Gisoreux is a minor Bretonnia faction in Total War: Warhammer. It only appears in the Season of Revelation mini-campaign, as in the Grand Campaigns it is combined with Artois.
"We all are Gisoren, and our very diversity grants us strength."
— Duke Hagen of Gisoreux.
The Dukedom of Gisoreux is a founding Dukedom that lies within the treacherous slopes of the Pale Sisters and upon the low woodlands of the Arden Forest. Unlike in other parts of Bretonnia, where much of the land is either one type of landscape and of one type of people, the diversity in geography of this Dukedom has also created a diversity in cultures and customs. Those living within the arable plains to the south contain the typical farmers and peasants that is universal within all the realms. To the east, the lands are filled with harsh woodlands, where a different people live life as expert trappers and wild woodsmen.
Finally, to the north, those people that can eke out a living within the Pale Sisters are seasoned mountaineers who can brave harsh conditions. The Dukedom also contains the Gisoreux Gap, one of only three locations within the entire Grey Mountains that allow passage between Bretonnia and the Empire. The current ruler is Duke Hagen.
Heraldry of Gisoreux
Long ago, the first Duke of Gisoreux was saved by a vision of a white hart that led him to safety. To this day the device is still borne into battle by his descendants. Although rare, the legendary white hart is still occasionally seen, appearing as a harbinger of great feats of heroism or before the onset of a storm of magic.
"Great place to work. The inns actually make you welcome, rather than treat you as a porter who just happened to bring customers. If most of the routes there didn’t also go through the forest, I’d work there all the time."
—Eldegar of Busreq, Coachman.
The dukedom of Gisoreux is divided into four geographical areas. The first, the Plains of Gisoreux, is actually mostly pastoral country and very hilly. This area includes the city of Gisoreux itself and lies between the River Grismerie, the Forest of Arden, the Pale Sisters, and the Grey Mountains. Just over half of the population of the dukedom lives in this small area. The second area is North Gisoreux. This land, between the River Sannez and the Pale Sisters, is also mostly pastoral but has substantial arable portions along the course of the Sannez. The land here used to be part of the Forest of Arden but was cleared, over the course of a thousand years, by the family of the current ruler, Earl Baldhelm of Harran. The process continues in the southwest of the region. North Gisoreux is home to about a quarter of the population.
The third region is the Forest of Arden. The areas south and east of the river are relatively civilised. The roads between the villages are patrolled by the local nobility or at least by their men-at-arms, and travel on the roads is no more dangerous than travel on most other roads of the Old World. The villages do have stockades but, in a good year, suffer no attacks. On the other hand, no one leaves the cleared areas of forest without a really good reason, and those who do rarely come back.
North of the river, where the forest runs up to the Pale Sisters, things are very different. No village founded here has ever survived more than a year. Recently, Bretonnian lords have even given up trying. The human inhabitants are all nomadic, and there are no roads larger than a trail. The trees in this region are particularly old, large, and fine, which prompts nobles to send occasional logging forays. These sometimes succeed in bringing out a tree or two; more often, the loggers simply vanish.
The final region of the dukedom is covered by mountains, split between the Pale Sisters in the west and the Grey Mountains in the east. The two ranges are very distinct. The Pale Sisters are of white rock and tend to rounded peaks, steep cliffs, and lots of high valleys. Access to the valleys is limited, however, and often involves climbing a cliff. The Grey Mountains are of dark grey stone and are characterised by very sharp terrain. Their peaks and ridges are narrow, as are the are their many passes. As a result, more people live in the Pale Sisters than in the Grey Mountains.
"So many differences, so easy for Chaos to hide. These people have much to learn."
—Ermnegard of Krungenheim, Witch Hunter.
Just as the land of Gisoreux is divided, so are the people. The Plains of Gisoreux are the heart of the dukedom, and these are the people most outsiders think of when they think of Gisoreux. Gisorens are friendly people; they greet even complete strangers politely, and many people offer casual acquaintances a meal. There are, however, strict limits to this generosity. After a single meal and one night’s accommodation, visitors are expected to earn any further friendliness by reciprocating. Clever and mobile rogues manage to sponge off the Gisorens' largesse for years, but far more are recognised and find themselves shunned.
These customs even extend to the more civilised parts of the Forest of Arden, but there, new arrivals are expected to begin their visit with a bath, in which they are supervised constantly by armed villagers. The bath is, of course, a courtesy, and the guards are for the guests' protection, and the fact that it is impossible to hide most mutations whilst naked is pure coincidence. Attractive female visitors may find many, many men are eager to protect them. Women pretending to be men find that people in this region are generally good at overlooking such things.
The nomads of the forest make a living as hunters and trappers and trade regularly with the villages bordering on their areas. Most of them make a trip to the city of Gisoreux at least once every few years, since they have occasional contact with the isolated villages of Artois and do not want to become like them. They also keep an eye on the Beastmen and other monsters and send runners to warn villages at risk of attack. As a result, they are accepted without prejudice by virtually all other Gisorens.
In the valleys of the Pale Sisters, the people cluster together in small communities. Given the labyrinthine quality of this region accompanied by terrible winters, few people have the means or the interest to leave their small stone homes. Few have little knowledge of others who dwell in and beyond these mountains. As a result of their isolation, each community has its own strange customs and habits, though the threat of Orcs and Chaos force all villages to concentrate on defence.
here are Human inhabitants of the Grey Mountains, but in Gisoreux this range is too rugged and plagued by monsters to support any real communities. Most of those who live here are nomadic loners, though there are some family groups. They live by hunting and by guiding travellers through the mountains. A few nobles have lands in the Plains of Gisoreux and strongholds in the mountains, with the responsibility of defending them against monsters. In many places they can do little more than keep their fortress secure and supplied, but the nobles along the Gisoreux Gap pride themselves on keeping it as safe for traffic as any road anywhere
The internal politics of the dukedom have recently been upset. For centuries, North Gisoreux was basically cut off from the Duke in the south, allowing the Earls of Harran to go about things in their own way. They grew accustomed to this nominal independence, and it was a shock when Duke Hagen moved to Couronne for most of the time. Now, the Duke can easily deal with North Gisoreux, and it is in the Plains where he must rely on his steward. Duke Hagen's high standards of personal virtue do not help matters; he keeps coming across practices he deems unacceptable, but which the people of North Gisoreux have maintained for generations.
Gisoreux, in common with all the dukedoms bordering on that cursed place, would like to see Mousillon invaded and cleansed. However, relations with Bastonne are also strained. Nobles in the Plains of Gisoreux have repeatedly feuded with Bastonnian lords in an effort to extend their holdings across the river. Since Duke Hagen moved north, these lords have become more willing to swear fealty to the Duke of Bastonne for lands in the latter dukedom. As a result, there are now a number of Gisoren lords with some holdings in Bastonne as well, which makes relations between the dukedoms even more complex.
Aquitaine is a minor Bretonnia faction in Total War: Warhammer. It only appears in the Season of Revelation mini-campaign, as in the Grand Campaigns it is combined with Bordeleaux.
"Fairest land in the world. The grain is plentiful, travelling is easy, and monsters are rare. Who would choose to live anywhere else?"
— Aquitainian noble.
The Dukedom of Aquitaine is a founding Dukedom that lies within the gentle western coast of Bretonnia. Known for having one of the most tranquil lands within the entire Old World, Aquitaine is famous for its highly arable farmlands and its gentle sandy shores. Due to its tranquillity and without any external threats to unify this Dukedom's people, this land is extremely famous for its unstable violent atmosphere, with feuds between nobles, peasant revolution and small civil wars being an all too common occurrence.
Nevertheless, the lands of Aquitaine are still a beautiful sight to behold, with their Knights being among the most stubborn and courageous out of all the realms of Bretonnia. The current ruler of Aquitaine is the young, enigmatic and courageous Duke Armand, a fearsome Grail Knight of the Lady of the Lake who lives within the high walls of Castle Aquitaine, located within the southern borders of the Dukedom.
"Travel through Aquitaine is boring. Dull, dull, and dull. Field of wheat, village, field of wheat, ridiculously overbuilt castle, orchard, small town. Best part of my job."
— Eldergar of Busreq, Coachman.
Aquitaine lies south of the Gilleau and the Forest of Châlons, and consists almost entirely of arable land. There are a few hills, but nothing so steep as to make pastoral farming the only option. The coastline is the gentlest in Bretonnia, with many beaches, few high cliffs, and numerous safe coves. However, there are no suitable locations for a major port, so the largest settlements are fishing (and smuggling) villages. Inland, there are no major rivers, no obvious crossing points through the low hills, and no particularly defensible locations. As a result, no settlements have grown particularly large. Even the town of Aquitaine is no bigger than medium-size, and that is due entirely to the influence of the ducal court.
Indeed, noble influence is the main factor in town size throughout the dukedom. Noblemen encourage urban development around their castles so that they can tax the trade and become wealthier. So far, these developments have never taken root: when the noble loses interest, the towns shrink again. Thus, there are a lot of towns with abandoned areas as large as the inhabited. The hovels there quickly collapse, but the more substantial buildings slowly moulder away. A similar effect can be seen in Aquitaine’s castles. As there are no naturally defensible locations, the lords of Aquitaine rely on construction to protect their homes. A noble facing attack or possessing extra money extends his castle, and his heirs abandon the parts that are no longer necessary to avoid the expense of upkeep. These abandoned buildings are often taken over by Dereliches, which discourages people from raiding them for building materials and from trying to live in a building surrounded by abandoned structures.
"Almost no monsters in Aquitaine. Even Beastmen from Châlons seem to stay out. Feuding nobles, gangsters, rebellious peasants, cultists, serial killers, and protagonists in abundance, though."
—Marietta, Tilean mercenary.
The people of Aquitaine do not have to fight to defend their land, so they fight each other. Aquitainians themselves prefer to say that they have honour and the courage of their convictions, but the result is the same. Aquitainians have a reputation for being stubborn and for resorting to violence to solve their problems. As a result, their knights are among the most renowned in Bretonnia, and the dukedom is constantly in the grip of several small wars, revolutions, and feuds.
People often leave Aquitaine as a result of a serious disagreement with someone more powerful than they are. Others, particularly nobles, leave to prove their mettle against monsters, of which Aquitaine has remarkably few. Some, of course, leave because they are sick of the constant feuding and want to live somewhere people just get along. These folk tend to keep moving. The internal politics of Aquitaine are in constant flux as old feuds die down and new ones flare up. The new Duke has, if anything, made things even worse, despite his best intentions. Whenever he intervenes personally to suppress a revolt or force reconciliation in a feud, he succeeds. However, if he cannot intervene personally, he tends to do nothing, which means that many other feuds are allowed to develop.
There are a few famous, ancient feuds which Duke Armand has not been able to resolve (although in these cases, none of his predecessors could, either). The feud between the D'Elbiq and Du Maisne families has continued for several centuries. It was started over the soiling of the daughter of one house by the son of the other, but no one now knows which was which (both houses claim that it was their daughter, of course). This feud has become so formalised that the locations of the battles are set in advance, and people come to watch. The feud is still real, though, so the battles are to the death, which attracts even more people.
A more recent feud is that between the Earls of Desroches, in the west of the dukedom, and Fluvia, in the north. The two men used to be inseparable friends, spending much time at the courts of the land. A little over ten years ago, something happened, and the two have been implacable foes ever since. Both are intelligent, fine tacticians and strategists, and superb warriors in their own right. Most of the time they keep their feud low-key, but as no one knows the cause, no one knows what might cause it to flare up into full-blown war. Between them, the two lords command the fealty of over a third of the nobles of Aquitaine; war between them would devastate the dukedom. Relations between Aquitaine and other dukedoms are generally neutral. Disputes within Aquitaine stay there, and other nobles have more sense than to get involved.
Citadel of Dusk is a minor High Elves faction introduced in Total War: Warhammer II.
The Citadel of Dusk is a High Elf settlement located at the southernmost tip of Lustria. This High Elf garrison-port was built in the ninety-seventh year of the reign of the Phoenix King Morvael. Though the graceful structure is of Elven manufacture, it is constructed upon the site of a far older place of power. Though surely unaware of the fact, the High Elves, in occupying and defending the ancient site, are maintaining an important nexus point in the Great Warding. The High Elves of Ulthuan maintain a number of similar garrison-ports across the entire globe. How many of these are active parts of the Great Warding is unknown to the Mage-Priests of Lustria, though undoubtedly each is a site of enormous magical power.
The Citadel is invisible to all save those who serve within its walls. It stands guard over the sea routes to the Turtle Isles and beyond. The fortress' garrison bear banners the colour of the night sky.
Cothique is a High Elves faction in Total War: Warhammer II.
The Kingdom of Cothique is a coastal realm, inhabited by shrewd and hardy seafolk. It is a cold realm, battered by chill northeastern winds, and little-loved, save by its own people. Yet even these folk of Cothique are renowned for their wanderlust, and reputedly spend as little time within their own land as possible. Their graceful vessels plough the turbulent northern waters in search of good and trade with different lands. This is a highly dangerous area to sail, not just because of the perilous waters, but because the seas contain many monstrous creatures stirred up by the collapse of northern Ulthuan centuries ago. Kraken, huge shark-like Megaladons, Behemoths and even the dreaded Black Leviathan are all known to lurk in the waters north of Ulthuan.
To survive in such waters requires great skill, but the Elves of Cothique are the finest sailors in the world. Sleek, alabaster war-catamarans prowl the coast, their lookouts ever alert for deep-spawned perils. Sky-ships, their timbers infused with magic, scout the reefs and archipelagos in search of Dark Elf raiders, while messengers mounted on the giant flying fish of the outer isles carry news landward.
In these dwindling days, most of Ulthuan's realms are inward-facing, concerning themselves with the wider world only when not doing so would invite disaster. Only the nobles of Cothique look to the wider world as a source of opportunity. This is why the later voyages of Finubar the Seafarer were conducted on ships from Cothique, for no other living mariner on Ulthuan could match the breadth of knowledge found within that realm. Cothique's cities and fortresses are more practical and of much sturdier build than those found in other realms. After all, they were designed primarily to survive the weather, rather than serve as aesthetic examples. Indeed, the realm's true treasures can be found underground, amidst the network of caves and caverns that honeycomb the region's cliff faces and valleys. It was to here that the folk of Cothique retreated during invasions of times past and, over the centuries, that which was born of necessity became a way of life.
Now, many of Cothique's palaces lie beneath the surface. Their walls are the land's alabaster rock, brilliant polished and decorated with a web-work of finely wrought silver and star sapphires. No shadow falls here, for darkness is a fit companion only for Goblin warrens and the grim redoubts of the Dwarfs. Instead, Cothique's grottoes and halls are lit by the most accomplished mages of the realm. Anywhere else in the world, underground halls such as these would be under constant threat from the Skaven – but to Ulthuan, which rests not on bedrock, but is rather held upon the waves by magic, the ratmen can make no subterranean passage. Alas, as glorious as the halls of Cothique are, the finest were lost during the dark days of the Sundering. The waters of the Eastern Ocean rose up in a mighty wave and flooded the palaces nearest to the sea. Though the waters mostly retreated – as it did not in Tiranoc and Nagarythe – no Elf will lightly enter those chambers, for the bitter tang of the sea and the stench of the wave-rotten dead hangs heavy about them. Indeed, Cothiquan mariners tell that the spirits of the drowned still haunt those passages, holding court amongst tapestries of tangled kelp and hordes of tarnished treasure.
Cothique has rocky coasts and treacherous seas, so it comes as no surprise that its inhabitants are all skilled seafarers. In the coastal cities half the Elven warriors are at sea at any time, while the other half are at home guarding the coasts. Elves whose families came from Cothique can be found in all the great Elven colonies overseas. The warriors are also sailors who spend much of their time at sea and fight most of their battles against seaborne enemies and raiders. Encounters with sea monsters are regular parts of a warrior's life, and some wear cloaks made from the hides of these creatures or armour styled in the fashion of sea serpent heads. Armour is often tinted with shades of blue or green.
Saphery (faction) is a High Elves faction in Total War: Warhammer II.
Saphery is one of the Inner Kingdoms of Ulthuan, located to the southeast of the Sea of Dreams. The Kingdom of Saphery is an enchanted land, with skies that shine with all the colours of the rainbow, hills that move by night and warm rivers that glow with gentle light. Magic courses through the blood of Sapherian Elves, and all of the realm's princes are also mages of awesome power. They are reclusive and idiosyncratic, dwelling in exquisite mansions far from other outposts of civilisation. Each noble's home has its own character that reflects the interests and magical research of its patron.
The palace of Anurion the Green is surrounded by terraced gardens containing many strange and exotic plants, with some carnivorous, some sentient, some both. Much of his collection is not even of this world. By contrast, the mansion of Hothar the Fey drifts gently across the sky, never greeting the dawn twice in the same location. Though Sapherian princes are thought eccentric even by other High Elves, their independence and intellect have ever been highly valued by the Phoenix Kings. Predictability, after all, can sometimes be a weakness.
The heart of Saphery is the Tower of Hoeth, the Elven god of wisdom. This is the greatest repository of magical knowledge in the world, complied down the centuries by High Elf Mages and scholars who dedicated their lives to the accumulation of magical lore. This bone white structure is almost half a mile high, a feat of engineering made possible only by magic. Its approaches are guarded by rings of illusion, and mazes of spells ensure that only those selected by the Loremasters of Hoeth ever find the true path. Those who seek wisdom here will find it. Those who seek power for power's sake are never seen again.
Saphery is a sparsely populated land. The nobility study the arts of magic and many choose to fight in battle as wizards. From all over Ulthuan determined young Elves also come to Saphery in the hope of being accepted in the Order of Swordmasters. These elite warriors are trained by the Loremasters in the most ancient and arcane of martial arts. Their distinctive weapon is the double-handed broadsword, a massive weapon they wield as easily as an ordinary Elf might brandish a knife or dagger.
In Defenders of Ulthuan, Saphery is shown as having rivers so clear that the water seems almost invisible. Even when the sun is high in the sky, casting a pleasant warmth over the land, shining mists occasionally rise from the ground, gathering into miniature tornadoes that sweep across the landscape. They leave no damage in their wake, instead a glistening trail of moisture and 'crystal laughter'.
Saphery is the native home of Uleishi.
Herds of magical beasts can be seen on the horizon with every turn of the head.
As one crosses one of the wide, shallow rivers that wind sedately from the Annulii Mountains to the Inner Sea, one might catch the sound of commotion upstream and spot a host of translucent, blue skinned nymphs with hair of foaming spume cavorting through the water, splashing and teasing one another. Said-nymphs will disappear beneath the water if they sense being watched, racing downstream towards observers to reveal giggling features alive with amorous mischief.
In addition to what's already been noted, one may see any number of incredible sights: a flying castle in the sky, swirling troupes of wind-borne dancers, spectral dragons riding on streamers of light. If one walks along the lines of power in Saphery, one might even see ghostly processions of the dead, their spirits fading from view as they seem oblivious to the living. Yet the Asur believe that were Saphery attacked, these spirits would fight against any threat to Ulthuan and its waystones as surely as they had in life.
Tiranoc is a minor faction of High Elves introduced in Total War: Warhammer II.
The Kingdom of Tiranoc is the westernmost of Ulthuan's realms. Once it was the fairest of the Elf lands, where majestic snow-capped peaks towered over sweeping flower-strewn plains. Its people were great sailors who colonized many lands to the west. Wealth flowed from these colonies: gold to gild the city's spires, silver to be wrought into the bodywork of chariots, furs for winter wear and medicinal herbs to cure the sick. The Charioteers of Tiranoc, famed throughout the land for their skill and daring, raced between their white marble cities. The folk were content and peaceful, and their lives golden. But this time of happiness was to pass.
In the dark time of the Sundering, when the Dark Elves broke with the people of Ulthuan, Tiranoc suffered grievously. At the climax of the war, Dark Elf sorceries and High Elf counterspells clashed with such force that the whole of Ulthuan was devastated. Tiranoc was flooded by the sea and disappeared almost completely, leaving only a fraction of the once-great kingdom above the ocean, with its beautiful cities tumbled to ruin, or else swept beneath the seas. Indeed, only the mountains and the bleak haunches of land huddled at their feet remain above the water. Navigating so close to the shore now proves dangerous to naval vessels, for the surface of Tiranoc rises with great heaves that throw up bleak islands which sink just as quickly as they breached the surface.
In the wake of the Sundering, Tiranoc's survivors swore to rebuild their kingdom to its former glory. Over the millennia they have achieved much, and there are once more prosperous cities in the realm – nonetheless, it is a rare heart in Tiranoc that does not know bitterness. Thus, whenever the Dark Elves invade Ulthuan, it is the armies of Tiranoc which are the first to take up arms. Such battles are vicious beyond measure, for the prospect of retribution lends strength and resolve sufficient to overcome any foe.
Originally, this coastal realm had broad expanses of sandy beach and rolling downlands, rising suddenly into snowcapped peaks. Of all the realms of Ulthuan it was the wealthiest and most densely populated. The warriors followed a very ancient tradition of fighting from chariots as suited the landscape.
In older editions, it says that Tiranoc's merchantile descendants survive today only in far flung colonies. Inland, on the lower slopes of the mountains, the warriors cling to their age-old tradition as charioteers of great skill.
Tiranoc's name was derived from Tír na nÓg, a location in Celtic mythology that was considered as the Underworld.
Warhammer Fantasy is a high fantasy fictional universe created by Games Workshop and used in many of its games, including the table top wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) pen-and-paper role-playing game, and the MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
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