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  1. #1

    The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    "People forget. That’s what they do. It’s easier to forget, to ignore things, to pretend that we were never scared in the first place. But in forgetting, we let those things slip back in, unnoticed and unheeded. And the important point is this - just because we forgot about them doesn’t mean that they forgot about us..."
    Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal.


    "...the Goddess took her eye, long ago, and so much of her leaked out of that hole that she is almost faded out of the worlds now and has to live beyond the thrice-nine lands in the kingdom of the Grey Marches. She’s a poor thing now, a shadow of what she used to be. No more the Three-in-one, now the hag alone."
    Stories of the Realms; traditional.

    Her missing eye ached, but then it had ached for years untold now and it especially ached when the cold drew in. And here in the thrice-ten kingdom, it was always bleakest midwinter. She had lost so much through that missing eye, that hole in herself, when the Everqueen had plucked it from her and cast it away. The pain and the sense of diminishing, of lessening, had become commonplace.

    Still, she had survived. That was what she did, survive. Hoarding scraps of power, scraps of herself, watching the Realms move on from the depths of the forest and the snows with her one remaining eye. Watching. Surviving. Waiting.

    She turned the skull over and over in her wizened ancient hands, long fingers moving like spiders over and into it, exploring every crevice and aspect of the gleaming bone. She muttered under her breath as she inspected the skull, nonsense words and rhymes flowing into hexes and prophecy and back again. The winds whispered around her and her head tilted, grey hair spilling as she seemed to listen. Nodded as if hearing something to her satisfaction.

    She raised the skull to her face, cradling it as she would a lover, brought it closer. A grey and withered tongue crept like a worm from behind teeth the colour of old iron and gently, obscenely, began to probe an eye socket.

    Her tongue drew back behind those ragged iron teeth and her sole eye narrowed as she contemplated what she had tasted in the skull’s death. She crooned into the empty gaze of her skull, singing under her breath as she reached up with long arms and hung the polished globe of bone from her crooked staff.
    Smiling to herself, still singing in a ragged low voice, Mother Aldwynter shuffled off into the snowbound and skeletal black trees around her. Above her, swinging from her crooked staff, the skull began to whisper its secrets.



    "Gorgo, Mormo, moon of a thousand forms..."
    Last edited by Ex Libris Scribe; 03-04-2018 at 11:34.

  2. #2

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    "The Known Realms have seen and forgotten more heroes, legends, myths and near-gods than we will ever know. The question you should ask is whether these overlooked and lost once-gods have forgotten us..."
    Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal.


    "...I have seen her there, in the dead forests, plucking lost souls from the mists and snows, binding them and keeping them. She is the mother, the shepherd and keeper, the voice at the crossroads. Weaver, spinner and cutter all..."
    Excerpt from personal diaries of Yuri Ilyich Ifemovich, late of Hammerhal.

    ~
    Armin shivered in the biting cold and tried not to stare at the shadows between the skeletal dead trees that surrounded him. He refused to acknowledge the rounded shape that could have been a human skull that grinned at him from the bole of one blackened tree. Behind him, he could hear the duardin Gurni grumbling through his tangled beard at their employer. If the cold bothered the stocky ranger, he gave no sign, the duardin’s meaty arms bared to the chill air as he unwrapped his rifle from its waxed leathers.

    It was deathly quiet, eerily still in the drifting mists and flurries of snow. A dead and empty forest, lacking in any of the riches that the man who had brought them here had promised. The priest, or mage or whatever he was, shook with excitement rather than cold, his fur-trimmed robes fluttering around him like a crows wings as he flitted from dead tree to dead tree, muttering to himself in some incomprehensible tongue. Thin and greying with age, he stank of the sweat and magery that had brought them through the walls of the Known Realms into this bleak borderland.

    Armin kicked miserably at the drifts of snow, recoiling as his probing boot unearthed long bones wrapped in twisting dead roots. Except, no, the bones weren’t wrapped in the roots…. No, they were part of them, growing into and out of the twisted and gnarled root tendrils. He started to curse and the words died in his throat as he realised he couldn’t hear Gurni’s bass grumble. He turned in time to see the duardin, limp and doll-like, being dragged into the thickening trees and the darkness between them by things. Things that moved in jerking stop-start motions, things raised into the shape of man but nightmarishly stretched and sharp in silhouette. They moved with the creak and splinter of dead wood. Of breaking bone.

    The maybe-priest was raving now, thin arms spread wide in acclaim or welcome as he dropped to his knees in the snow. Armin fumbled with the sword hanging from his hip, fear slowing his limbs. The skeletal treekin flickered and jerked closer, reaching out for him with thorned branches and limbs that became talons and jagged spikes, a thin keening rising from them as curling spirals and pits where eyes should be glowed with a pale blue fire.

    As the keening treekin closed in around him and Armin began to feel their sharp talons tearing at him, he glimpsed a hunched figure limping towards the kneeling priest, and as his own screams were choked off in his throat, the priest’s ravings grew clearer.

    "Yes, yes! No queen but you! My life for yours! My life for yours! All-hag! My life for yours!"

    The last thing Armin sees before the darkness and the dead trees take him and his eyes are plucked from his skull is the kiss of the hunched old woman stripping the flesh from her priest’s head in waves of pale blue flame.

    ~

    "A king has his subjects and these are they, the lost and the dead and the stolen along the way."



    "Ragged they are and broken they may be, bound to these husks in service to thee."



    "My puppets, your subjects. Our children."


    ~


    "All the low creatures of the forests are hers; her eye sees all and she is ever on the wind."


    ~

  3. #3

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    "It is easy to mistake acceptance for defeat. To believe that silence and a lack of action in a foe is a sure sign that they are beaten. We never worry about those who stay quiet, and watch, and wait. Patience is the very worst trait in an enemy..."
    Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal.


    "Even wounded near-unto-death as she is, she is eternal. Break her, banish her to the edges of the Realms, take her memories from her and yet she will endure..."
    Excerpt from personal diaries of Yuri Ilyich Ifemovich, late of Hammerhead.


    ~
    The ancient woman who called herself Mother Aldwynter, though this was not her first nor her only name, counted in a whispering voice as she walked through the mist-clad garden, crooked staff reaching above her hunched shoulders and hung with swaying skulls. The gardens frozen earth was broken into rows, tended as well as any old woman’s might be, and Mother Aldwynter was nothing if not attentive to her crop. She shuffled along, tattered robes trailing, muttering numbers through dark iron teeth and ropes of ratty grey hair that fell over her haggard face, tapping each of her crop with the butt of her crooked staff.

    The priest followed her shuffling steps. Still wrapped in his robes and finery, he followed her and whispered news of the Known Realms, of the gods and goddesses, of the signs and portents of the age, of the fell champions and puissant items they found and lost. The priest followed the old woman and whispered all of this in a grave-dry voice that echoed from the polished skull that was his head. Words of the living, intoned by the voice of the dead.

    Mother Aldwynter listened to the news of Realms that had forgotten her, of cities and men that did not know her names, and she was pleased. Frail she might be, and wounded she might be too; a shadow of what she might have once been, but she had been patient. Oh so very patient. And now the Realms had forgotten her, and the gods who might have remembered her were dead themselves or else otherwise occupied. Her patience and planning and cunning would soon bear fruit…

    She stopped and smiled at this thought, her muttered counting halting. Her crooked staff tapped once more and the mists blanketing her garden shredded away, revealing the crop she had tended so lovingly. Row after row of hands pushed up from the broken earth, dead flesh blackened and frozen in the eternal winter of the Grey Marches. A crop of dead man’s hands, waiting for the harvest. Mother Aldwynter stooped, wrapped a bony long-fingered hand around the wrist of the dead hand her counting had stopped at, and pulled. The corpse dangled in her grasp, earth falling away as she raised her fell harvest high, her thin arm showing no sign of effort. She inspected the body critically, one lone eye glinting from behind the rattails of hair covering her face, and clucked in approval.

    The old woman turned and shuffled back through her garden, towards the dark slumped shape of her cottage, shadowed and half-seen amongst the dead and dying trees. She dragged the corpse behind her, wrist still wrapped by her thin fingers, and the priest followed her steps, silent for now. Mother Aldwynter spoke now and told her priest what she intended to do with the portents and news he had brought her. And as she spoke, the corpse she dragged towards her crooked cottage began to keen and wail.

    ~



    "Maiden, mother, crone… priestess, hag, goddess. I have been them all and will be again."

    ~

  4. #4

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale


    "It's a rare forest that holds no monsters..."
    Traditional saying amongst the Free Peoples of the Bitterfruit Vale, Realm of Ghyran



    "My poppets, my puppets, my children, my will..."


    "Carve your dead wood, string your puppet with sinew..."


    "Take the lost, take the forgotten, take the dead and chill-rotten..."


    "Bind them in place and kiss them to life...
    Heart of darkwood, hate sharp as a knife."



    "The Grey Marches are hers. She sees and knows all."

  5. #5

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    "There is a lesson to learn here - your dreams, ideals and morals are your own. Don't expect to find common cause in all of the mortals of the Known Realms, they are just as selfish and self-centred as you are."
    Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal.

    "Everyone thinks that because they have a human face, they must think like us. Idiots. Remember this - they aren't human. They look like that only because our expectation is that they look like that. They are not us. The Wild doesn’t care about you. They don't care about you."
    Collem Worl, veteran of the Cold Iron Brigade, Free Peoples Militia of Harrowdown.
    ~
    Here, at the edge of the great, dark, dead forest that filled the Grey Marches, amidst the falling snow and drifting mists, they stood and watched as the loping pack of ghuls scrambled through snow and over broken earth and rock. Frostbitten and chill-blasted flesh painted the scavengers in tones of black and pained red as they pulled themselves along with withered limbs and cracked nails. The ghuls stank, a foetid stench of animal sweat, rotten meat and the sharp musk of urine. They smelt like mortals. Like men.
    Ilaranim watched them with something approaching disgust in her eyes, spirit-form smoking with barely held anger. Her grip tightened on the blade she held, the obsidian weapon sheened with frost.

    "Disgusting," she murmured. "They should be culled."

    Moralanith inclined his antlered head in acknowledgement, his own dark stone blade cradled in his true-form arm, glinting amidst the dark ironwood bark.

    "You know the rule. As the Reeve stated, if they set foot amongst the Darkwood, they are ours."

    The other tree-revenants of Moralanith’s warparty stood amongst the dead trees, true-form bark as dark and hard as the trees themselves, spirit-forms glowing with an eerie lambency in what thin light there was. All held blades or hooked sickles of glittering obsidian. They stared at the broken-fleshed and rag-clad ghuls with patience and tired hatred in equal measure as the scavenger pack disappeared over the snowbound and wind-blasted moors of the Grey Marches. Their stink lingered in the winter air long after they had passed.

    "They will find food. More lost mortals or foolish travellers." Ilaranim turned to face her seed-mate, eyes glittering angrily behind her pale cascade of hair. "They will feed and grow stronger, and that old crone will whisper in our King’s ear and let them. They will grow and we will wish we had dealt with them now."

    "Perhaps. Perhaps they will die, out there in the cold. Perhaps they and other fleshborn will kill each other. As long as they remain outside our borders, what should we care? The Reeve will not risk losing more of us to the crone’s healing. For that, I am grateful." Moralanith looked at her then, affection and fatigue in the depths of his gaze. "I would not lose you to her bitter harvests."

    Ilaranim’s anger dulled and she reached out to stroke the fingers of her spirit-form along her seed-mate’s cheek.

    "I surrender to your wisdom my love. Let the fleshborn destroy each other as they want. We shall endure, as we always have, all these long seasons. The Darkwood stands."

    "The Darkwood stands." echoed Moralanith.

    The tree-revenants stepped back into the dark embrace of the forest, stepped further and were gone, leaving only swirling eddies of snow and mist to show they had ever been there. Beyond the borders of the dark forest, along the broken ground of the Grey Marches, a lone ghul still struggled through the snow. Older, thinner than the rest of its pack, it stumbled along their tracks on limping, frost-eaten feet. Thin matted hair hung in rank rat-tails from its gasping head and stinking breath steamed in the air as it croaked bleating cries out to its lost kin. The straggler fell, rose and staggered on. Fell again. The croaking cries grew fainter.

    The ghul, the once-man, the fleshborn died cold and alone. Unwitnessed. Uncared for.

    ~


    "True spirits of our Grove are few in number now. Too many lost to our King’s madness and the magic of the crone."


    "We do what little we can to protect our home. We do not care for the worries and troubles of the Known Realms."


    "We will endure. We will survive this long winter of the soul."


    "The Darkwood stands."

    ~

    ~

  6. #6

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    "To serve, to be steadfast, to obey, even in the face of madness. That is what it means to be loyal." Attributed to Kwan-Xi, warrior philosopher of the Jade City, Realm of Shyish.


    "Shout your defiance all you wish. Your voices are few in number."


    "Stand in my path, resist my attentions. It will bring you no joy."


    "You are the ironbark, the life-spirit, Her lost children."


    "I am winter’s touch, I am the crone of ages. I am patient."


    "You will all be my children in the end."

    ~

  7. #7

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    "Trying to reason with the mad is like trying to play Kingtaker with a Gryph-hound – you can take all the time you want to set up the board and explain the rules, the moves and the tactics, but the beast is still going to jump on the table, eat all the pieces and shat all over the board. And yet you are still surprised by this for some reason."
    Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal.

    "One man’s madness is another’s sanity."
    Common saying amongst the Free Peoples.

    ~
    Moralanith could already hear their whispered laughter, faint and high and cruel. It crept from every shadow and from behind every dark twisted tree-trunk, coming and going as lightly as the half-glimpsed shapes that moved in the darkness. He felt a twist of annoyance in his breast, tinged with something like disgust towards what his cousins had become, and snapped at the creeping shadows.

    "Enough of your games. Show yourselves or remove yourselves, I would speak with the Reeve."

    They slipped from the shadows, spirit-forms bearing sharp smiles and flickering talons the length of daggers, circling Moralanith in slow drifts of mist and snow. Madness danced in their eyes. Those of the grove who had become closest to their King over the long ages of their exile had become... twisted in a way, touched by the madness of their ruler. Only a few like Moralanith still held to their sanity, still held to the purity of the Darkwood. In other times, in better times, these grove-spirits would have been named Spites and made pariahs, outcasts. Now they formed the majority of the groves numbers. And still the madness of their King spread amongst them.

    One of the Spites number stepped forward, head cocked like a hunting bird staring at its prey. Her head was crowned with horns, echoing Moralanith’s own – a mark of their Kings favour. Her sharp smile grew wider and Moralanith felt his own face harden in response.

    "Hello little guardian. Aren't we oh-so proud and far from our friends?" Her sing-song voice was obscenely beautiful. The other Spites hissed laughter and echoed snatches of her words in whispers.

    "Know your place, singer," Moralanith let a touch of his anger bleed into his voice. "As you say, I am a guardian and therefore I go where I will in the Darkwood. You and your giggling shades have no sway over me."

    The whispering laughter of the Spites grew louder, crueller. The horned Spite pouted mockingly, stepped closer to Moralanith, within arm’s reach. Her sing-song voice dropped to a soft whisper.

    "Oh I know that, little guardian. I know and they know and He knows. But you are still all alone. And anything could happen to you, all alone." She was lover-close now and reached out to stroke the tip of one of her talons feather-light over his lamentiri. "Anything... at all... "

    She looked up into his face and Moralanith could see the madness dancing in her eyes. The other Spites whispered and hissed her last words in mocking echoes. He gripped her wrist with his own ironbark hand and twisted it away from his spirit-form, snarling his reply into her smiling face.

    "Your weakness is disgusting. I can smell the touch of the crone on you, like stale death, and you willingly embrace our Kings madness instead of trying to bring Him back to us fully. You and all your kind will be the end of the Darkwood."

    "Careful, little guardian." She was smiling still, cruel and wide, and leant in as close as she could. "We are the Darkwood, as much as you and your boring little friends are, and you need us. Never forget that." Whip--ast, she nipped at Moralanith with a kiss that was as much a bite as it was a kiss.

    Moralanith pushed her away with a curse and glared at the circling Spites as they hissed laughter at him. He turned away in frustration and began to stride away from the heart of the Darkwood, spitting his parting words.

    "The day I need you, cousin, is the day I pluck my own lamentiri from my body. Keep to your shadows and games, rot here for all I care."

    "Come back soon little guardian!" the horned Spite called in her clear sing-song voice. "I'll look for you and sing to you and tell you all our Kings secrets! We will sing together! I'll look for you!"

    As Moralanith strode away in anger, leaving the Spites behind him, their laughter grew louder and harsher, madness spiralling around them in the shadows of the Darkwood.

    ~

    "They are the cruelty of life, the harshness of the wild. And now the madness of our King also."


    "Do not listen to their songs, their whispers. Do not listen to their screams, their wails."


    "They are the Court now, our King's nearest and beloved."


    "Favoured and feted, outcasts no more. Our cousins of Spite."


    ~

  8. #8

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    “To be defeated is hard enough. To be cast aside and forgotten, that is a more terrible thing to endure.”
    Attributed to unknown Aelvish philosopher.

    ~


    “Hellish and heavenly and earthly All-hag, goddess of crossroads.”


    “Witch queen, gorgon-eyed terrible dark one.”


    “Gorgo, Mormo, moon of a thousand forms”


    “They name me Arch-Crone, Goddess of Wisdom and Death, Bone Mother. I am the worm in your apple, the spider in your garden. I am the lost and the forgotten, and none of you know my true name.
    But in time, you will.”

    ~

  9. #9

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    “Don’t blink. Don’t follow their lights. Don’t speak to them. Never listen to them.”
    Advice for travellers of the Mist Road, Realm of Ghyran.

    ~


    “Our king is in his counting house, tallying his kin.”


    “One for sorrow, two for mirth.”


    “Three for killing, four for birth.”



    “Five keep secrets, six will tell.”



    “Seven for the devil, her own self.”


    ~

  10. #10
    Admin blackcherry's Avatar
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    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale

    This is a really great plog and I've been enjoying coming back to read it with every update. Thanks for sharing Ex Libris Scribe.
    Here is a link to the WarSeer Forum FAQ. Please read it. Want to support WarSeer? Here's how.

    Blood for the Blood God!: My Word Bearers Plog

  11. #11

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale

    Thanks man, really great to hear that you've been enjoying things so far - there's plenty more to come as well

  12. #12

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    “The Grey Marches are a cold and desolate place, bound in eternal winter and wrapped in a caul of death. What life clings there is a bitter, twisted thing, and can do naught but endure. Trust not the forests, nor the rivers, nor the mountains, for the land has a long memory and remembers all.”

    Travels Through The Realms, Unfinished. Dieter van Ganza of Anvilguard.












  13. #13
    Chaplain D6damage's Avatar
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    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale

    By Sigmar's beard, this is SUCH a good plog. I love the narrative, and it's written really well. The models are subtly converted, and beautifully painted. And the plog itself is nicely presented with good quality photographs. Usually, I'd be happy just to see one or two of those things on a plog but to get the whole package is a rare and splendid thing. Bravo, sir. Bravo

  14. #14

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale

    D6damage, thank you very very much - I always worry slightly that at least one or two aspects of the project might not be working so its great to hear that I'm hitting all the right marks with yourself. Your comment made my day

    Small update time - had a roughish week so far which has cut my writing desire a bit, meaning that I'm a little behind on the fluff side of things compared to the painting side of things. Which sucks but hopefully I can get the writing back on track this weekend. Painting wise, things are going full speed. I've got the wood and spirit methods down to a fine art now so things don't take too long to paint at all, downside being I'm running out of things to paint and will have to buy more - the hobbyists curse. Currently on the painting slate are the next 5 Tree-revs, as well as a few other things. Here's how they stand so far, in a slightly disappointing quality pic:

    So what's next? Well, these guys, a treeman, a Knight-questor, a branchwych and 3 Kurnoth hunters, all of which takes me to just over 1k points. Worryingly the model I ordered from an Italian bits site for the Question two weeks ago still hasn't turned up, so will have to chase that. And if the recent games I've played have taught me anything its that I need more trees for movement shenanigans (only lost one game though, against Overlord gun line). My shopping list grows longer. There's talk of summer Blood Bowl too so I might need to grab an Elfheim Eagles team to convert into a Dark Elf team....

    More updates soon!

  15. #15

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    “Some foes you cannot defeat. Some you can only halt and push back into the deep for a time. Then all you can do is wait, and watch, and teach your children to do the same…”
    Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal.

    “…Life, red in tooth and claw…”
    Common saying amongst the Free Peoples of Ghyran.

    ~

    The ghuls, the feral once-men, flooded through the forest like a tide of unwashed flesh. They brayed and screeched to each other in their screaming tongue, lashed out at trees and each other with lengths of rusted iron, with salvaged weapons, with their cracked claws. The stink of them filled the cold air. Pack leaders, thick with sinewy muscle and grimed with the dried blood of the lion’s share of the packs kills, ran at the head of the tide, sniffing the winter air like true predators. This pack of ghuls was scores strong, the largest to enter the Darkwood itself in many years. The cold silence of the hallowed dead forest was broken and corrupted by their animal stink and heat.

    Moralanith stepped from the shadows of the forest and swung his falchion into the nearest ghul. The obsidian blade passed through the creature’s thin chest with no resistance, misting the air with foul blackish blood as the severed halves of the beast fell. He continued the swing, burying the tip of his blade in the face of another screaming ghul. The blades of his fellow guardians rose and fell around him, glittering obsidian parting lean flesh with ease as they swung in graceful arcs. The faces of the tree-spirits were set in grim scowls, taking no enjoyment or glee from this butchers work.

    The ghul pack howled and turned to throw itself against the guardian spirits, once-men and fleshborn crashing into each other and tangling together as they tried to swarm their attackers. The Darkwood itself worked against them, the deadened and blackened trees somehow moving to block paths or crush ghuls between ironhard trunks. Others were pierced by spear-like branches, entwined in thorned branches or simply disappeared into the shadows between the trees, but still the howling pack came on. The iron stench of diseased blood started to fill the cold clear air and stain the snow a blackish red.

    The guardian spirits fought, with skilled sweeps of blades, with heavy punches from ironbark limbs. Where they were swarmed by ghuls, they grew twisted thorns that pierced their attackers, or melted away into the shadows to reappear behind or beside the flailing fleshborn, ending them in swift strikes. And still the howling pack came on, tearing at itself in its urgency to reach the reaving spirits.

    His blade wet and heavy with the blood of the beasts, Moralanith buried heavy ironbark talons in the braying face of one ghul and ripped it from the skull in a wash of gore. The creature howled, fell to its knees clutching the ruin of its face and was immediately leapt upon by two of its packmates who tore into it with sharp teeth and claws, gobbling down hunks of still-living meat. The packs numbers were still high, but more and more of the fleshborn were ignoring the tree-spirits and gorging themselves on their fallen kin. The stench of fresh blood had overwhelmed the pack dynamics of the ghuls and the meat-frenzy was upon them. They were beginning to tear themselves apart.

    Moralanith caught the eye of Numenorin and nodded. The spirit lifted his waypipe and blew a long low note that whispered through the black trees and blood-flecked snow. The note grew, blossomed into a funereal air that the guardian spirits knew and began to sing in quiet chorus, that entwined with the sounds of the forest itself and became the sound of wind in the branches, the creak of ancient limbs and boles.

    The feral fleshborn, some still throwing themselves at Moralanith and his seed-kin, others feasting on the freshly killed or wounded of their own pack, couldn’t understand the beauty of the song nor its meaning. They were blood-sick, animals who had cut and torn themselves from the weave of Life even more so than the men they had once been. Their focus on flesh left them blind to all else, so they didn’t see the dark trees of the forest closing around them, cutting off all paths and trails, nor did they notice the failing light until darkness was almost absolute. They ate until the sharp blades of Moralanith and his seed-kin ended their lives in the dark.

    ~


    “We do not relish slaughter, but we will not turn our faces from it.”


    “All life dies and lives again, to do otherwise is an abomination.”


    “We will protect this forest, our home, for as long as we need to, as we always have.”


    “And hope that one day our Kings madness ends and we can return.”

    ~

  16. #16

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    “Try to imagine the cold majesty of the aelves married to the dispassion of nature at its most fickle. That is the sum of the tree-spirits, the true people of your Everqueen. Do you really think they care whether you live or die in Ghyran? Truly?”
    Travels Through The Realms, Unfinished. Dieter van Ganza of Anvilguard.

    ~


    “Do you see the sun? Do you feel the warmth on your face, your body?”


    “Do you note the passing of seasons? The cycle of growth and wither and renewal.”


    “Do not ask if we remember the sun. Do not ask if we remember the seasons.”


    “All we know is winter's bite. All we feel is cold.”

    ~

  17. #17
    Chaplain D6damage's Avatar
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    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale

    Lovely stuff. Keep 'em coming.

  18. #18
    Modsticker Codsticker's Avatar
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    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale

    I agree- great work!
    Quote Originally Posted by Salty
    What the Modsticker said.

  19. #19

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale

    Afternoon everyone - sorry for the long pause in posting, I had to move house and get resettled which threw things out of whack a bit. I also got distracted by a couple of side projects, which are providing a much needed break from painting wood. That means Blood Bowl, Inq28 and possibly small 40k plogs are coming soon. However, progress is still being made on the Court, with the next chunk of stuff to be built sat waiting, a chunk of stuff waiting to be painted and a potential few new things to be added as well.

    Of course, with the new edition dropping soon, things may change - the Nighthaunt are looking ever more appealing, but I want to get the Court up to 2k points at the very least.

    D6Damage - Thanks very much man, there will be more soon.

    Codsticker - Cheers buddy, always great to hear people like what I do.

    I'm aiming to update with more stuff soon, like next couple of days soon and as always your comments and feedback are awesome to receive. Here's a quick look at what's on the painting slate at the moment:


    More coming soon!

  20. #20

    Re: The Darkwood Court - an Age Of Sigmar tale



    “There are always places for the lost and forgotten. How else would they become lost or forgotten without somewhere to hide themselves?”
    Follies; Everard Hemp of Hammerhal.

    ~


    “Of the many and varied locales I visited in my travels across the Known Realms, few were as difficult to reach as the Grey Marches, also known rather poetically as the ‘Thrice-tenth Kingdom’. Sadly few locales were as dreary or indeed pointless as this supposed Kingdom, rendering our efforts to reach it somewhat pointlessly arduous.

    Nonetheless, my vocation as cartomancer for the Trygalle Guild would allow for no laxity in the mapping of all the pocket realms, kingdoms, lands and Known Realms or all the various hidden paths, shadow roads, gates and crossing points into said locations. Thus, burdened with glorious purpose and heavy responsibility, I applied my not inconsiderable talents to the mapping of this frozen wasteland that appeared to manifest somewhere in the extreme borderlands between Ghyran and Shyish. Some travellers may have shown some trepidation at the mention of the Amethyst Land, however seasoned souls such as myself hold the lands of the dead in no ill favour – their lord is cold and dread, but he is just and fair in his way. Regardless, our reason for visiting this forgotten corner of existence was the rumour of a hidden way, a gate which could be exploited for travel through to many other Realms. Our guide, the ancient Wanderer who named himself Envoy, also made us aware of the existence of several fascinating sounding isolated branches of sentient peoples of the Realms, claiming that men, duardin and even aelves somehow had made their homes here. He warned us too of other, more dangerous natives, such as the feral Jheckals, the mist-born Ban-sidhes and the fell inhabitants of the sprawling great dark forest itself.

    Suitably warned, we set forth through the snow and began our important work…”


    “…even with the legendary constitution and lackadaisical approach to comfort that the duardin are famous for, I was surprised to see these native duardin wearing little but leather loincloths and heavy stone helms, surely no protection against the frigid elements of this land. Envoy introduced them as the Ur-Hesht, a long-isolated and forgotten breed of duardin that had almost escaped notice. For duardin they were a primitive and tribal lot, almost chthonic in their beliefs and person. They paid no heed to the traditional duardin pantheon, nor even to the ur-gold that is the sole love of the Fyreslayer Fyrds, instead believing only in a primal proto-god named Hesht or Hasht, possibly even Velasht, after which they named themselves: Ur-Hesht, or the ‘Sons of Hesht’. From what Envoy could translate of their near-incomprehensible tongue, their god was a great horned stone beast that slept deep underground near the heat and fire, or was the heat and fire maybe and that one day they would find this Hesht and wake him and his fire. The difficulty of translating their primitive tongue, even for one skilled in languages, made it hard to ascertain whether these were simply debased duardin trapped here for long years, or a harsher, darker cousin of the duardin we were familiar with, or merely a backward and ancient early form of the duardin themselves.

    Regardless of their lack of modern trappings, the Ur-Hesht proved themselves to be as skilled workers and craftsmen as their cousins, albeit in a far more primal form. Eschewing the use of metal (for no ore was to be found in these lands) and wood (superstitions abounded regarding the cursed nature of the forest itself), these duardin instead worked almost exclusively with obsidian and were able to craft the hard volcanic rock into creations of impressive skill and complexity. Each Ur-Hesht wore a fully enclosed helm of obsidian, including a stone beard, and all their weaponry and accoutrements were fashioned from the same dark glasslike rock. Their skill was truly a marvel, a combination of ordinary stonemasonry and some darker chthonic geomancy as Envoy explained.”

    “Before leaving the Ur-Hesht, who while fascinating were also rendered sinister and off-putting by their stone visages as well as their disturbingly primal beliefs, our expedition imagist was allowed to take the accompanying lithographic etchings of one of the Ur-Hesht.”


    “Giving his name as Khor Dazhborg (I was unable to clarify if Khor was a title or forename, or even if Dazhborg was a name or tribal role), this individual seemed to perform some sort of diplomatic or leader role within the tribe and was our main contact throughout our sojourn with the Ur-Hesht. The obsidian full helms, facemasks and weapons are much in evidence here with Khor Dazhborg explaining that he had shaped or formed them himself, as all his people do. As stout and hardy as all duardin, he bore great branded marks across his back and shoulders that doubtless held some significance within the tribe. Most disturbing was the articulated stone gauntlet he wore on his left arm – I did not want to pry too closely but it appeared as if the stone itself was becoming one with, or growing from the very flesh of Khor Dazhborg, something he merely referred to as ‘the cost of age’, which frankly made no sense at all and thus I believe Envoy’s translation to be flawed.

    “Of course, as disturbing as the Ur-Hesht were, we would come to look back on their chthonic nature with great affection after future encounters with the other denizens of this gods-forsaken land….”

    Excerpt from Travels Through The Realms, Unfinished. Dieter van Ganza of Anvilguard.

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