The Great Vortex is a portal at the center of Ulthuan through which chaotic magic is gathered and flushed out of the material world and back into the Realm of Chaos. It is a very important thing to anyone in the Warhammer Fantasy world who does not want chaos to overrun the world.
It was created by Caledor Dragontamer and a cabal of the most powerful elven mages of the age in order to drain the winds of magic to starve the daemon hordes rampaging across the Warhammer World. This worked like a treat although Caledor and his mages were stuck forever in a ghostly existence maintaining the whirlpool and much of Ulthuan was damaged by the spell.
This spell keeps the world free of the worst of chaos, which makes you beg the question why anyone would be insane enough to try to disturb it. Well, in a fit of genius (read madness) Malekith and his skanney mother and their dark elf cronies tried to do just that, believing the hordes of chaos would rush to their aid when they were losing the original elf civil war. Thankfully Caledor was having none of them and bitchslapped Malekith so hard he would think twice of doing it again.
It seems practically no-one else outside of the elves, daemons and Lizardmen (a few Slann dropped by to strengthen it) in the Warhammer world knows about this super uber important vortex though, which kind is weird since it is important to their survival. Perhaps the elves think no one would believe them or they are following in the footsteps of the USA in keeping secrets with unnecessary importance.
It is the central MacGuffin of Total War: Warhammer II with all four of the base game's factions vying for control of it in the aptly-named Vortex campaign. The campaign begins when another twin-tailed comet is spotted shooting across the sky. With everyone on the planet taking it as an ill omen (especially considering what happened the last time such a comet was spotted), magic starts being cast out the wazoo, destabilizing The Vortex even further. From there most of the game's factions, and a couple of DLC-added ones, have arranged their plans to utilize The Vortex to their own ends;
- After some scrying, the High Elves are searching for their own MacGuffin, The Star Crown of Lileath, to help stabilize The Vortex, and possibly avert the doom that threatens both Ulthuan and the world;
- The Dark Elves, on Malekith's orders, besiege Ulthuan to take control of The Vortex in the Witch King's latest bid for the island, if not total godhood.
- Not ones to let a crisis go to waste, especially when it's revealed they built the "comet" that kickstarted the plot, the Skaven seek control of The Vortex and its out of control magic to summon the Horned Rat into the world to bring the surface races to heel once and for all.
- A Skink priest watches the twin-tailed comet through his telescope while his own directing Slann mage-priest still sleeps, thus the priest opts to warn Lord Mazdamundi instead, who in turn rallies the Lizardmen into action to enforce the Old Ones' will via The Vortex's power.
- Rather than using The Vortex directly, the Tomb Kings decide to use the unstable maelstrom to locate The Nine Books of Nagash (or rather, five of them thanks to the comet's wake) in the hopes of uncovering secrets within the Great Necromancer's Black Pyramid.
- As the Vortex howls, Amanar is whipped into a frenzy and the Vampire Coast, a pirate-themed offshoot of the Vampire Counts led by Luthor Harkon, is united in search of the Star-Metal Harpoon (another MacGuffin created for the game) in order to bring the merwyrm under their control and become the unparalleled masters of the world's oceans.
That said, not every faction's goals are directed towards Vortex shenanigans; Nakai the Wanderer stays behind to keep Lustria safe when Mazdamundi and company have to travel to Ulthuan, and among the threats the old croc has to deal with is an Imperial expedition led by Markus Wulfhart. Meanwhile Deathmaster Snikch's latest assignment has him investigating Tz'arkan, effectively putting Malus Darkblade, who's thrown in his lot with Malekith, in the rat's proverbial crosshairs. Similarly, Grom the Paunch couldn't give a squig's ass about the Vortex and is more interested in a rematch with Eltharion, who's anticipating the warlord's return on top of defending Ulthuan. Lastly, Drycha has secretly tricked Throt the Unclean into believing that devouring Ariel will finally sate his ravenous hunger.
|The High Elves and their gods of Warhammer Fantasy|
|Characters:||Eltharion - Everqueen - Teclis - Tyrion - Prince Imrik - Alith Anar|
|Cadai:||Asuryan - Hoeth - Isha - Kurnous - Lileath - Loec - Mathlann - Vaul|
|Cytharai:||Addaioth - Anath Raema - Atharti - Drakira|
Eldrazor - Ellinill - Ereth Khial - Estreuth - Hekarti
Hukon - Khaine - Ladrielle - Morai-Heg - Nethu
|Events:||The War of the Beard - The invasion of Naggaroth|
|Misc:||Ulthuan - The Vortex - Waystone - Widowmaker|
|Appearances:||Blood Bowl - Dreadfleet - Mordheim - Warhammer Fantasy Battle|