Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

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Kinne
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Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Kinne » Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:53 pm

So I don't know who else has been following End Times, but I wanted to compare notes with those who have and also give a heads up to those who are interested but don't want to do all of the reading. First, let's start with notable deaths, arrivals, betrayals and conquests. Note: I'm leaving the notable deaths to those characters who had their own models and rules at some point. They've created and killed so many characters in these first two books that it would take days to compile the list.

Notable Deaths
- Heinrich Kemmler, The Lichemaster (killed in a magical duel with Arkhan the Black)
- Volkmar the Grim, Arch Lector of Sigmar (sacrificed by Arkhan and Mannfred)
- Morgiana le Fay, The Fey Enchantress (sacrificed by Arkhan and Mannfred)
- Eltharion the Grim (killed in battle by Arkhan the Black while trying to prevent Nagash's resurrection)
- Zachariah the Ever-Living (remotely destroyed by Nagash when he refused to follow)
- Thorek Ironbrow (mortally wounded by Neferata, sacrifices himself by destroying his Anvil of Doom)
- King Kazador of Karak Azul (killed in battle by Krell)
- Vardek Crom, the Conquerer (killed in battle by Luthor Huss and Valten)
- Kurt Helborg, the Reiksmarshal (killed in battle by Otto Glott while defending Karl Franz)
- Ku'Gath, the Plague Father (killed in battle by Louen Louencouer)
- Louen Louencouer, High Paladin (killed in battle by Festus Ascendant)
- Festus Ascendant (killed in battle by Vlad von Carstein)
- Emperor Karl Franz (killed in battle by the Glott triplets, immediately reborn as Karl Franz Ascendant)
- Ariel, Mage Queen of Athel Loren (poisoned by Lileath, unified with Alarielle the Everqueen)
- Malus Darkblade (utterly destroyed by Tz'Arkan, the daemon who once dwelt within him)
- Tullaris Dreadbringer (killed in battle by Tyrion)
- Kouran Darkhand, Master of the Black Guard (killed in battle by Alith Anar, the Shadow King)
- Orion, The King in the Woods (killed in battle by Tyrion, Avatar of Khaine)
- Korhil, Captain of the White Lions (executed at Tyrion's command)
- Tyrion, Avatar of Khaine (killed by a single arrow from Alith Anar, the Shadow King)
- Morathi, the Hag Sorceress (consumed by Slaanesh)

Notable Appearences
- Gilles le Breton (was the Green Knight this entire time, returned to life by The Lady)
- Nagash (duh)
- Valten
- Vlad von Carstein (returned to life by Nagash)

Notable Betrayals
- Balthasar Gelt, Supreme Patriarch (learned the ways of Necromancy, left the Empire and now serves with Vlad von Carstein)
- Teclis (assists Malekith, allows his niece Aliathra to be captured and sacrificed by Mannfred von Carstein)
- Prince Imrik (betrays his people and sides with Malekith)

Notable Conquests
- Middenheim (sacked by the Glott triplets, destroyed)
- Talabheim (sacked by Orghotts Daemonspew and Epidemius, destroyed)
- Carroburg (sacked by the Glott triplets, destroyed)
- Estalia (destroyed by the Skaven)
- Tilea (destroyed by the Skaven)
- Naggaroth (overrun by the Bloodied Horde under Valkia the Bloody, only Har Ganeth survives)
- Ulthuan (battled over and ravaged for months until it ultimately sank beneath the ocean)
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Kinne » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:01 am

As to the story, it's been interesting so far. I'll summarize Nagash first.

The book begins right after the end of Sigmar's Blood, which I haven't read so I can't comment here. Some notable events from that book seem to tbe the abduction of several powerful figures (including Morgiana le Fay and Volkmar the Grim) by Mannfred von Carstein. Volkmar had actually led a crusade of sorts into Sylvania to get rid of Mannfred when he was defeated and captured. Afterward, Balthasar Gelt, Supreme Patriarch of the Colleges of Magic, received powerful knoweldge from a dubious source that allowed him to create a Wall of Faith around Sylvania that allowed beings to enter, but not to leave, thus solving the Sylvania problem temporarily.

The crap was also hitting the fan across the entire Old World, big time. Roiling stormfronts of raw Chaos magic swept across the land, lashing out with storms that spread mutation and madness. Armies of daemons would appear out of seemingly nowhere and assault mortal settlements, disappearing just as quickly as they appeared. The Skaven swept up suddenly and completely conquered Estalia and Tilea. Hordes of daemons were attacking all across Ulthuan and Lustria, both the High Elves and Lizardmen hardpressed to defend themselves. Beastmen were gathering in numbers never before seen, attacking settlements and worshipping at massive herdstones that were erupting from the earth. And hordes of Chaos worshippers were sweeping out of the north, destroying Kislev utterly.

Bretonnia was in the midst of rebellion, led by Louen Louencouer's bastard son, Mallobaude (Morte d'Arthur, much?). Despite defeating Louen in single combat and "casting his broken body into the mud", Mallobaude ultimately failed. It was foretold that Mallobaude could not be defeated by any mortal warrior, so he brazenly challenged any to single combat. Enter the Green Knight. Roll credits. Then the Green Knight takes off his helmet and BAM!, turns out he was Gilles le Breton this whole time. We find out that Mallobaude's rebellion was actually the plot of Arkhan the Black.

His attempt to control Bretonnia having failed, Arkhan made his way north to Sylvania where he convinces Mannfred to help him resurrect the Great Necromancer, Nagash. Sacrificing some of Mannfred's captives to break the Wall of Faith, Arkhan set out for Bretonnia to recover Alakanash, Nagash's staff of power. Mannfred went into the Border Princes to capture the Fell Blade from the Skaven. Arkhan teamed up with Heinrich Kemmler, the Lichemaster, to assault the abbey at La Maisontal, which holds the staff. Kemmler betrayed Arkhan at the last, spouting off about the Chaos gods. Arkhan blasts him. He returns to Sylvania with the staff. Mannfred barges his way into a Skaven hold, and ultimately captures the keep by resurrecting the skeleton of a dragon that the Skaven warlord used as a gate. He claims the Fell Blade and also heads back to Sylvania.

Arkhan and Mannfred meet back up and then set out into the Empire to attack Heldenhame Keep, home of the Knights of Sigmar's Blood, to recover Morikane, the Black Armor of Nagash and the last item they need to resurrect him. In short, they succeed and head back to Sylvania to perform the ceremony. While all of this is going on, a rescue mission is put together by the High Elves to save Aliathra, the Everchild and daughter of the Everqueen. It's led by Eltharion the Grim and joined by Wood Elves, forces of the Empire and Dwarfs out of Karak Kadrin led by Ungrim Ironfist, the Slayer King. A massive Beastmen army is also drawn into Sylvania, its general led there by visions from the dark gods. Turns out the Big Four don't really want to see Nagash come back.

Along the way, the Empire army is drawn out and completely crushed. The Wood Elves meet some spirit and step through a portal to disappear. The Beastmen army is constantly attacked by Mannfred's forces and drawn off course until they plow into Ungrim's army. A massive battle sees the Dwarfs victorious but utterly depleted, so Ungrim sends messengers out to his allies before withdrawing to Karak Kadrin. The Elves arrive at a site called the Nine Daemons alone in an attempt to prevent Nagash's rise and save Aliathra. After thrashing Mannfred, Eltharion manages to interrupt the ceremony briefly before Arkhan turns him into dust. Aliathra does some weird thing where she puts her glowing hands on Arkhan's chest which doesn't seem to do anything, but when he asks her what she's done, she says "You'll see." In the end, the Elves fail and Nagash comes back.

But wait, there's more! Turns out Aliathra wasn't who Arkhan and everyone else thought she was. She was supposed to be the daughter of the Everqueen and the Phoenix King, but she's actually the daughter of the Everqueen and Prince Tyrion. Teclis knew this the entire time and actually planned for the rescue mission to fail. He wanted Nagash to come back but not at his full strength. In a conversation with some mysterious figure, he reveals all of this and says how he needs Nagash to delay his war with the Chaos Gods, because if Nagash fights alone he will fail, and they'll all be doomed. Not realizing his weakness, Nagash tries to syphon Shyish, the Wind of Death, away from Ulthuan and into himself. Unable to do so, he basically turns Sylvania into a giant pool of Death magic. This also has the side effect of resurrecting pretty much every corpse that has ever been buried ever.

Now we jump over to the Silver Pinnacle, where Neferata has heard Nagash's summons. Instead of heading directly to Sylvania, Neferata takes her armies south because she knows Nagash will need an item of great power to restore himself, and knows exactly where she can get it. Centuries ago, Neferata discovered an ancient part of the Dwarfen Underway that held artifacts of incredible power. When she returns to bring one of these to Nagash, she finds that Thorek Ironbrow has already led some Dwarfs there to also recover said items. After an intense battle, the Dwarfs are defeated. Thorek is mortally wounded by Neferata and then explodes his Anvil of Doom in an attempt to keep her from the artifacts. King Kazador of Karak Azul is killed in combat with Krell.

Now we get to check in on Vlad von Carstein, who was resurrected by Nagash and sent north into the Empire. With Kislev destroyed, the Empire is in deep crap. Balthasar Gelt receives some more powerful magic from another dubious source, but this one lets him create the Auric Bastion - a massive wall of magic and faith that stretches across the entireity of the Imperial border. It's fueled by the efforts of wizards and priests side-by-side. It does occasionally falter and Chaos forces slip through, but in nowhere near the numbers they would if the wall weren't there. The book describes a few battles along the border, and one desperate one that includes Ku'Gath, the Plague Father. Ultimately, we see Gelt starting to buckle under the strain of maintaining the bastion and heading the defense of one area of the wall. He also starts to realize that his powers may be greater than he suspected.

Ultimately, Gelt calls upon the powers of Necromancy to save the Empire. Thus damned, he is drawn in by the seductive offers of Vlad von Carstein, and becomes the vampire's apprentice. Meanwhile, he spends a great deal of time tracking down a daemonic changeling that almost caused the Auric Bastion to fall. He ends up believing the changeling to be none other than the youth Valten. When he hears that Valten is going to be publicly given Ghal Maraz by the Emperor, he rushes there to stop it and summons undead to protect the Emperor. Turns out he was wrong and exposed himself as a traitor and a heretic. He is forced to flee. Seeing the Auric Bastion as a work of a damned man, the priests of Sigmar refuse to continue sustaining it, and the wall fails leaving the Empire vulnerable.

A massive Chaos army breaks through as the Auric Bastion begins to fail. The Empire is led by Karl Franz and Valten, and is unexpectedly assisted by an undead army under Vlad. Right as the Empire is about to triumph, a traitorous vampire named Walach Harkon, master of the Blood Knights, attacks and sends the Empire into a rout. Karl Franz engages Harkon in an aerial duel, but is severely outmatched and gravely wounded when he and Deathclaw are sent careening to the earth. Vlad defeats Harkon by turning the traitor's zombie dragon against its master.

The book sort of jumps ahead, and we are led to believe that Neferata brings the artifact to Nagash, and it has something do with him consuming the power of Valaya, the Dwarf Goddess, but it's pretty unclear exactly what happened. Anyway, Nagash is now poised to invade Khemri. Settra saw all of this coming, and has amassed the armies of Khemri against him. Krell, Neferata, Mannfred, Arkhan and Luthor Harkon (a different Harkon, this one a vampire pirate captain. . .they got lazy in the vampire name department) lead Nagash's armies. Krell slowly grinds his way toward Khemri. Mannfred is defeated utterly, but manages to escape and link up with Harkon. Neferata returns to Lamia in an attempt to draw out and delay Khalida, which works brilliantly. Arkhan leads his armies into one of the Khemrian cities, which rises up against Settra.

There's a massive battle before the gates of Khemri when all of the generals but Neferata arrive. Settra rides out and personally defeats Arkhan, dragging his corpse behind his chariot and into the city to have Arkhan's soul utterly destroyed. Turns out the Liche Priest that was to perform the ceremony had been turned by Nagash, and rather than destroying Arkhan's soul, he extracts Nagash from within the dead liche. With everyon's attention outside of the city, Nagash enters his Black Pyramid, then goes into the Underworld and consumes Usirian, the God of Death. Now all god-like, Nagash strolls out, bitch slaps Prince Apophis who attacks him with the Destroyer of Eternities, and chops Settra into little pieces. Since he's now lord of the Underworld and in control of the Khemrian souls, the surviving Tomb Kings swear allegiance to him ('cause they don't really have a choice). The book ends with four voices on the winds talking to Settra and then restoring him to life.
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Kinne » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:05 am

TL;DR version of the above:

- Arkhan and Mannfred collect items to resurrect Nagash, and sacrifice the Fey Enchantress and Volkmar
- Eltharion dies trying to stop them, Nagash is resurrected and siphons the winds of Death magic into Sylvania
- Balthasar Gelt creates a magical wall protecting the Imperial border from Chaos invasion
- Vlad von Carstein is resurrected and fights alongside the Empire to prevent Chaos from invading
- Gelt becomes a Necromancer learning from Vlad. The cult of Sigmar refuses to continue powering his magical wall and it begins to fail
- Neferata captures Dwarven artifacts to return Nagash to greater power. Throek Ironbrow and King Kazador die trying to stop her
- Karl Franz is defeated, severely wounded and lost behind enemy lines
- Nagash invades Khemri, consumes the god of death Usirian, and defeats Settra. The surviving Tomb Kings swear allegiance to him
- The book ends with Settra hearing four voices on the wind, and then is magically restored
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Kinne » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:31 am

The Glottkin book is MUCH shorter than the Nagash one, and doesn't advance the plot too much. There is still some great stuff in there, though.

Triplets chosen by Nurgle, the Glott brothers or the Glottkin, are given three plagues and an army, and are ordered to invade the Empire by sea. The army breaks into three and approaches Altdorf by three different routes, each bearing one of the plagues. Meanwhile, Festus the Leechlord is at work beneath the streets of Altdorf, concocting plagues, poisonous smogs and all sorts of unpleasantness. The Emperor Karl Franz is still missing from the Nagash book.

The Glottkin lead their army against Marienburg. They release their plague, which is a fast growing blanket of grave moss. Marienburg falls in a single day, despite the fact that a vampire lord from the city's underworld attempts to raise all of the slain and stop them. The grave moss stretches across the River Reik, giving the Glottkin's army a straight path to Altdorf.

A second army led by Gutrot Spume seeks to cut through the Drakwald directly to be the first to the capital. They ally themselves with beastmen but soon find themselves in a desperate battle against forest goblins and savage orcs. They emerge victorious after a great slaughter and release their plague, stranglethorn vines that not only open a clear path through the forest, but begin to cover all of the Empire. And yes, the vines do literally strangle people and string them up. Nasty stuff.

The third army, or rather the three dudes carrying the plague, set out for Brass Keep in the Middle Mountains to recruit the worshippers of Nurgle holed up there. Thus reinforced, they move toward Talabheim and climb over its impenetrable wall to attack. They're ultimately driven out, but just outside of the city they meet up with the Tallyman of Nurgle, Epidemius, with an army of plaguebearers. They release their plague, a delightful storm that rains infected pus (yum), and sack the city before moving south. All three armies converge on the city simultaneously.

Festus was not idle during all of this time. Apparently his efforts were to turn Altdorf into Father Nurgle's garden. Citizens of the city start dropping like flies. Kurt Helborg, the Reiksmarshal, is in command with Karl Franz absent. He receives a damning offer - Vlad von Carstein will ride to Altdorf's aid. At first he rejects the idea, but after weeks of no sleep, seeing his citizens and soldiery die of plague, and rumors of the approaching armies, he lights a beacon fire to summon the vampire.

We also see visions of the old gods of the Empire, particularly Taal, lord of nature, who is struck ill by the trio of Nurgle's plagues. Shallya weeps over his dying form but is unable to heal him.

Further south, Louen Louencouer (not killed by Mallobaude, as we were led to believe) rides north at the head of a Bretonnian army despite the realm's weakened state. Seems like Gilles le Breton and the Grail Knights were the only ones left behind. Louen and his army arrive just as the three chaos armies do. They immediately attack. We also find out that the new Supreme Patriarch has located Karl Franz and is returning him to the city.

Right as the battle begins, Festus completes his work and the city turns into Nurgle's Garden. A massive rift in reality opens and Ku'Gath steps through with an army of plaguebearers. Even more fun, we see the beast that tends Nurgle's plants, a Soulgrinder (yes, the 40k daemon defiler). The armies outside of Altdorf are held off fairly well. Epidemius is taken out by a Hellblaster volley. The army within fares pretty well until they reach the Temple of Shallya, which they can't really touch. Louen arrives to help the Sisters and is battered around by Ku'Gath before he finally defeats him. Not before Ku'Gath kills Beaquis, Louen's hippogryph. Then Louen battles Festus who is on the verge of daemonhood. Injured as he is, Louen gets blinded when Festus smashes one of his concoction's in the knight's face, then SAWS HIS FRIGGIN' HEAD OFF. And about two seconds later, Festus is killed by Vlad.

The battle is looking pretty good, but then the Glottkin bust into the city. Vlad's undead don't even slow them down, and soon they reach the Imperial Palace, where Karl is waiting for them. Still injured and without the Ghal Maraz, Karl Franz gets slapped around and has an arm chopped off. When one of the Gott's moves in for the killing stroke, he is stopped by Kurt Helborg, who then takes a sword to the eye socket. Otto Glott then strikes down the Emperor, who prays to Sigmar with his last breath.

We flash back to the gods. Shallya is still trying desperately to heal Taal but is becoming ill herself. The Lady, inspired by Louen's sacrifice, reaches down to heal the nature god. With the dawn of winter, Ulric helps too, putting Taal in a cacoon of ice. When the god breaks out, he's healed. Then Sigmar goes all crazy, shooting a beam of golden light down on Altdorf. Karl Franz gets back up, his body whole and a golden hammer of light in his hand. The light explosion washes out over the city, undoing all of the works of Festus. The grave moss covering the river burns away. The strangling vines wither and die. Then Karl Franz Ascendant starts battering around some chosen of Nurgle. The Glotts manage to escape.

So at the end of the book, we have two major cities sacked, Marienburg and Talabheim. Almost the entire population of Altdorf is either dead or has fled the city. The Imperial army is severely depleted, as are the Bretonnians. Kurt Helborg and Louen Louencouer are both dead. But we do have a new, badass version of the Emperor, and now two people have the Ghal Maraz. So the Empire has that going for it. Which is nice.
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby AdamL » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:12 am

This is really cool for folks who don't have all the books for End Times yet but still are curious what's happening. I been too busy with 40k to even bother with my fantasy at the current moment but I am really interested in all these big changes.

I'm curious as to what is going to happen to Gotrek Gurnisson or Grimgore Ironhide.
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Dez » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:16 am

Excellent write up, thanks Kinne! I haven't had the time to sit down and read the books yet, but I've been really very curious.

Adam I've heard whispers that Gotrek is seen...without Felix.
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Ankaru » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:23 am

Id be curious actually to see if the High Elves and Dark elves do make amends to fight a common foe or something. They do it in 40k at least.
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Kinne » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:31 am

I totally forgot about them! Grimgor is out in the Badlands, displaying his usual ferocity which is attracting endless streams of orcs to his banner. Also rising to prominence is Skarsnik, Warlord of the Eight Peaks. Wurrzag is hobbling around, too. We do get a glimmer of what may happen in an Orc End Times book. Wurrzag has ever been on a quest to find a champion befit both Gork and Mork, but has a sudden clarity realizing he's not searching for one leader, but two: a Fist of Gork, and a hand of Mork. This comes right on the heels of the book talking about Grimgor and Skarsnik, so I wonder who those two could be. GW writers aren't usually known for their subtlety (save Abnett and ADB).

And I remember there being some mention of Gotrek fighting against a daemon army in some Kislevite city, without Felix, but I can't remember if that was rumor or actually in the book.

Oh, and two other big army developments - Lizardmen and Ogres. Greasius Goldtooth finds himself no longer in total control of the Ogre Kingdoms, which gets him a little hot under the collar. Then the mountains all erupt, and EVERY ogre is forced to abandon their homelands and set out into the world. The Lizardmen are being overrun by armies of daemons bursting into their sacred lands and temples. There's apparently a particularly large rift they've defended for millenia that's opened back up. Then Mazdamundi speaks - the Great Plan has failed. It is time for The Exodus to begin.

The book doesn't get into what the Exodus is, but from things I've read online, it sounds like it's the Lizardmen establishing themselves outside of Lustria. Combine that with the Tomb Kings following Nagash out of Khemri and the Wood Elves apparently getting into the Elf civil war and leaving Athel Loren, and you finally have the three most reclusive armies outside of their homes. This is a great marketing move, as now you don't have to always assume the Lizards/Tomb Kings/Wood Elves are on the defensive.
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Kinne » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:34 am

Rumor is that there is a civil war between the elves. Teclis has apparently been in cahoots with Malekith. Turns out Malekith failed to walk through the flame all those millenia ago not because he was unworthy, but because of sabotage. In other words, he was SUPPOSED to be the Phoenix King. Some Dark/High/Wood Elves support him as the rightful king, while others oppose him. The interesting thing is that Teclis is absent from both civil war army lists AND the victorious list. Tyrion opposes him, as does Morathi (kind of a weird choice for his mom. No word on what happens to those named characters that fight against him. I don't have my hands on the book yet.
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Re: Up to Date with End Times (spoilers)

Postby Slimnoid » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:23 am

Kinne wrote:Rumor is that there is a civil war between the elves. Teclis has apparently been in cahoots with Malekith. Turns out Malekith failed to walk through the flame all those millenia ago not because he was unworthy, but because of sabotage. In other words, he was SUPPOSED to be the Phoenix King. Some Dark/High/Wood Elves support him as the rightful king, while others oppose him. The interesting thing is that Teclis is absent from both civil war army lists AND the victorious list. Tyrion opposes him, as does Morathi (kind of a weird choice for his mom. No word on what happens to those named characters that fight against him. I don't have my hands on the book yet.


Basically, every Phoenix King bar Malekith cheated using protective spells in order to become the king. Asuryan then cursed them with madness, death, illness, etc. which is why all of them were terrible kings in one form or another. Malekith needed only to stay in the flames a moment longer and he'd have been healed; Asuryan gave him a second chance with the whole civil war/schism thing, in order to make him a better king through conflict.

Morathi opposing him might be due to him mucking up her plans unintentionally, or that whole "I'm secretly a Slaanesh devote" thing, assuming they keep that part. Or she's just crazy.
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