- "With lance and blade, we will strike down the cowardly enemy. We, the proud knights of Bretonnia, will ride them down. With faith in the Lady, we will be impervious to harm. We will be remembered always, our heroic deeds living beyond our years. For Bretonnia, and for the Lady, charge!"
- —Bohemond Beastslayer.
Bohemond Beastslayer is the Duke of the vast domain of Bastonne in the heartland of Bretonnia. One of the god-like Grail Knights, he is renowned for slaying the mightiest beasts and the most horrific monstrosities.
Bastonne is perhaps the oldest Dukedom in the realm and the Duke is traditionally one of the King's most important nobles. Bohemond fulfilled the Grail Quest before succeeding to the dukedom. His search for the Holy Grail famously ended in a vicious duel with a massive Dragon. Casting his opponent down, Bohemond forged a fearsome mace from the Dragon's immense thigh-bone.[2a]
The King himself requested that Bohemond accept the lordship of his ancestral lands rather than become a hermit knight in the Grail Chapel of Castle Bastonne. Nevertheless, he is still renowned for fighting monsters, to the point that he is known as “Beastslayer.” He is also famous for refusing to fight inferior opponents; even if they attack him, he merely stuns them so that he can turn his attention elsewhere. As his prowess has grown, the search for worthy foes has taken him to many places within Bretonnia and beyond.[2a]
Whilst Bohemond is a lineal descendant of Gilles le Breton, he is absolutely loyal to King Louen Leoncoeur and has no desire for the crown. Indeed, he delegates the whole business of administering his dukedom to his steward and justice to his justicar. Alas, he is not a very good judge of character, and finds himself replacing these men with distressing frequency.[2a]
Bohemond's vast estates are almost entirely rural. His castle of Bastonne is located on a high, craggy rock overlooking the Forest of Châlons. From here Bohemond and his mighty retinue of knights wage constant war against the Orcs, Skaven and other vile creatures infesting the mountainous wilderness in the heart of Bretonnia. The Duke also maintains an elite regiment of monster-hunting Foot Squires, known as the Beastslayers of Bastonne.[1a]
Storm of Chaos
In the mid-morning, the brassy clarion calls of many trumpets could be heard echoing along the forest roads of Middenland. Outriders and scouts reported a great host moving from the southeast; an army of knights thousands-strong, bedecked in the full panoply of war and bearing the Heraldry of the Bretonnian Dukes. At their head rode Duke Bohemond, the Beast-slayer, commander of King Loencoeur’s vanguard.
No meeting had taken place between these new reinforcements and the commanders of the Empire’s armies, but where their sword fell was likely to be at their choosing, and not their allies...
- "Kill them all..."
- —The Beastslayer.
Smoke from the burning village drifted through the upper branches of the trees and carried the scent of burning flesh and grain. The waters of the river foamed red with the blood of the fallen, and the knights warhorses tossed their heads and snorted as they caught the scent of battle.
Duke Bohemond of Bastonne, known far and wide as the Beastslayer, rode at the head of his knights down the rutted road of hard-packed earth towards the village. By daring to attack a community so close to his castle, the beasts of the forests were displaying a boldness that could not go unanswered, and Bohemond swore that every last twisted beast that profaned his lands here would perish.
He saw a group of bestial creatures armed with crude axes and swords loping towards a small building of white stone, adorned with bright cloths and gaudy ornamentation. A dishevelled woman in her night attire knelt before it in prayer and begged the Lady for protection and salvation. Bohemond shouted in rage that the Shrine must be protected at all costs. He raked back his spurs, leaned into the charge and braced the flare of his lance against his breastplate. His knights matched his pace as they rode past the first victims of the slaughter, a woman and two small children whose bodies had been ripped apart by fang and claw. Ahead the villager's attackers bellowed in warning as the rumble of Bohemond and his knights charge echoed from the valley-sides. The earth trembled beneath the mighty warhorses hooves - a rolling thunder that grew in power as their speed increased. The Dragon standard of the Duke snapped and billowed from the banner pole, its colours bright against the darkness of the sky.
The knights lowered their lances as their steeds covered the last few yards between them and their foes. The horned creatures howled their challenge and raised their axes in defiance. With a crash of steel on iron, Bohemond and his knights smashed into the braying monsters with the fury of the Breton himself. Lances pierced the foul denizens of the forest on iron tips, and swords chopped down, hacking limbs and heads from furred bodies. Those beasts spared the initial slaughter did not survive the hooves of the warhorses. The knights steeds, thrilling to the scent of blood and battle, lashed out with iron-shod hooves to split skulls and shields alike. Duke Bohemond rammed his lance into the belly of a massive beast with a horned head and dark fur matted with blood and filth. The impetus of his charge punched the creature from its hoofed feet, and it bellowed in pain. Dark blood jetted from the wound before the lance snapped and the copse was crushed beneath the Beastslayer's warhorse.
Bohemond tossed away the splintered lance shaft and drew his sword. It shimmered in the evening light, its ever-sharp blade blessed by the Fay Enchantress herself. He hated to sully its bright sheen with corrupted blood, but the shrine of the Lady had to be protected at all costs. He wheeled his horse, charging back into the combat, and beheaded a monstrous beast with the head of a snarling Bear. His knights fought with courage and honour, bellowing out cries for the lady, spurring them on to greater heights of heroic endeavour as they meted out vengeance for the fallen villagers and defended the honour of the lady. No quarter was offered. Within moments, the ground was drenched in the foul lifeblood of the bestial creatures.
The knights let out a cry for Bastonne as the Duke's standard was raised high and the shrill clarion call of the horn pulled them into formation once more. The shrine had been saved, but there were yet beasts within the burning village to dispatch. Bohemond smiled indulgently as the woman who had been praying before the shrine ran to him and clasped his armoured leg. She pulled a ribbon from her hair, giving it to him and declaring it would bring him victory. The Duke nodded and allowed the peasant to tie the ribbon around the hilt of his blessed sword. He decided not to chastise her for suggesting that he and his knights needed her paltry token to win this day. He lifted the sword high and walked his horse forward as frenzied beasts charged from the sacked village towards them.
The Duke snarled to kill them, and as one, he and his glorious knights charged into the smoke and flames once more...
Prior to the Lady appearing before the Uniter and his fellow Grail Knights, the young Gilles rode out to cleanse his homeland Bastonne of the foul beasts wreaking havoc there. After slaying one such beast – the ancient Dragon Smearghus – he not only adopted its image on his Heraldry, but also wore its skin as part of his armour during all his Great Battles.
Wargear & Abilities
Bohemond's skills were honed through fighting the mightiest beasts in the Old World. He was a powerful warrior, possessing the enhanced abilities gifted to all Grail Knights, and often fought with a blessed sword, his Dragon mace and an enchanted shield. The Beastslayer also possessed a lance forged into the shape of a snarling Dragon, and a cloak made from the scales of the infamous Dragon Smearghus. Once worn by Gilles le Breton himself, this revered artefact was held within Bohemond's great keep. The cloak was tended to by an enclave of priestesses, and worn by the Duke on occasions of ceremony and warfare.
- The "Beast Mace of Bastonne" - Was an awesome weapon, as weighty with magic as it was heavy with iron. Its shaft was carved from the thigh-bone of a Dragon slain by Bohemond, and its bulbous head was wrought from meteoric iron by Dwarf Runesmiths.
- "Bohemond's Shield" - When Bohemond reached the end of his quest the Lady of the Lake bade him wash the Dragon's blood off his shield. The waters of the sacred lake cleansed the shield and imbued it with magical power.
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia (5th Edition)
- 1a: pg. 75
- 2: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd ED -- Knights of the Grail
- 2a: pg. 56
- 3: Warhammer Armies: Bretonnia (6th Edition)
- 3a: "Back Cover"
- 4: White Dwarf: 287
- 5: Total War: Warhammer
- 6: Storm of Chaos - The Loremaster's Journal