The Empire bleeds.
Rising from the war-torn countryside that is Middenland, the City of the White Wolf stands bloodied but unbowed. Middenhiem has weathered the Storm of Chaos, and Archaeon – the Lord of the End Times – has withdrawn his remaining forces to the Middle Mountains. But It was a victory born of a terrible cost. The state of Osterland lies in ruin; it’s population either killed or fled. Those villages and settlements that still stand are ghost towns, and while life is slowly returning to the North, not all of it is wholesome or pure…
While the Armies of the Ruinous Powers were pushed back, their malignant taint lingers on the land. In the forests of the Drakwald, Beastmen Warherds grow bold, pillaging farms and hamlets. And other darker things slither and crawl and grope in hidden places that good folk have forgotten. Sensing weakness, they gather for the kill.
Ostermark was not spared from the horrors of the Great War of the North, although it did not suffer nearly so bad as Osterland or Middenland. Still, it’s armies have been stretched to their breaking point and when the Orc Warlord Splintertusk began raiding out of the northern forests, the State militias found themselves sorely tested. For weeks the Orc Warlord and his WAAAGH! has outmaneuvered the depleted and exhausted State troops, sacking villages and farms. As the year 2522 comes to an end and winter closed in, Elector Count Wolfram Hertwig, having personally taken command of the State Army, successfully lured the canny Orc Warlord’s forces onto the open moors and into a killing field prepared with concealed artillery positions. Executed brilliantly (some would say with near prescience) Hertwig’s gambit left the Greenskins exposed on two sides to massed batteries of cannon fire. The fusillade decimated the Warlord’s forces and left them reeling and routed.
Now the State troops and hastily recruited Militia have Splintertusk on the run, for two days they’ve chased the beaten Greenskin army across the moors. But there is nowhere to run. Knowing the Orcs would retreat north to the forests, Hertwig has placed Gideon Holt, Priest of Sigmar, in command of militia forces and a regiment of handgunners on the edges of the forest right in the Orcs path. When Splintertusk reaches the forest he’ll be cut down by gunfire and then caught between Holt and Hertwig.