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The War of Funerary Delights: A Narrative Campaign in The Era of The Beast


Twisted Firaun
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Zamses the Ever-Joyful, First of His Name, Lord of The City of Vulturopolis, Chosen of Sekhubis, and many more titles besides gazed upon his court from his throne of polished mangrove and crocodilian hide as the relentless tide of courtiers and advisors, both mortal and undead, brought him news of his kingdom. The ancient monarch's mind thought that he should feel discomfort from the humidity in the air, but the ancient spells and wards that kept his soul within his preserved corpse prevented such a notion. "How much longer must I sit here?" he asked the being standing beside his throne through the brittle remains of the scarred smile that earned him his most prominent title. The skeleton turned its bat helmed head towards its king, "Be at peace my king," the guard spoke with the voice of Camazhut, Zamses' boyhood friend and Captain of The Tomb Guard "We only have to deal with the "Vizier" from the City of Wolves." 

Zamses let out a chuckle at his friend's bluntness, "Very well, make sure your axe is ready to send his soul to Lord Sekhubis so that He might hear the scoundrel's final thoughts." Camazhut nodded his head, and hefted the vulture headed great axe into both hands, the pale witch fire glowing from his helm's eye sockets reflecting off the oxidized bronze of the blade. Before signaling the guards to let in their wretched guest.

The necromancer hobbled into the court, his wrinkled hands clinging to his short walking stick of gnarled wood. His tattered robes smelt of sea salt and rotten flesh, and were covered in stains from various liquids. Peeking out from various tears in the cloth were the red eyes of the rats and other grave animals that he used to spy upon Zamses’ enemies, and his people when he thought he could get away with it. Behind him came one of corpses of the famed Korsagi Ogors, though instead of their preferred axe the shambling corpse was holding a large mirror of Shade Glass.

“Glory to you, Oh Protector of the Old Ways.” the old man wheezed through his rotting teeth, his pales yellowed with age and past bouts with disease. “I bring you news of the most dire sort.”

“Then speak, Servant of The Hound of The Cairns, I do not have time for your riddles.”  Zamses intoned, hiding the humour in his voice as some of the mortal attendants giggled at the proceedings. 

“As you wish my lord,” the necromancer answered, before turning to his Ogor bodyguard and ordering it to put down the mirror with the utmost care. Once the mirror was on the floor the necromancer began to chant in the guttural tongue of Ulfenkarn, revealing a vision of Soul-Vine Bayou. The vision was through the eyes of one of numerous direwolf corpses that had begun to gather in the region due to Vulturopolis’ alliance with the Vyrkos dynasty, and it was an alarming one.

A procession of horse drawn wagons and steam driven fortresses were making their way through the swampland, from atop massive mobile pulpits priests of various creeds were encouraging the faithful to cut down and burn the vines that were the namesake of these lands. Marching ahead of this procession were warriors clad in blue and gold armor, with one of the stern-faced warriors holding aloft a banner that left no doubts upon who they serve.

“So Sigmar has discovered our haven” Zamses muttered under his breath, aware of the murmurs that were spreading through his court, before coming to a horrible conclusion. 

“My king, if Urtem was able to discover the servants of the Storm God so quickly-” Camazhut began to whisper to him, before Zamses interrupted him.

“Then who knows how long it will be before the Daemon-Hag Aesha and The Greenskin slavers discover them as well….” Zamses finished, before once again turning to Urtem. “Thank you oh wise one, for delivering this warning.” The necromancer bowed his head in deference to the ancient king “I live to serve, you my lord, and through you The One Who Mourns and Praises the Dead.”

“Then deliver this message to your vampiric patrons: Sigmar’s ilk have trespassed on my lands, and while I do not know what they seek, I do not wish for them to bring their wars upon my people. If they can spare their grave-barracks I promise them one half of any prisoners taken in the coming battles.” As the necromancer and his bodyguard left, Zamses let out a dry chuckle before turning to two of the skeletal messengers that stood besides his throne. “Send word to lady Najma that her skills of diplomacy are needed once again, and that the necrotects are to awaken the war statuary,” he told one of the messengers, before turning to the other “Go to the Fanged Port and alert its captains, I want their fortress-barges on the water ways immediately.” As the messengers left to deliver his orders, Zamses turned once again to his captain of the guard. “Will I have your blade at my side, my friend?” He asked, thrusting his arm out in a near universal gesture.

“Until the end, my friend, until the end.” Camazhut replied, grasping his king's decaying arm with his skeletal hand, completing the ancient warrior’s greeting. Zamses smiled once more, and this time both spirits knew it to be genuine.

“Then let us go to war.”

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Hello Everyone, it's been a while since I actually posted something like this, but I figured I might as well do this if only to keep these ideas somewhere before I forget them. 

This thread was based off an idea that I posted on @Neverchosen's Oceanic Gameplay and Battles page, and serves as the background for three of my armies:

My Tomb Kings themed Soulblight Gravelords, who are the stars of this first story blurb. While I am using the Rakaph symbol from Total War Warhammer II, please note that the army's actual colors are blue and green.

My Godseekers Hedonites of Slaanesh, who will be done up in Mardi Gras colors (purple, green, gold/yellow).

And finally,, my kruleboyz, who're rocking dirty blue and brown.

The goal of this project is to showcase the ever escalating conflict between these three factions and their allies in my home-brewed corner of Ghur, theSoul-Vine Bayou. There exists an ancient legend that the swamplands are the resting place of a long hidden Goddess of Poisons and Magic. Whoever finds this missing deity will gain a major advantage over the other two factions, and will most likely cement their hold over the area....

While this is primarily a place for me to post my things, I am willing to incorporate other armies and lore into the setting if you're willing to share. The only rule that I have is that your army can't be directly lead by a named character, otherwise anything is fair game. 

Thank you for reading this post, and stay tuned for more as the War of Funerary Delights unfolds....

 

Edited by Loyal Son of Khemri
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  • 4 months later...

To everyone who has looked at this thread and has been very patient with me (particularly @Neverchosen, @Neil Arthur Hotep, and @Lightbox), I thank you very much for you likes. Now then, let's get into the first two completed characters for The War of Funerary Delights!!!

 

Camazhut, Hand of Zamses

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This guy right here is honestly the start of the project. Made from a Warpshinx rider with the head of a Knight of Shrouds, Camazhut was Zamses childhood friend in life and his eternal protector in death. A dedicated follower of Asaph, Camazhut nevertheless understands his king's alliance with several soulblight gravelords, for a kingdom is nothing without its subjects.

Khurrem, Grand Maestra of Perversion

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one of three Heralds bound to Aesha Hatun and her court, Khurrem delights in the corruption of ritual verse and hymns. The Sultana has assigned her and the Sphiranx Marmori with the corrupting of the Cult of Sekhubis. 

Edited by Loyal Son of Khemri
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On 2/23/2022 at 2:15 AM, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

I love that Knight of Shrouds mask on the sphinx rider body. Works surprisingly well! I always shy away from combining the more gothic Nighthaunt bits with my Tomb Kings, but it actually looks really good.

Thank you @Neil Arthur Hotep, unfortunately I’m (mostly) out of blatantly Tomb King bits and am gonna have to get creative in the near future. The Nighthaunt range is one of my favorites in AOS, and I plan to  convert and ally in some units to fit my lore. I’m particularly looking forward to those crossbow ghosts that were revealed at LVO 2022, since they’re the first proper ranged death unit in the new game.

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Posted (edited)

The Nature of Faith

Camazhut walked through Vulturopolis bazaar, the pale witch light emanating from his bat winged helm piercing through the remnants of the morning fog with ease.

Already he could hear the murmurs of the city's merchants as they jostled for the best spots to set out their wares. The scene was horribly familiar, and briefly reminded Camazhut of  his mortal life before he had entered the service of Lord Zamses before he refocused on the task at hand.

As Camazhut made his way through the crowded bazaar various merchants and the skeletal guards that patrolled it's streets bowed their heads in respect and silently prayed to lord Sekhubis and the local spirits that the Hand of the King did not stop at their stall. The mixture of awe and fear was the result of syncretism between the remnants of his people and the people of the bayou. Bats were seen as the heralds of a minor goddess of fortune amongst the many people of the Soul-Vine Bayou, whereas in Shyish they were viewed as the eyes and ears of the Usurper and his devoted servants. Therefore, Camazhut, with his bat shaped helm taken from the corpse of a fallen champion in the beginning of The Age of Chaos, was viewed as a harbinger of either good fortune or terrible judgement. He kept walking through the crowds until he reached the Temple District, and stopped before his intended destination. The Temple of Asaph was originally dedicated to the local Goddess of Poison, and was built in the manner of the Bayou-Tribes, its walls covered in fleur-de-lis and timeworn carvings of temple girls dancing with the djinn and spirits of the dead. When they had conquered this land The Twin headed Simurgh had ordered his devoted necrotects through his servant Zamses the Laughing Jackal  to restore and expand upon the old building, mixing the ancient styles of their  homeland with the preferences of their new subjects.

Standing outside the first of its two gates was Priestess Najma, one of the first new members of the Mortuary Cult recruited from the local tribes. She was listening to a local musician as he sung a funeral dirge. She smiled when she saw Camazhut, and made her way towards the skeleton. "Lord Camazhut, what brings you to the temple grounds on such a fine day?"

"The Humorous Blade requires your aid, oh Daughter of the Asp." Camazhut intoned, listening to the familiar tune of the bard, though there was something off about how to ancient tune touched reverberated through his bones, "The Scions of the Storm march on our home, and the Favored of the Vulture wishes to know their business." 

Najma frowned at the implications of his words, while the musician kept on singing, "I am honored that our lord places so much trust in my abilities, but wouldn't one of Lord Zemadi's .... consorts be a more appropriate choice?" 

"Our king king trusts the Blind Crocodile's get when it comes to decisions of war, not so much when it comes to politics." Camazhut chattered his teeth in a dead man's chuckle, "Besides that, you are still human...."

The lyrics were wrong.

Camazhut whirled into action as he finally realized that the musician was not what he seems. Pushing the priestess behind him as he raised his axe above his head. The musician had realized his fatal error too late, as the verdigris covered blade chopped down into his torso, tainted blood splattering onto the ground and his bones.

Ignoring the screams of the mortals and the skeletal guards marching towards him, Camazhut extended one hand towards the necklace around the crosses neck, finding a symbol of The Architect of Fate. 

"Send for the Corpse Warden, and have the garrison gather in the courtyard," he ordered the frightened form of Najma "The servants of Aesha have infiltrated the city."


 

Edited by Loyal Son of Khemri
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  • 1 month later...
Posted (edited)

As requested I have spent a bit of time working on my narrative. It is a little rough as I am not a great writer... hence lifting names from Shakespeare. I will likely edit the story a little in the future especially after the next Chaos Tome.

The Tragic Tale of Titus and Tamora:

The peoples of the Glace Hills were a hardy and pious people that made due on what little their mountain home could provide. Often trading with travelling merchants and the local Ogor tribes who called these hills home since the days Chaos reigned over the realms. In these cold lands a young hero was born from a royal house. Named Titus after his ancestor, a great hero of the olden days. He would often journey out into the wilds on quests to route the forces of Chaos from the frozen mountains. But the most notable trait of Titus was his ability to spread the teachings of the word of Sigmar. It is said he had converted as many Chaos worshipers as he had slain, and that the protection of Sigmar was always around him. One day his adventures brought him into conflict with the wild and deadly Chaos Warqueen known as Tamora ‘the Hunter'. It is said that they fought to a standstill but it was his words that won the day and she became one of the most faithful of Sigmar’s followers in those lands. The two became inseparable and the blight of Chaos in those lands swiftly became no more than a whisper.

As Titus’ legend grew, so too did his age. Deciding that if Sigmar had chosen him he could possibly go to the lands of the enemy and create a hurt so great that his name would live for eternity and his soul ascend to the realm of Heaven itself. Leaving on his knights errant, Titus led only the bravest of soldiers and at his side was the fiercely loyal Tamora. What became of them in the chaotic lands of the Eightpoints is a matter of historical debate. But what is known is that the conviction of Titus wavered and that Tamora, the truly faithful, was struck down by his wicked and deceitful blade. This deed was so utterly cruel and egregious that doubt has been cast upon all of his once chivalric deeds. But for all of his cruelty it is said that Tamora’s valour had outshone him and that many of the soldiers rebelled against Titus’ cruelty but their former comrades cut them down one at a time. For their deeds both legends ascended in the ranks of their respective Gods. Titus had fallen to the whispers of the Dark Gods and was gifted a new imperishable demonic form and he now leads his lost legion in a crusade against his former homeland. Tamora’s soul had been saved and it is said that Sigmar blessed her with flight. She now leads the souls of the faithful in hopes of avenging their tragic end and succeeding where Titus failed and hunting the Chaotic enemies of Sigmar. It is said that Tamora now stands alongside Titus’ ancestors at Sigmar’s side as the true heir of their order.

Having lost their heroes the Glace Hills became overrun with all manner of beasts and creatures and after a calamity the peoples were no more. Legend tells of a day when darkness and light will battle for their lost home. But for now all that remained were a few merchants, sell swords and the wandering souls of the abandoned. But always remained the Ogors who called those hills home since the days Chaos reigned over the realms.

Edited by Neverchosen
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Posted (edited)

Master of the Fanged Port

Khenti Zemadi is known by many names to the people of the Soul-Vine Bayou, "The Spectral Maw", "Brother of Shadows, and "He Who Eats while He Creates."

Nothing is truly known about the patriarch of the Tymsheh Dynasty, save that he is as blind as a Memento Spider, and in the place of hard facts a host of rumors and myths have taken hold in the minds of the swamp tribes.

While the stories vary, they all agree on a few key details: Khenti Zemadi was born from a union between a mad Azyrite clockmaker and a Water-Djinn, he is blind but his pale green eyes can pierce through the darkest night of Ulgu, and that when he was mortal he was captured by a Hedonite Carnival to be a part of their leader's menagerie of the strange and exotic curiosities of the realms. The lord of the host forced the young Khenti to fight beasts taken from across the realms, ritually scarring the young boy for each victory in the arena. Khenti met his inglorious end fighting a captured blood knight, accidentally being bestowed the Blood Kiss as his opponent ripped his throat out. When Khenti next awoke, it was amongst the discarded and desecrated dead as a member of the Midnight Aristocracy. Khenti spent the following decades mastering his newfound power over the Corpse Geometries by reviving the dead left in the Hedonites wake, slowly whittling down their numbers until he ripped the champion's weapon from her corpse. 

Khenti spent the rest of the Age of Chaos and the coming of Sigmar's Storm defending his homeland, securing the support of the remnants of the Djinni and swamp tribes and raising the dead of the bayou to repel any and all invaders. When Sekhubis and his followers were forced to flee from Shyish to Ghur it was inevitable that the two armies of undeath would fight for supremacy. The war quickly became a stalemate, Khenti and his dynasty would launch lightning strikes from the the murky waters, only to retreat into its depths, while Zamses armies would whether the storm, forcing some of the minor tribes and the local wight kings under his banner to bolster and replace the losses inflicted by the gravelord. In the end the two armies entered an uneasy alliance in the wake of the arrival of the daemon sultana Aesha and her household, with Sekhubis and his followers establishing three temple-cities. In exchange for essentially becoming the vassal of Zamses, the soulblight patriarch and his ilk were granted direct control over the Fanged Port and the waterways throughout the new kingdom.

Tymsheh Dynasty

While the name of the vampire who sired Khenti Zemadi is unknown, it is clear that the bloodline they inadvertently founded has been deeply affected by their environment and their patriarch's unusual heritage. The vampires of the Tymsheh Dynasty are deeply tied to the Sheut Crocodile, strange beasts that seemingly fuse with the shadows that fill the marshes they love to dwell in. The Sheut Crocodile is considered a semi-divine being by both vampire and mortal alike, representing the eternal cycle of life and death. As they grow in both age and power members of the Tymsheh gain the ability to see through the strongest fogs, and their skin becomes as scaled and strong as the crocodiles they revere, with the eldest of Zemadi's get ultimately losing control over the beast within, growing and mutating into the horrors now known as Vengorian Lords. 

Edited by Loyal Son of Khemri
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