Ulthuan

Ulthuan, Home of the Asur
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:58 pm 
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My army is based loosely on Byzantine culture and I found it appropriate to create some stories defining their character. This is the first chapter - a description of the origin of these colonies and also its major city. Its not very long, I like to be as brief and precise as I can - any comments are very welcome :wink:

Hopefully I'll manage to write the next chapters in the near future - I have lots of ideas about different parts of the land, so I'll try to keep this updated.

Here it goes:

It is indeed a historician's duty to form a very strong bulwark, preserving the real deeds of great men and heroes from the stream of time, saving them from drowning in the depths of obscurity, securing them, binding them together so that they do not slip into oblivion.

I have been graced by Asuryan with the chance of witnessing an age unparalleled in heroism and unsurpassed in wisdom. The greatness of the men I was allowed to meet: the great Lord Iluhir, the venerable Lord Gwynwytchtl, the delightful Queen Andrea and many other scions of the Elven race has pushed me to writing down not only the deeds that took place in my lifetime but a record of the achievements of our Empire since its dawn as precise as my sources allowed.

Asuryan blessed me with a keen mind and the 100 thousand tomes without one that are stored in the Great Library of the East I memorised swiftly but it was in my long journey across the lands of Elves, Men and Dwarves that I have gathered knowledge of all things. Now, in the autumn of my days, I feel I am obliged to tell the story of an Empire, whose apogeum of power I witnessed and whose end, I fear, will come before mine.

When, in the tenth year of his reign (1589 Before Sigmar according to the Imperial Calendar), the Phoenix King Caradryel ordered all High Elven armies to depart from the Old World and head for Ulthuan to repel the Druchii invasion, not all of Asur colonies obeyed. The most well known seperatists are the Asrai, known to those not of Elven Kind as the Wood Elves. Hidden in their mysterious woodland realm of Athel Loren, they have abandoned most of the traditional Elven culture. But they were not the only ones to refuse leaving their home. During the thousand-year long presence on the continent, generations of Elves were born and raised to live in a kingdom completely unlike the isle of Ulthuan. It was for the protection of this land that their fathers sacrificed their lives, and it was in this land that they would remain until Chaos consumes all.

This is the record of the fate of those colonies.

Upon the departure of the last of elven regiments from Nikaia, the city fell silent with fear of the unknown. The Exarch-Governor was, too, summoned to the capital and the inhabitants of the port city would have expected a bloody power-struggle between the factions, clamorous processions of Vaul monks preaching the end of the world, or at least some strife among the unruly sailors, now that the wardens have left. But there was nothing.

The city of Nikaia was founded in the straits of the Black Sea to guard trade routes leading to the kingdoms of Ind, Cathay and Nippon from marauder bands of Orcs and wild nomadic tribes of human warriors. Although the comodities of Ulthuan are by far the most valuable, the goods produced in the East are also sought be many Elven nobles as exotic and prestigious, and so the city grew and prospered.

A large port forms the heart of the city and it is linked with finely paved streets to the numerous famed markets of Nikaia. Along these streets the wealthy marchant princes had built their glamorous appartment houses, rivaling in trying to astonish the by-passers. The most influential build their palaces in the street leading uphill, to the Exarch Palace and the temple of Asuryan. Built entirely from anullian marble, they have served as a reminiscence of Ulthuan for every single one of its inhabitants.

Numerous industrial districts surround the hill, and each is controlled by a guild. Guilds, often organised in form of religious orders, control almost all of the everyday aspects of their members' lives. As such they are groups of great political power and military strenght. Every ruler must take their will into consideration, because, although loyal in times of need, the master craftsmen have a long tradition of overthrowing stubborn Exarchs.

The city is protected by a ring of walls and maintains a strong regiment of militia at all times. Thanks to this, despite beening under siege several times, it was never conquered.

Silence was uncommon in this busy port. But for a brief moment it seemed that the city held its breath. The noisy alleys of the guild districts, where the boisterous barter seemed to never stop suddenly became as calm as the spacious halls of the Exarchs. And even though the population of Nikaia is notorious for its down-to-earth approach, witnesses described the moment the sails disappeared in the west as ... heartbreaking.

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Last edited by RE.Lee on Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:17 pm, edited 28 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:17 pm 
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so far you got enough here to help you (and make the rest wonder) continue.
are there other colonies you might add later on?
and mostly i would love to see your take on elven guilds - even more so as they are religious ones :)
and your choice of Byzantine background is spot on, since if ever there was something like an intrigue-beast, it was born within that empire!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 4:44 pm 
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Thanks for the comment :wink:

There are 4 major colonies in the region: One is the capital city and its surroundings, the land on the Old World's part of the straits has a strong imperial influence (led by El-far-Andil - the old Tyrion model), the inhabitants of the eastern plains are exotic and brutalised guardians of the trade routes (leader - Farendil-am-Andiril - the new Korhil model), while the south is pretty orthodox - with priests, warrior monks and some arabic influences (Aesin-al-Kassani - Eltharion). Each of these has its own army list - pretty much counterparts of Caledor-Chrace-Hoeth.

The guilds - ah. Actually it was the tanners guilds from the arabic period that influenced me. They used to form a very isolated part of society (due to the smell I guess), were feared but also respected because in times of need they would often act as the only standing army of Istanbul. I'm still thinking about how to represent them - Ogres come to mind, or maybe some humans mercenaries - after all I wanted Nikaia to be like Lothern only more multicultural :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2008 6:21 pm 
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Dammit, I had a similar idea that I was working on. O well I guess I can continue mine with some more slight alterations.
It isn't the same its based on something else but, it deals with the same sort of beginning in the time when the HE left the old world.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:11 am 
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The idea was very tempting because it frees your imagination completely - they still are High Elves, but the High Elves you want them to be.

I've always wanted mine to be somewhat brutalised, resembling humans to the point where they're no longer an alien race. Putting them next to the kingdoms of men and cutting the connection with Ulthuan allowed them to slowly turn into nothing more than very powerful, wealthy and somewhat culturally exotic neighbours of the Empire - just like Byzantium must have appeared to the surrounding countries.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 12:52 pm 
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so your colonies could have human 'districts' within their walls then? that would make interesting possibilities in the armies as well ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:01 pm 
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Thats how they deal with the whole "dying race" issue, although there's also a "barbarian invasion from within" feeling, I guess :wink: I'm not very familiar with how mercenaries work this edition (or in fact any edition after 5th :P ), but they are an option.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2008 2:02 pm 
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wealthy human merchants within the city could have bodyguards...

in other words you could get a feeling of your city's mentality by thinking of Marrienburg in reverse ;)
or you could think of Mirabar from Salvatore's books :)
that would rock you know...a city of a mixture of all three 'goodly' races...hmm i would love to see a pub brawl then!!!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:16 pm 
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I've just added 3 new paragraphs in the begining because I felt it lacked an intruduction. Not a lot, but it changes the perspective a bit, giving the text a more personal feel than the original. Perhaps even more emphasis on the dying race issue :wink:

BTW I was thinking which Ogre model I would like to add to my army. I guess Maneaters would be the most appropriate. Maybe this one?:

http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catal ... GameStyle=

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All comments are welcome :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:44 pm 
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Nice background. I like the idea of Nikaia and the guilds and stuff. What kind of colour scheme would you use?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:08 pm 
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Red gore ties the force together, with some of the details being mint-like green (or some light blue on the more recent mini's). All the white robes are highlighted from graveyard earth, armour is mithril silver (except for the white lions, Tyrion and the helmets of the lothern seaguard, who have done in gold :wink:).

I'm not much of a painter, but the force looks really good as a whole, at least so far :wink: I'll try to get some pictures up soon.

The army is almost finished by now, I only need to finish my dragon princes archers and one spearmen unit (front rank almost done!). I'm using a lot of 5th edition miniatures - the old lothern seaguards, spearmen, archers, silver helms, tiranoc chariot and the old school Tyrion is leading my force.

Thanks for the comment :wink:

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:25 pm 
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Great idea, and there's SO much time between then and now's Warhammer world that you can pretty much create whatever the hell you like. How are these cities going to see the destruction-by-earthquake-and-goblin of the Dwarf empire? And what will destroy them in the end, I wonder?

I have a similar Old World city set-up- a citadel hidden in the Massif Orcal. Brought to the brink by constant war with Dwarf armies led by a corrupted dwarf sorcerer, the elves of Talthos Elea lost their city's king and were forced to flee the region when the Greenskin hordes rose to destroy the Dwarf empire.

They left their city hidden by magicks in the mountains, sailed away and lived as exiles in the land of Eataine.

My friend and I fought a massive campaign over the success of their eventual return under Seredain Urithan (hence the name), the old king's son. As it turns out, I carved a path through the petty princelings of Brettonia, slaughtered the orcs who filled the mountains and now have the hidden city back. Hoorah!

Yep, Old World stories kick ass. Keep up the good work. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Yup, cutting the connection with Ulthuan really allows for a surprising storyline :wink:

As for whats going to happen in Nikaia - I'm not sure, but its certain that 1500 before Sigmar a lot of interesting things happened - the Skaven invasion seems to be the most threatening (and has a nice historical analogy with the Arabic and Turkish migrations that shook Bizantium :wink:).

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Um...... it's Byzantium actually. Not wanting to be picky or anything :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:24 am 
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Byzantium indeed, at least in English :P

Anyway, I've managed to kidnap my parents' camera, so I'll be uploading some photos of my army this weekend. I figured this topic might as well serve as a gallery too, especially since there were questions about the colour scheme, so I changed the title to "army and blog" and will ask the lores to move it to the Warhammer Fantasy forum :wink:

In the meanwhile check out my attempt to make a converted BSB for the army, if you haven't yet :wink:

viewtopic.php?t=28357&highlight=

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:18 pm 
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OK, photos as promised.

I figured I should start with the elf that has recently led my army most often.

Farendil-Am-Andiril is a fearsome warrior guarding the eastern outskirts of the Empire from ever-threatening hordes of Orcs and barbarians. His land is not just a buffer zone however as numerous trading routes pass though its capital, adding to its famous wealth the exotic commodities of Cathay, Nippon and Ind. Accustomed to luxury in times of (relative) peace, and sometimes regarded as outlandish and wierd by other Elves, the inhabitants of this oriental realm march to war with unshakable determination, Farendil, wielding a heavy axe with lethal skill, always in the front rank.

Elven Prince
White Axe, Armour of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix, Talisman of Loec

I went with my usual scarlet cloak and blue gems. I experimented a bit with the colours on the fur and hair - I'm quite happy with the result, at least they don't look yellow, like my hair usually does :wink:

Image

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Comment are welcome as always :wink:

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Last edited by RE.Lee on Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 4:44 pm 
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I love the Byzantine fluff! I've got a similar concept for my elves, only if we were on a real world map you'd be in asia minor and I'd be in the levant, just south of you. Yours are a bit more mediteranean in climate, and mine a little more arid/desert. Think Antioch/Acre.

I never really made the connection of HE to Byzantium until you pointed it out, but it works wonderfully. White Lions as Varangian Guard, Archers from a Trezibond type region... Reavers and Silver Helms as Byzantine Cavalry (the lighter ones mimicking the eastern cavalry, and the DP's as Cataphracts. Its beautiful.

Culturally it is spot on too, the way you describe it works really well, and how it relates to actual history meshes well with WH. I also like how you have your city inspired by Nicea (I would guess) and it is also on the Black Sea! Clever GW... :P

Keep it up, I love it. Beautiful Korhil too.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Thanks!

The eastern inspirations are something I too feel is very important - even though the Greek city states fought desperately against the oriental Empires they were influenced by them, too - fascination with the legendary wealth - incarnate in the form of Creosus, king of Lydia; the philosophical ideals of emanation, dualism, lots of cultural heritage, and people keep forgetting about it.

Farendil-Am-Andiril seems to rule just north of you :wink: When I imagined his role in my background I placed him somewhere in Armenia, a land distant from what we imagine to be the centre of civilisation nowadays, and still somewhat wild (the lion cloak fits the idea), but one thats been a part mighty Empires from ancient times, Byzantium included. Nice to see the southern border secure :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:11 pm 
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Stunning! I love the way you pose and paint your model figures. While it's plain that this is an Elf, the fact that he is dwelling beyond the shores of Ulthuan comes across really well in the subtle clues in dress and hair & etc.
If you keep this up I'll wind up ordering a new pack of greenstuff and getting back into sculpting again. :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:34 pm 
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I'm grateful for the kind words, although I can't take credit for posing him this way - its the original 7th edition Korhil miniature, without any additional greenstuff work. Its a very nice sculpt though, my favourite from the new releases, and one that I find very fitting the background I've made up, I agree. Maybe you're more used to the classic range - pictures of my older figures, now repainted, will come soon :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:46 pm 
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Yes I think that might be it. I have a year 2000 Catalogue as well as all my older edition ABs. I wouldn't really know what any of the latest metal character figures are like (except for Caradyan because I've only recently purchased him) because my HE wargaming finished up around the same time my now adult children headed off to university.

The Korhil mini is still spot on for what you're doing though. The rugged 'rural' persona fits well with the idea of Elves from a colony city.
Plaited hair is a good touch, - I used to be quite good at doing plaited hair with greenstuff, - only I'd need to practice a bit now to get it to look right. Could be worth doing on any other converted figures you might want to do :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2009 10:38 pm 
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I'll consider doing the plaited hair on the converted Shadow Warriors I'm working on currently - should suit their "wild" image just as well. I've already posed them, and even had some painted, but this was before I started trying Green Stuff, so I'll probably rethink and rebuild them in the near future.

There is one based on Soulblighter (from Myth) that I'm particularily fond of (he's not quite as diabolic obviously) :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Time for some units.

Although the fields surrounding Nikaia make it possible for a more extensive use of large cavalry forces, the heavy infantry remains a core for most Elven armies in the Old World.

Armed to the teeth and drilled beyond human comprehension these units serve as an anchor during battle, allowing flank attacks to be peformed by more mobile regiments and squadrons.

Most famous of these phalangies is the Athanatoi - an elite group of warriors renowned for their skill and resolution, often dispatched as marines deep into enemy territory. There they earned a fearsome reputation by slaugthtering entire armies ordered to intercept them and even though these missions often proved fatal there was never a lacking of able recruits determined to fight their way into the halls of fame.

The current officer in charge of the notorious regiment is Vir-thol-Maris. Once a young impetous noble seeking adventure, now a griseled veteran ready to impose the Emperors will wherever he demanded.


25 "First among equals" Spearmen
Full Command, Lion Banner

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Last edited by RE.Lee on Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:53 pm 
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Nice fluff, Nice unit!

I like the blue-shining armour of your Seaguard.

Great background story! Keep up with this!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:58 pm 
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the korhil model looks awesome and I would love to see a bigger picture of your spears! I love the purple tones you have chosen. The darker look works very well. 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:38 pm 
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Thanks y'all!

I have a couple of close up pictures of the command group and a shot of the back of a rank and file spearman, I'll post them later on. If that doesn't work I'll try and upload the original pictures, I think they were much bigger but I reduced their size a bit (last time I tried to put a picture in my topic it filled the entire screen and took ages to load - it was Ar-Ulrik from what I recall :wink:)

A few notes on the unit:

There are 20 5th edition metal Lother Seaguards in the unit, including a banner bearer and a musician. They are all painted, except for parts of the standard. They need to have their quivers painted and attached too. I field them as spearmen most of the time, but LSG could be usful from time to time, and the models would also look more complete. I won't attach the shields I think, I prefer them this way.

4 warriors are plastic spearmen from this edition's regiment set - you can see the back of one of them in the second photo. They fit well, so I won't be replacing them. Unless they fail me :wink:

The halberd-wielding leader is the famous Vit-thol-Maris, represented by a Phoenix Guard miniature from 5th edition. I only ever had 3 of these and each became a character model - one turned into m former BSB (you can catch a glimpse of him in the Conversion Corner topic) the second became the former Vir-thol-Maris (he's in the same picture as the BSB, both in gold/light blue/purple colour scheme), the last one was briefly a charioteer (I'll post the pics of his former chariot and his new owner in due time :wink:) and now became the champion of the First Spearmen.

In battle they are usually the bodyguard of Farendil-am-Andiril - his killing power combined with their numbers and immunity to fear forms a very succesful unit. Susceptibility to stone thrower shot is a serious problem though :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:38 am 
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WHOA!!! Triple-post powers activate!
:lol:
Hey R.E. Lee!
Love the write up. The new paragraphs you added to your first post are very well written and add a lot to the original piece.
Love all of the characters and the history.
Good work...keep it up!
Oh, and who are some of the local antagonists for your warriors?
A good villian always makes a hero more interesting.
I'll check back for more updates!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:51 am 
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Pardon the triple post, my internet connection is annoyingly unstable and I just couldn't be sure the post got submitted. Actually I didn't realise it made it until just now :wink:

Local enemies include Skaven and some Undead swarming in the south, fighting each other ever since the Nagash wars, pushing ever harder against the Nikaian borders. Dwarves are also a restless neighbour so mountain skirmishes are common. I fight a lot of Lizarmen, too, but I won't be including them in the storyline until I find a really good way to do it :wink:

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:50 pm 
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Heh-heh, no worries on the triple...it was funny,actually as I read the one, then started the second and felt a dizzying sense of deja vu.
I was thinking, "WTF? Is my scroll key messed up?" Then I figured it out.
:lol:
Anyway, you've got to have your friends come up with names for their armies and their leaders so it can add to your Historian's accounts of your battles.
Will any of your heroes meet a tragic end?
Will Nikaia burn and need rebuilding?
What other dark threats throw their shadows across your lands?
Keep it up...but aren't you supposed to be in Medical School?
:lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 6:03 pm 
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yes, do say a thing or two about how you manage to be in medical school and maintain your warhammer pursuits. I am hopefully going to grad school next year and am worried that I will have to resign my elves to a display case. :(

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