Short Story – “A Throne of Light”

Rune-Sigil of the Dornayar

The throne room of the Dornayar was uniquely barren within the Prime Dominion. No art or statuary adorned the walls, no courtiers mingled before the throne, no servants bustled and no music filled the air. The space was still and cold – even the austere Iden would have balked at how heartless the heart of the Satrapy felt. 

The chamber served its purpose, though. It contained a throne, which was all a throne room was really tasked to do, and it had ample room for visitors. The rest was inconsequential. The silent Watchers standing at intervals had long surrendered their appreciation for ornaments in exchange for greater things. As for the withered Aelf sitting above it all, he could have opened his eyes and taken everything in. Today, though, as with almost every day, he chose not to.

Elusedrod sailed on a sea of thoughts, all but free of the shackles of his mortal flesh. Six centuries of practice had given his liberated spirit the talent of walking the world and seeing through a thousand different eyes. The Watchers were not called as such for nothing – by borrowing their senses, the Satrap could peer into many places and know much that was meant to be hidden. Now he watched an Idrelec platoon drilling, now a party of Ruyalar caught up in some debauched revelry, now a symposium of Teclandec debating arcana. More so than any of his peers, Elusedrod understood his realm and the realms beyond – not merely as a mortal king, but as the god he was becoming.

Elusedrod the Deathly

When he was young, the Satrap had played card games with his friends – games of chance, and more importantly, of skill. There was a rule to them, a law that held firm regardless of which game you played or who played it with you. If you knew nothing of the game, you would always lose. If you understood your hand, you had the makings of a worthy opponent. But if you understood not just the cards you held but those your opponents held in turn, then you were always the master.

All the cards in the Prime Dominion were familiar to him, and all the players, for that matter. Atressa held the strongest hand. If anyone would win the first round, it would be her – but sooner or later the luck of the draw would turn against the Idrelec. Never one to hold, the Satrap of Valour would likely soon overplay her hand.

If this were a betting game, Dariel and the Teclandec would hold the largest pot. In truth, Dariel would be better served to deal himself in later, once everyone else at the table had played their best cards. In this, though, Valour and Plenty were alike- their pride demanded that they bet often and wager high.

The Celandec… disconcerted him. They came with a small purse, but their hand was well hidden- and Elusedrod wasn’t even certain they drew from the same deck as the rest. But, they would have their tells, and none would perceive them with as keen an eye as the Dornayar.

The Ruyalar were an enigma of a different sort. It wasn’t that he couldn’t see their hand, for if cards were blood then Caradryas would stain the table red. It was more that the Satrapy of Conquest played in a bizarre style, with cards and hands they seemed to have made up moments before.

All that remained was the Aurannar, his old foe. The Satrap of Wealth was a creature of focus, commitment, and sheer will- but what concerned Elusedrod was not that Iden would defeat his hand so much as overturn the entire table out of spite. All the Satrapies were challenging opponents, but powerful players were not nearly so dangerous as personal enemies. Not for the first time, Elusedrod wished they had crushed the Aurannar six centuries ago when they’d had the chance. This was the greatest lesson he taught his people: learn from the past, and never repeat its mistakes.

Elusedrod did not care for the metaphor of having a card up one’s sleeve, for it implied victory through dishonesty- and for the skilled, no such duplicity was necessary. Stretching out with his mind, he could feel an alien presence respond in turn. It was the skink Starseer Tetar-Munteq, and as they made contact he saw a hundred points of light coalesce around her- the small but burgeoning Seraphon colony nestled deep in his lands. With the Watchers as his eyes and Skink’s inscrutable kind serving as his hands, he could play his cards in ways his adversaries would never expect.

A disconcerting thought swam lazily up from the depths of his mind. The other Satrapies, too, were being reinforced by allies from outside the Prime Dominion. They, too, might move and act in ways he hadn’t anticipated. These unknown quantities might prove the wild cards that would turn the game on its head. Yet for the learned, these variables too were predictable. There were few besides the Gods themselves with longer memories than he, and even that disparity would be fleeting, given time.

An observer in the throne room might have seen Elusedrod’s face contort into a grimace that might have as easily been a smile or a sneer.

The game was afoot.

This short story was written by Peter C with editing by Alex P and others

Poke fun at your pals with preposterous propaganda!

If you’ve read the short story “Ledgers of the Aurannar”, you’ll know that a fyrd of the Dreyrugr lodge led by Fyreslayer Runefather Haraldr-Grimnir crossed Idrelec land to reach Iscarion at the invitation of Iden the Auric, Satrap of the Aurannar. While much of the Prime Dominion is settled, Iscarion is the capitol of the Iscarneth Ceraphate; think of it a bit like Rome during the Republic. Scuttlebutt like this- a slight against a Satrap known for rages and violence and not taking slights lightly!- would surely be the talk of every drinking hole, bath house and disreputable burger joint in the city.

But why stop there? Why not write your own salacious propaganda?

Courtesy of Team Animosity’s own Nuno M, you can do just that! Worried that a chuglord train is bad for the Dominion’s delicate, unblemished environment? Suspect that the Ceraphate’s maritime traditions cannot sustain a preponderance of exploding boats? Or perhaps you simply wish to question the opposition’s choice of classy hats- regardless, the tools to do so* are in your hands. While you’re more than welcome to post your creations to our Discord community, feel free to share them on social media, or even your local group- and don’t forget the hashtag #AnimosityIII so we can see your work, too!

Powerpoint Templates
Backgrounds, fonts, and vintage design elements for you to make your own newspaper or advertising flyer pages.
You can save from PowerPoint by selecting everything on the slide, right click and “save as picture”.

Newspaper Clipping generator
For those very quick “Headline-and-text” shares, the easiest to use.

PosterMyWall newspaper generator
This comprehensive website has all you need if you don’t wish to use powerpoint, and you can upload your own images too.

Newspaper meme generator
Add your own image and create new text boxes quick & easily. Feel free to upload this background image below as a template, or use one you made yourself.

What’s that? You were expecting the Gaming Resources page to drop today? Don’t worry, it’ll be here soon- but first, we need to fetch a few more buckets of spit from our local mega-gargant to polish it with. Until then, here’s a quick look at what you can expect:

AGE OF SIGMAR and WarCry resources, including single player and rules for games set in the Prime Dominion
SOULBOUND guide for campaigns set during Animosity III
BACKDROP ILLUSTRATIONS to print and use for model photography or whatever else you can imagine

In the meanwhile, don’t forget to share our New Player’s Guide far and wide, catch up on 5 fast facts about the vampire Mithridates Alti (since some of ya’ll still seem to think he’s a carbon copy of his dad), learn how to traverse the sea of liquid light that spans the Prime Dominion, and revisit the improbably vast history of Animosity Campaigns!

*We trust that all propaganda will be good-natured teasing and Team Animosity won’t need to reprimand anyone for unnecessarily mean-spirited smack talk.

This article written by Alex P with help from Nuno M

Short Story – “The Ledgers of the Aurannar”

Rune-Sigil of the Aurannar

Iden the Auric was deep in review of his ledgers when Haraldr-Grimnir answered the Satrap’s summons. Much of the Ceraphate thought Iden’s folky simply stingy in their hoarding of material wealth, but the Runefather knew better. War is an expensive endeavour, Haraldr’s father had told him, and often the depth of a lord’s coffers mattered more than the bravery of their warriors.

The ledgers, written in a cipher only Iden and his Ministers of Finance could read, were the only full accounting of the Aurannar’s impenetrable vaults.  It was Haraldr’s understanding that the Ministers themselves did not know the full extent of the vault’s contents, as each presided over a single one, and were themselves disguised as common folk and unknown even to each other. In this way, no single traitor would risk compromising the Aurannar’s holdings.

“How was your journey, Runefather?” Iden called out as the Fyreslayer approached him, refreshing his quill and writing another line without looking up.

“Ye dangled me lodge’s scrotes a’front o’ th’ bald woman like bloody meat b’fore a Rocktusk,” the Runefather replied, referring to the Idrelec’s Satrap, Atressa Redhand. “I don’t fancy me lads dyin’ before I’ve even met th’ man payin’ fer their funerals.”

“It was my understanding that your folk burned their dead?”

“Aye, but it’s their wives you’ll owe, an’ if you knew our women, that’d strike proper fear into ye.”

Iden the Auric

Iden returned his quill to its pot and, with an almost imperceptible nod of satisfaction, closed the heavy book he’d been poring over. “My apologies,” he said, steepling his fingers and turning his full attention to the Runefather. “There are few stable routes through Haixiah, and fewer still the Idrelec do not patrol. You are my guest, and had the Redhand attacked you, I would have retaliated immediately. That she tolerated your trespass simply gives weight to the argument that she is unfit, and perhaps even unable, to defend the Ceraphate.”

So, Haraldr thought, they were already speaking strategy. Good! The Runefather had little patience for idle pleasantries. “Reckon them warmongers would’ve spilled no small amount o’ blood, no matter how hard ye swung back at ‘em,” the old duardin responded, running a calloused finger along the thin gold seam that served as embellishment on the Satrap’s table. “Yes,” Iden responded, nodding, “But not ours. The Idrelec are skilled warriors, yet ill suited to siege craft. If they do not breach our vaults quickly- and they will not- Atressa’s armies will be forced to live off the land. They will resort to pillaging the Ruyalar and the Teclandec even as the scales tip further in our favor.”

Haraldr regarded the Satrap thoughtfully. The lodges had employed similar tactics with great success for centuries. Yet, if Iden meant to seize the title of Ceraph, he could not hide behind the safety of his walls forever. So, the Runefather said as much.

“You mistake my intention, master duardin,” Iden spoke softly, brow furrowing as he gathered his thoughts. “I have done what my adversaries have not. The Aurannar have long prepared for this war. Where victory has defeated them in these centuries of prosperity, my folk- and my folk alone- have made ready. Once the Ceraphate is ours, we will lead the Iscarneth in preparing for the greater wars yet to come.”

Haraldr nodded approvingly, but after a moment’s thought, spoke again with concern in his voice. “An’ what of th’ Dornayar? They’ll know what yer ilk ‘ave been up to.”

“They fought us once before, you know,” a sharp note crept into Iden’s tone, and his disfiguring scars pulled tighter across his features as he frowned. “Thought us defeated, for indeed, how does one battle a foe who knows what you will do before you even think to do it?” His frown twisted into a sneer. “Then let them know what we intend, I say. Let them try to stop us. It will make no difference.”

“With our vaults to support us, and warriors like yours fighting beside us, I believe victory is well in hand.”

“Th’ deal’s a deal, then?” Haraldr raised an eyebrow. “Ye’ll let my Runemasters into yer vaults an’ hand over all yer Ur-Gold t’me an’ mine, jus’ like that?” 

Iden gave a wry smile, and pushed the ledger he’d been writing in across the table to the Runefather. “These are all the Grimnic assets my Ministers have been able to identify thus far. It is my understanding it was never ours to begin with, and it is our hope the thirty percent additional evaluation in mundane coinage shall be enough to address your women’s losses?”

Now was Haraldr’s turn to grin. “You know, yer not such a bad sort, fer an elgi,” the Runefather spoke as he spat in his hand before offering it to the Satrap. “Jus’ don’t let on to me cousin I said that, fer I’ll nay hear the end of it!” the old duardin winked.

This short story was written by Peter C. with editing by Alex P. and others

A Brief History of Animosity

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:

Animosity I – The Hallowed Necropolis (OMNIBUS)

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
Unfolding Epilogue
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.

Turnipult!

*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

Get started with Animosity Campaigns today!

So, you’ve heard the hype, maybe from Twitter, maybe from a player in your local group- no matter how you’ve heard of us, you’ve heard of us. “Animosity”, the word echoes in the depths of your mind. “Animosity”. But, “what is Animosity?”, we hear you ask, “and how do I get involved?” 

Good questions, and boy, do we have an answer for you!

After the initial flood of interest from kicking off #DaWarpath, we realized our global narrative event had an accessibility problem. So, Nick C. got to work writing down this guide to help folks find their feet and take part in the internet’s greatest global narrative events.

In the guide, you’ll find…

  1. In-a-nutshell, quick start overview of Animosity III
  2. Notes on using our Discord for folks who have never used Discord
  3. Training wheels for registering for a Coalition and submitting Reports
  4. Links to the rest of the campaign site to explore as you go
  5. And many more details besides!

But wait, there’s more!

So, you’re hyped, we’re hyped, everybody’s hyped. Armed with the power of the New Player’s Guide, you want to spread the word and get more people playing in the campaign. But how? Pre-formatted graphics by Nuno M., ready to share or print! Here’s just a few:

You can view the whole folder HERE. I know I’m having several professionally printed for my local game store, and they’re ideal for posting to local facebook groups, WhatsApp chats, and anywhere else you can think. And, when folks ask you what it’s all about, where do you send them? To the New Player’s Guide, of course, which is always accessible from our landing page!

Still can’t get enough? Don’t forget to read up on 5 fast facts about Mithridates Alti, an NPC Soulblight vampire you’re all going to get acquainted with very soon, and learn to navigate the treacherous shadowtides of the Prime Dominion’s sea of liquid light.

This article written by Alex P. aka @LittleSoldierTV

Five fast facts about Mithridates Alti

You’ve read his biography, and you may even have fought for him once before during Animosity I. He’s a wild card who’s come to collect, and we expect you’ll be very well acquainted with him before this summer is over. So, who is he, exactly? Let’s find out a little more about him!

Alti isn’t actually a name

The Mithridates lineage ruled the hallowed necropolis of Amasya in Ghyran as benevolent Nagash-worshipping priest-kings for five generations. As the papency passed from father to firstborn son, so did the family name; “Alti” literally translates to “Six” in the language of the Amasyan, while Alti’s father Besh translated to “Five” and so on. Thus, Mithridates Alti’s name literally means “The Sixth Priest-King”.

He became a vampire out of necessity

Alti’s been ridiculed for his Soulblight curse, but the truth is, it was never something he wanted. His body failing after decades of war during the first century of the Age of Chaos, Mithridates Alti realized he would never live to see his home again; thus, he made a devil’s bargain with Mannfred von Carstein: five centuries of service in exchange for strength and immortality. It is a curse of necessity, and one Alti takes no pride nor joy in.

His father abandoned him during Animosity I

Ironically, Alti never actually ruled the Hallowed Necropolis as priest-king. As the Age of Chaos dawned, his father, Mithridates Besh, was mortally wounded by a plaguebearer’s knife. At the elder Mithridates request, his son carried him back to Amasya and entombed him within a black sarcophagus with the intention that he would rise again. Unfortunately, Alti would go on to betray Sigmar’s armies at the Eightpoints and become embroiled in the following wars against Sigmar and Archaon in Shyish.

When he finally did return home leading the Reclaimation during Animosty I, he discovered his father had become a vassal-creature for an entity players came to know as the Nemesis during the events of Animosity II. While Besh’s defeat is recorded elsewhere, his father’s fate- and the six centuries Alti wasted in pursuit of seeing his father and the city of his youth again- weighs heavily on Alti’s mind.

He cares about the Iscarneth Ceraphate

It is well known that Nagash uses the insidious curse of the Soulblight bloodlines to conquer new lands from within. Such was the task Mannfred von Carstein gave Mithridates Alti. With Nagash facing defeat by Archaon’s blade, Mannfred bade Alti to found a Soulblight conclave in the blinding light of Hysh. Alti found an easy mark in the aelf named Eresial, a kindred soul marked by desperation and a desire to save his people. Unfortunately, Alti’s eyes were always on returning home to Amasya- a mistake he now regrets, as he realizes the Iscarneth were, in fact, his flock to shepherd all along.

He’s not Mannfred von Carstein’s puppet

 A common misconception is that Alti is merely Mannfred’s goon, and while Mannfred did bail him out after the events of Animosity I, nothing could be further from the truth. Alti’s five centuries of service are done, and while even Mannfred assumes Alti will be a good little minion, Alti believes his finest hour has yet to come. With Nagash’s power broken by Teclis’ hand, Alti owes no fealty to the Mortarch and instead seeks the throne of Ceraph simply to become that which he was born to be: the king of a great city. 


So, what do you think of Mithridates Alti, knowing what you know now? Let us know on our Discord server!

This article was written by Alex P aka @LittleSoldierTV

Travel the Prime Dominion today!

“The dangers of damaged Waystone Towers, the shimmersea and shadowtides, the winds of Noctis and the moons of Hysh.”

A treatise on navigation in the Prime Dominion, by Lost Uzzog of the skyship Cleavermaw

Preface

Navigation in the Prime Dominion is fraught with danger for newcomers to the region. While there are many hidden hazards, there is also pattern and logic to be found, as expected in Hysh, but one must know where to look for them. And for those new to Hysh, there are additional problems to contend with.

Noctis

The primary source of danger is Noctis itself, the famed black sun which stabilizes the region. The local weather patterns are entirely created and dominated by the relative position of Noctis, as can be seen from the enclosed sample pages from my Almanac. The year in the Prime Dominion is exactly 45 weeks (315 days) long, dictated by the orbital rhythm of the darkening orb itself. 

Where Noctis travels, winter travels with it. As Noctis passes away spring and summer follow. Autumn heralds Noctis’ return, and with it dark skies, strong winds and fierce tides. A ship’s captain must beware the winter winds, for they all blow toward the black sun and they get stronger and faster the nearer one approaches. A not-insignificant number of ships have been lost by incautious commanders trying their luck too near that dire sphere.

The storms abate in spring and autumn regions but the winds still blow hard toward Noctis. In summer, and the temperate zone around Iscarion, the winds are lighter and much less treacherous. There are some local anomalies that cause strange calms, or near permanent storms and riptides. These should be marked on your charts if you have reliable copies.

Celennar and the ethereal moons

Hysh’s moons ALWAYS appear to be full when viewed from within the Realm. Hysh is the source of light illuminating them, so to the people in Hysh they appear to be reflecting light straight back at them (while the angle they are at compared to Hysh will affect how they appear to other realms).

If Celennar has, I think, a nine week orbital cycle this means the true moon is hidden from view for four and a half weeks of each lunar-month, as it passes beneath the surface of Hysh. Luckily for the Prime Dominion it can still be seen from the Lux Umbra for some of this time. Otherwise it would only be invisible as soon as the whole of it passed below the Realm’s plane. Celennar is also eclipsed once each month, as it passes near the Shadow Realm of Ulgu.

As the Realm of Hysh is so big, Celennar will appear to get bigger as it orbits nearer to the viewer, and appear smaller when it is far away. It orbits at an angle so it will also get higher and lower in the sky as it passes. To a viewer in the Prime Dominion on the edge of the Realm, in Haixiah, it will seem HUGE and close as it rises on the near side, and visible in full daylight. But it will appear to be tiny and distant when it sets on the far side, and only visible in the almost-twilight that passes for night here. The realm itself might be turning relative to Celennar’s path, so the rise and fall points might change over the course of many years. I have not been in this Realm long enough to be sure.

The shimmersea and the shadowtides

The sea of liquid light that fills the void between the floating metalith islands of the archipelago that form the Prime Dominion is another strange phenomenon a traveller new the the area will need to become accustomed to. Conventional sea-going vessels can float on it and navigate in a way sea-captains will feel is familiar but one must be aware it is as far from normal water as it is possible to imagine. The light waxes and wanes, and occasional rents or tears appear on its surface. Known as shadowtides, these fissures grow and shrink in unfathomable rhythmic patterns (possibly connected to the movements of Noctis, but I have not been able to quantify them). Sailing into a shadowtide will be catastrophic for a surface vessel: this cannot be overstated. 

Skyvessels, however, can make use of the shadowtides to slip from the Lux Flumen, above the surface of the Shimmersea, to the Lux Umbra, the penumbral underworld of the Prime Dominion (or vice versa). This ‘other side’ is frequented by, shall we say, those less encumbered by morals or manners.

Falling in the shimmersea is a disconcerting experience. The liquid light is warm and will burn, if you stay in it too long, but it is not an instantly fatal danger. The undead suffer worse than the living as far as I have been able to ascertain. Even the unfocused light of Hysh is unkind to the magics that sustain them, but it isn’t like standing in the beam of a Luminark.

Waystone Towers

There are ten Waystone Towers scattered around the Prime Dominion. They are clearly marked on most maps and charts and they can be used to get your bearings by checking the relative positions of three or more towers. Each has a unique signature when located with a thaumaturgic, or aetheric, compass once you have tuned the device to remove the overpowering noise of the Perimeter Inimical and balanced it for the location of Noctis. Neither of these measures should be ignored as your compass will be next to useless without them.

Not all Waystone Towers can be trusted – they were made by the aelfs, so they are probably ancient. Some have been damaged or broken by powerful magics over the centuries, and others are either corrupted or faulty as they appear to shift or their bearings are displaced. I am trying to mark these on my charts but they should be double-checked as often as possible. 

Postscript

Navigation within the Prime Dominion should be easy for anyone who has the skill and fortitude to survive the hazardous journey through Haixiah to get here. But there is much to learn in a short time in order to avoid the most common hazards here. An inexperienced commander will not last long and the numerous shipwrecks that pepper the islands tell that tale in grim detail.

This article was written by Saul P aka @WarbossKurgan

Da Warpath has begun!

“What is #DaWarpath,” you ask? Let’s take a closer look!

Da Warpath is our prelude period before Animosity III – The Prime Dominion begins in earnest on July 14th. This allows players to catch up on campaign lore, plan their narrative and prepare their armies. If you’re an event organizer, or maybe you just want to rope in some friends, #DaWarpath gives you the opportunity to get folks involved before getting stuck in.

After months of writing, drawing, and revising, Team Animosity proudly presents the fruits of our labor. Looking around the site, you’ll discover…

… an updated landing page with 100% of a new player’s need-to-know provided at a glance. If you’ve ever thought “you know, so-and-so from my friendly local game store would really enjoy this sort of thing,” just send them over to AnimosityCampaigns.com! Oh, and don’t forget to meet the Team and check the FAQ while you’re there.

… a detailed map of the Prime Dominion, along with extensive location information and original illustrations! If you look close, you’ll even spot details like Lhoris’ Great Chain on the map.

… extensive information about all six Coalitions and their Figureheads, the satraps of the Iscarneth Ceraphate. And, let’s not count out Mithridates Alti, a wild card character returning from 2019’s Hallowed Necropolis campaign!

… three, count ‘em, three new short stories in the Unfolding Narrative section setting up the coming war- with lots more on the way, including featurettes of every satrap and the capable commanders who advise them!

… a revised Submit Reports page with this year’s submission information and MVP awards. Be sure to give these a good read now and again before the campaign begins!

… and we expect you’ve noticed this blog has moved from being the landing page all the way to the far side of the menu bar. We’re hoping to post updates here just as often as we’re able, and remember, even if you don’t have a twitter account, you can always follow tweets from @AnimosityCmpgns either through the twitter plugin on this page, or the #content-feed channel in our Discord.

That’s all for now- as if it isn’t plenty enough!- but don’t worry, we’re just getting started and there’s plenty more to come. 

Until next time,

Alex, on behalf of Team Animosity

Halloween Event – The Root of All Evil

Hail, warriors! It has been some time since we last spoke, eh?

In a normal year, the changing seasons would herald the arrival of the Animosity Weekender. Those of you who played in The Hallowed Necropolis last year are already familiar with the format: three days of hard rolling, playing as many games as you can to try and sway the outcome in your favor, pushing models and sharing meals with your friends.

Alas, this is hardly a normal year.

In lieu of the 2020 Animosity Weekender, it is instead my pleasure to announce The Root of All Evil, a one-week, one-turn, one-shot campaign set in and around the twon of Bolyany in the aftermath of the Burning Winter. In keeping with spooky All Hallow’s Eve traditions the world over, The Root of All Evil will take place over the course of a single night: Mallusnacht, where the fiery red core of the World-That-Was appears in the sky above Lake Bykaal as a twin-tailed turnip… and all manner of strange and terrible things stalk the shadows by its malign light.

The Root of All Evil will begin Wednesday, October 21st, and run until the 28th. Players will be allowed to submit up to 3 Reports each from the existing 5 Report categories. We recommend depicting lower-ranking characters because, in place of the army actions of The Burning WInter, players will instead be leading patrols, scouting parties, single characters, and other groupings of Warcry warband size or smaller- and we can’t promise you’ll all survive the night…

So, yeah! That’s what we have going on. Please watch the #updates channel on our Discord as we continue to roll things out over the next few days. 

Oh, and did we mention the turnip monsters?
Original art by Luis B.

Best regards,
Team Animosity

Awards, a Roadmap, and an Announcement

Oh, wow. Just… wow. What a campaign. In a couple more days, it’ll be exactly two months since we began this journey together, and what a journey it has been. In that time, we’ve built a robust, inclusive and welcoming narrative play community from all over the world, told hundreds of stories together, and forged memories that won’t quickly fade. With the admin UI changes WordPress sprung on us halfway thru the campaign, updating the website has become a nightmare, so until we get that sorted out you can read all 60 pages of the Unfolding Narrative Epilogue right HERE… and we’re not quite done, either!

During our WHFB days, Team Animosity would recognize a handful of MVP categories. With the Burning Winter, we decided to bring this tradition back. Each and every award was so hotly contested that we dropped “Honorable Mentions” entirely because they were getting out of hand, and as There Can Only Be One…

This player just barely squeezed out a three-way tie for 2nd place to claim the top spot by a single report! We give you…

Lord of War – The player who submitted the most Reports

  • Tarascon

Although certain angry Saurus diplomats *were* incredibly loyal to their frog dad, not everyone remained loyal to their Figureheads after they died… considering some of you killed your own figureheads, after all.

True Friend and Ally – The player who did the most to support a single Figurehead

  • Bael-Grimnir

We received 68 Peerless General nominations, but ultimately, one name rose above the rest. I’ll let one of the notes we received speak for him… 

“I highly doubt I’m the only one that nominated this guy, and that alone should indicate how indispensable he has been. What a legend. Not only does he pour dozens of hours a week into TTS maps, but he also spends just as long behind the scenes conducting diplomacy, which I have had the honour of helping him with. He’s adept at communicating with both potential foes and his own Perpetual fam, and talking with him generally leaves us all feeling better (and indeed more certain of what we are doing) than before. He’s working a massively difficult job at the same time and from what I can see he must dedicate the entirety of his scant free time to have made such an impact on us all. His diplomacy skills are *chef’s kiss*. Someone get this man an award.”

Peerless General – The player considered most valuable by peer nominations

  • Ashavohlk

Some among you came in after the  campaign had begun, and we salute you for your courage! None had it harder than coming in literally only an hour after the Expedition learned that the Pilgrimage had betrayed them and blown up their diplomats. From that rocky start, this player consistently delivered a really interesting, creative narrative and proved themselves to be a great teammate.

Youngblood – The player who put in the best showing as a first-time participant

  • Lunim Mossguard

Only a few players made the jump over from Animosity I’s tabletop-heavy format, and among them only one kept the same character. Ser Baldaflax, you are a legend in more than just your own maggot-infested mind!

Grizzled Veteran – The player who put in the best showing as a returning participant

  • Kaleb E.

We had several people jump into the breach and spread the word, and many of you found Animosity II because of them. None, however, had the sheer bubbly energy and relentless, shameless NAAC plugging as this fellow…

NEO of Note – The player who did the most community rabble-rousing

  • Pseudonyme

The huge role Tabletop Simulator played in The Burning Winter took us by surprise, but it was great to see. We also saw multiple Soulbound groups crop up, and none more prolific than this player’s. An alumni from Animosity I, this player used projections over models in a darkened room to really spectacular effect. 

Master and Commander – Favorite Gaming Reports

  • Keegan W.

It was our genuine pleasure to see a number of folks use our campaign not only to get into the hobby, but to return to it. Coming from the depths of Animosity’s own pre-history, a veteran of the original Animosity 2 in 2007, this player jumped into Age of Sigmar with both feet this past month and, even with hobby titans like Ricki and Shadowclaimer in our midst, cooked up a player character conversion that’s right up there with the very best of them.

Master Builder – Favorite Hobby Reports (conversion)

  • Beoveld

The Burning Winter saw a lot of great hobby, from Ambassadress Eola’s feature on WHTV to Hilmar Thunderstruck’s epic Gorkamorka Knight-Vexillor, but there stood one who balanced sharp conversions with both quality AND quantity, painting an entire army in the time most of us finish maybe, like, a unit? At best? Give it up for…

Master Painter  – Favorite Hobby Reports (painted unit)

  • Travis Huber

We certainly saw some neat scenery over the course of the campaign, but these “freshly cut” craft stick wooden barricades managed to balance setting, gaming practicality, simplicity and cost effectiveness, and just plain looking pretty cool.

Master Craftsman – Favorite Hobby Reports (scenery)

  • Jason L.

Somebody said early on that they didn’t relish the task of naming this award, and they were right: it’s impossible! With the outpouring of absolutely brilliant stories, we’ve decided to retire this award in lieu of establishing a better version next year.

Master Wordsmith – Favorite Written Narrative

  • Each and every one of you

The Storytelling category inspired an incredible amount of creativity, but taking the cake for originality and, honestly, just plain fun, was this players comic-book styled presentations.

Master Storyteller – Favorite Storytelling Reports

  • Iorlus “the Pretty”

Perhaps even more than Storytelling, Arts & Crafts brought out some truly unique takes on how to interact with our campaign setting as well as some gorgeous illustrations. This player combined art with teamwork, helping to bring together one of the many tight-knit Coalitions we had the joy of working with this time around.

Master Interpreter – Favorite Arts & Crafts Reports

  • Mura

An award we didn’t anticipate adding, but which became increasingly obvious needed to be. Although the likes of Tarascon and Tectonic Dan made some beautiful food themselves, beating a slice of Kraft cheese on white bread with a hammer is simply timeless.

Master of Turnips – Favorite meal prep

  • Sir Cai Leonas

Although Cai Leonas made an audacious attempt to win his own namesake award, there was another player who pushed the envelope early, often and ultimately, with the help of his Coalition, dove gutplate deep into the metaplot in the final round and still found time to try and and get some frog legs for supper.

The Sir Cai Leonas Award – The player with the most daring and ambitious narrative (Audacity!)

  • Torag Tome-Eater

Although Tarlen himself would likely be disappointed that this award didn’t go to either Torag or Ricki for blowing things up, only one player changed the face of the map itself in the most memorable hijink of the whole campaign. #DrainTheLake, ya’ll.

The Tarlen da Foeburna Award – The player with the most creative problem-solving in their narrative

  • TOGII_U_LATER

More than most, this player works a certain humanity into their characters, a relatability and touch of sadness that can’t help but make you empathize with them when you write about their lieutenants getting their legs smashed off by the Pilgrimage.

The Unbrok Stonebeard Award – The player who suffered the worst setbacks (but kept on going anyway)

  • Raschier

We’d also like to take a moment to recognize NarrativeLabs for four weeks of interactive and endlessly creative Animosity-based live streams; if you haven’t paid them a visit already, we highly recommend you do!

On that note, check out Tectonic Craft Studios and their incredible Animosity II Coalition-themed objective tokens. Pick up a set and have something to show your grandkids when you tell ‘em about that time you fought the Nemesis under a flaming Ur-Whale…

Finally, we’d like to thank our own Katie H. for drawing the wonderful campaign map which served as a touchstone for us all… and putting up with many late nights of writing Unfolding Narrative!

A roadmap for what’s next

If you don’t already follow our Twitter account @AnimosityCmpgns, we’ll be retweeting the best Age of Sigmar narrative content on the platform all year ‘round in addition to YOUR hobby projects.

WordPress threw us for a loop by completely overhauling their Admin UI in the middle of the campaign, but we will finish the Unfolding + Community pages over the coming month and the site will remain up as-is through the holidays. Sometime in January or February, however, both the site pages and the Discord coalition and diplomacy channels will be erased to make space for Animosity III, so if there’s anything you would like to go back and save, you have a few months to do so. We’re also still compiling statistics from the last 5 weeks, and will release some interesting numbers in the next week or so as well.

Another project we’re excited to bring you sometime this Fall is what we’re calling the “Player’s Guide to Amasya & Lake Bykaal”. This will revisit our favorite Animosity warzones some time after things have settled down, providing you with a great way to explore your post-campaign narratives, play Soulbound adventures, and get ready for Animosity III if you plan to carry over the same character.

Finally, there is the matter of the Animosity II Omnibus, which we expect to be split into two volumes- the campaign setting and the unfolding narrative in one, and player contributions in the other. We don’t have a timeframe on this yet, but presumably sometime before the holidays so that we can go into the new year with a clean slate. The Omnibus will include 100% of everything related to Animosity II by both the GMs and the players, and will be permanently available for download on the About page.

Now, a special announcement…

With Animosity II wrapping up and the Team taking a welcome rest before we dive into Animosity III’s development in earnest after the holidays, Alex Polimeni is launching something that he’s had in the works for two years now. He’s calling it The Little Soldier, and it’ll be exploring narrative play all day, every day, in Games Workshop’s universes and beyond across YouTube, Twitch, Instagram, Facebook, Podbean & Twitter. 

To kick things off, The Little Soldier’s premiere programming will be “A Tale of One Warlord, x4”, a Path to Glory campaign following four army projects through building, painting and playing in the aftermath of Animosity II using the afore-mentioned Player’s Guide to Amasya & Lake Bykaal- and featuring some familiar faces too, including a distant relative of Valeo Valencia, the Pale Saint’s equally pale offspring, and the turnip-toting Bolyany Irregulars!

There’s a lot more on the way, so make sure to follow Alex Polimeni and The Little Soldier on which-ever social media platforms work best for you!

Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
YouTube
Podbean
Twitch

Oh, yeah, and about Animosity III? Let’s take a look: