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Hey guys, just wanted to get an opinion on a little backstory I wrote for my WoC army. They're Khorne-based, called the Horde of the Bleeding Gate, and their leader is a Lord called Vargor Hatechild. Comments and criticism welcome.
Vargor was born an orphan.
The marauders of the Bleeding Gate found the aftermath of a massacre on that fateful day. In company of their leader, the warrior-king Morgil, they rode through the wreckage of what was once another tribe’s settlement. Dismembered bodies littered the snow, their lifeblood near-black and frozen solid. Picking through the ruins, they found him.
Cradled in the dead arms of his mother, still attached to her by umbilical cord, he lay. The father was nowhere in sight, presumably one of the bodies that lay heaped at the makeshift gates of the village. Not a sound escaped his lips, but his eyes were open and aware. The poor wench must’ve had just enough time to pull him to her breast before succumbing from her wounds.
His mouth was stained a deep brown from suckling at the streams of blood that had poured from her open throat.
Silently, Morgil looked upon the two-day-old boy. This child was a gift, from the Blood God himself. He was blessed.
“Fetch the skins from my horse,” Morgil said, without taking his eyes from the orphaned boy. “And bring me a blade to cut him free.”
From that day, Morgil had a son.
The first incident occurred when Vargor was only six. He hadn’t spoken a word since the day of his adoption, and was written off as a weakling and a mute by the rest of the tribe. None dared to speak this to Morgil, for the man held a fierce devotion to his new son and surely anyone to speak against that kind of devotion would pay with their blood.
One morning, one of the tribe’s children named Brandon was wandering along the banks of a frozen river, just out of site of camp. All of the able men of the tribe were off on the warpath, plundering spoils and taking slaves to strengthen their cause, and most of the women were gathering food for the warriors’ expected return.
Brandon meandered along the river shore, lost in his own thoughts of becoming a warrior himself on day, when he spotted a figure, standing motionless up ahead. As he neared, he realised he recognised the figure. It was the chief’s son, the mute, staring blankly across the icy river.
“Hey!” Brandon yelled. The mute didn’t move at all.
“Hey!” he yelled again. What was his name...? Brandon was right next to him now, and could see that something was wrong. The mute’s jaw hung slack, and his eyes were fixed intently on the opposite shore.
“Wait, it’s Vargor, right? What are you staring at?” Brandon waved a hand in front of the other boy’s face. Suddenly, Vargor whispered one word, in a puzzled voice.
Before Brandon could even respond, Vargor snapped around with inhuman speed and closed his hands around Brandon’s neck, pulling him to the ground. Right before Vargors thumbs squeezed into his eyes, he saw what was on the other side of the river. An enormous man, clad in ornate armour.
When the women found Brandon’s body, they first thought that the hounds had gotten loose and ripped him to pieces. It wasn’t until they found Vargor, curled up and peacefully asleep across the icy water, covered from head-to-toe in blood, that they realised the truth.
When Morgil returned, a few concerned villagers told him what had happened. He personally executed every one of them.
After that, Vargor was given a wide berth. He began to speak, but only his father would listen. Although laconic and deliberate in his speech, he expressed great curiosity, especially in the arts of warfare and the sacred rituals of the great Blood God his people worshipped. His father taught him well.
7 years later, the warriors of the Bleeding Gate set out on the warpath, as they had done many times. This time, a rival tribe had issued a challenge by abducting and slaughtering most of the Bleeding Gate’s livestock, leaving their bodies in the sun to putrefy and cripple the tribe’s food source. Morgil and his men answered this challenge in full force.
The two warbands met in a deep valley, where neither could be outflanked. Evenly matched in head-to-head brute force, the battle drew on for hours, forcing the two sides to the point of exhaustion. Morgil waded into the carnage at the front line, beating back attackers with his great blade. Standing a full head above the rest, he saw the commotion at the back of the enemy’s ranks before anyone else. It was as if a great wind of blades had slammed into the back of their men, sending rent heads and limbs flying.
One by one, the enemy succumbed to the fear of being attacked on both sides by such force, and broke rank to flee, in vain. Only a few escaped the slaughter. When the last body had fallen, Morgil looked to see what had caused the commotion.
It was Vargor. In each hand, he held the splintered hafts of two battle-axes. He had clearly stolen the weapons and followed them to the battlefield. All around him in a circle lay the broken and cleaved bodies of the foe, heaped to waist height in places.
Morgil took a tentative step forward.
“My son? What are you doing here?” he asked.
Vargor raised his eyes, staring past the warrior-king to the hill behind him. “He’s here”, he snarled, blood and drool running in streams from the corners of his mouth.
“Who’s here, my child?”
“My true father.”
The words froze Morgils blood in his veins. He hadn’t felt fear in many winters, and the feeling was unexpected. Slowly, he turned to follow his adopted son’s gaze. There, silhouetted against the sky, was the figure of a man clad in baroque plate armour. Suddenly, Vargor collapsed.
When Morgil summoned the courage to look again, the figure was gone.
As Vargor grew, so too did his strength and bloodlust. He had finally won the respect and awe of the tribe at the battle in the valley and they hailed him as a hero and champion. Each successive battle, he led them as a general, standing shoulder to shoulder with his father. In a decade, he had come to surpass all others on the battlefield, Morgil included. The other tribes sought to ally with the Bleeding Gate, out of fear of this monster of a man.
As his strength and brutality rose, so too did his reverence and worship of the god of his people. He would consistently lead the rites of sacrifice, inspiring all others to take part in the unholy worship.
Morgil, however, could not forget the terror that had gripped him at his son's words that day. He began to doubt and fear the Blood God, and in turn, Vargor himself. One night, as a fell moon hung in the sky, he went to his son's tent to plead with him to see reason.
“My child, I worry for what you have become”, he said, “You wage war not for survival, but for the sake of violence. You spill more blood than needed.”
Vargor turned his eyes to the floor, silent and still. Morgil reached out and grabbed his hand, gently.
“Your worship of the Blood God has turned you into something inhuman. You have become nothing more than his tool. Nay, his weapon.”
Vargor raised his head, and his eyes were alight with raging flame. He spoke, in a voice that was not his own.
“Then a weapon I shall be.”
Morgils vision faltered and went red as a huge, scarred fist crashed into his temple with unearthly speed, crushing his left eye socket and blinding him. He fell to the floor, gasping in pain.
“Do you want to know who my true father is, old man?” Vargor roared, kneeling down over his back. Another huge blow hit him in the spine, knocking the wind out of him with a sickening snap of bone. Morgil almost slipped out of consciousness, bringing himself back awake only to realise he couldn’t move his body below the neck. He was paralysed, rendered lame by his own son.
“My father is hate. My father is blood, and rage, and the death of all men. I was born from pain, and pain I shall embody.”
Vargor looped a length of rope around Morgils ankles and fastened it tight. Throwing it over his shoulder, he dragged him bodily from the tent. Morgil tried to scream, but could only manage a low, pained moan.
“MEN OF THE BLEEDING GATE! COME AND SEE YOUR COWARD KING!” Vargor bellowed. One by one, they came outside, but not a single one stepped in to hold him back.
No-one stopped Vargor from throwing the end of the rope over a low bough of a nearby tree, and pulling Morgil off the ground to hang upside-down.
No-one tried to free their king as Vargor fetched his axe.
The first swing sliced into Morgils neck, not far enough to separate his head from his body, but just enough to open it up all the way to the windpipe. His eyes went wild as the blade was wrenched back out of his throat, letting blood pour in streams from the open wound. He spun on his rope, gurgling helplessly as his life drained away. Through his one remaining eye, he saw something.
Rising up from the pool of his own blood was the figure of a man. The man from the hill. The man from the river bank. No…. not a man. An empty suit of armour, burning with a tangible rage. It was a gift. A coming-of-age present from Khorne himself. In that split-second, Morgil realised that Vargor had not lied about his true father. For whoever it was that had birthed that child, it was hate that had nurtured him. He was Khorne's will, made flesh.
Vargor spun to the gathered tribe, and in an inhuman voice roared again.
“BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!”
One by one, they dropped to their knees before their new leader, and cried back as one.
“BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!”
Vargor reached out and steadied the dying king with one hand, holding him still. He lifted his huge battleaxe to the side and readied the second swing.
“SKULLS FOR HIS THRONE!”
Last edited by Seroquel1988; May 6th, 2009 at 09:23.
I'm surprised, surprised and impressed! I didn't think I'd like anything about Khorne. But you've got some real thought in this story, and it was very interesting seeing the picture you painted of a savage tribe that worships Khorne. Honestly, I thought that all Khorne worshippers were 2 dimensional psychos like Kharne the Betrayer, but you are right, people aren't that simple, and your story is interesting and compelling because of that.
Nicely done. Have you considered making him into a special character? That fluff is just inviting him. I believe he would give Archaon a run for his money in the being feared department. Archaon would however win a fight being incredibly powerful and the chosen of the gods himself.
Thanks for the comments guys, much appreciated!
Tuxedo, I'm definitely gonna make this dude into a special character for my army. Still figuring out his stats and how I'm going to convert him. I agree though, Archaon would be the clear winner. After all, Vargor's only blessed by one god, instead of all four.
Last edited by Seroquel1988; May 7th, 2009 at 02:34.
0.0 i am actually shaking. That was incredible fluff. I LOVE it. Rep to you! Don't have him face off against Archaon though. Let the two never meet, so that they can both be cool.
If I could finish it...
I can see this guy going up against a castle or some great army, leading the charge. His men falter and begin to break at the hands of superior numbers, but Vargor just keeps wading into the midst of the fighting, taking on the entire army alone. His men rally as they realize that their leader is still back there, and go to save him. They fight and win, such is their desperation to save their patron leader, but they find him dead from dozens of wounds which would have slain a lesser man. Perhaps somewhere in the carnage they find a young boy who did not run with the rest of the army. He hadn't been accounted for at the start of the battle, but his battered body still draws breath. With marauders gathered around him, his eyes slowly reopen, red from the smoke of battle and stained red by gore. "And Skulls For His Throne" he whispers.
Just keeps the character alive. Vargor isn't a man, he's a spirit reborn again and again through the generations.
This looks really good. I'm looking forward to seeing more. One small little bit of a critique is to change the name of the other youth that Vargor kills. Brandon sounds like a real-world name, not the name of someone growing up in Norsca.
Take your time and keep it coming!
I am heading off to the Peace Corps. It is bery likely I will not be back. Good luck to all of you endeavors.
Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Sorry it's taken a while to respond, I haven't had the internet for a few days.
This story is supposed to be part of what may turn out to be an overly ambitious project, but we'll see how we go I guess. I decided I wanted to do a huge showcase army for WoC, with four distinct hordes dedicated to each of the gods. I always really liked the idea of Chaos being these splintered factions of various crazy Northmen, that banded together into armies under rule of whoever was most powerful, and kind of want to build that idea from the ground up.
So the plan is to put together roughly 2k points of army for each god with four custom made special characters as the leaders, with a lot of conversions and better-than-tabletop quality painting, and write a backstory for each army. This is the start of the fluff for my Khorne army, which I'm putting together first.
I'll be writing more on this soon, and posting up a few army lists or pictures of completed models. If there's enough interest I may start a project log.
tuxedo clank: Defeated by a headbutt, nonetheless. Grimgor iz da best.
CaptainSarathai: I like your idea of him essentially being reborn. It might be something I can work in to the backstory at some point. Thanks for the suggestion!
daelrog: In retrospect, yeah, it does sound a tad out of place. I was going for a standard Nordic name, and Brandon suited. Placed against names like Vargor and Morgil though it sounds a bit too real-worldy.
Might I suggest that all the characters come from children who do amazing things. The nurgle could get an arrow in the chest and still be standing when the norse arrive. Slaanesh could be amazingly good at torturing people, maybe a norseman who gets too close. The tzeentch could be sitting in an enchanted fire on tainted grounds. That kinda thing, enphasis of every god.
As good as Grimgor is he is still beatable by a plain vampire lord. Anyway, if you need help, just call, I like writing fluff. Good luck on the rest.