Thursday, 30 May 2019

The Modryn Return

Arlos Darkleaf’s Tree-like features cracked with what might have resembled a smile, “So you cling to your old life and old name?Good, good. You will need that determination in the coming days.” His deep voice booming and echoing around the glade.
Arthyr stood and realised how different he felt; lighter, stronger and there was something else, a power deep within which pulsed through his body. He looked down and gasped, where he expected to see both his hands he now saw his left side of his body was encased in dark bark, running up his torso and completely encasing his left arm. Or was that his arm? Where his legs should have been, was was looked to be the torso of a mighty stag. The feeling of shock left him and now came confusion and questions. He looked up to Arlas, “What, what has happened to me? What am I?” He stuttered.

The Treeman turned and started to walk away, “An old friend is on the way, he will explain. As for me, I have other places to be and others to attend to.” And with that Arlos vanished into the woods as if he had never been there. Arthyr stood in the middle of the glade stunned, he looked around trying to determine where he was but no matter where he looked he could not tell. The sky was shrouded from him by the overhanging trees, and the woods that surrounded him seemed to continue to shift and change each time he looked carefully at them. He looked down and studied his new form, what he thought was bark-like armour, he realised now was actually part of him. His new legs, were powerful, the hooves were the same colour as his bark where his hide was a dark shade of green with swirling green runes. Suddenly something in the glade changed, the trees stopped moving and a gateway appeared.

Bright white light spread out of the gateway and into the glade. Then through the gateway came a figure carrying an odd looking staff. Arthyr cocked his head, another memory sparked in his mind, he knew this being, an Aelf, old far beyond his appearance.
“Arthyr, it is good to see you. You’re new form is formidable.” Chuckled the Aelf, “You look unsure, it is to be expected. I am Dayga, Spellweaver of Spiteshade Vale. I am here to guide you and help explain what has happened.” Arthyr nodded, the memory became clearer. “Dayga, I, I, remember you. Thank you for coming. I have many questions, but what happened to me?” Dayga smiled and sat down cross-legged and placed his staff across his legs.

“Arthyr, you died. Glasznik and his beast extinguished your life. However, somehow, Kurnoth and Alarielle saved your soul before it was lost to Slaanesh. Your soul was kept safe in one of the hidden soul pods. Where Kurnoth has kept a watchful eye over you, granting you the gift of your new form.” Dayga said as he pointed to Arthyr’s new legs and torso. “You have been awoken, as an Arch Revenant. While the souls of the Night Glen, the Modryn, have also been awoken. A quest has been bestowed to you and your kin, the Tower of the Eternal Wood has been claimed by the Bad Moon, and you shall take it back.” Arthyr nodded, it made sense now. The shattered memories, the otherworldly power he could feel pulsing throughout him; he stepped towards Dayga, “Where to now then old friend?”
“First to Spiteshade Vale to collect your weapons and your brother!” Replied Dayga as he stood and returned to the glowing gateway through which he had entered the glade.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Rebirth

Pain, dull echoing pain thrummed across Arthyr’s body, he recalled seeing the giant red Squig bite down on him almost swallowing him whole and then shaking him like a rag before he everything went dark. Now as consciousness returned the pain was everywhere, he managed to open one eye to see he was in the grasp of a giant bird of prey, glowing with the power of Ghyran. Atop the bird carrying him sat an Aelf, glowing with the same power, as if life was emanating from deep within them. The Aelf turned his head and looked down at Arthyr, “Rest brother, you have fought well.” Arthyr gasped and pain wracked his body again, it can’t be he thought!? “Aias?” He whimpered through broken and bloody lips. “I once was, but your brother still, yes.” Replied the Aelf.
Arthyr shifted his focus to the clouds above, they swam by quickly, bathed in faint green light while the sky above darkened before all went dark again and consciousness left him.

There in the darkness the pain started to fall away, peace started to blanket him, he could hear a strange song off in the distance and smell flowers and spring rain. Vibrant, clean green light enveloped him as the pain finally left him. Where am I he thought as he drifted further into the peace and serenity of this place. The music got louder, and the smell of flowers and rain got stronger. Who am I? The question shocked him as he realised he could not remember who he was, he searched inside for something, Stornos, Tal Stornos, Spiteshade. These words floated in his mind as he tried to remember. “Wake my son, wake up Lord of Spiteshade.” A dry rough voice called out, disrupting his peace. He forced his eyes open, at first all he could see was green, dark green, as he focussed he realised it was the a thick forest canopy stretching out far, far above him. He turned his head to where the voice had come from and there stood an old bearded Treeman, it was kneeling and bending over him. It’s eyes glowed with a bright blue light, while its wooded body, was a dark mossy green, a bright blue spirit hawk sat on its shoulder. “Where, where am I?”
“You are home my son.” Replied the Treeman. “We are deep inside Spiteshade Vale.”
“Spiteshade, Stornos, what...?” He replied.
The Treeman picked him up and cradled him in his arms, “ You were once a Prince, Arthyr Stornos, Scion of Tal Stornos and Lord of Spiteshade. I was once called Arlas, Lord of Tal Stornos, but my Queen now calls me Arlos Darkleaf, and you are reborn, reborn as the living remnant of Tal Stornos and the Modryn clan. Now rise and tell me who you are.” Demanded Arlos Darkleaf.
“I am, I am Arthyr Stornos!”Replied Arthyr.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

The Bad Moon Rises

Arthyr sat cross legged in his ornate wooden throne, slowly sharpening the Modryn Blade as he reflected on the news of his brothers death. The vile children of Chaos would pay dearly for taking the life of so many of his kin. His focus was suddenly broken as Rayvon appeared in the shadows in the corner of the hall.
"Arthyr, I am sorry for your loss," Rayvon said, stepping from the shadow and placing a hand over his heart, "Aias was a brave and skilled Aelf, and though his body is lost to us, know that he is still here with us."
"Aye, I know. Thank you my mentor." Replied Arthyr.
Rayvon walked up to Arthyr and placed a hand on his shoulder, looking him straight in the eyes. "Arthyr, I have more dire news. My mistwalkers have returned with news from the Realm of Beasts, Shadow and here in Ghyran, an unusual moon has been seen, strange fungoid growths covering villages and settlements as well as Greenskins too numerous to be counted roving and raiding."
Arthyr looked back into Rayvon's eyes, and smile creeping across his face. "Greenskins my old friend?' He chuckled. "You are worried? Do not be, we can easily hunt down a few rowdy grots!"
Rayvon shook his head, "Arthyr, this is no mere greenskin warband. They are different, driven and focussed. One of my mistwalkers has been observing a large force crashing through our domain, we might be able to halt them and discover what is driving them."
"Kias!" Arthyr called to his guard, "Send word to Braern, we hunt greenskin tonight!"

The night was brighter than usual, a strange pale green light bathed everything giving the world around the Sentinels of Spiteshade Vale an even more otherworldly appearance. Arthyr strode through the hidden forest paths with Dayga and Braern nearby, while the rest of the warband followed silently behind them. Dayga pointed his staff at the moon, something was wrong with it, but what they couldn't quite tell. "I feel an odd magic in the air, something dank and wet." Dayga whispered, more to himself than to those around him.
Braern knelt to study the tracks and mess they had been following left behind by the Greenskins. He looked up to Arthyr and Dayga, "They picked up their pace here, after stopping for several minutes. We are not far from them."
Arthyr nodded and reached down to his loyal spite, Tui, fluttering around his knees. "Tui, go see what we hunt, and come straight back." Tui darted off through the forest canopy, leaving a glittering trail of blue dust in the wind.


A rocky valley below caught Tui's attention, there in the middle of the valley stood a unusual shrine, a shrine with rough carvings of a half moon bedecking them, and there half hidden on the edges of the valley a horde of Greenskins. Tui dove and darted back to where the Sentinels of Spiteshade Vale awaited its return. Tui sped through the forest with all the sped it could manage and almost slammed into Arthyr as it burst through the undergrowth to where Arthyr, Braern and Dayga crouched. "Tell me my wee friend, what did you see?" Arthyr asked Tui. The reply was a pattern of clicks, giggles and chirps, but Arthyr understood every word. "Dayga, the Greenskins are approaching an old shrine to a moon, no, the Bad Moon." Arthyr translated.
"We must move my Prince! The Greenskins must not be allowed to capture this shrine!" Warned Dayga. Arthyr stood and raised the Modryn blade above his head, the Sentinels of Spiteshade Vale advanced towards the valley.
The Sentinels formed up their battleline, Eternal Guards forming a shield wall, while they Glade Guard and Rangers of the Watch formed up behind them, ready to send volleys of arrow into the greenskins. The Wildwood Rangers and the Wild Riders of Kurnous set up in the western flank.

Across the valley the Greenskins formed their own battleline, Grots too numerous to count formed up in the middle of their force while on the western flank a colossal spider surrounded by smaller spiders ridden by savage looking Grots advanced towards the Aelves, while at the head the army two bright red mangler squigs darted forwards towards the Eternal Guard. 

The squigs smashed into the shield wall of the Eternal Guard, the Aelves were knocked back, slammed to the ground, torn and swallowed by the monstrous beasts. The Eternal Guard that survived the impact flooded back in and sent spears stabbing out at the red ball shaped beasts, but no matter how true their spears stabbed out they couldn't harm them. Arthyr charged forward, he sprang at the nearest squig, the Modryn Blade speared through the beasts flank. He pulled it out swiftly and swung again, the beast toppled over. He quickly spun around and sent the blade sailing into the second beasts eye, it bellowed in pain, shaking both the Modryn Blade and its rider from its hide, before it pounced on Arthyr, smashing him down and then biting down. Arthyr's world went dark.

The Grots flooded across the valley, too many for the Sentinels to kill altogether. Dayga saw Arthyr fall before the squig and then observed a mysterious green phoenix appear above them and flew down, tearing the squig to pieces before picking up Arthyr and heading back towards Spiteshade Vale. Dayga slammed his ancient staff into the ground, drawing on the magic of Ghyran, he then drew a glowing rune on his arm, sending a blast of green lightning out into the sky above. The Sentinels knew this was the signal to retreat and they carefully fought their way back out of the valley, while the Eternal Guard and Wild Riders of Kurnous sold their lives to secure the survival of their kin.

"Run little Aelves, run! Ya been beated by Glasznik! Da Bad Moon boss!" Shrieked the leader of the Grots. "Da Bad Moon comes, and me is 'ere!" 


Monday, 24 September 2018

The Labyrinth closed...

The Labyrinth
Braern looked on in anguish. The heat emitting from the ground here in Aqshy was almost unbearable, combined that with the bestial noises coming from the filthy hordes of Beastmen made it difficult to concentrate.
Ahead of him a dozen beastmen were charging towards him and his brave waywatchers; green fletched arrows shot out in a steady stream, but there were too few and the beatsmen too close. Over on the western flank his brother Aias made a defiant last stand against the leader of the beastmen, he swung his bladed spear faster than seemed possible and slammed it into the chest of the beastlord, the monster grunted, grabbed the weapon and threw it aside as he swung his own axe. The foul rusted blade landed with a wet crunch as it hit the side of Aias’s head. The Aelf went limp and collapsed, shield clattering to the ground, Braern’s world went sideways. His closest brother lay there in the scorching clay, his life-blood flowing from the grievous wound in his head. The beastlord placed a hoof upon Aias’s chest and let out a roar of victory.
Braern pulled his hood back, and let loose a single golden arrow into the sky. It exploded in a cloud of green, blue and red. The Wanderers knew what this meant, they would stop at nothing to stop the beasts of Chaos from reaching the portal while it was open. They all prepared to sell their lives to protect Ghyran, bows and blades were readied, prayers and promises were made. The final stand of the Wolves of Ghyran was at hand…

The doors to Arthyr’s hall crashed open, a breeze gushed in bringing with it the smell of burnt wood and flesh. There in the doorway was Braern, his cloak burnt and torn, his bow nowhere to be seen. He carried the prone form of Mandia Nightlock, he took a step forward and stumbled and would have fallen if it had not been for one of the Eternal Guard who dashed forward and helped him forward. Arthyr leapt from his throne and dashed to Braern; “Brother what happened!?”
“We held them back from the portal, but, but Aias…” Braern tripped over his words as he tried to make sense of what he needed to say. “Aias has fallen…”
Arthyr’s head dropped, the weight of loss suddenly crushing him. How many more needed to perish before their King and Queen would accept them back? He focussed, and tried to get his thoughts together. “Kias, take Mandia to old Dayga. He will be able to heal her wounds.” He called to the Eternal Guard who had assisted Braern.
He turned and put Braern’s arms over him and helped him into his chambers. “My brother, I am sorry I was not there… I will avenge Aias, the beasts will pay and we will earn our place back with our King and Queen.” Arthyr said through gritted teeth and wet eyes. “I swear by our ancestors and Kurnous.”

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Labyrinth of Eternity

The Wolves of Spiteshade

The forest sped past, spites grinning and leering at her from the foliage as she urged her steed onwards. Her vision had been clear, the Labyrinth was open and it’s vaults ready for the picking. Mandia had rushed to Arthyr and informed him of her vision, where Arthyr told her to seek out his brothers Aias and Braern.

Mandia knew they were out on the fringes of their domain hunting down scattered bands of Nurgle, and this is where she would head. Ahead the forest started to get darker, the spites and other creatures of the forest were more withdrawn. She could feel the taint of Nurgle as it gently infiltrated and infected the weak and broken. Deeper and deeper into this part of this forest she cautiously went, she could now sense the two Stornos brothers and their warband. Here and there she could see a fallen Chaos warrior, pierced with green fletched arrows of Spiteshade Vale. Ahead she heard the distinct sounds of battle, she dismounted swiftly from her steed and silently crept towards the sounds of battle. There, amongst some ancient Waystones she made out the swift shadows of Wildwood Rangers and Wardancers slicing and dancing around a group of beleaguered Nurgle daemons. She leant down and slid her fingers into the soil at her feet, feeling the energy and power within Ghyran. She focussed and let her song echoe out across the grove, the Wanderers attack doubled in pace while the daemons struggled and tried to locate the source of the song. Too late though, as her song increased, vines and roots burst  from the ground beneath the Nurgle daemons, surrounding them in a wall of greenery before being crushed and torn apart.

Aias stepped over the corpse of the Nurgle champion who had led this band, pulling his spear from its head and looking across the grove to where Mandia still crouched as she finished her song. He stalked forwards towards her, wary of any foes that might still draw breath. As Aias reached her, he bowed his head slightly. “What brings you all the way out here my friend?” He asked.
“I have seen the Labyrinth opened, and foul forces opening its secrets. Arthyr has requested we leave at once to hunt down as many foes as possible and halt the enemies of Life.” Mandia replied quietly.

Aias nodded, understanding the gravity of the situation. He pulled his whistle from its pouch and let go a crisp note. Within moments his warband gathered behind him, the youngest of the Stornos brothers Braern stalking quietly around the edges of the group.
“My brothers and sisters, we are set to a new hunt in lands outside our realm. The Labyrinth of Eternity has opened and Prince Arthyr has requested we, the Wolves of Spiteshade, hunt down and slay the enemies of Ghyran. Check your bows, sharpen your blades and make your offerings to Kurnous.” Aias announced to his warriors.

That evening they slipped through the secret paths and into the realm of Shyish. The hunt and the tale of Aias and Braern Stornos begins…


Friday, 13 April 2018

Hunting the Dead

Aranion's body hit the ground hard, rolling across the hard packed ground, a small cloud of dust erupting where he landed. Standing above him was Lord Barrowmire, seated upon his fearsome zombie dragon. The dragon was covered in white fletched arrows, it had thrown Aranion into the air without effort, while the Wanderers poured a storm of arrows into the monster.

The Mithrin brothers, Seral and Kiro had watched in disbelief as Aranion had charged across the dusty terrain in an attemplt to slay Barrowmire resulting in him getting thrown around like a rag doll. Before Barrowmire's dragon could feed upon Aranion, they both took aim and sent a flurry of magically blessed arrows into both Barrowmire and his accursed dragon. The dragon shuddered and collapsed, while Barrowmire himself vanished in a cloud a black and red mist.

Across the battle field Ceryn had led his brave glade guard through the hidden paths to attack the undead army's flank. They were hunting two monstrous undead contructs, as they left the hidden path the caught site of their prey hiding behind a ruined crypt. Unleashing a devestating salvo, one of the beasts lost cohesion and collapsed into a pile of bones and dust. The second beast let lose a bestial scream, it's hide covered in Aelven arrows.

The scream let out by the beast was answered... Ceryn turned to look behind him and his warriors as a feeling of primal fear flared up in his chest. A low guttural growl sounded from behind them, while Manfred looked down and quietly chuckled. Before the Wanderers could turn and fire Manfred and his mount bounded across the ground between the Wanderers and himself. He and his mount tore into the Wanderers, quickly slaying all the Aelves except for their champion Ceryn.

Ceryn, pulled his sword free and slashed at Manfred. His blows rung hollow on the flanks of Manfred's mount, before the beast Ceryn had been hunting landed behind him and cleaved him in two, his sword falling to the dirt with a dull clunk.

Manfred laughed as he tore through the pitiful Aelves who stood before him, lifting one before him and sinking his fangs into the mortals soft flesh and drinking his life blood. It was so clean and full of life, the warm fluid dripped down his chin and onto his ancient armour. His devious smile quickly changed to a grimace as an arrow of pure life magic thudded into his shoulder. Turning to face this new threat, he could see more hooded Aelves stepping through a strange dark green mist, they had glowing bows trained upon him, more damned life magic he thought.

Lythal led his rangers of the watch against Manfred, they would hunt him down and slay him, he would pay for the lives he had taken. Lythal and his rangers were supported by the Mithrin brothers and Nimue and her Tree Revenants.

Together they pursued Manfred, encircling and trapping him. Nimue and her Revenants run ahead and caught up to the powerful vampire lord. Their mighty blades hacked in both Manfred and his mount. The mount was hacked to pieces while Manfred suffered many deep and mortal injuries, but he used the dark magic at his command to vanish in the melee before Nimue could step in and take his head.

Arthyr paced the ruined crypts with Mandia and Nimue. The undead seemed to have either fled or collapse into broken heaps after Manfred vanished. They had managed to cleanse this area, but at a heavy price. Aranion was badly wounded and clung to life, whereas Arthyr's cousin Ceryn had been slain along with all his warriors.

The forces of death and destruction were being hunted all across the Flame Scar plateau. Arthyr's Wanderers and Slazenger's Stormcast effectively pushing into the occupied lands. Arthyr knew to give Slazenger a wide birth and so decided they would next try to hunt more foul undead...

Monday, 2 April 2018

Blood & Fog

The fog was thick and Mandia choked on the thick scent of blood and fear. All around her she could hear her friends screaming in rage as they attacked. The rain beat down through the fog creating a mire of blood, mud and broken bodies. Her head was pounding, why were they attacking and being attacked by Stormcast? She tried to clear her head, all around her she could see Aelves injured and bleeding. 

Arthyr swung his blade at the apparition in front of him, normally the Modryn blade felt weightless in his hands, but today it felt like he was swinging a tree. The apparition in front of him had put down too many of his Aelves and he had to avenge them. He felt as if he’d been fighting in this fog and rain for days, but could it have been that long? Surely not…

From atop the ruins Lord Slazenger looked down and across the littered battlefield. The fog was still thick and the rain was not easing, whoever they fought were quick and shifted with the shadows. Frustrated he led his mount forward, hunting down these wraiths.

Kurnous, hear my cry! Let your call cry out and clear this cursed and bloodthirsty fog!” cried Mandia Nightlock as she held tight her small rune stone dedicated to the god of the hunt. A hound sounded from far away, booming and getting louder. Her head cleared and she could think clearly, the fog started to clear. What she saw around her was devastating, Aelves fighting for their lives against Stormcast Eternals. But as the horn boomed again, she could see all the combatants dropping their weapons in confusion. Stormcast Eternals and Aelf alike shook their heads to clear the last of the fog they had so consumed them. 
She looked around to find Arthyr dragging the Modryn blade behind him, devastated by the loss of so many of his Aelves. In the middle of the field atop his draconian steed sat Lord Slazenger, his face now un-helmed was a picture of confusion and disappointment.

Arthyr looked around the field of battle, heartbroken at the loss of so many Aelves. He made his way to the leader of the army they had been engaged with unwittingly. “Lord Slazenger, it seems we have been fooled and have both now suffered for it.” Slazenger made no reply, he nodded his head slowly and turned his mount away from Arthyr, and letting his mount give out a low and sonorous cry. The StormcastEternals all started to form up and depart the scene of devastation, they had no need to collect their dead as they were already in Azyheim and the wounded gathered themselves under their own prodigious strength to follow Slazenger away.

With the dead at rest, the wounded and unwounded made their way to the shrouded portal opened by MandiaArthyr and Rhavon stood back to ensure all made it through the portal, Arthyr then turned to Rhavon, “We must find who is responsible for this, they will be punished, our fallen will be avenged. I swear to Lilleath and Kurnous.”

The Modryn Return

Arlos Darkleaf’s Tree-like features cracked with what might have resembled a smile, “So you cling to your old life and old name?Good, good...