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Posts Tagged ‘Bretonnia’

Warhammer History: The Gods and Daemons of Law

August 15, 2020 14 comments

In Warhammer’s earliest days, it was intended that the forces of Law and Chaos should co-exist, opposing each other in a never-ending war.

As Michael Moorcock had already discovered, though, the gods of Chaos are a lot more interesting than their lawful counterparts. The only trace of the gods of Law are a couple of miniatures and a few mentions in early Citadel publications and the first edition WFRP rulebook. For the last 30 years or more, the gods of the Old World have been the main opposition to the Ruinous Powers of Chaos.

To my knowledge, only three gods of Law were ever created for Warhammer, and all are described in the first edition WFRP rulebook.

Allimunas was the first, created by Rick Priestley in his draft of the WFRP rules that was waiting for me at the Games Workshop Design Studio in 1986. It (for gender pronouns seem unfitting) took the form of a cold and unchanging light, exemplifying a very static kind of order that is demonstrated by the fact that anyone struck by the light is paralyzed.

Arianka first appeared in the Third Citadel Compendium in 1985. Popular writers John Wagner and Alan Grant were hired to create a Warhammer-themed comic, and the result was the short-lived The Quest of Kaleb Daark. It was not clear what Arianka stood for, but she took the form of a beautiful young woman lying in a glass coffin in the city of Praag, awaiting the lost crystal keys that can free her. Like Kaleb Daark and his Chaotic patron Malal, Wagner and Grant retained rights to the character of Aranka, and all three were quietly dropped from Warhammer canon as Games Workshop set about establishing total ownership of their intellectual properties. Her brief mention in the first edition WFRP rulebook was her only appearance in the lore.

File:Chaos God Arianka.png

Solkan was my creation. As I worked on the “Religion and Belief” chapter of WFRP 1, I decided that the existing gods of law were too abstract – too “waffy,” to use the Studio slang term – to be of very much use in the game. Shamelessly stealing the name and image of Robert E. Howard’s Puritan adventurer Solomon Kane, I created a patron for witch hunters and all others who sought to take the fight to Chaos. As Warhammer lore developed over the next few years, though, Sigmar took over the role of witch-hunter god, and Solkan was effectively made redundant. I had some plans to introduce a secretive cult of Solkan in the White Dwarf Marienburg series, whose members were even more fanatical and frightening than the witch hunters of Sigmar, but that never came to pass.

By the time I left Games Workshop in October 1990, all three of these deities were effectively stricken from canon. I have never heard of any other gods of Law being mentioned in Games Workshop publications since then, but there are several fan-written interpretations online.

So why am I posting about the gods of Law after all this time? Am I going to create a whole lot of new, unofficial deities for a game that already has plenty? No. I was prompted to write this post by a couple of requests to cover these two miniatures – “Demons of Law” (the “Daemon” spelling had not yet been adopted) released in the C34 Demons and Elementals range in 1985.

To be honest, I’ve never been fond of these miniatures. They are nothing more or less than Christian angels from Medieval European religious art, and come from a time before even the three failed gods of Law had been thought of. They certainly have nothing to do with the Warhammer mythos as it developed.

With that said, here are some stats for WFRP 4. It’s hard to come up with a patron deity for these two from the Old World pantheon, though they might be least out of place in the service of the Lady of the Lake, the goddess of Bretonnia. But that’s just a thought.

As always, what follows is completely unofficial and should be regarded as a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


MWSBSSTIAgDexIntWPFelW
595901201001001105010010010042

Traits: Blessed (God of Law), Distracting (Beauty), Divine 7+ (see below), Flight 100, Hatred (Chaos), Immunity to Psychology, Invoke (Gods of Law), Magic Resistance 4, Miracles (Gods of Law), Night Vision, Terror 2, Weapon +12, Zone of Law (see below)

New Traits

Divine (Target)

The creature’s essence is divine power, which sustains it completely. It does not require food, water, air, rest, or anything else that a living creature might need.

All its attacks are Magical. Roll 1d10 after any blow is received: if the creature rolls the Target number or higher, the blow is ignored even if it is a critical. Should the creature be reduced to 0 Wounds, its essence returns to the realm of Law immediately, removing it from play.

Aura of Law

The creature is wreathed in an aura of life and fertility which extends in a radius of 12 yards. No creature with the Corrupted Trait may enter this zone, and any creature with the Mutation Trait must make a Hard (-20) Willpower Test each round while within the zone, gaining one Fatigued Condition for each failure.

In addition, all spells and magical effects powered by Dhar or Shyish suffer a -30 penalty within the zone.


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Troll à la Morceaux: A Warhammer Recipe

January 13, 2020 5 comments

This short piece of fiction was written in 1989 or 1990 for a never-published sourcebook on Ogres and Trolls in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. Marcel de Morceaux is mentioned in the adventure collection Rough Nights and Hard Days, and I might use him in some future adventure if the opportunity presents itself.

Marcel’s cookbook Adventures in Gastronomy includes some of the most ambitious – and dangerous – recipes ever published in the Old World. It is banned in many places, and of all its contents, Troll à la Morceaux is considered the riskiest. Even if every precaution is taken to ensure that the Troll does not regenerate back to life during the cooking process, one can never be sure….

Very few are brave or foolish enough to try this dish, but there are some in the Old World who will venture beyond the limits of convention and common sense in search of new and unique experiences.


Feast

Picture from Lure of Power: Nobility in the Empire (Fantasy Flight Games, 2009). Used without permission. No challenge intended to copyright holders.

The preparation of the flesh of the Troll requires the greatest care and the most trustworthy of assistants, but if the many pitfalls can be overcome, a chef who can present his lord with a dish such as Troll à la Morceaux will never want for employment. But you must remember, mes amis, that one mistake can lead to disaster, and such a disaster can lead to the gallows or worse.

Firstly, your Troll must be absolutely fresh. Do not trust those robbers who will sell you venison at ten times the price and tell you it is Unicorn or Troll. Great cookery demands that no short-cuts may be taken.

The butchering of a Troll presents several unique problems, but a chef who is truly dedicated to his art may be daunted by nothing. The Troll must be securely bound, with its head held in such a way that it cannot eat the ropes that bind it. As each cut of meat is removed from the carcass, it must be placed immediately in a strong marinade of vinegar – the strongest vinegar you can find, for the presence of acid will slow down the process of regeneration.

Any waste and off-cuts must be burned immediately, or if you have arranged to sell pieces to a wizard or alchemist, he must be on hand to take them away tout à l’instant. Remember, and drum constantly into your servants, that not even the smallest scrap of the carcass must be left lying about.

You must be extremely careful when cleaning the carcass, Remember the great size of the stomach, and the immense power of the acid it contains. If at all possible, seek the guidance of a wizard or alchemist in carrying out this process; it is not too much to offer him the stomach in payment for his supervision, for a mishap with a Troll’s stomach can be a catastrophe véritable.

After the meat has stood in the vinegar marinade for two hours, inspect it closely; if it shows the slightest signs of regeneration, add more vinegar. Keep the meat in the marinade for as long as you can – the longer it stays there, the more tender it will be when cooked – but take no chances.

Enfin, we come to the cooking of the meat. This requires the greatest of care, and must be carried out in two stages.

First, the meat must be seared to prevent it regenerating once it is removed from the vinegar marinade. Use a large skillet of cast iron, and heat it until it literally begins to glow. Drop the meat in, turning it repeatedly until all sides are seared black.

This done, the meat is roasted, fried, or stewed in the same way as beef or venison, allowing double the normal cooking time.

A final word of warning. Do not – jamais, never – undercook Troll. When le patron demands his Troll medium rare, it is perhaps time to consider a change of employment.

Trolls in the Pantry

If something goes wrong, the result could be like this – but not as funny.