Champion of Chaos
In his former life, Wulfrik was a Chaos Champion of the Sarl tribe of southern Norsca. A warrior-born who bore the Mark of the Dark Gods upon his flesh; he was ever renowned throughout the holdings of his tribe and beyond as a superlative warrior, feared for his prodigious strength and unmatched skill at arms. Wulfrik forged his infamy by taking the heads of every rival Chaos Champion who crossed his path, proudly displaying them for all to see as a declaration of his power and the folly of challenging him. In the violent societies of Norsca, Wulfrik was famed, and many sagas were sung to his glory by the skald-chanters of the Sarls. Pride proved the Chosen's downfall, however.
It was 2519 IC that a massive bout of tribal conflict had erupted between the Sarls and their traditional rivals, the Aeslings of the north. The Aeslings were led by their king, a terrible Chaos Lord known as Torgald. Outnumbered and outmatched, it seemed doom had come for the men of the Sarls, with only bloody death awaiting them at the hands of their merciless cousins.
However, the Sarls themselves were not entirely without means. Their king, a Chosen of Tzeentch known as Viglundr was a cunning war-leader, who possessed great wealth as a result of many profitable raids, and thus was able to procure the services of legions of mercenaries from across the length and breadth of the Norscan realms and even as far abroad as the Kurgan tribes.
Recognizing Wulfrik's skill at arms, Viglundr also offered the champion untold wealth and the hand of his daughter, and thus, the status of king by inheritance if he would gain victory for the tribe. Wulfrik, though looking down upon Viglundr as a pathetic shadow of his predecessors, nonetheless grasped at the chance for power and led the hosts of the Sarls to war. Unbeknownst to Wulfrik, Sarl, or Aesling at the time, the entire war was nothing more than a highly complex, Machiavellian scheme enacted by Viglundr to eliminate Torgald, thus allowing his more pliable son, Sveinbjorn, to take the throne of the Aeslings. This would have then engendered an alliance with the northern tribe that would see Viglundr's power, and that of the Sarls, increased by the aid of the bloodthirsty Khornate Aeslings. Indeed, the Raven God had marked the Sarl King well.
At the now legendary Battle of Thousand Skulls, the Sarls and Aeslings clashed. Amidst the carnage, Wulfrik fought the mighty Aesling King. Wulfrik slew the Chaos Lord, decapitating him and holding his head high for his tribesmen to see. With the death of their king, the Aeslings quit the field and victory was in the hands of the Sarls.
That night, as was the custom of the Northern tribes, a great feast was held in Wulfrik's honour. No man or beast, Wulfrik proclaimed, had fought more fiercely in battle than he, and none, he swore, would outdrink him in victory. Using the skull of King Torgald as his drinking vessel, Wulfrik had matched words with deeds. It had taken 8 entire barrels of mead to put him under the table, a feat that had impressed even the Ogres who fought alongside him. Before the mead completely overwhelmed him however, the drunken Wulfrik began to boast of his exploits. Before he was done, he had slain every beast of the Chaos Wastes twice and personally boxed the ears of the Emperors of the Empire, Nippon and Cathay. However, it was the champion's final boast that brought the doom upon his head. He claimed he was the equal of any warrior of the realms of the mortal world or in the realms beyond flesh.
That night, Wulfrik was visited by an emissary of the Dark Gods. In his dreams, the daemon led him to paradises, necropolises and fantastic netherworlds. He saw the gleaming towers of the Elf-folk, the gilded halls of Dwarf Lords and the ramshackle fortresses of Orc Warbosses And everywhere he passed was drowned in great tides of blood.
The emissary spoke of how Wulfrik's brazen words had offended his gods, but had also intrigued them enough to challenge their champion to prove his proud words. He was now charged to travel the four corners of the worlds, and to seek out the fiercest challengers, the most monstrous creatures, and most ferocious adversaries and slay them in single combat to prove his might. If he failed, the emissary explained, then his soul would be forever cursed by the gods, and deemed unworthy to join them in their halls. He then spoke with relish of how daemons would take great pleasure in torturing his soul for all eternity should that come to pass.
When Wulfrik awoke, he found himself speaking in a thousand languages and his tongue had been twisted in a sharp, fluted shape like that of a bird's. A shaman of the Kurgan tribes recognized this as the Gift of Tongues and enthusiastically pronounced Wulfrik as blessed. Wulfrik, a short-tempered man by any standard, with little patience for others, made certain the Kurgan died slowly. Even as he began burning the Kurgan's toes from his feet, the Shaman was incapable of telling the Champion where the thoughts were coming from, nor how to make them stop.
The terrible Longship known as the Seafang allows Wulfrik to mercilessly chase his prey wherever they seek to run. The first test was to hunt down the Tomb King Khareops and offer up its shrivelled entrails to Nurgle, the God of Decay. Thus, Wulfrik was charged to travel to the baking deserts of Khemri -- a voyage undertaken by only the boldest of Northmen, for the desert lay many leagues south of the far north where the Norsemen made their home. In order to accomplish his new found duty, Wulfrik required transport beyond the abilities of a mere longship. In the end, it was Sigvatr, a grizzled Marauder and long-time comrade, who solved the conundrum. For he had heard tales of a ship blessed by the Dark Gods with the power to circumvent the greatest distances in the blink of an eye, which was in the keeping of a Chaos Sorceress: the Skaeling witch Baga Yar, who dwelt in a vast fortress garrisoned by hordes of daemons.
It had taken all the treasure he had seized from King Torgald, as well as all the silver Viglundr had paid him in order to assemble an army large and fierce enough to overcome the unholy defenses of the Sorceress. In a battle worthy of the sagas, the Norsemen had triumphed over the daemons; proving their strength to the Dark Gods. In the end, Wulfrik hunted down the sorceress and hacked off her limbs before boiling her alive in her own cauldron. Almost 200 men had been slain facing her daemonic army, but Wulfrik and his warband had triumphed. The treasures and artefacts aside from the ship he had left to his warriors to plunder -- he had come only for the witch's longship, which he then named the Seafang.
The Seafang was indeed no ordinary ship. For it was not mere flight that allowed it its legendary mobility, instead the longship would fade from the mortal world into the Realms of the gods, travelling upon the Winds of Chaos itself, past the hunting grounds of daemons and the nightmares of men, the ship would sail upon phantom tides known only to the gods and appear again where Wulfrik willed. With such power at his command, he was inescapable. Even the men of Norsca, so used to the unnatural influence of Chaos, could not help but feel awed and reverent whenever the power of the Seafang was worked. Indeed, with every invocation of the ship's magic, the daemons bound within it demanded an offering of blood before they would ferry the Norsemen through the ethereal realm of Chaos. The only offering it had the taste for was Wulfrik's own blood -- perhaps because he had been the one to slay Baba Yar. Despite this, Wulfrik made certain that with each new addition to his crew he would feed the new warrior's blood to the dragon-head prow. No ship could serve to captains, and this was more true of the Seafang than any other.
With his daemonic prize in tow, Wulfrik traveled to the land of the Tomb Kings, laying low the offering demanded of him by the gods and holding the Tomb-Lord's shriveled innards high for the pleasure of Nurgle. Over time, his legend grew yet more fearsome as he stalked and slaughtered fell beings in service to the gods. It was Wulfrik who faced a giant in battle, slew it and then scalped its hairy head for a cloak. It was Wulfrik who traveled deep into the Troll Country and slaughtered the monsters there like sheep and cattle, and it was Wulfrik who journeyed to the ancient cairn of Jarl Unfir, who arose as an armoured wight only to have its bony back broken over the champion's knee. Men journeyed from all over the North to fight at the side of one so favoured by the Dark Gods, in the hope that they might catch some of his greatness. Tales of a hulking champion, clad in black steel and bones wielding a dark sword had spread so far as to be spoken in awed whispers by Kurgan nomads, as well as in the bloody halls of Norscan barbarians. Thus, the fame of Wulfrik grew to gargantuan proportions, and his name lived well in the sagas of the North and the nightmares of the South.
Executioner of the Gods
Wulfrik, cursed to an eternity of unending battle, hunted down and slew the offerngs demanded of him by the Gods. He journeyed to the holds of the Dwarfen Lords and took from them both glory and gold, killed mighty dragons and even slew the unworthy champions of the gods from amongst the tribes of Kurgan and Hung. All men of the northlands honoured his name and envied the favour the gods had shown him, but deep within his cold heart Wulfrik despised his curse, and despised even more those who thought it a blessing. His wish, for a time at least, was to break it and return to his own quest for power and glory.
Upon returning from one of his hunts to the Sarl city of Ormskaro, Wulfrik was approached by yet another Kurgan shaman: Zarnath. The sorcerer told Wulfrik of how he could lift the Curse of the gods from him, given an ancient artefact of Chaos. In return, he asked for the Seafang. Wulfrik, despite the protests of his comrades not to trifle with the gods, agreed. For he sought to once again pursue his ambitions for lordship of the Sarls, a position he could not claim where he forever shackled to the hunt. In addition, Wulfrik had long desired to make the Sarl Princess whose hand he had been promised his woman, just as Hjordis herself lusted after the mighty champion in her own right.
Zarnath explained that in order to enact the ritual to free Wulfrik, he would require an ancient artefact of the Hung Sorcerer-Kings, the Smile of Sardiss. The artefact, he said lay in one of the enclaves of the Chaos Dwarfs of the Dark Lands, who sometimes had dealings with the Norsemen. With the Seafang's daemonic transportation, Wulfrik and his warriors journeyed to the foul lands of the Fire Dwarfs. There, they set out to the great fortress of Dronangkul, or 'Fortress of Iron' in the debased Khazalid of the Chaos Dwarfs, where the Kurgan claimed the Dwarfen Lord: Khorakk, and the Smile of Sardiss could be found.
Into the Dark Lands
As was their way, the Norscans slaughtered their way through the defences of the Dwarfs; the blessings of Hashut proving no match for the unending fury of the Dark Gods. By any standards, the Norsemen had utterly annihilated the Dwarf Hold, an impressive feat, given their relatively small numbers. Wulfrik himself had slain a Bull Centaur Lord, as well Khorakk himself in that raid; overpowering the former in a contest of strength and burning the latter alive in one of his own contraptions before claiming the Smile of Sardiss from him. However, some of the Norscans fell in the battle, including Wulfrik's old friend Sigvatr. Wulfrik knelt beside his comrade to hear his final words and afford him the honour he was due as a great warrior, such was the respect and comeraderie between the two. However, no man amongst Wulfrik's band could guess how foul the circumstances were that led to the great warrior's death, nor of the fell consequences it would herald.
With that, the Norsemen returned home to Ormskaro to rest and replenish their ranks. In his lengthy absence, the Sarls, as well as their king, believed that the Kurgan had led Wulfrik the Wanderer to his end and had continued on his plan to forge his new alliance with the Aeslings. The arrival of Wulfrik, alive afterall, notably put a dent in this plan. For as the slayer of their king, the Aeslings both despised as well as admired the Inescapable One. But Sveinbjorn, a mere mortal man, could not hope to match a warrior blessed with the Mark of the Norscan gods, and so refrained from challenging Wulfrik to battle, even with all his Hersirs backing him. Realizing that he could not overcome Wulfrik in an honest contest of arms, he instead resolved to find someone else who could. The next day, Sveinbjorn challenged Wulfrik to Personal Combat within the Wolf Forest, a great arena the Sarls had built in his honour, and where he screened potential recruits for his warband in lethal combat. However, when Wulfrik arrived, he found that he was not to do battle with Sveinbjorn himself, but a fellow champion of Chaos. A warrior who towered over even Wulfrik, Troll-like in stature, clad in blackened steel and bearing a massive daemon-axe encrusted with hissing runes of the Dark Tongue, the language of daemons and sorcerers. Yet despite the apparent favour of the gods, the warrior was more akin to a maddened hound than a man, and Wulfrik was appalled to learn that this creature was once Fraener, a mighty Champion of the gods and war-chief of the Aeslings, who, as was the custom of the Aeslings, led his fellow tribesmen to slaughter the Kurgan tribes of the east, and even pillaged and plundered the dolmens of the Beastkin. A hero throughout all of Norsca, Wulfrik could not believe that the animal before him was the same man when he roared the name in a bestial battlecry.
The Forsaken Chaos champion was a daunting foe, but Wulfrik had slain giants and daemons like cattle, and no man set against him could ever be his equal in battle. Wulfrik hacked off one of Fraener's arms, but from the bloody stump a great spike of bone and meat erupted, when he struck him again, tentacles slithered out rather than blood. The hero's sword clashed with the mutant's great claws, locked in a terrible battle until Wulfrik drove the Forsaken off the platform of the Wolf Forest down upon the spikes below and then clove through his black warhelm and split his skull in two. No man amongst Sveinbjorn's hersirs troubled Wulfrik after that, for not a one of them had not borne witness to Fraener's monstrous ability in battle many times before, and the prospect of facing a warrior powerful enough to defeat the fallen Chaos Lord was nothing short of suicide.
Their newest plan to slay the Champion having failed, Viglundr and Sveinbjorn conspired to instead kill Wulfrik with craft and cunning. Viglundr had manipulated Wulfrik into killing Torgald to pave the way for this new alliance, but the warrior persisted as a thorn in his side. To accomplish this, Viglundr enticed one of Wulfrik's warriors, a Marauder known as Broendulf, to slay the Champion when he least expected.
Meanwhile, Wulfrik and the rest of his followers readied themselves to journey to the far-off land of the High Elves, known as Ulthuan in the lands of civilized men, but as Alfheim in the tongue of Norsca. A voyage only attempted by the boldest Northmen, such as Erik Redaxe or Magnus the Mad, and always ending in ruin for all of them. Still, the Worldwalker would not be denied, and led his Chaos Warriors to the shores of that enchanted place. Only there, Zarnath claimed, could he summon the magical powers necessary to free Wulfrik from his curse. However, the Kurgan's true nature would be revealed in that place.
When they made landfall on the shores of Cothique, Wulfrik and his followers happened upon a group of Elf maidens praying at a monolith. Zarnath warned the Norsemen that the maids were actually witches, and were calling upon strange, arcane forces to smite the invaders and convinced them to kill them. With the dark abandon of their race, the Norscans fell upon the defenseless Elves and slaughtered them gleefully. As the carnage abated, Zarnath mocked the barbarians for their bloodthirsty ways, revealing that the Elf women were not mages, but merely wives who had come to pray to Isha for fertility. He gloated of the horrible vengeance the menfolk of Ulthuan would visit upon them for this act. Zarnath had never intended to free Wulfrik of his curse, only to see him dead in the either the lands of the Chaos Dwarfs, or the High Elves. The deceitful sorcerer disappeared from the scene before the Wanderer could make him suffer for his betrayal, but not before alerting almost every warrior in Cothique to their presence.
The Norscans were then set upon by the Silver Helms and Elven bowmen. Outnumbered, they nonetheless stood their ground and drove the Elves back, denying them vengeance for a time. The Elves had thought that Wulfrik and his warriors would be as easily vanquished as the horde of Erik Redaxe; but the Worldwalker was made of sterner stuff than the vanquished king. Wulfrik even defeated one of the great pale Merwyrms of Ulthuan, bloodying it and causing it retreat back into the deeps. However, the Seafang was smashed to kindling, but the true power of the ship was never in its oars or hull, but it in the figurehead where the daemon-magic bound to it was kept. Using the power of the figure-head, Wulfrik and the only survivor of his band, Broendulf, managed to escape Ulthuan. Whilst travelling the Border-Realm, Broendulf revealed to Wulfrik the scale of Viglundr's treachery and confessed his part in his plans. Incensed, the Champion nonetheless offered a truce with Broendulf until their mutual enemies, Zarnath chief among them, were slain.
When the mists parted, the Northmen found themselves in the Empire, for here is where Zarnath had fled to. He was no tribesman of the East, but rather a mage of one of the Colleges of Magic. With the true nature of his enemy revealed to him, Wulfrik traveled back to Ormskaro, to muster such a fleet that would destroy the city Zarnath had fled to. When he reached the great tower of Ormfell, Wulfrik cornered Sveinbjorn and brutally beat the Aesling prince towards an inch of death for his part in the deceit and trickery that had cost him his warriors, and also for forcing himself upon the Sarl Princess Hjordis, whom Wulfrik then repudiated for her weakness in allowing herself to be forced upon.
As Wulfrik prepared to slit Sveinbjorn's throat, Viglundr came upon the scene with a retinue of iron-clad warriors and begged Wulfrik to spare Sveinbjorn's life, fearing the retribution of the Aeslings should one of their chieftains die. Wulfrik, now having leverage over the the king, told Viglundr of his plan to plunder far into the Empire, using the Seafang's power to spirit the Northmen beyond the defenses of Marienburg and Nordland. Intrigued by the proposal, Viglundr agreed, though under the agreement that Wulfrik would abandon all designs on the kingship of the Sarls. Wulfrik agreed, swearing on the Axe of Khorne, and the Norsemen set about rebuilding the Seafang using the wood of the ancient Trolltree, a horrific remnant of the age from before Norsca's settling by the Norsii in ancient times. With the Seafang now rebuilt into perhaps one of the mightiest vessals of Chaos, Norsemen mustered from every tribe to join in this great raid.
The Norsemen soon arrived in Reikland, at the city of Wisborg where Zarnath, known actually as Ludwig Stossel of the Celestial Order, who foresaw his death at Wulfrik's hand, had fled to. Howling the name of Khorne, the Norscan God of Battles, the Norse warriors butchered their way through the meager defenses of the southling city in berserk rage. Wulfrik did battle with and defeated a powerful Warrior Priest of Sigmar in the siege, thus proving the supremacy of the dark gods of the north over the gods of the south. The baron of Wisborg was also slain, as was his wife, and the entire city was put to the torch and plundered of riches. Wulfrik cornered Stossel in his tower, recognizing the azure glow of his eyes, and fought through all his constructs in order to reach him. The Norseman then subjected Stossel to the torturous death of the Blood Raven, in retribution for the scale of his deceit. His vengeance reaped, Wulfrik still had other debts to pay.
Wulfrik saw to Prince Sveinbjorn second. The Aesling had attempted to bribe Wulfrik's men into betraying him, promising them a portion of the captured treasure. Wulfrik, having no need for gold, promised his men everything in the Seafang's hold to help him in his own deceit. Wulfrik explained to the trembling prince how he would cut off the chain links connecting most of the other longships to the Seafang, abandoning them there while the Seafang took to the Realm of Chaos. Flying Sveinbjorn's banner on the ship, the tribes would blame Sveinbjorn, not Wulfrik for the betrayal, thus damning the prince's name for all eternity. Sveinbjorn begged Wulfrik to leave him his honour, accepting whatever tortures Wulfrik sought to inflict on him, but the champion was not receptive. To cap off the revenge, Wulfrik utilized another torture to kill the prince, putting a snake down his throat while he screamed for mercy. When Wulfrik returned to Ormskaro, he threw Sveinbjorn's severed head at Viglundr's feet, his features swollen by the venom of the snake and spoke of how he had left the warriors in the lands of the Empire. Viglundr was shocked, the tribes would now surely descend upon him demanding vengeance for the death and betrayal of their kinsmen. The king pleaded to Wulfrik to aid him again, begging forgiveness for trying to cheat him. Wulfrik laughed at the king's pathetic mewling and strode from the hall, his imagination swimming with the sight of Ormskaro burning and Viglundr dying a terrible death at the hands of the chieftains of the other clans. Viglundr desperately reminded him of Hjordis, but to no avail. He could not have fathomed that Wulfrik had already butchered her before speaking to him.
Thus did Ormskaro, legendary seat of the Sarl tribes, fall into ruin and destruction. Ironically by the hand of the man the Sarls had reckoned as one of their greatest heroes. This entire adventure had also served to reveal to Wulfrik the truth of his fate: that his curse was in fact a blessing. Without the power of the Seafang, he could not have entrapped schemers such as Viglundr and Sveinbjorn. Without his fame as the Worldwalker, he could not have gained the loyalty of men. Without the lies of Zarnath, the pieces would not have come together. The gods had helped him exact vengeance, and with his faith restored, he would serve them for all eternity as their huntsman. There would be no more attempts to escape his doom as Wulfrik traveled the world, laying low the offerings demanded of him by his gods. Now truly he became the Chaos Gods' most devout servant, and felt their power coursing through him.
Since then, Wulfrik has embraced his exile, accepting the honourable charge the Norscan gods have given him. He now ranges throughout the world as their will directs him, and continues to challenge the mightiest beings of the Old World to battle. Throughout his unending hunt, Wulfrik has never been bested in battle, and many are the men of Norsca and Kurgan who eagerly come to his banner, eager to fight alongside him to catch a measure of his glory. He has fought many times in the Armies of Chaos, also, for at times the offering he is commanded to strike down may be found amidst the ranks of the hosts of the faithless South. Lords and paupers alike cannot escape the World-Walker, for he is merciless, killing without compunction, and taking pride in all his killings. As the gods have decreed, thus it shall ever be.
Wulfrik is perhaps one of the mightiest warriors in all the Old World, with unsurpassed strength and incredible swordplay, as his many displayed trophies no doubt indicate. His skills such that he can match almost any warrior in the world in a contest of arms. His agility and dexterity are also comparable to his raw physical power, and he is able to move and strike at lightning speeds. A highly experienced combatant, his instincts and tactical mastery have been forged in the crucible of a thousand battles. He has overcome countless monstrosities in contests of brute strength and warrior skill, such as a Bull Centaur Lord, a Yhetee chieftain, countless rival Chaos Champions, a debased Forsaken, Giants and a Merwyrm.
Wulfrik possess the Gift of Tongues, which allows him to issue an irrefusable challenge to any creature in their own language. The gift does not merely allow Wulfrik to speak any language, but allows his words to strike into a creature's very being and compel them to fight him. Combined with the well-known Norscan aptitude for biting, albeit unsubtle, insults, Wulfrik is able to goad his enemies into a reckless fury where they are more likely to make fatal mistakes for him exploit, thus ensuring his victory in battle all the more. Like many Chaos champions, Wulfrik is clad in an unholy and near impenetrable suit of Chaos Armour.
|Lo! The Glory of Wulfrik of the Sarl. Through his splendid achievements, the giant warrior's fame and greatness was known 'mong the Norscan tribes. How the countless heads of Champions did roll by the powerful swipes of his blade. Claimed by him as blazonry on his armour forevermore. A warning to any foolish enough to face him in battle!
~ The Epic Saga of Wulfrik the Sarl.
|Face me if you dare, stunted whelp, or do you lack an Elven maid's courage? I thought the Sons of Grungni were great warriors, but perhaps you are no true Dwarf. Indeed, maybe you are instead some breed of bearded goblin, though in truth I have seen a finer beard on a Troll's back-side
- 1: Behind the Voices – Total War Warhammer
- 2: Epic Saga of Wulfrik the Sarl
- 3: Total War Warhammer III
- 1. Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (7th Edition)
- 2. Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (8th Edition)
- 3. Wulfrik (Novel) by C.L. Werner
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