Sunday 30 October 2011

Terror of the Lichemaster - 8 / 17 Figures. And the book.

When I added the Terror of the Lichemaster appeal, I had five of the scenario figures. My thoughts were that if I had two of the 'hard to get' ones, I'd be in there with a chance. Fortunately, I now have three of the hard to get ones, and a few others. Also, I finally own the actual boxed set and scenario book. I didn't get the buildings, unfortunately, but we can work around that.

Also, given that the Lichemaster scenario was originally written for Warhammer 2nd edition, I had to get the rules as well. The scenario is compatible with Warhammer 3rd edition, but - old times sake and all that:

Now it must be said that this site was not originally started with Warhammer 2nd edition in mind. When this got underway, I had 3rd edition firmly in my sights, and the objective was to spread the word. But, having looked at 2nd edition, I'm happy to bring it in scope as well. Compared to its modern day equivalent, it is still significantly more advanced in terms of player maturity, requiring adults to play, and co-operate, and not get bogged down in arguments about rules. Although it was before my time, I welcome it and look forward to employing it when I've finished all the Lichemaster work (so - in 2018 sometime).

Also included in the box was the order sheet for the figures. Released from the poor copy up at The Stuff of Legends, I am now able to clearly see what some of these figures actually look like, so I have a better idea of what to look for on eBay.

And I got a little badge. I like badges.

Anyway, this is my collection of stuff on the actual order sheet:


Of course, other figures have come up on eBay, including the Ace of Spades himself, Mr Kemmler:

Sadly, I didn't have £93.65 (the current going rate for one? Statistics suggest that if you bid more than £93.65, you can bag yourself a Kemmler too...) to spend on the chap. Still, having got hold of Gimbrin Finehelm has added to my credibility as a Terror of the Lichemaster collector. Now, the only two figures I've not seen anywhere on the whole internet (for buying/trading) to date, are Hunk and Ranlac.

Anyway, I've got detailed pictures of each figure over on my appeal page, so that if you are collecting these figures, then you will have a clear idea of what the hell to look for. Working our the Fritzy was an AD&D Blink Dog took absolute ages...

Tuesday 25 October 2011

The Oldhammer Contract

I just came across Mr Zhu's manifesto.

Let's be clear: it is a manifesto. It is the statement of intent of the Warhammer OSR and quite frankly, the succinct and concise expression of almost everything Warhammer for Adults was created to bring about for a single disgruntled gamer, except...clearer than my own wittering inability to express myself.

So, there's a contract, an image and a distant reference to the other leading OSR statement, noted over at Tales of the Maelstrom, referenced on this site here, and alluded to by another leading voice in our desperate return to the 80's.

We have a manifesto. We have a figurehead. And now we have a banner:

Gentlemen. I suggest we have a rebellion on our hands.

And so, like the waves of revolution that have flooded across the middle east, I invite you to participate in this very spontaneous, but very real opposition to this sort of thing. Not because I don't want you to play at tournaments (although your life will be better for it), but when someone else gets to tell you what army you're going to play...

All I'm saying is you don't have to do this. You can be in control of your gaming experience.

So. Sign Zhu's manifesto (well, leave a comment, at any rate). Change your life.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Marauding Chaos Knights and the Citadel of Confusion

Of all the figures I ever fantasised about owning, the Chaos Knights of the 80's were almost the highest on the list. Before this blog, I had never owned a chaos army, mainly because after 4th edition, it was never the same army.

Back to the knights: they looked thoroughly mean, without being the sinister, spiky dorks of the modern Games Workshop. And, in a world where 25mm meant 25mm - they were big. I dare say they would be almost the same size as a modern knight, but I don't know, because I don't have any.

So,  few months ago, when I saw some knights titled Marauder Chaos Knights on ebay, I thought, "Silly fool - Marauders are the more modern name of the light cavalry available to modern chaos armies. Those aren't Marauders, mate - those are Chaos Knights!"

Thoroughly self satisfied, I bought them.

No doubt you can see the trap I'd fallen into. Marauder was the name of a miniatures company, owned by Games Workshop. Everyone has heard of Marauder Dwarves. Even me. I can't tell you why I hadn't put those two facts together.

Anyway, the point is, I ended up with four Marauder Chaos Steeds (with Citadel riders, no less!)

The scale problem was immediately evident. I have no idea how the Marauder Chaos Knights (the riders) actually look on the steeds - but the citadel ones positively dwarfed the little buggers.

This is a comparison between the Marauder and Citadel steeds:

Marauder vs. Citadel Chaos Steeds
Top left and bottom right are the Marauder ones. The difference is astounding. I now know that this was mainly due to the cost of metal back in the day. The Marauder ones were obviously cheaper to produce.

But I don't care. What the hell am I supposed to do with four Chaos Shetland Ponies? So, for months, they've sat forgotten in an (eventually) outbound eBay queue.

That takes me to yesterday. Having now reached a stage gate with the Undead, I realised that I was a bit bored of painting undead.

I need to paint something else. I would love to paint my Orcs & Goblins, but that means that I won't really be able to capitalise on the painting I've already done.

But a Chaos army gets me around that. If I paint up some Chaos stuff, I can get a huge army for a small amount of painting effort, and because it's Chaos, I can do some very interesting painting if I want. And the Undead can ally with them (or even be summoned by them, I suppose).

So, following that track, I ended up looking at my figures and producing a 500,000* point Chaos army. In that list, I realised that I could use the diminutive Marauder ponies to make a unit of Thug Horse.

As far as I know, there are no models for this unit, and, given that they are (in my mind) supposed to be smaller than the Chaos Warriors that are further along the path of chaos than they are, this seemed very fitting.

Which now puts me in the place where I either need to find another Marauder Chaos Steed, or I need to find another older Citadel horse of a similar scale, to create the minimum of five that I need. And, given that, due to recent events, I suppose I'll be chasing down a Realm of Chaos Slaanesh army, I'll actually need to get two, because you need six in a Slaanesh army.

Such is the way of chaos. The despised become the loved.

So, I don't suppose you have any Thug horses Marauding as Knights, do you?

*Slight exaggeration. But it's 3rd Ed. Chaos, so you get the idea. 

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Milestone(s) Reached! Terror of the Lichemaster & minimum requirements for an Undead army

As the title says, a massive milestone has been reached. Of course, there are other blogs where people say they'll paint stuff, then just go ahead and produce a whole army.

Milestones don't mean anything to those people. The end is not a milestone.

Fortunately, dear readers, here things are a bit more sedentary. Like me, I'm sure you couldn't possibly cope with the delivery of a completely painted 80's army all in one go. Something would burst.

Anyway, the milestone. In the Warhammer Armies book for 3rd edition, an Undead army requires three things:

A Necromancer.

At least 20 Skeleton Warriors:

At least 10 Grim Reapers:

Here, then, is the milestone - 31 painted figures, covering exactly the stated requirements:

The Grim Reapers:

The other milestone here, is some progress for the Terror of the Lichemaster. If you look closely, you will see the leader of the Grim Reapers (no - not the one with the horns - the chap with the glowing sword) is none other than Krell. 

The Warriors:

The Warriors are comprised mainly of the Nightmare Legion, featuring Ennio and some of the boys. I say some, because perfectionists would say there are 24 members of the Nightmare Legion and they should all look similar to each other. I don't actually have all 24 members, and I get bored from too much repetition, so there are only 12 of them.

Don't be fooled by my clever photography - there is only one necromancer, he's just in both pictures.

So, the milestones reached are:

  1. Minimum requirements for an Undead army
  2. Krell and 29 other skeletons for the Terror of the Lichemaster
  3. Enough of the Nightmare Legion to call the unit the Nightmare Legion

Its nice to finally see some paint on these chaps. Onwards!


Friday 7 October 2011

Realm of Chaos: Ellen Degenerate

Ellen Degenerate. One pun becomes another.

If, at this point, you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, it might be worth reading the events in the epilogue to the Battle for the Wyemm Seeyay. Go there now. Then the rest of this might make sense.

One of the most interesting events of the Battle for the Wyemm Seeyay, was the incredible incompetence Ellendee had with her magic. Basically, the poor girl failed her intelligence test three times in a row. In fact, she only managed to cast one spell once. That wasn't a planned event - quite simply, the dice rolls were just awful.

When I started looking at what I could do with that story wise, it just became more and more obvious that the sort of person that would turn to chaos would most likely be the sort of pampered, arrogant elf who thought they would save the day with their clever spells and basically only survive long enough to see their entire army annihilated before being taken captive themselves.

So the choice was easy, really.

And, given that Ellendee is somewhat infamous, I felt that I could roll up her Realm of Chaos conversions, because we have a dice log to prove the rolls, and a global audience to see her descend into madness...

What we have here, then, is the before and after case. Ellendee Generis, the level 10 elf, and Ellen Degenerate, the impossible-to-apply-a-level-to chaos champion:

M WS BS S T W I A Ld Int Cl WP Magic Points Fear Points
Ellendee Generis 5 5 4 4 3 2 7 1 9+1 10+2 10+1 10+2 10 0
Ellen Degenerate 5 6 6 6 4 5 10 4 10+2 10+2 10+1 10+2 20 4

As you can see, she suddenly became a lot more... competent. All I'm saying is that wayward gyrocopter pilots had better watch their step from now on.

Anyway, Ellendee's rise (descent?) was actually really quick. I only created her as a starting champion - I used the profile of a Level 10 Dark Elf Wizard and produced one Chaos Attribute for her, after applying the (meaningless) Chaos Gift of Slaanesh.

Let's go in order, shall we:

Reward 1 - default Gift of Slaanesh

+1 to Cl. Her Cl is already 10+1, so no more benefit to be achieved, I don't think. Perhaps Cl 10+2?

Reward 2 - Attribute 1: Chaos Lord. 

Yeah, that's right. Chaos Lord. Check this out:

So, I rolled well. She went from a frail little elven damsel to a heaving beast of chaos. Unfortunately, I then rolled for a further five Attributes. This means that she has six attributes, so if she ever rolls an 'Eye of the Gods' Reward when she gets her next reward, she's going to turn into a Chaos Spawn. She'll never make it to immortality now. Let's see how far we can go, though.

Reward 2 - Attribute 2: Long Neck

Great. Now she can see over fences. That's a problem she has all the time...

Reward 2 - Attribute 3: Bestial Face

That's the stuff! Chaos coming out in all it's glory. Is it a lion? Or a bear?

No. It's a goat. Beware, enemies of chaos, lest she ram* you to death!

Reward 2 - Attribute 4: Zoological Mutation

Fortunately, Chaos asserts it's true qualities, as we see the opportunity for a truly frightening and powerful mutation come through!

So I roll the dice...and her mouth is affected! That great, evil maw that... goats have. Maybe lion now?

Nah. She gets the mouth of a Rabbit. Grrr! Or whatever sounds rabbits make.

Reward 2 - Attribute 5: Limb Transferance

Okay, so up until now, she was still pretty badass. Even with a rabbit's mouth. You can get a helmet to cover that up. But now she was running the risk of quite an embarrassing deformity. More embarrassing than the long neck, even.

So wouldn't you know it, her bizarre rabbit's mouth moves around to her...


Which is always useful. Now she has to lie on the floor staring at the sky in order to eat. She can't even use her long neck to shout abuse at her neighbours over the fence anymore. Still - could have been worse. I decided, for longer term narrative, to have the mouth at the base of her neck, which makes it a bit more sinister and possibly a little more practical as well.

Reward 2 - Attribute 6: Plague Bearer

Don't get excited, it's not what I thought it was either. She is sick, though:

She's not a follower of Nurgle, so let's see what she gets:

The Shakes! So, the first really negative attribute - she loses some weapon skill and an attack. She can live with that.

But that's not all, folks. Being a Chaos Lord, she got two extra rolls on the Chaos Followers table, meaning she could already start with a small army to do her bidding. All together, this gave me three rolls. Having rolled all my dice, I got...

...a Chaos Goblin. One.

I guess she couldn't shout very loud what with her mouth on her back and all. They wanted to come, they just couldn't hear her.

I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that he's a very nice goblin, though.

Still, Ellen got three other nice things, being a Chaos Lord and all...

1. Chaos Armour (Yes!)
2. Daemon Weapon (Yes!!)
3. Extra Magic Level (Yes!!!)

The armour is pretty straight forward - she gets heavy armour and can still cast spells.

The weapon contains a Daemonette. So it doesn't have amazingly scary properties, although it doesn't allow armour saves and will kill anything with just one wound. Also, she gets +3 to hit. Like I said, not amazingly scary.

It has 37 strength points. Basically, each time the blade kills something, it absorbs a third of the victim's strength as strength points. Once it reaches 37, it is sated and doesn't have any further effect until the next battle.

And finally, the dear girl learned some new spells. When you become a Realms of Chaos Chaos Champion, and you are a wizard, you automatically get the spells of the god the champion follows. In Ellen's case, her spells now look like this (of course, you didn't know what spells she had before, because she never bloody cast any of them besides fireball...):

Level 1:

  1. Slaanesh: Acquiescence
  2. Battle Magic: Flight
  3. Battle Magic: Dispirit
  4. Battle Magic: Wind Blast
  5. Battle Magic: Fireball
  6. Elemental: Hand of Fire

Level 2:

  1. Slaanesh: Pavane of Slaanesh
  2. Elemental: Wind of Magic
  3. Daemonic: Summon Lesser Daemons

So, there we have it. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ellen Degenerate, Champion of Slaanesh.


*Actually, I know nothing about goats. For all I know, there are incredibly dangerous feral mountain goats, who carefully stalk their prey and then ram them off difficult mountain passes or something. Their freaky little eyes are quite disturbing, I suppose.  

Saturday 1 October 2011

Battle Report: It's fun to slay at the Wyemm Seeyay - Post Mortem

So, now that the dust has settled and the dwarves have laid claim to the Wyemm Seeyay, it falls to us to conclude the paperwork, as it were.

If you got here expecting to see an epilogue, you'll need to go here, to the actual epilogue. Because this is a double post, both this post and the epilogue went up today.

Of course, whilst we here at Warhammer For Adults are ...well, adults, and therefore do not succumb to the base cravings of tournament play where points describe the outcome, we still thought it would help for readers who are still struggling to make that transition to include points. Dreamfish and I did set out some points and victory conditions... because probably because old habits die hard. But we're working on that.

Suffice to say, the elves lost.

Well, anyway, here are the scores. If you need that sort of thing.

Wood Elves Dwarfs
Captured Zones 0 2 * 50
Killed General's 0 50
Lost Units 328 877
Total 328 1027

The Dwarves

The Dwarf Survivors
By paperwork, I mean the post-mortem of the battle, from the perspective of the players. This is what Dreamfish had to say:

It has been a while since the Dwarfs fought their last battle. Back in the 80's they used to fight the Orc's of my brother, losing every single battle. It left me with shelves full of Books of Grudges. How wonderful is it then to finally be able remove one.

Looking back I'm pretty happy with the result of the battle. I was able to perform all tactical decisions uninterrupted. With the Earthquaker smashing through the Elven ranks it prepared the way for the Firehammers and their retinue. The gyrocopter was a blast to fly with, a welcome diversion for a Dwarf player. By surviving the multiple assassination attempts it was able to bring the needed air support just there were the Dwarfs needed it the most. The Arrowheads at the defense performed their task brilliantly by raining down a hail of arrows onto the Elven chariot. As if expecting the outcome the Steelaxes stood ready with shields in place to welcome the out of control chariot and the somewhat diminished Wardancers. The Ironaxes at the offence took the beating while the Firehammers where able to sneak up close enough to finish the job by hand.

Some items like the Grenade, Magic Weapon and Spell Shield I equipped Borri with were not used. While making the army list I expected a great deal more of the wizard. I also didn't expect the Spectre would attack the Stone Thrower. Hell yes it did some damage but point wise it would have been better off attacking the Steelaxes. Some tweaking could have been done on the armour of the Ironaxes. I gave them Light Armour but they would have been better off with shields, allowing them to use some of the those special manoeuvres like the Tortoise.

The whole remote gaming experiment has been a blast. While there are obvious shortcomings while playing remotely I do think it has its charms. Time wise for example one can play whenever he's able to. It's takes roughly 30 minutes to process a phase. This includes taking the pictures and editing them. Having this time we were able to write this extensive battle report. Something that wouldn't be possible if we would play everything in one day. I really enjoyed having the time to think things over and carefully explore all possibilities within the rules. I hate it when playing a game of Warhammer just to discover at the end you missed out a couple of them. This happens a lot to me when playing everything in one go, especially when playing 3rd ed.

In the end I can say the experiment has been a success. While writing this we're already planning our next battle which will include some unseen miniatures (eerie music playing). This battle will be fought between our mystery guest from the USA and Gaj. I'll act as the host and GM of the game.

Finally, I would like to give thanks to everyone for the positive feedback and the encouragement. I’m glad to read that we inspire people. Hopefully you-all keep on reading and don’t forget to stay tuned for our upcoming engagement.

The Elves

The Elf Survivors
As you can see, the elves ... well, had some survivors. That's good, right?

From my point of view, the entire game was built around the scenario. By that I mean that I could have elected to have a much more tactically advantageous deployment than I did, but because I was playing the role of Gaymar, I really got into the reckless and arrogant thinking. I'm not for a second blaming my decisions on that, but it is something that competitive players might struggle to digest. I had the choice to bring both the wizard and the spectre on in turn 1 and I had the choice to deploy my troops in a much better way. I chose not to, because it fitted the scenario and immediately presented me with the challenge of arranging a force on the march to face a prepared and dug in foe. 

One of the things that I didn't factor in, though, was just how much of Warhammer 3 I had forgotten. Somehow, in my mind, I had convinced myself that chariots were way tougher than what they are - I had basically forgotten that they need a lot of protection to be effective. I was really surprised when the horses bolted and ran off into the distance...

Dreamish refers to the use of points to calculate the value of having the spectre attack the stone thrower. Let's put that aside and consider my investment into a level 10 wizard, with only 5 magic points available, who arrived on turn 2 and only cast one spell in the entire game. I made a massive mistake here.: in Warhammer 3rd Edition, there are five levels of character (5, 10, 15, 20 and 25), but only four levels of magic (1, 2, 3 and 4). I kept on thinking that a level 10 wizard was on magic level 2, therefore having more magic points, which would have allowed me to bind the spectre for longer. In actual fact, both level 5 and level 10 wizards are at magic level 1 (and therefore only 10 magic points), meaning I could have spent less money on the wizard for exactly the same outcome and, I dunno, buy something useful somewhere else. When Dreamfish pointed out the error of my ways, I realised that I had just added another tactical challenge to my game. 

My plan with the spectre was actually to hit the crossbowmen. The chariot was supposed to have survived and hit the Steelaxes, together with the Wardancers, who would then roll the dwarf line and press into the warmachine. That all fell apart when the chariot failed to hit. I thought I would redirect the spectre into the machine, because it was just absolutely annihilating my lines, and I thought that if I kept the elves alive for longer, they could just shoot the approaching dwarves down. But...I knew that wouldn't be very interesting, so when the fire proved to be ineffective, I decided to close and try a little close combat. In all fairness, I think the elves nearly pulled it off. Bear in mind they won their first combat rounds, but they had just failed to rout the dwarves. 

Finally, regarding the dwarf warmachines - they were just devastating. Warhammer 8 players will look at the damage and shrug - I'm sure they wish warmachines were as soft and gentle as the ones on display here...but for WFB3? Devastating. Stone throwers don't misfire in 3rd edition, so the trick is to close on them or get out of their arc of fire. Or rely on them to miss, which they should have done more often. 

This game has been a great entry into WFB3 and has really refreshed the ruleset in my mind. It was interesting for me to realise how many WFB6, 7 and 8 behaviours crept into my thinking. Both Dreamfish and I agree that this is a fantastic way to actually create a battle report - there is plenty of time in between rounds to do the images and write up the story. It was also great that we ourselves also experienced the tension that readers (hopefully) experienced - I also found myself on the edge of my seat during the Gaymar/Morgrim fight while I waited for results to come back from Dreamfish's side. 

Our Heartfelt Thanks!

So, with that, we sadly draw to a conclusion the Battle for the Wyemm Seeyay. Both Dreamfish and I express our absolute heartfelt gratitude to all of you who tracked the project, posted supporting comments on the site and on forums, and generally encouraged us to continue. As we've alluded to already, we are busy with another one, hopefully a little bigger in size and possibly featuring different players.

Our Shameless Plug!

If, by any chance, reading this has compelled you to investigate Warhammer 3rd Edition, and you find yourself looking to find out more, I refer you to this link, where you can get in touch with me (and...if you're in The Netherlands, let me know anyway and you might be able to hook up with Dreamfish). You don't need old classic figures to play (or even GW figures - some great stuff in other ranges...), so don't let that hold you back.



Battle Navigation

Conclusion & Comments

Battle Report: It's fun to slay at the Wyemm Seeyay - Epilogue


"Yep - that's the DeLorien, alright," Emmer Ribord called down to the elves at the base of the tree. "It's looking a little worse for wear... and it's missing a horse, too! Looks like Gaymar's alright, though."

The little watch party looked at each other. After a brief discussion, one of the elves broke away and melted into the forest. 


"Roughed up, but looking okay, you say?" Lord Vass Saleen didn't look up. "What about Gaymar?"

"Er...I meant Gaymar, your Lordship," Barthe Solte said. 

"Oh. I thought you were talking about the chariot. That's good, I suppose. How far away is he?"

"I would suggest about fifteen minutes at his current pace."

"FIFTEEN MINUTES? Bloody hell, man! What am I paying you lot to do out there all day? I would have expected a day's warning at least!"

"He wasn't a days journey away, your Lordship." Barthe sighed. He hated explaining things like this to Vass. "Besides, we knew you were... busy." Barthe nodded towards the elf on his knees next to Vass.  

Vass Saleen clipped the kneeling elf on the side of the head. "You heard him. Only fifteen minutes now. And you've still got the other hand to do. Get on with it! Manicures don't do themselves, you know!"

Barthe offered a salute and turned to go. 

"Hey, you - security guy!" Vass called out. 

Barthe sighed and turned around. "Barthe Solte, m'lord," he replied in a strained voice.

"Get a band or something down there. Maybe trumpets. I like trumpets."

"A band, m'lord? At such short notice, I suspect we could at best find one or two horns?"

"Sure. Yeah. Okay. You go ahead and get that organised. And get me my cloak. The lilac one. No, make that the fuchsia one. Chop chop, now!" Vass clapped his hands, much to the annoyance of the manicurist. 

Barthe turned and walked out. That little shit had better have killed a hundred dwarves...


The lone trumpet blasted three notes of a jolly welcome before quietly dying away. It didn't take long for everyone assembled to ponder what the state of the dwarves must be, if this is what the elves looked like. Wardancers limped in, supporting each other. The Household Guard had fashioned some makeshift stretchers which were carried by those well enough to walk. 

At the head of this pitiful procession rumbled the once pristine DeLorien. It was being led by Filli Paymassah, the only one of the chariot crew that could still limp in a straight line. The gathering elves stared as the procession rumbled forward, silent and dutiful. 

Standing alone in the chariot, both hands on the rail, was Gaymar the Foccer. He stared grimly ahead, turning his head to look at his father only when the chariot creaked to a halt before him. 

Lord Vass Saleen smiled at his son. Having taken in the scene, he thought he'd start in the most optimistic frame of mind and give his son the benefit of the doubt. 

"Morning, chap! How's things?"

Gaymar nodded slowly, the pain causing him to scowl as he did so. "Peachy. Just peachy"

Vass walked up to the side of the chariot. Gaymar hadn't moved. Vass looked at Gaymar's hands and then peaked over the side of the chariot at his feet. 

"Did they nail you to the chariot?"

Gaymar sighed. "I was hoping you wouldn't notice. Yes, actually, they did. Good chaps, the dwarves. Think of everything. This way, I wasn't in danger of falling out or anything, you know. Always embarrassing, falling out of chariots"

Filli shuffled his feet nervously. 

"And they've shaved your head," Vass said in a matter-of-fact tone. 

Gaymar nodded again. "Like I said, they think of everything, the little miniature wonders that they are. Couldn't get my hair stuck in a tree or anything, you know."

Vass nodded. "Yes. That would be awful. Pull at the nails, that would." 

"Exactly. Don't want to pull at the nails. That would just be a uncomfortable."

"No, no. Quite right." Vass pursed his lips. "Very uncomfortable."

He looked closely at his son's face. "Is that a dent in your forehead?"

"A dent? That's a strong term. A dent. More of an impression, really. The briefest of inclinations. One of the dwarves was good enough to show me some of his jewellery, that's all. Just a bit of fun." Gaymar offered a wan smile and forced a light laugh through his cracked lips. 

Vass raised an eyebrow. "Anyway, did you, uh, want us to take the nails out? Seeing as how you've safely arrived?"

Gaymar smiled brightly. "That'd be super if you could. I shan't be needing them anymore."


Ellendee knew they had initially thought she was dead by the way they had dwarf-handled her into their camp. She couldn't quite remember what had led to her being carried in like that and she had no idea what happened next. But the second time she awoke, she was just lumped in a corner against a barrel. It was night time, the only light provided by a camp fire a short distance away. 

She felt groggy and slow. She blinked and blinked, trying to force her eyelids to open enough to see. She was just so tired. Eventually, she managed to lift her eyelids enough to allow the blurriness to clear. Without moving her head, she swivelled her eyes to the right, where she took in the shape of a dwarf, spread-eagled on the floor. 

At this point, her strength failed her and her head lolled forward. Again, from the new position of her head, she forced her eyes open and rolled her eyes up and to the right to look at the dwarf. It hurt looking at him, but she forced her way through the pain. At first, she thought he was dead, but having stared at him for what seemed like a lifetime, she realised that the awful thing was breathing. Long, deep peaceful breaths - the horrid creature was sleeping. 

Drawing her deepest breath yet, she rolled her eyes over to the left. Nothing. Her right eye was okay, but the left had nothing. She blinked again, raising her eyebrows as high as she could to force the eye to open, but still nothing. That was odd. 

Ellendee the focussed her attention on the fire, dead ahead of her. There, sitting on a barrel - was that an elf? She couldn't make out his face from here, but it was definitely an elf. He was facing her, but his head was hung, exposing his bald pallet. She could make out cuts and scabs across the head, as well as a few tufts of hair. 

She recognised the form, but surely it wasn't - 

But it was. 

Gaymar. So they had lost, then. They had been captured and they had shaved his head. She had heard of this before with the dwarves. It suggested that they weren't going to kill them, but the shaving of the head was a grave insult. 

Well. They're not getting my hair. 

She took in the rest of the scene: Gaymar was perched on the barrel, more or less in the centre of a group of dwarves, all lying about in various states of drunken stupor. She could barely make out the back of a dwarf who appeared to be standing at the very edge of the camp site. He appeared to be urinating. She watched as he slowly keeled over backwards, creating a majestic fountain in the firelight before he hit the ground. His helmet rolled round and round on the floor like a coin, before shuddering to a stop somewhere out of sight. 

It was at about this time that the pain started cutting through her daze. Her whole body was just one dull ache. Her eyes were scratchy, especially the left one. She was glad to be so far away from the fire - even from here she could feel the heat, which was extremely uncomfortable, especially on her exposed skin. 

Ultimately, this discomfort, combined with her concern about her hair, caused her to start moving. With muscles straining, she managed to force herself to sit upright. All she could hear was the crackle of the fire and the gentle breathing of an army of drunken dwarves. 

Ellendee realised that her hands were chained. She followed the chain with her eyes, locating the end of the chain in the hand of the first dwarf she saw. Despite the pain, she raised an eyebrow. 


The pain in Ellendee's back had subsided enough now that she could walk more or less upright. She had crawled for most of the night and had managed to start limping just before the sun rose. Although she knew the forest well, pain had cancelled out any form of concentration she had, so she had just doggedly crawled and limped onwards. Away from those damned dwarves. 

Unfortunately, not all of them had been asleep. She would have killed them all if that was the case. Some of them still had the discipline to keep a watch of sorts, keeping an eye on the surviving elves. It occurred to her that the only reason she hadn't been watched like the other elves was because they thought she was dead. 

It would only be later in her life that she would learn that the dwarves always chained wizards, even if they were dead. Apparently, they could never be too careful. 

But the dwarf with the chain hadn't been too careful. He'd been drunk. And now, he was dead. Until that night, killing had never brought her any pleasure. But that dwarf - she grinned from the moment she wrapped the chain around his neck until the moment he gargled the last blood-flecked dribble of saliva from his twitching body. It had been reckless, but worth it. No one had seen her. 

A quick search revealed the freedom she needed from the chains. 

After that, she had marshalled the remainder of her strength and simply crawled into the forest. If she could get far enough, she would be able to get help and possibly still save the remaining elves. 


When next she awoke, she found her head resting uncomfortably against what turned out to be a stone pillar, overgrown with vines and bushes. The last of the afternoon sun was disappearing over the forest canopy. Her good eye revealed that she had obviously made her way into this small clearing, the centre of which contained the pillar she now rested against. 

Slowly, Ellendee sat up and rested her back against the pillar - 

"Wakey, wakey! Wide-awakey!" a glee filled voice squeaked above her. 

Ellendee squealed in fright, the sound escaping before she could clap her filthy hands over her mouth.  Shivering and wide-eyed, she looked up. 

Sat atop the stone pillar, looking down at her between his oversized feet, sat a vile, yellow goblin. His eyes almost glowed red in the fading light, but there was no malice in his expression or countenance. She noted with interest his thick moustache and side burns - she had never seen such a goblin before. 

"Hee hee," he giggled, amused by her shock. "Wakey elfy! Elfy wakey!" he sang, rocking backwards and forwards on the pillar. 

Malice or no, she wasn't taking any chances. Fireball was ingrained in her, now. The words came naturally, and as she started chanting and gesturing, she could feel the power rising within her. The pain left her as she drew on the unseen forces disguised in the natural order of things. It felt so easy! As she chanted, she rose in the air and spread her arms out. Why hadn't she thought of this before? She knew she could fly and she knew that casting made her feel fantastic.

The goblin watched in awe, jumping to his feet on top of the pillar as she rose to the same height as him. "Yes, yes!" he cackled, dancing and spinning on the pillar. "Hee hee! Hee hee!"

Overwhelmed with the power of magic, she had to launch the fireball - there was no doubt about that. She was, however, a little hesitant to shoot the goblin - he seemed to be the only one there and he could have killed her while she slept. She hurled the fireball at the base of the pillar, pleased with the shape and intensity of the explosion. All of the brush and overgrowth was set alight. 

Despite the force of the blast, the little goblin had retained his footing. He bounced up and down, delirious with joy, cackling and whooping. 

"What do you want?" she barked.

"Ha ha! Hoo hoo!" was the ugly thing's only response. 

She tried again. "What do you want?"

"Read! Lookey look!" The goblin pointed at the pillar. "Read the stone! Stone the read!"

She saw that as the undergrowth around the pillar burned, strange symbols had started appearing on the sides. She recognised them. This was the language in which her spell book had been written in - before it had been eviscerated in that accident with her idiot cousin. 

Her eyes stretched wide as she read the runes, easily taking in their intent and meaning. It purported to be a spell of vengeance. From this, she could wield unholy wrath against her hated foes and the stone would do the rest. This was why it was so easy to draw power - the whole area was drenched in the latent magical power of the stone. 

She flexed her fingers, and without so much as a word, caused the goblin also to raise into the air. The creature whooped in delight, spreading his arms out wide, as if to embrace the very air. 

Together, they flew around the pillar - the goblin for the sheer joy of it, Ellendee slowly rotating around it to read everything it had. What an incredible find! All of her pain and discomfort had evaporated in the sheer joy of magic.


The pillar had turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg. Like an iceberg, most of it was hidden below the ground. She commanded it to rise out of the ground and display it's full glory and all of it's hidden secrets. And there were many. 

Through it, she learned about the power of emotions and feeling. She learned how she could channel feelings to strengthen herself. Not just through magic, but in her every activity. Anger was a rich platform from which to raise the deepest levels of magic or to just slice a fruit. She could use disgust to detect illness or reject poison. Love could be used to rule kingdoms, or damn the weak to oblivion. And it felt like she had always known this. Surely this was why she found it so easy to understand? How could this bastion of knowledge have lain here undetected like this? It must have been passed a thousand times, but with no-one having the aptitude to reveal its secrets. 

Now they were her secrets. 

The feeling she revelled in most right now was hatred. She loved hatred! As the sky darkened and gave way to stars, she lay on her back and fantasised about that dwarf and his warmachine. Even now, that little runt was no doubt making his way home, patting himself on the back for slaying an elven sorceress. As the night deepened, she concocted a thousand ways to find him and remind him of her and who she was. There was no fatigue and she became more and more excited as each thought became more real and tangible to her. The funny thing was, even as much as she revelled in the hatred, she was in no hurry to find him. 

Her thoughts switched to her cousin. As for that idiot. Her hatred died away. She didn't hate, it was more like sorrow. She felt sorry for him. She could afford to be arrogant - her new found power filled her with the confidence of a thousand wizards - but Gaymar? That poor sod had no substance at all. Thinking about it caused her to weep. 

Great sobs wracked her body as she explored her sorrow. She loved sorrow! The more she cried, the more she laughed, until could no longer lay still. Joy gave way to shame, as she thought of all those failed fireballs and her own stupidity had nearly cost her her life and had certainly cost her her eye. She traced her hands over her burned skin, her fingers softly running over the scarred and melted surface. She explored her left eye, feeling the melded eyelid. The touch was painful, but each little sensation thrilled her in a way she couldn't even begin to describe. She loved pain!

The little goblin copied her wherever he could - when she laughed, he laughed. As she danced in the evening light, so did he, his exaggerated movements easily complimented by her own sensuous movement. Together, they danced and sang and laughed and cried, thrilled in each others company and the comforting presence of the great pillar. 



Revelation upon revelation had come to her as she had danced that night. She knew that she was being called to devote herself to whatever god the pillar had been erected to. She cast augurs and divinations, exploring her own future and that of the forest. In doing so she learned that there was a companion for her hidden beneath the stone monolith. 

Using hew new found powers, she summoned creatures from another place to help her. It seemed to her that they mimicked her appearance - each bizarre creature a woman similar in shape to Ellendee, yet wholly different. They each kept their left eye shut, in deference to her. Their legs were bestial, yet beautiful. Each woman had beautifully patterned claws, seemingly ideal for the magical dance they now weaved. In the shadows, they whispered more secrets to her and together, they again danced around the stone, casting a great spell of force, toppling the great stone obelisk. 

As the stone crashed to the ground, a great bolt of lightning struck the site where it's base once was, deep in the hole where it was hidden. As one, the summoned women snaked past Ellendee, each leaning forward to kiss her on her cheek. As they sailed by, they urged her to get into the hole and claim her eye.  The heavens opened and a blanket of water rained down, heavy enough to sting. Soon they could hear nothing else but the thunderous roar of the rain on the ground and the forest canopy. She loved the rain!

Down she climbed, the little goblin scarpering after her, still babbling and gibbering like a madman. 

"Hooray!" he cried, bounding into the hole. "Moody Mud! Muddy Mood!"

She dropped into the knee deep mud, the goblin smacking face first into the muck shortly after. 

Without seeing, she knew to put her hand into the mud, where she grasped the hilt of a sword. A surge of excitement and joy unlike anything she had ever experienced jolted through her body, causing her to cry out in excitement. The goblin jumped up and down in the mud, giggling maniacally. 

"Splishy Splashy! Splashy Splishy! Hee Hee!"

Ellendee wrenched the blade from it's hiding place, thrusting it high into the air. It cried out to her in hunger. Give me the goblin! it cried, deep within her head. 

But Ellendee was not so weak. "I am not your tool!" she shouted. "You are mine! And so is the goblin!" She didn't know how, but she injected her will into the blade. "Remember that!"


When she surfaced from the hole, Ellendee again held the sword above her head. Gathering all of her emotion, her experience, her feelings, her awareness, she channelled it all into an unearthly howl, the likes of which had never been heard in the forest. All around her, she could sense the flight of the beasts of the forest, fleeing her might and wrath. Where she got the breath, she did not know, but the forest experienced that howl for nearly an hour. 


Ellendee's final act of madness was to cut her own eye out. 

The forest erupted in a second howl, as she thrived on the pain of the blade sinking into her eye. Without waiting, she clawed at the fallen monolith, breaking off a piece of the ancient stone. Using her new found strength, she crushed the stone in her hand, leaving a piece of stone roughly the size of her eyeball. She unceremoniously pushed the stone into the eye socket, muttering words of magic as she did so. She wouldn't be able to see perfectly with the cursed stone. 

Later, she would realise that the makeshift magical eye would only see at night, but for now, it would do.  


The goblin prostrated himself before her. 

"What is your name, my glorious master?" he hissed, making sense for the first time. "How will I announce you?"

After everything that happened, she was taken aback by the question. What should she call herself? Thinking about it, she could be almost anything now. 

"Er...Ellendee Generis?" she blurted. 

"Ellenn Degenerate!" the yellow goblin hissed. "Dellen Egenerate! Hee hee!"

", let's just use Ellendee-"

"Ellenn Degenerate! Hee hee!"

"Fine," she sighed, raising her hands in surrender. "Ellen Degenerate."


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