01 May 2013

Warhammer Wednesday: The Desolation of Drakenmoor

From my Hogshead poster map of the Old World (1998)

The above picture from my poster map of the Old World shows the intriguingly named "Desolation of Drakenmoor." Checking last week on the WFRP 2E Refugee group indicates that there is no real canon information on it, other than the idea that Drakenmoor was a necromancer. Perfect; that gives me something to work with, doesn't it?
 
Drakenmoor was a bold experiment of a coalition of nobles who wanted room to expand. Primarily third and fourth sons who would not inherit any true position of power or authority in their families, they received tactic imperial approval (but no tangible support) for their plan to establish a new Margravate, Drakenmoor, on the eastern side of the World's Edge Mountains. This was around the year 2350 soon after the reign of Magnus the Pious. The Imperial thought was that Drakenmoor might serve as a forward base should Chaos encroach from the East. And, if a few troublesome "extra sons" were occupied, so much the better for the peace of the Empire.
 
Unfortunately, this was not the case. After the initial settlement of the area and the investiture of the first Margraf, Siegfried von Lubek, it was rapidly apparent that the scheme was doomed to failure. One of the principal features of a feudal state are peasants and even free holders to work the land and provide an essential support structure. Convincing peasants to move to a far frontier was an impossible task; most of the ones who did emigrate were shiftless and lazy or freeing from legal action of one type or another. The "Castle of Drakenmoor" was never more than a motte and bailey  keep with insufficient logistical support to survive long; there was only so long that noble families in the Empire would continue sending support to their wayward sons. The Margraf's own advisers quarrelled amongst themselves and there were rumours that some were secretly active Chaos worshippers.
 
And then there was Chaos. Living outside the protective boundaries of the Empire and lacking ecclesiastical support in any measure, the area was ripe for infiltration, even if the rumours about the Margraf's councillors were false. And it did happen. Goblin and orc raiders were constantly probing, raising tensions. The infighting and corruption spread, and the entire citizenry turned on itself. The Margraf appealed to the Imperial gods but his cries went unheard and unanswered until, toward the end, a small quiet voice offered him vengeance. Suffice to say that when was said and done, Drakenmoor Castle was a smoking ruin. The first (and last) Margraf, Siegfried the Damned is said to still wanders the area, a servant of the renegade Chaos lord Malal.
 
Siegfried the Damned
Please note that at this time, these are merely notes and ideas in my head to become more fleshed out later. Enjoy!
 
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