"Udesi! Udesi Burhiem!"
Reyzak shook Altair. He opened his eyes, instantly closing them again as light flooded his vision.
"Wha?" managed Altair, shielding his eyes.
"You're due at the training rings! Now!"
"No... what did you say?"
Reyzak threw him the bag with his armor and weapons. "I said "Wake, wake stonehead". I've been trying to get you up for half an hour."
Altair threw off the thick blanket and donned his cloak. Reyzak pushed him onto the pole outside his window.
"Wha? I can't fly!"
Reyzak gave him an evil grin. "No time like the present to learn."
And with that the Tzeentchian pushed him from the perch. Altair frantically beat at the air with his wings. On the second stroke he came back to level with the window. The third brought him to the roof. The fourth he flopped, and fell ten feet before the fifth pulled him over the courtyard, to Reyzak's applause. Uraj stuck his head out of the forge's window and clapped twice as Altair stumbled across the sky to the rings of demons sparring. He landed badly, and tripped at the hooves of a blood-red monster in black armor. It held a massive axe in both hands. It snorted, then simply continued on it's way.
A lithe demon wearing only a black tabard helped him to his feet.
"Just learning to fly? I saw the landing" she sang. Altair gulped.
"Yes...er. Yes. Just learning."
"Are you here to spar? Kodac is taking names for training."
Altair picked up his bag. "Yes. I'm here to spar. Reyzak told me to come here to start training."
"He's right over there," she said, pointing. "If you like, I'll get Reyzak and meet you here after. He told me you haven't learned what you're fighting for yet."
Altair slung the bag over his shoulder. "I'd like that."
She smiled. "I'll see you soon then."
Altair drew his eyes away from her retreating figure and toward the gore-red demon in the center of a throng of lesser demons. Kodac was huge, easily the size of a Dreadnought. The demon carried an archaic bolter in one hand, and a writhing purplish sword in the other.
"Alright, whelps! I'll be your training sergeant, equipment master, barracks chief, executioner, judge, jury, and if need be executioner."
A plague demon in the back raised it's voice. "You said executioner twice."
Kodac gestured with the sword. "I like that part of the job. Now pair up! Get into your armor, or if you're Slanneshi, lack thereof. Grab your weapons, if you don't have them, then pick up a sharp object from someone who does."
Altair was paired with a black-on-white demon with spines running down his back. A pair of curved fangs exited his mouth and ended close to his chin. Two red eyes looked him up and down, while curved talons tightened on a black axe.
Kodac shoved a few of the slower demons into partners. He picked up Altair and the other demon and tossed them into a muddy pit. Debris and discarded weapons lay everywhere.
"Alright! First challenge, defeat your opponent. No blood!"
The monochrome demon snickered. "No problem. Come to my blade, Undivided, and we'll see who will win."
"May the best."
"Oh, he will."
Kodac blew a brass horn, and the demon charged. Altair swung Ristvak'baen in an arc, clanging off the smoking axe and tripping the demon. His opponent rolled past his stroke and swung back into a fighting stance. The axe came around again and Altair blocked it with the darkblade's edge, the axe creating black sparks that hissed as the touched the ground. A second stroke flashed by Altair's head.
He lunged forward, intending to "behead" his enemy. Just as he did so, he felt suddenly glorious energy sweep through him. The sword exploded into multicolored flame, sweeping through the air. The demon brought up the axe just in time. Clad in the flames, Ristvak'baen crashed into the demon weapon, and broke it.
Shards of gleaming warpstone and smoking energies flashed past as the dreadaxe shattered, Altair's sword passing straight through it like a hot knife through butter. The flames died as the blade met his opponent's helm, clanking off his armored skull with a sickening clunk and knocking him out. Smoking shards fell all around them, remnants of the axe. Altair looked in awe and horror at the sword. Black runes etched themselves into the blade.
You are surprised.
Altair looked around, then whispered "Yes."
I am Ristvak'baen. Decendant of Be'lakor, the first Demon.
"You did this?"
Yes. I am this blade. I created the warp fire, but the power came from you. You can learn warpcraft as well, as long as you are a demon, you are psychic incarnate.
Kodac leaned over the edge of the pit. The runes died instantly.
"Where's the fighting?! Oh. I see. Excellent work, lad. Khorne would be proud! Now haul his carcass out of that pit. We gotta pile up all the losers."
An hour later, after all the losing demons had been either nursed back to health (or buried. Apparently Kodac was quite lenient when it came to "no blood"), Altair met the Slanneshi demon and Reyzak under the spiked gates of the sparring fields.
Reyzak gestured at Ristvak'baen. "I trust she served you well."
Altair gave him a confused look. "She?"
The demon smiled. "Yes. She. The daughter of Be'lakor, and his only decendant."
Altair touched the end of the sword, hanging out of it's sheath. "Yes. Without her, I would have had a much harder fight."
The Slanneshi beckoned him. "We've come to tell you of a story. The Prophecies, they're called."
The pair led Altair to a stone tablet, almost twenty feet high and obviously very, very old. Runes were etched into it with a chisel or some similar instrument.
The Last Prophet. The blackened wielder of the Decendant's fire, will lead the host of Valhalla to the Amber World, to confront his own failings. To replay the Great Split. The light and dark shall once again clash at Angel's Fall, the last resting place of the Golden One. The light, led by the prophet. The soldiers of Valhalla, of Rann and Evandar, and Dragons from the farthest reaches. The Void. The renegades fight for the Prophet as well, for he is their only commander. Men will fight as well, few in number, but without failing.
The darkness is The Prophet's own creation. His wrongs. This is unavoidable, so long as the Prophet is alive, he shall commit sin, which in turn raises the creature who will rail against the light. The Nemesis.
The Sentient will have a part to play as well. The creature, born of a thousand times a thousand pains, will be given the chance to redeem it's own sins, and will aid the Prophet when the time comes.
The last major arcana, the Leader. The Leader will lead a last crusade, a final, desperate gambit, as time runs out for Man. At his side will be five sons, the Five Lost who return to fight the Last War, the final and last war to end the Long War once and forever. To banish the Chaos Gods and bring peace everlasting.
Reyzak finished reading with a sigh. "Now you know why you are here. Why everything you have ever done, has led to this. This tablet is over six million years old. It's encased in stasis. Even touch it and it would crumble to dust. We had to preserve it, to keep it safe."
Altair lowered his gaze. "How do you know this is me? There could be so many others. More suited."
Reyzak laughed, surprising Altair. "Ristvak'baen is Be'lakor's daughter, yes. It is also a cursed blade. All who take it without being the one to wield it turn to ash, consumed by the Warp flame you saw in the pits. You did not. You are the One. The Last Prophet."
Altair looked Reyzak and the Slanneshi in the eye.
"So be it."
You'll forgive me, but you must be mistaken. I've met your makers, and they don't even know your name...
GIVING CHASE- ORDO HERETICUS FIC (Updated Mar. 19)
Hat in the Ring