The man who would one day be known as Archaon was born in a small village called Hargendorf, on the coast of Nordland, the result of his mother being raped by a Chaos Marauder during one of the many Norse raids of the Empire's northern settlements.[1a] Born in 2391 IC, the baby was the death of his mother, Viktoria, and her husband, Roald, could not bear the sight of him.[1b] The midwife who attended the birth reluctantly took the child on the road with her, eventually leaving him on the steps of a Church of Sigmar, before abandoning him. The child was nearly savaged by wolves, before the local priest, Hieronymous Dagobert, appeared and drove them off.[1c]
Dagobert raised the child, whom he named Diederick and who grew tall and strong.[1d] When he was old enough, he became a squire to Sieur Kastner, a Templar of Sigmar (albeit a fat, intemperate, drunken and womanizing one).[1e] Kastner died ignominiously in 2406, after falling into a pit trap in the Drakwald and being eaten by Night Goblins, who also killed Diederick's fellow squire, Nils. Diederick himself survived by the skin of his teeth, and retrieved Kastner's sword, Terminus, and his warhorse, Oberon. With no place to go, Diederick decided to use an idea suggested by Nils just before he died: Kastner's long-suffering wife was a generous (and spiteful) woman, who used her husband's considerable wealth to encourage the ambitions of his many bastard children, who were likewise encouraged to take their father's last name.[1f] Diederick presented himself at Kastner's ancestral home as one of these children, and was eventually christened Diederick Kastner, a Templar of the Knightly Order of the Twin-Tailed Orb.[1g]
It was in 2420, after several years of knightly deeds in Sigmar's service, that Diederick was started down the road to damnation. In Hochland, Diederick rescued a young novice nun, Giselle, from a band of Beastmen. In combat with the monsters' champion, Diederick clashed Terminus against the other's weapon, breaking off a shard of warpstone that flew into his faceplate and pierced his eye. After killing the last of the Beastmen, Diederick collapsed and was brought back to Dagobert's church, insensible with pain and fever.
Giselle had been tasked by her abbess to flee the destruction of the convent with dangerous tomes of Chaos knowledge that had been kept in the convent's vault. These included the Liber Celestia, a series of prophecies by the Tilean heretic Necrodomo the Insane. Reading some of these prophecies, Dagobert was disturbed to realize that some had already come true, and even more disturbed that Diederick seemed to be the prophesied Everchosen of Chaos. Diederick overheard this, and in spite of his injuries, insisted on accompanying Dagobert and Giselle on their mission to deliver the forbidden books to the Grand Theogonist at Altdorf.
According to the Daemon Prince Be'lakor, Diederick's fate was guided by the powers of Chaos since before his birth. Be'lakor sought to create a perfect champion to bring about the next age of Chaos, one whose body Be'lakor would itself assume when the time was right[1h]. Be'lakor claims to have "interceded" on the child's behalf several times, without which he never would have been born or else died several times over:
- His mother's husband, Roald, arrived home in time to prevent his wife's rape by the Norse raider[1i];
- His mother, Viktoria, aborted her unwanted child and cast it to the waves[1a];
- Diederick caught a fever and died under Father Dagobert's care[1d];
- Diederick was kicked in the head while tending Oberon in Sieur Kastner's service and died soon thereafter[1e];
- Diederick died when a priestess of Shallya tried, unsuccessfully, to extract the warpstone sliver from his head;
- After learning that he was the prophesied Everchosen, Diederick hanged himself rather than become so;
He read ancient manuscripts written by Necrodomo the Insane, which contained blasphemies about the religion of Sigmar and the nature of Chaos. Screaming in rage, he called the gods liars and burned down the temple and manuscript. He then hunted down and killed his entire family. Adopting the name Archaon, he travelled north towards the Chaos Wastes. There he offered himself to the Chaos Gods as a tool of destruction. His lifespan unnaturally extended by his Chaos patrons, Archaon spent the next century gathering the Six Treasures of Chaos:
- The Mark of Chaos: This shows the bearer to be the chosen of all four Chaos Gods. It was received at the Altar of Ultimate Darkness in Naggaroth.
- The Armour of Morkar: Extremely resilient and dark black, this armour was worn by Morkar, the first Everchosen of Chaos, who was killed by Sigmar.
- The Eye of Sheerian: When mounted in the Crown of Domination, the Eye grants the bearer potent powers of prophecy and omniscience. It was taken from the hoard of the Chaos Dragon Flamefang.
- Dorghar, Steed of the Apocalypse: A massive, daemonic horse, Dorghar was claimed at the Gates of Chaos, stolen from the Daemon Lord Agrammon.
- The Slayer of Kings: A huge blade with the raging soul of a captive daemon, U'zhul, bound inside it. Archaon took it from the hands of Krakanrok the Black.
- The Crown of Domination: A symbol of absolute authority to the forces of Chaos and sheer terror to their foes. Found in the First Shrine to Chaos at the Worlds Edge Mountains. Archaon learned its location from Be'lakor and fought a Bloodthirster single-handed to obtain it.
Storm of Chaos
Archaon's ultimate goal during the Storm of Chaos was to storm Middenheim, enter the Temple of Ulric, and corrupt the Eternal Flame with his own essence, extinguishing it and ushering in the End Times. After ruining two provinces of The Empire and ravaging a third, Archaon battled Valten, Exalted of Sigmar in single combat. Valten taking a seemingly mortal blow, Archaon was then hit in the head by Luthor Huss but sent Huss flying with a back-hand blow. Archaon was then blind-sided by Grimgor Ironhide, the Orc warlord. Grimgor raised his weapon for a death blow, but merely proclaimed, "Grimgor iz da best!" and left Archaon on the ground. Archaon is rumoured to have retreated to the Chaos Wastes, leaving the Empire in shambles.
Upon retrieving the Crown, Be'lakor performed the coronation that made Archaon the Lord of the End Times. Leading a vast army of Chaos warbands united under his banner, Archaon marched on Empire from the north, while his herald, Vardek Crom, marched from the east, over the World's Edge Mountains. Archaon killed Volkmar the Grim, Grand Theogonist of Sigmar, with one blow from the Slayer of Kings by unleashing the power of U'zuhl, the daemon bound within it.
The End Times
Age of Myth
Archaon invasion to the Mortal Realms was heralded by various sign like:
- His mark appearing burned into the skies or carved into the earth.[2a]
- Statues in Azyrheim started wept tears of blood.[2a]
- Seers and wise men were plagued by dreams of a great blade cleaving the realms.[2a]
- The city of Twelve Spires fell in a single night, the army disappearing before dawn broke. leaving behind a vast banner made of freshly flayed human skin.[2a]
- All those who ventured out at night heard whispers, mostly incoherent, except for a phrase that was frequently uttered by these voices of the darkness: "The Everchosen comes!"[2a]
Age of Chaos
The conquest of the Allpoints was Archaon's key strategy in his plan to conquer the realms, so he attacked all of its gates simultaneously. Sigmar's armies managed to hold out, until the bridge to the Realm of Shyish, guarded by Nagash fell. After his victory he opened a gateway to the Realm of Chaos and renamed it the Eightpoints.[2a]
Archaon commanded his forces to cause further sedition in the Pantheon, working to break communications between the gods using a network of spies and agents. These gods tried to fight the Everchosen's armies, but their divisions, both in spirit and purpose, led to only to frustrations as Chaos took even more of their domains. The mortals of the realm were reduced to savage tribes and broken kingdoms, too weak to oppose the will of the Champion of Chaos. Still, Archaon ordered their complete annihilation.[2a]
In the Battle of the Burning Skies, Archaon faced Sigmar after he had just four greater daemons of each of the Dark Gods. Archaon's trickery robbed him of Ghal Maraz forcing Sigmar's armies to retreat.[2a]
Seeing the resistance of the Sun Kings of Atar through a golden orb that hand high above the Solar Bastion, Archaon ordered his wizards to weave a spell of winter across Atar. When the Bastion fell it's people were cowering in their frozen keeps.[2a]
As many millions fled Archaon's armies into Azyrheim, it was discovered that the refuges were infected with a sorcerous contagions. Sigmar had to order many to turn away from his gate and many within his realm destroyed. When the Gates of Azyr close, Archaon was furious that he was denied his prize. He vented his wrath on the people that the God-King had abandoned.[2a]
The priests of Starholm tried to banish Archaon with a prayer, but instead the spell loosed U'zuhl from the Slayer of King, turning the place into embers before Archaon was able to recapture the daemon and sealed it within his blade.[2a]
Many champions swore to their gods that they would slay Archaon, they all failed their severed heads hung from his trophy racks. One of these was Athesia, Immortal Champion of the Silver Citadel, which he fed to Dorghar so he could forever remind her of the loss.[2a]
After the Splintershard War, Archaon built the Cage of Bones from the remain of Nagash's armies. Binding them in Chaos-forged tether, the legion of undead writhed uselessly at they tried to obey the commands of the Great Necromancer.[2a]
Age of Sigmar
Sigmar's Tempest broke across the Mortal Realms sending the Stormcast Eternals as lighting bolts into battle. Archaon quickly sent armies after them so he could gauge their strength and although he lost many thousands, he still had endless hosts to call upon. Their arrival made many old gods rise to action, gathering armies to settle ancient scores. He mustered his Realm Lords - the generals of his armies - and planned for the destruction of the Stormcast.[2a]
He first faced these new foes on Mount Kronus, slaughtering the Hammers of Sigmar, hewing their finest apart with the Slayer of Kings. Realising Sigmar's plan to conquer the Realmgates he reinforced the Eightpoints and sabotaged many Realmgates with murder spells. The Primal Vortex, the Ironstar Gates and the Crystal Portals of Hysh were just a few of these place where Stormcast fell prey to these spells.[2a]
|"Fear me mortals, for I am the Anointed, the favoured Son of Chaos, the Scourge of the World. The armies of the gods rally behind me, and it is by my will and by my sword that your weakling nations shall fall." |
~ Archaon, Lord of the End Times
- 1: Archaon: Everchosen (Novel) by Rob Sanders
- 2: Battletome: Everchosen
- 2a: pg. 29-32
- Warhammer: Champions of Chaos (5th Edition), Needs Citation
- Warhammer Armies: Hordes of Chaos (6th Edition), Needs Citation