Symbols and Signs
In the flight to escape from the disaster that was unfolding around them, the Gloomwyrms crossed paths with a Gaunt Summoner and his minions who were determined to prevent anyone passing through their territory. Kommodore Deffgit was equally determined to smash through their lines and get back to his ship.
Under his single watchful eye, the crew advanced through the shadowed streets.
The sound of battle and destruction; the crash of falling masonry, the crack and pop of muskets and pistols, and the panicked battle cries of fleeing warbands echoed through the darkness.
The Summoner and his followers took a stand in Empty Heart, a ward controlled by a moon-cult.
The massive form of an Ogroid Thaumaturge at their side gave them confidence.
The Gloomwyrms threw caution to the wind and rushed at a gap in the moon cult's defences.
Udrom, Hubble and Mogak were more watchful - Udrom suspected an ambush was coming.
Twisting beams of yellow, pink and blue sorcerous energy lanced through the darkness. Rilug was swept off his feet.
Udrom had planned on summoning an enveloping darkness to shield the crew, but something was diverting the magical energies.
The opposing warbands closed in on each other.
Another group of Tzaangors appeared on their right, looming out of the dark, and Udrom shouted a warning to the pirates.
Mogak and Jag had to duck as they ran, more streams of coruscating energy blasted overhead.
Borgo crossed swords with a horned Tzaangor on the left flank.
Deffgit ran to aid Udrom in his hand-to-hand struggle against the Gaunt Summoner, when suddenly the Ogroid Thaumaturge jumped out from behind a wall and slammed into him.
Reef the Stab-grot squeaked in terror, then fled through the nearest open doorway.
But he appeared to have jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Inside the ruin Jag and Hubble were battling the ambushing Tzaangors.
"Get some of this here down your neck mate!" said Hubble as he saved Jag from certain death with his potent elixir - the orruk pirate held off the moon cult creatures with renewed zeal.
With a rolling succession of thundering explosions Dursh and Rogbat opened fire, the Arcanites suddenly felt like they needed to be somewhere else as grapeshot peppered them agonisingly and ricocheted off the walls behind!
Udrom's staff found its mark and the Gaunt Summoner collapsed like a puppet with its strings cut.
The shaman took the opportunity to rush into the ruins with Reef and Hubble.
The pirates gathered behind the walls, preparing to make a stand there.
They fully expected Kommodore Deffgit to join them any moment, as he was surely winning that fight, and about to finish off the hulking Ogroid.
They were shocked when the Thaumaturge smashed its skull-topped staff into the Kommodore, sending him sprawling across the flagstones.
At the same moment, the horned Tzaangor knocked Rogbat on the head too!
An imp-like daemonic thing gabbled and spat fire at Udrom and briefly seemed to transform into a tiny vulture-like form. It somehow seemed like it was meant to be a lot bigger than it ended up. Whatever had drained Udrom's magic was effecting the imp too!
The strange phenomenon seemed to be increasing in power - the moon cultist withdrew unexpectedly, leaving the Gloomwyrms to help up their injured mates (aided by more of Hubble's elixir) and continue their journey across the city toward the harbour.
In the aftermath of the battle with the moon cultists, the orruk pirates discovered a hidden entrance to an underground crypt, that seemed to extend beneath Juddermark.
In the hope that it might provide a safe path through the destruction wrought by Mogrek's horde of Rogue Idols, and avoid a fight with any of the Dross-forged who might want to guard their daemonically industrialised holdings, Udrom Krowtoof decided to scout it. Hubble, his loyal pot-grot, accompanied him.
There were strange noises that defied identification. Something moved in the dark - then suddenly rushed forward toward the shaman. It was a foul-smelling Crypt Haunter, strangely bedecked in metal representations of heavenly bodies!
The stinking monstrosity bounded toward Udrom, who instinctively reacted with a sorcerous blast. The beast shrugged off the arcing green magics and crashed into the orruk. Hubble almost threw Udrom a ladle full of his potent elixir, through the bars of a ruin that he cowered within.
While the potion rapidly healed Udrom's wounds it was only a temporary respite. It gave the shaman a chance to smash his staff down onto the creature's head but the hulking monster continued its frenzied assault and Udrom went down.
Hubble squealed and fled.
The Haunter pursued him - it was much faster than the terrified grot!
Eventually the two of them were missed, after a long while, Deffgit ordered a search party to go down and look for them.
They soon found Udrom and Hubble, battered and bruised, in the now-empty catacombs and brought them to safety. With the Flesh-Eaters apparently gone, unexpectedly the catacombs provided the shortcut the Deffgit had hoped for.
Part of the way at least.
A Cloak of Shadows
The Gloomwyrms continued their gauntlet-run through the embattled city streets. They came to Axhald - the stronghold of the Shadowsong Renegades. The noise all around them had grown even louder. There had been several huge explosions that momentarily lit the clouds from below.
As they moved through the labyrinthine network of abandoned alleys and ginnels the air smelled foul. A musty graveyard odour drifted on the cold wind.
The dim twilight was getting darker, what passed for day in the Realm of Shadows was ending - the dark of night would soon fall.
Mogak was speaking in a hushed tone to Udrom as they peered into the gathering shadows. Udrom shushed him.
"You hear that mate? Which there was a sort of clicking noise, over by that dragon statue." he hissed.
An apparently unending column of skeleton warriors marched mechanically toward them, spears in hand, the winds tugged at their ragged banners and robes.
Udrom was faced by a towering undead ogor.
The undead closed in on all sides.
Rilug was the first to close with them - he caught the skeleton's spear-thrust with the hook of his axe, twisted and smashed it into the skeleton's grinning face.
Deffgit, Udrom and the grots moved closer together. Rogbat tried to get a bead on a target but the light was going fast and he couldn't tell friend from foe in the melee.
Deffgit joined his crew where the fighting was thickest.
Then the leader of the undead warband revealed themselves - a Soulblight Vampire Lord! She effortlessly drifted down the stairs surrounded by a swarm of black bats.
Mogak fell, pierced by three or four relentless spears.
Jag attacked and managed to land a solid hit on the vampire, but he couldn't withstand her lightning-fast repost.
Udrom summoned a cloud of mist that swirled around himself and the nearby crewmembers, protecting them from a portion of the undead assault.
Dursh bayonet-charged the vampire - he impaled her with the jagged blade, but she batted him aside like a toy.
Rilug fell and the skeletons he had held back so long advanced.
Then Deffgit struct. He had seen the vampire dispose of too many of his trusted crew without a second thought. It was time for revenge: he leapt forward and brought his rusted hakka down double-handed, cleaving the vampire from collar to hip - she exploded into a a cloud of black dust which slowly dissipated on the wind.
The skeletons instantly froze: the dark animus of the vampire's immense willpower was denied them. The necromancer, who had cowered behind the skeletons and vampire for protection, saved his own skin and fled. He bid the now slow and awkward skeletons to fall-back with shields and spears locked together, as he ran into the night.
The Gloomwyrms let him run and tended to their wounded mates, then turned in the direction of the harbour once more.
These three games were all played at the Animosity V UK Meet-up, in Warhammer World.
Animosity V - The Fated Blade
Turn 4 map:
Turn 5 map: