torstai 31. elokuuta 2017

The Iron Grudge Campaign

Welcome to the Iron Grudge -landing page!

This post is here to pull together the many strings I've woven into this long narrative campaign I've been fighting with my regular Greenskinz opponent. There is no real structure to it in the sense of maps, scores or anything like that, we just sit down each time to talk about what would be a cool and logical setting for the next battle. This string of narrative games has progressed over a very long time now, as it all began even before the arrival of Age of Sigmar, and there are still some characters involved who have been there since the ancient times!

We're not actually trying to "win" the campaign in any sense, it's just an over-arching storyline that we use to create settings for our battles and to link all our games together. Each battle and each character becomes that much more dear to you when they stick around from battle to battle until they bite the dust.

So far we've had a great many games with a plethora of Battleplans and homebrew rules-twists to keep the fun at maximum, with the size of the battles ranging from small skirmishes to 400+ model megabattles.

This post is up here to place all these battles and accompanying short stories into a chronological order, with the over-arching storyline explained. Links to all the narrative battles and short stories can also be found right here.
The campaign is still ongoing and this landing page will always be up-to-date and available in the sidebar under Campaigns --> The Iron Grudge.


It all began when an orruk warlord called Urgokh da Choppa led his fledgling Waaagh! across the violent seas of the Realm of Beasts to land on the shores of the Diamond Bay. The coastline was guarded by the Wayfarer Hold, a strong duardin fort with a full garrison of Iron Company warriors. More of a military outpost than a civilian dwelling, the troops housed in the Wayfarer Hold were grizzled veteran mercenaries that had traveled across countless untamed regions under the firm command of Ungrim Ironhelm, the Lord Commander of the Iron Company and the king of Kazad-Zul. Now these trusted clansmen had been assigned to keep the coastline secured while Ungrim was strengthening his grip on the lands his legions had acquired, intent on rebuilding a grand duardin empire from the ashes of the Chaos invasion that was now being pushed back by the Stormcast Eternals.

Alas, despite all their skill and experience the garrison was caught flat-footed when the ramshackle rafts of the greenskins stormed the shores. The warriors of the Wayfarer Hold marched out to meet the foe on the waterline, striving to contain the invasion until their families could be evacuated along with the merchants, shipwrights, runesmiths and other important personnel of the hold. The garrison was slain to the last duardin but the evacuation succeeded, leaving the unfortunate fort itself under the cruel attentions of its new greenskin masters. (The battle for this hold was actually played, in 8th edition WHFB, but sadly no pics or written records remain up to this day.)

Not long after the Wayfarer Hold had been lost, Commander Ironhelm began to muster an army to reclaim it. While his main army made camp deep in the heartlands of this new duardin kingdom, smaller patrols were sent out keep an eye on the foe to make sure nothing disturbed the war preparations. In the Battle of the Hollow Hill Thane Gorek Stonehammer's patrol came across a greenskin warband led by an orruk warboss Gorlag Stuntiedoom, resulting in a defeat that saw only a handful of duardin survivors escape with their lives under the leadership of Runepriest Largs Brokksson.

The survivors sought shelter in the nearby Splitstone Mines, joining their forces with those of the outpost to repel their pursuers. Led by grot wolfboss by the name of Azgar Swiftgit, the grot warband pulled off the Ambush at Splitstone Mines that saw no duardin escape alive to bring news of these defeats to Commander Ungrim. Runepriest Largs Brokksson was slain and his runic heirloom weapons were stolen.

Several days passed before the Splitstone Mines were discovered to have been raided and the Runepriest's valuable weapons to be missing. Letters were sent to warn each and every Iron Company detachment in the region, one of the messages reaching Thane Brom Alaricsson and his supply caravan whose next checkpoint would've been that ill-fated mine. Following the tracks of the grot raiders, Alaricsson's forces soon stumbled upon a freshly abandoned overnight camp. As they were about to search the site for clues wolfboss Azgar charged in with his warband, apparently having accidentally left the Brokksson heirlooms somewhere in this camp during his last night's stay. The Hunt for Brokksson Heirlooms could begin!

Thane Alaricsson routed the forces of Azgar and found the prized artefacts, partially settling this fresh grudge by returning the heirlooms to Brokksson's clan.

Still amassing forces and supplies for a large coordinated attack against the Waaagh!, the Iron Company had detachments and supplies flowing in from all four winds. One of these supply caravans was waylaid by grot warchief Urzy da Sneaky 'Un, whose warband managed to destroy the majority of the transported goods despite Urzy alone escaped this Caravan Calamity alive. Thane Snaddri Roreksson delivered his greatly diminished convoy to the army's main encampment along with news of this particularly cunning and elusive grot leader.

Finally, after weeks of careful planning and preparation, the Iron Company launched its counter invasion towards the coastline of Diamond Bay. A vanguard led by Thane Thorlek Durragsson had been tasked with finding a safe crossing across a ferociously flowing river for the army to pass. Yet upon finding the perfect crossing the vanguard also came across a mob of grots guarding it, and the Battle for Grot's Crossing commenced. Under the leadership of the infamous orruk warboss Stuntiedoom, the duardin vanguard was routed and Thane Thorek slain. It took Iron Company several days to find a safer crossing, each day giving Waaagh! Urgokh more time to prepare for a decisive engagement.

During the duardin assault by land, a flotilla led by Captain Garin Baragorsson ambushed a greenskin cargo vessel on its way to the captured Wayfarer Hold. In an attempt to hinder the Waaagh!'s war efforts, the Sea Battle of Diamond Bay saw Captain Baragorsson boldly board the enemy ship only to be defeated in one-on-one combat by Captin Croll Rustaxe. The orruk captain was the only living creature to survive the fight and it took him a couple of extra days to navigate three tied-together ships to the shore all by himself. This was yet another setback for the Iron Company's counter-invasion that left the enemy as strong as ever for the final conflict.

Eventually it all came down to the Battle of Bronze Plateau where Waaagh! Urgokh faced the Iron Company of Ungrim Ironhelm on an open battlefield, both armies led by their respective leaders. The fighting was fierce and bloody, but as the dust settled by dusk it was the duardin who came out on top. Wolfboss Azgar Swiftgit and Warboss Gorlag Stuntiedoom were both slain in the carnage and the Waaagh! was driven back onto the shores of the Diamond Bay.

After days of repose, tending to the wounded and collecting battlefield loot, the Iron Company set out to build holdfasts and outposts onto the lands they had just reclaimed. They left behind a hastily constructed graveyard for their fallen, and just as the last of the duardin were about to leave, some wandering greenskin survivors of the recent battle mounted a daring attack into the duardin burial site. Sending their warriors away to continue the march, Ungrim Ironhelm held the rear with a handful of his most trusted friends in order to protect the piece of those now put to rest. This occasion passed these five duardin companions into legends as the Heroes of Chiselwind Cemetery, for they decimated and routed the imprudent assailants!

Even after their defeat at the Battle of Bronze Plateau the battered Waaagh! did not give up. Urgokh ordered his trusted (well, by greenskin measures anyway) chieftain Urzy da Sneaky 'Un to get his remaining army at the gates of the relatively nearby Free People city of Bochenfels without "da 'umies noticin' anyfink."

Unfortunately Urgokh's "remaining army" still meant orruks, grots, troggoths and other monstrosities beyond count, enough to engulf a fortified city. The reasons why an orruk warlord would direct his forces against a new target while there were victorious duardin currently reclaiming their lands from under his control is beyond many historians and scrollkeepers, but they all agree on one thing; Warlord Urgokh da Choppa is by no measure the average dumb brute that can normally be found leading upstart Waaagh!s on destructive rampages.

Whatever the case, Urzy orchestrated a cunning ruse against a freeguild Toll House on the Bridge Road and managed to take it over without any word of warning reaching the city that lay only a few leagues beyond this important river crossing. Urgokh approached the oblivious city with all the might of his forces at his back.

The Siege of Bochenfels is one of the bloodiest battles in this campaign up to this day. A massive horde of greenskins and other monstrosities crashed against the walls of the beleaguered city, defended by Governor Warwick Lemming's freeguild garrison and Thane Morek Furrowbrow's detachment of Iron Company mercenaries. After a day of chaotic fighting the walls were breached and the Waaagh! poured into the city, destroying everything they could lay their hands on. Governor Lemming was slain during the storming of the front gate, but Thane Furrowbrow led the remaining defenders in a heroic rearguard action as the civilians fled the carnage through the back gates.

Urgokh had acquired himself a city and all the greenskins tribes from the surrounding regions rushed to stand under his tattered banner, swelling the ranks of his Waaagh! to gigantic proportions.

After being wildly successful in reclaiming the lost lands all across the Diamond Bay, the Iron Company had drawn its forces back to the heartland to rebuild and fortify their kingdom. As the word of Bochenfels' destruction reached Kazad-Zul, the royal seat of King Ungrim Ironhelm, a war council was called together to decide on how to react to this threat. Some lords and thanes argued against taking to the field when the threat was not directed against their own race, while others relished any chance to split orruk heads. A decision was made after news arrived of the hold's runelords having rediscovered the art of creating Gronti-Duraz, the huge ancestor statues roused to fight alongside their descendants. The clans of Kazad-Zul would march to war once more, and the preparations were begun.

And so they marched, legions upon legions of warriors travelling through the Grudgeforge Realmgate to seek the ultimate defeat of Waaagh! Urgokh and eliminate the threat forever. Each fort, mine and outpost in the kingdom was left with a minimal garrison to fuel this all-out push to seek vengeance once and for all.

The first challenge they faced was Shaman Trazleh trying to complete a Ritual in the Damned Forest to summon a terrible beast to rampage in the region. Slayer King Malakai Smensson and Brewmaster Dorinsson led contingent of Iron Company duardin in a daring assault to stop the ritual. The Shaman was indeed slain but the ritual was still completed at the very last possible moment, summoning a terrible beast that followed the retreating duardin and decimated a legion of young beardlings that were guarding supply routes in the rearguard of the advancing Kazad-Zul legions.

On their advance through the wilderness towards the supposed location of Urgokh and the main bulk of his Waaagh!, Runelord Ranuld Silvethumb and Runepriest Durin Chiselmane discovered the hidden hideout of Urzy da Sneaky 'Un and his grot tribe. The Scrimmage at Sneakpass was a bloody affair where the elusive grot tribe was shattered and its devious leader slain, ridding Urgokh of yet another of his most capable chieftains.

With the duardin legions descending into the forested lowlands from the mountains, Brewmaster Burlok Dorinsson set out to catch Wolfboss Elgar and his nomadic tribe of grot wolfriders that were reportedly roaming the region. Due to painstaking preparations and some luck, the grots walked straight into the Ambush at Fenrus Ruins. A brief but bloody battle took place and the greenskin tribe was wiped out, except for its leader who slipped away by leaving his underlings to their deaths in a truly admirable grotty fashion.

As High King Ungrim Ironhelm receives word of Wolfboss Elgar's defeat in a ranger ambush on the plains, another scout returns with an urgent request. The heir of Bochenfels, Richard Lemming, son of the late Governor Warwick, had been spotted in the mountains with a group of freeguild survivors and chased by a mob of orruks. Thought lost in the evacuation of his father's city, young Richard is an important asset in the war now that he turned out to be alive: by delivering the Lemming heir back to the Puffington Empire alive, the duardin of Azamar Ankor could conciliate the uproar currently taking place in the empire's nobility after the loss of their city.
Alas, it was not to be. In the infamous Stand at Bochenpeak a group of orruks pursuers caught the fleeing freeguilders and set upon them, slaughtering the humans before Thane Morek Furrowbrow had time to interwene with his rescue force. Richard Lemming was slain and Morek Furrowbrow resolved to take the Slayer Oath for his failure, ridding Ungrim of a truly skilled and trusted general.

Currently High King Ironhelm and his duardin legions are making their way through the forested lowlands after descending from the mountains. With the death of the Lemming heir the prospects for the campaign begin to look grim, for the Puffington Empire is upset with this loss and withdraws the support it had promised to this war. One final confrontation remains between Waaagh! Urgokh and the legions of Azamar Ankor, and now the duardin will face it all on their own.

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