Forces of Hordes: Skorne
|Forces of Warmachine: Skorne|
|Preceded by||Hordes: Primal MkII|
|Followed by||Forces of Hordes: Trollbloods|
In a fortress near the Castle of the Keys, Supreme Aptimus Zaal is trying to communicate with the ancient exalted ancestor Jyvox when he's disturbed by the presence of a flying creature. He identifies it as the dragon Scaefang, and discovers that it is gliding straight toward the Castle of the Keys, where Void Seer Mordikaar established his laboratories. Realising that Mordikaar is there and completely oblivious of the imminent threat, Zaal sends a warning to him through the Staff of Aarakis.
At the same time, Mordikaar is conducting experiments on the bones of Pyromalfic, the dragon slain a few months earlier in the area. He discovers that dragon blight accelerates the frequency Mordikaar could summon void spirits and bind them into service for the Army of the Western Reaches. When Zaal's warning comes, Mordikaar evacuates the laboratory before a crash shakes the whole building.
In the newly-seized skorne territories in the west, Lord Tyrant Hexeris introduces to Dominar Rasheth, who recently joined the Army of the Western Reaches, the skorne's new construction efforts and titan breeding program, the latter of which reinforces that eventually the army would no longer need to rely on suppliers like Rasheth's House Telarr. Nevertheless, Rasheth is only amused, especially when a scholar reports to Hexeris that a disease has overtaken the local titan herds. The conversation is interrupted by the arrival of Scaefang; Hexeris asks Rasheth to help Mordikaar evacuate, but Rasheth refuses.
Meanwhile, Mordikaar walks out of the battered fortress and orders the Venators of the garrison to focus their efforts on the dragon. Scaefang casually kills many skorne defenders and collapses Mordikaar's laboratory until he departs and flies towards another dragon, Halfaug, in the southwest. All of this is watched by Mohsar, an omnipotent of the Circle Orboros, who orders his underlings to activate the wolds.
Mohsar suddenly raids the fortress with his wolds and manage to corner Mordikaar. As he prepares to kill the void seer, Mordikaar warns Mohsar his death will bring out a disaster enough to destroy Mohsar, and to warp these lands beyond recognition. Mohsar then opts to capture Mordikaar alive instead of killing him, but the arrival of Dominar Rasheth forces him to retreat.
The highest-ranking leaders gather to report the attacks on the Castle of the Keys formally several weeks later, when Supreme Archdomina Makeda and the bulk of the Army of the Western Reaches return from the difficult desert crossing. Makeda is pleased with how Mordikaar handled the attacks, while Supreme Aptimus Zaal recommends Mordikaar against staying at the Castle of the Keys. She then expresses her concern about the disease of the titans, and Rasheth explains he cannot save the breeding stock, but offers her a proposal: divert a modest ongoing percentage of future war spoils toward a project to restore the breeding program conducted by House Telarr. Even though Makeda knows Rasheth is responsible for the disease, she's in no position to turn him down, and leaves the project in his hand.