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The Death Watch- Brother Radek

Randolph Carter

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This one is a twofer- look for an earlier post with the fate of Teodoric's line and the end of the Bogomils.

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Austrasia and Illyria, like the other great empires of old, were ruined under the onslaught of Chaos, but elsewhere folk remained free of the taint of the Dark Gods by virtue of their mobility. Across the wide plains of Ghur, the horse-folk of the Ogatai had never settled the way their cousins the Bogomils had, and so when the end came they could simply ride away with their mounts and herds, leading the Marauders and daemons on a merry chase across the realm. For decades, they persisted in this way, proudly defiant and taking a fearsome toll in enemy skulls.

Thus it was in the day of Radek Ogotai, known as the White Horse, whose word was his bond and who was marked by the Great Stallion those people worship with a pale crescent in the shape of a hoof. It was he who came to rule over the Ogotai upon the death of his father, even as the settled Chaos Lords of the Realms swore to destroy the ever-evasive nomads.

On the night after he had drunk the mare milk and stallion blood that marked his ascent as chieftain, he had a dream. In it he saw his people chased by four horses- one red, one pale, one white and one bone.  Where the horses caught a man, they would trample and bite and tear at him, and in this way they were on the verge of destroying every Ogotai who still lived.

In his dream, Radek saw another horse, greater and prouder than the four, rising from the earth itself, and he took the beast's reins and tried to flee on its back- but it bucked and stomped, and carried him towards the marauding beasts. Clinging to the steed's neck, he rode it against the four horses, lashing out with his sword and his steed's hooves until they were broken and in flight.
 
Waking, he understood. The horses were the Dark Gods, and though he had the power to save his people from their rampage victory did not lie in flight, but in attack. Calling his warriors together, he lay out a new plan- to turn around and strike at their enemies, to win wars in the Great Stallion's name.
 
Their horses that had stood them so well in the chase now became fierce coursers, and their hunting bows were deadly weapons against men. The lords of Chaos, long accustomed to pursuing, were utterly surprised when the tables turned, and routed wherever the Ogotai came upon them. Across three Realms the nomads carved a path of destruction, purifying the taint of the Dark Gods with fire and the sword. Indeed, so great was their disruption to the Dark Gods' continued conquests that other slaves to darkness began to gain hope, rising against their daemonic masters.
 
This would not do. A mighty army of mortals, beasts and terrifying creatures from beyond the realms of sanity was called together to crush the Ogotai in an iron band. Though Radek won victory after victory, he was slowly being encircled and trapped by the numberless legions of Chaos. At last, confronted with the inevitable end of his people, he cried out to the Great Stallion for deliverance. The Horse-Who-Is-God granted him another dream, of numberless eyes watching Radek and his people- yet as he moved, the eyes followed him, not the multitude around him.
 
He woke and knew what he must do. On the morn, battle was joined against a great horde of Chaos, and though his warriors struck and retreated again and again the iron tide did not stop in coming. Taking his bosom companions with him, Radek led another charge into the heart of the Marauder ranks, driving them back on themselves for a brief span. Then, as the charge began to stall and the Marauders rallied, he signaled to his soldiers to retreat- and with his closest friends continued to ride. Seeing their greatest enemy fleeing in a different direction, the champions of man, beast and God gave chase, leaving the rank and file confused. As the enemy formation began to scatter apart bereft of leadership, the surviving warriors of the Ogotai broke a hole, making their escape into the wilderness again.
 
For his part, Radek was brought to bear by no less than seven Lords of Chaos, who slew his steed from under him. Crippled and dying, he began to laugh- his enemies might have killed him, but they had failed entirely to best his people. The Ogotai would never die. Centuries later, when Sigmar's golden legions fell on the Mortal Realms, they found men and women of the Ogotai still riding the plains, still proudly defiant of all the Gods of Chaos and their corruption.
 
For his part, though, Radek was taken up in Sigmarite- a laughing storm, a bearer of thunder, a divine messenger once again bearing hope to the slaves of the Enemy.
 
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Brother Radek is called the Laughing Storm, the Bearer of Thunder, Hope's Champion, the White Scar, the Stallion’s Hooves, the Fourteenth.
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39 minutes ago, Moldek said:

Nice fluff! Mongol inspired I suppose?

Thanks! He sure is. I figure that "knightly" is not the only model equestrian societies in the Mortal Realms would follow, and Ghur has to be full of cavalry... even if they don't always ride horses.

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