Sunday, 26 February 2012

HSE suffers raids

The period 513PC to 520PC was not a happy one for the Holy Sigmarite Empire. Matilda was ageing, and her rule becoming ever more autocratic, and she seemed more focussed on improving the treasury than securing her borders. By 513, the Realm of Ran'k'adanra had expanded, running from the coast to the state of Helland, and a brisk trade along the Easting road had grown up between the HSE and its strange neighbour to the west. This trade improved life for those in the south and west of the Empire, and Sudhafen prospered. However in the east the noble families of the Empire faired less well.

Tarnished by accusations of necromancy and Vampirism, House Volbeck of Osterland had few friends inside or outside the HSE. Pellenar, now a full state of the HSE, remained hostile to the Volbecks, and the Drazkharovs, the Volbeck's usual ally, had become insular and aloof. Matilda was no friend of the Vollbecks either, so when Osterland was raided by the Ogre Kingdom in 513PC, the Empress showed little interest. Matilda was equally loathe to get involved when the province was attacked by Elves in 514PC, but later in the year, when a small army of House Vollbeck was defeated by the Dark Elves of Khaldeith, the HSE could no longer turn a blind eye to the constant threats to its borders.

To deal with the Dark Elf threat, Matilda once again tried to stop Khaldeith from sending troops and equipment to New Naggaroth. By sailing up the Dinethenin river, raiders from the southern Dark Elf city were plaguing the lands to the south of Osterland, and attacking the HSE itself. Once again Matilda's navy sailed from Sudhafen to give battle with the Dark Elves, and despite sinking several Dominion vessels, the outcome was the same, and the flower of the Holy Sigmarite Navy once again perished at the hands of the Dark Elf raiding fleet.

Mellvellon send expedition west

The High Elves of Mellvellon made a bold move in 513, establishing the colony of Sein Thoron on the coast adjacent to both the Dark Elf Dominion and the Dwarf Empire. The colonists moved west from Barad Aureil, moving through the edges of the Kallroen Empire. Such was their skill only once did they encounter Domovoi raiders, and these were easily defeated by a scouting party.

After reaching the coast the founding was done in incredible secrecy, with mages from Sein Craban shrouding the colonists and craftsmen in shadows. Still that level of work could not come without some attention and setbacks. To the north was the Ogre Kingdom, and a wandering scavenger tribe blundered close to the new Elven town as it was being built. The elves rushed to distract the Ogres, and whilst the Mellvellon scouts were crushed and devoured Sein Thoron itself remained undiscovered.

By winter the colony was established and the elves were funnelling in troops in low numbers. It was only a matter of time before the Dark Elves of Khaldeith noticed the movement on their borders. A corsair raiding party travelled along the coast and met a Mellvellon defence force in the marshy inlets of the coast. The forces of Sein Thoron quickly saw off the attackers but it was clear the colony had been discovered.

Whilst the colony sent word to Sein Craban for further aid, they despatched some of their own men to skirt the Dominion and reach the Holy Sigmarite Empire. The Elves were intent on finding out the secrets of House Volbeck and confirming the rumours of dark sorcery. The truth was revealed in early 514, as they glimpsed necromantic magic raising the dead from an old battlefield. The elves were furious and smashed through the unliving warriors and their master. But attempts to talk to the Empress about the cancer that lurked at the heart of the HSE were rebuffed.

Back in Sein Thoron military aid had arrived in the form of red-skinned ogres, and not a moment to soon. Expecting a coastal attack from the Dominion, the elves were surprised instead when a host of daemons materialised within the colony. The ogres eagerly charged to meet them in battle but found themselves overwhelmed and cut down by the great daemon of Nurgle that towered over the battlefield.

The defence of Sein Thoron was crushed and the elves braced themselves, desperately building their defences. But just as soon as they had appeared the daemons vanished back to the warp. The daemons' summoners had asked only one battle of the host and now the daemons were sated. The elves of Sein Thoron breathed a sigh of relief, but they were now in a tenuous position. To the west and north were Dark Elves and ogre tribes, to the east was the dwarven hold of karak Izor, and they were making enemies of the HSE. Surrounded and without allies, could the colony survive?

Domovoi re-affirm skaven pact

The aggressive expansion of the Kaalroen Empire meant that it was now bounded on all sides by hostile enemies. To pursue their plans for world domination the Kaalroens needed to make war on those empires which opposed them and so they sought to establish alliances with the other forces of disorder. The Skaven had long proved amenable to the Kaalroen's advances but despite the large quantities of resources gifted to them by the Kaalroens they had still made no attempt to attack any other empire, Typhus instead spending most of the aid on infrastructure projects within his own borders.

Impatient, the Domovoi sent an ambassador to meet with Typhus at Boiling Peak and inspect the Skaven Empires preparations for war. To test the Skaven's battle readiness a tournament was planned on the larva plains beneath Boiling Peak. Both sides selected troops who's loyalty had been called into question, seeing this as an opportunity to dispose of unreliable elements within their factions.

The Skaven quickly gained the advantage, their army commanded by a particularly adept Warlord who's abilities had drawn the suspicion of the most Divine Emperor Typhus, who mistrusted excessive competence in his underlings in case they turned it towards personal ambitions. As the dust settled the Skaven troops had won an overwhelming victory and Typhus publicly pardoned his triumphant warlord, although he tragically and accidentally fell into a larva lake during the ensuing festivities. The Chaos delegation was treated to an extravagant feast, although only the threat of unspeakable punishment by their overlords held them in check in the face of Typhus' overwhelming smugness, self aggrandisement and references to the Skaven master race.

Typhus assured the Domovoi that the Skaven preparations for war were almost complete and that they would be mobilising their forces shortly. This proved sufficient to satisfy the Domovoi for the time being, although the perception that the Skaven were happily free loading off Kaalroen aid would continue until Typhus actually began to deliver on his promises.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Biggest Cities

Biggest Cities
1 Hovedstaden Kaalroen Empire 465,000
2 Boiling Peak Typhurian Enclave 450,000
3 Novgorod Kaalroen Empire 385,000
4 Sigmarheim Holy Sigmarite Empire 365,000
5 Lamentation Dark Elf Dominion 300,000
6 Apotheosis Dark Elf Dominion 290,000
7 Sudhafen Holy Sigmarite Empire 255,000
8 Karak-a-varr Dwarf Kingdom 250,000
9 Karak Brynaz Dwarf Kingdom 250,000
10 Dragonspire Mellvellon 225,000
11 Khaldieth Dark Elf Dominion 215,000
12 Galamory Holy Sigmarite Empire 195,000
13 Flodenstaden Kaalroen Empire 195,000
14 Phalicia Kaalroen Empire 155,000
15 Ayn'Qaahira Kaalroen Empire 145,000

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Domovoi assault Barad Aeuril

Despite the wars that had once taken place between the two forces it had been a while since the armies of Kaalroen had clashed with the elves of Mellvelon. This was despite the closeness of elven colonies to the chaos borders, but all the relative peace was to change in 512. The Domovoi massed for an attack, though whether it was due to the fickle whim of their gods or a concentrated plan it is difficult to say.

Their target was Barad Aeuril, a city on the peninsula between Culibain Bay and Dragons Teeth Bay. A small colony, one of the smallest in the Mellvelon empire, Barad Aeuril was nonetheless important to the elves. It was built on the ruins of the ancient city of Averacium and for hundreds of years elven scholars and mages had been eagerly exploring the ruins for artefacts.

As such the colony was well defended, as the Domovoi found out when they marched in force along the peninsula. The terrain is open, with no place to hide an army, and elven scouts gave Barad Aeuril plenty of warning. Battle was joined in the Amon Hills where the elves commanded by Prince Swiftstride had lain in wait. The chaos forces surged forward under a hail of elven bowfire.

The fighting was as bloody as would be expected from these old foes. Chariots and Dragon Princes scythed through unarmoured marauders, but dark magics and armoured knights took their toll on the elves. Swiftstride himself was cut down by the elite Domovoi warriors.

Neither armies were willing to give ground despite terrible casualties on both sides, but as night came the stragglers of each force were eventually forced to retreat. The Domovoi survivors returned to Kaalroen. The elves of Barad Aeuril had halted the attack but they were in no mood to celebrate, with so many of their kind dead they could not call it a victory.

War in the Galamor bay

After the repeated failures of the Privateer navy of Galamory, Empress Matilda decided as her first act in power to grow the tiny Imperial fleet based at Sudhafen. By the year 511PC the Imperial navy had grown from a handful of sloops and frigates, to a warfleet of dozens of frigates, cruisers and several galleons. Each ship was brand new, state of the art and equipped with the latest cannon.

The first act of the newly appointed Admiral Von Schneckt was to prosecute Matilda's private obsession with gaining control over the privateer fleet. In secret, and without the knowledge of her council, she had taken Von Schneckt to one side and instructed him to go to Galamory and subdue the privateers. Their vessels were to be impounded and added to the Imperial fleet.

Unfortunately for the Empress, Von Schneckt was neither a subtle nor competent admiral. Instead of using possible subterfuge, the admiral sailed half his fleet into the Galamor bay and declared the privateers to be under arrest for piracy. Incensed by this, the privateers then proceeded to leave their anchorage and sink Von Schneckt's fleet, with the exception of one medium sized cruiser, which managed to escape. Von Schneckt went down with his ship, the Pride of Sigmar, leading to much embarrasment for the Empress. Matilda however had managed to keep her secret, and was able to blame her undoubtedly incompetent admiral for the debacle. At the same time she managed to tarnish the noble houses of Hoffenland, whose advice she had sought on appointing the leader of her new navy.

The Imperial navy came unstuck later on in the year as well, when Khaldeith raiders were sighted in the Galamor bay. The Imperial fleet, led by the new flagship Empress Matilda, sailed out to meet the dark elf threat. In their fist taste of real battle the Imperial vessels faired poorly. Although they looked the part, shiny guns and clean decks are no substitute for experienced crews, and that showed in poor manouevring and even worse gunnery. The Empress Matilda did manage sink some dark elf vessels, but concentrated too much of her firepower against the smaller enemy ships, leading to an inevitable unequal duel with the dark elf battleship.

The cruiser fleet faired little better in its action against its counterpart. The Khaldeith fleet ran rings around the Imperial cogs, sinking all of them, while suffering only a few ships lost themselves. Another admiral had been lost and the pride of Matilda's new navy now lay at the bottom of Galamor bay. Still, the raiders were driven off, at least that was Matilda's claim, and the Empress insisted more budget be spent replacing her lost ships.

Pellenar joins the HSE, Sudhafen grows in power

As the HSE continued its relentless growth in power it continued to come under attack from the largest power block in Palurin, the great Kaalroen Empire. From 509-510 Domovoi and beastmen raids over the Flachland gap increased in ferocity. One of the new rising powers in the HSE was that of the Von Schaffernacke family, rulers of Sudhafen, and its newly formed standing army was sent to deal with the threats. In a series of small engagements they suffered mixed fortunes. The beastmen were easily crushed but the Domovoi proved more stalwart opponents, repulsing the Von Shaffernacke attacks and continuing to rampage through the HSE.

The horse lords of Pellenar, lead by House Aureus, were still eagerly proving themselves worthy of inclusion into the HSE. Seeing that the Von Schaffernacke army had not solved the chaos problem they rode out themselves and defeated both beastmen and Domovoi patrols, sending the remaining chaos forces back to Kaalroen. Despite the assistance, the Sudhafen men were in no mood to thank those of Pellenar, especially after the arrogant lords of House Aureus loudly bragged of their superiority on the battlefield. This minor dispute came to blows, with both sides suffering for the pride of their leaders, before the men of House Aureus limped back to Pellenar.

If the noble Von Schaffernacke family thought they had proved themselves superior to the horse lords they received a blow in 512. Dark elf raids from Khaldeith had become a constant occurrence around the Galamor Bay. The Von Schaffernacke army marched to the defence of the villages but found itself under a terrible barrage of elven crossbows. Those not killed were taken by the elves for slaves. But aid was to arrive, as the knights of Pellenar attacked the slavers before they could return to their ships. Managing to weather the hail of bolts they forced the elves to retreat and leave behind their captives.

Begrudging thanks was given to House Aureus by Von Schaffernacke, and this time no fighting broke out. Begrudging thanks was given to House Aureus by Von Schaffernacke, and this time no fighting broke out. Sigmarheim showed more gratitude than Sudhafen. For their aid in fighting both chaos and elven raiders Empress Matilda formally announced Pellenar as part of the Holy Sigmarite Empire. House Aureus was growing in power and influence.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Dwarfs defeated by Chaos

In 506 a dire period began for the Dwarf Kingdom as they came under heavy attack from the Kaalroen Empire. A great force of beastmen of the Red Eye tribe travelled down the spine of the Mallvass mountains into Dwarven territory, looting a number of outlying mining settlements. A host of Dwarven warriors lead by Gimmle Thronson was mobilised from Karak Igor and marched north, meeting the Red Eyes at a narrow mountain pass where it was hoped the beastmen could not use their superior numbers.

However the Dwarfs had not reckoned on the sheer size of the horde, and for every slavering beast hacked down another would leap into its place. In the midst of the battle Gimmle ordered scouting parties to return to Karak Igor bringing news of the horde whilst his army prepared to give their lives. The force held up a desperate defence but was overwhelmed.

The two scouting forces desperately raced south, taking different routes to try and fool the enemy. The first found itself under attack when a daemonic force materialised around them and the blades of Khorne scythed down the Dwarfs. Elsewhere the other party also found itself under attack, this time from a force of Domovoi raiders. The scouts were no match for the might of the chaotic warriors and neither group would make it to warn Karak Igor.

The Dwarfs were saved in an unexpected manner. The Domovoi raiders that had killed the scouting party were only a small force ahead of a larger host that met with the Red Eye tribe shortly after their defeat of Gimmle's army. Instead of any sort of alliance the Chaos gods determined the two armies must prove their strength and loyalty by fighting each other. In a vast display of bloodshed the armies clashed, the Domovoi eventually proving their superiority. In time the battlefield would be known as the Crimson Pass, such was the amount of blood that stained the rocks.

Having done the bidding of their fickle gods both forces returned north to the Kaalroen Empire, taking much plunder from the Dwarven lands but leaving the Dwarf Empire safe again for the meanwhile. Gimmle's body was recovered from the field and entombed in the Hall of Heroes in karak Igor.

Holy Sigmarite Empire threats continue

The Dark Elves of Khaldeith returned to plague the Holy Sigmarite in 503, only a year after their defeat by House Aureus. After a successful slave raid against the ogre kingdoms, the Elves returned to the HSE, making small attacks along the coast. the Emperess Matilda dispatched small defensive forces to defend important locations, but wherever battle was joined against the raiders the men of the Empire came off worse. Faulty gunpowder and green recruits were blamed, but for many the problem lay in mismanaging of the situation by the ruling class of House Alptraum.

As bad as the elven raids were, a more serious threat was massing elsewhere, the first signs of which arrived in 506 when a daemonic pack materialised in the lands round Mallendorf and attacked an isolated outpost held by House Drazkharov, slaughtering the defenders. Then early next year an army of the Domovoi was seen marching towards the HSE. The Kaalroen Empire was on the attack once more.

Thankfully though they may have suffered defeats in smaller raids, the Drazkharovs had proved themselves hard to beat in major engagements. This year was no different, and the chaos force was met just south of the Mallend Gap. Though the conveniently overlooked dark magics used by the Drazkharovs proved fickle the powerful infantry held fast against the Domovoi and at the height of the battle Igor Drazkharov slew the Chaos commander. The Domovoi were routed, though some remnants of the army were later found wandering the borders of the HSE - and were blamed for a massacre of a Drazkharov scouting party later that year.

In 508 the Dark Elves returned, but this time the HSE believed themselves ready. A rebuilt fleet from Gallamory was patrolling the Galamor bay and intercepted the raiding ships from Khaldeith, cleverly forcing the elves to sail into the wind thereby slowing their advance. However the ambush quickly turned round, as the cannons of the Imperials were inaccurate and their tactics once close up were sloppy. The powerful elven magic turned the battle into one of the worst defeats ever suffered by the Gallamory fleet. In the wake of this embarrassment the Empress declared the "official" HSE navy needed to be reformed, rather than relying on incompetent privateers.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Top Ten Lists!

1 Kaalroen Empire 3,995,000
2 Cuitlaxaochitzin 3,530,000
3 Holy Sigmarite Empire 3,605,000
4 Dwarf Kingdom 2,460,000
5 Mellvellon 2,020,000
6 Skaven 2,140,000
7 Wood Elf Realm 1,780,000
8 Dark Elf Dominion 1,865,000
9 Cloudy Mountain Orcs 430,000

Biggest Cities
1 Boiling Peak 440,000
2 Sigmarheim 325,000
3 Lamentation 300,000
4 Apotheosis 290,000
5 Karak-a-varr 250,000
6 Karak Brynaz 250,000
7 Dragonspire 225,000
8 Galamory 195,000
9 Flodenstaden 195,000
10 Hovedstaden 185,000

Wonders of the World
1 Mount Cxa-Cxa 22
2 Great temple of Cuitlaxaochitzin 22
3 Tower of Phalicia 18
4 Dragonspire - Ivory Tower 18
5 Boiling peak Complex 13
6 Cathedral to Sigmar 7
= Windmill of Change 7
9 Ruins of Chimalman 6
10 Floating city of Ayn'Qaahira 5

Biggest Armies
1 Kaalroen Empire 38
2 Holy Sigmarite Empire 33
3 Dwarf Kingdom 31
4 Cuitlaxaochitzin 31
5 Mellvellon 30
6 Typhonian Enclave 8
7 Dark Elf Dominion 5
8 Cloudy Mountain Orcs 4

Biggest Navies
1 Dark Elf Dominion 46
2 Mellvellon 36
3 Typhonian Enclave 34
4 Holy Sigmarite Empire 18
5 Dwarf Kingdom 13
6 Kaalroen Empire 11
7 Cuitlaxaochitzin 7

Biggest Empires
1 Kaalroen Empire 635,000 sq mi
2 Cuitlaxaochitzin 505,000 sq mi
3 Holy Sigmarite Empire 402,500 sq mi
4 Dwarf Kingdom 210,000 sq mi
5 Wood Elf Realm 157,500 sq mi
6 Dark Elf Dominion 155,000 sq mi
7 Typhonian Enclave 142,500 sq mi
8 Mellvellon 187,500 sq mi
9 Cloudy Mountain Orcs 65,000 sq mi

Triple alliance forms

Over the past few years the patrolling ships of the Holy Sigmarite Empire had been encountering increasing numbers of Skaven vessels in the middle of the Pan Coren Ocean. Whilst the Sigmarites were well used to skaven raids on their southern coastline, these ships were always spotted in deep water far from any coast. The Admiralty of the HSE suspected the nefarious Skaven were up to something, and whilst they had no idea what it was or how it was relevant to them they fervently believed it could be nothing good. A fleet was dispatched to patrol the area of greatest activity with the aim of boarding a skaven vessel and discovering its purpose.

The first skaven ships encountered fled on sight of the Sigmarite navy but soon a host of sails was spotted on the horizon as the Skaven responded with suspicious speed. Battle was soon joined and although at first it seemed as if the Sigmarites would triumph easily the Skaven fought back with surprising tenacity and vigor and eventually the human ships were all destroyed or scattered, still none the wiser as to why the Skaven were so obsessed with an area of empty ocean.

Ogres face new challenges

At the start of the 6th century PC the Ogre Kingdom of the Mallvass Mountains faced increasing challenges as the Empires around them began voraciously expanding their borders. In 500PC a dispute with the Lizardmen over trade saw their caravans ambushed and seized while passing along the Easting Road. Eventually the Ogres began sending armed caravans to the Norh of the Holy Sigmarite Empire, as Empress Matilda was unwilling to allow even a small military force from the Ogre Kingdom pass through her realm.

The dispute came to a head in late 500PC, when a protected caravan, bound for Graag, was ambushed by a force from Cuitlaxaochitzin. Despite not being the largest battle, hundreds were involved on both sides, and the Ogre defence force was overcome and the precious goods seized in the name of the Slaan priests. Following this the Ogres gave up trying to trade with their kin in Graag, sending their goods to the Empire and Kaalroen Empire instead.

The sacking of the trade caravan had been watched with interest by the newly active goblins of the Cloudy Mountains. Seeing how this plunder worked, a small band of goblins tracked its way around Castle Mallvass and Mallengeist, and down the spine of the Mallvass mountains. From there in 502 the goblins launched a series of successful ambushes of Ogre trade caravans, running off with the loot before the Ogres could send a proper army to track them down.

Skirmishes increase on HSE borders

As the fifth century came to a close a number of skirmishes took place around the growing Holy Sigmarite Empire. Its rapid expansion meant the HSE was now approaching the vast Kaalroen Empire in terms of population, and it was increasingly the centre of conflict in Palurin.

In 497 the northern states found themselves under surprise attack from daemonic entities. House Volbeck, one of the houses rumoured to be harbouring vampires and dark magicians, lead the defence of the HSE and was able to crush the daemons wherever they arrived.

Only a few years later the house had far less success against Domovoi raiders. For years the Domovoi had been attacking the HSE across the 'Flachland Gap' a no-man's land that separated the Dominion, HSE and Kaalroen Empire. Having defeated a group of Dark Elf Dominion slavers the Domovoi were flush with success and a small band daringly penetrated deep into the HSE. Unprepared, House Volbeck's defences crumbled and much of their lands were razed before the attackers returned to their homeland. leaving the Volbeck capital, Ratzberg, thankfully untouched.

Not seen for many years, the greenskins of the Cloudy Mountains re-emerged as the year 500 came, with scholars suggesting that the date was either due to an ancient propechy of goblins overrunning the world, or just coincidence. Admittedly the first foray by the goblin tribes resulted in a defeat on the southern borders of the HSE by Dark Elf raiders from Khaldieth, but further attacks upon the Domovoi in the north were much more successful.

The Khaldieth elves meanwhile, smarting from defeats from both the goblins and Domovoi attempted to repeat the success they had had against the HSE a few years prior and made numerous slaving raids. But time and again they were defeated, by armies from both House Volbeck and then in 502 by horse-lords of House Aureus who rode down from Pellenar to defend the coast. Unable to penetrate the armour of the Pellenar knights the Dark Elves retreated. Success has eluded them and they returned to Khaldieth to brood on their evil plans.

After their successful skirmishes, House Aureus was eager to prove itself further and gain acceptance for Pellenar to merge into the HSE. The very same year they bravely lead a small sortie into the Cloudy Mountains to put down the rising goblin tribes. The attack was a success but at a great cost, and Aureus was unprepared when Domovoi raiders attacked Pellenar itself only a few months later. Reliance on heavily armoured knights proved a weakness against the powerful warriors. Much of Pellenar was sacked and the Domovoi were gone before the HSE could send a relief force.

Though attacks by the forces of Chaos, greenskins and Dark Elves might be expected, the HSE found itself in a less likely battle as a small group of High Elves from Mellvellon were found marching in secret through the HSE. Empress Matilda was outraged as the Elves refused to explain their actions and tried to fight their way back to a ship on the coast. Forces from the Alptraum family intercepted them and cut the elves down. As scholars debated the possible elven motive it was clear to all that whatever great events were coming for Palurin, the Holy Sigmarite Empire was at the centre of them.