THE DEAD CRUSADE

Setting the Scene: Northern Kislev
Being a description of the field of battle

The harsh climes of Northern Kislev are the site of this tale of blood and glory. This is a tough land of tough people, whose men and women, well used to the depredations of Chaos, are harsh as the freezing Winters.

In the northern edge of the map are the mountains of Norsca, settled with scattered Chaos-worshipping Norse tribes (Aeslings in the most part) who formed much of the core of Bloodfists’s army. In the East, at the foot of the mountains, lay the Norse “city” of Ungalya and its torture pits, the target of Wolfram Hertwig, Elector Count of Ostermark’s, armies. This was the site of Bloodfists’s camp and his final stand, an area now blasted flat by the foul magics that saw Bloodfists’s end.

South of this is the inlet of the Sea of Claws. On the northern side is the Norse port of Yttervik, which served as a rallying point for Bloodfists’s armies; it is now deserted. On the south side is the Kislevite port of Myskhako, a small fishing village that has grown in size to house the arriving crusaders, and is currently still berthing a substantial, though largely departing, Elven fleet.

The Sea of Claws is ringed by deep pine forests, and the channel inland is guarded by Fort Temnykholm; once a Kislevite stronghold long since captured by a Chaos worshipping Norse tribe, the Sarls. (Who formed the other part of Bloodfists’s army) The Sarls left the fortress to go to war; none know who controls Fort Temnykholm now.

To the East, though mere foothills compared to the Norscan mountains, are the hill-peaks of Sturen Ridge. East of here are the fierce Norse tribe of the Baersonlings, who largely ignored Bloodfist’s call; the Sturen Ridge and mighty river of Bolensk forms a natural barrier between their lands and Kislev. This barrier is guarded by the Kislevite Fort Bugotak. Again, its barracks were emptied in the Crusade so who knows who runs it now?

The centre of the map is largely empty Northern Kislevite grasslands, with a handful of small Kislevite villages eking out a living amongst marauding Norse Sarl nomads and, especially towards the Southeast, the fearsome denizens of the Troll County. Furthest to the southeast, and acting as a major fort against incursions of trolls, is the large Kislevite city of Leblya. It was marked as the first target in Blolodfists’s conquest but has been saved this fate, and at the moment is far too strong for any of the scattered armies of the crusade to threaten. At the moment…..

Finally, in the West lies the dank and vile marshes of Kalti, an ill famed place even the standards of this land. Somewhere within lies the Goblinoid city of Notlob.

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Setting the Scene II: Starting Positions

Here we have the starting position of the armies.

The Crusaders have managed some semblance of order. Though some, like Ulan and Yehudi’s banners, are scattered, most have not been totally dispersed. The High Elven Generals hold their boats near the port of Myskhako in the West. Most of the Dwarven banners have held together in the southwest, by the village of Pashinko. The various Wood Elves have hidden themselves in the pine forests.

The banners of Bloodfist’s army are far more widely scattered across the land, with no concentration of force. Septicimiucs and the Bloatfather hold together near the standing stones through which they were summoned. Bubonicus the Fetid and Ankesh holds the site of Bloodfist’s end itself, as the two were the closest to the final catastrophe who survived.

Finally, we can see the handful of new arrivals sneaking in from the edges. And Gustav, drinking at a lonely inn in the middle of nowhere.

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Battles 1- 4 Updates!
Bloody battles: bodies begin to pile up

Game 1. Septicimius and Grandfather Drowner vs Suarez and Krovich in The Ogham Stones

The magic circle that enabled Septicimius and the Bloatfather to enter the world may be a useful source of power for many of the scattered generals of Bloodfist’s army. Chaos reigns as Grandfather Drowner, Septicimius, Suarez and Krovich make temporary alliances in an attempt to seize it.

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Result: Septicimius and Grandfather Drowner make a pact and hold the stones. Grandfather Drowner claps Krovich in chains, while Suarez is staked, behaded and burned.

Game 2. Heroes’ from Ulan the Red and Yehudi‘s army play the role of The Magnificent Seven against a Vampire from Gustav’s force

Scouts from Ulan the Red and Yehudi’s army find each other in a small hamlet. But as they break bread, a Vampire sent by Gustav arrives with a horde of undead to take heads….

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Result: Yehudi’s standard bearer alone survives and drives off the attack.

Game 3. Septicimius and Bubonicus vs Ulan and Scunforp in Ambush

Ulan, his scouts not returned, hires the craven goblin Scunthorpe to lead his army south; Scunforp also wants to get away from the site of Bloodfist’s end. But the Chaos loyalists Septicimius and Bubonicus, spying a foe and a traitor, set an ambush.

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Result: The ambush is repelled and Septicimius is annihilated and sent back to the warp.

Game 4. Vin Skizzle and Zennarch vs Marzbarz and La Viet play The Messengers

Zennarch finds Vin Skizzle, who cowers from the offer of a duel and instead suggests he can lead him to other Generals. Elsewhere, Marzbarz has met up with his ally from Bloodfist’s army, La Viet. The two Skaven Warlords have already been tracking each other to settle their rivalry and come across each other; but each only with a small travelling retinue. Both promptly decide they are understaffed to take a victory; both send Messengers to call for aid from their main camp to win the fight.

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Result: Marzbarz and La Viet get their Messengers through and Zennarch ’s army has to scatter to survive. Vin Skizzle is slain; Marzbarz believes he is triumphant. But already another Vin Skizzl e is ready to roll off the production line..

The battlefield now stands thus:

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Battle 4 Story: Marzbarz & La Viet vs Vin Skizzle & Zennarch
The slaying of the Skizzle

From Marzbarz log, Marz-date 4.

(As dictated to puny slaves using special Marzbarz squeak and scribe. To be read by all pups during time of Marzbarz Empire-ship to inspire them to grow big and be as mighty as Marzbarz (note – this not possible! Ha!))

Bloodfist not long dead, Marzbarz plans already going well! Behold the greatness of Marzbarz.

Marzbarz decide to begin grand enterprise by eliminating other stupid, cowardly Skaven warlords who may tell vicious falsehoods about how many Elves and Dwarves Marzbarz kill in great battle. First: Vin Skizzle. Skizzle weak and foolish, but wise for Marzbarz to approach with caution nonetheless. Marzbarz cunningly split army into smaller forces to look for Vin Skizzle better, send them away. Marzbarz remain and wait for news in cosy warm burrow and coordinate next move.

Soon Marzbarz scouts find army. Not Vin Skizzle – stupid scouts! Instead, army from old Marzbarz ally La Viet. Marzbarz parlay time. Marzbarz tell La Viet that he is greatest warlord in Kislev. La Viet give Marzbarz many funny looks, try to stroke Marzbarz fur. Maybe he and Marzbarz can reach a deal. Can send many men to help Marzbarz find Vin Skizzle in return for Marzbarz technological cleverness. Luckily Marzbarz cleverest of all, make sure this reiterated to La Viet several times. Marzbarz engineers can help build Pleasuredome (Marzbarz not know what this is but sounds a bit rubbish). La Viet send troops to kill Skizzle. Troops of La Viet much bigger than those of Marzbarz so this seem pretty good deal – La Viet obviously stupid. Marzbarz bestest negotiator.

Marzbarz feel pretty uncomfortable after meeting but not sure why. Probably Marzbarz bad breakfast. Breakfast-slaves clearly incompetent.

Marzbarz heads back to camp with big stompy warriors of La Viet along. Warriors smell funny but pretty damn big so this overlookable. Marzbarz busy himself with plans for a “Pleasuredome”. Just considering complex technical stuffs (too complex to explain) when what is this Marzbarz spots? it Vin Skizzle! Hooray! Hang on – Vin Skizzle not alone, hordes of dead humans there too plus big blood-drinky dead bloke on a horse! Not hooray. Pretty low of Skizzle to enlist help of non-Skaven for battle – although understandable as he must be quaking in boots at thought of facing Marzbarz despite all the threats he keeps shouting. Marzbarz quickly formulate plan:

1. Send fastest running Skaven through enemy line, bring back bulk of Marzbarz army to squish Vin Skizzle
2. Cheese it

Turn out Vin Skizzle have exactly the same plan! Obviously Vin Skizzle have a spy in Marzbarz camp to copy strategy. Curse you Vin Skizzle!

Luckily plan go well. Marzbarz set up heroically at the rear to stop any enemy messengers, unleash Marzbarz secret weapon – THE DOOMWHEEL. Doomwheel smash into massive horrible monster, fall over, explode. Hmm. New Marzbarz plan – throw all troops in front of blood-drinky knight. This work slightly better. See the power of Marzbarz giant rats! Ignore the cowardice of Marzbarz Skaven slaves!
On far flank Vin Skizzle leads suicide charge into La Viet heavy knights. Suicide charge indeed suicidal – Vin Skizzle chopped to bits. See how you fall into Marzbarz trap, Vin Skizzle! Foolish fool!

Unfortunately blood-drinky dead monster and massive abomination kill most of Marzbarz men. Time for Marzbarz tactical withdrawl. It ok though – messengers to main army have got through! Cunning plan works, enemy forces turn to run away now. Marzbarz is the victor!

What the hell is a Pleasuredome anyway?

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Battles 6 & 7 Updates
Drowner Slain, Hackabooty captured, the Elves arrive

Game 7: Intef and Grandfather Drowner vs Elemonkurd and Telemaktr in beach head

The High Elven Lords Elemonkurd and Telemaktr attempted to land upriver to begin their campaign hunting down Bloodfist’s remaining generals. Evil allies from the deserts of Khemri, Grandfather Drowner and Intef, saw the danger and rallied to hold them off, ambushing the far larger Elven force as it struggles to make land.

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Result: The battle was extremely close and hard fought with the Elves suffering heavy losses, each inch of ground bought with precious elven blood. With time running out the desperate Elves managed to break through and their opponents withdrew. Grandfather Drowner, veteran of many a battle and one of the most fearsome generals in Kislev, finally met his fate, run down and devoured by Elemonkurd’s dragon.

Game 7: Nazrethim and Kriss Hackabooty vs Intef and Gustav in monster hunt

His alliance with the Ogres in tatters, Intef attempts to ally with other evil generals but a collaborative effort to capture monsters and repulse the remnants of the crusaders broke out into full scale war, with Intef and Gustav on one side and Nazrethim and Kriss Hackabooty on the other.

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Result: The combined forces of the undead seized the field. Nazrethim captured a hydra whilst Gustav bolstered his forces with manticore and Intef a preyton and a cockatrice. His bodyguard slain by the relentless Tomb Guard of Intef himself, Kriss broke and was captured by the ancient liche and dragged off to face a fate unknown.

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Battle 4 Story: The Drowner's Last Supper

In the gloom of the yurt Drowner sat and gnawed noisily on something that could easily have been mistaken for the haunch of a goat. A slight breeze rustled the canvas walls and set the various bunches of dried herbs, bone charms and other wardings that dangled from the roof beams into motion. Drowner looked up and sniffed the air something was coming, something familiar.

“’Ello Intef me old boney” he grunted, “Wadda you want?”

The breeze picked up dragging whirling particles of dust and sand into the yurt in unnatural numbers, they hung in the air for a while before coalescing into the image of Intef the Inpure Thrice Cursed of Sobek. “Drowner” he rasped “A host of High Elves moves to make landing on the river but a stones throw from this very hovel. The concept of their presence here displeases me and I doubt they will have any time for whatever mischief you are currently engaged in. I come offering an alliance as of old between your forces and mine to…. encourage these Elves to put ashore somewhere more convenient to both of us.”

“No can do” Drowner snorted. “Most o’ me lads is out doing me gruesome business” and he chuckled nastily at the thought of whatever activity they were currently engaged in. Intef narrowed what passed for eyes at the quivering fleshly lump “What are you up to?” “Never you mind pointy, but I will tell you this, it’s the most cunning thing anyone has ever done, lets just leave it at that. I AM THE HEAD BEE KEEPER!” Drowner roared (which was his way of saying “I am the best” for Drowner greatly admired bee keepers as they have command over bees and can order them to sting whomever they please).

“A shame.” Intef turned as though to leave the tent. “Never mind, I guess Elves don’t taste very nice anyway…” there was a spluttering noise from behind him. “Hold up, there’s a few lads still around, more than enough to deal with a few skinnies, just let me find what I’ve done with me tenderiser”.

TeleMakater and Elemonkurd wheeled high above the battle field. From here on the backs of their winged steeds they could see clearly their forces struggling to embark the ships and make safe their landing against unexpected opposition. “We cannot sustain this much longer” TeleMakater called, “Either we must establish a hold on the landing site or we must retreat. We have lost too many already to those clouds of arrows and the hulls of my ships will not take much more pounding on the rocks of these shallows. The boats must pull away soon and that will leave us with no retreat for our forces. Also my insurance will not cover us for ships wrecked on a river passage as I only took out cover for the open sea.”

Elemonkurd knew his ally saw things clearly, the day must be won and quickly, he set his dragon into a dive for the thickest part of the fighting.

The dragon crashed down into a small copse in which a block of his spearmen advanced on a small but hardened looking group of ogres. At the centre of them a great flabbering mess of a creature commanded the forces around him and strengthened their resolve with winds of magic.

“You don’t scare me” Drowner yelled up at the dragon and its rider. “Ere look at this” he said pointing to the massive whiteish apron that was stretched tight over his vast gut. On it was scrawled “Champion Best Dragon Slayer”. “Is that supposed to mean something” Elemonkurd replied, “You’ve clearly written that yourself just now, in ketchup”. That shut Drowner up because it was true. Just then a wave of well timed Elven magic rolled across the copse sapping the strength from the ogres to a point where they could barely lift their armoured limbs, the spear block advanced and with the dragon at their backs the ogres were cut down with elegant efficiency.

Drowner himself lashed out one last time ripping limbs from a few unfortunates and stuffing them greedily into his ever hungry maw, but even his ferocity could not stop the spear blocks advance. With a final push he was overwhelmed and that was the end of the disgraceful creature.

“The day is won.” cried Elemonkurd, “Let go the ships we have our landing.” and trumpet blasts called out to the whole of Kislev that the High Elves had arrived.

On the opposite side of the field Intef shrugged and melted away into the shadows.

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