This post is an updated and revised version of my own homebrew lore on my Stormcast Eternals Stormhost. Today’s post is one big mega post that tell the pre history of the Grey-manes, from the Age of Myth to the Age of Chaos.
I wanted to correct areas that I’ve overlooked and any mistakes that don’t fit into the lore of AoS. I hope you’ll enjoy this post!
Lore of the realms: The Grey-mane Dynasty part 1, The founding (generation one and two)
When the realms were born from the destructive aftermath of the The world-that-was, civilisation began anew from the ashes of the old world. Many would start out as farmers, tribal communities and small established villages.
But, unlike most civilisations, the Grey-mane Dynasty started out as a mystery to outsiders. The remaining evidence found of legends behind the founding of the dynasty may hold the answers. Or even more questions as to how the dynasty first established it’s place in the mortal realms.
During the beginning of the Age of Myth, eight individuals were created by an unknown entity at the top of the Volcano known as Valixxnnium. The entity in question may have been, as Scholars have predicted, to be one of the fabled ‘Old ones’ or possibly an ancient Slann from one of Aqshy’s many constellations. But none have so far produced sufficient evidence to prove these two theories.
The eight individuals were created to be unique in their talents for the eight magical winds, drawing their powers to do both battle and talents at their chosen field of specialty. These gifted individuals were not as powerful as the gods, nor demigods either, but they were still very talented as strong battle mages.
In giving these powers to the individuals, the entity had set about rules and wisdom to start building a civilisation through peace and unity. Before the individuals began building their established hold, they were requested to meet the entity at the top of the tallest mountain called Silver throne.The mountain was said to be a creation of the entity, a magical terraforming that created a mountain that could reach the sea of stars themselves. It was said that the mountain was formed to be the *peak of communication to the exalted beings from the stars.
(*However, as of current scriptures from Azyr scouts, this communication has been silent since the Age of Chaos. Although some rumours suggest that there has been sightings of a cult that are trying to re-communicate with these exalted entity’s).
It took the eight individuals a month to climb the mountain, it’s height was higher compared to it’s lower sibling of Valixxnium. For an average person, the trek up the mountain would surely take longer, without a map to show a quicker way of climbing the vast rocky slopes of Silver throne.
This was intentional as a defence against trespassers and enemy tribes who would seek to claim the mountain as their own stronghold. As the eight figures arrived at the summit of Silver throne, the entity bestowed each individual a gift. Artefacts that represent each individual based on their chosen wind of magic, and their role in the newly created civilisation.
Before the entity left, it decreed that these eight individuals will be named the Grey-manes, the highest authority and elders that will guide and teach the generations towards the path of enlightenment. The price for this rank is that these individuals will never own wealth, political power of an agenda (neutral ground) or self indulgents*.
(*For example they can’t own wealth in gold nor jewellery, as that would be a self indulgent possession. However, they are allowed to earn what they’ve worked on like building a house, mount a slain dragons head on a wall on top of the fireplace and forge their own swords/ staffs.)
However, the price was far more deeper than the entity had predicted, its meddling with the winds of magic would have repercussions for this dynasty in the future. Whilst this meddling would be pale in comparison to Nagash’s Necroquake, it would still be as devastating to the dynasty itself.
First and second generation
The transition from first to second generation is unrecorded and sketchy, since during that time no one had recorded but instead tell tales of legends to be passed down to future generations. In fact, no one really knew much about the first Grey-manes and how they successfully established their hold on Aqshy. All that is know, is that they have created a hold in the east as a starting point to build their dynasty.
The second generation however had a few records that started to show the dynasty’s aspirations, culture and philosophy. Notable remaing records found on Grey-manes that lived were Aghrath the Fire born, Barathor the Shadow, Arashar the Metal and Allnaria the Light. It is assumed that the remains four Grey-manes were traveling around different realms to find new sources of knowledge and people to join their growing dynasty. Also, the titles for the Grey-manes were simple ones, having not established much sophisticated knowledge to be named authentic.
Architecture was first established at this time period, having built simple huts and progressive knowledge on building stone walls for defence. This generation has simple ideals and concepts towards their dream architecture plans for the civilisation to thrive upon. Artworks and planning scrolls that show the future hold was an inspiring presence to many, as they started to build the new hold.
By the time the second generation of Grey-manes had passed away, the third generation had carried on the great task of finishing the predecessors goal of building a fortified stronghold for their dynasty. Consistent records show that there has been an evolution for the title of the Grey-manes, with all eight elders being recorded from this generation.
- Tenvarskar, The Fireborn (the General of the strongholds army and chief of the ritual leader for Valixxinum day)
- Arashar, The Alchemist (alchemy master and forger of metals)
- Malinthor, The shadewatcher (unknown role)
- Valenheim, The oakwise (ambassador for Alariella and agricultural chief for food and plant life)
- Lixznumor, The Heaven listener (communicator to the entity and voice of wisdom)
- Alcazzar, The Cryptkeeper (lord of the crematory and chief of the Crypt cult)
- Alinaria, The lightseer (mistress of the light covern)
- Gorkror, The Wildborn (ambassador to Gorrkamorka, and hunter of the wild)
By the time the stronghold was built, the Greymanes were at a point similar to the Middle Ages, masters in the art of both battle and peaceful idealists. The Grey-mane dynasty was now fully established, drawing in many travellers and merchants who have flooded the stronghold with goodwill and trade.
At this time, the third generation were at an age where they can take some minor responsibility from their parents roles, carrying on the legacy of their predecessors to a new and bright age of peace and harmony.However, the repercussions of the past have now started to take its toll on the third generation, as they realise the full price of what it means to be a Grey-mane.
Lore of the realms: The Grey-mane Dynasty part 2, A dynasty falls (generation three to eight)
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 their 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 morality 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. Possibly linked to the Nighthaunts?
- Light Grey-manes have been said to have a shorter life span than most of their kin. This is due to their light magic causes radiation excess absorption, that degenerates the life span of the Grey-mane until death.
- Life Grey-manes, although not all of their generations, suffer from a form of Lycanthropy of changing into a tree spirt like the Sylvaneth and other life based creatures. 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 so called beings 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 Sigmar 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 soul carin, 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.
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 Valixxnium 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)
The last generation (Eighth generation)
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 third 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 first 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 first sector into madness and rage.
The noble who caused the violence was called Baren Liventekk, he had seven sons of his own who lived in the second sector as noble privileged. He and his sons were dragged from their house by the rioting crowds back to the first 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……
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)
- Malthran, 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. Arashar, a victim of prejudice by the people and machinations of the conspiring Grey-manes by Yanlija and Farenlik. 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 first 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 welcoming light around the dynasty 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 lights were cut out across the dynasty, the road was clear for enemies to invade and pillage the settlements.
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 from invaders. 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 ‘Eighth 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, thw shadow 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 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.
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 for 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 third 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 sickened 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 three colossal exalted daemons of both Tzeentch, Khorne and Nurgle fought for this kingdom as their own.
They fought to take this land as their own, by the will of their patron god. 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 form 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 Valixxinum, 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 towards the Age of Sigmar
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 from the surviving Grey-manes that still walk in the realms. There’re were others in the linage unrecorded from the past, but they remain forgotten or kept in secret by Sigmar command.
- Elder Hag Hexter (the last Arashar of the eighth generation)
- Oaken ancient Ghuldryad (suspected to be a Grey-mane of the Beast, citation needed)
- 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 of the Grey-mane truce. Leader of the Grey-mane Stormhost of the Warrior Chamber, Lords of the Pisces (suspected to have been Loken, 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, ever vengeful sits on his throne of skulls, preparing his warhost for war inside mount Valixxinum………