Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Three Hundred Years' War - Arktos Wastes
Beyond the thick taiga woods of Ruthen and the countless peaks of Noreg lies a land of shadow and eternal cold and endless night. It was here, thousands of years ago, that a piece of the star vessels used to propel the Ancient Ones across the Vault of Heaven ruptured. The energy within tore open a portal in space and time - a pitch-black, massive Rift into the hell of the Abyss.
The energy of Corruption and the fetid nature of the Abyss has spread across the seemingly endless tundras of the north -known as the Arktos Wastes. The land was just ice sheets and tundras, home to small prehistoric tribes of hunter-gatherers. Now, it is an ever-shifting landscape - where the land can warp from vast ice fields into a fetid marsh or a barren desert; supernatural storms bring about storms of blood and worse; and basalt monoliths to the Abyssal Princes call out to believers to worship there. The Arktos Wastes are as close as you can get to actually visiting the infinite Abyss.
The Wastes are constantly fluctuating in size and composition, with arcanists believing it reacts to the emotions that humanity feels. As hopelessness and despair grows, so too does the blasphemous wastes creep ever further south. As humanity strives and reaches great heights, it shrinks as the barbaric residents cloister themselves to fight another day. Unfortunately, the Three Hundred Years' War and the terror and death associated with it has caused the wastes to swell, nearly taking over all of Noreg and licking at the feet of Ruthen.
There are also rumors that the Southern Arktos Wastes on the bottom of the World also contain a Rift to the Abyss, but these Wastes are luckily isolated by the ocean. They are said to contain countless hordes of Grendel, however.
Believe it or not, the race of Man still dwells within the Arktos Wastes. Descendants of the stone-age tribes touched by the Rift millennia ago, these Arktosians have lived under the sway of the Abyssal Princes, worshipping them as gods and joining their ever swelling ranks.
Arktosian is a general term, as they are from countless clans of different backgrounds. The ancient peoples who used to live in Noreg, Chongzen and Dinetah make up the majority of the Arktosians, but others exist too. Within their tribes, they worship the Abyssal Princes in all they do, many tribes following the allegiance of one Prince. They constantly war against each other, much to the delight of the Princes - as war and chaos gives them energy and power.
Arktosians are not the only ones living in the Wastes. Grendels are said to have been born here, and many Wild Hunts can be found stalking the glacial rifts and ragged peaks. Other beings touched by chaos - Ogres, Dragon-Born Ogres, Trolls, Harpies, Mutants and Chimaera either join the hosts of the Princes or ravage the countryside alike. Every once in a while a Demon will romp across the land, though often on its own volition.
The Abyssal Princes of Chaos spend endless hours in the Arktos Wastes, assembling massive hosts to throw at each other in their neverending battle of supremacy. Their armies, composed of Howling Marauders and often lead by Fell Knights or Havoc Conjurers, wage massive battles that often leave both sides decimated - only to be built up again to continue the fight. The most powerful Chosen of Chaos - namely the Dread Counts - have their names written in the standing menhirs that dot the landscape, their deeds immortal and their name legend.
Recently however, the Abyssal Princes have come together for the first time in centuries and nominated The Usher - the champion of all four Princes, meant to lead the forces of the Abyss southwards to consume all creation. Crowned by the First Mutant and calling himself Astaroth, he is journeying across the Arktos Wastes to gather a massive Legion to consume the world below, and let the roiling mass of the Abyss engulf all the World.
Well that's the first proper entry for the Three Hundreds' Year War. Obviously based on the Chaos Wastes, this one hewed a little close to the source material since it is such a unique aspect of a Warhammer world. I still think its fun, and I tried to make it a little more generic and broad-strokes than current Warhammer lore. Also, I know I said last time I'd do an overview of Europa, but this bug kinda bit me. Soon, though!