A demilance is a short spear or a half pike used by cavalry. Though not as large as a lance, it is still capable of delivering impressive amounts of damage, without being as cumbersome as the full lance. Light cavalry in the Empire and squires in Bretonnia often use these weapons.
Elven legends tell that Draugnir, Father of Dragons, was welcome in Asuryan's court as an equal, for mortal Elves and gods alike were awestruck by his might and nobility. Alas, not all the Elven pantheon were so enamoured. Anath Raema, sister to Khaine and Goddess of the Savage Hunt, saw him as nothing more than an upstart beast to be harried and hunted as any other. Taking her spear, she pursued the Dragon through the heavens. The contest that followed shook the world to its core, rousing even wise Asuryan from contemplation. The Creator halted the battle, but came too late to save Draugnir, whose wounds were beyond healing.
With a single word, Asuryan banished Anath Raema to the Mirai forevermore. From the corpse of his fallen friend, he worked to create a new land where Elves and Dragons could live in peace, beyond the jealousies of the gods. From Draugnir's bones, he forged Ulthuan's mountains, and from the Dragon's flesh he created its broad plains. Draugnir's glittering scales Asuryan gave into the keeping of Isha. She, in turn, passed them to her mortal children, the Elves, who wrought many fabulous works with them, chief amongst them a mighty standard, woven with silver and hung with gems of all shapes and hues. This Banner of the World Dragon endures to this day, a reminder not only of the bond between the Elves and Dragons, but also of that which binds both races to their ancestral home.
Another legend tells that the mightiest of the blades forged at Vaul's hand, the Widowmaker, was tempered with Draugnir's own fiery breath. Unfortunately, the weapon thirsted, even then, and stole from Draugnir more than he sought to give. Thereafter, the fate of Draugnir's line was externally bound to that of the Elves.
Tor Annan was a small, provincial town in the valley beneath Mount Antorec, Yvresse, ruled by Lord Eanith. The Asur holding was burnt to the ground by the Keeper of Secrets N'Kari in XI 10, after the daemon conjured a storm to decimate an already crumbling waystone atop Antorec, thereby freeing it from the Great Vortex. In pursuit of vengeance against the Blood of Aenarion, the servant of Slaanesh lay siege to the settlement. A howling, daemonic horde raced against the walls, some falling to elf shafts, the daemons otherwise ignoring whatever arrows weren't enchanted by asur mages.
Alongside his household guard, Eanith formed a wall of spears against the Daemon's onslaught, only to have their weapons splinter on his hide. Snapping Eanith's sword beneath the pincers of one massive claw, N'Kari thrust his fist into the Elf's chest. Closing his fingers about Eanith's heart, the Daemon tore the still pulsating organ from the noble’s body. N'Kari brandished the heart briefly before the Elf's dying eyes, bellowed in triumph and swallowed it whole. Casting the limp corpse aside, the Keeper of Secrets turned his back on the ruins of Tor Annan, and sought out his next victim.
Winged things flapped down from the sky and attacked first the siege machines, and then the archers. Death had come so close to Prince Sardriane in the opening moments of the battle. The winged Furies had struck down the elves on either side of him. Daemons had smashed through the gates and clambered onto the walls, killing everybody they encountered. One had loomed over the prince, about to strike when at the last second, at the shouted command of N'Kari, instead struck down Alfrik instead. Mad cultists came to swarm through the gateway, howling and chanting ecstatically as they slew.
At first, the asur of Tor Annan fought bravely. Archers had died where they stood, still unleashing arrows at targets that ignored them. Warriors had tried to halt the monstrous red-skinned daemons. But as the fight went on it became obvious that they could not overcome their foes. Some had fled. Some had tried to surrender. And some, seeing the daemonic leader of their enemies, had been overcome by a strange madness and had started throwing themselves at its feet and grovelling in ecstatic communion.
Prince Sardriane had been among the ones who had fled, racing through the streets to the ancestral home he shared with his mother and a few ageing retainers. He told them to bar the door and make ready to withstand a siege. Some of them, feeling that death was preferable to falling into the hands of the enemy, had taken their own lives using poisons preserved for that purpose. The prince urged his mother to do the same, fearing what might happen if she were to fall into the taloned claws of the besiegers. But she refused, saying that while he lived, she would. She had as much pride as she. After all, she too was of the Blood.
For a while, they huddled in their chambers while the town burned around them and screams echoed down the streets. To them, it sounded as if some hideous carnival of torture and wickedness were taking place outside. Sardriane prayed that if they waited long enough, they would go unnoticed by their enemies and escape with their lives. The prince hated himself for his cowardice, hated himself for running, feeling all of it unworthy of his proud ancestry. The only defence he could offer up being that he was young and he did not want to die. When at last the screaming had stopped, and he dared to peek out through his shuttered windows, he saw lines upon lines of silent faces watching the building. Some of them belonged to brazen horned, crimson-skinned daemons. Some of them belonged to cultists. Some of them belonged to people who had once been his neighbors and who now gazed at his house with features dazed and numbed and subtly altered.
As if looking upon them broke some evil spell, they all shouted and rushed forwards, smashing in through the doors and revelling through the halls of Sardriane's home, smashing ancient furnishings, burning the ancient tapestries, maiming and killing the retainers, howling with insatiable bloodlust and something else, a primitive deep-throated pleasure that was even more disgusting than their desire to do harm.
The horde overwhelmed both mother and son, carrying them back to N'Kari, whose outline shimmered and shifted constantly sometimes suggesting a crab-clawed hulking daemonic thing, sometimes the most beautiful woman Sardriane had ever imagined, and sometimes the most noble king. When Sardriane threw himself at the monster, trying to strike it with a dagger he seized from the scabbard of one of his tormentors, the prince was struck unconscious by a blow to the head.
After the sacking, it was discovered that at least one Asur mage survived, casting a Sending to warn of Tor Annan's fall. Along with the report of the ranger, Takalen, this would prove the veracity of claims that Ulthuan was under daemonic invasion.
Brother Kenrol Stonius, 87, is the eldest priest in the Cathedral of Verena in Marienburg, and thus the Chief Justice of the High Court. He has served in the post for the last 25 years. Widely regarded as a scholar and respected for his pursuit of Justice over the letter of the law; he also is known for falling asleep in court sessions.
Earlier today, you took an object to the Temple of Sigmar, and gave it to one Father Morten, is that right? According to this note, Father Morten was found dead less than an hour ago, with signs of foul play. The object is missing, and it appears that you were the last people to see him alive. I’m afraid I’ll have to ask you for your weapons and keep you here until our investigation is concluded."
—Ulrich Schutzmann, Watch Commander
Schutzmann is an imposing man in his fifties, tall (6’ 2”) and well built, with close-cropped grey hair and dark blue eyes. He is known for his tight discipline and the efficiency with which he runs the City Watch.
The Eye of the Horned Rat is imbued with warpstone energy which can be channeled by the bearer by holding the stone firmly to his head.
Warhorses such as destriers or coursers are unsuitable for general riding. Most knights only mount their warhorses in times of battle. Instead, they rely on riding horses for daily use. The finest and most ill-tempered steeds come from Araby and command prices as high as 10 times the normal cost for horses.
The Seekers are an order within an order—a supremely secretive, ultra zealous and very well-funded clandestine branch of the Witch Hunters. This relatively new organisation prides itself in their utter dedication to the job at hand. Although not officially recognised by the Imperial Court, they are covertly funded from the office of the new Grand Theogonist, Esmer. If he fully realises the excessive zeal or the merciless efficiency with which the work of the Seekers is undertaken, he must either not care or secretly encourages it.
The Seekers' Lair
The offices of the Seekers are in a grim, anonymous building relatively close to the Imperial Palace in Altdorf, marked only by a small brass plaque bearing the symbol of the Twin-Tailed comet and Ghal-Maraz. The building is never open to the public and the door is locked at most times. Knocking rarely gets any response, since the members of the Seekers all have their own key. Many of the members of the Seekers have cover jobs as minor functionaries in the Imperial bureaucracy and within the Cult of Sigmar; particularly within the Witch Hunters and any organisation that has even partially regular contact with one or more of the Colleges of Magic.
The building’s external asceticism belies its well-appointed interior. The walls are wood-panelled, the chairs are comfortable and a servant is always on hand to bring a glass of fine wine or a well-prepared four-course meal. The building also houses bedrooms for visiting members from other cities. The Seekers try to have an agent in every major city of the Empire at all times, and have recently recruited members to stay in the cities of other countries such as Tilea, Estalia, and Kislev.
In the basement beneath the fine rooms upstairs, the hidden face of the Seekers is revealed. It is there that they keep the cells and interrogation rooms of their victims. These cells are far bleaker and more unpleasant than such than similar places in other Witch Hunter chapterhouses. There is also a court here, where magic users are tried before a panel of three self-appointed judges. Defendants are not permitted lawyers or witnesses who might cloud or hinder the process of justice. Trials usually begin with a simple question, often along the lines of, “How long have you consorted with the Dark Powers?”
If the gentle approach of the trial does not extract a confession (which is all the court is really after, regardless of the guilt or innocence of those they capture), the magic user is taken into the interrogation room, where more forceful methods, such as thumbscrews, branding irons, scourging, and worse are used. After they extract a confession, a show trial may be arranged so the broken victim may confess again in a properly recognised court of law before being sent to the stake. Alternatively, if it is deemed more expedient, the magic user may just disappear, or be found floating face down in the Reik. Very few magic users have ever successfully escaped from this travesty of justice.
Persecuting the Powerful
What makes the Seekers so particularly abhorrent to the Colleges of Magic is they target first and foremost those magic users that the Witch Hunters do not, and those generally are Imperial Magisters and their Apprentices. It seems unlikely the Seekers have managed to apprehend and kill any full Magisters, but Journeymen and other Apprentices allowed to travel abroad for whatever reason have started to disappear alarmingly frequently since the Seekers were formed, and it seems likely they are being deliberately targeted by the Seekers. There are suspicions Esmer is using the Seekers in an attempt to destabilise the Colleges of Magic somehow, or perhaps push them into doing something rash.
The Grey Order has turned its attentions to the Seekers’ activities, and the Bright Order has also spoke openly of its utter contempt for the Seekers, though such is the Seekers’ secrecy and facility for deniability that no formal charges have yet been brought against them. It won’t be long before there will be a direct confrontation between the Seekers and one or more of these groups. No one yet knows the Seekers are being funded by Esmer. When word of this finally reaches the offices of the Supreme Patriarch, the backlash almost certainly won’t be pretty.
But then, that may be what Esmer is hoping for.
Members and Armaments
The head of the Seekers is Detlef Johannson. He is a cruel-eyed, grey-haired man in his mid-fifties, who always dresses in white and black. He is a close friend of Theogonist Esmer, having helped him by tracking down several Chaos Magi in his thirty-year career as a Templar (although he only has Esmer’s word they were Magi—but he doesn’t seem to care). He is a bitter, paranoid, and hateful man, and he utterly despises all Elves, regarding each one of them as Witches at best.
It is rumoured both he and his elite Witch Hunters have gathered all sorts of protective amulets that negate spells and even a few power-destroying weapons in the course of their holy crusade. Despite the Orders’ best attempts to keep the fact secret, it seems someone has leaked to the Seekers that certain metals and stones dampen, and even swallow, magic.
"The diet of the typical Kislevite peasant is made up of fish, tubers, and the flesh of the oblast deer. The diet of the typical Kislevite bear is made up of fish, tubers, and the oblast deer. It is little wonder these people see so much kinship with the creatures."
—Friar Begel, “My Travels in Kislev”
Along with the bear and the steppe pony, the oblast or ice elk is one of the three creatures vital to stanitsa life. They closely resemble the deer of the Empire but are larger and have much larger horns. Wild ones are hunted for their meat but are extremely elusive, and such hunts can often take weeks to complete. In some stanitsas, they are domesticated to pull sleighs, ploughs, or mill-wheels, and sometimes they’re even used as pack animals. Their milk is fermented to make koumiss. Their hides are used to make cloth and sacking; their bones are carved into pipes, flutes, and tambours, and their intestines are woven to make an extremely strong elastic thread. The uses of the elk are endless, and their application is ubiquitous in any stanitsa. Gospodars are known to hunt the elk for sport alone, a practice the Ungols view as barbaric.
Jonas Lang was always attracted to power, even though it was denied to him. The fourth son of a wealthy family, he stood to inherit nothing, and at best he could become a steward in his brother’s employ. Though bereft of an inheritance, the Lang name was strong enough to keep him in good standing with his wealthy and powerful peers, and during his childhood he acquired a taste for the decadent. As he grew older, he hoped to secure a place in the Todbringer Court, but his parents had other ideas. Sensing a corrupt bent to his character, they sent him to the temple of Ulric to train as a priest.
It was clear from the outset that Lang was no man of piety. He lacked commitment and dedication to the central tenets of the faith, but the Lang family demanded the young man remain in training, and to ensure the youth’s success, the cult put the young man under the High Priest Claus Liebnitz’ care. Liebnitz, who had no use for such a worthless apprentice, rarely communicated with Lang, and when he did, it was merely to instruct the initiate to read certain passages in Ulric’s sacred scrolls.
Liebnitz’ disinterest allowed Lang to pursue his own goals, mainly whetting his appetites for food, drink, and women. And as long as Liebnitz remained as a distant mentor, Lang could do as he liked. But one day word reached him that Liebnitz was dead, revealed to be a traitor to Ulric, the cult, and the Empire. He realized his long vacation was at an end, so he had one final indulgence, sampling countless dishes and drinks, and enjoyed the company of many companions of loose morals.
Sated, he returned to his apartments to sleep off his excess, but his respite would be brief. Soon after he nodded off, he awoke suddenly, his stomach roiling with pain. Thinking the ailment was caused by his night’s adventures, he emptied his stomach in the chamber pot, but the pain continued. Finally, he lifted his robe to peer at his abdomen, and to his horror he saw his flesh bubbling, forming some awful mutation, which Lang was certain would grant him a place on a witch pyre.
He fell over in a faint, and suffered strange dreams that featured some creature ranting that it was the soul of his master, Liebnitz, and that something called the Red Flayer had granted him eternal life. Lang awoke screaming, his guts roiling in agony. He pulled up his shirt to see the face of his former master pushing against the skin of his belly. Lang shrieked and shrieked, his mind withering as his skin rebelled against him becoming a tool for the damned. After three days of horrific mutations, the thing inside him was finished growing, attaining a partial arm and a fully formed head.
When Lang was lucid enough, the creature calmed the young man with soothing words, somehow convincing Lang not to cut out the corruption himself. Liebnitz explained he was promised a new body, not to share one with another. In any event, Liebnitz demanded Lang help him complete his master’s work and perhaps, as a reward, the Red Flayer would separate them once more. Lang, being quite mad by now, nodded enthusiastically. A few days later Lang was lucid enough to move, and concealing the parasite that had taken over his body with loose robes, set out to find the “cure” for his woes.
Lang is in his early twenties, with long greasy brown hair and a waxy pallor. His recent experiences have left him crazed and his moods swing from gibbering fear and depression to wild enthusiasm. He wears long black robes slit in the front, allowing Liebnitz to see.
Being nothing more than a contorted bald head and a mostly useless arm, only those who knew Liebnitz in life recognize the mutated growth on Lang’s abdomen. Liebnitz has given up the will to live and simply wants death—a death at the Red Flayer’s claws.
The men of Bredt's unit believe that, whilst their good luck charms are safe, they too are protected from whatever Sylvania's darkness can throw at them.
Benedicta von Carstein was a Dreamwalker who turned into a vampire, only to later be slain by Elisinda the Black.
Known in life as Benedicta the Radiant, she was a former mercenary who fought for years until she was the sole survivor of her company after it was thrown against a Necromancer. She found herself plagued by prophetic dreams, and followed them to destroy many Undead. She favoured fire as a weapon, which gave rise to her name. Before the Wars of the Vampire Counts formally began, her dreams led her into what would become Sylvania, where she disappeared. It was later discovered that she had become a Carstein vampire after Elisinda the Black, a priestess of Morr, came out of Ostermark just ahead of the Vampire armies, carrying the fallen Benedicta's head, the priestess having sought the Dreamwalker she had seen in her dreams.
Ranalt Waldhauss is the Venerated Soul of trackers and lone hunters. He is recognized by the Cult of Taal and Rhya.
During the Great War Against Chaos, a scout and hunter managed to track down and kill thirty Beastmen ravaging the town of Bechafen. Upheld by trackers and lone hunters, the locals have since forgotten that he was slain ten years after his heroic deed, branded as a Mutant.
The dark energies of this powerful item surround the wearer and deflect enemy spells and magic weapons.
Few survive the life of a Vampire hunter. Of those who do, many quickly turn to other careers, such as the legitimacy of Witch Hunter or the better provisions of knighthood. Those who do not become Killers of the Dead. Having seen the true horror of the Vampires and the infinite legions of the restless dead, they can never look away, and they devote their every waking moment to destroying this unrelenting enemy.
Even more shunned and mistrusted than Vampire hunters, these fanatics typically become hermits or outlaws, stealing what they need to survive, so they have no distractions from their cause. Their devotion to their mission means these killers often get good enough to earn notoriety amongst the Vampires—and knowing this, every killer sleeps restlessly, stake in hand, waiting to feel fangs upon his neck and hear the sound of vengeful laughter in his ear.
A Day In The Life
The day is for sleeping, when they find it harder to come for you. For some, the day is for sleeping in a cave in natural stone, strong and protected, a rock blocking the entrance, clutching a stake, because some of them will come for you anyway. The day is not for them. But perhaps it will be cloudy. Perhaps it will rain. Then they need not fear the sun.
Once night falls, you must move, quickly, away from the places you visited the previous night. They may have been watching you and set an ambush, or be prepared to strike at your lair as soon as it is dark. Rise before the sunset, to be away and hidden before they can act.
Night is for hunting. Watch the people who go out at night, for normal folk have no need to skulk around when the sun sleeps. You are no longer one of the normal folk, if you ever were, for you have a stronger calling now, and one that calls louder than laws and fellowship. Those who walk by night may be the undead; watch their habits carefully.
When you have tracked one of them down, strike early in the night if possible, and dismember and burn the corpse so that it does not rise again. Then flee, as fast as you can, before their allies can track you. Do not concern yourself with your destination. Wherever you find yourself, they will be waiting.
Little Known Facts
Killers of the Dead train suitable candidates when they find them and two who meet often work together for a time. It is important to remember that they are obsessive, but not quite what most would term insane, at least not in most cases.
A very small number of Killers of the Dead even maintain a respectable facade, with the help of a wealthy family or group of friends. These backers must be very tolerant, however, as nothing can be allowed to come before the hunt.
Once one has taken the path of a Killer of the Dead, life is bleak. It is rare for a Killer of the Dead to ever pursue another path. Their devotion and single-minded purpose makes it difficult to adjust to any other way of life.
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.
You will learn about all the warhammer tame line and universes.