Zhatan the Black
Posts: 6,572 - Aug 2007
Market Rep: 3
Viene La Tormenta
Balor Stuntedtooth crouched low amidst the dry, brown grass that clung to the edges of the swamp. He kept close to the ground on instinct, his heavy, maced tail swishing around seemingly of its own volition, in case some foe should come on him unawares from behind. On land – true land – the mists had no power, and he felt exposed and unprotected. He had never journeyed from the brood lair before, except out into the trackless marshes when he was a hunter, in the years before the Bale Eye found him. He had been another creature then.
It was still dark, and the relentless fury of the bright orb that the weakling races sometimes worshipped was hidden. Balor was thankful for that, but he knew it would return soon, searing his oily flesh to a crisp and blinding his eye. When that evil moment came, he intended to be well sheltered. Slowly, he made himself creep away from the swamp's edge, forsaking its sweet moisture for the dry, hateful true land. It was dark, yes, but the black moon hung overhead, casting everything in a weird, greenish light. The unlight of that moon was all that could penetrate the mists that shrouded the brood lair, and so it gave Balor some comfort as he pawed his way through the reeds and dirt. In one four-fingered hand he held his Staff of Pain, a gift from the Dirach, and mounted atop it was the skull of one of the Cloven Ones. Usurpers they were, daring to claim even more patronage of the True Lords than the Men, and this one had wandered away from its pack, stumbling into the fog to be slain by the poisoned javelins of the Fimm. It died slowly, its wretched body rotting from the inside, all its flesh finally erupting in a shower of writhing white maggots, and now its skull helped Balor draw on the power of the True Lords. Occasionally it spoke to him, though Balor could not understand its twisted language, nor did he know how it made itself heard with no tongue.
Through the Staff of Pain, Balor could feel the True Lords' energy building and writhing. His Bale Eye allowed him to see what even his brood siblings could not too, and when he dared to look up at the hateful sky, he could see the great channels of magical energy spanning the heavens, connecting the black moon to the world beneath his feet, thrumming in time to some evil power deep beneath the earth. It was the strongest of the True Lords, Balor knew, the Hateful One, the King of Skulls, who ruled here. He could smell the tang of mammal blood in the air, and hear the distant howling of hounds and wolves. The bronze armour he wore, stained with the patina of ages, seemed to channel some of the energy too. It was said the King of Skulls favoured brass and bronze over iron and steel.
Balor knew from the Dirach that some powerful servant of the King of Skulls lay beneath the earth nearby, in a prison built by the magic of the Pale Ones. For thousands of years he had slept, but now the power of the black moon caused him to stir. He was the eldest champion of the Hateful One, a prince of blood and fury, and had placed many thousands of skulls at the feet of his master, or so it was said. Balor's brood had gathered here a thousand generations ago to pay homage and ensure that, when the time was right, the Prince of Hate might rise again. They had defiled the stones of the Pale Ones with their runes, transforming them into mighty Bane Circles. Every hundred years, one of the Diarchs left the brood lair to taint another and weaken the seals of the prison. Balor would have been one of those, in time, but instead the age of awakening had arrived.
Now he had a much more dangerous and profane task.
The Prince of Hate would need slaves to serve him. Alone, he was a terrible foe, but Men, Pale Ones, Stunted Ones, Scaled Ones and even the servants of the other True Lords would gather to oppose him when they realised he was free. Some of the servants of the King of Skulls were close by already, but they were not enough. Others must come. Dead things, Cloven Ones, the Men with their bright banners, Pale Ones of the forest of death...perhaps others. All would be drawn close, if the rituals were completed. The dark harmony of moon and earth was not enough, not without the Bane Circles. Balor must claim them, or persuade others to claim them in the name of the True Lords. They must be bent to the same aim: freeing the Prince of Hate. Events in the outside world had conspired to bring a motley collection of armies close enough to feel the storm that gathered over the whole region, and with them, Balor could complete his destiny.
Climbing atop a half-sunken rock, its solid surface unfamiliar beneath his clawed feet, Balor straightened fully for the first time. He was not large – amongst his own kind he was considered a weakling – but he was stronger and harder than all but the mightiest of the other races even so. And he was powerful in ways they could not imagine. He lifted his Staff of Pain just as the black moon swelled to fullness, casting its full green light upon the battle-scarred world. A great flash of light nearly blinded Balor, but he held his ground, digging his claws into the unyielding rock. Defiantly, he kept his eye open, staring out the moon, which was now thronged with glowing tendrils of green light. They snaked towards the earth, were strengthened by a cosmic resonance, and the very air began to taste metallic. A thrum of sound, almost beyond the edge of hearing, reverberated across the marshland. The distant mountains were lit by a second flash of witchfire, and Balor thought he could hear the howls of the Cloven Ones, distant as they were. Behind their stone walls, he knew the Men were trembling in terror. The Pale Ones would be riding even now, knowing better than the others what was brewing in the skies. Somewhere in the foothills of the far mountains, those sworn to the King of Skulls would quicken their pace, knowing their time was near. And the living dead crept ever closer, driven by what they believed to be their own ambition, but in fact playing further into the hands of the True Gods with every shambling step they took.
Balor threw back his reptilian head and let out a guttural roar, just as the Storm of Magic broke above his head. Eldritch lightning bolts lashed down all around him, setting green fires amongst the dead brown grass. The skull atop his staff began to chatter in its monstrous gibberish.
This was a good land. The corruption of the Prince of Hate had been kept at bay for many centuries by the sacred stones, but their power was failing. Evil forces converged on the land that the Men called Béniterre, and Balor Stuntedtooth, Balefind of the Fimir, would be the one to steer them along their true course: the course of freedom for Abbadon, first Daemon Prince of Khorne.
This is the thread in which I plan to chronicle the things I paint up for Storm of Magic games. Since some of them won't technically fit into any of my armies, a new thread was needed. So far we have a Fimir Balefiend and my first Arcane Fulcrum, in the form of one of the mysterious Bane Circles. It looks like my Necromancer, Roi, has found his way to one already, and is making good use of it.
Coming next: more fulcra, and perhaps monsters!
Serial Writist - lots and lots of short fiction, written by me, regularly updated.
The Legion of Astragoth | The Dark Crusade of Mousillon | The Destroyer Cult | Les Défenseurs du Béniterre | Storm Over Béniterre | Force Belial
Chaos Dwarfs Warscroll Compendium
This post was last modified: 07-24-2011 03:45 PM by Thommy H.