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Battle of the Frontiers ~ Black Crag Keep

December 27, 2012 Leave a comment

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BCK MapA blast from the powder keg sent a flurry of small stones flying outwards from the mouth of the old mine. The largest boulders shifted slightly at first, but then one at the bottom cracked in half and with its shattering all of a sudden the entire wall of boulders blocking the exit from the mine shaft collapsed out into the canyon below. Two dwarves emerged from the dust out into daylight – behind them still in the tunnel a column of Oathbearers as far as the eye could see.

“I knew that stone was the keystone. Why use a dozen when one well-placed keg’ll do the trick,” the engineer Jorgrim Ironhand said coughing slightly as the dust filled his lungs.

“Aye Jorri, but only ye have the brains to calculate such a feat,” Gilar replied.

“These old abandoned tunnels of Karak Drazh served us well. Greenskins didn’t even know they were here, and they led us almost to the foot of Butcher’s Pass. There,” Jorgrim Ironfist said using one hand to cover his brow against the glare of the sun and the other to point at the distance, “That’s the viper’s nest blocking a flanking attack on Butcher’s Pass. Impregnable wench infested with greenskins.”

“I’ve yet to meet a wench that’s impregnable,” Gilar said tugging on his long beard, straining to get a better look at the greenskin fort that lay ahead in the valley below. He took out a small dried apple and began to carve it with a dagger. “That vale is only accessible from two points – narrow gaps in the canyon carved by the river,” Gilar stated motioning with his dagger at the scene in front of them.

“They may not have much for brains, but the greenskins picked the ideal location to guard the flank north of Karak Eight Peaks. To pass through that bottleneck would cost hundreds of lives before we could even reach the walls.”

“You’ve a mind for using powder kegs to shatter stones my friend, but yer eye needs tuning. There above the rocky outcrop with the dwarf statue toppled and defaced,” Gilar said motioning his dagger with a piece of apple skewered on the end, “a small trail runs atop that crest barely visible to the eye from this elevation. From below it’s like it isn’t even there. It’ll add two days march to reach there, but from that location we can bypass the bottleneck in the canyon walls and strike at Black Crag keep from the front.”

“Give me four days and I’ll get you a few organ guns atop that crest,” Jorri added.

“Worth the wait. In a week’s time the Oathbearers will strike at that sad excuse for a keep – boards held together by mud – and the way will be open to strike at the doors of Karak Eight Peaks.”

Following a network of abandoned and thought-to-be collapsed mines and tunnels, a small Oathbearer contingent has reached a pass tucked in the south-east of Black Crag that leads south into Karak Eight Peaks. The fortress simply known as Black Crag Keep is ideally located to make any attack from this direction futile, yet if it were to fall then the path to Karak Eight Peaks would lay open. By taking advantage of the old tunnels the greenskins never bothered to protect, the Oathbearers have found an approach to Black Crag Keep that bypasses the deadly bottleneck and allows for a direct assault on the keep.

Black Crag Keep is the newest scenario in Warhammer. This scenario is a triple-domination point scenario as the two factions struggle for domination over this critical battle objective. The key points of battle are the northern ruins, central ruins, and southern ruins – all ruins of an ancient dwarven fortress now overgrown by a crude greenskin fort. The struggle here will help decide the fate of Karak Eight Peaks and the future of the Bloody Sun Boyz.

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Battle of the Frontiers ~ Kadrin Valley Pass

December 23, 2012 Leave a comment

KadrinValleyPass003KVP Map“All dese mountains look da same. Walk walk walk. Gobbo’s feetz get tired too!” Mumfink complained aloud.

“Warboss Nozgob sez dat da One-Toofz iz gonna lead da charge for da Bloody Sun Boyz into Cat Drink Valley. We’z gonna get da mostest stuntie bashin’ outta all da Bloody Sun Boyz!” an orc replied with confidence.

“We only gonna get da mostest stuntie bashin’ if we’z get to Cat Drink Valley! You fink dat dis is Cat Drink Valley? I dun’t see no cats drinkin’!” Mumfink cried back.

“I dun’t fink you even fink you know where we iz!” the orc yelled back. “Black Crag iz black only in sum places. Maybe Cat Drink Valley only haz cats in sum places too!”

“Like I sed – when we’z see da cats, den we’ll know we’re in Cat Drink Valley. Until den we’z lost!”

“All dis talkin’ bout cats iz makin’ me ‘ungry… nothin’ but rocks and snow here,” another orc said interrupting the conversation. “Rocks ‘n snow ‘n cats ‘n dat stuntie bird over dere… mmm cats ‘n birds….”

“Stuntie bird?!” Mumfink cried out. “Dat’s more dan one stuntie bird!”

Rifle shots cracked through the air from rocky crags and echoed in the narrow canyons taking out the front of the greenskin column.

“Stunties for da bashin’!” Nozgob could be heard yelling out amidst the chaotic ‘column’ of greenskins. “One Toofz wit me!”

Lost as they were, the One Toofz unwittingly stumbled upon a well-hidden and secluded dwarven outpost, Hadgrin’s Watch, guarding the south-eastern approaching to Kadrin Valley. Though Karak Kadrin and its garrison of slayers are sworn to protect Peak Pass, the rangers set up a small outpost nearby to monitor the labyrinth of passes leading to the rear of Karak Kadrin. With the help of a half-dozen gyrocopters the rangers are the far-seeing eyes of the Slayer Keep. Now the greenskins have stumbled upon this remote location and have descended upon it with a vicious fury, already swarming the gyrocopter pads and destroying the four that couldn’t get airborne in time. Two precious gyrocopters remain circling above and guiding the forces of Order from nearby Kadrin Valley to rescue the survivors of Hadgrin’s Watch, secure the pass, and salvage what they can of the important location.

Kadrin Valley Pass is the newest scenario in Warhammer. The scenario is a five-point tug-of-war scenario with the battle beginning over Icerapids Bridge centrally located in the small valley. The forces of Order push back from the Skycloud Tower of Hadgrin’s Watch and try to maintain their hold on the already damaged Outer Gate and the Gyrocopter Hanger. The forces of Destruction have already captured the Brewery and Gyrocopter Landing Pads. A bloody struggle is being waged in the valleys behind Karak Kadrin, and the fate of this small outpost will be tied with the fate of the Slayer Keep.

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Battle of the Frontiers ~ Shrine of Lileath

December 20, 2012 Leave a comment

LILEATH_004“Just across that hill m’lord,” the shade whispered in a harsh voice.

Beastlord Hargrave rode up beside the shade, “This had better be worth my time, or I’ll show you what value worthless worms like you have.” He stroked the neck of his Cold One and with a twisted smile said, “Goretongue knows.”

“I am certain this will be a worthy find,” the shade replied.

As the small patrol reached the crest of the next hill before them appeared a large shrine nestled in a valley amongst the hills.

Beastlord Hargrave snatched the shade by his throat and lifted him off the saddle of his steed, “You brought me to see these ruins?!” As the shade fought with all his might to catch a breath, suddenly whispers filled the air and as quickly stopped. Beastlord Hargrave turned his head from side to side looking for the source, but his eyes found nothing nearby. His grasp loosened and the shade slid back onto his saddle gasping for air and rubbing his neck.

“The voices… what cursed place is this?” Hargrave snarled.

“The shrine of Lileath, greatly valued by the Asur, m’lord.”

“Harlot of a goddess,” Hargrave said spitting onto the ground.

“There are no defenders… no worshipers… hardly a site I’d say is valued,” the Beastlord’s second in command stated coldly.

“Lileath speaks to her followers in their dreams,” the shade replied.

“Good,” the Beastlord snarled, “Then if we raze the ruins to the ground, she will call to them and they will come. They will come, and we will be waiting.”

The Shrine of Lileath is the newest scenario in Warhammer. Located in the rolling hills of Eataine, the Shrine had thus far eluded the prying eyes of the Druchii. Now the Druchii and their allies ride to the shrine with the hope of desecrating it and drawing the High Elves out onto the open field for battle. However, Lileath sees all and speaks to her followers through dreams. Already the Shining Guard is mobilizing the counter the threat and reach the shrine before their foes can blaspheme on its grounds.

The Shrine of Lileath is a rotating-three-point scenario as both realms vie for control of the shrine. Players will fight for control over the Sanctuary – the interior of the shrine where the powers of Lileath are strongest; the Arcades – an avenue of columns and arches that inspire artists from all over Ulthuan; and the Garden of Dreams – a place where many weary elves have let their minds rest and be filled with the whispers of Lileath.

Battle of the Frontiers ~ Stonesong Plateau

December 18, 2012 Leave a comment

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“What news of the Druchii host that abandoned Dragonwake?” Menythaer asked as he pulled back the branches of a large bush to have a better view of the valley of Caledor below.

“No sightings of them yet sir, but when they appear on the horizon we’ll be in a better position to cut them off in their retreat,” a young scout replied.

“They won’t come this way,” a grim voice interrupted.

Menythaer and the scout turned around surprised. “And who are you to barge in on our council?” the scout demanded in an arrogant voice betraying his notion of his status.

“The Druchii abandoned their position in Dragonwake to strengthen their assault on Eataine; your journey here could have been a waste,” the unknown figure stated as a shadow emerged from the cliff-face.

“East into Eataine? But then…” Menythaer let his thoughts linger a while, “How do you know this? This means our journey to Caledor was for naught! Lothern is in peril and we are leagues away to help!” Menythaer cried out in despair.

“I said your journey could have been a waste, not that it was,” the figure walked into the light revealing his hooded and masked face. He walked past them crouching on the ground. “Lothern will manage without you. We will make the most of your journey here and strike at the Druchii in a manner which will most inconvenience them.” Placing his hand on the young scout’s shoulder he pointed below and let their eyes follow his finger, “There.”

“That ledge crawling with beastmasters?” the scout asked.

“That ledge overlooks the valley of Caledor below as it cuts through the mountains from west to east. Beyond that gap in the rocks lay Malekith’s Fist, and if we control that position we can not only observe the movements of the Druchii, but we can also cut off their reinforcements for the struggle in Eataine,” the shadow warrior stated.

“Those banners flying on that ledge are of House Uthorin. They will not lightly give up that position,” the scout added.

“Do not let foolish thoughts cloud your mind. Only by our blood will Ulthuan’s freedom be won,” the shadow warrior stoically said.

“By our blood…” Menythaer echoed quietly, “What do they call this place which our blood shall free from the grasp of darkness?”

“Stonesong Plateau.”

An element of the Shining Guard has followed hidden passes in Caledor and reached the secluded Stonesong Plateau which lays on the western edge of the valley that bisects the mountainous region. Due to its location, Stonesong Plateau offers a crucial vantage point for monitoring the movements of armies below – and for this reason House Uthorin has garrisoned it with its beastmasters. Now in an attempt to gain supremacy in the struggle over southern Ulthuan, the Shining Guard strikes at this key objective.

Stonesong Plateau is the newest scenario in Warhammer. The first wave of the bloody battle are concluded with the beastmasters of Naggaroth slain and their blood dripping down the cliff-face below, but House Uthorin and her allies are not quick to forget, nor forgive. Now the forces of Order must fiercely hold onto their grimly won possession and hold off the forces of Destruction. Stonesong Plateau is a deathmatch scenario, and as much as the players must balance their footing along the dangerous precipices, they must also balance the slaughter – if one realm is leading in points by a margin of 200 then the losing realm will be aided by a beast of war (a black drake from the beastmasters of Naggaroth, or a Sun Dragon from the Dragon Princes of Caledor) and gain an attack bonus from their new found ally to help turn the tide of the battle.

Battle of the Frontiers

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

TheAssaultonLothern_0In a calculated maneuver to overwhelm the defenses of the opposing realm’s capital cities – the Druchii forces of House Uthorin withdrew from the conflict in Dragonwake to strike at Eataine, and the Bloody Sun Boyz intensified their assault on Kadrin Valley, despite the ‘gud bashin’ in Thunder Mountain. In an attempt to outwit their enemy, the forces of Order marched on the opposition’s bastions, with the Shining Guard doubling all its efforts in the struggle to gain supremacy in Caledor, and the Oathguards seeking to avenge the grudge of Karak Drazh in Black Crag. The result was nothing more than a bloodbath across the lands nearest to the capitals of the Asur, Druchii, Dwaves, and Greenskins. Read more…

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Battle of the Frontiers Intro Part II

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

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“Oi Nozgob!” a smaller-than-average goblin yelled with all his might while poking a massive black orc in the thigh with his staff. The massive black orc engrossed with the chipped edge of his cutta grunted and swatted behind himself as if brushing away a fly. Annoyed, but not defeated, the small goblin twirled his staff about whilst speaking to himself quietly. The spell culminating with a bright green flash produced a massive fist which smashed down on the black orc’s foot.

“Yeow!” the black orc, Nozgob, cried swinging his cutta at the fist cutting through it and causing it to burst into a green mist. “Wotcha do that for you stupid lil git?!” he roared at the little goblin.

“You da biggest?” the goblin asked, unshaken by the tremor of the roar unleashed by the massive black orc.

“Dat’s right, I’m da biggest!” Nozgob yelled in reply.

“Well I’m da smallest so I gotta get yer attention sumhow!”

The black orc grunted rubbing his chin, “Well ya got it! Whatcha want?!” he roared once more.

“Da warboss sent me to sez to you dat you and yer boyz are to move north and stop wastin’ yer time, and Warboss Grumlok’s time in this… wasteland!”

“Wastin’-time land?!” the infuriated black orc yelled back. “Wez been havin’ the bestest bashin’ here that I seen since I was a git! I dun’t run from fights like you, little snot-git!”

“You is da biggest, da toughest, da bestest orc leadin’ the One-Toof Boyz?” the goblin asked.

“Dat’s right! I’m da biggest, da toughest, and da bestest orc here!”

“Da brightest too?”

“Da wot?” Nozgob asked scratching his head puzzled.

The goblin smiled revealing his cracked yellow teeth (far more than any of the One-Toof Boyz possessed). “Maybe I is da smallest git here, but I’m da brighest git here – dat means I gots da most brains. Dat’s why Gazbag sent me, Gutsnik da Brightest, to sez to you dat you move your boyz north outta dis wasteland and go kill da stunties where da stunties is da mostest! You wanna kill da mostest stunties dontcha?” the goblin asked letting the question linger in the air.

Nozgob stared at his fingers counting some figure that only he could comprehend. After the pointer finger of his left hand had run across all the digits of his right hand several times Nozgob grabbed the tiny goblin in his massive hand and lifted him to eye-level. “Da mostest?” he said in a rough voice arching his eyebrows. The small goblin standing in the palm of the massive orc simply nodded with a smile. “Boyz da One-Toofs are goin’ north for da mostest suntie killin’! We move now,” his voice boomed across the jagged black lava tubes that lay below the One-Toof warcamp. “North to….” his voice lingered, “were we goin’ git-witta-brain?”

“Kadrin Valley,” Gutsnik replied pointing his staff north emitting a green burst of magic that streaked across the ashen sky.

“North to da stuntie valley! Follow da green!” Nozgob roared, his voice followed by a cacophony of noises from the warcamp ranging from war-cries, to banging of cuttas on shields, to squeals of squigs. 

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A gyrocopter circled in the dark sky – its engine choking in the ashen air. It landed ungracefully as the dwarf at its helm tried with all his might to steady the bucking craft. The dwaft exited the machine patting it on the side, “Oh Matilda, yer startin’ to show yer age.”

“What news, Jorri?” a dwarf with a long grey beard asked in a gruff voice that sounded as if he was grinding gravel in his throat.

“Well I followed the green light to its source like you asked,” Jorri replied wiping the dark mixture of soot and sweat off his forehead. “Flew right into a massive warband of greenskins – rambunctious host was so loud they couldn’t hear the din of my gyrocopter as I hovered above em.”

“Greenskins in Thunder Mountain is nothing new Jorri,” the longbeard interrupted.

“But Gilar, these greenskins ain’t lingering in Thunder Mountain…”

“Then where they heading to, lad, spit it out,” Gilar said impatiently.

“North. They were yellin’ ‘to Cat Drink Valley!'” Jorri replied.

Gilar turned north squinting his eyes as they followed the lingering green streak across the sky. He hummed to himself as he ran his hand through his braided beard.

“We can cut them off if we follow Damisson’s Ridge – we’ll have the advantage of higher ground too,” Jorri suggested. “No air support though, ash is too thick that close to the mouth of Karag Dron.”

“No,” Gilar replied deep in thought. “That ramshackle host will prove no threat to the slayers of Karak Kadrin.” He continued to stroke his beard as his eyes shift south. “Rally the Oathbearers. If the greenskins are leavin’ Thunder Mountain now is our chance to strike at the heart of the beast – at Black Crag.”

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Battle of the Frontiers Intro

December 11, 2012 1 comment

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A lone sorceress confidently walked through the warcamp towards the commander’s tent. All eyes were drawn to her, all eyes save for those of the commander. Stooped over maps of southern Ulthuan, he paid no attention to the approaching figure.

“Commander, you will break camp immediately and head east,” the sorceress said in a calm voice.

Surprised as the insolence of her tone, Beastlord Janareth raised his eyes towards the figure standing before him as his lips twisted into a frown. “Break camp now when the battle is almost won? Women do not belong at the strategy table, begone wench!”

Ignoring his remark the sorcress continued in her calm voice, “Dragonwake will not determine the outcome of this war. We shall strike at the heart and cease wasting time and resources over these barren crags.”

“By whose authority do you dare come here and uproot the entire host of House Uthorin?!” the irritated dark elf spat out. “My divisions are poised to deal the fatal blow to the Shining Guard here in Dragonwake and leave the road to Lothern open.”

“You see, this useless bantering is a good example of wasting time… question me one more time and those words will be your last.”

“I’ll teach you to sheath your tongue, harlot,” Beastlord Janareth sneered as his hand darted to the dagger at his hip.

“Though not a question, I’ll make an exception for you,” the sorceress said lunging her fingers at the beastlord’s throat, punching through the skin. She wrapped her icy fingers around his trachea before he could react and wretched it out. The beastlord crumpled to the ground choking on his own blood. “Malekith mentioned your stubbornness and ire… I suppose he wont mind your untimely downfall,” the sorceress said with a smirk looking down upon the writhing dark elf. She turned to the dark elf who had been strategizing with Beastlord Janareth before her arrival.  “Commander, you shall break camp immediately and march east for Eataine.”

Immediately understanding his ill-gotten promotion and the consequences of discussion, the dark elf quickly nodded saying, “It shall be as you say.”

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“Commander, the druchii are breaking camp,” a young high elf scout said gasping for breath as he ran into the Shining Guard warcamp in Dragonwake.

Raising his eyebrows, the likewise young commander replied, “No doubt retreating… it seems we’ve broken the druchii’s backs. Very well, muster our forces. We shall follow the passes west into Caledor and cut the druchii off in their retreat. Nary a soul shall reach the black ark.”

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