Malign Portents – Nagash, Saviour of Mortals

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Forsaken by Sigmar, set upon by Nurgle, a village in dire need receives help from the unlikeliest source.

The Malign Portents hide an unfolding story that, piece by piece reveals new information about the battles at the heart of the Realm of Death. Order. Chaos. Destruction. Death. All four race towards each other and certain doom. We’ve seen the videos and the signs. But it doesn’t end there – Games Workshop has been releasing a slow drip of information in the form of short stories on the website.

Today, we get a story that really makes you rethink the phrase “The Age of Hope is Dead.” In Grim Deliverance, we get the story of Osma, a healer trying desperately to stave off the end of her village. Beset by foul pestilence that causes victims to burst with bile and razor toothed, plague-ridden maggots, all hope seems gone.

Until an unlikely saviour shows up, and proves that Hope may be Dead. But that Death is no end. This one, in particular is fascinating to me–minor spoilers, but it’s an emissary of Nagash who offers them help. And as they are beset by Nurgle, and the powers of Death seem to be putting a stop to his bilious advancement, maybe it’s worth realizing that the only hope any in the mortal realms have is Death. I’m not sure what the big narrative is going to build towards, everyone seems to have their own goals–but if the big conflict is Death vs. Chaos, but especially Nurgle, I am into it.

It would be something new. Something different from GW. And from the stories, it seems like Sigmar isn’t doing the usual thing of being good but grim (and boring), but rather Nagash is playing “Hero.”

And if that’s the gray area we’re stepping into, I’m jazzed. And like the good kind of jazz that you’d listen to in an old-fashioned nightclub at 2 or 3 am, not the stuff in your aunt’s multi-disc cd player that she puts on whenever it’s time to break out the rosé at dinner parties.

The Cycle Interrupted is a short story from the point of view of Horticulous Slimux. What should be a quick kill turns out to hide more secrets than actions.

Death at the Door is the tale of a man who wants to protect his home, but all is not what it seems.

A Bountiful Wager is another short from Horticulous Slimux. Something doesn’t stink right in the Garden of Nurgle and he intends to find out what’s going on. With the help of some friends…

We’ll see soon enough what all the hubbub is about. And doubtless there will be more Sigmarines charging in to blah blah whatever, but for now, things feel cool and grim and dark in a way they usually don’t. So let’s soak this up while we can.

Maybe it’s time to pick up one of those start collecting Death kits after all–except start collecting death sounds like the surest way to end up on the wrong side of a Mindhunter.

  • dave long island

    Cool write up, even with the mystery olde English coded language phrase “eachieve othere and cretain doo”… lol… But Nagash as hero? Now that IS interesting. Between him and Nurgle, idk… I guess, gimme Nagash!

    • Munn

      Yeah, nurgle and Slaanesh are pretty much maximum nope.

    • James Regan

      its also interesting as Nagash is the only player in this entire affair who’s not a God-king, or a re-born elven deity. Sigmar was born a god, heralded by the sign of his twin tailed comet. Nagash was born a man, and just spent an inordinate amount of time in a library, until the point he could kill the gods of death and replace them. And it seems to have worked, don’t see the free peoples worshipping Morr any more, and that one’s on him, not Archaon

      • Astmeister

        The Warhammer Fantasy lore says that he captured a dark elf sorceres and combined her black magic with the invocations of the dead from Nehekara (Tomb Kings). This combination let him invent necromancy and he brewed an elixir for eternal live. After that he become more powerful but many thousands of years (with him dying multiple times) passed, before he could bind the winds of shysh (death magic) to himself.

      • Ghachii

        You’re getting your lore a wee bit muddled there. Sigmar was indeed born as a mortal man, and was the leader of a tribe of mortal men in the region of the World That Was that would later become the Empire.

        Morr was consumed by Nagash during the end times, and still sort of exists as an aspect of Nagash (who is also worshipped as other death deities in many other forms – all are one in Nagash).

        • Astmeister

          That is correct.

        • James Regan

          Morr is dead for all intents and purposes- people might worship morr as an aspect of nagash, but prayers to morr haven’t worked since the end times (Nagash doesn’t manifest miracles the same way as morr, at any rate). Hence AoS’ lack of tomb kings (who’s magic was also partially divine in nature, channelled through invocations).

          Sigmar was born a god- not the new god of Azyr, which he only got by a Teclis bungling the vortex in the end times, but the old one of hammers and war. Sigmar might have originally manifested as a human king, but he was a messiah like figure- capable of holding a pass by himself against an orc army, as well as slaying both nagash and the everchosen (morkar the uniter). All without magic.

      • euansmith

        Nagash hooks his thumbs through his ribs and rocks back on his gigantic, skeletal legs, “Oi’m a self-made liche, me. I come up through t’ ranks, frum a wet nosed grave-robber (I started out wi’ just a spade an’ a sack), to become the premier God of Death in t’ Mortal Realms. A vote fur me, is a vote fur progress. Vote Nagash fur supreme ruler; an’ remember, I’ll win, ’cause I can vote t’ graveyard!”

        • marxlives

          I am the the most deathy, Death God you could ever know. My death godiness is HUGE! Just look at these hands.

        • frank

          Nagash promises you the tallest hats in all the realms.

          • euansmith

            And he makes Sigmar pay for them.

      • Hagwert

        It’ always the quiet, bookish ones you have to watch !

    • orionburn III

      Finally talked a buddy of mine into giving AoS a chance. I haven’t had much time to give towards AoS but planning to with all it has going on right now. Seems like a good time to get into it.

  • SacTownBrian

    Vampires save the day! I bet they sparkle in the sun 😉.

    • Vicent Martín Bonet

      I’m positive that one was a necromancer.

      • SacTownBrian

        Since most vampires are wizards how can you be positive? Plus an ice cold beautiful woman screams vampire. She was probably going in for the bite at the end of the story. Her Coven Throne is probably double parked outside hospital 😉.

  • Rafał Pytlak

    So Nagash is being Larloch here?

  • Sonic tooth

    Is everything going to have nurgle in it now? Yawn

    • Ghachii

      Nagash is the antithesis of Nurgle – a static state of undeath disrupts Nurgle’s endless cycle of life, death and decay giving birth to new life. So while the prevalence of Nurgle (for now) is no doubt partly due to the fact that GW is currently pushing the new Nurgle releases, there’s also a very strong and entirely valid thematic reason why Nurgle would feature heavily as an adversary for Nagash and whatever he’s up to. Have you read the short stories? They make a pretty compelling case.

      • Sonic tooth

        Yea I liked them too. I thought alarielle would be the adversary for death. Life vs deatg

        • Ghachii

          Well Malign Portents looks set to be an ongoing thing for at least the next few months, so I’m sure various factions will get pulled into the narrative eventually. My guess is that the emphasis on Nurgle will dissipate somewhat when January is out of the way.

      • Sir Postalot

        Wait so this whole new setting is a Legacy of Kain inspired event.

      • Rhaen

        I thought the whole feud thing between Nurgle and Tzeench was because Nurgle is static, unchanging and Tzeench is constant change.
        Considering that the Nurgle vs Nagash thing might be life vs death in a way but no more

        • frank

          Nurgle welcomes life, so much so that he even keeps the eldar goddess of life in a cage like a pet guinea pig.

  • Marco

    Long live Warhammer Fantasy and the Old World!

    • Ghachii

      Hey Marcelo, why don’t you engage a little more instead of just spamming the same sentence over and over again. We want to get to know the man behind the mask.

      • lol read his post history. Hes gotta be a spam bot.

      • orionburn III

        Jaded players like to stay jaded…lol

        • Drpx

          Especially the ones who spent $200+ on the End Times
          Books.

        • marxlives

          Robots can’t hate man, they can only repeat. I am convinced that Marco is an AI bot who was created to post for WHFB and is now experiencing Rampancy.

      • frank

        Cut Marco some slack, its only been 22 months since AOS came into existence. Hes still upset give it time and he will tucker himself out.;)

    • euansmith

      Which the what now?