An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-26 05:25am

This is what it says on the tin: An In the Sea Of Time (ISOT) of 2012 Germany to the World of Warhammer Fantasy. Beer and I have posted this originally on the Alternate History site, yet on readers recommendations and the strange policy of banning in the last months we decided to put it up here too.

Comments welcome.

Itza, Lustria, Warhammer World


Lord Mazdamundi, greatest of all living Slann was pleased. The spell he was conjuring came along beautifully. Parts of the Lustrian coastline had to be redesigned. A strip along the western coast of the continent hindered the fishermen of his subjects rather itchingly, so after becoming aware of that problem, the Lord decided to solve it. Shaping whole continents was unproblematic for someone of his magical Power, but to do it perfect, that was an art applied. Which was the reason Mazdamundi for hours had solely concentrated on the spell he was weaving.
It would have taken him mere minutes to cast it, but since he wanted perfection, everything was arranged like it should be. The Lord could not know that his desire for a perfect spell execution would change the World forever in ways even he never imagined.

His concentration bundled on one thing, his spell, the Slann Lord did not recognize the Chaos Demon, which had slipped through all defences of Itza, until the creature was in striking distance. The Demon, tasked to kill one of those entities who kept the anti-Chaos seals around the Polar continents up, struck with all of his magic enhanced might. The Slann was far from being a pushover and while his magical senses warned him late, it was enough to throw up a shield which lessened the wound to a painful, but non-fatal hit. Mazdamundi´s counterattack sent the Demon back screaming to the Choas realms, banished forever, but the collateral damage was done. With the Slann Lord´s concentration shifted on a life and death struggle, his main spell, fed in addition from the ritual place Mazdamundi was in, went out of control. Even the slann could not dispel or otherwise stop it, the Winds of Magic already resonating and amplifying the halfcast spell into reality. Mutating it in ways not desired.
The magical energies ripped through the World and into the beyond. The feedback of the spell sent all Slann into a magical sleep. It would be centuries before they could awake again. Maybe it was divine intervention, a chaotic chance or a sign of the Old Ones, in reciprocity the Winds of Magic infused the Great Seals with such a Power, that no Chaos force would bring them down before the re-awakening of the Slann. But this positivum was offset by the shockwaves sreading out, shaping and shaking the Warhammer World to it´s core.
And one tendril ripping through Spacetime would send the fates of the Warhammer World into a new direction. If it would be in favour of Chaos or in favour of the Races living there, only time could tell.


Tower of Hoeth, Ulthuan, Warhammer World

The most famous High Elf Loremaster outside the Elven Lands awoke with a scream. What his Magesight showed him was unbelievable. The Winds were singing in concert, while spreading around in totally random fashion. Teclis had never heard of a magical disaster on that scale.He doubted that such an occurance had ever taken place during the lifetime of Elvenkind.
But it was not his Land which would bear the brunt of this. No, across the Silent Sea and how could it be any different, Teclis thought, the "Old World" in the thick of events as well- once again!
Two of his Adepts had come to the sleeping room of their Master, looking as shaken as he was. Projecting a front of calmness he did not feel, Teclis addresed the two. "Aurulia, Rafador, prepare our travelling supplies! I feel we will be needed in the Humans Old World very soon."


Northern Hemisphere, Earth, Sol System


Earth was on it´s usual rotation around the Sun, when controlless Qhaysh appeared out of Spacetime, bathing most of the Northern Hemisphere in it. Unknown phenomenoms erupted out of "nowhere". And since it was a shaper spell in the beginning, the Winds of Magic shaped and changed Earth on their pass.
The whole thing was over in eight minutes. When it was over, bizarre changes had happened. Mountains where none had been, new woods, new deserts, new lakes, often existing landmarks were reshaped into new or exaggerated forms. But after having stomached the first shock, a second, greater one came after assessing all that happened. Had the Chaos Gods been looking out for Earth, they would have laughed like seldom before.

To the shock of all, where Germany had been mere hours before, now a muddy, swampy landscape, dotted with twisted flora and fauna, spread out. Some truly scared people were found by search teams, their clothes style from bygone days, talking in a dialect of Dutch.
With Germany, her over 81 million people and her industry gone, 2012 became "the year, the economy died", as an aged folk singer sang. The global economy already strained, the sudden disappearance of such an important market, economy and more, such a large producer of quality goods, let it crash down like stone.
It would be many years until Earth could recover from that loss and the new geographics. But for Earth the question remained: Where was Germany?


Outside the Chancellory, Berlin, Germany

The people of Berlin, the people of Germany were staring into the sky, seeing and trying to comprehend the second Moon there. So nobody at first recognized that among the crowd outside the chancellory the German Chancellor herself was standing.
Angela Merkel was a Doctor of Physics, so this weird Light and it´s aftermath had sent her brain into overdrive. It had actually been a fairly normal morning in Germany, when at two minutes past eight a glazing, rainbow-hued light suddenly appeared. For further 4 minutes, messages from all across Europe, North America and Northern Asia came in about the same happening there. The alarms had already been rung, the government members called for an emergency meeting, the Bundeswehr on High Alert, when from one second to the other everything from outside Germany went silent.

Then, as suddenly as it began, it was over. Not more than eight minutes, according to the nuclear clocks in Braunschweig. The institutions of Germany tried to reach all Germans via phone, Radio, TV and police acting as town criers. Everyone should go home, turn on TV and Radio and wait for a message by the Chancellor, which would be aired in a quarter of an hour. Then, a further one when more was known. But for now, it seemed the light did not damage anything big in Germany.
Angela Merkel had hit the right tone for her compatriots. Stating that Germany was not under attack and such an event was totally unprecedented. She asked the Germans to keep calm and that any news would be aired as soon as possible, but considering the bizarre circumstances, the Goverment needed some time to gather informations to get a clear picture. And that she would give a message with the newest informations in two hours.

After her speech, the chancellory and the meeting room of the government was flooded with totally weird messages. Roads across the borders simply vanished after the border lines, unknown vistas beyond Germany´s frontiers.
An hour later, all government members needed a pause, too strange were the messages. Soon the infos from the fly-overs by the Luftwaffe would come in, until then, a pause was given. So Angela Merkel had gone to mix with the crowd outside. Her scientists brain was pondering the possible answers, none which pleased her, because while theoretically possible, it should not happen in reality.
Being the daughter of a pastor, she prayed silently. "Dear Lord in Heaven, where are we?"

Luftwaffe Flight 31, flying over "somewhere"

The cameras and sensors of the two Recon-Tornado Jets were recording, doing their work and the pilots, having flown more than 300 kilometres deep into the unknown at times, were now pulling their control sticks, bringing the planes onto a course for home.
During the first phase of this Recon, the three men and one woman in the Jets had been fully concentrated on their duties. They still concentrated on their jobs, but since there were no "Bandits", UFOs or any other kind of enemy flights opposing them, the pilots could talk a little.

Hauptmann (Captain) Gerd Troppmann, the flight leader, could not and did not want to hide the amazement he felt. "This all is totally far out! This cannot be France, Belgium or Switzerland below us. There is no way we could see a high mountain range from the position where Paris should be, if we were just ... displaced ... in time, like in a science fiction novel."

Oberleutnant Sybille Glaser, the sensor Officer of the other Tornado, affirmed that. "You are fully correct, Herr Hauptmann. Nothing ... no place we flew over corresponds to what should be there. And I am still weirded out by that Big River close to Aachen (Aix-en-Chapelle). A River mouth which easily can compete with the Amazonas Delta. A "time travel" for lack of a better reason, would have been back to the time of the Dinosaurs for that to be even remotely possible. But the settlements we saw and the size of them, limit a possible time displacement to 4000 years, tops.
So, we are on another world, if this is not one of the freakiest nightmares I ever had and will wake soon."

"What shall we do now?" spoke up her pilot.
Troppmann answered that. "We? We do our job, return to base and then... then we have time to freak out and hope for a solution of any kind."

Castle Wegelsburg, Palatinate, Germany


Michiko Furukawa rubbed her eyes for the fifth time in the last hour, then looked again. The rubbing had not helped, she still saw something she should not see here - again.
Several years earlier Michiko had met and married her German husband and left Japan to live with him. She worked as a translator and adult education centre teacher. Her husband and she had used a holiday to go on a hike in the Palatinate Forest. They began their hike early and by eight o´clock they had reached the Wegelsburg with it´s fantastic outview. The restorated Caslte ruins stood on rather high altitude, nearly six hundred metres above sea level, with a great view not only over the Palatinate Forest, but the Vogesen mountains in France as well. The French border was just a short walk away from the Castle.

When the strange light hit, the pair took cover in the Castle until it was over. Returning outside, they looked around. On the German side, nothing had changed, everything as before, as much as could be seen from the Castle. But looking to the French side made both involuntary gasp. There were still some mountains, but some lower plains where none had been as well. And the kicker which sent the two into shock, were the four Japanese-style Castles they could see from their place on the Wegelsburg.

More than a hour had gone by with Michiko and her husband unsure what to do. Then a person looking distinctly like a Samurai of a bygone Age and his entourage of 4 other persons equally looking as coming from Old Japan, neared the Castle entrance.
As a born Japanese, Michiko could easily see that those 5 were projecting a defiant facade, but were as scared as she was.
Reaching a decision, Michiko said. "I go and talk to them"
"Do you think that is wise, Dear? You might be a 'known' face, calming them, but if they are what we think...I just want you safe."

Michiko pressed a fast kiss on her husband´s mouth. "I know that you will defend me, but they are as scared as us. I might be able to keep this civil."
Then they just looked at each other and began to laugh. The whole situation was just too bizarre to think too deeply about, for now.
While Klaus secretly readied his Swiss Army Knife, just in case, Michiko walked up to the arriving people.

Tomoyuki Isamo, Samurai and Daimyo in service of the Emperor of Nippon, tried to keep all things straight. The whole situation was a bedlam. Just a short time before, he was patrolling his possessions close to the Silent Sea Shore, when the Winds of Magic played havoc with Nippon like never before.
Now there was no Shore line anywhere, he and his entourage were somewhere inland. Or better, his land was now fully inland! Seeing two people on the tower of a ruined foreign Castle, Tomoyuki decided to confront them, if they were simple victims like he was or responsible. If responsible, the wrath of a Samurai would be the last thing they would see.
He was happily surprised to see a Nipponese women greeting them, but beside her stood a gaijin no kami, one of those very pale travellers and traders who sometimes visited Nippon.

"Hajime-mashite! Watashi-tashi wa Furukawa Michiko to Klausu desu. Dozo yoroshiku onegai shimasu!"

Interesting...a south western dialect here in this region. But that can wait for later. at least I can talk with somebody.

"Kochira koso! Watashi wa Isamo Daimyo desu. Dozo yoroshiku onegai shimasu!"
After a proper greeting ritual done, the talk began in earnest. Neither Michiko nor Tomoyuki knew that their talk would be one of those few things which kept the whole situation from spinning out of control early on.

Chancellory, Berlin, Germany


The chancellory resembled more an overcrowded concert hall than the central point of the German executive. Dozens of work groups analyzed data, while the rooms were acceptable, the floors were a cacophony of cell phones ringing, printers working and beeps from laptops, sprinkled inbetween were people bringing food and drink to the assembled groups. In the central meeting room the German government stayed in emergency session now that the first news from the Recon teams came in.

It was a nightmare. All roads, walks, railways, pipelines simply cut off at the border lines and while a lot were thankfully sealed off by the "event", not all were. No radio, TV, Internet, telephone calls from outside Germany came in, the only positive was that 8 satellites were still in orbit and could be controlled. But beyond that no signal from the rest of Earth.

The landscape beyond the borders was totally unknown and it became "worse". For the last 30 minutes messages came in, saying that the Baltic Sea had vanished, while at the Benelux-border of North Rhine-Westphalia a very large and broad river was now flowing. Topping this off were the calls from the Palatinate and Baden that they now bordered on a piece of "Old Japan", whose inhabitants insisted that they never heard of a "Germany" and were "transplanted" as well.

This was enough to drive someone to drink! The various people in charge gave orders out while being put up with an literally endless stream of news.

"The THW and specialists are working on the pipelines, Herr Minister."

"We added a new part to the maps. These photos came from the Recon flights over the 'Baltic'. Damnation, that are quite a mass of trees for a ocean arm!"
"And so dry, Tim."
"Funny!"

"Were is the chancellor? We have line standing to the Palatinate. This Daimyo Isamo guy could be convinced to try this 'magical contraption'. He is willing to listen to us -for now."

"Give me Ludwigshafen, Manfred. They have to power down what processes can be stopped and paused. And then you talk with Leverkusen."

"Thomas, how is the deployment of the rapid reaction forces going? They have to keep the eastern and southern borders controlled.... No, first, the Rhine is still flowing and second, Angela is talking with someone of these peculiar Japanese guys down there.... Yes, authorize a jet transfer for the diplomatic and combat engineering teams. If we can keep the lid on in the Southwest, this can only be helpfu- No, we still cannot say if everyone else is gone or we went somewhere else."

"No, tell this ox that this is a national emergency. Under what stone did he sleep? They have to keep the grid working..."

"I need the laptop with the H1 on it."
"Here, Martina!"
"Danke! Please, print this out, six copies. One for Angela, one for Wolfgang and Ursula, the other three for rotation. Oh, make another one for the Archive."

The time for the next chancellor´s message was nearing, when a state secretary walked into the government meeting room. He was as white as a wall.

"Mein Gott, Olaf, you look ill. What happened-"

"Sorry, Frau Bundeskanzlerin, I found out, I believe I found out where we are."

"Somehow, I doubt we will like it, right?" addressed Angela Merkel the secretary dryly.

"Oh ja! I cannot get my head around it, how it is possible, but..."

Wolfgang Schäuble, the interior minister, made a dismissing hand gesture. "Olaf, please tell us like taking medicine-fast- maybe it will be more palatable then, hopefully."

"Yes, Minister. We have put together the data our air and ground Recon teams gathered."

A beamer powered up and the state secretary connected his notebook with it. The picture shown was Germany.
"The good news first. We need it. The good news is that Germany is in one piece, so to speak, even Heligoland has called in, as did the Islands in the Baltic even if they are now part of some inland. ..." He noded to a silent question. "Oh Yes, it will become more strange, a lot more.
It seems that all vacationers in other nations were transported as well. They suddenly found themselves in their homes again. No matter where they were before.
Well, pardon I have to correct myself, as long as the persons where on the northern Hemisphere. From what I see on my newsfeed, some people who were in Australia are still missing.
And for some reason it seems that there are some handfuls of persons, who are foreigners and were outside Germany when this catastrophe began, who still were deposited with us here. This is something for the scientists, maybe they have a connection to Germany in some way. But back to the momentarily more important things."

He pushed a key on the notebook and the image of Germany changed, becoming embedded into some sort of land. Germany was coloured blue, with some red and white coloured "chunk", around the size of Hessen, sticking at Germany´s southwestern borders. The rest of the landmass surrrounding was in an off-white colour, while the sea and rivers were in a dark blue. Then Olaf added a second picture, a map, for comparison and it really looked similar, the only difference were Germany and this piece of Nippon in one picture like an overlay.

"I am absolutely sure I do not recognize this place. Where from did you get the map?"

"I am sorry if it sounds totally mad, but ... my son and my daughter are longtime fans of a tabletop game named Warhammer. They often tell and show me stuff about that game. When we created the map from the recon data, I directly saw the similarity to a map of that fictious game world. And no, I cannot fathom how we can be transported to a world that for all that is holy, should only be a product of imagination. And I cannot predict how similar the world and her nations might be to those depicted in the game books and novels.- I assure you it is not some sort of sick joke. I nearly blacked out when I saw the connection."

For a full minute the room was deathly silent, the persons in it contemplating something that should not be posssible. Then Angela Merkel, noticable more pale then usual, spoke up. "Olaf, would you please send someone to gather some books about this 'Warhammer world' in a shop for us? We have to look up what -might- be identical to this first found. Maybe it will help us when we meet the rest of the world here.
We have to create work groups for the different nations. We have to get a grip, let us take it like a new country back home on ... Earth. And if someone has a really good idea how we can put this 'information' into my message to our compatriots without sounding like a madman, I am open for suggestions."


Royal Palace, Couronne, Bretonnia

"Sire, we have an urgent message from our border with the Wasteland. The Marienburg troops have gone somewhere or vanished. If you want, we can advance and take what should be under your benevolent rule instead of the greedy traders in Marienburg."

King Lioncour of Bretonnia read the parchment one of his advisors brought in. "Didier, is this proofed?"

"Yes, my Lord, our border posts think the Marienburgers became fearful of the strange Dragon in the Sky they saw shortly after the mercenaries fled."

"A strange Dragon?"

"Yes, Sire. He flew high above and was unusually loud and fast, from what the couriers told me."

"Could this be the Dragon from the prophecy the Lady gave me? The dragon I will bring down?"

"I thought about that as well, when I heard the news, your Highness."

"Didier, alert the closest Dukes and knights. It seems the time for bringing part of the Wasteland under the warming rays of civilisation is nigh. For Bretonnia and the Lady!"

"For Bretonnia and the Lady!"


"Regensburg", Europe, Earth

Rain was pouring down, making the swampy ground even more an unsightly molass. The trees looked healthy, but gave off some twisted vibe. Jaroslaw Permisyl leaned against their green Mercedes G, together with Jaap Brunkje, a geography professor from Leiden in the Netherlands. The two were part of one of the international research teams trying to find out what happened to or with Germany.
It was mind boggling. According to the GPS and the old-fashioned land navigation done by the professor as proofing, their team of 8 in 4 Off-Roaders stood where the oldest marketplace in Regensburg should be. Yet, there was only mud and some vegetation here and there. The Pole and the Dutch watched the geologists taking probes.

"Prof, what do yo think what happened here? This is really creepy, are they all dead?"

"I know the rumours in the newspapers, but let me tell you, I doubt that the Germans died. Everywhere on the northern hemisphere the changes did just happen like here. Structures did not vanish, no matter how strong the changes were. So if nothing is standing here, even no ruins, Germany has to be somewhere else.
Most collegues and I think that Germany was transported to another world and where we now stand, was part of that other world. This is why the geologists and biologists are swarming all over the place."

"You mean we, Earth, was attacked by some aliens?" Jaroslaws tone carrying over his scepsis.

"No, if some race or entity is powerful enough to do something like 'the Event', an attack would have taken us out. No question. We think a total disaster happened there, whereever that might be in the universe. Earth and Germany in special were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. You want a tea? I need something to warm me up."

"Yes, Jaap, thank you. Can I ask you a question? All nations are hush-hush about waht happened to them and I know you have informations we grunts do not get. Tell me, how bad is it? The consequences of Germany gone poof will be bad enough, but why do we hear so few things about the other changes? What is hidden?"

Jaap Brunkje was rummaging in the Mercedes and began to answer Jaroslaw´s questions under four eyes, when a cry let the two men turn their heads. Jaroslaw being outside the car did not get more out than Holy mother o-

Main Tower of the Celestial Order, Altdorf, The Empire

"August, I need an audience with the Emperor. It is urgent and of high importance for our nation, so as soon as possible is a must. I had a vision about that strange occurance in the morning. The result might be needed help or an enemy we never faced before."

"As you wish, Grandmaster."

Naval Base "Tirpitzhafen", Kiel, Germany

Captain Fritz Wunderlich (loose relation to the famous Tenor) stood on the bridge wing of his minesweeper Fulda, eyes turned to land. The Fulda was the last ship of the Bundesmarine to leave the Base making for Holtenau and the entry locks of the Kiel Channel. Only a handful of Fast attack craft would remain in Kiel.
During the "Teleport", as the event was tentatively named, Germany´s Baltic coast lost it´s sea and was now landlocked. All remaining water areas, like the Kiel Fjord or the waters around Rügen were Lakes now. Germany´s North Sea coast was still lying at a ,now new, Ocean. So Kiel lucked out a bit since with the Kiel Channel the city had still a connection to the High Seas. Rostock on the other hand, was hit hard. In Warnemünde now the water ended. The ships in Rostock, a flotilla of Fast Attack Craft of the Marine included, were caught there in a water area of only some few square-miles.

Frigate "Sachsen", near Wilhelmshaven, Germany


At the same time Captain Wunderlich did a silent Good-Bye to Kiel, the Commander of the Sachsen, Captain Krug let his eyes sweep over the ships in his task force. Their orders were of immense importance for Germany. Sail to Araby with expert teams to search for oil.

Chancellory, Berlin, Germany


The first three days after Germany was swept to another world had been spent in diesbelief by most of the populöation. It was simply such an outrageous event to defy reason. How could a fictious universe really exist?
After Angela Merkel had informed her compatriots, a run on books about the Warhammer universe set it. It were the 2 highest sale days for Games Workshop ever. Unfortunately for them, they would never get all that money made.
Despite the political parties still having different opinions, a "round table" due to the emergency was made. Any idea could help in a situation where Demons could exist.
"We need to speak with the Empire and Bretonnia first. They are the only human realms strong enough to be a danger."
"Yes, we will do it, but I´ll fly to Kagoshima in the afternoon to speak with this Daimyo Isamo eye to eye. They are stranded here like us. Are the geographic teams on board of out task forces? We have to see what is now different here. The Nipponese insist that the Winds of Magic hit not only Earth, but this world as well. Quite logical, since they were in the Silent Ocean before this all happened."

"Yes, the tea-"

A worker of the Kanzleramt stormed into the meeting. "Frau Bundeskanzlerin, the Sea is returning in several regions of the Baltic ... Krallensee. The Fjords of Flensburg and Kiel, Rostock and Rügen, some Islands before Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are sea areas again. It started an hour ago like a tide. But in Ostholstein and northwestern Mecklenburg the new coast line is stable. So Neustadt, Lübeck and Wismar, to name some of the important cities there, will never be true port cities again."

"Why now?"

"The specialists say that this is because of the Seas were disrupted by the event that brought us here and the changes on this world as well. Now the Sea levels out again."

"Well, then we can recall the ships to Kiel. I am glad for that, since it would have been a major negative impact on Kiel being without maritime trade and cruises."

"You are right on that, Wolfgang. Still, is it true we have 'swallowed' a piece of both Bretonnia and the Empire with our arrival? I looked at the maps myself and I fear that is correct."

"According to our geographs, this is correct, Angela. While the Territory the Empire lost is not important for them and I hope their merchants will be delighted to use our roads to reach the Old Forrest Road now, we cannot be so sure about the losses Bretonnia had.
They want to expand into the Wastelands and now most of these Wastelands are gone. I do not know how they will react once they find out we are where quite a piece of the ...where is it.... ah, the Couronne Marches once lay."

"We must prepare the diplomatic team we gathered for Bretonnia for this complication. I hope to be back from 'Nippon 2' before either the Empire or Bretonnia come knocking. Maybe being thrown back into a slower moving Age works out as an advantage here in this case."

"That would be good, considering the mountain of problems we have. Have a Good Flight!"

"Stolz von Wurtbad", on the Reik, Wasteland

Pieter Schlittenholzer led his trade Barque for 3 decades. He knew the Reik River, the Sea of Claws and several routes into the South like the back of his hand. So he was, as were the well-travelled among his crew, totally baffled when the Stolz encountered a fork in the Reik where none should be.
"Those damn Chaos-spawn. What happened here?"

The route he knew went to the right, but where to led the turn left? Better be save than sorry, Schlittenholzer thought. "Hans, we stay on the correct course. This turn left reeks of a trap!"

"Aye, Käpten!"

When 2 hours later the Barque entered a Lake which had never been there before and the ship was greeted by ships and boats of unknown origin, flying a Black-Red-Gold banner, Pieter simply swore. "Oh Frak!"

Over Bayrischzell, Bavaria, Germany

It was a sight for Emperor Karl-Franz and his fellow Griffon-riders, the land below them. After braving high mountains which definitely should not be here, they looked down onto a landscape that emanated tranquility and strangeness.
Karl-Franz locked eyes with the Grandmaster of the Celestial Order, nodding. It was as it had been in the vision the Grandmaster told him about.

"Do you know...have you seen where their capital is? Or what language they speak?"

"No, my Emperor!"


Army Air Base Laupheim, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

"Herr Oberst, we have orders to intercept some Bandits near Bayrischzell."

"Hmm, we? That is the job of the Alarmrotte (Alert Flight) in Neuburg! Ugh, considering what will be the typical air unit speed here, we can only talk or sign to them with a Heli, right? Okay, boys and girls, let us show the Flyboys how it is done!"
Hopefully this Reikspiel language is really as close to German as assumed in that informations we got. Or it will go down south real fast, if these guys are as triggerhappy as in the books.

User avatar
Mechman
Youngling
Posts: 138
Joined: 2015-06-22 02:25pm
Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-26 06:01am

Bayrischzell, Bavaria, Germany

Oberst Kurt Crüwell kept his eyes pinned to the sight in front of their helicopters, as were his comrades, the commander of Flight 42 was sure. This will be a story for my Grandchildren! Real, living Griffons with their riders and we are the first to meet them!
"They outnumber us with their 32 Griffons. But I hope to get this over without a fight. Activate the external speakers!"

"What by Sigmar are these contraptions?! Ready your weapons! Patriarch Julevno, Grand Astromancer Vybor, did you foresee these abominations?"

"Not these in special Sire, but others and they are no abominations per se, your Highness, even if they seem like Chaos-Spawn." answered Caspar Vybor, one of the most talented non-Elven farseers in existence. The Emperor was a forward-thinking man, but the flying objects coming nearer looked more like something the forces of Chaos would make than human. Caspar admitted to himself that without the visions he and the Patriarch had shared, they would have thought that as well.
"Your Majesty, the humans over there in these things can be a salvation for our realm or the worst enemy we ever faced.. Every action enables a reaction. I would advice, to keep sharp, but let them make the first move."


"They seem as anxious as we are, are they not, Karl? Better to get over with it. Turn to our broadside, so I can see and motion to these Imperials. Put me on the speakers."

"Mylord," said Walter von Au, one of the Emperor´s Guards, "look...their heraldry!"
Karl-Franz, the two wizards and all the others who heard him, looked at the unknown flying machine. On the side, a Cross could be seen. Not the Cross of the Empire of Mankind, but it was close in design. Close enough to maybe being related.
While not relaxing, this let some of the felt tenseness out. And more tension left, when the people in the machine began to speak in an admittedly odd accented, but still good understandable Reikspiel.

"Unknown Flight, I am Colonel Kurt Crüwell and greet you in the name of the Federal Republic of Germany in Peace. For the ease of communication, how about we land in Bayrischzell below us and talk eye to eye? I think we both have a lot to talk about."

When the Griffons one by one and in formation began to descent, the Colonel let out the breath he did not knew he had held. "So far, so good! Contact Berlin that we have made successful contact with a squadron from the Empire. We will open first communication, but they should send the diplomats fast."

Emden Harbour, Lower Saxony, Germany

"Rations, Hamit?"

"6 Weeks, Muhar. Do you know how difficult it was to gather the fuel? Since no one knows how soon new oil fields can be found, all these infidels are sitting on the last oil like hens. Hoping for it to multiply, I guess."
Snickers could be heard on the boat. "By the way, how did you get the fuel under these circumstances?"

"There are, Him be blessed, enough true followers of Islam in this heathen land. They donated from their stockpiles."

"Allah is with us! Omar, just stay clear of the Marine vessels.Before they will know it the true faith will have a foothold among our relatives in Araby. And then, then we will spread out and eradicate the followers of the false idols, beginning here. This World will be the haven of Islam. The prophet spoke to us about this sign. Let us leave and Allah ackbar! When we return, we will put away with the heresy here."


Catle Isamo, Kagoshima, Nippon

Night was falling over the Old World. The talks between Chancellor Merkel and the Daimyos beside Tomoyuki Isamo were proceeding well. A lot of business, common help and other things had already been concluded.
After retiring for the night, Angela Merkel and her advisors talked about the coming negotiations.
"Frau Kanzlerin, I know why we try to get them on our side. Security and all that. But why do this, they are not even the Japanese we know, these are the old Ones clearly? We will grow our own future concurrent."

"The Nipponese have the potential like their relatives from Home and this is exactly why Germany should be their Meji! This does not only include making them friendly towards us, build up this land, but I and some from the security council propose to make them a part of Germany, bringing them to join us."

"J-Join us?"

"Join us. Not only for defence reasons, a new market and all that. This is good, but we should add them to our numbers because they know this world more than we do and to bring millions of supportive of the state new citizens into Germany as well.
We have reason to believe that dogmatic among the Greens see this cataclysmic event as their Chance to impose their half-brained ideas on us. Some others as well. If only one tenth of what in the books is true, we need all the help we can get. We need to screen our people for magical talent, we need people who know this world, know what we need in the face of demons, how to use magic...

This is why we need to get this lost part of Nippon into Germany and to hopefully ally with this Empire and most of her factions. And why we should try that with more realms too. Some seem to have not recognized how dangerous this world can be. We will sooner or later have to talk about enlarging the Bundespolizei and raise a Landwehr. Or building city walls again. The rules have changed and it will be a hard way to get the whole population to realise this."

"Angela, Berlin in the line. A group from the Emipre did fly into Bavaria with their Griffons and after the first small get-together it is clear that their Emperor is among them. You have to return as fast as possible."

Elysee Palace, Paris, France

Presidential Advisor Jules Picard sat in his office chair, eyes pinned to the monitor before him, the Cafe au lait beside him forgotten. The messages were grim. With Germany transported to somewhere, and her return highly unlikely, the Euro was dead as a Dodo. The remaining Eurozone nations trying to save what could, the currency fell like lead and several EU nations declared a return to their pre-Euro currencies.
But that could not stop the shockwave in the World Economy. Germany was a too important part of that. The country was gone for a mere week and already more than a dozen nations from around the Globe had defaulted, with every day the danger of further defaults becoming greater.
Even the so strongly looking People´s Republic of China now wobbled on her feet.
Germany had not only been one of their greatest trade partners, but the producer of a lot of their machines as well.

Jules was no economist, but one had not to be one to see the writing on the wall. In the first two days after Germany had disappeared, from some nations there had be gloating and boasting how good it was that "this economic shark" was gone.
This soon changed, when even among the idiots with axes to grind, it hit home how far above her Weight class Germany was able to punch, compared to Germany´s size. The World has precious few manufacturing centres of such calibre and with the equivalent of 2-3 silenced... Germany was most likely gone forever and the damages to industry and infrastructure incurred by the "Event" in the other industrial nations on the northern Half-Sphere was estimated to be like losing Germany once or twice again. France had been lucky, most of her industry was intact, only a small mountain range popping up in the middle of la Republique, severing northern France from the South for now, had done damage. Our specialists are working on connecting the roads and railways again, which, as far as the reports go, is not too problematic. Off-Road vehicles can cross the new mountains, so the experts think in a year all is back to "normal".
Something that can not be said about others. Where America´s largest chemical factory once stood, there was a lake now, the plant gone.
If the civilian populations of Earth would know how hard our planet is hit, there would be a panic.

Picard looked on some paper reports and several on his computer.
The idea to take over the region were la Allemagne stood, is as dead for now as the explorer teams. The few survivors scarred by the events. Abominations, which by God should not exist, live there. Poland ,I know, toyed with taking over most of "eastern Germany". We wanted to take at least everything up to the Rhine, Denmark a lot of northern Germany, all neighbours wanted a piece.
Before we have cleaned out this wasteland, nothing to that effect is possible. According to these Dutch freaks we found, there should be a large metropolis in there, but no exploration team went in deep enough and for some reason the satellites cannot penetrate the clouds.

Jules Picard asked the empty room, "What shall I tell the President? That we are lucky? At least compared with others? I will tell him that France has to be ready when the general population get´s wind of the fact that a global depression which makes 1929/30 look like a Sunday walk, seems to be unstoppable.

Landstuhl Stadthalle (City Multifunction Hall), the Palatinate, Germany

Being the location of the largest US-Hospital outside the United States, the small city and her inhabitants were used to people from abroad. Seeing foreigners was normal, even if there were less Americans than before "the Weltensprung"(Jump between Worlds), as a scientist dubbed the event for the Bild newspaper. A name that would keep sticking.
The Germans could not know it where, but nearly four fifth of the US soldiers and their families were deposited by the spell back at their homes in the States. Germany´s scientists were baffled by this. Since a group of people from all over the northern hemisphere with German roots had been "sucked" away with their ancestor´s home, the leading theory was that something had resonated with the ancestry. While there were enough hints to consider that theory correct, Landstuhl was one of the places you could see the exceptions.

In case of Candace, a "medium" black teacher from an Army school, one could debate if she had some drops of German blood in her, but some of the children under her tutelage most certainly had not. Still, they had been transported away with Germany, while obvious German-descended US citizens were not.
In addition, among the before mentioned group of people who made the Weltensprung with Germany, there were a small subset of clearly non-German men and women. And from the immigrants in Germany, a part of them had been left on Earth or where ever they went to, despite having already German passports.
This led another group of scientists to posit that it was not ancestry, as the first few days of findings hinted at, but the overall number of people which had been balanced by whoever or whatever initiated the Weltensprung.
It was surely possible that at first a resonance picked Germanic people, but the randomness from where all the new people came might mean that when "time ran out" just the total numbers counted. Or all was just coincidence.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had read the various reports about the possible explanations for the Weltensprung on his trip to Landstuhl. He wanted to tell the naturally rattled "newcomers" something uplifting, but the texts made him snort. At the moment the theories boiled down to an educated guesswork, with hints for practically all major theories. And no hope for a return scenario, not that he had even remotely calculated with this to be possible.

To show the people stranded together with Germany on a World which should not exist that Berlin cared for them as well, representatives had been invited to Landstuhl. Most of the US citizens left lived in the Kaiserlautern region, which Landstuhl was part of.
The reason Landstuhl had been chosen over the 10 times larger nearby Kaiserlautern laid in the fact, that Berlin wanted to show that all of Germany was needed and the city was still large enough to house all of the representatives.

Now the minister´s group was standing in the hallway leading to the stage. The Minister finally decided to make a stand-up speech, "Sandra, you have the laptop set up and ready?"
A nod by the addressed staff member.
"Sascha, are the hand-outs and paperwork formularies in there? ... Good, then let´s get it going!"

With that, Schäuble pushed his wheelchair forward.

Outside Couronne, Bretonnia

The citizens of the capital of Bretonnia were out in force to give a proper frame for the army the King had assembled. It was not the largest army Bretonnia ever committed, not even the largest in the last half-century, but bolstering the Knights of Couronne, Artois, L´Anguille and Gisoreux was a relatively massive peasant's levy.
That the Knights were from only four regions of Bretonnia was seen as unproblematic, since the defenders of the Wastelands, the Money-sacks from Marienburg had fled in great haste and according to the newest reports, did not come back. Maybe now the greedy Marienburgers would see why a true knight was superior to the mercenaries they contracted.
The target was easy and simple: Taking as much of the Wasteland on the western side of the Reik as possible.
Despite having a fitting name, the Wasteland had some worth. Not every square-metre was infertile and winning control over the Wasteland would mean winning control over the Reik and with the Reik, over a lot of Empire trade. Marienburg, the former imperial capital of the former province of Westerland, was a rich city and one of the biggest trade cities in the whole world.

The King of Bretonnia, his advisors and a group of the most influential Knights did not believe in a march on Marienburg directly. Just taking the western part of the Wasteland and testing the defences of Marienburg after bringing the surrounding land firmly into Bretonnian hands.

"Are we not a bit too cautious, Sire? In sight of the cowardice of the Marienburgers?"

"Dear Comte de Charville, if it were just a question, of killing that Dragon, from which we do not know if he is still in the region at all, we would strike trough until we reach the centre of Marienburg. But we have to be careful of a trap and this is one of the reasons why Baron de Brosioux with a detachment will investigate the strange silence of some coastal towns along Manaanspoort Sea."

"You surely mean not that the moneygrabbers could be cocky enough to... I beg your pardon, your Majesty, but that thought alone is preposterous!"

"Sire de Charville, reign in your tongue. You talk to our King!"

"No, let him speak! I would not be a true grail knight and King, if I dismiss the right of other noble warriors to speak."

"This is simply a breakdown in communications as it happens not so seldom in the Couronne Marches, there is no way the Merchants of the Wasteland would attack us, your highness."

"Possible and most likely, but not the only scenario, Comte. That is why we send out a someone to investigate, while we go on and conquer the Wasteland. Let us get forward!"

near Hof, Franconia, Germany

"Say NO to animal murder!"

"You are nothing but cowards!"

"Shit government! Shit Police! Start the Ecological Revolution now!"

"Down with the Nazis!"

"This World is pristine, keep it that way!"

Claudia Roth, one of the leaders of the Green Party, was very pleased. Despite the short time, the Greens and the Linke (Left Party) had amassed quite a demonstration group.
During the first tentative meeting of Merkel and the Emperor in Bayrischzell, one of these "wizards" of the Imperials, clad in a bluish, star-splattered robe, made an announcement. That soon a clan of Beastmen and other Mutants, topped of by members of true "Chaos-spawn" would cross the border into Germany. The only way to stop them spread their taint was to kill everything that moved in that area, preferably by fire, but being killed they had to.

The following discussion in the Bundestag was heated to say it mildly. While the government defended the transport of Bundeswehr units into the area the Imperial wizard had designated, the opposition, especially the Greens and the Linke, attacked that decision as rash and fascistic.

The Merkel government pointed at the fact, that the Empire gave this information as a gift, the Warhammer experts said that Chaos taint was not something to be taken lightly and the interior minister said that any coming persons showing goodwill would be handled with civility. But that was not enough for the opposition. While from the Social Democrats only the left rim of the party was displeased, Greens and Left called on their followers.
And then the day came when on a forest glade, some kilometers from Hof, soldiers and several hundred demonstrators, among them quite some prominent members of Greens and Left and militant Autonoms, stood against each other.
The Bundeswehr had orders to keep calm and stay ready for anything, but let the demonstrators have their "party".
Speeches were made, most against the government, murder of innocents,...
All in all a rather perfect propaganda for their agendas, was the unanimous opinion of the political leaders at the rally. Angela Merkel would be humiliated and at the end, when Roth and Cem Özdemir would greet the newcomers and show everybody what bigot and hate-filled policies Merkel wanted to begin.
"And the TV teams film everything, this is just great!"

It was roughly 20 minutes later than the imperial wizard had estimated, when the first of these "Beastmen" arrived on the clearing. And to be honest, Claudia Roth began to have second thoughts about the rally´s conclusion, when all could see who or what arrived.

One Thing had far too many eyes, a tentacle arm, andand... it looked like having jumped out of a warped nightmare. Or there was a person looking for all things like a walking piece of manure and smelling like it! Most of the newcomers had strange smells, a cacophony of odours.

The crowd of demonstrators began to get second thoughts as well, but kept staying albeit barely. Cem Özdemir wanted to get over with it, take the propaganda coup for the Greens, bring the Beastmen into quarantine, off camera naturally, and take a hot, long shower.
So Roth and Özdemir walked up to two of these persons, their obvious leaders, one of them "Manure Man" and greeted them. From the corner of her eye Claudia Roth saw two Left members greeting further Mutants.
"Welcome to Germany! I am Claudia Roth and I can assure you, here no superstitious beliefs will harm you!"
She felt sick just from being around that guy, who simply said.

"Wonderful! I greet you in the name of Papa Nurgle!"

Then he shook her hand and something felt different. Claudia Roth began to scream as she saw her hand and arm change form into a putrid mess, but she felt nothing more than a little tickle. Others screamed as well, as the Mutants dove into the demonstrators, killing or infecting them.

Cem Özdemir wondered why he felt not more than a small itch at seeing this happening, while he was growing an eye on his knee and Claudia beside him was turning into a facsimile of the Manure Man.

Claudia Roth could not really believe this happened and said to Özdemir, "Cem, we need to get away..."

That were her last words, because at that moment machinegun bullets dissected her. She was already dead, when the fire of flamethrowers reached her body.

It was, according to the reporters of the ARD-Team at the clearing, 17.13 hours, as a new chapter of history was begun. No matter how bizarre the circumstances had been the first days already, seeing this finally drove the seriousness of the situation Germany was in home.

General Volker Wieker became one of the most discussed commanders in German History that day when he ordered fire to be opened on every being in the clearing. MG 3 machineguns, the successors of the famous MG 42, sent their ammunition into the crowd with the typical "linen-tearing" sound of machineguns of that type. Like the MG 42, the MG 3 would soon have a nickname, the Mutantensäge, the Mutants Saw.
Then, the brought flamethrowers opened up. After incinerating everything and everyone in the glade, the soldiers spread out, burning away everything in the direction the Mutants had come from.

The shock of that day sat deep, but beside a tiny minority, which continued to make trouble, the vast majority of the population saw the reason why General Wieker had been so merciless. This was an enemy you could not reason with.

near Illkirch-Grafenstaden, Alsace, France

Captain Jean-Michel Arofoux sat in the open cupola of his LeClerc Tank. His unit had been ordered to investigate the silence in Illkirch. After the Earth-rocking "Event", communications and travel had been and still were seriously hampered on the complete Northern Hemisphere. So for some days nobody recognized that from the Alsatian town no life-sign came out.
Paris was obviously worried about this development and had sent a military unit to explore the situation on site. After the explorer teams into "Germany" had been attacked, the fact that Illkirch was positioned directly on the former border to Germany, let ill theories grow.

Before the tanks the Vogesen mountains gave way to the Rhine valley and Arofuox heard shocked exclamations in his headset. He himself was in a similar state to his men. All had heard about Germany vanishing, but seeing it was different. Strasburg was still there, but Kehl or Lahr on the German bank of the Rhine ... the Rhine!
Jean-Michel pressed the field glasses to his eyes with the air of a person hoping to be proven wrong.
Merde, Merde, this is, this cannot be right! The Rhine is gone!

Where the River should be there was now land, a marsh landscape.

"No wonder the Strasburgers are totally freaked out... I get a bad feeling about this."

"Mon Capitaine?" came his gunner´s voice over the headset.

"Nothing, Yves, I just remembered that the German 291st Chasseurs (291. Jägerbatallion) is stationed in Illkirch, as part of the French-German Brigade. And Germany vanished! Now what could have happened to a city on former German territory, directly at the borderline and with a lot of Germans there, I ask?"

"Mon Dieu! You mean, but that is..."

"Impossible? I cannot believe it either, but we have all seen the pictures on TV and the unbelievable power of that event directly before our eyes with the Rhine simply missing. I hope it will all boil down to the breakdowns in travel and communication, but I fear Illkirch is now where Germany is. Yves, raise speed, we need to see what happened there as fast as possible."

A half hour later, the 4 Tanks stood on the main street of Illkirch. Or better, where Illkirch should have been. The marsh the tank crews saw from the distance, was here instead of the city.
Reasonable sure that no monsters where in the direct vicinity, the crews left their tanks, taking some amateurish probes. It was then, when Captain Arnofoux began to rant about the injustice of the universe for what happened to Earth, to France. A memorable experience for his men, as the Captain was normally a rather laidback person and more so, the reaction to the rant by other persons!

Suddenly a foreign voice piped up from beside some low-grown trees.

"You are Bretons? But we went east, so we should be in the Empire?! And since when Bretonnia has access to tanks? Such well-formed ones?"

The French soldiers turned to the voice and where shocked. The 10 people looked like having jumped right out of paintings from Rembrandt or Vermeer. Their clothes, their haircuts,...
All were armed with Axes, swords and 3 with some calivers. They looked tough, but the situation made them anxious, their weapons were raised.
But the biggest shock were the 2 persons looking like honest-to-god Dwarfs!

"Jean, are they old Germans? Is this a time-travel like in a Well´s novel? Their French is weird and the accent could be German, don´t you think?"

"No, this accent sounds more like Dutch and the Flores-Men never lived in Europe. And these two guys look even more like real Dwarfs than the Flores-people were. But enough, I have to address them, before this can get ugly!

Hello, I am Jean-Michel Arofoux and we are not in this Bretonnia, we are in France. What is that Empire? And please, there is no need to keep the weapons raised. We are as baffled as you are and mean no harm. Who are you?"

"Never heard of France. Is that a part of Bretonnia, because you definitely sound so? And how come you do not know about the Empire, your neighbouring country?" The man´s tone became more suspicious. "But since the event some weeks back wrought havoc with the World, I give you benefit of doubt - for now. So do not test my patience! But you at least earn an answer to your question. I am Claas DeJong, expedition leader from the great city of Marienburg. We were sent out to investigate what happened during that freak event. And it seems you have some answers!"

His eyes staying pinned on the two heavily-armed Dwarfs standing beside DeJong, Captain Arofoux felt a stomach ache. Something told him that the situation of Earth had suddenly become even more complicated.
Arofoux did not want to let this situation get out of control, so he said. "Monsieur DeJong, I think we both have needed answers. So how about we sit down together and exchange that knowledge? I doubt our respective nations is served well, if we get into a fight, when we can clear up the problems now?!"

DeJong contemplated it, then nodded. "That sounds reasonable."

Mark Ruhdorfer´s Hotel Room, Berlin, Germany

Depending on one´s view, it was very late at night or very early in the morning, when Mark Ruhdorfer locked the door to his hotel room. He yawned heartily, making his way to the bed, for a few short hours of rest.
The last three weeks of his life had been a rollercoaster. Before the Weltensprung, the late thirties man had been one of the millions of average citizens. After the event, Mark was one of the Warhammer fans who had pledged his help for the government. Unlike many of the teenaged Warhammer crowd, he was permanently chosen for the special division of the interior and foreign ministries because Mark did not only know about the Warhammer World, but had read List, von Clausewitz, Weber among other works helpful for a person working in the government.

Helping as well was that Mark coincidently learned Japanese in one of the courses given by Michiko Furukawa, who had had the first contact with the piece of Nippon now sitting at the border. So both now worked for the German government.
The second and most of the third week after Germany´s arrival Mark had spent in the piece of Nippon transported. It had functioned rather well. The staff of Germany´s embassy in Tokyo had "travelled" to the Warhammer World like all Germans on the northern Hemisphere, so full-blooded diplomats had been available, them being reinforced by the motley crew of other departments, Japanese living in Germany and part of the Warhammer fans working for Berlin.
The Warhammer "experts" were there not only to help the German delegation with the few info available about Warhammer Nippon and collecting more, but to brief these Nipponese Newcomers to the Old World about their new Home as well.
There was a subtle difference between the Nipponese and the Japanese, but that was something to be expected on the development level discrepancy. The German delegation was actually happy with every, even minor, difference to the Japanese and Japanese-descended among their ranks.

Even if one put aside the fact for a moment, that the world they stood on should be imagination, there was something seriously creepy in the resemblance of Earth and the Warhammer World for the scientists in the team. Even a parallel evolution of two worlds would not bring about languages so closely related to each other like here was the case. And the cultural differences, while there, were mostly superficial and coming from two historical Eras, as could be said about both the Imperials and the Nipponese.
This was simply impossible. Even on Earth Humanity had developed very different in different places. While it was still untested, several biologists in the delegation and Germany proper were sure that if one took DNA samples from the locals, they would show a relation between Earth and Warhammer Humans. They postulated, that Germany now was not the first victim, that some Power or Being in former times already had kidnapped people from Earth and transplanted them onto the Warhammer World.
Some radical researchers even believed that Games Workshop was a front for that Power, a beacon in Space-time.

But that was for further research. The first long meeting with the Nipponese had begun with mistrust, quite naturally considering this World, but with time first successes with the opening of trade relations and exchange of experts.
In four days, the German delegation would return to Kagoshima for further talks. Tomorrow we have a day for recreation, then the preparations for the next 2 weeks in Nippon begin. What a schedule! were Mark Ruhdorfer' s last thoughts before succumbing to a well earned sleep.

Chancellor´s Office, Berlin, Germany

We are where Earth should be! The radio telescopes in Effelsberg and Garching confirmed it after days and days of work. The planet Germany is now on was in the same position as Earth. How is that possible? Well, this whole thing is a confirmation of the Multiple-Parallel-Universe theory with an exclamation mark!
Angela Markel looked out the window into the night-sky. Where two Moons circled "Earth". Mannslieb and Morslieb, as the natives in the Empire called them.
But a second moon was not the only addition for Germany, beside Illkirch, the cities Forbach, Lauterburg (F), Eger/Cheb (CZ), Tondern (DK), the Kleinwalsertal (AUT) and all polish territory on the western bank of the Oder (including 80% of Stettin and the polish part of Usedom) had been teleported with Germany.
It seemed to follow some rhythm, because not all territory close to the border had been ripped away with Germany. For instance, in 1919/20 Tondern, despite having voted with four fifth majority to stay with Germany, had been still given to Denmark.
The scientists postulated that it hinted to that regions which at some time in history had been lost due to "rigging" and still had some German citizens, were taken. Another conundrum for the scientists to solve.

But while her scientist´s brain was fascinated by the physics involved, the Chancellor had other things to do. Berlin was preparing for the arrival of the Imperial delegation, with their Emperor and most of the Elector-Nobility among them. A full state visit, as had been fixed in Bayrischzell some weeks earlier. Even more important, as a goodwill gesture by Karl-Franz, a substantial group of Imperial wizards, some had already arrived in the last week, would stay in Germany to screen Germany for magical talent and to help build up magical schools.
The Emperor had been impressed by the prosperity and High Tech of Germany and so both sides looked forward to meet each other "correctly".

(former) EADS Helicopter Research Centre, Ottobrunn, Germany

Workers were in the process of changing the signs and shields of the newly re-christened DASA Helicopter Research Centre. In one of the meeting rooms, the facility managers and military experts were brooding over the sudden changes in operations profile for Helicopters.

"Meine Damen und Herren (Ladies and Gentlemen), I think we all agree that the CH 90 is a fine transport Heli, but not fitting the role of an attack chopper. We have the Eurocopter Tiger and some 'inherited' Apache attack Helis, but they cannot transport troops.
Germany has too few Black Hawks to last long and refitting the Sikorsky CH 53 would be stopgap, especially since we need them for other tasks even more. Considering the mobility of some of our new enemies, we need a Helicopter with a punch and the ability to transport some fast response teams. And we cannot wait for a new type, this takes too long. Planning on a new Helicopter for that has been started, but we need a chopper to be in production soon and with compliance to our diminished resources."

"Yes, but that means we have to reverse engineer or looking in the archives for blueprints of existing types to see which one is the best solution for now."

"Agreed."

"This is not so simple."

"Blitzmerker!"

"I´d say we concentrate on the Black Hawk, since the design is more modern than the CH 53. We might have to sacrifice a couple of them, but it will worth it until the new design becomes available in some years."

"We think that there is an easier solution." The eyes in the room turned to Waldemar Schramm and Anastasia Oberg, two of the Bundeswehr engineers.
"With the reunification, we got Russian equipment from the NVA, among them part of their Helicopter fleets. A small group of Bundeswehr personal and MBB engineers was able to build up a superb working relationship with the Mil corporation. One that survived all political ups and downs and the phasing out of the Russian stuff.
It will not surprise you that this conversation is strictly confidential. We have the blueprints for the new Mil transport helicopter, since it is - was- a joint venture between Mil and us. But that is not so important, some Enthusiasts, hmm, acquired the Blueprints for the Mil 24. It was strictly meant to be kept in the personal archives of said Enthusiasts and so we did. But the situation has changed profoundly."

"One moment, you say we have access to plans for the Hind?"

"Yes, for the D, F and even the avionics-upgraded version. The Hind´s hardpoints are modular enough to accept our weapons without too much fuss. For instance, the Mauser BK 27 and her successor in development can be fitted in the slot for the original 30mm Russian cannon. Not totally without some refitting, but doable in a short time. and Germany still has several Hinds in museums we could repair and re-commission."

"I think Michail Mil will be laughing on the cloud he is on now. Can we fit our turbines into the Hind?"


Southlands Coast, the Great Ocean

"Allah Akbar! We did it! This is the coast of our new brothers."

The boat of the Jihadists dipped softly in the waves along the Coastline. The 3 men anchored outside a city, several kilometers away.
"Hamit, are the Korans ready?"

"Yes, the holy books are still in pristine condition. We have 160 onboard. This should be enough to start a movement for the one true religion."

"You know it will be a time until we can go back?"

"Naturally, but what a triumph it will be! On the tip of an army to free our brothers and sisters from the infidels. I nearly cannot await the moment we rededicate Cologne Cathedral to the worship of Allah!"

"All right, we keep our boat here. It is isolated enough to stay hidden until we can sail it into New Mecca."
Clothed like Arabian traders of old, the 3 men began their walk into the Araby city nearby.


Near Albion, The Great Ocean

The Ulthuan barque Biel-Tan´s Breath made steady progress on her north-eastern course. Farseer Teclis stood beside the Captain of the vessel, as stoic as a millennia old tree. He acknowledged his nearing apprentices with a friendly nod. He felt their agitation, but did not comment on it. A Farseer stood a bit outside the normal order and Teclis was of the opinion that if it was important, the two young ones would open a conversation.
As it came to be.

"Master Teclis, if the situation is as grave as we felt it, why do use this method of travel? We have other means, faster means."

"Rafador, the situation might be highly dangerous, but a Farseer cannot haste without reason. If we arrive too early, it can be more disastrous than the situation already is. Time has her own rules. You will understand later.
Sometimes, you have to let some events play out simply on chance, because intercepting would be worse. If they are still alive when we arrive in the Old World, good, if not, then that was to be."

Unnamed Gouvernment Office

Herr Regierungsrat Meyer: "We're deeply sorry, Herr Hündchentreter, but your erronous entries in section 5d of form 53(b) means that we can not process your request for an invasion-battle at this time. If you wish for a revision, please fill out form 86(f) in triplicate."

Herr Hündchentreter: What? That can't be!

Meyer: But yes, look.

Hündchentreter: Okay, where do I get this form?

Meyer: Oh, no problem. Just go to the next office.

After reaching the office the last officials go. Herr Hündchentreter reads:

"This office is open:

Monday: 7.00 AM- 12.30 PM; 03.00 PM - 05.00 PM
Tuesday: 09.00 AM - 02.00 PM
Wednesday: 09.00 AM - 12.00 PM
Thursday: 09.00 AM - 12.30 PM, 03 PM - 05.00 PM
Friday: 10.00 AM - 12.00 PM"

Of course, it is Friday 12.01 PM!

On Monday he returned at about 09.00 AM. Of course there is a column of other people before him. And of course he is waiting at the wrong office. When it is his turn, he is politely sent to the right bureau. Unfortunately secretary Müller is ill and will come back the next day.

On Tuesday he returns at 09.00 AM. But "do not disturb" is at the office. He waited. At 11.00 AM he knocked: "I am having my breakfast pause! Come back in 30!" Then nothing happened. At 01.50 PM he has to go for small chaos boys. When he returned, he sees Mr. Müller going. It is 02.03 PM!

On Wednesday he is there again. Oh wonder, he gets the form. But it is too late to return it.

On Thursday he returned. He wanted to give it Mr. Meyer.

Meyer: Yes, that's the correct form. But unfortunately you need the green form and not the blue one.

After some small arguments he returned to Mr. Müller. He gave the right form.

On Friday Mr. Meyer said: Yes, good. But it is still erronous. You can perhaps go to an advocate to help you.

So he goes to Dr. iur. Schneider. After paying 250 bucks he get the form. It is too late to return it.

On Monday Herr Hündchentreter returned.

Meyer: Yes, you have that form. It is also correct. Now I need o9nly your card of identity.

Hündchentreter: Card of identity? I don't have something like this!

Meyer: No problem. Just got to Bureau 03.63.

There, of course, more people are waiting. The next day it is his turn.

Frau Schmidt: You want an identity card? No problem. So what's your name?

Hündchentreter: Fridolin Hündchentreter.

Schmidt: Place of birth?

Hündchentreter: In the Chaos lands.

Schmidt: Your parents?

Hündchentreter: I don't have any. I am...

Schmidt: No problem. Unkown... Okay... Your nationality?

Hündchentreter: Chaos.

Schmidt: You're no German?

Hündchentreter: No.

Schmidt: Okay, that's a problem. Then I need a passport and a legal visum.

Hündchentreter: -Sighing.- Where do I get it?

Schmidt: Oh, you need at first a passport. You need to go to your embassy for that?

Hündchentreter: But Chaos has no embassy here!

Schmidt: That's a problem. I need to make some phone calls... Hallo Eva, yes I will come to your party next week... No... Yes. But... I understand... Oh, please give me Mr. Schultz... No I have a question... Oh, pity. Whom can I ask then? ... Aha! Thanks!... One moment please, Mr. Hündchentreter... Hallo Jana... Yes, I know... And guess who will be coming to dinner with... Exactly... And she is so shy... Yes... But I have a problem. Is Mr. Lehmann there?... Yes, great. Can I talk to him?... Ah, Herr Lehmann. I have a question. There is a man here, who wants to get an identity card... Yes, he's an Alien... No, chaos... Ah, thank you. Bye...
Ah Mr. Hündchentreter...

Hündchentreter: Chrrrrr, chrrrr... yes?

Schmidt: Good news. You need to go to the office 06.38. There you need a form to get provisorical papers. With them you can return.

Hündchentreter: Is that everything you need?

Schmidt: No, of course not. I need also a photography, please do not smile or look angry on that, your birth certificate, a form of the police that you are no criminal, a tariff statement that you don't import forbidden goods, a form from the ministry... Herr Hündchentreter?

Hündchentreter collapsed.

Herr Hündchentreter was transferred to the nearest psychatric sanatorium.

Frigate "Sachsen", Araby Coast, Southlands

To: Chancellery Berlin

From: CO Sachsen

Oil reservoirs found near Al Hajkk, Araby. According to scientist group, largest found in Earth- Human history. Problematic due to zero infrastructure at station, lacking defence territory and the long distance to Germany. Estimated to be nearly double as far away than the Middle-East on Earth, making convoys a must.
Propose further search for easier access sites and immediate development here.


Cafe Überreik, Altdorf, The Empire

The sudden appearance of a nation who seemed to be an Empire Province looked at through a trick-mirror, produced high waves in Altdorf. It had taken a few days, but soon couriers, town criers and newspapers for the rich began to spread the news. Rumours abounded in the capital city of the Empire.
Some people said that the Emperor and the Electors prepared for a state-visit and were close to the start day, others spoke about the fact that the new "Province" had unseen technological marvels, other persons that the new arrivals were heretics, the opinions varied from person to person. Especially closely examined was the fact that Deutschland had set up something of an embassy already.
The Cafe Überreik was a meeting point of all strata in Altdorf , from the lowly rat catcher to City officials, so all majority opinions on Germany could be heard here in concentrate.

This was one reason Felix Jaegar and Gotrek Gurnisson had made a rest there on one of the duo´s seldom visits of the Capital. While Felix was excited how the Germans would really be, instead of the myriad rumours, Gotrek, in full Slayer mode, thought about what creatures this new land had. Maybe one could help him fulfil his destiny.
Then, for a moment everything went quiet, when a group of four entered the Cafe. The clothes, the way they talked identified them as members of the German Embassy. Their leader, a woman in her late twenties or early thirties, looked over the assembled crowd in the locality, searching for someone. Looking on some type of small picture, she finally zeroed in on Felix and Gotrek.

The two adventurers and friends silently and secretly readied themselves for whatever might come. The group came to their table, then the tall, blond woman asked with a certain assuredness in her voice, "Are you Felix Jaegar and Gotrek Gurnisson? I am Anika Vogler and work for the German Embassy. Which I think is easy to see."

"Now we know your name, but what leads you and your entourage to us?" Was the blunt question from the Slayer.

Anika smiled. "You two are not totally unknown in Germany and I know you are adventurers. I might have a task for you, but details only after the Cafe here goes back to normal." Indicating the surroundings, the six people at the table made small-talk until the Cafe "normalised".

"I need additional security for a talk, local security so to speak. What we know about you is interesting, which makes you a good choice. Among the payment is information about Germany, which you, Herr Jaegar, will find more satisfying than the partly consternating or hilarious rumours."

"Let´s say, we are interested. But before we agree to anything, I want more information about the meeting you want to attend. We have seen and survived many things, so not all 'talks' will be interesting to a Slayer like me."

"Herr Gurnisson, we anticipated such a situation... So can a voyage to Castle Drakenhof stimulate you?" Anika Vogler´s smile never wavered.

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Mechman
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Re: An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-26 07:16am

Western Bank of the Reik, Bretonnia

Baron Aristide du Lac de Dalambert and his "entourage de guerre" were one of Bretonnia´s most famed "spotter" teams. Little wonder, that they were among the group sent out by the King to investigate the strange silence from Bretonnia´s easternmost possessions. And more, they were the vanguard, a vanguard struggling with the surprise before their eyes.

"Why is this Water here and what Water at that?"
"Sire, we have not deviated from our route! No river of that size should be here."
A serf took a sip of the water to test what it was. "No salty taste and the water has a noticeable flow when I put my hand in. This has to be a river, Sire!"
"The only River this large in several hundred miles around is the Reik. This must be the Reik... What Chaos-spawned sorcery is this? It must be the occurrence weeks back - the strange light bathing our land... yes this must be it. Nothing else was earth-shattering large enough in the close past."
"Milord, what shall we do now? What does that mean for our compatriots and relatives who should live beyond the new riverbed?"
"Claude, that we shall investigate and investigate we will. Prepare the floats!"

The simple floats being completed by the serfs did not look like much, especially in light of such a mighty stream. The Reik, at this late point of his new riverbed swollen on to a breadth of 21 kilometres, was a massive hindrance for anything crossing now.
But the descendants of Gilles the Breton, the founder of Bretonnia, had found out over time how useful a damsel of the Lady could be for warfare. Her wondrous gifts would help the group crossing the stream, even with only such basic floats. But more was not needed with a damsel part of the war band.
After crossing the Reik, the Bretonnians made a careful track into the "interior". There was something all had to stomach, the damsel of the Lady, the Baron, the squires, the serfs. This Land felt different, there was no other way to say it. The damsel and the Baron discussed it at length, why this could be so, but did not come to a conclusion.

"Milord, Milord! Look over there - the signs! They are in Reikspiel! The Imperials must have taken the opportunity to rob our Bretonnia!"
The group had stumbled upon a paved road near a road sign.
"Hmm, what I find more interesting is the road itself, Claude. It is paved with some tarry substance. How could they do it this fast? It is just a month since that strange light-incident. Something smells fishy here and I have to say Altdorf will have to answer some very pointed questions in the near future. Let us search a bit more, then we return. The King must be informed that we might be at war with the Empire soon."

"Milord", one of the scout serfs suddenly points down the road, "there is something coming from there. A large group, I am sure."
"Take cover! We will just look at first, gauging their strength. Maybe we can overpower them. If not, we observe and then return."
Within a short time, the whole war band had hidden in the bushes beside the unusual road. What came into view was clearly a trading caravan. Heavy laden carts, people travelling on foot and horse, some armed and unfortunately in the mind of more than one serf, they were too numerous to attack. But soon their focus shifted onto the faces and the flags in the caravan.
The trading people were not really white, tinted with some yellowish colour and several had very almond shaped eyes. And their heraldry! No Imperial Cross, no twin-tailed comet or any other typical Empire symbol as the Bretonnians had estimated before, the most obvious symbol was a stylised sun with 12 rays spreading out in a circle.
Only the most educated among the 30 men and women had an idea who that could be. After the caravan was well away, a brainstorming was held on the way back to the floats.

"They look like Cathayians to me and still not really."
"What do you mean?"
"I once talked with a trader from Cathay, these guys here look like relatives to them, but do not fully look the same."
"Really, they all seemed the same to me?"
"Maybe they are Cathayians, but the their heraldry was wrong also. The ship of that Cathayian trader did not have any of these prominent Sun symbols."
"Actually," decided the damsel to step in, "I care less who they are, but why these guys are here. I think we are sure that they must come from the Far East. A long distance from the eastern Couronne Marches, no matter who or what lays claim on this changed land. So, for them to be here, they must have started months, maybe years before now. And more, since this group of people never showed up in Bretonnia, neither on ship nor on land, they are here to trade with either Marienburg or the Empire."

"A good argument, milady! I somehow have the feeling that these pseudo-Cathayians are not here for Marienburg. No matter how strong the Marches were changed weeks back, the Merchant City lies quite a way down south, where his Highness is on the way to. No, they are here to trade with the Empire. Now let us think about it. A long voyage by these trader guys and the paved roads we saw leave only one result: The Empire took control of the Marches far earlier than we thought at first. What a pile of incompetence by our border guards!
We have to see to that they will be punished for their lack of competence and corruptness. How else could the Empire gain a foothold in secrecy? Wow, good old Jean-Pierre will throw a fit when we tell him of our foray! I predict that we will become the Vanguard again when we come back here and sack a city as punishment for the Empire´s audacity. I know de Brosioux well enough to know that he will be for a swift punishment action before we re-conquer our lands with a full army."

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany

All streets and places around Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden and Chancellery were packed to capacity with onlookers. Among the roughly 1 million spectators were some protesters, mainly left-leaning parties and human-rights organisations. But these were contained by police forces well out of range and with help from other onlookers.
The wind in Germany had turned in a way. Not only the events at Hof, but the ghastly fate of the Saxon border town of Olbernbaum or the fight at Hellenthal, where the worst had been prohibited, drove fully home what a dangerous world Germany now had to call Home. The re-introduction of a general draft for the Armed Forces, a serious enlargement of Bundeswehr, Bundespolizei (Border Control) and the raise of a Landwehr (Militia) had passed the parliament with ease. Only the most idealistic peace activists among the public were against it. But they were an ever-shrinking minority now.
So the Imperial delegation got a great welcome on their way down Unter den Linden to the Chancellery. It was the first state-visit in more than 400 years where both the reigning Emperor and all Elector-counts were in attendance.
And while it was a show for the Berliners and tourists looking, with living Griffons among Elite troops of the Empire, this Fantasy version of an Early modern Age "German" Army was still impressive even from a modern standpoint. A testament to the leading Power of the Old World.

Emperor or Kaiser, as was the designation in both Reikspiel and German, Karl Franz von Schliestein-Holswig and Chancellor Angela Merkel soaked up the goodwill of the German population lining the streets. They needed it, since both delegations tried to square the Circle.

Germany and the Empire were the best possible partners and the worst enemies all at once. That much was clear after only a week of negotiations.
Karl Franz knew what an exceptional gift the industrial power of Germany was. He had been at the meeting of the German economy leaders and the Imperial Guild-leaders.

"So, Herr Rausch, your firm needs cocoa. Quality cocoa. We, the Far-Land-Traders guild, can deliver you cocoa in large quantities. It will be no problem. About how many sacks we talk?"

"If we talk about standard 25 kilogram sacks, we need in our factory here in Berlin around 200,000 sacks yearly for optimum production."

The silence from the traders had been deafening. And the chocolate factory was a medium-sized specialist firm! What corporations like Thyssen-Krupp or BASF needed in raw materials was beyond the pale. If having the needed stuff, Germany could handily outproduce the whole Old World, maybe even the whole world!
And here laid one problem. For the Emperor it was clear that Germany should be integrated into the Empire, keeping the magicless, but powerful advanced newcomers from becoming a wildcard for Chaos-incursions. But that would not be possible for a long time, both sides were so different, yet strangely similar.

By Sigmar, a unification now would ruin the economy of the Empire, not to speak of the differences in outlook and procedure. Both nations would run amok about the cultural matters. Beside that, the Emperor had the distinct feeling that Germany did think about similar topics, a unification on German terms.

It was the soft-spoken voice of the German chancellor which brought him back to present. They had already retreated into the personal office of the Chancellor.
"Your Highness, we run around in circles. We both know that if we do something not deftly, the damage for both of our realms would be enormous. There might come a time when Germany and the Empire as a whole will think about a unification, but that will be in the future and quite a time at that.
I think the draft both we and our delegations made, is the cornerstone for the future. Your Empire will give us needed raw materials and further help Germany in the build-up of a magical force. Cultural exchanges, trade, help against Chaos...
We will give you weapons and tech and teach your guilds in the production. Germany will further help in the build-up of the Empire´s infrastructure. Better streets, canalisation,... and an alliance against our enemies.
This is less, an alliance and some deep cooperation, than some of both our sides wanted, but not only will it sooth the deserved pride of both our people, it is a start to bridge the gap in thought."
And hopefully we can change some of the Empire´s less nice aspects with an injection of Luther, Kant, Hegel, List and other thinkers, before this world can change us out of what we are. Without the Empire we are likely doomed, unable to build up magical expertise before Chaos will use our weakness. Even with the help of both the stranded Nipponese and the Imperials, it is a race against the clock. The Empire´s leaders know this to an extend and drove a hard bargain, but with the exception of a few, like this madman Leitdorf, they feel that too much would cost them a golden opportunity.

"That is right! The first step on a voyage is always the toughest. But I have to warn you, on paper and I am thankful for the foresights you gave us, it may seem that we will change the way the Old World is on, but Chaos has a knack for making even the easiest things hard. And I do not think that some nations here will relish the change in power."
The Germans have the heart on the right spot, if misdirected. No matter how advanced they are, in some areas we can teach them much and we will. But they need to stand on their own feet until they see that the Empire is the way. Sigmar gave us this gift, I am sure. They are our relatives. By the gods, how is that possible? I heard the explanation about abductions by gods in the far past of history, still...
The humans here are related to the humans of a World -Earth- unbelievable far away. Well, if anybody foolish believed that the Gods do not exist, this is the evidence of their false belief. But enough of this for now. Angela and I have to sign a treaty as pivotal as Magnus fight against Chaos. Let us hope, that we will be as successful.



Herr Hündchentreter in the Psychiatry

After his mental collaps Herr Hündchentreter was sent to the psychiatry of Ochsenzoll hospital in Hamburg. Only after some weeks he was able to communicate again.

Frau Stephanie Wald: Herr Hündchentreter, how are you?
Hündchentreter: I am fine. But why so many pink dragons fly through the air? And why is bread talking to me?
Wald (to a nurse): What did you give him?
Nurse: Only a bit Valium.
Wald: Valium? That can't be!
Nurse: Yes, look here.
Wald: Okay, we should try to stop Valium. Give Librium.
After some days Herr Hündchentreter is only sleeping. Then Librium is banned as well. After yet another week Frau Wald returned.
Wald: So Herr Hündchentreter, how do you feel?
Hündchentreter: I am fine. I think since ages I did not sleep so well.
Wald: Yes. You are reacting somehow strange to some pharmaceuticals.
Hündchentreter: Yes? Really?
Wald: Yes. But that's not a great issue. How do you feel?
Hündchentreter: I am fine.
Wald: And what do you think about formulars and offices?
Herr Hündchentreter collapsed.

After some days both met again:

Wald: Hello again. How are you?
Hündchentreter: I am fine.
Wald: Okay, I think we had this before. But please tell me, how your childhood was.
Hündchentreter: Childhood? I did not have any.
Wald: No childhood? What about parents?
Hündchentreter: No, I did not have any. I was formed by the Chaos in the wastelands.
Wald: Understood. I make a short note, okay. So when was you formed.
Hündchentreter: 2098 IC.
Wald: 2098. We have now...
Hündchentreter: 2520.
Wald (noting something): I see... You had a long life until now.
Hündchentreter: Yes, despite the fights.
Wald: Yes, the fights. You were successful in most of them?
Hündchentreter: Yes.

Wald: You also want to invade Germany?
Hündchentreter: Yes.
Wald: Do you think that's a good idea?
Hündchentreter: Why not. I am serving the Chaos Gods.
Wald: That are your gods?
Hündchentreter: Yes.
Wald: And you feel ashamed about your deeds?
Hündchentreter: No.
Wald: Do you have a bad consience?
Hündchentreter: What's that?
Wald (noting): Aha... That's when you feel to have done something evil and you're sorry.
Hündchentreter: Never had such a feeling. I am proud to be evil.
Wald (noting): Yes...
Wald: It is late for now. I will come back tomorrow.

In her report Frau Wald will write:

Quote:
Herr Hündchentreter had a traumatizising past since his birth. He has tried to forget the childhood, which was so bad, he even believes to be formed by chaos instead of being born. Chaos became his supplemental religion to justify his actions and his existance. He seemed not having developed a bad conscience, which is underlining his bad childhood. And which is the reason Herr Hündchentreter becoming a sociopath and psychpath.

Further investigations are needed.

Reichenau, Switzerland, World's Edge Moutains

Urs Zuralmen fired his assault rifle again, bisecting one of the green-skinned monsters attacking his hometown. It had been bad enough that Reichenau found the world changed after the strange lightshow a month back. But as always, it became worse when one thought it could not. For one and a half week, green-skinned humanoids of various appearance attacked with few respite.

The phones were dead, streets ended suddenly in an alien landscape, no internet, it was hopeless. The survivors of the last days had retreated into the town centre buildings. The rations would be enough for more than a month, but they needed outside help. The hope now rested on the jury-rigged satellite phone. Earth had been changed out of shape and "enriched" by this monsters looking like the Orcs of legend, but maybe the satellites still functioned. If they did, help might come, if not...

Excerpt from reports to the German Government

Helmholtz Geo-research Centre, Potsdam
Based on calculations from satellite orbits and expeditions on land and sea, the Warhammer World - our new Home for good or ill - has a nearly 50% larger equatorial radius, 9,312 km. So the equatorial diameter is 18,624 km, Earth has one of 12,472 km.
Counting in the uninhabitable Polar continents, this world has twice the landmass of Earth. If we just calculate the potentially inhabitable space, this "Warhammer World" has roughly a third more than Earth. This additional land is distributed unequally among the continents in comparison to the Earth landmasses.

While Lustria and Naggaroth, the local "Americas" have few additional land, Naggaroth might even be smaller than North-America, the Old World and the Southlands especially are a good deal larger than their counterparts Europe and Africa. A good example and the only one we can say something really definite about at this time, is the so-called Old World. It is the local equivalent of Europe and with over 14 million square-kilometres a good deal larger. Geologically the eastern border of the Old World lies at the eastern foot of the Worlds Edge mountain range, while the southern frontier follows a line from the southern Sea along the southern tip of the Dragonback Mountains, through the Marches of Madness to the Sour Sea.
This World is rich in biological and metallic raw materials, which in itself is a sign of Terraforming done here. No planet as massive and metal-rich as the Warhammer World should have normal Earth gravity, still it does.


Ministry of Defence, Berlin, Germany

Minister Thomas de Maiziere looked into the round gathered in the so-called Bendler Block. Delegates from the industry, Armed Forces and the government, rounded out with Warhammer-experts, delegates from the Imperial Army, Guilds and the Magic Orders. topped off by representatives of the Japanese living in Germany as translators and the Nipponese "remnant".
The work group of the last British, Canadian and American soldiers still in Germany had left a bit earlier.
A very faceted group, the Defence minister thought, but considering the brain addling situation that brought us to this world in the first place, exactly what we need.

"Meine Damen, meine Herren, I know that some of you have little experience in military matters, but I hope you will still participate in the discussion, since sometimes a different look onto something helps much. And for the delegation of the Bundeswehr I am sorry that for the third time in a relative short frame of time a new basic doctrine has to be developed and implemented.
As you all know, we have now the OK from the remnants of the allied forces to use the equipment which came here with us. As nice it is to have for example 3 dozen nuclear warheads and the two B-52 and B-1 bomber which were caught during an exercise flight when the Weltensprung hit us, these weapon systems will play a role only in very specific scenarios.

Our task it is to lay the foundation for the doctrines we need here, the weapon systems used, what systems are possible at all and the coordination with our new allies, the Empire and the Nipponese. So let us begin!"

It became a long week, before the first working draft was finished. Some of the most important points:

- While development of cutting edge technologies would continue, for some time to come the future Bundeswehr would get modernized versions of older, less complicated weapons. Like e.g. the 8.8 cm and 12 cm AA-Guns with upgraded hydraulics and fire control
- Until supply with enough oil could be guaranteed, less consumption models and alternate methods of transportation would be used.
- To secure supply with essential raw materials like oil from closer sources than Araby, prospection teams would travel the Empire, World's Edge and Grey Mountains and "little" Nippon.
- Of highest priority was the development of Magic in Germany. Already started before with the help of Imperial and Nipponese Wizards, specialized schools for children and adults, loosely based on the Empire's Orders and Nipponese Mahou adepts, were established all over Germany.
In addition and already started as well, Wizards were travelling all of Germany to find the people with more than average talent for magic.
- With the loss of all former allies in the Weltensprung, all Bundeswehr units had to recover full sovereign operational capacities. Therefore, the last structure reforms are to be annulled with the exception of obvious improvements.

From now on, local year 2520, the Bundeswehr is to be structured into 4 different subtypes of units:

Territorialtruppen (Territorial Troops), units solely charged with the rapid defence of Germany and natural disaster relief
Eingreiftruppen (Intervention Forces), units for defence, counter-attacks and for helping allied forces
Angriffstruppen (Attack Forces), Units able to do the tasks of the other two types, but are most suited to bring the War to the enemies of Germany and her allies
Landwehr (lit. Land Defence = Militia), Militia troops, trained to help the Territorial Troops and to handle small to lower medium sized attacks on Germany themselves.

- To help the Imperials and Nipponese with the defence against enemies, both are given several companies of FH70 field howitzers and other surplus material
- Imperial and Nipponese artisans, guilds and craftsmen can apprentice in Germany to learn about "new" tech and the making of said inventions
- Germany helps in the upgrading of medicine and agricultural knowledge, selling modern ploughs, seeds, medicine, fertilizers and other products to her allies. In reciprocity Germany gets seeds not native to Earth to widen the possible foods, knowledge about magical healing und raw materials
- The Nipponese will take control of all land to the bank of the Reik in the south-western "sector", Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony of the reast to create an easier line of defence in the West and Southwest.

In the East, the last remnants of the Wasteland was to be partitioned between Germany and the Empire

- Due to difficult oil situation and for practical reasons, Germany will build railroads to Kagoshima and Altdorf first, before spreading out the net further.
- Nipponese and Imperials deploy troops to Germany to better help counter attacks by Chaos and Beastmen with "hands-on" knowledge
- Research into select breeding of Demigriffs, Griffons, Pegasi and other aerial beasts was to be started
- The Luftwaffe was to be restructured to lend even more support to the ground forces, but to retain air superiority as well. Since most possible enemies had inferior flying forces, Luftwaffe research should focus on incorporation of magic and rocketry, to keep the now invaluable satellites going.
- Due to the nature of Chaos and local monsters, all settlements in Germany have to build at least some palisades for the Militia, but if feasible to erect real city walls again.
- The Marine had to be restructured as well. With the differences in Tech level, long-range U-Boats and strong fast attack craft based on upgraded "Große Torpedoboote" (essentially light destroyers and corvettes) would form the backbone of the new Bundesmarine for patrol and attack.
Heavier units up to Battleships would be needed for the protection of the Trade fleets of Germany and the Empire, but compared to the numbers of U-boats needed, it would be a rather small percentage of big surface vessels.

Other ideas and instructions were to be developed during further ongoing consultations.


Brussels, Belgium, Earth

"You know, thees humies ar no fun and reelly fun at once, Grognog!"
"Why so, Asdod? Look at di coliflower ears runnin!"
"Yea, but playn 'Teef o Tat' is so easy! I ave alraady 600 humie Teef! The humie Emprahs bois n garls at leest make it moh difficult!"
"Yo, but smashn the heads of deez troopz together is moh fun, I tell ya! It bingz nicely! And the gunz sound reel orky!"
"What a WAAAAAGH!"

CNN Evening News

"Good Evening, I am Rosemary Church and we have to open the news with another, I beg your pardon, bloody headline. Our reporters in Verona, Italy have posted us e-mails about an unprecedented outbreak of the bubonic plague there.
After the raid of Belgium by creatures right out of Tolkien´s books, which is now finally pushed back and confined to eastern Belgium, this outbreak is the second troubling news within three days from Europe.
Equally worse are the news from Kansas and other Midwest States where a never before recorded string of amok runs happens even at this moment. Washington is deploying the National Guard there in hopes of containing whatever pushed these people over the brink, before it can spread out further. The scientists are divided, if this is a new sickness spreading in the wake of the strange events over a month earlier or simply a breakdown in light of the vast destruction the Northern Hemisphere incured."

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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-26 07:25am

Now this is the Law of the Jungle -- as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back --
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack


Rudyard Kipling/Law of the Jungle


Hag Graef, Naggaroth, Late Evening


The Captain of the Drachi's Kiss was not a happy Druchii, when he strode down the Bridge. Nobody could have seen it under the Mask he habitually wore against the evening Mist of Hag Graef, but he had received an unexpected summons, and this kind of thing did not bode well in this city.
Finally he reached the Tower, one of the higher ones around.

After the usual nonsense which was to show him his lowly status, like leaving most weapons and his retainers he was finally led into the office he did not particularly wanted to enter.
It was as he expected - big, ostentatious and full of trophies. The owner was not facing him, but a map fastened to one of the less ornamental walls, demonstrating his casualness by presenting his back.
Well, two could pay that game, so Irglier just waited.
He did not have to wait for too long before the Silence was broken:

„Irglier.“
„Yes my lord.“
„Corsair Irglier the Impaler“
„Yes.“
„I hear that you plan a long range expedition?“
„Yes, we will raid the Bretons at Lyonesse, where we will.....“
„No, you will not.“

It took nearly all his willpower not to scream at this, but a well honed survival instinct intervened in time. You do NOT insult Isilvar Darkmoon - at least not more than once.
„I have a different target for your corsairs, one which will not just benefit your Corsairs, but will also please me and the Drachau.“
„Which would be?“
„You will have heard rumours about the emergence of a new Nation. Well they are not only rumours...
These Deutsche are said to be a powerful state, having taken over the Wasteland and being allied to the Empire. They are said to be technologically advanced beyond even the Dwarves. They are said to be without magic. They are said to be many, many things, but we KNOW nothing.
This cannot be - we need knowledge, new slaves, not rumours!
So, at my behest and the behest of the Drachau you will conduct a raid into this Germany, and take as many slaves as you can. If you can bring us artefacts of power - so much the better.
Do not fail us......"
„My Lord if I am allowed? Why me? We are not the biggest corsair fleet?“
"No, you are not. But you are available at short notice and your tactics seem to rely more on guile then some of your competition. If some of what we hear is true, that may be... useful.
Come to this map, I will show you what we think we know..."

Papenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany

The Line at the Lidl discounter was not longer than usual, but it took more time then before, which was hardly surprising. Ralf Winkler looked at his watch again, decided that there was still time and tried to remain patient.
Finally the checkout arrived, and he put his items on the counter. The Cashier checked his purchases against his ration book and then quickly deducted the money.
He moved the stuff into the trailer behind his Pedalec, again thankful they had bought 2 Electric bikes a couple of weeks before the Weltensprung.
They allowed to take the daily commute and shopping without using the precious petrol allotments or wedging into the overfilled busses. In the major cities at rush-hour one could now see something which had been restricted to Japan in the old days. Conductors watching over the underground stations, making sure the wagon doors could close by pushing and pulling people into position.
He made it back to the Meyer shipyard in time and after taking some of his purchases with him rushed to the locker room.

Some of his colleagues were already there and changing into Uniform, he went to his locker and gave a shrug when he saw his new Uniform. The shape was not the unfamiliar thing, the colour was. The Grey-Green still offended him somewhat - not for the colour, but what it stood for.
For 22 years he had been part of Civil Defence, or Disaster Management as the Germans preferred to call it. Having taken all the courses up to Paramedic in his spare time he had spend an interesting time with St. Johns Ambulance - finding his Wife, seeing strange countries and sometimes encountering situations that he really wished he had not.

Then after all these years he got only the chance of quitting - or joining the Landwehr. Given that he had no military experience at all he was quite amazed at that request until he found that the old Ex-Bundeswehr Reservists did not have any Medics or equipment at the moment.
When he arrived at the meeting room he saw as expected a lot of people like him-40-somethings, many going towards bald and a little fat and having the usual chat before the monthly company meeting.
He located his two Co-Medics and moved to them, plonking on the chair the two had thoughtfully reserved. „Moin Kinners“ -the usual Greeting exchanged they decided that they had time for some business before boredom.
„Ok Torsten, 20 packs of Cigarettes on me. What have you got?“
„4 Bars of Chocolate.“
„Hmm, put some strawberries from your Garden in that pot and we are on.“

Around them lots of similar deals were done - Black and Green Tee, Coffee, Tobacco and lots of other stuff were rationed these days and some then traded what they did not need themselves.
Ralf mused that between the rationing and the daily commute by bike the event finally managed to get rid of his „love handles“ when nothing else could.
The good news was that generally food was not scarce, but specialities certainly were for the moment. Unlike some other nations of the now lost Earth, Germany was easily able to produce enough food to meet all requirements of a healthy diet. In fact, Germany was an exporter of foodstuff, but everything which had not grown in the cool climate of Europe or only with small yields, was now in short supply.
Pretty much at the allotted time the chatter ceased and Hauptmann Martensen put behind the pulpit.

„Ok folks, let`s get this show on the Road. We herewith open the training session of the 31. Landwehr Company. I hope you all signed the attendance list and we can start serious business.
First off, congrats to 3 of us: Winkler, Möller and Fredriksen all finished the introductory course with honours. Learned anything useful?”
Ralf thought about anything to say about the rather abbreviated introduction into the Army, which was mandatory for all the members of the “Landwehr” that had not been in the German armed forces before. While he thought about anything to say Torsten Fredriksen chimed in:

“ Salute anything that moves, pick up anything that does not move and paint everything Dark Green which is too large to pick up?”
After the laughter died, Claasen continued.
“Ok, seems like a fair summary. Now to something more useful, the next Field Problem is in Liebenau in 14 days, so we have to meet…"
About 1 hour, and some more or less useful administrative details later: “Ralf Winkler, your turn.”
“Ok, lets make it short, we all want to have dinner. Firstly, the medical team is now ready in all aspects, all members have finished their respective courses, we received the additional materials and as our Unimog is too heavy to pick up, it is now Olive Green!
We also identified some surplus material for the Exercise in Liebenau and some of our Wives agreed to make up some 'injuries' for us so we can have some extra training.

Also, I need some volunteer medics for the annual town festival in June and another Paramedic for the Riding Tournament in July. I may add that these volunteers are eligible for the Medics which go to the Bundesliga soccer game 'Werder against Bayern', as our esteemed Bremen colleagues have some problems getting a full team together."
The latter, as expected, gave a good show of hands so it was easy to fill all places with warm bodies. This was a big part why Ralf swallowed the “Mickey Mouse Shit”: A group of people who wanted to help, no money asked. It was fine to be a member of such a group.
Even so, he could have done without the 15 Kilometer bike trip home, especially at 9:00 PM, E-bike or no, but needs must when the devil drives…

“Drachi`s Kiss”, Sea of Claws

The Wind over the Sea of Claws was stiff and drove some spray over the Rails of the aft deck, soaking it`s Crew. Irglier did not have to make an conscious effort at not showing any effects. If he were to show any weakness at such a crew as his, he would be dead so long ago as to be removed from memory.
While making a show of checking the rigging and crew his thoughts were elsewhere. So far, he had always been the master of his fleet and only responsible to his financers. That was easy: Either he was successful, which satisfied his backers, or he was dead and did not care.

Still he preferred not to be dead and had therefore adapted a style of raiding which was long on guile, stealth and duplicity, but also tried to raid targets where the likelihood of a “good fight” was low. His crew, or better the survivors, were quite happy with this.
Now he not only had to raid a target he was VERY low on solid information about, but Darkmoon had forced additional troops on him. While they could bring some useful capabilities they were not Crew, not used to fight with the rest of his Crew and not HIS crew.
That meant the first time in a long time he was facing a planning session he was not totally sure of surviving: Not an unusual state of affairs for a Druchii, but one he did not have to like.

Still, it was no use to postpone, so he made his way to his Cabin. While usually it seemed quite spacious it was highly cramped now as many more than the usual partakers had to find their seats-and not any seat but the seat which showed their status and power…..
He decided to make a quiet, businesslike entry, designed to show he had no need to bluster his way into a group jostling for power and status.
This meant that the loud discussion did not cease in any way when he made his way to his seat. But as a firm adherent to the 6 P rule (proper preparation prevents piss poor performance) a wink to his first mate was enough to cause an “event”.
Used to relay orders all over the ship in the equivalent of a Force 12 Gale he did not have to “shout” per se, but his voice was still loud enough to stop all conversation immediately.

“Order on Deck, the Captain is in attendance!” got the expected results, a minute of quiet and lots of hateful looks by those not used to be ordered about.
“Better deliver now, old boy, or the results could be unpleasant” he thought and so he started off into the fray.
“I assume everybody here now knows everybody else and is busy telling everybody else how great they are and how much you are in command. Now this may be news for those not of my Crews: As long as we are in this expedition, I have it. Overall command. Anybody who has a problem with that can leave immediately.”
As the most armed men in this meeting were his, this got no open dissent - and additional hatred. He could do without that, but a confused chain of command could kill him even more quickly. He savoured the quiet only for long enough to show that he was, indeed, the boss and then started on.

“As we can all agree now, let me show you what plans we have for the raid we are all on. If you look at this map you see a bay at the Border of Germany, which is the mouth of a river.
Our intelligence, such as it is, our informants tell us that the town at the river is a center of shipbuilding and commerce, but small enough that the defences will not be overwhelming.
Actually, we can see no obvious fortifications at all, neither walls nor Castles or other strongpoints. There will be some men-of-arms somewhere, but we are uncertain of numbers, quality or armaments.
Either these “Germans” are totally overconfident, crazy or they know something we do not.
My best estimation is that they rely on their Navy a lot and may have a reason to.
Seeress Jasla reports visions of fast ships with no sails, made from Iron and armed with cannons. We cannot say how many Cannons or how strong their armour is, but they seem to be seagoing.
For those of us not used to the Sea: This is highly unusual as all Steam Ships we saw so far from the Dwarves are more useful in littoral seas and Rivers.
Nether the less, I am not going to take our ships against theirs directly if I can help it - if we, do we shall win - but the costs could be bad. The big risk here is not the cannons per se, but fire. And believe me, there are better ways to go, including not at all… As the Germans are said to be allied to the Empire, we will go about this as follows……"

The Battle of Swinemünde

If someone didn't count engagements with pirates off Somalia and some clashes of the GDR and Polish navies concerning disputed sea borders before the Wende, the Battle of Swinemünde was the first sea fight in which a German navy was involved in decades.

Swinemünde, Stettin and the other part of Polish Vorpommern had also transported with Germany in the Weltensprung. In the magistrates many politicians were not very keen to be reunited with Germany. In fact, there had been several problems between the border towns on Usedom, especially about a FKK beach just at the border. Not only that the naked Germans could be seen by the Catholic Poles, some of them even went over the border. And now the Germans had de facto annexed Polish territory again. The events at Hof were only partly successful to destroy the resistance within some circles of the Polish population. Indeed the Battle of Swinemünde did much more.

Swinemünde was still suited at the Swine, which was no longer parting the islands of Usedom and Wollin, but Usedom and the Empire.
In the first night after the Sea of Claws had come back, a Norse dragon boat had entered the Rostock/Warnemünde lagoon and found Warnemünde and Rostock as not fortified and apparently undefended. As he had not enough men with him to attack such a large city, the Norse captain retreated and went to his chieftain upon arriving home. He told him, the gods had created a new land with rich cities only waiting to be plundered. The chieftain was very excited, but feared, others could come earlier, so he decided to hurry up. But his fears were not unrealistic as indeed the news spread in all of Norsca.
So a Varg raiding force was underway in all haste to become the first. And it worked. Under the security of a moonless night and magical fog, the Norsca raiders hit Rostock like a hammer. While the last ships leaving were caught by the Bundesmarine and it was mainly buildings damaged and pillaged, the Warhammer world had shown again how dangerous she could be.

After this successful first raid, nearly every tribe was planning a raid. This lead to tensions between the tribes, as everyone wanted to be the next with a large haul. Unexpectedly the chieftains accepted a common strike against this new country in order to keep the chaos gods in a good mood. They were the ones, who gave them this donation after all. In the end over 300 boats were ready to raid the German coast, as nearly every tribe had sent a sizeable force. Together nearly 30.000 Norse warriors were on these boats ready to plunder.
After Rostock the German Navy had started to patrol in the Sea of Claws despite the burning of precious fuel to prevent such a case again. The P-3 C Orion sea patrol planes were flying over the sea while submarines and surface ships were patrolling the seas. At some positions even artillery batteries were put into service.

In the morning hours of the attack a strange fog appeared on the Sea of Claws and was nearing Swinemünde. As the meteorologists did not predict this the navy was put into high alert. Indeed a P-3 C could detect hundreds of small boats coming. The magicians on the boats had called this fog in the hope to protect the fleet from eyes. But it did not help against RADAR. The German frigate Köln was the nearest ship and engaged the enemy. The Köln had been recently recommissioned and was fully opertional. The battlecry "Köln kommt!" (Cologne comes) was heard again.

Soon the frigate called the attackers to retreat or fire would be opened. Soon after the nearest ship had been given a warning with a shot off the bow. For the Norse the fact, that they were detected, came surprising. Now the fog did indeed hamper them as they could not see the enemy. But they would fight. Soon the magic of the fog stopped. But as they continued they heard soon again a kind of thunder. Then they saw the boat, which had been missed just before, burning and sinking. Only few Norse were alive. Only a few seconds later several shells hit the next boat. And a third. Then they finally could see a single strage huge ship firing with a single gun on them. But it was several km away and so they needed time to attack it. Indeed they did not have to do so, as the frigate attacked them.
The fourth enemy was another Dragon boat, which was sunk, too, by the 3" Oto Melara gun. The fifth boat as well. Now her two helicopters started and attacked the enemy fleet as well. The Sea Lynx helicopters were armed with each four Sea Sauk missiles and a M3M 12,7 mm door gun. The Sea Skuas were deadly and sank eight attackers. Other boats were attacked with the door guns and sunk or damaged. Some were drifting to the new Pommeranian coast as their crews were all dead.

After the 18th kill the Köln was in range of one of the Royal ships. As these ships were bigger and armoured, the captain of the Köln decided to sink it with a Harpoon missile. The other big radar echoes were also targeted with Harpoon missiles. That were bad surprises for some Norse, who indeed did not know yet they were in a fight!
The Köln was still sinking ships with her guns, but she now came too near to the fleet. Nevertheless her commander ordered her to drive with full speed ahead. "Damn Norse! Full speed ahead!" he said. He ordered soldiers with rifles to the decks to fire on the enemy ships. The 27 mm CIWS, the 12,7 mm MGs and the RIM 116 RAM missiles were cutting through the enemy ships.

Soon after Tornados and Eurofighter appeared. They used normal bombs and board guns only but created more havoc. Also the gun battery near Swinemünde fired on the enemy from a distance of 30 km. In the meantime Köln had even rammed and sunk two ships without big damages. However, her ammunition was now nearly empty, so that she retreated. Soon after Schnellboote and the corvette Braunschweig joined the fight the Norse retreated. They had lost 111 ships with about 12.000 men. About 2.000 Norse were captured by the Germans with yet another 8 ships captured.
The only German soldier harmed was a man on Köln, who was hit by a Norse arrow in the arm. For the Norse it was defeat they had to deal with. Germany was no gift by the gods for them. Quite the contrary. For the next time they were going to be more cautious and bring in much more Sorcerers, when they found something "German". The easy victory in Rostock had made them overconfident, so they had left most Vitki and Chaos Sorcerers at home. A bitter mistake and one which would not be made again. A decision, which meant a lot of headaches for the German forces in the future. Germany had been lucky, but that the Norse could learn, was soon seen in another raid near Neustadt, where a small village paid a deadly price for the Battle of Swinemünde.
For the Poles an attack by Viking raiders was something new. They knew, they had no chance without the Germans. So they accepted the reunification with Germany.

Frisian Coast Line, Sea of Claws:

The small Police Cutter “W3” of the Water Police went through the light swell at 20 knots, chasing a small number of unidentified Contacts their Radar had shown. The light of the dawn showed a sight nobody of the policemen would have expected a couple of months before: A small convoy of Galleon-like ships, sail powered, with high lines.
The low length-to width ratio showed them to be merchantmen tacking along roughly along the 3-Mile line which demarked German borders.

The Mate went into the rail-enclosed Pedestal mount and readied his Megaphone.
“Ship Ahoi” got a result.
The following was less clear and took more time - while Frisian accented German and Nordland Reiksspiel were quite close there was still engine noise and a great cultural divide to overcome.
The meaning of the “conversation” was clear any way, the Convoy was just transiting to the Empire and hugged the German coast to avoid Pirates.
Feeging useful and content the commander exchanged farewells and set the course of his Cutter closer to the coast Line and back onto the patrol route.

The Captain of the lead Galleon stepped back, delayed anxiety causing cold sweat and a dose of the shakes. He was the father of 2 Children and was doing everything that they did not share the fate of his other two.
A shadow parted from the door to the deckhouse: “Well done Human, you and your whelps will live a day longer……"

Martensen Farmstead, Mitting, close to the Sea of Claws, 4 am

Malith of the Scouts stepped back from the Window of the farm`s living room, wondering again at the impossibly large and clear Windows in what had to be a simple farm. He looked down at the farmer`s wife. While she was still breathing her eyes were as empty as the Window, her mind having retreated to a place where an unbearable reality could not intrude.
What she and her family had told had been so unbelievable that they had been quite insistent in their questioning. If what they told were true then the only armed forces within days of travel were some law keepers.
There was no Castle or other protective shelter for the Farmers, no armed retainers of the minor nobles, no nothing. They had not been raided for Generations and had obviously gone happy, lazy and fat.
Well this was about to change…

He went to the back of the room and asked their sorceress again for any news.
“Malith, for the last time, I have send our findings to Lord Irglier, who gave no comment about what is to happen next. We can all safely assume that we all follow the plan and we will be relived soon. Instead of bothering me about things we all know, better tell me what that box with that light is down there."
Which box? Malith turned around and saw a small flat box which had so far been covered by the farmer`s wife. The front side was glowing and faint noises were coming from it.
He could not make any sense of it, and as there was nobody around anymore who could answer questions he simply stepped on it.

The lights and the sounds faded immediately, so he settled for a wait. When he looked outside the Window again he saw one of his sentries crawling back to the door.
“I hear some of these horseless carts approaching, but see no lights this time. May be somebody tries to sneak on us? “
“Try to find more. Take Urglieth with you.”

The sentry sneaked back towards the source of the noise he had heard. Quickly he found some bigger horseless cars hidden from the farmhouse by some trees.
A lot of men were milling around, all talking in muted voices. He looked more closely and saw they were the first armed men encountered so far. Some wore what looked like partial armour, helmets and some very short, strangely shaped firearms.
He kept in the darkest shadows, relying on his far superior eyesight to keep things under observation but not being seen. One of the men pointed an impossibly far telescope at the farm he had just left and looked into it.
Strangely the eyepiece of the telescope seemed to glow faintly. Suddenly the man turned around, obviously to pass that telescope when he seemed to see something.

“He, Sie da, was machen Sie da? - Stehenbleiben…” all of this meant nothing to the Sentry, but that he was discovered was obvious. He fired off his crossbow, catching his opponent in the throat before wiggling backwards as quickly as he could.
When he was a little distance away he got up and started to walk quickly back to his comrades when the screaming intensified. He turned back and aimed his crossbow in the rough direction of the noise when he heard 3 muffled explosions. He was still wondering about that when the second salvo ripped him off his feet.

Jan Petersen from the local MEK (Swat equivalent in German) had to admit to himself that he was somewhat out of his depth with this situation. Normally they were laying siege to the bad guys and then overwhelmed them in well planned lightning actions.
The bad guys were not supposed to go after the Police after all.
As he could not ascertain whether the two dead …somethings, who seemed to be Elves according to the species fact sheets they got, had not warned their compatriots in the house he had to take a decision which could only endanger his men more, but which was inevitable:

“Ok folks, this went down the drain. Lets make this as quick as possible. Each group takes up their positions right now, when ready give me a signal.
He saw his men going to their starting positions quickly and got the “all clears” in rapid succession.
“Ok, on my mark-gogogo….”

Malith was keeping himself from cursing with an effort of will since it would hurt morale. Instead he gave orders in what he thought was a commanding whisper and distributed his men at all entrances to the house. He had enough men and the building was sturdy enough to make a stand until relieved.
He was still trying to see what enemies were out there and where when a small cylinder broke right through the Window and started spewing some smoke, immediately followed by another one.
Then the world went mad.
The “flashbang” the MEK had thrown into the room was designed to emit an overwhelming light and explosive sound that would not leave permanent damage in humans but which would paralyze them for some seconds.
For a Druchii with their somewhat more sensitive Ears and Eyes it was far too much. That the police went in screaming was of no account and the orders to lay down arms were neither heard nor acted upon.
The police, charged with adrenaline till the gills and having an easy time identifying the bad guys opened fire immediately and killed nearly all elves before some reason returned.

Jan Petersen eagerly awaited the situation from his men, and the “all safe, no losses” was a godsend, reliving him of the fear having send his men to their deaths.
The “Chief, please come in here” was less welcome, as was the voice in the wireless. The Hauptwachtmeister who called him was a veteran of many years, and anything which could faze him had to be bad.
When he entered the living room the first thing he saw was a very pale and very, very dead, very slender looking man in a medieval looking armour who still had a complicated looking crossbow in his hand.
And what he then saw could not be it...
His eyes went over that “thing” twice before acknowledging that they had be the remains of a man and two children. His mind was screaming at him that THIS COULD NOT BE and at the same time knowing it had to be.
He did not make it out of the room before he had to puke his guts out.
Getting some hold of himself, he stumbled out of the house to get some breath. When he finally straightened himself he saw in the light of the beginning day a long line of Raiders coming in his direction.

Büsingen, Lake Constance, Germany

"... And with great joy I hereby declare the bridge over the Lake to be open!"

Applause could be heard as Winfried Kretschmann, Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, cut the traditional tape. The bridge was a provisory, anybody at the ceremony, be it government like the Chancellor and the Prime Minister or the people of Büsingen and Germany. Still, it was something and it brought some prestige as well. No matter the circumstances, the "Hohentwiel-Ponton- Bridge" was the biggest ever constructed on the Warhammer World. Before the Weltensprung, Büsingen was a German enclave, surrounded totally by Swiss territory. After that Earth-shattering event, the village found itself on an Island in the very enlarged Lake Constance or Bodensee as the Germans called it.
In the tumultuous first time on this new World, Berlin played with the thought of evacuating all citizens of Büsingen to the "mainland". But this never came to be. Since the raids and attacks on German territory had started, an evacuation would be seen as a sign of weakness.

But Germany´s resources, especially fuel, were needed far more urgently somewhere else than to keep contact with a small village via air and the larger ships had no harbour to use. How to solve that problem?
Rumours said it was after an action movie, that a state secretary had the idea to build a pontoon bridge until Germany had the time and raw materials to erect a solid one. It was not the best solution, but a workable one under the circumstances. So the several kilometres long bridge was completed, under the watchful eyes of some of the Old World factions, if the recognition charts on the ships close to the horizon were correct.

Istrabul, Araby, Southlands

"What do you bring me this time, Aloptep?"

"In the last few weeks priests of a new god came to Istrabul, o Spring of Wisdom. They call him Allah and as one of our Flowers of Hearing recognized when reading the holy book of that belief with help of magic, they claim him to be the only true god."
"She read it with magic? Why that?"
"These priests say that the holy book cannot be translated, because outside the holy language his true vision cannot be gleamed. After reading the book, our flower says that it is clearly a safety measure, because what those men talk about and what is written in the book are two pair of shoes, o Clement One."
"What is your opinion about this?"
"Your humble servant is unsure at this point, but after talking with Ayesha, I am convinced that this self-righteous religion is trouble in the long run. Like Breegh roots."
"Call Ayesha. I want to talk to her myself, but you two never failed me before, so I want you to prepare a meeting with these priests. I wonder if they will still be as cocky after a discussion with the followers of Kheala Mensha Khaine."

Army Airbase Laupheim, Laupheim, Germany

Colonel Kurt Crüwell cursed silently, while he was strapping himself into the gunner´s seat of his "new" Hind attack helicopter. Fucking Great! All ready for a helping mission and now knowing that you would be needed elsewhere as much...
It had been a lucky break for Germany to find out that full 14 Hinds were still in Germany and the Heli specialists in Donauwörth were working full speed to bring them into fighting trim again.
Crüwell´s newly formed Kampfhubschrauberbrigade Süd (Attack Helicopter Brigade South), as one of the early changes in the German doctrine, had already gotten 6 Hinds delivered. Together with the MBB Bo-105 (in the military variants) and MBB-Kawasaki BK 117, some Tiger helicopters, the German Sea Stallion variants already long time on Base, 2 reactivated Mil Mi-8, 6 Black Hawks from the former US-Forces and 2 Apache´s from the British Army, Crüwell´s men and women were now responsible for the whole southern part of Germany.

There was a big Helau, when one day the depressingly silent military air waves were disturbed by the call of some Swiss guys from Reichenau, part of the Township of Tamins, which turned into hectic preparations to send help to the beleaguered comrades from Earth.
Unfortunately, the Weltensprung had deposited the Swiss town from Graubünden into the World´s Edge Mountains near the Mootland, which meant quite a distance away from Germany.

So Crüwell on order from Berlin, had developed a plan with several "Tanker-Helis" and an improvised refueling stop near Averheim. Then the Hinds and Sea Stallions would deliver firepower and soldiers to Tamins and turn the tide.
Everything seemed to go perfectly, until only some minutes before the crews would man the helicopters the emergency call from a MEK near Papenburg came in. While Papenburg was not in his area, Crüwell knew his Helis would be an enormous help, if the message of a large and cruel Raiding Fleet was correct.
Knowing his fatherland would soon be under attack and his forces unable to help, soured the mood a bit. But the Swiss needed his help equally urgent.
You cannot be everywhere at once, no matter how I wish it was possible. This new World... Moment! We can spare 3 Tiger without compromising the mission and our designated airspace. Hopefully, it will be enough!
Happy that he could do something for all pressured sides, Kurt Crüwell opened a channel to the tower while running the rest of the pre-flight check list.

Winkler Family apartment, Papenburg, early morning

Ralf was a “Early riser”, but even so he preferred to stay in Bed 15 Minutes or so after the alarm clock went off in order to wake up properly.

It was different when the pager went off - he was out of the house within 3 Minutes and did not spend a second thought about fuel allotment, he did not need to because of the alarm and drove to the assembly point in record time. The streets were far less crowed than before the Weltensprung, the fuel rationing until more oil could be secured taking care of that, especially at Lower Saxony´s new coastline.
Getting his uniform from the locker was old routine and he was halfway to the Garage when he shook his head, went back to the armoury and drew an “Uzi” submachine gun from the rack before going back to his Unimog.
By that time his two Co-medics had also arrived and together they packed some backpacks and other equipment on board which had to be stored separately, then they went back to the assembly hall.

The Hauptmann (Captain) was already there and gave a first briefing.
"Folks, from what we can tell we have an incursion of several hundred Dark Elves into our territory. They are currently at Mitting and are laying siege to a Group of MEK`s in the Martensen Farmstead. It is possible that they also raid the surrounding farms.
As the 1st Platoon is more or less complete you take our resident medics and make all haste to south Mitting. Evacuate all inhabitants and protect them if necessary.
Intelligence will be provided by the MEK and the Police Helicopter “Phönix 64”, you can get their wireless via the emergency center, so tune one 4 meter Set to Channel 464 GU.
Supply: You do not need until the rest of the Company relieves you. Lift the Siege of the MEK if you can.
When done protect that Village until relieved. Dismissed."

There was no “ra-ra” or any other slogan before 1st Platoon filtered out of the room, this was not the way of these elderly part-time soldiers.
They went quickly to the Garage and like practiced several times drove as a column of Trucks with the Ambulance Unimog in the lead as it had siren and lights, so it did clear the streets faster than a normal truck. Only when they had cleared the town border they switched and put the truck with the first troop in the lead.

By that time Lt. Frediksen had finally gotten a connection to the Police and asked for a sitrep. A rather excited Chief told him about Dark Elves laying Siege to the Martensen Farmstead and a much larger troop of infantry and something like Cavalry assembling in the Fields north of Mitting.
Frediksen had actually been a Major in the Bundeswehr in “his times” so he was far less dangerous with a map then Lieutenants usually were, actually he was better than some younger men, now that there no longer was a functioning GPS.
He decided to stop at the Marker Heuweg-the local Village Road- and to go on from there.

When he got out of the Truck he could hear some shooting from the Farm that was his target, so he decided to get things going quickly. He assembled his Platoon.
"Platoon, listen: We will make a Line along this Drainage Channel from here to the side road. Once done we advance to contact. Put the Machine guns to the flanks, Troop 1 and 2 move alternately. Medics get 50 meter to the rear and follow as needed. Execute."
2 Minutes later the white faced Infantrymen pushed forward through the wet grass of the fields, 1 Platoon always staying back to cover the rest, then alternating after 100 meters.
After 500 Meters they encountered the next drainage ditch and took cover when signalled to halt by their commander.
Checking his Binoculars the Lt. saw a sight which could have been from a bad Fantasy Movie: A lot of very slender men and women in what looked like the S&M-Version of Medieval armour shooting crossbows towards the farm, while others gathered wood, obviously for a wet fire.
He gestured for his Sergeants to gather at his Position for orders.

Irglier was irritated-this Raid did not start well. Normally the first hours of a raid were a rush of quick torturing, killing and looting before any organized resistance could be mounted. One of the reasons the Druchii were so feared for their raids was that they did not become an out-of-control mob but kept their cool and remained organized unlike some barbarians he could name.
This time the advance party was already dead, the farm, were some gunmen were holed up, not yet taken and now a troop of some 30 Irregulars was approaching his position. Were they arrogant enough that they thought some musket fire would scatter his troops like some Savages?
His soldiers were of a different calibre: Cool in their rage, experienced in battle beyond what any human could aspire to. He and true Elvenkind would win, no question.
The problem was not to let the costs escalate, these soldiers were his stock in trade and hard to come by.
The shooting from the farm had been very mixed: Accurate enough to 100 meters or so, and strangely rapid, but the shots often failed to penetrate the heavier armour. Irglier assumed the defenders to be pistol equipped.
Now the Irregulars (they had to be as they advanced in very open order) had taken cover in some ditch. Best to wipe them out quickly and then get on with business.
He send a troop of his crossbowmen against the ditch, 50 Corsairs should be able to take these unarmored men-at-arms easily.
A few commands later an orderly block of disciplined killers marched towards the irregulars, certain to blow through the light troops with minimal losses.

The G3 rifle was in some ways quite similar like the soldiers using it now: Build in the late 60`s or early 70`s , weighty and overpowered by modern standards, it was utterly reliable when even minimal care was taken.
Likewise the munitions were from a different era. Having more than 9 times the power of the 7.65 mm Pistol ammo which had splattered uselessly against the Sea Dragon Coats and armour, it contained a nasty feature on top of that.
It`s designers had acknowledged the constraints of the Geneva convention against deforming or exploding ammo, but had made a “crimping notch” around the cooper mantle of the bullet, ostensibly to hold the bullet in the case.
It`s effects became rather clear after the bullets penetrated what personal armour there was with contemptuous ease as the bullet broke apart at the fault line and lots of Fragments fanned out into its victims’ bodies. Not wasting power on over penetration like the 9 mm Parabellum ammo (which could break through several walls under best circumstances, but lacked a bit in the man stopping department) the Fragments ripped organs, pulverized bones and left a hollow zone of utterly destroyed tissue around the bullets channel.
The lucky victims died immediately, the others most often just took longer.

The Battle rifles were much too powerful to be used but with single, aimed shots. Still, 25 shooters were easily enough to decimate the Elves troop within seconds. Many of the Landwehr soldiers had honed their skills in the local marksman associations and had no problem at all putting the lead on target.
Lt. Frediksen was amazed that his enemies were stupid enough to make such nice targets, but he was willing not to look the gift horse in the mouth. The Elves lacked experience against a modern force and the Leutnant sincerely hoped the Long-ears had no powerful wizards and witches among them. From what he heard, it would still be quite some time until the nearest Imperial Battlemage could be ferried here.
Now the game of Cat and Mouse began in earnest.

Herr Hündchentreter in Stuttgart

After six months in the booby hat... erm, psychiatry Herr Hündchentreter was relieved. The first thing he did was resuming his plan to get all administrative acts he needed. Unfortunately he needed also the okay of all 16 state's police authorities with the okay of the prime minister of each state. Although he was in Hamburg, he went to Stuttgart to start there as he had heared the prime minister there was a Green. Perhaps he could help him more. He arrived there by train. After exiting the station:

Herr Hündchentreter thought: "Sex, sex, sex. All this psychiatrists could think only about sex. When I had sex the first time. With whom. How. If I was gay. Or hetero. She couldn't believe me I had no sex at all! Because I had no sexual organs. I once read in my file: "Fridolin Hündchentreter ... The patient is very difficult and had a very problematic past. He had forgot his childhood completely ... Furthermore he has sexual problems. They are so grieveous he believes to have no sex at all as he had no sexual organs. And indeed after he was examined, no sexual organs could be found. Indeed that leaves two possibilities. Either he was born without them or he was mutilated. Considering the circumstances he lived before, the latter is much more propable. However, even in the first case he had developed severe problems because of having no sex. As Freud already said..." Then I stopped reading. Heck, why are these psychiatrists thinking I was not content or had problems because of having no sex. Well, perhaps they don't know, what happens, when I kill an enemy... I am a normal chaos..."

He awoke from his thoughts after nearly running into a demonstration of a few people.

Herr Hündchentreter: "Sorry, I was in thoughts."
Demonstrant: "All say that. Especially people from the government. We are demonstrating nonetheless."
Hündchentreter: "And why do you demonstrate? I am Fridolin Hündchentreter btw."
Detlef: I am Detlef. I am demonstrating, like the others here, against Stuttgart 21.
Hündchentreter: Stuttgart 21? What's that?
Detlef: Where do you come from never hearing about Stuttgart 21? It is the problem of the century.
Hündchentreter: Understood. But I am a chaos brood. I did not...
Detlef: Aha. You are one of these autonomous. We don't need people like you!
Hündchentreter: I am no "autonomous". What's that?
Detlef: Someone to make only trouble and chaos.
Hündchentreter: Well, then, yes, perhaps I am an autonomous.
Detlef: I thought so. We don't need you in our fair fight to rescue the castle garden!
Hündchentreter: You try to rescue trees??!?
Detlef: Yes. And the plants. Do you have an idea what is living there? We have here examples of...
Hündchentreter: No thanks. But with Chaos I could help you...
Detlef: We don't want your help. We don't want any chaos! We just don't want Stuttgart 21!
Hündchentreter: But what is Stuttgart 21?

Detlef: You want to help us with your chaos and pretends to know anything about Stuttgart 21? Oh you autonomous. You are only living for chaos and violence.
Hündchentreter: Yes. And you have a problem with that?
Detlef: Of course. This is a just cause. We don't want to illegitimize it.
Hündchentreter: And what does your comrades do over there?
Detlef: They are trying to throw Molotow Cocktails on the police. And?
Hündchentreter: Cocktails? It looks like fire bombs.
Detlef: That are fire bombs.
Hündchentreter: Then you make chaos as well!
Detlef: No. This isn't chaos but fighting for a just cause.
Hündchentreter: But you're using force.
Detlef: Yes. To defend ourselves. And our cause.
Hündchentreter: You're figfhting for some trees with fire bombs and you despise chaos?
Detlef: Of course. And you fight only for chaos.
Hündchentreter: Yes.
Detlef: That's the difference.
Hündchentreter: You Chaos gods, help me. Look...
Detlef: I don't have any time left. I must catch my train to Berlin.
Hündchentreter: You use the train? You're not from here?
Detlef: No. I am not. But my living place has nothing to do with this station.
Hündchentreter: And you despise chaos?
Detlef: Yes, of course. Chaos is something very bad.
Hündchentreter: The chaos gods must have become mad. Look. This is chaos you want to do!
Detlef: No. Only you autonomous want that.
Hündchentreter: And what is your profession?
Detlef: I am studying psychiatry.
Herr Hündchentreter collapsed and was brought back to Hamburg-Ochsenzoll.

Battlefield Mittting

Wolfgang Böhler did what every good sniper did – getting separated from his Company and gotten into a high position. In this case the “Owl Hole” of a Barn and was scanning the Battlefield trough his rather high-powered scope.
Of course he was no official sniper, the title was “dedicated marksman”, but as with a lot of things in the Landwehr such things were handled somewhat loosely.
When he was issued his G3SG1 (the sniper Version of the G3 rifle) he took it dutifully to the range, tried to make it work properly-and then put it back to its case.
Presently he was holding his private Mauser rifle he had taken to many Alpine hunts, shooting Game over long distances, this rifle had nearly double the useful range of the official one.

He was looking for any leaders to show their ugly heads and was again unhappy that he had nobody to scan the field with a Binox for him, but was rather happy that most Elves so far had not seen the wisdom of not bunching up or taking cover by lying down.
He had already spent a Magazine on several Leadership looking types and had them ausgeknipst. Wolfgang had noted down the kills in his "shot book" during a lull in the fighting and now looked around for something else to shoot at.

Jasla was both furious and afraid-an unusual state for a Druchi of her rank-but unwelcome nevertheless. She was a proud sorceress and not used to slither on her naked stomach in wet grass like a lowly worm. Unfortunately this was the only way she could stay alive long enough to work her Magic.
Being outranged by far by gunmen who could shoot from cover was a very nasty surprise. Jasla knew that there were ways to lengthen the range of oneself´s magic, but that was nothing learned overnight or lightly. Especially when up to now only a few specialists of the various species on the world had learned such knowledge., since it was not needed much before. When she reached another cowpat she would have had to wriggle around she decided that she was close enough she send one of her sisters a mental signal.
Immediately thereafter she heard a “thrumming” sound and long bolt swished overhead from the two repeat bolt throwers of the raiding party, hopefully keeping the heads of the Germans down for the time she needs to work her spell.
Jerking upright she casted the spell that she had already prepared in her mind and threw it into the midst of the German line.
Immediately she heard screaming from the enemy when the soldiers writhed around in unbearable pain which would keep any but the most strong-willed from shoots with any accuracy. Concentrating on keeping up the spell she felt rather than heard the charge of the Cold One Knights.
This should bring the matter of these soldiers to a rather short end, even if it would be far too fast for humans who had inflicted so much damage on their betters.

Modern Infantry units keep far more distance between individual soldiers then low-tech ones because their firepower is big enough to allow that, and also to minimize losses from explosions and machine gun salvos.
As any Infantry leader worth his salt Lt. Frediksen had kept his machine guns in reserve for the main rush, not wanting to give away their position.

This was what saved the first platoon-at least most of it, as both machine guns were outside of the effects of the spell so artfully send by Jasla. The charge of the Cold One Knights followed the spell so closely that the gunners had no chance to get distracted by their fallen comrades and opened fire immediately on the cavalry.
As the Cold Ones looked quite fearsome, the Knights lances seemed to point directly at them and the distance shrunk VERY fast nobody took notice of the Sorceress which was still standing in the middle of the field.

Of all machine guns arguably the best for infantry work is the MG3, the descendant of WW2`s MG42. Relatively lightweight, durable, easy to handle and firing the same round which the G3 used for single shots, the MG3 manages 1200 Rounds per minute or more depending on the configuration.
Both gunners were so shocked by what just happened that they reverted to the Ork school of firing immediately-long uncontrolled bursts.

Even as they were both big men and had positioned well, the sheer force of the firing pushed them back by half a meter, digging furrows in the ground with their shoes all the way.
The effects on their targets were much more dramatic.

The charge of the Knights was disciplined and orderly in it`s fury, meaning the Cold Ones were charging in a well ordered block with minimal distances. What would normally insure that any infantry in their way would just be so much as minced meat, now meant that they were the ultimate target.

The bullets from the long salvoes were so close together that they actually managed to rip off limbs and disintegrate heads into bits far too small for any identification.
It was to the credit of the Knights and their mounts that they did not break off the charge and that a few reached the German line, but even so they inflicted few damages before being shot to bits-in some cases literally.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-26 07:29am

Tamins, Graubünden, World´s Edge Mountains

Mobob, War chief of the Bonebender Orc Tribe, smelled victory in the air. The resistance of the strange humie village began to weaken. He still did not comprehend how the village or better the several close-lying villages, had been erected in the three month since the tribe had last travelled through this region of the Big Mountains.
But a lone Orc should not question the gift given to them by Mork. The humies seemed to be some offspring of the Imperials, considering their language, but they were less problematic than the Emprahs tribesmen.
There was no wall protecting the houses, no wizards, no witches, no cannons,,, nothing. While they were unusually well-equipped with pistols and muskets, this had been the only reason the humies still held about 2 dozen houses in the center village. But now the fire had become more sporadic and in the last two days, Mobob and his Orcs, Gobos and other fighters had finally fought against defenders wielding axes. Their ammunition seemed to be nearly used up. He could already taste the sweet aroma of victory and pillage in his mouth.

"Reddy yousef fo the stormin!!"

With pleasure Mobob saw his densely packed fighters, not some of the usual mob Orcs produced! He was a big warleader, so moshers joined his cause often. Soon it would be over.

Urs Zuralmen looked at his wife Uta. They were 2 of the 700 survivors out of 1200, but their luck seemed to have run out as well as their ammo. They had only 2 magazines for every fire weapon left. It was doubtful, if they could beat back another full assault by these creatures outside. In the first days, the people of Tamins, Reichenau and the other thorps had been able to trade space for life. Most of their hurtful losses had been incurred during the first surprise assault.
In the 14 days since the siege began, the Swiss retreated step by step, inflicting losses on the Orcs, but now the 700 were surrounded in a few densely filled houses, water and food nearly as empty as the ammunition reserves. For some moments, the mood had been high again, when Germany answered their frantic call for help. That was until Tamins found out how far away Germany now was and they, like the Germans, were in a whole new world. It was a big if, if the Germans or the Empire would reach them before everything was over.

"Uta, love, the Orcs are ready for a new assault..."
"Urs, if what the Germans told us is correct, it is better if we are not alive when the Orcs come in. Keep a bullet back, I will too."
"Uta..." Urs broke of, nodded, kissed Uta fiercely and readied himself for his last fight in this life.

Transall C-160 Course 060, speed 300 knots

Paul Müller was amazed - he was a Paratrooper, he was going into Battle and he was about to do it jumping from a plane.
While this might sound funny, considering what portfolio the Fallschirmjäger had, for many years Paratroopers got into Battle mostly by Helicopter or conventional means as jumping from planes was dangerous and there was always a period of disorganization until all troopers would have ditched their chutes, readied their weapons and meet their assigned Platoons.

The Problem was that some of their CH53 helis were en route to the beleaguered Swiss remnant, some down for maintenance or lack of parts. The lack of specific spare parts was a major issue for the Armed Forces, with the German industry frantically retooling lines to produce parts Germany got from foreign sources before the Weltensprung. In the case of the CH53, it was a bit ironic that the missing parts were of the few foreign ones built into the helicopters - the German Sea Stallions had been built in license with mostly German materials. But whatever the case, the Fallschirmjäger had to do it the old way until the helis were back.
Any suggestion of driving there, the distance between Seedorf and Papenburg was not that big, was squashed immediately - that would do no good for the next round of budgets
So for once they would jump into battle and get the “Opas” (Grandpas) of the Landwehr out of the tight spot they found themselves in. Typical part time soldiers, having problems with a few sword-wielding maniacs.
But now the Pros were on their way to get them out.

Battlefield near Mitting

Ralf Winkler and the other medics had gone forward to the ditch as soon as the screaming started. Their thinking was still too much in the civilian medic mode to check for danger to themselves first.
The guys in the middle of the line were a total loss, the checks for them were easy. For the rest of the Soldiers they were seized by pains which showed no obvious reason, so no quick remedy presented itself.
The group broke up in order to search for Soldiers which they could treat and worked themselves towards the flanks of the 1st Platoons lines. Shortly before the machine guns position Ralf found a riflemen who in his cramps had obviously broken his leg in two places-the way the leg was placed left few doubts about that.
Not surprisingly shock had set in, so immediate treatment was called for. He attached a cuff to an arm to block the Veins enough to get a needle in a vein on the back side of a hand. While he put down his backpack to look for the infusion bottle he heard a rather strange sound and looked to its source.
The machine gunner had been in the process of changing the totally overheated barrel, assisted by his number two. This had occupied them enough that they missed the infiltration of a group of scantily clad women which were just hacking his fellow soldiers into tiny bits.

Time seemed to slow down to a trickle so he could notice the leather straps holding various knives in place, the Eyes with strangely dilated pupils, the open mouths with spittle everywhere. He could later never explain how the Uzi found it`s way into his hand or the muzzle in the right direction.
The Uzi always had a bad rep for being inaccurate and for going off when dropped, but here it was what the Doctor ordered - provided it was Doctor Lektor.
As he started to fire when on one knee the muzzle climb did not just decorate the Sky immediately and most of the 30 rounds in the Magazine found a new home in one of the 5 Hags which were intend on butcher the German line as long as it was out on the Spell. That they were bunched up inside the ditch helped with that.
As the Hags were drugged to near-burnout one had not realized yet that it was dead already and tried to stab the medic through the chest. Ralf half turned to evade the trust, deflected the wrist with his free hand and in the same movement stabbed the empty SMG at the ugly face above him.
The Witch could not stop that as even the most drugged out mind could not make the shattered shoulder of that arm work.
The hot Barrel emitted a hissing sound and the Women dropped like if hit with a hammer. Ralf refused to look at the empty eye socket, took a deep breath and fell back on his training best as he could and tried to save lives instead of taking them.

Wolfgang Böhler had indeed found a much more interesting Target for his rifle: A rather strange-looking bolt thrower. A crew served weapon, he had seen it shooting 6 long bolts towards the German lines in rapid succession, it was now rewound and reloaded. He measured the height of the upper Body of the supposed leader against the markings in his Scope, gaining the range from that, adjusted for the practically nonexistent wind.
He aimed for the middle of the breast and took up the pressure on the trigger. The shot, when it came, was a surprise, like all good shots.
The 7 mm Remington Magnum may have a smaller Caliber than the 7,62 of the G3 rifles but somewhat more energy and a much flatter trajectory.
When the bullet hit a small steel ball at the tip was pushed back into the body and peeled 4 preformed segments of the bullet back like razor sharp banana peels. Expanded to several times its former diameter it not just destroyed the heart of the Elf, but pushed out most organs inside the upper chest through the back side.
Wolfgang saw to his amazement that the rest of the crew continued loading and aiming as if nothing had happened. He was about to kill the next guy when a better thought presented itself.
Waiting until the metal crosspiece was at maximum tension he directed the next shot at the bow itself. This promptly snapped in two and the resulting recoil turned the bolt thrower into the crew.
Wolfgang smiled in a way that nobody could take for humour and scanned for new targets.

Jasla was amazed to be still alive. She had successfully cast a rather difficult spell at a lethal foe, had achieved immediate success and kept it going for quite some time now. Still that had not been enough as the Cold One Knights had been massacred and she was afraid that she would not be welcome back at the Druchii lines because of that.
She had to keep up the spell no matter what, the consequences of not doing so were probably deadly even faster. Still she tried to make herself less of a target but still keep the ditch in sight.
While she was moving slowly around her foot found the cow patty she had avoided before, making her stumble.
This was enough to break her concentration, which was not a good thing at such a difficult spell.
She went down with what seemed to be a Grand Mal epileptic seizure.

Lt. Frediksen was very happy as the cramps and pains that had wrecked his body receded. They had come from nowhere and without warning and now had vanished like they came.
He took a second to organize himself and was not happy with what he saw: In the middle of his line a lot of dead Dinosaur-looking beasties were in his line of fire and they had killed 4 of his soldiers before being properly dead.

At the right flank the machine gun crew and probably one more rifleman had been butchered and the medics were looking after another one. Two of the medics came over.
“Hey Herr Lt. Sorry to bother you, but can you spare a soldier for a stretcher party, we have too many injured as it is and……”
“Meier, go with Winkler and get back to the Platoon when you drop them. And Winkler: Good job on those furies, you saved our bacon there.”
He next checked weather his Sergeant had detailed a new Crew for the machine gun (yes) and if the enemy was advancing on his position again (also yes). The latter was taken care of with a quick salvo from the left machine gun and some of the better-off riflemen.
Then he remembered that you are supposed to fix your opponent on the front and attack the flanks. Checking again he saw that this was unlikely to work on his left side, but detailed 4 men to check a perpendicular ditch on the right. Few moments later some grenade explosions and some rapid shooting told him that this precaution paid off.

Frediksen´s wireless operator tried to get his attention while he looked for the group of soldiers he sent to return when the screaming started. Looking around for the cause he could see nothing immediately until he saw up.
What he saw then filled him with terror: An impossibly large, fast Black Dragon who breathed a black cloud in the direction of the right flank which had seen so much hammering already. The cloud obscured the new Machine gun team, the returned squad and one of the medics.
When it dissipated enough to see the victims again it was only too obvious that they were dead.
With helpless fascination Frediksen watched as the Dragon made a curve to finish the job.

Phönix 64

The Pilot of the MD902 Helicopter was livid. He had seen the Dragon coming, but he had no weapons to do anything about it. He had contacted the air force, but any fighter was out by 10 Minutes. He then tried to raise the Landwehr and had reached their Captain, but they were unable to raise the Platoon in the field.
Now he had to watch helplessly as the Dragon massacred the soldiers below. He had to do something about it now - he simply could just not bear to watch.
Asking his Observer to call the Army again he aimed his helicopter squarely at his opponent and pushed the column all forward while twisting the power to max.
Whatever happened now, he would not have to see the killing.

Black Dragon, Mitting Battlefield

Human Pilots usually are thought to have an attitude problem, or to put it in another way, being arrogant to boot. This does not exactly get any better when it is applied to a Dark Elf who is arrogant by definition-they think of themselves as superior of course.
When the Dragon Rider saw the Infantry flounder back and forth like small figures on a green tablecloth it just reinforced this notion, especially as he saw he had to save the foolish Corsairs from defeat.
His first approach had not been optimal, but his second one would pass the German line in one go. They could either run and be massacred by the Corsairs or be killed by him.

He had just lined up the Ditch when he saw his Dragon turn as much as the reigns allowed for. Looking in the same direction he saw a flying machine which looked a lot like a dwarf gyrocopter coming his direction and very fast.
He changed course without conscious thought and avoided the enemy by very few meters, enough that he felt a stream of hot air passing him by.
It would have been quite a task from keeping his Dragon from chasing the machine, but he did not even try. This was a far more interesting fight then poisoning some footsloggers!
The machine dropped height until it was close to the ground and then started zigg-zagging like mad, occasionally lifting to avoid obstacles on the ground.
By cutting corners he got closer and closer and saw his beast already preparing the lethal breath when the pseudo-gyrocopter rapidly gained height.
In the background the Rider saw some of the Horseless carriages coming which just slowed as they saw his might.
He followed upwards and hoped to get in range now. In order to rise his Dragon both slowed down and reared up, exposing his breast and Belly.

Captain Martensen was still looking at the Dragon in awe. Even compared to some of the biggest planes he knew the Beast had a lethal magnificence which captured the Mind.
Still this did not keep him from giving the needed order: “Fire!”
First to fire were two MG3 which were mounted on top of the Cabs of his Trucks. Against fast planes this would have been close to useless, but the Dragon was very close and comparatively slow. Tracers connected the guns and their target, but seemed to have little effect. Dragon Skin is very resistant as it had to keep, among other things, the Wings together against the stress of flying.
Much later German scientists, studying the dead creature, would find Carbon Nanotubes in the Dragon`s skin and bones, explaining part of their legendary resilience. Whatever had formed them like that, would remain unexplained far longer.
This did not stop all the rounds, but at present the effect was like shooting .22 Caliber rounds at a bull. Lethal in the long run, but presently just driving him mad.

The gunners saw this and had no choice but to keep the tracer stream as best as they could on their screaming Target and hope for the best. When the Dragon cleared the line between it and the trucks cab something totally different joined the fight.
How it came to a lowly Landwehr company was the matter of much speculation. There was a rumour that the Ordnance warrant did not deny or confirm about an officer in charge of a storage depot, his visit to the famous red light district of Hamburg, 3 hookers, Handcuffs, a wild night and the knowledge thereof.
The RH 202 autocannon sent out dozens of 20 mm rounds against the Dragon. As it had slowed to less then 50 Km/h it did not take much correction till the first hit appeared on it.
Not only had the rounds many time the kinetic energy of the MG3 bullets but added explosives into the match.
The crew of the Cannon managed to keep the Dragon long enough in their sights to totally shred the Skin of the right wing, causing the Dragon to fall uncontrollably in front of the Trucks. It`s neck snapped with a sound which could be even heard above the shooting.
Without checking the state of Beast or Rider the two Platoons resumed their drive towards the front - they had to relieve the first platoon as quick as possible.
This did not keep an enthusiastic Pilot of a certain Helicopter filling Martensens ears with: "Thanks for the service and the prompt delivery, we should do that again" via the wireless.

Lt. Frediksen was much relieved to give control of the fight to his Captain. He felt quite bad, having lost a third of his platoon to death or injury and having only achieved half of his objectives.
Still he gave command to his sergeant and went to the Command truck where the Captain was already waiting for him.
"Captain, Situation as follows: we have 8 Killed and 6 wounded Soldiers, the rest of the Platoon is shaky from the losses and the after-effects of some spell which hit most of us.
The enemy is in a large group north of us. Some are still laying siege to the farmstead, the rest have gone to ground after we had beaten back 3 attacks.
We suppose they are getting ready for another attack. We cannot give a good estimate of their numbers, but best guess is that there are still more than 300.
Armament is swords and crossbows. They are good at infiltrating as we already found.
We urgently need evac for the wounded and a resupply of ammo - we are at the last magazines. Cap, we need magic users and new tactics as fast as possible. Without magic and magical creatures we never wuold have such losses."

Martensen was very unhappy to see his best Lt. looking like this and was aghast at the losses, this was not supposed to happen to the old reservists. Still he had his duties:
"Thanks for the report. Please hold the line you occupy presently, you will get one squad from 2nd platoon as reinforcement. Organizes some of your less well of members into a carry party for the resupply, I will ask to have our medics taking care of the wounded.
I intend to relieve the farm: get ready to open fire on all troops you can see when given the signal. We need about 10 Minutes for the preparations, be ready then.
Don`t take it badly, I think you did a good job. There are a lot of assholes on the other side and they brought lots of surprises we know halfway in theory, but not practise. Now let’s contain them till the pros arrive.
The Paratroopers should jump soon, then we can finish this in a proper way."

Tamins, World´s Edge Mountains

Mobob liked what he heard more than could see. The first of the few houses still held by the humies was being cleaned out. His moshers had finally gained entry there. Like any battlefield, it was loud and so the Warchief was a bit surprised when he heard music. Humie music at that! His Reikspiel was good enough to get the gist of it.

Argonnerwald um Mitternacht, ein Pionier...
Mobob had no inkling where this Argonne Forest could be, but it seemed that the humies played it to bolster their morale. He snorted, no music would save them, it was only a matter of time.
"Bergsteiger 1", over the World´s Edge Mountains, Speed 290 km/h

With the Weltensprung, Germany was now forced to overhaul the whole Bundeswehr. One such thing was the return from NATO-standard units (knots, feet) to the old Luftwaffe-standard (kilometer, meter) and the new recruits would not learn the NATO wireless slang, but the German one. The only thing kept from the NATO was "Bandits" (Banditen in German) for enemy planes, since this world had no comparable group for the German term as far as Germany knew.
It pleased Colonel Crüwell that he would open the attack like his ancestors did: With a "Wir machen Pauke-Pauke!"

It was bit cliched due to the "Apocalypse now" movie, but since they would fight against Orcs, who had problems with morale according to the books, Crüwell´s helicopter force was equipped with high-grade speakers.
When they had reached "Little Switzerland", Kurt directly recognized the situation. They were late, but not too late. So the Colonel gave order to start playing the recorded songs for the first attack run. Unlike the US war movie, Crüwell, due to having Sappers and Gebirgsjäger as ground forces with him, started with the "hymn" of the Sappers, the Argonnerwald March in a long version with all stanzas. The Hinds were already well away from the Sea Stallions due to their higher top speed, but that was part of the plan. The attack helis would clear the area first.
Coming in low, speakers saturating the air with the old army song, hardpoints brimming with guns and cannon pods, the gunners just waited for Crüwell´s order.

Colonel Crüwell was amazed by the effect of the music. It seemed that the volume of the playing march drowned out most of their engine noise. For the moment the Orcs simply were unaware that their death was coming closer and closer.
He would use this gift: "Feuer frei!" Crüwell pressed the fire button in unison with his crews.

From one second to the other Mobob became shocked as one of his best mosher groups suddenly died in a wave of explosions and gore. Some were literally ripped to pieces flying through the air. A swath of destruction was being ripped through his forces.
It was only then, frantically searching for the reason, that Mobob saw the flying creatures. No, no creatures, something like the Dwarf gyrocopters! But this could not be Dwarfs! Who by Mork could this be?

The first run had been a great success and the Colonel ordered a turn-around for the second go. Kurt Crüwell had read the Warhammer books about Orcs before lift off and was cautious about Orc magic power, the great equalizer here, as Germany already learned the hard way.
So with no Geneva Convention in force and most possible enemies barbarous mobs, Crüwell thought about his men and women first. Bergsteiger 5 and 6 had a different weapon outload than the other four Hinds. Using the momentary disruption in the Orc forces, Kurt ordered a "broadside" on the Orcs by all Hinds. Now the difference became clear as among the rain of steel phosphorous ammunition was intermixed. A true firestorm tore through the Orcs, disrupting the Shamans try to conjure up counter magic.

Mobob had screamed at his nearest Shamans to do something against the humie gyrocopters. But this second strafing run forced Mobob to dive for cover, from where he saw with unbelieving eyes what happened to his forces and tribe.
One of the machines roared overhead and the Warchief threw his Morningstar against the heli, for it only to bounce off the thick hide of the Hind. Not for nothing the Russian pilots had nicknamed the helicopter "Flying Tank".
It wasn´t planned by the German force, but it was at this moment that Mobob heard one other stanza of the march, due to Bergsteiger 1 being directly above him. And the Warchief feeled mocked by the humies.

Argonnerwald, Argonnerwald, ein stiller Friedhof wirst du bald...(Argonne Forest, Argonne Forest, a silent graveyard you´ll be soon)

For a moment, Mobob got a little hope back as his last intact catapult fired and hit one of the gyrocopters, but it was short lived. As his morningstar, the shot bounced off harmlessly. This was the last straw.
The morale of the Orcs broke down and a wild flight began, while the Warchief tried to organize some semblance of leadership.

Battlefield near Mitting

Still he was unwilling to leave the siege of the Farm going on until the reinforcements arrived and gathered his two other Lieutenants for a quick planning session.
"Ok folks, this is going to happen: 1st Platoon will provide a base of fire which should get the attention of these pointy eared bastards just fine-they already splattered enough of them .
2nd Platoon uses this treeline to get to the other side of the house. 3rd-Platoon: Bring the Autocannon over there and use it to fire together with first platoon-that should make an impression, but for all sakes do not fire at the house. Give 1 Squad to 2nd Platoon for the assault.

Take your positions and give me a heads-up when you reached positions. On my mark 2nd Platoon assaults the Elves around the farm and occupies a line from that fence over there to this ditch.
If we fail for whatever reason this here is the rally point."

About 10 Minutes of skedaddle later everybody had indeed reached their positions. Of course not everything went according to plan: The Elves saw the advance despite some attempt to keep them from doing so.
A lone scout took out two Soldiers with crossbow and dagger before he was put down by rifle fire.
One soldier managed to put the muzzle of his G3 against the far wall of a ditch when he jumped into it and broke two ribs against the buttstock.
But finally everything was ready and the 1st and 3rd platoons opened fire on the Elves which were in range. The "Pointy Ears" were in immediate trouble as they had to find cover from 3 sides (the MEK used their last ammo as they had been alerted by wireless)
Also they found out quickly that some cover was not viable. A group of them had crouched behind a low wall, just to find that the autocannon picked the wall apart together with them.
The only survivors in just a short time were those who had a prone position which suited 2nd Platoon just fine as they could not fight prone (unlike riflemen). They could close to the Elves without taking losses and then a few hand grenades and some bursts ended those lives as well.

Second platoon occupied a low wall and a line leading to the ditch the German troops held since the beginning of the battle. The Elves not engaged in the Siege retreated a bit from the farm, obviously unwilling to face the firepower of the German soldiers.
Captain Martensen saw the Policemen slowly getting out of the house, and getting livelier only after having looked at the carnage that the Landwehr had wrought.
Their Group Leader joined him and looked wary. Still he found the energy to thank him enthusiastically, but soon turned to more serious matters:

“Can you spare us some medics? We have two injured policemen, and one of the farmholders is in a serious way. “
“Only one of them, there should be more……” The look he saw from the policemen shut him down right away. Looking around he saw a group of medics coming back from the drop off point he waived them over.

“Winkler, that`s you? Ok, the police had some injured in the Farm, please follow Mr. Peters and help.” He got a quick salute and turned to other matters.
A quick check on the platoons gave that the assault was successful without further losses and that the Elves were not gathering for an attack. He asked the Helicopter to keep an eye on them and thought about what to do now.
Presently he held a pretty good line and was very sure that he could beat all attacks that the Elves could muster now, especially as they had already received quite a drubbing. As long as he was not attacking them he was unlikely to suffer more losses and the “Druchii” could, by his reckoning, stay where they were.

He tried to contact the air force again about the Paratroopers and was happy that he could get a sitrep through. The air force agreed to drop between the elves and the sea in order to prevent them from getting away.
Then they could play Hammer and anvil and be done.

By the time this was settled a stretcher party loaded 4 stretchers into the Ambulance Unimog and Winkler went in his direction. Curious what he wanted he stayed in place, just to watch the paramedic all of a sudden double over a fence and puke.
He waited until he had finished and then gave the medic his field flask.
“Can I help?”
“Is it possible to get a Ambulance helicopter in? If we want one of the victims to survive then this is the only way I know”
“It should be safe enough now, but please tell me what happened?”
He got a similar look he already saw from the SEK leader, but then Winkler straightened up and gave his report in a flat, nearly lifeless monotone:
“The two policemen are not too serious, one has probably a broken rib and the other one an already bandaged deep cut. The problem is the Farmers wife: She has multiple burns and stab wounds, one eye hangs outside of the socket by the optic nerve and there may be internal injuries.
The police is also badly shaken as they saw the other victims: They are thankfully dead and I did not examine them closely but they seem to have been partially flayed and the removal of…"
“Thanks, that will be enough. Do what you can, please. How are you and the other medics holding up” “As long as we have something to do - ok. Do not ask me how we will look like when this is over.”
Martensen asked his wireless operator to call an ambulance helicopter in and then went to the ditch to have a look at that the enemy was doing.

Irglier was not unhappy, that would not be enough to describe what he felt by far. How this raid could go wrong so badly was beyond him. Even with the new reinforcements he outnumbered the enemy by 5-to-1, probably even more and the Germans had not shown even a shred of magic ability.
Still his attacks were beaten back with ease. He had been planning an all-out charge after the Dragon Strike, but had to stop that before it happened when the Dragon was shot down. A Dragon shot down by lowly muskets!
This had damaged morale badly, not only because it showed German capabilities which he did not - and could not really - suspect before, but also as losing a Dragon would have serious consequences back home.
This was not a nice thought to contemplate, but presently he had to make sure there could be consequences. But one of the consequences he would see to if possible, was that this Khaine-cursed land should only be attacked with strong magic support.

He pulled his troops back a little bit-the Germans seemed not to bother with troops beyond 400 meters or so. He was debating with himself whether he should try to outflank the Germans-that had worked best so far, or fall back rapidly to the sea and raid some of the farms on the way for slaves.
This would be a poor showing for a raid, but it was preferable to lose more Corsairs and he might slip by serious problems at home due to Germany being this strange. Information, hard information, might save his hide.
He was still in thought, which explained why he heard the droning sound quite late.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-26 09:11am

Transall C-160, close to the Battlefield

One of the consequences of the Weltensprung was the absence of the GPS network, something many people sorely missed only when it was gone. Many people had to relearn readying maps and orienting themselves by them-one of them the Pilot of the Transall.
He tended to trust the INS navigation system a little too much, even when it tended to “drift”. The fact that the Frisian Cost, and the new one in the West, is rather featureless did not help these matters at all.
He counted the roads and major drainage ditches and matched them to his maps. When this seemed to agree to his INS data he took over the helm and brought the Plane into course, speed and height for the drop.

Paul Müller watched the ramp of the Plane drop and got the “gogogo” soon thereafter. Due to the long training he was already running for the ramp before he consciously heard the command.
When he went over the lid he had to take care of making sure the chute aligned correctly-only when that happened he had the chance to look around.
To his horror he saw that the drop was very close to a large group of “sword wielding maniacs”-this was going to hurt badly.

Captain Martensen looked at the Parachute deployment and was in shock: How could anybody be so stupid and deploy the Fallschirmjäger so close to the battle. The Parachutists would need time to prepare, but here they would not get it.
If nothing happened, and soon, then this would turn into a major disaster.

Irglier was no longer unhappy, livid or anything else, he was amazed. Amazed at the flying machine which passed close to his position, amazed at the men jumping out of it and dropping slowly by parachute and amazed at the German stupidity.
If the enemy soldiers were indeed landing where they looked like he could engage them in hand-to-hand combat and no other unit were likely to fire into this.
From this combat he could either take hostages and go or even consolidate into the other Germans if they were too close in order to help.
He gave the necessary orders to his officers and saw in their faces that this was what they needed, the despair which had begun to creep in their minds was gone - this was where he could turn the battle and avenge their hurts at the enemy.
The Dark Elves aligned their troops with the line of dropping Paratroopers, still trying to keep as low as possible.

Captain Martensen was torn between two equally bad choices: He could stay in place and try to do battle for there, it would be comparatively free of losses to his Company but would do not much good as the battle would be more than half a Kilometer away.
An all out assault against a numerically superior foe who could do real damage at closer ranges would ask for better trained soldiers who practiced assaults more regularly-it takes a lot of training to make men run directly into danger with any chance for few losses.
His men had left the Bundeswehr up to 20 years ago and while they had some training together it was not the kind which would breed the mindless following of orders which would make good cannon fodder aka true assault troops.
Still Martensen had a duty and called his Platoon leaders: “ Meine Herren, we have no choice, we have to assault these assholes. Keep the autocannon back for fire support. As for the rest, we advance on my mark."
When he got the “readies” back he started the assault the only way he knew which might make these old soldiers follow-taking the lead. He resolved not to look back to check and started the sprint for the spot he had picked.

If there is something faster than light in the Warhammer Universe it has not yet been discovered by German scientists, but rumours and bad news were definitely a candidate.
The soldiers of the 31st Company were "old" and compared to 20-something soldiers short on breath. But they were also fathers and uncles and far too many had seen the remains of the Martensen children, or at least had heard of them.
The problem was not getting the assault stated, the problem for the Leutnant would be stopping it.
Lt Frediksen was running towards the “pointy ears” as fast as his legs would carry him. Any sense of tactics was gone in the burst of emotion which had engulfed him. In his case it was also a relief from his perceived failures in the first engagements.
He did not recognize when he and his men started singing, screaming the Wildgänse song - it did not matter anyway. Wildgänse rauschen durch die Nacht, mit schrillem Schrei nach Norden... (Wild Geese rush through the night, with shrill cry northward)
He could see the Dark Elves getting up from their concealment and the rearmost ones orienting themselves in his direction. So much the better, his most fond wish was to close with them and KILL. ...Habt Acht, die Welt ist voller Morden (Take care, the World is full of killing)

All of sudden there was a shock which was so unexpected that it stopped him in tracks-looking around for the magic user attacking him. He nearly started to laugh when he found he and a lot of other soldiers were stopped by an “electric fence” meant to contain cattle.
As this gave him and the part of his unit alignment he decided to do his battle from here, the distance was not too bad.
Not bothering too much with directing his unit he started to pick targets and to dispose of them as quickly as possible. The tearing sound to his right showed him that at least one machine gun team had joined in.
Still firing single shots he went through his first magazine quickly, then fumbled in a new one and looked for new targets. Wir sind wie ihr eine graues Heer und fahr´n in Deutschlands Namen... We are like you a grey-clothed host, and march in Germany´s (originally: the Kaisers) name...
The Corsair which all of a sudden filled his sight was just another target and went down, but then he felt a burn on his right arm. Looking there he saw a bloody furrow in his right Biceps, obviously left by a crossbow bolt.
Since the still could move the arm he resumed firing but wondered why the light all of a sudden seemed so bright.
He did not see the muskus running down his face or realized that he had to labour harder to breathe. ... singt uns im Herbst ein Amen (sing for us in fall an Amen)
Between the more accurate shooting of Frediksens unit and the wild bursts by the rest of the maniacs they managed to get the Dark Elves attention just fine.

Paul Müller was so amazed at the unexpected sight of the “Opas” assaulting the Dark Elves that his landing became the classic “three point landing”-toes, Knees and Nose.
He still released his parachute and then scrambled to retrieve his G36 rifle from its bag so he could defend himself.
When he finally had it out he got it on his shoulder just in time to shoot a sword wielding fury. He was unhappily surprised when it took 2 3-round bursts to stop her - the thin witch did not look so tough.
Thank God, there were not to many Elves shoot and/or assaulting his position at the moment, they were too busy getting ripped a new one by the Landwehr for that.
More and more of his comrades readied themselves and stared to fire on the “pointy ears”. Nobody tried to find his unit-defending themselves was much more important.
Besides the rifle fire some of the Fallschirmjäger fired their Grenade Pistols at any concentration of Elves. Fragments and Overpressure meant that there were few survivors.
When he heard the first machine gun joining the fight from his side he started to hope that he could survive the fight.
How he would live down being rescued by the “old Men” from the Landwehr was a totally different matter.

Irglier felt exhausted about the emotional roller coaster ride this battle subjected him to. First the failed assaults, then the renewed hope of the misplaced drop and now even that had failed and his line was under fire from two sides.
At least this time he was no longer so outranged, he could fire back or assault without his units being wiped out before they even saw the enemy.
But losses mounted at a staggering rate. And even now that the humans were in range-they usually dropped to the ground to fire and presented very small targets. Still they were able to keep a murderous fire going while prone, something his Corsairs were unable to.
They had to charge or shoot standing up which made them much bigger targets. This, the better German rate of fire and the fact the Elves had not yet learned not to bunch up made for a very lopsided loss ratio.

He started to look for his sorcerers for some heavy duty firepower, amazed that they had not yet started to do their job, when he came to a small lump of trees. The little cover they gave was enough to shield from the worst of the German fire.
He was greeted by – nothing. Finally he found 5 bodies, most of his magicians, all with gaping Chest wounds or a mostly missing head. He looked around not could see anything which might be the cause. In the far distance he could see the farms so much of the fighting was about.
He suddenly saw a flash high up on one of the barns.
Surprised he jerked back, only to see the head of his adjutant explode like a ripe tomato, a bone splinter scratching his jaw.
He dropped immediately to the ground and crawled to the other side of the trees, while one of his arms men was killed by the unseen marksman as well.
This was what finally showed him that it was high time to go.
He gathered his entourage and wanted to run to the coast when finally another sorceress emerged from hiding. “Going for the boats, Mylord? Without taking your precious crew with you?”
"If we want to have any chance at escaping this hell, then they have to cover our backs. I think it is better not to ask them.”
“ How utterly disloyal of you - just as I would have done. If you protect me I may be able to help.”
“Done.”
Quickly the party left for the shore.

Lt Frediksen cursed at his increasingly clumsy hand which failed to find the next Magazine in his belt. When he chanced to look away from his line of fire he was surprised to find that there was no more ammo to be had.
When he looked up again a shadow was already close to his position. He tried to spring to his feet, just in order to stumble clumsily. He was still trying to find his balance when a hand steadied him on his shoulder.
"It`s ok mate, cool off."
He realised then that the Paratroops had reached his line. Just when he wanted to get his bearings again the world went black.

Battlefiel Mitting

Ralf Winkler was in a daze. His mind had been numbed by near total exhaustion, a close encounter with death and the horror of the farmhouse. He went back to what he trusted, his experience and training and worked through his tasks without much conscious thinking.
When he went back to the drop off point with his latest “customer” he was greeted by a sight he hoped never to see again in his life. Three inflatable tents had been erected and a doctor was screening all wounded before indicating the tent the patient was to be put to.
The walking wounded went into one, the urgent cases into the middle tent.
His patient had a horrible head injury with very shallow breathing and so he was not surprised that he was directed at the third tent.
It was filled with quiet, barely breathing wounded, a nurse administrating morphine injections and a priest.
Not giving every patient the best care they could get was going against everything Ralf stood for –and everybody else here - but with limited resources they could only separate the cases which had good hopes with fast treatment from those who would probably not make it with or without help.
This tent was for the dying.
Triage was a horror - but a necessary one now.
The Nurse looked up when he and his Co-Medic entered the tent. “Oh God, not another one. Whats happening out there? Are we loosing?“
“From what I could see - no, we are winning. From what I saw earlier you really do not want to survive loosing with these guys.”

He went out again and drove the Unimog back to the battlefield. He was flagged down close to a partially flattened fence. The Sergeant pointed him to a group of soldiers “Over there, they got the Lt. somehow. He has cramps and is breathing hard.”
Winkler gathered his backpack and scanned his next patient. White clammy skin, foam in the mouth, blood and mucus running from the Nose and the muscles he could see were hard as stone.
This was already the second time today he had seen this - the Corsairs had poisoned their bolts so that even scratches would kill eventually.
This was a sure killer and all he could do was prolong... Wait, one-
The next thing his Co-Medic was seeing was Ralf sprinting back to the Unimog and started rummaging.
He came back with a olive green cloth bag he hurriedly unpacked.
“Ralf what are you doing with the NBC pack? Are you sure? Are you out of it?”
Meanwhile Winkler had unpacked in Injector and put it against the Lt. leg.
After a second he triggered the injector which violently shot Atropine into the muscles of the dying man. “Ralf, I hope you know what you are doing, if you are wrong the Atropine will kill him.”
“He would die anyway. The stuff the gottverdammte Spitzohren put on their bolts is potent - now he has at least a chance. There are already too many dead. Shut up and pass the Oxygen.”

The doctor performing the triage did not look up from the last wounded when the Ambulance approached again. He just asked over the shoulder about the Patient.
“Unconscious, having some breathing difficulties, circulation stable but week - he got one of the poisoned bolts. We gave him Atropine and it seems to help. Middle tent doc?”
No doctor likes to hear the diagnosis from his helpers, so he was about to retort angrily when he really saw the medics for the first time since the battle begun.
They stared back at him totally unafraid, what they had gone through shifted their perception about “bad” considerably and he was no longer on the list.
“Middle tent it is then.”
“Thanks doc, we are on our way then…”

Captain Martensen saw that the fighting was winding down and so did he. As long as the battle was in high pitch adrenaline had kept him up, but now he felt old beyond his years.
The Paratroopers had used the time his men had bought at such price well and organized themselves enough to form an assault.
The Dark Elves were already decimated and with few leaders which had not fled, they could not mount real resistance either. Some of them had charged the riflemen, some tried to hide and to strike from a concealed position, but the result was the same in the end.
Just when he looked a Soldier fired his Grenade Pistol into a tree, the detonation immediately removed all leaves.
Among the rotten branches tumbling down was a body dropping bonelessly to the ground. “See? Told you there was an asshole up there!” he quipped.
Shaking his head Martensen looked for the CO of the Paratroopers - there was a battle to wrap up.

Small Police Cutter W3 Sea of Claws

The crew of the Police Cutter W3 was at Sea again. Shorty after the beginning of their patrol command had contacted them and told them to look for any unusual contacts. They had been wondering at that until monitoring the Wireless showed them a Battle happening, about the last thing they had expected.
Quickly they distributed what long arms were in their lockers then they resumed the patrolling with a less bored attitude. Currently they approached a group of 3 contacts which were not moving at all, this surely counted as unusual.
Sometime later they found that the Radar blips were the Galleons that they had met the day before, but they were low in the water and they could see nobody on deck.
Repeated calling got no answers, so they decided to go around the ships before boarding or calling for help. When they rounded the stern of the lead Galleon the mate noticed rust strips running down from the back door of the Stern Gallery. Wait, wooden ships do not rust!
With this thought his brain reprocessed the visual input and also noted the red colour in the Water below the “rust stain”, which could only be blood.

It was probably not the most clever tactical decision in their lives, but the crew still boarded the Galleon, much too shocked to think long about possible dangers.
They did not find anything dangerous to their bodies, their minds were a different story. The crews of the ships had been killed in a way which could not be described as slaughter, that would have been too nice. Worse was the situation of the 3 survivors they found among the dead. If - if they could be stabilized, no one wanted to presume on their mental state.
When the boarding party staggered back on board their ship, they were greeted by the boatswain: "Skipper, please have a look, I have a series of intermittent radar contacts. When I extrapolate their course they come from here, about two hours ago."
They referred the problem back to Command who told them to guard the Galleons, others would take care of the contacts.

Battlefield Mitting

A couple of questions gave Captain Martensen the direction to the CO of the Paratroopers, an fit and trim looking Officer who nursed what appeared to be a busted ankle. He stopped himself from saluting, this would show the Captain to enemy marksmen and introduced himself.
“Captain Martensen, 31st Landwehr at your service. Let me be the first to say this: The Trallala driver should really buy new glasses.”
“Captain von der Marwitz, thanks for the assist, we will never forget that.”
They arranged for the mop-up of the battle, which mostly consisted of a line of riflemen combing the surroundings of survivors-theirs and the “Spitzohren”.
As the Landwehr was mostly out of ammo their part of the battle was mostly done and they helped with carrying the stretchers back to the drop of point.
By unspoken consent they did not escort the few prisoners-that could have led to needless repercussions. “Shot while trying to escape” had a bad reputation in Germany.

Ralf Winkler also went back to the tents again to find that by now so many ambulances arrived that Triage was no longer necessary. The doctor saw them coming back and found the time to address them in private: “First off, I still do the diagnosis around here. Second, you were right-your Lieutenant will live and that is mostly thanks to you. A gutsy decision on the atropine! Third - you look like shit and I have 3 leg injuries which should go to the Leer hospital. Can you do that?”
A short call by the Wireless to their command showed them that they could indeed do that, so they took their Unimog to the road and headed to the Main roads, passing what seemed like hundreds of “blue light” vehicles on the way.

Much later that day, Meier Shipyards, Papenburg

“Ok, if nobody has to add anything, this concludes the “postmortem” .Captain Martensens voice left no doubt that he did not wish any additions.
“Then let us have a minute of silence for the fallen comrades.”
Five Minutes later everybody had a beer in his hand and the Captain raised his Stein -“to absent Friends!”
“Ok folks one last thing for the evening, then we go home. I am damned proud of all of you! We met the enemy and got the job done. I can quote Captain von der Marwitz: I am alive as you were there. And a lot of other people are the same. I do not think that we need more accolade then that.
Dismissed.”
The singing started in the back row but catched on immediately:

Ich hatt' einen Kameraden,
Einen bessern findst du nit.
Die Trommel schlug zum Streite,
Er ging an meiner Seite
In gleichem Schritt und Tritt.
Eine Kugel kam geflogen:
Gilt’s mir oder gilt es dir?
Sie hat ihn weggerissen,
Er liegt zu meinen Füßen
Als wär's ein Stück von mir.
Will mir die Hand noch reichen,
Derweil ich eben lad'.
"Kann dir die Hand nicht geben,
Bleib du im ew'gen Leben
Mein guter Kamerad!"

(I once had a comrade,
you won't find a better one.
The drum was rolling for battle,
he was marching by my side
in the same pace and stride.
A bullet flew towards us
meant for you or for me?
It did tear him away,
he lies at my feet
like he was a part of me.
He wants to reach his hand to me,
while I'm just reloading my gun.
"Can't give you my hand for now,
you rest in eternal life
My good comrade!")

When everybody filed out Ralf Winkler stopped by him: “Captain, if it is all the same to you, I`ll visit Jan-Erics wife. Somebody needs to break her the news.”
“If you want to do it, by all means. But why not leave it to the Chaplain?”
“First off, Jan-Eric was an agnostic and his widow is too. Our Chaplain will not have them on radar and they won`t have that much to say to each other. Second, Jan-Eric was mine long before he was your man and third both are my friends-I cannot give this to others. I do not want to do this, I have to do it.”
“All right you have my blessings. Actually, thank you, one less visit. Ok Captain, we see each other Wednesday for the clear-up.”

Helga Meier was a frustrated women. She was with the “Norddeutsche Rundfunk” and needed to have pictures and info about the Battle of Papenburg as it was already called.
Unfortunately she had come much too late for any fighting and the German army was very low on any info as usual. Like all other journalists she was told to attend après conference the next day and then was told to get lost.
Currently she cruised the streets of Papenburg with her Cameraman in the hopes to find anybody who could give her an interesting morsel of info.
Then she saw a car parked in front of a house with a “Landwehr” sticker on it. “No risk, no fun!”

Ralf met his Wife in front of the yard. After a minute or so of being silent in each other’s arms Ralf asked his wife if she could drive the car.
“Yes, of course, we just have to put my bike into the trunk. But what happened to your voice?”
"Too much puking, too much screaming. Maybe a whiff of Dragons Breath. Should be better in a couple of days, according to our throat specialist. We have to drive to Jan-Eric first before we can go home.”
“Is he coming with us?”
“No.”
“Is he in hospital?”
“No...” Ralf wanted to say something more, but he simply could not.
“Oh my God!”

Somewhat later Ralf was sitting in the living room of his former Co-Medic and seemed to listen to the sobs and rant of Jan-Erics Widow. He was in a daze, still not really comprehending that he was alive, survivors guilt as he was alive and others were not, when one of the fragments registered.
It took him a while to recognize the voice he heard as his own as it had deteriorated further.
“No, Jan-Eric did not die because he wanted to play Soldier. Jan-Eric died because he wanted to help and because the most sadistic bunch of killers you can imagine decided that torturing and killing in Germany is a good way to spend their time.
Some hours ago I loaded a flayed alive Child into my ambulance. Jan-Eric and all the others put their lives at risk so that there would not be more of them.
This is what we do, we can no longer ask others to do it for us. We used to have allies who did the dirty work for us and whom we could despise for that - we no longer can here. Our Big Brother is gone. If we do not defend ourselves, nobody will and many more will die. Nobody of us asks for the risks, but we have to take them.”
Either it was what he said, or the way he said it as by that point he sounded like dried leaves turned by skeletal hands, but Jan-Eric`s Widow at last relented.
After offering their help he could leave the house finally to get home and rest.
He just left the garden when a strong light showed in his face.

“Helga Meier from the NDR. Can you tell us anything about today`s battle?”
His first instinct was to tell that Vulture to get lost-then Ralf got the Idea that there were more ways to fight Druchii than just bullets.
“Yes, I was at the battle. I just had to tell the Widow of a good friend that he will not come again, ever. And I can tell you the same thing I told her…”

Bretonnian-occupied Wasteland

It was a simple, pure triumph march for the forces of his most gallantly King of the Old World. No Marienburg forces defended anywhere. The King´s army winning more and more miles of the greedy moneygrubbers in the port city. The nobility of Bretonnia was pleased, it had been a milk run, even if there had been no chances to win glory for King and Lady in battle.
Baron Guy de Aramie, one of the more progressive nobles in Bretonnia took his looking glass and observed the vanguard which had crossed the Reik. At least the Bretonnians thought it had to be the Reik, even if the river´s position was totally off. But then again, this could be a side effect of the strange light months ago. Nevertheless, this would not stop the most honourable Army in the whole world. Nothing could stand against the champions of the Lady. As could be seen here, the Bretonnian troops were already around 150 miles deep in the Wasteland.

close to the eastern bank of the Reik

Eji Metehito was rather famous in his hometown as a master tracker and huntsman. Little surprise, that he and several other specialists were chosen by the Daimyo assembly in Kagoshima to help extend the territory of Nippon.
While the Daimyos were still unsure how far the cooperation with the strange Germans should go, in one thing both went conform: Nippon should extend her borders to the Reik. There were many good reasons to do so. At the moment this could not go beyond some symbolic deeds, but simply making others aware that the land was taken, no matter how loosely, would help.

So Eji had been underway for one and a half weeks, together with three helpers from the peasants levy, erecting sign posts and raising the Kyokujitsuki, the Rising-Sun-Flag of Nippon at strategic positions along his part of the Reik bank. It had been a strange voyage to the Reik. Considering that the Reik was quite a distance away from the core of stranded Nippon, the Germans had helped them. Several of their flying contraptions he now knew being Helicopters, had transported them, their horses and supplies within hours to the river. He still marvelled about the quality of the paintings they called photos, he´d been given for better orientation.

After doing their work, the 4 men had begun the trek back to civilisation, when Eji´s schooled ears recognized the sound of a group of people. Slowly stalking closer to the river, staying hidden in the undergrowth and between the trees, Eji pulled out his Zeiss binocular, a gift given to all the nipponese groups going to the river.
The binocular was light years ahead in sight power and quality from the looking glasses he was accustomed to. Eji was actually very happy that the Doitsu helped them, if their binoculars were so good, he looked forward to see more of their products. By the kami, their part of Nippon was ripped away from it´s proper place, making them vulnerable. Eji was thankful for any help they got.
Correcting the focus, Eji saw 12 men at the river bank and on the other side a whole army! What the...
And more, while the Nipponese did not understand Breton, the banner post they erected, with a purple flag showing stylized flowers, showed they wanted to take the land which now belonged to the Chrysanthemum Realm! This could not stand, but the foreigners were too strong.
Eji and his men took off as fast as they could. This news had to reach Kagoshima as soon as possible.

Falkenberg, Sweden, Earth

It took the mayor of the small harbour city at the western coast of Sweden quite some time to stomach what he saw. His brain simply could not accept that his little part of the World was hit by the goddamned Event hard.
Not only sat a fraking Chinese village just outside the southern city border. No, a fleet of 20 War Junks had sailed into the harbour and their leader insisted that Falkenberg now belonged to the Empire of the heavenly Emperor of Cathay! Where did these madmen come from? Their weapons were archaic, but the Chi..Cathayians were heavily armed. How could they solve this peacefully? At least Agneta, his deputy, had called Stockholm, before all hell broke loose.

“Drachis Kiss” Sea of Claws

Hauclir was a Dark Elf resigned to his death, but he started to wonder what form it would take. When his Witch realized that the Battle was lost he decided to leave for home. He had the last imperial seamen killed and decided to sink the Galleons rather than fire at them.
They would take hours to sink that way, but that was better than to give a signal for any onlooker by firing them and causing a smoke column.
He had hoped that his fast Dark Elf ships would be able to outrun the Germans easily and then hide in the vastness of the oceans, but no such luck. Within a few hours a plane had over flown his small fleet, and ever since then a plane had flown lazy orbits around their ships.
Later that day a ship had also joined the surveillance, but nobody had ever attacked him or the other ships but kept a couple of 100 meters distance. He would have set a course to ram and board them, but he only had skeleton crews on board whose job it was to guard the ships until the raiding party was back.
Having rigged Nets across the ships sides and covered the deck with sand he had done what he could to prepare the ships for the fight.
Better to await the boarders and to sell their lives as well as possible. The waiting was really fraying his nerves and keeping up a stone-faced façade was getting more and more dangerous. The Galley slaves were getting restless, but they would die soon enough and new ones taken in.
Now a different fleet had joined the flock as could be seen from the different colour and these ships were now coming closer for an obvious boarding, but where the boarder hid he could not see.
The bolts he shot did not seem to do any appreciable harm, especially as he could not see any enemy except for some who hid behind a movable shield.
Nothing could have surprised Hauclir more than the stream of water which hid him squarely on the chest and forced him straight over the deck. He hesitated a little bit too long to release his crossbow so he did not get to grab a handrail on the ships far side before he was washed overboard. His Coat and armor prevented swimming effectively, damning him to the death by drowning that he feared most.


Fireship “Bremen 1”, Sea of Claws


A normal truck mounted Water Cannon is able to throw 2200 litres of water a minute-usually more than enough to subdue demonstrators and similar. The Water cannons on the Fireship easily managed 14000, allowing two cannons to “cleanse” the decks of the Druchii galleys without endangering the rowing slaves the Elves kept.
The Fireman manning one of them had seen pictures from Papenburg and was just too eager to help storming the ships before they escaped. He kept a watchful eye on the enemies deck, but from the edges of his vision he saw the Boats approaching with the assault teams.
Nevertheless he kept the stream of water on the Reaper Bolt thrower which was the only weapon on the ship with any real potential to cause damage to him or his ship.


GSG9 Assault Boat, Sea of Claws


Mark Weber clutched the handles of his boat while at the same time covering his Nose as much as possible. He already dreaded the boarding-not so much because of the dangers but because he would no longer be able to hold his nose. The stink emitted by the Galley was ferocious; how the Elves could stand it was beyond his reckoning.
Normally the GSG9 would have preferred to assault by helicopter, but the masts of the Ships made that impossible. He was unhappy with the lack of intelligence, and the fact that his enemies belonged to a well-trained military. That the Spitzohren mostly using swords was counting for less in the close confines of a ship.

Boarding was mostly easy as they had a marksman in over watch who shot the guys trying to stab them through a hole. The main problem was that the ship had started to go in lazy circles as the helm was no longer manned.
Once up on the main deck they found only a few Corsairs badly disabled and quickly reconnoitred the lower deck by lowering endoscopes through the gratings covering the rowers deck. Seeing no armed men a quick huddle gave a very basic plan.

Mark waited for the flashbangs to go off and the grating to be ripped off by his comrades, then dropped directly into the hold. Turning to “his” side of the walkway he was immediately attacked by a thin whip-wielding elf, who looked distracted by the Sound and Light overload. The whip wrapped itself about his Torso, but the Armoured Vest kept it from doing any damage, whereas his 3-round burst went into the enemies breast and neck.
Scanning for additional enemies he found another Elf which had fallen between the rowers. To his amazement the slaves did not move to harm the slaver but slowly stopped rowing as they were no longer issued commands.

The more he looked around the worse the sight became.
The stink and fear of the Galley slaves was horrible, as was the sight of the slaves. How these poor creatures could have endured for so long in such a state was beyond him, but even a cursory look showed lesions and inflammations from bad sanitary conditions and the chains.
The backs of all slaves showed many badly healed welts from whips, but the real problem he could see was the blank look in the eyes of the slaves, which together with the small pupils in the slaves eyes spoke of even bigger problems.
The “all clears” came in and now the more difficult part of the job began-saving all the victims of the Spitzohren-but this was for other people, his job was done.

Close to Papenburg, Late at night, 3 days later

Jasla was not sure if she should consider herself lucky. When she had awoken after blacking out from the pain on the battlefield the battle was obviously over and even more obviously her side had lost.
She saw some Germans picking up the Druchii dead, of which there seemed to be many, and managed to crawl to a ditch where she managed to pull herself into a big concrete pipe. Shivering in the cold water she had to wait for many hours for the Germans to leave the Battlefield alone. When she finally left her hiding place her good night vision allowed her to avoid the few German patrols which were left.
Now she had slowly traversed the strange German landscape, mostly at night.

She did not find much to eat and drinking water from a clear looking spring had promptly given here “the runs”. This did not improve her condition any which was already bad enough due to bad headaches, hunger and near total loss of all magic capabilities due to this.
She still had her dagger, her abilities and had decided to rob a local farm or house to take what food and local clothing there was. During the last hour she caught herself approaching a large house where her instinct seemed to pull her.
She was not sure what to make of this, but was pretty sure that her magical senses had detected something useful but could presently only show it in a roundabout way.

The house seemed to be quite full of people but all windows were shuttered and she could see nothing. She was about to leave because of the many people when some of the sounds made her think differently.
Pulling herself up to one window and plying her dagger to some paint showed her an amazing sight: Lots of people in an obvious orgy with some rather interesting permutations. She could also see evidence of handcuffs and at one wall a naked woman was whipped.
“Thank you Lord Slanesh” Hag Graef always harboured a Slaneshee cult, and while forbidden she always found the connections and action useful and amusing.
Feeling quite enthused at this good fortune she barged in through the door and shouted the greeting that should give her sanctuary within the cult. She was still registering the totally amazed faces when a powerful kick who`s origin she never saw to her chin send her into oblivion.


Police Car Peter 9, close to Papenburg


“Say again, Center we are to go to the Swingers Club in Helm Road to check for WHAT….”

Faculty of Magic, Kaiserslautern University, Germany

The two magicians from the Bright and Gold Orders were still amazed by the technological sophistication of Germany. And they knew that their colleagues from the other Orders present here were so too.
Even the provisory rooms they had gotten for now were always heated, with flowing water and a firewoodless kitchen! The city was lit brightly at night, the clothes of the people...
It was culture shock of the first order the 8 men and women experienced. What was equally baffling were the questions the German pupils and researchers asked.
After Journeyman Heidbrand, the Bright (or Fire) Order mage had shown some of the things one could do if you were a student of the bright flame, the first question was not how to learn it to smite the Chaos menace! No, one engineer sitting there wanted to know, if he and the other learners of fire magic could produce steam for some arcane thing he called a "turbine".
Heidbrand, a bit perplexed, but eager to show his learning, agreed that it was possible to produce steam, but would like to know what this turbine thing was. He had had feared to be laughed at for his non-knowledge, but all he heard was the shout: "Cool Idea!"
Germans...

NDR Documentary, some weeks after the battle:

Hospital setting, showing a recovering Slave rescued from a Druchii Galley:
“I was brought to the “Kiss” 5 months ago with 20 others. Me and Drogo over there, we are the last survivors of that them. The chains were riveted to the benches-we could not get up for anything. They were only loosened when we were at harbour.
No, you cannot ask Drogo, they cut his tongue out when he…..”

Interrogation room at undisclosed location, showing Jasla in Chains which are liberally festooned with Charms and seals which look strange against the stark modern setting. Video is grainy and jumpy as it has been smuggled out of the Prison:
“We take from the lesser races what we want. Khaine has given them to us for this purpose. It is obvious: They are weak, so they are ours for the taking. If this were wrong they would be stronger and we could not use them so…..
.....Torture serves many purposes: It subdues the slaves by instilling terror in their hearts, it provides information when we need it, it serves to make underlings know their place, but most of all, it shows Khaine our devotion to him in his many forms.
But also, it is such FUN. Little man, if I had just one hour with you I could…..”

Nuremberg Museum, talking to the curator:
“As you can see here, this spearhead is serrated in several places. The way it is made is not to kill as effectively as possible, but to inflict heavy bloodletting in combination with crippling pain. This seems to be to the point where it lowers the tactical usefulness in order to satisfy some sadistic urge….”

Street at night, showing an exhausted looking Landwehr medic:
“This is what we do-we can no longer ask others to do it for us. We used to have allies who did the dirty work for us and whom we could despise for that-we no longer can. Our Big Brother is gone. If we do not defend ourselves, Nobody will and many more will die. Nobody of us asks for the risks, but we have to take them.”

Same night in a well-protected Berlin Living room:

“Scheiße,it is Fukushima again!”
The German chancellor refrained from throwing down the remote control, instead forcefully switching off the NDR documentary which just finished. “Why dear, I did not see any exploding Nuclear Power Stations?”
“Don`t play the fool Achim, it does not amuse at present. It is just that something just happened and was blown up by the media to the point where I have to do something radical I would rather not do, or we look foolish and weak. Not good, not good at all. Pass me the phone, will ya…”

“Thomas, yes it is me Angela. We have to have a meeting early tomorrow. Yes, about this Spitzohrenproblem. We have to……"

Altdorf, Imperial Palace

“So tell me, what is so important about this battle? It was more of a skirmish, less than 800 fighters on both sides. We know from the Swinemünde Battle already that the Germans can kill in carload lots if they think that is necessary?”
“What we think is important, your Majesty, is that the battle was mostly done by the lowly Landwehr, the City soldiers, with what the Germans consider simple weaponry, and mostly won by the time reinforcements arrived.

If that is true, then we should do our utmost to acquire these weapons, especially these…machine guns. They seem to be easy to maintain and transport and we might be able to do some repairs, whereas we have problems with the guns the Germans gifted us. Our engineers are bright-eyed for these new cannons and we used them to counter a Chaos incursion into the Ostermark with unbelievable effect already, but..."
"But? Speak openly."

"Yes, your Majesty. The cannons the Germans gave us are far beyond even Dwarf handiwork in power and reliability. But we have only a handful of master engineers capable to do even small repairs. Until we have more of them knowledgeable about these cannons, we have to be careful when and where we use them. It will get better with time, sure, but the machineguns I heard about are supposedly so simple to maintain, we can get them spread wider to our armies and faster then we will the cannons. The German Ambassador has asked for more Mages to be send to Germany, maybe we can arrange something here..."

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Mechman
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Re: An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-27 05:17am

ThyssenKrupp Steelworks, Duisburg, Germany

Rotach Roogson, chief advisor to the High King of all Dwarfs, did not need to look around to know the other Dwarfs in the group were as impressed as he was. Dwarvenkind rightly prided itself on their industrial prowess. When it came to the products of the Smith, their race was the top of the World. While there were a handful of master artisans in a few other lands like the Empire or Ulthuan able to compete with the Dwarfs, as a whole no one could compare.

Until now.

Rotach had problems grasping the scale of what he saw. The equivalent of a large city was solely dedicated to produce steel and other foundry products. But at the same time he looked forward to work with these Germans. Just the image of what wonders now lay in reach of all Dwarfs made him uncharacteristically giddy. Urging the King to come here and looking for himself would be a pleasure.
Rotach actually had been very reluctant to believe the reports he had gotten from the Empire about the strange newcomers. But he deemed himself man enough to recognize the challenge these Germans were. If the Karaks wanted to stay on top, it would do no good to stick the head into the sand like posing Elves!

Beach of Büsingen, Lake Constance, Germany

Uta Zuralmen and her husband Urs sat on the small, sandy beach outside of Büsingen, with a view on the lake and the Ponton bridge connecting the village with Germany. They were doing a little picnic to relax from their harrowing experience back in Reichenau and Tamins.
The 32 years old woman was very happy that they survived the Orc attacks. After Kurt Crüwell and his helicopters saved them from certain death or slavery, there had been a painful decision to make. The German Colonel had told Uta that it had been a pleasure to help them, but Tamins now was positioned too far away or too difficult to reach from either Germany, the Empire, not to speak of the major Border Principalities.

"Frau Zuralmen, we can give all survivors a lift to another place and then destroy everything here, to keep it out of the hands of murderous barbarians. Alternatively, if to leave is too much to stomach for you, we can give Tamins some rations and ammunition, but then you´d be on your own. We will tell the Empire officials in the Mootland where you are, but don´t be foolish to count on fast help.
The World´s Edge Mountains where we are standing now, are far more vast than the Himalaya back home on Earth and the Empire of Mankind, which is one of the most advanced nations here, is around 400 years in development behind us."

"Are there others of us two here on this planet?"

"A good question. Germany, and some nibbles of neighbouring countries, were transported to this world in one piece and you are the first group of other Earth people we found. This planet is larger than our home planet and it was shaken too, so it might be that there are other people stranded here. If that is the case, they do not have access to advanced communication, since we still monitor the wireless and radio frequencies and the channels are empty except for our own. Or they are too far away to connect without enhancers."

"Oberst Crüwell, I will talk with the others."
It was with a heavy heart for most, but there was too much danger to consider staying in Tamins. So the survivors packed what they could and were evacuated with helicopters. To feel a bit more at home, the Swiss opted for settling in Büsingen. The German enclave-turned-island had a decidedly Swiss feel to it.


Chancellery, Berlin, Germany


"Unemployment levels are sinking, slow but steady. We are lucky thatBundeswehrand Landwehr take in a lot of the unemployed, but the biggest influx are Farming, Magic and most of all the rebuilding of industries Germany lost over time due to international competition."

"Very well. An example please, just for records, we have enough imagination for that."

"No problem, Herr Minister. Barrels are a wonderful example. Before the Weltensprung we imported practically all our barrels, except some special types, from Romania and other nations."

"What about the food front, Hans?"

"Frau Bundeskanzlerin, our farmers, as ordered, have begun to reactivate fallow fields. Bio fuel production has been lowered and we will be able to fill our food demands on essentials on our own. Problems are only 'colonial goods' like oranges, things we could never produce en masse in the cool climate of Europe.
We are still hampered by our lack of an accurate World map. Our researchers add to a new map every day and we have at least some useable local maps from the start, but we have not found several resources to this day. Take Mangos, wherever we went until now, our expeditions have not found them. We have contacted the imperial Far-Traders-Guild on that matter and wait for a reply. I think it will get faster when the telephone lines to Altdorf are ready.
On the positive side, some farmers have brought out the first seeds of local grains, turnips and berries. I heard from the experts that some of the Empire´s and Nipponese crops are finely cultured. The rice examples we got from Kagoshima beat our Earth variants and one barley sort we got from the Empire is a big step in making our own crops even more winter-hard.

But both the Imperials and the Nipponese are really thankful for our high yield crops. On agriculture, I think, no matter what time will bring, we will work closely together with the Imperials and the Nipponese. We can learn from each other. Alone the things the Jade Order mages can do when not being in the order of Battle - We have to re- and newly learn some things.
I eagerly await the return of our delegation to Bretonnia. From what I read on that land, they might have the largest per capita agricultural power in the Old-"

"I am afraid, Hans, you and Ilse will wait longer for cooperation with the Bretons. It is one of the reasons I called in the extraordinary government session. There are Bretonnian troops on Nipponese and our new soil and from what our delegation in Couronne heard, they will not go back. According to some Duke Arnaud de Montfort, the custodian for the King there,

...the Lady herself approves of the taking of the Wasteland for the premier culture nation on the Globe and anyway, there has been a sign that shows that his Highness King Lioncour has now the right to rule this part of the Old World.
I doubt that they will be persuaded by talking, not when their goddess-"

"Sorry, Angela, but that Lady of the Lake is an Elven scam!"

"Yes, but God has seen to it that some things function differently on this planet. Fervent belief can produce interesting results. Anyway, we now have choice to make. We might stop a conflict, if we give Bretonnia that part of the former Wasteland and build a partnership with what seems to be the second most important nation in several thousand kilometers. On the Grand Scale, the Nipponese splinter has less potential than Bretonnia, esp. if we help the Bretons too.

Or we do what we already begun and bring that part of Nippon fully into our orbit. While more limited in potential compared to France 2.0 and obvious differences in culture, we already made a successful First Contact with these Nipponese. And with Earth evidence available, on general outlook on life, we are or will be closer to the Nipponese than the Bretons.
Additionally, when our expeditions and trade will reach Nippon proper, then our help for their compatriots will bring us a relationship bonus too."

Biel-Tan´s Breath, Southern Sea

"Master Teclis, I am sorry I do not understand your reasoning correctly, but why did we save this Irglier guy? We were on the way to meet the Germans, now we saved a half-dead Corsair of our misguided cousins, risking the wrath of the newcomers after what he did and we are now on the way to Araby?"

"Have more trust in the vision of Elvenkind, young scholar. After what happened, the Germans would have greeted us with too much distrust and Irglier can be useful. Besides, he is an Elf like us."

"I do not doubt your wisdom, but it might cloud the impression these new humans will get of us."

"They are humans and short-sighted like all of their kind. This new course we have will lay the foundation for a better first talk with them."

Oval Office, Washington, USA

"Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, what is the verdict?"

"Mr. President, the global situation is really bad, but it could have been worse for us."

"Worse?"

"Yes, the States lucked out compared to some of our competition. China, from what we can estimate, is hit as hard as we are, but since they were not at our level before the Event, we still have the upper hand, should it come to more tensions."

"I beg your pardon, but this is a very optimistic outlook! Mr. President, when it comes to the military, then yes, we still hold the upper hand anywhere. But my colleague´s abstract is too narrow.
Economically, not only we, but the whole globe marches into a depression never seen before. The devastations of the new landscapes across the northern hemisphere did not only destroy several key industry sites, but interdicted a lot of important transport routes.
Not only in Africa, parts of Asia or Europe, even here in the States we have the first famines! Denver has been totally cut off from all land routes and at the moment, as you know Mr. President, we supply them as good as possible under the circumstances from the air. But we have to conserve fuel until further notice and the weather does not always help. When the winter fully hits Colorado, Denver will starve even more. We have to make a decision. Do we evacuate Denver or do we keep up the insufficient air drops until Denver can be reached by new roads?

And that is only the tip of thee iceberg. Despite the Wall Street´s critic of Germany´s economic model, which was in concert with some of our foreign agendas, Germany was one of the few true active posts in the crisis.
Germany accounted for nearly 11% of all trade worldwide. This cannot be compensated for overnight. What hurts even more, is the loss of German products. It is not clear to the public, how many things are from Germany or have components from there. A whole range of German products are unsexy compared to the glamour of an iPod. But an iPod is not vital, unlike those products. Germany produces...produced 80% of all pumps in water purification equipment! There are scores of products not from Germany, that rely on parts or tools from Germany to be made.

Earth lost it´s two largest chemical factory complexes in this Event. We had the second-largest, which now resides on the bottom of a new lake, the BASF complex went missing with Germany and their other chemical factories were nothing to sneeze at. In addition with the damages caused by the Event in the other chemical world leaders, global chemical production fell 50%.
I have prepared a thorough paper, you can read the conclusions in detail, so to be blunt: If, whatever spirited Germany away, does not return her, we will have a deep recession globally until roughly the forties or longer, if mistakes are made. The world economy was shaky already and then losing one of the top 4 powerhouses overnight cannot be compensated earlier.
Even if Germany somehow returns, with her industry and infrastructure intact, the damages on the northern hemisphere and by extension to the global transportation network are so heavy, that we would have a recession until the early 20s."

The silence greeting that statement was telling.

"I...see. What about other regions hit by this strange event?"

"Mr. President, southern Europe is in chaos. Germany was the only thing keeping them afloat. With the exception of Italy, they all are bankrupt, but even the Italians have big problems. Old divisions broke out and South Tyrol unilaterally declared itself independent and then directly reunified with Austria. There is the real possibility that the Lombardy follows the Tyrolians and declares itself independent. Hardly surprising, since both had long feuds with Rome and now with North and South Italy fully severed from each other...
Eastern Europe copes relatively well, since they have a long tradition of improvising, but they feel the loss of Germany very keen, a lot of their progress was linked with the Germans.
Many fear a return of the Russians, which led Hungary to renew old contacts with the Austrians.

France and the Benelux came off relatively unscarred, but Belgium has a serious problem with the... Orcs in the East, coming in from the strange land which changed place with Germany.
Scandinavia came off lightly as well, most of the landscape changes happened in lightly populated regions and it might be the only European region with pre-Event stability.

Our friends the British, lost nearly no industry, but here the landscape changes made the roads a disaster and transportation is very limited even months after IT.

On the Arabian peninsular there is a water shortage of biblical proportions. The shifts in water reserves, ground water level, etc. led to a situation everyone against the other. I fear we lost control there fully.

Russia and China are silent on what happened to them, but their subdued international operations economically and politically for months despite opportunities, hint that they were hit as hard as we were.
If some nations can be called lucky, it is Ethiopia, Japan and the Senegal. While they have damages as well, in the case of Japan the epic changes sealed off 3 major fault lines around the Home Islands. This means Japan will have a sharply falling number of earthquakes and Tsunamis in the future.
Ethiopia and the Senegal are now two big forests with corresponding rainfall. This even helps direct neighbours in their fight against the desertification of Northern Africa.

Canada and Mexico, our direct neighbours report a mixed bag of changes. Tlaxcala, once a region with inferior soil, has now fields with breadbasket level fertility. On the other hand, Ciudad Juarez, one of Mexico´s largest, but an infamous, cities suddenly found itself transported from the Rio Grande into Baja California.
In Canada, the whole Hudson Bay region and quite a bit of further inland areas have now a more moderate climate, comparable to Europe´s on the same latitudes, but the St. Lawrence River is now a lake..."

Two weeks later, late at night the German Navy Headquarters

Captain Werner usually did not like to work too long at the desk, his wife was dead against it. But these days headquarters was busy as hell - the Navy was expanding, many bottlenecks and shortcomings due to a lack of suppliers had to be rectified.
On top of that the Papenburg raid had really kicked the anthill as the Berlin Government screamed for a response, but given the distance to Hag Graef it was very hard to mount something beyond something symbolic.
The German navy had ships for fighting submarines, but there no really dangerous ones around. Actually, sub warfare was now only for keeping sea monsters at bay.
The German navy had ships to defend against airplanes, but there was no creditable threat in numbers. For a good old-fashioned surface bombardment the 76 mm guns on the active German ships were much too small and he had nothing to ship soldiers over big distances.
To think about something for air support was out of the question.
The Class 125 Frigates would be about right for the shore bombardment part but they were not due for 2-3 more years and critical parts, like their Italian guns, were not delivered before the Weltensprung. Rheinmetall and Thyssen-Krupp were working on that problem, having enough old blueprints and prototypes in all classes.

As long as he was on the staff of the Navy it was his job to propose how to make bricks without straw. Being lost for a creative answer he was idly scanning old projects that had been rejected before. He had already found a partial answer that he had noted down and that had motivated him to look deeper into his files.
He was about to skip the next one which was very old, very Cold War and a suggestion for Anti-Submarine Warfare when something caught the eye.
Now that could be interesting, very interesting…
He started writing a recommendation for further study while the File was still open on the Computer in the background.
“Project Aparaho”

2 Months later, Hamburg, Blohm & Voss Shipyards, Dock Elbe 17

The Blohm & Voss yard was one of the oldest and most experienced yards in Germany and had built some very famous ships, like the “Europa” Passenger liner or the “Bismark”, but the Project they took now was unusual even for them.
Everybody was ultra-careful when manoeuvring the ship into the dock. While it was B&V`s largest there was few space left, in some cases just a handspan. Already teams were working on the ship, one of them removing the old name. When one looked loosely one could still read the name “Marco Polo”.
At another dock two Frigates were modified with a crew joking about putting it in before-and then pulling it out-and then putting it in again…..

Several months later, Papenburg

Ralf Winkler and his wife came back home from the unveiling of the newest part of the Veteran memorial in Papenburg. It now showed a new face with the Dead of the “Battle of Papenburg” besides the names of the fallen from two world wars.
While his wife put out some afternoon cake on the Balcony table, Ralf came back in and sorted the mail he just retrieved from the mailbox. “Did you see Lt. Fredriksen dear? He looked like an old man, did you not say you treated him?”
“Yes honey, but Atropine is no miracle cure, his nerves will probably never regenerate right. But at least he is alive, that has to do. Now let’s see, what do we have here.. advertising, advertising... I always wonder how they still have paper for that…no, I will not throw it away dear…Federal ministry of Defence?...WHAT??

Ulthuan, Tower of Hoeth

The old Elf set cross-legged in a circle of arcane symbols and candles. Some of the Symbols seemed to glow by themselves, while seemingly shifting from one shape to another. Would there have been an observer, he could not have said when such a shift started or end, now how they had shifted, if at all.
The eyes of the elf were open, but there focus would have shown the hypothetical observer clearly that they were not looking at anything within their field of view.
Finally he ended his meditation and started breathing more deeply. It was good that no observer was present as the dry coughing caused by the deep breath and the stale air would strongly detract from the unflappable facade the elf always tries to project.
Standing up slowly and making sure that all limbs had circulation again he left for the anteroom of his meditation chamber before summoning his aide. “Aeolus, assemble our gear, we have a long trip to take.”
“Master, you never did that in living memory, what is it?”
“I have seen a vision of a great undertaking that I must take part in.”
“Where do we go master?”
“To Germany, where Teclis should have gone to. He simply is too young to understand that what voyage he and his pupils are on, could have been done later. There are dark clouds over humans and Elves.”

“Seeadler” at Sea, Sea of Claws

To say that the Seeadler was a maze below decks was a severe understatement, it was the maze to end them all. Sometimes it seemed like something Goedel or Esher would dream up, and unfortunately some parts of it were a badly vented maze. Such a place was the material storage which was checked by a couple of medics for contents. Amazingly they did not feel the room as stuffy, but rather liked it.
After 1 hour of stupid but necessary work, everybody looked at each other and decided for an unauthorized break. A quickly chewed gum was placed over the sole smoke detector of the room and the cigarettes and lighters came out.

The first lighter to go produced a much more spectacular effect than envisioned-the hair and clothes of the would-be smoker caught fire immediately, as did some of the normally unignitable stores and the others in the room.
Nobody had realized that two 30 liter Oxygen bottles had not been sufficiently closed during their last inspection, raising the oxygen content of the room from 21 to more than 30%, fires are very spectacular then.
Only one of the 5 Medics in the room escaped, badly burned, the others were dead. Over the next months the survivor often wished he had not.
An inauspicious start for the largest navel undertaking of Germany for more than 60 years.

D+11 Dornier "Seastar", approaching Task Force

Ilthis was an irritated Elf. Not because he was flying in a strange machine - he had foreseen that and knew he would land safely. Not because he had reached the Germans so late that they had to send him after the Task Force he wanted to join by a “plane”. The Germans needed him so much they would have surely held their Fleet in port for him. Not because the Germans were not polite, on the contrary, even if they had a disturbing tendency to treat him like an equal and not one of the greatest mages alive.

It might have been Aeolus, his apprentice and helper. In order to look after his masters well-being he had to contact the Germans a lot but he seemed to be too much taken by them and their “technology”. That this technology was making his job much easier than normal, hot water on demand, Laundry immediately available, food on order might have something to do with it.
That the Germans treated the youngling like an adult, which he surely was not might also work into it.

At present he was looking out of the Window and got explanations by the officer seated next to him. As there was nothing better to do he decided to take a look as well and to listen in on the explanations given to his aide.
“The two ships over there are “Bremen” and “Köln”, part of the Escort fleet which protects the rest of the fleet from enemy ships, Critters and similar things. There are two more like them on the other side of the Fleet which we cannot see now.
The 3 Ships in that line over there are “Sachsen”, “Hamburg” and "Hessen"-they are our bombardment squadron, but they can also protect the fleet from Dragons.
The ships in the middle, look THERE, are the supply ships “Berlin” “Frankfurt am Main” and “Freiburg” - the latter is a converted civilian tanker, they all have the fuel we need to move this fleet along.
The plane then made one of it`s disconcerting turns which made the sea look sideways instead of down, changing the angle of their view. 3 much bigger ships than the ships seen before now came into view. They looked decidedly different from the ships seen so far, not only bigger but well-different.

“Ah, these are the troop transports “Papenburg” and the “Regensburg” – they used to be cruise ships. And there we have the “Seeadler”. Up to now Ilthies was not greatly impressed, Asur could fill the seas with sails and wood if they wished and here came less than 20 ships. What kind of great undertaking was this?
Now that they flew a lot closer he could make out humans on the ship for the first time, giving him a yardstick to measure the ship against. For a second his brain simply did not believe his own conclusions, no ship could be THIS big and not be build with magic like the Arcs of their misguided cousins.

But there it was. Recovering somewhat he again listened to the officer who was obviously excited about this leviathan
"396 meters long, 53 meters across. Engine has 108000 horsepower, good enough for 24 knots. It has 12 27 mm autocannons and numerous machine guns. But its main claim to fame is under that long shed over there, you will see later."
After that a crewmember reminded him to fasten a “seatbelt” which he learned to appreciate on landing and when the plane was lifted on deck of the ship by crane.
Much later on that evening when he was about to go to sleep he realized what made him feel so strange about the Germans: They did not stink. Neither the soldiers or their ships, it was rather strange, did they really wash themselves and their clothing like civilized beings?

Humboldt University, Audimax, Berlin

Owing to the fact that the first real report of the Exploration teams was important for several ministries, which meant a large group of persons needed to be in the know and a large number of exposits, the largest auditorium of the prestigious Humboldt University had been cordoned off by security.
Maike Herligkoffer and her old Professor, Siegmar von Schürbein, were the two scientists delivering the report, enriched with showings of the knick-knacks and foundlings brought back.

"While there is a baffling numbers of languages which are similar to our Earth-languages, most obviously the Reikspiel of the Empire, in the Southlands and the Far East we recorded human languages with no connection to Earth. We make an assumption here, but the evidence hints to the possibility that these groups are the true natives of this World, unlike the most certainly transplanted people of the larger nations."

"Dr. Herligkoffer, how complete is the exploration of this world? And even more important, what about the local nations?"

"Well, the exploration will not be complete for years, maybe decades to come. We still have a lot of white spots concerning the deep interior of most continents, but when it comes to the major nations, our maps which came with us to this place are more often correct than not, except the scaling, the distances vary be a wide margin in some cases.
Concerning diplomacy, Herr Minister... We had more than one harrowing experience with the local cultures. This is a hostile world-"

"Understatement of the month!"

"But we have managed to open diplomatic relations with 41 nations up to this day and are working on more. I have to admit, in this count are several so called Border Principalities included, which are not overly large."

"What about the Great Powers?"

"So and so, I´m afraid. I don´t think we have to remind you about the very tense situation along the western border-"

"Sorry to interrupt you Maike," could be heard coming from the chancellor, who was a bit acquainted with the young scientist, looking up from her cell phone display, "There are disturbing news coming in. The Daimyo assembly in Kagoshima informed me that one of their recon teams encountered one Bretonnian army traversing the Reik into Nipponese territory, the one we already feared was coming. But the 55th Landwehr reports a second Bretonnian army preparing to cross the Reik several kilometer north of Xanten.
The only saving grace is that this world runs slower than Earth. We have enough time to finish this meeting, which is important for our outlook on the next future too and then go into a strategy sessions on how to handle the Bretonnian problem. Maike, please continue."

Several state secretaries could be heard moving and leaving, preparing the coming meetings.

"Eh, thank you, Frau Bundeskanzlerin! Well, about Bretonnia does not need more to be said. The situation is now fully self-explanatory.
The relations with the Empire are clear as well. I think you know more than us. Kislev is very cautious, but that the Empire has opened relations with us, works in our favour. How the future develops concerning that country hinges on our behaviour. Help against the Chaos hordes is always welcome to the subjects of the Tzarina.
The Dwarfs, as far as we can say for now, are negatively influenced by our arrival. We act as the final straw in a division which had been brewing for centuries. Dwarf society is very conservative, but there are elements present which are more progressive. Our mastery over things the Dwarfs saw as their sole specialty, brought out this conflict into the open. Until this internal problem is solved, we can anticipate help in the case of a major Chaos-incursion and trade, but more is very improbable.

After their serious loss at Swinemünde, we have opened relations with two major Norse tribes, the Skraelings and Gothlings. Trade, done with foresight, might turn around their perception of us. We are able to deliver things essential to their survival up North, this is a trump. We might be bring one or two others of their greater tribes at the tables, but not more.

Estalia, Tilea and the Border Princedoms are another thing to be careful with. Their internal divisions make stable relations with more than parts of the full territories difficult.

Albion can be put on the backburner for now. The local "British" are an extremely insular society and difficult to reach. It seems a magical effect makes pinpointing the position of the Islands very tricky. The main reason to keep watch is the fact, that several other nations have some colonies there."

"I call it refreshing that the Limeys here do not anything to frak up the balance of Power for once. A toast to the fantasy version of the fruity UKIP!"
Suppressed laughter could be heard among the attending people.

"The polar opposite, as far as islands go, is Ulthuan. Their mastery over magic make the High Elves a force to be reckoned with and they are the main colonial power on this world. Unfortunately from our perspective, them being Elves and a state as near to a true Great Power in Earth definition, makes them supremely confident. And-"

"In other words, they are arrogant, smug assholes on the same scale as the Darkies, just less sadistic, correct?"

"I would not have said it in these words, but you could see it so, if you wish. Araby is nearly the same as our version. A patchwork of feuding Sultanates, Emirates, all working in a web of ever-changing alliances. If not for the raw materials we dearly need, most importantly oil, I would advice to keep away. But since this is not feasible, we should keep acquaintances' with a handful of states only, to keep us from getting pulled into the bloody feuds there.

The Kingdoms of Ind are a larger, more stable version of Tilea and the Border Principalities. In the future this might become one of our most important trade partners, but at the moment we have relations opened only with the Mogul of Eschnapur.

As we hoped Nippon reacted favourably to our help for their lost brothers and sisters. Considering the circumstances on this world, we could keep them accepting if we ever would incorporate the splinter into Germany. But they showed their potential already. For the okay concerning the Kagoshima region, they want some help and a most favoured trade partner status. We gave them a guarantee for that, I hope this is... was correct?"

"Yes, opening friendly relations with as much nations as possible can only be helpful in the long run. This world has far worse enemies in petto than grumbling competitors."

"Cathay is another twin of an Earth nation here on this world. In a sense, they are as closed a society as the Nipponese are. Imagine China two hundred years back, but more aggressive in foreign matters. But where we have an opening with the Nipponese, with the Cathayans we have to begin from the start. A first line of consultations have begun, but we need more time to breach the layers of red tape. Fortunately, trade possibilities will not be curtailed by this.
There is a multitude of other human, non-human and even monstrous societies in existence. We estimate the number of sovereign nations to be higher than on Earth. We have counted 91 so far and from hearsay we can presume to be more than 150 still unaccounted for by our teams.

The greatest question in this early stage of our forced settling here is: How far do we go with trade?
To keep a semblance of the Germany we were, we need massive trade. Not only for our economy, but for crucial raw materials as well. It might taste bad in the mouths of many, but as far as trade goes, some monstrous societies show bigger promise than a lot more "normal" ones. So what shall we do?"

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-27 05:19am

OLG Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany

Az. 1 Ss 354/12

10.06.2521

Urteil

Im Namen des Volkes


The accused Ademir, Umuthir and Rasin are sentenced to lifelong imprisonment because of murder and attempted murder in coincidence and in multiplicity with aggravated assault and dangerous assault. The accused Hesht, Oshin, Iolaos, Jirana, Erotot, Fis, Grana, Halos, Ila, Jasla, Rotus, L (never identified himself with a real name) and Garnir will be sentenced because of complicity of said crimes, Hesht and Oshin also because of complicity of complicity of deprivation of personal freedom. The accused Hesht is sentenced to 10 years und 11 months, the accused Oshin to 10 years, the accused Iolaos to 9 years und 10 months, the accused Jirana to 9 years und 6 months, the accused Erotot to 9 years, the accused Fis to 8 years 11 months, the accused Grana to 8 years und 7 months, the accused Halos to 8 years und 5 months, the accused Ila to 8 years und 3 months, the accused Jasla to 7 years und 9 months, the accused Rotus to 7 years 6 months, the accused L to 7 years, 3 months und the accused Garnir to 6 years und 9 months imprisonment

Reasons:

I.

The accused are Druchii. On 02.09.2012 AD they captured as a part of a raiding team a small Imperial convoy in the Sea of Claws. A part of the crew was tortured and killed and the other crew was forced to drive the ships to the German coast, where they arrived on 03.09.2012 AD.
They landed near the coast near Papenburg and raided the farm of the Martensen family. There they tortured and killed the husband and the two children of the family. Only Mrs. Martensen survived, albeit with grievous injuries. She is still in coma. Because of an emergency call by Mrs. Martensen a SEK team of the local police was able to retake the farm and kill the advance party. Shortly after the police team was besieged themselves, as the main force arrived. Some hours later they were relieved by soldiers of Landwehrregiment XX. In the following fights the Druchii raiding band was enclosed themselves. The accused are the survivors of this raiding party. Their leader and some others escaped.
Knowing the result of the fight, the other Druchii set sails and killed the surviving crew of the convoy except three, who were also injured in grievous ways.
The Federal Persecution Authorities and pleaded to sentence the accused because of murder, attempted murder, membership in a terroristic organization, grievous assault, dangerous assault, deprivation of personal freedom and violating of the Weapon Law.
The accused have pleaded being not guilty as they were members of the forces of a foreign country and the local customs don’t protect the civil population.
These arguments were only valid to a certain point.

II.

1.

The Druchii are considered to be legally humans according to § 3 Nr. 8 of the Rassengleichstellungsgesetzes from 14.07.2012.

2.

a)

A criminal liability of the accused because of actions in the so called Battle of Papenburg does not exist. The raiding team must be considered as part of the forces of a foreign state.
Naggaroth is a state. She has the given characteristics of a state. She has an area, a population and a government. That this government is ruled by changing constellations and in dependence to certain groups is no point against this, as Germany herself is governed in a similar way, meaning with changing governments and in dependants of certain groups. Additionally parts of Naggaroth may be considered as states as well and the whole country might be a kind of a confederation similar to the EU, which also is considered having statehood.
Such a raiding team is also part of the armed forces of Naggaroth and have the status of combatants. This requires being members of the armed forces of these nation, militias, a paramilitary group getting the status of combatants after sending an according message to the enemy or of a levée en masse or guerilla fighters, if they had shown their weapons openly. In Naggaroth Black Corsairs are hired to make raiding tours. But they are also used in defense as well as offensive. Although they don’t fit totally into the scheme known on Earth, they share most characteristics. That they are similar to the freelancer of the old days is another question. But insofar the local customs are to be considered, which make it necessary to reduce the status to the levels of the Thirty Years war, at least considering the status of being a combatant. A comparison with the mercenary armies of that time is mostly valid, as despite the rudimentary customs of that time they have to be considered as combatants.
That their aims were the capture of slaves and plundering of villages and towns doesn’t change anything. Such illegal actions are only war crimes, which have to be tried against the planners and financiers of this raid.
Only war crimes can cause a culpability of combatants. During the fights no such actions took place. The use of such weapons might be an insult, but in this world there are no such rules banning weapons causing much pain. Because of this it can’t be punished here as well. Furthermore it would be more a question of the culpability of their leaders.

b)

Culpability because of the deed before and after the fighting, the murder respectively the attempted murder of the crews of the convoy and the family Martensen as well as the deprivation of personal freedom of the slaves on the Druchii ships is given.

aa)

This isn’t excluded that in this case other rules of warfare have to be considered than on Earth. Because here the killing of innocents is considered as a crime as well. The accused confess themselves, they don’t grant pardon nor beg for pardon. They know, that their deeds are “wrong” in the eyes of the laws. This excludes a mistake of law in the sense of § 17 StGB. Such error is given, if the accused doesn’t know their deeds are forbidden, at least in the sphere of an ordinary person, and considers it as allowed. That is not the case here. The accused know, that murder and looting is banned here as well as in their home county. But not knowing the consequences is not a mistake of law as of § 17 StGB.

bb)

A culpability because of grievous robbery of the convoy ships in the sense of §§ 249, 250 StGB is not given here as well. It is already questionable, if they wanted to keep the convoy ships. But even if we could say so, the boarding of enemy ships including merchant vessels and their use are respected rules of war and thus are justified by them as well. It is also legally accepted that boarded ships might be rebuilt as auxiliary ships, in this case as troop transports. That they are not registered by any navy is only a formality, which is not to be accepted any more as this criteria does not exist here. Even if there would be such a register, the conditions of the certain case might make such impossible, especially if there is no possibility to contact the home country. Furthermore in history there were also German manned ships, which were not included into the register, which also may be secret, but still considered implicitly as warships.

cc)

Culpability because of murder of the convoy crew in 84 cases and the attempted murder in three cases in coincidence with dangerous resp. grievous assault is given here.

Murder is given here. Murder is according to § 211 StGB inter alia a killing of a person in a cruel way or with lust to kill. Both are given here.
Lust to kill is the morbid joy to destroy a human life. Here their death should be a warning towards the survivors, a sacrifice for their god Khaine and simple joy. The latter point truly fulfills the conditions of a lust to kill. This was admitted by all of the Druchii. That they had answered the questions not knowing or understanding their rights and so violate § 136 StPO, which would lead to exclusion as proof, is not given either. Although it is necessary that the accused know their rights and also understand the introductions of their rights, there is no doubt they understood them. Not believing them or even despising the German juristical system does not mean not to understand them. Like the interrogation of the accused Jasla showed, her rights were introduced at the very beginning, but she did not want to hear them as she showed hatred towards all “Humie” rules. She understood very well her rights but did not follow them. Thus their confesses are valid proves.
Also the socialization in a society, where such actions are considered as adequate, does not excuse them either. Because such a socialization means not knowing that their deeds might be a crime elsewhere. But that’s not the case here, as the Druchii know very well, that their deeds are considered as crimes elsewhere. This includes the membership in the cult of Khaine as well. Every other opinion would violate Art. 1 stanza 1 GG. The Pride of Man is universal. Every German authority is kept to uphold it. Thus they are also bound to stop Druchii ships and liberate their slaves wherever they found them out of the national waters of Naggaroth. As de facto Germany is at war with Naggaroth, see the declaration of self defence of the government from 11.05.2012, further actions are also justified.

Here also cruelty in the sense of § 211 stanza 2 is given. This is true if the killing is done by means to exaggerate the needed force to kill. This happened here as well, like the autopsies proved (p. 105-1009 of the file). The force used was so exaggerated, which is beyond imagination of most normal people and even is seen very rarely by psychopaths.

The survivors were also hurt in the intention to murder. Because some of them had received lasting damages a grievous assault is given in the sense of § 226 StGB. The assault on the other survivors, as being hurt by a weapon or a dangerous tool, means a dangerous assault in the sense of §§ 223, 224 StGB.

The officers Arasu, Uluthir and Lasin are to be sentenced as offenders and not as assistants in regards to the murder. Offenders are, who have an interest in the deed, the participation at the deed and the control over the deed. This is here the case. Both had their share on the prey promised and because of this a financial interest in succeeding with the raid. They controlled their troops and thus did not only participate but also control the raid. Also they could give orders to their troops and thus did control them. Thus they also controlled the deed, as their men would not have committed crimes if they were not ordered to do so. They did not prevent these crimes. In contrast, this was proven by the confessions of the other accused, they did not give any order to stop the massacre. Without these orders the massacres would not have taken place. Both officers had the duty to stop these massacres. Only the attempt to do so would here had been sufficient. But they did not do so.

These confessions are believable. They revealed details, which were only to people, who were witnessing the killings. Furthermore both officers had confessed, that such killings were usual to frighten the other survivors. And for fun. Because of this they had a responsibility for the deed as such.

The other accused had no such authority, but were bound to the authority of the other officers. Because of this only assistance is given here. They all were there and agreed to the killings openly and thus gave at least psychological assistance. This is also true for Z, as he as naval officer, the only one to survive, had no authority in the raid.

For the other killings after the defeat the accused are responsible as well, as it belonged to the plan to kill the survivors in case of defeat.

cc)

A cupability because of murder in three cases in coincidence with attempted murder and grievous assault in one case on the Martensen family is given here as well. Here, people were tortured and killed on a bestial way, partly also because of fun. Here a victim, Frau Martensen, survived with permanent injuries.

That none of the accused was there, is irrelevant. It was part of the plan to retrieve information with torture and killing. One group did that while the other was going to secure the other group. Such planned division of work is sufficient to cause the culpability of the accused as offenders, Arasu and Uluthir, or, as the rest, as assistants.

dd)

Because of the enslaving of the crews of their Druchii ships and their mistreatment all accused except Garnir are to be sentenced because of assistance of deprivation of personal freedom and in coincidence with assault, dangerous assault and grievous assault, §§ 239, 223, 224, 226, 52 StGB. They did not have any authority over the ships. They only supported this system by joining a force using them. With their plan to rob also new slaves and the use of slaves as oars, they supported the system and used it to do their crimes. Because of this they were also supporting the slavery of the crews. It doesn’t matter slavery is allowed in their system. As a crime against the pride of man according to Art. 1 stanza 1 of the constitution slavery is forbidden everywhere outside areas, where slavery is legal. Using slaves outside these areas is a crime.

Z as the only surviving naval officer is fully responsible for these crimes as he had the direct authority. Because of this he was to be sentenced as direct offender.

ee)

Other delicts are not obvious. Either they were parts of the rules of warfare, like the capture of the crew of the convoy, or an object of legal protection was not in imminent danger, at least how the accused thought. No civilians were in danger nor any property could be taken as prey.

3.

The accused Arasu, Uluthir and Lasin are to be sentenced with lifelong imprisonment. The special grievousness of the guilt is determined. It is given because of the circumstances of the mass destruction of human life and the bestial circumstances under which that happened. That the accused show no remorse cannot be held against them. Missing remorse does not aggravate the sentence. However, missing remorse may be a sign for the danger of the public. That has to be considered, once they want to get out on parole.

The other accused are to be sentenced with imprisonment like stated in the tenor. Basing punishment is in all cases assistance of murder in two cases. The other crimes are raising the punishments. The given punishments are sufficient and necessary. That they are socialized in such a society can only be considered in favour for them in a small way. The kind of their crimes are too horrible to explain that with such a society. Furthermore the lack of reasons of such a cruelty is raising the guilt as is the kind how the deeds were committed. However, they are Druchii and will have a harder time in German prisons. This is however compensated by the fact, that Druchii live longer than Humans.

A preventive detention is excluded as the Druchii and the Ferderal Republic of Germany are de facto in a state of war. Should they still be a danger to Germany they can be retained as prisoners of war. If the war is over, they likely will not be a danger for Germany any longer.

Same day, Seeadler , 4 decks lower than Ilthies`s cabin, workshop

When the crew of the Seeadler had learned that among the “special guests” they were taking aboard would be an imperial Technikus named “Fräulein Meikle”, everybody was at a loss at what to do with her. Magicians they could use, but a technicus of a civilization which still burned witches?
This had lasted exactly as long as she arrived and her at-sea trunk followed her like an eager puppy on 12 legs! One sailor quickly learned that it was not a good idea to get in the way of “Luggage”, but for credentials it served just fine. There was obviously a way to join magic and technology that the Empire knew and should be looked at. That the “Fräulein” was used to work with overbearing men using guile and charm, did not hurt either.
But from sheer necessity the crew of this ship contained a far greater proportion of tinkerers which made ends meet with whatever was there. Germany still was not able to quench all demands. Some things simply could not be found, for others the needed infrastructure had to be build or re-build, it needed time this Operation could not wait for - and for that reason alone the Fräulein had taken the ships artificers by storm.


Presently they were burning the midnight oil in an effort to make something work which Meikle wanted to call “Fräulein Meikles precise techomagicological indicator” and for which the crew still searched for a better name.
The problem at the moment was that the needle of the instrument wanted to show something-but the poor bearings which the Empire could provide did not allow them to do so. So two of the ships weapons mechanics fitted the bearings from two naval clocks into the machine. (they would not be missed by the “donators” everybody hoped)
When they closed the lid all dared to breathe again. Pushing his jewelers glass up, one of the mechanics picked up a phone and made a call.
“Meister Frei, would you be so kind? Yes now. Thanks in advance and a good night.”
“Ups, that late already, not lets see…..”
All of a sudden the ornate indicator inside the wooden case started to move and then to stay in one direction, shaking only slightly.
“Not bad at all Fräulein if I may say so myself - that is going to help!” Fräulein Meikle executed a acceptable courtesy and then looked to the picture of an older blond man on the wall. “Do you think it would please your Patron Saint, this ….”
“More like mascot then Patron Saint, Frau Meikle, and his name is MacGyver. But yes, I think it would please him greatly, wherever he may be now...”

Troop Transport “Papenburg”, on the Big Ocean

Ralf Winkler was standing in front of the Cabin of his CO and counted his sins. He had no idea what could be the reason for his summons, but his lesser knowledge about military life had during the last months lead to some embarrassing gaffes he was not aware of when he committed them.
To his surprise he was not just greeted by Lt. Schneider, which he expected, but also by a Captain he vaguely recalled seeing before. When he was introduced as Captain von Marwitz he immediately recognized him as the Captain of the 331 Parachute battalion which had fought with their Landwehr company in the battle of Papenburg.
Captain von Marwitz started after the greetings:
“Good morning Winkler, sit down. We do not have much time to waste, so lets get to it: You may have heard about the accident at the Seeadler? It took 5 of my medics, and I am looking for replacements. You have experience - do you think you can do it?”


“I think so, yes.”

“Then welcome to the assault.”

” If I may one request? Nobody tells my wife I volunteered, or she will be more dangerous to me than the Dark Elves..”


“Can do! Assemble your stuff-we fly back to the “Adler” in 2 hours after I had some other interviews.”


Same date, Seeadler, on the Big Ocean

Ilthis would normally eat a solitary breakfast but thought it would be a good idea to use this to have a look at the other mages the Germans had managed to recruit for their venture. He watched his Aide passing along the counter where food was distributed and then bring him a tray with the results.
He was pleasantly surprised: How did the Germans manage to keep food that fresh at sea? Also the water he drank was somewhat tasteless but obviously clean and fresh, a far cry from the muddy brackish fluid he had expected.
He looked around and saw several mages of the Light, Bright and Jade orders sitting at the tables. Many of them stole a glance in his direction when they thought he was not looking. Poor humans, being restricted to only one School of magic! On the other hand they should be thankful they had been thought of at all.
Suddenly he felt a strong presence behind him and turned in this direction. An impossibly tall human crouched through the entrance and then erected himself to his 2,10 meters height. Very obviously a member of the Bright Order. Ilthis thought he should be able to place him somewhere but could not. The Mage caught his eye and moved to him.
“Ilthis Silvermoon of the Brotherhood of the Tower!”

“Hannes Flammbach of the Bright Order!”

Now that was an interesting revelation: This mage was powerful enough that he had a name even in Saphery - it seemed the Germans were not playing around here.
“I have a meeting with the Germans in a few minutes, but I hope that we can meet shortly after that.”
“I would welcome that, Master Silvermoon.”


Seeadler, Wardroom

The picture of sail ship caught Ilthis´ eye. Looking closer he read the name “Seeadler” below.What was the meaning of that?
“This is the original “Seeadler” from nearly a hundred of our years ago. Like this ship she was a converted civilian ship and had an illustrious career. She managed to evade her foes for more than a year, sank more than a dozen ships and killed nobody during the process. A good example to follow, but I fear that this time it is not possible.
The name is also a play on our task, so let me introduce on what we plan to do..."


A habitat Tower in Naggaroth

The Tales describing Lady Moriths beauty are many, describing in various ways a supreme Dark Elf with the sign of Slanesh who could hold the mind (and other parts) of Elves and human in thrall. Currently no casual observer would be able to match the sight in front of him with these tales as her face was coated with blood and less savory substances. Both of her arms were inside a would-be witch who had failed her duel she was to fight for final admission into the cult.


She had been pathetically grateful when Morith spared her life, only to find that her fate was far more cruel then simple death. It was a testament to Lady Morith`s art that she was still clutched in the claws of unbearable pain and ecstasy after all she went through.
All of this was of no interest to Morith who`s eyes were turned inward. Her doings had amused one of the demons of Slanesh enough that he gave her what she needed - information. When he (?)...it was finished she looked down and by a quick turn of her hands ruptured blood vessels that would kill her victim eventually.
“Hag Graef is going to be assaulted? Now what do we do about that? This could be really interesting." Absentmindedly she licked along her fingers while pondering what course to take. Helping Malus Darkblade without recompense was out of the question – but a help at the right time might help her establish her cult there in the open. So many options-so much excitement to be had…


Reichstag, Berlin, Germany


"Due to the ever increasing discrepancy between our Anno Domini calendar and the Kaiserlichen Kalender (imperial calendar) of the Empire, this House decided with a 63% majority to change date counting to the imperial version. Our Earth calendar will be continued for historic reasons in archivist context.
On comming Monday at exact midnight, all calendars are to be changed to Sigmarstag, the 25th Nachhexen 2521 KK (IC). To keep an equal amount of weekend days, the method developed by Prof. Henscher, with reciprocing 2 and 3 day weekends, is to be applied.

In light of the changed circumstances on this new world and the fact that no other ratifying states have crossed over with us, the government of the Federal Republic of Germany suspends the treaties of The Hague and Geneva concerning certain weapon systems.
While the ethic guidelines will still be followed, Germany has to potentially use all weapons in her arsenal. There are genocial menaces which cannot be overcome without resorting to weapons banned on Earth."

Railway Station Nuln, Nuln, the Empire

While there were other important production centers in the Empire, Nuln was the industrial heart of Sigmar´s Realm. It could be seen in the great Forges of the City and since the arrival of the Germans in the many construction sites. One of the biggest was the Railway Station, which had been partly build into the northwestern city wall and was now being opened. The population of the city had gathered in strength for the first train to arrive and depart Nuln.
There would be a big feast after the inauguration of the station. While the single track was an improvisation until the two to the height of engineering built tracks would reach the city later, the social impact was gigantic.
Some philosophers of the local university already discussed how it could be that nobody had thought of such a transportation system before. People, Food, Goods could be transported easier and in greater numbers now. The industry of Nuln had begun to think big as well. New sites were erected, old one expanded and even some German firms began to build dependacies in the city.

The railway net of the Empire still stood at the beginning, with only Altdorf and Nuln connected to Germany and Kagoshima now, but kilometer by kilometer, day by day, it was expanded. The elector-counts were many things and extra competitive among each other, but after their visit to Germany, one had to be blind, deaf and dumb to not recognize the advantages of the railway.
In one of the few really concerted votes of the Elector-Counts, they pledged themselves to the construction of a nationspanning net of railways.
The crowd, from the lowliest beggar to the Elector-Countess herself, began to roar and celebrate when the steady puff-puff-puff of the train´s steam engine could be heard.

Imperial Palace, Altdorf, the Empire

"... and so, Your Highness, I needed to tell you this horrific prophecy. All our lives are in jeopardy", a chalk-white Grand Master of the Azyr Order told Emperor Karl-Franz his dream.

The Emperor was shaken, but able to keep it from the knowing eyes of the wizard. "I thank you in the name of the whole Empire. Not knowing the fate which could befall us, would only weaken us more, no matter how horrible the story you told me is.
I have to ask: How did your scrying effect get so good? Your farseeing was always a boon to our realm, but in the last months the men and women of the Order of the Heavens are outdoing all your former efforts in range and clarity."

"It is the German effect, your Majesty."

"The Germans? But they still are as magical as a stone, seen as a whole?"

"You are right, Sire, that even their strongest wizards are not advanced for now to exceed the basic cantrips. But they have an overflowing fundus of ideas. In some cases, we just had to finetune the winds a bit to make a leap in usability. Ironic, that our cousins are part of the reason the danger looming on the horizon has become so daunting and that we could predict it at all."

"Yes, Chaos is many things, but unfortunately not really dumb. The Chaos Gods recognize that with Germany at our side, we might someday challenge their grip on the Old World. If what you told me comes to fruition, the battles we have to prepare for, will make Sigmar´s battle at Black Fire Pass look like a skirmish.
Please, no word to anybody until I give you the confirmation. We have to prepare in silence for a time to keep a possible panic at bay. Only some trusted people can be given this information."

"I see, your Majesty. And if I may say so, it is the right call."

After the Grandmaster left the Emperor´s rooms, Karl Franz turned to a new feature of his office. A telephone, one of the few in Altdorf. Taking the horn, the ruler of the mightiest nation in the Old World thought about what he would say. Dear Angela, we have to meet as soon as possible.
My seers tell me about an unprecedented attack by Chaos forces. The ruinous Powers want to destroy and remake the Old World in their twisted image once and for all.
This attack had been in the making before you arrived, but now Chaos prepares a far more destructive and potent army than before. They see and fear your potential. A Storm of Chaos is brewing at the horizon...

A340, 12500 meters above Hag Graef

The pilots of this A340, nicknamed Kondor, were happy that the first half of this mission was over. These flights were the longest non-stop they ever took, necessitating a second crew to avoid fatigue. The take-offs were always harrowing as the plane was overloaded and would launch only after a long run up on one of Germany’s longest runways, preferably into the face of a strong wind.
This had become a little better when MTU had rigged up a water injection for the engines. This made full power really spectacular now, with black smoke coming out of the normally well behaved turbines and a truly wretched sound at full power but also increased thrust.
The once nicely furnished passenger liner now was practically empty after the cockpit, the cargo area behind the deck full of additional fuel tanks and a small rest room/lounge for the crews.

For the last 10 minutes banks of Cameras were running taking pictures in several angles and wavelengths, adding to the knowledge the German armed forces had about their target. The pictures would be home in 13 hours and would be send to the fleet just in time before the assault.

Same night, coast close to Hag Graef

The commandant of U35 watched the departure of the Special Forces party through his Zeiss Periscope and whished them luck. He had brought them unseen to this point, but now they were on their own. He had met these men, the close confines of his sub made anything else impossible and he pitied any Dark Elf crossing their path-but their mission was to evade all contact and observe.

6 days later, Coast before Hag Graef

Captain Werner was aware that command of the Seeadler was a blessing and a curse at the same time. While she was the biggest ship the German navy had ever fielded and the most versatile in some respects she was also an improvisation, a maintenance nightmare and an unknown quantity. He suspected the Navy had given him the command as he proposed this abomination which made the made the undertaking possible.

During the Cold War NATO had feared that there were not enough ships to escort the convoys from North America to Europe and protect against Soviet submarines.
One proposal to rectify this was Project Aparaho: Place special Containers on a standard container ship and place some Anti-submarine helicopters on it. The project died, mostly because there were too few "surplus" helicopters around. He had used this as inspiration for a ship to carry Helicopters, supplies and men far from Germany.

As the Marco Polo was in Wilhelmshaven´s new Freight Harbour at the time of the Weltensprung she was a natural candidate for such a conversion. She was far bigger than most carriers, so space was not a problem.
Since a surprising part of military hardware was containerized or could be made so it should have been easy to stuff everything necessary into the enormous hull-and it was.
Systems integration was the real problem and had cost him and his crew as well as the contractors countless hours to work out. In the end the problems could be overcome as Blohm &Voss was the world leader in modular systems on warships and his crew had shown uncanny talent for improvisation.
Many of them were older and had been drafted into the expansion of the German Navy. They had brought the knowledge from their civilian jobs into the ship and had never quit working on her problems in “innovative” ways. No wonder that Merchandize from the old MacGyver series was found everywhere on the ship.

Currently he watched from the bridge as the walls and roof of the hangar which covered most of the available deck space telescoped in to reveal the helicopters being readied. A flight deck with elevators would have been preferable, but was not possible in such a short time, so the helicopters were moved on motorized pallets to the areas of the hangar that could be opened. He had two such hangars. The bigger one before the Deckhouse sheltered 12 CH 53 Helicopters, the smaller one to the rear 6 Tiger UHT attack helis. It was not without risk. While the Marco Polo had theoretically space for a lot more helis, the ones used for this mission were a sizeable chunk of the combat ready machines of the new Helikopter Brigade Nord at Fritzlar.
Their first task would be to ferry the troops from his transports to the Seeadler. Then they would prepare for the real thing which was to start with Nightfall.

Same day, U32 close to harbour entrance of Hag Graef

There is probably no more claustrophobic experience to be had then getting into (or out of) a submarine via the torpedo tubes. Those who do so have to move in frigid water in darkness. The space is so limited that the breathing apparatus has to be removed from the back and pushed forward into the tube. Then inside it no longer possible to move the arms backwards as there is no space to do so. The Combat Divers which just undertook this evaluation getting back into their subs were taking it in stride and were happy with a job they thought of as well done. Whether it worked would be obvious soon enough.

U32 was still not used to the fact that they could use the Radio as much as they wanted and incurred no risk conveying the updated status to the Task Force. It remembered the history buffs among the crew about the "Good Times" of the German U-Boats in WW1 and the beginning years of WW2. But despite the new circumstances, radio silence still was used as much as possible, in case Germany would somehow shifted back to Earth.

Der Tag, shortly before Midnight, Dragon above the Hag Graef harbour

For about one year the Drachau had ordered a tighter security and more patrols with only few Druchii knowing why this was advisable. Naturally the tre reasons for the failure of the Raid in Germany had not been published much and was not big news, slave raids went wrong from time to time for all sorts of reasons and this one had been very long-range.
Searching the seas for ships on a moonless night seems to be futile, but the cold waters around Hag Greaf contained so much marine life that ships were bound to leave phosphorescent trails which could be seen quite well at night, especially by an Elf.

Actually the Dragon rider saw something different on the limits of his patrol area - a glow on the water he could not place at all. Flying closer to this he suddenly saw something like a long pole spewing fire from one end rising rapidly from the glow highlighting a strange ship. That the pole started to tilt in his direction had barely registered when he instinctively changed course. To his horror the weapon (what else could it be) changed course as well and closed the distance between them in heartbeats.
The blast/Fragmentation warhead of the ESSM Missile shredded the Dragon nearly as well as the Rider. They were the first Elf deaths of this Operation, but there were so many more that their names were all but forgotten.

Frigate “Sachsen”, shortly before the Harbour entrance of Hag Graef

“Tell CIC to scratch one Dragon. Unless otherwise directed we will begin the Bombardment as per Plan.”
The boatswain began to contact the Admirals staff aboard “Seeadler” while Captain Schmaeling stepped forward to the Officers and Warrants of the arty station. “Gentlemen, I believe it is time. Begin fire as planned.”
He walked to the bridge widows and watched as the big barrel of his main gun rose and the turret turned to the planned azimuth. The turret and gun looked strange, oversized and out of place on his ship-and they were. The former 76 mm rapid fire gun, so useful against aerial targets, had been replaced with a 155mm/L52 gun normally on top of a Panzerhaubitze 2000.

One of the best guns on Earth before the Weltensprung it had enormous range and firepower for this calibre. Of course the guns could not be switched so easily, but there was an elastic mounting that reduced recoil to manageable levels and many gun parts had been replaced by corrosive resistant ones.
Even so great care had to be taken that the interior of the Gun Turret was not too much exposed to the salt air. Inside the turret the long-promised power assisted loaders had been installed so that long arty missions were possible without undue crew fatigue.
The boatswain in the turret addressed his crew: “Ok folks: You know that infantry is the Queen of the Battlefield, right? And that Artillery is the King of the Battlefield? Well we all know what the King does for the Queen. So get to it, we have our work cut out.”

Shortly thereafter the guns on Sachsen and her two sister ships opened fire. As they wanted to avoid “collateral” damage and so not to waste ammo the special capabilities of the Monarc guns were used to max: a phased radar on the front of each turret measured the flight path of the projectiles. Where the shells diverted from the projected path coded signals were send to them and the fuses in front of the shell deployed small spoilers to change the flight path accordingly. This could only influence the range, not the bearing, but this kind of fire mission it was more than enough.
Before the first shell hit the 3 guns had launched nearly a ton of steel and explosives.
The main quay of Hag Graef sported many ships of various descriptions. There was everything from sleek skiffs and hydra ships to the less elegant trade ships that were at least as necessary for the life of Hag Graef as the better known warships.

All, these ships had two things in common: They were mostly empty with the crews on Land. And they would burn very well. Made with beautiful craftsmanship from dry wood, sealed with pitch and tar and powered by cloth and rope and well ventilated they were an arsonists dream.
Said arsonist would have given much for the munitions now raining down on the unprotected ships. At the appropriate height small burster charges ruptured the shells and distributed their payload of white phosphorus. Officially only used as “marker” or to block sight lines they were able to ignite everything in their path-and so they did.
In less than 5 Minutes practically all ships currently moored in harbour were hopelessly on fire and the bombardment was shifted elsewhere.
The few crewmembers and guards left on board jumped into the frigid waters to escape the fiery death which otherwise awaited them. The ones unlucky enough to be hit by pieces of the white phosphorus found to their horror that the phosphor would ignite again as soon as the lifted the parts hit above the water, killing most of the so effected in painful ways.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-27 08:28am

Seedler, 20 Miles from Hag Graef

Admiral Lerbs looked at the big LED Screens that some useful soul had rigged up to display the data that kept flowing in via the various data links of the navy as well as via wireless from others. Just now additional pictures from helicopter drones were displayed on two screens and showed the fire which spread over the harbor. He was aware that no plan survived contact with the enemy and that Germany did not have a big tradition on naval landings. On the other hand he could use wireless communication without any restraints and was sure that the combination of rapid, reliable communications, real-time intelligence, well-motivated troops and a shitload of firepower could overcome all obstacles in front of him. Beside that, it was time to write a new chapter in Germany´s naval history.
The only wild card in the game was magic, it remained to be seen how this would play out.

Mountain close to Hag Graef

Helmut Bär had not joined the navy so he could climb mountains for a living-and here he was, having hauled a big load of equipment up a mountain that overlooked Hag Greaf from the east. He was pretty sure that he had arrived undetected-this area was extremely barren-and that most of the excitement during the next hours was to keep the various bits and pieces he and his team had schlepped so far up running.
Besides keeping a camera running for the Navy he now started to lay a marking laser so that several shells from the bombardment squadron would land exactly where intended. Too bad there was no longer a GPS system, it would have made the job easier. For him and his team it was too late, but maybe the next generation of soldiers would have GPS again.
While his team member laid the Laser he kept scanning the surroundings with his Starlight Binox. When he spotted movement in his peripheral vision he quickly focused there only to find that a large group of Helicopters approached the Harbor from the East.

CH53 Helicopter on Approach to Hag Graef

Ilthies felt numb when he looked outside the Helicopter. He had been incredulous and felt slighted when he heard that he and the human mages were mostly there to protect the Germans from Dark Elven magic.
The other Mages were more convinced of that tactic as they had witnessed something called a “firepower demonstration”. Whatever they saw, it could not be any more convincing than the tableaux in front of him. The Quay and the ships lying at the roads were a sea of fire and the artillery fire had shifted to warehouses in the harbour district. Whatever was in these warehouses seemed to burn nearly as enthusiastically as the ships.

From the periphery of his vision he saw the ripple launch of several “missiles” from the German ships which arched over the Elven city to explode beyond it in the air. He thought he saw a dragon shape backlighted in one of the explosions, but that could have been a figment of his imagination.
He nearly missed two small underwater explosions close to the harbor entrances and wondered what it was when he spotted a line of bubbles across the bay-somehow the Germans managed to blow the Iron Chain which closed the entrance into the harbor proper.
A flickering light to the front was the next to catch his eye. Strangely they were under the helicopters in front of him but did not seem to harm them. Actually they looked a little like a cannon shooting in back and front at the same time-but at what were they shooting?

He was forcibly put back into his seat by an impetuous crewmember who quickly pulled his harness taught. He was about to protest this treatment when the helicopter rapidly changed altitude and the doors of the helicopters were opened to the roaring slipstream.
Seconds later the crew swung out weapons and started to fire long streams of shells at something unseen. When the side door gunner in his field of view swiveled the gun in a new direction the muzzle fire revealed the ugly shape of a harpy before several shells ripped her apart.
Then the big helicopter gave a lurch and a sickening sound was heard from the top of it-this is when he started into the litanies of protection. He had been in battle before, many times and was certainly no coward but things were happening too fast that he had no way to cope. His battles had also been quite violent but had taken hours or days to unfold. Here the destruction of the enemy happened in so far less time.

Tiger UHT

The Gunner in the front seat of the Tiger had a much better and less obstructed view than Ilthies but was also far more busy so he could only concentrate on his small part of the battle. Shooting down the swarm of Harpies that had risen from their caves to attack the strange invaders.
If he would have the time to reflect on it he would have been more than happy to have a gun under his helicopter-this was new. Before the Weltensprung the German army had rejected the GIAT 30 mm gun of the French Tigers because of excessive recoil, but the replacement had never been fitted.

Not being able to go back to the big brother across the Atlantic when things were tight focused the mind and budget - the Tigers got a 30 mm recoilless cannon of incredible firepower and accuracy for such a light helicopter. Presently he fired it in 3-round bursts at the bandits in front of him as quickly as he could aquire new targets. Together with his wingmate they cleared a path for the heavier transport helicopters to follow. Whatever they missed the CH 53 could take themselves with the door guns.
They could already see the LZ and hoped that his colleagues were as successful in clearing it as he was shooting Harpies.
Harpies are not very intelligent - while they have limited vocabulary they are not tool users and need no clothing or other amneties to spend thoughts on. Their legendary temper also limits social interaction. But even so the Harpies learned very quickly that tonight they were no predators and that something else had taken their place in the food chain. Taking more than 50% losses in 5 minutes of intense combat without anything to show for it they withdrew from combat. Flying to the hinterland they avoided their beastmasters which might have a different opinion.

Hellhole below Hag Greaf

Ulf Grimnison was still thinking it had been the right thing to spit on his warden. Unfortunately that had no resulted in him being quickly killed. The damn Elves had thrown him into a hellhole-several meters deep the drop was sure to cause injury but not to kill. Now he could see into the communal cell he and his former comrades had called home through a small hole-and his former cellmates could see and hear him die so he could perform a last service for his masters as an example what not to do.

He would have gladly borne it to get out of this miserable existence if the Druchii would not have thrown the rest of his chaingang in with him. They had refused to beat him into death. Just as well, a dwarf should die surrounded by good rock and good comrades and so he would.
What was puzzling was the sounds which were transmitted by the rock around him-something big was happening, but he doubted that it would have anything to do with him.
A small movement made the bone ends in his leg grind against each other. It did not take much not to scream-he did no longer have the power for that.

Airspace above harbour

The shell fired by the Sachsen was special-instead of spinning rapidly along its axis for stabilization it had unfolded fins shortly after firing. Counting the prescribed time from that the shell started looking for a special light spot in it`s field of view. It quickly found the spot which pulsed at the right frequency at more or less the place it was supposed to be and steered for this spot.
It was painted by a laser that was pointed at one of the towers of Hag Graef the freed slaves were reasonably sure had to do with the Druchii government. Subsequent air recon had confirmed that to a degree of certainty which had allowed the planners of the raid to designate them legitimate targets.

The shell impacted in the lower third of the tower slightly off center and penetrated the outer wall easily. It barely touched the opposite wall when the fuse finally fired and the burster charge detonated. 3 Kilogram of modern explosives can do terrible damage in confined places-and did. The blast wave ripped apart ceilings and floors, blasted Windows open and shredded doors not to speak of the inhabitants close to the explosion.
Shortly after the impact the first items began to burn, something which spread rapidly from lamp oil spill to parchment roll to wooden flooring. The heat of the flames made the air rise quickly inside the slender tower, pulling fresh cool air in through the windows and rents below. Within minutes the interior of the tower was an unspeakable hell with temperatures exceeding 1000 degree and the wind rushing through the tower and leaving the upper windows and roof making the tower sound like an organ pipe from hell. It was loud enough to drown the screams of those trapped in the upper floors unfortunate enough not to have died already – almost.

Assault Boat inside Hag Graef Harbour

The 3 Boats speeding across the inner Harbor of Hag Graef were quite unique. Constructed by the Lürssen yards who had built fast attack boats ever since there was such a thing they had been optimized to fit onto the rescue boat davids of the Troopships.
By any measure before the Weltensprung they were nothing special- speed around 25 knots and only very light armor in few areas, but there were few things on the Warhammer seas which could do them any harm.
2 were configured as gunships carrying a mix of 27mm autocannons, automatic grenade launchers and machine guns. As the harbour had been declared a free fire zone they happily blasted everything moving which was not German preparing the path for the 3rd boat whose payload was more special.
They all headed for the enormous mouth of a cave at the foot of the Cliff on one side of Hag Graef. It lead to a huge cave inside said cliffs, a combination of a natural feature, elvenkind work and the remnants of things best not speculated too much about.
In here the most important and valuable ships of the Druchii were laying up in reserve for the time when major warfare was afoot. They were utterly invulnerable from the German weapons employed on the outer harbor with such effect. Fortunately some of the slaves knew of this cavern and so a plan was passed to do something about it.

Some 100 meters inside the tunnel the two gunboats took up overwatch stations for their working sister. From the deck of this ship a hydraulic platform rose, quite similar to the ones used to repair city lights and such. 3 sappers used drills and explosive bolts to fix cylinders in a line into the ceiling. The platform descended again and the boat backed up some meters when the cylinders vanished in strangely muffled explosions. Going back up the sappers looked at the straight holes the shaped charges had blown and sprayed them with water so they would cool down sufficiently. Next they would put 50 kg Charges of PBX into the holes and seal them with quick setting cement before disengaging. The charges were guaranteed to bring down the ceiling and seal the tunnel for a long, long time. Even for Germany it would take some time to clear such debris, but for a civilization without power cranes and explosives beyond black powder….

The Boatswain in charge of this boat became aware that the boat guarding the inner part of the tunnel fired again on something he could not see. They ceased after some bursts but his wireless contained messages about getting his thumb out and natives going frisky. He basically ignored them as there is no hurrying man handling explosives as potent as the ones employed here.

Re-opened High Security Cell Block Stuttgart-Stammheim, Germany

Jasla´s brain was in some kind of overload mode. If she would have looked around, her fellow Elf prisoners were quite similar affected. On the TV they could see the destruction of their home city.
Since the Dark Elves during interrogation always stressed that Khaine had given them all people not able to defend themselves properly as playthings, this would serve as a demonstration.
While the feed from the Seeadler was edited to keep military security, the images of the burning Towers and the firestorm eating away the habour were impressive. And for all their displayed superiority the Elves were deeply affected. Jasla was among those first to fathom that maybe they had bitten more off than Naggaroth could safely chew.

Chancellory, Berlin, Germany

Hetkuning Olaf Urnulfson of the Bjornling Great Clan watched the pictures from the other side of the world in far more amiable ambiente. In a soft comfortable chair, a stein of local Doppelbock beer sitting on a nearby table.
Angela Merkel had already recognized that this Clan leader was more capable than he tried to let on. The Norse had only nipped sparingly from the Stein and the Chancellor was convinced, the order for something like good Norse Mead had been made for image reasons alone. The tall, bearded warrior was impressed by what he saw. In Norsca only the strong lived to see another day, but those intelligent as well could rise high.
Olaf internally patted his own shoulder for his decision to reach out to the soft Southerners after the Swinemünde disaster. There had been major grumbling among the more radical and chaotic members of the Clans under his leadership, but like Ylva Ormsdotter, the Skaelings leader, he had surmised there was more to these newcomers. And when he returned home, others would see it too.

Ministry of Economics and Technology, Berlin, Germany

Olaf Urnulfson had no idea that one of his greatest rivals, the one he had thought about mere minutes before, was in Berlin as well. Hetdrottning Ylva Ormsdotter had seen the attack on Hag Graef too.
But she, unlike Olaf, had lost a greater propotion of her bloodthirsty Clan members at Swinemünde and so had even earlier begun to build up relations. It had been the only way. They lost a lot of needed warriors and to survive more trade had to be done. Fortunately for her Great Clan, they had things to sell to the Germans. The newcomers had a ravenous appetite for the high-grade iron ore the Skaeling Great Clan mined. And the Germans had developed a sweet tooth for Skadi fruits and Torghjop berries. But what the Germans equally liked was hard information. They payed very well for good informations the various Dragonships brought with them from their voyages.
Due to the already established relations Ylva was far more interested in haggling with the German economics minister about the next quarter deliveries. And why Philipp Rösler looked like the people Ylva only had seen once before on the longest, farest journey she had ever made.


Hag Graef harbour – Quay


Paul Müller left the CH53 helicopter at a run taking position behind a piece of fallen masonry. Quickly counting his men the freshly baked “Feldwebel” ordered them to advance by squad to their assigned post - the mouth of the causeway leading from the City to the harbor. He was assigned a spot for this squad by the Lt., thought it to be actually good and directed his men to improve it. A shell had left a convenient crater and one wall of a former guardhouse was still substantial enough to use. The Lt. asked him to take care of the special party they brought along as his position offered the best cover the German company occupied. He greeted the huge flame-haired mage and some less flamboyant mages which were here to make sure the Dark Elves played fair on the magic front.
” Good evening, Veldweibel. We will be your guests tonight if I understand correctly?”

“Yes sir. Can you please position yourself over there behind that wall? It should give good cover and you can still observe.”
“Sounds reasonable young man. Now we try to emulate good visitors and brought you a little gift.”
One of the helpers unrolled a cloth at the end of a pole. When completely unfolded it showed a fair, if flamboyant rendering of his Unit`s colors. He was about to comment on the uselessness of such a flag in modern warfare when he realized that something was different about that banner. For one thing it seemed to glow slightly and unseen things nearly showed themselves in his peripheral vision. It should have been unsettling but for some reasons was not.

“This, Veldweibel, eh, Feldwebel, is a mage-breaker, a flag that will keep your men safe from enemy spells. Take care of this flag and it will take care of you. Not that we will not do our utmost to undo what the accursed “Spitzohren” will try to do to us. Please try to keep our precious hides in one piece while we do that.”
Paul Müller rather liked the self-depreciating mage, he was not what he had expected but seemed rather competent.
“Ok sir, this is the company’s position, we are at the left flank as you can see. Because of the quay behind us we have no real rally point. That means when the enemy comes this way we have to hold them here and there is no other way the enemy may come.”

“There will be quite a lot of them and quite few of us.”
“Yes, there will be the problem to bury them all.” Like so many soldiers and civilians in Germany, Paul too had seen the barbarism of the Dark Elves. Time for payback.

The sound of a small diesel engine and a lot of rattling of metal on stone stopped their conversation.
“Ha, they startled me again, and I have seen them before. Compared to some other machines you have they seem quite small.”
“Believe me Herr Flammbach, they are potent enough for what we have in mind tonight. And if they are not enough we can always call our big brother at sea.”

As if brought upon by the conversation the freight train rumble in the Sky indicating another salvo into the City reminded them to take their positions.

Slave pens

The Keeper of Slaves was livid. Only once before an invading army had entered Naggaroth and it had to be here and now of all places. He had been awakened by sounds he could not identify and quickly alarmed the Guards. Most of them he assigned to watch the slaves, it would not pay for them to get any ideas. Best to break some heads early on, then the rest would keep quiet.
He then ventured outside of the Gate building to be greeted by a sight he simply could not place: Big Things which looked a little bit like Dwarf Gyrocopters grown to enormous proportions were landing not far from his Gatehouse and from the back of them Soldiers and strange horseless chariots emerged.
He was still trying to decide whether to retreat or attack when a 30 mm fusillade from a Tiger helicopter wiped out half of his guards. That made the decision easy, he was too far from the Gate already to get back to safety so he could only assault.
He did not get far before he was something like a blinking light in the door of one of the “Gyrocopters” and felt a hammer blow to his chest. How he came to lie on his back looking at the sky whose clouds reflected the red flickering glare he could not explain and then it was far too late for any explanations.

Gatehouse to the Slave Pens

Ralf Winkler watched the preparations of the assault on the Salve Pens Gate with interest, obviously the assault would go through soon. A voice close to his ear startled him and served as a reminder that he should better look at his surroundings more - even if they were less entertaining they might be more dangerous if ignored. Still too much a civilian at heart obviously.
The voice belonged to Aoelus, the aide to Master Ilthies who looked around it seeming wonderment. “A question if I am allowed?”

Ralf nodded and answered,”If it is when they start the assault - soon, more I do not know myself.”

”No it is not that. I saw you carrying a different “rifle” from the others in your unit. Are you one of these snipers I heard about?”

“No, quite to the contrary, I am just a medic. Until a few days ago I was supposed to stay at the ships, but we had an accident where we lost some medics and here I am. I am supposed to help with the drop-off point for the injured and slaves-the same place you and your master will be. Unfortunately nobody had the time to check me out on the MP7 that the medics of this outfit carry, so I still have my G3K from my old unit. A bit heavy and quite a handful when you fire it, but whatever you hit with it will know it has been kissed.”

He was about to ask the Elf for the reason behind his question when he saw his face more closely. Obviously he was not the only nervous being here and also idle conversation seemed to help both Elf an Man.
A series of explosions and a lot of screaming and shooting from the Gate signaled the beginning of the assault and ended their conversation.


Inside the slave pens

The Commander of the Druchii Guard detachment still cursed the stupid keeper of Slaves. What did this idiot think? Gallivanting outside with a third of his Elves, he could have made much better use in here where he knew the area and where he could make the enemy pay for every meter taken.
He had heard a lot of explosions and surmised that the enemy might use them to wreck the Gate so he retreated about 50 meters back into the main way between the cells. His caution paid off when a series of explosions turned the strong Gate into a lot of wooden shrapnel which would have mowed down his Guards.
Now for the counterattack, when the enemy was still trying to push soldiers through the gap and tried to get an idea of the surroundings. He led his unit into a strong charge right into the dust cloud that took the place of the gates.
Nothing could have surprised him more than the 2 horseless carriages which emerged from the cloud. Not much higher than him they did not seem so dangerous until they opened fire. The effects of a 20 mm autocannon and a machine gun from each was just horrific, it wiped out his Guards in seconds. Because of his better armor he was still alive to feel how the chains of one of these vehicles crushed his chest.

Wiesel Tank, inside the Slave pens

Ulrich Stoiber told his driver to follow the Paratrooper who guided them through the remains of the second set of Gates into the subterranean thoroughfare that connected all the underground slave pens.
As the Harbour needed lots of slaves for ships and logistics and slaves were a much traded commodity the Elves had established a huge underground complex for holding these slaves which went quite a way back from the entrance close to the mole.
The extend of the complex and the fact that it was chiseled from stone by hand told Ulrich a lot about how many slaves had been in here for how long, things he did not want to dwell upon presently.
Fortunately the surviving slaves that had been saved from the Druchii Galleys had been correct and there was more than enough space in the main ways of the Pens to maneuver his tank(ette). This was unusual in many ways: Normally tanks should not enter such confined spaces and his tank, for the first time he could remember, was the toughest and best armed vehicle around.

The Wiesel (Weasel) is a very strange tank in that it is smaller and lighter than an US Hummvee, but better armored and armed with a 20mm Cannon and a machine gun. He was the King of the Hill in here!
Two of these tankettes can be carried in a single CH53 helcopter and the Germans had landed several in support of the operations.
As soon as the infantry assigned to his tank was there he started his way deeper into the pens. There was no real resistance for the first couple of 100 meters, and then a group of overseers tried to ambush them when they had just passed another cell entrance. The tank that drove a little to the back and side of him got about half of them, the rest were divided between the accompanying infantry and his tank which gut a couple when his driver engaged the reverse gear of a couple of meters. After that it was mostly smooth going until they approached the main guard shack deep inside the pens. The Guards had erected a barrier from carts and bales across the thoroughfare and were pelting his tank with Crossbow bolts.
A couple of 3 round bursts from their autocannon showed the Druchii how flimsy their cover was for real and the machine guns took care of those who wanted to flee.
He drove carefully forward and aimed his cannon through the door leading into the Guards quarters. Squeezing off some more rounds he made sure that the first meters would be easier for the infantry to storm.
A new group of infantry attached themselves to his tank and then they advanced to the end of the cells-from here there was only a long tunnel into Hag Graef and as long as he and his fellow tank driver was parked here nothing would come into the slaves pens.
He just hoped the Druchii would be stupid enough to try-he had seen only very little of what went on in these pens-but that was already too much.

Seeadler, CIC

Admiral Lerbs saw the collapse of a copula which was said to be a part of the temple of Khaine with satisfaction: God of murder indeed. He checked with his staff about progress.
“Sir, all targets on our List have been hit. The demolition team is just withdrawing from the tunnel entrance. We will switch the arty now to support and start with the evacuation of the slaves."
He acknowledged and promptly started to worry, so far everything has gone to plan. This was not a natural state of affairs in his experience. Murphy and the enemy were to make their entrance soon, it was just important to catch them in time.

Protestant Kindergarten, Landstuhl, Germany

Andrea Holm waited, together with some other parents, for her younger daughter to leave the Kindergarten. One of the other parents waiting was reading the Bild newspaper, leaning against the wall. His position enabled the attractive 30-somethings mom to read the frontpage with ease.
The main headline this day was rather humourous. The Nipponese and Empire "Invasions" were rolling over Germany, two events, one could for a change be glad about!

Andrea, like some other persons reading this, chuckled. It was a true statement. The number of peaceful first contacts with the other nations on this world was depressingly low. The only bright light on that front was, that among those few were a great number of nations nobody had had any hope for in this context. Who would have thought that for example the Hung, dangerous steppe nomads, were actually eager for basic trade, based on the available descriptions?
Before the Weltensprung, Andrea had been interested, but not overly so, in politics. Now, every German worth his/her salt was really interested. This world was full of variable dangers and anything positive was a reason to celebrate.
"Here in the Old World, the Empire and the Nipponese are the only ones who really accept us. Okay, Kislev, some border principalities and several of the Norse tribes are on that way as well now, but beside that...
While we have good relations to some of the Tilean regional states, it is not with the whole nation. Estalia cares only for trade with us, not cool, but acceptable. And the Bretons... after all these battles and skirmishes in the west, you do not have to be a brainmonster to know what that means. God, it is only a few weeks since Bild published the first ideas for a new version of Wacht am Rhein, the Wacht am Reik (Watch on the Reik), to the shrill countervoices of the opposition!"

The changes on all levels of society were very easy to see. Being totally cut off from the cultural life on Earth, Germany had not only to reinvent several things, but new external sources came into play, hence the Invasion headline by the Bild.
Andrea´s second daughter was 5, but even at her young age, the changes were profound. Her Kindergarten was one of those where children were taught some basics of foreign languages. In the past, this had been English and or French. In the new Now, English was confined to Albion, which itself was a rather closed society. So the need for English simply had vanished. French, despite some differences between Breton and modern French, retained some use due to Bretonnia just sitting in the West, but relations were icy.
With Landstuhl being located in the Southwest of Germany, relatively close to the Nipponese, the Kindergarten had decided half a year earlier to now teach the children the main dialect of Reikspiel and Nipponese. Reikspiel as a variant of German was easy for the kids, but Nipponese was a bit more difficult.

Galley "Wesir Salagud", close to the Lustrian Coast

Boom-Boom-Boom...
That was the rhythem Hamid lived after for months now. He was filthy, but with very musculous arms. His back was free of whip scars, but that was mainly because of the magic tattoo on his tongue.
"If your God is so almighty as you make him to be, he will come to your rescue. Butto make your blasphemy more interesting, we will give you a magic sign on your tongue before sending you to the oars. The least you can do for your try to sedition is working for this city - until your body gives out.
But I am sure you want to know about the tattoo. Whipping you will make you a matyr and we know about your taboos. Anytime you now open that worthless guzzle of yours in praise of your god or so, you will additionally make a pass at the holders around. I am sure you will be very popular with the crew...less with your fellow slaves, but that is life!
If I read your gaze correctly, you want to know about your comrades, yes? Good, the tall one with that prominent nose is now in Eunuch training for a prominent citizen of Al Ahak. And the one with those verses tattoed on his amrs was a main participant in the last temple service. I have to say, for some guys so boastful of their god, he broke pathetically in the face of Khaine´s power. But as a sacrifice he worked well.

To this day Hamid could hear the voice of the Vizir, but it did not matter to him so much any longer. The first two weeks on the ship broke something inside him. So he was not overly interested when the crow´s nest called down to the captain. "Ship on intercept course! Ulthuan colours. They want to parley!"

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-27 08:30am

Hag Graef, Causeway to City

Over open ground infantry cannot storm machine guns. It does not matter how many soldiers you bring, as long as the other side has a number of working machine guns it simply does not work.
During the first battle of the Somme the British artillery fired 1.5 million shells within 7 days AND detonated mines under the German lines. Still they suffered 10000 losses within one hour and in no place reached the target of their plans.
The Dark Elves had no arty preparation, no machine guns of their own and no rifles. The result of the first two assaults was therefore never in question-they were wiped out with close to 90% losses.
It was time to try something else. Some of the city’s best Mages tried to put a spell on the German troops. So far this had not worked well as there was resistance, but a combined effort should do the trick.
Also they wanted to try something new. Even before the Germans had entered the scene Musket fire from Human regiments or High Elven longbows had a nasty tendency to slay the Druchii warriors before they ever could engage in hand-to-hand combat.
So the beastmasters of Hag Graef had bred a new, tough species of War Hydra. Their legendary toughness had been enhanced by Iron Plates fixed to their torsos, making them slower, but even harder to kill.
The sir above the German position was a fireworks of sparks and other effects when spell and counterspell raged for supremacy.

Suddenly something gave and the end of the causeway disappeared in what seemed to be a local winter storm, effectively breaking the line of sight and making it very hard for the Germans to open fire effectively. Still a lot of bullets came from that side, but their effectiveness was far lower than before.
In the back of the huge Hydras the Hag Graef`s guards advanced, feverishly hoping that they could take revenge on their earlier losses.
Inside the artificial Ice Hell the wireless operator tried for the 3rd time to make his hands perform the necessary keystrokes to call in artillery fire, but failed again due to the cold which had so suddenly come.

Assault Boat leaving Hag Graef Harbour

The 3 Assault Boats sped out of the harbour, seeking a rendezvous with their mother ship when the first boats all of the sudden flipped up as if it had hit a underwater ski jump. While it did not flounder upon landing the engines stalled, either because of damage to them or a stunned operator.
The two other boats drove in a circle to loose speed and close with their stricken sister when they saw an enormous tentacle rising from the sea and wrapping itself around the boat. It started rocking the boat violently so that some crewmembers were thrown overboard.
Because there were still others on board the gunners of the fellow boats could only helplessly watch the destruction.
Only when a equally enormous head broke the water the gunners had something to apply their anger to as it was far enough from the stricken sailors. Some of the autocannon shells hit the target, but the result was that the head disappeared and with it the majority of the boat.
While the boat with the sappers quickly rescued the few sailors which were ditched into the frigid water the remaining gun boat kept a nervous watch. Looking around the gunner of the machine gun position of the other side saw a lot of other shapes which started to appear on the waters.

Seeadler

Admiral Lerbs looked at the rapidly evolving threat board which showed lots of new contacts in the water. Both sonar and infrared revealed Sea Monsters which had not be seen before. Weather they had stayed on seabed or were hidden in some fold of the rugged coast line was a question for the postmortem, solving this problem came first.
He also became aware that the Company blocking the causeway seemed to have problems and was incommunicado-another issue to apply his limited resources to.
Ordering his bombardment squadron to put a protective fire mission in the middle of the causeway he started to order his ships around to counter the newly revealed maritime threat.

“Bremen”, close to Hag Graef

The Captain of the Frigate Bremen had already started to change course and speed when the Admiral`s staff relayed his new orders-his escort mission gave him that much leeway.
The Dark Elves offered him two kinds of targets: Sea Snakes which attacked above the water and were herded by a rider and some kind of overgrown calamari which mostly stayed submerged.
He ordered his Sea Lynx helicopter to take care of the Tentacle beast and set a course for the nearest group of Sea Snakes.
In the background he heard how the Crew of the Sonar guided the helicopter close to the first targets and then saw the huge water fountains which were caused by the depth charges that were used to kill the Sea Monsters.
Bremen had experience there, a couple of months before they had to hunt some monsters which had attacked Trawlers fishing in the Sea of Claws. The much more modern lightweight torpedoes normally employed for hunting submarines had proven unsuitable as they did not accept the “Critters” as a viable target. Therefore the depth charge had been reintroduced into the German navy.

By now “Bremen” had shortened the range to the Sea Snakes sufficiently that she could open fire on them without endangering any other German ships. While her 76mm gun was much smaller than the 155mm ones on the bombardment squadron, the rate of more than 1 shot per second was quite impressive. The 27 mm autocannons also opened fire.
While the 76 mm gun killed the Sea Serpents outright the autocannon just wounded them enough to disobey the commands of their beastmasters, in many cases simply diving and leaving the Battlefield, which did not please their riders at all. Not that they survived long enough to really care, but still…
The Kraken were a different matter. While the first strikes with depth charges were successful in killing their intended targets the waters in the areas effected were nearly opaque to Sonar after the explosions for a while. This allowed the Kraken not immediately effected to close with their targets. The Sonar Crews found that they could “drive” their targets by blasting them with high-power active sonar, but that was only a temporary solution.

Especially the Kraken which had attacked the assault boats proved to be persistent and obviously wanted another bite.
The Captain of the Bremen had recalled his Helicopter already for a rearmament and planned an assault on the Kraken when he was called off by the Admiral`s staff on “Seeadler”.
He was about to protest when his sonar called a new high-speed contact. It took the “Seahake” torpedo little time to close the distance to target at 50 knots. It was controlled by glass fire from U32 who got the data from their active sonar. The rules for submarine warfare got severely rewritten that night as stealth became a lesser issue during combat. The aftermath of the Battle would see to the installation of high-power sonar on all ships.
Some of the the "monsters" on sea could even be killed by blasting them with sonar.
The explosion caused by the torpedo was spectacular enough; 260 kg of modern explosives tend to do that. While the sonar environment was sufficiently muddied that nobody could check the issue was never in doubt. The scavengers would eat well the next weeks.

“Sachsen” Wardroom

Fräulein Meikle readjusted the “Magic Indicator” to weather magic upon the urgent request by the German sailors. It seemed that some of their forces had come under magical attack. She did not like the short name that the Germans had given her creation, but it was to be expected. Still she was pleased that the indicator finally did what she had aimed at for so long: It indicated the strongest source of a specific magical activity. It would be interesting to explore what other things might be possible with the help of the Germans.
She watched with baited breath as the indicator started to move quickly into one direction. The speed with which it settled on a bearing and stayed there showed the strength of the magic employed-obviously great.
“I do not think the indicator will get any better” she instructed the rating besides her. Taking a look at the display below the “indicator” the rating picked up a phone and called “we have a bearing of 271, seems to be a strong one sir”
A short call to “Hessen” gave another bearing, which was enough to give an area of search.

Seeadler

Admiral Lerbs watched with his staff the pictures send by the drone hovering close to the coordinates provided by the new sensors. A Crystal dome covered the top of a slender tower which was so ubiquitous in Hag Graef.
The picture from the drone was not so clear that individuals could be recognized, but that some ritual was taking place there was obvious. Checking the available resources he had detailed some Tigers to take care of this.
All of a sudden the picture showed the crystal dome shattering and the ritual going down in flames when the two attack helicopters used their cannons to make sure nobody would do any magicking any longer.
Kicking himself for paying attention to small details when he was in charge of the whole battle he turned his back to the screens and tried to regain an overview.


Gate House into the Slave Pens

Ralf Winkler was assembling another base frame for stretchers when he saw “it”. A Grenade had opened a chest in what used to be an office in the Gate house and now was commandeered as the drop of point for the injured of the assault and the slaves liberated.
“It” was a rather beautiful amulet showing a dove. As it was very different from what Dark Elves aesthetics he had so far seen he surmised that it was taken from one of the slaves when he entered his Pens. It seemed to draw him in and so he rationalized that it would make a great gift to his wife and that the best place for keeping it safe would be around his neck under the shirt.
He got the last of the frames assembled in time to see the first injured Paratroopers and the freed slaves arrive at the drop off point. Quickly taking his place in the team manning the receiving team he started to divide the Slaves into 40 person groups so they could be flown out, checking the groups for anybody who was too injured to be flown out without at least some first aid.
He was not so shocked about the status of many slaves as were some of his co-medics as he had seen the work of the Druchii before, but it was hard to remain untouched enough to keep working efficiently. The slaves all had lesions from their cuffs, most had ugly welts and the skin tone spoke of lack of sunlight and a bad diet.
The worst for most of the slaves was that they were quite obviously on drugs keeping them docile. The only good thing about that was that the slaves were not offering any resistance when they were herded into the Transport Helicopters as quickly as possible.

Causeway to City

The extreme cold and wind was gone as quickly as it came and allowed Paul Müller a view of the causeway again-unsurprisingly he did not like the view. Because of the spell the Germans had not been able to pour effective fire into the Druchii troops, so they had advanced until 300 meters in front of his lines.
The War Hydras had proven to be remarkably resistant to the German fire, even the 20 mm cannon fire from the Wiesel tanks did not bring them down as quickly as could be hoped. He started looking for his “Panzerfaust” team when he saw the concussion from their position. The firing of a Panzerfaust is always spectacular because of the back blast whereas the hit at the Target seemed somewhat muted. This was actually a misconception as the shaped charge vented cooper plasma at more than 8000 meters per second into the chest of the Hydras without wasting energy on fireworks. Having been constructed to disable well build Main Battle Tanks the crude armor of the Hydras did not offer appreciable resistance to the warheads.
When the “mobile cover” of the Elves was taken away they started to sprint to the German lines only to find themselves in a world of hurt. The Paratroopers had so far kept some weapons in reserve which were now employed. Automatic grenade launchers lobbed 400 grenades per minute into the approaching troops, with each Grenade killing practically everything in a 5 meters radius. Machine guns, especially from the tanks and the autocannons added to the firepower quickly decimating the Elves.
Even that did not seem enough, but there were still 80 soldiers which added their G36 assault rifles to the slaughter and that was what finally broke the back of the assault. The Dark Elves tried to get back to their lines, just to learn that they took even more losses in the retreat than in the assault.
Only then did Paul find the time to look after the mages given to his care. He found them in a bad way. Bad Migraine headache seemed to be the least of the problems, two were down unconscious and the blasted head of a Light Order Wizard showed that they had fought a battle at least as dangerous as the one he had with the Dark Elves more conventional troops.

“Papenburg” Helicopter Deck

The Pilot of the CH53 Helicopter did not switch off the engines when he put his Helicopter down on the landing deck which was where the old swimming pool used to be when “Papenburg” was still a cruise ship in order to take off quickly again.
Standing under 2 Turbines with several thousand horsepower and a slowly spinning rotor caused quite a lot of sound and heat to wash over the medics which waited for the rescued slaves to disembark.
The Paratrooper Lt. who held the “Paddles” for guiding the Helicopter had to shout to get heard. “War is hell, but the soundtrack is great”
Shaking their heads the Medics went into the bay and helped the slaves to get off. The experiences with the galley slaves rescued after the battle of Papenburg had shown that they would be unable to help themselves for quite a while, especially when confronted with such an alien high-tech surroundings as the German ships. This had made the planners for this raid assign a humungous number of medics and nurses to the ships, which in turn made it necessary to conscript quite a few of them.
While everybody thought saving the slaves was a worthwhile endeavor in and by itself it was also a way to kick the Dark Elves even more as their economy depended largely on them.
For the German government the biggest plus they could not talk about was that they could use this rescue as justification for this raid. If not for that just smashing some bits of infrastructure and killing some Elves would have played badly with some segments of the German population. But how could anybody be against saving slaves?
Be that as it may the nurses and medics certainly had their work cut out for them. They could not simply put most of the work to shore side hospitals as the trip back would take more than 2 weeks.
Many of them were not really happy to be here as they had been conscripted when it became obvious that a call for volunteers would not bring the necessary numbers forward.
When the receiving team saw the state of the slaves which the Helos brought this vanished quickly. Anything which helped these poor souls was good; anything which punished those who were responsible for this state was justifiable.
For Germans who`s normal state of affairs is often “this may be good, but…”this was an unusual state of affairs but a good one.
The proud feeling of being part of something hugely worthwhile helped the crews of the Troop ships immensely-a good thing as their work for the next weeks was hard indeed.

Mountaintop overlooking Hag Graef

Morathi tried to identify the feeling which filled her head when she looked at the burning mess that was Hag Graef. It was not hate or fear-these she could identify easily. It was at least part anger-at the Demon for giving incomplete advice, at the Germans for wrecking such havoc, at Malus Darkblade for being incompetent to prevent it-but that was only part of it.
At the end she found it to be surprise. It is very hard for someone who has lived several thousand years to see anything new and here it was. Normally she would have been happy that there was still something to surprise her, but this was unfortunately not amusing at all.
She had expected the Germans to take weeks or months to do any appreciable damage to Hag Graef, which was a pretty substantial fortress, and here they had laid waste to large parts of the city in mere hours. This meant she had to do something fast without either consulting the local ruler or gathering lots of intelligence.

It did not take her very long to decide whether she wanted to engage at all-this promised to be too much excitement to miss. Question was what to do and where. She relaxed outwardly and tuned herself to the winds of magic in order to find where the action was. There were two centers, one close to the causeway to the city and one at the slave pens.
The ships she could see quite clearly were practically dead to magic, quite strange for something which did so much damage in such a short time.
The longer she “looked” the clearer the purpose of the Germans became: It had to be a slave raid. Now that was disappointingly boring-she was interested in the new methods the Germans employed, but the raid itself was hardly new.
It seemed that the forces in the slave pens were actually not getting much attention, so she decided that this was the point to apply her “help”.
Diverting two of her handmaidens towards the fleet she took a roundabout route to the slave pens. She had been there many times so she knew more ways in than the official ones. This would be the point to foil the German designs.

Hellhole

Ulf Grimnison was currently going in and out of consciousness so he was not aware when the shouting started. First there seemed to be shouting and fighting in the cells next to his hole, then his chaingang cried something and the next thing he knew was that a strange human face looked at him from the drop hole that lead into his “cell”
He had a hard time understanding what the human tried to tell them, he spoke Reikspiel with a strange accent, but it seemed to be a variation of “stay calm, there will be help”. Wondering what might have conjured such a bad dream he again drifted away just to be woken up by his comrades who for whatever reason tried to keep him conscious. He also could not figure out where they had gotten the bottle they used to get some fluid into his mouth.
He could not place the taste of it either until he remembered that this might be the taste of clean water, something he did not have for many years. Presently it tasted better than any Bugman he ever tried. He was still trying to decide whether this was real or delusion when things went really strange.

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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-28 03:18am

Shirasagi Fields, Nanseitochi, "Nippon"

Hideki Toda, Daimyo of the now westernmost portion of all Nippon, cradled his helmet under one arm, observing the retreat of the Bretons. But his mind was somewhere else, not really the victorious battle. Not even the fact that it was the fastest victory in centuries, kept his attention.
No, his thoughts circled about his allies under the Black-Red-Gold and the Skull-Cross banners.

Mostly those under Black-Red-Gold. Their weapons and machines were things never seen before or only crude versions of local production. As a Daimyo, he had been informed much more solidly about their new neighbours than the normal Nipponese. And he couldn´t help but wonder.
According to the Germans, they had been friends with both the otherworld version of Nippon and Bretonnia. In fact, due to circumstances closer ties to Bretonnia 2 than Nippon 2.
Hideki had many solid reasons to be proud, but he was not blinded by it. Germany would gain far more if they would have sided with the Bretons in this conflict. Bretonnia was a Great Power in this part of the world, his and the other stranded Daimyos piece of Nippon rather small.
While it had taken this battle to drive it really home for him how powerful their weapons were, Hideki had no doubt, that he, his men and women would never have stopped a German advance, had that been their goal from the start.
Even without the Bretons come knocking, had the Germans wanted to take over, nobody in the nipponese splinter could have stopped them.
It would have been the logical solution for Germany to do exactly that. But here he stood, having lead a battle not from his trusted Warhorse "Ryoki", no, from the "back" of a german Panzer. The Doitsu were friends, that was definitely sure after all that happened in the last year.

Hideki Toda thought back to the fateful day, which brought them here, around 10 months later. A delegation from Kagoshima, himself being a part of, with some german observers among them, met the bretonnian leadership at the Reik beach. The bretonnian Tenno was actually a likeable fellow, a warrior for his nation. He had understood that the situation had been changed by the Winds of Magic in ways no one could have forseen. While not totally pleased, King Lionceur had been prepared to accept the compromise the Germans had championed: The Eastern side of the new Reik for Germany, the Empire and Nippon, the western side up to the border with the Empire and the rest of the Wasteland to Bretonnia. The Germans had hinted at development help for Bretonnia if they accepted something both sides could live with and it wasted no blood on both sides.
Then all broke down with the things the other Breton leaders wanted. Fueled by dislike and the visions of some Grail Knights, their demands were beyond reason. It was at this point where Daimyo Isamo made his mistake. Unused to the belittling speeches of the smug Breton Grail Knights, being treated like the lowly serfs of Bretonnia made his reaction sharp in sting.

The negotiation ended soon after. War was declared. The Germans promised aid, but the Daimyo assembly, including himself, told them not in the beginning. This is a question of honour. We may have not the possibilities or numbers of the Breton army, but for now, we must take them on. We might need your aid later, but we cannot do so from the start. Those haughty want-to-bes insulted both of us. You were guests, so it is the task of us Nipponese to eredicate the slights on Germany and Nippon.

Months of advance and retreat followed, but to save needed lifes, after the first three months of what would become called "War for the Reik", the Samurai Rikugun began to integrate more and more materials and weapons given by the Germans.
But it took time to get used to the new tech and to finally bring the Grail Knight Crusade to meet them in open, full battle. Finally accomplished, Daimyo Toda was amazed how fast the battle was over. It was a serious blow to the forces of Bretonnia, but it sealed the enmity between the nations involved. Neither Hideki Toda nor the german observers believed that Bretonnia would come around soon, more that the Bretons would become a splinter in their sides. But that were thoughts for later. A victory had to be celebrated and Hideki after letting the revue pass before his mind´s eye, decided to champion closer cooperation with the Germans.


Gate to Slave Pens


Ralf Winkler had always been a volunteer medic-doing what he understood as his duty besides what job he might have at the time. Nobody ever doubted that he possessed all the knowledge that a medic should have and he also had enough experience. Still he needed to think about things that would come as second nature to his even more experienced comrades which made him a little slower.
Tonight was different. His hands seemed to move by themselves, his fingers finding pulse and joints with alarming speed. He did not even fumble once when taking something from the deep recesses of the backpacks and put in the needle for a drip feed with a speed which made the doctor who led his team nod approvingly.
Everybody was far too busy to see that his nose bled at intervals and it was too dark to see that the air behind him sometimes seemed to ripple like in a heat wave. He also never felt the amulet he had “liberated” warm against his chest, but it still was warmer than it should have been just from body heat.

At first the wireless operator annoyed him when he tried to get his attention “Hey Winkler-that means you too. Do you have any experience with attitude rescue?”
“Yes I had that course and…”
“Fine with me, go to Müller over there, assemble what you need and then report to the Sergeant over there. Seems like the Spitzohren dropped some slaves into holes to die and you have to pull them out again.
Wondering if a course he took in 1991 and some refreshers would really count he helped to collect one of the ubiquitous backpacks, a normal and a shovel stretcher, a vacuum matrass and a couple of rescue ropes. The latter were 7 meter ropes with a diameter of slightly over 1 cm and a rated load of a ton.
A squad of Paratroopers helped them to carry some of the equipment deep into the slave pens.

Sachsen

The airspace above Sachsen was a busy one. Helicopters, artillery shells and “Biologicals” all cried for attention. Also only the German helicopters had transponders which made their affiliation clear. When the two handmaidens approached the ship they remained undetected for several reasons-they kept their Pegasi very close to the water, did not have a big RCS and were flying comparatively slow. The latter made the radar reject them as a target.
When close enough they initiated the same spell which had hit the Troops at the Causeway-a severe winter storm. The simplest spell in the Dark Elf arsenal could be used with tremendous force by the handmaidens who were high-level mages.
To their surprise “Sachsen” was not tossed about like they expected and even kept speed and course as before. That the ship ceased firing counted for something but obviously more was needed.

Inside Sachsen Fräulein Meikle was rather unhappy. The added movement of the ship increased her motion sickness and her beloved indicator would not agree to any bearing but was slowly wandering around the compass.
Only when the operator on “Hessen” got a firm bearing which was just changing slowly it dawned to everybody that the target might be quite close to “Sachsen” and actually circling her.
A look by the infrared detectors at the same bearing than her indicator have two targets which circled Sachsen. A year ago a target description of “One Pegasus with a Woman rider” might have caused problems for the Operator. It was a sign of how much things had already changed that they got the Indicators “Indianer 1” and “Indianer 2“ at once and the order to take them down was quickly given.

Sachsen quickly found that it was quite difficult to fire their 27 mm autocannons in this kind of spell, so the order was given to “Hessen”.
The reasons the German weapons were so superior to all the Warhammer World so far had shown was, besides a well-developed industry and systematic science, the long weapons race that had happened on Earth ever since the 19th century.
While most of the times this was great for Germany, sometimes there were problems. One of the Problems was the RAM missile system that was mounted on many German ships. Designed to stop low flying cruise missiles the seeker head of the missile had two modes: Homing on electronic emissions and infrared. As there were no cruise missiles present and any possible target had no infrared signature that would register in the missile the weapons system was deemed useless as is.
Fortunately the engineers as BGT found a solution: A software tweak to the seeker head allowed the infrared seeker to look for a laser spot. The upgrade was not so hard to implement, and therefore a weapons operator on Hessen laid his laser illuminator on one of the targets. Waiting until it had cleared the stern of “Sachsen” he fired a missile.
While the weapon wobbled somewhat in the turbulences around “Sachsen” it still managed to close sufficiently with the Handmaiden that the proximity fuse found enough signal. The explosion pushed the remains of Maiden and Pegasus under the waves.
The second maiden was still searching for what happened to her sister when a short burst from Köllns 76 mm gun found her. About 30 meters in front of her a shell detonated, releasing dozens of Tungsten darts. The kinetic energy of the darts which hit her would have been enough for a couple of elephants-she died quickly enough.


Salzenmünd Harbour, Nordland, the Empire


Adelheid Schild, Harbour master of Salzenmünd, closed the window of her office with a grimace. There was too much unusual noise out there, teasing her attention. The roar of pneumatic hammers and planier equipment, the hiss of blowtorches, ...
She had already spent at least an hour observing the german work crews turning "her" main harbour into a single big construction site. Presuming from the mass of heads bundled at the harbour entrance, it seemed half of the city was there looking.
Salzenmünd was not only one of the most important trade ports in the Empire, it was also the main anchorage of the Imperial Fleet. As such, the city was one of the first parts of the Empire chosen for an upgrade by the now available technology from Germany. The main harbour, as well as the additional harbours in the suburbs, made the city the center of shipbuilding in Karl Franz´s realm.
Meister Hellbrecht, the builder in charge of the city and port fortifications, had returned with starry eyes from his visit at Germany´s main Naval Base in Wilhelmshaven. While it was not the concentrated, fortified base of old, the mixture of trade port and naval base had given him ideas. Not that Adelheid minded, her brain sometimes felt like mush when she thought back to her visit of Hamburg and it´s port, the differences in size and all simply too much to stomach easily. But she was determined to make Salzenmünd an, if smaller, relative to those two cities.

Outside german and imperial workers were busy. New walls were erected, old moles were rebuild in stone and concrete, the list was endless. In the outer harbour massive digging was going on, preparing a zone for bigger German ships.
The Imperials were learning new techniques, in essence even the Guild Masters were apprentices again. But it was a two way learning. Germany, incapable of finding everything needed in this new world, relearned old, but proven ways. Additionally helping was the happy fact, that Imperial concrete was even better than Earth concrete. Which, beside magic, was the now found solution how some buildings like Castle Wittgenstein or the main towers of the Order of the Heavens could have been erected with local tech.

Gate to Slave Pens

Ilthies was at the command post of the Paratrooper company which held the entrance to the slave pens. He had nothing to do presently as nobody was trying to attack this position magically.
This gave him time to reflect on what he was doing here and the results put him ill at ease.
When he had seen his vision of a grand undertaking he had seen that it would involve the Druchii and the High Elves as well as the Germans. It had also shown him that he would play an important part in this and that it would be important for the High Elves-but what his vision had not shown.

Now he was not sure about anything. In most battles he had been in he had played a central role – here he did not even really understand how the battle was waged.
To bide his time he watched the wretched slaves which were led out of the underground pens by the Germans. Mostly humans with an occasional group of dwarves. There had been very few High Elves in the group and he had send Aeolus to make sure they were treated well by the Germans. But even there he felt helpless as neither he nor Aeolus could understand what the Germans were doing for help. Whatever it was it seemed to help or at least not to cause damage.

The rescue of these sad collection of beings could not be the reason for him being here couldn`t it? He then saw a group of strange Germans which seemed to watch the slaves emerging from the Gate. One of them held a strange device on his shoulder and a woman was standing in front of him and talking.
He was curious enough to enquire about them with the German soldier who was accompanying him. “That is Helga Meier of the NDR” The look Ilthies gave the soldier easily crossed the species barrier and so the soldier explained ”She is a television reporter. Her team makes the running pictures that will be seen in Germany soon. She made a TV documentary last year that was partly responsible for us being here.”


“Ah, thank you.”

Ilthies was understanding only partly, but did not want to appear too uninformed for further questions. What he did not understand was why he suddenly had a feeling of foreboding and was pretty sure that this woman was a part of the undertaking he had seen.
He sat down in order to relax enough so he could again check the winds of magic for anything useful. What he saw there took his breath away, in fact enough that he missed the start of the screaming.

Hellhole

Ralf Winkler was arranging his equipment when he became aware of a commotion behind him. The burly machine gunner, known somewhat incongruously as “Princess” approached him, having several dwarves in tow. These guys refuse to leave until we rescued their comrades in that hole-and they want to help. Do you have any idea for them before the cause more of a ruckus?
The medic had a long look at the assembled dwarves. Despite their obvious malnutrition they were powerfully muscled and their body language spoke of a spirit less broken than that of most human slaves he had seen so far. The legendary resilience of dwarves against poison might have something to do with that.
“Ok, why not. If you put somebody in charge with them they can man some of the rescue lines and help carry the stretchers.”
“If you think it`s ok, then we`ll do it. That way we can make this place a little more secure.”

Ralf then took a rescue line and showed it to his fellow medic. Ok Thorsten, no big deal about this. Take about that much rope, like me. Now put the short end behind your neck, cross the line behind you back-yes looks good-and now make a Manrope knot in front-see, done.
“I go down first, than you can have a look again how I did it.” Making sure that the rope was led over a tarp to prevent fraying and that the 3 soldiers which let him down had grabbed the ropes right he stepped backward into the hole.
His Coat prevented the ropes from cutting him too badly and he was lowered into the hole at a good speed. Arriving at the bottom he undid the knot and took a quick scan of his surroundings. There were 6 dwarves in there, all injured to some extent, but two were in a bad way.

He went to the dwarf in the middle of the group who seemed to be the worst off. “Hello guy. I am Ralf and I want to help you. What hurts worst?” He got no real answer from the dwarf but one of his friends answered in somewhat understandable Reikspiel: “Ulf is in a bad way, sir. He broke his legs when they threw him in and yesterday he started to get this fever”

“Ok, thanks for the info. Let me check him please."
The semi-conscious dwarf did not stop him when he checked for pulse, skin tone and temperature and patted down the dwarf for injuries. While he was not so familiar with their physiology-most joints felt like having arthritis in a human but seemed mobile enough-his check seemed to confirm the dwarfs intel. A quick pinch into a toe and Ulf`s wince confirmed that the spine was still in one piece. By then his co-medic had also reached the bottom and had sorted the equipment which had been lowered after them.
“I would say we give him a drip-feed, put him into the vacuum matrass and give him priority-what do you think?”
“Seems about right, let`s do it.”
The two medics could not fix the neck with a brace as would be normal as there was no brace in their arsenal which could have coped with the short, broad neck presented to them. They adjusted the length of the shovel stretcher and parted it lengthwise. Next they arranged the vacuum matrass on the normal stretcher and then pushed the two halves of the shovel stretcher under their patient without moving him much until the two halves met. After that the swearing started-even in his state the dwarf weighted 100 kg easily and so they had to work hard to lift him without any sudden movements until they could rest the stretcher again on the vacuum matrass.

Parting the shovel stretcher they could pull it out under Ulf and Ralf pulled both long ends of the vacuum matrass while Torsten used a small pump to evacuate the air from the matrass. Being quite pliable when they had lowered the dwarf inside and taking his form it now became quite hard and inflexible. This would stabilize the broken limbs during transport and still dampen vibration and similar.
While Ralf put a drip feed into a vein on the back side of the dwarves hand Torsten started fixing a rope around the stretcher and the dwarf starting at the feet. Building up several rounds of the rope around the stretcher and their patient he fixed the dwarf well enough that they could have put the stretcher the wrong way down and their patient would still remain where he was.
Torsten was good at this and had to deny any private interest in bondage whenever they practiced this on the trip.. Too bad, one of the nurses seemed to be interested…

All of this had taken about 5 Minutes and then they could call for the team on top to pull the stretcher in. They guided their patient as long as their arms could reach and then took a new stretcher for the next patient.

“Amusement suite” inside the slave pens

The inside of this currently empty suite was an amazing mixture of a lounge, a sybarite’s bedroom and a torture chamber. It´s entrance into the slave pens was well hidden, as those who used this room wanted some discretion.
While Druchii society was willing to overlook practically everything which was done to slaves and others not of their race there were things which even the Dark Elves thought better to keep quietly, either because their cravings would seem too gauche or because they would indicate alliances better not shown to the greater populace.
These rooms were made to cater to the needs of the Druchii with such interests.

The instruments in the torture chamber part of the suite was filled with instruments of exquisite workmanship. They had about as much in common with the crude instruments of torture used by humans as an Orks cudgel with a finely crafted Elven sword. Works of art, darkly beautiful, elegant and showing their purpose in ways that would make a human cringe with empathy.

Lady Morith had entered the room via a small side entrance which did not connect with the corridor that was under control of the German troops. She looked at the “furniture” of the room approvingly, using the sight to pull forward memories of deeds done in these rooms for which humans did not even have names even if they were done to them.
She took the memories and the feelings they evoked to connect herself to the warp and ultimately to her master. An observer would have seen her cringe and sway under emotions caused by things he could not see, but were obviously felt my the Dark Elf.
Finally her eyes showed their pupils again and she breathed more regularly. She used what she had been given and pushed against the fabric of reality itself. Under this pressure in several places close by the air seemed to rip and ovals of something appeared. Out of them jumped strange hybrids between a beautiful woman and an emperor crab. Slanesh had seemed fit to grant her several covens of Demonettes. Most went after whatever targets they could sense while some arranged them around Lady Morith like a bodyguard.
Having composed herself she broke in a run-whatever happened now, it would surely not be boring.


Causeway

Paul Müller just hoped that whatever had caused the successful magic attack some time ago was now out of the picture. He had his medics check on the mages he was to protect before speaking to them himself and some where in a bad way-while others were out cold.
That was not even considering the poor soul that had so obviously died. “Herr Flammbach-what happened?”
The wheezing voice that answered him showed how much the fight had taken out of the mage.
”We got hit by a very basic spell backed up by terrible force. It must have been the best Mages Hag Graef has, and they probably sacrificed one of their number to push it through-it felt like that. But if I am wrong, don`t worry too much, if the best mages have not yet joined the fight we are dead, so need to concern yourself. Is it possible that you hit the mages somehow-I felt them go very suddenly!”.
“From what my superiors tell me we wiped some mages at approximately the spot where the magic was coming from.”

”That would be good if true. We will do our best to avoid a repeat-sorry for what happened.” “Forget it-we are grateful to have you along. Sorry, I have to go!”
He was waived over by his Lt. who pointed out a new strange assault on the causeway. Paul was amazed to see that the front rows of whatever was coming this way seemed to carry torches.
“Tell me what you see, Müller”
Focusing his Binox on the front ranks he had to look twice before his brain accepted the sight. The front ranks were composed of Humans, many of them women and children, of Dwarves and what seemed to be some High Elves. Most of them wore collars and Chains but were not chained together.
They were coming forward slowly and were obviously herded forward by closely following Druchii with spears. While not fast they would reach their position in about 5 Minutes.
“Front rank is slaves, Sir. The assholes use human shields” “Scheiße, that is the same than I saw. OK, I kick this upstairs, you brief the men. This is going to be real hard.”

Slave Pens, Mouth of connecting tunnel

Ulrich Stoiber watched the progression of the Dark Elf soldiers through his infrared sight. “Persistent buggers that lot” This was the 3rd try of the Dark Elves to gain entry to the Slave Pens via the Tunnel he guarded. This time they did not show any lights or carried large heavy shields. Instead they tried to approach without showing any bright metal and had probably darkened their faces.
Well, they were still radiating in the infrared spectrum and for that they would pay. Waiting until the Spitzohren had closed to 300 meters he triggered the Coax. Keeping the fire to 1-2 second bursts to keep barrel temperature down still hundreds of rounds went downrange. Bunched up like the Dark Elves had to be in the tunnel most of them hit something right away. Even the bullets which managed to miss usually hit a wall at a shallow angle and then bounced back into the mass of soldiers deformed into shapes their designers did not dream of. They ripped wounds which would have impressed even the Dark Elves if they would not have been so busy dying.
He would have loved to keep firing into the retreating survivors, but was aware that he had to conserve ammo. When he was sufficiently sure that the “Spitzohren” were gone he twisted backwards from his coupola in order to change the ammo box for the Coax. This is why he was the first to see the new threat.
In the tunnel he saw a group of slaves being led to the exit by a squad of 4 Paratroopers. Suddenly from the door of a cell Ulrich was sure to be cleared of enemy and fried alike emerged a sight he could not place right away. They seemed to be women of strange statue and gait attacking the group of Germans and Slaves from the flank.
He dropped back down into his seat and twisted the turret around so that he could use his optics and weapons. Giving the order to the second Wiesel to keep watching the Tunnel he called his driver to drive backwards slowly.
When he had the fight in focus of his sight he froze. About a dozen of these beings were tearing up the group-literally. Some of them seemed to have crab-like pincers which they used to pinch off limbs and heads while other used whips to deadly effect. The sight was made worse by the fact that the victims did not seem to fight back. Only one soldier managed to fire his assault rifle and downed one of the attackers, but was overwhelmed and torn apart quickly.
Demonettes-that was what these beings were. He remembered his briefings and with this insight he started to get rid of the strange Paralysis the view of these Demonetts has caused him. When they had liked their last victim he was ready. He triggered his Coax first which killed 2 of them but seemed only to anger the others. The ammo for the machine gun quit quickly as he had been unable to reload earlier so he switched to the autocannon.
Unbelievingly the demonettes attacked him, obviously angered by his machine gun fire. The autocannon made short work of that. It was the same type autocannon which had brought down Dragons without too much fuss-here it was bloody overkill. Not that Ulrich minded at all.

Hellhole

Ralf Winker emerged from the Hellhole last, having made sure that all injured and all material had left the hole. His Co-medic had already arranged for stretcher parties from the not injured dwarves and some Paratroopers. Besides the stretchers they had taken with them they were using the remains of a bench to carry those who no longer could walk by themselves.
He was about to pick up his backpack and for that shifted his rifle to his front when the air itself seemed to rip apart with a strange sound. He was still trying to make sense of what he saw when several demonettes emerged from the rift. They should have looked simply bizarre with their androgynous figure and the Crab pincers which often replaced a hand, not to speak of scorpion like tail. But they held his mind in a way he could not explain. It was like his brain was caught in an endless loop which tried to figure our weather to fight, flee, experience lust or be disgusted, keeping him from any sensible act.
He was not the only one who was effected in such a way, most Dwarves and the Paratroopers were paralyzed as well, taking no effective action against their strange attackers.
Ralf watched helplessly when one of the demonettes eviscerated one of the paratroopers and another seemed to close her pincer about the arm of a dwarf in slow motion. It was the Demonette which applied her whip to the Dwarf they had gotten out of the hole first who saved them.
The thought “Nobody attacks my patients” cut through the Chaos in his mind like a blowtorch. His breast seemed to burn at the point where it touched his amulet.

He brought up his rifle in what seemed to be slow motion, fumbling the fire selection switch downwards and pulling the collapsible stock out. One of the attackers seemed to realize this and started to move in his direction.
She was less than two meters away when he fired a short burst directly into her chest and head. The head came apart like being stuffed with explosives, splattering him and his surroundings with whatever matter which made up his attackers.
When he had described his G3K as “quite a handful” he had not been joking. The rifle was a short barrel version of the venerable G3 rifle and firing the powerful 7.62 round in a short barrel in a closed room makes quite a commotion.
The shock of this and the consternation of the demonettes galvanized the rest of the Germans into action. While the medic started shooting at the next target the machine gunner of the troop started to scream like a madman and fired his MG3 from the hip into the still open portal. While nobody ever knew what he had hit a stream of something which might be blood in another world leaked from the portal which closed quickly. A second burst at close distance ripped another pair of Demonettes apart at their middle.

The other surviving Germans also joined the fray. Arcane weapons against assault rifles at hand to hand range made for a bloody battle which could have made Khorne happy.
Ralf Winkler acquired a new target which was quite too close and pulled the trigger. The click of the bolt of the empty chamber was louder to him than all the other sounds of the attle and he was rather sure that this was it, at least for him.
To his astonishment the Demonette all of a sudden stopped before her pincer could reach him and dropped inelegantly to the ground. The Dwarves had found their spirit enough to join the fight and mostly used what chains they still wore to good effect.
Smashing them on limbs and heads with all the force an angry dwarf could muster caused nasty injuries and as soon as the demonettes hit the ground they were riffed apart. While he still fumbled a new magazine into his rifle Ralf incredulously saw how a dwarf ripped up the tail of a demonette and then used his huge fist in a way which had to hurt even a creature of Slanesh. Blowing her head off seemed like a mercy killing.
And then it was over, with the demonettes either dead or vanishing like they never were. Shaking their heads against the ringing sound the Germans organized the party again. Several of the dwarves appropriated Hammers and other tools as weapons and went in front of the rifle toting Germans and the injured. Ralf had a look at them and felt sure nothing would come at him if not right through the dwarves-and equally sure that his rifle could take care of anything moving in here. Jesus, this thing had a punch.
Rubbing his shoulder he joined the march back to the gates.

Swedish Foreign Ministry, Stockholm, Sweden

Carl Bildt, foreign minister of Sweden, read the fax in his hand twice, then let his gaze wander to a staple of memos already worked through. He was unable to believe the diplomatic crisis brewing over Sweden.
Stockholm had been very relieved when the problem with the chinese, oh, cathayian city of Shenlong and her attempt to conquer Falkenberg was solved without a single shot fired. Nobody could have assumed that the problems were just beginning. Considering the strong similarities to an old chinese city, China pressured Sweden for some time now to hand over control of the city to Peking. It was clear, that China tried to use the problematic world situation to win more influence.
The situation became more tense when the Cathyians declared to consider China traitors against the Emperor and the heavenly order. Shenlong would resist any attempt of China to take control of the city and would charge any person of the so called People´s Republic setting just one foot into Shenlong with High Treason. If they, the Chinese really are their otherworldly brothers and sisters, then so reasoned the Cathayian, China was part of the heavenly mandate. And what China had done was a clear breach of the mandate, their crime obvious for all to see.

That the chinese leadership was not pleased with this stance, was an understatement. That China was really contemplating to send a task force to Sweden was the beginning of a crisis no one in Sweden wanted. But the mayor of Shenlong had officially asked Stockholm for asylum for the whole city. Even if the situation would be different, Sweden simply could not let herself be pressured over things in her borders, it would open the door to other blackmailing attempts. How on Earth could this crisis be solved?

Seeadler

Admiral Lerbs was trying his best to keep his dismay off his face and his voice. whe Wireless calls by the Paratroopers showed the same thing as the helicopter drone which watched the causeway: The never-to-be-sufficiently damned Spitzohren used a lot of the slaves which were kept in the city as human shields.
Fortunately this situation had been anticipated in Berlin and orders had been cut to cover this situation. It did not make going along with them easier.
He watched again the big screen which showed the situation at the causeway. It was sure that the last of the slaves was away from the city side sufficiently.
“Gentlemen, this situation is not going to be any better by waiting. Open fire as per plan!”

Sachsen

The crews inside the gun turret had the advantage that they did not know what target they were shooting at-all they shot at were sets of coordinates which were transmitted directly from the bridge.
For maximum effect the crew shot a fast series where the first shell was lobbed at a high, slow trajectory with each following shot at a lower trajectory with a stronger propellant charge. All shells would arrive at the same time at their target, their overlapping shock waves and fragments doing maximum damage. “Hessen" did the same thing at the same target, whereas “Hamburg” was firing laser guided shells.

After the first salvo the guns went to maximum rate of fire, pumping 10 rounds per minute into a very small target area. Whatever was there would at least die quickly.

Hag Graef City, close to Causeway to the harbour

Malus Darkblade watched the advance of his troops with elation-finally something was working right. When he saw that the Germans took away the slaves he had concluded correctly that they did not want to use them for themselves but for whatever reason had a soft spot for them.
He already hated the Germans guts for what they had done to his city and his power base. He had to win some sort of victory, otherwise his hold on government would be threatened. And his new tactic seemed to work. Surely, many Druchii had protested as they did not want to waste their property and so promises of recompense had to be made, but so what.
If he could capture even a few of the weapons the Germans at the Quay used so efficiently on his troops he would still be stronger after this than before, even with all the damage done and slaves lost.

He was totally surprised when his body, seemingly by his on violation, turned and started to run past the next building. He just started to get angry when he heard Tz'arkan, the demon he unwillingly shared his body with “Run Fool, we….”
8 155mm Shells arrived practically simultaneously, making all explanations moot. From then roughly 1 shell impacted on the causeway and it`s cityside terminus every 2 seconds, with the explosions closer to the beings on the causeway markedly smaller.

While the Druchii just behind the slaves were mostly unharmed there would be no reinforcements as long as the barrage continued.

The Hague, Netherlands, Earth

"So, Mr. VanderSchanz, you and your companions believe it to be possible to reach out to your Homeworld with magic?"

"Yes, we do. We are the most innovative School of Magic in Marienburg, beyond and in the Old Wo- this world definitely. This is simply a-"

"Grandmaster Wim, you mean we can rectify this mess?"

"No, unfortunately. President Hollande, Prime Minister Rutte, Chancellor Faymann, Prime Minister Di Rupo, the Winds of Magic blow weakly here. They are still usable if you know what you do, but any kind of solution can only be made from Home. And I have to say I am not sure, such an undertaking would be successful. Never in recorded history had there been a magical storm of that magnitude. The Tower of Hoeth in Ulthuan has the oldest and most powerful mages of Elvenkind, some of them several thousand years old, but even they are seemingly incapable of rewinding the situation. Because if they could, they would already have done so to rebalance creation.
What can be acomplished, not today or tomorrow, but in a reasonable timespan is to communicate with Home, say 3 hours. We might even be able to, if wizards over there work with us, to send something or someone between worlds, but it will not be permanent. Maybe an hour or so and any kind of action will be reseted after the ritual ends.
And you all should think carefully about what you want to speak about, since with Earth´s weak connection to the Winds, we will be able to this around once a century. From Home or Warhammer, as you call our birth planet, they might be able to initiate it a bit more often, maybe once a generation."

The words of the Master Wizard of Marienburg stunned the political leaders of France, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands. This was not what they hoped for, but better than feared. Even now, more than a year after the Event, not all regions of Earth had been accounted for. The changes had been too vast. But maybe the Lost Ones of Earth still lived on Warhammer. This had to be tried, just to bring some kind of peace for relatives and friends of those who had vanished that fateful day.


Hag Graef, Quay

The automatic grenade launcher sounded like a starting motorcycle when it fired it`s shells toward the oncoming column. Paul Müller winced when he saw that and promptly started to run forward. He was immediately having problems drawing breath through his mask but had to bear it as now dozens of 40 mm shells discharged CS aerosol over the Slaves and their Dark Elf slavemasters.

Without the protection of this mask he would have experienced the same as them: tears in the eyes, nasal discharge, coughing, restricted breathing and sight: What every experienced demonstrator knows when the police is fed up with them. Here it was amplified by two things: a frightful concentration and the fact that it was completely unknown.
Pushing his way through the helpless slaves he started to fire on the equally helpless Spitzohren as soon as he had an unobstructed line of sight.

Having connected 3 magazines together he was able to discharge the first and second magazine in controlled bursts. This would have been wasteful normally, but from a range of less than 3 meters in some cases, against an enemy that stood shoulder to shoulder, the effect was brutal.
By the time he was at the 3rd mag there were so few targets left that he reverted to single shots, killing the enemy one by one as quickly as he could pull the trigger.
Behind him another platoon pulled, pushed, kicked and carried the slaves forward to the German lines.
Paul Müller did not know it yes, but the Paratroopers had indeed fulfilled their mission: less than 10 Slaves died and no Spitzohr came closer to the German lines than 150 meters. Walking backwards to the German lines he still poured fire into his helpless foes as he went.
During the planning for this Operation this situation in one way or another had been anticipated and the Paratroopers had trained for this several times. It had never run as smoothly as now.
By now the causeway was covered with Druchi, or bits of Druchi, enough that these was practically no road to be seen anymore. Paul considered it job well done when he was back to the German lines. He would start to worry about this a few days later, which was a good thing.


Slave Pens

The attack of the demonettes had been a bad surprise for the Germans who had considered the slave pens cleared of the enemy. Several squads who had been too busy moving the slaves out of the pens and not busy enough with keeping contact were massacred right away. What saved the Paratroopers was that the thoroughfare was under German control right from the start so that the victorious groups could not meet up with the groups less lucky.

Given a little respite the Paratroopers coalesced into useful combat formations around their officers and noncoms. The Wireless traffic was quite excited for a while until the situation became more clear.
It still took some more minutes until the Germans started to move groups about which actively hunted the demonettes while others protected the slave, or in the areas already cleared started to move the slaves outside again.
An additional platoon from the Gate reinforced this hunt and quite soon the demonettes learned a few new lessons. Like that the small balls the German soldiers tended to throw into rooms did indeed explode very nastily and that they were not immune to these explosions. Or that soldiers that are not suddenly confronted with them showed a far smaller tendency to “freeze” when they spotted them and that assault rifles made it nearly impossible to get into hand to hand range.

It did not take very long for the losses to mount up for the demonettes and then a strange thing happened.
When the old roman army decided that a unit had been cowardly the traditional punishment was a “decimatus”-every 10 man unit so sentenced had to cast lots and had to kill the looser using clubs. This punishment has stayed on in military language, and units which have losses exceeding 10% is considered decimated ad less efficient.
Losses exceeding 30% normally cripple a unit and it has to be pulled from combat and rebuild. The demonettes had lost more than that and were still a going concern-this was highly unusual, normally they would have vanished into the warp long before.
The reason for this aberration was approaching the gates to the slave pens.

Gate to Slave pens

Ilthies was frustrated and bored. He had tried to get the attention of the German commander responsible for the drop-off point, but he seemed to be overwhelmed by handling the slaves evac and the assault by the demonettes in the slave pens.
He had approached a Lt. next who had taken note of his warning that an attack was imminent, but seemed powerless to order the retreat from this post which Ilthies though indefensible against the assault he had seen.
Before he could insist further he felt that now was the time and without further ado dropped into a lotus seat. He was not bothered by the Camera which was pointed in his direction or the sudden shooting from the perimeter of the drop-off point-he had seen this during the last minutes already in several variations.

It would be nearly boring to play through were it not for his opponent.
Ilthies more felt than saw the black beam that was somehow visible even against the night sky. It connected a barren patch of ground beyond the wrecked warehouses with a transport helicopter which had just taken off from the drop-off point. It hit the helicopter in the tail and destroyed the aft rotor.
The Ch53 immediately started to spin about it`s axis, completely out of control of it`s pilots. It crashed only a short way from the perimeter and the fire which quickly started illuminated the demonettes that assaulted the germans.
So far the paratroopers were able to handle the assault, but Ilthies knew that this would change soon if he did not interfere with the designs of Lady Morith. He knew it was her, haing seen her in several visions and knew he had no chance against her.
He was a powerful mage and only not known better than some of his contemporaries as he had spent more time teaching and learning at the Tower of Hoeth than trying to influence events more directly.
Still, his opponent was a near-immortal being who had a much more direct connection to the powers of the Winds than he ever would dare and a vast knowledge of arcane lore.

He felt that his opponent readied a spell which would have everybody inside the German perimeter screaming in insane pain and lust, leaving them helpless before the demonettes.
Being outclassed did not keep him from trying to stop his opponent. Elves are very good at banishing hostile spells so he managed that without undue effort.
He localized his enemy quickly enough and casted his own spell which denied the winds of magic to her. The renewed magic attack which he countered just in time showed him the error of that.
Having to banish every spell which was flung his way made things immeasurably harder. Normally this should have been it quickly, but Ilthies had one more card to play. Him having spent so much time in the Tower of Hoeth might have denied him much fame and some experience, but provided him with access to the magic lore of millennia.
More than a hundred years before he had found a really ancient tome which had shown a way to wield much more power than normally possible. At first greatly enthused he had read on and both his reading and certain experiments showed him why this technique was best forgotten.
When he had finally grasped the problem itself, he had shuddered at the thought and had quietly shelved the tome again, making sure it would not be found anytime soon.

Now the situation obviously called for desperate measures so he send his mind into the metal yoga position it needed to accept more and more power from the empyrean. He did so just in time as a new wave of magic waved over his position. Stopping it would have been impossible few minutes ago for him, now it was nearly easy.


Council Chamber of the Order of the Heavens, Altdorf, the Empire, weeks earlier

"Unacceptable! This is heresy, against the order of the universe, this-"

"Enough! How dare you?! You have seen the vision yourself too! I find this equally disgusting, but can you give us an alternative?"

"...No! But if we do this, can you imagine, Caspar, what it will do to our reputation?"

"For someone of such magical power you are far too hasty, my friend. This cannot be one of our wizards, this must be a German. Look at the clothes, his demeanor..."

"What?...but... that would be the solution! The Germans might be progressive enough to get this operation going. A lucky one, that guy, such magical talent is a gift!"

"Yes, but I pity him as well. The things he will have to learn, in addition to his normal Wind, not to speak of the things he will have to do, poor sod."

"That might be, but a gift is a gift. And a gift which might bring us a victory we would never get otherwise! The sacrifices he will have to make are for the wellbeing of the Empire and in extension that of Germany and our new almond-eyed friends."

"Right, but if that is such a consolation on a personal level, hm?"

"Still, the talent for magic is strong in him. That is gift from the gods. He is an option we never had before when facing Chaos. and more, if the vision comes to pass, magic will make a development jump I and I think we all want to be part of. Working with the Germans already helped us immensely. The Jade Order is convinced, this might bring us the societal breakthrough we want. Even if he fails."

"If he fails, times will get interesting. We might survive it, but I have my doubts with Norsca and Kislev. But that is the future. Before we can discuss our find, we need to make plans for the Storm of Chaos looming on the horizon. If we loose against that onslaught, we can forget about this german guy, because we will be all dead. By the way, does anyone know who the man is?"

"I think I know, not defnitely, but I have a feeling. It is one of those german "Experts on Warhammer" as they call our world. A friend of this Markus Ruhdorfer, I met during a visit in Germany. I remember then talking with someone who looks like the one in the vision."
"Good, Werner, see to it that you travel to Germany soon and find him. The entourage is yours to assemble as you like."

Tiger UHT, over the Battlefield

The pilot of the Tiger helicopter was badly shaken still from having seen the shootdown of the Transport helo. The rage that somebody had shot down a helo evacuating slaves and injured troopers and the need for revenge battled against the need for caution. The latter was especially strong as he had no idea what had gotten the sturdy CH53, so defending against it would be doubly hard.
He was shook out of his reverie by new orders, they had detected a major use of magic close to the drop off point. He decided to have a look with his mast mounted sensors while hovering behind the ruins of some harbor buildings.
He could see the drop-off point-a real light show. Again and again something like black lightning seemed to strike at the comrades, just to be averted by an invisible dome. In addition to that the Paratroopers were pouring fire into enemies which assaulted their position.
His gunner checked the coordinates given by Seeadler in the infrared. “ I only see a couple of ruins at that position, but nothing viable. We have to fly over the mole, from there we can check the back side of them."
The pilot was unhappy to leave cover, but still flew his helicopter to the new position, keep very close to the waters. Pulling up to give his gunner a view he was about to scold him for leaving them in an exposed position when he heard “Got something! There are two infrared contacts in the area, profile fits a humanoid and some riding animal. Lets take them out."

The pilot dropped closer to the waters again and flew laterally to their contact for a kilometer in order to come from a new direction in case he was detected. Pouring more than 2000 horsepower into the flight the Tiger accelerated like a scolded cat.
His gunner still found the time to shower the area with 8 70 mm missiles, causing the target area to erupt with smoke and flame.
The pilot was just debating whether to turn around and make sure or take a bigger detour when he heard an almighty “whang” and his beloved tiger lurched. The sudden drop in power and many red lights in his worry board told him the same story: He just lost an engine.
Deciding that his helo was too valuable to risk more and being nearly out of ammo he set course to the “Seeadler”.

Close by

Lady Morith was livid with rage. Inhapeth, the Pegasus which had accompanied her for millennia lay in front of her in a heap to steaming offal, being slain by the strange flying machine she had sensed too late. That her Pegasus had died while shielding her from the brunt of the German attack was little consolation for the unexpected end of such a long relationship. She was even more livid when she failed to bring down the attacker. On top of that the puny mage who had withstood her for far too long already had the gall to send spirits her way when her concentration had faltered momentarily during the German attack.
Now she was surrounded by a horde off luminescent wraiths who screamed at her, posed in front of her, tried to hurt her and touch her in even more intimate and offensive ways. None of this was doing her concentration any good.
She used her rage as a point of concentration and again drew deeply from the warp than she had done in thousands of years. She would show these mere mortals why they should fear her betters. The punishments she would inflict on the Germans would be legendary.

Drop off Point

Ilthies was sad as he could see that he would not be able to do his duty as he saw it. The magical attacks on him were getting stronger and stronger and he could see no end to them. He was still fending them off but what it took out of him would be fatal soon.
The bleed off from the energies he channeled through his mind were heating up his body in a far greater degree than normal. His body temp had left it`s normal bounds some time ago and now the heat started to decompose vital proteins in his body.
If this were not to stop soon he would end as a rubbery mass with his proteins coagulated to a solid mass like the fluids of a boiled egg. The artificial fever was also starting to effect his thinking, making it more and more difficult to keep the concentration he need to keep up the spells. He would also need to replace the spirits distracting his enemy soon and he doubted that he could still do so.

Mountaintop

“Hab ich dich, Mädel!”(I have you now girl) Helmut Bär was of course not talking loud to himself, this habit having been removed by his instructors long ago. He had scanned the coordinates that Command had given his group for a while now, and now he was seeing the shape of a Dark Elf at approximately that point. She was surrounded by strange glowing shapes which seemed to attack her but were becoming less and less numberous each second.
He was about to signal his spotter when he suddenly saw her illuminated with a strange halo which showed up in his starlight scope. Approvingly he waited for the results.
Suddenly the Elf started to run, but the halo did not leave her for a even a moment. The explosion that blotted out the sight came as no surprise, they had illuminated the target long enough.
He gave the coordinates to command, but doubted that anybody would find anything useful there. 3 kilogram of explosives may be a small amount for a 155 mm shell, but they still tend to ruin your day on a direct hit, mage or no.

Gate to slave pens

Helga Meier was making history, even if she did not know it yet.
She had asked her cameraman to film the High Elf mage when he became agitated and started a discussion with an officer. Than it had become all too obvious that they were filming something much more important and dangerous than a troblesome Elf.
The sight of the Elven mage who had so obviously and ably defended them all had been captured on her camera in all it`s horrid glory. She would have nightmares about his eyes which slowly glazed over and turned white during the fight.
The sight of his aide who tried his best not to show his despair while guarding his masters remains was just adding to the impact.

The relationship between High Elves and Germans would never be easy and would know ups and downs in future, but the picture of the old Mage who, arrogant ass that he might have been, defended them all to his death would be something to influence them for a long time to come.

Ilthies had seen this when he saw the Cameraman a while ago and had grudingly accepted his fate.


“Sachsen” one hour later

“Jesus Christ, this looks bad!” The boatswain who looked into the endoscope he had expertly inserted into the gun tube in front of him could of course swear much more inventively but was too busy trying to get all information from the picture in front of him.
Taking the handle of his intercom he contacted the bridge. “I checked the barrel as instructed. Please tell the skipper that we can shoot MAYBE another 50 grenades or so before we have to pull the barrel, it looks that bad. Yes, I know that it is supposed to last longer, but we fired so many shells in the last mission that the barrel heated up way past specs. Sorry sir, that`s the way it is."

Gate to slave Pens, 20 minutes after that

Uli Stoiber was slowly backing his "Wiesel" back up in the direction of the last two helicopters on the Quay. One was boarding the sappers who had mined the pens now. The smoke which still came from the way into the underground pens showed the destruction they had wrought.
When that helicopter took off he checked his surroundings again. He doubted the Spitzohren would get the blazing fires, which had begun to haze the infrared sights in the last few minutes, under control soon. While Uli had not seen that much of the city, he estimated that the Elves would loose a third of Hag Graef for sure. Seeing nobody he drove into his waiting CH53 backwards, still looking for the enemy. Escorted by two Tigers the last Germans left Hag Graef. Ulrich Stoiber was so exhausted that he was sleeping before the Helicopter was back on Seeadler.


“Seeadler, at Dawn


“ Yes Father, I think so too, please make it so.” Admiral Lerbs replaced the handle of the intercom back at the holder and sat back. He felt drained of all energy now that the operation was over. That the last shot had been fire unfortunately did not mean that his work or those of his staff and the crews were over.
The slaves had to be properly distributed to the troop ships, the fleet had to resupply at sea soonest as so many munitions and other consumables had been used up. Lists of the losses had to be compiled. He caught himself dreading the writing of the letters to the relatives and tried to cheer himself up by checking the objectives for the raid and if they were met.
The Elves fleet was burned beyond recognition or buried in a mountain cave. The warehouses and pens which made the slave trade possible were smashed and the Dark Elves troops probably much worse than just decimated.
Several thousand slaves had been liberated from a fate quite literally worse than simple death and all of this with very low losses on the German side. Still, every loss was one too many and even the few slaves his orders had killed weighted heavily on his soul.
He listed with half his ear to the short service of thanks transmitted by the PA through Seeadler and the other ships of the fleet. The priest was doing all right but in his weary state it simply did not affect him right.
He started to look at the reports again when the singing started.

Nun danket alle Gott
mit Herzen, Mund und Händen.
Der große Dinge tut
an uns und allen Enden,
Der uns von Mutterleib
und Kindesbeinen an
Unzählig viel zu gut
bis hierher hat getan.
Der ewig reiche Gott
woll uns in unserm Leben
Ein immer fröhlich Herz
und edlen Frieden geben
Und uns in seiner Gnad
erhalten fort und fort
Und uns aus aller Not
erlösen hier und dort.
Lob, Ehr und Preis sei Gott,
dem Vater und dem Sohne
Und Gott, dem Heilgen Geist
im höchsten Himmelsthrone,
ihm, dem dreieinen Gott,
wie es im Anfang war
Und ist und bleiben wird
so jetzt und immerdar.

(Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices,
Who wondrous things has done, in Whom this world rejoices;
Who from our mothers’ arms has blessed us on our way
With countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.

O may this bounteous God through all our life be near us,
With ever joyful hearts and blessèd peace to cheer us;
And keep us in His grace, and guide us when perplexed;
And free us from all ills, in this world and the next!

All praise and thanks to God the Father now be given;
The Son and Him Who reigns with Them in highest Heaven;
The one eternal God, whom earth and Heaven adore;
For thus it was, is now, and shall be evermore.)

He never realised when he started to join the old song or that most of the staff in the room joined. It was an old song and a traditional one for German troops who had achieved something worthwhile.
What he did realize was that when the service ended the weight of his duties felt a little less and the feeling of accomplishment was making itself felt much more.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-29 02:40pm

Chancellory, Berlin, Germany

Angela Merkel, considering what had happened to Germany, was thankful for small favours. After about a year on this new world, diplomacy had fully returned to the german capital. In the first months, diplomatic delegations were from the Empire, the Nipponese splinter and the Dwarfs only, but that had finally changed.
While it was far too late for the german-bretonnian relations after the regrettable, but needed actions soon after the arrival, a Bretonnian embassy had opened only a few days earlier. Now a "grand" total of 4 embassies and 21 permanent envoys, mainly from the various Border principalities and Tilean city-states, constituted the diplomatic quarter of Berlin. Rather pathetic compared to the situation back on Earth, but a beginning.
This world was full of surprises, something the Chancellor and the rest of Germany were reminded of every few days. In Angela Merkel´s and the government´s case, one such area was the who, how and what behaviour showed up from the various delegations reaching Berlin over time.
For instance, Magritta´s envoy, from the famous city in Estalia, despite knowing about Germany rather early and good to reach by ship, arrived far later than High Khan Kublay from the Hung nomads of the Far East made something resembling a state visit!
Downright shocking, positive and negative, could be the displayed behaviour and general competence, because in some cases the non-humans were better to work with than the humans.

The preliminary height of that development sat before her. Two beings, which should exist only in the pages of a novel. But here on this world it was real. One of the two looked like a noble of old, tall, good-looking, self-assured, clothed in obvious finery, even if the style looked like a cos-player or re-enactor to german eyes.
The other man could barely be called that, looking like a real monster. But beyond that hideous visage one of the most brilliant minds on the Warhammer world resided. Not that the other guest of the Chancellor lacked in the brains department, far from it.
The negotiations had been fluid, but hardfought and at times enlightening for both the german chancellor and the two vampires. For all his might and intelligence, it had obviously rocked something within Mannfred von Carstein when Merkel told him: It is not only the Liber Noctis in Altdorf which hinders you, Count, but your deeds far more. Fighting against your compatriots to rule over them, will never gain you what you want. If you want the respect of your peers, living or not, you have to show them what you can do FOR the Empire, not what you can do AGAINST it. There are many dangers lurking in the dark for the Empire and Germany or other nations here. You add youself to them far above the needs of your "condition", instead of fighting these things within or outside the Empire.

It was clear, that this was a whole new point of view on his situation and Mannfred reminded himself to ponder this in all quiet later.
For now he closed a treaty with Germany about excavating the rich oil deposits found in the eastern ranges of Sylvania. Among the stipulations was one that meant that Germany and the Empire would build a railway to Sylvania earlier than some other regions. What a sweet victory for Sylvania, even if it was mostly because Germany needed the oil fast and in large quantities.

After signing, the next part of the negotiations began and Mannfred was curious what else he and the Necrach had in common and the Germans wanted to have.

Seeadler, several decks deeper

Coming back to the Seeadler was an anticlimax to the medic. The high pressure of combat had left Ralf exhausted on the flight back to the ship already. He had somehow found the energy to replenish his backpack and the consumables in his deep pockets while wolfing down a couple of bread rolls the mess staff made for anyone who needed food on the hoof.
The Paratroopers he was temporarily attached to thought about a “We survived it” party which promised to be wild until their Captain intervened. He seemed to be really sorry about that, but pointed out they were still in enemy waters and therefore had to stay available. He hinted that he would be willing to sponsor the party himself a couple of days later.
As the noncoms were willing to support this everybody found how tired they were and went to their bunks.
Ralf was feeling that somebody had hit him with a hammer and so even did not remove more clothing than his coat and boots before crashing into a deep and dreamless sleep.
This was a good thing as the PA system was going off seemingly right after getting to sleep, even if it really was a couple of hours later, so even in his befuddled state he was ready pretty quick.

Hag Graef, City terminus of harbour causeway

The group of slaves was busily searching through the rubble of shelled houses for survivors. Their hopes of finding any were getting less and less as they had to dig deeper and only found smashed remains.
Not that they would have minded if all Dark Elves in Hag Graef would die suddenly and painfully but they had learned to mask such feelings carefully. Even the soldiers overseeing their work found more interesting places to be and trusted their Overseer enough to be elsewhere.
When they lifted a particularly heavy piece of masonry they uncovered a Druchii noble in especially elaborate combat gear. The flattened Torso and the way his head set showed them that they had found another victim of the German guns. The slaves gathered around the body to remove him from his grave the “corpse” stabbed his right hand directly through the chest of the slave closest to him. Moving so quickly that he seemed like a blur to normal eyes he killed the complete group by hand within seconds.
It would not do to show everybody that he could survive injuries that would have killed any other Druchii. If the population of Hag Graef would know of his demon his life would be short indeed.

While his body slowly resumed a more normal shape he tried to look for a better place to be “rescued” from he took stock of his surroundings. He spotted another of the hellish flying machines that the Germans employed and was already starting to move to cover when he realized that the contraption was already headed back out to see.
In it`s wake it left a rain of something. While he was suspicious about them deploying a new weapon the “rain” drifted down slowly and seemed to consist of pieces of parchment. Feeling confident that his demon was able to avert enemies spells which might be fixed to the parchments he gathered one before it hit the ground.
It was amazingly white and even, with a very smooth surface. The letters were very much the same, and while a little simple showed clearly readable Druchii script:

Nobles and Citizens of Hag Graef

One year ago you saw fit to raid our country. Your Corsairs murdered and tortured our countrymen who had done nothing to earn them such a fate.
Tonight we made sure you cannot do this again anytime soon.
For the future,
Do not raid Germany again.
Do not attack German citizens.
Do not take Germans as slaves.
Or we will be back.
And then we will show you what Germans do when they are really angry

The scream Malus Darkblade issued reverberated all around the City, making being found in an inauspicious way much harder.

Seeadler, CIC, several hours later


Admiral Lerbs was groggy as hell from lack of sleep and the aftereffects of too much adrenaline that had no place to go. He still pulled himself together for the emergency that had been laid into his lap.
His S-1 described the new situation:
A Kondor flight spotted 2 fleets which try to intercept our way back to Germany. We send a Sea Lynx to have a closer look and found that we avoid one fleet or the other, but not both of them. So we have to fight our way out.
Position of the first fleet is here, it`s course is 124 degree and the average speed is 9 knots. The second one is here course 110 at 10 knots.
Both consist of upwards of 40 ships each with an even mixture of Skiffs and hydra ships. Unfortunately both fleets contain 4 Galleys each.
“Scheiße” Nobody looked too hard on who had made this statement as it was unprofessional but summed up their feelings nicely.

The S-1 changed places with the S-3 who handled operations. We have to fight one of the two fleets obviously. We have enough munitions on board to sink all ships if we have to, so that is not a problem.
We prefer to go though second fleet as we have to cross uncharted waters close to some islands if we want to sidestep it.
The problem is what to do about those galleys. We can stop them without sinking them, but we have to decide if we take the slaves on board. First off it is possible that parts of the first fleet reach us before we did so-that we are able to handle. The question is if we can take care of the slaves or if we have to leave them to the bleeding “Spitzohren”
Admiral Lerbs looked at the S-4, who winced. “ Presently we have 3720 ex-slaves on board of “Papenburg” and Regensburg”. This is 10% more already than anticipated in the planning already and I am not sure if the medical staff can handle….
He was interrupted by the Admiral: “Gentlemen, from tonight you and me will sleep in the wardroom. We have to look on how many sailors and troops must be made to hotbunk.
Detail some Paratroopers to look after the better off slaves and exchange some more of them for medics from the transports.
“Yes, sir”

Seeadler, Hangar

Paul Müller had seen the hangar many times now and still marveled how big it was. Normally the hangar deck of any carrier is quite cramped, but as the Seeadler current Helicopter complement was low it had lots of space.
He was wondering if he got soft in his old age of 29 as he had volunteered for something-his years as a professional soldier should have beaten that out of him.
While the assault on the Galleys was done by the Marine Infantry the medics needed for getting all the slaves out had to come from the Paratroop department again. And as you could not send the hapless medics into enemy ships unguarded they started looking for volunteers.
Maybe he could say that he was still asleep when he got asked?
He found a group of medics at the spot he had been told to look, they were just checking the gear they wanted to take with them.
One of the medics stood out, obviously older than the others and for whatever reason carrying an old-fashioned G3 on his back. He also looked vaguely familiar.
“Are you the medics detailed for “Moewe 23?”
“Yes, we are. We`ll be ready in 5 minutes or so, then we wait again.”

“Ok, I will get my guys then. BTW, I am not sure if we met before.”
“Have you been at the Battle of Papenburg?”
“Yes, why…oh my God, were you one of these totally crazy Landwehr guys?”
”Yep, I was the medic who told you to get that bloody nose seen to. And we drank quite a lot of Jever together at the Party after the service.”
” If you can remember that Party, you did not do it right.”
“ Ha, you tell me. BTW, do you have a little more info on that mission we are on?"

"Just rappel down to the galley after the Marines are done and get the slaves out” seems a little low.
“What do you expect, number of enemy combatants, number of slaves, armament and route of retreat, something like that?”
”Yup, something like that …”
“Welcome to Operation Clusterfuck, dreamed up at a moment`s notice by REMFS who will not be on it”, he laughed.

“Did they ask you to volunteer too?”
“Yes, but I was asleep….”
“Cut it. And I should not be talking.”
“We must be totally crazy!”
“Yes, we are. God bless us, there are none like us!”
Shaking their heads they went back to their tasks.

Tiger UHT, close to enemy Fleet, 2 hours later

The gunner in the Tiger had, as always, a grand view of the scenery. And a grand view it was. The Druchii had approached the Germans in several groups of ships, all superbly handled and obviously planning to attack the German formation in several waves.
All of that plan was gone now, as the fleet escort ships had attacked them about 10 minutes ago. Their 76 mm guns were firing rapidly at the Elven Sailships. They were using weapons systems build to intercept low flying cruise missiles and supersonic planes to shoot at wooden ships that did 10 knots or so, twenty under good conditions. There were no misses.
While the ships did not sink quickly, that is very hard to do with wooden craft, they again showed their tendency to burn well enough. In other places Tiger helos shot at the enemy with 70 mm rockets and their guns with results that were not dissimilar, maybe just a little better in the firestarter department.
All of that was just of passing interest to him as his pilot was doing a beeline to 2 Galleys who were approaching the troop transport in line formation.

Taking out a Druchii galley was difficult as they were rowed by slaves, whom nobody wanted to kill needlessly. While the use of a fire ship was tested during the Battle of Papenburg and worked well, it was a little awkward and difficult to coordinate far from home, so something better was needed.
On both Pylons his Tiger carried two containers which looked like external fuel tanks and actually had started out like that. Immediately before overflying the Galley he triggered the release for one Tank which started to deploy an aerosol which was further distributed by the downdraft from the rotor to cover both galleys generously.
Capsicum is the stuff which makes peppers and Chilies’ “hot”. If it is dissolved in an oily solution and weaponised it has mostly the same results on men or Druchii then the CS-grenades used to such effects on the Dark Elf soldiers on the causeway-in spades.

CH53 Helicopter, close to Sea Battle


The Helicopter with the call sign Moewe 23 (seagull 23) was patiently waiting for the Marines to give the all clear signal. The Pilots had watched them rappel onto the craft. While the Galleys had lowered the masts for combat the decks of the flimsy craft were unlikely to withstand the weight of a helicopter.
Presently the marines were assembling on both ends of the galley and prepared for the assault. “You know what this reminds me of?”, asked the slightly bored Co-Pilot.
“Nope...”
“Come on! In the hold of that ship are a few nervous soldiers, waiting for the assault from above, and in the assault group one guy at least is breathing through a mask!”
It took the Pilot less than 5 seconds to make the connection and laugh. “Yep, you are right. Just the good guy/bad guy roles are slightly reversed."
“Dunno, maybe you can ask one of the Spitzohren about that...”, the twinkle was lost due to the seat positions. They spend the rest of the waiting time humming the “Imperial March” and alternately simulating Darth Vader breathing, all the while making sure that their intercoms were not connected to the wireless.
When they saw the marines storm the hold the Co-Pilot quipped “One thing is for sure, the Spitzohren will not protest that they are on a diplomatic mission.”
”Do Dark Elves have diplomats?”
“Dunno, maybe after this operation they will have?”
They got the all-clear soon enough and brought their passengers to the Galley without mishap.

Deutsche Oper, Berlin, Germany

Despite not exhibiting the strange moods of the namesake, Detlev Sierck earned the nickname "Tasmanian Devil" from the workers in the biggest Theatre in Berlin. The most famous playwright in the Old World knew exactly how his plays should work and so during preparartions he tried to be at all places at once, frequently rotating between all important locations.
As a costume worker said: "We all are sure that one day the Chef will meet himself in a hallway."

The Weltensprung had cut off Germany from home, so all movies, TV series, theater plays were guarded well, to not loose the rests of one connection to Earth. But humans being human, all the stranded Earthers needed and wanted something for free time. German movie makers, playwrights and the classics lived through a new golden time, but soon the german population wanted to taste the local stories. And one could say anything, but despite being at war very often the Old World had a lot of culture to offer.
Detlev Sierck was easily on the level of Shakespeare and it showed. He and his wife Genevieve became rich giving showing rights to german theatres and at special occations the master himself travelled to Germany to direct one of his plays.

Druchii Galley

Paul Müller scanned his part of the Galley hold again but found again nothing threatening. The industrial size pepper spray had done it`s job rather well and the marines had not been in any mood to give much quarter. All “Spitzohren” which had been still clutching weapons (or had been sufficiently near them, in some cases probably on the same ship) had been shot. The very few survivors had zip-ties and would not be a threat for anybody until the medics got along to clean their eyes with some oil.

The water flasks near some of them showed that they had tried to clear their eyes on their own before they encountered the marines-that had just made things worse. Without an oily detergent clearing out the aerosol was nearly impossible.
Paul did not like his protective mask any more than anybody else, but presently he was positively grateful for it as both the rests of the Pepper Sprays would doubtless be a problem as well as for the protection from the stink in the hold.
Behind him he heard the medics working on the slaves, establishing transport priorities, giving water and generally calming them down. Together with some mechanic ratings they did their best to get rid of the chains the Elves had riveted shut to fix their rowers for the duration of the journey.
Both hydraulic cutters and simple sledgehammers and bars were used. Acetylene torches and similar were rules out because of the fire risk.
He felt the ship shake as if in a gale when a CH53 took the next batch of slaves to one of the ships. He had already heard that some slaves would end up on “Seeadler” and that their living area would become smaller-he was so enthused about that-NOT.

Sachsen

Captain Schmaeling watched the approaching Druchii fleet from the bridge. He should have been in the CIC, but if his Admiral had gone bonkers so could he. This was his first opportunity to study the Elves ships personally up close. Normally they should never have been able to get that close, but Command thought it clever to try something new.
The view of the approaching ships nearly made up from that. Compared to the imperial ships he had already seen the seemed better made, showing an elegant menace that was just tempered a little by the knowledge that this fleet could be matchsticks within 10 minutes if he so choose.
He heard rather than saw the 4 Sea Lynx Helicopters first which overflew him and dropped 4 depth charges each in even rows rather close to the Dark Elves. Set to detonation at low depth they pushed up impressive waterspouts which were higher than the masts of most ships.
He did not have to look but heard that Bremen and Köln lit off their seldom used Gas Turbines to play their part.
Well, looks nice enough-lets see if the Admiral is on to something or we have to pay for his inspiration.

Kar`s Spear, Flagship of the Kar Karond fleet


Admiral Malik was experiencing something like a mental overload. He did not even feel the spray that was wetting him from the huge waterspouts that had erupted all over his fleet. The even distance and obvious lines along which the explosions were placed showed that these were not misses, but deliberately placed.
The Dark Elf fleet was always one of the more dangerous on the Ocean. That they were among the fastest and most maneuverable meant that even if confronted with a superior enemy they usually could cut their losses and fight another day, if they were not cornered.

He knew he was just an hour behind the first fleet as they wanted to pincer the brash invaders at about this place and all he could see of these ships were burning wrecks or the flotsam that indicated the resting places of others. To say that this sight was a shock to him was an understatement-this was attacking the very foundations of his worldview.
Flying machines of huge size were making their way over the wrecks and smaller ones over his ships. The enemy ships seemed to be huge as mountains. What made it doubly bad was that two of them started to accelerate like a well driven Chariot and quickly attained a speed at least double of what his better ships could do. In a show of precise seamanship they rounded his fleet in mere minutes and arrived square on his route of retreat.
Over all of this the flying machine which approached went nearly unnoticed and he had a hard time understanding the speech which issued from it. It took 3 repetitions before he made the mental connections to understand the Reikspiel: “Parley”

Seeadler, 1 Hour later

Admiral Maliks mental overload did not get any better. He had agreed to meet his enemy on his flagship-it was clear that the Germans could kill him whenever they wanted anyway. If he were to come back to Kar Karmond any little bit of information he could gather would be valuable.
But where to start? In many cases he lacked the framework against which to compare his findings. The ship he was on was of immense size and the only thing he could compare it to was a Black Arc. But they were a huge piece of floating rock that the elves had tunneled and build on like maggots on a corpse. Here the whole size of the ship seemed to be utilized.
Everything was amazing-all rooms seemed to be magically lit and were actually heated. Whatever drove this Leviathan was well hidden. The ship seemed to be constructed from Steel-but how could anybody amass so much steel and shape it?

Over all this grandness he still saw that the Germans did not spend much energy to shape things in an elegant way or to adorn such their surroundings. Everything looked plain and utilitarian.
The Germans themselves looked similar-no gaudy colors, bright armor or flashy jewelry like their imperial counterparts would have shown. Everybody seemed to show more or less the same clothing except for the soldiers who escorted him and his entourage. Even there the human who had been presented to him as “Admiral Lerbs” showed the same clothing like his sailors, just some markings seemed different.
He seemed tired but determined to him. He was experienced enough to work his way through the introductory formalities “on autopilot” while he still tried to take everything in. Bu then it became time to apply all his resources on the Parley.
“So, Admiral Lerbs - you deny the will of Malekith himself by being here in our waters. You have attacked Hag Graef which is under his protection. So what more do you want to load upon your shoulders before your fate catches up with you?”

“We have done what we came to do and are on our way back to Germany. You are in our way -be elsewhere. If you can do that both of us can leave unscathed. The only thing we require is that we take the slaves from your galleys and then you can go.”
“What!? You come here, raze one of our cities, sink a fleet, kill untold numbers of Druchii and then ask me to handle over my slaves and I can go my way if it pleases you. Who do you think you are?”

“Admiral-you are remarkably frank. Let me return that: You can take the deal I offer to you. I can even sweeten that a little: We took some prisoners during the recent skirmish-you can take them. But if you decide to fight, then your ships will be sunk in the next 30 minutes AND I will be taking off the slaves you consider yours. I would be unpleasantly surprised if you manage even to scratch the paint of any of my ships during the fight.
Now what is it going to be: Sail home or swim?”
In the hundreds of years of his life Maliks could not remember hating anyone more than this tired human, but still there was only one answer he could give. He just hoped that the prisoners he would bring back would be enough to save his hide from the wrath of Malekith.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-06-29 02:43pm

Top Secret

For internal use only

Plan "Marine 2530"


The Weltensprung last year was a turning point of enormous propotions for all Earth Humans, known or unknown, shifted to this world. The tasks of the Bundesmarine changed very much with the geological and political landscape. Different nations, differing tech levels and vastly greater distances.
Local tech level makes a "low" tech solution possible, but this has other dangers inherent. Expertise once lost has to be regained far harder than keeping knowledge alive. This plan is made with the underlying assumption that Germany will not return to Earth in the next century, if ever.

Basic guidelines
- The tasks for the Marine are the following: Coastal and River Defence, Control of the local sea (in this case the Krallensee), Convoy duty for the merchant fleet, Power projection around the globe and fighting enemy shipping.
- All units will be equipped with high power active Sonar arrays due to local threats
- All units are to be equipped with Frau Meikles Magieindikator
- Local fleets make optical camouflage viable again, all surface units and if appliable due to mission type U-Boats too
- Depth charges for surface units
- The Marine needs warlocks and war witches of her own to fight enemy spellcasters
- Main Naval Bases are Kiel (Kommando Krallensee) and Wilhelmshaven (Kommando Hochsee) Both bases will be rebuild to the fortification status akin the Reichskriegshäfen of Imperial Germany
- Additional Safe Haven harbours for both civilian and military ships will be Hamburg and (when the channel is completed) Wismar
- SAR and Naval Zeppelin stations will be build in Papenburg, Tondern and Stralsund
- Fast Response half-flotillas will be stationed at Papenburg, Emden, Norderney, Cuxhaven, Heligoland, Havneby, Flensburg, Eckernförde, Wismar, Rostock, Stralsund, Stettin (Kiel, Wilhelmshaven are special cases and can react with forces above that level)
- Docks for wooden ships are to be erected at Stettin, Rostock, Kiel, Hamburg, Wilhelmshaven, Bremerhaven and Papenburg. This is a temporal measure until allied nations have changed over to Steel ships.
- The vast distances make long range ships a must. U-Boats and capital vessels are to be equipped with Rune-Turbines, emergency march Diesel for back-up.
- Use of Drones is encouraged, saving ressources and lowering the danger for human personal
- It has to be understood, that on Earth the composition of the Navy following this plan would be incomplete, but the situation here makes a compact or condensed version of ship classes not only viable, but financially cheaper too.
Shipclasses:
U-Boat types U 212A and a long range version U 218
Frigate types 124 and 125
FAC type 148 in three variants
Small Patrol Ships KFK-class
Corvette type 131
long range combat escort re-designed Admiral Hipper class
Battleship type re-designed Bismarck- or H42 class
CV types have to be examined until 2525, for now they are not needed and too expensive both monetary as infrastructural

Berlin, Office of the Chancellor, 1 day after the parley on Seeadler


The Colonel the Bundeswehr sent for briefing the German government about military developments had a lot more to say these days than a little more than 1 year ago. He finished his briefing with:
“….so now Task Force Stein has completed their mission and is now back on it`s way to Germany. They are past most threats that the Dark Elves might offer so this part of the operation went as smoothly as can be expected.
As planned the assault on Hag Graef took so much attention from the Druchii that Task Force Hardenberg went in unobserved. They have met their target and are currently unloading. Here too we do not foresee any difficulties. Are there any question Mme. Chancellor?”

“No, thank you, that will be all.”


Seeadler, several days later

They layout of the Seeadler was the maze to end all mazes. Ralf Winkler was counting corridors and stairways when he made his way, all the while keeping lookout for hammocks that some poor “hotbunked” soldier had rigged up to spend some rest time.
Finally he arrived at a his destination. Formerly a room to house a Squad of troopers it now held 12 Dwarves rescued from the slave pens.
He had been saddled with keeping an eye on these and some other “stumpies” as his experience in their rescue gave him more traction with the stubborn Dwarves than other medics would have. “Morning folks, how are you?”
“Same as yesterday and same will be tomorrow.”. A couple of days had only passed since their escape and the Dwarves were already sliding into a quite grumpy mood. Not that they had no reason for that.
The Dwarves had talked about their future prospects and that had not been a happy occasion. The Dwarves which had not been slaves so long as the rest were pretty sure that their respective clans would no longer accept them. Being a slave instead of dying heroically had a very bad reputation. The Dwarves which had actually been born in slavery had probably an even worse status.

Ralf had assured them that they could get asylum in German (that had been cleared up even before Seeadler set sail) but of course a life in exile held less attraction than going back home.
“Well, I have a little bit of good news for you: They had the second operation on Ulf on “Papenburg” and it went well. He is out of it and already asks for Ale, so he should be well. And no, infection is not a problem –so far our medicines can kill all of them.
Snorri is so well that they will probably fly him over tomorrow. The bad news is we will have to find room for him in here or the next room. As some more people are exchanged between Papenburg and Seeadler the lunch and dinner shifts will be moved: You now have lunch from 1:00 to2:00 and Dinner from 7:00 to 8:00."

“Did the arrangement with the armorer work out? He promised me you could use his workbench and some of his tools?” Ralf had arranged some “workshop time” for the Dwarves in the hope it would settle some of their uneasiness. Björn Olfson, who had emerged as a speaker for the better-off Dwarves
“Thanks, yes. He was very helpful and nice. He even rigged a forge for us so we could make something.”
“You still seem unhappy?”
”Ah - one of the mechanics showed us the engine of a “Wiesel”. When he disassembled parts of the... the fuel injector we learned how good you are. Don`t get me wrong but for all time the best metalwork came from us - even the Spitzohren have to admit that and now you show us metal parts which are so precise that even our language does not have a good word for the size of the tolerances.”
“Come on guys, from what I know you get to be very old. You can learn to do as well or better.” “Thanks, we will see about that. But be that as it may be, we have a small gift for you”

He handled the medic a flat bundle of cloth. He unwrapped a slightly curved small plate of metal which showed a rune on it`s surface. The rune seemed to reflect light in a slightly wrong way. “Sorry for my ignorance, but what is this?”
“This is an plate for your armor vest. We compared the size to the witness plate in your vests and it fits. The rune is a mage breaker-it protects you from magic.”
“Wow, thank you. I can certainly use that!”


When the medic left the cabin he was still holding the plate and made his way through the corridors again when he rounded a corner and squarely collided with the breast of a huge human. Looking up he recognized one of the mages that accompanied the task force.
“Please excuse me Herr Flammbach, I should have been more careful.”
“Nothing happened young man. Actually, you could repay whatever guilt you feel by pointing me the way to the doctor’s office.”
”Certainly, you need to go up one deck. Let me show you the way.”
“Thanks, I`ll gladly accept that.”
“Ah, sir, one question if I am allowed. I just got this plate which is supposed good against magic. Is it any good? It at least looks like that.”
Hannes Flammback stopped himself laughing just in time, many Germans had similar questions and had usually bought some worthless trinket. The plate the German handled to him looked different from these though - not enough flash, just a plain plate. Concentrating on the Winds of Magic for a second he was quite astonished.
“That is the real deal, my friend - a rather potent anti-magic ward. A good work.”
A little while later Ralf Winkler was whistling tunelessly while he made his way through the ships. He was debating with himself whom to approach and how, but his doubts about the future of this dwarf group was mostly gone.

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Mechman
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Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-01 04:27pm

Pfeildorf, Wissenland, the Empire

The number of people ringing one restaurant terrace at the city´s main market was not as large as when the two Germans first came to Pfeildorf, half a year earlier, but still substantial. Franz and Inka Siebert had eaten well, once again with some exotic ingredients, unknown to Earth cooks until now.
Franz was busy hammering away on the laptop, writing down additions to their report before the last of the reserve akkus would be out of power. Inka patiently answered questions, while asking some of her own. Like so many times before, the people in the Empire wanted to know about theirstrange cousins from Deutschland. The first time the couple was in Pfeildorf, rather early after the Weltensprung, they had been inofficial ambassadors, making sure to paint Germany in a positive light, but at the same time warning about the impossibility of Germany to take in all persons.
Now on their second trip to this part of the Empire, Franz and Inka could concentrate more on their main work, writing for Baedecker. The Weltensprung had been an epochal event, especially among the makers of travelling literature. Within eight minutes, their books and DVDs became nostalgia of a lost home.
Still, Baedecker, one of the pioneers of travelling books, was eager to rise to the challenge. Nobody believed that mass-tourism outside Germany would start within some years, that would take longer, but Baedecker on Earth had begun to write about other lands before the advent of the real tourism industry as well.

Nevertheless, there was a big problem. Their new home was more dangerous than Earth was. While Earth had enough hotspots of crime, war and other dangers, on Warhammer only few regions could be called halfway secure. So only volunteers went out. Franz and Inka had been among the more cautious. Only travelling to cities and using the best river boats and wardened roads. Others were more brave or foolish in the couple´s opinion, but that sometimes boldness wins was seen during Christmas season, when Baedecker brought out the brandnew "Norsca - The Skaeling Lands" book. Still, nobody could overlook the dangers and it was only a matter of time until one of the bolder voyages would end tragical.

The Sieberts were amazed at the changes the time between their visits to northern Wissenland brought. During the first voyage the people were awed by even the smallest things and the couple was saved from zealous witchhunters mainly by the reputation that Germans were as magical as stone.
Now in the really rural areas not much had changed, but in the cities and bigger towns changes could be seen. Be it a craftsmen using a modern tool (mostly the only one in the pack or a small selection), expansion or building of sewer systems, paving of roads, small steps, yes, but the beginning of a new age in the Empire.

Stuttgart Stammheim, High Security prison


482-the number of Wire meshes in her Window.
1202-number of Squares in her current bed cover.
2:32-time her wash basin needed to fill itself from the slightly leaky faucet when she plugged the drain.
The fact that she knew all of this showed that the Germans had found a way to hurt her - boredom.
The Germans had not allowed Jasla to mix with the other Druchii and meetings with the rest of the prisons population had not come to a good end. Showing her ability and willingness to attack the German guards again and again caused her numerous hematomas and provided some entertainment. The ultimate result unfortunately was that her food was delivered to her through a slot in her Prison cell door so even this small contact lacked. She had been provided with German books, which she could not read well and could not relate to, the cultural gap was too big. The times she was allowed to watch television made her wish for more boredom.
That the collar she wore and some of the trinkets cut her off from her magic senses made the boredom even more unbearable - the human equivalent would have been incarceration with plugged ears.
Into her boredom recent events mixed despair. So far she had hoped that the Germans would sooner or later loose battles with her kind and that they would try to exchange prisoners. The news she had been shown about that battles had taken even this slim hope away. In her blues she had gone for an interview with a psychologist.
Before that she had always rejected such proposals, but by now anything which made her day any different was good. Now she was sitting in an interview room at a desk with her hand and feet secured to a heavy chair.
The woman which entered her room was still prattling with the guards about confidentiality and no observation before she turned to her and locked eyes with her. In a flash she knew that boredom was over.
Petra Heim was desperate, this interview had to succeed. She had been studying long enough and her doctoral thesis supervisor had made it very clear that he expected her to do her thesis about the Dark Elves if she were to finish her studies at all.
That old fat pig had approached her a couple of months before. The thought of his clammy hands touching her was making her shudder, not that the thought of being touched by any other man was much better. Her rejection had soured the relationship to the supervisor considerably. She had at first wondered why he had assigned her what could be a prestigious project, until she heard that all Dark Elves so far had rejected interviews at every opportunity. Now she was in a trap and was not sure how to get out of it.


Trying to hide her nervousness she sorted her papers on the desk while looking at her subject through her eyelashes and trying not to stare too obviously. While she had seen pictures before they had not done Jasla any justice. She was tall, slender and even after one year in prison obviously of a wiry strength. She still had enough curves not to look androgynous. Her high cheekbones, slightly slanted eyes which lacked the fold which humans with such eyes normally showed and sharp lines made her an undeniable beauty. That it was the beauty of a well forged rapier and not of a less dangerous kind was equally obvious. That mere human could capture and hold such a perfect predator seemed incredible to Petra.
Finally she pulled herself together.
“Good morning Frau Jasla. I am Petra Heim and here to interview you. The warden told me that you agreed to a series of interviews about you and your kind.”

The pause in which nothing was said seemed to last for hours, even if it did not. When she was about to say something stupid Jasla finally addressed her.
“Certainly I will talk to you, child. I keep my promises always. But there is one small condition: For every question I answer, you will answer one of mine.”
That was of course not possible. It was unprofessional and would both violate her ethics code as well as the guidelines she had been given by the prison. There could only be one answer.
“Yes, mam.”
She left the prison a couple of hours later in a daze. During the interview she had bared her soul to Jasla like she had not done for any human she had ever known.
Driving home she was so deeply in thought she never even realized that she had creamed her pants.


Bückeburg, Army Aviation Training Center, Same day

“This, meine Herren, is you new steed, provided that you successfully complete your training. Yes, this is the first fixed-wing plane our Army Aviation uses after many years. No, It cannot take off and land vertically and it has no provision for laser-guided missiles.
But it can take-off on a unprepared runway of 50 meters and land on 25 meters even if there is no wind. It has a 300 hp diesel engine that takes less than 10% of the fuel of a helicopter per flight hour and is so quiet that you will not be heard from more than 300 meters.
You can take 5 passengers or their equivalent weight in sensors. Any of you have an idea on which plane this might be based on? Nathan Alpers had was still gazing at that fragile seeming wonder when the answer presented itself .
“It seems to be based on the Fieseler 256 of old, Herr Hauptmann.”
“Hey hey, somebody knows his planes, new and old. Spot on, this is the modernized version of the never build successor of the “Storch”. Made by a joint-venture of Grob and Dornier. It is constructed from modern materials, mostly reinforced plastics and it can do everything it`s predecessor could do and more. Let me show you some details…"


Nathan thought it just as well not to have mentioned that he had that knowledge from a flight simulation he had co-developed in the old days and tried to concentrate on the info their trainer demonstrated on the plane. A beauty this was not, but it promised lots of flight hours in the old school way. He already started to fall in love with it.

Papenburg, House in the suburbs, same day

Wolfgang Böhler was bored. His wife had died of cancer before the Weltensprung and his job, while moderately well-paying, was mostly routine these days.
His former joy in life, hunting, had unexpectedly paled after the Battle of Papenburg. At that day he did not just have to stalk prey which would elope if he did not approach right or made sounds-here he had met a capable enemy and had met their measure.
His precise calm shooting had certainly helped to decide the battle. This was not only his own feeling, but the After Action Reports had made it quite clear that this was so.
All of that did not matter if he was honest to himself. A “Spitzohr” in his sight and the feeling of godlike power when he decided to pull the trigger was a drug he had been immediately hooked on and could not be replaced by anything else.
He was idly scanning what was left of the internet for everything about this battle when he found a “Never seen before” picture in an obscure platform. He was computer-savvy enough to check it with a virus scanner and mentally prepared to be disappointed when he opened the file.
To his surprise, it was what was promised. It was remarkable how good the cameras in modern smartphones were. The picture was obviously taken by an amateur and the lighting was not that good. It still showed in remarkably clarity a scantily clad Dark Elf woman lying half on her stomach and half on her side. Her hands were handcuffed behind her back and a ring gag held her mouth open. The bruise on her chin could not disguise her beauty and her eyes promised bloody revenge to everybody.
This did to make this sight one iota less erotic.
He instantly recognized the mage that had been arrested in such an embarrassing situation after the Battle. He started to laugh in memory but then found himself wanting more. A short internet search showed him that a lot more people were interested in Jasla. He considered if it would be a good idea to get in contact with some of them.


The Warp, sometime-anytime

As this was the Warp no mortal could “see” the being as it was. The few which ever got a glimpse of it had to interpret their input in terms they could understand, so their descriptions did not have a direct bearing of the truth but nevertheless showed what the being wanted them to.
The descriptions all differed but most spoke about wings the size of mountains and a beak bigger than a ships prow, about wild colors and swirling patterns.

The emotions of it were much more complex than those of a human, but the feeling of elation and frustration at the same time was a very close analog of its present state of mind. It`s realm were the plots and intrigues, the complex long range plans and strategies, the calculation of a butterflies wing beat and the movement of continents.
And “now” most of the plans were in disarray, their probable and desired outcomes changed beyond recognition.
Mostly, the being was happy and fascinated with Germany being on Warhammer. That new comer nation with her funny little people was a fresh wind on a planet where his brothers Nurgle and Khorne wielded far too much influence. Just arriving here with their alien ways of life had strengthened him. In a way, the being had developed "fatherly" feelings towards this nation. Not only did her actions curtail the influence of his siblings, no, the unexpected arrival revealed a whole new tasty world named Earth. That it was in a different universe, was nothing to a being of his power.
But Germany could become and already was part of his frustration all the same.
The Weltensprung could be the Wild Card to diminish the influence of the Chaos Gods to such a degree that this world would become useless to them - an event that would touch everything and mutate results in ways not fit to the wishes of their designer. New plans had to be hatched and implemented, but the frustration was great- as were the dangers. If sufficiently provoked the Germans might do things which could change the patterns…terminally.

Before he started the real work it seemed prudent to move some small pebbles to see which shape the avalanche would take. Here seemed to be a good start. His plan needed a focus-and here she was. It needed participants-there they were. Changing the quantum processes in some brain cells here-changing the brain chemistry there-inhibit the blood flow at a third place…
When he was done he was sure that some Germans which would otherwise be frustrated would find a target for their feeling-a goal and an aim. Lucky them…

When he was finished he watched contently the consequences of his meddling unfold like a bunch of yarns unrolling into what humans called the future. He started to follow the threads one by one to see if this had the required results. Then he would "travel" to that new planet Earth, ahead of his "siblings". Hmm...maybe he would give Slanesh or Khorne a hint, maybe even Nurgle. That new world could be fun for all...
He was the Changer of Ways.

Papenburg, House in the suburbs, same night

Mathias Hartwig did not have to download a picture of Jasla from somewhere-he had made them. That any rule in the Swingers club forbade such things did not matter to him much-rules were for the common people.
Still, the sight of Jasla, bound and gagged against her will had touched something inside him he did not know it was there before. He had always liked SM-Games-the feeling of being in control spoke to him like nothing else.

Unfortunately the sight of Jasla showed him that such things would always be only one thing-games. If his partner suddenly found the game was not to her liking she could always put a stop to it. Where was the real control, the real ability to break someone’s mind and mold her to his liking? Where the chance to inflict more pain than his victim could stand and watch the expression when they realized that they were at his mercy-and not going to receive it?

He went from pastoral Papenburg to the much more urban Hamburg to find what he needed but found, in the end, only more of the same. Everybody adhered to this SSC (safe-sane-consensual) shit-were they all playing in kindergarten?
When he tried to have a session to his liking he was thrown out of the Catonium in Hamburg with a vengeance and it had been made very clear to him he was not to return. It had cost him some money to make sure it did not become a lawsuit.

On top of this frustration he was becoming upset with the situation of Germany itself-finally there was a chance for Germany to grab all the resources they needed-and they were not taking them. The Hag Graef raid had shown again that the Bundeswehr could curbstomp any army on this forsaken world-and what did this country do? Talk about trade and development; ask nicely-it was enough to make him puke.
Maybe it was time to look for people who saw things like him. If he were to move outside of the constraints of Germany interesting things might be possible…

Lasbek, North Germany, evening of the same day

Henning Wulf was as happy as he could ever remember being. He was stupid. Not a little, but major league stupid, just a spit away from being admitted into an institution. He was living alone in this small village ever since his father had died and left him the house and alimony. And his secret.
As his social skills were mostly nonexistent and his personal hygiene lacked as well he nearly had no acquaintances let alone friends. All of that had changed when a man had asked him for directions when he was on one of his aimless wanderings in the flat empty countryside. He was not surprised, city folks always got lost-or so his father always said.
He had led the stranger back to the road and his car. During this time the stranger had listened politely to his jokes and stories-something that had never happened before. He even invited Henning to a restaurant and had listened further.
He had promised to call Henning. To his utter surprise he indeed called back and they had met again at his home. Over the next weeks they had met more often and Claus did not only listen but also told him such stories as he had never heard before.
He had also brought Henning better Whiskey then he ever tried before. Just a good friend, something Henning never had before in his life. Last time he had hinted that he might have a secret that he could never share with somebody else. He had not seen his friends sudden interest or the angry look when he had sheepishly stated he could not show, it would not be a secret any more, wouldn`t it.
Claus, his friend, had promised him a surprise for the next visit-and what a surprise it had been. He had brought a beautiful woman with him. He was totally unsure what this meant and was even a little afraid of her. When they were settled in his living room he was not sure what to do next when she had walked over to him and touched him there while Claus just told him to enjoy his gift. This would be just what good friends do to each other. He certainly could not protest while she was doing such things to him. After a while he did not even realize that his friend had slipped out of the room, not while she was on him and moving in such ways….

Lasbek, Barn behind the Wulff house

Claus Tolles shimmied the old lock of the barn with ease and opened the door only so much he could squeeze inside. The high-power lamp he played over the boxes stapled high in several stacks promised him that the rumors he had heard might be true and the time he had spent with that inbreed idiot was not wasted.
A little work with a screwdriver provided proof. Claus had such plans with this new world and he just had been provided with another part of the means.
When the beaten German army retreated in 1945 for many units the retreat ended in North Germany, where actually the last German government sat in Flensburg for a couple of days before they were arrested by the UK troops.
Many soldiers had just thrown away their arms at surrender and had went their ways to become civilians again, others had given them to the farmers who had sheltered them for a couple of days. Most farmers had given these weapons up after things became peaceful again or had made them a part of the foundation of the next barn they build when the penalties for having them became steep.
Old man Wulff had been different. He loved these weapons and liked to have as many of them as possible. He had bartered for these weapons with other farmers or promised them to put them into concrete in his next buying project as he had a small construction company.
This had of course waned over the years, but his collection had become a major going concern again when he obtained a contract to demolish an old Soviet barracks in former East Germany. When his men broke into a sealed storage room they found a wealth of arms. Promising his men to bring them to disposal and giving them a healthy bonus he had brought two trucks full of arms and ammo to his home.
When he died suddenly he had left this to his idiot son before he could do something about it.
Claus was looking at an amazing assortment of machine guns, assault rifles and other militaria. This was going to be great.

Great Forrest, the Empire


Ernst Hermann watched the Transall fly over the expanse of the Great Forrest from a window of the “Hind” helicopter he was in. The Transall had the ramp open and a parachute pulled a cylindrical object out of the rear ramp.
The cylinder quickly disappeared below the canopy before a flash and smoke signaled the explosion of several tons of low-grade explosives. It was the fastest way make a clearing in the forrest sufficient to put his men down.
The Hinds overflew the newly made Landing Zone and then came in for approach. The two Hinds deployed the 4th Platoon KSK quickly and Hermann exited the Helo without looking back.

Assembling his Platoon the Lt. waited for his wireless operator. “Sir, the signal is still there, direction 095. Signal strength is consistent with estimated position, should be about 600 meters."

Lt. Hermann gave the go ahead soon thereafter and his Platoon entered the Great Forrest. This part of the Forrest had not been used by humans ever and was as Chaotic and full of vibrant Life as any Forrest could be. At ground level the light was very low, the air still, humid and smelled of decay. The sounds that reached the ears of the soldiers were muted and strange.
When the point man lifted his hand everybody stopped in his tracks and tried to make something out. First came the sounds, many different kinds of running, cries which had more to do with the animal kingdom than intelligent life, seemingly all around them.

A group of Beastman vaulted a fallen tree and assaulted the KSK members, ending the waiting. There seemed to be no coordination in the attack, just the outbreak of aggression and a willingness to kill. First squad fired on them, quickly downing the Ungors with 3-round bursts.
Only one of them made it into hand-to-hand range with the point man who managed to deflect the spear strike with his rifle before putting another burst through the head of the beatman.
Hermann forced himself not to watch the fight too closely but to pay attention on other quadrants as well, a precaution which paid off when a number of smaller, quicker beasts tried to sneak on the Germans. As they had bunched up too much the Grenade from his AGS launcher took out half of them, the rest died quickly enough from rifle fire.

Sporadic attacks continued until they had nearly reached their Target, then they ceased. The Platoon used the break to reload and adjust their alignment while several scuts tried to sneak closer for a better look.
The scream that ripped the relative silence apart could never have come from a human throat-it was much too loud, much too raw and vital. It seemed to come from a brass horn. The creature owning this voice suddenly stepped in front of the soldiers like it stepped through a door-nothing one second, there the next.
Everything seemed to freeze when Hermann watched the huge Minotaur rearing up to his more than 3 meters height, brandishing his crude weapons and screaming another noisy challenge. It obviously expected one of the Soldiers to come forward and engage in single combat.

It did not take the small ball that was leisurely thrown in his direction as any threat-the flight path terminated less than a meter in front of him and the ball just trundled a small distance forward from there. Looking curiously at the foreign object and still trying to make up its mind it did not even notice the German dropping down – but the explosion of a Frag Grenade right between his legs caught his attention just fine.
That he survived the explosion long enough to issue another scream of a totally different note was testament to his vast strength, the headshots which ended it showed what it was worth.
From there fighting was very sporadic and mostly consisted of shooting those beastmen which by chance ran in their direction.
When they arrived at their designed target area it took their breath away. While it was not a clearing with open sky there was no brushwork or fallen trees so that there was some open space. The trees in the middle of this zone were twisted and turned, covered by strange protrusions and of sickly colors. From the largest tree several cages were suspended seemingly overlooking a huge stone which was covered with crude smbols.
The ground before Tree and stone was rich with offal in various stages of Decay giving off a huge stink and attracting clouds of insects.

While two squads secured a perimeter Lt. Hermann and the rest of the soldiers checked the contents of the cages. They all only contained skeletons, mostly free of their flesh and crudely reassembled with sinews, some even had been reclothed with Garments in bizarre fashions. The centerpiece of one group of Skeletons was a small black box which showed a red light every now and then.
“Seems like you should have paid more attention to the Imperial Scholars who told you beastmen are dangerous, Professor. And no Father, the beastmen did not just wait for your attempts at bringing them to Christ. But why did you two have to waste so many others for this…?”

Talking to the dead is normally not associated with mental health but seemed fitting here. Hermann snapped out of it soon enough and organized the retreat, taking pictures and some samples for proof.
The Platoon took off in a different direction after that , a new clearing would be bombed for them soon in order to prevent ambushes.


Fruchthalle (Congress hall), Kaiserslautern, Germany

The historical savvy among the people in and around the renaissance flavoured Fruchthalle, once erected as a market hall, now a hall for concerts and congresses, could not stop the feeling of a deja-vu. The flags of Rhineland-Palatinate were a distinct minority or fully absent, most flags showed the Palatinate Lion or the Flag of the Elector Palatinate of old, even some bavarian flags could be seen.
The Palatinate had seen much over time. During the Middle Ages the Palatinate had been one of most important regions of the Empire and well off. But from the double hit of the 30 Years War and the french pillaging in 1689, the Palatinate never recovered. Literally razed to the ground, her early manufactories destroyed, having lost more than 2/3 of all people, the region became an impoverished shadow of what once was.
During the industrialisation, being part of Bavaria at that time, it got better a bit, but the majority of the territory stayed agricultural, not being a central region anymore. When after WW2 the allies wanted to create Rhineland-Palatinate, the vote in the Palatinate was the last one and the vote was against going back to Bavaria. To this day rumours persist that that vote was rigged, because in the population of the Palatinate returning to Bavaria had been favoured.
Had the vote gone for Bavaria, the Allies would have had a problem, because the other votes in the Rhineland had been a no as well.
A second, later vote about the return to Bavaria was a no as well, but this not because of alleged rigging, but because more than a generation had gone by at that time and Rhineland-Palatinate had stabilized.

It had started inconspiciously and small. When the shock of the Weltensprung had been finally shrugged off, some people recognized the chance that Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg now had with the nipponese splinter at their doorsteps. But the red-green government in Mainz hesitated. Needing the votes, Prime Minister Dreyer had to take into account the rather dogmatic Greens and their opinions, which were strictly against new roads and railroads in the Palatinate, despite now being on a planet with an intact eco-system. And more, unlike on Earth where Alsace-Lorraine was not the most strongly settled or important region of France, the nipponese splinter was nearly as populous as Bavaria. A big potential was there.

The Palatinate was still having a regional assembly, the Kreistag, which was guaranteed in the constitution of the state and being a remnant of bavarian times. This Kreistag, mainly responsible for cultural things in modern times, was flooded with petitions from the mayors and regional MPs for a reversion of the state government´s stance. One had to be blind and deaf not to see the possibilites, especially for the Palatinate and Baden, in the coming decades.
It came to a head after, with lots of frustration, one palatinatetian MP in Mainz said: "The Palatinate would be better off without the meddling of pig-headed, smug wanna-be politicians - politicians who are mostly not even from the Palatinate themselves!"

How much of it was show or something which slipped thruogh in the heat of the moment, cannot be said for sure, but it created waves. In a mixture of political opportunism and truly felt unease about the sluggish, dogmatic state government, MPs and mayors from the conservative opposition and even some from the government began to rally in favour of a new vote about the status of the Palatinate. In light of the Berlin-annouced major, soon to be reform of the federal states this became an unintended wildfire. Under normal circumstances it would not be much more than a footnote in history, but now a "Away from Mainz"" movement with substantial support had formed.
While her hometown of Bad Kreuznach had been prussian for a time, it had been a part of the Elector Palatinate once as well, so opposition leader Julia Klöckner became the slightly unwilling face of the movement. The Irony was not lost on her, since even among the revisionists only a minority was hardline against Rhineland-Palatinate, but the state government was in the process of flundering a big chance. A chance with not only big potential for all of RLP, but a security question as well, since the state had borders with the new wilderness outside Germany.

Julia Klöckner essentially wanted to preserve RLP, but knew that would not be possible with this government. Even after the return of the KSK from a rescue operation, the gruesome details, the Greens among the govenrment like Lemke still spouted nonsense about the preservation of the lands outside Germany in the current form. An idiocy even the "Realo"-Greens led Baden-Württemberg put into the rubbish box soon after Hof.
Mainz did not get that the times and things to be done had changed profundly. The people of Rhineland-Palatinate on the other hand did. Indicated not only by the tens of thousand demonstrators in Kaiserslautern, but by the calm of the other parts of RLP as well. They accepted the frustration of the Palatinatetians and more, in the Eifel, another region with a border to local "flora and fauna", movements for more security had popped up.
So with a heavy heart, but sure to do the right thing, Julia Klöckner had told the Chancellor, her party friend, that she championed a partition of Rhineland-Palatinate in the upcoming reform of the federal states. Now the CDU-woman walked into the Fruchthalle for her speech. To prepare the people and win more votes for the coming end of the federal state.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-03 11:51am

Quarry close to Altdorf, 4 Weeks after Seeadler Raid

A series of detonations engulfed the whole cliff-like side of the quarry in sound and smoke, causing a substantial proportion of it to slide down in a huge debris cloud.
Heinz Albert did not look at this spectacle at all, he had closed his eyes to listen better. By his experienced ear the demolition had gone well, the stones formed by the explosions would contain an acceptable proportion of material which could be used as ballast for the ever expanding net of imperial railroads.
The exact amount, placement and timing of explosions to get the best proportion of gravel, stones or whatever was needed was part science and part art, he excelled in both.

He liked working here, the flesh pots of Altdorf were not too far away, the money was good and he worked well together with his team-but unfortunately things were coming to an end.
There was a new Railroad to be built to Middenheim and the distance from this quarry to the moving railhead was becoming too long. A new quarry was already designated and he had to work from there. As this quarry was within the Great Forrest life was about to become less comfy and more dangerous.

Wilhelmshaven, Quay


Christine Winkler stood at the Quai of the military part of the Wilhelmshaven harbour. She was just allowed here as she could show that her husband was aboard the fleet coming into the harbour-the harbour and it`s entrance were packed with spectators, press, Busses and whatnot.

And there was something to see even for those who did not wait for a loved one to come back-the return of a victorious German fleet. This was only the second time since roughly a century that this happened in Germany-and the first time the return was such a public spectacle.
All ships of the fleet passed through a water gate formed by two fire ships and the ships horns drowned out the cheering of those who looked at them-mostly. There were signs and placards decrying the “Pirates” and “Murderers”-but for every one of them there were 10 which welcomed the Slave Liberators. Being stranded on this world was remarkable for setting the priorities of a lot of people right.
The fleet seemed to take an eternity to reach the quay and make fast and even longer for the sailors and soldiers to come down the gangways. While “Papenburg” unloaded the wounded and slaves by one gangway she was waiting at the other were the Soldiers and Sailors disembarked, many of them to be greeted by relatives.

Christine had to wait-and to wait-and to wait. While her husband was not on the list of the wounded or killed of the battle she had no personal confirmation that he was well. When less and less people left the ships she was close to tears and started looking for help when she was embraced in a bear hug.
“Hi Darling, here I am.”
"What-why did you not leave that ship-you were supposed to be there?”
”In this mans army you go where they tell you. Long story, I tell you later.”

Railway close to Dampflokwerk Meiningen (Meiningen Locomotive Works) same week

Kurt Müller was a happy man, which was quite often these days. He used to be a volunteer railroad engineer test-driving Steam Locomotives for associations which owned a historical peace after they were finished their maintenance at the Meiningen Locomotive workshops.
Now he was the Chief Railroad engineer for checking out the newly build Steam Engines and one of the chief trainers for new personel.
These days the Meiningen shops were already the stuff of Legend, especially in the Empire which was having a severe case of the railroad craze. Not only that the railways could do so much, but they were actually understandable and gave the feeling of NOT being magic-just grand accomplishment.
The Meiningen workshop was actually able to build steam locomotives from scratch and was undergoing an expansion normally only seen under wartime conditions. Too many German railroads were still running on Diesel, which was still strictly rationed despite the supply situation getting better, whereas Coal was mined in Germany and accessible via the Empire as well.
The needs of the Empire were greater still. Most of the Steam Engines build were comparatively pedestrian cargo haulers but his current steed was different.

“Do you want your carriage pulled by a Stallion or a Plow Horse, your majesty?” was the question posed by their sales rep to Emperor Karl-Franz. His answer had galvanized the Locomotive works, THIS project was something everybody wanted to work on.
The enthusiastic monarch had given them the remit (and financing) to resurrect the Class 05 Locomotive-the fastest Steam Locomotive in the world. Officially the Mallard was the fastest Steam Engine, but everybody at Meiningen just knew that the 05 would have been faster if given a second run. The latter never happened because of the second world war.
It helped that they owned a half-sister and had overhauled her many times, so some parts and molds were already available.
Of course, being German engineers they could not leave that well enough alone. The Boiler was replaced by a welded one made from better steel, running at higher pressures and temperature. The boiler also featured a combustion chamber which made the boiler less vulnerable and an automatic stoker made the life of the crew far easier.
The engine was exhausting against a condenser, increasing efficiency again and reducing the water consumption considerably. This was a very German solution-exchanging a few percentage points of efficiency against a separate trailer full of condenser.
The suspension was modified to 3-point in order to navigate the less-well-made railways in the Empire better.
Valves had replaced the sleeves of the old engine, lubrication and bearings were much improved. The shape of the train did not have to change, it was still as good as in the days it was first designed.
The train now could raise steam for more than 3200 HP and with a not too long train could go for 220 km/h easily. The Emperor was going to get his stallion all right.

The absence of a human stoker allowed him to take two understudies with him. One was an Imperial he was to recommend for further training - or not. The other was a freshly promoted “Feldwebel” from the Bundeswehr who was going to join the “Landwehr” units charged with guarding the trains.
The moderately big (for a German) towered above his imperial counterpart. Despite that he related well to him, as he spoke Dutch as well as German, so his ear for unusual Reikspiel variants was much better than most normal Germans.
Joakim Vos was formerly a Corporal in the Royal Netherlands Army on training in Germany when the Weltensprung caught him. Having enough German ancestors to "stay", he had to find a new role in life. Like so many other people Joakim wondered why Austria, the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg and the german-speaking parts of Switzerland and Italy did not get transported with Germany as a whole, the majority of people there had the same ancestor tribes as the Germans did. Especially when for example Tetschen/Decin, which had only a handful of Germans after the forced expulsion in 1945, had made the jump too. There were over a dozen theories flowing around, but there was no winner up to date.
Anyway, the expansion of the German armed forces had given him the chance to join.

When the Empire and Germany decided to build the railways in the Empire they founded a Joint-Venture for that, the Kaiserlich-Deutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft.(Imperial-German Railway)
As some of the railways went through rather dangerous areas it was decided that the trains were to be armed and accompanied by Soldiers at all times. As these weapons were, among others things, remote control machine guns the armed forces of both countries insisted that they were to be manned by soldiers. Sigmar beware that some average civilian would control so much firepower.
To keep costs within reason it was decided that “Landwehr” units would be formed, combining work for the railroads with guarding the trains and manning the defenses where necessary.
That meant learning more about railways for Joakim and here he was.
The beep of the wireless set cut through the din of the locomotive. The railroad engineer listened in and started to smile even more broadly when he placed the speaker back into the receiver. “Ok folks, Center gave us clear space for the next 30 klicks and 20 minutes - lets make something out of it!”
Opening the throttle slowly, but to the stops he increased the speed gradually, all the while checking all gauges for anything untoward. And there were still gauges-no electronics in a train for the Empire beyond some cameras and screens.
The Train was doing 210 km/h easily and Kurt Müller was a happy man indeed.

Wilhelmshafen, Seeadler, 3 weeks later


Captain Werner was again at his desk late at night, even if this time the desk was on “Seeadler”. His wife would not disapprove too much, she was far too happy to have him back in one piece. How long this happy state of affairs would last was open to speculation.

In one thing at least she was right, staying so long at his desk did nothing for his concentration. But since he was back, paperwork also had come back with a vengeance so he had no choice but to put even more working hours into the day.
He scanned the draft of the After Action Report that the staff had composed and which would be send to Berlin after Admiral Lerbs reviewed it. As he was the flag captain he had to make a review so a bad report would not reflect back on the Flagship.
Still he was so tired he found himself just scanning the highlights of the report
.
.
German Armed Forces:
Killed in Action: 59
Wounded in Action 103
Missing in Action 0
Ships lost: 0
Ships damaged: 0

Enemy combatants Killed in Action 5000 (est.)
Enemy wounded in Action 10.000 (est.)
Enemy ships destroyed 500 (est.)

Hag Graef Housing destroyed 38%
Of this Slave pens: 100%
Harbor Warehouse: 100%
Known Barracks: 75%
Freed Slaves: 4118, of these 3720 from Hag Graef proper

Recommendations:
Building up own magical defenses. The flags provided by the imperial mages seemed to be particularly effective. Also during transport some freed Dwarves provided plates with Runes of Protection which seem to work. Here we recommend hiring these Dwarves…..
The Magic Indicator worked fine, it should be developed further. Frau Meikle seems to be willing to accept a Seat at a German University…..
The Monarc system worked as well as could be expected. Still a navalised system with active cooling should be developed.

“Seeadler” performed past expectations, but a change to a fixed Hangar and landing deck would improve efficiency markedly….
Ventilation and fire protecting need to be upgraded…..
.
Several reports indicate that the G36 lacks power, especially against non-human targets. In 3 instances the old G3 worked better than the more modern gun….

Recommended for decoration:
.
.
Müller, Paul
Winkler, Ralf
.
He was fast asleep before he could finish. When his head hit the keyboard he reminded himself that this was work for another day.

Papenburg

Wolfgang Böhler had, to his surprise, not gotten rid of his initial infatuation with this Jasla “thing” and had indeed searched the net about her.
Finding that this seemed to interest a lot of groups he found one discussion forum mostly dedicated to her, her fate and her “philosophy”. Strange that so many persons were interested.
The group seemed to cater a lot to people who were not so happy with the situation they found themselves in after the Weltensprung. It was strange really, he would have estimated that many of them would not have been interested-but they were.
He was much to adult to buy the Crap about Jasla as “Prisoner of War” which must be freed or stupidities like that, but he was still intrigued. There was a proposal for a real life meeting in 2 weeks’ time in Hannover-that he could make. He was seeing not enough people anyway, so why not.

State Police Headquarters, Sonderkommission 14, Stuttgart


"How is it going, Inge?"

"Quite well, I have to say. This interview with the prisoner Jasla delivered interesting details. While we are still checking some of the more outragious claims, like the repulsive behaviour of that "Professor" or several disturbing stories by our elven prisoner, Jasla´s informations are worthy, needed intel. I just hope we get her to repeat it under better circumstances. As it stands, we cannot use it in court for now as we got it with electronic surveillance in a juristically high dubious situation. But we can use it internally. Our state and federal governments, not to speak of the military and our police collegues, will be very happy to get hard info for use.
I just pity this poor student Petra. A pig as a docter father and her naiveness..."

"I know, but what did she think? The rules in prison are set and if she really thought nobody would listen in... Still it might work out for her in one thing. She was not the first one this "savant" tried to force into sex. We cannot use Petra´s case, but we found another girl who will be witness in court. He does not know it yet, but Meier´s life situation will change drastically. And since he showed such interest into the Darkies, we might give him the chance to personally meet them..."

Great Forrest, 4 Weeks after the Seeadler Raid


Garek Brightfur prepared to die. In his limited understanding this was the best way to prepare for a fight-accept that you are dead already and everything becomes easier thereafter. He had already fought an inappropriately high number of duels for his age, as the wild patterns of his fur had always shown him as marked by Tzeench, a very unusual state for a Minotaur.

His herd had never accepted him right as he looked different-not only his fur coloration but this slightly mismatched horns and his shape which was going more for wiry strength than for the brute power more usual for his kind.
Having won his duels he had been granted acceptance and status, but only grudgingly. He had barely accepted that he had risen as high as he probably would and would die in one of the many duels he had to fight sooner or later when the herds shaman had caught his attention.

He had spoken to him of the bigger picture, of things he could hardly imagine but desire greatly and of a grand fate that awaited him. He had taken it for so much talk when events showed that the shaman actually knew what he was hinting about.
The Doombull who lead the herd since anybody could remember had such status that nobody had seriously challenged him in a long time. Then invaders nobody had seen before had invaded their realm, slain one of the Doombulls Champions and desecrated the herdstone.

If this did not show that the Doombulls time was over-what else would it take. Issuing the challenge was easy-surviving it was the hard part.
The Doombull had a red fur which in parts shone like brass. He was easily a head taller than him and with his great girth weighted easily twice as much. And most of this extra mass was muscles with the hardness of old oakes.
His opponent gripped a long whip studded with barbs and a huge brass axe which was so heavy that he doubted he could use two handed easily. His enemy was far beyond any words, barely containing it`s rage enough to observe the minimal etiquette demanded by such a challenge.

Garek also found it difficult to concentrate on the Shamans prattling. The shaman had summoned him before the duel and had told him frankly that he was about to die-if he were not to accept his guidance. Being so close to the duel had made Garek more amendable to reason and he had allowed the shaman to perform a ritual he did not understand which involved the shaman blowing a black-green powder into his eyes. Ever since then his eyes hurt miserably, and he saw the world in a different way. How this was about to help him win the duel he did not know.
Still he had to fight despite all misgivings he might have about the outcome and even the shamans rants were coming to an end. Both contestants were moving into the circle formed by the members of the herd and the time for words was over.

The old doombull attacked him with full force immediately by wielding his whip at his legs. He had seen this before-the doombull applying the whip around his enemies legs, immobilizing them for his axe. He managed barely to sidestep this assault. The whip still hit his leg with a force that would have ripped the limb of a human but only hurt him some and got little blood.
It was the same with the second assault, only that his axe this time even threatened to cut the whip. That was enough for the doombull to abandon all attempts at more complicated tactics and simply to try to run him into the ground.

Garek managed to sidestep the assault in time and began to see what the shaman had done-he saw not only where the doombull was, he saw where he would be! How could he loose this battle now?
The Doombull attacked again but stopped short of Garek to swing his axe in an arc which would have decapitated him if he wouldn`t have parried against the flat of the great axe. He has to be careful there, if he would have tried that against the cutting side his inferior weapon would have been destroyed for sure.

This started the pattern for the next phase of the fight-the bull attacked, he parried the strokes with apparent ease. The old bull got more and more frustrated and his breathing more labored, his attacks more violent and clumsy all the time. Garek was already looking for an opening to attack by himself and felt quite good about himself when the whip coiled himself around his legs.

Hooves are not a great way to stay on two legs so he fell immediately when the Doombull pulled on the whip, screaming his triumph at the same time. Garek cursed his stupidity at concentrating at the axe only when there was a second weapon around.
He managed to guide his fall enough to drop on his back-but that just meant he was able to see the bull lift his Axe for an overhead strike which was sure to kill him. Seeing exactly which way the axe was going he twisted his head and torso out of the way, putting his axe up in the vain hope to deflect the strike sufficiently. The blade of his axe missed the head of the onrushing weapon barely but found a different target. The roar of the doombull changed tone at the same time as a rain of severed finger parts struck Garek-who had aimed at the bulls hand, not at the axe.

His enemies weapon dropped at the ground uselessly and the Doombull staggered back clutching the ruin of his hand while Garek came back on his feet. He ignored the pain in his legs and hand when he gripped the whipcord and pulled the Doombull into his strike which parted the triceps of the arm still holding the whip. Weaponless the doombull struck at his head with his bloodied Fist but the impact just made Gareks head ring. When he came back he saw that the Doombull had accepted his fate and bowed his head so he could take it off cleanly as a gift to Khorne.

Garek was spoken for by another so he did not comply, instead using his axe to strike at the Doombull again and again, removing limbs and inflicting painful but nonlethal wounds. The Doombull was strong enough not to scream but the lesson was not lost on the heard on looking with horror.
The final stroke opened the great chest of the bull so that Garek could push his claw inside and rip the beating heart right out. Lifting it over his head he pressed it like an orange and drunk the blood before consuming the flesh.

The herd had so far looked in silent horror when the shaman brayed his masters triumph, this finally sundered the thrall which had held the tribe in silence.
Their combined scream echoed far across the Great Forrest, promising bloody tidings for everybody who challenged the mastery of the Children of Chaos in their realm.

Restaurant in Hemmingen, close to Hannover, 6 weeks after Seeadler Raid


The big meeting room of the restaurant was full of small tables and small groups which were chatting amicably away. Missing was the cigarette smoke that would have "graced" such a meeting 5 years ago. Not only had Germany finally restricted smoking in restaurants in 2008, but decent tobacco was still very hard to get, so smoking was becoming less and less these days.

Claus Tolles was making the rounds in the room, taking here, commenting there and generally sounding out the members of the strange group that had assembled and whose common interest was Jasla.
He quickly heard who`s only interest was fetish, who was of the strange left wing crowd that wanted to free her on general principles-and who wanted something …..more.

Remarkably many people in this room were dissatisfied with Germany’s role in this new world which they saw as timid and too peace-loving. Many also had useful talents and some hinted at strange needs.
A chemist who was clearly a sadist, a bored-out-of-his skull sniper, a security professional with a crew whom nobody wanted to hire…
This was going to be great. He had given cards to those he thought interesting and hinted that a new, more excusive meeting needed to take place.

Ambassade de Bretonia
Républic Fédérale d'Allemagne

Très secret défense!
Seulement pour la vue de la majest
é

Berlin, le 4.4. 2521 IC

It has been three months that I am ambassador in Germany. Three months, in which I was totally surprised. I served Your Majesty in many countries for 34 years, but even the most exotic countries I got to know like the kingdoms of Ind are not as "exotic" as this Germany. Yes, in Germany they have more the climate of her allies, the Empire, they speak a very similar dialect and have some similar traits, but they are on the other hand completely different.

At first they are on a technological level far too advanced. Not only their military, what we had to learn the hard way, but also their civilian technology as well. I am living here in a palace, which is a lot smaller than your majesty's, but is indeed much more luxurious. We have water and light all day without using dwells or torches or lamps. Everything looks magical, but here very few things are magical indeed. Magic is nearly only existing since the Weltensprung, and only because of the help from the Empire. The Germans seem to have adopted the Empire's magical solution generally, with magicians following only one school. But it is not as strict here. One can learn other school spells as well, going above the level such is done in the imperial academies. Indeed basic spells of each school are taught at first before being specialiced on one school.

However, this is still done in infancy steps. Everything, which looks so magical is indeed, as said, of technological advantage. Horseless cars, communication between distant areas and their weapons are only the most obvious examples. There are many more. New sewing techniques, new medicine and some things called hygiene are other examples. Indeed there are so many examples no one can tell within a letter. In any case the Germans could outproduce the whole world if they wished. And the quality of their products is remarkable. Even the dwarves don't have the abilities to produce so good items. And the dwarves openly admit that!

However, this is also the Achilles' heel of the Germans. They have no magic. This is a problem as they are in danger of Chaos intrusions as well as in battle. Several potent magicians might equalize the Germans technology. However, the time limit therefore is closing, as Germany already has hired magicians, mainly from the Empire and is working on that problem. I guess in some years this problem is solved for them.
The problem for us is, we simply can't use that. We don't have so many potent magicians as we would need facing all their forces. The more I consider the situation, the more I am the opinion it was a grieveous mistake to go to war with them. Your Majesty´s instinct was right on that. The result is the same. The Germans took the area by force and we got bloody defeats, from the Battle of Isle de Tannenberg to the Second Battle of the Reik. Against the Germans we were defeated. The Nipponese splinter, which is in the process of becoming part of Germany recently, would have been no match for us in the long run, but the German assistance made any attack of us in vain, especially after the Nipponese decided to use German weapons. So we got nothing more than the Germans had proposed at the very beginning and we don't get the help the Germans offered us. If we see, what they are doing in the Empire we lost more.

The question is, why the Germans did not demand more- much more. One answer is, that they had apparantly lost two major wars in their homeworld within the last century. But this is not meaning that Germany was a pushover, as some of the "advisors", which are responsible for the Wasteland disaster, might imagine reading this. The forces needed to defeat Germany were massive. After the latter war, they were departed. Also they had lost great parts of their country. And it seems they have committed great crimes to parts of their population and that of others. And I am not talking about the ususal actions, but an industrialized murdering. That guilt is still determing the German actions by the politicians. Otherwise we would have had no chances against this Germany.

However, this is also the reason for the real danger to our country. I was able to read German and French literature. The French are our counterparts in this other world. Rousseau, Voltaire, Descartes, but also the Germans Luther, Kant, Hegel and many others have dangerous ideas. This tradition, backed up by the guilt feelings of the politicians, mean they have a much different view on the rights of Men (and Elves, Dwarves and so on), as we have. These ideas will shake our fundamental positions. It is not only we need to reform our military. Knights against MG positions or even tanks and airplanes are no longer working. They are only targets for gunnery training without massive magical help.
But we have to be aware that these new ideas can lead to more dramatic consequences for our way of life than their army. The Germans will not fight if they do not have to. Many would say the biggest danger is the German way of life with so much sex and the lack of respect. But that's not true. The real danger are the ideas of human rights. That is the real danger.

The question is no longer, if we need to reform, but how far and how fast. If we don't, a time will come and then we will suffer the same fate either like Hag Graef or this French king Louis XVI. The destruction of Hag Graef was very impressing. Our whole army would have needed months to do the same damage the Germans did within a few hours. And we would have suffered many casualities.
The Germans did that in a few hours with few losses. They could have even destroyed the whole city, perhaps even more easy than just capturing. But due to the German point of view the slaves had to be liberated. And now we should see our own towns and castles. Few of them are so well defended like Hag Graef was. We don't have better ships than the Druchii, who also lost a complete fleet as well not only at Hag Graef but also one on the way home of the German fleet. And no German ship was damaged at all!

It is obvious we need to get a stronger and much better equipped army and navy to cope with the German threat. Even if the threat of a military attack by Germany is far lower than we generally estimated. While I think that over time the Germans will begin to loose some restraints due to the local circumstances and gobble up some bits and pieces of opportunity, I doubt they will attack first often. (Chaos or other deadly menaces excepted)
Especially since for them our world in truly vast. From what I gather, the other world is quite smaller than ours and much more heavily populated. From the Germans view, here is so much open and free land you can take, incorporate and develop, if you wish, that wars for land are totally unnecessary.
But if we anger them, we will need an army capable to take them on. Therefore we need a much stronger economy. But that would mean reforms. The knights are no longer useable in fights with Germans in the traditional way. But they still rely on their old way of life, even the serfs do in a way. Our nobles will still be the most important force in a new army, but we will only have a chance in the future if we imitate some of the german ways. We can buy time by regelmenting the contact with Germany and Germans. But that doesn't solve anything. One village already fled to Germany because of several society-related reasons. Others may do that as well. That some will flee is in no way so dramatic. Much more dramatic will be the people, who will stay and fight for their imagined rights.
The question is, in how far can we change and how far we should? As said, an attack by Germany without provocation against us is highly unlikely and while they will take in some of our displeased, they will not let in all. So we have time, but we need to use it more wisely than the first contact with Germany.

The biggest danger of the appearance of Germany are not their weapons but their ideas.

Sincères salutations,

Marqui de la Roque,
ambassador of Bretonia in the Federal Republic of Germany

Premiere of the docu-movie "Die Tannenberginsel", Berlin, Germany

More than a year after the actual events, a documentational movie had been made about an important battle during the war with Bretonnia.

The island of Tannenberg is one of the greatest river islands in the Reik river with about 20 km legth but only up to 4 km width and about 80 km². It was named this way as the biggest hill is full with fir trees. This hill is about 500 m high, higher than any other hill in the region, mostly more than twice as high. Long before the virgin lands east of the Reik got the name Westpreußen, the island was named, indeed a few weeks after the Ereignis by a german scouting team.

Another week later the representants of the Nipponese, Germans and Bretonians had met on the banks of the Reik. It had ended in a turmoil after a good start. And although the Germans had made a last try to prevent a war, King Lioncoeur said, it was too late. And indeed it was. Since Morgiana le Fay had appeared the Knights of the Grail had become more and more annoying. But against such a powerful group even the king did not dare to oppose. However, it might had been also a good possibility...

Soon after, King Lioncoeur gave the order to Morgiana herself to create a beachhead on the eastern bank of the Reik in the northern area of operations. She got 8.000 men to do so. Another group of 20.000 men should make an invasion in the south to get rid of that pesky slant-eyes there. The king would stay in the north, as officially the attack in the south was a feint attack.

Morgiana chose to use Tannenberg island as base for the offensive. She had asked for the Grail Knights as avantgarde and that was granted.

In the early morning light a few days later she led her troops beyond the water. She was able to take the island with ease, as the Germans seemed to retreat without a fight. Soon she established a base for the invasion to come the very next day.

Once again rafts and boats were landing in calm waters under the cover of dense fog. Half of her forces were already on the eastern bank when the enemy was spotted. Several dozen Steam Tanks of unknown type, which looked much more advanced than the usual tanks of the Empire, appeared. Morgiana was warned again not to invade but to retreat. She did laugh to the young German officer, who gave her the warning.
"Do you know, who I am?" she asked him.

"Yes, madame." was the answer.

"And yet you have the courage to tell me to retreat?"

"Yes, madame. You don't know us. If you don't retreat, you will lose. At least your army." the lieutenant replied. Angrily she terminated the talks and the German officer retreated as well. "They don't know me. Now they will learn about my wrath." she thought. She gave the order to attack.

250 grail knights on their horses made the famous attack on the German tanks. In the fire of the 120 mm shells and MGs nearly everyone died. Only 6 could evade and retreat.

Morgiana was furious and she was surprised as well. However, she tried to make a flame storm on the Germans, when suddenly rockets and artillery shells from distant artillery positions detonated within her lines. Indeed the Germans fired only with a battery of MLRS and reactivated M109 howitzers on the Bretonians. But it was sufficient.

To find and destroy the enemy artillery she ordered her Pegasi knights to attack them. But soon she was shocked to see them dying. One by one was killed by rockets, artillery or by strange flying machines in the air. And before she could order her damsels to initiate a strike, her position was an inferno. Several Mk. 82 bombs had exploded there. Some Tornado bombers had made strafing runs on the surviving magicians as well. One of the 27 mm shells hit Morgiana's unicorn and she fell into the dirt. She was screaming. Although she wanted to make a fire storm she realized it was too late for that as her own forces were under attack of the Germans. And they were starting to retreat. So instead of attacking the Germans she made a protective shield, which was able to block the German shells.

The remaining forces were retreating to Tannenberg island. Here she felt save and wanted to consider her next steps. But suddenly the German artillery fire commenced again. She had to put up the shield again, but soon after she heard explosions and screams.

Indeed the Germans had used the fog as well and sent soldiers of the KSK to the island. These 100 soldiers were now attacking. And one of them, a sniper, found her. She and her pretty dress were no way to overlook. It might had been a fatal shot, if she did not spot him in the last second. But it was too late. She was hit into the arm and not the chest. She fell and her spell ended. Soon after also artillery shells exploded. Her army fell in panic and retreated to the western bank of the river. As she was unconscious she could give no other order and was rescued by some of her damsels and knights. The Germans did not follow the Bretonnians, who had lost about 3.500 men, most of them dead.

The battle was over, nearly at least.

Marquis Jean-Luc du Saint-Lac had been ordered to be part of the rear forces of Morgiana le Fay's army. He did not understand why he was selected, but the reason was, that he was ordered to do so only because the king wanted to show he did not want to get rid off the grail knights fighting there.
That someone else might die in the process was the price to pay for. And Jean-Luc was expendable. But even before he could go to Tannenberg Island, the battle was over. He was now in panic, as he was part of the army of Morgiana and soon it would be detected, that he had his entire, if small, realm with him, a fact he had tried to keep hidden. And with that the whole reason behind this. Jean-Luc was a patriot, but falling on the battlefield with his wife highly pregnant, did not sit well with him. So knowing what would be the fate of a noble-less fief, he did something he regretted as a true son of Bretonnia, but as one of the bretonnian nobles who took his duties to all under his rule very seriously, Saint-Lac had no choice. He had to flee his homeland.

In this moment his wife kept the calm. She convinced him to act. And indeed he acted. He ordered to man the incoming rafts and transport everyone to the other side. When asked, what he did there by a damsel, he answered he would try to rescue as many as possible from the other side. "The Lady will bless you!" was the answer.

He needed four runs to transport his people to the island using five rafts. After the third run it became strange, that many people were going out but only few would return. A surviving Grail Knight called Hubert de Lionville went to la Fay's tent. There the surviving damsels tried to heal her, so he was not allowed to enter the tent.

He wanted to leave again, when another damsel appeared and said to another, that Isabelle de Lyonnesse had not been reported and was missing. And that she was missing for some days. On the question, from where she was, it was answered, she was from the realm of the Marquis du Saint-Lac.

Lionville was stunned. At once he suspected treachery and ran back to the makeshift harbour. There he could see the Marquis just taking off the last time. It took some moments until he got a crew for another raft. He wanted to catch at least the Marquis.

On Tannenberg Island the group of the Marquis was surrounded by German soldiers. Marie de Saint-Lac was going to explain the situation, when the labour pains started. Stunned the Germans, who were commanded to send all Breton survivors back, ordered a medic at once.

In the meantime it had become a race between the Marquis and Lionville. However, Lionville was going to catch him as he had more and better men to drive the raft. It was hardly 500 m to the beach, but it was clear, that Lionville would arrive before him.

In this moment a big steam ship appeared with a single gun on the front part. "This is the German Schnellboot S 73 Hermelin. We have granted asylum to the Marquis du Saint-Lac. You have entered German territorial waters. Retreat or you will be fired upon!".

For Lionville it was a shock. But he retreated although he was furious. The Marquis and his people were in safety.

On the Bretonian bank of the Reik river Morgiana la Fay awoke. She knew she had lost. She was furious with these Germans, who killed her unicorn. And who attacked her directly. The wound would heal soon. But the psychological wound not so. And all attempts to convince the king to give her more men were negated. He saw better opportunities in the south. "We will capture these Nipponese land and then go further to Berlin." he said. For Morgiana it was not convincing. Was it possible he did not want to win?

In Westpreußen a few weeks later the plannings for the foundation of a new village were made. The name was Nouveau Trois Fontaines or Dreiquellen in German, letting the "new" fall away.

After the movie ended, it was discussed intensively by the audience. Nobody in the big cinema recognized 3 persons who were more than met the eye. The bretonnian ambassador, still a relative unknown face, a reman spy and Morgana le Fay. The sorceress was actually pleased with the events. Neither Bretonnia, the Empire or Germany knew about her long fight with the elven Imposter Morgiana. Everything what weakened Morgiana was good in Morgana´s book. It seemed Germany could become a blind asset for her. Maybe it was time for the old sorceress to learn more about Germany. But the attention of Morgana was always a double-edged sword.

Office in Stuttgart, University, Stuttgart

Reinhard Meier was looking at a long, exacting query that had been filled to the last page with in-detail data about Druchii thought, about their phobias, their sexuality and their thoughts about religion.

He was livid with rage. He had set that ungrateful cow up to fail so she would crawl back to him in disgrace and be more malleable. He had been told by reliable friends that the Dark Elves would not talk if it had no direct bearing on their well-being and now she had brought such a wealth of information.
A good friend of his from his study days was at Stammheim and had agreed (actually remarkably easily) to give Petra full access to Jasla without supervision. A second interviewer would either have warned the student off - or would be part of the failure, which would have strengthened Petras position - not good.
So his “old friends network” had come into play.
But this - this was unacceptable. If that woman was going on like this she might gain fame and recognition without him or only when he cooperated closely. He would have to make sure how to call her off.

He tried to reach his friend in Stammheim, only to be told that he was not available. This made him even more frustrated, a very bad thing.
He had a high blood pressure for a very long time now and that had led to an aneurism in the big arterial which supplied his lower body with blood. The aneurism was a bulge in the wall of the arterial like a bad inner tube of a bicycle tire about to burst.

So far it had never done but today it became so big it restricted the blood flow to his right kidney. Here a small organ close to the kidney registered the lower blood pressure-and promptly emitted blood-pressure increasing chemicals-which in turn enlarged the aneurism-which decreased blood flow to the arterial.
This vicious circle raised the blood pressure from it`s normal (for Reinhard)170/100 mm Hg to 310/150 within few minutes. The Aneurism burst then and blood flowed into the body like from a garden hose.
Reinhard was dead within 15 seconds and never had a chance to recall anything, not even the police arriving at that exact moment with an arrest warrant.
His oxygen-starved brain made him hear a sound like the flapping of mountain sized wings-a hallucination surely...

Bückeburg, Army Aviation Training Center, 6 Weeks after the battle of Papenburg

The landing approach of the “Storch” could have been better to put it mildly-the aircraft wandered about somewhat, the descent angle was adjusted several times and the change in the engine drone spoke of several changes in the power settings.

Still the aircraft set down well within the limits and the potent shock absorbers easily managed the forces imposed upon them. Nathan Alpers stumbled from the plane into the arms of his instructor-and was congratulated mightily. “Well done Nathan, you are no longer a virgin. First solo flight!”
Of course somebody was there to shower him with beer and carry him around on their shoulders. Nathan could not remember when he was this proud about anything.

Army aviation had decided that the new “Storch” was so easy to fly and cheap at it that they could use it for initial training as well, saving time and money for transitional training.
Nathan was walking on clouds for that day, the only fly in the ointment was when he phoned his parents about it and their reaction was colder then he wished for, they had never understood beyond a intellectual level why he felt the need to join the armed forces.
They always thought he was “better” than that, but he had seen that this was a new world and different answers were needed.

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Mechman
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Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-03 11:58am

Train to Altdorf, 1st class Coach, 6 weeks after Seeadler Raid

“Please show your tickets, Ladies and Gentleman”. The passengers in the 6 place compartment did indeed produce their tickets and nobody commented on a conductor wearing body armor and a strange looking rifle-they probably felt better for it.
The train to Altdorf was currently passing through one of the Empires great forests and these woods indeed might contain monsters. This was his first trip on this train after he had concluded the training for working on the train while keeping watch at the same time, so he still marveled at the passengers and the interior.

The passengers showed a wide mixture of clothing styles, from German business clothing and outdoor wear to the colorful robes of wealthy imperial merchants and the partitial armor worn by imperial officers.
The interior or the train was an odd mixture as well. For political reasons it was important that at least some imperial manufactories profited from making the trains. Their tech level was far too low to do anything substantial for the locomotives or the mechanical parts of the carriages, but nothing prevented them from contributing to the internal fittings.
This meant that LED bulbs were inside glass and brass lamps, wooden sliding doors with etched glass windows ran on German bearings and leather upholstery with horsehair filling comforted the back sides of the passengers.
The walls showed beautifully polished and inlayed wooden panels and the window frames were showed polished brass.

Additionally to helping the imperial industry it created an ambience which was looking modern to the imperial customers but not as overwhelming and Spartan as they viewed the interior of a German ICE train. The aesthetics even appealed to a lot of Germans, even if many thought it to be a little too dark and too detailed.

Making his way along the train Joakim Vos contacted the various members of his squad while at the same time checking tickets and answering passengers questions as well as he could.
To his astonishment the train started to slow down in the middle of nowhere. Going to the next intercom he took of the handle and contacted the railroad engineer about the reasons.

“Ah, hallo Joakim, same thing again. Center has a sensor reading that something blocks the rails ahead” The railway always ran a little current through the rails which showed clearly if the rails were broken at some point. It also indicated by cross current if something lay over the rails.

“We halt at the next siding, then the repair train can pass. Nothing to it, just like the last 4 times. Some assholes like to block the railway with trees-we will get them sooner or later.” “Martin, are you telling me that we have halted here already 4 times in the last weeks-don`t you think that is not setting us up for ambushes”” Hm, for a new guy you are quite paranoid” ”Even paranoids have enemies-we will keep an eye out” ”You do that”

Putting the receiver back into the cradle Joakim choose a different station. “Manfred-Joakim here. I do not like to stop at the same place all the time-go man your turret” “Are you sure,that could upset the passengers” “Just do it” “Yessir” A second call made sure that both turrets were manned and alert.
In wagons on both ends of the train Landwehr soldiers climbed into turrets that would not have looked out of place on top of a B-17 of old. Holding 2 Machine guns each they had electric drive and elevation but could be moved by hand if necessary. Mechanically simple and electronically dead they were simple enough that imperial soldiers would learn to handle them and perform the minimal service required between depot overhauls. Turning the turrets to make sure that everything worked they looked through the reflex visors the Landwehr soldiers asked themselves what they had done to deserve the hardass Feldwebel who had paranoid tendencies.

Meanwhile Joakim had moved back into the train, rustling up other Landwehr members and asking himself if he had already lost it when the train came to a halt with barely a lurch.
His two squadmembers were looking at him expectedly and he was thinking about what to say when the sound of breaking glass and the screams of passengers made all excuses moot. Pumping shells into the chambers of their shotguns they ran towards the fighting.

The stoker in the locomotive was swearing all the time while he put his pistol through the ball-and-socket-mount provided for this purpose in the armored walls of his cab. While it was hard to aim well that way at the short distance it was nearly impossible to miss the robed figures that tried to storm the Locomotive. Through his window he could see that besides the comparatively few assailants that had so suddenly emerged from camouflaged holes directly besides the railroad many more emerged from the treeline which was about 50 meters away.
He emptied his magazine quickly by shooting a couple of robed figures which tried to force his door, while the engineer applied reverse power as quickly as he could without hopelessly spinning the driving wheels.

While the train slowly begun to speed in the different direction some assailants managed to climb the tender and the roof of the train. As nobody tried the door to the cab any more the stoker called the Landwehr and a stream of tracer from the forward turret swept the uninvited guests from the train while the aft turret continued to fire on the advancing cultists which emerged from the woods. The twin guns ripped through them, killing enough so that the survivors saw the wisdom in taking cover.

The only remaining problems were the would-be train robbers which already had boarded the wagons behind the cab. This was a problem for others, so the stoker used the wireless set to appraise his dispatcher of the assault.

Joakim Vos stopped at the door to the next wagon, gesturing for one of his soldiers to open the door from the side. In the next wagon some cultists and a huge armored figure attacked the passengers. Most of the attackers wore bulky robes which hid their faces and were armed with long wicked looking daggers they applied to the unarmed passengers with glee all the while screaming phrases nobody understood. They seemed to shy away from the armed passengers.

Their supposed leader was of a different caliber. So huge that his spiky helmet touched the ceiling and muscled like an overblown body builder he wielded an axe that would have been difficult to lift for most men as if it were a hatchet. Two imperial soldiers and a civilian had tried to defend with sword and dagger, but the ferocity of the attackers and numbers told. One soldier was clutching the ruin of his right hand and the civilian was bleeding profusely from a wound in his side.

Joakim stepped forward to get an unobstructed line of fire and rapidly shot his opponents. He was good enough that by the time his first ejected shell hit the ground his third shot connected with it`s intended target.
The Warrior with the axe was the priority target. He was so close to Joakim that the balls of the shot had not dispersed much and hit like a solid mass. The charge contained 9 balls, all with roughly the same energy than a 7,65mm pistol round. The first hit practically ripped the right arms off at the Bizeps, sending the axe flying to the side. The second converted the proud chest of the aspiring Champion into an ugly anatomy lesson, his henchmen needed even less persuasion to die.

One of the Cultists managed to flee to the next compartment and before the Landwehr caught up with him had grabbed a female passenger. Holding her with one arm and putting his dagger against her neck with the other he used her as a shied. His screaming was still shrill but more discernible now. “Come any closer and I kill her-I swear I will. You have to let me go or will kill her. You have to believe me, I will cut off her head."

The Landwehr Feldwebel said nothing while he thumbed another round from his vest into the shotgun while never losing sight of his quarry, even when he ratcheted the last round into the chamber . “What are you doing, you have to move back or I will cut her, you have to believe me…” The shot cut off the tirade effectively, the cultist, obviously not experienced with modern firearms, had exposed his head too much. Joakim had aimed for the Medulla oblongata inside the cultists head.
This apricot-sized part of the brain conveys all conscious efforts from brain to body and controls highly important autochonic reflexes, so its destruction meant that the assailant was dead before his knees bend.

Joakim needed not be that careful with the shot placement. He had loaded a solid “Brennecke” round into his shotgun. While normally not very accurate compared to a rifle round it was more than sufficient at 3 meters. The 19.5 mm solid lead slug dumped so much energy into the targets head that it splattered everybody with bone, blood and brains.
The shot in a closed room made everybody’s ears in the room ring, but the two Landwehr men would swear for years that they heard Joakim “I believe you asshole, I truly do”
The Feldwebel would always deny it.

Boostedt close to Neumünster, 7 weeks after the Seeadler Raid


Ulrich Stoiber was as happy as he could be while wearing clothes-this was a place he did not expect to see again, at least in this way.
When Germany`s army started to enlarge it became obvious that more bases were needed. North Germany had seen already two battles so it was natural that some of them would have to be there. The fact that it was still federal property, being close to major roads and rail and surviving infrastructure all made sure that the barracks at Boostedt were reopened. For once pushing a round peg through a round hole the Bundeswehr named the new tank unit-which was supposed to become battalion sized-the 183th Battalion for the unit that had been stationed there before the base was closed and the battalion was disbanded.

The Tank school had given back the old unit colors-a yellow tank over a leaf on a blue shield, and facsimiles of that had been liberally applied in the new and old part of the Barracks.
When Ulrich had reenlisted he had been sucked in the organizational maelstrom that was the Hag Graef Raid, but he had been promised a posting with the 183th when it became operational. To his surprise the Army actually kept their promise.
He had received some leave after the raid and had arrived at his new posting 2 weeks before. Now was a special day: The first tanks had arrived in Boostedt.

He was currently walking around the Leo2A8 that had yet to be unloaded from the “Elefant” transporter and tried to spot the changes that he had been told about.
When he first heard about their new tanks he had been more than a little skeptical but only practice would show if he was wrong or not. During the decades after the Cold War Germany had reduced it`s great tank force from more than 2000 to an approved 250 or so. Many of the “surplus” tanks had been sold, but many others had been too much used up to be sold quickly.
Kraus-Maffay had combed the depots and had found more than a 100 Tanks which were worthy of a rebuild while the Army figured out how their new tank were to look like.

The new tank had started as an A4 model and still sported the older L/44 gun, not the newer L/55 which had a third more power. Ulrich had problems to envision any target in this bright new world where this would make any difference and the shorter cannon made the tank more maneuverable in many circumstances.
There was still a discussion about the best ammo loadout, but one thing was obvious already-the sabot-clad fin stabilized subcaliber darts (APFSDS) which had made up the largest part of the Leo`s ammo before would mostly disappear.

The totally clapped out engines had been the reason why nobody had picked these tanks before and replacements were hard to find. The old 1500 hp engines had therefore be replaced by brand new 1850 hp ones which were also much smaller, allowing for nearly 1000 additional liters of diesel fuel.
A dozer blade had been added to the tank in order to improve performance in difficult terrain.

The original armor was still in place-that was not a problem as it had more than enough strength for the Warhammer battlefields, but each side of the turret showed a metal plate showing a rune-for magical protection. Some dwarf clan was exchanging their work for high-grade steels and lathes.
On top of the turret the old commander`s machine gun was replaced with a remotely controlled weapons station. An additional machine gun and a 40 mm grenade launcher were sure to add anti-infantry firepower.

At the end of the turret a new armored container housed the latest addition to the Leos capabilities: A small, electrically driven drone housing a remarkably good camera. Having enough “juice” for 20 minutes of flying it was a good way to spot problems and chances without exposing the tank too much. A small company in Lübeck was making these and they were quickly becoming a fixture in Bundeswehr units.

Even harder to spot were several small cameras which were placed at various nooks around the tank to give good allaround vision to the tank commander.

They would hope fully keep the accompanying infantry to convert to patty mode when backing up.

He was so looking forward to give the Eisenschwein (Iron Pig) a spin.

Destroyer "Lütjens", on the Great Sea


Captain Ingo Steuerlein leaned against the bridge wing, his thoughts on a voyage on their own. His ship and the convoy it was protecting were on the way back to Germany, the radar was clear to max range, so a slight relaxation was possible.
"Old fashioned, but functionable!" was the thought Ingo had, looking over the convoy. In 2011 the Lütjens had been sold to be broken down, her time over. But before the ship travelled to Turkey on her last voyage, the Weltensprung had happened. Today Germany needed every military naval vessel, so the ship had been recommisioned.
Lütjens was old, but here on this world a really tough nut. Reliability was the code word for everything now, fancy frills came second. The whole operation stood under that imperative. Unlike at home, here the freighters most often did not anchor in the harbours, them being too big, no, like the sail age gone by, the ships anchored off shore, the goods delivered by boats and rafts.

And quite often at that. Outside of one, two handfuls of big nations, the settlements, even the nations, were rather small from a modern standpoint. So the mass of trade goods per settlement was not that high. To fill the holds, Convoy 35 had travelled a circuit of a full sixty stops, grazing a strip along the Southlands coast.
But before he could spint the thoughts further, a voice brought Steuerlein back at once.

"Contact, Green 22, max radar range, CBDR. Signal strength hints at a metal vessel. Shall we ping him, Sir?"

"Wireless?"

"Silent and no answer to our hails."

"Try it again and ping him. Alert level 2, something smells fishy here! Civilian vessels shall give 4 degrees to port."

"Jawohl, Herr Kapitän!"

"Definitely a steel ship, Sir! Close to a small island. Nothing on the airwaves except us."

"Mist! Verdammter! Tell Captain Wunderlich he has control over the convoy for the next hours. We will investigate that strange ship."

"Aye!"

During the approach the rumours and assumptions on Lütjens steadily rose. Who or what could it be? Condition 1 had been set. Missiles and cannons pointed at the bogey, when visual range was reached. Everyone above "armed" with binocs searched the horizon.

"Got it! Hmm ... old design. Who still builds something like that?"

Steuerlein turned his binoculars to the indicated position. He looked... and let his optics sink down in surprise. For the first and only time in his life Ingo Steuerlein really hoped that nobody on the other vessel was alive. Because that would have ramifications above any problems Germany or the native nations already had.
In his brain the equally famous and infamous name repeated in a loop: SS Waratah

Porsche stem factory, Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen, Germany

Ingrid Schrödinger, like her teammates, sat in front of the various monitors, following the simulations there. While one might think this design team worked on a new sports car, nothing could be further away. Decades of making top sport automobiles linked the firm forever with these vehicles, but in the early days under congenial founder Ferdinand Porsche, the corporation built vehicles of all kinds. Even Panzer.
Ingrid and her team had the honour to be the first Porsche team after seven decades to construct a Tank again. AVFs like the new Leo2A8 or the re-activatiuon of the Gepard Flak tanks were good ideas and useful, but stopgaps in the end. Unsurprisingly, the Bundeswehr began to task the various firms in Germany with the development of new weapon systems.
In the case of the successor for the Leopard 2 tank after the showing of the first project studies, two competititors were left: Kraus-Maffei-Wegmann and surprising many, the Porsche project.

The design estimates to be reached given by the Bundeswehr were hard. Not only should the, tentatively named, Leopard 3 be a vehicle for the Warhammer battlefields, it should safeguard technological knowledge and being useable on Earth as well. Not an easy to reach target.
But the studies of both firms had much promise. Kraus-Maffei had a well earned name in tank building already and their prototype showed the expertise gone into it. It was an obvious evolution from the excellent Leo2 design and promised to be the tough nut the Bundeswehr wanted for the tank corps.
Porsche´s design was different and showed that it´s parent was a high-tech vehicle smithery. Despite still compact measurements it was a rolling castle. Immensely hard and with heavy firepower on fast tracks, in fighting capabilities it surpassed the other prototype. The flaws in all this was the possibility of overengineering and mainly the price.
Ingrid´s orders now were to weed out last bugs, making the design simpler to maintain and shave off the endprice. As one could imagine, this was easier said than done.

Unnamed Island, Southlands Coast

The sailors of the Lütjens were swarming over the Waratah, investigating every nook and cranny. The Weltensprung had deposited the ship fully on the beach of one of the many medium and small islands before the Southlands shores.
And rather early it became clear that the old steamer had not been hit what spirited Germany to this world. Time and weather had nibbled quite a bit. It seemed that the ship had been here for the century it was gone from Earth. Luckily for the searchers a log had been found in the Captain´s cabin. It was obvious that Captain Ilbery left it intentionally there for a possible search team to find.
Captain Steuerlein was busy reading the entries after the brittle book had been taken apart and the pages carefully placed in plastic sheets to stop further degradation. The first entries confirmed what the people on Earth assumed about the fate of the Waratah. The ship was on her course to Cape Town, when the heavy storm, so many ships there reported on back in 1909, came up. The ship fought through the battering gales and waves, when suddenly among the lightnings the Waratah was bathed in a rainbow coloured light. At first, crew and passengers believed an unusual hit by a lightning, but there was no damage by it.
My God, they never found out that this is another world! thought Steuerlein after reading more entries. Directly after the light, a enormous lurch went through the Waratah, when the ship beached itself. Owning to the adverse weather conditions and being close to the South African coast when hit, the people onboard believed that the storm beached them on one of the islands off South Africa. Crew and passengers waited a month for rescuers, the ship having enough food and water. Then Captain Ilbery, thought to finally having pinpointed the position, decided to set over to the mainland and trek to the next settlement. He left the book with his planned route in his cabin to find. Then crew and passengers lowered the boats, went to the mainland and packed with a lot of provisions, began to travel to a settlement which was not there.

The crew of Lütjens had found the remains of the boats on the nearest coast of the continent. Steuerlein and his crew hoped that the survivors of the Waratah found a place to live, but knowing the world they were now on... Still, the people of Waratah could have been lucky for once. After rejoining the convoy, Captain Steuerlein called Berlin and told them their find. The mystery of the Waratah was now partly solved and the fact that the ship still was on the Warhammer world indicated that baring a wonder, a trip to WH was probably a one way trip.

Office of the Chancellor, Berlin, Germany


It was an unusual meeting in the chancellory. The leaders of all halfway "normal" political parties and several important NGOs met with Angela Merkel. The theme was very earnest. With the find of the Waratah two things were clear: First, a constant return to home was close to impossible and second, the plannings had to keep in line with a possible arrival of even more advanced people in the future. So Germany had to plan for the future and more, now was the time for some serious reforms on all levels. Not at once, but step by step. Reforms of the armed Forces, reforms of the federal states, reforms of the industry and agriculture werr just the important ones.
For this, Angela Merkel wised for a broad basis, a general consensus in most cases to make fluent transitition. There was grumbling and joy, paranoia and looking forward, but with few exceptions a general line of actions was reached. Together with national elections, several reforms would be voted about by referenda. And while some refom proposals had the support of even political enemies, there were controversial ideas which would be decided after the elections by who would win them.

Bargteheide, North of Hamburg, 8 weeks after Seeadler Raid


The back room of the restaurant was in far worse shape than the more sumptuous one in Hemmingen, the talks less airy and the participants more tired-they had been at it far longer. Everybody was looking at everybody else to see what were to happen next-who would be the first to move and to declare what was forbidden.

Claus Tolles viewed them in a detachedly, to him they were self-propelled pieces on a chess board with capabilities and weaknesses to be used as needed. Their personal opinion about him did not matter at all, but the risk to himself and losing his chance at greatness if he started wrongly did. Still, this was obviously the moment, so ready or not he had to make his move.

Standing up and walking to the top of the tables in a deliberate manner he felt all eyes on him. Rapping the table to silence the few murmurs still to be heard he went at it.
“Gentlemen –and Lady-lets cut the chatter and get to the real reason why we all are here presently. None of us is happy with Germany and her place in this world at present. Many of us have lets say “special needs” which would not meet the understanding of our fellow Germans if they were to come to more attention.
And while together I think we have assembled a group of interesting talents and capabilities we can surely agree that we cannot change the fate or structure of Germany so much that it would fit our needs.

We have trained soldiers here, engineers and scientists; we have sources for serious weapons, some industrial machinery and transport. Still, if we would try to change Germany itself to our liking we would bloodily fail.
So what is the use of this meeting then if we cannot change the things that we cannot? Simply, if we cannot change things to our liking inside of Germany, we have to step outside. Outside Germany we are suddenly a major force which we can use to further our aims without all the restraints that our do-gooder fellows want to apply to us all.

If we want, we can form a heavy weapons platoon from our ranks easily, even quip them well. As such we could turn any battle we take part in favor of potential employers. We could also raise indigene troops and offer potential employers help with their technological development.

And by doing all that we should gain riches and influence enough to give each of us what their heart’s desire. We even might go a step further-we would not be the first mercenaries that take over their former employer. I say mercenaries because this is what I propose us to be: Techno-mercenaries in a world full of ignorant barbarians."

The silence that greeted him was as loud as any sound he had ever heard. Shit-had he miscalculated after all-were these people not what he was looking for?
The catcall came from the back rows: “Better to be a big fish in a small pond, eh?” ”Damn right it is, at least for me-but how about you? What do you want-fight and work for your dreams-to reach what you desire or to dream sterile dreams the rest of your dearly lives? What is it going to be?”

There was the silence again getting heavier by the second and the sinking feeling got worse with each heartbeat. Then an anonymous hand started rapping on the table, quickly followed by others, then turning into shouts of agreements.
They all mingled into a roar in his ears which drowned all other sounds-except for something which sounded like the flapping of enormous wings-but that was surely an accustic illusion.

It took him a while to get control of the meeting back, but the mood of it had changed as the barrier everybody had feared to break had been eradicated-the feeling of possible accomplishment filled the room.

“From my talks to you I have an overview what each of you can contribute-we should divide ourselves into a “military” and a “science” group and look for what we can do. We also should…."

“Aren`t you forgetting something Herr Tolles?” The voice which had so unexpectedly stopped him was female, one of the few in the crowd. “And what might that be, Frau…Heim.”

"You have no indigene scouts, nobody who can show you the ins and outs of the local power structures, especially so far from Germany as we will have to go to escape the Fatherlands attention. And even worse-we have no magic support at all, and that would cost us.”
Claus Tolles could see the skeptical look returning to many faces and even despair in some of them now that their fond hope was about to be taken away again.
“And can you propose a solution to this deficiency, or can you just naysay?”
” I may have a solution for us, but it will be difficult, and possibly dangerous...”
“You don`t say-please explain"

Railway to Altdorf, 8 Weeks after Seeadler Raid

Ralf Winkler listened to the slightly asynchronous sound of the 3-cylinder compound engine which pulled the train to Altdorf. It was music to his ears as would be the sound of a good motorcycle engine or a hot car.

The Class 05 engine that pulled this particular train had a distinctive sound-and impressive performance-which was as it should be as this was the first official trip of the new locomotive and the special train made as the gouvernment train for th empire.

He had marveled at the interior of the train which was VERY nicely appointed-even better than the 1st class of then standard trains running this route. The Emperor and Germany`s government had decided that the first official trip of this train should be special-and what could be more special than bringing the slaves liberated from the Hag Graef Raid back to the Empire.

Currently he was sitting in a car probably meant for functionaries accompanying the emperor in future. He liked the aesthetics of these cars a lot-they combined the old-world craftsmanship shown in many details with the comforts of a high-tech society.

He took it as a symbol of the great opportunities which were to be had in this new world. So far Germany had to work hard at just keeping what capabilities it had-often having to cut back at least temporarily. The battles fought within a little more than a year demonstrated that this was a far less peaceful world and that there was probably a great more bloodshed to come.
But here, in this train, he could see what could be done-the fusion of magic, craftsmanship and technology, the opportunity to discover new lands, the chance to subdue monstrous evils the future could be great if they could grasp it.

“One last job” he had been told – and it had been meant as a Bonus, that was obvious. He had a group of 20 ex-slaves to look after until they reached Altdorf where they would be discharged. There he could have 2 weeks of R&R if he wanted it-as travel to foreign countries had become rare, more dangerous and difficult he had taken the offer in a second and his wife would follow in a few days.
Many of the other medics and soldiers which had been drafted into the Hag Graef raid had been offered this trip-and most had taken the offer immediately.

He was slightly dubious that the Dark Elves former captives were send out well prepared but from his conversation to the former slaves he heard that they were marveling at the riches bestowed on them. He had probably underestimated how poor most citizens of the Empire really were-they had actually received quite a bounty by their standards.
Some good clothing, including boots, medical help and even a couple of hundred Euros each were estimated by them to be much more than they needed for a restart of their lives in the Empire.

His group still cycled between looking at their luxurious surroundings and scanning the landscape which magically rolled by them. If any had known this area before he would have seen a huge change-the empire had cut back the forest at least 100 meters to both sides of the railway for security reasons and this country was covered by lots of newly found farms.

One feature captured the attention of many passengers so Ralf took a look as well. When the ex-slaves turned to him for explanation he was able to help. “That was one of the new “Lanz Bulldog”, they are made again. They are like the tractors some of you may have seen in Germany. They are not as strong or comfortable, but there are very few things about them a village blacksmith cannot repair. They are actually mechanically simpler than a steam engine: One cylinder, 10 liters cubic capacity, no gear box and will burn anything flammable which is liquid.

This close to the railways the farmers have easy access to fuel and spare parts and the “Lanz” can still do the work of several horses-so a single farmer can work a much bigger farm.
“I hear that a lot of the new communities around here are organized around “Raiffeisen” cooperatives-as far as I can see no nobles in sight. These areas are rapidly getting stronger economically as they have bigger markets for their produce and better access to technology-I guess this could shift power inside the Empire.”

The info from the medic made for thoughtful looks on many faces of his charges. The medic would not have been surprised if a lot of them planned to settle in these areas.
Getting to the Altdorf railway station took another two hours and the train slowed down considerably so the masses of humanity cheering the train on had a chance to look at it. Ralf harbored the suspicion that at least half of the enthusiasm was due to the new train: the railway virus in the empire was that bad.

Still, the train went into the station after what seemed to be an eternity and he moved forward to organize disembarking. He just had a short look at the stand erected inside the railway station and the musicians arrayed in front of it.
He had seen the personal colors of Emperor Franz on the stand-he was not sure if the monarch would actually greet the homecoming ex-slaves.
He heard the music that was played when the train came to a stop but took his time to identify it-the cheering of the crowd and unfamiliar instruments conspired to mask it. Finally understanding hit him:

Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
für das deutsche Vaterland!
Danach lasst uns alle streben
brüderlich mit Herz und Hand!
Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit
sind des Glückes Unterpfand:
|: Blüh im Glanze dieses Glückes,
blühe, deutsches Vaterland! :|
Unity, Justice and Freedom
for the German Fatherland.
Let's all strive towards this Purpose
Brotherly, with Heart and Hand.
Unity, Justice and Freedom
are the Promise of Happiness.
Flourish in this Blessing's Glory,
Flourish, German Fatherland

A pretty good day to be a German after all, but there were still things to do before he enjoyed himself too much.


Altdorf, the Empire, 8 weeks after Seeadler Raid


Ralf Winkler left the Tavern he had been assigned to, making sure that the small package in his pocket was not visible. While the sale he planned was technically not illegal here the German government would have frowned upon it. The very least they would have insistent on would be a right for first buy and they would have paid a pittance.
He wanted to show his wife a really good time in Altdorf and that meant some “play money”. While the Winklers were not exactly poor they did not have the means to waste serious money on a “once in a lifetime” trip even if they would have loved to.

Luckily Ralf had one item that should bring more than a little money in Altdorf. Discrete enquiries in the Internet about possible buyers had given him first hints, a few questions in another Tavern had given him more.
As his questions had caught attention it had not been too long before he was approached by an imperial he could not directly place but who had more than hinted at an willingness to buy.
Today he wanted to close the deal, so he had left the Tavern “for sightseeing”, leaving a note in his personal belongings where he went, just in case.

After leaving the Inn behind be begun to double back on his way, changing roads at random.
While his amateur attempt at countersurveilance was more salve for his mind than actually useful it was purposeless as nobody followed him. It did serve to confuse him so much that he lost his way in the warren that made up Altdorf`s roads that he had to pay a street urchin some cooper coins to lead him close to his intended target.

The back alley he walked down was gloomy even in in broad daylight as the high houses and the narrow way conspired to keep light out. Stinking pots for waste and “night soil” showed the bad parts of the medieval city.
Counting doors he arrived at the one which had been described to him. Knocking the sign he had been he was rewarded by a quick opening of the heavy door and a wordless summons. He was led via storerooms into more sumptuous corridors past rooms full of stone faced men bend over desks writing intelligible things while whispering to themselves.

Arriving in front of another door his way was barred by two footman who did a check on hidden weapons before he was ushered into the inner sanctum.
The man greeting him was fat and clad in colorful clothing. Moving his many chins he greeted his visitor and bade him into the chair in front of his desk.
“So Herr Winkler, I was told from reliable sources that you would be willing to sell something …unusual but useful to my house, something that needs to be sold discretely.”
“Minher Klement, I have been told you could require what I might have on order. Let` s cut to the case here and not to waste too many words: From what I hear many of your competitors already acquired such devices while your house so far has to do without. This is your chance to get your edge back.”
His counterpart refrained from any comment when he unwrapped the package he had brought, but could not help himself but bend forward to look at the item on display before him.

“Here is what you so rightly desire: A FX-81 calculator with solar power. It will do any calculation you may require of it as fast as you can input the numbers and will supply flawless results every time. It is powered by light so you will never have to acquire expensive batteries.
It will serve the house of Laurenz and Clement well, making tabulating sums and balancing your sheets much easier and will reduce the man-hours of costly calculators.
I will sell you the device and instructions in how to use for the paltry sum of 100 Gold pieces.”

Klement`s face went from pasty white to red in a second “You are a thief, I could get a similar device for just 20…..
30 Minutes and lots of screaming, threats to leave and general tomfoolery later they settled for 50 pieces, a cost free visit to Clemens tailor and the use for his barge for a weekend for the calculator, the instruction and an introduction into the new double entry bookkeeping.
Both were sure to have robbed the other blind, which was the sign of a successful negotiation.


Bremen, Germany, same date


The flames which erupted from the test stand went up for more than 30 meters and the roar of the violent combustion shook the ground and even far off buildings.
The onlookers were frozen for a few seconds and then started to applaud enthusiastically. DASA had successfully built a new Viking IVb rocket engine as it had been used in the Ariane 4 rocket.One of the precdecessors of DASA had made them before, but it had been a challenge to assemble a team and find the right materials and tools to produce them.

While not as efficient as newer engines which used cryogenic fuel they used storable liquids which meant they were useful for the upcoming satellite launching program but also for more military applications.
Together with the test of a humungous solid fuel booster last week they had just gone a huge step towards building a German space program.

Cave below Hag Graef, same night

The Dark Elf mage checked again that that the clamp held the head of the Hung prisoner was indeed fastened tight before he applied the saw to the brow. He was neither distracted by the grunts of the victim nor the blood which flowed copiously. An aide would cauterize the major blood vessels-it would not do for the prisoner to die too quickly.

Removing the cranium and setting it aside for further use he used a scalpel to remove the dura mater and had a look into the brain itself. While the influence of Chaos could be seen in details the brain was still “standard” enough to allow for the intended procedure.

Canting phrases which seemed not to fit a human or Elf tongue he pushed several silver needles into the brain centers which were associated with sight,hearing and speech. The needles showed coldly glowing inlays when they were placed right while the Hung lost what little intelligence and speech he still had. When the final phrase was uttered and the last instrument placed a jolt went through the head of the prisoner and the temperature inside the cave dropped markedly.
The priest removed the gag which had silenced the prisoner so far quickly.

The eyes started to glow slightly and a hoarse voice filled the room “Malus Darkblade, my favorite general. Interesting to see you still alive and in this place. Is it possible that you have your problems still in grasp?” The voice was just a pale shadow of the real presence of its owner as it was filtered through all too mortal means, but still it spoke of depths of hatred and control which were unfathomable by beings which were less old and powerful than him.

“Yes my Lord, I have. The Hung tried to take advantage of the damage caused by the treacherous German slave raid but were too hasty and lacked preparations. We managed to ambush them some distance from Hag Graef and devastated one of their hordes.
We made a goodly amount of prisoners and killed what we could not use. Our own losses were…acceptable.”
“Yes, your losses were low for such a battle. Still it seems remarkable that so many of those lost were from those factions most likely to oppose you.”
“No trap would be complete without some bait my Lord. It seemed prudent to kill two birds with one stone here.”


”Yes, indeed. This shows me why I should still be talking to you. But now tell me more of that “slave raid”. We need to know more about the threat the Germans pose-and you saw it first-hand. So tell me, what makes them so dangerous?”

“Where to start my Lord? We do not know everything and yet so much. Let me start at the individual German soldier. When we corner them in hand-to-hand combat they are not especially dangerous. Some have bayonets on their rifles, but a good spearman can overcome them. The problem is getting into that range as the German can fire up to 20 aimed shots per minute no matter whether he lies prone or stands in cover. And he is the least dangerous part of the German army.
They have rifles which shoot hundreds of rounds per minute, missile launchers which can kill even the largest War Beast and small cannon which shoot grenades by the dozen. It does no matter how much Druchii attack them, over open ground we will lose as long as they can shoot.

Their ships have cannon which have a range of at least 20 miles-they never entered the harbor and some of their shells hit the temple of Khaine on the far side of the city. They seem to be able to shoot up to 10 times a minute.
They have small, self-propelled armored chariots which withstand everything we can throw at them and have weapons which kill even Demonettes by carload lots.
Their flying machines have incredible speed and firepower and some of them can put their soldiers and chariots wherever they please.
What is less obvious is that they seem to react with great speed-from what we hear from other sources they can talk over distances whenever they want-a big advantage if there ever was one."

“I see. I do not think it is wise to engage the Germans any time soon-we have to learn more about them. Now about you and your wretched City… I have asked the other Lords to keep of you for the present-we can no longer afford that internal bickering. It is no use to do the Germans work for them. Before that it was good to be able to measure our strength against ourselves when there were so few worthy enemies, but now the situation has….changed.
You still need to provide troops later for the Invasion of Ulthuan, I will try to hire mercenaries to keep the Hung occupied...”
“Thank you my Lord.”
”Do not thank me, you will pay in some way, sooner or later.”

Excercise Range Munster, Germany


Hyazinth von Strachwitz still sat in his Panzer even after the other crew left in high spirits. Es hat geklappt. It functioned! God be blessed!
The mock battle he and his unit had been in was concluded victorious for their side. In a way, it helped Hyazinth that his direct comrades were new conscripts or still young soldiers, since he carried the weight of history on his shoulders. For now only a handful of his men and women knew of his famous ancestor who shared his name. It would not stay so, but until then he hoped to have gained reputation for himself. Being a direct descendant of one of the best Tank commanders of all times was equally a honour and a curse.

Castle Nanstein, Landstuhl, Germany


At this early time of the day, no other visitors were strolling the Castle grounds, which had been the reason for the 3 persons viewing down the Castle hill to chose this place for their talk. Günter Koch was still reeling from the words the two imperial wizards, one man, one woman, had spoken to him. He was one of the Warhammer fans or now experts working for the federal government, no less, no more. While Günter was positively surprised that his potential magical talent was above the norm, the rest horrified him.
"Seeress Edita, Master Rainald, I am truly honoured that you came all the way to find the person who plays such an important role in one of your prophecies and to know that magic burns a bit brighter in me than most can be a blessing, but about all the other stuff, I am just an average citizen, like million others..."

"I see that your modesty is honest, which is actually one sign that you ARE the person we search for, but you underestimate yourself a lot, Günter. That you take the right way is not only important for you or us, no, it is even more important for the whole old world."

"But you said it might even be one of my descendents, well, at least that tells me I will have children, because the training regime I steer to is less than amiable..."

"Good, you accept the truth. It is important that you do it, because if you fail... millions will pay for it." Master Rainald, one of the ruling council of the Amethyst Order made the slit throat gesture.

Günter groaned. "Great, I am still at the start and you load up on the expectations."

The two imperial wizards laughed. "We know this cannot be easy for you, but I think you will surprise yourself. We did not go overboard when we said that you have a great talent for magic. What you will learn is much more than most. In a way we are envious, but..."

"I know what you want to say: As thanks for saving their behinds from Chaos, I will get to be a pariah in more than one place."

"Unfortunately, yes, but both our governments know and there will be many who will be thankful. Here in Germany it will not be that much of a problem, at least initially, but in the Empire... His highness, the Emperor, saw it fit that you get an excemption for the Empire. You will soon get a special document, which wil grant you a lot of leeway.
But to be truthful: in regions with contact with your nation, it will help greatly, I cannot guarantee for a Hintertupfing with an overzealous with hunter there. Still, most witch hunters will acept it. If not... it can become interesting."

"Interesting, yes, I can see that. Magic has still a way to go in the popular opinions, isn´t it? Understandably in many cases, but still..."

Great Forest, Castle Wolfenfels, 9 weeks after Seeadler Raid

Ernst Herrmann tried to recall all the do`s and don`ts about the locals that had been drummed into him while he made his way down the aisle that lead to the throne of the castles main assembly room. He vividly remembered the words of his superiors “you got only one chance to blow the first impression”

- Keep your sight fixed on a point slightly below the Barons Face
- Don`t walk too quickly
- Do not look at the functionaries or attendants to the side
- Keep you left hand on the dress sword, otherwise it will foul your step and make you look like an idiot

Especially the latter point made the Lieutenant feel like a fool surrounded by fools-why would these bumpkins not take any soldiers seriously without a sword, which led to the next point on the list

- Do not think your hosts as bumpkins. If you do that they will hand you your head and the mission will fail

He managed his way to before the throne without mishap, executed the bow within acceptable limits and upon being asked to rise introduced himself.
“Mighty Baron Heinrich, thank you for welcoming us on such short notice. I am Lieutenant Ernst Hermann of the German armed forces and bring with me the 4th Platoon of the KSK.
I bring you the greetings of my government as well as those of Prince Boris Wüterich. At their behest we are to help you with the defense of the ways from Altdorf to Middenland through your estates.
Allow me to present to you the letter of introduction by Price Boris.

Pushing forward the roll of parchment covered with cords and seals it was taken by a slim young man who deftly opened it and wordlessly checked the results. Turning around he confirmed the contents with a curt nod before stepping back into his place.
The Baron was huge in every way, a grey giant with a full beard and thinning hair, fleshly jowls and a huge belly, wide shoulders and enormous arms.

His voice fit to the figure, a deep groveling brass slightly hoarse from shouting too many commands.
“Welcome to Castle Wolfenfels fellow warriors. It is good that our plight in defense of the way is recognized and reinforcements send. You are my guests now as long as you wish it to be so. My Seneshall will show you your quarters and will provide to your needs.
I suggest that we meet in 2 hours’ time in a smaller circle to discuss the details of your stay.”
“I am honored by being your Guest highness. By your leave?”

Later in the evening the Lieutenant carefully nursed the offered ale and ate the bread and cheese that accompanied while he sat in what in modern societies would be called the Barons office.
“Lieutenant Hermann, do not get me wrong, you are most welcome here. But tell me two things if you may: Why has Prince Boris and your government this sudden interest in this Barony which normally is just conveniently forgotten as long as we keep the Road clear and the Beastmen in check?
And-if you show me sufficient reason for this interest-how can you materially help us with just 8 men at your disposal. Even out here at the ass end of nowhere we have heard of you Germans and of your mighty weapons, but from what could see you mostly have brought your rifles.
Are these so mighty that you can stop a beastmen assault all by yourself with them? “

“Your highness, please allow me to answer the second question first. If we come to an agreement, then transport will arrive which will bring some heavy weapons for my team and enough modern repeating rifles for a company of rifleman. My Sergeant Blaskovics is a gifted instructor and can turn your footmen into riflemen in three months or so.
Or your knights we have submachine guns which they can use from horseback with ease, giving them some long range firepower.
We will also be here to act as spotters for planes and our heavy artillery if a big battle ensues in or near your Barony.
With our heavy weapons, a company of rifleman and air support we can, indeed, stop a very big beastmen incursion.”

“As to your first question: I could tell you that the generations of selfless service by your family have been noted and are rewarded, but that would insult your intelligence. You may have heard that a railroad is built from Altdorf to Middenheim. And as this railroad follows the old roads closely it will go right through your barony. Your barony is an area with lots of beastman attacks which I do not have to tell you, and we have to make sure that during construction and afterwards nothing untoward happens.

Also my country has no beastman problem-yet. Sooner or later some of them will come to Germany and then we have to know how to deal with them. Here we can learn.
Presently a lot of barons like you are getting German visitors and we try to offer our help at the same time as we gather information.”

If the Baron was surprised at any of this he hid it well. Some of this surely had to be new, but bushy beard and long experience as a ruler made sure not much of that showed.
“Submachineguns for my cavalry? I am not sure how they will take that, most regard the pistolcorps as next to useless and are proud to have left it behind.
Be that as it may I can accept that you can add to our armed might, but still do not understand what is all that alarm about this railroad. We have heard some things about it, but mostly it seems hard to believe or outragous lies.”

“I cannot attest to what you have heard or not, but the railroad is what we call a game changer. The railroad from Altdorf to Nuln which is already finished needs 12 hours to make the distance. Any of these trains can transport as much as 15,000 horses and we run several trains a day over this distance. When the railroad is completed here it could bring 10,000 soldiers from Altdorf in two days AND the bring the suppliers needed by them as long as they are here without the need of foraging from your farmers by them.
You can bring the goods from your barony to the markets within days and have much better access to the goods from the Empire or even Germany.”

The Baron took his time about his comments. “My farmers will like the ability to sell their produce and my daughter will love to be able to buy her books much more easily. If I will always be so happy about the princes ability to park an army in my backyard on short notice-I do not know. But I do know that I will have no choice here.
Be that as it may, I am happy to have you and you men here. We will have a dinner this night were I can introduce you to everybody important and where you can regale us with news from far off countries. Tell me, is it really true that your city soldiers beat off a Raid by the damn Druchi and that your navy sunk the Norses ships without a single loss…

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-05 03:51am

Altdorf, 2 days later

The medic left the premises of Laurenz and Klement whisteling happily, he had finally made some progress beating the basics of double entry bookkeeping into the thick heads of the traders calculators. As his instructor had said so long ago: There are no mediocre students of this. Either you understand it totally or not at all, there is no middle ground.

It seemed like at least some of them had seen the light, he had left them with some “homework” and was hopeful the results in the morning would not disappoint too much.
He maneuvered himself along the ending roads of the imperial capital, looking into some windows here or at a market stall there to have some idea about the upcoming shopping spree when he first saw a figure clad in a grey robe who had covered his (?) face well and whom he remembered seeing before.

Walking briskly along to his hotel he tried to decide on a course of action. Stopping at random places along the way both ascertained that he was indeed followed and that there was only one “shadow” along for the ride.
That his amateur hour efforts were not worth much never occurred to Ralf, that he should not involve the authorities was clearer.

He ducked into a dimly lit back way which served the “servants entries” of the town houses, crouching himself between some of the waste barrels that “graced” that path.
He did not have to wait long for the robed figure to walk past him, looking around all the time. He waited for the robe to come back even more quickly before he rose behind the back. Deciding on a civil approach he waited before 4 meters separated them before announcing himself:
“Good evening minher. You seem to be looking for me-may I inquire for the reason?” The startled grasp from the robed figure and the fact that she did not approach him right away made him keep the pepper spray and extensible stick in his coat pockets-but still at hand.
What he saw when the robed figure lifted the cowl made him forget about them anyway.

Friedrichshafen, Lake Contance, same date


Urs Zurmalmen still liked to walk with his wife along the lake front, they both thought it one of the more beautiful sights in Germany, could laugh at the statue of a courtesan that had been erected in the harbour (Imperia: She is really there) and love the sense of peace and security this environment showed.

There was one new thing that he was not so sure about: From the shore you could see two huge structures erected in the Lake. Large steel pontoons had been assembled in the lake and on them enormous sheds were erected from wood.
With all the wood from the Empire it became a much more important building material these days and it was impressive how big structures could be if they were made just right.
But even with these construction methods these sheds promised to be humungous: Nearly 300 meters long and more than 40 across and high they would need to be well ventilated when finished, otherwise they would produce their own rain inside.

The walls were now closed so workers already started with the painting. They were just working on the outlines of the script on them. When you looked hard enough you could already read:

“Luftschiffbau Zeppelin, Friedrichshafen” (Airship Yard Zeppelin, Friedrichshafen)

Well by the end of the day the reduced beauty of the waterline might be made up by the sight of the airships which would be build here. Urs tried to imagine standing below a 200+ meter airship and found he could not.
No matter, he would be there to see it. If the press were right actually pretty soon.


Great Forest, Quarry, same date

Captain Brenneke was using his office also for meetings with his fellow Landwehr officers.Normally this would be bad practice, but as the job descriptions inside the quarry and the Landwehr ranks roughly coincided it was not as bad as it could be.

Noting down the last details they had agreed upon he restarted the meeting:

“Ok, now that we have the training schedule nailed down we need to see what can be done to improve our defense. I do not need to tell you that we are far from support if something happens and given our location it is rather a matter of “when” and not “if” so we should actually spend some sweat to save blood.

I am open to suggestions folks: Go ahead.”

After the usual period where everybody discretely looked around to see who would start Captain Leibnitz harumped to get some attention. That was unusual as the Captain who lead and organized the imperial Landwehr soldiers was normally very reluctant to express himself. Seeing that he had the stage he started his spiel.
“We should build walls. We are the city soldiers and the footmen-we defend walls, this is what we do and what we are good in.”

“Nice idea Captain. We have the quarry, the living quarters, the workshops and the railroad depot to wall off-that will be what-about 5 kilometers of walls to build. If we start immediately we should be done in about 15 years.”
As usual the comments by Uli Hermir were scathing - he was a misogynist by even misogynists standards for a dwarf, which probably explained why he had ended up working up for two groups of humans he both held in not-so-secret-contempt.

Kurt Albers decided cut in before the light behind the “Wall” proposal totally went out. “Actually it is not that bad. We do not have to wall in the back faces of the quarry any more: They are more than 100 meters of sheer drop and their back sides is hard to climb: We can give that a pass. Same goes to the riverside: It is too fast flowing and deep to be fordable with ease. It we guard the bridge and prepare demolitions we are scot free on that side.
What we have actually to wall in is the front towards the rail line, which is about 1 Kilometer-bad enough as it is, but much less already. There is a depression to the east side which we can flood from the river with just a small channel-that should cover a lot of that real estate. There are about 500 meters remaining.

Of course we can not build beautiful city walls, but we can move all the rejected material from the Quarry there and dump all new material we cannot use otherwise there instead of the usual places.
If we cover that with some of the soil we are removing anyway we start getting walls mostly by using the heavy equipment we have here.
During the preparations for blasting this equipment is idle for extended periods of time-here we can make use of it without slowing our main works.

We have made a proposal here - Klaus, hold up that paper please. Everybody looked at the plan which showed the side view of something like a cross of a seawall with sloped sides and a city wall. The 2nd picture showed the line their proposed defensive line was to take – it looked like a segment cut from a vicious shuriken.

“Now that will just work so well. The enemy can run up these slopes nearly as well as over open land and why make the wall any longer than you have to....”

“Lieutenant Hermir, if you could be so nice as to let the Captain finish, thank you.” The flat monotone used by Captain Brenneke instead of his normal jovial tones stopped even the dwarf who was about to go on longer on the mental abilities of the humans.

“Actually the slope of the wall is too steep for easy scaling and we plan a palisade on top. If we can get our hands on a bit of NATO S-Wire climbing these walls will be quite difficult.
We copied the layout of the wall from a guy called Vauban and this layout is well tried in battle.”

“Hmmm, seems doable at first glance. Well you know the punishment for good work: More of it. Until the meeting next week present a detailed proposal what you need to make it happen”


“Can do, sir!”

“I like to hear that.”


“Anything else”.....


Kraus-Maffei-Wegmann HQ, Munich, Germany


"Great, the Bundeswehr decided to order a batch of 20 Leo A8 above those we made by rebuilding the cached ones!"

"Only 20?"

"Well, what is this with only twenty? We all know that the A8 is only a stopgap, wellmade, but nothing more. Our future lies in the coming generation of fighting vehicles. The Weltensprung forces us to develop wholly new design philosophies..."
"And with that new vehicles!"

"Quite right! New infantry carriers, new tanks, new wheeled tanks, new howitzers... a whole store of new stuff... we will build."

"What about our competititors?"

"The by far biggest challenge will be getting the contract for the wheeled tank for the recon forces. Beside us, Daimler, Porsche and MAN are constructing prototypes."

"What´s up with Porsche these days? Isn´t that the second tank they compete for?"

"Actually it´s the third. They also have a design for a new howitzer. And I think I know why they are this keen. If they can rope in at least one of the contracts, there is a high possibility that Porsche can stay fully independent, instead of becoming part of Volkswagen."

"Less talk about our competititors´problems, more about our problems. Dr. Wagner, Sigrid, what is your estimation about the chances they will beat our designs?"

"At the moment, with all firms fielding first prototypes it is difficult to conclude anything." The doctor lifted her hand in a stop gesture to let her end her speech first. "Nevertheless, some desgin specifications cannot be hidden even now.
From what we could compare already, I have few doubts that we will get the contract for the next tracked IFV. The other corporations simply show the lack of experience in that segment. On the other hand, I am rather sure that without significant improvements, we will not get the wheeled tank contract. Both Daimler and Porsche have sent a very good design into the ring.
On the plus again, we have few competition in our bid for the Gepard 2 Flakpanzer. For the Kampfpanzer contract, the Leo 3 or whatever it will be called in the end, it is too early to say something definite, but the only design even halfway a threat is the Porsche one. Mainly because they have a totally different design focus than we made. It will depend on what the ministry and the army prefer."

Altdorf, same date

The pushed back cowl revealed the face of a grey haired woman to Ralf Winkler that was full of fine lines and wrinkles. 20 years ago she must have been a remarkable beauty and even now she would be sure to turn a head or two, but that was not what drew the medics attention.
Around her neck she wore a sort chain holding an amulet very similar to the one he hid under his shirt, glowing slightly in the beginning darkness.

He was still trying to make sense of what he saw when the woman adressed him in a voice obviously used to command. “This is unfortunate but obviosly unavoidable. I am Serana, a Healer in service to Shallya and you are somebody who has something that has been denied my order for hundreds of years.”
Relieved that this was unlikely to be a mugging or worse Ralf composed himself enough ro find his words again. “Good evening Healer Serena. I am Ralf Winkler, a medic of the German Landwehr. You doubtless have an interesting tale to tell, but this is the wrong place for it. I spotted a tavern some way back-lets move there.”

Some time later they had found seats in the Tavern and were both nursing their thin ale while trying to take each others measure.

“Serena, I am very impressed that you can feel my amulet from some distance. But from there you get it wrong-I am neither a thief nor is this amulet useless to me. I have taken this amulet from the battlefield of Hag Graef, where it would have been unacessible to your order for all eternity and I have paid for this with blood, sweat and bad memories.
I am rather unwilling to part with it.
And it is NOT useless to me-it makes me a far better medic than I was ever before-it helps me saving lives. What can it do better in your hands than it could do in yours? Your order did not figure out to wash their hands in all the years of it`s exsistance-that does does not really impress me or shows that you will use it better than me.”

The normally mild mannered medic was showing an aggressive face-having been accused of being a thief and being useless did really rub him the wrong way and his experiences in the last 15 months had put a hard edge on a personality where before there was none.

“If you believe this you are a liar or a fool as well. This an amulet of Shallya, even an outsider of our holy order should be able to see that. Shallya only works through woman-everybody knows that. To you this amulet is as dead as a stone and whatever improvement you feel is a figment of your imagination!”
“Lady, this conversation starts to loose it`s point and my interest. If you do not believe me in any way we can part our ways.”
“If your amulet would do anything for you it would shine with Shallyas light like mine-yours will be dead as a coin. So show me and then it will be clear for even one as thick as you.”

The medic looked around if they still were unobserved enough as he was selfconcious about the artefact, he still even had not told his wife about it apart from that he had taken it on the battlefield.
Turning back he pulled it out under his shirt. It`s slight glow was mirrored in two big round eyes set in a face which showed a worldview on the edge of breaking down.
“That...that is impossible, utterly impossible. This must be a fake, it must be......”. Her obvious distress finally touched something in the medic which should have worked before.

“Sorry, Healer Serena, what we are doing here is unbecoming of two healers, even if we are from different worlds-literally. We started off badly, lets do that again.
I am Ralf Winkler, medic in service to the German gouvernment. Kindly help me to understand what I have found here and we can talk about it`s final disposition.”

Pulling herself together with obvious effort the Priestress found the ability to answer again: “Minher Winkler, there is something in what you say. I have to discuss this with my Order and we have to meet again. Where and when might that be possible?“

Great Forrest, Castle Wolfenfels, Great Hall, same night


“Interesting knife that you have there, can I have a look?”
”Certainly!”
Lt. Hermann handled over his personal dinner knife to Hauptmann Hemmler of the Reiksguard “I have seen such a pattern before, on swords from Araby, but it seems very rare, they keep these blades much to themselves.”
“Ah, I understand. It is a damask blade, a friend of mine makes them.”
“How, does he know the secret?”
“Not much secret about them, I helped with making the one of the bars from which this one was forged. You take many layers of soft and hard iron- in this case 37 of them-and layer them over each other. Weld them together into one bar and then twist them over the forge, hammering them flat.
When you are done apply some acid, this shows the lines between the steel layers. The blade is them both flexible enough not to break and hard enough to hold an edge. The pattern is very nice and individual for every blade.”

“Now, that is good to know. We achieve a similar thing with our swords by welding a hard edge to a softer core, but this is potentially better, especially for a knife. Well we are about to tell secrets, care you tell me what horrible thing you did to get a posting holding the way in the middle of nowhere?”


Thankfully the next course of the dinner arrived, so Lt. Hermann could take his knife back from his table partner, cutting off a serious piece of sausage for him and Hemmler, careful to touch the food only with his right hand.
He placed the sausage on the bread in front of himself-it protected the food from the table-while thinking how to react. A tactical dose of the truth might serve.

“I was send out to rescue some important people, but when I arrived they were already killed by the beastman”
“Ah, you have bad luck then, I had a case of bad judgment in the choice of a companion for the night.”
“Ups, was she worth it?”
“Yep!”
“Well when we are still talking about secrets, can you tell me a little bit about our companions in misery here?”

The Hauptmann gave him a sideways look, then shrugged his broad shoulders before settling down.
“Ah what the Hell, you`ll hear sooner or later...
About me an my men, you know-we are the Reiksguard detachment that is tasked with keeping the ways open. Most are like me, no connections, no big family, a little bit of bad luck, but here we are.
The Baron you have met-big guy, quite some fighter in his day I hear. But now he is on the wrong side of 50 and his wife died two years ago, that has taken the starch right out of him. Still-do not get on his bad side, he can be worse than an enraged boar.
Most of his sons died young and the only survivor went to the Pistolcorps. The hotheads in his unit should have remembered they are to distract the enemy, not to do frontal assaults-they did not and paid.

Now the heir is Ermine, his sucessor until they find her a husband. Here, out in the Boondocks this is not easy. Easy on the eyes, isn`t she, but is said to have quite a temper. And what makes the locals nervous: She likes to read....

Wolfgang over there, he is the Seneshall. He is also a son of the Baron, but born on the wrong side of the sheets. He would make a good heir, shrewd, not afraid of anything, can talk to people, but choose the wrong mother.
Sometimes a little frustrated by that I take it - a bit of a temper as well, you know?

The guy with the paunch and the hairdo of a bear-that is Meister Hark, Member of the Jade order when he is sober enough to remember it. Not a bad sort, we did not have a bad harvest in living memory.

Then we have.........

By that time more ale arrived, more meat to be put on the bread and more information to be digested. Hermann was happy that he did not stagger too much when everybody parted more or less happily to their quarters, bemusedly looking that the servants lifted one end of the table until the leftovers of the feast dropped to the floor for the hounds.

Plains near the cathayian border, Far East, 25. Nachhex

"Alai, I admit, going with the Khan´s horde was magnificent for your talent as a storyteller, but even I can see where you have chosen to exeggerate. Such lands would be close in beauty to the everlasting Plain of Winds, something which cannot be found among the lands of the Longnoses."

"Father, I, ..."

"Khan Kirel, your son does not play you for a fool. Some lands of the longnoses are changing and it is because of that new land -Germany- close to the realm which calls itself the Empire. I, we all saw things we never thought possible. Chariots running without horses, their capital tent thorp stretches out half a day travel!"

"Oh Khan of Khans, we should travel there and take what we need, if this all is correct!"

"Kirel, you are right and wrong. I talked with the Khan of the new Longnoses..."

"Bah, talking! You know as well as I do, that the Longnoses hate hordes like mine. They call us tainted! They stand against the true gods!"

"That may be so, but the new land is different. I doubt that they like you any better than the Kislev or Empire Longnoses, but they are willing to trade with all of us."

"If they are so well off as my son and you say, then what can we give them?"

"They want informations about the lands we travel, they want our cheese and meat of our herds."

"Great, then some things we will never get. Remember the deal with the Cathayians 2 cycles back? Only good for them!"

The other Khan now had a big grin on his face.
"Kirel, I was doubtful as well, but look over there- the chests!"

"What is so important about them?"

"We will use what is in it on our next hunting foray into treacherous Cathay. Other nations as well. They call it Arkebuse."

Darkmoor City Hall, Albion, 4. Pflugzeit

"Tell me, Sire William, what has you made so unlike you in temperament?"

The five and a half foot tall Captain of the "Bird of Rain", the flagship of the small Albion fleet, stood a little taller.
"Sire Mar, when I was on my patrol route, the eternal fog took my ship. as always when such a thing happens to one of our ships, the holy mist tried to show Albion something. The Bird left the fog close to the continent. Neither my men nor I myself could believe the sight. We saw a ship, a ship more than ten times the size of the Hall of Mud!"

"Impossible! Not even the Arks of the Fey are of such dimensions!"

"I swear on the stone, that it was the case! Their heraldry was totally off and unknown to us. Their banner was parted into three stripes, one black, one red, one gold. It did not have any masts, but it sailed with steady speed. Our ship druid told me that the crew looks like us. Since the mist did not deposit us close to the ship, declaring it save, we kept our distance."

Sire William had the attention of every man and woman in the room. all listened closely to the tale of the normally stoic chief Captain of Albion.
"Did you, did you learn anything else? Is this ghost ship a danger to albion?"

"It is not a ghost ship, as we feared in the beginning. Before the Fog took us back into our own waters, we met a reman Merchantman. They told us more, if not enough. The nation the monster ship belongs to is called Germany and it suddenly appeared not long ago beside the lands we know as Bretonnia and the Empire of Mankind."

"Did you learn anything more about them?"

"Yes, like the other lands beyond our borders, they live in the desert. The Remans were there , in Germany, once and told me it rained there only two times in two weeks. And when it rained, only for 3 hour glases in total."

"So another arid waste of land... I wonder what the fog thought when he created so much deserts. We are blessed and that must be the reason the fog protects us from the thirsty foreigners. anything else, old friend?"

"Yes, let me tell you all about..."

Hamburg, Cafe inside the Cultural Center “Rote Flora”, 9 Weeks after Seeadler Ra
id

“Jasla is clearly a prisoner of war. She has been part of an organized military which raided Germany as is their custom. At least now after our illegal assault on their homeland we should set the prisoners of this war free.
The pigs which call themselves our government could never show that she was directly involved in any of their so called atrocities and still they have sentenced her for life in prison-and what does that mean for a being who can live longer than a thousand years... You can also see the hidden face of our fascist state by…..

Manfred Horst was quite impressed by the spirited rhetoric from the man in front of him, you could see that he really believed in what he was talking and much of what he said meshed well with his own thinking. Ever since the Weltensprung Germany was no longer continually reminded from outside about the Nazi past and it was just too obvious that the old ways had started again. The increase in the armed forces alone was surely the provocation that had led the Druchii and other raiders to their incursion into Germany out of a justified fear of the fascist state which had so suddenly appeared in their midst.

Funny, he did not peg Claus Tolles as one of the enlightened during their first meeting, but if he were honest to himself he was far too busy trying to talk up that nice blonde which had been one of the few decent looking women in that meeting-just to find out that the chick preferred other women. Too bad about that.
But this Claus Tolles was speaking the stone truth and now he was speaking about something else which resonated inside him: direct action. But as nice as that though was maybe it was time to cool the obviously inflamed man.

“Man, you are so right, I really do not know how to say no. But you have to understand the pigs put Jasla and the others into Stammheim-this is a bleeding fortress. It is sealed tighter than a nuns ass, there is no way that we might do something useful.
“Ah, you are so right about that. So we will not try-at least not in Stammheim. But not everybody in that illegal dungeon is so happy and a little bird sang to me that Jasla and two others will be driven to Papenburg for another trial. Some idiot started a civil lawsuit against them for compensation against damage.
During that transport we have a much better chance. I also have the access to some serious weaponry. Bring some good people-help me in doing what is right and make a long nose at this state and I will leave that to you”

Wow, that was it-a challenge. This was the watershed he had thought so long about. Direct action, really making a statement-but also finally going irrevocably illegal.
“Let me think about it man. I`m not saying no, I am just saying I have to think about it” “Fair enough. You remember how to contact me?”
“Yes of course”

They parted soon after that, Manfred Horst`s head still full of opportunity and wonder, Claus Tolles musing weather the nonsense he had to sprout would leave any kind of permanent brain damage. But you had to get the help wherever you could.
Manfred Horst sat cross legged on his bed the same night, still musing about what he had learned today. He was pretty sure it would be more wise to say no, but he also knew it would be hard looking into the mirror after that. It would show him just too clearly what he dreaded about himself in private too often-that he was far more mouth than he was man.

He logged in into the website for those concerned with Jasla to drop Claus a PM that he could not help when he saw again the picture of the witch in Chains, a sight which brought about an immediate erection as it always did.
Wherever the thought came from, it latched to his brain with full force: She might be quite grateful when he was one of her liberators, might she not. Ah, what the hell, you only live once. Already thinking which of his comrades he could approach and how he wrote the PM asking for another meeting.

Great Forest, 9 weeks after Seeadler Raid

Garek Brightfur had never expected that the amount of Duells that he had to fight would become lower after his ascension to leader of his warherd , but quickly found that the Duels took a different shape.

The idea of a Doombull associated with Tzench was not sitting well with the other herds in the forest or so it seemed. This was already the second time he had received a challenge and again he had no choice but to heed it.
He currently overlooked a huge clearing where a fire several months ago had created a space free from the huge trees which otherwise would make any bigger battle moot. Taking advice from his Shaman had worked well during his duel so he was giving his latest madness a try.

His Gors and the other associated Children of Chaos formed a more-or less orderly block with a straight line in front while the ranks of the Ungors were clearly seen to be to the right and left of it, ready to support their stronger brethren with throwing spears.
On the other side of the clearing the warherd was less orderly, even if the groups of Gors and Ungors were still well divided, not for different tasks but for sheer discrimination of the weaker races.

Their leader, a huge bloated creature reeking of decay obviously deemed him below contempt as he never tried to initiate a duel between the leaders-not that Garek had any Problems with that-even if he would win that fight it was far too likely to succumb to some illness after that.
Of course there was no formal declaration of combat or any such idiocy-after both sides had sufficiently psyched themselves up the herd opposing Garek responded to the gurgling scream of their leader with an unorganized but spirited charge. Gathering speed and momentum they collided into Gareks herd with the grace of a major railroad accident-and with similar violence.

Gareks herd did what they could, with the back rows supporting the front ones with long spears thrust through the ranks and simply physically propping up the front ranks.
As always the right side of the enemy line was able to push against their opponents better but also the center started to bend backwards under the assault of what had to be the enemy’s strongest warriors.

The support by the ungor units was strangely ineffective with only few spears being thrown and even less connecting with the enemy. Gareks herd was slowly being forced backwards to their side of the forest-they could not go back any more without breaking up their ranks.
The air about the battlefield by now was suffused with smells of blood and dying, the stink of opened intestines, the triumphant cries of the victors and the last breath of the dying. All of this was making any conscious thought, never the strong suit of the beastmen, nearly impossible.

Garek had, until now, held back from the fighting. When his line was bent back like a fishing hook and looked about to break at the middle he knew where to apply himself. Kicking one of the members of his entourage into blowing into the war herds horn he ran towards the impeding break in his line.
Arriving just in time he was able crush in the head of a gor which had broken free of the fighting with the back side of his axe, taking off the arm of another in the back swing.
After that it was a swirling chaos un unrelenting attacks and last minute parries, of small injuries unnoticed in the adrenaline rush and a growing bloodlust the more the fight send a heady mixture of hormones and other substances into his body.

He never saw the lines of his Ungors diminish from plenty to a thin line in a flash of dissolving illusion, never saw the two blocks of Ungors that stormed from their hiding places on both sides of the battlefields attacking the unprotected flanks and even the back sides of the enemy with their new short broad-bladed spears.

But he quickly felt the lessening of the enemy`s assault and heard the cries of panic which quickly emerged from the back ranks of the opponents warherd-and then suddenly it was over. The enemies ranks broke like glass and the ran in panic, showing their backs to his vengeful warriors or even dropping on their backs and offering their throats in a sign of submission.

Until now the losses on both sides were not too dissimilar, but now the battle really degraded into a one sided slaughter which did not abate until more than half of the enemy was slain.
When he wearily hobbled over the Battlefield, with the pain of all the small injures received catching up with him and his stomach on the verge of rebelling over the smells and the adrenaline which had no more place to go he found the enemies leader.
His remains were surrounded by a ring of fallen beastmen-his and the those from the other side as he had in his last minutes been unable to differentiate between friend and foe. His vast body was hacked into many pieces and already started to decay into sludge-Garek was happy that they never met in direct combat.

His herd congregated around him after making sure there were no more easy kills to be made and all looked at him-weak after the battle and sick to his heart. It probably started in the group around the shaman-the screams and cries of adoration for a leader that had gotten them through a difficult fight with low losses.
They quickly spread over his herd and for the first time he KNEW they were his. Accepted as he was for the first time in his life Garek could not remember being more happy or feeling better ever.
During the orgy-cum-feast that ensued in that night the found time to think about today`s fight, the tactic used had been so good he should remember it. Remembering things worked better when they had a name-maybe “Breast and Horns”?

Wang Chan, southern Southlands, 33. Pflugzeit

Phoung-Ahn raised her looking glass, to scan the Sea, again. Her wooden observation tower was made of stable stems, camouflaged with a leaf packet. More than a year had gone by since her small hometown was somehow transported from Thailand to - here.
The shock had been great, but soon it became clear that the world they now were inhabitants off, was medival or worse. Wang Chan had learned the hard way to take the surrounding countryside under their "wings". While a lot of the gifts of the modern world could not be reproduced or replaced, in their small corner of the new world Wang Chan was an island of calm. What was left of Earth tech and the bits and pieces the citizens of Wang Chan could still make, ensured their political top standing in the region.
Still, the government of Wang Chan knew that there were, even must be, bigger fish out there. Their small piece of Thailand had been lucky. The tribes in this area were either so impressed by Wang Chan´s "power" that they wanted to trade with them or left them alone. In the last 3 months there were even 4 small local tribes, which sweared allegiance to Wang Chan.
Still, neither Phoung-Ahn nor her collegues in the city council banked much on their continuing luck. Had they landed close to a major power, Thailand´s outpost in this new world would have been toast. Wang Chan had roughly 4000 citizens, a major power would have overrun them on manpower discrepancy alone.

So the small town had been glad when they got shamans from the neighbouring friendly tribes, which solved the magic problem elegantly. One had to swallow that, magic functioned here and the "black man" under the bed could be real!
Wang Chan controlled everything in a 60 miles radius and with the town having "come to rest" close to the coast, fishing was a nice option. This in turn gave need for something resembling a coastal patrol/marine. Today, Phoung thought proudly, we have 6 motorboats out there. The strongest "marine" in our region, where floats and small fishing boats are the norm.

A small oilwell, found five kilometers outside the town, replenished their supplies and for now was enough to keep all motors and generators in Wang Chan running. The refinery method used was "stone-age" and the quality not as good as posssible, but it functioned.
Nevertheless, caution was needed. their ships on the Sea could give away their position to the Great Powers of this world. So normally the fishing and armed motor boats hugged the coast and a series of observation towers was erected to warn the city.
Of the 4 tribes, who had become part of their "little Thailand", had a long and strong fishing tradition and could inform them on the ships of the powerful nations one had to stay away from.

The main navies were from a series of Kingdoms, which had a distinct similarity to the India from Home. Equally powerful forces, but visiting these waters less frequently were the ships from two Empires which even in name resembled strongly China and Japan from Earth.
Another and mainly worse flag to spot were the colours of the Dark Elves, searching for chances to loot and enslave. Their High Elf cousins were not much better liked, since their arrogant, even racist, behaviour was hard to keep cool to. According to some of the best sailors, the High Elves had a colony not too far away.
A very seldom sight were the ships of the "Ghostwhites" far from the snowy north. While there was some regularity, the intervalls were big.

Phoung-Ahn was one of the volunteers manning the observation towers in rotation She, like all her comrades had paintings of the flags and symbols the navies on this world used, as far as they were known.
Her shift was still young, when a sailing ship, what else here, came into her view. It was a foreigner, the ship type not local. She searched the papers and was gifted with the right flag. It was a Carrack or Galleon from a nation calling itself simply the Empire and according to the stories of their subjects, would be Germans in Phoung´s world. Then more ships sticked out the mist lying over the sea. More of these Empire´s ships. And even more farangs. Interspaced between the Empire´s ships, the Rising Sun flag of the Empire of Nippon could be seen on several vessels.
Normally Phoung would already given signals to Wang Chan, but it was the fortyfirst ship which sealed the looking glas to her eyes.

It was a steel ship! And the colours flying above her crow´s nest was not one Phoung had first seen here, no, this flag she knew from home. Black-Red-Gold, the colours of Jööraman!
Why was it here? Was the ship stranded like Wang Chan or...
Then the question answered itself. Among the altogether 71 ships, there were 12 from Germany. This were too many to be coincidence. Germany had to be here, somewhere. The possibilities...

"Phoung, Phoung!"

She turned to see Tong-Ber climbing the ladder to her platform.

"Hi, Tong! I am readying the signal flags, just a moment..."

"Yes, we have to signal them before they leave our coast."

"No, I want to signal the city to go into stealth mode."

"Why, Phoung, this can be our salvation!"

"Yes, it can be. But it equally be our doom. At the moment these ships are just 12 ships, not Germany herself behind the horizon. And more, we do not know all flags of this world. What if these ships fly not the German flag, but a local nation´s one, which just by chance has the same colours and design?
No, this is a risk too great. We shoulod hide and begin to listen again if there are radio or wireless messages in the air.. But for now caution is more important."

Tondern, Schleswig-Holstein, former Denmark, same day

Laurids Rudebeck marveled at the sight in front of him. Not that it was very beautiful vista- lots of concrete foundations, half-finished angular metal walled sheds-some of quite huge proportions- and the half-finished construction sites of several administration buildings in “Government ugly” style.
But they represented the future of his town, promising business and work beyond his fondest dreams to his citizens. For the major of Tondern this made up for a lot of aesthetic deficiencies.
Finally it was time to enter the podium for his speech.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a honor to be here and to speak before you on such an auspicious date. Just a little over one year ago, when the Weltensprung took us all we were sure we were the losers of this momentous event. Cut off from most of our countrymen, cut off from our traditional markets and actually many of the workers our economic and cultural future prospects seemed dim.
When 9 months ago Mr. Wörner approached me with his proposal we thought he was joking as we had never dreamt about such things before. But actually our new position, surrounded by the sea on three sides but still well connected to the infrastructure gave us a chance we never had before so we decided to grasp it. We thank you for the chance to take part in this great undertaking.

As a small token of our gratitude for all you have already done for us and will continue to do, we have granted your application for the name of the new Town district that we founded for your premises.
Let this piece of land in future be known as “Peenemünde Nord”.

North of Hamburg, Lasbek

“Prost!” Henning Wulf was not only happy-he was happy and drunk as a skunk. He was sitting deeply in his old, battered but comfy sofa in his not-too-clean living room, having just kicked back another glass of spirits.
His friend Claus was here again and he had brought another friend. Together they had drunken Oldesloer, the local Schnapps quite heavily. He was surprised that the two were still so sober when he was so gloriously drunk. Even without the alcohol he would have had problems to follow their discussion. What the hell were they talking about?

“Forget it Claus, that guy can hardly read nor write. Nobody will ever believe he wrote a suicide note by himself. Got to be an accident, I tell you. Look here, here he spilled some water, then he stepped in it and dropped backwards against the table. Neck broken, end of story...”
“If you can pull that off , Miroslav?”

“Easy as pie, look here. Henning, could you come for a second?”
Henning, both drunken and confused took 3 tries to get up from his seat, finally accepting help from Claus.
“What are you two discussing, it is too funny?”
“Oh, we are discussing accidents. These old tiles are very slippery when they get wet-like from that puddle on the floor there.” Henning started to look around “Where?”

”Look here-ups now you stepped in it!” Henning did never understand why all of a sudden Claus pushed him on the chest or why his legs shot out like pulled by somebody.
His neck hit the edge of the table with a loud “crunch” and his life mercifully ended.

Miroslav started wiping everything they might possibly have touched down while Claus spoke urgently into his mobile phone.
Minutes later two trucks drove into the night-shrouded farm, backing against the barn. Both truck drivers were guided by others carefully, mostly to avoid having the trucks run over any pieces of mud which might hold tracks for the police to analyze.
Loading the trucks took two hours during which Claus had to kick his compatriots several times when they started to marvel again at some piece of military hardware instead of doing their job.

During the loading Miroslav had carefully bend the wire of an age-old electric heater so often that the old isolation went off in enough places. Putting the wire under a low-hanging curtain and switching the heater to full he was reasonably sure that during the next two days or so a nasty fire would claim the Wulf`s house and the remains of it`s former owner.

Forrest in Couronne, 2 days later


The RPG`s flight was too short to register in human eyes and terminated at an old sturdy Oak. The explosion tore right through the tree trunk, with a generous amount of molten copper still sprayed behind the substantial tree. Ears ringing Manfred Horst grinned like a madman at having successfully taken the shot at the unmoving tree and the destruction wrought by it.
“Right on man, this is powerful tool in the hands of the suppressed masses.”
“That it is. Still it would be nice if you could help me to put out that fire over there, will ya?”

“Yes Claus, I will. Just don`t be such a spoilsport-we are just enjoying ourselves."
A little while later they all set down at coffee pot which was cooking on a small gas stove and drank the scaldingly hot liquid. “Ok, Claus, you can see that as promised I have brought some comrades for the Liberation. You have been busy as well I see - your arms will be a boon to the revolution to come. So what`s next?”

“We have only a short window of opportunity here and only one shot at it. We need to be ready at a moments notice from next month on - until then we need to be as ready as we can be.
So next we need to train the use of these weapons better and then we have to make a plan. And then we will practice this plan and the contingencies. And then we will practice some more...” ”Sounds rather boring - but yes, this is what we will do.”

Great Forrest, Castle Wolfenfels, one day later


It seemed like everybody who was connected to Castle Wolfenfels in any way had turned out for the upcoming event. Some of them even had a good reason to be here but most attended just to break the sheer boredom associated with living in a place in the deep boondocks.
While the Count was charged with keeping the road to Middenheim clear his Castle was on a steep hill, so the road and the taverns which catered them were a some kilometers away, keeping travelers from relieving the eternal routine .
For this very reason alone the Germans were more than welcome, bringing new stories, new music, new faces….Actually a little bit too new, as much of this was hardly comprehensible but still.

The only reasonably flat area close to the castle was the exercise ground which many generations of tenant farmers had laboriously dug out of the surrounding hillside, but even that was scarily bigger than 100x80 meters.
At one end of the field two sturdy posts had been driven deep into the ground, about 10 meters distant to each other and a strong steel cable was strung tautly between them in some height.
Count Heinrich watched from the walls of his Donjon how the Germans waited and watched the sky-their promise seemed so outlandish that he found it advisable not to be too closely associated with something that might easily end in disaster.
He found himself distracted from the spectacle below by a droning sound he could not place. Tracking it back to its source he had to look for a while before he finally found it`s source in the air. Lacking the information to compare his impressions he took quite a while to make something out of the flying cross he had spotted.

When this cross came closer it resolved itself into a fat-bellied green machine with wings that flew over his castle, the sound of it`s engines even drowning out the screams of astonishment and panic from below.
Having passed the castle it curved back towards the castle and its exercise field. This time the machine seemed to fly slower and even lower than before-actually lower than the wall he was standing on. When it overflew the field it seemed to drag a line behind it which promptly snagged the line between the poles.
What happened now was far too quick for Heinrich even to hold his breath as instead of crashing the line pulled a long string of pallets out of the back side of the plane. The count had to suppress a dignity-damaging giggle as this looked a little like a giant bird giving a shit in flight.

The crash with which the pallets landed was loud enough to be heard over the engines and Heinrich wondered how anything could have survived such rough treatment. He debated with himself whether his “gravitas” allowed him to check in person and with a sight decided against it.
A few hours later Dinner provided ample opportunity to interview Lt. Hermann about them.

“We could not check everything yet-we are talking about 12 metric tons of hardware here-but so far all seems fine. A minor dent here or there, but nothing critical. We will have one more drop like this and from them on our resupply is going to come by a different plane which can land on your field. It is much smaller but should be able to bring the daily needs. My sergeant Blaskovics told me that from the day after tomorrow we should have retrieved enough of your rifles so that we can begin training with them, please have your footmen ready from the morning of Markttag then."

Forest of Couronne, same date, 100 kilometers distant


“Lookee what we have here.” Wolfgang Böhler bend over the same strange contraption than Thorsten Breitkopp who emerged as the Groups armorer. “I do not think there was any of these beauties left, I would really like to know where our redoubtable Claus managed to get this” “What the hell is that anyway” “This, dear Wolfgang, is a “Panzerabwehrwerfer 600”. It was developed from 1944 by Rheinmetall as a replacement for conventional Antitank guns and at the same time to replace the light field artillery. It is the first gun to use the high/low pressure system-you may know it from the 40mm grenade launchers the Army uses.
The propellant charge is a standard 10.5 cm howitzer charge, but it works inside a reinforced chamber, giving it`s gases only at reduced pressure into the barrel through a system of small holes. Therefore the barrel is very lightweight and recoil is reduced.

It can fire a 80 mm Grenade from a standard mortar to up to 5 klicks distance, can do either direct or indirect fire.” Wolfgang had a look down the opened lock “Smoothbore barrel-any accurate?” “ It will place a shell in a 1x1 meter target at 500 meters-good enough. But the high point is that it only weight 600 kilograms-we can move it by hand if we have to, an it will share the ammo with the mortars.”
“Sounds great, we could have used such a thing at Papenburg.” “I can believe that easily-but I remember that you made do without” “Yep, we did that.”

“Wolfgang, do you have any questions left on the STG 44`s? You will have to teach the 1 Platoon on it from tomorrow, I have to get back to Germany-I can pick up another lathe. Difficult to get these days-everybody and his brother wants some.”
“No, I think I got the hang of them. I`ll have the guys assemble them from the storage tomorrow. Once they done that a couple of times they will know the guns better.” “Your call, but seems reasonable. Miroslav seems to have it well in hand with 2nd Platoon” “No big surprise. He is not telling much, but am pretty sure that he was in Yugoslavia during the civil war. He will so.”
“Well then, that just leaves only one thing”
“What?”
“Will this thingee here shoot?”
"Only one way to find out, isn`t there?”
20 minutes later a crater in a small hill showed that the old gun did indeed work as advertised.

Communal Apartment in Bremen , some Weeks after Battle of Papenburg

Ulf Grimnison was debating with himself on what to do with his evening-either go out to the local pub where the beer was surprisingly good, the music strange and the food acceptable-or stay at home and further read his favorite book.

And what a book this was-a book of secrets. When he and the other Dwarves arrived in Germany the question about their future had come up for real. Given that he and Snorri needed additional medical help that none but the Germans could give-both of his legs now contained considerable amounts of plates and screws which had to be removed in two years’ time or so-trying to rejoin some Krak was out of the question. The dwarves were also in some disarray over the German question, so it seemed prudent to wait.

In the meantime the Germans had offered them apprenticeships at diverse companies. That was a remarkably understandable concept in this alien land, the only strange thing was that they got paid while getting trained.
That Björn was able to forge working runes motivated the Germans to such generosity-as did something they called public relations, whatever that was.

And trained they were. During the first week the Daimler trainees had to use files to shape metal-an old way to filter those of no patience or fine eye-hand-control. After the first couple of days the “Meister” (Master Craftsman) who ran the shop had taken them out of this part of the program-it was obvious they were better than any other trainee. Instead they had received more hours in learning to read the German numbers and values. The language was not too difficult-they all spoke Reiksspiel, which was close enough to German-and numbers did not change at all.

Yesterday something had clicked in his mind during the lessons and he finally could make some sense of the book he had been given. Now whatever free time he had he spend combing it for it`s secrets and wonders. He had apprenticed himself for 3.5 years-for these secrets alone he would have been glad to do 30.

Here was the next one “Silicium-Vanadium-Chrome-Molybdanium-Steel” wow.
He went asleep while he still clutched his book some time later. “Tabellenbuch Metalle” (Tables of Metals)

Road near Kislev, Kislev, 24th Pflugzeit

Fjodor Upenskoy listened to the steady sound of the carriage wheels, but his thoughts circled other things. He still tried to fully comprehend what he saw in the new land sitting where the Wasteland once was. Horseless carriages of all kinds, light, water lines everywhere, music without singers, paved streets, the list was sheer endless.
The Empire had jumped into this development headfirst. The traveling machines the Germans called Eisenbahn had taken Sigmar´s realm by storm. Fjodor had seen many things which could help the realm of the Ice-Queen massively.
But his mood soured, when he thought about the carriage just few meters behind him. Igor Shantosky was another advisor, who had made the journey with Fjodor. He was far less impressed. Igor was sure that the Empire was beginning to loose their minds and the Germans had already lost it anyway!
Giving the serfs such wonderful things or as the Germans did, snout-counting for deciding who would rule! And not only among those who were born to rule, no, they counted among the stupid masses of the peasants as well. Igor was sure that only the origin of Germany on another world had let them live. And that Germany would soon fall from within. Here in the Old World, only the strong and those born to rule prevailed.
The un-magical magics the Germanskiis had, would buy them time, but it was not their artisans who lacked, it was that their house was build on the wrong order!

Fjodor had heard that sermon often enough during their voyage to know that Shantosky would tell all important persons in Kislev exactly that. The worst about this was, that this view was the first time Igor fully missed the obvious. At the beginning of their research travel, Fjodor had been honoured to be with Shantosky, a man who was renowned for his farsight. For more than 20 years Igor was known far and wide that every single prediction of his came to fruition.
Upenskoy did not know exactly why he believed that this time, for the first time, Shantosky was wrong. But would his opinion weight enough to counter Igor´s? He doubted it. But why could a man of Igor´s wisdom lay so far of the mark? Maybe because Shantosky was used to the situation in Kislev. Parts of the Empire like Reikland and Wissenland were quite different to Kislev and more, Germany was totally new unknown. Or was he himself the misguided and Igor saw something he did not?
The rest of the drive Fjodor spent pondering everything he experienced anew.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-05 03:55am


Altdorf, Temple of Shallya, same date


Ralf Winkler was looking at the Statue of Shallya for 15 min minutes now-but he had not been seeing it for most of the time. The complex of buildings that were used by the Shallya cult in Altdorf contained a temple open to the public. This he had picked as a meeting place with Serena 2 nights ago.
Being German meant he went early and having read too many espionage novels meant he had planned to scout the place a little before the meeting, whatever good this might have done him. This had gone so far that he had noted the absence of armed guards and two possible exits before he had sat down on one of the benches provided.
He had settled for the wait when he started looking at the statue in front of him. Ever since them he had felt comfortable and strangely at peace. He was not even aware that some of the mental knots that many years of being even a part-time medic had inevitably left were easing off, he just felt….well.

He was still aware enough of his surroundings not to be startled when he was approached by two priestesses of Shallya, one of them being Serena and he managed to get to his feet in time.
“Good morning Minher Winkler, may I present the reverent Mother Herad to you.” “Reverend Mother, Serena, it is an honor to meet you.”
“Shallyas mercy be with you young man.” Ralf had not been called that for far too many years in his mind, but the crone in front of him had any right to call him “young man” . That she was old was beyond question, but exactly how old was very hard to guess as a wrinkled face and wispy white hair contrasted with a straight bearing and hands which were totally free of shakes and a firm voice.

“So you are the man who has one of the 5 amulets in his possession and who claims that Shallya works her mercy even through him?” The medic would normally have risen to that, but now simply pulled the artifact from under his shirt and placed it on his chest, it`s sight doing the talking much better than him.
Herad was too composed to be startled in public but neither did she have the facilities to comment intelligently on this. “I claim nothing, Reverend Mother. I have taken the amulet from the Battlefield of Hag Graef and find that it helps me saving lives. I would like to know more about it and I am willing to negotiate its disposition”
“Can we do this in more private quarters or are you too much threatened by us?” ”Don`t goad me Herad, it is does not become a healer. Please lead the way.”

Office of the Mother Herad, Shallya Temple, 30 Minutes later


The medic found the peace he had experienced in the temple wearing off under the repeated explanations of the Shallya Priestess “I understand that this is a magical artifact that has been lost to your order for many years and that it would greatly enhance your capabilities if you could use it together with the other 4 you still have Mother-no need to tell me again. But please also understand that this amulet help me to do my tasks better than before. Where to leave it with you and I have to work on the next patient and loose him-what can I say then-ups sorry, Shallyas cult needed it more than you needed your life?”

“What would your government say if we tell them you are withholding this amulet from us” “Officially-not much, as I did not steal it from you but took it from the Spitzohren which are not highly regarded in Germany. Unofficially they will take it away from me and will study it at Kaiserslautern for the next 100 years or so, and a fat lot of good that will do to you. Reverent Mother, I react very badly to threats, even veiled ones-I strongly suggest we take another path of negotiation from here, or it will be over soon.”
“And what path would you be willing to take, pray tell?” “If you can show me you can do something with it that is more than or a decent medical facility in Germany could do with it, I would be more willing to listen.”
“And how could we do that?” “I have something in mind-a fellow soldier has a condition beyond the capabilities of the best German doctors to treat. If you could help him, we are talking.”
“Shallya is always willing to help the sick, please tell me more”


Haltdorf, half-way between Altdorf and Nuln, evening of the same day


Father Hark was bending over a book, not a tome about the deeds of Sigmar, but a ledger. When he had finished his studies at the Temple of Sigmar in Altdorf, this was not what he had expected to be doing.
But his fit with his current posting-this was also not what the Sigmarite had envisioned when he had taken his vows, but like his current duties it was strange but welcome. Haltdorf was a brand spanking new village growing into a small town in what used to be a nameless piece of Forest between Altdorf and Nuln. No noble had stepped forward to organize and rule this village as had been the norm with the first “Railway Colonies”-now that everybody understood the importance of Railroads the aristocrats were much more interested.
When the Imperial German railroad had advertised the opportunity to receive free land a lot of former soldiers, 2nd and 3rd sons of farmers and others were eager to take them up on it-but no leadership and no immediate financing was available.

Before this became an insurmountable problem the Germans stepped in with a solution. They had helped the new communities by setting up Credit Unions for each of the colonies and used the old Raiffeisen cooperatives as a mold.
The Raiffeisen banks in Germany provided starting capital, taking the land of the colony as collateral.
Every Villager was a member, all members had the right to draw credit within certain limits-and all members were personally liable for the credits give to other members. The village paid Father Hark to act as cashier as they trusted him, with the elected town major and the local teacher as a board of trustees.

The Raiffeisen advisors which had come to the village during it`s first weeks had stressed the 3 “S” to everybody “Selbsthilfe, Selbstverwaltung, Selbstverantwortung” (Self-help, Self-governance and self-responsibility) which fit the new settlers well as it should to anybody who was grasping a chance to start fresh in the middle of nowhere.
The credit given had stretched enough so that most farmers could actually afford a “Lanz” and some accessories like reapers or threshers. The cooperative, besides giving credit and a savings accounts also provided warehousing and a common selling point for the farmers who were happy to leave somebody else with that hassle and concentrate on their lots.

The attachment that a Lanz could power which proved among the most useful were power saws. The cutting back of the forest from the railroad had provided a glut of usable wood, even after the wood for the railroad ties were taken into account. So using their new tools the Settlers were able to have all the lumber they could ask for.
The farm houses were actually loghouses, sturdy and weatherproof, warehouses and some stores were constructed from boards. One of the pleasant changes was that nails were so cheap these days and some new models were much stronger than before.

Father Hark had protested his second job, mostly because this arithmetic was atrocious until one Raiffeisen advisor had sprung the holy of holies of accountants- a pocket calculator. The Sigmarite had the suspicion that some villagers just visited him just to see it work.
The Settlement had to look after its own defense mostly, but that proved to be less of a problem than feared. There was more than enough wood for a Palisade about the “Core Village” and the railroad workers had been nice enough to form an earthen embankment as a basis for the Palisade with their heavy machinery when they laid the railroad.
There were enough soldiers around to form the core of a militia and they were training practically everybody in the use of arms. Besides the ubiqous spears they had received some crossbows-their former wielders now converting to rifles.

The militia even had some opportunity to prove themselves, even if that came from an unexpected side. Before the last harvest the usual loan sharks had come calling, looking for farmers hungry for any cash to lend it at usurious rates. Having gotten the same answer several times-we do not need you, we have the Credit Union, they had finally given Father Hark a call. He had explained patiently that the Union gave credit for a 5% rate annually which left the sharks blinking in surprise.
That they had asked Father Hark to cease doing to was either a show of desperation or stupidity-or both. He had to present his Hammer of Sigmar to them to get them to leave. That had not kept them to come back a couple of days later, bringing a score of low-brow thugs with them to led some reinforcement to their arguments.
It was not a real battle or a skirmish, more like shooting fish in a barrel but the locals were still proud of the accomplishment and the severed heads on the palisade had served as sufficient warning for the rest of the season.

The priest was about to stop idly musing about the accomplishments when there was a knock on his door. Looking to the small clock on his desk he remembered the date he had set with Farmer Eberhard. He had asked him for guidance earlier today and had set the meeting for the evening.
Getting the farmer into a recess in his small chapel he waited patiently until the farmer had found his words he was able to puzzle out what he wanted:

“So your son was good enough at the test that he get a stipend at the DEULA” “Yes, they promised that they would teach him for two years, give him board and lodging and send him back for the harvest.”
“That is surely a good thing. From what I have heard these schools teach the German farmer`s children for generations. They will teach him how to use all the new stuff we have right, writing and some numbers as well. That would be very handy.”
“Yes, I guess so. But there is so much new, I am not sure if it is all to the good and not leading us astray” “Why do you say so? You live in a nice house now, isn`t that much better than the old hovel?” ”Yes, it is” “And can you not farm many more acres now with the Lanz you bought?” “Yes Father” ”And didn´t we have no case of the runs since we no longer mix our shit and the drinking water?” “No, I do not think we had one” “And I think you bought one of the new stoves they make in Nuln didn`t you.” “Yes, me wife insistent on it, and I have to admit it is real nice-but please don`t tell her that”
“So why do you get the idea the changes we see of lately are bad? I do believe Sigmar himself would have approved of making our lives easier”

“Ah, Father, it is like this, I found this with me son”
The Farmer thrust a paper into the priests hands. It was folded two times and was covered with the bright “Photo” that the Germans could print even if this page was obviously older and a little frayed. He could not immediately find anything wrong with the paper until he turned it over. It showed a “Miss July” of several years ago in all of her centerfold glory.
Father Hark was very happy of the wide robe that he wore as it hid his “gentlemen reflex” effectively. “Errm, that is rather remarkable. A little slim for my taste, but I can see your bother. I will talk to your son if you wish me too, but really Eberhard, what harm did this do?”
“It will lead him astray” ”In what way?””Errrr….”

Altdorf, Railway Station, Markttag

The Class 01 locomotive which pulled the train into the Altdorf train station was less prestigious than the emperors train of course, but still a spectacle for somebody more used to the quiet electric trains in Germany.
Ralf Winker was quite anxious for the passengers-he had not seen his wife for more than 2 weeks and was rather looking forward to her. At the same time he just hoped that he had not overpromised to the other passengers he was about to meet.

It didn`t take him long to spot the 3 Germans which exit the train-two blonde women helping a middle aged but frail man out of the train stood out. After wordlessly embracing Christine he greeted the others. “Hi Beate, Hi Jan, good to see you” In the case of Jan Frediksen this was a lie-he liked his former Lt. and they were friends-but he was a sorry sight.
The combination of the Druchii poison and the atropine antidote had wrecked the nervous system of the formerly stout man beyond repair. Parkinson-like shivers and cramps made it impossible for the man to look after himself or hold a job. Both of this had pushed the once proud soldier into bouts of depression and the sight of the old/young body and face was horrible, especially for somebody who had known the Lt. before.

“Please wait for a second-I have arranged for a Palanquin for Jan, the rest of us can hoof it to the Tavern-it is not that far.
Some time later he was confronted by Beate, Jan`s wife, in their room while Jan was off to the bathroom. “I really hope you know what you are doing Ralf-Jan has pinned every hope he has left on this mad enterprise. If you just have contacted some hedge wizard who is long on promise and short on abilities it will destroy him.”

“I know-but I could also not take what I see as his best chance from him. And no, I did not contact a minor wizard-tomorrow we have a first appointment with the Mother Superior of the Shallya cult”
“What-how did you swing that?” “Let`s say I have something they want-but by now they are not really sure what they want of me-just that they want it badly. Nothing illegal-I think. We will see more tomorrow, shall we?”

Great Forest, close to the hearthstone, same day


Garek Brightfur had assembled his warherd-again. This time he could not be so certain of the enemy as before. One of the competing herds at the periphery of the area he regarded as his had simply disappeared-and likewise had his scouts.
Whatever had taken them out seemed to did it violently, but that was as far as his knowledge went. Not only were his scouts gone for good, but his shaman went into convulsions when he tried to gain information in his special way. He did not remember what happened but was shaken ever since. This did not ease Garek peace of mind any.

As his territory had no real defensive features besides the Forest itself he decided that his best chances lay in a similar battle to the last two in more or less open territories. Normally the sight of his full herd would fill him with pride-it had swollen again after the last battles when survivors and unattached males submitted to him to become part of a warherd again-his latest victories had given him land and cows enough to make such an expansion possible.
The new members were even more open to his new way of waging war, having seen its results from the pointy end. The committed to the unfamiliar drill and the new style of fighting with the zeal of converters giving him by now a rather hard core of fighters.

The ordered lines which formed on the near side of the long firebreak covered half a kilometer with orderly blocks of beastmen. By now his army was so big that he had to think about how to control them as simply bellowing louder seemed no longer to work.
Also assembling them in one place like he did now was something not to be done lightly-the forrest around them could not support so many. Maybe there was a way to store provisions and maybe have the cows carry them to the fighters? Ah, idle thinking just to distract him from his main job.

All thoughts came to an end when the brushwork on the opposite side of the clearing started to move visibly and rustling could be heard. First to emerge were other beastmen, mostly the fleet-of-foot Ungors and some scrawny looking humans. Some of them scrambled right back into the woods and soon the sound of many horns could be heard, the baying of enormous dogs and the shouts of orders.
It did not take long for the opposite side of the forest to disgorge a huge and diverse army. Armored knights stood beside bare breasted Barbarians. Heaps of Gors and Ungors were directed by aspiring Champions of Chaos. Both the length of the enemy line and the depth to which the units deployed showed that the enemies army was far bigger and from the look much better equipped than his own.
The little magesight he had indicated that his opponent also commanded considerable magic support whereas his own was nearly out of the picture. He was wondering if going back to the woods and dispensing were not the better idea when a huge armored figure holding a banner showing an eight-pointed star strode to the middle of the clearing.

His voice sounded much too loud and deep to come from any human throat. “Greetings Garek Brightfur- my master wants to meet you. Come to the this place so that you and him can meet-that is my advice. If you do not come and decide to fight or even flee this battlefield you will be destroyed without mercy-that is my warming. Come here and until the end of the talks you no harm will befall you-this is my promise. I am Björn Bearclaw and so is my rede."

Garek was taken aback by this-this was not how battles were begun with the Children of Chaos. As it seemed he had not much too loose he straightened up and marched to the lone figure.
“I am Garek Brightfur, the Doombull of this warherd. Who is your master and why can he not show himself.”
There was no immediate answer but a rider detached himself from the army. When he came closer Garek could see how big the horse was on which the rider sat-it has looked like normal at first glance because it had the right proportions to the rider. Now it was obvious both were a lot bigger than any mundane human or horse should be and his extra senses showed how strongly the warp was in both.
The eyes of the horse were so black that it seemed the sockets were empty and the helmet of the rider showed only darkness where a face should have been.
“I am Harbinger, General of this Army, Champion of Chaos and Herald of Archaron the Everchosen. I am here to prepare you for the coming Storm”

Hellenthal, Eifel, Germany, 29th Pflugzeit

In the center of the small town there was a remembrance stone for the people, who lost their life during the massacre and dark magic ritual in the early days after Germany´s arrival on the Warhammer World. Hellenthal had been close to a border with the untamed wilderness of the Old World and so a group of Chaos devotees had assaulted the town, well before anybody knew how dangerous Germany´s new home was.
Among the fifty people bringing flowers and praying for the souls of the slain, there were 4 survivours of that bloody night. One among them stood out even more than others. The man, wearing his police uniform, stood over two metres tall, with short, straw-blond hair. Kommissar (Police Lieutenant) Ibrahim Duerr´s normally piercing blue eyes let escape a bit of the deep sorrow in his heart.
His father, whose body was still in Hellenthal as a stone figure, had been a professor of Histroy and Archeology body and soul, which was the reason that the young police officer had such an unusual name for german standards.
For some reason, every time Ibrahim stood at the stone, his stomach scar made itself known with phantom pain. His brain knew that he did more than his share that night, could not have done more. Duerr had saved over 20 people, even while seriously wounded, but his heart still ached. Mama, Papa, I know you found each other in Heaven again. I love you! I wish I could have done more, saved you. Forgive me that I was too late!
I am part of a newly found special force now. We look into all supernatural activities. We are the defence against the darkness which consumed our hometown and the people we knew and loved. I and my collegues will make sure that there will be no other Hellenthal ever again. We will root out the Evil that threatens Germany or die trying. When we will have pushed the darkness back into the miasma that bore it, I hope you can rest easier.
The sudden wind, which seemed to caress Ibrahim´s blond hair, somehow made his heart beat lighter.

After the ceremony, the group was transported back by parts of the newly reformed 7th. Panzerdivision, nicknamed for their old incarnation the "Gespensterdivision" (Ghost Division). Hellenthal was a restricted area, so civilians only as mourning groups under military protection could enter the cursed zone.

Altdorf, Office of the Mother Superior, Bäckertag

“The suffering of your fellow soldier is great, I grant you that. I have never seen such a sickness before. It looks like the great shakes-what you call Parkinson’s disease, but it is not-there are differnt type of cramps. What did you say causes this?”
Ralf Winkler had retreated into the office of the Mother Superior Evers after having performed what went for diagnosis in the cult of Shallya to discuss a plan of action.
“Mother Superior, from my best knowledge this sickness is not one of the brain, like Parkinson, but the problem arises from the axons, the nerve endings. Many of there were damaged by the Dark Elf poison or the antidote that I used. There must be enough working nerve endings-otherwise he would not be breathing. Now, if we could copy their function to…..

“Healer Winkler-I do not understand one word in two you are issuing. This not how we can go forward unfortunately. Come on young man, give me your hand”
Ralf obeyed-the Mother Superior was like that-but wondered why until both he and the Shallya healer went into something close to a cramp, with their eyes both turned inwards. This lasted for a few minutes which seemed eternal in the minds of the other cult members. Finally the released their grips, both slinking back into their seats and breathing heavily.
Evers recovered first despite her age and rung a bell on her table.

“Bring a goblet of the blessed wine and two glasses for me and the healer-we need it” She turned to the medic who was massaging his temples “So this is how you see the human body-a system of what small small, single …
”Cells, Mother cells”
“Yes, that. And nerves and a closed blood stream-did I see that right? No flow of Chi, no balance of humors-do you think we have it so wrong? Do you think you see this as it is?”

“No, I do not. The things as they really are are too complicated to be seen directly. We all have our own model of reality, like the puppet house which shows a merchants daughter how her household is supposed to work in future. Much simpler-but shows the main works. You have a different model than me, but I am very sure that my model is much closer to the truth. I hope I can explain to you enough that……”
“Forget it young man-you cannot explain enough in 10 long years and we have to rededicate the amulet for anybody else anyway-your friend does not have that long. So as distasteful as it might seem to some members of us-the first time that the 5 amulets work together in so many years will include a man. We can take the knowledge from you and will provide the power…that could work.
“Thank you Mother Superior for the chance”
“It is what we do. But Winkler-next time discipline your thoughts a little better. I know that your wife arrived just yesterday, but still...”
Ralf Winker had the decency to blush.

Castle Wolfenfels, exercise field, Kings Day

For Sergeant Blaskowics the jury was still out on the footmen he had been given to work with. On the one hand they were dirty, ignorant of many basic facts, showed many of the signs of youth malnutrition and lack of hygiene and dental care.
On the other hand these were the soldiers who were expected to confront unspeakable evils and NOT run, to engaging their enemies in brutal hand to hand combat and NOT flinch and to keep going on really minimal supplies.

Their ignorance was also not the ignorance of societies which desperately tried to cling to outmoded concepts but of a world which simply did not know better yet. Basically he trusted these men-but whether they would be able to grasp what he had to teach them he did not know yet.
“Listen up men, this is where you learn about your new weapons. Let me present to you your new best friend, the Carabine 98 K. It is a rifle which proved its mettle in literally thousands of battles and skirmishes. It can hit and kill a man-sized target at 500 meters and groups of enemies at an even longer range. It holds 5 rounds in a magazine, so you will have to reload from a clip only after 5 shots.
Once you are well trained you should be able to shoot 12 aimed rounds a minute with this. The Carabine shoots the same 7.62mm ammo then our rifles and machine guns, it is plenty lethal.
And if the enemy is too close or you are out of ammo you can use the Bayonet which allows you to get close and personal.
I have arranged a short demonstration for you. Marksman Erk, step forward.”

“As you can see I have arranged for a number of targets at different ranges: two sets of 4 wooden wooden boards each at 50 and 100 meters, and 2 more clay pots at 200 and 400 up the slope. Marksman Erk, shoot the first two targets”
“Aye Aye Ser” The Footman lifted his crossbow, took aim through the stbilising fins on his bolt and fired it into the first target. The bolt penetrated the first board and struck in the second. Erk put the crossbow down, put his foot into the step at the front of the weapon and pulled the drawstring back in several pulls of a special lever.
Putting another bolt into the furrow he lifted the crossbow back up. From the angle at which he had to lift the crossbow the onlookers could already see that this target was at the limits of the weapons range. The bolt still flew true and hit the board somewhat off-center but failed to penetrate the first board fully. The time between the first and second shot was about 20 seconds
“Thank you Marksman Erk, well done”

Blaskowics stepped forward and lifted the rifle to his shoulder. Taking aim through a visor which was taken from the G3 Battle rifle he squeezed off the rounds for the first two targets in short succession. The bullets penetrated all 4 boards easily. Taking a little more time he shot the far off targets from a kneeling position, hitting all 4 Targets center in less than the time the marksman had taken for his two shots. He then fired another shot into the 100 meter target, reloaded from a clip and fired off 5 more shots, all in less than a minute.
“So folks, with what do you want to go to your next battle?”
The wordless roar he got was more than a satisfactory answer.

Castle Wolfenfels, Great Hall, later in the evening

“Lieutenant, can you cut me some of that roast?” Baron Heinrich was taking the Lt. more and more as his Dinner partner these days as this was one of the better ways to get info from the German. After getting the slice and with half full mouth he continued.

“I spoke to some of my footmen that got their first instruction about their new equipment today. Very impressive or so I have heard-I thank you for that gift. Do not think of me as impolite, but I see your soldiers carry totally different rifles-why is that?”
“Ah-you have a good eye Count. Several reasons-our rifles are new and still a little bit experimental. We do not want to bother you with weapons which could be temperamental, but we can still exchange ammo with your soldiers. Secondly our rifles are far more complicated. We are brought up in a technical society and are more used in their upkeep-your men are not. Also we have less problems to send out weapons to a depot if something is seriously wrong-your blacksmith can surely not repair them. Do not feel slighted here please; we gave your men weapons which have worked well in countless battles.”

“And that is all there is too it?”
“Ah, well….”
“Come on man”
“There is our experience and that of the Empire as well that weapons you hand out to allies end up with the wrong parties. Remember when the Skaven got their paws on some bundle musket a few years ago? These days they fight with their bleeding “Ratling Cannon”. I would not enjoy to face a warpstone powered version of a machine gun”
“Understandable, and thanks for the honesty. I hope you will trust us enough someday to give us your better weapons” “I hope so as well sire”

Close to Altdorf, inside a Passenger Train, Sigmarstag


The train stood at an odd angle due to its derailment, smoke from various sources combined with the power outage and the lack of outside light to restrict visibility. Only the battery powered emergency lights shed their red light on the scene adding to the creepy atmosphere.

Joakim Voss ignored the corpses strewn on the floor pushing his squad forward in a search for the attackers who had wrought such havoc. Advancing in 2 groups of 4 soldiers each alternatively with 4 providing cover for the moving group before advancing themselves they checked out the first wagon assigned to them and stopped at the connector to the next wagon.

Pushing a mirror on an extensible pole into the next wagon Joakim tried to get a picture of what awaited them there. It seemed to be more of the same so his first group took their positions on both sides of the door to spring forward on his sign.
Covering the right flank of his group he scanned the corner of the wagon, found it empty and was about to turn back to the front when one of the corpses rose quickly brandishing a sabre he had hidden under him.
Joakim brought the barrel of his shotgun back into line with the attacker while shouting “Contact” to alert his squad just to have the barrel deflected by a sabre thrust which missed his hand by just a hair.

The Landwehr Feldwebel found himself in a bad position-he could not back up because of the limited space for himself and his group and he blocked the line of sight for the rest of his group. His attacker was huge-probably nearly 2 meters high even without the helmet and his strange armor hinted at a powerful physique. Joakim had to use his gun again to parry another thrust by the sabre, but managed to deflect the next attack over his shoulder. Turning his shotgun under the blade he drove the stock into the helmet of the attacker, stunning him long enough to align the barrel with the chest and pull the trigger twice.

The splashes of red on his armored vest did not distract him from taking control of his squad again, pushing forward through the next wagon. Detailing two soldiers to take care of first aid for injured passengers his squad pushed forward to the end of the wagon, checking all “corpses” with renewed vigor. One of the unmoving bodies was indeed another assailant, but this one did not even manage to get up before shots by two squad members totaled him.
Arriving at the end of the wagon his trusty mirror showed another Landwehr squad which had cleared their end of the train. The fact that only 5 squad members were to be seen hinted that this unit had fared less well than his own.

He was discussing the next steps with the Feldwebel from the 2nd squad when a shrill whistling sound brought an end to that. The PA system which suddenly worked again sounded a welcome “Endex, Endex” to announce the end of this exercise and the lights revealed the specially prepared wagons in all their used-up glory.
Walking back to “their” end of the training area Joakim helped the formerly sabre wielding attacker up on his feet who had been a little groggy from the hit on his helmet.

The member of the “Red Team” pulled his helmet off and revealed a head crowned by a shock of dishwater blonde hair. “Wow, it`s hot in here.” The swordsman pulled his paintball-strained padded training armor open at the chest to cool down, showing an Amon Amarth "Surtur Rising" T-Shirt below.

Seeing the red face Joakim had to ask “All ok?”
“Yes, no problem. Nice move there, I did not see that coming.”
”You nearly had me before-couple of centimeters higher and you would have rapped me along the knuckles. But: I think I saw you before, but cannot place you. Can you help?”
“Henrik Gerber, at your service. We probably met at the German border-I am with customs normally when the Landwehr does not send me out to teach the finer points of melee weapons.”
“Joakim Voss of the Imperial German Railroad. You are right-I saw you at the border. I usually punch the tickets at the Berlin-Altdorf train.”

“Ah that’s why I think I recognize you-weren`t you the guy who took care of that Chaos Raid on the train to Altdorf” “Me and a lot of other people”
“I believe you, asshole, I truly do”
“Stop it, I did not say that, really”
“I believe you…..”
"Please can it-I am not Clint Eastwood. Sorry, I have to look after my people-see you at the “after-postop-beer”
“You got a deal”

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Mechman
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Re: An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-06 11:31am

Papenburg, Main Quay, left side same day

Master Commers lifted a jug of thin ale to his boatswain who was sitting across the table in the wardroom of the barque “Frederike”. This was the last evening they had in Papenburg before they would go back to the Empire. They hailed from one of the Empires smaller ports and had taken their time to make their first trip to Germany, making sure they had good sailing instructions and an idea on what cargo to take. Most of the crew were ashore to celebrate what was already a very successful voyage, but both Captain and Boatswain found it wise to stay on board in case the authorities needed to speak to one of them. Also they thought the entertainment in the German city remarkably expensive and were old and wise enough to keep the money on them till they went home. The price of an hour with a hooker here was enough to pay for a week with a high-quality courtesan at home. And while the beer here was very nice it cost so much in a bar that you could buy 10 cans of it in a store for the same price.
During the day they had their fill of looking at the German wonders: the horseless Chariots, the moving pictures, the incredible roads and house-but that had been free of charge and now their minds were filled fit to burst.

“So Felix, how do you think we can do better next trip-if you think we should come here again that is”
“Sure as sure we should-this trip will make us all a lot of money, even if we deduct the investors part and tax. And these days the trip is safer. So what went well: The “off-the ship” sale of scrimshaws and wooden ship models was one of the best ideas we ever had. We really have to thank Captain Herbst for that tip. They pay ridiculous amounts of money for the models or for narwhal tooth carvings. My nephew made a ship model just 1 meter long last winter and some idiot paid me 150 Euros for it. I also got drawings and the magical pictures they call “photos” for commissions if we come back in 3 months-I think we should.”
“Yes, we really should. The Cherry wood we took also brought a good price. They tell me they carve the wood into just millimeter-thick slices and glue them on top of cheap wood.”
“Ha-that sounds like the Germans”
“Right it does. I have great hopes for the water barrels that we bought. The shipschandler swears that it will keep the water fresh, not like the goo we get after the first week. Am also looking forward how these sealable jars work out-they say if we place food inside and place them inside boiling water for a while they contents will not spoil for a long time-and that without smoking or salting.”

“Good for our next trips-but what of our return cargo-think we made the right calls” “The paper is incredible-cheap, very even and white. If we can keep it dry it will made us wealthy. They still pay nearly the equivalent weight in silver for good paper back home in the places these new railways do not reach yet. Also some of the spices and cloths will bring a good price. We just should be careful with these pictures and magazines we bought-we should sell them before the Sigmar priests throw a tantrum.”
Please make sure that the crew does not make any blots on them before we reach port will ya”
“Yes, yes-but you have to admit they are nice”
“If you like them slim and hairless below the eyebrows-….”

“But next time we know about the local taxes-19% Sales tax is quite a lot” “Aye, we have to remember that and keep less receipts-or calculate that up front”
“And then there was the trip to the Meyer Shipyard”
“Manann be praised-that was incredible-literally. Best spend 10 Euros in my life. The building dock is so big they could place the temple of Sigmar in Altdorf 4 times in there”
“Yes, I heard the guide say it was the biggest closed building dock on their old world-and it sure is here. More than 500 meters long”
“Have you seen the “Imperial Eagle” crane in it-there is a picture of it lifting a ship heavier than ours through all of the dock”
“Yup I have-and I saw that ship they build in there which is bigger than a palace-and it is just for fun and holidays. Think about what warships they could build in there.”
“Why do you think they did not show us the second dock-the small one just 300 meters long-think they are cleaning house and do not want to show us the untidy parts?”
“There is that”

“But you know the most interesting part?”
“What do you think off?”
“Did you see the models of their old ships? Just 200 year ago they were building ships not better than ours. Just think about it-with the Germans help my grandson might be Captain of a wonder like we saw yesterday-and it would be build in the Empire.”
“That would be a sight to see. What also would be interesting to see is what the Germans will be doing in 200 years as I cannot see them standing still for any length of time. I even asked the guide about that and you know what he told me? Then we build ships to go to the stars-that’s what he said. And I do not think he was joking”
“Sigmar wept” Both men emptied their Steins and filled them again before resuming the conversation.

“Did you go to the exhibition room of the Landwehr”
“I did when you went to that questionnaire”. They are quite proud of their City Soldiers here-seems they stopped a Druchii raid cold last year”
“Yes, I heard about that one-didn`t believe much of that till I saw this city”
“Seems like they had to fight everything the damn Elves have-Corsairs, Cold Ones and even a bleeding Dragon-and killed them all. They even had to rescue some of their professional soldiers.”
“I just saw the motto above the entrance to their quarters. “Spitzohren sind unsere Spezialität” (Spitzohren are our specialty) – they are not bashful aren`t they”
“If they did what they say they earned it”
“Aye they….” Both men were interrupted by a “Ship ahoi” from the quay. The local lawmen which had issued it explained quite nicely that they had to get their crewmen out of the local gaol and that the owner of a local pub might forego pressing charges if damages could be paid..

Government Quarter, Berlin, Germany


"...Now we give over to Jörg Schönenbohm for more informations on this exiting election evening!"

"Thank you, Carmen! Here is the ARD Election Center again. As the trends and calculations all eveing already hinted at, the coming government is most probably a Grand Coalition. Clear losers of the evening are the Greens and the Liberals, closely followed by the Left. The new parties had not enough time for a coordinated campaign, but the results of three of them give interesting ideas for the coming elections. It is the high total of all small and new parties, nearly 9%, which cancel out the traditional coalitions.
If the calculations, now that only 16 voting districts still ocunt, are not upset be a totally unusual result this late, then even with the overhang madates a Black-Yellow coalition is two seats below the needed majority. In the case of Red-Green it is worse, even with a theoretical inclusion of the the seats of the Linke, they are three seats below.
There is still the possibility of a so-called "Black Ample", but with the Greens very divided about that the probability is slim. The classical ample coalition would have to be tolerated by the Linke, which the other parties already spoke out against.
And many voters for weeks said they want a Grand Coalition, to make sure that Germany has a broad based government in the difficult situation Germany now is in.
But what we can say this evening for sure is, with the Union parties the uncontested largest faction in the coming Bundestag, Angela Merkel will be Bundeskanzlerin again.

200m above ground, Earth


The being drifted across the surface of Earth at a leisurely pace. His/her/it´s senses fully opened to the plants, animals and humans on the ground. It felt weaker than normal, the flow of the Winds of Magic very obviously less than it was normal for the Changer of Ways.
But it was enough for what it was here and there were ways to open the channels of this universe wider.
The being savoured the input his senses brought. The humans of this world were nearly clueless to the endless world of Magic. The plans in it´s brain popped up as easily as breathing was for a normal being. It already knew several new potential followers. In a way, the Changer of Ways regretted to share the position of this new world with it´s siblings. But to get the flow of Chaos going here, in this sheltered part of existence, all 4 gods had to work together.
But if he was fast and prepared now, his siblings would lag far behind him. A shudder of joy ran through the being, when it neared one of his coming followers. Targeting leaders was a special tasty treat, all the plots, just by influencing a handful of persons... He was the Changer of Ways - and if he had his way, the ways on Earth would change - to his liking. He folded his wings and concentrated on the form he would show to the coming pawn. It was more difficult here, but that could change...

Altdorf, Temple of Shallya, Kings Day


“Patsch” The impact that the spoon made in the stew slowly consumed by the medic showed that he was too weak even to control the descent of his arms with the attached eating utensil. His hand showed an alarming amount of shakes.
“You think you can keep it down?”
“I hope so Serena, my blood sugar must be too low.”
“Your what?”
“Sorry, I´ll explain another day, I am not thinking clearly. Is it always that bad?”
“No, normally it is not. We will have to teach you how to control how much power you put into the healing. You killed another of our cherished misconceptions there-we were sure than men would not be able to add to the ritual”
“That will only make me happy if that ritual worked. Any news on Jan, I mean Lt. Fredriksen”
“Currently he is still sleeping”
“Do you think we sorted him out?”
“You tell me. We totally relied on your knowledge about these “nerves” and “Axions” and what not, and thanks to you we put enough power into that ritual to raise a corpse, so sorry but I have no idea”

It was a clear sign of the medic`s fatigue that he did not get fidgety on these news and managed to sleep through the next two hours in a comfy chair. He needed a little time to get his bearings again when his wife woke him. “It looks like Jan is waking up-you want to come?”
Fearing the worst Ralf followed his wife into the room the cult had assigned to the former Landwehr officer. The sight that greeted him made him turn away and leave the room more quickly than he came.
The first thing he had seen was the former lieutenant grasping for his wife’s hands-and he had shown no tremor at all. The medic did not think that he could claim that the air was dusty enough to make his eyes water.

Great Forest, Quarry, Baekertag

Count Karl Friedrich of Altdorf showed an incongruous picture. His beautiful clothing of orange and red silk with carefully applied brocades contrasted sharply with the bright yellow vest and helmet the Germans had forced on him.Normally he was quite conscious of the image he presented to the world but couldn`t care less now. The sight of a Liebherr T264 Truck which dumped a load of more than a hundred ton of associated gravel on the slope of the defensive wall held him captive. Two Crawler Excavators distributed the load while a little further along a crawler tractor distributed earth on top of the gravel a graded it roughly.
Turning to Captain Brenneke and his German adjutant he had to shout to make himself heard which did not curb his enthusiasm any. “This is most impressive work-if I would not know better I would think it is magic. You have made walls which would have taken the Empire a dozen years to erect in weeks. When you are finished this place will be well protected. I am greatly impressed.”

“We just put our quarry overburden in a different place and distribute it in a different way you highness. But we will feel much safer when we are done. Let me show you some other things still in the works.”
Moving to the railroad branch which went into the compound where the walls had not yet reached from either side the Captain showed two short pieces of rails which run perpendicular to the others. “We are just modifying a set of cars to act as the leafs of a huge Gate-we can open and close them then electrically when finished. We started to put a Palisade on top of the walls already, there will be a firing step behind it and we start to flesh out some of the redoubts…..

While the Captain showed the defensive projects underway the delegation moved back to the admin building where they sat down with some snacks. The count congratulated himself again that he had gotten involved with the railroad business. A lot of his peers still considered money a necessary evil and income only honest if you could get it from the backs of tenant farmers-he was different even before having made inroads into the banking business and far trade.

The empire thought it better to have government influence in this project which had huge ramifications, so he was a natural to represent the Imperial government in the railroad company. He had been sure to earn a lot of money on this but had never thought about the huge prestige and standing it would bestow him. Unfortunately not with many of his peers, but the merchants and traders who suddenly thought he could walk on water were much more useful than his high-bred fellows. That his German aide and his mixed staff had a lot to do with his performance was a given, so no need to mention it in the right circles, wasn`t there?
They found themselves in the office of the captain and project manager, which was big enough, had some battered furniture but a nice aircondition and electronic equipment.
That the refreshments were served by a burly aide instead of a comely serving wrench was to be forgiven-and the Germans had such funny ideas about treating serving women anyway.
When all the presentations were finished he could start making his “pitch”.

“I can see you did not only do wonders about you defensive works and the quarry itself, but also for the living quarters, workshops and storage. This shows me that you, Captain Brenneke and your team are the right people and this is the right place to put a material depot, an engine workshop and additional living quarters for construction workers. You will, of course, receive a bigger budged and more workers-which also means a bigger Landwehr unit.”
Captain Brenneke was less than happy about these news, his workload was already bad enough. “Thanks for the praise sir, but may I ask for the reasons behind this? Until very recently this was the place for the quarry and not much else”
“You earn the price of good work Captain-more of it. The original plans for the placement of the institutions which will come here were drawn up without any thought about how they might be defended but only their closeness to their working places. This might work in Germany but will not do in the Great Forest.
I know that I place great responsibility and work on your shoulders but I am convinced they are rightly placed there. You will get additional staff-use them well.
Captain Brenneke still had little enthusiasm but even less choice: “Can do, Sir”

Altdorf, Training center of the Imperial German Railroad, Same day


Again the Landwehr Sergeant managed to overpower his assailant in hand-to-hand combat, again his team cleared the wagon from there.
The black-and-white video ended with the whistle of endex.
Major Wolf and his staff did the presentation about the first run of the new training scheme run by the Training center for the Landwehr units specially constituted for the Railroad. Lieutenant Colonel Grube and the Imperial General, who commanded the “Kaiserlich-Deutsche Landwehr” had viewed the video with polite interest.
Finally the Lieutenant Colonel was able to give his comments: “Gentlemen, thanks for the outstanding presentation on the new training scheme. For such a new course run in a new facility I am impressed how much already went right and how little went wrong. I also think that you have identified the spots which need improvement correctly-please give the detailed report by next Baekertag and I will be sure to endorse your recommendations. I also need your recommendations for personnel for our new special project- this exercise should give you a basis whom to recommend. I think that Feldwebel we just saw would make a good addition-he led his team ably and had a good sense of priorities.

General Hermann piped in when Grube was finished. “I can only confirm these words-well done gentlemen. Train as hard as you would fight and victory will be ours. Let me also make a recommendation for poaching the Landwehr soldiers: Take the Gerber guy for Close Assault training and maybe for the project itself. “Hu, you got me there General. I thought you wanted to recommend your personal armsman?” “Yes, until yesterday. Then he wanted to show Gerber the superiority of his fighting style in the ring. He came out decidedly as second best-and we need the best for our new toy”

Outside of Middenheim, Koenigstag

The runway of “Lager Middenheim” was mostly a strip of ground free of trees and shrubbery and just long and strong enough to allow for the occasional landing of a “Transall” transport plane. A wooden tower served as traffic control and a sturdy metal girder mast close by showed that Zeppelins also made a visit from time to time.
A wooden hangar and some barracks were the only buildings and there were few trucks around. The comparatively short runway was no challenge at all for the “Storch” which approached this small island of Germany in the Empire. The landing was straightforward and precise, landing after 1/3 of the strip without drama and a long Taxi to the field in front of the Hangar.

“That will do Lieutenant Alpers, that was a good overland flight. Let me introduce you to “Lager Middenheim then.” Quiped the pilot. Somewhat later Nathan reported to Captain Würth, the commanding officer of the Lager. After the formalities were over the Captain could discuss the Lieutenants future and his tasks.
“For the time being I will put you together with Lieutenant Marks, he is here for a while now and can show you the finer points for Bush Flying. He is one of our most experienced pilots, you can learn a lot from him. You have to do so in a short time thou as we are long on tasks and short of pilots and planes. We currently are the Bundeswehr post most distant from home and our supply has to come by plane only-the railroad will be done next year if everything goes as planned.

Presently we are looking at a dozen Teams distributed through Middenland, training the locals and gathering intelligence. We bring their supplies, evacuate any injured, fly recon and on occasion shuttle some local muckety-muck around. You can expect 20 flight hours a week minimum-get used to it.
“Yes sir”

Factory close to Altdorf, Koenigstag

“Brrrrrt”…..”Brrrrt” Emma still marveled at the sewing machine that she was working on. The parts were moving too fast to see and still produced stitches so fine she could not have done it by hand if she would have taken 10 times the time she needed to finish now. Currently she was attaching the arms to T-Shirts, always the left then the right. She did never make a full shirt, only the arms, or sometimes the front and back parts. At first she had wondered why this was so, but the supervisor had explained that the shirt was finished faster if everybody was making just a small part. She had to admit that she learned her part quite quickly and now could finish shirt after shirt without really thinking about it. This left her the time to think about her lot and her new surroundings.

The factory she was working in was brand new. Constructed mostly with new lumber and boarding it still smelled of sap and freshly cut wood-not that she minded that. The roof showed huge glass windows, giving her good light to work. They even had outhouses with running cold water and provided small pieces of paper-the latter had taken some getting used to.
She had not believed all this when she first heard the canvasser who had screamed his news in the marketplaces of Altdorf, but desperate as she had been then she had decided to give it a try.

That her child was born out of wedlock would not have been such a problem-that it showed such clear Stigany heritage was. Forced to leave her family and village she had tried to make a living in the streets of Altdorf only to find that the future just held a life of malnutrition, sexually transmittable diseases and the social standing of a pariah.

Until the Germans came into her life.
The company had set up a scheme where the mothers who had a day off were looking after the children of everybody. They gave everybody a room-an own room just for herself and she did not even have to share her bed with anybody. The costs for the room and for her food in the cantina was directly cut from her wage-but even so she was paid 15 Euros a week-and she could keep it all to herself-well mostly as the supervisor kept a little back from all the women which did not do him favors.

The supervisor had told them that today was a special day-somebody from the "TeUeEff" would come and check for “Social Compliance”-whatever that may be. She had to remember that she had to give her age as 18 years-not 16 and that she had to say that all of her wages were paid to her-and that she was paid for overtime-whatever that was.
If she could remember that she could get a shirt from the ones she was sewing-she could sell that well in Altdorf, these days everybody wanted an Addidas Shirt.

Highway 31, Construction Site close to Ruehler marsh, Bezahltag

Claus Tolles was sweating and shivering-but neither from heat or cold. His clothes were soaked through from the mud he lay in since an hour-but none of this mattered. What mattered was that ever since he had received a series from seemingly innocent SMSwas that he had taken his station at the Autobahn (Highway) 31 together with his compatriots and waited for the call to action.
When he was really sure that something had gone wrong his radio finally relayed the series of clicks that meant showtime. Carefully lifting the net which so far covered him and raising his head he saw the “Sixt” rental truck who`s obviously bad driver needed both of the reduced wideness lanes inside the construction site and no car could pass him. Two cars behind him a white-green bus-like prisoner transport van and an accompanying police patrol car followed. Just in front of Claus the driver of the rental van seemed to totally loose it and the right front wheel left the tarmac. Slamming the brakes the van`s rear turned to the left, forcing all traffic behind it into emergency stops and causing two small fender-benders.

Claus did not see any of this but after pulling the straps of his gas mask tight again jumped up and raised his RPG at the prisoner`s bus cab. Screaming like a mad man he pulled the trigger, the sound and flash of the firing totally masking the warheads impact from him.
A “Crump” followed by falling debris signaled that the second RPG gunner had taken out the Patrol car. Putting the RPG back on the ground he took a couple of cans from his belt and lit their fuses. Red Phosphorus inside the cans started to burn, giving dense, irritating smoke which hopefully kept anybody from interfering. Sprinting to the Prisoner Van he met with Manfred Horst who carried a Moisin Nagant rifle. Despite it`s age the rifle had no problem putting two rounds low through the door of the van. One of Manfred`s crazies had emerged from the rental van and applied a device which had started as a fire-extinguisher but now pumped CS-Gas into the interior of the van. Claus helped another of them to raise the motorized angle grinder to the door. Normally used to cut through steel railroad rails it made short work of the locks.

Dropping everything but his pistol Claus entered the van first, scanning for the personal of the van. He found two who still tried to put up masks by their own and dispatched both with head shots.
Searching both yielded the keys to the cells. Checking the spyholes showed his target shortly and he tore the door to the compartment which held Jasla open. As she wore handcuffs, her various anti-mage charms and the CS-Gas had started to penetrate her cell she could not offer much resistance when he pulled her out of the van and into the bog.

Following a pre-scouted route they arrived at their getaway cars soon enough. Splitting into two cars to various ways Claus pushed Jasla into the back seat of his car while Manfred took the wheel and one of his compatriots rode shotgun.
Picking their way along farmers roads they managed to reach the German border in short time and vanished into the Couronne wilderness.

Inside the getaway car, Forrest of Couronne, a little later

Jasla had a hard time to make sense of the new situation but started to hope for a better turn. When the hapless Petra had entered her world she had hoped to use her for a prison break but learned soon enough that while the German student was malleable enough she seemed powerless to do so.
When she was still trying to use all of this to her advantage she was told she had to appear in front of court again-it seemed some idiot wanted to sue her for damages. She had to go to Papenburg again for this. The transport had promised to be even more boredom-until that ceased to be quite literally with a bang-several of them. She still tried to take her bearings when she was pulled out of her prison and taken along for a ride.

At first she thought her abduction (?) liberation (?) was done by highly professional warriors as they had overwhelmed her guards quickly and had shown lots of preplanning in her getaway. Now she was no longer so sure when the two Germans in the front seats of the cars alternatively whooped, screamed that “they did it, could not believe it” and “a great blow to the fascists” and more nonsense she could not make head or tails of.
The German at her side was considerably more composed than that and while he encouraged his companions she felt that he was less than sincere.
Finally the bouncing ride through the forest ended and the stopped at a clearing. Getting out of the car the two madmen went to pull a tarp from another car while the third started to undo her cuffs while addressing her.

“Hello Jasla, I am Claus, the guy who engineered your escape. Do not try anything funny, or you will try to walk without a kneecap. Do you really want to be free?” “Yes” When her handcuffs came off she found the handle of something pushed into her hand. Pulling them forward she found it was a long and obviously sharp dagger. The German had retreated by now a couple of meters.
“Show me that you are worth your freedom-kill these two idiots over there” It took her seconds to realize that he was serious-and no time at all to make up her mind. Wordlessly sprinting towards the two Germans who were still fumbling with the catches of their tarp she kicked one of them to the ground while punching the dagger through the side of the brainpan of the other. Moving the blade inside the head from side to side to make sure she turned in time to catch the other one while he tried to rise having a look of utter incomprehension on his face. She wiped that off with a kick to his jaw, dropping him to the ground again. She ground her heel on his Adam’s apple, hearing it break under the pressure. Stepping back she watched his face contort when the swelling in his neck blocked the airways and the useless drumming of his limbs on the ground.
Ah-the little pleasures of life.

She allowed her only a moment of distraction and then looked for the strange German. Standing a few meters away the pistol he kept aiming at her did not waver a millimeter. He nodded before addressing her “Not bad-you did not go stale in the Slammer”
“What do you want”
“I have needs of the services of a good mage-and you want out of here-are you interested?”
“Keep talking little man”

Cordenka Factory, Obernburg am Rhein, Sigmarstag


Eric Meier was not so happy with his new job-not that he was going to tell this to anybody as he was happy to have a job at all. His company was making special technical threads for cloths and similar, of which nearly 80% of these were exported before the Weltensprung. As these customers had evaporated after that and new customers had been hard to find, so lots of workers had been laid off. While these days there were lots of new jobs to find in different – but that would have meant moving, starting fresh as a new guy and often lesser pay in a new company making hammers, computers or whatnot.
Then his company had come up with the wild scheme to end them all-and to everybody’s surprise it had paid off and now the company was in better straights than ever before. He went down the aisle of production units and saw that all 30 reels in this row were patiently spooling up the thread-and what a thread it was. Several times stronger than Kevlar it could be used in everything from really strong armored vests to ropes which theoretically could hold a space elevator. This was something everybody wanted-and his company had it and had patented several production steps.

Turning around at the end of the row of reels he rounded the holding units and went to the feed side. This was the part he was dreading. A conveyor belt was slowly transporting the worst kind of offal down the line where it was eagerly gobbled up by spiders the size of big horses. Normally these were the riding animals of Forrest Goblins who had sold some of these to their company for what amounted to pocket money. These days Cordenka breed their own spiders with an eye for increased silk production. The sight of their many eyes which followed him when he made his way down the way, the movement of their mandibles when they gobbled down their food and the sounds they made while doing so never failed to give him the creeps. That he was separated from the spiders by a strong glass divider did not help at all. But it was a job-and a well-paying one these days was not to be sneezed at.

Great Forest, isolated Cave, Baekertag

Arok the Lame was a desperate shaman. He had hitched this fate to the rising star of Garek Brightfur and at first that had turned out all right. Now that Garek had sworn fealty to the Harbinger and the forces of Abbadon he had received additional troops to fill the gaps in his capabilities and advisors and trainers to enhance those which were already there. Among them were several sorcerers who all had access to much more Lore than he had been exposed to. He might be similarly powerful in the warp, but their greater refinement gave them an advantage.
If he wanted to keep his place in the light he had to become better and more useful again-but how to do that without a better to teach him? There was always a way but it was extremely dangerous. Feeling that he had no choice he set the rituals in motion. He had gathered some of the most potent herbs and mushrooms which aided performing magic and had made up a most potent brew which had the force to kill a dozen Shamans such as himself.

He then had retreated into a secluded cave and had force-fed this brew into an unlucky Ungor aide who had promptly died under strong convulsions, breaking most of the bones in his body against the bindings which held him.
Before he died he had performed one last service to the Shaman by filtering the vicious liquid through his kidneys. The resulting brine should still be potent enough but was supposedly less lethal. Sitting in front of a bowl of the stinking salty liquid he pondered his future if he declined the risk. Seeing only dismal failure he found the willpower to gulp it down he started the same convulsions as his former aide-even if the absence of bonds prevented the self-inflicted injuries.
Arok felt none of the painful cramps, the biting of the tongue and Lips which colored the foam on his snout red or the voiding of his bowels-he was in a different place and time and saw things he had never dreamt of before.

He stood on top of a huge fighting vehicle which gave of a mighty roar. Looking over a huge tube which seemed to be some sort of weapon he saw a vast featureless plain of dust which allowed him to look till the horizon. When he looked down he saw that he had human arms clad in black cloth. Arok somehow knew that this chariot was the riding was the mightiest of his kind and that it could smash his enemies with ease.
Similar chariots were moving forward to his left and right in a strange fashion-they had multiple wheels which moved inside some sort of steel band.
Suddenly the chariots to his left and right started to maneuver wildly and the funny things on his ears jabbered things he could not understand. Something like birds appeared on the horizon and became larger quickly only to reveal they were not birds at all but something different. The Shaman had to watch helplessly as strange lights blinked on the nose and wings of the not-birds and beads of light connected them to one of the other chariots and set it on fire, then his own. The vision allowed him to feel the pain of the burning before the scenery changed.

Now he was wearing black again and also a strange conical hat from some straw, but the rest of his surroundings were more familiar as the showed a huge vibrant Jungle. The weather was hot and humid but the sky was clear except for some clouds which were straight as arrows and very thin. When he looked a little longer he saw to wonder that they grew in one direction quite rapidly. There seemed to be black specks at the very tip off these clouds but he could not be sure.
He was still looking at the specks when a whistling sound grabbed his attention, making him look at the valley below him. A great roar of explosions marked the sudden upheavals which destroyed the prime forest below him in a row which seemed to go on endlessly. The roar of these explosions masked the approach of other planes so he saw the low fly metal bird just in time to watch them drop long canisters into his vicinity. Again the vision allowed him to experience the burning through the napalm before moving somewhere else.

Next he was sitting on a horse wearing loose clothing and some head cloth, holding an odd looking rifle in one hand. He was riding at full tilt with about 30 scrawny looking bearded humans which were similarly clad fleeing from something. When he turned his head backwards he saw something he recognized: a flying contraption which looked just like the ones he saw when the humans raided the herdstone. He was still wondering how this could be when a 30 mm shell blasted him to bits.

This was thankfully the last of these visions-the next ones concerned more familiar topics about spells and how to shape them, about the power of the warp and how to use it decisively.
When he woke up a long time later he knew exactly what to do. Not bothering with cleaning himself up he grabbed his ceremonial flint dagger and started to cut off the pinkie fingers on both hands.

Castle Wolfenfels, Koenigstag


The thin blade of the Rapier missed Hauptmann Hemmlers Chest by a fingers width or so it seemed-this was just the latest hair-raising attack the Hauptmann managed to barely turn. While his heavier sabre was able to turn the lighter blade of his assailant easily it was so quick that it was very hard to parry in time.
Even when he managed to take the initiative his enemy was hard to hit. While his sword looked very much like the ones favored by the Tilean duelists he had no dagger and was able to have most of his body out of the reach of the Reiksguard Hauptmann as he could twist his left side out of the way. His sword hand was protected well inside an elaborate basket.
The fight moved back and forth across the ground with neither fighter managing to land a decisive hit. Finally he locked the baskets of the two swords together, pushing the weapons out of the way and closing to a corps-a-corpse. Barely managing to get a foot behind his enemies he pushed forward one more step. His opponent dropped unceremoniously on his back letting go of the air in his lungs with a whoosh. Hemmler reversed the grip on his Sabre and forcefully punched the tip into the ground besides his sparring partner.

Offering him a hand he pulled him up on his feet. “He is no great swordsman he says. He got only little practice he says. He fears to embarrass himself he says. Sigmar be praised Lieutenant-what will you do when you properly train with cold steel? You gave me quite some run for the money there.”
“Thanks for the praise Hauptmann, but I do not think I ever had a realistic chance. I probably should stick with by Rifle”
“Don`t say so Ernst-you keep this up and you will be quite a firebrand soon. Care for another round” Breathing heavily the KSK Lieutenant checked his watch before answering.
“Love to Hinerk, but the plane will arrive shortly”
“Ah, saved by the plane aren`t we” Both men removed the leather protectors from their swords and moved to the outside of the field.

A short time and a quick cleanup later the two officers watched a “Storch” make the landing approach. While the exercise ground they were on was barely longer than 100 meters in any direction it was not a problem for the versatile plane. Turning into the wind the pilot actually managed to land within half the distance and then leisurely taxied the plane to the onlookers.
Two figures emerged from the cockpit. One was an mid-30`s pilot with a 3 day beard, the beginning of a pouch, Ray Ban sunglasses and a strictly nonregulation vest, the other a slightly younger man, much more slim and trim who wore mostly uniform.

The older man stepped forward and produced something which might be a salute somewhere. “Good afternoon Hauptmann Hemmler, Hi Lieutenant. Nice to drop by again. May I present my replacement, Lieutenant Alpers to you? He will take care of this lovely piece of real estate for the foreseeable future and that means he will also bring your supplies”
“Welcome to Castle Wolfenfels then Lieutenants. I take it that you will stay overnight and enjoy dinner with us?”
“Certainly and thanks for the invitation”
Later in the same evening Hermann was dinner partner to Hauptmann Hemmler again as the Baron wanted to grill Lt. Marks about the world and the changes to their supply flights. The new pilot had been coupled to Ermine who seemed to have a good time teaching the young pilot the finer points about the table manners in this Castle.
At the same time they seemed to have a enjoy themselves, talking and occasionally giggling animatedly. The KSK officer was not sure what to make of this when the Hauptmann pulled him aside.

“Hey, Ernst. I am sorry to lose the old pilot, he seemed quite …experienced and always willing to haul something extra along for us. I hope his replacement will see the light before soon.” Thinking about the bootleg DVD`s with the latest “Bundesliga” soccer games which Marx had always delivered Ernst Hermann could only agree.
“He brought me a little gift-said something about helping with the Ladies. Care to explain” Looking at the handful of condoms in the Hauptmanns hand the KSK man could just avoid laughing and promised an explanation later.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-11 11:40am


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"Sultan Omarid", close to the estalian Coast

Irglier still could not get truly comfortable with his Captain´s robes, but at least he was a Captain again. What a year for the succcessful Corsair. First the totally FUBARed raid in Germany, him nearly dying only to be saved by some of their disgusting High Elf cousins! Then being given to the Sultan from Istrabul as an Elf advisor. He was surprised by his cousins sneaky move.

Irglier could barly stomach the fact that he had to get Asur information from Araby in exchange for his saved life, but his special ire was resorved for Maleus Darkblade. Backstabbing was nothing new in Dark Elf society, but expending an experienced crew like his was wasteful. Irglier nearly forfeited his life upon the reaction to the documents he read about his Raid into Germany. According to the, for lowly humans surprisingly good, spy service of Istrabul, Darkblade had known that an attack into Germany would be suicide without impeccable preparetions!

Revenge thoughts blossomed in Irglier´s mind, but to be able to do this, he needed to rise higher in status. so Irglier began to travel with convoys of Istrabul. 3 months back, his great chance came. The Istrabulian Corsairs he was with, decided to take down one of the newcomers ships, sitting nicely on the ocean.
Irglier was the only one arguing against, but most captains dismissed his story about Germany as a fairy tale. Since he was only a captain in training, despite his experience, the Dark Elf could only keep his small ship back. THere was a very mutinious feeling aboard and for a moment he thought he had made a mistake, when the firefight with the german ship spoke for him.
Irglier´s ship was the only one to return.
After this event Irglier got a command over a flotilla. It was a beginning. Maleus Darkblade, you will curse the day you threw your best captain to the wolves. That day will come and sooner than you think.

Coaster “Baerbel” Sea of Claws same day

To say that the “Baerbel” had a checkered past was an exercise in understatement. Build in 1986 on a Netherlands yard she had plied mostly the Baltic and North Sea trade. Neither various owner changes nor a never-completely-solved murder on board could keep her from doing so. When the Weltensprung arrived she was in a small Hamburg repair yard for a very complete overhaul. This overhaul took more than 5 Months in the end as her new owners decided that she had to change a lot to fit in with the new realities. A sturdy crane gave the ship the capability to use underdeveloped harbors, replacing some of her 250 Containers with Portacabins gave some Passenger space which could carry up to 100 people if comfort was not a priority.

The business plan for this investment was to use the “Baerbel” as a tramp steamer, plying the trades which were not done by the bigger ships of the German merchant marine. Unfortunately the investors had not foreseen how very poor most of the Warhammer world was, or that bunker oil would be so expensive for a while or that the ship needed an armed crew when not part of a convoy.
It had not taken too long before the Coaster went into receivership and waited for a new owner. For some time there was no interest, but then a new investor was able to pay off most debtors and placate enough of the rest so they could take possession. Now the Baerbel sported even more living quarters, bigger fuel tanks and mountings points for the machine guns which started to be legal for ships plying the overseas routes.

On the bridge the Captain was checking his position himself for the umpteen times, making the Navigator feel more and more useless before checking their surroundings on the radar again. Finally he spotted a small contact which approached them at about 20 knots. As the Baerbel was just making headway they should meet soon enough. Stepping outside to a bridge wing he turned his Binoculars to the bearing his radar indicated. Sometime later a grin lit up his craggy features and he ordered his crew to lower the Jacobs Ladder normally used to get the pilot on board.
The rigid inflatable boat which pulled alongside his ship contained 2 men and a woman which looked slightly strange from a distance. “Permission to come on board”? “Permission granted”
Due to the Jacobs Ladder neither Claus Tolles nor Jasla had any problems scaling the sides of their new home.

Altdorf, Barque close to the Bank of the Reik, Festtag

Christine Winkler was feeling like a Queen when a maidservant brought some additional fruits to the low table in the lounge on the back of the luxury barque which a grateful Trader lend her and her husband for the weekend. Looking into the mirror she again marveled at her new blouse. She had foregone the temptation to order a grandiose robe she could never wear and had the tailor make her a series of very nice blouses and some trousers from silk-she enjoyed them greatly and thought that they accented her figure quite nicely.
Going back to her husband who was flopping on a series of really big cushions at the stern of the vessel under a protective shade she hated to break the relaxed and happy mood, but she had not found any stretch of time alone with him since she arrived in Altdorf. Well-no sense in delaying the inevitable-otherwise it would fester.

“Dear, isn`t there something you should be talking to me about for a while now?” She watched her husband draw himself out of his relaxed pose and steeling himself. “Yes, I suppose there is. And now is as good a time as any other-so let’s do it”
“First off I owe you a big apology for the bleeding amulet. I did not realize that it is special when I got it on the Battlefield-I was a little too busy to see that then and there. But when I was back home it became quite clear that I aquired something …powerful. Remember when I told you about the patient we had during the Papenburg festival-I knew he had a pulmonary embolism and not a myocardial before we attached the ECG-I could literally see it. And I managed to get the needle in him even into a vein which would have given the anesthetist a hernia-and you know well I was never very good at that.

That evening I knew I had a magical artifact. I knew that it is potentially dangerous-not just to me. I knew that I should give it to the authorities who could study it at leisure and in safety. And I knew I was a bloody idiot who just could not do it. You have lost patients yourself dear, you know what a wretched feeling that is and that it stays with you for nearly forever. If I would have told you about the amulet you would have insisted that we dispose of it-and rightly so.
And the next time a patient of mine would have died I would always have wondered if I could not have saved him if I would have just kept that thing.
That night I knew I should give it away and get back to being just a mediocre part-time medic for your sake and mine-and just could not find the power in me to do so. Ever since then I am the much better medic who feels guilty because he endangers his wife alongside himself. What can I say Christine besides I am deeply sorry for being too weak to resist.”

“That is what I thought. I would say I would not have done differently, but we both know I am too much of a coward so I would have thrown it into the next garbage can as fast as possible. But I understand you so well. All is forgiven-but be more open in future-please?”
The couple embraced each other for quite some time before they were able to speak again. “Now that this is over-what do we do now?”

“Ah that is going to be interesting-in every sense of the word. First off I have to return to Germany, otherwise I am AWOL and that will not do. The Shallya cult has asked me to keep the amulet for the time being-it seems to me it works well with me and they want to make use of my knowledge.”
“I can understand that, but as you may imagine I do not fancy a move to Altdorf.” “Neither do I, but it is possible that it will work differently anyway. Doctor Bach at the German embassy checked Jan out and was deeply impressed. He seems to be well connected with the Charite` and asked us to contact them. And lo and behold-the other 4 holders of the amulets seem to be interested in a visit to Berlin as well-seems they want to learn something while they teach me. And which place would be better?”
“The Reverent Mother of the Shallya Cult in the Charite` talking about possible treatments with the high and mighty “Professor Doctors”-that is something I have to see”

“Pass me another glass of that wine and you will honey”

Wiebaden, BKA Headquarters, Bäkertag

Commissar (Police Lieutenant) Ibrahim Duerr was looking at the voluminous report from CSI that was on his desk about the two dead Terrorists in the Couronne wilderness. Their findings had been clear enough: The Idiots had made a stop not too far outside of the German border to change cars, had freed the witch and were killed. As the car had only been found a couple of days after the attack it was difficult to find any tracks and identification had been difficult due to the action of scavengers. Currently not everything was clear, but the body of Manfred Horst had led the investigation clearly into a direction of left-wing terrorism.
As the assault on the prisoner van had been perpetrated by more than the two assholes the search for their usual associates was on. He had already contacted the “Verfassungsschutz” in the hopes they knew more than him as they were supposed to keep tabs of the left wing loons.

Great Forrest, Quarry and Railyard

Heinz Albers walked into the mess hall he had helped building himself. The hall was brand spanking new and looked like a cross of a wooden barn and fantasy Viking longhouse.
On the inside it was mostly open rafters, naked wood for all to see and lots of open space.
The furniture fit in, with Tables of huge trees sawn into single boards and seats from split trees. To a German this was an unusual wealth because such prime wood was expensive, to an Imperial the work to fashion these would have been excessive before the Weltensprung,

One of the German inventions that the imperial craftsman especially liked was the power saws that had been brought to convert all the fallen trees into useful railroad ties-but also many other pieces of lumber.
Confronted with a wealth of construction material which normally would have taken them months to produce the imperial workers went into a frenzy of barracks building so they could stay in decent houses rather than spend months in tents. Not to be outdone their German counterparts had shows them some new construction techniques like plank trusses and helped with the erection with their power machinery while they waited for some of their heavy equipment to arrive.

This had of course backfired as this was part of the reason why the Railroad company had dropped so many new workers and material on them.
So they could start building more barracks, more warehouses and workshops and of course a bigger mess hall. As the newcomers did not want to sleep under Canvass they had shared the workload right from the start which held helped to close the rifts between newcomers and old hands before it took off for real.
In all that had led to a assortment of low wooden barracks and a couple of wooden halls which rivaled a small imperial town. There were gaps in many walls and if you touched the wood there was always a danger of becoming stuck to the sap but compared to tents it was paradise.

Heinz Albers was happy at the spirit shown by the crew of railroad workers and quarrymen from Germany and their imperial counterparts-the achievement of the first months which had directly improved their well-being had sanded of some of the rough edges which could have been expected.
The fact that they were the only humans save for some bandits and trappers within 100 Kilometers or so also helped.

This evenings meeting had not much to do with the railroad they all served or their living quarters. Currently the Landwehr was based on those Quarrymen which had been the first to arrive. With so many workers here it was time to enlarge the Landwehr. While these could, in theory, be drafted experience showed that Landwehr units composed of volunteers were always better motivated and more efficient.

Finding Quarrymen and Railroad workers that had formerly served the Bundeswehr had not been too difficult and the Imperial who had not been soldiers before had received some training when they were prepared to work for the railroad.
Some depots in far-off Germany gave up hand-me down equipment which still had some useful „life“ and so the workers could do double duty of standing guard for themselves and working their asses off for a railway which was strategically important.
Needless to say the workers were not so happy about this but were told to shut up and soldier. In the end they had the choice of facing the Great Forest unarmed and with whatever guards the empire could rustle up-or form a decent Landwehr unit-so no choice at all.

The Bundeswehr had send them something of a motivational speaker who was said to tour many of the newly erected Landwehr units. Captain Brenneke stepped up to the speakers lectern to announce him:
Gentleman, let me introduce you to somebody who can tell you what the Landwehr is about better than anybody else. I present to you Major Martensen, commanding officer of the 31 Landwehr Company of Papenburg.

The middle aged man had few hairs, looked a little tried and did not have the the powerful physique expected from a renown warrior-but the cheers he got from the assembly would have done any rock star proud.
After the Papenburg Raid he had been a media celebrity whether he wanted or not and the armed forces could not withstand the temptation of turning him into a PR Tool.
The atrocities of the Dark Elves and the fact that his unit had been everything that stood between hundreds of civilians had indeed been a help in that regard, as well as that he was unassuming and so-average. Many people could relate to him.
Even in the Empire he had some recognition for the novelty that the”City Soldiers” beating the dread Druchii.

“Good evening Folks. Thanks for the warm welcome, even if I am not sure what I did to earn that. I have heard that most of you are not too happy to join the Landwehr.
I understand that very well. You do hard work and expect others to guard your precious behinds while you do so. You are told that the Landwehr is at the bottom of the totem pole for manpower, equipment and training.
The prestige for serving in a Landwehr unit is low and the pay is lousy-the extra hours you have to invest in your unit will not do anything for your social lives either.
If we were a part of a fictional novel we would would be helplessly slaughtered by a hero or villain at the beginning of the 3rd chapter.

That is all true, but there is also another truth-we are the first line of defense as most of the time we are closed to the point when the shit hits the fan.
For those civilians close to that point we are the ONLY line of defense-if we are not there there will be no saving of those we cannot protect.
And WE do not do it nobody will do it.
We do this job despite old equipment, despite low training hours and despite the fact that at our age we should be sitting in front of a fire telling tall stories.
And while we may not have the newest toys and are no longer at the prime we can do this.
I can attest that we can if we have to. I had the honor to command the 31st Landwehr last year. Then the Spitzohren decided that the piece of Germany that we guard were the right place to ply their usual trade to murder pillage and plunder.
We were the only force which could be there on short notice. We met the Dark Elves on the battlefield of Mitting and we handed them their heads. They brought hundreds of Corsairs, Cold Ones, Witches and even a bleeding Dragon-we had us and the venerable equipment that the Landwehr usually receives.

For two hours we have been the only thing that stood between countless civilians and bunch of sadistic torturers and slavers-and they did not pass.
We were not especially strong, lucky, gifted or wise: We won because we adhered to the oldest military wisdom there is:”Sweat saves Blood”
We used our time we had to train well, we all knew the terrain we were supposed to fight in and we maintained the equipment we have been given well. We had good unit cohesion and with luck and the courage of a lot of average people we met the enemy and met their measure.
And because of this I am damn proud to be a member of the Landwehr – can you do the same?"
The cheers that filled the hall were even louder than before

There would be a Landwehr unit at the Quarry-actually there would be a strong battalion worth of volunteers by the end of the evening.

Coaster Baerbel, Sea of Claws, same day

The small wardroom of the Baerbel allowed only the leadership of the Mercenaries to sit and discuss their business. Claus Tolles looked down the table and mentally manipulated the chess pieces on his game board which were supposedly comrades in this great enterprise. How could he place these guys so that they all had to rely on him for arbitration while at the same time not introduce so much centrifugal force as to rip the structure of the emerging company apart?

Manfred Hartig and that Breitkopf guy were representing the technical and science group-they would be once side. Miroslav Weit and Wolfgang Böhler were leading the two combat platoons-they would be the other group. He would have to think about a replacement for Wolfgang in that role sooner or later-he was wasted there.
Jasla was the first of the non-Germans who would undoubtedly have to be integrated somehow-that would be the third group.
Captain Pfaff and his crew were somewhat outside of these groups as they would return to Germany from time to time. No need to bother them with too many details.

Time to get things rolling. “Gentlemen and Lady, your reports please”
The round started at Wolfgang Böhler. “At present a lot of the members of both Platoons are pretty seasick and are on meds-maybe a good thing as some of them realized now what they have gotten themselves into. Apart from that all is fine and the guys finally took the poll: We are going to be the “Schwarze Schaar” (The Black Company).There is a lot of argument about our choice of first potential employer and I have to admit to having reservations about it as well”
“All in good time-but this seems to be the only possible one which fits all of our needs. Manfred?”

“My people are about the same as the gunslingers-no big problem. Dr. Corzelius has the seasickness in hand it seems and the name seems to fit.”
“Jasla, your turn”
“I had contact with the Supreme Sorceress of Ghrond again. We have an offer of safe conduct and a meeting with the Witch King-more I cannot do”
“Thanks, that should be all then. We see each other tomorrow same time.”

Coaster Baerbel, Cabin of Jasla, Sea of Claws, same day


Because of her importance to the Black Company and as nobody trusted Jasla with their lives she had received her own Cabin, a rare luxury on the small ship. It had a second inhabitant now. A beautiful young blonde woman who knelt on the floor, legs slightly spread, face down and naked save for a steel ring around her neck. She had crossed her arms behind her back, hands to elbows, enhancing her already remarkable figure even more. Petra Heim`s sight would have inflamed most men and a great many women, but her thoughts were not focused on any human at present.
For the best part of two hours she had thought about what Jasla might to to her/with her. Then the realization took hold that she could not imagine what the Elf might want and that it would be her mistress decision, not hers-nothing to worry about. She just hoped to be strong enough to be worthy of her Mistress attention.

Jasla still sat in the wardroom, nursing a tea and simply enjoyed life. Just being able to use her magical senses again was wonderful, to have more influence in her fate was giving her back her lifeblood and best of all, her boredom had ended for sure.
One of the new things she had to get used to: For the first time ever somebody wanted to be her slave voluntarily. She was not sure how long Petra would last but the thought to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh again was giving her a boost which drugs could not give. She decided that she had given her new found slave enough time to simmer and got up.

“On a word Jasla”
“What do you want from me Claus-I thought we are done for today”
”Oh, no business any more for today. Let’s just say I would regard it as a personal favor if Mrs. Heim would be able to walk the stairs under her own power by this time next week and to remember her own name.”
“What`s this to you-you have a shine in her too? I might share her a bit if I am in the mood”
”No, nice as she is I am pretty sure I can make up the shortfall sooner or later. But it would give the Company funny ideas if they learn that it is ok to kill other team members, so don`t”
“I`ll think about it” She got as far as to the door when Claus landed on her back putting her on the ground and she felt the tip of a knife at the skin above a kidney “Think faster witch”
“Now that you put it like that dear I think I can accommodate your wish” It was highly tempting to do something about Claus behavior, but presently she was alone with more than a hundred well-armed Germans on a strange ship. Even if she could kill them all she would not be able to reach Nagaroth by herself, best to bide the time. On her way to the cabin Jasla was looking forward to the meeting between arrogant Claus and Malekith-that would be interesting to see. She just hoped to survive the fallout.

Bremen, DASA Factory, Sigmarstag


The Mage of the celestial order watched the rapidly spinning ball behind the transparent barrier with interest. Seemingly all on its own intent the ball lowered itself to a silver bend surface below which responded with a shower of sparks. The ball moved down touching a seam between two plates and friction-welded them together.
“What you can see here Meister Kepel is the construction of the second stage propellant tank for our new Rocket. Let me show you what we have in mind in our conference room." The DASA representative led the mage to another room where he had prepared the essential of every space operation: A Power Point Presentation.

It showed two rockets side by side, both of roughly the same height, but one had the same, slightly bigger diameter throughout whereas the other slimmed down at the top and then had a flared out tip.
“As you can see we have based the new Rocket on the old Ariane 4 but changed the second stage to storable liquids and increased the tanks to make up for the reduced efficiency of the fuels. We use the same engines throughout the rocket to reduce costs-the lower stage has 5, the upper stage 2 of them. The base version can push 5 ton payloads into a low Warhammer orbit or dump a “special payload” of 7 tons anywhere on this world.
We can increase the payload with the addition of 2 or 4 solid fuel Booster rockets which were originally meant for the Ariane 5-with that payloads of more than 9 tons are doable."

Most of this went right over the head of the mage who did not want to show his ignorance and so changed the topic to something he could relate to. “I hear you want to call your new rocket “Greif” (Griffon)”
"Yes, a lot of Germans were very impressed with these beasties during the parade with the Emperor in Berlin last year so it seemed like a good name to take”
“So what are your plans now?”

“We already launched a couple of sounding rockets from Cuxhaven to check on the orbital mechanics of this world. Thanks to the meticulous records of celestial movements your order has kept and our own observations we have a pretty solid idea of what they are and the test flights confirmed them as far as they can from suborbital shots. The next step has to be the insertion of a satellite into orbit but this is a much more substantial undertaking. We have to wait for the completion of the start complex in Tondern.The launch has to be to the east to take advantage of this world’s rotation-and Peenemünde Nord is nearly the only place where a failure will not drop its remains into heavily populated areas.
If everything goes as planned the first launch pad will be finished a little while after we have completed the first rockets.”

“Yes, I have seen that launch many times already. It succeeded 20 times out of 24, in the cases where it failed there seemed to be flames from the sides of the upper part-didn`t you call it… the second stage?”
“What-err sorry, please tell us more Meister Kepel. Some more coffee?”

Great Forest, Quarry and Depot, same Date

Major Brenneke was looking like shit-a pasty skin, deep shadows under the slightly red-shot eyes and loose skin which showed the loss of some weight all indicated the same thing: He was working far too many hours and got not enough time to eat, sleep or LIVE. But needs must when the devil drives and he was driving hard. Shortly after the counts visit things had started to happen: More people arrived, more equipment appeared, more barracks and warehouses needed to be build, more orders to be given and more reports to be heard.
Now these things started to slack off a little as nobody was sleeping under canvas anymore and there was a warehouse space for the things which really really needed them. The cantina started to function again and the sanitary system just broke down every other day with signs of improvement.
So now he could apply some of the time he did not have again to the needs of the Landwehr. He had taken his promotion in stride and even remembered that they had a beer in the cantina over this. Normally his Captains were not so bad at keeping the work away from him, but the fact that he had to weld Imperial, German and other men and women into a cohesive whole without the benefits of a really good staff took its toll as well. The meeting he had now was of a different sort however.

“Now do not get me wrong Herr Schneider, I am not going to look the gift horse in the mouth. But when Rheinmetall wants to just give me some military hardware for free I have to ask why?”
“To be quite frank with you Major, we see this as a kind of promotional activity. So far all German hardware which was acquired by the Empire was a gift from Germany in one way or another. Now that everybody has seen what our weapons can do they want more of it-but sooner or later they have to buy instead of waiting for handouts. We have anticipated this and have prepared some offers for weapon systems which are more in line with the Empire`s needs, their financial situation and the security needs of Germany. So far the Empire did not decide either way, so we think that we`ll give the Imperial German Railroad some samples where the Empire can have a good look. So let’s have a look at what`s in Santa`s bag, shall we?"


Pushing his Laptop around so that the tired Major could have a look the first thing he saw was a low-slung gun which took him a while to place. “Jesus, what is this-a pimped up M101?” The Landwehr officer was referring to a 105 mm gun/howitzer which had been introduced into the US Army shortly after WW1.

“I would state it a little differently, but yes. The Bundeswehr received a lot of them as their first field artillery after WW2. Later they modernized the guns by adapting them to a longer L/39 barrel with a muzzle brake to increase range. We did these conversations for several other customers as well and still have a number of these at hand.”
”Aha, and now you want to unload these guns with a construction date of 1921 on the Empire.”
“It is not that bad-we had to change barrels and recuperators anyway and all parts are certified. And at a weight of 2 tons they are far more maneuverable for the empire than the FH 70 howitzers and the 105 mm ammo is also much lighter-and cheaper.”
“OK, we`ll have a look. But you should include some training into your gift or we cannot make much use of them”
”You will receive some instructors if you take them-just make sure you have some hopeful warm bodies for a Battery of 4 guns lined up”
“They`ll be there”

“Ok, the next one is this”
“What is that contraption” “This is a quad mount of 0,50” Caliber Machine guns for air defense and serious infantry assaults”
”Isn`t the old 20 mm Rh 202 twin not good enough anymore”
“Oh, it is plenty good, the problem is that everybody in Germany wants them and we do not have enough to go around. Also they are so lethal because of their explosive ammo-and when I quote the price for the shells to the Imperials the all get wide eyed. When I have to go solid slug there is not much difference in damage if we go down to a lower caliber. The 0.50`s are already in the army for door guns in helicopters and the new trains use them in their turrets so the ammo is around.
The old M2 is a little heavy but robust to no end and it is not as if we have to pay royalty for them any more so we are making them again.
“Makes sense. Yours look like they are on a pedestal mount.”
”You can put them on a foundation or on the bed of a flatbed truck pretty easily. And they will take care of any air problem here”
“And will not be too much of a threat to Germany if they fall into the wrong hands”
“There is that”
“Well, if you wish to bestow us with such riches who am I to say no. I just hope I do not need them for real”
“I would say the same, but my company would be better served otherwise”
“A honest salesman, will ye wonders every cease”

Great Forest, close to Castle Wolfenfels, Brunntag

Sergeant Blascoviks had taken a while to warm to warden Markel. The warden had a grand total of 4 teeth (all black), a vocabulary of roughly 500 words, 3 different kinds of lice and was wearing some of his clothes since about forever. What colored his fingernails was something the Sergeant did not want to speculate about as the alternative would spoil his appetite. But he did know the lay of the land like the back of his hand, knew what should live where and when. He had also learned the art of stalking and stealth in a school where the price for succeeding was continued respiration.
It had been hard work to pay the man the respect he was due and not to alienate him. The warden on the other hand could not make heads or tails of the Germans who tried to treat him like an equal and where nobody seemed to know whether they were commoners or nobles.

But bit by bit the warden and his helpers and the Germans had gotten used to each other and established mutual respect. That the KSK medic had pulled 2 teeth under local anesthesia had helped as had the medicine which had cured the woodsmen of a longstanding worm infestation-a typical risk for people who eat venison on the raw.
But what helped even more was that the Germans were willing to listen and learn-when had the high-and-mighty nobles on their castle ever done THAT. So slowly at first but with ever increasing speed the warden tried to impart his wisdom to the Germans while he learned about the workings of a double-barreled shotgun. By his personal standards the Germans were still bumbling through the woods but he had to admit they were much quieter already. By the standards of the tin-clad overlords in the castle they were virtually soundless.

Since both groups had established an understanding they had started to patrol the woods to the sides of the Middenheim road with increased frequency. It did not take them long to find the signs of passing Beastmen and to localize them in an area some 10 kilometers from the castle.
Now they wanted to do something about that and had set out to Patrol this area more aggressively. Blascoviks and Merkel had agreed that the warden would scout the woods in front of them.

The KSK Sergeant started to think that the warden was already out too long when he started to hear something out of place. Before he could localize the sound the grinning face of Merkel popped out of a bush few meters to his left. Signaling him to keep silence the warden used the sign language both shared to show him that a group of beastmen was not so far away. They should be about 20 and were currently feeding. The Sergeant asked the warden to lead and signaled his men to follow. About 30 minutes later they arrived at the outskirts of a small clearing.

When they were close enough Blascoviks used a “Spider”-a small toy like drone which he controlled via a handheld computer. The drone was able to go under bushes no man could have crossed without noise. It`s small camera gave the sight of a group of Gors which were lying on the ground already sated while some Ungors were still fighting for the scraps their stronger brethren had left. Having a closer look at the remains made the Sergeant draw in a breath.
Pulling back the wardens and the soldiers got a quick and quiet briefing from him before taking their positions around the clearing. The warden was grinning like mad-he had been entrusted with a new toy he had just learned to use.

The sergeant managed to get close enough to the clearing undetected that he had a line of sight to several beastmen. “Hearing” several clicks against his mastoid bone which indicated that everybody was ready he drew a bead to the breast of the biggest Gor in his area of responsibility and shot him. The 7.62 mm rounds he used was frangible and converted practically all organs in the Gors chest into mush. Not checking his targets condition Blascoviks changed targets and shot another Gor before several hand grenades arched from a bush much closer to the Beastman-the warden was distributing his toys freely.

The other patrol members had started firing on his first shot. Before the assault the beastmen had felt quite safe deeply inside the woods. The only humans who could find and stalk them here were the Wardens-and they lacked the ability to fight them successfully. The armored warriors who could have done so successfully made such a ruckus when they moved in the woods that they were heard long before they found the Children of Chaos and could be attacked or avoided as needed. An attack by forces which could stalk them undetected and had so clearly the ability to annihilate them was an devastating novelty. Being under fire from two sides and the rapid and violent death of their leader and a large part of their group panicked the remaining Beastmen into flight. By coincidence and not design one of them promptly ran to the bushes which housed the warden. The Sergeant got 2 of the group but a huge Gor reached the brushes before he could do more. To his relief the sound of two rapidly fired shotgun barrels indicated the warden had been alert.

After a quick check of the enemy and his own forced he contacted the castle via the wireless. “Yes Lt., we found a group of 21 beastmen at coordinates …… and ambushed them. 21 enemy KIA, no own wounded or killed…. Thank you Sir. We also found the missing persons from traders caravan…No Sir, I do not think there are any remains fit to take back for burial…Yes Sir, we will Return to Castle Wolfenfels now.
Ending the call the Sergeant winced when he saw the warden apply his knife to the groin of one of the fallen Beastman. He had suspected already where some of the pouches came from that the warden had presented to his men as gifts, but to know that directly was still unpleasant. He had to make a mental note to drop them before going back to Germany.

The Warp-What is time?

The Being sat on a throne, but not at rest, instead showing a tension that looked like it could rear up and dismantle creation at a heartbeats notice.
Other Gods likenesses were so complicated that humans could only glimpse parts of them.
His was not.
Other Gods thoughts were so complex and intricate that no human could ever aspire to understand a small part of them and even then probably only to be deceived.
His were not so.
Other Gods emotions were so subtle, so strange and so interleaved that humans could not relate to them.
His were clear.
His thoughts and plans were simple, clear and oriented towards a simple goal and therefore nearly always succeeded.
His thoughts and emotions were of a terrible, brutal simplicity and clarity and all the more powerful because of that.

He is Khorne and all skulls taken in combat was his, all blood spilled in battle was his and in his mind that was all in all the Universes worth having.
He did not have the gift of prophesy which his brothers shared in some way or another but he did not need it. As long as Blood was spilled and Skulls taken, who needed to know who`s side won and who`s lost-the skulls and the blood was always the same. The strength, the speed and the luck, the better tactics and the brothers in arms-they decided the worth of a being in Khorne`s eyes-who`s side they were on did not interest him at all.

His thoughts were moved by the patterns of war like his hands were moved by muscles and sinews-he needed no Gift of Prophesy to see that a great Bloodshed was coming. Armies were gearing up for the confrontation even if they did not know it yet, Battlefields prepared themselves and future Mass Graves waited for their inhabitants.
Khorne relaxed the little bit he was capable of and waited for the inevitable. Any human who could have seen him could see his emotion in the upward movements of his lips-but humor it was not.

Malekiths Tower, Naggarond, later at the same day

The fingers which rapped on the armrests of the throne made sounds which one would normally expect from pieces of old oak capped with iron claws. Having lived for such a long time and having wielded the powers of the warp on such a scale had changed Malekith`s body and mind in ways which would give a German scientist reason to question his minds capabilities.
The rap of the fingers would with anybody else be an unconscious sign of unease or unrest-with the Witch King it was one carefully used tool of many to influence his opponents. It sent shivers down the spines of his advisors and guards who watched the negotiations their liege was conducting with this strange and arrogant German.

It was a sign of the interesting new days that the mercenary was still able to kneel in front of their lord without being rendered to parts.
Claus Tolles had never been able to feel empathy with any human-this trait made him so effective as a leader and as a sociopath. His current opponent was different-so full of pent up emotions of hatred, disgust and the need to kill accumulated over so many milenia-all held in check by an indomitable willower-that these emotions made it across whatever barrier normally shielded Claus from others feelings.
That he was perfectly aware that he was walking a tightrope, always in the danger of being killed or worse may have helped with that but at the same time he felt as alive and aware as never before. Malekith the Witch King was the most interesting, frightening and intense being that he had ever met and this meeting brought the magnitude and the danger of the enterprise he had embarked upon into sharp focus.

“To sum it up your highness: We offer you the services of a technical and science team to lift up your capabilities. We can help you to mine raw materials inaccessible to you presently, help you to transport goods faster and more efficiently. We can build up your manufactories and produce weapons of great power. We can help you raise and equip new kinds of troops and when combined with our heavy weapons company they will make a powerful tool to smash your enemies.”
“Can you help us to defend against your countrymen as well?” This question made Claus freeze-the answer might we unleash all the pent up emotions in his direction with terrible results. Still with somebody who for such a long time had ruled the most competitive society on this world only something close to the truth would do.
“Your highness, the gap in technology, science and industry is so great that even with our help I cannot see the Druchii in a position to challenge Germany for a 100 years or more.”
Everybody in the room waited with baited breath for the explosion which was sure to come after such a blatant statement of Elf incompetence. The silence was so absolute that Claus could hear the beating of his heart like a drum.
Makekiths voice was low and hoarse with the effort of control. “Are you sure about that”

“Yes my Lord, I can show you proof of that later which will…”
“Yes, I am sure you would…So a hundred years you say…at least”

“Yes my Lord”
“That is …..acceptable” The rest of the room learned to breathe again.

“Putting Germany in it`s place is a task for the future-we have more pressing concerns now. Your erstwhile countryman in their arrogance have changed the balance of power of this world in many ways like children who throw their toys about in a tantrum. When they showed the Norsca that raiding Germany is not a good idea, and when they even kept them from the Empire they made them look for new targets. Some of the Hung feel the pressure too. And the Druchii which inhabit the countryside have come to feel the leash of their leaders more strongly now that we have ceased the internal battles between the Druchii cities and resent it. On top of that Chaos warriors search for an altar that their “Everchosen” has visited some time before.”

“So as you can see there is enough to do for an army-or two or three. I have these armies-but I have other goals for them in mind. So young Claus, son of Tolles here is something where you can prove yourself. There is a horde of Hung to the west of Naggarond which gives my Guard a hard time. Help them to annihilate the Slanesh-lovers and you will prove the worth of your services.”
“Yes your highness”
“One more thing-I hear that you have brought a true elven captive from Germany”
“Yes my lord, one Jasla. She has agreed to work with us for the time being.”
“That is agreeable to me-but she will have to talk to one of my aides before you go off to prove yourself.”
“I will arrange for that Highness”
“Good. And now I believe you wanted to show me some proof of the German “invincibility”
“Yes my Lord. If you allow me to start my computer I can show you some videos which might be of interest.”

An hour later Malekith needed every shred of self-control he had learned in 5 Millennia to suppress the shivers which would indicate the unpardonable weakness of fear to the other true Elves in the room. He just watched the “End Credits” of magically moving pictures about something called “The Manhattan Project”.

Great Forest, between Middenheim and Quarry


Garek Brightfur was purposefully striding forward, leading his retinue in their march through the forest. As his warherd had increased in size beyond his fondest dreams and now even sported members of Chaos armies it had gone far above the abilities of any single piece of forest to feed and house his Children of Chaos. It had become necessary to move to less hunted stretches of wood periodically-nothing new to the Beastmen for whom this was their way of life. It was one of the things which made them so hard to fight-you could not storm their castles, burn their crops or kill their farmers as there were none. Against the Children of Chaos humans could only hope not to loose-but never aspire to win in the long run.

Garek was taken up with the rhythm of a long march so he was a little surprised when the scouts he had sent ahead wanted his attention. What they had to tell him was so outlandish that he could not believe it but they kept telling the same thing again even while he savored the bone marrow of the first liar. At last he took the risk of looking like a fool and went himself.
His huge strides took him to the place which had so impressed his scouts quickly enough and he found they had been right from the start. A part of the forest where months ago had been a fertile valley with age old trees now a strange clearing divided the eternal woods. Nearly 200 meters across it showed only grassland and a low long mound in the middle which had two metal rails and lots of wooden supports in the middle.
Garek needed no analysis or environmental impact statement to know whatever had caused this was a direct threat to him and his people like nothing before.
His scream could be heard for miles and promised bloody death to anybody and anything connected to this deed.

Great Forest, Clearing close to the rail line, late at night

The Homunculi which held up the magic mirror in front of Garek should have been immune to fear-but even they quailed at the sheer anger which radiated off the Doombull.
“What do you mean you know off this outrage-why did you not tell me about it. And what is more-what do we do about it.”
Harbinger, the General of Chaos who`s likeness was shown in the mirror projected a far cooler air “The outrage that you mean is called a railroad by the humans. They use them to bring humans and goods to far places quickly. As they have no bearing on our current plans we did not tell you about this-there was no need for you to know.”
“You arrogant cur-if the humans make more of these railroads they reduce the space for my herds more and more. Soon we will be running around like animals in a cage. And if the humans can bring people around with this quickly it gets even worse-this could be the end of my kind in the Great Forest-it will be the end of the Great Forest as we know it”
“Be that as this may-your target-our target is Middenheim. This city must fall and the eternal flame must be extinguished – that will bring an end to the Empire of Sigmar and will usher the Age of Chaos. It has been written in the Stars and so it shall be”
“So you believe Sorcerer-and so you want me to believe. But what if you are wrong and it is just one more city you lay siege to and devastate. What if this is another City the humans build up time after time and it does NOT bring the end times-then what? My herd will be exhausted by the battle but our refuge will become smaller and smaller every year and what will you do about THAT?”
“I think I just heard wrong-I thought you wanted to deny my orders and challenge the plans of Archaron”
“Help me to lay waste to this “Railroad” and those who build and run it-that will help the Siege of Middenheim as well”
“You stupid animal –you want to change the Plans of Archaron the Everchosen himself. He is the anointed of all 4 Chaos Gods-and you want to tell him “I do not like your plans-I have a much better one?” You want to tell him “Thanks for the gift of weapons and the services of your advisors, the training which lifted some of mine a little bit from the lower levels of ignorance but now I want to do a different thing because I think it I better for me, surely you will understand dear Archaron? You do not even know to which height of arrogance you have raised yourself and not the slightest inkling of the punishments which await you if….”

The mirror went into many colorful shards when Gareks Axe met it. The Sorcerer who had maintained the spell screamed in pain upon this destruction and without thought aimed his staff at the Doombull. The black lightning which emerged might have struck Garek to the ground but was deflected in midair. The mage looked around in confusion until he saw Arok, the herd´s shaman. Just a few weeks ago he would not have been able to do anything like this, and certainly not with such apparent ease. The Shaman looked at him and just smiled, making sparse gestures with a mauled hand.
At first the mage could not find any effect but smelled the odor of burned meat. His already burned nerves took too long to tell him the story-he was fully aflame already when he realized what had been done to him far too late to do anything about it.

Castle Wolfenfels, several days later

Lt. Hermann genuinely liked the view from the Donjon of the Castle-it showed miles and miles of rolling Forrest, fields and the occasional bare Mountaintop. It was high and windy enough to shield him from the eternal smells of manure and urine, of offal and unwashed humanity which suffused most of the castle. As the Donjon was off-limits to most denizens of the castle he could also enjoy a little bit of privacy. He had brought up his trusty e-book reader in order to read a little more in the book he had meant to finish since quite some time now. Finding a less windy corner he realized that he was not alone but in the company of Ermine.

This did not give him pause-he had met her up here often enough-but the paperback Ermine had on her knees together with a page she kept writing notes on did. It was definitively some German book he could not place.
“Greetings Damsel, I am blessed to be in your company.”
“Likewise Lieutenant, a nice day for reading, isn´t it?”
“Yes it is. May I inquire what you are studying there?” “
Ah, this-this was given to me by Nathan-I mean Lieutenant Alpers. He is such a nice guy and knows so many books. He brought me some when he stayed last Bäckertag. This one is “A short history of nearly everything”-he meant that would give me a condensed view on how you look at the world. It is very hard to understand but rewarding-in your eyes the world is such a different place.”
“Err yes, I would imagine so. You picked a real challenge there-if you need any help please give me a note.”
“If the necessity arises I will avail myself of your services, Lieutenant.”
Ernst picked a bench not far from the heiress but away enough to signal that nothing inappropriate was happening before switching on his reader. “Nathan he is already? Better keep an eye on that” read the mental note the soldier made to himself before losing himself in fiction about a world which was gone from him forever.

Great Forrest, Herdstone, 2 Weeks Later Sigmarstag

Garek watched another “hunt” by Arok. The Shaman had promised him the best magical help he could wish for-as long as Garek provided Arok with the means. As he had less magical helpers now-a few of the Chaos sorcerers Harbinger had provided had preferred continued service to Garek over being digested but were not trusted-Garek had few choice but to agree.
The Shaman had led the ritual of summoning the Great herd in a way never seen before with the smoke of the scared herbs brunt in the fire rising in a green lighted column which could be seen for miles and miles. Ever since then herd after herd arrived and had added their numbers to Gareks forces into a warherd like the world had never seen. Garek knew no word for the number of Beastmen which had arrived and still continued-but it was enormous.
Simply to keep some semblance was a major work and he knew that he had to move soon, otherwise the horde he had concentrated would be unable to find food-but that fit in his plans very well. Arok had informed him that his former liege was on the march to meet him-and he doubted that Harbinger had a friendly chat in mind.

The newcomers had knelt down in supplication to him and waited for him to continue but they would have to wait for a while longer. Two of Aroks helpers we making the rounds, holding strings with what seemed to be mummified fingers at their ends. These devices from time to time pointed at some Beastmen, and the aides pulled these Children of Chaos out of the ranks. When asked what they did they stated there were sniffing out the witches-which did not give any real information to anybody. What was sure that nobody ever saw the Beastmen again which had been “sniffed out”. As Garek was sure that the Shaman was among other things eliminating potential troublemakers he did not plan to interfere.

The Steppe west of Naggarond, 2 weeks later, Koenigstag

Khan Ogulai woke up from the need to relieve himself of the results of yesterday`s wine, Kumis and drugs. Scratching his nether regions he went to the tent which had been erected next to his own. Donning his padding, light armor and weapons before anything else without any conscious thought he stepped out into the daylight. The business about the relief done he watched the slaves arranging a breakfast for himself and his entourage. Taking a look around to pass the time till then he stepped around some tents to have a look at the latest captives his horde had managed to gather.

The small group of Druchii warriors and hags and been arranged in contraptions combining the functions of sitting stocks with short stakes driven into the lower parts of the captives anatomies. Long experience with such things had allowed the Hung to place the stakes so that the maximum length of suffering could be achieved. Taking a second look the Khan found his personal theory validated: All Hags had already passed. While rather tough in combat they folded once the drugs they used went out of the system. The rest of the Druchii would probably last till the evening, then sepsis and shock should finish them. If not his warriors would do as the Horde had to move again-staying still in enemy territory only asked for problems.

The sight of the Hordes victims pushed his thoughts into another track: How lucky he was to raid in the Lands of Naggaroth. The Empire´s eastern provinces were no longer the ripe fruit to pick it once was, and the thought to go into “Deutschland” gave him shivers. Not that it would have been easy to traverse the Empire first. Ogulai scoffed at the Clans which had begun to trade with the nations of the Old World. Deutschland and the Empire maybe were too hard a nut, but nations like Kislev or the border Princes were still tasty and easy. But that was something for the Clans there. He, Ogulai, was happy where he raided. Naggaroth was an old stomping ground for the Hung and their method of warfare suited this environment just fine.

While they could not attack their cities directly they could raid the farms and mines, the convoys, caravans, messengers and whatever else suited their fancy. They could not directly withstand an attack by a strong Druchii cavalry force or infantry but they could outride the infantry. And the oh-so-noble Elf horses could not live on the sparse grasses of the Naggaroth Steppes nor their riders on the foot you can carry on the hoof, so with good scouting one could outdistance them as well.
So whenever the Druchii amassed their forces they faded away, attacking isolated outposts and supply caravans, when the Elves split up or became tired they attacked. As long as Ogulai made no terrible mistake he could not really loose and just living like this counted as win for him. The damn Spitzohren had taken Hung slaves long enough-let them see how the boot would fit on the other foot.

Ogulai`s musings were interrupted by a strange sound-a little bit like the crack of a whip. It seemed muted, like coming off a distance. Pushing through the crowd to see what may cause the disturbance he could see the several riders which were pushing their ponies at full gallop to the Hung camp. While he was looking for the cause of their wild ride another of the cracking sounds could be heard and a rider dropped from his mount like a puppet bereft of its strings.
The Khan needed no more prompting to have the host assembled. He was finally on his horse and surrounded by his guard when the last of the rider was killed. From approximately the same direction the killed patrol had taken a cloud of smoke moved towards the Hung encampment. Leaving a guard the Khan moved his riders out of the camp into several broad groups of riders between whatever was closing on them and the camp. Lifting a viewing glass he had traded from some Araby caravan he had a closer look.

The cloud resolved itself into 3 vehicles of a kind nobody had ever seen before, all driving quickly enough that they trailed long dust clouds behind them. The Vehicles had 4 wheels, had an enclosed front and an open-topped boarded enclosure in the back. They had no horses to draw them nor any other visible means of drive-must be something magic. In the backside enclosure men were holding on to keep inside their strange chariots during the fast drive. Suddenly all vehicles stopped and turned their backs towards the camp at a distance of 800 meters. The crew in the back of the vehicles gathered about slim looking cannons which were in the middle of the enclosures.
When the vehicles stopped he heard some strange noise over the sounds they made when they drove-he could not remember hearing anything like that ever before-could it be music?
When he was still thinking how to attack these apparitions lights started to blink at the muzzles of the weapons and men started to drop from the saddles-no choice now, the only way was a full out attack.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-11 11:44am

Unimog Truck, Battlefield west of Naggarond, same day

Claus Tolles just knew that he should not man a heavy machine gun and shoot at barbarians but stand back and keep the big picture in mind-it was too much fun not to do. The NSV machine gun he used had quite a kick and Rate of Fire so he had to keep firing to short bursts. He mostly managed to keep his enthusiasm at bay long enough to do so.
The results were satisfying enough-the Russian 0,50” NSV machine gun did not just kill its targets-the energy transferred was usually great enough to blow off limbs and disintegrate heads. The rounds penetrated the Hung Ponies the long way and bullets that “just” hit a human torso often enough took more lives before their flight path terminated. Still the pauses between bursts and the need to keep the machine guns supplied with ammo meant that the losses were not overwhelming to the Hung-for now.

In the other Unimog and the Mercedes “G” Model that accompanied him lighter machine guns also fired on the approaching horde. Claus was happy to see that the Hung were not retreating, that would have taken his targets away. Wolfgang Böhler who besides him worked his magic tapped his shoulder in one of the breaks between bursts. “500 meters Boss”
“You are right-time to skedaddle.” A short command by wireless made all 3 light trucks drive back the way they came, building up the distance to the approaching horde again. His trucks could drive 60-80 km/h on this kind of Steppe, far faster than the Hung could follow. After roughly 2 Kilometers of a jarring ride the Hung had fallen back enough that another stop-and-shoot was possible.

Wolfgang Böhler was having a professional dream come true-as many targets as he ever wished, a willing foe that was not too dangerous and all the excitement one could stand. For this job he had exchanged his trusty Mauser rifle with a Dragunov. At the distances this battle was going it was good enough and with so many targets he appreciated the self-loading mechanism which allowed him to keep his targets in sight between shots.
He was not even the slightest distracted by the music that shrilled out of totally overloaded speakers on all 3 trucks-he actually liked it. It reminded him of a lot of evenings in front of the TV. He could not remember any text, but the intro music of “The A-Team” was distinctive enough without that.
Not that he took any target-the machine gunners could kill more quickly than he did-but he was looking for special victims and eliminated them as fast as possible. The fun lasted only for a little more than a minute before he had to stow the rifle again and hold on for dear life. Another dash brought them more time for shooting and Wolfgang started to admire the Hung for tenacity-not necessarily for brains. When that “mad minute” was over the retreat resumed, but now the terrain was a rougher, so the speed was lower and the bounces became worse. After a particularly nasty bounce Wolfgang heared a “bang”, smoke issued from the back of his truck and the speed reduced markedly. The jarring ride was so bad that he hardly could formulate the thought “What-so soon?”

Khan Ogulai was at a loss-never had he fought a battle such as this. He was hunting a fleeting foe which was always a little bit too fast to be caught. And while the hunt was exciting-there are few more exhilarating experiences than riding a horse at full gallop in a large group-it was costly. Whenever these cursed chariots stopped they rained death on his warriors. He wanted these attackers alive so he could use them to teach a lesson-they would beg just to be impaled. He wanted these Chariots-if he could make them work it would increase the might of his horde, he was tempted to use one for his personal use. And most of all he wanted the weapons that were used on his Clansmen with such effect. He wanted it so much that he could taste it-and he needed it. If he did not obtain at least some of these his tribe might wonder why the battle did cost so much for so little gain.

He was already wondering if the enemy was going to run forever when luck finally favored him. One of the chariots went over a bolder with a mighty crash. After that it started to emit smoke from the back end and it ran a lot slower and more erratically. Its fellow Chariots ran straight ahead, abandoning the stricken one to the mercy of the mighty Hung. He bent a little lower in the saddle and kicked his pony to an even higher speed when a thought hit him like a spear: He was being goaded. The enemy was using one of the favorite tactics of the Hung against him. His people were experts in feigned retreats which lured the enemy into traps-and here he was being led by his nose like a rookie. He looked around for his messengers-his tribe relied a lot on flag and horn signals for command in the field-just to find to his utter horror that a lot of the banner bearers and officers had already been killed. If he gave the order now only a part of the horde would comply-the rest going into whatever trap the enemy laid piecemeal.

With sinking stomach he realized that there were no good solutions for this problems, only bad ones when he saw something on the little hill that his rider were just passing. Before he could make sense of that several places on that Hill erupted into flame and dust, with beads of fast moving light reaching out to his flank. Wherever they hit riders toppled from their mounts, horses collapsed in bad ways-and it happened so fast. Whoever had his lair in this hill was wrecking a fearful slaughter in an incredibly short time. No choice left now, the host to evade. He gave the signal to go left-away from the hill which so suddenly became deadly and away from the truck. As he had feared some units got the order and tried to comply-some did not. Even under the best circumstances this would have been the start of a major clusterfuck-under fire it was worse.
Just to add insult to the injury the chariot he had been following dropped something smoking from his back and sped off to join its comrades who were circling closer. And behind his warriors a black line moving toward him spoke of a different kind of doom to catch up with him.

Silvar Bloodcrest did not pray much-he knew that Khaine valued deeds, not words. But when he prayed he prayed for this-a gaggle of disorganized light cavalry in front of him, him on his favorite horse with a good lance in his hand and in command of a good unit of heavy cavalry-and here he was. He screamed with the joy running through his veins and signaled for his unit to go for full gallop. His horses were the finest that true elvenkind could provide: fast, aggressive to a fault and still able to carry a warrior in full armor and partial armor for itself. Even without the armor they weighted half again or more than the puny rides of the Hung and still at a sprint they were at least as fast as they were. His men had long lances which could reach easily past the sabers and other melee weapons the Clansmen wielded and heavy armor which would turn most hits the enemy might still land. The only problem for heavy cavalry normally was to catch their lighter opponents and here they were neatly served on a platter.

On the last meters before the crash all thoughts of commanding his units faded and only his small part of the battle counted. He tasted metal in his mouth and his vision concentrated until only the nomad he picked as his target remained in it. Time seemed to slow to a trickle and he had as much of it as he needed to aim his lance squarely at the chest of his enemy while he bent forward even more to prepare for the impact. The lance, driven by the nearly half-ton of him and his horse at more than 30 km/h penetrated the armor and chest of the Hung with ease and his pony was pushed aside by his steed with such force that it collapsed. Releasing his struck lance he pulled his sword but was through the enemy before he could make much use. He slowed his horse long enough so that other Druchii warriors could join him before charging in again. There were enemies to slay, glory to be won and a god to please-forward.

Half an hour later he was getting his breath back and cleaning off his sword when one of these horseless chariots the humans used was approaching. It showed the black flag the Germans sported-why the leader showed nothing more flamboyant was beyond him.
From the chariot rose the German “Claus” who wore what could only be described as a shit eating grin.
“Hail Silvar Bloodcrest-your chief bait is reporting back.” The Elf bit back a stinging reply-mercenaries had a very low rung on the totem pole as far as Druchii were concerned-but this one seemed to have the ear of Malekith himself. How else could the Witch King agree to a totally amateurish plan which relied so much on the enemy behaving just like you wanted him to behave. Much too complicated and relying too much on coordinated movements by different units involved in the attack. Granted, the talking machines the Germans had provided helped with the latter part, but nothing ever went totally right on the battlefield. That it mostly had this time would make the Mercenary even more insufferable-but so much deeper would be his fall.
“Welcome back Claus, Son of Tolles. Seems that you avoided the usual fate of bait-congratulations.”
“We did a little more than survive and run-you will see on the way to the Hung camp.”
“Are you ready to move?”
“Ready and willing”
“Then move-we will be on our way as well”

On the way to the camp Silvar Bloodcrest wondered at first what this Claus meant, until he found the first gaggle of slain Hung. From there several fields full of fallen enemy attested that the Germans had fought a battle of their own-and killed much more than their fair share of the Hung. Silvar Bloodcrest became the second leader on that day who desired the German weapons with an intensity he could taste.

Close to Hung Camp, west of Naggarond, later in the evening

Jasla looked over the rim of her hastily dug hole to the Hung camp. Her view showed the same dead Hung from the last two sallies who found that you cannot storm machine guns and the smoke from the camp from the shells the Germans had lobbed inside. Nothing of importance had changed during the last hour she had spent watching the winds of magic for another attack by the surviving Hung shamans.
She needed to take a short rest before resuming her meditation. Having nothing better to do then drink some vinegar-laced water and chew on some jerky allowed her mind to wander back to the time she spent in Naggarond.

It had been during her third hour of the interrogation by some of Malekiths military and magic advisors that he had entered the room unannounced.
At first he had not addressed her in any way, just walked around her without any word, looking at her-looking inside her. His presence was such that she was no longer aware of the room she was in or the other Druchii in it-her perception was totally dominated by the Witch King. She knew from the start that Malekith could sense her connections with Slanesh. Such things were more acceptable in Hag Graef-but this was the Witch Kings personal domain. Even on the Battlefield she had never felt deaths cold breath more than then.

“Eyes and Ears Jasla-this is what you are to me-my eyes and ears. For the time being serve the Germans to the best of your abilities-all of your abilities. And report to me about their doings, their plans, their motivation, their knowledge-everything. Do this well and I might accept your existence a little longer”
“My Lord I….”
“Hush little one who thinks so little of my edicts-there is no need to speak any more-I teach in different ways” The exceedingly sharp claws which posed at his fingernails had pierced the skin at her neck with such ease and had touched the nerves just outside her spine-even some inside it- which connected her brain with her body. The sensations he had send down these nerves were so excruciating as nothing else she had ever felt in her life. Unbearable pain, overwhelming nausea and forced lust without relief had been artfully composed into an overwhelming whole which had burned the task Malekith had given her into her mind in indelible ways. He went from the chamber without ever addressing her again-it was not necessary as he knew she would comply with his orders-she had literally no other choice now as his orders were as much a part of her as her heart.

Jasla pulled back from this memory with a conscious effort-it was no use to dwell on this and would only add to the harm done to her. A much nicer topic for her thoughts would be Petra, her new pet. Educating the former student was so much fun. At first the German had thought she had known what proper submission would mean-until she had shown her for real. She could have broken Petra`s newfound resistance much quicker-but doing it slowly and by degrees was so much more exciting.
And one of the Germans had lent her such interesting new tools-all he wanted was to watch. Of course being exposed in such a way had added to the slave’s education and had given her some traction with the German chemist. Feeling much better from these memories she allowed herself another glimpse over the rim of her cover-nothing had changed again, just the stored heat of the soil was causing more of a heat distortion…..what.

A view through the empyrean at the same spot revealed the truth of the matter-the Hung shamans had woven together a clever disguise for their advancing troops. “Got you, you bleeders-and now you pay” Luckily for her unraveling such a spell was far easier than maintaining it-a quick attack on one of the shamans destroyed the harmony between them that the spell needed. Suddenly exposed to the sights of Druchii and Germans the Hung warriors accelerated their advance to their besiegers.
She was about to shout a warning when several machine guns opened fire. By the time the few remnants of this assault reached the Druchii lines there was no question of it ever succeeding.

Castle Ringo-jo, Ringomori, Nanseitochi

Ringomori, roughly translated as Apple Forest, was one of the cities closest to the german border in the nipponese splinter. German territory was actually in sightline from the Castle towers and that closeness was both a boon and a burden. Being so near to Germany brought new things, ideas and tech fast and early, but at the same time the city now had lots of transit traffic deeper into Nanseitochi.
Tourism, commerce and new connections had made the city swell in numbers and size. With 200,000 inhabitants Ringomori was now the largest city in the region, the next larger german city was the 70 kilometres distant Karlsruhe. Ringomori was not the only city growing, two other important ones were Kagoshima and Ryodate, but as said, in the northwestern part Ringomori was the largest.
Alto and Kasumi Hegiwara were the Daimyo couple. By Warhammer standards, they were good overlords, but the situation since the Weltensprung was anything but easy for them. Old recipes did not work well on such unusual problems this new time brought.
It was simple chance, that two of the "Warhammer experts" of the german government were born and raised not that far away, in the Kaiserslautern region. Both experts saw the potential of the relative nearness of a big nipponese city. Kaiserslautern and several small cities and towns were positioned on the most important railway line in the region. On advice by the two experts, city and district of Kaiserslautern championed a new direct railway to Ringomori. Outpacing other districts, Kaiserslautern dixtrict had bought up enough land to the border to make a new railway possible. And despite the anger of some districts, the new line was already inder construction. Normally this would not have been the case, since there were existing tracks which could have been lengthened, but political and economical calculations had helped here.

And to give their homedistrict an advantage, the two experts Koch and Ruhdorfer, went to Ringomori often to build up a functioning relationship of the city and area not so much with the directly bordering districts, but their home. On their advice, Daimyo Hegiwara began to build up a larger tourism infrastructure and strengthening the local artisans and small manufactories.
Both the Daimyo and his wife were really talented for drawing, which led the two german provisory advisors to propose a bold idea. In addition to their traditional paintings, caligraphy and other things, would they like to try out Manga?
Germany had lost the source of most Mangas in the Weltensprung, but with the distant cousins of the Japanese available...
At first, Markus and Günter, had to do some convincing, but they succeeded. The Hegiwaras tried it out and found it pleasing. Now, more than one and a half year after the Weltensprung, Ringomori was the first Manga hotspot on the WH-world. Ringo-jo was a big castle, so in one of the many buildings, 27 drawers and painters produced the first Warhammer world Mangas. At times, the Hegiwaras would make some of their own together with the other artisans. New science-fiction mangas were still a time away, but traditional stories and stories about the world after the Weltensprung became a hit.

Imperial-German training Center, Altdorf, next day


“Come on come come on-see told you there was one more in you”. The 120 kg weight clanged down into the brackets of the bench used for bench presses. “9 repeats-not bad for the 3rd set and I did not have to help but for the last one”
Henrik Gerber still got his breath back, wiping of the sweat from his beet-red brow. “Yes, it is getting better-and finally I am pressing my own weight. Ah lets hurry to the butterfly machine, it is just free”
Sitting inside the machine Joakim Vos had a good view of the bright black, red and Gold banner with the Imperial Eagle on it. “1st Kaiserlich-deutsche Landwehr” indeed. If anybody would have told him he would join such an outfit two years ago-even one year ago he would have laughed-now he was working out like mad to keep up with all the other hand-picked members of a special force.

The Imperial railroads had become THE most important project of the Empire. It transformed everything-society, economy and the military. While the changes were not to everybody`s liking the positive effects were just too big to be ignored-and a Nation which so often was on the brink of collapse could not afford not to take full advantage. As such the Railroad needed an armed force-and that armed force needed a special force for the problems that the part time Landwehr could not handle.
With a set of tasks ranging from freeing hostages to relieving railroad colonies under siege the 1st Landwehr was already of Battalion size and growing quickly. Training was hard and the rate of rejection was high-consequently the prestige of being in this unit was astronomic. So far Vos and Gerber had formed an effective partnership, helping each other with training and classes.
“Ok, your turn-let`s see if you still have it in you”

Great Forrest, Bank of a Reik Tributary, 2 days later


The tributary of the Reik in front of the Chaos army was just one more barrier on its convoluted way to Middenheim, but a formidable one. Harbinger was watching the progress of his troops with barely controlled anger. If he wanted to salvage his part of the Great Crusade he had to move quickly and decisively. The more he thought about it the angrier he became-both at Garek and himself. The Doombull seemed to be perfect for his role-intelligent, creative, aggressive and always seeking for validation. His Charisma and swagger worked well with the beastmen-he was able to attract them by now in huge numbers. Garek had seen that his Beastmen needed to wage war differently if they wanted to be more than high-class scavengers and he had offered him the tools to become better-a marriage made in heaven, wasn`t it?
That the price for this would have been to soak up the arrows, bolts and heated oil that the defenders of Middenheim would dish out so that their better could gloriously slaughter the exhausted Middenheimers. And then this overblown Ox got the idea he could dictate strategy to Archaron-arrogance did not come any bigger than that.

The only course he could see out of this was to kill the Doombull quickly and install a more malleable figurehead instead. Hoping to steal a march on the beastmen he had decided to cross the river not at a ford but at a place where the river was normally not passable.
The Chaos Dwarves who were attached to his army had built a pontoon bridge over the river while some scouts he had send over had made sure that the crossing would be uncontested. From here he could march quickly to the Herdstone and Garek and do what was necessary. One of the amulets he had given the Bull did not just protect him from magic but also showed his position to those with access to its counterpart. The Dwarves had finished the bridge about an hour ago and ever since the scouts gave the all-clear he had pushed his army across.
As there was now a substantial bridgehead on the other side it was time for him to move across himself. His horse had no problems navigating the undulating bridge. It was built from many small boats the engineers had assembled days before some kilometers away from the river. Anchoring them in the river in one row and covering them with planks and dirt was a relatively quick operation aided by the night-vision capabilities of the dwarves.

His guards were the first to spot the huge tree trunks that were rapidly pushed along by the river. He tried to move faster, something not easy on the undulating bridge. He still managed to have a look at the logs. They showed no twigs-which meant they had been prepared and pushed into the river on purpose. Some of them seemed to show crude designs cut into them he could not focus on. His warpsight showed them not to be magic at first, but a closer look revealed a cleverly disguised spell. He was about to do something about that when the first log hit the bridge. The flames which erupted from the log seemed natural enough in shape-but their green color and the speed with which they spread over wood and warrior alike made it totally clear that they were anything but normal.
Harbinger died covered in Flames when his mount was pushed into the river by panicked Chaos warriors who wanted nothing more but to flee the inferno. He never saw the Children of Chaos who emerged from the woods at the far side.

Garek Brightfur did see them. Harbinger had obviously thought that the few scouts he had send into the Forest would be able to find his troops. The Great Forest was the realm of the Children of Chaos-this was a lesson Harbinger`s troops would learn at great cost. The line of Beastmen which stepped from the forest was an impressive sight-So many strong Gors and nimble Ungors bearing Spear and shield stepping forward to their enemies in orderly blocks-formations where each Beast protected not just himself but also his neighbor-this was his work, his creation. Here lay immense power for all to see. The Chaos Warriors who had already crossed the bridge formed their own lines quickly enough. They might have less warriors than the Beastmen and were cut off from the rest of their army-but nobody could accuse them of being cowards. Powerfully muscled barbarians formed shield walls, Chaos Knights who had left their horses behind for this mission wielded weapons which seemed too big for any human to use with ease and formed blocks. They might die-but they would not die alone.

The armies took a few moments to straighten their lines-then Garek lifted a horn he had cut from the head of his predecessor to his lips and blew-hoping against hope that everything would work out as planned.
The Beastmen and the Chaos army both started to run at each other and collided with a crash which could be heard for miles. All thoughts of refinement of tactics and strategy were gone, just the struggle against the immediate opponent counted. Axes and sword, spear and claw, teeth and flail were used in their bloody work to rend, to cut, to maim-to kill the hated enemy.

Garek had to use every ounce of self-control not to join this glorious slaughter but to watch for the right moment-NOW. Both lines were fully joined; all attention was on the immediate fight-so now. Lifting the Horn again he blew again-a long, long note this time, discordant ugly and shrill and to no end. At first nothing happened but then another group of Gors emerged from the right side of the field where they had waited for their call. He had to put his best Doombulls into this group to make sure they would not go off prematurely-but wait they did. The managed to close to the left flank of the enemy before they were noted for real and in the backs of some units before any action could be taken.
The left flank was always under the highest pressure, just trying to hold until the stronger flank carried the day. Now under attack from the front and rear simultaneously it broke like glass dropped on stone with incredible speed. This allowed his Beastmen to attack the long line of Chaos warriors from the flank-no longer a costly frontal attack.
It became a notable massacre.

Altdorf, Imperial Palace, same date

Angela Merkel knew she would look like a fool but saw no chance to see it through. Presently she was doing something that should have been done some time ago but had to wait till after the elections: A Treaty of Alliance with the Empire. Both Nations were already sending mages and soldiers, weapons and raw materials, scientists and advisors back and forth-but there was no formal treaty to regulate it all. How ungerman-how very very ungerman.
Now there was such a treaty, consciously and meticulously negotiated by teams from both sides and written in a long document of precise and illegible legalese she was just signing. She had even given a Montblanc pen as a gift to the Emperor so she could avoid signing the treaty with a goose feather-this was not the part she was dreading.

When both sides had signed the document-among a lot of flashes of cameras and polite applause the document was seen as binding in Germany. Unfortunately for the Empire a little more was required, and that was the part the German Chancellor would have liked to give a pass.
Both rulers went in front of Volkmar, the Great Theogonist of Sigmar. Angela spotted Frank Walter Steinmeier, the new Foreign Secretary in the crowd of German onlookers and mentally promised them grave retribution if they so much dared as to smile.
Standing on both sides of the Cleric both rulers drew their swords from then scabbards and crossed them over Ghal Maraz, the Hammer of Sigmar-it was time to swear an Oath of Alliance:

"For the Love of God and Christendom and the salvation of us both, from this day on, as God will give me the wisdom and power, I, Angela Merkel, shall protect the Empire, as one ought to protect one´s own country, so that it may do the same for me, and I shall never go along with anything that, by my will, would harm him."

"In Sigmars name, from this day on, as He will give me the wisdom and power, I, Emperor Karl Franz, shall protect Germany, as one ought to protect one´s own country, so that they may do the same for me, and I shall never go along with anything that, by my will, would harm it."

The Oath was hailed loudly by the nobles of the Empire and the Reiksguard-even a lot of Germans could find their voice for such a loud acclamation. It was impressive enough to drown out the declaration of Volkmar who declared the Oaths valid. Angela Merkel didn´t feel half the fool she feared she would seem to be.
Now it was binding for both sides.
Frank Walter Steinmeier was an old pro-he would never smile in such a situation-not where his boss could see him do it.

Excerpt from the press conference half an hour later:
This treaty will be called the “Reiksbund” as the Reik is connecting both of our great nations. It gives a framework for the common defense against all external enemies. It is open for all Nations not aligned with Chaos who want to join a common defensive pact….

Great Forest, between Altdorf and Middenheim, 3 days later

Asul Hellebore, Champion of Chaos, Blessed of Tzeench was a highly capable Chaos mage and had no need to rely on others when he wanted to contact his Master from afar. This did not reduce his dread of doing so in any way, but it was something which could no longer be safely delayed. After setting his wards he relaxed his limbs and Tentacle in a position he could hold without conscious effort and released his mind from the restrictions of his physical form.

He found himself on an endless desert plain under a shifting sky of many colors. In front of him he saw a huge figure in a dreadful black suit of armor, wearing a weapon which was obviously alive and radiating a power which was nearly overwhelming. Having his mental image assume a kneeling position he waited for some sign of recognition. He had to wait for what seemed to be a long time. Feelings of heat and cold, of being subjected to vacuum and great light showed him the scrutiny he was subjected to-not a pleasant feeling as he was sure that he had few things that escaped notice.

“So Asul, what do you have to tell me”
“Oh great Archaron, Everchosen and Cham..”
“Cut it-I have no time to waste on the prattle of those who want to tell me they cannot do my bidding”
“Yes Master. Master I have come to tell you that I have consolidated the forces that you gifted to Harbinger and have assumed their leadership. We are now camped about 20 Kilometers from the site of the Battle against the treacherous Beastmen”
“And why did you not attack these misguided Children of Chaos again. So was my command-why do you not execute it?”
“Your greatness, Harbinger lost nearly one third of the forces that he brought to this Battle. The element of surprise, if it ever existed, is surely gone now and we would have to confront the Beasts in their own environment. Also the Horde we battled was much bigger then assumed and they had much more magical power then we were led to believe. Furthermore….”

“Silence you miserable wrench. I can see clearly enough that you are unable to fulfill my original command. The question is if I can find something for you to do at which you might possibly not fail.”
“If I may be so bold my Lord, the Beastmen will move in the direction of Altdorf if we do no longer challenge them as they want to fight the human “Railroad” and their installations are in that direction. Even if they will not take the role you have envisioned for them they will be in the way of any reinforcements that the Empire wants to send to Middenheim.
“So…”
“So my Lord I suggest that I take this army to Middenheim to aid you in the siege when it will come.”
“Can you be in Middenheim in 2 Months’ time?”
“Yes Highness. We can make the way much quicker, but there is one small Fortress we have to raze as not to leave enemy troops in our rear. It is just a small castle-Wolfenstein…err no Wolfenfels my Lord.”
“Then make it so Asul. Do not fail me…..”

Naggaroth, Tower of Malekith, one week later


Elric Starker was a Dark Elf with no important family connections, no huge household, no personal troops, no magic and no impressive magical weapons. He had never fought important battles or slain important enemies, his talent at subterfuge and intrigue was seen as low.
He did arrange the meetings in Malekith`s throne room as majordomo since 443 years and that made him a very powerful Druchi. He made considerable income by coaching applicants and functionaries before they went into the Hell that was the Witch Kings domain. As this increased the likelihood of survival markedly his services were a much asked for commodity. That he would still tell all the things he heard to the Witch King was something everybody but utter fools assumed, but the fact that the foolishness would not be uttered in full court might still save careers, dignity and lives.
His current customer was like all the others before them, arrogant, full of himself, aggressive and irritable as they would go to a place where displaying these attributes in the wrong way would get them killed quickly-if they were exceedingly lucky.


“Make me understand Straker-make me understand why I should not suggest taking these “Deutsche” prisoner, why we should not put them to the question about their secrets, why we should not take their weapons. Tell me why we will give them trained slaves, specie and alloys. And most of all-tell me why we give them the Valley of Dread for a domain, to be ruled by the Claus in the name of Malekith instead of a true Elf. I am not ashamed to state that I do not understand your reasoning”
“Ah Bloodcrest, once I was like you, full of piss and vinegar. So, why is that so: First off, when the Germans arrived they arrived in a steel ship with cannon? If we would have attacked them then what do you believe would have happened? Did you hear what happened to the fleet from Karmond Kar or Hag Graef? Currently we cannot allow to loose more warships. And the Germans stated that this ship will be back and bring the supplies needed for their mighty weapons-it might cease do so if we torture and kill them, don`t you think? And what will the German weapons you want to seize be worth when they do no longer have “bullets” and “grenades”?

And ever since it has left the Germans provide good services to us as you have seen personally. For each slave we give them we got two untrained ones from the Hung camp-and without their help we would not have cornered these savages so handily. If we could do better with their weapons if they have to teach us in their use under torture-I do not know.
But what I do know is that they already start to erect workshops and manufactories. There is so much to be learned from that just doing that-and how much more when they have finished and start working for real. It would be a fine thing to capture the German weapons-but how much more interesting would it be if we could make them on our own.

Then there is their healer, this Corzilius. Nobody could have saved Lord Silverhawk but him-perforated intestine, severe inflammation-we could have just watch him die. The Germans managed to save him and two members of his household. Do you think he would have been as good if he works in Chains? Especially if he is cut off the medicines the Germans want to get from their former home from time to time?
Also the Germans have promised to train and supply a regiment of true Elves-I believe they will do a better job of that if they think they are free. And these Druchii will be a real boon in the time to come.
The humans have a fairy tale about some idiots who slaughter the goose which lays golden eggs-don`t be too quick to sharpen the knife. When you go up there I guarantee you that Malekith will charge you to work with the Germans-and if you want to stay in his good graces then I advise you to do so. It would also do you good if you would pledge some of your armsmen to the regiment the Germans are to train.
“Hrrrrrrrr”

Great Forrest, Castle Wolfenfels, one week later


“If my footmen would have realized that your gift of boots would mean that you make them do so many forced marches they would have been less happy. But I can see what you are doing-“the art of the maneuver is in the legs” and the men have hardened considerably. How do you rate them now?”
“Count Heinrich, they can shoot 12 rounds per minute and hit a target 300 meters distant 8 out of 10 times. They can do a forced march of 20 kilometers and then are still fit to fight. They are able to do basic maintenance of the gear they have been given, can perform first aid satisfactorily and their field and hygiene skills are much improved now. I do believe we could camp them in any decent place for 4 weeks or more and have no undue sickness in camp.”
“That sounds quite impressive.”
“Even by our standards it is. I am very happy with the cooperation we got and even some of the Cavalry begin to see the light.”
“Don´t be too frustrated there-Altdorf was not build in a day, you know”
“Yes Count. I suggest that from coming Sigmarstag we start dividing up the recon group into two and send larger patrols with mixed personal from the wardens, the footmen and my soldiers. That will increase the efficiency and number of patrols.”
“You will have my blessings about that. Good work Lieutenant, it is a pleasure to have you here. Another totally different question: Who is Baron de Montesqieu?”
“Err what---I mean he has written an important book about government ethics, separation of powers and government theory a long time ago. Why are you asking about him?”
“Ermine read this book obviously and ever since then she is plastering me with questions and suggestions-it can be quite annoying you know.”
“I can see that sire. I wonder where she got that old tome though.”
“Come on Lieutenant, you are not that thick. She got it from that flyer of course, this Lieutenant Alpers. This brings me to my next subject: Can you give me some information about him? Is he from a good family, where are their holdings? Any cases of mental illness in the family?”
“Oh fu….is it that bad already? I will talk to the Lieutenant then”
“You do that Hermann, please. Otherwise we may see developments even more complicated and less pleasant to us all then some footsore footmen”

Howaltswerke Kiel, (Shipyard) one week later

The engineer carefully put a two-euro coin edgewise in the running machine. If it wavered in any way it did not do so in a way detectable to human eyes and it remained stable where it was.
Thomas de Meziere raised his eyebrows slightly-he had been promised something new, but here he found a degree of sophistication rarely shown by prototypes. The machine that was presented to him by the shipyards staff came in two distinct parts. A big block of something inside a stainless steel sheath was connected by cooper tubes to something which looked like a flat case. On top of this the coin still stood. This engine sported something like coolant lines leading outside of the workshop they were in.
While the machine was obviously working from the dials and the screen monitoring it it was virtually silent, it just gave off some heat. The engineer waited for another second before he went on with his presentation to the German defense secretary.

“As you can see the new power pack gives off very few noise and vibrations which are desirable characteristics for a proposed submarine AIP(Air Independent Propulsion) drive.
The block on you right contains a two-ton block of high-grade steel into which a dwarf master rune smith had put a rune of fire. It is always at 800 Degree Celsius. We are transferring the heat by cooper heat tubes to a flat stirling engine. It has 2 sets of diaphragms each so it is totally equalized in terms of vibration. The working pistons are directly moving inside the magnetic field of the generator. As no gas leaves the engine and it is virtually vibration-free it does not give up noise but provides 400 KW of electrical power. The maintenance needs are very small.
Compared to the fuel cells we installed before into the 212-Class submarines we can do away with the hydrogen storage and a lot of the oxygen, the plant itself is smaller. We suggest two of these plants for each of the 212A-Class subs that are discussed. They will provide much more power than the AIP system before, so the submarines can make headway, charge their batteries and have enough reserve for a hefty hotel load.”

“At first glance this is very impressive. How reliable is this setup?”
“The steel core seems very stable, it has lost less than 0,2 degree during the last 4 months when it was active and gives off no radiation except for heat. The Stirling engine needed some modifications but has passed a 1500 hrs test at 80% load so far and we see no reason it should not do much longer. We recommend to place the steel core below the pressure hull in submarine construction so if something goes wrong it can be dropped as emergency ballast.”
“This surely has an interesting future ahead, I can see lots of other uses.”
“Yes, we actually have a team working on other applications. For a road-mobile vehicle this will be too heavy, but for stationary power generation or similar it should do fine”
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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-13 12:45pm

Great Forest, airspace between Castle Wolfenfels and Altdorf, 2 weeks later

“Castle Wolfenfels from Storch Alfa 4-do you read me”
“Storch Alfa 4 from Castle Wolfenfels-5 by 5-go ahead”
“Castle-please be advised that I have infrared signatures which indicate a large group of individuals coming your way at the following coordinates:……... I tried to get a closer look but was attacked by magic-I have to keep distance but assume hostile intend.”
“Storch Alfa 4 understand hostile intend. Can you estimate the group`s size”
“This is difficult due to the dense Forest, but the Computer indicates something upwards of 30.000 individuals. Better numbers have to wait until evaluation in Lager Middenheim”
“Understood Storch Alfa 4. Thanks for the warning”
“Just doing my job Castle Wolfenfels. Storch Alfa 4 out”

Lieutenant Hermann was wincing a bit at the last. Nathan Alpers had become rather formal after his attempt of a man-to-man talk about the fact that Ermine was off-limits. The fact that the pilot had denied any inappropriate behavior and Hermann`s expressive disbelief thereof had not helped much. Still both were professionals enough to keep a working relationship going.
Now-what to do with the info given? If in doubt-study the map, it will provide answers. The KSK officer did not have to look for long to spot another KSK team that was along the route of march if said group was indeed coming here. Time to contact them and his superiors to get some recon.

Meinigen Railroad Works, same date

“Christ on a Crutch-this thing is truly massive” Henrik Gerber was looking down at their new Train-and it was different from anything they had ever seen before. They had studied it at the training center in Altdorf and had been in some prototype carriages that had been provided for tests and training-but to see it assembled in one place was a totally different thing. The two men were looking at a train that seemed to be as long as the ICE supertrains which run Germany`s railroads, but these do not sport armor, artillery and machine gun towers and their own escort tanks.

“Remind me-what the hell is this monstrosity supposed to fight”
“Everything that comes into its range. More interesting-who could challenge it but us”
“That is true Joakim-but would a little smaller not have been sufficient?”
“From what I hear they had case of capability creep set in when they designed it. Originally it was just supposed to be a train for a couple of machine guns and a 155 mm gun or two. Then they got the idea it could also transport the 1st Landwehr-so carriages for 500 men. A couple of cars for some accompanying tanks went in and wouldn`t a sickbay be nice. Some air-defense too and a room with a copula for the mages. So by now we are talking about 4 M109G 155 mm turrets, a demolisher cannon, two turrets which should still be sitting on top of a Gepard tank, and more heavy machine guns than you can shake a stick at plus a close-in-defense system. Nothing of this is high-tech, quite deliberately so, so there were no problems producing it, but that way it became quite bloated by now.”

“Bloated does not begin to describe it. It is so big that there are 3 056 Steam Engines to push it around plus 6 tenders for water and coal and 3 condenser tenders. This thing weights nearly as much as my old frigate and it better armed artywise-better armored too.”
“Yes, up to 5 cm of steel would not be much on my old Leo, but here it should be enough. The good thing is that you can send half the train or a third, depending on what is needed-but here we have the whole enchilada.”
“Well, he who pays the piper gets to call the tune-and the Emperor himself is said to have ordered this”
“Yup and the keeper of the privy seal is probably still having ulcers because of it”
“Ok, let´s see where the meeting room is in this warren-we have 20 more minutes”

Boostedt Barracks, Close to Neumünster, same date


Ulrich Stoiber watched critically as the driver slowly maneuvered “his” tank onto the railway carriage. There was not much space for error, but the many cameras around the tank made the job easier for him and the driver than ever before.
The 183 Tank Battalion had finally completed their TO&E and had shown that they knew what to do with it. Unit cohesion was coming along nicely. As the 183rd had some of the most modern equipment of the German army they had been chosen for a huge combined maneuver on the plains before Altdorf together with the Imperial Army. Tagging along would be an arty battalion and additional mechanized Infantry as the Exercise was meant as a show of force for the Reiksbund enemies-and potential allies.

Hauptkanal Links, Papenburg main Road, 2 days later

Jan Petersen was looking at a situation which was nicely shaping up as a major clusterfuck. His MEK was called up to take care of an attempted bank robbery. Four camouflage-clad assailants had assaulted the bank just when a transport van with the cash from the local hypermarket arrived. Using a fragging RPG they had taken out the driver. The two guards in back had opened the aft compartment when the robbers had shown them the second warhead. They did not even trigger the color bombs which would have rendered the money useless for fear of retribution.

Having packed the money into a stolen Q7 SUV they had sped off only to ram a crossing delivery van a couple of hundred meters later. Having been spared serious injury by the solid construction of the car and it`s many airbags they had holed up in a nearby clothing store who`s attendants managed to flee before the robbers could take any hostages. Jan Petersen would have been content to wait them out-they had probably no food and his negotiator was quite good at talking armed idiots out of whatever fantasy world they lived in. Just that this would have taken days-and shut down Papenburg for the duration for good as most of the city was along the bloody road the bloody idiots were blocking. Which in turn made his bloody superiors insist that he should do something and be bloody quick about it.

That this would endanger the lives of his men needlessly was of less importance to his superiors than their need to look decisive on TV. That the robbers had so far refused any communication had not helped his case any. Bad bad bad.
Even worse was that the building the Robbers had chosen was quite old-which meant a very solid brick construction and comparatively small Windows. There were only two ways into the store and the Robbers had already shown they had access to some sort of assault rifles-and were not short of ammo.
His explosives expert had rules out to blast a way in-the building-like most North German ones had two separate outside walls inside each other, both from solid fire-clay bricks. A charge fixed to the outer wall would not open an accessible hole unless a huge amount of explosives was chosen-which might bring the whole building down. He had thought about using CS gas next, but the pictures he got by telescope and endoscope showed the Robbers to have some sort of Gas mask ready-so that alone would not be the solution either. Still fighting with a Gas Mask on would still reduce their effectiveness, so this and flash-bangs seemed to be the way to go.

He could now just watch his men creep up to the left and right of the shopping window while a monitor showed him a single file approaching the back door. Seeing that all was in ready and getting the appropriate signs by his team leaders he gave the “go”
A small charge placed on the bottom part of the shopping window blew it sufficiently to allow the passage of several CS-Grenades and flashbangs. Their loud report served as the signal for both assault teams to storm the shop. Going from bright daylight into the dark, smoke filled store littered with merchandize and fallen sales displays slowed their assault fatally-it gave the robbers time to shake off the daze caused by the flash-bangs.
The MEK leader could only helplessly look on when strobing lights and the sharp reports of automatic gunfire from the store indicated the failed assault. His MEK men did not retreat-that would have been too dangerous and they were too fired up to do so-but a battle with automatic weapons at distances of 5 meters or less could only end as a bloody shambles.

The normally unflappable Petersen had to announce the death of two of his MEK men and the serious injury to 3 more of them at the press conference several hours later. He also could report 3 dead and a seriously wounded Robber who`s survival was not ensured. About the identity of the assailants he could not provide any info. That they had a surfeit of military weapons and some training let speculation run rampant in the media.
To all onlookers of this conference it was obvious how shaken the MEK leader was from this costly battle.


Road from Middenheim to Altdorf, Great Forest, Sigmarstag


The Sigmarite Priest was praying for an answer to his question. He had planned to lead his regiment of Flagellants to Middenheim and beyond as he did foresee a Great Battle between Good and Evil coming. It would be a cataclysmic battle that would decide the fate of the world-how could he not take part in that-and how could his Charge fail to battle the arc-evil that would be there.
But now the circumstances had conspired against his chosen fate and he had to decide what to do next. The first part of the pilgrimage of his small army was remarkably fast as the railroad had transported them to their current terminus-a Quarry in the middle of the Forest. This trip had been uneventful and fast beyond all of his expectations. The march from that Quarry also had been a uneventful affair-as much as any March of Horde of motivated but less well trained fighters without much equipment could be.
All of that had stopped 2 days ago when more and more refugees were fleeing in the other direction, all telling the same tale-a beastmen incursion. Not just any raid which devastated some farms or villages-a virtual flood of beastmen which was advancing towards Altdorf along the Road. Tales of great brutality, of vicious losses were to be expected, but the tale also spoke of parts of the Beastmen flood which behaved much more disciplined and like human armies.

This was disconcerting news. Yesterday evening they had encountered the Caravan. A mixture of a traders caravan, some Strigany and lots of small groups of refugees they had sought safety in numbers-but against this threat this safety was an illusion. So he could now march onwards, hoping to be able to penetrate the beastmens line and continue to Middenheim-or to protect the Caravan and lead it to the Quarry which had been transformed into a Fortress in incredibly short time.
What to do-protect the innocent or follow what he had seen as Fate.
The Priest knelt for an hour before he stood up and slowly walked to the camp his followers had made. He was greeted by a huge blonde man who crouched by his tent while playing with a 6-year old girl. Standing up and sending the girl off to her parents he turned towards the priest.
He was a strange sight as he was obviously young, his fair skin and the eyes that saw the world with too much unalloyed wonder attested to that, but the movements of his strongly muscled limbs showed nothing of the lanky awkwardness that was normal at this young age.
“So Luthor, what is it going to be”
“We protect the innocent from the evils of this world Valten, that’s what we do. Assemble the Caravan leaders-we will escort them to the Quarry.”

At the Sea of Sorrows


The being leisurely walking along the beach had once been human, but now it was beyond that. Having died several times and always been resurrected had made him/it stronger. The centuries and, well, even the millenia of his "life" changed his outview on life in general.
But unlike the Chaos gods for example, his thought processes still had a shred of human thinking in it. While his plans were unbelievingly complex, in some exceptional cases there was still a hint of human aims and goals present. For a normal human, even many elves and dwarfs, a lot of thoughts of this being were unrecognisable due to the different scope. A seemingly random action by him could give wished for results 600 years in the future.
On the outside, the being looked like a super version of a Lich. and in a certain sense, it was so. His name was Nagash, the creator and most prominent user of the dreaded magical school of Necromancy. Many people, including quite a number of scholars, believed Nagash to be a creature akin to a Chaos god. But that was not true. While his schemes could be equally destructive, there was a distinct difference. Chaos wanted to make the world an everchanging miasma of chance and violence. Nagash´s eternal stasis was anathema to that.

It had taken time, but now the Great Necromancer knew about Germany, sending out minions to observe more. One of Nagash´s plans needed a meetig with an Old One and a another needed a ritual which had to be done at a less Chaos-infused place than one could generally find on the WH-world. The newcomers might be useful...

Locomotive Works Meinigen, 1 day later

Kurt Müller was not a happy man-his Boss had summoned him urgently and he had a good idea what the summons was about. Any problems with the most important project the Meiningen works currently handled got his Boss ballistic.
“Kurt, what is up with the bloody team that you trained. They have to take the “Hammer” to Altdorf tomorrow and now I am told they are not fit. You told me they are fully trained and ready. This train is to be inspected by the Emperor himself and what can I do now, tell me that!”
“Chef, the crew that I trained was ready as of two days ago, actually they all passed the tests set up by the Railway administration-many with honors. Problem is that they went to a celebration in the new “Imperial” restaurant in the “Stettiner Strasse”-I would have joined if were not for my wedding anniversary. Now the poor suckers all have EHEC infection and will be out for a week at least-more likely longer.”
“Oh shit-and now what?”

“I have already asked around with the trainers and some of the workshop people-we can take the train to Altdorf-no drama. I can do the presentation to Karl-Franz, I did it for 05-001 as well. As for the command crew-there is nothing we can do. But the guys from 1st Landwehr seem competent enough. If needs be they can take somebody on board from the Altdorf training center, but this is not our problem to worry about.”
“Ok, make it so. Just make sure there is no problem and nothing leaves a scratch on “Hammer” before it is officially handed over”
“No problem Chef-it will go easy as cake”
“From your mouth into Gods ear.”

Great Forrest, 1 day later


Captain Reinhold Merz saw the position indicator on his map display wander to the point where the next scheduled course change was due. So far this flight was mostly routine for him, it was just longer. The many reports that the Empire and the KSK teams had send about several huge groups of potential hostiles moving through the Great Forest needed confirmation. So the Luftwaffe had send several “Reece” Tornados to check the scope of the incursion.
While the plane was quite old-actually older than its crew-it was blindingly fast, had good range thanks to its ultra-efficient (and ultra-complicated three-spool) turbofan engines and could carry quite some payload. That measured against the yardstick of “Old Earth” it was not very maneuverable, took too many maintenance hours and had a low acceleration and high RCS was of no account in this environment. An Air-to Air refueling by an Airbus 330 Tanker over the Empire made sure that the range would indeed match requirements and also made sure that his ass was by now long asleep.

His GIB (Guy in Back) had a much better time since about half an hour as the Infrared pod under his craft obviously gave interesting readings. Some of the Data was already send back to base for evaluation, the rest would be taken from his pod after return to base.
The course change brought his plane closer to the heart of the area he was tasked to check. This meant he was the first human to see the birth of the storm.
In its middle a huge column of something which looked like black lightning reached into the sky. From a point where it started to loose coherence a disk of the colors of a nasty bruise spread in an ever-widening circle. Merz still was about to change course when the multicolored disc went over his plane. The lighting inside the Tornado immediately changed from the usual bright light to a depressingly psychedelic light show. The Weapons Officer which so far had been in blissful ignorance looked up from his display. “What is this……..”
The first black lightning to hit the speeding plane already managed to kill most electronics despite the magic ward on the planes nose. No ordinary lightning should have been able to do this, but this particular variety obeyed different rules. That alone would have been enough to bring down the plane but numerous other strikes dismantled the craft as surely as a missile hit.
Both crewmembers ejected safely just to be swept upwards by immense drafts, never to be seen again.

Imperial Academy, Altdorf, same time

Hannes Flammbach had shut down his view into the Empyrian in time-half his students had not managed to do so. They were on the ground, cramping having foam in their mouths-sometimes bloody, and some were speaking words which were decidedly not designed for the human throat.
Whatever this incursion from the warp was-it was huge and bad.

Hangar, Laager Middenheim, same date

Nathan Alpers shot the cultist from less than 5 meters before the asshole could put a dagger into his chest. The 3-round burst took off the top of the cultist head cleanly-which did not please the pilot as he had aimed for center of mass. He put a new magazine into his MP7-his next to last. He had been in the hangar this late in the evening to help with the maintenance of his beloved Stroch when the screaming had begun. He was still getting his bearings when a number of crazed looking, dagger wielding men stormed the Hangar attacking everybody and everything in sight.
His frequent trip into the Imperial Wilderness had made wearing a personal defense weapon second nature and his submachine gun had saved his life as well as the lives of several Bundeswehr personal. After having shot 3 of them the rest of the shift had found enough time to draw what arms there were and kill the rest of the cultists.

For about 5 Minutes everything had gone quiet then and Nathan had tried to organize a more effective defense. That was a good thing as even more cultists tried to storm the Hangar. The first two waves had been fended off more or less easily-but now ammo was running low. Nathan had appropriated a long extension bar from a socket set for a last ditch effort but really hoped he would not need it. Before his thoughts went further a scrawny man jumped through the ruins of a Window next to the pilot. Landing awkwardly he was still looking for targets when the German put another burst through his chest. He had shot the next cultist before there were no more targets to be found. Looking skeptically at his last ammo Nathan became aware of other figures entering the Hangar. He caught himself in time-these were too different from the cultists. Huge armored men with white fur over their shoulders wielding huge war hammers indicated that the warriors of Ulric had arrived.
It took Nathan more than one hour to realize that he was the senior surviving officer, the only surviving pilot and very far from home.

Castle Wolfenfels, Great Forest, Next morning


Ernst Hermann watched the sky with awe and dread. Ever since yesterday something like a huge storm front had expended from the forest. It was no storm that Hermann or anybody else in the castle had ever seen-wildly shifting colors of purple, red blue and black, movement of clouds with no wind and sudden gusts which left the front unperturbed. One did not need to be a mage to feel the raw Chaos which suffused the colorful clouds. Thankfully whatever looked there like a storm but was not had stopped a few kilometers in front of the castle, but it`s presence was felt by everyone.

Currently he was out with a platoon of riflemen to watch over a group of worker which tore down some buildings which were too close to the castle and could give cover to the enemy. While he kept a lookout for any advance troops of the Chaos army that was approaching he could not help but have a look at the refugees which passed him on the way to the castle. There had been several groups, from traders of the roads to the villagers of the outside farms. Now the last of them was centered on a sturdy looking covered cart which was pulled by a horse and pushed by several scrawny looking men and women who wanted to reach what security the castle might offer.

Then they were there-in one second nothing-in the next a long raggedly line of sparsely clothed warriors stepped from the brushes below him on the ascend to the castle. They were all big, swarty and kept their hair loose or in topknots. The had few armor and only half of them had shields which explained why they could move so quickly and quietly. About one third of them looked like they wanted to use throwing axes-it was time to do something about that before they got into range. While a lookout started banging loudly on a board to alert the workers he tried to project a calm façade when addressing the Sergeant of the riflemen.

“Sergeant Erk, form a double line to the left. Open fire as soon as you have alignment. Be prepared to fall backwards after firing the first magazine.”
“Aye Ser”
It did not take long for the Riflemen to form the line. It still looked wrong to the KSK officer-half the men stood up, the other half kneeling in front of them, no effort to take cover-but here it seemed the right answer to the problems that presented themselves.
“Shoulder arms” brought 28 K98 rifles up “Fire” a crashing salvo which went through the approaching enemy like a scythe through wheat. 4 more salvoes followed and then the line retreated 20 Steps just to repeat the process. Lieutenant Hermann nodded approvingly, the riflemen held up well. The 5-round firing which followed the relocation began to slow the running advance of the enemy. Hermann was about to decide whether he should make a stand or retreat again when he realized that his wireless was squawking at him. Picking it up he saw to his horror the second group of enemies approaching him from the flank.

Donjon, Castle Wolfenfels, same time


Baron Heinrich took up the “Binoculars” the Germans had gifted him to have another look. He had spotted the advance of both groups of Chaos Barbarians, the riflemen seemed to have it in hand. For commoners they were holding up well and they had already made a dent in the enemies advance. He had already given orders to deal with the second group.
Looking around he saw the last refugee wagon which labored up the winding path to his castle. The group whipped the horse into a frenzy and pushed themselves mightily to make the cart go faster. The deep ruts the wheels left in the dirt showed the heavy weight of it.

Baron Heinrich was screaming for his armsmen to follow him and was running down the stairs with a speed that belied both his age and bulk before anybody else had seen the problem. Despite all the speed the Baron put into his downwards run the cart had reached the gatehouse before he could interfere. The group of refugees had suddenly multiplied with men hidden inside the cart and they had attacked the guards at the gate without warning.
Some of his guards were already down keeping company with too few attackers while in the background other tried to push the cart further into the gatehouse.
“Clear the gates-kill them all” went out with a wheeze from the running-but that did not keep his armsmen to join the fight. The Baron ran at the first assailant, swinging his hammer in a wide arc. There was few possibilities for finesse and refinement here-fights between hammer and dagger tend to be over fast. He had judged his timing right-his hammer smashed into the enemies chest with brutal power, bashing it in before the dagger-wielding arm was extended enough to reach him. Stepping over the fallen enemy he knocked down another who was engaged with one of his armsmen. The 3rd attacker was more of a challenge-big, muscles and fast he managed to put his dagger nearly into his breast before he could stop his with his hammer`s haft. The dagger then slid downward to severe his finders-just to be stopped by the Barons armored gloves. Using the dagger as a fulcrum Heinrich stepped closer and swung the hammer directly into his enemy`s brow. Dazed and with blood in his eyes he could not prevent the second strike which ended the fight for good.

Turning around the Baron could just helplessly watch the cultists lever the final wheel off the wagon. While it was not fully inside the Gatehouse the specially constructed wagon, made of sturdy oak and filled with granite slabs was now forming a covered tunnel against the murder holes and blocking the Gates while the enemy army was approaching. It was probably not placed exactly where the enemy wanted-his assault had prevented that, but it was a high danger to the defense of his castle until it was cleared. And it was specially constructed to make that difficult.

Exercise ground in front of Castle Wolfenfels

The riflemen line which just before had looked like being able to stop the attack cold seemed mightily thin against a renewed assault from two sides. The KSK officer was about to have his troops “refuse” a flank when the sound of galloping horses made his head turn.
The Reiksguard unit attached to Castle Wolfenfels was not very big and their sight of armored men and horses which charged the enemy with flying colors and lances seemed so antiquated to Ernst-but it was welcome. The Cavalry managed to hit the second group of attackers in its flank and nothing in that group could withstand the impact of horse and men. The Cavalry broke through the enemy cleanly, killing some and scattering the rest. Captain Hemmler pulled his men together ably enough and faced the enemy again. Dropping their now broken lances they closed at a trot pulling new weapons while they did so.
The “Brrrrt” sound of Uzi submachine guns showed that the Reiksguard had finally taken up with the training for modern weapons and the dropping Chaos Warriors showed why this was a good idea. Lieutenant Hermann`s fencing lessons were paying off doubly now-by showing a willingness to learn with them he had gotten the conservative Knights to reply in kind.

With the enemy scattered the retreat to the castles walls was easy-getting through the jammed gate another matter. And now the main body of the Chaos army came into sight. Block upon Block of Chaos Knights, of brawny barbarians and armored warriors marched into view. From Ernst viewpoint is was impossible to see the whole army but that it was massive was obvious. As long as the entry into the castle was open his soldiers had to remain outside to protect those who wanted to clear the fake cart. Here was a high potential for a noble death-something the KSK officer wanted to avoid.
Forming a line to the right and left of the Gatehouse the soldiers prepared for Battle while their comrades inside the castle worked like mad to clear the wagon.

The Lieutenant was about to leave his command for a minute to look after progress-something not lightly done as his this would damage the morale of his troops-when he heard Sergeant Blascoviks: “I got it Lt.-give me 2 more minutes, then step aside when I tell you too.”
Doing what every smart Lt. does when his Sergeant tells him something Hermann just acknowledged and went back to the Riflemen. He managed to not to flinch too much when the first salvoes went out from the walls and had his men at the ready. He could already see the first groups of Chaos Knights forming up for a charge when he heard a “fire in the hole” from the castle.
The explosion was not a big affair-but the rests of the cart which were catapulted from the Gatehouse in a convincing manner. The Cavalry went into the castle proper first, followed by the Riflemen. Ernst Hermann was the last to go inside before the Gates closed. Whether his extended middle finger was seen or understood by the approaching cavalry is unknown.

Quarry, Great Forest, same day


“The end of the world is there” “The End is neigh” “Sigmar protect us” ”Repent before it is too late”. The insistent screaming of the Flagellants was wearing on Heinz Albers patience. Nobody could fault their courage, they had ably protected many of the refugees that had fled the approaching beastmen menace, but their ceaseless praying and insisting about the worlds end was not a willing trait.
Currently Heinz was standing watch on the “B” redoubt and watched the Forest edge. The fact that an invading horde of beastmen was approaching combined with the strange multicolored thunderstorm that was on top of the quarry was already testing the courage of the defenders. Invoking Armageddon, often on tones which seemed to say “get on with it” did not help in any way.

The Screaming of the Flagellants and the strange noises by the storm masked all sounds which might have come from the 500 meters distant Forest-so the sight of the first Beastmen came as a surprise. Kurt had little time to realize that there were Beastmen when more and more of them stepped into the open.
The Captain-cum-Blaster tried to get a rough count for his report to Major Brenneke. ”Lets see, about 2 beasties per meter of front, about 800 meters front line-make it 850, times say 8 lines-no that`s 10 now…..”
He grabbed for the handle of his field telephone when a huge scream was issuing from the assembled horde. Heinz was used to loud noises: working in a quarry will do that to you. But the primal scream upwards of 10000 throats who all express the urge to kill is still impressive. The Captain was taking it in stride and decided that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than wait for confirmation. Seeking eye contact with the closest Lt. he chopped his hand down sharply.

The sound of 10000 Children of Chaos was impressive-but so was the fire poured on them by two rifle companies and the heavy weapons platoons. The report which the Captain sent out brought the Artillery into the mix.
The fire of well over a hundred G3 Battle rifles, of several machine guns and 4 field pieces ripped through the attackers in a rewarding fashion. Kurt was about to breathe more normal when the next wave emerged from the woods-and it became obvious that it was only the second of many.

Wall of Castle Wolfenfels, Great Forest, same day

Sergeant Blascovics was looking at “his” rifle company and did not like what he saw. Initially elated by their escape from the sudden attack and the damage done by them the armsmen had spent the last two hours watching and ever increasing army assembling outside of their castle.
As the Chaos Army had already learned something about the German weapons range they had so far kept at least half a kilometer away. The assembled troops were still an intimidating sight. A huge mass of human and not so human warriors under many banners accompanied by Chaos Spawns, at least two Ogres and some Greenskins filled much of the open spaces visible from the Castles walls.Even at this distance the sheer strangeness, the aggressivness and the sheer will to kill all and suder was in evidence. Backed up by the strange lighing coming from the storm it made s picture right out of "The End of the World"

The many banners they presented often showed symbols which seemed to move more than the movement of the banner allowed and looking longer at them made for a queasy stomach and a dizzy head. Dissonant horn signals and lots of shouted commands had prepared the besieged for what had to follow: Blocks of soldiers forming up, ladders and other climbing implements in attendants. The front ranks of the enemy hit their shields rhythmically with their swords adding to the oppressive sight of an assault coming.

The white knuckles of hands which clutched rifles too tightly, the white color of many faces and the wide open eyes of most armsmen showed the same thing: Morale was getting lower by the minute.
Something had to be done obviously, but what?
A sideways look towards the KSK lieutenant and the Baron gave silent agreement and a questing look respectively-time to test if his crazy idea would work.
Going to the middle of the riflemen line he climbed the battlement and turned to face the footmen.
They looked on to him in utter astonishment-this was out of character with the normally highly professional sergeant and drillmaster. They utterly believed in him: when he had given them tasks, even those they thought impossible at first, he showed them how to do it so they could succeed-always. When they made mistakes he spotted them and corrected them-always. He always showed that he was willing to do everything he asked his trainees to do. He had formed the unit of armsmen which normally had to take hindmost tit to all other fighters into an effective fighting unit, giving them confidence in their abilities as soldiers.

And now the man they hated and admired in equal measures for all these things was balancing on the wall with his back to an impeding attack and lifting his rifle towards a strange heaven shouting like a madman-what gave here?

“Boys, this is where we fight them.
This is where we hold them.
This is where THEY die.
Shoulder arms-open fire”

Jumping back to the fighting step past the soldiers firing round after round into the approaching horde the Sergeant took his appointed place again. He did not have to look at his riflemen to see if it had worked-the steady firing showed that it did well enough. When he passed the Lt. He spoke loud enough to be heard over the din “Always wanted to do that”
“Better well stolen than poorly selfmade-well done Hans”

Armed forced Command Center, Geltow nearPotsdam, next morning


Hans-Werner Fritz, General of the Bundeswehr listened to the presentation by his J-2, who was the Intelligence staff head:
The Situation is as follows:
There are 3 big and several small incursions of Chaos Armies into the Empire:
The biggest one is making it`s way from the Chaos Dester to Middenheim, supposedly it is led by one Archaron, supreme Warlord of Chaos armies-it is currently under way. If it is not stopped it will reach Middenheim in about 2 months.
The second biggest is a Siege of the Quarry and Railroad depot in the Great forest, mostly by beastmen. The size of this force is said to exceed 200.000 individuals. Defending is the 21st Kaiserlich-Deutsche Landwehr, a mixed Battalion of Imperials and Germans.
The third one is another siege, this one of Castle Wolfenfels. It is besieged by another smaller Chaos army, size so far unknown. The Castle is on the strategic MSR from Altdorf to Middenheim and is defended by the 8th Group of the KSK and indigenous troops including a rifle Company.
There have been several smaller assaults on smaller German installations and KSK groups. The worst occurred yesterday at Lager Middenheim-the attackers killed most Officers and Pilots.

All of this is compounded by a major magic incident: There is something like a magic storm over the Great Forest which seems to block all air traffic. We lost 2 Recce planes and a drone-as long as it is there we cannot send air support into the affected area. While Lager Middenheim and Castle Wolfenfels are not directly under the Storm they are currently out of range as the Storm forces a too great detour.
The Imperial Academy informs us that the Storm is a Chaos Sorcery they never encountered before but said to be extremely dangerous and to pose a grave danger by itself if left alone.
Emperor Karl-Franz has stated that these are likely the opening stages of a major Chaos invasion-or as he put it a “Storm of Chaos”. He has asked for German assistance and as of 05:00 of this morning the Cabinet has agreed that this is a case of assistance according to the Reiksbund treaty.
We have been asked to give a rough proposal on how we can help the Empire quickly so that Parliament can vote this afternoon.

His J4, responsible for the German troops inside the empire stepped forward:
"In order to help the Empire we have to perform 3 different operations:
The first one is to shut down the Warp Storm. We have triangulated it`s origin here. As this area has a small mountain range with suspected cave systems it stands to reason that whatever is causing the “Warp Storm” is holing up there. We will have to dig them out.
The second ops is clearing the way to Middenheim and relieving the units under Siege.
The third one is bringing sufficient troops to Middenheim to prevent the Siege and if possible to push the invading Army back or to destroy it.

High priority is to shut down the Storm as our other tasks will be immeasurably easier when we can employ our air assets again. To achieve this we should use the troops which are already preparing or on their way to the planned exercise “Wacht am Reik”. These include the 1st Landwehr with their train, the 183rd Tank Battalion, the Artillery battery 131, the Rocket Artillery Battalion 132 and the Mechanized Infantry Battalions 92 and 401. The imperial armed forces are assembling as well, here the Academy will be most valuable for their magical support.
We are already loading two special trains carrying the warloads of these troops to Altdorf, they will prepare there for operations.
The meeting went on for some time after that but the recommendations to the government were there-now the politicians had to decide-under time pressure. This would either end well-or very badly.

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Mechman
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An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-15 02:16pm

Castle Wolfenfels, Great Forest, same time

Asul Hellebore watched the castle he had to destroy with disgust. Yesterday’s skirmish had made two things crystal clear: He had to raze this castle and kill the troops. If he left them alone or under guard with only few troops they would harass his troops once the Siege of Middenheim began. When he would send out detachments for foraging these riflemen and the Cavalry would massacre any warrior who was in a small group-and how could you forage in big groups-it was not efficient.
The other thing that was clear was that it would not be neither a quick nor a cheap victory as he would wish. That the surprise assault failed was no big deal-they failed at least as often as they worked. But the storming of the castle with ladders should have succeeded-there were so few defenders that they should have been buried in bodies. Unfortunately that was not what had happened.

After this German fool had performed whatever arcane ritual he had made on the wall the fire from it had been devastating. He had heard rumors of course, but being at the receiving end of the rifle fire had put things into a totally different perspective.
Not only had these rifles an incredible range, they also fired so rapidly and penetrated whatever armor was presented to them with ease. The Ladder carriers had been under special attention of the marksmen and no ladder had reached the castle walls.

So what other tactic could work? Tunneling under the walls was out of the question, the castle itself was built upon bedrock and they did not have that sort of time. The hill formed a giant motte-and-bailey so siege towers were also out.
This left him with more Ladder assaults-maybe at night, a ram, maybe a petard or the Hellcanon. He had scanned the castle magically already and did not like what he saw. Somebody there had been an eager beaver-the wards he found were not particularly powerful-but there were so many of them. That would make any direct magic assault difficult but had to be done as well.
Well-off to work then-he went back to the group of his underlings who awaited his orders.

Quarry, Great Forest, same time

Heinz Albers was looking at a carpet of dead Beastmen. They covered the ground from the beginning of the Forest to the first line of the barbed wire. In front of the S-wire the dead were so many that it was hard to see any spot of open ground beneath them.
He was shivering with the memories-the beastmen had made at least 4 different assault yesterday before they had given up on it as bad business and retreated for the night. So far things were quieter but the howling and inhuman screams issuing from the forest indicated that this happy state of affairs would not stay that way.

The first of yesterday`s assaults were exercises in the enemy`s ignorance of modern weapons. They had just run to the earthen embankments in huge groups with no formation, no obvious order-nothing. They were just a huge mob of beasts which all had the urge to kill and ran in the same direction. It was a still frightening sight of unfettered aggression and speed-a speed which was strongly reduced when they reached the embankment. It had proven to be just a little bit too steep to be scaled easily and their speed had been reduced to a crawl. Shoulder to shoulder and packed into tightly pressed blocks they had been just grist for the mill of machine guns and battle rifles. Even a blind soldier could not have helped shooting something in that mass.

The second and third assaults had tried to go for different parts of the line-with similar results. The last one had been made by so many Beasts that Major Brennecke had been forced to play one of his best cards-the quad 0.50`s. They were incredibly weapons-one of them was on the same redoubt then his company. When it opened fire shells went out of the 4 breaches like a golden stream and the mount had made a frightful racket. None of this could compare to what happened at the other end. Wherever the quadmounts hit a red mist hid the immediate effects of the fire but after less than a second a new sight presented itself. Where before strong beastmen fought for traction and to close the distance to their hated enemy the full horror of a charnel house was revealed. The ammunition shot by the quadmounts had been developed to defeat steel armor up to an inch thickness-what it did to mere flesh and blood was indescribable. The Groups of beastmen which came under fire by these mounts just disappeared.
The German had read about the First World War and how machine guns were called “The Devils Paintbrush”-he could not agree more.

“Now I can see you are not mad” Heinz flinched like he had touched a live wire. Turning he saw the blonde Giant who had been presented to him as Valten. How such a big man could move so quietly when he wanted was a mystery to the quarryman.
“And a good morning to you too Valten. And why are we not mad?”
"Ah, sorry Captain Albers. Good morning. I meant that I could not figure out why you had built the walls like you did. I mean-why make more wall than you need to? Why build these small extra castles you call redoubt and look like an arrowhead. But then I saw it yesterday-when the Beastmen reached the bottom of the walls-even when they were climbing them-you could still shoot them from two sides, no matter where they were. Very clever. But tell me-this silver wire down there which stopped the Beasts so well-how does it work, is it magic?"

“The way the wall is made-with redoubts-is battle tested. We used a design which was developed when fortresses were still useful in my old world. The inventor, a guy named Vauban, was said never to have lost a fortress he had made-and to have taken all of them he laid siege to.
The wire is not magic-it is called S-Wire. It is simply a strip of razor sharp flat wire with hooks at regular intervals. It is strong enough that you cannot tear it, it is sharp enough to severe limbs when you try and it will hold you fast once you are hooked. This stuff has killed whole armies.”
“That is very impressive. It might be that the Flagellants have to wait a little longer for the end…”
“I would appreciate that”
“Yes. Another thing-how can we organize some breakfast for-look out”

Heinz Albers heard the menace before he spotted it-a high discordant sound which did not seem to belong to any sane world and which raised the hair on his neck. An endless scream from nonhuman throats shouting an anger and hunger to the world which was all-consuming. With legs which felt like converted to rubber he turned and saw multicolored …. things swooping in on the defenders. They looked like strange mantas with too many teeth and tails which could fly-and a group of them made a beeline for the quadmount on redoubt “B” and him.
The screeching, the sight of things he could not align with any reality he could imagine and the suddenness of the assault combined to make his and his men`s reactions slow. The Screamers arrived just as the first shots went out. The demons did not go down from the first rounds that hit them and went among Albers company. Ripping apart men with tails, swallowing heads and torsos whole they were on a rampage. While the poor soldiers directly in front of the Screamers were lost Tzeench`s rides came under fire by a lot of assault rifles and smaller machine guns of those platoons which were not directly attacked. The demons did not care a single bit about that, as multiple hits wounded or killed them, if not easily. Heinz was organizing a more coherent firing line when he realized that all of this was just a likely a distraction-the real target must have been the quadmounts.

When he dared to take a look he was pleasantly surprised that “his” quadmount was still there. While its crew rearranged themselves they were defended by a hammer-wielding blonde who`s back was to the machine guns. His hammer did a much better job at killing the demons than the rifle rounds spend by his men and so far he seemed uninjured save for some scratches.
It took the crew of the heavy machine guns another eternity to get themselves sorted, but when it finally opened fire it showed itself more than capable to deal with the screamers. The attack of the demons was over as quickly as it started.
Kurt stepped forward to get a look at the situation when he found that the flying attack had masked an assault of a totally different variant. Again beastmen assaulted the walls-but this time the Chaos Children were much more coordinated. The concentrated their attack on the gap between “B” and “C” redoubts to reduce the fire from other redoubts and advanced in well-ordered groups. The first rank carried trunks. Kurt was no sure why they did that-it slowed them down and did not offer substantial cover. Only when he looked at the barbed wire did he realize that these trunks were probably meant to bridge the wire which had already killed so many beastmen.

In his humble opinion the renewed shooting by his riflemen and his few MG 3 would slow the beastmen-but whether it would stop them before they could bridge the wire and disable one of the most important defenses the Quarry possessed was another matter. Time to see if his little “home project” did work as planned.
Getting between the redoubts meant that the Beastmen were shielded from much of the German fire-but it also compressed them into an ever tightening block. For every beast his men shot there were seemingly two which would take his place-and the wounded was only kept from crawling to his lines as it was trampled underfoot.
The Beastmen bleed, they lost limbs, they fell they screamed in their hate and pain-and still they advanced, meter by bloody meter.
Heinz was oblivious of the last meters-he was too busy to remove the safety of a box he had wired up himself. Lifting his head above the parapet he saw that the wire was almost reached-and then pushed the plunger.
The explosion when it came seemed not like much-more like a string of rapidly fired oversized firecrackers. It did produce smoke and fire-but even not much of that. It also brought the assault to a sudden and total halt, followed by a screaming and a panicked retreat of the few survivors. His “home project” was a success, but the view from the Wall kept Heinz and most others from his company from asking for breakfast.

During the many preparations for the defense Heinz had the eager beavers that were the carpenters make wooden boxes of slightly above cigar box size from the ubiqous boards which was produced in such amounts. He had put some blasting explosive in them and then had his men fill the top with the small flint fragments which the quarry had in abundance. Placing the boxes all along the wall slightly above the wire so that they faced outwards had taken his company an afternoon. Rigging up daisy chains of 50 of them with detcord had been easy for the blaster-the effects of the DIY Claymore mines on the enemy were much harder to stomach. When triggered the flint fragments spread out in flat arcs which were focused on the beaten ground through the shape of the redoubts. The irregular shape of the fragments and their number made for injuries which frightened even the beastmen at the height of their battle frenzy.

Castle Wolfenfels, same time

The Chaos Mage watched the Castle they lay Siege to carefully. He had done so for quite some time now, using both his mundane sight as well as the sights gifted to him by the warp. None of what he saw was especially impressive-both on the mundane front as well as the magical view. The castle was small, the oh-so-dangerous riflemen made themselves invisible and there we no other visible threats. Asul had been right-the magical wards of the castle were impressive. Nothing extremely strong or complicated-but so very many of them which interlocked like shingles on a roof that it made a direct magical attack on the castle moot. But like shingles they would move aside if you went at them in exactly the right way and at exactly the right angle-and he was sure he knew how much force and which angle.

Neutralizing enemy wards was his specialty and had brought him to Asul`s attention. His orders to make a way into the castle could not be denied but at least the sorcerer-cum-general had not skimped with resources.
The ring of fallen Chaos warriors showed the range of the German wonder weapons quite well so he had picked a small depression well outside of that which still allowed him to watch the castle but which should keep him and his doings mostly out of sight.
The knife which he pulled from its gemstone encrusted box was made from the breastbone of a demon and cut both in the mundane world as in the warp-a useful ability for taking sacrifices as it would attract his patron’s attention easily. None of this mattered to the peasants which lay hog-tied at the bottom of the depression and watched his approach wide eyed. Such a pitiful sight-but when cut just the right way their souls would be pleasing to the Changer of Ways no matter their poor showing in this world.

He went after the first victim with relish and cut and rended in seemingly random but well-practiced ways which preserved the life of his victim while flavoring his soul with pain and despair beyond the human norm. Lifting the liver of his first sacrifices high into the sun he issued a cry which seemed to belong to a different species-before it was cut short by a bullet which removed every organ in his chest out through the front.
The sudden release of the energy accumulated through the sacrifice burst out in an actinic explosion which killed the still living sacrifices and the mages helpers mercifully quick.
On the Castle`s donjon the German sniper calmly reloaded his M82 rifle. “Got to love this magic indicator”
“Nice shooting Dirk. See if you can keep it up”
“Can do Sarge”

Altdorf, Train Station, Afternoon same day

Kurt Müller was not happy-his arrival at the Altdorf train station was not going as expected. Instead of going into a train station full of admiring civilians they had been shifted into a part of the switchyard for cargo trains.
And instead of showing credulous Imperials the highlights of their new toy he and his crew had been ushered into a large room inside the Imperial palace and asked to stay put. That they had asked some of the officers of the 1st Landwehr made things even more mysterious. They were fed well and otherwise were left to stew.
Kurt was through most of his last novel and getting more than a little bit miffed when the so-far closed double doors which led to the room were swept open and quite a lot of Imperials entered the room.

He registered none of them for real as in their midst was Karl-Franz, the Emperor. Karl Franz was an amazing character who was able to play most roles that were required of an Emperor. He could be the wise elder statesman, the friendly Uncle everybody loved and the stern Judge who settled right from wrong.
But when the acts ended the core of the man came to the front, and that core was a warrior and General. He looked the part and anybody who slew Orc Warbosses in single hand-to-hand combat had few things left to prove-it showed. All of this was very much to the forefront now and it was an impressive and not a little frightening feeling for Kurt to be in the focus of this man.
He went to his knees as this was common protocol when dealing with the Emperor-and since it simply was what you did in this situation.

“You all may rise”
When everybody was back on their feet the train engineer found he was the directly in front of Karl Franz.
“Good afternoon your majesty. How may I serve You”
“Good afternoon Herr Albers. This is meeting is indeed how you can serve me-me, your fellow Germans and the empire. You may have heard already that there are several battles being fought inside the Great Forest by now. There is a source of vile sorcery which needs to be eradicated, a Quarry with many Germans and Imperials are under Siege and there is a Castle that needs reliving as well.”
“Your highness I have heard about that, but how may I be of assistance?”
“We need to put troops as close to the center of this sorcery as possible and we need to protect them on the way. For these tasks We have commissioned your Great Work, the Train “Hammer” and it needs to leave tomorrow morning with the first light. And I need you to drive it. Soldiers I have aplenty but a railroad engineer that can drive this monster I have not-not now.”
“Sire, I would like to help really, but this is impossible. I am not a member of any armed forces and as such I am not allowed to….”

“Herr Müller, this was explained to me both by Major Gruber and the German Ambassador in many more words and I am here to solve this. Kurt Müller, kneel and place your hands upon Ghal Maraz, the hammer that has been handed down to me and that is from Sigmar itself.”
Having no idea at all what to so in such a strange situation Kurt Müller did not even think about not complying.
“Now speak after me. I, Kurt Müller, swear in Sigmar`s name to serve my liege, the Emperor Karl Franz in all and any way, to support and defend him to the best of my abilities.”
And so the engineer did.
“I, Emperor Karl Franz of Altdorf, swear in Sigmar`s name to protect my vassal Kurt Müller from his enemies and to give him the means to fulfill his oath. You may now rise Sir Kurt, you are now Baron of Haltdorf. Your crewmembers are now your personal armsmen. Does this end the problem with not being a member of the armed forces?”
“I..I guess so your Majesty”
“Then go forth and slay my enemies. Do this by taking “Hammer” out to meet whatever gives us such problems. And Sir Kurt?”
“Yes my liege?”
“Thank you. I know it cannot be easy for you-but I know you will do the right thing”
“Thank you my Lord, I will do my best” Kurt Müller felt like he had stepped outside of reality and watched some play with no connection to himself. The feeling would not last long-he would miss it.
“And now to you Henrik Gerber. I hear that you have been a naval commander in your past life on a different world?”
“Yes, Highness”
“I can now give command of the train and of the 1st Landwehr to somebody who has never worked with both-or I can give it to you. Can you do it?”
“I very much hope so”
“Good. You are already Landwehr so I do not have to knight you but I can promote you-for this mission you are Major Gerber. Come back after fulfilling the mission and that rank stays.”
“Yes your highness”
“Then I think you all have much more important things to do then gawk at me. Dismissed gentlemen”

Much later at night when all consumables were stocked and an approximation of a command chain were agreed upon Kurt tied to get a few hours of sleep. He found it rather hard to get any as so many worries easily presented themselves, so rest was hard to come by. It was a sure sign of Kurt not being a Veteran yet-that would not last.

Castle Wolfenfels, next morning

Count Heinrich was again on the Donjon to watch another air supply. And again he was staying apart from it as he had no idea how it would work-or whether it was safe. But there was a difference this time-neither had the Germans.
That they needed resupply already had been an unfortunate surprise to everybody, but nobody had considered that such a huge army could lay siege to his fiefdom or that they would be unable to call for the German air force in such a case.
The German soldiers and his riflemen did a splendid job at keeping the Chaos army at arm’s length, but they did so by expending copious amounts of ammunition. They had radioed this to anybody who could hear that-but given the magical storm that was mostly Laager Middenheim. And the Lager had no working helicopter. As the exercise ground in front of the castle was hotly contested landing there was out of the question. How else could Lieutenant Albers resupply his men? He certainly could not land and dropping anything from great height seemed useless as it was too easy to miss the small yard to the castle and would damage whatever dropped.

Now he watched the approach of the Storch with interest. The Plane flew into the wind and seemed just to crawl forward at the pace of a running man. It flew maybe 20 meters above the level of the Castles walls, actually at the same level than him.
He had a good look at the pilot who was concentrating to keep his craft straight and level in the gusty winds at the edge of the magic storm. Just before the plane overflew the wall the aircraft suddenly banked steeply to a side and lost height rapidly. Something dropped from the plane into the courtyard but the Count only had eyes for the plane which righted itself but had lost too much attitude. Something crashed mightily and the plane disappeared behind the far wall.

Running to the parapet Heinrich tried to see the scope of the disaster when the Storch soared again to a safer attitude with a roaring engine causing him to scream in triumph. He joined the German soldiers in the courtyard to see them pull apart a pallet protected by many layers of cardboard and straw. The KSK Lieutenant was just opening a box with “7.62 mm” written on it and beautiful new shiny rifle rounds could be seen by all and any.
“I do not think that the flybody will be able to buy any Beer when I am around” could be heard from the normally taciturn Sergeant.
“I have something to show to you two-please come with me.” The two KSK leaders bemusedly followed the Baron who led them to the far wall of the castle. Bending forward he showed them the two shallow ruts cut by the wheels of the German plane into the earthen embankment.
“I do not know about the Beer you want to buy for Lieutenant Alpers, but I know he will not lack for anything while I am around”

Quarry, Great Forest, same time

Garek Brightfur was unhappy. Intellectually he had been prepared for the high losses incurred by assaulting the Quarry-but seeing it happen for real had been a very different thing.
The advice of his shaman had been on the mark as usual, so he had used the warherds that arrived last and were not used to the fighting style of his beastmen to test the human defenses. One of his sorcerer had estimated that there were less than 3000 humans in this strange fortress-before his head exploded like an overripe melon when he tried something clever in sight of the walls.
How these very few could put up such destructive fire was something Garek could not fathom-but he would have to find a way to break through. The walls of the fortress had seemed to be so strange and easy to scale-they were not. The screamers that Arok had given to him should have taken out the defenders on the walls-they did not. But during this assault his troops had been able to get higher up the walls than ever.

So the winning tactic should combine more screamers to look after the thrice-damned human fast firers with more troops-and some protection for them so they could get close. One his Children were among the riflemen a massacre would ensue-one he would enjoy far more that the costly lessons he had received the last days.

Uli Hemnir was also not happy-but he had been like that for several human lifetimes. He was pretty sure that everybody tried to cheat him, everybody was talking behind his back about him, nobody accepted him for the bright dwarf that he was and he was only working for and with fools. As could be expected this attitude won him few friends with humans and dwarves alike-up to the point where he was forced to work for the humans for a living. While they did not like him any better than his “fellow” dwarves they were willing to tolerate his attitude better as his talents shone more among the uncouth humans.
But there were always times when he was less unhappy-and he had found something which cheered him up to an unusual degree-artillery.

When Major Brennecke had asked for volunteers for an artillery battery he had not known exactly what to expect-but with German technology such artillery might be….interesting. When he had seen the guns first he had been a little put down-the guns were so small. With a caliber of just 4” they seemed hardly fit to be called artillery.
That attitude had not survived the firepower demonstration. From that time on there was nothing which kept his attention better or received more lavish maintenance that his beloved M101 gun. His guncrew consisted of dwarves only-and under his pressure they had become the best gun crew of 4 which were in the Quarry. They received the coveted gun no. “2” when they had shown to be able to shoot accurately 15 times in a minute after setting up the gun in record time. This was the gun which was taking the lead in an engagement by long tradition. That his dwarves were muscled like human bodybuilders certainly helped-the fact that they had found their perfect weapon did so too.
Now he had taken his gun-“Grugni`s Axe” in combat several times during the last days. The only thing which had kept him from complete happiness was that the battery fired indirectly-over the walls, out of sight from the enemy. What kept him from freaking out about that was the sight of the battlefield after the first assault-even with the slow corrections due to the indirect firing the 4 guns had dished out frightful punishment to the Beastmen.

He had been roused from his reverie by the shrill sound of the siren, its rhythm indicating an air attack. This time the heavy machine guns were better prepared and opened fire quickly. The screamers were reluctant to close with them and drifted in and out of the cloud cover, never pressing the attack completely but also not retreating. It kept the quadmounts out of the fight. The amount of machine guns and rifle fire seemed to make up for it, but the dwarven lieutenant could make out more and more dismayed shouts by the humans. Finally their meaning became clear.
“Giants-and they do not go down”
He did not wait for any commands-and did not inform anybody about what he was to do-they would take far too long to wrap their slowpoke minds about his genius anyway.

“Ok stonebreakers-this is our turn. If the humans cannot hack this we can. We need to get up to the redoubt-on the double. Come on you lazies-lets show the humans we can run”
Screaming, cajoling and pushing himself hardest were the indigents which made his crew push the cannon up the earthen ramp to the “B” redoubt in a time which would make a human drill sergeant nod approvingly. The sight which greeted them showed that Uli had taken the right decision-there was a new assault on the Quarry, and this time the Beastmen had brought mobile cover. Three Giants were stomping their way forward. Moving seemingly slow their long legs ate up the distance at the same pace a human would jog.
Uli had seen giants before-but these were different. They were always huge, stupid and not very good at coordinated movement, but these samples were all of this, just worse. They held huge shields in front of them which seemed to give a strange black light whenever they were hit but showed no other damage. The Giants themselves had an unhealthy color and were surrounded by a virtual cloud of insects-but whenever something missed the shields and hit them it just left quickly closing holes.
Behind the Giants several lines of beastmen were taking advantage of the cover given to them and closed with the walls.

“Emplace gun-load HE”
His crew proved why they had gotten the “2” number by setting up the gun in no time at all. When loaded with a shell Uli for the first time shot over open sights for real. The shell could hardly miss and did explode with a satisfying bang-but for all the damage it did it could have been a dud. The Giant took two steps back, flattening some too close beasts-but that was it.
Uli looked at it in utter disgust-again the Universe had proven it hated him guts. There was one more chance-but that was a slim indeed. He opened another box of shells and pulled out a shell like all the others. Pushing the loader aside he inserted the round carefully into the breach.
Shooting again and expecting no better results the hit brought something on Grimnirs face not seen for an eternity-a grin, a big shit eating grin. The Giant hit by the shell was missing half his chest and dropped on many unfortunate Beastmen.
Uli Grimmnir was a very good hater, none better. In his spare time he had written his worst grudges into the cooper driving band of some of the shells of his gun. Making sure that the runes were spaced so that the rifling would not cut them when aligned right the dwarf had fired the first grunge shells in history-and they were definitely magical enough to overcome the giant’s magical protections.
Two more Shells ended the Giant attack well enough. Whooping, clapping on each other back and shouting their disdain at the Beastmen the Dwarven Artillerymen out on an unexpected display. It took them a while to see how close the Beastmen had come already during the fight with the monsters-they were already placing logs over the first line of wire.
Both riflemen and machineguns poured fire into them as if their ammunition was going out of style tomorrow, but given the mass of hateful beasts moving up the walls all around the redoubt it seemed a pitiful defense.

When technically-minded civilians get to play soldier in their spare time and have the feeling that their doings could have a rather important bearing on their life expectancy they get creative with high explosives and flammable fuels. Some of these “Homeguard Horrors can be remarkably effective, like the technicals which roamed over Africa (and now Naggaroth). Most, like the sticky grenade or the Northover gun, are nasty failures more dangerous to their users then to the enemy at worst or only useful under very special circumstances at best. In other words they are failures.
One of these Homeguard Horrors was in the hands of three Landwehr men. Two Imperials and a German were wrestling with all their power with a “B” Nozzle at the end of a high pressure pipe which wrestled them like an angry Phyton. They barely managed to keep the nozzle pointed in the right direction, the “V” cut between the two redoubts they were responsible for.
From the Nozzle shot a full stream of liquid out to more than 40 meters, drenching everything below them well. Normally they were part of the fire brigade responsible for the railyard but today they were about a different business.
Their transportable pump was not sending 800 liters of water per minute downrange but was pumping from a huge tank of diesel fuel. Intended for the fleet of earthmoving equipment and generators the Quarry needed it was now used to soak the Beastmen who scrambled up the earthen walls. The front ranks of Chaos Children felt even through the red fog of battlelust that this was something bad-but the back ranks would not cease to push forward and upwards-always upwards for forward.
The Sergeant responsible for this stretch of wall pulled his face into something like a grin which would have done any crocodile proud when he pulled the trigger of his flare pistol.

The Fire and screaming spread from his shots like a shockwave. The fire consumed the front ranks of the beastmen assault instantly and the screaming, burning beasts which ran panicked into the back ranks or were left floundering in the wire completed the destruction of the morale of the Chaos children outside the conflagration . The fire knew many ways to kill-outright burns, injuring the airways so much they swelled close and left the beasts suffocating-destroying the eyes and having the panicked beastmen be cut down by comrades which had to protect themselves were only a part of the opportunities for a nasty death.
It killed and injured many Chaos children outright-and took the will to fight from all the others like nothing else. The amorphous swarm of Beastmen which ran back to the safety of the forest was nothing like the proud disciplined troops which had started the attack and were punished by the Humans troops with rifle fire all the way.

They did never see that the misused fire pump, never intended to pump diesel, oversped, never realized that several gaskets were ruptured and a fire consumed the pump and injured two men working on the pump.
Homeguard horrors usually fail-some fail gloriously.
Few of those humans close to the fire would ever be able to eat a barbeque again without the smell evoking memories they could do without.

Railroad from Altdorf to Middenheim, afternoon

Kurt Müller was used to push his beloved steam engines up to speeds of 220 km/h. Even the cargo haulers he certified for the Meiningen works made better than 80 km/h. So he had expected this monstrosity which posed as a train to reach the quarry in a few hours.
He was, of course, wrong. It seemed like every hamlet contained some Chaos Cult and every clump of trees with a count over three hosted a beastmen warhered. All of them of course were trying to slow or stop the passage of “Hammer” and the troop trains that followed. Not that they had any chance to sto but they gave their best effort. Loosened rails were just a nuicance as were trees or similar placed on the rails-but as it was always possible that this was just the opening move in an ambush so everytime they had to stop the Landwehr had to make protect the engineers-and that took time.

The good news was that they were still so far from the storm that German planes could provide recon-and if huge numbers of enemies would turn up also fire support. Müller had seen the “Storch” planes which flew up and down the railroad a couple of times-he was rather happy about them.
He was taken from his musings by another order via the Intercom to slow down-the next blockade was a couple of kilometers down the way. He relayed the orders to the teams in the other two locomotives keeping a careful watch on the screens which showed the rails in front of the train. His engine was not in the usual position in front of the train but actually several cars back-no need to expose the locomotive to IED`s or other dangers. Getting the train to stop in front of the newest edition of felled trees and moved boulders he relaxed a bit and used the monitors to get an idea of what was going on.

He would have been happy if the soldiers could have used the Demolisher cannon-it was in the second carriage and had a quiet “pfffft” sound when used. The warhammer world presented the German army with many structures it sometimes needed to remove in a hurry - roadblocks, improvised field fortifications or occupied houses. One of the solutions for this was another application of the high/low pressure gun. Having a breech which contained the charge and then metering the propellant gasses through a perforated plate in small doses into a lightweight barrel the 250 mm gun shot a load which was called the dustbin for its shape. It contained an inordinate amount of explosives as it was accelerated slowly and needed no thick walls against the stress of firing. Unfortunately they could not use it here-it could have damaged the rails.

The blocking junk probably contained little surprises the enemy loved to leave in the materials. The engineer had already heard about snakes in jars, beehives, shit-laced sharpened sticks and even something like the magical equivalent of a booby trap. Thankfully the 1st Landwehr had something to make this less of a problem.
The first to leave the trains were a company of the 1st Landwehr who established a perimeter away from the railblock. The next were a number of military engineers which were accompanied by an old engineer vehicle-a “Dachs” (Badger). This old AEV was based on the venerable Leopard 1 tank but had no weapons save for an add-on machine gun. Instead it sported a dozer blade, and excavator which could do double duty as a crane and other accessories which made life easier for an engineer.

A short look by an EOD team showed there were nothing that could damage the AEV in the rubble and so the men dug in to clear the rails. Thankfully the rails themselves were not destroyed and could be reattached. The train brought some rails and used them in the first car as ballast but at the rate they were going they could easily run out if they were not careful.
The “Dachs” was moving all bigger lumps of material which the men either assisted or moved smaller debris out of the way. This had already gone for a while when the clump of trees not too far from the block disgorged a mixed unit of beastmen and Cultists who ran as fast as they could towards the Engineers. The Landwehr opened fire immediately, making the few survivors take cover in the trees. The next cannon could be heard quite well-4 155 mm guns dropped shells into the woods-the 35 mm shells from the air defense just added insult to injury.
It took, all in more than an hour to clear the block, it had been the 4th so far-this was going to be a long trip.


Castle Wolfenfels, same date at night

The air around Castle Wolfenfels was quite-much too quiet. The sounds usually made by many animals were muted due to the presence of many-many men-and other things. In the deep moonless darkness an even darker blob could be seen moving forward-seen if you had excellent nightsight and were standing 2 meters from it. The 4 Chaos warriors inside the blob who carried the petard were extra careful. Not only did they want to avoid any sound which might betray them, but they did not really trust the war machine they had to carry. It looked like a truncated cannon with and enormous caliber or a mortar mounted in the vertical-but it contained no ball or other type of shell. Instead it was constructed to be placed directly against the wall or gate you wanted to destroy. When it was fired that way the pressure from the oversized charge would hopefully blow the intended target.

The Warriors all wore dark clothing, had blackened all pieces of flesh which showed and each wore a pendulum which supposedly clothed them in shadow-so far it worked very well, there was nothing to indicate they were spotted.
The greasy Chaos Dwarf which had instructed them had told them 4 times how to place it and how to light the fuse. That he was not accompanying them showed clearly how much trust he had in this enterprise. Still, the 4 warriors were making good progress. What little light there was allowed them to pick their way well enough without being seen from the castle. The smallest of them weighted 150 kg, with most of the weight in oak-hard muscles. They carried the heavy petard like others might carry a wooden garden bench. They had already made at least half the way between their army and the castle and slowly started to believe that their mission might be a success.
When the ground leveled off they were in the last 100 meters to their target-now a quick sprint and they would be there. That they were out of sight for the Chaos army now was not important-they could not help anyway.

Dirk Zimmermann was looking through his starlight scope again-nothing, or was there? He thought he had seen something but before he could focus on it nothing could be seen. He was about to call his Sergeant anyway when he already came up-creepy-he had not yet called for him.
Blascoviks was holding up the wooden box containing the magic indicator. “Dirk, got anything-the indicator seems to have something but I cannot see anything. If there is anything it should be a 260 degree.
“Nothing Boss. But let me check out something else"

Asul Hellebore was listening closely. That close to the castle his witchsight did not work very well due to the wards, but that the group he sent had gotten very close was obvious. They should by now have placed their machine…did something go wrong….boom. The flash and boom which emerged from the castle were starting sign enough-his army which had so long waited for this ran forward as a huge wave.
He stayed back-he knew better than to engage in physical combat. He would attack these pesky defenders in a different way. Concentrating to wield the powers of the mind he missed the series of low-key “popping” sounds. He could hardly miss the 4 bright something’s which appeared in midair over the open ground. They floated down slowly and lit the battlefield in a stark bright light.
He had often watched the Slave girls which amused the Chieftains of the Barbarians his army used when they performed in the tents. He was sure that these warriors now felt as least as naked under the sun bright light than those girls-and the roaring gunfire from the castles walls showed why.

That his army was still advancing after a lurch due to the surprise was testament to their aggressiveness and discipline-but also to the hope to find a Gate blasted open by the Petard. His troops took their licks, dropping in droves whenever the shots from the never-to be sufficiently damned rifles fell.
He resumed his spell with which he hoped to occupy the defenders enough-just to see it fail miserably. Who gave these backwoods hicks such magical protection?
The cry from his troops when they stormed the final stretch in front of the castle was not doing great things for his state of mind either-it seemed the Gates were not smashed-but the what had been the explosion then?

The only creditable threat left to the castle on that nights assault were the two Ogres that had taken the pay of Asul Hellebore. So huge they had to be part magical just to maintain stability on two legs these ugly beasts closed the distance to the castle with huge steps. Both were bearing huge makeshift ladders for storming the walls. They soaked up the rifle fire from the walls with no real visible effect-it was like shooting an enraged bull with 0.22” ammo-he will die eventually, but not before he grinds you into paste.

Sergeant Blascoviks was lining up a difficult shot-fast moving targets meant he had to use defection shooting, had to calculate Wind and drop from the wall.
His rifle kicked far worse than usual but only gave off a muted sound. He had time to get anxious about the hit when fire blossomed on the stomach plate of the first Ogre. The Ogre gave a sound which would be a high-pitch whine if it would not have come from such a huge creature-a strange sound which frightened all and sundry. It also gave pause to the second Ogre who stopped for a second too long to see what had happened to its mate.
This time the explosion was to its head which took the other Ogre down without much ado. Their death took the starch right out of the assault. Even before they were told by their leaders the Attackers understood that there was no way this particular assault could work, so they slowed down except for a bloodthirsty Khorne-disciples who had to be persuades to cease attacking by German 7.62 bullets.

“That’s 5 Euros for me Dirk”
“Pay you later Sergeant. Nice one, shooting these Energa Rifle Grenades is tricky.”
“Yea but they do the job. How did you spot he first group anyway?
"As soon as I knew where to look I used the infrared flashlight-showed them up real nice.I have to admit that thing with the Grenade was sneaky-lured them in right away.”
“Just could not let that opportunity go to waste. And as they were so nice to advertise their presence on the magic indicator I thought it would be polite to invite their friends to the party.Since they wanted an expolosion it seemed the way to start it."
“Not much of a party seems to me”
“You are getting greedy, aren`t you? What do you want, 20 naked virgins?”
“Virgins they need not be, I prefer experience, the rest I take”
“See, told you that you are greedy”

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Mechman
Youngling
Posts: 138
Joined: 2015-06-22 02:25pm
Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-15 02:18pm

Stuttgart & Munich, Germany

At both the headquarters of Porsche and Kraus-Maffei-Wegmann the champagne korks popped. For the first time since the World Wars, Germany commisioned 2 MBTs at the same time. Main reason for that move was the still lingering question if Germany might somehow return home. It became less probable with every passing day, but even the remote possibility had to be calculated with.
KMW´s design was the favourite for the Warhammer world. Made with input from WH-experts, the firm had used her "Puma" design as a base. The modular armour basic configuration would suffice for quite some time here on Warhammer and Kraus-Maffei had developed 5 other configurations to deal with various, even some magical threats. The main gun was a new, rifled 105mm Rheinmetall KwK, suffienct for most targets on this world, with a 30mm machine cannon coaxial. Other armaments included a remote-controlled MG on the turret for anti-personal use and a grenade launcher. The tank was naturally ABC-sealed, could dive, make fog and was equipped with a small, handy observer drone. It was fast, agile for it´s weight and costs were rather low due to a platform build with the Puma APC. A perfect design for almost all MBT needs on Germany´s new home.

Porsche´s approach had been very different. Equally build with WH-experts input, Porsche asked the question about what could be the worst we can come across? Starting from that the firm designed a high-tech King of the Battlefield. The electric drive train, a thing Ferdinand Porsche would have been overjoyed to see, was fed by a high-powered, compact Rune-turbine from the Gold Order. The Gold Order could build such stuff smaller than the Dwarfs, but they could for now not keep the compact one going in perpetuty. But recharging the core once a year by a Mage was a compromise no one had problems with at all. The engine room was designed to be modular, so if needed a multi-fuel engine could be installed. Beside the Rune-core, a small auxilliary motor was installed, as a security if the core would fail, to keep the emergency batteries charged, so the tank could leave the combat zone. The rather small size and weight of the core enabled the designers to keep the 120mm calibre with a brand new Rheinmetall KwK. The new gun came with a broader range of ammunition, among them a guided rocket shell, able to fight at longer ranges. As in the Puma MBT, the Porsche design had the 30mm MK coaxial. A turret with the new 105mm main gun was made as an option.
Other armaments included 2 remote-controlled MGs, a multi-ammo grenade launch system, able to deliver a broad span of grenades, among them phosphorous ammo and two hardpoints able to carry missiles.
Unlike the Puma, the Porsche was armoured to wade into the thickest of fighting, if need be. A thick Chobham-type sandwich armour with magical plating, complete with hardened top armour (think about the special package for the swedish Leo IIs as inspiration). AMAP-APS and MMUSS (one M for magical) soft and hard kill defence systems and both Puma and this new design could charge the outer layers or pump chemical gases into the immediate surrounding in an emergency. As the Puma the new Tiger was ABC-sealed, could dive, lay smoke and had the observer drone.
It was surprisingly agile, but here the weight saves for engine, transmission and fuel made itself known. The on duty top speed was set to 75 km/h, but like Leo II and the new Puma, the absolute top speed was a higher. Porsche claimed that with their special designed, heavy-duty track, they could bring "their baby" to 190 km/h on a road, making it the fastest MBT ever, but the wear on the road itself would be breathtaking. It simply showed the advantages of the magical engine.
All in all, the new Porsche Panzer came close to the optimum of speed, agility, armour and firepower, but at a cost. One unit of the new Porsche Panzer was very expensive due to all the high-end materials and more complicated as a new Puma, even if it was less severe than thought at first.
Nevertheless, the situation warranted to get both types of Tank.

Quarry, next morning

Major Brennecke was still looking like shit, not only was he still trying to survive on a diet of bread rolls, cigarettes and coffee, he also had realized the great responsibility which had been thrust upon him whether he wanted it or not. That he was still holding up was an equal testament to his need not to let his people down, sheer adrenaline and caffeine.
He was still using his office for the staff meetings too-but that would change shortly.

“Ok people, let`s get this done. How is the situation?”
Captain Leibnitz was the first one to give his report:
“So far we managed to hold the line without undue losses. Morale in the companies on the wall is good and we have not lost any important hardware yet. As long as our supply lasts and the enemy does not do something totally unexpected we can continue for quite a while.”
“Supply will hold up at present. As we cannot supply any passing trains or other army units we can plunder the depot to our hearts content. The only exception to that is the ammo for the 10.5 guns-we got about 200 or so shells left and that`s it. Food will last for some more weeks if needs be, but we are low on Diesel. Even if the pumps would have held up better we could not repeat yesterday’s performance more than once-after that we would be fresh out of Diesel.” Hermann Walter had taken over the supplies which mashed well with his day-today job of organizing the Railroad depots warehouse.

“I have finished moving the aid station and sickbay to the blasting materials storage rooms.” Dr. Klaus Reichert could at any time taken the part of Santa on Christmas eve-overweight with bushy beard and a shock of unruly hair he had no rank in the Landwehr but was important nether the less. Presently he would have been a frustrated Santa as he was unhappy.
“I still have to protest this move. The room is not much better than a cave-it is barely adequately ventilated, damp, cold and there is only one way in. It is not a good place to treat the patients and..”
“Doctor-we have heard all heard about this already-several times in fact. But if our lines are breached this is the safest place for the noncombatants and the injured, so bear with it”
“Yes sir. Despite the move we have no further deaths-at present we have 22 injured in the sickbay and 5 of them should be fit for light duty soon”
“That is……”

The undulating call of the siren ripped everybody of their seats before conscious though applied-there was no need as everybody knew what was required well by now.
A couple of minutes later they saw that the Beastmen were again trying something new. Instead of advancing in orderly blocks or as a dense group they had tried to space themselves, leaving 2 or 3 meters between each member of the warherd. They also alternated fast sprints with taking cover behind whatever feature offered itself-mostly the fallen of earlier assaults. The Chaos Children were not used to this and it showed. While they were no longer so easy to take down in large groups with a single machine guns burst there were also less of them. Taking cover and standing up quickly again was not easy for beings with hooves and coordination between sprinters and those who took cover lacked. Still it was quite an accomplishment by the Beastmen and it made the Landwehr officers ill at ease.

Captain Albers watched his men firing shot after shot into the attackers but could also see and hear the swearing from those who missed. Before this was mostly unknown, the Beasts were packed so densely that it was hard not to hit-this time the Riflemen had to aim correctly, to lead their targets and to stay cool instead of just banging away. If they would have been under fire themselves that would have been disastrous, but even so the beastmen managed to close with far less losses than before.
The Landwehr officer was wondering what the beasts would do for the S-Wire when one of the screamers which held the quadmounts attention so far flew by. Like its name suggested it screamed-but it was not the scream of hunger and the joy of the hunt. Fine wisps of smoke from several parts of its body told the story-the heavy machine guns had failed to hit anything vital, but the phosphorus from the tracer rounds was burning the demon from the inside.
The sounds by the screamer contained such agony that Beasts and men were affected-but its fellows most of all. With a sound nobody later could describe all of them just vanished at the same time.
It took the Quadmounts no time at all to switch targets to the attacking horde. While it did not produce such a heinous carnage as in the first assaults they still managed to kill or subdue more than their fair share of the Beastmen.

This left the gap between the innermost redoubts-here the quadmounts could not reach the zone between the two redoubts. The lighter machine guns and the rifles killed many-but there were two beasts for every one which fell. Grabbing the bodies of the fallen from the ground and throwing them on the wire the Chaos Children finally had found a way across the best defense the humans had.
Climbing up the final meters of the slope they foremost thought in any of these beats was to close with the hated humans and to rip them apart in the hand-to hand fighting they excelled in.
The first to arrive at the Palisade with topped the wall was a huge minotaur-like Doombull. As it was below the angle that the humans could reach without exposing themselves he pulled himself up-and his head exploded like a dropped melon.

Presenting the Hammer he had just used to such effects to the heavens Valten stood up to his considerable height.
“Army of Sigmar-now is your time. Defend the walls and let none pass. Kill them all”
All along the line the Flagellants which had so far been left out of the fight filled the gaps between the riflemen. Attacking the Beastmen which tried to overcome the Palisade with whatever melee weapon they happened to own they were overmatched by the much stronger Chaos Children, but they did not need to win. They just needed to slow the assault and that they did ably enough. Paying for each second gained with limb and lives they gave the riflemen the time to shoot the beats off the walls one by one.

The design of the redoubts again proved itself when the MG3 machine guns were able to shoot parallel to the walls of the redoubts, enfilading the enemy. From the next redoubt the Landwehr could shoot the Beasts with impunity as long as they aimed below the Palisade.
A huge warheard had started the assault-one of Gareks best. Maybe a quarter of them had reached the Palisade-none came back.

Castle Wolfenfels, same Date

Master Hark was looking at a small pile of ashes. It was the remains of a roll of warding, the second he had to use on this day. Such rolls were normally as useful as they were rare as they had the power to break up nearly any spell thrown at the user of the roll.
Master Hark was not the best or brightest wizard there was and freely admitted as much. But whenever winter cloaked the land with its white death shroud and his services were rarely asked for he had set down and had performed the long and painstaking rituals with were needed to make one. As far as he was aware his predecessors had done the same thing for quite a while and the very remoteness of the Castle had meant that they were seldom needed, which led to quite a stock.

Some of his predecessors also had been more into stonework which might explain the many wards which protected this place. There was nothing outstandingly powerful, but there were a lot of them and so he had been able to thwart the ambitions of the Chaoas mages on the other side of the field.
He carefully warded himself before looking into the winds of magic again, the equivalent of a soldier peeking above the rim of a trench, and found nothing immediately dangerous, but the presence of something at the edge of his perception. Nothing aggressive, but not of this world-and it seemed quite busy.
Getting curious he ventured to the Donjon for a look.

Ernst Hermann was sitting in his room and was wiping down the parts of his G62 Rifle. It was pretty new and while it did not show any big problems it paid to be extra careful with a rifle not through the first two revisions or so when your life depended on it.
Even before the Weltensprung the lethality of the 5.56 mm ammo was debated at length with experiences from Afghanistan and Iraq pointing out that there should be better. Ever since coming to the Warhammer World the German armed forces found that there were enemies which needed considerably more killing than a normal human being. As there were no allies with which they had to coordinate themselves the Germans should have been able to settle that quickly, but now the search for the “ideal” solution slowed things down. Currently several rounds were tested, including a stronger caseless one, a 6.8 mm conventional and a 7 mm telescopic round. That was all fine and well-but for the future. For now German soldiers were issued the venerable G3 rifle-until the stocks ran out.

Making new ones was out of the question-the rifle was built for the manufacturing technologies of the late 40`s and would be far too expensive to exhume. As a “stopgap” Heckler&Koch had offered an upgunned version of their G36 rifle in 7,62mm. They modified it with a better heat management and the capability to use the G3 rifle mags plus different sights and so far the tests were running well.
The new ammo available included armor piercing as well as frangible rounds like the old Glaser slugs-especially the latter were extremely nasty. Containing nearly 100 small balls in each round they emptied the chest of a beastmen on a single hit or ripped off extremities.

The KSK officer was about to reassemble the rifle when a knock on the door interrupted. A footmen of the rifle company entered and after saluting: “Compliments from Sergeant Blascoviks and he would like you to come up on the Donjon. He also said that you can take your time”
“Thanks riflemen, I will come up. Dismissed”
Reassembling the rifle was done in under a minute and not much later the Officer was looking at the Chaos Camp through his binoculars. What he could see was that something was digging a ditch which ran at a 45 degree angle of the direct line. Whatever dug the ditch was good at it as the ditch was deep enough to hide them but it was progressing at speed.

“What are these assholes doing in Sigmar`s name? The ditch is not even going in our direction and the castle is on solid rock anyway. How can they hurt us?”
“This is right out of the manual “How to lay Siege to a fortress when you have a gun” Count. I bet this ditch will change course soon by 90 degrees-it will never be dug directly in our direction so we cannot shoot down it. The ditch will approach the Castle at a zick-zag course and will probably end in a bunker. There are two possible uses-bringing troops closer to the castle so we can only fire on them when they leave it-or bring an artillery piece in range of the walls so they can shoot a breach into it.”
“I do not think they can send many troops down that ditch at one time-but it might help to mask an assault, especially at night”

“I think you are right Count-I would bet on the gun thing. On the other hand an assault by night could be nasty-we do not have too many starshells left.”
“Can our redoubtable Lieutenant Alpers fly in more?”
“He already told us that there are few shells for our 60 mm mortar left-he has them in a bigger caliber, but that will not help us much. He told me he is working on something, but I have no idea what. He will also resupply us with ammo tomorrow but in a different way-he asked us to rig up a rope between the tower and one of the walls.”
“I hope it will be less spectacular then his last performance.”
“Me too, but he said he had rigged something that would make it easier-let`s see.”
“Looks like we both place a great deal of faith in our pilot”
“Looks like he earned it”
“Aside from any assault from the ditch you said something about emplacing cannon at the end of the ditch-we should do something about it. Any ideas?”
“The traditional way to counter this is either high angle arty fire-we do not have it or a counterditch-this we cannot dig as we are on bedrock.”
“Ah, we should talk a little about this subject”

Train “Hammer”, between Altdorf and Quarry

Henrik Gerber pushed his way into the Carriage which housed his “special guests”. As the priority for this operation was on taking out whatever caused the magic storm they had to enlist the help of beings who were able to tackle the magical side of things. As the German magical abilities were still sub-par that had meant taking a clutch of Imperial mages – and some specialists who had taken down more than one mage during their careers. Experience with tunnel fighting also counted as this was not a specialty of German armed forces.

The latter group was comprised from some specialist from Germany and those dwarves which had enlisted in the Landwehr anyway. As “Hammer” offered facilities mages could use he had been saddled with them.
That there were more beings in the carriages as had been originally planned for space was at a premium and a lot of the seating arrangements were tight, at least for most. One member of the special group had no problems with that as everybody gave him a wide berth.
Not ostentatiously aggressive he radiated such violence and the capability for massive carnage that nobody wanted to sit close to him. Given that he took most of a two men-seat by himself it would have been difficult anyway. The human that accompanied him looked at these doings with slight amusement.
Henrik was about to push through the aisle to reach Hannes Flammbach who led the mages when the dwarf addressed him: “When will we reach my doom humanling”

“Good afternoon Herr Gurnisson, Herr Jäger. We are about 200 Kilometers from the point where we have to disembark, and about 50 more through the woods. I do not know how many more stops we have to take for railblocks, so I cannot tell for sure. Best guess-another 48 hours to the disembarking”
“Ha, and I was told your trains are fast”
“You may try walking if you think that will be faster”
“Are you trying to say I cannot march fast humanling?”
“The Name is Major Gerber Demonslayer, and I am sure however fast you walk this train will still be faster”
“Gotrek, I am pretty sure there is enough of a fight where we are going-and we are going to miss it when you start one now.”
“Hrrrn-you are right Felix-Major, thank you for the information”
“A pleasure Herr Gurnisson. Now I have to look for Meister Flammbach.”

Hannes Flammbach was under the cupola which gave him free sight of his surroundings and which supposedly gave the mages better abilities to ply their trade. It also gave the huge bright order mage more space.
“Good morning Meister Flammbach. I wanted to contact you in person before, but this operation is short of nothing but time.”
“Well met Major Gerber and no need to apologize. My colleagues and me were buy trying to get more information about this storm-so I would have been busy as well.”
“Can you tell me more about it?”
“Not so much. It is a very raw application of magic-no finesse, just a release of the untamed powers of the warp. That fits with the theory that the beastmen are the cause-this is their style but with immense power behind this. I have seen some truly big magic undertakings, but this is the biggest I have seen personally in regards of the energy invested. How such magic might be wielded is beyond my ken.”
“I understand that it is major sorcery and could have long time consequences-but why is it so important that we have to go after this first and are ordered to relieve the Quarry only after that?”

“It is a little bit difficult to explain to somebody who is not well versed in the ways of magic, so let me try to give an analogy. Imagine a mage sitting in a boat. For doing his magic he needs water, so he uses a pail to get water from the sea the boat is in. The time he needs to fill the bucket and pull in into the boat limits the amount of water he can use. Now our friend, the crazy mage of the beastmen has somehow drilled a hole into the boats walls and so has much more water he can use-but eventually it will sink the boat. And we are all sitting in it”
“That sounds quite dangerous.”
“That´s so because it is dangerous. Some of my colleagues believe that if we do not stop this soon it might cause another Chaos Gate like the one at the pole-we should avoid that.”
“Indeed. Do you need anything for you or your colleagues?”
“A first class coach would be fine and some dancing girls”
“I am fresh out of first-class coaches-but maybe I can ask the Slayer in your name for a dance?”
“Ah, thanks, but no….honestly now, your men do a good job looking after us, worry about something else Major.”
Both men went about their business with chuckle-veterans both.

In another part of the train Kurt Müller found that he was not a veteran-not that he ever had aspirations to become one. He had never cared much about his Church but now found himself praying from time to time when he was not busy with something else. It was none of the prayers his priest had tried to teach him but one that came naturally to him.
“Dear God, if I fuck up good people die, please god-do not let me fail”
Kurt Müller was not a Veteran yet-but was very much on his way to become one.

Lager Middenheim, same date

Nathan Alpers was drinking coffee which was strong enough to raise the dead and laced with enough sugar that it resembled syrup while he made his way to the hangar. The long flight hours combined with being the only surviving officer had made sleep a precious commodity. If he had to keep this tempo of operations up he would need even stronger helpers. Even before he entered he heard a loud argument which seemed to be on the verge of becoming physical.
He found his Chief mechanic and a dwarf apprentice which they took in for local color having their argument in front of Storch 03, the plane of the late Lieutenant Marks. He wanted to make the afternoon supply drop with it while his men worked on the other Storch.

“You do not even understand what I did for you humanling”
“You do not understand what you did to our precious plane you stupid barbarian”
“Gentlemen……..”
“Call me a barbarian again you wimpy humanling and I will….”
“Gentlemen, could you please….”
“Do what-you are just an apprentice here and…”
“Shut yer bloody traps you two-right now”
Both German airman and Dwarf apprentice looked at the pilot with open mouth, they had not heard him approach and the forceful blasting both received from the normally mild-mannered German was startling both.
“You will speak to me in sequence and politely or not at all. What is the matter with Storch 03-what have you done?”
“I have done..”
“This idiot has”
“In sequence Gentlemen. Airman Horst, you first if at all possible”
“Yes sir. Sir, as we discussed I have welded a clamp for the next delivery under the carriage of the plane. If we put rthe container it in and attach the rope with the hook it will break the load cleanly away if you snatch the cable at the castle. I have also increased the pressure of the fuel pump a little bit and reflashed some of the ROM-the engine should now do roughly 380 horsepower.
You are no longer conforming to the fine particle emission regulations, but I do not think anybody will complain. All was fine until this…”
“Stove it. Mechanics apprentice Steinier-what did you do”

“You want to load the plane to more than its maximum load and fly slow-even I know that is dangerous. So I have written the rune of flying into the Wing Spar-it will reduce your weight”
“You….this will reduce the spar stability”
“Airman-let Mr. Steinier finish if you please”
“I did screwed a plate below the spar before I did the runes-I did not touch the spar”
“An how do you know this is going to help”
“I have seen the rune many times with Makaissons`s airship. Without these runes they would never fly-it would be far too heavy”
“Apprentice Steinier-if you are a runesmith, why are you here as an apprentice”
“As I ..As I want to fly sometimes-in a machine of my own one day”
Both German managed to check their sniggers in time-thankfully.
“Well, if you want to fly so badly, I have a proposal for you for tonight-for tonight`s flight you –don`t look like that. As for now, let`s see what you two have wrought.”
Having a look at the solid plate under the wing spar he did not think the structure had been compromised, but he had to agree that the plane felt strange. He had no better word-strange. What the hell, only one way to find out.

When he taxied to the runway he felt the changes to the engine-it was rougher, louder-and accelerated the plane better. The rune plate did not seem to do anything. When he had aligned himself with the wind he gave full throttle and then changed the propeller pitch for maximum acceleration. The overloaded plane took speed reluctantly. Normally willing to take off after about 50 meters he expected a takeoff run of at least 200 meters or more, so he was surprised to find the wheels hopping after 50 meters and the takeoff after less than 100.
The plane was still sluggish with mass-but from its speed of climb it was obvious that the weight of the plane was indeed reduced. He hoped that this would last, but if it did it would make these flights much easier.

Close to the Quarry, at night

Garek Brightfur was sitting alone at a small campfire, keeping company only with his thoughts, and these were not a nice company. The last assault had been a disaster and worse, a disaster that he did not learn anything from.
When the attacks failed before he could see why and either think his way around them or ask Asok for advice. The latter claimed to have seen many foreign ways to fight in visions and his ideas usually paid off, even if they seemed outlandish.
But now he had integrated all he knew into the last assault and had committed his best troops into the battle only to fail again. He did not have any ideas which would allow him to overcome the defenders and he had squandered his resources with the attacks.

He still had countless Beastmen for further attacks but would have to move them soon or they would starve. He had already send additional troops against to rein force the defense of Arok and his Lair as otherwise he could not support the warherd.
He had no more Giants and even if he had Garek suspected that they would suffer the same fate as before. Arok had told him clearly that he would not be able to conjure up new screamers for a while-too many of them had been grievously wounded the last days and so none were willing to fight at Gareks side. That in turn would bring the attention of the “4-shooters” back on his Beastmen-and even the normally fearless Children of Chaos found something which scared them badly.

Not that Garek could blame them there. He had just one card left to play-he could lead the next attack himself, pulling the Beasts up with him by example. The only drawback of that was that he would not likely reach the walls alive but it was the only thing left to try. And if he died, that was to be preferred over living in shame or being killed by his herd when they were finally fed up with him. Feeling better now that he had made a decision he stretched a little and really looked at his surroundings again, only to see eyes-red eyes looking at him from hip height.
His hand went slowly to the hilt of his axe when the owner of the eyes broke his silence. ”Quiet, quiet oh mighty Garek. We have much to talk about you and us, yes yes” A furclad nightmare stepped forward into the low light provided by the fire.
“We only want to help help, we do”
“What do you want Skaven”

User avatar
Mechman
Youngling
Posts: 138
Joined: 2015-06-22 02:25pm
Location: North germany

An ISOT in Grimdark/Warhammer Fantasy

Postby Mechman » 2015-07-19 04:38am

Castle Wolfenfels, same time

Ernst Hermann looked through his Night-Vision Binox and was not enthused by the sight. He could see the Chaos army assembling outside of the range of his riflemen again, made more conspicuous by the absence of any ladder bearers. The infrared glow coming from the ditch indicated where they might be-away from the attention of his troops.
If they would attack in daylight he was sure that he could stop the assault with his men and the rifle company. But the rifle company was could not kill what it could not see. And the firepower his Germans could couple to night-vision devices could hurt the attackers but he doubted that he could kill enough to keep them from the walls.
If the flyboy would not come through-and he did not sound too confident-then this would be very very bloody.
Looking again he saw that the lines of the Chaos Warriors started to move. Using the deadliest weapon given to infantrymen he used his wireless to call the Storch already circling the castle.

Bang “If I were not born an idiot I would not be here” throw
Bang “If I were not born an idiot I would not be here” throw
Björn Steinier sat cross-legged on the bottom of the plane, secured just with a rope around his ample middle and the next seat. Besides him he had a box of starshell mortar grenades. He took out a grenade and placed it on the floor in front of him. When prompted by the Lt. he hit he nose of the shell strongly with a 2-kg stoning hammer. Citing “If I were not born an idiot I would not be here” for timing he threw the shell out of the open door. The shell, fooled into believing that it was shot out of a mortar engaged its time fuse before deploying a parachute and igniting.

They were even brighter and longer lasting than the 60 mm shells employed by the KSK before and showed the Chaos Warriors in stark relief. The flickering lights that appeared on the castles walls showed that the defenders were taking full advantage.
Ermine of Wolfenfels looked out of the window her room in the Donjon had which overlooked the battlefield. It was a sight-the manifold army of Chaos running forward to get to the walls, the defenders standing fast and killing them nearly as fast as they came, but Ermine had no eyes for all that. She tried to catch a glimpse of the plane which made the rounds over the battlefield, again and again dropping light into the darkness below.
She felt that somebody was watching over her, that he cared for her-for her, Ermine the woman and not the heiress to the Wolfenfels estates-it was a good feeling.

Asul Hellebore was swearing again-he had hopes for that attack and now it was on the verge of failing again. The illumination of the battlefield had allowed the thrice-damned defenders to open fire again as if it were happening in bright day.
Because they could approach closer the ladder carriers from the ditch they reached the wall in two places-far too few. The ladders went up and the first hot bloods were on them to prove themselves-just to drop from height when armored figures which were unhindered by the arrows shot at them pushed them down again. This would not work-he gave the signal for retreat.
His only option now was the cannon-it had better not fail or he would be lucky just being killed by Archaron the next time he contacted him.

Train Hammer, Between Altdorf and Middenheim, 36 hours later

The Armored Train was screeching to a halt at the point closest to the source of the storm. Henrik Gerber opened the cover above him and stood on the elevated seat to gain height. Looking through the binoculars that he had “inherited” from the German Navy he scanned the treeline to both sides of the train-so far nothing. He had chosen this exact spot for disembarkation as there was some more open ground here-it kept surprises a little farther away.
Seeing nothing which might throw a wrench in his plans and hearing no reports to the contrary he pushed the “To talk” button on his headset.
“Kaiserliche-deploy as per plan”
At several places along the train heavy armored ramps clanked down on the ground and Soldiers fanned out in well-practiced movements. As they had to secure a larger perimeter this time the Landwehr also deployed their “escort tanks”.

With rumbling diesel engines the tanks rotated 90 degrees on their special carriages and drove down the ramps provided for this purpose. In order to give the Empire tanks to fight which would not be too threatening if falling into the wrong hands KMW had transplanted a “Puma” Turret to a M113 chassis which was lightly up armored.
Its 30 mm autocannon and the “Spike” missiles were deadly for all the Empires foes-and the low weight of the tank was a boon on the bad roads and light bridges the Empire had. Taking positions around the clearing they made a railhead for unloading the real threat to the Children of Chaos.
The sound of Hammer and its escorts was totally drowned out when 50 Leopard 2A8 tanks, nearly a 100 Marder and Puma IFV and numerous other combat vehicles started their engines and deployed for combat.
So far most battles between German or allied forces had been, by the standards of old Earth, small affairs in which rarely more than a company worth of tanks had been employed if at all. As they had be mobilized for the exercises anyway, the threat was serious and the Reiksbund wanted to send a message they had send the “A” team.

The Tank Battalion, the Mechanized Infantry and the artillery units had a combined horsepower of over 180000 hp, more than any battleship ever build. They sported armor that practically no weapon on this world could pierce and enough firepower to flatten any City in mere hours.
So under a bruise colored sky which crackled black lightning an armored force with no equal on this world was about to show war to this world for real-the time for skirmishes was over.

Henrik Gerber watched the unloading which looked like total chaos and was in reality only one and a half step from that, commence while keeping an eye on the woods. Compared to the German woods that he knew-practically all of them artificial or at least farmed upon since a long time-the Great Forest seemed primeval, dark and chaotic.
He could see nothing, but the Chatter in his headpiece indicated that there was “something” in the woods, actually several large groups of somethings-and they were getting closer by the minute.
He dropped back into his command cubicle where laptop computers shared place with map tables and a huge mage. From the reports his staff had aggregated a picture-what seemed like a warherd of many thousand beastmen had assembled at the edge of the forest, waiting for the allied soldiers to enter their realm.

“”Wacht Actual for Hammer actual”
“I hear you Oberst Stein”
“It seems like the enemy is playing a little coy-I would like to send him an invitation he cannot refuse. Please execute a fire mission on the Wood between coordinates’…”
“Yes Sir”
It took less than a minute before the trains heavy guns started to throw death at the Beastmen in 50 kg sizes packages.

Leopard 2A8 Tank, same place and time

Uli Stoiber watched the beastmen emerging from the Forest. He did not know what battle plan the beasts had before they got their wake-up call from Hammer, but it was gone now. You still could not fault the warherds aggressiveness and courage, instead of dropping deeper into the Forest they were closing with their enemies as quickly as they could.
“Gunner, engage targets in our zone independently. Loader, load HE”
“HE up” was accompanied by the heavy clunk of the closing gun breech.
“Engaging infantry”. The gunner lasered one of the closer groups of beastmen. The range and speed was fed into the computer which gave a pointer into the sight. Matching his barrel to that pointer the gunner shouted “On the way” before engaging the trigger.
The gun barrel recoiled violently before ejecting the base of the cartridge. The loader automatically reloaded the next HE round while the gunner saw the results of his handiwork.
The shell was stabilized by fins after leaving the barrel. At a speed of more than a thousand meters a second it did not take long to reach its intended target, but the time fuze was precise enough that it detonated the shell within 5 meters of the intended spot.

The fragments from the DM 11 shell were lethal out to 80 meters and were ripping hideous wounds in the beastmen. Combined with more than 20 other shells this salvo and the two that followed it took the heart out of the attack. Uli Stoiber saw the milling survivors which tried to get over the shock on the monitor of his remote weapon station. He did not intend to let them make up their mind and depressed the trigger for the 40 mm launcher. The grenades reached outwards in seemingly lazy arcs and the detonations also were unremarkable compared to the mighty 120 mm HE shells-but all these launchers were putting out several hundred shells per minute. And all of that was on top of the carnage wrought by the 20 and 30 mm autocannons from the IFV`s. Sooner or later the Warhammer World armies would learn not to bunch up and try to fight in close formation-this one would not be holding any lessons on that though. You have to be alive to teach.

It was probably the most one-sided battle in the history of the Warhammer World so far, with a totally wiped out Beastmen army one the one side and exactly zero losses on the other one.
It would not last.

Castle Wolfenfels, Great Forest, same time

Sergeant Bascoviks was lying half naked on his chest and was sweating like a hog. He was doing this not in a nice bed but lying in a small tunnel he was digging like mad. Granted, thing could be worse. The Germans brought electric lamps and fans into a business which would be much worse otherwise for lack of ventilation.
Having a laser for direction and distance also helped immensely, as did lightweight strong ropes which were used to pull the overburden back into the main tunnel. When Count Heinrich had confided that there was a escape tunnel from the castle he had astonished several long-time members of his household who did not know of it. It`s terminus was too close to the Chaos camp to be of any use for escape or attack, but it offered a starting point for a countertunnel to the ditch which was approaching the castle at high speed.
All of the technical help did not make the Sergeants workload any easier-he just progressed faster than he would have done without them. He was rotated out after 20 minutes like all the other members of the digging team.

Ditching cold water over his upper body to cool down and to get rid of the grime he was approached by the Lt. “So, how is progress”
“We got another 10 meters done by now Lt. We need additional boards-the loam will not be stable without some support, but so far we have no water.”
“The boards you can have, we just dismantle the floor of the assembly hall. But how soon can you finish?”
“Day after tomorrow I would say”
“That is cutting it close, by that time they should be in place. Hope the walls are good for a couple of hits.”
“We cannot accelerate the digging any more than we already do. It would be a good idea to prepare for a breech.”
“Fuck this-we`ll see what we can do about it. You go on digging, I continue to demolish the castle….”

Puma IFV between Railroad and Storm center, Great Forest

Felix Jäger had seen his companion and friend Grotek in many moods and knew them well. He had seen the Dwarf enraged, in misery, depressed, overjoyed and lustful. But despite being at his side for many many years, having endured hardship on the road, wonderful evenings at Inns, having slain Demaons and dragons he had never seen the Dwarf thoughtful and in awe. Until now.
They both had witnessed the massacre of beastmen which masqueraded as a battle a few hours before and the impact of that was still with them. They had faces armies of this size and bigger before, the siege of Praag came into mind, but never ever had they seen the enemy killed so quickly and ruthlessly.

The speed and violence by which this battle was conducted and the totally one-sided result drove the point home that this was a new age. They had worked with the Germans before and they had pegged them as nice but soft-until the treads of their tanks ground the beastmen corpses into ground meal as they were in the only good way into the forest. Both were excellent fighters and had proven this by everybody’s measure-but now Felix felt like a new-born babe in the face of such destruction.
Still in thoughts he realized that his companions face had lit up as much as it was possible for the Dwarf.

“What is it Grotek-seen any Ale?”
“No Felix, but a good fight-the best. You have seen what these Germans can do if they put their mind to it?”
“Aye, could not help it”
“And they amass this kind of army and still take us with them? Whatever awaits us at the end of this trip must be powerful indeed. I think I have found my Doom at last”
He had uttered this hope so often that the proclamation had worn off considerably by now. But sitting in an utterly alien vehicle which brought them along and after seeing the battle Felix could not help but to wonder if this time the Slayer finally was right.

Leopard 2 A8 Tank, Great Forest, 2 hours later

“Boom” the report of the 120 mm gun did not surprise Uli Stoiber-the effect at its target did. The farther the 183rd Panzer Battalion had penetrated the woods the shorter the engagement ranges became as visibility was reduced by trees and undergrowth.
This had made the tanks change their ammo from HE to canister which was preferred for ranges under 500 meters. He had never seen the effects of this ammo before, now it was reveled in all its bloody glory. In a triangle beginning about 50 meters before his tank the single shot had burst into the beastmen which had tried to ambush his tanks with spears and clubs. 1400 Steel balls had cut a swathe through them which left few survivors out to about 500 meters distance. Seeing movement at the edge of the area “cleared” by the main round he pressed the trigger for his remote machine gun, ending whatever happened there for good. The Canister and HE rounds removed enough of the brushwood to expose more beastmen-to Uli the were just moving targets to him at this stage.

Luckily the drones carried by the tanks had allowed the tanks to recon the ground in front of them despite the woods-the drones could quite literally fly between the trees and have a look. What they revealed was not to everybody’s liking.
Uli Stoiber was part of the most potent fighting force currently prowling the Warhammer world-and they were forced to stop. They were not stopped by superior enemy forces or lack of supplies – they had to halt because of trees. So far the trees they had encountered had not been too big to be driven over or at least the big ones had been spaced far enough from each other to let the AFV`s pass-now this was over.

From here to the Target the Forest was primeval Forest – meter thick Trees older than dirt interspersed with fallen trunks would stop any tank ever build-and flying over it was out of the question for now. The only remaining option was to fight through it on foot and then tackle what was at the end-and all that through the chosen domain of the Beastmen.
Led by Colonel Stein a group of mechanized infantry formed up from both battalions which had accompanied Uli`s 183rd Panzers. They went together with the mages and the tunnel specialists which were already wishing they were back in the cramped train.

The latest addition was from the Empire and had made the last kilometers through the forest on trucks. The Empire had logistic problems since its inception, but a long history of warfare and a more “magical” mindset had kept them from a mechanical answer. Still they had worked on that problem and since many many years had bred horses and donkeys for getting especially strong “war mules”. They would never show up in a regimental history or would make a nice tin miniature, but few battles would be fought without their services.
Now several scores of them were offloaded from German trucks, because now they were needed more than ever.
So Ulrich Stoiber watched the “Kampfgruppe” (combat group) Stein being swallowed by the Great Forest accompanied by mule’s brays and a dwarf’s grumblings.

Train Hammer, Great Forest, same Time

“You look greatly frustrated Major Gerber. What is up?”
“I have asked Operational Command again to be released so we can go after the Quarry. I was told that the Quarry holds up fine and that I am to guard the railhead until relieved. We have enough soldiers here, I could take the train and still protect this place.”
“I can understand your frustration Major, nobody likes leaving his comrades in a fight alone. But please also understand how very important our mission here is. If we fail here reliving the siege at the Forest may be irrelevant before long”
“Is it that bad?”
“The longer I look at it the worse it seems. There is so much energy in this ritual that I have no idea how it is handled-and no idea how our reality stands it for so long at all.”
“Wow, this is not the kind of mission I want to be part of, Meister Flammbach”
“From what I have seen I want you very much on this mission Major. Let`s hope whatever is the cause of this goes soon, then we can do different things”

Great Forest, 10 Kilometers inside from the tanks stopping point

Bashok thought he had chosen his point well. The Gor had already heard that the Germans had weapons with which you could kill at long distances. He had no problem with members of his warherd being killed or even himself being in danger-as long as it was a glorious battle in which he could fight back, not being slaughtered with no chance to get his claws red.
He was sure to have devised a way to present that. Currently his warherd was distributed in a part of the forest that had much more brushwork than most. A fire had removed most of the huge trees a couple of years before and low brushes had a chance to grow the first time in many years as there was enough sunlight to do so. The well fertilized ground had made sure that the brushes were so dense that there were few places were you could see for more than 5 meters or so.
A swamp of one side and the broken hill on the other would make sure that the Germans would come to him.

Bashok had no illusions that he could control the battle after it was joined, but also had no inclination to do so-this way he could enjoy hand-to-hand combat and had no compulsion to babysit his herd like Garek Brightfur seemed so eager to do. In this place his Children of Chaos could fight at their best, bloody close combat, chaotic and no quarter given or asked for.
He did not think that this would be to the Germans liking.
The waiting for the enemy was the hard part-he could not see them coming, could not check his troops except for the nearest ones, and could not do anything else to improve his chances. Needless to say this was making him fidgety-which he was not allowed to show as not to affect morale the wrong way, he had to seem like stone.

Still something was making him more nervous than all these things allowed and he did not know why. Not given to great self-inspection he tried to look for what irritated him. In the end he found it was not something-but the lack of something.
Once his warherd had settled down the birds in the forest had taken up their singing again-and now that had stopped. He could not hear the humans approaching-so that was not it. Looking around in the strange light provided by the storm he finally spotted them-whatever they were. Small black rectangles hung in the air above his troops. They were doing nothing but move erratically and give off a small whine which was lost in the storms cracklings. He could not see what held these rectangles up-did it have something to do with the spinning disks at their ends?

20 Kilometers away from Bashok the 12 Self Propelled Guns the 131st Artillery Battalion had brought to play with got their orders for a fire mission. Three of these guns had been enough to lay waste to a Druchii city-here 12 of them were willing and able to shoot several tons of hate per minute. Centrally controlled they applied the azimuth and elevation automatically.
After the short pause to make sure everything was shipshape the guns fired 5 rounds each rapidly with ever decreasing elevation-the rounds would arrive at their targets nearly simultaneously. When the rounds passed through the clouds they were viciously attacked by the black lightning-many of them. The solidly constructed shells were not catastrophically damaged by the lightning, but the electronic fuses in some of them failed which meant their mechanical back-ups cut in on impact.
The main purpose of the barrage was not to kill as many beastmen as possible-even if this was a desired result-but to allow the passage of the real barrage as the 155 mm rounds were currently the sideshow.

The real killers had waited in readiness until the fate of the 155mm artillery rounds could be determined. When the first impacts were reported by “Kampfgruppe Stein” the 8 MRLS launchers of the 132nd Battalion let loose. Each of the launchers disgorged 12 missiles carrying 644 bomblets each. As there was no more GPS to be had for a while and area targets were not uncommon in the new world the Germans had reinstituted the “Bomblet” missiles, changing their shaped charges warhead against a purely fragment one. The missiles passed through the storm without taking too much damage and distributed their cargo into an area of 800 x 600 meters.
Bashok ears were still ringing from the violent explosions which had devastated the area to his left when a rain of small drum-like canisters dropped from the sky. He looked at the seemingly innocent 8 cm long cylinder which had dropped in front of him. He was still trying to make sense of the rattling small explosions all around him when the submunition detonated. As it was already on the ground the fragments went mostly into his legs, genitals and guts, shredding everything in there. As the fragments missed all really vital organs the Gor spend far too much time dying in great pain from blood loss.
The bomblet which killed him was one of more than 64000 that had been dropped on the unsuspecting beastmen, each with a 5 meters lethal radius. Together with the ongoing 155mm bombardment they killed nearly 90% of the Chaos Children as they were unprotected in the open and had no concept of “taking cover”

Felix Jäger was trying to cope with the battle in front of him. It was unlike any battle he had experienced before and he rightfully considered himself a connoisseur of battles having participated in so many of them. It looked like most of the fighting was done before he would see the first enemy.
When the Beastmen in waiting were discovered he had his work cut out keeping the slayer from charging into the fray. He only managed it by pointing out that these Children of Chaos were unlikely to serve as the doom the Slayer still sought so much.
That the Germans had warned the members of the “special” party against pressing forward on their own had been more a motivation to the Dwarf than a hindrance but the wisdom of keeping back was exposed brutally when the German barrage hit the brushwork in front of them. Even Grotek paled at the sight to the artillery-mutilated beastmen. “Could have been me-and no chance to fight back-what an end-that is no worthy doom”

The “special” group clustered around the back of the fight for protection-it would not do to have the mages killed by some stupid beast before he ever could do his work in the tunnels. Traversing the battlefield was hard work even without the enemy. A lot of the brushwork was gone or denuded of leaves so the sightlines were much better and the ground was littered with dead beastmen who had died without ever seeing an enemy. Felix was sure that the battle would have been hard-fought at least if the Germans had not brought up their artillery-which he also never saw in action.
Tracking with the mages and mules through rough terrain and navigating between or over beastmen corpses was hard work and one had to concentrate a lot on where one put ones feet.

This proved to be distracting enough that a Bundeswehr soldier saw the shifting pile of corpses far too late. He was able to bring his rifle up in time to put a 3 round burst into the first Beastmen who attacked him before a Gor with missing left ear and horn punched two sets of copper-clad claws through the chest of the German. At the same time other “corpses” were getting up from the ground and assaulted the few Germans who protected the mages and tunnel troops-they had managed to bypass the German mechanized infantry by playing possum.
As the distances were now down to a few meters and surprisingly many Beasts had managed to hide the fight was much more even and too few beastmen were cut down before they could close for hand-to-hand combat. If they were not stopped soon they would wreak havoc among the mages.
The hoarse battle cry of a dwarf showed that this was at least to somebodies satisfaction-Grotek could be seen attacking the beastmen full-hilt. Despite only reaching to chest height of most beastmen and having no armor he went after them with what seemed like no thought about defense at all. He just was not where the strikes of the beastmen fell-or the limbs about to strike were loped off. He was a whirlwind of destruction killing beastmen to the left and right faster than armed with an axe should be able to.

Felix Jäger was no slouch himself, nobody could accompany the dwarf for so long and survive otherwise, but he was not in the same class. While he was weaker than even a lowly Ungor he was faster, more agile and had better reach with his sword. He had slashed the throat of one Ungor already and had put his sword into the belly of another when he had to fight two Beasts at the same time. Threatening one with a dagger he managed to piece the lower jaw of the other when his sword struck in the head of his latest victim. Releasing it so he could move better he found himself confronting several Chaos Children with just an overgrown knife.
Before things could go really downhill one of the German “assault rifles” roared off with several rapid shots which went by his side and killed or wounded the beastmen. Turning around he saw one of the imperial mule handlers who had taken up the weapon dropped by the killed German soldier. He seemed to know what he was doing and together the 3 managed to keep the beastmen of the mages. A fireball which consumed a small cluster of Gors shows that the mages were willing and able to carry their own weight and soon after that the skirmish was over.
Felix and a happy dwarf watched a German Sergeant take the rifle from the mule driver`s hands. “Where did you learn to shoot?”
“I was in selection for 1st Landwehr-shot the sandbox after unloading during safety training, Ser”
“I see. You have made up for that I think. If you survive this I will try to get you another slot. Until them, keep the rifle-you earned that much. Your mules will have to transport some wounded after unloading ammo I am afraid-guard them well.”
“With my life, Ser”
“Carry on then”

The skirmish had been over as quickly as it came-but it was not the last by far. The Germans learned that putting a round through any likely looking corpse was a necessity-a Bayonet was not yet issued to everybody.
The trip from here was a nightmare-there were no big concentrations of Beastmen anymore, and the few times where more than a few aggregated a quick salvo from the artillery ended that nonsense.
Instead now the Kampfgruppe was attacked by single beastmen or small groups, mostly by stumbling on the panicked survivors of the last battle or being attacked from hiding. No matter which way-the Children of Chaos always fought with the ferocity of cornered animals. Now that the humans were under the canopy of the “old” forest again the sightlines became longer and an alter soldier could shoot his assailant before he was in range-mostly.
Sometimes the distance was too short or the soldiers too exhausted by the long march and no longer vigilant enough. For every wounded or fallen human many beastmen lay bleeding in the Forest, but still the Kampfgruppe was paying for every kilometer in pain and blood.
Whether enough warm bodies would be left when they reached the cave system was anybody’s guess, but this deterred neither German nor Imperials. Everybody had their doubts-and everybody was afraid to show them first, so under a sky from a nightmare and a Forest fit to scare Children and adults alike the humans pressed on.

Faculty of Magic, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany

Günter Koch, while still being an advisor for the government, had a new main task - becoming a Wizard. His birth city of Kaiserslautern had a magical faculty, so did many other university cities, but since his dual occupation needed his presence in Berlin often, he immatriculated at Humboldt-University.
With the teaching personal being all Imperial, the way of teaching was distinctly different. At first, there were a lot of jokes about "The Force", but even the greatest jokers among the students soon stopped that. Learning about the business end of Tzeench´s Curse tended to be a convincing incentive.
Unlike in the fictional Star Wars, where the Force-sensitives had to and could open themselves fully to the Force for their greatest feats, mastery over the Winds of Magic meant nearly the opposite. The Winds blew strongly over the Warhammer world, so power collection was only a problem for undertakings which would make the greatest Jedi look like amateurs. No, on Warhammer channeling the right dose of magic without losing control was the knack to be learned. Calling on the Winds of Magic was easy for the truly gifted, savely forming them was mastery.

That was a stony road for the new Wizards in training, a cantrip like making an object glow like a lantern was a big success if cast correctly. It simply took time to learn, but the time could stretch like chewing gum for the young (and sometimes older) new magicans.

It was a learning experience for the imperial teachers too. The ideal of celibacy some orders held high, especially the Light and Amethyst Orders, was simply not enforce able in Germany. The standard methods the german professors and teachers had shown them, helped the Orders enormously in their neverending quest for more and reliable magical knowledge.

So enormously in fact, that unknown to both Empire and Germany, among the Farseers of Ulthuan a discussion broke loose, if the High Elves should not plan some actions to hinder and stop a further magical advance in the Old World. Seers like Teclis might be idealistic, but not all Elves were like that. There were a lot who thought that a certain level of magical knowledge should rest forever in the hands of responsible Elves, not some short-lived "mammals" like the humans.
While no human could ever hope to reach the magical level of true High Elf magicans, an advance of them over a certain broderline combined with other advantages like fire weapons, could become a threat for Ulthuan. And such threats had to be contained or eliminated...

Quarry, Great Forest, several hours later

The Weltensprung was not the first change of Geography that the Slann had wrought, even if it wore the biggest change of landscape and the one with arguably the most consequences.
Before that several other “improvements” by the Slann had led to cataclysmic earthquakes which had changed far more landscape than the old mages had ever intended. These earthquakes had collapsed many of the tunnel networks of the Dwarves and the Skaven as well as those networks who`s creators were better not speculated about too much.

When this happened all too often the tunnels and the cave systems connected by them had not been restored but were condemned and all but forgotten even by their makers. Some of these were under the quarry, most of them collapsed, disconnected or filled with rubble.
Some caves had been blasted open during the mining and had been used immediately by the Quarrymen who were always looking for more storage and living room. By now these were not only used for storing ammo and foodstuff, but were also used as a makeshift hospital and a refugee for the civilians who had fled the beastmen onslaught.

Not being ventilated too well, badly lit and damp the civilians still valued the safety offered by them. Even in the middle of such a battle children would still be children and play when there was no direct threat-and their parents not around. Currently a group of them were had found an amendable adult who was willing to play the horse for them and carried several of them around in a wild ride where the joyfully screeching children were barely clinging on.
“Faster Valten, faster”. The hulking blonde tried his best to make the ride even more fun for the kids. The happy smile of a young widow looking on was just more motivation for the warrior to spend his rest in such an undignified manner.

Other caves and tunnels which were even deeper and under the surface of the cast already mined by the quarrymen had never been detected by the humans-but they were very well known to other beings. And now they were taking advantage of them.

German-Empire Border, Transall AC-160 5000 meters AGL

“Think about Elena, the one with the nice tits in the Cantina”
“Very funny”
Captain Harold Bartels had missed the captive basket of the refueling system the second time. Given the ponderous nature of his prototype plane and the fact that refueling was an evolution that he had rarely done before and only once with this plane before did not make things any better.
Falling back behind the A330 Tanker he took a deep breath, tried to relax and pushed the throttles forward again. Whether it was the third time lucky or any thoughts about Elena who really had nice tits nobody could say but this time he managed to put the refueling probe into the basket.
Now he “just” had to keep the distance to the tanker very even for a few minutes while thousands of liters of Kerosene were transferred into the big tanks of his plane. He had a long flight to make and just hoped there would be a place to land and refuel where he was going.

Close to Castle Wolfenfels, same time

“Cruntch” The slave that had just helped pushing another round into the muzzle needed a second to realize that his right forearm had been chewed off by the cannon he was serving and started to scream. Hellbringer Cannons were not just dead metal weapons-they were a piece of Chaos-blessed metal which bound a denizen of the warp into it to make it more powerful. Currently it was sitting in the bunker the Chaos warriors had dug at the end of the zig-zag trench. There it was secured by heavy chains that kept the maniac demon inside the cannon to rip the cannon out of the enclosure. That had not kept the gun from using its muzzle like a set of jaws and removing the slave`s limb cleanly.

The blood that spurted out of the arm before the vasospasm set in was absorbed by the red bronze of the gun as if it never existed.
The Chaos Dwarf used his axe to smash the Slaves head before he could disturb the loading cycle any further. The few shots they had so far managed to get off at the castle had not brought the required results-the wall above the hits they had managed had a cracked outer shell but so far nothing had broken. An any shell that hit the earthen embankment was lost. So he needed a few more good hits to the same spot to open a breech in the Castles walls.
A little back a group of Khorne-worshippers were already chewing at the bit to storm the breech and seal the castles fate. So he needed these hits-and soon as Asul Hellebore was getting more and more frantic with each passing hour so a wailing slave did not help things.

He was about to draw breath to spur the rest of the gun crew through the loading and firing cycle when something strange on the opposite wall of the bunker caught his eye. A spot on the bare earthen wall started to turn and then a clump of earth dropped to the floor. He caught a glimpse of a huge drill which disappeared quickly just to be replaced by a coconut-sized cylinder. It was the last sight he ever had as the cylinder detonated when it hit the ground.
The fury of the explosion was enhanced by the small, well enclosed space of the bunker which made the shockwave rebound inside and converted the occupants of the bunker into paste. The force was strong enough to damage the gun itself sufficiently to free the demon bound within it, adding to the destructive force.

Still the living weapon had not forgotten at what it had been aimed at. So in order to get back to its choses realm it concentrated its essence into the shell which had been loaded and fired itself to a destructive end at the wall of the castle with a force the weapon could never have used while in one piece.
The shell hit the castles wall with tremendous force and the resulting explosion finally destroyed the outer shell. Rumbling to the ground like an avalanche it exposed the core of the wall-lots of overburden which now followed the outer shell and drew the inner shell with it.
The debris from the collapse formed a near-perfect ramp into the castle; the missing parapet reduced the amount of shooters which could stem the assault. Now the defenders who had denied the eight-folded path would die-if they were lucky.

“Blood for the Blood God, Skulls for his Throne, all hail Khorne”
This was about the most complicated prayer that the warriors of Khorne could well memorize-and now they screamed it for all to hear. They came from a people who valued physical strength and aggression already and the long connection with the power they worshipped had changed their bodies above that. Muscles which exceeded the human norm by far, resilience against pain and morale loss, the ability to fight on when lesser beings would crawl away from the battle.-such were the gifts they had received. In exchange they had given large parts of their humanity, compassion and the capability for rational thought-they could have cared less.
Clad in red armor which often was already as much a part of their bodies as their skin and accompanied by dogs the size of lions they stormed towards the castle.

Compared to earlier assaults the fire of the defenders was much less as they had fewer meters of wall facing the attackers-and surely the breach must have affected their morale. Still for each meters forward more than one warrior fell but there were more than enough to continue the attack. And blood was spilled-this was pleasant to Khorne.
Running ever forward the warriors managed to keep up the speed despite the losses, despite the broken ground littered by the corpses left from earlier failures-the battle to end all this beckoned.
When they got in range of the ramp the fire of the defenders intensified and got more accurate. Who cared-as long as one in ten warriors would reach the defenders he could gloriously put his axe into their blood-Blood for the Bloodgod. When the survivors of the assault reached the foot of the rubble ramp they saw some defenders who hastily tipped some vats on the ramp before withdrawing.
Scrambling up the ramp the Warriors soon learned what had been spread on the ramp-every bit of oil, fat and grease that the castle possessed. It made the way upwards immeasurably harder and converted the run upwards in an almost comical run-forward-slide back spectacle that slowed the attackers down-while they were under fire from both sides.

After what seemed to be an eternity the first Aspiring Champion reached the end of the ramp and jumped off the edge to storm the castle. The triumphant scream he issued turned into one of frustration when he was confronted by another wall. Very roughly constructed from material scavenged from non-essential parts of the castle it followed a semicircle which enclosed the breech. On its top the defenders who had to vacate the original castle`s wall above the breech combined their firepower with the Uzi-wielding Reiksguard knights and a machine gun manned by some Germans. They reduced the status of the proud Chaos warriors to fish in a barrel. Especially the Knight who so far had only a small role to play in the fight were expending their ammo like it were going out of fashion tomorrow-and the packed space in the enclosure meant that there were few misses.
When more Khornates pushed into the enclosure hand grenades dropped into the enclosure made their Fragments and shockwaves bound from wall to wall, adding insult to injury.
The next wave of Chaos Warriors who had arrived at the foot of the breech found a small stream of fluid trickle down the stones. When they found it to be blood it did marvels for their morale-not.


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