Friday, 1 April 2011

A is for Archaon

Archaon, The Everchosen and Lord of the End Times, led a grand Chaos army south from the Chaos Wastes in the north to Middenheim, a city-state of the Empire. The march, more commonly known as the Storm of Chaos, is central to Warhammer Fantasy Role Play 2nd Edition (WFRP2) setting. In WFRP2, Archaon's armies have been defeated at Middenheim and the lands of the Empire and allies in the north are ravaged by war.

As a campaign setting, I only loosely followed the setup of the Storm of Chaos as presented. The Storm took place in 2522 IC, and because so much of the outcome of the war was not detailed (though possibly more so in the opening of The Paths of the Damn campaign in The Ashes of Middenheim), I chose to advance the calendar a full year to 2523.

This allowed me to remain loosely tied to canon, but granted me flexibility in devising new threats and ignore the whims and machinations of both the Ruinous Powers and their champion in defeat as well as Games Workshop.

Not much is presented about Archaon in the core setting material. It is left as an exercise of research into the Games Workshop Storm of Chaos campaign material for the Warhammer Fantasy Battles game. I thought some background on Archaon was a perfect opening.

Archaon the Everchosen, Lord of the End Times

Archaon, succinctly put, is a Chaos Champion. While Archaon's exact age is not known, his quest for--one time possession of--the Six Treasures of Chaos tells us that the Ruinous Powers and corruption of the Chaos Wastes have granted him a lifespan already measured in centuries. It's Archaon's quest for these Chaos artifacts that allowed him to be called The Everchosen, an honorific only bestowed upon the greatest Chaos Champion of the era. The honor of "Lord of the End Times" is granted to him for retrieving the Crown of Domination, one of the Six Treasures of Chaos. Archaon was crowned in the Dark Coronation by the Daemon Be'lakor.

The Six Treasures of Chaos, when possessed by a worthy Champion of Chaos, were thought to be the tools to bring about the "final victory" of Chaos. This legend was put to the test by Archaon in the Storm of Chaos. Archaon's defeat by allied forces of the Empire, Kislev, Bretonnian, Dwarven and Elven armies, as well as Orcs and even Undead (unlikely allies, but such are the outcomes of treaties with self interested evil) may have put the legend to rest... or may not have.

In the aftermath of defeat at Middenheim, at the hands of the Orc warlord Grimgor Ironhide, Archaon retreated to Brass Keep in the Middle Mountains to "lick his wounds." Speculation seethes that Archaon will be disowned by the Chaos Gods in his defeat and stripped of all titles and possibly "destroyed," no longer a Champion but only daemon spawn.

Five the treasures are assumed to remain in Archaon's possession. The sixth, the daemon steed Dorghar, is dead. Dorghar was killed by Valten, a champion of the Empire and thought to be the reincarnation of Sigmar, at Middenheim.

Posted by caffeinated at 11:03 PM in d10