- "I am the harbinger of your demise. I am the nightmare in all mortals. I am the thing you fear the most. I am death..."
- —Valkia the Bloody.[3p]
Valkia the Bloody, known also as the Gorequeen, the Valkyrie, the Bringer of Glory, and the Sword-Maiden of the Blood God, is a dread Daemon Princess of Khorne. She is charged by her god to bear the worthy warriors of Norsca, and beyond, who die honourable deaths in battle to fight on in Khorne's hall for all eternity. Once a fell warrior-queen of the Norscan clan known as the Schwarzvolf, Valkia rose in the Blood God's esteem by leading her warriors to vanquish tribes dedicated to the other Chaos Gods, and by slaying any who questioned her right to rule.[1a]
When a Daemon Prince of Slaanesh came into her hall, intrigued by her feral beauty, and commanded her to leave her rulership and join him as a slave girl, the warrior-queen took up her great spear, 'Slaupnir', and in a berserk rage, slew the daemon and swore that she would lay its head at the base of Khorne's throne in the Realm of Chaos. Though she died on the journey, Khorne was impressed with her devotion. From death he elevated her to daemonhood.[1a]
Charged with descending onto the battlefield to choose those worthy warriors of Norsca who will fight on in the Halls of the Blood God for all eternity after their deaths, Valkia has served her dark master well for uncounted centuries. She descends upon the field of glory, her armour drenched in blood and rays of light shining from her spear. The warriors of Norsca who praise mighty Khorne (which is to say, many of them) redouble their efforts in her presence, knowing that the Blood-Father despises cowards and will strike down those who flee or show weakness. And also that to gain the prize of fighting on in his hall for all time and becoming his chosen is a prize beyond all measure.[1a]
- "They say that when the Axefather is pleased with our efforts, the tides of the sky will flow and ebb with darkest red, leached from the blood of our enemies. On the day that happens, Lille Venn, our people will rise far above all others."
- —Merroc, Chieftain of the Schwarzvolf and Father of Valkia.[3a]
In her original existence, Valkia was born as a child to a dead mother and a Chieftain of a nomadic Barbarian tribe called the Schwarzvolf, which means Black Wolves.[3c] Known by her father as Lille Venn, which means in their tongue as Little Friend, Valkia always had dreams of venturing to the Far North and claiming the rewards gifted to the greatest Champion of the Gods. But her tribe was at war with another, and by the tender age of ten, she fought her first battle as a Shield-Maiden and won.[3a]
Many years after this great battle, the fortunes of the Schwarzvolf grew once more. Despite being at the ripe age of eighteen, Valkia had taken neither a husband or even a lover. As such, her father took Kata, a friend of Valkia as a wife and she bore him three children, including a son. Yet the old Chieftain of the Schwarzvolf grew sick by an illness and the tribe once more was struck with misfortune. A recently decimated tribe of Norscan Farmers asked Chieftain Marrac for shelter, and reluctantly agreed to protect and aid his people. This garnered him the ire of his people, seeing his actions as weak and pathetic, particularly by his own daughter. In a climactic moment, Valkia took advantage of the worsening situation and ruthlessly killed her own father as well as Radek, her first and perhaps only true mortal lover, and took possession of the tribe from her weakling father.[3c]
The moment she took up the act of killing her own father, the daughter King Merroc knew as a child was no more. She soon became a ruthless killing machine, bent on nothing but glory and bloodshed. She slew all those that opposed her, culling the weaker members of her tribe and even going as far as to kill her own step-mother, killing her own step-sisters and sparing only her infant half-brother. Soon, she managed to even gain the respect of the Bloody Hands, a fierce warband of Marauders which came to seek out the Norscan farmers Valkia's father sheltered.[3d]
Rise of the Gorequeen
- "People of the Schwarzvolf, we have been betrayed. Our Chieftain, our beloved Merroc, lies dead because of the treachery of a man he trusted. A man he loved as a brother and who we all trusted as our Warspeaker. Radek the betrayer. See him there. He lies dead by my hand. Retribution was served instantly, but not before he gave me the truth. My father was going to do what was right. He planned to cull the weak from the strong, separate the brave from the cowardly and keep those who could wield their weapons with skill. But Eraich and his men conspired with Radek. They promised him the position of chieftain if he gave his aid to assassinate my father. It is no secret that Radek hungered for my father’s position. He agreed to this gutless plot. Such treachery could not go unpunished. As such, the people of the hills will be taken into the Schwarzvolf conditional upon their complete, unswerving loyalty. Any of those who do not wish to accept that condition, then consider the alternative. The alternative is your own deaths. If you wish to join your menfolk as food for the animals of the woods, then my warriors will gladly aid you in meeting that desire."
- —Valkia the Bloody, lying to her own people.[3d]
With the alliance forged, the bounty of the spring and summer combined with the careful rationing that was imposed on the growing tribe proved to be exceptionally effective and as such, losses of life over the hardest weeks of the dark winter were minimal. There were still a number of causalities however; the elderly, the infirm and infants who were too weak to survive the earliest days of life. For Valkia, the long months of winter were a trial unlike anything she had ever anticipated. Juggling the demands of her people with the frequent incursions from small tribes who thought they could somehow take on the might of the Schwarzvolf was tiring.[3e]
She had never realised just what leading her people would mean. Politics. Not all the dealings with small tribes were making short work of the more aggressive ones – and the Schwarzvolf did that with increasingly brutal style. The number of heads placed on poles around the perimeter of the camp grew almost daily. Valkia encouraged competition between her warriors; offering a prize to those who could take the most skulls in a battle. It kept them keen and eager. Under her leadership, the Schwarzvolf were gaining a reputation as a bloodthirsty, relentless band of warriors. For some that acted as a deterrent and for others, it served as a challenge. For a handful, it opened up interesting trade possibilities.[3e]
The might of the Schwarzvolf had grown exponentially in a few short years. Valkia’s ability to act diplomatically when the occasion called for it had begun to diminish proportionately. To refuse the will of the Schwarzvolf was to invite ruin. She even married the son of the Chieftain of the Bloody Hands and bore him two daughters, heirs to the throne of the Schwarzvolf. Yet the two lovers could never share power together, and in one act ruthless act, Valkia also slew her own husband in cold blood during a ritual ceremony.[3f]
Locephax the Daemon Prince
- "You could concede defeat to me now, girl. Admit that I am your better and take your place at my side. Your days will be filled with all you desire and your nights will be spent in pleasurable ecstasy. I am offering you so much more than the snows of the north and the ingratitude of these barbarous people. If you come with me now, you will be a true queen."
- —Locephax, Daemon Prince of Slaanesh.[3h]
When a servant of Slaanesh, a Daemon Prince known as Locephax, came into Valkia's hall and, smitten by her feral beauty, commanded that she abandon the life of a monarch to service his depraved needs as a harem-girl, the proud warrior-queen truly flew into the berserker rage and demanded a duel between her and the Daemon Prince. Thinking that the Daemon could easily best a woman in battle, Locephax gladly agreed and staged the battle on the morrow. At dusk, Valkia fought the Daemon Prince without the need for even armour and for a day and night the two fought hard. In the raging maelstrom of sparks and blades, Valkia slowly succumbed herself into an inner rage which saw her through the fight.[3h]
With a mighty thrust, Valkia struck off the Daemon Prince's very head with her barbed spear. Victories, Valkia affixed the severed but still whispering head of the daemon to her shield, and swore before her tribe that she would carry it to the Chaos Wastes and place it at the very foot of Khorne's throne. Such a boast shouldn't be taken lightly, but everyone in the tribe knew that their Queen would go to any length to earn the favour of her newfound God. [3h]
- "Khorne. Kharneth, it matters little what you call the Blood God. The truth remains that the followers of Slaanesh will be waiting for you, Gorequeen. You will cross the ice. You will enter the Wastes and there... there, your people will be slaughtered. One after the other, they will fall. Their blood will stain the snows crimson. And then, when only you remain...Then I will claim you..."
- —Locephax, Daemon Prince of Slaanesh.[3i]
As she travelled north, the daemons of Slaanesh dwelling within the Wastes fell upon Valkia, eager to avenge the insult she had made to their master. Though Valkia was a fierce warrior of Norsca, not even she could stand long against such a horde of abominations. Though she and her followers fought valiantly, the Queen was eventually torn to pieces by the daemons. In spite of her failure, her valour and courage had pleased Khorne, and so the Blood God saw fit to intervene. The sagas of the Norse say that Khorne's roars shook the very foundations of the earth, that his bellows made the mountains themselves tremble and woke Valkia from death. Khorne then took Valkia in his burning grasp and twisted her into a more pleasing form -- forging her anew in the fires of his wrath.[1a]
He bent back great horns from her skull, gave her the long, bestial legs of a Bloodletter and pulled back great, bloody wings from the flesh and muscle of her shapely back. Reborn as a mighty Daemon Queen, Khorne set upon her a new task: She would now descend every dawn onto the battlefields of the mortal realms, and fight alongside those worthy warriors of Norsca and beyond who served Khorne and from the ranks of their dead she would bear warriors who died in glorious battle to the Halls of Khorne where they would fight on the Blood God's legions for all eternity. Thus, the Gorequeen, the Shield-Maiden of Khorne, was born. This ascension was prophesized in the oral traditions of some tribes of Norsca -- having spoken of great, winged daemons with mighty spears bearing warriors to the Realm of Chaos. On her return to the North, Valkia was met by some such tribesmen, who had invariably fallen to their knees in adoration of her before she had even spoken a word.[1a]
To cut all ties to her former humanity, Valkia led her followers south towards the lands of her former tribe. There, she mercilessly killed all of her former people, butchering them to the last and feasting upon their flesh. In the climax of that battle, Valkia came to blows with her only living daughter who resembled every bit of her mother when she was still a mere mortal. But the fate of the battle was never far from doubt, and with a single swift thrust of her clawed hand, she ripped her heart out, the young woman gurgling blood as she gave her last dying breath to protect her people. Last to die by Valkia's hands was her own half-brother, the last of her family line. Long ago, her younger brother once looked up to her, but when he came before Valkia this one last time, he knew that death was coming and he was at peace. Giving out one outstretched hand to the sister he once knew, Valkia ruthlessly ripped his head out of his body, and with her prize seized, she allowed her berserker army to kill all the men, women and children that remained. Thus has she finally severed all ties to her mortal life and fully embraced herself as an instrument of her god's dark will.[3q]
- "You swore to me that you would not fall behind and I do not yet consider your oath fulfilled. Khorne calls to your blood and must be answered in kind. Rise now and revel in the roar of battle once again."
- —Valkia the Bloody.[3n]
Though she was already honoured and famed in the violent societies of the Norse, it was in the year of 1396 IC that the civilized races would first encounter Valkia the Bloody. In that year, in the icy wastes of Norsca, a warband of Norscans waged war against the Northern Dwarf Hold of Karak Ghulg, led by their king, a Chaos Champion known as Bothvar. Valkia descended from the High realm of Chaos to bless Bothvar's efforts, a good omen for any Norseman. Valkia had also come with a commandment from Khorne, that Bothvar's warriors must perform a rite known as the Blood Raven upon the defeated Dwarfs.[5a]
Valkia joined Bothvar in leading the warband and overran the Dwarfen positions surrounding Karak Ghulg before they overran the citadel itself. Valkia then led the Norsemen in the practice of the Blood Raven, unfolding the bloody ribs of the Dwarfs, making naked their hearts and spread out their lungs upon their shoulders, making it seem as if the tortured Dwarfs bore bloody wings upon their backs. Thus the battle was won, and this torture forever became an important practice amongst the vicious tribes of Norsca. In this way, Valkia had again impacted her people's 'culture' greatly. Amongst some tribes of Norsca, this act was also termed as the Blood Eagle.[5a]
The Burning of Nordland
- "I am the Blood Queen. I am the Bringer of Glory! I am the avatar of my beloved on the field of battle and I am here for the prize of your skulls. I am vengeance and I am death! Fear my presence. I strike terror into the darkest recesses of your treacherous hearts and drive you from me like vermin. Fear me!"
- —Valkia the Bloody.[3q]
This was not the last the civilised races would see of Valkia. In 2398 IC, Valkia came once more to the Norse tribes and bade them to follow her to war. Thus, the Northmen took to their longships and sailed south with Valkia at their head to Nordland. Under Valkia's leadership, the Norscans fell upon the towns and villages of the northern province and slaughtered all who dwelled therein. No force could withstand the berserk warriors as they made all they surveyed into a bloody sacrifice for their war-god. The nobility in Salzenmund sent no aid to the beleaguered towns, whether out of fear or a genuine inability is a matter of some debate. Regardless, in the end, it was left to the common folk of Nordland to defend themselves. Led by a simple fisherman known as Harold Dreizacker, the fishermen of Nordland beat their boathooks into halberds and patrolled the coastlines and manned the abandoned coastal forts of Nordland, ever watchful for any signs of Norse raiders.
A small fleet of boats was organised by Harold to be ready to respond to the sights of the Gorequeen's red sails upon the horizon. As a cold Geheimnistag wind blew, the people of Nordland made a collective sigh of relief, for the close of the summer heralded the end of the Chaos Marauders' raiding season. However, their relief proved to be short-lived, for only three days later, the Norscans fell upon Dietershafen, causing great slaughter and havoc there. Harold and his fleet sailed to intercept the longships of the Marauders, but the bloody queen of the Norse threw her great spear with such force that it smashed Harold's vessel to matchwood, and sent the fisherman tumbling into the waters. All was thought lost, and it seemed as if the town of Dietershafen would be destroyed. However, at the fateful moment, the town was saved by the appearance of a Dwarfen vessel, steel-clad and belching smoke, no doubt drawn by the chance to avenge Valkia's desolation of the Norse Dwarf hold of Karak Ghulg.
The great steel-clad ship was more than a match for the wooden longships of the Norscans, and it tore through their comparatively fragile fleet. As a result, the raiders were forced to retreat back to Norsca; but none could say what became of Valkia herself. Though, as Khorne's shield-maiden, it was clear her existence continued. In the aftermath of the battle, it was found that Harold Dreizacker had survived. He was found frozen on a nearby shore, barely clinging to life. Nursed back to health and hailed Hero of Nordland for standing tall and unwavering against a terrible foe -- for without Dreizacker, Nordland's people surely would have fallen to the bloody axes of the Norse. Yet the damage was done, and the ruin brought to the townships and the plundering of much of the province's food and fuel supplies meant that only the hardiest of men lived past the winter of 2398 IC. A few months later, tragically, Harold Dreizacker was killed on route to Salzenmund, capitol of Nordland province. Some say by the spies of the vengeful Norsemen, others by the hand of the nobility he had shamed with his bravery against the Norse and their daemonic queen. Ultimately, it did not matter, for the Norsemen had triumphed regardless, having slain mightily in the name of their god and having spilled rivers of blood for his glory -- for Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, only that it flows for all eternity, without cease.
Bringer of Glory
- "It takes strength of purpose to do this. But keep your loyalty true and my lord's hand will guide you correctly."
- —Valkia the Bloody.[5a]
According to Norscan sagas, Valkia has only been matched in battle once: When the famed champion Lord Mortkin journeyed into the Chaos Wastes to earn the favour of the gods. To receive the favour of Khorne, Mortkin bested a massive two-headed giant in a direct contest of strength. Impressed, Khorne sent Valkia to further test the great champion. The Black-Iron Reaver fought the Gorequeen to a stand-still, matching her every spear-stroke with a sweep from his mighty axe, thus earning the grudging respect of Khorne's shield-maiden. With that, the Lord of Battles blessed Mortkin with his boon of unmatched strength.[6a]
Indeed, Valkia is sent as many times to test the worthy as she is to fight alongside them and lead them on to Khorne's Brazen Halls. When she emerges onto the battlefield, the warriors of Chaos fight on with even greater vigour in her presence, eager for the chance to become Khorne's chosen. However, should falter, Khorne's wrath shall descend upon them through Valkia, and they shall be cursed never to know the glory of Khorne after their deaths. Indeed, Valkia herself shall mete out their punishment, laying about with lethal strikes from Slaupnir.[1b]
When Archaon, anointed of Chaos, was still upon his quest to become the Everchosen, it is said that Valkia came to his aid in a battle against the Dark Elves. When Archaon tore out the heart of a Dark Elf assailant and held it before a Warshrine dedicated to the Khorne, he had pleased the war-wont god, who saw fit to send forth deliverance to the Favoured One. Lightning bolts red as blood rent the sky, heralding the arrival of the Bringer of Glory. Howling bloody songs of war, she charged towards the Black Dragon at the head of the opposing army. Moving with the fury of the wind, Valkia loped off the head of the Dark Elf Sorceress astride the beast with one fell blow. Bereft of its rider, the dragon flew into an uncontrolled rage but its petty anger was little compared to the berserker's rage that burned within Valkia's veins. Her spear tore great gashes in the dragon's hide, and with her final stroke, she tore apart the creature's throat and sent it crashing to the ground. Howling again a cry of victory, she plunged into the enemies below, slaying all within her reach. With her weakening the enemy line, Archaon led his warriors in a devastating charge that scattered the elves. When victory was achieved, Valkia vanished from the battlefield as quickly as she had come.[1a]
- Slaupnir - The Gorequeen's spear was forged for her in her former life by a great blacksmith of Norsca, named for a terrible daemon of Norscan myths. The barbed spear of Valkia has slain kings and paupers alike, ripping out their hearts or striking their heads from their body with single, mighty blows. The weapon bears the blessings of Khorne and can tear through the mightiest armour and toughest hide with ease.[1b]
- Scarlet Armour - The mail of Valkia is eternally drenched with blood. It has been blessed with the power to sap the strength from those who face the battlemaiden in melee combat.[1b]
- Daemonshield - Valkia still bears the horned head of Locephax upon her shield, the daemon's black eyes beguile those who seek to strike her, causing them to become distracted in battle, and causes their resolve to weaken.[1b]
- 1: Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (8th Edition)
- 2: Warhammer Armies: Warriors of Chaos (7th Edition)
- 2a: pg. 73
- 3: Valkia the Bloody (Novel) by Sarah Cawkwell
- 3a: Chapter 1: "The Schwarzvolk"
- 3b: Chapter 2: "Ambition"
- 3c: Chapter 3: "The Black Stag"
- 3d: Chapter 4: "Cheiftains Daughter"
- 3e: Chapter 5: "The Blood God"
- 3f: Chapter 6: "The Gorequeen"
- 3g: Chapter 7: "Locephax"
- 3h: Chapter 8: "To the Victor The Spoils"
- 3i: Chapter 9: "Promises"
- 3j: Chapter 10: "The Breath Before the Plunge"
- 3k: Chapter 11: "Edge of Oblivion"
- 3l: Chapter 12: "Rebirth"
- 3m: Chapter 13: "The Long Game"
- 3n: Chapter 14: "Emergence"
- 3o: Chapter 15: "Death or Glory"
- 3p: Chapter 16: "Nightmares and Dreamscapes"
- 3q: Chapter 17: "From Whence the Blood Flows"
- 4: Liber Carnagia (3rd Edition Fantasy Roleplay)
- 4a: pg. 23
- 5: Bloodraven (Short Story) by Sarah Cawkwell
- 5a: Chapter One
- 6: Warhammer Rulebook (8th Edition)
- 6a: pg. 454