Welcome, warriors and wanderers alike! Today’s article was meant to be a short story depicting Runefather Haraldr-Grimnir’s first meeting with Iden “the Auric”, Satrap of the Aurannar,*** but after some recent conversations in our Discord server, we thought it’d be prudent to assemble our history all in one place. Let us begin…
Before we were an Age of Sigmar global narrative event, we were a Warhammer Fantasy Battles global narrative event. After Games Workshop’s successful worldwide Albion and Storm of Chaos campaigns (which you can read more about in a recent White Dwarf article by Phil Kelly!), members of Da Warpath forum for Orcs & Goblins decided they wanted more… and thus, Animosity Campaigns was born. In fact, this is the first ever description of Animosity AFAIK, written by community founder Mogrek Longblade on November 27th, 2004:
Q: What is Animosity?
A: Animosity is a Warhammer Fantasy Battle campaign designed by warhammer players. It takes place after the Games Workshop Campaign Storm Of Chaos that took place this summer.
Q: What is Animosity about?
A: Animosity is about an Orc civil war, fought by the ruling factions of a large group of Orcs that banded together to form a massive waaagh during SoC. After SoC the waaagh began to war within itself after the death of the Orc in charge at the hands of Archaon.
Q: How can I play in this campaign?
A: Well thats actually pretty simple, all you need do, is sign up for one of the forces involved(sign up procedure can be found on our website) and play games of warhammer as you would normally or with one of the lists made for this campaign.
Although our WHFB iteration died with the World-That-Was during the End Times, like a phoenix from the flames we were reborn June 1st, 2019 with Animosity I: The Hallowed Necropolis. Set in Ghyran and using an organizational model similar to 2017 and 2018’s Coalescence Global Narrative Events, 40+ players in local groups across the United States, UK and Thailand fought to seize the abandoned Age of Myth era city of Amasya across three ridiculously intense days* of gaming. Because this was much smaller event than Animosity II was and III is shaping up to be, we were able to collect everything- including player contributions- into a single PDF:
Because this event was so experimental, including it’s scoring, every coalition achieved its primary objective. That said, the Sigmarsmacht Delegation, arguably the very first Dawnbringer Crusade dispatched by Hammerhal to annex Amasya, achieved the most secondary objectives and “won” the campaign, claiming a tenuous hold on the city. After the Slann “Frog Dad” Zectoka brought down a comet and destroyed the necropolis part of the city, a hole was punched through to the Realm of Death, paving the way for Animosity II. Even now, the effects of this war can still be felt in ways such as the re-emergence of Mithridates Alti, exiled prince of Amasya- and some even say war may yet return to what remains of the Hallowed Necropolis. Although a fall 2019 weekender was planned, its story elements were eventually rolled into…
… Animosity II – The Burning Winter**. Set in Shyish, our player count more than doubled to 90+ across five weeks. With the pandemic settling in for the long haul in March-April, and Animosity II set to kick off in July, we very nearly decided to cancel the campaign before making a hard pivot back to our forum-based roots. The event duration was expanded from 3 turns over 3 days, to 5 turns over 5 weeks, and the chat client Discord adopted as an event platform in lieu of actual venues. Oddly enough, this organically allowed for a return of many old Animosity features, including diplomacy (and the inevitable backstabbing that comes from it). The amount of GM and, especially, player contributions also skyrocketed. Rather than a single PDF, you can (for now, until we organize it better) view all Animosity II materials here:
Setting – History of Lake Bykaal
Setting – Places and people of Lake Bykaal
Prologue – What Lurks Below Lake Bykaal
Prologue – Which Can Eternal Lie
Coalition – The Expedition
Coalition – The Pilgrimage
Coalition – The Undivided
Coalition – The Wretched
Coalition – Perpetual
Coalition – Soulmuncherz
Setting – Other Figurehead NPCs
Setting – Of Monsters and Godbeasts
Unfolding Narrative – Turn 1
Unfolding Narrative – Turn 2
Unfolding Narrative – Turn 3
Unfolding Narrative – Turn 4
Unfolding Narrative – Turn 5
Player Contributions – Da Warpath
Player Contributions – Turn 1
Player Contributions – Turn 2
Player Contributions – Turn 3
Player Contributions – Turn 4
Player Contributions – Turn 5
Rather than fighting for control of the lake, each Coalition pursued their own varied ambitions. Ultimately, the Perpetual- an alliance of Death and Seraphon- succeeded in thwarting the cancerous, irradiating Big Bad that escaped Amasya at the end of Animosity I with the help of all the other Coalitions (more or less). Much, however, was left up in the air***, and only the affairs of a single town were resolved during…
… the Animosity Weekender 2020, “The Root of All Evil”. Set some months after Animosity II, this one-turn, one-week campaign took place in the town of Bolyany, a superstitious and gnarled turnip-farming village native to Lake Bykaal. The site of several major battles during Animosity II, Bolyany’s vegetable patches drank deep of the spilled blood and, on Mallusnacht, gave birth to the Root, vegetable horrors and boogeymen from the town’s distant past. Three rabble-rouser NPCs- a Hammerhal merchant eager to profit, a local woman baker eager steeped in tradition, and an ancient witch wise in the truth of the Root’s nature- led the defense of the town as the player characters attempted to survive the night. Most did not, but the outcome saw the town survive and Hammerhal’s influence cut from the town like a black spot from a root vegetable- but why am I telling you this? You can read both parts of the Weekender here:
Animosity 2020 Weekender – Root of All Evil Event Pack
Animosity 2020 Weekender – Root of All Evil Unfolding Narrative
So, yes- that’s Animosity, to date, in a nutshell. Before I sign off, though, I want to leave you with a glimpse of what we believe makes our campaigns so great. This is an excerpt from the Root of All Evil Unfolding, featuring our writers combining three players stories- one, an exemplar of Sigmar, one, a champion of the Dark Gods, and the third, with a conversion of a giant turnip-hurling catapult:
Up ahead, a man stood clad in silver armour, towering above the corpse of one of the turnip monstrosities. Blood already dripped from his wrinkled mouth to stain the robes of the hammer-god that adorned him. The two men faced each other, exhausted, yet with eyes still burning with sheer hatred: a pair of avatars pulsing with the energy of the gods they so represented. The Lector raised his sword, and The Shrouded raised his.
Before either could so much as take a step, the heavens broke open. The roof of the Church of Sigmar shattered. Like a great flaming comet, the biggest turnip the knight had ever seen came singing through the night air, wreathed in burning flames. For the most fleeting of seconds, Sigmar’s Lector met the eyes of The Shrouded, and he saw his own horrified expression echoed back at him.
And then he knew nothing else.
*We hope to re-introduce this three day event model with the fall Animosity Weekenders, which may be returning 2021 but, at worst, no later than 2022.
** “The Burning Winter” name was originally pitched as a soft reboot of our WHFB iteration, after End Times: Nagash had released but before we knew the world as we knew it was ending. The original Burning Winter would have pitted Elector Count Valmir von Raukov against Crom the Conqueror in a war for Ostland.
*** We reckon you’ll have to check back Monday to eavesdrop on this tense conversation between Haraldr-Grimnir and Iden the Auric…
This article written by Alex P aka @LittleSoldierTV