Herdstones are sacred objects to the Brayherds, Warherds and the Thunderscorn who have their own variations. All manner of offerings are left there to appease the gods, from loot, like weapons, armour and banners, to the mutilated corpses of their enemies.
Appearance and Role
Herdstones are enormous megaliths raised by the Beasts of Chaos where ever they roam. They are created using the warp-infused substance present in the Realm where they stand. A herdstone is a fusion of nature and Chaos and the materials used in one varies from realm to realm. In Aqshy they maybe made with volcanic glass and cooling magma, in Hysh with prismatic crystals and in Shyish from the bones of long dead God beasts. New herdstones are anointed with live sacrifices with captives being burnt alive or impaled on the herdstones. The longer the Herdstone stands more Chaos energy puts out of it even if it is unattended for a long time. Some of the most ancient Herdstones existing since the Age of Myth are twisted by the Realm of Chaos to the point that civilized minds lose their sanity in the presence of them. [2a]
Herdstones mark a beastheard's territory and it is where they carry out their anarchic celebrations and bloody rituals. Before stampeding to battle a beast herd assembles near the oldest and most sacred Herdstones and indulge in raw flesh and fermented blood and bile until their hunger for violence grows. This leads to deadly brawls where where those that think themselves to be strong make braying challanges to the alphabeast while roaring fires blazing at the base of the Herdstones bathe creatures in Chaos energy. [2a]
Such gatherings may even attract the attention of the Chaos Gods who wish to commandeer the growing stampede for their own purposes and may visit their gifts upon the beastherd. Putrid tentacles may grow or the crest of the Herdstones may erupt in a geyser of blood while a strong beast may be granted mutations or visions of battles to come. A beastheard may accept the dominance of the God just like any creature that displays dominance and be guided by similar sign sor refuse the offer and slaughter those touched by the god. Some alphabeasts may even order the herdstone to be torn down but this risks the wrath of the dark god as well as its own beastheard. [2a]
Herdstones of Warherds are typically malformed than those of Brayherds. They are crowned with the heads of ancient Doombulls and Ghorgons and living sacrifices are continually fed to their fires to the point that older herdstones have throbbing muscles and blood-filled veins replacing the rock while some are covered in droning, toothed maws.[2b]
Thunderscorn Beastheards use Herdstones to mark their territory. These Herdstones carved by the Dragon Ogors crackle with lightning or are surrounded by vortexes of swirling wind and are placed atop mountain peaks or Highlands where they act as lightning rods. But the largest exist at the heart of each domain, a mountain or giant magnetic mesa soaked in Chaos energy where the Thunderscorn beastherds gather to prepare for battle. [2c]
A Flux-Cairn is a sour growth of stagnant magics created by the Tzaangor servants of Tzeentch to both honour him and facilitate his schemes. These formations of fossilised sorcery spread like gangrenous crown, their milky facets catching light in eerie ways and captured magics crawled through it like fireflies as motes of iridescence.
These herdstones grow larger and more redolent as they are adorned with ensorcelled artefacts and its fires are feed tomes of knowledge. In exchange it produces a stream of chaos energy that attract winged monstrosities, Tzaangor flocks and half-mad scholars from nearby civilisations. These last are then turned by Tzeentch into savage creatures allowing for new beastherds to be created.[2d]
- The Flux-Cairn in the Hexwood, raised by Tzaangors, was being used to held Sylvaneth Soul-Pods hostage, drawing attention of both Sigmar and Alarielle.
- 1: General's Handbook 2017 - Allegiance Abilities: Brayherd, pg. 138-139
- 2: Battletome: Beasts of Chaos (2018)
- 3: Hammerhal & Other Stories, Dark God's Laughter