Tuesday, April 07, 2015

WFB Campaign - The Gathering Storm: Prologue

Stromdorf. The rainiest place in the Empire.

The locals take great pride in this fact, although that won’t stop them complaining about it.

The small southern Reikland hamlet is unremarkable in all other respects, situated alongside the River Teufel, and on the edge of a large area of wetlands known as the Oberslecht. In times past, the human tribes in the area would travel to visit a standing stone that stood just outside what are now the town walls, said to grant visions of the future. On the site now stands a Sigmarite Temple.

Rumours of the secession of Sylvania and of the war in the north are troubling, but ultimately have no real impact on the lives of the people here. Not much happens, not much changes. Except for one thing.

The weather is getting worse.

All is not well in Stromdorf.

It started thousands of years ago, before the War of the Beard forced the Elves to abandon their towers and cities in the Old World.

An arcane fulcrum of pure Azyr magic erupted near a river in what would become known as the Teufel. A promising young mage was able to contain it, sealing it beneath the river depths. A Tower of Hoeth was erected nearby, along with a device capable of locating the fulcrum, and assisting with the sealing ritual.

Time passed, and the tower fell into ruins, now known as Tempest Knap. The latent Azyr magic continued to permeate the region, causing near constant weather anomalies. At some point the tower was struck by a lightning explosion so huge, it sent chunks of the building and parts of the device flying across the landscape. These device parts still crackled with Azyr magic, radiating the powers of foresight and weather manipulation.

One part was discovered by the human tribes, and turned into a standing stone (over which a Temple of Sigmar now sits), while the other sank somewhere in the Oberslecht.

Thousands of years later, a young human wizard attempting to divine the location of the fulcrum set off a chain reaction that would weaken the seal, causing it to leak pure Azyr magic. The effects of this are starting to be felt not just in Stromdorf, but also as far away as Ulthuan. The Elven curator of the fulcrum must now covertly journey into the heart of the Empire and repair the damage before it is too late.

Time is of the essence, as the human wizard is also returning, and hopes to harness the power for himself…

Dramatis Personae (and Order of Battle)

The Sigmarites

Arch-Lector Kaslain of Nuln
The Sigmarite crusade into Sylvania has ended in disaster.  Grand Theogonist Volkmar has been taken captive, presumed dead, and only a handful of the invading force made it out. Arch-Lector Kaslain led the remnants back to Nuln, where he wasted no time in preparing to outmanoeuvre his rival, Arch-Lector Aglim, for the office of Grand Theogonist. Having secured the support of the Knights Griffon, he prepares for the trip to Altdorf to lobby for support.

On the eve of his departure, Kaslain receives a letter from the Temple in Stromdorf. The local priest claims to have been gifted visions and dire portents from Sigmar himself, and requires his aid. While the tale is not likely genuine, Lector Gottschalk does have a vote in the leadership. Given how tight the race will be, Kaslain decides to detour west at Grissenwald, and pay the Lector a visit…

Witch Hunter Alberich van Korden
Alberich van Korden was the last surviving agent in Sylvania before its secession. Having survived Mannfred von Carstein’s trap, Alberich must now travel to Altdorf to report to the Grand Temple. Arch-Lector Kaslain is eager to keep him in his entourage, as he was the only other witness to the dire events around Volkmar’s abduction.

Niklaus Schulmann, Acolyte of the Celestial College
A charismatic young wizard with absolutely no talent at his craft, Schulmann has nonetheless been able to convince those who matter that he is, in fact, a prodigy. Rumour has it that he won the favour of Countess Emmanuelle herself by ‘reading the heavens’ and providing favourable portents (long-lasting beauty, decades of prosperity for Nuln, and an end to the ‘rat problem’ in the sewers). In return, he has been granted state troops to escort him to Stromdorf to study the local weather effects for his thesis. What no-one knows, however, is that Schulmann has already been to Stromdorf quite recently…

Castellan-Engineer Jubal Falk
Not at all happy with the Ironsides being assigned escort duty for some mage, Falk uses the expedition as opportunity to field test wet-weather modifications on some of the new big guns and the Nuln steam tank. They should work well. In theory.

Captain Timothias Lindmann of the Magnus Gate Halberdiers
Forgot to pack an overcoat.

Franz Bieber and the Stromdorf Huntsmen
One of the best hunters in the Reikland, Bieber has been sent to guide the Arch-Lector through the Beastmen-infested Oberslecht.

Luthor Huss
A long-time opponent of Arch-Lector Kaslain, Huss hopes to thwart his superior’s ambitions to become head of the Cult of Sigmar. Lector Gottschalk will hear what he has to say about Kaslain, as well as the matter of the ‘Blacksmith of Lachenbad’…

Magnus Gate Troops - Halberdiers

Franz Bieber's Huntsmen - Archer detachment

Nuln Ironsides - Armoured Handgunners

Knights Griffon - Inner Circle Knights on Warhorses

Knights Griffon - Inner Circle Knights on Demigryphon

Long Tom - Great Cannon

Gravin's Wrath - Helblaster Volley Gun

Ol' Cranky - Mortar

Deliverance - Steam Tank

The Ghosts and the Stormbinder

Archmage Gallharian Stormbinder
Gallharian Stormbinder looked back. Mortal eyes would have seen little but mist rolling up the valley. Gallharian’s mage sight saw beneath the layers of the low rolling cloud. His war host advanced silently.

His army had become known as ‘The Ghosts’ and rightly so. Their ships had made landfall, not far from Marienburg, in a fierce storm of Gallharian’s creation. In an audacious move they had advanced into the heart of Reikland. They had utterly wiped out two small settlements to remained undetected. The quest could not be compromised.

Gallharian could not contain the smirk that spread across his face. Long had his line fallen out favour in the Everqueen’s Court, after he had sustained massive losses leading his force on a prior campaign. How things had changed though, in the Gaen Vale - a magical focal point of the world the Everqueen had sensed a change in the winds of Azyr. Something was causing the imbalance deep in the heart of The Empire. An ancient fulcrum long buried in the ruined elven colony of Tor Arven had fallen, leaving a network of waystones vulnerable to daemonic attack. The Everqueen had hoped that the sons of Sigmar who now inhabited the land would unwittingly become its guardians by building their town of Stromdorf nearby.

The court was left with little choice than to send small force to ascertain what was causing the disturbance. Much to the disdain of many in the Evercourt, Galharian was chosen to investigate - his talents in controlling the winds of Azyr were second to none.

Now was Galharian’s time for redemption. Nothing would stand in his way.

Noble - Galimar on Night Talon
Galimar has served the will of the Queen for hundreds of years. Courtiers have come and gone and Galimar’s court standing has ebbed and flowed. His unswerving loyalty has not changed though. Many a battle has been saved by one his deft charges. Those who do not know him see him as reckless or lucky. Those who know him well see his genius in reading a battle. Galamar has doubted Galharian’s conviction in slaying humans so wantonly, but is powerless.

Handmaiden - Ysvena the Everqueen’s Hunter
Ysvena is taciturn even for a Handmaiden of the Everqueen. Having reached the revered position of Handmaiden early in her life, she spends little time involved in the politics of court life. Her position is maintained purely by her exceptional skill in enacting the often hidden and violent will of the Court.

Noble - Cerlian the Unbowed
Cerlian is a duelist at heart, his high status as a Queen’s Banner Bearer has been earned by his endless duels and reckless bravery. Some say he cares not who he fights, he only cares for his own glory and image. Certainly he had no qualms about about wiping out human villages on the way to Stromdorf.

Ellyrian Reavers - The Dusk Riders

Ellyrian Reavers - The Dawn riders

Archers - Moonglade Guardians

Silver Helms - Knights of the Crimson Heart (3rd)

Silver Helms - Knights of the Crimson Heart (5th)

Tiranoc Chariot - Malhin Brothers 

Tiranoc Chariot - The Tempest

Shadow Warriors - Eldremar’s Rangers

Lothern Skycutter - Mathlann’s Bride

Lothern Skycutter - Mathlann’s Fury

Sisters of Avelorn - The Path Finders

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - The Whisperer

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower - The Sycthe

Frostheart Phoenix - Storm Talon

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