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Wrathmongers

Wrathmongers, Bringers of the Bloodstorm

Even amongst the ranks of the skullreapers, there are those individuals whose absolute devotion to Khorne sets them apart. These are the wrathmongers, lunatic murdersmiths who are revered and feared by their bloodthirsty kin in equal measure.[1a]

Once a Skaramor tribesman begins to walk the path of the wrathmonger, there is no going back. Surrendering themselves to the tutelage of the tribe's Khornate demagogues – known as bloodspeakers – the aspirants are subject to a punishing regime of conditioning and worship. They eat only the flesh of those they slay, and drink only the hot blood that flows from their victims' veins. The bloodspeakers goad the aspirants to battle one another night and day, never allowing them to rest for long before hurling them back into the fighting pits before their baying kinsmen. One by one the aspirants are slain by their fellows, until finally only the most murderous and determined of their number remain.[1a]

Only when this winnowing has taken place will the bloodspeakers lead the worthy upon the Pilgrimage of Skulls. Setting out from their tribal lands, the aspirants strike north. They forge on through myriad dangers, battling all that cross their path and leaving the fallen to rot in their wake. Eventually, the aspirants reach the Brazen Cage: a Khornate shrine stood atop a vast mountain of skulls, on the very edge of the Realm of Chaos. At the mountain's peak, the aspirants discover that the Brazen Cage is aptly named. Bursting from the osseous ground, thick brass bars rise up to form a prison within which a lake of blood bubbles and steams. A crown of spikes juts from the cage's crest, cradling a vast, jagged crystal of blood-red sanguinite.[1a]

Ushered into the cage, the aspirants wade waist-deep into the bloody lake. At the bellowed exhortations of the Bloodspeakers, fiery lights blossom amidst the haze that marks the Realm of Chaos. In answer, the mountain of bones rumbles like an angry volcano, skulls tumbling and rattling down its flanks as the crystal above blazes. Drawn from the beyond by the call of the bloodspeakers, daemons of Khorne flow from the sanguinite stone and fall upon the aspirants. Each man is plunged into a battle for control of his very soul, a war fought at the very core of his being. Rapacious and full of fury, some daemons win the fight, snuffing out the raging soul of the mortal before tearing his living flesh apart. However, the aspirants have been honed and hardened, and many emerge victorious. These warriors force the daemons down, subjugating them to their will.[1a]

The beings that emerge from the Brazen Cage are greater than those that entered. They have become wrathmongers, mortal flesh made mighty through battle, and infused with the unnatural energies of a daemon. They have fought upon the battlegrounds of their soul and emerged victorious; what is there to fear after such a trial? Moreover, they now walk upon the very cusp of reality, the daemon subjugated within providing them with a conduit to the boundless power of the Realm of Chaos. Reality flickers and fractures around them, shuddering under the weight of their bellowing cries. Their flesh twists itself into forms more pleasing to mighty Khorne – teeth become jagged fangs, bodies twist and bulge with corded muscle. In some cases, the wrathmonger's feet or hands become bestial claws, while in others their skin might turn an angry crimson, or weep steaming blood through its pores. Before they leave the mountain to return to their tribes, Khorne's gifts are bestowed upon the wrathmongers by the bloodspeakers. Daemon-wrought armour girds their bodies, while mighty hammer-flails are placed in their hands.[1a][1b]

From the day of their ascendency, the wrathmongers become the elite of their tribe. Those who return from the Pilgrimage of Skulls are viewed with awe and reverence, their snarled words heeded as those of Khorne himself. In battle they are unstoppable, hurling themselves at the foe with unnatural vigour while whirling their hammer-flails in bloody arcs. Armoured knights, hordes of soldiers, mighty beasts or engines of war, none can stand before the wrathmongers in combat. It is unsurprising then, that as the Everchosen leads his last, greatest army to war, the wrathmongers charge at the very fore of the horde.[1b]

Source

  • 1: The End Times Vol V: Archaon Book 2
    • 1a: pg. 28
    • 1b: pg. 29

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