Karl Franz

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For the Empire! For the Warhammer!

"The principle of give and take is the principle of diplomacy – give one and take ten."

– Mark Twain

"SUMMON THE ELECTOR COUNTS!"

– Karl Franz, about to smack down the heresy

Karl Franz (formally Karl Franz I, Protector of the Empire, Defier of the Dark, Emperor Himself and the Son of Emperors, Elector Count of Reikland and Prince of Altdorf) is the current Emperor of the Empire and tabletop miniature of Warhammer. Although considered to be a formidable statesman and diplomat, Karl Franz is also a formidable warrior with a record of getting shit done.

Karl Franz is the son and heir of the late Emperor Luitpold. At his father's death he was nominated for the Throne of the Empire but was widely considered too inexperienced. With the help of the Count of Ostland he managed to get all but one vote among the Count Electors and the Church of Sigmar to vote for him. In the following years, Karl Franz has proved to be just as formidable a warrior as he is a statesman, leading the Imperial Army in numerous defenses, wielding the Hammer of Sigmar and riding the griffon Deathclaw. He is also the only one capable of riding the only dragon in the Empire.

Recently due the End Times he got pawned badly and stabbed through the chest by Walach (a Vampire Count) who started worshipping Khorne. He then fell hundreds of feet to the ground but passed his 4+ ward save and survived though Deathclaw was captured when he tried to protect the fallen Emperor. After regaining his strength a bit he freed Deathclaw, and was found by Gregor Martak (the new Supreme Patriarch) who healed Deathclaw and get them back to Altdorf in time for the siege. Unfortunately Karl took on Otto Glott who coincidentally was also stabbed through the chest recently, but that had already regenerated and he cut both of Karl Franz's arms off (and that makes him an anti-Abbadon, a competent armless man that gets shit done). At this point Karl Franz called out to Sigmar, and coincidentally this was the same time the High Elves were trying to bind the Winds of Magic, and seeing an opportunity Sigmar took the Wind of Heaven and bound it to Karl Franz, this gave him his arms back, gave him the ability to create his hammer out of nothing, and gave him the ability to shoot lightning out of his hands. He immediately used these new abilities to slap the Glottkin back to Nurgle's kitchen, and cleanse the city of Nurgle's forces.

Karl Franz Ascendant (also known as SUPERFRANZ) is also an absolute killing machine in the table, capable to wipe out nearly anything put in front of him, expect huge amounts of derp and rage from other factions used to get all the hard hitters as well as everyone bringing cannons to deal with him.

(The following is HIGHLY FUCKING DEBATABLE) Actually, Karl Franz was dead all along. The lightning guy who arose in Altdorf was a shard of Sigmar Heldenhammer, who had split himself between Franz and Ghal-Maraz. When the Sigmar-Franz recovers Ghal-Maraz, he becomes Sigmar Heldenhammer reborn and promptly leads the other incarnates against Chaos in an epic battle where he manages to punch Archaon into a Chaos rift (Archaon does get the better of this exchange before Werner Volker, who's actually carrying the last spark of Ulric's divinity, interferes in their fight and distracts him). After Mannfred fucks everything up (GOD DAMMIT MANNFRED!), Archaon climbs out of the rift like a badass and takes on old blond Conan in an inconclusive wrestling match.

In Age of Sigmar, there are hints that the first Stormcast is made from Karl Franz' soul - Though there is little evidence to fully support it, other than him being a "king from a long-forgotten kingdom".

Total War: WARHAMMER[edit]

Karl is playable as a legendary lord, and faction leader, of the Empire faction. He starts off fighting a greenskin horde that tries to invade Altdorf only to find out that the no-good-ulric-worshipping dick Boris Todbringer has incited a rebellion causing the Empire Secessionists to occupy the other cities in Reikland.

As a Legendary Lord, he is a duelist that can wreck most lords in combat with his mighty Ghal Maraz. As he ranks up, he gets Deathwing as his rapetrain which lets him fly around and prey on greenskins, undead and heretics alike. Interestingly, his personal skill tree in the game represents his entire journey in the game. He starts off as a rank and file lord with slightly higher damage due to ghal maraz, but his quests and skills focus on Karl's journey in uniting the empire and leading it. The Reiksguard that fight under his personal command become capable of routing regular bretonnian knights and soldiers flock to his banners for less pay. His skill tree culminates in An Emperor's journey, which gives him extra weapon damage AND makes him unbreakable. This finally makes him a duellist par excellence, and the heart of his imperial army.

His other position in the game includes delivering awesome voice acting that burns straight into your brain, with lines like:

  • "NO PEACE, JUST WAR!"
  • "SUMMON THE ELECTOR COUNTS!"
  • "I AM FRANZ, THEY WILL OBEY!"
  • "BRING ME TO MY MEN!"
  • "THIS ACTION DOES NOT HAVE MY CONSENT!"

Other than that, there are also game images of him putting a smug look, which has transformed him into the official meme character for The Warhammer Fantasy franchise since the games' release.

There's also one instance where he threatens Archaon by sending OVER 9000 flagellants from the Grand Theogonist if he won't fuck off.

Playing as Karl Franz[edit]

Karl starts off with reikland divided and held by rebels. His first action is to put down the rebellion and consolidate reikland. He also fights a quest battle to destroy rebel reinforcements bringing serious firepower from the Middenlanders gaining a magical wizard. After that he can focus on either taking out the marienburgers who may or may not be facing down a war with the bretonnians or run to the rescue of Stirland which will be invaded by vampires.

The ballad of Karl Franz[edit]

Tonight I'm gonna have myself a real good time
I feel alive and the world it's turning inside out Yeah!
I'm floating around in ecstasy
So don't stop me now don't stop me
'Cause I'm having a good time having a good time

I'm a twin-tailed comet leaping through the skies
Like Deathclaw, defying the laws of gravity
I'm a Steam Tank passing by like Magnus the Pious
I'm gonna go go go
No orc's stopping me

I'm burning through the sky yeah!
Two hundred decrees
That's why they call me Lord and Sire
I'm trav'ling like the Loremaster of fire
I wanna make a supreme patriarch out of you

Don't stop me now
I'm having such a good time
I'm having a ball
Don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time
THIS ACTION HAS MY CONSENT

Don't stop me now ('cause I'm having a good time)
Don't stop me now (yes I'm having a good time)
I don't want to stop at all... yeah!

I'm a Thunderbarge on my way to Mannslieb
On a collision course
I am a Hellstorm I'm out of control
I am a Helblaster ready to reload
Like Ghal-Maraz about to oh oh oh oh oh explode

I'm burning through the sky Yeah!
Two hundred decrees
That's why they call me Lord and Sire
I'm trav'ling like the Loremaster of Fire
I wanna make a Grand Theogonist outta you

Don't stop me
Don't stop me
Don't stop me
NO PEACE JUST WAR

Don't stop me
Don't stop me
SUMMON THE ELECTOR COUNTS

Don't stop me
Don't stop me
I'M FRANZ, THEY WILL OBEY

Don't stop me
Don't stop me
I MUST SEE MY MEN

Ooh I'm burning through the sky yeah!
Two hundred decrees
That's why they call me Lord and Sire
I'm trav'ling like the Loremaster of Fire
I wanna make a Reiksmarshal out of you

Don't stop me now
I'm having such a good time
I'm a goddamn wrecking ball
Don't stop me now
If you wanna have a good time
THIS ACTION HAS MY CONSENT

Don't stop me now ('cause I'm having a good time)
Don't stop me now (yes I'm having a good time)
I don't wanna stop at aaaaall

Trivia[edit]

Ironically, there's a guy named Karl Franz in real life: Charles I of Austria, also known as "Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Maria". What a name huh? Charles I is also known as the "Last Monarch" who had attempts to restore the monarchy, but the monarchy was still abolished which sent him and his family to exile, only to died of cold later. Kinda foreshadowed Karl Franz's fate in the warhammer.

Gallery[edit]