The Goretide

The Red Moon Rises part 2

Hjorvard woke. At least he felt like he'd just woken, but it was still dark? No, his eyes weren't open. He tried to open them, they wouldn't open. "Gods! I'm blind!" he thought. No, there's just something keeping them shut, he moved his arm to rub his eyes, and winced at the pain, oh it was sore, the wince caused more pain to shoot through his body. Everything hurt! As he moved his skin pulled and tugged, hairs tore out as something coating it cracked and clung and came apart as he moved. 
As he took off his helm and rubbed off the sticky crustiness caking his eyes shut he began to take in his situation. 

He was slumped against the wall of a cliff with a big rocky overhang blotting out the sun overhead. The ground was cold earth, and he appeared to be covered in a crusty substance that he realized must be dried blood, absolutely caked in it! 
Everything hurt! He was sore from head to toe with fatigue and exertion. He'd only just woken, but had he ever felt this exhausted before? 
On the plus side, apart from a lot of bruising, a few shallow cuts, and extreme ache in all his muscles, he did seem to be intact. There was a dent full of rock dust in his new helm and the back of his head was a little tender, but the helm seemed to have done its job, and was otherwise intact and still wearable. 
Oh! his legs hurt, and they wouldn't move. there was something pinning them down, he reached down and used the arrows sticking out of it to move the heavy body of the big hairy beastman aside, the source of the blood caking him, and squeeked as the returning circulation caused a 'pins and needles' sharp tingling sensation up and down his legs.
As his eyes grew accustomed to the gloom he could make out more shapes in the dark area under the overhang. There were robed bodies everywhere. skinny gangly limbs poked out from under the robes, one was face up he looked into lifeless beady eyes, sharp teeth, pointy ears... goblins! 
a sudden cold sensation of fear of the unknown trickled down his spine, and he looked for a weapon. one of his knives was under the beastman's chest, the other was nowhere to be seen but there was a heavy, brutal looking, crude axe nearby, so he took that. Feeling more secure, and a lot braver now that he was armed, he got, painfully, to his feet and began to investigate. It was time to find out where the Goretide had left him.

Through the gloom he could make out more corpses...lots of grots and the occasional other, thankfully no one he recognized, it had been a massacre!
He vaguely remembered Father Torpal trying to drum home an important point about grot encampments in some of their navigation classes, but the dull throbbing from the blow to his head was making it difficult to recall any details.

The camp was inside some kind of hap-hazard fence he guessed was a crude goblin attempt at a palisade wall. the tents looked to be some kind of hide, as he closed on the nearest one he noticed the unusual texture and realized it was the skin from a huge mushroom, adorned with trinkets, presumably of value...
Treasure Goblins!!! Hjorvard almost shouted out in excitement as he remembered. That must be it, the point Father Torpal had been making, goblin camps were famous for Treasure Goblins, they were in all his favourite heroic legends of the Tallowlands. A magically enhanced goblin who carried all the tribe's wealth and plunder, and if you could find its horde, or catch the treasure goblin its self you were rich!! Rich! Treasure! Magic items! the fabled stuff of heroes, this was clearly his destiny unfolding. He began excitedly searching the tents and stalking shadows, looking for signs of movement and anything that looked like a stash of treasure. 

He was moving some grubby blankets aside to look behind them when something moved! it shrieked as he looked at it then raced out of the tent entrance. it was  quick! he gave chase and made a grab for it, it jinked left dodging his hand, but he still had the blanket in the other and flung it as he dove in the direction the creature was going. 
it was definitely under the blanket, he could see it wriggling for the top edge, and he moved his arm to trap it. when it realized it was trapped it stopped moving. he gathered himself. got ready, flung the blanket aside and grabbed the creature underneath. 
the little blighter bit him on the thumb. he recoiled then grabbed it tight. 
"A Ha!" he exclaimed. "now lets see your treasures!" 
it squeaked, gasped... he realized he was squeezing very tight, too tight. ashamed he relaxed his grip so it wasn't crushing but was still too secure for the creature to struggle free. it was a small green humanoid creature with big ears and a huge nose. It looked at him forlornly, sobbed, and he realized it had wet its self. its big eyes had weren't full of menace, it didn't look very bright at all. where was its treasure? come to think of it this wasn't much bigger than a cat, it couldn't carry much treasure. bits of lessons returned through the murk of his memories, "you're a snotling aren't you?" he said. there wasnt a glimmer of understanding from the creature, it just continued to look forlorn. "well, on your own you are hardly a threat." he set it down and released it, it stood quaking for a moment, then realized it wasn't going to be eaten, and scarpered.   

He continued to look through the camp for something useful, and possibly a treasure goblin.

All he found was a box of dangerous looking mushrooms and a small silver sickle.  
he sat down on a rock, his head was clearing, memories of the lesson were coming back... was sunny, the class was outside under the old tree. 
"...and what do we know about the Tallowland Grot...?" said Father Torpal. 
" treasure goblins!" blurted Hjorvard. 
the class laughed, he felt his cheeks redden. 
"that's just a fairy tale for children Hjorvard," Father Torpal tutted, "I honestly thought you were past that!" he shook his head. the mocking laughter increased,
Hjorvard wished the ground would swallow him up, some of his classmates were half his age!
"...but every fairy tale has a grain of truth in it somewhere." Father Torpal winked 
"I'll try again, if you'll let me finish..." he glanced at Hjorvard who hung his head. 
"What do we know about the Tallowland Grots, in reference to post goretide navigation?"
"they Follow the moon?" said someeon Hjorvard didn't see
"good!" said Father Torpal "many grot tribes throughout the realms are moon clan's, their religions believe they gain their power from a big bad moon. so they follow the moon hoping it will lead them to power and glory."
"which Moon?" Tova asked
"care to elabortate?" invited father Torpal
"which moon," she repeated"we have so many in the Tallowlands, there's, the Lady Lisu, Rorolorach, the Wyrdmoon, the Emerald beacon, Naethe's torch..."
"...And here we have the problem." interrupted Father Torpal. "some realms have just one moon, so the positioning of a moon clan grot encampment can be a useful navigation tool, if you are familiar with your almanac and know which phase of which season  you are in. but unfortuantely, in the tallowlands we had so many moons and they follow such a variety of bizarre paths that it it nigh on impossible to know which one, if any, the particular grot clan you have encountered was following. Indeed, some of the most zealous, or possibly daftest, moon clans chase them all! night after night they race back and forth, zigging and zagging across the Tallowlands, and sometimes spiralling if there are several moons waxing in conjunction. 
So, what we know about the Tallowland Grots in reference to post Goretide navigation and attainment of bearings is... that they are utterly useless!"

As the memory of the lesson finished playing back in his mind Hjorvard sighed and slumped despondently, alone on his rock.  



The Religions and Deities of the Tallowlands


The Tallowlands is very poorly connected to the other realms and is often overlooked having limited value or resources by by the main alliance forces be they benevolent or evil.

As a result or perhaps for other reasons, a pantheon of gods, religions and deities have sprung up bearing little resemblance to their original patrons but in many cases either transparently or with more obscure connections.

Some exceptions remain. Sigmar and Alarielle (some aelves have long memories) are recognised and worshipped but on the whole many connections are tenuous. Although that may be the case this does produce some oddities, like some cults which cannot quite be given a label of order or chaos because they seems to act in different ways in different circumstances given their connection to a deity they believe does not fully parcel itself into one alliance or another.

The below is a list of deities with some sort of worship in the Tallowlands. There are sometimes many cults and groups and temples which follow a single one of these some of which bicker or fight even with each other. There are too many to list here.

Examples include the Watcher of the Ninefold Pact which pay homage to or believe they control Jethelech and the Celestial Pact which claim to worship Fyrek

Currently Known Deities

Sigmar - the God King

Artha god of the high places.

Dairayon god of wind and storms.

Vishkene god of magic.

Mortaine god of the dead. The Crypt Haunter. Some see Mortaine as a facet or connected in some way to Nagash.

Khând a god from across the ocean.

Rorralarachgod of rage and war. Is there a connection to Khorne here?

Myrakos beast-god of the wilderness. There are Orruk tribes who claim to worship Myrakos, some people think their tribe has a speech impediment.

Tidh the Swift Hunter. God of the plains.

Hain’Amurthe Great Defender. Steward of Heaven’s Keep. The Armoured God. The Stormcasts of Heavens Keep do not see anything wrong with this homage, do they worship two gods or believe him to be a facet of Sigmar?

Jethelech god of trickery and scheming. Definitely no connection to Tzeentch here. Shut up I said definitely not.  The number of letters in the name is a coincidence.

Arengee – god of luck and master of games, cursed and blessed in equal measure. Causer of lighter and less corrupt mischief than Jethelech

Ystara god of mariners and fishermen.

Mithrest god of merchants and traders.

Fyrek the Astral Voyager. Benefactor of astronomers.

Caer-Nadhg god of the woods. The Oaken Man. A summer god.

Alarielle as above but for eleves and half elves. Facets of the same god.

Lystan god of justice and fairness.

Shala - god of fertility and harvest

Shalu - twin god of Shala, god of decay, disease and rebirth. Some speculate a connection to Nurgle.

Naethethe Shroud of Night and least trusted of the moons of the Tallowlans. God of veiled intentions. Sometimes called Mother night.

Ilùgod of the sun. Brother of Lisù. Some Lizardmen tribes venerate. Sometimes called Morning Lord.

Lisùgod of the one of the Tallowlands briughter moons. Sister of Ilù.

Gnos - god of secrets, including secret pleasures but also according to some hidden altruism.

Eyes of the Five?

Eyes of the Nine and AOS

And so wearily Nathaniel began his journey North.  Although the council never implicated him for anything wrong they had their suspicions and he couldn't risk continuing to base his now hampered operations in Alba Mesa.  And so he trekked North, past the Tolerance of Crows and into Chrysalis, the haven in the Charred Lands that he would make.  He was soon joined by his band of misfits and the retained services of a Gaunt Summoner.  

Binding those small ones was beneath him, he would leave it to the Summoner, he needed all of his focus on his big project and on carefully assembled contracts and bindings with the clever ones.

I really like the idea of a Tzeentch force in AOS, it appeals to my sense of efficiency as the PCRC tend to vary in enthusiasm between 40k and everything else so I reckon this significantly increases the probability of playing my army in whatever system they are excited by.

Eyes of the Nine* increases that efficiency further as it will play in AOS Tzeentch and Warhammer Underworld (Shadespire) which means my one army now covers three different systems.

*Are 4/5 of them missing?

The Ghouls of Hollow Mountain

"It's understandable that you'd wish to know more of the Ghouls of Hollow Mountain. I've heard it said they were once men of the Sinian Empire, fallen to grief and insanity amongst the ruins of their benighted nation. Others tell that they are scions of the ancient Morgaunt courts and that they have been unhinged since madness was new. Still others say they are but monsters from far Nygorach, and monsters need no explanation.
But none of that truly matters. There are only three things you need to know about the Ghouls of Hollow Mountain; their countenance is terrifying, their hunger is insatiable, and they'll be at the town walls within the hour."
 - Herwig Stocker, delicious resident of Steepacre

This blog post marks an important milestone for my Flesh Eater Court of Hollow Mountain; I've finished the bulk of my infantry for my initial force. That's a total of 30 Ghouls and 3 Crypt Horrors. I'm sure I'll add more of both over the coming months, but I have at least reached a good starting point.

I deliberated for a very long time over what skin tones to use for this force. In the end I had a flash of inspiration and went for a blue-grey coupled with dirty white hair. This drew heavy influence from the Morlocks, as seen in the 1960 film version of H.G. Wells' 'The Time Machine'. I used to find this film and these creatures both fascinating and terrifying as a child, so it seemed like a good choice.

This force is my first proper adventure with Citadel Contrast paints and I must say that I'm very impressed! It made everything so quick to paint! The skin was simply Contrast Space Wolves Grey over a Grey Seer spray undercoat, with a little bit of Fenrisian Grey to do the very prominent highlights on the Crypt Horrors. The hair was Contrast Apothecary White with Corax White as a highlight. The bones were achieved with a single coat of Contrast Skeleton Horde.

With the basing I've gone for the same "underground" effect as on my Uncharnel. I also spent a lot of time thinking about what plants - if any - would go on the bases. In the end I settled for a mixture of light pink and violet moss (from Green Stuff World) to give the impression of strange underground cave plants eking out an existence in a lightless subterranean world.

That's it for today. More Flesh Eater Courts and Night Haunt to come again from me in the near future.