Thursday 16 January 2020

Schwartzweald Part 1

Well hello there!
Right, time to start getting some ideas down for this modest little project. I think the best way to keep this current ball rolling is to make it into a story, one that evolves over time to hopefully become a proper mythology of a small corner of the Empire. I'm setting it all in the Old World of warhammer, as thats what I know and theres plenty to draw from while still adding elements from real world folklore too. This will be far fron "canon" (what a fucking silly term), but I'll muddle along and try to develop the story of Schwartzweald, a tiny hamlet deep in the forests of the Drakwald. Here we go!

The inhabitants of Schwartzweald 1: The Militia

Bargash, Marshal Ulric, Deputy Klein and the dwarfs, Thorek and Bolli

Marshal Ulric is the grandson of the "founder" of Schwartzweald, Retter Gruber, an ex state trooper of the empire. Grubers exit from service is still a bit of a mystery, some say he retired on a modest pension after a particularly vicious campaign against a chaos warband while others claim (very quietly) that he was a deserter who made off with a large portion of the paymasters wagon. Either way, he staked his claim on the small clearing he ended up in and began the life of a hermit, but as time went on, more disparate (and desperate) folk came to settle the area, a situation which Retter quickly warmed to, given the hostile nature of the deep woods he called home. Ulric is a proud and fairman, and very capable in combat, having been trained by his father and grandfather, whose armour and sword he wields as his badges of office.
Deputy Klein is the son son of Albert Klein, the woodcutter, another ex soldier from the Ostermark who was blinded in one eye in battle, and released from service in return for trading his eye for the life of his commander. He tried life as a sellsword for a while, investing his retirement purse in a fine suit of plate armour, but his fighting days were behind him and his subsequent wanderings eventually led him to Schwartzweald, along with his new wife, a camp girl from the mercenary outfit he ran with. Klein the younger is not exactly an exceptional warrior but has dreams of following in his fathers footsteps, something his father has no intention of allowing, so his post as the village deputy is more a compromise than a calling.
Thorek and Bolli are all that remains of a dwarf merchant caravan that was set upon by a beastman warband while traversing the woods, Ulric and his former deputy happened upon them enacting a fighting retreat, harried by a pack of ungor. With the humans help, they managed to scatter the hunters and the dwarfs pledged what was left of their lives to Schwartzweald for the assistance, and have been a valuable asset ever since
Bargash showed up one day, decided he liked the place and hasnt left. While some in the village are wary of an ogre wandering about, he is a remarkably gregarious example of his race, and his sword arm is most welcome in keeping the peace

Anders "the gobshite", Klaus and Marcin

Anders unfortunate nickname is absolutely deserved. He fancies himself a duelist and claims his sword and dagger were gifts from an Altdorf noble who he saved in battle, but in reality he found them on the rotten corpse of an empire soldier he stumbled across in the woods while on the run for petty theft. Still, he's handy enough with the blades, and always willing to throw himself heroically at any trouble, so the rest of the militia is more than happy to "send in the gobshite"
Klaus and Marcin are the local pest controllers. Having grown up in Schwartzweald they have a great working knowledge of the area and its non human inhabitants and work extremely well as a team, whether it be flushing rats from the tavern or caving in goblin skulls in the deepwoods

Gerrard, Hermann and Norbert

Trackers and hunters (and sometimes poachers if the opportunity arises), the "brothers Grim" are all members of the same family, the Geirhardts, who live on the outskirts of Schwartzweald. Hermann, the eldest, is a terribly ugly man, some say he has orc blood in him but never within earshot, as he is a savage fighter and like a ghost when on the hunt, both factors ensure his place as a respected member of the community. 
Gerrard is also a very capable woodsman and archer and the two brothers have more than proved their worth in both feeding the village when times are hard, and defending it when times are harder. 
Poor Norbert is an idiot,in less enlightened times he would be called a simpleton but he is a happy lad, and under the watchful eye of his older brothers he is becoming a wicked shot with his bow which more than makes up for his other, numerous shortcomings. 

Bolga the druid and Bjark

Bolga isnt officially a citizen of Schwartzweald, he wanders the surrounding woods grumbling to himself and drinking the various wines spirits and beers he brews himself. He is welcome in the village, and makes some spare coin selling surplus alcohol and advising the farmers on the best way to cultivate their meagre crops in the difficult soil. He likes to frequent the tavern as much as he's able, but doesnt like to leave Bjark alone for too long, the bloody thing keeps getting himself in bother. Although not willing to get too involved in the running of the village, if danger looms he and Bjark will meet it head on with all the ferocity you'd expect from a half drunk druid and his bear best friend.. 

So there you have it, reams of bollocks punctuated with the odd picture! I hope you enjoued the small tour of the burgeoning Schwartzweald, heres hoping I can keep the ball rolling. I dont wamt to outline too much of my plan, I'm hoping to let it evolve naturally, but there will be a post in the hopefully near future detailing the orc raiding party thats been causing all sorts of trouble lately. Thanks for reading! 


  1. I feel a little on edge about this multi-racial utopia in the middle of the deep dark forest. Something tells me it won't be long before one of the dwarfs turns out to be a vampire that hunts prey under the trees, or perhaps there's a sinister stone circle that will open a gateway to the seven hells.

    (Really lovely group of figures BTW!)

    1. Well, the brothers grim have reported that theyve found signs of orcs near the marshes, and a pair of treasure hunters that oassed through looking for some ancient kings cairn haven't been heard from in weeks, so I'm pretty sure the idyllic setting will get a bit of an upset in the very near future...

  2. Lovely littell piece of world building, I really enjoyed that. The figures all look lovely and something like this is almost guaranteed to distract me from all the other stuff I should be painting and make me dig out all my hidden empire figs. Well done mate.

    1. Well get them out so! This is all your fault anyway, so its nice to get a bit of payback!

  3. Fantastic Background there Rochie...well done. Quite a crew of characters!

    1. Cheers Bloo! I'm quite enjoying it so far, the main issue I'm up against ia shoehorning all thr planned models into the setting

  4. Oh boy I can't wait for the next chapter. ;)

  5. Lovely backstory Rochie! Really evocative and gives each and every mini an cool individuality.

    The paint jobs rock, as per usual. Herman being my favourite of the bunch. Where's that bear mini from?

    Top stuff mate :)

    1. Cheers drongo! The bear is the citadel MERP bear form of Beorn from the Hobbit or wherever he's from. I have the man himself too, but I think he'll end up a chaos thug or something

  6. Lovely painting as always! I really enjoy the narrative building up around this band of characters.