Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Scalenex, Oct 1, 2018.
*** done drawing map ***
*** done photographing map ***
A — Ruskovy land bridge
B — Yeti, Sasquatch, Native Ogres
C — The Vast Ice Lake, Here there be icebergs
D — New Bretaggaroth (Bret)
E — West Couronne (Bret)
F — Kislevian fur trading confederation
G — Great Bestial Plains; Here there be Bison
H — Arkassippian River System; where the West begins; beware Cyclones and Floods... (UCA)
I — The Lesser Lakes. (UCA/Bret)
J — Western Plains (UCA)
K — Kentuckansas Region (UCA)
L — Great Eastern Bay (UCA)
M — Here there be Dragons, and Cathayans, and Cathayan Dragons (UCA; claimed)
N — Great Western Bay (UCA; claimed)
P — The Grand Rivers; East and West forks
Q — New Estalia
R — The Very Grand Bahamas; home of the Elven Corsair Navy, location of the Maelström.
S — Saurian territory; in these mist-wreathed mountains and valleys lie the mysterious (gold-rich? seven?) cities of the Lizardmayans, their Rango minions, Krocmen servants, and the mysterious (rumored & dreaded) Slann.
T — Southern Quetzal Jungles; Here there be Volcanos, rumors of Jaguarmen, and great feathered serpents... (Saurian claimed or controlled)
U — The Orrrcarribean Isles; home to the Orrrc Raider squadrons (vile pirates all of them), many volcanos, mariners beware... ...a place where Orrrc Witchdoctors do that Voodoo that they do.
V — The Peninsular Islands (V not yet marked on map) Swampy, Mangrove forests, Alligators and worse; the area is home to Forest Goblins, Savage Orrrcs, and Feral Ogres.
I'm intrigued by all this - sounds as if it has a lot of potential as a Necromunda or Mordheim-type game. I think I have a few ideas:
First of all, concerning Beastmen, I thought of an idea of having the Minotaurs specifically as either a Warhammer equivalent of Tauren from Warcraft, who have a lot of Native American aspects to them, or an evil version of Tauren, depending upon what alignment we want to give them, as another type of Native American for this setting alongside the Savage Orcs and Forest Goblins.
Secondly, it may sound a weird idea, but hear me out - I've got a great idea about having another culture in this world in addition to the settlers from the various main factions of the Old World and the natives. My idea is concerning settlers from Albion arriving many year before all the other races when the Empire was causing trouble and invading everyone else, and being an already-established culture by the time all the other races travel over to the new world. I noticed that you forgot to include Albion in your lore, and thought it would be great to do an alternative take on the real-world event of the Vikings first discovering America many hundreds of years before Columbus, by changing it so that it was actually the Celtic-style peoples of Albion who got there first (the Norse being allied with Chaos and too busy fighting the Empire at the time to notice).
Of course this is fantasy, so we could say that somehow the tribes of Albion were able to start working on their own large transport ships to take their people across the huge expanse of sea (maybe the Druids and Truthsayers predicted that there was a 'land of bounty' across the wide wide sea and some of the warriors and their families agree to sail over and investigate), and first landed while the Empire was expanding across the Old World. Of course the Empire aren't going to take much notice of Albion because it is small, seemingly insignificant compared to Bretonnia, Estalia and Tilea, and the people there generally kept themselves to themselves.
Anyway, just as the Vikings in the real world did, the people of Albion encounter the natives when they first settle in the New World, but again I plan to include a difference in events. In the real world, the Vikings had superior weaponry but were ousted by the natives due to a combination of having far fewer people and no obvious ways to protect their settlements, but in the Warhammer version the people of Albion are able to construct a hillfort which is far better defended and are able to secure a permanent settlement in the New World, despite the attempts made by the natives to destroy them.
If we look at their real-world Celtic counterparts, we know that the Celts fought each other as much as foreign powers - indeed, warfare was an integral part of Celtic culture. However, one benefit of regularly fighting the neighbours was that necessity demanded that the Celts build their settlements in places that could allow them to be made more resistant to enemy attacks. These hillforts became more and more well defended so that, at the peak of the Celts' power, hillforts were practically impregnable to infantry and cavalry attack - they were the stone castles of their day. Networks of trenches, ditches and earthworks were built so that they would not only slow down an approaching enemy force, but they could also be used to funnel them into just a few places where Celtic defenders could shower them with missiles.
Indeed hillforts were designed with only one, maximum two or three, gateways, the earthworks around which were purposefully designed to funnel enemies into going that way. Many of these gateways were also supported by ramparts and palisade either side of the main gateway, so that all enemies funnelled into the gateway would be attacked on three sides, and would most likely end up like the Mordor Orcs when they attacked the gateway of Minas Tirith (i.e. a huge pile of corpses). While hillforts were easily conquered by the Romans, they were only able to do so by using siege engines, which of course they had pioneered during their many conflicts with other nations. The Celts on the other hand had no experience in siege warfare (mainly because they had no interest in practicing it - it was seen as dishonourable to stand back and fire a big catapult or hide in a siege tower when you could be hurling yourself into the thick of it like a true warrior) and so their hillforts were designed exclusively to counter warbands of infantry and cavalry (which was how the Celts fought each other in tribal raids), a job they did perfectly.
Coincidentally, the preferred fighting style of the Native Americans was also using their large bands of warriors to launch lightning assaults on the enemy, which means then that the hillfort is a devastating counter to the Native Americans' battle tactics, if we're now assuming that we're putting Celts from this world into America in the same time period. Sure, the Native Americans can use their familiarity with their homeland to ambush and slay Celtic war parties, but they would have had absolutely no hope of being able to shift the Celts from their hillforts unless several entire tribes united to launch an attack on one hillfort, and even then there would be a huge number of casualties for the Native Americans.
Therefore, as opposed to the Vikings whose settlements were relatively unprotected, the Celts, and indeed the peoples of Albion, would have been able to construct settlements to ensure that they were here to stay. Now if we go to the Warhammer version of this, there will most likely be bigger and more dangerous creatures for the people of Albion to worry about, like the Savage Orcs and the Minotaur Tauren, but the peoples of Albion would also have had their own magical allies to help protect them.
Of course this is all happening hundreds of years before any other Old World races arrive. If we fast forward through these years until we get to the point at which the other nations and races of the Old World start arriving, what would the culture of these Albion settlers be like now? Would they have advanced any further in their technology? Most likely, yes.
Would they have formed alliances and ties with the natives? Depends on whether there are any humanoid natives in our Warhammer version of the Wild West - if there were, then the Albion settlers may well have integrated with them somehow or at least built up some sort of relationship (indeed in the real world the Celts and Native Americans had similar values and religions, despite their language barriers - both were warrior-based tribal societies with faiths revolving around the veneration and protection of the natural world around them, so that may then result in the two peoples seeing more eye-to-eye with each other). If not, then this is much less likely as Orcs, Goblins, Minotaur Tauren and Rangos would be considerably less easy to reason with.
Would they have got to the point of developing their own black powder weapons? I don't think they would have advanced that far, but I would say that they would be more like a unified nation by this point, as opposed to warring tribes - perhaps the Albion League or Albion Conglomerate.
Of course their faith would be a Warhammer version of Celtic Paganism, as their religion wouldn't have changed much over several hundred years. Maybe there would be some native deities if they intermingled with native humans, but it would largely be the same as that which they had when they first turned up.
What would they think of these newcomers? I imagine they wouldn't be best pleased at these foreigners arriving and causing trouble, just as the natives are equally displeased. I imagine they would launch aggressive raids upon many of these newcomers at the very least to test their mettle, and would show a certain amount of distrust. However, I would say that the one race they would get on better with is the Wood Elves, or at least those Elves that have a similar faith to Wood Elves - both share similar aesthetics and beliefs, and I imagine that any Albion gangs would be able to take Wood Elf hired swords/hired guns, as well as Wood Elves settling among them.
I think that these Albion settlers would make a good rival human nation to be competing with the dominant human powers, and I imagine they would be located around the north east of the continent, probably between the Lesser Lakes, West Couronne and the Great Eastern bay in the hilly areas, where their principal cities (Hillcities?) would be located. I'm imagining them as a culture that is perpetually at war with the UCA and Bretonnian colonies seeing as they seem to have settled further north and would more likely be the ones to encroach upon their territory.
A Minotaur dominated tribe (Taureans: working name) fits perfectly into area G, the more different kinds of tribal Beastmen the better and more interesting.
The Southern tip of South Not-Florida would be a good place for them. I had the idea of very uncivilized swamp Ogres in this area. Combined with savage Orcs and forest Goblins they’d become a nice cognate to the historical Seminoles.
Scalenex wanted Conquistadors. Conquistadors need humans to conquer, a religion to overwrite, a culture to overwhelm and supplant. Humans who originated on Albion, but settled in the warmer South (centered on letter Q ) could fit that role well. Thanks for the idea.
Albion immigration vastly simplified:
The Elves** helped them. Elven ships transported the very first Albionish settlers. The Elves helped them setup Stone Circles in the new world. In those days the Elves were beneficent.) Afterward, there were circles in both Old Albion and various points along the East seaboard. Albion immigrants only needed a Truthsayer to activate the geomantic magic of the circles. Step into a circle in Albion, Activate the magic, circle is wreathed in Fog, step out of the circle, into the Fog, and discover a new different landscape. Rinse repeat. Lost Tribes of Albion could be penciled in many places. Good idea.
**Sea Elves. The Elves that existed before there were three kinds of them; Wood Elves and the other two didn’t necessarily happen in this version of Althammer althistory.
I’m interested in what you’ve designed, but are the Albion settlers going to be destroyed by the Conquistadors or are they going to be still fighting a war against them? The reason being that I was hoping for the latter - I don’t really want my idea to just end up as a ‘dead culture’ that the Conquistadors have destroyed. I would like to see them winning their fair share of victories against the Estalian invaders - perhaps some ambush attacks that have destroyed encampments. Also although the area you’ve pointed out makes sense with the Conquistadors, I don’t think it would suit the Albion immigrants well. The Celtic peoples, and those descended from them, have always had very pale skin and blue eyes (I know because I come from that gene pool) in the real world. We are very easy to sunburn and we get hot very easily, and I imagine that this would also apply to the people of Albion, especially as in Warhammer the bleakness of Albion has been turned up to 11. I feel that the Florida-esque area you’ve pointed out would be rather inhospitable to such a group of people, unless they live exclusively in the spine of hills that goes from north to south, where it is cooler and more temperate. That would also be a good place for stone circles, sacred groves and hillforts.
I love the idea of the Sea Elves helping them out and the stone circles being teleportation devices though - that’s a great touch that would really explain how Albion reinforcements would be able to travel to the new world and assist their allies.
I like your map and appreciate the effort. I especially like the letter system for ease of reference.
That said I think we are probably going to need make a 2.0 and a 3.0 as we flesh out more details. That's a lot of non humans controlling R, T, U, and V. I haven't posted it yet, but your RTUV stuff directly contradicts some backstory history I am currently working on which assumes that the Old World humans will colonize the Carribean
I certainly like the continental stuff, but I would like to give Estalia a slightly bigger piece of the pie, like S or maybe a big chunk of land south of where you map ends in South Hammerica.
I very much like this. With the Rangos, Apisi Beastmen, and some Savage Orcs and Goblins that should round out the Native New Worlders pretty nicely.
I would appreciate it if you could break your piece down with some more paragraph spacing. Block of text hurts the eyes.
I'm thinking they would advance enough to become the dominant New World power before the Old Worlder's arrive. They can be horrible bullies like the Aztecs were to the other Native Americans, and....
what he said!
You sold me. We can have Dwarfs around as a minority. A respected and valued minority.
Skin tone is a dicey topic but I'm going to touch on it anyway. Warhammer does not really have to have evolution like we think of it. They have magic and Chaos. Humans (or anyone else) can magically evolve to fit with their new environments much faster than normal biology would accomplish.
We have another option. Without magical evolution we can also rewrite history to retroactively change the skin tones of various groups in Warhammer.
Essentially we would be undoing the original Warhammer's schtick that everyone on the planet except Cathay and Ind look like white people and Cathay and Ind never really do much.
A world with verisimilitude should have their dead cultures be at least moderately well fleshed out. But Albion doesn't have to be dead. I was thinking the Conquistadors would break their power base but they wouldn't enact a genocidal purge of ever single Albion man, woman and child. The Albions would still exist as a faction they would just be one of the relatively weaker ones.
They could also be a sub faction. The vast majority of many Latin American countries is descended from mixed race pairing. Albions and Estalians would both influence New Estalian culture which would create a new group of sorts.
I will post my next installment on different options for including slavery in this setting shortly.
It was just a first draft. No big deal.
T...is the equivalent of the Yucatán area. So I figured it had to be Lizardmayans. But some Conquistador incursion is an nice echo of Pizzarros Lost Legion.
U...it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if the Estalians have managed to wrest the equivalents of Cuba and Jamaica from the orc/Gobbos.
R....the Elves need to be from somewhere..? What if we move it further out to Sea?
Q and V....as part of their campaign of endless conquest the Estalians could be well South past the OkeyFenSwampy Lake. Outposts at least dotting the coastline, but banded together groups of Gobbo/Ogre/Orrrc — still a Problem.
Q...I very deliberately did not try to set the borders of New Estalia. I figured the border with UCA might be the 14th horizontal graph paper line. (For reference the one that splits K is the 16th counting up from the bottom of the paper.) I figured they were at least as far West as the river.
@Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl there could easily be Albion Clans up North as well. But subsumed by the Equivalent of Canada (whatever it winds up being renamed).
As for what happened with the Conquistadors, the folk of Albion would still be around, they’d be the majority ethnically, it would be a cognate of México. Most Mexicans have a ton of Native Central American in their genetic make-up they just speak a much-morphed dialect of Espanól and Catholicism (mostly) washed away their original beliefs.
This New Estalia would speak Estalian but would be about 88% Albion stock.
I may well disagree with everything you wrote about Celts and Romans and Hill Forts etc. but all of that is all really a worthy topic for a different thread to debate and ponder and agree to disagree about history.
I do think finding abandoned Hill Forts and Earthworks here and there is a fun idea though.
Picts versus Celts
The blokes that wrote Warhammer penciled in the early Bretonnian tribes as the cognate to the Celts. All the Albion lore I can remember reading paints the sad, degenerated humans of Albion as a more primitive people more like the Picts, with more Woad and less Language.
To me it seems like you have grabbed the wrong end of the wrong stick.
The answer is neither.
Still fighting ...nope.
Conquistadors conquer. (Chaos annihilates.) Conquistadors think that whoever they are trying to conquer have value, they can be shown the light, they can be ruled properly, etc.
They don’t want to kill, they want to rule, and intermarry, and take over.
We can change the zones of control around... I was just trying to leave The Lizardmen unconquerable and in control of any area the real-world Aztecs, Olmecs, or Mayas once held. That sorta eliminates México [??]
At one point Florida was Spanish. I was positing that its equivalent stayed that way...no Seven year’s war or Queen Anne’s War of French and Indian war or whatever wars caused it to ‘change hands’ so many times.
I also thought it would be fun if the Fountain of Youth and El Dorado and such things were found — Ponce DeLeon was a success. DeLeon City is a thing.
Sorry, but I throughly disagree with you here. I can see why the early Bretonnian tribes would be portrayed as similar to the Celts, indeed they would be the Warhammer version of the Gauls, but I have never seen any lore or artwork that particularly described them as such. By all means provide me with some evidence of this to prove me wrong, but if you can’t, I will remain unconvinced by this argument. Furthermore, I can’t see why that would cause Albion to not be Celtic as well. Indeed on Warhammer Fantasy Wikia it says that Albion is supposed to be based on Celtic Britain and Ireland, not Pictish Scotland:
As a result, I believe that Albion is the Warhammer version of the Ancient Britons, which means that Ancient Bretonnia could be the Warhammer equivalent of the Gauls but that would have no direct effect on Albion’s portrayal.
The one thing I do agree with you on is the idea of the Picts as a completely different people - the Picts were a far more primitive race that caused a lot of trouble for the Celtic tribes further south. However, I still maintain that Albion is specifically Celtic. As for you disagreeing with me about all I wrote on Celts and their hillforts, we can take this to the What’s you’re favourite part of history thread.
Glad you like my ideas! I’m especially proud of that brainwave
Sorry, didn’t realise - I got a bit carried away with writing it all out. Fixed that for you
Knowing the warlike nature of their real-world counterparts, this could well be the case.
On some level in a Warhammer world everyone is more primitive and barbaric than their real world counterparts which is why the Albion might resemble the Picts, but I do not think that was the intent of GW writers (not I give them much credit for for brilliant intent).
My guess is the savage orcs are the closest direct stand-in to the Picts. Their traditional warpaint always looked a bit Pictish to me especially because official GW sources usually made it blue.
I agree - while the Picts at least had metal weapons, the Savage Orcs exemplify the rest of their attributes.
I think my first vote is going to be gloss over it / dodge it entirely.
My second vote is going to be it still exists. If Savage Orcs will be a going concern then they’ll take slaves, as will Skaven, and if Not-México and Not-Yucatán are going to be the Kingdoms of the Lizard-folk they’ll take captives as well. (Captives = Slaves; same thing)
The real question will be: indentured servants outlawed practice? or a useful institution?
Reasonable points. But I wrote this already, so I'm posting it anyway
One of the things that ended the practice of indentured servants was the advent of slavery. I don't see why it wouldn't be around in some form. And it would probably be a fairly crappy system because it's still a Warhammer world.
On the plus side, I guess a lot of indentured servants would be likely to head out West when their term of service is done.
The Slavery Question
It is not required to have slavery in this setting. Slavery is a sensitive subject, and a reasonable case can be made that it would be better to not cover it all.
I am going to include it. Warhammer settings are crapsack worlds. Slavery, especially the especially brutal and dehumanizing Atlantic slavery that occurred roughly between the 1400s and 1800s, is one of the worst atrocities every enacted in the real world. It would be weird if a crapsack world was missing something awful the real world had. It might even be offensive in some circles to omit it.
So if we want to include slavery in this setting we can either lift it from real world history by putting a bunch of humans in the Southlands to play the role of the Africans, or we can make something up.
Spoiler: Brief Recap of the Real World Atlantic Slave Trade that most of you all can skip
In the real world, the New World was first colonized largely for cash crops: sugar, coffee, tobacco, and cotton among others. These crops were very labor intensive. Europe’s relatively low population and tough sea journey made bringing workers from Europe expensive. Most of the Native Americans that could have worked on these plantations either died from European diseases or actively resisted European dominance.
To man their plantations, the colonial powers turned to Africa. We have a popular conception of Europeans sneaking into the Africa and kidnapping men and women by force (like the Dark Elves in Warhammer Fantasy got their slaves). Most of the African slaves were supplied to European rulers by African rulers. Before colonization, they made slavery the punishment for some crimes. After colonization, slavery became the punishment for almost every crime as demand for slaves increased.
This set up the Trade Triangle between Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. Europe provided manufactured goods to Africa which provided slaves to the Caribbean which provided cash crops to Europe.
The Atlantic slave trade evolved into one of the cruelest manifestations of slavery in human history because it was based along racial lines enforced by bigoted rationales which dehumanized the slaves more than previous forms of slavery. Slave status passed to children, so it was inescapable.
Option One (historically inspired fiction)
Create a group of humans in the Southlands and basically use real world history of the Atlantic slave trade in this setting.
Option Two (historically inspired fiction merged with Warhammer Fantasy Lore)
Real world Atlantic slavery was driven by demand for labor intensive cash crops, mainly sugar, tobacco and coffee. I don’t see why the denizens of the Warhammer world wouldn’t want to consume sugar, tobacco, and coffee. We can invent a few new crops that are more fantasy or sci-fi. Maybe there is a Lustrian plant that provides a temporary increase to a wizard’s power. Maybe there is some kind of miracle cure-all plant. Maybe the Warhammer Old Worlders really like tequila (I do).
Let us rewind to when the Dark Elves and High Elves reunited in Naggaroth now renamed New Ulthuan. For well over a thousand years, the Dark Elves built their economy on slavery. When the High Elves that took over Naggaroth many immediately wanted to free all their slaves, but the High Elves in charge opted not to. They needed the former Dark Elves cooperation and the Dark Elves were already plotting coups, so the High Elves decided not to upend the Dark Elves economic system overnight. The High Elf rulers figured they could always free the (predominantly human) slaves a few centuries later when things calmed down a bit.
In the time before, a vast majority of the Dark Elves slaves were literally worked to death, so the Dark Elves constantly had to launch raids around the world to capture more slaves. The High Elves kept human slavery legal as a concession to their new brethren. The Dark Elves for their part, made a concession to their new brethren as well by treating their slaves slightly less brutally. Now their slaves were living long enough to have children, and even more impressively, these children were surviving long enough to make it to adulthood. The slave population grew.
The Dark Elves were warriors and avoided labor, that’s why they started their slave trade. The High Elves were mostly farmers and craftsmen that held jobs and served as soldiers part time. Overtime, as the constant warfare declined, more and of the descendants of the Dark Elves assimilated to the High Elf customs and abandoned their swords for artisans’ tools.
New Ulthuan had more human slaves than they ever had before and they had less need for the labor of slaves than ever before. New Ulthuan’s land was not very fertile and they were in danger of running out of food. Some of the elves of New Ulthuan wanted to reinstitute gladiatorial games to thin the herd but too many elves were offended by this notion. Some of the elves of New Ulthuan wanted to set all the slaves free but too many elves were offended by that notion too.
New Ulthuan had more slaves than they knew what to do with. The growing human colonies had a labor shortage.
One that could reduce the discrepancies between real world history and Westhammer history is by moving Naggaroth from its canon position in not-Canada to moving it to notWest Africa butting Naggaroth against the Nehekhara and the jungles around Zlatan.
Option Three (We turn Warhammer Fantasy lore on its head)
The hard part is I think most Dark Elves would choose death before they would choose enslavement, but this scenario isn’t impossible.
Let us rewind to when the Dark Elves and High Elves reunited in Naggaroth now renamed New Ulthuan. They didn’t reunite the Elf race. They High Elves brutally conquered the Dark Elves. For well over a thousand years, the Dark Elves built their economy on slavery. When the High Elves that took over Naggaroth many immediately wanted to free all their slaves, so they did. Then out of a sense of poetic justice, the High Elves proceeded to enslave the surviving Dark Elves.
Much like options one and two, slavery becomes an economic necessity for the farming and processing of sugar, coffee, tobacco, cotton, and cocoa, so the elves of New Ulthuan end up selling their elf slaves to the human colonies so the elf saves gradually end up serving humans instead of serving elves.
Do not have widespread systemic slavery at all. In Warhammer Fantasy the Empire and Brettonian had no problem having peasants do lots of hard labor for little pay. Who needs slavery when you have wage slavery and/or serfdom? Or indentured servants I guess...
Option Five, Six, Seven…
Something clever the rest of you come up with.
Slavery and the Trade Triangle
The real world Atlantic Trade triangle involved Africa shipping slaves to the Americas, the New World colonies shipping cash crops to the Europe, and Europe sending steel tools and weapons along with other manufactured goods to Africa.
Besides slavery, this trade triangle created something else. The European powers declared wars for control of this new lucrative trade and this lead to an age of privateers. When the European powers agreed amongst themselves to end privateers, many ex-privateers became pirates creating the Golden Age of Piracy.
I am 100% supportive of having Warhammer Wild West have piracy in their background and I would be open to reading people write about the Golden Age of Piracy with Warhammer characters. That being said, I like Wild West stories more than I like pirate stories, so I’m not going to dive deep into this subsettng.
Racially Motivated Slavery
Slavery has existed since at least the dawn of civilization, and there are sadly parts of the world where slavery still exists. What made the Atlantic slave trade of the 1400s through 1800s so especially vile was the racial component. This made slavery easier to rationalize. There was a lot of truly abhorrent treatises explaining that the practice of the Atlantic slave trade was morally justified because of innate racial superiority.
Slave status was hereditary, so one’s children and grandchildren could not escape it. Because the descendants of slaves looked noticeably different that means that if a slave found freedom they would still be treated like crap because they couldn’t perfectly assimilate into free culture.
Warhammer Fantasy was a bit racist in another way. Everyone looks caucasion. Albion, Norsca, Kislev, Kurgan lands, Ulthuan, Naggaroth, Averlorn, Dwarf lands, Chaos Dwarfs, Tilea, Estalia, Araby, etc. If the New World slaves come from one of these groups, slavery would probably be implemented in a less evil fashion and slavery would be easier to escape.
But here’s a thing. If we retconned in dark skinned humans or demihumans into Warhammer and then immediately enslaved them that could easily be seen as horribly offensive.
If we decide not to have New World slavery be a thing, emancipation is not something necessary to cover at all.
Warhammer settings are usually pretty bleak and miserable. One could easily say that in Warhammer Wild West, slavery could have never been stamped out. Firefly is a western setting and they still have slavery though it's not ubiquitous.
If Warhammer Wild West does have slavery, they probably wouldn’t have a lot of it in the West. I guess there will always be menial tasks that those in power want to pass on to a lower class of people, but the climate and environment of the Wild West support self-sufficiency of sorts. Without giant plantations in a rich environment, there is less economic incentive for slavery, so mass scale slavery would be something that exists "back East".
It’s not required, but I would prefer that Warhammer Wild West has a history of slavery and has a relatively recent emancipation. I like the idea of newly freed men heading out West hoping to create a new life for themselves.
I also like the idea of Civil War veterans from both sides heading out West to create a new life for themselves but we can have a Hammerican Civil War without having emancipation and we can have emancipation without a Hammerican Civil War. Before we figure out how the slaves were emancipated first we have to figure who the slaves were, who the slavers were, and what slavery was used for.
Whatever form Emancipation takes, I would want the former slaves to have a hand in their own freedom. While there was not a mass scale slave revolt during the the American Civil War, Black Americans proudly joined the Union army.
The Civil War
Old World Civil Wars
My initial thought is that the shattering of the Empire was more akin to the Fall of the Roman Empire than a Civil War. Maybe a dash of the Black Plague because the catalyzing event for the Fall of the Empire of Man was 90% of the population dying in the Chaos War and the small “c” chaos that followed bringing plagues and famines and social unrest.
I think it’s easier to base a sea war off the Age of Privateers and Piracy in the Caribbean. There is no rule that you can only have one Civil War. This is Madness. This is WARHAMMER!
Kicks Pendrake into pit. Scalenex misses with his kick and falls in. Already dead so we are good.
That said, I shouldn’t dismiss your ideas out of hand. We could make the dissolving of the Empire of the Man more Civil War-like and a lot longer lasting that would establish a lot of the same basic framework and cultural divisions.
Copying the American Civil War
Pendrake Map 2.0 would need to have a dotted line to serve as the equivalent of the Mason Dixie Line. Maybe connecting the two lakes at point N and L.
Real world history. From the very moment slavery was instituted in the New World there were people who decried it as amoral and there were slavery apologists that made up elaborate rationales for why slavery was not just justified but morally right.
Before the Civil War the driving force between slavery being well thought of in the antebellum south and slavery being poorly thought of (and eventually outlawed) in the North was economics. The climate, predominant agriculture crops, and burgeoning industrialization made slavery unprofitable in the North. Slavery was profitable in the South. Money.
In this case if we wanted to copy this, economics would drive a similar wedge between the North and South in UCA. Over time the Yankees and Dixies would grow culturally apart. The Yankees would eventually outnumber the Dixies to the point where a UCA president could be elected without a single Dixie Vote. We will call him Karl Franz Lincoln. So the southern groups are afraid of losing their slaves, their way of life, and all that under the tyrannical rule of KF Lincoln. They try to secede. They lose because the North has more people, more food, more factories, and more railroads. KF Lincoln frees the slaves.
Resentment follows. KF Lincoln is killed by a bitter secessionist though some rumors swirl that Skaven and/or Chaos cultists killed him.
War of Northern Aggression (Very much stolen from Firefly)
The UCA was a very loose confederacy initially. The UCA states allied together strategically against Chaos, Skaven, Old World aggression etc, but each UCA state basically tended to themselves outside of warfare. Live and let live was the policy.
Eventually, one or more powerful people in the most populous and riches UCA states thought the UCA should not be a confederation but be a unified nation with a unified government. Maybe based on the Empire of Man from ancient history.
So the Pro-Unification Alliance marches in and destroys the Independent Browncoats and unifies the UCA under a new government. A lot of the Browncoats head to the frontier in hope of re-capturing a portion of their former freedom, but of course a hard core faction of the Alliance wants to pacify and tame the West.
Some rumors swirl that Skaven and/or Chaos cultists actually fanned the flames of this war and poisoned the minds of Alliance leaders. Some in the Alliance say that Chaos cultists provided under the table help to the Browncoats. Resentment follows.
In this case, slavery would not really factor into it much. Either slavery would never have ended, or emancipation will have come from some other source (mass scale revolt, social movement, supernatural event, etc)
One of the forumites comes up with something clever and original for a pre-Wild West Civil War.
With that, I'm pretty much out of lengthy threads positing grand ideas on the setting. All that's left for me is to politely and respectfully discuss and debate details relating to implementation.
Factions, filling the roster
Note, I'm sure we'll come up with more factions as we flesh out the history and the map more. Mostly focusing on humans. They will probably be the most diverse. Factions could come from all sorts of places.
Ethnic lines would include Brettonians, Kislevites, Norse, Westlanders, Tileans, Estalians, Landlockians, and the former slaves of Ulthuan, former indentured servants.
Presuming the wild west setting is an analog to the Western United States there would be a bunch of divides.
-The United States of Hammerica versus New Estalia.
-Old World immigrants versus humans born on the Hammerican Continent.
-Yankees versus Dixies (assuming there was Hammerican Civil War).
Well the Imperial Church of Sigmar was the dominant religious faction in the Old World. They would need to be included in this setting somewhere. The Imperial Church is certainly big enough that it would have a reformist faction and an orthodox faction.
We could create an analog to Protestantism.
We could create a religion worshiping the Lady of the Lake or we could say it never existed or the Imperial Church squashed it long ago.
We could have worship of Gork and/or Mork or the greenskins faith could have easily changed into something else.
There is not a whole lot of official fluff on religions in Tilea and Estalia, so I’m not sure their obscure cults should be brought up, I’d rather make them the Protestant analogs.
The Rangos would probably still worship the Old Ones. If the Rangos are divided they could have differing views on Old One worship. Old One worship, or at least aspects of it might spread to other races, especially if the Native New World population includes non-lizards.
Even if the Chaos gods are dead, there would probably be a few anti-social wackos that would worship the Old gods. If there are Wild West Chaos gods, there should be a few humans to serve them. They probably shouldn’t strap on dark Chaos armor. If there are multiple Chaos gods, then there would probably be competing factions for each of the Chaos gods. There would also be a split between public Chaos worshippers and closet Chaos worshippers. Warhammer Wild West probably wants both types.
Pragmatism or Random Chance.
Here’s a thought I had. If you are writing Wild West fluff stories ethnicity, religion, nationality, and everything else would be extremely important elements of characterizations and plot line.
If we were creating a Wild West miniatures game, ethnicity would matter very little. They might dress a bit different, but a Kislevite gunslinger with Ballistic Skill 4 is going to play the same on the tabletop as a Brettonian gunslinger with Ballistic Skill 4.
I figure we would have models for different nationalities but crunch wise, I would support not making a lot game rules for nationality and ethnicity.
Human unit options could be: Gunslinger, Sneak, Tinkerer, Priest, Strongman, Cowboy/Cavalryman, Hunter, Wizard, and maybe some kind of Jack of All Trades.
I think having the option of mixing and matching units would be really cool thematically and if I were writing fluff pieces I would certainly be happy to make the protagonist group an unlikely team up including a couple humans, an elf, Halfling, and Orc, but if this was a game line I’m not sure I’d want that.
Even if you put a ton of effort into game balance, there is going to be a combination of characters that is objectively better than anything else. That cannot be helped.
Team A includes: An Elf sharp shooter, a Rango wizard, a Halfling sneak, a Dwarf tinkerer, and an Orc Strongman.
Team B includes: An Elf sharp shooter, a Rango wizard, a Halfling sneak, a Dwarf tinkerer, and an Orc Strongman.
It’s not unique if everyone chooses the same unique combination of units. It might be better to limit choices to a specific team.
What would the teams be?
Here’s some things I thought of.
Order of the Silver Hammer (aka the Imperial Inquisition): The Order of the Silver Hammer supported witch hunters who kept the Empire safe from internal corruption for centuries, but they did it brutally. They’d rather burn a village of innocents than let a single tainted person go free.
After the Great Chaos war, the Chaos daemons were seemingly banished, the Skaven were seemingly eradicated, the Beastmen were seemingly eradicated, and the surviving vampires went into hiding. The Order of the Silver Hammer had a lot fewer enemies to fight. When the danger of Chaos seemed a lot less pressing the Imperial Inquisitors excesses were not nearly as tolerated. They also became puppets and catspaws of amoral political leaders who turned the Inquisitors on their political enemies.
Eventually these excesses came to a head and the Order had to essentially go underground in the Old World, but there are rumors of dark forces stirring in the New World. A lot of Inquisitor cells went out west where they had more enemies to fight and less oversight from governmental bodies.
Melee Specialist: Swordman
Shooting Specialist: Rifleman
Stealth Specialist: Assassin
Magic User: Priest Likely group leader
Generalist: Witch Hunter
Goldmann’s Bull Squad (aka the Imperial Inquisition): Vardad Ironhed the lowly labor dwarf immigrated out west and took work for a railroad. Through hard work, savvy economic sense, and a number of surprise accidents that befell his former superiors and rivals, Vardad became very rich and gave himself the new name Lorddroid Goldman. Goldmann felt crowded in the more populous coastal region of the UCA (where he was one of many such Robber Barons). He sold his holdings and invested in the west’s burgeoning railroad and mining industries.
His goal is to own the West and he will bribe, bully, or cheat any who stand in his way to crush all who stand against them, be they independent minded homesteader, government officials, greenskin bandits, Rango natives, or Chaos worshippers.
Melee Specialist: Either human bruisers or Dwarfs with big pickaxes or hammers.
Shooting Specialist: Mercenary sharpshooter
Stealth Specialist: Mercenary Halfling sneak
Magic User: Mercenary wizard
Generalist: Pit boss, could be dwarf or human Likely group leader
Oddball: Steam punk engineers or demolition experts
Folk of the Land: There is no centralized for the Folk of the Land, but there enough similarities across ethnic and geographical divides that they can be grouped into one category. The communites may differ, but local ties are strong. Outside groups, be they Rangos, Chaos, the army, greenskin bandits, or Goldmann’s goon squads are to be distrusted and resisted.
A Kislevite farming community, independent prospector camp, and a Brettonian logging camp would all field remarkable similar looking units in their defense against invaders.
Melee Specialist: Local strongman. Miner, rail worker, or lumberjack.
Shooting Specialist: Local Marksmen.
Stealth Specialist: Ranger/trapper
Magic User: Medicine woman.
Generalist: Local sheriff Likely group leader
Oddball: transplant from non-human group. Elf peddler, Dwarf tinkerer, Halfling sneak
Outlaw Faction: Not every independent collective of humans on the frontier is made up of noble good people. Some turn to theft and banditry to survive or they simply view the lifestyle as easier.
They probably have a gimmick (all wear red bandanas) or something but no matter how they try to differentiate themselves, the different outlaw groups operate more or less the same.
Melee Specialist: Human Bruiser
Shooting Specialist: Outlaw gunslinger
Stealth Specialist: Human or Halfling sneak
Magic User: Mercenary Wizard
Generalist: Bandit Lord Likely group leader
Oddball: transplant from non-human group. orc, goblin, elf Rango, etc
Rango Faction: The Rangos remember when the Slann’s will was the only Law in the West and the Old Ones were the only gods. Now some fight to restore the old ways, others simply to survive.
Melee Specialist: Saurus Warrior or maybe Kroxigor
Shooting Specialist: Skink bowmen/gunslinger
Stealth Specialist: Skink hunter
Magic User: Skink Shaman Likely group leader
Generalist: Saurus Hunter
Oddball: Beastmaster Skink and/or dinosaurs
This is not exhaustive or final of course, and groups would not be required to take a melee specialist, shooting specialist, stealth specialist, magic user, generalist, or oddball.
Interesting set of teams so far - I could add in teams and lore for the Orcs, Goblins and Albion immigrants as well:
Albion Warbands: While the Empire was launching its great conquests, the ancient island of Albion to the north was visited by the Elves. Having foreseen the corruption of the island by Chaos, the Elves warned the tribal chieftains of the impending catastrophe, and advised them to embark upon their ships, where they would escort them to a new land of unbound resources. Some of these Kings, proud as they were, deemed these warnings to be a ruse, and stubbornly refused the offer. Others, being anxious to protect their people, agreed. Those that did led their families and followers onto the sleek Elven galleons, which set off across the seas and, after many months, beached upon the coasts of an unknown realm. This country, they found, provided the tribes with vast expanses of land unseen upon their homeland, and while each chieftain claimed his stakes on swathes of land, the Truthsayer priests erected stone circles which allowed them to teleport between Albion and this new territory with ease.
Although these glory days have long since passed with the arrival of the more advanced Old Worlders, the descendants of those first Albion settlers are not going to let their culture die without a fight. These warriors of a bygone age continue to launch guerilla raids against Estalian, Bretonnian and UCA citizen alike, trading fancy weapons and roguish attitudes for outstanding courage and a desire for glory in the eyes of the gods.
Melee Specialist: Warrior
Ranged Specialist: Archer or Slinger
Stealth Specialist: Night Raider
Magic User: Truthsayer
Generalist: Chieftain (likely group leader)
Orc Tribes and Raiders: There had always been Orcs in the New World - Gork (or Mork) had put them there just as they had been put into the Old World. These Orcs initially couldn’t find any other creatures to fight, certainly none with knowledge of technology, so they mostly went around beating each other up with bits of wood and bone. Then Mork (or Gork - the other one anyway) put some Goblins there too. They ended up either being beaten into line by the Orcs, joining their own tribes or using their Kunnin’ to win over the Orcs’ favour (but mostly the former two - few self-respecting Orcs would allow themselves to be commanded by a scrawny little Goblin). For a very long time this was the norm for the Greenskins, and (barring those killed in the inevitable tribal fights) their populations spread all across the land.
Then some tall, pale pink-skinned creatures turned up, with weapons made out of a silvery solid that the Greenskins had never seen before. They daubed themselves with blue paint that unnerved the Greenskins and were almost as fierce as the Orcs themselves. The Greenskins lost a substantial amount of land against these warriors, but they didn’t care - they were having the time of their lives - so you can imagine how overjoyed they were when some similar creatures appeared in silvery armour many years later. No more simply bashing your best mate on the head and sitting on various Goblins, these were proper fights!
Since then the Orc tribes have largely been displaced by the UCA and various other human nations, but they are still kicking around, and still causing trouble by raiding and burning isolated farms and villages, sometimes for supplies and weapons, but mostly for their pure enjoyment.
Melee Specialist: Orc ‘Ard Boy or Savage Orc
Ranged Specialist: Orc Gunslinger or Savage Orc Arrer Boy
Stealth Specialist: Orc/Savage Orc Stealth Merchant
Magic User: Orc/Savage Orc Shaman
Generalist: Orc/Savage Orc Big Boss (likely group leader)
Oddball: Orc/Savage Orc Boar Boy
Goblin Tribes: Goblins appeared around the same time as their larger Orc cousins did in the New World, and from the first moment they had no idea how they ever got there. The only other (slightly) intelligent inhabitants of the land they could find were the Orcs, who were no help at all, always wanting to either flatten them, use them as cushions or get them to do their dirty work. The luckier ones, however, were able to meet others of their kind, and those that escaped from their brutal cousins were able to organise their own tribes, where it was no longer the one with the biggest muscles that always ruled the roost. Indeed in most Goblin tribes it turned out that the most Kunnin’ individual often ended up as the most respected.
However, these tribes wouldn’t last long if they didn’t find a way to hold back the rampaging raiding parties of their larger cousins. Knowing that they couldn’t beat the Orcs in pitched battle, their Shamans worked upon practicing spells that would be able to bewilder and confuse their foe, while their Bosses determined to get their minions to use ‘taktiks’, even when they started squabbling amongst themselves about who messed up their latest ambush attempt. Nevertheless, the Goblins’ efforts would have been for very little had it not been for some particular shamans, who would later be dubbed Spiderkin, using their magicks to developa bond with the native giant spiders that inhabited the dark places of the realm. Larger and more aggressive than their kin in the Old World, these arachnids proved to be lethally effective mounts for those who were able to tame them with a Spiderkin’s assistance, and a painful death for those who failed. This was the discovery that balanced out the conflict between the Greenskin species, for the Orcs soon found out that where there were Goblin encampments, predatory arachnids usually wouldn’t be too far away.
While Goblins are more sneaky and secretive than their larger cousins, they can be just as dangerous, especially towards enemies on their own or in small groups (and preferrably with their backs turned), and have become a menace to travellers across the various colonies.
Melee Specialist: Nuisance
Ranged Specialist: Goblin Gunslinger or Stikka
Stealth Specialist: Nasty Skulker
Magic User: Goblin Shaman
Generalist: Goblin Big Boss (likely group leader)
Oddball: Spider Rider or herder (with wild spiders?)
I expect there will be more factions to be added and alterations to be made but I just thought it would be a good idea to develop some team rosters while I had them in my mind. I didn’t include Taureans yet as in the Order of the Silver Hammer’s entry Beastmen are said to be extinct - I’m unsure if this applies to New World Beastmen as well as Old World Beastmen or not.
You all right @Scalenex mate? Just a bit concerned that there’s been no activity on this thread for a while after all the vigorous brainstorming recently. What do you think of my ideas, and how are yours coming along?
I am pretty much out of ideas that require several pages of MS Word to outlay. About the only thing left is to figure out is whether I would want to approach the topic of Wild West prostitutes with a ten foot pole. I really don't. But this Youtube video covers the topic in a fairly holistic, tasteful, and reasonable fashion.
I was hoping to see what others came up with. And we still have two contests running, so our L-O have other things they can be working on, so the delay doesn't really bother me. That and I've been binge watching a lot of stuff on DC Universe.
I liked your descriptions, but I think I would prefer that the Orcs and Goblins be one group. My original draft looked like this. I noticed a lot of my teams were looking similar so I didn't include them all.
Melee Specialist: Orc Bruiser
Shooting Specialist: Goblin Gunslinger
Stealth Specialist: Goblin Sneak
Magic User: Orc or Goblin Shaman
Generalist: Orc Gunslinger
Oddball: Goblin Tinker
I think the Albions might work better as an assimilated part of the Estalians allegorical to the Meso Americans than as a Great Plains Native American allegory.
Maybe it's a little premature to figure out what teams would like.
Apart from @pendrake, few have weighed in on what they think the government should look like. @Y'ttar Scaletail gave his two cents on Skaven but no one else did. No one has addressed the slavery issued beyond Pendrake suggesting we avoid it. The most important thing setting wise is hashing out what the state of the Chaos realm. This will impact whatever the Wild West equivalents of Daemons are and whatever the equivalent of Warriors of Chaos would be. It will also help us narrow down questions about the Beastmen.
I'm happy to read anything someone contributes, but what I was really hoping for was ideas and input on adapting Chaos to the Wild West, or if Chaos is really gone, creating a new Bigger Bad to take the place of Chaos.
If the end goal is a North Hammerica that turned out almost kinda the same as 1875 in North America there can’t be a massive Chaos Realm off to the North, Occupying the whole Arctic region.
Daemons are Daemons. They get summoned. There are sorcerers. Dwarfs hate sorcerers and sorcery. Dwarf silver mines, and Dwarf silversmiths do a booming trade in Silver Bullets.
This has enough moving parts without creating a new Big Bad. The Old West did not have an overarching Big Bad...it was about ancient tribes clashing with newly minted nations.
That said: scrap the real world Antarctica. Revive the 16-17th century notion of Terra Incognita, assume there is a vast, mostly unknown continent “down under” and that is where Chaos is from. (There is more land and less ocean around the South Pole, and maybe a Chaos Gate, no one knows, no Dwarf made Zeppelin has ever returned, etc. etc.)
The Great Plains : Beastmen and Minotaur tribes and vast herds of Bison are the true rulers of the Great Plains region even if the UCA makes claims “from sea to shining sea”. Up North from there is a wild country filled with Bears, feral Ogres, Sasquatch, maybe the odd feral Orc tribe.
A new reply, huzzah!
Agreed. In fact it didn't even cross my mind mind to put Chaos in the arctic until you reminded me that's where they used to be. I just assumed Chaos would be in another dimension and not tied to geography very strongly.
I do like the idea of Chaos not needing polar gates. They should be able to pop up anywhere. Maybe link the probability of Chaos incursions to inauspicious times rather than cursed places.
Like Hollow Earth? I think the concept of Hollow Earth is too cool to make it for Chaos only.
Agreed that Daemons don't need a complex backstory. Disagree that Dwarfs have to be the one trading in all the silver. Once it's pulled out of the ground, it doesn't matter who mined it.
I agree. The UCA claims a lot of land that they don't really control. That's kind of where the "Wild" in Wild West comes from
Nomenclature. A Big Bad is a villain character who drives major plots. You got to have those. Bigger Bads are malevolent forces that stay off camera.
The Joker is a Big Bad. Gotham City itself is the Bigger Bad.
Palpatine is a Big Bad. The Dark Side of the Force is the Bigger Bad. (What about Vader? He's a Dragon).
I already soft pitched Lorddred Goldmann as a Big Bad. I certainly want to come up with a compelling undead Big Bad of some sort eventually. Probably want a lot of outlaw kings to serve as lesser Big Bads too. It's very hard to tell any story without a Big Bad.
Many fine stories exist without Bigger Bads. In my opinion, Warhammer world should have a Bigger Bad to qualify as a Warhammer world.