Lured into conflict by dark promises of reward & reknown, war raged across the Mortal Realms once more. Seers, Sorcerers, Wizards & Warlocks accompanied Battlehosts of Warlords from every race, all hunting for the chance to find one of the ruinous powers of Chaos. Whether to usurp or assassinate, dominate or surrender to Slaanesh, the fight for such a mighty prize was bitter & merciless.
Guided by the whispers escaping from the newly uncovered Godstones, the forces of Order, Chaos, Death & Destruction marched through newly created realmgates that lead to the blasted parapets of the Ironholds of Chamon. Now under the control of dread Archaon the vast & impenetrable fortress barred entry to any assailant foolish enough to attempt entry, while storms of steel rain & plagues of rust decimate the ranks of would be beseigers. Those unfortunate to lose their footing on the outer walls of the jagged citadel were transmuted to lead in the silver seas that raged below the dreadhold. Whole chambers of Stormcast Eternals, mobs of Ironjaws & vile Flesh Eater Courts were obliterated in the opening battles upon the Ironholds, as well as the vainglorious Invaders of Slaanesh that sought to lay claim to their dark princes' vacant throne.
The deadliest Warriors of the Age descended upon the vicious conflict: mighty Sigmar threw open the hallowed gates of the Extremis Chamber accompanied by the Celestant Prime, first of the God King's champions. Nagash, Lord of undeath ripped through countless enemies like a storm of amethyst, guarded by deadly Morghasts & endless hordes of undead servants. Even the mighty Maggot Lord Tamurkhan rode forth atop Bubebolos, eager to seek out Slaanesh & destroy the weakened God for the amusement of Father Nurgle.
As the Godstones bled out their rapturous approval of the slaughter, new realmgates coalesced that would lead their captors deeper down the path towards their infernal master. Seizing an opportunity to swell his own fell power from the souls of the fallen, the great Necromancer cast a powerful incantation that altered the emerging realmgates & lured the warring Battlehosts into marching to the nightmare land of Shyish. With a violent scream of anguish, the unholy shards were too late to stop the warring factions from plunging into the underworlds of Stygix.
Within the castle-crypts of the Necropolis of Gothizzar, the armies of Nagash were filled with unholy vigour while their enemies were buffeted by the winds of death. Beneath the perpetual night sky of the realm of death fearsome Waaaghs of Ironjaw Orruks made short work of native Crypt Ghouls & their delusional masters. The forces of order however, faltered within the walls of the dark citadel & looked all but defeated by insurmountable foes. Corrupted by the fell artefacts in their possession, covens of Khainite daughters turned on their Stormcast allies, lusting for blood & murder to pay their own god a worthy tribute for their survival from such a hellish landscape.
Disrupted by Nagash's meddling, the Godstones railed at their bearers to escape the necropolis & cut through to its outer walls where new gates could be summoned & their quest restored. Blinded by the shadow of the death realms' Soul feast, Sigmar ceased hurling his lightning bolts of shock troops into a battleground he could no longer influence, forced to seek out other aid from within the celestial realm. Powerless to stop the destruction of the faithful, Sigmar was forced to turn his back on his warriors as he watched the motes of light that were his fallen Stormcast consumed by the great Necromancer.
In a battle that would achieve nothing but swell the ranks of the undead & the power of their dark lord, many of the Battlehosts called for fighting retreats to the outer walls of Gothizzar, beseeched by the yearning of the unholy shards. Cut off from the siren call of their master, despite being of his very essence, the Godstones could not discern Slaanesh's dark wishes & accurately discern the Battlehosts' next destination. Vainly shaping newly formed realmgates to escape the grip of the dead, the massed conflict was once more flung into the void between the mortal realms.
So it was that the shores of the Gnawing sea were the site of the final battle in the opening conflicts of the Godstone wars. Born of cruelty and suffering, the damned artefacts had incidentally led their keepers to a land that offered an abundance of both. Ghur, realm of beasts, monsters, and many other savage races. Beastclaw Raiders atop hulking mammoths hunted the emerging Battlehosts as they struggled to traverse the bone strewn beachhead. Gordrakk, a God of war incarnate, mightiest & most ferocious of all Orruks heard the clamour of battle & joined the fray, carving through armies with relentless charges from atop his Maw Krusha, Bigteef.
As if carried on the coastal winds themselves, a bestial savagery gripped every warrior fighting on that blasted shore. Rampaging destruction flowed in the lifeblood of every combatant, driving them to even greater heights of fury. The battles raging around the Godstones were both intoxicating and invigorating for the fell crystals, swelling the shards many times over as they engorged on the agony the theatre of war played out before them. Yearning for their master to come forth & reclaim them, the Godstones began a siren call to their lord as the shards grew visibly larger, feeding on the ecstasy of death surrounding them.
With the fist of Gorkamorka, God of death & his own Celestant prime all embroiled within the battle at the gnawing sea, Sigmar knew it was only a matter of time before the raging battle caught the attention of the Everchosen, or worse yet, of the God Slaanesh himself. Already the loathsome lodestones were enlarging from the excess of pain & torment around them. As the God King hurled yet more Stormcast Eternals into the fray, Sigmars' call for aid was granted by the most unexpected ally:
Plummeting to the battlefield like a comet, the Venerable Lord Kroak hurtled into the realm of beasts as a burning beacon of celestial light. Having foreseen the potential disaster awaiting the Battlehosts within the realm of Ghur, the ancient Slaan roused from his immortal slumber to intervene, descending onto the battlefield like the fist of an angry god. Enemies were flung from the shoreline as Kroak landed amongst the carpet of bones, azure lightning leaping from his mummified fingertips & arcane bolts beaming from eyeless sockets. Beset by foes on all sides corrupted by the dark promises & honeyed lies of the Godstones, Lord Kroak pulled a vortex of pure eldritch energy from the blood stained sands. With his stone palanquin suspended a spears height above the whirling fulcrum, the Magepriest delivered his celestial vengeance. Kroak unleashed legions of Seraphon Daemons at the enemies arrayed before him, pulling down fire-tailed meteorites upon the battlefield & hurling waves of arcane energy that immolated any enemy that stood against him.
The explosive arrival of the Seraphon finally drew the attention of the ruinous powers to the conflict upon Ghur. As their mortal Sorcerers summoned forth the Daemon legions, the true children of Chaos joined the fray. Vile Ratmen emerged from gnawholes under the banners of all the greater clans from across the mortal realms; Mors, Skryre, Pestilence & Moulder, swarming to counter the vengeful spirits of the Seraphon. Warp lightning, poison wind, weeping blades & great poxes all added to the slaughter that was being gorged on by the thirsting Godstones. Swelled even further by the war raging around them, the shards continued their cacaphonic call to their master.
Though the Skaven armies swarmed the bone filled sand dunes in seemingly endless numbers, the vast intellect of the first Slaan effortlessly replenished the ranks of celestial Daemons, robbing the Ratmen of their strength in numbers. Feeling the rising power swelling within the Godstones, Lord Kroak drew on the arcane energy of the realm & all with magical properties within it. Artefacts of power grew dull & heavy, Wizards withered into ageing husks, and arcane edifices crumbled to dust as Lord Kroak drained magic from every possible reservoir within the realm. Even the heavens obeyed his command, stars tumbling towards his ancient form as their power too was absorbed. As the amassed energy flowed into the great Slaan, his body began to beam brightly, a light against the ever encroaching darkness beseeching the mortal realms.
Brimming with unimaginable power, the beacon of blinding light that replaced Lord Kroak became so brilliant that all who gazed upon the Slaan were blinded, forced to turn away from such arcane might. As the searing brightness intensified, time itself began to slow until the raging battle became nothing more than a statuesque tapestry of bloody warfare, every Warlord & warband frozen in motion, paralysed by the light.
As the cries of battle & clashes of steel silenced, Kroak ripped his astral form from his star bright body, descending upon the field of battle as little more than a shade. Seeking out each of the Godstones & their foolish captors, the Slaan seized each of the jealous jewels from their keepers’ & crushed them to dust. Returning once more to his mummified remains, Kroak released the arcane power he had been building within.
As time & space aligned once more, the shattered stones released a howl of purest agony as they crumbled into dust. The death roe screams of the malignant shards wailed so loudly it was as if all the hells of the world had thrust open their doors in chorus. So disturbing to mortal ears it brought all upon the bloodstained shore to their knees. At that same moment, a dimensional cascade burst forth from Lord Kroak, impossible waves of pure arcane energy washed over the entire battlefield, hurling Warlord & warrior alike throughout the bone-strewn beach head. Daemons, all those touched by Chaos, and the hosts of undead were reduced to nothing more than ash. Ogors & Orruks alike fled from the pulsing energies unleashed before them as if fleeing the roar of their own mighty gods themselves. The forces of order remained frozen on their knees, powerless in the presence of such incredible force. Of the great Necromancer, the fist of Gork, & the vengeful spirit of Lord Kroak there was no sign. Gone too were the armies of the Seraphon. With the fighting over, spears of lightning pieced the skies as the Stormcast returned to high Azyr, eager to report their victory to mighty Sigmar.
Only a handful of the warlords remained, whether protected by some dark fate or destiny, they were flung far from the battlefield to live another day. But what part in the great game had been laid out for them? What macabre intention ensured their survival from such a destructive battle.
The Path to (Un)Glory awaited.....