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- For the minor AI faction in the first two games, see Kislev (minor faction)
Kislev is a playable race introduced in Total War: Warhammer III on launch. They are a proud human nation located in the northern Old World, known for harsh winters and their staunch opposition to Chaos. In battle, Kislev has many hybrid melee/ranged units, strong cavalry, and many bear units.
How they play
- Devotion, a unique resource to Kislevite factions, is gained by winning battles against Chaos armies. Killing captured Chaos prisoners generates more devotion than simply defeating their army. Kislev also produced Devotion by constructing some buildings and choosing some decisions; and it can be spent on more buildings and technologies. If Devotion gets too low, such as by attacking other Kislevite factions, Chaos armies will be more likely to attack you.
- Devotion is primarily spent on performing one of four rituals to the Motherland, which invokes any of four deities: Salyak (growth and replenishment), Dazh (increased income from trade and buildings), Ursun (attrition, unique hex ability), and Tor (melee attack, unique army ability to increase damage potential).
- The Ice Court and the Great Orthodoxy compete for Supporters, a second unique resource for Kislevite factions. The more Supporters your faction gains, the more likely will minor Kislevite factions want to confederate with you. Gold and Devotion can also be spent to limit the rival Kislevite faction's Supporters. For the Ursun Revivalists, Supporters can earn closer relations with the other two big factions, along with bonuses, and they add Supporters to the Ice Court.
- Atamans are unique lords who do not earn XP, but gain traits through dilemmas that enhance the current region and/or army they are located in. Only one Ataman can be recruited for every two provinces under your control, and he can be recruited for free to lead your armies into battle. If the Ataman is killed, a new Ataman will have to be recruited.
- Ice Witches and Frost Maidens can only be trained for several turns, and then they can be recruited for a discounted price. Within each turn is a dilemma which determines what traits will the Ice Witch or Frost Maiden will have once her training is complete. The player can only recruit two Ice Witches and two Frost Maidens at once, so if the player needs another one, they must wait for either one Ice Witch or Frost Maiden to finish her training.
- Technologies can only be unlocked by controlling any one of the three great cities of Kislev - Kislev City, Erengrad, and Praag.
"You look down on us and think we are little better than barbarians, but you should be glad we are, for without us here, the northern tribes would be dining on the flesh of your children in your burning homes. But for the courage that flows in our veins would your lands be theirs. Look down on us? You should get on your knees and thank us every day!"
- —Vitalia Kovash, Kislevite Winged Lancer
The Kingdom of Kislev, sometimes known as the Realm of the Ice Queen, is the most northerly Human civilisation within the Old World, a powerful and war-driven nation that is known far and wide for having some of the greatest horsemen to ever roam the plains of the southern realms. From the Worlds Edge Mountains to the East and the Sea of Claws in the West, Kislev stands at the very frontiers of Human civilisation. Lonely villages stand isolated in the empty wilderness, while 3 mighty cities (Kislev, Erengrad and Praag) rise from the landscape like great islands of stone.
Kislev is a land covered in wide-open steppes, deep taiga forest, and thundering icy rivers. In the south, the climate is somewhat milder, allowing wide-scale farming, although winters are still bitterly cold. Heading north, Kislev becomes increasingly cold and barren, before ending somewhere in the marshy tundra of Troll Country. Overall, the climate is harsh and unforgiving, winters are long and dark. Only the strongest, most determined people can survive here.
The inhabitants of Kislev are these very same people, a race of wolf-tough and self-reliant warriors, valiant and determined in the defense of their homeland against the hated marauders of the uppermost North. Ruled by a mighty Tzar, Kislev is a nation born from the saddle, the ancestry of the the country's two main ethnic groups (Gospodars, who are more common in the south and in cities, and Ungols who are more common on the frontiers) can both be traced to the mighty horse-warriors of the Eastern Steppes many millennia ago.
Since the founding of this mighty kingdom, Kislev has been under siege by the murderous Hordes of Chaos. It is a kingdom that sits forever at the brink of total annihilation. Countless generations of Kislevites have fought, bled, and died in the snowy tundra of those harsh northern lands, and it is thanks to these brave Kislevite warriors that the Kingdoms of Men have managed to flourish in the south, huddled together in their warm and safe homes, whilst the Sons of Kislev fight till they draw their last dying breath.
The land of Kislev bears a unique magic not found anywhere else in the world: Ice Magic, also known as the Lore of Ice. This incredibly dangerous and deadly magic flows throughout the entire region, and its power is at its strongest inside its borders and in cold weather.
The Kislevites are a superstitious and deeply religious folk, above all they revere the bear-god Ursun (lord of winter, courage and strength, guardian of Kislev) and seem to have a special affinity with bears. Other important gods include Dazh (god of the sun, fire, summer, family and hospitality), Salyak (goddess of healing and comfort), and Tor (warrior-god of storms and vengeance). They also respect Ulric (god of wolves, winter and battle, primarily worshipped in the Empire) as kin to Ursun. Kislevites generally view southerners (eg: people of the Empire, Bretonnians) as soft and lazy, while southerners in turn view Kislevites as uncivilised and stern. Despite this, Kislev retains friendly relations with The Empire and Dwarfs: allies in the eternal fight against Chaos.
There are three playable Kislev factions, each with its own starting position, and led by separate Legendary Lords. See individual pages for faction-specific info.
- The Ice Court, led by Tzarina Katarin.
- The Great Orthodoxy, led by Kostaltyn.
- Ursun Revivalists, led by Boris Ursus.
Additionally, the next faction is only available in The Lost God campaign:
Total War: Warhammer III
Factions exclusive to The Lost God campaign:
Factions introduced in The Realm of Chaos campaign:
- Brotherhood of the Bear (Rastiltin Bebchuk)
- Faithful to Motherland
- Druzhina Enclave (led by Elena Zakarova)
- Faithful to Motherland
- Kislev Rebels
- Ropsmenn Clan
- Ungol Kindred (Vladimir Pervac)
- Faithful to Motherland
The Kislev roster are generally typical of human factions, with a solid core of infantry, a variety of good cavalry, but no fliers. Uniquely, many Kislev units are hybrid units, proficient both at range and in melee. For instance the Streltsi carry handguns with a large axe blade replacing the buttstock. Additionally, most Kislev units have the By Our Blood ability, making them temporarily unbreakable when their leadership is wavering for the first time.
Kislev have access to only two lores of magic which so far appear to be unique to them:
In the Campaign
See also: Kislev (region)
See also: The Motherland
The two main Kislevite factions, the Ice Court, and the Great Orthodoxy, use Devotion to invoke the gods of Kislev to aid their kingdom. Devotion is mostly gained by fighting Chaos armies and executing their captives, and partly by building certain structures and dilemmas.
If a faction's Devotion is too low, Chaos armies may appear outside Kislev, and Chaos rebellions or Daemon armies will emerge within the player's territories. The player will also lose Devotion and Followers by fighting Kislevite armies. If they have sufficient defenses, this allows the player to "farm" more Devotion and money.
The two factions also gain followers from fighting Chaos armies, or using some invocations spent with Devotion. The faction with the more followers ends up having better relations with other Kislevite factions, allowing them to confederate with the one with less Followers, representing its influence in the Kislevite royal government.
The Ursun Revivalists' Followers go to the Ice Court's number of Followers.
The Ice Court
See also Kislevite names
- Kislev was influenced by pop-culture stereotypes about Slavic nations, mostly Russia (bears, ice, and strong men), but also Poland, Ukraine, and other nations. Much of Kislevite culture was also based on mediaeval Russia.
- The adjective for Kislev is variously shown as "Kislevite" (for a person) or "Kislevian" (for the country).
In previous games
In Total War: Warhammer and Total War: Warhammer II, Kislev is a minor AI sub-faction that uses units of The Empire, but has some special distinctions in the game files.