"Vecteek couldn’t come. So I came instead. You have called and I have answered. You sought the Harbinger of Doom. I am he, little sorcerer. I am your Doom. I am Skarbrand. I am your death..."
—Skarbrand, summoned forth by the foolishness of Grey Seer Thanquol
Skarbrand, known also as the Exiled One, the Wrathful Reaper, or the Drinker of Blood, was once the greatest of all Khorne's Daemons. An eternity of battle in the Blood God's name had brought Skarbrand victories uncounted. It was he who tore down the gates of Slaanesh's first palace and visited ruin therein. It was he who led the eight Hosts of Murder to their triumph over the combined armies of the other Chaos Gods. In all the endless years of Khorne's existence, no other had piled so many skulls before the Skull Throne, or spilled the blood of so many warriors and innocents alike. Thus did Skarbrand enjoy Khorne's favour like no other, an honor which would eventually lead to his downfall from grace.
Ever since his exile, in all of history, there have been none to serve the Lord of Skulls as completely as Skarbrand. He has taken mountains and mountains of skulls for the Blood God, and filled vast oceans with gore. He has shaken the foundations of eternity with his wrath and left a trail of slaughter across existence, yet still Khorne refuses to rescind his hated decree. There is little regret in the Blood God's black heart and he spares none for Skarbrand, who in tortured exile serves the Lord of Skulls more completely than ever.
"I will rip the bones from your body and leave your skin to rot! But your skull I will give to the skull-god, and it will be one among the multitude"
—Skarbrand, The Exiled One
Alas, no being could enjoy such triumphs forever, and so proud was Skarbrand that it was a simple task for Tzeentch to fan the embers of his hubris. One dark day, when Khorne's back was turned and his attention elsewhere, Skarbrand's fierce pride grew hot and, blinded by rage, he smote the Blood God a mighty blow. Powerful beyond measure was Skarbrand, and he had toppled cities with but one blow apiece, but even he could not pierce Khorne's brazen armour. Only the smallest of chinks was cut in the Blood God's armour, but even this was sufficient to draw the terrible fury of Khorne's gaze.
Incandescent with wrath, Khorne seized the Daemon by the throat. The Blood God cursed Skarbrand's name and choked all personality from him, leaving only the bottomless rage that had caused him to attack. Climbing the uppermost tower of the Brass Citadel, Khorne cast forth his arm and hurled the Daemon deep into the Realm of Chaos, banishing the Bloodthirster from his presence. For eight days and nights Skarbrand plummeted, a fiery comet of ill-omen streaking across the unchanging sky. The impact of the Bloodthirster's landing gouged a canyon in the landscape and left his wings tattered and torn. Since that fateful day, Skarbrand has wandered the mortal and immortal realms, drowning his sins in the blood of the slain — though he no longer has the wit to fully understand why.
Frozen in the moment of that rage-spurred betrayal, Skarbrand has become wrath incarnate, a restless fury that cannot be stopped. Wherever Skarbrand treads, order and discipline are replaced with anarchy as those in his path drown in feelings of empty loathing and unrestrained savagery. Even the most rational of beings cannot resist the corruption of Skarbrand's madness. Fast friends and firm allies tear at one another with wild abandon. Craven and brave beings alike claw at their foes without regard for their own lives. Through this anarchy, Skarbrand runs rampant, twin axes hacking and cleaving until there is no one left to kill. His tortured roars echo around the battlefield, waves of pure rage infused with enough force to shatter buildings and pulverise flesh. From then on, Skarbrand became nothing more than a vessel filled with unreasoning hatred and rage, empty of any thoughts or personality of what was once Khorne's greatest chosen.
Battle of Karak Angkul
"No, you shall not escape me so easily. You will burn, mage-rat, and then you will scream. And scream. And scream."
—Skarbrand, during the Battle of Karak Angkul
Whether the being known as Skarbrand was still within the good grace of Khorne when he descended upon the mortal plane to ravaged the Dwarf Hold of Karak Angkul is unclear. What was certain what that, by the foolish efforts of Grey Seer Thanquol, who in his attempt to summon forth the infamous Verminlord Vecteek into the mortal plane, had mistakenly summoned forth the legendary Bloodthirster instead. What the foolish Grey Seer failed to realize was that the magical artifact, known as the Hand of Vecteek, which he tried to use in his summon ritual contained a hidden mark of Khorne upon its palm, a mark carved by its previous owner, Grey Seer Thratsnik as an act of vengeance against the Under-Empire that had abandoned him to his fate of lonely isolation and eventual starvation many decades ago.
Freed upon the mortal plane, Skarbrand wrought a terrible carnage amongst the battlefield, where Dwarfs and Skaven alike fought each other and their allies in gruesome displays of mad rage and uncontrollable bloodshed due to the unnatural daemoic presence of the Bloodthirster. It was only thanks to the efforts of Master Engineer Klarak Bronzehammer, who set off a demolition charge which saw a massive axe of Valaya fall down and sink its blade into the flesh of the Bloodthirsters head, did the Dwarf Hold survive the Daemonic onslaught. Thanqoul, having had enough of risking his life for the ambitions of others, fled the battlefield right after he blasted the Master Engineer with a wave of Warp-Lightning and saw his body fall from the statue of Valaya and upon the rocky hard floor many stories below. Before Skarbrand was sent back into the Realm of Chaos, he whispered to Thanqoul that should he have need of him again, he will be waiting.
Warhammer Fantasy is a high fantasy fictional universe created by Games Workshop and used in many of its games, including the table top wargame Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP) pen-and-paper role-playing game, and the MMORPG Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.
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