Iron Kingdom – Warcaster Connections: Which characters live on?

Looking more at connections between the old World (Caen) of War Machine and the Cyriss Galaxy of Warcaster: and which old Iron Kingdoms characters could still be influencing the Cyriss Galaxy.

HengeHold: the apocalyptic pivot point

Warcaster takes place in the Cyriss galaxy, while War Machine is in Caen, or the Iron Kingdoms. They are a long way away, and noone is capable of space travel. However, an apocalyptic event tool place in Caen – the Demonic Infernals arrived to destroy them. The people of the Iron Kingdoms put aside their wars and banded together to fight the Infernals, with a pivotal battle happening on HengeHold. Hengehold was where the Convegance of Cyriss cult built a giant Void Gate to the Cyriss galaxy, and swarms of refugees went through to survive life on the other side. This was the ‘great work’ of the Convergance, to interpret a message in the stars from the Cyriss Galaxy. We now understand this was an Empyrean message designed to encourage nearby worlds to build a void gate then Empyreans use it to invade. Luckily for Caen, it was far enough away that the Empyreans had shut down for their great slumber, and they never expected more worlds to respond.

Most of the refugees through the gate were civilians, though a few Warcasters are known or suspected to go through. From this battle, 3 timelines were created, aligning with 3 games by Privateer Press

  1. The Infernals were defeated, although at great cost: This is the world of War Machine Mk4, and the battles of the Hengehold scrolls lead to this.
  2. The Infernals won, leaving most of the world destroyed. In the apocalypse small numbers of survivors pick through the ruins for treasure, leading to Riot Quest
  3. The refugees through the portal grew and thrived for 5,000 yrs in the Cyriss Galaxy, leading to Warcaster Neo Mechanika. What fragments have survived seem consistent with the stories of Hengehold Scrolls.

Who could be still pulling the strings in Warcaster?

For characters from the Iron Kingdoms to be influencing the world of Warcaster, they need to

  • Have gone through the portal
  • Be immortal, and so still having an impact after 5,000 yrs
  • and ideally show some evidence in the world of Warcaster

Scouring Hengehold scrolls and the Warcaster lore, there are frustratingly few characters who clearly fit the bill. Data sources are extremely shaky:

  • the Hengehold scrolls are the best source, but are fast paced and are vague on key details, often saying something should happen but not showing that it did.
  • Warcaster lore mentions very few characters by name (or at least those who aren’t models in the game). Some of the clearest evidence is in the rune messages hidden in the rulebooks, but there is a gnawing doubt whether these are supposed to be ‘canon’ references or just easter eggs for those in the know.
  • Also, many characters seem to have changed or obscured their names, for example characters with the clearest references are “The Prime”, “Arc Lich” and “Tulcan”. I have speculated who these are: if a title or anagram from war machine would apply to a character who went through the portal. However “arc lich” could also apply to any lich who went through (although only Asphyxious is known to have done so) and similarly prime could refer to 2 characters (again only one is known.

Interestingly: being immortal is the simplest criteria. We know many characters are immortal in the Iron Kingdoms already – either powerful undead liches, gods, or the cultists of Cyriss who have managed to transfer their bodies to clockwork forms. Cyrissists made up a high proportion of those through the portal, and may have converted more of the refugees to clockwork forms. Refugees also joined the Empyreans, who offered a similar form of soul transferance and immortality. Warcaster lore is built around the Keepers – people from the Iron Kingdoms who have survived 5,000 years in clockwork or empyrean vessels, so we know many people have achieved this.

Nemo’s orb form – first through the gate, and likely “The Prime” who led humanity through it’s first century

Summary of the evidence: noting a lot is based on interpretation of unclear stories.

Through Portal?Immortal?Evidence?Likely Cyriss identity
Lucantyes, to lead the convergence on a new world yes: already clockworkyes: model rulesAnagram and similar look to Master Tulcan
AsphyxiousYes: very happily abandons his Dragon-god and almost-adopted daughter Deneghra to rule over a new world.yes: already lich and clockwork angel2 rulebook Easter eggs: referencing Arc Lich and Hellbringer, both about immortality
Lore about a “phylactery of the undying” at the founding of AC. Potentially the keeper involved in the founding of the AC’s Consilio Morturum
Likely the Arc lich and Hellbringer
NemoYes, first throughalready clockwork form: a Giant vessel First Keeper and key leader for first century after arriving
. Since then the prime has disappeared and finding him is a major goal for all factions
The Prime: Nemo was one of 2 living characters to hold the Prime title in Caen
SaerynWent through, but appears to have been destroyed by the portal, to remove her Athanc.maybe: unclear if legion warlocks are immortalno, although “Omens” may be a reference to Saerynunknown
Caine’s unknown childCaine and a warcaster daughter (Cynthia) are at Hengehold, but neither went through the portal and were seen after it closed. Likely an unknown child of Caine is hidden in the refugeesnoArtemis Fang is explicitly a descendent, through a rune Easter egg “The blood of the Hellslinger flows through Fangs veins”
Fang’s flashback to Caine’s point of view in Thousand Worlds book
Artemis Fang as a distant descendant
GubbinunknownnoOnly one runic Easter egg “Gubbin was here”Unlikely: probably a non-canon Easter egg
Iron mother and Zaateroth yes, both pushed through by Iron Mother in a self sacrifice: seemingly floating in space at a different location to other refugeesboth are probably immortal and may be able to survive in spacenoneMost likely not present, and were teleported a long way away to a different galaxy
Victoria Haleyno, at Hengehold and “disappears into the time stream” after exhausting all her powers. Responsible for shuttling refugees though the portal. Appears dead from these references… but…no, although she has been offered a clockwork body before, and would make a fine keeper One rune Easter egg that could reference her “The one who has transcended time is our bridge to the past”. She is the only known character to mess with time. Haley has a ‘future’ model that looks a lot like the Neo Mechanika aesthetic. less likely than Nemo, but is another candidate for “The prime”, as the other character holding the title. It relies on her having survived Hengehold after she disappeared and getting through the gate, or using her time powers to push an echo through the gate, or having already communicated with an echo in the far future and distant galaxy while on Caen. It sounds unlikely but she has done similar feats before.
a child of Vladimir Tzepesciyesnononeunknown, but they could be a keeper or still have descendants
unknown originA keeper referenced by name is Rennova, who died in CVC441 in an airstrike from an unknown vessel. Rennova

The verdict

The most likely connections are Asphyxious as Arc Lich / Hellbringer, Lucant as Tulcan, and Nemo as the prime. All three are either known or strongly implied to go to Cyriss, are already immortal soul vessels with a strong connection to the name in Warcaster, and multiple strong references to their influence in Cyriss. A genetic connection between Artemis Fang and Allistair Caine is very clear, but not clear who carried his genes through the gate.

Artemis Fang appears to manifest Caine’s feat during a battle, including a flashback to ancient clothing and gins

I think there is an outside chance Saeryn, Haley, Iron Mother, or Zaateroth may be around. All appear destroyed, but have some possibility to evade death, or potential evidence in Warcaster.

I am not going to hold my breath for Gubbin, but he is included due to an Easter egg. Strongly suspect it is non-canon, irrelevant, or perhaps he was a refugee who died of natural causes but left some graffiti somewhere.

Other references

The aeternus continuum has desires over what appears to be cryx technology, and influences from them. Two different stories in thousand worlds are about battles, where the objective sounds like Cryx soul vessels or Phylactery. They were founded to protect a phylactery (lich soul), and their quest for immortality butts up against cryx desires, wraiths, the void. It is likely that Asphyxious has had a lot of influence over the AC throughout their history, although rarely explicit.

In the story about Harlan Sek in thousand worlds: he starts teleporting around something that sounds like an Iron Kingdoms colossal.

Many past empires are named after gods and places of the Iron Kingdoms, although most of these have collapsed now. Examples are Caspian Federation, and Morrowan league.

Keepers are an explicit link although very few are named: with Tulcan, the Prime, and Rennova (who has been killed, and unknown identity from Caen). Keepers are survivors of the old world, numbered in the hundreds who have guided humanity through history, and are required to teach new warcasters the runic language. They are needed because Caen is a world of magic: and warcasters seem to need a connection through them to manifest their powers. Keepers don’t appear to all be warcasters themselves: their numbers are higher than the number of warcasters through the gate (given warcasters are already incredibly rare in old Caen). All keepers have survived 5,000 yrs: either as devotees of the Convergence of Cyriss in clockwork vessels, or many (temporarily) joined the Empyreans and gained soul vessels through them.

Asphyxious in Lich form – went through the gate as a Clockwork Angel, and likely the “Arc Lich”

So there is a summary of ongoing connections between the world’s of Warcaster and War Machine, and focus on which characters might still be around.

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