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Although the primary worship amongst the Druchii is that of the dark god of murder, Khaela Mensha Khaine, there are a number of lesser cults dedicated to the other deities of the Cythari, the gods of the underworld which are in opposition to the Gods of the Heavens; the Cadai. But such is the bloody-hold that the manyfold cults of Khaine that should another cult gain too much strength they are damned to fall beneath the blades of the murder-god's followers should they attempt to usurp their places. But there ares ome whose devotion, be it out of corrupt piety or personal gain, outweighs their fear of the murder cults and drive them to push their own agendas forward.
Vahik Ashsword was such an elf. He was born in the black city of Clar Karond, Vahik was once a corsair of great skill. A warrior aboard one of the dreaded Black Arks, Vahik rose to prominence as a Reaver. Known for his brutal dedication to the God of Destruction, Ellinill, it is said he would take his share of captives and burn them alive in a great pyre before piercing their heart with his sword, leaving it there until the sacrifices were completely immolated, after which he with withdraw his blackened blade, now 'blessed' by his vile deity. From his practice, one which spread amongst his fellow corsairs, he gained the title Ashsword.
It was without effort that he seemed to become the head of a growing cult. After two centuries on the black arks he withdrew back to Naggaroth and began a more active role as the head of Cult of Ashworn. But as this cult grew, so did his enemies. And hidden by darkness, a foul assassin landed a glancing blow against him one night. But even such a blow, made with a venom-soaked blade, can be deadly fatal. His closest followers took him and ran as a purging began. Thousands of the Ashsworn cultists died, and those that didn't found themselves sacrifices to Khaine and other gods.
But this was not the end of Vahik Ashsword...
Although dying from a blow which was dipped in untold numbers of poisons crafted by expert venomists the stubborn warrior refused to die, fading in and out of consciousness until he finally rested in a deep sleep. His followers could but watch as the venom destroyed his body from the inside out, until a dark miracle occurred. Out from the hidden cave they had kept him walked their lord and master, the dread Vahik Ashsword. He came out clad in obsidian black armor which seemed to crack as if molten, holding his ash-blackened blade, and clutching a shield which radiated heat like a blazing pyre.
Though dwindled, there was still many who had escpaed the purging of the Cult of the Ashsworn. To these remaining followers he proclaimed that as his soul decended into the underworld he was met by the mighty Ellinill. And to Ellinill, he said, he made a dread pact. Ellinill, the many-faced god of destruction, sought out Hekarti, goddess of dark magics. Together, they brought back Vahik, gifting him with the ability to fight off the foul poisons which could never be purged from his system and the power to destroy those who had conspired against him. But in exchange he pledged himself and his cult to them, to go forth and conquer in their name. For life and vengeance he, and his followers, would become the avatars of this unholy pair. And such was sworn the Pact of Conquest.
Vahik's vengeance was swift and terrible, the shock of his survival and fast retribution of his followers stunning those who had conspired against him. And after he had dashed their blood against the ground and burnt their bodies in sacrifice he gathered up his swollen numbers, knowing that he could not prevail against the full might that would be directed at him, and feld across the sea to the shores of the Old World.
And so began the true life of Vahik Ashsword, the dreadlord of the Pact of Conquest and self-proclaimed servant of Ellinill. Every so often a new group of exiles and renegades will join him, allowing his numbers to remain constant as his band marches across the Old World, fighting all opposition that their prophet leads them to as they fulfill their eternal pact...
Something I wrote up, first draft of it at least, for the background of my Dark Elf army. Essentially, I wanted to do a Dark Elf army based in the Old World with less then friendly ties to Khaine and the other cults. Part of me feels it makes him sound a bit too powerful and 'mary sue'-ish, but I still like the concept, at least. Mechanically, he's a dreadlord with the Armor of Eternal Servatude, Sword of Ruin, and an Enchanted Shield mounted on a Cold One, also with a Sea Dragon Cloak.
sounds cool--- dreadlords of whatever mettle would have legends around them; if only for propaganda -- so the story works for me fluff wise
the other DE gods offer a good place for armies especially that dont use witch elves*just because they are khainite.
Yeah, thats why I left out if it's all true to things. Really, it's what he's SAID happened. What really happened could be very different.
Ive been toying with the idea of an army apart from the witch king to justify the volume of other DE im fighting fluff wise --- so how would a renegade black ark; or just renegade drreadlord make his trade?
he would probably slave, for the kingdoms of the east--or even the free cities; and araby --- could use some ogre maneaters and bolt throwers or ogres and hydra if you want the brute strength
but you could give them a design that reflects whatever place they have made a home away from the witch kings influence. and his corrupt slanesh serving mother
maybe give the warriors japanese feeling by mounting standards on the back like the old samurai lords did ; or go with the aztec thing to reflect a home in lustria( or primitive) ; and turbans and robes to reflect a home in araby !