Galrauch -- The Great Drake, First of the Chaos Dragons

Thursday, July 16, 2015

In the time of Aenarion, when the Elves fought their great wars against the tides of Chaos, the elder race of Dragons fought at their side. These great drakes were the nemeses of the armies of the Dark Gods, diving from the skies upon the scions of Chaos and crushing or incinerating them in their thousands. The might of the Dragons could only be matched by the greatest of Daemons, and the epic clashes between these mighty creatures were events of such magnitude that the mortal warriors could only witness them in awe.

It was during such a battle that Galrauch the Gold Drake came upon Fateclaw, the Lord of Change at the head of a Daemon horde. As Galrauch descended from the heavens like an avenging thunderbolt, the avian Daemon-thing below did nothing more than bare its teeth in a sinister expression of glee. Galrauch's great jaws snapped shut around Fateclaw's head, ripping it clean away in a multicoloured spray of ichor. Within a heartbeat, the broken body of the Greater Daemon had dissolved into a scintillating mist that enveloped the exultant Dragon and sank into his flesh. Galrauch, resplendent in victory, flew high into the air, and the Elf warriors below him raised cries of triumph. But their cheers died away when the Dragon's body became suddenly wracked by violent convulsions. The mighty drake froze in mid-air, and an evil, iridescent light appeared in its eyes. H is scales flowed like water, form ing into evil, leering faces that cackled maniacally in praise of Tzeentch. Foul tentacles and wicked spikes emerged from the Dragon's flesh, and finally the once-noble head of Galrauch split into two all the way down to the base of his neck. Where there was once one head, there were now two, and to the horror of the Elves below, both turned towards their ranks. One head belched dark fire, burning scores of Elves alive, but the other breathed a sorcerous mist that brought horrible mutations and madness. The heads were governed by the same will at first, but soon they started to tear at each other with hatred, a sure sign that the spirit of the great Dragon had not been completely destroyed. The mind of the Lord of Change managed to wrest control of the powerful body once again, but not before the Elves and Dragons had broken the back of the Daemon armies. 

Galrauch withdrew from the lands of mortals and slept for centuries at a time, emerging now and then throughout history to wreak havoc on the lands of Elves, Dwarfs and Men. Legend has it that he was the first of the Chaos Dragons, and that many were the dark creatures born of his blood and of his evil sorcery. It was Galrauch who slaughtered King Thurgrim Rockarm and all his kin and sacked their ancient halls. It was he who single-handedly destroyed the city of Languerre de Lac and plunged its ruins into eternal night. Hundreds of noble heroes have tried to slay him, but they have all failed.

"Out of the storm it came -- a beast of brass and obsidian, of cable and bone, the wind from its jagged pinions reeking of brimstone and rotten souls..."

The Heldrake is a winged Daemon Engine of Chaos Undivided that plummets out of the skies like a living comet, hurtling towards enemy aircraft and crashing claws-first into them from above. Each Heldrake is a vicious predator, hell-forged deep within the Warp. These monstrous creatures take cruel joy in diving down upon the unsuspecting air support of their enemies in order to shred them into pieces with is scything wings and rune-carved talons. Heldrakes are usually found within the ranks of the Chaos Space Marine Traitor Legions, attaching themselves to the bottoms of Chaos warships and waiting until the ship reaches low orbit of its target planet, then the Heldrake will plunge into the world's atmosphere and engage enemy forces in the war-torn skies.  

Often, the first sign of a full-scale Chaos Space Marine invasion comes in the form of an attack by Heldrakes. These metallic monstrosities traverse the void between the worlds by clinging to the undersides of Chaos Space Marine attack ships, wings folded protectively around themselves in the manner of bats and their piston-driven claws clamped onto the fuselage above. Dark umbilical cables, sheathed in organic webbing, probe outwards from each Heldrake's body to burrow into the host voidship's outer surface, drawing away raw energy as a leech draws blood from its victim. When the Chaos warships arrive in low orbit, the Heldrakes detach themselves, unfurling their great wings as they plummet towards the atmosphere of the victim planet below. Some will soar through the skies as heralds of the destruction to come, retractable weapons pushing out from their gullets and spitting volleys of red-hot bullets that cut down the scrambling, earthbound defenders below. Others prefer to plunge through the clouds into the crucible of battle, screaming in savage joy as they crash headlong into the fight.

Sentinel of Lost Helligheim

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


Scholars today know little of the keep’s founding though draconic legends do speak of mighty fortress of similar description around the close of the Dawn Ages, about twenty-five thousand years before man and elf raised the Standing Stone.

In that distant time, a terrible war spanning a thousand years had been raging between the mighty giant and dragon civilizations. Throughout the long war, the merciless dragon armies led by terrible Garyx had driven a wedge through the heart of Ostoria, leaving the fire giant realm of Helligheim terribly weakened and isolated. Centuries earlier, the fire giants had constructed twelve mighty fortresses across the breadth of Helligheim’s southern frontier along the shore of the Dragons’ Sea. Though impressive fortifications of earth and magic, one by one the citadels were overrun and shattered by the Dragon King’s armies. By the time the merciful King-Killer star appeared in the heavens to drive the wyrms into madness, only one remote keep remained standing.

Helligheim endured for another century or two but the Colossal Kingdom has been shattered and soon the defeated jotunbrud began retreating further into the remote wilds of the north. Sealed and protected by powerful runecasters, the lone basalt sentinel stood silently for several millennia, abandoned and forgotten.


F√°fnir guards the gold hoard in this illustration by Arthur Rackham to Richard Wagner's Siegfried.

In Norse mythology, a dragon guardian of gold, son of Hreidmar and brother of Regin and Otter. He was slain by the hero Sigurd, who then bathed in his blood, making himself invulnerable, except for one spot between his shoulders, where a linden leaf, sticking fast, prevented the blood from touching.

In the Volsunga Saga Fafnir, in his lust for gold, slays his father, Hreidmar, and steals the skin of his dead brother, Otter, which contains a gold treasure. To guard his treasure Fafnir transforms himself into a dragon. Sigurd comes to slay the dragon Fafnir and obtain the treasure. He kills Fafnir by a ruse. 

According to the Volsunga Saga, Fafnir engages in a long discussion with Sigurd to discover who his murderer is, then dies. In Der Ring des Nibelungen Richard Wagner makes Fafner (Fafnir) one of the giants who built Valhalla for Wotan (Odin). Fafner and his brother Fasolt accept Alberich's ring in place of the beautiful goddess Freyja, the price originally agreed on. Fafner kills Fasolt and changes himself into a dragon to guard his gold hoard. He is eventually killed by Siegfried (Sigurd).