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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
Project 202302251803.jpg


Promising start to my Age of Sigmar 3e Nighthaunt Path to Glory army, in preparation for their first game today.

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The knight of shrouds was painted way back when it was first released for Malign Portents. The rest were assembled but unprimed two weeks ago. I pushed hard to get the whole thousand points up to the first green wash, since that's the step at which they start to look at least kind of painted from half way across the room. From here I'll probably switch to working on one unit at a time.

The whole thousand points even fits in a single magnetized travel tub!

Project 202302251804.jpg


The Lore (current draft)
The Voidsday Players were a group of traveling minstrels from the small town of Abingdon in the the outskirts of Dolorum. The groups name came from the fact that Voidsday was the day they they would practice their instruments together. The players included shepherd brothers John and Colin; Philip, a Blacksmith's apprentice; O'Brian, son of the villiage tanner; and Thomas, dubbed Black Thom for his dour mood, an orphan who did odd jobs around town when the group wasn't playing, but who spent most of his time thinking about and practicing his songs.

Where much of Dolorum's music weakly emulated Azyrite trends - due to a nobility obsessed with the affectation of high culture and a common populous desperate for any distraction from the life-draining pall of Shyish - the Voidsday players, under Black Thom's direction, willfully dove deep into melancholy. Through their music they sought to elevate rather than obscure the natural tones and rhythms of the land around them, and to bluntly confront the inherent absurdity of life in the Realm of Death. Their sound was slow to develop, but eventually they were confident enough to move to the nearby city of Yorke and attempt to make their living as minstrels.

While their innovative sound gained them following amongst a niche subculture of disaffected noble youth, it wasn't really enough to maintain their lives as musicians - especially as Thom pushed the incorporation of more and more experimental sounds into their performances. In particular one of the group's followers, a young noble nobleman named Nigel, had put them in contact with a few black market alchemists and minor necromancers who helped develop novel instruments incorporating minor enchantments that altered their sound in unique ways. Thom judged these to be incredibly fruitful for the group's music, but the gravesand and shadeglass components were far beyond what they could afford as minstrels. The group soon turned to petty crimes and banditry to fund their art, and finally to assassination when Nigel introduced them to another young nobleman offering a chest of silver to kill his elder brother. Witnessing death firsthand - capturing the raw energy of Shyish in their instruments and songs - marked a turning point for the Players, and soon they were killing as much to advance their art as to fund it.

With Nigel arranging their jobs, the Voidsday Players quickly found more success as assassins than musicians. It was in that capacity that they were hired for their final performance. Nigel had learned of group of rebellious nobles in Dolorum's capital who, unconvinced by the newly crowned Queen Olynder's show of grief at the mysterious death of her husband, began to conspire against the Mourning Lady. Nigel introduced the Voidsday Players to these rebels, and together they hatched a plot to assassinate lady Olynder.

The nobles arranged an invitation for the Voidsday Players to perform before Olynder. During the performance, Black Thom was to strike the queen dead using a curse inlaid into an enchanted shadeglass pipe. The killing would leave no physical mark, and afterwords it could be claimed that Olynder, moved by her terrible loss and the Player's melancholy tone, had simply died of grief. All was in place, but as the performance approached the critical moment a stray gust in the room lifted Olynder's veil, and Thom caught just a glimpse of her face. In that moment, the assassin's heart was struck by her beauty, and he dropped the cursed pipe, shattering it.

Afterwards Thom pretended to his companions and their patrons that he had dropped the pipe by mistake, but that they could still pull off the job if the nobles arranged just one more performance. In truth, the smitten assassin only wished to see Olynder's face once more. Before a second opportunity could be arranged, however, the nobles were betrayed by one of their own, and the Voidsday Players were caught up in the flurry of torture and executions that followed as Olynder purged the nobility of Dolorum of any who would oppose her.

In death, Nagash rewarded the the Voidsday Players with a wealth of fell blessings. All save Thom, who had been Nagash's favorite, but had angered the Great Necromancer at the last by staying death's hand for the sake of pity and love, and was consigned to an underworld of isolation to go mad wailing his sorrows into a vast empty void.

Centuries later, after her elevation to Mortarch of Grief, Lady Olynder recalled all the souls who had been involved in the plot against her, including those of the Voidsday Players, and bound them together into the Emerald Host, which would become one of her deadliest weapons. Even Black Thom's soul was called up from its prison. In the centuries of isolation he had experienced his soul had indeed gone mad, shattering into a thousand shards and piecing itself back together again over and over, but he had never abandoned his art. Rather his music had continued to develop, becoming as repetitive and fragmentary as he had, and yet growing closer and closer to the divine resonance of Shyish as it did so. Now he returned, broken, and yet more complete than he had ever been in life. For betraying his companions to his love of Olynder, the Mortarch of Grief elevated him to the rank of Knight of Shrouds and appointed him head of the Emerald Host's Voidsday Procession. Now Ser Thomas once more leads his Players as the Grieving Lady's favored assassins - when they aren't performing their haunting ballads for Olynder herself.

Initial Path to Glory Roster
Army: The Voidsday Procession
Faction: Nighthaunt
Subfaction: Emerald Host
Realm of Origin: Shyish
Starting Size: Warband (990 points out of 1,000)
Starting Glory: 8

Stronghold
  • The Ashes of Abingdon
    Barracks: 0

Territories
  • Old Keep - Glastonbury Ruins

Current Quest:
  • Hunt the Endless Spell - Reward: Purple Sun of Shyish

Vault:
  • Triumph: Bloodthirsty
  • Battalions: Battle Regiment
  • Artefacts: none
  • Endless Spells: none
  • Bonus Spells: none
  • Unique Enhancements: none

Roster Limits:
  • Units: 8/8
  • Heroes: 3/4
  • Wizards: 1/1
  • Priests: 0/1
  • Monsters: 0/1
  • War Machines: 0/1
  • Reinforcements: 0/1
  • Allies: 0/1

Warlord:
  • Knight of Shrouds - Ser Thomas of Yorke
    Starting Renown: 15
    Trait: Cloaked in Shadow
    Notes: Pendant of the Fell Wind

Heroes:
  • Guardian of Souls - John of the Greenwood
    Notes: Soul Cage
  • Spirit Torment - the Selway Spectre

Other Units:
  • Spirit Hosts - the Creeps
  • Grimghast Reapers - the Mourning Bells
  • Chainrasps - The Wicked Children
  • Chainrasps - The Insane Citizens
  • Chainghasts - the Bends

Current Path to Glory Roster
Army: the Voidsday Procession
Faction: Nighthaunt
Subfaction: Emerald Host
Realm of Origin: Shyish
Starting Size: Warband
Current Size: 1360 points
Battles Fought: 2
Victories Won: 2
Current Glory: 4

Stronghold - the Ashes of Abingdon
  • Barracks: 1
  • Outposts: 0

Territories
  • Fortified Keep - Glastonbury Ruins

Current Quest
  • Defend Your Realm - Reward: 10 Glory
    Progress: none

Completed Quests:
  • Search for the Artefact - Reward: Midnight Tome
  • Hunt the Endless Spell - Reward: Purple Sun of Shyish

Vault:
  • Triumph:
    - Bloodthirsty

  • Battalions:
    - Battle Regiment

  • Artefacts:
    - Midnight Tome

  • Endless Spells:
    - The Black Star - Purple Sun of Shyish

  • Bonus Spells:
    - none

  • Unique Enhancements:
    none

Roster Limits:
  • Units: 10/10
  • Heroes: 4/6
  • Wizards: 1/1
  • Priests: 0/1
  • Monsters: 0/1
  • War Machines: 0/1
  • Reinforcements: 0/1
  • Allies: 0/1

Warlord:
  • Knight of Shrouds - Ser Thomas of Yorke
    Injuries: none; Renown: 17
    Trait: Cloaked in Shadow
    Core Enhancements: Pendant of the Fell Wind

Other Heroes:
  • Guardian of Souls - John of the Greenwood
    Injuries: none; Renown: 15
    Trait: Master of Magic
    Core Enhancements: Soul Cage

  • Spirit Torment - The Selway Spectre
    Injuries: none; Renown: 4

  • Elbows O'Brien - Krulghast Cruciator
    Injuries: none; Renown: 0

Other Units:
  • Spirit Hosts - the Creeps
    Casualties: 1; Renown: 3

  • Spirit Hosts - the Weirdos
    Casualties: 0; Renown: 0

  • Grimghast Reapers - the Mourning Bells
    Casualties: 1; Renown: 0

  • Chainrasps - the Wicked Children
    Casualties: 1; Renown 2

  • Chainrasps - the Insane Citizens
    Casualties: 1; Renown 2

  • Chainghasts - the Bends
    Casualties: 0; Renown 2

EDIT: I decided on a naming scheme.

EDIT2: changed the torment to be named after the drummer instead of the bassist. Makes more sense for the chain ghost to be percussion.

EDIT3: Name Change, added lore. Different song link, might change that again.
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
Project 202302251754.jpg

Like I said, the first game of the campaign was played today. My opponent was the same Warriors of Chaos player who's been knocking my Soulblight Gravelords around with impunity over the last few weeks.

To the best of my recollection, the fight went something like this:

Set Up
Battle Pack: generic Path to Glory pack out of the big rule book. Neither of us has much table time with 3rd edition yet, so we figured the path to glory rules were bother enough without having to worry about strategies or battle tactics or gelatin whatsits.

Plan: Sudden Assault - quartered table with victory points at the end of each battle round based on number of quarters you control.

Attacking Army: the Voidsday Procession
Nighthaunt - Emerald Children
List: The starting PtG roster above

Defending Army: the Gloom Host
Slaves to Darkness - Cabalists
List:
  • Undivided Chaos Lord (warlord)
  • Undivided Chaos Lord on Karkadrak
  • 10 Warriors of Khorne
  • 5 Knights of Slaanesh (iirc)
  • 3 Ogroid Theridons of Khorne
Pre-battle

The table was pretty small, with opposing territories in opposite quarters. Each territory had a large Arcane building (I spent a glory point to turn one of them Arcane as per my quest, the other was rolled naturally). The other quarters had smaller pieces of terrain, I forget what they rolled, their rules didn't matter much. I rolled the maximum enemy units to curse with the Emerald Host rules. IMO those rules really should scale, they're nice enough at 2k points, but at this small game size I ended up putting a mortal wound ticker on all of his units but for the knights,

I used the Nighthaunt Path to Glory rule to deploy my grimghasts 'haunting' a piece of terrain on the table - with the option to show up at the end of a movement phase within 1" of the terrain and no more than 3" from the opponent. What I /should/ have done was haunt the opponent's big building, since they didn't have enough models to both keep the building fully occupied AND contest the game. What I did instead was haunt the little terrain piece next to the board. But after already having written my choice down, it came time for me to pick who went first and I suddenly realized they were going to move models over to occupy the small terrain before I got to deploy the grimghasts if I made him go first, and I don't know how long if ever it would have been before I got a chance to deploy them after that. So I opted to go first. At least I'd get a first turn charge? An unsupported first turn charge against theridons /and/ chaos warriors.

The Battle
Turn 1: Priority to Nighthaunt

Well, I went first, moved the chainrasps up in a sort of picket line in front of the ball of heroes/hosts/chainghasts, with the heroes and spirit hosts far enough forward that they'd get to fight if the hosts were charged. The grimghasts popped out of their little terrain in immediate charge range of the warriors and theridons. This is the moment depicted above. The grimghasts successfully charged in, and popped discorporate, then poured their attacks into the theridons, who called all-out-defense. I'd like to say it was a deliberate choice to pick on the unit with the lower save, but in truth I just forgot grimghasts got extra attacks against larger units. Not that it mattered much, I rolled poorly and only caused a few wounds. Thankfully, the opponent also rolled poorly, and between that, ethereal 4+, discorporate 5+, and inspiring presence, 2 grimghasts managed to survive. While I could have used them much better, pinning more than half of his army in place for the first turn WAS quite helpful, so I'm calling this a win for the Mourning Bells after all.

On the opponents turn the Knights and Karkadrak moved up and assaulted the chainrasps in front of the hero ball, with the karkadrak tagging the other chainrasps. The knights used their reach to attack over the hosts and poke my general with their lances. However, between -1 to wound, 4+ incorporeal, and 3++ bodyguard they only got a single wound through - though they did cause 5 wounds to the spirit host. Their horses attacked the chainrasps to little effect, while the karkadrak attacked the other chainrasp unit, but didn't wipe it out thanks to discorporate. Attacking back, the chainrasps did a bit of damage, while the hero blob, hitting and wounding on twos thanks to the auras from the chainghasts and guardian of souls, tore the knights to pieces, dropping three of them and wounding a fourth. On the other side of the board, the last two grimghasts were dispatched, and the Spirit Torment healed some chainrasps.

Both of us scored 2 victory points turn two, and the Emerald Curse fell heavily on the chaos army, dropping an ogroid, and causing multiple wounds to the karkadrak, chaos lord, and chaos warriors.


Turn 2: Priority to Chaos - a double turn!

The chaos lord cast mystic shield on the warriors in the hero phase. The chaos knights withdrew from combat, in the hopes of later rallying and charging back in. The warriors, Ogroids, and Chaos lord advanced, with the chaos warriors making a long charge into a unit of chainrasps, though this proved to be a mistake later. In combat the Karkadrak finished off the Spirit Hosts and killed some Chainrasps (despite discorporate), but failed to injure the Guardian of Souls, the only of the heroes that was in combat with it. The warriors had a terrible showing, not quite finishing off the other chainrasp unit thanks to discorporate, and the spirit torment dutifully restored a few chainrasps after combat, taking a bit of damage in return while the guardian of souls got some damage in on the Karkadrak. Still, the double turn had been weathered, and The Band was about to put on a stunning debut performance.

On my turn the guardian of souls cast Soul Trap on the karkadrak, and everything withdrew from combat. One unit of chainrasps, flew over the enemy line to threaten the knights, while another positioned to charge the warriors. The heroes and chainghasts lined up on the karkadrak, with the knight of shrouds positioned to be in combat range of both the karkadrak lord and the chaos warriors. All charges were successful. The knights took a few wounds, dropping them down to just the champion, which failed to finish off the chainrasps in return. The warriors - under -1 to hit from wave of terror, -1 to wound from pendant of the fell wind, and fighting into discorporate, failed to finish off the chainrasps they were fighting. Despite its finest hour and all out defense, the chaos lord on karkadrak, striking last and under multiple save penalties from wave of terror, was torn apart by the heroes all swinging with 2+ to hit, 2+ to wound, multiple rend, and multiple damage. That said, it did take /everything/ to finish it off - I had hoped the knight of shrouds would be able to roll against the warriors, but so be it.

Both of us again scored 2 victory points, and once again the Emerald Curse fell hard - with multiple more wounds to the theridons and this time killing off the chaos lord and leaving my opponent with no heroes left! The poor lord had a bodyguard rule to shrug wounds to the warriors, but in their haste to enter combat the bloodthirsty khornate warriors had abandoned their lord to Lady Olynder's deathly toll.


Turn 3: Priority to Death - another double turn!

The wailing dead called for an encore, so John cast Soul Cage on the warriors, and all my surviving units withdrew from combat to surround them - apart from the chainrasps fighting the last remaining chaos knight, which positioned to charge it instead. The last knight was pulled down by the chainrasps. The warriors miraculously survived the onslaught, but not by much.

On their turn the weakened Theridons charged in, but it was too little too late, as all remaining chaos forces were wiped from the table. All that was left was for the Guardian of Souls to ascend to the top of one of the mystic ruins, to call a Black Star down from the night sky above.

Results
Glory Earned: 13 (8 for a 1k game, 4 for a major victory, 1 for warlord present and survived the battle)
Injuries: none
Casualties: 2 chainrasps from the Wicked Children

Recovery: spent 2 glory points to recover the Wicked Children, reducing their casualties to 1

Renown: +1 to all (participated), +1 to all except for the spirit hosts (survived the battle), +6 to John of the Greenwood (Favored Warriors)

Quest log: completed Hunt the Endless Spell, adding a Purple Sun to the roster, started Search for the Artefact to find a Midnight Tome to cast it with

Stronghold: spent 5 glory points to purchase a barracks

Territories: explored Wild Lands, but opted not to occupy them

Misc: spent 1 glory point before the start of the battle to change one mysterious terrain roll to arcane, per the Hunt the Endless Spell quest.

...

Updated Roster
Army: The Voidsday Procession
Faction: Nighthaunt
Subfaction: Emerald Host
Realm of Origin: Shyish
Current Size: Warband (1,080 points)
Current Glory: 13

Stronghold - the Ashes of Abingdon
  • Barracks: 1
  • Outposts: 0

Territories
  • Old Keep - Glastonbury Ruins

Current Quest
  • Search for the Artefact - Reward: Midnight Tome

Completed Quests:
  • Hunt the Endless Spell - Reward: Purple Sun of Shyish

Vault:
  • Triumph:
    - Bloodthirsty

  • Battalions:
    - Battle Regiment

  • Artefacts:
    - none

  • Endless Spells:
    - The Black Star - Purple Sun of Shyish

  • Bonus Spells:
    - none

  • Unique Enhancements:
    none

Roster Limits:
  • Units: 8/10
  • Heroes: 3/4
  • Wizards: 1/1
  • Priests: 0/1
  • Monsters: 0/1
  • War Machines: 0/1
  • Reinforcements: 0/1
  • Allies: 0/1

Warlord:
  • Knight of Shrouds - Ser Thomas of Yorke
    Injuries: none; Renown: 17
    Trait: Cloaked in Shadow
    Notes: Pendant of the Fell Wind

Heroes:
  • Guardian of Souls - John of the Greenwood
    Injuries: none; Renown: 8
    Notes: Soul Cage

  • Spirit Torment - The Selway Spectre
    Injuries: none; Renown: 6

Other Units:
  • Spirit Hosts - the Creeps
    Casualties: 0; Renown: 1

  • Grimghast Reapers - the Mourning Bells
    Casualties: 0; Renown: 2

  • Chainrasps - the Wicked Children
    Casualties: 1; Renown 2

  • Chainrasps - the Insane Citizens
    Casualties: 0; Renown 2

  • Chainghasts - the Bends
    Casualties: 0; Renown 2

Project 202302251807.jpg

Per army naming scheme it's called the Black Star, but per army paint scheme & certain other references it'll be more of a Green Sun in practice.

A big victory for the Karma Police! As much as I say I don't care about winning and losing, it's still nice to win one for once. That said, I do have to say the Emerald Host ability feels a bit op at low points values. In the future I might have to discuss a house rule reducing it to just d3 instead of the normal d3+1 under 2k points, maybe in exchange for going to d3+2 if we ever play a huge, 3k+ point game. Otherwise, the takeaways include:

  1. I need to put more thought into the path to glory haunting ability if I'm going to keep using it
  2. the death star formation with multiple nighthaunt hero profiles under auras from both a guardian of souls and a unit of chainghasts, with spirit hosts to bodyguard, charging in with multiple wave of terror rolls, into a target striking last (due to spell or wave of terror), all adds up to a very punchy and threatening core of the army, though it is eating up a ton of points in the process. This is especially threatening against a melee army like StD who can't really start picking the combo pieces apart before they get to see combat. Whether it will hold up to shootier foes remains to be seen.
  3. chainrasps on their little bases - small enough to attack over with even 1" range units, are a fantastic screen. They did so much work. With two attacks hitting and wounding on 3s under the auras they even got some damage in.
  4. fly and ethereal and retreat and charge and 8" movement and wave of terror on literally everything in the army is amazing. It almost doesn't matter what's on the individual warscrolls, the faction rules for nighthaunt are just that amazing. A radically different experience from playing Soulblight, which are a good army, but you really have to be careful about unit selection to make sure everything works together effectively.
  5. ethereal + discorporate is good for tanking. Not so good that I don't kind of miss stacking save bonuses from all the various sources of such in 3e, but still.
  6. Not a lot to do with heroic actions here. Definitely something to pay attention two when playing different battle packs that might offer additional options.
  7. I forgot the new frightful touch for like the entire game. I need to remember to look for 6s to hit in the future.

All that said, I'm not sure if there's any meaningful competitive lessons from all this, due to smaller game size and not playing with the current matched play rules.

Still, yeah, nice to have a big win for the army's first outing, and I'm looking forward to the next game.
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
Project 202303042143.jpg
No game this week, the usual opponent was busy this weekend. However, I did get some painting done - second greenwash on most everything plus base coat on the bases for the hero blob. And there are a couple other players expressing interest, so that's promising.

I also picked up an executioner. That & Cruciator will round out the band - though I can't add them both to the roster proper yet as I've only got a single spare hero slot. Another game or two should give me the glory points to upgrade my boarder keep to make room.

Project 202303042159.jpg

My boxing day ghoul king also finally came in, so that's fun.
 

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
Project 202303042208.jpg
The band in progress. From left to right: Colin of the Greenwood, Elbows O'Brien, Ser Thomas of Yorke, the Selway Spectre, and John of the Greenwood.

Second Draft of their lore:

The Voidsday Players were a group of traveling minstrels from the outskirts of Dolorum, so named because Voidsday was the day they they would practice their instruments as children. Where much of Dolorum's music weakly emulated the Azyrite rends - due to a nobility obsessed with the affectation of high culture and a general populous desperate for any distraction from the life-draining atmosphere of Shyish - the Voidsday players, under the direction of their lead performer Black Thom, willfully dove deep into melancholy and longing. They saw life in shyish as the self-contradictory absurdity that it was, and embraced this sentiment in their music.

While they gathered some notoriety and following amongst a segment of disaffected noble youth, it wasn't really enough to maintain their lives as musicians - especially as Thom pushed the incorporation of more and more experimental sounds into their performances, including wildly expensive instruments of his own design incorporating gravesand and shadeglass. The group eventually turned to petty crimes and banditry to fund their art, and finally to assassination when one of their handful of noble fans offered them a chest of silver to kill his elder brothers. Witnessing death firsthand - capturing the raw energy of Shyish in their instruments and songs - marked a turning point for the Players, and soon they were killing as much to advance their art as to fund it.

The Voidsday Players quickly found more success as assassins than musicians, and it was in that capacity that they were hired for their final performance. A group of rebellious nobles of Dolorum, unconvinced by the newly crowned Queen Olynder's show of grief at the mysterious deaths of her husband and father-in-law, began to conspire against the Mourning Lady. This group happened to include the noble who had, several years ago, hired the Voidsday Players for their very first assassination, and now he hired them again.

The noble arranged an invitation for the Players to perform before Olynder, using the opportunity to strike her dead using a curse played on an enchanted shadeglass pipe. The killing would leave no physical mark, and afterwords it could be claimed that Olynder, moved by her terrible loss and the Player's melancholy tone, had simply died of grief. All was in place, but as the performance approached the critical moment a stray gust in the room lifted Olynder's veil, and Thom caught just a glimpse of Olynders face. In that moment, the assassin's heart was struck by her beauty, and her sadness, and he dropped the pipe, shattering it.

Afterwards Thom pretended to his crew and their murderous patrons that he had dropped the pipe by mistake, that they could still pull off the job if the nobles arranged just one more performance. In truth, though, the smitten assassin only wished to see Olynder again. Before a second opportunity could be arranged, however, the nobles were betrayed by one of their own, and Thom's band was caught up in the flurry of torture executions that followed as Olynder purged the nobility of Dolorum of any who would oppose her.

In death Nagash rewarded the murderous members of the Voidsday Players with a wealth of fell blessings. All but Thom, who had been Nagash's favorite, but had angered the Great Necromancer at the last by staying death's hand for the sake of pity and love, and was consigned to an underworld of isolation to go mad wailing his sorrows into a vast empty void.

Centuries later, after her elevation to Mortarch of Grief, Lady Olynder recalled all the souls who had been involved in the plot against her, including those of the Voidsday Players, and bound them together into the Emerald Host, which would become one of her deadliest weapons. Even Black Thom's soul was called up from its prison. In the centuries of isolation he had experienced, his soul had indeed gone mad, shattering into a thousand shards and piecing himself back together again over and over, but he had never abandoned his art. Rather his songs had continued to develop, growing closer and closer to the divine truth until his words resonated with all the winds of Shyish. Now he returned, broken, and yet more complete than he had ever been in life. For betraying his companions to his love of Olynder, the Mortarch of Grief elevated him to the rank of Knight of Shrouds. Now Ser Thomas once more leads his Players as the Grieving Lady's favoured assassins - when they aren't performing their haunting ballads for Olynder herself.
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
Hrm. Going to need to rewrite parts of this, because, of course, there is no such thing as "Friday" in Age of Sigmar. Of the official Azyrite days of the week, I think "Starsday" is the equivalent of Friday, but "Voidsday" has the spookier ring to it. Will have to consider some variations. May also rename the overall army to match whatever I change the band name to, which would free up 'Karma Police' as an excellant unit name, maybe for some future bladegheists.
 

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
It has to work /both/ as a silly out of character reference to something in the real world /and/ as a completely straight faced addition to the in universe canon. No half measures!
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
Second Draft of the lore:

The Voidsday Players were a group of traveling minstrels from the small town of Abingdon in the the outskirts of Dolorum. The groups name came from the fact that Voidsday was the day they they would practice their instruments together. The players included shepherd brothers John and Colin; Philip, a Blacksmith's apprentice; O'Brian, son of the villiage tanner; and Thomas, dubbed Black Thom for his dour mood, an orphan who did odd jobs around town when the group wasn't playing, but who spent most of his time thinking about and practicing his songs.

Where much of Dolorum's music weakly emulated Azyrite trends - due to a nobility obsessed with the affectation of high culture and a common populous desperate for any distraction from the life-draining pall of Shyish - the Voidsday players, under Black Thom's direction, willfully dove deep into melancholy. Through their music they sought to elevate rather than obscure the natural tones and rhythms of the land around them, and to bluntly confront the inherent absurdity of life in the Realm of Death. Their sound was slow to develop, but eventually they were confident enough to move to the nearby city of Yorke and attempt to make their living as minstrels.

While their innovative sound gained them following amongst a niche subculture of disaffected noble youth, it wasn't really enough to maintain their lives as musicians - especially as Thom pushed the incorporation of more and more experimental sounds into their performances. In particular one of the group's followers, a young noble nobleman named Nigel, had put them in contact with a few black market alchemists and minor necromancers who helped develop novel instruments incorporating minor enchantments that altered their sound in unique ways. Thom judged these to be incredibly fruitful for the group's music, but the gravesand and shadeglass components were far beyond what they could afford as minstrels. The group soon turned to petty crimes and banditry to fund their art, and finally to assassination when Nigel introduced them to another young nobleman offering a chest of silver to kill his elder brother. Witnessing death firsthand - capturing the raw energy of Shyish in their instruments and songs - marked a turning point for the Players, and soon they were killing as much to advance their art as to fund it.

With Nigel arranging their jobs, the Voidsday Players quickly found more success as assassins than musicians. It was in that capacity that they were hired for their final performance. Nigel had learned of group of rebellious nobles in Dolorum's capital who, unconvinced by the newly crowned Queen Olynder's show of grief at the mysterious death of her husband, began to conspire against the Mourning Lady. Nigel introduced the Voidsday Players to these rebels, and together they hatched a plot to assassinate lady Olynder.

The nobles arranged an invitation for the Voidsday Players to perform before Olynder. During the performance, Black Thom was to strike the queen dead using a curse inlaid into an enchanted shadeglass pipe. The killing would leave no physical mark, and afterwords it could be claimed that Olynder, moved by her terrible loss and the Player's melancholy tone, had simply died of grief. All was in place, but as the performance approached the critical moment a stray gust in the room lifted Olynder's veil, and Thom caught just a glimpse of her face. In that moment, the assassin's heart was struck by her beauty, and he dropped the cursed pipe, shattering it.

Afterwards Thom pretended to his companions and their patrons that he had dropped the pipe by mistake, but that they could still pull off the job if the nobles arranged just one more performance. In truth, the smitten assassin only wished to see Olynder's face once more. Before a second opportunity could be arranged, however, the nobles were betrayed by one of their own, and the Voidsday Players were caught up in the flurry of torture and executions that followed as Olynder purged the nobility of Dolorum of any who would oppose her.

In death, Nagash rewarded the the Voidsday Players with a wealth of fell blessings. All save Thom, who had been Nagash's favorite, but had angered the Great Necromancer at the last by staying death's hand for the sake of pity and love, and was consigned to an underworld of isolation to go mad wailing his sorrows into a vast empty void.

Centuries later, after her elevation to Mortarch of Grief, Lady Olynder recalled all the souls who had been involved in the plot against her, including those of the Voidsday Players, and bound them together into the Emerald Host, which would become one of her deadliest weapons. Even Black Thom's soul was called up from its prison. In the centuries of isolation he had experienced his soul had indeed gone mad, shattering into a thousand shards and piecing itself back together again over and over, but he had never abandoned his art. Rather his music had continued to develop, becoming as repetitive and fragmentary as he had, and yet growing closer and closer to the divine resonance of Shyish as it did so. Now he returned, broken, and yet more complete than he had ever been in life. For betraying his companions to his love of Olynder, the Mortarch of Grief elevated him to the rank of Knight of Shrouds and appointed him head of the Emerald Host's Voidsday Procession. Now Ser Thomas once more leads his Players as the Grieving Lady's favoured assassins - when they aren't performing their haunting ballads for Olynder herself.
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
VDPgame2-0.jpg

Voidsday Procession: Game 2 Report

Played my second game a couple weekends back, & only now have time to write it out.


Pre-game setup

VDPgame2-1.jpg

Drawn on by the intoxitating elixer of mortal fear and death, Ser Thomas led the Voidsday Procession deeper into enemy territory, in pursuit of their fleeing prey. The commander of the Gloom Host cabalists had faught nighthaunts before, however, and knew he must rally his forces and strike back at the ethereal invaders before fear could take hold and spread. Not far from the site of the initial battle he gathered his forces and set an ambush, invoking the Dark Master Be'Lakor and the arcane might of Tzeentch to weave concealing spells masking the life force of his soldiers from unliving eyes.

Battle Pack: generic Path to Glory pack out of the big rule book. We figure we'll play through these missions as we get back into the swing of third edition before looking to other more complicated battlepacks..

Plan: The Trap. Invaders are deployed into a tight, L-shaped corner, and cannot use any reserve rules. Ambusher deploys anywhere outside of 9" of the Invaders, or outside of 3" of the invaders so long as they are fully within terrain. 5 turn game, Ambushers gain 2 victory points for each Invader unit they destroy. Invaders gain 1 victory point at the end of each battle round for every Invader unit that is wholly outside of its starting territory.

Invading Army: the Voidsday Procession
Nighthaunt - Emerald Host
List:
  • Ser Thomas of Yorke - Knight of Shrouds, general
  • John of the Greenwood - Guardian of Souls
  • the Selway Specter - Spirit Torment
  • the Bends - 2 Chainghasts
  • the Creeps - 3 Spirit Hosts
  • Mourning Bells - 10 Grimghast Reapers
  • Insane Citizens - 10 Chainrasps
  • Wicked Children - 9 Chainrasps (down 1 due to a casualty)
Ambushing Army: the Gloom Host
Slaves to Darkness - Cabalists
List:
  • Undivided Chaos Lord (warlord)
  • Undivided Chaos Lord on Karkadrak
  • 10 Warriors of Nurgle
  • 4 Knights of Slaanesh (down 1 due to a casualty)
  • 3 Ogroid Theridons of Khorne
Pretty much the same lists as last time, thought the khorne warriors have been traded out for new unit of nurgle warriors, letting the former, who suffered a few casualties last time, sit this game out to rest.

Terrain: large ruined buildings in each corner and the center of the board - the Ambushers will basically get to deploy wherever they want.

Deployment: The chainrasps and grimghasts block off the edges of my tiny deployment zone, with the character blob behind them. Chaos takes advantage of the terrain to surround me, clearly intending to score an overwhelming initial assault.

Emerald Curse: just two units this time. I tag both his heroes, but between poor rolls on my part and good wards & bodyguard rolls on the part of my opponent, this rule that felt so overwhelming in the first game to the point that I had suggested we nerf it before the battle in this game did basically nothing.

Game Plan: take the inevitable charge with the summonables, hope literally any of them survive, then fly out of the deployment zone with the blob to charge whichever chaos units break through the line while the rest are still hung up. Chomp up the chaos units one at a time this way while racking up victory points for having a bunch of units out of my deployment zone each turn. If plan A fails, scatter to the winds. After all, my units are fast, and flying, and the hero blob alone is 5 separate units.


Early Game

VDPgame2-2.jpg

With a roar, the cabalist forces surged from hiding to crash into the ghostly hoard, a mighty chaos champion riding a Karkadrak leading the charge. In the sudden rush of combat that followed, cursed chaos steel clashed against spectral scythes and rusted blades. With the advantage of surprise reversed the ghostly lines buckled and broke. Even as the chaos warriors banished the nighthaunt front lines the leadership of the Voidsday Procession flew overhead. The lesser ghosts would be easy enough to resummon. The enemy ambush had failed.

Yet as he prepared to vanish into the ruins, Ser Thomas looked down at the enemy forces. Cheering their victory. Jeering at their enemy's fleeing leadership. Mocking him. Mocking Lady Olynder. He couldn't have that, and over the glared objections of his comrades he turned his retinue around and ordered the countercharge.

Ambusher chooses who has priority in the first battle round, and Chaos chose themselves. A risky choice, since it sets the Nighthaunts up for a double turn later in the game, but the ghosts are fast and flying and if he gives them a chance to escape their tiny deployment zone he won't be able to bottle them up later.

So he charges in with everything, and that charge is devastating. The Karkadrak Lord wipes out the grimghasts by himself, even through discorporate. If the Karkadrak hadn't rolled so well on its attacks (and me so poorly on armor and ward saves), forcing the chaos knights or lord to strike at the grimghasts to finish them off, then Plan A might have survived. As it was the remaining chaos forces were more than enough to wipe out 19 chainrasps.

I wasn't ready to just start running, that sounded like kind of a boring game, plus I could still turn things around and seize the upper hand if I managed to gain the initiative with a double turn. I chose the Theridons on the far right flank as the most vulnerable target, flew the hero blob behind them and charged them in the back, wiping them out.

VP end of round one: Chaos 6, Undead 5


Mid Game

VDPgame2-3.jpg

The Nighthaunt countercharge ripped appart a group of beastly chaos mutants, but no sooner had they fallen than the damned karkadrak lord and his chaos knight retinue appeared to replace them. As Ser Thomas and the Karkadrak lord locked blades, his ghostly retinue cut down the chaos knights... only for the chaos lord and his nurgle warriors appear in their place.

The combat waged back and forth, but a battle of attrition well suited the warriors of nurgle. The remaining nighthaunts were slowly ground down, and yet still Black Tom refused to call the retreat, ordering assault after assault instead. The leaders of the cabalist forces swelled with the favor of the dark gods as they grew closer to banishing the ghostly commanders and thus ending the undead incursion altogether. And then it happened, the knight of shrouds was cut down. But in slaying the nighthaunt warlord the chaos forces might just have lost the battle....

Round 2 priority roll went to Chaos.

Karkadrak and chaos knights charge the blob while the warriors and lord run to get within assault range. After the flurry of death in the first battle round, both the chaos and death dice cool off dramatically. A couple dead spirit host bases, only for one to come back. A couple wounds on a couple of the heroes. A couple dead knights. Not enough damage from me to turn things around, but not enough damage from the opponent for me to give up hope of turning the game around with a lucky double turn. The Nighthaunts draw back and charge again, wiping out the chaos knights, but not the karkadrak lord.

Victory points end of round 2: Chaos 6, Undead 9 (one of my heroes slipped back onto the edge of my deployment zone while piling in).

Round 3 priority roll went to chaos yet again.

The chaos lord & warriors charge in, though thankfully only a few of the warriors are able to get in reach. The chainghasts fall, the Torment is reduced to one wound, and the knight of shrouds is slain. And with that, my hope of turning the fight around finally collapsed. It was time for plan B, and I withdrew the guardian of souls, spirit torment, and spirit hosts from combat, setting the hosts up to block for the heroes and raising them back up to 2. Unfortunately, I had waited too long, and couldn't withdraw far enough away to be even remotely safe. If chaos won the priority roll, they'd wipe out my fleeing ghosts and claim victory.

Victory points at the end of round 3: Chaos 10, Undead 12


Late Game

VDPgame2-4.jpg

With Ser Thomas banished, his injured honor no longer bound the rapidly dwindling nighthaunt forces to combat. Nodding to each other, John of the Greenwood and the Selway Specter turned from the battle, speeding away from the jeering chaos champions. The tattered remnants of their spirit host retinue trailing after them began to regain strength even as they fled, their ghostly lieutennants calling them back from Shyish.

The chaos forces charged after them, desperate for the glory of the final kill. Yet in their disordered rush they blocked each others' paths and tripped over the dense ruins of the ancient, Golden-Age city and the thick vegetation of Ghur that had overgrown it. Some of the warriors managed to catch and banish the remaining spirit hosts, but it wasn't enough. The Spirit Torment and Guardian of Souls had escaped the ambush, and soon the full strength of the Voidsday Procession would be called back to the Realm of Beasts to continue their invasion of Gloom Host territory.

Round 4 priority roll went to death

The double turn that had refused to give me the edge in melee finally arrived to give my remaining units time to slip away. It's worth pausing here to note that, in the official path to glory battle pack, if one side is reduced to less than half of its starting units they may flee the battle, removing all their remaining units but crucially not counting them as slain, and leaving their opponent to play the rest of the battle against an open table (in order to score victory points and achieve quest goals). The intent being that if you've lost the game already, you don't need to stick it out just to watch your units wiped out and your casualty count spiral out of control.

Theoretically I could have exploited this to leave the battle here, while I was still up in victory points, and since my opponent would no longer be able to score any victory points by slaying my units I would win. My opponent and I both agreed that seemed cheesy, and came to the mutual agreement that we would allow that rule, but if one player uses it to flee the battle, the opponent always counts as scoring a major victory, regardless of victory points.

As such, my remaining heroes and spirit hosts ran, the hosts healing back to full strength while blocking charge lines to the heroes. The chaos side could still catch up, though, and win the game. They just needed to roll long bomb charges on the spirit hosts, wipe them out in a single round of combat, and then win the priority roll in turn 5 to catch the two remaining nighthaunt heroes before they could flee any further.

Fortunately for me, the only chaos unit to make the charge was the warriors, and thanks to discorporate and some lucky armor and ward rolls (where were those turn one?), they failed to wipe out the spirit hosts.

Victory points at the end of round 4: Chaos 10, Undead 15

The game was basically over already, but death winning priority really sealed the deal. Once again the spirit hosts withdrew while the heroes fled, taking advantage of their flight move to scale a distant building, with the torment staying just within range to return one final base to the spirit hosts. The chaos warriors could - and did - charge the spirit hosts again, but even after wiping them out the surviving heroes were still enough to secure victory for the undead. As a final note, the warriors chasing after the spirit hosts had left their general far from his bodyguard, and a particuarly lucky roll for the Emerald Curse at the end of turn 5 could have seen the opposing warlord slain. Sadly, it was not to be.

Victory points at the end of round 5: Chaos 12, Undead 17

Victory for the Voidsday Procession!


Aftermath

The chaos lord stamped his armored boot in fury as he watched the last few crucial nighthaunt heroes slip free from his trap. Soon they would all be called back from their Dead Realm, spreading their grasp through these lands, his lands. Haunting its forests and ruins. Infesting its mountains and caverns. Hope for a swift end to this incursion was lost. Rooting the nighthaunts out by force of arms alone would now take years. maybe decades. He would have to lay out all the dark scrolls in his library, perhaps even risk barter with daemonic forces, in search of some more expedient - and inevitably more costly - arcane solution.

Still, his warriors cheered their "victory". As though cutting down the enemy soldiers while their commanders take flight could be considered a victory against the unquiet dead, the way it would have been against a mortal foe. No need to disabuse them of their notions. Revealing the truth would only inspire dread and despair, the nighthaunts' greatest weapon. Celebrating their triumph would build courage and determination, and strengthen his own authority. His forces had learned the spirits of the dead could be defeated, that ghosts could be struck down and set to flight. The risk of panic that had loomed large after the first defeat had been fully averted. That was victory enough for today.

.....

High in a ruined tower, miles from the scene of the battle, ghostly green candle flames lit a ruined chamber. Slowly, one by one, the tiny green lights flared into momentary gouts of witchfire, before resolving into another warrior of the Emerald Host.

At the center of the chamber, the two wraiths that led the necromantic ritual approached a candle flame that burned more brightly and flickered more violently than the others, before bursting into the form of Ser Thomas of Yorke, back from his brief rest in the ruins of Abingdon. His cold, clear voice echoed from beneath his iron helm, as though from a great distance.

"Forgive me, my brothers. For a moment there, I lost myself,"

The chains that hung from the Selway Specter rattled in what might have been reproach, or laughter, or both. John of the Greenwood merely shook his head at Thom's apology. "Zeal in the Lady's service is no vice, my Captain. Besides," he said, gesturing with a gaunt hand toward a gap in the crumbling tower wall, "our work continues unabated."

Outside, tiny green candle flames shone clearly in the windows of every ancient edifice around them, lighting the ruined city in a sickly glow.


Campaign Results

Glory Gained
  • Battle Fought: 8 points
  • Victory: 4 points
Renown Gained - 1 for being outside of my territory at the end of round 3, 1 for surviving
  • John of the Greenwood: 2
  • Selway Specter: 2
  • Creeps: 1
Favored Warriors - John of the Greenwood: +5 renown. This is enough to earn Johnny his command ability - Master of Magic.

Casualties - could've been much worse, actually, but any casualties at all to the spirit hosts is a big problem.
  • Creeps: 1
  • Insane Citizens: 1
  • Mourning Bells: 1
Quest progress: 2 points for victory, spent 1 glory to complete

Terrain Scouted: Crossroads, passed

Recovery: spent 2 glory to attempt to heal the Creep's casualty. Failed

Spent 10 glory to upgrade the Old Keep

It's a little bit cheeky to be adding new units to the roster when I still haven't finished painting the exisitng ones. Not really in keeping with the spirit of the thing. Even so, I'm eager to round out the band, so-

Spent 4 glory points to recruit Elbows O'Brien, a Krulghast Cruciator.

Spent 4 glory to recruit a new unit of 3 spirit hosts, 'the Weirdos'.

I had wanted to complete the band with an Executioner standing in for the bassist, but the whole 'hero deathstar' concept really relies on a full set of spirit hosts, and this lets the Creeps sit out the next match to recover their lost base

Net Glory: -9.

Ouch! Hardly feels like a victory at all! In contrast, the chaos player did quite well, though I don't recall the details.


Updated Path to Glory Roster

Army: the Voidsday Procession
Faction: Nighthaunt
Subfaction: Emerald Host
Realm of Origin: Shyish
Starting Size: Warband
Current Size: 1360 points
Battles Fought: 2
Victories Won: 2
Current Glory: 4 (laying low after escaping the Chaos trap)

Stronghold - the Ashes of Abingdon
  • Barracks: 1
  • Outposts: 0

Territories
  • Fortified Keep - Glastonbury Ruins

Current Quest
  • Defend Your Realm - Reward: 10 Glory
    Progress: none

Completed Quests:
  • Search for the Artefact - Reward: Midnight Tome
  • Hunt the Endless Spell - Reward: Purple Sun of Shyish

Vault:
  • Triumph:
    - Bloodthirsty

  • Battalions:
    - Battle Regiment

  • Artefacts:
    - Midnight Tome

  • Endless Spells:
    - The Black Star - Purple Sun of Shyish

  • Bonus Spells:
    - none

  • Unique Enhancements:
    none

Roster Limits:
  • Units: 10/10
  • Heroes: 4/6
  • Wizards: 1/1
  • Priests: 0/1
  • Monsters: 0/1
  • War Machines: 0/1
  • Reinforcements: 0/1
  • Allies: 0/1

Warlord:
  • Knight of Shrouds - Ser Thomas of Yorke
    Injuries: none; Renown: 17
    Trait: Cloaked in Shadow
    Core Enhancements: Pendant of the Fell Wind

Other Heroes:
  • Guardian of Souls - John of the Greenwood
    Injuries: none; Renown: 15
    Trait: Master of Magic
    Core Enhancements: Soul Cage

  • Spirit Torment - The Selway Spectre
    Injuries: none; Renown: 4

  • Elbows O'Brien - Krulghast Cruciator
    Injuries: none; Renown: 0

Other Units:
  • Spirit Hosts - the Creeps
    Casualties: 1; Renown: 3

  • Spirit Hosts - the Weirdos
    Casualties: 0; Renown: 0

  • Grimghast Reapers - the Mourning Bells
    Casualties: 1; Renown: 0

  • Chainrasps - the Wicked Children
    Casualties: 1; Renown 2

  • Chainrasps - the Insane Citizens
    Casualties: 1; Renown 2

  • Chainghasts - the Bends
    Casualties: 0; Renown 2

Note: I recorded some of the renown values incorrectly after game 1. These are the correct values
 
Last edited:

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,774
Thanks! It takes a lot of time to write up, and cuts into other projects. But half the fun of a narrative campaign is telling a story with it, so I'll keep it going as long as I've got the spoons for it.
 

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