The Great Unification - Emissary Exchange

Hello All.

This is the thread that will contain all the pictures, stories and backgrounds for 2021’s Emissary Exchange. I will make a placeholder post for each participant so all content will be in the next 10 posts.

The Great Unification
Emissary Exchange

We are surrounded; beset on all sides by our enemies. These lesser races dare to rise up from the mire
and place their unwashed feet upon our holy lands!?
You and all the other noble lords of the Dawi-Zharr are commanded to send one of your most skilled
commanders, experienced soldiers and gifted daemonsmiths to a theatre of war marked out upon this
map. Choose well. He will be commanded to give battle perhaps in a far flung foreign land and it is likely
that he shall never return. But rejoice for you shall rest easy in the knowledge that he shall bring death
and destruction to the enemies of Zharr Naggrund wherever he may go.
You will not fail us in this task…

  • Lord Astragoth, High Priest of Hashut.
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Today the first emissary has arrived at his destination on a mission to unite several of the great Dawi-zharr clans in the region. With him he was carrying a box of amulets and his journal. The following text is his backstory followed by excerpts from his journal that is actually a collection of letters to his twin brother who is Halgar Hellgaze’s second in command. As for the amulet and its note, that will have to wait until the exchange is done!

Pictures will be added soon.

Anvilbrand… a name feared by many, but whispered in terror by those that oppose Halgar Hellgaze. A name… synonymous with pain and suffering, with death and decay. Unfortunately for their victims not always in that order, for it is Vogtann and Yzenor Anvilbrand’s sole purpose to inflict excruciating torment on those poor souls foolish enough to anger or betray Halgar.

Whether the goal is to retrieve information or simply to punish someone it always ends the same way, the twins get what they wants and their subjects end in a bloody, scorch marked and unrecognizable mess.

Vogtann is a ruthless interrogator and punisher who is very gifted by his dark god, Hashut. His craftsmanship in torture is only surpassed by his finesse in manipulating the horrible magic available to him. His favorite, most effective and most horrible method of torture is to nail his victim to a wooden table and use his magic to slowly but agonizingly warp the flesh while keeping his victim alive and awake for as long as he possibly can. He loves to intricately and deliberately flay and deconstruct his victims for his own satisfaction. He is a sadist, who finds the deepest pleasure in other people’s pain. He has a great deal of patience that is fortified by the knowledge that the rewards will be even greater for those who can wait for the right time. Vogtann is content doing what he does, and has no ambitions other than continue on his current path.

Yzenor on the other hand is prone to violent and atrocious outbursts. He has lost his composure on so many occasions that he is known as Yzenor the Crazed. This temper is his greatest asset and strongest weakness for it has earned him a spot at Halgar’s side as his second in command, but it has also been a cause of great tension between them.

When Halgar ordered Vogtann to be his envoy in what would become a long and grinding one way journey he accepted grudgingly, but made sure to hide his reservations from Halgar. He knew it would not end well for him to refuse his master. Yzenor could tell Vogtann was hesitant, but he knew his brother was just stubborn and set in his ways. An undertaking like this meant he had to leave his sanctum behind. Halgar knew what he was asking of Vogtann but refusal was not an option. Yzenor wished he was ordered to go, but he knew Halgar had thought about this ever since he had gotten Lord Astragoth’s letter and knew what he was doing. So did Vogtann.

Vogtann has been preparing for his new responsibilities for weeks now, and as time passed he accepted his predicament and has even started to look forward to a change of scenery, and all the perks that come with it… He was given 9 inscribed blackshard amulets and instructions on how they should be used. He is to travel to the nearest stronghold and deliver the first of the amulets to the master general himself. They are to discuss the terms and finer details of the alliance and when all parties are satisfied they are to seal the bond with the amulet, according to the instructions provided. Vogtann will then hand over the remaining amulets to the most trusted consul of the general who will then proceed to the next stronghold. Vogtann will stay in service of the master general as an advisor and diplomat. This shall continue until each master general has met with an emissary and signed the blood pact, forging the greatest alliance in eons.

And the journal

Day 1.

We left the stronghold but hours ago, yet I feel myself being pulled back. I have all my belongings with me yet I fear I shall not belong where we are going. In large chests I have volume after volume of detailed descriptions of each interrogation I ever did, crates full of tools and weapons, personal items and trinkets and of course Halgar’s amulets. Everything I need, or want, to start anew. I can take every room I desire, except those taken by the master general. I will be honored and treated with the highest respect. I will still be able to perform my interrogations, and torment those who oppose the alliance. Tell me brother, why does It feel like I am the one being tormented.

Day 4

Rain… I loathe it. Endless clouds above, muddy road below. Delay upon delay, problem after problem. I miss simpler times, brother…

Day 6

You and me Yzenor, we have earned the privilege of being feared, being avoided, not having to talk to anyone. Others usually avert their eyes when they see us. Why, of all the dwarfs in the stronghold, do I have to share my carriage with the only one that does not seem to shut up… I cannot take it.

Day 8

Last night we were attacked. The fools… They did not seem to know who this caravan belongs to. The ironsworn you insisted on joining us for my protection, as if I need protection, saw them coming from a mile away. They were told to stand down, for it was a welcome distraction. I waited until they were about to storm the first carriage before I unleashed hell. I directed all my anger and frustration into my attack, it was glorious. All but two of the attackers were reduced to ash immediately. The two survivors are now bound in the back of the carriage for my entertainment. They are as good as dead…

Day 9

The talking has stopped! After he saw me getting interrogating those two wretched beings and disposing of their soon to be corpses he has joined his fellow dwarfs in avoiding all contact with me when possible. Praise Hashut! I will send you a messenger with what I found out soon.

Day 11

The captain tells me we should be arriving in a day or two. After this hellish journey I welcome whatever awaits.

Yzenor, the boy has gotten over his fear of me and is blabbering away again. For his sake I hope we arrive at our destination soon. He is fortunate it Is I who was chosen for this mission. You would have sewn his mouth shut days ago…

Day 14

We still have not arrived at our destination. First there was an enormous tree that blocked the road. Of course it was an ambush, but they were disposed of quickly. I have to commend your ironsworn, Yzenor. They are skillful warriors and a spectacle to see! When the road was cleared we broke a carriage wheel. That took the better part of a day and night to fix. After that I had to attend the inhumation ceremony of my carriage driver. I tell you, that boy could not shut up. The other day I overheard the captain warn him, but he did not listen. The boy only speaks. I could not take it anymore Yzenor…

We are finally moving again and my new driver has not uttered a single syllable!

Day 15

I can see them, they are barely visible on the horizon, the peaks of their towers. I am finally here brother. I still fear I will not belong where I am going, but I cannot wait for this nightmare to be over… If all goes well we will have our first ally in a day or so. Inform Halgar of my arrival and tell him I will send word as soon as the master general has accepted the amulet.

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These are @Zanko 's stories sent to @Jasko

The plan of destiny
Vzrakesh Dreadscourge wondered why he had been hastily summoned back to Uzkulak from Karag Vlag.

Zagor - the Lizard King - was not the type of ruler who was impulsive and changed his mind ad hoc, and he Vzrakesh had the task of cleaning the old dwelling of the weak Dawi, which had long been abandoned by them, of the greenskins, skaven and other abominations nestled there, and to develop it as a base for the war looming on the horizon.
Why the U-turn? Had he failed in the eyes of the Lizard King?
Vzrakesh was unsettled, even though he was sure he was right on schedule and had not sacrificed too many of the weak Hobgoblins.
No matter, he would (as always) bravely face his fate and endure his coming fate. This attitude had always been a good help during his long and often painful journey.

So Vzrakesh entered the large dark throne room with a firm step. The few magical lights were not able to provide enough light for him to recognise the Dawi Zharr right next to the throne of his ruler. The stranger was surrounded by an aura of eeriness and his body language was that of an absolutely fearless and controlled Dawi Zharr, a little impressive.

The stranger was introduced by the Lizard King, as “Vogtann” to the emissaries of Hellgar Hellgaze.
Vzrakesh was puzzled, for until now there had been no trust, let alone cooperation, between the two rulers. Until now, they had lived in a state of status quo at best, which had given them the opportunity to make their own sinister plans and work towards their realisation.
And now this … but why was he, Vzrakesh Dreadscourge, here?
Suddenly a thought flashed through his mind, he, one of the most successful lord-leaders of his king and spiritual leader, was now to go to Halgar Hellgazer, to be shunted off as an ordinary ambassador …! But then Zagor quoted him to his throne, very close, and explained the great plan which he, Halgar and other important rulers now wanted to bring to completion. Vzrakesh finally began to grasp the full extent of the plan and its consequences, certain that in the end he was only “scratching the surface” and that secondment as ambassador to the next ruler was not pointless, but an indispensable and important component in bringing the great plan to fruition.

Vzrakesh Dreadscourge prepared to leave, he had chosen only a small entourage, because he wanted to proceed quickly and secretly. Enemies from without, but from within Dawi Zharr society would try to prevent the great plan.
But this was not allowed to happen … so Vzrakesh set off in all haste and secrecy late at night to fulfil his destiny and that of all Dawi Zharr!

And the journal

Day 1:

Saying goodbye to Uzkulak was easier than I expected. It is probably because of the task ahead of me and its importance, which really fills me up!
The night was clear, the air was clean and the group was motivated. Plus some Hobgoblins, on whom we can vent any aggression that may have built up.

Day 5:

The journey is more monotonous than expected… No ambush, no monsters, no ogres and not even a few stupid but daring greenskins. How depressing…

Day 8:

Who would have thought, we should really get into an ambush, but we go off the main roads and so we could ambush those who wanted to ambush us ourselves. What a wonderful massacre, although the other Dawi Zharr outnumbered us almost 10:1.
In spite of all our efforts, with extensive, highly embarrassing questioning of the survivors, we were unfortunately unable to find out who had hired us. Neither did any of the Dawi Zharr have an emblem or anything else that could give away their clan.
With a day’s delay, we then continued our journey, now clearly on a brisker pace again.

Day 11:

It was now the third attack in the last few days, and it was getting annoying. After the group was decimated, I decided to go further off the beaten track. Let’s see if this will be successful …

Day 16:

After a few detours, we are now very close to our destination. I can clearly see the dark towers and chimneys of our destination. Already an impressive fortified city, I am curious to see what will await me …

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The emissary caravan has arrived on the shores of Zharr Britania and @Jasko 's Emissary has worked his way over to @Oxymandias

Opportunities
Like the forbidding plains stretching endlessly around its black
battlements, Zharr Kagur was never silent. The very earth was shaking
from volcanic eruptions and met by a constant barrage of roaring thunder,
as steam powered hammers beat unyielding metal into shape in the many
levels of the Daemonforges at the heat of the Ziggurat. At the top of the
pyramid was the Temple of Hashut, a pale comparison to the grand shrine
in Zharr Naggrund, which it so desperately tried to emulate.
Sorcerer-Prophet Alkanash had toiled for days in the inner sanctum,
a large cauldron with boiling magma fuelling his ritual. With the dark
secrets unveiled to him by the Great Bull, he had bound a daemon from the
netherworld in brazen chains. Bereft of the magic he could have wrought
with the bleeding hearts from the salamanders he had foolishly sent that
imbecile Wilham to acquire, his binding spells would burn out quickly. But
he had learned enough. Someone was coming. And with him an opportunity.
Maybe many opportunities, for someone like him.


The Destroyer. Deathbringer. Tormentor. Titles the other Castellans
in Zharr Kagur strived for. A merciless society breeds mistrust and
treachery, and a desire to gain any advantage possible in the brutal fight
for power, and be it only a fancy moniker. Barbakul did not care for titles.
His name alone was enough to incite terror in anything roaming the Dark
Lands and beyond. And now the mighty Alkanash had summoned him to the
Temple. He moved past the ranks of Dawi Zharr on his way, only nodding in
respect to the Bull Centaurs, living incarnations of Hashut’s grace,
guarding the sanctum doors. Barbakul had expected to be called before
the cabal of Sorcerer-Prophets, but Alkanash was alone with someone
unknown to him. The stranger cut an imposing figure, clad in an antique
armour in the colours of ancient Uzkulak, his head hidden behind a horned
helm. He had traveled a long way to far-flung Zharr Kagur.
Alkanash introduced him as Vzrakesh Deathscourge, emissary from
King Zagor of Uzkulak, and Barbakul saw a glint in the eyes of the
Sorcerer-Prophet as he relayed his message. Lord Astragoth himself had
decreed that an alliance was to be formed, a Great Unification, and that
the world shall tremble before the might of the Uzkul-Dhrath-Zharr once
more. But not all could be trusted in the fragmentary empire of the Dawi
Zharr. And so trusted emissaries should be sent from one of the chosen
rulers to the other, carrying with them the sacred amulets, forged by
Halgar Hellgaze, which would seal their pact and bing their fates together.
Barbakul took his orders without comment, for his was not the
position to question his master’s commands. He would assemble his
Immortals, his oath-bound companions from countless campaigns in his
bloodied past, and set out to the domain of the next ruler to be added to
the Great Unification. In a chest around his back he carried the messages
and tokens from Lord Astragoth himself, Halgar Hellgaze and now Alkanash
of Zharr Kagur.

The Great Unification
Day 1: Honoured one. By your command, we have set out on
our path. We are marching in the shadow of a throng heading
for the Gates of Zharr. None shall question our journey. Praise
Hashut.
Day 4: Honoured one. We have let ourselves fall behind and
departed from the route to the Gates of Zharr. The plain is in
turmoil. Large forces are gathering in remote places, their
colours shrouded in mist. By your command, we take detours as
not to arouse suspicions. Praise Hashut.
Day 8: Honoured one. Our journey is no longer a secret, as
you suspected. But our adversaries are foolish, and they have
shamed us by remaining hidden and sending their menial slaves
to ambush us. None have survived. Praise Hashut.
Day 13: Honoured one. Our enemies have turned the very
land itself to fighting us. Mighty must be their desire that I
shall not reach my destination. But I will cast down their hopes
as we have crushed anything they have thrown at us. Their
identity remains hidden, but their plans are still foiled. Praise
Hashut.
Day 21: Honoured one. It is the night before we reach our
destination. The message is safe. Praise Hashut.

Next up: @GhraskDragh

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@Oxymandias his emissary has left his savage home and is on his way to @GhraskDragh (well, technically he’s already there… damn quick British post…)

“ We have found an outsider”, grunted one of the guards pushing forward Barbakul. The proud Dawi Zharr kept his composure as he looked contemptuously at the unwashed heathens before him. The ice hall of the Dwerrow was filled with the sounds of laughter, mockery and the chitter-chatter of frost goblins.

“I was told,” began Barbakul, “That I might find the lost cousins of the Dwarfs of Zharr in this place. But it appears that I was mistaken. All I see before me are mongrels unworthy of the name Dawi Zharr.”

The hall exploded in laughter and mockery, drinking steins and cutlery being thrown at the messenger. Unflinching, Barbakul accepted his fate. The great unification would end here, with him.

“It is better to die a Dawi Zharr than live as an infidel,” he muttered under his breath.

“Thus spoke Xarathustra,” answered a deep and booming voice. The masses of goblins and dawi parted as an enormous dwarf, almost the size of a man stepped forward. His face was covered with a large horned helmet of the Norscan style and on his shoulder he rested a large unwieldy axe.

“…thus spoke Xarathustra,” replied Barbakul, shocked at ancient learnings would be known to these folk.

“My name is Molek Zonk. I am lord in this place. If you are, as you say you are, a messenger from our lost brethren, we will see this deed done. If you are not, you will die. We shall consult the words of Xarathustra!”

A low rumbling began rippling through the hall. The name Xarathustra being chanted in chorus. The ground shook as a great, previously unseen, trap door began to open.

From within the bowels of the mountain clawed a great beast. Its skin was grey and frostbitten. Its eyes were milky white. Its curled beard hung from its bestial face like a vale of snow. Before Barbakul stood an ancient Lammasu whose breath erupted as great bouts of steam in the frigid atmosphere.

The creature cocked its head and looked upon Barbakul with blinded eyes. The dwarf felt an invisible force rip through his skull and rummage through his mind like a chest being torn open and its contents cast aside in search of a single hidden gem. In Barbakul’s mind he saw great spires and lava flows, he heard the sounds of industry and the lamentation of slaves. He saw his home. He saw the amulet he was entrusted with. Then, as abruptly as it had begun, the pain subsided and the Lammasu was before him again, all the dawi and goblins in its presence watching it for a sign.

“He is true,” snarled the Lammasu, its horrid fanged maw contorting into a deep and growling speech. The creature began descending into the ground once more and the hall was filled with riotous cheers.

“Thus spoke Xarathustra,” smiled Molek Zonk laying a hand on the stunned Barbakul’s shoulder, “we shall send my youngest son. Come Zhatan. There is much to do.”

A smaller Dawi, who appeared like a miniature version of his father, hardly clothed except for a loin cloth and helmet stepped forward and bowed…

The diary of Zhatan

Day one: My father, Molek Zonk of the Dwerrow Zharr has entrusted this mission to me. I am to travel the chaos wastes with a small retinue of warriors and reunite our peoples with the Dawi Zharr. I did not like the look of the outsider, especially his hat, but I will respect the words of Xarathustra and see this deed done.

Day five: There is a sickness in this land. Nothing grows yet rocks appear to bleed and pulsate. All about us unseen eyes watch our every move.

Day seven: The enemy is revealed. The puppets of lesser gods came upon us during the night. Twisted rotting creatures with a single eye in their fetid faces attacked with rusted knives. Many dwerrow fell but my axe swung true, sending the beasts back to their pathetic masters.

Day ten: We move slower now, the party weighed down by injury and exhaustion. There are some among us who have contracted a foul disease. All are warriors who were touched in some way by the daemonic ambushers three nights ago.

Day twelve: They will slow us down no more. The weakest amongst us were sacrificed. They took the decision like a true dwerrow, offering their necks to my knife. They would rather die a dwarf than be mutated into one of those things, risk infecting others or slowing down our mission. They have been taken into the embrace of the father of darkness now. Their souls are cleansed in his fires.

Day fifteen: Spires. Spires the like of which I have never seen before. These must be the lands of Dawi Zharr. Hashut be praised. We shall be reunited at last.

Next up: @Xander

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Allright, the emissaries have made it to far off Canada at @Xander’s place. This is @GhraskDragh’s emissaries background.

Upon receiving word from Zhatan it dawned on the sorcerer Zhark, Sadistic Master of the Arcane Tower, that indeed these times are changing and if our old race were to prosper there was a need for some form of unity.

Looking across his Legion of betrayers, their minds linked together under the influence of Astrogoth bent to his will and his will only, Zhark knew he could not pull from that pool of Dwarfs for his Emissary. If anything were to disrupt his great experiment the punishment did not bare thought.
No he would need to delve deeper than this hive of scum and villainy for a suitable candidate. Zharks mind went back to his youth, he had led many raids to clear the darklands of invading greenskins and Chaos warbands looking to set up keep there. On one such occasion, after a particularly violent clan of Chaos warriors were slaughtered they discovered in the wreckage of battle a Chaos Dwarf, a whelp, owned by the Warriors through trade of more dubious means. Though normally the whelp would have been slaughtered there and then that day the young Sorcerer sensed something, something he later declared the will of the mighty Hashut that this one would be taken back to hold.
Initially used for the clan as sparring fooder it was soon obvious the strength, both in body and mind, of this whelp was not matched among any of the youths of the clan… He was taken into the fighting pits at an early age and given the name Hathakh Skullforger to entertain but he continued to excel taking on and defeating multiple champions over the years and earning a fearsome reputation in the process…

Over the years Hathakh has proven his use not just in the fighting pits but on the battlefield too on multiple occasions, with his lust for battle and his personal quest finding one that may finally best him in combat there is none more willing and formidable to send as Emissary.

And so word is sent, Hathakh is on his way.

Next up: @Reaver

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The First emissary has arrived! Now comes the hard part… Waiting for the beautiful stuff you guys are coming up with!

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This is Vogtann the emissary of Halgar Hellblaze:

A great model, also very cool painted. :metal: Now I have to take my time and think about where to use this stylish miniatur.

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Love that model! Awesome to see it painted up like that. Really looking forward to the rest of this exchange!

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Just got a minute to read the background. Great way to set the stage @MichaelX !!

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Thank you!

Caught up with the first emissary! Great stuff Michael!

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Great part 2 @Zanko and good to see Uzkulak making an appearance! All of this giving me some fun ideas. Going to let more passages settle in here before I finalize any writing but truly this community endeavor is shaping up most excellent.

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@Jasko I love your stories! they are well written and very captivating!

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Thanks, mate!

I didn’t even realise I posted pictures of @Zanko’s wonderful emissary only on my army blog, here he is again.
A beautiful model, so much character. Something I would never have been able to get my hands on otherwise. This emissary exchange is the best hobby-community-thing ever.

Meet Vzrakesh Dreadscourge of Uzkulak in all his glory.


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