Venythia and the Gilded Hand Free Companies
(You can find WIP shots of my army on Tales of Sigmar)
The city of Venythia was founded on the mouth of the Adamantine River at the bottom of the Glittering Gulf in Chamon. A few miles off the Glittering Gulf, past the Silverflow Straits, the Waterway, a massive Realmgate connected Venythia with the other Realms. During the Age of Myth, the city was ruled by a merchant guild known as the Gilded Hand traded goods from all over Chamon for the most exotic spices and tissues from all around the Realms. In their forays across the Realms, the Gilded Hand explorers always made sure they had an escort of seasoned mercenaries. Well trained and equipped, the Free Companies of the Gilded Hand were the pride of Venythia.
|Gudrun's Grudgbreaker - Duardin Privateer|
Yet, as the first Great Waaagh! approached the city, the Free Companies were sorely pressed and Venythia looked set to fall to Gorkamorka’s rampaging hordes. Then came Marcus the Gold Wizard and his companions, Aethlis the Archmage and Karadrin the Runelord. Marcus offered to turn Venythia into a most impregnable fortress. In return, he asked, the Gilded Hand would name them Guild Elders. The voices of some merchants, jealous of their positions, were quickly silenced by the more practical among them. The newly appointed Elders immediately set to work. As Aethlis called on his elemental powers to uproot the city seven districts and turn each of them into an islet, Marcus transmuted the walls of the buildings into shining steel while Karadrin hammered runes of protection on his anvil. In a matter of hours, and just before Gorkamorka’s hordes reached it, Venythia was a lagoon city of rune-encrusted steel. Orruks, grots and ogors, on their improvised rafters crashed on its walls for days, but with no success and finally moved on, looking for easier prey.
|The Kitchen Crew|
In the following years, Marcus, always supported by Aethlis and Karadrin turned the Gilded Hand into a council of alchemists and made the position of Elders hereditary. The trading vessels and Free Companies of Venythia found a new purpose, as they were used by the alchemist of the Gilded Hand in their never ending quest for knowledge and ingredients for their craft. From the Shimmerwood in Ghyran, to Okkam’s Reach in Shysh, to the Blasted Plains in Aqshy and in many more places, Venythian outposts were guarded by duardin, aelfs, humans, and at times the occasional ogors and orruks, all on the Guilded Hand’s payroll. When the Age of Chaos came, the Gilded Hand Elders, by now the descendants of Marcus and his companions, recalled all their emissaries to their fortresses on the lagoon of Venythia. When Sigmar retreated to Azyr, the Elders saw the God-King’s decision as a betrayal and ever since distrusted any who pleaded their allegiance to the Heldenhammer. Yet, faithful Sigmarites remained in the city and some even fought in the Venythian armies.
|The Faithfuls, Church of Sigmar's Retribution Militia|
|The Penitent Brotherhood|
The Free Companies kept Venythia safe from the ravages of Chaos and refugees from all the Realms have flocked there, eager to join the mercenary regiments or founding their own to fight against Chaos. As the Storm of Sigmar broke, the Gilded Hand Elders saw an opportunity to reclaim their vast network of outposts. Various Free Companies have already braved the crossing of the Waterway, and as rumours of a vast offensive on Ghyran spread, more mercenary regiments are being mustered. The Free Companies will fight anyone who stands in the way of Order and reason. Perhaps they won’t fight for Sigmar, but surely for the glory of Venythia and the gold it brings.
|Skargat's Ironforged Ogors|