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Reeknik

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Grey Seer Reeknik has outwitted his rivals at every turn in his quest to find the fabled ensorcelled heart of the Wyrd-Engine. He rose to power after years of cunning schemes, where upon he set about building a weapon of devastating power to destroy the Fyreslayers. Enlisting the aid of several of the Clans Skryre, the Grey Seer constructed a sorcerous incinerator of prodigious size to hurl fire into the duardin tunnels. After the subsequent disaster of the Warpfire Flood, the blame for which was laid squarely at the feet of his incompetent warlords, Reeknik devised a new and even more deadly plan – the massive Verminous Machine. Despite the throngs of duardin that perished in the gnashing jaws of the clanking serpent, and the spectacular explosion that accompanied its eventual destruction, victory still eluded Reeknik.[1a]

By this time, both Fyreslayer and skaven dead had been lost in droves to melted or collapsed tunnels, leaving impromptu tombs throughout the Wyrd-Engine. Reeknik planned to use these nests of decay to his advantage…[1a]

History Edit

War of the Wyrd-Engine Edit

The ratmen boiled up from the bowels of the Wyrd-Engine. At the entrances to the Fyreslayer’s cavernous forge-temple, sweating lines of Hearthguard locked ranks, sharing eager grins for the battle to come. They did not have to wait long. Like a breaking wave of yellowed fangs and rusting blades, the skaven crashed into the duardin defences. In their eagerness to kill, the ratmen scrambled over each other, the air heavy with their stench. The first ranks of clanrats met their end upon sharpened axes and blazing magmapikes, dying with piteous shrieks. Soon, the entrance to the forge-temple was heaped with skaven dead. However, this was only the barest fraction of Grey Seer Reeknik’s attack.[1a]

Bursting through the bodies of the fallen came the Grey Seer atop his Screaming Bell. Hundreds of slaves heaved and screamed under the lash of skaven overseers to drive the massive war machine into the forge-temple.Then, with a deafening clang, the bell rang out, and the closest duardin fell totheir knees at the awful sound, hands pressed to their bleeding ears. At that same moment, Reeknik spat out the final hateful syllable of his vermintide incantation, and in the tunnels below, skaven charges blasted open blocked passages. From the depths came the sound of a million claws scrabbling over steel, and Reeknik cackled with glee. Soon, the Fyreslayers would be no more![1a]

Then like a roar of rushing water, the sound of hissing throats rose up from below, and a pale wave crashed into the rearmost ranks of the skaven army. At first, the screams of the ratmen dyingin the tunnels were drowned out by the battle raging for the forge-temple. Afew at a time, then in ever-increasing numbers, twisted bodies were glimpsed by the Grey Seer through the ranks of his army. The tide of rats he had summoned had not materialised, and Reeknik could not fathom why. All too soon, though, the terrible truth became apparent: a vast army of ghouls and their depraved undead king had been loosed from the deep tunnels where they had been feasting on a bounty ofs kaven and duardin corpses.[1a]

Stuffing rancid rat-flesh into their mouths, King Splinterblood’s mordant warriors tore through the skaven like starving beasts. The clanrats desperately tried to mount a defence, raising battered wooden shields and lowering rusting spears. Though scores of ghouls were sent hissing to the ground with skaven blades in their guts, hundreds more vaulted over their bodies. Crouched on a tumbled archway looking up the long tunnel leading to the forge-temple, Splinterblood snarled out orders to his soldiers, his blood mad eyes seeing not a slaughter house filled with naked flesh and matted fur but a regal army pushing back its foes. Warriors in bright livery hacked down the rat-beasts with blows from their shining swords, while among the press of infantry, plumed knights spitted enemies on gleaming lances. If a soldier let out a war cry and held aloft a weeping trophy, or a knight leant down to lap blood from his weapon, it disturbed the king not at all.[1b]

As the mordant court fell upon the rear of the skaven army, the ratmen found themselves fighting a war on two fronts. In the temple proper, the Grey Seer urged his slaves to push his war carriage deeper into the cavern. Seeing their nemesis, Rygorn-Grimnir and his sons joined the fight, their Magmadroths spitting flame as they tore their way toward the Grey Seer. From the monolithic statue of Grimnir in the centre of the temple, the lodge’s Runemaster and his Runesmiters rang out a steady beat of hammers on anvils, the ur-gold runes of the duardin burning brighter in response.[1b]

To counter the Fyreslayers, Reeknik ordered his Stormvermin forward.The black-furred warriors scurried into the fray, their halberds and heavy armour forming a wall of ragged steel. Turning his attention back to the ghouls, the Grey Seer hurled bolts of black-green sorcery, each arcing spark of energy bursting apart twisted bodies and ripping holes in Splinterblood’s force. However, the mordants were now coming from all sides at once. In addition to the main thrust, the abhorrant had sent his Ghoul Patrol to hunt around the ratmen’s flanks, ambushing reinforcements as they tried to race to the battle and picking off those still trapped behind the Grey Seer’s mighty Screaming Bell.[1b]

A sudden, bold charge by Rygorn’s Runesons broke through the Stormvermin lines and turned the skaven warriors to flight. Seeing this, Reeknik furiously motioned forward his underlings to protect him from the vengeance of the Fyreslayers, blind to the true threat. From the shadows, Splinterblood’s Deadwatch swoopedin. Latching on to the bell, they tore its supports apart, sending the great instrument crashing to the ground. The Crypt Infernal snatched up the Grey Seer himself, hoisting him away from the furious Rygorn-Grimnir.[1b]

Incensed by the arrival of this new foe, the Fyreslayers surged through the skaven lines. Clangour from the anvil altar in the middle of the vast chamber filled the air, and the thumping tempo of their bare feet on stone echoed into the yawning darkness on all sides.The skaven, still clustered around the single megalithic entrance to the forge-temple,tried to stand their ground, but leaderless and trapped between two savage foes as they were, what little courage they possessed was quickly melting away.[1c]

Even before the final booming toll of the falling bell had faded, the ratmen were fleeing. What little semblance of order that had existed was gone, and the space between the mordants and duardin became a morass of scrabbling claws and filthy fur. In its death throes, the Grey Seer’s army still inflicted massive casualties. Fyreslayers vanished under a storm of notched weapons, while the King’s Ghouls were in danger of being overwhelmed by ravenous vermin even as they tried to devour the fallen.[1c]

Across the battlefield, the Runefather spied Splinterblood feeding on the hated Grey Seer. The Abhorrant Ghoul King, feeling the duardin’s eyes upon him, looked up from Reeknik’s exsanguinated remains, black blood running down his face. With a bellow, Rygorn ordered his Auric Hearthguard to attack, and the air sizzled as magma pikes hurled flaming projectiles at Splinterblood. The abhorrant leapt away, jumping halfway across the huge forge-temple to land before the altar. Following their king, the mordants barrelled forward over the surviving skaven. In the lead, the Crypt Horrors of the Abattoir cleared a path for their smaller kin. Soon, Fyreslayers and ghouls were embroiled toe-to-toe from one end of the cavern to the other. In the mayhem, the few remaining ratmen made good their escape, the surviving warlords already planning an illustrious return…[1c]

Weakened by the skaven assault, the Fyreslayers were driven back toward the towering statue of Grimnir that loomed over the anvil-altar like a grimacing mountain. There, theyfought a defence to the ringing of the golden anvils, but they were without their leader. Rygorn and his sons were still pursuing Splinterblood, murder in their eyes. The abhorrant saw his foes’approach and, with a hiss, called forth his Terrorgheist. Booming wing beats accompanied the monster’s arrival, and with a graceful jump, Splinterblood leapt up onto the beast’s neck just as his opponents got close enough to launch their attack.[1c]

Source Edit

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