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Warhammer wolf riders, p.1
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       Warhammer - Wolf Riders, p.1

           William King
 
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Warhammer - Wolf Riders


  THE OLD WORLD TIMELINE

  A brief guide to the history of the Warhammer World

  Year

  Event

  0001

  The time of Sigmar - founder of the Empire, and its first Emperor. The Goblin Wars end as the Goblinoid hordes are driven back over the World's Edge Mountains into the Dark Lands.

  0050

  Sigmar takes his magical Warhammer back to the Dwarves who made it and is never seen again.

  1111

  Devastating outbreak of Black Plague reduces whole populations throughout the Empire.

  1500

  Religious war between Tilea/Estalia and Araby.

  1547

  Grand Duke of Middenland declares himself the rightful Emperor without election, starting the Age of the Three Emperors.

  1750

  Kislev separated from the Empire.

  1839

  Birth of Genevieve Dieudonne (future heroine of Drachenfels), in Parravon.

  1851

  Count Drachenfels sacks Parravon.

  1855

  Genevieve is turned into an immortal vampire by Chandagnac the Ancient (cf Drachenfels).

  1937

  Drachenfels' poison feast; death of Emperor Carolus.

  1979

  Empress Magritta becomes last elected Emperor for 400 years.

  2150

  Sea Elves return to the Old World.

  2177

  Death of Chandagnac the Ancient - vampiric 'father' of Genevieve Dieudonne.

  2262

  Birth of Yevgeny Yefimovich, future high priest of Tzeentch - the Chaos God known as The Changer of the Ways.

  2302

  The Incursions of Chaos begin a new assault on the Old World. Magnus the Pious appears in Nuln to deliver his now legendary rallying call to arms. Under Magnus' leadership, the chaos forces are beaten back. Magnus is crowned Emperor, and goes on to restore the Empire's former glories.

  2369

  Death of Magnus the Pious, the crown passes to Count Leopold of Stirland.

  2370

  Birth of Gotrek the Dwarf - future Trollslayer.

  2401

  Disappearance of Emperor Matthias IV.

  2429

  The Burgomeisters of Marienburg declare the Wasteland's independence and secede from the Empire. Emperor Dieter IV is deposed.

  2446

  Birth of Vukotich the mercenary - future retainer of the von Mecklenbergs of Sudenland.

  2456

  Birth of the mercenary, Wolf - future companion of Konrad.

  2460

  Birth of 'Filthy' Harald Kleindeinst (hero of Beasts in Velvet).

  2459

  Birth of Oswald von Mecklenberg - Imperial Elector, Baron of Sudenland and father of Johann and Wolf (cf Ignorant Armies).

  2465

  Birth of Orfeo (narrator of Zaragoz, Plague Daemon, and Storm Warriors). At 8 months of age he is adopted as a foundling by the Wood Elves of the Loren forest.

  2470

  Harmis Detz - veteran soldier of the Border Guard of Khypris in the Border Princes - witnesses the first in a new series of attacks by followers of chaos. Against his better judgement, Harmis joins in the hunt for the plague daemon, Ystareth (cf Plague Daemon).

  Vukotich in the Northern Forests/Chaos Wastes in the service of Tsar Radii Bokha.

  2471

  Birth of Detlef Sierck, greatest playwright and impressario of the Warhammer world.

  2475

  Birth of Johann von Mecklenberg, son of Oswald, the Baron Sudenland.

  2477

  Prince Oswald von Konigswald recruits a band of adventurers - including the vampire Genevieve Dieudonne - and leads them into the Grey Mountains to seek out and destroy the evil enchanter Drachenfels.

  2478

  Birth of Konrad; Birth of Wolf von Mecklenberg - Johann's younger brother.

  2483

  Vukotich impressed into the service of the von Mecklenbergs as Johann's tutor.

  2490

  In a village on the edge of the Forest of Shadows, the young Konrad rescues Elyssa from a Beastman, and their friendship begins (cf Konrad).

  2491

  The Chaos Champion Cicatrice mounts a raid on the summer home of the von Mecklenberg family, in the Southlands. While Johann and Vukotich escape the slaughter, Wolf is captured (cf Ignorant Armies).

  Emperor Luitpold dies, and is succeeded by his son Karl-Franz. Birth of Prince Luitpold.

  2492

  On the island of Morien, Herla, King of Plenydd, and his bard Trystan come up against the malevolent influence of a group of strange Elves. Trystan later travels to Great Albion, then on to Bretonnia (cf Storm Warriors).

  2495

  Gotrek the Trollslayer, accompanied by his human companion, Felix, investigate strange goings on in the Reikwald Forest (cf Ignorant Armies).

  2496

  On their way to search for treasure in Carag Eight Peaks, Felix and Gotrek join up with the followers of Baron Gottfried von Diehl, travelling through the Black Mountains to exile in the Border Princes (cf Wolf Riders).

  Far beneath Carag Eight Peaks, Felix retrieves the lost sword Karaghul (cf Red Thirst).

  Summer solstice - Konrad's village is attacked and razed by Beastmen. Konrad meets up with the mercenary Wolf, and agrees to be his squire for 5 years (cf Konrad).

  Around this time, the wizard Litzenreich is in Middenheim, experimenting with warpstone.

  Trystan Harper meets Orfeo in Bretonnia and tells him the tale of Storm Warriors.

  2499

  Orfeo meets Harmis Detz in the Border Princes and hears the story of Plague Daemon.

  Konrad and Wolf employed in gold mine near Belyevorota Pass in Kislev. Litzenreich the wizard is in the service of Gustav the Mad of Talabecland.

  2500

  Siege of Praag - this Kislevite city in the far north of the realm is attacked by massed forces including followers of all four of the Great Chaos Powers.

  2501

  Johann and Vukotich finally catch up with Cicatrice and Johann's brother, Wolf, in the Northern Chaos Wastes (cf The Ignorant Armies).

  Summer solstice - Konrad and Wolf head north in search of treasure buried in an abandoned Dwarven temple.

  Following his escape from a warband dedicated to Khorne - the Chaos Power known as the Blood God - Konrad joins forces with the wizard Litzenreich. Driven out of Middenheim for pursuing forbidden warpstone experiments, they travel to Altdorf (cf Shadowbreed).

  2502

  Under the patronage of Prince Oswald von Konigswald of Ostland, Detlef Sierck attempts to stage his play Drachenfels in the Castle Drachenfels itself. The performance nearly ends in disaster when the Great Enchanter returns to claim his revenge... (cf Drachenfels).

  Konrad uncovers the true enormity of the Skaven scheme in Middenheim and Altdorf (cf Warblade).

  In Estalia, Orfeo the Minstrel becomes embroiled in the internal politics of Zaragoz, and barely escapes with his life (cf Zaragoz).

  2503

  Orfeo is captured by the pirate Alkadi Nasreen, and recounts to him the tales of Zaragoz, Plague Daemon and Storm Warriors.

  Following the breakdown of Grand Theogonist Yorri, Lector Mikael Hasselstein, the Emperor's confessor, becomes the most powerful individual in the Cult of Sigmar (cf Beasts in Velvet).

  2506

  A vicious murderer stalks the streets of Altdorf. The tough copper Filthy Harald and the scryer Rosanna desperately search for the killer against a backdrop of growing civil unrest and the machinations of Chaos (cf Beasts in Velvet).

  Johann von Mecklenberg returns to his family's estates in Sudenland as Baron and Elector.

  Genevieve leaves Altdorf.

  Contents
<
br />   Wolf Riders by William King

  The Tilean Rat by Sandy Mitchell

  The Phantom of Yremy by Brian Craig

  Cry of the Beast by Ralph T. Castle

  No Gold in the Grey Mountains by Jack Yeovil

  Hammer of the Stars by Pete Garrett

  Pulg's Grand Carneval by Simon Ounsley

  The Way of the Witchfinder by Brian Craig

  WOLF RIDERS

  by William King

  "Honestly, gentlemen, I don't want any trouble," said Felix Jaegar sincerely. He spread his empty hands wide. "Just leave the girl alone. That's all I ask."

  The drunken trappers laughed evilly.

  "Just leave the girl alone," one of them mimicked in a high-pitched lisping voice. Felix looked around the trading post for support. A few men in the heavy furs of mountain men looked at him with drink-fuddled eyes. The store owner, a tall thin man with lank hair, turned and began stacking bottles of preserves on the rough wooden shelving. There were no other customers.

  One of the trappers, a huge man, loomed over him. Felix could see the particles of grease stuck in his beard. When he opened his mouth to speak the smell of cheap brandy overwhelmed even the odour of rancid bear fat that the trappers covered themselves with against the cold. Felix winced.

  "Hey, Hef, I think we got a city boy here," said the trapper. "He speaks right nice."

  The one called Hef looked up from the table against which he had pinned the struggling girl.

  "Aye, Lars, right pretty he talks, and all that nice golden hair, like cornstalks. Could almost take him for a girl himself."

  "When I come off the mountains anything looks good. I tell you what - you take the girl. I'll have this pretty boy."

  Felix felt his face flush. He was getting angry. He hid his anger with a smile. He wanted to avoid trouble if he could. "Come on gentlemen, there's no need for this. Let me buy you all a drink."

  Lars turned to Hef. The third mountain man guffawed. "He has money too. My luck's in tonight."

  Hef smirked. Felix looked around desperately as the big man advanced on him. Damn, where was Gotrek? Why was the dwarf never around when you needed him? He turned to face Lars. "All right, I'm sorry I interfered. I'll just leave you gentlemen to it."

  He saw Lars relax, letting down his guard as he advanced. Felix let him come closer. He watched the trapper spread his arms as if he were about to hug him. Felix suddenly jabbed his knee into Lars' groin. With a whoosh like a blacksmith's bellows, all the air ran out of the big man. He doubled over. Felix grabbed his beard and pulled the man's head down to meet his knee.

  He heard teeth break, and the trapper's head snapped backwards. Lars fell on the floor gasping for breath and clutching at his groin.

  "What in the name of Taal?" said Hef. The other big trapper lashed out at Felix and the force of the blow sent him reeling across the room into a table. He tipped over a tankard of ale.

  "Sorry," said Felix to the drink's owner. Felix struggled to lift the table and hurl at his assailant. He strained till he thought the muscles in his back would crack.

  The drunk looked at him and smiled. "You can't lift it. It's nailed to the floor. In case of fights."

  "Thanks for telling me," said Felix, feeling someone grab him by the hair and slam his head into the table. Pain smashed through his skull. Black spots danced before his eyes. His face felt wet. I'm bleeding, he thought then realized it was the spilled beer. His head was smashed into the table a second time. As if from very far away he heard footsteps approaching.

  "Hold him, Kell. We're gonna have us some fun for what he did to Lars." He recognized the voice as belonging to Hef.

  Desperately Felix jabbed backward with his elbow, ramming it into the hard muscle of Kell's stomach. The grip on his hair loosened. Felix tore free as he turned to face his assailants. With his right hand he frantically fumbled for the beer stein. Through a haze he saw the two gigantic trappers close in. The girl was gone. Felix saw the door close behind her. He could hear her shouting for help. Hef was loosening a knife in his belt. Felix's fingers closed over the handle of the stein. He lashed out and hit Kell in the face with it. The trapper's head snapped around, then he spat blood and turned back to Felix, smiling moronically.

  Fingers, muscled like steel bands, grabbed Felix's wrist. The pressure forced him to let go the stein. Despite frantic resistance Felix's arm was inexorably forced up his back by Kell's superior strength. The smell of bear fat and body odour was almost overpowering. Felix snarled and tried to writhe free but his struggles were fruitless.

  Something sharp jabbed into his throat. Felix looked down. Hef held a long-bladed knife at his throat. Felix smelled its well-oiled steel. He saw his own red blood trickle down its central channel. Felix froze. All Hef had to do was lean forward and Felix would be walking in the kingdom of Morr.

  "That was downright unfriendly, boy," said Hef. "Old Lars was only bein' affectionate and you had to go and bust his teeth. Now what you reckon we should do about that, we bein' his friends and all?"

  "Kill the thnotling fondler," gasped Lars. Felix felt Kell push his arm further up his back till he thought it would break. He moaned in pain.

  "Reckon we'll just do that," said Hef.

  "You can't," said the trader behind the bar. "That'd be murder."

  "Shut-up, Pike," said Hef. "Who asked you?"

  Felix could see they meant to do it. They were full of drunken violence and ready to kill. Felix had just given them the excuse they needed.

  "Been a long time since I killed me a pretty boy," said Hef, pushing his knife forward just a fraction. Felix grimaced with pain. "Gonna beg, pretty boy? Gonna beg for your life?"

  "Go to hell," said Felix. He would have liked to spit but his mouth felt dry and his knees were weak. He was shaking. He closed his eyes.

  "Not so polite now, city boy?" Felix felt thick laughter rumble in Kell's throat. What a place to die, he thought incongruously, some hell-spawned outpost in the Grey Mountains. There was a blast of chill air and the sound of a door opening.

  "The first one to hurt the manling dies instantly," said a deep voice that grated like stone crushed against stone. "The second one I take my time over."

  Felix opened his eyes. Over Hef's shoulders he could see Gotrek Gurnisson, the Trollslayer. The dwarf stood silhouetted in the doorway, his squat form filling it lengthwise. He was only the height of a boy of nine years but he was muscled like two strong men. Torch light illuminated the strange tattoos that covered his half-naked body and turned his eye-sockets into shadowy caves from which mad eyes glittered.

  Hef laughed, then spoke without turning round. "Get lost, stranger, or we'll deal with you after we've finished your friend."

  Felix felt the grip on his arm relax. Over his shoulder Kell's hand pointed to the doorway.

  "That so?" said Gotrek, stomping into the room, shaking his head to clear the snow from his huge crest of orange-dyed hair. The chain that ran from his nose to his right ear jingled. "By the time I've finished with you you'll sing as high as a gurly elf."

  Hef laughed again and turned to face Gotrek. His laughter died into a sputtering cough. Colour drained from his face till it was corpse white. Gotrek grinned nastily at him, revealing missing teeth, then he ran his thumb across the blade of the great two-handed axe that he carried in one ham-sized fist. Blood dripped from the cut. The knife in Hefs hand clattered to the floor.

  "We don't want no trouble," said Hef. "Leastwise, not with a Trollslayer."

  Felix didn't blame him. No sane man would cross a member of that doomed and death-seeking berserker cult. Gotrek just glared at them then lightly tapped the hilt of his axe against the floor. While Kell was distracted, Felix seized the opportunity to put some ground between himself and the mountain man.

  Hef was starting to panic. "Look, we don't want no trouble. We was just funnin'."

  Gotrek laughed evilly. "I like your idea of fun. I think I'll have some myself."

  The Trollsla
yer advanced towards Hef. Felix saw Lars pick himself up and start crawling towards the door. Gotrek brought his boot down on Lars' hand with a crunch that made Felix wince. It was not Lars' night, he decided.

  "Where do you think you're going? Better stay with your friends. Two against one is hardly fair odds."

  Hef had broken down completely. "Don't kill us," he pleaded. Kell had moved away, bringing him close to Felix again. Gotrek had moved right in front of Hef. The blade of his axe lay against Hefs throat. Felix could see the runes on the blade glint redly in the torchlight.

  Slowly Gotrek shook his head. "What's the matter? There's three of you. You thought they were good enough odds against the manling. Stomach gone out of you?"

  Hef nodded numbly; he looked as if he was about to cry. In his eyes Felix could see superstitous terror of the dwarf. He seemed ready to faint.

  Gotrek pointed to the door. "Get out," he roared. "I'll not soil my blade on cowards like you."

  The trappers scurried for the door, Lars limping badly. Felix saw the girl step aside to let them by. She closed the door behind them.

  Gotrek glared at Felix. "Can't I even stop to answer a call of nature without you getting yourself into trouble?"

 
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