Everwinter

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The Everwinter is a mystical snowstorm of terrible and divine power, capable of instantly freezing anything that falls into its grasp that follows the Beastclaw Raiders.[1a]

Origins

There is no single legend which accounts for the origin of the Everwinter. One legend claims it is it Gorkamorka's frozen breath, breathed as a curse upon the descendants of the first Frost King of the Beastclaws, Baegut Vosjarl, after he feasted upon the frozen remains of ur-bear Jorhar, which Gorkamorka was saving for himself. Another legend claims the Everwinter is divine punishment from Sigmar for their wilful defiance of the God-King's truce with Gorkamorka during the Age of Myth. Another legend references the Icefell Vaults of Shyish, where the Great Necromancer imprisoned the Winter Gods, before their gaol was sundered by marauding Ogors seeking their next meal.[2a]

Appearance

The various Alfrostuns and Beastclaw-dominated Mawtribes may experience the ice storms of the Everwinter differently. To the Boulderhead Mawtribe, it appears as a furious barrage of fist-sized hailstones. To the Winterbite Mawtribe it appears as blanket of white fog, which they use for cover. The Thunderbellies will charge into battle behind a blooming gale that drives their foes inexorably backwards.[1a]

Curse and Blessing

Regardless of their thick skin and blubberous bodies being well-equipped to deal with extreme cold, the Beastclaw ogors cannot withstand the mystical temperatures of the Everwinter. Any who find themselves in its icy embrace are frozen to the ground and rendered unable to move while their hunger remain unabated. However, this does not kill the ogor, and instead subjects them to a far worse fate - they must stand, immobile, while their hunger grows ever more agonising and insistent. There are even places where entire Alfrostuns can be found frozen in formation for generations, a fate shared by any foolish enough to visit such sites. Although some venturers suffer a far worse fate, for the smell of fresh meat can be enough to drive a frozen ogor to shatter its icy bindings and go on a ravenous rampage.[1a]

Despite the cursed nature of the Everwinter, it is also the source of power of Beastclaw Raiders. With the Alfrostuns always riding on the edge of the blizzard's fury, the shamanistic war-leaders known as Huskard Torrs can channel the ferocious power of the storm in order to batter their foes with deadly missiles or shroud them in freezing palls of fog.[1a] These beings recognize that, despite the various supposed origins stories, the Everwinter possesses a divine prescence, which can bestow miracles upon gifted ogors that can commune with it.[2a]

Gutbuster Views

The Gutbuster tribes look upon the Everwinter as a curse that haunts those who have failed to appease Gorkamorka. Many Tyrants and Overtyrants openly scorn their fellow Beastclaw Raiders for this great shame, with such unwise insults initiating more than one brutal civil war. Although the great blizzard does not chase after Gutbusters directly, they are no more immune to its ravages than their wild kin. The warglutts that swear allegience to the Boulderhead, Thunderbellies or Winterbite Mawtribes soon come to appreciate the Everwinter's terrible power.[1a]

Necroquake

Following the Shyishian necroquake, the pattern of the Everwinter became more erratic. The surge of deathly magics following Nagash's great ritual battered against the blizzard's fierce storm front. This resulted in the creation of series of intense supernatural tempests that devastated great portions of the realms. Swirling ice blended with ethereal matter, and wherever black clouds formed, hosts of ice-taloned gheists spawned. Worse yet, many Alfrostuns found their hunting grounds stripped bare of prey and rendered lifeless by the spectral tempests. Thus, many Mawtribes were forced to divert their Mawpaths to new frontiers, resulting in them encountering new prey.[1a]

The Boulderhead Mawtribe found fine feast grounds in the Grachwold Valleys of Ghur, the domain of the Allherd Greatfray. The Thunderbellies battle for control of the Lodebridges of Ayadah in the face of stubborn resistance from the sky-fleets of Barak-Urbaz. Meanwhile, the icy mists of the Winterbit Mawtribe have frozen the shores of the Dwindlesea from the Glittering Marsh to the Desert of Bones, sparing neither living nor dead. Meanwhile several Alfrostuns and Warglutts were entirely consumed by these raging deathstorms and frozen in the final throes of death. Other Alfrostuns looked behind them to find the skies were bright and clear of the Everwinter's grasp. However, the Huskards of these Alfrostuns believe this is only a temporary reprieve, for Gorkamorka's hunger is eternal and not even death can sate it.[1a]

The Great Thawing

With the death-gales of the necroquake battering the Everwinter, its freezing embrace has been pushed back in some places. The numerous ogors and Beastclaw Alfrostuns frozen in place by the Everwinter's chill have at long last been freed from their icy prisons. Driven mad by their long existence without the taste of fresh meat, these Alfrostuns have embarked upon a desperate search for food. The Coast of Tusks in Ghur has been savaged by packs of Beastclaw Raiders known locally as Snow Fiends. Having glutted themselves upon a shipment of prophetic augur-stones from the nearby city of Excelsis, these animalistic ogors have proven difficult to predict and subdue by remaining a step ahead of their prey. The effort by the Vanguard-Hunters of the Knights Excelsior to hunt down and slay these deranged creatures have proved costly and fruitless.[2a]

Sources

Beastclaw Raiders
Units Beastrider - Blood Vulture - Frost King - Frost Sabre - Frostlord - Huskard - Icebrow Hunter - Icefall Yhetee - Mournfang Pack - Stonehorn - Thundertusk
Characters Asger - Braggoth Varduk - Baergut Vosjarl - Gruthbav - Hrothgorn Mantrapper - Storm Speaker - Vorgrun Loshar
Alfrostun Jarkan - Jarvak - Korbag - Nibolg
Artwork - Miniatures