Well already someone did it, but this time I'd like to take a spin on it. Since there is one last DLC left (along with some FLCs) before CA jumps to Total War Warhammer III, the opportunity that the Eye of The Vortex Campaign opens up, especially the destabilization of the Great Vortex, makes it clear that CA could do something interesting with the rumored Dwarfs vs Skaven DLC. So let's get down to it. Also since it's literally the final DLC and that there won't be any at all after this, then better to make it BIG.
The plot of the DLC:
The plot would revolve around Thorek Ironbow and his circle of Runesmiths and Runelords trying to regain the lost magic the Dawi used to wield long ago before the War of Vengeance. Due to the many enemies that the Dwarfs have and the intensity of their attacks, Thorek fears that it's literally a matter of time before the children of the Ancestor Gods will go extinct. Thorek, hoping that he can somehow avert this, the Master Runelord of Karak Azul travels to the last known location of Karak-Zorn. He does arrive there and does find some interesting information.
The Karak-Zorn Dwarfs of old did discover that the magic that powered the great Rune Golems of old was waning thus they did find a solution with the help of the Lizardmen of these times. By erecting giant runic monoliths in key locations, they could in theory harvest the magic that was dissipating into the earth and use the same monoliths as magic relays that could power up the runic constructs. Sadly it never occurred as the Times of Woe came and all contact was lost...not to mention the conflicts with the Tomb Kings causing much damage to the hold which eventually led to its fall.
Thorek does find the hold along with one of the monoliths that is inside of it and activates the giant construction. It floats up as the runic inscriptions on it start to glow and immediately harvests the magic from the deepest places of the earth. This also causes the Rune Golems inside the hold to immediately come to life and ready to take orders from the Runelords. Seeing this as an opportunity to use, Thorek gets a hold of the locations of the possible places where these monoliths were erected along with points where new ones could be constructed and its made even easier by the fact that with the destabilization of the Vortex, the aforementioned points became easier to pin-point. With this the Master Runelord sets out to secure these places for Dwarfkin. But there are others who are also interested in this...
In the shadows, the mad scientists and shapers of Clan Moulder found one of these points by sheer accident while looking for new specimens when a Burrowing Behemoth dug in and its Packmasters discovered the giant monolith. Curious of this, they contacted Skryre and some of the lesser clans (because favors) to find a way to make use of it. Skryre Warlock Engineers, along with the Grey Seers, found a way to harvest the magical energies that the Dwarf monolith is extracting out of it. The engineers constructed large techno-magical harvesters that sucked out these energies.
Throt The Unclean, one of the greatest Master Mutators, took the samples and used them on one of the Bonebreakers that was growing inside its vat. The result was that not only did it dramatically accelerated the speed at which the Bonebreaker grew but once it emerged, it was larger and stronger than it should, not to mention showing a small modicum of intellect. Throt, being actually happy over this, orders his minions to find more of these so to create even more potent creations.
Thus the battle for the monoliths begins. One side wanting them secured for the future of their race, the other to breed even more terrifying nightmares. UNIQUE MECHANIC: The Runic Monoliths
The main objective of both the Rune Masters of Karak-Azul and Clan Moulder is to take control of the Runic Monoliths, and in case of the Rune Masters it is also to erect new Runic Monoliths in specific points on the world map. The monoliths extract the earth magic so that both sides can use them for their own gains and unlock new and more powerful capabilities.
Thorek Ironbow is the Master Runelord of Karak Azul and leads the faction of the Rune Masters of Karak Azul from the hold of Karak-Zorn. Thorek wants to give back to the Dwarfs the magic they lost centuries ago in order to gain an edge over their enemies. Commanding both his regular forces and the powers of the creations of the Runesmiths ancient and current, Thorek is determined to regain the splendors of the Golden Age of the Dawi, and he will do so no matter how difficult the situation will become.
NEW FACTION MECHANIC: Runic Carving
Thanks to his skills and that of his fellow Runesmiths, Thorek can inscribe runes on the armors, weapons, siege machines if not even the skins of his fellow Dwarfs to imbue them with unique powers and effects. The effects depend on the runes that Thorek can unlock through research and are divided depending on functionality. Weapon Runes change the nature of melee weapons, Armor Runes enhance the protective gear of the Dawi, Banner and Talismanic Runes allow for the creation or enhancement of existing banners and talismans, Engineering Runes empower the Dwarf engines of war. Enscribe these on your fellow Dawi or on the various items to make them deadlier. Although all Dwarf factions now have access to it, only Thorek can utilize its fullest potential and even unlock certain Regiments of Renown much earlier.NEW REGIMENTS:Runesmith Apprentices:
Usually sitting in the massive forges and constantly learning and crafting in order to become fully-fledged Runesmiths in their own right for years under the watchful eyes of their mentors, the ones appearing on the battlefield are those that are already after their First Carving and gained enough experience in the forges to now gain more in practice. Wielding forging hammers and wielding to a certain extent the powers of the runes, the Apprentices use their talents to boost the combat capabilities of their fellow Dawi or to weaken their enemies.Rune Guardians:
Created after the Times of Woe started as replacements for the then dormant Rune Golems with the help of the Engineer Guilds, Rune Guardians are mindless, Ogre-sized automatons who only follow the will of their creators. Seemingly having the secrets of their creation lost along with the Master Rune of Waking, Thorek however during one of his travels managed to find one intact, trap him for others to chain the monstrous construct and later reverse-engineer it for production. In battle these constructs will massacre anyone in melee with their double-bladed axe arms and due to their nature which is identical with that of the constructs of the Tomb Kings, they never feel fear and will either hold the line or break the enemy.Rune Golems:
The predecessors of the Rune Guardians, the Gronti-Duraz, or Enduring Stone from Khazalid, are massive constructs whose secrets of creation were passed down to the Dawi by Thungni, the Ancestor God of Runic Magic. Abandoned after the War of Vengeance due to the magic allowing to animate them sinking deep into the earth to the point that none of the Runelords was able to harness them again, now these constructs burst back into life to fight once again for their masters after millennia of slumber. In battle the Rune Golems will withstand whole hailstorms of devastation and press onward, being animated by the Runelords, raising their might against whole armies and the deadliest of monsters.Shard Dragon:
Nightmarish monstrosities descended from dragons that ventured into the depths of the underworld and adapted to its dark environment, Shard Dragons prowl the underground in search of prey to consume. Sometimes they make contact with Dwarf Holds, Goblin Caves and Skaven Burrows. When that happens, chaos and destruction ensues as the serpentine monster kills and devours as many as possible before retreating. The Dwarfs, not wanting to allow such slights be left unavenged, ventured into the darkness and brought the Shard Dragons back to the surface by shackling them with massive runic collars and binding their will to that of the Dawi. In battle the Shard Dragons are fury and destruction incarnate. Controlled by the Runelords and steered towards the enemies of the Dwarfs, these creatures are possessed of a potent venom that burns the hardest of rocks, a breathe that induces visions so nightmarish that people die from heart-attacks and with scales so sharp and hard only the bravest can meet them in melee. And even if an enemy manages to wound one, then they need to prepare for the rabid frenzy that will be unleashed upon them by a Shard Dragon.LEGENDARY HERO: Josef Bugman
One that's a surprise to accompany the Master Runelord, Josef was hired by Thorek to help him regain the lost power of the Dawi. The Brew Master, seeing that he might this way avenge his family and brewery after the Greenskins raided it, joined the Runelord along with his rangers. In battle Josef is a hybrid hero who is both a competent melee fighter and good marksman with his crossbow. He brings with himself an arsenal of ales with varied effects to further change the tide in the Dawi's favor.NEW REGIMENTS OF RENOWN:Ol' Thungnisonn
A truly ancient Rune Golem that is believed to have been the very first one to be shaped by Thungni, this giant is even bigger than the rest of his kin and seemingly imbued with powers that make even concentrated cannonball hailstorms have little effect on him.The Shard King
A particularly old and powerful Shard Dragon with jet-black scales and bone-white spikes that was so powerful that he required an even larger Rune Collar to be shackled with, this imposing monster leaves chaos and destruction in its wake.
A large mutant of a Skaven, Throt The Unclean leads Clan Moulder on a quest to gain the power of the Dwarf monoliths in order to create even deadlier and horrifying creations. An infamous Master Mutator who himself got mutated over the years by working in a warpstone-heavy environment, this resulted in him growing much larger and gaining a third arm. Not mention him ramming a piece of warpstone into his eye socket after a furious struggle with one of his rivals. A piece that started to whisper dark things into his mind. These changes caused him to gain enormous strength to the point of single-handily pinning Rat Ogres into the ground with his Creature Killer. His visit to Lustria inspired him to pursue the creations the single biggest monsters that would rival the native wildlife of the continent and now with the power coming from the monoliths his dreams are closer to fruition than he ever thought.
NEW FACTION MECHANIC: Moulder Laboratory
With his skills at creating and breeding lethal monstrosities, Throt can improve existing Moulder monstrosities or come up with new breeds for use of the clan's war effort. By going out to hunt selected specimens and collecting exotic creatures, Clan Moulder can modify or improve existing creations and even create new and deadlier monsters.NEW LORDS AND HEROES:Master Mutator:
The most experienced and high-ranking Master Moulders in the clan, Master Mutators are twisted individuals who have great knowledge on shaping the hellish legions of Moulder they command. Sometimes they do share it with the Master Moulders but not to much so that they won't be overthrown. The Master Mutator is a Lord choice whose role is to strengthen the various monsters in his army.Master Moulder:
Mad scientists and shapers that are a rank above a Packmaster who toil in the horrid laboratories that frighten even the powerful Grey Seers, nothing is sacred to the Master Moulders. They will combine, blend, butcher and do other sickeningly twisted procedures in order to create new and even more powerful monsters.NEW REGIMENTS: Packmasters:
Talented Skaven who have an affinity to control and goading the beasts in a Skaven army. Although there are some clans that can produce their own Packmasters, it is Clan Moulder who can produce them in highest quantities.Giant Rats, Rat Wolves, Rat Riders, Burrowing Behemoths and Brood Horrors:
Giant Rats are the first successful product of Moulder's bio-engineering. Mutated into large predators, these creatures are set loose to tear flesh and gnaw on the bones of the clan's enemies.
Rat Wolves are a more aggressive breed of Giant Rats. An attempt to combine both Skaven blood with that of the great wolves of Kislev, the results was a creature too foul-tempered to be normally controlled. Skaven simply unleash them when facing the enemy so the frenzied rodents would shred them to bits.
Rat Riders are an experimental unit of Clan Moulder. At first they were used by Throt in his private army, but further proved to be successful enough to have them assigned to other armies of Moulder. A light cavalry, these somewhat Skaven are perfect for harassing enemy formations.
Burrowing Behemoths are massive rat monsters that are used by Moulder to expand Hellpit. Originally loaned to other clans to dig tunnels and large sections for infrastructure, these monsters have almost been phased out by Skryre's inventions. Despite this they are still used by Moulder as both a way of travel, expansion and for attacks from below.
Brood Horrors are what happens when one of the freshly born litters of rats starts spontaneously mutate and grow only to start to feast on the rest of his siblings and later grow further at an alarming rate. Brood Horrors are rare and very valued by Clan Moulder and sold for thousands of slaves and crates of warpstone to Warlords. Sometimes they are simply prodded towards the enemies that are later torn and devoured by the oversized monstrosity. Even if the enemy manages to slay it, the Brood Horror will spontaneously decompose into a puddle of poisoned filth and digested skin, infecting those around it.Armored, Augmented and Mutant Rat Ogres:
There exist other variants of Rat Ogres apart the usual ones and the Bonebreakers.
Armored Rat Ogres are those of their kin that received surgery to include armored implants to make them even more hardier. On top of the pieces being literally welded into their bodies, their limbs are replaced with crude weapons. All in a combination of hurting bodies and hurting metal.
Augmented Rat Ogres are the brainchild of both Skryre and Moulder. Crude combinations of flesh and machinery, these cyborg monsters clank towards the enemy with their mechanical snapping pincers and warpfire projectors, snapping at infantry formations and burning them with gouts of warpfire.
Mutant Rat Ogres are second to the Bonebreakers in terms of power and capabilities. Mutated and altered to new levels, these grotesque monstrosities are the pride of Clan Moulder. They always sport additional limbs, heads and even minds thanks to Throt refining and perfecting the abilities to transplant minds of sentient creatures into these monsters.Chimaerat:
Called a crime against nature, the Chimaerat is to a rat what a Hydra is to a lizard. The very existence of this thing escapes basic logic and reasoning. Not to mention how and who in Clan Moulder even came up with it. This multi-headed beast of war charges into enemy lines belching warpfire left and right scorching the earth in its wake.LEGENDARY HERO: Ghoritch
Throt's greatesrt creation, and one he tries to undermine at every opportunity, Ghoritch used to be a powerful Khornate Chaos Warrior in service to Archaon, but due to disobeying orders was sent to Clan Moulder as punishment by the Everchosen. There the Unclean saw potential in him and transplanted his brain into that of a heavily modified Rat Ogre. The Chaos Warrior-turned-Rat Ogre escaped and slaughtered many of Moulder's creations when he somehow got to the clan's combat areas. The Master Mutators noticed his capabilities and granted him command of the clan's more uncontrollable elements, eventually ending up as Chieftain and leader of one of Moulder's armies. Throt did not enjoy this, but in order get his hands on the power of the monoliths he is forced to acquire the services of his creation. In battle Ghoritch is a beast that can muster other rodents to fight more fiercely. Thanks to both his human intelect and his blood-crazed fighting capabilities as a Chaos Warrior, he can even channel some of the power of the Blood God into himself in order to better rip and tear in the name of Khorne.NEW REGIMENTS OF RENOWN:The Wolf Vermin
A unique band of Skaven that somehow managed to tame and mount Wolf Rats. They are all completely insane and will fight with reckless abandon as much as the mounts they ride.Hell Pit Horror
One of the three surviving Hell Pit Abominations. This monster was fed on a steady diet of Dwarfs and Greenskins to make it further deadlier.Terror of Troll Country
This particular Chimaerat generates an aura of fear so powerful that only those truly courageous can stand even looking at it. Many Kislevites tried to fight it, but all fell brutally.