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12/22/2014

The End Times: what went wrong? - part 2. Swearing intensifies

The End Times are in full swing. In January of 2015 we'll find out what everyone's favorite furry race will contribute to this world-shattering event. Meanwhile I still have to finish my thoughts on the whole thing and review both "Glottkin" and "Khaine" supllements. So let's get to it.

On my last post I've written about things that I didn't liked in the "Glottkin" book. There are a few of them, I'll admit that. Particualry as I'm an Empire player, many of these "revelations" irk me to no end, however they are nothing compared to the complete shitfest that is "The End Times: Khaine".

Now, just as was the case with Glottkin, this won't be a review. I'm saving my full opinion on the book's mechanics and units for later. I just want to share some of my personall thoughts about the fluff and the direction that the End Times themselves are heading to. Also I won't be talking about the "Curse of Khaine" novel by Gav Thorpe. This is strictly WFB related.

Oh, and just FYI: spoilers ahead. Major, shitty spoilers.

In "Khaine" big things are happening and the most prominent of these is the reunification of the whole elven race.

Yup, all three branches of Elves are once again united.

Under the banner of Malekith.

What the fuck?

"Trololololo you dipshits!"
Seriously, what the effin-friggin-flying fuck? This IS the worst piece of "End Times" thus far. It's abyssmal to say the least. It shits and spits on 20+ years of heavily established lore. For those of you who don't know, Malekith is practically the biggest sumbitch of Warhammer Fantasy. He's one of the vileset characters out there, responsible for attrocities that rival those of Chaos and Skaven. Malekith created the most tyrannical and hate-fueled regime in the entire Warhammer world and the Dark Elves are despised by every, single nation on the planet, including the northern tribes. You would struggle to find a bigger douchebag than the Witch King.

And you know what? He's the good guy after all. Yup. As it turned out the Son of Aenarion was the true heir to the throne. According to the newest fluff, if he'd only stayed in the Flames of Asuryan for a second longer, he would pass the test. Yeah, that's right. Sucks to be him I guess, the whiny douche just gave up before the end. Hahahaha, that Asuryan's a funny guy, that's for sure. Oh and the "rightful" Phoenix Kings? Why they are cheaters of course! Duh, what did you think? During each one's ceremony, there was a coterie of mages lurking nearby who speed healed them and casted "Protection from fire" every turn.

So when ol' Mamma's Boy decided to try for the crown one last time, he and all of his followers left Naggartoth, killed all their slaves and salted the ground, so that the upcoming Chaos Horde would not get anything from their successful invasion. On Ulthuan itself two factions arose. One was the Host of the Phoenix King, which was comprised of both Druchi and Asur, loyal to Malekith. The other was Aestyrion, the Elves who followed Tyrion, the Avatar of Khaine, including the Dark Elves following their God.

Sorry, that joke was too easy for me to pass
"Wait, wait, wait whaaaaaat?" - I hear you ask. Yup, that's right. Angered by all the shit that is happening in the world, the rise of the Witch King and the truth about his daughter's death (Teclis and Alarielle knew, tsk tsk tsk), Tyrion travels to the Blighted Isle and draws the Widowmaker, the Sword of Khaine himself, becoming the God's host in the process.

After that it's one, huge free for all during which many more or less important characters are killed. Korhil, who initially was faithful to Tyrion, decides that him drawing Widowmaker was a bad idea, and tries to steal it from him. He ends up tortured and decapitated by the Dragon of Cothique. Alarielle merges with Ariel and subsumes her (I'm beginning to see a pattern of High Elves being gigantic assholes in "Khaine"). Orion gets offed by Tyrion as well. Imrik and Malekith have their asses handed to them by the Avatar of Khaine, altough (HINT HINT!) Imrik manages to make a small chink in Tyrion's armour. Morathi sides with Tyrion (don't ask) and during the climax, she is dragged into the Realm of Chaos, along with Caledor the Dragontamer, by Slaanesh itself. I doubt that anyone will miss her.
Good riddance
Now here's the good part. During the final battle, Malekith faces Tyrion, who once again proceeds to wreck him utterly. Just as he is about to kill the Witch King, fucking ALITH ANAR shoots an arrow through the chink in his armour and kills him for realz, which in turn means that Khaine himself is gone (it's been established that Elven Gods are practically mortals now. In fact most of them die in this book, leaving only Lileath).

When I've first read it, I thought I was going nuts. Alith Anar, the Shadow King, the Scourge of Naggaroth, dude who hates all Dark Elves, and Malekith in general, with a passion, just saved Witch King's life. I could not make this up. Ok, granted he also shoots him with a magic arrow that is supposed to cause him immense pain (altough it gets removed later on) and babbles something about Mally being nice, "or else", but this is still outrageous. This here folks, is a perfect example of fluff-raping on an epic scale. Alith Anar and his Shadow Warriors were always my favorite High Elves, mainly because there was something savage and cruel about them. They weren't good guys, hell they weren't even High Elves per se. Such changes to their background are horrendous and completely out of character. The Naggarythe were always the biggest opposition to Malekith. Now they're "Yeah, whatever. You be good or we'll gank you asshole". While we're at it, I wonder if any of those High Elves, who are serving their new lord and master, tend to forget that he was responsible for a mass-scale genocide against their race. I bet that every single one of them lost some family and friends to Malekith.
Stick to your principals man, for God's sake!
Also what about Humans and Dwarves? When they'll find out who's running the elven race now, how will they act? Both the Dawi, as well as Empire and Bretonnia know who Malekith is. Hell, the whole War of the Beard was instigated by this douche. Nordland suffered continous raids by the Dark Elf fleets, just as the coasts of Gilles realm. Surely they won't just be cool that Malekith will be sitting next to them in Athel Loren? I can't imagine a reaction other, than a declaration of war and firing few thousand flaming cannonbals into their precious wood.

Oh, right. Sorry. I forgot. The entire Elven race now roams the woods of Loren. Why? Because the Naggaroth, as I've mentioned earlier is no more, and Ulthuan as well. You see, and this is another "awesome" thing presented in "Khaine", during the final battle Teclis UNBOUND THE VORTEX OF MAGIC.
What a dick
The same Vortex, that kept the planet from becoming a Daemon World. You know, just as how it was established in fluff for many, many years now. Yeah, it's gone. And no, the world hasn't been turned into Daemon chow. What Teclis basically did, was binding the eight winds of magic to eight, special individuals, altough he kinda fucked it up. He bound Shadow to Malekith (originally the Witch King was supposed to get Fire), the Life to Alarielle. Heavens went to Karl Franz, altough it was Sigmar who did this, not Teclis. He bound the Light wind to himself, but the rest of the Wind of Magic have eluded him and scattered throughout the world. Nagash recieved the Wind of Death. There is some speculation as whom will recieve the rest of the Winds of Magic. Skaven, Ogres, Lizardmen? Dwarfs? I know it seems retarded, but given the level of fluff coherency, I wouldn't be really surprised about that.

As for the Teclis himself, he is last seen going under the waves, holding the dead body of Tyrion. Of course he's not dead. Being the ultimate Fantasy plot device, the writers won't kill him. As to when he returns, and in what form, only time will tell, and the quality of writing, which right now is really lacking if you ask me. In all honesty this whole mess looks like a glorified fanfiction really.

After the destruction of both Ulthuan and Naggaroth, the entire Elven race finds refuge in Athel Loren. Malekith becomes the Eternity King and a consort to Alarielle. They rule all the Elves, and prepare for the final battle with Chaos. Also animals and beasts from both destroyed kingdoms, moved to the woods as well, so now we have Treemen rubbing shoulders with Hydras and Griffons. Ain't it awesome?
That was sarcasm, in case you were all wondering
For the last snippet of revelation, Lileath has sent Alaroth with some friends to resuce Shallya from Nurgle's Mansion. It turns out that Shallya is in fact Poxfulcrum, the Daemon that tastes Nurgle's plagues and whispers to mortals about the remedies to them. No, really. Anyway in the Realm of Chaos, they met Richter Kleiss, the author of Liber Chaotica and the only mortal, who can traverse it freely, and a giant, silver-armoured knight, who shoots blue fire from his gauntlet. Gee, I wonder who that might be? Anyway after they've rescued the Godess of Healing (or should I say a Daemon of Healing?), Lileath sends Alaroth and their daughter, accompanied by the souls of Grail Knights, to a completely new world, to begin the cycle of rebirth anew. Yup, as it turns out the Warhammer world wasn't the first to fall to Chaos, and it won't be the last. Each time the survivors from the last become the Gods of the new one, and prepare it for the inevitable arrival of the Four and their daemonic minions. Honestly, I've found this bit of story to be the best of all, altough it still isn't something that I think is warranted here. A completely new world is a perfect chance for GW to went full Warcraft with their Azeroth/Draenor treatment. Maybe that's the thing they're aiming for, who knows? Either way it's the only semi-decent thing in this whole mess.

Now for my quick summary of the "End Times" thus far. GW declared, rather boastfully, that "Khaine" will show everyone that "High Elves are not good guys". What we've got was an awful mess, full of inconsistencies, plot errors, complete ignorance about certain characters backgrounds and motivations, and general head-scratching stupidity. Good job guys. You've fucked up some of the more interesting factions of Warhammer Fantasy.

It's the perfect case of "progress for progress" sake. It's the worst, most lazy way of making things happening in your game. I don't mind for plot progression in both Warhammer. I mean, sure, they're settings not stories. They have been told and already there's been a conclusion to both of them. That said I think it is possible to push them forward, but not this way. It should be thought out, it should be done right. Meanwhile I see that GW is basically doing a speed run on their own game, and it suffers for it greatly. The cynic in me thinks that maybe they are testing this whole "story progression" thing on a less popular game, before they'll do the same thing in Warhammer 40K, but that setting is so much set in stone, that I can't for the love of me, envision it's eventual progress. Not to mention if it would be done in the same fasion, as the "End Times", then I'd like for 40K to stay the same for all eternity. They'd probably made Abaddon the misunderstood leader of all Space Marines or some shit like that, and no, I'm not even kidding here. Note for GW: if you want to progress your story, do it right, and not in a lazy, half-assed manner, like you're doing now. Is it too much to ask really?
I like the way Khaine looks, as he is in the process of stabbing himself in the chest. I felt similar after reading the last "End Times" book
It's worth mentioning that there are many rumours about the upcoming 9th edition. Some say that it'll take place hundreds, or even thousands years later (Steampunk Hammer?). Others that it'll be discarded completely by GW, which is highly unlikely with the release of all new models and books. There are also rumours about the merging of Fantasy with 40K, but that is simply riddiculous and wouldn't serve any purpose. The most probable rumour talks about Fantasy becoming a small scale skirmish game, more akin to titles like Infinity. I don't know if it will come to that, but I'm sure about one thing. After this whole "End Times" buisness, there's no way that Warhammer Fantasy will remain in the state it was for the last two decades. Too many changes have been made, too many characters killed and lands destroyed. Surely Games Workshop wouldn't make some kind of retcon to bring back the status quo, right?

Right?

Also this blog needs more 40K. Just sayin'.

Until next time

Xathrodox86

8 comments:

  1. Noble Korhedron12/23/2014 03:32:00 AM

    "
    It's worth mentioning that there are many rumours about the upcoming 9th edition. Some say that it'll take place hundreds, or even thousands years later (Steampunk Hammer?). Others that it'll be discarded completely by GW, which is highly unlikely with the release of all new models and books. There are also rumours about the merging of Fantasy with 40K, but that is simply riddiculous and wouldn't serve any purpose. The most probable rumour talks about Fantasy becoming a small scale skirmish game, more akin to titles like Infinity. I don't know if it will come to that, but I'm sure about one thing. After this whole "End Times" buisness, there's no way that Warhammer Fantasy will remain in the state it was for the last two decades. Too many changes have been made, too many characters killed and lands destroyed. Surely Games Workshop wouldn't make some kind of retcon to bring back the status quo, right?"

    Errm, judging by what happened with the last two supposedly world-shattering events, at least in WH40K, I wouldn't count on 'End Times' lasting forever, or even remaining canon. Frankly, regardless of WTF GW do with it, I'll probably ignore it as much as I can, retaining only the new army composition rules, i.e. max. 50% Lords, etc.

    As I'm sure some of you reading this will recall, in the last decade or two we had 'The Nemesis Crown', the 'Storm of Chaos' and the 'Dark Shadows' Albion campaign, all of which IMO turned out to be damp squibs, on account of how GW immediately retconned them out of existence; emphasis on the "conned" part of that. They could've at least incorporated some of the SOC stuff into the respective army books, e.g. Teutogen Guard as a special for Empire, and some of the other Ulrican units as other choices, frankly, from what I recall of SOC, I would've loved to have had the option of taking Wolfkin, Teutogen Guard or possibly Warriors of Ulric in an Empire army, even if I had to suffer the exclusion of certain 'Sigmarite' magic items as detailed in the SOC book. Thanks a bunch, GW!!

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    1. Aye, I generally agree with your statements. Howver of all the campaigns you've mentioned, only "Nemesis Crown" can be IMO considered pure shit. Except the lousy ending, and forcing Chaos southwards, SOC was really good. It showed us that yopu don't need to release XBOXHUGE models to attract new people, it was supportd by the whole of GW (Books, RPGs) and it had interesting outcome. "Albion and "Lustria" (you forgot about that one) were good as well. Remember that at the end of the Albion campaign, some factions recieved artifacts, that were later included in their army books? That was awesome. The rules were also good. They weren't based on over powering things like magic or certain armies (Elves in "End Times") and treated every faction in a fair way.
      I agree that "End Times" would be much more interesting, if instead of huge, single models, we would recieve a couple of unique rank and file troops, like the Ulricans you've mentioned. Alas we're stuck with new mega kits, that are really getting tiresome. I understand new Nagash, but now every book needs to have an epic level (and usually huge) character. I can already see the new "buffed" Vermin Lord and Dwarf Golem, that we've all been hearing about for some time now.

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  2. Guys, guys, i feel stupid. The knight Araloth met in Realm of Chaos... who was he? O.o

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    1. It is heavily implied that he is Kaldor Draigo, Supreme Grandmaster of the Grey Knights.

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    2. Thank you, kind sir!... now I feel really stupid i didn't get it, it is kind of obvious :-D

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    3. Glad to be of assistance ;)

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  3. Sounds quite likely that they're planning to start afresh with a new fantasy world. Worshipping the great god Karl-Franz sounds a bit dubious though.

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    1. This sounds like a 40K treatment to me. Also I'm not so sure if it'll be a 100% fantasy setting, if they'd start completely from scratch in next edition.

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Thank you for the comments. :)