- 1 The Game
- 2 Playable Factions
- 3 The Backstory
- 4 Notable Groups
Ironhearts is a wargame, similar to Warhammer or Infinity. However, instead of controlling an entire army, individual players control independent units. The players attempt to work together as a cohesive army to navigate a hexagonal map and achieve victory against their foes. In most cases, character fatality tends to be rather high, but generally players are allowed to create a new character during the battle and rejoin the fight. Ironhearts almost exclusively uses d10s for action resolution, with lower rolls being more successful than higher ones.
Joining the War
The only requirements to play Ironhearts are a name, a tripcode, and a class of the faction currently being played. Some factions are more complicated, requiring decisions regarding equipment and/or training. Each faction has a set of 'Unit Cards' that display the mechanics of the classes available for play. Once you have successfully created a character, you need only post during an active thread to introduce yourself. If you are joining during a battle in progress, you should ask what the valid deployment options are for the current battle, then wait until the next 'Action Phase' to post that you are deploying. You are allowed to deploy and then to move and act as normal on the same turn.
There are two different types of Ironhearts threads: Battles and War Room threads. Each of these comprises half the game, but they are very different in nature.
The most active part of the game are the Battle threads. These threads are where active combat occurs, complete with tactical map and varied background scenarios. When a battle begins, the map will be posted, along with some information about the situation at hand. Then, generally a roll call is performed to determine who is active and present at the battle's start. To begin deployed on the map, you must post using your name and trip at this time. When enough people are present, and some time has passed, the battle proper will begin. There are two main parts to a battle: Action phase and Enemy phase.
The structure laid out in this section applies to all playable factions, but some follow additional or different rules during gameplay, laid out in their Combat Doctrine section.
An 'Action Phase' is the period of time in which players may move and act with their units. An Action Phase begins when an updated tactical map is posted by the GM along with the words ACTION PHASE. Often a URL to a song is included as well. Action Phases do not last an indefinite amount of time - most are seven to ten minutes long. If a time limit is not specified, the song posted with the update can often be used as a timer. Action phase ends as soon as the GM posts the words 'Phase End' or the stated time limit runs out. Failing to post your actions within this time limit will result in them not being processed, though there is some leeway for those who post in the same minute as the GM's Phase End.
An example of a post during Action Phase:
Name: [K1] Sanchez#y863erlr Email: dice+9d10 dice rolled 7, 8, 4, 4, 5, 1, 1, 8, 10 > Move 3 NW > Fire 3 bursts on the enemy North "Eat slag you fethwipes!"
Once Action Phase has been processed, the updated tactical map will be posted, and 'Enemy Phase' will begin. It is during this time that the enemy will move and act, and is essentially free time to collaborate with other players in an attempt to create a plan of action. When Enemy Phase is completely processed, an updated tactical map will be posted with 'Action Phase' and the process will repeat. Some rare classes exist that can act during Enemy Phase. These classes do so by acting immediately when the Enemy Phase is posted. While the time limit for acting may seem longer, if you dally there is no guarantee the GM will even see your action before processing the phase.
While rare, there is a third type of phase used for either neutral or allied forces on the map. Often this phase is simply combined with Enemy Phase, and the analogue forces and enemy forces will simply act in tandem.
Sometimes it is not possible to play through a whole skirmish. This is perfectly acceptable, and you are given a couple options for your character in such a case:
1. Retreat your unit back to base by ordering a [Withdrawal]. This will allow you to resupply and safely redeploy when you are ready to fight again. This also allows other players to join and frees up processing for OC.
2. Defer your character to be botted by another player. Brave men have continued fighting even after their minds left their bodies by going through the motions or lending their power to a bigger squad. If you notice an obviously idle player, you may bot them to join your squad or give them an independent set of orders until their player returns.
A battle ends when the objectives have been met, the enemy has been beaten back and defeated or if the Army has retreated, surrendered or have been completely wiped out. At the end of a battle, situation-appropriate XP is handed out, and each player gains XP for their kills and assists made throughout the mission. The responsibility for tracking kills and assists falls to the player.
War Room threads make up the interlude between battles. Players are debriefed, and may then interact with each other and NPCs. Players may also spend XP or money as appropriate to upgrade their unit. Finally, some factions allow the player to make Non-Combat Actions (NCAs) to influence the war's progress, either by performing recon, rallying allies, or forming a grand strategy.
Some War Room threads are specifically used as Pre-deployment Briefings, used to call attention to an imminent mission. Other times, this briefing is attached to the end of a currently active War Room. In both cases, the players will be briefed on the situation at hand, and sometimes the battle's roll call will occur before the Battle thread is posted. Once posted, a link to the Battle thread will be posted in the War Room.
Once a part of the Voss Empire, the Ragnyllian people broke off from their brother nation of Voss and quickly set themselves up as an economic powerhouse due to the land's copious resources of ibonyte. Ibonyte, a miracle metal, can be processed into any element or substance it comes into contact with, greatly increasing the manufacturing potential and medical technology of any nationality in possession of it. It was for this resource that in the year 656, the Voss invaded Ragnyll territory in a campaign of conquest.
A Ragnyllian army can initially deploy only a limited number of troops, but this increases as flags are placed on the battlefield to claim territory. Each flag generates 2 'Flag points' which dictate the upper limit of the army's size. Any unit can spend an action to flag the hex they are standing in, but flags may not be placed within 6 hexes of each other. Flags double as deployment points, and units can spend all of their actions to resupply at a flag, or even to change their class to another. However, if such a flag is captured by the enemy, they gain the benefits of that flag instead, as well as reducing the maximum flag points of the Ragnyllian army by 3. Alternately, flags can be destroyed, which causes the same 3 flag point penalty but can deny the enemy its beneficial properties. Finally, a deployed flag can be packed up again, which keeps the army from benefitting from its flag points, but does not impose a penalty.
Ragnyllian characters have two methods for advancement. First, they may spend 10 XP to increase one of the numerical stats on their unit card by one. This only applies to one class, and can only be done up to a maximum of 6 times per class. In addition to this, they may spend 20 XP to take on the aspect of an animal guide. Certain aspects are tied to certain classes, and to purchase an aspect the character must have spent time in at least one battle as that class. However, once purchased, the aspect applies to the character no matter what class they change to. These aspects may be upgraded for 10 XP, up to 3 times.
Image Gallery:Original Forces
Image Gallery:Modern Forces
Modern Ragnyllian Infantry
Modern Ragnyllian Armor
Ragnyllian Unit Advancement and Alternate Loadouts
Voss's power has always been fuelled by war. From the Four-Corners War that united the Empire and drove out the monsters that once roamed the countryside, to the Kashir War of 641 that saw the discovery of ibonyte, war has always been worth its price in blood to the Voss. Fiercely territorial and unforgiving, the Voss are liable to declare war simply for trespassing on the lands they have seeded with their own blood.
The Vosskon army revels in death, generating a resource known as 'Terror' both from their own casualties and those of their enemies. This terror can be spent by officers calling in reinforcements, either from an edge of the map controlled by the army, or a captured and flagged building. The Voss specialize in the use of masses of weaker NPC units that can be joined to player squads or remotely controlled by an officer. In addition, the Voss utilize necromancy, allowing them to raise the corpses of friend and foe alike to swell their ranks with cheap undead fodder. Finally, powerful undead demihumans such as vampires and werewolves are at their disposal - though the nightwalkers often find themselves weakened or dead by daylight. Some elite units can even convert into these undead upon their own death, continuing the fight without outside input.
Voss infantry do not advance in the traditional sense, though they gain XP as normal. Most classes contribute their XP to a common pool, called the Varmach, which is then used to purchase various upgrades that apply to the whole army. Some may spend XP either during battle or during a War Room thread to become undead. Vehicles however, may upgrade by spending XP. The initial cost of this is 10 XP, and only allows an increase in a numerical statistic. However, each subsequent upgrade costs an additional 10 XP than the last one, and allows for more qualitative upgrades, such as the purchase of extra guns to attach to your tank (having the actions to fire those guns may require another upgrade, however).
Clovis was created by an international exodus of people whose homes and countries were destroyed in the Midland Wars. The rich and fertile lands of Clovis had few natural resources, but plenty of farmland and were isolated from the other nations of the world. Trade federations began to rise, and with the melting pot of interests, organized into a nation to facilitate fair trade. Their flag is a 5-leaf Clover, to represent the separation of values that meet at a common point to function together. Their military is comprised of mercenary companies on the payroll of powerful mercantile corporations, selling their services to the highest bidder, and their air power is unparalleled.
The Cloven army revolves around money and self-profit. The army as a whole is on a budget, so each soldier gains an initial stipend upon character creation. Ammunition must be budgeted, and sometimes subpar equipment must be utilized to stay on budget. In addition, Clovis armor tends to be lightly armored, and very expensive, requiring loans to be taken out for new pilots to finance their vehicles. However, to compensate for these limitations, the Cloves have the ability to paradrop anwhere on the battlefield to pick and choose their fights. In addition, they have access to some of the best technology, with a focus on air power. Finally, their soldiers are some of the most well-trained, with access to a number of specialized training programs for various scenarios. Unlike Voss or Ragnyll, the assets they can bring to bear in any one engagement are finite, but they may dictate the fight and bring to bear overwhelming firepower to wipe out their enemies' critical assets quickly and efficiently.
Clovis characters are unique in that they do not gain XP for kills or survival. Instead, their advancement is tied entirely to money and being paid for their operations. This tends to mean that if you are botted or do not act during an action phase, you will not be paid for that time. Upgrade options include purchasing superior weapons, more ammunition, consumable armor and healing, or even personal vehicles, should you have the whim.
Little is known about the fractured people who live beyond the Exodus Pass, over the Valknyre mountains. They are comprised mostly of demihumans, and their reliance on magic links their small settlements with a network of magical gateways. Their way of life reflects the past of all nations, when man lived in fear of roaming beasts and monsters beyond imagining.
Iffram is unique in its focus on magic-using classes and distinct lack of firearms, as well as the fact that each player unit is a single character. To create an Iffram character requires a roll in the thread to determine your character's race and elemental affinity. Then, you choose a class, and finally equipment for that class based on your starting gold. Iffram begins with a limited number of individuals, and while players may initially join and bow out as usual, upon a player's death they are barred from rejoining the fight. This is because the Ifframi do not fully 'die,' instead reincarnating in a new form from the aether. The reincarnate emerges from a magical Gate, usually far too many miles away from the battle to affect it. Alternately, a family line (and thus a previous character) can be abandoned entirely, allowing immediate redeployment but at the cost of starting from scratch.
Iffram characters use both money and an XP system similar to stereotypical RPG characters, buying and upgrading items with gold and levelling up from XP. Their first level requires 10 XP, and each level after that requires an additional 10 XP more than the previous to reach (20 for Level 3, 30 for Level 4, etc). Each of these levels allows the character to increase one of their numerical stats by one. In addition, often the level of the character themself increases their efficacy.
A holy empire founded on the teachings of Alexander. The Holy Church of Aeon has mainly kept to itself during the Voss invasion of Ragnyll, holding the Ragnyllians in contempt and eschewing alliance with the Voss for their profane treatment of the dead. Their military is divided into three: The Crown, which comprises their armor, the Inqusition, comprised of hard-hitting but fragile specialists, and the Order, which is comprised of the main forces.
Aeon's doctrine of war revolves around two concepts: Glory and Faith. Glory is won upon the death of enemy units, and is directly spent on calling in reinforcements. Faith acts as a multiplier to Glory, and is increased through pious acts, such as the construction of holy sites, prayer on the battlefield, and the consecration of the dead. However, Faith is lost upon the death of allied units and vehicles. Due to their nature as wandering crusaders, Aeon are not capable of calling in more squads of infantry, instead relying on restorative and defensive structures to maintain their starting numbers. However, their armor can be called in anywhere on the map, with a one-phase delay before they may act. Most Aeoni units are slow but durable, and can work together with others to create an impenetrable defensive wall.
Everything below this is in the process of being revamped
The story takes place in the 600th year of Terra and many decades after when the War of the Black Oil has begun to percolate in full as the bloodiest war in history since the founding of the Valknyre Empires. During this period, the great Realization was in full swing where magic and technology developed hand in hand with various cultures to the point of being able to advance one's empire to contest against other nations. At the core of such developments was the discovery of Ibonyte, a mysterious substance that can be manipulated to take on any property in the existing universe. Various Mystical Forces, Sciences, Cultures, Philosophies, and even Races strove to keep up with each other. And as massive battles broke out, smaller, more isolated regions stood by and watched in horror and anticipation of such harrowing trials.
Canonical History of the Valknyre Region
Short History Bullet Points
The Formation of Ragnyll
- The Statesmen took over Voss after domestic industries were convinces of their anti imperialistic stances
- Voss economy staggering after paltry reparations from Kashir didn't make up for loss of resources. Deal was sabotaged by Statesmen's purist notion of being anti-imperial and thus denied full assimilation of Kashir.
- The empire of voss's War industry proved too expensive to dismantle, and so entered into trade deals with other nations. >When that wasn't enough to keep their economy afloat expanded into Krussia. Royal houses "voluntarily" went.
- More war.
- Student Revolts and underground parties form.
- Political Prisoners Roundups and executions happen as per "Will of the People "
- Vilkas Organizes a mass exodus across Gran Lake to form the first defensive line of Ragnyll alongside expatriated veterans of the Kashir war.
- Pandemon's Death Police unit goes after Vilkas in the Capitol. 100 to 1. Royal guard escapes.
- The Royal guard disbanded after the heir apparent died escaping the capital. Vilkas still at large.
- Civil war erupts. Statesman party reconverts back to Voss Imperial after staggering losses led to mounting criticism of their opinion leader. The Three Generals of Terror allies with some statesmen and brands the rest traitors as they reform the Dominion Party.
- The rest is history.
Long story short: 15 years before the end of the Helghast unit's story, Vilkas Von Voss' story takes place. At the end of that story, he sends forces to what is modern day Ragnyll, and the Iron Command forms to protect the true loyalist forces from the Generals of Terror's attack. 8 Years before Iron Heart's 3, the Helghast Unit's story is left off with them breaching into Iffram from Hel due to the black unit's machinations.
Age of Advancement
During the past 8 years everything was a haze of childhood memories, hearing her relatives' exploits and Ragnyll becoming a stronger wall against the Voss empire. Clovis guns, Voss Tanks, Bitank technologies, all of it started taking off as Ragnyll did win a war for a short while. The nation was slow in forming its government but soon even Iron command was able to delegate matters to domestic officers and political officials such as Truint - one of the Idealists from the Statesmen party who opposed any war from the start.
About Valknyre Clans
At the pillars of Voss society is the rich history that the wars of Valknyr have burned in their very pages. The living testimonies of those once remembered battles and wars rest with the proliferating clans of the Valknyr War Clans, known today as the GranKinn or " Great Descendants "
While many nations and empires have came and went in the Valknyres, it is in the genes of the Grankinns that the history of the region lives on through the Voss. From the north are the Belarusa clans comprising of the Urs ,VonClaudes, and Reiders, who were said to have played a key role in the demonstrification battles that reached its high point during 1st Von Voss's lifetime.
From Heartlands of the Valknyres is the Thanes, the Reins, the Sturm clans and the noble families connected to the Von Voss. Who created the first sparks of revolution to overthrow the black kings that ruled tyrrannically over them for centuries.
As the Valknyres is a region vulnerable to invasions and is doubly attractive for its richness of resources and access to all other areas of the Midland kingdoms, aspiring nations from all corners have risen, trampled, and taken and settled on these lands populated by these white-haired ancestors.
Because of these recessive traits, genetic dominance became an all too clear sign of foreign invasions, on top of that, the Valknyres that lived in a region with no need to advance technologically was simply outright repressed by the warring powers that came to visit them from distant corners.
Very quickly did the situation develop an "us and them" mentality that the invading lords tried to appease it's citizens by scape-goating and even attempted to fight the local inhuman residents there.
At the center of such racial strifes impostor kings indoctrinated the Valks with their own brand of anti-monster propogandas with neighboring tribes and clans being turned against each other. It was here that the bloodshed reached a turning point and the one they would call Killer King would arise from the killing fields to restore the Valks to their former peace.
Ascheron VonVoss, or the first of the Killer Kings started like any warring clan in the Valknyres looking to overthrow any self serving baron or count. At the time , at least 4 nations were vying for dominance in the region. One of which were the Aeon Holy Empire, then known as Cruxtania. Predatoria, Kashir and the Machine city of Labrese.
Residing in the Valknyres were what was once the majority of Iffram's demihuman population, and the various clans in the Valks themselves. Those who were a resident valknyre in these times survived a thousand years of monsters and beasts that only their legends could speak of. It was through these common bonds that Ascheron took on the black mask, forged by castors and cursed by witches to befall on the head of a true Valknyrian Hero that will lead them to victory or certain death.
With such words to accompany the meaning of the Black Crown, the numerous warring clans of the Valknyres took up arms, settled their differences and found the only true king they will need to topple these impostor kings.
The first Valknyre army was formed then. So prolific were their presence that it was said that even Valkryes, Demons, and Dragons joined hands to fight all 4 opponents simultaneously fighting them back all the way to their homelands and turning the cultural invasion inside out.
Today the Valknyres are said to only exist in meaning within these Clans and it is through them and the so called Ancients that the Voss retains its name as the true ruler of the Valknyre region.
Notable Valknyre Clans
- Gaunts: Farming Clan that poisoned their harvest and outstarved their Cruxtanian oppressors.
- Von Voss: Gave rise to the Von Voss empires that intermittently ruled the Valknyres when the crown was said to choose a wearer. The third and most recent being Vilkas Von Voss, an illegitimate child to a wandering concubine.
- Monandeas- Shamed family line that was said to only have one notable hero: Basillica Monandeas. Their dark history with the black hordes still stirs terror from ancient wars.
- Axolos- Predatoria Sword masters
- Volerons- Predatorian Assassination Clan. Known for using circus performers to train their runners.
- Carmelias- Predatorian Assassination Clan [Known to hunt humans for sport]
- Lupins- Predatorian Thieves Guild
- Bellic- Laboria Union resistance leader
- Petrovics- Laboria Machine specialists
- Domovoi- Laboria Seige clan
- Odderkonn- Northern Laboria Industrial safety Comittee [Espionage]
- Ibrahim- Southern Laboria Bomb makers.
- Kalashnikovs- Family line has a predetermined prison sentence even before birth. Those who kept the Kalashnikov name was considered a criminal citizen. Kalashnikov relatives still developed high criminal tendencies in their lives.
- Thorfinn- Warrior Clan [God Slayer]
- Odahviing- Forger Clan [Heaven Ring]
- Skwiglef- Warrior Clan [ The Fast Men]
- Wolfgang- Mounted Cavalry / Armored Clans
- Augustine- Assassination Clan. Dates back 323 Years as of 632.
- Schmidt- Forge Family. Produced motorized transports.
- Gunthers- Engineering Family. Self Propelled Artillery
- RosseWeisse- Armor Pilots, protected VonVoss nobles
- Pandemon- Noble Family. Funded wars. Breadmakers.
- Krauss- Red Knights. [Krieger Family line]
- VVinkles- Notable Riflemen/ Huntsmen. Said to fire on targets a mile away.
- Alexanders- Holy Knights that lent their aide to oversee peacekeeping treatise with Cruxtania
The Story so Far
The story of Iron Hearts begins with the Fall of Sylvia. On that fateful July day in the 656th year, the Voss Empire marched across the borders of Ragnyll and began their attack. The response army shattered, the Cross Military Academy was the next target of the Voss forces. The cadets fought bravely, but ultimately had to make their escape as Ghouls overran their defenses. With the images of the dying academy burned into their memories, the cadets quickly swore revenge, christening themselves the Hellghast. The Hellghast soon found themselves thrust into deployment after deployment; at Norwood Forest, still raw from their first deployments, the unit routed the Vosskon offensive; at Stilemar, they became liberators, and at Dandelion, they became heroes.
It was not until the Battle of Five Fingers that the Hellghast started to form alliances with the various factions that populated the land. How opportune, it seemed, then, when a Clovis cargo plane dropped out of the sky, disgorging its cargo of supplies and soldiers in the midst of traded cannon shells and whistling death! The unit, then under the command of the fiery Captain Iceval, immediately stepped forward to protect the Clovis units and secure the precious cargo. The battle, though successful, saw the end of Iceval, and the passing of the torch to Mana Lanista, a Vanguard Knight, and one of the original survivors of the Fall of Sylvia. In the Battle of Solstice, Mana, then a Captain, was caught in the middle of an artillery barrage, breaking her body and leaving her for dead. Fortunately, a process was revealed wherein Mana could be rebuilt. She became more machine than human, her flesh and bone replaced by armor and wires. Black-gold oil pulsed through veins where blood would have pumped. She had become something not quite human.
Under Mana's leadership, Hellghast's next battle came in the form of sweeping the undead-infested mines of Kolstec. The town held high strategic value to both sides; a massive store of Ibonyte lay within the town's mines, and both parties wished to control it. Though Hellghast took the several losses and Mana was heavily damaged, the mines were liberated, and a massive parasitic worm creature that had been feeding on the Ibonyte deposits was destroyed in a rather large, rather impressive explosion that made the inside of the mine momentarily glow as bright as midday. For their efforts in this battle, the unit was rewarded handsomely: alternate weapon choices were procured for the infantry, and new armor was introduced into the unit's vehicle pool.
The next test for the Hellghast came deep in the forests of Wassau. Under commission from an Aeon Inquisitor, the unit's objective was two-fold: first, to rescue a band of Aeoni missionaries holed up in a small chapel in the woods; and second, to exterminate a fellow Ragnyllian Army unit that had decided to use unholy magicks, shaping themselves into beings that were more beast than human. The extermination effort, however, did not entirely go as planned: while searching the forest for the unit, A Voss contingent made itself known, and both Ragnyllian units formed a temporary truce to beat back the Voss. The battle shifted, though, when a Scout Sniper took a wounding shot at the targeted Ragnyllian unit's commander. The veil pulled back and the Voss all but routed, Wilder's unit turned on the Hellghast, some of their number turned into fierce were-beasts. The fighting became fierce, as brother turned against brother, but the Hellghast prevailed at a high cost: the units that had not been outright killed by the were-beasts were to succumb to lycanthropy themselves unless something was done quickly. Fortunately for the unit, a mystical Aeoni artifact, a sword known only by the name of Sol, was housed in the missionaries' church. The good Captain, seeing the potential of the weapon, took the sword as her own. The sword purified those who had been bitten; amputation of the infected limb stopped the lycanthropy from overtaking the afflicted.
With the Voss offensive halted and progressively pushed back, Hellghast's next priority came in the liberation of the military airfield at Albane, Voss' last firm stronghold in Ragnyll. Though resistance was heavy, and casualties were taken, The Hellghast Armored Unit prevailed, accomplishing two feats. The first of these was the liberation of the airfield, thereby ensuring Voss had no more footholds in Ragnyll. The second of these feats was an opportunistic boon: from intelligence gathered prior to the mission, it was perchance learned that the Voss were using the airfield to house a prototype airship, capable of dropping weaponized biological agents across city-wide areas. The Hellghast, in a rather bold move, boarded the aircraft as it was taking off, killing or capturing the Voss crew and securing the airship for Ragnyll.
The Voss, not wanting to be outdone, soon staged a counterattack. Hellghast chose to intercept the Voss force at the site of a previous battle, Five Fingers Valley. It was here that Hellghast had its darkest moment, sustaining heavy casualties due to a mixture of reasons--thinly forces, miscommunication, the list could go on and on, though Ragnyllian historians debate on just what was the key moment that determined that the second battle of Five Fingers shifted in the Voss' favor. Among the dead, Hellghast lost several officers, one of its top Pilots, and all of its deployed Casters. All was not lost, however; with his last actions, Lieutenant Rip van Winkle was able to eliminate the first of the three Voss Generals of Terror, high commanding officers of the Voss Empire known for their tactical genius and ruthlessness.
Their forces routed, Hellghast had no choice but to retreat to the town of Kolstec and lick its wounds, regaining its strength for the next battle. It was not long after the second battle of Five Fingers that the Voss began to march once again. Of special note during the defense of Kolstec is an event that happened shortly after the battle had began: a young Caster by the name of Magus, misinterpreting an order from a commanding officer, dropped away the stone bridge that connected the town to the outside world, leaving a majority of the forces stranded at the foot of the city, their backs against a deep ravine filled with the valuable black gold Ibonyte. The battle was fierce, pitting the tattered unit against a plethora of enemies, among them two Monotanks and an airship not unlike the one fielded by the Voss at Albane. Hellghast, proving themselves starved for vengeance since their defeat, valiantly stood their ground, even with the unit's heaviest armor units, its tanks, stuck ineffectively on the other side of the ravine.
It was at this battle, too, that the second of the three Voss Generals of Terror, Asmodeus, made himself known. A wicked figure, the demon-general drew power straight from the Ibonyte in the ravine of Kolstec, the black material turning blood-red, the bones of fallen soldiers seemingly phasing in and out of existence within, their moans filling the air. The good general then challenged the Hellghast commanding officer, the increasingly robotic Captain Mana, to a duel. The duel went along splendidly, until Mana was, much like previous missions, chopped into still-living but annoyed bits, and Asmodeus was ripped apart in a hale of machine gun, cannon, and blessed railgun rounds.
While this was happening, an odd turn of events was being had for an Aeoni force some distance from the city of Kolstec. Originally inserted deep into Ragnyllian lines to determine the existence of the Vinculum Gate, a portal through which demons creeped from dimensions most foul, had been under constant attack from Voss forces scattered throughout Ragnyll. With the death of Inquisitor Derf, command of the unit fell to Brother-Adjutant Makkor. The Aeoni force had been backed up against The Fist, a geological formation that jutted out from the Ragnyllian landscape, and had thus deemed to make their stand there, to fight to the last man. With only a handful of units, the Aeoni force cut a violent swath through the Voss, though as the night continued, it became clear that the seemingly endless tide of Ghouls and tanks would overwhelm the holy warriors. It was here, though, that something...strange happened. In the light of the moon, as Kolstec blazed with the fires of war behind them, the beleaguered Aeon force was visited by reinforcements. Spectral soldiers, all of them Ragnyllian casualties from previous battles, materialized around the Aeoni soldiers, giving them a chance to claim their second wind. Their spirits raised to a zealous fury, the Aeoni soldiers then marched against the Voss hordes, routing them completely with the first rays of the dawn. Their jobs completed, the spectral warriors dissolved as well, leaving the soldiers of Alexander in peace.
The days passed somewhat more peacefully from here. Legio Aurora, as the remaining soldiers of the unit came to be known, soon made its way into through the gates of Kolstec. The newly christened leader of the unit, Chapter Master Gabriel Wight, met up with Father Zwei, Hellghast's Aeoni liaison since the unit's timely rescue of the Aeoni missionaries in the forests of Wassau. Other soldiers from both units began to mingle in other ways, with one unfortunate scuffle between an Aeoni Knight pilot and a Hellghast Strider pilot ending only after a member of an Aeoni Sheperd's flock fired a gunshot into the ceiling of the vehicle bay, said gunshot being heard all around the base and attracting an undue amount of attention. In light of this incident (among several others), it was soon agreed upon by both forces that a friendly skirmish match was to be had between the two concerned parties. Hellghast won.
With the Aeoni unit rested and gone, Hellghast turned its attention back on the warpath. Now that Voss had been cleared from Ragnyll, now came the time to go on the offensive. Higher command chose the Hellghast's striking point to be the coastal town of Stallion, a former trading port for both Voss and Ragnyll. With support from Major Thaneus Kane's Ragnyllian Legion, the Hellghast Armored Unit deployed in force, quickly taking the beaches and fighting their way inland. As they fought deeper into the town, a Private Henessian Kess captured a seeming small, unremarkable hut situated on a small island in the middle of a river that ran through the town, naming the small structure HinzerHaus. Upon capturing the hut, Kess discovered a Ghoulified, though still somehow human, inhabitant, a certain miss Mary Susan. She detailed herself as a corpsier, a practitioner in the occult arts of the Voss. What was unknown to anyone, though, was that the structure, as well as its inhabitants, would have a deeper role in a future deployment (more on that later). The fighting past HinzerHaus was fierce, Hellghast and Ragnyllian Legionnaire forces both pushing hard against the seemingly insurmountable wall of Vossian massed infantry and tanks. The Hellghast's priorities shifted, though, when a Captain Gunther called down an artillery strike on a mass of Voss Infantry that, coincidentally, had an allied Stork positioned right above it. The Stork, torn to pieces by the artillery strike, proceeded to crash land deeper into Voss lines, its pilot, though unharmed, in danger of being captured.
Hellghast moved quickly to recover the downed pilot, ripping apart his captors in a hail of minigun fire. Meanwhile, Kane's Legionnaires brought the landing craft deeper into the town, deploying more reinforcements as the Hellghast continued to press their assault. It was at this point in the battle that the Hellghast noticed two things: one, that there was a very large, very imposing statue in the town square some distance from them; and two, that the civillians were being herded onto train cars, no doubt to be sent ontward to some Ghoulifying Processing Center. The unit promptly blew up the statue and rescued the civillians, Major Kane's Legionnaires plodding forward behind them. It should not be ignored, however, that the Hellghast lost yet another CO in the midst of the fighting: Major Mana, the last survivor of the original Hellghast unit that survived the Fall of Sylvia, that glorious close-combat beatstick whose power could rival that of that one armless asshat of a failure in another universe, was unceremoniously blown apart in a flurry of artillery fire. Captain Gunther became the overall commander of the Hellghast in her place.
It was here that the story came to a shift: A sickly green light pulsed at the base of the broken statue, before shooting upwards in an awesome display. Weapons could not pierce this column of light, nor dissipate it. The green light gave way to black, and a form materialized in the middle of this column. The monster bellowed out its challenge to the Hellghast: for disrupting the ritual and denying the beast its sacrifice, it swore that it would claim all of the Hellghast, 99 days after Stallion. After giving this proclamation, the column of light promptly collapsed in on itself, leaving the battle-scarred town to lick its wounds and bury the dead.
Through the help of Mary Susan, it was determined that the entity's name was Thanatos. He was a Death God, a being formed from malevolence incarnate, and that the Voss had been serving this being for some time before the unit's unaccounted-for interruption. The Hellghast had two options: submit to the Death God and proclaim all its kills in its name, or destroy it. Naturally, the unit chose the latter option. The apprentice corpsier gave the unit an opportunity to lend her assistance to the unit in its search for more information on the Death God and how to defeat it on one condition: they had to go into the basement of Hinzerhaus and take care of a certain bug problem. Not wishing to waste an opportunity on finding out how to kill this new nemesis, the unit gladly accepted the offer.
What followed was a grueling ordeal that went on for a week. Roaches, beetles, and mantids--creatures unseen since the days of Skirmish Quest--reared their ugly heads, descending upon the unit. Undaunted, the Hellghast cut through the mindless droves, discovering that the basement was less of a basement and more of an underground research facility, complete with lab, office, observatory, and library. The fighting was intense; what the bugs lacked in firepower they compensated for in sheer number. For every Roach killed, 3 more took its place; on top of this, if the bodies weren't outright destroyed, eggs could spawn in the corpses, leaving a nasty surprise for the wayward soldier that moves close to the dead Roaches. On top of this, soon flying beetles that could slice through armor and flesh harassed the infantry as horned beetles that spewed fire ripped apart the armor support.
[More to come.]
Volume 2: The Rise of the Voss
15 years before the Voss offensive into Ragnyll, a Vosskon unit of war orphans known as the Terrible Children saw their first deployment. In the sands of the Sansik Empire they rescued a child from the corrupted grasp of his sacrificed mother, and found a new Emperor to wear the Crown of Dead Kings: Vilkas von Voss. In his name they fight against the Skylands and her people, the Kashir, a group of desert-dwelling warriors who worship heathen Death Gods.
The Voss Royal guard are the main players of IronHearts Volume 2. Unlike Ragnyllian basic soldiers, Voss "Royals" are considered a level higher than the standard voss trooper. As such, they can only deploy at the start of games and upon death may only redeploy as members of the regular army ("mooks"). Playing as a standard regular soldier is also fine.
The Royal Guard is comprised of various tactical fighters, rear line supporters, and even Officers that can fall under either category. Any Royal can ORDER nearby mooks to join them, causing the lower soldats to gain a command bonus. COs can choose their command auras as indicated by the base of their cards, but the blanket of units they can affect is dependent on Rank.
Hellghast Armored Unit
The fighting force that the players control, the Hellghast Armored Unit was bathed in the fires of war from its inception, the earliest cadets having to fight their way out of their own military academy after it had been overrun by a Voss offensive. The Hellghast forces have fought all across Ragnyll, from the forests of Dandelion and Wassau to the mines of Kolstec. The Armored Unit functions through the usage of combined arms, utilizing conventional infantry and armor forces alongside a limited air corps and, in some cases, elemental casters.
The Hellghast Unit has made a name for itself by being one of the more infamous units of the Ragnyllian military, leading the charge that is the Ragnyllian counter-offensive. Currently led by Major Gunther.
Ragnyllian company famous for its usage of large amounts of infantry. Deployed alongside the Hellghast unit during the Invasion of Stallion. Led by Major Thaneus Kane.
3rd Ragnyll Air Wing
Ragnyll air corps, nicknamed "The Flying Scissors." Composed of natural pilots, and specialize in the patrol, interception, and harassment of enemy supply lines.
A band of 13 soldiers that functions pretty much like Schaeffer and his Last Chancers. Fight battles of attrition with the Voss and win. An elite unit, sent on highly dangerous, top secret missions deep into enemy territory.
Class of '56
The survivors of the elementalist academy in Solstice, the class has reformed into a sort of quick-response group that specializes in battlefield control, anti-occult warfare, and research expeditions. Have contributed heavily to the rebuilding of Ragnyllian cities in the wake of Voss attacks.
The Black Deserters With a world war on the horizon in the aftermath of the Voss-Ragnyll conflict told in Volume one, a detachment of Ragnyll's soldiers Desert to invade the magic based nation of Iffram (Volume 3). They spread a plague of undeath across the nation, completely enveloping the city of Ashleaf, and then invaded the Scholomance, center of magical learning. By this time, many had adopted Vossian methods of necromancy, and using the unique state of the Viniculum, the place between worlds, in Iffram, to rip a tear to the underworld, the realm of the dead, and call forth the legions of dead Ragnyllian veterans to reinforce their nation for the upcoming war. Those located at the Scholomance who survived are now alive rather than dead, thanks to the Archmagus' spell to save his own students.
The Ibon Drakes Originally a militia out of the northern border town of barthram, named Fenrir's Wolves. Upon the critical wounding of Lt. Fenrir, the militia reorganized as a full military company under Lt. Dragonheart during the second Voss-Iffram Conflict, 8 years after the first conflict.
The Three Generals of Terror
The Generals of Terror are the most brilliant and well-known tacticians in all of the Voss Empire's armed forces. Two of the three have been met on the field and killed; the third, however, remains to be seen.
An ancient god of immeasurable power, Thanatos was accidentally summoned by Hellghast during the Invasion of Stallion when the Hellghast denied the god its Vossian tribute, human souls in the form of civilians. May or may not be the source of the Voss' ability to resurrect its dead as Ghouls/ source of power in general. Has given Hellghast something of a timeframe, proclaiming that it will claim the souls of those who fought that day in 99 days from the battle.
The Terrible Children
A special unit of the Voss Royal Guard, the Terrible Children's sole duty is the protection of the last living heir to the Voss throne, Prince Vilkas von Voss. Due to their unique command structure, The Terrible Children answer only to the Prince, and will defy even the mighty Generals of Terror if ordered to do so. Currently under the command of Major 'Iceheart' Konnair.
Vilkas von Voss
The future Emperor of the Voss Empire. A bastard child born of Kashir and Voss blood, Vilkas is the rightful air to the Voss throne. The child's progression from baby to teenager is being told in the 2nd volume of the Iron Hearts game.
A splinter group from the main body of the Aeoni Order, Legio Aurora consists of the remnants of a larger Aeon force that had originally been sent deep into Ragnyllian lines to confirm that the Vinculum Gate, an interdimensional portal through which daemons poured out, had opened. The group found itself whittled down by constant Voss attacks, until Hallow's Eve, when, during the Battle of The Fist, a miracle occurred. Just as all seemed lost, the Voss continually sending soldiers against Aeon's dwindling numbers, a large group of reinforcements appeared. Ghostly Hellghast warriors and armor, casualties of previous battles, miraculously appeared out of thin air, and cut down the Voss with frightening precision. The Legion, seeing this as a sign of divine intervention, had their spirits renewed, and continued fighting until the Voss forces were completely wiped out. The ghostly soldiers, their job done, then quietly disappeared with the first light of the new day.
The Legion, led by the Chapter Master Wight, held brief relations with the Hellghast Armored Unit until Wight led the legion on a merry chase to find relic gear that could slay the demons and close the gate once and for all.
From the Faelands are the Riverns who travel across such a vast mythical plane that unreliably changes shape and form, inviting one danger too many or inducing one distraction too much for them to bear its vastly complicated ecosystem. It is thus that the Riverns trace ancient rivers until their solitary and nomadic quests take them to the other side, where the waters become more still and the skies become less wrinkled. As a result, they are constant visitors to every Terra they visit, oftentimes seen as an uninvited guest or a stationary fixture, incapable of keeping up with the underclocked lifespan of the humans.
A Rivern shares the Ragnyllian spirit of exploration and progress; however, vary rarely will a Rivern ever be compatible with his true home, wherever that was. So here they settle, taking with them the odds and ends from the Fae, acting as liaisons to these chaotic lands that even they would shun.
Riverns are said to be splinter reincarnations of themselves--that is to say, if a Rivern dies on another world, chances are he will come back as some random race that could have been. From this, it can be surmised that an Iffram army would focus on something such as random rolls to be effective.
Riverns have come into the spotlight as of the Battle of Hinzerhaus, in which, due to interdimensional dickery, Scout Sniper Finch transformed into a Rivern.
A Clovis air unit in the employ of the Hellghast Armored Unit.
The playable faction of the Act 2 Intermission. A Clovis unit in the employ of Princess Salazar of the Kashir Empire. They seek to establish a new nation separate from the wars of the Kashir homelands - and the exclusive trade rights therein.
Well, um, yes. The Souf is what happens when you take Warring States-era Japan, blend well with the hillbilly and redneck cultures, and sprinkle a hearty amount of dinosaurs on top. The Souf is a dangerous, odd place, filled with moonshine-running, dinosaur-riding redneck folk who *will* go after you if you do so much as touch their hooch or look at their daughters.
The Kashir are a group of nomadic desert dwellers who worship the Death Gods, abominations against all reason and logic given form. Wherever the Kashir go, the desert follows. They are currently the main antagonists of the 2nd iteration of the Iron Hearts quest.
The Kashir function through the usage of conventional infantry, bolstered by animal-based armor, ranging from the quick Jaguar cavalry to the powerful Ganesha tanks to the massive, flame-spewing Salamanders, and defensive positions, with weaponry ranging from machine guns to cannons. In addition, the Kashir use mystical shamans to shape the battlefield to their favor, and powerful artifacts that can change the outcome of a battle with a single use.
Afyra, the Desert Fox
A more recent commander of the Kashir, Afrya made her debut as the commander of a Kashir force that raided an outpost for its loot of stolen Kashir artifacts and Voss weaponry parts. So far, the only enemy commander that effectively routed the Terrible Children, following a shock-and-awe styled display of power that knocked out the Terrible Children's commander and science brigade.
Hassan the Executioner
One of the commanders of the Kashir, totally not based on that one crazy character who sells used camels for great prices. He has clashed with the Terrible Children on several occasions, each time being driven back.
A Collection of How-to-Play's