Age of Reckoning
Part Four - The Dark Powers March
Two months after the fall of Karak Eight Peaks, the High King's army sets out to drive the invading greenskins from the World's Edge Mountains. As the Dwarfs march south along the slopes of the great volcano Karag Dron, the world suddenly grows dim. In the sky above, the sun begins to darken and the landscape is bathed in an eerie, unnatural light the color of deep crimson.
From atop the tallest spire in Naggarond, Malekith watches the Chaos moon, Morrslieb, eclipse the sun. His spies in the Old World have relayed messages confirming the success of the greenskin attack on the Dwarfs. The Witch King's plans are unfolding precisely as arranged.
Far to the north, out of sight of the eyes of men, a great black warhost erupts from the tempestuous Chaos Wastes. Swarms of grotesque creatures march in ranks alongside regiments of warriors and marauders, all led by a Chaos Lord bearing the banner of Tzeentch.
In the Empire, terror and panic erupt at the sight of the red eclipse. Riots and fires break out in every district of Altdorf. The city guard is hard-pressed to contain the situation, but the eclipse soon passes and by nightfall, order is restored. The event is not forgotten, however, and many citizens of the Empire, shaken by what they believe to be an omen of terrible events to come, pack their belongings and depart their homes hoping to find shelter in the mountains to the south and east. A growing sense of doom hangs over the people of the Empire, and hope for any respite from the plague is smothered by the fearful sight of the red eclipse.
For the Dwarf army marching to reclaim the fortress at Karak Eight Peaks, the eclipse seems to confirm a dread that has been growing within them. The black sun in the crimson sky is a stinging reminder of the loss of Karak Eight Peaks to the Bloody Sun Boyz, and seems to be a symbol of the inevitable victory of the greenskin horde now gathering there. Have the last days of the Dwarfs finally come? Resigned to their doom, the grim-faced warriors trudge across the harsh, mountainous terrain.
In Altdorf, the Emperor receives the High King's message and orders several regiments into the mountains to assist the Dwarfs. Though he sorely needs the troops to secure his borders and combat the spread of anarchy in his realm, Karl Franz is honor-bound to respect the pledge made by Sigmar never to refuse aid to a Dwarf. Just then, an outrider delivers a report from the north -- a great Chaos army is on the march, and will reach the Empire's borders within a week.
Assessing his deployments in Nordland and Ostland, Karl Franz realizes that the picture is desperately bleak. The plague has thinned the ranks of his armies, wreaked havoc with supply lines and decimated the morale and industry of his people. The Empire is ripe for conquest, and will fall quickly without help. The Dwarfs cannot possibly send warriors to protect the Empire. If they do not recapture the fortress at Karak Eight Peaks quickly, they might never do so again. Only the High Elves can save his people now.
Summoning his most trusted Griffon rider, the Emperor composes a letter beseeching the ruler of the High Elves for assistance. When the messenger arrives in Lothern, Finubar, Phoenix King of Ulthuan, is already well aware of the Empire's plight and has been making preparations to send troops. Finubar summons Prince Tyrion, a warrior and general without peer among his people, and charges him with the defense of the High Elf lands. Confident that his realm will be secure , the Phoenix King sets sail at the head of a flotilla of Elven warships. From the Straits of Lothern the vessels pass into the Great Western Ocean carrying hundreds of the most skilled warriors among the High Elves. When word of the Phoenix King's departure reaches Malekith's ears, the Witch King gives the order to begin the invasion of Ulthuan.
In the dead of night, a great fleet of Black Arks sets out from Naggaroth. As the floating fortresses approach the shores of Ulthuan, the invasion force splits in two, with one half bearing down on the Blighted Isles while the other steers south for the Straits of Lothern. Soon, legions of Dark Elf warriors spill forth onto the shores of their ancestral homeland.
In Karak Eight Peaks, a great greenskin Waaagh! is building. In the northern reaches of the Empire, the servants of Tzeentch have already marched deep into Ostland and are laying waste to everything in their path. Prince Tyrion's army has raced north to engage the marauding Dark Elves, only to learn that a second invasion force has begun a siege of Lothern.
Recognizing that the only way to counter the threats arrayed against them will be to combine their strengths, the leaders of the Empire and the nations of the Dwarfs and the High Elves convene a great Council of Wisdom in the Imperial capital of Altdorf. At this summit, the three rulers forge a pact that their peoples shall fight as one and strike back at the enemies who would conquer their homelands.
The Age of Reckoning has begun.