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Spirals in the Mist... Fimir of clan Maer

Millennia ago, before humans, before even elves and dwarves, this world was very different. Much of it was covered with shifting quagmire and swamp, inhabited by reptilian animals and crude life forms. Into this rich source of life came the Great Old Ones. They had fled their world, which was being consumed by the ravages of chaos, unleashed by the Old Ones’ experiments in warp-gate technology, and were seeking a new home. Little did they realise how soon the cycle would repeat itself.

The Old Ones had enormous minds, they were great wizards and cunning artificers and they set about shaping the world to their whim and forming intelligent life to instruct as servants. Their first experiments with the reptilian beasts were unpromising, but then they had a breakthrough combining reptilian and amphibian forms and created bipedal, tough, intelligent creatures, sallow of skin and with a single eye and prehensile digits. The Old Ones taught them craft and instructed them in the ways of nature and initially it seemed this servant race was a success. As the centuries passed and their drones grew in wisdom (they were long-lived, some passing a thousand years in age) they noticed a change. Their creatures were becoming more independent, longing for freedom and beginning to form their own ideas, opinions and theories about their masters. The Old Ones realised that nurturing a race into knowing submissive servitude was heading for disaster and so the spawning process stopped. No more were created. The Old Ones had bred the race to be unable to reproduce naturally, ensuring that every creature produced was male, and so when they stopped the programme the doom of the species was sealed... or so they thought. The attention of the Old Ones turned to further experiments, eventually raising the lizardmen in a similar fashion, and then the elves and dwarves as privileged children, keeping them servile by love, not enforced obedience. Their original creations they cast adrift to wander until death in the forming wilderness of the world.
There was one of the Old Ones whose name was Balor. He was accounted among the most powerful of the race and was appointed as sentinel of the northern warp-gate and tasked to watch there day and night without rest, as such he was prevented from taking part in the creative shaping that engaged the rest of the Old Ones. Balor had a single eye in the front of his face, which he turned towards the warp. This eye never closed, never blinking or in sleep, and its direct gaze was death to any enemy he looked upon. In the back of his head he had another eye, so that he was still aware of the goings-on in the world he guarded. As the first-born of the Old Ones wandered northward Balor took pity on them. One-eyed himself, at least to their world, and denied the creative pleasure of offspring he saw in them an echo of himself and adopted them as his children, appointing them earthly guardians and servants of the northern gate. He named them ‘Formorii’, or ‘orphans’ and would accept no other servants sent by the Old Ones.

The Formorii loved Balor and served him without reticence as the years wore on, but their population was ageing and with no replacements the extinction of their species seemed imminent, and it was here that Balor erred. Maybe exposure to the stuff of the warp had twisted his judgement. Maybe the denial of a chance to create had made him over bold, maybe his love for the Formorii overcame his moral standing. Whatever the cause, Balor held captive members of a detachment of elves, primitive forms, not elves as we know them, which had been sent on an errand by the other Old Ones. And Balor instructed a handful of hand-picked Formorii how to interbreed with the elves. When the other Old Ones heard what their kinsman had done they were outraged and sent out a great army to destroy the Formorii, but Balor turned his body and gazed upon them with his dreadful eye and they were destroyed, and the north of the world burned to a charred wasteland. The moment of Balor’s turning was instantaneous, but it was enough for an entity of chaos, which had been lurking in the warp beyond, to creep into the world. No doubt Balor intended the creation of a new generation of Formorii to be an occasional event, or even one of a kind in order to produce females for the rest of the race, but this chaotic force latched onto their consciousnesses and awoke in them a terrible lust. Today, some may call this entity Slaanesh.

Seeing his children changed, Balor watched them ever more intently. Whenever a group would go abroad to try and find captives of other species for their own twisted breeding experiments he would turn his deadly eye upon them, and yet the urges that had been awakened in a race so long forced to undergo celibacy were strong. Balor’s intent gaze rendered the entire race very sensitive to light and so they began to shun daylight, preferring to move abroad by night, though even this did not deter Balor’s stare. As his attention focussed more on his errant children the forces of chaos mustered behind the warp-gates. And without the full attention of their guardian and the maintenance work of the Formorii, the gates fell. Chaos entered the world.

The Formorii fled to caves and wastelands across the north of the world, many were destroyed but those who had the awakening of Slaanesh within them were spared the destruction and survived the first incursion. When they emerged they had grown in strength and determination for the continuance of their race, striking deals with the lords of the warp for continued existence. Seeking to keep them in line the forces of chaos twisted their genetic makeup, radically decreasing the possibilities of producing female children, forcing them to continue their degenerate rampage in order to survive. They gave themselves a new name, the Fimir, or ‘adopted’, in a foul irony. They believed, for the most part, that Balor had, in fact, stepped aside to allow chaos through, bringing righteous retribution to the Old Ones who had denied them life and vindicating the behaviour of the Fimir. During this period the race mutated, producing five strains of creature which gave rise to a hierarchy based on physical and magical power. The lowest and weakest were the Shearl, quickly pressed into service as the Formorii had been of old. The most common retained the physical characteristics of the Formorii, albeit now infused with the daemonic, and were named the Fimm. The Mistmor stood taller and stronger than the Fimm, and initially retained intelligence, yet with the generations their cognitive ability dimmed and failed, a victim of warped mutation. The Dirach were the result of those Fimir who walked most closely with the daemons, possibly even interbreeding with them at times. Some were as tall as Mistmor, some had four arms, all were horned and possessed of terrible magical ability. Some female Fimir were born despite the attempts of chaos to prevent them. These grew against strong oppression and soon became forged by tribulation into the most powerful of the Fimir. The Mearghs, as they became known, were even more powerful wizards than the Dirach, maybe the intervention of chaos leaked more magic into their blood than intended, and soon began to draw other Fimir in bands around them. They were proud and would not tolerate competition, nor would they accept the advances of Fimir males they considered inferior, and so over time grew sterile.
For all their allegiances with chaos and attempts to repopulate, the Fimir were decreasing in number. Elves had withdrawn from the extremities of the world (which they had only ventured into in service to the Old Ones, now disappeared) and attempts to interbreed with dwarves and even animals had proven unsuccessful.  The Fimir were engulfed in a wave of something not experienced before or afterward. All memory of what happened is lost, but it appears the entire race of the Fimir slept, enshrined in their great castle, for five thousand years. During these years it is believed Balor spoke to each individually, setting a task for each clan and each individual to perform.

When they finally awoke, the world outside was much changed, as were the Fimir themselves. Numb, they staggered out of the castle to behold a world populated with new species. Factions divided, each claiming a different view of their situation. Some claimed this was their punishment, new races would fulfil the role the Fimir were to have played. Others declared these new creatures were rich pickings provided by Balor. A fierce battle broke out and the Fimir drifted their separate ways. Few survived the slaughter or the following decades in the radically changed climate. By far the largest clan was headed by Morrigû. Legend says that Morrigû was chosen to be the mother of the Fimir species, and so, probably alone of the race, she encouraged the birth of daughters who she taught and equipped to become clan leaders and form their own tribes as offshoots. Those recorded of her children are Fea, Neman, Badb and Macha. It is rumoured these clans keep strong ties and will aid each other if need arises, a rare claim for Fimir tribes.
In the Old World, the tale of the Fimir picks up again in a region known as the ‘Waterland’, where a Fimir, possibly a Dirach, calling himself Fimul courted and sired offspring with a woman named Maris. Whether this was a romantic affair as reported, or merely an idealised telling of yet another case of abduction and rape is open to debate. My source would not confirm or deny this legend, declaring it only to be a ‘possibility’.  If true it would explain resurgence in Fimir activity, which had previously been in decline. The time is drawing near when all things spoken of by Balor in the ‘dreaming’ are coming to fulfilment.

Clan Maer, a large colony of Fimir living on an island off the coast of Norsca, follows the typical tribal structure of the race.


The Fimm are regarded the ‘normal’ pattern for Fimir. Their form is said to be unchanged from the earliest days of the race and the majority born are of this caste. Within the Fimm there is a hierarchy, with ascension through the ranks usually gained by brute strength, cunning, deception and backstabbing. Those at the bottom, the warrior class, band together into groups known as Septs, often drawn along lines of common parentage. Septs are governed by a Flaithmor and are grouped together in clans ruled by a Meargh.
It is the Fimm who make the most frequent raids, the Fimm who oversee their Shearl and human slaves and the Fimm who propagate the species, without the feudal core of Fimm society the race would be long extinct.
Fimm warriors may be led into battle by one of their Finmor, ceremonial champions favoured by the Fimm nobles.


The Fianna are the elite of the Fimm warriors. These warriors are hand-picked, sometimes at birth, sometimes as a result of some great deed but most frequently by displaying prowess at the Haakskikaah, an annual contest held to commemorate the breaking of the crystal at Khulaine. Fianna are removed from their ancestral Sept and form a separate group which serves as bodyguard to the clan’s Dirach and Meargh. Normally Fianna will only leave the fortress if their clan is threatened but they are sometimes sent abroad to accompany a Dirach on a mission of importance or as support for Fimm on a particularly difficult raid.

The Fianna are normally marked out by their ceremonial armour, more for ornamentation than protection since the Fimir shun such signs of weakness.

The mightiest of the Fianna Fimm are the Flaiths. Awarded the same status in Fimir society as a Flaithmor, the Flaiths are regarded as having no retinue, or Sept, to govern. Although in practice the ranks of the Fianna are theirs to command, these commands are meant to come direct from a Dirach or the Meargh herself and so in theory the Flaiths are to pass on orders only. The reality is that Fimir clans are such a hotbed of intrigue and deceit that should a Flaith command his troops to carry out orders on his own behalf, or that of a Flaithmor with wealth or power to offer, it is unlikely anyone would notice.

Places in the ranks of the Fianna Fimm are often awarded on the outcome of a duel or contest and many of the Fianna continue to bear the ‘Haakskarl’ or ‘Trial Sword’, with which they won their station, as their main weapon in combat. These long, curved blades have a ferocious reputation for being able to cleave stone, bone and the thickest of armour.


The lowest caste of Fimir society is the Shearl. Physically smaller and weaker than their cousins they are born into a life of servitude, carrying out menial tasks for those of nobler birth. Shearl are rarely seen outside the fortresses of the Fimir, not that they do not venture out, they do so to forage and hunt small prey for food, but they are careful never to be seen. Typical employment for the Shearl is in the form of household staff and retainers, cooks, cleaners, porters for example, but some are skilled craftsmen and almost all weaponry, armour, jewellery, clothing and utensils possessed by the Fimir are skilfully forged in their workshops. This is about the only way a Shearl can ever find himself of value to those of higher caste so apprenticeships are much sought after and only the most naturally talented are permitted to become craftsmen, ensuring only the highest quality. These artisans are also the only Shearl permitted to reproduce, and so the positions are highly coveted.

When the Fimir go to battle they are usually accompanied by a Shearl baggage train and some may be drafted in to fight. Their lives are not highly prized but large units are a useful distraction, allowing the Fimm to draw close to the enemy undetected.


The largest of the Fimir are the Mistmor. Mistmor denotes ‘Life of the clan’. Tall as a troll and easily as strong they are prized as defenders of Fimir settlements. Their size and strength are equalled by their mindless obedience, raised from birth not to question authority lest they should decide to use their physical prowess to gain power. The Mistmor are most frequently used to build the Fimir settlements, hewing and stacking rock to form the stony fortresses, and they take enormous pride in their handiwork, defending the structures at all costs should they come under threat. It is this possessive attitude which makes them such fearless guardians.


Marsh Chariot

The Fimir have developed an ingenious chariot able to roll happily through the murkiest of swamps, usually pulled by a Woldlouse, Gelfkin or team of Fir Kith. The chariot is wheeled and has vicious scythes at the front and on the wheel hubs for clearing marsh grasses out of the way (and cutting through units in battle) however it also has sled-like skis on which it glides across bogs. Usually only Flaithmor ride in chariots, perhaps accompanied by a chosen retainer, but it has been known for Dirach and Meargh to travel by chariot.
Marsh chariots ignore long grass and marsh-type difficult terrain since their scythes and wheel/ski design clears a path and stables them on swampy ground.

Scea-Rung, the warchief, maintains two very special attack chariots pulled by rare Norscan Rhinotaurs. These are a huge sign of status for him and shows them off whenever possible. Scea-Zok the slavechief also uses a variant on the marsh chariot to ferry captives back to the clan stronghold.


As with much of the history of the Fimir, nobody is quite sure how the Gelfkin originated. It is said that when the first Meargh grew to adulthood some did, in fact, bear children. However these offspring were of little or no intelligence, went about on all fours and could not speak. Put to work as beasts of burden they were effectively cast out of the Fimir race, ironic since their particular strain seems to have been able to reproduce quite successfully. Their species has retained the single eye of their distant, dismissive cousins, and their hairy tails lend some possibility to the tale of their origins.


Fimm who show most magical prowess are often selected for enrolment in the brotherhood of whichever corrupted deity that particular Fimir settlement worships. These priests owe no allegiance to Flaithmor but devote their whole attention to mystical study and contemplation of their dark lord. Druí are isolated beings, keeping themselves apart from the rest of the settlement, making their sacrifices on behalf of the whole clan. They can be consulted as oracles by Flaithmor and have some ability to foretell. They occasionally join raiding parties if the intent is to capture human victims for sacrifice, since it is in their interests to gauge the suitability of those chosen. If the clan is drawn forth to battle the Druí will join the ranks on the field to provide reassurance of their god’s favour and to beseech their master for direction and might in the conflict.

Some Druí join the seer covens of the Dirach who mentor the Fimm mystics in their magical studies. The coven of Dirachs form an elite brotherhood which advises the clan nobility and is revered but treated with great suspicion. The lesser-magic of the Druí is insufficient for battle-practice, but a group of the mystics working together are able to exercise mind control over some of large beasts which make their home in the swamps and use them as war machines.


The nobles of the Fimm caste are usually selected on the basis of might in combat but the most cunning Fimm are able to work their way up to Flaithmor by devious cunning and backstabbing. There is no formal election process, the individuals the Fimm are willing to obey merely subdue opposition or are usurped. Flaithmor denotes ‘Fist of the clan’ and each is in charge of a Sept, or sub-division of the clan. These divisions are usually based around the role of their leader, but movement and in-fighting between Septs is common and the retinue of a Flaithmor may grow or shrink in number as fickle allegiances are made and crumble.

There are three principle Septs of clan Maer. Scea-Zok the slavechief has oversight of the Shearl and captives from other races which fall under the Fimir's dominion. Scea-Shille the holdchief has oversight of the Mistmor, Fianna Fimm and Kelpies which protect the stronghold. Scea-Rung the warchief has control of the standing army and its Woldlice and chariots. Such was the enmity between these Septs that the clan Meargh, Maire Scathach, grew sick of their constant quarrelling and fighting. She chose from the ranks of the Fianna a mighty warrior who owed no allegiance to any one of these Flaithmor. Weaving potent charms over him she struck a bargain with the dark gods and so was born Bran the Blessed, a champion of enormous size who she named clanchief and set above all others to control the bickering of the Septs.

Known to the human tribes as ‘Demon-Fiends’, the Dirach are most frequently seen among Fimir raiding parties. Their spellcasting second only to the Meargh’s among Fimir they shape the very weather of the marshes to aid their foul cause. Even among the Fimir they are regarded with fear. As strong as they are powerful in magic, they tower above their smaller cousins and regard the human tribesmen with disdain. Dirach occupy high positions in the clan, advising and assisting the Meargh. One or more Dirach may be assigned the responsibility of watching over the spiritual wellbeing of the clan, by offering appropriate sacrifices and divining by the five traditional lores of stars, moon, water, blood and rock. This task is usually carried out with the assistance of a coven and the clan Druí. Not all Dirach belong to such a coven, some shun the company of others or give their allegiance wholly to a single noble. When large raiding parties go into the outside world it is usual for them to be accompanied by a Dirach. Not only does this assure the raiders of strong magical support, but the presence of these beings is usually enough to keep the devious Fimm in line.
Dirach are smooth-tailed, horned and usually about the same size as Mistmor, although smaller Dirach exist.

The Meargh (or ‘Witch Queens’) are the only female Fimir. They are powerful wizards, saturated with the raw magic of chaos and passing on the knowledge first received from the Old Ones to each subsequent generation. The Meargh live for millennia, unless slain or consumed by their own spellcasting, and it is rare for human women to give birth to these creatures. It is rumoured that elven women are more likely to conceive and carry Meargh but, perhaps because of a shortage of elf settlements in the north of the Old World, perhaps because the Meargh are jealous of power and do not wish to have to contend for supremacy, this remains a Fimir myth. Since they are so rare, and preoccupied with the running of the clan, Meargh do not often venture out of their stony settlements. Yet, when provoked or forced abroad by great need, they are a terrible foe, weaving spells among the winds of magic as though they themselves directed the flow, and maybe they do.

Maire Scathach is the Meargh of clan Maer and rules her tribe with an iron fist. She spend much of her time in a trance, closeted with trusted Dirach and seeking the will of Balor for the clan. In her absence the Flaithmor scheme against one another, under the watchful eye of her representative, Bran the blessed.


The Fimir are not alone on their mist-wreathed island in the sea of claws. A clan of humans lives there, a clan called the Atrebodil. Possibly they settled there from Albion, possibly from the Old World, possibly from Norsca. Probably from all three for their culture suggests a people well-travelled and steeped in the customs of these places. Many of the Atrebodil are very tall, evidence perhaps of shared lineage with the frost giants of the north. Unlike other humans, the Atrebodil do not shun and detest the Fimir. Instead they deify and revere them as a great warrior people. It is the greatest honour for an Atrebodil woman to be the consort and mother of the gods and there are no shortage who willingly give themselves to the clan. This is probably the reason why clan Maer continues to flourish. The Fimir, however, do not just accept any Atrebodil partner. They insist that the honour be granted to only the fiercest and finest warriors the tribe can present. Thus is the fighting prowess of the clan preserved. The Bansidhe are such candidates, those who fight alongside the Fimir to prove themselves worthy in battle. Many will fall in combat, but from those that survive will be chosen the dams of the next generation.

In times of need the men of the Atrebodil tribe (who the Fimir call the Bolg) join them on the battlefield. They are not as accomplished in combat as the womenfolk, nor as driven, but they provide some useful missile attacks in the form of the slingshot.





  1. Interesting story, that with your permission I will pass it to my forum translated.

  2. Hi Fimm, when are you going to update this - it is inspiring to add to my Fimir army!

  3. Awesome. Awesome story and army. What are the gelfkin models? Are they still available?

    1. They're from an old Grenadier 15mm fantasy range. No idea what they are but they came with the Orc that became the charioteer and the cart which formed the base of the chariot.


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