Updated: Feb 21
With an explosion of violence the dream was over. Cirienvel awoke with a start, gore-slick & breathless, laid bare amongst a nest of torn bodies & entrails. A massacre, born of some unholy rite littered her surroundings, leaving bloody ruin as far as the eye could see. Nearby atop a dais of agonised corpses nestled the desecrated husk that was once the fabled casket of dreams, now shattered & hollow.
Like a vivd nightmare etched into memory, Cirienvel began to recall the prophetic events that had found her sprawled amongst such a bloody hell-scape. She recalled her obsession with mastery of the eternal dance, once so revered by her twilight people. She shivered at the thrill in recalling the dark promises of Loec’s messenger & the vaults of winter, shuddering involuntary as the honeyed words of the seer haunted her still.
She thought also of Naieth, who’s jealousy & contempt for Cirienvel had almost convinced her she was unworthy of her kins’ secret arts. Such a withered hag devoid of beauty could not hope to halt her ascension.
Then she remembered the agony. Pure, insatiable agony. Sensations so overwhelming the stars above the glade had screamed a piercing chorus that spilled the secrets of reality, washing forbidden knowledge over Cirienvel like rain. A deluge of revelation, of prophecy, and primordial truth.
Her consciousness resumed, blood streaked freely down her face. As the essence of mortality pooled upon her lips, Cirienvel tasted iron rich elixir. Exhilaration coursed through every fibre of her being like lightning, setting alight to a desire & lust that would never be sated.
As she reached for more of the ruby nectar the touch of cold chitin was both shocking & thrilling as Cirienvel turned her palms within her wrists, only to find that she no longer possessed palms nor hands at all, only razor edged claws the hue of violet bruising.
Whether horrified or elated Cirienvel wept tears of purest, darkest ink. Lurching forward onto her knees the once proud war-dancer gazed into one of the many bloody pools pocking the cursed earth. Ebony pearls set deep into porcelain sockets widened in awe at the seductive form reflected.
Skin of mauled alabaster clung impossibly tight to lithe sinew & bone. Blade-sharp talons protruded from knees, heels & elbows, vicious, yet slender & fine to behold. Shoulder-length ruddy hair that exuded a siren scent. A pair of intricately patterned amethyst pincers, encased in chitin from the elbow replacing once delicate forearms. Their edge impossibly sharp and yearning to be anointed with the blood of admirers.
But it was her new eyes that struck Cirienvel most. Forbidden knowledge encased within two motes of pure darkness. A gaze that could possess the will of even the most stalwart heart, set within features that defied beauty & horror equally.
Was this the ascension promised? Was this the form shared by the divine amongst her kin? On clawed limbs, atop the corpses of the denizens of once secluded Athel Loren, Cirienvel set out to seek answers …..
Inspired by the vaults of winter story in warhammer armies: Daemons of Chaos, my story follows former war dancer Cirienvel as she emerges upon the mortal realms, having survived the horrors contained within the vaults of winter. Cirienvel's surroundings aren't the only thing to have changed, as she soon learns she has become a creature of chaos itself: a daemon. The story follows her journey throughout the realms as she uncovers new abilities, passions and quests in service to her new master. I want to write the journey as both inquisitive yet horrific, the way that Dante views the inferno.