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Path of Conquest 2020 : The 100 Kingdoms - The host of the Iron Wolf

Path of Conquest 2020 : The 100 Kingdoms - The host of the Iron Wolf

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The lore of the Host of the Iron Wolf

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The lore of the Host of the Iron Wolf

Sometimes good ideas come out of nowhere, or from tiny details and expand into great stories.

That’s what happened with my 100 Kingdoms army. I named them “The Lions” at the beginning, because lions are great animals and I didn’t have a better idea (yeah, I know…).
I thought I was going to figure out the lore of the army later. I just didn’t imagine it would turn out like it did…

While trying to figure out the paint scheme for my army, I thought the shield of men at arms was a bit empty. Since it was about speed painting, I didn’t want to make a freehand for each one, thus, I wondered about water transfers.
I saw some sheets on sale on amazon to print my own, but I decided to go through my old box of water transfers, and I found a bunch of space wolves water transfers.
That’s when it came to me.

The Iron Wolf.

The name came out of nowhere and stuck with me, and I had since then glimpses of knights mounted on giant wolves (heavy cavalry), hordes of wolves led by huntmasters (militia), and so on…
And the Iron wolf would be no Jon Snow…

In a nutshell, the lore that follows came from the following simple facts:

  • I don’t have much time to paint minis (I’ll use transfers sheets)
  • I don’t like spending money when I can save it (I already have space wolves transfer sheets)
  • Red is a good color (I like the contrast paint flesh tearers red), and is the color of rust
  • I had just ordered snow for my bases from Green Stuff World…
The Host of the Iron Wolf at war.The Host of the Iron Wolf at war.

There’s a kingdom, far in the east of the 100 kingdoms, where life is even harder than everywhere else. High mountains, covered with snow. Vast forests of pine trees. Pack of wolveshunting those foolish enough to travel alone. Bears with a fur as dark as night and able to tear apart a knight in his armor with a single blow.

Nobody would live there willingly if it wasn’t for the mines. Hidden deep in the mountains lie vast quantities of iron, and it is the blood of the Kingdom, that made it so rich. Despite the harsh conditions, there’s a good living to make out of it, if you have what it takes to endure the climate, the beasts, the hard work in the mines, and, probably, worst of all, the Iron Wolf.

The Iron Wolf is nickname known throughout the Hundred Kingdoms. Old men tell tales around the fire in winter. Old women say to children to behave, or the Iron Wolf will come for them.

The Iron Wolf is a brutal Lord. Mercy is not a word he knows, and weakness is what he hates the most. He has no love for his people and accepts only one thing : strength. Nobody even knows how old he is. The Iron Wolf seems to be a title that the kings have given themselves, otherwise it would mean he is centuries old

Rumour says he rides a giant armored wolf and hes probably the only person strong enough to wander alone in his kingdom. People have met him, and all those who can talk about it ended up fighting fo him on the battlefield. Probably because fighting in his army is the only thing that earns more than working in the mines. He is always looking for brave and strong men, and some of them end up as Nobles, fighting in his Wolf Guard.

Guess who is the most dangerous...Guess who is the most dangerous...

It was even colder than usual. 
Maria stumbled on a stone, hidden by the snow. And the wood she was carrying ended up on the floor.

Mom, are you all right ? asked the boy.

Walder was her last reason to live. He was ten, and her last child. Mirella had died 3 years ago, after catching a bad cold. Brenn and Evan had died last year, deep under the mountains, while digging for the iron. And her beloved husband, Egron, had been killed three months ago in a tavern fight. Only Walder remained, and he was so smallso frail. She took him in her arms, then looked him in the eyes.

Walder, it’s just that I am tired. Life has been unfair with us. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.

Then she noticed. 

Walder was paralyzed. 

He was looking above her shoulderright behind her.

She then felt the warm and foul breath of what was behind. She turned slowly and faced the biggest wolf she had ever seen. It had dark eyes, and could obviously kill a horse with a single blow. His head was just a foot from her face.
His fur was covered with an Iron armor, and an armored man was riding on his back. 

A Knight. 

He was also staring at her, and she could feel the coldness of his gaze.
She started to move away, driven by fear, but Walder moved forward. 

He had his knife in hand and was facing the wolf and the knight.
She wanted to move, to protect him. But fear was stronger.

Womanyou deserve to die said the man.

You are weak, and you can‘t take care of that boy, because you can‘t even take care of yourself”.

Then he turned his head towards Walder.

“Do you expect to beat me with that knifekid ?

“No” answered Walder, his voice shaking.

Then what are you trying to do with that ?

“My dad said that inevitable death was no reason to stop fighting“.

The man didn’t move. The wolf didn’t either.

Then a strange sound broke the silence. The knight was laughing

He stopped and looked again at Walder.

“Where is your dad ?

“He died three months ago.”

Walder was still pointing his knife at the knightOnly the breath of the wolf was breaking the silence now.

“That’s a shame, but he left something valuable behind him…”.

The knight moved his hand and the wolf moved a few feet away.

“What’s your nameboy ?

Walder”.

Walder, if you want to liveyou have to get away from that weak woman. Come tomorrow morning at dawn at Fort Balgron. You‘ll get an opportunity to train. If you don’t die while in training, you‘ll become one of my Men at Arms.

Then the knight turned away, and a few seconds later he had disappeared, hidden by the trees and the snow.

Maria realised then what had happened.

She had met the iron Wolf, and she had lost her son. She talked to himtried to convince him not to do something stupid like going to Fort Balgron, but the boy remained silent.

Next morning, when she woke up, he was gone.

She never heard of Walder again and died three years later beaten up to death in the brothel she ended up in to survive.

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