15/02/2011 in Warhammer Fantasy
We fly north.
The Realm of Chaos passes beneath me in a blur as I am borne north on angel’s wings, Rai’elle’s arms tight around me, holding me closer than I ever thought she would again. I can sense something in her… is it love? Fear? Envy? Some delicious mix of the three? Whatever it is, its taste delights me.
My eyes leave her for a few moments and watch the Blessed Realm flying by in a dark rush of beating wings. At first it could pass for the northern steppes, the only difference being the telltale red sky, but as we pass on the vegetation becomes more and more animated, the ground darkens, the mountains become impossibly vast… the landscape becomes more and more unreal.
The rivers change from water to fire, from fire to blood, from blood to pure glowing warpstone dust. It is in the air too, the sky hisses with it, jade on crimson, a rain of sand against my skin… it hurts, but at the same time I shiver with delight as it washes over me, mostly scraping off my weakened sheath, but some sinking in…
I am conscious of the ground moving closer. Here, even terra firma shifts under the sheer pressure of unreality seething south in an unstoppable tide. Repulsive, I know, but old habits die hard and I take a deep breath as my feet touch ‘solid’ ground. I turn to Rai’elle, my face out of control… were she human, she would think me insane, but of course she is more than human, and has been for untold centuries.
“Why bring me here? I told you, Chaos has nothing more for me. I turned my back on Khaine.”
She laughs before she replies, a beauteous siren sound, clearly audible even here.
“Whatever makes you think you have the strength, Raven? And besides, that was not the sentiment I heard in Naggaroth. You were all too eager to rejoin us then.”
“That was then and this was now. And you were tempting me. I could feel it. Don’t lie to me.”
“I am still mentor to you, appointed by our god, and will be until he or I decide otherwise. You are second to me. I have every right to lie to you, but I choose not to.”
“You choose? I didn’t think Chaos allowed any choice.” Those words taste sweet on my tongue. I can deny the mad gods even here! Overhead, the storm’s hissing, snarling rumble takes on a louder tone, sensing defiance.
“Poor blind fool; you see Chaos through a human’s eyes, after all we have shared. I shall tell you why we are here, and then you may stay or go as you see fit.” She bows her head close to mine, still smiling, and she whispers into my ear. “Assuming, that is, that you can find your way south, and that the guardians choose to let you pass. You, my poor raven, are here to make a choice. You may continue to serve Khaine; you have passed through the fire as he foretold, and are ready to move on. By attempting to break your bond you have proved your strength, but Khaine demands loyalty from the very bottomless depth of your heart. Crimes of passion are not the way to earn his favour.” She can read my thoughts! She has been reading me! I knew it! “Or alternatively you can remain strong in your madness and you may return to your old life – if you can make it out of the Realm, you will find that you have played out your other story, and will have been dead for two and a half centuries.”
My head whirls with confusion, desperately trying to force thought from the sodden pathways of my brain, the crystal stacks addled by the presence of so much raw energy, and the searing pain this induces almost driving me to my knees. I stagger weakly into Rai’elle’s arms once more, and feel her supporting me.
I stall for time. There has to be a compromise, some way my heart and soul can both survive… my mind doesn’t matter, my mind is lost already amidst the screaming from the past and the future and the void between the worlds.
“I can’t decide. Not here. Too much power, too close by.”
“You have to decide here. Only here will Khaine’s eyes even attend to you.” I can’t think! The pain is too great. Either way the pain would end… if only I could reason out the decision. “Stay with Chaos and you stay with me. I promise I will not leave you this time.”
There it is again, the feeling of fear and envy mingled with desire… what does she have to gain or lose with my soul? Can it be that she will do both?
Black and white, evil or good, wrong or right, hate or love… this is so wrong. I shouldn’t have to make this choice.
If she speaks the truth, I must cut out my heart and all my love for her to have her by my side… like so much in Chaos I would be denying and defying my very nature for power. But to choose the other path… I cannot believe that it would merely be a matter of physical escape, oh no. There is always a deeper motive with Chaos, always some inner meaning hidden in the words.
I could lie. I could lie to Khaine, somehow keep a grip on my soul and remain loyal to her. But no, that’s ridiculous. I can’t challenge a god. And anyway, I cannot compromise. Not now.
That’s it! Finally, horror crashes home into my psyche, and I realise that I am trying to drown out the sound of the storm. My knees buckle under me, and it is only Rai’elle’s greater-than-mortal strength that holds me up. I cannot choose… and so I cry out to Chaos to choose for me. Just as I did in the cellar three hundred years ago, I am throwing my soul into the storm.
Do I say it or merely think it… I don’t think it matters here.
“I have no choice! Whatever happens, I am damned! If I have to serve you, Khaine, it will be now and forever! With all my heart and soul! Do you hear me? DO YOU HEAR ME?”
There is no answer, at least not one that can be written or spoken… but a burst of darkness flares from within the storm, and suddenly the warpstone in my skin explodes in a shower of green motes. Torn apart, I am lifted out of Rai’elle’s embrace and into the air.
Higher and higher I am raised, until finally I am amidst the storm, bleeding and torn, flayed away, the glowing dust tearing my body apart, a whirlwind of change and power surrounding the tiny doll-like shade that is my soul. I cannot breathe, cannot see, all my senses have failed me.
Now I can see. Now I can feel. Raw power courses through my veins as new matter forms around me, pure Chaos coalescing into a physical form, neither man nor daemon but the perfect balance between, not real, not unreal, not entirely corporeal or ethereal… this feels so good.
It’s as if I am gazing into a mirror watching my new self form. Glowing, rotating motes surround the doll-like soul, but the presence and the consciousness are still distant from this. A hollow ribcage forms over the whirling vortex of warpstone dust, then muscle and tough skin spread over that. Limbs twist out with a cracking of growing bone, and I relish the spasms that pass through me as my new flesh spreads over them too. Darkness enfolds my vision briefly as the new head forms, and then bright new eyes open on the world, and I find myself staring into the coldly handsome face of a statue, some superhuman thing of clay sculpted by a deified artist. A flowing mane of black hair atop a proud, high-boned face, haughty eyes that glow with the downfall of saints and the death of stars. My mutant hands, the claws I loved and hated so much, have become more monstrous still, and yet I can feel a new flexibility, a new suppleness in them that was not there before. I feel a pair of sweeping wings burst from my shoulders and beat once, twice, I enjoy the feel of the dust on my skin as I rise up toward the stars. I feel my chest and back and limbs hardening again with something that is neither skin nor armour. I flex my twisted fingers and feel the sorcerous current of pure, unadulterated Chaos passing between and around them.
This is power. This is perfection. I am no longer mortal, no longer flawed.
Ravendark lives, and in such eternal strength and power… how could I have wanted to give this up?
As I am lowered toward the fluid land once more, the storm breaks around me. The howling of dust and ash and power… before, it broke my mind, but now it sounds so perfect, almost musical. Khaine has resurrected me, improved on the design flawed by the change from mortal to warrior of Chaos. Now I am born again, given a new and perfect form, mirroring the cessation of my torment and fear.
You have restored me and you have restored my faith in you; and this time I shall not fail you, my lord Khaine.
Truth be told, I can no longer be bothered to land. Why walk when you can fly, why stand when you can hover? The third dimension makes you strong, lifts you up above mortality… and any taste of the angelic is fine by me. Speaking of which, Rai’elle… is gazing up with an expression akin to rapture on her face. Her deep dark eyes scream in silence as she sees me descend from the heavens, and I see her trembling with the force of the storm. The feeling I sensed in her earlier returns a thousand times stronger; only now, I understand it.
She fears me because she knew I would return to Chaos and emerge equal to if not stronger than her; she envies me because I, and not her, am blessed with the effortless ability to lead the followers of our shared god, and she loves me because despite her fear and envy, I can feel that she craves to be loved.
It all makes sense now. Women and daemons alike are such selfish creatures, and she is the faultless divine quintessence of both.
“You have changed… Khaine thinks more highly of you than I thought.” The disbelief that spreads over Rai’elle’s face brings a smile to these full yet cruel lips that adorn my new face, a smile that widens as she brushes her fingers over my new and silver skin.
“We don’t have time to ask who he loves more; we’ve work to do back at the Tower. Shall we go?” Giving orders to her… am I mad? By the acquiescence in her face I see I’m not; she bows her pretty head and takes to the skies with the same phenomenal grace I have always known; and this time I am able to match her move for move, free in three dimensions. She soars into the storm with a cry of pride at what her chosen one has become, and as she flies I feel a newfound strength forming in me.
I never dreamed it was possible to move this fast, in the air or on the ground. The Realm of Chaos blurs below me, the black sands of the far north flowing into ice, into mountains, into the tundra of the marauders dotted with tiny shantytowns around fixed shrines and monoliths.
The two of us fly together, hand in hand, over the Blessed Realm. Here we see a host of Tzeentch’s daemons hover and dance over a river of fire, their feet leaving black smoking trails on the surface, as they swarm towards an embattled host of the bloodletters of Khorne. There we behold a pack of beastmen on the hunt, hounds half the size of horses bounding at their head, a tribe of marauders on horseback fleeing before them, fleeing south, the same way we return in triumph. A golden-robed figure circles over the beastmen on a screaming disc-shaped steed, and blue fire shoots from his hands, immolating the leaders on the spot.
Then the mountains are beneath us and the clouds rise to enfold us both in a brief, hurried embrace of cool water, and then the lawless taiga of the Troll Country unfolds beneath us.
I see the Lonely Tower set atop its rocky spire in the distance, and the vast camp of my army beneath it. I see funeral pyres burning among the tents, and I see crucified victims hurled onto them to scream their last prayers as they burn.
It’s so beautiful.
Our flight over the camp raises heads, disconsolate, confused heads. I hear a throaty cheer rising from one or two of the gatherings of warriors… from the prisoners. I can see siege gear set up in the shadow of the tower, and I notice that Bhale’s purple banners are absent from the forces outside, but still fly from the turret-tops. What in the name of Khaine happened here?
We circle the camp once or twice, and I begin to realise the sheer horror of what has occurred in my absence. What had been my command tent is a shattered ruin, the beams that had held it up have now been built into a vague pyramid, atop which, bound to the longest of the splintered wrecks, is… can it be Nethrak? My first follower, my loyal standard bearer… he deserved better than this.
He’s been dead a long time. The pale skin that shows through the great rents in his armour is cold and rotten. Innards hang from one particularly vast gaping hole in his torso. I land next to him, Rai’elle still at my side, and gently lift the helmet from his head. His eyes are two darkly stained ruins, his lips cracked and dry, his teeth mostly broken or missing, and his cheeks and jaw have been shattered by something monstrously strong. And he was alive when he was strung up here, somehow I can feel it.
“Nethrak, Nethrak, my old friend, whatever became of you?”
“That Khornate brute must have done this.” Rai’elle’s hands gently shift mine from what remains of Nethrak’s face, and she lifts me off the pyramid and back onto the ground. “We’ll burn this, and then we go to find Torahn.”
One slender alabaster hand extends, there is a roar of power and the pyramid of wood bursts into flames. Nethrak’s ruined body takes a long time to catch, but as the flames work their way inside his armour I hear the stale gas exploding in flares and pops of sound.
“That’s done. Now for Torahn.”
“Lord Ravendark!” booms a voice from behind me. “You return!”
It’s him. Torahn. Just as monstrously strong and hideous as I remember him, that vast axe clutched in a negligent hand, his barrel chest and swollen, muscular arms heaving as he strides towards me. The round head with its ugly, twisted mass of fangs rolls up, and the thick lips break into what could be a smile or a grimace. His yellow eyes shine in the flames of Nethrak’s pyre.
“Sane now, lord?” he growls. “Ready to serve? Too late. Torahn rules now. Torahn will win where you lost. This is Torahn’s army.”
My shadow falls over him as I turn around slowly. Can’t he see what I am?
“Not yet,” Rai’elle murmurs. “Let him see the old Raven, let him see you as weak. Then destroy him.”
“Torahn of Khorne, I challenge you to the Clashing of Horns, the Charak’azan Kroth!”
“Want your army back? You’ll fight and die for it, Ravendark of Khaine! Torahn beat you before, Torahn will kill you now!”
“I think not somehow.”
“Time for thinking is past. Torahn has no time for thoughts. Die now!”
I must admit one thing; he’s not entirely stupid. The axe flies towards me, turning over and over in the air with expert grace, and were it not for a piece of luck and Rai’elle’s warning I’d have been down before we started. As it is, the weapon smashes into the pyre in a burst of sparks and shrapnel that patters off my back as I roll forwards. I’m aware of the blade passing over my head, some enchantment binding it to Torahn’s paws, but I can match it move for move, and I hit him at the same time the handle does, crashing into his chest fists-first, the heels of my hands crashing into that immensely tough, thick muscle.
He grunts, more out of shock than pain, and his massive, bear-like forearms pass just above my head as he clutches at himself, the axe now tightly gripped in one of his burly hands. Then he seems to recover, and brings both his elbows down on my head. Even ducking, I still catch the brunt of the blow, bone and muscle driving into my head with a crunch and forcing me to squat, dizzy from the sheer force of the monster. He takes a couple of steps backwards, axe raised over his head like some great executioner, a tower of strength and rage… but still, alas, stupid. I can’t believe he’s fallen for this twice. I leap upwards, the enforced curl in my legs lending me strength, hands outstretched, and this time they go right into the join between his taut, sinewy throat and his leathery chin. A choked scream, and he staggers. I cling on for grim death, the thick cords of his neck between my fingers, blood flowing over them, weakening my grip just a little. He twists backwards and throws himself from side to side, and I’m forced to grapple him with my knees as well to hold on, while somehow managing to take the pain from those fists, the size of human heads, battering down on my back, trying to pummel me into letting go. And yet still I hang on, wrenching at the muscle and skin, trying to find the veins that run up either side. If I can cut them free, he’ll fall. He should die, but I doubt his blood vessels are quite human.
I can’t find them! They’re buried somewhere in amongst the bulk of him, and I’m beginning to slip with all the fat and flesh that’s working its way into my fingers. I can’t stop myself from falling off as he spins around, and I crash to the floor, winded despite myself, trying to take a breath… I suppose it’s more out of habit than anything.
Enough of this. I groan as he takes up the axe again, his ruined throat issuing a deep, bloody, gurgling roar. As the vast blade sweeps in towards me, I bend around the blade and catch hold of the handle, twisting it downwards so it bites into the ground. He falls forward, not expecting this of me, and as he falls I feel the axe slip into my hands.
The daemon bound into it roars in my mind, angry with me for taking it from its chosen master. My hands begin to smoulder where they touch the handle, but I grit my teeth and raise the blade over my head, almost falling over, and then sweep it down, driving it into Torahn’s spine, right into the back of his neck. There is a gristly crack, and the blade sinks a good six inches in, almost peeking out of the wounds I opened earlier. His head rises, and as it does I see the blade slip another two or three inches deep, easily slicing what’s left of his neck, the bone giving way as easily as old wood. His tongue protrudes, his eyes roll back and he goes limp, his head hanging forwards on the tubes of his throat and the tatters of flesh at the front. The axe carves roughly though those too, and his head falls to the floor, the brutal voice silenced forever, the toothy smile banished to nightmares.
My hands hurt. They’re scorched and blackened from where I held the axe of Khorne, the armoured pads already scabbing over. I try to stretch them out, and I emit an involuntary squeak of pain and curl them up tight, bending double and clutching them tightly to me. Light footsteps sound and pale legs intrude on my field of vision as Rai’elle eases me upright and takes my aching hands in hers, the touch of her skin lending a faint tang of pleasure to the pain. A brief cool thrill passes through them, and she turns them over to kiss the palms. When she pulls away, they’re still a little tender, but they’ve healed as if a week had passed.
I can’t help but sigh as I thank her, but she shakes her head and nods towards something behind me.
They are watching now, the warriors, those of them that still survive. They are Torahn’s warriors, barbarians sporting red warpaint and ritual scars, long dreadlocks matted with blood, clutching axes and maces, some sparing shields in favour of vast weapons that wouldn’t look out of place on an ogre. I can see the occasional full warrior of Chaos standing among them, relative giants in red armour trimmed with brass, and nearly all with shields in addition to the usual Khornate paraphernalia. They watch me with frightened, suspicious eyes, the light of the pyre reflected in dozens, hundreds of gazes.
“Now, my darling, they can see you for what you truly are.”
I feel the illusion around me failing, the false Ravendark falling to the blackened ground in a flop of skin, dissolving into dust before it hits the floor. I spread my new wings wide and raise my hands, flexing my fingers towards the sky, wide in an embracing gesture towards the shifty staring marauders.
“Have I not returned, children of Khorne? Have I not just defeated your master? Kindly pledge your fealty, lest I offer you to Khaine as well!”
That seems to rouse them. Led by the armoured warriors, they raise their arms and clash them together, saluting my victory, albeit unwillingly and not without prompting.
“Now release my followers!”
Word spreads through the camp like wildfire.
‘Ravendark has returned, and he flies on angel’s wings!’
‘The daemoness is with him, the bride of Khaine!’
‘He challenged Torahn to the Clashing and tore his throat out – with his bare hands!’
I wait at the base of Nethrak’s pyre while my true followers gather. There are fewer of them than there are Khornates, but they gather close to me, pressing aside the scarred followers of Torahn. There are no champions among them, so I reach out and clutch the leader of one of the warrior regiments.
“It looks to me as if you intend to besiege the Tower. Kindly explain why you feel the need to break into your own stronghold?” asks Rai’elle of him in a tone just as sultry as all her others, but this time with a hint of menace.
“It’s not my fault, mistress. Bhale did it after Lord… apologies, after Torahn won the Clashing against Sakhalin and Lord Ravendark disappeared.”
“Did what?” I snarl, clutching his arm in one hand and twisting it back almost casually.
“Sealed himself in with the warpgem!”
“One massacres our followers, and the other turns into a mad recluse. You choose your aides well, my dear raven.”
“Bhale? Bhale, you damned fool, where are you?”
The door of the Lonely Tower shatters with one blow, and I stalk in, Rai’elle at my side. Within, all is darkness, the spiral staircase obscured with cobwebs. In the centre of the ground-floor chamber, and shrouded in the same arachnid tapestry, is a plinth, on which sits the warpgem, still sending its cold green light all around this dark room. It is the only source of light here; all else is black, the windows barricaded from the inside.
“Bhale?” calls Rai’elle, edging close to the plinth and its glowing work of art.
“I hear you, daemoness,” whispers the sorcerer’s voice. “I hear you.”
“Come out and explain yourself, Bhale,” she snarls, “or I shall have to shake this tower down, and I will find you anyway.” I wasn’t expecting this kind of savagery from her… it’s a side to her I never thought existed. Used to the calm, confident, assured Rai’elle, I’m surprised at her show of anger.
“Is he with you? The raven?” Bhale’s tones are cracked with fear and loathing; can I see him edging down the stairs?
“Of course. You are bound to his service, Bhale, not mine. Now come out.” I feel the anger ebb and flow in her as she tries to remain calm in the face of this obviously deranged sorcerer.
“I dare not. He will slay me in his madness. I know him for what he is. He left Torahn in command. Torahn hates me. Torahn will kill me. He killed my guards. So I have to hide here.”
“And what if I told you I could bring Torahn’s head?” I can’t stop myself – I raise a hand and gesture to Bhale. “What then?”
“Then I would have nothing to fear but you, Raven Grishenkov.”
“Ravendark. Ravendark, you damn-fool mage.” Rai’elle is swift to challenge him, swift to shout down any doubt that might exist in me.
“You worry too much, darling Rai’elle. I know who I am, and who I serve. As for you, Bhale, you need fear no more. I am recovered from that madness that possessed me.”
“But whose side are you on, Raven? Do you still serve the Lord of Murder, or do you wish a place among the Chosen yourself? Are you ready to leave this world behind?”
“What are you talking about?” I cry to the hunched ruin of the sorcerer, now almost at the bottom of the stairs. Leave this world behind… such things are the dreams of Chaos champions, the very stuff of our ambition. To be granted a whole world to use and abuse as we see fit… such things delight us all, but surely it is not in Khaine’s power to grant such things? I say as much to Bhale.
“Not from Khaine, Raven. From carnage. From the raising of power. You can be as a god now, Raven, a god among men. You have the power to focus godhead in yourself, you need only build a pyre of skulls to burn away yourself and then you’ll be free. The whole of infinity to torment, knowing that all you are and all you encounter is under the gaze of Chaos.” Bhale staggers out of the shadows, the warpgem casting shadows on his lined, tormented white face, his eyes two pools of shadow.
“He is insane, dearest. Leave him to his madness, take the warpgem and do what must be done.” As Rai’elle’s pretty hands close around the glowing stone, I grasp both of them and place them at her sides, crossed beneath her bosom like a so very adult child crying for a toy.
“Not yet. There is some insight in what he says.”
“I can see into your heart, master Raven. You wish to leave this world behind. All you need do is fulfil your last contract to Khaine. You know of what I speak.”
“Do I?” Do I? I have no idea what this lunatic speaks of.
“The knowledge is in you, it has been for so long.” The mad eyes flick to the warpgem, and then to Rai’elle. “She’ll make a fine consort for a king of worlds, won’t she, Raven? I know what it is that drove you back into Chaos, and I know how you feel for her. She doesn’t feel the same. She lies to you all the time. You think you’re free, but…”
“Quiet!” shrieks Rai’elle, spreading her wings as wide as she can in this cramped space and striking over the plinth from its place. It falls to the floor in eerie slow motion, flickering faster and faster. I see her moving forward like quicksilver, a graceful flowing leap that sends her arcing through the air toward Bhale. I see him stretching his arms wide, ready to receive her. Then the gem falls to the floor and shatters, there is a scream higher and louder than any I have ever heard, and all is total darkness.
Dust falls on either side, not the glowing twisting dust of the Blessed Realm, but the crude mortal dust you find after a building falls. Thick smoke. Glowing shards break underfoot. Rubble looms out of the clouds and is gone again. In desperation I take to the skies, trying to escape the clouds. Sweeping up and out, I pass out of the column of smoke and ruin heading skywards, and circle it a few times. The Tower is gone, and all around it my warriors are falling back from the rain of dust.
Wings beat at my side, and Rai’elle is there, her arms slick with blood up to the elbows, blood and fragments of robes and bones. She has something in her hands, a helmet with nine horns and a fanged visor. Bhale’s helmet. She dashes it to the floor amidst the collapsed Tower, her face contorted in pain.
“He was lying, wasn’t he?” I ask of her, staring into her eyes, ignoring the tiny fleeing shapes below.
“Of course. Give no more thought to him, my dear.”
A week passes as the army slowly gathers once more about the remnants of the Lonely Tower. The Blackhearts, my very own followers, are the first to return, followed by the rabble Torahn once referred to as Chron’s Hounds of Carnage. Their new leader, more human than the last, a Chaos warrior clad in bronze armour and clutching a mace and axe in his hands, rides a daemon steed of Khorne, a Juggernaut, a beast of flesh and metal that stamps on the blasted ground and roars in frustrated rage.
Others come too. I see the vast star-standards of Chaos Undivided among the gathering legion of the damned, gold and silver on black. I see chariots carrying the fluttering indigo banners of Tzeentch following a hunched sorcerer-champion who rides a snarling, spinning disc-daemon.
Still others gather, the beastmen, the Children of Chaos, gor and ungor, minotaur and hound, their chiefs and shamans kneeling before me in the Tower ruins every day, called to serve me, called to follow me to war.
The week passes, and gradually I become accustomed to the pressures of daemonhood. As the army grows in size, so do I in stature. I do not sleep, but it seems that every time I close my eyes I have grown a little greater, until after six days’ passage I stand twice my former height and half as broad again.
Then comes the dawn of the seventh day.
My new champions are assembled about me; Davvol, warlord of the Hounds of Carnage, the daemon-rider; Karazan, the sorcerer of Tzeentch in indigo, his entire body wrapped in badly dyed blue rags; Rankh and Kroll, the two greatest champions of the beastmen, the first a menacing ram-horned thing, the second more benign in appearance but with an almost human cunning; their shaman advisor, Droth, grey of fur and almost blind of eyes; and finally a macabre champion of the Undivided whose name is not divulged and whose nature is hidden behind his shimmering obsidian armour, trimmed with gold. And, of course, at my side throughout the gathering of war is Rai’elle, a constant presence as close as is possible. We would have it no other way, of course.
The seventh day, and the skies darken as thunder roars across the land, the scarlet air blazing in a livid aurora, raw power raining down on my refreshed force, now three times as great, three times as dreadful, reinforced by the beastmen and charioteers; and the final, missing component of the army steps forth to join the ranks.
Daemons. Daemons of Khorne and Tzeentch swarm out of the storm, keening and howling, the flesh hounds and screamers, the bloodletters and horrors, a tide of crimson death and flickering insanity, snarling and cackling things, the will of the gods given shape.
Now, let it begin. Let us march south. Let the kingdoms of men and dwarfs and elves, of all mortal things, whether they scurry in the dark or gather their pathetic resistance in the light… let them all despair.
I, Ravendark, daemon prince, harbinger of war, bringer of destruction, consort to the bride of Khaine herself, have been reborn in fire and ice. I have passed the test, and am loyal.
Let it begin.