- "Be'lakor, Chaos Daemon Prince, has known many different names. He is a creature who wields unholy weapons and abilities, and a figure who once commanded legions of unnatural beings."
- —The Dark Master.
Be'lakor the Dark Master is the first Daemon Prince of Chaos. He is known by many names: the First Damned, the Harbinger, the One Who Heralds the Conquerors, the Foretoken and the Bearer are a just a number of examples.[1a]
At the dawn of time, Be'lakor was blessed by all Chaos Gods. In the time before the rise of the Elves against Chaos, Be'lakor held the world in an iron fist, commanding hordes of daemons in the name of Chaos. As absolute ruler of the world, Be'lakor began to look upon mortals with disdain. His arrogance led to his downfall, incurring the ire of the Dark God Tzeentch, Changer of the Ways. The Lord of Magic cursed Be'lakor and stripped him of his power, denying him physical form and forcing him into mindless subservience to Chaos. As a final twisted curse, Tzeentch forced Be'lakor to become the Harbinger, the one who would crown the Everchosen. Tzeentch granted the hate-filled spirit access to the secret paths to the Crown of Domination - an ancient battle helm that was the symbol of the Everchosen, attainable only by running a gauntlet of Daemons and Chaos Spawn at the First Shrine to Chaos, deep in the World's Edge Mountains. But Be'lakor would never wear it himself... a fact that incensed him more than his bodiless state.[1a]
Crowning the Everchosen
Be'lakor first conducted his dark coronation thousands of years before the rise of Archaon. The first Everchosen, Morkar the Uniter, had risen a great army and, with the blessings of the Dark Gods, was given the task of making the world a permanent beacon of Chaos. Screaming his rage to the winds, Be'lakor descended into his own realm of madness - not seeing the battles won by Morkar, nor the rise of the man who would be a great bane of Chaos, Sigmar. Sigmar met Morkar in combat in a battle that would determine the fate of the world. The battle was likened to that between gods, but in the end Sigmar struck the killing blow, destroying Morkar and ending his incursion. From the ashes of this battle, Sigmar became the first Emperor of the united human tribes. For thousands of years since, his Empire has endured as a beacon of humanity.
Avoiding the Coronation
Because of the fickle nature of Chaos, Be'lakor was able to avoid fulfilling his hated role by assuming the form of the Shadowlord in the blighted city of Mordheim. There, he possessed the body of the next favoured warlord, Khaardun the Gloried. Believing he had defeated the Dark Gods' curse, Be'lakor grew enraged when he discovered he was trapped. He was unable to reach the Crown of Domination in his physical form, and could only be sustained by the warpstone permeating Mordheim's ruins. His fury and insanity eventually destroyed his physical body, forcing him back into the shadow paths to guard the Crown of Domination.
Hundreds of years later, Asavar Kul the Anointed became the next Everchosen, leading a campaign of death and destruction through the decadent and corrupt lands of the Empire. However, as in ages past, a champion of light rose to challenge Chaos at Mankind's darkest hour. Magnus the Pious, the future Emperor of Sigmar's Empire, joined with Ar-Ulric Kriestov and High King Alrikson to oppose the tide of Chaos coming from the north, led by Asavar Kul and Engra Deathsword. During the siege of Kislev, Magnus and Asavar Kul met in single combat, just as Sigmar and Morkar had millennia earlier - and, like that titanic battle, the Everchosen was again destroyed.[1a]
Be'lakor, watching from the heavens, screamed in fury as the chosen conqueror again fell in combat. He knew that if the Dark Gods had not cursed him, he would have destroyed Sigmar himself millennia earlier - and the multiple Everchosens would not have been required.[1a]
Be'lakor was subject to another End Times prince when Archaon started to subjugate the northern tribes while claiming the necessary relics to be named the Everchosen. Be'lakor held the Crown of Domination, and was the only one who could conduct the coronation - and only the Everchosen could receive the crown.[1a]
Be'lakor, in his guise as the Dark Master, had planned to take the Crown of Domination for himself, gather enough power to gain physical form by holding Albion in his grip, then descend on Archaon and feast on his soul in the view of the Dark Gods. However, his plans fell apart and, his immortal spirit filled with fury, Be'lakor was once again forced to perform the dark coronation. Descending like a dark angel, Be'lakor knelt before Archaon, hatred and rage filling his soul. He would once again be on the sidelines in the next great Chaos War.[1a]
Storm of Chaos
During the Storm of Chaos, Be'lakor followed in Archaon's wake as he marched upon Middenheim. Leading a vast horde of Daemons, he paused on the battlefield where Archaon had killed Volkmar, who had earlier attempted to end the Everchosen's threat. Sensing a means to assert his superiority over Archaon, Be'lakor drew forth his most ancient magics and dragged the Grand Theogonist's soul back into his body. Returned from death, Volkmar was chained to Be'lakor's battle standard, where the priest's screams would unnerve the enemies of Chaos.
Be'lakor's name began to spread across the northern Empire, spoken in terrified whispers. Now the nightmare hinted at by the doomsayers had become a reality. The magical winds increased in strength for many days, and omens of evil plagued Middenheim and the surrounding area. At Krudenwald, a great magical storm enveloped the town for several hours, culminating in the sky splitting asunder and pouring forth a tide of daemonic beasts spawned from the twisted imaginings of a madman. At their head soared the Dark Master, a palpable wave of terror spreading out before him.
When Be'lakor and his unholy army marched upon Middenheim, they still carried Volkmar's tormented body upon their war-banner. The Imperial defenders were horrified, and terror began to visibly spread amongst their ranks. Hundreds of men kneeled and clawed at their eyes as the great, winged figure of Be'lakor rose into the air above his unnatural legion. Hope was not lost however, for the knights of Bretonnia had witnessed the Dark Master's coming, and charged into his ranks.
In the melee that followed, the Bretonnian King and his knights battled fiercely against the daemonic host. Protected from the evil sorceries of the Daemon Prince by enchantments of the Lady, Louen Leoncoeur engaged Be'lakor in single combat. As the King of Bretonnia fought bravely against the Dark Master, an anguished cry was heard over the battlefield. Volkmar the Grim had ripped free of the chains binding him to Be'lakor's army standard, and laid about the surrounding daemons with those self-same enchanted chains. Bloodied but unbowed, the injured Volkmar was carried free upon the back of Louen's hippogryph and taken to the Temple of Shallya in Middenheim.
The defenders of Middenheim were ultimately victorious, and Be'lakor's legion was greatly diminished. Forced northwards, the Dark Master was pursued by an army of Sigmarites and Ulricans, led by Count von Raukov and the Ar-Ulric, Emil Valgeir.
When Karl Franz and Valten attempted to assault Archaon's personal army as he regathered his strength at the village Sokh, Be'lakors daemonic hordes came at them from the west. The imperial army was only saved thanks to the intervention of the High Elves. While the Swordmasters of Hoeth held the line against the daemons, it was Teclis who did cast a mighty spell of banishment that flung Be'lakor and his servants back to the Realm of Chaos.[4a]
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During the events of the End Times, Be'lakor infiltrated Athel Loren and attempted to murder the weakened Lady of the Lake, revealed to be Elven goddess, Lileath. He was ultimately unsuccessful in his attempt, duelling and injuring the Bretonnian, Jerrod of Asareux, only to be wounded in turn by the knight's blessed blade. With his dark blood staining the earth, the Dark Master fled the forest, lest he fall prey to the alerted Incarnates.
Unfortunately for the injured Be'lakor, he was captured by the Incarnates and brought before their council. Breaking free from the magical chains that bound him, the First Damned made to attack, only to be banished back into the Realm of Chaos.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Storm of Chaos (6th Edition)
- 1a Page 25.
- 2: The End Times Vol V: Archaon
- 3: Storm of Chaos - The Loremaster's Journal
- 4: Darkness Rising - The complete history of the Storm of Chaos
- 4a Page 75.
- 5: Games Workshop Webstore: Be'lakor, Daemon Prince