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|Dec 09, 2007, 09:52 AM||#1|
The Layman's Guide To Warhammer Factions
So...this is going to be a summary of guides to factions I have previously written as well as 6 new guides for the factions included as playable in Warhammer Online: Age Of Reckoning. Starting today, I will add one playable faction every day until Friday of next week. I'll start off with the Empire and all the guides I have previously already finished.
Thank you for your attention And thanks to Pendrako for delivering The Layman's Guide v2 - he sorted out all my spelling and other mistakes. Tremendous kudos to him!
1. The Empire
1.2. Political structure
1.4. The Military
1.4.1. The Infantry
126.96.36.199. The Knights Panther
2. Chaos1.4.3. The Artillery
2.1. Chaos itself
2.1.1. The Aethyr
2.2. The Chaos Gods2.2.1. Khorne
188.8.131.52 Khorne's followers - Mortals
184.108.40.206. Tzeentch's followers - Mortals
220.127.116.11. Nurgle's followers - Mortals
18.104.22.168. Slaanesh's followers - Mortals
2.2.5. Relationship between the Chaos Gods & A Note on Chaos Undivided
2.3. The Chaos Warrior's Motivation3. The High Elves
3.1. Note on the political system of the Asur
4. The Dark Elves3.2.1. Aenarion the Defender3.3. The High Elf military
4.1.1. The Sundering
4.2. The Dark Elf Society
4.2.1. Political system
4.3. The Dark Elf military forces4.3.1. The infantry
4.3.2. The cavalry
22.214.171.124. The Dark Riders
4.3.3. War machines of the Druchii - The Reaper Bolt Thrower
4.4. Druchii magic5. The Dwarfs
5.1. History6. The Greenskins5.1.1. The Beginning (creation to 0)
6.1. History7. Bretonnia
8. Lizardmen7.4.1. The Bretonnian Infantry126.96.36.199. The Men-at-Arms7.4.2. The Bretonnian Cavalry
8.2.1. The Slann
8.3. Beasts of War9. Beastmen
10. Tomb Kings9.2.1 The Beastlords
11. Vampire Counts10.2.1. Tomb Kings
12. The Skaven11.3.1. Von Carstein11.4. The Vampires' armies
13. The Wood Elves12.1.1. Skavenblight12.2. General Appearance
13.1. History14. The Ogre Kingdoms13.1.1. The Secession13.2. Asrai Society
14.1. History---------------14.1.1. The Coming of The Great Maw14.2. Ogre Culture
1. The Empire
1.1. History (using the Imperial Calendar, starting with the day of Sigmar's coronation as Emperor)
After he had helped to drive off a Goblin invasion of his village in the year IC -15, Sigmar is believed to have led an expedition against a Goblin war-party holding the King of the Dwarfs, Kurgan Ironbeard, prisoner. After he freed him, Kurgan is said to have presented the young man with a rune-enchanted war hammer called "Ghal Maraz", which means "Skullsplitter" in the Dwarven tongue.
Sigmar then started his campaign to unite the human tribes of what should later become The Empire, and succeeded in doing so by getting one tribe at a time to join him, whether through conquest or diplomacy. The largest and most powerful tribe he had to overcome were the "Teutogens", who had settled near where Middenheim is located nowadays. The defeat of their chieftain Artur by Sigmar in single combat is commonly seen as the point at which Sigmar had gained control of the tribes of the Empire.
Sigmar then started a campaign to purge the lands of the tribes, primarily from Beastmen and Goblinoid races, which culminated in the First Battle of Black Fire Pass in IC -1. Following this great victory, Sigmar returned in triumph to his native Reikland and was crowned Emperor Sigmar Heldenhammer I at Reikdorf, the site of the current Imperial capital of Altdorf.
Sigmar appointed the leaders of the twelve tribes who had joined him as the Elector Counts of The Empire, a position still in existence today.
After reigning for 50 years, Sigmar put down his crown and embarked on a journey beyond the World's Edge Mountains to the east. There are diverse opinions on what had motivated Sigmar to do so, one of them the rumor that the real Ghal Maraz was stolen and he had set off to return it. This rumor is, of course, heavily denied by Imperial positions as they claim that the weapon wielded by every Emperor following in Sigmar's footsteps is indeed Ghal Maraz.
Upon his disappearance over the World's Edge Mountains, no mortal eye has ever seen Sigmar again. Within a generation, he was being venerated as a god with Sigmarism now being the foremost religion in the Empire. As priests and worshippers of Sigmar receive visible answers to their prayers quite often, it could suggest that Sigmar has been truly deified and is answering his followers. The Cult Of Sigmar promises an afterlife of great glory standing beside Sigmar in his eternal struggle against Chaos upon the death of their followers.
1.1.2. Magnus The Pious
Perhaps the greatest Emperor after Sigmar, Magnus the Pious is said to have saved the Old World from Chaos. He was a noble born over 2,300 years after Sigmar had disappeared. The Empire was, back then, in turmoil, with widespread corruption, civil war, strife, religious persecution and a lack of unity. IN IC 2302, the largest Chaos host ever witnessed had begun its march to wipe out the Old World. While other nations and races were desperately trying to stall the Chaos force's advance, the Empire was unable to provide any support to them. Magnus embarked on a long voyage across the length and breadth of the Empire, making great speeches praising the glory of Sigmar and the duty that his countrymen had to oppose the evil that was surging over the lands to the north.
Over time, he recruited the largest - and probably most diverse - army in Imperial History. Flagellants marched next to state troops of all the Elector Counts, hedge wizards trained by High Elven Mage Teclis himself fought side by side with ordinary citizens who had taken up arms in defence of their homeland.
When they met the Chaos forces in Kislev along with High King Alriksson of the Dwarfs and a force of High Elves from the seas, the Chaos army was crushed and the Old World was saved.
Magnus, who had become known as "Magnus The Pious", was elected Emperor. One of his first acts was to co-found the Colleges Of Magic, ending a period of time in the empire when sorcery was punishable by death. Under Teclis' guidance, the Imperial Battle Wizard joined the ranks of the Empire's army. Also, the Artillery and Gunner's School was granted the Imperial Charter.
1.2. Political structure
Nowadays, the Empire consists of ten large provinces (Nordland, Reikland, Middenland, Talabecland, Ostland, Ostermark, Wissenland and Stirland), each of which is ruled by an Elector count. The provinces and their counts are derived from the twelve tribes Sigmar had united. Thus, there were originally twelve provinces, but the provinces of Drakwald and Solland are respectively under the jurisdiction of the Elector Counts of Middenland and Wissenland today.
Also, some of the Empire's cities have become so important they are classified as city-states: Altdorf (Reikland), Nuln (between the borders of Wissenland, Averland and Stirland), Talabheim (Talabecland) and Middenheim (Middenland).
The Empire is ruled by the Emperor, who is elected by the majority vote of the ten Elector Counts, the Grand Theogonist of the Sigmarite Church, the two "Arch Lectors" who are also clerics of the Sigmar church, the High Priest of Ulric and the Elder of the Moot, who represents the Halflings.
While the Religion of the Empire is polytheistic, Sigmar is the most important god. He is exalted, having been the powerful warlord who united the tribes to form the Empire. The Cult of Sigmar is led by the Grand Theogonist, who could be seen as analogous to the Pope. Sigmarite dogma teaches that the purest Sigmarites will be welcomed into Sigmar's domain in the Aethyr, the truly evil will be taken by Chaos, and those in between will be claimed by Mórr. Their faith advocates courage, justice, honor, and the protection of the weak and innocent from evil. It is also nationalistic and sees the preservation of Sigmar's original holdings as a sacred duty. The church's iconography primarily centers around images directly connected to Sigmar himself: the twin-tailed comet appearing in the night of Sigmar's birth and the hammer are the foremost of these.
Sigmar's worship is strongest in Altdorf, but runs throughout the whole Empire. Some more remote regions have a stronger link to other gods, though. Thus, the Middenheimers worship Ulric before all others, and in Talabecland, the god most worshipped is Taal.
1.4. The Military
The military forces of the Empire can be said to be one of the most diverse of the Old World, featuring both traditional and modern forms of warfare.
1.4.1. The Infantry
The infantry of the Empire is widely varied and consists of units of state troops. These include Spearmen, Swordsmen, Halberdiers, Handgunners and lately even Crossbowmen, which previously had mostly been hired as mercenaries from Tilea. Special infantry units include the Greatswords, the personal bodyguard of the Elector Counts.
1.4.2. The Cavalry
The Empire's cavalry is said to be among the best in the Old World, with the Knightly orders at the forefront, heavily armoured, well equipped knights who prefer to fight with lances. The most important of the Orders of Knights are the Knights Panther, the Knights of the White Wolf, the Knights of the Blazing Sun and the Reiksguard. But the Empire also fields light cavalry in form of the pistolier corps, who are equipped with pistol firearms.
188.8.131.52. The Knights Panther
One of the two largest and most important of the Knightly Orders, the Knights Panther are avowed enemies of Chaos. They have devoted themselves to eradicate all mutants and preserve the racial purity of the Empire. They are fanatical in trying to reach that goal, resulting in their obsession to be the most known of their traits. Their code of honour forbids them to ever spare any mutant or other bearer of the "mark of chaos".
184.108.40.206. The Knights Of The White Wolf
The Knights Of The White Wolf are an elite order of templars based in the city-state of Middenheim. They follow Ulric, the god of winter, wolves and war.
Their organization splits them up into various companies of different colours (Red, Gold, White and Silver). Another company, the Grey Company was exiled and now wanders the empire seeking to regain their honour, calling themselves Ulric's Chosen.
The White Wolves main trait is that they fight not with lances, but with cavalry hammers.
220.127.116.11. The Knights Of The Blazing Sun
The third largest of the Knightly Orders, they are devoted to Myrmidia, the goddess of warfare who is especially popular in the southern parts of the Old World. The allegiance of these knights can easily be identified as they always wear armour of burnished brass, and their shields bear the device of the blazing sun.
18.104.22.168. The Reiksguard
Unlike other Knightly Orders, the Reiksguard is divided into warriors who fight on foot and on horseback. But all of them are equipped with weapons of the highest quality, and their armour is polished until it has a mirror-like surface, topped with crests carrying the colors of the current Emperor Karl Franz.
The Reiksguard consists of the Emperor's best troops and thus form the core of his household guard. Thus, many of the Order's masters have served both as bodyguards on the field as well as in other, more stately functions. It has also become a tradition for the Grand Master of the Reiksguard to fill the position of the Reiksmarshal, second in authority to the Emperor himself in matters of war.
The Reiksguard prefers to fight in large regiments in order to cow the enemy with the full splendor of their armor and their crimson plumes.
The Empire's artillery school at Nuln not only supplies the gunners and engineers with means to operate their artillery such as cannons and mortars, but also develops new forms of weapons like the Helblaster Volley Gun. These are carriages mounting several barrels similar to a repeating handgun but of a larger scale. The new inventions tend to be extremely unreliable, though potently devastating to the enemy.
Last edited by Rowhin; Jan 03, 2008 at 01:06 PM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:53 AM||#2|
Author's note: I've tried to cram as much info as I could into as little text as possible, but the Liber Chaotica I recently read held too much information. I strongly suggest that if you are interested in the lore of Chaos, you should buy that book. I have taken most of my information on Chaos from there.
2.1. Chaos itself
2.1.1. The Aethyr
The term "Chaos" refers most often to the entities living in a parallel universe, known as the "Realm of Chaos" the Aethyr, the Empyrean or The Warp. The Warp has no physical dimensions or scale; it exists as its own reality. It is pure energy without boundaries, and yet it is linked to life and the physical universe in ways that cannot be severed. But the energies of the Aethyr are not cold and senseless as it is influenced by the thoughts and emotions of all living creatures. Although it is not a place in any sense comprehensible by mankind, it is still the home of many beings of power and consciousnesses of near infinite proportions - beings that are known to the intelligent races as gods and daemons.
However, these Gods are neither good nor evil. Chaos as in the Aethyr is simply a mirror for every emotion of every living being in the Mortal Universe. Thus, the entities of Chaos, both gods and daemons exist only because living things generate emotions and thoughts.
In the Liber Chaotica, the Empyrean is described as a void - the fifth element of existence - the intangible element that has no visible form in its own right. It has no dimensions, scale, mass or volume, yet it still touches everyone and everything. It has no substance itself, but all substance and energy are linked to it. Every form of magical or divine power depends upon the manipulation of the Empyrean's raw energy, and only through manipulation of that energy are the spellcasters of the Mortal World able to perform their craft.
Thus, it is not only the source of the eight Winds Of Magic, but also the heaven and at the same time the hell of every religious and cultural tradition in the world.
2.1.2. Effects of Chaos on the body, the mind & the soul
As the Empyrean-gateway of the world's first masters, the Old Slann collapsed, tides of Chaos, pure Magic was drawn, or rather sucked, into the world. Suddenly, the formless energy was exposed to the physical laws of a mortal plane. In result, a great deal of the energy solidified into what we know as warpstone today. It was this dust that is believed to have been the cause for the birth of the first mutants and monsters of Chaos.
Chaos can have myriads of varying effects upon mortal creatures. It will almost always mutate and warp any physical matter it contacts, but there is never any certainty on the form of that warping.
As the body is part of the Mortal Universe, the soul could be said to be part of the Empyrean and be made from the stuff of raw Chaos, held together by the physical body of a mortal.
The Chaos Realm is a focusing point for all emotions felt by the intelligent races. The Liber Chaotica describes it as being a case of like attracting like; every scrap of anger is slowly drawn to one another until they create a vortex of psychical energy, of emotion and thought within the Chaos Realm. If it is strong enough, it is reflected back into the Mortal Realms. There, it affects the mortal psyches. An example: If a being feels great anger, it will over time not only have their own naturally inspired and mundane anger, but also experience an unnatural anger reflected to him by the Chaos Realm's anger vortex. Supposedly, this process is cyclic and never ending. With time, the vortices become so powerful that the accidental promoting of feelings into the Mortal Realms stop and they begin to do so deliberately. That is the moment when a new Chaos entity, what some might call a God, is born.
2.2. The Chaos Gods
With the collapse of the gateways, the most powerful of these Chaos entities, or vortices of feelings and emotions eventually began to manifest themselves in the world. They had no physical shape, but they often took on forms dictated by both conscious and subconscious fears of the mortal beings they encountered.
There are chaos entities beyond any number mankind could count, but the most powerful, most feared, and most important of the Chaos gods are known as the Four Ruinous Powers, grown from the basic survivalist emotions: Khorne, the God of Hate, Rage, Blood, War and Killing. Tzeentch, the God of Change, Ambition, Manipulation, Scheming and Sorcery. Nurgle, the God of Decay, Despair, Destruction, and Disease. And lastly, the youngest of them, Slaanesh the God of Decadence, Excess, Pain, Pleasure and Self-Indulgence.
Khorne was born from the pure, survivalist emotion of rage. He is the god of hate, war, violence and killing, and is known as the Blood God and Lord of Skulls. He is a spartan god, his plans are always outright and he prefers close combat to ranged weaponry. He also bears a deep distrust towards wizards and sorcerers as he regards them as cowards. The only thing Khorne respects is strength.
In Liber Chaotica, Khorne's birth depicts him as an extremely well muscled, beast-headed monster atop a mountain of skulls in the middle of a sea of blood. The skulls come both from his enemies and his followers, as Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows.
22.214.171.124 Khorne's followers - Mortals
Khorne's mortal followers are nearly uncontrollable warriors of great martial skill. They often adopt not only his martial pride, honour and love for battle, but also his darker part of mindless rage and slaughter. They share their god's straightforward philosophy on combat, preferring tactics that involve charging directly at their foes in order to engage and defeat them in hand-to-hand combat.
His champions are usually clad in red and brass armor. Their favourite weapon seems to be large axes, although other weapons like swords and spears appear occasionally. Almost all of them display Khorne's rune prominently on their armour.
Note: Khorne's followers never build temples in his honour, as his sacred ground is the battlefield they walk each day, on which they praise him with battle cries along the lines of "Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!"
126.96.36.199. Khorne's followers - Daemons
Bloodletters: Ugly, crook-backed, horned humanoid demons with cloven hooves who wear armour of demonic brass and wield battleaxes or swords known as Hellblades. These blood-drinking weapons are forged at the foot of the Throne Of Skulls. When in battle, they can enter a terrible blood frenzy. Mounted Bloodletters are known as Bloodcrushers, one of the most terrible foes to face on the battlefield.
Flesh Hounds: Monstrous, ferocious, canine creatures representing Khorne's hate for everything magical. Once they are set on a prey, they never stop hunting until it is killed or they are slain. They also bear enchanted collars that make them highly resistant to magic or psychic influences.
Juggernauts are massive four-legged creatures made of living metal whose blood is liquid fire created for Khorne by the Chaos Dwarfs. They are generally given as steeds to favoured champions of Khorne.
Bloodthirsters: The Greater Demons of Khorne. Enormous in size, with cloven hooves, leathery bat-like wings and horned heads, they are a terrible sight to behold on the battlefield. They are able to wield both a whip and a two-headed battle-axe in battle simultaneously. They are the greatest manifestation of the Blood God, and his most terrible weapon to be unleashed in battle.
The single survivalist emotion Tzeentch was born from is hope. He is the god of change, manipulation, sorcery, Machiavellian scheming and power craving. Thus, he is also known as the Herald of Hope, The Grand Schemer, The Waver of Destiny, The Architect of Fate and the Changer of Ways. As the embodiment of change, he is rarely seen adopting one form, thus he is most often depicted as a cloud constantly changing colours.
When the armies of Chaos march together for war, it is usually Tzeentch who instigates these brief alliances, for whatever unfathomable goal he happens to have planned. Everything follows his Grand Scheme; sometimes actions carried out today will have consequences that only become apparent thousands of years later. But Tzeentch is a patient god, and he manipulates everyone and everything to see his Grand Scheme to its end - whatever that may be.
188.8.131.52. Tzeentch's followers - Mortals
Most mortal followers of Tzeentch were attracted to him by the wish to increase their knowledge and power or where taken in by one of his intricate plots and schemes. Although many of Tzeentch's followers are manipulators of magic, that does not hold true for all. Everyone using the arts of subtle manipulations like freedom fighters, politicians or crime lords all walk the path of Tzeentch - knowingly or not. One does not have to openly speak devotion to be swept into Tzeentch's fold - in fact, many that want nothing to do with Tzeentch are all part of his great plan in some form.
Tzeentch also has many kinds of cults within the mortal nations - the most powerful ones in the Empire are The Cult of the Red Crown, The Cult of the Purple Hand and perhaps the most dangerous of all, the Cabal.
184.108.40.206. Tzeentch's followers - Daemons
Horrors: An ever-shifting mass of flesh, limbs, and flame-spewing maws. They have some magical powers, although their capacities vary greatly.
Flamers. Slightly more powerful than Horrors, their gaping maws produce searing flames. Their magical capacities lie somewhat above those of horrors. They do, however, not vary as much in appearance, often resembling blue or red upturned mushrooms.
Screamers: Flying creatures akin to rays. They prefer to swoop down on their enemies and cut them apart with sharp barbs, but they are also capable of emitting ear-piercing screams if necessary.
Discs of Tzeentch: Disc like creatures melded together from magic, metal, and daemon (supposedly Screamers), they are used most often as a means of transport for Tzeentch's loyal champions. They have some capabilities of lashing out on nearby foes by short ranged lightning blasts or magically manifesting tentacles.
Firewyrms of Tzeentch: Tzeentch's spawns of chaos, they never keep one form. Constantly ripping and shifting with the power of change, they are some of the most bizarre creatures of them all. Their skin changes color, blisters, or rots away and heals again within a heart beat, fire might lick from an orifice that wasn't there a second ago and they lash out with tentacles spontaneously appearing anywhere on their body.
Lords of Change: They are Tzeentch's Greater Demons, and thus his most powerful forces on the battlefield. Most often a bird-like winged daemon of massive intellect and even greater magical power, they are described as being large winged bipedal creatures with snake-like necks and avian heads. Their body parts will often be of varying colour, especially their wings.
Nurgle was born from the basic emotion of despair. Nurgle is the Chaos god of disease, decay, despair and destruction. His titles include The Lord of Decay as well as Grandfather Nurgle or Papa Nurgle, since he seems to care for his followers in a jovial manner similar to that of a grandfather. Nurgle revolves around the concept of death not as a final release, but the path to death - the rotting and decaying of flesh. Nurgle's followers die a slow, disgusting death, never quite fully released but always inevitably on the path to their grave, taking one step in what seems a decade. Nurgle embodies despair in the sense of every intelligent being knowing it has to die one day and there will be nothing to prevent it. The despair of the prospect of death is the greatest despair, and it is the one that Nurgle embraces the most.
Whenever Nurgle is depicted, he is shown as a huge, bloated humanoid with boils and sores, his body completely rotten from disease and accompanied by an enveloping cloud of buzzing flies.
220.127.116.11. Nurgle's followers - Mortals
As servants to the lord of despair and decay, Nurgle's followers are mostly interested in spreading disease. His followers are "granted" horrific plagues and diseases, which they then take on to further spread them throughout the world. Generally, these diseases often cause their bodies to rot and become somewhat immune to pain and injury, thus making it difficult to incapacitate them. Instead, the disease called "Nurgle's Rot", given to Nurgle's most loyal followers might spread during a fight and incapacitate his enemies.
18.104.22.168. Nurgle's followers - Daemons
Nurglings: Tiny, mischievous daemons, these creatures resemble a miniaturized version of Nurgle himself. They usually appear in monstrous swarms accompanying the armies of Nurgle. Exalted Champions of Nurgle might even have Nurglings living in gaping wounds and orifices of their body, which will help defend their host if he is attacked.
Plaguebearers: They are of vaguely humanoid size and appearance, but terribly rotting and wasted. Flies usually buzz around them, making it hard to see and hit them in battle, while the many diseases they carry quickly afflict their enemies to a terrible effect. They are said to be humans transfigured into daemons as the last stage of the disease "Nurgle's Rot", cursed to carry this plague throughout eternity.
Great Unclean Ones: Nurgle's Greater Demons, these are massive, bloated disease carriers, whose decaying flesh bulges with corpulent cancers, wielding a titanic, rusted blade. In reference to Nurgle's joyful, paternal nature, they often act as leaders and father figures for the other daemons. Also, their bloated bodies make them extremely hard to kill.
The youngest of the four major gods, Slaanesh grew from the single basic & pure emotion of pleasure. He is the Chaos god of excess, hedonism, pride, aestheticism, self-indulgence and sensualism. Slaanesh will take on whatever form is most likely to be arousing to the mortal he blesses with his presence, be they female or male, even hermaphroditic or androgynous. But whatever form he takes, he is always unnaturally beautiful, and irresistible to mortals when viewed by them.
22.214.171.124. Slaanesh's followers - Mortals
Slaanesh's followers seek pleasure in every experience, whether or not it may be viewed as acceptable by the society surrounding them. They quickly become bored with mundane things, sound, and colours, and thus they often wear garish, brightly colored armour, or extravagantly decorated clothing. Curiously, they are also characterized by having a complete lack of fear, as they see losing a battle as a new experience to be enjoyed. It is a common misconception that the pleasure a Slaaneshi seeks is purely sexual. Slaanesh takes pleasure from every act that gratifies the senses - be they arts like music or painting, food, drink, or anything else.
126.96.36.199. Slaanesh's followers - Daemons
Daemonettes: Hermaphroditic feminine-looking creatures, who, if it were not for their crablike claws, would resemble women of the most seductive beauty. They have milky white skin, but bald heads, they have female breasts, but sometimes several sets of them, narrow eyes, pointed teeth and occasionally even horns. Their legs often end in bird-like taloned claws and they sometimes have long scything limbs in place of one or both arms. They are also very quick.
Steeds of Slaanesh: Fast creatures with elongated tubular snouts (vaguely resembling that of a seahorse) containing prehensile, poisonous tongues and occasionally fangs. Upon the upper half of their body, a fleshy crest can be found alongside three or four pairs of breasts. They serve as mounts to the Champions of Slaanesh.
Fiends of Slaanesh: Grotesque insect/reptilian looking creatures, they could be an unholy combination of human, scorpion and reptile. They have six breasts in a row and barbed, poisoned tails. They are also able to exude a musky scent capable of dazing and disorienting foes.
Keeper of Secrets: These hermaphroditic creatures are the Greater Daemons of Slaanesh. Huge and powerful creatures, their very presence is capable of causing both anguish and ecstasy in even the bravest warrior. They have four arms, two that end with human-like hands and two that end with large crab-like craws. A Keeper of Secrets is a very powerful foe in close combat.
2.2.5. Relationship between the Chaos Gods & A Note on Chaos Undivided
While everyone of these gods distrust each other, and in-fighting occurs regularly, each is also diametrically opposed by one of the other gods. Slaanesh, who acts inwardly, seeking the pleasure of all experiences, opposes Khorne, as an outward acting deity, seeking the death of others. Nurgle represents forces of decay, destruction, stagnation and random disease while Tzeentch represents constant building, evolving and planned change. This has some effects on the Chaos armies, as a servant of one god will never follow a general who worships the servant's own god's rival.
However, there are those who worship Chaos in other ways. Some of its followers worship the gods as a pantheon rather than following one particular god. They might also worship Chaos as a single, great entity, with the various Chaos Gods simply manifestations of that entity's aspects. These are grouped together as Chaos Undivided. The followers of Chaos Undivided most often wear the eight-pointed star as a mark.
Generals who bear this mark have more freedom regarding the difficult relations between the Chaos Gods. While warriors worshipping Nurgle would not fight for a general serving Tzeentch, an Undivided general might be able to convince both to fight under his banner, without fearing reprisal from either side.
2.3. The Chaos Warrior's Motivation
Each Chaos Warrior fights, schemes, and acts with solely one goal in mind: the ascension to daemonhood, becoming a Daemon Prince. On his way, he will be gifted with traits associated with his god; warriors blessed in such a manner are said to bear the "mark" of their god. While these might be seen as horrific mutations in some parts of the Old World, the Chaos Warriors wear them proudly as a favour of their gods. Marks like these vary greatly, but they include extra limbs, brute strength, and a myriad of other beneficial & seemingly unfavourable traits. For example, the rotting effect of a disease granted by Nurgle might seem horrific, but it makes them appear frightening to their foes. Another example would be Khorne, whose followers are nearly uncontrollable, insane warriors who crave nothing more than to tear apart their foes in hand-to-hand combat.
But the Chaos Gods are fickle, and they might lose interest in one of their champions every moment, requiring him to always prove himself again on his way to Daemonhood. Many have failed and become Chaos Spawns, reduced to their lowest instincts. Few succeed, but if they do, they become immensely powerful entities and are granted powers beyond their wildest dreams.
Last edited by Rowhin; Dec 18, 2007 at 07:09 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:54 AM||#3|
3. The High Elves
3.1. Note on the political system of the Asur
Ulthuan, the ancient island home of the High Elves, is split into smaller kingdoms (for a map of Ulthuan, see here http://forboards.tripod.com/Ulthuan.html). Each of these is ruled by a Prince, who together form a council which decides who shall be crowned Phoenix King and co-rule all of the Asur.
3.2. History (in order of the Phoenix Kings)
3.2.1. Aenarion the Defender
In the beginning, the Asur were a very peaceful race. What few weapons they had were solely for the purposes of hunting and rituals, as they lived a joyous existence in the forests of Avelorn on Ulthuan. But then came the Coming of Chaos, and the Asur were hunted down throughout Ulthuan by hordes of daemons, newborn children bore signs of mutation and maddening visions plagued the Asur's prophets. In these desperate times, when the Asur hid in the caves or were hunted down on open fields, it fell to a single adventurer by the name of Aenarion to save his race. Having travelled to the Shrine of Asuryan, he beseeched the Asur's greatest deity for help. When none of his prayers were answered, he desperately threw himself into the Sacred Flame, offering himself as a sacrifice. While at first, his hair and flesh burned and his heart eventually stopped beating, he did not die. Instead, he was reborn as the avatar of Asuryan as he stepped from the flames and his skin and hair regrew, glowing as if lit from within.
After single-handedly slaying the general of the Chaos forces and his army that had followed him to the temple, Aenarion ventured south to Caledor, where he met the greatest of the old High Mages, Caledor Dragontamer, who immediately knew him for what he was and kneeled before him. They formed an army of all Asur, equipping them from the fortress-shrine of Vaul's Anvil and Aenarion trained them in the ways of war. Once he deemed them ready, they went north and slaughtered the Chaos host. Following the retreat of the forces of Chaos, an uneasy peace settled on Ulthuan. Aenarion married the Everqueen Astarielle, becoming the Phoenix King and she bore him two children, Morelion and Yvraine.
Meanwhile, the Dwarven god Grimnir revealed to Caledor that the collapsed Slann gates were what gave Chaos a free hold on the world. Caledor developed a plan to trap the corrupting energies and check the tide of daemons, but Aenarion rejected it, as he wasn't prepared to gamble with the future of his entire race. Not long after, a savage Chaos attack engulfed Avelorn. Astarielle was murdered and her children Morelion and Yvraine went missing to the Elves - though they had been saved and taken into hiding by an ancient treeman.
In maddening grief, Aenarion made a decision that would have an impact on the elven race he could not possibly foresee: he went to the Blighted Isle to draw the Sword of Khaine, although Caledor warned him by speaking a prophecy. Caledor claimed that if Aenarion saw his plan through, the gods would turn away from him and curse his entire line, and nothing but tragedy would come as a result of his actions. It is said that both the elements and an appearance of Astarielle's ghosts tried to dissuade Aenarion, but he drew the Sword regardless and began a campaign of vengeance that changed him and his followers into ever more brutal and cruel beings. Eventually, he married another woman after rescuing her from a den of Slaaneshi worshippers and held court with her in Nagarythe, the northernmost of the Elven lands. This woman's beauty is said to have been rivalled only by her cruelty: together with her, Aenarion made a sport of torturing captives. Her name was Morathi, and she soon bore him a son named Malekith.
Noticing the changes in his former friend, Caledor decided that he would have to see his plan through without his King's help. But when he and his companions began creating a magical vortex to banish the chaotic energies from their world on the Isle of the Dead, they were heavily attacked by Chaos forces trying to prevent it. Eventually, Aenarion had no other choice but to come to his friend's aid. In a savage battle, he slew no less than four Greater Demons by himself, but the lives of his dragon Indraugnir and countless of his soldiers were lost, buying Caledor the time he so desperately needed. Caledor’s vortex opened with a bright flash. Daemons ebbed away into nothing, and the forces of Chaos were confined to the Northern Wastes.
Mortally wounded, Aenarion returned to the Blighted Isle, where it is assumed he died. Aenarion's last act was to drive the Sword of Khaine back into the altar from whence it came so deeply no Elf would ever draw it again.
3.2.2. Bel-Shanaar the Explorer
A new Phoenix King was chosen, Bel-Shanaar, who would later become known as "The Explorer". The Elven kingdom flourished and they began to explore and colonize the world. Malekith grew to become both a great warrior and explorer, and was eventually sent to the Dwarfs as an Elven ambassador.
During Bel-Shanaar's reign, the Cult of Pleasure arose. First seen as just a way of better exploring the pleasures of life, it soon became obvious that it was in reality a cult dedicated to the Chaos god Slaanesh. Malekith swore to eradicate the Cult, and his actions against it brought him great gratitude from the Asur. But in the end, Malekith claimed Bel-Shanaar was a member of the Cult himself, assassinating the Phoenix King with an undetectable poison and claiming he had committed suicide rather than face the shame of an interrogation. While his followers massacred the unarmed Elven Princes, Malekith set off to enter the Flame of Asuryan, confident he would be able to master it like his father did. But Asuryan would not choose a being so wickedly corrupted. The flames burned Malekith horribly, scarring his flesh until he was barely able to cast himself out of it. He was crippled, and his followers feared the wrath of Asuryan. But his mother, Morathi, nursed him back to strength and had him encased within a magical suit of armour that would hide his scars and lend him strength. By then, the truth had dawned on the High Elves: Morathi was the High Priestess of the Cult of Pleasure, and had plotted with her son to gain control of the Phoenix Throne.
3.2.3. Caledor the Conqueror
Civil war erupted between Malekith's supporters and the rest of the Asur. Eventually, the Prince of Caledor, Imrik, was chosen to oppose Malekith as Phoenix King. He gathered an army of pure elves and eventually defeated Malekith personally. Defeated, Malekith attempted to collapse the vortex created by Caledor Dragontamer to contain the forces of Chaos. He failed, however, and the magical backlash caused large portions of Ulthuan to sink beneath the sea. This event is referred to by the Asur as "The Sundering". Malekith, Morathi and their followers used their magics to transform the great northern cities into the huge floating 'Black Arks' - mobile fortresses they would use to transport their forces and supporters away from Ulthuan. They travelled to the western continent, a wasteland they would name Naggaroth.
The end of Caledor the Conqueror did not befit such a great king. When the Asur had retaken complete control of what was left of Ulthuan, a freak storm caught Caledor's ship and threw it onto the shores of Naggaroth. He chose to jump into the icy waters, seeing drowning as the better alternative to being captured by Malekith.
The race of the Asur was now shattered into two factions: the High Elves, in Ulthuan who kept the name Asur, and the Dark Elves, also known as Druchii, in Naggaroth.
3.2.4. Caledor II
Caledor was succeeded by his son who took the title Caledor II at his coronation. Unlike his father, Caledor II was proud and foolish, and when the Dark Elves, as the exiles of Malekith were now known, sought to seed distrust and war between the Elves and the Dwarfs, it was due to him that they succeeded. What followed was the War of the Beard.
The war was started by Dark Elves who pretended to be High Elves and started to attack Dwarven colonies and trading parties. It is called War of the Beard because after these first attacks, the High King Gotrek Starbreaker of the Dwarfs sent an ambassador to Ulthuan, demanding doubled recompenses for the losses the Dwarfs had incurred. Note that as of this time, the Dwarfs did not know of the Sundering and were not aware that the elven race was not still united. Phoenix King Caledor II took the emissary as an insult to his person and had him sent back with his beard cut off. To lose one's beard is the ultimate insult to a dwarf and thus the war was known as War of the Beard to the elves while the dwarfs, not to take such things lightly, call it the War of Vengeance. It culminated in the siege of the elf city of Tor Alessi, with High King Starbreaker killing the elvish Phoenix King Caledor and taking the Phoenix Crown as recompense, shattering the elven empire in the Old World.
3.2.5. Caradryel the Peacemaker
Malekith's plan had succeeded and the High Elven forces were severely weakened, so he launched an invasion of Ulthuan. The Asur chose the pragmatic Prince Caradryel for their next Phoenix King who recalled all Elven forces from the Old World. The High Elves forfeited all their colonies and returned to Ulthuan to defend their ancient homeland - all except for those who migrated to the forest of Athel Loren and became the Asrai, or Wood Elves, as they would not leave their newfound homeland.
Caradryel the Peacemaker was the first Phoenix King to die peacefully in bed.
3.2.6. Tethlis the Slayer
With the Dark Elves still occupying parts of Ulthuan after their invasion, the High Elves chose a warrior noble for their next Phoenix King. He rebuilt the armies of the High Elves to a strength no one had seen since the time of Aenarion and launched the Scouring, a decade-long campaign to drive the Dark Elves out of Ulthuan. When he laid siege to Anlec and it fell, he gave the order for all Druchii prisoners - no matter their age, occupation, or sex - to be slain; an action that only served to enrage the Druchii even further.
In his 303rd year of rule, he launched an armada against the Blighted Isle and won a great victory against the Dark Elves. Shortly afterwards, he died under mysterious consequences on the Blighted Isle, near the Sword of Khaine. It is unknown whether he tried to draw the sword and was slain by his bodyguard or whether an assassin hid nearby and killed him when he made the attempt.
3.2.7. Bel-Korhandis the Scholar King
Having had enough of war and conflict, the Asur now chose a peaceful ruler. Bel-Korhandis had the Tower of Hoeth built and was buried in its foundations having died peacefully shortly after its completion.
3.2.8. Aethis the Poet
Next came Aethis, under whose rule art and music bloomed throughout Ulthuan. However, the Asur also noticed a shrinking number of births and the diminishing of their race for the first time. The Cult of Pleasure also spread further throughout Ulthuan once again, but shortly after Swordmasters of the White Tower were sent to investigate, one of Aethis' chancellors was unmasked as a Druchii spy, driving a poisoned dagger into Aethis' chest upon being exposed.
3.2.9. Morvael the Impetuous
The next Phoenix King, Morvael first seemed to be no wise choice for a king, as he was not well versed in either state or warfare. He ordered an attack on Naggaroth, but the Druchii easily massacred the Asur forces sent there. Word of Morvael's failure spread panic through Ulthuan and Malekith used this opportunity to once again launch an invasion on Ulthuan. But Morvael had learned of his mistakes and he appointed Mentheus of Caledor as field commander and introduced the levy system that required every Asur to spend a part of the year as a soldier. Mentheus eventually won the war, but at a very high cost of High Elven lives. Morvael felt responsible for the great numbers of Asur slain, and he committed suicide by walking into the Flame of Asuryan when Mentheus died in retaking Anlec.
3.2.10. Bel-Hathor the Sage
Once again leaderless in times of war, the Asur eventually chose Bel-Hathor, a wizard prince of Saphery as their next Phoenix King. Most of the court believed they could easily manipulate him to their own ends, but he proved them wrong by becoming a great leader famed for his resolve as for his wisdom.
Eventually, the Asur began to hear news of the human Empire being built in the Old World. Wary at first, Bel-Hathor decreed no human would be allowed to set foot on Ulthuan, but he sent Finubar of Lothern to investigate how the Old World had changed during the Asur's absence. Finubar found not only the human Empire, but also rediscovered the Asrai of Athel Loren. Eventually starting relations with the Empire, Bretonnia, and even the Dwarfs, he returned to Ulthuan with what information he had acquired. On his advice, Bel-Hathor revoked his decree and trade between the races flourished. Having ruled 548 years, Bel-Hathor the Sage is one of the few Phoenix Kings to have died peacefully.
3.2.11. Finubar the Seafarer
Finubar was chosen as Bel-Hathor's successor and remains the current Phoenix King to this day. Under his rule, Ulthuan survived not only the last Great War against Chaos, but he also caused trade to flourish further. He is currently defending Ulthuan against the latest invasion of Malekith in the Age of Reckoning.
3.3. The High Elf military
The majority of the Asur's army is not made up of professional soldiers, but of militia serving their turn in the levy introduced by Morvael the Impetuous. Each soldier is required to provide his own gear for the war.
188.8.131.52. Spearmen & Archers
Due to their lack of battle experience, they begin their training as Archers, fighting from a distance to experience the carnage of war from a safe place. Once they grow familiar with the horrors of a battlefield, they are eventually promoted into the ranks of spearmen. The spearmen part of the militia is regarded as its senior arm and expected to bravely fight in the front lines of the army. With decades of battle experience, these spearmen efficiently fight as one body and one mind.
184.108.40.206. The Lothern Sea Guard
The province of Eataine is an exemption to the levy for the militia. Its citizens are not called to fight in the militia, but are instead recruited for the Lothern Sea Guard. Unlike their militia brethren, the soldiers of the Lothern Sea Guard remain at arms throughout the year. The Sea Guard patrols the shores around Lothern and mans the bolt throwers called "Eagle's Claws" which overlook the harbour. Members of the Sea Guard are trained and equipped with both the bow and the spear, enabling their commanders to fight with twice the strength than an enemy might expect at first glance.
3.3.2. Asur Cavalry
220.127.116.11. The Silver Helm Knights
Sons of High Elven nobles, these lightly armoured knights fight with lances on barded elven steeds. Being the core of the Asur's cavalry force, their strength lies in their numbers and in the speed with which they strike.
18.104.22.168. Ellyrian Reavers
Light cavalry riding on un-barded steeds, these riders use bows, usually in combination with spears. They are not only especially skilled riders, but can also shoot their bow in every direction while riding, including behind, making them an excellent force for hit-and-run tactics.
22.214.171.124. Dragon Princes of Caledor
Although their names might have lost some meaning as the dragons are presently sleeping beneath the world and they now ride to battle mounted on barded horses, the Dragon Princes have lost none of their deadly skill. Although often arrogant and proud, they belong to the most powerful units the Asur army can bring to the field. This elite heavy cavalry wears suits of Dragon Armour that is as resilient to heat as the scales of the animal they are named for.
3.3.3. The Asur's elite forces
126.96.36.199. Swordmasters of Hoeth
The Swordmasters of Hoeth have discovered the martial arts as their one and only path. Although they were named for their finely crafted ceremonial greatswords, they are very capable of fighting with any weapon they can reach, including their own hands. Their cult is based in the White Tower of Hoeth in Saphery, where they hone their martial arts to unbelievable levels. Their training includes feats no ordinary soldier could be capable of, including blindfolded fighting with only the whispers of their enemies to guide them or cutting a candle in half without disturbing the flame.
They serve as guardians of the mages and scholars who study in the White Tower as well as messengers for the Tower's masters. Thus, they often travel throughout Ulthuan.
In battle, their skills are legendary and most often deadly for any opponent that cannot match it - which is a feat few can accomplish.
188.8.131.52. Shadow Warriors
The Shadow Warriors bear a deep hatred for their kin, the Druchii. They are never at rest, constantly patrolling the most barren shores and bleakest hills of Ulthuan for any signs of a Druchii invasion. They are the survivors of Nagarythe, and their being unable to ever settle down and try to live a peaceful life has changed them into a completely different kind of Asur. They are rootless, brooding, proud and warlike, features that have gained them little trust with the rest of the Asur. But their devotion to the Phoenix King cannot be questioned, and almost any Asur has heard tales of their dangerous exploits against the Druchii. Wilder and more vicious than their fellow Asur, they usually wear long cloaks with hoods over leather armor and use bows and swords as their main weapons.
184.108.40.206 The Phoenix Guard
The silent guards of the Shrine of Asuryan, these great warriors' main duty is to watch over the Flame of Asuryan which tests a candidate chosen to be the next Phoenix King. They cannot speak a word because of the Chamber of Days they are required to enter upon joining the Phoenix Guard. This chamber tells of all the Phoenix Kings past, the one present, and those of the future, detailing the exploits and successes of each of them including who will succeed them. Knowing what will come, these grim warriors are bound by a magical oath of silence.
Upon the death of a Phoenix King, the Guard is always there, appearing suddenly and without warning to take his body away to the White Ship. When a new candidate is selected, they escort him safely to the Shrine to undertake the ritual in the Flame.
In battle, the Phoenix Guard is clad in cloaks embroidered with flames that echo the Flame they watch over. They use their ceremonial halberds for combat. Even in combat, they always keep their silence, accompanied only by the beat of a drum. This can be unnerving for their enemies, as even the gravest of wounds will not cause one of them to cry out.
220.127.116.11. White Lions of Chrace
Since the time of Caledor the first, the closest bodyguards of the Phoenix King were recruited from the wildest forests of Chrace. They are chosen by ancient rites, requiring them to prove their skill and bravery by tracking down a White Lion, one of the fiercest beasts to roam the barren mountains and dark forests. When they encounter one, they have to kill it in hand-to-hand combat and take their pelt for proof. Once they return, they fashion the pelt into a cloak as a sign for their valour and are given the opportunity join the Phoenix King's bodyguard.
Their favourite weapon is the traditional woodsman's axe of Chrace, a finely crafted weapon said to be sharp enough to anything in half with a single strike, be it man or tree.
3.3.4. War machines of the High Elves
18.104.22.168. Tiranoc Chariots
In ancient times, the coastal plains of Tiranoc were full of herds of noble steeds and racing charioteers. Only a few remain nowadays, after the seas of Ulthuan claimed Tiranoc during the Sundering. But those who were fighting the Druchii in other places at that time were able to preserve both their traditions and their skills, though they have become a bitter breed upon return to their drowned land. They will do anything to get a chance to fight the Druchii, often travelling many days and nights to join a force heading for war. Nowadays, High Elven armies often field chariots drawn by War Lions as a replacement.
22.214.171.124. Bolt throwers
Never trusting the unreliable gunpowder technology favoured by the Men and Dwarfs of the Old World, and never needing to do so, the Asur have always relied on the tried and tested war machines which have served their race well since ancient times. These are the Eagle’s Claw Bolt Throwers.
Eagle’s Claw, or Repeater Bolt Thrower as it is often known, is operated by a torsion and counter-weight system, the result of which is a long, spear-like bolt hurled at the enemy with incredible force and accuracy. Made from composite layers of star wood, which are magically bound together, the Eagle’s Claw has a strength and accuracy unmatched by the barbarous weapons of other races. Such is the precision that the bolts are thrown with, that an individual warrior can be accurately impaled several hundred yards away. The force of this individual bolt is such that even the mightiest creatures can be severely wounded, if not killed and several men standing in file can easily be skewered by the same shot. The sides of High Elf warships and the battlements of High Elf fortresses bristle with Eagle’s Claws, manned by constantly vigilant Lothern Sea Guard.
3.3.5. Magic of the Asur
The Asur are among the most powerful spellcasters in the world. While other races have to rely on the corrupted and broken forms of magic, High Elf Mages are said to harness its power as pure, mystical energy. The legendary High Elf Mage Teclis taught human spellcasters to cast some basic spells, but these are a pale reflection of the power an Asur Mage who has been fully trained at the White Tower can wield.
Before being taught the path of a True Mage, a novice is first shown simple prayers and enchantments that invoke the blessings of divine Isha. These carry almost no danger to the caster and require almost no talent. But neither are they of any real use on the battlefield. They are only intended to ease the Elves' daily chores and help the apprentice in his tasks. However, they help a new mage on his way to assess their potential. There even is a rumour that the Elven farmers and labourers who live near the majestic White Tower Of Hoeth never plough their own fields as every year there is another crop of novices eager to test and demonstrate their skills.
As the Elves have spent centuries studying and training with Magic, they are not only among the most knowledgeable, but also among the most powerful spellcasters in the world. Few other races can boast to have among them a spellcaster with such power as wielded by one such as Teclis.
Last edited by Rowhin; Dec 18, 2007 at 07:11 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:55 AM||#4|
4. The Dark Elves
Author's note: Until the Sundering, the Dark Elves history is the same as the High Elves'. So I will start the Dark Elf history with a closer look at that event, as it was the one that caused them to split apart from their brethren. For information on pre-Sundering history, please refer to the history section of the High Elves.
4.1.1. The Sundering
Under the reign of Bel-Shanaar the Explorer, the Cult of Pleasure had originated and gained influence among the nobility of the Elves. Malekith, the son of the former Phoenix King Aenarion and his wife Morathi had become an outstanding warrior and great general like his father. He held a strong belief that in order to defeat the forces of Chaos once and for all, the Asur had to become a warlike people, unlike the nobles who he regarded as soft and complacent. When an investigation into the Cult of Pleasure was ordered, he took charge of it. For a while, he had great success in uprooting the cult, securing him the gratification of the people.
But then he claimed Bel-Shanaar was part of the cult himself and killed him with an undetectable poison, claiming that the Phoenix King had killed himself to avoid an interrogation. The council loyalists accused Malekith of murder. Then, an army of Malekith's supporters swept in from Nagarythe, slaughtering the Princes in order to save Ulthuan as they believed. Malekith then proclaimed himself Phoenix King, but as he entered the sacred Flame of Asuryan according to the coronation ritual, he was horribly burnt and maimed, supposedly because Asuryan would not accept such a wicked being as his avatar in the mortal world. He was barely able to cast himself out of the fire, his injuries leaving him on the brink of death.
The loyalists of Malekith claimed the Flame itself had been corrupted, and fled along with their master and his mother, who eventually nursed him back to health. Meanwhile, it was unveiled that she was the High Priestess of the Cult of Pleasure. She had Hotek, a renegade priest of Vaul (the Elven god of Smithing and Metallurgy) forge a suit of magical armor that would fuse to his skin, granting life, strength, and supernatural power to his crippled body. Once he had regained his strength, Malekith was gripped by a bitter hatred for those who had opposed him. He gathered every part of the army loyal to him - which included most of the standing forces of the Asur and a great deal of forces from his home province of Nagarythe.
His opponents eventually defeated him, but not before a great many lives had been lost in battle. In a last desperate attempt at vengeance, Malekith attempted to collapse the vortex created by Caledor Dragontamer to contain the forces of Chaos. However, the attempt failed, and the magical backlash resulting from it caused large parts of Ulthuan to shatter and sink beneath the waves of the sea. The Asur call this event "The Sundering".
One of the provinces to fall victim to the sea was Nagarythe. However, Malekith, Morathi, and their followers were able to magically pull several of the great fortress-cities of Nagarythe from the bedrock and keep them afloat by sorcery. They sailed these fortress-ships, which would eventually become known as Black Arks, westward, until they eventually reached the New World. They named their new home Naggaroth, in honor of their fallen home.
The Druchii, as they now called themselves, exterminated the native tribes of their new homelands and beached some of their Black Arks to build them into cities. Only the Hung, a fierce tribe of nomads, proved to be resistant to the Druchii efforts in the early years of the migration. During that time in Naggaroth, which is aptly named as "the Land of Chill" as it is a very unwelcome piece of land, the Druchii suffered shortages of supplies, and the winters were of a bitter cold they never had had to endure in Ulthuan. But eventually, they grew accustomed to their new homeland and even developed new ways of warfare, including taming beasts native to their new homeland. They eventually drove back even the Hung and continued to build six cities in the harsh tundra of Naggaroth:
Naggarond, the Tower of Cold and Dark Elf capital; Ghrond, the North Tower where the sorceresses study the Realm of Chaos; Karond Kar, the Tower of Despair and largest slave port of the Dark Elves; Hag Graef, the Dark Crag which is never touched by the sun's rays; Har Ganeth the City of Executioners and religious capital of Cult of Khaine and Clar Karond, the Tower of Doom and largest Dark Elf shipyard. They also made sure to build several fortified watch towers along their coast, so that no Chaos host could ever land on the domain of the Witch King, as Malekith now was known.
The cities of the Druchii are known for their innumerable black towers that rise like pinnacles from the cold, hard rock of Naggaroth. Due to the lands of Naggaroth being harsh und almost uninhabitable, the cities are among the densest population centres in the world.
From Naggaroth, Malekith plans his invasions against Ulthuan to reclaim what he thinks is his right: the Phoenix Throne.
4.2. The Dark Elf Society
4.2.1. Political system
The political system in Naggaroth is supposedly strictly hierarchical. At the top of the system is their Witch King, Malekith, and at his right hand his mother and consort Queen Morathi. But Malekith has been known to constantly seed distrust among his highest nobles so they are always in competition with each other, each one preventing the other from getting enough power to threaten Malekith himself.
4.2.2. Dark Elf economy
The Dark Elf economy is reliant of one major source of income: plunder. Taking to sea in their Black Arks, which can contain whole armies, they travel far and wide to plunder. With the Arks, they are able to land on the coast of an unsuspecting kingdom, perform a lightning raid and be gone again before any of the local or national defence forces can react. They raid all other lands, but preferably Ulthuan, home of their ancient enemies. While they take everything they can get, slaves play an important part in Druchii society and thus are the favourite "object" of plunder. Slaves perform the menial chores that a well-doing Druchii deigns to be below him. They also make up the greatest part of the ritual sacrifices for the Druchii god Khaine. It is suspected that millions of souls have already suffered this fate.
The religion of the Druchii revolves mainly around the god Khaine, the god of Blood and Murder. He is also known to the Druchii as Khaela Mensha Khaine (Khaine the bloody-handed), or as the Thousand Faced Lord of Murder. Unlike the High Elves, who only invoke this wrathful god in times of war, the Druchii are wholly devoted to him, each city having its own temples and shrines to use for blood sacrifices. The Druchii are required to donate a certain percentage of the slaves they capture to the temples of Khaine each year, but most make additional sacrifices.
Undoubtedly the most devoted followers of Khaine are the Brides of Khaine, commonly known as Witch Elves or Maibd (in the Druchii tongue). A fanatic, all-female cult of warrior priestesses, they regard the battlefield as a holy ground and try to prove their worth to Khaine by spilling the blood of as many enemies as possible, often fanatically suicidal in their efforts. The high priestesses of the Brides of Khaine are known as hags, who bathe in The Cauldron of Blood to retain eternal youth. Although Morathi founded the cult, the eldest of the hags - a woman of the name Crone Hellebron - currently leads it.
The holiest time of the year for Dark Elves is called Death Night. During this night the Witch Elves roam the streets of the cities, capturing anyone they find, regardless of their status, and dragging them back to the temples as sacrifice to Khaine. They will also steal away a number of children. The girls captured will be trained to become Witch Elves while the boys are tossed into a cauldron of boiling blood. Those who survive are trained to become the true adepts of Khaine, the feared assassins.
If a family was spared during Death Night, it is customary form them to sacrifice a favoured slave or elderly relative as a thanks to Khaine for sparing them.
It is also important to mention that a quite sizeable part of the population has taken up worshipping in the Cult of Pleasure again, which was considered heretical after the worship of Khaine had become prevalent.
4.3. The Dark Elf military forces
Favouring mobility and speed over heavy armour, most of the Dark Elf army is powerful in the offence, but potentially fragile. Armor is often made from human skin and their weapons often have wicked barbs and hooks.
4.3.1. The infantry
The core of Druchii infantry is made up of spear phalanxes and repeater crossbow regiments. They are supported by:
126.96.36.199 The Executioners
The shock infantry of the Druchii, these soldiers are armed with heavy two-handed blades called Draich. Executioners are adept at delivering single killing blows. They originate from Har Ganeth, also called "the Cursed Place", the city which worships Khaine in his aspect as the Executioner and where the craft of Death is held in the highest regard.
These seafaring reavers are mainly employed on the Dark Evles' many raiding vessels. They are heavily armed and their main profession is the boarding of other ships. Thus, they have become extremely skilled at fighting within limited space.
Only a small part of what a Corsair plunders throughout his life may be kept by him, as the greater part go to the Captain and to the Witch King himself.
188.8.131.52. Witch Elves
The aforementioned Witch Elves are fanatical fighters. Preferring to wield long sacrificial daggers, they are incredibly quick and agile. The more blood they spill, the greater their lust for it becomes. Their agility comes at the price of their lacking armour, though. Also once they are drugged up in their killing frenzy they do not care about being hit or taken down anymore as long as they spill as much blood as possible in favour of their god.
184.108.40.206. The Black Guard
The Witch King Malekith's personal bodyguard are widely known as the most skilled and most loyal of all Dark Elf warriors. They receive both the best training and the best equipment available in Naggaroth and are rightly fread throughout the harsh country and even in Ulthuan. Aside from Malekith himself, they only have to answer to their captain, a positon currently held by a man called Kouran.
Upon acception, it is traditional for all siblings of the new recruit to be sacrificed to Khaine as part of the initiation ritual.
220.127.116.11. The Shades
The clan of the Shades is one of the few who does not live in the security of one of the six Druchii cities. Apart from the rest of Dark Elf society, they are on a constant vigil over the mountain passes in the west of teh Blackspine Mountains. They are notorious for using a devastating repeater crossbow, and for being excellent scouts who are able to pick off leaders and war machine crew with ease.
4.3.2. The cavalry
18.104.22.168. The Dark Riders
The core of the Druchii cavalry, these fast and highly manoeuvrable warriors are swathed in black robes and ride upon swift Elven steeds. They use a variety of weapons, including repeater crossbows, spears swords. They are mainly used for scouting and ambushes as well as attacks in which speed is of great importance.
22.214.171.124. The Cold One Knights
The elite Druchii cavalry, these members of Druchii nobility anoint themselves with the poisonous slime of the giant reptiles so they can get near them without being attacked. Unfortunately, the price of such a steed is high: side effects of the poison include losing a number of senses including touch and taste. Cold Ones are a dangerous, carnivorous breed of reptiles not used by Elves prior to the Sundering, as they are native to the caves beneath the Blackspine Mountains. These fearsome beasts are also used to pull heavy Cold One Chariots.
4.3.3. War machines of the Druchii - The Reaper Bolt Thrower
Reaper Bolt Throwers are a testament to the ingenuity of the Druchii. A complex mechanism allows them to fire either multiple bolts, or a single missile over the battlefield at great spedd. Usually found mounted on the bow of Dark Elf raiding ships or on the parapets of a city wall, these machines are also frequently taken into major combat engagements, as they are both lightweight and extremely effective in the hands of a skilled crew.
The Druchii have developed a remarkable talent for taming creatures native to Naggaroth. Beastmasters have become known for being able to make even the most savage creature follow their commands. Due to the harsh conditions in Naggaroth, these creatures include some very savage beasts. Thus, they are frequently used in the war efforts of the Dark Elves. Some examples:
According to legend, the Harpies are slain Witch Elves who have been resurrected by Khaine. Creatures with a feminine appearance, feathered wings and vicous claws, they live atop the highest towers of Karond Kar and it is claimed that should they leave, the city would fall to its enemies in ninety days. Other colonies have spread further afield throughout Naggaroth and occupy all of the cities, especially the temples of Khaine usually over the burning ritual pyres.
Although they are often unreliable, they often accompany Dark Elf armies to the battlefield - if only to pick at the remains and corpses after the fight is over.
126.96.36.199. Hydras & Manticores
The War Hydra is a huge, scaled monster that dwells in the dark caverns below the Blackspine Mountains. Their brute strength along with the fiery breath from their many heads inspires fear in even the bravest soldier.
Manticores are sacred beasts that only the most skilled beastmasters dare to try capture. Giant, bat-winged creatures with the bodies of titanic lions and tail like a scorpion's, they are as dangerous as they look. With a Beastmaster riding them inot battle, they belong to the most devastating means of warfare available to the Druchii.
4.4. Druchii magic
Magical power on the battlefield is supplied by the six Convents of Sorceresses, who refine the inherent magical aptitude of Dark Elf women into a deadly force. Although the Sorceresses are vulnerable in close combat, the sinister power that they wield is potent enough to ensure that almost every significant Dark Elf force will have at least one Sorceress. Their magical prowess can blight the warriors of the opposing army, scorch their souls from their bodies and bring ruination and curses aplenty upon their heads (It should be noted that normally, Druchii males are not allowed to be trained in magical arts, and renegade Sorcerers are killed without question due to Malekith’s belief in a prophecy that he will die at the hands of a male Sorcerer.)
Last edited by Rowhin; Dec 18, 2007 at 07:47 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:55 AM||#5|
5. The Dwarfs
Author's note: This history of the Dwarfs uses the Dwarven calendar, which begins with the founding of Karaz-a-Karak as the capital of the Empire of Karaz Ankor. For relating it to the Empire's Imperial calendar, deduct 3000 years from the Dwarven date (e.g.: the founding of Karaz-a-Karak is the year 0 in the Dwarven calendar and the year -3000 in the IC).
The Dwarfs are a dying breed. Their prime is long past, but they can look back upon a great history.
5.1.1. The Beginning (creation to 0)
The Dwarfs, or Dawi, were one of the first races to have been created by the Old Ones and the Slann. Led by Grungni and the other Ancestor Gods like Grimnir and Valaya, the Dwarves began their colonization of the World's Edge Mountains long before the races of the Elves and Humans ever had a strong presence in the Old World. One of the first cities to be founded was Vala-Azrilungol, also known as Karak Eight Peaks. In -1550, Karaz-a-Karak was founded by Valaya. About 50 years later, the Coming of Chaos cut off the Dwarf holds in the World's Edge Mountains from those to the northeast and the northwest. The Dwarfs and the Asur met for the first time, and a relationship with the Elves was developed. Together the two races fought against their common enemy, the forces of Chaos. In -1420, the Ancestor God Grimnir disappeared into the Chaos Wastes, and following the Defeat of Chaos the Ancestor Gods Valaya and Grungni disappeared as well.
In -1119, the last remnants of the Chaos host were driven from the Old World by the combined forces of the Dwarfs and the Elves. Many new Dwarven holds were built, including Karak Vlag, Karak Ungor, Zhufbar and Barak Varr, which to date remains their only seaport.
5.1.2. The Golden Age (0 to 1000)
The founding of Karaz Ankor, the Dwarf Empire and the establishing of Karaz-a-Karak as its capital marked the beginning of the Golden Age. A pledge of friendship was made between the races of the Dwarfs and High Elves during the visit of High Elf Phoenix King Bel-Shanaar to the new capital. Malekith of the High Elves, who had led the armies of the Asur fighting side by side with the Dwarfs during the Coming of Chaos, remained in Karaz-a-Karak as elven ambassador.
It was in this age that Master Runesmith Kurgaz first smelted gromril in the volcanic fires of Thunder Mountain to forge the Anvils of Doom, which remain the most ancient heirlooms kept by the Dawi to this day. The trade with the Elves allowed the Dwarfs' craftsmanship to reach new heights. Both the empire of the Elves and that of the Dwarfs prospered greatly until the Elves were forced back to Ulthuan by the eruption of their civil war.
5.1.3. The Age of War (1000 to 3000)
188.8.131.52. The War of Vengeance
In 995, what became known as The Great Betrayal to the Dwarfs afflicted the relationship between Dwarfs and Elves forever. Dwarf settlements, caravans, and traders were attacked savagely. The attackers were reported to be Elves, and unaware that the race of the Asur had split into two, many innocent High Elves were slain by Dwarf travellers believing themselves to be under attack. The Elves retaliated in kind and soon both sides began to muster armies. In a last effort to prevent a war from breaking out, Dwarf High King Gotrek Starbreaker sent an ambassador to Ulthuan to demand recompense for the Dwarfs' losses. The fair demands were met with the arrogance of the proud Phoenix King Caledor II, who, as a final insult, had the Dwarf ambassador's beard cut off. The loss of a beard is a great shame to any Dwarf, and the Dwarfs did not take lightly to such deeds. The War of Vengeance, or War of the Beard, erupted, a great war between the Elves and the Dwarfs that culminated in the Battle of the Three Towers at the gate of Tor Alessi in 1440, in which the Elves were defeated in a cataclysmic battle. Caledor II was slain by Gotrek, who took the Phoenix Crown as compensation for the attacks and the war his people had suffered. To this day, the Phoenix Crown remains in the hand of the Dawi.
184.108.40.206. The Time of Woes
Unfortunately, the Dawi were only able to enjoy a short period of peace until in 1500, volcanic activity and devastating earthquakes shattered the Underway, the ancient tunnel network between the Dwarf holds, beginning the Time of Woes. In the same year, Goblin and Skaven armies flooded into the Dwarven lands and began to lay siege to many Dwarven holds. The first one to fall was Karak Ungor, taken by Night Goblins and thereafter known as Red Eye Mountain.
After the loss of many holds and mines to the forces of Orcs, Trolls, Goblins and Skaven, including Mount Silverspear (the richest remaining Dwarven mine, afterwards known as Mount Grimfang), Karak Varn, and the mines of Ekrund, the Dwarfs abandoned all their mines and smaller settlements in the eastern World’s Edge Mountains.
As the volcano Thunder Mountain erupted in 1750, it drove many Orcs, Goblins and Trolls northwards and led to the destruction of the two holds Valhorn and Budrikhorn south of Karaz-a-Karak at the hands of Trolls. Dwarf armies set out to the east and south, recapturing some mines and driving away the Trolls, Orcs and Goblins until they were forced to return to Karaz-a-Karak because of an approaching horde of Trolls and Ogres. The horde was repelled and over the course of the next 300 years, the Dwarfs continued to re re-establish their hold over and under the mountains. The Underway was partially cleared in places, and some minor settlements retaken.
Karak Varn was eventually retaken by an expedition of Runesmith Kadrin Redmane and a great mine of gromril, the metal the finest dwarf armour is made of, was discovered under it. However, Redmane was ambushed escorting a gromril transport to Karaz-a-Karak and the hold on Karak Varn became tenuous until eventually it was retaken by Orcs and Skaven.
In 2025, a massive Dwarf army led by King Snorri Morgrimson attempted to retake Karak Ungor in the Battle of a Thousand Woes, but was ambushed and driven back.
In 2299, miners stumbled upon a vast network of Skaven tunnels under Karak Eight Peaks and many Skaven were slain as the Dwarfs explored the extent of the burrows. Even so, the hold fell to Greenskins and Skaven in 2487 after the Skaven had poisoned the wells and used their tunnels to let noxious gases into the hold to choke the Dwarfs.
Karak Azgal and Karak Drazh fell to the Orcs, the latter renamed as Black Crag. In 2580 Karaz-a-Karak was shaken by great explosions, although this time they originated within the Dwarven workshops as engineers and alchemists discovered gunpowder. Cannons were successfully employed for the first time in the defence of Karaz-a-Karak against the attacking Orc hordes of Warlord Ugruk Beard Burner, driving back the invaders.
Over the following years, Dwarven armies were assisted in their efforts by the human tribes in the lands that would become the Empire. Trade with them intensified and the Dwarfs began to teach them crafting, although the humans were slow learners.
In 2985, King Kurgan Ironbeard was captured by Goblins but later rescued by the human Sigmar, son of a tribal chieftan. This event would eventually lead to a great friendship and a great alliance between the races of Dwarfs and Men. Ironbeard gave Sigmar the rune hammer Ghal Maraz, and ancient heirloom of his clan, in gratitude.
In the following years, the Dwarfs united with the forces of the humans led by Sigmar and began to drive out the Goblins and Orcs from the lands east of the World's Edge Mountains. Their final victory was achieved in the Battle of Black Fire Pass in 2999. One year later, Sigmar's Empire was established.
5.1.4. The Age of Heroes (3000 to 4500) and the Present
The establishment of the human Empire opened up a new age for the Dwarfs. Many settled within their new ally's lands and helped them to build their first cities. Dwarven workmanship was greatly admired and Dwarven craftsmen were in high demands. The growing trade between the nations helped to return prosperity to the Dwarf realms once more and the combined military forces continued to keep the Orcs and Goblins at bay.
Many expeditions were formed between 3000 and 4500, some to reclaim lost artefacts from destroyed strongholds and some to slay giant creatures like Dragons menacing the population. Since a significant number of these expeditions were successful, often due to the exploits of a single heroic Dwarf, this time was dubbed "The Age of Heroes".
New technological developments like hydraulically powered mining machines and pumps and steam engines were made by the Dwarven engineers. A newly developed naphtha-based flame cannon was put to good use when for one night, the dead rose and walked the land in what has become known as the Night of the Restless Dead in IC 4681. Other inventions included the gyrocopter and smaller gunboats.
The steam engines were built into sea vessels and the "Ironclads" were developed in Barak Varr. Eventually, the Dwarfs shared their technology with the Empire, so that around 5000, the first gunpowder weapons and cannons found their way into Imperial armories.
The Dwarfs eventually learnt of the corruption of their kin on the eastern side of the World's Edge Mountains, who have become the Chaos Dwarfs.
In the Great War against Chaos the Dwarf armies were instrumental in the final victory over the forces of the Ruinous Powers in Kislev. Along with the High Elves and the forces of the Empire under Magnus the Pious, they crushed the Chaos host between them.
In 5473, Belegar, a descendant of King Lunn declared himself King of Karak Eight Peaks after arriving there and setting up camp. They Dwarfs tried to re-colonise the hold, and were successful in recovering many treasures, but were soon desperately outnumbered and living under constant siege by the local Orc and Goblin tribes.
5.2. Dwarf society
The political system of the Dwarfs is a monarchy. Each stronghold is governed by a largely independent king. Only during times of war does the High King take ultimate charge. The High King is expected to be at the forefront of battle and to lead his brethren with a valiant example, never one to stand back and watch a fight from afar. The current High King is Thorgrim Grudgebearer. Aside from strongholds, dwarves are organized into clans. These are like a greater family group where all members share common ancestry although they do not have to be directly related.
5.2.1. Religious beliefs
Dwarfs venerate their ancestors and as thus, their deities are the "Ancestor Gods". These are the first dwarfs, said to have been formed from the very stone of the world itself by the Old Ones. The three most important ones are Grungni, Valaya and Grimnir.
Grungni is worshipped as the patron of smiths and miners. He is commonly depicted as the wisest of the Ancestor Gods, and thus as the leader of the Ancestor Gods.
Valaya is regarded as the patron of the Runesmiths. She is said to be sleeping deep within the mountains until she is needed again.
Grimnir is the warrior's patron, often depicted with two rune axes. He helped the Asur to close down the northern Chaos gates and then vanished not long after. It is assumed he died in battle. One of his axes is held by Thorgrim Grudgebearer and the other was lost in the battle at the Chaos gates.
5.2.2. Magic & Runes
As Dwarfs distrust Magic in every form and some of them even loathe it, the Dwarfs have no sorcerers among them. They generally agree that Magic is something that should not be fooled around with, as it is too erratic and volatile, especially in battle.
Although they would thus never use "uncontrolled sorcery" as they call it, they still harness the winds of magic into magic items through the use of runes. These runes can have varying effects, such as granting courage or physical strength to its bearer or, if embedded on a weapon or shield, for example, hardening or sharpening the metal or making it more durable.
The act of placing runes on items is called Runesmithing, and aspiring Runesmiths have to spend many, many years as apprentices under the watchful Runelords, gradually learning to inscribe items with symbols of magical power, before being allowed to conduct the art on their own.
Dwarfs hold great value in the past. Not only do they construct monumental tombs to venerate their ancestors, they are also an enormously proud people, quick to react to any slight, real or imagined. Every wrong done to a dwarf is considered a wrong done to their Clan, their ancestors, and their unborn descendants. Thus, every other member of the Clan is duty bound to avenge them. The responsibility of taking vengeance is passed on to heirs by writing them down in the Dwarfs' fabled Books of Grudges.
While most Dwarfs carry their own personal book of grudges, the epitome of the Dwarfs' remembrance of grudges is Dammaz Kron - the Great Book of Grudges. It is a massive tome written in the blood of the Dwarfs' High Kings. It recounts all the great wrongs, unpaid debts and deeds of treachery done to the Dwarfs as a race. Only rarely are these grudges fully avenged, and even then they are never forgotten. After all, Khazalid (the Dwarf tongue) has no word for forgiveness, but quite a variety of words on revenge.
Among the grudges most important in the Dammaz Kron are the ones against the Ruinous Powers (for example the unexplained vanishing of Karag Vlag), the grudges against the Elgi (Khazalid for Elves) during the Great Betrayal and the War of Vengeance. But the greatest and most vengeful of the grudges written down in the Dammaz Kron is the one against the Grobi, the Goblins. In the period since the Time of Woes, when they first poured over the World's Edge Mountains into the lands of the Dawi along with the Orcs and Trolls, countless Dwarven lives have been lost to them along with many mines and holds of the Dwarven nation. These losses are still keenly felt by every Dwarf, and whenever a Dawi gets the chance to take vengeance on a Greenskin for the losses of holds like Karak Eight Peaks, Karak Azgal and Karak Drazh or mines like the one in Mount Silver horn, he will do so without a second thought.
Slayers take a special place within - or rather, without - the Dwarven society. A Dwarf who has suffered a great shame will dye his hair and beard orange and cut it onto a Mohawk by using pig grease to hold it in place. They will also cover their face and part of their bodies with blue tattoos. Leaving their home stronghold as far behind as possible, they set out to seek honorable death in single combat - preferably against a large, vicious monster such as a Troll, Giant or Dragon.
The least successful Slayers (from their point of view) tend to survive because they are the most skilled. As Dwarfs are psychologically incapable of suicide or fighting with the intent to lose, those who continue to survive become ever more skilled as a process of natural selection. There are many famous slayers who have achieved exceptional deeds in killing the beasts they set out to be killed by.
Slayers usually travel alone, but there is one place known where they gather in force - Karak Kadrin, the Slayer Keep. It has a unique position, as its king himself is a Slayer, but bound by his duties as monarch, cannot leave to seek out death in combat. Therefore, he tries to fulfil his oath by providing for other Slayers, offering them lodging, food and hospitality for as long as they need it before they resume their quest. In return, the Slayers currently staying at the keep are required to help the King defend the Peak Pass, an important trade route through the World's Edge Mountains.
5.3. The Dwarf military
5.3.1 The Infantry
Even the ordinary infantry of the Dwarfs consists of immensely strong and resilient soldiers. They are broad of shoulder, wide of girth, and fight in large regiments. Their metal working skills enable them to field some of the best equipment found throughout the world, and their armour can withstand many a blow.
Once a Dwarf has served in the army for a long time and his beard has grown long enough, he is eventually welcomed into the ranks of the longbeards. These old and experienced veterans have fought in many battles and endured greater hardships than any young Dwarf could imagine. They are also notorious for grumbling about how today's Goblins are far smaller and weedier than they used to be and nothing is as well made as it was in their day. No younger Dwarf would dare to call them wrong, as Dwarfs are taught to respect their elders at a very young age. Also, Dwarfs only get tougher with old age, not weaker like other races, which is another reason not to disagree with them.
220.127.116.11. Dwarf Thunderers & Dwarf Quarrelers
Although still regarded with some suspicion by more traditional Dwarfs, the handgun has become a common sight in Dwarven armies. The Dwarfs specialising in the handgun have become known as the Thunderers. They are known to continually load and fire in a very disciplined manner even when the enemy is already upon them. They constantly try to improve their handguns, which they have usually crafted themselves, as there is a kind of rivalry over who makes the best gun among them. The result is that Dwarf handguns are among the most precise weapons in the world.
Dwarf Quarrelers, on the other hand, prefer to use the traditional crossbow instead of a handgun since they have been proven to be more reliable and trustworthy. After all, their crossbows still easily outreach the bows of the Goblins and are powerful enough to strike through almost any armor.
18.104.22.168. Dwarf rangers
Dwarf rangers are groups of Dwarfs who have banded together to defend their communities against Greenskins or other threats or to settle grudges against them. They prefer to fight with great axes, and will relentlessly hunt down every Goblin or Orc they are after.
22.214.171.124. The Ironbreakers
Most of Karaz Ankor, the Dwarven empire, lies underground. That does however not mean that these parts are safe from attacks. Goblins and Skaven constantly try to undermine Dwarven holds and launch attacks from within. It is the Ironbreakers who guard the holds from these attacks, spending most of their watch underground in abandoned tunnels. As in these dark places, survival against the odds of rock fall, ambush and other hazards, depends on wearing the right armour; the Ironbreakers are outfitted with fine suits of gromril armour they wear as a badge of honour.
Due to their reputation, they are frequently called upon to aid in the defence above ground, although an Ironbreaker will have fought ten battles beneath the surface for every one he fights above.
126.96.36.199. The Hammerers
If a Dwarf proves himself to be courageous and skilled throughout the course of many battles, he might be selected to join the Hammerers. Since these are the King's personal guard, he selects them personally. They are required to give an oath of complete loyalty to their lord and fully dedicate themselves to his protection. They are known among the Dwarfs for their stubbornness - a feat not easily accomplished, considering the overall level of stubbornness of the Dwarven race.
The symbol for their oath is the weapon they carry, for it is the gift of the hammer from the Lord to the warrior that seals the oath. Thus, every Hammerer bears a heavy but perfectly balanced great hammer.
5.3.2. War machinery
Being the technologically most advanced race in the world, the Dwarfs field a number of devastating war machines. These have often been tinkered on and optimised for centuries, so they have become very accurate and reliable.
188.8.131.52. Cannons, Organ Guns and Flame Cannons
A cannon is a masterpiece of every Engineer. While it would be possible to cast a cannon from brass and mount it on a wooden frame relatively quickly and easily, these would be neither reliable, nor accurate or durable. Hence, Dwarven engineers cast their cannons from steel, and learning the craft of making a Dwarven cannon can take many years. Only the most skilled masters are able to accomplish this task and even once the cannons are done, they still require centuries of proving. By the time a cannon has proven itself, it has become a part of the engineer's clan, akin to a relative.
The Organ Gun or Organ Cannon is one of the more recent inventions of the Dwarf Engineers Guild. It consists of several barrels that are lighter and smaller than that of an ordinary cannon, resulting in a lack of range and firepower. Its advantage is, however, that it can fire multiple shots at once.
Flame cannons are among the most difficult weapons to handle, as they require an expert timing. A volatile concoction of hot oil and molten tar is mixed in the barrel of the Flame Cannon. Air is pumped into the barrel until the pressure inside is very great and the barrel is almost ready to burst. At precisely the right moment the Dwarfs place a burning oily wad into the nozzle and release the pressure inside. The mixture catches fire as it spurts from the barrel and burning oil arcs into the air towards the enemy ranks. With a bit of luck, the flaming oil lands right in the middle of an enemy unit, spraying fire and boiling tar over the target.
184.108.40.206. Bolt Throwers & Grudge Throwers
Bolt Throwers are larger, stationary versions of crossbows. They are able to fire heavy bolts over a large distance. Although it is not among the means of modern warfare, it remains an important part in the arsenal of Dawi armies as it can be built and maintained cheaply. A well judged shot from a Bolt Thrower can take down Wyverns or Trolls with a single shot. Unlike gunpowder weapons, it can also be used in underground fights without obscuring the whole tunnel in smoke.
Grudge Throwers were originally simple stone throwers. However, during the War of Vengeance, the Dwarfs came up with the idea of inscribing their grudges on the ammunition, so great was their fury against the Elves. It is common nowadays that Engineers who have lost their home will load their catapults with stone fragments of their holds.
220.127.116.11. The Gyrocopter
A flying machine with rotor blades propelled by a masterful lightweight steam engine, these devices can take off and land vertically and even hover on the spot. They are flown by members of the Dwarf Engineers Guild and enable strongholds to keep in contact should they come under siege or the surrounding mountain passes infested with enemies. Supplies and messengers can be transported by them, enabling a besieged Dwarf settlement to hold out far longer until it normally would be able to.
In battle, they provide Dwarf armies with the speed and mobility they lack due to an absence of mounted troops. Gyrocopters are able to drop small grenades - consisting of a package of gunpowder with a fuse - almost anywhere on the battlefield.
18.104.22.168. The Anvil of Doom
The most ancient heirlooms of the Dawi, these are the greatest rune weapons to ever have been forged. The rune scripts inscribed on them exceed the runic knowledge of any modern Runesmith. The runes for striking the anvil were passed down from Runelord to Runelord since ancient times, each Runelord only confiding in his successor, so that no two anvils function the same way. But each of them can be said to invoke special powers in the Dawi: those dedicated to Grimnir that emphasize fury, those dedicated to Grungni that emphasize effort and those dedicated to Valaya that emphasize loyalty.
Last edited by Rowhin; May 02, 2008 at 07:09 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:55 AM||#6|
6. The Greenskins
6.1. History (for geographical data, use this map http://nexusx.wanadooadsl.net/ayudas..._World_Map.jpg)
The little that is known of the history of the Greenskins has been recorded by other races since the Greenskins themselves don't bother to keep any records. Thus, the origin of the Greenskins is a mysterious one, as the first written records of their actions are from the time they first interacted with the other races. Another consequence of this fact is that most records depicting the Greenskins are only about famous battles and wars.
The first encounter of the Old World's races with the Greenskins is reported to have been in IC -1500, when they flooded west over the World's Edge Mountains into the lands of the Dwarfs. The first hold to fall on the march of the Greenskins was Karak Ungor, then renamed into Red Eye Mountain. Only 2 years later, the mines of Ekrund were taken by the Greenskins and named Mount Bloodhorn. The war with the Dwarfs continued incessantly and the Dawi would eventually refer to the 500 years after the first encounter with the Greenskins as the Goblin Wars. More Dwarf mines like Mount Gunbad continue to fall into the Greenskins' hands and the Greenskins begin to mine the ores found in them and forge armour from it.
In - 1387, the Silver Road Wars began between Dwarfs and Goblins, a period of twenty years during which only one in five Dwarf caravans survived the journey through the greenskin-infested Deadrock Gap west of Mount Silverspear.
In -750 IC, the Red Cloud Goblins discovered a long lost passage that links the Red Cloud Mountains to the Fire Mountains, and subsequently used it to partially occupy the hold of Karak Azul until bitter infighting broke out, giving the Dwarves the opportunity to reclaim it. Nowadays, the passage to Karak Azul is guarded by the Dawi against a Goblin invasion at all times.
From IC -15 to IC 50, the Goblins and Orcs were slowly, but resolutely pushed out of the lands west of the World's Edge Mountains by the alliance between the Dwarfs and the Humans. The "cleansing", as the Humans and Dwarfs called it, culminated in the Battle of Black Fire Pass, where a massive Orc army was defeated.
In IC 1705, Gorbad Ironclaw defeated Crusher Zogoth, the leader of the Broken Tooth tribe, and united this tribe with his own Ironclaw tribe. Adding the forces of local Goblins and Night Goblins, he forms a WAAAGH!. Possibly the greatest Orc Warlord of all time, Gorbad Ironclaw led his WAAAGH! through Black Fire Pass into the Empire. He devastated Solland and Wissenland and took the Runefang of Solland from the defeated Elector Count. But Gorbad was wounded in the process. Regardless, he continued his march into the heart of the Empire until he besieged Altdorf itself. He thought of breaking through the city gates directly with his Wyvern, but the plan failed, although they managed to kill the Emperor during the attack. Lack of progress and rumours of Gorbad's injury took their toll on Greenskin morale and after 5 years the WAAAGH! subsided and Gorbad’s horde disbanded completely. The remnants of Gorbad's own tribe were ambushed on their way home by the Dwarfs. It is unknown whether Gorbad survived.
In IC 2201, King Louen "Orc Slayer" of Bretonnia declared that he would rid his realm of the Orcs and Goblins completely. Over the next century, his plans eventually succeeded and Bretonnian territory was purged of Greenskins, who fled to the mountains to escape.
IN IC 2420, Grom the Paunch of Misty Mountain led another WAAAGH! into the Empire which burnt Nuln to the ground. Instead of marching on Altdorf however, Grom had his army move to the sea and build a huge fleet to sail west to Ulthuan. When he laid siege to Tor Yvresse, his shaman Black Tooth slew the Warden of the city in a magical duel. Just as the Greenskins breached the walls, Eltharion, one of the mightiest High Elves alive, returned to the city to lead a counter-assault after defeating Black Tooth in single combat. The High Elves' counter attack crushed the Greenskin forces and Grom the Paunch faded into obscurity after the battle.
6.2. Greenskin society
6.2.1. Greenskin reproduction
There are no female Greenskins. Neither are there male Greenskins. The Greenskins are basically a symbiant organism consisting of the Orc/Goblin/Snotling itself and spore like creatures living in their blood stream, which allow them to heal such grave wounds as lost limbs (if they are sewn back on).
Greenskins reproduction set in when the spores in an Orc's body reach a critical percentage. A hormonal process sets in that has them go into the wilderness "lookin fer sumthin". During a vegetative state for a few minutes that they don't remember afterwards, the spores are sewn. The Orc will then return back to his tribe without any memories of the event.
Meanwhile, the spores will grow into a plant-like womb underground that begins to produce various Greenskins species, first Snotlings to cultivate the fungus, then Goblins, and finally Orcs. This system ensures that wherever an Orc army or WAAAGH! may go, it always is supplied with food, workers and fighters.
There is a second opportunity to release spores into the ground, which is whenever an Orc dies or is wounded. Thus, enemies of the Orcs would be well advised to burn a battlefield after the fight has been won, or they might soon face another horde of Greenskins.
6.2.2. Greenskin subspecies
The Greenskins races consists of some very different subspecies, the main ones being:
22.214.171.124. The Orcs, the Black Orcs and the Savage Orcs
Orcs can be best described with 3 adjectives: big, mean, brutal. Among the more intelligent creatures of the Warhammer world, they belong to the strongest and toughest - by both nature and natural selection - the latter one meaning that if no enemy is available, they will just fight each other for fun and practice - to death, of course. Orcs constantly strive for battle; their only goal in life is to have a good fight as often as possible against foes as strong as possible. As such, they cannot be described as stupid, although they often appear quite simple-minded - it's just they simply don't care about anything other than their next fight.
The average Orc is about 6-8 ft tall and has a tough waxy skin that grows harder and harder as they become older.
There are also two somewhat special groups of Orcs, the first being the Black Orcs. Originally created by the Chaos Dwarfs (against whom they rebelled), this special breed is not only even tougher, meaner and stronger than the usual Orcs, but also quite a bit more intelligent. They usually don't participate in infighting of their kin, as they prefer to settle their grievances with headbutt competitions.
The second of the special Orc groups are the Savage Orcs; those Orcs who refuse to use even the slightest technological advances their brethren have made in the past years. They still use stone weapons and don't wear armour into battle. As such, they are more vulnerable than their kin, but do not concern themselves with their safety when they enter their battle frenzy after having painted their bodies with ritualistic tattoos. Savage Orcs can only be found in the southlands. 126.96.36.199. The Goblins, the Night Goblins, the Forest Goblins
The Goblins, on the other hand are a totally different breed. Only 4 to 5 feet high, lithe and with long pointed noses, their appearance is not the only thing they differ in from their Orc cousins. They are also smarter and more cunning than them, preferring ambushes, backstabbing and hit-and-run tactics to open combat. Another of their notorious features is their cowardice as they only attack when they have an advantage of numbers or the battle otherwise highly favours them.
Night Goblins differ from the usual breed mainly in their habitat. They live in dark caves and their strong distaste for sunlight forces them to wear robes to protect them from the sun whenever they emerge to the surface. Their main diet is fungi, which they have compiled a great knowledge of over the centuries. In battle, they are often seen riding - if it can be called such - on a squig, or driving a force of squigs before them.
Forest Goblins have a strange history. No one - including themselves - really knows where they came from anymore, although it is generally assumed that a tribe of Goblins somehow got lost and ended up digging themselves into some jungle in the south. They have since adapted to their environment, mastering the arts of camouflage, poison creation and taming (using giant, poisonous Spiders as mounts). Forest Goblins also have the strange tendency to coat their weapons with gold as they have vast resources of the metal.
Nowadays, they are mainly found in the wooded areas between the Border Princes in the east and Tilea to the west.
188.8.131.52. The Snotlings and Gnoblars
The smallest and weakest of the Greenskin breed, the Snotlings are only half the height of a goblin. They are also very, very stupid. The only thing they ever really do is mimicking the tasks and behaviour of those around them. When they find themselves in battle, they usually gather in large groups, although even then they don't know what to do and most will just flee or let themselves be killed while standing around.
Gnoblars are a breed somewhere between Goblins and Snotlings in size, with a darker skin than their kin and large, droopy, thin ears. They do, however have one thing in common with the normal Goblins: they are cowards. It is ridiculously easy to frighten a Gnoblar, and bands of them will turn and flee upon seeing one enemy. Ogres in the Mountains of Mourn hold the largest part of the Gnoblar breed as pets and cannon fodder.
6.2.3. Tribal system, WAAAGH! and Leadership
Unlike other races, Greenskins do not organize themselves into nations, but are split up into smaller tribes. However, when an Orc Warlord is powerful and strong enough, a WAAAGH! may form. In that case, otherwise independent tribes will come together to fight against another nation or race, as a WAAAGH! always promises much fighting to be had - and after all, that is what the Orcs strive for. WAAAGH!s can vary in size, but they are generally an awesome sight to behold, thousands upon thousands of Greenskins on the march. A WAAAGH! is not easily stopped, and the marauding greenskins will fight anything that they encounter on their path.
Yet, the WAAAGH! is not something completely physical, but also a complex web of instinctive psychological links between all Greenskins, a concept very hard to grasp for the other mortal races. Goblin and Orc shamans can take power from this WAAAGH!, giving them abilities like summoning a foot of one of their god to crush their enemies. It often seems like the only source for this power comes from the belief of all Greenskins in the WAAAGH! and its power.
Greenskins have a very simple system of leadership: the biggest one is the boss. Whenever an Orc is of the opinion that he is "da biggest" he may challenge the current Warlord of his tribe to single combat. If he beats him (to death), he becomes the new Warlord until he in turn is beaten again. This system ensures that the tribe is always led by the strongest Orc of them all.
6.2.4. Gork and Mork
Gork and Mork are the two Orc gods, although the borders between them are not clearly drawn. One is the lord of brutal cunning and the other of cunning brutality. If you would ask an orc what the difference is, you usually get answers along the lines "One hits while you are looking, and the other while you aren't" or "One is mean and the other is meaner". These trivial differences often lead to fights between the Greenskins - but then, almost everything does. Generally, though, most Greenskins seem to associate Gork with brute strength and Mork with cunning and magic.
6.3. The Orc army
184.108.40.206. The Boyz & The Goblins
The core of every Greenskins army is made up of ordinary Orcs. However, as Orcs are born to fight, care about neither death nor being wounded as long as they get to put up a good fight, and their physical strength and their toughness exceeds those of most other races, even these "ordinary" Orcs, referred to as "The Boyz" are a fighters no foe should underestimate. The boyz will fight with whatever weapons they get their hands on, spears, swords, axes, Goblins or occasionally even bows.
Goblin regiments make up a great number of the common Greenskin army as well. Their greatest strength is just that - their numbers. No matter how many die or run away, there are always plenty left that the Orcs can drive to battle.
220.127.116.11. Black Orcs
As Black Orcs are the strongest and biggest of all Orcs, they are always able to take the best gear before their weaker brethren. Thus, they are better armoured and armed than their fellow Orcs, which, along with their increased strength and toughness makes them the most dangerous enemies to face within the normal Greenskins horde.
18.104.22.168. Goblin & Orc Shamans
Unlike elven or human sorcerers, the Greenskins do not draw their magic from the Eight Winds, but rather from the inner psyche of the Greenskin racial mind, the WAAAGH!. Greenskins shamans use their powers to some very interesting effects. The spell "Gork's Boot to the Butt", for instance, makes the target feel a heavy impact on their rear and subsequently has them fly through the air. While Shaman spells can both benefit their allies as well a hurt their foes, it has one downside: it is really, really unreliable. In fact, your shaman is as likely to melt his own or his friend's brain as he is to successfully cast a powerful spell.
22.214.171.124. Night Goblin Fanatics
Night Goblin fanatics are one of the really unconventional units. They are Night Goblins who have taken potions made from the Mad Cap, a mushroom that boosts strength beyond anything imaginable by Goblin standards. Unfortunately it does somewhat wreck the mind too, so the Fanatics are nearly completely unaware of their surroundings and driven into a frenzy to smash everything around them. They carry a huge iron ball on a long chain that no ordinary Goblin could even lift. But as soon as their mates let the Night Goblin Fanatic go (and get away really fast), he starts swinging that ball around in every direction, crushing everything that comes within range. As so many of the Goblin's great ideas, this one has a downside too - there is really no telling at all in which direction a Fanatic may start off. More than one Night Goblin tribe has found their own ranks crushed by their very own Fanatics.
126.96.36.199. The Orc Boar Boyz
Some Orcs use giant boars to ride into battle. These ferocious creatures are almost as mean and brutal as their masters, taking every opportunity to maim, kick and bite with their pointed tusks and sharp teeth not only in battle but also when they are locked away in their secure pens. Their thick skin is difficult to penetrate, making it hard to take them down with weapons like bows. They are also known for being loudly flatulent.
188.8.131.52. The Goblin Wolf & Spider Riders
The prominent feature that sets the Goblin cavalry apart from the Orc cavalry is once again their cowardice. While the Orcs head straight to the thick of battle on their mighty boars, the Goblins prefer to hunt down the weak armoured enemy casters, fleeing units or the weakly defended crews of war machines. The swift wolves also make great mounts for scouting and especially tracking as they can follow a trail for a long time once they have taken up the scent of their prey.
The Forest Goblins use great, poisonous spiders instead of wolves for mounts. These may not be as fast as wolves, but their many limbs allow them to pass unhindered over rough terrain and other obstacles.
184.108.40.206. Goblin Squig Hoppers
Squigs are weird creatures, part fungus and part flesh. They are a by-product of the plant like womb that generates the Greenskins. Consisting of mostly teeth and claws, they are not only hunted by the Goblins for their skin and meat, but some of them are also captured and more or less trained as mounts for the Goblins. Those Goblins riding - or rather, holding onto - Squigs are called Squig Hoppers. Their only use is navigating the Squig into battle, though, as they are too busy holding onto the squig to additionally take up arms.
6.3.3. War Machinery
220.127.116.11. Wolf & Boar Chariots
Wolf & Boar Chariots actually serve little purpose other than enabling the riders to show off to other members of their tribes, to which end the Orcs fashion giant banners to line sides of their chariots. Boar chariots are generally more durable, as the boars are harder to take down than the wolves, although they lack the speed of a wolf chariot. The only use both Orcs and Goblins put chariots to is running across the battlefield at breakneck speed, either to get to the battle before everyone else (Orcs) or leave it as fast as possible (Goblins).
18.104.22.168. The Goblin Spear Chukka
The Goblin Spear Chukka is a ballista-like contraption flinging spears across the battlefield. It is built by the Goblins, who are generally more adept at putting things together than their Orc cousins. Still, Spear Chukkas often tend to break apart. If that happens, the Goblins will just try to put it together again with splints and string until it falls apart the next time.
22.214.171.124. The Rock Lobba
The Rock Lobba is basically a crude catapult mashed together of iron and wood that fires big stones on the heads of the Greenskins' enemies… or their own units, as they aren't too reliable when it comes to aiming.
126.96.36.199. The Goblin Doom Diver
Basically working with torsion like the Rock Lobba or Spear Chukka, the Doom Diver Catapult fires Goblins instead of rocks or spears. These Goblins are given crude, folding wings to stay aloft for a short time before they crash down to earth. Originally developed as a form of aerial reconnaissance, the first Goblins to be fired off as Doom Divers were given bits of slate and chalk on which to draw enemy troop formations and positions. It was important that they were able to get the information down before they themselves got back down to the earth, as the landing often resulted in their death. Unfortunately, most of the slates to be recovered only bore messages like "Yahoooo!" and "Wheeee!". Thus, the Doom Divers are nowadays used as missiles instead of reconnaissance agents.
188.8.131.52. The Snotling Pump Wagon
The strangest sight to behold when looking upon a Greenskins army may be the Snotling Pump Wagon. In an effort to imitate the chariots of their larger brothers, the Goblins and Orcs, Snotlings forage around the Orc and Goblin settlements, scavenging and stealing whatever material they can get their hands on. Once they have acquired enough raw materials to build a sufficiently large heap, they set upon it with hammers and ropes, and eventually a mass of hammering and squeaking metal appears, with the Snotlings on top. How it even runs remains a mystery. Where it runs, however, is not a mystery - being one of the few useful things snotlings are capable of making, it can run over an enemy or impale him onto the spears attached to the front with relative ease.
Last edited by Avien; Jan 14, 2008 at 11:07 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:56 AM||#7|
7.1. History (once again using the Imperial Calendar)
The first human tribes settled in the lands that would become Bretonnia in IC -1000. The greatest of them was the tribe of the Bretonni. After they had fought many wars with the Undead, the Greenskins, Tilea (which took possession of the southern parts of Bretonnia in IC -500) and the Wood Elves in Athel Loren with only temporary alliances between the tribes, in IC 977 Giles le Breton stepped forward. He had had a vision of a extraordinarily beatiful lady who predicted him a great future. Blessed by the "Lady of the Lake", he united the huma tribes and drove back the Greenskins. His ideals formed the idea of a chvialric knighthood and under his support, the cult of the Lady became Bretonnia's main religion. After he died, his son Louis was crowned the first King of Bretonnia in IC 1001, who 4 years alter signed the concord with the Wood Elves acknowleding their separate realm of Athel Loren.
In IC 1342, Arabian forces laid siege to Brionne and threatened the south of Bretonnia until they were defeated 5 years later and driven back to Estalia. In IC 1425, the Tournament of Ravola, in which the best of the Bretonnian Knighthood are defeated by the Tilean Knights, took place and subsquently, Bretonnia renounced all claims on the lands of Tilea.
After the Arabians began a new invasion of Estalia in 1448, an alliance between Tilea, Bretonnia and the Empire is formed to drive them back. Louis the Righteous, 15th king of Bretonnia began 600 years of crusades when he sent an army into Araby. In 1451, Sultan Jaffar, who led the Arabian forces, was defeated in the Battle of El Haikik.
One of the mightiest crusade armies set out in 1452, but only came as far as Blood River because it came under heavy attack from Greenskin forces. Some of the Crusaders decided to stay in the lands near the Blood River rather than go back and founded the Border Princes.
In IC 1813, the Red Pox was brought to Bretonnia by Skaven of the Clan Eshin. It ravaged through Bretonnia and weakened its defenses so that when the Skaven launched attacks on Brionne and Quenelles in 1913, the Bretonnians had to ask the Wood Elves for help. Together they slaughter the Skaven on the battlefield.
The next scourge the Bretonnians rid themselves of where the Orcs. In 2201, King Louen "Orc Slayer" declared the Errantry War, which freed great deals of land from the Greenskins.
After only a short period of time, an Alliance of Estalian Pricnes invaded southern Bretonnia in 2232, but was driven out and defeated again by 2274.
When the Great War against Chaos arose in 2302, Bretonnian Knights joined the forces of the Dwarves and Empire to defeat the Chaos forces. Only ten percent of the knights who ahd set out came back to Bretonnia.
In IC 2428, Charles the First is crowned King and takes up the Errant Wars again. He sends his army to the Border Princes, where they kill a great number of Greenskins and make the Border Princes a much safer place. Thus, more and more Bretonnians began to settle there.
When in 2471 Charles the Second was crowned, no one knew what a tyrann he would become. The peasants suffered greatly under his rule as the nobility and knighthood threw off their virtues and justice and took advantage of the lesser class. Charles the Second was assassinated in 2486 and Philippe the Fifth took up the crown. He declared and end to the Errant Wars after a great number of Bretonnian Knights had vanished in the Death Pass.
In 2491, Heinrich Kemmler the Necromancer attempted his first invasion of Bretonnia. He was repelled by Duc Tancred the Quenelles in the Batlle of La Maisontall, a Monastery that had been occupied by Kemmler's undead forces.
Kemmler's second attempt follows 4 years later, in 2495, when he leads an invasion through the forests of Athel Loren. The Wood Elves destry his army, but he can escape again.
In 2500, following the death of King Philippe, his nephew Leon is crowned King and renames himself Louen "Leoncour". He tries to reestablish the virtues of Knighthood.
The Land of Bretonnia is best described as a feudal kingdom, where knights protect peasants in return for their service. The knights are bound by oath to provide military service to their lords, who grant them rights and titles. The feudal hierarchy is topped by the King. Directly beneath the king stand the Dukes, beneath the Dukes the Earls, beneath the Earls the Barons. The King, Dukes, Earls, and Barons are also each the lord of a number of Knights, who are the lesser nobles. Also, every knight (including the higher nobles) has his own standing force of men-at-arms, chosen from those peasants who prove themselves the most physically able ones. Serving a knightly lord grants the peasant a small part of land for his family he may work on in times of peace. In times of war, he is expected to follow the summons of his lord. The Knights' forces typically consist of the stronger Men-at-Arms and the more lowly Bowmen levies. The lands of Bretonnia are also ruled by spiritual and mystical leaders – the Fay Enchantress, her Damsels, and the Grail Knights – who are all faithful servants to the Lady of the Lake.
The kingdom of Bretonnia consists of 14 dukedoms: Couronne, Carcassonne, Artois, Lyonesse, Montfort, Bastonne, L'Anguille, Bordeleaux, Mousillon, Gisoreaux, Aquitaine, Parravon, Brionne, and Quenelles. The regions are ruled by the Dukes (with the exception of Mousillon), who are in turn served by various nobles and knights. The great castle of the King is located in the fortified city of Couronne, which traditionally is the capital of Bretonnia. While the Forest of Loren is also within the borders of Bretonnia, it is considered to be the forbidden realm of the Wood Elves.
Inspiration for Bretonnia was drawn, quite obviously, from the kingdoms of Lyonesse or Logres under King Arthur, having noble knights who are bound by oaths to uphold chivalry and beautiful damsels in distress rescued by the courageous, noble and handsome knights. However, Bretonnia also sports a darker side: the gap between the luxurious lifestyle of the nobility and knights is even wider than it was in the historical middle ages.
A map of Bretonnia can be found here. (http://www.roundtable-bretonnia.org/...d=36&Itemid=59)
7.3. The Lady of the Lake & The Wood Elves
The religion of Bretonnia is centered about the Lady of The Lake, whom all knights pledge to in upholding their virtue and honor. Little do they know that the Lady of The Lake is in fact an aspect of the elven god Isha, and the whole base, ideas and values the religion of Bretonnia was founded on was placed into the head of the Grail Companions by Ariel. The Fay Enchantress, the highest Bretonnian servant of The Lady of the Lake is in fact a Wood Elf, and the damsels, the Lady's sorceresses, are secretly trained by elves as well. Some argue that the continued worshipping of the Bretonnians to the Lady of the Lake has led the Lady of the Lake to become an autonomous, human-fuelled sub-division of Isha, as are Shallya and Rhya - although is tethered strongly to Bretonnia. However, even if this is the case, the Wood Elves still pull the string behind the Bretonnian religion as they control all their priests & sorceresses.
7.4. The Bretonnian Army
7.4.1. The Bretonnian Infantry
184.108.40.206. The Men-at-Arms
Each midsummer, commoners come to their lord's castle to present their sons, hoping that they will be trained as men-at-arms. It is a great honor to be accepted into a knight's household, so some young peasants will have been working towards this goal their whole life. The knight spends the whole morning and afternoon inspecting the candidates. By dusk, the strongest and most physically able of them are singled out and taken to the castle where they begin their basic training and are given livery with their lord's crest.
Though the new recruits receive quite a large bounty (by peasant standards) for joining, their money drains away rather quickly as they are expected to pay for their uniform and equipment as well as make contributions to the temples. They are given simple shelter (straw mattresses in barns), simple food (thin gruel & stew) and a wage in exchange for their loyal service. Theoretically, their wage far exceeds what any peasant could hope to earn, but in reality they only receive the smallest part of it, if anything at all. Food, accommodation, equipment loss or breaking - every conceivable expense is deducted from their salary.
Though they are neither exceptionally strong nor given special training, men-at-arms provide their knight with a body of troops to control and guard his domain. Should the knight be summoned to war, he will take most of his troops with him, but he will always leave sufficient forces behind to safeguard his castle. In peace, the men-at-arms watch the borders of their knight's domain and patrol his lands.
220.127.116.11. The Peasant Bowmen
When the knight is summoned to war, every peasant that is serving him is bound to take up arms in the defence of Bretonnia. A copper coin as promised bounty for those who survive the war ensures their willingness. Though some ordinary peasants may be put between ranks of men-at-arms that have already been thinned out by casualties, most are employed as levies of longbowmen, expected to fight those enemies unworthy of the knight's attention. While the knights are bound by chivalric honour not to use any kind of missile weapon, these restrictions do, of course, not apply to the peasants. While the wage of a bowman would be considered pitiful in other parts of the world, for a Bretonnian peasant it is a princely wage.
Since peasant bowmen aren't equipped from the caste armouries like men-at-arms, they often turn up to battle in all manner of garb. Their longbows are their own, often passed down through generations from father to son and thus are of very variable quality. Peasant bowmen flock together on the battlefield to release volley after volley into the enemies' ranks, often under the watchful eye of a knight, as they are an unreliable bunch when left alone.
7.4.2. The Bretonnian Cavalry
18.104.22.168. The Bretonnian Lords
There are only a few knights who actually live up to the high standards they set themselves, and it is them that perform the greatest deeds of valour and vanquish the most dangerous of foes. Their reputation spreads across the country, and should they enter a town, their presence will be known within minutes, and the commoners will flock to the street to catch a glimpse of their heroic knight.
Most of these mighty heroes are Grail Knights who have drunk from the Grail and thus become the very definition of chivalric knighthood. There are, however also many others who were never blessed with the station of a Grail Knight, but have nevertheless performed great deeds. Sometimes the responsibilities of governing may hold a knight back from embarking on his quest, though this would surely cause him much pain.
The station of a Duke requires him to be a powerful and renowned warrior in order to maintain their status, Birth in itself does not grant them success to the throne; the sons of dukes must prove their worthiness and valour themselves and earn their own honor and renown like every other knight. Every knight of noble birth (never a peasant obviously) can actually attain heroic status through acts of bravery.
In a skirmish, it is the Bretonnian Lords who stand amongst the front ranks of their knights, leading them into battle. Many of them follow one of the Paths of Virtue, and they are both masterful warriors and noble leaders. Wounds that would slay a lesser men are a mere inconvenience to them, and they can fell rows of warriors with one sweep or thrust of their weapons. And even should they eventually fall, they will live on as their deeds are recounted over and over.
22.214.171.124. The Knights Errant & The Knights of the Realm
The moment they are born, every noble son of the kingdom of Bretonnia is committed to the path of knighthood. Though they are automatically welcomed into the circle of knighthood by nobility, they have to prove their honour and valor themselves. While it is possible to earn status through faithful service to ones lord or family ties, the only true way for young knight to prove himself and become a honored knight is to face his foes on the field of battle.
Knights Errant have an air of bravado around them. They are eager to prove their skill and valour to attain status and renown. Some may be so bold and enthusiastic that they border on the point of recklessness. Whenever a Duke or Lord calls for battle, the Knights Errant flock to his banner, eager for the chance to win martial glory.
In battle, they charge boldly at the enemy, oblivious to their danger, thinking themselves invincible - thus either earning great honour or at least a glorious death. Since some of the older knights see this as a pruning of the ranks and others still remember the enthusiasm of youth, and since neither would deny the young knights their chance of destiny, they never discourage the younger ones or remind them to take care of their personal safety. Those who survive and prove their skill and courage go on to become the Knights of the Realm. Having proven themselves worthy of their station, they are given the responsibility of administrating a domain, generally consisting of a few acres of land along with a village and a castle. The common folk living in the domain is duty-bound to the servie of their Knight, to work the fields and pay their taxes. The Knight, in turn, swears fealty to the higher ranks of nobility. It is his duty to defend his land and the people within it to death. If needed, he may marshal the peasants under his command to march against a threat or call on his neighbouring Knights for help, but in general, he ix expected to deal with minor threats without any help. As all Bretonnian Knights, the Knights of the Realm live under the standards of knightly honour, the most important of these being heeding the call of war. Unlike the Knights Errand, he does not fight to gain status, but to fulfill the duty posed on him by his own status. Should he fail to fulfill these responsibilites, he would betray the chivalric code and be stripped of all titles, claims and right and be banished from the realm until he can prove himself worthy of returning.
126.96.36.199. The Questing Knights
The ultimate goal of any true Bretonnian knight is the Grail. To ready themselves for the search of the Grail, however, the Knights have to renounce their worldly possessions and all claims on his domain. Such a Knight passes on his lance, instating another knight to take over his duties of administration and protection. The months and years following the renouncing are filled with trials and hardships that strengthen his mind, body, and soul. They never stay at the same place for longer than a day or two, and have sworn that as long as they draw a breath, their search will continue.
The only companion in the solitary existence of a Questing Knight is the Lady of the Lake. Granted visions by the Lady and the Grail, the Questing Knights may travel for countless leagues, often taking a knight far beyond his own domain and even beyond Bretonnia itself. On his travels, the knight strives to perform good deeds and slay foul beasts, to enter single combat with great and terrible foes, or to prove his valor on the battlefield, so the Lady will deem him worthy. The Quest is always the foremost thing in the Knight's mind, the hope of one day seeing the Grail the driving force behind his years of hardship. Many Questing Knights die on their search, slain by great foes, and only a few ever achieve the honor of being rewarded with the sight of the Grail. Some may live but never see the Grail, constantly tormented by a yearning for it.
188.8.131.52. The Grail Knights, the Battle Pilgrims and the Grail Reliquae
If a Questing Knight has proved his courage, honor and worthiness beyond doubt, the Lady appears to him in a vision and rewards him not only with the sight of the Grail, but also allows him to drink from it. Upon drinking the blessed waters of the chalice, the knights are granted a lifespan many times that of a normal man alongside other, stranger gifts. A irrevocable bond, impossible to break through anything but death, between the knight and the Lady is formed, committing him to her service.
A Grail Knight has the duty to guard the holy places of the lady, simple places like a lake or a woodland grove, lacking any luxury. If a corrupted creature should ever set foot into a place guarded by a Grail Knight, he will face the extraordinary skill and awesome fury of its defender, for the Grail Knights never falter in their duty. Only in dire need will a guard leave his sanctum.
Grail Knights command respect and awe from everyone they meet, be it lowly commoner or mighty duke. No one would dare act or even speak against a Grail Knight, for their wrath is terrible, and they speak the words of the Lady. The tales of the Grail Knights are told even in the remotest and most isolated villages in Bretonnia.
Amongst the commoners of Bretonnia, the Grail Knights are seen as living deities, and their names are spoken as a mantra against the fear and darkness. The Grail Knights themselves know neither fear nor despair, for their deeds and words will live on even after their incredible life span has drawn to an end.
Such is their reputation that they will draw a horde of fanatical worshippers wherever they go. These pilgrims will hold sacred everything the Grail Knight says or does, basking in the glory of their mighty idol. Every scrap discarded by a Grail Knight - be it a broken sword, a scrap of ruined armour or piece of clothing - will be immediately sntached up by these Battle pilgrims as a prized relic. Should a Grail Knight fall in battle, the pilgrims will immediately swarm his corpse and snatch away everything that might carry the blessing of the Lady. In fact, there are tales of pilgrims mistaking a Grail Knight for dead, trampling him while they fight over the possessions of the - supposedly - late Knight. But the most prized possession of these zealots is the body of the Grail Knight itself. Many bands of pilgrims takte a reliquae around on their travels, with the body of the dead Knight resting at the centre. For the pilgrims, the reliquae, adorned with trinkets gathered from a myriad of Grail Knights, is the ultimate icon of their devotion to both the Lady and her Knights. They use them as mobile shrines to preach their creed to whomever might listen. And therte are many who would, for in every town the pilgrims stop in, there are plenty of folks eager to hear the newest tales of the heroic deeds of their Knights.
184.108.40.206 The Green Knight
The champion of the lady of the lake, protector of the sacred sites in Bretonnia, not only materializes to test Questing Knights, but he will also appear in sacred sites where those with evil intents have trespassed. He is called the shaabhekh, the "Soulkiller", by the beasts of the tainted forests, for he has slain untold thousands of their kin throughout the centuries. He bursts forth from the bole of ancient trees or the ground of lakes or waterfalls to unleash his wrath against those who dare trespass the sacred places. After his righteous slaughter is complete, he vanishes as quickly as he appeared.
Weapons are said to be useless against the Green Knight, as blades and arrows pass straight through him as though he were made of the morning mist on the lakes. In one epic tale, a Questing Knight cut the Green Knight’s head clean from his shoulders, but the fey being simply picked up his head and rode away.
Though the existence of the Green Knight is undisputed in Bretonnia, no one knows what he actually is -except for maybe the Fay Enchantress. Some see him as the Bretonnian spirit given physical form, while others claim he is Gilles le Breton, the founder of Bretonnia himself, having devoted himself completely to the land and the Lady after he was taken from this world.
7.4.3. The Magical Forces
220.127.116.11. The Damsels
It takes more than a mere beast or band of robbers to get these damsels into distress.
Sometimes a child in Bretonnia may show weird talents or powers. The milk might sour in their presence, or they may claim to see ghosts. While shunned by the ordinary people, these children - unless they come from a wealthy family and can be sent to the Empire to be trained at the Colleges of Magic - are visited before they reach puberty by the Fay Enchantress. She will take them to the Otherworld, and while the parents may mourn their loss, being chosen by the Fay Enchantress is commonly seen as a great honour. The male children are never seen again, though the female ones may return years later as damsels or prophetesses. Taught by the handmaidens of the lady, and having honed their abilities in their absent years, their magic is more centered about nature than that of the wizards in the Empire. It is they who ward the armies of Bretonnia from the foul magic of their adversaries in battle, and a Damsel might cause even the landscape to join the fight: trees might suddenly start to lash out at foes or flocks of birds might block the enemy's view. Some Damsels are even able to call down lightning. When not in battle, they act as advisors to their lords, while scrying into the future with their magical abilities. They also maintain the Lady's temples and lead prayers. The status of a Damsel within Bretonnia is somewhat unclear, as she exists outside of the ordinary society. They are however able to come and go where and when please, for who would cross someone so favoured by the Lady herself?
18.104.22.168 The Fay Enchantress
While it is generally believed that throughout the history of Bretonnia there have been many Enchantresses, some think that she has lived through all the ages of Bretonnia, making her thousands of years old. What is certain is that the Fay Enchantress has had many different names throughout the centuries. The current embodiment is known as Morgiana.
Just like her damsels, the Fay Enchantress is an exemption to the usual hierarchy of power within Bretonnia coming and going as she pleases, guided by the will of the Lady of the Lake. She also occasionally appears to Questing Knights to guide them in the last steps of their journey to the Lady. Travelling between the sacred groves of the lands, she gathers up young children with a latent power that is mostly hidden to everyone but herself, though it may manifest itself in strange occurrences about the child. These chosen ones are taken by the Fay Enchantress to a place beyond time and mortality, to the mysterious Otherworld. The girls occasionally return years later as Damsels of the Lady, blessed in spirit and heart. The male children never return.
Should the realm be in grave danger, the Fay Enchantress will rally the dukes or even the King himself and make them ready for war. When she decides to ride alongside the Bretonnian armies, she employs her unearthly powers in the protection of those fighting for the lady. Her legendary fury is greatly feared, and her piercing eyes crackle with power, inspiring terror and awe in friend and foe alike. She has been known to draw lightning from the sky to strike her enemies, and slay with but a wrathful glance.
Last edited by Rowhin; Mar 16, 2008 at 04:59 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:56 AM||#8|
The race of the Lizardmen is an old one. A very old one. Before even the Old Ones walked the world of Warhammer, several Slann travelled among the stars with their godlike masters. When the Old Ones began to settle in this world, they founded their first settlements in Lustria, where they used the amphibious creatures that already lived there as a basis for the creation of the races that would serve the Slann. The first of these created were the Saurus, Kroxigors, and Skinks. While the earth was being shaped according to Old Ones' design, the Slann spawned on the earth. Armies of saurus wiped out unwanted races to make space for the new creations of the Old Ones: the High Elves, the Dwarfs, and Mankind. When the Old Ones later left the world after struggling with their ancient foes of Chaos for centuries, it was left to the races formed by the Old Ones to fight against the threat of Chaos, including the great armies of the Lizardmen that consisted of millions of Saurus. Ultimately, however, it was the mages of the High Elves with the help from the Slann that accomplished the victory over the demons. After the wars were over, the Slann immediately began to put up defences to keep the threat of Chaos at bay. The Lizardmen, however, having had no role in the final victory, were forgotten by the younger races (excluding only the High Elves) along with the Old Ones. About 3000 years after the great war with the forces of Chaos, the Skaven Clan Pestilens invaded Lustria, starting a thousand year war that eventually ended by a great part of the Skaven force in Lustria being destroyed by the Serpent God Sotek and the rest retreating to the Old World.
Dark Elves occasionally raided Lustria, as well as the Vampire Luthor Harkon of the Vampire Coast.
Eventually, Lustria was "rediscovered" by the Tilean merchant Marco Columbo of the Old World who witnessed the defeat of a Dark Elf raid on Tlaxtlan.
The culture of the Lizardmen takes inspiration from the ancient Aztecd and Maya cultures. This is evident primarily in the architecture of Lizardmen temples, etc. (example) and in their religious pantheon, which will be explained later on.
8.2. Lizardmen species:
There are several subspecies of the Lizardmen, each one with a specific role in the Old Ones’ plan so as to ensure a smoothly run society.
8.2.1. The Slann
The Slann priests are the custodians of the Old Ones, and as well the rulers of the Lizardmen. Ancient creatures resembling toads, these species is extremely adept at using magic although their bodies are very frail. It is the Slann that were tasked with carrying out the Old Ones' final plan and they employ strong mental and magical energies to fulfil their duty. It was they who helped the Old Ones separate the continents of the Warhammer World and alter the world's orbit, bringing it closer to the sun so as to warm the planet and ensure conditions to sustain life for the younger races. However, much of the Slann's knowledge and wisdom was lost when the Old Ones departed from the world.
There are five generations of Slann: All Slann of the first spawning are already dead, but their spirits still linger and are capable of manipulating the winds of magic and communicating with the living and working magics through them. In times of great need their spirits can even possess willing recipients. In rare cases, their mummified remains are still powerful enough to be carried into battle and fight alongside their living kin. Although this is only done in times of great need. The remains of Venerable Lord Kroak, the first Slann ever to be spawned and most powerful of all the Slann, is only to be used in grave emergencies. Though nowhere near as powerful as their ancestors (Lord Kroak's remains are rumored to be powerful enough to destroy entire cities with one gaze), even the youngest Slann are powerful wielders of magic in Warhammer, with the older ones being the undisputed masters of magic.
8.2.2. The Saurus
Having noticed the physical frailty of the Slann, the Old Ones bred the Saurus next, numerous strong warriors to protect the Slann from Chaos and the younger races. It is believed that the Saurus were adapted from the native lizard species of Lustria.
Being the basic warrior in every Lizardmen army, the not-too-bright and brutish Saurus stand taller than any man. Their strength is substantial and they are covered in thick scales, making them capable of dealing out severe damage as well as taking it. However, their slow minds are incapable of mastering complicated weaponry like bows, so they are limited to using hand-to-hand weapons. Already having their scales (which might be equivalent to light armour), only the Temple Guards among the saurus wear armour.
A Saurus's lifespan covers thousands of years if they aren't killed in combat and they continue to grow bigger and tougher.
Saurus are trained to fulfil one of three occupations:
Saurus Warriors: The backbone of any Lizardmen army, brutish warriors with thick hides.
Temple Guards: The most elite warriors, designated as defenders of the temples and the Slann. They wear the skulls of young stegadons for helmets and are equipped with halberds and ceremonial armour made out of gems and metal.
Cold One Riders: These Saurus give off a strong musk that calms the Cold Ones and enables them to mount them.
8.2.3. The Skinks
While the Saurus are the warriors of the Lizardmen, the Skinks are the artisans. Highly talkative beings, they are employed for metalworking, temple organization and being adjutants to the Slann. Some few Skinks are blessed with an ability to use magic, though never to a degree as their masters. In war, the Skinks march into battle equipped with weapons like javelins or blowpipes.
8.2.4. The Kroxigor
Kroxigor are the Lizardmen who get all the manual, heavy labour done. However, being cousins of the Saurus, they can also be used to a great effect in battles. Since they are even more simpleminded than the Saurus, however, their weapons have to be chained to their wrists so they don't drop them and use their razor sharp claws and teeth instead.
8.3. Beasts of War
The Lizardmen often use the reptiles and dinosaurs that are native to the jungles surrounding their temples to ride into war. Some of these are:
Salamanders: These highly temperamental lizards have the ability so spray acid from their mouth even while moving. Due to their temperament, however, they are hard to tame and known to sometimes eat their handlers.
Carnosaurs a large Dinosaurs that would best be described as the Warhammer world's equivalent of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. They are probably the largest predator in the jungles of Lustria.
Stegadons are even larger than Carnosaurs. They are really, really big, but generally not as aggressive. They are used by Lizardmen as carriers for troops and massive crossbows which are fastened on their backs.
Cold Ones are as vicious as they are fast. They have a thick skin and a poisonouse coat of slime around it, but they are not too bright.
Horned Ones are a somewhat smarter and swifter version of the Cold Ones, though they lack in strength.
Terradons look somewhat like Pterodactyls. They use their huge leathery wongs to fly at great velocity and are surpisingly agile. A grown Terradon can fly throuh the jungle at full speed and never hit a tree or a branch. They are often ridden by Skinks who hurl javelins from their back.
Arcanadons are mighty beasts themselves, but the weapons they carry are even mightier. The "Engines of the Gods" as they are called are powerful artifacts capable of friing strong bolts of energy into the enemy's ranks.
8.4. The Sacred Spawnings
Some Lizardmen are spawned under the influence of one of their gods, the Old Ones. These spawnings carry the mark of their god, exhibiting certain characteristics as well as sharing a singular fate. It is also possible that they are spawned under the influence of several old Ones, resulting in a mix of the characteristics.
Usually, only one single spawning will exhibit these characteristics and marks, and only the Saurus of the spawning will be affected. There have, however, been reports of whole armies being spawned under one deity, Saurus as well as skinks.
These armies are referred to as Sacred Hosts. The spawning of a sacred host is a very rare thing and only happens if a gread duty is to be performed or a great danger is imminent. Sacred hosts of the following gods have been witnessed:
8.4.1. Chotec, the Sun God
Chotec is the god of the sun, and he imbues his spawning with an energy that allows it to keep going while their cold-blooded brothers have already stopped. Chotec's blessing is made visible by a fiery orange hue on the bodies of his spawning.
8.4.2. Sotek, the Serpent God
Sotek takes a speical place in the Lizardmens' pantheon as the is not an Old One. He is a god created in the common Warhammer way, by the subconscious of those who worship him. Originating during the Lizardmens' millenia war against the Skaven, he is the god of vengeance. he constantly demands sacrifice (and prefers rodent flesh). Those spawned under his influence have red skin or scales and are furious fighters.
8.4.3. Quetzl, the Protector God
Quetzl is worshiped as the protector god. Also referred to as the Warrior God, his servants are characterised by their toughness. Their hides are thicker and tougher than usual and they sport bony protrusions. There are reports of arrows and even crossbow bolts splintering when fired on their scales.
8.4.4. Huanchi the Jaguar God
With his symbol being the silent jaguar, Huanchi is considered to be the predator god. His spawnings are gifted with great skills of hutning and stalking, and move through the jungles even easier and more silent than normal Lizardmen.
8.4.5. Tzunki the Water God
The Lizardmen spawned under Tzunki's influence show a strong affinity towards water. Their scales and hides often adopt a sea-green hue and the Norse claim to have fought a host of Tzunki that had gills and webbed appendages and was able to remain underwater for many hours.
8.4.6. Tlazcotl the Impassive
Tlazcotl is said to embody the cold-blooded impassiveness of the Lizardmen race. His spawnings are not affected by anything happening around them, no matter how unnerving or dangerous it may seem to others. They are utterly devoid of emotion, and thus, utterly fearless. Even if their own ranks are cut down by the foe one by one, they will continue until either they or their enemies lie dead. Tlazcotl's spawnings have yellow crests or scales.
8.4.7. Tepok The Inscrutable
Also known as the Winged Serpent, Tepok is the feathered serpent God of air and sacred places. The inscrutable aspect of their deity affects the spawnings, who exhibit an air of mysterious otherworldliness. Tepok's symbols are considered powerful symbols of protection against magic, and thus, his spawnings are blessed with a certain resistance to harmful magical effects. His followers have a purple skin or purple scales.
8.4.8. Blessed Mark of the Old Ones
The rarest of all the spawnings, which is normally only given to Saurus, and only one at a time. These saurus can be recognised by an albino colouring. The Lizardmen believe that those of their kin who are born with this mark are destined for great deeds and actions.
However, at even rarer occasions, another subspecies than a Saurus may receive the Mark of the Old Ones. The prime example is the Kroxigor Nakai, called the Wandererd. He has unusually thick skin, even for a Kroxigor. Legend has it he held off five legions of daemons by himself when a temple city was under siege. After the abttle, he disappeared and was believed dead. However, he has reappeared a number of times since then, often arriving at a temple city shortly before it is attacked to aid the Lizardmen in its defense. So far, no temple city defended by Nakai has fallen.
Last edited by Rowhin; Dec 19, 2007 at 04:42 PM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:57 AM||#9|
Beastmen are wild and brutish creatures with bodies that are half-man and half-beast, usually the horned head of a goat. They compensate their lack of discipline in battle with a wild ferocity and bloodlust. Beastmen are tied to Chaos, and although they have the intelligence of man, they use the base cunning of a wild animal. Beastmen are not native to the world of Warhammer: they were created when the polar gateway of the Old Ones collapsed, showering the world with mutating warpstone dust, causing severe mutations of Man and animals, creating a wholly chaotic mix.
Considered abominations by every other race, the Beastmen have become a bitter race, succumbing to animal rages and their destructive instincts. They care not for wealth or glory, only to bring devastation to the other races. They particularly despise the humans, a result of their self-loathing, as they are neither human nor beast. Beastmen are spread throughout the whole word, hiding out in woodland areas, sheltered from the eyes of the civilised races. Though there are some hidden Beastmen lairs even in Bretonnia and Tilea and as far east as the Mountains of Mourn, the Beastmen are most populous in the Drakenwald and the Forest of Shadows.
Beastmen live in tribes, led by the strongest of their members.
The fiercest enemies of the Beastmen are the Wood Elves. Unknown to other races, a constant war rages between the beastmen and the armies of Athel Loren, a war to take control of sacred groves were magic gathers in large amounts. While Wood Elves construct waystones to absorb the magical energy whenever they are able to wrest control of them from the brutish hordes, the Beastmen erect crude herdsontes to siphon the magic's corrupting power and spill it wherever they go.
9.2. Beastmen types:
9.2.1. The Beastlords
The mightiest of the Beastmen and leader of the tribes. They plan raids on settlements and ambushes on caravans, settle disputes and keep their tribe in line with strength of arm. They have to be feared by both their foes and their own tribe, for should a Beastlord ever lose the respect of his underlings, he'll be killed and replaced within minutes.
9.2.2. The Shamans
The Shamans of the Beastmen are respected and held in awe by their brethren. They are the only ones of the Beastmen who can employ some magical power. Shamans are able to command the winds of magic by instinct; they do not have to learn to control them like less-favoured races do. Aside from using their magic to attack the enemy in battle, Shamans are also said to be able to spirit-walk within the Realm of Chaos, communing with daemons and even with the Powers of Chaos themselves. They are thus given omens for the future and interpret the will of the Chaos gods.
The Shamans are considered so powerful that it is an absolute taboo for Beastmen to do harm to them. Every Beastmen who dared touch a Shaman would be succumbed to the wrath of Chaos instantly.
The most powerful Beastmen are called Gors. Their appearance may vary greatly, but they always have some bestial features combined with those of a man. While there are unlimited variations as they are creatures of Chaos, the form of the Beastmen possessed by the vast majority has come to be that of the head and legs of a goat and the upper body of a man. Some examples are:
The strongest Gors are known as Bestigors. Along with their greater strength, they tend to have more discipline than their kin, enabling them to employ simple strategic tactics in battle and form more organized ranks. The bestigors have access to the best weapons and armour as no other Gors and especially no Ungors would take something a Bestigor wants. So they sometimes ever sport steel weapons or armour they took from the corpses of slain enemies.
Bestigors are also the most common Beastmen in bearing the Mark of one of the Great Powers, Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle or Slaanesh. Bestigors who serve a particular chaos entity are thus called Khorngors, Tzaangors, Pestigors or Slaangors.
Centigors are a merge of different four legged-creatures (horses or oxen) and bipedal beasts of Chaos. The hindquarters of their quadruped ancestors grant them great speed and strength while the upper body part resemlbes humans and is thus able to wield a weapon effectively.
Unfortunately, the minds of Centigors do not match their bodies, which results in them not being very agile and having difficulties in any tasks that require skill or dexterity.
Ungors are neither as strong, tough, intelligent or physically big as the Gors, which leads them to being extremely cruel and spiteful creatures. They take out their jealousy of the Gors on their foes in battle, their captives or on Brays (Beastmen without horns). They are physically smaller and their horns are almost always less impressive and numerous. In battle, the Gors usually rush to the front, so the Ungors are forced to jab between their larger brethren with spears to get some part of the enemy for their own.
9.2.5. Chaos Ogres and Dragon Ogres
Some Beastmen tribes are joined by even larger creatures like Dragon or Chaos Ogres. Chaos Ogres are with the basic form of a Man but twice as tall and infinitely more savage in appearance. Needless to say, these foes smash their opponents with little difficulty.
Dragon Ogres are powerful beings living in the mountains of the northern Old World, a mountain range often wrecked by terrible thunder storms. Whenever one of these storms rages, the sleeping Dragon Ogres stir as the thunder echoes the Chaos gods' call to battle. For the Dragon Ogres have struck a dark bargain with the Chaos gods. placing themselves in eternal servitude for a prolonged life. Once they are awakened, Dragon Ogres ascend the highest peaks and spires of the mountains to be struck by the lightning blasts in order to be invigorated and renewed, granting them yet another year or two to live.
9.2.6. Tuskgor (Chariots)
Certain very powerful Beastmen chiefs may call some Tuskgor Chariots their own. Ramshackle devices comprised of heavy, large pieces of lumber nailed and bound together with no thought of craftsmanship or finesse, they are drawn by the massive Tuskgor. Tuskgor are warped crosses between boars of the Old Word's forests, the Beastmen themselves and some Chaos energy thrown into the mix, resulting into massive creatures covered with brutal tusks and horns. In battle, Tuskgor chariots surge towards the enemy at breakneck speed, driving through the ranks of the foe with unstoppable force and scattering them as the Beastmen and Tuskgors strike out with hooves, horns and blades.
9.2.7. Minotaurs & Doombulls
Minotaurs are massive bull-headed monsters, over twice the height of a man and are far greater in bulk. The largest and most intelligent among them are known as Doombulls. A Doombull may have devoted himself to a single Chaos deity and thus resemble his allegiance in his appearance. Khornebulls have a reddish skin and horns of brass and Plaguebulls a fetid, bloated appearance and poisonous gas in their stomach as well as poxes and boils. Slaanbulls decorate their horns with jewelry taken from their enemies and gory throphies like heads and other body parts. Tzaanbulls sport a brightly patterned skin and an aura of crackling magical energy.
10. Tomb Kings
The Tomb Kings are the former rulers of the vast kingdom of Nehekhara, akin to the ancient Egypt and Mesopotamian civilisations. It was divided into great cities, each one ruled by a king. In the belief that they would rule paradise in their afterlife, they were entombed in preparation for this duty. Some hundreds of years later, a young noble was born and named Nagash. As we was not the oldest son of the current king, he became a High priest instead of being prepared to inherit the throne. However, Nagash later assassinated his older brother after he had taken the throne upon their father's death and usurped it. His rule is best described as a tyranny. Versed in the ways of Nehekaraian sorcery and funerary rites and rituals, he became obsessed with the secret of eternal life and searched for a way to make himself immortal. His search led to a group of Dark Elves that were being held captive and a Sorceress taught him the ways of Dark magic which he twisted with his other knowledge to create the Necromantic art. Thus, Nagash was the first Necromancer to walk the Warhammer world. Eventually, he found a way to make himself immortal, barring his spirit from leaving his body. However, he enver figured out how to stop his body from falling apart with the ages.
He made the Nehekharians build the Black Pyramid as a magnet for Dark Magic. It was also him who began the expirements with human blood that would later be perfected by the queen of Lahmia, resulting in the creation of the Vampire Counts. Eventually, the other kings rose against Nagash under the lead of King Acadizzar. In order to be able to withstand their assault, Nagash began raising the dead from their graves - the greatest of obscenitites in a land so obsessed with death culture as Nehekhara. Despite his efforts, Nagash was eventually forced to retreat to his homeland. The remaining kings decided that they should destroy everything that Nagash ever had created, including the Nine Tomes in which he had written down everything about the new branch of magic he had created - Necromancy. Although the original Nine Tomes were destroyed, very few copies could be saved. If and where these are still exist today is unkown.
Nagash had flown to the northeast, to the desert area later called Cursed Pit of Nagawaaaghwaaaghwaaaghwaaaghaar. During his travels there, he came as near to the point of death as he would ever come - only to emerge from it as a Liche, a much more powerful one than the Liche Priests in his home land. He eventually came to Cripple Peak, a mountain that housed vast amounts of warpstone and began to construct a fortress - Nagawaaaghwaaaghwaaaghwaaaghzar - in it. Over the years, he learned how to manipulate and work the warpstone and crafted many a cruel artifact - including his sword Mortis, the Crown of Sorcery and his own Black Armour. However, the exposure to the mutating effects of the warpstone took its toll on Nagash: his size and strength increased, but the flesh still fell from his bones until he became little more than a walking skeleton.
Nagash's experiments drew the attention of the Skaven, who amassed a powerful force to take the mountain from Nagash and the massive undead forces he had accumulated. After a devastating war, the two sides forged a truce: Nagash would supply the Skaven with warpstone if they lured several tribes of Orcs into the pits beneath his fortress. The Skaven agreed and indeed they succeeded in leading the Orc tribes into the pits.
Meanwhile in the Nehekharan realm of Lahmia, Queen Neferate had come across a copy of one of the Nine Tomes. Captivated by the new kind of magic, she began to study necromancy. When she couldn't further expand her powers by herself, she made a dark pact with "a dark force" (whose name is better left unmentioned), drinking an elixir which resulted into her becoming the first vampire. She gathered eleven of her most trusted advisors and made each of them into a Master Vampire of whom all other Vampires of today are descended. As the other Kings of Nehekhara became aware of Neferate's treachery, it was once again Alcadizaar of Khemri who gathered the armies of Nehekhara and defeated the undead legions of the vampires. Neferate and the six remaining Master Vampires fled to the north where they ecnountered Nagash. Making them his captains, he sent them back into Nehekhara at the head of his own skeletal army.
Although this time it took Alcadizaar many years of bloody war and heavy losses, he once again repelled the undead hordes. The Vampire Masters decided to abandon Nagash - except for W'soran, the progenitor of the Necrarch, who stayed by his side to learn more about Necromancy. In a fit of rage caused by their treachery, Nagash cursed all vampire kind to burn when exposed to the rays of the sun.
After his latest defeat, having been foiled three times in his attempts to gain control of Nehekhara, Nagash decied that if he could not rule it, no one should. He decided to wipe out the whole country. He tainted the river Vitae (later known as River Mortis), whose water was critically essential for all the Nehekharan cities and settlements with the help of his Skaven allies, causing pestilence among all of Nehekhara. Alcadizaar, the great general who had crushed Nagash's attempts three times, watched his wife and children die and his kingdom fall to pieces. When Nagash came to invade this time, the defenses of Nehekhara were easily overcome and Alcadizaar captured. He was thrown into a cell in Nagawaaaghwaaaghwaaaghwaaaghzar for torture.
Now the way was free for Nagash to attempt on of the most powerful spells ever created. Unleashing a mighty wave of sorcerous energy over all of Nehekhara, he killed everything that was alive and tried to bring everything that was dead back at the same time, with the dead arisen under his control. His plot would have succeeded, had it not been for the ever meddlesome Skaven.
The Council of Thirteen, the rulers of all Skaven, realized that Nagash posed a threat they could not ignore, and they were still eager to take control of Nagash's large deposits of warpstone. They forged a blade of pure warpstone, the Fellblade, and gave it to Alcadizaar when they freed him from Nagawaaaghwaaaghwaaaghwaaaghaar. Alcadizaar immediately set off to kill Nagash, and found him in his throne room, still weakened from the powerful spell. With the help of the Council of Thirteen, who warded him from the magic of Nagash, alcadizaar eventually emerged victorious from the titanic battle that had ensued. For even if he was weakened, the powers at Nagash's disposal were still terrible. Alcadizaar hacked Nagash into many small pieces, but he had missed one he had hacked off during his very first charge at Nagash: one of Nagash's hand, who had crawled into the shadows upon being cut off. Although he had finally destroyed his nemesis, Alcadizaar fell into despair upon looking at the ravaged remains of his country. He took Nagah's crown and staggered around his destroyed kingdom, mad by both the ordeal and the cursed artifacts he carrier - the corwn as well as the warpstone sword. He eventually died and the trail of the artifacts ist lost through the centuries. The Skaven gathered every piece of Nagash they could find and burnt it with warpstone, scattering the ashes across the world - but they too missed the hand, the part that would become the Claw of Nagash.
The dead that Nagash's spell had caused to rise from their graves were free of being controlled by him, but only the Tomb Kings and Liche Priests were sentient beings. When they awoke expecting the full glory of their afterlife, they were furious. They tried to regain control of their former kingdoms, but were only partly successfull. They often fought among themselves and none of them was able to take a leading position like Alcadizaar had done.
As they were busy with their internal struggles, none of the resurrected kings - now called Tomb Kings - actually noticed the activities within the Black Pyramid that Nagash had built during his reign. Within it, Nagash was slowly succeeding in knitting his body back together, piece by piece, with the final resurrection 1,111 years after he was slain. He found Nehekhara defended by undead kings with armies of skeletons equal to anything he himself could summon. He challenged King Settra, the ruler of khemri for rule of Nehekhara, but was chased from it by Settra and the other kings in a rare alliance of the Tomb Kings. Nagash returned to Nagawaaaghwaaaghwaaaghwaaaghzar and found that the Skaven had mined most of the warpstone. Somehow, he managed to drive away all Skaven from within the mountain in a single day. After many attempts at regaining the fortress, the Skaven decided that what warpstone was left was not worth the trouble and left Cripple Peak. Nagash decided that if he was to stand a chance against the Tomb Kings, he would need his old artifacts back. Having forged a new hand from what warpstone was left at Cripple Peak, Nagash led a newly raised army into the freshly founded Empire where he suspected his crown had been taken by a band of Orcs. He called upon the aid of his former allies, the Skaven, but they refused him. In an act of spite, he cursed their whole race, forever creating a weakness in them against the will of Sigmar. Nagash's army was defeated and he himself killed by Sigmar at the Battle of the River Reik.
But Nagash would not be Nagash if he simply stayed dead and buried. 1,666 years after being slain by Sigmar, he was resurrected in what became known as the Night of the Restless Dead. Although he has not been attacking any more nations, he is thought to be slowly rebuilding his power. It is also speculated that he is controlling or manipulating the Lichmaster Heinrich Kemmlar.
Meanwhile, the Tomb Kings continue their wars in the desert. Their armies consist of large quantities of light infantry equipped with axes, spears, bows, maces and shields, supported by chariots and light cavalry and a number of creatures and magically powered statues that are listed below.
Every Tomb King Army is led by a King or Prince. His force of will is what keeps the host going, while the accompanying Liche Priests or High Priest (called the Hierophant, of which every army has to have at least one) animates the dead. While an army can be kept functional after its general (the Prince or King) is slain, the destruction of the Hierophant will result in all of the army collapsing into sand.
10.2. Unit types
A Whole hellish lot of 'em.
10.2.1. Tomb Kings
Tomb Kings are the ancient and long-dead rulers of the land of Nehekhara. Since there have been countless kings in the various cities throughout the times of the Nehekharan empire, it is impossible to say how many Tomb Kings actually exist.
10.2.2 Tomb Princes
Tomb Princes are - obviously - the sons of Tomb Kings. As was custom, each of the ancient Nehekharan Kings kept a large harem, which resulted into them having many sons. Since only one son could succeed his father to the throne, the others became captains of high rank and were brought home to be mummified and entombed in a place within the king's pyramid upon their eventual death.
10.2.3. Liche Priests
The Liche priests are the last remains of the Mortuary cult, founded by the Nehekharan Kings to defy their mortality.
10.2.4 Skeleton Soldiers
Every soldier in the vast armies of the Tomb Kings swore an oath that he would serve his king beyond death. Thus, the bones of the warriors were interred in the great tomb pits of the king's necropolis and later raised as Skeleton warriors when the Tomb Kings left their graves.
10.2.5. Skeleton Chariots
The pride of a Tomb King’s army is his charioteers. As the first great civilisation of humankind, Nehekharans were also the first to use horses and wagons in battle. The Nehekharan chariots are swift and lightly built. Fighting in mass units, they were considered the elite units of the army. Although only nobility was permitted to become charioteers, entire armies of skeleton chariots have been seen.
10.2.6. Tomb Guard
The personal bodyguards and palace guards during the king's lifetime. The bravest and best soldiers, they were granted the favor of sharing the king's immortality by being buried close to the king within the regal pyramid itself. They now guard the inner sanctums of the necropolis.
Giant statues carved into the likeness of the many gods and goddesses of Nehekhara, the Ushabti stand as guardians around the perimeters of the great pyramids of the Tomb Kings. They are roughly three times the height of man and in times of need can be imbued by the Liche Priests with tremendous power.
10.2.8. Tomb Swarms
While the pyramids were for a long time impenetrable to civilised races, this was not true for many poisonous insects and other vicious creatures of the desert. Though long dead, the mere presence of the Liche Priests and the Tomb Kings fills their empty shells with animation, and they scuttle from their hiding places around the mortuary temples and beneath the sands.
10.2.9. Tomb Scorpions
The Tomb Scorpions are giant constructs carved by the Liche Priests to represent the mystical creatures said to guard the Nehekharan underworld. Tomb scorpions don't only live up to the scorpion aspect of their name however: each Tomb Scorpion holds within itself the shrivelled corpse of a mighty liche priest. Locked in what is called the "death sleep", being neither dead nor alive, their corpse still emit their magical influence. The use of Scorpions in a battle requires a great deal of preparation on the eve of battle, as any sort of faults, even a mispronunciation in the incantation, will cause the entire night's work to go to waste.
Once native to the mountains in the east of Nehekhara and also the deserts to the west, Carrion are massive scavenging birds, akin to vultures. They were rumored to carry the souls of the dead to the afterlife. In their new employment in the Tomb Kings' armies, however, they carry the living to their "afterlife".
10.2.11. Bone Giant
Once the mortuary cult began to grow in power, the priests turned their talents towards beings of legends that were even older than the Nehekharan empire itself, beings that were said to be immense in stature and able to crush everything in their path. Thus the first Bone Giants were painstakingly crafted, formed from all manner of elements and held together by the powerful incantations of the Liche Priests.
10.2.12. Screaming Skull Catapult
It is said that Behedesh, King of Zandri, claimed to have invented this type of catapult. To undermine the moral of the defenders during a siege and to subdue their kings, he ordered the decapitated heads of the prisoners be flung over the walls. This worked perfectly, and they came up with more ways to increase the effectiveness. One of those ways was to set the skull to flame with bright, ethereal flames and the other for them to wail out the death scream of the victim. Upon the entombment of Behedesh, his necropolis was ransacked and many catapults stolen and spread throughout the lands.
10.2.13. Casket of Souls
If ever someone dared to incite their King's rage, he would put his soul into a casket. This casket would be sealed with pitch and inscribed with hieroglyphs of malediction and warning and placed within the king's tomb upon his burial. Should the seal be broken and the lid opened, countless lost souls would scream into the air seeking freedom from the madness and torment of their confinement. If used upon an enemy army, the spirits plunge through the hearts and minds of the enemy's ranks.
Last edited by Rowhin; Mar 16, 2008 at 05:14 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:58 AM||#10|
11. Vampire Counts
About two thousand years before Sigmar was born, there was an ancient civilization called Nehekhara in Araby. Nehekhara's culture was centered on the death and afterlife, building huge tombs and temples. Eventually, those became so frequent and huge that they became to be known as Necropoli, the cities of the dead.
One day, the queen of the Kingdom of Lahmia, Neferata, discovered the Book of Nagash (for information on Nagash, see the Tomb King write-up above) and fascinated by the powers within it, she began practicing the art of necromancy. While earlier necromancers had come to accept that their flesh wore out through time, Neferata sought youthful immortality. Eventually she made a pact with a dark force (whose name is always said to be "better left unmentioned") who supplied her with a vial of a special elixir distilled from his own blood, which would grant her eternal youth. However, the mixture had some undesired side effects: Neferata's heart stopped to beat and she developed a craving for human blood. She gathered her eleven most trusted advisors and friends, and gave to each of them a portion of the elixir. Thus were born the twelve Master Vampires, of whom all other vampires in the world of Warhammer are descendants.
Somehow, each of the twelve masters (including the Queen), had obtained particular traits and found that they were able to expand their lineage by creating vampire servants, but through each successive generation, their vampyric powers weakened. The twelve masters and their new minions began to terrorize the population of Nehekhara and defiled their temples. The ruler of Nehekhara, King Alcadizaar the Great, in fear of the wrath of his gods, decided to wage war on the vampires. The vampires defended their homelands, but were eventually pushed back to Lahmia itself. When Alcadizaar's armies broke through the gates of Lahmia, the vampires tried desperately to defend the library, as it was there that all their lore and knowledge was kept. Many vampires were slain in the battle for the library or died in the fire when the Nehekharan armies set it to flames. Seeing the battle was lost, the seven masters who had survived fled. One of them, abhorash, abandoned the rest of the group, blaming them for his downfall.
While fleeing north, the remaining vampires encountered Nagash once again, who made them his captains and sent them back into Nehekhara under the command of Arkhan the Black. Although the combined powers of the vampires and Nagash were devastating, Alcadizaar the great, one of the greatest leaders of all time, personally smashed the Undead armies through a brilliant campaign. Once again they fled from Nehekhara. Nagash was furious and laid a curse upon every vampire, that from now on they would be burned by the rays of the sun. As the vampires had had enough of being led into destruction by others, the Vampire Masters split up.
Of the seven, one left for far east Cathay, another headed for the Chaos Wastes, and four remained in the Old World. The tragic story of the seventh, Ushoran of Strigos, can be told elsewhere.
11.2. General/Army Information
Vampires are physically strong, magically potent characters who are able to raise the undead.
The resurrected are bound to the will of the Vampires by necromantic magic. Their armies consist of skeletons and zombies, with small units of the flesh-eating Ghouls. Heavily armoured skeleton champions, the Grave Guard, march to war besides Black Coaches, the only 'war machine' for the Vampire Counts, driven by a wraith bearing a scythe, even able to move if the skeleton horses carrying them have been slain. Necromancers are among the few living things in a Vampire Count army, dark sorcerers, providing magical support.
The Vampires themselves are among the fiercest combatants in Warhammer, able to stand against even a Lord of Khorne and also possessing powerful magical abilities that allow them to cover a battlefield in clouds so they aren't harmed by the sun.
Wraiths lead units of skeletons - wizards who failed to become immortal, only their soul is left, wrapped in a cloak of darkness.
While both the armies of the Tomb Kings and the armies of the Vampires have similar units, they operate very differently. Vampire Count armies are generally made up of hordes of low-quality infantry, namely classic undead creatures like skeletons, zombies, ghouls, etc. supported by elite unites like the Black Knights, the Grave Guards, and animals usually depicted in league with vampires, like wolves and bats.
Vampire Count armies are led by either powerful Vampires, Necromancers or wights. Use this as a rule of thumb to decide whether you are facing Tomb kings or Vampire Counts:
If the army is comprised of 95% or more bones, your opponent is a Tomb King. If it has 20-40% flesh, you are up against a Vampire Count.
11.3. The Vampire Bloodlines
Only 5 Bloodlines are playable in Warhammer TT:
11.3.1. Von Carstein
Probably the most stereotypical vampires if you think of vampires like Dracula. They have close bonds to animals such as wolves and bats. In the game, these are the vampires that have no special modifications, but are often portrayed to have an especially close tie to animals.
The Von Carstein vampires rule over the land of Sylvania, a cursed stretch of land to the east of the Empire. Their armies are often partly comprised of living peasants, forced into slavery by threat of death.
11.3.2. Blood Dragons
The Blood Dragons are fallen Knights and are often said to have received inspiration from Anne Rice's vampire archetype. They are neither good nor evil, they are souls who suffer eternally. In the game, they possess the best combat skills of the vampires, though at the cost of spellcasting abilities.
Their progenitor, Abhorash, is the only Vampire who has ever defeated Nagash's curse by drinking a dragon's blood. The Blood Knights will sometimes fight in lance formation, revealing their former ties to Bretonnia.
A bloodline comprised almost entirely of females. Their progenitor is Queen Neferata herself, the original vampire. Their emphasis lies on their seductive nature. Thus, many of their bloodline powers center on influencing enemy heroes. In game, they are granted superior speed at the expense of combat skills.
Within the Lahmian armies, you can often spot living heroes from other armies, seduced by Lahmian spells.
If you can remember the film "Nosferatu", then you have a pretty close impression of what these vampires look like. They are monstrous and wizened, weaker in combat, but with greater magical power than other bloodlines. It is however not their strength that is inferior to other bloodlines, but their dexterity and weapon skill. They are still a great deal more dangerous in close combat than your average spellcaster. Being described as solitary researchers who work on ever more terrible spells, the Necrarch field large numbers of necromantic constructs, spellcasters, and zombie dragons.
It is sometimes implied that they are still serving Nagash. Their progenitor was W'soran, and their previous master Melkhior was known to have served Nagash closely.
Even more monstrous than the Necrachs, huge and heavily built, the Strigoi are barely intelligent. They are animalistic and half-mad, possessing similar combat potential to the Blood Dragons, but more in terms of bestial fury than skill at arms. They are unable to use any form of arms, steeds or armor.
Strigoi army are comprised of few undead in comparison to other bloodlines. They bolster their lines with large numbers of ghouls and their champions. They are also lacking in armor and magic.
Their progenitor Ushoran had defied the other vampire masters when he built his own empire in Strigos, situated in what is now known as the Badlands. When Mourkain, his capital, was destroyed by an Orc Waaagh!, he sought out his fellow masters for help, but they shunned him for his snobbery. The Strigoi then gradually degenerated into the feral beasts they are now. Their degeneration is most visible in that they drink not the blood of the living, but the blood of the "Long Dead." Though they do this for safety reasons to conceal their presence to other Vampires or Witch Hunters, other Vampires would never consider drinkin from the blood of a decayed corpse. One would say it is their kind of a sacrilege.
A good deal more of information about the Vampire Counts' background than I could ever hope to squeeze into this thread can be found here:
11.4. The Vampires' armies
11.4.1. The Infantry
22.214.171.124. Zombies, Ghouls and Skeletons
The core of the Vampire Counts' armies are always made up by row after row of these kinds of undead creatures.
Skeletons are ghostly appearances, the bones of the dead moving without any flesh or muscles attached. All of them are utterly unafraid no matter what enemy they face, as they do not remember their past lives and are completely controlled by the will of their masters. Skeletons are armed with shields, swords, cudgels, spears, and whatever weapons their masters can supply them with.
Ghouls are not really raised by the Vampires, but are cannibals from sylvania that were driven mad by the meat of the dead they ate and degenerated into what they are now over the years. They have an unbearable hunger for human flesh and usually dig up fresh corpses, but when the armies of the Undead gather, they flock to join them, always hoping to be able to scavenge a battlefield after a victory. Ghouls have blotched and filthy skin, bestial eyes and sport rows of sharp teeth that can tear through flesh and muscle easily. Ghouls often do not use weapons, preferring to bite and tear at their enemies with their teeth and arms only.
Zombies are rather fresh corpses which have been raised from the dead. They are mindless and not stronger than an average human, but the Vampires raise them in thousands to flood the enemy's ranks and exhaust them. Zombies are in a certain stage of decay, with maggots and worms all over their bodies and the skin hanging from their bodies, often revealing inner organs which have resumed their work. They are driven by a mad instinct to kill all they encounter. Like ghouls, zombies do not always use weapons.
126.96.36.199. The Wights
In earlier ages, the humans of the Old World would bury their dead heroes with their armour and weapons - a mistake that has come back to haunt them along with the bodies of their heroes. When these heroes and warriors are resurrected, they take up their armour and weapons once again. Clad in bronze and black iron and wielding swords that bear evil runes, they are better equipped than the standard skeletons in the Vampire Counts' armies.
188.8.131.52. The Grave Guard
The elite infantry of the Vampire Counts, the best of the Wights are equipped with the best armour and the most wicked weapons that is available to them. Their swords bear wicked enchants thought up by the Vampires themselves and can cause grave wounds or even death at a single blow. Grave Guards also exhibit some resistance against magical attacks.
184.108.40.206. The Ethereal Host & The Banshees
Even in death, most of the beings in the Old World do not rest easily. Oftentimes, a spectre or ghost may be found during the night, hovering atop his grave or the place he died. Only very few know the vile rituals required to bind a spirit of the dead, but Vampires are among them. In battle, these spirits often flock together in large groups and instill great fear in their enemies. Although they are incorporeal, they are able to freeze a mortal heart by touch.
Banshees are a special type of spirits. They are spirits of evil women who refuse to enter the afterlife for fear of punishment. They often howl in bitterness when they remember the forbidden pleasures of their lives. That howl alone can be lethal to anyone who does not have an iron will. Their face bears an expression of eternal pain and agony, and their black hair flows around their head like they are constantly caught in a storm. Banshees float a little above the ground and one would manage to take acloser look at them, he would see some shades of men they killed during their life accompanying them.
220.127.116.11. Necromancers & Wraiths
Necromancers are those wizards who have adopted the dark arts of raising the dead. They are shunned by every nation and society throughout the world, and thus often end up in the service of Vampires, either willingly in search for more dark knowledge, or unwillingly because they were forced to join them. As Necromancy tends to ahve an effect on the sorcerer who uses it, their flesh eventually begins to fall away and they join the armies of the Undead as an immortal wizard.
However, not all of the necromancers are successfull on their way to immortality. Those whose enchantments to preserve their body and mind have failed wither away and eventually become wraiths, reduced to their long black coats and a skull face. They aren't alive anymore, but neither are they dead yet, and they cling to that last shred of life like a drowning man onto a plank. Miserable beings, they envy and hate all living beings who may still enjoy the pleasures of life, and hunt them down.
11.4.2. The Cavalry - The Black Knights
The cavalry force of the Vampire Counts are the Black Knights, wights on skeletal steeds. They are called Nightmares, and rightly so. Balefire glows in their eyes and a stench of death and decay accompanies them wherever they ride. These steeds do neither tire nor do they ever panick or feel pain, and they are a fearsome sight on the battlefield.
18.104.22.168. Dire Wolves
Giant wolves which descend from their lairs high in the mountain ranges of Sylvania, these beasts cannot even by stopped by death. Although they are often hunted down by humans and the carcasses buried in a pit, they somehow come back to life and dig their way back up. They sport a rotting black fur and an unnatural, eerie glow from their eyes. When one is actually finally slain, it dissolves into black mist. Vampire Counts use packs of these wolves for hunting packs and watchdogs for their castles.
22.214.171.124. Bat Swarms & Fell Bats
The armies of the Vampire Counts are often accompanied by countless bat swars that descend on the enemy to buy the Vampires enough time to close in, negating their disadvantage of having no means of ranged combat. The strongest and most vile of these bats are the blood-drinking fell bats, who can gro to have a wingspan of twelve feet or more.
11.4.4. The Black Coach
The Black Coach is the only thing being employed by the Vampire Counts that comes close to a "war machinery". A dark coach being led by a wright and pulled by two Nightmares, the Coach is an unholy thing itself. It is said to feed on the souls of mortals, its mere presence draining the lifeblood from men.
Its main purpose however, is the transport of slain Vampires. When a Vampire is slain, his followers will try to gather his ashes from the battlefield and put it into a coffin within the Black Coach. They will then take the ashes to a battlefield or plague-ridden city, places which stimulate the regenerative powers of the Vampires.
Last edited by Avien; Mar 18, 2008 at 03:51 PM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:58 AM||#11|
12. The Skaven
According to a popular legend, long ago, before the founding of the empire, there was a great city in the Blighted Marches. Men and Dwarfs lived there together, the men on the surface, the dwarfs underneath. One year a council of the wisest men and Dwarfs of the city decided to build a great tower in honour of their gods. The tower was to touch the sky and pierce the very heavens; it would be the greatest building man or Dwarf had ever created. So construction of the tower was duly started. However, after hundred years, the tower was still nowhere near finished.
So, one day a hooded man appeared at the city's gates and claimed he would finish the tower in one week if he could only add some small part of his own design. The town's council agreed, and the stranger finished the tower in one week. When asked what he had added, he said it was a bell at the top of the tower. The stranger demanded payment for his work, but the council refused — there had been no mention of payment in their deal. The stranger warned that if he did not receive his payment by midnight the next day the bell would ring thirteen times and a terrible curse would be placed upon the city. The town council, however, did not heed his warning and had him thrown out of the city. On the stroke of midnight the following night, the bell at the top of the tower began to chime with a terrible sound, causing some of the town's inhabitants to go mad. It struck thirteen times and then stopped with the stranger appearing on top of the tower.
The next morning, the town was swarmed with rats that devoured the foodstock of the city. On the second day, warpstone began to fall from the sky, ruining the city's crops and causing the rats to mutate. On the third day, rats began to gather in groups and attack humans, dragging the weak or young off to devour them. On the fourth day, while warpstone continued to rain from the sky, the dwarfs decided to retreat into their tunnels and seal them off until the incident was over. They entered the gates in the morning and sealed them after they were in. No dwarf ever left those tunnels alive.
On the fifth day, several of the rats began to walk on two paws and managed to start simple communication. Many of them roamed the streets devouring corpses and the bolder ones even entered houses and slaughtered their inhabitants.
On the sixth day, the bell tolled a final thirteen times. All humans and dwarfs within the city's walls were dead. The rat-men had taken over the city, and Skavenblight, the capital of the Skaven Empire, was born. The tower the stranger built stands to this day while the rest of the city lies in ruins.
12.1.2. The Exodus
Over the years after their creation, the Skaven grew more numerous, more powerful and above all, more ambitious. A number of their sorcerors developed a plan to rip open the earth and thus destroy all cities of dwarfs and humans. However, their plan failed, although it had catastropihc results. The device they had built malfunctioned and sent a number of devastating seismic waves through the ground, causing the beginning of the Time of Woes by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the World's Edge Mountains. Many dwarven strongholds and human settlements were destroyed in the process, and a great number od Dwarfs and Humans were killed. Skavenblight, however, was almost completely spared. From the temple atop the city, twelve cloaked and hooded figures emerged, the Greylords, chosen disciples of the Horned Rat that ordered the Exodus scattering the Skaven to all corners of the Eart so that no single disaster could wipe them out and foil the plans of the Horned Rat.
The twelve Grey lords each took a part of the Skaven population with them and set out into the world, save for one Greylord who remained behind. They spread out into the world, often taking residence in partly destroyed dwarben holds or besieging those in which the Dwarves remained. some Clans vanished completely, not to be heard of for centuries.
Meanwhile, the newly established Council of Thirteen, a ruling body for all the Skaven, passed a decree that forbid the use of magic for any Skaven except the Grey Seers who were prophets of the Horned Rat and Clan Skryre who had remained at Skavenblight to find out what had gone wrong with the device.
As the Skaven required Warpstone for most of their research, they eventually came into conflict with the mighty Necromancer Nagash who had taken residence atop Cripple Peak, a mountain that housed a giant warpstone meteor. They eventually got rid of him and could mine the warpstone, but he later came back and drove them off (for details, see the Tomb King's history section). As they had already mined most of the Warpstone by then, the Skaven decided to abandon Cripple Peak.
12.1.3. The Return Of Clan Pestilens
About a century after the Empire had been created, one of the Clans who had vanished during the Exodus suddenly reappeared. Clan Pestilens had traveled a great distance through harsh territory and eventually made a home in Lustria, a contient east toe the Southlands. However, the jungles in the area were decimating the population with their virulent diseases and the Skaven searched for a place to safely hide. They came across a ruined temple and found something vile and long forgotten. They pledged themselves to this force (which might have been an incantation of Nurgle) and embraced the very diseases that were killing them.
But over the centuries, they eventually were discovered and driven out by the Lizardmen in a long, bloody war that ended with the birth of the Serpent God Sotek of the Lizardmen. The newborn god drove the Skaven out of his lands with his serpents, and they began to travel back to Skavenblight. Led by the socalled Priesthood of Pestilence, they began to attack the Clans of the Southalnds who were controlled by Greylord Azarskittar, one of the few Greylords still alive at that point. Although the armies of Clan Pestilence employed horrific diseases, they eventually could not destroy or take the last few remaining strongholds of Azarskittar, so they began to march on Skavenblight instead.
The Council was surprised at the attack, and despite their efforts, most of the Southlands fell to Clan Pestilens and many other, smaller Clans flocked to support the returned Clan. The war would go on for over 500 years, until yet another Clan would return - Clan Eshin.
Clan Eshin's travels had led them far to the east, to lands known in the Old World as Cathay. They had hidden under the mountains and the human population of Cathay had remained oblivious to them. Clan Eshin observed the humans carefully and learned many things from them...including the silent and deadly art of assassination. Upon their return to the lands near Skavenblight, the Skaven of Eshin made a secret pact with the Council and only a few days later, countless assassinations, sabotage and kidnapping hindered the efforts of those Clans who had pledged their allegiance to Clan Pestilens. Under the combined effort of the Council, Clan Skryre, Clan Eshin and the Greylord Azarskittar, Clan Pestilens quickly began to loose their position of power. Thus, they made overtures to the Council, who were vary and suspicious of their brethren at first. However, the Grey Seers, always working towards the unity of the Skaven, demanded that the Council meet the Pestilens emissaries. The leader of Clan Pestilens, Arch Plaguelord Nurglitch himself, came to Skavenblight to negotiate. When he met with the Council, he asked them to reinstate his Clan into Skavendom in exchange for the Clan's everlasting loyalty to the council and informed them that should they refuse, he and his companions would unleash the most deadly and virulent diseases they carried with them. The Council grudgingly accepted Nurglitch's offer and the Arch Plaguelord deafeated another Council Member in a duel, therefore securing himself a seat in the Council of Thirteen.
12.1.4. The Black Plague and the Second Civil War
With the Skaven united more or less again, they turned their attention towards the other races. In IC 1111, Clan Pestilens released the Black Plague upon the human cities. The plague had horrific effects and wiped out whole cities. The Skaven flooded from their hidden warrens, set waste to the settlements and captured what few suvivors were left. The Empire suffered greatly under the Plague and was almost unable to offer any resistance at first. But in 1118, the Skaven assault on Middenheim was thrown back, and the disease diminished in power. Also, with the Empire in chaos, the practitioners of dark arts had little to fear from the authorities. In the eastern part of the Empire, the Skaven would often come to a city to find that those who died of the plague had already been resurrected and were fighting back. All those factors, combined with the sudden, astounding comeback of the Empire in 1124 halted the Skaven assault and they were eventually driven back underground. Clan Pestilens, who had gained a tremendous amount of power in the early stages of the war, suffered a great loss of prestige which they tried to regain by unleashing the Red Pox in Bretonnia a couple of years later. However, the Red Pox failed to reproduce the effectiveness the Black Plague had shown, and rivals of Clan Pestilens demanded that it be removed from the Council. On the day the decision of the Council was to be announced, Clan Pestilens attempted a coup against it that resulted into another Skaven civil war as old slights and grudges flared anew. Clan Skryre seized Skavenblight and the Great Temple of the Horned Rat, but Clans Moulder and Pestilens refused to acknowledge their claims. Clan Eshin simply fought for whoever paid best.
The Grey Seers, once again trying to reunite the fractured Skaven race, eventually came to the conclusion that only an event of tremendous importance to the Skaven as a race would end this civil war. So in IC 2302, they pronounced an ultimatum to the Clans, demanding that they gather in Skavenblight for the annual feast to the horned Rat on Vermintide in IC. For the first time in Skaven history, every clan had its representative withtin the temple and so the Grey Seers began a ritual to ask the Horned Rat to speak justice. Even the Grey Seers could not have foreseen what would happen.
In the middle of the ritual, the leading Seerlord was suddenly torn asunder and before the cowering leaders of the Skaven, the Horned Rat itself appeared. It conjured a giant monolith of warpstone in the chamber, a pillar of commandments that ordered them to cease their internal struggles to fulfill their god's plans. Only those whom he deemed worthy would be able to touch the pillar and live, and only those should be allowed to occupy a seat in the Council of Thirteen from now on. The Horned Rat then vanished. Some of the leaders did not even try to touch the pillar, renouncing their claims and many others died from touching it, but eventually, twelve survived to join the Council. The long civil war had finally ended, and the new leadership of the united Skaven race was ready to fulfill the destiny the Horned Rat had promised the Skaven.
12.2. General Appearance
Simply put, Skaven are giant rats that walk on two legs and whose intelligence is sufficient to have developed a language and use weapons and tools. Most Skaven are four to five feet tall and sport a brownish fur that darkens the stronger they get. Occasionally, Skaven with grey or white fur are found among a litter. Those Skaven usually become Grey Seers while those with darker skin are found in the ranks of the Stormvermin corps due to their greater strength. The average skaven lives for about 20 years, though those in higher positons often extend those lifespans, possibly through drugs or warpstone.
12.3. Skaven Culture
In the Skaven society, the working and military forces are comprised entirely of males. The females barely show any intelligence and spend most of their lives breeding in their nest, producing three to five litters with about 20 newborns a year.
12.3.1. Skaven Religion: The Horned Rat
The Horned Rat, or Horned One, is the patron deity of the Skaven race. The Skaven are his only worshippers, and thus he exhibits the characteristics of the Skaven race - deceit, lust for revenge, backstabbing, disease and viciousness. The Horned Rat's goal is to unite the Skaven so they can rule all of the Warhammer world, a feat that would allow it "to return" - though no one knows what this "return" actually means, as no sources elaborate on it. While it is often mentioned that the Skaven might actually be capable of conquering the whole world, their own nature prevents it from happening, as they are too divided amongst themselves and their constant backstabbing does not work towards a common goal.
Whenever the Horned Rat is depicted, its icon is a large rat's head with four horns - two of which are goat like, and two of which are curled like a ram's. Unlike other gods, the Horned Rat is supposed to have made personal appearances in the Warhammer World with an apperance close how it is depicted.
12.3.2. The Council of Thirteen
The Horned Rat's commands are interpreted by the Lords of Decay, who together form the Council of Thirteen, the ruling body of all Skaven. The number 13 is supposed to be the Horned Rat's favourite one. Although the Council's name suggests it has thirteen members, there are actually only twelve, who sit at two side of a long table. The top seat is symbolically reserved for the Horned Rat, which makes up the thirteenth "member". Although they are supposed to unify the Skaven, the members of the council are not exceptions to Skaven culture...they constantly try to blackmail, backstab and cheat each other. A seat in the Council of Thirteen is - theoretically - won very easily: one just has to challenge one of the lords of Decay to a fight to the death and kill him in combat. The current members of the Council are Lord Kritislik (the Seerlord), Lord Morskittar (the Lord-Warlock of Clan Skryre), Nurglitch VII (Arch-Plaguelord of Clan Pestilens), Kratch Doomclaw of Clan Rictus, Warlord Gnawdwell of Clan Mors, Lord Sneek (Nightlord of Clan Eshin, .Lord Verminkin (Packlord of Clan Moulder) and Lord Paskrit (Warlord-General of all Skavendom). The most powerful among them are Kritislik and Morskittar, who occupy the seats number one and twelve.
12.3.3. The Grey Seers
Below the council in Skaven hierarchy are the Grey Seers, whose name comes from their oftentimes grey fur and their propheitc powers. They are possibly the weakest male Skaven, but their cunning and sorcerous power more than makes up for it. They are not really popular among the rest of the Skaven, but fear of their wrath ensures that most of them will follow their orders.
12.3.4 The Clans
Skaven are organized into a multitude of clans. The four most powerful and influential of those are called the Great Clans. They are Clan Mould,er Clan Pestilens, clan Eshin and Clan Skryre.
126.96.36.199. Clan Moulder
Clan Moulder makes its home in the far north, where Master Moulders employ a combination of alchemy and genetic engineering to breed monstrous beasts of every kind for war by using warpstone. They are very wealthy and rent out their beasts to other skaven clans for a certain price. Their most "popular" creations are the wolf-sized Giant Rats and the giant Rat Ogres that are four times the size of a man and can take down even a full armored knight with their heavy claws. Their lair, the "Hell Pit", consists of nine levels of laboratories, a barracks, and a giant colosseum hanging from chains. There is also a level of pitch darkness where their most powerful creatures are kept. The inspiration for the "Hell Pit" came from Dante's description of hell in "Inferno".
188.8.131.52. Clan Pestilens
Clan Pestilens is located in the Old World, and is deemed responsible for two of the Skaven civil wars. At some point the clan vanished into the jungles of Lustria and when it resurfaced, it was changed. Their devotion to the Horned Rat had grown exponentially and they worshipped it as the harbinger of disease and plague. Thus, they are immune to most diseases and use the very plagues they worship as deadly biological weapons against the other races. Due to their diseased bulk, their plague monk troops are extremely tough, and deliriously fanatical in combat. They also make use of rats infected with various foul contagions, and the deadly plague censers, which are flails laden with incensed warpstone, emitting lethal poison gas. Although this often is lethal to the censer bearers themselves, their fanatical devotion to the Horned Rat is stronger than any fear of death they might have.
184.108.40.206. Clan Eshin
Clan Eshin was, just as Clan Pestilens, considered lost for a long time, after they had travelled to the far Eastern lands of Nippon and Cathay. Upon returning, they weren't void of changes as well. They had become skilled in stealth and silent killing and were now silent, stealthy assassins. Being feared throughout the land as the long arm of the law, their prices are outrageous, but their results unmatched. Their common unit are the Night Runners and Gutter Runners, which are considered extendable cannon fodder during skirmishes. Those who survive some of those skirmishes go on to learn and eventually become the veteran Night Leaders for Night Runners and Black Skaven for Gutter Runners, far more skilled and efficient. Gutter Runners/Black Skaven specialize in scouting and tunnelling.
The elite troops of Clan Eshin are their assassins; they are among the deadliest killers in the entire Old World (or that's what they say...though the Dark Elves might want to have a word in that).
Clan Eshin has also become the physical hand of the Council of 13, the ruling body of the Skaven, and carry out their decrees.
220.127.116.11. Clan Skryre
Currently, the most influential Clan is Clan Skryre. This clan has devoted itself to blending their studies of magic with their insane science and engineering. The results so far are many deadly machines: the Ratling Gun (a warpstone-based Gatling gun), the Warpfire thrower (a warpstone-based flamethrower), the Jezzail (a extremely long-ranged warpstone rifle, with one Skaven firing the rifle and the other holding up a shield to rest the rifle on), and of course the infamous Warp-Lightning Cannon. They train Warlock Engineers as well, who are adept at using the winds of magic. another untit fielded by Clan Skryre are the Globadiers. These special units are armed with wind globes filled with deadly poison. When these globes are thrown and hit the ground, they shatter and release the strong toxic gas which is lethal to almost every mortal being. No armour offers protection against this deadly, vicious weapon.
Their potentially greatest (read: most insane) creation, however, was the "Doom Hemisphere", which might be compared to an atomic bomb. They placed it underneath the Imperial city of Middenheim, intending to destroy the city. However, the bomb only partially went off, instantly killing the countless Skaven and men who were in the tunnels at the time, and completely changing the layout of the tunnels. The city remained relatively unscathed, however. There are rumours that the Doom hemisphere still lies dormant under the city, waiting for someone to fully activate it and destroy the city.
12.4. The Skaven Armies
Aside from the special units of each Clan mentioned above, there are a number of fighting Skaven in every army that operate similar no matter which clan they belong to.
These warriors make up the bulk of every Skaven army. While they most often lack exceptional training, skill or equipment and most of all, discipline, they can still be a fearsome opponent in large groups. While alone, every last Skaven is an utter coward, being in a large group bolsters their morale greatly and they suddenly fight with a ferocity that only few creatures can sport.
12.4.2. The Stormvermin
As mentioned above, those Skaven whose fur is darker than normal exhibit a greater strength as well. The more vicious of those are adopted by the Warlord, the leaders of Skaven clans, to serve in the Stormvermin. The Stormvermin are much better equipped than their comrade, and they even have a ltitle more courage - they are still Skaven though, so this just means they might ponder whether to flee or not for some more seconds. On the battlefield, they are employed as shock troops or as bodyguards for Warlords and Grey Seers.
12.4.3. The Screaming Bell
The Screaming Bell is a device through which the Grey Seers manipulate the other Skaven. The bell inspires awe and devotion to the Horned Rat in every Skaven that hears its tolling. They will not question any orders of the Grey Seers after hearing the bell, nor will they flee as early as they would otherwise. The bell is even carried into battle by Clanrats or Stormvermin who also protect the bell and the Grey Seer who rings it to their death.
12.5. The Underempire
Skaven are subterranean by nature, so most of them live in cities that are buried deep within the ground. Those cities usually have about the size of a large human town. They are connected by a vast network of tunnels, partly dug by the Skaven themselves, and partly taken over from tunnel networks of the Dwarfs and other subterranean races. Those tunnels stretch far wider than any member of the other races might believe. In fact, the Underempire, which is made up of the tunnels and the Skaven cities, extends far into the Empire itself and all other human nations. Some say it extends beneath all of the Old World and even under the seas and oceans of the world. If that is true, then the Skaven could easily take over any country in the world - if they were ever to work towards a common goal, that is.
Last edited by Rowhin; Mar 16, 2008 at 05:21 AM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:58 AM||#12|
13. The Wood Elves
Author's note: The history of the Wood Elves matches those of the High Elves until the outcome of the War of the Beard (also known as War of Vengeance). Thus, please refer to the High Elf section for information on their history before that event.
13.1.1. The Secession
Before the War of the Beard, the Forests of Athel Loren (meaning "Wood of the Dawning of the World in the elven tongue) spanned farther than the eyes could see. What remains today is but a fraction of the vast expense the woods covered when the Elves built heir first colonies in the Old World and eventually explored the forest and settled in it. But during the war, the Dwarfs felled a great part of the woods to fuel and build their war machines and also to spite the Elves. Only in a small part of the woods were some colonies of Elves able to the Dwarfs' advance by using ambush tactics. The Dwarfs were unable to traverse those parts of the forest and so the part which today is known as the Forest of Loren survived the war. After the war had ended and the High Elves had suffered great losses, Malekith, the Witch King of the Druchii, decided to invade Ulthuan. The newly anointed Phoenix King Caradryel recalled all the High Elves from the Old World and demanded they give up their colonies to return to Ulthuan to defend their ancestral homeland. While most of the Asur heeded his call, some refused to depart and some saw they recall as a betrayal to the colonies. Rather than go back and fight yet another war, they would make their new home in the forests of what remained of Athel Loren. It is said that in total, seven clans settled in the forests, but the number is disputed among the Wood Elves of today. As most of the Wood Elven history is recorded in plays and songs rather than written down, there is no proof for any of the claims.
13.1.2. The Asrai
Over the following years, the Elves adopted to their new life, perfecting their skills in hunting and gathering. They renounced all ties with Ulthuan and declared themselves independent from the jurisdiction of the Phoenix Throne. They had become a new society, their own society, and began to refer to themselves as Asrai, the Wood Elves. Life in the woods eventually made them a hardy and simple folk that does not care for any luxury. They began to worship Kurnous (god of the hunt & the beasts), Isha (goddess of harvest & fertility) and Liadriel (goddes of music & poetry), gods often considered minor on Ulthuan, but very important to those living in the wild.
The clans that had settled within the woods eventually made themselves known to each other. Seeing what war had cost them, leaders of each clan met in a council to decide on clan borders and the sharing of ressources without the need to fight for them. Many marriages were made to strengthen the new bonds.
13.1.3. The Battle of the Glade of Woe
Legend tells that at the first meeting of the Asrai clans, two Elven youths, Orion and Ariel, left the meeting and went to a grove in the woods, in whose midst stood an enormous, ancient oak - the Oak of Ages. They are said to have entered a crack in the trunk and supposedly vanished on the spot.
The legend then mentions a terrible winter that drove the Orcs and Goblins from the nearby mountains to the forests to seek shelter. Defiling the fairly new Wood Elf realm, they rampaged through the trees, killing the animals and hacking away the forest. The Wood Elves, unable to fend off the Greenskins on their own, invoked the wrath of Kurnous to help them. An Avatar of the god emerged from the Oak of Ages and slew the Orc Warboss which caused the Greenskins' banishing from the forest. When the Wood Elves praised the Oak for theír salvation, it was revealed that Orion and Ariel had become avatars to the gods Kurnous and Isha. Now semi-divine beings, they were made King and Queen to the Wood Elves. The Oak of Ages became the center of the Asrai realm and the nearby glades was named King's Glade, to be used for assemblings of the Clan leaders.
13.1.4. The Bretonnians & Trespassing
Shortly after the Battle of the Glade of Woe, the human Bretonni tribes began to settle in the lands around the Forest of Loren. They are wary of the forest, for rumor says that no one who enters it will come out alive again. The Wood Elves observe the Bretonnians, but do not attempt to make open contact with them at first. When the Dwarfs encountered the Asrai in the Forests of Loren in IC -250, many Dwarfs are killed in the attempt to traverse the forests, but the existence of the Asrai becomes known to the other races. After many conflicts for borders and possession of the forest, King Louis the Rash of the Bretonnians eventually recognizes Athel Loren as an independent realm in IC 1005.
Still, whenever an army of any race tried to pass through the woods, it was decimated without a second thought by the Wood Elves. Examples are the Battle of the Pine Crags in 1350, in which a whole Dwarven army was wiped out, an Empire army under Count Ulrich von Schloss of the Reikland in IC 1670, a fleeing Orc army in 2202 or Heinrich Kemmler's undead army in 2495. The Asrai do not tolerate any unwelcome guests in their forests.
13.2. Asrai Society
13.2.1. Bond with Nature
The Asrai are completely in tune with nature. Everything they do is influenced by the nature, and everything they do they do with regard to what effects on nature it will have. Their magic does not invoke elemental powers like that of other factions, they would say it is only them "speaking the language of the trees", asking natural forces to do their bidding. When the Wood Elves use animal for any purpose, they are treated like equals, not like an inferior species; animal companions always share a bond with their Asrai comrades.
13.2.2. Orion and Ariel
Athel Loren is still reigned by Orion and Ariel, who remain to this day imbued by the spirits of the gods. They represent the two sides of nature, Ariel the peaceful, growing and regenerative side that strives for harmony, and Orion the warlike, wild, unpredictable side that strives for suvival.
Over the centuries, the Asrai have developed and mastered the art of "tree singing" that accelerates and shapes the growth of trees. Using this art, they can "convince" the trees in Athel Loren to actually grow in such a way that they form walkways, canopies, vaults and ramps. The art of treesinging is not limited to the space above the earth, but is also used to create great hollow chambers shielded from caving in by interwoven roots of trees. These caverns are accessed by tres who have grown to have a hollow trunk. So like everything else regarding the Asrai, the settlements are as much part of the woods as the trees or the animals.
In addition, Asrai settlements are often protected by illusions their sorcerors craft. A traveller might pass right under a settlement of Asrai without ever becoming aware of their presence. That is, if the Asrai would allow him to pass the forest.
Wood Elves are, above all, characterized by their deep distrust for every other race. It takes a long time to earn their trust, and even the slightest slight might cause this trust to vanish again. If their trust is betrayed, they will go to great length to take revenge.
Although Wood Elves are extremely skilled craftsmen, their access to materials is strictly limited to what can be found within the boundaires of their forests. Thus, most of their weapons are made from wood, and even parts of their armour might be. Since they have no means to work any of the harder metals as forges are an unbearable thought to them, they have to trade with Dwarfs or Humans when they want to aquire metal like iron. Since Elven jewellery is prized among humans, and some gold can be found in the streams of Athel Loren, the Asrai have recently begun exchanging those goods for metal. But iron is still rare, so arrow heads, for example, are made from flint or obsidian. The bow is the main weapon for the Asrai, and they are quite possibly the most skilled marksman in the world.
Most of their cloth is made from animal hides or thread spun from plants. Some Elves even use cloaks of leaves to blend into their surroundings.
The Wood Elves still organise themselves into clans which are ruled by the wisest members. Those are usually sorcerors with skills at divination and illusion. Those clans who more often encounter foes can also be led by war chiefs.
At the spring equinox, an assembly of the clan leaders is held at the King's Glade. Prayers are spoken to Kurnous and Isha for protection, food and shelter. Traditionally, selected youths perform dances that supposedly awaken the trees after their slumber in winter and raise the fertility of the animals.
The second council meeting of the year takes place at summer solstice. it is a great feast with lots of singing and dancing, archery contests and combat displays. It is also the time that most marriages are arranged.
The last congregation of the year is the autumn equinox, a time dedicated to remembrance of the past year. The Asrai are expected to express their gratitude for the bounty the forest provided. Also, the King and Queen are taken to the Oak of Ages where they are placed within the very crack they first vanished in. There, they die at the end of the year, only to be reborn when the new one begins in spring.
13.2.5. Relations to other Factions
The Asrai generally do not meddle with the affairs of other races or factions. They only care for the protection of their sacred woods. As such, they would never begin a war against another country, or march an army outside of the forest that has become their home. The only other nation the Elves of Athel Loren have a less than hostile relationship are the Bretonnians. However, that may be due to the manipulation of the Bretonnian religion through which they can control their human neighbours to a great extent.
The religion of Bretonnia is centered about the Lady of The Lake, whom all knights pledge to in upholding their virtue and honor. Little do they know that the Lady of The Lake is in fact an aspect of the elven god Isha, and the whole base, ideas and values the religion of Bretonnia was founded on was placed into the head of the Grail Companions by Ariel, they Queen of the Asrai. The Fay Enchantress, the highest Bretonnian servant of The Lady of the Lake is in fact a Wood Elf, and the damsels, the Lady's sorceresses, are secretly trained by elves as well. Some argue that the continued worshipping of the Bretonnians to the Lady of the Lake has led the Lady of the Lake to become an autonomous, human-fuelled sub-division of Isha, as are Shallya and Rhya - although is tethered strongly to Bretonnia. However, even if this is the case, the Wood Elves still pull the string behind the Bretonnian religion as they control all their priests & sorceresses.
Although the Asrai generally have a hostile attitude to all other factions and races, there is one they hate above all: the Beastmen. They see them as abominations, mutated by warpstone, who unbalance the harmony of nature and thus must be eradicated. Whenever a Beastman sets foot into Athel Loren, it is hunted down swiftly and mercilessly.
13.3. The Military Forces
When the Asrai go to war, they do not fight alone. The forest itself is on their side, and its support is not only of passive nature. For when the woods are in danger, forest spirits awaken and take a physical form to defend their lands.
13.3.1. The Forces of the Asrai - Infantry
18.104.22.168. The Glade Guard
Should it be necessary, every last Wood Elf is ready to take up arms in the defense of Athel Loren, as all of them are trained in the arts of the longbow from the moment they are strong enought to pull the bowstring. When an Elf reaches a certain age, he is formally adopted into his household's part of the Glade Guard and given a particular section of the forest he to patrol. Should any of the Glade Guards spot an intruder, he will immediately raise a (silent) alarm, and within seconds the whole forest around him will be filled with the keen eyes of his comrades. Entering the forests without being spotted by a Glade Guard is a feat that has yet to be done.
22.214.171.124. The Eternal Guard
During the cold season, the forest of Athel Loren is partly in hibernation. Its powers lie dormant and its vulnerable to intruders, as even the Forest Spirits are tired and slow. It is during this season that the Eternal Guard, the sons and daughters of the nobles of Athel Loren, take responsibiltiy for guarding the most sacred sites in the forest. since they have to fight without the aid of Athel Lore itself, only the most exceptional fighters are adopted into the Eternal Guard. The preferred weapon of these proficient warriors is the two-sided spear. With this, they hold every foe at bay that might have harmful intentions towards the slumbering forest.
Wardancers combine the graceful dances of the Asrai with the deadly slashes of their weapons. Their dance is as beautiful as it is deadly while they dart out of harm's way, be it from sword or arrow, or leap over their enemies to stab them from the back. They are so quick that they may slash an enemy and be out of reach before he has even had time to react.
The paths leading into Athel Loren are never unguarded. The Waywatchers perform their duty as the silent sentinels of these paths every hour of the day and night. Having mastered the arts of concealment, they can lie still for days, without ever moving. Thus, they are never noticed until they suddenly appear before their surprised foe or they fire their first arrow into his body. The fire rate of a Waywatcher seems unnatural, as he can loose one black-shafted arrow after another so quickly that it seems they draw themselves. Many who have entered Athel Loren without invitation fall prey to arrows from the trees, are cut down by a foe they never see or fall into the traps placed by the Waywatchers. If there is more than one foe, a Waywatcher might appear to shoot one, and have disappeared again before the arrow even has reached its target.
13.3.2. The Forces of the Asrai - Cavalry
126.96.36.199. The Glade Riders
Glade Riders form such bonds with their swift Elven steeds that they hardly have to control the animal at all. This gives them the opportunity to do seemingly reckless maneuvers that would throw every other rider from their saddle. For instance, a Glade Rider may fire backwards while his steed rides right through the thicket of the woods and knows exactly where its rider wants to go. Paired with their Elven reflexes, this enables the Glade Riders to ride through anything and come out unscathed.
188.8.131.52. The Wild Riders of Kurnous
These riders make up the personal guard of Orion, aggressive and violent soldiers. They are not really elves anymore, but have become a kind of forest spirit by the powers of Orion. Thus, they too become dormant in winter, but go through a rebirth in spring. Upon their rebirth, they join with orion once again and he traditionally beings his Wild Hunt. The Hunt is a terror for all Bretonnian towns near the northern border of Athel Loren, for Orion and his Wild Riders will kill everyone they ecnounter, be it Human, Orc, BEastmen, or other Wood Elves.
184.108.40.206. The Warhawk Riders
The Warhawk Riders have formed a bond with the giant hawks native to the woodlands. Riding atop their flying companion, they serve primarily as Scouts, but are skillfull enough to have their Warhawk fly through the trees to strike at an enemy without ahving to dismount. Like most Asrai, they are also equipped with a bow. Exhibiting tremendous agility and balance, they are able to launch arrows even when their Hawks are in a dive, making them one of the swiftest mobile ranged forces.
13.3.3. The Forces of the Asrai - Great Eagles
The Great Eagles have always had a great bond with the Elven race, even before it was split into three. Thus, many families of Eagles chose to make their home in the Grey Mountains near the borders of Athel Loren, and can be called upon by the Asrai in times of need. These creatures do not only make for great scouts, but their talons and beaks can also rend apart almost every foe.
13.3.4. The Forces of the Asrai - Maigcal Support
Like all Elves, the asrai have an inborn talent for the magical. Although few are strong enough to make use of these gifts, those who actually are can use them to perform feats others could only dream of. But the power does not come without danger, for magic is a fickle thing and has to be used wisely. Unlike the Asur, who protect themselves from the backfiring effects of misguided or misformed spells through rituals and ceremony, the Asrai are protected from it by Athel Loren itself. The consciousness o fthe forest itself shields the Elven mages from the chaotic effects of the Winds of Magic.
13.3.5. The Forces of Athel Loren - The Dryads
Dryads are the vengeful spirits of trees who have been cut down. Normally, they may appear as lithe beautiful maidens, but when you come to close or when they go to war, they appear in their true form: vicious creatures with distorted limbs and wooden talons which which they rend and impale their foes. They ahve no compassion, for their dedication to Athel Loren outweighs all. Whenever someone harms a tree that is part of Athel Loren, the Dryads will mercilessly hunt him down until he is destroyed.
13.3.6. The Forces of Athel Loren - Tree Kin & Treemen
Normally, the Forest Spirits, ancient beings as old as the forest itself, are insubstantial, little more than glowing spheres of light. They are, however, able to take on a physical form anytime they want by binding themselves to dead trees and broken branches. The result is a shell of wood called a Tree Kin that can oppose whoever trespasses the forest against its will. When the battle is over, the spirit will leave the tree or branch once more.
If the spirit is ancient and/or powerful enough, it may even bind itself to a living tree, being able to shape it to a certain extent and move around as a Treeman. However, when a spirit decides to bind with a living tree, it will be unable to leave it again. They will be merged until death. Spirits who have merged with trees will use these to accomplish tasks their insubstantial forms cannot, combat being one of them. A moving tree with swinging branches can be a fearsome sight to behold, and it is very difficult to take these creatures down as their wounds do not inconvenience them much. They often swallow their foes as a whole with gaping mouths that suddenly open up in their trunk. The poor victims will then serve as nourishment for the trees for many years. The Treemen have a completely different understanding of time, the oldest among them remebering the time before the Asrai came into their forest. These beings have lifespans unimaginable to the mortal races, and even the long-lived elves are nothing more than a short aquaintance to them.
Last edited by Rowhin; Dec 26, 2007 at 06:04 PM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 09:58 AM||#13|
14. The Ogre Kingdoms
Author's note: As Ogres are not only illiterate, but also much more interested in their personal history and their personal list of accomplishments than in those of their ancestors, we have no reliable sources on the origin of the Ogre race. So I'll start the Ogres' history with one of the few events written down in reliable sources:
14.1.1. The Coming of the Great Maw
Originally, the race of the Ogres lived far east from the habitat in the Mountains of Mourn that they now call home. Their first settlements, if you want to call them that, are said to have been located near the eastern lands of Cathay. The Ogres soon found the Cathayan children working the rice fields to be a delicious meal, and began to raid the fields and nearby villages to devour the human children. It is unkown whether what followed was partly done by the Cathayan astromancers on orders of their Empüeror, or simply a coincidental catastrophe of nature. Anyaway, shortly after the raids on the fields had begun, a bright light appeared in the sky and eventually grew into a giant orb that is said to have worn a mouth or a maw. One night, the comet finally smashed right into the middle of the homelands of the ogres, obliterating about two thirds of their population.
After the comet had struck, the once fertile land around it began to grow sterile and dry, and the Ogres had to cope with starvation: in their desperation, they eventually fell to cannibalism. The survivors interpreted the comet as a punishment from a vengeful deity, and thus the Ogres crafted themselves an image of their deity as an insatiable being that devours and swallows everything that crosses its path wihtout mercy. After they had realized that there was no possibility to find food and shelter in their destroyed and poisoned homeland, the Ogres emigrated into the west - all except one, as legend tells. Groth Onefinger supposedly led his tribe deep into the newly formed desert land and there he found a huge maw, rigged with teeth and opening into a stomach so wide it could swallow the whole Ogre race as one.
14.1.2. The Skytitans and the Mountains of Mourn
According to their own legend, the Ogres eventually reached the Mountains of Mourn, which were at that time supposedly inhabited by the Skytitans, a nation of intelligent giants. They also were masterful builders, and hewed their giant halls into the peaks of the mountains, which were above the clouds. If someone were to stand atop one of these fortressess, he could've seen a sea of clouds, with the castles and halls of the Skytitans scattered across it like little islands. Before the arriving of the ogres, the Skytitans were oblivious to the existence of other races and only descended their mountains to take care of their herds of mammoths which grazed the valleys below.
As the Ogres began to slaughter the mamoths for food, though, the Skytitans began tow age war against the newcomers. The war lasted many years, but eventually the Ogres won through the advantage of numbers and feasted on the corpses of the Skytitans with banekts in the Titans' very own halls.
It is in the Mountains of Mourn, in and below what used to be the castles of the Skytitans, that the regions and clans which are known as the Ogre Kingdoms eventually came to be.
14.2. Ogre Culture
14.2.1. The Kingdoms
Each ogre tribe is led by a Tyrant. To become a tribe's Tyrant, an Ogre simply has to beat the current Tyrant in a single combat known as guts-out pitfighting. Thus, Tyrants are generally the Ogres with the greatest strength (and the greatest belly). Each Tyrant's kingdom stretches exactly about as far as he can see into the distance from his home. Although mountains passes and river arms sometimes play a role in marking a territory as well, this rules generally is sufficient for the Ogres as most of the valleys they ahve made their home in are surrounded by steep mountains.
Normally, each Ogre tribe would act completely independent from each other. But lately, Greasus Goldtooth has assumed a position he calls the Overtyrant of the Ogre Kingdoms, and he has managed to more or less unite the tribes under his banner - or rather, his gut. How exactly he has managed to do that is not obvious to outsiders, but his enormous wealth and his gnoblar spy netwrok probably played a great role in it.
Goldtooth's iron ruling fist has come down upon many an Ogre tribe that waged war against its own kin. Whenever an Ogre tribe came under attack from another in the last few years, it soon found itself confronted by the Goldtooth clan as well - the most numerous and best equipped clan of them all. This fact has ended most of the rivalries between the clans, and thus has led to a population increase of the Ogres that might lead to another emigration wave into the west soon...
14.2.2. Eating & Apperance
The centre of Ogre culture is undoubtedly eating, a fact that ties in with their appearance. Besides their giant frame, stout legs and tough skin that could withstand a lance, the Ogres' most characteristic feature is their great gut. Although Ogres often seem like they should be encumbered by their weight, their appearance is deceiving. Underneath the skin and fat, there are great masses of muscle, granting the Ogres an incredible strength. Still, though, the gut is the most important feature to them for many reasons. Ogres believe that they can communicate with their primitve god through the act of eating, so the gut holds some spiritual and religious importance. Also, the bigger the Ogre's gut, the wealthier and stronger he probably is, as he can afford to eat well. Ogres will eat almost anything, as they hold their massive gut sacred and care for it more than for anything else. An Ogre's stomach muscles and other internal organs allow him to digest almost anything, be it fabric, flesh, bones, wood or supposedly even metal.
Also, the vital organs of the Ogres are not located in the are around the torso like they are with other races, but far lower. Thus, the gut also serves a protective purpose. That is also the reason most Ogres tend to wear a so-called "gut plate", a piece of metal that is most often shaped into some round form to accomodate the gut and often bears some symbol of importance to the tribe. While Ogres protect their gut, they often leave their torsos unadorned, instead painting them with warpaint and tattoos.
Another symbol of importance to the Gores is their club. Every Ogre owns one for the purpose of knocking out their prey and bringing it back to the cave or wherever they amde their home in. The craftmanship of an Ogres club is an indicator for his wealth and status - a simple wooden log suggests he is poor, while a club made from strong wood and adorned with iron spikes and studs indicates that he is rich and wealthy. His club is also among the few things that Ogres will only eat if strictly necessary, as there supposedly is a bond of trust between an Ogre and his club.
The highlight of the Ogres' eating culture is formed by the The Grand Feast which takes place every year. Each tribe brings his Mawtooth (a menhir with the tribe's sigil carved into it) and they are placed in a wide circle representing the teeth of the Great Maw, their cruel deity. The Grand Feast lasts through many days of eating and takes place at the volcano named Fire Mouth.
It is also the time of the year when Tyrans settle their disputes with a fight within the circle of Mawtooths, so all disputes and all bad blood between them is burned out before the feasting begins.
The greatest Mawtooth, that of Greasus Goldtooth, is made purely out of gold and sits at the top of the circle so it looks like the Great Maw has one goldtooth itself - an occurence that has led many Ogres that cana fford it to replace lost teeth with a piece of gold, to better resemble their deity.
As mentioned above, Ogres are completely illiterate. So their tradition of storytelling is the only means to convey their legends and tales. Many of these tales are grossly exaggerated though. Most Ogres love to tell others the story of their life, and it is those who are most often grossly exaggerated and contain impossible feats supposedly accomplished by them. One of the earliest myths is about Old Stoneguts, an Ogre who supposedly ate the sun and threw it back up because it was causing him heartburn.
Aside from the Ogres, a species of Greenskins known as Gnoblars or Hill Goblins inhabit the Mountains of Mourn. Before the Ogres came, their most common fate is being eaten, as there are many creatures in the mountains that can easily swallow a Gnoblar. Those who didn't get eaten back then were most often enslaved by the nearby Chaos Dwarfs. Thus, they attached themselves to the Ogres when they came to the Mountains of Mourn, reducin their effective chance of getting eaten froma bout 80% to about 60%. Most of the Gnoblars are eaten by Ogres because they are treated like pets, and Ogres bite off the ears of their pets to identify them. Unfortunately for the Gnoblars, it is very hard for an Ogre to stop eating once he has started, so most of the Gnoblars lose more than one ear.
Those Gnoblars who manage to survive live in a symbiotic relationship with the Ogres. Ogres are very big and strong, and thus able to protect the Gnoblars, while Gnoblars fulfill all the tasks that Ogres are too clumsy for. They also make for very good cannon fodder in battles - or the occasional impromptu snack.
14.3. Ogre Forces
14.3.1. "Normal" Ogres
220.127.116.11 Bulls & Ironguts
"Bull" is a valid term for every adult male ogre. Bulls make up most of the population in an Ogre kingdom, and thus, they also form the core of the fighting forces. Their sheer strength, size, and tough skin makes them formidable opponents against any foe. You might stick a lance through any part of an ogre, and he'd still continue to smash your head in with his club. Also, with a gut of their size, Ogres can shout really loud. Those Bulls who are loudest are known as Bellowers, and are able to relay orders even through the clash and noise of massive battles.
Ironguts are those warriors within a tribe that have earned the respect of the Tyrant himself, or those of his immediate family and those he drinks and feast with. Handpicked by him, they are awarded the best weapons the tribe has to offer. Their better equipment is the only real advantage they have over other Gores, as their strength does not surpass those of the others by much - a fact that they would never admit, as they strongly believe in their own superiority. Their gut-plates show their status by means of large ornaments and they are among the few Ogres who actually cover their arms and heads in armour they have accumulated from previous conquests.
A Butcher is most easily identified by the dried blood and gore upon his body and clothing. Being the cooks of the Ogres, they perform one of the most sacred duties to the Ogres. One might call them the shamans of the Ogre race as they have a direct link to the Great Maw at the centre of the crater in their ancestral homeland. Able to channel a small amount of the hunger and violence that characterizes their cruel deity, the Butchers perform a practice of sorcery known as "Gut Magic". This magic is mostly used to increase the hunger, strength, toughness and bloodlust of the Butcher himself or other ogre units, but there are is also a spell that causes panic in the enemies ranks and a magic missile spell. Aside from their magic, the Butchers use their culinary instruments such as meat hooks and cleavers to rip apart their enemies in battle, as they are not inferior to any other Ogre in strength.
Hunters are porbably the Ogres who are most independent from their tribes. They are either exiles from their clan or choose to give up their ties for a while to stalk the wilderness for prey. If he finds and manages to capture or kill an extraordinary and impressive prey, he may drag it back to his tribe on a feastday to show off and brag about it. Hunters are often accompanied by Sabretusks, giant sabre-toothed mountain lions. They are fast and agile, and can track down their prey easily, even through harsh terrain. And should they fail to find any prey, the Hunter can still eat the Sabretusks themselves, so it is always a benefit for the Ogre.
Maneater are truly a strange sight to behold. Having travelled the world as mercenaries, they have not only accumulated a great deal of wealth, boastful stories and scars before they returned to their tribes, but they also adopted the clothing style of the country they served in. This fact results in the companies of Maneaters being dressed in very different styles, ranging from Squig heads upon their shoulders from when they have served with Greenskins to Pirate hats and stuffed parrots when they served under some pirate (some examples can be found here: http://uk.games-workshop.com/ogrekin...re-gallery/13/). Their choice of weaponry is as varied as their clothes are, and while thus some might fight with swords or giant warhammers, others might even prefer crude muskets.
Recently, the Ogres have begun to adopt the other races' use of gunpowder weapons. The Leadbelchers, Ogres obsessed with destruction and noise, have savaged the remains of enemy artillery and traded with the Chaos Dwarfs to arm themselves with portable cannons (portable for them, not for an ordinary man or dwarf). They fill them with anything they can find, be it scraps of metal, weapons, nails or a cannon ball they have found amongst their enemies' supplies and add some gunpowder to it. Having bound their cannons to their arms, they light them with straps of smouldering cloth they clench between their teeth.
As mentioned above, the Tyrants are the strongest and biggest of the Ogres. Additionally, the carry the best weapons in the tribe and wear the best armour that they can fashion with the help of the Gnoblars. There are tales of Tyrants wrestling Giants or smashing aside a whole regiment of a human army with one blow from their giant weapons. Ogre Tyrans are truly among the most dangerous opponents to be found on the fields of battle - they fear no challenge, and are said to be capable of bringing down monsters like Hydras and Dragons on their own - though they have probably never really faced one of the latter.
14.3.2. Degenerates and other Species
Each Ogre tribe has its own network of caves. Beneath these caves, a network of warpstone-filled tunnels runs to places no Ogre has ever seen. On the rare occurence that an Ogre is born without a paunch, he is thrown into the depths of these tunnels for the Great Maw to judge it. If the infant is worthy, he is supposedly blessed by the Great maw, but if he is found unworthy, he will be swallowed - or so the Ogres atop believe.
In reality, the infants sometimes survive, but as they are exposed to the mutating effects of the waprstone, they devolve into a mockery of their kin's appearance. Few live to their full growth, and even fewer ever see daylight again. But if a Gorger, as they are called, ever manages to emerge from the tunnels, it is often far larger than the greatest Ogre bull, but even less intelligent. One might say that the Gorger is a monster among monsters, as there remains no thought in it but to survive, to eat and to fight. They are not intelligent enough to challenge a Tyrant for his position, and thus they occupy a very low place in Ogre society although they are stronger than most of their brethren. To face a Gorger in battle is terrible, for it is not only stronger and firecer than a common Ogre, but also more desperate and will stop at nothing until it can tear its foe apart and swallow the remains.
18.104.22.168. Gnoblar Fighters & Trappers
Larger Gnobalrs will sometimes band together in some loose groups that follow the Ogres to the battlefields in the hope to loot or steal some shiny things. The Ogres don't mind that much as Gnoblars make for perfect cannon fodder. Gnoblars will fight with anything they find or can craft, be it sword or spear or a wooden stick imitating the Ogres' clubs. They will result to any means to overwhelm an enemy and steal his precious belongings, but their actions are mostly limited to those enemies who are already weakened or fleeing.
Being the vicous creatures they are, the Gnoblars will sometimes form groups of Trappers to fill the reinforcement routes of the enemy with vicious traps that cripple them so the Gnoblars can rush in and steal whatever things the enemy carries with him. Occasionally, they attach themselves to a particular Ogre Hunter to pelt his prey, but they always stay behind him as long as the prey is alive.
22.214.171.124. Yhetees & Slavegiants
Some Ogre tribes field Yhetees, ferocious beasts with white fur that blends into the snow of their natural habitat high atop the Mountains of Mourn. They have adopted to the cold so much that they emit an aura of cold themselves that slows down an enemy's movement as it sitffens his limbs. Although their iron hard claws will tear through flesh and most armour at ease, they still carry a sort of club - branches from trees that they breathe on until an ice blade has formed on them. Supposedly, this preference hints at some Ogre ancestry in their blood - a fact that would explain why they occasionally accompany them.
Slavegiants, on the other hand, do not accompany the Ogres out of free will. They are giants who have been bested in single combat by an Ogre - a feat not easily done. Thus, the Bull that manages to actually defeat and bring back a giant to his tribe will earn much respect. The giant will then be chained by the tribes' Gnoblars and be forced into battle by pikestaves. However, the giant normally doesn't need to be goaded much, as he takes out the rage at his captors on those they let him loose on. Needless to say, a frenzied giant is not something you would like to find storming towards you.
14.3.3. Artillery - The Scraplauncher
The Scraplauncher is basically a catapult that the Gnoblars have built in imitation of the dwarven stone throwers. They are used to hurl the weaponry humans or other races have left on a previous battlefield back at them, as common weaponry is too big for the Gnoblars too use and much too small for the Ogres. Although the design varies between the different tribes, they have one thing in common: they have a great chance of malfunction as they have been constructed from every material the Gnoblars have found lying around. Scraplaunchers are carried into battle by young Rhinoxen, large fur-covered creatures similar to a woolly rhinoceros. If all goes awry, the Gnoblars handling a Scraplauncher may cut the Rhinoxen free and sent it charging into the enemy ranks with a clap on its back, to grant them time engouh to put as many distance as possible between them and the advancing enemy.
Last edited by Rowhin; Jan 03, 2008 at 01:04 PM..
|Dec 09, 2007, 10:16 AM||#14|
You got it all down without anyone post in between? That's close to a miracle!
Good job and initiative man. I'm going to sit down and read it now.
|Dec 09, 2007, 10:17 AM||#15|
Awesome, as i've never played the tabletop game i don't know much about the Warhammer lore so this was really helpful to me.
Thanks alot and i'm looking forward to reading the section on Dwarfs
|background, factions, guide, layman, lore|
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