The Genesis Gate is within reach of the forces of Order – but now the Glottkin have entered the fray and they dare not disappoint Grandfather Nurgle.
The Story So Far
Led by Alarielle, the Sylvaneth and Stormcasts were now in sight of the Dripping Fortress and the Genesis Gate.
Some of the Sylvaneth attempted to lead the army away from the greater threats the forces of Nurgle placed before them, but Alarielle’s patience was spent. The goddess marched towards the Genesis Gate by the most direct route, her Wardroth beetle lowering its head to charge every guard tower in its path, hitting them like a living battering ram. Glittering pollen fell in clouds from Alarielle, healing the foetid and foul ground as the army marched. New Sylvaneth rose from the ground to join Alarielle as she neared the Genesis Gate.
Then, the Glottkin appeared, bringing their last reinforcements with them. However, the brothers were dismayed to learn that the Skaven of the Clans Pestilens had finally appeared – not at their side, but in an assault against the Flyblown Castle, a fortress within the Ring of Corruption that was already beleagured by Stormcast Eternals. The Skaven had betrayed their allies for they coveted the Plague Master of the Gadcoven, the seventy-seventh of the Maggot-Mages, and the most powerful, for Verminlord Sepskrik knew the sorcerer possessed knowledge of the most vile of plagues.
With no other choice, the Glottkin thundered onto the battlefield, placing themselves directly in Alarielle’s path. If they could defeat the goddess, the forces of Order would inevitably crumble and the Genesis Gate would remain in their hands.
This is the climax of the battle for the Genesis Gate, but neither force can call upon its full strength (only five minimum size units are allowed on each side!). Both armies have managed to summon small, elite forces that will fight as their mighty leaders duel for ultimate victory.
Blightkings x 10 (two units of 5)
Chaos Warriors x 10
Chaos Knights x 5
As ever, the forces of Nurgle are solid and will be difficult to slay, characteristics embodied by the Blightkings. Leading them are some of Nurgle’s greatest champions, the Glottkin.
Stormcasts and Sylvaneth
Alarielle the Everqueen
Knight-Venator (Tornus the Redeemed)
Kurnoth Hunters x 6 (two units of 3)
Protectors x 5
The forces of Order have a smaller force but are no less powerful for all that. The Knight-Venator will cause trouble for any follower of Nurgle, while the Kurnoth Hunters will rain death from a distance with their massive bows. Then, of course, their is Alarielle, who has quite literally brought the power of a goddess to the battlefield.
To gain a major victory, all Alarielle has to do is march across the battlefield to reach the Genesis Gate. On top of that, the forces of Nurgle will be slow to react, as Alarielle’s push has come very quickly and not all of them are as alert as they should be. This may allow the forces of Order to cross a large part of the battlefield before the alert is sounded (either by one of their units running into a Sylvaneth or Stormcast, by the forces of Order casting a spell, attacking or using a command ability, or automatically at the start of the third round).
However, the forces of Nurgle are able to recycle destroyed units, representing reinforcements from the Dripping Fortress arriving once they realise just where Alarielle is and what she is doing.
As Chaos Warriors took their ease, garrisoning the Overlord Bastion, Blightkings and Chaos Knights roamed the territory in front of the Genesis Gate. The Glottkin were close by, pondering the reports they had received of the Sylvaneth making a push directly towards the Realmgate. So far, though, they had seen nothing.
Unbeknownst to the three brothers, Alarielle was already on the battlefield, advancing quickly at the head of a small force of Sylvaneth and Stormcasts.
Battle Round One
Trying to buy time before being sighted by the Rotbringers, Alarielle withheld her spells and instead quietly urged her force onwards. Flanked by Kurnoth Hunters and Stormcast Protectors, she led them down the left flank of the battlefield as more Kurnoth Hunters crept silently into a Skull Keep. Ascending to its battlements, they could aim their bows at almost any visible target.
However, despite several very easy targets being within range, Alarielle waved the Staff of Kurnos in their direction, biding them to wait until she gave the order to attack.
Below, the Chaos Warriors stayed put in the bastion, while the Blightkings wandered with little guidance form the Glottkin. One unit sauntered over to the Chaos Knights to exchange a few jokes about the diseases they intended to infect Alarielle with.
Battle Round Two
These jokes soon turned into a serious debate about the respective virulence of the diseases favoured by Blightking and Chaos Knight, and both were concentrated more on the heated argument than any oncoming enemy. However, the Chaos Warriors had thought they had seen something move in the (disgustingly) lush vegetation that had started to overwhelm the Dripping Fortress, and their leader ordered them out of the bastion to investigate.
Realising her ploy had been discovered, Alarielle shrieked, ordering the Sylvaneth and Stormcasts to attack.
Reaching into the Soul Amphorae tied to her Wardoth Beetle, Alarielle scattered enchanted pollens high into the air. Drifting to the Skull Keep, the tiny grains suddenly coalesced, revealing the mighty form of a Treelord.
Alarielle was far from finished, and she wove complex arcane symbols into the air, unleashing the full power of Ghyran. As a shimmering Mystic Shield enshrouded the goddess, branches and leaves started sprouting from between the joints of the Chaos Warriors’ armour, as Alarielle’s Metamorphosis transformed two of them into shrubbery.
As the cmbined arrows of the Kurnoth Hunters and Tornus the Redeemed brought down a Chaos Knight, Alarielle charged, surging ahead of her Protector bodyguard.
Five Chaos Warriors fell to the mighty antlers of her Wardroth but, despite the terrors of the goddess being visited upon them, they held their ground and prepared to fight back.
Battle Round Three
Tempering their alarm, the Glottkin bellowed orders, trying to get their own force organised before Alarielle reached the Genesis Gate. Seeing the goddess strike at the Chaos Warriors, Ethrac tried to improve their minions’ chances with Fleshy Abundance, but Alarielle contemptuously unbound the enchantment. Employing more devious means, Ethrac instead managed to slip a Mystic Shield past her notice, giving the Chaos Warriors at least a little protection.
One unit of Blightkings were far out of position after having wandered away from the Genesis Gate, and they started waddling and sweating as they tried to make up the distance quickly. Their brothers, breaking from their argument with the Chaos Knights, turned to face the newly arrived Treelord as the Glottkin thundered towards Alarielle herself.
More Chaos Warriors fell to Alarielle and her Wardoth, but the last survivors still held their ground, forcing Alarielle to tarry – but she knew all too well that the longer she fought Chaos Warriors here, the more chance there was that reinforcements would flood to the Dripping Fortress and wear her forces down before she could reach the Genesis Gate.
The few scratches the Chaos Warriors had inflicted upon her Wardoth quickly healed. Seeking a way to break the deadlock that was holding her back, Alarielle once more cast Metamorphosis upon the Chaos Warriors and this time, it worked perfectly. The Chaos Warriors screamed in pain and terror as the magic of Life coursed through their bodies, driving disease and infection out as limbs were twisted into branches that arced out across the ground. Within seconds, the Chaos Warriors were gone and a Sylvaneth Wyldwood stood in their place.
As the Glottkin started to clear the corner of the Overlord Bastion, Alarielle hurled an Arcane Bolt straight into the face of Ghurek as a warning, then leapt high into the air as her Wardroth burst into a cloud of lesser spites that followed her.
With one bound, Alarielle cleared the Overlord Bastion to land on the other side, the spites reforming into the Wardroth beneath her feet. With one move, the forces of the Glottkin had been completely wrong-footed.
Hoping to capitalise on the confusion Alarielle had wrought, Tornus the Redeemed drew the Star-fated Arrow from his quiver, and loosed it straight at the Glottkin.
Ghurek looked stupidly down at the burning arrow that had lodged itself in his blubber, then swatted it away. Cursing his luck once again, Tornus was at least mollified as his Star-eagle gouged the eyes out of a Chaos Knight and his mount.
With no fear of the monstrosity that was lumbering towards them, the Protectors hurled themselves at the Glottkin, closing the distance rapidly.
They thrust forward with their storm-wreathed glaives, and all three of the Glottkin reeled backwards as the weapons bit deep into foul flesh. Otto was the first to recover, and his long scythe swept down into the Protectors, quickly followed by Ghurek’s lamprey maw. Three Paladins fell to the Glottkin, but the last two were determined to press their attack.
Battle Round Four
Distraught that the Stormcasts had hurt his brother so much, Ethrac threw a Mystic Shield over himself and his brothers, then cast about to see where Alarielle had landed. Seeing a unit of Blightkings waddling towards her, Ethrac tried to gift them with a Fleshy Abundance, but once again Alarielle unbound his spell before he had even finished the incantation.
The first reinforcements from outside the Dripping Fortress had now arrived, Chaos Warriors who immediately fanned out to block any path to the Genesis Gate. However, the Realmgate was beginning to react to the presence of its goddess, and crackling Life energies began to pour out of it, wreathing the Chaos Warriors and distracting them from the rest of the battle.
Having been caught out by the sudden appearance of the Stormcasts and Sylvaneth, the Blightkings were delighted at seeing Alarielle touch down right in front of them, and they rushed forward to cut her off.
The combined weight of the Blightkings rocked even the mighty Wardroth, and several of its armoured plates were smashed by repeated strikes from their weapons.
Further away, Chaos Knights rode down the Tornus the Redeemed, almost crushing him beneath their hooves. Battered and bloody, the Knight-Venator finally managed to spread his wings and fly out of their reach,.
The last Stormcast Protectors made a good stand against the Glottkin, with the Protector-Prime thrusting his glaive deep into Ghurek, causing the big brother to moan in pain as the weapon wreathed him in crackling lightning. However, their assault was short lived, as the Glottkin brothers combined their attacks to send the last Stormcast back to Azyr on a bolt of blue light.
Now the Glottkin were finally free to chase down Alarielle, and Ghurek lumbered around at the behest of his brothers.
As the damage the Blightkings had inflicted began to knit and heal, Alarielle threw more pollen from her Soul Amphorae into the air and, this time, Dryads sprang from the ground wherever the grains fell.
Casting a look over her shoulder, Alarielle saw the Glottkin lumber round the other side of the bastion, and snorted with annoyance as the Chaos Lords continued to follow her. She watched as Ethrac gathered magical energies about himself, ready to unbind any spell she sent his way, but the goddess hurled a powerful bolt of energy at the Glottkin – not to hurt them, but to cause Ethrac to frantically unbind it.
As the Chaos Wizard was busy countering her feint, Alarielle once more unleashed her Metamorphosis.
For a moment, nothing happened, and the Glottkin brothers looked at one another. Then Otto clutched his stomach, as Ethrac clamped his hands to his ears, trying to halt the vines that suddenly sprouted out of them. Within seconds, leaves, bark and flowers broke out of every orifice of the Glottkin consuming them in a wave of Life. When the transformation abated, a new Wyldwood stood where the Glottkin had been.
Seeing the Genesis Gate almost close enough to touch, Alarielle knew she could not let the Blightkings delay her. Despite going against every one of her instincts to let a creature of Chaos live, Alarielle once again soared high into the air as her Wardroth broke into a million spites, only to reform beneath her as the goddess reached the ground.
Now only the confused Chaos Warriors stood in her path.
Though they were outmatched, the Dryads saw the energies of the Genesis Gate had paralysed the Chaos Warriors to inaction, and they rushed forward, branch-like arms outstretched and ready to rend claw and impale their age-old enemies.
A single Chaos Warrior was hacked apart by the vengeful Forest Folk, but the Dryads had succeeded in tying them up and holding the path open for Alarielle.
Battle Round Five
From her vantage point high up on the Wardroth, Alarielle could see massive reinforcements flooding into the Dripping Fortress, but she smiled as she saw they would not be able to arrive in time.
The Wardroth Beetle surged forward, carrying Alarielle to the Genesis Gate. Reaching out with the Spear of Kurnos, she touched it just once…
A pulse went through the air, and immediately the brown sludge that had poured out of the Dripping Fortress for more than four hundred years flowed clean, carrying an influx of vitality throughout the nearby lands and sweeping the followers of Chaos before it. With more effort, she closed the Genesis Gate, locking the path that led to the Allpoints.
Now, at long last, the tide had changed in the War of Life.
This was a good battle – short, tight, full of action… and with big things happening in the story!
As mentioned at the start of the All-Gates campaign, Sigmar needs to take one All-Gate in each Mortal Realm to surround the Allpoints (Varanspire) and give Archaon a good smacking. And, with Alarielle’s help, he already has his first in the Realm of Life!
For her part, Alarielle has most certainly arrived on the scene, and the forces of Chaos will be cowering wherever she strides. The closing of the Genesis Gate is a major blow for Nurgle, and his forces will now be on the backfoot in Ghyran, giving the Sylvaneth some much needed breathing space.
And what of the Glottkin? Are they now destined to spend their time watching squirrels run up and down their boughs while sparrows make nests in their branches?
I doubt it.
Grandfather Nurgle is more forgiving than most Chaos Gods and while the Glottkin have badly let him down in the pursuit of Alarielle, I don’t think he will stay mad at his favoured sons for long. In any case, he might well need them now the forces of Order are ascendant in the Realm of Life…
The Story Continues…
Well, the first of the All-Gates that Sigmar wanted is now in his hands – score one for the forces of Order! We will next be taking a look at how the war is going in the Realm of Metal as the battle for the Mercurial Gate gains momentum.