Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning – Dark Elves vs. High Elves Conflict
Today we received loads of new screens and artwork for Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning along with a backstory for the conflict between the recently divulged Dark Elves and High Elves. We also have a new zone overview of the Chaos Wastes, which is a buffer zone between the real world and the Realm of Chaos.
Based upon Games Workshop’s tabletop fantasy war game, EA Mythic’s Warhammer Online: AoR will hit the PC sometime in the beginning of 2008. Included with the previously mentioned new screens and videos, you can read the entire storyline after the break. This game looks like it just going to give other MMORPG titles a run for their money.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning – Zone Overview – The Chaos Wastes
The Chaos Wastes, also known as the Umbra Chaotica, lie far to the north of the Empire of Men, near the top of the world. Found beyond even the farthest reaches of Norsca and the Sea of Swords, the Chaos Wastes are comprised of terrain both frigid and desolate, wherein few natural things grow and only the most desperate or highly mutated creatures can hope to survive for long.
The Chaos Wastes exist as a buffer between this world and the Realm of Chaos. While the outskirts of the Chaos Wastes are analogous to the tundra-like conditions of Norsca or Troll Country, the landscape changes dramatically further to the north. Inland from the shores of the Sea of Chaos, the land is rife with the corrupting influence of the Ruinous Powers. It is here in the birthplace of magic that the breath of the gods blows more strongly than anywhere else in the world. From here, the blasphemous promises of power and glory are carried on the winds to all who can hear them.
These promises draw a constant stream of power-seekers hoping to curry favor with the Dark Gods, for the Chaos Wastes are the forge in which the greatest of their champions are tempered and shaped. For every chosen acolyte of the gods that journeys deep into the Chaos Wastes in search of his patron’s approbation, hundreds are never seen or heard from again.
These would-be champions are constantly at war with one another, as each strives to prove his worth through conquests in the name of his god. The twisted landscape is littered with evidence of their conquests and their defeats. The most macabre of these displays are often found near defaced monuments to mighty warriors long since fallen, for the Dark Gods are both fickle and capricious.
It is here that, after defeating a powerful servant of the Lord of Decay atop a mountain of corpses, Tchar’zanek ascended to his destined role as a Champion of the Changer of the Ways. Now imbued with the power of Tzeentch, the mighty warlord prepares for his greatest test, bringing about the downfall of the Empire in the name of the Raven God.
In an epic and bloody war of conquest, Tchar’zanek unites hundreds of Norse tribes under his banner, raising one of the largest armies to ever cross the Sea of Swords. Slowly but inexorably, this nightmare host marches southward toward the Empire, striking first at Nordland. As one victory follows another, the warhost of the north cuts a swath of destruction and ruin through Ostland, Talabecland and finally, the Reikland.
Determined to divert the impending assault on his capital city until more help can arrive, Karl Franz devises a desperate gambit. The divinations of the Celestial College have revealed that the evil Champion of the Raven God derives his power from a mighty fortress-city far to the north, in the very heart of the Chaos Wastes. The Emperor sends word to the commanders of the Order of the Griffon to take their forces north in an effort to find and assault this mysterious city. If they are successful, Tchar’zanek will surely have no choice but to abandon his campaign in the south and return to protect his city.
The soldiers of the Order, already weary and in short supply from their taxing battle to reclaim Praag, must somehow find the strength to march into the hellish depths of the Chaos Wastes. Their burden is immense, for they truly represent the final hope of men.
Within the Wastes, this ragtag army will confront the blasphemous legions of the Changer of Ways, for he knows full well their purpose and will stop at nothing to keep the frostbitten warriors from finding his great Inevitable City.
The Daemons of Tzeentch are not the only threat, for in the Chaos Wastes, nothing is certain. Even time follows its own unseen topography. One may enter a valley and wander for weeks only to find that mere moments have passed outside. Conversely, men have ventured into areas of the Chaos Wastes only to find no trace of their companions save dust and fragments, upon their return. Every twist and turn of the land is fraught with insanity, temptation, and hopelessness, and the minds of uncounted men have been broken while wandering this dreadful place.
Even those with the most courageous hearts and the most unshakeable faith have reason to fear the Chaos Wastes. Nothing that enters this baleful landscape will emerge unchanged. Those that can steel themselves against the corruption of the spirit may yet be affected by the corruption of the flesh.
The significance of this knowledge is not lost on the men and women who are marching into this icy, desolate wasteland. Most know that they will not return whole, if at all. Nevertheless, the steadfast warriors of the Order march on, for the final hour has come and they alone now bear the last hope of escape from the dire fate that awaits their kinsmen in the south.
Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning – Dark Elves vs. High Elves Conflict Backstory
Of all the innumerable conflicts that have defined the history of the Warhammer world, there may be none as lengthy or as bitterly fought as the ongoing war between the noble High Elves and their evil kin, the malicious Dark Elves.
This ancient struggle is very much at the heart of the Age of Reckoning. Malekith, Witch King of the Dark Elves, is obsessed with reclaiming the Phoenix Throne, a birthright denied him by the High Elves millennia ago. When he learns that a new Champion of the Dark Gods is marching to war with the Empire, the diabolical ruler of the Dark Elves hatches a sweeping plan to conquer the isle of Ulthuan and install himself as the true King of all Elfkind.
Knowing that the plague-ravaged Empire will call for aid when the Chaos warhost reaches its northern borders, the Witch King conspires to prevent the Dwarfs from answering that call. Through vile sorcery, the Witch King crafts amulets of power and gives these to the leaders of the Bloody Sun Boyz, a powerful greenskin tribe. The Orcs quickly amass a great army and attack the Dwarfs, and war spreads across the Worlds Edge Mountains.
Sure enough, the Chaos Warhost descends upon the Empire’s northern provinces with terrible fury. The Emperor knows that the Dwarfs are fighting for their very survival against the green horde, and so he must turn to the Lords of Ulthuan for relief. In the gilded city of Lothern, Finubar, Phoenix King of the High Elves, receives the urgent plea.
The wise Phoenix King knows that the fates of men and High Elves are intertwined. If the Empire falls to the Ruinous Powers, Ulthuan will be next. Finubar appoints Prince Tyrion as General of the Shining Guard, an elite regiment formed to defend the High Elves’ homeland in the absence of the king. With that, Finubar and his legions set sail for the Old World.
No sooner have the flowing white sails of the High Elves’ longships passed faded into the horizon when shouts of surprise and fear fill the streets of the glittering city. Great black shadows fall across the marble streets and silver towers. A fleet of Dark Elf Black Arks fills the seas, great floating fortresses of stone filled with legions of Druchii warriors and their vicious, hate-filled beasts of war. The invasion of Ulthuan has begun.
Days later, following a great Council of Wisdom, Finubar pledges his aid to the Empire and the realms of the Dwarfs. That night, the dreadful news of the Dark Elves’ attack reaches his ears. Leaving some of his warriors behind to fight alongside his allies, the Phoenix King returns to his ship and races homeward. Will he arrive in time to aid his people, or has Malekith’s insidious plot already succeeded? If all hope is lost for the High Elves, then the fates of Men and Dwarfs are already sealed.