The Farsetter Holds - Chapter 1
Dunhill Forthammer, lord and king of the Forthammer Clan Throng, took a long deep breath. It had been centuries since he had seen the great Silver mountains of Chamon in the distance, and the smell brought back memories of nostalgia of an age past. He was but a beardling when his father, Grundi, lead the clans out of their ancestral holds when the Age of Chaos was at its worst. Grundi's father fought to the last and died so the entire family line would not perish that day. The human god-king, Sigmar, was providing a refuge that so few came to. None of the neighboring holds that Dunhill recognized made it. While they kept themselves occupied in Azyrheim, helping to build a home for all the refugees, the Forthammer Clan knew it was only temporary. Then Sigmar opened the gates again to unleash his champions, the Stormcast Eternals, Dunhill knew the time to strike and reclaim their ancestral holds was at hand.
"Grobi." cursed Behrun, breaking Dunhill out of his trance. He used a term Dunhill had only recognized from ancient texts, but he remembered it was an old term for grot. Behrun was named after his great grand-uncle, Behrun Farsetter, Dunhill's great great grandfather. Behrun was the Old Guard, veteran of Longbeards. And a title he deserved well. He was among the oldest beards in the throng. His insults and stubbornness were legendary.
It hasn't been a pilgrimage without incident or battle, and it looked like that was not going to let up. Dunhill looked in the direction Behrun pointed, and noticed the moving green horde in the distance. It was hard to miss between the snow laden mountain and its barren base. Dunhill didn't think these were grots, as they looked too big, but he also suspected Behrun already knew that, and that didn't matter. Greenskins were greenskins.
"Gather the throng." he commanded without looking. Behrun turns and nods "My king." before marching off.
"Drake!" Dunhill called out to his eldest son. The boy was not far behind.
"Yes my King." he snapped in reply. Drake was among the new generations born in Azyrheim, and unfortunately had no memory of the Farsetter Holds, but his passion to take back the family birthright was no less ardent. Like his father he has a proclivity for engineering, developing marvelous devices, almost rivaling his father, almost. He counted himself among the Ironweld Arsenal, a Cogsmith of Order. Drake's armor was bulky, but housed the powerful generator for his arsenal of weapons.
"Help me in my steamsuit. We march to face greenskin."
Drake spat. Not at his father's command, but at the mention of orruks. Even during the Age of Myth when Sigmar had his pantheon, the duardin were never completely comfortable with the minions of Gorkamorka, but never quite sure why. He hoisted the mechanical steamsuit from the cart that housed it. The machine stood on its own. The front opened up where he helped his father climb in and insert his limbs into the machine's legs and arms. With a kickstart from Drake's own back generator, the steamsuit whirred to life, and Dunhill was given motion. The steamsuit gave him increased strength and protection. It impressed him everytime he donned it. Another testament to the ingenuity of his son. Dunhill had started the steamsuit project long ago in Azyrheim, but abandoned it after many failed attempts to make it work in a quality manner. It was until his son, with his Cogsmith career taking off, finished the project for him.
Dunhill gave a slight grunt in approval, which was all Drake ever needs to know he pleased his father. The machine is well maintained. Frequent tune-ups and repairs between battles keep it in working order.
He snatched the massive mechanical hammer from the charging mount. The rune covered gear laden weapon is a head taller than him, even in the suit. He abruptly stamped the pommel on the ground, and a horn blared behind him. The throng is now in an impressive disciplined line, eyes affixed on their king. Dunhill was determined. After such a long costly journey, the goal was in sight. He was not going to flee or let it get away. "Reclaim our holds!" he shouted.
"Reclaim our grudges!" the throng rang in reply.
"Stunties!" the orruk snarled. He is called Grox the tall, Grox the tyrant, Grox the longstrider, or Grox the skinny, though you would never call him that last one to his face, lest you risk dismemberment from his great gutgouger. The hook-blade at the end of the chain and haft rattled with every motion. Many a orruk has been cut in half when he overhears the insult, forgetting the deadly weapon's reach. Grox was very tall, even for an orruk, and fat, with an impressive gut that happens to be a side effect of his overeating and constant drinking. The reason for the undesired nickname is he has a fairly narrow set of shoulders for his species, even though none of the other boys rival his sheer mass. He is part of a unique breed of orruk, that were it not for their green skin, they would be commonly mistaken for Ogors. They call his kind Da Fat'uns. Though that is not an insult for them.
"OY BOYS! WE GOT STUNTIES!" He called out to the camp, bringing life to the unusually subdued gathering of orruk. You didn't act like anything Grox said was unimportant, you reacted. That's why he's the warboss. It's been long enough since they had a good fight. Though there were those spikey humies that gave them a skirmish a few days ago, but an eternity to Grox.
A crazed looking weirdnob approached Grox, his red cloak mounted on a stick across his back flailed under the mountain breeze. The heavy fetished staff attributes to his awkward gait. The weirdnob shaman staves are usually not that big, but Profut Big'un never did anything small. "I am up for a good foight as much as any proper orruk, Grox da tall, but da Big'un is close. I can feels 'im. We musn't be distracted."
"SHUT YER GOB, wez gonna get to yer Big'un soon enough." Grox was beginning to grow tired of "da Big'un". The legendary giant orruk, or something that is supposed to be the destiny of all greenskins. This shaman was called Profut Big'un because he's always going on about the Big'un; always seeking the Big'un; being lead to the biggest fight under the gaze of Gorkamorka by the Big'un; going on like a prophet of sorts, hence the name. Grox never really believed it, but the shaman gets the boyz properly riled up about it, and this quest does quite well in getting them into plenty of fights, so he really can't complain much. Fights like these stunties he sees marching down the valley. The shiny glint of their armor on the small bodies is unmistakable, other than the much larger shiny armor lightning humies.
"Allroight, boss. Jus' don't lose this'n, the 'ardboys will fight for ya."
Grox ignored the Profut's comment. The boys had begun to gather in greater numbers. Most numerous were the 'two choppa' boys. They would always chant "Two choppas all da way!", which they had already started. It was a trend that caught on quickly among new boys and yoofs.
Grox began swinging the gutgouger above his head, the chain rattling loudly. He bellowed: "DA STUNTIES IS LOOKIN' FOR A FOIGHT! LES GIVE 'EM ONE! LES GIVE 'EM A TASTE OF GROX- er... WAAAGH BIG'UN!" The gathering of greenskins roars a reply. He nearly slipped up the name of the Waaagh!, he had to remember the main reason why they were all here was for that blasted Big'un. But no matter, it was time for fighting. What proper orruks were mean to do, were meant to strive for.
"WAAAAAAAAGH!" The horde followed his charge down the valley.
The destruction force is lead by Grox with many names. An Ogor Tyrant. We decided to allow Jarom to initially permanently pick one of the big names on the warscroll (choosing Longstrider), and later he can, if he wants, roll on the table again to get additional names instead of using the normal rewards table. He took the Bellowing Tyrant command trait to keep permanently through the campaign, as well as the Battle Brew artifact. He leads an army of 'Ardboys, a huge squad of Boys with two choppas, a unit of Ogors, and the Weirdnob Shaman, Profut Big'un.
The Disposssed army is lead by Dunhill Forthammer, a Warden King. He took Resolute for his warlord trait from the Dispossessed allegiance, and the Piledriver Gauntlet for his artifact (represented by his huge steam hammer). The force consisted of a unit of Warriors, Longbeards, Irondrakes, Hammerers, and Bree Dunsdottir (a Runelord, or Runemaid I should say). Along with them Drake Dunsson (the Cogsmith), and a gyrocpter for Ironweld Arsenal allies.
It nearly came down to just a combat of Longbeards vs 'Ardboys, when the Weirdnob shaman got in range and made a phenomenal casting roll for the Foot of Gork, which completely wiped out the 8 man unit of Longbeards in one magic phase. Bree was in range, but failed to roll an 11 to dispel. The unit of Ogors pretty much did nothing the entire game as Jarom couldn't risk letting them leave the objective so my flanking Gyrocpter could take it and potentially get me an instant major victory.
Evidently the greenskins weren't able to take my objective and were shot off the board by the Irondrakes. The Objective card stated that a major victory was only possible if one took both objectives, otherwise it went to kill-points, in which I took the minor victory.
A game loss grants 1 renown to Jarom, and a minor win grants D3 renown. I rolled a 1 on it as well. We are both tied for renown after game 1. Jarom rolled on the Destruction followers table in the Path to Glory supplement and got Smashing and Bashing for his Boys with two-choppas. They are going to be brutal. I rolled for my Longbeards and got Punishers from the Order followers rewards table, giving them a grudge of their own.
The Irondrakes breathed a sigh of relief under their gromril masks when their drakeguns stopped belching flames, and the orruks didn't get back up behind the rubble. The truth was they were retreating under the cover of the smoke. Profut Big'un had called for a retreat, and to retrieve the unconscious body of their warboss, Grox. Profut Big'un could have dispatched the orruk right then and there, free to accomplish his quest for the Big'un, but he knew he needed Grox. The boys always followed the bigger ones, and Profut Big'un couldn't compete in size. He wasn't going to be happy when he woke up, and the shaman wasn't pleased either. Some of the boys were still out hunting when Grox decided to charge in. However, it was a good fight. Lot's of stunties died, or got smashed under the fantastic Foot of Gork, the most potent spell in his arsenal.
Other orruks were joining the retreat. Afterall, a good fight and retreat often meant you could come back and fight again later. Besides, the Big'un was close. He could feel it.
The battlefield fell eerily silent. Drake holstered his pistols as he watched the disappearing greenskins. It seemed like mere seconds ago the air was filled with the cacophonous din of battle, now it was filled with dust and smoke.
Bree, his sister, approached him. "How's father?" asked Drake.
"He's well. The orruk smashed the suit and trapped him inside. Right now he's cussing like a cornered gryph-hound."
Drake chuckled at the visual image, but grimaced at the thought of his father's attitude and the coming repair job. They approached the wreck of the steamsuit, half buried into the soft soil. It took one hit to take him down. It will be a few centuries before anyone would be able to bring up this story during drinks. Several clansmen were trying to help him upright as he spouted insults. Insults at both the greenskins and the 'beardlings' trying to lift a measly piece of machinery. "Well fought, my king."
Dunhill shot Drake a glare at the tone of sarcasm. "It would have been better if weren't for this umgak-grobkaz!" The insult referred to the steamsuit as shoddy grot work.
Drake ignored the hasty slight. "Worry not, father. I'll have it up and running again before the next battle."
The front finally opened and Dunhill spilled out onto the ground. He shot back up. "Right then! Gather the throng, make camp. We march at dawn. Get me a full report on the losses. There are still plenty of blank pages in the book of grudges."
NOTE: We realized later that Jarom had accidentally only brought 900 points to the battle. A regrettable mistake that won't happen again. Stay tuned for Chapter 2 of this campaign!