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The Grim Fate of In'kari the Damned
The Grim Fate of In'kari the Damned
In betwixt two enormous mountain ranges stretches the vast Dark Lands, inhospitable wastelands roamed by savages and monsters; choked by smoke and sulphuric gases; clad in but scant and thorny vegetation; rent asunder and reshaped time upon time again by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These forbidding landscapes should be anathema to all but the vilest of beasts, the hardiest of plants and the brutest of tribes, yet still here resides one of the truly great civilizations of the world: The dark empire of the Chaos Dwarfs.
A monstrous realm maintained through neverending terror, slavery and nightmarish industry, it is an oppressive and strongly hierarchical society which is at the same time ferociously cruel and mysteriously refined. Above all, the civilization of the Dwarfs of Fire is a highly advanced culture whether you measure it by its engineering skill, artistry, writing system, military accomplishments, craftsmanship, technology, scientific lore, mastery over sorcery, organizational skill or sheer ability to crush any and all opposition in order to ruthlessly extract the slaves and resources it desires.
To the Chaos Dwarfs, the success and sophistication of their society is proof in and of itself of high Hashut's favour and of their supreme right to conquer and rule both nature itself and the lesser races of the world, and in the long run even Chaos and all of creation, Bull God willing. Their megalomania is only further fueled by the truth this hubris is based upon, namely the truth of their unrivalled mastery of the volatile and lethal Dark Lands. For theirs is the only realm of the living in these ashen landscapes to endure the eroding hardship and plight of long ages of neverending warfare and violent turmoil. Indeed, the Dawi Zharr thrive under these dire conditions.
They thrive where no others could have withstood the test of time to uphold a mighty empire through bloody force of arms and relentless feats of engineering. Here, they have carved out a realm in their own image to honour Chaos and their Father of Darkness alike. Here, they have truly created hell on earth. Here, they have brutally imposed their advanced, sedentary civilization upon the enslaved tribes of barbarian nomads.
The Dawi Zharr worldview is permeated by this imperial perspective. To them, it is only natural and befitting to see themselves as superior, for what evidence to the contrary could there ever be presented? Their myths and legends reflects this dominon which their civilization enforces upon savage brutes, for their stories are more often than not narratives of elevated Chaos Dwarfs trampling inferior races into the dust. Indeed, some of the tales at the very core of their mythology are of this character. As such, many of the Dawi Zharr's stories explaining the very origin and order of things make up a body of blood-soaked sagas featuring divine and unholy Hashut (or some important Chaos Dwarf figure) deceiving, exploiting or destroying those less advanced, less cunning or simply weaker than Himself, all to further His own ends.
These are tales of conquest and subjugation, of ruthlessness and utter malice. These are tales of vanquished foes and triumphant villains lauded as nothing less than ideal beings, or even deities to be worshipped. These are tales of darkness and despair, of just causes lost and of Chaos ascendant. Above all, these are tales of slavery and oppression, of cold cunning and of such stark cruelty as to make a heart of stone bleed.
These are the tales of the enslaved savage, as told by the Blacksmiths of Chaos.
This is one such tale.
The Gods Decree: In the beginning, there was struggle, and struggle shall mark all of existence until the end of days. In the beginning, there were many gods both known and unknown, from both before and after the birth of time. In the very beginning, there was Chaos and there was Order, and the gods of Order wrote down the first written words on indestructible tablets to build Order from Chaos. These were the Mez, the Godly Decrees, the supernatural documents containing the plans for civilization itself, and without them, these designs of Order could never have existed.
These Godly Decrees were the blueprints of elevated culture and advanced society, for the Mez tablets fathomed everything which makes up ordered life. The Mez could be abstract, for some were victory, domination, vengeance, judgement, hospitality and wisdom. The Mez could also stipulate arcane lore such as occultism, the reading of omens and portents, ritual sacrifice, Daemonbinding and the subjugation of raw, wild magic into sorcerous spells. Likewise, the Mez were technologies and crafts like weaving, forging, pottery and writing. The Mez were also the fabric of ordered communities, including law, heraldry, clans, caste hierarchy, priesthood, slavery and prostitution. The Mez were many things, for among their number were the destruction of cities, libel, falsehood, enmity, eunuchs, purges of the undesired, ostracism and exile. They were the arts and sciences, the lores and the crafts. Without them, organized society could neither function, nor exist.
The gods of Order poured their powers and essence into these potent objects, for the Godly Decrees were laboriously written down shortly after the creation of the world. Yet the Mez were quickly stolen and spirited away by the Dark Gods of Chaos and their myriad minions, who kept the Godly Decrees as playthings, trophies or hidden secrets to be corrupted, if possible, or teasingly used as bait to lure the vengeful gods of Order into the Realm of Chaos. This came to pass time upon time again, for numerous times did the gods of Order carry out divine incursions into the Empyrean in order to secure their lost Decrees.
Yet ultimately, all these invasions failed and instead saw the ranks and power of the gods of Order decimated, thereby cementing the ascendant supremacy of Chaos over all creation for long ages of turmoil, until the gods of Order had regained enough strength to dare yet another offensive attempt to retrieve the indestructible Godly Decrees. The tactics, weaponry and otherworldly powers of the gods of Order varied immensely over all the various invasions, but in the end they were all crushed by the guiles and forces of Chaos.
Upheaval: Then, after uncounted aeons of strife and anarchy in the world, the Far Ones appeared as from out of nowhere, to join forces with Order. Then, the combined forces of Order managed to rescue the lost Mez tablets by binding down most of the Dark Gods' might in horrendous meatgrinder battles of titanic proportions, while heroic raiding parties of Order struck deep into the Realm of Chaos aboard a radiant Ship of Light. From this holy vessel were they able to track down and recapture the now lightly defended Godly Decrees, collecting all retrieved documents aboard the vessel, until finally they had found every single Mez. Yet as the Ship of Light set sail to leave the Realm of Chaos at last, the wily Keeper of Secrets known as In'kari had transformed itself into a false tablet of perversion in order to join in an unholy union with the tablet of love, and so the sly Daemon had tricked himself aboard amidst the treasured Godly Decrees.
Thus it was that the forces of Order's costly triumph was spoiled from its onset, yet for a while the Far Ones managed to impose a true Order of Things upon the mortal world thanks to their possession of the Mez. Yet at the most opportune moment, In'kari the Keeper of Secrets grabbed all Godly Decrees and fled unnoticed with the tablets back to the Empyrean, thereby ruining the great works of the Far Ones and plunging all creation into an unprecedented upheaval of rawest Chaos. The Dark Gods and their hosts were ascendant once again, and so In'kari devised a malevolent plan to forever keep the Godly Decrees away from the grasp of the assailed gods of Order.
The Keeper of Secrets, In'kari, could not destroy the potent documents of ordered existence, yet In'kari could hide them away to defile and corrupt them by appointing the most unnatural guardians ever conceived. And so it was that In'kari carried out a heinous act to baffle even fellow Slaaneshi servants, for In'kari bred with eight Daemons from each of the uncounted powers of Chaos, before giving birth to the eight hundred and eighty-eight Allspawns. These were loathsome and corrupt Daemonic creatures, for their impurity and infectious insanity encompassed all of that which is Chaos, yet their forms and character could shift from incarnating the nature of one Dark God to that of another in the blink of an eye. And so it was that the whole register of dark emotions and destructive behaviours came to life in the Allspawns.
And even the Great Gods of Chaos were disgusted, for they saw their own specific domain of power and personality made manifest in the Allspawns for one moment, only to be replaced by the face of another Dark God the next moment, and then another, as though the dark divinities were nothing but a deck of cards to be riffled through capriciously. Thus it was that all the Dark Gods of Chaos, paradoxically, for once joined forces to cast the appointed guardians of the Godly Decrees into the remotest corner of the dreaded Nethercaves deep within the Realm of Chaos, and all the dark divinities laid heavy curses, traps and hexes upon this prison, and none of them bar one would ever again speak of neither the existence of the Mez nor their location. This they all did because none of the Dark Gods could stand the others in their heart-of-hearts, and such mutual hatred may unite in the bewildering Realm of Chaos.
Hidden away and forgotten, the abominable Allspawns infected each and every single one of the Godly Decrees with their myriad natures, and they gnawed at them and played with the Mez tablets like hounds. In'kari's grand plan had worked perfectly, yet the Keeper of Secrets were doomed to wander the Realm of Chaos on his own from now on, for the Prince of Pleasures cast out the Greater Daemon in a pang of acidic envy over his servant's depraved deed, which Slaanesh could never invent himself now that another had come up with the original idea before him. As a final humiliation, Slaanesh transformed In'kari into a silver cow and destroyed the exiled Keeper of Secret's precious androgynity in a stroke which has since been mimicked by certain extatic Slaaneshi fanatics, before anointing In'kari with imperishable musk, perfumes, lusty pheromones and other alluring odours which would arouse every bodily appetite imaginable in mortals and immortals alike.
Thus it was that the once-proud In'kari became the Hunted Cattle of the ever-shifting Realm of Chaos, and she would never again find neither rest nor peace, unless a higher power saved her from the torment.
Twelve Times Twelve: Meanwhile, the almighty and unimaginably wise Father of Darkness foresaw the future necessity for His coming tribe of chosen worshippers to couple Order with Chaos in order to carve out His worldly domain and make Him greater above all the other Dark Gods. Hashut, who tramples the impure when on high, needed the Mez, and knew in His exalted mind how to acquire the lost Godly Decrees.
And so it was, that the fiery Bull God forged twelve ensorcelled shackles, twelve ensorcelled locks and twelve ensorcelled keys, and He forged them in the hot flames which burst snorting forth from His black muffle. Thereupon, He easily captured and broke both the body and will of a Fury which happened to fly by, and He then reforged the wretched Daemon into a cage-like creature without any sense of smell. Next, the Ruler of Flames cast out His powers and beckoned to fleeing In'kari to seek out His stronghold, for there, He promised, she would at last be secure and find a safe haven. She heard His words and took heed, and followed them desperately.
At the first gate to high Hashut's forge citadel stood a cage-like gatekeeper, an enslaved Daemon without any sense of smell, who thus did not know of the enthralling odours emanated by In'kari the Hunted Cattle. And the ever-panicked mind of the silver cow calmed with a brief sense of security, for the gatekeeper did neither wish to harm, nor eat nor mount In'kari. Here, surely, she must be safe from the predations of others.
In'kari the fallen Keeper of Secrets ventured through the twelve gates, and for every one of the twelve gates, the gatekeeper would produce a shackle and lock it onto her, explaining that it was merely the custom of this place, and that her new bonds were symbolic of her current hardships, but that they were to be removed once beyond the twelfth gate. And In'kari accepted these words, and went willingly into slavery, for her essence was weak.
Once the twelfth gate was shut, locked and barred behind her, In'kari found herself in the inner sanctum of her saviour. It was a chamber of fire and darkness. Wreathed in shadow and flame stood the mighty Bull God, and His deeds made the slave realize the betrayal and lies, for high Hashut violated her like no other Daemon or Demigod before Him. The Father of Darkness demanded the Godly Decrees of Order. In'kari refused Him six times, and for each refusal new torture and carnal agonies ensued. After the seventh session of pain, In'kari's feeble will broke, and she agreed to take the Godly Decrees to Hashut, yet the overpowering Bull God continued to violate and torture the Hunted Cattle before releasing her by the twelfth time He demanded the Mez. For the sixth time did He receive In'kari's agreement, and Hashut saw that this was good.
The wicked Daemon harboured plans of treachery and escape in her heart, yet this disobedience was crushed underhoof before it could ever come true, for the wise Father of Darkness revealed to the devastated In'kari that her dozen shackles were too strongly forged for anything but the Dark Gods themselves to shatter or unlock. Indeed, each of the twelve shackles contained a twelfth share of In'kari's Daemonic essence, and with her unnatural soul shards firmly in His grasp, Hashut ordered the slave to gather all the Godly Decrees and take them to Him. The wise Lord of Lords calculated that it would take In'kari twelve perilous journeys back and forth to bring all eight hundred and eighty-eight Godly Decrees of Order to Him.
The Father of Darkness ordered In'kari, the thrall, to carry as many tablets with her as she could possibly overburden herself with, and He threatened her with vile torture, for He possessed all the twelve keys to the twelve locks of the twelve shackles, and thus He needed only to drop one key into flame in order to engulf In'kari the slave in blackest suffering. High Hashut then demonstrated the consequences of failure at once, as any wise master would. One key fell into fire, and In'kari writhed and screamed and wished herself permanently snuffed out from all existence. Yet the cunning Bull God did also promise her to unlock and remove one shackle for each time she returned fully laden with Mez tablets. Indeed He swore an oath in raging fire to release In'kari the Hunted Cattle once her final journey to transport the vaunted documents to Hashut was completed.
And In'kari the outcast believed the mighty Bull God's words.
Descent Into the Nethercaves: The three times four shackled In'kari ran across the roiling Realm of Chaos. Mountains of infinity shot up to bar her way and valleys of despair opened up gaping before the chained silver cow. Daemons of all shapes and temperaments stalked and chased the Hunted Cattle and clawed wounds into her flanks. Yet on In'kari ran, claws pumping to escape torment and pursuit, until finally she reached the shunned Nethercaves, which the Dark Gods themselves do not visist. Indeed it is said that In'kari did not so much as find the gaping entrance to the howling Nethercaves, but that the Nethercaves found her a dozen times in a row, lured by her scents.
The labyrinthine Nethercaves contained dangerous secrets untold and unseen, too excessive even for the Dark Gods to enjoy or tolerate. Here, the lowest of outcast Daemons and hunted Demigods hid and preyed upon each other amid the dust and the gloom. Here, vile reflections and caricatures of the ghastly dead from the mortal world flickered and blinked amidst the darkness. Here, the scum of creation reigned and roared as they fought each other or were impaled by the suddenly growing, suddenly declining stalactites of crystallized terror and stalagmites of frozen insanity. Here, the worst ones of existence drank dirt and ate stone, and both wise and mad ones claims them to be the unwitting guardians of all creation, for deep within the Nethercaves lurks the forbidden Seam of Creation, where the fabric of existence, both real and unreal, was sewn together as everything there is came into being long ago in an ancient age. And should ever the Seam of Creation unravel, so too would the mortal world, and the Realm of Chaos, and the afterworld all come apart in a great cataclysm.
Down into these unspeakable depths of doom did In'kari venture, and uncounted were her hardships and suffering at the hands and claws of monstrosities, at the beaks and talons of ethereal predators. Yet In'kari did not only risk her own eternal essence by plunging into the turbulent maze, for each time the Hunted Cattle descended into the Nethercaves, so too did all bodily appetites of the living cease in the realm of mortals. Thus each terrible trek risked the extinction of all life in the word through starvation or lack of procreation. The omniscient Hashut knew of this, yet still He insisted on In'kari undertaking the twelve hazardous journeys.
A dozen times did In'kari travel to the caverns of outcasts and the rejects of creation, and a dozen times did she nearly drown in floods of the dirt of ages, and was nearly crushed entirely under rushing avalanches of the stones of inevitability, and she was impaled nigh to the end of essence by the rocky spikes shooting out from the walls, the roof and the floor of the Nethercaves. A dozen times did In'kari run while spectres rattled her chains and Daemonspawn tore at her veins. A dozen times did In'kari press on through grievous suffering, to at last reach the remotest corner of the Nethercaves. There, she did a dozen times deceive, bypass or nullify the hexes and evil wards set up by the Dark Gods to guard this prison, yet a dozen times did she also fall into the pitfalls and became a victim of the curses, and horrendous were her agonies, yet nevertheless the slave persevered, for she was ever fearful of the still worse fate to befall her at the hooves of her master and owner, high Hashut the fierce Bull God and Father of Darkness, should she ever fail him on a single trek in this murderous endeavour.
Each time In'kari the Hunted Cattle traversed the Nethercaves to reach the lair of the hideous Allspawn, she faced a problem. How would she carry as many Godly Decrees about her as she could possibly overburden herself with? During each trek, the sly In'kari devised new methods and brought with her new means of carrying the Mez tablets, yet each time they were undone by impossibility or by the torrent of strikes landed upon her by her own children, the ever-shifting Allspawn. Each time, In'kari had to subdue herself to the only option left, and thus she gulped down tablet after tablet to store as many of them safely in her guts as the silver cow could ever possibly stomach.
Her flanks heaved in torment and threatened to burst from inside, and all around her, she would each time during these twelve descents into the Nethercaves be assaulted by all the eight hundred and eighty-eight Allspawn. For the curse of Slaanesh was the only gift she had to distract the guardians of the Godly Decrees from their playthings. As In'kari entered the demented prison of the Allspawn, she succeeded in collecting the treasures because the Allspawn would all turn upon the alluring scents and rend and tear In'kari's flesh to consume it. Claw and fang sank into the fallen Greater Daemon, and for each time she descended, In'kari became ever more gouged and shredded, yet still she persevered out of fear for the wrath of her high master. And Hashut knew that this was good.
The return journeys were only more perilous than the treks down into the Nethercaves, and it seemed as if the torment of In'kari the Hunted Cattle would never end. Yet a dozen times she limped through the twelve gates into the inner sanctum of the Father of Darkness, and there she delivered the founding documents, which contains the blueprints of civilization, in wet dung heaps in front of Hashut's fiery eyes. This sacrilege greatly kindled His wrath, and thus did the vengeful Bull God punish His slave severely upon each delivery, yet He would not provide her with any other means to retrieve the Godly Decrees for that was beneath His station and dignity. The slave would have to fend for herself. For all In'kari's resourcefulness, she could not devise a means to carry more Mez tablets than if she swallowed them, and so she endured in her impure actions and defiled the future customs, laws, arts, sciences and all the other lores of civilization with the spirit of degeneration. High Hashut was in turn forced by this filth to attempt a grand purification of the eternal and divine documents in the fires of severity, but he seemed to keep his word and removed the shackles, one by one.
Thus transpired enslaved In'kari's descent into the Nethercaves.
Whims of the Master: By the twelfth and last time In'kari the Hunted Cattle returned from her journeys and travails, she was nought but a mangled wreck. Limping and stumbling and bleeding blood on the floor, she delivered the last and most important of the Mez tablets to the Father of Darkness, who in His capricious superiority betrayed His promise (for His will alone overrules all oaths, even His own, and thus only Hashut may lie when swearing upon the divine and unholy name of Hashut). The mighty Bull God grabbed the last chain of In'kari's last remaining shackle between His sharp teeth, and with a mighty tug He flung the silver cow into the flames of damnation, where she will be roasted alive for all eternity until the Father of Darkness deems her sufficiently grilled to consume, come the End Times. By keeping the last shackle in place before throwing the Hunted Cattle into the fire, the cruel Bull God did ensure that In'kari the Damned's excruciating pains would be doubly acute in her torment.
Thus did vile Slaanesh's curse upon In'kari the fallen one doom her without any hope of salvation, for it was her appetizing scents which aroused every bodily hunger imaginable in both gods and mortals, that not only drew high Hashut to violate her, but the scents also caused the ravenous Father of Darkness to will Himself to eat In'kari, and this shall come to pass before the world comes crashing down and everything descends into darkness.
To this day In'kari the Damned is turned upon a spit above the fires of damnation, by the mightiest of bound K'daai Daemons to ever have served Hashut and His appointed tribe of conquerors and builders, in both the Realm of Chaos and the world of mortals. Thus did she who brought the gifts of ordered society, come to see her name become a spat curse amongst the Dawi Zharr, and her fate remains a lesson of the capricious cruelty that will befall those who dares to anger the Dark Gods of Chaos. In'kari the Damned is known to all Chaos Dwarfs as the shackled slave Daemon who was ruthlessly exploited by the Father of Darkness to carry back the fruits of civilization for the benefit of His tribe and His dominion on earth, for so below, so above, and a mighty enough empire of devout mortals may yet come to shift the balance of power in the Realm of Chaos.
In the Dawi Zharr mindset, In'kari stands as the archetypical slave who is callously discarded once her usefulness has come to an end. Indeed her treatment by divine and unholy Hashut remains a worthy ideal example which pious Chaos Dwarfs seeks to emulate in their own lives and codes of conduct.
And during the arcane ritual to summon a bound fire Daemon into the scorched chains and armour plates of the K'daai, many a Daemonsmith through the years have sworn that amid the crackling fire of the invoked K'daai did they hear an echo of the bellows of In'kari the Damned throughout the Realm of Chaos.
There, the roasting slave remains, howling in torment.
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This post was last modified: 09-30-2015 06:11 PM by Admiral.