The revered High Jarl of the Skaelings, Egil Styrbjorn, had taken many consorts from amongst the womenfolk of Strovengaard, for many women of Norsca were desirous to share their beds with warriors who bore the stigmata of the Dark Gods'. From these countless wives did Styrbjorn sire a brood of 13 progeny of all ages, yet not one amongst his wives could give to him a son - a true warrior who could carry on the name of the warlord after his death. The hoary-bearded champion was troubled by this, and long awaited a sign from the Dark Gods to reveal the woman who would be blessed with the honour to carry his true heir.
It was while Styrbjorn made preparations to invade the southern kingdom of Bretonnia, realm of the horsemen, that his seer received a blood-vision from the Dark Gods of she who was destined to bear his son. Soon enough, the woman known as Haegtesse arrived within the Norscan's warcamp. A powerful Kurgan blood-witch, she had possessed the body of a beautiful Bretonnian noblewoman. To the Skaelings, Haegtesse looked like some foreign princess, and they felt pride that this was to be the one who would bear their Jarl a son.
The gods themselves had ordained the coming conception, but it had to take place under strict ritual. If so, the child would become the greatest Skaeling warrior to ever walk the earth.
The eve was devoted to the enactment of the ritual to conceive Styrbjorn's daemon-son. Eight of the tribe's mightiest were sacrificed for the ritual, having given their lives gladly for their master's service. Under the sight of Morrslieb and the Dark Gods, in the presence of daemons and spirits who had crossed forth from the Realm of Chaos to bear witness, it was thus clear to Styrbjorn that his son would be favoured indeed, and so he took Haegtesse under the sight of the Witch Moon, and a daemon-son was conceived...
Alas, the Dark Gods were not the only deities to have witnessed the fell ritual. Knowing of the threat the daemon-child presented, the Lady of the Lake, goddess of all Bretonnia, granted a vision to her mortal representative, the Fay Enchantress. Horrific images of fire and death filled her mind. She saw a yet unborn child, daemonic eyes ablaze with the promise of savagery. She saw him as a young man, flames wreathing his horned head, the coastal cities of Bretonnia in ruins and the oceans filled to the burning horizon with tens of thousands of Norscan longships. She heard the screams of the endless lines of innocents being led to sacrifice, and saw mountains of skulls piled high beneath the turbulent heavens. She heard children weeping, and the stink of burning flesh lingered in the back of her throat.
Now aware of the threat Bretonnia faced, the Enchantress charged one of her Damsels, Anara to prevent this from coming to pass. To this disciple, she afforded the aid and protection of the Grail Knight, Reolus. Travelling to the northern Dukedom of Lyonesse, the pair enlisted the aid of Anara's brothers, Calard and Bertelis of Garamont.
- 1: Warhammer: Knights of Bretonnia (Omnibus)