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"When the hounds of the wastes bay at Morrslieb, the foul moon bays back."

—Kislev proverb[2a]

The green Chaos moon of Morrslieb

Morrslieb, meaning "Beloved of Morr" in Old Reikspiel, and also called the "Dark Moon," the "Chaos Moon," "Morskrit" by the Skaven, "Ghyranek" among the Northmen, and the "Black Moon" among the Norscans, is the green moon of the mortal world, and the dark twin of white Mannslieb. It has an erratic cycle, unpredictably appearing smaller or larger in the sky.[1a][1b]

In times of disaster, some claim to see a mocking, grinning, twisted face appear on its surface. Morrslieb's appearance is believed to herald great misfortune when it appears close to the surface of the world.[1a][1b]

Hexenstag and Geheimnistag mark the only times in the year when both Mannslieb and Morrslieb are full. Before sundown on those days, animals are brought in to shelter, and folk huddle in their homes, hanging up charms to ward away evil. Even the streets of Altdorf, capital of the Empire, usually thronging at all hours, are empty from dusk to dawn on Hexensnacht ("Witching Night") and Geheimnisnacht ("Night of Mystery").[1b] In certain areas where the touch of Chaos is strong, like the Barren Hills, Morrslieb appears to the inhabitants as perpetually full. [16a]

The grinning green moon of Morrslieb rises to illuminate the night of the Known World with its sickly glow. Its closeness to the world indicates that the barrier between the material world and the Realm of Chaos grows thin.

On these ill-omened nights, Morrslieb's sickly green light bathes the land, and Dark Magic collects in invisible pools of stagnant evil. Its influence can corrupt flesh, mutate the unborn, and inspire madness and murder. The veil between this world and the next is thin at these times, and many people experience strange and prophetic dreams.[1b]

Creatures of Chaos howl in the forests and the dead stir awake. Necromancers, Vampires, and evil sorcerers walk abroad, and Chaos Cultists sacrifice to the Dark Gods. It is not unknown for individuals, families, or even the entire population of a village to mysteriously vanish overnight, never to be seen again.[1b]

There are hints that there may be lifeforms native to the Dark Moon. Moonclaw is said to have been born from a Warpstone meteorite that came down during Geheimnisnacht and has a strong connection to the Chaos Moon.[4c] The Daemon Prince Be'lakor once claimed to have ruled over Morrslieb as a god. [13a]

History

Origins

Ancient myth has it that when the magical energies of Chaos first broke through into the Known World through the Old Ones' Polar Gates, an enormous chunk of Warpstone was hurled high into the sky from the destruction of the gates, where it now circles endlessly to this day as the green moon, spreading Chaos on the lands over which it passes.[6a]

The ancient records of the Lizardmen and the testimony of various Daemons active during that period lend credence to the theory that this is actually what happened.[6a]

End Times

During the End Times, Clan Skryre of the Skaven decided to destroy the Dark Moon, sending its debris crashing down upon the Lizardmen. However, it inadvertently killed the rest of the Skaven in the process, along with the population of the entire New World continent of Lustria.[16]

Morrslieb among Chaos

Beastmen

The Beastmen have a strong connection to Morrslieb, which they call the "Chaos Moon," celebrating its course through the sky and holding great and vile celebrations when the Dark Moon shines full.[4a] Bray-Shamans always conduct their foul rites in the light of Morrslieb.[4b]

Daemons of Chaos

Morrslieb's state in the sky indicates the metaphysical closeness of the Realm of Chaos and the mortal world. When Morrslieb is full, the Winds of Magic blow stronger, allowing daemonic armies to manifest far more to the south of the Northern Wastes than their usual range. [15a]

Warriors of Chaos

Among the Tribes of Chaos, specifically the Khazags, Morrslieb is known as "Ghyranek", the green giver of life. [5a] When Ghyranek is full, the shamans of the Chaos tribes lead them in rituals to revere the Dark Gods.[5a] The Norscans instead call Morrslieb the "Black Moon." [7a] Chaos Cults in the Empire often practice their most important rites during times when Morrslieb is ascending. [15a]

Morrslieb among Lizardmen

The Lizardmen call Morrslieb the "Chaos Moon" or the "false moon" and watch it closely. Its interaction with other celestial bodies is taken as an omen. [12a] At times, the Slann have undertaken efforts to destroy or diminish Morrslieb, often with the result of Warpstone meteorites showering the earth with devastating effects. [12b]

The false moon is not subject to the universal physical laws held in such high regard by the Slann, for it orbits according to no fathomable pattern -- a source of unending consternation to the Slann and Skink Priests who still look to the stars to read the future. [12c]

Morrslieb among Mankind

Ancient Nehekhara

In the ancient realm of Nehekhara, Morrslieb was known as the "Green Moon" and associated with Sakhmet, the jealous concubine goddess of Ptra. The Nehekharans believed that Sakhmet was envious of the favour the Great Father had shown to the people of Nehekhara and that during the times when she managed to gain pre-eminence over Neru, the goddess of the moon, she would incite spirits and monsters against the people of the Great Land. [14]

The Empire

A popular legend in the Empire tells of a gateway in the sky through which Daemons emerged to prey on people. Morr, the god of the dead, destroyed this gate and created Morrslieb so that mortals would never forget that he had saved them from a fate worse than death.[1b]

Many superstitions exist in the Empire surrounding Morrslieb and its malign influences. Children are kept away from its light, since it is reported to bring misfortune and mutation.[3a] Morrslieb is only rarely used for tracking time, given his erratic course through the sky. [10a]

Kislev

In Kislev, Morrslieb has been referred to as the "foul moon."

Morrslieb among Skaven

The Skaven call Morrslieb "Morskrit," the "Dark Moon."[7a] They, correctly, believe that the moon is made entirely out of Warpstone and that when Warpstone meteorites fall from the sky, it is a sign of their deity the Horned Rat rewarding his children.[9a] The Dark Moon plays an important role in the annual celebration of Vermintide, when Skaven of all the clans gather in the Under-Empire's capital of Skavenblight. [9a]

The Skaven have, at least on two occasions, attempted to extract portions of Warpstone directly from the face of the Green Moon. The first attempt was in 1111 IC, when Grey Lord Skrittar loosed a bounty of Warpstone shards from Morrslieb, which he attempted to collect the following year. Maliss Manrack also attempted something similar, using Clan Skryre's infamous Warpstone-based technology. However, Manrack's invention, the Moonbreaker Cannon, ultimately was destroyed.[17a]

During the End Times, the Order of the Grey Seers pulled the Chaos Moon closer to the mortal world using a magical ritual. This ritual allowed the Verminlords, the Daemons of the Horned Rat who are typically bound to the Realm of Ruin, to enter and wander the mortal realm without needing to be summoned by a Grey Seer. As such, the Shadow Council of Thirteen was able to come and go as it pleased between the mortal world and the Realm of Chaos.[16]

Morrslieb among Vampires

Vampires follow Morrslieb's course, since its fullness causes quicker accumulation of the Dark Magic needed for the practice of Necromancy and makes raising the dead to unlife easier.[11a] Only when the dark moon is full can certain necromantic rites, like the creation of an Abyssal Terror, be conducted. [11b]

Sources

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd Edition: Signs of Faith (RPG)
    • 1a: pg. 29
    • 1b: pg. 30
  • 2: Warhammer: Storm of Magic (8th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 114
  • 3: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Tome of Corruption (RPG)
  • 4: Warhammer Armies: Beastmen (7th Edition)
  • 5: Mark of Chaos (Novel) by Anthony Reynolds
  • 6: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition: Enemy in Shadow (RPG)
    • 6a pg. 149
  • 7: Warhammer Fantasy Rolepl,ay 2nd Edition: Old World Bestiary (RPG)
  • 8: Tamurkhan – Throne of Chaos (8th Edition)
  • 9: Warhammer Armies: Skaven (7th Edition)
  • 10: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition: Tome of Salvation (RPG)
  • 11: Warhammer Armies: Vampire Counts (8th Edition)
  • 12: Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (8th Edition)
  • 13: Mordheim Rulebook (Specialty Game)
  • 14: Times of Legend: Nagash Immortal (Novel)
  • 15: Warhammer Armies: Daemons of Chaos (8th Edition)
  • 16: Warhammer: The End Times Book IV: Thanquol (8th Edition)
  • 17: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 4th Edition: The Enemy Within Campaign - The Horned Rat Companion (RPG)
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