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Journeys into the Tallowlands


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The PCRC – that's the Plastic Crack Rehab Clinic – are a group of nine hobbyists. Over the years we've played a variety of games; from boardgames to roleplaying, and tabletop wargaming's been a fairly constant presence since the group's inception. Enthusiasm for Warhammer has waxed and waned amongst the gang over the years, with some PCRC members being keen players of older editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, games like Fantasy Flight Games' Chaos in the Old World, or simply enjoying the fiction. The destruction of the Old World and the nebulous, delayed coming of the Age of Sigmar saw a us create the Tallowlands as a stable spot for our gaming. I hope this is the correct spot for me to record our narratively-led gaming here on TGA.

Our tastes run from high to low fantasy, so we wanted a little corner of our own. It's intentionally a big fuzzy as to whether it's part of the Old World, the Mortal Realms, in order to allow us maximum freedom. The Tallowlands are thus a sort of half-way house setting, which owes a lot to the traditional Warhammer Old World while embracing the freedom and personal creativity that the Age of Sigmar setting offers. Thus you can expect some familiarity alongside the sheer surprise that we believe a fantasy setting should offer.

I hope, therefore, that whether you favour the roleplay-led fantastical and uncharted early editions of Warhammer; the tightly-mapped, ordered and pseudo-historical middle editions, or the latest expansive potential of the Mortal Realms, you'll find something that gets your imagination spinning. 


The history of the Tallowlands, as reckoned by the dawi of the Gorm Ranges


Draw close, manling, and pass that well-water your brewer flatters with the name of ale.


Passable, after all. Perhaps I misjudge the children of Sigmar.

At the least, my throat is not so dry as it was. While the fire burns still, let me tell you a little. You have been hospitable to my sister in her illness, and my kin do not soon forget kindness. 

Of the Tallowlands, it is said the Star Giants drew their plough across these lands – long ago; before the raising of the Hold, before the coming of Man; before the kingdoms that now flourish. The land buckled and melted in the heat, and the bones of the earth themselves grew soft and flowing. For two wholemoons the skies rained ash and fire as the plough drew slowly through the groaning ground. All who stayed on the surface perished. As the Giants passed, the land grew cold once more, and the mountains set into the soft rolling hills you see now.

Ages passed – ages of war and terror; long since passed into the myth of man. Then it was that the great King-before-Kings came to explore the furrow they had ploughed. As Nog reached the edge of the blackened land, he saw a long scar in the earth. It sank deep – deep beyond his sight – and was seeded with gems and ore to delight a thousand lifetimes.

It was hard, then, and bare: naught but thin grasses and heathers stretched across the moorlands, and the wind was chill. The Old gods, the hungry gods, were abroad in those days. Nog bought his safety through cunning pacts and bargains with Caer-Nadhg; and with wondrous gifts to He-that-is-named-Tidh.

Nog knew then that he would raise a hold. A Hold of a thousand – ten thousand! – families. He and his kin would steward these new Tallowlands. And so it became. A fort was raised; and then a keep. Over five manling lifetimes Nog laboured and sweated to bring his hold to reality; while drawing the richness of the furrow to himself. 

Then came the greenskin nomads, and the silver-tongued infidious elves – and with them they brought their war... 


Hm. Elves. They inveigled their way into the holds of the dawi-folk with flattery and bluster. At first, we were glad to have company, for the winters were long then, the wild things of the world fiercer, and elves – for all their failings – are always beautiful, always quick to laugh, always with the brightest stories and the finest riddles. 

Safely ensconsed within stout dwarf-built walls, they built their damnable towers; and spied on the heavens. They peered too far. 

In his arrogance, their Princeling Lauim declared he had found the first Great Lesson: that gods and mortals were not meant to stand alongside each other. The elves cast the ancient Pacts of the gods and Nog asunder, and used their witch-ways and towers to shift Caer-Nadhg and He-that-is-named-Tidh and Listan and Dairayan and the rest. No longer were they seen plainly, as in the Time of Ancestors; and nor could they be treated with by the words of honest dawi-folk – for the Old gods had moved beyond where the wind of breath could reach them.

It was an ill place, then; and without their presence the balance of the Wilds was broken. Tangled forests erupted with half-beasts and the mountains became treacherous with ogres and giants and trolls. Greenskins boiled forth from their hideouts and lairs, and the Wars of Sorrows began. Many towns were lost, and the dawi-folk were driven from the lowlands to their great holds. Beyond the hillside farms, we have never hence returned.

The elves were ejected, then, and have never since been welcome; but that did not save our underhalls, for the greenskins and beastmen and crawlers are braver now than once they were; as they have no gods to fear.


The Throng of Nog, as it stands in these benighted times.

Ask them, now, in the towns of Man, where the lands they dwell in began, and they will not know. Only the dawi remember, for we have rune-cunning; and carve our memories in stone. Aye, us, and perhaps the elves; though well it is said that it is better to trust a knife in the dark than an elf. 

The Sin and the Gorach were the first of the Men to settle, the first to trade, and the first to build cities. Where the dawi-folk had bargained with the gods, knowing them to be part of a great balance, Man brought their own gods with them – Khând, Hain-Amur, Mithrest – and grew strong. Their temples displaced those of the wild gods; and 

Those first kingdoms are now lost, long lost, and lamentably lost. The Southern fiefdoms – the latecoming Rhôvers  – are a dreary place in comparison with the glories of the Twin Empires. But such is the way of Man. Far-reaching, and short-sighted, the Sinian and Nygorach strove ever onwards.

At first, so the ancestors have it, there was a spirit of friendly competition, the two cities growing to become kingdoms, then empires... As the strength of each waxed, so they strove not merely to out-do one another, but to eclipse the other. After centuries, the Sinians, it seemed, had won – and bloodlessly, too – for their rich lands bordered much to the south, providing them with space to grow; while the thin soils of Nygorach grew stripped-back and starved as the people of the peninsula cannibalised what land they had in raising increasingly impressive monuments, their grandeur giving the proud rulers an inadvertently desperate air, that made visiting dignitaries' wine sour.

The Gorach would, eventually, fall to the temptations of powers that even the blade-ears avoid, and by the beard of Gazul, their new-found power would consume them.

The Tallowlands; a map charted by the umgi Warmtamale and Omricon.

It was not long since – within my lifetime, and I am no great age for a dawi  – that Sinian fell. In two-score years, its garrisons and towns and castles were eaten from within. The Sinian Emperor, and then his line, were lost, and the lands themselves seemed sickened. 

Trains of refugees and exiles swept down the mountain roads, seeking sanctuary. Armies of monsters trailed them, and as our holds became besieged, we learned then how it was that the Great Sinian Empire had fallen so quickly – for Nygorach had traded with dark places, and learned how to draw life away. So Sinian soldiers fell, unblemished; and even their firearms and gunpowder failed to light, as the spark of fire lost its life. It was then we learned once more the value of steel and sinew over the alchemy increasingly favoured by our cousins and by the youngling races. 

Turning to the ancestors, we found ancient tomes from the time the elves lived alongside us, and our runesmiths learned to yoke their sorcery; breaking its will and writing it into our runes, and thence to beat them into our steel. Thus strengthened by good dwarfish craft, were our holds able to withstand  the tide.

The conflict became known as the Ghoul Wars, and it continues to this day. It is our great sorrow to bear witness to the weakness of Man. With the strong arm of the Sinian Empire lost, the wild things of the Tallowlands grow bold once more. The mould-hearted children of the Nygorach are triumphant – though their mad king rules naught but charred wasteland. Pain, despair and hunger, the three children of  war, stalk the Tallowlands... 

Edited by apologist
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The Nogthrong's dramatis personae:

Cyng Nurnanog


I'll be using the older rules for a Dwarf Lord on a Shield, and I just love this little diorama. Everything I like about dwarfs! 


The Runesmith Tremblestave


The same figure as one I had as a nipper playing 3rd edition Warhammer. It's nice to have a way to use this characterful sculpt again. Since I'm using an adapted Cities of Sigmar set of rules, I'm toying with the idea of using him as an actual wizard. Any thoughts?

Eorlcyng Nialon the Disapproving


Feudal underlings to the Cyng above, Eorlcyngs are the Tallowlands' equivalent to Thanes.





Snorri Spilaf, Thegn of Nog


The lack of ways to represent characterful models like this is the main reason for me diving into usign some of the older rules. I could use him as a Warden King, but as you'll see here, I've loads of models better-suited for that. I guess treating him as a Runesmith – based on the banner bearing terrible runic magic, rather than Snorri himself – could work, but I'd prefer to use the Dwarf Warscroll Compendium rules


Thegn Kazasturn, Gesith of the Cyng


Leader of one block of Ironbreakers.


The Weartling Cwichelm


Not to be outdone, Cwichelm will bring his snazzy Crimson Few into battle as Ironbreakers.

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