Battle of Hagg Nar

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Morathi emerging from the Mother Cauldron Máthcoir

The Battle of Hagg Nar was a three-way battle between the Daughters of Khaine and their allies from Misthåvn against invading Idoneth Deepkin and Hedonites of Slaanesh in and around Hagg Nar, as Morathi began her ritual to ascend to godhood.[1]


For many centuries Morathi bided her time for the right moment and the devastation of the Soul Wars offered her that chance. The attainment of godhood would free Morathi from being under the shadow of other gods and Morathi would preside over an empire of shadow and blood that would put Malerion’s dominion to shame.[1a]

Scourge Privateers under the command of Fleetmaster Taras Nightscour, an old ally of Morathi had scoured the seas with his fleets for decades at the High Oracle’s request and eventually in the Maithnar Sea in Ghyran, Nightscour’s Black Ark clashed with Idoneth of the Ionrach enclave resulting in the capture one of the deep aelves’ strange priests who was subjected to torture, revealing the location of the fabled Ocarian Lantern. Only Khainite Shadowstalkers could reach the depths of the Sarr Danoi and using the Umbral Web a strike force of Shadowstalkers plunged into the deepest trenches of the Maithnar Sea and thanks to enchantments woven by Morathi they were able to survive within the hostile depths long enough to reach the Sarr Danoi. At the chasm’s nadir, they found a glowing temple guarded by eyeless sea-wyrms and phosphorescent scyphopods and three score of Shadowstalkers entered it but only a single half-mad Shroud Queen managed to escape carrying the Ocarian Lantern. Meanwhile during the Battle of Varanthax’s Maw Morathi managed to steal a large amount of varanite mined by Chaos in the Varanthax's Maw and sneak out while her Stormcast allies took heavy casualties. The Daughters of Khaine had also secured many vital locations across the Realm of Shadows, each a font of primordial power connected to the shadowpaths, a network of shifting, arcane corridors that trailed like ventricles throughout Ulgu and Uhl-Gysh. At each point, dagger-shaped watchtowers were built and garrisoned by some of her most fearsome warriors and within each were captured servants of Tzeentch, Nurgle and Khorne, who were constantly tortured but not allowed to die. Now with the preparations complete she was about to begin the ritual of her ascendance. [1b][1c][1d][1f]


A grand assembral was called by High King Volturnos and Briomdar, Fuethán, Mor’phann and even Dhom-hain, who had not attended such a summit for many centuries were here. They gathered in the Dome of Ten Thousand Lights Volturnos and King Nemmetar brought a sciansá used by Khainite cults and announced that its bearer was captured and was tortured without much success but Tidecasters stripped what they could from her mind revealing that Ocarian Lantern was in Hagg Nar in the Umbral Veil. The Idoneth decided to ride to war against Hagg Nar following the banner of the High King. Through the boiling vents of the Léirgaeta whirlway the Idoneth came came. The vanguard of King Nemmetar of the Ionrach ,the High King’s huntmaster ranged ahead of the main deephost to plunge into enemy territory, identifying enemy numbers and attacking weakpoints before falling back to the main body of the army before resistance could be mustered against them. Volturnos reared on the back of Uasall, Prince of Deepmares, and raised high the Astra Solus for all to see. The Blade of Light issued a beam of radiance that cut through the black depths of the Penumbral Sea, directing the Idoneth host towards Hagg Nar.[1f][1g]

Meanwhile Glavia Sinheart had left the Eightpoints following the trail of Morathi as they raced along forbidden pathways to Ulgu and visions brought the Herald to the war camp of Lord of Pain Gestharyx who had recently laid siege to the Tower of Kiri’tar, a Khainite stronghold raised upon a wellspring of shadow magic that guarded a gateway to the Hidden Gloaming where he saw the sacrificial chambers of Kiri’tar before being forced to withdraw. Sinheart realised the true scale of Morathi’s plans and gathered the remnants of Gestharyx’s beaten army, and made at once for Hagg Nar.[1f]

The Zainthar Kai were prepared for the upcoming battle and a Caillich Coven had been decreed that a mighty gathering of warriors from each of the Khainite temples claiming that she was conducting a ritual that would summon Khaine in a storm of blood and fire with only the Scáthborn knowing that this was a lie. Hagg Nar was set atop a crown of jagged mountain peaks and surrounded on all sides by the treacherous currents of the Penumbral Sea and beneath it the Helleflux, a powerful font of shadow magic that spewed thick mists creating a shroud of fog that masked all approaches to the island, specially the blade-like reefs of black crystal that would cut any approaching vessels to splinters. However if the enemy managed to navigate the hazards of the Helleflux and make landfall upon one of the stretches of razor-sharp rocks that lay beneath Hagg Nar, they would then have to ascend a series of winding valleys to the summit of the Khainite capital itself and would be assailed by watchtowers, cascades of shadowflame and Witch Aelves from illusory hideaways. The Hagg Nar fleet was powerful but small in number and could not keep an invading armada at bay. Thus, Morathi had called upon allies offering them the wealth of Hagg Nar. Fleetmaster Nightscour of Misthåvn had assembled a huge armada to defend the coast of Hagg Nar brining one of their Black Arks surrounded by a flotilla of sleek, black-sailed raiding vessels of the Scourge Privateers and rugged steam-barques manned by sailors out of Misthåvn, brining several regiments of Freeguild marines under his banner. While these soldiers knew nothing of the cause they were happy to kill in exchange for the rewards.[1f][1g]

Hellemark Strait

Fleetmaster Nightscour arranged his flotilla to guard the main approach to Hagg Nar, the Hellemark Strait. This narrow channel was overlooked by a huge statue of Khaine, and surrounded in on both sides by reefs of black crystal sharp enough to tear a ship’s hull to shreds. Beneath the shadow of the statue, Nightscour’s Black Ark, Agoniser rooted itself with the beast that forms its foundation stretching its plated tentacles to grip the sea floor and iron gateways opened in the flanks of the Ark to release even more reaver ships, creating a kill zone bracketed by cannonfire and a storm of reaper-bolts. Then a mist crept in across the Hellemark and settled across the strait and one could barely see more that a dozen yards in any direction. [1h]

A cry went up from the lookouts as they saw the outline of a swelling wave through the mists, rushing along the narrow channel of the Hellemark towards them. Twelve Leviadons came bursting from the water with pale-skinned figures upon their backs, manning vicious-looking harpoon launchers. Missiles impaled sailors to decks, smashing apart machinery and tearing great gouges in sails. Nightscour’s fleet counterattacked with a hail of cannonshot and bolts but the enemy was too close and like living battering rams, the Leviadons smashed straight into the outer ring of warships crashing through both hardwood and metal while their crews flew through the air like ragdolls. Behind the charging Leviadons came Allopexes, whose Akhelian riders loosed volley after volley of harpoons even as their bloodthirsty bond-beasts swept across the decks of vessels, eviscerating the crews with their bladed fins and serrated teeth. While many of these were blasted out of the air by chain-shot and disciplined musketry even more sleek shapes came bursting from the depths. Eidolons of Mathlann surged upwards upon great plumes of seawater before crashing down across the bows of stricken warships. Aspects of the Storm raged and struck like the lashing waves of a great tempest while Aspects of the Sea unleashed waves of overwhelming dread that caused many sailors to hurl themselves over the gunwales in terror and despair. [1h]

Despite the sudden Idoneth assault, neither the corsairs of the Scourge nor the marines of Misthåvn gave in to panic as both had faced the deep-aelves of the Penumbral Sea before. Along the shoreline of Hagg Nar, formations of Freeguild Handgunners cracked off volleys of lead, repulsing every wave of Namarti while Destroyer-barques and Scourge wolfships unleashed a cannonade that ripped through scales and coral armour, filling the strait with ruptured corpses.[1h]

Hagganal Bay

Fighting soon reached the outskirts of Hagg Nar, but the fiercest was at the Hagganal Bay which was the widest and most open landing point for any invading force. As Namarti warriors emerged from the crashing waves watchtowers unleashed streaming arcs of shadowflame wreathing them in flesh-melting black fire and reaper-bolts scythed through masses of deepkin while of Khinerai descended with barbed sickles. [1h]

The Namarti drove back Khainite foes three times only to be turned back by witch aelves that came pouring from unseen tunnels and attack fell upon their flanks. Shoals of Leviadons and Allopexes surged up into the beach to reinforce Namarti formations resulting in the defenders deploying Kharibdysses that lumbered out of the sea caves. The creatures made short work of any sea-aelves that came within reach, and even tore at the shells of Leviadons but many were also crushed or ripped apart by the armoured behemoths. However more Kharibdysses were coming and the Idoneth's lines were being pushed back.[1h]

High King Volturnos rode at the head of his royal guard and swept down attacking with volt-spears that filled the sky with blinding flashes of bioelectric lightning while fangmora Eels violently savaged their prey. Volturnos fought as the epitome of Idoneth martial might and every time the Astra Solus lashed out in a flash of blinding light he cut down yet another foe. The sight of the Crest of the High Kings emboldened the faltering Idoneth allowing the Idoneth to push the Daughters of Khaine and their Scourge Privateer allies to the base of the cliffs where the they were either down by the storms of arrows loosed by Namarti Reavers, or driven over cliffs.[1h]

Slaaneshi Assault

Suddenly discordant blaring of war-horns came from the horizon, Slaaneshi Herald Glavia Sinheart brought a vast host of revellers under the sway of Lord Gestharyx. Oiled and tattoo-covered ogors were melded into banks of oars carved from sinew and bone, hauling with all their fearsome strength as Daemonettes lashed them into a delirious frenzy. Sinheart felt the eyes of Slaanesh upon them while Gestharyx could scent the divine spoor of Slaanesh swirling about the towers of Hagg Nar.[1i]

Freeguild barques that had been left floundering in the wake of the Idoneth assault were smashed by the ram-equipped quadriremes of the Slaaneshi navy whose momentum barely slowed. The fleet sliced their way up onto the rocks at the rear of the Idoneth formations, before their hulls split apart to disgorge mobs of shrieking warriors and bladed chariots onto Hagg Nar’s beaches. Glavia Sinheart’s Exalted Chariot sped onto the corpse-strewn sands, followed by a formation of similar death-machines, slicing the Idoneth rear into to ribbons. Behind them Lord Gestharyx led a throng of Daemonettes that leapt into battle. The Daughters of Khaine uncaring of the tactical ramifications launched themselves into the flanks of Sinheart’s revelrie with renewed vigour.[1i]

The Scourge Privateers were all too happy to let this battle decide itself without them as their task of mauling the invasion force had been carried out and the survivors boarded the reaverships and retreated to the safety of the Black Ark Agoniser. Fleetmaster Nightscour ordered a retreat while taking a number of Idoneth prisoners and even a pair of wounded Leviadons.[1i]

Idoneth were now trapped between the Khainites and this new host of Chaos worshippers. The High King swiftly ordered King Revarnos of the Nautilar to form a defensive line at Hagganal Bay, their Leviadons would form living barriers, while their Isharann summoned shields of arcane force to protect their warriors and the Tidecasters of the Mor’phann would create freezing mists to slow the Slaaneshi assault. Volturnos himself would lead the best of the Ionrach’s cavalry corps and Akhelian King Molpir’s Fuethán Bloodriders in a charge to the heart of Hagg Nar, breaking through the gates of the Drathi Coran and into the First Temple itself to reclaim the Ocarian Lantern. The High King and his Akhelian Guard rode the ethersea into the skies, smashing through the Khinerai flocks. Ahead rose the bladed spires of the Palace of the High Oracle, the largest structure in Hagg Nar, a soaring dome fashioned from the crystallised bodies of Morathi’s defeated foes, kept alive and in a state of constant agony by the scáth-touch of her Melusai. Beneath the Palace was Khruthú, the underhall where the Máthcoir was housed.[1i]

The Ritual

Across the Realm of Shadow, in each of the great towers erected upon the nexus points of the Shadowpaths, the sacrifices began. Champions of the Dark Gods except those of Slaanesh sacrificed upon black altars by Hag Queens. Their life-essence spilled into channels carved in stone, pouring into waiting Blood Cauldrons. The Blood Cauldrons’ mystical connection to Hagg Nar transformed the Mother Cauldron into a nexus of sorcerous power that drew in the souls of each slaughtered Chaos worshipper and sent them gushing along the arcane capillaries that connected Ulgu to the Twilight Realm of Uhl-Gysh. There a ceaseless torrent of souls gushed into Slaanesh’s belly. initially the god was euphoric as it had been a long time since he had feasted so well but then shuddered with revulsion as he recognised the sickening taint of his brother gods as they spilled down his gullet by the thousand. However through a haze of revulsion, Slaanesh sensed an opening in the folds of reality, the wards of his prison were broken. [1j]

Morathi raised the Iron Heart in one hand, took up the Ocarian Lantern in the other as she made her way up the stairway to the lip of the enormous bowl. In the centre of the cauldron was a whirlpool, from which spilled colours and sounds unknown to mortal senses, and one by one the insubstantial forms were swept screaming into its embrace, a connection had been formed between the Máthcoir and the belly of the Dark Prince. Then she stepped over the lip of the Mother Cauldron, and descended into the raging depths. Morathi’s alabaster skin peeled away and when she opened her mouth to scream varanite spilled down her throat, coursing through her veins and filling her lungs with liquid fire as her bones were cracking apart and shifting into new configurations. However her suffering within Slaanesh had hardened her and she raised the Ocarian Lantern high, its beam cutting through the bloody maelstrom.[1j]

Morathi found herself adrift amidst an ocean of colour and sensation and above was a blood-red sky where a vast glittering portal hanged and through which could be glimpsed a grotesque immensity, a chained form made of screaming face. Morathi raised the Ocarian Lantern and drew wisps of soul-matter from Slaanesh. Like a lighthouse the Lantern called forth spirits that had lingered in torment within the Dark Prince for countless centuries. As they surged to freedom Morathi brushed aside dismissively seeking the souls of ancient kings of the aelven race, who had ruled over an empire in another world and bore a flicker of divinity. As these radiant souls reached out to her, Morathi felt a flood of stirring emotion. Some of she had hated or feared and one amongst them, she had even loved. Morathi smothered the memories and transformed into a writhing serpent formed from the deepest shadows. She seized the nearest king-soul in her coils and latched onto it with night-black fangs and drained every drop of its power, leaving nothing but a husk of ash. The king-souls tried to escape but her grasping coils would not relent and instead they took mystical forms of their own, some transformed into flame-winged eagles, spears and blades of sunlight, or waves of azure magic that struck at the Shadow Queen. Yet in the end only a single radiant spirit remained and the most powerful of all. Morathi hesitated as she had once shared a closeness with that and in that moment the kingsoul –filled with rage became a sword of fire and blood that hewed straight through Morathi’s soul, sundering the very core of her being. As Morathi fell into darkness, cleaved in twain, the bloated body of Slaanesh began to convulse followed by a flood of glittering drool which coalesced into a shimmering, protean shape that raced after Morathi.[1j]

The First Temple

The Bloodsurf Hunt of King Nemmetar led the charge through the halls of the First Temple, his Allopexes tearing through temple guards and guided by their blood-scent remained impeccable, Nemmetar and the High King were guided to the great doors of Khruthú. The gate of shadow-forged metal was sundered by the Astra Solus and the Idoneth burst into the chamber. Morathi’s guardians charged to protect their mistress but Volturnos rode Uasall into the heart of the Melusai carving a path to the base of the Máthcoir and struck the Mother Cauldron, which came apart with a shriek of twisted metal and an explosion of boiling blood. The force of the blast sent Volturnos and his steed hurtling across the underhall while Idoneth and Khainites were swallowed by a tide of varanite.[1k]

The explosion tore through the roof of the Khainite fortress and an indistinct shape arced across the sky with a trail of lurid colours and superheated steam. It roared away across the ocean and Sinheart shrieked with ecstasy which was then echoed by the rest of the Hedonites that suddenly abandoned the slaughter and raced back to their quadriremes to pursue the strange, glowing comet.[1k]

From the blood-red mists of the Mother Cauldron came a glistening, serpentine form with rippling membranous wings and a crown of hissing serpents that loosed a primal scream that shook the chamber. Then from amongst the serpent thing’s coils came Morathi. Volturnos named Morathi a thief and declared death upon her. King Nemmetar and his riders descended upon the pair with the Allopex snapping and tearing at the snake creature’s scaled flank but when the monster’s eyes blazed a hellish crimson one of the Allopexes suddenly burst apart and then the monster lashed out at King Nemmetar’s Deepmare with its tail sending it crashing against the far wall. While Nemmetar fell to the floor, the blow shattered his mount's spine. High King Volturnos drove Uasall forwards its jaws snapping at Morathi’s throat but with a casual gesture she summoned snaking tendrils of black smoke that seized Uasall and dragged it to the ground and then the winged monstrosity struck Volturnos, smashing him from his saddle and placed the edge of its great spear on his neck. [1k]

Morathi ordered the remaining Idoneth to be released and the newly ascended Morathi-Khaine called for her Melusai attendants to order the armies of Hagg Nar to fall back. She offered to form an alliance and returned the now broken Ocarian Lantern but also spirits of Cythai the High King’s kinmates, slain centuries ago. The High King instead of being allowed to be driven by emotion took the cold practical view that allowed Idoneth to survive and bade Morathi-Khaine to speak her piece. [1k]


Morathi’s while succeeded in her ascension her essence was cleaved in two and now she possessed the two distinct forms of Morathi-Khaine and wrathful monster known as the Shadow Queen united by a single soul.[1k]

Meanwhile the entity known as the Newborn screamed across the sky and its path stone turned to flesh, lakes of honeyed saliva appeared and ploughed valleys of pristine glass. Hosts of Hedonites followed it weeping in joy as the Prophecy of Parturition had been fulfilled. The Newborn came to rest in a shadowed hollow in the earth, echoing to the agonised wails of long-dead souls. As Hedonites came in their thousands to witness the birthing the skies above howled. From the embryonic glow came a winged form so beautiful and terrible that many present died in purest rapture. As the hedonites prostrated the Newborn began to speak its first, profane words.[1l]


  • 1: Broken Realms: Morathi
    • 1a: Morathi, pg.10-11
    • 1b: War Clouds Gather, pg.16-17
    • 1c: Abyssal Heist, pg.18-19
    • 1d: Shadow and Treachery, pg.24-25
    • 1e: Dominion of Shadrac, pg.32-33
    • 1f: The Brink of Triumph, pg.34-37
    • 1g: Scourge of the Seas, pg.38-39
    • 1h: Blood in the Water, pg.40-41
    • 1i: Scream of Exultation, pg.42-43
    • 1j: The Ritual, pg.44-45
    • 1k: Morathi-Khaine, pg.46-49
    • 1l: Shadows Rising, pg.64-71