AOS: Malign Portents – The Living and the Dead
Assailed by Rotigus Rainfather, a village in the Realm of Shyish shows that they’re more than prepared for this incursion of Chaos.
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 showcases the conflict at the heart of the Malign Portents. Much of what we’ve seen so far involves the incursion of Chaos into the Realms of Shyish. Sure everyone’s going–it’s a big fight and so that means that every faction has to be involved, at least tangentially, in the realmgate war–but really the central thrust of the narrative we’ve been seeing is that a) Nagash is trying to complete this Great Work (whatever that is) and ii) Nurgle is invading the Realm of Shyish, preying on mortal villages, but Nagash seems to be taking an interest in saving them.
Like in Deluge of Life, which has Rotigus Rainfather tromping around in the barren lands of Shyish, where he’s working his festering foul plague magics to create a rain of plague waters. A deluge of life, if you will. He and his daemons are attacked by skeletal hosts–and at first the attack is easily swept aside. Rotigus, after all, has his sights set on a human village located along a hill. But in the ensuing battle, a necromancer unleashes a horde of skeletons. But they have living allies!
And what’s more, the living and the dead appear to be fighting side by side to stem the tide of corrupted life that issues forth from Nurgle’s champions. A barrow of the dead is all but emptied during the fighting, and they swarm Rotigus himself–it’s like the old saying goes: it takes a village (and the animated remains of its former citizens) to kill a greater daemon. As of right now, I am all about this conflict. It’s interesting to see Nagash or his forces playing the role of heroes. I like what it does–it makes the Grand Alliance of Death a little more nuanced, makes conflicts in the Mortal Realms just that much chewier.
We’ll see how this continues to shake out–but with Malign Portents (and the great work) just around the corner, we’ll know soon enough what’s going on in the world. But until then, you can find the other stories collected below.
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.
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.