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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.


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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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Menfish – Another Lost Warhammer Race

August 8, 2020 27 comments

Menfish? Yes, that’s right. These creatures were briefly a part of Warhammer lore. As well as the ad above from the first Citadel Compendium (1984), they were written up in the first edition Warhammer rules:

Index
FF65-2 “Ferocious Man-Fish” miniatures were apparently re-coded from the older “Fiend Factory” range, which supported the White Dwarf column of the same name.

A few other humanoid fish types were released, such as the Fishman in the C38 Chaos Beastmen release and the early WH40K minitaure “Zhar d’uin, Piscean Prince,” but there was no further attempt to develop the Menfish concept or to create another aquatic or amphibious race.

Blazindragon left a comment in my post on Chaos Snakemen asking if I could cover the Fishmen for WFRP 4th edition, so here goes. As always, what follows is in no way official and should be considered a fan work. No challenge is intended to copyrights or trademarks held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Menfish

Menfish live in the underwater caves beneath the sea, and a few communities have been found in larger lakes. They live by fishing, mounting night-time raids on coastal villages, and sinking ships. Loyal only to their own kind, they attack the communities of Humans, Elves, Greenskins, and others without making any distinction between them.

The Sea Elves and other peoples have sent embassies to the Manfish communities of the northern seas proposing alliances against the forces of Chaos, but without success. It seems that the Menfish treat all outsiders as enemies, and only a handful of ambassadors escaped with their lives.

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Traits: Afraid (Fire, Sunlight), Amphibious, Animosity (other species), Bite +4, Cold-blooded, Night Vision, Swamp-strider, Territorial, Weapon +6

Optional: Armour 1, Hatred (other species), Ranged +6 (6 yards), Stealthy


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Gnomevember the Second

November 24, 2014 2 comments

Wfrp_logo

A blog called Where the sea pours out has picked up on my earlier post about the short career of the Gnomes as a Warhammer race and made some very interesting observations about Gnomes in general. There is solid information about their origins in folklore and alchemy, and some thought-provoking comments about the way they have come to be depicted outside fantasy games and how that affects the way people think about Gnomes in games.

It’s worth reading, and in a previous post the writer promises to show us some of his collection of old Citadel and Grenadier Gnomes. I’m looking forward to that.