Animosity II – Date Change!

I’d say it’s been a hectic month here at Team Animosity HQ, but let’s be real, it always is! Unfortunately, October has become just a little too hectic- enough that we aren’t confident in our ability to deliver a compelling narrative experience. To that end, we reached out to our Animosity I NEOs and with their input, have decided to push the date back by about a month.

Animosity II – The Burning Winter will now run from Friday, November 8th, to Sunday, November 17th. Ten days, five turns, two weekends.

In other news, we’re still making progress on other fronts! Our Animosity II Community facebook group is up and running; stop by and say hello! We’ve also created a private group for our existing Narrative Event Organizers, and will be inviting new folks in after each campaign to better facilitate development of the next one.

On the Warcry front, we reckon most everybody’s assembled their warband, built the metric tonne of scenery from their core boxes (and maybe even painted it, for the truly ambitious!). Now that folks have had a chance to learn the game, we’ll be releasing the first of our Warcry prelude campaigns a week from today on September 6th. We’ll also be kicking off Warpath then, so be sure to check back!

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“… and the Spineless shall set upon the beast, and all his crooked paths will be made straight and narrow.”

 

Animosity II – Warcry Preview

With Games Workshop’s most recent (and among the best) boxed game Warcry hitting shelves everywhere in the next 24 hours, we’re pulling back the curtains on our campaign “pre-sequel” set between Animosity I and II…

If you haven’t been following the hype, Warcry is a brand-new skirmish warband system for Age of Sigmar (think Kill Team, only stabbier). The core game depicts the tribulations of mortal tribes living in the blasted wastelands of the Eightpoints, with (currently) 9 expansion packs allowing you to bring warriors of Order, Destruction, and Death to the party.

More importantly, every one of the available 17 warbands has a unique single-player campaign (with two campaigns for each of the 8 Chaos tribes!) which are just perfect for homebrewing…

Although we’re waiting to get our grubby little paws on the rulebook before writing the final versions, we’re proud to announce a set of 6 unique campaigns for Warcry, allowing you to follow the fate of our Animosity I coalitions as lines are drawn before the war to come.

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Caught in a perpetual dim twilight, the expanse of Shyish beyond the Nagaskahip realmgate is bitter and unforgiving. (Photo by kkart)

Those who have plunged through the realmgate torn open by the Hallowed Necropolis’ collapse have found themselves in a cold, harsh underworld of Shyish, the Realm of Death, whose terrible secret will soon come to light.

The Lost Ones
Stormcast Eternals

Seneschal-General von Helminger has dispatched scouting parties of to discover the grim fate of Lord-Celestant Han Shizhong, who led his warriors through the collapsed Nagaskahip realmgate and never returned.

Da Grab an’ Bash
Idoneth Deepkin, Ironjawz

Having earned a wary respect for the other in recent battles, aelf and orruk find themselves united once more in a curiously simple alliance of convenience: harvesting strong souls and krumpin’ the ded ‘ard warriors who possess them…

‘Ungry, ‘ungry, ‘ungry
Bonesplitterz, Gloomspite Gitz, Flesh-Eater Courts

Where they once gorged, the fanatics of Da Big Eat now starve themselves in service to the holy purpose of their zealot leader, Da Maw Dat Walkz. Hunting parties of greenskins and ghouls scour the corpse-fields beyond the Nagaskahip realmgate to drag back to Amasya- yet Shyish does not so easily surrender its dead.

The Empty Shadow
Legions of Nagash, Nighthaunt, Daughters of Khaine

A phantom haunts the mind of Reikenor the Grimhaler, a spectre called by the name Mithridates Besh. Liberated by his son’s hand from his long entombment within the Rahipmezar, this man has survived both mortal wounds and centuries passed seemingly unchanged- yet stands no servant of the Undying King.

By Pyres Bright
Untamed Beasts, The Unmade, Corvus Cabal, Scions of the Flame

For those who tread the path to glory, there is no greater patron than a Knight of Ruin. Desperate to prove themselves in the eyes of Basalt Lord Qarang Sarn, these slaves to darkness seek to raise mighty pyres of skulls, in whose baleful light the coming war shall be waged.

Treacherous Ambition
Iron Golems, Cypher Lords, Splintered Fang, Spire Tyrants

The promises and intrigues of Irkut the Spineless are as numerous as the tribes he’s drawn into serving his schemes. Now, they fight to claim the bitter glaciers and fjords so that mighty edifices of arcane purpose may be raised in service to the Dark Gods- or at least, in service to Irkut Thousandeyes…

Before the Burning Winter

Warlords and warriors! Your hour is upon us once more, for the march toward Animosity II – The Burning Winter has begun in earnest.

Last June, you fought to decide the fate Amasya, the hallowed necropolis. Every coalition completed their task- to some degree, at least. The Sigmarsmacht Delegation secured Azyrhol, set atop ground upon which Sigmar once tread, and raised the banners of Hammerhal high above the gates of Grung Esik and Yol Grimnir.

The Reclamation of Amasya by Mithridates Alti has faltered. While he freed his long-emtombed father Mithridates Besh, the vampire and his allies now find themselves blockaded within Rahipmezar, prisoners in his own birthright. Elsewhere, Da Big Eat twisted the pits of Gorkoyuk to their nefarious purpose, opening countless slavering maws in the muddy earth into which they now throw the corpses of friend and foe alike.

The rival Knights of Ruin Basalt Lord Qarang Sarn and Irkut “the Spineless” Thousandeyes each achieved their ambitions, with the former razing the beautiful Ghyranic forest of Teselli Alari in the name of Grandfather and the Skull Throne, and the latter claiming an Enlightenment Engine of Teclis from the vaults beneath Isik Kulesi- as well as the secret knowledge of Malerion’s people from Karanlik Saray, the Shadow Palace.

Most significant of all however, the disparate alliance known as the Skoga Grakk collapsed Nagaskahip, the hallowed necropolis itself. The path cleared by the Ironjawz and Beastclaws, its foundations were flooded and split apart by the tides and roots of the Idoneth and Sylvaneth- and, finally, it was blasted into ruin by the celestial devastation of the Seraphon.

In the months since, a great realmgate to Shyish has been discovered within the ruin of Nagaskahip. Once but a small waterway upon which the souls of the dead were ferried to the underworlds, the Ur-River now pours through it, newly bifurcated within Amasya between the realms of Life and Death. And, like the plunging waters of the Ur-River itself, it is through this blasted realmgate that the war now spills…

Animosity II – The Burning Winter is coming! From October 11th through 20th, player coalitions will do battle across 5 two-day turns in the bitter tundra of Shyish. Build your pyres high, for in the realm of endings, the winter winds can strip your soul from your body…

In the coming weeks, check back every Friday for these updates and more:

  • Animosity II – Warcry
    Bridging the gap between the Hallowed Necropolis and the Burning Winter, this set of six new Warcry campaigns will follow scouting parties making their way into Shyish from Amasya- and the Chaos warbands already there, eager to prove themselves worthy in the eyes of the Varanguard.
  • Animosity II – Warpath
    Much like War Stories before Animosity I, Warpath will feature player submitted narrative AND hobby right here on the campaign website- this time with award categories!
  • Animosity II – Burning Winter Event Pack
    We’re not leaving it until last this time! Based on the format of the Forbidden Power supplement, this Event Pack will have everything you need to run your event “out of the box”- or just provide a solid foundation for creating your own player experience.
  • Narrative Event Organizer Registration
    We’ll open the doors just as soon as the Event Pack is ready, so you’ll know exactly what you’re signing up for.
  • New & Improved Social Media Presence
    We’re overhauling our place in the facebook space and supplementing our page with an actual user group for players and NEOs to come together. We’ll also soon be inviting past NEOs into an Animosity Beta-tester group! Of course, you can always stay up to date with us on Twitter @AnimosityCmpgns, too.
  • Website Overhaul
    Based on participant feedback, we’ll be reworking portions of the site for better utility and resetting things for Animosity II. That said, you’ll always be able to see everything related to Animosity I, including player-written narrative reports, in the Omnibus.

 

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Will you make it through the Burning Winter? Art by Joakim Olofsson

 

 

Animosity I – The Omnibus

It has been three weeks since six figureheads and their coalitions fought to determine the fate of the hallowed necropolis of Amasya. Now, you can read this tale from start to finish, as we’ve compiled the entire campaign in PDF format. It is Team Animosity’s genuine honor to present the ANIMOSITY I – Omnibus for you to download!

Topping out at 120 pages, this compendium is a complete archive of all content created for #AnimosityI – ours AND yours. We’ve taken the liberty of compiling your War Stories and narrative reports into our “official” record, so that your contributions may stand the test of time.

And with that, Animosity I – The Hallowed Necropolis is, quite literally, in the history books! We’ve already begun work on Animosity II – The Burning Winter (October 11th through 20th), so make sure to follow us on Twitter and facebook to stay up to date or simply check back soon for more details!

NEOs who registered to run #AnimosityI, we want to hear your feedback so we can make #AnimosityII the best it can be. Please expect one last email from the campaign team, and we hope to see you again on the next go around.

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What secrets await in the Shyishan underworld of Lake Baikal?

 

 

 

 

 

Turn 3 Unfolding Narrative & Epilogue

Grung Esik

The enemy had savaged both sides of the mighty works over the past days. Northward, the followers of the Dark Gods had mounted a furious assault on that griffon-fortress. To the south, the Big Eat was in the midst of a smaller, but still dedicated offensive against their end of the dam. For all this, though, Lord-Celestant Han Shizhong seemed perfectly calm.

“He who abides absolutely in Sigmar need not fear a legion of the faithless.” Tornuri Goldensire couldn’t tell if the Lord-Celestant was smiling or frowning behind his mask. For her part, she wasn’t sure if she could be said to absolutely abide- Sigmar was mighty, but Qarang Sarn’s horde was numerous, and had tried twice now to scale the walls with their bare hands and stubborn fury.

“So long as the walls and the men on them agree with you, sir,” she concluded diplomatically, “I’m sure you’re right.”

“They do. We have sufficient supplies inside the works to last for months, and the enemy has already begun to suffer for their lack of preparation. Besides.” Now she was sure he was smiling. “They didn’t bring any artillery. All they can do is what they’ve been doing- attempt to gain the walls, and suffer for it. In a day, or a week, or a month, the children of Chaos will be forced to withdraw, and Grung Esik will remain secure. But we need not wait so long.”

Turning his back on the besiegers, Shizhong raised a fist in the air, signaling to someone further down the causeway- from deep within the works, there was the sound of mighty engines in motion, and then the constant rushing of waters rose in volume.

“The dam’s mechanisms have been re-enabled. We can control the balance of water on both sides of the dam, both where it flows and in what volume. And look.” Slowly but constantly, the moat around the griffon-fortress was beginning to flood, creeping closer to the siege works of the attacking army. The Bloodbound and the Rotbringers realized this too- as the foaming Ur-River consumed their palisades and earthworks, they were forced to retreat or drown. The elevated stone causeway running to the mouth of the fortress was soon choked, a milling mob unsure of whether to stay or run away. Some were not lucky enough to have either choice- they were forced off, and swept away by the increasingly turbulent current.

“Our faith is sufficient.” Tornuri saw then- packed onto the causeway, the Horde was a perfect target for Delegation artillery. “And our gunpowder is equally so. Open fire.”

 

Azyrhol

In the Age of Myth, it was said that Azyrhol shone like the heavens above, eternal light sparkling off of its cupola and ornamentation, the mirror-polished surface of the plaza glittering and shining like lake water or freshly fallen snow. Today, the glory of the cathedral was much reduced- the dome long collapsed, most of the ornaments cracked or toppled, and the plaza tarnished, covered in mud and littered with bodies and the detritus of battle. For all this, though, Monique von Helminger thought it was still magnificent, a tribute to Sigmar in its own right.

“Bring me up to speed, Phineas.” Her aide looked slightly queasy at the sight of so much carnage, even as the Seneschal-General strode confidently across the square. “Tell me what’s going on here.”

“Um, yes ma’am.” He cleared his throat and checked the sheaf of notes, nearly stumbling over the corpse of a Khornate warrior still sprawled across the flagstones. “Well, there was heavy fighting over the cathedral, and both sides took major losses- but in the end, the Delegation was triumphant. Clean-up is still in progress…”

“Really, Phineas?” Monique snapped. “What happened that I can’t see?”

“Ah. Lord-Celestant Oberon Brightblade coordinated the initial attack on the cathedral, and then oversaw its defense against the Horde’s counterattack.”

“Good. Schedule a meeting with him- I wish to give him Hammerhal’s gratitude.”

We received word the Moondaughter’s Warrior Chamber was marching to provide reinforcement, but never arrived. Presumably they were bogged down further downstream.”

“Understandable. What else?”

“Jak Vorpal and the Free People of Hogsface were here, but after the tide turned they advanced on Yol Grimnir to establish contact with the Moondaughters.

“Good initiative. Send a messenger with my commendations.”

Phineas swallowed and flipped through his pad of paper. “That’s all that’s important, ma’am.”

“Right. Everyone!” Their conversation had carried them onto the steps of the Cathedral itself, and the Seneschal-General pitched her voice to draw the attention of the multitude of soldiers swarming about. “You have won a great victory for Hammerhal today- a great victory for Azyr! Three cheers for the Delegation! Huzzah!”

“Huzzah! Huzzah!”

“This army was never meant to face down as much opposition as it faced during these past weeks, but your bravery, ingenuity and sacrifice has managed to secure two of our major objectives. You have done all and more than was asked of you, and you have done it without flinching. Hammerhal is proud of you. Sigmar is proud of you. And I am proud to have been able to command you.”

 

Yol Grimnir

A wave of nostalgia and pride struck Gram Orkhide as he surveyed Grimnir’s Road. The  aftermath of the hundred tiny battles which had swirled around the Unforged Gate lay scattered on the ground like rubies on dust, but the defenses themselves still stood strong, defiant of whatever its enemies could toss at it.

The Duardin felt justifiably proud of how his work had held up in the face of the enemy, even all these centuries after it had been constructed. Today had assuaged a long-held fear of his- that what he had done would not truly last, that the things he had in part wrought would fall to pieces with age instead of truly enduring as great art did. But the gates and the works had held, on both sides of the city, and as a result the Sigmarsmacht Delegation was triumphant.

The Delegation’s victory here had only been by a hair, true. Had their enemies united to present a single front, even with these mighty fortifications at their back the soldiers of Hammerhal could not have prevailed- but the Varanpact, the Horde, and the “Big Eat” hated each other just as much as they hated Sigmar’s people.

True, it had not come easily. As many soldiers of the Delegation lay lifeless on the flagstones as did they of the foe, waiting for their comrades or the crows. Hero and infantryman alike had fallen to the enemy- Gram had watched as Jak Vorpal had been grievously injured by an Exalted Deathbringer, only for a peasant soldier of Hogsface to vanquish the Exalted Deathbringer. Elsewhere, he’d seen an entire column of Stormcast ambushed and shattered by the Arch-Gut, a gluttonous fiend loyal to the Maw that Walks.

Ultimately, though, he had to repeat that these defeats were ultimately insignificant on the grand scale of things. Brightly as they had burned, brightly as the battle had raged, ultimately they were the matters of moments or days- and Yol Grimnir had stood for centuries, and now would stand for centuries more. With both ends of the city secured, and its center firmly held, the Delegation had proven itself dominant- though threats still remained inside, these could be burned, sponged or starved into submission. The soldiers of Hammerhal held the balance, and thus in the end they would hold the totality.

What mattered in the end were not the deeds of a day, but the legacy left behind. And with that comforting thought in mind, Gram faded away to nothingness, another ghost finding its peace.

 

Isik Kulesi & Karanlik Saray

It had been… a good day.

Two enemy armies in all their glory had been unable to break the Varanpact’s frenetic defense. The Hedonites of the pretender U’latlii and the Cachinnating Claw had proven themselves the masters of every battlefield they had stood upon, shattering first the Orruks styling themselves ‘Da Big Uns’ and then the Choir of Kadroth Neverforged as an encore. Such unbridled zeal as they possessed would make a Devoted of Sigmar green as a Megaboss with envy, and it had given Irkut Thousandeyes time to claim the prize at the Tower of Light’s heart: an Enlightenment Engine of Teclis, untouched by Sigmar’s meddling.

Isik Kulesi held the prize, but in the end it was Karanlik Saray that had been the key to unlocking it. The light-magics that had fueled the Enlightenment Engine’s defenses had stymied his sorcerers again and again, but when exposed to the undiluted shadow they’d brought from the rubble that had been Malerion’s ancient palace, the ancient wards had simply… ceased to be. Sarn would have found a poetic irony to this, that the power of one god overcame the power of another to bring about an end neither would have wanted, but Irkut Thousandeyes was simply pleased with the result.

The task had not been easy. As well-defended as the Tower of Light had been, the Palace of Shadow was even more foreboding, in its way. True, the thoughtless monsters of the so-called Big Eat had cracked it open easily enough, but they had not cared to venture into the fortresses’ innermost chambers. There, the long-dead fleetmasters of Malerion had hidden their greatest prizes and most secret artifacts. It had taken a legion of Godseeker Hedonites to pry them out; many had fallen to the unseen dangers embedded in the chambers, and those that remained were left frothing, driven mad by the scent of their own absent patron. But the result had been worth the losses.

It was beautiful, the ancient device now resting before him, looking just as it had on the day it was crafted by Teclis’ own hand. The Enlightenment Engines had been intended by their maker to fuel humanity’s ascension to a higher level of understanding, and in a way this one would fulfill its purpose- with the knowledge contained inside, Irkut would understand how the Aelves had once bound a god away from the Realms. In time, perhaps, he could accomplish the same against the pitiful usurpers to the Dark Gods’ glory- but first he had to ensure that there would be time at all.

“Summon the Tzaangors.” A Kairic acolyte shuffled away to carry out his command, and Irkut smiled. Moving Teclis’ engine would be difficult, but with the Sigmarites in control of both ends of the city and its center, doing so was necessary to continue his work. It was almost a shame about the Beastmen, though- few could withstand the presence of such a device and its truths for more than a brief span, and moving it would be an exacting task. Given the choice, he would have much sooner set the Horrors themselves to the task- if Daemons could even exist in proximity to these engines of primordial truth to begin with.

Irkut allowed himself a chuckle, looking on the wondrous machine before him, the key to so many future victories. Ultimately, the sacrifice of a few pawns meant little next to a chance to alter the tempo of the conflict so dramatically. Besides… the Tzaangors and their leaders were absolutely gluttonous for knowledge of the arcane. Really, all he was giving anyone was what they really wanted.

 

Teselli Alari

“Azyrfire!” The daemon sword flew from Qarang Sarn’s hand to embed itself in a massive Nurglish fungal bloom. “Misbegotten sons of a false god! Blind wretches, faithless scum, children of dust…”

“Are you done?” Eris Bloodwrath cocked an amused eye in the Basalt Lord’s direction. The growth the daemonblade had landed in was slowly smoldering, unable to absorb the weapon’s intense heat. After a moment more, it burst into flames, and Sarn retrieved the sword with a sigh.

“Not hardly. I will make those deluded saplings pay for the champions they killed and maimed. The Hamadreth will rue the day she crossed the mind of a Knight of Ruin!”

“I expect they’ve already come to. I mean…” Eris gestured at her surroundings. Even the greatest of the trees had been utterly consumed, and in their place diseased constructions of mold and mildew like the one the Basalt Lord had just injured had taken root. “You’ve successfully destroyed a place sacred to their patron goddess, slaughtered successive armies, and put one of their greatest champions to shame. I would call that vengeance enough for Ranaker Wrath-Bringer and Harrgorath Korr.”

Now it was Sarn’s turn to give a funny look. “Quite the pacifistic words, for a Khornate.”

Eris shrugged, the motion exaggerated by her heavy armor. “Call me rational. We maim, we kill, we burn, and we do not easily dismiss each day we are given to do so. Mighty Khrone cares not from whence the blood flows… but I certainly do.”

“Hmmmph.” Sarn was silent for a long minute, considering. “The tree-folk do not shed true blood. More’s the pity.” Eris had to laugh at this, and after a moment Sarn laughed too.

“Would you be this upset if I had fallen instead of your pet Priestess of Melas?” Eris’ tone was searching.

“Of course. Why wouldn’t I be?”

“Because, not scant weeks ago you threatened to kill me if I displeased you.”

“Eris.” Sarn smiled the smile of a parent speaking to a favored child. “What I said then is still true today. I would gladly offer your skull to Khorne here and now if I thought it the most worthy course- but only I, and Archaon above me, have the right to put you to the sword. For another to do it- that’s an insult, and I think you know I cannot stand to be insulted.”

“It was becoming evident, yes.”

The Basalt Lord drew himself up to his full, towering height, and sighed again with contentment. “You are right, as it stands. True, two worthy skulls rest at the foot of the Blood God’s throne, and I will split the Hamadreth in twain for their untimely deaths. True, the High Priestess fell to a cowardly assassin, and I will make her murderer suffer at least a dozenfold for what he has wrought. But we have taken the victory all the same. We have shown the pathetic offspring of Alarielle what the servants of the True Gods are capable of… and even when we leave this place, our work will remain as a promise of what is yet to come.”

 

Nagaskahip

The battle had lost all shape. The Skoga Grakk grappled with their enemy high and low, from the stony shallows at the river’s edge to deep within the tombs behind the towering cliff faces. Where first the Waaagh! and their mysterious allies had only fought pawns of the Reclamation, others had joined the scrap. Warbands loyal to the Varanpact hunted champions of the Horde amidst the fray whilst scavengers of the Big Eat stole away corpses from every side for their own nefarious ends.

Despite his headache, Wapkagut was having a grand time of it.

By this point, the Reclamation’s defense had all but crumbled, yet the warchanter felt they’d gained little ground- no matter how fun it had been bashing the interlopers. Nagaskahip still stood, despite the appalling violence echoing through its halls and chambers. Worst of all, Wapkagut could still hear that damnable echo.

Well, perhaps not worst of all, the greenskin noted.

Despite his own siege of the Rahipmezar, the Skoga Grakk’s assault had not gone unnoticed by Mithridates Alti. Rising from the river as though it were overflowing its banks had come a great spectral host, a scythe-wielding horror of howling bale-magic atop a corpse-pegasus at their fore. They crashed against one and all, none among the living spared their ghastly attention.

The wave of terror crashed over Wapkagut, and he was in the thick of it, fighting not to win now, but simply to keep from joining the growing number of dead. For a moment- and to his pleasant surprise- his stikks did wonders breaking apart the ghostly apparitions, yet were dashed from his grip by a fearsome axe.

“Felthik the Watcher names me Keldrek,” the vision of a dead man had intoned, a mockery of flapping cloth where his legs ought to have been, “Felthik passes judgement, and Keldrek carries out the sentence.” Far from being fearful, Wapkagut simply looked puzzled. Then he grinned, and leaned in toward the Lord-Executioner before bellowing, “SKOGA GRAKK!”

The Constellation of Zectoka had arrived.

The Nighthaunt legion was consumed by an inferno of white-hot starfire, great scaled beasts roaming the blinding hellscape with impunity. It seemed to Wapkagut as though the sky itself was falling, and after-images danced across squinted vision as star after blazing star slammed into Nagaskahip. Masterwork carvings, which had stood guard over the sacred dead for millenia,  were blasted to superheated dust in moments. In minutes, the mountain itself had begun to give way to the bombardment, the Deepkin and Sylvaneth’s efforts to undermine the tombs finally coming to fruition.

With the grinding groan of a hundred million tonnes of stone breaking apart all at once, the mountain gave way- and the hallowed necropolis was no more, seeming to simply vanish as it fell into the footprint of its own ruin. To Wapkagut, it seemed as though some great emptiness pulled itself free of the mountain’s cadaver, drifting with the dust on the wind toward the Rahipmezar- but perhaps that was simply a trick of the fading starlight.

The warchanter tapped the toes of one foot on the blood-slick ground; then he stomped, fashioning a crude, stamping beat. The echo was gone. Satisfied- and grinning like a right maniac- Wapkagut moved off, eager to rejoin his Megaboss and his old brawl for the next proper scrap. After all, they’d came, they’d seen, they’d bashed… what more could an Ironjaw want?

 

Rahipmezar

Mithridates Alti watched the ruin of Nagaskhaip with impotent fury from the grand plaza of Rahipmezar. Since his earliest memory- a babe, sat on his father’s knee- all he’d wanted was his birthright. To rule Amasya as Basrahip, and rest alongside his forebears until the pantheon saw fight to return them unto new life to wage war against the Dark Gods once more.

“I did this all for you, father,” Mithridates Alti said, his voice strained, torn between panic and madness. “You asked that I bury you living with my buyukbaba and yours. You witnessed my oath to return to your side, and thereby return you to mine. Everything I have done, I have done for you.”

The blood-witches of Morathi had abandoned him, he knew. Perhaps they’d betrayed him when they saw Sigmar’s lapdogs tightening their stranglehold on the city, or perhaps their pledges had meant nothing to begin with. It didn’t matter; the result was the same. He’d made a promise- to return to their kind the Palace of Shadow, that a new Temple might be raised in this holy place- and they’d turned their backs on him without a second thought.

“This was your desire, and now it is turned to ash in your mouth,” Mithridates Besh intoned, stepping forward to stand beside his son as the first clouds of dust washed over them.

Reikenor the Grimhaler had failed him, too, the counter-attack proving to be too little, too late. It gave Mithridates Alti some grim satisfaction that the many lesser soulblight, the wight kings and the necromancers, all of whom had had agreed to fight for him only to further their own ambitions, were now trapped alongside him within the Rahipmezar. It would take a Stormhost to successfully besiege the tomb now- but far less, Mithridates Alti knew, should he attempt to retake the city without reinforcement… and such aid was unlikely to arrive.

For better or for worse, Mithridates Alti had come home. The vampire lord rounded on his father.

“You claim to know my past, and my purpose. I buried you a vampire! You were to return a Soulblight, as I’ve become! Never did I abandon you, not after five hundred years. You cannot abandon me now.”

“What will be, will be,” Mithridates Besh quietly answered, stepping forward and breaking into a stride, walking away from his son and toward the enveloping cloud of dust and disaster. “Truth will bind, and set us free…”

And then he was gone, leaving his son with no choice but to reap that which, by his own hand, he’d sown.

 

Gorkoyuk

The Skoga Grakk had been single-minded, mused da Maw dat Walkz, but perhaps that was to be expected from the puppets of a Slann Starmaster. The puppets had accomplished what the puppet-master wanted. They had destroyed Nagaskahip, and the emptiness which had resided there was no more. Yet this was nothing, no matter, not relevant, immaterial and of no concern. Da Maw dat wud Eat da Wurld was no longer there; she and the empty man of Rahipmezar had seen to that.

For the puppets of a Slann weren’t the only servants with single-minded purpose. The pawn-kings of the bloated grandfather and the farce they named everchosen had sought to claim Gorkoyuk as their own, and scatter da Big Eat back into the forest. All who paid tribute stood equal before the Maw, and thus she had sent Groinbiter-Boss Slogg and da Grey Tide to unmake them. They cast down two of the three Varanguard sent against them, and worse still, allowed the third to withdraw in dishonor.

Soon, however, there would be nothing for their enemies to retake. The beast pits, once meant for the holding and breeding of exotic animals, had become ravenous creatures of their own, an untold number of great gaping maws in the muck of the swamp. They would consume each other, she knew, until only the greatest of them remained- da Maw dat wuld Eat da Wurld.

The irony pleased her; in victory, she would once more walk the realms an exile, and too everyone who followed her. Thus, she had made a grand decree, every word hung upon by Sibyl and all those of devout faith. Only hunger is a constant, she told them, and where once they had devoured in search of this place, now they would starve, so pure was their worship of the Maw. They would do again as their kind had once done, long ago; they would hunt and they would pillage, and bring their prizes back here to Gorkoyuk to feed da Maw- so that someday, it might devour all Amasya, and then, the whole of the Mortal Realms and their silly, petty gods, too…

Animosity I – Narrative Epilogue

The Varangaurd masters of the Horde and the Varanpact did not long rest on their laurels. In the shallows of the River Yensk, that ancient tributary which splits Isik Kulesi from Teselli Alari, their armies did meet for the last time. Once again Madrax Kane did meet the pretender U’latlii in battle, and each exacted a tithe of blood and depravity from the other.

Irkut sent a champion of Tzeentch against the Horde then, a creature whose name could not be pronounced by mortal tongues, yet it too was cast back across the river by King Gurloes the Good and Talaha, the Butcher of Galaza. Finally, Grey Seer Snihrgrin attempted to circumvent the Horde’s line entirely by way of treacherous gnawholes, yet he, too, was repulsed by a Great Unclean One bound in service to Splatchlos Carrionclot, leprous plagueweaver of the Effluvient Mire.

So it was that both Irkut “the Spineless” Thousandeyes and the Bastalt Lord Qarang Sarn knew there would be only one deciding factor between them: the death of one, or the other. The next day, they mustered their armies, and each prepared to cross the Yensk, eager to finally slay the other. Yet, as they made to charge, they discovered a visage standing between them; another Varanguard, dressed in black, sat upon a pale steed.

“The Everchosen has passed judgement upon you,” the newcomer intoned, its voice a whisper heard by all, “and I am to serve as its deliverance.”



Zectoka stirred, restless, the Slann’s dreams troubled. Those he’d tasked had done as they were bidden, and the Skoga Grakk had ensured the hollow place was no more. Yet, the dream was never certain, and even a Starmaster could not weave every thread of fate at once. The old nemesis had escaped its doom by the virtue of a dutiful son, and now grew in strength by the exhortation of a true zealot.

Zectoka shifted again, and opened its eyes, abandoning slumber in favor of action. If the consequences were to be undone, the Slann knew it must find common ground with an undying king…



While the dust had soon settled, the mist and roar of a great waterfall which had not existed but a day before had seemingly replaced it. With a gaping hole where the mountain which once held Nagaskahip had stood, the Ur-River had bifurcated, pouring down into the depression- yet never filling, which had predisposed the Seneschal-General to a terrible suspicion.

A suspicion Lord-Celestant Han Shizhong had been tasked with confirming. He picked his way through the imposing towers of rubble from the back of his Dracoth, Xinglong. Not for the first time did he wish his command included a Vanguard-Hunters, or perhaps that Xinglong would simply transform into a Stardrake by some whim of Dracothian so that they might simply fly.

Finally, they could descend no more, and Han Shizhong was taken aback by the smell of death- not of fresh death, nor the long dead; he knew well the stench of both. No, this was the smell of decay on a terrible scale, as if the air had been swept up from the earth of a freshly-dug grave…

The Lord-Celestant caught himself. As if the wind had blown up from Shyish, the Realm of Death.



The lake is still as glass; indeed, much of its surface is frozen over. For an age, its headwaters have been little more than a trickle. The air itself is stiff with chill, Hysh’s light closer to that of a distant moon on a clear winter’s night.  Impossibly large, the bones of some vast, aquatic megafauna stand sentinel over the water, the shadows they cast long and foreboding.

Suddenly, the waters churn, steaming; a shock of vitality ripples through the lake. Ice cracks and buckles, snapping and hissing with a malevolence that seems more than natural occurrence. Fish desperately attempt to navigate between the shards, only to quickly die regardless- for these waters were never meant for the living.

Mithridates Besh is smiling as he pulls himself from the water, seemingly unaffected by its clawing grasp, and beholds a land undisturbed for centuries, yet which he knows will soon be ravaged by war.

“Through fiery animosity, Nemesis’ sovereignty,” he murmurs to himself, and sets off. Had any been there to see him, they might have noticed his passing left no mark, nor did his body cast any shadow…

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Thank you for coming along with us on this journey! Please check back soon for more info about Animosity II – The Burning Winter, October 11th-20th. Yes, you read that right- ten days, five turns, two weekends. Tell your buddies, because #AnimosityII is on da warpath.

Turn 3 Final Update

Turn 3 Location Control

The Sigmarsmacht Delegation defended Grung Esik
(contested by the Horde, Big Eat, and Varanpact)

The Reclamation defended Rahipmezar
(strongly 
contested by the Varanpact and the Delegation)

The Skoga Grakk defended Nagaskahip
(contested by the Reclamation, Big Eat, Varanpact, Delegation) 

The Sigmarsmacht Delegation captured Azyrhol
(contested by the Horde)

The Varanpact defended Isik Kulesi
(
contested by the Horde, Delegation, and Skoga Grakk)

The Varanpact captured Karanlik Saray
(
contested by the Big Eat, Reclamation, and the Delegation)

Da Big Eat defended Gorkoyuk
(contested by the Skoga Grakk and Varanpact)

The Horde of Rot and Rage defended Teselli Alari
(contested by the Skoga Grakk, Delegation, and Varanpact)

The Sigmarsmacht Delegation captured Yol Grimnir
(contested by the Horde, Big Eat, and Varanpact)

Final Campaign Standings

The Sigmarsmacht Delegation 
Dominant Victory
Captured all 3 Objective Locations

The Varanpact
Strategic Victory
Captured Primary + Secondary Objective Location

The Horde of Rot and Rage
Tactical Victory
Captured Primary Objective Location

The Skoga Grakk
Tactical Victory
Captured Primary Objective Location

The Big Eat
Tactical Victory
Captured Primary Objective Location

The Reclamation
Tactical Victory
Captured Primary Objective Location

Turn 3 Unfolding Narrative

Seneschal-General Monique von Helminger’s Delegation may have taken the hallowed necropolis for Hammerhal, but the city is far from secure, with every other faction securing at least their primary objective. This, plus your own narratives, has triggered some very interesting consequences, which we’re busy typing up now…

  • Turn 3 Unfolding Narrative & Epilogue will post June 8th at 3AM EST

 NEO Notes

Wow- just wow. With 5 events and roughly 40 players reporting in from the east and west coasts and even across the pond in Thailand and the Netherlands, Animosity I can indeed lay claim to the title of worldwide map campaign.

All of us on Team Animosity want to thank every one of you for your participation. Not only have we seen incredible support and enthusiasm from the Age of Sigmar community, but an absolute outpouring of great stories from your games and narratives which we’re still learning to do justice in our turn updates.

Finally, thank you for giving us the opportunity to tell this grand, collaborative tale. We couldn’t do it without our local NEOs, and they couldn’t do it without you, the players. This has been a ton of fun for us, and we hope it was for you too- which is why we’d like to invite you all to join us for our next worldwide map campaign…

Animosity II – The Burning Winter
COMING OCTOBER 2019

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Some of Team Animosity hard at play in a Delegation vs. Reclamation doubles game during Turn 2. Photo by Katie H. at #AnimosityI in Winchester, VA

Turn 2 Unfolding Narrative

The Anvil of Apotheosis

Clang. Clang. The Smiths’ hammers fell again and again, remaking the souls of fallen heroes in the God-King’s image. Andorian Sparkhand would have found the noise deafening as a mortal, but to the Sacrosanct it was like a heartbeat, ever-present and ever-comforting, an audible reminder of Sigmar’s constant preparations for war in the Realms beyond.

One such war had brought Andorian to the Sigmarabulum today, and it was a strange one- for the God-King had sworn to take no part in it. The battle for Amasya was being fought outside of his master’s influence, but that did not mean that Sigmar and the Conclave weren’t hungry for every scrap of information concerning its course- and where better to get it than from the souls of those who had fought and fallen?

“I was Duncan Charles, Sergeant of the Ash-and-Blood. We fought the ghouls at Azyrhol- the Green Man and the Protector were with us, and we made the enemy pay for every step, but there were too many. They sent a beast behind our lines. We were slaughtered, but we never broke. Sigmar would be proud of us…”

Clang. Clang.

“I was Brother Alexius, Anvil of the Heldenhammer, Liberator. We made to stand against Talaha the Butcher, but we were crushed, and the avenue to the cathedral opened. I must return to my comrades in the field…”

“Not today, friend.” Andorian shook his head, and the reforged soul passed on its way.

Clang. Clang.

“I was Sister Carola, Liberator, in the service of Lord-Celestant Vale Lotherine. We held Grung Esik against Talaha the Butcher, and though I died he broke on our shield wall. The dam will not fall while we defend it.”

Andorian smiled at the bit of good news, but then the hammers fell again.

Clang. Clang.

“I was Seymour Nicolus, soldier of Hammerhal. We fought in the cathedral against King Gurloes, and we could have won too- but Usidore was deep in is cups, and began throwing spells around every which way. It was too much… we ran, and the wizard got himself eaten by a plague bat for his troubles.”

Andorian winced.

Clang. Clang.

“I was Robert Edward, Knight of Lileath and protector of the Realms. I watched as the Enemy entered the Cathedral… we charged, and we cut them down in number, but in the end there were too many.”

If Andorian Sparkhand had blood instead of lightning, he would have said it ran cold- and then the soul spoke again.

“All was lost then. Azyrhol has fallen…”

 

Rahipmezar

“Victory.” It tasted  both sweet and bitter on his lips. The necropolis was theirs- Felthik the Watcher had proven himself victorious by conquering where others failed, sweeping the Hedonites before him. Too, at the final hour two full ‘courts’ of deluded ghouls had shown up to clinch his victory… it rankled with Mithridates Alti to truckle and parley with one such as the Pale Saint, but he had done worse in his days and would do so again.

And the necropolis was theirs. For the first time in five centuries, he could walk its sacred halls and look upon the graves of all the High Priests before him. It was a homecoming, of a sort… even if Nagaskahip had fallen to the greenskin, he comforted himself with the thought that this was the center of his power, and once he’d done his duties inside he could rend apart all the enemies who sought to stand against them.

“You thought that I was weak, and you were strong.”

A voice echoed faintly through the halls, and Mithridates hurried on, fearing and hoping what it might be. There was an iron door deep within the complex, and he paused at its threshold- it was choked by the corpses of the dead, Stormvermin and Hedonite in equal number, but his forces had not reached this far- indeed, it looked like they had fought the battle amongst themselves.

“You thought that I could be plucked from my eternal rest, and put to your service.”

He stepped carefully onward- there in the hallways lay more of the Slaaneshi marauders, mutilated beyond recognition by an unknown hand- but as he peered closer, it seemed as though the hand was their own. Yes- some had plucked out their own eyes, others seemed to carve off their fingers and hands. Many had died, all, it seemed, of their own devices, but many were still alive- yet even if they could have fought they made no notice of his presence.

“You believed I would live again, bound in service to the Undying King as you are.”

Further down the hall the carnage grew greater- some among the Hedonites looked to have tried to flay themselves alive, and many seemed to have gotten far in the process before succumbing. But still, there was no sign of battle, or even struggle- it was as though the marauders had suddenly fallen into this, as though gripped by a moment’s mad whim.

“You thought I could be swayed by the promise of power, or wealth, or love, to fight alongside you.”

Mithridates paused at the final threshold. It had been five centuries, half a millennia since he had left this place, swearing then to return in a few short days or weeks- he who had before faced down all the horrors of the Realms paused to rally himself.

“You thought that I was the same as I had always been.”

He knew that voice. The last High Priest of Amasya thrust the door open, and strode inside- and then stopped short, dumbfounded. He had thought to find a body in a casket, or at most a feeble revenant starved by the centuries- but what stood before him was a man, still glowering down at a marauder chieftain splayed against the frescoed wall of the chamber. Alti was well aware that he was old- he had been in his middle age when he had left Amasya behind, and the centuries since had not reversed time’s ravages. And yet the man he found looked in the bloom of youth, as full of life as he might have been when Mithridates was but an infant.

“Father?” At the sound of his voice, the man glanced up, looking upon his son with eyes that flashed full of malice.

“You thought all these things… but you are a fool.”

 

Isik Kulesi

The final battle had been short, brutal, and utterly victorious. Irkut smiled at the memory- one of Sarn’s followers, Madrax Kane, had thought himself able to challenge the Varanpact for control of the tower ruins, but the Cachinnating Claw had shown him the error of his ways. At the height of the battle, the Keeper of Secrets that led the Claw had torn a Bloodthirster into a dozen equally-sized pieces, putting the followers of Khorne to flight and decisively securing Isik Kulesi against all comers.

Free of distraction, then, Irkut could proceed against the real obstacle here- the ancient defenses built into the tower’s depths, a foe as real and as cunning as any faced on the battlefield. That was what he was doing now, matching wits with a god and trying to break a lock never meant to be opened. It was refreshing, and utterly invigorating.

From a distance, to the dull-witted or the entirely mundane, the wall before Irkut seemed a blank and featureless slab of marble- but those with even a modicum of arcane talent, or a speck of common sense, would realize that it housed a web of magical energy meant to be fatal to any who sought the secrets held behind. They who had a bit more refinement- like him- could almost see the pattern, the warp and weft of power flowing through the stones.

The wall itself seemed to twist and shimmer ever so slightly as a team of sorcerers worked on it, gently persuading the eldritch strands into a newer, more accommodating shape. As he watched, the magic flexed, bent, growled, and then spread apart- and as a hole opened in the web, so too did a dark emptiness appear where there had seemingly been smooth stone.

Irkut nodded. “Send another one.”

A slave, once a soldier of the Delegation, was brought forward before the halberds of Irkut’s minions. Twenty feet before the wall, the guards took a step back- aware of the sudden absence of the steel points, he glanced behind her, then forward towards the door taking shape in front of him. He glanced back again- and then was running, sprinting towards the thin hope of salvation.

Two feet before he reached the door, the web of magic flexed and folded. It seemed to Irkut that a massive arcane hand reached out and seized him, and he vanished with a ‘pop’ into thin air. The room froze for a moment- and then sighed.

“We’re making progress.” However slow it might come, he thought. “We continue.”

There was power on the other side of the barrier, power at the fringes of his wildest dreams. Once, the gods of the Aelves had used the secrets of this place to bind something of awesome power- and when he had broken down the barrier and whatever other defenses lay beyond, he would be master of those same secrets. And with them in hand, he could imprison the so-called gods of the Realms, those creatures who thought themselves the equals of the true Gods.

And then, the Three-Eyed King could remake the Realms as he willed.

 

Teselli Alari

“Ichor. Bile. Blood. Blood!” The spite had folded its twiglike hands into fists, saplike tears running down its face.

“Da flames?” The snotling standing next to it was looking down, openmouthed, at the carnage wreaked before them.

Allarielle’s Solace was dying, and something ugly was being born out of its corpse. Nurgle’s rot had spread deep within the trees, and where just a few brief days before stately pines and majestic yews and goldenwoods and all other manner of trees had bloomed and towered, now there were only rotting stumps and a few gnarled, ravaged survivors. Where once spites had swarmed, now clouds of bloatflies covered every surface. Even grand Hyperion was under threat, the amethyst wargrove assailed by the forces of decay unleashed by Baldaflax and his ilk.

“Fire. Ashes. Seeds. Roots.”

“Da flames.” One green finger stretched out, pointing at two figures creeping through the corrupted undergrowth- a woman in an officer’s uniform, and a man with the bearing of a hunter. “Da flames!”

“Seeds.” The spite’s mouth grew into a malicious, fang-filled smile. “Windfall. Trees. Forests. Growth.”

“Burn it down! Burn it down! Da flames! Da flames!” And the greenskin’s hooting and hollering marked the end of the day.

 

Nagaskahip

The deathrattle legionnaire exploded as Wapkagut clubbed it with a stikk bigger around than the dead soldier’s torso. Nearby, Akhelian King Tralnor’s tide-magic swept away a screeching pack of grimghast reapers even as his Ishlaen Guard held their own against an overwhelming Nighthaunt counter-attack.

“DAT ALL YOU GITZ GOT?!” The warchanter shouted, genuinely enraged. The echo was the worst it had ever been here, a pounding, aching sense of emptiness that washed over him in waves. Gorkamorka’s heartbeat was faint here, and he felt the power of his own warchant waning. It was a most uncomfortable sensation- and greenskins don’t like being out of their comfort zone.

“WAAAGH!” Wapkagut attempted, but it came out weak, the timeless warcry faltering in his throat. Fortunately, his brawls and alfrostuns didn’t need Waaagh! Energy to carry them forward; the absence of it had caused a dark mood to settle over the mobs. Even now, two Sovanghen Thundertusks were bellowing at the grim mortuary columns, their breath causing the ancient stone to freeze and crack, collapsing under their own weight within moments.

Wapkagut snarled through clenched teeth as Wight King with a two-headed axe big enough to make a warboss proud squared up against him. He’d promised to knock it all down, and by Gork and Mork, he hadn’t come this far not to.


 

The branchwraith and the tidecaster walked side by side, deep in the labyrinthe of Nagash’s Graveyard. There were no dead left in these tombs; the petulant child-king Mithridates Alti had seen to that, and thrown them all against Wapkagut at the labyrinthe’s gates. This did not mean there was no danger, however.

“You feel it, Isharann, do you not?” The branchwraith intoned, “the endless emptiness, gnawing at the hole where your kind used to have a soul.”

“I would have you still what passes for a tongue,” the tidecaster spit, “For you cannot know of what you speak.” The branchwraith laughed once more, the harsh bark of the sound grating on the tidecaster’s nerves. “This cancer grows in bones older than even my wargrove, little aelf. It is time; we must see to our task, that the Slann can see to theirs.”

The tidecaster nodded, once, and stood in still concentration, summoning an ocean which would sweep through this place. Around her, she could hear the roots of the ancient trees far above reached deeper than ever before, splitting apart the mortal-made masonry of the tomb.

That it would mean both their deaths, did not matter, and in the mid-day sky beyond, the stars of Azyr grew suddenly close and bright.

 

Gorkoyuk

Da Maw dat Walkz trod the sacred ground of Gorkamorka’s pits. All around her was the bustle of devout worship, the air thick with the heady incense of the recently deceased, their dismembered and disembowled corpses cooking in the hot Hyshan daylight.

She had made a holy decree: her pilgrims had eaten well on their long journey, and now, it was time for da Maw dat will consume da Wurld to feast. To this end, they would drag every corpse to Gorkoyuk; the long dead, the unburied slain, and the living yet to die. The souls of those whose bodies were lost, the bodies of those whose souls were pledged to the Four. All these and more, da Big Eat would toss into the pits, and in turn her messiah would drink deep and eat hearty.

Nearby, Sibyl screeched commands, her shrill voice directing the mobs of ghouls, bonesplitterz, troggoths and others whom returned with tribute. One such faithful, the Spiderfang scuttleboss Spiderbite the Unoriginal had returned empty-handed, with only scorchmarks about his spider’s head to show for the Lord-Celestant he’d slain. Another hadn’t returned at all, the ghoul king whom fashioned himself a pale saint having been lured to Mithridates Alti’s cause by whatever silver-tongued promises Mannfred’s whipped dog had made him.

The betrayal amused da Maw, for the ghoul king had simply traded one prophet for another. She had met the empty man in the hollow mountain, when first she’d washed ashore in the Rahipmezar’s wharf long ago. She knew he served the same purpose as her, in his own misguided way.

The beast pen before her yawned wide, the spikes that once kept creatures from escaping the pit looking like so many bloody, jagged teeth. Yes, she smiled, her worship was pure.

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The Sacred Protector does battle with Marquis Gruelsop the Gangrene at the gates of Azyrhol. Photo by NEO Alex P. at #AnimosityI in Winchester, VA