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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Animosity 4: Da Ghost Fang Waaagh!

My blogging activity has suffered lately. All the projects I've got running currently are either in the startup phase or close to the finish line, which are the times when they require the most time and effort. The tabletop role-play campaign is set to begin this week, my non-linear storytelling examination is coming up Friday, and applications for MA studies need to be sent in by the end of next month, not to mention that I need to find time for creative writing. So what little energy remaining has been spent on trying out the Dragon Age game, playing a few practice games of Warhammer against Lizardmen and Bretonnians, watching the first seasons of True Blood and Sopranos, and battling out a couple of multiplayer sessions of Heroes of Might and Magic V.

Even though I'm also trying to figure out how to make good 3D animations in Autodesk Maya for my course in Storytelling, I did find time to join the fourth season of the Animosity Campaigns set in the land of Cathay, where I'm taking part in Da Ghost Fang Waaagh-faction, alongside fellow Greenskin players from Da Warpath Forum.

For anyone not familiar with online Warhammer campaigns, here's a snippet from the FAQ:

A campaign in its most basic form is a structure that links battles in the Warhammer World together and uses them to tell a story. Campaigns are very varied but they are usually played by gaming groups with anything from 2 to 10 people involved. The most basic ones follow a tree diagram between two players. Perhaps your Goblin army is trying to reinforce a large Orc Waaagh! and your opponents Dwarfs are trying to stop you. You fight a Pitched Battle. If the Goblins win, they reinforce the Waaagh! and the next game is a siege while they trap the dwarfs. If the Dwarfs win, the next game is an ambush, as the Waaagh! is overwhelmed without its Goblin backup.

An online campaign is a way of bringing together people across the world to play a huge Warhammer campaign. ... The players fight for a team (called a faction) in an effort to triumph over the other teams involved the campaign. Usually these factions are organized roughly by race, by forum or by traditional alliances. Each faction is trying to take as much territory as they can from the others while defending their own. A map is used to represent the area of the world that is being contested. Each faction starts with a small amount of territory and must use points gained by fighting games to capture more.

The background story for Da Ghost Fang Waaagh! follows below. This is the foundation on which we base our respective army and battle stories, which we publish and receive points for, which in turn further our cause in the campaign against the other factions.

Some three years prior to the events currently transpiring in Cathay, a massive fleet of Orc and Goblin tribes were lost at sea. For several weeks they foundered in the jaws of an immense typhoon, which finally deposited the ragtag fleet of greenskins onto the shores of the Hinterlands. As the Orc Bosses sought to take stock of what had happened and where they were, they heard the drums. Rhythmic, pounding drums beat on for hours during the day and even longer at night. The Orcs were not certain what to make of this and so they did what any Orc worth his salt would do. They ordered parties of Goblins into the dense jungle with orders to find and eliminate whatever was making all the Zoggin noise. For days the Goblins failed to return and while they remained missing, the Orcs set about making a massive beach head, using the wood and beams from their wrecked ships as raw materials. Soon an immense fortress of wood had been erected and the Orcs set about fighting one another, months of being stuck on board a tossing ship being released in a good round of head bashing! As all sense of order broke down, the Orcs began to hear strange cries on the wind. The source of these sounds was revealed as an army of albino spiders emerged form the jungle, their Goblin riders dressed in crude furs and dabbed with craven paints. The Orcs stopped fighting each other long enough to form up battle lines as more and more of the arachnids broke cover with the jungle to stand upon the flood plain. As the Orc leaders urged their troops to move forward, the canopy of the jungle split apart and a gigantic albino spider emerged. The monster was bigger than a small tower! Atop the beast rode a Goblin of gigantic stature, easily as big as some of the Warbosses! The creature communicated to them through a series of hand gestures, which the Orcs took to mean that they were invited to its camp. Bringing a host of warriors with them, the Orcs followed the spider riding Goblins into the jungle.

For a little over an hour, under the cover of the dark jungle canopy, the monsters marched, the land gradually shifting upwards as they climbed into even thicker brush. Here they found the remains of their scouts! Strung up in webs, the diminutive greenskins were little more than drained, shrivelled husks, food for the spiders that had slain them. Not giving it a second thought, the Orcs continued to follow their strange hosts. And soon they looked upon the Deep Gloam…

What transpired after being brought into the city of the Hinterland Goblins cannot be accurately described as Orcs don't keep records. But suffice to say the leaders were made drunk by potent spider wine and in their deluded state, the Ghost Fang shamans' moved among the drunken leaders, spinning blended visions of conquest into their heads, the lands of Cathay as the Ghost Fang had seen them. A land ripe for conquest. Surely it made sense to join forces and take the battle to the humans! The Orc leaders couldn't help but to see the wisdom in merging their army with the Ghost Fang tribe, the chances here to raid and pillage were greater than the leaders could have imagined. A virtually untouched oasis of soft squishy humans that had rarely heard of an Orc, let alone seen one! And it would give them a chance to plunder supplies to rebuild their fleets as well, and head for greener pastures once the war with Cathay was done! So the bond was forged and the forces of the Eastern Orcs joined the Ghost Fang Waaaagh! Let all of Grand Cathay tremble!

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