War of Light and Death

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War of Light and Death
Celennar and the Black Pyramid.jpg
Celennar and the Black Pyramid of Nagash
Era Arcanum Optimar
Location Hysh, Shyish and Ghyran
Outcome Decisive Order Victory[1]
Combatants
{{{3}}} Grand Alliance of Death
{{{3}}} Legions of Nagash
{{{3}}} Ossiarch Bonereapers
{{{3}}} Flesh Eater Courts
{{{3}}} Nighthaunt
{{{3}}} Grand Alliance of Order
{{{3}}} Lumineth Realm-lords
{{{3}}} Sylvaneth
{{{3}}} Settler's Gain
Commanders
{{{3}}} Nagash
{{{3}}} Mannfred von Carstein
{{{3}}} Neferata
{{{3}}} Arkhan the Black
{{{3}}} Teclis
{{{3}}} Celennar

{{{3}}} Alarielle


The War of Light and Death describes the conflict during the events of Broken Realms between the forces of Order led by Teclis and the forces of Death led by Nagash. The conflict largely ended with Nagash's defeat, the curse of Necroquake being dispelled and the Soul Wars ending.[1]

Storm of Gheists

The Storm of Gheists was an invasion of Nighthaunt that sought to take the Free City of Settler's Gain at the center of the Realm of Hysh.[1a]

Nighthaunt Invasion

The war first opened with the Nighthaunt attack upon Settler's Gain. Settler's Gain, considered a jewel in the crown of the Hyshian paradise of Xintil, was under siege by a tide of living nightmares. The Nighthaunt hosts had emerged from the haze-shrouded horizon to charge straight for the city's outskirts, a howling, shrieking wave of ectoplasmic revenants that was proving nigh impossible for the city's defenders to stop. The alabaster perimeter wall of Settler's Gain provided scant defence, and even the warding sigils carved into every ten-metre stretch were little impediment. The Nighthaunt had learnt their lessons from their previous attempts at taking Glymmsforge in Shyish and prepared their attacks in advance. Mere hours before the gheist attack, agents of Nagash had infiltrated the city's outer sprawl where the conveyed the locations of damaged sigils to the leading Knight of Shrouds via raven messengers. The Nighthaunt hosts attacked accordingly, pouring past the defensive fire of the Freeguilders manning and walls and simply passing through the compromised areas.[1a]

Counter-Attack

The warning chimes of the invasion rang out in a great cacophony, with light-flares bursting out above the city limits to cast a fulsome glow in the twilight of Hysh's night. Every warrior rose from their slumber and formed up into ranks in the streets in imitation of the Lumineth's shining companies, should to shoulder and shield to shield. As the gheists approached, those that felt the icy tendrils of fear around their heart were swiftly slain, for their speartips merely passed through their malignant attackers. Those who steeled themselves, who found courage in invoking Sigmar or Teclis - struck true and watched the spirits dissipate. Regardless, the even the most redoubtable company was eventually beset on all sides by the incessant stream of gheists pouring through the city walls. Eventually, the city's Lumineth hosts began descending from the upper spires, and those Xintilian citizens that studied under Lumineth tutors began leading pockets of resistence using their arcane might to banish great swatches of chain-wrapped spectres.[1a]

Then came the Lumineth hosts themselves with the Vanari Dawnriders leading the charge. Aglow with lambent energy, they charged through the city's citizenry without so much as brushing against them. Their speartips blazing with the energy of Hysh, their spears struck home and ripped through the spectral hosts, sending them shrieking back to their oubliettes of Shyish. Where the gheists rushed down alleys and boulevards towards Vanari lines, searing arrows would shoot overhead to decimate their vanguard while Auralan Wardens shored up each route of escape with a wall of glowing spearpoints. In the Quarter Harmonious the battle mages of the Collegiate Arcane hurried out of their latest symposium and took to the field upon Hurricanums, which forced back the oncoming riot of spirits with barges of Azyrite energy, their lightning lashing out to dissipate the outriding gheists. Arcobalde Lazerne, the master of the city's mages rode upon his Luminark known as the Beacon of Intellect into the fray - its enchanted lens array sending beams of killing light searing into the thick of the Nighthaunt horde, burning dozens into nothing with each shot.[1a]

Banishment after banishment took its toll, yet always there were more. To the distance, what was thought to be a meteorological phenomenon was in fact a wall of gheists riding upon the aftershock of the Shyishian Necroquake, each howling for the souls of the living. The Nighthaunt swarm broke over the city wall with the fury of tsunami. Despite the Auralan Sentinels firing pinpoint shots at the leaders and totem bearers amongst the spirits they failed to slow the invasion in any discernible manner. It quickly became clear that there was no stopping onrushing tide of Nighthaunt and the Lumineth reinforcements could not stem the flow of gheists no more than a team of masons could stem the flow of a lake when the dam had already broken. Whilst the human populace fought back for few hours, when midnight came, their collective resolve began to waver. At the darknest hour, hope came to the defenders. Celennar, spirit of Hysh's true moon arrived amidst the fray. Where its lambent energies touched, the undead invaders were pushed back, seared and discorporated like rags cast into a gale. The malignant horde rushed upwards towards the moon spirit, who then called upon Teclis.[1a]

Arrival of Teclis

Teclis arrived like a blast of light akin to a star being born. Solar flares curled out from him and lashed through the streets below. To the humans and aelves who initially recoiled in fear and confusion, the touch of these flares was cool and refreshing as immersion in a moonlit lake. To the gheists, these flares were things of agony that blasted them apart into scattering spirit-ash. A trio of undead knights then careened though a nearby belltower through the air aiming at Teclis. With a light smile upon his face, Teclis reached into the deepest depth of his knowledge of the Lore of Death and transformed the wraith-riders back into mortal riders and steeds once more. With cries of alarm and confusion, they plummeted one by one from the skies, crashing to their deaths in the streets below. Raising his staff high, the Mage God shot out the energies of Hysh like light refracting through a prism, striking at the Nighthaunt commander and banishing the spirits of noose-wrapped murderers below. The people of Settler's Gain joined their voiced in jubilation and the pall of despair that settled over the city's defenders began to lift. The Nighthaunt invaders were banished and those that escaped quickly left the city behind them to bring word their masters of the disaster. After an entire night and day after, the city was finally purged with many thousands of its citizens lying dead in the streets. Some of the dead were found with features contorted into rictuses of terror and anguish, and their souls already forfeit as they were borne away on the ebb tide of the Necroquake. Upon Teclis' deman, they were buried with full honours and their names inscribed upon the great Pillar of Martyrs. Yet, for all the damage done, Settler's Gain had emerged strong for it and its people were now determined to hurl back any future assault by the undead.[1a]

Aftermath

Back in Nagashizzar, a Harrow-Knight crawled up the ninety-ninth stair of the underworld and abases himself before Nagash as he explains what he witnessed during the attempted taking of Settler's Gain. Teclis himself appears before Nagash, who angrily threatens the mage-god for his intrusion. Teclis warns Nagash that he must withdraw his forces from the Realm of Light or face the death of his empire before disappearing. Nagash accepts the challenges and orders the three present Mortarchs - Mannfred von Carstein, Neferata and Arkhan the Black - to begin the process of collapsing the realmgates to Shyish so that the darkness of the Nadir spreads outwards.[1a]

War of Empires

Teclis leading the Lumineth forces into the Realm of Shyish
War of Empires
Ossiarch Empire map 01.png
The war spanned the length of the Ossiarch Empire
Era Arcanum Optimar
Location Ossiarch Empire, Prime Innerlands, Shyish
Outcome Inconclusive
Combatants
{{{3}}} Lumineth Realm-lords {{{3}}} Ossiarch Bonereapers
{{{3}}} Mortis Praetorians
{{{3}}} Stalliarch Lords
{{{3}}} Petrifex Elite
Commanders
{{{3}}} Archmage Teclis

{{{3}}} Celennar
{{{3}}} Avalenor
{{{3}}} Lord Djarian

{{{3}}} Vokmortian

{{{3}}} Horrek Venzai
{{{3}}} Kui-Nabzar


The War of Empires describes the Lumineth invasion of the Realm of Shyish for the purpose of instigating the armies of Death. The campaign was Teclis' response to the Storm of Gheists that sought to invade Settler's Gain on Nagash's behalf.[1b]

The First Spearing

The Lumineth strategy was to invade the heartlands of Nagash's necrotopia, into the heart of the Ossiarch Empire. They first entered Shyish via a long-sealed Shyishian realmgate in the Magthar Mountains of Hallost that was all but obscured by the looming peaks. Once in Shyish, the Lumineth crossed the Nihilat Reach, borne atop floating rocks that their Alarith Stonemages had pressed into their service. They lauunched a surprise assault on the Mortis Praetorian legion of the Necrarch Coast, all before word had reach Katakros of the Lumineth presence in the realm of death. They continued making through way through the gap in the Nightfire Spine mountains before they could be intercepted by the Ossiarch legions, transversing the Plains of Praetoris and advanced upon a trio of towering fortress-statues known as the Triptych. Had Katakros not been occupied with his Siege of the Eightpoints against the armies of the Everchosen the Lumineth would have been waylaid, but instead managed to infiltrate the heart of the Ossiarch Empire.[1b1]

A Statement of Intent

Deep within the snow-shrouded Magthar Mountains in Hallost, a second legion of Lumineth warriors emerged from a glassy lake. The Vanari leaders summoned powers of the Lore of Light and transformed the land surrounding the lake into warm and verdant area. The archmage Teclis himself then arose from the lake who cracked the mountains surrounding him to form floating menhirs. The Lumineth army was borne through the skies upon these rocky platforms, using beams of light to shoot down any Ossiarch artillery aiming at their floating command centers. Teclis had considered invading the Ossiarch capital, Gothizzar, but decided against for even he and the Lumineth]] would not make so foolish a mistake as to challenge the primary stronghold of the Ossiarch Mortarch. Instead, they made haste to the trio of statue-topped fortresses collectively known as the Triptych. Considered one of the foremost wonder the Realm of Shyish, it is a nexus of magical ways protected by three fortresses of smooth bone. Atop each of these was a colossal statue of the Ossiarch general who had distinguished themselves in the defence of Praetoris against the scourge of Chaos. The tallest and most impressive was that of Katakros himself. This site also served as a vital waypoint between Praetoris and Equuis, but toppling the statue of Katakros would serve as a symbolic act that would resonate through the realm and show that the Ossiarch Bonereapers are far from unbeatable as a military force.[1b2]

The initial attack was not made on the plains as the Ossiarch garrisons would have preferred, but from the skies as the Lumineth had an advantage upon their metaliths that they were loath to relinquish. Vanari archers rained volleys upon the Ossiarch hordes massing on the plains below, and the winged Morghasts that that were sent to intercept the metaliths were taken down with concentrated magic as they neared. The enemy Mortisan leaders then began chanting long and long their sonorous rites, and eventually the great statue of Katakros twisted with a groaning, protesting creak. It swung its colossal glaive of nullstone to smash into the one of the floating metaliths and shattering it along its length. The null energy of the glaive unbound the geomantic magic hoisting the metalith in the sky and Lumineth aboard reeled and toppled to a tumble before Celannar swooped in to gently land them on the plains below. Then the other two statues came to life and one by one they demolished the great metaliths that the Lumineth army rode upon, leveling the playing field in an avalanche of debris and bringing the Lumineth offensive to a halt.[1b2]

The Speartip Blunted

The Lumineth now grounded, they were surprised by the speed of the Ossiarch charge. The Vanari established defensive position atop the remains of their fallen platforms, their archers making use of whatever vantage point they can. Teclis was challenged on the metaphysical front by the Mortisan priesthood challenging him with death magic, but their skilled paled in comparison to that of the mage-god. Meanwhile Celennar tore any Morghasts sent to assassinate Teclis. On the ground, the Mortek Guard advanced upon the high Lumineth positions with their shield held high. As the approached the cliff faces, the Mortisan mages transformed the Ossiarch warriors into scaffolding, with which the newly emerging Necropolis Stalkers climbed so that they may throw themselves into the Lumineth ranks. Despite the best efforts of the Auralan Wardens, these monstrosities could not be pushed back and they continued to slice through the Vanari warriors. The Vanari retreated behind the Alarith Stoneguard who were watching this gory and were now determined not to flinch back from the Ossiarch blades.[1b3]

Ride of the Vanari

The Alarith flowed forward and replaced the Vanari on the cliff edge. Although the Necropolis Stalkers were crafted with the hardiest of material, the hammer blows of the Alarith followed by their piercing pickaxes began breaking apart the Stalkers. The Ossiarch constructs were eventually forced off the cliff by the tectonic power of the mountain aelementors. As the Alarith fought to continue holding this cliff edge, the Vanari on another fallen metalith fought hard against the Mortek Guard of Fortress Tzantari. Unlike the upward jutting fallen metalith the Alarith held, the one the Vanari held was positioned diagonally, allowing for the Mortek Guard to simply march up the incline. However, the intent of the Auralan warriors was simply to obscure the Bonereapers. Holding a spaced out formation, and blinding their enemies below, the Auralan infantry allowed the Dawnriders to charge down at speed. The Mortek Guard, despite locking themselves into position, could not stop the charge of the specialized Dawnrider cavalry and their aetherquartz-charged weaponry. The Dawnriders drove their steeds to leap into the Mortek Guard line and bear down with their full weight, crushing the Bonereaper shieldwall. However, this charge was short-lived for the prideful Liege-Kavalos Horrek Venzai had ordered the Mortek Crawler catapults to bombard the Lumineth even at the cost destroying his Mortek Guard.[1b4]

Avowed Retribution

The catapults of the Ossiarch Bonereapers continued to pummel the Lumineth forces, whose advance had slowed as the Mortek Guards bore down on the Vanari and Alarith fronts. It was then that to the east of the Triptych that a third metalith had appeared, settling down in good order to reveal a third front of Lumineth lead by multiple Alarith mountain spirits. With the Bonereapers having diverted much of their forces away from the statues, the mountain spirits collapsed one Triptych statue. The second stature, which portrayed Zandtos, was surrounded by a figure hiding itself within the wind as it stabbed at the weak spots within the stature before the Alarith spirits brought it down. Teclis himself brought down the final statue of Katakros, despite the warning issued by Vokmortian the Emissary.[1b5]

A Grand Strategy

On the northernmost continent of the Ossiarch Empire, Equuis Main, Lumineth cavalry led by Hurakan Windmages swiftly advanced from the Magthar realmgate, bypassing the coastal fortresses of Xanda and Sinda altogether. The Avaiarch Spymasters of Liege-Kavalos Horrek Venzai were able to spot the glimmering Lumineth invasion through the eyes of their messenger carrion birds, the Harshspurs. The cavalry of Stalliarch Lords maneuvered towards the Lumineth and gave chase for days. The Lumineth steeds neared exhaustian, and so the Lumineth horsemasters ordered a true retreat towards the Brass Mountains to the south, a mountain range that has been transmuted to to hot metal by the incursions of Khorne during the Age of Chaos. The Lumineth hoped the difficult terrain would be too difficult for the Ossiarch steeds, but they they found no such respite, for the thrill of the chase is the only pleasure left to the Stalliarch Lords. Now being attacked at their rear, the Hurakan Windchargers were forced to turn their steeds back towards the enemy, and with heavy heart leaving their Vanari infantry. For a time their charge seemed to succeed, nearly achieving the defeat of the Kui-Nabzar, the leader of the Equuis cavalry elite. However, the Lumineth were eventually defeated, their clothes and aetherquartz stripped from them, and their bodies dragged away by the Bonereapers.[1b6]

To the south of Praetoris, in the land of Cadavaris, a small strike force of Hurakan Windchargers was being led by Hurakan Windmage Lord Djarian, the Shining Light. Their mission was to destabilise and confound the Ossiarchs. They went past the towering citadel Nerozzar, too fast for the Mortek Crawlers to target. The Ossiarch liege overseeing the garrison, Khebukhan, could not abide by the idea of an enemy wandering at will outside his walls. His ally, the Sinistral Master of the Petrifex Elite, assisted the liege by summoning a great mist of yellowish-grey spirit matter, hoping envelop the Lumineth beyond the walls. As they neared the mist, Lord Djarian called upon the Hurakan Spirit of the Wind known as Xenthe the Revealer, whose wind blew away the mist and revealed the hidden Ossiarch forces. The arrows of the Windchargers, guided by the wind, struck soul-trap gems of the Bonereapers, destroying them completely. The Windchargers collected their trophies before being spirited away from battle by the Revealer. This small strike force delivered their trophies to the cities Xalacar, Glymmsforge, and Lethis. With proof that the Bonereapers can be defeated, fires of hope were lit in hundreds of thousands of human hearts, and it spread further each day.[1b6]

In Victory, Defeat

While the Lumineth succeeded in igniting the hearts of the despairing denizens of Shyish, the Ossiarch Bonereapers have only grown stronger thanks to the deaths of Lumineth warriors participating in the offensive campaign. Provided with the souls and bones of Hyshian aelves the Bonereapers could form beings quick of thought, yet bellicose and aggressive in a way the contemplative aelves of Hysh could never be. To make matters worse for their victims, the Mortisans blended their souls with that of human essence, a torturous fate for those who took pride in the purity of their souls. Nagash gloating over the cleverly cruel fate he has given the aelven casualties began laying plans for a far more lasting and grandiose revenge.[1b7]

War of the Mortarchs

Tableau of the Fates depicting the War of the Mortarchs

The War of the Mortarchs was a set of three military offensives by the Nagash's Legions in the realms of Ghyran, Chamon and Hysh. The campaigns sought to corrupt realmgates near population centers with the powers of Death in order to creature smaller versions of the Shyish Nadir that will metaphysically link themselves to the one at the center of the Realm of Death.[1c]

Nagash's Scheme

Every realm has its arcane portals into the Realm of Death. It is through these realmgates that the living and living may pass to and from Shyish. Nagash commanded his Mortarchs to find these realmgates near populous areas of the realms and use the power of necromancy to bring about their demise. By collapsing the realmgates in this way, they will form lesser Nadirs in their place. These arcane sinkholes will connect to the all-consuming Shyish Nadir that is the end of all things. Thus, the energy, vitality and people of the realms will be slowly, inevitably be claimed by the Nadir.[1c1]

Invasion of Invidia

Invasion of Invidia
Invidia map 01.jpg
Invidia at the time of invasion
Era Arcanum Optimar
Location Invidia, Ghyran
Outcome Sylvaneth and Maggotkin Victory
Combatants
{{{3}}} Legion of Night {{{3}}} Sylvaneth {{{3}}} Maggotkin of Nurgle
Commanders
{{{3}}} Mannfred von Carstein {{{3}}} Alarielle {{{3}}} Horticulous Slimux

{{{3}}} Rotigus


Mannfred von Carstein was tasked with the first campaign targeting the Everspring Swathe in the Realm of Ghyran. Mannfred arrived through the Bleeding Gate in the continent of Invidia, the largest portal to Shyish within the Everspring Swathe. This once marvelous realmgate has long been enveloped by slimy, dripping moss since the arrival of Nurgle's forces. While the land was distasteful, Mannfred paid it no mind as its macabre castles and rotting moorlands reminded Mannfred of his ancient homeland. To the north of the Bleeding Gate, Mannfred caught the scent of primitive swamp tribes along the Minuet Rivers, that had long ago cast their lot in with Nurgle. Mannfred led an echelon of armoured wights against these savages. After fighting Plague Toads and gibbering Jabberslythes, Mannfred was able to subjegate the swamp tribes and bring them back the Bleeding Gate where they were sacrificed in Nagash's name. With their departing essences bound to his cause, Mannfred began his work of corruption upon the Bleeding Gate. The spell he cast was similar in nature to the Curse of Years, a spell which quickly ages its victims. With such magic, Mannfred can quickly crumble the realmgate into dust, and create a lesser Shyish Nadir. However, Mannfred was merely baiting his enemies, as he had a grander scheme in mind.[1c1]

To the south-east of the Bleeding Gate lies the region known as the Claim of Horticulous, a tract of land dozens of leagues across, that surround the three massive lakes of putrescence known as the Reality Sores. This land abuts the Toxic Irrigations in the south and the Gastrobominus Sludge in the east. These lands were thoroughly corrupted by Nurgle's first Herald, Horticulous Slimux. Horticulous laid claim to all of Invidia as his personal garden, except for the area surrounding the Bleeding Gate, for his foetid garden would wither near the deathly energies surrounding the realmgate. With Mannfred's ritual in action, Horticulous' garden began to wither, drawing the forces of Nurgle to repel the Soulblight vampire's scheme. In response, Mannfred sent for a three-pronged assault upon the Reality Sores: a self-replenishing army of Deadwalkers to attack , a horde of Deathrattle, and an army of Wights which advanced upon the Reality Sores from the Hind Sea. They were met a force of Beasts of Nurgle, the forces of Rotigus, and finally Horticulous Slimax himself, respectively. These attacks were ultimately a strategic success, for they bought the needed time for the next step in Mannfred's plan.[1c1]

The Sylvaneth of Ghyran to the flow of life and death in their native realm, and they eventually sensed the effects of Mannfred's ritual and knew the dire consequences should he complete it. Alarielle herself also sensed the presence of Mannfred himself, whom she remembered during existence in the World-that-Was, where Mannfred sacrificed her and Tyrion's daughter Aliathra. The Sylvaneth and their Everqueen quickly passed through the spirit paths of Ghyran from Verdia to the still verdant Prince's Contention in Invidia. Advancing from the north, the Sylvaneth met the forces of [[Nurgle advancing from the south, likewise towards the Bleeding Gate. Alarielle herself flew towards Mannfred, who sent the Vampire Lord Garathrac the Skull-Hound and his Zombie Dragons to intercept her. While Alarielle occupied with the vampire lord, Mannfred attempted to cast a curse of aging upon her, but she quickly regrew to her former splendour. When she finally dispatched Garathrac, the host of Horticulous appeared on the horizon. Mannfred sketched a bow to the Everqueen before leaving his forces to cover his escape through the Bleeding Gate.[1c1] Back in Shyish, Mannfred would use the war as a distraction to invade Neferata's lands, whose agents likewise made gains within Mannfred's territory.[1c5]

Invasion of the Great Bewilderness

Invasion of the Great Bewilderness
Great Bewilderness map 01.jpg
The Great Bewilderness, the site of Neferata's invasion
Era Arcanum Optimar
Location Great Bewilderness, Spiral Crux, Chamon
Outcome Order Victory
Combatants
{{{3}}} Legion of Blood {{{3}}} Kharadron Overlords

{{{3}}} Lumineth Realm-lords

Commanders
{{{3}}} Neferata {{{3}}} Imoda Barrasdottr

{{{3}}} Ellania and Ellathor
{{{3}}} Xelathuria


Neferata's invasion of the Spiral Crux was meticulously planned and executed with her hallmark deadly competence. She arrived through the Shyishian realmgate known as the Switchsoul Dais, which lies beneath the Granthium Mountains in the Great Bewilderness. Neferata sought to accomplish her task in secrecy and with certainty. Her agents manipulated the course Kharadron miner-fleets so that they would avoid passing over the Granthium Mountains. brought extra human sacrifices with her in order to perform her ritual, and calculated the exact amount of time it would take to accomplish her task. However, an up-and-coming Kharadron admiral named Imoda Barrasdottr had taken notice of Neferata's manipulations. One drunken night, she noticed none of her fellow admirals and their miner fleets has passed through the Granthium Mountains, even when it was the most convenient route. In fact, the charts seemed to suggest the miner fleets changed course just before they would have entered the mountain region. That very night, Admiral Barrsdottr ordered her meager fleet to investigate. Operating out Barak-Zilfin, she crossed the Ferrus and Gleaming Seas and reach the Granthium Mountains in good speed. Peering through her aethermatic spyglass she spotted something unusual: a Deathrattle Skeleton. After shooting it, it reassembled itself before pacing away into a fissure in the rock. Barrasdottr ordered her crew to land the ship so that she may investigate. While investigating, she heard the screams of Neferata's sacrifices and ventured further in.[1c3]

What Imoda Barrasdottr found below the mountain shocked her to her core. Having been affected by the Neferata's deadly ritual, her hair turned white from root to tip and her first mate had to be carried on the way out. Managing to make it back to her ship, they were pursued by the winged horrors that accompanied Neferata. The Kharadron force surely would have perished had Admiral Barrasdottr not decided to pass through the harkraken lairs, rousing the beasts, and setting them against the pursuing Zombie Dragons and Terrorgheists. Back in the safety of Barak-Zilfin's ale-houses she conveyed her story to two aelves she had met before her grim discovery. The pair listened with intense interest, and their wry smiles fell from their faces as Barrasdottr described the pallid queen atop a monstrous steed working some sacrificial ritual beneath the mountain peaks. These aelves were the Lumineth twins Ellania and Ellathor, warsages that roamed from beyond the Realm of Hysh. The twins communed with the spirit of Celennar who conveyed this information to Teclis directly. The Lumineth of Ymetrica were quick to respond and sent forth a force of Alarith warriors to stop the Soulblight queen's ritual.[1c3]

The Alarith force arrived through a realmgate from Avalenoria in Hysh to the Domtanguan Mountains, just northeast of the Gleaming Sea. The Alarith managed to bypass the Tzaangor-infested lands between the Domtanguan and Granthium mountain ranges through hidden pathways and rendezvoused with the twins in Vale of Golden Idols to the east of the Gleaming Sea. The Alarith force and the twins advanced into the hidden caverns where they met Neferata's undead servants, who outnumbered the Lumineth a dozen-to-one. Despite the Alarith being in their element within a mountain, the path to Neferata was choked with her deathrattle servants, and the Lumineth advance slowed to a crawl. Joining the battle against the Lumineth were a trio of vampiresses known as the Scarlet Doyennes, who each equaled a dozen Lumineth in power. Ellathor jumped aboard the vampiric trio's Bloodseeker Palanquin and engaged them in close combat, but was overwhelmed by their speed and sorcerous abilities. Seeing her brother in danger, Ellania sent bolts of pure light towards the vampiresses, striking two. However, with her position now revealed, Neferata herself seized her and began draining away her life essence. With amethyst magic dimming the Lumineth aetherquartz and Fell Bats overwhelming the Alarith, the Alarith Stonemage Xelathuria cast a spell and opened a chasm within the mountain, into which he fell.[1c3]

The rest of the Alarith gasped in shock, questioning whether the Stonemage miscast their spell. However, Xelathuria eventually crawled their way back up, and brought with them the Spirit of the Mountain, who burned with rage at Neferata's deathly corruption of his mountain. The aelamentor hammer smashed Neferata's dread abyssal steed, hurling the Mortarch from her mount as the best Nagadron exploded into a thousand bone fragments. Despite her efforts, Neferata's warriors and terrorgheists could not arrest the mountain spirit, who smashed the dais at the heart of the ritual. With a shrill curse of outrage, the Mortarch of Blood disappeared in a miasma of deathly energies before activating runes she had enscriped to bring down the mountain itself. This act of surprising spite would entomb the majority of these present for evermore.[1c3]

March of the Myriad

March of the Myriad
Ymetrica map 01.jpg
Arkhan first attacked from the Blackpit Realmgate in Ymetrica, before moving on to the Desert of Endings in Haixiah
Era Arcanum Optimar
Location Vertiginious Peaks, Ymetrica, Hysh

Desert of Endings, Haixiah, Hysh

Outcome Lumineth Victory
Combatants
{{{3}}} Null Myriad

{{{3}}} Mortis Praetorians

{{{3}}} Lumineth Realm-lords
Commanders
{{{3}}} Arkhan the Black
{{{3}}} Ossifector Xaramos
{{{3}}} Light of Eltharion

{{{3}}} The Weeping Veil


The third invasion was led by Arkhan the Black, Nagash's trusted Mortarch, who leads his own legion of Ossiarch Bonereapers known as the Null Myriad. The invasion targeted Ymetrica, where the forces of Death entered through the Blackpit Realmgate, located on the coreward portion of Ymetrica, north of the Vertiginious Peaks and east of Mount Avalenor. This realmgate was long abandoned and quarantined since the Ocari Dara. A thousand Null Myriad entered Ymetrica from the gate, followed by Arkhan soaring above his Dread Abyssal Razarak. With him came winged Morghasts, Gothizzar constructs, and the Mortis Praetorian allies not far behind. The Lumineth were immediately aware of the invasion, but they avoided directly confronting the sorcerer Arkhan near a realmgate to Shyish, where he would be at his most powerful. The Lumineth instead opted to allow the forces of Death to march further in, before encircling and charging them. The Ymetricans were led into battle by the Scinari Cathallar known as the Weeping Veil. They sought to lure their enemies into a valley that appeared surrounded by high peaks, but in actuality had open paths leading in that were obscured by folds in perception placed by the Alarith Stonemages. However, Arkhan quickly saw through the arcane ruse and telepathically ordered his army to step away from from the valley, as one they retreated just as the Lumineth made their charge and to their surprise found themselves charging into the valley they themselves sought to trap the Bonereapers. The Mortek Crawlers and Gothizzar Harvesters then rained down fire upon the aelves before they could rectify their mistake. The battlefield turned from an ambush to a war of attrition, and even arcane attacks by the Lumineth mages could do little to turn the tide of battle, for the Null Myriad were largely immune to such attacks. Even the Scinari Cathallar attacks formed from the misery and despair of the dying Lumineth could do little to the Null Myriad, and by nightfall the mountains surrounding the Blackpit Realmgate belonged to Arkhan's forces.[1c4]

The Lumineth adapted quickly. Rather than using finesse and arcane attacks, they positioned Starshard Ballistas at vantage points above the Ossiarch Bonereaper positions. These ballistas were able to punch through the armour of the Ossiarch Bonereapers and bypassed the protection of the Null Myriad. When the Mortisans moved to heal their creations, they exposed their positions and were shot down. Small units of Alarith then attacked, skidding down the mountainsides to drive the Ossiarch line back for a time. As they did so, the Scinari mages burned the remains slain Bonereapers. With great sorrow, they burned the Lumineth dead as well, having learned the consequences of their prior campaign in Shyish. Such a lack of proper funeral rites for Lumineth was a great taboo, and had the Scinari Cathallar commander not assisted in draining away their sorry, the Lumineth would likely have been too traumatized to continue. These acts of great sacrifice steadily took their tool on the Bonereapers, who were now being starved of raw material to recoup their numbers. With the arrival of Sevireth, Lord of the Seventh Wind, the tide fully turned against the Bonereapers, as the wind-driven arrows of the Hurakan forces punched through Bonereapers with ease. Though Arkhan was able to diminish any Lumineth that approached him with ease, Sevireth was unaffected and forced Arkhan to retreat to Shyish with a sandstorm of such violence it threatened to scour him to nothing.[1c4]

Back in Shyish with his Null Myriad, Arkhan the Black decided to recalibrate his plans. Rather than collapse a realmgate in the more hospitable region of Hysh, he would target a realmgate within Haixiah, the region of Hysh adjacent to the Realm's Edge. After passing the Gates of Paradox to the Desert of Ending in Haixiah, Celennar sent visions to the psychically-linked Scinari Council. However, knowing that most Lumineth would quickly perish within Haixiah and its undiluted Light Magic they called upon the Eltharion. Eltharion is an ancient enemy of Arkhan, who is responsible for destroying Eltharion original body and therefore is responsible for his existence as a spirit of pure light. Those Lumineth most faithful to Eltharion followed their liege in his quest. Few made it to their destination, for the intense magic of Haixiah turned their flesh to crystal, light, or to shimmering mirage. After a month-long march, they reached their target. The Hurakan forces were led by the Windmage Yara Qu Wai, who was joined by a score of Windchargers and the legendary Spirits of the the Wind Garhael and Daramanth. Eltharion flew ahead of them and came directly for Arkhan. Arkhan attempted to reach of Eltharion's throat to repeat the curse that first killed the Lumineth warrior, but Arkhan's hand only grasped at pure light, which burned the sorcerer's hands. Arkhan attempted to put the Gates of Paradox between himself and Eltharion, but his foe was to quick. Eltharion cast Arkhan over the Realm's Edge, where even reality could be undone. His Dread Abyssal dived after him, and after an explosion of blinding light, nothing was left of Arkahn or his steed.[1c4]

War on the Peaks

War on the Peaks
Era Arcanum Optimar
Location Vertiginous Peaks, Ymetrica, Hysh
Outcome Order Victory
Combatants
{{{3}}} Ossiarch Bonereapers
{{{3}}} Vertigon Court
{{{3}}} Starfang Mont (initially)
{{{3}}} Lumineth Realm-lords
{{{3}}} Settler's Gain

{{{3}}} Starfang Mont (later)

Commanders
{{{3}}} Nagash
{{{3}}} Ossifector Xaramos
{{{3}}} Gorstane Mortevell
{{{3}}} Varshorn (initially)
{{{3}}} Teclis
{{{3}}} Celennar
{{{3}}} The Weeping Veil
{{{3}}} Lyrior Uthralle
{{{3}}} Harantio the Galerider

{{{3}}} Varshorn (later)


The War of Light and Death would reach its climax with the arrival of Nagash within the Realm of Light and his direct confrontation with the Archmage Teclis. Prior to this confrontation, the Lumineth would meet the Ossiarch Bonereapers on fields of battle across the Ymetrican Geosegment. The skies darkened over the continent as hundreds of thousands of bats flocked from their caves, driven to frenzied bloodthirst by the influx of death magic. The mountains themselves began to shiver as if in horrified anticipation, their rocky flanks bleeding a thick crimson liquid as the air soured. Then, amid the scream of tortured magical energies, Nagash broke through the Blackpit Realmgate, overpowering the wards and protections the Lumineth placed upon it since Arkhan the Black's previous excursion. The vengeance of the Great Necromancer would soon be made manifest.[1d1]

Darkness Descends

Above the yawning, rock-toothed abyss of the Blackpit Realmgate, the sky sicked fast. Nauseating coloured threaded through the gossamer clouds that drifted overhead. A sour scent infect the air, stinking of corpse-rot mingling with the musky, arid smell of desert tombs. Birds and insects fled on instinct as Nagash burst from the Blackpit portal with a scream of triumph. Around the circumference of the pit, aelven warding runes burned with black fire, the symbols shriveling and writhing as if in pain until they disappeared altogether. Crackling with amethyst lightning, the godly figure rose up and where his gaze fell, the Lumineth soldiers tasked with guarding the portal withered and turned black. The survivors fell back in horror, fleeing to the mountain paths and hidden valleys. Realm-lord falconers sent proud sun-eagles winging away to warn the greater Lumineth host, but with a twitch of his long finger Nagash incinerated the eagles in purple flame. Nagash seized the flank of the mountain, which under his touch quickly turned black and brittle, thus beginning his work upon Avalenor.[1d2]

Meanwhile, Lumineth host that had returned from the War of Empires in Shyish months back were seeking the aid of the Elthondu Widows, who waded the Great Daixo River. They sought the emotive arts of this Cathallar sisterhood to help ease their suffering from the trauma of the campaign. However, when Nagash broke through the Blackpit Realmgate, these Cathallar sisters fell into a fugue state, claiming Avalenor will tremble and fall. The Ymetrican forces, emotionally shattered as they were, strapped on their armour once more and set out, this time with many of the Elthondu Widoes at their side. Word was sent to the neighboring nations of Zaitrec, Iliatha, and Xintil. While it was understood that Nagash likely already seized the region surrounding Avalenor, the Lumineth valued hope. The march of the Lumineth force through the mountains was long and exhausting, and their commanders expressly forbade the use of aetherquartz until the time of battle. Many feared that they were too late to stop Nagash from succeeding where Arkhan had failed, that the Lumineth forces were too few, and that the could never match an immortal deity whose magical arts are beyond comprehension. The hope was that Teclis and his brother Tyrion would aid their people. However, Tyrion was away on an unknown quest to the Pit of Cathartia in Ymetrica, while Teclis was rumoured to be repairing any damage upon Slaanesh's goal in Uhl-Gysh caused by the forces of the Everchosen. It was [Lyrior Uthralle]] who led the Vanari forces in Tyrion's stead. He had emptied the Lumineth strongholds of Tor Amun, Tor Ilidreth and Tor Glimris for this campaign. Their phalanxes crossed Revelatia, closed over the Contrarian River and bridged the Scintilla Falls to reach the northern edge of the Vertiginous Peaks. From high above they appeared as trickling streams of silver, blue and white that snarked the terrain to climb the highlands that stretch around Mount Avalenor. Their target was easy to identify, for high in the sky beyond the Blackpit Realmgate the air itself turned dark and foul like an old bruise. Despite the horrific scene, not one of the Lumineth yielded to fear, for this was their home and vowed to defend it even in the face of certain destruction.[1d2]

When the aelves approached the site of the Blackpit, they observed a disturbing scene: a globe of swirling, monochrome energy so large that it looked as if a small moon settled over the realmgate. Upon closer inspection, they saw that it was not a sphere of amorphous magic, but of churning spectre forms. Lord Regent [Lyrior Uthralle|Uthralle]] was about to order the horrific phenomenon be bombarded with the cleansing magic of Hysh when the Weeping Veil stayed his hand. She pointed out that the globe contained Lumineth souls that had been taken by Nagash in the previous battles, and to destroy the globe would be to condemn these souls to a lightless purgatory. Thus, Nagash used the Lumineth reverence for their souls as a shield against them. The Lumineth marched on and on the twelth night a messenger owl delivered word from Ymetricans still campaigning in Shyish that Avalenor, the spirit of the peak was crumbling as if he were made from dried clay. Ellania and Ellathor returned from their Spiral Crux campaign against Neferata after the former suspected that the peak of Avalenor itself must be crumbling. Upon hearing their suspicions, Lord Regent Uthralle's forces broke into a measured run towards the peak. When they reached Avalenoria proper, the Lumineth were greeted with a horrific site: the aelementiri shrines that dotted the peaks were reduced to burnt-out ruins, the former inhabitants' flayed flesh draped upon jutting spars of wood or strange, tree-like structured form of bone by the Mortisans. The attacks on Nagash's forces began in the dead of night. Unlike the previous conflict, the Lumineth fought with a burning hatred and resolve to save their sacred peak. The Lumineth used the tactics previously used during Arkhan's invasion and would starve the Bonereapers of the raw materials needed to replenish their ranks. The Vanari would gather the bodies of both Lumineath and Ossiarch fallen and transfer them far from enemy lines via networks of Dawnriders.[1d2]

Starved of raw materials, the Mortis Praetorians that sculpted the horrific displays of flayed skin and bone trees were forced to tear down their fortifications in order to create new Mortek Guard. For a time the Bonereapers looked so formidable that the Lumineth simply did not attack. However, non-pragmatic nature of Ossiarch diplomacy would eventually bring the downfall of the Bonereaper force in the Vertiginous Peaks. After abandoning the Blackpit Realmgate, Arkhan had left his second-in-command Boneshaper Xaramos in charge of the Ymetrican campaign, knowing he can make use of the ghouls that inhabited the peaks as a source of raw bone material. This Flesh-eater Court was ruled by Abhorrant Archregent Gorstane Mortevell, a stalwart follower of Nagash, who literally fought tooth-and-nail against the Lumineth. However, Xaramos did not account for the courts under Mortevell's rule. Starfang Mont was inhabited by court of ghouls led by Abhorrant Ghoul King Varshorn, who did not worship Nagash, in recognition Nagash's exile of Varshorn's blood-progenitor Ushoran. At first the bone tithe placed upon Starfang Mont was a simple enough matter and Varshorn had forged an uneasy respect for Xaramos over the course of the Ravage of Elthondu, where the two undead forces engineered the sack of a prosperous Lumineth river town. After a number of victories, the Ghoul King had even invited the Ossifector to a victory feast - which he attended but did not participate in. The Flesh-eater domains was not short of bones, their lair littered with it, and thus the first tithe seized this resource. The subsequent tithes saw the taking of their osseous thrones, and eventually the bones the ghouls wore as jewelry and decorations. The line was crossed when the ghouls themselves became the subject of the tithe. Varshorn attempted to parlay with Xaramos, but was attacked instead. Just as the Flesh-eaters were about to be cut down, Varshorn's winged shock troops arrived and turned the tide. Varshorn personally ripped Xaramos' head from his neck, and without realising, Varshorn had struck a blow for freedom upon which the Lumineth were soon to capitalise. The loss of Xaramos' talent would hit the Ossiarch war effort hard.[1d2]

Clash of Gods

As the Lumineth approached Mount Avalenor they found their resolve withering from the oppressive air that was stale and choking, as if it was thick with corpse dust. Even the Scinari Cathallars struggled to allay the waves of negative emotion emanating from the mountain, and found themselves aching from head to toe, their minds aflame with the effort of sublimating the currents of despair that were buffeting the shining companies on the approach. Only the Alarith temples found the strength to carry on in force, with the Stonemages reminding their kin that the mountain's endurance was limitless, and that whilst it stood, they too would stand in its defence. The truth of that notion wavered when couts discovered a herd of pallid and emaciated Ymetrican Longhorns. These totemic beasts of the Alarith temple owing to their imperviousness to disease and the elements, will only die when slain by a chance occurance or in violence; left in peace they are effectively immortal. Here, though, creatures were sickened badly, and out of kindness the Stonemage Illitar ordered that their suffering be put to an end. The beasts themselves did not resist, and looked up almost gratefully as the Alarith took hammers to their foreheads. The scene ignited a new flame of hatred within the Alarith, which the other castes feared was Nagash's plan. As the aelementiri ascended, they called out to the winds that howled, tortured, terrified through the mountains. Their message was borne across the seventy-seven winds of the Great Nations, who all heard the call. It was the wind-borne children of Helon who reached Mount Avalenor first - the foremost amongst them being the legendary trickster Harantio the Galerider. When the Alarith slipped in their ascent, the winds would catch them and raise them back up, and together the Alarith and Hurakan marched onward.[1d3]

It was then that Teclis arrived alongside Celannar to challenge Nagash directly. The dual atop Mount Avalenor was a clash of titans, an epic battle of sorcery and willpower fought on the astral plane as much as the physical plane. Celennar was the first to strike by issuing a series of sliding, mellifluous chords from his impassive mask, a melody that winded around the peak to drown out all other noise. This was the music of the spheres, the most profound sound of the cosmos, and even the greatest words of power could not be spoken against it. Without a voice, a human sorcerer could not incant a great part of their spells, whether they be a simple hedge wizard or conjurer supreme. Wordlessly, Nagash brought the tips of his talons together as if holding a priceless relic. As he did so, a cage of flowing skeletal limbs appeared around the moon sphinx, a thousand bony hands each clamping upon the forearm of another to make a lattice that trapped the moon-spirit entirely. Despite Celennar's attempt to burn this cage away, it eventually closed upon the moon-spirit, and the beautiful cosmic music eventually fell apart into a thousand wracking sobs. Nagash's hollow eyes blazed with amethyst light and he lashed out with the staff Alakanash towards the caged Celennar. Teclis sent a wave of banishing magic to repulse it, but the magical shockwave hit Cellennar like a battering ram, before the moon-spirit retreated back to the true moon.[1d3]

Teclis was Nagash's next target. With the power of the Shyish Nadir empowering him from afar, the skeletal tyrand loosed a stream of harsh syllables that curdled the air around his fleshless maw. Teclis was overcome with visions an invisible hand closing around his neck, carrion beetles devouring him from inside and out and black sand pouring into his frame until he burst like an overfilled sack. Over and over, Teclis was battered with nightmarish images, but in his heart he knew that to give in to fear engendered by even one of them would be to make it real. Teclis gritted his teeth and channeled his inner calm. In this moment, Alarielle lent serenity to Teclis' mind through her connection with Teclis' lunar staff. Shining with brilliant light Teclis immolated the books orbiting the Great Necromancer. These nine books had been the stepping stones into Nagash's apotheosis. The Death God gave a mind-splitting scream so vile that it crack the mountainside beneath him. Teclis summoned a sphere of light around himself and Nagash in order to silence the liche's banshee scream before translocating both to the Aetheric Void. Nagash traslocated form the sphere Teclis contained him in to Teclis himself, where their blades met. Teclis shot beams of pure Hyshian magic from eyes and burned Nagash's collarbone, and in turn Nagash jabbed is staff into Teclis' ribcage, splilling the energies of the Shyish Nadir into the Archmage's body. Teclis coughed blood and his spell of translocation was broken, and both gods found themselves atop Mount Avalenor once again.[1d3]

On the closest peak to the east of the titanic clash, the Ossiarch Bonereapers had hastily constructed a bulwark of flesh and bone that impeded the progress of the Alarith, who were also coming under fire Ossiarch artillery composed of cauldrons of tortured souls. Banshee-spirits wailed out from the cursed cauldrons, their heart-stopping screams exacting a terrible toll in Lumineth lives. The Hurakan Spirits of the Wind charged forward aiming to topple the Mortisans from their flesh citadel. However, through their dark arts, the Mortisans fused themselves to the ramparts so that they could not be dislodged. Atop the walls of the of the fortress, richly dressed Mortisans shouted against the winds, their dolorous rites channeling long-stored power to their master Nagash as he dueled Teclis above. One after another, they collapsed, as their souls were drained entirely so that the Great Necromancer could gain an edge. Hurkan Wind Spirits shot down any that still stood with their wind-guided arrows. Over time, the Lumineth had gained hope that by winning the war on the ground, they could tip the scales in the battle between the gods. Bridges of light cut through the air as Scinari from neightboring peaks, across which strode Alarith Spirits of the Mountain. From on high, miasmas of amethyst magic floated down and disincorperated three of these light bridges just as the Mountain Spirits were halfway across. Most found their feet upon Mount Avalenor, where they easily propelled themselves up. These spirits were not alone in scaling the peak. U from the valleys came a pallid tide of ghouls led by Archregent Gorstane Mortevell of the Vertigon Court. These ghoul led a heroic charge against what the Lumineth, which in their minds appeared as false angels. The Abhorrant Arch-Regent himself climbed atop a Mountain Spirit and tore of its mask, causing it to crumble. In response, Windmage Harantio the Galerider and his fellow Windmages caught Mortevell and hurled him screaming from the mountainside. Had the Deadwatch of Starfang Mont been present for the assault, the Flesh-eaters would have tipped the balance, but instead the war-spirits strode on. When the Alarith sprits reached the Ossiarch citadel they made short work of it, sending Mortisans still funneling power to Nagash tumbling.[1d3]

As the Ossiarch reserve filled each breach with a shieldwall of skeletal bodies, there was a blaze of light from six of the peaks opposite. It was so bright that the troglodytic ghouls shrank back with their claws over their eyes. The light intensified, dazzling even the Lumineth, before becoming a set of coherent beams that scorched their way through the twilight. Across the far side of the valley were six contraptions of human design known as Luminarks of Hysh, each an array of aetherquartz focusing lenses. Behind them was a shimmering portal, the spires of Settler's Gain just visible beyond it. Behind the peaks themselves was Celennar, which blazed brighter than ever, nearly as bright as Hysh itself seen from other realms. At the strident call of master mage Arcobalde Lazerne, the light of the true moon was carefully focused through the engines the humans called the Greater Luminarks of Xintil. Their searing lances banished the gloom above the peaks and struck Nagash in his torso, waist, and even his fleshless face as he fought Teclis above the peak. Another Luminark channeled the power of the Tower of Prios to bore into Nagash's skull. Smiling in triumph, Teclis called forth the residual energy of every aetherquartz gem worn by every Lumineth present. Creating a chain of light akin to the one binding Slaanesh, the Archmage bound the Great Necromancer and tied him down to the peak of Mount Avalenor. The massed Mountain Spirits waded through the Ossiarch lines to reach Nagash, where they brought their hammers down upon the Great Necromancer. Nagash's bones were pulverized and his body broken, and his soul fled north to the Blackpit Realmgate back to the Realm of Shyish. Taking the cords of light he used to bind Nagash, and even plucking the aetherquartz lenses from the Luminarks, Teclis formed a pictogram of Danathroir, the rune of banishment of sanctity. In that instant, the light of Hysh blazed bright across the Mortal Realms and the lingering, deathly curse of the Necroquake was broken forever.[1d3]

Sources

  • 1: Broken Realms: Teclis
    • 1a: The Storm of Gheists, pg. 6-9
    • 1b: Act I: War of Empires
      • 1b1: The First Spearing, pg. 12-13
      • 1b2: Statement of Intent, pg. 14-15
      • 1b3: The Speartip Blunted, pg. 16-17
      • 1b4: Ride of the Vanari, pg. 20-21
      • 1b5: Avowed Retribution, pg. 22-23
      • 1b6: A Grand Strategy, pg. 24-25
      • 1b7: In Victory, Defeat, pg. 26-27
    • 1c: Act II: War of the Mortarchs
      • 1c1: Invasion of Invidia, pg. 30-31
      • 1c2: Death Into Life, pg. 32-35
      • 1c3: All That Glitters, pg. 36-41
      • 1c4: March of the Myriad, pg. 42-47
      • 1c5: Tableau of the Fates, pg. 48-49
    • 1d: Act III: A Clash of Gods
      • 1d1: Hysh in Peril, pg. 52-53
      • 1d2: Darkness Descends, pg. 54-57
      • 1d3: War on the Peak, pg. 58-67
  • 2: Soulbound: Era of the Beast