Of Nyura, the Sailor’s Death
Nyura earned her name during the earliest days of the Age of Myth, when the primitive tribes of orruk, ogor and man hunted her children for meat and oil. These hunter-chieftains built ever-mightier vessels from the bones of the slain, and ruled the seas themselves… for a time.
Nyura’s fury roused by the tribes’ predations upon her children, she set upon the fleets and the homes of their killers, destroying them on shore and at sea. Soon, the tribes repented, and swore fealty to Nyura. From then on, the Bonefleet of Nyura sailed in her name, her children and those who killed them wreaking her vengeance upon all those who despoiled the sea. Most hated of her foes were the forefathers of the Scourge Privateers, those aelven corsairs who poached that which was not theirs.
And so the seafarer’s underworld of Bykaal came to be. The great bell would toll in the deepwater temple of Nyuranka when her rage crested like a hurricane’s waves and summon her fleet to war. Such was the way of things, until Sigmar, seeing Nagash subsuming all the underworlds of Shyish, sought to deny his brother Nyura’s power. Instead, he destroyed her, binding her soul in the bell and sealing her fleet within a stormvault. There they lay hidden… again, for a time.
Of the Ur-Whale, “Skwidmuncha”
Where Nyura was the deity of death upon the high seas, the Ur-Whale was the World Spirit of the oceans, the yin to Nyura’s yang. Named “Skwidmuncha” by those early tribes, she was a peaceful spirit, vast in size yet gentle in demeanor. It was only to placate Gorkamorka’s need for violence that Sigmar sentenced to her death. Although that epoch is told elsewhere, only a few know that Gorkamorka did not drive her to Shyish: she came here for Nyura’s aid, believing the Sailor’s Death could defeat the two-headed god where she could not. Little did she know, Sigmar had already slain Nyura, and no help would be found on these wind-tossed seas.
Of the two, “Skwidmuncha” is the mightier spirit, for while Nyura is an aspect of the ocean, the Ur-Whale is the ocean. They who control the Ur-Whale’s broken body and soul, control the seven seas of the Mortal Realms themselves.
Of the Orkkuh
The Ulgish Obyd’dhia is a breed of primordial megafauna which, per its name, breeds in the dark, brackish waters of Ulgu. Many times larger than even the colossal mangler squig, the light of its lure is harvested from the bioluminescent creatures it consumes, using their own wavelengths to lure in fresh food.
True to his brutal nature, Gorkamorka found a more direct use for the “Orkkuh”. In order to track Skwidmuncha, the two-headed god wrapped some lengths of cable around a few Obyd’dhia, attached the cables to harpoons, and stuck the harpoons in Skwidmuncha. That way, no matter where it went, he could still track it by the lights.
Clearly, when he finally caught and killed Skwidmuncha, one of those same Orkkuhs was left in the too-shallow lake of water surrounding the Ur-Whale… and now, it’s back in the hands of Gorkamorka’s children.
Of the Stormking
The Shaggoth some name the Stormking and others name the Mountain is a beast of high Azyr, and an ancient foe of the God-King Sigmar. Early in the Age of Myth, Sigmar challenged the Stormking for its title and smote the creature with Ghal Maraz, sending it hurtling from the heavens through the aether until it came to impact the Ocean of Bykaal. A storm spirit by nature, it soon came into conflict with Nyura, who did not take kindly to this interloper in her underworld. Her defeat of the beast was so resounding that it lay crushed into the bed of the ocean floor for ages, the greatest peak in all the ocean-turned-lake formed upon its body… at least, until the Skaven Warplock Zapmek the Experimenter devised a machine to wake it up again.
Of the Dreadfleet
The mighty fleets of Admiral Anruil Althariel and Da Adm’rul Kurgan Grimjaw still lay where they last fought, locked in that timeless, titanic clash by ice and fate. Each sought to control Nyura and prove their claim of mastery over all the oceans, and in their vainglory, met their end at each other’s blades beyond the walls of Nyuranka.
Of the Cult of the Mariner
Time and tide wait for no man. Nyura had many mortal worshippers, and Sigmar did not slay them, only their deity. When Anruil Althariel and Da Adm’rul fought to seize Nyuranka for themselves, they were both of them deceived, for the bell which held her spirit had long since been moved to the Cathedral of the Mariner overlooking the Bay of Bysuud, where the tasteless white fish native to that area allowed her people to eke out a meagre existence and they buried their dead alongside their ancestors.
Faith is a peculiar thing, and worship within the Cult of the Mariner- as Nyura’s faithful came to be known after even they had all but forgotten the true name of their primal goddess- came to revolve around honoring the Spirits of the Etmund and the Marie Elaine, two renowned shipwrecks upon the lake. The Spirit of the Etmund reflects that Bykaal- and by extension, Nyura- never gives up her dead, while the Spirit of the Marie Elaine promises that she will not be forgotten to the knowledge of men, and like the ship herself, will one day rise again…