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Winter Harvest Intro

“Hold the wagons in tight formation. Keep your eyes on the horizon, you see so much as a rock fall you alert me!” a Kislevite officer shouted orders to his men as they entered rockier terrain and mountains drew nearer. The officer looked back at the tree line of the Dukhyls Forest as it faded behind them.

“Worry not Yevan, we are better suited to the open plains than in a forest,” a Gryphon lancer said riding up to the officer.

“We are easily spotted on the open plains, and there is no where to draw a defensive line,” the officer Yevan replied.

“You have spent too much time behind walls to value the power of Kislev, the power of the horsemaster. What good would your forest do the company of Ungol riders and squadron of Gryphon lancers do you?” the Gryphon Lancer asked.

“Yes, you shall have your glorious charge across the plains while I shall be left with these unwieldy wagons with old men and young boys playing soldiers,”Yevan replied.

“Consider the old men a token of good fortune! Few are lucky enough to live to such an age in these times. Besides brother, you can always hide in the sacks of grain if you fear for your life. Any creature that would attack us in these open plains is unlikely to eat grain. Have you ever seen a skaven eat grain?” the Gryphon lancer said allowing a smile to appear behind his helmet.

“Ah the legendary humor of Andrei, it alone is sure to keep the forces of darkness at bay. I don’t see why we are trading away grain when we sorely need it. Are the Baersonling babes hungrier than our people?” Yevan asked.

“You know as well as I do that we need their cold-forged iron. Our mines in the Golinyi were overrun and badly damaged. We can count on our allies in the Empire for more wheat, but quality iron is harder to come by in times of war. We shall meet them at the arranged spot before we even enter Belyavorota and be back on our way home.”

“Volksgrad is not home. You know as well as I that we are unlikely to see home again,” Yevan replied bitterly. “This endless war is the only home we’ll know.” He held up his hand to shield the morning sun, “Is that one of the Ungol scouts riding back?”

“At that speed I sense urgency,” Andrei replied. “Grypon Lancers to me!” he shouted to his men as he rode forward towards the Ungol scout.

“Just like I said, you’d ride off to glory leaving me with the wagons,” Yevan mumbled to himself. “Ungol riders form a defensive screen! Soldiers, ready yourselves for an attack! Until the lancers return, assume we are under attack!” he called out to his men.
The Boyar swung down from his horse as his men combed through the wreckage. He kicked over a breastplate that had been crudely fashioned into a cooking pot. Some small bones rattled out onto the ground. He peered at a helm that lay in a pile of ash with a boiled skull inside. An icy wind from High Pass blew the stench of decay across the windswept plain, taking the shrieks of the carrion birds circling overhead with it.

A kossar walked up to the Boyar and addressed him,“Lord Kaminski, we haven’t found any survivors.”

“You won’t. They don’t leave survivors,” the boyar grunted back.

“They sir? You know who did this? I’ve heard of Norse tribes that eat human flesh but… not like this,” the kossar replied.

“What of the grain shipment?” the boyar asked ignoring his subordinate’s question.

“A few sacks burned as fire-fuel, a few bloodied by some poor fool who decided to make his stand there. We can salvage about two-thirds of the shipment,” the kossar replied.

“Good. Load the wagons with everything that isn’t burnt.”

“Sir, and what of the bodies?” the kossar asked.

They don’t leave bodies.I see no bodies, only bones. Leave them. There’s no time to bury them now. We’ve a trade to make with the Baersonlings. We can see to them on our way back.”

“They sir?” the kossar tried once more.

“The cold winds aren’t the only thing that comes from the east,” the boyar replied as he mounted up. “There is no time for mourning, the mountains await.”

This post may be somewhat out of the blue given that I haven’t posted here in over five and a half years (yet somehow people still visit daily). I had a long-term plan for my posts but after I quit Warhammer Online it became harder to keep at it, especially once the servers shut down. Back in 2018 I was contacted through this blog by the Return of Reckoning team to see if I would put my passion for the Warhammer universe into some use for the project to resurrect Warhammer Online. I agreed and some of the team encouraged me to post some of my planned posts ‘for a good read.’ Here we are two years later and I finally got around to it. However, I would like to clarify that my participation in the RoR project does not in any way mean that any past or future posts will come into fruition in Return of Reckoning. Maybe one day we’ll see something I posted about, but who knows when that will be. The project certainly has come a long way, but our band of volunteers still faces many obstacles, such as the lack of access to the tools Mythic had to build the game, or the free time to work on the game. I hope that maybe anyone who still visits this blog but hasn’t given RoR a chance will do so.

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