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Narrative Stories & Rules (from my local community)


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These are stories and narrative content I am writing up for the Road to Renown leagues I run in my local community, sharing them here so others may enjoy. Feel free to make use of this content for your own games or narratives, and I would certainly love to hear about how it went if you do!

 

[Lore] The Locust Gate:

Famine Walk, Alarielle’s Tithetaker, Chitinskull Bloodgnawing, and countless other names has it gone by, but most commonly the Locust Gate. A storm-sized cloud of insects which darkens the sky for days on end as it moves through a region, the Locust Gate exists simultaneously in Ghyran, Ghur, and Shyish, acting as an erratic realmgate between them. Those swept up in the Gate’s migrations may find themselves deposited elsewhere along its trail—within their own realm or another. The swarm includes an untold variety of chitinous creatures alongside the eponymous locusts, the composition continually in flux depending on season, diet, and the local winds of magic. Being predominantly herbivorous the swarm poses little direct threat to peoples it passes (though Sylvaneth are known to emerge ‘bald’) but rapidly devours food supplies and soft vegetation, leading to widespread famine. This is further exacerbated by forces the mobile realmgate leaves behind—forces which are commonly disoriented and bereft of rations themselves.

While nomadic populations are often most susceptible to food shortages caused by the Locust Gate’s passage, landed peoples fair little better. Fortifications can have regiments or entire armies displaced to another realm while population centers attract attentions of the swarm’s more carnivorously-inclined elements. Even the forces of Death are not immune to the Locust Gate’s passing; untold numbers of larvae crawl across and beneath the ground in a frenetic search for sustenance to fuel their maturation, chewing through graves and bursting into tomes to consume what would be raw materials of Nagash’s armies. So it is that the Locust Gate is followed by an inexorable wave of conflict and upheaval, an effect rendered all the more violent by the surges of savagery amidst the Era of the Beast…

 

 

 

 

[Story] Mossweaver Crusade - Prologue

Setting out from the free city of Ashen Rise in the realm of life, the Mossweaver Crusade was named for the travelling robes, cloth spun from dried moss, given to its laborers. The Crusade’s initial route was to cross through well-patrolled lands to a nearby realmgate leading elsewhere in Ghyran. Due to an abundance of working-class Dawners but relatively few troops to protect them the city offered plentiful mercenary contracts for additional guards. Given Ashen Rise’s frontier status and realmgate to Aqshy such individuals were not difficult to find. Upon setting out the core of the Crusade was defended by forces from the city itself but the long trains of additional workers, and supplies to sustain them, were watched over by an eclectic mix of hired warbands. Travel began smoothly, with merely a dozen attempted raids from hostile forces and little more than the occasional brawl disrupting unity among the diverse mercenaries.

While it was known the Locust Gate was in the same region of Ghyran at the time it was expected to be half a continent away. A sudden change of trajectory was not itself surprising, but through some combination of unforeseen factors the Gate’s path altered such that the Mossweaver Crusade was engulfed only weeks after setting out. This did not come completely without warning, but with only days of preparation there was only so much that could be done. Each portion of the crusade was warned to take cover, secure their supplies, and be ready for ensuing conflict. After the Locust Gate had passed the Crusade’s leadership would send out messengers to restore cohesion as quickly as they could.

Despite hopes and prayers that the Crusade would be passed over or merely translocated elsewhere in Ghyran, few were so lucky. While some portions were separated and spat back out in Ghyran or Shyish, the bulk of the Crusade was dumped unceremoniously into Ghur. Alongside them were all manner of folk; many hostile warbands had drawn close to investigate the Crusade’s sudden halt and there were also warriors or travelers the Locust Gate had picked up elsewhere in Ghyran, Ghur, or Shyish. Many were fragmented; bands or even individual warriors finding themselves alone when they had previously marched among a vast host. Some had unknowingly been transported forward through time as well; the Gate having picked them up weeks, months or occasionally even years previous. What had already been a mix of varied forces guarding or pursuing the Mossweaver Crusade became a complete riot of scattered warbands, many of them rather confused and all of them infuriated by the latent energies of Ghur (on top of their untimely transport).

The ensuing conflict was as chaotic as it was predictable, each force attempting to locate and rally lost regiments or simply like-minded troops while also fighting off or attacking those that did not fall into such a category. Workers would attach themselves to whomever could offer some level of protection, providing a ready source of labor (or fodder) for warbands to capitalize upon. Casualties mounted quickly and what one warband left behind on the bodies could prove quite valuable to another, not to mention the attentions of local scavengers. Such incentives, combined with Ghur’s natural disincentives towards static defenses, saw warbands of all types actively searching the landscape for opportunities—and being drawn into battle whether they wished to or not.

 

 

 

 

[Story] Mossweaver Crusade – Part I

The Mossweaver Crusade was hurled from structure to anarchy; scattered across Ghurish wilds by the Locust Gate (along with numerous foes) conflict was immediate and unavoidable. While Stormcast of the Auroric Bastion quickly consolidated around the Crusade’s metaliths it would be weeks before core logistic elements were able to assert some semblance of command through the haze of aggression prompted by the realm. At this point forces could be (very) roughly divided into two categories—those who saw fit to defend the Crusade and those who did not. Notably, the urgency of the situation did not allow the Crusade’s leadership to confirm the exact nature and membership of their ostensible allies as well as they would have wished…

Through celestial scrying and astromantic observation the Crusade’s Lord-Ordinator was able to divine their location and get its metaliths on a path toward the Gastrian Highpass; a ruined but still functional roadway leading towards a Realmgate to Ghyran. Though the Mossweaver Crusade found itself in a vastly different location its ultimate goal remained unchanged and the Realmgate represented a crossing of ley-lines appropriate for settlement or at the least transport back to native realmscapes for the majority of the Crusade’s civilians. Word was spread to friendly warbands of the Crusade’s new destination, though this information almost immediately passed to hostile forces as well. Both converged on the Crusade’s path and skirmishes were constant, with the Battle of Byway being the most notable.

A sizeable Khornate host, given incidental aid by Kruleboyz and Gravelords (their commanders opportunistically striking while the bulk of defenders were preoccupied), was thrown back from the palisades of Byway by an eclectic mix of cultures. Gaunt soldiers from Shyish fought with eerie calm as they held to their vows of silence, hails of missiles from atop the defenses ripped through the oncoming horde, celestial weapons crackled with Azyrite energies as Stormcast and Seraphon held the front line at significant cost, and a seemingly mercurial tribe of arcane-minded warriors demonstrated their loyalty in throwing back outflanking Skaven with conjured waves of silver fire and obscuring clouds of glittering mist. This brought a brief lull in outright warfare; defenders still sought to travel on and regroup, antagonists were distracted by looting the plentiful remains, and both suffered harassment from scavenging wildlife drawn in by fresh carrion.

A sudden inundation of rain from belligerent stormfronts brought this period to an end, flooding the Gastrian Skullswamps and sending a fresh wave of undigested detritus out onto the Gurgis Floodplain. When skies cleared the Mossweaver Crusade entered a new phase; they needed to gather as much supplies and forces as they could before moving on the realmgate proper. Official word was that scouting had reported surges of bestial aggression amidst the Realmgate’s surroundings and such resources would be needed to create a network of support and discipline to hold the Crusade together. On the other hand, persistent rumors suggested this was merely an excuse; a distraction to buy time while it was determined how to deal with a particularly powerful entity sighted in the Realmgate’s vicinity.

 

[Lore/Rules] GASTRIAN SKULLSWAMPS: The Skullswamps of Gastraeba are pools filled with, put simply, predatory digestive fluids. At their most mild waters of the Gastrian Skullswamps may only cause the equivalent of a harsh sunburn, but more concentrated pools can strip the flesh from a body in seconds. Other threats lurk in these mist-shrouded wilds as well; scavenging fliers pluck strips of half-digested meat from bodies yet to sink but become highly aggressive against perceived competition, while clumps of Itcher Moss coat scattered areas of vegetation that they may cling to unwary creatures moving through.

The pools do not digest bone or metal--this has led to both the Skullswamps' name and to deposits of skeletons and equipment readily put to use by a variety of factions, provided they can claim it. Strange tides occur as the pools themselves seek to flow into other areas or overwhelm each other, exposing such deposits for brief periods. These are hot spots for conflict, as even otherwise more cautious forces must rush to grab what they can before the acidic fluids return.

*Setup* - A Gastrian Skullswamp battle should be terrain-dense (approximately d3+1 pieces per quarter on a full size board) of which the majority must be water features.

*Predatory Digestion* - At the start of each round, each *model* on any water feature suffers 1 mortal wound. This does not affect models which can Fly.

*Territorial Fliers* - All terrain features are treated as Deadly to units which can Fly (in addition to any other traits). Flying units suffer 3 mortal wounds from Deadly terrain (instead of d3).

*Itcher Moss* - Forests (or other terrain features with dense plant growth) have the Itcher Moss trait (Thondia, page 57).

 

[Lore/Rules] GURGIS FLOODPLAIN: In the Age of Myth this silt-dusted expanse was merely part of the Gurgisea, a body of water now pushed north as part of Ghur's ever shifting topography. Kept from rainfall by the encroaching mountains on either side, the Gurgis Floodplain is mostly dry save when monsoon storms pass over the Gastrian Skullswamps to its south. The resulting floods wash out of the Skullswamps and cover the floodplain, depositing a tide of detritus alongside ancient shipwrecks and once-sunken bones. This provided some pickings for scavengers during the Age of Sigmar thus far, but little else to draw interest of warring parties. In the Era of the Beast, however, this has changed.

Ghur's awakening has drawn long-buried deposits of realmstone to the surface, a factor largely unnoticed outside the region until the recent passing of the Locust Gate. With a dizzying variety of warbands swarming the land this knowledge quickly became known to a great many factions, resulting in the arrival of scouting forces that are subsequently drawn into the larger maelstrom of conflict. The Amberbone realmstone itself magnifies Ghur's already infectious mentality of predation, urging forces to pounce on others with sudden aggression they may not normally display.

*Setup* - A Gurgis Floodplain battle should have sparse terrain (approximately 2d3 pieces total on a full-size board); terrain based on bones or shipwrecks is ideal, hills or rocky outcroppings are also appropriate.

*Amberbone Deposits* - Battles on the Gurgis floodplain use terrain features for objectives (ideally bone-based ones); players can either agree which terrain feature(s) are best to serve as objectives based on the scenario or randomly select features equal to the number of players minus one. These terrain features have the "Realmstone Desposit" trait (Thondia, page 57) in addition to any other traits.

 

[Lore/Rules] GRAVENBLOOD MOUNTAINS: Darkoath and other Slaves to Darkness claim dominion over the Gravenblood Mountains, warring tribes with ever shifting territorial claims while Beastmen and other savage warbands survive in the margins. While their varied pantheon contains representations of all the Ruinous Powers it is Khorne worshipped most prominently, interpreted by their culture as the War-King. The War-King is a god of disciplined conflict; merely hunting prey is a matter for lesser men and only those who exalt in battle itself, pushing aside blind savagery to focus on the greater war, can claim his favor. This interpretation of Khorne could be seen as cultural remnants from the Age of Myth when these warrior-tribes favored Sigmar or as a survival mechanism allowing humans to claim victory against physically superior foes but has seeped its influence into the land regardless, as local crimson-leafed flora may suggest. ‘To shed blood is to live, to live is to make war’ goes saying of local tribes and combatants of any faction can find themselves invigorated from the act of conflict.

*Setup* - A Gravenblood Mountains battle has an average amount of terrain (approximately d3 pieces per table quarter on a full size board) with uneven elevation, hills, rocky terrain, ruins and forests (red foliage is ideal).

*Favor of the War-King* - Units may use Heroic Recovery and receive the Rally command even while they are within 3” of enemy models.

Edited by NinthMusketeer
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