Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The State of the End Times: A World in Chaos Part 1

With the End Times coming to its inevitable bloody conclusion in the coming weeks I figured now was a good time to take a look at the state the Warhammer world is in. Entire continents have sunk beneath the waves, gods have died, and beloved heroes have perished. As Archaon's horde heads south the world is already in shambles from the End Times. SPOILERS.

I figured the easiest way to go about this was to break it down by race. This ended up being much longer then I originally intended so I have broken it up into two parts, as much for ease of reading as it is for ease of writing on my part. Part two will be up next Monday, so you needn't wait long.

Once again, a massive SPOILER warning if you haven't read through Thanquol.

Tomb Kings

The Tomb Kings were the first race to really feel the bite of the End Times. With Nagash's resurrection there really was only going to be one of two outcomes. Either they defeat their ancient nemesis or vice versa. Sadly the lands of Nehekhara felt the wrath of Nagash as his undead horde slowly, but surely pushed the Tomb Kings back to Khemri. The one shining light is when Khalida defeated Neferata and her army at Lamhia. Even this victory was bittersweet though as ultimately Neferata achieved her goal of distracting and tying up the Serpent Queen.

Once the siege of Khemri began it seemed as though maybe Settra would prevail as he really started laying into Nagash's generals with both Krell and Arkhan dying at one point. However since they are undead and all it didn't stick for long. Through deceit and treachery Nagash was able to sneak his way into the city and into his Black Pyramid. Once he regained his power he travelled into the depths of the underworld and consumed the essence of Usrian, the Nehekharan god of the dead. With the power of a god at his fingertips the Tomb Kings didn't stand much of a chance. Settra led one last charge of defiance but in the end Nagash tore the lord of Khemri apart and forced the remaining Tomb Kings to bow to his will or suffer the same fate.

In an act of petty revenge Nagash tore the city of Khemri apart and then crushed it beneath the sands. The city of Numas suffered a similar fate as King Phar also refused to bow to Nagash, despite knowing what fate awaited. It appears the rest of the kings accepted their fate and surrendered to the Lord of Undeath, including Khalida who knew if she were to die in defiance she would never be able to gain her revenge against her cousin. Whether the remaining cities were also destroyed or just abandoned is unclear, but either way the legions of the Tomb Kings now march North with Nagash at their head.

Despite being torn to pieces, Settra yet lived. Unable to do anything, even move, all he could do was watch the setting sun over his ruined kingdom day after day. Finally a mysterious force pulled him back into one piece and promised him power and revenge in a voice that whispered in four voices at once. With the last book looming his ultimate fate will soon be made clear...

Vampire Counts

With Nagash returning the Vampire Counts' power has swelled significantly. Mannfred has been forced into servitude but granted the title and power of a Mortarch. He helped lead the legions of undead into the southern deserts and lay siege to the Tomb King's realm.

While they marched south Nagash resurrected Vlad von Carstein to stall the forces in the north. Knowing that Chaos would consume everything, including the dead, he forced an alliance with the Empire. While stalling the Chaos Horde at the Auric Bastion, Vlad managed to corrupt the Supreme Patriarch Balthesar Gelt, into following the necromantic ways. After the Emperor fell, Vlad traveled south again before making his way towards Altdorf to relieve the Empire forces. Knowing he had the upper hand he secured an Elector Count title from Kurt Helborg, the reagent, in exchange for his help. While the Undead hordes definitely helped against the Glottkin and were able to delay them long enough for Karl Franz to return, in the end Vlad was defeated by Otto Glott and fled back to Sylvania.

Now that Nagash has the power of the wind of death at his beck and call he has transformed Sylvania into a focal point for the foul magics. The forces of the Undead muster in the decrepit land, but many of the vampires are unsatisfied with being forced to serve Nagash. Vlad still longs for his lost Isabella and both Mannfred and Neferata were never happy with their current positions. What this unrest amongst the vampires means only time will tell.

The Empire

The Empire of man is at the center of the raging tempest that is the End Times. The lands they lay claim to have been the battlegrounds of many forces and promise to be where the ultimate fate of everyone will be decided. Early in the End Times the Empire's defenses began to crumble with the Chaos hordes pushing through from the North and the undead rising from all around. After the Emperor fell at Heffnegen, Kurt Helborg led a retreat to Altdorf, the capitol. There they awaited the armies of the Glottkin as they made their way south. The first city to fall to the enemy was Marienburg.

The famous port city was assaulted with foul magic courtesy of Grandfather Nurgle. Though they put up a valiant defense, in the end the city was overrun and put to the flame. Next was Talabheim, which was drowned in pus as the Maggoth Riders and Epidemius laid waste to the city's people. Forcing them out of their protective walls they stood little chance against the demonic horde.

With Altdorf being assaulted from three sides and from within, it's a miracle it still stood. This is in part due to the aide granted by Leon Loencour and the Brettonians as well as Vlad von Carstein. What really turned the tables though was the miraculous resurrection of Karl Franz with the light of Sigmar blazing within him. With the Glottkin defeated the city still stood in defiance of the dark gods, but not for much longer. By the time Valten had led his army to the capital he found it beseiged once again, but this time by a numberless horde of Skaven. After breaking into the city it was decided that there was no way they could win out. Not willing to abandon the city and it's people, Valten led a diversionary attack to the north while Karl Franz led the remaining forces and all of the civilians to the south and made for the relative safety of Averheim.

Valten was originally supposed to loop back south afterwards and meet back up with the Emperor but the Skaven prevented this plan. With Altdorf's ruins now in the hands of the ratmen, the Herald of Sigmar made his way north to Middenheim. While all of this was happening the great city of Nuln was assaulted from beneath as Thanquol led an assault to capture as much black powder and steam engines as he could. Not content with just securing his objectives he also ensured that this city that had defied him in the past was truly put to ruin.

When Valten arrived at Middenheim he found yet another city besieged by the ratmen. Yet again breaking into the city he found Boris Todbringer, the Elector Count, slowly going mad. Now that there was another there to take the responsibility of the city off his shoulder, Todbringer led a small force into the Drakwald to hunt down his old nemesis Kharzak One Eye. Underneath the leaves of the forest the two ensured that neither would walk out again, finally killing each other. Back in Middenheim Valten was left with organizing the city's defense. Not only did he have the Skaven to contend with, but Archaon had finally arrived. Uniting the forces of Chaos and the Skaven he began his assault against the city of the White Wolf.

It wasn't long before the gates fell and the streets were swarming with the enemy. Although Valten put up a heroic defense he was ultimately laid low by a cowardly Verminlord as he dueled with the Lord of the End Times. With their savior dead, the remaining defenders didn't last much longer. Now Archaon sits there, in a makeshift throne room planning his assault on the rest of the world while Karl Franz prepares his last defense in Averhiem...


The poor Bretonnians drew the short straw from the get go. Beset by civil war, the kingdom tore itself apart. It appeared as though King Louen Leoncour was killed by his bastard son and all was lost until the Green Knight appeared, revealling himself to be Gilles le Breton, the original King of Bretonnia. With his presence the Brettonians were able to crush the rebellion and force Arkhan the Black, who had instigated it, out of the land. They then suffered a major defeat at La Maisontaal Abbey where the combined forces of Arkhan the Black, Kimmler and Krell laid the defenders low and made off with an artifact of Nagash's.

Leoncour was not dead however, and upon returning to his capitol conceded the throne to his forbearer. Not knowing what to do with himself in his own land anymore he organized an Errantry War to aide the Empire. Leading the vast majority of Brettonia's knights across the Grey Mountains he came to Altdorf's aide, crashing into the side of the Glottkin's army. Leoncour himself managed to bring down the Great Unclean One, Ku'gath Plaguefather before being brutally hacked apart by Festus in return. After the siege ended it appears that what remains of Leoncour's force now rides with Karl Franz and has added their strength to the defense of Averheim. What has become of Brettonia itself no one is sure. There are conflicting reports that it still stands, depleted and on the edge of destruction but defiant. Others claim that it has been drowned beneath the vermin horde of the Skaven. Only time will tell.

The Other Realms of Man

The Empire and noble Brettonia are not the only home to man though. Tilea and Estalia, long allies of the Empire were brought to ruin early on. The Skaven rose up in numbers never seen before and ensured the complete destruction of those lands. The Border Princes fared no better and have also fallen to the ratmen. Although there are doubtlessly survivors that have fled into the Empire, the cities they left behind are in ruins.

Far to the north Kislev has suffered a similar fate at the hand of the Chaos vanguard. The entirety of the country was swept away except for Erengrad which still holds out, a small pocket of resistance in an otherwise barren land. The Ice Queen also still lives, yet what help they will be in the coming conflict is unsure.

To the far east, distant Cathay weathers its own storm of destruction as the chaos hordes attempt to pour south. Lastly, of exotic Araby there has been no word for good or ill.

Despite these small pockets of defiance it appears as though mankind's fate will be decided in the Empire.

In part two we will go over the fates of the Elves, Skaven, Dwarfs, Lizardmen and the dread forces of Chaos themselves.

For a more in depth look at what kingdoms have fallen and what heroes have died check out my Tallies of Destruction for Nagash, Glottkin, Khaine, and Thanquol.

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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