Word Count: 921
Word Count: 921
The mortal blow landed on Erathion’s shoulder blade before he could even blink. The monomolecular teeth of the chain-axe shorn through his chest. He collapsed into the chaotic melee that involved his comrades from the Shrine of the Coiled Serpent and the blood-lusting World Eaters without a cry. The Striking Scorpion lay on the battlefield, in the arid plains of Aretica, and began to wither into darkness. The world grew into varying shades of shadow as his life blood pumped from the fatal wound. He felt his soul slip away into the void.
His spirit stone was destroyed.
I am undone. I have spent the last hours of my life in service to Khaine and the last living god: the Laughing One. The die is now cast. Fate allow my soul to go wherever it wills.
Erathion’s eyes grew large in horror in his final breaths. A great wound rent itself in the fabric of reality. It was a nexus that called forth the souls of the damned, he realized. Dread pierced the Striking Scorpion’s heart, he knew in that moment that he was not ready for the sacrifice he had made. The irresistible call of the nexus tugged on his soul, still chained into the hidden chamber within him. Erathion struggled and fought in vain, but the more he writhed, the more control he lost.
The invisible chain snapped and his soul was whisked into realms beyond reality.
Erathion’s immortal soul cried out in fear, surrounded by a maelstrom of chitterling voices and the half-materialized forms of demons. They observed him greedily. None of them came forth, however, or dared to touch his spirit. They appeared content to merely frighten and whisper to him. At first, he believed he would be stuck here forever, floating through the warp. When hope began to fade from his pure spirit, a bright pinpoint of white light shined in the distance.
The bright light began to swell into a great gate. The endless demon tide appeared to shrink and convulse from the gate’s holy power. Hope swelled in Erathion’s chest once more as he embraced the light and vanished with a massive thunder clap.
As he traveled between worlds, Erathion realized he was no longer a physical entity.
The first realm that he arrived in was a great, charred plain that burst with fires and volcanic eruptions. Within the span of mere moments, Erathion witnessed the ruins of great civilizations. He observed the predecessors of mortals long wiped from this plane eek out an existence as primitive tribes. Great fortresses of blood and brass were erected atop great hills and in the charred mountains that overlooked the fire world below. This world belonged to the Blood God.
He became teleported to another realm before he could really understand what was happening.
The next world was a beautiful maiden realm, filled with exotic forests and jungles. A civilization that dwelled in this paradise were beautiful beyond words and bore remarkable resemblance to the eldar. Erathion watched from the skies above massive battles between these exodites and the twisted fiends of Nurgle. A great host of enraged forest spirits fought beside his primitive cousins. Never before did Erathion feel the call to battle for others aside from his own craftworld, but this… this was an exception.
Then everything turned into a haze of bluish-white light. Thunder bristled from everywhere as if Erathion were in the very clouds himself. Lightning flashed perilously close to his soul. When the first bolt hit him square in the chest and blew him apart, he knew for a split second that he was partially physical again. He was dead for mere moments before his soul recollected itself. When Erathion was reborn, all he could manage was to cry out in agony.
Then the second bolt hit him.
Another hit him the third time. He finally asked why this was happening, but there was no answer.
The process continued for an eternity, Erathion had no way to count the days, months, or years. Each time his soul was pulverized by lightning, it recollected itself and became something stronger, harder, and more physical. It was not long until Erathion’s body had returned in a shape that he did not recognize. It was only then that the lightning stopped.
“Erathion of the eldar, you are chosen for a purpose far higher than the likes you ever seen or imagined. The threat of chaos holds sway over the mortal realms. I am Sigmar and I intend to defeat the Dark Gods forever. You shall help me achieve this task, so that the mortal races may forever know peace.”
“Sigmar?” Erathion cried, mortified. “By Asuryan, the eldar are doomed if the emperor has returned!”
“There is no emperor, Erathion, only the Gods of the eight realms. It is time. Rise as a Stormcast Eternal!”
Erathion desired to ask what it was that Sigmar meant, but he became banished with a brilliant rolling thunder and a wave of light. When he awoke next, he discovered himself clasped in golden armor of a make that defied mortal limits. In his hands was a great hammer and shield. Beside him, rank after rank of the Stormcast Eternals awaited in a chamber wreathed in a celestial mist.
Erathion spoke aloud. Heads craned in his direction. “Khaine’s blood, where am I?”
A voice echoed over the thunder in the chamber. “Hammers of Sigmar! To the Gates of Azyr!”
Another wave of light overtook the entire war host. Nothing remained.