Ministry of Defence, Berlin, Germany Minister Thomas de Maiziere looked into the round gathered in the so-called Bendler Block. Delegates from the industry, Armed Forces and the government, rounded out with Warhammer-experts, delegates from the Imperial Army, Guilds and the Magic Orders. topped off by representatives of the Japanese living in Germany as translators and the Nipponese "remnant". "Meine Damen, meine Herren, I know that some of you have little experience in military matters, but I hope you will still participate in the discussion, since sometimes a different look onto something helps much. And for the delegation of the Bundeswehr I am sorry that for the third time in a relative short frame of time a new basic doctrine has to be developed and implemented. Our task it is to lay the foundation for the doctrines we need here, the weapon systems used, what systems are possible at all and the coordination with our new allies, the Empire and the Nipponese. So let us begin!" It became a long week, before the first working draft was finished. Some of the most important points: - Until supply with enough oil could be guaranteed, less consumption models and alternate methods of transportation would be used. - To secure supply with essential raw materials like oil from closer sources than Araby, prospection teams would travel the Empire, World's Edge and Grey Mountains and "little" Nippon. - Of highest priority was the development of Magic in Germany. Already started before with the help of Imperial and Nipponese Wizards, specialized schools for children and adults, loosely based on the Empire's Orders and Nipponese Mahou adepts, were established all over Germany. - With the loss of all former allies in the Weltensprung, all Bundeswehr units had to recover full sovereign operational capacities. Therefore, the last structure reforms are to be annulled with the exception of obvious improvements. - To help the Imperials and Nipponese with the defence against enemies, both are given several companies of FH70 field howitzers and other surplus material - Imperial and Nipponese artisans, guilds and craftsmen can apprentice in Germany to learn about "new" tech and the making of said inventions - Germany helps in the upgrading of medicine and agricultural knowledge, selling modern ploughs, seeds, medicine, fertilizers and other products to her allies. In reciprocity Germany gets seeds not native to Earth to widen the possible foods, knowledge about magical healing und raw materials - The Nipponese will take control of all land to the bank of the Reik in the south-western "sector", Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony of the reast to create an easier line of defence in the West and Southwest. - Due to difficult oil situation and for practical reasons, Germany will build railroads to Kagoshima and Altdorf first, before spreading out the net further. - Nipponese and Imperials deploy troops to Germany to better help counter attacks by Chaos and Beastmen with "hands-on" knowledge - Research into select breeding of Demigriffs, Griffons, Pegasi and other aerial beasts was to be started - The Luftwaffe was to be restructured to lend even more support to the ground forces, but to retain air superiority as well. Since most possible enemies had inferior flying forces, Luftwaffe research should focus on incorporation of magic and rocketry, to keep the now invaluable satellites going. - Due to the nature of Chaos and local monsters, all settlements in Germany have to build at least some palisades for the Militia, but if feasible to erect real city walls again. - The Marine had to be restructured as well. With the differences in Tech level, long-range U-Boats and strong fast attack craft based on upgraded "Große Torpedoboote" (essentially light destroyers and corvettes) would form the backbone of the new Bundesmarine for patrol and attack. Other ideas and instructions were to be developed during further ongoing consultations. "You know, thees humies ar no fun and reelly fun at once, Grognog!" "Why so, Asdod? Look at di coliflower ears runnin!" "Yea, but playn 'Teef o Tat' is so easy! I ave alraady 600 humie Teef! The humie Emprahs bois n garls at leest make it moh difficult!" "Yo, but smashn the heads of deez troopz together is moh fun, I tell ya! It bingz nicely! And the gunz sound reel orky!" "What a WAAAAAGH!" "Good Evening, I am Rosemary Church and we have to open the news with another, I beg your pardon, bloody headline. Our reporters in Verona, Italy have posted us e-mails about an unprecedented outbreak of the bubonic plague there.
The work group of the last British, Canadian and American soldiers still in Germany had left a bit earlier.
A very faceted group, the Defence minister thought, but considering the brain addling situation that brought us to this world in the first place, exactly what we need.
As you all know, we have now the OK from the remnants of the allied forces to use the equipment which came here with us. As nice it is to have for example 3 dozen nuclear warheads and the two B-52 and B-1 bomber which were caught during an exercise flight when the Weltensprung hit us, these weapon systems will play a role only in very specific scenarios.
- While development of cutting edge technologies would continue, for some time to come the future Bundeswehr would get modernized versions of older, less complicated weapons. Like e.g. the 8.8 cm and 12 cm AA-Guns with upgraded hydraulics and fire control
In addition and already started as well, Wizards were travelling all of Germany to find the people with more than average talent for magic.
From now on, local year 2520, the Bundeswehr is to be structured into 4 different subtypes of units:
Eingreiftruppen (Intervention Forces), units for defence, counter-attacks and for helping allied forces
Angriffstruppen (Attack Forces), Units able to do the tasks of the other two types, but are most suited to bring the War to the enemies of Germany and her allies
Landwehr (lit. Land Defence = Militia), Militia troops, trained to help the Territorial Troops and to handle small to lower medium sized attacks on Germany themselves.
In the East, the last remnants of the Wasteland was to be partitioned between Germany and the Empire
Heavier units up to Battleships would be needed for the protection of the Trade fleets of Germany and the Empire, but compared to the numbers of U-boats needed, it would be a rather small percentage of big surface vessels.
After the raid of Belgium by creatures right out of Tolkien´s books, which is now finally pushed back and confined to eastern Belgium, this outbreak is the second troubling news within three days from Europe.
Equally worse are the news from Kansas and other Midwest States where a never before recorded string of amok runs happens even at this moment. Washington is deploying the National Guard there in hopes of containing whatever pushed these people over the brink, before it can spread out further. The scientists are divided, if this is a new sickness spreading in the wake of the strange events over a month earlier or simply a breakdown in light of the vast destruction the Northern Hemisphere incured."
Minister Thomas de Maiziere looked into the round gathered in the so-called Bendler Block. Delegates from the industry, Armed Forces and the government, rounded out with Warhammer-experts, delegates from the Imperial Army, Guilds and the Magic Orders. topped off by representatives of the Japanese living in Germany as translators and the Nipponese "remnant".
"Meine Damen, meine Herren, I know that some of you have little experience in military matters, but I hope you will still participate in the discussion, since sometimes a different look onto something helps much. And for the delegation of the Bundeswehr I am sorry that for the third time in a relative short frame of time a new basic doctrine has to be developed and implemented.
Our task it is to lay the foundation for the doctrines we need here, the weapon systems used, what systems are possible at all and the coordination with our new allies, the Empire and the Nipponese. So let us begin!"
It became a long week, before the first working draft was finished. Some of the most important points:
- Until supply with enough oil could be guaranteed, less consumption models and alternate methods of transportation would be used.
- To secure supply with essential raw materials like oil from closer sources than Araby, prospection teams would travel the Empire, World's Edge and Grey Mountains and "little" Nippon.
- Of highest priority was the development of Magic in Germany. Already started before with the help of Imperial and Nipponese Wizards, specialized schools for children and adults, loosely based on the Empire's Orders and Nipponese Mahou adepts, were established all over Germany.
- With the loss of all former allies in the Weltensprung, all Bundeswehr units had to recover full sovereign operational capacities. Therefore, the last structure reforms are to be annulled with the exception of obvious improvements.
- To help the Imperials and Nipponese with the defence against enemies, both are given several companies of FH70 field howitzers and other surplus material
- Imperial and Nipponese artisans, guilds and craftsmen can apprentice in Germany to learn about "new" tech and the making of said inventions
- Germany helps in the upgrading of medicine and agricultural knowledge, selling modern ploughs, seeds, medicine, fertilizers and other products to her allies. In reciprocity Germany gets seeds not native to Earth to widen the possible foods, knowledge about magical healing und raw materials
- The Nipponese will take control of all land to the bank of the Reik in the south-western "sector", Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony of the reast to create an easier line of defence in the West and Southwest.
- Due to difficult oil situation and for practical reasons, Germany will build railroads to Kagoshima and Altdorf first, before spreading out the net further.
- Nipponese and Imperials deploy troops to Germany to better help counter attacks by Chaos and Beastmen with "hands-on" knowledge
- Research into select breeding of Demigriffs, Griffons, Pegasi and other aerial beasts was to be started
- The Luftwaffe was to be restructured to lend even more support to the ground forces, but to retain air superiority as well. Since most possible enemies had inferior flying forces, Luftwaffe research should focus on incorporation of magic and rocketry, to keep the now invaluable satellites going.
- Due to the nature of Chaos and local monsters, all settlements in Germany have to build at least some palisades for the Militia, but if feasible to erect real city walls again.
- The Marine had to be restructured as well. With the differences in Tech level, long-range U-Boats and strong fast attack craft based on upgraded "Große Torpedoboote" (essentially light destroyers and corvettes) would form the backbone of the new Bundesmarine for patrol and attack.
Other ideas and instructions were to be developed during further ongoing consultations.Brussels, Belgium, Earth
"You know, thees humies ar no fun and reelly fun at once, Grognog!"
"Why so, Asdod? Look at di coliflower ears runnin!"
"Yea, but playn 'Teef o Tat' is so easy! I ave alraady 600 humie Teef! The humie Emprahs bois n garls at leest make it moh difficult!"
"Yo, but smashn the heads of deez troopz together is moh fun, I tell ya! It bingz nicely! And the gunz sound reel orky!"
"What a WAAAAAGH!"CNN Evening News
"Good Evening, I am Rosemary Church and we have to open the news with another, I beg your pardon, bloody headline. Our reporters in Verona, Italy have posted us e-mails about an unprecedented outbreak of the bubonic plague there.
Now this is the Law of the Jungle - as old and as true as the sky;
And the Wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the Wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk the Law runneth forward and back -
For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack
Rudyard Kipling/Law of the Jungle
Hag Graef, Naggaroth, Late Evening
The Captain of the Drachi's Kiss was not a happy Druchii, when he strode down the Bridge. Nobody could have seen it under the Mask he habitually wore against the evening Mist of Hag Graef, but he had received an unexpected summons, and this kind of thing did not bode well in this city.
Finally he reached the Tower, one of the higher ones around.
After the usual nonsense which was to show him his lowly status, like leaving most weapons and his retainers he was finally led into the office he did not particularly wanted to enter.
It was as he expected - big, ostentatious and full of trophies. The owner was not facing him, but a map fastened to one of the less ornamental walls, demonstrating his casualness by presenting his back.
Well, two could pay that game, so Irglier just waited.
He did not have to wait for too long before the Silence was broken:
„Yes my lord."
„Corsair Irglier the Impaler"
„I hear that you plan a long range expedition?"
„Yes, we will raid the Bretons at Lyonesse, where we will..."
„No, you will not."
It took nearly all his willpower not to scream at this, but a well honed survival instinct intervened in time. You do NOT insult Isilvar Darkmoon - at least not more than once.
„I have a different target for your corsairs, one which will not just benefit your Corsairs, but will also please me and the Drachau."
„Which would be?"
„You will have heard rumours about the emergence of a new Nation. Well they are not only rumours...
These Deutsche are said to be a powerful state, having taken over the Wasteland and being allied to the Empire. They are said to be technologically advanced beyond even the Dwarves. They are said to be without magic. They are said to be many, many things, but we KNOW nothing.
This cannot be - we need knowledge, new slaves, not rumours!
So, at my behest and the behest of the Drachau you will conduct a raid into this Germany, and take as many slaves as you can. If you can bring us artefacts of power - so much the better.
Do not fail us..."
„My Lord if I am allowed? Why me? We are not the biggest corsair fleet?"
"No, you are not. But you are available at short notice and your tactics seem to rely more on guile then some of your competition. If some of what we hear is true, that may be... useful.
Come to this map, I will show you what we think we know..."
Papenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
The Line at the Lidl discounter was not longer than usual, but it took more time then before, which was hardly surprising. Ralf Winkler looked at his watch again, decided that there was still time and tried to remain patient,
Finally the checkout arrived, and he put his items on the counter. The Cashier checked his purchases against his ration book and then quickly deducted the money.
He moved the stuff into the trailer behind his Pedalec, again thankful they had bought 2 Electric bikes a couple of weeks before the Weltensprung.
They allowed to take the daily commute and shopping without using the precious petrol allotments or wedging into the overfilled busses. In the major cities at rush-hour one could now see something which had been restricted to Japan in the old days. Conductors watching over the underground stations, making sure the wagon doors could close by pushing and pulling people into position.
He made it back to the Meyer shipyard in time and after taking some of his purchases with him rushed to the locker room.
Some of his colleagues were already there and changing into Uniform, he went to his locker and gave a shrug when he saw his new Uniform. The shape was not the unfamiliar thing, the colour was. The Grey-Green still offended him somewhat - not for the colour, but what it stood for.
For 22 years he had been part of Civil Defence, or Disaster Management as the Germans preferred to call it. Having taken all the courses up to Paramedic in his spare time he had spend an interesting time with St. Johns Ambulance - finding his Wife, seeing strange countries and sometimes encountering situations that he really wished he had not.
Then after all these years he got only the chance of quitting - or joining the Landwehr. Given that he had no military experience at all he was quite amazed at that request until he found that the old Ex-Bundeswehr Reservists did not have any Medics or equipment at the moment.
When he arrived at the meeting room he saw as expected a lot of people like him-40-somethings, many going towards bald and a little fat and having the usual chat before the monthly company meeting.
He located his two Co-Medics and moved to them, plonking on the chair the two had thoughtfully reserved. „Moin Kinners" -the usual Greeting exchanged they decided that they had time for some business before boredom.
„Ok Torsten, 20 packs of Cigarettes on me. What have you got?"
„4 Bars of Chocolate."
„Hmm, put some strawberries from your Garden in that pot and we are on."
Around them lots of similar deals were done - Black and Green Tee, Coffee, Tobacco and lots of other stuff were rationed these days and some then traded what they did not need themselves.
Ralf mused that between the rationing and the daily commute by bike the event finally managed to get rid of his „love handles" when nothing else could.
The good news was that generally food was not scarce, but specialities certainly were for the moment. Unlike some other nations of the now lost Earth, Germany was easily able to produce enough food to meet all requirements of a healthy diet. In fact, Germany was an exporter of foodstuff, but everything which had not grown in the cool climate of Europe or only with small yields, was now in short supply.
Pretty much at the allotted time the chatter ceased and Hauptmann Martensen put behind the pulpit.
„Ok folks, let`s get this show on the Road. We herewith open the training session of the 31. Landwehr Company. I hope you all signed the attendance list and we can start serious business.
First off, congrats to 3 of us: Winkler, Möller and Fredriksen all finished the introductory course with honours. Learned anything useful?"
Ralf thought about anything to say about the rather abbreviated introduction into the Army, which was mandatory for all the members of the "Landwehr" that had not been in the German armed forces before. While he thought about anything to say Torsten Fredriksen chimed in:
" Salute anything that moves, pick up anything that does not move and paint everything Dark Green which is too large to pick up?"
After the laughter died, Claasen continued.
"Ok, seems like a fair summary. Now to something more useful, the next Field Problem is in Liebenau in 14 days, so we have to meet…"
About 1 hour, and some more or less useful administrative details later: "Ralf Winkler, your turn."
"Ok, lets make it short, we all want to have dinner. Firstly, the medical team is now ready in all aspects, all members have finished their respective courses, we received the additional materials and as our Unimog is too heavy to pick up, it is now Olive Green!
We also identified some surplus material for the Exercise in Liebenau and some of our Wives agreed to make up some 'injuries' for us so we can have some extra training.
Also, I need some volunteer medics for the annual town festival in June and another Paramedic for the Riding Tournament in July. I may add that these volunteers are eligible for the Medics which go to the Bundesliga soccer game 'Werder against Bayern', as our esteemed Bremen colleagues have some problems getting a full team together."
The latter, as expected, gave a good show of hands so it was easy to fill all places with warm bodies. This was a big part why Ralf swallowed the "Mickey Mouse Shit": A group of people who wanted to help, no money asked. It was fine to be a member of such a group.
Even so, he could have done without the 15 Kilometer bike trip home, especially at 9:00 PM, E-bike or no, but needs must when the devil drives…
"Drachi`s Kiss", Sea of Claws
The Wind over the Sea of Claws was stiff and drove some spray over the Rails of the aft deck, soaking it`s Crew. Irglier did not have to make an conscious effort at not showing any effects. If he were to show any weakness at such a crew as his, he would be dead so long ago as to be removed from memory.
While making a show of checking the rigging and crew his thoughts were elsewhere. So far, he had always been the master of his fleet and only responsible to his financers. That was easy: Either he was successful, which satisfied his backers, or he was dead and did not care.
Still he preferred not to be dead and had therefore adapted a style of raiding which was long on guile, stealth and duplicity, but also tried to raid targets where the likelihood of a "good fight" was low. His crew, or better the survivors, were quite happy with this.
Now he not only had to raid a target he was VERY low on solid information about, but Darkmoon had forced additional troops on him. While they could bring some useful capabilities they were not Crew, not used to fight with the rest of his Crew and not HIS crew.
That meant the first time in a long time he was facing a planning session he was not totally sure of surviving: Not an unusual state of affairs for a Druchii, but one he did not have to like.
Still, it was no use to postpone, so he made his way to his Cabin. While usually it seemed quite spacious it was highly cramped now as many more than the usual partakers had to find their seats-and not any seat but the seat which showed their status and power…..
He decided to make a quiet, businesslike entry, designed to show he had no need to bluster his way into a group jostling for power and status.
This meant that the loud discussion did not cease in any way when he made his way to his seat. But as a firm adherent to the 6 P rule (proper preparation prevents piss poor performance) a wink to his first mate was enough to cause an "event".
Used to relay orders all over the ship in the equivalent of a Force 12 Gale he did not have to "shout" per se, but his voice was still loud enough to stop all conversation immediately.
"Order on Deck, the Captain is in attendance!" got the expected results, a minute of quiet and lots of hateful looks by those not used to be ordered about.
"Better deliver now, old boy, or the results could be unpleasant" he thought and so he started off into the fray.
"I assume everybody here now knows everybody else and is busy telling everybody else how great they are and how much you are in command. Now this may be news for those not of my Crews: As long as we are in this expedition, I have it. Overall command. Anybody who has a problem with that can leave immediately."
As the most armed men in this meeting were his, this got no open dissent - and additional hatred. He could do without that, but a confused chain of command could kill him even more quickly. He savoured the quiet only for long enough to show that he was, indeed, the boss and then started on.
"As we can all agree now, let me show you what plans we have for the raid we are all on. If you look at this map you see a bay at the Border of Germany, which is the mouth of a river.
Our intelligence, such as it is, our informants tell us that the town at the river is a center of shipbuilding and commerce, but small enough that the defences will not be overwhelming.
Actually, we can see no obvious fortifications at all, neither walls nor Castles or other strongpoints. There will be some men-of-arms somewhere, but we are uncertain of numbers, quality or armaments.
Either these "Germans" are totally overconfident, crazy or they know something we do not.
My best estimation is that they rely on their Navy a lot and may have a reason to.
Seeress Jasla reports visions of fast ships with no sails, made from Iron and armed with cannons. We cannot say how many Cannons or how strong their armour is, but they seem to be seagoing.
For those of us not used to the Sea: This is highly unusual as all Steam Ships we saw so far from the Dwarves are more useful in littoral seas and Rivers.
Nether the less, I am not going to take our ships against theirs directly if I can help it - if we, do we shall win - but the costs could be bad. The big risk here is not the cannons per se, but fire. And believe me, there are better ways to go, including not at all… As the Germans are said to be allied to the Empire, we will go about this as follows…"
The Battle of SwinemündeIf someone didn't count engagements with pirates off Somalia and some clashes of the GDR and Polish navies concerning disputed sea borders before the Wende, the Battle of Swinemünde was the first sea fight in which a German navy was involved in decades.
Swinemünde, Stettin and the other part of Polish Vorpommern had also transported with Germany in the Weltensprung. In the magistrates many politicians were not very keen to be reunited with Germany. In fact, there had been several problems between the border towns on Usedom, especially about a FKK beach just at the border. Not only that the naked Germans could be seen by the Catholic Poles, some of them even went over the border. And now the Germans had de facto annexed Polish territory again. The events at Hof were only partly successful to destroy the resistance within some circles of the Polish population. Indeed the Battle of Swinemünde did much more.
Swinemünde was still suited at the Swine, which was no longer parting the islands of Usedom and Wollin, but Usedom and the Empire.
In the first night after the Sea of Claws had come back, a Norse dragon boat had entered the Rostock/Warnemünde lagoon and found Warnemünde and Rostock as not fortified and apparently undefended. As he had not enough men with him to attack such a large city, the Norse captain retreated and went to his chieftain upon arriving home. He told him, the gods had created a new land with rich cities only waiting to be plundered. The chieftain was very excited, but feared, others could come earlier, so he decided to hurry up. But his fears were not unrealistic as indeed the news spread in all of Norsca.
So a Varg raiding force was underway in all haste to become the first. And it worked. Under the security of a moonless night and magical fog, the Norsca raiders hit Rostock like a hammer. While the last ships leaving were caught by the Bundesmarine and it was mainly buildings damaged and pillaged, the Warhammer world had shown again how dangerous she could be.
After this successful first raid, nearly every tribe was planning a raid. This lead to tensions between the tribes, as everyone wanted to be the next with a large haul. Unexpectedly the chieftains accepted a common strike against this new country in order to keep the chaos gods in a good mood. They were the ones, who gave them this donation after all. In the end over 300 boats were ready to raid the German coast, as nearly every tribe had sent a sizeable force. Together nearly 30.000 Norse warriors were on these boats ready to plunder.
After Rostock the German Navy had started to patrol in the Sea of Claws despite the burning of precious fuel to prevent such a case again. The P-3 C Orion sea patrol planes were flying over the sea while submarines and surface ships were patrolling the seas. At some positions even artillery batteries were put into service.
In the morning hours of the attack a strange fog appeared on the Sea of Claws and was nearing Swinemünde. As the meteorologists did not predict this the navy was put into high alert. Indeed a P-3 C could detect hundreds of small boats coming. The magicians on the boats had called this fog in the hope to protect the fleet from eyes. But it did not help against RADAR. The German frigate Köln was the nearest ship and engaged the enemy. The Köln had been recently recommissioned and was fully opertional. The battlecry "Köln kommt!" (Cologne comes) was heard again.
Soon the frigate called the attackers to retreat or fire would be opened. Soon after the nearest ship had been given a warning with a shot off the bow. For the Norse the fact, that they were detected, came surprising. Now the fog did indeed hamper them as they could not see the enemy. But they would fight. Soon the magic of the fog stopped. But as they continued they heard soon again a kind of thunder. Then they saw the boat, which had been missed just before, burning and sinking. Only few Norse were alive. Only a few seconds later several shells hit the next boat. And a third. Then they finally could see a single strage huge ship firing with a single gun on them. But it was several km away and so they needed time to attack it. Indeed they did not have to do so, as the frigate attacked them.
The fourth enemy was another Dragon boat, which was sunk, too, by the 3" Oto Melara gun. The fifth boat as well. Now her two helicopters started and attacked the enemy fleet as well. The Sea Lynx helicopters were armed with each four Sea Sauk missiles and a M3M 12,7 mm door gun. The Sea Skuas were deadly and sank eight attackers. Other boats were attacked with the door guns and sunk or damaged. Some were drifting to the new Pommeranian coast as their crews were all dead.
After the 18th kill the Köln was in range of one of the Royal ships. As these ships were bigger and armoured, the captain of the Köln decided to sink it with a Harpoon missile. The other big radar echoes were also targeted with Harpoon missiles. That were bad surprises for some Norse, who indeed did not know yet they were in a fight!
The Köln was still sinking ships with her guns, but she now came too near to the fleet. Nevertheless her commander ordered her to drive with full speed ahead. "Damn Norse! Full speed ahead!" he said. He ordered soldiers with rifles to the decks to fire on the enemy ships. The 27 mm CIWS, the 12,7 mm MGs and the RIM 116 RAM missiles were cutting through the enemy ships.
Soon after Tornados and Eurofighter appeared. They used normal bombs and board guns only but created more havoc. Also the gun battery near Swinemünde fired on the enemy from a distance of 30 km. In the meantime Köln had even rammed and sunk two ships without big damages. However, her ammunition was now nearly empty, so that she retreated. Soon after Schnellboote and the corvette Braunschweig joined the fight the Norse retreated. They had lost 111 ships with about 12.000 men. About 2.000 Norse were captured by the Germans with yet another 8 ships captured.
The only German soldier harmed was a man on Köln, who was hit by a Norse arrow in the arm. For the Norse it was defeat they had to deal with. Germany was no gift by the gods for them. Quite the contrary. For the next time they were going to be more cautious and bring in much more Sorcerers, when they found something "German". The easy victory in Rostock had made them overconfident, so they had left most Vitki and Chaos Sorcerers at home. A bitter mistake and one which would not be made again. A decision, which meant a lot of headaches for the German forces in the future. Germany had been lucky, but that the Norse could learn, was soon seen in another raid near Neustadt, where a small village paid a deadly price for the Battle of Swinemünde.
For the Poles an attack by Viking raiders was something new. They knew, they had no chance without the Germans. So they accepted the reunification with Germany.
Frisian Coast Line, Sea of Claws:
The small Police Cutter "W3" of the Water Police went through the light swell at 20 knots, chasing a small number of unidentified Contacts their Radar had shown. The light of the dawn showed a sight nobody of the policemen would have expected a couple of months before: A small convoy of Galleon-like ships, sail powered, with high lines.
The low length-to width ratio showed them to be merchantmen tacking along roughly along the 3-Mile line which demarked German borders.
The Mate went into the rail-enclosed Pedestal mount and readied his Megaphone.
"Ship Ahoi" got a result.
The following was less clear and took more time - while Frisian accented German and Nordland Reiksspiel were quite close there was still engine noise and a great cultural divide to overcome.
The meaning of the "conversation" was clear any way, the Convoy was just transiting to the Empire and hugged the German coast to avoid Pirates.
Feeling useful and content the commander exchanged farewells and set the course of his Cutter closer to the coast Line and back onto the patrol route.
The Captain of the lead Galleon stepped back, delayed anxiety causing cold sweat and a dose of the shakes. He was the father of 2 Children and was doing everything that they did not share the fate of his other two.
A shadow parted from the door to the deckhouse: "Well done Human, you and your whelps will live a day longer…"
Martensen Farmstead, Mitting, close to the Sea of Claws, 4 am
Malith of the Scouts stepped back from the Window of the farm`s living room, wondering again at the impossibly large and clear Windows in what had to be a simple farm. He looked down at the farmer`s wife. While she was still breathing her eyes were as empty as the Window, her mind having retreated to a place where an unbearable reality could not intrude.
What she and her family had told had been so unbelievable that they had been quite insistent in their questioning. If what they told were true then the only armed forces within days of travel were some law keepers.
There was no Castle or other protective shelter for the Farmers, no armed retainers of the minor nobles, no nothing. They had not been raided for Generations and had obviously gone happy, lazy and fat.
Well this was about to change…
He went to the back of the room and asked their sorceress again for any news.
"Malith, for the last time, I have send our findings to Lord Irglier, who gave no comment about what is to happen next. We can all safely assume that we all follow the plan and we will be relived soon. Instead of bothering me about things we all know, better tell me what that box with that light is down there."
Which box? Malith turned around and saw a small flat box which had so far been covered by the farmer`s wife. The front side was glowing and faint noises were coming from it.
He could not make any sense of it, and as there was nobody around anymore who could answer questions he simply stepped on it.
The lights and the sounds faded immediately, so he settled for a wait. When he looked outside the Window again he saw one of his sentries crawling back to the door.
"I hear some of these horseless carts approaching, but see no lights this time. May be somebody tries to sneak on us? "
"Try to find more. Take Urglieth with you."
The sentry sneaked back towards the source of the noise he had heard. Quickly he found some bigger horseless cars hidden from the farmhouse by some trees.
A lot of men were milling around, all talking in muted voices. He looked more closely and saw they were the first armed men encountered so far. Some wore what looked like partial armour, helmets and some very short, strangely shaped firearms.
He kept in the darkest shadows, relying on his far superior eyesight to keep things under observation but not being seen. One of the men pointed an impossibly far telescope at the farm he had just left and looked into it.
Strangely the eyepiece of the telescope seemed to glow faintly. Suddenly the man turned around, obviously to pass that telescope when he seemed to see something.
"He, Sie da, was machen Sie da? - Stehenbleiben…" all of this meant nothing to the Sentry, but that he was discovered was obvious. He fired off his crossbow, catching his opponent in the throat before wiggling backwards as quickly as he could.
When he was a little distance away he got up and started to walk quickly back to his comrades when the screaming intensified. He turned back and aimed his crossbow in the rough direction of the noise when he heard 3 muffled explosions. He was still wondering about that when the second salvo ripped him off his feet.
Jan Petersen from the local MEK (Swat equivalent in German) had to admit to himself that he was somewhat out of his depth with this situation. Normally they were laying siege to the bad guys and then overwhelmed them in well planned lightning actions.
The bad guys were not supposed to go after the Police after all.
As he could not ascertain whether the two dead …somethings, who seemed to be Elves according to the species fact sheets they got, had not warned their compatriots in the house he had to take a decision which could only endanger his men more, but which was inevitable:
"Ok folks, this went down the drain. Lets make this as quick as possible. Each group takes up their positions right now, when ready give me a signal.
He saw his men going to their starting positions quickly and got the "all clears" in rapid succession.
"Ok, on my mark-gogogo…."
Malith was keeping himself from cursing with an effort of will since it would hurt morale. Instead he gave orders in what he thought was a commanding whisper and distributed his men at all entrances to the house. He had enough men and the building was sturdy enough to make a stand until relieved.
He was still trying to see what enemies were out there and where when a small cylinder broke right through the Window and started spewing some smoke, immediately followed by another one.
Then the world went mad.
The "flashbang" the MEK had thrown into the room was designed to emit an overwhelming light and explosive sound that would not leave permanent damage in humans but which would paralyze them for some seconds.
For a Druchii with their somewhat more sensitive Ears and Eyes it was far too much. That the police went in screaming was of no account and the orders to lay down arms were neither heard nor acted upon.
The police, charged with adrenaline till the gills and having an easy time identifying the bad guys opened fire immediately and killed nearly all elves before some reason returned.
Jan Petersen eagerly awaited the situation from his men, and the "all safe, no losses" was a godsend, reliving him of the fear having send his men to their deaths.
The "Chief, please come in here" was less welcome, as was the voice in the wireless. The Hauptwachtmeister who called him was a veteran of many years, and anything which could faze him had to be bad.
When he entered the living room the first thing he saw was a very pale and very, very dead, very slender looking man in a medieval looking armour who still had a complicated looking crossbow in his hand.
And what he then saw could not be it...
His eyes went over that "thing" twice before acknowledging that they had be the remains of a man and two children. His mind was screaming at him that THIS COULD NOT BE and at the same time knowing it had to be.
He did not make it out of the room before he had to puke his guts out.
Getting some hold of himself, he stumbled out of the house to get some breath. When he finally straightened himself he saw in the light of the beginning day a long line of Raiders coming in his direction.