The Battle of Kriegfeld Castle was a battle unleashed by the Forces of Chaos against an Imperial fortress in the province of Ostland in the year 2512 IC. A massive horde of savage Chaos Warriors from the northern Chaos Wastes surged down through Kislev, putting entire villages to the sword and looting anything that was not nailed down. Striking without warning, the tattooed marauders rampaged southwards, accompanied by an array of Beastmen that were bent only on bloodshed and feasting on the bodies of the fallen. The raiders rode into Ostland, cutting a bloody swathe across the land.
The Imperial province of Ostland is a wild land. Its inhabitants are tough and hardy people who are capable of defending their homes from raiders. However this horde was larger than any usual raid and the people of Ostland were cut down murderously before it.
However the noble Kriegfeld family were renowned for their determination and fierceness and would frequently ride forth from their castle to aid their countrymen and hunt down any marauding raiders. The eldest son of Lord Kriegfeld rode from the towering castle of the family with the mainstay of the house guard to fight the marauders, for the Elector Count of Ostland’s armies were several days' march distant. A group of marauders detached themselves from the main war party, leading the defending army towards the north, never committing themselves to a pitched battle. They frustrated the young Lord, striking fast before withdrawing and leading his forces away from the castle. While these forces were occupied, the main Chaotic force struck towards the imposing form of Kriegfeld Castle which was located to the northeast of Bechefen. The Forces of Chaos laid siege to the castle, attacking it in the depths of night. The moon and the stars were obscured by dark sorcery and black winged creatures descended from the skies, pulling the fortress' sentries from the battlements to fall to their deaths on the sharp rocks below. The battle for Kriegfeld had begun, and it would be remembered for years to come for both the tragedy and heroism that unfolded on that night.
The castle guard were sorely depleted and the Lord Kriegfeld and his family, including his wife and eldest daughter, fought alongside the soldiers on the battlements to stem the evil tide that threatened to engulf them. The night was filled with the incoherent screaming of the savage Northmen as they clambered up hundreds of hurled grappling hooks while the huge, hairy forms of feral Beastmen battered at the castle's gates. The besieged defenders fought frantically for hours on end, the frenzied mass of raiders throwing themselves at the walls without fear for their own lives, their souls already promised to dire powers. Dawn provided no respite, for the marauders did not appear to be tiring. Barely able to remain on their feed, the exhausted defenders struggled on, their numbers falling one by one.
The defenders' only hope remained in the famed steam tank, Old Reliable, which had been seriously damaged several weeks earlier. The steel landship had been moved to Kriegfeld Castle and Meinkop, the Old Reliable’s engineer and commander, was awaiting an envoy from the Imperial School of Engineering to come to the castle to tow the great landship back to the Imperial capital city of Altdorf. As the castle was besieged and cries of the dying filled the darkness, the engineer worked frantically on the steam tank, attempting to get the machine in some form of working order. Using the tools and forge of the castle blacksmith who fought valiantly on the walls, the engineer attempted to patch up the steam tank's damaged boiler. Using all manner of improvised implements, Meinkop displayed his considerable skill and innovation by managing to get the steam tank running, even if it was in a ramshackle fashion. Great rotating belts were repaired using sturdy canvas strips and damaged cogs were replaced with roughly-forged metal gears.
After hours of relentless pounding, the Beastmen finally splintered the gates of the castle and the screaming horde of Chaos Warriors swept through the breach alongside the Beastmen. Awaiting them was only a minimal defensive force and the Old Reliable. Lacking suitable ammunition for the tank's steam-powered Volley Gun, the engineer had loaded all manner of debris into its barrels, which fired a spray of deadly nails and stones into the surging horde of Beastmen and Chaotic fanatics, cutting them down in droves. The fallen were trampled to death by their fellows, who were utterly consumed in their frenzy to slaughter all before them. The Steam Cannon on the Old Reliable ruptured soon after battle was joined. Meinkop quickly patched the rupture using a hastily applied bandage of canvas and tar.
With a tremendous blast of steam, the Old Reliable thundered into the marauders, crushing their bodies beneath its bulk and slamming them into the stone walls. The savage warriors clambered over the steam tank, smashing at its damaged armour with their brutal weapons. Belching steam, the Old Reliable quickly reversed its position and sent those clambering over it flying to the ground before powering once more into the breach. The stone gateway was awash with blood and countless bodies had been crushed in the steam tank's wake. Meinkop worked frantically to keep the steam tank operational whilst a cascade of failures threatened to bring the Old Reliable to a standstill.
For the entire day, the Old Reliable managed to hold the castle gates. In brief respites while the enemy was regrouping, the engineer reloaded the steam cannon with debris, ready for the next wave of attack. As night drew near, the marauders stepped up their assault, flinging themselves with ever increasing frenzy against the steam tank and the walls, but to no avail. As the chaos followers retreated after one particularly vicious assault, the Old Reliable, barely intact, powered out of the gates. Meinkop determined to sell his life dearly, for he knew that could not keep the machine operational for long.
The steam tank smashed through the bloodthirsty savages, scattering them before its bulk. A group of hideously malformed beasts attacked the Old Reliable, almost tipping it onto its side and began to tear it apart with their clawed limbs. Still defiant the engineer swung the immense machine around, it’s armoured prow brutally crushing everything it impacted with. Kriegfeld castle was saved from certain destruction by the heroic action of Engineer Commander Meinkop, who was subsequently awarded with a minor title and the deeds to a small estate on the outskirts of Altdorf. As the forces of Chaos surrounded the crippled steam tank, Lord Kreigfeld’s son returned from the north, his attack into the rear of the marauding army causing a wave of panic to run through the undisciplined ranks. The raiders scattered, fleeing back towards their homeland and were subsequently pursued and hunted down. The castle defenders were exhausted, only a handful remaining and many of them suffering debilitating wounds.
Tragically Lady Kriegfeld who had battled at the fore of the castles defence, was ripped from the battlements by a leathery winged creature as the Chaos forces fled, a last spiteful act of destruction that eventually tore the family apart. The noble Lord fell into deep despair from which he never recovered, dying a bitter, lonely man. The castle was eventually abandoned and is said to be cursed. It stands dark and menacing over the landscape, an empty broken, shell that is shunned by all.
- White Dwarf (UK) 263, "Battle of Kiegfeld Castle"