So giving that we are about to approach Halloween, I thought about developing a very spooky army. It is an army of horrifying carnies, although personally as kid I never got why people found clowns scary. Anyway I am almost surprised that White Dwarf or someone like Mathias Ellison did not consider making at least a basic roster. Maybe it would be very awkward looking if Altdorf was being invaded by an army of clowns, but this is Warhammer we are talking about. Nevertheless the Carnival of Chaos is not a joke, it is a pretty grim-dark element of the Warhammer world. We are talking about infecting innocent children with Nurgles rot grim-dark here. Despite its name, the carnival of chaos is actually completely devoted to Nurgle.
It started to as off an army for Mordheim in an issue in Town Cryer, which was a publication that mostly offered supplement material for the Mordheim game (although I don't know if GW had direct ownership of Town Cryer or not). They even had a tomb raider Mordheim supplement. Unlike the Nehekharan scenario, the carnival of chaos did not actually come with named characters and I have been struggling to find at least two that could fit in. I have two characters in which I currentely need to adjust the lore a bit because after look at them I don't really like their origin story. If you are able to find any barrel-scrapped characters that could fit in.
The carnival of chaos also had a small cameo in Vermintide 2, where the shadow of bogenhafen maps had the carnival taking place (shown by fireworks launching) which were already completely overrun by skaven and Nurgle warriors.
For this army roster I added a few extra bits in here and there which includes my own ideas and a few things from the Warhammer RPG (1st-3rd editions). Feel free to contribute your own ideas, especially when it comes to swarm units which I couldn't be bothered with. Also feel free to post this on reddit if you wish (I personally don't use reddit). Furthermore if anyone wants to expand my ideas to create an official army book, or heck if CA wants to make the Carnival of Chaos to a full fledged horde army, then you don't need to ask my permission to do so. Probably has a more chance of making being playable in WH3 than Cathay.
Anyway this post will at contain at least some background of the carnival of chaos itself (with a few edits that I have made myself). The next post will give the roster summary and some ideas for campaign mechanics EDIT: Actually the comment was approved two-three posts later, so you have to find it there. I will try and put as many posts as I can otherwiseThe Carnival of Chaos is the sick joke of the Great Lord of Decay, the Chaos god known as Nurgle. Thrice cursed Nurgle is also known as the unspeakable Master of Plague and Pestilence and the players in the Carnival are his corrupt followers and worshippers. They are those who have sold their souls for a twisted form of immortality through embracing death, destruction and decay – learning to love Nurgle’s many and varied gifts. It is not known how many Carnivals of Chaos there are or if the handful of reports from the lips of petrified witnesses all refer to the same warband.
No one knows from whence it came, the dreaded Carnival of Chaos and if more of one such carnival exists. Some have rumoured that it was once a gypsy caravan from the east of the Empire, wandering folk that brought their colourful fare from village to village entertaining the poor rural folk of the Empire with their lavish shows and stage plays. If this past is the truth then what it has become in the present is far more sinister and deadly. Still it wanders the rural backwaters of the Empire, in a colourful cavalcade of wagons, its folk dressed in the colourful finery of traveling players, bringing sonnet and song to excitable villagers and peasants.
Strongmen perform feats of incredible prowess to the adoration of the crowd, whilst clown/fat-fools in garish, grinning masks juggle balls, knives and flaming brands. Many shows are relatively uneventful with no noticeable casualties of disease on the day of the carnival, although pestilence seems to randomly appear on parts of the settlement a few days after the carnival has left. However on the times when the winds of magic are strong, that is when the carnival gets super excited for that is when they can perform their great act.
When the troupe perform their final act, known as the ‘Dance of Death’ or ‘Nurgles Great Play’ depending on the carnival, the enchantments covering their true visages slowly slip away revealing them to their blissfully ignorant audience for they are cavorting, cyclopean daemons with rotting flesh hanging from yellowing bones. What were originally considered intricately decorated masks and cleverly applied make-up is soon revealed as the players’ true horribly mutated faces, covered in pustules and pox-ridden lesions. The villagers’ expressions turn from those of elation to abject terror at the sight of these horrific visions the slaughter begins. By now most of the folk who made up the cheering audience would have already succumbed to the virulent diseases spread by these malevolent players. The vaint whisper of magic emitting from the carnival becomes a loud roar to other spell-casters, and so with the the carnival must pack up and make a quick escape. The survivors are led away to an unknown fate and the village is left deserted, its inhabitants and livestock killed by innumerable diseases and plague.
The Carnival of Chaos is justly hunted by the many bands of zealous Witch Hunters that traverse the lands but always seems to be just one step ahead of the Sigmarites and continues to follow its merry path, bringing the blessings of Nurgle to all. However there are times when running does not always work and their audience is less willing to join in with the festivities. When cornered the troupe will lash out in pestilent violence to defend itself, and their enemies usually underestimate the full force that this cult unleashes. To this day the carnival(s) continues with their festering fun, delights and sacrifices.