Home > 1.8.x, Map > Proliferation of WAR ~ Ostermark

Proliferation of WAR ~ Ostermark

Ostermark – the north-eastern frontier of the Empire; the cross-roads between civilization and wilderness. Due to the great distance from the capital of Altdorf, sometimes the people of Ostermark feel abandoned by the Emperor and have been left on the fringes of society to fend for their own. Here in this dark corner of the Empire, men fight daily to survive against the elements.

Of the ten provinces of the Empire, the League of Ostermark exists furthest from the Imperial Court at Altorf or any other major urban city. In fact, Ostermark is closer to the Court of Kislev and shares a very close bond with its neighbors to the north. Almost two-thirds of the province are covered by dense forests which make farming all but impossible and much of the remaining unforested land consists of the Eirie Downs – an inhospitable region ever-covered in mist where men disappear, never to be seen again. In ages past the provincial capital was Mordheim, but due to a great tragedy that befell that city the capital was moved north to Bechafen while the southern quarter of the province exists severely under-populated.

The nature of Ostermark makes life there difficult, allowing for little surplus food to grow large towns. Instead Ostermark exists as a province with scattered villages clinging to the edges of the forests or the Eirie Downs. Much of the population tries to live off of the land, but with such unforgiving land, a large population cannot be supported. Due to this, one would think that Ostermak exists in a militarily stable environment, but the opposite is true. While Ostermark has a small fighting force, it is a terribly efficient fighting force. With the constant invasions of their northern neighbor Kislev by the barbarian Norse, Ostermark is always ready to lend military aid; and with the ever-present threat of the undead from the south, Ostermark must be ever-vigilant.

It is with this mentality of being isolated and surrounded that Ostermark’s leaders have adopted a defensive tactic which allows for the rapid communication of distress. Dotting the borders of Ostermark are its famous frontier towers, the Beacons of Ostermark. These isolated towers keep an eye on the horizon, always ready to sound the alarm. When the frontiersmen spot a threat, they quickly light their beacon and as fast as light travels, the next tower lights its beacon, and so on until word reaches the capital of Bechafen. With this rapid conveyance of information, military commanders can quickly dispatch their force in one concentrated unit to counter the threat.

The truest test of Ostermarks defenders has come with the Age of Reckoning. With news of the Raven Host marching south from the Chaos Wastes across the eastern face of the World’s Edge Mountains, Ostermark prepares for the looming threat. Regiments of the Greatswords of Carroburg have set sail up the Talabec and Stir rivers to help the defenders of Ostermark meet the Raven Host. The vanguard has joined forces with a small force from Stirland and set up at the Stirland Advance Warcamp on the northern fringe of Dead Wood. The main force of Greatswords sailing up the Talabec landed in the town of Grunwald and quickly began to fortify the town as the last bastion of Ostermark. Meanwhile the forces of Chaos have already begun to emerge from the Night Goblin lair of Redeye Mountain and have set up camp on the opposite shore of the Upper Talabec at the Augenbaum Warcamp. The town of Eisental, which guards the entrance to Peak Pass, was also quickly overrun by the minions of Chaos and fortified as a Chaos stronghold.

Flowing from the World’s Edge Mountains, a series of tributaries feed the Upper Talabec, chief among them the Brunwasser-Blut cut across the landscape of Ostermark dividing the east from west. Likewise the Gryphon’s Wood dominates the northern frontier of the province while much of the center is lost in the mist of the Eirie Downs. At the northern edge of the Gryphon’s Wood where the Brunwasser meets the Talabec, lays the provincial capital of Bechafen. West of the Brunwasser are also the major villages of: Borkum, which like Bechafen sits on the shore of the Talabec with the Gryphon’s Wood to its back; centrally located is the cross-roads hamlet of Gross Selon, without which one could not navigate the depth of the Gryphon’s Wood; and on the southern end of the Gryphon’s Wood is the hamlet of Menshenfresserhoffen which lives in fear with the dark woods to the north and the dreadful Eirie Downs to the south. East of the Brunwasser as Ostermark stretches to the World’s Edge Mountains, the Gryphon’s Wood is sparsely populated with frontier towers serving as the primary structures here; the only concentration of houses large enough to call a hamlet is Fortenhaf which clings to the frontier tower for shelter like a calf to her mother.

Between the Gryphon’s Wood and Deadwood lay the misty Eirie Downs, a region where men dare not go. In the west as the Eirie Downs near the forests are the Bleak Moors, a water-logged morass heavily shrouded in fog – with such a thick fog there is no way to see ones footing and many-a-soul has fallen into a bog without a sound, never to be seen again. Yet centrally located within the Bleak Moors is the Grey Tower, a spire piercing through the fog in which the Grey Wizards pry through the shadows and help keep watch against the undead. In the east the Eirie Downs give rise to hills and rocky outcrops, still shrouded in a thick fog. At the junction of the Eirie Downs, the World’s Edge Mountains, and the Dead wood is the town of Carlsbuck – a safe haven from the punishing environments that surround it. Centrally located in the Eirie Downs is the farming-hamlet of Burgenhof which dares tempt the foggy-unknown to farm the fertile soil.

Heading south from Bechafen through the Gryphon’s Wood and the Eirie Downs, the Kadrin Road clings to the Brunwasser-Blut as it trails into Peak Pass. As the Gryphon’s Wood gives way to the open-plains, the first hamlet on the eastern shore of the Brunwasser is Zeisholz, with its back to the fertile grassy region known as the Veldt. Further down the Kadrin Road at the junction of the Brunwasser and the Blut is the town of Elbing, existing in a fog-free pocket of the Eirie Downs. Following the Kadrin Road as it crosses the Blut one passes the hamlets of Buckow and Nagenhof before crossing the Aurith and reaching the last village before Eisental, Osterwald.

The beacons have been lit. The Raven Hosts descends upon Ostermark as the forces of the Order of the Griffon rally to repel the invaders. Will the eastern flank of the Empire crumble under the winds of Chaos, or can the forces of Order dominate this unforgiving land? One thing is for certain, many a soul will go lost and never be heard from again in the dark Gryphon’s Wood and the misty Eirie Downs.

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