OOC: In Character things you may know.   Posted by Games Master.Group: 0
Games Master
 GM, 4 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2015
at 19:51
In Character things you may know
Geheimnisnacht, or the Night of Mysteries, is the most ill-omened night of the year. It is one of only two nights (the other being Hexensnacht) in which Morrslieb is full. Furthermore, it is the night when Morrslieb is closest to the world whilst in its highly elliptical orbit.  Sensible folk bar their doors and stay within their houses for it is said it is a night where Darkness reigns.
Games Master
 GM, 5 posts
Sun 28 Jun 2015
at 20:10
Re: In Character things you may know

Nordland is a Barony owned by the Nikse family. They are vassals of the Graf of Middenheim. The current ruler, Baron Werner Nikse, is based in Salzenmund, the capital of the province. Salzenmund holds the title of a Prince-ship in its own right, as do many cities and other regions of The Empire. The ruler of Nordland thus holds the titles Baron of Nordland and Prince of Salzenmund.

Salzenmund is centred on an imposing and comfortable

Nordland is only very sparsely settled. In addition, many of the inhabitants are semiindependent tenant farmers who owe fealty (and thus pay taxes) directly to the Baron. These farms do form communities that meet up periodically to celebrate religious festivals and discuss political and other community issues, but there are few permanent village communities.

The symbol of Nordland is a ship, particularly a stylised longboat dexter with single mast, three oars and raised castles.  The regional colours are blue and yellow. It is now also used to reflect the importance of the Sea of Claws and its fish, sealskins and trade with Norsca.

The descendants of Norscans form a majority of the population, although inter-marriage has resulted in very few
obvious signs. One obvious relic is that regions within Nordland retain the title Wapentake for taxation and
governance purposes, and that the rulers – Baron Nikse’s vassals – retain the title gesith, which was at the time of the invasion the title in Norsca of a close retainer of the king. Despite this apparent integration, Nordlanders retain a streak of independence and strong national identity. This tends towards a forthright belief in themselves and their deity, and can easily stray into an unpleasant xenophobic tendency. Nordlanders retain their dislike of Middenlanders, which has matured into a distrust of all those on their borders. They also dislike dwarfs because of their superior attitude; the typical Nordlander sees himself as quite as capable a craftsman as a dwarf, and resents their attitudes to the contrary. Nordlanders respect all faiths within the Imperial polytheism. However, they dislike Sigmar whom they tend to see as a god of their enemies, and are also
rather vehement in their Ulrican fundamentalism. Whilst most visitors can expect a reasonable reception, those who might be mistaken as Middenlanders, Ostlanders, Sigmarites – this will include dwarfs – and those professing an alternative form of Ulricanism need to be careful at all times.

In Nordland, the local peasantry tend towards an intolerance of both non-Ulricans and alternative creed Ulricans.

Nordlanders tend to practical, functional clothing although sometimes they follow military rather than civilian styles. Nordlanders tend not towards ostentation in any form, except their music and dance. There is a propensity to rely on horns and pipes in their music, and this lends itself to relatively wild dancing – some might say lewd. Certainly, dancing in Nordland often works up a sweat and close contact with a partner (or two).  Nordlanders also appreciate carved woodwork, and many ornaments can be found in their premises and around the streets.

Most Nordlanders regard the forests that surround them as haunted, as few have seen an elf. Those who work in the forest tend to do so only in the daylight, but even in the regions most attacked for its timber, the loggers are very careful not to wander away from a group.  Loggers do not tend to cross lines long ago demarked by their forefathers in their search for timber. The small village of Kurtwallen, about 40 miles north of Salzenmund, marks the boundary of human habitation within the Laurelorn. The village is very wary of foreigners and
perpetually gloomy, despite the rate at which its inhabitants slowly clear the forest. Poor transport infrastructure hampers the efficiency of the village, but fear of elven interference is almost palpable despite the fact that the inevitable waywatchers remain unseen. Those who expect the Baron to advance against the Laurelorn Forest or its Laurelornalim wood elves believe that Kurtwallen will form the base for the invasion. Rumours abound within the forester communities of the lornalim tree with its white (or silver) bark, but none have found it.

Nordland largely consists of individual homesteads cut into the forest. There are few villages, and even fewer larger settlements, as most Nordlanders maintain a strong streak of individuality and self-reliance.
Games Master
 GM, 31 posts
Sat 5 Sep 2015
at 19:47
Re: In Character things you may know
I was reading something about the nature of Chaos in the Empire and just wanted to share with you how I think it works in the context of this game.

The game is set before the Storm of Chaos you may have read about - therefore there are no 'armies of Chaos' rampaging the lands.  Ordinary people certainly don't know any of the Gods names or what they are about.  For me Chaos is what is under the bed, not walking down the street if that makes sense.

So, in reality the powerful may be part of cults, there may be things going on deep in the Forest, the farmer who prays to a local God of Soil may inadvertently be worshipping Nurgle.

Most people haven't seen beastmen, skaven and the undead but have heard whispers.  There are whispers of mutated children left in the forests. The ravings of madmen are nervously laughed at.  The name of Sigmar is involved and the Witch Hunters burn village women know and again.  There is a sense that things are 'not quite right'.
Games Master
 GM, 75 posts
Sat 2 Jan 2016
at 21:16
Re: In Character things you may know
I have updated the Game Map for a Wider 'Empire' map which shows the major rivers.  If you select the Group 0 map you'll see it.
Games Master
 GM, 77 posts
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 20:58
Re: In Character things you may know
Templars of Morr

Knights of the Raven / The Black Guard

Although formally called “The High And Chivalric Order of Deserved Rest”, the Chamber Militant of the Morr Temple is better known publicly as “The Raven Knights” (after the raven icons incorporated into their shields, surcoats and other parts of their armor) or most commonly simply as “The Black Guard” after their obsidian-black armor and terrifying demeanor.

As the chamber militant of the cult of Morr, it is the duty of the Black Guard to take the righteous anger of Morr to those who transgress against his domain, as well as protecting their fellow clerical brethren and the final resting places of the dead. The Order’s primary concern and purpose is to violently fight practitioners of Necromancy and the Un-dead who have escaped Morr’s Realm and Judgement.

To this purpose the Black Guards travel widely in the Old World to do battle with the Scourge of Necromancy in whatever form it takes. The Templars are fielded both as a conventional fighting force, as well as doing deep-cover and infiltration work in smaller units to get to the secret Death Cults that sometimes spring up to protect powerful Necromancers and Vampires.

Sometimes Templars will be working in close collaboration with local authorities to get extra man-power for operations, but just as often Templars will work clandestinely and only care that they hold Divine Authority no matter what secular leader might hold power over the region in which they operate.

The order's clerics, templars and witch hunters are famous in song and story but they are by no means the only kinds of Black Guard. A substantial academic and logistical organisation exists to support their efforts, and to develop new ways of detecting and counteracting the cult's enemies.

Guards Of The Dead

All Black Guard Templars dress in black armour with heavy black monk-like habits worn over it. Onto this monastic surcoat may sometimes be found an embroidered raven, symbol of Morr. Iconic ravens are often worked into shoulder guards and kneecaps of the armour, as well as being repeated on the shields of the Templars. All armour is forged in the forges of the Orders for-tress monastery, under the blessing and watchful eyes of clerics, and is considered holy armor by the cult.
Quite often veteran officers will have elaborate ornamentation added to their armour, a special honour bestowed upon those who have served Morr long and faithfully.

The Black Guard is an almost hermit-like order, the majority of its brothers (as individual Templars are known) filling their lives with the sombre worship of Morr, only sallying forth when the priesthood uncovers some abominable desecration of Morr's domain. Some lead something approaching more conventional lives as their assignments force them to interact with the outside world and all of its myriad
of people.

But like all dedicated servants of Morr, the Black Guard concerns itself with those who transgress against the will of their god – and the domain they safeguard is that of the dead. As such, the Black Guard is more concerned with the dead than the living - a village being burned to the ground by Beastmen probably would not earn their attention, but the violation of that same village's graveyard by a necromancer certainly would.

The living and all their problems are the domain of other Gods and their servants, but once someone pass beyond Morr’s Gates, they become enter into the care of his faithful servants. Thus Necromancers, Vampire and all manners of the Undead are the Orders primary concern, but those robbing graves or opening tombs of old, are also well within their sphere of interest.

The Black Guards are persons of a menacing and un-settling presence, clearly trailing the domain of their Lord behind them, and most common folk dread them for this very reason. They know that they need not fear the Templars unless they transgress against Morr, but the Black Guard are simply too close for comfort to the Realm of Death.

The life of the Black Guard is more arduous than that of a typical knight. Their camp in Seigfriedhof is far removed from the comfortable surroundings most knights are used to. The vampiric lords of Sylvania are aware their enemies are mustering, and they are careful to keep a close eye on the Knights, instructing their minions to spy on them and even attack them should the opportunity present itself.
As experts in fighting the undead the knights are often consulted by those who face them in battle, either singly or as part of an army.  Vampire hunters and troll slayers might seek their advice on what it is to face a vampire in single combat, while the generals of armies mustered to meet an undead threat may consult them on what strategies and tactics to employ in war.

The knights also search for any lore or advice concerning vampires and their minions. They may cultivate contacts such as Strigany Mystics or Amethyst Magisters to better understand the foe they seek to wipe from the Old World.

Non-Templar Personnel

Although the Black Guard is primarily thought of as a Templar Order, it has a large number of non-templar personnel that are as essential a part of the organization as the Templars themselves.

Strictures of Morr

The members of the Black Guard follow the same strictures as their cleric brethren, although some of the strictures do not apply as the Templars for practical reason, but the Templars follow two strictures above all others:

• Always oppose Necromancers and followers of Kháine whenever and wherever they encounter them.

• Never refuse to conduct a funeral service if requested to do so (Initiates and Priests only).

• Never enter or disturb a place of burial which has been properly dedicated to the protection of Mórr.

• Never bring Undead into existence unless specifically authorized to do so by Mórr (by means of an omen, a divination, or a dream).

Like their clerical brethren, the Black Guard observes the two holy nights of the cult.

The cult has two holy nights, when the world’s two moons are full. The first is Hexensnacht, the eve of the new year. The second is Geheimnisnacht, a few weeks before the beginning of autumn.  These nights are considered inauspicious by most, for the moons cast an eerie light, the dead are said to stir, and ill luck befalls those who venture out of their homes. On these nights, the priests of Morr hold solemn rites, for the gateways between the realms of the dead and the living and the sleeping and the waking are believed to stand widely open, aiding communion with the deceased and prophesy.

The Black Guard attend these rites as guardsmen of the Realm of Dead, ready to intervene should any un-holy forces attempt to commit sacrilege against the Will of Morr on these solemn occasions.

The Grand Master is based at the Main Chapterhouse which is adjoined to the Mausoleum of Morr in Luccini.  The Grand Master may amend the rules of the Order and is answerable only to the High Priest of Morr.

Gilda, Ortholf and Helwig are part of The Northern Empire House and are answerable to the Grand Perceptor of the House.

This message was last updated by the GM at 21:03, Mon 04 Jan 2016.

Games Master
 GM, 78 posts
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 21:15
Re: In Character things you may know
Gilda, Ortholf and Helwig are based in the small town of Siegfriedhof in Stirland.  A small force of The Black Guard are based there in case the Undead rise in Sylvania.

Over in Brettonia the Knights have a slightly different flair.  In Quenelles, Duke Tancred I initiated a relentless war against the legions of the undead. In this crusade the Duke has been alwais supported by the priests of Morr, the god of the dead, who very badly wish to prevent the dead in their care from being stolen by the magic of Necromancy.

In the Duchy of Quenelles there was founded the Order of the Knights of the Temple of Morr whose duty is to fight alongside the Duke against the dead who walk the earth. One of the principle duties of the Templars of Morr is to insure that the dead who were consecrated to their god remain buried and rest in eternal peace.

As an emblem of their dark mission, and to show their sorrow for all the brothers who have perished in their everlasting struggle, the Templars of Morr wear a black cross or fleur-de-lys on their white tunics. White symbolizes of purity - black humility. In fact, each knight who enters the Order must renounce his domain and his family Coat-of-Arms. For that reason, although formally called The High and Chivalric Order of Knights of the Temple of Morr, the Templars are probably better known as “Knights of the Black Lys” – named so after the device incorporated into their shields, surcoats and other parts of their armour.

Knights of Morr

Encased within black armour and deathly silent when on the battlefield, the Knights of Morr are the dark guardians of the Empire. When parents wish to get their children to sleep at night, they tell them that the Knights of Morr will come for them unless they rest. The Knights of Morr are widely feared for their devotion to the god of the dead, and dark tales abound regarding their initiation rites. Even so, their martial prowess is more than welcome to those they fight alongside, for their silent efficiency is among the best in the Empire.

Whilst the cult of Morr has few, if any, official templars, they do have the Black Guard. These universally dour and serious warriors have an even more serious responsibility: to guard both the living and the dead from the endless malice of the Undead and those who would raise them. For the most part, they are a defensive order, protecting the great temples and graveyards of the Empire and the dignitaries of the cult, only riding to war in exceptional circumstances, such as during a crusade against the Vampire Counts. Unlike most knights, they are trained in the use of ranged weapons to prevent their enemies from bringing their strength to bear in close quarters. This, along with their foreboding black obsidian armour and their strict vow of silence when on duty, means they are shunned by most other knightly orders, but such is the price of duty


Black Guards appear to watch the open portals of Morr’s temples night and day, without rest. In truth, guard posts are split into three shifts. However, each Black Guard is barely distinguishable from his replacement, and guard changes are conducted so discreetly that even someone standing nearby could miss it. When not on duty, Black Guards conduct martial training exercises and attend lessons under priests of Morr, who instruct them on theology and the undead. When Morrian priests are required to travel long distances for funeral services, a Black Guard often accompanies them. Black Guards have also been known to escort priests of other gods, particularly Myrmidia and Verena, when they visit a Morrian abbey. The Order sometimes assigns Black Guards as chaperones under the false pretence of escort duty.

In towns where the Order of Morr houses the Fellowship of the Shroud, Black Guards are prone to being caught up in cult politics. Although a Black Guard’s responsibility is to the priests, many Black Guards aspire to join the Knights of the Raven. They often assist the order’s Shroud agents, hoping to make a favourable impression. If the assistance involves destroying undead, Black Guards who abandon their posts can later claim that they were simply obeying the strictures of Morr. Black Guards are otherwise incorruptible. Only the most dedicated of Morr’s followers could endure standing all day in full plate armour, silent and expressionless. Only with express permission of the Order do Black Guards leave their temples for long periods, typically for family duties or religious pilgrimages.

The Black Guard of Morr inspires feelings of fear and dread in both friends and foes alike. The combination of their all-enclosing black, obsidian plate armour and their vow of silence makes their presence unsettling, and many whisper that they are really Undead spirits bound into the service of the Cult of Morr by its priests. The truth, of course, is far more mundane: The Black Guard are mortal Knights who are devoted to the God of the dead and whose purpose is to guard the graveyards, mausoleums, and other sites sacred to Morr. In some instances, they are called upon to hunt down Undead and the Necromancers who would bring them into the world.

The Black Guard rarely march to war, spurning conquests and threats in favour of standing watch against enemies from the realms of the dead. Not surprisingly, most forces marching against the dark counts of Sylvania find members of the Black Guard among them.

Notably, however, the Black Guard took part in the crusades against Araby. Their presence was to prove invaluable during the siege of El Haikk, when their silent and stalwart demeanour terrified many of the defenders, who believed they were the angry spirits of their ancestors returning to kill them. The true reasons behind the Black Guard's involvement in the crusade became clear after the Sultan was slain and his armies scattered. Rather than return home, the Black Guard marched onwards towards the Land of the Dead, Khemri. There they sought to do battle with the Undead armies of the Tomb Kings, and entered a protracted war with them, allying themselves with some of the native people who lived in their cold shadow. Many of the Black Guard perished on the crusade in Khemri, named the Black Crusade in their honor, Thous who returned brought with them fabulous treasures and dark tomes, now interned within sealed vaults beneath the Temple of Morr in Luccini, opened only in times of great need.

The Black Guard are instantly recognisable, for they wear heavy suits of black obsidian plate mail, ornately carved with raven imagery and padded to allow the knight to move with eerie silence. The armour totally hides any sign of the living knight encased within; this is partly theatrical, the better to maintain the knights' otherworldly aura of fear, but is also practical, as even the most minor of touches can allow some creatures of the night to drain their souls from their bodies. Finally, when fighting foes who have a knack of returning from the grave, and who use Dark Magic to unleash nightmares and other foul spells long after the field of battle has been quit, it can be sensible to hide your identity.

Some members of the Black Guard take vows of silence when initiated into the order, and are not permitted to speak or to utter a sound when on duty. This further adds to the air of menace that surrounds them. The Black Guard are permitted to speak at specific times, such as to call out warnings or orders in battle, although there are some within the order who maintain their vow of silence at all times outside of prayer. The most penitent and fanatical members of the order cut out their tongues to enforce the vow.

The Black Guard's principal purpose is to serve as guardians of the temples and Gardens of Morr. They vigilantly protect these sacred sites from defilement by graverobbers and their ilk, patrolling the grounds with weapons at the ready. Many of these knights attach themselves to Morrian dignitaries, providing protection and adding to the priests' sinister atmosphere. Whilst the Black Guard rarely has opportunity to confront the more vile opponents of their faith, they welcome such opportunities, and are more than suited to the task of destroying Undead.


The Black Guard of Morr take their name from the massive suits of plate mail armour they wear, ornately crafted from pieces of obsidian. Obsidian armour is bulky, but the sinister appearance it gives its wearer strikes fear into the hearts of all who face them in battle. Obsidian armour is almost always worn as a full suit-the disadvantages caused by its bulk make it impractical to use without the advantage of the intimidation factor. The Black Guard fight from the backs of mighty, black warhorses similarly clad in barding made from black lacquer or obsidian. When mounted, they fight with huge greatswords and warhammers that glint silver as they smite their foes. The Black Guard cannot always fight from horseback, especially when standing guard or pursuing their enemies into tombs or crypts, and when on foot often use wicked-looking halberds.
Games Master
 GM, 79 posts
Mon 4 Jan 2016
at 21:26
Re: In Character things you may know
Mórr, God of Death


Mórr is the god of death and the ruler of the underworld. He is normally depicted as a tall man of aristocratic bearing, with a detached, slightly brooding aspect. All dead souls belong to him and he makes sure that they are guided safely to his dark realm. He is also the god of dreams, since the land of dreams is close to the realm of death, and is capable of weaving great and terrible dreams and illusions.


The most popular symbols of Mórr are the raven and the portal. His clerics all wear plain black hooded robes, without any symbol or adornment.

Area Of Worship

Mórr is worshipped throughout the Old World and is most popular in the south. He is not an everyday god, but is worshipped mainly by the bereaved, who offer up prayers and sacrifices in the hope that their departed will reach his kingdom safely and prosper there. Few worship him in his aspect as the god of dreams, although those Illusionists who choose not to follow Ranald the Deceiver may take Mórr as their patron.


He is also known as Forsagh, the God of Prophecy by some seers and fortune tellers.


Temples to Mórr are always situated in or near places of burial and are normally only used for funeral services. There is very little contact between the temples, but every ten years a general convocation of the priesthood of Mórr is held at Luccini in Tilea, at which theological problems and matters of doctrine are debated and decided upon.

Temples and shrines to Mórr are normally solidly-built, brooding structures, distinguished by a broad doorway with a heavy lintel-stone - one of the symbols of the god. Despite the fact that they are not frequently used by the mass of the population, the doors of the temples of Mórr are always open, like the doors to his kingdom. The temples are bare inside; any furnishings and other accoutrements are provided by those using the temples.

Shrines to Mórr almost always take the form of a gateway, consisting of two plain pillars and a lintel; in some cases, one pillar is of marble and the other of basalt. Followers of Mórr do not usually maintain shrines to him in their homes, since his symbols are generally thought to invite back luck when displayed outside the context of burial.

Friends And Enemies

The cult of Mórr maintains friendly relations with the other major religions of the Old World, but has no particular friends. Principal enemies are Necromancers, who despoil Mórr's domain with their enchantments, and the forbidden cult of Mórr's brother, Kháine, god of murder. There is occasional bad feeling between those Illusionists who follow Mórr and those who follow Ranald.

There are no Clerics known to follow Mórr in his aspect as the god of dreams.

The Cult of Mórr in the Old World

Throughout the Old World, the cult of Mórr is at the forefront of efforts to suppress Undead, Necromancers, and similar threats. The existence of Undead creatures offends the precepts of the cult for two main reasons: first, because a dead body and a place of burial have been defiled; and, second, because a soul has been prevented from making its journey to Mórr's realm and is not properly at rest.

Most Old Worlders know the cult of Mórr principally through the Mourners' Guild. The Mourners' Guild oversees funerals and has a monopoly on labour for all matters relating to funerals and the dead. Its membership includes anyone who has any connection with the city's graveyards and the business of bringing people into them, including gravediggers, groundskeepers, coffin-makers, and Initiate priests. The task of the Mourners' Guild is to ensure that funerals are conducted properly and that the dead are disposed of in such a way that undead may not arise from them to threaten the living, either accidentally or through the machinations of necromancers or agents of Chaos.

A less well-known branch of the cult is the Templar order known as the Raven Knights. Dedicated to seeking out and destroying Undead wherever they may be found, the Raven Knights are a martial organisation of templars, witch-hunters, and exorcists, celebrated in popular songs and romances, but less often seen by the bulk of Old Worlders, many of whom have never heard of the order.


A funeral is a ritual which marks the formal passage of an individual from the world of the living into the world of the dead. As such, it has two functions: firstly, to allow the living to bid a formal farewell to their dear departed, console each other, and think fondly of the deceased's will; and, secondly, to user the departed formally into Mórr's realm and make sure he stays there.

Whatever the religious leanings of the deceased, funerals in the Old World are the exclusive domain of the cult of Mórr, through the offices of the Mourners' Guild. It is a crime to dispose of a body without holding a proper funeral - as well as providing a pleasing and consoling ritual for the bereaved, the funeral rites involve a certain amount of magic aimed at rendering the bodily remains completely useless for necromantic purposes.

In death, as in life, the wealth and social status of an individual counts for a great deal. The rich and powerful often have elaborate funerals, with several priests in attendance and a great deal of unnecessary but impressive ritual. Poor funerals are more modest affairs, cut down to the bare necessities.

The Nameless Funeral

There is one special case. From time to time, there will be occasions when a body simply turns up - murdered in a back-alley, washed up by the river, and so on. The Nameless Funeral is an emergency ritual, carried out in such circumstances by the cult of Mórr free of charge as part of their devotional duties and designed to lay the spirit to rest as quickly and effectively as possible.

According to the doctrine of the cult of Mórr, the spirits of murder victims can be used by his half-brother and arch-rival Kháine and those that escape this fate are likely to become troublesome ghosts. The ritual is designed to ensure that the spirit at risk finds its way safely to Mórr's realm and also renders the remains inert and useless for necromantic purposes.

Funeral Costs

The cult of Mórr is responsible for maintaining burial plots, cemetaries, and graveyards within The Empire. A temple or shrine to Mórr will be the principal feature of most graveyards and the most prestigious burial plots are those near to the temple. The temple itself does not contain any tombs. The Mourners' Guild will conduct funeral services and other rituals at the temple and also pray for Mórr's ongoing care of the deceased.

A pauper's funeral, with an unmarked burial in a mass grave maintained by the cult of Mórr, is free. So is a Nameless Funeral, but those discovering a body are encouraged to make a donation towards the expense.

Non-Human Funerals

Mórr is a Human deity and the Old World's other races have their own burial customs. According to Imperial law, most of these must be approved by a member of the cult of Mórr and witnessed by one of its members, otherwise it will be declared unlawful. In practice, though, a series of compromises and sensible dealings has avoided any serious confrontations on this point.

According to local tradition in Middenheim, the cult of Mórr once asked - very diplomatically - to be permitted to send a representative to observe a Dwarfish funeral in order to make sure that it provided the same protections against the risk of undead as a Mórrish funeral. The following day, so the story goes, a sworn statement arrived at the Temple of Mórr, signed by every Dwarf in the city and witnessed by thirty of Middenheim's most prominent lawyers. It stated absolutely that Dwarfs' funeral practices posed no threat to the city, necromantic or otherwise. A covering note signed by seventeen leaders of the Dwarf community offered to appoint a Priest of Gazul to visit the Temple of Mórr and discuss the matter in detail if the Humans wished. They regretted, however, that it was out of the question for a non-Dwarf to attend a Dwarfish funeral. Sensing that they could precipitate a major diplomatic storm if they showed any sign of doubting the Dwarfs' word, the chief priests of Mórr did not puruse the question further.