Author's Note: Hey there, its been a forever ago since I've written anything. I have had the fortune of getting back into the swing of things thanks to a fellow author 'Magna Relator'. That and tastes change as you grow older and your interests differ from who you were 10 years ago. I have written shorts over the years, so this will be my first in my journey to be a competent writer as a profession.
Minor Warning: My primary lore knowledge is Warhammer 40k. WH Fantasy Battle lore has been restricted to the Total War series, shorts, other fanfics of Fantasy Battle, lore videos and wikis. Looking for someone who specializes in Fantasy Battle lore.
Defenders of the World - PROPHECY OF THE WARHAMMER
~ Solar Astromancer Temple ~
Yuckanadoozat wondered in his private moments if his departure from his home was all part of the Old Ones' foresight in the Great Plan. Like all skinks since the dawn of his people's creation, he knew his place among their kind. When the moment the spark of life opened their eyes to the living world, they knew their purpose in the grand design of their long gone masters. In deviating from his gene-writ task, he never foresaw the ripple affect his actions carried out to all Lizardmen.
The once lowly translator with feather light gentleness, steadied the stone optical tube of the astral-scope in his padded grip. He loosened his tense muscles to deftly readjust his sight on the comet for the sixth time that night. Whilst the master-crafted lenses of Hexoatl's engineering was undoubtedly sublime, it lacked many features and specialised tools that he was used to for even the most basic telescopes back home in Tlaxltlan. Nevertheless, these minor inconveniences were easily compensated with his own knowledge and calculations.
"I see you…" Yuckanadoozat whispered as he adjusted the focusing lenses of the astral scope. "The Forked Tongue of Sotek, hangs low in the sky. Now, I see it, brighter... clearer..."
Behind him, Targrax growled.
"Yes, it is. As we and our lord suspects, its hiss disturbs the Winds of Magic…" His tongue flickered in the air. Excitement welled in his breast to understand the astral event before him. "Its early emergence is a discordance to what the stars and the plaques foretold."
Yuk stepped away from the astral-scope to raise his head skyward towards the night sky. Not to observe the comet in further detail; but simply to take the short brief time to marvel at the stars, while renewing his resolve on the mystery behind the aberrant nature to the comet's untimely appearance.
His tongue flicked, briefly tasting the dew in the moist cold air. He turned away from the scope, its purpose for now served, he made his way down the spire of Mazadamundi's Astromancy chamber. Yuk skipped his way down over multiple steps, a torch held in one hand to light his way, in the other his staff of office that spoke of his status as a Star-Priest.
Yuk needed to consult the plaques again, hoping it illuminate the shroud of the discordant comet.
"Come companion, we must consult the plaques" Yuckanadoozat called out to the kroxigor at the foot of the spire, passing him in his haste to seek out his current quarry.
"Grrr…" Tar-Grax's large lungs grumbled in his barrel-shaped torso, before huffing a cloudy puff from his nostrils. Wordlessly, Tar-Grax followed after the Star Priest, matching the skinks fleet-footed steps with his short lumbering strides.
~ Vault Chamber ~
Something was amiss…
Their swift pace to the sacred chamber grounds smells heavily of a great portent in the air. The inner square leading to the entrance was deftly quiet. All the sounds from the natural flora of the jungle ceased. All seemed to have sunk into a state of perpetual silence; only their breathing indicated the Skink and the Kroxigor's presence.
Ten saurus temple guards standing steadfast in perimeter of the gate, still as stone statues.
Yuk's vocal cords by reflex vibrated with apprehension, the clicking of his throat breaking the unnatural silence that smothered the night thus far. It only took the first click from his throat the saurus sentinel's that brought the blazing cold glare of the saurus elite's attention.
Tar-Grax shuffled closer to the scribe. He shadowed over Yuk's body, ready to defend him in a moment's notice. A futile effort, alone one of the hulking guards could easily separate his head from his shoulders. Even so, he would gladly sacrifice his own essence before the skink's that is vital in the Old One's plans.
The spawn brothers slowly and cautiously took measured steps to the antechamber that lead to the underground vault of the sacred plaques. Wary of the red and amber gazes of the temple guards that stand vigil against would be trespassers.
Eventually, their slow trudge brought them to two that stood directly in front of the gate. Each perfectly sized, to stand guard on both sides of the stone door.
Tar-Grax matches the Temple Guard's glare with his own. Despite the kroxigor's greater stature, he knew the only outcome between his physical might to their martial prowess; he would be dead before he could even start to move his hammer.
Yuckanadoozat tapped his staff twice, one shifted his sight to the Skink Priest, while the other kept his sight remained on the kroxigor. The one who had his undivided attention observed him, scrutinizing him looking for qualities that eluded Yuk's understanding. The moment passed as the Temple Guard chuffed. As if they were one being, the two saurus warriors blocking the door stepped aside. The guardians stood in parallel to the frame of the doors before both pressed their respective palm against the gold inscriptions on the door. The magic charged within the gold glowed its etheric lights as the energy contained within the metal coursed through the lines of power that travelled all throughout the mechanism.
With a sound like the shifting of tectonic plates, the doors began to open without the aid of gears, pulley, hinges or pulleys. A testament to the arts that the Lizardmen were able to preserve since ancient times past.
Yuk and Tar hurried inside the moment the doors were wide enough for both to enter, incentivised not to make further eye contact with the Temple Guards.
The antechamber was an empty hold. Its walls lined with glyphs that spoke of the Hexoatl's ancient past, but nothing of value. For trespassers, this was an empty room that held treasures or trinkets. In truth, it is a ruse. The room was a deathtrap where unfortunate intruders would be cleansed in fire by the solar charged crystals that dotted along its walls, ensuring a conflagration so great not even their bones would be spared.
Both quickly made their way towards the antechamber's center. Yuckanadoozat and Tar-Grax resettled their bearings once they were inside, and waited patiently for the room to activate with their presence. The doors leading outside closed shortly at the temple guard's command, leaving them to the silence of the chamber.
The floor shook, but repetitive familiarity with the vault's elevation platform have made them intimate with the vault's workings. The presence of the Temple Guards were included in their frequent trips, and is a constant in their ventures going in and out of the vault when they first began to serve under Lord Mazdamundi's command. What concerned them was that despite knowing their Lord's express order for both to have full access to the vault chamber, the Temple Guards were more alert than usual. Meaning, something has happened between his time in the Astromancer Temple to the now.
A vibration and momentary feeling of displacement, set the pair on their downward descent into one of the few last repositories of knowledge and the prophecies set by the Old Ones in the Great Plan.
"What do you suppose has happened Tar-Grax?" Yuk asked.
"I suppose companion." Yuk replied. He brushed aside a few feathers that swayed towards his eyes. Their trips down into the tunnels were always quiet affairs. But the situation has changed, something in the vault has agitated everyone in its vicinity.
Evident by a light at the end of the tunnel beneath them.
Their descent slowed. The sense of weightlessness vanishing the moment the dais rested on the plynth. Surrounding them, another cadre of Temple Guards stood in vigilance in the reverse. They secured the vault from within, not out.
Identical to the guardians on the surface, two stand before the vault gate that separates Yuk from the plaques inside. Haloed by the light from the inside, their silhouette made them seem larger than they appear to be.
Yuk stepped forward in front of Tar-Grax. The hardest hurdle has already been past. What lies beyond is where he is needed most, and he has no fear of the saurus guardians before him. Tar-Grax follows in step, resolute.
The two, without any posturing, stood aside for the Star-Priest.
He lifted his hand, and lightly pressed his palm upon the dial engraved in the likeness of Chotec. With but a thought and a tug on the blue wind, the glyphs upon the rings flared with power. Soon, the rings begin to turn.
Where normal hands would have the arduous task of spinning the individual rings manually, the vault was tuned to respond to those who wielded the Winds of Magic. All one hundred rings began to spin into a dizzying blur. Following Yuk's telepathic commands, normal eyes could not even begin to comprehend which began to turn one direction or which ring stopped before turning in the other.
One by one, each ring stopped as per the combination sequence Mazdamundi engraved into Yuckanadoozat's very own essence. The door followed an identical security measure to Itza; it did not open to one combination, but a combination unique to a Skink or Saurus granted to them by Slann. This was a boon Mazdamundi granted to the Star-Priest as a form of trust. Lest he does something that deserved the Slann's retribution. A thought that Yuk would sooner throw himself into a volcano, than allow that thought come into fruition.
Ninety rings became seventy. Seventy became forty. Forty shrunk down to ten. Until the last ring stopped spinning.
A near silent click was heard. Next came the thundering boom as the interlocking rings that served as the doors slid back to allow entry. Where the excess of divine light that once held it all back now flooded into the chamber. It spilled across the hold brimming with ancient power. What was once a somber dim chamber, became daylight as it travelled up the shaft, and exploded into the surface.
It was an awe inspiring to those who gazed and felt a glimmer of the old power left behind by their now long gone masters. Even those who now follow the Serpent God, never forget their reverence to the Old Ones.
Yuk stepped forward into the light, and Tar-Grax followed. His third eyelid shielded him from the blinding light of the sacred plaque at the far end of the corridor. Other Skink translators bore witness to the sign of things to come.
Red crested skink braves twitched with their sails flared, alert of possible enemies even down here this stronghold. WIth the wretched Skaven, one must be wary of even the ground they stand on even in Hexoatls's stronghold.
"Look Tar-Grax" Yuk whispered in awe as he traced the shining plaque when began to reveal the scripts and codicis that lies within.
"Grr…" the Kroxigor nodded in agreement at this momentous event.
"One prophecy shines above all others." Yuk's finger traced over a line that only he could currently see. The other skinks listened intently to the Star-Priests words. "The prophecy, speaks of the Great Vortex. The Vortex, of the warmbloods."
Out of the corner of their eyes, other plaques began to shine within the sacred chamber. Soon, they were bathed in the golden glow of the plaques. Every skink began to scatter in all directions to record and decipher their meanings in hopes to present their findings to their Slann-Mage Priest. All of them important, all of them vital to the Great Plan. Not one must be overlooked.
Yuckanadoozat kept his eyes firm on the Plaque of the Vortex reading and deciphering the clues that lie in its glowing aspect.
A distraction broke his concentration. Annoyed he glanced to Tar-Grax who nudged him with his hammer. Whatever transgression he would convey to his companion was withheld as he looked upon the kroxigor's unusually focused demeanor.
His eyes were intense. Sharp and focused. Something has caught his eye that it demanded his attention and nothing else. Yuk followed the object of Tar-Grax's attention that was locked in his companion's line of sight.
A glimmer, a faint shimmer of light, high above their heads amidst countless artifacts and relics.
A plaque was embedded within a sundial at its center carved in the likeness of the Old One of the Sun Chotec. Its brilliance, hidden amidst hundreds that shadowed its need to be seen. A plaque that they would have missed, had it not been for his friend.
Yuk pulled his attention away from the alcove, to make his uphill climb and sought out to the one lonely plaque, that stood out against the darkness...
~ Itza - The Temple of Sotek ~
The First City.
For more than ten-thousand years, one truth remains undisputed when even entire landmasses split and the slow evolutionary rise of the younger races that populate the world; Itza is and will remain.
It is the temple-city when the first Old One set foot upon the world. In a time before the world was even given a name. Home to the Venerable Lord Kroak of the First Generation, it has ever been the eternal bastion of the lizardmen throughout the eons. Everything that is known of the Lizardmen's roots was or will ever be can be traced back to The First City. Its history and glory unmatched even in the present in spite of having lost so much since the Great Catastrophe. It stands as a testament of their former power and legacy.
Like their brethren in Temple Cities of the Sun and Moon the Star-Priests too have scrutinizing the aberration of the early emergence of the comet. While skink priests ruminate among themselves over the comet; One special Skink, seeks answers the only way he knows will give him the answers he seeks.
With a sacrificial offering of the mewling filth clenched in his fist.
The shrill of the screeching vermin wailed, bawling for mercy and salvation from his captor. A sign that the Horned Rat would rescue him from his inevitable his doom. This skaven was on of the special clutch. Whose rich black fur meant that he was supposed to be one of the Stormvermin, a mighty warrior who was supposed to do great and many things in the Great Horned Rat's name. His now dead Grey Seer who he abandoned to the tender mercies of goblin-spiders said he would.
Now. This supposed 'special' warrior was nothing but food for the lizard's Serpent God.
His tendons were cut ensuring he could not move, his fingers smashed to dust, his teeth pulled, and his genitals castrated. Those were not the worst of his indignity, his torturer ensured his agony was eternal and ever waking, with but a tiny sliver of the dagger's venom in his ruined toothless maw. The small droplet of venom burned at his tongue the moment it touched. This pain would travel deep in both the physical realm and of the soul. It's pain only grew ever more as it travelled down his throat where he felt his insides screaming with nonexistent fire in his veins. The pain robbed him of sleep, and the pleasure of passing out to escape his torment ensured that his blood pumping with maximized vigour and his nerves aflame with activity.
For five moons did this skaven suffered for his existence. Even now, death will not release him from his suffering.
Tehenhauin: The Prophet of Sotek, climbed the steps of the great temple with eager revere. His sacrifice personified the pain that all lizards suffer and the ultimate fate of the tainted children of the Great Enemy. Very soon one more rat will be sacrificed to the Deliverer and be devoured by his god.
Surrounding this mighty figure of awe and worship, the Cohorts of Sotek bow their heads in reverence to the avatar of Sotek's will upon the steps that leads to the very altar where the sacrifice will be disemboweled. These skinks were more than just skink warriors with red crests, their entire bodies were red. As though they were dipped in the dye of fresh blood.
Singular in his current purpose to the task at hand, Tehenhauin at last looks upon the sacrificial altar with a savage toothy grin as he ascended the final few steps. In his eagerness to throw the latest skaven into the infinite depths of his god's bowels, he unknowingly clenched the rat's neck, suffocating the skaven. Whether he realized it or not, he didn't care, his suffering alone was a tribute in itself, all skaven kind will perish one day. Sotek demands it.
Finally, the Prophet reached the sacrificial altar. The plinth was carved with exquisite detail in the likeness of Sotek's visage; where his gaping maw faced towards the sky to swallow the sacrifice whole, while his tongue formed a grooved canal where the spilled blood of the sacrifice will stream towards the pit of serpents.
Tehenhauin would not dally anymore than needed. He had a worthy offering to give to the Serpent God this night.
Screaming vermin sobbing filled the moonlit night. He felt his head almost being pulled from his body as his messy swollen scars rubbed raw against the impact from being stabbed into the stone. The grooves dug mercilessly into his flesh as claws and sinew made sure that he felt every single one of his reopened wounds. His glassy beady eyes blurred into focus amidst the pain, where the last thing he saw before his sanity finally left him, was the sight of cold red eyes, and the dagger that glowed the ethereal light of the god's chosen one.
Tehenhauin thrust his dagger into the sacrifices' chest. With a crunch and squelch, he broke through the flesh and bone of skaven as it convulsed from the venom's immediate effect, where the heart is forced to pump blood faster, and flowed quickly from his exposed wound. He was not yet done though. With a swift tug, he pulled the waving edge down from his chest to his abdomen. Satisfied with his work, he sheathed his dagger, before grabbing the each incision and pulled them open! Exposing his guts and his still beating heart to the elements.
Where his incision left a trickling river that flowed down the canal, his exposed inside came rushing out like a flood gate. Followers of Sotek look upon this ceremony and feel only elation as the altar's canal ran down its downward flow, where the spilled blood formed a river of red that formed Sotek's body with the altar as its head.
It was magnificent. Sotek would be elated with this offering.
With the offering complete, Tehennhauin begins his plea, to unveil the mystery behind Sotek's omen. That was not foretold to him. He stepped up onto the platform, looking down upon the face of his enemy. He hissed in disdain just even looking upon his enemy. With purpose in his breast, he reached down into the open wound with a grip on its spine and guts, he hauled the sacrifice above his head high above him! Showering him in the blood of his enemy, as he roared in the saurus tongue to speak to his god.
"Mighty Sotek! Your comet flies low in the sky this night! I seek your guidance as your prophet! Why has it emerged before what was foretold within the Sacred Plaques?" He put pressure in his grip, causing the rat to whine. "Give me sight oh Serpent God! So that I may be enlightened!" He roared his prayer into the night, to Sotek in the realm of the gods.
"I offer this token in beseeching you to answer! This one is suffering incarnate! It represents the pain we the children of the Old Ones have suffered throughout the eons and the fate of all the spawns of ruin!" He shook his still living mewling sacrifice to emphasize his agony. "May you be sated this night and show me! So I will prepare more sacrifices in your next offering!"
He heaved his blood soaked arms back. Pouring every bit of zealous strength into his gifted musculature offered.
"PRAISE TO SOTEK!"
And hurled the sacrificed skaven into the pit.
Lightheaded as he was, the ratman could only watch in dread. He sees it. In his final moments. Through the hundreds of thousands of eyes of the serpents that he was falling in. He saw not the Great Horned Rat that was supposed to devour him in his death, where he could rest in oblivion. He saw the Serpent God of the lizard things. And he saw the infinite abyss that is its gullet.
He knew in his treacherous and filthy heart, he will know no peace. Only an eternity of digestion in the stomach of the Serpent God.
Tehenhauin watched in silence and took satisfaction in the fleshy splash of the skaven disappearing in the serpents, before he kneeled upon the ceremonial slab in meditation. His offering of Sotek's enemy completed. All he could do now was wait for his god to answer.
In and out. He steadied his breath. His spirit at peace. Waiting. Patient and still.
Then, something changed the silence.
It started as one, but then the sound grew, for him to take notice. The combined rising pitch of countless snakes from within the pit. He looked down from atop the plynth from which he kneeled and witnessed Sotek manifesting through his serpents as the medium.
Where the snakes undulated over each other in an endless stream of scales and coil, they were still, and locked eyes with his own. The Serpent God and his prophet were in commune.
Tehenhauin gazed into Sotek, and in turn Sotek conveyed his thoughts to his prophet. Of events of things to come flow into the Prophet's thoughts. Along with its many dangers.
First, he saw the home of the Elves, the island of Ulthuan who selfishly claimed their 'paradise' as their own. Whose ancestors ignore its true design as a biosphere for the heirs of the younger races as the Old One demanded. The Vortex swirled its mystic storm, its power to siphon the excess magic ever strong and bellowing. Yet something was different. If Sotek deemed it necessary to show him of the Great Vortex, then something must have or will happen to the mighty elven spell that require their intervention.
Then he saw a land. Beyond Ulthuan. Far across the World Pond. In the land the warmbloods call, the Old World.
He saw a mountain where a warmblood god cloaked in winter, smashed his fist upon an unnamed mountain. From the flattened stone, a flame was left in its place and wolves poured forth from its flickering embers, and spread across the distant plains.
The fiery wolves multiplied until the embers became a sea of roaring flame. The flames then started to shrink - no - congregated. Until it began to take shape and formed into a singular warmblood man. He sees the man with a hammer, held aloft high above his head imbued with divinity. With the warmblood tribes and the mountain dwellers hailing his name in defying the darkness. The man would leave his tribe ascending to stand as an equal to the gods. Before he left he threw his hammer across the stars. Its blazing trail forming into a familiar comet with two tails. Its shining aspect burning eternally bathing all who look upon it with wonder and worship.
This next vision stoked the fires of his rage, cold blood boiled in the cauldron of his body. The chittering laughter of rats cackle and glee and they look upon the world above them in their filthy hovels. Their shift beady eyes eye the comet with gnarled fingers and crookedly broken manic smiles with sinister longing. They revel with perverse intent to the comet, no doubt seeking it for some foul purpose that would bring about a coming ruin.
The comet flared its light shirking back the rats into the pits from whence they came. Within the flame of the comet, an image began to form.
He sees within its incandescence, a familiar saurus of unparalleled renown spawned of a distant past, mounted on his carnosaur with the spear once belonged to the Old One Tlanxla in one hand and the other bathed in sunlight clenched in his mechanical golden fist. Above him, a skink lord flies among the clouds guiding the Oldblood's way. The eyes and hands of Lord Mazdamundi were both racing with desperation across a seemingly endless horizon with no end, with but a beacon in the far distance being smothered by creeping tendrils of shadows.
The comet shined once more, blinding his sight. He saw it descend from the heavens. And its blazing trail ended when it fell upon the hand of a warmblood. Great plumes of feathers adorn his helm clad in armor of midnight metal. He raised the hammer that was bestowed upon him with his god's blessing and rode into battle atop a winged beast.
Wherever the hammer swung, his enemies fell. The bloodshed of his enemies in the wake of his melee great and vast. The prophet could appreciate such zeal with the warmblood dealing death upon his blows. Yet... it eluded the champion the importance of what makes this one significant to his god and his people.
His answer came shortly the moment the blood began to stir.
The spilled blood of his enemies left all across the battlefield pooled and coiled. It swirled like a forming hurricane. From the blood, a pillar rose to the sky reaching out for the warmblood and his hammer. A red serpent rose from the blood! It was none other than Sotek himself! He seeks the warmblood not as a foe but as a fellow champion!
As the warmblood roared into the skies in the name of his god who bequeathed him his hammer. He could hear it clearly now the name of the god the warmblood praised, Sigmar.
Sotek began to coil around the warmblood's form, reverting back to the blood that was now Sotek's. The serpent shifted and transformed into a maelstrom. A shower of red that bathed the warmblood in his essence, obscuring Tehenhauin's sight.
The storm passed, and from the hurricane of Sotek's life fluid, the warmblood emerged reborn!
For he too now bared a bright red crest upon his head and back. He roared once more to the sky, his red crest aglow like fire, and the hammer in his hands shined its blinding light once again. He flew again into the distance. From the land stretching across the world Sotek watches, and from the sky his god Sigmar watches from the sun.
The world soon flared and blurred a murky white before Tehenhauin was forced to shut his spiritual eyes from the glare.
When the glare faded behind his eyelids and saw only darkness, he feels a sense of weight on his being and warmth showering over him. It took but a moment to realize, it was him returning to the waking world.
He mind was awake but the body refused to obey. He strained to open his eyes but was unaware of the passage of time his body succumbed during his vision quest. When Sotek pulled his soul from his body into the ether, his body fell into a near-deathlike state. Silent and still. While blessed by Sotek to live far beyond the average of skinks, it remained a pale comparison to the superior design of the Saurus and the Slann.
Regardless, Tehenhauin persevered. He forced his death sleeping body to wake. Lungs that only took in the bare minimal was forced to return to norm and legs that sat kneeling throughout the night were weak from the arduous position. Slowly but surely, Tehenhauin rose from his spiritual journey and returned to the material realm. His strength returning with every passing moment.
Tapered feet and the clacking of claws against stone steadied his footing. His eyelids fluttered open. Greeting him from the blurry darkness were the first rays of the morning sun, shining through the canopy of Lustria's jungle.
Shortly after, his eyes opened and the blurry shapes of the material world sharpened before it fully came into focus. He took but a moment to marvel at the world before him, of being Sotek's prophet, before he drank deep of the mission given unto him.
He could scarcely believe it, but a new age is upon them all that was undoubtedly within the Great Plan of the Old Ones!
Sotek has need of him to strengthen the lizardmen of an upcoming conflict with the elves and the Great Vortex. A war was on the horizon surrounding the Vortex, and he will ensure that the lizards will be the ones to secure their victory in the many battles to come.
Yet his pilgrimage must be handled wisely, for his labor was not just simply to ensure the Great Vortex be claimed by Sotek and his kind.
But he must also seek out the warmblood that would bear Sotek's blessing. Marking him as the first true man follower to the Cult of Sotek.
He ruminated on this intriguing revelation. While the warmblood tribe Amazons worship Sotek, it was always muted compared to the lizards who have experienced his manifested presence. No doubt very soon, all of Lustria's champions will serve in one form or another do their part in the oncoming war; Nakai the Wanderer, Chakax the Eternal Warden, Tetto'eko Astromancer of the Constellations and most assuredly Gor-Rok the Great White Lizard will take part in the war for the Vortex against the coming enemies.
Yet they were strangely absent from the vision. Sotek was very specific to show him Kroq-Gar the Last Defender of Xhotl and Tiktaq'to Master of Skies. Revered champions of Lord Mazdamundi's retinue whose presence alone serve as a physical manifestation of their slann master's will. Something did not align.
They were running towards a light shrouded in darkness, why them and not include himself? or the others who follow the Great Plan? He searched through the memory of his vision hard, to see the vision in the whole and not the pieces.
The first spoke of the gods of the warmblood, that told him the story of the winter god and how from the flame a champion who held a hammer was born before ascending to godhood. His ascension was marked with the blazing comet of Sotek's Forked Tongue. The warmbloods see the comet differently, but they revered it all the same. Meaning the worship of their god is connected to Sotek as well!
The wretched vision of the Skaven filled him with disgust, at how perverse they leer at Sotek's symbol. He calmed himself though to study the vision through a logical mind. The rats have a plan with the comet. Simple as that, but he cannot fathom what. All he can understand it concerns the comet and Vortex. All the more reason the lizards must rise to be the victor.
His line of contemplation eventually returned to the primary topic of his concerns; Kroq-Gar and TikTaq-To.
The immediate question came to him; where were the others? The answer naturally came to the Prophet. Mazdamundi's champions were sent for a different purpose. They were separated from the war for the Vortex. Why? Tehenhauin did not understand.
If one was a lesser being, one would think that they were being excluded. Ignored and lesser favored to Mazdamundi's champions. Such weak and poisonous thoughts only exists in the warmbloods who are destined for ruin. No. Something so obtuse would never be within Sotek's vision. He recalled the look of desperation upon their faces in their usually implacable mien and the vision of the shadowy tendrils.
The epiphany of the answer filled Tehenhauin with both reverence and dread.
The light in the distance was not a metaphysical light of the lizardmen seeking their salvation. The light was a literal physical representation of the one who bore the hammer. Kroq-Gar and Tiktaq'to were racing to the light in order for it not to be smothered, while he would be tasked in the major fight for the Vortex.
This was not just a war for the Vortex on multiple fronts, but two wars on multiple fronts. Mazdamundi's Champions, alone and far away from Lustria undertaking a journey to build their armies and secure the survival of the chosen warmblood of the hammer god Sigmar and in the near future also a chosen of Sotek.
Tehenhauin vow to his god with the rising sun as his witness, he will give him the blood of a thousand sacrifices in his next battle. He knows what he must do. He will see his soon to be kin of Sotek, but he is not the one to meet him first. That honor belongs to Mazdamundi's champions, while he and the others marshal their forces for the defense of Lustria and the means in which they will enforce their authority on the Great Vortex.
"THANK YOU MIGHTY SOTEK!" He roared to the morning skies arms raised to reach out and praise his god.
"I have seen your vision of the future! I accept this mighty quest you set before us all" His bellow stirred the others from their sleep, hearing the words from their prophet being spoken. Tehenhauin glanced towards his surrounding followers. Jumping off the sacrificial stone, he made his way down the steps while addressing his brethren.
"Brothers! Sotek has commanded us to lead out across Lustria in aiding our brothers to claim the Vortex!"
The Cohorts of Sotek chirped and screeched in a chorus of sound with zeal in their eyes, knowing that not only will the blood of their enemies be spilled in Sotek's name, but a saga in which will usher in a new age and advancement in the Great Plan.
Tehenhauin reached the foot of the temple, where his retinue of saurus guardians await his command. Along with the Stegadon who has the honor of carrying the restored lost technology of the Old Ones. The Engine of the Gods.
A sudden chill swept through the air. A sudden, unmistakable presence that commanded all to obey his every word, his instincts telling him all too well the source of the sudden charge surrounding him that affected all the lizardmen. The proof of this ones presence was touched by everyone, especially himself, darted their heads to the Pyramid of Lord Kroak. Without words, he made his way on foot to the Venerable slann's demesne.
His departure would be delayed but not unwelcome. For the living avatar of Itza's might, The Great White Lizard: Gor-Rok. Has been roused from his guardianship of Lord Kroak and stewardship of the temple city, and he demands for Tehenhauin to speak with him.
~ Kingdom of Beasts ~
An ancient Oldblood makes his first steps on the beaches of the Temple of Skulls. The briney moist sand depressed beneath his clawed feet while the waves of the morning tide continually brushed against the once lonely shores.
Strong beats of a legion of a hundred leathery wings casted its numerous shadows. High above the last living saurus of Xhotl, the Master of Skies nearly blotted out the sun with his mighty cohorts of terradon and ripperdactyl riders. Free at last from being confined within the stone holds, the beasts were eager to freely soar the skies and perch upon the flora and fauna suited for their needs.
Tiktaq'to was tasked to make his base in Tlaqua, and much like Kroq-Gar they are to muster their forces and mobilize the nearby temple cities under the saurus warrior's command.
He paused to breath in the fresh morning air of the ocean and the trees as he stood there, watching Hexoatl's vanguard force flying ahead of him to enact his role in the Great Purpose. While he stayed to enact his. His mechanical hand clenched tight with determination, the Great Plan is not yet done with him; for Xhotl's memory still yet lives through him.
A familiar shape entered into the Saurus Oldblood's periphery. Leaning down, Kroq-Gar stroked Grymloq's bright red copper snout. Grymloq moved to his partner's side and lied down on the soft sands. Sheer relief from the agitation of being confined for weeks on end with nowhere to run or stalk flooded through their instinctive bond.
When Kroq-gar looked back to the skies and Tiktaq'to finally disappeared beyond the distant mountain pass, did the transition of being aboard at sea and return to the battlefield was complete.
He relished one last brush of the lapping waves and the gale of the ocean breeze, before he steeled himself to the task of absolute import imparted by Lord Mazdamundi.
He was to gather his strength and make haste in his journey north of the Southland to the city the warmbloods name Altdorf and seek out the one named within the now dubbed 'Sacred Plaque of the Warhammer' Karl Franz. The plaque spoke strongly of the current living incarnation of their god Sigmar and how he was in danger of being swallowed by the shadows of the Great Enemy.
Kroq-Gar was determined not to let a vital piece within the Old One's design fall. With the coming struggle for the Great Vortex as all of Lustria and especially Lord Mazdamundi gather and contemplate the Sacred Plaques in the coming rituals required, he fully understood that any ritual that siphons power from the Vortex will weaken the barrier between the material and the empyrean. In the wake of bolstering the matrices of the Great Warding, the Great Enemy will no doubt seek to exploit the weakened Vortex and bring about the ruination they seek to do like so long ago.
His campaign north was one that would bring lesser saurus crumble by the weight of the monumental march to the Old World. Disadvantaged, without knowledge of when the slann's rituals will be enacted - or worse - their enemies, he is forced to always be under the assumption that they can begin at anytime. The more rituals being done, the greater the jeopardy of Karl Franz falling to the overwhelming weight of the ruinous powers.
The luxury of time is against the mighty warrior and he must spend it wisely to build a suitable force in the inevitable battle for the warmblood's survival.
Kroq-Gar leaped from the sands to sit upon his throne. Grymloq stood from its momentary respite and faced toward the sea. Both rider and mount witness the beginning of a new war that will decide the fate of the world once again.
The armada of a hundred stone ships were beaching the shores of their new land. A migration of lizardmen not seen since Sotek's coming.
Saurus Warriors led the way at the front. Scaley sinew and the perfection of savage ferocity bred only for battle were hungry for the chance of bringing devastation to those who defy the will of the Old Ones.
Skink craftsmen and farmers who will be supplying them in the war effort joined their mainline warriors shortly as they gathered and inspected their wares and take stock of their crop. Whereas crests of differing colors signified their roles, some of the red-crested skinks banded together to join Kroq-Gar's coming assault.
Lastly rising from the rear, the kroxigors surfaced from the ocean. The usually docile labor lizards hauled the mountainous crates and gems the size of boulders. Lividness marred their usually placid demeanors. Understandable given the water they were forced to endure for the duration of the naval journey was salt water instead of the river water they dwelled in.
All species of the lizardmen were here. Vital in the building of the legion he will soon be leading. More were coming from the ships from other lizardmen, to the tamed beasts that they managed to transport. Their ranks will only swell in the coming weeks and months when more temple cities rally under him.
For now he was satisfied with what he has at his disposal, he and Grymloq make their way to the once lowly temple. Their long stride to the first stronghold of the many that will follow. Even here all the way from the beach the unmistakable smell of ratmen were nearby.
And he would have first blood.
AN: The geography might be slightly inaccurate as I am using a mix of the 2004 world map and Mortal Empires map as a basis (Before you say anything, yes I am fully aware it is not accurate as it is a shrunk down map and its only half of the world at best)
Thank you for reading. Comment and Critique.