Barley Motte is in the north of Lyonesse, close to the border with L'Anguille. Two centuries ago it was the home of the D'ayvle lords, who cooperated with the Ruinous Powers and plotted to bring down the nation. They were defeated by a group of bold adventurers, one of whom was rewarded with the fief.
He was driven mad by the spirits of the D'ayvles, and another group of adventurers defeated the Undead. Once again, the Bretonnian knight among them was rewarded with the fief. A few years later, the knight was revealed to be trafficking with a Dark God, butchering his peasants to keep the fiend happy. The neighbouring lords drove him out, and the Garlonds put a steward in place. The steward betrayed his lords to their deaths a few years later but was himself killed in the ensuing battles.
This time, no one wanted the place, so it was abandoned. Over the following years bandits, Necromancers, and Chaos cults have all taken up residence there. They have been driven out, but anyone who takes possession of the place seems to fall to evil. Most people now believe it to be cursed.
Thieves belong to Thieves' Guilds. They have little choice – the guilds are much better at finding thieves than the watch, and insist that all active criminals take advantage of the benefits of membership.
If a city has more than one guild, both normally insist that every thief join them, and not the other. This leads to gang warfare, so in a few cities two guilds ignore each others' existence. Thieves in the city must belong to both, but pretend not to know about the other guild. The masters of one guild are low-ranking members of the other, and are generally left alone. Thieves have to pay two sets of dues, and may be given tasks by both guilds at once, making it difficult for them to avoid offending someone.
In a few cases the guild has become rich through respectable businesses, and has a great deal of influence with the legitimate government of the town. Indeed, a handful of towns are actually run by the thieves' guild, in which case the watch is only concerned with unlicensed criminality. Normally, such towns collapse into anarchy, as the guild allows too much crime, but in a few cases the leadership impose stability and a reasonable level of lawbreaking. This often leads to a splinter guild forming, to protect the rights of dishonest thieving folk.
Travelling thieves have to come to an arrangement with every guild they meet. Sometimes this is easy, if the guild requires nothing but a percentage. Others, the majority, impose significant ordeals on potential members, and taking one of those trials every couple of weeks is bad for the health. Travelling thieves thus often try to avoid the notice of guilds as well as the watch.
Eckhardt the Brave is the Venerated Soul of rural law enforcers. He is recognized by the Cult of Sigmar.
The town of Ubersreik pays homage to their personal Venerated Soul each year by publicly executing a criminal in their town square. The victim is branded with the twin-tailed comet and placed in a small box with an angry swarm of bees. Whilst considered cruel, and certainly unusual by other Reiklanders, the townsfolk do this to commemorate Eckhardt, a travelling judge, who died in the same way when he tried to pass judgement on a well-known outlaw that prowled the Reikwald.
lackshards are focuses for negative emotional energy - depression, despair, exhaustion, suffering. Drachenfels create them to absorb and amplify such emotions, and one or two are still present within the castle.
Blackshards are black crystals which radiate a bitter cold in a 3-yard radius, together with a sphere of magical darkness.
If a Blackshard is destroyed by force or magic, it explodes, damaging those around it. The exploding Blackshard fills the area with violent images of despair, anguish and suffering, potentially causing depression in those nearby.
If the Blackshard can be destroyed with a specific ritual ceremony - the Ritual of Lightning, which can be found in Lermontov's Grimoire - a quite different result occurs. With a soft popping noise, the Blackshard collapses in on itself, and flickers out of existence. The pain and anguish bound within the crystal are dissipated and partially transformed into positive emotional energy.
The Andanti are a hereditary order of secretive Vampire hunters who consider themselves chosen by Morr to be his holy warriors. Membership can be passed on through either sons or daughters, and there is only one Andanti per generation, so although they are all related, they have many names and live in many nations of the Old World. The dynasty traces its roots back to Estalia, where they fought the Undead even before the War of Blood. Now, the Andanti are scattered, and some are born who do not know their destiny as chosen hunters of the dead.
A member of the Andanti is marked by being born with a caul, a thin membrane covering the head. Midwives usually remove these cauls and press them onto a sheet of paper, as they are believed to bring good luck, especially to sailors. If the baby is lucky, a relative who is also Andanti hears of this and takes a special interest. The relative becomes a mentor, passing on knowledge that is hidden even from the other family members. Each Andanti maintains a small library of lore that would be of much interest to Witch Hunters. The young Andanti are trained in combat techniques that exploit the weaknesses of the Undead, and some are encouraged to spend time in the military to hone their abilities fighting mortals before they take on the dead.
Kirsten Stumpfnase - Kirsten Stumpfnase was still being trained in the ways of Vampires by her uncle, Dagmar Benadamski, when things went disastrously wrong. He took her to the abandoned Axel Mansion, famous for its haunted reputation, so she could have some experience of Ghosts and the lesser Undead first-hand. When they arrived, it was not Ghosts but a powerful Vampire that they found. Dagmar was killed, and Kirsten narrowly escaped with her life. Now she travels the Old World, learning the ways of the Undead and hoping to track down the Vampire who killed her uncle.
"If he looks like he could stare down a pack of angry cave bears, he's a Hunter. You can tell, 'cos he'll be wearing a couple of 'em as proof!..."
Ogre Hunters are solitary, wandering Ogres, outsiders from their own tribe or perhaps even exiles. Those that survive become fiercely independent warriors and savvy stalkers of beasts. Bereft of a tribe's protection and beefy companionship, the lone Hunter must learn to track and kill, while simultaneously not becoming prey to any ferocious beasts — it is all too common for the Hunter to become the hunted.
To ward off the severe cold of high altitude, Hunters dress in layers of skins and pelts and can also be recognised for their tendency to carry an arsenal of weapons, trapping gear, and skinning knives. When one's days are spent stalking Ogre-eating carnivores, it is best to be prepared. Hunters are incredibly proficient with their specialised gear, able to kill beasts on the move even at range.
Hunters are among the most massive and independent of their kind, and think nothing of climbing to the top of a mountain whilst tracking a wounded mammoth or bull rhinox. An Ogre becomes a Hunter either by temporarily severing his ties to his tribe to sate his wanderlust, or by being exiled to the harsh white wilderness of the mountain for some slight to his fell Ogres. Either way these ties are not completely severed and a Hunter that excels at his solitary lifestyle drag an impressive kill or two back to the caves on important feast days. A Hunter is generally covered in a network of scars and tattoos, overlaid by the thick pelts of his prey protection from the arctic conditions of Mountains of Mourn. He decorates himself with, tusks, claws, fangs and skulls of the cavebeast that he has single-handedly killed and eaten. A Hunter will typically have a great beast's skull to his gut to illustrate his prowess.
Although most no longer belong to a tribe, Hunters periodically drag in his impressive kills back to an Ogre camp for a special feast day. Some Hunters return to the tribe of their origins, while others wander throughout the Ogre Kingdoms. Hunters are popular visitors, for not only do they drag down some of the largest carcasses, but they liven up any feast with their rich wealth of stories about life on the mountaintops. The profusion of horrible scars and displays of beast skulls and impressive tusks also go a long way towards earning the respect of a local tribe. Before long, a Hunter's solitary ways will take over and he will amble back up the slopes.
In honour of the first of the Ogre Hunter. Jhared the Red — it is common for a Hunter to keep a Sabretusk or two to help sniff out his cave-beast prey. These giant, agile feline predators often have tusks jutting from their lower jaws, used for ripping out the guts of beast larger than they are. Those that prove too difficult to domesticate instead provide both a good fight and good meal for their would-be keeper — it is a rare Hunter indeed that cannot boast a set of claw-scars somewhere about his person.
A Hunter must learn how best to stalk his quarry. Each beast is formidable in its own right and a Hunter must discover techniques to deal with monstrous creatures of all sorts. For instance, it takes great patience to creep into an ambush position near the caves of the great bear-like cragbeasts, while it takes fast-paced double-tracking trickery to throw off a pack of Sabretusks once they have caught your scent. Knowing how to escape the first blast of icy breath from a Frost Drake or where to aim a throwing spear to best dispatch a Mournfang are lessons that a Hunter must pick up quickly. All Hunters bear horrific scars suffered from their many battles with the monstrous denizens of the mountains — those few errors that don't prove fatal still hurt.
In debased rituals, the disease known as Creeping Death was perfected within the Cauldrons of a Thousand Poxes. At its peak, the disease was ladled over hot coals so that it made a deadly fume. Not even the most disease-gnarled of plague monks could long withstand its virulence. Before each battle, doomed plague monk volunteers took vows and lifted up those censers, swinging them so that contrails of death were left in their wake. Those not slain in combat would succumb soon afterwards to the Creeping Death.
The mandrake root is a potent drug used to mask the suffering of tortured lives among the insane in the Old World. A dose of this drug makes the imbiber warm and sleepy. However, it takes only a single dose to become dependent.
The man-shaped Mandrake Root grows in the rotting swamps of Sylvania. It is a noxious, deadly plant which is highly addictive and slowly kills its users, but also allows them to shrug off almost any pain.
The Sons of Karamox had suffered horrendous losses during the siege of Averheim, but believed that the blood they had shed and spilt had only drawn them closer to Khorne's favour. They marked in blood each step across the Grey Mountains, culling the weak from their own ranks - and those of rival warbands - if no foes presented themselves by nightfall. By the time the Sons of Karamox had reached Esdari Corrin, their numbers were roughly a tenth lower than at the start of the march, and several smaller warbands within the Army of Skulls had vanished entirely.
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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