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When Lord Baudrax the Hunter was gifted with his Juggernaut steed, he swore a mighty oath to Khorne. He would tear a path through the very bounds of reality upon its back, leading the greatest hunt in history to claim a truly mighty skull that he could set in tribute at the Blood God’s feet.[1a]

The Red Hunt Edit

For one hundred years and a day, the endless rampage of Lord Baudrax’s Red Butchers saw skulls piled in carrion mountains amid the Godsfall Heights of Aqshy. Even the Stormcast Eternals could not stay Baudrax’s fury. As reward for these bloody tributes, Khorne gifted the lord of the Red Butchers with a monstrous Juggernaut steed. The lord of the Red Butchers swore that he would give thanks to the Blood God for this mighty boon. Astride his new steed, which he aptly named Gouge, Lord Baudrax pledged to lead his Warhorde on a great hunt in Khorne’s honour.[1a]

Khorne answered his champion’s pledge with a powerful vision, hammered like an axe blade into the mind of Baudrax’s Slaughterpriest, Marokh Skullsight. The Slaughterpriest ranted of a mighty huntsman named Skargut, who bestrode the Savage Steppes deep within the Realm of Beasts. Worshipped by thousands, this apex predator was the prophet of his own crude god, known as the Ravenous One, and loudly decried all other deities as false. Furious, Baudrax swore a mighty oath to Khorne that he would slay this base demagogue and take his skull.[1a]

Guided by Marokh Skullsight, Lord Baudrax and his Red Butchers fought through hordes of troglodyte tribesmen and into the depths of a vast, yawning chasm at the heart of the Firefells. Deep beneath the shattered earth, the Bloodbound found the Realmgate known as the Ragged Maw. Plunging into this vast, fanged pit, Baudrax and his warriors tore through the meniscus of reality and emerged beneath the thick amber light of a strange new sun.The Red Butchers had appeared amid the ruins of ancient Kraggengorst, a once great city that crowned a vast stone mesa. Almost immediately, they found themselves beset by the Spiderfang tribes that dwelt amongst the overgrown ruins. For several days Kraggengorst rang to the sound of one vicious skirmish after another, until the greenskins were finally driven back into their deepest holes. Disdainful of such poor sport, Baudrax led his warriors onward. They descended from the mesa to the silver grasslands below.[1a]

The Red Butchers now found themselves upon the Savage Steppes. It was here that Marokh Skullsight was struck by another powerful vision of their prey’s whereabouts. Moving with fresh purpose, the Red Butchers flowed out across the Savage Steppes, Baudrax’s Mighty Skullcrushers galloping at the fore. Day by day, they advanced through whirling storms of screaming dust-wraiths, sudden squalls of amber hail, and baking, brutal heat. Like locusts picking the lands clean, the Bloodbound slaughtered every monstrous beast and primitive tribe caught in their path. After many weeks of battle, they came to a place where gargantuan onyx crags towered over the land. Many were carved with the likeness of a titanic club-wielding ogor devouring herds of wild beasts. Skullsight was in no doubt that the carvings depicted the foe they sought. Sure enough, as the Red Butchers pushed on and the crags drew closer together, Lord Baudrax at last found the prey he hunted.[1b]

As the Red Butchers thundered toward sthe largest of the crags, vast horns sounded from atop its carved slopes. From caves around the crag’s base surged hundreds of Gutbuster ogors, their flesh daubed with warpaint and their voices raised in raucous bellows of challenge.[1b]

Baudrax’s eyes lit with fury as he saw the Beastclaw Hunter whose gigantic Stonehorn mount lumbered at the ogors’ head. This brutish, clubbrandishing figure was surely Skargut, prophet of the Ravenous One. The earth shook as the ogors trampled towards the Red Butchers, who gave vent to a mighty roar of their own. Now there would be blood by the gallon![1b]

Both eager for battle, the two massive armies surged together with an almighty crash that echoed through the valley.[1b]

The whirling flails of Wrathmongers ripped through flab and muscle to leave vile, gory trails in their passing. Mighty Skullcrushers rode their snorting, roaring steeds headlong into the foe, their sledgehammer impact smashing even the huge ogors off their feet in sprays of blood. In return, the Gutbusters swung their clubs with massive strength, crushing ribs and shattering limbs with every strike. Ironblaster cannons boomed. Khorgoraths roared as they tore at their prey. The battle surged and swirled, any notion of strategy abandoned in favour of mindless slaughter.[1c]

Amongst the madness, Baudrax led a mass of Blood Warriors and his Gorechosen Skullgrinder, Solokh,on the hunt for Skargut. Baudrax’s frustration swiftly grew as one band of lumbering ogors after another came between him and the completion of his blood oath. Solokh’s brazen anvil snaked out to smash and mangle. Blood Warriors lopped off tusk-mawed heads, screaming their apoplectic fury even with bodies crushed or limbs torn off. Still it was not enough, and Baudrax howled in rage as he sensed Khorne’s growing impatience.[1c]

The skies turned an ominous deep crimson, and blood began to fall from the skies – a ghastly sign of Khorne’s favour that drew howls of exultation from the Red Butchers. From deep below the earth, the Ravenous One rumbled in displeasure. The sound grew to a roar that shook the ground, and sent chunks of onyx tumbling from the crags to crush any that held the gods’ champions apart. Battered by the falling boulders, the brawling combatants scrambled aside, making way for their masters. Howling Khorne’s praise, Baudrax spurred Gouge into a headlong charge, Solokh and the Blood Warriors pounding after him. Skargut and his hulking steed bellowed in answer, the Stonehorn lumbering forward with its massive horns lowered and Skargut’s Ironguts bulling in behind it. As the two bands charged one another, warriors from both sides watched in awe, their own fights forgotten.Then, in an explosion of mud and gore, Baudrax’s and Skargut’s warriors slammed together with titanic violence. Armour crumpled under thunderous blows. Blood Warriors were smashed off their feet. Ironguts toppled headless to the ground. The chain of Solokh’s anvil rattled as it struck, while Baudrax wove sideways in his saddle, a huge stone antler missing him by scant inches as he swung his axe.[1c]

Source Edit

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