Friday, August 5, 2022

On Wings of Blood and Miracles

Hey Everyone!  Today I am very pleased to bring you a new chapter in the saga of Tayrathi with some new lore all about her newest recruit into The Tayrathian Cult!  Liliia Blood-Bonded as you see below is an Anointed on Flamespyre Phoenix as far as rules go, but in lore, she is a Sorceress on a Blood Phoenix.  This model was an idea I had for my model to bring to Realms At War: Aethermy so long ago but was not brave enough o do it at the time.  The timing finally felt right as I head to the Steel City GT Tournament and wanted to create something truly unique.  I hope you enjoy the lore below and happy hobbying!

  Tayrathi stood hunched over the sacrificial pulpit within her private chambers, studying the Crimson Scianlar, her favorite instruments of murder, before her. She willed the blades to give up their secrets… secrets of their power and purpose; secrets that only Morathi-Khaine herself could fully unlock. After a few more heartbeats, she let out a shout of displeasure before giving up on her interrogation — the fourth time this exact scene had played out within as many hours. Tayrathi’s anger hardened into frustration as she pinched the bridge of her nose to alleviate her oncoming headache. A knock at her chamber door meant her studies of the of the twin blades, and her headache would have to wait. “High Priestess, the sacrifices are ready,” proclaimed the Witch Aelf through the door, a note of caution in her tone. “Prepare the sisters; I will be there momentarily to perform the rites. Is the Phoenix properly secured?” Tayrathi’s response showed her concern for one of the day’s two sacrifices. After a pregnant pause, the Witch Aelf responded confidently, “Yes, High Priestess.” The sacrifices to Morathi-Khaine on this day were twofold. The first, a Flamespyre Pheonix, had been delivered to the Temple’s doorstep by Morathi-Khaine’s personal honor guard. The Flamespyre were notoriously difficult to sacrifice, due to their nature of rebirth. If the proper prayers were not enacted precisely, then the Priestess and all nearby would meet a fiery and explosive death. This “gift” of sacrifice from Morathi-Khaine may be another test — or an assassination attempt. The second sacrifice was less majestic but no less dangerous. A fallen Sorceress named Liliia had been captured during the assault on Anvilguard. She was one of the outspoken few opposing Morathi-Khaine’s liberation of the city. Liliia's lips praised Khaine while blaspheming against Morathi-Khaine within the same breath each time she spoke — though when her tongue was taken by Tayrathi, these transgressions came to an abrupt end. Glancing at the Crimson Scianlar on the pulpit, Tayrathi picked them up after a moment’s hesitation. She was bent on unlocking their secrets with the blood of this day’s sacrifices to Morathi-Khaine, in this first usage of the blades outside of battle. Determined, she stalked from her chambers to the main hall of her Temple. ------------------------------------------------------------ Tayrathi stepped onto the raised dais at the center of the grand hall. The room was full to bursting as the Witches, Sisters, and other members of her Cult pushed as close as they dared in hopes that some of the blood would bless them during the Sacrificial Ceremony. Each Khainite in the room shrieked praise to Morathi-Khaine. To Tayrathi’s left knelt the Sorceress Liliia, hate filling her eyes as she resigned herself to her fate. To the right lay the massive Phoenix, wrapped in chains and clearly sedated so as to not struggle against its impending death. Tayrathi raised the Crimson Scianlar and silence filled the hall except for the loud breathing of the Phoenix at her side. “Fellow Khainites!” Tayrathi began. “Today we shed the blood from two sacrifices in the name of Morathi-Khaine; one who opposed the liberation of Har Kuron and the other a gift from the Goddess herself!” As the assembled Daughters began chanting and wailing, awaiting the coming bloodshed, Tayrathi knelt down to Liliia and whispered in her ear. “Much like you, I am well aware of Morathi’s duplicity. Unlike you, though, I know how to play my part until the time is right. May Khaine grant you a second chance in another life to learn from this lesson.” Liliia’s eyes went wide at Tayrathi’s words, but her lack of tongue prevented any final plea or bargaining for her life. Eyes with frustration, she closed them tightly as one of the twin blades plunged through her chest. Her body fell limp to the floor as her lifeblood pooled beneath her. She still felt the blade stuck deep within her she was overtaken by blackness. Within moments of the first sacrifice, Tayrathi spun on the prone Phoenix, gripping the second blade with both hands to drive it deeply enough to reach the beast’s heart. Putting her full weight behind the strike, she drove the red blade home and the Flamespyre’s arterial spray doused Tayrathi and those positioned near the dais. The creature released a loud cry of pain as blood flowed from the wound, mixing with blood pooling from Liliia’s cooling corpse. Tayrathi was the first to sense something was wrong - the Flamespyre’s blood began to ignite in flame. Her instincts saved her as the flaming blood mixed with that of the Sorceress, erupting into a fireball that killed the Khainites close to the altar. As the explosion subsided, Tayrathi stood alone on the dais, largely unscathed, protected by the glowing Rune of Khaine upon her brow. Tayrathi immediately scanned the room for the reborn Phoenix, not realizing that the body of the Sorceress Liliia was gone. A blood-curdling screech from above drew the attention of everyone left alive in the chamber. Above them soared the reborn Phoenix with Liliia upon its back. After the Khainites regained their composure, it was obvious to them that the Flamespyre Phoenix had been reborn not of fire, but of blood, its magics having also returned Liliia back to the realm of the living. The rider and her mount landed before Tayrathi, both bowing in fealty to the High Priestess. Tayrathi noted the smirk on Liliia’s face despite her deference and glanced at the Crimson Scianlar laying on the floor, sensing she may have stumbled upon a fraction of their true power. “Khaine be praised!” Tayrathi shrieked, and the crowd responded with cries of joy in the names of Khaine and Tayrathi alike. The Cult’s exultations reached new heights at the realization of this miracle. Picking up the twin blades of power, Tayrathi mused over the unexpected link between Khaine and the power of the Phoenix and how she might use this knowledge to gain an upper hand over Morathi-Khaine.