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Orpheon Katakros

Orpheon Katakros

Orpheon Katakros is the Mortarch of the Necropolis and the commander of the Ossiarch Bonereapers. Katakros was once a mere mortal from the Realm of Ghur but an unnaturally skilled general and after his death he led the armies of the underworld of Ossia in the Realm of Shyish eventually coming into conflict with the armies of Nagash. Pledging his allegiance to Nagash, he was remade into a demigod and given the title of Mortarch. During the Age of Myth he was defeated by Sigmar and was imprisoned in the Stormvault beneath Lethis but was released during the Siege of Sorrow. Now remade again in a new form Katakros was given command the newly awakened Ossiarch Bonereapers to lead them against the enemies of Death. [1]

Appearance

The spirit of Katakros is placed inside a body of magically sculpted bone mixed with the finest Shyishan alabaster turning him into a gleaming, statuesque demigod over twelve feet tall.[1c]

Personality

In life, he was driven in pursuit of personal excellence that caused him to be disliked by others whilst his rise in the military was aided by his lack of compassion or mercy. Within Katakros is a void, a disturbing lack of humanity instead filled with a fanatical pursuit of excellence, a trait that makes him similar to the mortal Nagash of the past. [1a][1c]

History

Mortal Life

Orpheon Katakros was born in the Ghurish free cities of Fleizch. During his enlistment in the Fleizch Echelon he found his true calling in the arts of tactics and strategies, convincing him of his destiny as a conqueror. This desire drove him as he swiftly rose through the ranks of the Fleizch military, aided by his lack of compassion and mercy. At night he studied atlases, bestiaries and ancient texts about the art of warfare so that the knowledge he gained would further his rise to supremacy. [1a]

During a fateful battle with the Allherd of the Gharrack Coast he displayed his lethal skills. Outnumbered many times over Katakros used fire-flask catapults to spread wildfires through the forest to drive the creatures out of their lairs and onto his army’s blades. He then led a chariot charge to run down the retreating beastmen but he moved too fast and the rest of his army fell behind. He was attacked by a Ghorgon and thrown from his chariot before being scooped up by one of the beast’s massive hands. Katakros pierced it's heart but the dying creature tore Katakros limb from limb.[1a]

Afterlife

After his death the spectre of Katakros awoke in the boneyards of Ossia, a Shyishan domain of order and purity populated by Fleizchians who believed in hard work and dignity at all times. Through the constant vigilance and maintenance of Fleizch’s dead, the sanctity of Ossia was preserved and its inhabitants knew a quiet contentment. In understanding that death was not to be feared, they found joy. However to the north was the underworld known as Necros where Fleizchians who believed their worldly efforts would be rewarded with an afterlife of luxury went and Necros catered to their every whim. Where the Ossians to the south worked tirelessly even in death, the Necrosans ate grapes and olives in the warm Shyishan twilight, singing happily and drinking sweetblack. This irritated Katakros, driving him to fight once more. [1a]

He joined the military force known as the Ossian Echelon led by the Graven Tutors, deceased generals that believed above all else in the virtue of hard labour. They drilled their troops with merciless intensity but in Katakros they recognised a lack of humanity that he filled with the fanatical pursuit of excellence much like that of Nagash himself and this disturbed them. While his skill in combat allowed him to shine in the ritual duels that determined the hierarchy of the Ossian military his true interest was the perfection of warfare. However he did not revel in it or feel the guilty thrill of obsession and instead he pursued hiis interests with a passionless logic. As a result of his skill he rose from sergeant to captain to general and finally to the rank of High General in the Ossian military. As the High General Katakros created new formations such as the Ossian Shield, the Aegis Immortal and the Katakrosian Deathglaive. He was always surrounded by an entourage of aides and bodyguards and he trusted them, knowing their capabilities but if they failed him they were punished severely and inventively and his lack of mercy and callousness was well known. Under Katakros Chaos worshipping Skaven and Darkoath tribes were wiped out and his name spread across the underworlds of Shyish. However his conquests also brought a vast army of warrior tribes from Morthaven, Hallost and Cadavaris who angered by the loss of their independence due to the campaigns of Katakros invaded Ossia while Katakros was conquering the horse tribes of Equuis Mann. The Graven Tutors sent a message to Katakros via the Aviarchs, a network of spymasters that use fast-flying birds to convey information from one commander to another but his reply ordered them to put their teachings into practice or threatened to exhume their bodies and banish their spirits or enslave them with his pet necromancers. The Graven tutors led legions of specters but were heavily outnumbered. Katakros only returned after twelve weeks when the last Ossian garrison was about to fall and his army replenished by forces of Equuis Main and Praetoria wiped out the invaders but the last of the Graven Tutors grief stricken by the loss of his comrades censures Katakros for his late return. Katakros banishes him and dissolves the Ossian aristocracy except the Echelon and names the new ruling body of consisting of his battlefield generals as the "Ossiarchs". While some belived the late return of Katakros was intentional no one could go against him anymore.[1a][1c]

Mortarch

After being freed by Sigmar, Nagash declared all of Shyish as his sovereign territory and Ossia and Necros were among those closest to Nagashizzar. He sent in his numberless hosts and Ossia’s expert military held them back but Necros had no army. Katakros ordered that Necros be annexed to form a single geopolitical region and began building defences. After holding out for long against the endless armies of undead Ossia attracted the attention of Nagash himself. Realising that defeating the Supreme Lord of the Undead is impossible Katakros travelled to Nagashizzar with a great procession and a made a proposal to Nagash himself. Such was Katakros’ reputation and skill that Nagash not only listened to him, but also accepted the bargain. Katakros offered eternal servitude in return for allowing him to lead the foremost armies until all the realms were consumed by death. Katakros’ spectre was sent to the black fires of Nagashizzar where he was remade into a towering, statuesque terror.[1a]

While Nagash created the Ossiarch Bonereapers and secreted them beneath the cities of the Mortal Realms, Katakros consolidated his position as newly anointed Mortarch and conquered a dozen of the underworlds of Shyish. But during the War of Heaven and the Underworlds when the God-King carved a path of destruction through the Realm of Death Katakros met him on the battlefield even though he knew he could not even hope to defeat a god but faced him due to the will of Nagash. Sigmar smashed his envelopments and defeated Katakros but not even Ghal Maraz could destroy Katakros entirely. Thus Sigmar sealed the Mortarch within a great Stormvault near Lake Lethis where he languished for centuries.[1a]

Age of Sigmar

During the Necroquake Katakros was reawakened and the Penumbral Engines that hid the Stormvault failed. His roar of bitter fury reached all the way to Nagashizzar. Enraged Nagash summoned his Mortarch of Grief, Lady Olynder sent her to attack the city resulting in the battle known as the Siege of Sorrow which resulted in the prison that held Katakros being broken and his essense being released. Katakros’ howling spirit raged across Shyish, traveling back to Nagashizzar in a blistering force of anger and injured pride so strong it left the devastation of a raging cyclone in its wake. It traveled through the Shyish Nadir and into Nagashizzar where it howled around the spires and citadels. [2a][1b]

Nagash took the essence of Katakros and remade it while making sure that his hatred for Sigmar remained unaffected. Katakros was born anew, invested with every iota of artifice Nagash could muster. He was given the glaive Inda-Khaat and the Shield Immortis was given by the Nighthaunt handmaidens of Olynder herself. His raiment of war was enchanted by Arkhan the Black in a ceremony of guardianship. Katakros stepped whole from the laboratories of Nagashizzar as Nagash intoned the sixth hexagrammical rite from the Liber Necros. Katakros was welcomed by his old title ‘the Undefeated’ by the Mortisan order and being in his current incarnation which had been spared the ignominy of defeat, Katakros did not correct them.[1b]

With the Ossiarch Bonereapers awakened and at his command he began studying the Stormcast Eternals. Guided by his Aviarch Spymaster he tracked down the warrior chamber of Thranus Greygaunt who were banishing the Nighthaunt armies plaguing the city of Sendport. Taking direct command of the Mortis Praetorians, the foremost of the Ossiarch legions he trapped and attacked the Greygaunts resulting in the entire chamber being sent back into Azyr while Katakros personally disarmed Lord-Celestant Thranus of both of his weapons before sending his soul back to Azyr carrying his name. Next he turned to face the Molten Horde of Hagran Four-Eye, an alliance of Chaos-worshipping tribes and infernal duardin that had captured nearby Praetoris. He summoned the nomadic forces of the Petrifex Elite who fashioned vast bone pontoons to cross Dead Man’s Blight and reach the northern promontory of Praetoris while Katakros conquered his way up the Necrarch Coast and sent Arch-Kavalos Zandtos to take the opposite side of the continent from Nerozzar in the south via Grandioza to the Ghodrine Peaks, capturing the coast to cut off reinforcements from Hagran’s infamous raiding fleets that were attacking Morthaven and Splin. Hagran himself was in Hallost, joining the invasion led by Khornate armies resulting in his main recruiting grounds in Praetoris being deprived of his leadership which was exploited by Katakros. Katakros easily defeated the disorganised barbarian hordes led by Hagran’s Beastlord lieutenant, Garha the Horned and with each victory more bones were collected and in the final Battle of Lake Elverin tens of thousands of Chaos worshippers were killed alongside Garha. Meanwhile on the Plains of Flesh and Blood in nearby Hallost, Hagran Four-Eye and his army was destroyed by Vokmortian’s host. In Anadiria the infernal duardin of the Strangler’s Peaks were attacked by the Null Myriad whose resistance to magic protected them from conjured lava of the duardin while the artillery emplacements were silenced by Necropolis Stalkers and Morghasts and finally the fortresses were destroyed and the duardin within were masscred. In Equuis Main the Stalliarch Lords forced Khorne worshippers to take refuge in their Dreadholds which were then razed to the ground with balefire by a legion of Crematorians.[1b]

With his empire rebuilt Katakros sends the Ivory Host to invade Ghur to wipe out Greenskin tribes while he himself leads a surprise invasion of the Endgate resulting in it being breached and the army invading the Eightpoints.[1b][1c]

Wargear and Abilities

Orpheon Katakros is a master of tactics and strategy and spending entirety of the Age of Chaos in Stormvault of Lake Lethis dwelling on matters of revenge turned his mind into a sophisticated and dangerous weapon than ever before. While he is also skilled in combat he prefers to focus on more cerebral matters with his indomitable will reaching out to invigorate and inspire his troops whenever his gaze passes across them. [1a][1c][1d]

Katakros is armed with the The glaive Inda-Khaat and the Shield Immortis were while his raiment of war was enchanted by Arkhan the Black himself. Inda-Khaat was enchanted by Nagash himself and created using the same secrets used to create the warpstone weapon that was used to slay Nagash in aeons past. The weapon is able to cut through a marble pillar with a single swing and was intended to be able to damage even gods. The Shield Immortis is an ensorcelled aegis that makes the bearer almost impossible to harm.[1a][1b][1c]

Sources