AoS Shorts: Your Essential Guide to Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar Castle project

Today we have an amazing hobby project from The Rise of the Doombull in Australia. Have you ever wanted to build a massive Age of Sigmar castle from various kits? Here you go!!! I’ll hand it straight over to Rise of the Doombull himself.

For other great hobby content, check out the hobby section of the site and the Creator Class series.

Background to the Age of Sigmar Castle

I had been a fan of the Skullvane Manse kit for a long time and had always wanted to grab one and paint it up but never quite got around to it.  When the model was re-released as the Warscryer Citadel I dropped into my local Games Workshop and picked one up.

The original plan was to use a Deathknell Watch to make the tower section of the Warscryer Citadel from the ground up (rather than perched on rocks supported by timber as in the original).

After a bit of Google image searching, I found an image from Warhammer World of the Valley of Skulls table with a huge castle kit combination. After I saw this picture, I decided to grab some extra kits to replicate a smaller version of the main castle on that table.

The Multi-kit Assembly

The full list of kits involved are:

  • Temple of Skulls
  • Witchfate Tor
  • Warscryer Citadel
  • Deathknell Watch x 2
  • Citadel Wood 
  • Garden of Morr 
  • Hanging cages from Gloomspite Gitz Loonshrine
  • Random bits from my bits box

Most of these are no longer available from Games Workshop directly, but you can peruse the current GW terrain here.

Image result for temple of skulls warhammer


Most of the kit cutting and conversion was done using an angle grinder. Some might say this is a bit excessive, but it certainly made easy work of the relatively thick terrain kit plastic and could be used carefully on smaller pieces to get pretty tight joins and smooth edges.

The castle was in three main sub-assemblies, the tower was all one piece, Witchfate Tor on the Temple of Skulls base the second and the building portion of Warscryer Citadel the third. The trees, mausoleum, and timber walkway with rail were all assembled and painted separately as were the cages.

Fill those gaps!!!

Apoxie Sculpt, a two part modelling compound was used extensively for gap filling between all the tower pieces and to sculpt bricks and rocks where necessary to combine everything together. Vallejo Plastic Putty also came in handy for filling smaller gaps quickly.

Age of Sigmar Castle – Painting

Early stages of painting went well and quickly, lots of drybrushing stone and washes to add colour variation to the brickwork.

The Deathknell Watch tall tower was done from start to finish along with the walkway and balcony in a couple of weekends.

Next, the building from Warscryer Citadel, arguably the most fun painting part of the project, was done in about the same length of time.

After this I moved onto Witchfate Tor and the Temple of Skulls.  All the rocks on the Temple of Skulls base were pretty simple as was the brickwork to the Witchfate Tor model.

Not long after this I hit a wall though.

Painters Block – Skull Overload

There was a long break where the model sat unfinished in the cabinet, I guess I had bitten off more than I could chew and the detail on the Witchfate Tor felt like I could keep going forever.  My recipe for the skulls in the wall sections whilst delivering a great look was time consuming and repetitive. The whole Castle when dry fit together was looking very grey which was bad for motivation as well and I had to take a break.

I took a break to get some paint on a Flesh Eater Courts Army I had picked up, the greens and reds and little bits of assembly and conversion had the hobby inspiration going strong again and once I had the army playable I was ready to smash out the rest of the castle. 

Summer Holidays

A bit of time off work in January gave the break I needed to finish the Castle off, I got the skull panels in the walls done first and went back to the brickwork to add more sections of different coloured stone plus darkened them up a bit to add contrast.  This combined with more progress on the details such as rusted metals and tarnished gold colours had the Castle nearing completion.

Final Assembly and Finished Project

I could probably have kept going on painting variation in the stone sections, what to leave as carved stone vs what to treat as another material or painted stone. In the end, I had to call it a day at some point and so it was time to get gluing.

This was an immensely satisfying bit of hobby, everything went together well, all the pre-work on gap filling and dry fitting had paid off. Every piece I glued in place added more character and more points of interest.

The final stages adding the cages, static grass, trees and foliage was very gratifying after such a big and extended project. 

Hope everyone enjoys the photos.


Rise of the Doombull

Creator Class: Adam Trunzo – Seraphon Display Board

This week brings the second Creator Class interview – this time with Adam Trunzo (@Mr_Trunzo) on his amazing Seraphon display board which he took to Adepticon this year.  Adam has had a great run of events winning best overall at Paca, fan favourite and 5th place at Holy Wars and 3rd overall at Adepticon 2018.  Adam kindly took the time to explain the inspiration and process behind his amazing Seraphon display board which he took to Adepticon.

If you missed the first Creator Class interview, it was with Saul Painter (@WarbossKurgan, about his Age of Sigmar narrative project called “The Harrowmark”) – you can find it here.  If you are interested in more hobby content , check out the hobby section of this site (currently a work in progress), and visit the home of the Age of Sigmar Narrative Event Organisers Network (the NEON).   For more great looking armies, you can also check out the AoS Shorts Showcase section.

And, finally, as always, check out Dark Fantastic Mills for great 3D printed terrain perfect for wargaming.  Its super versatile and light so worldwide shipping is inexpensive.  Use the “aos shorts” discount code for a further 10% off the already decent prices.

Age of Sigmar


I started playing Warhammer in middle school, played through high school, took a ten year break, and restarted once I was in my thirties.  Nothing groundbreaking there.  I really enjoy Age of Sigmar due to its wide open creative space.  I play several other wargames but none allow as much free space to create.  I am a competitive player by all accounts.  I live in a very rural community in Wisconsin, USA and so I only ever play games at tournaments.  I don’t think I have played a single friendly game of Age of Sigmar for at least two years which means when I show up to a tourney I have had zero experience with my list!

My first and true love are the Skaven and I look forward to a time when they are ascendant once more.  After seeing the Seraphon rules in the GHB 2017 I saw them as a very strong competitive army with their mobility and anti-demon abilities.  The Midwest tournament scene runs from January through April so I had about three months to get the army from a pile of gray to finished in time for Adepticon 2018.

Adam’s Seraphon Display Board

AoS Shorts: What was your inspiration for the project?

Whenever I make a new display board I try to push my skills and explore some new creative techniques or styles.  For this display board I wanted to practice some key new skill sets:

  • Showing movement in water effects
  • New ways to show natural rock formations
  • Building vertically in a meaningful way
  • Exploring novel perspective and symmetry rather than the ‘everyone face forward on a two-tiered hill with a statue in the middle’ style that is most common
  • Stay within a 24”x24”x24” cube

With the above goals I knew I wanted the army to be on the march with mountains/cliffs included.  I wanted to show additional units joining the main force from different directions as they gather and I wanted the whole board to diverge from regular 90 degree angles.  I also wanted to have at least one waterfall to help me practice this technique.  With these goals in mind I started brainstorming.

Adam Trunzo
Layering foam different ways to help visualize ideas

AoS Shorts: How did you plan the project?

I went through several different conceptual layouts that included higher cliffs, cliffs on two/three sides, and a lot more waterfalls but they all seemed either too fragile to be practical or would distract too much from the army itself.  I spent several days playing with pink foam blocks until I found the right layout.  I decided to go for three generally symmetrical landscapes that would look striking placed together with a road in the middle, a stream to one side and a cliff face on the other.

Adam Trunzo
General layout before anything was glued down

AoS Shorts: How did you create the super-structure for the board?

The main material for 95% of the board is just basic pink extruded styrene sheets.  The elevation began low with the stream and gradually built upwards to the top of the cliffs.  While laying out the board I took some time to lay out some bases to make sure the board could accommodate all the models of my army.

Adam Trunzo
Settled on a layout with taller cliffs and started carving riverbed. Began cutting mountain trail.

AoS Shorts: What materials did you use?

For the road itself I used a base sheet of styrene, roughed up with a little sandpaper and used a dull pencil to push in the lines for all the stonework.  I then went back and added some sand, cracks, and used various hard square objects to push in certain stones here and there to keep it from being entirely flat.  In my previous life I built hiking trails for a living and incorporated some of this knowledge into my board by adding a French drain to allow the water to flow over the road surface without slowing down my lizards.

Adam Trunzo
Final superstructure finished with real rocks in the riverbed and spackle to smooth out some of the joints and angles.

The cliff face was accomplished by gluing several styrene sheets together then using a 3” paring knife from the kitchen to cut out the basic shape of the cliff and the mountain trail.  Just like with the French drain I was able to use my trail building knowledge to make the switchback and to make sure the trail made sense with regards to how the water would flow down the side.  For the different rock strata I looked at geologic rock formations and some basic plate tectonics to decide the different directions the rock layers would flow.  I then took the same paring knife as before and made a lot of quick parallel cuts into the foam about an inch or so deep.  This was followed by using my fingers and the flat side of the knife to flick and tear at the loose edges of these cuts until it resembled the sort of erosion you might see in rocks like this.  Once this was completed across the whole surface it looked a little too uniform so I went back in and made some drastic deeper cuts using this same method.  I finished up the rock face with some minor touchups to help hide the lines where the sheets of foam connected.  Once I finished with this I went back and carved out the grotto for the waterfall and added some texture to that as well.

Adam Trunzo
A close up of the rock formation

Adam Trunzo
Hand painted black then hit it with a zenithal white spray paint

Adam Trunzo
Heavily watered down acrylics were splotched on in layers

Adam Trunzo
Different bolder rock colors were added along rock layer lines to add some variation though it mostly gets washed out in subsequent layers

Adam Trunzo
Final rock and stone colors. Along with first water pours

The stream bed kind of happened organically although I knew I wanted it to feature larger rocks in the middle and a fairly steep grade to allow for a lot of rapids for water effects.  I thought about the movement of water and wherever I placed a stone that would naturally cause water to flow around it to hit the far bank I then dug out the bank using the same technique with the cliff face to create a small meander and make the stream more snake like.  I think a common mistake made when using water effects is to not think of erosion or how water naturally flows to help shape the features of the board.  The deeper water effects were made using Envirotex Lite mixed with Minitaire ghost tints 2 parts blue to one part green.  I tested this with water beforehand to make sure I had the right color mix before using the epoxy.  When pouring the epoxy I made sure to seal up the ends of the stream with pink foam that was covered in clear packing tape.  The glossy side of the tape was facing the water effects to ensure a clean release.  In order to seal these points I used just enough quick 5-minute clear epoxy for where the pink foam blocks met the board.

AoS Shorts: The waterfall and ripples in the river are very impressive – how did you get the sense of motion into the pieces?  Any tips for placing water effects, ripples etc when creating a river?

For the waterfall I used Noch water effects and drew long parallel horizontal lines of it on a plastic bag.  Once it was about half dry I went back with a frayed paint brush and stippled in white acrylic paint.  The trick was to only stipple in one direction and try to make little V shapes as I went to look more natural.  Once this was dry I peeled it off the plastic bag, cut it to shape, and glued it to the board using more of the same water effect.  After adding it I noticed the waterfall just went straight down off the cliff so I added a curved piece of plastic behind the water fall to make it look like it was flowing off the cliff in an arc.

Adam Trunzo

The larger rapids on the stream were done the same way as the waterfall, just smaller.  For the whitewater around the rocks I used a very small amount of the water effect and stippled quite hard with my paintbrush.  As the brush starts to lose paint and water effect I started stippling further downstream to give it a sense of calming down after the initial disturbance.

Adam Trunzo
Here is the poured Envirotex Lite with the dams at each end.

Adam Trunzo
Sheet rapids applied and water effects still drying

Adam Trunzo
Show of stippling effect

AoS Shorts:  Your foliage is amazingly diverse and realistic – any tips or advice for those looking to create similar projects?

I think the biggest thing is to use nature as a reference.  When I see a scene in nature with plants and other living things I break it down into component layers and try to think about which layers need to go down before the others so they all look natural.  I think the biggest thing to avoid is just making clumps of the same type of grass, tree, bushes, etc on a board.  Try mixing it up and adding as many layers as possible just like in nature.  The results are usually worth the extra time spent.

Adam Trunzo
This was one of many dry runs to get an idea of how dense and varied I wanted it

Adam Trunzo
Fine turf was sprinkled on top of a light layer of mod podge to simulate moss

Adam Trunzo
About ten layers of foliage were added in total with a lot of consideration for which layers go before or after the others.

Adam Trunzo
Final effect. I could have added another 5 or six layers of detail but ran out of time.

Adam Trunzo
Close up of the foliage.

Adam Trunzo

Adam Trunzo

Added a tree for some height and variety made out of picture hanging wire and caulk.

AoS Shorts: You made a custom-built Momma Ripperdactyl for the project – how did you go about that conversion and what inspired you?

I had tried out a number of different Stormcast allies for my Seraphon until I settled on the Celestant-Prime.  Tactically this model was a perfect fit as it punishes armies that bunch together while my 9 ripperdactyls punish armies that spread out.  After thinking about how to best theme the Prime to my army I thought about just doing a giant ripperdactyl.  The idea of a big momma ripperdactyl coming out of the skies to protect her poor little babies was too cool to pass up so I got to work planning it all out.

Since the rest of the army was GW models I figured I would make this out of GW parts and so used the Lord of the Rings Fell Beast as a base and sculpted out a larger tail and wings out of green stuff.  I had to bend the wings using heated up salt that I dipped the plastic into to evenly heat then slowly bend to a shape that more closely resembled the wings of the rippers.  I used the claws from a zombie dragon kit for the wings and feet and used the zombie dragon head as a base with some added green stuff to complete the conversion.

Adam Trunzo Adam Trunzo Adam Trunzo

AoS Shorts: How did you make the Ripperdactyls detachable so that they could be both effective display and gaming pieces?  Magnetized flight stands?

I magnetized the flight stands using small flat magnets making sure they were all the same side of the magnet so any ripper could go on any stand.  I drilled out and placed another magnet on the ripper where the flight stand normally sat to allow a solid and fairly well hidden connection.  I purchased some clear acrylic rod and drilled holes into the board at angles to give the appearance of the rippers swooping around in formation.  Since some of these rippers were tilted to one side or the other I had to create a little green stuff platform for them to sit on at the end of the clear rod to make sure the rippers wouldn’t shift due to gravity.

Adam Trunzo
Side on shot to show angles of clear rods

Adam Trunzo

AoS Shorts: How long did it take you?

The army itself took two months to build and the majority of the board was done in a month.  The finishing touches took about another week to get ready.

AoS Shorts: Did you write the army list and take into account unit choices in order to fit the display board or improve the overall appearance?

I did not build the board based on any particular list.  I just made it so it could hold 100+ infantry and 4-5 large monsters comfortably with a few spots that could draw attention to key characters or models

AoS Shorts: Are there any resources or videos that you would recommend for someone looking to build a similarly ambitious display board or improve their own skills?

This video covers how I made the rock layers.

This video helps with the stream and resin pour:

Here is a great guide to waterfalls.

This page covers using salt to bend plastic:

Papercuts is an amazing resource for highly detailed terrain work.

Kathy Millat is a great and entertaining source for masterclass terrain.

AoS Shorts: Anything else you would like to cover?

It seems like the way Age of Sigmar terrain rules are written encourages the use of distinct and evenly spaced terrain features for your gaming table.  My best piece of advice is to use your display board to break from that concept and build terrain the way it was meant to be, messy.  Landscapes and terrain in nature blend together, erode, grow, intermingle, fall down, and mix in all sorts of wonderful ways.  Display boards are a great way to make the Mortal Realms come to life in new and interesting ways instead of gluing two or three terrain kits down on a piece of plywood and calling it a day.

The Harrowmark – Bringing the Realms to Life!

Warhammer Age of Sigmar provides an amazing opportunity for hobbyists to explore design and story in creating unique armies and narratives.  Whether it is as simple as providing a name or backstory for your characters or themed terrain to a full backstory, maps and conversions that unite your army and ground it in the Mortal Realms.  Skirmish and smaller sized games are a perfect way to explore Age of Sigmar narrative wargaming as you build up a full army.

Now, I’m always inspired by some of the amazing work that hobbyists put out and want to know the thought process that led to the result.  Hence, the Creator Class series was born.  Similar to my Masterclass series with top tier tournament gamers, I will be interviewing skilled hobbyists and creators about their Age of Sigmar narrative projects.

Age of Sigmar narrative

So the first in the series is an interview with Saul Painter, @WarbossKurgan, about his Age of Sigmar narrative project called “The Harrowmark”.  Saul creates themed skirmish forces for immersive narrative campaigns and event days for Age of Sigmar, Warhammer 40k and Inquistor 28.  You can see all of Saul’s work at his website, and he has even had some of his work showcased on Warhammer Community.

I asked Saul a number of questions about the creation of the Harrowmark.  His answers are below.  I also took the opportunity to interject with some commentary because there are so many great aspects to the project that I didn’t want them to get left out.

If you are interested in more narrative content, check back to the narrative section of this site (currently a work in progress), and visit the home of the Age of Sigmar Narrative Event Organisers Network (the NEON).   For more great looking armies, you can also check out the AoS Shorts Showcase section.

Starting an Age of Sigmar narrative project

AoS Shorts:  How do you approach starting a new Age of Sigmar narrative project? What inspires you?  Do you seek out inspiration (actively look for art or ideas) or are you inspired (you stumble across something and the creative brain kicks in)?

This is a tricky one to answer as I’m not entirely sure.   A new idea will sometimes come from reading or watching something.  Sometimes a single line of background text will start me on a whole new project.

Finding a home for an Old World village in the Mortal Realms

The Harrowmark came from the need to give my scenery set a context in the Mortal Realms.  The haunted village of Wortbad was started, during Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition, as a village in Sylvania – the vampire state in the Empire, in the Old World.  After the world-that-was ended I was not going to stop using my scenery so I started thinking of a way to ground it in the new setting.

Tips for place names that resonate

I picked the obvious place to start with: Shyish, the Realm of Death.  For a few months I was just writing notes and a few descriptive snippets of places around Wortbad.  These started to gel and I picked a name for the regions from a shortlist I selected from an online random fantasy place name generator.  I chose names that were two real words combined, so it would be easy to read, pronounce and understand even if someone had never seen it before.  I chose words that hinted at the kind of place I was creating – autumn, undead, sorrowful, etc.

Once the name was picked I tried to tie together all things I had written before into a coherent whole.  I didn’t want to have a map that fixed anything in place as nothing was quite “finished”, so I didn’t want to be restricted in what I could or couldn’t do just yet.

AoS Shorts: Saul really went to town in grounding his narrative with names and details, including:

  • The Rose and Scythe, the fortified Coaching Inn.  The Rose is a tavern and the The Scythe is the boarding house.
  • The Haunted Gate is a Baleful Realmgate in Wortbad, with writhing ghostly forms visible in its internal corona.
  • Blackrocks is a ruined and overgrown town in the Harrowmark, some seven leagues from Wortbad and it has been partially rebuilt using materials from skyship-wrecks.  Surviving locations include the Freebooter’s Tower, The Hurricane Bell and the Charybdis Occulum.
  • Rotshroud Manse is the local skyship dock (more on this later).

Saul devised the local currency, named the months of the local 13 month calendar, considered how Hysh and Ulgu interact in relation to Shyish to define the characteristic low dusty light of the Harrowmark, and described the local monsters in the forest.

The dreaded Olshovilaag, the Fiend of Harrowmark is one such example.  A massive undead construct made from a conglomeration of monster parts, horns, huge black-feathered wings, lots of skulls, tree branches, bones, rocks and broken weapons. A Death-monster, born from the forest itself. A crow-winged “Terrorgheist”. The sound of its beating wings fills the villagers of the Harrowmark with dread. It’s screeching stops their hearts and shreds their souls!  Saul covered the making of this monster in his TGA blog.

The Voodoo Forest – grounded in art

Then came the Voodoo Forest.  John Blanche was working on an illustration project, which later became a beautiful self-published short-run hardback art book. The Voodoo Forest was his own setting, featuring an endless evil forest and pirates in flying wooden ships.  His illustrations for it are rich with narrative hooks, dripping with weird character and, to my eye, perfect as an Age of Sigmar setting (even though they were not drawn as such).  This work, combined with some of his older flying ship paintings that cropped up in Warhammer over the years, struck a chord with me.

Age of Sigmar Narrative

Age of Sigmar Narrative

I messaged him on Facebook and asked if he minded if I used elements of his Voodoo Forets in my games and he kindly gave me his blessing.

Expanding the Harrowmark

From then on The Harrowmark (which until then was purely a setting for my Death forces and the Witch Hunters that battled them) became my primary setting for Age of Sigmar campaigns.  I wrote my Orruk Pirates into the setting as Orruk Sky Pirates.  I rewrote the forests around Wortbad: they were no longer patchy areas of small woods, now they were an almost continuous arboreal nightmare region, punctuated by rocky spires and the occasional clearing with an isolated village.  The skyships that sailed above the forest canopy were the only thing that connected the villages, their tenuous lifelines to the wider world.  The merchant ships were preyed upon by sky pirates, among which my orruks would feature heavily.

The original Sylvania-set descriptions of the secondary locations were tweaked to better fit the malignant forest setting and we started playing AoS Skirmish campaigns in a darker and more dangerous Harrowmark: 10,000 Leagues of malignant forest in every direction, no matter where you stand.

Sky Pirate ships crashed in the woods and warbands battled to recover the scattered cargo.  Sailors fell overboard and their shipmates tried to rescue them from the forest.  Horrifying creatures emerged from the woods and terrorised the villagers.  Dread forces tried to enact evil plans and heroes stepped up to meet them.

I have now started making orruk skyship models – they will mostly be used as scenery but I may end up trying to use them “counts-as” something else in a game!

AoS Shorts: you can see the start of the development of this skyvessel in this blog post.

Age of Sigmar narrative

Developing your Age of Sigmar narrative idea

AoS Shorts: Once you have an idea, how do you develop it? Vision and storyboards? Sketches? Discussion with others?

All of the above plus a lot of research.  When I start a new project I spend a lot of time online looking at what other people have done – for background material, colour schemes, story and character hooks, build ideas, etc.  This image was my start point for Wortbad and my touch-stone for the rest of the Harrowmark:

Age of Sigmar Narrative

The colour scheme and atmosphere is what I have been aiming for with the entire scenery set.

How do you keep enthusiasm for a major hobby project?

Sheer bloody mindedness sometimes.  Sometime a project is left on the back burner and I will come back to it later.  Sometimes things get abandoned and left incomplete.  This doesn’t bother me as long as I am being productive and making things I am happy.  I enjoy the process more than anything.  The satisfaction of finishing something is not a big motivaton, in fact I don’t think I will ever call any project truly finished as I will always come back and add something if there is something that reignites my interest in the project.

The Harrowmark has been the recurring setting for many of our campaigns.  Each time we have returned there I have added something to the scenery set.  Sometimes something small, sometimes a major scenery project. The latest large addition was Rotshroud Mance – the Wortbad Skydock, which was featured on the Warhammer Community blog! So I now tell people the Harrowmark is canon… 😉

Age of Sigmar narrative

Transferring the Age of Sigmar narrative to your models

AoS Shorts: What is the interaction between the story idea and the models and settings you create?  Is it an iterative process in that the available models and bits impact the development of the narrative

The models normally come first and the story follows them.  But it does loop back on itself as the story sometimes leads to new characters that I need to make in model form.

AoS Shorts: Saul has populated the Harrowmark with the Rotmoons, a pirate Orruk warband, and the Sky-Pirates of the Harrowmark skyvessel The Selachii.  Check out his blog for a series of paired battle reports, where the same skirmish battle is reported separately by each side.  A great touch for continuing the narrative.  Follow the “Thy Soul to Keep” tag for more 🙂

Age of Sigmar narrative

Age of Sigmar narrative

Age of Sigmar narrative rules development

AoS Shorts: Do you consider the fairness of a game between players in the rules you design, or does narrative defy fairness?

This is not something I really think about as I don’t really write rules for anything.  I generally try to fit my creations into the existing rules, but I also don’t like to let the rules become a limit to what I can or can’t make. In my group “fairness and balance” take a back seat to the narrative – the story is more important than winning or losing an individual game.

For our last few campaign we have collectively sketched out a plot first, then picked Battleplans that fit in with the key turning-points of the story, we call this the “A-plot”.  To them we have added a few other Battleplans that are used to fill in “B-plots”.  We play an A-plot when all four of us can get together, and a B-plot when only two or three of us can play.  This way we know the basic outline of the story we are taking part in, so we can write narrative battle reports that fit in with it, but we allow the story to change and evolve along with events that unfold on table.

We are currently in the last few weeks of a campaign set in the Harrowmark, called “Thy Soul to Keep” and we have plans for three more campaigns with different settings when it finishes.  We aren’t sure which one of those will start first, but we all now we will return to the Harrowmark soon as it is our perennial setting.

Age of Sigmar narrative

The Story of the Harrowmark

The Harrowmark in Shyish, has long been considered a cursed and backward region, it has gained an ill reputation for being both a refuge for sorcerers and necromancers, and where the dead do not rest long in their graves.

Most of the Harrowmark is virtually impenetrable forest: Seemingly endless miles of dark, tangled, twisted and corrupted forest. Things live in these forests: malignant, spiteful things. It is a brave soul that ventures under the dark bowers, brave or foolish, as few who attempt to navigate the winding pathways ever emerge again.

The scattered villages and hamlets of the Harrowmark are isolated by the forests and parochial as a result. Grubbing what existence they can from the infertile stoney land, the peasants live in small communities of inter-related families, and never venture far from their crude hovels that cling to one of the many rocky outcrops that punctuate the forest canopy. There are few stone roads here; rutted, half-flooded tracks and paths link most villages, all but impossible to navigate. At times, the mud itself seems to be a living thing, clawing at the legs of the weak and dragging them to a suffocating death. The populace are for the most part concerned with day-to-day survival, raising famished, skinny goats and pigs, tending to what scraps of farmland they have in the hope of gathering enough crops to survive.

The villages are in a constant state of disrepair and have barred or boarded windows and heavy doors to keep out the night’s predators. Crude fetishes and charms of a dozen gods hang on every lintel and frame. The villagers daub symbols of protection on their doors with pig’s blood, to guard against the unnatural horrors of this frightful land. Hanging outside the gates of the most desperate townships can be found criminals and travelers caged in iron maidens, their only companions the crows and vampire bats that feed on them.

Wortbad is just such a village, in the middle of the Harrowmark, it is deeply troubled by the undead and corrupted by dark magic. It is surrounded by haunted forests and overlooked by the jagged, foreboding Everdark Peaks. It is a land of perpetual autumn, where farmland lies fallow and untended, with crops rotted in the fields.

Above the heads of the Harrowmark’s inhabitants many floating islands drift over the corrupted forests, often in small groups of various sizes, ranging from little more than boulders to great upturned mountains. Most are topped with the same twisted and stunted trees, hinting that the islands may have once been rooted in the ground below. A few also have a small cluster of houses or a watchtower built into them almost always accompanied by a wooden gantry or pier, built to facilitate docking the flying ships that are the only way to traverse the terrible forests in relative safety.

If you want to know more about Age of Sigmar narrative play

  • Check out Saul’s excellent blog
  • Follow the NEON website for more narrative resources
  • Check out AoS28, the Dark Age of Sigmar
  • Try your hand at Warhammer Skirmish or one of the off-shoots, Path to Glory, Renown and Ruin, Hinterlands etc.

Please get in touch and let me know what you think of the series.  Are there other questions you would have asked?  Which other creators should I have on the series?  As always, you can contact me through the website, on Twitter, or Facebook.