AoS: The Warqueen’s Cunning & A Feast of Death

The Darkoath make a deal and a High King hosts a ghoulish feast in the latest Malign Portents Stories.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the Malign Portents narrative, you’ve been missing out on some grizzly tales in the Mortal Realms. We’re taking a look at the latest two stories to see how this event is changing the game once again. First, we get a glimpse of a plan to free Slaanesh in The Scent.

via Malign Portents

The Scent opens with a retinue of Slaanesh Seekers and Chariots quickly moving through the pathways of the Realm of Shadow, Uglu. A Champion of Slaanesh named Reshevious has a guide who can track Slaanesh’s scent. This guide is a mutant with it’s “…limbs atrophied, its nostrils and ears massive and grotesque, its eyes replaced by deep and dripping olfactory pits.” It is known as the Inhilus and it could be the key to locating the imprisoned chaos god.

But Reshevious is more than a little reckless – and even though he senses something is wrong he rushes headlong into an ambush of javelins and blades.

The Chariot slams into the ranks of ambushers and manages to fell quite a few, but there is only so much inertia can do when the mass of bodies is so much greater. As the speed slows, a voice rings out across the scene – it’s the Darkoath Warqueen and she’s seen enough.

What transpires next is your typical comic-book style “we fought and we could kill you, but we should team up and take on the bigger bad instead” type of conversation. But what’s interesting about it is the isn’t just the implication of how she knew to setup the ambush, but the “why” she setup the ambush.

‘You could find him,’ she said. ‘Find him and bring with you the numbers needed to unleash him once more upon the Mortal Realms. I have those numbers and more to spare, armies ten times the size of this horde and more.’

It seems she wishes to find the Dark Prince…but that might not be the only thing she’s after…

The second story is Time of Plenty and it is quite the juxtaposition of images. In the story we have High King Atheldade preparing for a feast. He’s standing before a banquet and he’s about to address his people. But all is not as it seems.

His kingdom has apparently fallen on hard times, and they’ve had to resort to some drastic measures to stay fed. But after a great victory they have secured their homes and have the spoils of war…or so we’re led to believe.

Here’s the kicker – there is a second scene that is being played out. It involves a “kingdom” of ghouls who have returned from a battle loaded up with corpses to eat. It mirrors the narrative from the High King’s point-of-view, but with an undead twist. Reading this story in it’s entirety really gives you that double-narrative feeling.

When I read it, I had lots of questions running through my mind – was this actually two different stories told in parallel for effect or something else? Was a tale about the same kingdom from a time long ago and it’s current state? Were these ghouls, in some way, reliving their past in a twisted ritual? Was the king ‘remembering’ a time before or was he cursed with a vision from his past life and somehow he couldn’t see his current state?

I really enjoyed that story because of the unreliable narrator and the parallel narratives being told. I also feel pretty bad for whoever those Ghouls defeated in battle. The harvest is here and it is a time of plenty…


What do you think of these two stories from GW? Do you think the Warqueen is actually trying to rescue Slaanesh? What about that grizzly feast?

  • Donny Harmsen

    Ghouls actually think they are still nobles or regal. They don’t see themselves as monster. That could explain it?

    • Kefka

      yes, that is most likely it. in the latest Nagash book there is a similar example of ghouls. they seem to sometimes see the truth of it for moments and get spooked and scared before falling back into this dementia.

      • euansmith

        I know how they feel; I get the same effect when looking in to the bathroom mirror in the mornings. :O

        • Matthew Pomeroy

          I never look in the mirror, its too scary, especially before coffee 😀

    • Ak318

      Yeah if you read the flesh eater court battletome its a madness that comes from being around ghoul kings.

    • Graham Bartram

      Ghouls in the Lovecraft mythos eat the dead to preserve the memories of the deceased, it’s a way of honouring the dead. Some will even refuse to eat unworthy deceased, and some Ghoul cultures are debased, no longer having this ability. GW has always had a Lovecraftian influence and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this is yet another nod to the man that gave us the cosmic horror genre.

  • ohhpoong

    i guess the writer of this post hasnt been following the fluff for FEC….

  • ohhpoong

    i guess the writer of this post didnt do his homework…ghouls imagining themselves as nobles and warriors has been the fluff for the flesh eater courts ever since their battletome was released

    • dave long island

      IMO one of the best army books yet released. The fluff is very imaginative and strong.

      • af

        I have to agree this is a unique take that sets them apart from your regular Vampire sidekicks. It’s also sort of sad, in a horrific way. I approve it!

        • dave long island

          Ya, ‘sad in a horrific way’ sums up the FEC’s whole shtick very well. Yknow, I recall there was an adventure in WFRP2 where there was a ‘Ghoul King’ character. Also, iirc he appears in the giant ‘Thousand Thrones’ adventure as well. I wonder if this character sparked this while idea of their self delusion of them being knights In a proper royal court, and not disgusting degenerate corpse eating lunatic savages?… lol. I need to dig out those old adventures and read about the Goul King again.

    • ragelion

      Don’t worry it’s normal, I recommend if people like this story pick up the flesh eater court battletome. Ghoul’s whole thing in AOS is thinking themselves as nobles and footment. I think I recall Varghulfs essentially view themselves as “paladins”.

  • Marco

    Long live Warhammer Fantasy and the Old World!