The Hemocan Chronicles: Gunum Dolmen Gates to the Grand Narrative

Greetings, esteemed readers! Gunum here, pumped to deliver the follow-up to my Games Workshop Narrative Write-Ups (Peep Part 1 right here). Today, we’re delving into my adventure in Atlanta. The grand plan for this year’s extravaganza? Snag a narrative title, much like the glorious victory I secured at last year’s Grand Narrative when I won “The Enemy Without.” Hungry for that back-to-back triumph, my alter ego – Gunum the Psychomancer Ascendant – reached back to the knob marked “villany” on his back and cranked that sucker up to eleven, sights firmly set on snagging the title of Most Infamous.

See, the Grand Narrative (and other GW Open narrative events) typically have extra mechanics going on, allowing you to accrue fame or infamy by either pulling off daring feats or cowering in the corner while your minions do the work. To pull win Most Infamous, I’d have to channel all the spine-chilling cowardice, wicked maliciousness, and downright evil vibes I could muster throughout the weekend.

This year’s trip sadly(?) has no great story of overcoming the odds or battling the elements (unlike last year’s rollercoaster). The journey went smoother than a freshly buttered skillet. No last-minute scrambling, and I can actually talk about arriving on the first day. Blessings from the flight gods rained down on me as I departed a snowless Fargo, ND. With four inches of snow a mere week prior, the sight of endless flat greys and browns out the window during my flight was a welcome change.

“Whats that dark area Dad?” “It’s South Dakota, you must never go there.”

Arriving at O’hare in Chicago was really nice; it felt like visiting an old friend’s house from high school to grab a coke – familiar and comforting. I’ve traveled through O’Hare a lot, zipping around on those moving sidewalks between terminals – sometimes just for fun. A couple of sidewalk rides and a short layover later and I was on my way to Atlanta. 

O’hare terminal C. Beautiful, for an airport.

While waiting for my solo journey to continue, I noticed a gentleman behind me browsing the Adepticon website. Introducing myself to this cultured individual revealed a wonderful dude named Cory. Sporting a vibe that screamed “I brew IPAs in a seaside log cabin,” Cory was clearly 40k-savvy. After a bit of chit-chat, I discovered he, too, was en route to the Grand Narrative to witness his friend unleash Khorne-crons for the rival Pact of Annihilation. These bone-bois would play a crucial role later. Fast friends were made as we bonded over our shared love for Necrons. Boarding the plane, I was introduced to another fantastic character – a hat, or rather, the guy who owned the hat. Specifically my rowmate was a rancher who bought the seat next to me for his hat – the best seatmate ever, taking up zero elbow room and never demanding to open the window!

I was sitting next to a sherif. I don’t know if he was actually a sherif, but he had a white hat so it fit my narrative.

Prior to take off, Cory and I had decided to share a ride together upon landing, which eased my nerves about navigating a big city and the potential financial abyss of lengthy Uber rides down the unknown highways of a city I’d never been too. Fortunately, he had discovered a train that ran from the airport to a block away from the event. The ticket for the train was only $3, an incredible bargain when you consider I was expecting to spend $40+ on cab rides.

That said, regardless of how good an idea this seemed, we’d later discover there were two different train lines: The Red Line and the Gold Line. As Cory and I settle into our train seats, I glance up at the map posted on the wall of the train car and begin musing about how the Red Line seems to have a long route, and I was worried we might be in for a long ride. I mention this to my buddies on the Goonhammer Discord and a few moments later a notification pops up with a message from my roommate for the event, Condit:

As a matter of fact, dear reader, I was not. After a quick check with my traveling companion who quickly checked his own phone, we found out that we were not on the correct train. The Red Line was, in fact, quite a long journey and in the wrong direction. Cory and I jumped up and rushed to the other train, barely making it on to the Gold Line before it departed. And by “barely,” I mean we had to wait another 10 minutes on the gold line train, so our rushed sprint to the train car must have looked silly for more common riders. Neither of us knew really when the train would leave, so at first we were incredibly scared, then suddenly very comfortable as we realized we were finally safe.

Arriving at the event, familiar faces greeted me – Rob, Condit, and a new player, Primarus Kevin, the mathematical maestro behind our Hammer of Math column. Standing at a towering 6’10” and a half*, Kevin’s stature clashed intriguingly with his numerical mastery. Treating Cory to lunch with the crew, we decompressed from the flight at a local brewery, indulging in some much-needed pizza. Post-feast, we ventured back to the hotel and descended into the event’s depths. There, the Terminator of my dreams loomed, surrounded by the actors who’d be the maestros of the gaming rooms. Returning characters, like the bombastic Priest and the badass Sly Marbo type, were in the mix, alongside new faces – a Valhallan Commissar, a Servitor, and an enigmatic assassin. The effort and acting prowess put into this year’s Grand Narrative were a significant upgrade. Returning cosplayers exuded the energy to immerse attendees in the shared experience awaiting them. With the briefing wrapped up, we clinked a few drinks as a team, got Cory reunited with his BFF just in time, and hit the hay for some morning gaming.

Terminator for scale.

A quick sidebar for my loyal readers about my army- Yes, I checked my bag again. Yes, I slapped on fragile stickers. Yes, my big models still got wrecked. The Necron Warriors-as-packing-peanuts plan finally met its match, but I’m sticking to my barrel of monkeys traveling technique. It’s been working for five years, and I won’t back down now!

Join me next time for a break down of my games, day one and two of the event, as well as some actual 40k?!

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