honest about what he expects to find there...


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Into the woods again

The light of Hysh was low in the sky and ruddy. Bad tempered crows filled the air with their unfriendly racket and a cold wind twirled dead leaves in tight spirals. Although the Harrowmark was locked in a perpetual Autumn, the weather seemed warmer than usual. Something was changing.

Guttural voices echoed through the shadowed bowers of the haunted woods. A crowd of bad tempered orruks pirates strode through the trees toward the unfortunate village of Wortbad. Some of them muttered arguments with their shipmates, others just glared angrily at the world in general.

With the Rotmoon safely tied-up to the Skyship dock - the closest thing to a shipyard that existed this side of the jagged Everdark Peaks - Kapitán Alunzo da Leeva and some of the Rotmoons returned to Wortbad in search of supplies for their expedition into the malignant forests. They had left half a dozen orruks making repairs to the ship, but they needed raw materials that were not readily available. The planks and ropes they could salvage from ruined houses and nearby shipwrecks were poor quality and decidedly mundane and unmagical - they badly hampered the Rotmoon's sailing qualities, she was sluggish and unresponsive to the helm now.

The rumours of a magical tree growing in the deep forests gave El Doctoro the Shaman the idea of using its timbers to make the Rotmoon sky-worthy again. The Shaman had a fairly good idea of where the Oak might be, from it's effect on his navigational instruments, but he also knew they couldn't just go blinding stumbling through the Harrowmark's baleful forests. There was work to be done.








Viktor and I got together for a "Session Zero" and set up the Harrowmark scenery and lighting in his gaming room. We plan to start playing our custom Warcry campaign next week. Exciting times!

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Viktor's warband intro:


Kalyustar's Cursed Company

Kalyustar closed the skin bound tome and turned to his liutenants, a faint green glow leaking from his mask eye slits. Rhedgar and Krunti stood to attention next to him.


At the far end of the graveyard, the soil stirred and two warriors pushed themselves up. Behind them, a gor emerged from the dark woods.
"Well done, Soulchemist!" the Shadeglass Skull wispered. "You reach far and wide".


Kalyustar felt pride swell inside him as he watched Keinrich and Tollich inspecting the troops lining up in front of them.


"What an excellent Company!" purred the Skull. "Look at their pristine uniforms, how their feathers dance in the wind!".


"Indeed, my old friend, indeed! Faithful and loyal, too" replied Kalyustar, bitternes in his voice.
Even after so many years, his men's betrayal pained him. He had kept them safe through their voyages in the Harrowmark and still they listened to the wretched Witch Hunter and abandoned him in the woods.
What was wrong, when the Winds of Shyish blew strong, in using them? He knew it then, and he was even more certain about it now. The Necroquake had marked the beginning of his new life and through the Arcanum Optimar he had seen Spellhunters rushing through the Harrowmark in search of easy gains.
Not for him their greedy adventuring. He bided his time instead, channeling the raging magical energies to raise a Company that would serve him and never question him, no matter what.
"But do you know how they call them?" the Skull's voice intruded into his thoughts. "The men of the Harrowmark call them the Cursed Company, and you the Exile."
Bitternes turned into rage.
"Yes! They show me no respect. But those pig-headed peasants' mockery is about to end. You've heard of the Twsited Oak, haven't you?"
"Oh, I did. And what do you plan to do, Soulchemist?"
"I'll find it. I'll unlock its secrets and powers. And with them, I'll make the Harrowmark mine. And then, I'll laid my vengeance upon the Gilded Hand and their pityful armies of untrustworthy mercenaries!"
"Good, Soulchemist! Good! The Master is pleased..."

Kalyustar, the Exile

As we prepare to play another campaign in the Harrowmark, I've decided to continue exploring Kalyustar's fall and made a new version of him as a Necromancer.


His trademark mask (a stripped down Liberator head) is still there as is the Skull he clutches in his left hand (from the Necromancer model). I've reintroduced the bottle (from the Battlemage kit) he carried in his first, mounted incarnation, but this time kept the smoky skull emerging from it. What I have changed is the top of his staff (from the Necromancer kit) to further show his allegiance to Death. The red of his cloack is now further faded and I've also added some weathering on it.

He will lead a Warcry Legions of Nagash warband, which allowed me to model another tribute to yet another Regiment of Renown: Richter Kreugar the Damned and his Cursed Company, on which I have based the yellow and black colour scheme.


Thronir, Krunti and Rhedgar, Skeleton Champions

I have replicated the Dwarf and Elf skeletons using a 4th edition High Elf Spearman and a Battle for Skull Pass Dwarf Clansman. The human skeleton is a metal Armoured Skeleton with a shield from the Freeguild range.

The Swordmen, Skeleton Warriors

The Halberdiers, Skeleton Warriors

The Skeleton Warriors are made using the Khemri Skeletons kit with bits from the Freeguild range and greenstuff for the scraps of uniform. I made the raising skeletons as I chopped the legs from two models to convert a pair of Wights.

Keinrich and Tollich, Wights

In their case, the majority of bits is from the Freeguild range, with heads and legs from the Khemri Skeletons.

The Gor

Since the original Cursed Company included many non-human skeletons, I've made a Gor one. Except for the Chaos Marauder shield, it is entirely made with bits from the Khemri skeletons. And I've plans to add a skaven and an orruk!

Deployment markers

Finally, using the tombstones from the Khemri Skeletons and accessory from the Freeguild range, I've also made tokens to mark the deployment points of my Dagger, Shield and Hammer.


Edited by WarbossKurgan
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The Sorcerer

A heavy bank of roiling fog had settled upon Wortbad for days. The Rotmoons had hidden in taverns, huddled by fires to stave off its cloying cold and damp. El Doctoro was impatient to start their expedition into the forests but the preparations were going slowly. Something was howling in the fog... something big.

When the fog finally started to dissipate Kapitán da Leeva climbed to the top of Deathwatch Tower to scan the newly visible horizon with his brass spyglass. He did a full circuit of the sky just above tree tops, looking for passing sky-ships, before he started to look at the woods closer-in. Out of the receding mists a number of shrouded figures loomed into view. They moved in a strange way and, to start with, da Leeva couldn't work out why they seemed wrong. Their stilted, jerky movements looked unnatural, almost like they were puppets on string. Then as they moved toward the town and out of the fog he realised why: they were not living men; they were dark-magic-animated skeletons! 

He took a silver coin out, turned it over and returned it to his pocket. Then started yelling orders at the Rotmoons, rousing them from their torpor and hurling abuse at them until they started appearing at doorways and arming themselves. When he was sure they were starting to move in the right direction he turned and ran down the stairs to join them.


~ ~ ~


The animated dead champions known as Tollich, the Gor and two nameless skeletons lurched out of the receding fog.


Percy Percy, Bold Rikk and Bortagno rushed to intercept them, heavy black powder pistols primed and ready.


Dragante, Pez and Deestro were not far behind.


Kalyustar, Rhegar and a number of skeletons appeared through the gates of a Garden of Morr. Bortagno roared his name - recognising an old and familiar enemy, behind the lines of a new warband.


Tollich rush forward, spurred on by sorcerous energies from Kalyustar, and attacked Bold Rikk.


Dragante stood guard by the signpost that marked the edge of Rotmoon territory.


The Gor took possession of another objective.


Percy Percy and Pez made toward the Gor.


Kalyustar urged his minions forward from the graveyard and through the trees.


As the Rotmoons pushed forward they failed to notice their exposed starboard flank...


Bortagno smashed into Tollich and scattered his dry bones among the tree roots.


Bold Rikk and Percy Percy both blasted Krunti with their heavy pistols and the skeletal duardin fell in a cloud off sulphurous smoke.


Deestro shot Rhegar, the halberd-armed skeleton champion, then Dragante charged him through the smoke.


Kalyustar unleashed a wave of necromantic energies at Dragante, the big orruk roared in pain.


A hideously mutated wolf-beast appeared from the forests...


Da Leeva rushed out of the tower to join his crew in the forest, with Geedo and El Doctoro in tow. They saw that a large group of skeletons was trying to encircle the Rotmoons!


Percy Percy was horrified that he hadn't noticed them earlier! A large group of skeleton warriors lurched out of the shadows beneath the trees.


Kapitán da Leeva took stock of the situation and started barking orders.


Rhegar focused the death-magic energies within his desiccated form and smashed Dragante down!


The mutated wolf-beast pounced upon Kalyustar and his minions.


It shattered one of the skeletons with a blood-curdling howl.


The Rotmoons watched with a mixture of horror and joy as the beast smashed into the skeleton warriors.


Bortagno charged a skeleton and hacked it in twain with his kutlass.


El Doctoro summoned magics that strengthened orrukish muscle and sinew, shielding them from harm.


The Kapitán charged a skeleton, it lunged at him with a spear but he turned it aside with his kutlass and hacked it to splinters then stamped on its skull.


Heavy pistols cracked and banged, lead shot whizzed through the forest, it chipped bone and shredded rotten clothing.


Percy Percy fired at close range and the skeleton fell to bits!


Pez was set-upon by the Gor, Keinrich and a nameless skeleton! But he survived, even against those odds!


Deestro shot Rhegard through the skull.


Percy Percy blasted a damaged skeleton to bits.


Both warbands pulled back from the fight - the Rotmoons did not want to tangle with the wolf-beast and the Cursed Company were running low on skeletons!

~ ~ ~

This was a great start the the campaign! 

Deployment: Encircle

Victory: Drawn and Quartered

Twist: Bloodscent

The game ended as a 6:6 draw, as both of us scored 2 victory points each turn. We both grabbed two objectives in the first turn and, try as we might, neither of us was able to change that balance over the next two turns.

Narratively it felt "right" as we have established a border between our territory!



Edited by WarbossKurgan
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Just a question about the game, what rules did the orks use?


Great pictures otherwise :)

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3 hours ago, Ulfast said:

Just a question about the game, what rules did the orks use?


Great pictures otherwise :)


  • Kapitán Alunzo da Leeva - Orruk Morboy Boss

  • El Doctoro the Shaman - Savage Orruk Morboy with Bone Totem

  • Dragante - Savage Orruk Morboy 

  • Bortagno - Savage Orruk Morboy

  • Pirate orruks with black powder pistols - 5 Savage Orruk Arrowboyz
    Geedo Forks
    Percy Percy
    Bold Rikk
    Deestro the Blade


Edited by WarbossKurgan

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The Deluge

Rain. The Rotmoons had trudged through the forests for days now any the lashing rain had been unrelenting for most of that time. Tempers were fraying and several arguments had already broken out. The forest floor had turned to stinking mud, that pulled off boots and swallowed-up dropped gear. The Kapitán had spread his party out over a broad stretch of woods, party to widen the area they could search but mainly to stop them fighting so much. They were at greater risk from each-other than the horrible creatures that dwelled in the forest on days like this.

When the rain finally stopped and the clouds parted, horizontal orange light sliced through the tangled trees. The ground was no firmer and would not be for days, even if the rain held off, but the risk of fights breaking out within the crew was always a little lower.

El Doctoro shook his stolen Aetheric Barometer; it rattled slightly. He held it to his ear for a moment and listened to its faint clicks and whirrs. He taped the dial then squinted into one of its crystal lenses. Finally satisfied that it was actually working he told Kapitán da Leeva where the Gravelines they were trying to follow were leading next - through a particularly swampy area of forest.

~ ~ ~



Kapitán da Leeva, Geedo and Percy Percy found the first graveline marker hidden in the undergrowth. But they didn't have time to celebrate.


Suddenly there was a deep guttural roar and Badruk and his Ironjawz Ardboyz crashed through the trees! The Kapitán cursed and swore - he had fought this band of orruks a few months before and bested them, they must have followed him somehow!


Percy Percy took the brunt of Badruk's charge but somehow managed to survive the surprise attack.


The Kapitán leapt into the fray, kutlass flashing in the evening light.


An armoured Ironjaw called Drog appeared at the Kapitán's side. Another Ardboy, Grukk, pushed through the tangled briars.


Hearing the shouts and clash of swords, El Doctoro, Deestro and Bortango hurried through the woods, toward the noise.


Bold Rikk, Pez and Dragante also answered the call.


Kapitán da Leeva used is long-earned experience of dirty fighting to bring down the Ardboyz' boss, with a crafty hack to the thigh. The Ardboyz around him took several minutes to register that their Boss was not getting up again.


While da Leeva turned on Drog, Percy Percy and Geedo tried to deal with Grukk.


Pez and Deestro moved towards the second of the stones that marked the Gravelines, next to a mausoleum.


Grukk Bigtoof and his mate came crashing through the forest. El Doctoro spotted them and prepared a magical response.


Bold Rikk came to aid Dragante as another Ironjaw approached.


As Bigtoof gathered a counter attack.


The Rotmoons found themselves in the jaws of a trap: Ironjawz on three sides!


The Kapitán saw Rezgut make his move.


Pez and Rikk tried to muscle in on the Ironjawz holding the second Graveline.


Grukk knocked down Percy Percy and hacked at the Kapitán's back.


Kapitán da Leeva turned on him in a fury and stabbed his kutlass into a gap in his armour.


Bortagno shoulder-barged into an Ironjaw while El Doctoro zapped Bigtoof with a close ranged blast of green energy.


Deestro squinted down the barrel of his pistol. The lock clicked, powder ignited with a hiss then a bang. The lead shot punched straight through Drog's armour.


The Ironjawz and Dragante's party fell upon one-another, blades clashing.


Geedo blasted Grukk with both of his heavy black powder pistols - the Ironjaw dropped like a stone.

~ ~ ~

Kapitán da Leeva looked around the darkening forest, making doubly-sure that the last of the Ironjawz were fleeing before he could relax.

El Doctoro the Shaman took a deep breath to calm the ranging magical energies that threatened to overwhelm him - the presence of so many aggressive greenskinz in close proximity had generated a vast amount of power. Once the charge subsided he was able to think straight again. He aligned the Aetheric Barometer with the gravelines and studied the dials and crystal lenses - he frowned and checked again. But the readings were clear now. He knew where they had to head next, and he wasn't happy.

"Our course is set. We are bound for the Shattered Circle again, Kapitán." he said with a sigh.

~ ~ ~


Deployment: Close the Jaws (Rotmoons on Blue)
Victory: Sudden Death
Twist: Murky Swampland

Viktor played one of his NPC warbands this time, and it made for a brutal encounter. Ironjawz are more than a match for Bonesplitterz in close combat, but I pressed the advantage of my warband's longer range, and a lot of luck, to secure a win at the end of turn 3.

The Rotmoons set sail for their first Convergence...


Edited by WarbossKurgan
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Squabble at the Broken Circle (1st Convergence)
El Doctoro the Shaman had searched a large area of the forest all morning, he was sure that the Twisted Oak was near the clearing where the Broken Circle lay. The Circle itself seemed to be a nexus of a huge amount of magic, and though the Twisted Oak was stronger the proximity of the Broken Circle had thrown out his calculations.
The Rotmoons had followed him around patiently for hours, but they had grown increasingly frustrated and as he (once again) paused to check his instruments, tempers flared and harsh words started flying between them. Maybe it was the guttural shouting of oaths and insults, maybe it was just the concentration of Death magic in the forest, but whatever the reason; the dead awakened, they crept behind and encircled the Rotmoons.
If nothing else, the lads got some action that day...
~ ~ ~
Empty eye sockets watched the orruk pirates growl and swear at each other.
Kapitán da Leeva watched in frustration as the Shaman fussed with a brass-and-crystal device: he turned dials and watch the swirling blue-white spirits within it.
Suddenly the cracking of dry twigs alerted him to the danger around them. The crows started noisily cawing and took off.
Dragante rounded on a pair of arguing pirates and cracked heads together until they stopped fighting each other and started taking more care of their look-out duties.
Kalyustar the Soulchemist and his cadaverous crew stalked through the trees behind the pirates.
Bortagno gathered another pair of bickering pirates and fiercely set them to rights.
Deadwalkers emerged from the mausoleums and crypts. They shambled toward the noise, dead eyes stared, dead mouths hungered.
The Kapitán realised the orruk pirates' way back to their ship was blocked. They would have to fight their way out.
The Kapitán growled and drew his kutlass as he strode toward the wall of skeletons.
El Doctoro joined the Kapitán with a flash of magical energy that shattered one of the dead.
Deestro made a break for it and ran off toward the waiting ship's boat, that was tethered nearby.
Bortagno smashed his blade through the shoulder and rib cage of the nearest skeleton.
Deestro parried the thrust of a spear-skeleton.
Keinrich and Thronir advanced on the flank of the orruk pirates.
Then a trio of deadwalkers shambled after them.
The forests rang with the clash of rusted blades.
Kalyustar marshalled his forces carefully, from the rear of their lines.
The Kapitán ordered El Doctoro to follow Deestro and run to safety...
...while he tried to hold off the Skeleton Champions with his kutlass.
They overwhelmed him and Keinrich made cruel use of his Cursed Blade.
But the Shaman, Percy Percy and Bold Rikk escaped!
Bortagno roared with anger as the Kapitán fell; he smashed into Keinrich the Skeleton Champion with the Cursed Blade greatsword, and scattered his bones
Another skeleton, with sword and shield, charged from his blind side.
Wave after wave of Deathrattle fighters piled on the orruk pirate, their rusted spear and halberd stabbed at him.
More Deadwalkers shambled out of the underground crypts
It started to look like the pirates would be cut off and trapped!
Yet more Deadwalkers closed in on the fighting.
Dragante growled orders at Geedo and Pez. He spotted an opening and was determined to break through.
Bortagno laughed as he twirled his kutlass ostentatiously. He secretly drew a dagger with his other hand.
He put up a good fight and although the ancient weapons of the undead slipped through his parries and blocks a few times, he managed to land a few good hits - his perfidious dagger scored an especially telling blow. But they were wearing him down though.
Dragante shoved Geedo into the path of a grasping Deathrattle skeleton and sprinted through the woods. A flash of Death Magic from Kalyustar wracked Geedo with pain.
Bortagno shouted encouragement to his shipmate, even as the skeletons impaled him!
A skeleton swordsman tried to intercept Dragante as he ran but the huge orruk just shrugged him off and kept running.
One of the decaying Deadwalkers attacked a Skeleton Champion!
The another rotting walker brought down the duardin skeleton champion!
The escape route got narrower as the Deadwalkers converged.
Kalyustar marshalled more dark power and herded his animated adherents toward the pirates.
Dragante shouted at the other orruks just ahead of him "Don't wait! Don't stop! Get to da ship!"
For once, they followed orders!
~ ~ ~
  • Scenery: The Broken Circle in the centre of the southern half of the board. Woods and wrecks all around.
  • Deployment: Defiant Stand (The Rotmoons Blue)
  • Victory: The Gauntlet (The Rotmoons Defenders)
  • Twist: Rampaging Beasts
  • Fail forward: If the Convergence is not completed, progress on the Campaign Tracker and remove one Controlled Territory or 5 Glory Points if no territory is controlled yet.
This was so close! I just managed to scrape a win in turn 4 but one more skeleton between Dragante and the board edge would have been all it took to stop me and give the win to Viktor. Tense and exciting!

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