After playing my first game of AoS Skirmish, I found the game to be really engaging to play. This inspired me to create warbands that are inspired by real world history, lore for Warhammer fantasy and Age of Sigmar. Each faction will have its own unique story and culture based on inspiration that best suited to that faction.

Today, I’ll be continuing the Stagrot Gladiators skirmish force, presenting my planned skirmish list and backstory. If you haven’t seen part 1 yet, check out [..] to learn how I came about building up more warbands from influenced research.

Preparing my skirmish force

With my research completed, I wanted to have a skirmish force costing around 100 renown to use for games of AoS Skirmish. My plan was to build the force using Nurgle factions from Nurgle Rotbringers and Slaves to darkness with marks of Nurgle.

From my collection, I’ve found these following units that are eligible for AoS skirmish, including Chaos warriors, Blightkings, Chaos Knights and Lord of Plagues. Whilst the Chaos Knight might not seem fitting for gladiators, I can argue that the unit in question are gladiators that have mastered the art of cavalry combat. 

At first it was a hard choice of deciding what I would use for my 100 renown list. I took some time to decide on what I could mix into the list, but eventually I was able to finish my list.

The Stagrot Gladiators (100R) 

1x Lord of Plagues (Hero)
8xChaos Warriors

5x Blightkings

2x Chaos Knights

Total Renown= 99 renown

With the completion of the skirmish list, I can now go on to creating the backstory for my warband, based on the research and information I’ve gathered. I’ve decided to name locations and names in Greek, since I find using English to be out of place for gladiator period. However, I’ve translated Greek to English onward to make the backstory less of a hassle to translate for readers.

(If anyone reading this is from Greece, I hope I haven’t butchered your translation from English. If the translations are terrible, I’ll take full responsibility for being lazy, since I relied on google translate).

Backstory lore for the Stagrot Gladiators 

The Stagrot Gladiators

During the Age of Chaos, soldiers of order who were caught by warriors of the dark gods, from decimated battles, cowardice attempts that failed, or even civilian guards who failed to defend their post. Once captured by chaos slavers, the strongest that are still barely alive were subjected to a life as gladiators known as ‘weak meats’, which meant that they are viewed only as animals, rather than sentient individuals.

One particular Chaos warband captured a group of soldiers from the realm of Ghur, these mismatch group of soldiers were trying to out run a northern tribe. The tribe came by the name of Αρσενικό ελάφι-σαπίλα φυλή, which translates to ‘Stagrot tribe’. The unfortunates that were alive were sent in prison carts up north to a city called Ο τάφος των κοριών (translated to The crows grave).

A civilisation of demagogs and immoral practices 

The city was once a highly civilised and structured from advanced architecture, reflecting on the society’s progressiveness. However, it was eventually overtaken by the fell tribe of the Stagrot, a grinding and bloody war that lasted for nearly fourteen years since the start of the Age of Chaos. 

The city would slowly degrade with savage totems and eldritch paintings of the tribes culture. Establishing many changes of indoctrinations to the citizens of the Crows Grave, included slave trading markets, ritualistic study’s for shaman philosophers to debate, delving into many forbidden fields that are considered too violent and immoral.
One such immoral concept that the tribal leaders have incorporated into the Crows Grave is gladiator combat for entertainment. Held in a coliseum built from slavery, this structure would hold many gladiatorial events for weak meats to fight each other to the death.
However, one particular gladiator by the name of Αλέξανδρος (translates to Alexandros) a Laquerius class gladiator. He was a strong combatant who wanted to be free from this prison that he’s forced to fight in. He would soon be free from the Crows Grave with his fellow gladiator away to lands that still have innocents left. But fate is never kind for mortals, especially to Alexandros’s naive and stubborn understanding of what’s to come…

Omens of punishment 

On a cold rainy day, as Alexandros was preparing himself for his next death dual, he noticed something was oddly different. He noticed that the rain pouring down from the sky wasn’t water droplets, but millions upon millions of dead flies. 

The day became even more stranger when the sky changed from a dark gloomy sky to a sickly green smog. Alexandros took this as a sign of a bad omen, for he had never seen the signs like this in all his six year time as a slave.

During the death match, Alexandros fought against his opponent, by the name of Corvo. He used his dual hand weapons with precise strikes, using his adrenaline strikes to defeat his foe quickly. But tragically, he underestimated his foe, as Corvo dodged his strikes and sliced his stomach open using his Gladius. As Alexandros fell to the ground, Corvo roared with righteousness at his victory.

Soon after, the sky grew more sinister as two sickly pus like orbs glowing in the sky, like diseased eyes. The clouds formed a grotesque grin, which silhouetted a monstrous face above the coliseum. The Stagrot tribe started to fear the changes, taking this as punishment by their gods. But the gods weren’t listening to their cries, they left their pawns behind as if they were none existent. Very much an irony for the tribe, for they themselves viewed the weak meats as nothing.

The Stagrot reborn
As the coliseum crowd feared in terror from the growing omen, the sky grew darker as a swarm of flies came out of the grotesque mouth of the beast in the sky. Swarming around the city like a black smog, they covered the city until unnatural night covered the Crows Grave. They chocked the tribes people from their mouths, ears and nostrils by the hundreds. People became bloated by the flies, until their stomachs bursted into gory intestines and wriggling maggots. 

But not all flies are the same, as some were larger, and more repulsive than the lesser ones. These bigger ones blessed the living or dead with Nurgles gift, and the fresh corpse of Alexandros was one such host to bless. As the unique fly bit the cold corps of the Laquerius gladiator, the body starts to return to life slowly from the dead.

Alexandros was once a noble warrior who made many terrible decision in his life, but now, he’s nothing more than a bloated monster who has been blessed as a Blightking. As he came around, many gladiators like himself were blessed with the same ascension, becoming Blightkings themselves, including Corvo. As the bloated gladiators formed around Alexandros, he ordered them to charge at the crowd with a sore laugh like a jester with a raspy laugh. The crows didn’t even stand a chance as the Blightkings and other fell warriors charged at their once ‘slavers’, reaping the carnage to slay any that stand in their way.

After the decimation of all the tribal slavers of Crows Grave, the Stagrot was reborn as a nation of disease and unnatural life. Having rebuilt the city into a haven garden to grow and nurture new plagues for the army. The Stagrot Gladiators now set their sites for pillaging villages, treasures and fresh hosts to build their ever growing force. Building their reputation to become a threat not only to the allies of Sigmar, but also to the other four pantheons of the Chaos gods.
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Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!

-Bjorndovah

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