Hello, and welcome back to part two of the Grey-mane dynasty lore series, where I present the origin of the dynasty. If you haven’t read part one yet, see Lore of the Realms: Grey-mane dynasty part 1 to see how it all started. This series will be an origin story for a lot of my army collections, and how it relates to all of my AoS army factions.
Today, I’ll be telling the second half of the origins behind the dynasty from third to eighth generation. I hope you enjoy the second half!
Third generation to Fifth
It became apparent that the gifts bestowed upon the Grey-manes were not as pure as they originally thought. The entity’s selfish tampering with the winds of magic to create gifted users of these elements had major setbacks upon the Grey-manes. For example, the Arashar line of the Metal Alchemist lineage have an obsessive compulsion to eat their own kin as sustenance to survive.
A theory behind this defect can be explained due to the bloodlines use in metal magic, some containing lethal chemicals that alter their taste and senses for food. However, some will deny this theory as blasphemy, instead suggesting that the entity had in some way intended this deficiency to be part of the bloodline. Wether by pure magical science for research observations, or by some sick irony upon the linage as a distraction for the entities amusement.
The Arashar line wasn’t the only linage to be affected by defects in their bloodline, other Grey-manes have developed different impurity in their generations.
- Fire Grey-manes have developed a tendency to lose their moral obligations, and common sense when they fight in battles for too long. Possibly caused by the bloodlines heritage of the wind of Aqshy, maybe by more sinister roots from dark influence. They also develop delusions of seeing past Grey-manes of their linage, mocking them as failures as they surround him/her in battle.
- Death Grey-manes over time become increasingly pale as their skin dissolves away to become a skeletal being with a soul and personality of the Grey-mane intact.
- Light Grey-manes have been said to have lived shorter life spans than most of their kin. This is due to their light magic causing radiation excess absorption, that degenerates the life span of the Grey-mane by half.
- Life Grey-manes, although not all of their generations, suffer from a form of Lycanthropy of changing into a tree spirt like the Sylvaneth. This can spread to others once the host becomes a full Hybrid Sylvaneth, spreading spores to anyone nearby to create lesser servants to the Alpha/Matron. However, such claims have not been clarified due to insufficient evidence. Although, the Everqueen was rumoured to have commanded these unique hybrids during the Age of Chaos.
- Shadow Grey-manes [N/A]
- Heaven Grey-manes are reported to have had increasing difficulty in controlling their magic capabilities, as their constant scrying for the heavens has left them in a state of constant influx in paradox. In some cases, leading them to either being in a coma, or death by miscast. Rumours say that the dead Grey-manes of this linage become spectral ghosts, having being one with the heavens as guides for future Grey-manes. Could Nagash somehow be behind this?
- Metal Grey-manes suffer from compulsive cannibalistic hunger, cause unknown.
- Beast Grey-manes will eventually lose their humanity by old age and become one with the chosen realm for eternity. Some become savages like the Savage Orruk, others become obsidian wraith guardians of the grave, or even guardians as a knight of green for the Sylvaneth. Evidence for this bizarre defect has yet to be explained.
From third to fifth generation, the Grey-manes had started to become complacent with the old ways, the limitations had strained them of their full potential as powerful leaders. One Grey-mane of the Life winds of magic linage, an old man called Avroskat, declared his intentions to the entity at the top of Silver throne. The foolish Grey-mane was banished, stripped of his powers and burnt alive by the entity’s cruel temper. Which left the poor old man to crawl away.
Only years later would he be found by a scholar of Azyr during the Age of Sigmar. A researcher named Fanzario was looking for evidence relating to the fate of Avroskat, eventually finding him as a Cairn reaper, a shadow of his former self dwelling at the marsh of ‘Dead mans transgressions’.
No one has since defied the entity’s intentions, that was until the last surviving generation put an end to the old ways, before the Age of Chaos arrived to take the dynasty to the grave.
Six to Seventh generation
During these next generations, the Grey-names had made alliances with many factions, including the wise spirits of the Sylvaneth, profiteering fleets of the Kharadron Overlords and the sea traders of the Scourge Privateers. However, such wealth of trade and prosperity had caused dire temptations for the Grey-manes, for the gleam of crystals and rich treasures beckoned the lords to drink deeply into their deepest desires.
Secretly, the Grey-manes smuggled these items with dark hunger, as their minds were clouded by greediness, like deep darkness. The generation of the sixth gorged on this greed to a sickening downfall, as they slowly forgot the duties that they had been entrusted with. The society reflected upon this greed with prejudice and hierarchy. Eventually, the three rank sectors of the dynasty became areas of class, from first to third, these areas would define you by wealth and power.
This map shows the sixth generations influence on the dynasty, as the each rank section is now seperated by class. Each rank defines your wealth, reputation, influence and power.
The third class are known to be the slaves of the slums, their lack of wealth and power has left them to be nothing more than a side thought for the Grey-manes.
Second class are very much more organised and have a few qualities that keep them from being in the third class. However, they are servents and civil duty workers for the first class, who are known to be either generous to their servents, or cruel with an iron fist.
Finally, the first class is reserved for the highest lord and lordeses of the hierarchy. They are politicians, philosophers, capitalists, high merchants and royal born residence that define the dynasty by their contributions. Only second below the Grey-manes, the first class dutys help to keep order to the dynasty, as well as retaining the traditions of the old ways (whilst still twisting the traditions to suit the satisfaction of the first class).
The Grey-manes at this time began to bicker and revolt against each other, boasting superiority over equal power sharing. The unity was crumbling like the ground beneath their feet like fissures. Many were banished, some were prejudice by political gains, as well as in rarer cases, hanged for treason by choice or false allegations.
In truth, this was the first sin upon which Chaos grew from the underbelly of the dynasty. The prince of Excess, Slannesh, whispered untold temptations into the ears of the Grey-manes. Although the God was still stuffed with the souls from it’s last meal, it needed more fresh souls to swallow.
The seeds of Chaos are growing, and soon they shall open to unleash the great swarm from the damn realm.
Scribes researching this historical period had gathered information as best they could on the Grey-manes alive at that time. Surprisingly, Franzario had uncovered records of the Shadow Grey-manes title and name, however, nothing far from this small information has come to light. What worries him is the titles ominous meaning, could it be related to Chaos, or even Nagash’s own covenant?
- Gartraitor, Grand Marshal of the Valixxinum armada (Fire Grey-mane)
- [N/A] (Beast)
- Dalinarius, Daughter of the blind seekers (Light Grey-mane)
- Croscravo, Warden of the Crypt (Death Grey-mane)
- Arashar, Master Alchemist (Metal Grey-Mane)
- [N/A] (Life Grey-mane)
- Farenlik, Overseer of the Heavens (Celestial Grey-mane)
- Yanlija, Mistress of the Shadow coven (Shadow Grey-mane) [Note: generation unknown, however, records tell of her appearance during this generation].
The last generation (Eighth generation), the downfall of the Grey-mane dynasty
At this point in time, the dynasty had cut all ties with the entity, save for Talvar, a Celestial Grey-mane who kept in contact with his master. The dynasty was in a state of anarchy, the higher borns of the first sector tried to rig the economy to fit into their ideal lifestyle, leaving the poor to be crushed by inflation in taxes and lack of income to live on.
Soon disease started to spread around the third and second sectors, many being innocent slum dwellers who were riddled with uncountable diseases. One notable event was the ‘Seven brothers of the noose’ a horrid and sickening display of prejudice against the poor had riled the third sector into madness and rage. The noble who caused the violence was called Baren Loken, he had seven sons of his own who lived in the second sector as middle class noble privileged. He and his sons were dragged from their house by the rioting crowds back to the third sector, where they were smothered in diseases and hung at the gallows by laughing peasants.
So it was that this day would be marked as the ‘Seven sons of the noose’, it would soon be made into a nursery rhyme that would tell the grim tale that the afflicted would laugh at, as their bodies slowly rotted away. They would praise the grandfather for his blessings to free them from the pain. When they ask for him seven times, he will elevate them to rot-hood……
The symbol of the blighted coven from the first sector, for those who bear the host of the plague. The cult has grown from the isolation of the pox slums, as they prepare for their saviour to arrive to bless them with distrusting blessings.
Only a few were Grey-manes of the eighth generation were around, the transition from seventh to eighth had been cut short by war and poverty between the lords. Only four of the eight Grey-mane linages had a successor in this generation, sadly, this would be the last chapter for the dynasty.
- Arashar ‘the exile’ (Metal Grey-mane)
- Tivan ‘the mad’ (Beast Grey-mane)
- Talvar and Lokar, brothers of the Celestial college (Celestial Grey-mane)
- Maltharn, Grand Marshal of the Valxxinum armada (Fire Grey-mane)
Grey-manes like Arashar, Tivan, Dalinarius and Gartraitor were denied their rights by political backstabbing and jealousy. As history will show for these figures, their demises are both cruel and unjustified.
Arashar, was a believer of the old ways as a great influence upon the people, that still look up to it as the rule of the entity. The conspiring Grey-manes, Yanlija, Malthran and Farenlik knew that she was the only thing left stopping them from creating a new order for the dynasty. So they seeded lies and ‘accidents’ to the people, who eventually despised and hated Arashar and the dying old ways. She would later be casted out of the dynasty, left on her own to defend herself in the heated wastelands of Aqshy.
Tivan was going mad from his old age, his transition was starting to change him. However, rather than letting him free to find his calling, he was locked in a cage in the third sector like a rabid dog. His transition was corrupted for this act, as the diseases started to seep into his flesh as he evolved into a diseased ridden lunatic.
Dalinarius was assassinated by Yanlija at the top of beacon tower, as her protective ward guardians around the dynasty walls faded away. No one knows who contracted Yanlija to kill the her own kin, however, her deeds are somehow connected to the downfall of the dynasty. Now that the ward guardians were fading, the road was clear for enemies to invade the dynasty.
As for Gartraitor, he would be murdered by his son, Malthran, for keeping hold of the dying old ways. The young Grand Marshal declared a new order for the dynasty, the devotion to the ‘Eighth god’.
Age of Chaos
Everything was set in motion now that the dynasty was left defenceless. Without the four remaining loyalists to the old ways, the kingdom was beset by tyranny of fascist regime led by Malthran as its High Marshal. He declared that the dynasty must burn all texts and items related to the old ways, instead adopting the strict teachings of the ‘Eight God’.
However, not all of the traitors shared the same view as Malthran’s fascist empire of war and butchery. Yanlija had set her sights on Malthran as her target for assassination. She ordered all of her warriors to prepare for war, the Nippon knights in midnight black marched out from the darkness to attack the Valxxinum armada.
The kingdom was at war, fire, blood, death and despair clutched at the throbbing black heart of the dynasty. Friends became enemies, families tore at each other’s throats, lovers became backstabbers and children became victims as the casualties. This once sacred and perfect kingdom was now tarnished by greed, disease, hatred and deceit.
Talvran could only watch from Silver Thorne as the smoke from the fires ascended to the black chocking skies. All was lost, the entities grand plan was tarnished by it’s own creations. The entity left it’s failed experiments to die, it didn’t heed the cries for help from the dying victims of this atrocity.
As the sun came down, the sky was choked by the smoke from the fires of the burning dynasty. The sight of this devastation would scar the few that survived the civil war.
So it was that Talvran called to the heavens for help in his direst need. Then with a shudder of the earth and the roar from the sky, a gigantic drake descended down from the veil of the stars. With this opportunity, Talvran pleaded the star drake to save his brother, Lokar, who was still inside the kingdom. The drake without question flew towards the kingdom, saving Lokar from deaths grasp, and took him to Azyr in Sigmars realm. With his brother safe, Talvran stayed to guard Silver Throne until his death.
Meanwhile, the war was continuing within the walls of the dynasty, as Malthran ordered the complete slaughter of all who opposed his rulership. Yanlija’s men had broken into the main palace, and stormed into the throne room to face Malthran to duel to the death. However, before they could fight each other, news had arrived that Tivan had been released from his cage, leading an army of diseased peasants towards the second sector. He had become a plague ridden mad man on his steed of Pestilent disease. He had been blessed by Nurgle to bring joy to the living by spreading his sickness to everyone around the sectors.
The situation was even more dire as the sky itself tore a great deep wound, as thousands of daemons descended upon the kingdom like flaming astroids. It was apparent that the war had escalated beyond just a civil war, it became a war of survival.
It was then that the two colossal exalted daemons of both Tzeentch and Nurgle fought for this kingdom as their own. Nurgles exalted proclaimed that his minions have taken the kingdom, so its rightfully his. However, Tzeentch’s exalted weaved the plan for downfall of the dynasty from the start, so he has the claim for the dynasty.
Anyone caught in between the battle would be killed without mercy, like specks of dust. Malthran, proving his skills as mighty warrior for slaughtering many worthy foes, was exalted as Khorne’s pawn. His duel with Yanlija would last throughout the dark night, as both warriors duelled through the fires and corpses of the palace halls.
With one mighty swing of his accursed axe, Grimskorr, decapitated Yanlija like soft meat. Her body fell to the floor, as her pale and slender head rolled down the steps. As Malthran lifted his prizes decapitated head aloft, his power grew, as well as his rage. He left the palace aflame to lead his newly formed legion on a journey to slaughter and butchery, leaving behind his heritage as a Grey-mane to the ashes.
As the dawn arises from behind mount Valixxnium, the dynasty was nothing but a husk of its former self. All around its keep were corpses of the dead, burnt houses and old buildings and the rising smoke from the fires that burnt the dynasty to the ground. The once great society that was lead by wise rulers, had now become a dark reflection on the past.
The aftermath of the downfall
However, not all of the Grey-manes had died from the Age of Chaos, a few that did survive would go onto lead mighty armies of good, evil and middle ground allegiance.
Below are records of what Fanzario could uncover for the surviving Grey-manes that still walk in the mortal realms.
The last Arashar (eighth generation), who would later on though the years be known as Elder Hag Queen Hexter.
Oaken ancient Ghuldryad (supposedly he has proclaimed that he himself is a Grey-mane of the Beast. However, it has been noted that Oaken is driven by madness, and can’t be trusted).
Croscavro, Wight king of Frost Crosil Crypt (seventh generation Death Grey-mane).
Matron of the Shadows (suspected to be a Grey-mane of Shadows, but from which generation has not been found)
Lord Celestant, Lancer, of the Lords of the Pisces Stormhost. part of the Grey-mane truce (suspected to have been Lokar, who was saved during the fall of the dynasty)
The Grey-mane dynasty influence maybe gone from the lands of Aqshy and the other realms, but it still lives on with the few that survived the Age of Chaos. To this day, many factions fight to secure the ruins of the vanquished dynasty hold as a bastion to build upon for power and influence. Even Elder Hag Queen Hexter herself wants to take the dynasty back from her long exile, to bring back the old ways as they should always be.
In the Age of Sigmar, sightings suggest that many of the survivors and new factions are heading towards the Grey-mane dynasty to retake it as their own. Unbeknownst to them, the Mighty Lord of Khorne, Malthran, is on his throne of skulls, preparing for war inside mount Valixxnium………
Next time: we’ll discover the aftermath of the surviving Grey-manes, and what they have been doing towards the Age of Sigmar. As well as the fate of the entity, and theories on who or what was the entity and its grand plans.
I hope you guys have enjoyed this post, of you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!