Balthasar Gelt

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"Welcome to Estalia, gentlemen. I will not lie, the chances of your survival are small - some may even turn against your friends as living corpses... But you have my word that I will use my arcane gifts to ensure your bodies are given unto Morr's garden. This is the greatest reward, more than even gold, for the fate of your soul is an eternal concern! Now, come. Follow me, strike down the Undead that rise against us, allow me to find this eldritch amulet. I ask not for my own selfish studies, but for the good of the Empire!"

The man, the myth, the legend

Balthasar Gelt is a character in Warhammer Fantasy. He owns a Pegasus named Quicksilver.


Even before becoming Supreme Patriarch of The Empire's Colleges of Magic, Gelt was very passionate about magic, specializing in the Lore of Metal (Otherwise known as Alchemy). However, he wasn't exactly using it for the best of intentions. The first mention of him mentions that he transmuted lead ingots into gold and then paid a ship to take him to Altdorf, running away before the gold turned back to lead. Of course there was a bounty on his head, put there by the swindled captain. It's still there, funnily enough. Good thing he got a good position.

Anyway, after arriving in Altdorf, he decided to join the Gold College. His passion for science and his natural intelligence allowed for him to become good friends with the Imperial Engineers as well as Patriarch of the Gold Order within a decade. One day, he was experimenting, and that led to a freak accident where something exploded (or not so accidental, remember the bounty). Freak explosion led to some horrible disfigurement (Perhaps his entire skin turned to gold, perhaps it's just boring old scars) so now he wears a gold mask as much as possible and almost never takes it off. If it was golden skin , imagine the rage and hatred Settra would spew if he saw Gelt in his golden form, since Gelt got what Settra wanted for countless years due to a accident(but it's unknown if Gelt's golden form actually had living sensation other than just gold covered on the skin like an extra harden shell). Whatever the case, the accident didn't faze him, but instead drove him further to greatness. His power apparently grew enough since that time that he even managed to overthrow the previous Supreme Patriarch (A Thyrus Gormann of the Bright Order).

Since that time, he's just been enjoying being filthy powerful.

The End Times[edit]

It's possible to say that it was Gelt who was responsible in part for the End Times kicking as hard as they have.

Following Volkmar the Grim's disappearance into Sylvania, Gelt built a Wall of Faith around Sylvania, locking in the Undead. He got the idea from one of his apprentices (secretly The Changeling in disguise either trolling everyone or at Tzeentch's request to forestall Nagash's return). Predictably, this pissed off a certain megalomaniacal Vampire Count off royally enough that he had to beg for aid from Arkhan the Black and kick their quest to resurrect Nagash into full-gear.

During that time, Gelt was considered a hero for the wall. See, one day he was met by this weird girl (A vampire under Queen Neferata's thrall, probably Genevieve) who gave him some strange scrolls detailing a wall capable of melding both faith and magic in a seamless fashion through the prayers of an army of warrior priests and wizards. Not one for knowing modesty, Gelt then attempted to make a bigger one, the Auric Bastion, around the Empire itself so it could be shielded from the incoming invasion of Chaos Vikings. While considered an even greater success, the wall was not flawless, and little chinks tended to appear. The issue was that despite making a bigger wall, he forgot all about the wall around Sylvania, a matter which had to yet again be pushed aside as it became clear these chinks wouldn't fix themselves. During this trip of fixing, he noticed the rise of Valten, the arrival of the undead (triggered by Nagash's resurrection), and the fact that the Changeling had snuck through the Bastion and was ready to cause all sorts of hell. Of these, the last concerned him enough that he decided to keep up tabs with Ar-Ulric Emil Valgeir as the two split paths to trail the daemon.

During this hunt, he also came upon the resurrected Vlad von Carstein, who revealed the nature of the bastion and also exposed a sentiment that the citizens shouldn't have to die if they didn't need to, and to this end, Vlad gave Gelt a book that delved into the contents of necromancy. Despite initially refusing the thought, Gelt eventually decided that necromancy was a necessary evil that would let him protect the Empire better and started raising the dead to help him defend the Empire's walls. Since necromancy is considered Heresy, many of his allies began calling him traitor and an unfortunate scuffle saw that Elector Count Adelbrand Ludenhof got eaten by zombies.

Seeking to get away from the place, he lucked out when he found out that Ulric's top priest learned that the Emperor was planning to give Valten Ghal Maraz, and that gave Emil enough suspicion that perhaps the young man was the Changeling and that he'd strike the Emperor during the public meeting. Gelt desperately charged there to convince Karl to not go though with it, but he didn't listen and when guards came to kick him out, Gelt pretty much screwed himself over by raising more undead. At that point, he pretty must just said 'FUCK IT!' and started trying to kill Valten outright until he was held up by Kurt Helborg.

However, it turned out that the Changeling wasn't really Valten, but instead Valgeir, which pretty much broke any faith Gelt had left in himself and so he fled to become Vlad's new minion. He worked with Vlad fighting the Glottkin, but after Vlad was tainted by Nurgle, Balthasar kept away from him and started reassessing his situation.

By the time the final stages came about, Vlad and Gelt finally decided to join the Empire in their defense of Averheim, and during this moment, Gelt managed to bind himself to Chamon, becoming the Incarnate of Metal as he began purging his memories of the black arts. He was the only one who took Malekith's side and said that Nagash couldn't be trusted.

He died after getting stabbed in the back by Mannfred von Carstein, likely a bit of payback on the vampire's part for caging Sylvania, which leads to the world's destruction. For fuck's sake, Manfred!

Age of Sigmar[edit]


The main character of the book "Soul Wars" is a stoic and introverted Stormcast Lord-Arcanum called Balthas Arum of the Grave Brethens chamber, Anvils of Heldenhammer stormhost, who is such a master of the Lore of Metal "it was as if the winds of Chamon recognized him somehow". In case you didn't get the hint, the book flat out spells it when Nagash meets him and recognizes him, claiming that he once served him while a world burned and would serve him again and he never takes off his golden helmet, because he needs a barrier between his face and people and likes it that way. He rides a mount named Quicksilver like in WF.

The new Stormcast battletome gave further information about Balthas: His soul was "of another era", and he was so powerful that once he turned a city built entirely of gold bricks into lead.

Balthas returned in the short story The Library of Forgotten Moments. It is revealed that he has his own suspicions that he formerly was from the World-That-Was, and he travels to the titular library in order to find the truth about his origins. There he encounters Mannfred, both parties not recognizing the other but struck by a strange sense of deja-vu. After a prolonged fight with Mannfred he discovers the secret of the library, a shard of Mallus that is the source of all of the librarians' knowledge about the old world. The story ends on a cliffhanger as he attempts to tap into the shard's knowledge for himself.

Total War: WARHAMMER[edit]

Gelt is one of the playable Legendary Lords of the Empire, as well as the only Lore of Metal caster on the Empire’s roster for now. Originally, he was apart of the Empire faction, however, as of the Hunter and the Beast DLC he leads his own faction; the Golden Order, starting in Solland. Lorewise, he is there because good ‘ol Franzy-boy sent him to rebuild it, as well as to kick out the local Greenskins. In his quest battle, he gets to fight (and maybe kill) his mage rival that tried to steal his seat of the supreme patriarch.

In campaign, his stand-out Faction Effect is giving the entire faction +10(!) armour. This is no joke, making him quite powerful, despite having a harder start, due to his inability to properly corner and destroy enemy generals, due to not being a beatstick like Franz or an allrounder like Volkmar. Besides from this, he also reduces upkeep and increases capacity for Battle Wizards, and is able to inhabit mountains, allowing you to get your grubby little mits on all that Runic lore the Dwarfs have. His personal effects are similarly magic-oriented, with a -50% Winds of Magic cost when casting Lore of Metal spells and +2 Recruit Rank for Battle Wizards. And linking into his ties to the gunnery schools, artillery units gain +10% Missile Damage. Overall, very ranged-oriented, with lots of spellslinging and guns.

Being a Lore of Metal wizard, he is good against most armoured opponents, as well as armies known for wearing heavy armour (those being Warriors of Chaos, Dwarves, etc) using his bombardment spell as well as armor debuff spell to melt them right away. He gets to ride the standard Imperial Panopoly of Mounts (Horses, standard Pegasi, etc) before finally getting his favourite PonyPegasus, Quicksilver, allowing him to avoid all ground danger and shit out Final Transmutations from the sky.

He is known for his... interesting voice lines, most of which, despite being well-done by themselves, are hammy enough to evoke memories of Indrick Boreale in veteran neck beards, with such classics as “DO NOT WASTE MY POTENTIAL!”. Magic was made when someone put his speeches over helicopter noises to evoke Apocalypse Now, leading to the creation of Vietnam Vet Gelt. In multiplayer, his most feared spell is indeed Napalm Airstrike Final Transmutation, a spell which, if used right, could have the capacity to straight up delete enemy Lords and Heroes right off of the battlefield.


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