Monday, 23 December 2019

Dark Skies Over The Harrowmark - part 1

Next year we will be returning to the Realm of Death for The Harrowmark Twisted Oak - part 1, A Warcry Campaign. My orruk sky-ship pirates will once more be swashbuckling their way through the dark and twisted forests.

But beyond that, we has started putting plans together for something I have wanted to do for a few years now. In late 2020, or maybe early 2021, we are going to run an Age of Sigmar version of Rhossum Secundus (Google it! It was an astounding Inq28 game):

A handful of ramshackle sky-ships will be duelling in the stormy skies over the endless malignant forests of the Harrowmark. It is very much influenced by John Blanche's Voodoo Forest book and a couple of his older paintings. This is something that I have included in the background of the Harrowmark for a number of years now, but we have never really been able to show it on the table top! That is going to change.

We have not yet settled on a date, a rules-set or even an venue but all those things will coalesce in the next few months...

As a result of this I have started painting the Rotmoon. I started this project back in April 2017 (!) so it is about time! So far it is just sprays, dry-brushing and washes but I hope to start detailing it soon...

Sky-ship Navigation 

In the Mortal Realms, compasses are thaumaturgical, not magnetic, this makes North towards realms edge and South the realm centre. Since the Necroquake compasses have flipped in Shyish, South is now edgeward, where the magic is weakest, and North is coreward toward the Shyish Nadir, where magic is strongest. Facing due north, west is to your left and east to the right. 

All the old maps of Shyish are now wrong; the cardinal points and headings marked upon them are all reversed. Aerocartographers have begun the long and complex task of redrawing and plotting all maps. In the meantime most ship’s captains have taken to simply writing on their old maps and charts, making the changes by hand for the routes they need most. This is a less than ideal solution and adds an extra layer of complexity to an already risky profession. Some charts are becoming so heavily modified they are virtually useless and unreadable.


Due to the nature of the Harrowmark, and how poor and infertile it is, few large mercantile ships travel the shipping lanes. Most ships that sail the skies do so under the power of the winds, the ethertides provide the resistance needed to sail with the wind abeam or almost ahead. For the most part the winds are harnessed through conventional canvas sails, as endrins are beyond the reach of those who sail these torrid skies being expensive and exotic. Even with the relatively low cost of sailcloth most sails are of ill repair, heavily patched and made mainly from rough bits of stolen fabric.

The wooden sky-ships float in the air through the use of dozens of minor magics, layer upon layer of interlaced spells, woven into the very timbers of the ship. The ship’s beams and planks are made from enchanted wood, though many have been repaired with more mundane timber (to the detriment of their sailing performance and characteristics). There are, of course, many other kinds of more exotic magics and technologies used to lift and propel sky-ships, such as the Aethergold endrins the Kharadron fleets employ and the squadrons of ethereal cavalry that lift the Soulblight vessels, but the more "mundane" and common Harrowmark ships do not have access to them.


Some ideas for navigational equipment for the Mortal Realms:
  • Thaumaturgic Compass
  • Adumbrative Map
  • Aetheric Barometer
  • Ethertide Gauge
  • Prognometer
  • Augrolabe
  • Octant
  • Ceraunoscope
  • Amaranthine Chronometer


Edit 03/01/2020

Got a bit of colour on The Rotmoon last night. Still quite a lot to do but it's getting there...


  1. What an great introduction! Got my mind spinning away with characters and made me want to build an ship or flying vessel of my own!
    Gonna follow this closely!

    1. Thanks Unknown! It's going to be a long journey but you are very welcome to join us.

  2. Very inspiring! I just love the idea of decrepit old galleons plying the skies of a magical realm.
    Like the idea of the thaumaturgital compasses too.

    1. Thanks Kristian. I can't take credit for either but I wholeheartedly agree!