Tuesday, 8 June 2021

The Badfangs - Bonesplitterz of ... Ghur? part 15

Hogrog Ug Weirdklaw awoke from a vivid dream - a vision of the Realm of Beasts. He immediately leapt into action and roused the tribe. He made The Badfangs repaint their godbeast masks red (well, red-ish) and dye their leather and lizard-skin robes and cowls brown. With the warband suddenly looking much more sombre and threatening, Hogrog headed off in search of a Realmgate to Ghur, with the Badfangs close on his heels!

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The Badfangs are masked Bonesplitterz, formerly of Aqshy but now they are off to Ghur.

I have spent an evening partially repainting Hogrog Ug Weirdklaw and The Badfangs. The warband is now much more coherent and I'm very much happier with them.


Hogrog Ug Weirdklaw, Wurrgog Prophet and leader of the Badfangs.



Hogrog and his Wardokks, Urgog (left) and Krogdak (right). 


Bigtoof (Morboy with Bone Totem) and Big Boss Ersatz.


Gugtusk, Boarboy Maniak (slightly unpredictable) scout for the warband.

6 Orruk Morboys (Klogtoof, Zurgob, Umclaw, Zogfang, Rukbeast, Mogrok) and 6 Orruk Arrerboys (Azgrok, Bortusk, Toofdrakk, Gurkfang, Rogtoof, Legbiter)






2 Orruks with a Big Stabber - Murtoof and Durtoof (or “MurDurToof”)



The whole Warcry warband as it now stands. I have Hedkrakka’s Madmob on my desk - they are the reason this repaint happened. I wasn't really enjoying the idea of painting more Bonesplitterz in the old colour scheme, so I changed the scheme!

Sunday, 6 June 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 10

“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.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 9


The Prime Dominion is a land at the edge of Hysh, in the normally inhospitable continent of Haixiah that borders the Perimeter Inimical of the Realm’s Edge. It is an archipelago of floating metalith islands that surrounds a Realmgate waterfall called the Catarhactes. 

Orbiting around the outer edge of the Prime Dominion is Noctis; a mysterious black sun that pulls material from the Catarhactes and eats light and magic. The interaction between Noctis and the Catarhactes formed the archipelago of the Prime Dominion over thousands of years. 

As Noctis orbits the Dominion the regions closest to it experience winter and have darker nights than is usual in Hysh. The regions furthest from Noctis experience summer.

An enclave of pre-Spirefall aelves have made their home here, hiding from the rest of the Realm in this almost inaccessible domain. But their society is on the brink of destruction from their own hubris. Each of the six factions they have divided into has called on mercenaries and friends for aid in the inevitable war that looms.

The unspoiled paradise of the Prime Dominion will soon be shattered!

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I have finished the scenery for my Hysh Warcry board. I made one more tohnasai tree without basing it, so I could swap out the dead tree on my shipwreck. Now the wreck can serve double-duty as Hysh or Shyish. I can't wait for the start of Animosity III and to get playing some (solo) Warcry games on it.





Some shots of the whole board together:










Just for fun I have filtered a couple of these photos to make the look like the illustrations from the Lumineth release trailer:




Monday, 17 May 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 8




Follow these links where you can read about the setting, the figureheads and coalitions, and the unfolding narrative.

~ ⦽ ~ 1

The skyship Cleavermaw slowed to a crawl as it glided into the shadows of the port in Underside, beneath Kellandor. The crew took-in sail and tied-off ropes with very few orders needed - they all knew their jobs well enough.

Kaptain Mogrum cast a critical eye over the list that Ledger Nud presented and nodded his agreement about the stores they needed and the loot they would off-load in exchange. The merchants of Underside didn’t mind if they were paid in coin, Aqua Ghyranis, Glimmerings, or goods. And they weren’t fussy where the goods came from either. The Prime Dominion was becoming a profitable area for the Cleavermaws to ply their trade.

~ ⦽ ~ 2


Mogrum and the crew walked through Underside. Most were loaded-down with bags and boxes of pirated loot but the Kaptain, Mr Sludga and Deadwood were unladen but carried their weapons openly - they could not have done so in the Aelf city on the upper side of the island but here things were very different. They passed along the wooden jetty from the dock to the town, the planks were damp with water, dripping continuously from the stone overhead.

The walkways and buildings of the Lux Umbra port-town were suspended from the bottom of the island of Kellandor, below them the dusky twilight sky was striped with thin clouds. The town itself was a sprawling web of hanging wooden shanty buildings, carved tunnels and natural caves. The Cleavermaws walked by taverns, warehouses and merchant stores. The crew looked longingly at the taverns but trudged on, following their Kaptain. The thin crowds of people were mostly travellers from other Realms: mercenaries and soldiers, explorers and adventures, trader pioneers and merchants.

Eventually they arrived at a chandler’s. Sludga and Deadwood waited outside while the deck hands filed inside. Mogrum looked around the shadowed interior and immediately spotted a few things the ship needed. He approached the counter and placed a yellowed and dog-eared sheet of paper upon it. The chandler adjusted his eye-glass and read the (messy and badly spelled) list, then nodded.

“And how will sir be paying for these, expensive and much-in-demand supplies?” he asked, taking off his eye-glass with an air of slight scorn.

“We ain’t gonna be worrying about that mate.” rumbled Mogrum.

When the crew started placing their bags and boxes on the floor and opening them for inspection his demeanour changed - he did his best to contain his interest and excitement but it was clear to both parties that there was not going to be a payment issue here.

~ ⦽ ~ 3

Aelven steel clashed against Mogrum’s bladed Waaagh! Staff and the orruk kaptain grunted with frustration. The Wanderer’s swordsmanship was blisteringly fast and he was only just holding them off. He had a horrible feeling the aelf was toying with him too - that any moment they would switch hands with a smug comment and their skill and skill would be overwhelming.

Luckily for Mogrum, frustration was one of the emotions that tended to build up uncontrollable magical energies within him, So before the aelf had a chance to pull any tricks Mogrum opened his mouth and vomited green lightning into their face!

The aelf’s screams were satisfyingly brief. But the rest of the Cleavermaws had already taken a battering. Mogrum let the power of the Waaagh! build up again for a few moments before he unleashed another burst. This time the half-dozen aelven marines, who had been hiding below decks when the orruk pirates boarded, were lifted into the air and flung overboard.

Bosun Higgs looked over the gunnels to watch them disappear into the shimmersea. He wondered if they would float - but there was a narrow shadowtide close by and the liquid light there was thin and insubstantial - the aelven marines had disappeared through the surface and could just be seen falling; getting smaller and smaller until they disappeared into the clouds below.

~ ⦽ ~ 4


The skyship made landfall on a tiny island, off the edgeward coast of Sionia. The crew made preparations to go ashore while Mogrum and Lost Uzzog examined the maps of the area on the quarterdeck. Mr Sludga stepped up and reported that all was ready and Mogrum folded the most accurate map and tucked it into a pocket inside his voluminous coat.

Kaptain Mogrum leaned over the gunnels of the Cleavermaw and looked down at the island below them. It was yet another tiny spit of land, with teeth-like rocky outcrops, a few stunted trees and a handful of small stone buildings. This one was so much like a hundred others, it was almost impossible to tell most of them apart. At least some islands in the archipelago had unique shapes - a crescent, a needle or something different! This one was just oval..ish.

He shrugged and looked at Lost Uzzog: the navigator seemed confident that this was the right one. Uzzog nodded and pointed at the distant mainland with his aetheric compass. Mogrum sighed and gave the order to go ashore.

~ ⦽ ~ 5

A searing arc of arcane lightning ripped through the sails and rigging of the Cleavermaw and the foresail plummeted to the deck, covering several unlucky deckhands with smouldering canvas. The orruk pirates shouted contradictory instructions at each-other and ran back and forth at random. The Deck Bosses bellowed at the crew and lashed-out at any they could reach, trying to recover some semblance of order on the skyship’s deck. No orders were coming from the Kaptain, as Mogrum was preoccupied with the magical defences of the ship and Lost Uzzog was attempting to conjure the Breath of Gorkamorka, in order to speed up the pirate hulk.

The aelf skyship was pulling away, widening the distance between them by the minute; taking full advantage of the mayhem their mage had caused the pirates. Soon the elegant vessel had receded into the distance and disappeared among a cluster of drifting metaliths.

~ ⦽ ~ 6


The Cleavermaw approached the floating island from below, waiting for a shadowtide to open a way through the shimmersea. The crew worked patiently, keeping one eye on the glimmering sea of light overhead. A darkened area drifted by, less than a mile from the island, and they jumped into action a moment before the Kaptain gave the orders to change course to make for it.

The Cleavermaw climbed steadily as she worked her way up, closer and closer to the shadowtide. The crew had quickly learned that the fissures did not stay still, and often closed as quickly as they opened.

Mogrum squinted against the dazzling light as the ship drew near the shadowtide: it was shrinking and it was clear it would soon not be big enough for the ship to pass.

He made the call and issued the order to take in sail, to reduce speed and descend again. The crew were disappointed but they would wait again: another shadowtide would come.

~ ⦽ ~ 7

After making landfall around noon the crew spent a weary afternoon making repairs to the ship. Re-tying rigging, hammering planks over split timbers in the hull, lashing scattered baggage back into place, and sewing patches over scorched holes in sails. They were in foul moods and the minor squabbles that frequently broke out had to be kept in check alternately by the Deck Bosses’ belaying-pins and ropes-ends, and by the promise of a double ration of grog when the work was done.

The lookout at the masthead kept a sharp eye out, in case the aelf ship came back and on the bank of rolling white clouds gathering to windward. They would be vulnerable to threats both naval and natural until the ship was in good order again.

As the light faded and the clouds closed in, the ship was in a much better state, but still in need of a lot of work. The jury-rigged repairs would not hold under any kind of strain. Mogrum ordered them to come-about and run downwind to find a safe place to anchor. They normally tried to avoid the Prime Dominion’s winter side but this time there was little choice. They needed more time to mend and make good, or the Cleavermaw would come apart at the seams.

~ ⦽ ~ 8

Winter rain hammered on the timbers of the Cleavermaw’s deck and hull. Freezing cold winds hummed through the rigging. The two orruks on anchor-watch, wrapped in their cloaks with the brims of their hats pulled down low, listened enviously to the noise from below-decks. They both frequently checked the sand-timer next to the ship’s wheel, hoping it would run out soon and their watch on-deck would be over.

The rest of the crew huddled below out of the storm and close to the warmth of the galley. Lanterns were lit to fend off the twilight gloom that was as close to night as Hysh ever got, even when Noctis came near to this part of the Prime Dominion. Food was served up and hungrily consumed, grog was issued and sea-shanties sung. The orruk explorer, who called himself The Baron, started telling another of his unfeasible tales - this time about leaping from Azyr to Shyish for a bet. The deckhands scoffed and jeered at the story but they still listened intently nonetheless.

Kaptain Mogrum left his crew to their entertainments and climbed into his hammock. The boyz had worked hard and well that day, so they had earned their fun. Tomorrow would be another tough day but it could wait.

~ ⦽ ~ 9

Winter winds blew hard in Lost Uzzog's face as he stood in the prow of the Cleavermaw. He struggled with one hand on his hat and the other trying to get a bearing on a Waystone Tower. The ship lurched sideways suddenly and he lost his footing and tumbled along the deck. He swore loudly and colourfully and the nearest deck hand turned away to hide their mirth. The navigator was only just able to regain his feet before the vessel pitched downwards and he was thrown into the gunnels. The crew didn't laugh this time and three of them rushed to grab him. Without Uzzog they would have no hope of finding their way around the archipelago.

Soon Uzzog had a fix on Faelyn’s Tower and he knew just where they were in the Idrelec Diyari. The three deckhands held him fast, two with meaty fists clamped onto his jacket and one holding his hat on. This, somewhat embarrassing, arrangement left both Uzzog's hands free to move the gears of the aetheric compass and line up its needles. The ghostly lights within its crystal dome clearly showed the shape of the tower on the island of Merlara.

Tacking continually across the winds that always rushed toward Noctis, for day after day, the ship had laboriously worked its way out of winter toward autumn. At all times keeping a sharp-eyed lookout at the masthead, avoiding men-o-war by slipping through shadowtides to stay out of sight, and looking for merchant ships.

It cost them dear though. The crew were exhausted by the constant changes in heading, all the while battered by cold winds and rain. Several of them had needed broken bones mended or deep cuts knitted back together but that was work for Lost Uzzog’s Weirddok powers - and that took him away from his navigation duties. They would be in poor condition to win a fight, even if they found a fat merchantman labouring in the storms. Mogrum knew he had to get them out of the winter regions and into somewhere they could recover properly. If they could get to Sumina they could hold-up on one of it’s tiny outlying islands.

~ ⦽ ~

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 7



Two more pieces of Hysh scenery for the Prime Dominion - tohnasai trees, aelven ruins and a little rocky outcrop. I've started built another tohnasai tree to swap with the dead tree on my (Harrowmark) shipwreck so that can double as Hysh scenery too. When that is painted I think it will be enough to get going, I may add more later but for now there are other projects waiting!




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You can join me, and over a hundred other narrative Warhammer players, for Animosity III, which begins Wednesday 14th July 2021 and will run for 5 weeks (5 turns) until Saturday 14th August!

The Iscarneth Ceraphate stands on a knife's edge as six Satrapies prepare for war. With no Satrap able to assure victory on their own, their emissaries have scoured the realms for interests willing to support their claim to the throne of this unspoiled and nigh-unassailable paradise.

Featuring overhauled diplomacy and figurehead mechanics paired with an improved Narrative Path system and twice(!) as many Unfolding Narrative writers, Team Animosity expects this to be our best instalment to date.

Da Warpath (the pre-campaign narrative and hobby build up phase) will officially start Saturday 15th May and kick off with the campaign map, locations, coalitions and figureheads.

You can join the community on the Discord and take part in the campaign here: https://animositycampaigns.com/community/

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Animosity III - The Prime Dominion, part 6


I have finished the Shrine Luminor and rocky outcrop for my Hysh Warcry board. I'm fairly pleased with the "marble effect" on the shrine, but it was definitely more luck than skill. I was trying to match the colours on the box and it didn't come out as well as I'd hoped, but it looks okay so I'm happy.

I have a couple more pieces in progress for this project - I managed to get the "other" part of the ruins from Teclis' base from a bits reseller and I have two more Hyshian tohnasai trees built. I hope to get them all done in the next few weeks.









A Wildwood Ranger for scale! (on a 25mm base)


And a frame from the Broken Realms Teclis trailer video that inspired the project!

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Update!

More Hyshian tohnasai trees and ruins.



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You can join me, and over one hundred other narrative Warhammer players, for Animosity III, which begins Wednesday 14th July 2021 and will run for 5 weeks (5 turns) until Saturday 14th August!

The Iscarneth Ceraphate stands on a knife's edge as six Satrapies prepare for war. With no Satrap able to assure victory on their own, their emissaries have scoured the realms for interests willing to support their claim to the throne of this unspoiled and nigh-unassailable paradise.

Featuring overhauled diplomacy and figurehead mechanics paired with an improved Narrative Path system and twice(!) as many Unfolding Narrative writers, Team Animosity expects this to be our best instalment to date.

Da Warpath (the pre-campaign narrative and hobby build up phase) will officially start Saturday 15th May and kick off with the campaign map, locations, coalitions and figureheads.

You can join the community on the Discord and take part in the campaign here: https://animositycampaigns.com/community/