Friday, September 14, 2018

Age of Sigmar Army Concept : The Ether-Void Covenant

The Mortal Realms are terrifying and wondrous places full of all manner of beings fighting it out in The Age of Sigmar.  Humans, Aelves, Orruk, Duardin, Undead, Daemons, and gods are all fighting over souls and the power they bring to their perspective goals.  Some factions work to bind The Mortal Realms together more tightly while others are trying to rip them apart as they spin through the ether of raw magic.  The races worship one god or another and are promised rebirth, damnation, or possible a heaven of sorts.  Let's explore the idea that there are beings across the races who might not be keen on any of these promises and when their mortal life is over, wish for nothingness above other godly promises.  Today I want to examine a "shower thought" I had recently about a new faction for Age of Sigmar who follow the Ether-void and the nothingness it promises to one's soul and what an army for that faction might look like.

Before I dive in I do want to clarify that this all stemmed from a random thought that my mind wouldn't let go of over the past few days.  While I think this type of army and lore could be a fascinating way to mix up the meta (and most likely be a very broken army) it is ultimately just a thought I had and nothing more.

The biggest hook as to why I think this thought came into my mind was the recently introduced storyline of Soul Wars.  We have gods and demi-gods fighting over souls and control over them for one reason or another.  I cannot imagine what a mortal must be thinking about living with the knowledge and proof that they have a soul, it has power and use, and their gods want them for their own ends.  Some like Sigmar wish to create immortal warriors in the form of Stormcast, Nagash wishes to own them all (and make pyramids?), while Chaos needs them to grow their power and use them for playthings for their own twisted whims and amusement.

Obviously, there are plenty of mortals across the realms that are fine with this war of their souls or at the very least have accepted it as part of their existence in that universe, but what if there was another option?  I use the Ether-void as that other option due to the fact that the gods seem restricted to the realms (be it mortal of chaos realms) and while the void is raw magic I view it as an ocean of sorts where there is calm the deeper you go.  If your choices up to the current timeline for Age of Sigmar is your soul is used for one purpose or another and will never truly be at rest then it is not far off for people to crave the opposite if it is found to be achievable.  Humans are a good example as the quickest followers as Humans tend to have a more egocentric view and might not be happy to let a god use their souls for any purpose so denying the gods and choosing nothingness might be a logical alternative choice.

While Humans are likely to be the ones starting this "religion" it would predictably spread to the other races of order such as Aelves, and Duradin.  It would be a trickle out to those who might not be a fanatical or devoted to their current gods.  Over time you could create a situation in the lore that might bring other races from different Grand Alliances together who all crave nothingness after death.  Perhaps a warrior of Chaos has grown fed up with their god's tests and wish to find a way to cut ties without eternal damnation.  There could be Daemons, Spirit, or Seraphon who wish to become their own being of sorts instead of simply being an extension of another's will and power.  Even the forces of Destruction might find cause to wish to nothingness, but admittedly I struggle to create a reason why at this current time.

I am tempted to take this concept to the table for a bit of fun and I had a few ideas of what it might look like.  While being able to pull from every Grand Alliance is an exciting thought there would need to be restrictions.  No named characters and only select units available from across the Grand Alliances.  The army itself would also need a unifying keyword ("Ether-void") to allow abilities and allegiance traits to work properly.  To keep with the theme of nothingness and denying the gods I could see allegiance abilities that allow easy negation of spells and prayers but in return, this theme would mean the army couldn't use the priests and casters from other armies.

While mixing units from all the Grand Alliances fills out a new army quickly I believe there would still need to be some new models in order to have the lore make sense and give the army its own theme.  Army specific Heroes and Battleline would be a good way to do this and allow the rules to remain tighter than just have a pure mix of so many varying armies.

While I don't know if I will ever take this thought beyond a thought it would be fin as a small side project to mix some of the Grand Alliances and create some custom Heroes and Units with a nice paint scheme showing their devotion to the Ether-Void.  If time allows I know this project will be int he back of my mind, but at the very least it was a fun thought to expand upon and I am curious of everyone's thoughts and if you have your own idea for a new army for Age of Sigmar.  Let me know in the comments below and until next week, Happy Hobbying!

Chuck Moore