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Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from the Return of the Witch Lord Quest Pack.

Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Zenithfleet » Friday November 6th, 2020 1:42pm

I'm sure there's a thread about this somewhere, but a search didn't turn up anything. (Or any spear traps.)

In HeroQuest the identity of the Witch Lord when he was alive is never really explained.

However, the Warhammer World from which HQ took inspiration has oodles of infamous undead guys running amok, and each of them has his or her own backstory. Arkhan the Black, Kemmler the Lichemaster, Krell the undead Champion of Chaos... and the great necromancer who invented the whole 'undead' thing in the first place, and incidentally once killed his entire country and raised them from the dead because REVENGE: Nagash.

I know, I know... HQ isn't really set in Warhammer but is more 'inspired by' it / set in a parallel world. And it doesn't really matter who the Witch Lord was. But it's fun to speculate.

I wouldn't want the Witch Lord to be Nagash, as he's one of the biggest of Warhammer big bads--roughly on the same power level as Morcar/Zargon in HeroQuest.

Also, in HQ, the Undead seem to serve Chaos. Or at least the Witch Lord serves Chaos, and he can control the dead. By contrast, in Warhammer, the Undead and Chaos don't really get on. Chaos is raw energy and emotion and change, whereas undeath is changeless and numb and unfeeling. There are exceptions, though, like the aforementioned Krell.

Matters are complicated by the many retcons that Warhammer background has gone through over the years. This is particularly true of the Undead, as the late 90s saw them split into two distinct factions (Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings) and some of their background was heavily revised to fit this.

Stay with me, I'm going somewhere with this...



I was taken by clmckay and Spookyhappyfun's suggestions in the mapmaking thread that Kalos, the ruined city where the Witch Lord built his underground fortress, is more or less the same place as the Warhammer location Morgheim. (Not to be confused with Mordheim.)
Thread: http://forum.yeoldeinn.com/viewtopic.php?f=143&t=3552&sid=ba809f862a8c908a27c92cdfd8f80ecc

Morgheim is a fair way south of the Empire, in badlands / desert territory. It's not too far from the Land of the Dead, Nehekhara (basically Warhammer's version of Ancient Egypt).

NB: In 6th edition, Morgheim was retconned to Mourkain, a city of vampires known as the Strigoi. I'm going to ignore that here.

I'm not sure if Morgheim was mentioned in Warhammer fluff in 1st-3rd edition. However, it shows up in the 4th edition Undead army book. This book--which is a great read, by the way--also features the complete (pre-retcon) history of Nagash. Morgheim itself is only a footnote to his story. But an interesting one...



Basically, Nagash's first attempt to conquer the world--long before the rise of the Empire--was thwarted by the last living king of Nehekhara, a man called Alcadizzar. The king slew Nagash, but died soon afterward. His body washed downriver into the Badlands south of the Empire. There nomadic tribes of humans fought with Orc tribes. Alcadizzar's body was found by the shaman of one such tribe: Kadon.

Unfortunately for Kadon, Alcadizzar's dead hands still clutched the crown of Nagash. Kadon kept the crown, and it started to whisper to him...

Kadon had visions of empire (no, not that one) and built a city on the site of Alcadizzar's burial mound. Thus arose the human kingdom of Morgheim. It wasn't a nice place to begin with. And it grew steadily less pleasant because that sinister crown continued to mess with Kadon's mind until he started to worship Nagash as a god. He even rewrote all of the Great Necromancer's discoveries and built a palace of black marble to live in over the burial mound. The kingdom used Zombies as slave labour. Eventually the Dwarves got so creeped out that they stopped trading with the humans. By that point, though, Kadon was a mighty sorcerer and had started devising his own spells to add to Nagash's lore. His people attacked the Dwarves to the north, but failed to defeat them.

Now here comes the bit that caught my attention--pp19-20 of Warhammer Armies: Undead, 1994. Bold emphasis added.
"Then from the mountains came a savage horde of Orcs under the Warlord Dork Redeye. [With a name like that, I'm not surprised he was a bit cranky.] Redeye was armed with an enchanted blade that made him proof against any evil magics, and the men of Morgheim and their Undead lackeys were no match for his savage horde. The howling greenskinned devils swept through Kadon's kingdom with fire and the sword, driving the few survivors north. Kadon himself was slain by Redeye in an epic duel amid the blazing streets of Morgheim. Upon his death his kingdom ended. Kadon's chief disciple snatched the crown from his dead master's head and fled northward, often being forced to hide from Orc pursuit.

"Today no trace can be found of the lost kingdom of Morgheim save for a few fire-scorched ruins and haunted barrows within which evil things dwell. These blighted remnants of the lost kingdom account for the burial mounds scattered throughout the Badlands and the Border Princes."


Well, well. Some Orc used an enchanted blade to slay Kadon, eh? Sounds familiar. And Kadon's people were known for making burial mounds, i.e. barrows, even as far north as the Border Princes--which are just the other side of the Black Mountains and Black Fire Pass? Hmm.



Now how could we tie this into HeroQuest background (assuming anyone besides me wants to)?

From HeroQuest base game questbook, Quest 12:

"The gem [the Star of the West] lies in Barak Tor, the resting place of the Witch Lord. He was also known as the King of the Dead, a powerful servant of Morcar, and was destroyed by the Spirit Blade long ago."


Well, you know, Kadon was a king of sorts. More of a priest-king I suppose. With a spooky crown and everything. And he did rule over dead subjects as well as living ones. And he was a necromancer. And he was destroyed by an enchanted blade.

In Warhammer, as far as I know, that was the end of Kadon--he didn't come back to (un)life. But maybe in HeroQuest he did. Presumably he predates Morcar and Mentor's little tiff. Perhaps, in the time of the Empire, Rogar and friends, Morcar revived Kadon to bring the Undead to his banner. That might explain why he ended up sealed in Barak Tor, a long way north of Morgheim. (He wakes up as if he was just imprisoned, rather than 'destroyed', implying that the time he was killed by the Spirit Blade wasn't necessarily the same incident as the day he was sealed in Barak Tor.)

The Spirit Blade itself is said in HQ to have been forged by Dwarves and cooled in an Elven fountain. That suggests it comes from a time when Dwarves and Elves got along. In Warhammer that was many thousands of years ago--long before this whole Morgheim caper, even. Probably even before Undeath was invented. So it's likely that the Spirit Blade wasn't originally made to kill undead things at all, but for some other purpose--maybe fighting Chaos daemons. At some point it was lost or taken, and one way or another down the centuries found its way into the possession of a certain Orc, Mr Dork Redeye Esq.

If the Witch Lord was once Kadon, and his home was Morgheim, and Morgheim was Kalos, it would explain why he relocates there after the end of the base game questbook, why there would be an underground fortress there waiting for him, and why he takes to the throne. (He ruled there once, after all.)



There's also the odd fact that the ancient city was called Morgheim in the first place. The Warhammer Undead book claims that this was its name in the local language of the founders, meaning 'Place of Death' because it's where Alcadizzar's body was found. But it sounds awfully Empire-esque to me. (Middenheim, Mordheim, etc.) More like a name that the folk of the Empire would give it thousands of years later. After all, what else would they call a ruined city than a place of death?

'Kalos' on the other hand sounds more ancient and foreign (by Empire standards). Could Kalos have simply been the original name of Kadon's city?

We could then assume that Skulmar was the captain of Kalos's armies once upon a time, while Kessandria was... who knows? The consort of Kadon? The Witch-Queen and the Witch-Lord, greatest self-styled acolytes of Nagash?

Naturally, some things don't quite fit. Rather inconveniently, the Return of the Witch Lord booklet says that Morcar destroyed Kalos long ago. (Everyone blames him for everything, poor guy.) There might be a way around this, though. I've assumed that the whole Morgheim debacle predates Morcar. But maybe it doesn't. Maybe Mentor and Morcar go further back than I thought. Maybe Morcar sent the Orcs who sacked Morgheim / Kalos, for his own purposes?

Hmm...





...yes, it's a slow night, how did you guess? :ugeek:
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby cynthialee » Friday November 6th, 2020 1:56pm

It is all a very powerful Illusion created by the mad wizard Mentor

:D

(That was a hell of a read and some serious reaching, but far better than I could pull off.)
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Cael Darkhollow » Saturday November 7th, 2020 2:29am

Kadon is an intriguing hypothesis.
My HeroQuest and battlemasters campaigns are firmly set in the Warhammer world and any discrepancies are explained away by in game rumors or faulty maps.

Don't forget Warhammer Roleplay added much to the Warhammer world lore, I wonder if any info lies within those dusty tomes? I do not own the original edition of that though, just the 2nd edition stuff by Green Ronin/Black Industries.
I don't recall any mention of Morgheim in 1st through 3rd Warhammer although I just have the core rule books and Siege book, I do not have some of the other books or expansions. There is very little world fluff to begin with in 1st and 2nd ed. Warhammer. 3rd is where they really started to develop a unique place beyond a generic fantasy setting.
Lastly there are a great many WH novels I have not read even half of them although I did try to buy and read all the undead ones that I could find. My favorites.
I wonder how the spin off GW game Mordheim and it's blasted city might fit in as an alternative locale?

If we overlay Tolkien mythology onto Warhammer and subsequently HeroQuest (I do, my fantasy setting is a mash of bits of Tolkien LOTR, snippets of D&D forgotten realms, then basically all of Warhammer and HeroQuest ) then Morcar/Zargon equals Morgoth, while his chief lieutenant Sauron equals Nagash, a convenient little idea, even if you do have to fudge either the Silmarillion history overlay or Nagash's back story a bit.
That would make the witchlord a far lesser minion than either of those two mighty names; any on the undead or necromancer roster you developed would likely fit the bill. Krell being both Chaos and later undead is also a good fit as he was frozen for a time in WH lore and released by Henrich Kemmler. Arkan the black might be another good fit.

Although I have the notion that the early developers of Warhammer always intended Heinrich Kemmler the Lich Lord to be the same as the early WH editions Lich Master, which more than likely influenced or is the Witch Lord in HeroQuest. Much was retconned however over the years and the Lich Master hardly seems like the Lich Lord and his fleshed out backstory beyond their similar appearance now. The throned figure on the ROTWL box looks nothing like either, although being long dead in the grave might change a man considerably. I prefer your explanation of Kadon as the mortal who becomes the Witch Lord.

Zenithfleet wrote:The Spirit Blade itself is said in HQ to have been forged by Dwarves and cooled in an Elven fountain. That suggests it comes from a time when Dwarves and Elves got along. In Warhammer that was many thousands of years ago--long before this whole Morgheim caper, even. Probably even before Undeath was invented. So it's likely that the Spirit Blade wasn't originally made to kill undead things at all, but for some other purpose--maybe fighting Chaos daemons. At some point it was lost or taken, and one way or another down the centuries found its way into the possession of a certain Orc, Mr Dork Redeye Esq."


This logic doesn't necessarily have to follow track, just because the dwarves made the sword which was then quenched in an elven fountain doesn't mean they were getting along at the time. Many elf settlements are at the foot of many Dwarven strongholds in the mountains. An alternative hypothesis (or two) is that the elven territory was temporarily occupied or annexed by the warring dwarves during the War of the Beard or that the red hot sword was taken to the fountain by persons unknown across the battle lines, or perhaps a captured elf was forced to complete the Dwarven blade. Perhaps it could only be magically cooled. Perhaps an old dwarf artifact was reworked by High Elf Mages upon its discovery or capture. Perhaps it was a commissioned piece as dwarves don't favor swords themselves as weaponry but are happy to craft them for a steep price.
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday November 7th, 2020 10:34am

In case anyone reading this doesn't know the source I'm referencing for the Kadon stuff, this is the book I'm drawing on:

Image

Like I said, it's a great read, as are most of the other army books from that era. Worth checking out even if you have zero use for the rules or the game. Tons of backstory and flavour on the undead.

Cael Darkhollow wrote:Don't forget Warhammer Roleplay added much to the Warhammer world lore, I wonder if any info lies within those dusty tomes? I do not own the original edition of that though, just the 2nd edition stuff by Green Ronin/Black Industries.


I've read through the 1st ed WHRPG core book and the Middenheim supplement, but that was years ago...

Cael Darkhollow wrote:I don't recall any mention of Morgheim in 1st through 3rd Warhammer although I just have the core rule books and Siege book, I do not have some of the other books or expansions. There is very little world fluff to begin with in 1st and 2nd ed. Warhammer. 3rd is where they really started to develop a unique place beyond a generic fantasy setting.


Except for Lustria! Lustria was great! Amazons with laser guns versus frogs from space! ;)

(Must get some Lizardmen based on HQ bases...)

Cael Darkhollow wrote:Lastly there are a great many WH novels I have not read even half of them although I did try to buy and read all the undead ones that I could find. My favorites.


I don't really get on with GW novels, as I find them of generally mediocre quality (not to mention violent to the point of tedium), so I can't say much there.

Cael Darkhollow wrote:I wonder how the spin off GW game Mordheim and it's blasted city might fit in as an alternative locale?


Interesting idea!

For those unfamiliar with Mordheim: According to the fluff, Mordheim was destroyed about 1500 years before the 'modern day' of Warhammer. (The game Mordheim is set soon after its destruction). It's in the north of the Empire if I recall correctly. A meteorite made of warpstone--crystallised Chaos magic--hit the city and turned it into a medieval post-apocalyptic ruin perpetually shrouded in cloud. And full of priceless warpstone bits. Drawing greedy and reckless adventurers like flies to mince scattered in a spider's web...

However, the Empire had already existed for a thousand years by then, so Mordheim was just your typical Empire city before an eldritch rock fell on it. Not really the sort of pagan-esque forerunner civilisation that would leave barrow mounds. I get the impression that the Witch Lord and Kalos are much older.

Out of universe, the introduction of the game Mordheim during 5th edition Warhammer--which meant adding a city of that name to the map--is probably why Morgheim was renamed Mourkain in 6th edition. Otherwise the similarity in the names could have become a bit confusing.

Cael Darkhollow wrote:If we overlay Tolkien mythology onto Warhammer and subsequently HeroQuest (I do, my fantasy setting is a mash of bits of Tolkien LOTR, snippets of D&D forgotten realms, then basically all of Warhammer and HeroQuest ) then Morcar/Zargon equals Morgoth, while his chief lieutenant Sauron equals Nagash, a convenient little idea, even if you do have to fudge either the Silmarillion history overlay or Nagash's back story a bit.
\\

Hmm, yep, I noticed the suggestive parallels between Nagash and Sauron when I was rereading the Undead army book. I'm sure the Warhammer writers took heavy inspiration from Sauron for him. (Giant fortress-tower in an inhospitable wasteland, destruction of his physical body but a tendency to linger as a spirit and come back, placing part of his power in a physical object in order to survive death, general megalomania...)

Morgoth as Zargon/Morcar is a logical next step. (Although I personally have trouble taking Morcar and Mentor too seriously--they're so Saturday-morning-cartoon...)

Warhammer 4th ed (and possibly earlier) mentions that the leader of the first great Chaos invasion was named Morkar. This was waaaay back before human civilisation, when only the Elves and Dwarves were roaming the globe. I always wondered whether that was a nod to HeroQuest. Morkar was supposedly killed in that first invasion, though. But it would be easy to assume that he survived and is still around as Morcar/Zargon. Which makes me wonder who Mentor was, if Morkar was his pupil.

...oh, my Goddess, is Mentor an Elf? :o

Cael Darkhollow wrote:That would make the witchlord a far lesser minion than either of those two mighty names; any on the undead or necromancer roster you developed would likely fit the bill. Krell being both Chaos and later undead is also a good fit as he was frozen for a time in WH lore and released by Henrich Kemmler. Arkan the black might be another good fit.


Yes, I prefer having the Witch Lord be a lesser minion too. Krell and Arkhan were two of my early thoughts until I noticed the whole Kadon thing.

One of the reasons I think Kadon might work (aside from the Morgheim/Kalos connection) is that I don't think official Warhammer did anything with him after 4th edition. I can't be sure as my knowledge is mostly 'middlehammer' i.e. 4th to 6th edition. But Morgheim was retconned to Mourkain in 6th, and its backstory completely changed to become the origin story for a new kind of Vampire they had just added to the game. I'm pretty sure that Kadon ceased to exist in canon from that point on. There are unlikely to have been any novels about him or similar that go in a different direction. Likewise, Kadon didn't feature as a playable character or have a miniature to the best of my knowledge--unlike Krell and Arkhan. Clearly, post-humously, he was too busy with other commitments in HeroQuest World to appear in Warhammer. :mrgreen:

Coming up with backstory for the Witch Lord might also inspire new quests set in Kalos, or sequels featuring Skulmar and the Witch Queen. If it's Morgheim, then Alcadizzar's buried somewhere under there, right? And Kadon's story says that not only did he take Nagash's crown--he also found Nagash's severed claw (which Alcadizzar had cut off during their final battle) and used it as a potent magical artefact. And the claw is said to have had a will of its own, like the One Ring crossed with Thing from the Addams Family. Is it still scuttling around down there?

Which reminds me--a third possible location for Kalos and the 'Plains of Death' could be the Plain of Bones on the far side of the Worlds Edge Mountains, where the dragons go to die.

Cael Darkhollow wrote:
Zenithfleet wrote:The Spirit Blade itself is said in HQ to have been forged by Dwarves and cooled in an Elven fountain. That suggests it comes from a time when Dwarves and Elves got along. In Warhammer that was many thousands of years ago--long before this whole Morgheim caper, even. Probably even before Undeath was invented. So it's likely that the Spirit Blade wasn't originally made to kill undead things at all, but for some other purpose--maybe fighting Chaos daemons. At some point it was lost or taken, and one way or another down the centuries found its way into the possession of a certain Orc, Mr Dork Redeye Esq."


This logic doesn't necessarily have to follow track, just because the dwarves made the sword which was then quenched in an elven fountain doesn't mean they were getting along at the time. Many elf settlements are at the foot of many Dwarven strongholds in the mountains. An alternative hypothesis (or two) is that the elven territory was temporarily occupied or annexed by the warring dwarves during the War of the Beard or that the red hot sword was taken to the fountain by persons unknown across the battle lines, or perhaps a captured elf was forced to complete the Dwarven blade. Perhaps it could only be magically cooled. Perhaps an old dwarf artifact was reworked by High Elf Mages upon its discovery or capture. Perhaps it was a commissioned piece as dwarves don't favor swords themselves as weaponry but are happy to craft them for a steep price.


I like those ideas! |_P Funny how it's often the things that don't seem to fit that inspire the most creative and interesting explanations.
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Zenithfleet » Saturday November 7th, 2020 10:36am

cynthialee wrote:It is all a very powerful Illusion created by the mad wizard Mentor

:D


To quote Ned Stark: "Everybody knows that."

:P
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Cael Darkhollow » Sunday November 8th, 2020 4:12am

Zenithfleet wrote:
Cael Darkhollow wrote:I don't recall any mention of Morgheim in 1st through 3rd Warhammer although I just have the core rule books and Siege book, I do not have some of the other books or expansions. There is very little world fluff to begin with in 1st and 2nd ed. Warhammer. 3rd is where they really started to develop a unique place beyond a generic fantasy setting.


Except for Lustria! Lustria was great! Amazons with laser guns versus frogs from space! ;)

(Must get some Lizardmen based on HQ bases...)

I'm not that much of a fan of mixing sci-fi with fantasy. That was popular in the late 70's, in fact there is a very early D&D adventure module written by Gary Gygax "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" where a crashed spaceship is found and has advanced technology such as laserguns in it.
Not my taste at all, I collected nearly everything early D&D but that. Same with Blackmoor D&D lots of high tech mixed with fantasy and FROG guys, could be right up your alley (stolen or inspirational for Slann origins?) In the later 2nd Ed. Forgotten Realms Undermountain boxed set they had a stardock (basically another crashed ship) on one of the levels. Meh on an otherwise supreme dungeon campaign.
Suffice it to say I alter the old ones, Slann and Lizardmen space travelers back-story for Warhammer.
I'm not fond of the mesoamerican inca/Maya/toltec overlay for those races either. Mine are more like Bullywugs and Lizardmen (D&D swamp frogmen and lizardmen) with primitive or savage tech levels living in the Old World swamps like the Fimir (neighbors perhaps?). Even in the Masters of the Universe He-Man cartoon and toy line I try to forget that robots and lasers exist.

Cael Darkhollow wrote:Lastly there are a great many WH novels I have not read even half of them although I did try to buy and read all the undead ones that I could find. My favorites.

Zenithfleet wrote:I don't really get on with GW novels, as I find them of generally mediocre quality (not to mention violent to the point of tedium), so I can't say much there.

Quite right, most are very mediocre but I did mine them for Warhammer setting lore, and enjoyed them for what they were.

Zenithfleet wrote:Coming up with backstory for the Witch Lord might also inspire new quests set in Kalos, or sequels featuring Skulmar and the Witch Queen. If it's Morgheim, then Alcadizzar's buried somewhere under there, right? And Kadon's story says that not only did he take Nagash's crown--he also found Nagash's severed claw (which Alcadizzar had cut off during their final battle) and used it as a potent magical artefact. And the claw is said to have had a will of its own, like the One Ring crossed with Thing from the Addams Family. Is it still scuttling around down there?

Which reminds me--a third possible location for Kalos and the 'Plains of Death' could be the Plain of Bones on the far side of the Worlds Edge Mountains, where the dragons go to die.

Now we must add a third thinly veiled character imitation/cover of Sauron who had his ring cut off (fingers or whole hand with it? I know the movie chose fingers Sauron lost) by the name of Vecna, the main biggest badguy undead lich in D&D who had his hand cut off by a magic sword and it became a major evil artifact itself. Too similar not to be all connected.
You really should read Nagash the Sorcerer, Nagash the Unbroken, and Nagash the Immortal trilogy by Mike Lee (rereleased as an omnibus as well), the best Warhammer novels by far and a ton of info on well Nagash, Arkan, vampire origins, undead, and Alacadizzar and his fate. I would be remiss if I didn't mention though that it sounds pretty familiar to Anne Rice's Egyptian origins for vampires. The hand did literally craw away. Might give you much more info on Kadon, I can't remember for sure.
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Zenithfleet » Sunday November 8th, 2020 8:33am

Cael Darkhollow wrote:
Zenithfleet wrote:
Cael Darkhollow wrote:I don't recall any mention of Morgheim in 1st through 3rd Warhammer although I just have the core rule books and Siege book, I do not have some of the other books or expansions. There is very little world fluff to begin with in 1st and 2nd ed. Warhammer. 3rd is where they really started to develop a unique place beyond a generic fantasy setting.


Except for Lustria! Lustria was great! Amazons with laser guns versus frogs from space! ;)

(Must get some Lizardmen based on HQ bases...)

I'm not that much of a fan of mixing sci-fi with fantasy. That was popular in the late 70's, in fact there is a very early D&D adventure module written by Gary Gygax "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks" where a crashed spaceship is found and has advanced technology such as laserguns in it.
Not my taste at all, I collected nearly everything early D&D but that. Same with Blackmoor D&D lots of high tech mixed with fantasy and FROG guys, could be right up your alley (stolen or inspirational for Slann origins?) In the later 2nd Ed. Forgotten Realms Undermountain boxed set they had a stardock (basically another crashed ship) on one of the levels. Meh on an otherwise supreme dungeon campaign.
Suffice it to say I alter the old ones, Slann and Lizardmen space travelers back-story for Warhammer.
I'm not fond of the mesoamerican inca/Maya/toltec overlay for those races either. Mine are more like Bullywugs and Lizardmen (D&D swamp frogmen and lizardmen) with primitive or savage tech levels living in the Old World swamps like the Fimir (neighbors perhaps?). Even in the Masters of the Universe He-Man cartoon and toy line I try to forget that robots and lasers exist.


I don't mind mixing up sf and fantasy if done right, especially since a lot of pulp sf is pretty much fantasy anyway. (Star Wars springs to mind.) The 20s and 30s pulp writers like CL Moore, Lovecraft and so on happily threw it all into the blender. Fritz Leiber did it with Nehwon too. Barsoom is the archetypal heady blend of both. Still, there are certain sf/fantasy mixed beverages I don't get on with. Margaret Weis did one called Starshield or something that I couldn't handle.

It's true that it was especially popular in the 70s, what with all the fantasy worlds that were descended from lost space colonists. Basic D&D apparently kept a lot of that sf/fantasy mishmash, what with occasional time-travelling spacemen and whatnot. I was highly amused to discover that in one of those classic modules there was a Lovecraftian entity under a pyramid named Zargon. Bet that's where NA HQ got the name.

And yep, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Warhammer's space frogs were inspired by Blackmoor. And possibly by that real-life business about the Dogon and Sirius.

The irony is that D&D strikes me as very modern and scientific in its attitude, even though it's supposedly medieval fantasy. Warhammer inherited a bit of that (thinking of magic as 'energy from another plane' and so on), and so did comic fantasy like Discworld.

I grew up with Magnamund (Lone Wolf) and later the GW stuff. I've only started reading up on D&D in the last few years because of its importance to fantasy gaming history. Much of it feels quite alien and weird to me--and dare I say it, very American and hence not quite getting it--whereas it clearly feels 'normal' to people who grew up with it. Forgotten Realms leaves me as cold as a Zombie in Antarctica. I do like Dark Sun, and especially Planescape. Oh, and that city from Basic that's like a magical version of Venice. Glantri?

Cael Darkhollow wrote:
Zenithfleet wrote:Coming up with backstory for the Witch Lord might also inspire new quests set in Kalos, or sequels featuring Skulmar and the Witch Queen. If it's Morgheim, then Alcadizzar's buried somewhere under there, right? And Kadon's story says that not only did he take Nagash's crown--he also found Nagash's severed claw (which Alcadizzar had cut off during their final battle) and used it as a potent magical artefact. And the claw is said to have had a will of its own, like the One Ring crossed with Thing from the Addams Family. Is it still scuttling around down there?

Which reminds me--a third possible location for Kalos and the 'Plains of Death' could be the Plain of Bones on the far side of the Worlds Edge Mountains, where the dragons go to die.

Now we must add a third thinly veiled character imitation/cover of Sauron who had his ring cut off (fingers or whole hand with it? I know the movie chose fingers Sauron lost) by the name of Vecna, the main biggest badguy undead lich in D&D who had his hand cut off by a magic sword and it became a major evil artifact itself. Too similar not to be all connected.
You really should read Nagash the Sorcerer, Nagash the Unbroken, and Nagash the Immortal trilogy by Mike Lee (rereleased as an omnibus as well), the best Warhammer novels by far and a ton of info on well Nagash, Arkan, vampire origins, undead, and Alacadizzar and his fate. I would be remiss if I didn't mention though that it sounds pretty familiar to Anne Rice's Egyptian origins for vampires. The hand did literally craw away. Might give you much more info on Kadon, I can't remember for sure.


Thanks, I might check out the Nagash books. They look like they were written comparatively recently, though, so I expect they've been retconned to death. (I'll get my coat.)

Oh--one other obvious parallel between Nagash and Sauron that I forgot--they're both referred to as the Necromancer with a capital N! :twisted:

If I was going to mention Nagash in HeroQuest I probably wouldn't use his name and would merely reference him obliquely as the Great Necromancer, keeping him a shadowy background figure (much like the powers of Chaos aren't named in HQ but are clearly something behind Morcar).
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Cael Darkhollow » Sunday November 8th, 2020 1:50pm

Zenithfleet wrote:I grew up with Magnamund (Lone Wolf) and later the GW stuff. I've only started reading up on D&D in the last few years because of its importance to fantasy gaming history. Much of it feels quite alien and weird to me--and dare I say it, very American and hence not quite getting it--whereas it clearly feels 'normal' to people who grew up with it. Forgotten Realms leaves me as cold as a Zombie in Antarctica. I do like Dark Sun, and especially Planescape. Oh, and that city from Basic that's like a magical version of Venice. Glantri?


An intensely fascinating read that is truly a must for any fantasy gaming fan is: Playing at the World, a history of simulating wars, people and fantastic adventures from chess to role playing games by Jon Peterson. It is an in depth look at how we got from basic ancient games to Dungeons & Dragons and D&D's pivotal role in all the games to follow [including HeroQuest which is often described as D&D light]
https://www.amazon.com/Playing-at-World-Jon-Peterson/dp/0615642047
Another read that is in depth specifically about the origins of D&D is Empire of Imagination by Michael Witwer
I also read Lone Wolf game books, and have collected several more since although I must confess that I have not read any or tried to play them since I was a teenager.

Planescape, Now you are talking. I own a complete set of every single product ever released. I do enjoy the artwork for Dark Sun, but the Mad max blasted wastes was too drastic a departure for me so I sold my boxed set. I preferred Forgotten Realms (default fantasy setting) and Ravenloft (gothic Horror setting) to go along with my planescape. Conveniently there were crossovers between those three settings in the AD&D 2nd ed. I collected everything from those three I could get my hands on.
Image old picture, I just realized I have added a bookcase since then (and moved the dresser) and that is where my stack of Lone Wolf is. But here is a shot of my Planescape.
Zenithfleet wrote:Which reminds me--a third possible location for Kalos and the 'Plains of Death' could be the Plain of Bones on the far side of the Worlds Edge Mountains, where the dragons go to die.

I made that connection immediately when I read that for the first time, even consulted a Warhammer map to see where the Plain of Bones was again.
By Crom I'll split you crown to crotch to see if your guts are yellow as I think they are nithing.BARBARIAN Ulrich
The last music you shall ever hear will be my bowstring as your forehead sprouts a feathered shaft, pity.ELF Cael Darkhollow
Tomes grimoires manuals atlas formularies compendiums codexes bestiaries folios scrolls... Am I missing anything before we leave?WIZARD Eldritch Heironymous Kigam Magister
Some quick axe work an' we can count the coins and gems.DWARF Wulfram Magnussen
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Zenithfleet » Sunday November 8th, 2020 8:57pm

Impressive. Most impressive. :P

That's a whole lotta Conan!

The only bit of my bookshelf that resembles yours is the Planescape bit. I managed to collect quite a few of the box sets and books a few years ago, when they were just 'insanely expensive' instead of 'sell your firstborn'. Such good reads. And great art.

Edit: I can almost stomach Forgotten Realms if it's partnered with Planescape, as a source of stock generic fantasy characters who accidentally wander into Sigil and have their minds blown. :shock:

I wonder if bookshelves in the HeroQuest world look like that? "I'm searching for treasure." "You find a dog-eared copy of Planescape Monstrous Compendium III." "Woohoo!" :lol:

But the Witch Lord is giving me a stern glare... so to get back on topic, the next question is: if his backstory roughly fits someone from Warhammer, which miniature would best represent him? (And Skulmar and Kessandria?) I'm leaning toward a Wight from the classic Undead range.
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Re: Who was the Witch Lord when he was... pre-deceased?

Postby Kurgan » Sunday November 8th, 2020 11:33pm

Cael Darkhollow wrote:awesomeness


Neat collection!
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