A Wolf in Sheepskin

Auldinwë stood valiantly atop the mangled corpse of a greater daemon of Slaanesh–its desirable pink flesh marred and ruined. The Howling Banshee raised her power sword into the air, wailed out a victorious cry filled with deep lamentation and etched emotion. She had won–they had won. Tens of Thousands of years tarnished by war chiseled into her very being, her very soul–until this final moment of victory over She Who Thirsts. Her kindred had reached the pinnacle, lobbed the head from the serpent, and acquired an impossible victory. 

The Farseers guided by Yvraine and her great Ynnari roused Ynnead from his long slumber and into an awakened state. The God of Death cast down the Great Enemy and brought the cycle into fruition. After many lifetimes, of many generations, of so many lost Aeldari; Slaanesh was slain. 

Auldinwë unsealed her crimson-maned helmet, tossed it aside as she cried out with all her being–a blend of a sated anguish and ended fury–her body shook as this alone was physically taxing. A tremendous weight had been lifted from her shoulders. The Howling Banshee’s revenant call–a thing of remembrance of the slain, to those whose soul stones had been shattered, to the souls devoured by Slaanesh–she would remember them for eternity everlasting.

Auldinwë’s bellow became hoarse, her body trembled, her eyes heavy–she was tired. And now, Auldinwë wished for tranquility. 

Then, she cast her bejeweled eyes across a battlefield, gleaned the view of her brothers and sisters in celebration over She Who Thirsts. Aeldari mourned, they praised, they revered, they prayed–overcome by a plethora of a thousand emotions and more. Too long had they fought, too long had they suffered, in a grand-scale last effort, the Aeldari had amassed, and made war against the Prince of Pleasure. In this time, the Farseers, Warlocks, and their conclaves had awakened Ynnead, who obliterated the eldritch scar of debauchery that was Slaanesh.

The Aeldari would find peace…

…but, something was wrong.

The head of a serpent can still bite after being lobbed from the body and offered only a false sense of security. 

Auldinwë felt weary–as if being watched–and she spun about and scanned the distant treeline for prying eyes. There! A sheep stood, its jaw unhinged, with erroneous staring eyes. The creature, though innocent in its demeanor, was off putting and wrong. She began towards it, but its flesh began to writhe like maggots feasting beneath flesh–gluttony in motion.

The sheeps muscles began to bulge, became distorted, while bones popped and cartilage thrummed in wretched convulsions. The innocuous mammal metamorphosized into a horror beyond comprehension–ravenous teeth grew into a wolfish snarl as hungry eyes of ruinous desire bore into Auldinwë.

It was all an illusion.

Auldinwë blinked rapidly, her heart palpitated, before her vision pricked with black specks as the truth was lain bare in sudden malevolence. 

The forest was ignited by flames–torched in a grim display of malediction. Ochre and amethyst flames licked at the clouds that reflected the conflagration of sweltering heat. Charred and ashen were the plains before her, laid to waste by the ripple of immaterial destruction. Most sickening of all was the tremendous loss of life. Aeldari tore limb from limb, mutilated beyond recognition–discarded in the billowing ash under foot.

Auldinwë’s heart surged in her temples as she witnessed an even greater atrocity–pierced by a wicked blade, an Avatar of Khaine crumpled to the dead earth; slain. A Greater Daemon of Slaanesh raised a clawed hand, screeched in transcendent victory as it stood over its relinquished enemy.

Auldinwë remembered the truth.

It was the end.

Empires and stars collapsed. Leaders fell to the perils of their citizens, while citizens simply became numbers. The Material became a whirlpool of the Immaterial. Time stretched thin, crawled to a grinding halt, and like an elastic band, would snap back on itself and nulled nothingness would remain.

It was the end.

The vast labyrinth of the Webway disintegrated and with it, hundreds of Craftworlds. Of Commorragh, the Warp Gate was torn asunder, the port-city pulled from its foundations and was no more.

Now, at the edge of the Milky Way Galaxy, the Craftworlds which remained fought their most gravest battle–to die with dignity intact, to bleed for a tomorrow that would never come, and to vanquish She Who Thirsts with their final breath. before nullity was all.

Auldinwë’s eyes stung as she stared ahead at a voluptuous daemonette–it smiled deviously at her–a smile twisted of all unnatural and desirable things. The lustful creature had caused her illusion of an impossible future. 

Abruptly, Auldinwë strode confidently towards the daemonette–a sheer perplexity blended the creature’s features, yet, it did not understand the implications of the approach. The thing desired to twist reality, but Auldinwë had broken free of its clutch. With a trilled snarl, the daemonette began to stride towards the Howling Banshee–an Aeldari that could not be wavered, for it was the end, and through first her confusion, then her anger, she found clarity and lastly; acceptance. 

As the ground was closed between them, the daemonette twitched, unnerved at Auldinwë’s death march–for never were the Eldar so careless to throw away their lives. The Slaaneshite ever ignorant of a Galaxy devouring itself.

Then, the higher beings stood before each other. Auldinwë’s gaze pierced the daemonette, and for the first time in its hedonistic life, the horrid thing was belittled. In denial, it rose its clawed hand, plunged it into Auldinwë’s gut–blood strewn across the ashen earth, dripped from the daemonic appendage, yet, Auldinwë feared not, and she witnessed panic in the amethyst eyes of her adversity. Thus, she raised her sword up ostentatiously before plunging the blade into the bared chest of the daemon of excess.

Auldinwë had sown her fate. The Aeldari witnessed pure terror in the eyes of a twisted soul. The daemonette witnessed serenity. A calm at the edge of oblivion. 

Then, the outer dark of the universe folded in on itself, consumed all things as nothingness remained… 

Everything Ends.  

About the Author

Author and Science Fiction enthusiast Zach Neill is a 28-year-old who lives in rural Pennsylvania. He has overcome tremendous adversity in his life due to a progressive neuromuscular disease. In spite of his disease, Zach has only grown stronger and blossomed into a passionate, compassionate, positively funny guy. Warhammer has been a part of his life ever since his childhood and as he’s grown older, his love of Warhammer has only strengthened. He has written an original Science Fiction novel and is in the process of editing the manuscript–Zach hopes to publish his novel in early 2023.