Vorgaroth

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Vorgaroth the Scarred is a legendary warrior of Khorne's Bloodbound known for riding the dragoness known as Skalok, the Skull Host of Khorne. The path of slaughter and destruction across the Mortal Realms this pair has left behind is thing of legends having run for millennia with countless victims and making a colossal tower of skulls. If given the chance he would his slay his mount like his mount would slay him, but their partnership has razed civilisations and made them the favourite way for the Blood God to turn the tide of battle in his favour when his mortal armies falter. Or whenever the pair finds a sign of bloodshed when flying high above, ever-watchful for a chance to swoop down and bring death and destruction.[1][2]

History

The Khornate warlord known as Vorgoroth the Scarred is high in the favour of the Blood God and has become swollen with his patron's dark power. Standing as tall as an Ogor, his body rippling with muscles born of dark and unholy power, he towers over the bloodthirsty warriors that serve him, just as his terrifying legacy dwarfs the deeds of lesser champions of the Blood God. Indeed, Vorgaroth demands unwavering obedience from any of Khorne's followers that are in his presence, and will severely punish any warriors who show the slightest sign of fear.[3]

The horrible scars that mar Vorgaroth's flesh and give him his epithet are said to have been inflicted by Khorne himself as punishment for his single failure, many years past.[3]

Origin

Eons ago, upon the World-That-Was, Vorgaroth was a mere mortal, one of thousands of barbarian warlords who waged war across the northern lands. A fearsome warrior, he would regularly lead the strongest of his people out onto the surrounding plains in bloodthirsty raids, attacking rival tribes and slaughtering all who dared to stand against them. For his successes on the battlefield though, Vorgaroth would pay a terrible price - for upon returning from one such raid, the warlord found that his settlement had been ravaged by Ogors, the corpses of dozens of his family and followers left strewn amongst the destruction left by the beasts' attack.​[3]

Blinded by fury, Vorgaroth roared his grief to the heavens, pledging his life and soul to whichever god would grant him retribution. It was no less than the Blood God Khorne who answered. A strength and rage the likes of which only a god of war can bestow consumed Vorgaroth's mind and body, and as the red mist of battle fully descended upon him, with axe in hand, the warlord and his remaining warriors set off to hunt down the foe.​[3]

It did not take long to seek out the Ogor tribe, a trail of half-gnawed human bones betraying the location of their encampment. Storming into their midst, Vorgaroth and his warriors fought and butchered each and every Ogor within, though by the end not one of Vorgaroth's warriors had survived. His vengeance complete, the warlord was true to his word. Raising the severed head of the Ogor Tyrant as tribute, Vorgaroth pledged his life and his soul to his new master. pleased with the slaughter enacted in his name, Khorne in turn blessed his new follower with the monstrous strength and great height of the Tyrant, Vorgaroth's body twisting and writhing with intense pain as he was transformed.​[3]

As the centuries rolled on, and the Mortal Realms came into being, Vorgaroth continued to fight in Khorne's name, unleashing his fury upon any who dared to stand in defiance of the Blood God. Blessed with his patron's gifts, upon the field of battle Vorgaroth spurned armour, preferring the greater freedom of movement to swing his axe, to fight with his flesh exposed to the elements, and to feel the spray of blood and viscera from his victims. Never in a thousand battles was he defeated. Yet with each crushing victory he delivered, his arrogance grew and inevitably his pride would cause the vaunted servant to fall from the Blood God's favour.​[3]

Battle of the Cursed Spires

it was at the Battle of the Cursed Spires where Vorgaroth's star fell from its ascendance, where the Stormhost known as the Fists of Sigmarite had come to crush his Gorehost. Over ten thousand frenzied Bloodreavers screamed and roared Vorgaroth's name as they strode to war; their deafening battle cries audible far before the vast army could be seen, and when the two forces met, the strength and skill of the Stormcast were in perfect balance with the vast numbers of Vorgaroth's hordes.​[3]

For days the battle raged on, with neither side able to claim victory. As days turned into weeks, impatient to claim his tally of skulls, Khorne dispatched a Daemon Host, led by the Daemon Prince Ra'korlash, to bolster his mortal armies. But Ra'korlash's presence angered Vorgaroth. The Chaos Lord believed that he alone on the battlefield deserved Khorne's favour, and he would not share it with any other. His bloodlust fuelled by jealous rage, Vorgaroth slew all in his path, fiercely determined to carve his way to Vardus Balestorm, the Lord-Celestant of the Stormhost, to claim the commander's skull and end the battle once and for all.​[3]

When they met, even Balestorm's considerable martial prowess could not stand for long against the enraged warlord, and with a final strike, Vorgaroth sundered the Stormcast's sword and kicked him sprawling to the dirt. Yet, as Vorgaroth approached his beaten enemy to claim his prize, he was flung aside by the pinioned wings of his daemonic rival, and Ra'korlash plunged his claws deep into Balestorm's chest. Enraged that Ra'korlash had claimed his kill, and with it the glory of victory, Vorgaroth's fury exceeded even that he had felt upon seeing the death of his tribe so many centuries before. He charged the Daemon Prince, and axe connected with daemonic plate as Vorgaroth engaged Ra'korlash in a whirling maelstrom of metal and blood.​[3]

For hours, the fought, but it was Vorgaroth who would eventually win and, with a final upward swing, he lodged his axe firmly in Ra'korlash's neck, tearing out the daemon's throat as he wrenched his weapon free. But Vorgaroth's vengeance was not yet complete. Blinded by his rage, Vorgaroth hacked at the neck of his rival, removing its head and holding it aloft to show his master that he would not share victory with any other. But there were no cheers of celebration from his followers, for whilst their duel had raged, the scales had tipped in the Stormhost's favour and his armies had been defeated; the Fists of Sigmarite were now advancing and were nearly upon him. Even Vorgaroth knew he could not stand against them alone and he was forced to flee. His pride had cost him everything.​[3]

The Scarred

Vorgaroth had never experienced the bitter taste of defeat. It was like ashes in his mouth. As he fled the battlefield, through a quagmire of mud, corpses and congealed blood, Vorgaroth knew that the Blood God would make him suffer for his arrogance and his failure. it was not long before a thunderous roar consumed Vorgaroth's mind, paralysing him where he stood. The Blood God's rage knew no bounds, and he tore Vorgaroth's flesh and bone apart, rebuilding him over and over again. It must have felt like an eternity for Vorgaroth until Khorne's rage subsided. The disgraced champion was hideously scarred, but was still alive - Khorne still had plans for him. Were it not for the number of skulls Vorgaroth had already claimed, he would most likely have been slain where he stood. instead, Vorgaroth would be given one chance only, to atone for his folly.​[3]

Khorne ordered Vorgaroth to hunt down and claim the skull of the mighty Godbeast, Skalok, a gargantuan Dragon that roamed the mountain ranges in the northern wastes of Ulgu. Such as task was undoubtedly near-impossible, one that no mere mortal could accomplish, the hostile conditions of that land and the legendary wrath of the dragon having claimed many a life already. But Khorne cared not; either way, his throne would have one more skull.​[3]

His task set before him. Vorgaroth journeyed into Ulgu's vast wastes. His hunt for the Godbeast would test every ounce of his being, and the deadly environs of that realm alone could have claimed his life at any point. Yet as he ventured on, Vorgaroth never baulked at his task, slaying the many ferocious beasts who stalked him as prey through the desolate rocky landscape or attacking hordes of tribal Orruks that lay in his path. Weeks turned into months, months into years and years into decades and still Vorgaroth's search proved fruitless. But at long last he saw a dark shadow on the horizon, circling the peak of the highest mountain. His quarry in sight, Vorgaroth pressed on, climbing the jagged rocks until finally he reached a ledge near the top where the sight of a gaping wound in the side of the rockface greeted him. A red glow pulsated from deep within, and the stench of burning flesh filled Vorgaroth's nostrils - he had at last found Skalok's lair.​[3]

As Vorgaroth clambered deeper into the mountain, over massive piles of cracked and blackened bones, the heat that belched forth became increasingly intense, and the rocks underfoot seared his flesh. Oblivious to the pain, so determined was he to finally hunt down the Godbeast. Vorgaroth found himself in a high cavern and at its rear lay Skalok, hungrily feating upon the carcass of a Thundertusk. Without hesitation, Vorgaroth charged, bellowing out a fearsome challenge as he closes the distance.​[3]

Rising from her meal, the great dragon swept towards him with murder in her eyes. Very few had trespassed upon her domain before, and of those none had survived. However, Skalok had foolishly underestimated Vorgaroth, and as she swiftly closed the distance and reached out for him with her razor-sharp claws, he deftly twisted to one side, Skalok's talons just missing his head by a hair's breadth. With consummate skill, Vorgaroth raised his weapon as the dragon thundered past and the bit of his great axe as it connected with her flesh gave the Godbeast a reminder of pain, something she had not felt in a long while, the blade sinking deep into her leg. Howling in anger, Skalok lashed out, her long tail whipping into Vorgaroth's chest, throwing him across the cavern and into its far wall. Reeling from the force of the blow, his lungs burning and blood frothing in his mouth. Vorgaroth staggered to his feet just as the dragon swung round to charge again. Bellowing with rage, Voragoth charged too and the pair of them began their fight to the death.​[3]

Axe met tooth and bloody claw in a battle that shook the mountain range, Vorgaroth feinting his way between the dragon's ferocious attacks to slice at her flesh using his Khorne-blessed weapon and strength to hold back the onslaught of blows that Skalok launched in return. Eventually, it was Skalok who faltered first, the network of cuts the warrior had carved into her body causing her to slip in a pool of her own blood. The opportunity presented, Vorgaroth's axe found its mark and he lodged it firmly in Skalok's skull. The great beast crashed to the ground exhausted and dying, Vorgaroth letting out a roar of exultation before freeing his axe, ready to deliver the killing blow.​[3]

But the axe never fell. Rather than accept the dragon's skull as was his due, the Blood God had recognised untapped potential. With unnatural force, Vorgaroth found himself flung swiftly backwards before he could sever the Godbeast's head, and as he gathered his wits, he bore witness to the sight of Skalok's rebirth in blood. Wounds that moments before were draining her lifeblood away shrunk and closed up, her body healing but her hide left a patchwork of scars, permanent and grisly reminders of her defeat a Vorgaroth's hands. Khorne left his mark too, his symbol burning deep into her flesh, causing the beast to scream out both in pain and frustration, knowing her soul was now bound to the Blood God's eternal will.​[3]

Eternal Hunt

Defiant to the end and with her strength returned, Skalok began pacing around the cave once more, preparing to take out her revenge on the creature who had defeated her. Vorgaroth in turn lifted his weapon in readiness. Yet before either could strike, both were gifted with a vision from Khorne. Vorgaroth's pride and arrogance had sowed the seeds of treachery within and no longer would he be allowed to claim victory alone, each battle would now be fought alongside Skalok, a beast as mighty and ferocious as he. Together they would be a formidable force, the scourge of the Mortal Realms, but knowing that this would not sit well with either of them, Khorne placed upon both a curse; if either was slain, then the other would be torn apart by his fury in turn.​[3]

In the many years since, the wretched union of Vorgaroth and Skalok has proven to be fruitful for the Blood God. Although one would not hesitate to kill the other if given the chance, together they have raised civilisations to the ground; Skalok gorging on the corpses of the fallen, the skulls of the mightiest champions she consumes manifesting upon her flesh as battle honours so that all will know whom she serve and what she is capable of doing in his name. Vorgaroth in turn has never yet been bested in combat, and some of the greatest champions and warlords have been felled by his hand. Such is the power and reputation of these two formidable warriors that whenever the mortal armies of Khorne falter, it is Vargaroth and Skalok that the Blood God sends to turn the tide of battle in his favour.​[3]

Legends tell of the trail of slaughter left in the wake of Vorgaroth the Scarred and Skalok the Skull Host of Khorne, their path of destruction having run for millennia, their victims now beyond count. Tales abound of the grand citadel of Kar'torik, left crumbling and in ruins; the great campaign of Chamon, which caused the Crystal Rivers of Nashriel to run red with blood.​[3]

Wargear

Vorgaroth is armed with the Skull Cleaver Axe of Khorne an axe that he uses to hunt and slay the mightiest beasts of the Mortal Realms, the only ones he believes can hope to challenge him. Skalok is his mount, with an unnatural speed for her bulk easily able to crush even the nimblest of foes, the ability to spit White-hot Balefire, a furious wingbeat that disrupts the balance in the winds of magic, eviscerating claws, cavernous jaws and a brass-plated tail. Skalok can also devour fellow servants of Khorne to strengthen herself, powered by the fury that sweetens their blood.[1][2]

Sources