Penned by Sam, what follows is a narrative account of his first game, crossing into the Eightpoints, with Ben and Chris as opponents in a Triumph & Treachery game. Vivek, Master of Puppets, is the Thrallmaster of Sam’s warband of Cypher Lords.

The balance of power in the Eighpoint is in constant flux. Every faction is vying for power. None more so than those warbands active in the Bloodwind Spoil. Skirmishes and sometimes full scale faction wars happen on the daily.

Since his arrival, Vivek has carved out a base of power at the heart of the Reaver city of Carngrad. Yet, toppling one of the Seven Talons is no easy task, for each command a veritable army of murderers and monsters.

Rumors of a new power in the Bloodwind Spoil has spread like wildfire. It describes a being of terrible power that could rend asunder a Fomoroid Crusher with a single gesture. All the major powers in Carngrad are now sending out war parties to scour the realm for clues of the whereabouts of this being. For the one that can control it will surely gain an upper hand in the eternal power struggle.

Three outrider scouts, one for each of the Talons, were spotted heading back to their masters in the city. In response, Vivek sent out a war party to intercept. For surely they must have some information on the mysterious being.

Vivek was not alone in thinking this for the minions of Nagash and the Iron Golems were at the heels of the scouts by the time the Cypher Lord and his thralls arrived. The ensuing battle was short and bloody. Using sorcerous illusions and alchemical bombs, Vivek was able to direct the horde of undead into the path of the Iron Golems. Through the confusion, his thralls were able to spirited away two of the three scouts. Now, all that remains is to extract the information from these scouts…

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And then, after the second game, a 4-player T&T game, picking up the wizard’s trail, Sam shared this:

After three days of torture, mind and soul, the scouts finally gave up their secrets of what they have learned about the mysterious being. Both scouts believe him to be a powerful outrealm wizard. However, from here on the stories from the scouts diverge. Their stories did not agree on where he came from our his reason for being here. One indicated the wizard is already somewhere in the city, possibly at the Northern Run-Offs. The other indicated his location to be somewhere amidst the wilderness of the Ashwastes.

Seeing no alternative but to pursue both leads, Vivek sent out war parties to follow the trails. In both parties he sent his flesh clones. These are artificial flesh vessels he has imbued with a portion of his essence. They are, for all intents and purposes, a copy of him. None outside of the Cypher Lords are privy to this secret. To his enemies, the Cypher Lord seems to be everywhere at once.

The first trail that led to the Northern Run-Offs turned out to be a trap. Assassins from the Unmade and Iron Golems were waiting, for he was Bloodmarked. This copy of Vivek would have escaped but for the appearance of the minions of Nagash. The necromancer must have wanted to take revenge for the earlier episode with the scouts. Despite his prodigious power, not even he could stand before the might of the combined war parties

With the loss of his first flesh clone, Vivek realizes he is more vulnerable than he would like to admit. For the first time since his arrival in this forsaken realm, things are not going according to plan…

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In the darkness between realms nine figures float in the nothingness. The figures are hazy and incorporeal for they were not really there.

“The Anomaly has been sighted,” said one of the gaunt figures.

“Where?” inquired a second blurry figure.

“The Nexus” said the first. “One of us will have to deal with it.”

“I will deal with it” said another. “After all, it was responsible for the demise of my predecessor.”

“Do not be overconfident” warned the first. “The Anomaly’s power rivals that of a demi-god. The location may also pose other dangers. The Everchosen does not like trespassers in His realm.”

“I already have assets in play within the realm. But just in case, I will send my most trusted servant.”

“Then it is done” intoned the first. All nine figures made a sign of blessing to the Great Conspirator before disappearing into the darkness from whence they came.

Back in the Bloodwind Spoil, Vivek’s war party finally entered the Kardeb Ashwastes. A desolate place over a thousand leagues south of Carngrad. The clue provided by the scout led the party towards Gallowspire, an isolated tower standing amid the Ashwastes. Per the information extracted from the scout, lying within the ruins at the base of the tower was a surviving Celestial Compass. If true, it was a sure way to locate the wizard for it has the ability to detect magical manifestation with pinpoint accuracy.

Upon arrival at the Gllowspire ruins, Vivek split up his war party to search for the relic. After hours of careful search, his warband finally found pieces of the Compass located in three separate locations. They were locked within ensorcelled chests that he had to open personally. Just as he was about to put the pieces together, the ground all around exploded. Dozens of skeletal arms shot out from the earth. It was the Legion of Nagash.

It made sense now. The army of undeath lack the means to open these Azurite chests. So they must have been the ones to send the scouts to lure in those that could.

His warband was heavily outnumbered but not outmatched. Skeleton warriors dropped left and right as his warriors cleaved them apart with their glaives and short blades. However within moments of being hacked apart, bones re-knitted and they stood back up again. The controlling necromancer must be nearby.

Wearing his Luminate, Vivek used her to hunt for the magician of undeath. The necromancer must have known he could not hide for long for he came out of his cover blasting bolts of Death magic. The closest Mirrorblade took a full blast to the chest and his body withered to dust within a heartbeat. This led to an opening for the Luminate to get within hand to hand combat. This would normally spell instant death, for few can survive single combat with a Cypher Lord Luminate. However this necromancer was powerful, very powerful. Every blow was deflected with invisible barriers of force.

The situation looked dire. He was losing bodies while his enemies continues to reanimate and replenish their numbers. Just as his Luminate was about to be overwhelmed, green flames exploded among the skeleton warriors. Bones, metal and stone all but melted in the conflagration. From the flames strode an enormous being with burning tattoos and demonic horned visage. It was an Ogroid Thaumaturge. With a flick of Ogroid staff, the necromancer burst into emerald flames. His screams cut off abruptly as he melted into a pool of burning flesh. However despite the death of the necromancer, the army of undeath kept coming.

“I am Obs Nox’Xurellius” rumbled the Ogroid. “Come with me. Our enemies are legion.” With no further explanation, it opened a portal into…..another place. Presented with no other option, Vivek compelled his surviving warband to run for the portal with but one piece of the Compass. For it was better to deny his enemy of the prize then to lose a valuable flesh clone needlessly. As he crossed the portal’s threshold, his vision exploded with blinding colors…