Border Conquest

Happily Ever After...
The elves go home

After the mysterious (apparent) death of Arnoth, Archmage Elessi assumed command of the Elven host, and instituted a policy of defending the borders of the territories carved out, rather than continuing Arnoth’s aggressive expansion. Despite resistance from the nobles of Nagarythe who remained loyal to Arnoth’s vision, Elessi was able to maintain control.

The elves remained in the Border Princes for some months, continuing their excavations of Tor Anrok and packing up the forgotten treasures of their ancestors for return to Ulthuan. During this time they fought several more skirmishes with the other armies in the land, although their defensive posture and martial prowess meant that the others, by and large, left them alone. Elessi was never able to figure out what Arnoth had been looking for, and so once the remnants of elven history at Tor Anrok had been packed up, the elves departed quietly for their homeland.

Hansi was never heard from again. His body was found approximately one year later by humans, in a ravine on the outskirts of the former elven territories. The fact and circumstances of his death remain unknown to both Elessi and the dwarves.

Arnoth and his inner circle were, likewise, never heard from again. However, new rumours have sprung up in the Border Princes, of terrible creatures of living shadow, with gleaming dark armour and swords, stalking the dark places of the land…

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The Mountain Breaks
On the Skulls of Black Fire Pass

From Imperial Historian Gustav Priscus’ A History of the Storm Legion, Volume II “The Border Princes”

I was in my accustomed place in the back of the Tyrant’s tent, just far enough away from the door to avoid being smashed by the rapid comings and goings of his soldiers. At present, several massive Ogres occupied thick stools that formed a semi-circle around the dais where the Tyrant’s indoor throne rested. While the conversation had been calm until this point, tempers and voices were beginning to rise.

“The Dwarfs will never simply let us go through the pass, my Lord.”

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Shivar's War Diary - Day 140
Shivar Nearly Dies

Shivar awoke with the worst kind of splitting headache—the kind that comes from having your skull actually split by something sharp.

His eyes refused to focus as dark shapes moved over him. He heard the voices of several rats, none of which he recognized. One of them was laughing hysterically, which annoyed Shivar, because it was possible they were laughing at him. He tried to get up, but strong paws pinned him down on either shoulder. He heard Skowl’s voice order, “Stay still.”

Shivar tried to say, “Kill that idiot who’s laughing at me,” but what came out was, “Ugggghhhhah.” His tongue flopped around inside his mouth like a dead trout, which was to say, not very effectively.

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Death of an archmage?
Elessi assumes command

Archmage Elessi delivers a message to the Council.

Lords,

Something unusual is going on here, although I cannot presently put my finger on precisely what that is. The elves of Nagarythe can be… unwelcoming, as is their reputation.

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Shivar's War Diary - Day 81
Shivar Gets News, Both Good and Bad

In a dark, rain-soaked tent beneath a roiling sky, Lord Shivar Blackbelly hunched at a writing desk penning requisition documents in blood red ink. As he wrote, his tail twitched behind him in short, irritated sweeps. The scratching of the quill against parchment was thirty-third on the list of things Shivar hated. At the moment, he was considering moving it up.

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After the Silk Road
We faced up to the curse and endured misery; Condemned we are, we brought hope, but also lies, and treachery

A violent storm of magical energy erupts in the ritual chambers beneath Tor Anrok, as Arnoth materialises there; the rest of his forces—living and dead—appearing elsewhere around the tower. Alone in the depth of the chamber, the howl of the magic is joined by a howl of Arnoth’s own. Defeated? How could that be?

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Monster’s Ball
The Tyrant Takes the Field

From Imperial Historian Gustav Priscus’ A History of the Storm Legion, Volume II “The Border Princes”

“…and the occupation of Malko by the…odious…illiterate…beasts, known as the Ogres, must not be allowed to stand. They must surrender the city to our forces or be put to the sword one and all.” The halfling was sweating profusely as he read the text of the letter that Garshasp had forwarded to the Storm Legion’s central camp. Every ogre that could be present was jostling for position. Only one ogre was seated – Akhvan Giantbreaker sat atop a ramshackle throne that had been elevated above the muddy earth by a massive pile of skulls. His one good eye glowered at the diminuitive messenger. Even in the Empire, few such couriers could hope to escape bringing such a missive without some sort of undeserved punishment. As the halfling’s voice died away, silence drifted through the camp – it was positively bewitching, not the least of which because I do not believe it had ever been silent in the camp prior to this moment.

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Second battle of the South Road Plains
Warfare at the Temple of Skulls

Another report reaches the Elven Council…

My lords of the Council,

I fear the situation with Arnoth is deteriorating. He has spent countless nights with his cabal in the catacombs of Tor Anrok, studying; three days ago, abruptly, they packed their arcana and Arnoth ordered his magi to the South Road Plains, near where our forces had battled the dwarves before. There is an old temple in the plains, dedicated to the Ancient Enemy. There is evil there. I do not know his purpose. All I know is that he grows in power, daily.

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Battle of the South Road Plains
War of the Beard rekindled

Following the latest missive from Hansi, the Elven Council are somewhat concerned.

Honoured lords,

Although I report victory in battle, I bring grave tidings of worrying developments in the Border Kingdoms. I fear that your Archmage has somehow fallen under the influence of some malign intelligence, for otherwise, and though I have searched my soul, I can find no rational explanation for his actions.

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Shivar's War Diary - Day 57
The Battle of Temple Field through Skaven eyes

“This time it’s going to different Skowl,” Shivar explained as he pushed forward through ranks of assembled slaves, “I’ve learned their tricks. I’ve got them exactly where we want them.”

Skowl didn’t respond, he was too busy glaring at the slaves around them. The slaves quickly averted their eyes when they met, wisely supposing that Skowl might be looking for someone to make an example of to establish his place in the horde. Most of the faces around him were new, untested, and so far unbloodied. Shivar had spent the last two weeks pressing more and more rats into service, pulling from non-combatants when needed to make up for holes in the ranks. So despite their losses at the Battle of the Crossroads, the army the skaven fielded this day was nearly half again larger than last time. That meant hundreds of extra bodies to sop up the elves’ arrows during the hurried march across the field. Looking down the length of the battle line, Skowl considered that it might even be enough to get to the elven line.

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