The Norse Are Coming!
In what had once been a one-way tide flowing south towards the shores of the Empire, the Sea of Claws turned into a battleground as vessels of various types clashed and collided. The sea became choked with flotsam and jetsam – listing raider hulls, a broken mast, a tattered sail, a barrel of salted fish, a bloated corpse. The Norse, who dearly held the tradition of raiding and pillaging close to heart, allowed themselves to be swayed by a bit of gold – they were going to fight and raid anyway, so why not get paid to do so? As Norseman killed Norseman, dwarf, and orc alike, chaos reigned in the Sea of Claws. The scope of the war of the Age of Reckoning has now turned to engulf the peoples of Norsca. Will the forces of Norsca sway the tide of battle or will they act as a force for balance?
Joining the struggle in the Age of Reckoning is Warhammer’s newest army – the Norse! Northern Norsca has always been subject to the winds of Chaos and the tribes along the northern coast have often provided the most savage warriors in the Chaos hosts as they marched south across Kislev into the Empire. The tribes along the south-western coast have been spared the worst influences of the winds of Chaos, but a hint of the taint still courses through their bodies. Less influenced by the winds of Chaos, it is these south-western tribes which are instead swayed by the prospect of wealth and fortune.
Players who obtained the Raiders Helm or the Plundered Ale from the License to Pillage live event gain early access to the newest army in Warhammer Online: The Sons of the Maelstrom. The Sons of the Maelstrom are a loose confederation of the western clans of Norsca who try to differentiate themselves from their northern and eastern kin, who are more susceptible to the taint of Chaos. This confederation instead seeks peace amongst the western clans, so that they may better wage war against their enemies.
Owing fealty to no one god, for their sigil the Sons of the Maelstrom have taken a banner that symbolizes the fury of both the heavens and the earth – where the skies clash with the seas, and the winds wrestle with the trees. As sons of the storm, many of the western Norse clans pledge their fealty to Thor the god of storms and combat (in Kislev known as Tor), whose lightning bolt and war axes grace the background of their sigil. As the sea flows through the veins of every Norseman, the dragon-mastheads of their longboats grace the top of their shield. Though the sea may be the lifeblood of the Norse, they know that their past and future is rooted upon the jagged land of Norsca which is symbolized by the World Tree whose branches fight with the heavens while its roots anchor it to the earth. Central in the sigil is the hammer of the father of the Norse pantheon symbolized by his all-seeing eye which knows the hearts of all his children. In the west of Norsca the Norse call him Ein or Un or simply ‘the One’: in the East he is not seen as the father of gods, but one of many and is called Tzeentch; the men of the Empire say his is a bastardization of Sigmar, the true god who brought peace through the hammar; to the Kislevites he is a bastard child of Ursun; and to the dwarves it is just a bastardization of Grungni as the dwarves note that the early Norse were only capable of single-syllable names. Irregardless of his name, the One’s hammar is taken from the trunk of the World Tree which it in turn watches over and protects.
The Sons of the Maelstrom have joined the struggle , though whether they join the forces of Destruction or Order depends on which way the scales tilt.