Sentinels of Order
The forces of Order are many and varied, and they do not always share a unified vision of the common good. Yet all are relentless enemies of anarchy and misrule, and their agents roam far and wide across the Mortal Realms, seeking out hidden dangers and vanquishing them before they become too grievous a threat.
The Age of Sigmar has been defined by the restoration of civilisation and justice to the Mortal Realms by the God-King and his allies after centuries of decadent Chaos butchery. Yet this hard-earned progress teeters always upon the precipice of disaster, for the enemies of civilisation are numberless. This is especially true in the Era of the Beast. Vast greenskin tribes rampage across the lands and the rampant aura of bestial savagery turns men into howling beasts. Neither has the ever-present terror of Chaos abated.
Faced with vast dangers, the leaders of the civilised realms have chosen aggressive action rather than passive defence. From roving champions of the Stormcast Eternals to doughty Fyreslayer mercenaries and the strange, cold warriors of the Idoneth Deepkin, the agents of Order are on the march. They seek out nascent threats to destroy at the source or rare artefacts and wellsprings of arcane power that might be turned towards the cause of progress. The Gnarlwood – and the Ravening Ruin at its centre – offers the opportunity to fulfil both these concerns. According to legend, the crashed ark-ship of Talaxis is filled with all manner of cosmic arcana that might sway the great war in the favour of Order.
Explorers from the Cities of Sigmar were the first to discover the ruins of Talaxis. Ever since the expedition of Anorio ven Talax returned to Excelsis with armfuls of looted treasure – and a mere fraction of his original party – a flurry of new ventures have been organised, armed and dispatched to lay claim to the Ravening Ruin. Typically formed around a core of Freeguild troops, these parties comprise soot-fingered weaponsmiths of the Ironweld Arsenal, expert aelven rangers from the nomadic Wanderer tribes, and a hundred auxiliaries besides.
The Stormcast Eternals have less avaricious interests in the secrets of the Ravening Ruin, interests they do not care to share with even their own allies. Tales of chambers of revivification and crystals that can stop the passage of time are of particular interest to the Sacrosanct chambers, for these strange, alien devices might hold the key to solving the disturbing flaws in the Reforging process. Desperate for any edge in the ongoing struggle against the greenskin hordes, several Stormhosts have dispatched Thunderstrike-clad warriors to unearth the truth behind the Ravening Ruin.
The aelven empires have always been intrigued by the strange powers of the Seraphon, but for very different reasons. The Lumineth Realm-lords respect the cold-blooded warriors’ intimate knowledge of the realms and their metaphysical workings, and they seek anything that might help them purify the land of Chaos corruption. Morathi of the Daughters of Khaine simply desires any weapon or arcane power that might give her a killing edge against her many foes, and she is content to sacrifice scores of her worshippers in order to secure this. Less easily understood are the motivations of the ocean-dwelling Idoneth Deepkin. Perhaps it is the technology of the Seraphon spawning pools that draws them forth from the undersea cities and into the Gnarlwood. If they were able to gestate batches of new souls, then their dwindling race might be granted a blessed reprieve.
The Sylvaneth see the Gnarlwood simply as another arboreal holding of Alarielle the Everqueen, despite its ferocious inhabitants. As far as these mercurial nature-spirits are concerned, it is another bastion of nature that must be cleansed of those who would despoil it with their presence.
The sky-ports of the Kharadron Overlords have a marked interest in the Gnarlwood, for the Aether Khemists Guild has detected large deposits of aether-gold in the region. Thus far, however, it has proven impossible to locate this bounty. Chemopheric readings indicate that the aether-gold has somehow been solidified, and it exists not in the skies above the Gnarlwood but somewhere in the forest itself. Enterprising Kharadron Admirals have dispatched shore parties of hard-bitten duardin aeronauts and Grundstok Marines to seek it out.
This frantic rush to claim the Gnarlwood has created a gloriously profitable opportunity for the elite mercenaries of the Fyreslayer lodges. They offer their services to all who can afford their price, hacking their way through the deadly tangle of the forest with an eager song of battle on their lips.