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The year was VI, 278. After a winter full of ill omens, Orion was reborn into madness. The King in the Woods had ever been given to a wild and wrathful manner, but his behaviour now seemed to be beyond all control — only Ariel considered herself safe in his company. No one could identify whether the cause of this madness was a flaw in the ritual that granted him new life, or some incipient mania of the Elf who was chosen to bear his mantle. Worse, Orion's insanity was contagious, and soon many of Athel Loren's Elves and spirits were at one another's throats. This year, the Wild Hunt was nearly four times its normal size, and wrought great damage even before it left the forest and brought its fury to the lands of Bretonnia.[1a]

Great was the slaughter inflicted upon the domain of Quenelles that year, so great that Fredfar, the duke of that city, had no choice but to rouse a host of knights and bring Orion to battle. Other nobles of the realm counselled against such a course of action, but Duke Fredfar was a man in whom the virtues of chivalry blossomed true, and he refused to sit idly by whilst a great slaughter was wrought upon his peasantry.[1a]

Thus passed Fredfar, Duke of Quenelles, slain in battle with a force of nature that he never stood any chance of defeating. Many of the duke's finest knights perished alongside their master; so many, in fact, that the defences of Quenelles were left sorely weakened. As a result, when the Wild Hunt veered northward to the city itself, the throng of maddened Elves and spirits soon breached the walls and ran amok in the city. Blood ran through the streets as the Wild Hunt vented its fury, and neither the valour of knights nor the bristling spears of Men-at-Arms could check its ferocity.[1a]

In the end, the glorious city was saved only when Orion's rampage carried him into the sacred grove at its very heart. No sooner had he stepped within those verdant bounds than a mist came down, and stillness overtook him for the first time since his rebirth. There are few accounts as to what happened next, for the skeins of mists cheated the eyes of almost all who watched. All agree that a slender figure appeared in the mists beside Orion, but none recount who that figure was, or what words were exchanged between them. At dawn the next day, Orion and the Wild Hunt left ravaged Quenelles behind and returned to Athel Loren. That year, the King in the Woods surrendered himself to the pyre many months earlier than in years past, though no explanation was forthcoming as to why.[1a]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Armies: Wood Elves (8th Edition)
    • 1a: pg. 30