Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Shadows Return

Dark Shadows was one of GW's worldwide campaigns. It was run in 2001, when Warhammer Fantasy was in its 6th edition. The campaign setting was Albion - basically a new location, given that up until the time of the campaign it had been cut off from the rest of the world by the magical mists that surrounded it. Dark Shadows introduced several new scenarios, as well as Truthsayers, Dark Emissaries and Fen Beasts.
The island of Albion

Plenty of us were actively playing Warhammer at the time of the campaign, however none of the people in my gaming circle ever did anything with it. Most likely everyone was busy making tournament lists, as was the style of the time. Anyway, recently we've been discussing putting together a bit of a narrative campaign at the club, and Albion was suggested as a likely setting.

Albion lies off the coast of Norsca in the Sea of Chaos. Its misty isolation from the rest of the world is an intentional - the island is home to a larger network of magical standing stones like those constructed by the High Elves to stem the tide of Chaos and magic across the world. These stone circles were constructed by the Truthsayers, who are the guardians of the island. The magical mists have also smothered the sun on Albion, and the whole place is little more than a bog now because of continual rains and storms. There are a number of locations of interest on the island, not least the stone circles themselves, which offer a great deal of magical power to those that control them.

  • Citadel of Lead
    • This was once the defensive heart of Albion, before the island's perpetual isolation resulted in its citizens sliding back into primitive and tribal ways, abandoning the fortress to the elements.
  • Forge of the Old Ones
    • With a name like that, who knows what treasures or items of power might be found here?
  • Isle of Wights
    • This location is probably of more interest to some parties than others. Apparently it's loaded with wight barrows. These are not terribly useful to most armies. Perhaps it might be worth a visit for someone, however...
  • Great Ogham
    • The island has many standing stones scattered around it, however there is something special about this location and its role in the network.
  • Giants' Causeway
    • Whilst not a destination of interest in its own right, the Giants' Causeway offers the only path linking the north and south of Albion, as the island is otherwise divided by treacherous terrain.

At present we have 8 players who have expressed interest in taking part in the campaign. I will operate as a GM, and will use this blog and many meaningless words to stitch together the story as we go along and come up with some unusual scenarios. I've grouped the players into teams with roughly aligned goals:

  • Dark Elves x 2
  • Warriors of Chaos x 2
  • Empire and Vampire Counts
  • Lizardmen and High Elves

More will be revealed as I make it up. The first games could occur as soon as this weekend, depending upon what can be arranged.


  1. Huzzah!
    Work on building the Isle of Wights has already commenced.
    And I have a horrible feeling the Giant's Causeway would make for some very cool terrain.

    1. It may indeed. Is it really a horrible feeling, though? Is it?

  2. I had to suppress an excited squeal when I saw this. I'm a big fan of this setting! I believe the old Dark Shadows website is available online, if you want those details for any reason. Looking forward to some posts. What rule set will you be running?

    1. I have the original campaign booklet. I'll use some ideas from that, but given we're playing using 8th edition rules and the original material has little in the way of an actual structure for a campaign, most things will need to be tweaked. I can't see any sign of the actual website and I don't know if there would be any other useful material on there?

  3. This was a great setting. My club used it a few years back to start with a grow your army, warbands style campaign. It was one of the better campaigns we have run. Warbands was a nice way to have the kids start a new army but it was still impossible to get them to paint the minis as they went along. Mind you I can't imagine your group will need to paint much. The scenarios were good too but less so for the usual 6000 points that you guys run. Tweak away I say.