The Phantom Menace

Coach Firion had been spending his free time after a short stint as coach of the Reanimated Scientists to explore the world and expand his knowledge of the game. He had been freelancing, taking on a variety of teams for odd matches here and there against other coaches, both old and new to the sport of BloodBowl.

He coached Humans, Skaven, Dwarves and Elves before moving into the Badlands to try his hand coaching Orcs. The impressive strength of the greenskins reminded him of his time coaching the Reptile Heavyweights, although they lacked the speed of the Lizardmen. He was trying to explain the intricacies of dodging to the team when his assistant Karl ran across the field to speak to him. MML S23 registration had opened!

Firion pondered the options. He’d enjoyed all the teams he had the chance to coach, but he missed the call of the Lizardmen. He resolved to head back to Monte Castello via the Black Gulf and take a ship back to Lustria to bring back the Heavyweights for a final shot at glory.

However, on his way back to the coast the convoy he was travelling in got lost in the Marches of Madness. Sentries were sent out to find a route, but none returned. Before long, only Firion, Karl, the driver, navigator and 2 bodyguards remained. The caravan resolved to continue through the marshes as quickly as possible until they came upon some old ruins. It was the only shelter they had seen for days, and the group was exhausted. They ventured inside – The smell stank strongly of rot, but they all needed to rest so agreed to stay for one night in the relative safety of the ruins.

 

They found the only room with an intact roof and settled down for the evening. A cursory glance around the room showed a large throne in the middle of the room, surrounded by several tombs. Firion surmised this must be some kind of burial chamber – Everyone had checked the place over and found nothing of interest – Just some old rotting skeletons.

The weary travelers nodded off. Firion was dreaming of a glorious return to BloodBowl, before he was jerked away by the screams of his companions. The skeletons had risen and begun attacking the party. Josep and Hendry were lying on the floor, blood streaming from their bodies. Karl was wrestling with 3 skeletons on top of him and Niel’s arms were pinned against the wall by another 2 boned fiends. Tomas had grabbed hold of a sword and managed to take down a few of their assailants, but things were looking grim.

Firion rose up and began trying to help his friends. The skeletons weren’t attacking him he noticed, and after grabbing his own sword he flung himself into the melee. There were too many for the 3 remaining living and before long only Firion was left standing. The undead stood encircling him. One approached with what looked like a crown. Firion could sense the darkness emanating from the circlet and tried to step back away but he was held in place by the bony fiends. The crown was settled upon his head. A voice spoke to him:

“I am Nagash, the Undying King. For too long, I have waited here in Mourkain for an opportunity to envelop the land in the Undead. I see the large crowds attending the MML games and want to harness those beings into create a new Undead army to conquer the world. Firion, you must lead us to the final where the largest crowds will be. I can then unleash my minions to kill the living and provide us with more corpses to join our ranks. If you fail or refuse, your life will be forfeit. I will now bestow upon you the power to control my followers.”

Firion felt corrupt power flow through him. The reanimated players slowly emerged from the tombs surrounding Nagash’s throne room. First to come hulking in were Kadon the Eternal and Morath the Necromancer, powerful sorcerers who would now serve as the muscle of the team. Then came the team’s more mobile hitters, Gothard, the Undying Knight and Asteron, the Wight King. Both were more heavily armoured than the skeletons surronding them, and with their battle experience they would lead the team on the pitch.

Finally, the speedy agile Ghouls raced into the room. Up stepped Ushoran, Lord of Masks, and Gashnag, the Black Prince. Following behind them was Urzen the Unrelenting, gnawing the flesh from some bone. Urzen spotted the fresh corpses of Firion’s party after entering the room, and started to chew on the still warm leg of his deceased assistant Karl.

The team needed more players to fill the roster, and several of the skeletons stood around eager to join the team. However, Firion favoured Zombies from his time as a Necromantic coach – They were slower but tougher than the fragile skeletons. As he pondered this, the crown began to glow – His fallen friends began to stand, reanimated (although Karl struggled now that he was missing chunks of his left leg thanks to Urzen). Their corpses now joined the group as lineman.

Nagash spoke to him: “Now go. Lead the Mourkain Phantoms to the title!”

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