The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
The Averlander warband, despite a bumpy start, pulled ahead in the early campaign. They fell behind for a while, but then a couple huge windfalls resulted in them once again becoming the most fearsome warband around!
Follow me now and you will not regret leaving the life you led before we met You are the first to have this love of mine forever with me 'till the end of time
-N.I.B (Nativity in Black), by Black Sabbath
Today's update to the Serene Annihilation Campaign is a battle report. This game was a custom scenario where the Averlanders, accompanied by "Old Man" Caleb try to rescue his daughter Hawke before the Great Hoodoo, Master of the Carnival of Chaos can snatch her up into his foul clutches. Will father and wayward daughter be reunited? Or will Chaos prevail?
In recent times, there have been sighted around Mordheim the most curious - and disturbing - individuals. All resemble, in general arrangement, normal human beings. Save for being unusually tall, one might mistake them for men at a distance. But up close, their bizarre nature becomes apparent: filthy robes, creaking armor - and carved pumpkins for heads.
After the Averlanders encountered the hideous King in Yellow, he returned several battles later to torment the Carnival of Chaos. By this time they had hired a Reaver (Universal Hero). The King once again appeared as though from nowhere, immediately surrounding them and offering no escape - but instead offering a choice:
Agree to have the right arm of your leader chopped off.
Who is like unto the beast? And who is able to make war with him?
The fate of Mordheim rests on the edge of a knife. During the moments when the haunted wind is still, the alleyways seem to hold their breath in anticipation. There is a storm brewing deep in the heart of the Empire. A young man named Magus gathers his followers to him as fire is drawn from the storm. It is a storm headed for Mordheim. In these days, these final days, violence seems to spring up with ever-waxing frequency. Men born from this free-floating, amorphous violence gather in Mordheim, offering their services to anyone who will accept them.
O and night...the night! Wind of the infinite blowing away all faces.
-Duino Elegies: The First Elegy, by Rainer Maria Rilke
After the first three battles, the players came face to face with their heretofore unseen antagonist: The King in Yellow. Be he man or daemon? None know. But he is the King whom Emperors have served. There is a madness to him, but it is a madness born from knowing the awful truth. He, and he alone, has peered behind the veil which is Mordheim. He has seen beyond the terrible, black spires of the Palace of Dreams. He has opened the Chamber of Truth. What he has seen has made him insane - but also given him a terrible power over the reality which fools call Mordheim, City of the Damned.
As the Serene Annihilation Campaign continued, all three warbands prepared for a match-up to determine the fate of Hawke. Sensing the import of this encounter, "Old Man" Caleb reached out to his connections and dug into his pockets to add a Tilean Marksman to the Averlanders warband. The Witch Hunters and the Carnival of Chaos likewise received additional help (more to come on that...).
The battle itself will be discussed elsewhere, suffice to say, Old Man Caleb was left wailing in anguish as the foul Carnival of Chaos carried away his daughter.
But the real change came after...
Deciding that the hired swords which had been added to each warband were just way too awesome to remain just bit players, I allowed each player to add them to their rosters as Heroes.
Hawke is the long lost daughter of "Old Man" Caleb Schwartzwald. Whilst Hawke is most likely not her real name, it is what she has chosen to be called since she fled her home. She is as tight-lipped about her past as her father, but a few facts are known: she is a magic-user - and therefore prosecuted by the Empire. It can be inferred that after manifesting her powers, that she fled her home and father. Though the exact reason is still unknown. It could be that "Old Man" Caleb tried to force her to suppress her talents and that she rebelled; it could be that he tried to turn her over to the Templars of Sigmar; or it could be that she simply desired to learn more about her skills and set off into the wider world. Whatever the reason, she, like many of her ill-fame ilk, has come to Mordheim.
"Old Man" Caleb Schwartzwald is a man tight-lipped about his past. His dress and attire seem to indicate that he is from Nuln, yet his accent is not equally congruous. His weapons are of fine manufacture, but kept in ill repair. There are those who are certain he is a disgraced nobleman, whilst others say he is just a common thief who somehow managed to avoid the noose and reach old age. What is certain is that the Old Man is desperately seeking something in Mordheim much more dear to him than wyrdstone: his daughter Hawke.
I thought I would share the additional rules my gaming group has been using for the Serene Annihilation campaign. The first part of the document is for the changes to the basic Mordheim rules (ie. House Rules) and the second part contains the special, additional rules we used to represent the additional horrors and terrors of Mordheim and the haunting Palace of Dreams.
Prior to this campaign, I had virtually no knowledge of the Averlander warband. As it turns out, they are a really strong, characterful force. The Averlanders fight well with starting WS4 on their leader, Sergeant and henchmen! They also shoot really well with starting BS4 on their Bergjaegers.
Wallace led the Averlanders in our Serene Annihilation campaign. They are his models and mostly non-GW Reaper miniatures.