Warhammer Online: Return of Reckoning has two factions: Order and Destruction. Each faction contains three separate armies, each of which is further broken down into four career choices. Each of the careers (classes) in Warhammer Online conform to an archetype role. For example, the Warrior Priest is an archetypal support or healer career, though he also has many melee DPS (damaging) elements. In this way, the careers are given variety and avoid being simple reiterations of common archetypes. The initial character creation process allows players to select the race, career, and basic look of their character, including facial features and accessories. In addition to the original name that the player chooses for their character at creation, the player has the option to add a surname to their character for a small fee at rank 20. Dye is available at NPC vendors for recoloring armor and accessories. Players are able to decorate themselves with trophies, such as the heads of fallen enemies, which are equipped and displayed at various points on the character model.
- 1 Destruction
- 2 Order
The greenskins have no homeland to speak of. They capture other races' settlements and then make those places their own, decorating them with tribal graffiti, wood, and scrap materials fashioned into crude symbols, and oftentimes, the bones of those they have slain. This leads to a very unique form of architecture that is distinctively ramshackle.
Periodically, a powerful Orc Warboss will unite the greenskin tribes into a single swarming mass called a "Waaagh!", named for the common greenskin battle-cry. In a Waaagh!, the greenskins unite into a stampede of frenzied Orcs, Goblins and Snotlings bent on destroying everything they encounter. Save for pure Chaos itself, there is no force in the Warhammer world as devastating as a Waaagh! set in motion.
At the onset of the new Age, the greenskins have been united by the Black Orc Warlord Grumlok and his diminutive counterpart, the Goblin Shaman Gazbag. Together, they have led their tribe, the Bloody Sun Boyz, to dominance. Now, they wage war upon the Dwarfs, guided by an unseen hand.
Orcs are the largest of the greenskin species. They are bigger, more aggressive, and more muscular than their smaller cousins, the Goblins, Hobgoblins, and tiny Snotlings. Orcs continue to grow throughout their lives and their skin darkens with age. The strongest and most powerful Orcs grow to become Black Orcs, marked by their increased size and darker skin.
Orcs are not bright by any means, but they do possess an animalistic awareness of social structure. They are bullies who impose their will on anyone they think is weaker than they. There is nothing an Orc loves more than to fight. If they lack other opponents, they will fight amongst themselves. Such battles are always bloody affairs, for Orcs are fearsome foes, even when wounded. They feel no pain and fear nothing.
An especially powerful Orc will rise to the top of his tribe by way of ruthless savagery and victory in personal combat. If he is able to defeat the current Warboss, he will assume that position. If he is especially strong-willed, the new Warboss may be able to lead the entire tribe into Waaagh! while still fending off challenges to his leadership from within.
Orcs fight with primitive weapons that are little more than big chunks of scrap metal. They give these weapons such descriptive names as "choppas", "bashas" and "smashas", and they wield them with brutal strength.
Goblins are considerably smaller than Orcs, but they compensate for this disadvantage with a feral cunning that their larger brethren lack. Goblins are constantly bullied and intimidated by the Orcs and this has caused them to evolve into sneaky and insidious creatures whose comical appearance belies their malicious intelligence. In many ways Goblins are the brains behind greenskin tribal society. Goblins frequently are the Shamans of their tribes and are often clever enough to use the leverage associated with this position to manipulate the larger but slower Orcs into doing their bidding.
Goblins are also the most adept of the greenskin races at using technology. Goblins build objects of simple, but effective design. As with all greenskin construction, machines and siege engines cobbled together by Goblins have a very primitive look, but a five-hundred-pound rock hurts just as much when its hurled through the air by a crudely-fashioned greenskin Rock Lobber as an ornate Dwarf Grudge Thrower.
Greenskins Career Options
|Black Orc||Choppa||Shaman||Squig Herder|
In the icy wastes north of Kislev dwell nomadic tribes of barbarians known throughout the Empire as the Northmen. Sometimes a powerful leader will arise among these savage humans, uniting the tribes into a great warhost that marches south toward Kislev and the Empire. At such times as this, the Northmen seek only bloodshed and conquest, for they are willing servants of the inscrutable Chaos gods.
The gods of Chaos are much more active in the lives of their worshipers than are the gods of other cultures. They reward their followers immediately when they are pleased, but are no less swift when demonstrating their displeasure with a devotee. A Chaos god can often show his favor by way of "marking" an individual with his symbol. This symbol bestows powers commensurate with the sphere of influence that the god controls. Further gifts and mutations are often bestowed if the god continues to be pleased with the works of his subject.
The most powerful and favored warriors among these human worshipers of Chaos are called Champions, and are exceptionally powerful in battle. Among them, strength is authority, and so these Champions are also the leaders among their people. Such creatures are so potent and so mutated they can scarcely be called human any longer. They tend to wield massive weapons that a normal man would struggle to lift, and are clad in Chaos Armor that is bound to their skin. These Champions of Chaos are among the most powerful and terrifying adversaries in all the world.
The Northmen that accompany their Champions into battle are called Marauders and often fight beside inhuman creatures such as the fearsome Beastmen. Sometimes they will even share the battlefield with creatures borne of pure Chaos energy: Daemons.
The Age of Reckoning is ushered in as a Warhost of the god Tzeentch, the Changer of Ways, marches on the Empire. Leading this terrifying army of evil is a powerful Champion named Tcharzanek.
The Raven Host
In the lands of the far north, where tribes of savage barbarians worship the abhorrent gods of Chaos, a new champion has risen. His name is heard on the howling of the icy winds and the shrill cries of ravens. It is proclaimed in peals of thunder and whispered in the nightmares of men. He is Tcharzanek, Chosen of Tzeentch, and he will shake the very foundations of the Old World.
His warhost is vast, and counted among its numbers are hundreds of tribes that he has conquered. They are joined by the supernatural servants of Chaos, such as the dreaded Firewyrms, and daemons, such as the ever-changing Horrors of Tzeentch. Many are the servants of the Champion, but among them all, the Raven Host is exalted. They are the deadliest, most potent and most ruthless of his warriors, fated to stand at the side of their dark master in the hour of his final victory over the Empire.
To be a member of the Raven Host is to commune with the essence of Tzeentch itself. Those who accept the gifts of The Changer of Ways are blessed with unimaginable power, and are forever changed. In the eyes of the Northmen, there is no greater honor, and each desires above all to prove his worth to the dark Champion and his Raven god.
It is to these most trusted warriors that the Champion will turn when the time comes to reveal the true nature of his attack upon the Empire.
Chaos Career Options
Long ago, when Chaos was first unleashed upon the world, the Elven champion Aenarion drew the dread Sword of Khaine from its altar and used its terrible power to save his people from annihilation. When Aenarion died, his son Malekith was deemed unsuitable for the throne. Although he was a mighty warrior, a great sorcerer , a brilliant general and the rightful heir, many Elves opposed his coronation. They feared he was too focused on war, and potentially a de-stabilizing influence on the High Elf race. In retaliation, over many years Malekith engineered a terrible civil war that divided the race of Elves into two factions.
It was the High Elves who emerged victorious and drove the evil Dark Elves out from the ancestral home of their race. Under the leadership of Malekith the Witch King and his Sorceress mother Morathi, the Dark Elves sailed across the Great Western Ocean and founded for themselves a new kingdom in the northern reaches of the New World. This land they called Naggaroth, meaning 'land of chill'.
Unlike the High Elves, who continually seek to suppress their passions lest they be overcome by them, the Dark Elves willingly embrace their hedonistic nature. Dark Elf society emphasizes individualism, selfishness, and pride. They have little regard for one another and even less for the other races of the world, whom they see as potential slaves and subjects.
In battle, the ruthless warriors of Naggaorth blend Elven discipline with savagery and ferocity, for the patron deity of the Dark Elves is Kaela Mensha Khaine, the bloody-handed God and the Lord of Murder. Nowhere is this more evident than in the beautiful and deadly Witch Elves, who serve in the Temples of Khaine and revel in violence and bloodshed.
Since their expulsion from Ulthuan, the Dark Elves have desired nothing more than to return to Ulthuan and avenge their defeat, reclaiming the land they believe to be theirs by right. In the Age of Reckoning, Malekith learns of an impending Chaos invasion of the Empire and uses this knowledge to set in motion a chain of events that will leave the island home of the Elves defenseless against an invasion. At the Witch King's command, a great fleet of Black Arks – great floating islands laden with soldiers, monsters, and engines of war – sets sail across the sea to conquer the island kingdom of Ulthuan and fulfill the destiny denied the Druchii so long ago.
Of all the noble houses of the Dark Elves, few can boast the power and influence of House Uthorin. As patriarch and ruler of the house, Lord Uthorin is a master of intrigue and politics. Rumor holds that his eye is fixed firmly upon the Witch King's throne; if that is his ambition, he has wisely kept it hidden, preferring to play the role of loyal advisor.
Through cunning and treachery, Lord Uthorin's eldest son, Kaloth Coldshadow, earned for his House the privilege of drawing first blood when the Dark Elves attack Ulthuan. Along with every warrior of the House, the Black Ark Nemesis conveys Beastmasters and their fearsome creatures of war, fanatical devotees of the Temple of Khaine, and powerful masters of Dark Magic across the sea. The full might of his armies now gathered, Lord Uthorin chooses to strike first at the Blighted Isle, near the Altar of Khaine.
The Witch King has plans of his own, however. Well aware of Lord Uthorin's desire to rule the Dark Elves, Malekith commands Lady Arkaneth, Uthorin's most powerful rival, to land her invasion force on the Blighted Isle as well. The cold and calculating Witch King has pit two of his most powerful rivals against one other, so that both will be weakened by the conflict and post less of a threat to him.
Lord Uthorin will need every measure of cunning and skill that he possesses to outmaneuver Lady Arkaneth, the Witch King and the High Elves all at once. If he should succeed, the reward for those loyal to his House will be almost beyond measure.
Dark Elves Career Options
|Black Guard||Witch Elf||Disciple of Khaine||Sorceress|
The Dwarfs are an ancient and industrious race that is long past its prime. Their once-great empire of Karak Ankor now lies in ruins and many of the Dwarfs mighty mountain holds have been abandoned or conquered by Orcs and Goblins, with whom the Dwarfs have warred for centuries. It is not uncommon to hear a Dwarf wistfully recall the great glories of the past, observing bitterly that nothing the Dwarfs do in this day and age can compare to the majesty of what once was. An enormously proud people, the Dwarfs are quick to react to any slight, real or imagined, and remember any such infraction for years, even passing on the responsibility of vengeance to their heirs through their Books of Grudges. It is perhaps because of their obstinate pride that the Dwarfs refuse to openly admit that their culture is slowly creeping towards its nadir. Inwardly, however, they know that they are a doomed race. This gives them a uniquely dour outlook upon the world and perhaps explains their great fondness for drowning their sorrows in tankard after tankard of ale. In fact, the only thing that the Dwarfs love more than a good mug of ale is gold. A Dwarf in the throes of goldlust is a thing to behold. The races legendary drive and stamina is brought into sharp relief when they are presented with the opportunity to acquire gold. As miners and experts on ore and metals, the Dwarfs are without peer. Items of Dwarven craftsmanship and engineering are the most valuable in all the world, revered even by the Elves. The fates of the Dwarfs and men of the Empire are inextricably intertwined. Ever since the day Sigmar united the tribes of men in the defense of the Dwarfs at the Battle of Black Fire Pass, the stout warrior-folk have honored their oath to come to the aid of men in times of need. With the fate of the Empire now hanging in the balance, it seems that this old debt may soon come to call.
News of the fall of Karak Eight Peaks dealt a grievous blow to the pride of the Dwarfs. Thorgrim Grudgebearer, High King of the Dwarfs, faced not only a large enemy army preparing to march on his capital, but also a crisis of morale. Being a wise Dwarf, he knew that in order to withstand the coming attack, his subjects would need the proper motivation. The High King went before all the gathered Dwarfs of Karaz-a-Karak and made a grand proclamation. The finest Runesmiths and Forgemasters in all the Worlds Edge Mountains would be gathered together to craft weapons of power rivaling those made by the ancestor smiths of old. The High King named these weapons Doomstrikers, for they would be the doom of the greenskins. To ensure the quality of these mighty weapons, only the finest ores, gold and gems would be used in their making. To gather these precious resources, the Dwarfs would have to travel to some of the most dangerous places in the Old World. Only Dwarfs of exceptional skill and courage were fit for such a task, and so the High King decreed the founding of a new regiment, which he called the Oathbearers. Such was the importance of their task, any Dwarf wishing to join the Oathbearers would be required to swear an oath to the High King himself. When the ranks of the new regiment were filled, the High King ordered his Oathbearers to venture out into the Old World and gather whatever materials the Forgemasters required. As a reward for their bravery and dedication, the High King promised that when the Doomstrikers were finished, it would be the Oathbearers who carried them into battle at the head of the Dwarf army.
Dwarfs Career Options
The greatest nation of men in the Old World, the Empire is composed of the human descendants of Sigmar, who united the tribes of men at the Battle of Black Fire Pass. Sigmar was deified after the battle and his promise of eternal aid to the kingdom of Dwarfs still stands today. This action solidified the relationship between men and Dwarfs and planted the seeds for the burgeoning Empire through trade. Today, the Empire is led by Emperor Karl Franz, who rules from his seat in the city-state of Altdorf. The life of a citizen of the Empire is a perilous one, for there are foes within every shadow and enemies around every corner. Secret cults abound, or at the very least, there are rumors of them running rampant. No one is certain who is trustworthy, and fear and paranoia are omnipresent in the isolated settlements that dot the Empires provinces. As the Empire rots from within, it is constantly under assault from without. Chaos Marauders from the north frequently mount massive campaigns into the Empire, pillaging and destroying all that they can. In the Age of Reckoning, such a warhost has attacked the Empires northern borders under the leadership of a powerful Champion. The timing of the invasion is particularly ill-fortuned, for the Empire is being ravaged by a mysterious plague that is transforming the populace into murderous fiends. Faced with such desperate circumstances, Emperor Karl Franz has been forced to call upon the Dwarfs and High Elves for aid, lest his lands be transformed forever into a nightmarish domain of Chaos.
The Order of the Griffon
In the Age of Reckoning, the Empire is ravaged by a strange and terrible plague that transforms its victims into savage murderers. Soon after the appearance of this vile disease, a great Chaos warhost assaults the weakened Empire from the north, crushing what little resistance remains in the plague-wracked villages of Nordland. In the face of these dangers, many of the Empires citizens have given in to fear and panic. Some have abandoned their homes to settle elsewhere, believing the battle to be a lost cause. Others have embraced the powers of darkness, thinking it best to side with foes that cannot possibly be defeated by force of arms. Too few have found the courage to stand and fight, and even with the help of the Dwarfs and High Elves, the greatest nation of men in the Old World is perilously close to destruction. Seeking a solution to the many difficulties arrayed before him, the Emperor summons forth the Grand Theogonist of the Cult of Sigmar, the Supreme Patriarch of the Colleges of Magic, and the Grand Master of the Reiksguard. Together with these advisors, Karl Franz devises the Order of the Griffon, a military force made up of highly skilled soldiers, Wizards and devotees of Sigmars cult who will be charged with facing the gravest threats from within and without. Receiving their orders directly from the Emperor, the leaders of this new regiment will act as an extension of his will and authority, free to take any action necessary to protect the Empire from threats of any kind. Also, the regiment will serve as a proud example of the glory of the Empire and its ruler, meting out swift justice to those who would betray their countrymen or abandon their duties in these desperate and dangerous times.
Empire Career Options
|Knight of the Blazing Sun||Witch Hunter||Warrior Priest||Bright Wizard|
The High Elves are an ancient people with a history that spans millennia. While the ancestors of man were little more than cave-dwelling primitives, the Elves built magnificent cities of glittering silver and white marble on their island home of Ulthuan. Elven scholars and explorers were the first to chart the stars and sail the world's oceans. The Elves were also the first race to mount an organized defense against the invading hordes of Chaos, beginning a war that continues to the present day
Early in their struggles against the Ruinous Powers, the Elves discovered that negative emotions such as fear, rage, jealousy and greed serve to fuel and strengthen the power of Chaos. Since that time, the High Elves have struggled to keep their intense passions tightly under control. Though intelligent and enlightened, all Elves have the capacity for savage violence.. In order to suppress this dangerous and unpredictable aspect of their psyche, the lords of Ulthuan continually strive to eliminate all extremes of emotion; in High Elf society, to surrender to anger or lust is to show weakness. As a result, the High Elves live by a strict regimen of rules and codes and embrace a way of life that emphasizes harmony, balance and inner peace.
Magic is the lifeblood of the High Elves. With millennia to hone their skills, it is little wonder that the Mages of Ulthuan are among the most powerful practitioners of magic in the world. Their thoughtful, meticulous approach to the study of combat, coupled with their patience and mental discipline makes the High Elves deadly fighters, as well. On the battlefield, High Elf swordsmen are graceful, lithe, and lethal when they detect a weakness in their adversaries.
The High Elves will need all of their wisdom and skill if they are to survive the Age of Reckoning. When Finubar, Phoenix King and ruler of Ulthuan, gathers his finest warriors and sets sail for the Old World to aid the beleaguered Empire, he is unaware that he and his allies are pawns in an elaborate plot designed to leave Ulthuan vulnerable to an invasion. As Finubar's fleet of longships pass beyond the horizon, vast shadows fall across the island of Ulthuan. The skies are darkened by a great swarm of Black Arks laden with hateful Dark Elf warriors seeking to reclaim their ancestral home and destroy forever their despised cousins, the High Elves.
The Shining Guard
The Shining Guard is the elite band of warriors charged with the defense of Ulthuan when the Phoenix King takes the armies of the High Elves west to aid the Empire. Led by the renowned warrior Prince Tyrion, the Guard is a small but highly skillful fighting force. Prince Tyrion personally selects the High Elves who are elevated to the ranks of the Shining Guard from among the best and bravest of the citizen militia. These prestigious warriors stand as an example of the highest honor that a High Elf in the militia can hope to achieve.
When word reaches Prince Tyrion that a great Dark Elf invasion fleet is on its way to Ulthuan, he leads the Shining Guard north to the Blighted Isle, guessing that the enemy fleet will attempt its first landing there. Sure enough, the leading Black Ark of the fleet makes landfall on the northern coast of the Isle, and the Shining Guard meet the invaders head-on.
The noble warriors of the Shining Guard do not lack for courage or prowess on the field of battle, but the scale of the dark Elves' invasion is massive. The situation seems hopeless, until word reaches Prince Tyrion that the Phoenix King is returning to Ulthuan with several legions of warriors. Now, the Guard must fight to stall the invaders and buy time for reinforcements to arrive.
Prince Tyrion knows that his casualties will be heavy, and his heart mourns for the brave soldiers that he will lose. For those who choose to fight in the face of such peril, however, there is great honor to be earned. Should the Shining Guard prevail and drive the vile Dark Elves from their home, they will be immortalized in songs and tales for centuries to come.
High Elves Career Options
|Swordmaster||White Lion||Archmage||Shadow Warrior|