Sunday, 20 March 2011

Skaven-Mellvellon border 305PC

The Battle of the Poisoned Vale

The protracted war between Mellvellon and the Typhonian Enclave was going ill for the Elves. The Skaven had overthrown the defences of the Tears of Isha and the fortress fell into ruin as it became a verminous nest, infested with foul rat-spawn. The diabolical Typhus had his fiendish alchemists and pox-masters pour gallons of poisonous chemicals into the River Endwe, its waters carrying the toxic sludge down to the colony of Sein Craban and its surrounding farmlands. During the year 304PC the Endwe Vale became stricken with disease, and famine soon followed as crops withered under the blight and the populous fell sick. By the winter of that year the land was a decayed shadow of its former beauty, the verdant pastoral landscape now rotten and reeking.

The Lady Wenotah, fifth High Lord of Mellvellon, summoned the war council of the Dragon Court. It was clear that unless Mellvellon committed its full might to the war then the colonists of Sein Craban would be doomed to pestilence and her people would surely perish. So it was that in the spring of 305PC the Lady Wenotah returned to the shores of Melthu with the hosts of the Dragon Lords at her command.

Grey Seer Typhus had agents secreted in all manner of key positions and word of the muster of the Elves soon reached him. He tasked the daemon Naspepsorael'Enaspahue'e'Ahael with leading the Skaven hordes garrisoned at the Tears of Isha against the might of the Elves. The Warpclaw guild promised their support and hurriedly mobilised their latest new weapons.

The great hosts met across the Endwe River in the heart of the Poisoned Vale late in the spring of 305PC. The Elves seemed all the more resplendent against the backdrop of the blighted landscape, serried ranks of citizen-soldiers glittering against the morning sun. Amongst their regiments were also the elite of Mellvellon’s military arm; contingents of proud White Lions, dour Sword Masters with blades as tall as a man, and the Lady Wenotah’s silent and stoic Maiden Guard. Leading the Elves, the Dragon Prince Y’Raen had summoned the ancient fire wyrm Arcauthor to war, a scaly colossus whose wings cast a shadow that could cause the heart of even the mightiest warrior to quail. Arrayed against them was the verminous army that had poured forth from the once-proud fortress of the Tears in numbers seemingly unending, dragging behind them bizarre and gargantuan engines of war, bent on the final destruction of the Elves.

The Elves, with grim determination, marched to meet the foe. They weathered the storm of Warpclaw Guild’s fiendish weapons as they advanced, many fine warriors blasted by fire or choked on foul poisons. Soon the valley was clouded by the sickly vile green mist of Skaven poison gas weapons but the Elves marched on implacable. They countered with their own fire-power, and as the world’s finest archers loosed their shot the skies darkened under the swarming arrow shafts. The Skaven squeaked and chittered and died in droves but still they came on, an endless furry tide.

Battle was met as the White Lions in the Elven van crashed into the Skaven lines, hewing the rat-men down before they could even flinch, such was their fury. But the Skaven war engines smashed the proud warriors aside and soon the charge was reduced to a bitterly fought toe-to-claw melee.

It was then that the Warpclaw Guild revealed their formidable power; the Warp Crucible whirred into its frenzied revolutions. The magical energies it generated lashed against the Elven battle line, flaying warriors and sundering weapons and war machines to kindling. As the engine reached the pulsing zenith of its power, spinning wheels a-blur, a warp shockwave blasted the Maiden Guard that atomised every one of them in an instant... leaving the Elven left flank wide open to a Skaven counter-attack.

It was at this moment, when the Skaven appeared to be nearing their triumph, that Prince Y’Rael committed the reserve forces and spurred the ferocious Arcauthor into the battle. The mighty dragon smashed into the Skaven lines and the Elves fought on with renewed vigour at the sight of the Skaven ranks collapsing in terror as they burned in the dancing dragonfire. On eastern banks of the Endwe the Sword Masters of Sein Craban took their vengeance on the Skaven, bringing down the rabid cohorts of the Unscurried Stormvermin and routing the Skaven right flank that had just moments before threatened to close in and envelope the Elven army.

The battle had turned and the surviving Skaven succumbed to their most basic instinct and fled the field. The Elven pursuit was dogged but many of the desperate rat-men managed to safely withdraw to the forts of the Naur Isthmus.

The Elves had won the day, but at great cost. The Poisoned Vale had been delivered from the iron grip of Typhus’ tyranny and the daemon Naspepsorael'Enaspahue'e'Ahael had vanished in the tide of battle. The Warpclaw Guild, when summoned before Typhus himself to account for their failure, were quick to blame the daemon for the defeat. Typhus, always mistrustful of the vermin lord, could well believe that the daemon’s
absence confirmed his guilt. All the same, the Chief Warlock was executed for failing to carry the day.

The front had been pushed back to the Naur Isthmus. The Elven colony had been given breathing space to re-build and clear the valley of the Skaven pestilence. But Typhus swore revenge, and where the hundreds of Elven dead were a costly loss to Mellvellon, the thousands of slain Skaven could easily be replaced. The war was not won yet.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


1 Kaalroen Empire 2,355,000
2 Holy Sigmarite Empire 1,915,000
3 Dark Elf Dominion 1,670,000
4 Mellvellon 1,465,000
5 Cuitlaxaochitzin 1,650,000
6 Dwarf Kingdom 1,525,000
7 Skaven 1,355,000
8 Wood Elf Realm 1,160,000
9 Cloudy Mountain Orcs 420,000
Biggest Cities
1 Boiling Peak 435,000
2 Karak-a-varr 335,000
3 Lamentation 290,000
4 Apotheosis 220,000
5 Sigmarheim 200,000
6 Sudhafen 175,000
7 Dragonspire 175,000
8 Galamory 160,000
9 Phallucia 155,000
10 New Har Ganeth 120,000
Wonders of the World
1 Mount Cxa-Cxa 20
2 Great temple of Cuitlaxaochitzin 19
3 Dragonspire - Ivory Tower 18
4 Boiling peak Complex 17
5 Tower of Phallucia 8
6 Cathedral to Sigmar 6
= Ruins of Chimalman 6
8 Spire of Lamentation 4
= Temple of Mannan 4
10 Tower of Skraeland 3
Biggest Armies
1 Kaalroen Empire 29
2 Mellvellon 23
3 Cuitlaxaochitzin 19
4 Dwarf Kingdom 19
5 Typhonian Enclave 10
6 Holy Sigmarite Empire 9
7 Cloudy Mountain Orcs 4
8 Dark Elf Dominion 2
Biggest Navies
1 Dark Elf Dominion 44
2 Typhonian Enclave 27
3 Dwarf Kingdom 20
4 Mellvellon 20
5 Holy Sigmarite Empire 18
6 Kaalroen Empire 5
7 Cuitlaxaochitzin 5
Biggest Empires
1 Kaalroen Empire 385,000 sq mi
2 Cuitlaxaochitzin 222,500 sq mi
3 Holy Sigmarite Empire 167,500 sq mi
4 Dark Elf Dominion 150,000 sq mi
5 Dwarf Kingdom 142,500 sq mi
6 Typhonian Enclave 122,500 sq mi
7 Mellvellon 117,500 sq mi
8 Wood Elf Realm 90,000 sq mi
9 Cloudy Mountain Orcs 65,000 sq mi

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Emperor Karl II reinvigorates HSE (291 - 303PC)

Between 262PC and 297PC the Holy Sigmarite Empire enjoyed a period of peace, but at the cost of a dwindling position on the world stage. Emperor Otto IV, concious of his military weakness, avoided confrontation with his neighbours and stood idly by as the High Elves and Skaven war threatened his own interests. The Dominion ruled the coasts of Canaur and the Skaven frequently raided Armaethor with no response from the Empire, while strange stories of disappearances began to plague the northern region of Holwingen.

The people of the realm pinned their hopes on Konrad, Otto's son, to revive the fortunes of their land, but in 288PC, aged 46, Konrad suddenly grew ill and died, leaving his son Karl, then 26, as heir to the throne. Finally in 291PC, aged 75 and having ruled for 37 years, the old Emperor "Otto the weak" died and Karl II was proclaimed ruler of the Sigmarites in a joyful coronation before he was even 30.

Karl inherited a nation with deep problems. The army had been run down, the treasury was low and the infrastructure of the realm was in need of much repair. Karl was the antithesis of his grandfather and longed for a rejuvination of the Holy Sigmarite Empire. He was also charismatic, bold and occasionally arrogant, character traits which would shape his rule.

Between 291PC and 297PC Karl wisely concentrated on rebuilding the empire, expanding the realm along the north Canaur, founding the towns of Franzburg. The HSE also expanded west along the lesser Canaur, to Wurmlingen and Pforzdam. The new emperor also invested in his armed forces, expanding the army and starting work on a "royal navy", a fleet of ships to defend the realm but under the direct control of the emperor and the newly created council of lords, rather than an ad hoc force run by privateers.

Karl's new army first saw battle in 297PC after the emperor made his first foray into foreign policy, attempting to bully the Dwarf Kingdom into a more favourable trade agreement by sabre rattling and seizing many dwarf trade caravans. The plan backfired and the dwarfs, insulted, sent an army to Wurmlingen, defeating the small army garrisoning the town and forcing Karl into an embarrassing climb down. Fortunately the emperor's natural charisma avoided long term diplomatic damage.

In 298PC and 299PC Karl embarked on a new crusade he offered a "mighty army" to aid the High Elves in their long watch over the Kaalroen Empire. The crusade was meant to show Palurin that once again the Holy Sigmarite Empire was a power to be reckoned with, but the crusade went horribly awry. The army still wasn't big enough for such a grandiose adventure, and much of the army was made up of Ogre mercenaries under the Sigmarite banner, and the regular troops still lacked much in the way of training and experience. First the main Empire army was routed at Huvustad by lord Tragean leaving just the Ogre contingent to arrive in northern Canabrin to "help" Mellvellon.

The Ogre force over-wintered near the elf lands and, rather inevitably, more than out stayed their welcome. Rather than attacking the beastmen lands as intended, the Ogres instead ended up raiding the rather more wealthy elven and human settlements under the protection of Mellvellon. Infuriated, the elves attacked the Ogres, defeating them soundly. Karl II quickly denied any responsibility for his mercenary army and banned them from returning to the Empire.

By 303PC the emperor's rather shaky foreign policy adventures were becoming a source of ridicule and some were even suggesting his uncle, also named Karl, would be a more pragmatic ruler. However in that year Karl II got lucky. He sent his army west into the desert of bones, a place denied to them by Cuitlaxaochitzin, in an attempt to prove his prowess in one last desparate gamble. The gamble paid off and the rather more experienced HSE army soundly defeated the lizardmen when they attempted to bar their entry into the desert. Karl's army looted the ancient ruins of the desert, avenging Emperor Otto's "folly" in 79PC. The victory was more attributable to blind luck than great strategy or planning, but the populace hailed Karl II non-the-less. Finally the Empire had the military triumph it craved.

Unfortunately Karl's navy did not share in this success. Launched with much pomp and ceremony in 302PC the newly built vessels encountered their first enemy in the following year, encountering Typhus' fleet on the Pan Coron ocean, heading towards Armaethor to collect more slaves for the skaven war machine. The Empire fleet did put an end to this particular raid, but in their first battle much of Karl's new navy was sunk by Typhus's much more experienced fleet. Karl wept at the loss of his prized vessels, but vowed to build more. The expansion of the Holy Sigmarite Empire would go on.

Dwarfs repulsed from Arnar

The Wood Elves of Arnar were called upon again in 303PC to defend their realm as the dwarfs, hungry for wood resources, strayed too far north and west of their lands. In the first encounter between these tow empires the dwarfs, despite their apparent superiority in technology and a stubborn attitude, were completely confounded by the fighting style and tenacity of the wood elves, and the dwarfs learned a valuable lesson. In dwarf culture the forests of Arnar began to take on a mystery and superstition which would ensure few of their race would stray within a hundred miles of Arnar for many years.

High Elves defeat Daemons

With their empire in decline during the latter part of the 3rd century PC, the High Elves of Mellvellon knew they had to rebuild their crumbling position and prepare for an inevitable showdown with Typhus in the south. Reports of daemonic incursions in Canabrin were therefore ignored for many years, at first dismissed as rumours and superstition spread by the uncultured and ignorant human tribes under the protection of Mellvellon, but as the 4th century began the High Elves could no longer ignore the signs.

By 301PC the more hot headed members of the Mellvellon ruling establishment finally convinced the dragon lords to send an army to locate and destroy the daemon infestation, playing on fears of a daemonic pact of alliance with their mighty neighbour, the Kaalroen Empire. In addition the "crusade" by the HSE intended to help Mellvellon in her long war against chaos had ended in spectacular failure in 299PC. No, if chaos needed defeating, it would take an elf warhost to do it.

After months of searching the elf seers finally located the root of the infestation in Canabrin and soon brought the daemonhost to battle. In a vicious fight lasting more than a day the elves threw their precious elite forces against the servants of chaos, eventually defeating them utterly and returning to Mellvellon in triumph. A daemonic incursion had been thwarted and for the first time in decades the High Elves had something to be happy about.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Mellvellon on the ropes 285-300PC

The war against Typhus' realm in 280PC had by no means settled the affair in the southern peninsular lands of Palurin. There was a brief period when the war went "cold" for some fourteen years, but the Dragon Lords of Mellvellon knew that behind the walls defending his realm, the deranged lord of the skaven race was plotting another assault on the colony of Sein Craban.

As the years progressed Mellvellon suffered further setbacks. The overlods of Cuitlaxaochitzin were angered by the slow payment of the war debt the high elves owed to the Ogres of Graag, and the alliance of the two nations fell apart dramatically in 286PC. An army was sent from the Lizardmen kingdom to the north of Canabrin, following the ancient roads of the continent, and defeated the high elves in open battle in that year. The war could have continued, but Lord Illius, realising the Ogres had prevented his fortress of the Tears of Isha from falling to the skaven hordes, paid the debt himself. The Ogres were satisfied and relations patched up, but divisions within the aristocracy of Mellvellon grew ever deeper over the affair.

Worse was to follow. Weakened by the unecessary war against Cuitlaxaochitzin and the constant need for a garisson in the south, the lords of Mellvellon were hard pressed to counter the expansion of the Kaalroen Empire. Seizing his opportuinity and sensing vulnerability, Lord Tragean of Hovedstaden moved his forces into the contested region of the Branmeren hills in the early 290s. Regular skirmishes culminated in a large battle to the south of Hermansverk in 291PC. The elves were crushed, and despite several smaller battles in the coming years, the high elves were unable to stop Tragean from extending the Kaalroen Empire's dominion over all the highlands of Arnar.

Any hope of removing the chaos taint from the Branmeren region died in 294PC when news reached Dragonspire recieved news of an army marching on Sein Craban once more. Desperately the high elves called on their allies in Cuitlaxaochitzin for aid, but in that year unrest had taken hold of the lizardmen realm with divisions between the lizardmen and Ogre communities rendering aid impossible. The internal conflict was resolved quickly with a victory to the lords of Cacauaxochitl, but this ensured the elves would fight alone in the south.

Typhus' army marched on Sein Craban, culminating in a furious battle along the river Endwe. The battle resulted in a rout of the proud armies of Mellvellon and the Tears of Isha, saved in 280PC, fell to the marauding skaven. The populace of the colony retreated to the city of Sein Craban itself, where a monument to the many dead was erected in their honour, a symbolic act considered a waste of resources which may have been better spent on more defence preparations. As the 3rd century PC neared its end, the very existence of the high elf colony of Sein Craban hung in the balance.

Typhus at War 287-294PC

With the elven armies once more closing on the Enclave's borders and the capricious daemon Naspepsorael'Enaspahue'e'Ahael disrupting his plans Typhus felt the situation slipping out of control. Immolating a few innocent bystanders and devouring chunks of raw warpstone from their flayed skulls soon helped to sooth his twitching whiskers. Typhus began to get a grip.

The Vermin Lord's coup had failed. Protected by his loyal armies and with the Warpclaw Guild pledging their allegiance to him Typhus was secure at Boiling Peak. Using his sorcery to project his spirit into the roiling realm of magic Typhus confronted the Vermin Lord Naspepsorael'Enaspahue'e'Ahael and made a pact with him. In exchange for the Vermin Lords aid and support Typhus would guarantee him that which he desired – power, souls and unending carnage. Together they would bring low the nations of Palurin and gnaw on the ruins of civilisations!

The Lizardmen's agents had meddled in that which did not concern them! When Eshin spies reported the Ogre mercenaries sailing back to Cuitlaxaochitzin Typhus vowed that they would pay! The Ogres had too much of a head start for Typhus' Ironclads to intercept them, but the raiding fleet scrambled in hot pursuit. They caught up with the Ogre ships in the middle of the Pan Coren Ocean and it seemed that they would triumph over the crude enemy ships until the Ogres succeeding in boarding the Skaven flagship and scuttling it. Their victory cost them in both time and ships however. The delay allowed the warpstone powered Ironclads of Boiling Peak's defence fleet to catch up with them and the Ogres finally paid the price for aiding the elves.

Not content with this the fleet then went on to land an army controlled by the Warpclaw Guild in Cuitlaxaochitzin. They intended to show the Ogre's paymasters the cost of their interference in the affairs of the Skaven but far from home and lost in the jungle the army was ambushed and repulsed by the Lizardmen.

Unusually Typhus cared little for failure of this expedition as news had reached him from the south. Naspepsorael'Enaspahue'e'Ahael had honoured his pact with Typhus and crushed the Elven forces of Mellvellon! He had slaughtered the enemy host almost single handedly. The Tears of Isha had fallen and the skaven hordes stood on the brink of invading the Elven colony of Sein Craban. After suffering repeated humiliation at the hands of the elves Typhus relished his enemies impending demise. In preparation for a final confrontation Typhus dispatching re-enforcements from Boiling Peak.

Orcs encounter elves in northern forests

In 285PC the Cloudy Mountain Orcs resumed their tentative expansion of the lands around the great dividing mountains, searching out new areas to plunder as their population grew. Ranging north however they encountered a strange new group of elves, rustic in appearance, in the sparse forests to the north of their realm. Although unable to rout the orcs, the elves of the forests were able to fight them to a standstill, even mustering a significant army to prevent the orcs from entering the forests. The orc assumption that their expansion north would face little resistance had proved incorrect, although the orc bosses were now able to claim hegemony over the valleys north of Orvaeg Pass, and the strange arcane stone circle which nestled in the foothills of the mountains.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Warpclaw Guild

Typhus’ whiskers twitched gleefully. The warlocks’ invention was perfect... Totally unpredictable, granted, but capable of awesome destruction. As its concentric generator wheels slowed from their whirlwind cycling the chief warlock turned to Typhus. The Grey Seer nodded to show his approval, and the assembled warlocks murmured and chittered in satisfaction to one another.

The demonstration had been held deep in the caverns below Boiling Peak. The Guild had promised new weapons of such diabolical genius that would inflict devastating casualties upon the foes of the Enclave in a single blast. This new “Warp Crucible” guaranteed to give a new and deadly edge to the armies of Boiling Peak. It had blown apart the scores of Skavenslaves (or “test subjects” as the warlocks called them) press-ganged into the tight confines of the pit below. Typhus had watched from the observation deck above as warp lightning crackled and flayed in arcing bolts against the cavern walls, cracking the very stone and atomising any who fell within its reach. The warlock at the control panel was an unfortunate casualty, seared and crisped by the backlash of magical energy. The Warp Crucible was ready to be taken to the battlefield where, Typhus was sure, it would wreak havoc in one way or another. As the dead warlock’s acrid singed fur tingled in his nostrils he decided that he would be absent from any engagements where the machine was unleashed, just in case.

Typhus had at first been hugely suspicious (some might even have said paranoid) of the formation of the Warpclaw Guild. They had banded together to perform their insane experiments with neither order nor consent from the Grey Seer himself. He had feared a coup. The warlocks had at their disposal a prodigious litter of Stormvermin to act as security to protect their laboratories and test site. These Unscurried- so named for their claim to have never been seen to flee a battle- seemed unnervingly loyal to their warlock masters. It was easy to see how the warlocks posed a credible threat with such a force at their command.

Yet Typhus had found that this fraternity of scientists-come-mystics appeared to support his rule at Boling Peak. Content to conduct their experiments they seemed genuinely enthusiastic to further his war efforts against the multitude of enemies that schemed against the Enclave and plotted his demise. Indeed, the knowledge that their machines were put to dastardly use was apparently reward enough. It drove them on, it was their purpose and they revelled in it.

All the same, Typhus would ensure that a few select Eshin agents kept a close watch on the deranged techno-mages. All Skaven knew the hunger of ambition and power and these warlocks were surely no exception.