Ripples of fear spread throughout the lines. Veteran marines from the campaign against the dwarven nation of Ra-Kesh trembled and took a step backwards. This was a terror they were unprepared for.
General Duijek, 3rd Army of the Attorian Empire, hoped his squad leaders would be able to keep the lines together. Please don’t let the men break before first contact. As soon as the fighting started General Duijek had hopes that his men would find courage in the rhytm of battle and fight with honour. The Attorian Empire had as of yet never lost a war or met a foe they couldn’t defeat but the General feared that this could be the end of a long line of victories.
Lifting his gaze toward the centre of the enemy lines he again wondered what magic could bring these creatures into existence. Orcs filled the flanks of the enemy army but it was the centre that made him shudder. The shadowy and shimmering creatures flickered in and out of existence. Trying to focus on them made his head hurt. Their strange limbs, grey and bony bodies wielding weapons that one moment glimmered in the sun, the other was but a shadow of a shadow.
Could they be killed, he wondered, before he braced himself for the impact as the two armies clashed in the middle of the field
The Ende is divided in two groups, Ende Andii and Ende Noii, of which Ende Andii is the more numerous one.
The Ende Noii, or visitors as they also call themselves, are the dead of any race whose willpower is strong enough to fight the mighty pull from the Kingdom of Death. They may be dwarves, greenskins, krant and humans. Elves rarely fear the afterlife.
The Ende Noii only consists of first generation unliving souls. Eventually the pull from the Kingdom of Death will overtake them and they will resign to their fate as dead. For some the stay as unliving is a short visit but for those with the strongest willpower the stay can last hundreds of years.
The Ende Noii bring with them the rivalry of the races and is a divided faction living separated and full of conflicts. This occupies most of their time and they rarely have any larger influence over Ende politics, affairs and the rest of the society. As their strongest wish is to continue their life as unliving (i.e. not dead) they also stay away from interacting with the land of the living. The armies of the Ende are an affair of the Ende Andii.
Few in numbers, the Ende Noii, are the origin of the Ende race. Ende Andii is their offspring. Even as unliving the Ende Noii live as the living creatures they once were and in the rare occurrences when they give birth to a new life it is born as Ende Andii, the unliving.
The Ende Andii differs very much from the Ende Noii. Where the Ende Noii must fight for every breath they take to stay unliving the Ende Andii are born unliving. It’s natural for them and for them unliving is real living. The first offspring of the Ende Noii grew and bred and it was not long before the Ende Andii had passed the Ende Noii in numbers and influence over the ways of the Ende. Now around 95% of the Ende race consists of Ende Andii.
The relatively high percentage of Ende Noii is a reflection of the steadily increasing population in the land of the living as well as the relatively young age of the Ende Andii faction of the species.
While the Ende Noii remain and stay unliving in the body they had as living the Ende Andii are a unique species. Their humanoid bodies resemble the physique of elves and humans. But there are plenty of differences between the species. Instead of the soft skin of humans and elves their skin are rough, thick and completely black. Their nails on both hands and feet’s are different shades of grey. Their eyes vary from completely white to different shades of light green and blue. The hair, also rough and thicker than the elven and human counterpart, is white and most often kept in a long tail. The hair is similar to dwarf hair.
They are of a similar strength as humans and are as agile as elves. Their immunity system resembles the immunity system of humans. Their sight is better in darkness than in light, but they require a light source to see and in total darkness they are as blind as humans. Their temperament resembles that of greenskins and dwarves. They are quick to anger like greenskins and have a long memory like the dwarves. They are very poor at controlling their feelings.
Their relation with the Greenskins
The Ende Andii does not see themselves as evil (Ende Noii is another matter). But their world is a different world and from it they can reach both into the world of the living and into the Kingdom of Death. But these worlds can also reach back and the Ende walk a dangerous path in their life as unliving. There are, however, many things they can’t do in the land of the living. Interacting with other life forms is very problematic due to their uncontrollable shifting between the two worlds. Accordingly, they can’t ride horses or other animals. For the same reason using bows or crossbows is impossible for them. They are also very poor scouts. Constructing houses and other physical tasks is also hard. For these and other reasons they have been forced to recruit and enslave other races to do their bidding. The Ende quickly encountered the greenskins down in the caves beneath the earth and it was not long before they had enslaved the few greenskin tribes around their settlements. It so happened that the greenskin race was well suited for that role.
Playing their part to perfection the Ende have managed to make the enslaved greenskins into loyal servants. They give with one hand and take with the other and this is a power language that the greenskins are familiar with from their own tribes and society. The result is an enslaved greenskin population that see themselves as low ranking members of the Ende but not as slaves. When the Ende need companies filling special roles they themselves cannot handle they recruit from their greenskin population as well as mercenaries from nearby greenskin tribes. They especially need greenskins as cavalry, archers and scouts but they fill out the ranks of the regular Ende soldiers as well.
Of course, this means that the often numerous greenskin population are both well armed and well trained. As long as the Ende control them with strength the risk of rebellion is small…
Preferred level: Netherworld
- Their “shimmer” quality (oscillating between the land of the living and the Kingdom of Death) gives them a natural ability to evade hits. This makes it hard for their enemies to damage them.
- With training they can learn to “capture dead souls” in combat. This means that when they kill an enemy there is a chance to stop his soul from reaching the Kingdom of Death and instead recruit him to their own ranks.
- An Ende nation can learn “calling the dead” when they set up new Ende formations. By dragging dead from the Kingdom of Death they don’t need to use as much of their own population to fill the ranks.
- Their inability to interact with the land of the living forces them to use greenskins as soldiers for many roles.
- All the other races view them as the worst of the worst. No other race or nation will ever negotiate or ally with an Ende empire. Ende are not allowed to make peace with other empires.