Old Friends

This is part three of an ongoing series of stories following the journey of The Lady Petra Hirkeit through The Silver Hills Age of Sigmar campaign. You can read more of the narrative here or start from the beginning.

The days following the encounter at Whioll were filled with what seemed to be an endless march across the wilderness. The host encountered a few small groups of travellers along the way. A small band of humans, who upon seeing them fled almost instantly. Moltke charged the black riders to find them, ride them down and dispatch them. They had shortly thereafter joined the company meandering over the Silver Hills.

Black Knight

A fledgling warband of Orruks were unlucky enough to cross paths with the host too, though they proved more elusive. Melting into the wilderness, hidden from sight until the last of the Lady’s retinue shambled past. So many races that Petra hadn’t seen in this area before, at least not in any sizeable numbers. Orruks roaming the land unchecked, it was something unfathomable. If it wasn’t something that she and her family would’ve taken care of, it’s something that the humans, ælves or even one of the smaller duardin settlements in the area would’ve seen to. There wasn’t a lot of The Silver Hills to go around, and the races under Sigmar’s protection made damned sure it was for them to squabble over alone.

Of course, they viewed her as one of their own back then. A woman of noble birth who’d seen the horrors of the Soulblight curse, and had taken it upon herself to aid in the fight by joining the ranks of Sigmar’s faithful as a witch hunter. In truth, other dynasties and families with the gift were eyeing her holdings, making moves to seize territories that she had claimed. Ever edging towards an all out assault to usurp her from her rightful place.

She’d spent years trading influence as her alter ego, working out of the major city of the area called Salzenmund. She was held in high regard, consulted on matters relating to pushing back those Soulblighted monsters encroaching on the Silver Hills. Whatever time she didn’t spend as the witch hunter she spent solidifying her hold over her own territories, removing as much evidence of her dealings as possible. Presenting to the outside world as a simple fiefdom presided over by a benevolent and absentee ruler.

It had been fun, she’d enjoyed the duplicity of it. One day playing the righteous hero, striking down the enemies of Sigmar. Enemies, who happily were also her own enemies. The next slinking back into the shadows, to puppeteer vassals and influence territories to expand the reach of her dominion.

She’d actually made… friends? No, not friends. She’d made acquaintance with some of the people. Had more than a passing familiarity with a few, more than one generally would with chattel. A great game, a play of sorts, the kind of thing she’d seen as a young woman at court before being blessed with the gift.

Her mind had drifted to these thoughts because she’d eyed a group of figures in the distance. Her blessings giving her superior eyesight, she could see clearly who it was even from here. An old… acquaintance. An older acquaintance she realised as she approached the figures, leaving her cavalcade behind out of sight. Approaching with a throng of reanimated warriors would likely stifle any conversation.

As she grew closer she saw the pale alabaster skin, delicate androgynous features—slightly more worn with age—and the sharp pointed ears she’d come to know. It was definitely the face of someone she knew from her time in Salzenmund.

The figure looked up upon hearing her approach, wearing a look of confusion which turned to surprise as the mental cogs slipped into place and recognition set in.

“Is that… Petra—” the figure began to ask.

Petra started to vocalise a greeting, to offer a reintroduction. Finally, a chance to get some answers, some perspective. To find out how far removed she was from the place in her memories.

“—” was what she managed in answer. Nothing more than a guttural groan and exhalation of air.

It was only now she realised, she hadn’t spoken a word, not since waking up on that cold slab. She’d had no need. Had nobody to speak to. Had nobody that required her to utter a sound. Her congregation didn’t need direction, not in that way.

Giving a throaty rasp she tried to resurrect her voice. But just as she was managing to form the first sounds, all hell broke loose, an attack!

Ferrel shrieks and roars from the East, as a thundering stampede of lizard folk romped in from the hills. Savage beasts ranked up holding clubs and spears, some riding atop other large lizard beasts of their own.

The ælf she’d been walking towards shot her a suspicious glance, then darted off in the opposite direction without a second look.


Her need to vocalise was gone. She needn’t call out for help, or to tell the troops to rank up, her warband had already began the descent to her side. The pack of deadwalkers filing in to surround her, the black knights taking the rear.

Kaukus who’d been flying high above, landed heavily in front of one flank of the reptilian warband. Moltke and his palace guard burst forth and formed up in a line between the Lady Hirkeit and the approaching masses. Once again Petra used her gift to draw a pack of dire wolves back from their graves, setting them to defend against the approaching scale covered torrent.

The battle didn’t last long. Unrelenting wave after wave of lizard hide beasts crashed against her forces. The more that crumbled the more she raised from the dead, but ultimately in a futile effort.

Kaukus was torn down, Moltke and his retinue too. Moltke reanimated shortly thereafter to rejoin the fighting ranks, but the combined weight of the force of the lizards was too much.

The day was lost. Lady Hirkeit gave ground and fled. Gone was the ælf she’d recognised. Perhaps dead, or fled, it didn’t matter which. Out of reach. Unable to be questioned, unable to provide the answers Petra was so fervently searching for.

The next few days passed uneventfully. Lady Hirkeit exhausted the time nursing her voice back. Raspy noises gave way to guttural, grunt laden hoarse whispers. Ever improving she muttered away to herself for the most of the journey.

They were close to their destination. The moon was reaching its zenith just as they crested a hill, the valley below came into view in the silver light of the moon. Nestled in the valley was the township that sat next to, and around Hirkeit Manor.

Home,” said Lady Petra Hirkeit, hearing her own voice for the first time in what felt like millennia.

Read more of The Silver Hills narrative