Been killing time writing tiny snippets of backstory for individual parts of the Emerald Canticle’s forces. Figured I’d provide them for future reference and for feedback from readers. Let me know if there’s anything specific you like, almost all of these points will be represented on the tabletop by characters, squads, etc.
Balon and Valon Windswept
In the realms of men they were twin brothers who wandered the streets making their coin as bards. When the Glottkin unleashed their plagued forces upon their home city and the gates were closed they were faced with the horrible gifts of the Greatfather. As more and more men died to the plagues, they found themselves taking the role of militia leaders in order to keep the peace. They rallied the soldiers with songs of courage and valor the best they could as the plagues ravaged the city and all hope was draining. Sigmar heard their courageous songs ring out on the green winds of life and wept, he gripped the souls of the lads and their men and brought them upon his forge.
It was said the ringing of the celestial hammer against the mens’ souls was the most beautiful sound that was ever heard in Azyrheim, and their creation created a song that was felt in the hearts of men in all of the realms, inspiring a glimmer of hope against Chaos. Thus the song of the Emerald Canticle began.
The Liberation of Ghyran
When the Celestial Vindicators made landfall in Ghyran to purge Chaos from the realm, the Emerald Canticle chose to follow in their footsteps. Their mission was to seek out human survivors wherever they may be hiding and embolden them in the fight against Chaos. Unfortunately the realm of Life had been torn asunder by Nurgle, wherever they found evidence of human settlement they quickly found evidence of the Greatfather’s gifts. Those humans who survived the plagues did so by giving in to Nurgle’s demands and joining his ranks. All that remained of the glorious human empire were massive, empty white stone citadels that dotted the landscape.
The Ranger-Generals of the Golden Glade
After failing to find human settlements, the Emerald Canticle shifted their efforts to finding human survivors in the wyldwoods. It was initially believed to be a lost cause (as it was unlikely the Sylvaneth would welcome anything within the woods that wasn’t one of Alarielle’s children) but fourteen days into the search they were found by an army of human rangers deep within the Golden Glade. Initially hostile, the Ranger-Generals were finally talked into council and met with the Lord-Celestants.
The survivors of the infestation of Ghyran either did such by surrendering to Nurgle or praying to Allarielle and her Sylvaneth children for safety. The Ranger-Generals were a series of human warlords in the times before Nurgle’s arrival, and had spent decades honing their skills in the woods since. Once refugees granted sanctuary by Allarielle, they were now protectors and guardians of the glades against the forces of Chaos.
The Emerald Canticle struck a deal with the Ranger-Generals. In exchange for their cooperation and assistance finding Allarielle, they would elevate a group of the Ranger-Generals to Stormcast Eternals. These emissaries to Sigmar would make sure the men of the realm of life always had an ear of Sigmar if they ever needed his assistance.
The Grand Alliance of Ghyran
Using maps and knowledge granted by the Ranger-Generals, the Emerald Canticle found their way to the Sylvan Council. At first, the treelords were enraged by the presence of the Eternals and blows were almost struck, but level heads prevailed and the Ranger-Generals and Emerald Canticle managed to arrive at a peaceful accord with the Sylvaneth. Much was discussed in regards to Nurgle’s rot and how far the corruption spread (with much shock coming to the treelords who had believed Nurgle had barely encroached.)
The Lord-Celestants knew the problem ran deeper than anyone present likely realized, and devised a solution. They would take up residence in the Jade Citadel, a former stronghold of the human empire, and help defend the rivers and vital lifelines of the realm against Nurgle. The Ranger-Generals would take up positions in the wyldwoods and glades and give advanced notice of the corruption to the Sylvaneth and Canticle as it spread.
Allarielle herself heard the whispers on the wind of the deals and blessed the council wtih her presence. As a thanks for their efforts in defending the realm she would grant the Canticle a magical lantern that was bathed in the winds of Ghyran, as well as access to the Celestrolabe, an ancient arcane device built by the old human empire for watching the realm for intruders. Using these tools she hoped they would help cleanse her realm of the taint of Nurgle and his minions.
Thus Sigmar’s forces were brought to ally with the Sylvaneth and Ranger-Generals of Ghyran, and the realm of life was united against the forces of Chaos.
Norran the Watcher
Atop his watchtower in Keltri Norran sat day and night. Every day he watched the line of writhing, sickening plague-spawn outside the gates waiting for an opportunity to strike. Even as his cough worsened and his nostrils bled, he stood watch, ready to notify of an impending attack. The Glottkin knew their forces weren’t capable of taking the city by brute-force and waited for the plagues to weaken the defenders, but as long as Norran sat in his watchtower shining his lantern, none dared challenge the city.
Norran was granted a new body by Sigmar after his old one faded to the sickness. Sigmar himself tells praises of the man, dying with a lantern in his arms. Thus in his new life, he was made Lord-Castellan of the Emerald Canticle where his watch over the realms of men would become eternal. When not on the battlefield guiding the light of Sigmar through the realms, he stands atop the Jade Citadel’s watchtower using the Celestrolabe to watch for trouble.
Lantern of Allarielle
A gift from Lady Alarielle to the Emerald Canticle, the Lantern of Allarielle shines an eery green light that causes an unnatural green flame if it is focused upon chaotic magic. The lantern has been used to great effect by Norran the Watcher to cleanse the forest and corrupted areas of the Realm of Ghyran. Its effects on living creatures tend to vary however.
Nayogg and Niyogg
A pair of black and white drakkoth that dwelled in Ghyran. They became corrupted by Nurgle upon drinking from the Crawling Swamp. They were subdued by the twin Lord-Celestants Balon and Valon Windswept and healed by the Lantern of Allarielle. They are loyal to their new masters, and although their thunder has been replaced by corrosive acid, they still manage to be powerful forces on the battlefield for the Canticle.
The Silent Sons
A portion of the warriors of the Emerald Canticle fall to Nurgle’s poisons and plagues between battles, many of these men can be reborn upon the soul anvil, but a few find themselves unfortunately damaged with a plague of both the body and soul that leaves them mortal. Using the Lantern of Allarielle, these men’s bodies and souls are burned away leaving only a stone revenant endowed with their strength and will but completely silent and lacking all personality and individuality. These Silent Sons are believed to have given the ultimate sacrifice in the crusade for Ghyran and are revered among the highest by the Emerald Canticle and even Sigmar himself. Their stone bodies fight onwards imbued with celestial might.
The Echo of Vengeance
A group of retributors known for their thundering cry upon striking the battlefield. Their song is harsh and deep and shatters the resolve of foes upon their arrival. Stories tell that their old lives were ones of misery and agony at the hands of Nurgle’s followers and that their anger towards the Greatfather is so strong as to manifest as pure celestial magic in the warp upon their arrival in battle.
There is more to write about of course (AOS has given a fountain of new backstory for which to come up with stuff, which is awesome) such as the Treelords/Sylvaneth allies specifically, the Judicators that were former Ranger-Generals, whatever-the-hell I’m going to do with my three Lord-Relictors I have, as well as the pair of Realmgates (one life, one plague) that I have planned. Much to do, much to do.