Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Mellvellon on Campaign

The Elven kingdom of Mellvellon unleashed the full force of its new army in 538, made not of Elves but Ogres bred by sorcerous magics in the caves beneath the Dragon Isles. The fury of this brutal force was directed at the Kaalroen Empire, the Elves eager to crush the vast Chaos-worshipping realm. The inaugral battle was a great success, the Ogres and their beasts crushing Domovoi warriors beneath their iron boots.

Meanwhile the Slann lords of Cuitlaxaochitzin caught word of what Mellvellon had created. Despite a tentative alliance between the two empires, the Elves had worked on their project in secret. The Slann were offended - the secrets of birthing life were theirs alone, used in the creation of their lizardman workers and armies. They believed the Elves were tampering with things they did not understand, leading themselves down a path to corruption.

Elven ambassadors scoffed at the suggestion of course, and the matter came to blows. The Slann despatched an army to halt the march of the Ogres through the Kaalroen empire. It was an unusual respite for the Domovoi, who avoided the clash between Lizards and Ogres that sent the Mellvellon army into retreat. Many Ogres were killed but the wizards of Mellvellon would not see this as a failure, increasing production of their ferocious new army.

Some Slann in Cuitlaxaochitzin believed the war a mistake, that those who had made the decision were to greedy of the knowledge they coveted. Would it not be better to help the elves perfect their birthing techniques? The argument would occupy the Slann for many decades to come.

House Drazkharov faces down enemies

The stability of the HSE was on the brink in 535PC. House Drazkharov had long been growing in power and the rest of the HSE had long suspected their strength lay in dark magic. Rumours of the dead rising from battlefields and terrible beasts spotted in the skies over the pine forests near Mallenstein, mixed with whispered tales that the lords of Drazkharov had been alive for centuries. Even Elven ambassadors from Mellvellon had protested the dark heart of the HSE, but the old Empress was adamant that nothing untoward was taking place in her lands.

Meanwhile the power of the Church of Sigmar had been waning as Drazkharov, Pellenar and other factions rose in prominence. It was finding it increasingly hard to attract new members to its ranks, as more and more people forgot the old ways of Sigmar - commonly seen as a god of the Old World, not Palurin. Pope Gregerious I knew that the church needed to make its mark, to be seen as powerful as it used to be. In a bold move he ordered the Church’s contingent of Ogre mercenaries to attack house Drazkharov, denouncing the house as witches and heretics.

As soon as House Drazkharov realised what was happening they sent word of protest to the Empress, but by that time the army had reached Mallenstein. As the ogres prepared to march into the city the fears of the Church seemed realised. Corpses clawed their way from the ground to oppose the Ogres, and a contingent of skeletal riders upon ethereal steeds rode from the city gates. At their head rode a dark figure with blood dripping from his swords, and they held aloft the banner of a flayed man.

Ogres are not the type to be afraid of such things and with a roar charged into battle. The cleaved through wolves and bats, ghoulish men and the living dead faster than the evil necromancers could summon them. At the centre of the battle was a great clash between the vampiric lord who lead the knights and the Ogre sorcerer and his bodyguard. Such was the carnage it was not clear who had the upper hand until finally the vampire lord emerged alone, his horse scrabbling up the pile of dead. But the Ogres had brought with them a great war machine - the ironblaster - which sighted itself upon the triumphant vampire and blew him to smithereens with its cannonballs.

The Ogres - and hence the church - had won a great victory, but the army was recalled by the Empress before it could take Mallenstein itself. Pope Gregerious was furious, but the Drazkharovs claimed this was an isolated incident of vampirism, and thanked the church for bringing it to their attention and dealing so well with the problem. A few days later Gregerious fell down the stairs at his home and broke his neck. His successor, who took the name Gregerious II, promised friendly relations between the church and House Drazkharov.

So what was the truth about House Drazkharovs? They seemed little affected by what had happened. Only a few years later they were sent to battle against attacking Domovoi forces in the Flachland gap. The chaos raiders were destroyed, and there are almost no impartial eyewitnesses to the battle, but rumour continues that the commander of the force looked eerily similar to the one blown apart by the Ogre cannons four years earlier.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

The 3rd Skaven High Elf war

After years of waiting in 530PC the Typhonian Enclave once again mobilised its armies against the Elves of Mellvellon. His surprise attack against the Dwarves a few years earlier had been bloodily repulsed and as a result the Elves would not be isolated should the Dwarves come to their aid, but Typhus hoped that the long standing enmity between the two races would prevent them uniting. At the head of the Skaven armies strode the Vermin Lord Naspepsorael'Enaspahue'e'Ahael, once more summoned and bound to Tyhpus' will. Typhus had learned from his earlier dramas with the capricious and treacherous daemon and had strengthened the daemon's bindings, ensuring that Typhus would be able to shackle the titanic entity should it once more rebel against its rightful master.

The two factions clashed as the Skaven armies threatened to bypass Ogregard. The Elves put up a spirited and stubborn defence, holding back the Skaven hordes for many hours. At the height of the battle the Vermin Lord, living embodiment of the Skaven master race, was seen fleeing from the fight until Typhus once again managed to wrestle it back under his will, exerting his powers from his chamber back at Boiling Peak. In the end the Skaven were simply too numerous for the Elves that opposed them and they were eventually forced to retreat or be annihilated.

But with the bodies of their dead they had succeeded in buying time for the garrison of Sein Craban to fully mobilise. They opposed the Skaven on the outskirts of the city and it seemed as if a titanic battle would follow with the fate of the city hanging in the balance. The Skaven's ambitions were to be cruelly dashed however when the supreme warlock commanding the army, standing in full view of his host atop his bizarre war engine, lost control of the titanic energies he sought to master and was consumed by raw magic. With their battle standard fleeing the field the Skaven were thrown into disarray and although they continued to fight the confused and milling masses were unable to oppose of the disciplined elven ranks. The retreat became a route and in short order the sieges of Ogregard and the Tears of Isha had been lifted, leaving both sides back where they had started. Typhus flew into a rage at the news and frightened retainers reported the sounds of Tyhpus engaged in a furious argument with himself within the close confines of his palace.

The venture had not been entirely without gain. The Skaven had sacked an elven settlement and the revenue had allowed them to complete the high speed rail link to Widows Peak. It was now possible to travel by warpstone powered train from Widows Peak all the way to the secret undersea city of Ratlantis.

Phalicia blocks skaven travel

The 'Axis of Evil', an alliance between the Domovoi and the Skaven looked on shaky ground almost before it had truly begun. In 521 a delegation of the rat-men emerged from their tunnels and travelled through the Kaalroan Empire towards the Domovoi homelands for negotiations on how best to crush their enemies. All seemed in order, but the alliance had not reckoned on interference from their own side.

As the Skaven force moved through Kaalroen they were ambushed by warriors sent from the nearby city of Phalicia. Though not recently seen outside Kaalroen, the Phalicians still maintained a powerful military force, and quickly defeated the delegation, forcing the rat-men to flee back to their tunnels. The Domovoi were understandably angered, but did not press the issue with Phalicia, and sent word to Boiling Peak about the 'misunderstanding'. The axis still held, but for how long?

Though they had almost scuppered the alliance between Chaos and Skaven, Phalicia was at least partially convinced by the words of the Domovoi. Perhaps the Axis was worth fighting for after all? Still the armies of Phalicia had not been tested in the field for many years. So in 524 the city sent an army south to the Dwarven Empire. A period of raiding isolated mining communities in the Aplpinos drew out an army from the holds. The chaos army leapt on the Dwarfs and cut down many a doughty warrior. As the Dwarfs retreated Phalicia chose not to persue. It had tested its warriors' mettle and they had not been found wanting.

Domovoi clash with neighbours

The Domovoi continued their raids upon the Holy Sigmarite Empire in 528PC, once again a warband of marauders moving through the Mallvass Mountains. The raids seemed to be growing in size over the years, though the raiders were interested only in plunder, not territory. As they moved into the lands of House Volbeck the men scrambled to defend their lands but were crushed by the fierce warriors, who made off with numerous captives to sacrifice to their dark gods.

The next time the Domovoi were seen was in larger numbers, and in battle with the ogres of Cuitlaxaochitzin. The forces met on the Plain of Ruination, north of the HSE, an area that has previously resisted attempts at colonisation. Both were seeking something, at the behest of their Slann masters or crazed sorcerers. The ogres fought with their usual ferocity, smashing aside the Chaos forces with very little resistance. As the remaining Domovoi retreated back to the Kaalroen Empire the Ogres began their search of the area, later returning to Cuitlaxaochitzin bearing five iron chests.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Dwarfs first to face axis of Evil

Since the very start of the colonisation of Palurin the Typhurian Enclave had been a deeply isolationist empire, its military only venturing forth when warpstone or slaves were needed to fuel its industry or when directly challenged, such as by the Elves of Mellvellon. That changed when without warning hordes of Skaven suddenly erupted into the tunnels beneath Karak Vermingard.

Despite their long vigil against their malignant neighbour the Dwarves were initially taken completely by surprise but they soon rallied their forces within a large cavern which provided a perfect natural choke point from which to make their stand against the vast and teeming hordes.

Unable to make good use of their numbers and subjected to a withering hail of fire the Skaven fared poorly, dying in their droves. Just as it seemed that the Skaven were defeated a last vicious assault overwhelmed one company of warriors who had allowed themselves to be drawn out of line, made overconfident in their victory. The company was massacred to a dwarf and the Skaven retreated as suddenly as they had come.

No reason was given for the seemingly random attack. Sketchy and contradictory reports from Dwarven scouts sighted Typhus himself watching the battle unfold imperiously from a safe distance, but making no move to intervene. Wary that this was just the opening move in a long war the Dwarves strengthened their defences and waited.

HSE border skirmishes

The Holy Sigmarite Empire continued to be the centre for a number of skirmishes and activity. In 522 Pellenar Knights encountered Ogres from the nearby Ogre Kingdom whilst patrolling the Flachland Gap. The Gap is a thin strip of neutral ground bordering the Ogres and HSE, as well as the Kaalroen Empire and others, and the HSE have found it prudent to patrol. The men of Pellenar were unable to get their act together in time before the Ogres charged in, crumpling the heavily armoured knights in a horrific display of bloodshed.

Pellenar redeemed themselves in battle a year later, when the HSE found daemonic bands materialising within its borders. This was becoming increasingly common, and worse the attacks were growing in size. Near Mallendorf such a band swiftly defeated the Drazkharov guard, but the knights of house Aureus were able to hold off an attack near Saarborn despite heavy casualties.

No sooner was the battle over House Aureus regrouped, and with some reinforcements from Pellenar pressed north to investigate reports of a host of beastmen emerging from the Mallvass Mountains. Near Ulmmund the knights learnt that the size of the attackers had been greatly exaggerated by frightened peasants and charged into the chaos warband. The beastmen mostly fled, scattering back into the mountains.

Elsewhere the HSE scholar Alfwin Merken was working on a controversial theory; that the nearby merchant kingdom of Rhan'k'adanra was increasing in power at the same rate as the daemonic attacks were occuring, and that there could be a link between the two.

Mellvellon squabbles with Graag

Still fearing further attack from Kaalroen on their outpost of Barad Aureil the elves of Mellvellon looked to increase their defences. But the elves were increasingly spread thin, with numerous colonies set up across Palurin. With troops being diverted to Sein Thoron the Barad Aureil colonists looked towards their allies for help. Contacting the Slann lords of Cuitlaxaochitzin they negotiated a deal. The lizardmen would send a detachment of Ogre mercenaries to defend against any Chaos incursions. The Ogres would be paid in treasures the elves were excavating from the ancient city beneath Barad Aureil.

Unfortunately the ogres from Graag were less interested in this deal. Upon arriving in the distant land and seeing no Chaos attack forthcoming they quickly became bored. This lead to squabbling with the local elves over their pay, the 'ancient treasures' the had been promised turned out to be mostly pottery. The arguments quickly escalated into an all out battle, with the Ogres stomping over the beleaguered defenders of the city. After a brief period of looting the ogres made off with a number of more worthy relics and returned home to Cuitlaxaochitzin, leaving Barad Aureil in a worse state than before. Some elves theorised this had been the Slann lords' plans all along.