As Valirius Stronghammer fell, blighted-sword skewered through his chest, he had no fear. The blue lightning crackling from his brother’s weapons arcing across the Realm of Shadows was a grim reminder of his purpose; to be reborn a third time, a Weapon of the God King. As his eyes closed, his final act of this life would be to lash out with his mighty hammer, reducing the beast that had slain him to nothing more than a pile of ash. “For Sigmar!” Valirius bellowed, as his head hit the dirt. He knew his soul was on its way to Azyr to be reborn. He was on his way home.
Although his eyes were still closed, Valirius could feel himself gaining consciousness. He had been through the reforging process before, but this time it felt different. He felt the chill of the Sigmarite armor against his awakening flesh. As he regained his senses, he once again felt the burn of the Plaguebearer’s corrupt blade, and a seed of panic began to grow in the pit of his empty stomach. With growing trepidation, he opened his eyes and looked around in shock. There were no bright skies or heavenly sounds of Azyr. Instead, he found only the Shadows and Mists of Ulgu, the realm where he had been slain.
Alarmed and disoriented, Valirius stood, searching for any sign of his Retributor brothers. Surveying the somber battlefield, defiled by Nurgle’s rot, he saw no signs of the rest of his chamber. A few sets of Sigmarite armor were scattered across the landscape, but they were all empty husks, Stormcast Eternals that wore the armor had been brought back to the Heavens, just as they should.
Movement caught the Retributor’s eye; he turned his head to see four sets of armor standing up. He raced over to find four more Stormcast, just as disoriented as he. Why had they not been Returned to Azyr after death? No longer feeling the presence of the God King, the quintet knew what they must do next: seek out a Realmgate.