I’m planning to do a Blunderbuss chapter later this week, doing more on the Axehamerer brothers after the events of the Dragonhelm Knight.
The nobleman’s piercing blue eyes sought the horizon for the tell-tale signs of the eternal enemy. Seeing none for the moment, he cast his gaze first to his left, then right. From atop his valiant steed, he could see all of his loyal men holding the road; the only route along which the damned creatures of the Blight could reach his ancestral lands. Hold here, he thought. Here we can meet them with fiery courage and cold steel.
An eagle’s defiant cry cut through his thoughts. An omen, surely an omen! Yes, he thought, with just the right words I can inspire, I can exhort, I can win the day.
“Men of Aspendale! It is here that we stand! Here that we say to those taken by the Blight - no more! For everything that is good and true in this world, we will give our last breath, our last drop of blo…”
The shock of a sharp, sudden pain made him gasp. Glancing down, he struggled to understand the inch of bloody steel protruding from his chest. Hearing the eagle cry again, his vision began to swim and he felt himself falling. The impact with the hard-packed earth of the road sent a final wave of agony through his body before darkness took him.
Someone nearby spat on the ground. “He got what he wanted then.”
“How’s…that…then?” The reply came in fits and starts as the spear was twisted and pulled from the now lifeless corpse.
“Well, he died trying to stop the dead coming this way. Shame the living didn’t care to die with him…”
Nice twist! Good thing our armies don’t do that in the game.
That was a nice little story there.
Above all i liked how human it was, refusing to die for someone else’s glory. Kudos man. Would love to see more.
Thanks mammon! I agree, the idea worked for the story, would not necessarily work in-game…
Thanks Gorvar! I will see what I can come up with, have the beginnings of another human tale in mind.
Day 46 of the Iron Crown campaign.
The living were in constant retreat. After the loss of Small Haven and Athellia the judge, the last remnants of the 17th Legion were on a forced retreat march west.
The loss of the last human village fell heavily on them. Now the sole defense the living had was the mountain range of Smallhill where its caravans began their trek and docks send ships westward to the lands of Sanctuary, Wildriver Run and Queen’s Maul. Dwarven hammerers defended their strongholds with hammer, axe and shield and already some small packs of undead had assaulted the defences but thankfully got nowhere near the refugees the mountains protected.
Dwarven blunderbusses rang across the range as lead death flew towards the undead and laid them to rest.
With them were a handful of human magi who landed their magical skills to defend the holds, most of them apprentices who were told to flee while their masters died against the Blight.
Queen Morgana and her court-in-exile ruled from the human embassy in the dwarven capitol of Smallhill.
From there she rallied what forces she had for one final counter offensive, not to reclaim her lands but to save as many stragglers as possible so one day the Kingdom of Alestria would thrive once more. Sadly most of her army had died or deserted, which left her with the zealots known as the Children of Light.
The Children of the Light selflessly threw themselves on the undead hordes with what weaponry they had. Swords, lances, axes, pitchforks, shovels…they were as savage as the undead creatures they fought. Because of the blessing by the Cyclops priests, their souls went to the After and their bodies remained still, save when feasted upon by their rotting foes.
But their sacrifice gave enough time to send word to the remaining troops to rescue as many refugees before the passage into the mountain range would be sealed off.
One such group was the 17th Legion who managed to save one last farmhold before they headed west.
A small group of farmers, a cart and three oxen was their charge. A slow moving one and every day the men feared the dead would catch up to them.
When one of the men looked back, they saw nature behind them dying as the Blight spread faster than even their own rotting agents could catch up. Each race coped in it’s own way. The orcs were stoic, the humans prayed to their god and the elves collected the seed of every plant they could so it could be planted again later. The dwarves had another way of coping.
They made bets.
It was a ritual of sorts Before every major charge or shot, a bet would be made. A golden coin, a favour or one’s prized possession were put on the line for that one moment of glory. To be as eternal as the stone they were born out of.
One undead was struggling to move along the artillery blasted road, the ditches and puddles left behind by the shells made it harder for even one of the living to cross. Up ahead was what was left of the 17th Legion, a handful of swordsmen and dwarven riflemen, the rear of the forced exodus from Smallhaven and beyond since the orcs and elves always marched faster than any human or dwarf. The Grand Alliance between all six races of Alundria did not survive the retreat as the mentality of everyone for themselves took hold.
Mindlessly the Immortal slaved forward towards warm flesh as it’s fate was being discussed by two beings of higher intelligence.
“Bet you three to one you cant make the shot, Ve.” Vili said as he exhaled gray smoke from his pipe.
His older brother grumbled as he knocked the blunderbuss to his shoulder." I always make the best shots with cannons. Wind, friction and all that." He closed one eye and had the other looking through a visor. The face of the scrambling undead popped up." Blimey he’s a ugly one…reminds me of your girl." The bigger brother smirked to his younger sibling before he lined up the shot.
“Which one, got a dozen across Alundria.” Vili folded his arms as he raised his chin proudly, his red beard still looking nicely plated despite the lack of care given to it in the past two weeks.
“Farmyard animals don’t count.” Ve said. He then placed his finger on the trigger.
Vili moved closer." You are going to miss…" he said sing-song-e.
“I won’t…” Ve replied similar. He held his breath, lined it up one last time…and pulled the trigger.
The Marshall looked up from his map as the few birds around the men flew up into the air.
There was a tense moment before a laughing cheer went up.
"I KNEW IT! YOU MISSED! YOU MISSED! PAY IT UP, BROTHER!“
One of the men sighed annoyed before he turned to Marshal Raynor.” Bloody dwarves…"
The Marshall gave a weary nod and went back to his map as more dwarves ran over to congratulate the winner of the bet.
OOC: Hope I’m doing this right.
The ancient Order known as the Priestesses of the Pools was before the war, largely ceremonial in function-mostly consisting of nobility, watching over sites considered particularly sacred and important to the Elven race-they also maintained the last living memories and records, of the ancient secrets concerning how the Mana Pools were made. When the Blight came, the taints inevitably reached these sacred waters, turning many once pristine sources of Liquid Mana into fetid, stinking pits of blight corruption. Many despaired that the World would ever be clean again, even if it could be reclaimed by force of arms and strength of steel.
The Order of the Pools re-discovered their ancient knowledge in these darkest hours, learning that the Mana Pools were tied in some deep way to the living soul of Alundria-not mere elemental conduit, or arcane anomaly, but connected to the essence of the World itself, much as blood would be to a living being. With the recreation an ancient rite called the 'Mana Lure", The Pool Priestesses learned to heal the horrible wounds created by the Blight, coaxing this precious life-energy back from the depths and restoring the Mana Pool to it’s former glory.
Wise generals did not often deploy Pool Priestesses, until a frontline was well secured from the Immortals-lest they provide the Blight, a second chance at desecration. As the war shifted, however, Pool Priestesses were to found in every corner of Alundria-always following a scouring of the Immortals, they followed, repaireing countless Mana Pools, equally and with no bias toward every race that had been afflicted. This earned them the goodwill of many species, but the ire of their own, who feared empowering their foes-in an echo of the renewed conflicts among the victors, that would erupt in years to come.
The vast majority of Pool Priestesses are female Elves, and a large part of their doctrine is purity of spirit-Alundria’s lifeblood is particularly vulnerable to even the slightest darkness of heart. Clad in simple, loose, forest green garments and carrying simple staves of knotted wood, they spurn material and social attachment to dedicate their lives to keeping the Pools pure of corruption-and, though they are loath to use violence against living beings, they are capable of defending themselves with Aquamantic powers, striking with whips and spheres of pressurized water. More frequently, they were used to support their fellow warriors with soothing mists, restorative draughts, and cleansing rains in lieu of direct combat-their true strength lay after a battle is done, re-building a future for which so many died to preserve.
Awesome little bit of fluff Dwarmin!
I’m glad you picked the Pool Priestess, there is a lot of lore you can TAP out of that card.
Yeah i’m sorry.
I’m not sorry.
Real talk, very nicely written piece sir. Kudos. I’m kinda glad you made that card part of a order, thus explaining why there are quite a few priestesses.
Nice story, and exactly the kind of lore this thread is meant for.
In anticipation of Jay’s ideas for a possible expansion for Blight of the Immortals, he came up with the idea of Righteous and Corrupted forms of cards. To show how the conflict affects the people in it, they can go either one way or the other. Here’s some ideas I have.
Righteous: Children of the Light.
Artwork; Battle-hardened pilgrims, preferably in black with a white X motif on them.
Effect; When these units die in battle against the Blight, their souls will pass to the After so they wont join the ranks of the dead.
Lore; Under the divine guidance of Mother Mercy, these up-jumped religious zealots consisting mostly of deranged warriors and peasants have banded together and are fighting the undead with fanatical zeal. Considered to be unpredictable at best and just as dangerous as the undead at worst.
Corrupted; The Undying.
Artwork; Shady looking men in black leather or robes (Think Sith lords.) guiding zombies by leash or a magical wand.
Effect “Necromancy” These units can summon the bodies at a graveyard or a undead unit it has engaged with to join their number to the Undying card.
Lore; Ever since the days of the First Blight many wizards, alchemists and warlocks were fascinated with the walking dead and have spend lifetimes perfecting the necromantic art. With the idea of fighting fire with fire, these Undying have joined the fight on the side of the living, using the dead as their warriors.
Righteous: Dragonslayer Armour.
Artwork; A dwarf decked out in full black armour, looking slightly demonic and covered in runes. .
Effect; “Dwarven rune magic” Immune to pinning or fear magic effects.
Lore; When the world was young it was full of dangers. Dragons, werewolves, evil giants, vampires and other monsters roamed the lands and inflicted suffering on everyone they came across. In those dark days, the dwarves who were born of stone dig deeper to hide from their enemies. Instead they found a new strange obsidian metal which inspired their smiths. Guided by the stone, these smiths crafted vast amounts of special black armour and inlaid it with special unknown runes which protected it’s wearer from all magic. Legends speak of armies marching from the mountain holds and slaying thousands of servants of evil, most of whom were black dragons. The crafting of this dragonslayer armour has been lost throughout the ages and only comes out when the dwarven people face their darkest hour for those who wear the armour often pay the price in the form of their sanity. .
Corrupted: The Dark Dwarves.
Artwork; Albino dwarves covered in tattoos and black armour.
Effect; “Tunnel network” Can create a tunnel system from one dwarven settlement to any other on the map making travel faster between them by 80 percent/ Special bonus vs Dwarf zombies.
Lore; Not all dwarves left their kind as peacefully as the gnomes did. Unlike their forest dwelling kin, the dark dwarves delved deeper into the ground where their hatred for their peers grew as their skins grew paler and their eyes redder with rage. These dwarf killers began a underground war with their mountain and forest dwelling kind until the Blight came.
Despite their hatred, these Dark Dwarves are offering their tunnelling expertise and their intimate knowledge of dwarf killing to the living.
Righteous: Wolf pack.
Artwork; Elves guiding werewolves into undead lines.
Effect; “Unleash the hounds!” Ranged attack x 20, long cooldowns.
Lore; As the undead hordes were defiling the elven sanctuaries and more of the children of the forest and the wilds fell to their rotting grasps, all hope seemed to have been lost. That is when a elven prince challenged a werewolf alpha, killed him with a silver sword, and took control over the pack.
With the pack the prince took back the woods from the undead. Now the elves use the werewolves as their bloodhounds.
Corrupted: Dark Elves.
Artwork; Much like the Dark Forest Witch, except mixed with elven archer artwork. Maybe make them darker skinned.
Effect; “Blood magic” Can power themselves up at the cost of themselves or allied units.
Lore; Early one in the First Blight, one elven kingdom was cut off from the others. It was feared lost and consumed by the undead. Centuries later however, the lost elven kingdom of Lothalan resurfaced and joined the fight against the undead. But the long isolation had changed these so called dark elves, using darker magicks to survive the undead made their skin darker and their mindset more twisted.
I like the idea of the undying using the living for their soldiers sounds more like a currupted marshel or wizard ability though. Also maybe to prevent it being over powered if the undying dies the zombies revert to living killing and the ability has a long cooldown and or point blank range
That would be a cool effect! I kinda like the idea of using the undead hordes against the Blight, fight fire with fire kinda thing. Makes sense lore wise and folks wanted to play as the zombamboes for a while now. One step closer
I was thinking perhaps for the dark dwarves that instead of a tunnel thing perhaps stick with dwarfslaying? Easier to program.
Another thought maybe instead of stone golems which sound like another card entirely (maybe a dwarven tree friends type thing) for righteous dwarves hammers maybe something like runic hammers? They can still be immune to the push/pull/pin zombies but they call upon the magic of the ground since a goddess does not reside purely in pools of water but the very earth beneath their feet
I agree with that one. The Stone Golems thing was the go-to thing I got for anti-magic shenanigans but to have them remain as dwarves sounds better.
Perhaps runic armour or something, completely decked out in it?
yea decked out in runic amor was what i was thinking maybe iron with a bluish metal trim that has the runic carving embedded in it? or it could be like an ancient amor passed down thought the ages where the runes are on stones that are almost like a stone plate armour with a mystic mist flowing off their stone armoured forms
Oh, I like the idea of ancient armour!
It’s passed down throughout the ages and the art of making them is lost. So it’s super rare and it only comes out during very dark times…which is perfect for zombie apocalypses.
Changed my thing to dwarven armour. Little bit inspired by Berserk TBH.
nice now my mind has a picture of a team of dwarves in obsidian amor with large shields just standing there blocking the breath of a black dragon like its nothing and after they have slain the dragon the rage and essence of it being bound to the amour preventing it from rising again.
though back to the golems i like the idea of golems for dwarves :3
maybe they could be like this?
normal: stone golem
as the number of dwarves dwindled away within their mountain fortress and resource after resource ran out hope was fading fast the dwarves of slowhill had decided on an alternate was to survive the blight. The master crafters began crafting grand statues of stones embedded with runes but runes alone would not power the golems no what they took was the very life-force of the dwarves they were meant to guard. when the living finally moved to reclaim slowhill what they found was not a nest of zombies and the blight but instead a city of golems, maintaining a city without a corpse left in site.
ability: stone golems do not have flesh for the blight to contaminate upon death do not leave a corpse or revive again
righteous: fortress golem
after the first blight war the golems of slow hill were transported to other dwarves cities and modified for various tasks. the largest and strongest of the golem were augment with iron and steel posted as sentinels in the greatest dwarven fortresses watching day and night waiting for the day they can fulfil the purpose for which they were created.
ability: fortress golem gets double the fortification buff from a settlement
corrupted: volatile golem
the master crafters that recovered the golems were fascinated with there ability to work without rest but noticed the fatal flaw of draining the life force when created so set out to create an alternate power-source that could be used for golems one such idea was to use runes to harness and channel lava into a core for the golem. The after the creation of prototypes this research was canceled because of a series of chain explosions after one of the golems runes malfunctioned.
ability: upon death of volatile golem deal X*(high but balanced number) damage to all units one this point where X is the number of volatile golems that died
I dig, man! I dig! Like the ideas for this new card!