The Eagles of Sigmar - Part 3

The story so far

Carnelian, Lord Celestant of the Eagles of Sigmar, has pursued his quarry Ahalyon the Infidel through a mysterious hole in the fabric of space. He awoke to find himself in a different age where he witnessed a Khorne wargang slaughter an aelf band and was only saved himself by the intervention of some mysterious skeletal warriors...

Carnelian relished the warmth of the fire spreading through his body.  The evening was glooming and a cold mist was rolling through the forest. He was sitting around an impromtu camp fire with only one living being for company - the grievously wounded aelf that he had seen during the battle, whose name he had learned was "Vanaprasa". 

Surrounding him and Vanaprasa in a tight circle were about 15 ancient bone warriors, armed with bronzed halbards and bedecked in time-worn finery. They faced out from the circle, as if peering out into the depths of the surrounding forest. They were eeriely still, although Carnelian knew they were simply waiting for an order from their leader. 

Their skeleton leader stood inside the circle of bone, towering over the sitting Carnelian and Vanaprasa. She was a broad, towering Tomb Queen and she swung a giant blade casually at her side with one arm, her ease with the weapon belying it's considerable weight. 

"You both look much happier and fatter now, friends. There is no meat on me but I am stronger that ever I was before. You can see that death has it's ... upsides too".

Carnelian found Merneith, a queen of ancient lands, to be unexpectedly jovial in manner - although having earlier watched her dispatch Khorne warriors with her blade, he was left in no doubt as to her brute strength.

Vanaprasa moved stiffly, one arm holding the straps he had wrapped around the wound in his left thigh - a wound received from the wrong end of a wicked hooked blade. The expression on his face was brittle as he described the fate that had befallen his kin to Carnelian.

The aelves called themselves the Earth-touched and had lived for many centuries in the ancient forest that surrounded the camp fire that Carnelian was now sitting at. They held the trees and soil of the forest to be sacred. They had long fought for the independence of the woodland from those marauders who would impinge upon the borders of the forest.

In recent months however, the Earth-touched found themselves facing more and more intruders into the forest - those looking to defile the woods but also refugees. There were many refugees fleeing from a new breed of depraved warriors in red plate armour , which Carnelian recognised to be the Khorne warriors he had witnessed fighting. 

As the Khorne warbands ventured further and further into the depths of the forest in search of resource and fuel for their sacrificial rituals, they had met fierce resistance at the bows of the Earth-touched. However, the strength of the Khornate warriors was too much and they appeared gifted with an evil resilience, suggesting they were blessed by great power.

Within weeks, blood hungry killers were roaming the forest freely, hunting the Earth-touched as if they were no more than wild animals. Eventually the Earth-touched held counsel amongst their remaining elders and agreed that a final stand must be made in the hallowed heart of the forest, where the Earth-touched were at their most powerful.

That final, desperate, stand was the slaughter that Carnelian had witnessed. It had been a rout and Vanaprasa feared that he was now the last survivor of the Earth-touched.

Carnelian turned to the menacingly tall Merneith, his expression saying everything without words – why had she intervened with her brigade of skeleton warriors?

“Can’t you tell?” she questioned of Carnelian. “Can’t you feel it? I can feel it even though I’ve been dead for years. Even a goddamn fooled can feel it There is a presence here – here, in the heart of this forest. Something precious ...something worth fighting for. Something that should not fall into the hands of those idiots who worship their blood god.”

Even though Carnelian had only known Merneith for a few hours, he had grown accustomed to her cut-throat sense of humour and to hear her speak with such serious passion shocked him. She went on:

“As you can probably tell from my most fine dress, I am as old as this forest. This was all once my land – at least that’s what I would told you when I was alive – and I have fought to bend this kingdom to my will many times.”

At this, Merneith sounded ferocious and animal like. Carnelian glimpsed her iron strength. She turned away from him.

“This infestation” she spat “of blood warriors is unlike I have come across in all my un-life.  They have spread across my land and they care only to despoil it. There is a dark and awful power at work. I do not normally care at all about the wars of the flesh...but I felt I must intervene. The blood warriors do not understand the power of the heart of this forest – and they must not discover it or they’ll grow strong enough to cut us all down - one-by-one.”

Carnelian slept poorly that night, despite the silent guard given to him by Merneith’s bone warriors. Thoughts rush unheeded through his mind as he contemplated whether he would ever return to Azyr and lay eyes upon his warrior king again. His faith was lacking. As he eventually drifted to sleep, he was haunted by flashes of bloodbound warriors feasting on the flesh of innocents and stripping the forest bare of its fruits, flashes of cruel barbed blades cutting into flesh. These images intermingled and merged with impressions of Ahalyon, the mortal that Carnelian had pursued from the Mortal Realms into this new world.

The next morning Carnelian awoke with fresh resolve. He felt some guilt for not following the mission that Sigmar had given him. He might not have any idea where Ahalyon had disappeared to but he trusted that the aelf fought for good. He was not so sure about Merneith's motivations but she was strong and he needed that for now. He would do what he could to assist the fight against these chaos marauders.

He found Merneith already in deep conversation with Vanaprasa, discussing their next steps. Merneith seemed certain that there was an individual in control of the bloodbound and stated bluntly that only killing this commander would end the plague of blood that had spread across the land.  

The aelf was not so certain – not certain that this was the best plan and not certain that his body was strong enough to carry it out. He felt that protecting the forest heart was the key task.

“If the forest heart falls into the hands of Chaos, then the spirit of the forest will be corrupted. We cannot leave it here un-guarded.”

“It is only a matter of time before the heart falls to the blood god warriors”
Merneith countered. “We act now or never – and I act now!”

Both aelf and undead turned towards Carnelian as they noticed his presence.

“Perhaps there is a middle path” suggested Carnelian. “Merneith are you able to leave a band of your skeletons here, under the control of Vanaprasa to protect the heart? If  so, I will pledge myself to the cause of ridding this land of the chaos scourge.”

Merneith’s skeletal face turned slowly towards Carnelian.

“You got yourself a deal. Let’s move out.”


  1. Great story! Have you got a particular model in mind for Merneith?

  2. I have an unpainted generic Tomb King model but I've got stuck thinking how to make it clear it's female whilst still being undead


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