- "Woe, O world! The Age of Mortals is coming to an end. Time passes into oblivion, and the stars lapse in the sky. The dreadful breed of night is crawling out of darkness, to take possession of the world. Fools! Seek refuge in faith or madness, for there's no longer any other place to hide. The Reign of Chaos has begun!..."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann, Champion of Tzeentch.
Egrimm van Horstmann is the most infamous, and perhaps most dangerous, of the Imperial Colleges’ few known traitors, and he is the White Order’s greatest shame. There was a time when Horstmann was counted amongst the brightest and most talented Magisters of the Order. He was the last occupant of the Patriarch’s Throne at the Order of Light, before Verspasian Kant.[1a]
In his day, Horstmann was acclaimed as the youngest, most gifted Magister to ever preside over one of the Empire’s Colleges of Magic. As he knelt down to swear his allegiance to the Supreme Patriarch, the Emperor, and the cause of the Order, no one guessed that his loyalties, and soul, had already been given over to a far more sinister master.[1a]
As an apprentice Chanter of the eighth circle of the Order, Horstmann served under the late and respected Master Chanter Alric, the Saviour of Apesto, who taught him many of the Order’s ancient secrets. But all the time he served with the White Order, Horstmann was praying to the Chaos Gods for the power and knowledge to surpass his peers, which explained his rapid progress through the ranks. By day, he studied the pure magics of Hysh, and by night he pored over the ancient manuscripts devoted to the tainted lores of sorcery that the Hierophants kept locked away within its libraries, binding Daemons to serve his nefarious plans. The Daemons of Tzeentch no doubt whispered their timeless secrets into Horstmann’s sleeping mind, and his powers grew strong.[1a]
- "What a treat. A Light wizard by day, enemy of the daemon. And a daemonologist by night, fawning before the God of Change for His favours. How can this be contained in one man?"
- —The Prince of Lies, talking to Egrimm van Horstmann about his duplicity.[2f]
For three years, the wicked Patriarch worked his evil. Seeds of corruption were planted in the hearts of many of Apprentices and Magisters, and many of the most promising initiates to the Order were lost in the shadow Horstmann cast across it. Such was his skill at weaving wicked magics, Horstmann was able to subtly alter many of the Order’s rituals, redirecting their otherwise benevolent powers to his own ends. Most outrageously of all, Horstmann actually used the energies called down by the choirs of Apprentices to work away at the vaults beneath the Pyramid of Light — vaults that had remained sealed since the founder of the Colleges of Magic, Teclis of Ulthuan, had created them as a prison for some of the most terrible creatures and artefacts from the last Great Chaos Incursion. One by one, Horstmann defeated the vaults’ magical locks to reveal the forbidden things they contained. It’s impossible to calculate the damage done or the horrors unleashed upon the world by Horstmann before his evil was uncovered.[1a]
The discovery of Horstmann’s corruption is a long, morbid tale with a terrible ending. Before he and his twisted Apprentices fled before the combined fury of Volkmar the Grim, the Witch Hunter, and those initiates of the Order who were still loyal to its honest principles, Horstmann managed to free the infamous Chaos Dragon Baudros from its prison beneath the Pyramid of Light, and upon its winged and two-headed form Horstmann took to the sky and fled towards the Chaos Wastes. Reliable information about Horstmann after this point is hard to come by. It is known that he set about creating a citadel fortress in the Wastes, at the edge of the Screaming Hills. To these gleaming silver towers he summoned many corrupted souls - many of them being the very College folk his machinations had so perverted.[1a]
Some legends claim the first to answer his call were sacrificed to create the dread Banner of the Withered Eye - slayer of men and symbol of Horstmann’s devotion to Tzeentch. Be this true or not, more power hungry pilgrims arrived at Egrimm’s towers, ready to sacrifice their souls to become apprentice to the traitor. Horstmann and his corrupted Apprentices formed the Cabal — perhaps the most infamous of any group dedicated to Tzeentch. The sorcerers of the Cabal bow only to Horstmann and only because he is the most powerful of them. The majority of the warriors who protect the Cabal are willing slaves to Horstmann and his Apprentices. They are ignorant men desperate for the chance to learn a fraction of their master’s skills.[1a]
How anyone finds the Cabal to join it is a mystery. But once accepted, a sorcerer must swear binding magical oaths of loyalty to Horstmann, and his dark lord, Tzeentch. Once branded with Tzeentch’s rune, the initiate can never rebel against the will of his masters under pain of being reduced to the state of a mindless spawn of Chaos. Horstmann’s Apprentices are everywhere, and nearly two thirds of all the Chaos cults in the Empire are either created indirectly by agents from within his network, are controlled by his Cabal in some round about way, or owe direct allegiance to him. Such plotting and scheming no doubt pleases Tzeentch, and he seems to have rewarded Horstmann greatly over the years, making him his most favoured mortal servant. Suffice to say, Horstmann seeks to bring the Colleges of Magic under his sway and corrupt all the Empire’s Magisters to the worship of his master. By doing this, Horstmann hopes to attract his divine master’s eye and be rewarded with Daemonhood.[1a]
Corruption Within the Light College
- "I walked the Valley of Centuries and found there the pedestal on which rests the Obsidian Codex, carved by madmen into panels of stone. These are the words I read there, the pact which bound Kyrinex the Maw to the Heresiarch Coven. They were written before Sigmar was born, before these lands of men existed, and they have been read by no man since save I... It is a contract, daemon. Unbreakable, and you will sign..."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann (undiscovered as an apprentice in the College of Light), binding a lesser daemon with an ancient contract tattooed on his body.[2d]
Egrimm van Horstmann's arrival to the Light College started in a manner similar to any initiate of that in any of the Imperial Colleges of magic; As an Apprentice Wizard following in the foot steps of those more experienced in the art. Van Horstmann prevailed through the maze of impossible bends and corners that almost appear to break reality itself, designed to magically conceal the The Pyramid of Light in a hidden fold of space next to ordinary buildings in Altdorf that only those sensitive to magic can be privy to. Egrimm Van Horstmann arrived at the front gates of the pyramid and was summarily accepted as an apprentice after his magical capabilities were determined. From very early on, van Horstmann showed great discipline, initiative, and a deep understanding of magical lore that was well above what was expected of a mere apprentice and young man, (and to the amazement of the more Senior Wizards, a well fined attunement to the winds of Hysh). It was for these reasons that van Horstmann was among the few selected by Master Chanter Alric, grand mentor of the Light Order's apprentices and leader of the magical choir of chanters, to be taken upon a mission that only the most trusted of Light Wizards can be relied upon: an Exorcism.[2c]
However, this was no mere exorcism of a chaos daemon from any Atldorf noble or lord, but from a member of the extended family of the Emperor himself! This was why the Light College had chosen only a secretive few of the most trusted light wizards and acolytes to carry out the exorcism, for there would be less chance of word reaching the public that a member of the Emperor's own family was possessed by a Daemon of Chaos which would inevitably weaken the image of the Emperor and therefore, the Empire itself. (and if a few acolytes died if the exorcism went awry, they were fairly expendable) And awry the exorcism did go, for when Master Chanter Alric and the acolytes cast the daemon out from the body of the Emperor's distant relative, it refused to be be banished to the Realm of Chaos and stubbornly held its ground, viciously attacking the acolytes with its own daemonic magic. After several acolytes met a gruesome end from the evil magic of the daemon, it was Egrimm van Horstmann with quick thinking who managed to corner the daemon and banish it to Realm of Chaos for all eternity...
...Or so it seemed.
For Egrimm van Horstmann was much more than a mere apprentice of the College of Light, he was a devout and secret follower of The Great Deceiver: The chaos god, Tzeentch. What had looked like a spell of banishment to the other wizards and acolytes was in reality a spell that secretly bound it to a small magical prison designed to look like a small puzzle box with a crystal in the middle, an item Horstmann conveniently received from a wizard who mysteriously went missing prior to Horstmann's appearance at the College. When the moment was right, and van Horstman was out of sight from his peers and masters and could not be detected magically, he released the daemon from its prison and demanded its name after burning it with purifying light. The daemon was Hiskernaath, and ironically, a daemonic entity of Tzeentch. But van Horstmann was well versed in the trickery of Tzeentch, and knew that this daemon would utilise any form of manipulation to free itself from his service, and Horstmann had prepared for this. He opened up his robe revealing lines upon lines of text written in the Dark Tongue tattooed upon his body, a contract so well hidden and so well worded that it would take centuries before any daemon could find a loophole once signed. The first stage of Egrimm van Horstmann's great deception was now complete.[2c]
The Skull of Katam
- "I have not spoken for three centuries, for none have been worthy to hear me. None have been worthy to hear my knowledge. But this one. This one is Worthy."
- —The Skull of Katam speaking of Egrimm van Horstmann.[2d]
Egrimm van Horstmann knew that in order to achieve his nefarious goals he would need a power, much higher than his own magical capabilities, and not even of the mortal realm. For his perceived success in the exorcism, and advancement of his studies, van Horstmann naturally very quickly rose in the ranks of the Order of Light. Very soon he himself rose to the rank of a full Light Wizard, no longer an apprentice, and was entitled to his very own room very separate and very private in the Pyramid of light. Again, almost too conveniently, it was previously the room of the very same wizard whom went missing and was the original owner of the puzzle box now in van Horstmann's possession. Rising and becoming well trusted among the other Light wizards, van Horstmann was allowed entrance into the the lower depths of the Pyramid of Light, restricted to the lesser wizards and acolytes for it contains a large array of magical artifacts that the Order of Light comes to collect, as do all of the other Imperial colleges of magic, but not every magical artifact that is collected by a College of Magic is always fully understood.[2c]
Egrimm van Horstmann eventually came to explore the vault himself, however only sparing a single glance or two at any artifact, for he was there only to find a particular item. It wasn't long before van Horstmann spotted the item he was after, a skull plated in silver and emblazoned with gems and jewels with a curious eight-pointed star branded into it. Two Senior Light Wizards who guard the particular area of the vault had seen van Horstmann, and as he was about to lift the skull, one of the wizards warned van Horstmann that not even his rank could permit him to take the skull from the vault. However, at the moment when van Horstmann's hand touched the skull with the eight-pointed star, its jaw unlocked and it declared that van Horstmann is worthy enough to carry him and that it no longer wanted to suffer to sit in the vault any longer. With both wizards dumbfounded, Egrimm van Horstmann took the skull and brought it back to his chamber.[2c]
However, this was no ordinary skull, for this was the skull of the long-dead daemonologist Katam. Legend said that Katam was a dark sorcerer who was determined to achieve eternal life. This he achieved by striking a deal with Tzeentch, and in exchange for his soul Katam would live forever. Katam agreed to the deal and Tzeentch granted him eternal life, but Tzeentch never specified what kind of enteral life, for Katam's body still withered and aged, but his spirit within would never extinguish. Soon Katam's body did fail him, and his soul and spirit still remained within an unmoving and lifeless body. The rest of his flesh and bones soon decayed and turned to dust, all except his skull, in which his spirit still remains. His skull was passed down from generation to generation, with Katam in no control over his fate or what happens to him. However, Egrimm van Horstmann coveted the Skull of Katam, for legend said that before Katam's body failed him, he spent years trying to figure out a loophole in his agreement with Tzeentch, but a loophole never was discovered and never came to fruition. All that Katam learned was mind blasting secrets of the Dark Gods that he still whispers to those who possess his skull, and it is said that of these secrets include a ritual that would allow one to directly communicate with Tzeentch, not as some vision, but allowing a direct audience with the fickle god. And an audience with Tzeentch is what Egrimm van Horstman intended to get.[2g]
The Pact With Tzeentch
- "I impart this knowledge only because it suits me that you shall have your revenge. All that happens will be because I will it. You must never forget that, Egrimm van Horstmann."
- —The Prince of Lies.[2f]
Eventually the Skull of Katam whispered the secrets of how to contact Tzeentch, but the requirements appeared quite simple; just as with all the chaos gods, a sacrifice was needed. However, the type of sacrifice that pleases the Chaos God of Magic above all is not a live sacrifice of blood and offal, but rather, a sacrifice of knowledge.[2f]
Equipped with these secrets and in his private chamber, Egrimm van Horstmann destroyed and burned ancient tomes that were sacred to the Order of Light that held countless and invaluable secrets that now will never be revealed to the world. He did this prior to carving the sacred symbol of Tzeentch on a nearby table, imbuing it with a mixture of daemon blood and the ashes of the burned tomes and imploring that Tzeentch see his sacrifice and hear his words. The God of Magic did not ignore this beseechment, and in response to the ritual, the air split open and a purple-black gulf opened up above the table, spewing out shadows and emitting a festering magical energy. This portal grew wider and wider until it swallowed van Horstmann whole, and the last thing he could hear over the unnatural wind that blew into the portal, was the laughter from the Skull of Katam...[2f]
Egrimm van Horstmann emerged in a place that was impossible, but yet was possible. A place that had no reality but where all things could become real with the merest thought. It was the aeythr, or how some might call it: The Realm of Chaos. Egrimm van Horstmann struggled to keep hold of his thoughts, for if he let them go, he would be stripped of his mind and be lost forever in this place of bubbling insanity and madness. However, van Horstmann managed to keep control of his mind as he ascended a staircase that appeared to be mortared with the bodies of countless people and appeared to go on to infinity. But infinite the staircase was not, for van Horstmann eventually did reach to the top and was brought before a throne room.[2f]
There, that sat on a throne of an endless mountain of burning books, surrounded by over a million daemons that warped into a new shape every given second, was an enormous fleshy mass of millions upon millions of faces that writhed and changed into every single possible emotion and expression. This was the god, Tzeentch, himself... Or was it? The God of Deception, in truth, has no true form or body, as he is the very aspect of change itself. What sat upon the throne was only a mere aspect of Tzeentch, and when van Horstmann saw through this illusion he was awarded with the true presence of Tzeentch, who took the form of van Horstmann's greatest fear when all the of daemons, the throne, and the fleshy mass, all melted into an endless pit of snakes that almost suffocated him alive. But they all coalesced to form only one giant hooded snake and it spoke with a thousand voices. [2f]
Tzeentch already knew what it was that Egrimm van Horstmann desired, and offered to give it to him, in return for his soul. But van Horstmann was adamant not to make the same mistake that Katam made and refused to bargain his soul. Van Horstamnn offered Tzeentch everything and anything that the god desired of him other than for his soul, all for only the knowledge that was necessary for van Horstamnn to get what he ultimately wanted to achieve. The Changer of Ways spent some time deliberating this, but soon the god determined that the offer was satisfactory and imparted the knowledge that van Horstmann needed. Tzeentch whispered to van Horstmann, and if one other could hear this transfer of information it would be impossible to tell whether this took only minutes or was hours upon hours in which it took place. However when it did finish, the giant snake vanished and van Horstmann awoke to find himself on the floor in his chamber, right where the Skull of Katam appeared to look down on him with a look of pure amazement. Van Horstmann felt a sharp pain and pulled back his robe and saw that a new contract had been burned onto his skin, but this time it was from the inside out, and the final line ended with the mark of Tzeentch next to van Horstmann's own signature.[2f]
The pact was struck: the means for revenge, in return for anything Egrimm van Horstmann could tear from the Order of light.[2f]
The Schemes of Egrimm van Horstmann
- "They will see nothing. I have made pacts. I have worked wonders. The Dark is hidden within me, and not even Elrisse has seen it. No one will know how you died and if there are any traces of Dark magic left in this place, it will be assumed they came from you."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann, right before murdering a Gold Wizard in cold blood.[2g]
As Egrimm van Horstmann continued to secretly raid the vaults of the Light Order and destroy countless artifacts immeasurable in both magical and intellectual value, his favour with The Great Deceiver continued to grow. So too did magical powers grow as van Horstmann also experimented with the foulest and darkest of the most forbidden magics, allowing him to weave extremely intricate and long winded plots that caused chaos within the naturally orderly Order of Light and rising even further in Tzeentch's favour.[2g]
A sudden tremor once hit the normally serene and tranquil atmosphere within the Pyramid of Light. Its inhabitants; young and old, wizard and apprentice, all rushed out to see what caused the commotion. Flabbergasted and shocked wizards looked on in horror to see that the pyramid had been struck with a fifty feet tall lightning-bolt of solid gold that had impacted and speared right through its side. Blame was quickly set upon the The Gold Order since they are masters of metal and are a natural source of animosity for the Light Order, and an investigation led by Egrimm van Horstmann himself confirmed such an obvious suspicion. Little did the other magisters know it was van Horstmann who secretly forged the golden lighting-bolt and casted it down unseen with Dark Magic. The hostilities between the two colleges grew more and more out of control until the Light Order sent small delegation of wizards to meet with a delegation of the Gold Order, who were noticeably quite vocal about their innocence, to negotiate a deescalation in conflict. The meeting took place in an ideal neutral ground between both colleges: a temple in northern Altdorf dedicated to Shallya, the god of peace, mercy, and healing.[2g]
The meeting may have resulted in a successful cease of conflict between the two colleges, had van Horstmann himself not have cleverly been part of the delegation. As the peace-negotiation talks were underway, van Horstmann released Hiskernaath from his magical puzzle box secretly hidden within his wizard robes. With glee did the minor Daemon of Tzeentch secretly slither out of his prison and scuttle across the floor, unseen and felt only as an unnatural chill. The daemon, invisible, clawed and forced himself into the body of an unknowing Gold Wizard; the only visible sign of the possession being a change in eye color and expression. The possessed wizard then stood up, raising his hands that dripped molten gold, and blasted a Light wizard who died in agony as molten metal punched through his chest. The other Light wizards quickly retaliated and blasted powerful spells of their own, resulting in this once peaceful Temple of Shallya becoming a battle ground of vicious spells and magical warfare. Van Horstmann managed to corner the possessed magister, who unfortunately had enough willpower to cast out Hiskernaath right after the real fighting began, and slayed him in a particularly gruesome manner with Dark magic: causing the dazed wizard's skin to quickly swell with unnatural tumorous growths until his body could no longer contain this bloated mass of warped tissue and muscle and he burst into a gory shower of blood and misshapen red chunks leaving no clear identifiable body, and most importantly, no witness to van Horstmann's foul magic. Egrimm van Horstmann then escaped with the rest of the Light Order out of the temple and back to the Pyramid of Light. Hiskernaath begrudgingly reappeared to van Horstmann in his chamber three days later, still bound by the contract on van Horstmann's chest.[2g]
The Wizard's Duel
But this bloodshed was only the precursor for what van Horstmann expected to achieve in his malicious plot. The incident at the temple had driven the conflict between the Light order and Gold order to the ultimate extreme and there could now only be one solution that would reestablish peace: a wizard duel between the Magister Patriarchs of both orders. A wizard's duel between the leaders of the Imperial Colleges of Magics is an ancient rite that has settled disputes for centuries, however it is always the final option. The winner and his established college is declared winner of the dispute, but the loser's college is often left in a dangerous position; for if their Magister Patriarch succumbs to their magical injuries, the college is left leaderless. It was for this risk why this option was so rigorously avoided by both Gold and Light orders, but now that blood had been drawn, it would only be the spilling of more blood to end it.[2g]
Egrimm van Horstmann had an exquisite view of the duel when he was amongst the others of his order seated in a stadium overlooking an ancient wizard battle arena. The site of the arena was on an isolated island that breached a wide length of the River Reik, just outside the main city of Altdorf itself. Each imperial college had their own respectable section of the stadium denoted by a large banner that held that specified college's lore. Amber Wizards, with their feral companions and more wild garments, sat in stark comparison next to the Celestial Wizards, who wore bright blue and silver robes accompanied by dazzling spyglasses and dangling stargazers. The air above the Bright Order shimmered with heat as small plants and flowers softly grew around the seats of the Jade Order. When all were seated the great gates of either side of the arena opened, indicating the start of the duel.[2h]
From out of the darkness within one of the gladiatorial chambers stepped out a figure that wielded a two-handed hammer, adorned with bronze robes and a metallic collar as broad as a piece of armour that shimmered with glowing enchantments: The Grand Magister of the Gold Order. On the other side stepped forth a figure in pure white robes, with in one hand an elegant staff, and the other holding a scimitar that glowed with a luminescence of pure holiness: Grand Magister Elrisse of the Light Order. Elrisse had been the Grand Magister of the College of Light since before van Horstmann had even trained as only a mere acolyte, and who himself had commended van Horstmann in his spectacular rise in the ranks. But now, with little emotion, Egrimm van Horstmann watched as the old magister viciously fought and countered his opponent. Spells with enough magnitude to either turn a whole village to dust or gold were cast, deflected, and recast again within that arena, and for some time it looked as if neither side would breach the other's defences. But eventually, the Magic of Metal prevailed as the Grand Magister of Light was struck down by the Grand Magister of Metal. The head of the College of Light laid dead right in the middle of the arena, for all the wizardly spectators to see.[2h]
Egrimm van Horstmann was not surprised by this outcome however, there was not even one spell casted that he had not even anticipated, for this very duel was a product of his machinations. Leaderless, the Order of Light would be weakened significantly; The College of Light, as well as most of the other Imperial Colleges, were run by magical scholars who shunned the intrigue of politics that naturally came with an election, nor accepted the brutish firmness as seen within a military where there was always a second-in-command to take charge in case of emergencies. The leader of the colleges were usually the most magically gifted and most attuned with the College's particular wind of magic, but the processes to find such an individual would take years if not decades. The College of Light would surely be in such debilitated state without a Grand Magister taking the helm, and this is exactly the state Egrimm van Horstmann had placed the college under.[2h]
Daemons and Diseases
- "There will be others of your kind sent to aid you, for all who are banished by the Light Order's exorcisms are in truth sent here, to this prison, and in doing so are bound to contracts I have made with their gods. These are my commands, Morkulae of Nurgle: infect Altdorf. Let the plague spread as quickly as fear."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann, issuing a command to a daemon of Nurgle bound by contract.[2j]
The College of Light was indeed severely weakened by the lack of a Grand Magister. Directionless, the order had much difficulty in managing and organising its daily functions due to the reluctant and over-meticulous nature of scholarly wizards. Increased pressure from imperial officials to nominate a sufficient leader did little to speed up this otherwise slow and painstakingly thorough process. Tension increased within the Pyramid of light, and the next stage of van Horstmann's plan only compounded the Light Order's troubles.[2j]
Egrimm van Horstmann soon came in the possession of the, Liber Pestilentius, a grimoire which he had stolen from a now deceased Grey Seer. It contained a detailed list of foul disease-concoctions and plague magic, however the crude tome was entirely written in Queekish, the language of the debauched Skaven. The debased scratchings and ink marks that the tome contained were completely alien and unreadable to van Horstmann; not even the Skull of Katam with its wide knowledge of Chaotic lore could discern its exact contents (and Katam was always noticeably quite talkative and willing to offer van Horstmann his "guidance" when he could). Van Horstmann would require a being quite well versed with the working of plague and sickness to work the magic held within the Skaven-tome.[2j]
The opportunity arose when Egrimm van Horstmann's aid was called upon to raid a secret Chaos Cult in a secluded area of Altdorf and banish any daemons that happened to posses any of the cult members. He would do this with Verspasian Kant, whom was amongst the original group of acolytes that van Horstmann had accompanied during his first exorcism. Kant was making his own strides in becoming a master exorcist and a well accomplished Wizard Lord in his own right, even though his power in the lore did not quite reach the level of van Horstmann's. Both the wizards, with the help of veteran Witch Hunters, managed to breach the secret location of the cult while its members were distracted during a ritual. The witch hunter party managed to subdue the cult, and it quickly became evident that two cult members stood out from the others due to their particularly revolting afflictions.[2k]
One mutant resembled little more than a walking membranous sac of toxic liquids and fluids, and the other had a maw so large that it stretched from its face to the middle of its chest, which inside seethed a large mass of writhing worms. Within these two cultists both held a daemon from the chaos god that was Grandfather of All Plagues and Afflictions: Nurgle. The cultists were carefully restrained within a ritual circle and the exorcism began in earnest. Van Horstmann and Kant compelled the entities to shed their human hosts and reveal their true nature to the wizards. An outline within the membranous sac became visible, and what emerged from it that dripped a pale-red birthing fluid held warty green skin, a sagging belly that seethed its own insects, and with a single eye and horn emerging from its head. The other daemon emerged when the cultist with the large maw started retching on the floor a massive pile of worms that was so large that it could not have logically fit inside the cultist. The worms were rooted to lumps of white muscle that unfolded to reveal a pair of atrophied arms, a chittering pair of mandibles, and two large wet eyes. The chanting of the wizards reached a crescendo, and when the wills of the daemons were eventually overcome, it appeared they were banished to dwell in the Realm of Chaos for all eternity... But of course in reality they were secretly transported and bound to Egrimm van Horstmann's magical puzzle box that was in truth: a prison for daemons.[2k]
Egrimm van Horstmann's mastery of magic had grown to such heights that he was able to create a secret room inside his already private chamber within the Pyramid of Light. Built into the side of a seemingly innocent, large bull-bodied statue (that for some reason the previous owner of the room had used as decoration), was a secret door that if one were to open, one could step into the statue itself. However, inside this statue was not some cramped hollow opening, but it was an entrance that led to another room just as large van Horstmann's chamber. This impossible room, flooded with light, was artificially and cleverly created by van Horstmann's magic; a pocket of space hidden within the folds of reality. This room held a specific purpose, but for the time being, van Horstmann used it as a safe place to the study of Dark magic free from the risk of being discovered and suffering grave repercussion.[2j]
Egrimm van Horstmann was in his secret sanctum when he once more opened the puzzle box, releasing the daemon with the single horn and then spilling out a tide of worms that quickly formed a pile, and within its centre emerged mandibles and the eyes attached to the daemon's core. The single-horned daemon was a Plaguebearer; a foot solider of Nurgle with the intelligence little more than a feral animal. The worm-daemon was more significant however, for it was, Morkulae, the Cup Bearer of Nurgle, and was furious at being imprisoned. It started to viciously threaten to torture van Horstmann's soul for all of eternity. But Egrimm van Horstmann literally had a trick up his sleeve, and opened up his robe to reveal to the daemon yet another contract, but this time, right below his collarbone, was text that had been signed with the three-ringed mark of Nurgle. Van Horstman's entire body was bedecked with contract after contract that he made with countless daemonic entities, including representatives from all of the Chaos Gods which included the Urfather. Van Horstmann gave the Liber Pestilentius to Morkulae and he commanded the worm-daemon to translate it and concoct a plague to infect Altdorf. If the worm-daemon possessed any of the features of a human, he would have smiled.[2j]
- "I do not know what I thought of you when you were an acolyte, comprehender. There was such promise in you, such an organised mind, but I did not see the passion that a magister needs. I know now that you kept it hidden. I should have known better, I should have seen it. I underestimated you then, but now, we all see that you can take our order through this and out into a better future."
- — Master Chanter Alric, speaking to Egrimm van Horstmann.[2l]
Egrimm van Horstmann's intentions did not include that to infect all of Altdorf, but rather, to infect specific locations and districts that could easily be quarantined, but would cause fear and panic in the other parts of the city that were relatively safe. This aspect of the plan was very successful, for very soon, pandemonium and general disruption occurred on the city's streets. The more superstitious altdorfers even dubbed the plague, "Gods' Rot," due to spreading rumours that the plague was punishment from the Gods themselves to punish humanity's failures. The overwhelming panic put an even further strain on the College of Light, for Light wizards were frequently called to help staunch the spread of infection with their purifying light, but alas, there was little one could do to stop the infection completely.[2l]
The general disruption had even began to manifest itself within the Pyramid of Light, and this gave van Horstmann the opportunity to gain favour with much of the other wizards, and he was able to do this with subtle gestures and gifts that only a true scholar and magister would appreciate. Van Horstmann took particular steps to gain the favour of his original master and mentor: Master Chanter Alric, though van Horstmann had even superseded his former master in rank and ability. Alric was beyond delighted when van Horstmann revealed his gift of an elaborate three-tiered pipe organ that when played would perfectly harmonize the acolytes in their chants that would always circulate magic throughout the College of Light. Alric had always desired an organ to lead the chanters in a perfect melody, but his petitions to commission one always fell on deaf ears... all ears except van Horstman's. Becoming almost tearful with emotion, Master Chanter Alric humbly thanked van Horstmann for this gift that would forever play in the College for years to come. Van Horstmann's renown within the College of Light carefully grew with every little act such as this, but his name would be soon circulated throughout the whole college due to a "discovery" that would surely lead to the helping the College and all of Altdorf in its time of need.[2l]
Egrimm van Horstmann brought to the college's attention some "rumours" that claimed that "God's Rot" originated in a Garden of Morr somewhere within a city, and a small party of Light wizards,that included van Horstmann, were sent off to pinpoint its location. After van Horstmann led the party to the Garden, the Light wizards soon discovered a dark aura emanating from one of the catacombs of the half-temple/half-cemetery. On the front entrance of the grand tomb held a carving that read: Salenharr, the well known name of a wealthy family of burgomeisters with deep political connections and roots that can be traced back to some of the city's original architects. Just as the wizards made this discovery, the tomb door was slammed open, and a foul hot gale blew out from the inside of the decrepit crypt; preceding the the walking corpses of the family's long lineage which shambled out and threatened to swarm the magisters. Just as the Light Wizards were being overwhelmed, Egrimm van Horstmann saved them with an extravagant display of holy light and powerful magic that stunned even the other veteran wizards, and the corpses were charred to a crisp. After descending into the tomb, the wizards discovered that what laid inside an open coffin was a single book: the Liber Pestilentius.[2l]
Unbeknownst to the other Light Magisters, it was Egrimm van Horstmann himself who planted the tome there before its "discovery". Van Horstmann's menagerie of daemonkind had swelled to ever higher numbers, and the countless contracts that now secretly spanned across his whole body had bounded to him a collection of daemon servants from each of the Chaos Gods. It was not due to necromancy that animated the corpses that attacked the wizards, but was due to van Horstmann's daemons that wore the bodies of the long dead Salenharrs that when destroyed, simply were transported back to the magical prison box. However the deception worked, and the College, as well as all of Altdorf were outraged at the Salenharrs who were said to have used Dark Magic and were blamed for starting the plague that infected the city. The Witch Hunters descended upon the remaining family members and summarily imprisoned them on charges of witchcraft. Most citizens were satisfied with the knowledge that those who had blighted the city with the dreadful pox of "Gods' Rot" can now finally be brought to justice... most citizens except for one particular Light wizard.[2l]
Master Wizard Verspasian Kant had long grown increasingly suspicious of Egrimm van Horstmann's quick rise in the Order of Light, and his wizardly instinct told him that all was not as it seemed with the prominent magister. Kant's suspicions were confirmed when he discovered that much of the Light Order's prized tomes and codex's that had mysteriously gone missing were last held by van Horstmann (who was secretly burning the invaluable texts to placate Tzeentch's thirst). Kant had also magically detected traces of daemon and dark magic back during the scuffle at the Shallyan Temple, and such traces were similarly discovered by him at the Garden of Morr. Verspasian Kant suspected Egrimm van Horstmann not only a practitioner of Dark magic and bargainer with daemons, but of being the cause of many misfortunes that had plauged the Order of Light. He could not voice such allegations publicly however, van Horstmann's fame had risen so much in the Order that the idea of van Horstmann being corrupted would be rejected and many would come to his defence. Kant's burning desire for justice did not allow him to be deterred by this fact, so he secretly brought undeniable evidence to the Order of the Silver Hammer. Witch hunters, always eager to burn a practitioner of magic, evil or otherwise, listened to Kant's pleas for justice. A specialised task force of Witch Hunters alongside the family of Salenharr, (who were summarily released from imprisonment after Kant brought evidence they were innocent and now cried for revenge for their tarnished family name,) was established to capture van Horstmann and bring him to justice tied to a burning stake. However, they would have to act quickly, for van Horstmann's abilities had become so recognised within the College of Light that many magisters swooned for him to take a vital position that all too recently had been void of leadership:
Egrimm van Horstmann would become the Magister Patriarch of the Order of light.[2l]
Magister Patriarch Horstmann
- "We must assume a position of leadership among the other colleges. I will bring us there. Not because I want to, or because it is a stepping stone to something greater, but because I have a duty to the people of the Empire and the orders of magic and it is as Grand Magister that I can best discharge it. My thanks, brother wizards. Let this be the beginning of a new age of the Light."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann's speech after becoming Magister Patriarch.[2m]
The floor was scattered with leaves and petals while corridors were filled with acolytes with their eyes cast down in deference as Egrimm Van Horstmann made his way to the ceremony of becoming the new Magister Patriarch. Great banners of rich colours were strung up, bearing the heraldry of great magisters past, and brought out a gentle light that enveloped the pyramid. The most powerful senior magisters, and even the Emperor himself, applauded as van Horstmann now took responsibility of directing the fate of the entire College of Light. All looked proudly upon van Horstmann, and it is said that all of the worries that plagued the minds of the magisters melted away now that they were secure in the fact they now had someone to lead them out of these dark times.[2m]
And van Horstmann wasted no time in his duties, for right after the brief ceremony he reassured the Emperor he had the means to save Altdorf. This is so for the Pyramid of Light holds many powerful relics and artifacts that are even too valuable to just be held in the vault, and there is a place that few know even exists. The secret of Pyramid of Light is that it is not only a structure above ground, but attached to an inverted pyramid bellow as well, and there at the pinnacle of this inverted pyramid was a secondary even more secure vault, one that held artifacts of immense magical power. There was such an artifact that could help cure Altdorf of its plight, and all van Horstmann had to do is retrieve this artifact and use it. With the Emperor's blessing he set off to find it, but not before Master Chanter Alric had a word with van Horstmann.[2m]
Master Chanter Alric, once master of Egrimm van Horstmann, now stood subject as his eyes could only barely meet van Horstmann's. Alric was reluctant to say what was plaguing him, but after van Horstmann reassured him, Alric continued. He told van Horstmann that he had a wife: Albreda. It is not uncommon for wizards to start a family, but Master Chanter Alric feared that his wife would catch the infection and lose her forever. Egrimm van Horstmann, Magister Patriarch of the Order of Light, told his former master to not worry, for it would all be over soon.[2m]
- "Clearly you intend no contrition with the revelation of your crimes. I hereby pronounce you guilty of all charges. In the name of Sigmar, kneel and receive your punishment."
- —Witch hunter, declaring Egrimm van Horstmann guilty of daemoncraft.[2p]
As Egrimm van Horstmann descended down the steps into the depths of the Pyramid of Light, the doors above to the college were burst open as the Witch Hunter party, lead by Verspasian Kant and Battle Wizard Kardiggian, whom Kant needed little to convince of van Horstmann's treachery since he envied the prominent magister, demanded to arrest Egrimm van Horstmann on charges of witchcraft and treachery to the Empire. Master Chanter Alric and the other magisters refused to give in to such incredulous claims and give van Horstmann over to this small mob of Witch Hunters and the Salenharr family. But Egrimm van Horstmann had planned for this exact confrontation, and as the witch hunters and wizards disputed, figures started scuttling, lumbering, and hopping out from hidden places. Egrimm van Horstmann had released his servants prior before descending to the Pinnacle vault, and now Hiskernaath, Morkulae, and dozens upon dozens of other daemons now materialised in view of dumbfounded wizards. With unholy screeches, roars, and whatever foul utterance from their debased tongues, the daemons of chaos charged, viciously attacking the mob and wizards.[2o]
The daemons reaped a bloody toll, but were eventually pushed back by the combined might of the wizards and witch hunters. The role of the daemons were only to delay the party, and this they did well, for not much of the party remained. Hiskernaath, too slow and too injured to escape, was pinned to the ground with darts of pure light and had small drips of holy water poured on him until the daemon of Tzeentch could suffer no more and revealed that van Horstmann was travelling to the Pinnacle vault that very second. Fearing the worst, the Battle Wizard Kardiggian led the Witch Hunter party down to the Pinnacle Vault while Alric, who now very much believed charges against van Horstmann, led Kant into van Horstann's chamber to discover and possibly seal the way the daemons infiltrated the college.[2o]
Alric and Kant reached Horstmann's chamber first, and after they ran past fearful acolytes and other wizards whom had heard the battle, they entered the chamber. They discovered the small puzzle box, opened, on the table, but Alric sensed there was something wrong with the room. Guided by his magical senses to the bull-statue, he discovered the secret door and Alric entered van Horstmann's sanctum. There was nothing there in this room, albeit some comfortable cushions and bookshelves, but there on the bookshelf, something both caught their gaze. It was a small eyeball, still bloody and fresh, watching Alric.[2p]
Egrimm van Horstmann looked back at Alric from the pane of a small crystal that was magically linked to the eyeball, and as expected, the turn of events had gone just as he had planned. Then, there in the Pinnacle Vault at the deepest part of the Pyramid of Light, van Horstmann heard a noise that made him look back towards the vault doors. The party led by Kardiggian had caught up to van Horstmann, and a man who wore a dark leather cloak that hung a wide selection of both torture implements and pistols stepped forward. The Witch Hunter accused Egrimm van Horstmann of daemoncraft and the practice of forbidden magic, and within the same breath, declared van Horstmann guilty of all charges and that he kneel and receive punishment in the holy name of Sigmar. Egrimm van Horstmann's hand was wreathed in a black magical flame as he explained to the hunters that all this, all of the events that led up to this confrontation had been carefully and meticulous planned, and that even now his accusers only walk in the fine lines he had drawn for them. With a gesture of his hand, van Horstmann closed the door to his sanctum, and up within his chamber, Kant watched in horror as the doorway in the statue suddenly closed. Alric, still within this impossible space, turned when he heard the door shut and banged fruitlessly when the door simply melted into the wall. Van Horstmann had cut off the room from the rest of the world forever.[2p]
The Witch Hunter reacted and fired a blessed bullet at van Horstmann from a pistol, but it was deflected off a shield of light Horstmann had conjured. Egrimm van Horstmann fought back with magical attacks, both Light and Dark, and scorched his assailants with flames of contrasting colours. Bodies, some with their flesh stripped leaving only a black skeleton, others with large bloody holes from where the dark flame had blasted through, littered the floor. The Witch Hunter charged with a glowing battle-hammer, but before he could strike, van Horstmann casted a spell and a shard of glass lanced down from the ceiling impaling the Witch Hunter in the thigh. Van Horstmann then slammed his staff and a hundred spikes erupted from every direction, criss-crossing with the Witch Hunter in the centre, spearing him all through the body and limb. But van Horstmann had to suddenly drop to the ground as a fireball of pure white rushed over him. Battle Wizard Kardiggian now faced Horstmann and the two dueled, exchanging fiery bolts and countering magical attacks. Suddenly, the ceiling of the vault seemed lost in a rolling vortex of black clouds, and van Horstmann cast down black lighting that crashed into Kardiggian. Raw Dark magic tore right through the battle wizard and he fell to the ground as a broken mass of ashes and burned meat. Exhausted, van Horstmann fell to his knees; the magic he used drained him immensely, but he quickly recovered himself as he opened the panel of crystal to see the one who drove him him to all this: Master Chanter Alric.[2p]
- "I joined the Light Order. I studied the magic of Light and Dark. I sacrificed wonders to the God of Lies, and I contracted with daemons. All for revenge. All to make you pay for what you did..."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann.[2q]
Egrimm van Horstmann once had a sister named Lizbeta. As youths, the siblings were abandoned by their family and they were forced to scavenge scraps of food or whatever they could to survive. They wallowed in filth and every day was a struggle as they lived in abject poverty, but the sibling were nevertheless inseparable. One day, the two were wearily shuffling alongside a dirt road, bruised and battered from a storm the night before. Suddenly, a coach had appeared next to them and inside a women with hair light-blonde as buttermilk, green eyes, and thin red lips, offered them safe passage as they made their journey. There were Beastmen abroad and the two youths were reluctant to spend another night in the wilderness, so they accepted a ride in the coach and soon succumbed to their fatigue, falling asleep.[2q]
They suddenly both awoke to the weight of hundreds of thin scaly bodies threatening to suffocate them alive; they had awakened in a pit of snakes. As the clammy, cold scales of the snakes writhed against the skin of van Horstmann, he heard a smothered voice scream and he knew it belonged to his sister. He battled against the coils of the snakes, and managed to grip on to Lizbeta's hand as he kicked and struggled to get them both out of the pit. But van Horstmann was only but a boy and was not strong enough to bring them both to safety. Soon he lost his grip and Lizbeta's hand was gone, sinking further down into the writing pit until he could no longer hear her muffled sobs. Van Horstmann kicked and fought, thrashing out only a few inches at a time until his hand broke the surface and he managed to drag himself above to take a breath of air, thick and foul as it was. He was in a cave, but van Horstmann's mind was a tumbling mixture of confusion and anguish, and he could not organize his mind into coherent thoughts. Then he saw, at the the lip of the cave was the same woman who offered them a ride in the coach, except this time there was another figure behind her. It was Alric, and the woman with blonde hair was his wife: Albreda. The then novice wizards had thrown van Horstmann and Lizbeta into a pit of snakes as some form of demented experiment to see if the snakes, an icon of the Order of Light, would separate the "corrupt from the pure." Egrimm van Horstmann, it seemed to them, was pure.[2q]
Egrimm van Horstmann had dedicated his entire life to achieve an ultimate goal: To see Master Chanter Alric and his wife suffer. The reason why van Horstmann lived a life of deception, why he infiltrated the Order of Light and plunged it into chaos, why he made deals with daemons and risked eternal corruption from the infernal taint of chaos, was all in the name of revenge. Master Chanter Alric had not recognised van Horstmann when he had entered the college, nor even when he took him under his wing as a student. And now, as Egrimm van Horstmann looked into the eyes of his former master, he saw the fear and panic of a desperate man who would do anything to survive, and van Horstmann savoured every second of it. Van Horstmann spoke to Alric through his crystal panel, and van Horstmann's face reflected off of every pane he had placed within the sanctum. Egrimm van Horstmann revealed who he was to Alric, and Alric broke down sobbing, begging for forgiveness and shifting the blame to his wife, saying the pit of snakes was all of her work.[2q]
But van Horstmann ignored Alric and continued: he revealed to Alric that he was now trapped in a space beyond reality. Time does not flow in that room, and Alric would no longer age, no longer feel hunger or thirst, but would spend an eternity slowly going mad inside the sanctum. Van Horstmann then revealed the second caveat to this hell: He had Morkulae brew a particular strain of God's Rot just to infect Albreda; the strain would both rot her insides and extend her natural lifespan, maximising the torment. Van Horstmann had also gouged out three eyes from various wizards and had them magically linked to the panels of the sanctum. One was placed on a bookshelf overlooking his wife's bed, one was placed on the tallest tower of Altdorf that overlooked the entire city, and one was placed directly overlooking the large musical organ. Alric would watch his wife suffer, watch Altdorf waxing and waning, being burned and rebuilt, and his musical organ slowly tarnish and rust without him managing it: Master Chanter Alric would watch everything he had ever strived for, everything he loved, wither for all of eternity.[2q]
With a final shout of pure anguish from Alric, Egrimm van Horstmann snapped the crystal in his hand, severing its connection and being the last person Alric ever talked to, van Horstmann moved on to the next phase of his plan: there was another secret the Pyramid of Light that no one save van Horstmann knew about. During the time of Magnus the Pious, Altdorf itself was threatened by a huge dragon, one touched by the powers of Chaos. The two-headed dragon was Baudros, and Teclis himself battled the beast. However, not even he, one of the most powerful wizards ever born, could finish off the Chaos Dragon. With no other option, Teclis magically imprisoned the beast in the ground, and eventually the College of Light was built over its prison; the greatest defense against its release being that its location is secret and that no mortal know about its whereabouts... no mortal expect Egrimm van Horstmann.[2q]
Egrimm van Horstmann poured Dark magic into the vault's hidden lock, and with a shudder, there was a smouldering hole in the wall where something stirred, something massive. Two great heads loomed out of the darkness, both crowned with spines and bright burning eyes. One head was brutal-looking and had sharp fangs gleaming from an a large underbite-jaw. One head was thinner and had cunning eyes that were sharp as steel. The black-grey scaled dragon of Baudros came forth out of its prison, extended its tattered wings and started howling out a roar of pure destruction and hatred. Egrimm van Horstmann never intended to leave the Pyramid of Light on foot, and when he made his pact with Tzeentch, the God of Magic told van Horstmann that his means to escape laid in that very vault. Egrimm van Horstmann now stood before death incarnate, and he shouted over the din; he shouted to Baudros one final pact. That if he brings van Horstmann to safety, he would help Baudros take vengeance on Teclis and glut himself on the elf's flesh. In response the clever-head lowered to the floor, and van Horstmann climbed on top, finding a foothold in its gnarled scales behind its head and then vaulted on its neck like a rider would a horse. Baudros flapped its large wings and took flight, hurtling upwards towards the ceiling of the vault.[2q]
Black fire from one head and acidic bile from the other were blasted out and tore through the ceiling, streaking up towards the floor of the pyramid. Pillars and rooms were instantly crushed as the chaos dragon's frame hurtled ever upward, and instantly killing anyone unfortunately in its path. The top of the pyamid erupted as the dragon's flame punched out through the pinnacle, and out the dragon flew until it emerged right over the college, and right over all of Altdorf. A great shadow was casted as it flew north over the city, north over the Reik, and north towards Norsca...
However, unbeknownst to Egrimm van Horstmann, the witch hunter whom he impaled with multiple glass lances did not die instantly and was still alive, as did Hiskernaath. Just as Egrimm van Horstmann was releasing Baudros, the lesser Daemon of Tzeentch, all bruised and bloodied, shambled down the steps of the vault to whisper a single word into the witch hunter's ear right before he went back to the Realm of Chaos. This single word the witch hunter repeated, a word that only Baudros could hear.
He said, "Splinterwing."[2q]
Egrimm van Horstmann traveled at an incredible speed while on top Baudros, and flew over the land of Sigmar's men until he passed over into Kislev. As they made it to Troll Country however, Baudros' more bestial head turned to face van Horstmann. Fangs bared, the head lunged at van Horstmann, who quickly let go and slid down the dragon's neck and grabbing onto another scale before he was thrown off completely. The bestial head then sank into the neck of the clever head, and Baudros yawned to one side and began to tumble, plummeting from the sky as its wings flailed.[2q]
Egrimm van Horstmann awoke, finding himself on the ground miraculously uninjured, to the sound of crashing and the tearing of flesh. Van Horstmann saw the two heads of the dragon battling each other, and the bestial one took the upper hand, battering the more clever head down. Van Horstmann shouted to the dragon that it still had an obligation to the deal it made with him, but the bestial head simply glared at him and revealed rows of its titanic fangs. The bestial head snarled that van Horstmann had made a deal with Baudros, but he was Splinterwing. Before the dragon had become corrupted by Chaos and its head split into two, before he was Baudros, he was Splinterwing; a mighty dragon who was on the verge of dying that made a pact with a daemonic entity, which in turn, wore its body and subdued the spirit and will of the mighty dragon. But upon hearing its name, Splinterwing remembered who he was. He swore to make the Gods of Chaos pay for making him into that abomination, and he would begin with van Horstmann.[2q]
Egrimm van Horstmann screamed as black fire engulfed him. His skin charred and he fell over into a layer of ash...
But somehow he still lived, his heart could still beat and his could still see the dragon in front of him. Then, the cunning head of the dragon took the distraction to its advantage and struck the bestial one, sinking its fangs into its neck and the bestial head bellowed as it fell to the ground. The clever head turned to van Horstmann and spoke to him with a slithering voice that was not its own, but from a power more distant and powerful;
- "What remained of Splinterwing is dead. And so will you be. In a few moments your heart will stop and there will be nothing more. But there is hope. Tzeentch brings hope even to you."
Egrimm van Horstmann knew at this moment that he was not the only one who had been planning. There had been someone plotting and manoeuvring from the shadows from the very beginning. Egrimm van Horstmann was only a puppet, and he was only dancing to the strings of the Great Puppeteer: Tzeentch. The dragon continued;
- "Serve Tzeentch, give yourself to him, and you will live. Or, you will die, and only oblivion waits for you. I will take you to a forge in the mountains of Norsca, where the forge of our god will create a suit of armour to sustain you. In return Tzeentch will have your soul. You will not refuse, for you will not suffer your genius to be snuffed out. And you always knew, van Horstmann, that one day you would pay Tzeentch his due."
Egrimm van Horstmann's flesh around his face was restored only just enough to speak, and in that moment he whispered only two words;
- "I obey..."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann.[2q]
And in a place beyond reality, in a place beyond the grip of time, sobbing could be heard. It had been a million years, or maybe only a day, and Master Chanter Alric could only weep. He saw his wife decaying. Sometimes it was slow, sometimes it was so quick that he couldn't even register the horror that was unfolding in his mind. He saw Altdorf, suffering sieges, triumphs, growing, changing; the city must have hated him. Who was he? Did he even have a name? Was this sanctum all that he had ever known? And finally there was the pipe organ; and as each era passed by, as each speck of dust settled, as it slowly rusted and rotted away, pain could only be felt. The man without a name continued to weep for all eternity.[2q]
- "You are insane. You do know that, Egrimm van Horstmann."
- —Skull of Katam.[2m]
Is Egrimm van Horstmann insane? If he is, he shows no outer-sign of bubbling madness that would normally encompass a raving lunatic who goes into a manic frenzy. He is often quiet, contemplating, and when he is not speaking to some disposable pawn in his schemes, he is mostly heard speaking to his only companion: The Skull of Katam.
Egrimm van Horstmann's insanity lies with the fact that he is devoid of sympathy, empathy, guilt, and has an extreme willingness to do anything he can to achieve his ultimate goal. It takes a certain kind of mind to envision schemes where each fragment of seemingly unrelated events are intricately woven together to carry out a goal that only is part of a larger plot, that it itself is only a small piece of a grand clockwork-scale design of an incomprehensibly complicated orchestra of Change. This is why he is so favoured by the God of Change. It is said that to look upon the raw form of Tzeentch is to bring about madness, but this is not so for van Horstmann; by the time he made his pact and gazed upon his God, he had already brought madness with him.
Patient, beguiling, and deceptive, Egrimm van Horstmann appears devoid of any emotion at all as he plunges into his work. Indeed, the only time van Horstmann appears to allow himself to feel any emotion is only when a plot nears its end, and usually he only basks in the change it has wrought. Be wary if you ever encounter Egrimm van Horstmann, for it may not be by chance, but engineered by his design.
Wargear and Abilities
- "Think on the path that led you here. What manner of daemonologist would I be to show my hand so early, by casting a host of daemons at you the moment you walked in through the door? And what manner of a witch hunter would you be, if you did not storm down here yourself, to lay down Sigmar's law in person? Every step of that path, I have set out for you. You are here because I have brought you here..."
- —Egrimm van Horstmann, at the culmination of his devious plot, being confronted by a Witch Hunter.[2p]
Favoured of Tzeentch, and master of daemons, Egrimm van Horstmann is by far one of the most powerful and disciplined Chaos Sorcerers ever to walk this world. Able to master the winds of Hysh simultaneously with a much Darker Art, and dabbling in Daemonology as only a young magister in secret, his arcane prowess can only have increased ten-fold now giving himself entirely to Tzeentch. Masterful pact-maker with daemonkind and plotter of intricate schemes, van Horstmann's ploys and ruses are just as deadly as any magical dread-bolt or daemonic flame he can conjure.
Egrimm van Horstmann is favoured by Tzeentch, and often utilises pacts that he has made with daemonkind. It is said that to gaze upon the bare flesh of van Horstmann is to invite madness, for burned into his entire body is an endless text of restless contracts that unnaturally swirl, spiral, and shift around if watched too long. Such contracts have bound to him an equal number of countless daemons, not just limited to those of Tzeentch.
- Skull of Katam - The spirit of the long-dead Daemonologist Katam is said to still linger within his skull and will whisper the secrets of sorcery to whomever possesses it, only to have their minds utterly destroyed by the horrific revelations of chaos. It was the Skull of Katam that whispered to van Horstman the secret of how to contact Tzeentch directly, but to what mischievous gain this brought to Katam none can say...
- Van Horstmann's Speculum - A small magical mirror able to switch the fighting capabilities with the wearer and the attacker.
- Baudros - Baudros is a two-headed Chaos Dragon that often serves as Egrimm van Horstmann's flying steed into battle. One head is bestial with an undercut-jaw, and the other is clever with sharp eyes and a skinny frame. Not much can match the ferocity of this black-grey scaled abomination, and with one head spouting black fire and the other blasting acidic bile, not many can run away either...
- Egrimm van Horstmann suffers from a mild case of Ophidiophobia (Fear of Snakes) due to a childhood trauma resulting from being thrown into a pit of snakes.
- 1: Realm of Sorcery (2nd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 1a: pg. 88 - 89
- 2:Van Horstman (Novel) by Ben Counter