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. Get ready for part two of the world's end. SPOILERS.
Welcome to part two of my recap of the state of the Warhammer world during the End Times. Check out Part One for the Tomb Kings, Vampire Counts, Empire, Bretonnia and other realms of man.
Warning, SPOILERS AHEAD if you haven't read through End Times: Thanquol.
The Elven race had one of the largest shake ups of the End Times so far. Where as every other race's conflicts are still ongoing, the Elves main plot line form the entirety of Warhammer pretty much got tied up at the end of Khaine. Malekith had long coveted the throne of the Phoenix King, in fact this struggle pretty much defines the High and Dark Elves. At the outset of the End Times both Ulthuan and Naggoroth were assailed by the forces of Chaos. Tyrion led the High Elves against the demonic horde and with the help of his brother was able to vanquish them. They soon dicovered though that Finubar, the Phoenix King, had been murdered in his chambers. Unbeknownst to him this had actually been carried out by Malekith and his brother Teclis.
The mage had begun a plan that would see the Elven races united, for he knew that was the only way for them to survive the coming apocalypse. Malekith, having also defeated the Chaos hordes led by Valkia, abandoned his adopted homeland and took the entirety of the Dark Elves to Ulthuan in a last ditch effort to reclaim his birthright. As they landed on the shores of the island nation it seemed as though the druchii might be repelled yet again until help arrived from Prince Imrik and the warriors of Caledor. With the dragon riders on his side Malekith quickly made inroads into Ulthuan and was able to avoid confronting Tyrion for awhile. During the ensuing battles many heroes died including Malus Darkblade. With the help of Teclis and Imrik, Malekith makes it all the way to the Blighted Isle, home to the Widowmaker, the sword of Khaine.
Unable to avoid the Elven prince any longer, Tyrion and the Witch King finally face off. Tyrion pulls the Widowmaker from its resting place and bests Malekith in combat. Before he can deliver the final blow Teclis rushes in and saves the Witch King from death, disappearing with Cadaryan, the head of the Pheonix Guard. They teleported themselves to the Temple of Asuryan so that Malekith could walk through the flames again to prove himself as Phoenix King. It seemed as though he was going to be burnt again but instead he was healed and passed through the flames unscathed.
For the next year or so Malekith recovered within the realm of Caledor while Imirk waged his war across Ulthuan. Tyrion, slowly driven mad by the power of Khaine, the whispers of Morathi, and the curse of Aenarion, the Elven prince had become a tyrannical ruler who would just as quickly torture his friends as his enemies. Allariele, the Everqueen also returned with a host of Wood Elves to support her. Seeing how far her prince Tyrion had fallen she pledged her support to Malekith and wed him as his queen. As the war progressed more and more of the Elves turned on Tyrion and sided with their new Phoenix King as Tyrion's judgements become more and more cruel.
Eventually Malekith and Tyrion met again at the great vortex for the final conflict. Calling on the spirits of the past heroes of the Elves Malekith set the shades against Tyrion's army. As the two dueled before the vortex it seemed again like the Witch King would lose until Alith Anar loosed an arrow that pierced Tyrion's heart, deciding that he had become the greater evil. Teclis began his great plan to loose the winds of magic from the vortex and bind them into Elven heroes, granting them the power to face Archaon. Seeing her prince fall Morathi flew into a rage and began attacking the vortex itself and the mages inside that were supporting it. As the vortex began to become unstable Slaanesh himself started to push himself through into reality. The tear in reality was sealed, but not before the Chaos god claimed both Morathi and Caledor Dragontamer, dragging them back into the Realm of Chaos. As the vortex spun out of control Teclis was able to bind the wind of light into himself, shadow into Malekith and life into Allarielle. The rest escaped his grasp and went to seek their own hosts.
With the vortex undone the island began to become reclaimed by the waves. Allarielle led the remainder of Malekith's force through the world roots and back to the Wood Elves realm. Imrik departed last, able to take flight on his dragon. He offered Teclis a way off the island, but he refused and was last seen cradling the lifeless form of his brother's body. Back in the woods of Athel Loren the Elves made their new home with Malekith and Allarielle as their king and queen, ready to face the coming storm.
It appears that Teclis did not perish though, and was last seen stealing the essence of Ulrik from beneath Middenheim, dooming the city. What he plans to do with this godly power and what other plans he has in store for the End Times only time will tell...
The vile ratmen struck early in the End Times. From the very start we heard second hand accounts of how the Skaven had risen up and completely annihilated Tilea and Estalia. We also saw the fall of the Border Princes as Mannfred traveled through them to reclaim one of the artifacts of Nagash. After this amazing victory it appears that they fell back into the infighting that usually characterizes that race. This respite did not last long though as the Skaven regrouped and under direct threat from the Great Horned Rat himself redoubled their efforts to claim the surface world.
One of their greatest campaigns was against the Lizardmen in Lustria. The Skaven planned to bring the chaos moon crashing into the world but knew that the Slann would be able to stop them. Despite this they tried anyway and a large coven of Grey Seers used all of their might to start magically dragging the warpstone moon towards the world. Sensing the danger the Slann bent their wills to stopping it. Through their combined magical prowess they halted the moon in it's tracks, but not before it had gotten significantly closer, bathing the world in it's sickly glow and power and causing earthquakes and tidal waves across the globe. This expenditure of might completely exhausted the Slann who all fell into a deep coma, unable to be roused.
Taking the approach of the moon as their sign, Clan Pestilens launched an all out assault on the jungles of Lustria. The Lizardmen were unprepared to halt the tide of vermin and the city of Tlaxtlan was the first to fall. Without the power of the Slann to aide them the Lizardmen were forced to flee the city and covered their defeat by bringing a massive meteor down onto it, completely obliterating the city, the attacking Skaven and half of their retreating force. As the campaign continued the Lizardmen were pushed further and further back. The Skaven suffered a few defeats, mostly thanks to the Prophet of Sotek, who launched lightning raids against the ratmen from the safety of the jungle. Defeated for a moment the Skaven relented in their assault, granting the Lizards a brief reprieve.
Back in the Old World the ratmen were no less relentless. Almost every major settlement, across every race was under siege by the Skaven. Mighty Altdorf was abandoned since they no longer had the resources to hold off the Skaven after the fight against the Glottkin. Brettonia was slowly being overrun and Middenheim was completely surrounded. The Dwarfs suffered worse of all though as one by one their Karak's fell. Karak Kadrin, the Slayer Keep, fell to an army led by Ikit Claw, who used a pair of Hell Pit Abominations filled with deadly gas to barge their way inside. Once through the gates the gas exploded, poisoning and killing all the Dwarfs inside. Only King Ungrim and a small host of slayers survived since they had been outside the keep when it occurred.
Next to fall was Karak Eight Peaks after a protected campaign. Queek Headtaker slaughtered the Dwarfs to a man and claimed the keeps for himself. Skarsnik had abandoned them in exchange for some parting gifts, leaving the goblin warlord alive for the time being. Back in the Empire the city of Nuln was assaulted from below by none other then Thanquol, now the chosen of the Verminlords. The Skaven made off with as much black powder as they could carry as well as a few steam engines. Their mission completed they then tore the city apart and left it in ruins. In Lustria the Skaven relaunched their assault on the Lizardmen. With the Slann now awake the great Mazdamundi and Kroq-Gar prepared to defend Hexoatl. Back in Skavenblight the foul ratmen completed a deadly rocket they had been working on with the use of all the stolen black powder. Unleashing their doomsday weapon the launched it at the Chaos moon. Although they did not destroy it completely, they effectively blasted it in half, raining massive chunks of warpstone down on the world. Thanks to the efforts of Lord Kroak the world was saved from destruction, although the entire continent of Lustria was lost, claimed by tidal waves and meteors, and with it the majority of Clan Pestilenss.
The Skaven, forced into an alliance with Archaon helped with the destruction of Middenheim. In the mountains only one Dwarf hold still stood, Karaz-a-Karak, their capitol city. A massive horde of ratmen led by Queek and Ikit led a final assault on it but through the intervention of one of the winds of magic, Ungrim Ironfist, and Josef Bugman they were defeated, with Thorgrim Grudgebearer personally killing Queek. After the battles end however, the high king of the Dwarfs was assassinated by Clan Eshin and the way into Karaz-a-Karak left open for assault. As we move into the final chapters of the End Times the Skaven stand allied with Archaon, ready to drown the world in Chaos.
The poor Dwarfs suffered defeat after defeat. Deciding to stay in their keeps rather then go on the offensive, the Karak's were surrounded one by one and brought low. Ungrim Ironfist had attempted to help the races of men and Elves stop the resurrection of Nagash early on, but his forces were assaulted by a herd of Beastmen before he could link up with his allies. At the battles end he was victorious, but his army now to depleted to be of any help, so he turned back to Karak Kadrin. A few years later his keep would fall to Ikit Claw, although he escaped death due to the fact that he had been outside the keep assaulting the Skaven horde during the final death blow.
Karak Eight Peaks fell next, with Belegar Ironhammer dying at the paws of Queek, stubbornly refusing to abandon the Dwarf hold and add his forces to the defense of another keep. After several years the only Dwarf city still standing was the capital, Karaz-a-Karak. The Skaven attempted to lay seige to it like they had all the others, but were caught off guard when Thorogrim led a preemptive assault out of the gates. Driven by rage the Dwarfs were slowly cut off from each other and would most likely have perished were it not for the timely intervention of Ungrim and Josef Bugman and his rangers. Caught between the three Dwarf forces the Skaven quickly broke and fled with Queek strangled by the high king. After the battle Ungrim left to go help the Empire and Bugman disappeared once more into the wilds. Victorious, Thorogrim was caught off guard when a Skaven assassin's knife plunged into his heart up on the king's balcony. He had left the door back into the keep open, thinking that at such high hieghts he was safe from harm. The last we saw the entirety of Clan Eshin was being summoned through magic to that precarious balcony, ready to pour through the heart of the Dwarf capitol.
The land of Lustria was assailed by Demons like much of the world. Luckily Kroq-Gar was able to contain them, but it was a constant battle, draining the Lizardmen of much of their resources and depriving them of their greatest general until the final battle. Once the Skaven began their assault they were on the back foot without their Slann to lead them. At the city of Mists they almost lost again but instead pulled out a victory thanks to the help of the Prophet of Sotek. This forced the ratmen to retreat for a time, giving the Lizardmen time to regroup.
Lord Mazdamundi recalled Kroq-Gar to help him in defending Hexoatl. Deciding that the best defense was a good offense, they rode out to meet the Skaven before they made it all the way to the city. While in battle Mazdamundi realized the imminent danger of the moon's destruction. He quickly teleported himself, Kroq-Gar and a sizable portion of his army to the city of Itza, which was already under assault. Barging his way through the horde, the Slann made his way into the temple. Once there he ordered the start of the Great Exodus across all the remaining cities. The temple pyramids that dotted their cities revealed themselves to actually be long dormant spaceships left by the Old Ones. All of the remaining Slann, Skink Priests, and other high ranking Lizardmen boarded the vessels which blasted off leaving the world for the stars. The rest of the Lizardmen race stayed behind and continued to battle the Skaven. As the moon broke apart and massive meteors began to rain down on the world, Mazdamundi bent all of his will towards breaking apart the most massive chunks of rock. Although he succeeded somewhat, he was unable to destroy them all and drained of energy he collapsed dead. Luckily for life everywhere Lord Kroak still remained and using his considerable might he contained the destruction to Lustria, dooming the continent and the Lizradmen, but sparing the rest of the world a similar fate. Drowned in tidal waves and firestorms, the ancestral home of the Lizardmen perished along with all who were upon it. He did manage to protect small pockets of the land within force bubbles which he sent off into space after the departed temple spaceships. What fate awaits the departed Lizardmen no one knows. Perhaps they will come back at the end, when the world needs them most.
The Orcs and Goblins
The Orcs and Goblins haven't played much of a role in this so far. They have mostly been a nuisance to the other races, attacking them at inopportune moments and raiding settlements. At Karak Eight Peaks Skarsnik fought against both the Dwarfs and Skaven and was able to hold his own. His army had expanded greatly due to the influx of Orcs fleeing the Dark Lands. Knowing that it would take a great deal of effort to defeat the goblin warlord, one of the Verminlords struck a deal with him. In exchange for leaving the Eight Peaks he was given a Skaven bomb of mass destruction and the head of Belegar Ironhammer. As he left the mountains he set the bomb to explode so no one could claim the keeps as their own. However, like much of Skaven technology it failed to work. He was last seen trekking though the mountains looking for a new home and new battles at the head of his massive Waggggghhhh!
The shaman Wurrzag has foreseen a great moment in Orc history approaching. He cannot tell if their fate rests with Skarsnik or the mighty Grimgor, or perhaps both, as the embodiment of Gork and Mork. With only one book left in the series the Orc's role in the whole End Times saga fast approaches.
The Ogres were forced to abandon their mountain kingdoms when all of the volcanoes along the mountain chain began erupting. Since then they have made their way west towards the battles that wrack the Old World. They have not played much of a role yet, having only helped the Empire in one battle and the Dwarfs in another. At Karak Eight Peaks Golfag Maneater was hired by Belegar to help defeat the Skaven but in the middle of the battle they turned on their allies, having been payed off by Skarsnik, whose goblin forces launched a surprise attack. After attacking an eating both Dwarf and Skaven alike, the Ogre maneater and his mercenaries left with their gold, having upheld their side of the bargain. It will be interesting to see if they play any further role in the End Times.
The Chaotic Hordes
The massive hordes of Chaos have swept down from the North. Already Kislev lays in ruins, destroyed almost overnight by the vanguard forces. Next Archaon sent the Glottkin and their armies to weaken the Empire ahead of his own invasion. Having destroyed both Marienburg and Talabheim the brothers Glott and their armies were finally defeated at Altdorf, but not before having essentially gutted the Empire.
All across the world Demons began appearing, tearing apart all they could. Though savage, most of these assaults were blunted or contained such as in Ulthuan or Lustria. Valkia led the hordes of Khorne against the Dark Elves in Naggoroth, but was laid low by Malekith himself. Somehow she survived though and now makes her way east to join Archaon's host.
Archaon himself set sail across the Sea of Claws with the rest of his grand host. The first city to feel his wrath was Middenheim, which he found already under siege from the Skaven. After striking a deal with Thanquol the two armies assaulted the city of the White Wolf one final time, easily breaking through the gates. Once Valten was killed the rest of the city quickly fell. Now Archaon has made Middenheim his make shift command center, preparing his attack on the rest of the Empire. He has already sent Vilitch the Curseling south ahead of him to begin the siege of Averheim where Karl Franz waits. The End Times draw to a close and Archaon prepares to make his final move. The world burns and Chaos reigns.
Who's ready for End Times: Archaon this weekend? I know I am. Bring on the end, I'm ready.
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,