Ulthuan

Ulthuan, Home of the Asur
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:18 pm 
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I've been building my high elf army over the course of the past year and a half, and despite a pretty major overhaul after the new book I'm getting to the last 20-30% to have a fully completed and painted army.
I've always loved the dragon theme, my 40k Space Marine army has a similarly draconic theme, that's why I play Warhammer, I love dragons!
I wanted to build a Caledorian army, that would have the visual and background theme of dragons, without having to be slavishly stuck to Dragon Prince buses or Dragon Mages. As a result I've made some minor conversions(SHs with DP helmets, dragon shields on characters, etc) and use dragons as proxies for frost phoenixes.
My army blog, found in the army list section, has a few stories and narrative style battle reports, but I decided to post the army's background here for some fluff feedback. I realize there may be a few things that might defy canon in order to fit the frost dragon fluff in there, but that's the kind of thing I want feedback on.
So without further adieu:


The House of Dorien and the Building of Tor Cyroc:

The Dragonlords of Tor Cyroc have held their lands by decree of Caledor I for millennia. Theirs is a line of kings descended from Caledor Dragontamer himself through his grandson Dorien. In the wake of the Sundering, as shattered Ulthuan sought to begin the healing process the dragons sought out the Phoenix King shortly before he left on his last expedition. Only Caledor and his brother knows what transpired in their meeting, but from that day forward Dorien and all scions of his house had been tasked with the defense of Tor Cyroc.
The citadel sits at the base of the Caledorian mountains on the coast of the Inner Sea, built directly into the mountain’s roots. What the fortress guards is a secret known only to the rulers of Caledor and the Phoenix King himself: the only accessible entrance to the dragon’s nests. Buried deep beneath the fortress is the beginning of a tunnel which leads to the resting place of the dragons of Ulthuan and their precious clutches of eggs.
Although it was only after the reign of Tethlis the Slayer that the elves began to notice the absence of the dragons, the dragons themselves had known for some time. Shocked by the theft of dragons eggs by the druchii in the civil war, and feeling their slumber taking hold the greatest dragons realized that they would need to rely on their allies, the elves, to protect the future of their race. Since the final stone of Tor Cyroc was laid the druchii have mounted several unsuccessful attempts to steal more dragons and always the swords and shields of Dorien’s house have repelled them.
Unsurprisingly, the dragons which remain awake take a great interest in the protection of Tor Cyroc, one family of dragons in particular has remained a trusted ally.


Lords of Tor Cyroc:

Line of Dorien
Gwydion:
The current patriarch of the House, Gwydion carries the ancient title of Dragonlord, although in greater Ulthuan he would be considered a Prince. Gwydion possesses none of the magical talents their line has been known for, but is considered a peerless warrior. As his father before him, he carries the ancient family battle-axe Ceyl and rides into battle bestride Jormungandr, greatest of the Frost Dragons.
As the fortunes of the elves wane, the current Dragonlord Gwydion has found himself called upon more often to support the armies of Ulthuan in defense of the isle. This has led Gwydion to have more exposure to the rest of the kingdoms than most of his predecessors, and given him the opportunity to prove his mettle against countless foes in both the Old World and the New.

Zehava:
The heir presumptive of the House of Dorien, Zehava is the eldest child of Gwydion and Melisande. From an early age it could be seen that Zehava took after his mother, especially with regards to his facility with magic. Tutored from a young age by his mother, and trained further at the White Tower Zehava’s skills are centuries ahead of his young age of 412. Although relatively inexperienced in battle, his father has been training him for the past few decades in the arts of war and tactics including bringing his son on a number of his recent campaigns. Zehava’s favored weapon is his bladed quarterstaff and he often carries an ancient tome gifted to him by his mother, which further enhances his magical powers.

Rohanion and Yvraine:
An unexpected joy to the house of Dorien, Rohanion and Yvraine are a rare set of elven twins. While Zehava’s calm temper and studiousness mirrors his mother’s Sapherian temperament, Rohanion and Yvraine exemplify the ferocity and fire of their father’s bloodline. From a young age the twins showed an affinity with the worship of Kurnous, worrying their parents with seemingly endless hunts into the wilderness of the Caledorian Mountains.
Rohanion sought battle at an early age, disguising himself as a Sea Dragon marine and smuggling himself aboard his father’s flagship at the start of a campaign. He is well versed in all weapons but favors a lance when riding to battle mounted at the head of his troop of Wardens. He has been diligently studying his rites of passage in hopes of one day earning the partnership of one of the ancient dragons as so many in his lineage before him.
Yvraine’s talents on the battlefield are indisputable, especially her skill with the bow. Until recently she served as a ranger, scouting for her father’s forces in battle. Upon their most recent, tragic, return to Tor Cyroc Yvraine’s anguish over her mother’s death unlocked a slumbering power within her. Weeping over her mother’s remains she kindled a raging inferno which nearly consumed the keep. Her brother and father immediately recognized her latent skills: Yvraine was a Dragon Mage. At his father’s request Zehava has begun to tutor her in the ways of magic, and as she recuperates from her ordeal Gwydion is preparing to introduce her to the dragons of Jormungandr’s family, to the unending jealousy of her twin.

Chaynal:
Gwydion’s younger brother and veteran of many campaigns, Chaynal is nearly as mighty as his brother and bears the battle standard during engagements. When not on campaign, Chaynal has been given the title of Warden of Tor Ynair acting as regent of the lands until such time as Gwydion should choose a succesor. Chaynal often wields an enchanted bow gifted to him by the elves of Athel Lorien after his forces helped drive off a beastmen raiding party.

Maarken:
Chaynal’s eldest son, Maarken showed extraordinary magical talents from an early age. Following his cousin’s example, he was tutored by his aunt for a number of years before being sent to the White Tower for further training. As with most Sapherian adepts, Maarken has been released to, “Walk the world for a while” as his loremaster put it. He can often be found in support of the forces of Tor Cyroc defending their troops from the depredations of opposing magic wielders.

The Brood of Jormungandr:
Hatched from the same clutch as Maedrethnir, scion of the great Indraugnir, Jormungandr has the blood of kings running through his veins. Shortly after the War of the Sundering, the mightiest of dragons met to discuss the malaise that was beginning to take hold in their race. The battle losses, compounded by the druchii’s theft of eggs, and the progressively smaller clutches concerned the ancient beasts greatly. Older, sterner heads called for a complete withdrawal into the mountains sealing all land entrances. Maedrethnir and Jormungandr argued vehemently against such an action, their faith in the elves the support for a bold plan.
The brothers called for two great pacts to be forged, one with the rulers of Caledor in the building of Tor Cyroc and the second in greater secrecy with the god Kurnous. Since the slaying of (insert name here) by (insert name here) the dragons had largely forsworn the pantheon of the elves. In the decline of their race, the dragons saw a problem their significant powers could not fix, and finally the brother’s arguments held sway over the council.
The dragons knew that one of the sources of their decline was the general warming of their world, even as the fiery heart of the mighty Dragonspine Mountains had begun to cool. The hatching cycles of their eggs were particularly affected by this, as the heat of the volcanoes they called home incubated and nurtured the eggs to maturity. Clearly the druchii had used dark magic to circumvent these challenges, but the dragons were unwilling to extend their pact with the elves that far. The answer, the dragons believed, lay deeper within the mountains where the core of the volcanoes was still largely unaffected by the general cooling. Unfortunately, even the dragon’s extreme resistance to fire would not allow them to brave the depths at which they hoped to house their eggs.
To call the attention of the god of the hunt, the dragons performed a great ritual culminating with the sacrifice of one of the black dragons, which they had captured in battle near the end of the war. Well pleased with such a mighty offering Kurnous appeared in an unexpected fashion, he temporarily possessed Jormungandr’s body. Kurnous had long admired the dragons as the greatest of natural hunters, and simultaneously one of the most dangerous prey. Hearing the dragon’s plight, Kurnous devised a cunning plan to solve their problem. The prospect of solving the world’s warming problem was beyond even the diety’s powers, but the god could make it possible for the dragons to delve deeper into the Dragonspine seeking greater heat for their clutches. Improving on the dragon’s natural flame resistance was not really a possibility, and Kurnous’ plan would not be without additional costs.
Speaking with Jormungandr’s own body, Kurnous proposed a series of elaborate rituals, which would further tie the dragons with elves, as the rituals would require a blood partnership with the elves. By harnessing the power of the dragon and rider partners the dragon would be able to channel a bone-chilling cold which would emanate from the beast, lowering the temperature around it. Thusly protected, an elite group of dragons would be able to tend to the precious clutches deep within the magma flows of the Dragonspine, protected from the heat. This process would weaken the dragons and their rider greatly, but could be summoned at will.
Left with little choice, the dragons agreed, and as Kurnous’ light left Jormungandr’s eyes the great beast volunteered himself and his offspring to shoulder this most important of burdens.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 4:56 am 
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Great fluff, I hope to hear more!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 7:03 am 
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Thanks Glorfindain, took me a little while, but I've almost completed the fluff for my dragon mage.
I've finalized plans for a model based on a carmine dragon, dragon mage legs and the torso/head from a sister of avelorn.
So the story below is the bonding rite between my dragon mage and her dragon, please let me know what you think, feedback is welcome.


To most her homeland would have looked bleak. Indeed, as she climbed the dark forbidding mountainside, she found herself unconsciously wishing she was back at the Tor hunting in the woods which covered the base of the Dragonspine. Reaching an outcropping, she paused to survey the landscape, dark grey rock…and more dark grey rock. She looked back towards the Tor, but even her elven eyes could not penetrate the perpetual smoke which wreathed the tops of the Spine.

Somehow, this desolate peak had called to her beckoning her with the whisper of a song and a steadily stronger beating between her temples. When she had first described the sensation to her father he had merely nodded and her lessons with her older brother had been increased to twice a day. Since she had woken up after the dark elf raid her life had been a blur of magic lessons from her brother and training from her father. She had barely been allowed the time to grieve for her mother, a state she resented her father for. Yet…she could see the sense in it, since her mother’s death she had inadvertently immolated her bed, drapes and a number of priceless tapestries. On three occasions she had woken to find herself in her bedclothes walking up the very peak she now found herself on. Even without her father’s lessons she knew what the song meant, it called to her blood, the blood of Caledor Dragontamer.

Yvraine continued her climb, silently chanting the dragonsong her father had carefully taught her. Although she regretted the weight, she was thankful for the protection her ancient dragon armor gave her as her gauntleted hands tightened on yet another jagged outcropping. Her father had armored her himself, appearing in her room the morning of her departure carrying the ancient plate. “This armor was your grandmother’s,” he said as he lowered the chest plate over her head. “She was a formidable warrior and mage, she was made a gift of this armor by the High Prince after she saved his life.” Although the armor was light as a feather, Yvraine could feel the weight of her ancestors as her father strapped on her last gauntlet. He stepped back as she threw her cloak about her shoulders a slight smile quirking his lips. It was the first she’d seen there since her mother’s passing. He had embraced her then and walked out with one parting phrase, “You were born to be a queen of dragons, whatever you do, don’t forget that.” As she walked out of the Tor she could see her father circling the keep bestride Jormungandr before winging his way towards the mountains.

Yvraine gathered herself and leapt from the ledge she was standing on, her lithe form covered the vertical distance easily and her gauntleted hand closed on the final ledge. Muscles toned by years of hunting and training in the arts of war effortlessly hauled her over the lip and Yvraine regained her feet taking a moment to take in her surroundings. She had arrived at somewhat of a plateau, she imagined that from the air it looked like a jagged wound in the side of the peak. She was still a few hundred meters from the summit, but inexplicably, she knew that she needn’t climb any further. She could feel it in her blood. Her pulse quickened as she took her first step forward, the dragonsong strengthening in her mind. Although the opening to the cave had been obscured by centuries of disuse she could still make it out and continued her approach warily. She knew from her father’s lessons that the dragon would have already begun waking from the moment she had first heard the song. However, that didn’t mean it would fully awaken any time soon, this beast could have been asleep for a millennia and could hardly be kept to a timetable. Yvraine closed to within a hundred paces of the cave opening and halted, she settled into a relaxed crouch, the same she had used to wait out hundreds of stags over her lifetime. She continued the dragonsong even as she waited, she could sense the coaxing inflammatory nature of the song, almost a goading.

Just as she felt she had reached a meditative state, the beating between her temples reached a crescendo and suddenly stopped. The subtle pulsing, which had been with her now for months, left her feeling empty. The dragonsong in her head faltered briefly and as Yvraine attempted to collect her thoughts the plateau shook as if a comet had struck it. She nearly stumbled, catching herself just as the cave opening exploded outwards, flinging massive pieces of rock and debris across the plateau. She braced herself as finger-sized rocks ricocheted off her armor and tried to see the cave through the billowing dust cloud. The first thing she sensed was the smell, the plateau was redolent with the iron-like tang of blood and the smokey reek of the furnace. The dragonsong assaulted her mind, pulsing through her body and resonating within her dragon armor. Initially she was almost overwhelmed by it, her head felt like it was going to explode into a ball of fire.

Through the heat and the smoke she could hear her father’s lessons ringing through her mind and she slowly regained control of the dragonsong. She carefully melded her own dragon song with the molten river which was the dragon’s own song. As she regained control of her song the plateau shook again, this time with a slow rumbling like an earthquake. A dark shape shot from the smoke and arrowed into the sky at such speed that Yvraine almost lost sight of it. As a dot faded to a speck, Yvraine thought she had failed only to see the dot reappear and start growing larger at an alarming rate. Yvraine stood her ground, and reinforced her song seeking to create the powerful link her father had described to her. The dragon arrested its descent 100 meters above the plateau and Yvraine finally got a good look at the ancient creature. It was massive, its entire body covered in bronzed-gold scales, its wings glistened a dark azure which caught the thin light and reflected it across the plateau. She was awestruck by the sheer majesty of the beast, the harnessed destructive potential boiling beneath the surface as the dragon locked its gaze on her.

Suddenly the dragon’s song stopped and the beast dove towards Yvraine its jaws parting and green eyes flaring. Yvraine could feel terror overwhelming her, her legs locked and her mind froze the dragonsong completely forgotten. Yvraine could only watch as the dragon drew its breath and prepared to wash her with fire. As the fire boiled from the dragon’s maw she raised her gauntlets instinctively before her and began to chant the first spell her brother had taught her, a warding against fire…

Will finish soon!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:05 am 
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Well done! I have a feeling the Princess' Dragon Armor will keep her safe.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 6:46 pm 
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and as promised, the finale. Let me know your thoughts!


…the heat was overwhelming, making the blazing infernos she had learned to conjure seem like a campfire. She could feel the ancient and primal nature of the flames resonating with the runes within her armor and all she could do was cling to the chant of her warding spell as she stood in the middle of a river of fire. One by one the runes lit up and began to glow an angry red, the light projecting a brilliant bubble of protective force around her body. Beneath her feet she could see the rock of the plateau begin to melt, a testament to the force of the inferno. Despite the ancient power of the armor and the reinforcement of her protective cantrips Yvraine could feel herself losing the battle with the dragon fire, sweat began to drip down her face and back. In a split second she realized, she was going to die and a part of her mind thought of the irony that the queen of dragons should be incinerated by dragon fire.

As the thought raced through her mind she could feel the words resonate with the dormant dragonsong in her head, as if a piece had been missing until now. Abandoning her cantrips in desperation Yvraine poured her thoughts into the song, buttressing her original efforts with the words queen and dragon she could feel the power of the song grow. The seemingly endless stream of fire faltered and Yvraine staggered forward as the pressure lessened. She looked up as the fire stopped at the narrowed emerald eyes of the dragon staring at her, she could feel her song melding with the dragon’s own as it, seemingly reluctantly, began again. The dragon lowered its head to her eye level baring its sword-like teeth and loosing a low growl. A surprisingly melodious voice entered Yvraine’s head, conjuring mental images of aether winds and leaping fire. “Good,” she said, for Yvraine could instantly tell the dragon was female as their bond locked, “I do not suffer weak elves to bond with me, remember that elfling.”

Yvraine could tell she was still being tested, something in the dragon’s tone held a promised threat and she injected her reply with equal measures of deference and command, “You know my bloodline, dragon, I came here to reinforce the bonds my ancestor built with your race. Threaten a descendant of Caledor Dragontamer at your own risk.” The she-dragon seemed to ponder this for a moment and then the dragon’s song changed subtly and she could feel her acceptance vibrate through their link. “My sire warned me about you she-elf, he said in you the strength of Caledor is reborn. I see he was right.” Yvraine finally remembered to breathe, the promised threat finally disappating. She walked forward and hesitantly placed her hand on the dragons eye-crest, she could feel warmth beneath the rock hard scales. “I imagine you’d like to stretch those wings and I have always wanted to fly…Eingana” The dragon rumbled, pleased at the sound of its name, “Come little queen, but hold on.” Yvraine vaulted onto the dragons neck in the hollow between two enormous spines, once again thankful for her armor’s protection against the steel hard scales. Eingana tensed herself and then sprang into the free air, letting her own weight give her momentum before snapping her enormous wings out and gliding higher. Yvraine’s heart pulsed in synchrony with her dragon and she could feel the exhilaration of a child of the sky reveling in her natural element. Eingana let loose a roar which shook the mountains and flapped gaining more altitude. As they arrowed by the tallest peak in the Spine Yvraine was lost in the sheer joy of flight and all she could do was take her dragon’s advice…hold on.

Gwydion felt some of the tension drain from his neck and shoulders as he watched his daughter’s flight above the Spine. He could feel Jormungandr’s ache to join his hatchling in flight, but the dragon turned his head instead regarding his rider with a glowing blue eye. “That was…interesting. I thought we were going to lose your hatchling for a moment” Gwydion shook his head, “My mother told me it was the same for her, your offspring is arrogant, even for a dragon.” Jormungandr’s pulled his head back, sensing his rider’s jest but warring with his own pride in response, “We are not giant horses Dragonlord, even your ancestor knew not to demand service from us.” Gwydion slapped his mount’s foreleg and chuckled ruefully, “Peace friend, I know this, I am just glad Yvraine had the strength for such a test. That pair will be a powerful weapon in our arsenal for the tests ahead.” Jormungandr’s eyes grew distant, staring over the horizon where his daughter had disappeared, “I fear before the end it shall be you and I who are weapons in her arsenal elfling, there is a great weight those two must bear. Let us hope they strong enough.”


Last edited by vespacian1 on Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:52 pm 
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Well done! That story makes me want to dustoff my Dragon Mage mini and burn some Skaven.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:39 pm 
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If only they were a little better, or a little cheaper. Alas, I think their competitiveness dissipates somewhere between 1750 and 2000 point games.
I will definitely be using her in fun games and potentially instead of my current prince. The carmine dragon is a much larger more impressive model, so it would seem strange to have the high elf dragon represent a star dragon and the carmine represent a sun.
I'm considering changing the story to say that her mount is his hatch-mate rather than his offspring so that there's some understandability to the model's size.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:30 am 
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So, I've added a new mounted noble character model to my force and wanted to create a little background to introduce him.

The following is based on the first actual battle he took part in against an orc force last weekend, enjoy:

Rohannion grunted as his lance hit home again, spearing an enormous black orc through its sternum. Despite the killing blow the beast still snarled at him as he rode past, a practiced twist of his wrist slipping his weapon free of the greenskin’s corpse. Having dropped 3 of the beasts himself Rohannion took a moment to appraise the field; his flanking maneuver had cleared their left flank and now his brother and uncle were pouring magical and mundane ranged fire into the heart of the greenskin lines. His Wardens had smashed into the rear of the hulking black orcs and after wiping out more than half the unit he could see that the beast’s morale had been broken. He ordered the pursuit and urged his horse into a gallop a wild whoop of exultation escaping his lips. He specifically arrowed towards the twisted orc shaman which had been harassing his forces since the battle began. Its warped and tortured frame quickly joined the pile of its unit’s dead as Rohannion’s lance smashed through its torso.

The black orcs routed, Rohannion looked for a new foe as his Wardens redressed ranks to face the remaining orcs. Despite the annihilation of over half their forces, the remaining big ‘uns continued loping forwards, their leader and standard bearer leading the rabble. Having slightly outdistanced their unit Rohannion directed Zehava to target the standard bearer and within moments his body was riddled with blue fletched bolts. The warboss’ piggish eyes caught sight of Rohannion and it bellowed a challenge, which echoed from the walls of the town. Rohannion spurred his mount once more meeting the warboss with a resounding clash as both forces watched the mighty warriors exchange blows. Despite his enormous bulk the orc leader was deceptively fast, leaping to one side as Rohannion’s lance sped towards its heart. His blow was slightly right of center and with a crack a flare of green energy exploded at the lance’s tip sending the blow off target. The orc’s leap and protective field had turned the blow but had also deviated the beast’s own strike. His axe crashed through Rohannion’s shield and into his shoulder, a blow that would have normally split an elf in half. He could feel the blood welling in the cut and his arm began to numb. He cast his shield aside and raised his lance to awkwardly parry the next blow which flung him from his horse. Rohannion quickly rolled to his feet and he could feel his cousin’s healing begin to take affect, knitting his wound even as the orc bore down on him. With his shield sundered and weapon gone he could only raise his gauntlets to deflect the overhand blow the beast dealt next. Boosted by his cousin’s magic he could feel protective wardings in his ancient armor resisting the tremendous force of the blow. The two foes locked, unbridled savage power against ancient magical force. Rohannion knew it was not a contest he could win and he vaguely wondered why his brother and uncle hadn’t attempted to bring the leviathan down. He dispelled the thought, gritting his teeth and preparing to put his reserves of strength into a desperate leap.

As he looked up, he suddenly felt the pressure lessen and barely managed to avert his eyes as the orcs head exploded in a shower of gore and flashing bronze. His enemy’s corpse slumped to the ground and Rohannion staggered to his feet as a newly arrived unit of Sea Dragons pin-cushioned the remnants of the warboss’ retinue of big ‘uns. He could feel the ground tremble as an enormous warhorse stamped the ground beside him and Rohannion looked up into the eyes of his savior. Atop a golden steed clad in ancient dragon-plate sat his cousin Viserion the Captain of the Sea Dragons. Resplendent in jade green armor, Rohannion tried to remember how long it had been since the two had fought together, “24 years and apparently you’re just as miserable a warrior now as you were then cousin,” Viserion smirked, reading his cousin’s mind. “I suppose it’s a good thing I distracted the brute for you, otherwise I’m sure we’d be picking pieces of you out of the grass.” Rohannion held out his hand and his cousin took it grinning, “I see your tongue is every bit as sharp as your blade.” The two laughed and Viserion leapt to the ground cat-like despite his ancient plate. From their right Chaynal and Maarken strode up, their mood ebullient at the return of their son and brother. Zehava walked up as Chaynal had finished administering a crushing bear hug to his son and asked, “Well met Vis! What news of the colonies, cousin?”

Recovering from his father’s exuberance Viserion turned grimly to his cousins, “We best make haste for the Tor, Zev. I have come to find you with dire news, our trading network is in peril, I must tell the Dragonlord immediately.”


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:20 pm 
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I like it. The pedant in me thinks his lance should have broken probably on the first use and almost certainly wouldn't survive four uses but maybe elven lances aren't wood.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:56 pm 
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I see your point, I'm a little hamstrung as I went with the lance on the model(looking back I wish I had gone with the spear as it could have more legitimately proxied for an ogre/giant blade) but in this particular battle he was wielding a star lance so I figured its survival through multiple rounds was legitimate.
This issue is the main reason the new noble got the long-handled axe from the noble kit, as it could more legitimately double as a Sword of Might/Lance of some kind if necessary.
Thanks for the feedback, the peril Viserion refers to is going to be the intro point for my WIP phoenix guard, so stay tuned!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:53 am 
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The lances thingy is basically my pet peeve about warhammer in general, not just your story, and I agree that it would need to be durable a to be worth making and and b to workas a hierloom.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:42 am 
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So this is the next story in sequence as Viserion brings his dire news from the family's network of trading outposts. As you'll see at the end I've built in the oncoming unit of phoenix guard, enjoy!

…Zehava could admit only to himself his lack of knowledge of his family’s far flung trading outposts. What little he did know was collected from deep in the recesses of those memories reserved for his youthful studies, from before an avalanche of arcane knowledge from his time at the White Tower studying with his mother. He knew that the outposts were ancient holdings of his mother’s family, established by her grandfather millennia ago during the reign of Bel Khoradris. A rare Sapherian patriarch with little magical affinity, Zehava’s great-grandfather had turned his mind to more mundane matters and built a thriving trading port along their family’s holdings on the Sea of Dreams.

With the wax and wane of the elves naval power his ancestors had gradually expanded their trading network cultivating a lucrative business with both Nippon and Far Cathay including a significant outpost in the Turtle Isles. It was these far flung holdings which his cousin had been overseeing for the past three decades. The marine force of the Sea Dragons was the primary military presence at these outposts now and it seemed they were no longer sufficient. Zehava’s musings led him back to the conversation as his cousin summarized his story, “…between the Lizardmen in the Turtle Isles and the Ogre pirates raiding our ships off Cathay we’ve been spread too thin. I was clearing out the last of the cold-blooded spawn from our island when I received an eagle messenger that we had lost two ships off Nippon in a nighttime raid. If I’d pulled my forces out of the Turtle Isles to retaliate we’d lose the fortress there to the lizards, I could not allow it. I set sail immediately with only my personal guard to garner reinforcements.”

Zehava shifted to the left his eyes resting on his father’s profile as he considered the news. His brows furrowed, his father leant forward scanning the large map dominating his war room’s table. Zehava knew what was going through his father’s head at that moment, they were spread dangerously thin. Though their forces had achieved great victories in all three recent campaigns, it was never without cost. With their great duty to fulfill at the Tor and his father’s proposed raid on Naggaroth they would not have enough troops to reinforce these trading posts.

As if reading his son’s mind Gwydion turned to his Zehava and spoke to the group, “We can spare only token forces to reinforce Turtle Island for now, activities with the Far East will have to be suspended until we can make good our sortie against Karond Kar.”

Disappointment was evident in Viserion’s demeanor, yet all he could do was nod stolidly, “The more eagle claws you can spare the fortress the better, we will have to break their saurus formations on our defenses…” Before his cousin could finish Yvraine interrupted from the far end of the table her soft voice surprisingly confident, “I have another solution, if you’ll hear me out.” Zehava could see his father settle back into his chair, his steepled fingers hiding a fleeting smile of amusement. Encouraged by their father’s silence, Yvraine continued, “It occurs to me that the warriors of Tor Cyroc have answered the call of both the Phoenix King and High Prince Imrik many times in the past decades, perhaps it is time we call in these favors. The Phoenix King knows that the beasts of Karond Kar are a lynchpin in the Witch King’s forces. He must see the sense in our plan to raze their fortress, the King must reinforce our numbers from among his bannermen.” Her thoughts delivered, Yvraine stood for a moment before sitting quietly, folding her hands on the table as if waiting for judgement.
Zehava could barely hide his surprise and settled for arching his eyebrow looking sidelong at his father. “Did you convince your sister to support you, son?” His father asked, with no hint of amusement.

Zehava steeled his resolve and stood, looking down at his father as he addressed the table, “This news from the trading posts only confirms my position father, much Caledorian blood has been shed and more will be before our task is done. Is it not right that we call upon the support of our fellow elves to ensure success?” His father’s expression had softened somewhat, a certain thoughtfulness clouding his eyes. Zehava decided to press onward, “Use Yvraine’s bonding as an opportunity to gain support in Lothern, the wakening of a dragon is uncommon enough these days to build enthusiasm for our cause.” His father turned to his uncle, who nodded. Turning back he asked, “I assume you can handle the correspondence Zev?”,

Zehava knew he had won and allowed a little enthusiasm to enter his voice, “I would like to lead the relief force to the trading outposts, with our available forces I can lift the siege at the Turtle Islands and reinforce our trading lines in the East. I could rejoin you for the attack in 9 months time.” His cousins and brother both reinforced his appeal with offers to help him lead the relief forces. His father chuckled wryly, grasping his uncle’s shoulder, “It appears, brother, that the younger generation is leading a coup against me. I best send you along to keep an eye out for them while I curry favor at court.”

Zehava took his father’s approval in stride, by this time next year his plans would catapult his family to great power amongst the houses of Ulthuan. All Zehava had to do was successfully reopen trade, and his family’s coffers would drown in the gold to fund his family’s ambitions. The beastmasters would pay for what they had done to his family and all of Ulthuan. As if in agreement, one of the dragons surfing the air currents above let loose a bellow, stirring a growing fire in his Caledorian heart.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:08 pm 
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So I finally got a battle in against dwarves, my first ever. I've actually long intended to write a fluff piece about an alliance between my leader and a dwarfish king, so I needed to come up with a specific reason to fight these dwarves while on the campaign trail to relieve Tor Cyroc's faltering trade network.
After consulting with my opponent, we came up with one point that elves and dwarves would always disagree on: wine vs beer!

So here's a little intro to the battle, I'll update with the after-action soon.

Rohannion couldn’t pull his eyes away as he watched the dwarf down a gulp of the red wine. A glass he would have savored, an excellent Sapherian vintage by all accounts, was gone in the blink of an eye. Rohannion barely suppressed a shudder, he was finding it more and more difficult to like their supposed allies.
The dwarf thane looked up from the empty glass, his thick fingers engulfing its delicate fluted stem awkwardly, and he grimaced, “That there is nearly tasteless, you elgi, so delicate.”
As the first rays of light peeked under the tent, Rohannion tensed, already somewhat drunk, he could not let the insult stand unchallenged, “I suppose you’re going to tell me that muddy water you’ve been drinking has a more pleasing palate?”
The thane bristled, and his hand strayed towards his beer stein, chased in gold and silver and frothing over with cold beer. His voice dangerously low he answered, “My family has brewed this beer for over two millennia and no elgi could handle a mere draught of it.”
His hand shooting out faster than the eye could follow, Rohannion had the stein in his hand and had taken a sip of the foamy brew before the thane could even react. He raised one eye brow and leaned forward, setting the half empty tankard down with a clink, “Just as I expected, notes of garbage with just a hint of pig trough,” Rohannion laughed and his Wardens joined him as he looked around for support. As his gaze swung back to the dwarf, he could feel Viserion’s hand on his shoulder, “Careful cousin, I do not think he took that well,” motioning with his other hand at the thane.
Rohannion looked back at the dwarves they’d been drinking with all night and all save the thane had assumed an air of indignation, their eyes downcast glimmering from beneath stoney brows. They gnawed at their whiskers and muttered to themselves darkly as they stroked their beards. The thane alone remained motionless, a reddish tinge seeping up from his neck to his face and his eyes sparked like the forge fires his race was known for. Suddenly , his hands slammed down on the table and he leaned forward menacingly, “There is only one repayment for such an insult princeling, no elf has tasted my family’s brew, and none shall live who have. I declare grudgement against you elgi, until you drown in your own blood will I bear this oath. Let it be witnessed.” A rumbled “Tromm” escaped from the assembled dwarves.

Zehava blinked wearily at the head of his lion hunter guardians as they moved into place near the border of the seaside town. It seemed he had only just gotten to sleep after a long night poring over campaign maps with his uncle when he’d been rousted by a very nervous and sleepy page. “My prince, your brother begs your presence on the field of battle the dwarves are mustering their forces!”. Zehava sighed, his hands tightening around his quarterstaff as he remembered that only a few short hours ago he had been drawing up battle plans with the dwarven general, thankful that they had found such stalwart allies here at the edge of the world.
When the dwarves damaged submersible had made landing only a few spans from the town, Zehava had sent envoys with food and offerings of assistance to breed goodwill between the ancient foes. His foolish brother had ruined all of that in one night of drunken excess and now a conflict he could ill afford stood before him.
He looked across the town to where the dwarves had mustered, seeing their disciplined ranks of infantry form up around their heroes while their war machines were wheeled into place around the tavern. Behind the building he could just make out the 3 peculiar machines the dwarf general had called ‘copters, he knew their mobility would present a formidable threat to his forces. Just in sight with the morning mists, beyond the lighthouse Zehava could make out his brother and cousins, forming up their Wardens to drive towards the flank of the enemy.
A resounding crack split the air, drawing his attention back to the dwarves, where their general had stepped forward and dealt the ground in front of their army a resounding blow with his hammer. Arcs of lightning scattered from the impact and Zehava could feel this winds of magic begin to calm, where before they had fitfully rustled within his grasp. He sighed, looking towards his uncle at the head of the swordmasters and nodded, Chaynal muttered an order and raised the army’s standard high as clarion trumpets began to sound the advance. What a waste, Zehava thought.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2014 3:52 am 
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I really enjoyed the piece about the goings on in the family's trade network. Any time that Asur culture gets more fleshed out is a good time, things like that give the "why" to all the big sweeping battles of Warhammer. Well done!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:04 am 
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So I'm guessing this story might draw some backlash, as I imagine the true dawi supporters in the forum will argue that no dwarf would ever back down in this situation, but my hope was to not paint my protagonists as having a callous disregard for life(even dwarven life).
So just a quick finish to the above battle, which I won(check my army blog for the bat rep), enjoy!

Although they were on their knees, the dwarf leaders still looked defiant and Zehava couldn’t help but admire their spirit. His admiration was quickly dimmed as his eyes caught sight of the healers sorting through the remnants of the Swordmasters who had so stoically rebuffed the charge of the dwarven infantry.
Steeling his resolve, Zehava returned his attention to the dwarves, holding the glare of the dwarven general. “I had hoped we would be friends and allies master dwarf, despite today’s events, I hold you no malice. A pledge of non-aggression will be honored if you will give it, let us not further benefit our enemies with unnecessary bloodshed.”
The runesmith struggled to his feet, the side of his head still matted with blood where his helm had been smashed in, and crossed his arms across his massive chest, “I will not promise that the deaths seen this day will not be added to the great tally your race is responsible for elgi, recompense will come someday.”, glowering the dwarf continued as if the following words were being dragged out of his very soul inch by inch, “However, our mission is of great importance to the High King and I would sooner we complete it successfully than die on our knees in the dirt. Name your terms elgi, we will meet them.”
Internally, Zehava relaxed, the stubbornness of dwarves was legendary and he had been fully prepared to wipe out the dwarves expedition if necessary. Before he could respond the dwarf behind the runesmith, the battle standard bearer for the force, let loose an inarticulate cry of rage and leapt towards Rohannion a dirk materializing in his hands mid-leap. Unfortunately for the dwarf, no dawi could match an elf for speed. Rohannion’s sword traced a glittering arc through the morning mist, removing the dwarf’s head from his body before he could complete his lunge. The general made a move towards the body and found his momentum arrested by the point of Rohannion’s sword at his neck. The veins bulged in the dwarf’s neck and arms and Zehava could see the suicidal urge to charge written in huge relief across his face.
Zehava snapped his fingers and 100 swords were placed at dwarven necks in an instant, his voice bore poorly hidden threat, “I think we can both agree your compatriot acted both against your wishes and against better judgement, master dwarf. The act of defiance you are considering will not find its way into any book and your kin will never know what happened to your expedition if you act. You will all die at the same moment and, I assure you, your deaths will have been for nothing.”


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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2014 8:48 pm 
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So for those of you who have followed the storyline from my army blog thread this picks up the story shortly after that battle back in Caledor as the Dragonlord contemplates the upcoming assault on Karond Kar.
As you know from the background there is a Kurnous background to my army and I wanted to open up possible future alliances with Wood Elf allies through some more back story as well as prepare the story line for some upcoming games against the new wood elf book.
So here's the snippet which will ideally lead to some narrative bat reps building into the story line, enjoy:

Gwydion’s mind spiraled through space and time glimpsed as if from a great height. After an eternity of contemplation unbroken but by his own thoughts, his attention was drawn to a brilliant point of light amongst the starscape. Focusing on it for a moment brought Gwydion out of his meditation and slowly back to the present moment. His eyes opened slowly, adjusting to the dim surroundings of the shrine of Kurnous.

He had come as his ancestors had for millennia to search the for answers to the trials of their times. He had witnessed the success of his progeny across the Old World as he mulled the answer to the riddle of Karond Kar. The flash of innovation which had struck him while scouting the fortress had yielded the answer of how to break the gate, however, for his plan to work he would need to draw the tower garrison inland to allow his naval assault force time to make good the breach. Gwydion took one more mental inventory of his forces and those his allies had pledged to his cause, a mighty tally and yet too few would survive the slog from the docks to the gate. Gwydion sighed and uncoiled from his meditative crouch, stretching stiff muscles as he slowly padded out of the cave and into the clearing. The vantage was breathtaking overlooking the inland sea and the Tor below from the upper edge of the great forest which cloaked the flanks of the Dragon Spine. His eyes were drawn to the south as he saw three familiar winged shapes make for the Tor from over the tail of the Spine.

Gwydion made for the edge of the clearing and began to whistle for his horse before he was stopped cold by a stray thought. Some elves had made for the field around the Tor to meet Zehava as he dismounted Jormungandr and Gwydion knew he had his answer. Dispatching the dragons to strike deeper into Naggaroth would certainly attract the beastmaster’s attention, a series of calculated raids could draw off significant garrison presence and draw the defender’s attention at the key moment. The longer he thought of the ploy the more he realized it was the best chance of victory and yet Gwydion couldn’t help but curse under his breath considering his options. All of his plans had hinged on the dragon’s aerial support, Tor Cyroc’s forces only rarely fought without their winged allies. Realizing he had no other option Gwydion returned to the cave to muse further on this development throwing another log on the small fire which heated the shrine’s brazier. Pulling a handful of dried herbs from the canister beside the simple altar at the cave’s center, he threw them into the brazier and breathed deep of their aromatic smoke. He settled back into his meditative crouch and began to contemplate this new tactic he had devised. His last waking thought as he fell into meditative slumber was of his daughter, Yvraine would need to win one more crucial ally to their cause before the spring…


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:34 pm 
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Thanks for posting the ongoing story. I do the same type of thing with tying my games in with my lore. Keep the story of Tor Cyroc alive!


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:26 am 
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So here's the bit of fluff I've written up to lead to my army participating in a tournament at the end of the month. One step closer to the siege of Karond Kar. Enjoy:

…As the grifflet took off, back-winging out of the forest clearing, Yvraine considered its message and its portents with controlled excitement. Over the past weeks she had been nursed back to health under watchful eye of her cousin Maarken and had begun training with the human cannon batteries in preparation for their assault on Karond Kar.

She had finally felt back to her typical form within the past few days, enjoying the familiar weight of her recently repaired armor as she turned to examine her camp. Though she had sent back some of her troops to serve as protection for the first transport ferrying cannons she had retained a strong contingent of warriors left from the engagement with the greenskins and beasts.

She assessed her army with her upcoming mission in mind, seeing in them a flexible and mobile force capable of travelling the vast distances necessary. Her father had been purposely vague in his instructions to the winged messenger, undoubtedly when her uncle returned with the rest of the dragons she would have more answers.

She caught her cousins’ eyes from near the command tent and made in their direction wanting to confirm her recollection of the best path for their upcoming journey. It was only as she took her first step into the tent that the weight of the endeavor settled on her shoulders: this mission was hers to command. The realization gave her a moment’s pause as her eyes traced their path along the edge of the badlands, past the dwarven mountains, the forest realm of her wayward kin and up the coast of the human realms. They could face nearly any foe Elthin Arven had to offer along that route and yet it was the one her father had chosen for her. As her cousins filed into the tent she began explaining her father’s missive. A bold plan to win the support of a coven of asrai before making their way to the northern wastes of Naggaroth.

Yvraine could see it in their eyes as surely as she knew herself that this mission was a test. Giving her command of the majority of the Tor’s aerial force meant she was the lynchpin of their attack on Karond Kar. She didn’t know whether to be honored or concerned…but neither feeling was relevant, they needed to set out immediately. “What we set in motion today is a death-stroke aimed at the heart of our enemies, Prepare the soldiers for a long march and send the reaver units to scout the road ahead. Eingana and I will go up and survey the coast for any usable transport near the mountains. We will return when you make camp for a strategy session with the unit leaders…”Yvraine paused for a moment realizing she had just given a string of orders to her cousins, boys she had grown up with. Viserion and Maarken looked at each other and grinned, “Don’t worry Yv, we’re with you, the druchii will be made to pay for their treachery.”

Something stirred inside Yvraine as she received her cousin’s approval and she could feel Eingana reacting to the whirlwind of emotions she was experiencing. “This is your first real war elfling, but it is not mine, we will burn our enemies to ashes…together.” Yvraine’s eye was drawn to Naggaroth and the tower of Karond Kar on the map, “Soon druchii, soon your doom will come.”


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:09 am 
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Nice :)

I will keep an eye on this.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:56 pm 
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So, be prepared for a long story update as I had over 9 hours of flight time in the past week. Over the past year or so I have been chronicling the trials and tribulations of the Dragonlords of Tor Cyroc in a narrative form, updating the story with each battle I play. I have attempted to keep each of the results in line with the Dragonlord's goal of striking against Karond Kar and their hated enemies the Beastmasters.

We left Yvraine poised on the brink of the summer campaign to win the assistance of a coven of asrai to begin launching a series of raids north of Karond Kar to distract the Beastmaster's forces. The following follows her force through my practice games preparing for Celesticon and culminates with the first battle from that tournament.

Slight spoiler alert, I have read the End Times: Nagash book and I have decided to cancel the assault on Karond Kar for now in the narrative and sync my forces story up with the greater End Times saga. You will see some vague references to the Nagash ritual near the end of the story below and I will endeavor to return the story line to Ulthuan by the time I finish the narratives on the last two Celesticon battles.

I hope you enjoy and check back for updates soon:


…Yvraine’s mind darted nervously through Eingana’s emotions, she could feel her mount’s wounds through her mental link and needed to assure herself that none were mortal. Through a haze of pain a moment’s reassurance surfaced calming her mind, “Merely scratches elfling, not an arrow has been crafted that can end my life, even those of your forest kin.” Somewhat reassured, Yvraine finally turned her attention to the stag-mounted mages her army had surrounded. The rest of the ambush party had been killed or scattered, her forces reacting admirably to the asrai assault. Her father had warned her of the tenuous relations with their forest-dwelling kin, but she had not expected overt hostility without so much as a warning.

She urged Eingana forward menacingly and Breag unfurled his wings behind the cavalry to ensure they understood the folly of attempting escape. Looking beaten but unbroken she locked eyes with the leader of the coven of asrai casters, “Who but our enemies profits by the spilling of elven blood, what dark master do you serve?”

The mage whispered quietly to his mount as it pranced nervously before making eye contact again, “You presence is unasked for in the glades of Athel Loren, you would do well to correct your course. Our next strike will not be nearly as reserved.”

Both Eingana and Yvraine couldn’t help but bristle at the poorly concealed threat, but the fire in her blood cooled as she recalled her father’s instructions. The Asrai were vital to their assault on Karond Kar, she could not afford to let her temper ruin their carefully laid plans. “I come as an emissary of Tor Cyroc and my father the Dragonlord, we seek your aid in our efforts against the druchii. Had you but asked I could have reassured you we mean you and your forest no harm.”

“My lady (Sioned) knows of your purpose and has already decided she owes your father nothing. You will not find any willing allies here asur, turn back or your forces will not leave the forest alive.”

A bold statement from an elf with with a bolt thrower aimed at his heart Eingana mused. Tread carefully elfling, this force we dispatched may only be their vanguard. Yvraine’s mind raced as she responded to her mount, Sioned knows we are coming, my father must have spoken with her. If she dispatched this force then all this may be for nought. Yvraine’s mind assessed the situation and dismissed a half dozen plans as either too bold or too timid. As she arrived at the conclusion she knew her plan was risky just as surely as she knew that she could not accomplish her mission through retreat. “As I see it cousin, you have two options: I can kill you where you stand, or you can lead me to Sioned so I can change her mind. Rest assured, I will accomplish my mission with or without your help.”

If her threat had any impact on her prisoner she could not distinguish it, but she sensed the tension rise in the clearing as the lesser members of the coven shifted almost imperceptibly readying for an attack. The leader let the pressure build, as if testing her resolve, waiting for her next move. Yvraine sighed, drawing her blade, it’s golden length igniting in green flames as it cleared the scabbard, “What a waste…” she said, raising her sword to give the command to fire.

Before she could give the order the ancient caster replied, “The waste will be of your time only, my lady will not change her mind,.. but I must safeguard the lives of my apprentices. If you let them go to act as my messengers, I will lead you to my mistress.”

Yvraine did not allow any emotion to show as she nodded curtly, That was close, elfling. I did not relish the prospect of slaughtering these mages. As she looked on, the rest of the coven dispersed into the treeline and were gone in seconds leaving only the leader remaining of the ambushing force. “Lead on master mage, your attack has already cost me more than enough time.”

“Do not lose sight of me, dragon-rider,” was the only response she received before the mage directed his stag into the woods. Yvraine raised her sword and brought it down in a chopping motion in the direction the elf had taken, “Forward!”. This was going to be a long campaign…

…Viserion felt the impact along his arm as he buried his axe in the verminous host’s excuse for a general. With a chittering groan the rat went limp and Viserion wrenched his weapon free refocusing on the swirling melee he and his knights were involved in. He had personally dispatched both battle standard bearer and chieftan of the verminous horde in single combat and now their bodyguard’s morale hung by a thread. At that moment a bestial roar sounded from behind him and his cousin’s dragon hit the bodyguard like a golden thunderbolt. Yvraine’s sword swept the front rank with jade flames as Eingana bowled into the tightly packed formation laying about herself with claw and fang. Joined by Breag and a green drake the storm vermin quickly found themselves in the middle of a draconic meat grinder. Within moments it was over, not a single rat was left alive.

His cousin shouted orders to bring their center about, his Wardens wheeling in unison as the dragons winged higher twisting themselves in mid-air. Their force had survived the surprise assault largely intact, testament to both their discipline and superior martial prowess that they so easily overcame the attack. The monstrous demon-rat’s curses could be heard from across the battlefield, clearly he had expected to easily overwhelm the elves with his underground ambush tunnels. Viserion’s sword arm ached to make the monstrosity pay for its arrogance.

True to its verminous origins, courage was not a trait the demon possessed and thinking better of making a last stand against the entire asur host it bellowed once more in defiance, “One defeat will not stop the Under Empire, we are already rising and shall gnaw upon the bones of your civilization elf. The Horned One has heralded the End Times, your doom is already assured.” With that message, the Vermin Lord turned and vanished into one of his force’s access tunnels followed quickly by the hole’s collapse.

As the last few skaven scurried off his cousin landed her dragon beside Viserion’s formation just as their guide rejoined them from the treeline, “I trust you and your mistress will not forget our defense of your land when we meet asrai.” His cousin shouted, a tone of mocking in her voice. The wood elf adopted a wry smile and nodded once, “This is not the first attack by the rat-kin within our borders, they grow bold indeed to attack so close to the glades. It bodes well you were able to see them off so quickly, we must make haste.” Without a backward glance the sorcerer began to move off into the woods again, picking his way through the debris of a wheeled skaven contraption.

Viserion glanced up at his cousin and remarked, “I wouldn’t be surprised if that asrai hadn’t led us here on purpose, I recommend we travel in battle formation, the baggage in the center of the column.” His cousin’s gaze hadn’t left the elf as his stag picked its way across the battlefield. “Agreed cousin, you and your knights fought well today, lead the honor guard in the van, you have earned it.” Her cousin said as she refocused on him. Having witnessed his cousin’s martial prowess over the past weeks Viserion felt a flush of pride come over him to receive such praise. Truly she had begun to grow into the role her father had set out for her. “Move out Wardens,” Viserion commanded his eyes on the swaying branches which marked the path of their guide…

…Maarken released the surge of magical energy and channeled it into a beam of force directed at the ancient Tomb King even as Breag came around for another pass. Where the beam contacted the mummified creature Maarken could sense his magic eroding the enchantments locked into the king’s protective amulent. With one last flare of light the amulet shattered even as Maarken’s Lion Hunter bodyguard slammed into tomb king’s own defenders. Seeing his opportunity, Breag folded in his wings and slammed into the tomb king, foreclaws outstretched. Pinned beneath the dragon’s weight the king stretched one hand towards his sword before collapsing finally. With both their priest and king defeated the fight left the Tomb Guard and they began to crumble even has Maarken’s bodyguard hastened their demise with flashing axe strokes.

The battlefield fell eerily quiet as the last undead warrior collapsed and Maarken strode to Breag’s side as Yvraine approached, bloodied but unbowed. Maarken picked up an ornate sickle shaped weapon, noting the marking on its haft and blade before turning to his cousin, “Nehekaran’s…the Land of the Dead is thousands of leagues from here, how did these creatures come to be here?” Yvraine leapt to the ground beside Maarken and approached the remains of the tomb king, her sword still unsheathed, “I am less interested in the how and more interested in the why of it, cousin. The undead of the desserts have not marched from their homeland in thousands of years, why now?”.

Maarken began to shake his head even as an ominous rustling disturbed the silence, slowly the remains of the undead leader began to shift as one bandaged wrapped arm struggled free of the rest of the bones. The king’s skull, still attached to the remains of its torso glared at the elves as it attempted to fight its way free of its own leg and hip bones, “Fools!” a chilling voice issued forth from the dessicated shell, “You have only served to hasten your doom, without my intervention your end has come.” Maarken checked an instinctual shudder as a feeling of foreboding washed over him, “The dead have no place here revenant, this is a land of the living, best you should have stayed amongst the dead.” A laugh which held no mirth echoed from the king’s mouth, “None of your race still live who have seen what I’ve seen elf, I remember the wind of death as it swept across my homeland, I remember being called to undying service by my most hated enemy. Now his time has come again, Settra’s plan has failed. For that you and the rest of the living shall be cursed for all eternity,” With that final declaration the dark magic which maintained the tomb king unraveled and a maelstrom of unleashed force exploded outwards.

Fortunately, his aunt hadn’t spared Maarken’s education in the areas of undeath and Maarken had been prepared for the tomb king’s curse. Murmuring a protective cantrip a golden shield of light flashed into existence shrouding the nearby elves. The explosion harmlessly dissipated leaving the tomb king as nothing more than a pile of ash. Yvraine turned to him with a nod of appreciation even as her expression remained puzzled. “Did his words make sense to you, cousin?” Maarken searched his memory for a clue to the ancient spirit’s warning but he could only hazard a guess at best, “the most hated enemy of the Tomb Kings is the great necromancer Nagash, it is he who bound them to endless servitude thousands of years ago. His return bodes ill for all who draw breath.” Yvraine contemplated his words her thoughts interrupted by the return of their guide. “We have never faced this enemy within our borders before,” the asrai sorcerer said, his usually unreadable expression replaced by one of concern. “We must quicken our pace, my mistress must know the undead’s words. She will know the best path to take.”

As the mage turned to lead on a slight sigh of leaves marked the entrance of another asrai, this one dressed in a robe of golden-green which clung to her lithe form. In her hand was a twisted oak branch, its head gnarled around a raw blue crystal which glowed with a soft light. “Haste is unnecessary Boldin, I have been following you for some time now. The spirit’s words confirm my worst suspicions and we must band together before the coming storm.” Yvraine opened her mouth to address the new arrival, but the woman who could only be the spellweaver Sioned addressed his cousin first, “Before you ask, your father’s revenge must wait, I spoke with him only this morning and the assault on Karond Kar is suspended indefinitely. The High Prince has recalled all Caledorian forces to Ulthuan and you will need to leave soon to aid in the defense of your homeland. But first, your father has asked a great favor of me, one which I am oath-bound to agree to.”

Maarken’s concern grew as his mind raced over this new information, Ulthuan under attack? The last time all armies had been recalled had been the last druchii invasion, had their dark cousins returned for one more attempt at conquest? Had another foe managed to make landfall on Ulthuan’s blessed shores? Before he could reach a conclusion his cousin nodded her head her eyes fixed on the spellweaver, “My father trusts you and so shall I, we will make arrangements to move out…” Yvraine began before the spellweaver abruptly cut her off, “No child, your army remains here just you and your companion will continue. Follow me” with a flourish the spellweaver whipped her cloak about her shrinking in size before their eyes into the shape of a golden hawk. The bird stroked its wings effortlessly, gaining altitude and turning east swiftly dwindling from sight.

With no time to argue Yvraine turned and leapt into her saddle, looking down on Maarken as Eingana prepared to leap, “You and Viserion make camp, full watches until my return day and night. Hopefully we will get some answers,” with a quick salute she sheathed her sword and the golden dragon leapt into the air, arrowing after the tiny speck that was Sioned. What fate awaits you cousin? Maarken mused to himself as he directed the camp preparations…

…Yvraine felt Eingana’s muscles rippling beneath her as the golden drake beat westward towards her army’s encampment. In the last rays of the setting sun her mount’s golden-bronze scales shimmered as if golden light was trapped within each scale. Through their bond Yvraine could feel the pinwheel of emotions which gripped her, emotions they both shared. Awe. Exultation. Thoughtfulness…and a tinge of fear. The nagging fear made her clench her gauntleted hands on the pommel of her saddle and she felt the strange new enchantments lending a brutal strength to her grip, leaving noticeable dents in the ancient wood. Whatever had been done to them in the ritual, she was not the same, and neither was Eingana. Her thoughts dragged her back into her memories of the ritual, a confused jumble of images flying through her mind:

…The clearing was clearly a sacred place to the asrai, Yvraine didn’t need her mage-trained senses to feel that. The glade served as a conduit for the winds of life and beasts, the most sacred to her forest kin. Ancient waystones channeled the rampant magical force creating a conduit of force in the center of the clearing. Although this place was not quite the same as the shrine to Kurnous near Tor Cyroc, there was a familiarity to the place which was both comforting and unnerving: she had never been here before.

However, her father had carefully trained her in the ritual, the bonding that would allow she and Eingana to take their rightful place as one of the guardians of the ancient dragon nests. Despite the unfamiliar surroundings, her father’s instructions through Sioned seemed achievable. Clearly Kurnous’ power waxed here as well as the shrine in her homeland, surely the ritual would have the same effect.

The ritual had begun in the manner she had been instructed and she and Eingana successfully called to the ancient god of the hunt, channeling the winds of magic and crafting them as the smith’s of Vaul would a suit of armor. That simplicity of purpose had changed in an instant as their final chants were suddenly rocked by a titanic explosion of raw aether power. Wrapped within impenetrable protective wards, neither Eingana nor Yvraine were physically harmed, but both could sense the momentary unchaining of the winds of magic just as their ritual was about to culminate. As closely tied into the aether as the pair was at the time, they could sense the Vortex tremble as it attempted to contain an explosion of tremendous power.

Unable to stop the progress for fear of losing control of the ritual entirely, Yvraine, her form suffused with unimaginable force wrestled the aether winds to finalize their enchantments. What happened to the pair would require significant study, but Yvraine had spent their entire return flight contemplating those critical moments at the culmination of the ritual and she had the beginnings of a guess forming in her mind.

For millennia the ritual was fueled by the winds of beasts magic channeled by the shrine and harnessed by the bonding of the elf and dragon souls such that each, rider and mount, could channel the protective enchantments necessary for their great task. Whatever had destabilized Caledor’s Vortex had caused the winds to greatly amplify in that key moment and the power of both fire and life had been bonded to her cantrips as she brought the ritual to a close. The clearing, unlike the shrine in Caledor was closely attuned to the life magic of the forest and her own bloodline had a great affinity to the winds of fire further amplified by Eingana’s own fiery soul. How the addition of fire and life had changed the ritual, Yvraine could only guess, but she knew that they had been affected differently than the long line of her ancestors had in ages past.

Attempting to quantify the change she looked down at herself and Eingana, seeing that both had inexplicably grown slightly in size, that a shimmering haze of enchantment clung to their bodies like a cloak. Yvraine knew that her latent magical powers had increased dramatically and her pulse quickened as she had images of turning her new-found powers against the foes of her people. As she continued to marvel at their powers Yvraine’s eyes fixed on Eingana’s foreclaws where Sioned’s unconscious body was clutched. As the pair had finished the ritual, the ancient waystones had literally melted and Yvraine had found Sioned at the edge of the clearing blood streaming from her ears as she convulsed. Yvraine had been able to calm the asrai, but she still had not woken from her state. Anxious to return to her forces they had brought the spellweaver with them as they winged away from the clearing. Perhaps the mage would be able to provide answers to the mystery of their transformation.

Maarken and Viserion had made camp as instructed the piled remains of the Tomb Kings force near the edge of the clearing. As she and Eingana landed near the edge of the clearing a hush settled over the elves of Tor Cyroc, her cousins detaching themselves from the encampment to slowly approach her. The expressions on their faces were enough to reinforce what Yvraine already knew, she and Eingana had changed. Your mage should see to this asrai mage, his healing powers should be able to restore her health, Eingana thought even as she set Sioned down before Maarken. Yvraine vaulted to the ground meeting her cousin’s stares in turn. “Yv…what…what happened to you?” Viserion stuttered, a rare display of discomfort from her warrior-cousin. Before Yvraine could reply Maarken said, “They completed the ritual, but…something has happened, the magical pulse has done something to them…”. Maarken trailed off, still staring at his cousin and her dragon eyes darting back and forth in confusion.

Yvraine sighed, she had hoped her cousin’s more extensive arcane training might have given him the answers she needed. She would have to wait for the spellweaver to awaken. “I know no more than you cousin, but I believe Sioned might be able to shed some light on the mystery, can you waken her?” Maarken reacted as if in a daze, but after a few moments his healing spell began to take effect and Sioned stirred fitfully before her eyes flashed open darting about in panic before seizing upon Yvraine. “What have you done!? Foolish child, you have committed an atrocity, the forest spririts will never let you leave the forest alive!” A hundred questions boiled to the surface of Yvraine’s thoughts but before she could ask them warning shouts came from the other side of the clearing. Even as she looked up, seeking the source of the disturbance she heard the spellweaver whisper beside her, “They are here…may Isha have mercy on us…”

…With a rending tear Eingana ripped the great tree spirit’s arm/branch free from the beast’s body even as the creature roared calling to the forest to heal its wounds. With the speed of a lightning bolt Yvraine struck, her golden sword hammering into the torso of the ancient treeman. Channeling the winds of fire into her sword she unleashed a maelstrom of force into the ancient tree and with a thunderclap the tree spirit’s corporeal form exploded in a flaming shower of splinters. She and Eingana had carved a path of terrible destruction through the dryads and treemen which had accosted her force. Despite their righteous fury, the great tree spirits stood little chance against her new-found powers. Beneath her still raging battle spirit Yvraine couldn’t help but mourn the loss of these ancient beings.

Allowing her eyes to roam the field she caught sight of the last remaining treeman at the edge of the clearing, its eyes glowing with barely contained fury. With a rustle of branches the tree spirit turned and disappeared into the depths of Athel Loren, leaving the field to the asur.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Nice addition! I like the "real time" aspect of your story telling, how it is an ever-changing account of what your forces are going though.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 6:17 am 
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Wanted to do a quick update tying the storyline more closely in with the End of Times material recently released. I am hoping the imminent chaos release will provide some interesting gaming opportunities and advance the story line for my forces.


…Yvraine looked back over her shoulder at the quickly dwindling Chaos forces. The warband had, through luck or skill, assaulted her forces as they were embarking to their dragonship to make sail for Ulthuan. She and the Wardens had fought a stalwart rearguard action giving her infantry units time to make good their escape.

As she finally reached the huge vessel she could see its bolt thrower batteries unleashing a firestorm on the stranded minions of Tzneetch left powerless on the beach. She could make out the two indomitable disk riders at the fore of their lines, as if by telepathy the two surged forward out over the ocean making a suicidal charge to attack the dragonship unsupported. Faster than thought she and Eingana turned about to face their foes, but it was an unnecessary precaution. With unerring accuracy a huge bolt pierced the enemy battle standard bearer in the midsection flinging his body into the surf.

The leader of the warband registered his counterpart’s demise and hesitated, slowing his headlong charge and gradually curving back to shore. Confident that the danger had passed Yvraine relaxed for what seemed like the first time in months of ceaseless bloodshed.

She could see all of the opponents she had vanquished: bands of vengeful asrai intent on bringing her to justice for the accident at the shrine of Kurnous, massive hordes of verminous skaven. She had personally accounted for a brute of an ogre magi, several champions of chaos and numerous rat kin as she led her army from the depths of Athel Loren to the shores of Brettonia.

Throughout her journeys her new-found powers continued to grow and change; in some battles her warrior spirit would be roused and she and Eingana became a whirlwind of death in close quarters. Wrapped in defensive enchantments the pair had decimated entire regiments of forest spirits and storm vermin as well as mighty undead constructs. In other battles her latent magical powers burst forth, difficult to contain she meted out equal damage to her enemies as she enhanced and supported her own regiments with healing life magic.

As her forces had fought their way through war-torn Brettonia she had begun to piece together information which led to startling conclusions. In her last visit to the capital Yvraine had caught wind of Tyrion and Teclis’ mission to rescue the Everchild. She did not know the outcome of their mission but the Brettonian peasant’s she had spoken to recounted tales of roving hordes of undead driven by the will of Arkhan the Black. The ancient liche had featured in many of her historical studies and she guessed that his presence in the Elthin Arvan did not bode well for the twin’s mission.

Shaking her head as more conjectures bubbled to the surface, Yvraine wondered, why had she been called home?


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:28 pm 
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So, trying to bring my story full circle to tie into the End Times fluff. Clearly a defensive posture in Caledor didn't fit Yvraine's temperament(nor me playing a variety of opponents). I'm also shifting my army build to center around a dragon mounted archmage using beasts(hence Yvraine's involvement in the ritual in Athel Loren).

Please let me know what you think, hopefully will be getting some battles in within the next couple of weeks and I can update the narrative at that time.

…Yvraine couldn’t believe what she had just heard. Her father slowly settled back into his chair, his eyes unfocused, thoughts elsewhere. His entire story had been delivered in a dead monotone, his words held no feeling, none of his usual taciturn wit. Given the content of the briefing she could not blame him; Ulthuan overrun by daemons, petty squabbling in the Phoenix Council, the Everchild and Everqueen both missing presumed dead. Yet in spite of it all, it was the last sentence he had delivered which had fractured her world, “Caledor has seceded from the Phoenix Council, we stand alone.”

Her cousin Viserion gave voice to the thoughts of all the recently returned members of the group, “Why?”
Her father’s lip curled slightly as he considered his next words, “the so called ‘Defender’ has forced his claim for the Phoenix Throne claiming to be the Herald of Asuryan…the weakling Princes from lands on the brink of annihilation all support his claim. The High Prince would not follow the young prince and has pulled our forces back to defend our lands.” Yvraine could taste the bitterness in her father’s voice and knew that he had personally led some of the High Prince’s initial sorties against the daemonic incursion. It must gall his warrior pride to sit here idle while Ulthuan burned all around him.

Yvraine couldn’t fully read where her father fell on the issue. As an elf who had sacrificed much for their island kingdom she knew that he would not take lightly the decision to abandon the other 9 kingdoms to their fate. However, the bitterness he felt was apparent, the pride of Caledor had been injured by Tyrion’s actions and Gywdion was nothing if not a son of Caledor.

The tension at the table was palpable, and despite being the youngest elf there Yvraine felt she must make her voice heard, "All due respect father, but this is foolishness. Would the High Prince have us support his claim to the Phoenix Throne at the cost of Ulthuan? The daemons will make no distinction between borders on a dusty map, they are here to exterminate us!" The echoes of Yvraine's exclamation bounced amongst the lofty rafters of the council chamber as all those in the war council remained silent, either too shocked or too cautious to weigh in.

At first the look on her father's face was inscrutable, only his pale blue eyes betrayed any emotion. As the tension built at the table Yvraine considered the possible outcomes of her outburst, and she had to admit, the potential outcomes were not promising. Questioning the Dragonlord in open council was not treasonous, but it was very close to it. Speaking of open rebellion against the High Prince certainly was though, agreeing with her would brand her father and Tor Cyroc traitorous and bring the wrath of their fellow Dragon Princes down upon them.

Yvraine had known she would regret her words even as she said them, but her father's next word was as devastating as it was brief, "Out". There was no anger in his voice, just a hollow empty sound which spoke of the fatigue of sleepless nights and troubled times. The simple word hung in the air and all eyes turned towards Yvraine as she let the meaning of her father's order sink in. With a brief nod she turned on her heel and walked out of the chamber, her armored boots ringing on the flagstones the only sound that followed her.

Before she had made the tall double doors in the antechamber she had reached out to Eingana's mind, calling for her mount as her emotions threatened to overwhelm her. The stupidity of it all! Divided and squabbling while the great enemy pounded at their gates. The Chaos Gods must have been laughing at them even as she left. As the outer doors opened before her, Yvraine caught a blast of cold mountain air, calming her temper slightly. Even as she began to contemplate her future Eingana landed on the parapet fixing a great golden green eye on her, Where do we go next elfling?

In truth, Yvraine had not thought that far ahead. Even as she had addressed the war council she knew her words would aggravate her father, but...she had not expected this. She didn't know what the future could bring for her relationship with her father, at the very least she would need to wait for his temper to cool and hopefully a peace could be reached. Despite her regret over the schism she had caused in her family, she had meant what she said, neither the High Prince, nor her father could convince her that hunkering down in Caledor was the right answer to survive the coming storm. As a plan began to form in her mind she focused on Eingana, locking eyes with the golden drake To Prince Tyrion, we fly to the defense of Ulthuan...my family can defend the Tor well enough without our help.

Even as she thought the words she could feel a...rightness in her decision. Ever since the ritual in Athel Loren she could feel a faint tug of something drawing her down the path of destiny. A times the pull would fade but always during the heat of battle it would intensify and it was that feeling now which convinced her she had made the right decision. I remember the Great War elfling, you should not relish the path you have laid before us, nevertheless, our rightful place is in battle. Let the other dragons take their ease in the mountains while we crush demon scum! The exhilaration of the council and making her decision lent urgency to Yvraine's movements as she vaulted into Eingana's saddle. With two powerful wing beats they were airborne, circling once about the Tor before heading due north. Only the imaginations of the Dark Gods could dream up what was in store for them.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 12:41 am 
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Really looking forward to see where the Dragon goes and what carnage she wreaks upon the enemies of the Asur.


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