Tzekmek, Great Changer of the Barrowflock, shrilled curses as a pervasive, sugar-sweet scent permeated the air of the fens. With the guardians of the dead in disarray, and the Wickenmotte in flames, the magics of the marsh barrows had been theirs for the taking.
But even as the Tzaangor warflock had moved to plunder the ancient ruins, their celebrations were interrupted by the skirl of strange pipes and joyful, inhuman shrieks. The air had taken on an oily sheen the shaman recognised all too well…the veil was drawn thin, and something had issued forth from the realms beyond sensation.
Now, gaunt, glistening shapes loped through the mists and hunched trees, their abominable laughter tainting the very air. Daemons, but not those loyal to the Feathered Lords. Rather, these served the Great Schemer’s lost sibling, Slaanesh. And with the way so generously cleared of opposition by the Tzaangor, they had come to claim the magics of the barrows for themselves.
Perhaps they thought the charnel grounds held some secret which would return their lost god to them. Perhaps they were simply scavengers. Either way, they could not be allowed to plunder Tzekmek’s hard-won spoils of war.
Strange trilling calls echoed through the fenlands. Lean forms, clad in jade and gold, splashed swiftly through the dark waters. The scent of death-magic was strong on the night wind, even as the Unseen had promised. The mortal had offered his Tzaangor allies first pickings – if they could break through the dead, now massing at the ruined watchtower known as the Wickenmotte. A test of their loyalties and strength, both.
Tzekmek, Great Changer of the Barrowflock, had accepted that challenge, and gladly. There was strong magic in those ruins, and with it, he might raise a flux-cairn capable of warping the turgid landscape of the Ghost Bat Bog into something more pleasing to Tzeentch’s gaze.
He hissed in anticipation of the feast to come as he crouched low on the pulsating Disc of Tzeentch he rode. He sped just above the marsh’s tangled canopy, followed by his bodyguard of chattering Enlightened. The babbling warriors hunched atop their own discs, a fug of broken memories swirling about them. Nearby, ever-silent Skyfires kept pace, their keen gazes sweeping the murk below, arrows ready to be loosed should the enemy show themselves.
Beneath the trees, lesser Tzaangors loped through the gloom, screeching eagerly. They too could smell the dead, and the magic that animated them. And soon enough, that magic would belong to the changekin…(more…)
By the light of the flux-fires, the acolytes waited and murmured uneasily among themselves. In the hellish glow of the great bonfires, daemon-shapes murmured softly, eagerly, in a tongue that none save the adepts, in their feathered war-masks , could understand.
Abruptly, the flux-fires blazed up, clawing at the stars above, as if to wrench them from the firmament. For a moment, the flames wavered and split, as if parted by monstrous hands, and beyond them, a howling void of endless colour and light spun in a lunatic pattern.
A moment later, a tall, masked figure stepped forth from within the shimmering flux-flames, staff in hand. The acolytes stiffened attentively, as the newcomer began to speak. Perhaps it was time, at last, for the Cockatrice Conclave to go to war… (more…)
As 2016 kicks its last, 2017 circles the dimming fire, yellow eyes alight with eagerness. It’s hungry, this new year. Ready to pick the bones of the old, and yours as well, if you let it. I suggest avoiding that, if at all possible.
Anyway, here’s how I handled 2016. And how I’m planning to handle 2017. (more…)
Right, so…’tis the season. Christmas. A time of giving. A time of charity and compassion, unless your name is Jacob Marley. So, to that end, I’ve decided to raffle off a signed copy of Nagash: The Undying King, my newest Age of Sigmar novel, in return for charitable donations to a worthy cause. (more…)