Provided for posterity and reference, these are the Narrative Paths players were presented with at the top of Turn 1…
Narrative Path 1
Expedition vs. Wretched
Expedition: Making contact with Lord-Celestant Han Shinzong – or at least discovering his fate – is first among the Expedition’s standing orders. Unfortunately, the vanguard Anruil Brighteyes sent to range ahead along the Thawing has found itself ambushed and encircled by the beast and rat-things of the Wretched native to this cursed underworld. Although they’ve found temporary refuge among the local farming folk of Bolyany, it’s only a matter of time before the vanguard is routed or destroyed.
Wretched: Even an army of Chaos marches on its stomach. For generations, the townsfolk of Boylany have been allowed to eke out their existence by delivering worthy tithes of beets and turnips to warherds loyal to the Oracle of Peace. Now, these same mongrels who owe their lives to the Peace’s mercy have thrown in their lot with Sigmar’s whelps, sheltering the Expedition’s retreating vanguard from our cunning ambush. It is better they’re put to the sword then find their crops in the bellies of men, aelves and duardin.
Narrative Path 2
Expedition vs. Pilgrimage
Expedition: It has not taken long for the thorn in Anruil Brighteyes’ side to draw blood. Envoys of the Pilgrimage claim that the Expedition has already attacked them and slain one of their number, the Abhorrent vampire who fancied himself a saint. Whatever the truth, merchant ships of the Expedition’s followers camp have come under attack as they depart the Ghyrplunge. If the realmgate is lost to these zealots, the Expedition will be cut off behind enemy lines.
Pilgrimage: The bumbling fools of the Expedition have already slain one of the Pilgrimage’s number, the holy martyr named Pale Saint by his Court. There is no place in Sigmar’s light for those who do not cower at his feet, and in this, the God-King is no better than Nagash. As Anruil Brighteyes is too feeble-minded for diplomacy, Arali Heartsbane has been left with no choice but to secure the Ghyrplunge, and the resupply it offers, with blades and bloodshed.
Narrative Path 3
Expedition vs. Perpetual
Expedition: With his armies making their way through the Ghyrplunge ship by ship, Anruil Brighteyes moved quickly to establish a mustering ground on the lake’s far shore south of Old Dyunsk. Now, the forces sent to secure the town and investigate the rumors of a Stormvault below it have reported a vast army of the Ossiarch Bonereapers bearing down on them. Every Azyrite knows what happened to the city of Lethis when the Legion of Grief breached its Stormvault and released Katakros back into Nagash’s service. That cannot be allowed to happen here.
Perpetual: Claiming Old Dyunsk is of paramount importance to Reikenor the Grimhailer, both to allow unfettered reinforcement to the lake’s other battlefields and to secure whatever forbidden power the thunder god may have secreted away beneath the town. To this end, legions of Ossiarch Bonereapers have already laid siege to Old Dyunsk. Once it is taken, their Mortisans will reshape it as the first of many new tithing sites.
Narrative Path 4
Soulmuncherz vs. Wretched
Soulmuncherz:“Koorrentz are wot takes us places in life.” Hogrog said unto the masses. Hogrog’s trackers told him, hours earlier, that they pinpointed the endpoint of the lake’s mystical currents: at the edgemost valley of Bykaal, where it drains into Gali’s Hooks. A huge pile of frozen dead bodies accumulates at the so-called Corpse Shallows. “An’ at the end ov da koorrent… da souls will find dere way to youz.” Under Deepkin incantations, the Soulmuncherz advanced stealthily onto shores near Poznyy. They had no idea what horrors would emerge from beneath the village, but so long as it gave a proppa scrap, they didn’t much care, either…
Wretched: The Oracle of Humility did not see the first war parties arrive at Poznyy, under the cover of some tricksy aelvish spell, no doubt. These brutish ambushers arrived almost undetected and traveled deep across the lake, their attacks mostly probing against the forces arrayed for the battle to defend the edgeward shore. The humble lives of those who live under the hills of Poznyy, diligently working for the betterment of all, shall not be allowed to be put under threat by these invaders.
Narrative Path 5
Soulmuncherz vs. Pilgrimage
Shore of Sightless Faces
Soulmuncherz: Dyrnawen’s soulscryers have guided a host of Soulmuncherz to the Shore of Sightless Faces to investigate tales of strange fish in the area. Upon arrival, the Deepkin’s scryers have become so agitated they immediately called for reinforcements to secure this part of the lake at all costs, and prevent any further ships from traveling down the Thawing and further into the lake.
Pilgrimage: Arali has commanded her forces to strike into Lake Bykaal’s heart like a plunging dagger. Skirting the mountains around Bolyany by keeping to the shores of the Thawing, these fast-moving armies have found themselves strung out, surrounded by cloying mists and beset by the brutish children of Gorkamorka lurking within them. If it is a fight the Idoneth Deepkin and their thick-headed pawns want, then it is a fight Arali will give them. Should the Pilgrimage falter here, those armies already fighting the Undivided will surely be overwhelmed.
Narrative Path 6
Soulmunchers vs. Perpetual
Soulmuncherz: Dyrnawen of the Void Trenches, the Silverfish of Mor’phann, has been wary of Starmaster Zectoka’s goals, after hearing what his celestial arts wrought in Amasya. Destruction at that scale cannot be permitted to happen here. And now, the Perpetual forces are upon them: they have been found crossing the icebergs covering New Dyunsk. Many cursed souls are trapped here around Tsatraya: an easy resource, and something that the Silverfish cannot ignore… yet these are not really the souls he is looking for. Not yet. He needs more time. These Perpetual will learn to keep away from the bounty of the soul eaters.
Perpetual: The key to this entire conflict is the priest-king Mithridates Besh and the doom he portends. Omens discerned by both Reikenor and Zectoka indicate the path this man treads has some conflation with the Idoneth Deepkin, yet the meaning of that connection is still veiled. Meanwhile, the scouting parties sent to run Besh to ground have instead found themselves hard pressed near Tsatraya by a horde of grots, orruks and ogors aided by Idoneth magic. This cannot be a coincidence; the Perpetual’s armies must break free of this engagement and continue their pursuit of Besh.
Narrative Path 7
Undivided vs. Wretched
Undivided: Burdening his greatest champions with the chore of guarding the Enlightenment Engine concealed within Nyuranka, Qarang Sarn himself pursues a challenge more to his liking: putting the upstart beast-shaman who fancies himself an oracle in his place. More than the Gods favor rests in the balance, however: the army which controls the ice around the Breach has the ability to strike anywhere around the lake they wish.
Wretched: The Oracle of Peace has summoned a procession of forgiveness, a dangerous trek into the center of the lake, across the icy surface and the mists. His forces are used to it, they are hardy and have learned to avoid the longships of the dead. They have issued a challenge to the Varanguard invader Qarang Sarn, at the great breach in the ice at the center of the lake. They will draw him out. They will make him beg for forgiveness. He will bend or break, and in so doing, so will his armies.
Narrative Path 8
Undivided vs. Pilgrimage
Undivided: The aspiring champions entrusted with guarding Nyuranka shall not take a single step backward, for secreted away within the long-abandoned temple complex is Irkut Thousandeyes’ prize bauble: the Enlightenment Engine of Teclis. With both Irkut and Qarang Sarn away, these warbands must prove themselves in the eyes of the Everchosen and break their Pilgriamge besiegers before enemy reinforcement can arrive.
Pilgrimage: Heedless of the cost, the most zealous among the Pilgrimage have pursued the Undivided across Lake Bykaal like a hound hunts a fox. While Arali’s agents cannot say why the Undivided have claimed the ruined temple of Nyuranka and the so-called Kingspyre which guards it, their reasons matter little: every last maggotkin, arcanite, bloodreaver and hedonite among them cannot be allowed to escape with their lives. Although the Undivided outnumber the Pilgrimage three to one, it shall be an even fight…
Narrative Path 9
Undivided vs. Perpetual
Cathedral of the Mariner
Undivided: Irkut Thousandeyes’ mind and body burns with the light of pure Hyshian enlightenment. He has seen beyond the veil of reality, and has borne witness to truths the likes of which the Slann and the Gaunt Summoners jealously keep to themselves. Predicting the Starmaster Zectoka’s movements even before he’s made them, Irkut is eager to match wits with a worthy opponent- and perhaps even bathe in the glory of finally defeating this ancient adversary of the Ruinous Powers.
Perpetual: For an intellect as unknowable and vast as Zectokas, countless possible futures cross like the weave of some great cloth. One such place of convergence is the Bay of Bysuud, where Zectoka’s design to defeat Mithridates Besh’s ambitions intertwines with a grave threat to both Dracothian and Nagash. The Undivided’s control of an intact Enlightenment Engine and the aelven secrets within it marks a clear and present threat to Zectoka and his fellows. The Perpetual must claim the Cathedral of the Mariner and drive the Undivided from Bysuud.