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"The Colleges of Magic have taken leave of their senses; if we do not put an end to this they will raze Altdorf to the ground."
Grand Theogonist Viktor Helmgart[3a]

The Night of a Thousand Arcane Duels was an outbreak of violence between the Colleges of Magic in 2415 IC.[1a][2a][3b]

For years, mistrust and tension had been increasing between the various orders of magic in the Empire. These disagreements were intensified by then-Emperor Dieter IV, who enjoyed observing the squabbles between the colleges. Thus, when it came time for the octennial duel to determine the Supreme Patriarch, many magisters prepared to do battle- not only in the Hall of Duels, but also within the other college buildings.[3b]

Meanwhile, Horx, a High Luminary of the Light Order, put into action a cunning plan to usurp the office of Supreme Patriarch. First, he banished the current Patriarch of his order into a crystalline labyrinth. Next, he broke into the vaults beneath the Light College, and opened the powerful magic tome known as the Book of Volans. Immediately, he became completely insane, and a Storm of Magic was unleashed upon Altdorf.[3b]

The Storm of Magic increased the power at the command of the wizards tenfold. At this time, the duel for Supreme Patriarch became an all out war between the colleges. Arcane Fulcrums appeared around the college buildings, and the magisters brought out spells, artifacts, and war machines only usable during Storms of Magic. Members of the Bright Order hurled sheets of flame at their enemies, while the Light College brought out their Luminarks of Hysh. The trees of the Jade College seemed to come to life, strangling any rival wizard who dared trespass. Amber Wizards bound griffons to their will, using them to assault the Celestial College. The astromancers retaliated by summoning meteor showers onto their foes. The Grey Order called upon the Knights of Judgement, a Knightly Order allied with them. Albrecht Hauptman, an Amethyst Wizard, summoned ghosts to fight his enemies. Other amethyst wizards denounced him as a Necromancer, and the Amethyst Order descended into infighting.[3b]

Meanwhile, the Grand Theogonist, Viktor Helmgart decided to take matters into his own hands. Gathering a group of soldiers and witch hunters, he marched upon the Hall of Duels. As soon they burst through the doors, they were confronted by the insane but extremely powerful Horx. Unleashing the full spectrum of magic on them, he was only halted when Helmgart uttered a single word of justice- said to be in the voice of Sigmar himself. Horx was taken aback for a second, just enough time for a witch hunter to place an enchanted bullet in the back of his head.[3b]

The magical backlash caused by Horx's death caused a great eruption in the Hall of Duels and engulfed the Arcane Fulcrums that had sprung up in the city, killing the patriarchs dueling atop them. Only Supreme Patriarch Alric and the imprisoned Light Patriarch survived.[3b]

By the end of the night, entire districts of Altdorf had been destroyed. The Cult of Sigmar was able to pressure Dieter IV to disestablish the Colleges of Magic. They would not be reopened for another 15 years.[1a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 4th ED -- Core Rulebook
    • 1a: pg. 275
  • 2: Warhammer Armies: The Empire (8th Edition)
    • 2a: pg. 17
  • 3: White Dwarf 389 (UK)
    • 3a: pg. 60
    • 3b: pg. 61
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